MOBYCARP's SparkPeople Blog MOBYCARP's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Good Life Halfsy and the 2015 Race Calendar Today is Friday. It's a rest day on my training schedule, which means I don't run. Instead I do a little kettlebell work and some squats, walk enough to get my step count in, and do my every day exercises. Some rest days, I barely make it past my step count goal. <BR> <BR> The big event today is not running, or any other exercise. The big event today was the opening of the second round of early registration codes for the Good Life Halfsy. This is a half marathon in Lincoln, Nebraska on ... Fri, 23 Jan 2015 21:30:01 EST MLK Day: Blood Donation, Cross Training, and Race Calendar It's Martin Luther King Jr. Day, which is a paid holiday for my employer. It also happens to be the day for my routine blood donation, which works because the Red Cross does not take today as a holiday. I donate blood 6 times a year, and I've been running and maintaining my weight long enough that this is pretty routine by now. Take the day off work (when it's not a holiday anyway), hydrate well in the morning, and front load the exercise and steps so I can take it easy after blood donatio... Mon, 19 Jan 2015 17:46:54 EST Cold Run, and Thinking Like a Veteran Runner I could write a long blog about this morning's run, but that's not where I want to go today. Here's the short version: <BR> <BR> It's the week between the half marathon and the start of the next pace pass session, so I was on my own for a long run today. Today's high was forecast for 30° F, but when I got up this morning it was -3°. I thought, it will get warmer. When I finished breakfast and got out to run, it was -5°. That's a new low temperature for me to run in, but because there wa... Sat, 17 Jan 2015 20:35:45 EST Race Report: 2015 Winter Warrior Half Marathon **Disclaimer** <BR> <BR> Disclaimer and explanation for those who haven't followed the back story: I am 59 years old, and fast for my age. My target pace on long slow training runs is 8:30 per mile. It's always a struggle to keep it that slow. Yes, I know it doesn't sound slow to the majority of recreational runners. Yes, I know my slow pace is faster than many people's tempo pace. I've had time to get used to that. The principles of running long runs slow and learning to run at diffe... Sun, 11 Jan 2015 14:49:18 EST Musing the evening before the race It's so predictable: The taper is over. It's the evening before a big race, and I'm all anticipation. I want to run! Picked up my packet for the Winter Warrior Half, which consists of just a bib and the race hat: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> The route is not terribly exciting, 5 times around the parking lot of Monroe Community College plus a leg off to Bill Gray's Iceplex at the finish. But I have to love an organized race at ... Fri, 9 Jan 2015 21:08:53 EST Last long run before Winter Warrior Half Today was the last day of the 14 week pace pass program. The scheduled route was a mere 6 miles, as the formal training program it's linked to has the half marathon trainees entering the final week of taper. <BR> <BR> I ran 6.3 miles of hills Tuesday. I ran a 7.5 mile race on Thursday. The "long" run of 6 miles would be the third longest run of the Monday-Sunday training week. Counting last Sunday's 7.3 miles, it would be the shortest run of the calendar week. Mr. Testosterone has a pro... Sat, 3 Jan 2015 16:26:31 EST Race Report: 2015 Resolution Run I don't' do New Years resolutions. I never have done them. When I am prepared to change something in my life, I start working on changing it at the random time I'm ready to start. The most significant random date was July 11, 2011, when I reluctantly admitted I needed to track what I eat and joined Spark People. <BR> <BR> Later on I became a runner. That leads to running in races, and most races on New Years Day will be called Resolution Run. The local race today is no exception, so tod... Thu, 1 Jan 2015 17:00:18 EST New Year's Eve - Looking toward tomorrow's race It's New Year's Eve. Traditionally, this is an evening when people stay up till midnight to greet the new year. In some circles, consumption of alcoholic beverages is customary. Even in circles where alcohol is not used, consuming traditional party fare (read: junk food) is common. <BR> <BR> I am an empty nester, with no social tradition of consuming alcohol. I joined Spark People in July 2011, and found within the first two months that getting enough sleep is a key thing for making my h... Wed, 31 Dec 2014 19:49:33 EST Shorter Long Run and Returning to Normal Eating