MOBYCARP's SparkPeople Blog MOBYCARP's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community 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 Habits and Unconscious Cues I've written before that periods of high motivation should be used to build good habits, and those good habits help pull me through periods of low motivation with minimal damage or possibly even modest progress. I've go my habits down for nutrition, and they have worked pretty well, so I haven't written much about that. <BR> <BR> Today I noticed that the same thing applies to exercise. <BR> <BR> My cardio exercise of choice is running. I have a history of foot injury, which has sidelined ... Thu, 21 Aug 2014 21:18:59 EST Erie Canal Trail out and back It's Sunday. As usual, the morning was mostly sedentary. The plan was to run 4.6 miles in the afternoon, around the section to the west of my house. <BR> <BR> I got a good jump on getting ready, and just didn't feel like running that route. Thought about it for a few minutes, and came up with a solution that would have been unthinkable a few months ago: I drove somewhere else to run alone. <BR> <BR> Some time yesterday or today, I stopped thinking that maybe I'll be able to run the Roch... Sun, 17 Aug 2014 16:56:00 EST This Week in Running It's been a busy week, and blogging has got squeezed out since last Sunday. It almost go squeezed out today; it's late, and I need to get to bed, but I wanted to get this out here to process some thoughts. <BR> <BR> Tuesday I went to the local hill workout, running a very familiar Cobbs Hill. It was harder going up the hill than I remembered, but that's okay. It will get easier over time. The interesting thing Tuesday was how many familiar faces I saw, and a conversation with a pace lead... Sat, 16 Aug 2014 21:50:05 EST Sunday afternoon run and musings Sunday mornings are sedentary for me, with church pushing any major exercise into the afternoon or evening. Today was no exception. <BR> <BR> By the time I got out to run, it was 80° and sunny. I debated whether to run or mow the lawn first, and running won. Ran a familiar 4.3 mile route around the neighborhood, with 3 little hills. Watched the pace closely, with the goal of keeping it slower than 8:00. Ended up running 4.31 miles in 34:48, for an average pace of 8:05. Mile splits we... Sun, 10 Aug 2014 21:19:32 EST 5 mile group run The local Fleet Feet offers group runs at 8 am on Saturdays. The routes tend to be a little short for real distance training, with loops that can be added together to get longer distances. A five mile route would be common. Unlike the paid training runs, these group runs are not paced. <BR> <BR> Today I wanted to run about 5 miles. I thought about this last night, and decided to get up early and go to the group run. Sure enough, with that decision made in the evening, I woke before the... Sat, 9 Aug 2014 12:51:54 EST Thursday Evening Easy 5K Today is Thursday, normally a work at home day and a day to run on my lunch break. Today happened to be an extra work in the office day, and I'll have an extra work at home day tomorrow to make up for it; but I don't want to run three days in a row. That pushed the planned run for today into the evening. <BR> <BR> The plan was first, pay attention to my right foot. The concerning odd ache from Tuesday faded to almost nothing on Wednesday morning, and was gone by Wednesday noon. Given the... Thu, 7 Aug 2014 20:45:08 EST Return to Running Today is Tuesday, a work at home day and the much-awaited return to continual running. The day was on a bit of an erratic schedule, between work and having the annual furnace and a/c maintenance done; but I did find time to get out for my run. <BR> <BR> Bearing in mind that this is the first time I have run more than 4 minutes at a time since May 15, I limited myself to the flat 5K route from home. I got out into a light shower to run, and reflected that this is better running weather than... Tue, 5 Aug 2014 19:44:33 EST Musings on Fitness Minutes and Motivational Tools Yesterday my baby sister, SPINNINGJW, wrote something that resonated with me: 'For awhile, going on walks was my "go-to" activity, and I was motivated by getting the Spark Points. With the fitbit tracking and syncing, that is no longer a motivator, as my fitbit gives me the maximum fitness points per day.' <BR> <BR> Yes, this. When I started with SparkPeople, I was surprised at how well Spark Points worked as motivation. I even mentioned this in an early blog I wrote about Stupid Motivati... Mon, 4 Aug 2014 18:00:23 EST Adapting the plan to the weather Q: During spring in Rochester, New York, how do you know when to mow the lawn? <BR> <BR> A: If it's not raining, it's time to mow the lawn. <BR> <BR> I didn't expect late July and early August to be spring, but this year that seems to be the case. <BR> <BR> I'm out of the air cast. I'm mostly recovered from the stress fracture. I've got my protocol for easing back into running, and I have been paying attention to not working that weak left foot too hard, too fast. The protocol calls f... Sat, 2 Aug 2014 20:46:08 EST A down day, and a good day Monday was a planned non-running day. It almost turned into a break in the baby 10K step streak, as we got heavy rain at noon canceling my walk from the office. If I'd been working at home, I could have dressed appropriately and just stripped off the wet clothes when I got back . . . but that doesn't work so well in the office. <BR> <BR> Monday was also a mentally depressing day. As I pulled out my work notebook, I saw that I'd left the sheet from the podiatrist visit there. Take a look.... Tue, 29 Jul 2014 20:29:44 EST 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