• 1 year of working out

    Where we started

    I started working out just about a year ago. My first day at my previous job was September 12, 2022, and I got my YMCA membership sometime within a week of that date. In that year I’ve lost around 15 pounds, gained muscle, and increased my running ability significantly. It’s been the longest stretch of consistently exercising I’ve done since high school, and it’s now firmly become a habit. My week doesn’t feel complete without my workouts!

    Initial workout plan

    2 times/week: run 5 minutes (~4 mph), walk 5 minutes, weightlifting (typically a beginner’s weightlifting video on YouTube, around 15 minutes)

    Current workout plan

    Monday: speed 1 mile run (5.2 mph); weightlifting (back and legs)

    Wednesday: Weightlifting (biceps, triceps, chest). Currently benching max 55 pounds, curl max 30 pounds).

    Friday: Long run at a slower pace (3 miles)

    Things I’ve learned

    Perhaps the biggest lesson I’ve learned is that atomic habit changes really do work! My approach to working out was taken pretty much exactly from Atomic Habits, and the proof is in the pudding. I was thinking about it the other day: when I started, I was able to run for about 5 minutes without stopping. I can now run for about 25 to 30 minutes without stopping. That’s a 5 to 6x improvement in just a year! The increases in ability came at a sometimes frustratingly slow pace, but making those small changes kept me from injuring myself and kept me on an upward trajectory.

    Exercise has proven to be a helpful metaphor for other difficult things in my life. I started going to therapy this year as well, and it often came up as a useful image in my conversations with my therapist. In therapy, I’ve learned that the way we progress in our lives is by leaning on previous challenges we’ve survived. Those memories help us when newer, bigger challenges inevitably arise. Exercise maps onto this perfectly. Every Friday on my long run, when I’d get to a point where I felt like stopping, I’d remember: I did this exact run last week, and it didn’t kill me. I’m in a period of my life where lots of changes are coming quickly. I’m grateful that I have many memories of other challenges that I’ve overcome to help me face these new mountains.

    If you’re thinking about starting an exercise habit, please do it (with appropriate healthcare provider consent of course)! There’s nothing but upside to exercise. It’s an investment in your future that will pay dividends today. And as you can see from my journey, you can start with minimal effort!

  • End of summer updates

    I haven’t posted here in a while! If you have missed seeing my weekly exercise summaries, do not despair: I’ve still been working out 3x a week since I last posted, I just switched to tracking my workouts in a spreadsheet instead of in my markdown notes like I used to. I should probably publish some sort of monthly ish update on my workout stats on here. Doing that tracking in a spreadsheet has made tracking improvements a lot easier than before which is great.

    In other news, I got a new job! I’ll be starting in a couple of weeks and I couldn’t be more excited. It looks like I’ll be getting my career back on the systems programming path thankfully. Also, this may be the most well put together company I’ve ever seen. The interview process was great, their level of organization and thoughtfulness puts other startups to shame, and the people all seem genuinely really nice. I’ll get the great fortune of meeting everyone in person in SF about a week after I start which is awesome!

    I’m sure I’ll write more about the job and stuff when I’ve onboarded officially, but just wanted to post a quick update to keep this blog from dying lol ;P

  • Weekly Exercise Summary: 2023-07-10

    Monday

    Run

    Distance Avg Speed Target Speed
    1.1mi N/A 5.0mph

    3x:

    • 10 rows, 70lb
    • 8 squats, 50lb
    • 10 lat pulldowns, 70lb

    Wednesday

    3 sets

    Exercise Weight Reps
    Curls 20 10
    Dumbbell shoulder press 20 10
    Barbell press 20 10
    Overhead tri extensions 20 6
    90 degree bi hold 30 sec 20 1
    Cybex incline press 65 10
    Squats 40 10
    Shoulder lifts 15 10

    Friday

    Distance Avg Speed Time
    1.87mi 12:34 23:46

    Notes:

  • Weekly Exercise Summary: 2023-06-12

    Monday

    Run

    Distance Avg Speed Target Speed
    1.08mi 5mph

    3x

    • Rows 70 10
    • pulldowns 75 10
    • squats 25 8

    Wednesday

    3 sets:

    Exercise Weight Reps
    Curls 20 10
    Dumbbell shoulder press 20 10
    Barbell press 20 10
    Overhead tri extensions 20 6
    90 degree bi hold 30 sec 20 1
    Cybex incline press 65 10

    Friday

    Distance Avg Speed Time
    2.5mi 4.28mph 35:22

    One of my best feeling runs yet! Listened to a podcast for the first half-ish and really focused on my breathing. Was able to stay really zen/in the zone for long stretches which made the time FLY by. Before I knew it I was getting to the 2 mile mark. Went into my rest walk feeling really strong and ran the last 0.25 mi or so at > 5.0 mph. Really revealed that breathing and staying calm and relaxed is going to be key to increasing my distance. I think I’ll be able to push to 2.5 mi without walking in the next month or so!

