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An entry of substance

Recently I was looking over some old entries from this thing, and have concluded that I need to write more here, if only to have a place to write my thoughts that wasn't going to be poured over by distant family insistent on commenting on everything I say and picking it apart to death. I'd rather let whomever is still reading this thing do that.


Today is my last work day of the week. Lisa and I are going up to New York City for the Valentine's Day wedding of our friends Jenn and Philip. We're extremely excited about this, and are looking forward to enjoying some time in NYC as well. Hopefully we'll get to take in a show as well.

Running is going in fits and starts. I have good days and bad days. The last two days weren't so good as my stamina is practically non-existent, but I still managed to stagger out 4 miles. Theoretically I should (and occasionally still do) be able to do 4-6 10 minute miles, but it seems to be dependent on factors I haven't quite managed to get ahold of.

I suspect that nothing runningwise of significance is really going to happen until we get back from New York.

Last week I auditioned for To Kill a Mockingbird for the role of Atticus Finch. I didn't get it, but I'm not terribly broken up about it; It's a highly sought after role, and truth be told, while I'm almost the right age for it, I don't really look it. Not the worst problem to have I guess.

Since there aren't any shows coming up that are really grabbing my fancy, my plan is to lay low actingwise, and focus on the house, running, and professional development.

That's about all I've got for now. I'll hopefully have a more meaningful update after NY, assuming I don't post from there.

Peace out.

(p.s. Seriously, does anyone still read this thing anymore?)

There and Back Again

OK, so I am back on this thing, once again chronicling my efforts to maintain some kind of fitness regimen and eat better. Summer was fun, but it was ghastly unhealthy foodwise. Delicious, but I can't do that indefinitely if I want to live to see 50.

So, as of about 2 1/2 weeks ago, I started walking to and from work again. I don't do it every day, and when I say to and from, it really should be to or from as I decided it really only makes good sense to do one walk per day. I might change my mind on that, but it does seem to be working so far.

I haven't seen huge weight loss, but there is a little which is good. That's how it started the last time. I figure if I do what I did 4 years ago, I should hit my goals with little difficulty.

If anything, I'm walking more now than I was 4 years ago. My goal for an average walking distance was 5 miles, but I've been going well above that. Starting Sunday this week, I've already walked 17.5 miles as of Tuesday morning, so I'm clearly getting distance in. I took today for a rest day because I think it's a mistake to do it for more than 3 days in a row the way I've been going. Legs feel pretty good, and energy levels are a lot higher than they have been in the past.

To be honest, I'm rather embarrassed at how far I've let myself go, but I also let that embarrassment keep me from doing anything about it. I remember when I lost the weight the first time that I swore up and down that I'd never let myself go again. Well, be careful what you swear I guess.

Anyway, I feel good. Woke up early today, felt good, felt energetic, and clear headed. I'm relatively optimistic that whatever damage I did to myself in the last year or so can be undone.

Better still

Today's run was another attempt at intervals. They still aren't very structured, but I am definitely seeing improvement. Next week I'll try something a bit more organized, but today I basically did an easy 11 minute and change mile, and then did another mile that was about 9:50, and then did briefer bursts at 9:10-8:40 minute miles with rest intervals in between.

Tomorrow is definitely a rest day. Saturday I think will have me out on Sligo trail. The weather is supposed to be a lot more agreeable, and I have GOT to do some proper running.

Weight is holding steady, but I suspect that in the next few weeks it'll start to drop again. My cargo pants fit again which is a very good sign. If I keep myself going like this, I should be under 200 by early April.
Today felt a little rough at first. I felt like I was really struggling through my first mile even though I wasn't breathing heavily or in pain. I can't quite explain it. It was just...hard. I pushed through and made it through the other three miles and then tacked on an extra half mile because by that time I felt I had found my stride more or less. Not sure what happened there, but I'm not fretting overmuch. Between yesterday and today I covered 10 miles. If I do at least 4 miles tomorrow and squeeze in another six on Saturday, that'll be 20 miles for the week which would be pretty sweet.

Weight loss has plateaued, but I haven't been tracking calories very assiduously recently and think I've been over my caloric limit more often than not. Eh, I'm still doing well. I am starting to fit back into some of my thinner pants, though it's still a bit of a challenge. I figure if I can start averaging 20 miles per week, or close to it, that problem will take care of itself, provided I don't pig out the rest of the time.

Improving steadily

I did my first long run on Saturday. Mind, it was only 5 miles, so it wasn't a particularly long long run, but it's longer than I've been doing up to this point. I averaged about an 11 minute mile, and felt pretty good. Really good in fact. I suspect some factors involved were that I ran at about 12 in the afternoon, had some coffee that morning, and had Thai drunken noodles the night before. (carbs!) At any rate, there's definite progress here.

I had hoped to run yesterday but the snow had other ideas, so I ran today. I actually had only intended to do 4 miles, but it wound up being a little more than that. Legs feel pretty good so I figure tomorrow will be another 4 and Thursday will be intervals. Saturday I'll likely do another 5 mile run, and then (assuming the weather stops dumping massive amounts of snow all over the place) I'll start running along Sligo. The transition probably won't be pleasant, but it's not practical to do long runs on a treadmill and I'm getting sick of running at the gym anyway. What I'd ideally like is to start using the gym for weight work and do all or most of my running up and down Sligo. We'll see. The weather is definitely not helping.

Shorter run today

I could have done 4 miles, but I stopped at 3. Figured I'd give my legs a break today. Also, I want to do a long run on Saturday of 5-6 miles (probably 5) so I want to give my legs the chance to heal.

