Sunday, August 26, 2007

Early Morning Blogging

First week of school is done. Not sure what possessed me to do so, but I volunteered to teach two classes at a community event on Sunday. And of course I went to see the UFC74 card earlier this evening. I've been looking forward to this one and it met all my expectations.

So in brief: school is going fine. I'm looking forward to the Sunday teaching, and the UFC card made for a very enjoyable evening. Both Canadians - Cote & GSP - won in convincing fashion (yay!), so I hope there'll be a card in Montreal soon. My inner Canuck nationalist comes out at UFC cards. I wanted Cote to win because I find Grove's Lecterish mask annoying and his spider haircut oh so gimmicky. I wanted GSP to win because he's classy and polite and I like classy and polite, and those eyes and cheekbones don't hurt either.

It was wonderful to see GSP back to himself. He looked bigger than he did against Serra. He said at the end of the fight that the Serra loss was the best thing that ever happened to him. I think I'm quoting him correctly. Unfortunately I can't write my usual long commentary because I went to see this card with a guy, and it's not polite to ignore your dinner partner in order to take copious fight notes. It was guy's first time seeing UFC, and it was too bloody for him. I am not going to make a snarky comment here. Some people can't handle contact sports and that's fine. Guy was distracted by the blood stains in the Octagon, and then the Couture-Gonzaga fight, with the blood coming out of Gonzaga's nose was just too much for him. So I think I am better off going to see fights by myself, unless I know for a fact that the guy in question isn't squeamish. (I can just see myself asking this when the next person tries to set me up with a blind date - "sure, I'll go out with so and so, but I need to know if he can handle ufc first".) I was amused when they showed Sanchez watching the GSP-JK fight. It was just so clear from his face that he didn't care about GSP winning; he just liked to see JK frustrated and losing.

I had a great seat this time. When I came by earlier in the week to make a reservation, the waitress recognized me from my previous visits, and (I think) she remembered that I'm the person who tips well even when they lose my reservation, so she showed me the floor chart and let me pick any table I wanted. After the Couture-Gonzaga main event was done, the bar cut the audio feed, even though there was a fight from the undercard (Leites-Jensen) being broadcast. I asked the waitress to put it back on and she at first said she couldn't, but then the audio came back. I guess I wasn't the only one who asked. As far as the guys who didn't win tonight, I'd like to see Jensen and Crane again, the former for being aggressive and the latter for continuing to gut it out when he could have thrown in the towel. I think at the end of his fight he was running on mental strength alone.

Nutrition and hydration were good this week, thanks to the new lunch box and being back to work and in a routine. I've been starting the day with a protein shake: 1 cup skim milk, 1/2 cup water, scoop of protein powder, tbsp of pure cocoa, a couple of ice cubes, all in a blender b0ttle that is turning out to be one of the most useful gadgets I've ever spent money on. Super fast, so I get a few more minutes of sleep. I have all the ingredients to make homemade protein bars, just not the time to make them at the moment. Veggie consumption is up thanks to bagged spinach. Now I just need to get the training back to Jerusalem levels and all will be right with the world.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

New Lunch Box

At home most of the day today, and popped out briefly to get groceries. I tried to come up with a 6 meal, portable, protein & veggie intensive menu for next week. My plan is to have the exact same thing every day, which will simplify cooking and shopping. I also want to get through all the stuff I have in my fridge and cupboard. Today I discovered that I have 17 cans of tuna on hand. :-)

I have a new lunch box. The one I used all last year was a soft-sided Igloo, but it began to rip along one side because I stuffed too many things into it. I considered getting a Gatem0uth bag to replace it, but at the end decided to go with a hard plastic cooler instead. The new lunch box (which will probably get as many comments at work as the old lunch box did) is a red 15L Igloo Playmate Elite. It is:
1. Insulated: because I don't have the time to wander back and forth from my classroom to the fridge in the teachers' lounge;
2. Roomy: enough for two protein+veggie meals, one shake, assorted fruit for snacks, cutlery, and anything else I think up...
3. Easy to clean;
4. Made in the USA (I wanted USA or Canada, not made-in-China junk)
5. Reasonably priced: I got it at my local WalMart Neighborhood Market, for ~$15, considerably less than the online price.

Classes begin on Monday, and I'll be at work Sunday morning to do some last minute prep. Not a lot, as this has been a productive week for me, but I want to have everything ready so that on Monday morning I don't have to worry about printing, copying, or anything else except my classes.

Back in June I went to Boston for a lifting seminar and then blogged about in five parts (1, 2, 3, 4, 5). EFS now has video clips from the seminar available online.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Back to Work

This week is all about logistics and administrative matters; the students arrive next week. I set up my classroom, hung up the new posters I bought over the summer, fell off a desk while doing so... thank god there wasn't anything sharp or pointy between me and the floor. Banged up my elbow a bit but nothing serious. My favorite poster has two perplexed lizards staring at each other with the caption "There was homework?" below.

I'm putting the finishing touches on syllabi which are due tomorrow. Another part of my brain is planning tomorrow's food, because she who does not plan will find herself on a sugar binge of epic proportions come evening.

Nutrition and hydration have been horrendous this week. I am so glad that classes are starting. It is so much easier to be nutritionally sound when my routine is established and my students are around. The free nosh with meetings ended today. Obviously, no one is forcing the bagels / donuts / strawberry shortcake down my throat; I consciously chose to partake in the Festival of Simple Sugars. Enough.

I've been procrastinating (meaning: forgot entirely) about the "training partner wanted" sign I was going to put up at the two gyms. Then I read this: "the most important factor is not what program you use, what supplements you use, how you train, when you train, what you train, BUT... WHO YOU TRAIN WITH" on Ferruggia's blog. Sigh... tell me something I don't know.

Rather depressing post today... see what happens when I can't squat? On the cheery side, I think the hip issue is getting better and I'm only a couple of months away from having a bar on my shoulders again.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Conference Thoughts


The university campus was gorgeous but I was running from session to session and had little time for pictures. I do like outdoor sculpture, however, and these bears were right outside the university's athletic center.

Drove the five hours back from St. Louis earlier today. I had apples and protein bars with me, so I was able to avoid the questionable food options along the way, and only stopped at rest areas to fill up on water.

The conference was educational in several ways. I was a bit shocked by the number of sedentary people of both the obese and skinny+flabby variety. I was disappointed that we didn't have access to the real gym on campus, but only to a pathetic cardio-hamster "gym" that didn't even have a 45lb bar. One of the university students I talked to told me that it's referred to as the estro-gym. Depressing but funny. :-) I was annoyed by the number of people who complained about the short distances they had to walk on the flat campus. I realize it was horrendously hot: but can't you just grab hat, sunglasses & water bottle and stop whining?

I had a chance to discuss the general out-of-shape situation with another conference attendee, a personal trainer I met (where else?) in a stairwell. I think both of us were surprised to see someone else taking the stairs. For the record, it was one (1) floor, and still most people took the elevators.

More later, but unpacking, grocery shopping, laundry and going through seven days of mail await.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Presented Without Comment

Back in Kansas as of this morning, and off to a seven day conference tomorrow. The conference is taking place at a university. While attendees get information on everything from parking to laundry to food, there is nary a word on whether we can use the university's athletic facilities to train, and how we should go about getting access to them. The instructions do, however, contain the following bit of advice:
Though the campus is compact and flat, if you think you will have problems moving about campus we recommend some preplanning. Electric scooters can be available for those who might find walking around campus difficult.