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Okay.  So, yesterday went well.  I was not “hungry” per se, but I was missing chewing and the act of eating.  Anyway, I got through it.
Last night was my first visit back to Planet Fitness in ages.  Well, in ten days; but it felt like ages.  Nothing was “hard” like when you’ve stopped exercising for six months and you’re just starting up again, but I had little to no energy stores.  I walked / jogged 1.27 miles in 26:15 minutes.  Yes, I know.  Most people walk faster than that.  The truth is sometimes I do, too.  Rarely, but sometimes.  Anyway, it felt like I was in molasses.  I was okay for my 2 minute warm-up walk, but as soon as I started to jog – forgetaboutit.  So, I had to alternate slogging and walking to get through it.
I moved on to the calisthenics portion of my workout.  I have a cycle of crunches, inclined pushups and air squats which I run through.  I started out at five cycles, then eight cycles and for the last couple of days (about a week) before my Christmas break, I was up to ten cycles – about 45 – 50 minutes.  Last night I struggled to get to eight.  It wasn’t “hard”.  I just felt exhausted.  After my cycles, I did a few minutes of rowing.  And that was it.  My “normal” workout usually runs about two hours and includes stretching and lots more weights (light weights, but high volume reps).  Last night was cut short and was still about 90 minutes because I was moving so slow.  Still, I went to the gym and plowed through it…
One interesting point:  My face is already starting to get the “oily / waxy”, moist feeling on my forehead, nose and cheeks.  This normally happens around day 6 or 7.  I don’t know why it seems to be happening sooner than “normal”.  At first, I used to worry about acne when this started, but in all of my fasts (long and short over a dozen in my life), it has never ended up causing a breakout of  acne.  Actually, I find it kind of makes my face look younger – smoother and better hydrated.  So, that’s a good thing.
And before I forget:  this morning’s weigh-in was 349lbs.  That’s down from Boxing Day weight of 360lbs.  Day Two’s weight was 353lbs.  Basically, that’s water retention loss from all the salt and sugar consumed on Christmas day.  My weight on Christmas morning was 355lbs.  So, really we’re talking about six pounds from then, and not  eleven pounds from the “start” of the diet / fast.  Please recall I am trying to not worry about day-to-day losses and gains as much as I am three and four day trends.  Of course, first I have to get past four days…  LOL
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On This Day In:
2017 Daily, Mr. President, Daily
2016 We Did This
2015 I’m Talking To You
Forced (Again)
2014 We Are Not A Fearful Nation!
2013 Risking Truth
2012 Working On Reality
2011 Massive Contradictory Changes
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The Road To Sparta” (2016©) — book review
Today’s book review is for “The Road To Sparta” written by Dean Karnazes.  Karnazes may not be the “Dean” of ultramarathon runners, but he is certainly one of the sports most famous names and faces. Karnazes lives in the San Francisco Bay Area (where I also was raised and currently live), and, from his writing, appears to have totally adopted the ethos of being from Northern California.  Clean air, physical fitness, sometimes single minded pursuit of one’s goals, etc.
The book is another semi-autobiographical book about Karnazes.  His other book (which is reviewed here) is titled: “Ultramarathon Man“, and deals more with his various runs – particularly the Western States One-Hundred.  This book is about his being descended from Greek immigrants and him getting back in touch with his roots in his native country via participation in an ultra-run called “The Spartathlon.”  This run recreates the run which Pheidippides made from Athens to Sparta to ask the Spartans to help the Athenians resist the Persian invasion of Greece at the beach of Marathon.  Not to spoil the story (as it is ancient history), Pheidippides ran about 150 miles to carry the message (request).  He then ran a similar distance to carry the reply (“Yeah, we’ll come, but not for a few days”).  And then, … wait for it… he ran from the battlefield (Marathon) to Athens (about 26 miles) to carry news of the victory.  And then he died.
The race isn’t so spectacular.  Karnazes “only” has to run the initial portion (Athens to Sparta).  Oh, yeah.  You have to run the race in a “similar” time span to that of Pheidippides – 36 hours.
If you are a serious distance runner, much of the book will seem self-affirming as you will probably relate to the action and feelings of a ultra-distance runner.  If you are not a “serious” runner (or athlete), you may still relate, but you’ll probably also find Karnazes’ descriptions of the Greek countryside a bit flowery.  Make that extremely flowery.  Almost (but not quite) off-puttingly so.  Almost…  On the other hand, if you are just an average reader, you may really like all the verbiage.  I was kind of in the middle.  Parts of the book made we want to strap on some shoes and go out for a jog.  Others left me feeling like he had been assigned a set number of words to get the book published and he was going to reach that number with the same determination it takes to run an ultra.
Final recommendation: strong.  I enjoyed the history.  I enjoyed most of the descriptions, particularly when he was talking about the people out in the Greek countryside.  And I enjoyed the re-telling of the actual Spartathlon he ran in.  Ultimately, a good running book should make you want to lace up and hit the pavement.  As mentioned above, this book did that for me.  I picked the book up at Half-Price Books off the $3 rack.  A steal at that price.  I’ve already used a couple of quotes on my blog and I’ve got about another dozen or so hi-lighted for use in the future.
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On This Day In:
2017 Today Is Not Lost
Day 8
2016 Paying Attention
2015 An Awful Ordeal
2014 What Are You Doing?
2013 Lives > 1
2012 Strange To All The World
2011 Unnecessary Stagefright

