I’m still alive

Sorry for not responding to comments. I used to be so good about that. Now I’m lazy and lame and this blog will be dead soon. :(

So thank you to Danielle, Lindsay, Juls, MG, Deene (where ever you are in the blog world), and Amy, for commenting.  :)

I’ve been running this week, after gaining back the 18 pounds I lost last fall. Just stupid crazy. Sitting on my butt eating A LOT of bread has not been good.

But I did manage to run 5 days. My legs felt like lead by Friday so I took yesterday off. I really want to run today, just need to get my butt out the door and do it.

I’ve had a hard time lately staying away from online RPG’s. One in particular. I haven’t been on in at least 6 months. It’s very hard to avoid. Songs and shows on Netflix remind me of it. I guess I miss the instant interaction that comes from it. I type and people respond. Maybe that’s the draw of Farcebook over blogs. Instant response.

Speaking of blogs, now that Google Reader is dead, I wonder how many people will stop reading blogs all together. I haven’t picked up a new reader yet, so all the blogs that I tracked before are just floating out there. Maybe I need to let them go too.

I’ve been working on the two novels a little bit. I have a horrendous aversion to reading, and writing sometimes goes along with that. I think about the main project all the time, running over dialog and moving characters around in scenes. But I haven’t had a lot of success actually transposing that into written form. I get this tight ache in my chest when I sit down and try to type it.

It’s funny (strange, not ha-ha). I know my two lead characters so well, I could tell you precisely how they would react in every situation, inside the project and outside. I know their histories and thoughts, even though none of it appears in the project. I just need to put the story together and let them walk through it. I know that sounds odd, but I fell like once I know what’s going to happen around them, their “natural” reactions will carry the rest of the project.

I’ve been using Scrivener (did I mention this?). It’s drafting software that helps you organize and format your projects. Tremendously useful. There is a free version but for $30 it was worth sending the money for the official version. When you find good freeware and they ask for a donation, why not send it?

So Scrivener obviously does words counts, which it kinda nice. I have about 38,000 words now, which is a only a few thousand more than a few months ago, which is lame and pathetic. The November project (which lasted a week) has about 10,000 words. Considering the November project was only 5 days, it’s even more lame that it was already at 10K words, since I’ve been working on the other one for almost 2 years now. Two years! Seriously?

What I really need is time alone. I need like two weeks of just me and nothing else. No work. No house. No people. Just time to sit and write without distractions.

But there are always things to fix. Errands to run. People to assist. Is this why the successful writers are neurotic and live alone in the woods? Maybe that’s what you have to do. Writing is hard work. I haven’t even gotten to the editing part where you decide what is trash and what can stay.

In other news, I have a race next month. Work paid the registration fee for a bunch of us because it’s a local race. Very nice. I have a bout 3 weeks now to lose 20 pounds and regain the speed I had last fall. Doable.

Not. Sigh.

Maybe lose 3 pounds and not embarrass myself in front of coworkers.

Running sucks as a form of weight loss. All this things you need to do for diet, are entirely contrary to running. Fewer carbs. Try to eat only 200 calories of pasta the night before a race. It won’t happen, or you run like poop. But if I eat the carbs, I just go overboard and crave them like crazy.

It’s not like I’m on some stupid low-carb diet. 50% of my calories come from carbs. I’m just trying to keep it from being 80%.

So back to writing and, hopefully, running today. I hope everyone had a good weekend. I will write again soon.

 

write write write write

I decided to do NaNoWriMo (did I spell that correctly?).  Basically, you write a 50,000 words novel in the month of November.   1700 words a day on average.  Its not so easy.  This would be first draft of course.  I’m on track so far, but I still need to write today and my wife is due home any minute.  Likely she will be annoyed by my ignoring her.

“Sorry, Honey, but I have to write my amazing mass produced novel.”

The couch is still a very comfortable place to sleep, albeit a bit lonely.

In other news, I’ve gotten slack on my diet and can feel myself getting pudgy again.  I had the slowest run I’ve had in weeks just this morning.  So, I went back to My Fitness Pal and started tracking the food again.  I cannot be trusted to self-monitor at this point.  In the morning I will do the weigh-in, no matter how painful it may be.