On Christmas Day, I ate too much. But that was yesterday's blog. Today is Saturday, a day for a long run. I slept till the alarm went off, but fortunately had set it early enough to have enough time to get to the run. Still a bit shaky from my loss of control on Christmas, I tried to make today as normal as possible. I had my normal breakfast, did my normal chinups, pushups, abduction/adduction, and calf raises as part of the breakfast routine. The weather was a gorgeous 40° F with mini... Sat, 27 Dec 2014 12:19:19 EST Maintenance and Holiday Lapses I found Spark People in 2011. I struggled through the Christmas season that year, with a spectacular lapse coinciding with the Christmas Lunch at work. By the end of 2012, I was solidly into maintenance. The 2012 and 2013 Christmas seasons were tightly controlled, no big deal. For the 2014 Christmas season, I was a three year maintainer. This should be easy, right? <BR> <BR> Maybe it *should* be easy, but it wasn't. This year, I was kind of faking training for a marathon. No race is... Fri, 26 Dec 2014 18:58:20 EST Race Report: Reindeer Run 5K Today would have been a long run of possibly 20 or 22 miles, but instead I registered for the Reindeer Run 5K. 5K isn't very far when the long runs are over 10 miles, but it's a fun race. You wear fake antlers, and mingle with both serious runners and not so serious runners. Proceeds go to support The Strong Museum of Play, and the awards are toy-themed trophies. <BR> <BR> All week long I hadn't been in the mood for a race. I'd been doubting the wisdom of signing up. Maybe I just should... Sat, 20 Dec 2014 21:10:36 EST Adjusting to the Holiday Lunch Today was the departmental holiday lunch at work. This fall, my employer shut down the building I had worked in for 23 years, sending my department to two separate locations. The lunch was at the other location, a 50 mile round trip. I knew in advance that I would not get my walk in at lunch today. <BR> <BR> Three years ago, as a newly minted maintainer, the departmental holiday lunch was a concern. What was it like? (Digs through old blogs . . . ) Oh, my. Three years ago, the departme... Wed, 17 Dec 2014 21:00:23 EST Snowy long run and contemplating a marathon Today's long run options were 10, 12, or 20 miles. When the routes came out, I didn't like the way they were laid out. The first 10 miles ended with a spiral around some blocks near downtown, with plenty of options to bail early and cut some distance. The 12 and 20 options started on the same path, with the 12 turning left and going back early while the 20 went on to a different route with only one opportunity to cut a couple of miles, with a choice having to be made about mile 14. It wo... Sat, 13 Dec 2014 19:41:21 EST Listening to Your Body 201 Yesterday Robert (ON2VICTORY) posted something on Facebook that I wanted to respond to in more length than the Facebook format easily allows. Today he kindly reposted it as a blog on SparkPeople: <BR> <link><BR>urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=5831921 </link> <BR> <BR> This is a cautionary tale, a result I hope to avoid. I don't think I push myself as hard as Robert tends to push himself, but I have pushed myself hard enough to get on the disabled list th... Fri, 12 Dec 2014 20:12:37 EST Saturday Long Run - new distance PR at 18 miles Today is Saturday, a day for a group run. At 7:30 AM it was 37° with light rain and negligible wind. The forecast was for these conditions to persist for 3 to 4 hours. This is better running weather than walking weather, and much better running weather than standing around weather. <BR> <BR> I run with a pace group that is attached to a half and full marathon training program. I never know till I get there who will show up. Today, there was the pace leader; the running buddy who pushed ... Sat, 6 Dec 2014 21:06:51 EST Aiming for consistency in strength training I am an adult onset runner. Becoming a runner was a physical and emotional process, and it led to places that I did not even consider when I set out to see if I could train up to running a 3.5 mile event without slowing to a walk. <BR> <BR> In the first round of 5K training, I had sore calves much of the time. The soreness was because I was developing the calf muscles, using them in a way I had not used them before. But I did not have any issues with my quads or hamstrings. That was okay... Fri, 5 Dec 2014 20:32:13 EST Streaks, Consistency, and Today's Shorter Long Run I have several Spark streaks, and I confess I don't look at them as often as I used to. Over time, some of them become routine. I don't look at the log in streak, or