MOBYCARP's SparkPeople Blog MOBYCARP's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Moderation On SparkPeople, there is a lot of attention given to moderation. Usually this is focused on nutrition. We have to eat, but most of us got here by eating too much. Learning to eat appropriately and moderately turns out to be quite a challenge for some of us. After we learn to eat moderately, doing so *consistently* becomes the ongoing challenge for maintaining a stable weight. <BR> <BR> Over time, I have become aware that food is not the only area of my life that requires me to pay attent... Fri, 20 Jan 2017 19:32:13 EST Race Report: 2017 Winter Warrior Half Marathon I ran the Winter Warrior Half Marathon Saturday afternoon/evening. What with one thing and another, it's Monday evening before I have time to describe it; but as a result of the delay, I have some race pictures. <BR> <BR> There is no race shirt for Winter Warrior. Instead, there is a race hat. This year, there's no pom-pom on top and the hat is lighter than the past two years; it turns out that this year's hat was good to run in today at 25 F (-4 C) when it would have been too warm to run... Mon, 9 Jan 2017 21:39:17 EST The Other New Year's Day Run Yesterday I ran a 7.5 mile race with the unimaginative name of "Resolution Run." It was fun, and I blogged about it yesterday. That wasn't the only running event going on yesterday. I started the race at 10 AM, ran for a bit over 50 minutes, and a few minutes later, several miles away in the city of Rochester, NY, the other New Year's running event kicked off. 182 people participated in the "Donut Mile." <BR> <BR> Yes, Donut Mile. This was the first year, it drew more people than expect... Mon, 2 Jan 2017 10:00:45 EST Race Report: 2017 Resolution Run (Freezeroo #2) The 7.5 mile Resolution Run has become a New Year's Day tradition for me. Where else am I going to find a crowd of people who are happy and cheerful before 10 AM on New Year's Day? 2017 is the third year I've run this race, though this is the first year I've signed up for the entire Freezeroo series. Forecast for gun time was 33 F (less than one degree above zero C), with winds in the 10-15 mph range from the west and south. I got up this morning and saw no new snow on my driveway. Decid... Sun, 1 Jan 2017 16:01:30 EST Revisiting the Food Challenges I've been thinking off and on about something my sister ONEKIDSMOM said in a comment on my last blog: <BR> <BR> "We each have our own challenges... social eating seems to be one of yours, and awareness on the fly is essential to managing it." <BR> <BR> Yes, we each face our own challenges. Early on in my weight loss phase, I identified that I face three major challenges with nutrition: boredom eating, stress eating, and social eating. It's near the end of the year, a traditional time for... Fri, 30 Dec 2016 19:06:00 EST Getting the food back on track As predicted in my last blog, I overdid things at the running club celebration. Baked brie with walnuts and cranberries. Russian tea cakes. M&Ms. Assorted cheeses, and perhaps 2 ounces of red wine to see what the whole wine and cheese meme is about. <BR> <BR> I found I'm not a fan of wine and cheese. I suspect it's an acquired taste, and I don't see any upside in working to acquire it. <BR> <BR> Probably the worst news was, I ended up bringing two and a half pieces of sweet potato pie ... Sat, 24 Dec 2016 21:35:17 EST Challenging Food Week I reached my initial weight goal in October 2011, and reached what I now regard as my long term point goal along about April or May 2012. Since then, I've mostly been making the weight trend sideways, with occasional blips up that got corrected, and some dips a bit uncomfortably low as my eating didn't keep up with my running at times. <BR> <BR> This year, in particular since I retired, I'm noticing that food discipline is harder for me in social situations. That isn't a problem, as long a... Thu, 22 Dec 2016 18:01:38 EST Race Report: 2016 Reindeer Run 5K It was a late decision to sign up for this one. I wanted to wait until after Club Nationals and see if I felt healthy enough to run a race on my fourth consecutive weekend (assuming Thanksgiving Day counts as the start of a long weekend). Went online to look Wednesday, and found that the price went up at midnight. And the forecast was for wintry weather. What the heck, this one is fun. I signed up. <BR> <BR> There was snow overnight. Yesterday evening the radio was full of the "no unne... Sat, 17 Dec 2016 20:46:10 EST Race Report: 2016 USATF National Club Cross Country Championships I had to look up the