Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Tuesday, work at home day. Must be a day for walk/run intervals.
Noon saw clouds and 50°F (10°C) temperature, with light southerly wind. This is good running weather, and decent walk/run weather. The plan was 8 cycles of walk 1 minute, run 2 minutes.
My cardiovascular system was happier with the 3 minute runs today than it was Saturday. The bad foot isn't 100%, but isn't complaining unduly, either. I ran my 8 cycles, with a slight variation from Saturday's route near the end because I was going a little faster. It mapped out to 4.30 miles in 33 minutes even, ending just when the 9th running cycle would have started. That works out to an average pace of 7:40 per mile. I've had slower runs when I was running all the way.
In the inflated stats department, the RunKeeper app thinks I traveled 5.00 miles for an average pace of 6:36 per mile. I know better; that's inflated mileage from a low quality GPS on the iPod. But I do like having the app beep in my ear to tell me when to switch between walking and running. That's been my discipline for keeping up the intervals, and so far I'm pleased with how my foot is responding to the intervals.
Assuming the bad foot doesn't complain any more loudly than it did today, I'll do another round of walk 1, run 3 on Thursday. If all goes as planned, I may be ready for walk 1, run 4 on Saturday.
I love it when all goes as planned.
Sunday, October 14, 2012
Today was a church lunch. There was a similar lunch last year, and I blogged about it:
At that time, I was about a week into maintenance and struggling with eating enough but not too much. I played with the concept of cheat days, and learned some things about myself.
This year, I'm solidly into maintenance and not doing cheat days. Once again, I made the high calorie Mexican bean dip. Only this time, I used plain Greek yogurt instead of sour cream. That cut the calories and fat, but still didn't make it into a recipe that most Sparkers would want to do.
As happened last year, about a quarter of the bean dip came home with me. Maybe my daughter will take it off my hands, and maybe I'll work it into my nutrition planning over the next week.
The bigger piece of nostalgia was, how did I do with the free food (one of my triggers) and desserts (another one of my triggers)? I wrote things down, and when I got to the nutrition tracker the meal added up to about 1400 calories. Gulp. But that's better than the 1400 calories of desserts from a year ago. I had a shade under 500 calories of desserts today.
The rest of the day had to be different than my usual Sunday. Dinner was a salad with plenty of chicken for protein, plus an apple. Afternoon snacks were minimal. That got me into my normal evening snack while sneaking under the top of my calorie range. I'm near the top, but I'm in range.
I see from my old blog that last year I had just finished the 5K Your Way training, and went for a run after the bloat had subsided. This year, I'm rehabbing a foot and today is a non-running day. But I didn't get bloated, so I could start a long walk earlier than I started the run last year. I considered walking 4 to 5 miles, but less than a half mile in decided to hold it to a 5K and then mow the lawn. That put my step count for the day over 13K, which is a lot for a Sunday.
I could have handled things a little better, but I'm content with the results. This is my second time through the holiday food season in maintenance, and I've improved on my actions from the first time, at least for this event. I got my actions to the point where they aren't a disaster, but a blip that can be worked with.
Saturday, October 13, 2012
Saturday morning, and the bad foot felt pretty good. Tuesday and Thursday I had done 10 cycles of walk 1, run 2; today I set out to do 8 cycles of walk 1, run 3.
I looked at the thermometer - 34°F (1°C). Good running weather, but I wasn't so sure about walk/run intervals. So I dithered and did other things till the temperature rose to 40°F (4°C). Then I dressed like I would for 32°F and set out to do my intervals.
The initial walking warmup was chilly. It was so chilly, I did a light run for the last 100 meters or so of the warmup. Then the walking interval was cold. I didn't really warm up to the exercise until the 3rd or 4th cycle.
If I'm still doing intervals when the weather gets cold, I may have to change from walk/run to run/walk, so I can start with warming myself up.
I noticed that the running intervals were longer than I've been doing. I could do them, but I knew I was going further. This wasn't as bad as last year, the first time through 5K training; I expect that by the third time I'm doing walk 1, run 3, I'll be ready to keep running beyond 3 minutes.
Other than that, the intervals went well. I landed on a nice mix of running up hills, down hills, and on level ground. I was able to run all the way up one of the hills that was too long for a 2 minute running interval. I think I was running a little slower than I did on the shorter intervals, but that's okay. The idea is to build strength and stamina in the foot, not to set speed records.
