Re: Pretend I'm not pregnant.

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Ha. I have a deal with myself that I can quit too! But I have second secret deal that I really can't. It's complicated.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 10:47 AM
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I really struggle with this problem because when I am actively working out, I make myself miserable every time. When I was running every day, I threw up all the time, and not just after a run. I should start again, if only because I drink less during my running, and I need to gear up for the softball season, but I wish I could work out without treating it like a video game. (I have to get more points than I did yesterday!!!)


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 10:51 AM
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I've never really gotten to the 'great and full of energy' point in a workout, even when I'm in pretty good shape. I go through 'miserable' and get to 'uncomfortable and bored', although if I'm listening to something engrossing enough on my Ipod, I can manage just 'uncomfortable'.

I'm a bad example, though -- I'm always getting back into shape. I'll work out regularly for 3-6 months, and then do nothing for 3-6 months. And the getting back into shape involves more misery than working out when you're already in good shape -- workouts that aren't mostly misery don't seem to improve my fitness level much.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 10:51 AM
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I rarely push myself too hard when I am exercising by myself.

On the other hand, I push myself very hard when I am in some kind of group exercise. (a swim team practice, etc)

In other words, I am lazy and need the risk of being shamed and humiliated by others.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 10:53 AM
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(Actually, could people nag me about going to the gym over the next week or so? I'm not going to make it in today, because I'm not feeling well, but I've been running a fair amount for a couple of months, and then only ran once last week -- I'm hoping to nip this slacking off period in the bud, rather than having it turn into another six months until I break a sweat.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 10:54 AM
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I go through 'miserable' and get to 'uncomfortable and bored',

This happens to me at the gym, where I've been lately now that I'm relegated to ellipticals and incline walking. But jogging outside makes me more deeply happy.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 10:54 AM
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I signed up for a 10k run on March 28th to give myself some motivation to exercise.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 10:55 AM
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My only regular exercise goes something like this:

i) 5 minutes gentle warming up.
i) 45 - 60 minutes slowly building up level of intensity. This is fun/interesting. Lots of technical stuff, building from fairly gentle cardio demand to moderately intense.
iii) 45 minutes or so: people try to kick me in the head.
iv) 5 minutes cooling down and stretching.

Usually somewhere through stage iii it gets quite uncomfortable.

I don't really exercise until I puke, though. I'm not in great shape but I can generally get through with only a few "shit, I am going to die" moments.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 10:57 AM
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Everything in #3 is true for me as well. Nothing about working out, any type of working out, is ever enjoyable in any way. Playing sports, though, that could be fun.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 10:57 AM
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Well, I get smug about my fitness level when I'm in fairly good shape, and I enjoy being smug. Just not the working out necessary to maintain the smugness.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 11:04 AM
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And my personal definition of being 'in fairly good shape' sufficient to generate pleasurable smugness is pretty lax. I start feeling pleased with myself when I can run three ten minute miles without stopping, which isn't much of an accomplishment by objective standards.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 11:06 AM
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how miserable do you make yourself when you exercise

Not at all. That's why I weight 300 pounds and have high blood pressure. So I would say that a some making yourself miserable is necessary to staying in shape.


Posted by: Idealist | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 11:07 AM
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Usually somewhere through stage iii it gets quite uncomfortable.
Is that around the time when they are successful in their efforts to kick you in the head?


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 11:10 AM
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I'm incredible neurotic and anxious and over-analytical about how hard it will be to get back into my game.

I know you said this wasn't part of the question, but I wouldn't sweat this too much. While I know people who have had a hard time losing weight after having kids, I don't know anyone who was an athlete beforehand who had a particularly hard time getting back into shape in terms of actual fitness, so long as they were successful in making time to work out.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 11:14 AM
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14: I worry that I won't get my speed back, in particular. Because of the weight gain. I used to be one of the fastest (women) on the field, but carrying an extra 10-15 pounds slows you down a lot in a sprint.

Secondarily, I'm worried about my recovery time after a sprint, which has always been miserable. I sometimes have to put a knee down on the ground while the play has continued somewhere else, and all the refs know me well enough not to worry about it. But I'm worried this'll get even worse.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 11:20 AM
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Huh. Do you know people who complain about having lost speed or recovery capacity after childbirth? Seriously, I'm not saying it never happens, but while I know plenty of people who bitch about being out of shape because they're too busy or tired to work out with kids, I really don't think I've encountered anyone who does work out who feels like a lesser athlete since they've had kids. Doesn't mean it never happens, but I wouldn't pre-emptively worry about it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 11:26 AM
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Ditto on 14. I don't know any athletes who've had a hard time getting back into shape after a pregnancy if they work out -- the shape you were in before hand+breastfeeding+working out should mean you'll be totally fine. In fact, I was amazed at how fast the really athletic women in our birth group got back into perfect shape.

I'm about as far from a natural athlete as you can get, but I, (like LB perhaps?) go through successive phases of "getting back into shape" and then letting my body decline and feeling crappy about it. Recently, I'm on an upswing. This time, I reduced the amount of time I spend exercising but increased the intensity substantially -- sprinting instead of jogging, and using short but intense sessions with freeweights (kettlebells). No more than 15 minutes total for the workout, all done at home. This seems to work pretty well. So far, it has solved the biggest single problem that was keeping me from exercising -- lack of time -- and has had great results in a short period of time. But talk to me in a year and we'll see where I am.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 11:27 AM
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Miserable? I used to work out to the point where I'd be miserable... then I bought a heart rate monitor. Now I can do 45 minutes of exercise (on the elliptical, anyway), entirely in the right heart rate range, without feeling anything other than awesome the entire time. Lately I've been trying the interval program on the elliptical, and while my heart rate will get out of the 60-80% of max range it's supposed to be in for aerobic training, working out harder than that for a couple of minutes at a time doesn't ever leave me feeling shitty.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 11:29 AM
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Pretty freaking miserable. But pretty great afterwards. I also fall into the video-game attitude, since I think I am too self-conscious about performance to actually play sports anymore.


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 11:30 AM
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11: I think it probably depends on how broad you spread your spectrum: I would feel like a fucking champ if I could run 3 miles at any pace whatsoever. My "getting in shape" routine pushes me from *can stumble through half a mile* to *can grind out a mile and half at a 10-15 minute pace.*


Posted by: Chopper | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 11:30 AM
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20: Yeah, there's a self-selecting effect where almost anyone talking about how much they work out online is athletic enough to be pleased with themselves, leaving the rest of us schlubs feeling somewhat pathetic in comparison.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 11:33 AM
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16: It varies a lot from woman to woman in soccer, but definitely a lot of women say they lost their speed with their pregnancies.

Of the women that I've witnessed their playing before and after they had kids, several were slow players who seem about the same to me, (some of them fantastic slow players - that's not supposed to be too rude. Just they play more a more stationary game), but the woman who was incredibly fast on my woman's team came back about three months ago, and I saw her play yesterday and she is much slower than she used to be. (Granted, 4 mo. post-partum isn't a ton of time, etc., etc. But I'm ruminating endlessly over every piece of evidence I can find.)


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 11:34 AM
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21: Just like the food threads!


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 11:34 AM
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Having a child or simply getting older certainly can impact your speed or recovery time. Any time you take off 5 or 6 months of intense training, you will be impacted.

But, it doesn't have to impact it significantly.

There are many, many amazing athletes in their 50s and 60s, much less in their 30s. Stop sweating it so much.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 11:37 AM
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Okay, I'd say four months is much too soon for comparisons, that's still in the recovery period and she's still sleep-deprived. If she's still slow next fall, when the baby's sleeping through the night, that's different.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 11:37 AM
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In running I make myself pretty damned miserable. Exertion + boredom is a terrible combination. But I feel so good later.

Yoga is the absolute opposite. (Yes, I know yoga isn't 'working out' in the same way.) It's easy to push myself further and further, and I never get bored. Part of that is because you can always go further - you can reach your wrist in that bind? okay then, now reach for your elbow - in a way that is more compelling to me than 'run faster' or 'run longer'. And part of it is that you can settle into any pose, even a simple one, and work endlessly to improve it.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 11:37 AM
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Maybe I like sweating it.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 11:37 AM
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(off to teach.)


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 11:39 AM
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HB, just to add to the anecdote file, the woman I'm thinking of from our birth class was a distance runner who logged her best-ever marathon time 7 months after the birth. Not exactly a sprinter but still someone very fast.

