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Sunday, February 24, 2019

How to Lose a Belly When You're 44 (part 16)

Weight: 10st 4lbs
Blood Pressure: 142/75
Resting Heart Rate: 64
Today, I spent another couple of hours trying to get the back brake working. I changed the inner and outer cables which meant taking off the bar tape and then replacing it. After the cables were moving as smoothly as they ever could, I tried the brake again. No change.
I fiddled about with spanners and allen keys for a bit longer and then finally gave up. I took the bike to Scott's Cycles.
I did a good weights session today while blasting out some heavy metal. It helped me feel less angry about the back brake.
I cooked a protein-rich dinner for the family.
Weight training, no junkfood, no alcohol

Weight: 10st 4lbs
Blood Pressure: 154/72
Resting Heart Rate: 62
After a brief shopping trip to Solihull, I spent the entire day in my cave playing records and selling stuff on eBay. In the evening, I went along to the dojo (Martha was out with Mouse and friends.) Happily, it was another fighting session! Tuesday night is fight night! I absolutely loved it and can feel my confidence starting to grow. Don't get me wrong, I'm still hopeless: One of the black belts told my group of adult fighters that any of the glassy-eyed parents sitting around the edge of the dojo staring at mobile phones could step up and do what we were doing. Must do better!
We finished with a quick blast of Jion - the first time I've performed it in 2019. I was glad I could still remember it!
Karate, no junkfood, no alcohol

Weight: 10st 4lbs
Blood Pressure: 159/75
Resting Heart Rate: 60
I woke up at 2:10am and had terrible trouble getting back to sleep. I gave up at 3:30 and went downstairs. I managed to get a bit of rest on the couch and then the alarm went off at 7:30...
Today, I drove Mouse up to Nottingham University for her open day. After negotiating the M42 and M1 we arrived at about 10:30. We then discovered that the event starts at 1:30pm...
We got back home around 4:30pm. I drove over to Scott Cycles to get my bike back. When I got there, I realised that I hadn't brought any money with me. So I drove back home through rush hour traffic in a rage.
I made dinner and then did a lifting session.
I picked up Lucy and Debbie from the train station at about 11pm. They had just got back from a day out in London. We then stayed up drinking and dancing until 4am!
Weight training, no junkfood, loads of beer

Weight: 10st 2lbs
Blood Pressure: 147/74
Resting Heart Rate: 52
I crashed back to consciousness at about 9:30am.
I felt awful. I felt as though the last seven weeks training was all for nothing. I'd thrown all my efforts away in one huge boozy session. I counted up my empty beer cans - there were seven of them. One for each wasted week of training.
I nursed my aching head and curled up on the couch for the morning.
In the afternoon, after my second breakfast, I went down to fetch my bike from Scott's Cycles. I took some money with me this time.
Back at home, I cleaned half of the patio with a pressure washer.
Then I watched some episodes of Fullmetal Alchemist with Martha.
Lucy served up homemade chicken in white sauce which I enjoyed with two small beers.
I was in bed for 10.
no exercise, no junkfood, 2 small cans of beer.

Weight: 10st 5lbs
Blood Pressure: 138/69
Resting Heart Rate: 59
I woke up feeling much better after a fantastic night's sleep. I had a busy morning involving walking the dogs, going to the post office, cleaning the other half of the patio, taking Martha to the train station and then dropping Mouse off at school for her field trip to Berlin. Phew!
In the evening, I went along to the Friday night Karate session. It was packed! There was barely enough room for Seiza Rei at the start.
Somehow, Sensei Russell and Sensei Christopher found room to run an excellent kumite lesson! The two instructors had to be super-sharp to keep a watchful eye on so many young people training at the same time. We did have a couple of people who were asked to sit out, and one little injury. Other than that, everyone seemed to enjoy their fighting session! I went up against a younger black belt who is a lot faster than me, but Sensei Ronnie asked us to take it easy so we couldn't go full speed at each other. I would have enjoyed testing myself against him to see if I could find an advantage. I for one am enjoying this sudden emphasis on kumite and I'm sure I'm not alone in this!
We did kata at the very end of the session. Sensei Ronnie approached me afterwards to explain that my weight needs to be on my front foot and that I should push through the knee when performing kata. I must remember to work on this.
A superb session which was applauded before we all went home.
At home, I fed my face full of salmon, green beans and pasta before doing the washing up. Lucy and I watched Game of Thrones and had a little drink.
Karate, no junkfood, beers

