Sunday, October 21, 2012
Nothing of major interest today, but I'm blogging it to fix a point in my mind and for potential future reference.
Yesterday was a big church fund-raising dinner. It was not well attended this year, and there was leftover pie for sale today after church. I stared at that pie several times, for quite a while, and walked out without any. This probably wouldn't have happened a year ago if there had been that crumb top apple pie left over last year; but this year, I wanted an apple more than a slice of apple pie.
Minor observations on changed food habits: I finished the last of the leftover Mexican bean dip from last week's church lunch. A year ago, it wouldn't have lasted this long. This year, I portioned it out into burritos, which could be worked into the nutrition plan. The remainder of the corn chips went into the trash; they will just go stale if I let them sit around, because the bag has been opened. Throwing food out is psychologically hard, but I got that done. My impulse purchase of the shopping trip today was fresh pears. I don't know how to pick or deal with fresh pears, but I'll learn. It can't be that much different from dealing with apples.
This morning's light jog up and down the hallway confirmed that this would be a non-running day even if it weren't planned that way. The bad foot is okay, but the sore thigh/groin is worse than yesterday. Tomorrow will be another planned non-running day, and we'll see how it is on Tuesday. Sometimes, less is more.
So for cardio and to get my steps in, I took a walk this afternoon. Tested the MapMyRun app. I think I like the interval prompts better than the RunKeeper interval prompts (not that I was changing paces, but I was testing how the app worked). The GPS mapping was nicer than RunKeeper, but there was less fine control over the shape of the intervals. And it interfaces with a different only web site. I'll think about that, and maybe spring for the paid version of Kinetic to test out next. Kinetic Lite (the free version) claims to share with either Daily Mile or RunKeeper (maybe both on the same run?), but doesn't have the coaching prompts.
Considering the fact that what I wanted to do for entertainment was pretty sedentary (read, watch NFL, play with the new iPhone), it's been a pretty good weekend on the fitness front. It just hasn't been a big event or newsworthy weekend.
And maybe that's a piece of the maintenance puzzle; I don't have to do something newsworthy every day or even every week. I do have to keep my body moving, at least if I want to keep my very generous calorie range for eating.
Saturday, October 20, 2012
I haven't blogged since Tuesday. It's not that there wasn't anything to write about; I just kept getting busy and going to bed instead of blogging late. On Tuesday, rehab was going as planned and I was optimistic.
On Thursday, the bad foot was a bit iffy. It was a close call, but I decided to try walk/run intervals anyway. The foot could have made it through the walk 1, run 3 intervals; but I had a sore inner thigh that couldn't. Bearing in mind that running on stuff that was sore anyway is how I got into this shape, I turned my intervals into mostly walking after I started.
Of course, I was dressed for running, and had the app in my ear beeping for intervals. I couldn't resist running some. But my running intervals were short. The early ones were under a minute, and I think the longest was about a minute and a half. At the 21 minute mark I settled on run 1, walk 3 for the rest of the way. Covered 3.72 miles in 40 minutes, for a pace of 10:45 per mile. That looked closer to walking than running to me, but the fitness tracker insisted on calling that speed jogging.
Thursday afternoon I got my eyes dilated, and between that and conversations with my daughter, the long version of the above two paragraphs didn't make it into a blog. Then Friday I worked from home, but didn't get a run in because I was waiting for FedEx to deliver my new iPhone. That was a frustrating comedy of errors, but I eventually (about 6:45 PM) got the iPhone.
Today I had normal weekend chores plus a couple extra, but I managed to get my intervals in. Went out to walk 1, run 3 prepared to modify things if the thigh was still acting up. It was still a little sore, but not painful like Thursday. I followed my sister's sage advice from the first round of 5K training: run slower. I shortened my stride and backed off the cadence a little. But I wanted to get the intervals in, if for no other reason that to see how good the iPhone's GPS is.
I ended up very close to home at the 32 minute mark, and tacked on a bit extra to get my 8th running cycle in. The exercise turned into 8 cycles of walk 1, run 3, followed by 13 seconds of walking to get to my driveway. It mapped out to 4.07 miles; the same app that lied about mileage on the iPod told me it was 4.09 miles on the iPhone. Close enough. I can use the GPS for a pace, if I find an app that reports pace well.
The time and distance works out to an average pace of 7:54 per mile. That's still a shade faster than I did walk 1, run 4 intervals the first time through 5K training; but I'm 15 or 20 pounds lighter now than I was then, so I ought to be a bit faster.
The bad foot is fine with today's exercise. The sore thigh warmed to the exercise, and does not complain at all for brisk walking; but I could tell it's still a bit sore while stretching. Looks like another week of walk 1, run 3 is indicated. I'd rather have slow progress than negative progress.
Then I almost didn't get the catchup blog in, because life happened again: My electric knife died. The switch has been flaky for some time, and this evening when I went to dice chicken breasts it wouldn't start at all. Bummer. So I mangled dicing the chicken with a ginsu knife, and hopped on Amazon.com to order a new electric knife. Reviews are mixed for all of them, so I went low end and just hope the good reviews are more indicative of what I'll get than the bad reviews are.
A year ago, I was barely aware that I had an electric knife. Now, I regard it as a necessity.
If I'd found more time to sit on my butt and type, I think I could have turned this into three or four blogs. But, life being what it is, one blog will just have to do.
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.
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