Monday, January 31, 2011

Made it Through January! 208.45 Miles Total

Made my mileage goal for January for a total of 208.45 miles. Better than last January where my total was only 150 and change. Unfortunately I think that this winter's non-storm but brutal cold that we are going to have this week is going to set me off for a slow start for February. I'd prefer a 50 mile week this week and then taking next week sort of off after the Hardrock drawing, regardless of how that goes for me.

Last check on the Hardrock Lottery... 596 applicants. Needless to say I am already looking past the drawing next weekend and tentatively planning my 2011 race schedule minus that trip to Silverton. It's crazy.

About 433 miles on my La Sportiva Fireblades so far. I really like them. On dirt and rock there isn't a better shoe. Ice/snow... not so much. Still would like to try a pair or Crosslites but CRC doesn't seem to carry them.

Not much else to add... I'll know more in about six days!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Wednesday... Eight Miles 1:07:35

I was able to take a break in the middle of the day today to go run. I wasn't sure what I wanted to do. Should I do a hard workout or an easy one? What did I do yesterday? What did I do the day before? Ugh...

Finally settled on a mix... a hard run on easy terrain, so off to Monument Valley Park I went. Trying to keep it in the 8 min/mile range and succeeded.

I have about 25 miles to go in the next five days to get 200 miles for the month of January. I am excited. Of course I will go over by a few and that is okay.

Waiting, waiting, waiting on the Hardrock lottery. Last count, 550 applicants. That is 120 more than they had last year and that is with two weeks left until the drawing. I'm already planning on not getting in. My luck just isn't that good. On the flip side though, Annie says that knowing hers, Erich's and Melissa's luck I WILL get in as they would be my crew for the event. We will see.

Pretty much the plan is to maybe back off a bit after the lottery if I don't get in, reassess the situation and then make the San Juan Solstice 50 mile my event for the year. Train my ass off and maybe... maybe... be able to come in under 12 hours. I think 12.5 is more realistic but we will see.

I have also unofficially/officially/committed to pace in the LT100 come August. I am excited about that!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Diet is a Four Letter Word - Seriously

I will start by stating the obvious. I've been blessed, fortunate, whatever that most of my life I have been more thin than not. Sure there were a couple of times that I sort of gained unneeded weight like in 1993 from eating too many donuts when I worked for Martin Marietta and then again in 2002 when I ate and lifted in earnest to actually bulk up intentionally. Still the progression through my life was skinny, trim, fit, muscular, bulky, bulkier, to, well... beefy.

But one thing was always constant. Start running again, lift a bit, and I mean moderate efforts here, and the weight would melt off. Well I am here to tell you that on the edge of turning 43, that shit just doesn't work anymore.

My philosophy has always been to eat, drink and be merry. Sin at night and pay penance the next day through miles of running. And for most of my life that worked just fine, maybe even too well as it often encouraged me to over indulge way more frequently in things than I probably ever should. One of the perks of being young(er.)

My sins included cupcakes, BEER, Mtn. Dew, Tons of Big Macs, fries... I would schedule my weeks by what restaurants I wanted to eat out at and when. Huge assed Chipotle Burritos and don't forget the chips and salsa... AND that large Coke thank you very much. Regardless of my age or my denial of it, I still believed that my metabolism as a result of my high levels of activity would burn it all off. Well guess what? It didn't.

I would or could run and workout for many hours per week and my weight would not budge. Only in cases of extreme load and I am talking like over 60 mile weeks would the needle start to show improvement on the scale. The truth was obvious and right there in front of me. The old philosophy of run, run, run and burn everything off just did not work anymore. To say that I was in denial would have been an understatement.

But in my defense, I was lucky my whole life and yes, with a bit of work on my part I managed for the most to wear the same sized jeans most of my adult life as I did in high school. But that fostered my core beliefs. I did not believe in diets. I believed you could eat too much of course and moderate intake but ultimately I fully believed that all it would or could take for simple weight management was the appropriate amount and type of exercise performed consistently as a part of ones overall lifestyle.

So imagine my dismay when I started running ultras a few years ago. Training harder than I ever had in my entire life,yet my weight at best would stay the same...

Well, after the Leadville 100 this year during my recovery phase I ate, I drank, I smoked cigars and I ate and drank some more. The pounds piled on quickly. I started running again and still those few pounds stayed. WTF??? Worse yet, I felt it. Again, the answer was RIGHT there in front of my face, I just refused to believe.