Weight: 10st 4lbs
Blood Pressure: 132/65
Resting Heart Rate: 61
My blood pressure is going in the right direction. I hope it keeps going that way when I'm back at work.
Lucy and I had a fry up before heading of to do a big shop.
It was a lovely sunny day so I enjoyed my walk out with the dogs in the park. Freddie was running in circles of happiness - just celebrating being alive in the sunshine! I got home for a healthy lunch before heading off to dojo.
Today's session was kumite! On a Saturday! There were ten youngsters and me. Sensei Gary found lots for us to do and work on. Even though I was the oldest student by at least 3 decades, I still had a valuable kumite training session and I was breathless and pouring with sweat before it ended!
I need to be a lot fitter for dojo. Unfortunately, the type of endurance fitness I do isn't really needed in a fight! For example, tomorrow I'm going to cycle 50 miles. Today, however, I couldn't shadow box for 1 minute without being a sweaty, gasping mess. I need to introduce some interval training into my programme to get fighting fit. The trouble is, this depressing article states that I can't convert my slow twitch muscles into fast ones, and it gets harder to develop fast twitch muscles as I get older. I need to learn how to win fights in the first few seconds!
Back home, I cleaned, degreased, lubricated and polished the bike; I helped Lucy rearrange the garden now that the patio is clean; I washed my gi and did some ironing.
In the evening, Lucy and I enjoyed her homemade curry and had some chocolatey treats while watching Game of Thrones!
Karate, junkfood, no alcohol.

Weight: 10st 6lbs
Blood Pressure: 151/70
Resting Heart Rate: 56
Fast Ant and Deadly Dan made the journey from Alvechurch to ride with Jonnie and me. We set off at 9am and there was fog everywhere! It was thick fog; traffic appeared as shadows ahead of us. We all wish we'd put our lights on. Instead, we had put our faith in the weather report and most of us had dressed for summer (or at least spring!)
Jonnie was the only one who was brave enough to go for actual bare legs, although Dan was in knee warmers. We were heading off on our Coughton route. 
I didn't have a good ride for the first 10 miles or so. The steep descents on wet roads in the fog did not suit me at all. Although the other three were descending just fine in the same conditions! 
As we rode on, the weather seemed to change: At times we were riding in the full sunshine with blue skies above us. The next thing we knew, as the road dropped down, we were back in the fog with our fingers freezing and the road damp and shiny beneath us. 
Today's target was 13.7mph average speed over 48 miles. The poor start meant that we were rolling with an average of 12.9mph. Obviously this was my fault and I needed to do something about it. From Tutnall to almost the end of the Saltway, I gave it my all and tried to get on the front as much as I could. I hit a long string of PRs on Strava as I tried to redeem myself and get the average back on target. By the time my legs started to turn to jelly and Dan took over at the front, the average was back up to 13.9mph. 
We were still experiencing the strange, alternating weather conditions between sunshine and fog, heat and cold, but by the time we reached Billesley, it really did feel like summer! I could actually feel the heat of the sun on my back - and it was still February! It was also at this point when my legs finally gave up. I had to roll along and watch the lads move off into the distance. Deadly Dan was kind enough to wait for me at the village shop (he probably had time for a cup of tea while he waited) before we rolled into the cakestop together.
Jane had produced lemon cake and coffee cake. I sampled both with a hot cup of tea. We were all looking rather red-faced and sweaty and we very glad of the hospitality.
We headed back out into the sunshine determined to keep our average above the target. The ride then began to settle into a strange pattern: Dan and Ant would rocket off (well, roll off having a chat) while Jonnie and I strained and heaved our exhausted bodies along after them. Dan and Ant would then stop and wait for us at a junction before shooting off again! Jonnie said the only advantage we had over Dan and Ant was that they didn't know the way back so they had no choice but to wait for us!
I'm happy to report that we all got back to base in one piece and had managed to surpass the required average speed. I finished with an average of 14.2mph but I'm sure the other lads were faster than that. 
As always, it was great to ride with some of the AMBS chaps from when I first started riding bikes as an adult. I miss riding with Matt, Dave and Jake and, of course, Lloyd. Then later Gary, Ian and Russ. In fact, I miss riding off road. When I have more money, I'm definitely going to get myself a mountain bike again and convince Dan to join me out over the Lickey Hills (he won't need much convincing.)

