Friday, September 30, 2011

Day 30 of 365 - September in Review

September was not a great month for progress on my goals. The exceptional events from the start of the month remain ongoing. My days have consisted of little more than working, doing chores and resting. I have little to show for my time.


1. Lifting - yeah, right. My last two weeks of nights have been spent upright on the couch, hoping my cough will stop long enough that I fall asleep for a few hours. I am weak and de-conditioned. The doctor says all I can do is wait it out.


I'll be lucky if by the end of October, I am back to my condition from the start of September. At least I have the elliptical to help me along now.


2. Eat on $4 a day - September averaged more like $5-$6 a day, largely because I did most of my grocery shopping at Walgreens for the last half of the month. Jack's pizzas are $4 each, so...


I did make some foundational progress here:


- Proved shopping at Aldi and Meijer my most affordable grocery option

- Incorporated Aldi guacamole into a few of my staple meals, adding an inexpensive and healthy fat to my diet

- Finally learned to prepare tofu for stir frys. It is half the price of frozen fake meat.

- Discovered basmati brown rice. It is 50% more expensive than Riceland long grain brown rice, but it actually tastes good.  It is also much cheaper than the corn bread or frozen brown rice I have been pairing bean heavy meals with.

- Became confident in my ability to successfully prepare dried beans

- Changed a pattern around work that ensures I eat out two less meals a month


October is an unusual month for me schedule wise. I'm not even going to try to track dollars spent on groceries. I do expect to make some more foundational progress that will benefit my long-term health and maybe my monthly grocery budget. Flax oil, sesame oil, and homemade deep-dish pizza are all in the queue. It’s also finally cool enough for me to look into a pizza stone.


3. Become competitive at pool - Nope. I regressed for sure. I can't bend over without having a coughing fit. I don't expect much progress here in October either. I'm going to have to prioritize my time carefully and pool is not at the top of the list.


4. Maintain my home - I've set the process in motion for a refinance. It should cut 1% or so off my mortgage rate and shorten the duration by 3 years. I've done nothing else. I have to come up with enough money that I have 20% equity in the home (again, I did this two years ago...), so I am poor now.


I expect to finish the refinance in October. I'd like to at least try some screen repair in the mean time. The housekeeper hasn't been here for more than a month, I guess changing that will count for home maintenance at this point... It would be smart to get the deck and attic taken care of professionally, but I’m not sure I’ll have the time or cash flow to coordinate it.


5. Excel as a quality engineer - I missed 3.5 days of work last month. That's the 15% I might normally spend on process improvement, so nothing major to show here. I did get some training approved that will make me more effective long term.


October is going to be rough on my work schedule and any potential process improvement around software quality. Nothing I can do about it though.


September was pretty lame. October might be better, but I am really just trying to get back on my feet. I have high hopes for November though!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Day 15 of 365 - Hello Valley

Thanks to the stress of the past week, I am now sick. I also had the pleasure of a dentist visit today.

I know life is cyclical, but the valleys stink!  Maybe I can do some light lifting tomorrow and make the climb back out a little easier.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Day 13 of 365 - Upper

Warm Up - Precor 10 minutes
Stretch and Foam Roller
Double KB Press - 5/5 x 16k, 20; 2/2 x 24k, 24k, 24k; 5/5 x 20k
KB Snatch - 8/8 x 16k, 20k, 24k; 5/5 x 28k
Renegade Rows - 5/5 x 20k, 20k
Grippers - 5/5 x T, #1; 3/3 x BBSA

Weak and tired this morning. I am losing 3-4 hours a day to the issue that took over last week.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Day 12 of 365 - Lower and Mobility

Warm Up - Precor 10 minutes, 10 resistance, cross ramp from 10-20
30 minutes stretching and mobility
DO Axle Deadlifts 5 x 73lbs, 161lbs
, 161lbs, 161lbs, 161lbs
Box Squats - 5 x BW, 5/5 x 12k racked bottoms up, 5/5 x 12k overhead

This workout was about moving better after getting so tight. It worked.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Day 11 of 365 - Recovering

This past week did not go as planned. I got too little sleep, did waaay too much sitting and found myself unable to attend the RKC today. My body was so misaligned this morning, that just walking around cramped up the muscles in my lower back. That's never a good sign, so I settled for just light walking and a little stretching today.

Most of the walking was done in Sams club, investigating if shopping there would lower my grocery bill. It was a total fail. Despite the "exclusive" membership and massive containers, the prices aren't any better than what I find at Aldi or on sale at Meijer.  Add in the membership fees and poor selection, and it turns out warehouse stores aren't for me.

