Tuesday, February 05, 2013
My “anti-mugger” pace refers to the burst of speed I could manage over a given distance if I’m ever faced with an emergency requiring it.
I got a very late start yesterday and missed my class at the gym. I waited awhile for the temperature to warm up, but at almost noon it was still 36*.
Since I’ve had a very good month sticking to my improvement plan, I decided on a short, but faster run so I could get back to my warm house quickly.
I chose my familiar, carefully measured ˝ mile loop which kept me close to home.
My warmup felt faster than usual, then I turned on my watch. My first loop was 4:33. That’s a 9:06 mile pace! My fastest mile recently has been 9:31.
OK, I thought I better slow down. I don’t want to outrun a mugger only to keel over on my own.
Next mile, definitely slower, but 9:38. Huh? It didn’t feel that fast.
I wasn’t feeling tired at this point, but I wanted to slow down. I wanted my normal cruising speed. Next ˝ mile – back to normal – 5:03 (10:06 mile) Fine!
I had to see if maybe I misjudged the distance so I walked the loop twice and counted my steps. Yes, it is exactly a half mile loop. I know how many of my steps qualify since I’ve checked that on a measured track. I like data.
So, either the training is going very well (sound of me knocking wood) or it really was the cold and my body wanted to get that thing over with.
Once home I did 30 minutes of weights.
I’ve been doing speed intervals once a week and a slow distance run on Saturdays.
I sure hope yesterday wasn’t a fluke.
Monday, February 04, 2013
Either he should never be let out alone or the food industry is conspiring against me.
Yesterday we enjoyed a very diverse set of activities ranging from the classical music of our local symphony to watching the Super Bowl and Beyonce along with the majority of Americans. Between the 2 events as we drove home, DH wanted to pick up some cheese and crackers for snacks during the game. We already have a large supply of wine.
I had figured the snacks into my tracker, even overestimating the amount I would eat. I also planned dinners of Healthy Choice steamers to create a calorie & fat deficit. DH likes several of the varieties especially when there is no time to cook anything else anyway.
Since I wanted to get a few more miles in, we decided that DH would shop and I would walk home.
I was surprised to get home first because a drive home after grabbing cheese & crackers shouldn’t take as long as walking in the cold. As DH carried in multiple bags of groceries, the reason was clear. There were SALES. My freezer is now full of frozen pizza and Hungry Man dinners. It seems to me that the most calorie, fat and salt laden and most processed food is always on “special” and so heavily advertised that you can’t miss it.
In the cold light of morning here are the facts.
Hungry Man (16 oz): 770 calories, 33g fat (11g sat) 85mg cholesterol, 1270 sodium, 97 carbs, 76 sugar, 21 protein
Healthy Choice (10.8 oz): 300 calories, 3g fat (1g sat) 30mg cholesterol, 500 sodium, 53 carbs, 12 sugar, 15 protein.
OK, maybe he wanted MORE food, and forgot about the snacks that were on the horizon.
Even if he ate TWO steamers, getting 35% more FOOD, that would still be:
22% fewer calories
82% less fat
30 % less cholesterol
22% less sodium
32% less sugar
While getting an increase of 43% more protein and 9% more carbs.
Yes, he saved money, but considering his age and test numbers, I don’t think this was a good bargain. This morning I plan to discuss it with him.
I’ve learned to cope with “Little Debbie” but you should never send a Hungry Man out to shop alone.
Sunday, February 03, 2013
I’ve discovered a regrettable stain, a visual reminder of an unfortunate deed.
No, it’s not blood on the comforter on my bed. It’s chocolate! The only victim here is me.
MacBeth wanted power and had the opportunity to get it.
I wanted comfort and in the fridge I saw an almost empty can of chocolate icing.
So I grabbed it.
Who saves icing? DH wasn’t able to get it all on the cupcakes last week when the grandkids were visiting and he saved it. And I ate it – in bed. That’s a first, even for me, but I was feeling kind of low a few days ago.
