MOBYCARP's SparkPeople Blog MOBYCARP's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Bonus Blog: Cutting back a bit In the past week, I've had beautiful spring-like weather for walking and run-walk intervals. The price of that weather is that the grass grew like it was spring. I mowed on Tuesday, and the lawn needed mowing again yesterday. <BR> <BR> Except, I didn't mow yesterday. I did my 11 cycles of walk 2, run 2 and puttered around the house running the vacuum and doing minor household chores while waiting for daughter to visit instead of mowing in yesterday's beautiful weather. <BR> <BR> I paid f... Sun, 27 Jul 2014 20:00:42 EST Dodging the cat One of the things that I've got back to since the last podiatrist visit is light jogging in my hallway in the morning. I run up and down the hall and living room for one minute while my scrambled egg cooks, and for two and a half minutes while the steel cut oats take their first shot from the microwave. I started back with this pattern last Thursday. <BR> <BR> Well, since the last time I was able to run in my hallway I've acquired a cat: <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.c... Sun, 27 Jul 2014 08:11:55 EST Injury musings, and today's intervals I've heard it said that medical diagnosis is an interative procedure. The doctor looks at the evidence, makes an assumption, and prescribes treatment. Treatment may or may not do what is intended, but typically produces more evidence. The doctor looks at the additional evidence, refines the original assumption, and the cycle repeats. Hopefully, the patient experiences improvement while this is happening. <BR> <BR> When things go well, there are few medical issues and what issues there ar... Sat, 26 Jul 2014 16:29:07 EST Return to Walk-Run Intervals It's Thursday, a normal work at home day. The weather at noon was near-perfect for cycling, 72° F with sunshine and a light breeze. I didn't get out on the bike. Instead, I went out to do walk-run intervals. <BR> <BR> Bearing in mind my sister SPINNINGJW's advice to adhere to protocol for breaking in the orthotics, I didn't put them on till 9:40, just before a sanity stroll on a morning break. They came back off at 1, after the intervals. I was supposed to wear them for 3 to 4 hours tod... Thu, 24 Jul 2014 20:26:45 EST Podiatrist visit, orthotics, and beginning to run again It's been a long recovery from the stress fracture. Supposedly it takes 6 weeks to heal a stress fracture. A bit over 6 weeks from when I went into the air cast, the foot felt pretty good. I'd been able to walk a 15 minute mile the day before. I tried some light jogging up and down my hallway to test things, planning on doing that for one minute while the microwave cooked my scrambled egg. <BR> <BR> I didn't make it to the full minute. I could feel the foot, so I quit. That same sensat... Wed, 23 Jul 2014 20:01:36 EST When you lose weight, where does the weight go? A biochemist asks the question, where does the weight go when you lose it? The answer turned into a TED talk: <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> I remembered enough high school chemistry to follow the explanation. The talk does not address motivation or consistency, but the explanation of what happens to the lost fat was interesting. <BR> <BR> Edited to fix link, per Barb's comment. Thu, 17 Jul 2014 18:33:20 EST The Return of Motivation My third Sparkiversary was July 10 or 11, depending on how I count. I signed up on July 10, 2011; but I signed up in the evening and didn't really do anything with the site till the next day. I sat down to write a blog on the 11th. Looked at my one-year and two-year Sparkiversary blogs. There was a theme. I was not running, recovering from injury all three years. <BR> <BR> That kind of blew me away emotionally, so the third Sparkiversary blog didn't get written. It was just too depress... Tue, 15 Jul 2014 21:15:51 EST Thursday bike ride It's Thursday, a work at home day. The plan was to ride my bike at lunch. I got interested in some spreadsheet work, and it was 12:15 by the time I got to a good stopping place. I almost bagged the lunch ride, figuring that I was on short time anyway. <BR> <BR> But I got to thinking about my last blog. It was 72° F out. I won't be working up a heavy sweat cycling at that temperature. What's convenient, and saves time? Not changing clothes. I did take the time to put some more air in ... Thu, 10 Jul 2014 21:23:22 EST Cardio and Convenience There's a Spark People quiz on what kind of exerciser you are. It had no surprises for me, as I already knew