IM (male, second or third-hand)E, there's a huge range and variation in how pregnancy affects different people, but folks who were athletic beforehand don't seem to have too much of a problem staying athletic.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 11:39 AM
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And what Will says about getting older -- late-twenties/early-thirties is about when people are at their athletic peak, so it's not an unexpected time to lose a step just from getting older. But childbearing isn't necessarily going to be a significant discontinuity in the arc.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 11:39 AM
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Maybe I like sweating it

I'm not feeding your perseveration.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 11:39 AM
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Maybe I like sweating it

I'm not feeding your perseveration.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 11:40 AM
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27: Eh, if you're enjoying the worrying, then worry. Just don't worry yourself into a self-fulfilling prophecy.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 11:40 AM
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It depends. I tend to push myself more when I'm doing something like a sport, in which case, dropping at the end in utter exhaustion, enemies driven before me, is fine.

If it's just at the gym on the goddamn elliptical, I tend to slack off. And with weightlifting I rarely have a spotter so I tend not to push it much.

Am lazy jerk.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 11:43 AM
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Maybe I like sweating it

I'm not feeding your perseveration.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 11:45 AM
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I don't know how much I slack off on the elliptical. I try to outdo myself in terms of the "calories" it claims I have "burned" in 30 minutes. But maybe if I was really trying hard, I could outdo my previous performance by 8 "calories" instead of being satisfied with 2.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 11:45 AM
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I occasionally find the "sweet spot," and go with it, but I don't plan for it; it's too rare. I usually watch TV or arrange other diversions to make the time go faster.

At this point my weight is such that I can't handle highly aerobic exercise, but the treadmill is still the only machine I like to use. I look back fondly on when my usual routine was 3 miles in 30 minutes. But things are improving, and at least I'm keeping up the habit.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 11:45 AM
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I think my extreme boredom while running would be largely alleviated if I didn't run only on the treadmill. But I'm terrible at pacing myself, and so having the enforced X mph is really good for me.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 11:50 AM
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38: Same here. (I also have scheduling/neighborhood problems with running outdoors; it's hard to find time to do it except after dark, and in the parks in my neighborhood that doesn't feel safe.) I particularly like the enforced speed if I'm trying to run faster -- it's a lot easier to resist the temptation to change the treadmill speed than it is to keep myself from just slowing down.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 11:54 AM
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I've never been able to sustain using a treadmill for more than a few months, though, precisely because it is so godawfully boring.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 11:56 AM
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This post is a slippery slope away from a swimming post.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 11:57 AM
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40: Mmm. I wish there were a sport I liked, that had the aerobic benefits of running, and that I could participate in conveniently. There really doesn't seem to be, though.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 11:58 AM
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This post is a slippery slope away from a swimming post.

I was about to say, but look how many of us are commenting on this post! But I guess it's not more than on a swimming post. It's just that I'm included.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 12:00 PM
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42 -- Walk out onto the street, punch a random person in the face, and run away as fast as you can. That's enjoyable, stress-reducing, and a great cardio workout.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 12:01 PM
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Do you know people who complain about having lost speed or recovery capacity after childbirth?

Quite a few among endurance athletes, particularly runners and triathletes. From what I've read, 4-6 months out of competition/training/what-have-you puts you basically back at square one in terms of specific fitness. But they also say that fitness returns much more easily the second (or third etc) time around.

There are tons of mothers who come back to be badass triathletes in the local scene, so I wouldn't worry about it, Heebs.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 12:02 PM
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45 was me.


Posted by: sam k | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 12:03 PM
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41: This post is a slippery slope away from a swimming post.

So everyone comment real hard (even if it makes you feel miserable), so we don't slide down into the swimming pool.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 12:05 PM
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This post is a slippery slope away from a swimming post.

Well let's go for it. Last fall I joined a masters swim team to give me an incentive to work out at what was, in the long vanished days of my youth, my favorite sport. It worked OK except that I got overwhelmed at work (and then recently sick) and stopped going. But I'll be back! Getting to the on topic part of this comment. You can get a lot of workoutout without a lot of miserableness from swimming. (I am in such bad shape that it is kicking my ass in a variety of ways I won't relate but it rarely hits me until the end of the workout. Until then, I just swim).


Posted by: Idealist | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 12:06 PM
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Good for you, Idealist! Keep it up. Swimming is a great sport that isnt hard on your knees and ankles.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 12:07 PM
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But isn't there some weird mechanism wherein you don't actually lose weight (or maybe its fat) through swimming?


Posted by: robert halford | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 12:08 PM
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To the topic, though, it depends on what my training plan calls for. A good endurance fitness plan calls for long low-intensity workouts (to increase endurance) as well as short high-intensity workouts (to build speed).


Posted by: sam k | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 12:09 PM
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As dorky as it sounds, I only manage to avoid boredom/misery on the treadmill by changing the speed every minute or so. It gives me something to plan for and something to have to pay continuous attention to, especially if it's a bad people watching day at the gym. I'll usually go through three 10 minutes cycles (e.g., start at 6 miles per hour, raise the speed a 10th of a mile per hour every minute, and then go back down to 6 miles per hour at the 10th minute).

I think people also under-estimate how much of a cardiovascular workout you can get from lifting moderate weights with very short intervals (30 seconds or so) between sets/exercises. I'm only on the treadmill at most 2 times a week because I get the cardio from weight-training.


Posted by: Byron the Bulb | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 12:14 PM
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But isn't there some weird mechanism wherein you don't actually lose weight (or maybe its fat) through swimming?

INAS ("I'm not a swimmer"), but I would doubt this. There is very little evidence that there are exercises that are more fat-burning than others. The percentage of fat you burn (relative to other calories) will have a lot more to do with what you eat and when you eat it in relation to the timing of your workout.


Posted by: Byron the Bulb | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 12:20 PM
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I am aware of some very old studies of dubious validity that say that you do not lose as much weight from swimming as you do from running or other exercise.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 12:25 PM
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26: (Granted, 4 mo. post-partum isn't a ton of time, etc., etc. But I'm ruminating endlessly over every piece of evidence I can find.)

"90% of the game is half mental."

If you wanna ruminate, you should ruminate over how good you're going to be after you work your ass off, showing those other b's what you're made of.

5: Actually, could people nag me about going to the gym over the next week or so?

If you're serious... you asked for it.

How many flights of stairs (up and down) constitutes the equivalent of a mile? I came up with approximately 30 flights (again, up and down) for three miles, but that's working off a stairmaster number.

max
['Because I have no place to run.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 12:29 PM
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How many flights of stairs (up and down) constitutes the equivalent of a mile?

I don't understand the question. Similar exertion to running a mile? Same horizontal distance? Same vertical distance?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 12:32 PM
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10 flights/mile seems low -- there's an eleven-flight staircase that leads up to my building from Broadway, and walking up it takes less than three minutes (I'm guessing, but I'm pretty sure. I actually want to guess that it takes less than two minutes, but I'm not sure of that.)

Running up stairs at all is more like doing sprints than jogging. Maybe doing the translation in terms of time, rather than distance, would make more sense.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 12:36 PM
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My first response to the OP was that I don't make myself miserable when I exercise, but that's patently absurd, given how my heart pounds at miles 5 and 7.5 of my (semi-)regular training ride. Something about biking, however, makes it not feel like what H-G describes. Presumably the fact that I'm moving through the outdoors at a goodly pace, so I feel as if my exertion is in the service of travel - even sight-seeing - rather than in the service of, well, exertion.

When I've done running, I've generally set out at a pretty good pace, and then maintained it for as long as I could manage, usually with vague notions of how long that "should" be. But I've never been one for training as such - the endless articles in biking mags about intervals and getting the most out of your training are just words to me. Occasionally I'll learn something useful about pacing or resting/spinning along, but mostly I go out and ride as hard as I can for however many miles my route follows.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 12:38 PM
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Working out is so, so, so, SO boring. Running outside is minisculely less boring. What counts as in-shape running for me is super not impressive, also. "I ran for thirty-five minutes! Holy shit! Big pats on the back and coconut water for me! Woooo!"


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 12:39 PM
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Further to 55: flights of stairs range anywhere between, say, 13 and 24 risers, making it a bit hard to generalize.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 12:40 PM
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I am aware of some very old studies of dubious validity that say that you do not lose as much weight from swimming as you do from running or other exercise.

"The cheetahs are still skinny, but these humpback whales don't seem to have lost any weight. How much swimming did they do again?"
"15,000 miles"
"Hmm... That should be enough. What's the average weight difference between the two test groups now?"
"Errr.... 78,630 pounds."
"Alright, that's statistically significant. Let's write this up and get it into a journal!"


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 12:40 PM
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61: The control groups, of swimming cheetahs and running whales, were also a problem.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 12:42 PM
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I ran for thirty-five minutes! Holy shit!

See, this sounds totally reasonable to me. What, have I gotta train for a marathon to be "in shape"?