It doesn’t qualify as a binge. There just wasn’t enough of it to deserve that title and certainly not enough to affect my weight.
Although I’m a conscientious tracker, I didn’t track that because I forgot about it. In the old days I forgot or ignored a lot of what I ate. Like many people I underestimated my portions, convinced myself that it was OK to eat lots of food as long as it was “healthy” and rationalized overeating because my body “needed it.”
Well, now I have this stain to remind me that no matter how long in maintenance, temptations still exist and I can still succumb.
Poor Lady MacBeth, she didn’t have modern laundry products. Her spot was imaginary anyway and her guilt drove her insane. My spot is real, but I’m fine. I’ll just take my spot and “Shout It Out.”
Saturday, February 02, 2013
I was thinking about this when I recorded my miles for the “Virtual Walk/Run Across America” which I’ve found to be a very motivational challenge. Sometimes I run. Sometimes I walk. Sometimes, when DH is along, it’s more of a stroll. Still I record it all. My feet were moving forward, so for me, it counts.
I know I’m in the minority since I like to exercise (cardio anyway). As I’ve written before, exercise was never my problem, excessive food consumption was.
Lately, I've been thinking about the effect of intensity level.
I know that the SP tracker records about twice as many calories burned when I run for 10 minutes (10 min/mile or 6.0 on the treadmill) vs. my standard walking speed of 15 min/mile or 4.0 on the treadmill. I can still burn the same number of calories. I just have to walk longer.
Some people put down those working at lower levels of intensity. At the end of a race of any distance I don’t like to hear the question, “did you RUN the whole way?” whether directed at me or someone else.
Depending on a person's starting fitness level, what's considered exercise to them may differ. I’ve written about my mother’s aversion to exercise. When she came to live with us after my father’s death, I was appalled that her idea of exercise was that she had to get up so often to go to the bathroom. With the support of her doctor I became a “geriatric personal trainer.” I had her “doing laps” that is laps around the house. Our open floor plan made that easy. Exercises with 1 and 2 pound weights were on the schedule too.
We've got to encourage people to start somewhere. As they become more fit, their intensity will increase naturally. At least I hope so.
I don't particularly like strength training, but I know I have to do it. After a break I always start slowly so I don't hurt myself. It may not look like much to a dedicated weight lifter, but it's my starting point and if I keep it up I will improve, with heavier weights and number of reps until I regain or even surpass my previous level.
Of course, we shouldn't deceive ourselves and complain about not seeing results if the level of exercise is low and stays low. Patience is needed. We can improve slowly, but we will improve if we keep at it. Fitness isn’t a race. It doesn’t matter who gets there first.
Friday, February 01, 2013
That’s what’s written on my coffee cup this morning. It was given to me 35 years ago by a friend who followed that philosophy.
I usually don’t use this cup anymore. It just sits in the cupboard. It’s just too small. Somehow over the decades the amount of coffee I drink in the morning has increased dramatically. If I used my little old cup, I’d have to get a lot of refills.
I need a refill this morning. Not caffeine, although it is helping. I need a refill of hope.
The problems seem more difficult than they used to be when the cup was new, not personally for me, but for society in general. I don’t feel the problems are larger or more complex than they used to be, but those tasked with solving them are so polarized. Sadly, some seem determined to polarize the rest of us.
On Thanksgiving Day my blog entry was “There’s room for all of us at this Thanksgiving Table.”
I hope that’s true and that we don’t solve problems by just taking away some chairs and leaving others to fend for themselves. The caffeine is helping, but I can’t think about this anymore today. Like Scarlett O’Hara, “I’ll think about that tomorrow.” Or maybe next week.
For today I’m going to think about both sides of my cup.
You see, when my friend gave it to me, we had 6 little girls between us, all under age 8. It will help me remember, recharge and refill my cup of hope.
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