NEXT EVENTS: IRONMAN BOULDER 2014, Run Rabbit Run 50-miler

It's never too late to be what you might have been. --George Eliot

This blog is about my journey as an asthmatic, hypothyroid, formerly plus-sized endurance athlete. It's occasionally interrupted with things that have nothing to do with that or whining about my weight and horrible eating habits. "You're never too old to be what you might have been" --George Eliot

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Thursday 13, the Saturday, er, Sunday edition.

Dear Diary,

A week in the life of an aspiring fitness freak. Most of which has nothing to do with fitness, or with freaks. During which, I realise that my iPad is set to British spelling autocorrect, not American spelling. I won't bother changing this, because I am lazy.

13. Glasses. This past week, I made an appointment to be evaluated for LASIK. As part of that process, I was asked not to wear my contacts for three days beforehand. At first I was like, groan, but I dutifully hauled out my favourite dark-rimmed, nerdy square glasses that I had before nerdy square glasses were cool, and unexpectedly realised that I had forgotten that I like how I look in glasses.

I always felt like my face is a bit asymmetrical and I feel like the glasses make it seem more symmetrical.

And I think I look all smart and shit.

So, I canceled the LASIK eval and decided to get some glasses at Zenni optical. I read about them in Howard Clark's book. My son fell on that sword for me, and reports that not only are they high quality, but far cheaper than he would have paid elsewhere. I might buy different colors for outfits.

12. Recovery, and training. I have discovered that training isn't just for the race. It's for the recovery as well. Case and point: I just did a five-ish mile, fairly strenuous hike/trail run for the first time since the 100k I did three weeks ago. It was not easy. It was slow, a bit painful, and I felt heavy. I'm certain that this is as much due to the lack of training I had going into the 100k as it is the 15-20 lbs I've gained. Neither helps. But I've done as long a run before and recovered much faster. So, it's not just about the race. The training I mean. It affects recovery, too.

11. glasses. As a test, I did that hike/run in my glasses. It was no big deal. I barely noticed them. The last time I wore glasses regularly, I was running 5ks as my longest run. I thnk I'll get some tinted ones from Zennioptical for sunglasses.

10. Diet. I fell off the diet wagon just a bit this week, I'm not sure how much because I didn't log my food. But, I'm proud of how I did today, because weekends are usually my diet Waterloos.

9. Reading. When I was younger, I read voraciously. I plowed through Shogun in a couple of weeks in the fifth grade, and read almost constantly after that. I can remember sitting in the back of Algebra class in high school and reading Flowers in the Attic while Mr. Ayers taught. Or rather, worked problems and expected us to intuit them. Luckily, for me, that actually happened. It's a knack, I guess, and how I wound up as an algebra teacher later on.

So. Thirty years and three master's degrees later, I hated reading. I just couldn't sit still long enough to enjoy a good read. After looking forward to being able to read for pleasure, I have lost the ability to do that. The only way I can figure out how to overcome this is to start reading things I'm truly interested in at the moment. I subscribed to Cooks Illustrated and started reading the articles, and then bought a used copy of American Classics by the Editors of CI. Now I'm working my way to a genre of books called "Cooking Memoires". I've already seen Julie and Julia, so I'm looking forward to reading the book, and the same for toast, by Nigel Slater. I've order used copies of these, and some others. I think I might re-read Fried Green Tomatoes, too.

8. Empty nest, part Deux. Mini-Baboo is moving out this weekend. I won't lie. I have had two grown children living with me, in turn, for the past 20 months. I am looking forward to having my house back. I feel very strongly, and Sweet Baboo agrees, that the stress of having moochers, however beloved they may be, has at least treated contributed to our weight gain. We've each gained between 15 and 20 lbs. It's easier to cook for two and have nothing left over. It's easier to buy just what we need for a week or two. I can select quality ingredients again with a eye in organic, sustainable practice, instead of trying to feed a moose. I predict success. I am already less hungry.

7. Oh and did I meantion my kid is moving out? I have plans. I will be turning my guest bedroom back into, well, a guest bedroom. I will be turning my spare bath back into the spa-like oasis that I have dreamed of. Scented candles maybe. or oils. Off-white cushy linens. Shit in pretty baskets. Oh yeah, y'all. I may even hang dried bunches of flower and herb in there, too. No more man-child means I can make it dainty. I may even do some more Martha Stewart shit, like here. Or here.