Long time!

I am starting to sound like the bloggers to let their blogs die.

“It’s been so long since I posted…”

“I promise to post more often…”

“I’m so busy these days..”

Blah blah blah.

Anyway, I’ve been doing very well with myfitnesspal.com.  I’ve lost about 20 pounds since the last posting in June.  Keeping a closer eye on the calories really helped me cut back what I was eating.  I found I underestimated the calories in most foods when I just used my Excel spreadsheet.   Using the MFP database helped me track things more accurately.  I’m very happy with the change in clothing size.  :)

I ran the New Haven Road Race 20K yesterday, but missed my PR by about 2 minutes.  So very close.  I had a chance to meet with Dianna and Jank, for our annual meet-up.  Seems odd that I only see them once a year.

Sadly, I pulled my back again during the trip in New Haven.  I had felt it tweaking a bit during the race, but wrote it off to moving things at work.  Later, when I was getting a quick shower, I leaned over to grab my duffel back and SNAP!  I bit my tongue from the shock.  I spent today in pain walking around work.  Tylenol and ibuprofin doesn’t touch it.  I’m hoping that it will be better tomorrow.

I messed up with food again on this race.  For some reason I was hungry at race start.  Fortunately, Dianna gave me some Clif Blocs but I should not have been hungry.  I had eaten my usual bran cereal, but added a banana and a giant asiago (sp?) cheese bagel with two wedges of Laughing Cow cheese.  Not to mention the monstrous bowl of pasta/chicken at dinner (courtesy of Dianna).  It was far more than I usually eat.  So why the hunger pangs?  I don’t get them during the week.

I was thinking about running the Saratoga Palio, but I’m still on the fence.  It’s two weeks away and (prior to my back injury) I think I could do a good job on the race.  But it’s $60.  And now my back hurts.  Hmmmm.  I wanted to use it to see if I can get this pre-race food thing corrected.  I want to try more gels when running.  Also stuffing my face the night before and on race morning.  Maybe I will just pay the money and run it and see what happens.  Easy workouts this week though.

 

New treads

I’ve been trying to get the fat off my belly for the past month or two.  I haven’t have much success.  I added weight training and have been running about 4 times a week.   Cutting the carbs.   Nothing budging in the belly.

As it turns out, I was just eating more food to compensate for the extra exercise.  So I started using myfitnesspal.com this week.  It’s a nifty little online calorie tracker.   It adds up the calories for you and tracks protein and sugars and stuff like that, based on what you plan out as your target amounts.  Alternatively, you can have the site calculate all those values for you.  I prefer to tweak it a bit.

Also, it tracks your exercise and how many calories you burn from that.  If you do more exercise, you get more “credits” for food that day.  So the calorie deficit you create, is really cut from your daily caloric use outside of any exercise.  Since you determine what level of daily activity you have (sedentary, moderate, active, etc), you can set up your baseline calorie use.

You enter your starting weight, target weight, and how much you want to lose per week.  Interestingly, the maximum it will let you enter is 2 pounds/week.  No extreme diets allowed I guess.  So I targeted 2 pounds per week.

I like the food database they have.   It’s incredibly extensive.  People can add their own foods to the database and then other can check a box to confirm the numbers.  I’ve been using a recipe for turkey meatloaf muffins and someone had already put that exact one in the database.  Last night I had salmon at the 99 Restaurant, and it was in the database.  :)

Entering food into the food journal is easy.  It remembers frequently entered foods, or you can save an entire meal that you eat frequently, or you can copy a meal from any previous day.  Very easy.  At the end of the day, it totals it all up and then gives you a projected weight in 5 weeks based on that day’s caloric intake.

So, how much have I lost this week?  That depends.  On day 1, I lost 5 pounds, which told me that my starting weight was probably not correct.  Especially since most of the week, I hovered at the day 1 weight.  So by this morning I’m down about 6 pounds, if you count the bad starting weight.  It might really be closer to 2 for the eek.  I’m guessing.

