Somehow, summarizing September Strava statistics seems skipped since… Sorry! I just ran out of “s” words. But I bet you haven’t seen a whole sentence, fragmented as it was, starting with the same letter lately. So, points to me. I guess I get a little tired of reporting my fitness activity numbers, and more than one reader does, too. Yet, this is (predominantly) a blog about bicycling, so producing posts pertinent to that topic is important, I suppose. Some people claim that if it’s not on Strava, it didn’t happen. And since Strava’s colors are black and orange, just like Halloween, it seems like a good time to start doing this report again. So, posthaste and forthwith is all the data you’re dying to digest about how much I walked, yoga-ed, and bicycled last month. Shall seeing said stats satisfy some subconscious salaciousness ?
Fortunately, the fitness app Strava began providing a handy visual summary at some point, making it easy to share with you. Feasting your eyes on these infographics will I’m sure make you want to hop on your bike, throw on your walking shoes, or dust off that yoga mat. Or not. Hey, you do you. Reading about someone else exercising certainly must burn a few calories, right?
The first image shows that I spent 91 hours exercising in all three disciplines. That’s equivalent to almost four full days of working out! It’s a bit more than August and September, which makes sense because they were hotter. The second shows that between my biking and walking I covered 549 miles and 12,880 feet of elevation. The last shows the breakdown: 47% biking, and 29% for each walking and yoga. Not too bad.
Lest we forget, I must mention that I’ve been adding on five minutes of foam rolling my tight muscles and tendons in my legs, back and butt all year. I do that at the end of yoga, so it’s not a separate entry, but it sure counts. I think it helps, but never enough. Additionally, I’m still eating a salad a day, or usually at night. Despite wanting to quit eating late, I’ve not been able to give up the healthy and tasty mixed greens, tomatoes, cucumber, onion, and dressing.
Ah, the salad days. Sometimes I’ll get frisky and add nuts or seeds, cheese and/or meat, avocado or canned fish or chicken. And I continue to eschew all foods made with grain flours based on the science-based book Fat Chance that says things like cookies, cake, bread, pasta, and the like turn to sugar, which eventually turns into fat. Still not helping at least with weight, but I know my blood sugar is in a good range.
Speaking of food, here’s a handy slide of my birthday ride of 56 miles that shows my free breakfast. That ride and a 50-miler I did in preparation for the bday are a big reason I had a 500+ mile October.
Walking and yoga were regular but I’d say rather uneventful. Which I suppose is a good thing. No dogs chased me, I didn’t get mugged, or have my shoes stolen, I didn’t pull a hammy, or fall from a tricky pose and break something, or get stuck in a pretzel shape. However, the fact that I continue to do them without fail is still pretty remarkable and I would submit, kinda awesome. Although of course many people do these or more impressive things like run 10 miles a day, lift weights, walk 10,000+ steps, swim a mile, and so on. But I’m not them, so comparisons aren’t really useful.
While the accumulation of all this calorie burning may be of some interest, the results are unfortunately not very impressive. I didn’t drop pounds (in fact, the opposite for reasons unknown), or get noticeably faster on the flats, or stronger on the hills. That’s been the case for some time, though, since I switched to daily bike riding. I simply don’t go far enough or work out intensely enough; my body is used to it. So, I haven’t lost a bunch of fat. I’m somewhat fit, but one still hopes for improvements at some molecular level.
There are of course more subtle things I notice that do come as a result of my exercising. Having a resting heart rate of 55 is pretty good for a guy of my age and fatitude. Bending over or squatting to pick things up is not a problem. When I practice my flute, I seldom need to take the bigger breaths where they’re marked and that I should. My field of vision, predictive calculations of what other drivers will do, and reaction time driving a car are (so far) excellent. I cannot, however, leap tall buildings in a single bound, but who needs that? Call a Marvel or DC Comic person, or get on your bike and ride around the block.
So far, I’ve been incredibly lucky to not have been in a crash with a car. Although I believe mostly that is because of skill and safety. Nor have I had a major incident with a road hazard (not since the one a few years back). No tickets for traffic violations, either. The end mileage goal for the year is approaching, with 56 days to go in 2021. On days the weather is poor, I either have to settle for putting Sophie the Fairdale on the boring heavy metal trainer inside, or brave the elements. And I still feel I have to go outside to walk regardless.
Being Mr. Consistent has both its perks and downsides. As transcendentalist Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote in his 1941 essay “Self-Reliance”:
“A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.”R.W.E. as cited
For the remaining eight weeks of what has been Coronavirus 2.0, an OK year for some, but a shitty year in others, I keep on trucking. Maybe in 2022 things will be different for us all regarding this cursed plague. Perhaps, I’ll give up the strict adherence to daily and switch to the saner approach of being regular. I won’t end with a series of s’s. For my second last sentence, I will say this: If there’s one type of sentence we all want to avoid, whether it’s from COVID, riding your bike, walking your dog, driving your car, or what have you, it’s a death sentence. Live long and prosper, y’all!
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