Thursday, March 18, 2010


This has been a wild week. For one, Jenna and I are getting close to buying a house. We've got an offer accepted and are working on getting the close completed. Everything is a disaster in the house right now and we are attempting to improve it some simply by cleaning up and ensuring that all the major systems are working. We have a lot of work ahead of us, and I'm hoping we can get it all done. I will let everyone know how everything goes.

Also, my grandma passed on Sunday. It wasn't unexpected at all, but still hard, especially since we weren't able to make it out to her funeral. I'm just glad she's not hurting or feeling trapped in her body anymore. On our last visit I could tell how frustrated she was with being unable to speak to us all. I'm really glad she got to meet Jenna and Scott and I'm glad I got to see her and say goodbye.

That was obviously the down part of the week, but the up part is that Meghan (my older sister) had her baby! He's a tiny little guy and super cute. he's very relaxed and calm so far, it seems. We were there to support her while she was in labor, and got to see him shortly after the birth. He's the first baby born to our generation in the family, so it's a big deal. I'm an uncle!

As far as my own progress with projects goes, I'm still working out and seeing gains. I decided to start a paper fitness journal, but I'll be keeping the blog updated with my progress as well. A large part of what I'm doing will be weekly weight, body measurements, and body fat % checks.

Here is the calculator I found that shows the Grecian Ideal body proportions. They are based on wrist measurement, mine being 8" in circumference. Grecian Ideal Calculator

Here are the measurements suggested for me:
Chest: 52"
Waist: 36"
Hip: 44"
Bicep: 19"
Forearm: 15"
Thigh: 28"
Calf: 18"
Neck: 19"

And here's where I am currently:
Chest: 45" (+7)
Waist: 41" (-5)
Hip: 45" (-1)
Bicep: 15" (+4)
Forearm: 13" (+2)
Thigh: 26" (+2)
Calf: 17" (+1)
Neck: 17.5" (+1.5)

So I'm close on a lot of it. I really need to increase my chest size and decrease my waist size more than anything. After that, a general increase in everything will get me where I'm going. Getting an extra 4" in my arms will be tough for sure, but I can do it if I focus on it. I just have to maintain my lower body fat percentage while I'm doing it, which will be a challenge. I'll let you all know How I progress as I continue doing my runs and making my measurements.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Gadgets and Gizmos

I've gotten a few new toys recently, all based around my new running regimen. Let me give you some background first.

I have a "slow" phone. It isn't quite a smart phone but it isn't quite stupid, either. It has room for music, a player, etc. The interface is fine if you want to have a few small playlists or just have music shuffling. For audiobooks, it's a hideous pain. The screen is too small to see the full title of the track more often than not, so you have to scroll down and touch a track, then wait for it to scroll to see where you are. Then, to reorganize, you have to move the track up or down by selecting it, then going to options and selecting "Move Up" or "Move Down." That moves it one spot. In order to move a track from the middle of the list to the top, you have to do that for each and every spot you want to move it. And it's nearly impossible to tell when you're done because you can't read the titles of the surrounding songs without selecting them and letting them scroll. Ugh.

So I decided to get myself an MP3 player. I'd been thinking about it for a while, especially since I started running. So I put out a call for different MP3 players. Had a number of them recommended, but I eventually came back to the iPod. It has a lot of features I wanted, and a few things the others didn't, and the price wasn't significantly different (+/- $25). So I got an iPod Nano 5th Generation with 16 GB of space. It's really nice. has a ton of features, some of which I probably won't use, but plenty that I will. It has a small screen, but very clear so it's good for watching movies in a pinch. I got an iClear Sketch cover for it so the screen won't get messed up. I also got some nice earbuds to use with it. I'm spending plenty on accessories, but it's really nice when I'm running so I think it's worth it.

The main accessory I got is the Nike+iPod sensor thingy. It goes in your shoe (or in a tiny pouch on your shoe) and sends data on your running to the receiver attached to the iPod. That in turn will transmit to the Nike website when you get home and plug it in. It tracks distance, time, calories, and pace. Pretty much everything a treadmill does, but you can use it outside or on the treadmill equally easily. It also has some neat features like telling you how long you've been running, how far you've got and your current pace when you press a button. You can also set up specific goals for running, or run for time or whatever, and it will tell you when you're halfway done or within 5 minutes of finishing. It's very neat. The other thing that works nicely is that the receiver for the Nike+iPod thing fits onto the iPod with the iClear Sketch is in place so I never have to take the cover off. I still need to get an armband for it, but it works just fine in a pocket or cup holder on the treadmill right now.

So that's that. I'm still running consistently, and even ran outside with a buddy yesterday. We went about 4 miles (ran 3, walked the last one - but not because I got tired, which is a victory) over rough terrain and up and down hills. It was a good time for sure. I also ran 30 minutes at 6.6 mph this morning, which is good. I'm getting closer to hitting my "3.5 miles in 30 minutes" goal. I'm really enjoying myself while run and I'm still losing weight, inches off my waist, body fat, etc. My wife even came to the gym with me this morning, which was great.

So there you have it, folks. That's what I've been doing recently.