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Cheat Day, Running without a Program

Sunday, October 16, 2011

When I went into maintenance mode, I increased my calorie range by 200 calories per day. That was difficult, because I was used to eating at the low end of the weight loss calorie range. If I stick to the same familiar foods that worked for weight loss, I end up scrambling to eat enough in the evening.

I commented on a couple of forums that it would be easier to find an extra 2000 calories than an extra 200. One suggestion that came back was the Cheat Day. Some diets specify that every so often (the interval varies by plan), you don't bother with counting and just eat whatever you feel like for a day. The following day, you go back on plan. The maintenance thought is, you find a large bunch of calories all at once and don't worry about not finding a small bunch of calories each day.

That idea lined up well with a church luncheon today. I made my high-calorie Mexican bean dip, because people would be disappointed if I didn't. That's about an hour labor for prep and cleanup, and this time it added 40 minutes to get it into the SP recipe creator and figure out just how bad it is. Let's just say that this isn't a recipe that dieters will be clamoring to make all the time.

The Mexican bean dip is relevant because the leftovers come home with me. This time, a little a quarter of the 9 x 13 pan was left. That might go into the trash (sacrilege!), or I might try to work it into my meal plan. It will take at least 3 days of controlled eating to use it up.

Came home after the luncheon, and went to put stuff in the nutrition tracker. Yup, it was a Cheat Day all right. After lunch, I was over limit on calories, fat, and carbs. The estimate was about 800 calories over top of range for the day, and I'll eat something for dinner. Probably a salad with some chicken, because salad is cheap and I'm near the low end of my protein range.

I learned something about myself. I ate too much dessert. Yes, it was delicious; but I got to an uncomfortable full feeling. Then when I got back to the tracker, desserts were over 1400 calories. If I'd held myself to a couple of the smaller things (no pecan pie, sigh), I could have held that to 400. Then I could have made the day come in close to calorie range, even with eating dinner.

It's no secret where my eating weakness lies. It's kind of a wake up call that I have an overeating beast to control there, even on a cheat day. My beast might not be as ferocious as some other people's beasts, but that doesn't mean I don't need to deal with it. Historically, the budget has kept the beast in check at home; but free spreads like this luncheon let it roar.

So, lunch is done at 1. I feel bloated. I need to get steps in for my 10K steps. I'm done with the 5K training, and yesterday's 5K run wasn't very long. I decide I can run again today, and take tomorrow off from running so I have tomorrow evening to hit the gym and lift weights.

Running is another potential failure point. Yesterday was the end of the canned program, and now I'm working without a net. There is no protocol that I'm committed to. It's a gray day, and it rained in the morning and early afternoon. I end up playing on the computer and checking football on TV till past 3. People I talk to today seem to think it's a lousy day to be outdoors.

Well. Yahoo tells me it's 54 degrees, one degree off SP's ideal running temperature. By the time I get to it, the pavement is dry. The day is still gray, but there's no precipitation. This is shorts and tee shirt running weather.

I live on a road with no sidewalks and no paved shoulder. The neighbors two doors down are having a party. The cars park part on the grass shoulder, part on the road, making a hazardous situation for a runner with respect to traffic. So I turn the other direction, which happens to correspond to my longer running route.

Today, time does not matter. Speed does not matter. The idea is to run the complete 5.2 mile loop from my doorstep out past the strip mall and back to my doorstep. I certainly ate enough carbs at lunch to fuel this run, and I made sure I was hydrated enough before I started.

I forgot to look at my watch at the one mile point. Thought about that for the next half mile or so, and decided not to look at the watch until the 3 mile point. I'm running at whatever feels comfortable, which will certainly be off yesterday's fast pace. I'm expected to come in between a 7:45 and 8 minute mile.

