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Thursday Evening

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Theoretically, tomorrow is my last working day this year.

In practice, I'm taking a break from doing year end email maintenance on my work computer, on my own time because there won't be time to do that on the company's nickel. And there's a good chance that work will eat into my time off. Sigh.

This morning was secondary cleanup from Tuesday's work blowups, with more cleanup this afternoon and news of a potential new blowup late in the work day. The bright spot of the day was that I was able to get a run in at lunch, 3.57 miles in 25:09 for a 7:02 pace per mile.

That makes it a bit over twelve and a half miles running three consecutive days. Friday needs to be a day off running. Even if my legs don't demand the day off like they did Monday, I want to take Friday off so I can have a good distance run on Saturday.

Ironically enough, my biggest worry with respect to the running is how I'll cope with the probably work blowups tomorrow if I *can't* go run. Guess I'll have to get a long walk in at lunch, in the probable snow showers. Hopefully the blowups won't be of a nature to make me work next week; but if they are, I'll just have to deal with it. At least there will be no question of meetings canceling any of my runs next week.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RG_DFW 12/23/2011 11:20AM

    Ah, I remember work blowups... some things I don't miss!

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KANOE10 12/23/2011 10:15AM

    Good for you running to keep your stress at bay. I hope you do get some time off. You can get a good workout with walking. Hope there is not much snow for you to keep up your exercise.

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KRISZTA11 12/23/2011 4:10AM

    Good luck!
I hope you won't have to work next week!

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FROGGGY13 12/23/2011 1:44AM

    I have no idea what a blowup is, but it sounds like a hassle.
Do take some time off, anyway. I'm having a hard time myself; I decided to leave my work computer at work during the break, but I'm having second thoughts.

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ONEKIDSMOM 12/22/2011 8:26PM

    A-hem! Well, as you say, you'll figure it out. Watch that Type A personality thing, huh, Kettle?

Congrats on signing up for that half marathon. Now you have something to point to as a goal to keep running toward, even through tax season.

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A Better Day, Committed to a Half Marathon

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Today was a day off work, the day after a binge. Got up, and my weight was up 2.8 pounds from yesterday. That's the biggest one day weight fluctuation I've had since I've been tracking food on SP. It's also reasonable, given the quantity of food I dumped into my digestive system yesterday.

Started going through the morning routine, and saw that it was 41 F (5 C) outside. On December 21, in the Land of Lake Effect Snow. Forecast was for showers later, so this was too good to pass up. I had to run.

Hit the road at 7:28, and ran mostly residential streets to avoid rush hour traffic on the arterials. Did a bunch of streets I've run before, including all the stretches of little hills. The experiment this time was a stopwatch, specifically the stopwatch function on the cheap pedometer I'd bought while waiting for the good pedometers to arrive in the mail. It may be a cheap pedometer, but the stopwatch function did what I needed it to do. The route mapped out to 5.15 miles, in 37:17 for a 7:14 pace per mile. I was pleased with the run, and with the weather being nice enough that I could stretch outside.

This afternoon I had my doctor's visit for medical clearance to train for a half marathon and marathon. All was as expected. My heart can handle it, the major concern is wear and tear on the joints. Being able to run a 10K as soon as I did was a good sign. The doctor says anyone in reasonable health can run a 5K (though maybe not quickly), but the 10K distance is where you see people who are built to be runners. I got an order for blood work that didn't require fasting (i.e., no cholesterol test) and got the blood draw out of the way. The doctor was happy with my cholesterol levels last February, and says if anything they'll be better now.

After taking care of that, I went over to the local running store and signed up for the Flower City Challenge Half Marathon on April 29, 2012. Now I'm committed, and I'll have to train for it. I'll figure it out. I'll make a decision on the Rochester Marathon in September 2012 after I see how the Flower City half goes.

Oh, yeah, nutrition. Most of the day is behind me. I have planned what I will eat for dinner and evening snack. I project to finish the day in range for all the macronutrients and just above the bottom of the calorie range. Life is normal again.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GAL843 12/22/2011 8:46AM

    You're going to do great in your half. I did my first half last October and am planning my first full in May.