  • Weekly Exercise Summary: 2023-06-04

    Monday

    Run

    Distance Avg Speed Target Speed
    1.0mi 4.8mph 5.0mph

    3x

    • Rows 70 10
    • pulldowns 75 10
    • squats 25 8

    Wednesday

    3 sets:

    Exercise Weight Reps
    Curls 20 10
    Dumbbell shoulder press 20 10
    Barbell press 20 10
    Overhead tri extensions 20 6
    90 degree bi hold 30 sec 20 1
    Cybex incline press 65 10
    Shoulder lifts 15 6

    Friday

    Distance Avg Speed Time
    2.5mi 4.8mph 37:00

    Notes:

  • Weekly Exercise Summary: 2023-05-28

    Monday

    Run

    Distance Avg Speed Time
    2.06mi 14:26 30:00

    Ran at Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area! I got to run up the mountain and it was a ton of fun. Definitely got me hooked on trail running; I wanna try to get in at least 1 a month!


    Wednesday

    3 sets:

    Exercise Weight Reps
    Curls 20 10
    Dumbbell shoulder press 20 10
    Barbell press 20 10
    Overhead tri extensions 20 6
    90 degree bi hold 30 sec 20 1
    Cybex incline press 65 10
    Squats 40 10
    Shoulder lifts 15 6

    Friday

    Treadmill

    Distance Avg Speed Time
    2.0mi 4.5mph 30:42
  • Weekly Exercise Summary: 2023-05-21

    Monday

    Run

    No run today due to still feeling sore from barefoot run on Saturday.

    • rows: 65
    • pull down: 70
    • squats: 40
    • shoulder press: 20

    Wednesday

    3 sets:

    Exercise Weight Reps
    Curls 20 10
    Dumbbell shoulder press 20 8
    Barbell press 20 10
    Overhead tri extensions 20 6
    90 degree bi hold 30 sec 20 1
    Cybex incline press 65 10

    Saturday

    Distance Avg Speed Time
    1.0 mi 13:41 14 min

    Didn’t get to 2 miles due to an asthma issue from running outside (was cool and there are lots of plants blooming rn so probably some allergens too)

  • Weekly Exercise Summary: 2023-05-14

    Monday

    Run

    Distance Avg Speed Target Speed
    1.0 mi 12:30

    Friday

    2 sets:

    Exercise Weight (per side) Reps
    • curls
    • bench dumbbell press
    • shoulder press
    • cable standing chest
    • tricep extension
    • dumbbell hold
    • plank

    Saturday

    Distance Avg Speed Time
    2.0mi

    Ran on the beach at Jekyll Island! Did this barefoot, which probably wasn’t the best idea :P I got some blisters on my feet and my calves got hella sore, but I made it happen and was very proud of myself at the end! I think I’d like to run on the beach again when I’m back there, just with shoes on this time ;)


    Notes:

    Had a weird week this week due to some vacation travel Thurs - Sat. Still managed to hit all 3 days of exercise tho! The hotel we stayed at had a creditable gym with some good equipment, so I was able to piece together an arms and chest workout on Friday morning.

  • Weekly Exercise Summary: 2023-05-07

    Monday

    Run

    Distance Avg Speed Target Speed
    1.0mi walking

    Walked this day as I felt too sore from longer run on Saturday.

    Wednesday

    3 sets

    Exercise Weight Reps
    Curls 20 6
    Dumbbell shoulder press 20 6
    Barbell press 20 6
    Overhead tri extensions 20 6
    90 degree bi hold 30 sec 20 1
    Cybex incline press 55 10

    Friday

    Distance Avg Speed Time
    1.0 mi 10:17/mi 11min

    Notes:

    • Had a busy day Saturday, so did a short 1 mile run. I realized after that I’d almost hit 10 minutes per mile! That’s been a goal of mine for a while, so I’m excited to be getting closer to it.
  • God hates "thoughts and prayers" with no action

    www.newsweek.com/texas-rep…

    “Self, whose district includes the site of the deadly shooting, replied: ‘Well, those are people that don’t believe in an almighty God who, who has, who is absolutely in control of our lives. I’m a Christian. I believe that he is.'”