Fast Ant, Uncle Jonnie, Shotokan Cyclist, Deadly Dan
Later that afternoon, I walked the dogs with my next door neighbour Lucy. Then I had a huge lunch of leftover curry with loads of water.
In the evening - the same old story of pudding and beer!
Cycling: 48 miles at 14.2mph, junkfood, 3 beers.

Monday, February 18, 2019

How to Lose a Belly When You're 44 (part 15)

Weight: 10st 5lbs
Blood Pressure: 136/70
Resting Heart Rate: 56
I still haven't lost the belly...
This week will see me get a little more serious in my training. I've worked hard over the last 6 weeks and haven't seen any improvements in my fitness measurements. It's time to change that.
Today, I cycled into work and back and then did a good weights session which lasted just under an hour. I followed this up with a bit of stretching and then a high-protein dinner made with free-range eggs from Jonnie's chickens!
Weight training, no junkfood, no alcohol.

Weight: 10st 4lbs
Blood Pressure: 146/70
Resting Heart Rate: 56
I cycled in to work and back on the ten-ton mountain bike. I'm sure that thing is getting heavier, or maybe it's the effect of the squats and deadlifts last night...?
Tonight's Karate session was another fighting one! I got sweaty, I got hit, and I got to hit some other blokes too! I'm still hopeless at fighting but I know that if Tuesdays become a regular kumite night, I'm bound to improve.
In the car on the way back, Martha expressed a desire to fight some more serious opposition. She's had enough of fighting people who are younger or a lower grade than she is. The obvious answer is to enter some competitions!
At home, I indulged in two small cans of beer after dinner before getting an early night.
Karate, no junkfood, 2 beers

Weight: 10st 4lbs
Blood Pressure: 134/63
Resting Heart: 55
This morning's measurements are the best fitness results I've had in 2019. It's about time the was a sign of progress! It's made me even more determined to continue with my training plan.
I cycled in to work and back on the heavy bike.
I did a full weights session (making sure to increase something as I always do - tonight I increased the number of repetitions of barbell curls) in under an hour and then made dinner for the family.
I had cereal later on because I was still hungry, and was in bed before 11.
Weight training, no junkfood, no alcohol

Weight: 10st 5lbs
Blood Pressure: 131/70
Resting Heart Rate: 43 in bed, 49 after breakfast
The blood pressure and resting heart results are getting better. I just need to lose some flab now. And maybe get the systolic reading under 120.
I cycled to work. Lucy had prepared homemade frittata for lunch! I wolfed this down between meetings with parents, and then cycled home in an easy gear.
Tonight's run was just an ordeal to get through. A couple of times I felt myself starting slow down to a walk but I managed to keep going! I kept running for the whole 45 minutes and was very, very glad to get home. I really hate running.
Running, no junkfood, no alcohol.

Weight: 10st 5lbs
Blood Pressure: 152/66
Resting Heart Rate: 55
I tried to go for a ride before work this morning. It was a disaster! The sun was very low on the ride and shone directly into my eyes when I was heading south. It was bitterly cold and my fingers quickly went numb. Worst of all, there was ice on the road and I still only had one brake. I'd got as far as the Bull's Head in Earlswood when I was struggling to see on the lanes because of the sun and, at the same time, my back wheel span out on the ice. I gave up and headed carefully into work. I rode a pathetic total of 8 miles!
A lovely lady at work had brought hot samosas in for the staff so that was the end of healthy eating for the day!
After work, I made another attempt at a ride. This time, the only problem was that I was far too hot! It was a lovely sunny evening and I was cooking in four layers! I managed to ride just over 15 miles at 13.7 mph (which isn't too slow when you consider all the traffic and traffic lights on my route home.)
Tonight, Lucy and I celebrated Valentine's Day by heading out for dinner in a country pub.

I may not be losing any weight this weekend...