Funnily enough, yesterday was my day for a binge and today I'm hoping to get a good run in this afternoon.

Best of luck in your journey and enjoy the effort!

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RG_DFW 12/22/2011 8:21AM

    Best to you in your quest for the half!

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FROGGGY13 12/22/2011 6:27AM

    Great! It's very good that you had a checkup, many people ignore it. Best wishes for your training!

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KRISZTA11 12/22/2011 3:22AM

    emoticon
Even the 10K seemed easy for your fitness level, but a half marathon is something really big.
Of course I know there are a lot of people out there who do it, some do full marathons and ultras, but that seems kind of supernatural to me.
I'm so interested how it will go! Take care!
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WATERMELLEN 12/21/2011 8:33PM

    Nice recovery: bet your doctor is impressed with you! Pretracking is a very effective strategy for me to manage nutrition . . .

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RUNNER12COM 12/21/2011 6:49PM

    Congrats on the upcoming half!

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Bad Nutrition Day

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The department Christmas lunch was scheduled for today. After not running yesterday, I went to bed early and was up before the alarm this morning. I ran 4.00 miles in 28:48, for a 7:12 pace per mile in 33 F temperature with negligible wind. It was a good run, and I got a look at early morning work day traffic.

I never would have thought I'd ever get up early enough to exercise before work. I never was a morning person. My, how things change!

That was the good part of the day. Work was something of a disaster. I had forgotten that, in addition to the department lunch, this was snack day. The remains of yesterday's work blow-up, plus added secondary blow-ups on the same topic, and minor blow-ups from other subjects started to stress me out.

Stress + tight deadlines + free sweet treats is not a good combination. I rationalized that I was due for a cheat day, and ended up having a binge day instead of a mere cheat day. I ate far more of the snacks than I should, though I did a decent job of tracking it. Then at lunch I ate more pizza than I should, and more cookies than I should. I ended up feeling overstuffed, like a traditional Thanksgiving. It wasn't a good feeling.

The sad part is, even with losing most control, I probably ate less than I would have pre-Spark. No wonder I was 50 pounds overweight at one point!

After work, I went shopping. I didn't have my list with me, but I remembered the important stuff: salad and bananas. Those wouldn't have made it to the list, pre-Spark. So at least I haven't lost *all* the good habits I've been working on.

Having overdone things way too much at work, dinner was cottage cheese and a banana. My evening snack was the same as I normally eat, in an attempt to trick myself back into a sane routine.

Final nutrition tally for the day: 5749 calories, well over my upper limit of 3050. As with past cheat days, it's also well over the carb and fat limits, but protein looks like a normal day. Long term, those 2700 excess calories are about three quarters of a pound. This is not a problem *IF* it doesn't recur.

There will be leftover food from snack day tomorrow at work. The good news is, tomorrow is a day off. By the time I go back to work on Thursday, the tempting stuff should be gone.

Absent the workload driven stress, I think this would have still been a cheat day, but at a less insane level of cheating. Hopefully when I go back and the workload is still doing crazy stuff, there won't be as good an opportunity to binge.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WATERMELLEN 12/21/2011 8:32PM

    Excellent attitude . . . as you say, only about .75 pound, no biggy!

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FROGGGY13 12/21/2011 2:22PM

    Good luck for today! I'm battling some cravings, too. None of this is a big deal if it happens only occasionally.

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KANOE10 12/21/2011 8:06AM

    Hang in there. You noticed some good changes about yourself despite your cheat day. You still kept control, did your shopping and ate a healthy dinner. You also planned ahead for today, noting that you would not be at work and would be OK.
Hope your work stress goes down! You are posting and still focused on keeping your weight off. Good for you. Hope today goes well.

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KRISZTA11 12/21/2011 3:09AM

    Well, at least you had a good part of the day in the morning : ))
Well done with tracking!
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HEALTHIERKEN 12/20/2011 10:40PM

    so when is your next weigh-in day. I tend not to worry much about one or two days of bad nutrition so long as the weigh-ins are within the target range.

