Cleaning up my eating

Since I’ve basically been stalled at the same weight for 3.5 months now, I think I’m going to switch my Weight Watchers and go back to counting calories with the My Fitness Pal app. At the same time, I am going to try to change my eating style around. I want to try some lower carb / higher protein / primal / paleo type diet.

There’s several challenges in my way. Bread. Potatoes. Beer. Rice. Corn. Things like that! I love those foods. It’s going to be a learning process for me. Maybe, at some point, I’ll have my eating cleaned up enough that I can stop counting calories, but I’m going to keep doing that for the time being.

During my Googling on cleaner eating, I discovered Mark’s Daily Apple. I don’t know too much about Mark, but seems to have a pretty informative website and a decently busy forum. And he’s written a bunch of books. And he has some neat recipes on his website. So, I guess he can’t be all that bad. I may learn a few things from him. I’m sure there’s worse people to learn from.

Anyways, just as I’ve discovered this, Mark is starting a 21 Day Challenge. It amounts to making a pledge to eat clean for 21 days, exercise a lot aerobically, some quickly, and some heavily. Got it. Exercise party is easy. Eating part… not so easy. I sorta decided this on a whim this morning, so it’s going to be tough going the first few days as I learn what I’m getting in to.

Catching up on things

Well, like I usually tend to do, I forgot about the blog for a few weeks. Oops!

On July 4, 2013, I ran the Firecracker 6 mile race in downtown Indianapolis. I have a bit of a streak going with this one since this was my 4th year of the race and the 4th time it was run. It starts at the City Market, just a couple blocks off of Monument Circle. In fact, the course was slightly changed this year and the race started off with us running towards and around the north half of the circle. I always have liked running that circle for some reason.

I guess my training is paying off because I set a race and 6 mile PR of 49:02 for a 8:11 pace. I do think the last mile may have been short because my Garmin was always going off about 20 yards before the mile markers (normal), but I only measured the last mile as .8 at a 7:39 pace. I saw another guy’s race on Daily Mile and his last mile was also much quicker. I guess I shouldn’t complain because I set a PR! And what made it even neater was that it wasn’t that much slower than my 5K race just a month earlier.

The training was going ok until the long run last Saturday. I felt mostly ok for the 9.8 or so miles, but boy was I sore afterwards. And then Sunday. And still sore today, Tuesday. I actually skipped the run Monday, but went out for 1 hour 10 minutes tonight. I felt some soreness in my thighs from the 3 mile point onwards. I’m not too sure what that is all about.

Weight loss… ugh. It seems I’ve been at a plateau since late May, or at least my losing has slowed down to under 1lb a week. This coincides with starting to run more, and is what usually happens when I increase my running. I’m still plugging away, but feeling a little upset at how that’s going. It is what it is, and as long as the scale keeps going downwards then I’ll keep at it.

Week one of @IndyMonumental training program done!

Week one of my Running Wizard training program is done!

I ran 20.4 miles this week. That’s more than I ran in January and February combined. I’ll get close to 80 miles this month.

Monday was an “easy fartlek” run for 28 minutes that I didn’t do easy enough. I remember feeling pretty beat up later that night. Tuesday was a 45 minute aerobic run that had me averaging a 10:15 pace. Off on Wednesday, 2 easy miles on Thursday, and my out-and-back (aka tempo) run on Friday. I was supposed to do the tempo part in 9:58, but I ended up going out at 9:42 and back at 9:38. So a bit faster than I should have, but I was happy the splits were consistent.

Saturday… what a bad day. I wanted to go down to Broad Ripple to run with the Indy Runners group, but I woke up, ate breakfast, and decided to go back to bed. I was feeling like crap. I didn’t get back out of bed until 10! I still wasn’t feeling great, but I decided I should get the 6 mile (1hr 7min) long run in anyways. The first mile or two wasn’t bad, then I started feeling worse and worse. My pace got slower and slower and my heart rate kept going up and up. I have a feeling it was the beginnings of heat exhaustion, so I’m glad I was finishing up when I did. I felt a little woozy and saw some black spots when I got back inside. I spent the rest of the day re-hydrating and with a headache. I’m not real sure why that run was so bad, but I sure hope I don’t repeat it. I’ll looked back on this run in November and laugh… I hope!

Oh, I haven’t talked about my weight lost. Three weeks ago I was down .8, two weeks ago another .8, and last week up 1.6. So I figure I was at a bit of a plateau. I think the extra running this past week may have helped break it and I was down 3.2. I’ve found out my job is ending and I need to buy an interview suit, which sucks because I’ll only be wearing it a few times before I shrink out of it!