title. Informally, everyone refers to this event as "Club Nationals." <BR> <BR> This was my first cross country race, and the first time I flew somewhere to run. There were a lot of opportunities to learn things. Got into Tampa about 10 AM Thursday, got to the hotel, and found time for an afternoon run on residential streets near the hotel. <BR> <BR> The terrain reminded me of the streets near home. The hotel was at the top of a mythical Florida hill, and several re... Sun, 11 Dec 2016 15:03:09 EST Impulse buy, minor race, recovery, and looking forward I last blogged on Thanksgiving Day, a race report for Race with Grace 10K. I won $50 for being the fastest male Old Fart in that race. <BR> <BR> On Black Friday, I saw an online special. The Black Friday discount let me sign up for the Greater Rochester Track Club Freezeroo series for . . . $50. That was nicely symmetrical, and an impulse buy happened. For my $50, I get 6 races in December, January, and February with lengths ranging from 5K to 8 miles. Bling is skimpy because they're lo... Mon, 5 Dec 2016 20:41:00 EST Race Report: 2016 Race with Grace (10K) Thanksgiving Day, time for my 6th annual running of Race with Grace ("RwG"), which is the 26th annual running of this 10K. It was a few degrees warmer than the forecast, 34 F (1 C) when I got up this morning. Revised forecast called for showers and rain through race time. Above-freezing temperature plus rain gave me confidence to wear road shoes instead of trail shoes; in past years, I've worn trail shoes because of uncertain road conditions, only to find I could have got away with road sh... Thu, 24 Nov 2016 17:44:38 EST Transition to cold weather As promised by the forecast, winter arrived today. Yesterday, I ran in shorts and a singlet. Today I got out on the roads right after I got home from church. It was 32 F (0 C), with 19 mph WNW winds and snow in the air. The snow was beginning to stick to the grass, but it looked like it would be a while before it would stick to the pavement. So I got the run in wearing road shoes. It was also perfect weather to try out the beanie I forgot I bought last April and the new hoodie with a bu... Sun, 20 Nov 2016 20:19:28 EST Recovery Update: Ran 5 miles today It's been 10 days since my last blog, and a couple of people have expressed interest in how I'm doing, with varying levels of intensity to the hint that I should blog more. <BR> <BR> On November 9, I ran a continual 3 miles for the first time since the Rochester Marathon debacle. I backed off after that, before adding more distance. Easy speed work came back last Tuesday, in the form of an incomplete set of intervals. It seems I turned a corner with a rest day on Wednesday, and now it fee... Sat, 19 Nov 2016 16:37:46 EST Erratic Update It's been over a month since I blogged here. Retirement has changed things, sometimes in ways I wouldn't have predicted. First, a summary of what happened when I wasn't writing. <BR> <BR> Weight maintenance: I left off the saga concerned about maintaining my weight. I've made it go down a bit, but not all the way to goal. Okay, it touched the point goal once, as the bottom of a weekly fluctuation patter. What have I done? I cut the calorie range. Weight didn't move. Cut it again. W... Wed, 9 Nov 2016 19:59:05 EST Five Year Maintenance Musings In July 2011, I reluctantly admitted I needed to track what I eat, and joined Spark People. I set what I thought was a stretch goal, get my weight down 21 pounds to 175. I didn't really believe I could get my weight that low, having bounced off lows in the mid-180s a few times. <BR> <BR> Five years ago today, I weighed in at 174 and declared myself at goal. My weight has not crossed 175 since then. It actually went down another 12 pounds while I figured out how to stop losing weight. Th... Fri, 7 Oct 2016 14:05:23 EST End of Month Miscellaneous Stuff Today is September 30, the end of a month. This happens to be the end of my first month of retired life. It hasn't so much been a month of new beginnings as a month of transitions and noticing things. <BR> <BR> Running: I ran a half marathon in early September, doing very well on a challenging course. Then I tried to run a marathon in mid-September, taking a DNF due to severe calf cramps one lousy mile from the finish line. I haven't run since. <BR> <BR> Today is Day 12 of No Running. ... Fri, 30 Sep 2016 19:16:32 EST Deja Doo-Doo Sunday I ran most of a marathon, failing to earn the medal or bragging rights. The race ended for me at 25.2 miles, with severe calf cramps. That's disappointing, to say the least; but life goes on. After the marathon comes