The gym is becoming increasingly uncomfortable to actually run in. They seem to have the heat on at full blast, making me grossly uncomfortable when I run. Of course, I should be running outside, but as old man winter is really pouring it on this year, God knows when that'll be. I probably should just suck it up and get out there, but my main concern is the snow and ice. The last thing I need is to slip and injure myself. Maybe I'm just being paranoid, but I'm at least getting these runs in, and they're doing something.

Weight has been fluctuating a bit which is not surprising to me, but I imagine it'll start going down again soon as I'm maintaining my caloric limits and running consistently.

Still plugging away

I haven't been as good about controlling consumed calories in the last week, but I am still running. 4 moderate miles yesterday, 4 somewhat more strenuous miles today. I didn't quite do intervals, at least not well planned intervals, but it was the closest I've come to them in a while. The results were actually pretty agreeable, and while it ultimately came out to 4 11 minute miles, I think I did lay some ground work for more meaningful speed work in the future.

Of course, it'll also be easier when it isn't snowing every 2 minutes. I'm really done with winter. I don't care if people to the north think I'm a wimp who can't handle the snow, I'm ready for Spring goddamnit!

I had a slight soreness in my lower back on Monday which gave me some concern, but it is gone now, and seems not to bother me when I run. Gotta figure it must have been a fluke.

As I'm not doing anything major this weekend, my hope is to get a long run in on Saturday (when I say long, I mean 5-6 miles tops), though if the weather is nice enough, I'll probably head out on Sligo Creek Parkway and see how that goes. In that case, I might not be as concerned with distance so much as just finally getting my feet on actual ground as opposed to that damn treadmill. We'll see.

Long Weekend

Running kind of fell off last week. Between the snow and Valentine's Day weekend, I only ran twice last week. Despite that, I've been doing pretty well the last couple of days logging 2 days of 4 miles each. Yesterday in particular was a good day which surprised the hell out of me considering I hadn't run in almost a week. Anyway, it's getting easier to cover distance so that's a good thing.

I didn't really log calories last week, so I probably won't be registering more weight loss for a while. Not too broken up over that as I feel good, and am confident that as long as I keep putting in the miles, the pounds will leave.

I'm really ready for there not to be snow all over the place so I can do some proper running on Rock Creek Parkway. I know it won't be particularly impressive running at first, but I think that my legs are getting to a point where they want to climb some hills. At any rate, it's not realistic to stay on the treadmill if I want to do any serious distance running, so hopefully I can get that going soon.

Back in the groove

4 mile run today. It was much better than yesterday, and I feel like I'm starting to really make some progress again. Of course, tomorrow it's supposed to snow like crazy which will likely mean that the gym will be closed and I won't be able to go running, but that's not a big deal as I can always drag the elliptical at home out to get some time on that, and go running on Friday. Anything to burn a few more calories.

Speaking of which, I don't know whether I had extra baggage on me yesterday or what, but according to the scale this morning, I was 3 pounds lighter than it said I was yesterday. I can only assume I misread the scale a bit yesterday and maybe did have a little extra baggage on me or something. I logged my weight as 213 rather than 212 just to be on the safe side, but I'm fairly certain that the scale is accurate. At any rate, if the lower weight is accurate, it'll hold for a few days. If not, then I probably did right to go a little higher.

12 pounds lost now. If I keep going like this, I'll be below 210 by the end of the month.

This actually doesn't surprise me that much given that I wasn't really eating while I was sick. Add on cardio and pow I guess. I'm not going to question it overmuch, but I'm also not going to use it as an excuse to get lazy. I really like where the running is going (though I'd really like it to warm up a bit so I can start running on Sligo properly) and I feel great. Moreover, while I'm eating a lot less during the week, I'm hardly a monk. I was able to enjoy steak on Sunday and expect, assuming weather allows, to have a pub meal some time this weekend. (I miss the Limerick pub) Heck, last night I had a turkey pot pie! The secret is in moderation, clearly. (It also helps that I drink a LOT less than I was around the holidays).

If things go well, I'm going to try for 5 miles on Saturday. If that works out, then I think it's time to start introducing intervals into the mix. (Though those are a lot easier for me to do on a track than on a treadmill, but needs must I guess)

Much better

I got 3 miles in this morning. More or less average for what I've been doing, but they weren't too hard, so I'm guessing that I'm fully over this thing. Even better, according to the scale, I'm definitely down 10 pounds since the start of the year. This is a nice milestone, though it's also just the beginning as my goals are fairly ambitious. Still, for the moment, I feel good about it.

Legs felt just fine when I was running. No problem with calf or anything like that. This slower approach definitely does seem to be working. If all goes well, I hope to have at least a 4 mile run tomorrow, and another 3 mile run on Thursday. (Assuming it doesn't snow like crazy)

If the snow does come, what I might do is drag the elliptical at home out of the basement and make some use of that. We would really like to get rid of it, but as long as it's there, someone may as well get some use out of it. Anything to keep the cardio going.

Once concern I have is maintaining. As I get older, it's going to be more difficult to maintain this level of exercise and I'd rather not see-saw. I guess the only thing for it is to also have a maintenance goal...something I know I can sustain. I suspect this will have a lot to do with food consumption. Fortunately, the urge to binge eat/drink has not been great since the beginning of the year, and although I've had a few days over my limit, over all, I'm well on track.

It's unlikely I'll drop 10 pounds by the end of February, this being the second week in and February being a short month, but I'll be happy if I'm under 200 pounds by the end of March.