Mar 4, 2007

preparing for the preperation for philadelphia marathon

hi blog,

last summer, when I took on the training for the las vegas marathon, i was a little over 350 lbs with 25 weeks to the marathon. most specific marathon training programs are for 16-20 weeks prior to the race, assuming a healthy dose of 'base training' before the 'marathon training.' the training program i followed went for 20 weeks, so i had 5 weeks to build a base of 15 miles/week before adding the marathon training program.

but in my case, building cardiovascular and muscular skeletal endurance isn't the only thing that will prepare me for the marathon training - i'd also benefit from losing a ton of weight before - because last year, i put a 325-lb frame through 25-35 miles a week of running, and i'd like to avoid that again.

so here i am, announcing my weight loss plans for the next 17 weeks or so.. july 15, 2007, 18 weeks before the philadelphia marathon...

I will weigh at most 250 lbs, and I'm aiming for 225.

that is about 20 lbs per month, give or take. 4-5 lbs a week.

aggressive as hell? yes. realistic? definitely. difficult? probably.

the april 2007 edition of runner's world features Louis Bruno, a mississippi chef who lost 200 lbs. The cover of the magazine calls it "The man who ran off 200 lbs." Read the article and you'll find that the first 160 lbs of his weight loss came not from running, but from an 800-calorie/day liquid only diet. Even more significant was that he lost the 160 lbs in 5½ months. he largely wasn't exercising until much of the weight came off, and running was the form of exercise he found to be the most effective. He's not the only example. Mike Huckabee, until recently the governor of arkansas, lost 110 lbs - the initial majority from a low-calorie all-liquid diet.
As inspiring as these stories are to me, I have to take them into context before I copy them. My situation is different. What we have in common is that all three of us are over 100 lbs overweight, but that is where these similarities end. I am in pretty good cardiovascular shape. At 320 lbs, I can run 3 miles in 30 minutes, and jog 10 miles without stopping to walk. My resting heart rate is under 60, and a cardiologist who gave me a treadmill stress test and an electrocardiogram in october gave me a clean bill of health. My blood pressure is normal, my cholesterol is unusually low, and I'm not showing any signs of diabetes. I also rockclimb and ski. When people are honest, they tend to say I'm not "fat", but rather "large." On the other hand, both of these guys were unable to run prior to their weight loss - hell, they couldn't even walk up a flight of stairs. But huckabee has run several marathons since, including NYC in 2006, and bruno plans to run his first in 2007. Both have developed diabetes.

As I eluded to in my last post, I am doing an all-fruit and vegetable, and fish/poultry diet for a couple of weeks. That is going ok, and now, in my 6th day of it, I'm definitely not feeling the sluggish laziness that triggered this diet. My stomach is still getting used to it, and the two servings of seaweed salad I ate on Friday night caused me to eat some popcorn and white rice yesterday to settle things. Conveniently, yesterday I was planning to add fish back into the diet, so rutland sushi was the perfect source for my white rice. But this morning I am again shutting off all grains, including rice, and doing just fruits, vegetables and fish.

However, my biggest challenge isn't excluding certain foods, but rather limiting the amounts of food that I eat, and this is where louis and mike come in. They stopped eating high-calorie foods, but they also limited the amount of low-calorie food they ate. The half-pineapple I ate this morning for breakfast was 125 calories - so far so good. but at 3 calories a grape, but i can ruin a whole day by munching on a couple hundred over an hour of driving.. 600 calories. the greens in the salad I'll have for dinner are ok, but I'll add 300 calories alone by the avocado I'll put into it, to speak nothing of the dressing (which, along with the avocado is actually the only fat I'll get all day, so I add it on purpose.) So I've pretty much written off the possibility of sub-1000 calorie diet that that those guys ate. Sure I could do it if I really wanted to, but that's not the lifestyle I'm after. Instead, my daily calories will be between 1500 and 2000 and I'll exercise by running 5-10 miles a week, as well as climbing and skiing.

So that's the plan. I'll keep you all updated.

If I make it, I'll reward myself with a new pair of custom ski boots!