that convenience drives my exercise habits. The gym is a problem not because of intimidation, not because of poor water flow in the showers, not because of unfamiliar equipment, but because it takes time and organization to get there and back. Walking is perfect; all I have to do is open a door and step out. Running takes a little more organization, which kept me from running for m... Tue, 8 Jul 2014 20:47:15 EST Watching Paint Dry Today is my eighth day out of the air cast. The foot is making progress. It's not as fast as I'd like. On top of that, I have problems with motivation. <BR> <BR> Objectively, things are going well. My weight is trending sideways within the desired range. I can walk further and faster (okay, less slowly) than I could a week ago. A negative indicator: I haven't aggravated the healing foot. I'm listening to my body, and I think I'm interpreting what it says correctly. I'm doing what I ... Sun, 6 Jul 2014 19:07:48 EST First Day Out of the Boot This morning I got up and thought about whether today would be my first full day without the air cast. On the one hand, I've been through two weaks of gradually moving off it. On the other hand, I didn't start the first week with 12 hours off, and I didn't start the second week with only 6 hours on. I got there more gradually, and contemplated that I might spend a couple days with the boot on for less than six hours. <BR> <BR> The major consideration today was that the lawn needed mowing.... Sat, 28 Jun 2014 17:36:30 EST Boot transition and maintenance musings It's been a while since I posted a blog. On the fitness front, I've been living through the slow, day to day wait for my stress fracture to heal. On the work front, it's been busy. I have a major deadline tomorrow, and the flow of information was not as smooth and routine as I might have hoped. Long story short, there was a pile of rework to do after 3 PM Friday. That's done, and I have time to write a blog again. <BR> <BR> I took Friday to be the completion of a week without pain while... Sun, 15 Jun 2014 19:29:02 EST Blood Donation and Injury Status Today was Day 2 of no foot pain. Since the boot enforces no serious activity, it was also a good day to go try to give blood. Saturday isn't normally a good day to give blood, because I can't do major exercise after donation and I'd be too dehydrated to donate easily after a long run; but since I can't do major exercise anyway, today is good. <BR> <BR> I had been rejected for low iron on Memorial Day. They gave me a list of iron-rich foods I could eat. At that point, I knew I was injur... Sat, 7 Jun 2014 21:16:09 EST What You Want Most Background: I've got a stress fracture. To get better, I need to wear an air cast 23 hours per day: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I get out of it a bit less than the allowed hour per day, in the morning to brush my teeth and weigh myself, then after breakfast to shower, and briefly at bedtime to get out of my jeans. <BR> <BR> This morning I got up and had no foot pain. That's kind of a subjective judgment. I haven't had what I ... Fri, 6 Jun 2014 20:02:49 EST Less is More I've never particularly liked the expression, "less is more." It expresses the thought that it's possible to overdo stuff, but it doesn't offer any clue as to how much less is good. But it still says there is something to be learned from moderating a gung-ho attitude. <BR> <BR> In weight management, we think of this concept for enjoying food. Many Sparkers have reported enjoying a treat more when it is limited, and I have experienced this myself; but that isn't having a large impact on my... Wed, 4 Jun 2014 21:07:51 EST Saw the Podiatrist One of the things I learned today is that most stress fractures don't show up on x-rays. The imaging doctor saw evidence of a stress fracture on my second metatarsal. The podiatrist did his exam and found that the fourth metatarsal hurts worst. I didn't notice from the x-ray description because I didn't know which side to count from. <BR> <BR> So I have new footwear: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> The sound track is that I wear t... Mon, 2 Jun 2014 16:55:33 EST MobyCarp Answers Transition to Maintenance Questions Today I got a SparkMail message from someone who is transitioning to maintenance and has some questions. As I read it, I'm reminded that I had many similar questions when I was there. It occurs to me that discussing these questions may be helpful to more people than just the person who asked. (For one thing, I expect to achieve greater clarity of my own thought