Archive for December, 2008

December is done

December 31, 2008

It’s time to look back what I have done this month. I walked/jogged 20 mornings in total that was 51km. In November I walked/jogged for only 13 mornings of total 30km.

I have tried new route this month, back and forth from my place to a nearby school, with a distance of 3.6km.

I don’t have a coach from what I have read the FAQ is always about what is better for you between jogging and brisk walking. From my own experience I agree with this article that walking fast is a lot stressful for the muscles due to the efficiency of your body for the same speed as jogging. Some said running/jogging, which is a high intensity workout, will burn mostly stored carbohydrates for fuel. Walking as low-intensity workout will burn fat. I really don’t know what is correct as I don’t see any change when standing on a bath room scale after 2 months.

If you like punching your calculator to reassure yourself that you are doing the right thing perhaps this reference could help. If you like to hear from the pros and researchers you could also read this.

I still don’t have a clue as to what is best for me perhaps there isn’t an absolute good-for-all solution. A more academic argument such as this suggests that if you are overweight or have a cardiovascular condition walking is better especially for those who aren’t used to high intensity exercise because your body has to take few times more stress when running.

My conclusion from reading all these is that

  • if your doctor says you are fit to run (go for a treadmill test measure your heart rate …etc), running will give you better satisfaction
  • if you aren’t fit enough and are absolute beginners like me, try walking first then improve your speed to brisk walking
  • at more than 8kph (5mph) brisk walking is harder than running. So far I could walk at 6.4kph which I felt harder than jogging at low speed
  • keep good record of your speed, mileage done and heart rate by something like this so you’ll know when to promote yourself to do something harder
  • listen carefully to complains from your leg muscles, joints and even heart

My plan for January will therefore be alternating between jogging and walking.

Somewhere in Time

December 27, 2008

This is a must see if you like old photos. You don’t like old photos? Congratulations you are too young and you can skip this blog of mine!

This year I am lucky to have grabbed a desktop calendar with old photos donated by Hedda Morrison (1908 – 1991).

Let’s look at Hong Kong 70 years ago when even your dad/mom were young kids.

What are your golf balls?

December 22, 2008

Friend of mine just forwarded me one of those circular emails, this one is meaningful requiring deep thoughts.

When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar and the 2 Beers.

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full.

They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full.

They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full.

The students responded with a unanimous ‘yes.’

The professor then produced two Beers from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the sand.

The students laughed..

‘Now,’ said the professor as the laughter subsided, ‘I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life.

The golf balls are the important things—your family, your children, your health, your friends and your favorite passions—and if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.

The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house and your car.

The sand is everything else—the small stuff.

‘If you put the sand into the jar first,’ he continued, ‘there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls.

The same goes for life.

If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important to you. Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness.

Spend time with your children. Spend time with your parents. Visit with grandparents. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your spouse out to dinner. Play another 18.

There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal.

Take care of the golf balls first—the things that really matter.

Set your priorities.

The rest is just sand.

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the Beer represented.

The professor smiled and said, ‘I’m glad you asked.’

The Beer just shows you that no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a couple of Beers with a friend.

I do go out with friends once in a while but not for a couple of beers for me instead I take Coke or lemon water. I don’t play golf at all so I started to learn jogging due to the findings from routine medical checkups. The philosophy behind an analogy like the above can be easily understood but the trouble is that when it comes to choosing your golf balls for life most people have a misconception that his mayonnaise jar is infinitely large and couldn’t tell sand from golf ball.

There is however one dimension that the above analogy has omitted, i.e. time. The Jar doesn’t last forever don’t believe that you may have a second chance to replace the pebbles or sand with golf balls you like later on.

The ability to pick between golf balls, pebbles and sand depends largely on one’s value system and life experience. If the above was really taught in philosophy class (we don’t have this in our education system) students will still be putting the wrong stuff into their jar believing that they could always turn his/her jar upside down and start again.

How many times you could turn your life upside down and start again?

I could nearly run

December 19, 2008

In the loop I walk there is an uphill section. When I first started I reached the peak in 13 minutes. In the last 2 days I finished that section in less than 10.

I can only do brisk walk and may be I’ll be able to jog for the second half of this steep uphill section later. My performance for the last one and a half month is plotted below.