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 12:43 PM
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60: Yeah, I was just thinking that building floors are pretty standard, but 'flights' aren't -- I'm probably overrating the staircase I was talking about by calling it eleven flights; I'm pretty sure it's not nearly eleven stories.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 12:44 PM
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Yeah, I was just thinking that building floors are pretty standard, but 'flights' aren't

But not even story heights are that standard. A house can range from 9' to, say, 12'. A commercial building from 10' to 14', easy. A new hospital will have, no joke, 20' stories. Close, anyway - never designed one, thank god.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 12:50 PM
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63: Well, as someone who hits about the same level, I think of it as "In pretty good shape for someone who isn't an athlete", and then I get sheepish about being pleased with myself, given the fact that what I think of as quite the workout is a warmup for a serious runner.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 12:51 PM
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Hooray for 63. I should note that thirty-five minutes is pretty much the absolute upper bound of what I am willing to do, just to be scrupulously honest--it's not my median exercise time.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 12:52 PM
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66: But I'm not a serious runner, and I'll never be one. It's not about reaching some objectively 'serious' workout. I get pleased with myself for doing something that is difficult for me.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 12:56 PM
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Looking back a bit in the comments, I'd note that my satisfaction from training rides is threefold: As I said above, I enjoy the actual ride quite a bit, even if bits of it are hard (I'm struggling maybe 20 minutes out of a 90 minute ride); there's definitely a post-ride satisfaction, a combo of the physical exhilaration and psychological "Good speed!" thing; and, most important, it makes other, casual rides around town much more satisfying, as I fly up hills that are objectively significant, but modest relative to my training climbs.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 12:57 PM
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i have this image of the babies' skulls being beaten on the pelvic bone and afterwards having problems with the intraskull hypertension
maybe i'm wrong
so hopefully you follow your doctor's indications for exercising


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 1:01 PM
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63 et al.: AB's goal has generally been to be able to do "her" run without feeling overwhelmed. I don't think she's ever had the goal of doing more running than whatever she's historically done, which is a couple miles. The year before Iris, she signed up for the biggest local 5k as an incentive to get out and run, an activity that had slacked due to homeownership. She did it, and was very proud, but also very frustrated that, while she plainly got in better condition, and her clothes fit differently, she lost literally no weight. Her doctor duly noted that she was now over 30. Discouraging.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 1:01 PM
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68: See, I'm a lazy, lazy, slothful, malingering sort of person. If I were measuring myself against what I, personally, find effortful, I'd be pleased with myself for walking upright, rather than remaining motionless and whining pathetically until some kind soul brought me food. (Actually, this largely describes evenings in the Breath household.) So I need some sort of external standard to measure myself against.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 1:02 PM
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Somewhere, ogged is disgusted with all of us pansies.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 1:03 PM
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Reading the first two Google links on the issue, it seems that there's some evidence that swimming isn't as good for weight loss as land based sports -- although still better than nothing -- and that there are two theories to explain it -- (a) you eat more after swimming than you do after running or land-based aerobics, because you're cold (b) it's easier to "cheat" or not work that hard in the pool than it is on land.

68 -- right on.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 1:05 PM
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I say all this as someone who finds running really, really difficult. Always have. And I don't think it's a question of being out of shape: I can maintain a good heartrate on the elliptical or the rowing machine, and I can walk really fast (4.4 mph) for a good length of time. (I would do that for my cardio, except it's even MORE boring than other things.) But something about running is just hard for me.

I'm always afraid it sounds like excuse-making to admit that. Is there something special about running, such that if I'm not good at it, I must be not in shape?


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 1:07 PM
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I just talked to a guy whose pregnant wife was very seriously burned at work by a broken steam line. The baby showed no signs of life for 2 weeks, and the mother, who was also feeling severe pain, was worried to death. Then the baby kicked, and while it was painful because her belly had been scalded, be she was ecstatic.

When the baby was born, his five-year-old sister had to unwrap it to look for burn marks. The baby's about 40 now and in good health.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 1:09 PM
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Her doctor duly noted that she was now over 30.

I wish my doctor would note that! Instead of noting that I don't weigh the same as I did at 23, when I started seeing her.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 1:09 PM
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So why not just bike with SIfu?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 1:10 PM
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I wish my doctor would note that! Instead of noting that I don't weigh the same as I did at 23, when I started seeing her.

Now you know why we all love our doctor.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 1:11 PM
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75: This is half-ass speculation, but (assuming we're not talking joint pain) I wonder if the speed you find comfortable to run at isn't a sustainable pace for you; that you might be able to jog moderately for as long as you can do any other kind of cardio, but you have trouble keeping yourself slow enough. Do you have trouble on a treadmill, where the speed's controlled, or only outside?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 1:11 PM
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I find biking with other people not very practical. Walking or running you can do side by side and chat. Biking's different.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 1:11 PM
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I signed up to do a century in a couple of months. I guess I should train? Eh.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 1:12 PM
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okay, no worries it seems


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 1:15 PM
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But something about running is just hard for me.

This makes perfect sense to me. I kind of hate running. It's not just that it's boring, which it is -- it's also just strangely difficult. When I run, I'm never sure when to breathe, or where to put my arms. I'm also constantly aware of my bones jumbling awkwardly together.

But I'm not a good example, as there is literally no exercise I am good at -- I'm a terrible swimmer, and I hate using gym machines, and I can't lift weights at all. I'm actually the person LB describes in 72: when I get up and walk to the kitchen, I'm all pleased with myself for having made the effort.

Unsurprisingly, I'm always terribly out of shape. But I also kind of suspect that there's nothing I could do to get in shape. When I was doing taekwondo, I would work until I felt like puking, but no matter how often I went, or how diligently I worked at it, it never got any easier. I felt like puking every day. I never got "in shape."


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 1:18 PM
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80: No joint pain. And I'm running really, really slowly. (Let's just say waaay slower than anyone else here who ever mentions how fast they run.) But hm, maybe I'll try it even slower today. I'll report back!


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 1:18 PM
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I can't run and chat. I tend toward the monomaniacal, not to mention that I am generally repeating all sorts of strange OCDish mantras in my head.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 1:18 PM
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Maybe you're reacting to the fact that running is boring.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 1:19 PM
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78: I don't have a bike right now. This will probably change when we're living together next year.

84b: This isn't the case for me, which is part of why I'm so puzzled about not 'getting' running. Take rowing, for example (either on the machine or actually out on the river, not that I've done the latter more than once): I am really into the way you use different muscles at different parts of the stroke, and how they all work together, and trying to make it as smooth as possible. And I like experimenting with different ways to make myself go faster.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 1:22 PM
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I'm not sure that running is the best exercise for most people at all. I don't know the statistics on long-term injuries and orthopedic problems, but you definitely stress your joints when you run.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 1:24 PM
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When working out, if I'm not miserable, I'm bored. So I always make myself miserable. Also, if I'm actually training for a race, I'm a firm believer in "if you make yourself more miserable in practice then you will be less miserable in the race".

75

Running is the most difficult cardiovascular sport, and biking, rowing and elliptical are all easier when measured by maximum heartrate and calories burned per hour.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 1:25 PM
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87: Maybe. You know what is the most terrible thing in the whole wide world to listen to while running? This American Life. Geez, who knew there was so much time in between sentences filled up with sloooooooow boring strumming of the bass.

Everyone needs to make me running mixes!


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 1:26 PM
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A good running mix will have a beat that matches your pace. There are some sites out there that organize songs by beats per minute, so once you find your ideal pace, you can match it that way.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 1:29 PM
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||
Why did anyone every take "Anything for love" seriously? This is just drivel.

People like Brad DeLong who are desperately looking for honest, intelligent conservatives to dialogue with have to realize that they are the change they want to see in the world: DeLong is as intelligent and honets a conservative as there is in these United States.
|>


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 1:30 PM
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It never gets good. But I'm old. You youngsters enjoy it while you can.

I think people also under-estimate how much of a cardiovascular workout you can get from lifting moderate weights with very short intervals (30 seconds or so) between sets/exercises. I'm only on the treadmill at most 2 times a week because I get the cardio from weight-training.

That's interesting. I tell people I spend most of my time on the elliptical postponing my heart attack, then move to the weights out of vanity.


Posted by: jim | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 1:31 PM
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86: strange OCDish mantras

Oooh, yes. This is a large part of why I need headphones (on which I listen to This American Life. I am not Blume.), because otherwise I will get stuck on a sentence, or two bars of a song, or something, and repeat them over and over and over and over again for miles.

