Thursday, February 28, 2008

WIN Event

There was a WIN Wellness Break here in the Butrovich Building this morning. I'm not sure who sponsored the event but thank you whomever you are. They did cholesteral and glucose screening as well as giving mini-presentations on foods, time management and other topics of interest. It was interesting. It ended with a short (3/4 mi) walk outside.

After not running on the treadmill for several days, it seems tough to try and get going again. This evening, there are no other activities so I don't really have any excuses. I'm finding that the Nike+ challenges are getting less and less motivating. Fortunately, the new StartWalking program is due to start shortly and those seem to motivate me.

Thursday evening - Well,
I tried running this evening and only managed a couple of miles before getting really tired. I do recognize that I'm still recuperating from the flu last week as I'm still coughing and feeling congested. Does this sound like an excuse?

Monday, February 25, 2008

Anonymous Comments...

The problem with allowing anonymous comments is you are occasionally left wondering who left a comment. This was left on the last post and it really has me wondering who it might be. I gather that it was someone from way back in high school. I don't think I've seen anyone from back then in over 30 years. I missed my reunions since I moved to Alaska back in 1982. Hmmm, whom can it be?

Sunday, February 24, 2008

In Barrow

Sunny but not very warm here in Barrow. It is a bit after six and it is still light outside. I guess I kind of expected it to be darker than Fairbanks but it seems to be about the same. On the flight in last night, it was very clear and you were able to see lights from the town a long way out. Last night, the temperature dropped to -32°F so there was no way I was going to try running outside. The treadmill at the college is still broken so no running on this trip. In fact walking will probably be minimal as well due to the temperature. (Okay, I'm a wimp)

Late Sunday evening - Like I figured, I didn't get in any sort of exercise this evening. I went to dinner at the local Japanese restaurant. Had ikura and don buri both were exceptional. The sushi at this place is as good as I've had anywhere and far better than most places in the state. Had a great discussion with the chief scientist. The temperature has now dropped to -31°F and the outside door to my hut is frozen solid as the knob wouldn't even turn let alone trying to get the key in. Fortunately, I had left the outside door slightly ajar so I could push my way in. Inside is nice and warm though the gas heater was off due to a power failure sometime today.

Monday morning - It is -42°F but feels like -55°F according to this morning. It felt pretty chilly walking from the hut to the main building. Once the new building opens up, it's really going to feel cold since it would be a much longer walk.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

In the airport

Another afternoon spent sitting in an airport. The Fairbanks airport isn't set up well for walking laps as Sea-Tac. I ended up shopping for a motorcycle jacket on my iPhone. I have been looking in the local shops here in town as well as in Tempe a couple of weeks ago. Tempe shops had a lot of protective gear designed for warm weather such as mesh jackets and pants but the local shops had mostly leather jackets. I ended up ordering a Kilimanjaro 4.0 fabric jacket instead of the more traditional leather jacket after reading a lot of reviews. I thought that with all the additional venting options, it would be warm enough in the Spring and Fall yet cool in the Summer and even function as a rain jacket. I received some really nice leather gloves for Christmas from my wife and had previously ordered a helmet (HJC Sy-max II) though it still hasn't arrived. The helmet is a newer model of the one I tried on at a shop in Tempe so it should fit fine. Almost all the gear. In case you can't tell, I am really anxious for Spring to show up. Between the bike and the 5k I've signed up for, I have plenty to look forward to this Spring.

If the Beat Beethovan run goes okay, I plan on doing the Midnight Sun Run this year. I had planned on walking it last year but somehow didn't get around to registering. This year, I'll be looking for it. I feel good enough to try running on the treadmill in Barrow since I am too chicken to run outside. There have been a number of polar bear sightings on the NARL campus this winter so I'm told.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Back on the treadmill

I went for a short stroll on the treadmill this evening but couldn't go very far. Just didn't want to run myself into the ground. I'm headed back to Barrow this weekend to work on the schedule and some of the logistics details for my project. If the building lease has been really signed, then I really need to get moving on the infrastructure before the summer field season.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Feeling Better

The flu seems to have passed and I did get some walking in if only to ward off the naseau. Still feel "achy" and tired but plan on trying to go in tomorrow. I've been trying hard to maintain the same exercise level as last summer but this winter has proven to be much more challenging than last year. I haven't gone skiing at all, walking on the treadmill is more sporadic, and don't walk as much between upper and lower campus but at least I haven't gained any weight. Haven't lost any either! I stopped insisting on hotels with fitness rooms while traveling for the university but usually made some attempt to get some exercise. I was hoping to have made sufficient changes to end up as "lifestyle changes." We'll see what sticks.

