Thursday, August 30, 2012


In my late forties my left knee swelled after running. It had been a problem off and on since some injury in high school. I saw an orthopedic doctor who said "Dont' run".

Two or three years ago I tried running again and my left knee swelled, became stif and was a little painful. Two months later the swelling subsided. I tried a year later. Same results.

Some months ago Julie wanted to start running. I decided to try running with her. I haven't had a problem. I think returning to the gym and engaging in weight training for a few months prior made the difference. But, perhaps it was the stationary bicycles and elliptical machines. Or, perhaps the combination. Regardless, my knee is fine.

I've heard the assertion that running is hard on knees. The latest research that I've read has confirmed the opposite. People who have run for years have healthier knees.

I also read some surprising news. Everyone seems to carry a water bottle which I never do. Over the last thirty years or so no one in a marathon has died from dehydration but several have died from drinking too much water -- water intoxication or hyponatremia.

Curiosity caused me to conduct a simple experiment. Last week I weighed myself, ran two miles and weighed myself again. I lost exactly one pound. Today I repeated the experiment. After running for 30 minutes I was 1.4 pounds lighter. No danger of dehydration.

I've timed myself for specific distances and entered the results into a calculator to determine my level of fitness as compared to other 65 year old males.  I generally fall somewhere just short of the 80th percentile.

Julie is a different story. I did the same calculations for her and she's just shy of the 99th percentile. I couldn't believe it. I checked the results multiple times. She has better aerobic fitness than 75% of women twenty years younger than her!

 We considered buying a treadmill before winter. That consideration ended  fairly quickly. The better units have a motor of 3 or 3.5 horsepower. That's a problem. Wattage would be some where in the neighbourhood of 3000 watts with a start up surge of 9000 watts. Our inverter is rated for 1800 watts continuous use. I could install a circuit from the generator that bypasses the inverter and start the generator but that is borderline. The generator is rated at 8000 watts so it would start charging the batteries and supplying the needs of the house (refrigerator, etc) and then try to respond to the surge of the treadmill being turned on.

I think we'll run outside in good weather and use the university gym in bad weather. Both of us are committed to continue. Running is becoming addictive

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Lost Summer

The summer is nearing it's end and classes resume next week at the University. Julie returned to work yesterday.

This, in some ways, has been a lost summer. Late last January I returned to work full time for the first time in about five years. I anticipated 24 hours per week to become 40 hours per week but that was a mistaken expectation. Quickly the 40 hours turned into 50-some. As a result I gave up on summer projects and a garden. I had no desire to sit down to a computer in the evenings so this blog has been on hiatus.

I've regretted the loss of the garden. I bought onion sets and some peppers after starting a few tomatoes and red cabbage in the greenhouse as well as some flowers. After putting these in the garden I acknowledged the lack of time and decided not to do more. We watered the few plants until the first of July when the monsoon season began. In the last seven weeks we've had about eight inches of rain -- more than we received in the previous 12 months. It was a perfect summer for a garden that could have been.

The system upgrade at the University is nearing it's completion and work is slowing down. Last week I put in 44 and 1/4 hours and my thoughts are turning toward getting the greenhouse ready for the fall and winter. Julie and I are compiling a list of projects for the winter months. We have little work left inside and the house will be fully remodeled. Last weekend I built and tested a pattern for drawers for the pantry. Soon I hope to buy materials and construct four draws for the bottom half of the pantry that will pull out and make it easier to find boxes, cans, bottles and packages. It's interesting how rewarding and satisfying it is to have a list of home projects and make progress as compared to working full time and making extra money.

We did have a few adventures this summer. I hope to write about them over the next several days.