Once, in college, I had just learned that Friesan, a form of Dutch, had split from English quite late, and so there was a medieval English proverb noting that you could make a sentence that was intelligible in either language: "Good bread and good cheese is good English and good Friese" (spelling modernized). I involuntarily repeated that sentence to myself for most of a very long run. It wasn't pleasant.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 1:32 PM
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Weightlifting is approximately equivalent to a moderately paced walk, cardiovascularly. If you want to be sure it's providing a useful cardiovascular workout, heart rate monitoring will tell you.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 1:35 PM
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My mom got me a wii fit for my birthday. I've only played with it a little, but it seems to be enough techno-fun to motivate me to exercise regularly for the first time in my 41 years in this vale of tears. So far the main obstacle had been finding time to exercise when the kids aren't in the house. If you turn on the wii with them in the room, they have to play too.

Does anyone else use one? How is it going for you? So far it seems that you have to spend a lot of time clicking between screens and listening to the digital lady praise you between each exercise. Is there a way to shortcut that? Do I actually want that rest time?

Anyone recommend good wii games for a 3 year old and a 6 year old? We also have wii sport, but so far those games have been too difficult for the kids.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 1:40 PM
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Wow, I do just a little bit of work, and look at all these comments.

I find biking with other people not very practical. Walking or running you can do side by side and chat. Biking's different.

Funny. When AB & I were courting, we loved to go for an evening ride around town, exploring new (to us) neighborhoods. That was just casual cruising on side streets, but I've chatted with fellow riders on 60 mile death rides, mountain bike jaunts, etc. I'd think anything short fo a race permits bike-chat (actually, Tour de France riders do chat in the peloton).


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 1:41 PM
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On a similar note to 97, what's the smallest TV you can have and enjoy a Wii? That's what's stopping me from exercising, yeah, that's it.


Posted by: Klug | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 1:43 PM
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I signed up to do a century in a couple of months. I guess I should train? Eh.

Yeah, probably. I crash-trained for a 60 mile populaire a few years ago, getting in 5 hard rides in 2 weeks, and I survived what ended up being 85 miles of hilly riding (due to getting lost as well as riding to and from the start point), but it was really hard. Ideally you'd train enough that you're in good shape a week beforehand, so you can just spin around a bit the week before.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 1:44 PM
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75: Running is really hard, harder than most other endurance sports. When Lance Armstrong ran the NY Marathon a couple of years, he said it was harder than riding in the Tour de France.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 1:48 PM
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97: I plugged in Wii Fit for the first time last night, so I'm not much ahead of you. I do like the sking thing, but I really wouldn't call it exercise. The main thing is it keeps me moving for the portion of the day when I'd otherwise be sitting on the couch or at the computer.


Posted by: MH | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 1:48 PM
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There are some sites out there that organize songs by beats per minute, so once you find your ideal pace, you can match it that way.

Okay, maybe this is a dumb question, but how exactly do I go about doing that? Do I find my ideal pace, and then count how many steps per minute I usually take at that pace? Googling around gives me some suggestions for songs at certain paces, but I have a really short stride. Isn't that going to make a difference?


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 1:50 PM
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Re: 94, 96

In my experience, the key to making weight-training a cardiovascular exercise is maintaining the intensity. I do 10-12 reps of an exercise where I am getting close to failure on the last rep, and then move on immediately to an exercise of a different muscle group where I am doing the same. The whole circuit is about 12 exercises, which I try to do twice in half an hour.

Also, multi-joint exercises that work larger muscle groups (e.g., bench press, squats, pull-ups) work your heart a lot more than isolation exercises that work smaller muscles (e.g., bicep curls, calf raises).


Posted by: Byron the Bulb | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 1:53 PM
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I'd listen to your iPod on shuffle while running, and pay attention when a song comes on that feels comfortable to run to. Look up that song by beats per minute, and bob's your uncle.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 1:53 PM
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Would a metronome help?


Posted by: MH | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 1:55 PM
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103

LB nails it.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 1:56 PM
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Ah, 105 is smart thinking.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 1:57 PM
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But eh, you know what, I'm not invested enough in this to get the plug-in to figure out the BPM of everything in my iTunes library. I guess I'll keep on with the "this song seems good" method for making running mixes.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 2:05 PM
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podrunnner (on iTunes) does some mixes that are unremarkable except that they are kept to a certain number of beats per minute. they're free. I find that mixes that are about 150 beats per minute are good for me, and then I just keep time with my strides.

I say all this as someone who finds running really, really difficult. Always have.

Me too. It's a good cardio workout, but I find it awkward, painful, and almost as boring as the elliptical.

she did it, and was very proud, but also very frustrated that, while she plainly got in better condition, and her clothes fit differently, she lost literally no weight.

I find one thing that helps with sanity on the weight front is to judge by something besides the scale. Fitness goals are good, as are tape measures. I.e., if my body wants to stay at this weight, fine, but its composition is up to me.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 2:07 PM
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Others may scoff at this recommendation, Blume, but I love "Running" 1, 2, & 3 from the Run, Lola, Run soundtrack. Dumb and obvious, but IMO awesome. Last week we had a warm day, and Running 1 came on the iPod after I dropped off Iris, and I committed to a ride, despite having work to do. For my main training ride, I have that song timed to come on during one particular stretch that's vertical enough for me to require a boost, but not so vertical that something really aggressive* is called for.

Shit, now I want to go for a ride. But it's 26 degrees out and I've been commenting way too much already.

* Bo Diddley's "I'm a Man," interestingly enough. In fact, the Bo Diddley beat is awesome for riding - Springsteen's "She's the One" always ups my cadence.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 2:11 PM
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I find one thing that helps with sanity on the weight front is to judge by something besides the scale. Fitness goals are good, as are tape measures. I.e., if my body wants to stay at this weight, fine, but its composition is up to me.

That's where most fitness advice, most doctors, and shows like the Biggest Loser all give bad advice. Is the point of fitness to be able to say that you weigh a certain amount? No, it's to be healthy, able to do the activities you want to, and have a body shape that is pleasing to you and others (at least to someone you care about). Weight is just an inaccurate proxy for these things.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 2:12 PM
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Shit, now I want to go for a ride. But it's 26 degrees out

What are you talking about? That is a great riding temperature.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 2:14 PM
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Wii fit put a potbelly on my Mii as soon as I'd gone through the set-up.


Posted by: MH | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 2:16 PM
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I see a lot of comments complaining that running is awkward and bad for your joints. This is true, but one thing I've found is that these things become less of a problem with a) practice and b) strength. Most people underestimate the fact that good running form requires a significant amount of muscular strength. If you don't have it, you tend to run awkwardly and to land hard with each step, and these are the things that cause joint issues. Next time, try running so as to make your footfall as quiet and gentle as possible. It will seem hard, but as you develop strength it will make a big difference.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 2:16 PM
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I just looked at podrunner. Looks interesting. Ack, ANOTHER thing to put on the "devote time to after turning in dissertation" list.

I can imagine the Run Lola Run soundtrack working well. I'm running through Berlin! I have bright red hair!

I've found that some swing-era songs that swing hard also work well for slow-paced running. I imagine myself making little funny faces and flourishes to everyone I'm passing. (I'm not actually passing anyone. I'm on a treadmill.)


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 2:17 PM
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I find one thing that helps with sanity on the weight front is to judge by something besides the scale. Fitness goals are good, as are tape measures. I.e., if my body wants to stay at this weight, fine, but its composition is up to me.

Yeah, I think it was largely the shock that a regimen that had worked just, like, two years prior was suddenly ineffective (of course, 2 years prior she didn't have someone cooking her rich meals every night). In an unpleasant replay, despite a committed effort from Kai, her pregnancy weight hasn't dropped off the way it did the first time.

We're hoping that this will be the summer of family bike rides - I'm getting a trail-a-bike from a friend, and Kai will be old enough for a bike seat by summer.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 2:17 PM
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By "biking is different" I mean that you are not supposed to be riding side by side in the street.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 2:19 PM
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What are you talking about? That is a great riding temperature.

I keep reminding myself that I used to find this to be true. Part of the trouble is that, even with truly kickass winter biking gloves, my fingers get painfully cold after half an hour or so at temps much below 30. Hard to get all kitted up for a ride less than an hour.

Tomorrow's supposed to be warmer, so maybe I'll get out. Which would be easier if I hadn't slacked today. Dammit.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 2:20 PM
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118: On side streets, it's mostly a non-issue. For my 22 mile training route, I'm usually alone on the road for ~15 miles of it.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 2:22 PM
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I can imagine the Run Lola Run soundtrack working well. I'm running through Berlin! I have bright red hair!

Or, Sifu's gonna get exploded if I don't RUN FASTER!

(I had a friend with one of those cross-country skiing machines, and his weird mantra was "Gotta get the serum to the babies. Gotta get the serum to the babies" like he was like that husky with a statue in Central Park.)


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 2:25 PM
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Balto!