I adjusted my route to be just a bit longer, and it worked out well. Today's route mapped out to 4.25 miles in 32:56, so I actually got home just before the 9th running interval would have started. That works out to an average pace of 7:45 per mile, which is right around what my pace was the first time I ran 35 minutes continually.
Progress is slow, but there is progress. I think I *could* run a 5K in two weeks, but I *shouldn't*. Not signing up for that one is looking like a very good decision.
Now comes the interesting part of the rehab/training. The time I'm spending is as much as fits in the lunch hour when I work at home, and anything longer will be a weekend only workout. It remains to be seen whether I can work up to running a 10K by Thanksgiving Day. I'm pretty sure I'll be able to do a 10K in run/walk intervals, but I'm less certain that I'll be able to convince myself to stick with intervals in an organized race.
Tuesday, October 09, 2012
Tuesday is a work from home day, which means I can run at lunch more easily than when I'm in the office. I had skipped Saturday's intervals to give the bad foot time to rest up, and today was time to be back on schedule.
It was a nice autumn day, with frost overnight but sunshine and 55° F temperature at noon. This is perfect running weather according the SparkPeople.
Because I had to give the foot an extended rest, I didn't stretch the intervals. Kept them at walk 1, run 2 for 10 cycles, on the same route as I had done the last two times. I did give in to Mr. Testosterone just a little, running the rest of the way home after walking for one minute the 11th time; but I knew when I started that the 11th run would be under a minute.
Distance mapped out to 3.99 miles in 31:41, for a pace of 7:56 per mile. Hm. I didn't break an 8 minute mile the first time training till I was running continually. IIRC, I was around 8:05 on the walk 1, run 4 intervals last year.
I wasn't paying attention to the bad foot after the run, so I didn't notice how it reacted to being barefoot while I got to the shower. It didn't grumble loud enough to compel my attention, and that's a Good Thing. I'll see how it is for the rest of the week, then decide whether to hold the intervals the same or go to walk 1, run 3.
I'm thinking that passing on the 5K on the 28th was the right decision. If I were committed to that, I'd be counting weeks and figuring out how to train to run a 5K all the way in two and a half weeks; but it's better for me to take it slow.
Next organized race is on Thanksgiving Day, a 10K. That's an ambitious distance for where my foot is now, and I keep reminding myself that it will be okay to run intervals in an organized race. We'll see how well I listen when we get that far. Maybe I'll need to skip my Tuesday intervals or run that week, to rest the foot for a major effort. Have to think about things like this in advance, in order to keep Mr. Testosterone under control.
Sunday, October 07, 2012
On October 7, 2011, I weighed 174.0 lbs. This beat my goal weight of 175, and I declared myself to be in maintenance. My immediate concern was to figure out how much to eat to maintain my weight instead of losing or gaining. I wasn't terribly worried about losing a few pounds while learning this, because I'd weighed as little as 165 as a young adult.
It took a few weeks to learn how to not lose, but I got it done. Here's what my weight has done in my first year of maintenance:
Yes, I was losing weight for the first half of this year of maintenance. But I wasn't losing weight like I did in the weight loss phase. It will be pretty obvious when I found SparkPeople from the weight graph of 1/1/2011 to present:
I spent much of the past year feeling my way to where I ought to maintain my weight. Along about January, I thought I'd stopped losing near the first of December, at the 165 lb. mark. It turned out I was still losing slowly, and today I'm comfortable in the 160-163 range. I'm calling 162 my goal weight now, but I'm not sure that will last long term.
In any event, I'm happy with the last half year or so of having a clear sideways trend of weight management. The journey with fitness has had its ups and downs, and it was a bit of a surprise that I was able to adjust what I eat well enough to maintain my weight in spite of the changing amounts of exercise I was able to do.
On the At Goal & Maintaining + Transition to Maintenance Team, the oft-quoted statistics are as follows:
- The likelihood of regaining weight when you reach goal is 80% - 95%.
- When you've maintained for 2 years the likelihood of regain drops to 50%.
- When you've maintained for 5 years the likelihood of regain drops to 27%!
From a statistical standpoint, I'm still at risk of regaining. But I don't believe statistics are the best way to look at individual cases. I'm a bigger fan of BREWMASTERBILL's concept of keeping your head in the game: www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
My head's been in the game for the past year+. It's an open question whether I'll keep my head in the game long term, but it looks good for the immediate future.
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