process from organizing a coherent reply.) <BR> <BR> Q: After reading your blog regarding your maintenance adjustments following... Sun, 1 Jun 2014 20:07:27 EST Adopted a cat Background: Last Tuesday, the x-rays showed a stress fracture in the second metatarsal of my left foot. I go in to a podiatrist on Monday to find out what I need to do about it. Having the knowledge of what the problem is, but having to wait to find out what I need to do about it, has been tough. <BR> <BR> So I made a possibly emotional decision. A friend has been sheltering 3 cats for a friend of hers. The original idea was to take in these cats for a month. Now, it looks more like ... Sat, 31 May 2014 15:38:01 EST Waiting for that podiatrist visit Yesterday I got the news that I have a stress fracture in the second metatarsal of my left foot. This morning the foot felt pretty good. Absent knowledge of that stress fracture, I would have gone for a walk. Today, I stuck around the house with my foot wrapped in a flexible bandage, wearing stiff shoes. <BR> <BR> I see the podiatrist on Monday. Waiting to hear what the treatment plan will be is hard for me, but I could not get in any sooner. Meanwhile, I'm noting questions on my iPhone... Wed, 28 May 2014 20:35:20 EST Stress Fracture Today is day 12 of no running. It's about time to stop counting days, as that number will get large. <BR> <BR> With the foot not improving massively over the weekend, this morning was time to call the PT and make an appointment for Thursday. Then after my regular doctor's office opened, I called there to make an appointment. She wanted to see me today. <BR> <BR> The sound track was get an x-ray to check for a stress fracture, and refer me to a podiatrist who works with runners and other ... Tue, 27 May 2014 20:55:32 EST Failed Blood Donation, Sedentary Afternoon, the Bad Foot I tried to donate blood today, not because it's Memorial Day but because it's 56 days since my last blood donation. The test came up with iron too low to proceed. That hasn't happened in a while. <BR> <BR> So I thought, this is great weather for a bike ride. But I had planned to use the day to do the online Driver Safety Test for reducing my insurance rates for three years. Hmm. I'd done the short Module 1 on Friday, and the long Module 2 on Saturday. Started the very long Module 3 bef... Mon, 26 May 2014 21:18:48 EST Nutrition Tracking: Another look at calories added for exercise “It is better to be roughly right than precisely wrong.” <BR> <BR> &#8213; John Maynard Keynes <BR> <BR> <BR> I had to look that one up. I remembered the thought, but not who said it. I would have thought an engineer rather than an economist, but today I'm applying the thought to nutrition and weight maintenance rather than engineering or economics. <BR> <BR> In yesterday's blog, I included a footnote about adjusting the ranges on the nutrition tracker. Then I read a comment in my sist... Sat, 24 May 2014 10:18:11 EST Emotional Eating I am an emotional eater. I've known since well before I joined SparkPeople that I have issues with stress eating, boredom eating, and social eating. These have mostly been under control for the past two and a half years, with the discipline of using the SP nutrition tracker and eating to target ranges. <BR> <BR> I've read a lot of blogs where people talk about emotional eating. Some discuss feeding the emotions instead of the body, the problems that creates emotionally as well as physic... Fri, 23 May 2014 20:08:22 EST Maintenance Adjustments A bit over two years ago, as a newbie maintainer, I wrote a blog about maintenance not being steady state: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=4746726 </link> <BR> <BR> This week, it's time to re-read that blog and check what's changed in the past two years. <BR> <BR> One week ago, I weighed in at a relatively high weight in a narrow range. I went out that noon and ran 4.6 miles at tempo, with the unexpected result of aggravating an old ... Thu, 22 May 2014 20:10:33 EST Finding Limits by Mistake Monday was a tough day. It started out well. The hurt foot felt a bit better, and let me jog up and down the hall for a minute. Two minutes was too much, but I stopped and all was well. I figured I was good for walking, but couldn't run. <BR> <BR> It became definite that my employer will field a team for the JP Morgan Chase Corporate Challenge. Our team captain returned from pregnancy leave and collected money. We aren't as well organized as we were last year, and the team is smaller, ... Tue, 20 May 2014 21:04:32 EST Day 3 of No Running Got