6. Diet food. I want to share this recipe with you: (above) honey basalmic chicken. It's awesome. Tasty and has six ingredients. And just look at the calorie count! I used thighs, by the way. And agave nectar. Not because I'm falling for that glycemic index bullshit. Because I had some on hand.

5. Also, this iPad app: Basil. I love this app. It lets me import recipes from ANY web page and store them. Love, love, love. I only put in the ones I really like, like the one above. AND EDIT THEM.

4. cooking day. I made a whole mess of Seitan for the week. I have about 15 lbs of gluten flour, so it's easy. I use recipes from vegan epicurean. Why eat seitan? Well, because it's almost a perfect food. It's cheap, easy to make, nearly completely protein. It's a great diet food.

3. Food makeovers. I figured out that when I took the cheese and bacon off my salads, why, they are now low calorie! Go figure.

2. Workouts. A little behind, already. I make a firm commitment not to miss any workouts this week. I love, love, love watching John Steward and Steven Colbert each morning on the treadmill. It's all the news I want to digest this time of day. First, I eat my steal-cut oats, and then depending on the day, I either run on the treadmill or do power 90. There are just two tiny problems.

First, there is a pain in the front of my left leg that hurts. Feels like shin splints. It's keeping me from running. This is very frustrating.

Second, the music on the Power 90 DVD--mind you, this is a great workout--is totally pornagraphic. It's all, bow chicka BOW bow and I feel self conscious working out. I keep expecting a blonde in a UPS uniform with hot pants on to show up on the set, looking all surprised at the oiled, sweaty bodies. Oh, well, she says, as long as I'm here...

1. I need a mantra. Some that come to mind include,

one hour of workout is better than a whole day of being cut in half by the work clothes I squeezed my fat ass into today. Or,

that whole "more to love" is just something good husbands say to their fat wives so they don't sit on them.

Ideally, though, mantras are short and catchy. Better sweaty and fit than sweaty and fat. No, wait. They are supposed to be empowering, right? Put that scone down, fatty. No, that's not it.

I'll keep working on it.

...

 

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Accountability Diary, week 1

Dear Diary,

I've been asked a few questions repeatedly so I thought that it behooves me to maybe address them in a post.

What do you eat for long workouts and races?

For long workouts I usually use gels and start off with oatmeal. For races, I take pbj on white bread, which is usually offered on the course, and whatever sport drink they have. I always carry a hydration pack full of water. Every 20 miles or so, I eat two Larabars and drink an Ensure Clear. On race days, breakfast is two giant Nyong shim noodle bowls.

Why do you change your shoes?

I change my shoes because if I wear the same shoes I tend to develope hot sports that develope into blisters if the aren't addressed. I don't just change shoes, I change style and brand. That way, any oddities in the shoe or my gait vary, changing the stress and pressure sports. That helps avoid blisters or strains in various parts of my feet.

Any advise for first time ultra runners?

Yes. Figure out your nutrition. Figure it out, and stay on top of it. Once you fall behind you can't catch up. Make sure your training plan includes opportunities to run when you're tired. And get yourself a tube of sportslick and make it your best friend.

=====================

New training, to get rid of weight and train for Bandera. The first month is going to be hard, and after that I'll be stepping up running mileage and backing off on the strength workouts intil after Bandera.

Workout/diet diary for the week. I have steel-cut oats every morning with some dates, apples, and walnuts. I add Splenda and a teaspoon or two of lemon juice to the recipe for two days' worth.


Sunday, Power 90 sculpt 1-2 and abs 100. I tried to do a jog up a gentle slope, but my right hamstring is really pissed from the 100k, I think. I'll try again on Tuesday. I Ate this kale recipe, the first recipe with kale that I've liked, and a big salad. The kale recipe will be post workout eating for the next several days. It was pretty satisfying and took care of the afternoon cravings. Eggs do that for me. So does a bit of cheese. At least part of the 170 must have been post race bloat because, mysteriously, I was 165 after breakfast.


Monday, I got up too late because my alarm clock (iPad) cord wasn't connected and my iPad went dead. I power walked on the treadmill for about 25 minutes and then stretched for 10 minutes. I think I broke my ass yesterday doing all those squats and lunges. I was busy as shit all day at work, with three patients discharging in Monday and four anticipated to go on Tuesday. I didn't eve get my salad until 3. I'm not proud of what happened after that...

