Last medium to long run before the Manitoba Marathon – felt very good – time seemed to fly by and I had no issues with my knee or hamstrings. Feeling positive for a new PR on race day!
It did rain a few times while I was running but it was pretty light and I never got soaked. It actually kind of felt a bit refreshing.
So far I am also managing to keep my weight in check during the taper period – I tend to gain a couple pounds during taper but I seem to have that sorted so far.
Not much to say today but over the next week I expect I will have a new training schedule up that will cover 2 half marathons this fall and my ramp up to the Dopey Challenge in January.
I decided to give 800 meter repeats a shot today – did pretty well – certainly felt different than what I have been doing for the past while with 1 min slow / 1 min fast. I am going to have to try to incorporate more of these in the plan.
I started off a bit slow to get warmed up and then did a minute walk and started doing the repeats. Most of the repeats were done at 9 mph which were pretty tough but should definitely help my speed and endurance. Hit a total of 6 miles in 43:49 which includes 4 minutes of walking and several minutes of 7 mph and 6 mph as rests between repeats. I should definitely have made those walk minutes as well so that I could push harder on the repeats. Will have to remember that for the next time.
My weight is climbing instead of going down right now – can’t quite seem to figure out what part of my diet is the culprit as I haven’t made too many changes since I was staying static that would have caused this slow climb. Whatever it is there is definitely bloat involved so my body isn’t liking something. I need to figure that one out yet.
After the 10 and 20 milers on the weekend I was expecting a slower run on the treadmill tonight…and I got it. I was still able to push decently but I couldn’t sustain the higher speeds for very long. Still after the weekend 5 miles seemed to fly by!
Luckily this is scheduled to be a bit of a lighter week to recover a bit from the past couple so I should start to recover the speed shortly.
In the end I had a total of 3 minutes of walking and most of the rest of the run was at 7.2 mph or 9 mph with the last mile done at 7.5 mph.
My weight is doing some strange stuff too that could account for some of the slowness. From when I got up yesterday morning until I got off the treadmill tonight my weight has jumped 4 pounds. I did have some licorice but other than that I can’t think of anything too out of the ordinary that would cause that kind of a weird bump. It has to be bloating and water retention so it shouldn’t last for long but still it was not a pleasant surprise on the scale today. I can tell water retention is involved for sure as my wedding ring is tight on my finger instead of being fairly loose – it feels almost as tight as it did when I was up at 260 pounds! I am going to have to get this sorted out and get making some progress. A bit of a stumble on the weight loss but I will recover and keep going!
So a week into my renewed attempts to get my weight moving in the right direction I really haven’t made progress.
As of this morning I was actually at the same weight or higher than what I was a week ago…but that doesn’t really tell the whole story. Yesterday morning I was 2 pounds down from a week ago but this morning I was 2.5 pounds heavier than yesterday!?
Now I didn’t run yesterday but I didn’t go crazy and do some crazy eating or anything like that yesterday to get that large a weight jump. In fact I ate pretty healthy yesterday.
So what is going on?
Well, I felt bloated most of the day yesterday and that never seemed to go away and then it go a lot worse today. I think I can trace it to having an apple yesterday and one today. I did some hunting around the net and it seems like what can happen is the the water soluble fiber in the apples can have some issues in the intestines causing bloating, etc. I also find I drink a fair bit of water at work to avoid coffee and Coke and on days I eat apples I seem to retain some extra water too.
Last week we didn’t have any apples at home so I didn’t take any to work with me and the training and diet did bring my weight down a couple pounds. I also didn’t have any apples over the weekend. So that tells me my diet plan is probably working but the apple yesterday and today might have derailed me. That also tells me that the bloat is not real weight gain and it should pass (in more way than one I guess).
My plan will be to skip putting an apple in my lunch over the next couple days to see if my system starts to sort itself out or not. If it doesn’t there is something else I did over the last couple days that caused the issues and I will have to find out what that could be besides the apples.
I will continue experimenting!
I haven’t talked about my weight on the blog in a while – mostly because I have been sitting kind of steady with my weight and there really hasn’t been anything to report one way or the other…but I want to get my weight coming down again for some upcoming races and posting about it here on the site seems to keep me honest and a bit more focused. So grab a drink this is going to be a long post.
Some history – back in November and again in January I hit 215 pounds. This point marks 42 pounds down from my official starting weight of 257 in September 2012. My weight seems to keep fluctuating back up to around the 220-222 mark which is still pretty good but I want to get lower. My running is still going well but I just can’t seem to get the weight to come down. Most of the reason of this is diet frankly – I am pretty sure my consumed calories are now balanced out with my running calories and downward progress has stalled. Throw in a fair bit of snacking and convenience food to go along with the cabin fever I have going on right now (this winter needs to end!!) and I can tell it is time to make some changes.