Yes, I have.
I had a huge dinner followed by leftover cheesecake back at home. I drank a total of 6 beers and was rather merry by the time I went to bed!
Cycling, junkfood, 6 beers!

The pain in my belly woke me up at about 3:30. I got up at around 4am. My stomach was in turmoil after all the rich food and alcohol. I ate lots of Rennie, lay on the couch and watched cycling on the TV until the sun came up.
I set the bike up on the stand and tried to fix the back brake. It looks like I've managed to damage the inside of the outer cable that runs from the lever. Today, the inner cable wouldn't travel through it. To replace it means that I'd have to strip off the handlebar tape and put new stuff on. And there's still no guarantee that I'd get the brake working in time for tomorrow. I decided to leave it until half term next week.
I moped around in my man cave and then walked the dogs. It was a lovely sunny day.
This afternoon's Karate session saw me try to take charge of the young ADHD student. Today, he was Spiderman and therefore didn't have to train because he was stronger than all of us. I got him to engage every now and then. Later, I got to work with some orange belts and we worked on Heian Nidan. The Saturday session is like an instructor's course for me now. It provides some invaluable experience in case I am ever fortunate enough to end up teaching a class myself!
I had three beers in the evening along with two huge helpings of Lucy's homemade curry!
Karate, no junkfood, 3 beers

Weight: 10st 4lbs
Blood Pressure: 155/80
Resting Heart Rate: 59
Another cycling morning with Jonnie. Today's target was 44 miles at 13.6mph.
It was a lovely sunny morning and, most importantly, it was dry with the wind heading in the right direction! We put our shades on and headed off towards Ullenhall. With no back brake, I was taking it easy on the downhill sections. It got warmer as we went along and Jonnie soon stopped to take off his jacket. We worked hard along the Full Purity route. Not much chat today, we were aiming for our target - this was serious Mad March Hare training!
There was an organised ride in the lanes today: the Starley Sportive is totally new to me. I only found out about it when I got on Google at home. It seems a very worthy cause but in February it would put a lot of people off (including me!) I'm glad they had a nice day for it. Unfortunately, these rides seem to annoy a lot of the drivers in the lanes. We had two road rage incidents on the route today - both of which involved Land Rover drivers. At first, I'm furious and would like nothing better than to get my hands on them and pull them out of their ridiculous cars. However, when my blood cools, I actually feel sorry for them. They obviously have a lot more money than I do, but it doesn't seem to have made them happy. Imagine being so insecure and miserable that, on a sunny Sunday afternoon, being held up by some cyclists raising money for charity can send you into a rage. I actually pity them.
We arrived at the cakestop after 23 miles with an average of 13.7mph. After some fantastic cake we headed north for the remaining 21 miles. The big difference was that we had the wind behind us!
This made things a lot easier and we set a good pace, rolling along and chatting out of Snitterfield. When we got to the steep descent out of High Cross, Jonnie streaked ahead and launched himself up the climb from Lowsonford. I gave chase and, in doing so, set a new PR on Strava! I've ridden this section 39 times before (since I've been using Strava) so it shows how much effort I was putting in today to set a PR! I didn't manage to catch him, however...
Towards the end of the ride, Jonnie remarked on how strong he was feeling. When we got back to base after 44 miles, I discovered I'd achieved a total of 16 trophies on Strava and the bike computer gave my average speed as 13.9 mph. All this positivity is very encouraging as we get closer to the Mad March Hare.
I spent the rest of the day recovering, doing some housework, playing records and, of course, drinking beers and eating pudding! I love Sundays.
Cycling, junkfood, beers

The weight is still the same, the blood pressure is still worrying me, but I do feel stronger on the bike. I'm feeling motivated to stick to my training and I'm looking forward to the Mad March Hare instead of dreading it!

Sunday, February 10, 2019

How to Lose a Belly When You're 44 (part 14)

Weight: 10st 5lbs
Blood Pressure: 131/75
Resting Heart Rate: 53
I cycled in to work. It was a terrible day with students using racist language and threatening each other. I suspended one of my group and reported another to her head of school. There was lots of confrontation and anger.
At home, I couldn't face the idea of exercise: my head was still spinning from all the bad vibes. I made dinner for the family and drank 3 beers!
No exercise, no junkfood, 3 ales.