Tuesday, I picked a new snack to replace my Brie with truffles on wheat crackers: popcorn with truffle oil drizzled over it. And, then, I found out that there's truffle salt. Unlike most truffle oils, truffle salt actually has truffles in it. I was much more disciplined today, but was in such a hurry I forgot to eat breakfast. But for election night, I had popcorn with alder smoked salt, rosemary, and truffle oil. OMG it was fantastic.

I walk/jogged briefly in the morning and then again in the evening, on the treadmill. My left leg hurts like hell. Ugh. Then I did some stretching. There's an AWESOME video on YouTube, yoga for runners with Fiji, injury prevention. We can watch these and the Yogatic videos on our net streaming boxes and Apple TV.

Wednesday didn't run this morning. I was up too late celebrating with coconut gelato.

 

Thursday I forgot to eat breakfast, and immediately my body began demanding, inexplicably at about 9 am, fried chicken with mayonnaise. Luckily, I keep instant oatmeal and protein shakes at work for just such an occasion. I chose the shake, as I have become an oatmeal snob. Seriously, once I'd had steel cut, I can't go back.

The good news is that an RAN this morning! I started with a long slow warmup, and then jog, and the hurty food hurt but did so less and less. Then I was running, continuously. Yay! I stretched after for about five moments then got ready for work.

Oh, yes I can.

Onward and upward.

Forward.

...

 

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Back to square 1

Dear Diary,

I hit 170 again this week.

That's right, a solid 18 extra pounds over where I was about a year ago. Clothes don't fit again.

I know, I know, it seems insane that after running 62 miles I would have put on weight, but then again my workouts have been pretty sporadic. I told Sweet Baboo about the 170. he immediately channeled Columbo, and asked in a kind, but questioning manner, "I wonder if it has anything to do with all the Brie you've been eating?" This by the way, is a therapeutic technique that we both employ with clients, and the irony was not lost on me.

"No," I said automatically. Desperately. And then, "well, I'll experiment. No Brie for a month. See what happens."

There is no faster way for my body to gain weight weight than my favorite indulgence: Brie with truffles, frm Trader Joes, on triscuits. And as I told Dread Pirate, "low fat Brie sucks. It's like low fat butter. What's the point?” Of course, if one peruses my posts, one immediately notices that they are increasingly about food. I have been eating. A LOT. The day before Javalina, for instance. I ate a whole pizza. It's hard to not slip into this mentality, I'm going to burn 6000 calories tomorrow. So I can eat this pizza. But for me, that's never worked. It's not the big-assed workouts, sporadically done. It's not even always about the food. It's the regular exercise.

So. I tried the low carb diet; that was a disaster. The truth is, for me, I have to run, run, run. I hate this weight. This is not a good weight for me. I'm happiest under 160, preferably 150. I feel like a Blimp. My clothes hurt. My panties roll up into thong-like garments repeatedly thoughout the day, and they're not thongs. Several pairs of pants simply can't be worn. I have a brand new leather skirt I bought last summer when at 150, and it's never been worn.

I can start exercising regularly again. I still have the Bandera 100k looming on the horizon, January 12. It will be the hardest 100k I've done, and i have 24 hours to do it. I need, no MUST lost 15 lbs by then as well as increase my leg strength.

How I'll do it:

  • One long climbing hike every weekend. By long I mean at least 3 hours
  • One long slow run every weekend. By long I mean at least 15. If not 20, miles.
  • Short runs on the treadmill or around the hills during the week. Most likely Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.
  • Strength training, 2x week. I like the workouts in the Power 90 series. Most likely Monday and Friday mornings.
  • Core workouts, including yoga, 2x week. I like yoga and Power 90. Yoga on Tuesday or Thursday evenings and power 90 ab 100 on the weekend.
  • Calories, under 1500 per day. Low fat, high protein, high fiber.

No Brie for a month. Boo.

Private comminique to my beloved: Brie, It's not you. it's me. we need a break. i will see you after thanksgiving, but only as a small weekly reward for sticking to the workout plan each week.

 

Good thing the holidays are coming, right? That always helps.

 

...