Phlegm be damned…

After laying on the couch for the better part of a week, having not gone for a run in six days, I decided to throw on several layers of clothes and head out on a crisp, -18c morning with light snow falling.  Thinking that a nice easy run in the cold might free up some of the mucus ball that has become resident in my chest much like Sigourney Weaver’s alien embryo, off I went!

Despite the cold, there was no wind and the paths had been bladed by the city snow crews. Footing was good and I went out at an easy pace for about 6.5 km in 45 minutes. I was surprised how good I felt despite still being quite congested and hacking up phlegm balls. It was good to get out again and my legs were really good which made me quite satisfied at the end.

I’m going to chalk this up to a well deserved rest and break from running as I get back out there and gear up for a January 26th training start for the Calgary marathon.

2014 running recap…

Three weeks gone…

I’ve just finished my third week of the “Quick Start” program. Actually I’m a couple of days into week 4. So how am I doing? Well, lets just say it’s easy to blame the time of year for any failures. Although I don’t feel like I’m failing, there is just a lack of downwards number movement. On a good note, my weight has pretty much stayed the same with all of the temptation the season has to offer and I have been running everyday with the exception of December 23rd (my birthday) and Christmas day.

As I track my progress, it has been somewhat tough maintaining data on foods that are eaten outside of the home. There have been a few restaurant outings which always seem to have a beer or two placed in front of me. Not to mention all the sweets that inevitably lay around the house just waiting to be grabbed by my hand. I have been cognizant of what I eat and quite often ask myself “do you really need that”? Sometimes I make the right decision, sometimes I don’t; but thats an improvement because in the past there was never any option of a choice, just a hand shooting into that Bits and Bites bowl!

I’m not discouraged though. I will persevere and move forward. I will continue to run and once a week I do a power cycle stint on a spin bike. There is also some strength work 3 times a week incorporated into my plan. My marathon training will commence on January 26th culminating with the Calgary marathon on May 31st.

There’s one day left of running in 2014. Watch for my year end summary!!

one down, five to go…

Week one of my “Quick Start” program is in the books. Overall, getting started was not as painful as I thought it would be. And by painful I mean the recording and entering of all the food data, not the physical part.

I purchased a FitBit Flex to assist with tracking of no running calorie usage. I have linked that to my MyFitnessPal where I enter my food intake (either on my ipad or iphone app) and then all of it feeds into my Garmin Connect account.

My routine is to use my Garmin for all running and cycling (spin) activity to get my data on distance and calories burned from those activities. I do not use my FitBit when doing these exercises but do have it on for all other activities including strength training as well as sleeping.

At the beginning of the week I started at 224 lbs and 22.6% body fat. The week ended with me at 23.4% body fat and 224.8 lb. So despite the number being up slightly, I’m not discouraged. I’m not sure how accurate my scales are when it come to the measurements, but all I ask is for consistency. I did have my weight down to 221 for a couple of days. Also, the time of year isn’t helping. Lots of “bad” food at work and around the house, parties and all the associated eating and drinking that comes with it.

I was worried about keeping track of my food intake but that seems to be okay. I have realized that portion size is very important; I don’t really need that plateful, just half of it. My big problem is that time after dinner, sitting around watching tv and more so out of habit and boredom, the need arises to put some food into my body. Do I need it? No. I am trying to meet this challenge by ignoring the urge or being very selective on what I ingest. And I try to find something to do to to take away the “eating due to boredom” syndrome.

So on to week two. I have a better understanding of what I need to do and as we move closer to Christmas, my birthday, and all of the related shenanigans, I will try and keep focused and do the best I can.

my focus is here…

I’ve been going through some of the Matt Fitzgerald books trying to formulate a plan for the future.

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One complaint I have about the “Quick Start Guide” is that there are several references to calculators on the racingweight.com website to help you with the program. When you go to the website, there are no calculators! Admitedly, the author says they over promised and under produced on the website and were unable to add the calculators due to their limited resources(?). I think there are several sites that will fill the void of trying to track daily calorie intake and carbs versus protein totals but the inconvenience is noticeable.

A lot of the fitness tracking programs out there function with your phone connected to your heart rate monitor to track your progress. I really do not want to wear something strapped to my arm that has significant added weight. I like my little ipod shuffle with its 400+ songs. I also really don’t want to pay monthly or yearly fees to use a service for something that I should be able to figure out myself. I use a Garmin 220 that I am pleased with and I like the functionality of Garmin Connect in regards to the information it provides me.

Currently I’m 225 lbs with a body fat % of about 23. I have set 205 lbs as my racing weight goal which I hope to achieve, or be very close to after the six week “Quick Start” program.

As part of my training program, yesterday I went out and purchased a FitBit Flex, primarily to track non-running activities and the total number of calories I expend at those times. I have also decided that MyFitnessPal will be the main tracking source of my diet and caloric numbers with it all linking into Garmin Connect.

My “Quick Start” program begins on Monday, that’s three days away.

carbs, diabetes, training and adjustments…

Well, this wasn’t news I wanted to hear. After the usual blood work and testing for my yearly physical I get called back to the doc’s office. Guess what? I’m just over the baseline for being diabetic (7.1). This isn’t something new to me, I’ve always been close to the line and now I’ve gone over, but it’s not something that kept me awake at night worrying about it.

The blame, well it all rests with me. My penchant for sweets and other not good for you foods like cookies, potato chips and ice cream has finally caught up to me. It’s especially hard to grasp as I was just about ready to get started with some serious training. Of course you’re asking; well how serious could he be eating all that crap? I agree. I have been my own worst enemy.

When I asked my doctor what the best way to reduce the blood sugar number was he told me to reduce my carb intake. Since the training system I want to follow is based on carbohydrate intake to not only fuel your body for a marathon, it also works to keep your energy levels up to meet the demands of training, I’m now going to have to reassess my food consumption, dietary habits and make some hard decisions followed by defining actions. Ideally, my first decision is to immediately begin making smarter choices and to improve the quality of food I ingest. I really don’t see myself as being a calorie counter so I think just being aware of quality is a good start and seems that it would make the whole process easier to follow and maintain.

But on a good note, everything else was great with the doc!

first run in the snow…

Winter came to Edmonton this morning, -9c with the windchill and about a half inch of snow on the ground. Went out for about 7km’s that took about 42 minutes.