Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Weigh-in Wednesday

It seems like a good idea to establish a weekly progress check, and a Wednesday is as good a day as any other...


Week 1: -1
Week 2: -1
Week 3: -3
Week 4:  0

So as of today I am around 170.

The good news is that the Accu-Measure fat caliper reading seems to be improving:  the average of 3 readings at the same sacro-ileac spot is down from 26 mm to 23.5 mm.

Nutritionally speaking the weekend was not the best as we spent several hours volunteering at the Conference USA Championship athletics meet at Rice University - resulting in consuming hefty restaurant portions at Jenni's Noodle House and Field of Greens, amongst others.  This coming weekend we will be in Corpus Christi for the Beach to Bay Relay where I will likely face the same kind of issues.  Will try to share some main courses with Kathleen.

Racked up a total of 42 miles last week (through Sunday) which was one of my highest for the entire year to date.  Will dial it down this week as I am worried about plantar fasciitis and also do not want to overdo it with the calf issues.

30 days into my '150 or Bust' program, 143 days to go. 

Friday, May 13, 2011

Why think big?

I am upping the ante on the weight-loss front.  I am thinking less, not more.  Small, not big. So the target is now < 150 lbs by Oct 9 2011.  21 weeks to lose 20 pounds.  Doable, with a few more miles per week and a handful of calories less per day.  October 9 happens to be the day on which the Mohawk-Hudson Marathon will be run from Schenectady to Albany NY.  If I stay healthy I will be lining up that morning to race 26.2 miles – first marathon distance since my inauspicious Boston Marathon performance in April 2009.  The BQ time for Boston (2013) when I will be able to run in the 60 to 65 age group is 3:55 but to have a decent shot at registering (faster runners are favored) I will shoot for 3:45.  All the more reason to shed the excess fat slowing me down! 
I am not one to keep meticulous records of miles run per day/week/month etc. but just happened to notice passing the 400 mile mark for 2011 a day or so ago.  If it weren't for one really low month (March) I likely would have been well over 500 miles but I'll take it, especially considering the various injury issues.  The running is definitely improving, was able to knock of 8 X 200 meter repeats at Rice track last night without completely imploding. On target for about 40 miles this week which is where I want to be.

Monday, May 9, 2011

155 or Bust: week 3

Finally, the scale is starting to move in the right direction!  Down nearly 3 pounds compared with a few days ago, with the needle settling under 170 pounds for the first time in months!  169.8 – yes!  You don’t have to be a nutritionist or sports physiologist to figure out why, but both disciplines played a roll.  More controlled calorie intake with a conscious effort to limit the # of calories for each meal to a specific number and significantly more calories expended on exercise.  That will do it every time!

Since last Sunday I logged about 37 miles running (mostly easy but with one speed session at Rice track on Thursday), a few more miles of walking and four one-hour sessions of upper body, abs, core and leg workouts.  Most importantly, the Accu-Measure fat caliper result (average of 3) was 26 mm at the sacro-ileac spot: that is down a significant 4 mm from last week’s reading which was at 30 mm!

Bottom line:  3 weeks into my ‘155 or bust’ program, I am down by almost 5 pounds and starting to feel a lot more positive about the prospect of a long-term good outcome.  Still a long way to go but I am encouraged and will step up the dietary control measures this week. 

Pretty good running this week:  37 miles as noted with two fairly long 7 mile  efforts with Kathleen who is also doing a lot better.  Both of us have some incipient issues with plantar fasciitis; so far regular foot rolling and occasional icing is keeping it at bay.  The calves are about 90 per cent.  Lesson learnt:  once you run on Vibrams exclusively, don’t take too long a break from them because the calf muscle clearly will shorten up again when wearing regular shoes.  And most importantly, don’t try to get back to running in the Vibrams too quickly, particularly in a very hilly environment. 

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Measuring progress

I am now 2 weeks into my '155 or bust' program, and I honestly have not made much progress.  On the positive side, I am tracking my calories for most meals (things tend to fall apart by dinner-time...), I am running or at least walk-running 5 or 6 days a week, and I have halted any additional weight gain.  Also working out with a trainer regularly, 3 times last week and once already (on Monday) this week.  So things are happening and my abs, back and shoulders are definitely getting stronger.  I just need to shed a considerable amount of subcutaneous fat for any kind of muscle definition to show up. 

The scale can be deceiving.  It appears that my weight fluctuates by several pounds on a daily basis, depending on the time of the day, degree of hydration, and so on.  So just to add another 'wrinkle' to the mix, I am dragging out my nearly forgotten Accu-Measure set of fat calipers, which trainers use to measure body fat.  So as of this morning, before I set off on what will hopefully be a 6-mile effort, the depressing reality is that my skinfold measurement at the supra-iliac (about an inch up from the hipbone) is just under 30mm.  This is on the high side of 'average' which means that I am about 2 veggie burgers and fries away from being 'over fat'.  Quel horreur!

Weight today:  172
1 mile walk, 1 mile easy run with Daisy, 5 miles EZ along the Bayou
Very little residual pain in the calves.