Archive for July 2013

July 25th, 2013 (Thursday)

225.5 when I woke up and 226.5 after evening run.

Run tonight was 3.78 miles in 30 minutes on the treadmill.  I started with a 1 min walk, then 4 minutes at 7.5 mph as a warm up and then bumped things up to 8 mph for 5 minutes.  I then did another 1 minute walk and then did 8 mph for 9 minutes.  Then one more minute of walking and 7 minutes of 8 mph and finished with 2 minutes at 8.5 mph.

The run felt a bit better than last night – I’m not feeling quite so bloated and weird as I was yesterday but still not quite right either.  The run was helped I think tonight too by doing the 4 minutes at 7.5 mph as a starter – last night I started right into 2 minutes at 9 mph before I was warmed up or had my breathing right and combined with feeling bloated it just set a bit of a negative tone on the run right from the beginning – which is kind of dumb really considering that doing a couple minutes at 9 mph cold is something I wouldn’t have been able to do well last year at this time.

My weight still seems to be off along with the bloated feeling but seems to be coming down slowly so I think everything is correcting itself.  I still think the weight spike and bloated feeling has to have come from something I ate but I’m still not sure what it could have been.  Definitely need to pay closer attention to what I am eating.

I have been pretty regular about getting in the pool every day and doing resistance exercises and laps but today the weather just isn’t cooperating – right now it is pretty cool and windy with rain so no swimming tonight.  Weather forecast for the next few weeks looks decent though so I should be back to doing that daily again starting tomorrow.  The weekend is supposed to be quite good as well meaning I will probably be spending hours in the pool in addition to my planned runs so that will be a good thing.

I am definitely seeing the benefits of the resistance training in the pool – more defined arms, chest and shoulders plus a tighter midsection.  Certainly want to make sure that continues to work.

WFPS Half Marathon – got in with the second wave of registration

So I had tried to get into the WFPS Half Marathon on October 19th, 2013 here in Winnipeg but when I made my attempt they had already sold out.  I sent an email to the race team to ask to be put on a waiting list and luckily they opened up more spots and I was able to get in after all!  Whoohoo.

Now I have 3 half marathons coming up over a 7 week period in the fall where I can make attempts to maybe top my personal best.  I will be racing in:

  • The Cash Store Financial Freedom Run for Diabetes Research – Sept 2nd
  • Rotary Half Marathon – Sept 22nd
  • WFPS Half Marathon – October 19th

Discussion of first 2 races here:

This will be interesting from a motivation perspective as it will keep me running and running hard through the summer and the fall so that if I do happen to pull off a miracle and sign up for the Goofy Challenge again for 2014 I will be well ahead of the game for the training for that race.  That could also maybe mean a shot at a personal best on the marathon during the Goofy which would be an awesome achievement too….but first things first – concentrate on the half marathons fella.

July 24th, 2013 – week in review

226 this morning when I got up and 228 after my evening run

This post will be a bit of a recap of the past week – I have gotten several runs in but haven’t had a chance to get any posts up on the blog due to work on the yard and other time conflicts.

July 18th – 223 when I woke up – this was a huge surprise and a nice one at that – did not run today but took the afternoon off of work to move 3 cubic yards of quarter down limestone for the yard

July 19th – 222.5 when I woke up…whooohooo.  Moved 10 cubic yards of top soil today via wheelbarrow – after the rock and quarter down it was like moving a cloud.  No run.

July 2oth – 223 when I woke up and 222.5 after a 4.5 mile run in 41 minutes outside.  Run felt nice and easy with lots of energy.  Put in 160 square yards of sod today by hand.

July 21st – 223.5 when woke up – had 3 celebratory beers the previous night what with the last of the heavy yard work done.  Was 222 after 9 mile run outside in 1 hr 27.5 minutes – not hugely fast but felt pretty good and could have kept going but wanted to end so that I could work with the neighbor to get the fence back up between our yards.  Dug out 2 fence post holes and re-installed 2 6 foot fence panels.  Then built our 10 foot front fence again after a quick redesign to move the gate location.

July 22nd – 224 when woke – had too much coke yesterday while finishing the fence work up (over compensating for the weekend I think).  Finished yard clean up today and moved around 1 last cubic yard of quarter down limestone (grand total of 9 cubic yards of limestone, 10 of 1.5 inch river wash rock and 10 of topsoil all done by wheelbarrow and shovel) – had a couple more celebratory beers.

July 23rd – 223 when I woke up in the morning.  223.5 after 3.91 mile run in 30 minutes on the treadmill (1 min walk, 9 min at 8 mph, 1 min at 6 mph, 9 min at 8 mph, 1 min at 6 mph, 6 min at 8 mph, 2 min at 8.5 mph and 1 min at 9 mph).  Run was hard and fast and felt good.  I had Wendys for lunch since I ran out of time to make something in the morning (also did not get the eggs in for breakfast).  My wife had our daughter out for a baseball game so my son and I ended up at Boston Pizza for a late supper and I had a quesadilla hoping that it wouldn’t sabotage my weight loss.

July 24th – 226 when I woke up – apparently something I ate did sabotage my weight loss pretty heavily.  Did approx 3.6 miles on the treadmill (don’t have an exact number since the breaker for the treadmill tripped near the end of the run) in 30 minutes – did a 2 min stretch at 9 mph and 2 and a half more 1 minute stretches at 9 mph as well – it was during the last of the 9 mph stretches that the breaker tripped.  During the run things just did not feel right – I couldn’t get a rhythm and my legs just felt thick and bloated (as did most of the rest of me).  After the run I weighed in at 228 which makes no sense – I ate healthy through the day with eggs for breakfast, apple and turkey wrap for lunch, an apple for a snack and a turkey sandwich for supper – only 2 things out of the ordinary today were that I was feeling hungrier than usual through the afternoon so I ate a protein bar I had in my desk and I had more milk than normal this evening with supper.  I don’t think the milk will have caused it so the protein bar may be the culprit – and I realize as I am typing this I had one in the afternoon yesterday as well which could have contributed to the issue of my weight jumping over night as well last night.

