Nov 28, 2007

278.6 <--blowing away the 280 barrier

we're lucky that rex didn't notice the flash, and instead ate a kid from westchester

Hi Everyone,

This is the obligatory post that I referred to yesterday. I've broken 280!

Gee, it's been something like six months since I broke 290.

Since there's really nothing else to write about on that topic, I guess I'll just throw out there some of the stuff that I've been thinking about.

My daily rate of weight loss up until this point is actually about 2.4lbs per day - but much of that is due to water loss. Wouldn't it be great if I could maintain 2lbs per day from now to the 15th? I would be 244lbs.. wow.. as great as that sounds, it's almost certainly a pipe dream. It's actually well below my "dream goal" of 250lbs by that date. What I'm actually shooting for, and which I'm not sure is possible, is the "aggressive goal" of 255lbs - which means 23 lbs in 17 days - 1.35 lbs per day. (10 lbs per week would be about 1.4 lbs per day.) I might have to convince myself to be satisfied, however, with the more realistic goal of 260 by the 15th - 18lbs in 17 days.

But forget realism! What about aggressiveness??
This saturday: 275 - totally possible, just 1lb per day for the rest of the week will get me there, and I've been averaging over 2.
Next saturday: 265
Saturday the 15th: 255.

that would be a worthy goal.

BTW, 259 is where my body-mass-index goes from "OBESE" to "OVERWEIGHT."

The way I see it, the only thing that could derail my plan is the plateau. Long-time readers of my blog will recall the 301 plateau - I was losing weight very quickly, really shooting to finally break the 300 barrier. I was getting really excited, when, at 301, I just stopped losing weight, and despite my best efforts, that damned scale refused to drop below 300. When it finally did after over a week, as happy as I was, the frustration that i experienced drained me to the point that I wasn't willing to maintain the calorie restriction. slowly returning to a normal diet, I did break 290, and flirted a couple of times with 285, but have spent most of my time right between 287 and 292. It actually worked out, because in those six months I went into Marathon Training Mode and completed three marathons.

Whatever. If I plateau at 251, I'll just remember where I am now and deal with it. (:

Tonight we're going into the city for dinner with some friends, and I understand that there will be a buffet. Limiting my portions will be a good test of my constitution. In the meantime, I guess I'll fast for the day until tonight.


PS: 269.8 is only 8.8 lbs away!

Nov 27, 2007

Shifting to WLM with ACR

I've recently found that this scale is massively incorrect, even for the moon.

I hereby am officially switching from "MARATHON TRAINING MODE" MTM to "WEIGHT LOSS MODE"(WLM). (:

"AGGRESSIVE CALORIE RESTRICTION" (ACR) will occur between last Monday (8 days ago) and December 15th. Moderate calorie restriction plus modest exercise will continue between December 16th and January 12th. ACR will then resume until February 6th, at which I will moderately switch back into MTM. (no, it's not a coincidence that those are the dates of my California trip, where I'll eat normal food, but less of it than I'm used to. Half a burrito is plenty of food!)

If all goes as expected (and planned), I will be a cool 225 lbs in March. That should take another hour or so off my marathon time. (:

I suppose an explanation is due.

When I lost all that weight in the spring, it was without running at all, but rather it was by pure calorie restriction that didn't allow for much exercise. I wouldn't want to imply that "marathon training mode" and "weight loss mode" are mutually exclusive, but I find that I do much better at weight loss when I focus completely on food intake, and I do much better at marathon training when I focus completely on getting miles in. doing them both at the same time for me turns out to be a tremendous amount of effort, and while I'm not denying that it's possible, it's not something that I'm willing to do.

40 lbs would put me right at 245-250, and 50lbs would get me to 235-240 - and most people I know seem to indicate that 235 or so would be an ideal weight for a guy with my build. I am not convinced though, because at 235 and my height my BMI would be 27.2. I understand that the BMI is limited in its usefulness, but that is still a pretty large difference. So I'd ultimately like to be around 225 by early spring and maybe find a late May marathon and take it really easy. If I pull that off, I can then adjust my weight as I see fit, but a very aggressive weight-loss goal that would keep me from running would no longer be necessary. Then, next summer, my first ultra. Afterwards, the Vermont 50 miler in September. That will be the highlight of the year for me. In the fall, I will again run at least two marathons. My intent there will be to actually race them - and see if I could break 4:30 with all that weight off me. I'd eventually like a BQ, but that's not realistic in 2008.

It's funny. Losing weight is the #1 way to improve my times, and that's become the reason for losing it. I started running to lose weight, and now I'm losing weight to run.

But this post is not about running, but weight-loss mode.

When I am honest with myself, "AGGRESSIVE CALORIE RESTRICTION" (ACR) amounts to an eating disorder. I received a lot of flack back in the spring about my 1000-calorie/day diet, and everyone seemed to think that I would gain it all back and then some. When I reached 285 back in June, I stopped the ACR but exercised enough that I didn't gain weight. Over the next six months, my weight fluctuated between 287 and 293, but I never gained back the 50 lbs that I lost with the ACR. I can only conclude that it works for me, and while I would recommend this idea to exactly zero people, I use it myself because it happens to work best with my psychological profile (whatever that means..) (:

Of course, 1000 calories/day barely supports my day-to-day activities, and aerobic exercise during this period is pretty much impossible. So I don't plan on keeping it for more than a few weeks. But in those few weeks, I could potentially lose over ten lbs/week. And when I insert the period of modest calorie restriction with exercise, my body can use that time to adjust to its new weight so I can resume one more period of calorie restriction afterwards before going back into full fledged "MARATHON TRAINING MODE."