Lost another 1.6 pounds; returned the Rides

Weighed in on Friday and found I had lost another 1.6 pounds. I should be happy, but I’m slightly disappointed. I’ve lost over 30 pounds in just under 4 months on Weight Watchers. Anyone would be pleased by that, except for me. I should have lost 35 or 40! I didn’t exercise enough… I drank too much beer… ate too many bananas… Just the way I am, I guess. Always wanting better and never knowing how to get to it. But, hey, I have lost 30 pounds in just under 4 months. My pants almost fall off of me and the necks of my shirts look sloppy. I’m making progress!

I ended up returning the Saucony Guide 5’s after all. I ran in them twice and my little toe was bright red after the second. Just too tight around there and I didn’t want to run in them more and end up with my toenail falling off! I remember Saucony shoes being a little tight in that area from when I’ve tried them in the store and I should have listened to myself. I bought the Guide shoes in a 12.5, compared to 12 in the Ride, to avoid that but they have ended up being too loose in the arch area and gave me blisters.

So, right now I am running in Brooks Adrenaline GTS 11. I also have a pair of Asics DS Trainer 16’s with about 100 miles. Maybe I’ll dust those off and see how they feel. I was attracted to the Saucony shoes due to their 8mm drop and I’d like to find something else with a lower drop and a bit of stability for, ahem, over-pronation control. The Brooks Pure Cadence seems interesting, but it has a 4mm drop and I think that may be a bit too much for me. I think I’ll read more about them though.

Another 2.2 pounds lost and new half marathon training plan

Weighed in on Friday and found I had lost another 2.2 pounds. So I’m down a total of 28.6 pounds now! All my pants are MUCH looser and fabric bunches up when I tighten my belt. I suppose it’s getting to be about time to buy some smaller pants. I do sort of want to hold off until I’m closer to my final weight so I don’t end up buying two wardrobes, but it may be unavoidable to some extent.

I went for a 2 mile run on Saturday to try out my new shoes. They don’t feel bad; just a touch too tight around my little toe. I’ll give them a few more runs and decide if I want to use Running Warehouse’s 90 day return policy. I didn’t really do any other running this week because I was so busy with school work. Unfortunate, really.

I did purchase a half marathon training plan from Running Wizard, a website by the same gentleman that makes my primary running log, Running Ahead. It generates customized training plans based on Arthur Lydiard’s training principles. Due to my downtime running and my slow half marathon last fall, my plan does not utilize all of the segments that Lydiard teaches. In fact, I’m just getting 14 weeks of aerobic base building, 4 weeks of anaerobic, and a week of tapering. And the longest run is just 8 miles. But I’ll be running 5 days a week at much slower paces than I’m used to.

Seeing how I always end up injured, I’m thinking this will help bring some needed discipline to my training. I think that I try to run too fast too soon (and I’m too big!) and end up getting various lower leg injuries from just doing too much. The negative of this is that I’m probably not going to be able to do the Indy Runners summer training program because my Saturday distances will be much lower than what they’ll be doing. I’ll give it a shot and see how I do. I start the plan on June 17. Any amount of success will be met with me buying a second plan for the Carmel Marathon next April.

Lost 2.6 pounds, Ran 5 miles

My weigh in on Friday had me losing 2.6 pounds, which takes me under the 10% initial goal that Weight Watchers set for me. So it took me 3 months 1 week to lose 10% of my initial body weight. I guess I’m pretty happy about that. I had all of my weekly points left and used 5 of my 23 activity points.

I set my next intermediate goal as another 5% to lose, which should take me down to 221; another 12.6 pounds to lose. I don’t have a time to accomplish that in, but I’d be thrilled if that was what I weigh on July 5th. I really don’t have a final goal in mind, but it has to be below 200 to be within the “healthy weight” guidelines.

Went out for a five mile run this morning. The temp was around 60 and there was a nice 12mph wind coming in from the east or southeast. I could definitely feel it, and my mile times reflected it. But I felt good. It was a little faster than I wanted as I’m trying to shoot for 10:00 miles on long run days, but I finished around 9:43 average.

First Weekly Weight Gain

My weekly weight in was on Friday and I posted my first weekly gain after three months of doing Weight Watchers. It was 1.2 pounds, which takes my total weight loss up to 23.8 pounds. I’m only slightly discouraged by it. I figured my 4.2 pound loss the week before had me at the bottom of my natural weight swing, and this gain was at the top. I weighed myself Saturday morning and I was back down to the weight from the previous Friday.