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 2:27 PM
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115: I suspect it would help to think of running as something that one might need training in, as opposed to something that human beings just naturally do. I am strong and reasonably fit by other measures, but I think I'd have to be taught to run like I'd have to be taught to do a back handspring.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 2:35 PM
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122: Yes! Good ole Balto . . .


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 2:37 PM
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Supposedly, running (or biking) at 180 bpm is the "most efficient". Even if it means taking tiny little baby steps. Plus, it is difficult to bounce (which is inefficient and hard on your body) when you're running at a high cadence.
I usually try to run between 170 and 180 bpm and just change the length of my stride when I want to change my speed. It seems to work for me. Though there was an adjustment period.

There's technique in running, just like any other sport. Things you can do to minimize the risk of injury and improve efficiency. On the suggestion of a friend, I began to use the ChiRunning technique (there's also the PoseTech method, which is supposed to be similar). There's also plenty of advice on the Runner's World website. For example.


Posted by: feldspar | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 2:46 PM
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When Lance Armstrong ran the NY Marathon a couple of years, he said it was harder than riding in the Tour de France.

For him, but his body is freakishly specialized by now.

My experience with running was that I ran almost seriously for years without injury, but when I tried to come back after a break and considerable weight gain I repeatedly had small-medium injuries. So it might not be a good thing to start with.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 2:55 PM
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Supposedly, running (or biking) at 180 bpm is the "most efficient".

Very supposedly. Lance Armstrong runs 120 rpm (which I guess translates into 240 bpm?), which is crazy fast by cycling standards, but is also obviously quite efficient, if you're Lance Armstrong.

80-90 rpm (160-180 bpm) is widely-promoted, but I think it mostly represents a sweet spot between what recreational cyclists can readily achieve and how elite cyclists roll.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 2:59 PM
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Supposedly, running (or biking) at 180 bpm is the "most efficient". Even if it means taking tiny little baby steps.

Are you talking music or heartrate here?

Actually, that seems way high for either one.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 3:00 PM
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I clearly have no idea what's being discussed here.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 3:01 PM
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What is this "sweet spot" you speak of? I know not of it...


Posted by: Brad DeLong | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 3:03 PM
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The sweet spot for a Prius. A dancing Prius.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 3:06 PM
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130: It seems to be the same thing as the "runner's high" hoax. Personally, I doubt that there's any such thing as an endorphin.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 3:08 PM
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I am always puzzled by why people who don't experience endorphins would ever allow themselves to experience any pain if they could help it. Without endorphins, a great number of life's pleasures would be lost to me.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 3:13 PM
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In fact, pain is something I often seek to avoid.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 3:15 PM
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LB is such a stick in the mud.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 3:18 PM
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Yeah, I don't find pain very enjoyable either.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 3:28 PM
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If I had to rank how much I enjoy things that hurt not very much, a medium amount, or a whole lot, I'd rank them:
Things that hurt not very much
Things that hurt a medium amount
Things that hurt a whole lot.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 3:36 PM
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(of course, 2 years prior she didn't have someone cooking her rich meals every night)

Indeed. My neglecting of the eating half of the equation seems to be why I have quit losing weight from running by itself. When I started running, I dropped from ~230 to ~200 without paying much attention to what I ate—IIRC, I was still doing the "pint of Ben & Jerry's" bit with some regularity. Since then I've kind of been stuck, even though when I look at my body I still have some stomach flab to dispose of and I'm in BMI terms a person of my height has to be down around 185 to even be at the upper limit of the normal range.

I actually went back up to about 207 during my last marathon training cycle, even though I was doing 45 mpw (which is still on the low end for marathon cycles), and I don't doubt this was due to my belief (wish?) that my 22 mi run entitled me to eat as many chips and cookies as I liked. Since the new year, I've been logging my calorie intake, and I'm back down to 202.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 3:38 PM
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I'm stuck with the problem of actively hating nearly all sports/exercises that are plausible to do in a gym or cheaply and time-efficiently on a daily basis. The things I love to do (and don't get bored doing) - hiking (depending on the place, this can be quite the work out - I love the way I feel after a hilly 14 miles, even if I whine during it), canoing/kayaking, a few team sports (though I'm so bad I can't play competitively) - are hard to work into a daily exercise regimen, although I do manage to hike moderately once a week.

I probably need to take up biking on a more serious basis than what I do (daily commuting & many errands I do by bike but it's never more than a few miles at a time), but I'm put off by the biking culture of my town.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 3:39 PM
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I think the 180 steps per minute thing comes from a study that found that regardless of distance, elite athletes run races at 180 bpm. I tried that for a while, and it really makes you tired, but doesn't make you fast, so I stopped.

137 is also missing:
Things that hurt a lot, but make you feel great about yourself when done. Otherwise we're into the Simpsons' "Do what you feel day" territory.

I can personally testify to the effects of endorphins, especially at the end of marathons. I've seen the most stoic of folks tear up after finishing (myself included).


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 3:44 PM
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137: Ascending or descending?


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 3:45 PM
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Also, it takes a really, really, really long time for me to get exercise based endorphins to kick in through running or those sorts of sports. Most of the time, I'm just in pain.

But I can hit the "sweet spot" much more easily doing something like canoing; does anyone know the physiology of exercise and endorphin-release? It seems to be something I can only achieve through upper body work outs or endurance things (I'm thinking of the death marches my family took us on), which makes little to no sense to me.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 3:46 PM
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Hiking, biking and walking are the only forms of exercise for which I have any time. I recall having enjoyed swimming in the past but haven't swum at all in years, and I don't think I would like swimming for exercise—that whole "boring" thing. However, I have an impossibly positive self-image according to which I set the standard for male beauty.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 3:46 PM
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I can't run due to shin splints [I've heard all the advice]. Which is a shame because when I used to do it regularly, I liked it.

My martial arts thing is a great workout. Sparring is basically HIIT/interval training with added motivational elements. If I could train 3 times a week plus add in a full-body weight-lifting session once a week, that'd probably be all I'd need. Ever.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 3:46 PM
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That and laying off the pies, naturally.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 3:48 PM
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143: I like swimming too but find it terribly boring. And I'm not competitive enough to get anything out of training or the such.

(This, in fact, is probably the reason I'm out of shape. I'm ok with how I look and what I can do, and I'm not competitive enough to get involved in anything that would push me hard).


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 3:50 PM
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I walk up and down escalators.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 3:53 PM
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Some people get an endorphin rush after being tased, but it's not a good idea to get habituated and your increased tolerance takes the effective dose up into the danger zone rather quickly.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 3:55 PM
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The best endorphin rush I ever got came from colliding on my bicycle, going 30 MPH with the side of a pickup truck. Landed on my feet. Whoo damn. (But the bike was totaled.)


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 4:00 PM
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IMX, much of the joy of running comes starts about half an hour or so after the completion of a substantial run. Runs longer than 12 miles or so, in particular, give me a feeling of sublime relaxation that can last several hours, with positive psychological aftereffects sometimes even persisting throughout the next day.

More on endorphin research when I am not riding a bus. IIRC, there is not very good evidence for an endorphin release or much knowledge of what that would even mean. But I may me misremembering.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 4:09 PM
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Playing drums on Rock Band is a really good endorphin rush. Concentration + physical activity. I don't know if it's good exercise, but it's super fun and I do break a sweat.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 4:15 PM
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Like Otto, I've never really felt anything at all (except for psychological feelings of satisfaction) unless it's at least an hour and a half and quite strenuous. And it's definitely more accurate to call it a general sense of serenity and relaxation, rather than a "high" per se. This is distinct from rob's adrenaline rush in 149, and from the rage-induced adrenaline rush (ever been so mad that you hear a buzzing noise all around you and your vision starts to vibrate?).


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 4:18 PM
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150: Interesting. I await breathlessly.

I'm busy crafting some thesis about my own body just simply being more attuned to work outs placing more emphasis on my upper body. The few times I've gone rock climbing seem to support this thesis.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 4:18 PM
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This report may shed some light on endorphin rush.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 4:20 PM
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The article seems to think that the question is whether or not runners' really truly feel good when they have a so-called "runner's high" or if it's just something they're making up: "you say you're feeling happy, but for 30 years research has suggested that your feelings are actually inconclusive." The question is about the explanation, not about the feelings.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 4:27 PM
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I'd guess they just feel better once they've stopped slamming their feet into the ground underneath 1-200 lbs of weight.