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ONEKIDSMOM 12/20/2011 9:12PM

    Like you said, if it doesn't recur, not a huge problem... a fluctuation.

Hang in there. Enjoy the day off work and refresh your resolve. I find I eat more when I don't exercise, or rather when I exercise less... silly but true.

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RG_DFW 12/20/2011 9:10PM

    I can't imagine eating that many calories in a day, but then again I'm not burning as much as you. Maybe in a year or two...

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Change of Plans

Monday, December 19, 2011

No running today. The legs were telling me they really wanted a day off. So I took a long walk on my lunch hour, which was quite pleasant. 41 F (6 C), with winds supposedly 20 mph from the west and south. The wind was certainly stronger than anything I'd run in, and not cold. 3.49 miles in 50 minutes, and getting my 10K steps in today isn't a problem.

Too bad it wasn't a running day. This would have been fun weather to figure out running in. But when I ran to make the walk light toward the end of my walk, my legs told me that yes, this really wasn't a day for a sustained run.

I'll go to bed early tonight, and if I wake up well before the alarm I'll consider running in the morning. If that doesn't happen, tomorrow will be another non-running day due to work scheduling my lunch hour full and my not wanting to run Tuesday evening plus Wednesday morning. In theory, I could run after work; in practice, I expect that other stuff will get in the way of that. I'll just have to see how that goes.

If I don't get a run in tomorrow, I'll run on Wednesday and Thursday, then take Friday off from running. Saturday will be the fourth running day this week, and that will just have to be enough.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RG_DFW 12/20/2011 12:04PM

    Amazing time

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KRISZTA11 12/20/2011 11:11AM

    Good for you!
Hearing the voice of your legs and going for a walk is emoticon

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REDSHOES2011 12/19/2011 9:32PM

    We can't run or neither should we strength train daily because it taxes the body so hard.. But our body is made to walk daily in up right state to avoid our bones deteriorating and our arteries clogging from cholestrol plague..
This is why I wear a pedometer each and every day, to get those 10,000 steps in.. Long distance walking taxes the body another way and keeps cardio aerobic.. If we try and run or strength training daily anaerobic exercise tires out the batteries and makes us feel like we do less- the body has it's it's own defence system against over training.. I also find walking a therapeautic way of ironing out doms.. When I did run 10kms it was only once a week in the weekend.. Over doing it marathoning each weekend retired me from running because my stress fractures returned.. Daily those step equal a 5 km run, I was only pick up the pace in the weekend..

Comment edited on: 12/19/2011 9:36:40 PM

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ONEKIDSMOM 12/19/2011 9:02PM

    My legs were giving a similar message to me. OK slightly different. They were saying, "Y'know, Barb, that glute machine isolating on each leg Sunday morning was a bit much after the 5K run on Saturday!" I walked SLOWER and gentler today... then swam after work. Perfect solution for a "go easy on the legs" day.

Have fun with your runs!

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A Run, a Binge, and a Plan

Sunday, December 18, 2011

This morning's weather was 17 F (-8 C) and fair. Wind was reported from the west at 4 mph. I'd decided last night that I wanted to run before church this morning, so I got to bed early and was up before the alarm, if a bit later than yesterday. Since I had no intention of making this a particularly long run, it was okay that I didn't hit the road till 7:11.

This is the coldest temperature I've run in, but the wind turned out to be a non-factor. I did an experiment for lower body clothing. I'm pretty sure my warmer compression tights would have been fine, but I only own one pair. So I wore my lighter tights plus warmup pants. The idea was that if this wasn't enough, I could bail out and still get a run in this afternoon. As it turned out, my legs felt cold at first (a rare thing) but were fine through the run. Other than that, clothing was just like the run at 23.

Yesterday's snow had blow away or sublimated. I saw frost on the grass and on parked cars' windshields, but the sidewalks and roads were dry. I did see some ice on creeks that I crossed and in a gutter at one point; but since I wasn't running in the gutter or wading in the creeks, that was no problem.