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The end of day five and the start of day six…
Some days are just easy…  Like a cool summer breeze when you’re sitting in the shade on a hot afternoon.
This morning I woke up feeling fit an energized.  This is a normal and expected feeling after the first few days of veggie juice fasting.  Something “clicks”, and you start to feel terrific.  I got up at 8am and took the dog out for her walk.  Still feeling my oats, around 11am I went out for a jog.  2 miles in 34 minutes.  Not far, and definitely not fast.  As a matter of fact, I felt like I was in treacle.  I felt like I was absolutely plodding along, so I was surprised when I finished under 40 minutes.  I didn’t start sweating until the last lap around the block (2 miles = 5 laps X .4 miles).  When I got back in the house I started pouring sweat.  Anticipating a bit, as soon as I got in the door I got a 32oz bottle of ice water to re-hydrate and cool down.
I then had a couple of bottles of juice while watching a movie with Hil, before going out at 6:30pm for my hour of treading water.  Another bottle of juice and one of water and I’m done for the day / evening.  And before I forget…  NO weight change!  Still 365lbs.  If I hadn’t dropped 3lbs the day before I “might” be upset.  But then again, 1) I’m using an analogue scale, and, 2)  I know from past experience that the weight loss isn’t a straight line down.  When the losses start to decrease, you have to get your head ready for the 1 or 2 pound increase coming from water retention / fluctuation.  So, I’m good…
Issues:  No hunger and no light-headedness.  I lost track of a sentence twice while talking to Hil, had a general sense of fatigue when I was making my veggie blends in the afternoon, and, I got mild palpitations while swimming which have continued into the evening.  No secondary symptoms, so all I can do is monitor and hope they go away.  If it doesn’t clear up by morning, I’ll have to go to the ER.  Ah, the joys or asymptomatic AFib.  Oh, yeah.  I made enough veggie juice to easily see me through Saturday, so I can stretch the juicing fast out to 10 days if I feel like it on Friday.  Friday (morning) is when I finish my 7th day – the planned duration.
After thoughts:  Last night I dreamed about a big plate of SOS.  For those of you unfamiliar with the finest of American dining, that’s “Shit-on-a-Shingle”, which is also known as ground beef in gravy served over toast.  I make mine (the gravy) with mushroom soup and added flour (for thickening), with half an onion and a handful of mushroom.  I saute half of the onions and mushrooms before adding them.  The second half of each I add at the last moment, before serving so they’re fresher in the gravy.  Earlier today, while jogging, instead of going back to SOS, all I could think of was one of the Fat Smash dinners of rice, pinto beans and a heaping portion of bok choy.  Go figure…  I always fancied myself a ribs, mashed potatoes and corn on the cob man.  LOL.  Maybe, there is hope for me and a lifestyle change.  (Naaa…)
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On This Day In:
2017 Duty
2016 Still Gaining
2015 Filling Gaps
2014 Even In Our Sleep
2013 Passion Is Always Personal
2012 And You Are?
2011 Innate Talent

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Anybody running beats anybody walking, and anybody walking beats anybody sitting.
  —  Tom Bunk
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On This Day In:
2017 Effective Stimuli
2016 Dave’s Not Here, Man
2015 Blink
2014 The Struggle To Educate America Continues…
2013 On Elections
2012 Warm Smiles
Pick Your Poison
2011 Straight Shooters

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My daughter (Sarah) had a take your pet to work day, today.  She borrowed Shiva.  So, we had no dog walk this morning.
I made up for it by hitting the asphalt.  I got out and jogged (slogged) 2 miles in 30 minutes.  Yes.  I know.  Pretty slow.  But given my weight and other health factors, I’m quite pleased.  I started like gang-busters last December, but I thought I’d broken my left foot (stress fracture) and had to stop in mid-January.  Turns out it was “only” a bit of arthritis and it seems there is nothing to be done about it.  The podiatrist made me up some shoe / arch inserts, but all they did was make my feet hurt like I’d been beaten with a cane.  And that was after only a 30 minute walk to the pool.  I tried the inserts again a few days later, but they were agony almost immediately (literally within steps).  I haven’t worn them since.
So, between the 2 miles and the 60 minutes of treading water, I’m feeling pretty tired.  Healthy tired, but tired.  Now I just have to see if I can keep it up.
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On This Day In:
2017 Living Memory
2016 December
2015 That’s Gotta Leave A Scar
It’s All About Me (…Not!)
2014 Bull’s-Eye Next
2013 Change ÷ Time
2012 High Anxiety
2011 To Be, Do
2010 In the Arena…
Not An Island, Today…

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As a runner, you have to face the truth about yourself on a regular basis, and it makes you more honest.  You can’t pretend to be faster than you are.  You can’t pretend that you are better prepared than you are.  You cannot pretend to be a runner, you actually have to run.
   ―  John Bingham
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On This Day In:
2017 A Long Shadow
2016 Learning, Experience, Chances or Money
2015 The Critical State
2014 Dawn, n.
2013 Ouch!
2012 Just Lookin’ Around
Still Growing
2011 But Do You Want To?

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Suddenly, when the run itself is the goal, there are no more bad runs.  Suddenly it doesn’t matter if we don’t finish within our goal time — or don’t finish at all.  What matters is that we tried, that we enjoyed the process.  What matters is that we got out there.
   ―  John Bingham
From his book:  “No Need for Speed: A Beginner’s Guide to the Joy of Running
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On This Day In:
2017 By Far
2016 Until…
2015 Or Infinitesimal
2014 I’ve Looked At Clouds
2013 Undiscovered Ocean
2012 Feeling Old? (Part 2)
2011 What About Freedom?

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