out of bed this morning, and the left foot hurt. I thought, no running today. First thing I did was adjust my calorie range downward. Yeah, I had adjusted it downward a couple days ago; but only to taper level. Not running at all needs lower. <BR> <BR> Yesterday I noticed that the foot feels better with some arch support than barefoot. I have an old pair of New Balance flip flops that have a bit of arch support, so I wore them for most of the breakfast routine. That routine was abb... Sun, 18 May 2014 20:05:55 EST Injury musings My weak left foot yelled at me Thursday after the tempo run. Friday was a rest day anyway, and I resolved to cut the long run on Saturday back to 8 miles, among other adjustments. <BR> <BR> Friday was a tough day. I knew first thing Friday morning that the Saturday long run wasn't going to happen. The foot did not let me walk normally. Easy jogging up and down the hallway while waiting for the steel cut oats to simmer was out of the question. I felt like just bagging the whole morning r... Sat, 17 May 2014 21:20:45 EST Tempo Thursday and the return of the running blog I haven't posted a blog in a couple of weeks. I've written several blog fragments, but didn't get any of them to the point of being coherent enough to post. What happened? <BR> <BR> First, there was lack of time. I got used to just writing blog fragments in my head and not posting them during half marathon training, when I really needed to manage my time. Since the half marathon, I've run into similar time management choices that have squeezed out blogging. Blog or go to bed and get eno... Thu, 15 May 2014 21:25:44 EST 4 easy miles, and a decision Yesterday, the weather proclaimed that spring was here. The sun was shining, the high was 56° F, the breeze was gentle, and it was a perfect day for running. <BR> <BR> I walked. Yesterday was the day after my first half marathon. While I felt like I *could* run, there's a reason rest days are scheduled for the day after a long race. I saw several people out running. I spotted clones of the pair my sister saw a while back, two young guys with one running well and the other more bouncy th... Tue, 29 Apr 2014 20:14:02 EST Race Report: 2014 Flower City Challenge Half Marathon Today was the 2014 Flower City Challenge Half Marathon and Wegman's Family 5K. Unlike the last two years, I did not have to trade down to the 5K. The weather was similar to the last two years. It was 41° F on my porch when I headed out, so I wore shorts but a light two layers on top, the training group tech shirt over a light long sleeved compression shirt. This was comfortable while running, but a bit chilly for standing around with a northerly wind of 8-9 mph. <BR> <BR> I had a plan. ... Sun, 27 Apr 2014 16:21:52 EST The Evening Before On the closed FB group, one of the pace leaders wrote, "Think of tomorrow as not merely the end of [the training program], but the beginning of the rest of your life as a runner!" <BR> <BR> My response was, "Heh. I've been getting through the taper by thinking of tomorrow as the day I'm allowed to run again." <BR> <BR> It's almost bed time, and I've got through the last rest day of the taper. Tomorrow morning will be almost like getting up for just another long run to start at 7. Differe... Sat, 26 Apr 2014 20:18:19 EST Last run before race day It's Friday of taper week. As planned, I ran the last easy 3 miles of the week. Tomorrow will be a rest day, and the half marathon is Sunday morning. <BR> <BR> The run itself was pretty routine. 3.06 miles in 24:13, for an average pace of 7:54 per mile, close enough to the target pace of 8:00. It was 62 ° F when I started out, and the clouds produced a light shower after I started; but I finished before the real rain in the forecast started. <BR> <BR> Because you're not supposed to do *... Fri, 25 Apr 2014 21:08:36 EST Next to last run of taper week Tax season is over, which means I can run Wednesday evenings. Two weeks isn't much of the training session, but at least I can run the assigned distances on the assigned days for the taper. <BR> <BR> Today I stretched the easy 3 miles to a 3-ish distance of 3.38. Slap my hand, I ran a hill. The sun was shining, it was 47° F when I started, with a brisk west wind, and that's where I wanted to run. So I did. <BR> <BR> 3.38 miles in 26:11, for an average pace of 7:44 per mile. Full mile ... Wed, 23 Apr 2014 20:29:17 EST Tuesday: Easy 5K, Packet Pick Up Yesterday the weather was gorgeous. It was a scheduled rest day in taper week, so I walked instead of running. At noon, it was warm enough to walk in