Monday, May 28, 2012
So I am back from Singapore, what a course and trip. I landed on Tuesday morning, but it took me until Saturday for my clock to switch back. It's only 6h difference, and it was unusually long to switch. Maybe the food, the climate, Asia in general was a bigger change then just the clock.
My energy level is low now, so I decided this long weekend (we have Monday off for Pentecost/Pfingsten) I just stay inside, relax, and take it easy.
I enjoy being at home for my exercise and nutrition, here the environment I had set up for myself just keeps me in the flow of healthy life much easier.
I get back to tracking my food in Sparkpeople - even after a year I like to do some "perfectly tracked days", to see where I am in terms of calorie intake.
When I travel, it's much more energy, as I have to plan ahead, think about new options, tackle difficult daily agendas.
Fortunately, before the course, I requested the organizers to change the menu and include fresh fruits and vegetables for the coffee breaks. We had it every day, and the whole class was happy for it.
So, this is a tip for everbody here: When you go to an event just write to the organizers before, and express that healthy life is important to you. Request fresh fruits and vegetables to be on the menu.
My experience is that people are responsive even for a simple fact of asking for it. And then a 5 minute e-mail can make such a big change for the week's nutrition framework.
A shop in "Little India" in Singapore.
When I took the picture, it was ~85% humidity, and 36+ °C (97°F). Life on the Equator! :-)
Saturday, May 12, 2012
So, here I am at the other side of the World, well, comparing to myself.
First time in Singapore, first time in Asia.
I'm here until the 21st May, on my course on Organisational Development, with Gestalt. Great fun.
I didn't know where to go to run, so I just thought to get on the flow for some locals, and follow the lead.
Apparently, there's two type of weather here:
a) hot and humid
b) hot and humid with rain
55-90% relative humidity
Running felt extremely heavy, I could hardly finish a 5K, and with a moderate tempo my heart rate was up to 170 just like that.
Sweating is a waste of biological evolution here, it simply doesn't work.
I ended up in this beautiful garden. Felt like running in a rain forest. Although, I've never been into one.
There were tons of runners here, and from kick-boxing to interval-dogwalking the spectra was full. Everybody was busy doing some exercise.
Now I have to think about a plan, on how to go for this week of training, so there is exercise, nutrition, sleep.
Any tips (even repeat), welcome!
Good idea for the treadmill, I'll check if they have one in the hotel, or look up a local fitness. Otherwise, it was early morning!
Saturday, May 05, 2012
So, today I had this family reunion where "LOVE = FOOD" is on the flag of the castle.
(Check my previous blog from this morning.)
I found that even though I have many habits working, and I'm in a good shape, nothing beats preparation for a challenging event. Even such a small thing that I make a list of things to focus on in a blog beforehand. Congrats for myself!
It was good to scan the food before. I decided that I eat a lot of soup to start, super-minimize the main course, and save more room for desert. As there was no salad.
The main course was deep fried chicken in breadcrumbs, deep fried burger patties, fried in cheese pork, with potatoes, rice, and similar.
For drinks, I was on water all the time - in fact, I don't crave Fanta, Sprite and Coke anymore, and enjoy drinking water a lot. This developed over the last year. I remember in Spring 2011, I had to focus on drinking water, and had to invent all sorts of tricks to drink. Add lemon, effervescent vitamin tablets, tea, and so on.
Strategically, we moved to a table apart, where there were only "children" (I mean children in the family, not in age, like me, 35), and most at the table didn't care what the others eat. Of course, grandparents and parents kept an ongoing flow of food to the table - there was not a square-centimeter free.
We didn't talk about running, but we talked about nutrition. There was a family member (a grandpa - not from our side), who remembered me as 100 kg overweight guy. We met about a year ago last time.
He was surprised, and asked if I was sick, or how I lost weight. It turned out that he got diabetes recently due to his overweight, and had to cut sugar to 0% in his diet. He's a medical doctor, so was otherwise knowledgeable on food and nutrition. We talked a lot about calorie contents, budgets, what and when to eat, and so on. Others around got also into the discussion.
I was happy to read GETSTRONGRRR's advices on how to talk out myself from eating orders.
I think I will prepare some conversational virtual recordings for myself that I can use as a response for the typical "EAT ! - otherwise I don't believe you love me" messages.
This is from a recent run in Austria, Gleisdorf, near where I live:
What do you tell people, when they ask you to eat their food, and actually you want to keep in healthy eating road?
I'd be happy for any advice!