At the 3 mile marker, my time is 22:26. I'm shocked. That's a shade under a 7:30 pace. A bit after that, I get a mile and a half into a headwind, including the most significant uphill stretch of this route. A headwind at 54 degrees with no precipitation is not nearly as cold as a headwind at 48 degrees with light rain. I spend much of that mile and a half stretch convincing myself to keep running. I'm not feeling so bloated by now, so no excuses.

From the 4.67 mile point to home, it's downhill or level. Piece of cake. I finished in 39:11. If this had been a 40 minute training, I would have run past my driveway and around those parked cars by the neighbor's house. That's an average 7:32 pace per mile. Not bad for after overeating ridiculously at lunch.

Just for grins and giggles, let's see what SP thinks about calories burned. Hmm. The tracker thinks I burned 699 calories with that run. Absent the run, I would have taken a walk that might have burned 300 calories by the tracker. So maybe an extra 400 calories, as compared to 1400 calories consumed for dessert at lunch.

I guess it's true: You can't out-train a crappy diet.

Fortunately, the lunch calories are a one day fling. Tomorrow, I'm back on calorie discipline. I'll be light with dinner tonight, even on the cheat day. And we'll see what the scale does. I'm guessing a noticeable blip up just from filling my digestive tract more full than it's been in a while, followed by inching back down to where I was over a week.

That's the theory, anyway. At this point, I call today a mixed success. The next time a social occasion rolls around that I want to treat as a Cheat Day, I think I can be a bit smarter about how I deal with it. But I'm happy with my run, and I need to start thinking about getting some shorter runs in on my lunch hour during the week.

Life is good.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KRISZTA11 10/17/2011 2:47PM

    Maintenance eating is still an enigma to me too...
Either I eat what I ate during weight loss phase (today) or overeat in evening (yesterday) : (
I guess the key is eating enough during the day so that one is not craving for carbs in the evening.

Your running times are amazing, as always!

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CIRANDELLA 10/16/2011 8:20PM

    I'm very impressed by the progress both you and Barb are making with both maintenance and maintenance-level fitness, Kevin! Something tells me you'll whittle this thing down to a precise science over time, too. What's especially promising is that you're not leaving anything to chance in all of this; you plan for contingencies, gauge results, and forge ahead with modifications as needed! How can life turn out to be anything *but* good when you approach it with this kind of structure and hard work? As for incinerating 699 (!) calories in one run...consider me blown away! Well done! - Susan

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ARLENE_MOVES 10/16/2011 7:30PM

    Everywhere I've been reading lately says maintenance is really hard. I'll keep reading your blogs to see how its going. I have a ways to go so I'll be reading a while.

Good luck and it looks like your doing great!

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ONEKIDSMOM 10/16/2011 6:22PM

    Well done... in time even those small slices of pecan pie will be OK on very special occasions, and you'll plan for them!

Great run times. I, by the way, will be blogging shortly about today's outing. I finished the Governor's Cup 5K in 30:53, for a 9:57 minute pace. As I said, I'm jealous of your long legs, but quite pleased with my result, nonetheless.

Have a great week!

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Saturday Follies

Saturday, October 15, 2011

When I left off blogging on Thursday, my pedometer had died. I wore it Friday anyway, and periodically looked at the zero steps. Hope springs eternal. After work, I got a cheap pedometer at Walmart to use this weekend. I wasn't so much concerned about Saturday, which had a planned 5K run, as Sunday, when I usually need the pedometer to remind me to move.

The forecast for today was chilly with wind and rain. The plan was to get my 5K timed run in before breakfast at McDonald's with my daughter. Since I'm now in maintenance and have an extra 200 calories to play with, I ate my usual breakfast of oatmeal with skim milk and raisins, seasoned with unsweetened cocoa and cinnamon today.

Yahoo told me it was 48 degrees. No rain, but wet pavement and sidewalks. I made an executive decision to run in shorts and a tee shirt, since this is fairly close to SP's ideal running temperature of 55 degrees.

This is supposed to be a virtual race, so I tried to start off fast, visualizing a crowd of runners at the start of the race stimulating my competitive instincts. I shaved 30 seconds off my training time at my first watch check. After that, the route diverged from my training route and I didn't have good comps.