I was too early to see the sunrise on the big hill, which I ran in the more challenging direction. Then I added in my 3 smaller sections of hill work, and took the most direct route home. Added a small amount at the end to make 40 minutes, but miscalculated and only came out to 39 minutes. It mapped out to 5.19 miles, for a 7:31 pace per mile. That's a little slower than I would have guessed, but not bad for the temperature. Perhaps if I'd done more of a warmup instead of just starting slowly to warm up, the pace could have been better. But I wanted to be *running* in that temperature, not marking time doing figure 8's in my driveway!

After the virtuous morning, I was surprised by the Christmas Tea after church. Yes, I'd been told it was this week; but I bailed on choir practice Wednesday as part of a hectic week, and hadn't thought about it. I could have indulged a bit and fit things in, but . . . after church is hard. I take a bag of almonds because I'm going several hourse without eating, and I'm hungry then. Today my almonds remained uneaten and I sampled this, than, and the other very tasty, high caloric sweet thing. I lost count at 8.

I'm more bothered by not keeping track than by the excess. I came home and estimated the excess as being equivalent ot a slice of pecan pie (for the nuts, fat, and sugar) plus 6 ounces of chocolate chip cookies (for the chocolate, carbs, and more sugar). That came out to 1337 calories, which might be either high or low. I don't know. From past cheat days, I know the pattern should be that I'm getting plenty of carbs and fat but not enough protein.

So, on to diet repair strategies. When I get home, I'm hungry. Even after eating probalby two meals worth of calories. So, lunch is a salad (heavy on the chicken breast, light on the dressing) and cottage cheese. Mid afternoon snack was tuna and a banana. I don't know why the banana, but that's what I was craving. Maybe my body needed the potassium.

Dinner and evening look normal, and the planned food for the day comes out in the odd situation of over the calorie limit, but within ranges for the macronutrients. If my estimate is dead on, it's only about 200 calories. This won't kill me if I go back onto discipline tomorrow. No big deal there, tomorrow is a normal Monday.

Next dangerous day is Tuesday, which features the department Christmas lunch. I expect that to be salad, pizza, and lots of sweet temptations. But I'm thinking about that one two days in advance, so hopefully it will be easier to control myself. Then the rest of the year should be pretty easy to deal with on the nutrition side.

On the running side, the department lunch cancels the normal run Tuesday noon. I'm thinking of running Monday instead (normally a non-running day), then Wednesday and Thursday. Friday should be my last work day of the year, then doing a long run on Saturday (Christmas Eve morning) sounds attractive. It's a plan. We'll see how well I execute it.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FROGGGY13 12/19/2011 2:03PM

    When I had that unplanned party binge on Friday, I also entered the binge information in the tracker, for accountability, even if it was just an estimate.
Also, going over your calories by 200 is very little; I know it's probably just the fact that you ate in an unplanned manner that shook you, not the actual numbers.

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WATERMELLEN 12/19/2011 7:40AM

    That whack o' protein was an excellent strategy. It's amazing how we learn to sense what our bodies crave! No damage done . . . as you know, 3500 calories in 1 pound.

Maybe you might gift yourself with another pair of heavy weight running tights? You deserve them, for sure! And possible the combo (tights/pants) slowed you a tiny bit?

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KRISZTA11 12/19/2011 6:43AM

    I' m glad you enjoyed running in 17 oF, without an discomfort!
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Your pecan pie/chocolate chip-equivalent method of estimation is very creative and reasonable : )
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BELSNICKEL 12/19/2011 2:08AM

    quite a plan indeed!!! GREAT JOB. Thanks for reporting both on running and church participation,

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ONEKIDSMOM 12/18/2011 6:48PM

    You know, you are doing terrific as an empty nester taking care of his health! You'll get it all worked around and in... good job on even attempting to estimate. I find when I do this, even if I'm off, it motivates me to be *conscious* of my choices. And that makes a world of difference.

Spark on!

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