Life, Running, & Medicine.
Notes on life as I see it.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The [Douchey] Doctors

Wow disturbed to catch on daytime TV yesterday a show called "The Doctors" hosted by that ER guy Stork who was on Bachelor a lifetime ago.
What a crappy show, but I guess speaks something about the stay-at-home moms still finding blonde young docs hot.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Second Review of Sole E35 Elliptical

Please refer to my first early review of my new elliptical machine.  I now write a brief followup to that review after about 6 months of use.
Price: $1299 at, includes shipping.
Pros: price, quiet, very sturdy/heavy duty feel, adjustable "pedal" angles, multiple workouts, remembers my weight/age
Cons: remote HR monitor requires a hairless chest and even then its iffy
Weird: The calorie calculator consistently reads about half the calories of a similar workout on a LifeFitness or Precor, the fan is so weak you can barely detect its on, there is audio input & small speakers & audio output (the output is pointless)
Sound bite: A durable high quality low-frills machine at a good price, much less than its competitors.
Would I buy again: YES!
I admit I haven't used it as much as I had hoped.  I used the machine quite a bit in the heat of summer to get a run in here or there, probably averaging twice a week.  We have sort-of built a little home-gym around the elliptical featuring a TV, iPod stereo, wood floors, some inspirational posters and a towel rack.
One place this has really helped is with my IT Band problems.  This elliptical does not quite take your knee through 30-degrees of motion (at least for me), so even when my knee is flaring up I can run on this with very little problem.
After using only this elliptical for a while then getting back on the LifeFitness at the gym I must say I like the Sole E35 a lot better.  It has a much smoother "running feel" with what seems like less "up and down".  I didn't think that would be true with a front-flywheel but it is definitely noticeable.
The near-silence of the machine is huge plus.  After a couple months I noticed a "rubbing" noise like there was some extra friction going on somewhere.  Turns out the plastic/rubber guides in the back were not really lubricated (I never lubed them).  I used the supplied "elliptical lube" and put a couple drops on the guides and voila! Silence.  Now when I work out my wife usually just hears my huffing and puffing and not the machine at all.
Our home gym is on the second story of our wood-framed home.  I was a little worried that using the elliptical would make the whole house shake or vibrate (like the washer does sometimes).  But no, no such problems.  Unless immediately below the elliptical downstairs you can't tell anything is going on at all.
One recommendation I definitely make is to put your machine on some kind of hard flooring.  Since this is my house and not the gym I definitely notice that I make a virtual sea of sweat when I work out more than 30 minutes.  It is disgusting to think that if this were on carpet all that sweat would get soaked in.  On the wood floors I just wipe it up with a towel (and of course do regular floor cleaning).  BTW I have the machine on top of a cheap WalMart 3/8" rubber mat; no damage or denting noted to the bamboo floors yet.
Anyway if you are thinking about a machine I think this is a great alternative to the high-prices Precor or LifeFitness, and far better than the department store cheap-o's.  You can try out some models in person at Dick's Sporting Goods, they are an authorized retailer but I went with the factory store to save money on sales tax.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Looking for a Place to Run

Wintertime blues.  Just when I'm feeling motivated and have a little break at work I see the race schedule for Atlanta in December is BLEAK.  I was hoping for a nice little wintertime 10K or maybe even 13.1 (I will be gone Thanksgiving) but only the Hillgrove Holiday Classic (a small race at a highschool with only 50 finishers last year).  What I see is a host of 5K's, and a Braselton 8K.  Is there anything I'm missing, or am I destined to do my long winter race alone?
December 08 Atlanta-area races:
ATC December Cross Country 5K Marietta 12/6
Mistletoe Run 5K Alpharetta 12/6
Run for Reading 8K Braselton 12/6
Run to the Star 5K Douglasville 12/6
WCA 5K Monroe 12/6
Hillgrove Holiday Classic 10K Powder Springs 12/6
Optimistic Flapjack Fun Run Jasper 12/6
Sleighbells on the Square 5K Marietta 12/13
Jingle Jog 5K Loganville 12/13
Jungle Jog 5K Atlanta 12/13
Viginia Highlands 5K Atlanta 12/20
Flashlight 5K Lawrenceville 12/31
No Sweat No Run 5K Kennesaw 1/1