Found the wind in my face on the second long straight stretch. Midway through that stretch, a very light rain started. Even running, that was a bit chilly. Fortunately, the wind wasn't in my face after I got past that stretch, though the light rain continued.

In the spirit of this being a "race," I visualized the real runners passing me when I needed to slow down, and visualized passing runners who had slowed to a walk when I was able to pick up the pace. I did pass one actual walker, but he clearly wasn't pretending to be a runner. Just like a real race, I made myself sprint for the last 80 meters or so. Final time for 5K was 21:57, or a 7:05 pace per mile. I'm pleased with the effort.

Observations: I don't know how to put it all into the race and leave nothing in the tank when I cross the finish line. 48 degrees with wind and light rain is the bottom limit of weather I'm willing to run in shorts and a tee shirt. Any colder, and I want a jacket.

Because of the rain, I was forced inside for my stretching. My glasses were fogged over, so I went to tilt the new cheap pedometer to read it. It said zero. That reset button is just too easy to reach. Hmm. I saw 850 steps some time before I started, should have started with at least 900. 4+ miles was around 6K steps, so call it 4500 for 3.1 miles. A third of a mile walking cooldown should be around 600 steps for me. Call it 6000 at that point, and don't touch the reset button!

I will be glad to get my real pedometers in the mail next week.

Getting the other 4K steps turned out not to be a big deal. Picked up some stuff at Sam's Club, adding a chunk of steps. I had been confused by options for extending downspouts last week, and ended up not buying anything. Now I know what I want. Looked at stuff at Home Depot, decided what I'd seen last week at Lowes would work better. A trip to Lowe's, and I'm over my 10K steps for the day. Big box stores are good for adding steps to the day when you don't want to do formal exercise walking.

It turns out that I can't buy a 6 foot aluminum downspout extender. I can buy a 15 inch extender, or a 10 foot downspout. Bought 5 downspouts, with the plan of cutting them down to size. Lowe's parking lot taught me an interesting lesson about light aluminum tubing and wind. The downspouts didn't fit in my small car. Put the back seat down, shoved them in as far as I could, and drove home with my flashers on. I was mildly surprised that this didn't turn into a bigger adventure, but I got them home. Enough for one day. Cutting and installation will wait for a day with less rain.

Now, on to finish the boring every Saturday household chores.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ONEKIDSMOM 10/15/2011 5:22PM

    emoticon Great time on that virtual 5K. As I may have said before, I'm majorly jealous of your long legs!

I have a "real" 5K tomorrow, the Governor's Cup. Being in the height of allergy and overtime season, my training hasn't been up to snuff, but I'm going to go do it anyway. I don't promise to run the whole time. emoticon But I'm past my little temper tantrum... besides, I don't have to drive to Omaha and it doesn't start in the frigid morning. A Sunday afternoon run should be just about right.

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Good run, broken pedometer

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Today was Week 5, Day 2 of the 5K Your Way running program. After turning in a slower pace for W5, D1 than the previous 2 sessions, I tried to pick it up. I deliberately tried to run a little faster in the early part of the course, and I tried not to decelerate as hard on the downhills.

This worked. I covered 4.06 miles in 30 minutes, for a 7:23 pace per mile. I expect my 5K pace on Saturday might be a little slower, because we're supposed to have colder weather with wind and maybe rain. Today might have been the last day of really good running weather this year, and was almost certainly the last good evening for running this year. Even at 6:30, it was getting toward dusk; and we go back to Daylight Wasting Time in three and a half weeks.

No injuries, the run felt good, the time was good, I'm happy with my pace, I got in 15,637 steps when I sat down to record the run. Should have over 16K by bed.

After dinner, the pedometer still said 15,637 steps. Apparently the step counting mechanism has broken. I tried resetting to factory defaults, and I tried removing and reinstalling the battery. That gives me a constant 0 steps instead of the constant 15,637. The clock still works, but no steps are counted.