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 4:59 PM
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I used to get the endorphin high all the time when I was a seriously fit dancer. It actually could prove to be a problem, in that I would be completely high as a kite on one day and then the next day before class I wouldn't feel quite so good and would feel less motivated to go, worrying that I wouldn't perform as well. Most of the exercise I do these days doesn't even get me close to those highs, but then most of that exercise seems to involve carrying groceries long distances.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 5:05 PM
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I never got a high, but I got a feeling of relaxation and well-being after running.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 5:10 PM
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Yeah, I don't know if I ever felt a 'high' [depending on what some people really mean by high] but I've definitely had that feeling of total relaxation and full-body mild euphoria after training hard. It's, er, reminiscent of how you sometimes feel after sex.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 5:52 PM
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ttaM -- thanks again for your advice. I bought my guitar on Saturday. It sounds real purty.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 5:57 PM
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I'm talking about full-on giddy irrationalism, but maybe that's at least partly because dancing is a lot more fun than fucking running.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 6:45 PM
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I'd guess they just feel better once they've stopped slamming their feet back into the ground underneath 1-200 lbs of weight.

Heh. I do know the feeling of serenity and well-being after a workout, but all the paeans to running have, now that I've developed a back problem, made me simply cringe in alarm. Oh well.

Byron's 104, an approach to weight-training, has gotten me good results, though I wouldn't be inclined to do 2 circuits in a mere half-hour.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 6:47 PM
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I've found that I get to full-on giddy irrationalism when hiking above about 11,000 - but only after getting acclimated to the altitude. Before that, I start feeling sick at about 10,000 feet; takes a couple of days at near-10,000 to adjust. I haven't done any serious multi-day hiking/camping in over 10 years, so I don't know if this is still true.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 6:50 PM
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I just get sick above 9,000 feet. It takes me so long to acclimatize it's almost not worth it. But I love, love, love the Sierras, particularly the East Side, so I try to plan long, slow vacations up the mountainside. Too bad I haven't been able to do that in a long while.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 6:54 PM
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eb likes hypoxia.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 6:54 PM
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Somewhere, ogged is disgusted with all of us pansies.

Somewhere, ogged is weeping because nobody made the obvious Dana Torres reference. You people should be ashamed of yourselves. And HG, you should put up photos of Torres all over the place, and imagine her mocking you. That'll get you into shape right fast.

I will get stuck on a sentence, or two bars of a song, or something, and repeat them over and over and over and over again for miles.

I came to dread this back when I swam regularly. I could never get my brain either to come up with anything interesting or to stop bothering me; it was always some dull, annoying measure of quasi-music based on my rhythm. But afterwards I would have the high and be unflappable for hours, so it seemed worth the frustration.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 7:00 PM
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I've never liked jogging, but sprinting after something feels very good for a few seconds. It feels even better if you get the D. Then it feels bad right after.

I'm talking plenty about it elsewhere, so I won't belabor it, but if you are cerebral and want to tune into your body and do a very technical sport that takes full concentration for short times, I'll suggest doing the full body lifts at near-failure weights. With someone to teach you how.

Then, about feeling miserable: my biggest surprise from my trainer is that she never lets me get there. The gym philosophy is small constant gains, and they think miserable periods detract from that (oddly, they don't want me too sore to work out the next day, either). I've spent my whole life pushing through that, but she always switches me out of an activity before it is miserable. Until we were training for competition, it never felt like I was doing enough. (Three heavy Turkish get-ups on each side? That's the whole set, then move on?) But I'm pleased with how she's gotten me into shape. Last fall I found out I could drop into an Ultimate game and play without getting winded, even though I hadn't been running or played Ultimate in a year.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 7:02 PM
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Your trainer sounds great -- I've (back in my richer days) worked with a trainer, and while I always liked it in that making an appointment got me into the gym, I never felt as if any of the three I've worked with had a plan, or did all that much to improve my conditioning more than my spending the same amount of time lifting on my own would have.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 7:06 PM
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the East Side, so I try to plan long, slow vacations up the mountainside

The summer between sophomore and junior years in high school, I hiked the John Muir trail with some friends and my dad. To get around the whole Mt. Whitney altitude sickness problem, we camped a few nights on the east side (but not down in the Owens Valley), started at a trailhead south of Whitney Portal, and approached Mt. Whitney from the west, so it was the fifth or sixth day when we got there. I was sick the first night when we went over 11,000, and was ok but not great at the top of Mt. Whitney. One of my friends had climbed it from Whitney Portal a few years before; he said he could he was so sick he could barely remember it. But he was fine with the approach we took.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 7:11 PM
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I think I lucked out. I've sorta noticed that we work on her goals for me (doing this competition, whatever theme she and the other trainers concoct) more than my goals (pull-ups, BMI target, press to handstand). But I didn't hold my own goals too close to my heart, so following hers instead of mine is also fun.

After this meet, I know she is going to be pushing the Olympic lifts really hard, and I do not want to move on to that. Despite the fact that I pay her, I'm not sure who will prevail on this. If I start to write about how much I looooooooove the Olympic lifts, you'll know that I caved. That's OK. I'm sure I'll grow to like them.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 7:18 PM
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Yeah, my college roommate was from the Owens Valley; I discovered the best thing I could do was hang out at 4,000 feet for awhile with her family before attempting anything more serious. I never summited Mt. Whitney (tried once, but the weather made us turn around), but god I loved all those hikes up and around the Muir trail vicinity.

I actually worry about going too far up; I start showing signs of altitude sickness at 7,000 feet and generally get unbearable headaches at 9,000 and up. I'd hate to be that person who has to get airlifted out.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 7:18 PM
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I've been trying something similar to 167, but with kettlebells, not free weights (I am less bold than Megan). It's awesome, and while you need training for the kettlebells, they are portable enough so that you can also use them at home.


Posted by: robert halford | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 7:19 PM
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The reason I think she worked out so well is that she considers herself teaching a sport, not training for tone. I actually have a hard time getting her to focus on my appearance or weight.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 7:21 PM
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I have some gorgeous fading bruises on my shins from the kettlebells. I'm scared of them now.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 7:23 PM
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and I do not want to move on to that

Why don't you want to start Oly lifts?


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 7:23 PM
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Emerson knows. Megan's just too ladylike.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 7:25 PM
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The one time I lifted consistently for a few months, I did feel fantastic. I felt so springy and energetic and loved it. It was part of a "help train the trainers" program, where the kinesiology students act as a personal trainer for faculty and staff for a semester.

(But after I was on my own, I never set aside the time to lift weights again. I just had very rigid ideas about how much time one ought to set aside to exercise, and how much aerobic exercise I ought to get, and if you don't budge either of those two things, weight-lifting seems time consuming.)


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 7:28 PM
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There's apparently a huge range in when people start to be affected by altitude. A first aid book I saw said that some people start at 4000 ft.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 7:33 PM
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@93

Jesus, Emerson! Are you planting messages for me on every single comment thread I might read in the world?

How many of you *are* there?


Brad "I Never Thought I Would Grow Up to Be the Kind of Crank Who Would Write Letters to the Chancellor Demanding that My Colleagues Be Fired" DeLong


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 7:36 PM
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@93

Jesus, Emerson! Are you planting messages for me on every single comment thread I might read in the world?

How many of you *are* there?


Brad "I Never Thought I Would Grow Up to Be the Kind of Crank Who Would Write Letters to the Chancellor Demanding that My Colleagues Be Fired" DeLong


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 7:36 PM
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Eh. I don't feel like I've mastered the power lifts.
I'm pretty sure the jerk is going to hurt my knees.
I also don't think my knees are going to hold up to jumping into a squat under the bar.
Too much temptation for the folks I work out with to pun.

H-G, you can lift weights while pregnant... (Get someone who knows about training pregnant ladies to show you.)


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 7:40 PM
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177: Eschew rigidity in the pursuit of cardio workout minimums (which are most likely half-remembered goals you picked up from some scrawny fitness nazi).

I used to be like that (plus had pretty much burnt out on weight training from swimming), but I do suggest that you reconsider. Since coming back to weights, I really find that a mix of vigorous lifting with the cardio makes me feel better and be more willing to workout (and for me it is also one of my most effective weight control (fat control really) measures).


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 7:40 PM
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Megan, I would love to hear more about your powerlifting and i hope you blog all about it.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 7:41 PM
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A first aid book I saw said that some people start at 4000 ft.

I can feel the attitude starting at 3,000 ft but it doesn't really bother me until higher up. A general tenseness in my head is generally the first sign. That increases, plus a feeling like I'm going to pass out/throw up/otherwise die from activity that I can handle no problem at lower levels, once I get up farther. I blame it on growing up at 2 feet above sea level.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 7:41 PM
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Prof. DeLong, I am so very glad you are writing cranky letters to the Chancellor demanding that Yoo be fired. All my respect for your work on that.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 7:42 PM
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And why am I double-comment-posting?