recovery. <BR> <BR> Monday my calves were really feeling the after-effects of the cramping. This was expected. Monday was a total rest day, less than 5000 steps. The lawn needed mowing. Too bad, it will have to wait. <BR> <BR> Tuesday the after-effects of the cram... Wed, 21 Sep 2016 19:04:52 EST Race Report: 2016 Rochester Marathon It was a totally messed up training cycle getting ready for Rochester. I started the training cycle recovering from injury, just training to get healthy enough to run. By the time I was health enough to run regularly, I was way behind on weekly mileage for marathon training. Without a strong base of weekly mileage, I couldn't really do the speed work called for in the plan; so those workouts got watered down to match my capabilities. <BR> <BR> A few weeks ago, I caught up and was able to ... Sun, 18 Sep 2016 19:18:18 EST Taper Time Yesterday was a rest day. It was necessary, after running 9 days in a row including a very good effort at Oak Tree Half. After Oak Tree, I had watered down the training plan for recovery, seeking advice from my coach on how much to water down parts of it. <BR> <BR> And yesterday at 11 AM, I found myself wanting to run. I felt healthy. I'm retired, I have all the time in the world. The weather was beautiful. But logic said I needed the rest day. What's going on? <BR> <BR> Oh, yeah: <... Sat, 10 Sep 2016 15:56:14 EST Race Report: 2016 Oak Tree Half Marathon I signed up for Oak Tree because it's traditionally hot and humid, and I didn't want waste the training I'd done in heat and humidity; because it's been kind of a minor bucket list race for a year or so; because it's a Rochester Runner of the Year race, and I'm playing age group standings mind games with my friend Bill; because it's a traditional training race for the Rochester Marathon; and because I felt healthy enough to run a half 2 weeks before Rochester. <BR> <BR> This morning I got up... Sun, 4 Sep 2016 15:39:48 EST Running for 30 Minutes Today is a five year anniversary of sorts. On August 21, 2011, I set out to see whether I could turn myself into a runner. I found that I was not in shape for Week 1, Day 1 of the 5K Your Way program, so I built a two-week remedial course and started on Week Minus 1, Day 1. My blog from five years ago describes how I thought about it at the time: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=4440245 </link> <BR> <BR> Somewhere along the way, for... Sun, 21 Aug 2016 20:11:49 EST Race Report: 2016 Bergen Road Race 5K - Jenny Kuzma Memorial All I know about Jenny Kuzma is what's published in connection with the race: She was diagnosed with leukemia at age 4, and lived to age 13. The race was organized in her honor, with proceeds going to a scholarship for an 8th grader in the Byron-Bergen Middle School and to Camp Good Days. <BR> <BR> The Bergen 5K is also the USATF Niagara Region 5K Road Championship. As such, it draws a small but strong field. It is a team championship as well as an individual championship, and several US... Sat, 13 Aug 2016 20:17:36 EST Race Report: 2016 Shoreline Half Marathon The race report is a few days late. I'll plead being incredibly busy in my non-working hours due to multiple priorities, and blogging didn't make the cut. On the plus side, taking this long to get the blog written means I have race pictures. <BR> <BR> I'd spent several weeks leading up to Shoreline contemplating my race plan. In 2015, it was 82 F and 98% relative humidity at gun time. I ran 8 miles on a pace to break 1:30 for the half, then melted down. I ended up finishing in 1:36 and ... Wed, 20 Jul 2016 16:19:52 EST Independence Day Musings Today is July 4, 2016. It's Independence Day in the United States of America. It's the last paid holiday of my career. On my personal schedule, it's a rest day (from running) and a day of contemplation and analysis. <BR> <BR> I see I haven't blogged about running in a while. Recovery has proceeded nicely. The face plant from two weeks ago seems to have prompted accelerated healing of prior issues while my body worked on healing up the road rash. For the training week ending yesterday, ... Mon, 4 Jul 2016 15:27:57 EST Time and Money Today's blog is a departure from the usual Spark People fare of diet, exercise, and promotion of health and fitness. It touches some of those areas, but mostly it's about time and money. <BR> <BR> Don't worry, I won't ask for donations. <BR> <BR> Most of us trade significant chunks of time for money to support ourselves. Some of us find work that we love and might do for no pay if it were possible to live that way. Others of us find work that we can