Joe Blogs

20,000 pullups – first day off


I decided yesterday to give myself (already tired from a long week) and my shoulder a bit more of a break, as I’m ahead of my target.

In other news, I’ve just realised I still haven’t called the Cardiac Care Unit. Bummer.

20,000 pullups – shoulder update


Over the last few days, my right shoulder has been feeling a bit dodgy. I don’t want to stop or cut back the pullups too much yet, but I did think a bit of rest could help.

Yesterday, I did all my pullups before breakfast, and today I waited until late evening, giving myself about 36 hours “off”. Also, this evening, I focussed almost entirely on chinups, as they seem to stress the shoulder less. They’ll also give me bulging biceps (did I mention I already noticed a difference there?).

Still no answer on how to actually collect sponsorship for the Royal Berks Cardiac Care Unit, but I’ll call them tomorrow and see if I can get anywhere.

Stupid Shoulder


For the last couple of days, my right shoulder has been grumbling. I think it’s from doing the Pullups “fully-extended” so I’ve been taking care on form and keeping the sets small; something helped by the fact that they’re really hard!

I’ll have to read up on correct form and shoulder anatomy. “Rotation Cuff” seems to come to mind, probably from misspent youth reading Men’s Health.

20,000 pullups – update


As you will see from the graph on my original post I’ve been doing pretty well with the pullups. Possibly a little too well. After it was apparent that I could do more than I need to to match my current daily targets, I focussed more on quality.

Ouch. The bar is at such a height (being in a doorway) that I can easily reach it from standing. So if I start the pullup from there, my arms are already somewhat bent. Starting from arms outstretched, by bending my knees until I’m basically dangling to start, makes it SO much harder.

Secondly, I have decided on the cause to help drive my motivation. I have been agonising about it. Stroke Association to match Carl and PabloCheesecake, or the British Heart Foundation. I struggle with the BHF because I don’t particularly agree with the direction they’re taking. Dietary advice and such seem to be off the mark where much current research is heading. Whole grains and avoiding cholesterol appears to be wrong (time for another post or 50, I think).

I also don’t much like raising money for large charities, there’s little sense of making specific change, and I always worry a bit about how the money’s being spent. Hannah suggested I simply raise money for the Cardiac Care Unit at the Royal Berkshire Hospital. A much better idea. They can use the money for something tangible, local and effective. They’re the ones that saved Hannah’s life and cared for her so well.

Problem solved. Except that I don’t think they’re a registered charity, they certainly don’t have a presence on so I need to find out how to get money from people to them effectively.

Hold that thought, I’ll be bugging you for money soon :-)

Google Chrome, Chromium and proxy settings


This is really for my benefit, in case I forget, but might also help somebody else who finds this annoyance.

I use google chrome to get at bits of the web that certain corporate proxies don’t allow. I use an ssh tunnel to a tinyproxy instance running on my home machine and then connect to the forwarded port on my local machine.

Something that has annoyed me for some time is that if you change google’s proxy settings, it affects the system proxy settings. It’s like Internet Explorer all over again, and it doesn’t tell you it’s doing it.

There are bugs:

but the windows equivalent was closed “WONTFIX” for spurious reasons (IMHO, of course).

There is a way around it, though:

google-chrome --proxy-server:localhost:8888



Oh dear.

I’ve not been very good at keeping up-to-date with the food log, and had a minor and then a series of more major setbacks.

On Tuesday, I did my first ever group running session. I planned badly and hadn’t eaten much before hand, and it wasn’t the “little bit of jogging” I was expecting. We did 1km intervals and my low (at least in comparison) fitness levels became quite apparent. By the end, I had jelly legs and the shakes. Despite having half my lunch left and some nuts and raisins, I totally caved and ended up eating a chocolate bar to satisfy my craving for carbs, and then 2 more :-/

I didn’t feel too bad about it, I avoided wheat and put it down to bad planning on my part along with fatigue from running two days in a row, and extended intense exercise on a fairly empty stomach.