Weight: 10st 4lbs
Blood Pressure: 140/72
Resting Heart Rate: 59
Tonight's Karate session was everything I'd hoped it would be! It was a fast-paced kumite lesson with lots of cardio thrown in too! Martha and I had shiny red smiling faces - the first time we'd actually broken a sweat in the dojo for months!
Half of the lesson was actual freestyle, against adults of my own grade. Exactly what I needed! Yes, it highlighted where I need to improve but it also showed me that I can score a point or two when I'm focused and on my toes. I did take a hit to my groin AFTER yame (stop) had been called, so I was very glad to be wearing my box! My bouts were refereed by Sensei Joey who offered lots of advice and kept the atmosphere serious but not moody. A great session, just what we needed, and I hope we get a lot more like that. Unfortunately, I think the rooms we use on Friday and Saturdays are too small for freestyle.
Karate, no junkfood, no alcohol

Weight: 10st 5lbs
Blood Pressure: 141/67
Resting Heart Rate: 55
I cycled in to work and back. I went for a run tonight. All my various injuries seemed to behave themselves and I got round okay. However, two of the toes on my right foot were numb for most of the run. According to Strava, I ran 4 miles in just over 40 minutes. I'm happy with that pace - it's a good foundation to work on as the distance increases.
Back at home, my back was aching but I didn't have time to stretch. I made dinner for the family instead.
Run: 40 minutes, 9 seconds, no junkfood, no alcohol.

Weight: 10st 4lbs
Blood Pressure: 140/73
Resting Heart Rate: 45 in bed, 54 after breakfast
I cycled in to work and back. Tonight's exercise was an hour of weight training. Again, not too much trouble from my injuries and I felt fairly strong. Lucy cooked up plenty of chicken and pasta.
Weight training, no junkfood, no alcohol.

Weight: 10st 3lbs
Blood Pressure: 142/72
Resting Heart Rate: 60
I used the car today because we were in a bit of a rush after work.
Tonight's dojo session was run by Sensei Ronnie and Sensei Mark. The Friday session is now so popular, and therefore so crowded, that it's beginning to affect my performance in kata. This may not be the case for other karateka, it's just my opinion. For example, I was unable to go full speed in Jion tonight because I had to wait for other people to complete their moves so I could carry on without crashing into them. The Friday night session is done so well that everyone wants to join in! But that success creates its own problems...
Back at home, I made sure I ate healthily but I did indulge with the beer!
Karate, no junkfood, 4 tins of beer

I woke up with a bit of a sore head and forgot to take my fitness measurements.
Lucy and I went shopping and then we headed home and I made breakfast. I had a healthy option: eggs and tomatoes on wholemeal toast.
Then I once again set about trying to get the back brake to work on the Specialized. After a wasted hour of spannering and twisting Allen keys, I took the dogs out for a walk.
Then it was time for dojo.
This afternoon's session was run by Sensei Tony. He did a fantastic job of running the young karateka through their basics with plenty of instruction about getting it right. He told them what was expected of them at a grading and the kind of things Sensei Ronnie likes to see in his students. Unfortunately, all this instruction didn't suit all of the young people there. The young man with ADHD has yet to develop his listening skills and as soon as Sensei Tony started talking he would hurl himself to the floor and pull faces in the mirrors! I took charge of this young man and tried to help him focus on his Karate. He eventually did a good job of going through some basics up and down the hall and even managed to be my partner for sanbon kumite drills.
Back at home, I continued to wrestle with the bike. I even changed the back brake completely and put on a 105 brake from the old Orbit I used to ride to college. I couldn't get that to work properly either. So I got myself into a rage, gave up and drank some beer.
Karate, no junkfood, 4 beers