Okay I admit it, I did diet once. I did the the Atkins diet with spectacular results. I dropped weight and gained lean mass at an amazing rate. I understood from that experience that cutting back on sugar (sodas especially) would be of great benefit. Of course I had to cut out other junk as well.

I struggled with this. I didn't want to do it, to deny myself some of the basic simple things in life that I enjoyed? WHY!? It wasn't fair.

Well... thankfully, when I was contemplating all of this back in mid to late October, Melissa was on travel and she had sort of the same idea as I had, for different reasons but the overall concept was the same. We would be a lot better off if we cut sugar out of lives. Sodas, junk food, etc... all of that. I was so relieved and even excited when she brought the idea up. I needed this and really the truth as I saw it, this wasn't for just simple weight loss and management. this was really the start of a different lifestyle and set of eating habits.

Most things I could give up readily... sweets, candy, things like that... but caffeinated soda's? That was going to be tough. Another dirty secret... diet sodas? I am one of those lucky people who gain weight even drinking diet sodas and probably more so than regular sugared ones. Nope, even they had to go.

So the great purge happened... all of the snacks thrown out, no more soda's, etc. Ground rules were discussed and agreed upon. Free days would have to happen every once in a while.

In a month, I saw great improvement. I felt better for certain. I missed stuff definitely but the the benefits I felt outnumbered my cravings.

Weight started to drop off a little bit at first. I felt less bloated heavy as had become the norm. My "gut" was falling off as well. Jeans started to fit more loosely till the point I had to go down a size.

So... the proof was in the sugar-free pudding so to speak. Clean up the diet and the weight drops. I didn't do anything drastic or restrictive just started to make what I considered better decisions. But to be honest, even in the light of my success, I still resisted the notion that it was that simple. But it was.

To sum it up I eliminated these things and pretty much in this order. Sugar. Anything obvious of course, ie Pop Tarts and pastries, cakes, etc. Sodas! Along with soda's anything containing HFCS (high fructose corn syrup) which is the center of a lot of attention these days. I realized that "all" sugar could not be avoided so like I said, I stuck to the obvious things and it worked.

So that sums it up. Just another perk of middle age I guess... you just can't get away with stuff like you did 15 - 20 years ago. Eventually you are going to have to start practicing some discipline. Damnit!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Race That Didn't Happen

I'm back from a whirlwind weekend of visiting Wyoming and Steamboat Springs. The plan was to go to Wyoming Friday night. First thing Saturday morning, register for the San Juan Solstice at 7:00 a.m. After that race registration, go to the Twin Mountain Trudge, run that race, then scoot on down the road to Steamboat to rest and relax the rest of the weekend.

Well... it just didn't go that way. We made it to Wyoming sort of late Friday night. The hotel was very nice. Probably the most quiet hotel I have ever been in. Had a good night sleep and woke up at 6:45 to get register online for the SJS 50.

I logged on and when the time came to register, the registration site, did not enable the option to register for the race at 7:00 as they were supposed to do. Nope... not even a few minutes late. More like one hour and fifty minutes until the runners wanting to register were enabled to do so. By this time any hope of making it to the start for the Twin Mountain Trudge on time was out the window. So my plan became to just show up, run a loop (11 miles) instead of two and call it a day.

Well, not even that worked out. Someone (me) got twisted around driving to the start. I made it to BW road, but the wrong end of the road. So basically once the error was discovered it was way too late to even consider racing. On top of that, it had clouded up and the winds (about 30mph sustained)had kicked up out of the west. As a token effort, we went out for a quick 3 mile out and back on the course since we were there, making it back about the same time the top finishers started coming in.

Disappointed a bit as this was to be my first significant race for 2011. There weren't any great expectations but I did want to have this opportunity to gauge exactly where I am now in regards to speed and endurance.

Had an okay time in Steamboat. We really need to plan to spend more time there.

Past that, just trying to get on this week. Still sort of dropping weight. It is amazing what ditching soda's, beer, chips, and cupcakes can do for weight loss regardless of how many fucking miles one runs in a week. In a way it isn't fair.
I plan to do an entire blog entry on this subject at a later date.

Waiting still on the Hardrock 100 lottery. Just under three weeks to go. As of today, there are 490 some applicants, compared to the 430 some total from last year. That definitely is not helping to put the odds in my favor.

That's all for now. I will write more later and try to be more consistent.