Tomorrow I will break a 3 month streak of 10K steps per day, because I won't be counting steps. I ordered a pair of new pedometers from Amazon, but they won't get here till the middle of next week.

I'm having pedometer withdrawal symptoms. It shouldn't be too bad on work days, if I just follow the normal routine. I'll beat 10K steps even if I don't know exactly how many I have. Saturday I'll need to get in a walk or more running than just a 5K to get 10K steps; not having the pedometer will be a nuisance.

Sunday I could be under 2K steps without a pedometer to remind me to get out and move a bit. I'll have to think about how to deal with that. Hmm. Maybe I need to look for a cheap pedometer locally tomorrow or Saturday. Should have thought of that before I ordered from Amazon.

Oh, well. In the grand scheme of things, missing a pedometer for a week will be a blip. I can still get some exercise in, and I can still track what I eat. I will get another working pedometer, and life will go on.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WATERMELLEN 10/14/2011 5:21PM

    Pretty hilarious that you've "worn it out" already!!

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ONEKIDSMOM 10/14/2011 6:47AM

    emoticon The week I lost my pedometer in a snow bank? I was waiting for Amazon's delivery of my replacement, so I walked for time, instead, but missed my tech-y tracker! I'd say it's not worth the ten bucks to buy a cheap one for just a week... but that's me. Do what works for you!

Have a great 5K! Governor's cup here is scheduled for Sunday at 3 p.m.

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ARLENE_MOVES 10/14/2011 12:29AM

    I keep forgetting to put on my pedometer. Need to tie a string around my finger.

You're doing well -- I'm envious of all your steps!

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PRAIRIE-GIRL 10/13/2011 11:12PM

    I understand being hooked on a pedometer and seeing the steps accumulate. Every so often my pedometer has a hiccup and doesn't count the steps it should. The other night it only counted 36 minutes of aerobic steps on a one hour walk. The next day it was counting again. I have been hooked on 10,000 steps a day, but am now trying to find a middle ground somewhere. Today I'm 1800 steps short, but I went to a Yoga/Pilates class and while not the same as steps, it is nonetheless activity and not sitting on the couch. It seems you know how many steps you generally get, so when Sunday rolls around don't forget to get out for a walk/jog. It can be my most difficult day as well. I wish you well as you run your 5K on Saturday.

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5K Your Way, Week 5

Monday, October 10, 2011

This evening was Week 5, Day 1. The protocol says to run 30 minutes, in which I covered 3.92 miles. This is a bit off the pace I ran 40 minutes on Saturday. That might just mean that the easy training gains are in, and now I see some variability in how well rested I am and what course I run.

Two more sessions left in the training protocol. Thursday I will run 30 minutes again. I might use Thursday to test out trying to push for speed, knowing that I can run for the stated time. And Saturday I'll time a known 5K route. It won't be like a real race with other runners, but it will be a fixed 5K distance.

That brings me to the end of the structured running training. I've signed up for a local 5K on Daylight Wasting Sunday, November 6. Obviously, I need to keep running between now and then if I want to put in a respectable showing. But I get to build my own running maintenance program.

I don't know what kind of routine I'll end up settling with. I'm thinking I want to keep a longer run on Saturdays, but I'll experiment during the week. If the weather is nice, I can get a shorter run in on my lunch hour. That would free up an evening for strength training, which has been slighted recently.

I will also soon need to figure out how to dress to run in colder weather. Hopefully I can make my mistakes small and I'll know what I'm doing in fall weather by November 6!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ADAGIO_CON_BRIO 10/11/2011 11:45PM

    You are doing a fantastic job. I really enjoy reading blogs that your blog because they give me hope and motivation. It's exciting when people share their victories.

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KRISZTA11 10/11/2011 3:49AM

    We are so much on the same wavelength : )
My mind is also on winter running clothing/shoes,
because winter weather is often cruel here (low temp, wind and snow/ice),
so I really wonder what shall I wear???