    From Amos 5:21-24:

    “[God said] ‘I hate, I despise your feasts, and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies. Even though you offer me your burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them; and the peace offerings of your fattened animals, I will not look upon them. Take away from me the noise of your songs; to the melody of your harps I will not listen. But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.’

    The whole chapter is a condemnation in the strongest language of those people in ancient Israel who put on religious theater but did not live out the call to love their neighbor as themselves. They technically fulfilled the law by bringing the correct offerings at the correct times to the temple, but they were actively engaged in discriminating against and taking advantage of the poor and the less powerful. These people “turned justice into poison and the fruit of righteousness into wormwood”. In this text, God is explicitly saying that “thoughts and prayers” are not enough! Not only are they not enough, but God actually despises them if they are not offered in tandem with action to bring justice and protection to the most vulnerable, to the oppressed, and to the mourning. Representative Self’s rejection of taking some sort of action to prevent gun violence in the name of “faith” directly contradicts the Bible in which he claims to believe. The Bible never separates faith/prayers/religious activity from action, from living out the ideals and rules that God sets for us. The second greatest commandment in Christianity, only slightly behind loving God, is to love all others as we love ourselves. Positions like Rep. Self’s do not fulfill that commandment. Refusing to take action and hiding behind false faith and bad laws like the 2nd amendment, in my opinion, indeed turns justice into poison and righteousness into wormwood.

  • Weekly Exercise Summary: 2023-04-30

    Tuesday

    Run

    Distance Avg Speed Target Speed
    1.1 mi

    3 sets:

    • 10 rows 60 lbs
    • 10 pull down 55 lbs
    • 10 squat 20 x 2 lbs Tried the smith machine but found it uncomfy. Also tried the squat rack, wasn’t as hard as I thought it’d be! Might try that out more later.

    Wednesday

    3 sets

    Exercise Weight Reps
    bar Curls 10/side 6
    Dumbbell shoulder press 20 6
    Barbell press 15 10
    Overhead tri extensions 15 10
    90 degree bi hold 30 sec 20 1
    Cybex incline press 55 10

    Need to do some research on whether I should be going for more reps or for heavier weights. I tried some heavier weights in between sets and didn’t feel great about them.


    Saturday

    Distance Avg Speed Time
    1.37 mi 11:06 15:00

    Ran outside on road. Trouble breathing for a lot of the run, I think probably just dust and pollen and such.

    Notes from the week:

    Lots of schedule changes and travel this week, but I managed to get 3 workouts in! Running outside on Saturday was a nice change of pace. I really need to plan to go on another trail run soon…

  • Weekly Exercise Summary: 2023-04-23

    Monday

    Run

    Distance Avg Speed Target Speed
    0.65 4.1mph 4.8mph

    Wednesday

    3 sets

    Exercise Weight Reps
    Curls 15 15
    Dumbbell shoulder press 15 10
    Barbell press 15 10
    Overhead tri extensions 15 10
    90 degree bi hold 30 sec 15 1
    Cybex incline press 55 10

    Friday

    • walked 0.6 mi
    • planks
    • squats
    • rope swings

    Saturday

    Distance Avg Speed Time
    1.57 mi 12:45/mi 21:00

    Notes:

    • Stopped run early on Monday due to tightness in left calf. Moved to doing some weights that day to get a good workout in regardless.
  • twitter vs bluesky vs mastodon

    been seeing a lot of chatter about Twitter vs BlueSky vs Mastodon last couple days. I haven’t used BlueSky myself so I can’t speak directly to it, but I will say: One of my favorite things about Mastodon is that it almost explicitly is not trying to unseat or replace Corporate Social Media. It’s basically a personal blog with a few social media features on top, and I like that. It’s not about attracting large user groups, celebrities, or providing a path to monetization. It’s just blogging tbh and I hope that doesn’t change any time soon.

    Moreover, I’d posit this: it’s not possible for a platform/software to unseat Capitalist Corporate Social Media without becoming Capitalist Corporate Social Media itself. Capitalism bends all to its will. You can’t kill the monster without becoming one yourself - in the words of Professor Falken, “the only way to win is not to play”. Mastodon is refusing to play, and as long as that’s true, I’ll stick around!

