Houston training: days 2 and 3

I neglected to post yesterday about training & eating. Actually, I didn’t neglect. I don’t think I really committed to writing every day. I think as time permits, and if there’s something noteworthy worth, um, noting.

Yesterday started early with a 5-miler. I went out too hard. I think it’s because I could sense the cooler, almost on the verge of Fall-like weather in the pre-dawn hours, and there’s a noticeable decrease in the humidity. Yesterday for breakfast I had a couple scrambled eggs with spinach and, if I recall, some of Shalane’s Can’t Beet Me smoothie. Lunch was a couscous and arugula salad from Trader Joe’s. Dinner was a Wild West Rice Salad, also from Shalane’s cookbook. I took a late morning break from work and went for my mile walk. I broke a 17-minute mile and for me, walking, that’s a pretty awesome milestone. I like to run fast and walk slow. Those who know me just can’t wrap their heads around how I can manage to walk so damn slow.

This morning was an early 3-miler. On Monday and Tuesday I kind of beat my legs up running faster than I should’ve, so today I decided to run, as much as I hate to call them such, “junk miles.”

I didn’t even like writing that, so that’ll probably be the first and last time I refer to miles as junk. I basically ran slow, controlled, easy miles. I like those kinds of miles. The sky was so bright and clear this morning, and the stars were like bright holes in black velvet. I just took in my surroundings in the neighborhood and thought about the local stuff and nothing at all. Every once in awhile I’d breath through my nose just to make sure I wasn’t exerting too much effort. I think that if I make sure to enjoy those kinds of miles as my volume builds over the weeks, it’ll make the longer Sunday runs less like work and more like fun.

Breakfast was Greek yogurt, frozen berries, and I killed the rest of the Can’t Beet Me smoothie. Lunch was a Mexicali salad from TJ’s. Had some unsalted cashews, Granny Smith apple and some wasabi seaweed for snacks today. Went for my 17-minute mile walk after lunch. Had a late dinner of some smoked pork loin and more Wild West Rice Salad.

I’ve intentionally entered a caloric deficit this week as I’ve some non-muscle weight I want to get out of the way. The vast majority of that non-muscle weight (let’s call a spade a spade: fat) has been from sugar. Aside from a really sweet dressing on the couscous & arugula salad I had yesterday, I’ve had no refined sugar. And I’ve had no processed or refined carbs. And what I really noticed is that even though I’m only at day 3, I can already tell a difference in my energy level, especially in the late afternoon and evening. Over the past year, my shitty trucker diet had me tired and worn out by the time I got home from work. I’d (usually) feel fine in the mornings, but that wouldn’t sustain me throughout the day. I don’t know. It could just be a short-term system shock, but I’m noticing a difference in my all-day energy.

I just realized I didn’t drink as much water today. I had a couple of cups in the morning but didn’t during the afternoon. That’s probably why I was getting antsy and wanting to raid the office break room at 3 p.m. I need to remember to work on 8 oz. of water throughout the day.

Houston training: Day 1

I slept in yesterday morning and decided to do my first day of training early in the evening. The first part of this training block is also taking into account the Capital to Coast Relay. There’ll be some running in the heat during that race, and at least one of my legs will be in the afternoon or evening (depending on how we’re collectively pacing).

I also started my new fueling regiment. I don’t want to call it a “diet.” Lots of lean proteins, vegetables and lots of water. I thought I was already drinking enough water. That was apparently not the case. I found myself going to the bathroom every hour. Oh well, that’ll give me another excuse to walk away from my desk for a bit.

I also went for a 1-mile walk. That wasn’t really part of the plan, but I had to go to the library yesterday morning, and after I was done getting a new library card, I decided to go for a walk since I was already out. That walk was calm and refreshing and, it was at that point, that I immediately decided that I’m going to bake in walks into this training plan. If anything, just for the mental health benefits.

Training Eve

I’m going into a marathon training block tomorrow and I’ve guiltily waited until today to try to get “fit” again. Ever since having run the Boston Marathon, I just kind of let myself go. I eat whatever I feel like eating. I like to think I maintain a pretty healthy diet, but I’ll be the first to admit that I can shove crappy and unhealthy foods and drinks down my gullet.

In the Summer of 2010 I weighed the most that I’ve ever weighed. I’d stopped drinking alcohol the year before and replace alcohol with sugar. Up until that point, I’d never tried Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. Once I discovered Ben & Jerry’s, I’d plow through a pint every single night. To put that into perspective, a pint of Peanut Butter Fudge Core has 1,260 calories, 99 grams of sugar (166% of your RDA!), 78 grams of fat (100% of RDA). And that pint a night was on top of whatever the hell it was that I’d already eaten all day. For a while there I remember that I’d go to Jimmy John’s and eat a J.J. Gargantuan, which is 2,240 calories.

So I got out of the shower one day and looked at my butt-naked body in the mirror and was just really disappointed in what I’d let myself become. So I scoured the internet for a diet plan that I could get behind. I found one, and I started that diet the very next day. I had to cut out the Ben & Jerry’s (and all refined sugars) and start eating lean proteins, cleansing vegetables, healthy carbs, lean fats and lots of water. And I had to control my portions. I was really committed, so it wasn’t hard for me to adjust to my new lifestyle. And it was probably a month later that I decided to introduce exercise into my new lifestyle. Probably because I had more energy due to the change in eating habits.

I found that diet plan this afternoon and I’m going to start it again. I’ll modify it a bit because I need more calories, but it’ll be a fantastic foundation for rebuilding my fueling. And I think that’s the keyword. I haven’t been “fueling” my body recently like I had in years past. I’ve been taking in quite a bit of junk. It’s time to cull the junk.

I also bought Shalane’s “Run Fast. Eat Slow.” cookbook a couple of years ago. I cracked it open when I got it, but have never made a single recipe in it. Tomorrow I’m going to make the “Can’t Beet Me Smoothie.”

Mara gives me a haircut

I guess it’s a rite of passage. Eight years ago I let Maly cut my hair. I have no idea why I let her cut my hair. It was one of those ‘on a whim’ decisions. My hair was longer back then as I’d probably gone a couple of months between haircuts. These days I get my haircut on the first of every month, and I just get it cut short so I can go four weeks between haircuts. This month I was already a week an a half past due in getting a trim, so I decided to let Mara cut my hair. And she was pretty excited to do it.

One of the sad things about getting older and watching your children grow older is that this’ll probably be the last time my kids give me a haircut. Well, I guess it doesn’t have to be.