the exercise 90 minutes a week streak, or the 8 cups of water per day streak. Those things are just part of life, and they happen. There is no motivation and no insight to gain there. <BR> <BR> Then there are the streaks that I keep breaking and restarting. For example, the 10K steps per day streak. I had a streak of 335 d... Sat, 29 Nov 2014 16:34:11 EST Waffle Run It's Friday, which is normally a non-running day for me. It's also the last day of a week off work; Monday it's back to work. And it's Black Friday, with all that implies for shopping in the United States. <BR> <BR> The marketing email from the local Fleet Feet listed their Black Friday specials. The one that interested me was 30% off GU products. That would put their single GU packets down almost as low as I can buy them online; what about boxes? Maybe I should go look. <BR> <BR> And a... Fri, 28 Nov 2014 17:38:52 EST Race Report: Race with Grace 10K For most of last week, the forecast for Thanksgiving called for temperatures in the mid 30s and no precipitation. It turned out to be a little colder and a little wetter. I woke up this morning to see a snow-covered driveway, and a mostly covered street with clear tire tracks. By extrapolation, I expected the major roads to be mostly clear. Snow was still coming down. I looked at the hourly forecast, and it called for this to continue through race time. <BR> <BR> That affected my plans... Thu, 27 Nov 2014 19:18:09 EST Podiatrist, Blood Donation, and Upcoming 10K It seems that even the days off work tend to be a bit busy. <BR> <BR> This morning I saw the podiatrist again. X-rays show healing progress in the stress fractures on the left foot, but the process isn't done. I described my foot twinges, and he gave me a wrap to support the arch. It works kind of like an ace bandage, only thinner, easier to apply, and specialized for the foot. The sound track was that I could wear it against the skin and put my sock over it, or I could wear it over my s... Mon, 24 Nov 2014 17:50:21 EST Bonus Blog: Today's run and training musings A few days ago, I noted that I had seen three seasons of weather in one calendar month. We had a day of summer weather, several days of autumn weather, and a few days of winter weather this month. Today we got spring weather. Not gorgeous spring weather, but a gray drippy melt the snow style of spring weather. Still, it struck me as noteworthy that I've now seen all 4 seasons worth of weather in the same calendar month. <BR> <BR> 52° F was near perfect running weather this afternoon. I ... Sun, 23 Nov 2014 18:51:11 EST Musings on Weight Maintenance This morning the scale showed me down 2.2 pounds from yesterday. There are a couple of things going on here. Yesterday was a long run day, so I was up early and weighed myself early. My body didn't have as much time as usual to dehydrate, so I expect that weight to be a bit on the high side. Today I was up at the normal time, and of course I burned all that glycogen running 16 miles yesterday. That should make me more dehydrated than usual this morning. Tomorrow the weight will rebound ... Sun, 23 Nov 2014 18:31:12 EST Musings on moderation and building mileage Recently, my thoughts have been on the dangers of over-doing the exercise. I got a couple of foot twinges after last Saturday's 16 mile run, and decided it wouldn't be wise to do speed work this week. So Thursday's run was an unremarkable 5.6 miles at a moderate pace. I wore trail shoes, but didn't need them for most of the first 5 miles. It felt good, but that's not where my major concern was this week. <BR> <BR> Last weekend ONEKIDSMOM sent me a Fitbit Workweek Hustle challenge invitat... Sat, 22 Nov 2014 21:06:12 EST Snowy Tuesday Run Today the polar vortex decided to start acting like a polar vortex in upstate NY. It was 17° when I went out to clear the snow from my driveway this morning. Not to worry, Tuesday is a work at home day. <BR> <BR> It was a nice warm 22° when I got out to walk at noon, but there was a brisk southwesterly wind. I thought about how to run in this weather, then went back in to work the afternoon. <BR> <BR> By quitting time, it was snowing again. The streets were covered, not deeply. I dress... Tue, 18 Nov 2014 20:56:30 EST Two Part 16 mile Long Run The paced runs on Saturday moved from 7 to 7:30 with the change back to daylight wasting time. That makes it easier to be on time, and today we had full daylight for the start of the run. I left my reflective harness and lights in the car. The starting daylight won't last all winter, but it's nice while we have it. <BR> <BR> Today there actually was an 8:30 pace