jeans and a tee shirt; any warmer, and I'd have wanted shorts. <BR> <BR> Today, it rained. When I looked out the window at 11, it was pouring. By noon, it was a light shower. But today I'm allowed to run 3 easy miles, so I went out and ran an easy 5K in the rain. at 59° F, it felt pretty good. Because traffic won't be looking for runners... Tue, 22 Apr 2014 20:24:12 EST 3-ish miles and home owner maintenance issues Today's training assignment was 3 easy miles. It's Sunday, and getting my 10K steps on Sunday can be a challenge; so I stretched it to a 3-ish 3.4 miles. Got beautiful weather, 61° F and sunny with a pleasant 8 mph southerly breeze. The effort took 27:21, for an average pace of 8:03. Mile splits were 8:07, 7:55, 8:00, and an 8:18 pace for the last 0.4 mile. That's good enough pace control, given that the fast second mile included the steep downhill portion of the big hill, run the easy d... Sun, 20 Apr 2014 19:28:04 EST Last paced run of the training session Today was the last paced run of the half marathon training. The assigned route was 6-ish miles, where "ish" has become a code word for "long." According to MapMyRun, the route was 6.54 miles. My Garmin gave a flaky 6.87 miles, because GPS reception was poor between tall building and it imputed a drunken cartoon-character detour through buildings and a construction site. The weather was nice enough at 7 AM, 37° F and sunny with a NW wind at 11 mph. The first 5 miles or so of the route was... Sat, 19 Apr 2014 20:33:22 EST Only 3 Miles At 6 PM today, it was 61° F with a light breeze and clear skies. This is great running weather. I went out and ran 3 easy miles. Garmin reports 3.02 miles in 24:26 for an average pace of 8:05 per mile, with full miles splits of 8:02, 7:59, and 8:14. <BR> <BR> That's all the training program calls for today, 3 easy miles. It took most of the first mile to get into the groove of running. Got back to my driveway and thought, "Is that all there is?" And I have 4 days next week of just doin... Fri, 18 Apr 2014 20:08:39 EST Tempo Thursday, One Last Time It's Tempo Thursday, with a scheduled group workout focusing on speed at 6 PM. But today also happens to be Maundy Thursday, and I wanted to go to Maundy Thursday service at 7 PM. Can't do that if I start running at 6. <BR> <BR> So, it's a work at home day. I used to run on my lunch, "just running" that turns out to be running at tempo pace by training standards. For old times' sake, and to fit the schedule, I decided to do the last Tempo Thursday on the training schedule solo over my lu... Thu, 17 Apr 2014 21:17:14 EST Lapses The lapse of discipline is a common them in blogs on SparkPeople, and with good reason. Most of us have them, and it's helpful for many of us to write about them. The act of writing helps organize the thoughts, so that we may be prepared to do better (or less poorly) next time. <BR> <BR> Yep, I had a lapse. My daughter invited me to a second night Seder last night. It was important to her, and it sounded interesting to this non-Jewish person, so I went. I knew I'd have a lapse in eating... Wed, 16 Apr 2014 20:54:16 EST Running in Warm Weather Yesterday was my last volunteer shift doing taxes. This weekend is still pretty full, but going forward I'm not overscheduled as badly as I was. One result of this is, I have more time to blog. <BR> <BR> Today I ran an easy 6 miles. The route was a familiar 6 miles from home that I have run before. The substantial westerly wind has been a theme through the winter. The hills on the route are old friends by now. I was trying to hold to a pace between 8:00 and 8:30, practicing running sl... Sun, 13 Apr 2014 20:40:28 EST Pedometer Follow Up, Weekend Running Notes A while back, I blogged a Tale of Three Pedometers: <BR> <link><BR>urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=5575086 </link> <BR> <BR> In that blog, I described testing the Spark People Activity Tracker ("SPAT"), a Fitbit Flex, and my old standard Omron pedometer. Each had its own strengths and weaknesses. While I couldn't deny how sensible my sister's advice to pick one and go with it was, I was unable to pick one at that time. <BR> <BR> Since that blog, I lea... Sun, 6 Apr 2014 20:34:53 EST Tough Tempo Thursday The workout log said 3-4 miles for Tempo Thursday. <BR> <BR> Got there, and the coach said warmup to the top of the hill, 10 minutes of tempo on the flat circuit around the reservoir, 3 minutes recovery, 15 minutes hill work, 3 minutes recovery, 10 minutes tempo, recovery back to the store. An old fart like me who learned to add in my head