Brad "I Never Thought I Would Grow Up to Be the Kind of Crank Who Would Write Letters to the Chancellor Demanding that My Colleagues Be Fired" DeLong


Posted by: Brad DeLong | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 7:43 PM
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On the swimming thread of this thread: I never felt any kind of endorphinesque rush after swimming, and I swam age group competitions from about 7 to 13. On the other hand, I remember having a lot more energy back then just normally, so maybe I didn't notice.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 7:44 PM
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Cala, there's stuff up about it at Rhubarb Pie. Mis-labeled as weightlifting, but that'll get you more posts on powerlifting than anyone wants. (Except for the five other lifters who write to me asking for details that even I don't track.)


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 7:44 PM
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Yeah...I think I would definitely like to incorporate lifting into my post-partum routine, but not necessarily introduce it at T-8 weeks.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 7:45 PM
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It was suggested in something I read today that the Office of Professional Responsibility report on the DOJ that might appear someday may include information to be sent to the relevant bar associations re: disbarment. (For Yoo, Bybee, and Bradbury, I think.)


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 7:46 PM
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184: I blame it on growing up at 2 feet above sea level.

Parenthetical is Enola.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 7:47 PM
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191: The link doesn't work for me.....

(And shucks, I really wanted to get it!)


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 7:50 PM
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I confess to stalking DeLong. He can sue me, I suppose.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 7:51 PM
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I read your blog! I wants more!


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 7:54 PM
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Off to workout. Deadlift night! No misery involved!


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 7:54 PM
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Speaking of exercise, why has no one explained to me that racquetball is the funnest game ever? We couldn't get a tennis court today, so wound up playing racquetball for essentially the first time since HS gym class. Seriously fucking fun, and an excellent workout. Now I just need to find people to play with me 3 times a week (my tennis buddy can only make it work once a week).


Posted by: Chopper | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 7:55 PM
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I grew up a few hundred feet above sea level.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 7:56 PM
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I've answered this before. Of course, between injuring a knee a few years ago and having two kids in the interim, I'm now 100% sedentary. So my advice is hypocritical. But not unsound.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 7:57 PM
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eb, I didn't say my theory was scientifically sound. I just comfort myself with it.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 7:57 PM
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191: Yeah I messed up the link. It was supposed to go to the Wikipedia article for Waterworld. Enola is the orphan girl with the map to dry land tattooed on her back.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 7:57 PM
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200: Aha. I'm afraid I lack any such tattoo. Or really, a tattoo at all. (Though I did want an oak tree, so the imagined tattoo is at least somewhat terrestrial).


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 7:59 PM
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179, 180, 186: When I saw 130, I was wondering if he'd see 93.

93 made me want to say, "I love you, Emerson." But right now I'm trying to comprehend that Emerson used to run a lot.

I probably need to take up biking on a more serious basis than what I do (daily commuting & many errands I do by bike but it's never more than a few miles at a time), but I'm put off by the biking culture of my town.

Don't know your town, obvs., but I find that the vast majority of my cycling is culture-free. It helps (a lot) to have a cycling buddy - not even nec. someone you ride with just someone to share with/learn from - but I've never ridden with groups or anything. Actually, I've been a relatively serious rider since before my town had a biking culture (other than serious roadies who keep to themselves, who are everywhere, but hardly constitute a culture).

Just go out and, you know, ride. The one thing I'll say is, if your bike is a real commuter/workaday type bike, it may not be very fun for longer rides. But you should be able to do some longer rides before you hit the fun/effort limit. Then, if you get the bug, you'll get so happy if/when you upgrade (and note that an upgrade may be a 30 year old steel 10-speed, if your commuter is ill-suited enough).


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 8:09 PM
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196: I was totally going to mention racquetball to Paren @139. I freaking love racquetball, but I've never had a steady partner. Best thing about racquetball: as long as you're matched in skill with your partner, you can have a fun game even as a novice. Tennis, I just whack the ball over the fence, billiards, I just whack the balls until, eventually, they all get pocketed, but racquetball, I whack and the other guys whacks back. Awesome!


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 8:15 PM
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I was a mediocre HS track athlete and at age 34 or so could maintain a 5:40 pace for 7 miles. That was the end of it. A combination of job and residence changes, plus a stupid injury, stopped me and I never started again.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 8:16 PM
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at age 34 or so could maintain a 5:40 pace for 7 miles

Wow. That's damned good.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 8:23 PM
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SOme of my problems are gaining weight when not running. It put more stress on my feet, ankles, and shins, so I couldn't run to lose it.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 8:25 PM
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119: what about these?

166.2: man, I count my strides running, and I have the hardest time quitting counting when I'm done. I'll be in the shower 15 minutes later going "120... 121... 122... 123... aaahhh stop counting!"

I do generally like the zoned out thing of running, although I dunno if endorphins are the actual neurochemical culprit (people don't really know how that whole business works). It would make sense to me in one way: if the "runner's high" promoted endorphin release but not dopamine release, you could feel good but feel no particular desire to repeat the behavior, unlike with, say, real drugs.

But then, I eat hot peppers.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 8:26 PM
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202, 203;

Thanks! I know I should just ignore the "biking culture." I go on shortish (10-15 miles) bike rides with a friend and enjoy it immensely; being out with another person seems to help alleviate my sense of not being up to par. (Which, in fairness, is totally my fault, not the bikers of the town). And I have a good friend who is a fairly serious biker, so I do have him as a resource.

I have one of those Trek hybrid type things. I figure that's probably good enough for what I'd want to do, though perhaps some day, you never know.

I suck at raquetball, sadly. Just not coordinated enough. I get depressed at how bad I am and I've yet to find someone actually at my level. Maybe if I tried an 8 year old.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 8:28 PM
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Skiing is an excellent workout and it's fun. The adrenaline means you can push yourself further without getting miserable, or at least until the next day. Same goes for rock climbing. I've managed to get to the point where I find it very difficult to grip a fork at dinner after a climb. Hiking and biking provide less excitement but you get pretty scenery. Unfortunately no mountains around NYC and getting out of the city from Brooklyn is a pain in the ass, while doing loops in Prospect Park is mind numbing after a while.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 9:11 PM
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Have I got some news for you, teraz.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 9:32 PM
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I've managed to get to the point where I find it very difficult to grip a fork at dinner after a climb.

Have you considered soup?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 9:33 PM
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Gripping soup is hard even in the best of circumstances.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 9:35 PM
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If I'm going to just stick my face in the plate and lap stuff up, small bite sized solids would seem to be the better way to go. Less messy.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 9:37 PM
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So wait, what is the annoying bicycle culture you're speaking of, Parenthetical? Roadies on multi-thousand dollar bikes looking down at you? Scuzzy wannabes on fixed gears? Annoying punk kids on BMXs? Holier-than-thou bicycle advocates towing ridiculous trailers? Ridiculous XTreme mountain biker types? Overly stoned surfers on beach cruisers? I want answers!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 9:37 PM
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212, 213: it's like I'm living in a world without straws.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 9:38 PM
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[Weakly, waking.] Come back, straws! Come back.


Posted by: jimmy | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 9:48 PM
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Roadies on multi-thousand dollar bikes looking down at you? Yes!

Scuzzy wannabes on fixed gears? Yes!

Annoying punk kids on BMXs? Not so much.

Holier-than-thou bicycle advocates towing ridiculous trailers? Yes!

Ridiculous XTreme mountain biker types? Yes!

Overly stoned surfers on beach cruisers? Not so much.

Basically, anywhere that I ride, every one else I run into has an expensive bike (that they clearly spend hours a day riding, so good for them, really); all the spandex one could find; and tend to be pretty serious about the sport. It's not their fault that I feel like a rank amateur and let it intimidate me, it's totally mine. (And the one time that I ended up on a 15 mile bike ride in a skirt and inappropriate shoes has nothing, or perhaps everything, to do with this).

Though, really, the fixed gear people just annoy me.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 10:08 PM
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Though, really, the fixed gear people just annoy me.

They annoy me too. Partly because they're twits, partly because I sometimes covet their bicycles.

As far as the spandex glad doofuses, just remember that some meaningful percentage of them are actually really slow, and if, someday, you end up blowing past one of them? Treasure it.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 10:14 PM
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When going on a ride where most of the other people you see have expensive bikes, the trick is to tell yourself:

(a) you're keeping the amateur spirit alive
(b) it's harder on your beater anyway, so you're really being truer to the sport than they are
(c) fuck 'em anyway

It worked for me the last time I went on a long ride!


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 10:17 PM
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218: They make me feel old. I want to yell, "Get a job!" any time I see them riding slow circles back and forth endlessly in the parking lots or open spaces of campus.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 10:18 PM
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Hee, ben. I need to work on option c - it would help so much, and not just in biking.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 10:20 PM
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You could just pretend your old beater is actually some rare old racing bike.