What was different this past week compared to the week before? I’m not sure. I didn’t eat the taco salad on Thursday at work the week before, and I did this week. I figure it’s pretty salty, and maybe sits heavily in me, so that may have something to do with it. Otherwise, like every other week, I don’t dip in my weekly “bonus” points and I had most of my activity points left. 9 used of 28 earned for the 1.2 gain, and 0 used of 27 earned for the prior week. But, that 10 point difference wouldn’t have mattered that much. So I think I’m on the right track for blaming it on the natural weight fluctuations.

My running this week wasn’t as frequent as I would have wanted. Just the race last weekend and then 3.1 miles on Thursday. I’m having a hard time getting remotivated to run more frequently. Has something to do with the spring being cool, and having a lot of school work I need to get done. I do still enjoy the runs when I get out there. I guess it’s time to lace up the shoes and go for a Sunday afternoon run. Temp is in the low 60’s and it just finished raining.

Ready for Carmel 8k race

20130419-212633.jpgI’m ready to run the Carmel Marathon weekend 8k race on Saturday. And I have a renewed excitement because the Boston Marathon bombers have been killed and caught. It will be a chilly morning, so I’ll probably be wearing a long sleeve shirt and gloves. And my new Boston Red Sox hat with a Boston yellow ribbon on it. Should be a good time with this good news from tonight.

Oh, and I’ll be a “streaker” since I’ve run in each of the 3 Carmel Marathon Weekend races; the half the first year, 8k last year, and 8k this year. Check out the sticker on my bib! I think I’ll get a nifty piece of bling at the end.

Oh yea, my weigh in this week was down 4.2 lbs, for a total of 25 lbs lost in 1 week shy of three months following Weight Watchers. I had planned on just doing WW for three months and then going on my own, but I think I’ll continue my subscription and continue this journey.

Was a nice day for a run

Today was a good day for a run. Went out for my 4 mile neighborhood loop and the temp was in the mid 60’s and the strong breeze felt pretty nice. That’s the longest I’ve run in a few months and it felt harder than I expected. But it felt good. Then I went and mowed the lawn for the first time this season. And I was beat! I’ve been far too sedentary this winter.

Last week I was working noon to 9PM at work and I really hated that. I only got in one run, just 2 miles, on Tuesday morning. I just didn’t want to get out the door the other mornings. And my eating was pretty crappy. Well, not as bad as it would have been in past weeks when I worked late shift, but not as good as when I work my regular hours. I did manage to stay on my Weight Watchers plan every day, so I was happy about that. But I lost less than a pound, so I was disappointed in that.

They’re starting up a Weight Watchers at Work program at the office, and I’m going to check in to that. I chose the online route because the meeting times aren’t entire convenient for me right now. I do my school work in the evenings and would rather not lose another evening due an additional “activity.” But, if they have meetings during a lunch hour, then I can just take my sandwich and eat during the meeting. That’s be entirely convenient. So, we’ll see what all this entails.

I participated in the Twitter #runchat hour tonight and had a good time. It’s usually far too busy for me to keep track and I actually had not participated in several weeks. One person wondered how to do speed work on neighborhood routes and my suggestion was to use the mailboxes as markers for fartleks. Run fast to this one, then slow to the that one… and go for whatever distance. I hope to get back in to doing workouts like that later this year. For now, I’m just plodding along and enjoying the scenery.

Time for a beer! Sierra Nevada Stout is about to be poured. Cheers!

My points help control my life

So the Weight Watchers app and website have been down for about 5.5 hours now. No comment from Weight Watchers on their Twitter, Facebook, or website. Kinda sucks that they charge $19/month for the website and then have zero communications during their outage.

Worse than that, is I’m not exactly sure how many points I have left for the day. I didn’t get to log my dinner, and I just got home from work at 9PM and want a snack and a beer while I watch the NCAA basketball game. I know I have 10 – 15 points left, but that’s the difference between one or two beers and it dictates what my snack will be.

For lunch today I had a Bootlegger sub from Jimmy John’s — it has roast beef and turkey. I passed on the Italian Nights sub that had more points, though I do like it better. I also only ate half my chips and saved the other half for dinner.

It’s good that I’ve gotten so conscious of my points left for the day over the past couple months. I’m allowing the points to control what I eat and finding healthy ways to consume those points. I hope these are long term changes for me. But in the short term, it’d be nice if I could track my food for the day!