tolerate only because it pays the bill... Fri, 24 Jun 2016 21:33:16 EST Recovery and retirement musings Life has a way of changing on you. The changes may be good, they may be bad, they may just be. I've always yearned for security, so I tend to see life changes as challenges to be managed. <BR> <BR> Anyway, life has been busy because I'm trying to understand and manage changes as best I can. <BR> <BR> On the running front, there's my ongoing recovery. The short description of this week is, it was an unplanned cutback week. Tuesday featured a pace leaders' meeting followed by an inform... Sun, 19 Jun 2016 21:14:41 EST This week in recovery Recovery from a running injury can feel like it's taking forever. This week, recovery actually felt like I'm recovering. <BR> <BR> Tuesday I went to the PT. She had me do some more challenging stuff, then gave me the option as to whether this would be the last session. I opted to make it the last one, reserving the right to call back if I didn't make progress as fast as I thought I should. Went out Tuesday evening and ran on Cobb's Hill. Still not right, and going down the steep hill wa... Sun, 5 Jun 2016 20:59:44 EST Recovery, running, and racing musings Recovery is a long, slow process. Or at least, it feels slow while it's happening. It would be possible to become frustrated at how slow it is, but I do better when I'm grateful for making progress instead of angry at how slow the progress is. <BR> <BR> My past reality stated that today should be the day I start the marathon training plan for the Rochester Marathon on September 18. That didn't happen, and it won't happen. Recovery is still in progress. <BR> <BR> That having been said, r... Sun, 29 May 2016 19:57:54 EST Rest, Active Recovery, and the Balancing Act Balancing act: Picture a Bosu Ball with the flat side down, curved side up. Picture a man stepping onto the middle of that Bosu Ball with one foot, then raising the other foot out to the side and bringing it back down to touch his outside foot to his support ankle. He does this 10 times. He doesn't touch foot to foot, because the support foot makes a dent in the ball. Then he shifts feet to make the other foot his support foot, and lifts his other leg out to the side and brings it back t... Mon, 23 May 2016 20:47:55 EST Bailing out of the "long" run, but feeling good about it When I left off the tale on Thursday, I had just run 2.5 miles on a track and decided to take Friday as a rest day. I wanted to give myself a chance of being able to run 6 miles on Saturday. <BR> <BR> Saturday morning came, and I felt pretty good; but my test of one TGU/Windmill combo on each side revealed that the right thigh still had its weaknesses and spots that could become sore under stress. That was an important reality check. <BR> <BR> The pacing assignment for the last Saturday o... Sat, 21 May 2016 18:05:44 EST Running in circles, um, I mean ovals Felt good this morning, but a test of one Turkish get-up (35 lb. kettlebell) on each side revealed that the sore muscles from yesterday were still sore when stress was applied. PT appointment went well, and the PT was almost ready to dismiss me; I have one more appointment next Tuesday, and an assignment to run but keep it easy this weekend, preferably on grass. <BR> <BR> Went to the club this evening and this time I was smart enough to do my warmup on the track. 9 laps in lane 7 came out to... Thu, 19 May 2016 20:45:17 EST Testing the running legs The non-running streak ended at 9 days. Yesterday's PT appointment went well, and I decided to run a 2 mile warmup, see how it went, then decide whether I'd run some easy intervals on the track. Set out with some other runners and deliberately stayed behind a guy who is slower than I am, to ensure I would run slower than I would if I were solo. <BR> <BR> It was less than a triumphant return to running. This was the first session at a local college track, and the traditional warm up route i... Wed, 18 May 2016 20:49:28 EST Non-running, day 8: Volunteer gig I took a DNS for Lilac Run 10K today. Went to volunteer at 6:30, ended up handing out bibs and shirts for the 5K and 10K. Had some nice conversation with other runners, recognized some of the names on the bibs, and actually got to hand out 3 bibs without having to ask who the runners were. Guess I've been hanging around the running community a while. <BR> <BR> This year, the races were run by the Lilac Festival people instead of by running people. They ran out of some sizes of shirts at earl... Sun, 15 May 2016 14:57:42 EST The new 10K step streak Today is the 7th day in a row of