Friday afternoon - Feeling almost "normal" with many of the flu symptoms gone. Still feel really tired now and still feeling the nausea associated with the medicine (Byetta). It sure would be nice not to have that side effect but otherwise it really works well. Maybe I'll be able to walk/jog on the treadmill this evening.

I'm trying out a new blog template since the last one didn't display very well on mobile devices. This one is much simpler format so let's see if it works better. Most of my posts on this blog are made from my cell phone and the little "micro-blog" section are actually just text messages (SMS) to the site. Most of the pictures are usually posted by emailing photos from my phone to the site where they automatically create a new post. Just playing with the technology...

Monday, February 18, 2008

Feeling sick...

Sore everywhere, chest congestion, no head ache or clogged sinuses, but definitely feeling really tired even though I didn't do anything. I had blood drawn this morning to check my A1C. Last time it was checked, it was normal (though there are many who would disagree with that assessment.) I doubt that I will get much walking or jogging in this week since I don't feel well.

Actually, I feel absolutely miserable now. I don't know if the chills I am currently feeling are from being sick or a side thing from my medication. My bg level was really high before lunch but that's probably due from being sick. I'll check it again at 2:30pm. I really should go home...

Sunday, February 17, 2008


Walked down to church this morning and discovered that I forgot something at home so I ran (not literally) back home and drove to church. That was a step backward. I guess I shouldn't be so obsessed as I did get in almost the same number of steps. I just felt frustrated. I'm starting to feel a cold coming on so that probably means less miles this week. I did find an interesting challege today and joined up. The site totals up the miles of all who join the challenge with the goal of walking to the moon. So far, the mileage is something like 94k km or about a fifth of the way there. Otherwise, not much going on. As usual, I'm making a blog entry while sitting in Macdonalds waiting for my son to finish his shift. He started working to earn money for a trip to China. He's sticking with it even though working here was not his first choice for a job. Actually, they are one of the few employers willing to hire at 15 and most want you to be at least 16.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Running? Me? You've got to be kidding!

I signed up for the Beat Beethoven 5k run today. I registered right after running over 10k on the treadmill so I have a lot of confidence that I can actually finish. Not very fast but at least I'll finish. Right now, my best time for 5k is about 30 minutes according to the logs on the Nike+ site. I have until April 12th to get ready so more running on the treadmill. Is the snow really gone by then? I don't remember.

Hmmm, 5k in 30 minutes is about a 10 minute mile. I was curious when I actually ran a 10 minute mile since I have been jogging about 12 minute miles so I started looking through the logs on the Nike+ site. It turns out that they were run on a hotel treadmill back in October. This was when I was just trying out running so I hadn't gotten used to a certain pace. I was relying on the treadmill speedometer to go the speed I have normally been running but I guess it was a bit off. I was wondering why I was so tired after running only 30 minutes. Everything was set to metric there so I'll use that as my excuse. Now this race is something else to look forward to. Running a race and riding my motorcycle. One of these days I should try running outside to see what it's like.

When I was on Tempe, I stopped at a motorcycle shop to look at helmets. As it turns out, maybe I should have picked one up there as they are significantly more expensive in Fairbanks. One model that I looked at down there was about $150 and the same exact model at the shop here is $250. I am all in favor of shopping locally but this is ridiculous. They didn't have the color I was looking for (silver) in my size at the shop in Arizona which is why I passed at the time. They even offerred to order it and ship it to Fairbanks for free. What is wrong with local businesses. This wasn't even a large shop just a small storefront near the university.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Today was almost warm enough to try running outside. I think it actually got above freezing today. This makes for very slippery roads and sidewalks. I didn't see any accidents this evening but traffic was moving almost painfully slow. I ended up walking on the treadmill again probably because I'm too chicken to run outside. I think I'm afraid that I will run far enough to make it challenging to get back home. Back when I was doing a lot of cycling, I would normally ride out away from home until I was completely exhausted. Then I turned around and headed home. You can get away with this if you are twenty something but I don't think I can get away with that type of training exercise now.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Last post?

