Sick Again – A December tradition

Last Sunday, I cold feel the start of a cold or flu in its infancy. Felt out of sorts, and funky. Got some meds and Monday, I felt good enough to go to work, assuming that I had dodged the bullet.


Tuesday, I had a trip to Boston for a tradeshow, and apart from the usual dehydration of airplane travel, it was normal., almost uneventful. But at dinner, I knew something was coming.

Not to be disappointed, about 1:00AM I was awakened with that distinctive, back of the throat pain indicative of a cold. Would it go up into the head, or down into the chest? Curious minds need to know, man. Needless to say, the 6 hours I spent on the floor on Wednesday weren’t pleasant. Since I didn’t leave home with good cold medicine, I got raped for $16 for Tylenol severe cold tablets in the hotel shop. Ouch.

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Hiking – Almaden Quicksilver Park

Since I blew out my legs riding yesterday, I decided to take it easy, and go for a hike.

Ha ha ha.

I printed a map for Almaden Quicksilver Park, and hit the trails.

Not really sure where I was going, I just started up New Almaden trail, and then turned onto the Hacienda trail. Holy shit, it was a butt kicker. Large, wide trail, but very very steep. The first leg of the Hacienda trail is marked for hiking only, and it is now wonder why.

Got to the juncture with Mine Hill trail, and found a lot of cyclists. Got some guidance, so I took Mine Hill trail, avoided the turn to Castillero Trail (it appears to be an extra 0.3 miles).

There is a great view of Mt. Umunhum and a little rest area, with a couple of benches, a horse watering trough, and some much appreciated shade.

From there, I continued on Mine Hill trail, a meandering (and much welcome) downhill along a ridge. Of course after about two tenths of a mile of shade, the sun was baking.

The turn south on Prospect Trail #3, a hiking only trail, was steep, switchback laden, and difficult to hike. Of course, there was evidence of some douche-y mountain bikers riding (boo) on these trails.

By the time I got to the intersection of Prospect and the New Almaden trail, I was at the 6 mile mark, and I just wanted the hike to be over. The downhill was doing damage to my feet. Not accustomed to the boots, I could feel the blisters forming. Crap.

About 2.1 more miles, and I was finally back at the parking area.

Total damage: 8.1 miles, 1776 calories, 1575 feet of climbing, 3:01 total time (2:39 moving time).

I should have done another 34 mile bike ride…

The Dentist

Today was that twice yearly ritual, visiting the Dentist. Hygienist and a quick check.

Where else will you get the joys of the poker, the gouger, and the scraper jabbed at your teeth and gums? As I have long had some moderate gum recession, I get exhortations about keeping the exposed root on my first molars clean.  And the reminder to use a fluoride rinse.

Ah, the pleasant staff, the pain of gouged gums, the mild bleeding. The hamfisted attempt by the hygienist to have a conversation (seriously, you are elbows deep in my mouth…)

And of course, where else would I hear the light banter of KBAY 94.5, and the latest Kelly Clarkson tune?  I mean c’mon, isn’t that the definition of a great time.

Of course, I have hairline fractures in another tooth, so I will get to go back for a quick filling to hold it together and avoid a catastrophic failure and yet another crown.

Great day.

Getting there – Weight loss in progress

The diet is continuing well, and apart from two visitors this week, with a couple truly egregious cheater meals, I made some progress.

The statistics so far:

  • 3 weeks (started July 3)
  • down 11.6 #’s (that is a 4.54% loss)
  • Exercise is trending up – both walks at lunch during the week (2.4 ish miles), and cycling on weekends, is feeling better.

So far, I have adjusted to smaller portions, eating less, and feeling satisfied. I have worked on eating better, more fruits and vegetables, and less meats.

If you care, you can track me at Strava to see my workouts.

It isn’t as easy as it was before I turned 40, but the basics work. Exercise more, eat less, eat better balanced, drink less alcohol.

My goal?  To get to less than 200#’s. If I get there, I will build a new road bike.

Back on the Diet Train

Two weeks in, back on the Perfect Diet Tracker, counting calories, and making sure I track everything. Down 9 pounds – I am sure at least half is water, I am beginning to feel better.

The old adage rings true. Calories in less than calories burned = weight loss. Yes, it was easier before I turned 40, but it still works. The secret is to count everything that passes the lips.

Already I am fitting into jeans I couldn’t wear 2 weeks ago. I have plenty of clothes that will fit as I shed the pounds. Looking forward to that.

It does take a lot of discipline. Portion control is key. Not indulging on the sweets in the office. Doing as much exercising as I can (walking the campus at lunch is good for 2.4 miles.) Bicycling on the weekend.

I am lucky that I have enough will power to not give in to the sweet tooth.

It isn’t easy.