I got new running shoes finally.  My Adizero PR’s had worn quite far into the sole’s.  It’s not surprising that the new pair is similarly colored because apparently you can’t buy minimalist shoes that do not look like Ronald McDonald  shoes.

This is the Mizuno Wave Universe 4.  I had the Universe 2 before and it was a pretty good shoe.  This one has an exceptionally wide toe pocket.  I usually like that but I hope my foot doesn’t slide too much in this one.  The weight is 4.8 oz on the size 12 shoe, compared with 5.0 oz on my Adizero’s (minus some of the tread).  My Asics Hyper XC’s were a whopping 9.5 oz!

So we will see how these shoes do.  I was going to run in them this morning but I am feeling very run down after a slight cold all week and having already run 6 days this week.  Maybe I need a rest.

crash

Ok, so terrible things are going on in my life at the moment.  My brother-in-law is gravely ill, so we are all very tense and concerned.  Trying to do the best we can to help the situation, but most likely not doing a good job of it.  Say some prayers for him please.

Running is (miraculously) still chugging along.  My pace is now firmly below 9:00/mile, which is very encouraging.  These are morning runs, so they are even more impressive to me.   My legs feel tired quite often though.  My left calf is especially tight and sore.   I took Sunday off after my 9 mile run on Saturday and will likely rest tomorrow too.

This weekend the diet fell apart.  I just was not able to stay away from the fridge or the snacks.  Too much anxiety over family and work (yeah work is crazy too).   Bleh.  Not looking forward to weigh-in on Monday.  My weight hasn’t budged in weeks and this weekend will make it worse.

Writing is so-so.  I got some inspiration this week and churned out about three thousand words.  Looking back, I started this project last July, so I should be nearing the end at this point.  But I’m not.  I only have about 23,000 words, half of which should be cut, so I’m light years from being done.  I haven’t been able to pull the plot together yet, and some characters are nowhere near developed.  I’m still trying to decide on names!  If I have to change one more name, I might cry.  Seriously.

That all aside, I was tagged by Joy about a month ago.  Here are the questions and my answers:

What are your go-to excuses?
You mean like the best excuses I have?  Easy.  My foot hurts, I’m tired, its raining.
What’s your favorite WOD or running workout (distance/tempo/speedwork)?
Distance because I can’t do tempo runs correctly and speedwork HURTS
Do you track your dietary intake?
Yes.  I have an Excel spreadsheet with caloric values for every food I ever ate.  Psychotic.
What’s your favorite healthy meal?
  Chicken sandwich on wholewheat with Miracle Whip and tomato.
What’s your favorite cheat meal?
Instant mashed potatoes with bacon and cheddar cheese.
Any nagging injuries that worry you?
  My left calf and shin.  Grrrrrr.
What book would you recommend?
The DaVinci Code.
Have you ever been hospitalized?  If so, how were your nurses?
Yes in Jr. High School.  My nurse looked like Nurse Goodbody.  No complaints.
What look is more appealing to you?  Designer well put together chic or a fit body dressed in workout clothes?
Fit body.  The skinny waif look is not cool.  Jamie Eason?  Rocks.
What’s your resting heart rate?
63 pbm (just measured it)
If you had no financial/physical limitations whatsoever, what would you do?
Sleep in tomorrow, make truffles in the afternoon, and I might even go running before dinner.

 

Kinda fell off the radar again

Seems like I lost my posting momentum.  There’s lots of stuff going on right now, not all of which I can really talk about on the web.

But the good news is that, although I have not been posting my food, I have been tracking it.  I’ve been careful all during the week to make sure I am not adding extra at night.  The weekends are another challenge for me.  I tend not to eat regular meals, and sometimes find myself snacking.  I know that the meals I eat during the week will keep me on track, so this weekend my goal is to stay with the same meal plan that I have during the week.  I’m good so far today.

