4/1 – Half Marathon Training

And I'm roughly the same shape...

And I’m roughly the same shape…

Leonidas yesterday, Kool-Aid Man today. I only look like one of them, but which one is a secret (yeah, right). But like the Kool-Aid Man, I too broke though a wall today. OH YEAAAH!

Since I was able to do a decent run yesterday on a treadmill, I wanted to move ahead and run under my own steam. That took me back to the UT Rec Center to use the indoor track. I can’t wait for it to be bright enough early enough to run safely on the trails in the mornings. Soon… soon.

My success in breaking through the wall this morning leads me even more strongly to believe that increasing both my carbs and total calories is the right path, at least in the short term. There may be no such thing as a silver bullet, but my increased staying power was quite welcome.

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3/30 – Training Update

She canna do it, Cap'n! She just dunna have the power!

She canna do it, Cap’n! She just dunna have the power!

That picture pretty accurately describes how my last several runs have gone. Indoors or outdoors, trail or track… it doesn’t seem to make a difference. I’m hitting the wall but hard each and every run. Yesterday’s run felt good for about two miles, then it all fell apart.

What got my attention after that run wasn’t the heavy arms or the dry mouth. When I sat down to take in some water, I nearly fell dead asleep right there on the bench. Closing my eyes after that run meant fighting to stay alert, even as I walked a short cooldown. I don’t know what falling instantly asleep after a rough run means, but I don’t figure it is a good thing.

Bonking and I are old enemies, so that sensation isn’t itself particularly scary. What does have me concerned, however, is that it is happening every time I go out. At this point, I’m even feeling some weariness in my shoulders and hips throughout the day (but that could be purely psychosomatic).

Screen-shot-2011-09-01-at-11.23.33-AM-335x421The point of all this isn’t to complain or moan about my lot – I just need to be honest about how I feel and how my body is holding up. While my current goal is weight loss (particularly after my previous binge period), I have to wonder if I need a few more calories or at least some more good carbs.

To that end, I’m adding a Clif Bar (or the equivalent, such as a Picky Bar) to my diet every day for at least the next several days. I’m also taking today off instead of tomorrow, and trying to do a LSD run tomorrow where I actually keep my heart rate in Zone 2 or 3 (gasp! Pacing myself!).

I know I can do better, I just need to figure out how to correct for this present problem.

3/24 – Half Marathon Training

Don't let the sweet face fool you...

Don’t let the sweet face fool you… this is one tough pacer!

Another Monday, another day of cross-training & rest. I’ve said it before, but it is still true: it feels odd starting my week with a day off.

But cross-training is useful, and all workouts are more fun with a training partner… mine today just happened to have four legs and a tail wag that could power a turbine.

Leo has gotten blue over the winter being stuck inside all day, every day. So I’m trying to get him out for walks around the neighborhood and eventually the metroparks as I can. He has some doggie pudge, so he the exercise just as much as I do.

I’ve developed a walk around the neighborhood that is around 3.5mi, which is enough to wear Leo out at the moment. But today was not a good day for that route.

Wasn't it just Spring yesterday?!?

Wasn’t it just Spring yesterday?!?

I watched the news this morning, so I knew it was supposed to be cold again (grr….). But I thought the sun would counteract it and make it comfortable again. Yeah… I was wrong. The ambient plus the wind made it REALLY cold to be out with exposed skin. My hands started to burn from the cold, so I couldn’t keep either Leo or myself out there for the entire 3.5mi. I called it at a bit over 2mi.

Damn. I want Spring back.

However, there is good news to balance the suffering. Stacy replaced the blender, so as I type this I am enjoying a nice, thick cookies-and-cream GNC shake as my afternoon snack. The old one leaked into the base and shorted out. Hopefully, I can keep this one working longer.

And Garmin is still derping with their website, so no Garmin Connect links yet. Maybe tomorrow…


3/3 – Half Marathon Training


New week = another rest/cross-training day to start. I’m starting to get into the rhythm of this program – it is nice to have structure to my training again.

I’ve been looking for a core routine that is good for my situation – namely, someone with considerable discomfort when rolling on the coccyx & a weak lower back. Both P90X and Insanity were no good for this and while DDP Yoga gets a lot of great reviews, I’m not prepared to drop more money on a DVD program (even if it does star my favorite pro wrestler of all time!).

This search has been occuring off and on for quite a while, but my goal of adding core work to my cross-training days for RW:C Break-1:30 has made me get serious about it. At one point, I had found a pretty good routine, but I couldn’t remember where I found it. Isn’t that always the way of things?

But today I remembered where I found it! One of the more popular running blogs on the web is Strength Running. If you poke around the site long enough, you will find that the man behind Strength Running, Jason Fitzgerald, has what he terms the “Standard Core Routine“. This was what I was looking for!

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How to: Add a Custom Food & Recipe to MyFitnessPal

MyFitnessPal (MFP) is a valuable & powerful tool in your arsenal to keep track of your nutrition. The interface is clean, the database of commercial foods and products is massive, and the interoperability between web & iOS is almost flawless.

But one of the best features is the ability to add your own custom foods & recipes. I have been adding the Racing Weight recipes as I make them to My Foods so that I can add their nutritional data on the fly in the future. If I encounter a recipe without nutritional data (like my buffalo hummus), I can recreate the recipe in MFP to generate the nutritional data (and also have it available for later).

Today, I will provide a step-by-step walkthrough of how to add a custom food & recipe to MFP. Continue reading

Om, nom, nom! Additional Racing Weight Recipes!

While Matt Fitzgerald is the mastermind behind the Racing Weight Diet Quality Score (DQS) system, he coauthored the Racing Weight Cookbook with “registered dietitian, nutrition expert, and physique coach” Georgie Fear.

While the Racing Weight blog posts recipes from the cookbook occasionally, it does not add any new foods to the mix. Fortunately, Georgie keeps her own blog, Ask Georgie, that can serve as a supplement to the Racing Weight Cookbook.

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2/19 – Half Marathon Training

Easy five miler on the schedule today, AND no new snow? Yes, please!

It irks me that the Y closest to me doesn’t have an indoor track. There is one not too far as the crow flies downtown (yuk!), but that takes just as long to drive to as the Y in Perrysburg. So now I’m making the drive down I-75 each morning so I can run on a track and skip the treadmill for another day.

At least the track is sparsely populated at 7:00 am. Continue reading

Review: Racing Weight series

For the past two years, my focus has been on losing weight – lots of weight. I lost over 100 lbs following the P90X nutrition guideĀ  and its ultra low-carb diet, but it is very much a “do as I say” guide without much explanation or customization.

Eventually, I got hurt in late 2013 and had to stop running for several months. The idea of regaining that weight (which I did during finals/holidays – around 25 lbs) horrified me, so I went extremely low calorie to lose weight again. I had a “good diet” – all lean protein and vegetables, but very little of either.

I was carb starved and running & coaching endurance sports. I constantly felt drained and when I hit the wall in a long run, it was brutal. Something had to change. I had heard of Matt Fitzgerald’s nutrition program from magazines and Amazon suggestions, so I read up on it.

Let me lay it out clearly, Racing Weight is an amazing nutrition system built specifically for endurance athletes. Continue reading