MOBYCARP's SparkPeople Blog MOBYCARP's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community 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 Easy Hill Run It's Tuesday, a work at home day. Given a plan to hold the run to a bit over 4 miles, running on my lunch hour is a natural decision. <BR> <BR> It didn't happen. Work was full of conference calls today, with scheduling close to lunch on both sides. So I ended up going to the Tuesday evening Cobbs Hill workout. <BR> <BR> The plan was a bit more than 4 miles, running easy. I set out a few minutes early, and took the long way around to the hill so I could explore a couple of side streets.... Tue, 16 Sep 2014 21:19:16 EST The Plan: A Modified Taper Week After yesterday's 10 mile run, I am 100% convinced I will be able to run the Rochester Half Marathon on September 21. That leaves me with the issue of what running I do between now and then. Common training wisdom dictates a taper; but I have not followed a typical training schedule. I have done very little speed work, and what I have done was rather gentle and designed more to test the recovery status of my foot than to actually work on getting faster. I have not had the full ramp up of ... Sun, 14 Sep 2014 21:24:18 EST Bonus Blog: Calorie Warning Rant I've ranted on this subject before, but I feel the need to do so again. Today I noticed a warning message at the bottom of my fitness tracker: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I don't know whether the text in the image will be legible, so here's the details: Today is Saturday. It shows that I have supposedly burned 9468 of my planned 8000 calories this week. That is highlighted by putting the planned fitness minutes and calorie burn... Sat, 13 Sep 2014 21:27:20 EST Last long run before the Rochester Half Marathon It is 8 days till the Rochester Marathon. I had planned for this to be my first marathon, but injury and recovery being what they are this year I'm happy to be able to run the half marathon. <BR> <BR> Today was the last preview run, a 6 mile route that had perhaps 3 miles on the half marathon route. All of a sudden, we have autumn weather. At 7 AM it was 47° F and overcast, with the promise of showers later. This turns out to be the low end of the temperature range where I can run with s... Sat, 13 Sep 2014 16:48:23 EST Sunday Half-Fast Run Ten days ago, on a Thursday, I tested running at tempo and had to back off after I'd gone a bit more than a mile. I told myself I wouldn't test speed work again for at least a week. The following Thursday it was 85° and humid when I ran, and I just did an easy run. I didn't feel like pushing things, and in the back of my mind I remembered the weather was like that when I got my stress fracture in a routine tempo run. I'm sure that's an irrational connection, but I was comfortable with an ... Sun, 7 Sep 2014 17:23:26 EST Pace Group Run with No Pace Leader It's two weeks till the Rochester Marathon. On the two Saturdays before, the local Fleet Feet training program has preview runs, which it opens to the public. Based on recent experience, I expected that there would be no one showing up for the non-preview public group run at 8, so I went to the preview run at 7. As I expected, there was a crowd containing many familiar faces. <BR> <BR> Looked around, and didn't see anyone holding up a sign saying 8:30. Asked one of the coaches, and was a... Sat, 6 Sep 2014 13:28:15 EST The Weekend's Running Somehow I always seem to run out of time on weekends. You would think I'd have plenty of time to write blogs, but it doesn't always work out that way. <BR> <BR> Yesterday I was up early to go to the public group run at Fleet Feet. Got there, and there was no group. Went into the store. Saw that there were employees, and there were the familiar 5 and 3 mile routes for the group runs, but I was the first person to show up . . . at 7:55 am. A few more trickled in by 8, but they were obviou... Sun, 31 Aug 2014 19:51:58 EST Ice Cream, maintenance style Today is Friday before a three day weekend. Fridays are currently non-running days for me, so there is no report on how the run went. Got out of work a bit early, picked up some groceries, and did some routine household stuff. Had a routine dinner, and a bit of ice cream for an evening snack. <BR> <BR> Ice cream? Isn't that a rarity when eating healthy? <BR> <BR> Yes, ice cream. And yes, it is a rarity. I haven't bought ice cream to have in the freezer regularly since before Spark Peo... Fri, 29 Aug 2014 21:19:56 EST Thursday Evening Speed Test The spring-like weather continues. I mowed the lawn on my lunch hour today, four days after the last mowing. This is getting old, but I've seen it before. The plan was to run in the evening. <BR> <BR> After running a bit farther on Tuesday than I had planned, I wanted to run just a bit over 4 miles today. Thought about it, and decided an out and back on the flat part of the Erie Canal Trail would be a good place to do this, and it would be a good time to test whether I'm ready to run fa... Thu, 28 Aug 2014 21:58:51 EST Hot Tuesday Run It's Tuesday, a work at home day. If I had run on my lunch hour, I might have managed to find a temperature of 70-75° F. But I wanted to run further than could fit in the lunch hour, so I waited to run the Cobbs Hill workout with the local Fleet Feet. <BR> <BR> Just before I started, I checked the Weather Channel app. It located me accurately, and claimed the temperature was 87°. That's as hot as I've ever run a significant distance in, and close to as hot as it gets here. Below 90° isn... Tue, 26 Aug 2014 21:37:28 EST Summerfest 12K Preview This morning I went out for my long run as a preview of the Summerfest 12K that will be held on August 31. I got to the course at 7:30. It was 66° F and humid, but not too humid to run. <BR> <BR> Much of the course is on the same roads as the Spring Forward 15K that I ran last spring. To get the shorter distance, a loop is cut off; but the cutoff route is rolling hilss of a similar character to the loop that was cut off. Like Spring Forward, Summerfest is a "dip" route, with the first pa... Sat, 23 Aug 2014 12:26:57 EST