non-running. Yes, I tested a short run; I can feel the areas I'm working on, and it's clear it's not yet time to run any distance. So, what to do for fitness and weight maintenance? <BR> <BR> Part of the answer is adjust the calorie range. Done that, might not have adjusted enough; I'm about a pound over target right now. But I'm also eating pretty close to my target point, and it will be hard (not impossible, but hard) to cut it further. <BR> <BR> So, h... Sat, 14 May 2016 19:40:47 EST Goal Board and PT Appointment My sister ALICIA363 has a love-hate relationship with her goal board, and recently wrote about her issues with a goal board that isn't in her face like it used to be: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=6161095 </link> <BR> <BR> While I was never as dependent on the goal board as Alicia describes, that blog got me thinking. Since SparkPeople hid the goal board, I look at it less often. When things are going well, that's okay. It's when ... Fri, 13 May 2016 17:00:31 EST A Down Day When I was able to run 11 miles on Saturday, it felt wonderful. It was great doing some normal running, and great to feel my leg just about healthy when I got done. But, I cautiously said that I needed confirmation from how I felt the next day to claim recovery had turned the corner. <BR> <BR> Recovery has not turned the corner. <BR> <BR> On Sunday, the leg hurt again. Going down stairs was iffy. I managed a lot of stairs without holding the railing or going one step at a time; in hinds... Mon, 9 May 2016 20:32:36 EST 11 miles and miscellaneous running musings It's been a tough couple of weeks emotionally. The week after Flower City, I took four (4) rest days in a row, breaking a 91 week streak of running at least 3 days a week. This week I ran Sunday, took a planned rest day Monday, took an extra rest day Tuesday. Tuesday evening I went to the club meeting to talk to Coach about recovery. Got some advice on what to do: 3 stretches that are better for what hurts than what I had been doing, keep taking ibuprofen, go home and take a hot bath to ... Sat, 7 May 2016 18:06:35 EST Broken Streak and Recovery Musings When I completed the 5K Your Way program in 2011, I set a Spark Goal to run at least 20 minutes, 3 times a week. I reasoned that if I ran on my lunch hour, I wouldn't have time for 30 minutes but 20 minutes would be possible. I was concerned about losing motivation to run once I got past the structured 5K program. <BR> <BR> As things turned out, motivation was not a problem. Injuries became a problem. For a long time, my maximum streak of running 3 days a week stood at 16 weeks. Then I ... Sun, 1 May 2016 19:55:44 EST Changing the plan mid-day Having time to blog every day is a novel experience. Right now, it is also a side effect of not running. <BR> <BR> This morning my calf and hip abductor felt just about normal. The 2 minutes of jogging up and down my hallway while waiting for my eggs to cook was perfectly normal, with the most noticeable sensations being from my chronically weak ankles. I regarded it as good news that the ankles were now speaking more loudly than the hip abductor or the calf. Decided today would be a day fo... Wed, 27 Apr 2016 16:33:33 EST Non-running status update Things look better in the morning, but not all the way better. Yesterday's sore calf felt almost normal, allowing yesterday's secondary ache to rise to the forefront. That is a spot in my right thigh. I wasn't quite sure exactly what it was till I tried various movements to see what made it bark. I believe it is a sore right hip abductor. <BR> <BR> I've been here in 2012. It lets me run, but I'm a little lopsided. I ran my 2 minutes while the eggs cooked, and the calf started out calm ... Tue, 26 Apr 2016 07:25:04 EST Recovery Struggles Life has its ups and downs. I've had perhaps more than my share of the up side and successes recently, particularly in the area of running. Qualifying to run the Boston Marathon is worth a lot of respect in the running community. Running Boston and re-qualifying is worth even more respect. Then there were the handful of us who ran Boston and ran a half marathon 6 days later. <BR> <BR> Registering for that half marathon 6 days after Boston was stupid, but I did it anyway. I did what I co... Mon, 25 Apr 2016 19:46:09 EST Race Report: 2016 Flower City Half I'm cheap. When I saw the early entry fee of $250 for the Four Seasons Challenge, I couldn't pass up 3 half marathons and a full marathon for that price, all local with no travel expense. The down side of that decision was, Flower City was only 6 days after Boston. That would be today. <BR> <BR> A