This will have to be something I watch pretty closely – it was a huge moral boost to see the weight come down and to see the speed I could manage on the treadmill when I focused so to have the weigh jump so quickly and to have issues on the treadmill at the same time it was kind of disheartening.  I suspect that the weight jump and issues on the treadmill are related and temporary but I will have to keep an eye out to make sure I don’t repeat whatever mistake triggered the issues in the first place.

Swimming pool resistance training – my thoughts

Since we have been able to start getting into our pool now I have been trying a few things to do some resistance and cardiovascular training in the pool and thought I would write up what I have been doing.

For cardio I have been swimming lengths – the pool is only 32 feet long so they aren’t long lengths but I have been trying to do them in one breath.  So far after two or three of these I am definitely feeling that I am working.  I don’t have a set number of how many of these I am doing yet as I am still feeling them out and the number I do also depends on who is in the pool with me…but I try to do a few whenever I am in the pool.

For resistance training I am concentrating on upper body as I figure between the running and splashing around in the pool with the kids for hours on end my legs are getting enough work as it is right now.  I am currently doing 2 different back and forth motions that each work a set of opposing muscles – presumably making the work out a bit more efficient that traditional weights (even though there will be limitations on how strong you will get doing these exercises).

Chest / Back combo –

I stand at the transition point where the shallow end starts to break toward the deep end in such a way that I can brace one leg in the shallow end with my knee bent and the other on the slope so that I can push back against movement the other direction (my back is to the deep end). I usually have my right leg in the shallow end with my knee bent and my foot flat on the floor of the pool – my left leg is on the slope to the deep end and is slightly bent and my toes (but not whole foot) are flat against the sloped surface.

I start with my arms fully submerged and spread eagle with my hands open but fingers held tightly together (so they form a paddle) – I then do a fly motion (similar to doing dumbbell flies) where I keep my arms straight and draw my hands to each other as quickly as I can manage (more resistance the faster you push – if you want less resistance you can vary the speed or open your fingers a bit).  While doing this Newton’s laws dictate that your body will be pushed backwards toward the deep end of the pool – I counteract that push by bracing with my bent leg in the shallow end and tightening my core.

Once that motion is complete I reverse it and draw my arms (still straight and hands forming paddles) back to the spread eagle position I started in as quickly as I can.  While doing this one you will be pushing yourself toward the shallow end of the pool but probably with less force than the motion from the previous action.  I counteract this push by pushing down on my legs.  I generally find I am tightening my core during this motion as well.

I try to do 20 complete forward and back motions per set – 3 sets.

Biceps / Triceps –

I start in a similar position for my legs as the chest / back activity but start with my arms straight at my side with my hands forming paddles and the palms of my hands facing forwards.

I do a standard bicep curl motion as quickly as I can while keeping the hands shaped as paddles.  To complete a full range of motion for the biceps you will probably need to be in deep enough water to allow the hands to complete the movement without leaving the water (most likely you will need to be around shoulder depth in the water).

Once the motion is complete I reverse it and push my arms back down in a motion similar to a standard tricep pull down as quickly as I can.  When I do this motion I make sure the hands are pushed a bit further back from the starting position so that I am sure I am pushing out the full range of motion for the triceps.

I try to do 20 of these reps per set and 3 sets total while I am in the pool.

I suspect I won’t gain strength with these exercises as fast as I would with traditional weights but they are relatively quick and easy to pull off a set or 2 while I am just playing around in the pool with kids.  This means I am doing the exercises more frequently than I would most likely get with weights right now.

I have been doing these particular exercises for under a week and I am definitely noticing the toning of the muscles – time will tell if I will continue to see improvements in definition and strength but so far things are looking pretty positive.

Training thoughts – up to September half marathons

So I have been doing some thinking as to what my training should be going for the half marathons I have signed up for in September (2nd and 22nd – see the post for more information).

Basically Monday the 15th of July marks the 7 week point prior to the first of the 2 halfs and I would like to get my weight down and my speed up by then while still maintaining my longer distance endurance.  My goal would be to beat my personal best of 1:46:11 for a half in one of these 2 races – translating to close to a 7.5 mph average pace required.

So my basic thoughts for those 7 weeks are to attempt to lose 2 pounds each week and do the following running:

Tuesdays – 3-4 miles at higher speeds – try to do as little walking as possible – try to make sure average speed for the run is greater than 7.5 mph and any running is at 7.5 mph or greater

Wednesdays – 3-6 miles depending on time available but concentrate on hitting high speeds for 0.5 to 2 minute stretches and as time progresses and cardio improves start to add some incline

Thursdays – same as Tuesdays

Saturdays – do a leisurely run outside doing my 4.5 mile loop around the neighborhood – should be able to use this as a measure to see if my pace when I don’t push myself is improving

Sundays – longer outdoor runs doing the 4.5 mile loop – probably do a cycle where I do 2 laps one Sunday, 3 laps the next and 4 the week after that and then do a 5 lap circuit the weekend after the 2nd of the 2 halfs are done?

I will get this into a spreadsheet / calendar format soon and post that when it is ready.

In addition to this running work I will be wanting to continue exercising and relaxing in the pool daily (weather permitting) to do some low impact training and help keep things loosened up.  I will put up another post shortly that will describe what I am doing for resistance training in the pool and for cardio training as well.