group. Besides me, there was the regular pace leader; my running buddy from last week; a couple of guys I met doing preview run... Sat, 15 Nov 2014 20:52:19 EST Finished the 48 oz. carton of ice cream No, not in one sitting. Today I finished the 48 oz. carton of ice cream I bought in August, and blogged about a week later: <BR> <link><BR>urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=5769597 </link> <BR> <BR> There were a lot of days I didn't have any ice cream. Days I did, the serving size varied from 28 grams to something in the 50, but was mostly 40-some grams. By the bottom of the carton, that size serving became normal for me. <BR> <BR> Or kind of normal. It... Fri, 14 Nov 2014 20:15:53 EST Tempo Thursday The polar vortex has arrived here, for what it's worth. By the time it got to upstate New York, it wasn't as dramatic as the weather stories I see from other places. Here, it looks like normal December weather in mid November. <BR> <BR> Tuesday evening, I ran 5 miles of hills with the temperature above 60° F. That was pretty unusual for November, and pretty warm for running in the dark at 6 PM. <BR> <BR> Today I set out to run tempo, with the temperature near freezing. My porch thermo... Thu, 13 Nov 2014 21:46:43 EST This Week in Running Today is Saturday, a day to be up early for a paced long run. There was an email in my inbox notifying me that I was today's Featured Motivator. That was a bit of a surprise, as I have not been writing many blogs lately. So perhaps I owe the community a blog today. Or perhaps I need to write one whether I'm featured or not. <BR> <BR> I have been stretching my running mileage, which hit a new high of 31.25 miles last training week. I expect the current training week, ending tomorrow, to ... Sat, 8 Nov 2014 17:14:36 EST Running Volume: Looking Ahead a Few Weeks Today I'm looking at how many miles I run. I track running miles in a spreadsheet, and pay the most attention to miles per week; length of the long runs; and accumulated mileage on each pair of shoes. But today I wanted to look at how much the mileage is building. <BR> <BR> September and October felt like I was building more mileage. But when I look at the numbers, I see that wasn't the case. In August, I ran 90 miles spread out over 18 runs. September I ran 102 miles spread out over 1... Wed, 5 Nov 2014 21:15:28 EST Saturday Long Run It's Saturday, and the group paced run was scheduled at Durand Eastman Park on the shore of Lake Ontario. I knew in advance that the 8/8:30 pace leader would not be there today, because he would be in Florida doing an iron man tri. <BR> <BR> At 7 am, it turned out I was the only runner with a target pace faster than 9:00. I could run with the 9:00 group, or I could be my own pace leader. I started with the nines, then left them to follow the route as best I could, maintaining a pace betwe... Sat, 1 Nov 2014 15:20:48 EST A Runner's Shifting Self-Image Not long after I joined SparkPeople, I read a blog ONEKIDSMOM wrote mentioning some study saying it took the average successful weight loser about a year per 25 pounds lost to adjust her self-image to match her changed body. I lost about 30 pounds, and it took about a year for my new body to seem totally normal, so that seemed like a reasonable conclusion. <BR> <BR> Now I'm pondering other aspects of my self-image, and how that self-image has changed when I wasn't paying attention. As I ta... Fri, 31 Oct 2014 19:57:47 EST Maintenance Puzzle: Fueling the Endurance Athlete I've mentioned a few times that what to eat in maintenance is an ongoing puzzle. Maintenance is not steady state, and my nutritional needs fluctuate. I adjust what I eat as I try to keep the weight trending sideways. Though I've had good success with this, it is always a worry as to whether I am property identifying an incipient trend that I need to respond to, or over-reacting to a meaningless blip. <BR> <BR> That's the familiar nutrition puzzle. Lately, I'm facing a different nutrition... Sun, 26 Oct 2014 21:27:50 EST Tempo Thursday, without coaches It's been a tough work week for scheduling. Monday wasn't so bad, but it was a non-running day. Tuesday the work load prevented me from running at lunch, and I had a 4:30 PM dental appointment that stretched too late for me to get to the 6PM Cobbs Hill run. So I ended up running from home at 6:30, in the dark, with reflective gear and lights. <BR> <BR> The good news is, the headlight that I bought for trail running works well for seeing where I'm going on residential streets. The bad new... Thu, 23 Oct 2014 20:34:54 EST Day After the 15K - Miscellaneous Rambling I can never