full marathon will beat you up a bit. More experienced marathon runners than I am will know how beat up they will be. I expected to be less beat up than Buffalo, because I would be better cond... Sun, 24 Apr 2016 20:27:15 EST The Boston Blogs 3: Mental Games and Information Gap We get used to watching TV coverage of sports events, and may not realize that the competitors don't know everything that the announcers tell the audience. I recall watching the online coverage of Kona a couple years ago, and there was ongoing commentary about how much time difference there was between the leader and the second place runner who eventually overtook the leader to win; but in real time, the only way these elite athletes knew that would be communication from their coaches. That... Thu, 21 Apr 2016 21:29:20 EST The Boston Blogs 2: The Race I did not sleep well the night of April 17. Woke before the 3 AM alarm for my thyroid med, took the med, and set about gearing up to go. Had to catch a bus before 6 AM, and I wanted to get to the VIP lounge about 5. <BR> <BR> Boston is a different experience than other races. When I ran Buffalo, I asked for a late checkout to accommodate the awards ceremony. There was a limit to what the hotel would offer because they had to let the workers go home at a certain time. Compare and contras... Thu, 21 Apr 2016 16:48:51 EST The Boston Blogs 1: Prelude Boston is a big race. It's bigger than a single blog race report, particularly when I need to get to bed and don't have time to tell the full story. Most of the readers of my blog will know the story from my sister's viewpoint already: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=6146331 </link> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Actually, it doesn't all start in Hopkin... Wed, 20 Apr 2016 20:45:02 EST Boston minus 3 days: Last minute preparations Today was the last run of the 16 week Boston training program I've been using. I was allowed an easy 30 minutes. Got out at 10 AM, at 47 F with sunshine and no wind; shorts and tee weather for running! The last 3.86 miles brought my 16 week training total to 915.63, to which I hope to add a short preview of the end of the course. <BR> <BR> For a day off work, it was a long day. Got the oil changed in the snowblower and lawnmower, and mowed for the first time. It needed it. Shoveled sno... Fri, 15 Apr 2016 19:57:48 EST Boston minus 5 days: The Office They got me good. <BR> <BR> Today was my last day in the office before Boston, as I work at home Thursdays. My boss' boss was going to be there today for a team meeting. We saw each other in the parking lot. <BR> <BR> "How you doing?" <BR> "I'm going a bit crazy, but that's OK because it's expected. Taper week." <BR> "Oh, that's this week already!" <BR> <BR> She's *such* a good actress. I should have suspected something, because I know she is a runner. <BR> <BR> "So how are you go... Wed, 13 Apr 2016 21:07:25 EST Boston minus 6 days: The local send off party Yesterday evening was the local Fleet Feet's Boston Send Off Party. It was scheduled for 6 PM, the same time the running club meets. But it starts with a hill run on the same hill where the club meets. <BR> <BR> I solved the scheduling problem by taking yesterday off work. Found time to visit a thrift store and pick up a pair of pants to wear while waiting for the race to start then discard, and got out to do my assigned workout at 5 PM. This was the last speed workout that feels like a ... Wed, 13 Apr 2016 07:42:33 EST Boston minus 7 days: Into the taper 7 days out from Boston, I'm into the taper. The weekly mileage target is 45 miles, but there is a specified assignment each day and they won't add up to that many miles. That's okay. I expect I will run 40 miles or less this week, which is less than I've run any week since November. <BR> <BR> This is only the second time I've followed a specific plan's taper. My first half marathon, I about went nuts with nothing longer than 3 miles in the final taper week. The current plan isn't that string... Mon, 11 Apr 2016 20:42:03 EST Boston minus 10 days: Taper Musings The Boston Marathon is a week from Monday. Nominally, my taper started this week. In practice, the plan I follow cuts mileage for the last 4 weeks. The last 2 weeks have more specified workouts, many of which are intended to limit how much I do in a day. <BR> <BR> Last week, I thought that the specified workouts wouldn't add up to the weekly mileage target. Talked to Coach, and he said the daily limits are more important in taper. Less is more. OK, I can work with that. <BR> <BR> This... Fri, 8 Apr 2016 18:46:15 EST