Another thing that I wouldn't recommend to most people but works for my psychological profile (hehe) are daily weigh-ins. God help you if your pysch profile (huh?) matches mine. I will post the daily weigh-in results on this blog every few days.

Here's what I have so far (I didn't weigh in on T-Giving, which this year was characterized by unrestrained gluttony, as usual):
Mon 11/19: 289.6
Tue 11/20: 287.0
Wed 11/21: 285.8
Thu Thanksgiving
Fri 11/23: 290.8 (that's some serious unrestrained gluttony.)
Sat 11/24: 287.6 (easy come easy go)
Sun 11/25: 285.2
Mon 11/26: 282.8
Tue 11/27: 280.6

Sat 12/15: 250 (Dream goal)
Sat 12/15: 255 (Aggressive goal)
Sat 12/15: 260 (Realistic goal)

I will reevaluate where I am on the 15th and set a goal for January 12th, but it will probably be for about 10lbs. Then, it's just a short journey of 15-25lbs to 225.

I fully expect to have broken the 280 barrier by tomorrow morning, and of course, in pizzapizza tradition, I will post when that happens.


Nov 25, 2007

Race report - Philadelphia Marathon

crossing the finish line

bottom line:

Bib 408
FName steven
LName tursi
City suffern
State NY
Age 31
Sex M
ChipTime 05:49:46
ClockTime 05:56:37
Overall 6661
SexPl 3992
DivPl 599
AgeGrade 35.7%
Pace 13:20.6
Half 2:50:14
Mile20 4:23:36

My goal for this race was to run it in 5:30, but I shouldn't have had a realistic expectation of meeting this goal. My training for the month prior to the marathon, to say the least, had been inadequate, and while I did expect to be able to beat my time at the Breakers Marathon (5:50:45), 5:30 was going to be really tough.

I might actually have made it but, without even thinking about it, all I ate the morning of the race was an orange. I wasn't even thinking, and it literally didn't occur to me until I talked to my wife after the race that an orange was all I ate. The night before, I had a traditional pasta carb-load, and while it was good, it was apparently inadequate, because at about mile 15, I really hit a wall and found running very difficult. It only got worse and at mile 18, I really started to feel intense hunger. To make matters worse, the race, as well-organized as it was, only had clif shots for solid food, and my stomach can't handle those things. Just in a nick of time, a spectator at mile 20 had brought bagels for runners, and I very gladly took one, and ate it over the next mile. My splits tell the story. Miles 1-15 were all 12:something, then I suddenly slowed down over the next two miles to 14:xx. Then, the next two miles were both 15:xx, and mile 20, the bagel mile, was actually 16:01. It started to kick in towards the end of mile 21, 15:22, and mile 22 would indicate that I had recovered, 13:38. Mile 23 was an anomaly at 14:40, but miles 24-26 were all 13:xx, with a final mile of 13:01, which allowed me to get a PR, by a mere minute, of 5:49:46.

I spent the first half of the race with a clif-shot pacing team for a 5:30 completion. Obviously, I wasn't able to keep up, but I was hanging with them right up until mile 15 or so. The pacer took two 1-minute walk breaks every mile, and having an open mind, I did it with them. Maybe it's due to lack of food, but the walk breaks didn't seem to help me very much, but after hearing about them so much, I was glad to have tried them.

Philadelphia puts on an incredible marathon. It was my fourth marathon and my second large marathon, and I sure enjoyed it as much as any of the others. Plentiful aid stations, lots of runners, a few spectators, clocks at every mile, and a beautiful medal really made for a great race. There's a lot more I can say about this race, but I'm going to leave this report (relatively) short and sweet.

What's next?

My marathon season is officially over. I was considering the Orange County (California) marathon on January 6th, but I've decided against it. I am going to go back into weight-loss mode, and implement some very aggressive goals for losing about 40 lbs ahead of the spring race season. But that's another post, one that you can expect in the next day or two. Preview - I've already lost ten lbs since the race nine days ago, and that was with unrestrained thanksgiving gluttony.

Nov 19, 2007

Splits for the Philadelphia Marathon

My tribute to 104.8 miles.

I'm hurtin' today. (:
Full report in a day or two - but I want to say now that Philadelphia puts on an awesome race.

mile - split
01- 13:20
02- 12:34
03- 12:24
04- 12:17
05- 12:16
06- 12:19
07- 12:25
08- 12:36
09- 12:04
10- 12:56
11- 12:18
12- 12:20
13- 12:01
14- 12:29
15- 12:45
16- 14:41
17- 14:18
18- 15:54
19- 15:45
20- 16:01
21- 15:22
22- 13:38
23- 14:40
24- 13:12
25- 13:48
26- 13:01
.2- 2:20

final time 5:49:49
(Personal Record, previous best was 5:50:45)