says that adds up to 41 minutes plus the run from the store to the hill and back. <BR> <BR> It turned out that the coach told me to go recover after the... Thu, 3 Apr 2014 21:05:18 EST Adjusting the Schedule I'm half crazy, scheduling half marathon training during tax season, which is also a busy season at work. The schedule calls for running 5 days a week, with the rest days moving around some. The most common pattern is rest days on Monday and Friday, with the second longest run of the week on Wednesday. <BR> <BR> Problem: On Wednesdays I work a full day, then put in 3 to 4 hours at my volunteer job in the evening. Running will never fit in. So I need to shuffle the training days. The co... Mon, 31 Mar 2014 20:13:07 EST 13 miles There was some confusion about today's assignment in half marathon training. The workout log said 9.5 miles for the Spring Forward 15K. Yes, it really said 9.5 and not the 9.3 miles that is a true 15K. But we got an email from one of the coaches that said the assignment for the half marathon was 13 miles, i.e. run 4 extra miles. She may have mistakenly copied the assignment for the beginner marathon program. (Advanced marathon was assigned 20, Boston was assigned 22.) <BR> <BR> Some of t... Sat, 29 Mar 2014 20:33:25 EST Broken streaks The sore left ankle is all better. The injured left foot is *almost* back to normal. The long run yesterday stretched to 12.15 miles, and the foot recovered well enough to run again today (Sunday). <BR> <BR> Today I'm breaking some streaks. I'm breaking the 10K steps streak. I'm missing my normal Sunday run. I'm breaking the exercise for 10 continual minutes streak. And my legs and feet are healthy. <BR> <BR> The thing is, Real Life trumped streaks, Spark Points, and even half maratho... Sun, 23 Mar 2014 21:49:07 EST Another week of Half Marathon training It's cutback week in half marathon training. Yesterday's long run was only 7 miles. <BR> <BR> The sore ankle isn't sore any more. It's still a little weak, which is most noticeable when I do quad stretches. It's easier to balance on my right foot than on my left foot. I'm doing the Bosu exercise for balance I got from my PT, and I'm doing one legged calf raises with weights, barefoot; these seem to help the ankle and the foot, respectively. Improvement is slow, but I'm encouraged that t... Sun, 9 Mar 2014 20:45:17 EST Training Update I ended up taking 4 days off from running with the sore ankle. Went to the time trials on Thursday, which turned out to be held in about the third worst weather I've run in this winter. Talked to a coach there about the ankle; she told me not to do speed work as I try to get back into training. The long runs are more important. <BR> <BR> I ended up running the time trial at tempo pace, which didn't produce a nice fast number but may still have been faster than I should have run that eveni... Sat, 1 Mar 2014 22:21:40 EST Linked the Fitbit Today I linked my Fitbit Flex to my SparkPeople account. This wasn't a planned thing. What happened was, as I was driving to work I realized I had left my SparkPeople Activity Tracker ("SPAT") on my bed instead of clipping it to my shoe. That meant I wouldn't get a 2500 fitness minutes trophy (a.k.a., Stupid Motivational Trick) because I wouldn't have the SPAT tracking my walks today, and February 28 is the last day of a short month. <BR> <BR> What to do? I unlinked the SPAT from my Spar... Fri, 28 Feb 2014 20:26:50 EST Catch Up Blog: Winter, Training, and Injury I last blogged on SP a bit over a month ago. While I knew I would be spending less time blogging, a full month without a blog was not anticipated. I knew I was scheduling myself heavily, with a full time job plus a part time volunteer job plus half marathon training. I knew that if it came to a choice between blogging and getting to bed on time, getting to bed on time needed to win. The reality of the situation was in some ways not as bad as I expected, and in other ways worse than I expe... Tue, 25 Feb 2014 20:20:11 EST Half Marathon Training - First Interval Workout After last week's tight schedule, this is the easy scheduled week. Monday was a work holiday, tax training is done, and tax prep opening day isn't till Saturday. I did have to deal with snow on Monday, so it wasn't as restful as a day off might be; but at least I didn't have to deal with snow and commuting to work. <BR> <BR> The half marathon training for Tuesday calls for meeting at the local running store at 6 AM. Running at 6 AM wouldn't be so bad; but being somewhere else to run at 6 ... Tue, 21 Jan 2014 16:23:19 EST