No walking today and I gather none tomorrow. Why bother...

Maybe I'll go 'til a hundred posts. I just passed 500 miles on my Nike+ gadget. I received a virtual certificate. Next milestone is 1000 miles.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Waiting in Seattle

Today, I had a five hour layover in Seattle so I walked just short of eleven miles in the airport. Two miles for each lap of the A, B, C & D terminals with a stop in the middle for lunch. In addition, I walked three more miles on the treadmill this evening while watching TV. I have to admit that walking laps around the Seattle airport was definitely more interesting than just sitting there and reading email or watching CNN airport TV.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

83 posts

The meetings lasted most of the day today. I had to get out and get some exercise so after returning to my motel, I went for a short walk before dinner. What I keep forgetting is how quickly night arrives compared to Alaska. One moment it's sunny, then sunset, then dark all within a half an hour. For some reason, I couldn't get myself to try jogging. I only walked a couple of miles before picking up some Mexican fast food. Not like Taco Bell but real Mexican food. Since the motel is near the ASU campus, there is a pretty good selection of reasonably priced restaurants nearby. There was a reception at the meeting hotel, but since I wasn't registered for the Educause conference, I thought that I shouldn't attend if I didn't pay. The staff went ahead and made me a name badge so I could have lunch and was told that they always order too much food anyway. After lunch, I walked up the hill again to try and avoid the naseau from the medication I'm taking. It was a great walk and it was easily done in the half hour I had before the meeting started up again.

I noticed that this was the 83rd post I've made on this blog and I don't think I've said much of anything. Kinda sad, eh. I have np idea if anyone besides myself ever reads any of this but I guess that is the nature of the Internet.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Tourist Traps

Did quite a bit this afternoon after the meeting. Climbed the hill behind the meeting hotel, walked around Tempe, drove to the town of Goldfield, a tourist trap ghost town north east of Apache Junction, and visited Rawhide, a western themed town associated with a casino south of Tempe on the road to Tucson. Even though I call these places tourist traps, I still enjoy visiting them and trying out some of the local fare. I also enjoy just walking around and poking around the shops. I have to admit that I even enjoy walking around Alaskaland. Oh wait, I meant Pioneer Park. Eventually, I ended up walking about 8 1/2 miles this afternoon so it was a good day. I still haven't tried jogging outside primarily because the sidewalks are so hard. Every step seems jarring compared to running on the treadmill. Maybe I just need to work on smoothness or something like that. How do people run on the sidewalks, roads and paved paths? Just from my walk this afternoon, my legs and feet are sore. The same distance on the treadmill doesn't seem to effect me at all.

Friday, February 8, 2008

There is a hill behind the hotel where the meetings are being held and I noticed a bunch of people climbing the hill on a trail winding up the side. Maybe that is what I need to do tomorrow afternoon. There should be a good view of the university from the top. It isn't like a major mountain just a hill probably 500 feet above the relatively flat surrounding area. I still haven't had much opportunity to look around Tempe or Phoenix. The meetings tomorrow finish mid afternoon so I've been looking for something to do or someplace to go. Too bad the Grand Canyon is so far away. It didn't look that far from the plane but supposedly it is several hundred miles. Maybe what I saw wasn't the Grand Canyon. There are a couple of western towns south and west of Tempe. Maybe I'll check one of them out. I picked up some flyers from the motel office when I came back from dinner. Whatever I decide to do it needs to include some exercise. I did walk a couple of miles this evening just to burn off a few calories.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Grand Canyon (I think)

On a flight from Seattle to Phoenix, we passed over this feature which I think is the Grand Canyon. There was no announcement by the pilot over the PA system or anything like that but the location seemed about right. There was snow into just a few miles north of here and if you look carefully, you may be able to see some snow on the north facing slopes. I remember stopping at the Grand Canyon years ago and being very unimpressed because the slight haze gave the view a very flat almost two dimensional appearance as I didn't get any feeling of depth. It seemed as I was looking at a painting, granted, a very large painting.