cram everything into one blog. Today's blog is a collection of things that didn't make it into yesterday's race report, a few comments triggered by replies to yesterday's blog, and a bit about how today went. Some of this will be old news to experienced runners, but I'm given to understand that several people who don't have much running experience read my blogs. <BR> <BR> I said in advance that the race course was flat. It turned out not to be as flat as I had thought. There ... Sun, 19 Oct 2014 20:11:01 EST Race Report: Finish Strong 15K The weather forecast was accurate. I drove through varying amounts of rain to get to the course, and it was 52° F with a light shower at gun time. Some of the less experienced runners doing the 5K opined that the weather could be better; the more experienced runners agreed with my statement that there is no bad weather, only inappropriate clothing. <BR> <BR> As predicted, appropriate clothing to run in this weather was running shorts and a tech tee shirt. I was comfortable as long as I wa... Sat, 18 Oct 2014 15:32:39 EST Pre-Race Jitters Yesterday I got an email pointing at a featured board post titled, "You Runners Are All Crazy." You may have seen the email and/or the post; the title comes from something a spectator said to the writer as she walked toward the starting line of a 5K, in the rain. <BR> <BR> I know the feeling. I am a runner, and yes, we are all crazy. The forecast for tomorrow at 9 AM is 52° F with showers. That's good. I can wear shorts and short sleeves, and I won't need gloves. I don't really care wh... Fri, 17 Oct 2014 19:18:39 EST Bonus Blog: Passing up Free Food It's Tuesday, a work at home day and the day of the weekly Cobbs Hill run at 6 PM. After a rather busy work day, I dashed off a quick blog on my maintenance anniversary then went off to get dinner and go to the Cobbs Hill run. <BR> <BR> The run was pretty routine. I misjudged distances again, and ended up running 5.58 miles when I had planned to run about 5. I let myself run at whatever pace felt good, without pushing hard. That had me run for 43:53, for an average pace of 7:52 per mile.... Tue, 7 Oct 2014 21:25:36 EST Three Year Maintenance Anniversary Today is my three year maintenance anniversary. I would have overlooked it, but the At Goal and Maintaining + Transition to Maintenance team sent me a spark goodie commemorating the date. Then the comments on my Spark Page started rolling in. <BR> <BR> This is one of the nice things about Spark People. Just when I'm engrossed in Life Happening outside fitness and weight maintenance efforts, I get some reminders of how far I've come and how well I've been doing. <BR> <BR> My maintenance ... Tue, 7 Oct 2014 16:56:45 EST Podiatrist follow up This morning was a follow up visit with the podiatrist. My left foot, which had multiple stress fractures of the metatarsals, has been feeling pretty good. My right foot has some tingling that has been going on since a 2012 injury, and this seemed like a good time to seek medical advice on a minor nuisance that hasn't been getting better. <BR> <BR> There were x-rays. They showed a healing stress fracture on the third metatarsal, and the others didn't show up at all. The doctor poked arou... Mon, 6 Oct 2014 20:15:19 EST Adapting to Changes in Routine Like most people, I have a lot of routine in my weekends. Saturdays, I run in the morning. Later in the day, my daughter borrows my washer and dryer and we go to lunch or dinner, depending on the time. Time with my adult daughter is precious, but sedentary. It doesn't derail my fitness, because I have my long run before the visit. <BR> <BR> Last Thursday, my daughter texted to ask whether laundry could be done about noon on Sunday. Sure, no problem. I can adjust. Then Saturday noonish... Sun, 5 Oct 2014 19:21:56 EST Start of a new training cycle The next half marathon on my schedule is January 10, 2015. Today was the first long run of the formal half marathon training program that points at the Winter Warrior Half. I am not in that program, but I signed up for the paced pass to run with the pace groups on the long runs. I missed the social aspect of the long runs, but also taking the Thursday speed workouts of the training program would give Mr. Testosterone too much encouragement. <BR> <BR> This morning the weather is what most ... Sat, 4 Oct 2014 20:17:14 EST Running with night gear It's Thursday, normally a work at home day and a day I could run on the lunch hour, or right at 5. But today was different. There was a big rah-rah meeting at 4 PM in the office. The CEO was in town and would give us a business update. The email