For clothing I'm thinking some breathing underwear, I'll ask my friend who wear these for skiing.
But what about shoes? I have bought a very good pair of running shoes when I started running, and they fit well, but surely not warm/waterproof enough for snow.

So please share what you found out!

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Shopping for Clothes

Sunday, October 09, 2011

I'm in Stage 3 of the Spark Diet. The current email says I'm supposed to give myself a big reward for 12 weeks of hard work. Instead of doing that, I punished myself.

I went shopping for a new suit.

I dislike shopping for clothes. Shopping for formal wear is worse than shopping for casual wear. Suits are the top of the avoidance list, being formal wear and custom tailored and expensive. I hate the whole process.

But, the suit I bought to celebrate my low weight in 2005 is definitely too loose now. (Less than a year ago, it was too tight and I wore a fatter suit instead.) And I heard an ad on the radio yesterday saying Men's Wearhouse had a buy one, get one free sale that ends Monday. Monday is a running day, so that leaves today. Went shopping after church.

Found out that I've shrunk from a 42 coat to a 40. Waist is 34, which wasn't a surprise. Ended up getting two suits that should work okay. One of the slacks is snugger than the other, which will tell me if I'm losing fat. And I got a sportcoat, which I can wear with Dockers if I have to.

Got that unpleasant task out of the way, and rewarded myself with a 2.71 mile walk to mail my registration for a local 5K on Daylight Wasting Sunday, and to get my 10K steps in today. The weather was beautiful, and the walk was a lot more fun than shopping for clothes.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

1MANKNEY 10/10/2011 3:06PM

    I am one of those crazy people that loves to shop. I just hate to spend money so I shop instead. It really has to be something I love before I part with a buck!
My husband's idea of shopping is to decide he needs something, check it out on the computer to see if it is all he thinks it is and what other people have to say about it, then go to the store and buy it! That takes all the fun out of shopping!
Sorry you don't enjoy it, but sounds like you celebrated your weight loss anyway! emoticon

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KRISZTA11 10/10/2011 2:12PM

    Congrats to new suits - hope they will serve you for long, so you don't have to enter the shop again for 5 years!
I hate shopping too ; )

Good luck to the race!

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DEBRITA01 10/10/2011 1:27PM

    Although you don't like shopping, at least you hit a good BOGO sale (my fav) and got to buy a smaller size. Keep up the good work! emoticon

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PHEBESS 10/10/2011 12:03PM

    Even if you hate shopping, you've gotta admit that smaller clothing makes a great reward!

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WATERMELLEN 10/10/2011 9:46AM

    Two suits AND a sports jacket . . . you won't have to do that for awhile. Unless you keep on exercising the way you are, of course: gonna have to stop that, or you'll continue to shrink!! (Quite a lot of my "formerly thin" clothes are now . . . too big. I just wear 'em baggy and droopy.)

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ONEKIDSMOM 10/10/2011 7:25AM

    emoticon My kind of guy... my kind of attitude about shopping for clothes. I just don't "get it", the idea of shopping being fun. OK, it's a lot less disappointing when I'm thin, but I still don't like it.

My son recently had to do the same: buy a suit that fits, due to some social events that required it. He got tagged to be best man for a buddy, and that required some fitted duds. His dad always looked great in the classic tailored stuff, and I'll be he cleans up good, too... as do you.

That chore done, nice choice of "fun"... Spark on! emoticon

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BARBAELLEN 10/10/2011 12:26AM

    I just don't understand how so many people say they "love shopping." However, you either have a stylist come to you, or you go to the store. If you want the deals, you go to the store. Just think, when you're walking around looking very dapper in those new threads, the shopping trip will be just a memory.

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ARLENE_MOVES 10/9/2011 11:42PM

    Glad you accomplished both. I don't like shopping either - except at Goodwill!

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