I want to get my weight moving again and would ideally like to hit 207 by the time I hit my birthday in mid-April – basically in around 4.5 weeks from the time of writing this. This would mean being down 50 pounds from my start point – a significant number and an important milestone mentally. Thirteen pounds in 4.5 weeks? It is possible (have done it before) but it is going to take focus and some significant effort.
I have a fairly large bone and muscular structure and I think given that an ideal body weight for me will be around the 197 point (without losing too much muscle mass)…although 200 might be more realistic which should still have me in the 12-15% body fat range. The lowest I can remember being after high school (many many moons ago) is 204 back in the summer of 2001 but I went heavily into weights at that point and put on additional muscle. I was 215 when I ran my first half marathon in the summer of 2002 (still my PR at 1:45:11 although I got within 63 seconds of that back in October). Now when I hit 215 in November and January I did not have the muscle that I did in 2002 at the same weight. So I have definitely lost muscle mass and that needs to be taken into account when I try to figure out what my weight should be.
What does all that mean? Not sure actually but what I think it is telling me is that I will right now set my goal weight to be 200 pounds and I will want to be there prior to the Manitoba Marathon on Father’s Day in June. At that point I will re-evaluate again and figure out my body fat percentage to see what I need to do.
How do I get there? There are few things I must do and a few things I am going to experiment with to see if they help or hinder.
What are the must dos?
- Really focus on my diet and cut down on the snacking. To do this I have to make sure I get back to my high protein breakfasts – I used to make sure I had over 50 grams of protein with breakfast (protein shake, 2 hard-boiled eggs and some nuts usually) but I got kind of sick of the protein shakes I was using and slowly drifted away from this. I think that is making me hungrier during the day and my work lunches aren’t lasting and then I end up snacking when I get home before supper is ready. Not a good cycle, so I have found another protein shake that I like and will be trying that (and switching up the eggs as I am kind of tired of hard-boiled as well). This starts tomorrow morning.
- Increase intensity of my running and keep pushing the long distance runs. Have started doing this already with the new treadmill but I will continue the trend and I should very soon be able to get in some outdoor runs (which will help break the cabin fever).
- Reduce or eliminate Coke. This is a tough one for me as this is my caffeine fix too. I have tried to go cold turkey before and end up with wicked headaches so I will start by keeping a close watch on what I drink, do some portion control and slowly reduce my intake.
- Get more sleep! This one has been tough this week as well after the time change but it is vital – not only is getting enough sleep important but if I stay up late I tend to hit snooze too often in the morning before work. I then run out of time to make my high protein breakfast and that blows my diet for the rest of the day as well. And then I also need more Coke for caffeine. The dietary issues compound if I don’t get enough sleep.
- Blog about my weight. This is to keep myself honest and provides a layer of oversight if things go off the rails!
And some things I am going to experiment with:
- Spirulina algae – I have seen a lot of info about EnergyBits and I have been impressed…but they come at a premium and that makes it hard for me to justify as an experiment. Being from Canada and our dollar taking a nose dive the cost is more exaggerated for me as well putting it outside what I can justify until I am sure spirulina works for me. So I am going to try out a brand of spirulina that I was able to get in caplet form here in Winnipeg that at least on paper looks like it is equivalent for a price I felt comfortable paying as an experiment. If I find it helps me both in the snack control and endurance running then I will be taking the plunge on EnergyBits.
- Morning runs – double run days – doing a short run every weekday morning besides the nightly scheduled training runs. I tried this back in the fall and I saw some significant improvements in my running but I was sooooo tired since I couldn’t get my sleep cycle sorted with getting up earlier. If I can get that managed then this will be a great way for me to increase my daily mileage and get my metabolism rocking first thing in the morning. Can’t do this one yet though – have to wait for the ice to be off my running trails! Hopefully I can get rolling on this in early April.
- Having protein shakes at work during the day as a meal supplement. I’m not going to go the route of using a protein shake as a meal replacement but I think if I can have a protein shake after lunch it should help keep me from wanting to snack through the afternoon. And hopefully will help reduce my urge to drink Coke. Going to start this tomorrow as well.
So those are my thoughts at least. Hopefully they have an impact and I am able to get my weight moving in the right direction. I will continue to evaluate to see where I stand and see if I am hitting my goals and make adjustments. I have obviously found a good spot for maintaining and now it is going to take some work to bust through this plateau!
Thanks for reading!