I walked to the meeting hotel this morning and the round trip was 3.6 miles. I didn't get in any additional walking. I originally thought about trying to run while I'm down here but fighting the traffic would be a real pain. I will probably walk again tomorrow just for the exercise or maybe drive to the meeting and walk starting from that hotel. It is in a much nicer part of town. Someone mentioned that they were able to just walk into the stadium and run around the track but without a shower handy, that may not be the best option. Several folks at the meeting mentioned that one of the summer meetings should be held in Alaska. After hearing of the -54°F temperature, there was absolutely no interest in a winter meeting in Fairbanks.

ASU campus

I am attending some meetings just north of the ASU campus and this sculpture caught my eye. I think they are designed to catch sunlight and focus them somewhere. I took this picture around 7:30 in the morning so the sun wasn't up high enough yet. It is about 50°F here and many here are all bundled up with knit hats, scarfs and mittens. I was surprised by the snow on the flight down. It was continuous until just north of the Grand Canyon. The Alaska Airlines flight flew right over the canyon and I'll post a picture of that later. I haven't transferred the pictures from my camera yet.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

What are we doing here?

At least that is what comes to mind when I look at the temperature today. -49°F at 10:00am and still dropping. I have a meeting on lower campus and I'm still trying to decide whether to walk or not. I think the "Feels Like" followed by "N/A" in the image says it all. Who cares what it feels like since you'd have to be crazy to be out in it. Today would have been a good day to stay home.

I walked on the treadmill for a while but it was after dinner. When am I going to learn that I need to exercise before dinner since I usually feel bad after. Anyway, I did get in 3 1/2 miles or so but that is a far cry from the 6 miles per day I'll need to average to walk around the moon. Hopefully, I'll get in more walking as the week progresses.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Global Warming!?

I felt motivated enough to walk down to lower campus this afternoon. This is in spite of the -41°F temperatures this morning. At least the air smelled a whole lot better than it currently does in the building. It was nice and sunny and fairly quiet on the walk down though it got crowded on the return trip. The cool picture was sent out by Kate Wattum this morning showing the wonderful weather here in Fairbanks. On the way in, the thermometer in the truck stopped registering at -40F. Maybe that is trying to tell us something. But at least it isn't windy.

I stopped at the UA Tech center to see if they had anything new. No Macbook Air on display and they figured that there wasn't much of a market due to the lack of an optical spindle. I mentioned that I used my optical drive less than once per month and even then, if there was a process to use the optical drive in another machine, that would work fine for me. To me, the biggest shortcomingvwas the inability to span your desktop to another display. In other words, they used the video card from the Macbook instead of the Macbook Pro. I'm feeling a bit nauseous now probably due to a poor lunch choice. Taco Bell in Wood Center was cheaper than a salad and now, I'm paying for it.

I ran some on the treadmill averaging about 4.8 mph. I still don't feel as good running as I did last month. I guess the trips really have a negative impact. The medication is making its presence known this evening but at least I got some exercise in before dinner. This prescription is probably sufficient to make one not want to eat again. It is called Byetta and it has only been approved by the FDA since 2005. It works great but some of the side effects are kind of rough. I guess I should stop whining.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Not Motivated (again)

I don't feel like walking this evening. In fact, I don't really feel like doing much of anything. I feel very ill from the medication and can't really do much else except lie down. There isn't anything on TV. Watching travel shows of places I know I'll never see, foods I'll never taste and home improvement shows showing uncluttered spaces that will never be can be somewhat depressing. Usually walking helps but I don't think it'll help today. I've still don't know what motivates people to exercise. It isn't one of those joyfull activities that make you want to do it all the time. Usually, while running all I can think about is stopping.

Later - I did end up walking on the treadmill but never really felt better all evening.

Sunday evening - I jogged a bit on the treadmill this evening but only went 4 miles. It is really cold outside and that may be having an effect on me. I've been feeling chilled with sore muscles. I did walk to church this morning in spite of the -28F temperature. At least I don't feel miserable like I did yesterday. I did watch the Super Bowl game this afternoon and it was a pretty good game. It didn't matter to me who won but I enjoyed it nonetheless. Unfortunately, I wasn't walking on the treadmill while watching the game. Phoenix looked like a zoo. Right now, it is -45F and it feels cold. I'm not one that normally complains about the weather, but this cold spell really seems to be lasting a long time. In reality, it has only been a couple of weeks but it seems to be much longer.