Yesterday, I was pretty pleased with the way my first slow-cooker meal turned out. I finally cooked the piece of beef brisket that’s been in the freezer for ages, with various veggies and it was very nice.

I don’t really know why, but I then proceeded to throw myself headlong off the wagon. Nothing was exempt. Chocolate, some leftover chinese takeaway that my sister-in-law didn’t finish, a couple of small cupcakes, you get the picture. A good old-fashioned binge.

Then, something not quite expected. I woke up this morning with stomach pain and bloating/trapped wind. I didn’t eat all morning and then had a not-quite-paleo mixed grill for lunch and felt a bit better, but the pain has persisted all day.

I didn’t think I had a particular problem with wheat, but it’s quite possible that I do, but maintaining a constant level of ingestion means that I’m asymptomatic most of the time. I haven’t ingested any wheat in 2 weeks, except for a tiny amount in some pork rinds (so need to learn to make them myself) so this may be the result of reintroducing it suddenly.

I intend to be back on the wagon tomorrow.

20,000 pullups in 2011


Carl and @PabloCheesecake are two fat blokes who have set themselves the target of doing 20,000 situps (each) by the end of the year. M. Cheesecake set himself the target of cycling 500 miles in 2010 and achieved it, and by some fat-gentleman’s agreement they have set themselves a situp target. To help motivate and keep on track, they are raising money for the Stroke Association. I encourage you to go and donate.

I hate situps. I’m not very good at them, and I think they’re a bad exercise. I’d rather strengthen my core by doing compound exercises which force me to keep good core stability. Barefoot running is surprisingly good for this. I would, however, like to be better and pullups.

Therefore, I’ve set myself a goal, too. I randomly bought a pullup bar in Tesco the other night (one which doesn’t need screwing into the door frame, and is fairly portable):

IMAG0368 IMAG0371

I had a think about it, and think that 16 per day is reasonable to start with. Say, 8 in the morning and evening, broken into sets of 3 or 4.

The problem then was to work out a reasonable target to be able to do by the end of the year. I’m expecting to regret this, but I want to be able to do 100 pullups in one day by the 31st December 2011. I could have got all fancy and dredged up some actual maths, but instead I just plotted it on a graph and worked out what I need to increase by each day to hit 100 by then.

Then, add them all up. It Comes to 20,432. That’s not a very nice number, so I’ll round it down to 20,000. I think that’s quite ambitious enough, and allows me to not hit my targets and/or have recovery/sick days occasionally.

I’m tracking my progress in a spreadsheet on Google Docs, embedded here by magic (or something), target in blue, progress in red:

Running total:

I haven’t quite decided what I should do about sponsorship. It would certainly help motivate, but I’m torn between The Stroke Association and The British Heart Foundation. Any ideas?

Paleo Fishcakes


I was a bit short of ingredients and working from home today, so I had a look on for a recipe using tuna, and found this one

I was slightly dubious, and didn’t have all the ingredients, but thought I’d give it a go. As it turns out, I had more of the ingredients than I thought, and where the recipe calls for walnut flour, I used dessicated coconut that I blitzed in the blender (didn’t really make flour as the water contents is presumably too high, it kind of clumped together but stirred into the mix OK). I only had garlic powder and didn’t have fresh thyme, so I just left that out.

I served it with a bunch of baby leaf spinach drizzled with olive oil and lemon juice. I served up everything I’d made, but could only eat 3. Should be fine cold or reheated later/tomorrow.

Overall, very edible. I think the combination of coconut and almond made it a bit too nutty, but the tuna, egg and nuts make it incredibly filling.





I’ve been tweeting everything that I eat since the 1st Jan, but I realised that old tweets get lost, so I’ve started this blog and it should get updated daily with the day’s tweets for posterity.

If I can figure out how to get back my old tweets, I will.