I expect to lift tomorrow and maybe even shoot some pool. No tournaments until at least next Monday though. I have too many unexpected demands on my time and the pool tournament is one of the easiest things to drop.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Day 6 of 365 - Shaky

Warm Up - Elliptical 10 minutes, Resistance 10, Crossramp from 10 to 20
Stretch and Foam Roller
KB Clean and Press - 5/5 x 16k, 24k; 2/2 x 28k, 28k, 28k; 5/5 x 24k
Snatch (finger catch) - 5/5 x 16k, 24k, 24k
Snatch (palm catch) - 5/5 x 24k; 2/2 x 36k (PR); 1/1 x 28k
Half Getup to High Bridge - 3/3 x 16k, 20k, 20k
Grippers - 5/5 x T, #1; 4/4 x BBSA; 1/1 x BBM, BBM; Miss / Miss x Easy #2

This one had to happen later in the day. With no rest days recently, I needed every possible advantage.

Doubling the 36k snatch left me trembling after the workout. I am good at focusing myself, but not so good at calming back down. The reps were a little sloppy, but most PRs are.

Progress on my other goals is slow. I am going to need the whole year...

Monday, September 5, 2011

Day 5 of 365 - Lazy Day

Warm Up - 20 minute walk in the morning, shoot some pool before lifting
Stretching, mobility work and foam roller
Goblet Squats - 5 x 1C1, 24k
KB Front Squats - 5 x 16k's; 2 x 24k's,
 24k's, 24k's, 24k's, 24k's
Single Leg Deadlifts - 5/5 x 16k, 24k, 16k's, 20k's
, 20k's, 20k's
Dynamic Pinch - 5/5 x 5lbs, 10lbs, 10lbs

I woke up tight this morning and couldn't get started after my warm up. I ate breakfast instead, hung out around the house, shot some pool and then got at it. Lucky for me, the holiday means lots of free time.

Since I was struggling, I kept away from the heavy deadlifts. It was a good chance to get some volume on the squats, which will ultimately lead to more reps per set.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Day 4 of 365 - Time for Breakfast

Elliptical - 20 Minutes
Cross Ramp - 10
Resistance (5 minute intervals) - 10, 12, 14, 10

HR in the 160's. Stretched and used the foam roller for awhile afterwards.

Off to make some cornmeal pancakes and veggie bacon for breakfast. Since cutting my grocery bill requires cooking, I eat better than ever!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Day 3 of 365 - More from Less

Warm Up - Elliptical 10 minutes
Stretch and Foam Roller
KB Press - 5/5 x 16k's, 20k's; 4/4 x 24k's; 3/3 x 24k's, 24k's, 24k's
Renedgade Rows - 5/5 x 20k's, 20k's, 20k's
Double KB Snatch (Lower to shoulders)- 5/5 x 16k's, 20k's, 16k's
Grippers - 5/5 x T, #1; 5R/3L BBSA; 2/2 BBM Attempts; 1/1 BBM Attempts
KB Windmills - 3/3 x 12k, 16k

The lighter weights and lower volume in yesterday's session left me strong for this one, despite poor sleep.

Double KB snatches are new and hard on my shoulders. I'll have to use them sparingly.

I know I will miss some workouts towards the end of the coming week. I just have too much going on. I'll hit it hard the next couple of sessions, then use the busy time for active rest and recovery.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Day 2 of 365 - Even Earlier

Warm Up - 10 minutes on Elliptical, 10 resistance, Cross ramp from 10 to 20
Stretch and Foam Roller
Wide Grip Deadlifts - 5 x 20k, 60k, 80k, 80k; 3 x 196lbs, 216lbs
Goblet Squats - 5 x BW, 12k, 24k
KB Front Squats - 5 x 16k's, 16k's, 16k's
Dynamic Pinch 5/5 x 9.25, 9.25, 9.25

My schedule for today required getting up at 6 to fit my lifting in. If not for the fact that I am working towards my goals, I would've just pushed this one to tomorrow.

I had to skip the pool tournament last night to make this work. It's just as well, I did a 10-ball test instead. I normally score around 15-20 out of 100, last night I got 9. I did try breaking with a rail bridge on the last rack. It's the only one where I actually sunk balls on the break, so I'll try it some more next time.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Day 1 of 365 - Finally Working

25 Minutes on the Elliptical
Resistance at 10
Cross Ramp adjusted at 5 minute intervals - 10, 15, 10, 20, 10
HR ranging from 165 to 175

Got warm and then stretched out. The high cross ramp is going to improve my ankle mobility.

The techs for the precor didn't get here until almost 9 last night, but they got it working. I made them stick around and fix noises while I took the cross ramp and resistance through all the settings. 20 cross ramp at 20 resistance is hard! I think it's solid now though.