220: oh fuck the slow-circle-riders. I want to yell "pick a direction!" Seriously, track bikes are designed to go fast, not backwards. Ugh.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 10:20 PM
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Hm I meant to write "spandex clad" above, but I like "spandex glad" even better.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 10:21 PM
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You know how, at red lights, people on fixies will just stand on their pedals, going back and forth very small amounts? The other day I saw someone not on a fixie obviously attempting something similar, but of course she kept going forward and forward. It looked really stupid.

God, I'm a judgmental ass.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 10:21 PM
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222: I used to have a really funky old Peugeot street bike that I did pretend was a rare, fine piece of engineering. Now that I have such a ubiquitous newish bike, I feel a distinct sense of loss, no matter how much easier the ride is.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 10:22 PM
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224: I do that, but it's just because I don't feel like putting my feet down. Also, I don't care if you think I look stupid.

You know what's totally idiotic, though? People with bikes that are all made out to look like fixed gears, but actually aren't. Oh you badass with your coaster brake.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 10:22 PM
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God, I'm a judgmental ass.

Aren't we all?


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 10:26 PM
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Well, I backpedal rapidly and inch forward slowly myself, but not standing up and I at least have the decency to realize that it'll be another forty seconds before the light changes. At that point it really seems like wasted effort not to just put down your feet.

You know what's totally idiotic, though? People with bikes that are all made out to look like fixed gears, but actually aren't.

Agreed.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 10:27 PM
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It didn't occur to me that that person might have had a coaster brake, or perhaps I saw definitive evidence that it wasn't the case. I can't remember.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 10:31 PM
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228: ben, how long have you been writing those? Seriously, I've been lurking here for years and never realized you wrote over there too (I try to limit my blog obsessions), and now in the last few days you've linked twice! How did I miss this? I hate things too!


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 10:32 PM
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Fixies have no rear brake (occasionally they have front brakes), of course, but of necessity

This is not actually a matter of necessity. There just isn't much point to it, since you can stop the back wheel by stopping pedalling.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 10:33 PM
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Surprisingly, few of the riders who passed my house yesterday on the Worst Day of the Year Ride, one of the big local bike events, obviously fit Tweety's taxonomy of annoying cyclists. Many were costumed (mostly bewigged), and it says something about Portland that it never occurred to me that strange getups were officially encouraged. I figured it was just the usual keep-it-weird crowd.

On preview, I hate putting my feet down at intersections. What if there's something yucky on the ground? I think it might be easier to do the standing thing on a bike like mine with smaller wheels, but the wheelbase is the same, so maybe not.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 10:38 PM
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Based on this discussion, ben would hate and Sifu might envy the bike in Paul Neilan's Apathy and Other Small Victories. (A great book to read while blowing off work, although, The fact is any time spent at work not sleeping in the bathroom is wasted time.)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 10:41 PM
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ben, how long have you been writing those?

There are many ways to answer that. The most recent run began in August of 2008. However, the earliest run began in April of 2006, though I don't know how long it lasted, and I did it off and on in between whenever it started and when the new run began.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 10:45 PM
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This is not actually a matter of necessity.

Whatever!


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 10:46 PM
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You know what bike I just totally, totally covet? This one here.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 10:50 PM
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I want this one.


Posted by: feldspar |
Link to this comment | 02-16-09 10:57 PM
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Uh. this one.


Posted by: feldspar | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 10:58 PM
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Both of those bikes have bars that I find utterly insane. I am not a drop bar sorta guy.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 11:10 PM
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More this type, eh?


Posted by: feldspar | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 11:16 PM
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No, more this type.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 11:21 PM
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Drum brakes, sweet.

I hope we can at least agree that drop bars are better than bullhorns. (No offense intended. Some of my best friends use bullhorns.)


Posted by: feldspar | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 11:31 PM
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There is an outside chance that that bike will become mine shortly.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 11:33 PM
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244

I really dig these bars.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 11:34 PM
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Ben you should get one of these, drops and all.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 11:36 PM
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I should get a comma?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 11:37 PM
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Um, that'd be one of these.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 11:37 PM
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But sometimes I like to go up hills.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 11:37 PM
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I think you could get that up hills. Probably. Although if you're doing things besides riding it around roads, in cities, then maybe it's not the way to go.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 11:39 PM
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The chainring in 238 is a thing of beauty. The bars in 244 are cool, but look supremely uncomfortable.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 02-16-09 11:48 PM
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You know what's totally idiotic, though? People with bikes that are all made out to look like fixed gears, but actually aren't.

While I generally agree with you, I'm willing to make an exception for people who a) ride their bikes for transportation in The City but b) aren't suicidal. The more stripped-down your bike, the less there is for people to steal off it (and the less likely they'll just say "fuck it" and take the entire bike).


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 02-17-09 12:03 AM
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251: yeah, I should actually clarify that I meant people who have e.g. brightly colored chains that match their rims and handlebars, and expensive looking pedals, and that sort of thing. Just riding a single-speed bike is no cause for shame.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-17-09 12:05 AM
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I'm all for the aesthetic appreciation of everyday objects, but I think white chains are pretty silly.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02-17-09 12:07 AM
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I ride a Surly! A Long Haul Trucker, not a Steamroller. I need more bikes.

I also drink Surly.


Posted by: feldspar | Link to this comment | 02-17-09 12:36 AM
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re: 236

That's nice. If someone added a 10 speed derailleur set and some brakes, it'd be perfect [not mocking, I just have no interest in fix-wheel or track riding].

I just have a bog-standard MTB from a cheap [but light-weight] range Dawes did a few years back [that has since been discontinued]. Unfortunately, my knee injury stops me cycling much, but I do covet nice road bikes.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02-17-09 12:47 AM
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254.2: MMMmmmmmmmm, Surly Furious. Are you a Twin Citian, Feldspar? If not, have you ever had anu of the Surlys on tap? Even better.


Posted by: Chopper | Link to this comment | 02-17-09 6:55 AM
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I ride a Surly! A Long Haul Trucker

So do I. I like that bike. I am thinking of picking up a 1x1 to replace my current hodge-podge winter commuter.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 02-17-09 7:40 AM
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119: what about these?

I've been thinking that. But I can't justify the expense until I actually commit to riding when it's cold out. Which I won't doi until I resolve the cold hands thing. Etc.

Actually, If I ever spend a summer riding consistently and rigorously, I will commit to keeping it up (relatively) in winter. But if I can't make time when it's sunny and hot for 98 hours/week, I'm not going to pretend that I'll do it when it's cloudy and cold for 70.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-17-09 7:41 AM
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My best biking buddy bought a Kona Kapu* last year, which is, if I'm not mistaken, in the same spirit as the Trucker. This is a guy who did the Bikecentennial as a teen (on a Botecchia, which he still has, IIRC), so he knows from touring.

BTW guys, I don't think this biking discussion will have cheered up Parenthetical at all.

* Dig that head angle!


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-17-09 7:55 AM
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256: Yes, and oh god yes. Mmmmmmmm, Darkness.


Posted by: feldspar | Link to this comment | 02-17-09 7:56 AM
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Kona Kapu* last year, which is, if I'm not mistaken, in the same spirit as the Trucker

I don't know the Kona looks more like a racing bike where the trucker is really more of a self supported touring bike. The Kona is a very pretty bike, but it doesn't look like it has the braze-ons for fenders and racks that the trucker does. I bet it is faster though.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 02-17-09 8:05 AM
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The bikes I want are a Greenspeed trike, a Worksman Cruiser, and a Flevobike Greenmachine.

Flevobike used to make a bizarre articulated frame recumbent, but I don't see it on the site so perhaps they've discontinued it. Video (with annoying soundtrack that suddenly gets loud partway through) here. I've wanted one for some time, but I'm concerned about the stress on my back.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 02-17-09 8:55 AM
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(ever been so mad that you hear a buzzing noise all around you and your vision starts to vibrate?)

Once. A rather frightening sensation, in fact.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 02-17-09 9:38 AM
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I've managed to get to the point where I find it very difficult to grip a fork at dinner after a climb.

That's a fun sensation. It's not exactly exhaustion in terms of pain as much as all the nerves misfiring, presumably because the muscles are worried that if they work properly they're going to have to climb something again.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02-17-09 12:19 PM
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In other news, I finally mailed my letter to the Chancellor asking him to fire John Yoo...


Posted by: Brad DeLong | Link to this comment | 02-17-09 10:46 PM
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Brad, you're trouble. I'm telling your elementary school principal; what a disappointment.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-17-09 10:49 PM
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Huzzah!


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02-17-09 10:51 PM
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Nice move by Brad DeLong.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 02-18-09 7:44 PM
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Woohoo! Go, Brad! God knows what'll happen, but at least the effort's being made.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-18-09 8:07 PM
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Yeah, I thought the letter was terrific.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02-18-09 8:51 PM
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