Monday, October 21, 2013
So, bright idea time! I want to trim up my carbohydrates just a wee bit so that when I race, I'll carry less weight and hopefully run a bit cooler too.
There's only one, tiny problem. I love the fix I get from ultra-processed carbohydrates. The more synthetic, the better. Sure, they're hell on your body, but they taste so darned good!
After having a pretty good day watching my dietary intake of calories and macro-nutrients, I got the jones this evening. Having sworn off (ran out of) carbohydrate-laden beer, I couldn't stop thinking about the bread I baked last weekend. Once I'd mentally given in to the idea of eating the bread, I mentally upped the ante and decided to go for the gold: melt-in-your-mouth super-ultra-mega-refined fried goodness Bugles. I try to stay away from them because after the first one, there is a good chance I'll wake up naked in a ditch in a couple of days.
My mouth started watering before I even had the bag open. I felt like a salivating dog in a lab experiment. I dumped a generous helping onto a plate.
Afterwards, as I sat thoughtfully munching on almonds and beef jerky, I wondered where my clothes went before I fell asleep in the ditch. I also realized that it is going to be a really tough off-season if I don't find a way to tame my cravings. Or at least indulge without suffering hypothermia.
Wednesday, June 5, 2013
Friday, May 3, 2013
When I started running in the fall, I just ran the way that I intuitively ran. This worked out really well until I started running 7+ miles. It was then that I discovered that I ran like a sprinter, springing about on the balls of my feet.
As I started getting close to running a half marathon, my knees hurt and my calves were constantly in excruciating pain. I started reflecting and realized that I had developed bad habits that would hamper my distance running efforts. In a short run, you can get away with sloppy form. In a long run, your muscles will eventually become exhausted. At this point you are very likely to develop an injury.
One of the things I realized I was doing is swaying side to side and bouncing up and down. This was tiring my muscles faster because it took more work, and it was putting a lot of lateral stress on my knees. So, I started looking ahead to a stationary object in front of me. If I could keep that object from bouncing around, I knew that I was directing more of my effort into moving me forward.
At work, I’ve been exhausted lately. I have found it challenging to do the right things quickly enough. It is high time that I look ahead, find a landmark, and do my best to keep it in the center of my field of vision. I’ve moved away from the sprinter’s race, and it’s time that I start using techniques that lead to success in the Long Run.
Thursday, May 2, 2013
We have two dogs. One is quite large, and the other is very small. You can see them in the picture below. You can tell which is which because the small one is on the left. That’s Abby. The black one is “A Boy Named Sue”.
Abby does not have accidents in the house, however when we crate trained her she had a difficult time holding her bladder all day. So, we did the only logical thing we could do. We litter trained her. The litter box on the left is Abby’s. You can tell that it’s hers because it is much smaller than the cat’s litter box. This makes sense because our cat is approximately four times the size of our little dog.
Litter training Abby has worked out really, really well. Of course, it was logical to litter train Sue when we got him. So that’s what did! When he was little, we taught him to go potty on command and then we transitioned him to the litter box. When we started leaving him in a large pen in the garage, we got him a large litter box since he had gotten so big. Everything generally seemed to work out ok.
We may have miscalculated something just a wee bit. To Sue, any litter box is a litter box. If you really have to pee, the litter box can save you. This works great when it’s the huge litter box out in the garage. The other night we heard the telltale sound of running water. Gushing, really. So we raced into the laundry room and found Sue making a valiant attempt to use the litter box, but failing miserably all over the floor.
Next time maybe we’ll reconsider the whole litter training thing when the dog is going to develop a gallon sized bladder.
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Saturday, January 12, 2013
Over the holidays I did two things that brought back an old, familiar friend-injury. First, the weather forced me to run on a treadmill. Instead of reading up on treadmill running first, I hopped on and assumed that it would be just like running outdoors. It turns out that it isn't quite. It is a lot more repetitive, which leads to repetitive strain injuries. Also, the treadmill that I used was a bit on the small side-which caused me to alter my stride. Between the two I started to experience some mild knee soreness. This would have been acceptable if I hadn't compounded the issue by swimming too much.
After swimming 73 laps over the holiday break, my knee soreness became knee pain. It felt like hyperextension. At first, I thought that it was strictly a result of the treadmill. Only after cutting a later swim short did I realize that I've done even less swimming over the last several years (um, about 25 years) than I have running.
Dedication, it appears, it about exercising exactly the right amount. I've been overdoing it again. I'll slow it down. After some reading and working with a heart rate monitor I've decided to alter my approach to training a bit. I'm going to broaden my cross-training, and cut back on my swimming distance for now. I'll also do only one long run per week, with two 45 minute runs during the week to run high intensity intervals. My aim is to reduce the risk of a repetitive strain injury while building up the muscles that I need in order to complete long endurance races. In short, I'll do less at a much higher intensity. I am also going to beef up my weight lifting and running specific exercises (clam shells and side lifts mostly).
Getting back on the fitness wagon should be relatively straightforward. I just have to convince myself that less is more when it comes to working out. The other problem, though, is that it will burn fewer calories. Watching my diet closely enough will be the next hurdle.