  • Weekly Exercise Summary: 🗓️ 2023-04-09

    Monday

    Run

    Distance Avg Speed Target Speed
    1 mi 13:20 12:30
    • Also did 0.25 mi on elliptical, and set of burpees

    Wednesday

    4 sets:

    Exercise Weight (per side) Reps
    Shoulder Press 15 10
    Curl 15 10
    Bench Press 12.5 10
    Squat 15 10
    Pulley row 75 10

    Friday

    Distance Avg Speed Time
    2.0 mi 13:30 30
  • Weekly Exercise Summary - 🗓️ 2023-04-02

    Aww yeah this one is mostly on time 😎

    Monday

    • 1 mi run
    • Crossfit-esque workout
      • Burpees
      • Rope swings
      • Kettlebell squats

    Wednesday

    • Weights
    • 4 sets
      • 10 reps each
        • Curls (15lb)
        • Shoulder Press (15lb)
        • Pulley rows (75lb)
        • Tri extensions (15lb)
        • Bench press (12.5lb)

    Friday

    • Another 2 mile run! Felt WAY better than last week’s long run. I think that I’m getting back in the swing of doing long runs at the end of the week.
  • Weekly Exercise Summary: 2023-03-26

    Better late than never! Here’s my summary for last week. I think I’m getting into a much better groove in terms of splitting my workouts out into specific parts and not feeling like I have to do a full body workout each time.

    Monday

    • Ran 1 mile, ~12:30 pace

    Wednesday

    • 10x for all, 4 sets
    • chest press 2 10lbs plates
    • curls 15
    • shoulder press 15
    • tri extension 15
    • squats 15

    Friday

    • Ran 2 miles. Didn’t feel great while on the run, but pushed through!
  • Weekly Exercise Summary: 2023-03-19

    Wahoo! Another very late one! And also a bit of a sad one: this week I was not able to make it in for 3 workouts. I did a very very brief 5 minute thing Saturday morning to just shake off the cobwebs, but not a full workout. Scheduling is hard! However, I’m trying to see this as a test of my commitment to “progress over perfection”. It’s OK that I didn’t make it for 3 full workouts! Consistency is the most important part of any self-improvement process, and I’ve been consistent over the past 6 months, so that’s what counts.

    Tuesday

    • Speed workout: 1 mile on the treadmill at 12:30 per mile, then 5 minutes on the elliptical.

    Friday

    Weights workout. I’m trying to branch out/shake it up on the weights side, so I decided to give the chest press bench a try and loved it!

    • Chest press, 5lb plates
    • Shoulder press, 15lbs
    • Curls, 15lbs
    • Tricep Extensions, 15lbs
    • Squats, 15 lbs
    • 10 reps each, 4 sets total
  • Weekly Exercise Summary: 2023-03-12

    Another wonky week! A weekend trip and some scheduling snafus kept me from going to the gym, but I still managed to get in 3 workouts! If you’re like me and are hard on yourself when things don’t go according to plan, remember that showing up is the main part of the battle. Even if the workouts aren’t what you’d like, getting them done is a huge accomplishment!

    Tuesday

    Working out at a new YMCA! Still feel a bit sore from the race on Saturday, but definitely not as sore as I did after my last 5k.

    • 10 mins eliptical trainer
    • 15 mins weight workout
      • Curls
      • Shoulder presses
      • Rope swings
      • Pushups

    Thursday

    Had more scheduling conflicts, so didn’t have time to go to gym this morning. I did a 10 minute body-weight exercise video that’s a favorite of mine before hitting the road for my weekend trip!

    Friday

    Once I arrived, I went for a short 1 mile run to shake off the cobwebs and get in my 3rd workout. I ran it in just over 11 minutes.

    Saturday

    My trip granted me a bonus workout! We went on a ~4 mile hike on the AT, which was a lot of fun and a great leg workout. Sadly my watch was dead so I don’t have a lot of data for this one, but it was great to get in an extra workout sesh!

  • Weekly Exercise Summary: 🗓️ 2023-03-05

    A late one again! Last week was crazy with moving stuff, but wanted to get this out quickly today.

    Monday

    • 10 mins on eliptical
    • 10 mins weightlifting
    • 5 min walk @ 3mph

    Saturday

    5k day! We’re in a late cold snap here in Atlanta, so it was in the low 40’s early Saturday morning. Thankfully I carried my inhaler with me on the race, so I was able to take it when the cold started making my breathing harder. The most striking thing about the race was the pace I was able to keep! I think the treadmill has been lying to me about my pace; I didn’t really feel like I was pushing my pace too much but my watch was consistently telling me that I was around or under 10 min/mile, sometimes even as low as 9 min/mile. This suprisingly fast pace led to me finishing in a great time! I wrapped up in 35:20, a solid 10 minute improvement over my last 5k back in April 2022! I was aiming for a max 5 minute speedup, so I was blown away when I was sprinting down to the finish line and saw the race clock. It was a great feeling to see the small but consistent changes I’ve made over the past year pay off. I’ve already got my eye on my next 5k at the end of April, where I’ll try to match my time from this one. A great ending to the week!