Weight: 10st 4lbs
Blood Pressure: 145/73
Resting Heart Rate: 61
I didn't set an alarm last night so I woke up 40 minutes later than I usually do. Imagine my rage...
Also, the weather was horrible - rain and wind this morning.
I climbed aboard my bike with one brake and set off into the rain.
Jonnie and I had a target of 41 miles at 13.5mph. It was hard going for me at first - I hate steep descents at the best of times, and steep descents in the wet are no fun. Today, however, I was trying to descend in the wet with only one brake! I was struggling and Jonnie had to do a lot of waiting as I tiptoed down the hills at 20mph.
I focused on giving it my all on the flats and climbs to make up for my crappy descending. However, Jonnie was going strong and was riding the wheels off me for most of the ride to Wilmcote. We got to the cakestop, wringing wet, with an average of 14.2mph.
During tea and cake it became obvious that Jonnie still hadn't fully recovered from the illness he was suffering with last week. He was aching and coughing.
The return leg was slightly longer at 21 miles. Thankfully, it had stopped raining. There was a fair amount of climbing to be done which suited me but Jonnie was beginning to show signs of fatigue. I kept the pace high and relied on him catching me on the downhill sections (he is a far superior bike handler.)
I struggled with the sharp descent from High Cross (four horses coming the other way, one of which was doing a bit of "Hi-yo, Silver! Away!" as its rider struggled to keep control, didn't help much!) but once I was in Lowsonford I knew it was uphill for the remaining 10 miles home. I opened up the taps and gave it my all.
The wind picked up which made the going tough but Jonnie and I battled through. We got home well within our target. I was chuffed!
A filthy bike with no back brake.
After a cup of tea I headed back to walk the dogs and then have another well deserved cup of tea and some more cake!
In the evening, Jane and Eric came round and I had a few beers with our dinner!
Cycling, junkfood, beers

So, as can be seen from my fitness measurements, I don't seem to have made any progress over the least six weeks. As from tomorrow, I'll be tweaking the training plan to make it more effective.

Sunday, February 3, 2019

How to Lose a Belly When You're 44 (part 13)

Weight: 10st 6lbs
Blood Pressure: 157/73
Resting Heart Rate: 59
I felt terrible this morning. The pain in my shoulder had kept me awake for a lot of the night.
I cycled in to work on the 10-ton mountain bike. I had a brief meeting about the upcoming Velo Birmingham in May. It looks like I'll be part of the South and City College Birmingham cycling team, raising money for Cure Leukaemia. I won't be able to keep up with the seriously fast guys in the team. Hopefully they'll put me in the old men's group!
I cycled home and then got ready for a run.
I managed to run for a little over 33 minutes without stopping. The shoulder was aching at first but seemed to tease off as the run went on. The ankle held okay and the back wasn't too sore. Progress.
I made a healthy dinner for the family.
To help me sleep, I covered my shoulder in Deep Heat and then sipped a Lemsip in bed to help me drift off!
Run, no junkfood, no alcohol.

Weight: 10st 5lbs
Blood Pressure: 157/71
Resting Heart Rate: 68
I cycled in to work on the mountain bike.
I had a great morning and a crappy afternoon.
I cycled home in wintry weather. It was 0 degrees with the sleet and snow coming down. My clothes were soaked and my feet and face were freezing! I was glad to get in a hot shower when I got back.
Tonight's dojo session saw me doing some one-to-one teaching with a brand new student. A young bloke with a jujitsu background. He was twice the size of me and fit! I took him through some basics, kata and a bit of one-for-one sparring. I had to be careful when doing the sparring because he was throwing hooks to try to reach me and he was strong. And he sometimes kicked to the inside of the knee. Both effective, but not what we're after when doing a bit of friendly sparring!
At the end, I was invited in to do some sparring with the higher grades. It's been ages since we did any freestyle and I felt rather exposed because I wasn't wearing a box. It was thoroughly enjoyable even though I was starting off cold and they were all already in the fighting spirit.
At the end, Martha said that she wished we did more freestyle.  I had a word with a couple of the other chaps and they agreed that we need to do more freestyle if we want to get better at it. I hope that we get to do more fighting lessons. Hopefully, I may have to start wearing my box again!
At home, Lucy had a prepared a wonderfully healthy dinner of fresh fish and rice with vegetables.
I once again used Lemsip and Deep Heat to help me sleep.
Karate, no junkfood, no alcohol.