Saturday, May 05, 2012
Today, we are in Budapest, a cousin of my girlfriend finished high school, and they have the celebration both in the school and the family.
I predict a lot of eating, family style, fatty soups, fatty pasta, fatty meat, fatty-sugary desserts, deep fried chicken and pork, lots of potatoes (deep fried and French fries).
All these doubled "if you don't eat, you don't love me", "I only made it for you", and similar messages. Not easy to deal with in an adult communication style.
So, my strategy today is:
1. Scan the food at the start of the meal, and decide what and how much will I eat (instead on the fly - "just a bit more of this")
2. Portion control: small plate, no revisit to buffet table
3. One dessert only, that I eat slowly to enjoy
4. Start with salad if possible
5. Accept that people will talk in a way to make me feel guilty if I eat normal portions
6. Drink a glass of water starting the meal, and before the dessert
7. Drink 3x other times during the day
8. Bring my running gear with me, so we go directly to exercise when the program finishes, to keep up my focus on exercise (and away from eating)
9. Ask for nice places to run during the meal
My new Saucony 8mm heal to toe running shoes are excellent.
It was expensive.
Still, I see my friends spend this money only on eating out 4x times.
My POSE-running training will bi on Sat 9th June 2012, already confirmed.
This is from Malaga, last week:
Wednesday, May 02, 2012
So, finally, on Monday I took my girlfriend, and we made a trip to Vienna, to the "magic" running shoe shop.
My Nike Zoom Structure+ 14 US13 Breathe really wore out, after 1400km of mileage, they got really tired, and had not much cushioning.
It's on my plan to get a new pair of running shoes since January, when the mileage reached over 1000K (often I was recommended to change around 800K at latest).
However, instead of ordering just another pair online from the same shoes, I wanted to get into a shop and try some different makes. I felt the Nikes were to narrow for my wide feet, and I had doubts about the size.
Last week, on Thursday on the way back from Morocco, we made a stopover at Bikila.com in Malaga (Spain), to look for new running shoes.
I was thinking that a different country, different shop, they might have some new insight for me.
What we concluded after trying on several models, that I really should go from US13 to US14. The US13 size was not small, but was not big enough either, and was probably the main cause of the occasional blisters and one black toenail.
A few pairs in Malaga, all US13:
Then back in Austria, I went to all the big sports shop in Gleisdorf and Graz. They had good shoes from Asics, Brooks, Nike, Adidas, Saucony, but never above US13, and never all the brands in one place.
But I learned something new in each place.
The best fit was the Brooks, and maybe a pair of Asics.
Note, in Europe we usually use a different system to measure feet size, and my street shoe size is EU46.
Then, I made the decision to go to VCM Laufschuhexperte in Vienna. It's quite a trip, 4h to go, and 4h to get back, plus the train ticket. Just to go to a running shoe shop. Many around me thing I'm crazy - but healthy life is important for me, and I ran 30-50K per week, good shoes is priority.
Finally in Vienna, they had US14 (or above) from all type of brands and models, and I could try on all of them check the fit. They had also US13.5 also from many makes.
Length 29.5 cm (US 14 is 32cm as indicated in the shoe).
What makes the difference between a specialized store and a general sports store?
I didn't had to ask for the possibility to run in each pair. Instead, the seller TOLD me to get out to the street, and run around the block, and tell how it feels. I tried on several models and sizes, and went out to run.
Arch type between flat and high, closer to flat.
Then, we checked on the video enabled treadmil my step, and pronation, both in my old Nikes, and the new pair chosen.
What I learned, that last summer I had a heel strike. While now, I land on my forefoot. Therefore pronation control in the shoe is less important, but cushioning on the forefoot should be good. And my step in general in the new pair was much better.
In the end, I settled on a Saucony Triumph 9 US14 (150€ / 200 USD).
The main reason was that it has only 8mm toe to heel elevation, and the forefoot strike is much easier in these (vs. the 12mm of the Brooks model I also liked).
If I have to rate the feel, the Saucony was only 7/10 for fit, while the Brooks was 8/10 for fit, but I thought to experiment with the 8mm elevation this time.
Another learning was that I decided to sign up for a 1 day POSE running technique workshop in Vienna. They record a video, teach all the drills, and proper technique for the POSE method. It's 120 Euros (160 USD) - steep, but then finally I can run with the new technique.
Stephan's Dom in Vienna, Austria
I tried on a pair of minimalist running shoes, too. Then I went for the usual round around the block.
It felt so great.
And I just cannot wait for my proper training on POSE.
I've already sent the e-mail to sign up!
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