Random musings on whatever subject strikes my fancy, published every other day.

Category: Health and Fitness

Rochester Marathon

We went to cheer for our friend, “Q”, at about the halfway point of the Rochester Marathon this morning.

The first video clip is the lead group at halfway.  The runner who was in second place at this point went on to win.  Not surprising.  Of the three leaders, he was the only one who seemed comfortable there.

We watched for a good while before the first woman came by.  This one also seemed to be having fun, and she was running in the top ten of women as we saw them pass.


And… here comes Q!  See if you can’t figure out which one he is.  I think he was glad to see us.


Still Riding

MMR from 2015-07-26 13:23:18

Today’s ride – home to Public Market via Erie Canal and Genesee River.

After Ride for Pride and all that we went through getting ready, the thing I was worried about was that we’d lose steam and taper off riding afterward.

Well, here it is five weeks later and I am still banging.  Today’s ride is one example.  Aside from that, I am commuting to and from work on bike most days, barring rain.

Still not losing weight, but I notice that I am paying more attention to hydration, and when I am better hydrated I seem to eat better.  Also, for some weird reason I don’t understand: when I am better hydrated, I sweat less.

I don’t need to understand that, to enjoy it.

This is a rather large graffito / painting on a bridge pylon next to the Erie Canal path where I rode today.


Rambling Sunday Post about Exercise

Exercise is better to me when I’m actually accomplishing something as I work out.  A real bicycle on the roads is far better than an exercycle.  Running or walking around the city is far better than a treadmill.  Actually going up the steps to my office on the 18th floor would kick the stuffing out of the StairMaster, but for the fact that my company has not seen fit to put a shower in the 18th floor men’s room.

That all said, I admire — and wish I could bring myself to join — the people I see out in rain and snow doing these workouts.  I have seen people running in the city when the sidewalks are mostly covered with ice.  I think they wear spikes to get some traction.  Seems like an unusual devotion to running, possibly shading into addiction.  I can’t get that motivated to go bicycling, but I definitely miss it when I don’t go on a given day.  It’s starting to take more and more intensity and probability of rain to keep me in.

Since getting semi-serious about the biking, my weight has not budged.  But hauling it around the city feels easier, so that’s something.

I have a pair of running shoes called Bounce that have very springy soles.  The soles also have little holes in them: presumably for ventilation?  I did not realize they had that feature until I went out in them one day shortly after rain had stopped.  Yuck. Maybe they were intended to be used only indoors, in a gym.

I read somewhere that any hobby for which you have to change shoes is getting serious.  I have noticed that my existing running/walking shoes are not really suitable to the bicycle.  The soles flare out a bit toward the bottom edge and get in the way of smoothly positioning my feet on the pedals, into the toe brackets.  I have no plans (yet) for those steel clip-in pedals, but I am now in the market for a pair of shoes where the soles don’t flare out like that.

It’s a slippery slope, isn’t it?  Don’t tell me, I don’t really want to know.

Not just better. Completely different.

We’re in training, if you can call it that, to ride in the Ride for Pride in four weeks.  To that end we participated in a 17- or 25-mile (route options) training ride last week.  We did the shorter ride, and were still wiped out at the end.

Some reading online told me that while better bikes would not get us into better shape, they really could make a difference in how much efficiency we get from whatever we can do.  This week, we shopped for Trek 7.2 FX hybrids, after reading this glowing review on thesweethome.com. Today we picked them up and took them straight back to the same 17-mile route that wiped us out last week.

We finished the 17-mile ride feeling better, less tired, less achy and more energetic than how we felt last week at the 10-mile rest stop.  It’s no joke that the right bike makes a huge difference.  I would say it’s almost as if we’re now in a different activity than what we were before.  Consider the fact that on the old bikes, we could shift between ratios of wheel / crank revolutions from 1.0 to about 2.4, and that’s for a 24 inch wheel.  On the Trek, we can get anywhere from 0.9 to 4.4 turns of a 26 inch wheel with each crank turn.  This meant that downhill momentum on the other bikes was never built up enough to help with the next uphill, which is a huge energy drain.  Also the newer bikes are probably about 5 pounds lighter – but since I could easily stand to lose a couple of bikes of my own weight I am not counting that.

The result from our first go was impressive, and we have more distance work planned for this and next weekend, and another training ride with the crew on June 7.

I won’t disrespect the older bikes.  They were cheap enough to get us to buy them last year when our level of activity was *ahem* inadequate.  We used them all last season and well into this one, commuting, trying to train, playing Ingress.  Those bikes convinced us to make an investment in the next level of this great zero-impact exercise.  They done good!

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