Weight: 10st 5lbs
Blood Pressure: 150/63
Resting Heart Rate: 41 in bed, 58 after breakfast
I measured my heart rate in bed when I woke up - it was 41, the lowest measurement I've recorded so far this year.
There was ice on the roads this morning and I was working late tonight. I decided to use the car.
We got back home just before 7 so there was no time for a run. I made dinner for the family.
Afterwards, I considered lifting weights but the shoulder is still sore. I didn't want to risk making it worse.
I went to bed at 11pm without Lemsip because I don't want to start relying on pain killers to let me sleep!
No exercise, no junkfood, no alcohol.

Weight: 10st 5lbs
Blood Pressure: 138/70
Resting Heart Rate: 45 in bed, 58 after breakfast
I cycled in to work even though everything was white with frost. By the time I got there, my fingers with throbbing with the cold  and my face was numb.
It was a bit warmer when I cycled home, but not by much!
I went out for a run that I really didn't want to do. My muscles were cold, I was hungry and I just wanted to relax in my man cave. I staggered on for 36 minutes and 25 seconds before I jacked it in. I covered just over 3.5 miles.
Today, the postman brought a replacement for the stylus I broke at the Halloween party last year. This meant I could finally enjoy my copy of Opeth's Garden of the Titans on orange vinyl which I received as a Christmas present. As expected, it's a wonderful recording with the guitars sometimes sounding clearer and more ferocious than on the original albums. The packaging is beautifully done too.
After scoffing my dinner, and another spin of my new Opeth album, I went to bed to read about cycling and then dream about having a beer in the pub.
Run, no junkfood, no alcohol.

Weight: 10st 4lbs
Blood Pressure: 138/67
Resting Heart Rate: 39 in bed, 54 after breakfast
So is a resting heart rate of 39 bpm an indication of fitness? I certainly don't feel that fit. Maybe it's something else?
Lucy and I drove into work. 
We attended a funeral this afternoon. It was to celebrate the life of a relative who had died far, far too young.
It was a very moving ceremony with hundreds of people trying to fit inside the church. He was a very well-loved young man. Feeling drained and upset, Lucy and I had a drink in a country pub on the way home and talked of how we felt inspired by such a fantastic chap and how we could make positive changes to our own lives.
Back at home, I considered sobering up and going for a run. I drank four more ales instead.
No exercise, no junkfood, 5 beers

Weight: 10st 4lbs
Blood Pressure: 138/67
Resting Heart Rate: 46 in bed, 51 after breakfast
I really, really love Saturdays. I made a fry-up for Lucy and myself before we headed off to Morrisons to do a big shop. I walked the dogs in the freezing cold. It was a beautiful day but it was so cold that puddles had turned to ice in the park. After a fantastic lunch of haddock fish cakes, pasta and peas, I set about servicing the brakes on the Specialized. I managed to transfer the brake pads from the Orbit and put them on my number one bike, but I couldn't use the cable. I needed a new one. 
Today's Karate session was led by Sensei Tony. We were lined up at the start of the session when he noticed a spillage on the floor. He had us waiting in line in grade order while he cleared up the spill. I think this simple incident is a good representation of the Ruach Karate attitude: A black-belt was literally on his hands and knees with some tissue making the dojo safe for the students to train in. That's how things are done at Ruach: the students are put first. Everything is about their safety.
The session itself was a good mix of kihon, kata and games with all the students enjoying themselves. 
At home, Eric and I ate liver and onions while Lucy and Jane were out and about up town.
I also indulged in some chocolate!
Karate, junkfood, no booze.

Weight: 10st 5lbs
Blood pressure: 140/75
Resting heart rate: 50
I bounced out of bed at 7:30am. Jonnie was too ill to ride and my bike still didn't have a back brake.
After breakfast, I did my first weight-training session of the week. Thankfully, my shoulder didn't give me any trouble at all. Actually, I felt stronger than I have in quite a while.
I went along to Halford's to get a brake cable and then set about stripping down, cleaning, re-greasing and rebuilding my back brake.
I have no idea what I'm doing
It still didn't work properly.
I forgot about it and went to Karate for 2 hours of training with Sensei Ronnie Christopher.
In the evening I ate apple pie and drank beer!
Karate, junkfood, beer

According to my health measurements, I still haven't made any progress this year. I haven't lost any weight and my blood pressure remains atrocious. I'll give it one more week: If there's still no improvement by this time next Sunday then I'll make changes to my training plan.