late yesterday specified "business" dress, and did not say "business casual." $&#*. I debated canceling out of the meeting. Settled on wearing a tie and a sport coat, because right now I park a half mile from the office and I didn't want to wal... Thu, 2 Oct 2014 21:54:15 EST 42 grams of fiber Today fiber appeared as a measured nutrient in the nutrition tracker. I noticed it because the numbers on the far right, which had been protein, looked off. Then I went looking for settings. There don't appear to be any settings that the user can control. <BR> <BR> My first reaction was, I haven't looked at fiber for three years on SparkPeople, I don't think I need it now. Let's hide it and get back to what I saw. Unfortunately, I didn't find a setting to remove it. <BR> <BR> My next ... Wed, 1 Oct 2014 21:22:36 EST Becoming A Runner - A Retrospective Thursday, one of my sisters blogged about looking forward to her first 5K and dreaming of quitting: <link><BR>blic_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=57<BR>87019 </link> <BR> <BR> The above comment does not fairly represent her blog; for better nuance, read what she wrote. <BR> <BR> In response, another one of my sisters blogged yesterday about how she became a runner: <link><BR>urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=5787561 ... Sat, 27 Sep 2014 17:16:36 EST A Full Race Calendar It's Thursday, normally a day to run from home on my lunch hour. But as noted in yesterday's blog, the Pub Run that I'm not terribly fond of coincided with a discount on registering for the Winter Warrior Half Marathon. So I drove through the city, found on street parking, and joined a largish crowd of people dressed to run. Many of the faces were familiar. <BR> <BR> Pre-run announcement described the new half marathon. It will start at 4 PM on January 10, so we might have 10 or 15 minut... Thu, 25 Sep 2014 21:30:35 EST Recovery Run, and Looking Forward I met the goal of running an easy 4 miles of hills the Tuesday after running a half marathon on Sunday. It wasn't a big deal. I went to the Cobbs Hill workout, ran the long way around to get to the hill, and tried to keep the up and down hill running at an easy pace. The total run was 4.70 miles in 37:56, for an average pace of 8:04. Mile splits were 7:57, 8:14, 8:15, 7:53, and a pace of 8:01 for the last 0.7 mile. I was inevitably faster than target on some of the downhills, but I'm sat... Wed, 24 Sep 2014 21:37:00 EST Day After Musings It's the Monday after running a half marathon on Sunday. Since this was my second half marathon, I inevitably make comparisons to how it went last time. <BR> <BR> I feel less beat up this time, which is a little surprising. True, I didn't run the ROC as hard as I ran Flower City; but I wasn't as well trained this time. I felt like I could have gone out for an easy run today, but didn't. It was clear that, at a minimum, I had heavy legs this morning. Better to walk today, and start the w... Mon, 22 Sep 2014 20:34:29 EST Race Report: Rochester Half Marathon It was a morning of plans that didn't go exactly as planned, but everything worked out well. I got up on schedule, but as I was doing my normal morning routine I caught myself wondering whether I had pressed "Power Level 3" (a.k.a. "simmer") on the microwave for the second segment of nuking the steel cut oats. It turned out I hadn't, for the first time since I discovered I could program two segments into the microwave and have 22 minutes to do things while the steel cut oats cook. <BR> <BR... Sun, 21 Sep 2014 15:51:28 EST pre-half musings I took Friday off work, and still didn't find time to blog. But it was a pleasant day. I got some grocery shopping done, got my annual flu shot, and got in the last easy 4 mile run of my modified taper. Took the same route as Thursday, and had no issues with the Garmin this time. Turns out it was 4.21 miles; the 4.3 I had remembered was from taking the longer way home. <BR> <BR> Okay, I did have an issue controlling my pace on the run. Total distance was 4.21 miles in 33:56, for an 8:04... Sat, 20 Sep 2014 16:23:43 EST High Tech Follies It's Thursday, a work at home day. The work schedule allowed me to run on my lunch hour, in the heat of the day. The heat of the day today turned out to be 55° F, which SparkPeople says is the ideal running temperature. The sky was overcast, and the pavement was damp from a mid morning rain shower. <BR> <BR> The plan was to run 4.3 easy miles, on a very familiar route around the neighborhood featuring three small hills. The first mile went according to plan. Shortly into the second mile... Thu, 18 Sep 2014 21:20:32 EST