  • A productive morning of working on Gossip Glomers! I was a bit stumped by broadcast until I remembered that Go has any now lol I’ll be working on my solutions here if anyone wants to follow along! https://git.sr.ht/~hapax/hapax-gossip-glomers

  • Weekly Exercise Summary: 2023-02-06

    Got a quick post this week! Had some schedule abnormalities, but managed to get all 3 workouts in!

    Monday

    • Usual speed work. Just over 1 mi, at 4.9 mph.

    Wednesday

    • Weights! I wasn’t able to get to the gym, but had access to a couple 15lb dumbbells so was able to get a workout in!
    • 5 sets of
      • Side lifts
      • Curls
      • Shoulder presses
      • Overhead triceps extensions
      • Squats
      • 5x each per set

    Saturday

    • Broke my distance PR! Hit 2.5 mi, which is great because the 5k is actually next week, not later on in March like I thought. Did it in 35 min.
  • Weekly Exercise Summary: 🗓️ 2023-02-19

    Another week, this time with a fairly normal life schedule! I know that the format of this post changes every single week, one of these days I’m going to sit down and standardize it…

    Monday:

    • Speed work, ran 1.06 mi at 4.9mph
    • 10 pushups

    Wednesday:

    Some weightlifting!

    • Walk: 0.5 mi @ 2.7mph
    • 3 sets:
      • 10x each
        • Curls
        • Shoulder Presses
        • Side lifts
        • Pushups
        • Hammer curls
        • Overhead tricep extensions
        • Squats

    Friday

    • Running!
      • Long run day
      • 2.14 mi, 32 mins, at ~4.5 MPH
      • Felt kinda rough at around 1.2 mi, but managed to make it through. I was planning on pushing to 2.5 mi next week, but I think I’m going to delay that for another week at least to try to get comfortable at 2 mi.
  • Exercise Summary: 🗓️ 2023-02-12

    Another weird week!! Hence the very late post. I had some work related stuff I had to do late into the evenings and early in the mornings so I lost most of workout times Mon-Thurs. I still managed to do 3 workouts tho, one on Monday, one on Friday, and one on Saturday. I ran a mile on Monday + elliptical trainer, did weights and a long walk on Friday, and did 0.69mi running (speed workout) on Saturday. Not a great week, but this one is more normal!

  • Weekly Exercise Summary: 2023-02-05

    Was a bit of a weird week this week, hence the late post! Some scheduling crossed wires and production issues at work led to me needing to work out Thursday evening and Saturday morning instead of my usual MWF morning schedule. Should be back to normal on Monday tho! Weeks like this serve to prove to myself that keeping up my “new normal” of exercising 3x per week is possible, even when life throws curveballs.

    I also started experimenting with small sets of exercise throughout the work day. I have tried in the past to get into the habit of taking short breaks to stand up, stretch, and move around a little, but without much consistency. I recently even bought a 10lb dumbbell to keep next to my desk for some small sets of curls while on a long call at work. This week though, I tried to add some structure to this routine. I’m aiming to do

    • curls
    • overhead tricep extensions
    • shoulder presses
    • squats
    • pushups

    during these short breaks. I’m starting off with just 5 reps of each to keep the bar low and easy to achieve. This also helps me look away from my screen regularly; I’ve been noticing some eye strain lately that means I have to start being really strict about looking away from my monitors throughout the day.

    Running 🏃

    Monday: Usual speed training. 0.93 mi in 13:32, average speed of 4.2 mph (14:17 mins/mi). Followed up by 0.73 mi on the elliptical. Saturday: Long distance day. I managed to hit 2.1 miles for the total workout! I walked ~0.2 of those for warm up and cool down, so ran for ~1.8 straight. I love the confidence boost that long distance days give me; it’s so satisfying to see the distance tick past! I felt particularly in the zone today: breathing was controlled all the way through, and I didn’t increase speed until right at the end. I really wanna focus on keeping speed low and increasing endurance on these days. 2.1 mi, 29:45. Average speed of 4.2 mph (14:17 min/mi). Feeling good for the 5k in March!

    Strength/Weights 🏋️

    Thursday: I did a “bicep blast” workout video from HASFit. I alternated between 10 and 15lb dumbbells. This really did a number on my arms!! I’m still feeling it even as I write this on Saturday. I also added in a couple of sets of dips as I want to keep my training of biceps and triceps balanced. I wrapped up with a 3 minute sprint at just under 10 minutes per mile. I felt really good during this sprint! It had me breathing hard but still under control.

    See ya next week!

  • There are few things as annoying to me as people who have their cellphone’s flash go off when they get a notification 🙅‍♂️

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