Jul 30, 2007

july 30th, starting to cool off..

after running up bear mountain!
i'm on the left. i'm 285lbs. joey is in the middle. he's 39 lbs. alexandria is on the right. she weighs more than 10lbs, and less than 1000lbs.

From Amby Burfoot's excellent "Peak Performance" blog:

Four Best Diet Practices To Help You Lose Weight
After reviewing more than a decade of dietary research relating to obesity, a team of University of California researchers came up with the four nutrition practices that are most likely to promote weight gain. They are: 1) increased dietary fat intake; 2) increased consumption of sweetened beverages; 3) eating out at restaurants; and 4) and skipping breakfast. Presumably, the opposite approaches would lead to weight loss. The UCal scientists found little support for the following practices, often mentioned as obesity causes: 1) protein intake; 2) consumption of simple sugars and fruit juice; 3) food variety; 4) portion size; 5) snacking; and 6) meal frequency. Source: California Agriculture. More PDF

My 3½ year-old human alarm clock didn't do his job this morning, as I rose earlier than he did, but later than I should have - left for work at 8:05am, arrived at about 9:50am. What's nice about this job is that they seem to be pretty laid-back about what time you're in the office so long as you're present at meetings and are productive. It's now 11am and both my boss and my technical lead aren't in yet. On the other hand, I have wasted a lot of time already by sleeping in this morning, which causes, erm, "challenges" regarding getting a run in today after work. I am committed to doing it, even if it is only one mile, because I like the idea of running for 21 consecutive days to establish a "habit" (not necessarily an "addiction"). Not that I'd particularly mind being addicted to running, as it is a lot better than an addiction to drugs, nicotine, or alcohol (or food!), but as with anything, that level of preoccupation is not good.

(i'm home now)
I just ran 2½ miles around suffern. the temperatures weren't too high, about 78ยบ, but the humidity was such that my non-cotton lightweight t-shirt weighed about 3lbs when i was done with it. I'll call it an LT run, because i wasn't running particularly slow, but i wasn't sprinting either. i finished with a lot left in the tank, but i still enjoyed an earned slice of pizza immediately after the run.

this being day 3 of my goal of running 21 consecutive days (and therefore establish a habit), a picture of what the next 18 days will look like is starting to clarify itself as i think about it during my runs. the obvious implication of running 21 consecutive days is that i won't take any days off. for those of you who do not know much about running (or exercise in general), most people believe that it's a good idea to take at least one day off from running every week to give your body a chance to recover from the stress you've been putting it through. most runners take 2 or more days off per week. since i won't be doing that for the next three weeks, it's important that i manage my training such that my body isn't stressed so much that it needs time off. that's why i finished tonight with plenty left in the tank.

but the problem is that i *like* challenging myself! i really feel a need to run a hill, sprint a half-mile, or go the distance because that takes running and makes it interesting! i really am not interested in making a habit out of a bunch of daily junk miles, even though that would be good for me. plus, i have goals and running 2-3 easy miles a day just aren't going to jive with them. what to do?

well, i think i can find the answer when looking in the context of who i see myself being a year from now. i am an ultrarunner, even though i've not yet attempted an ultramarathon. being an ultrarunner, i put my body through unusual stress. i need to train it to run through the routine pain while being careful enough to distinguish it from injury-related pain.

so here's a worthy challenge - run 21 consecutive days, and include a couple of 'hard' workouts each week. in my case, a hill and a long run this week. next week i might make it two hills, i'll see how i feel. every other run will be recovery runs.. boring, but at my level of training, necessary.

in this way, i'm pushing myself and taking a risk, but it's a managed risk. i'll have 7 hours to complete the 50k.. so i need to remember the secret to good barbequed pork, and apply it to my running: low and slow, slow and low.

(and hey, i'll resemble bbq'd pork when i'm done with the 50k!)

3 down, 18 to go.