One other weekend challenge has been camping with the Boy Scouts.  When you are sleeping outside in the winter, you cannot be low on fuel.  Have to “feed the furnace” as they say.  So, low calorie diets really do not mix well with winter camping.  I know that I personally need a serious lunch and dinner on days that I am sleeping in the cold, or I will not stay warm.

So last weekend’s camp out in the woods did not help my diet much.  Also, when I go off my diet, I tend to just throw it all away.  I can’t seem to just stop at what I need.  Somehow the cookies speak very loudly.

Fortunately, my weight is still going down.  I’m down about 5 pounds now.  Its not too bad.  I was targeting about 2 pounds a week.  Monday is actually the official weigh-in day, do that’s why weekend eating is so important.  Don’t want my body to go back into storage mode for two days before I check my weight.

So the running has been good.  I’ve gotten out for 3 miles in the mornings, 3 days a week.  The pace sucks but oh well.  Today I need to do 5 miles.  Thursday morning we had our first big snowfall (4 inches), and I got the pleasure of running in that for the first time in a year.  I had forgotten how much harder it is to run in the snow.  I had YakTrax but it was still tough and my legs ached the next morning.  Friday’s are still rest days.

So that’s what’s up.  Haven’t been posting but I am staying on track more or less.

 

getting faster bit by bit

I ran 3 more miles today and I noticed that my finished times are slowly getting faster.  Not by a lot, but maybe 10-15 seconds each time, even though its getting later in the week.  I’m hoping this trend continues.  I haven’t done a good job of getting out the door early.  I’ve been getting to bed late and its making it hard to get up.

Also?  It was damn cold this morning:

Outdoor temps are on the bottom.  Cold.

I was going through my training plan and looking at an upcoming Half Marathon that I want to do.  The timing is a bit short (two weeks) but its not unreasonable.  While doing that I noticed that my training just happens to coincide with the precise plan I would need for the Vermont City Marathon.  A serious case of cart-before-the-horse, but still.

I’m having trouble with the food blogging.  I eat the same thing for breakfast everyday so the picture is of the same thing.  Is it copping out to just skip the breakfast or to just use the same picture over and over?   My camera takes very high resolution pictures and I have to scale them all down so I can upload them.  There may be a setting where this can be adjusted but I don’t have the patience to find it.

Here is breakfast for the last two days to make my point:

Today’s breakfast is on the bottom.  Not much difference.

And lunch is strikingly similar too:

Today’s lunch is on top.  Although I did forget to include the water and fish oil yesterday:

Dinner at least gets some variation.   For dinner last night I had a chicken sandwich (on very smooshed bread!)

Along with my Chobani yogurt and bran.

But tonight I was over at my parents’ house and mom had made pot roast.  I forgot to get a picture of my plate so I took a picture of the leftovers in the pot.  I really didn’t have very much.  I was being good.

And I had some yogurt for dessert:

And I also cheated a little bit with this:

It was just he beaters though.   Trust me, I wanted to DRINK the bowl of batter.  Although, as I write this and see all the food again, I’m getting hungry.  So I added one more snack to today.

This is Hormel turkey pepperoni and Cabot 75% reduced fat cheddar, with horseradish mustard on top.  Yum!  :)  Its a reasonably low number of calories, but enough to quiet my stomach.

Running and cake pops

So, I’ve run now two days in a row, which is a record for me of late.  I like think that two in a row is considered a trend.  :)

Just three miles and just under a 10 minute pace.  Trust me, this is a lot for me right now.  I’m watching the food intake again as well.  I was reading an article about a study they did in Australia about people losing weight and keeping it off.  They looked at certain hormone levels and such.  Basically, as soon as the obese people began the program, their bodies went into survival mode, increasing their hormones that increase appetite, and suppressing the hormones that cause satiety (sp?).  And it stayed that way for a year during the program, even after their eating went back up to normal levels.  Their bodies tried to make them fat again!

The net conclusion was that people who lose weight will ALWAYS have to work hard to keep it off, because their bodies will continue to try and make them obese again.  I guess thin people will never have this issue.  Sigh.

Speaking of losing weight, I did make something new recently.  I found a recipe for cake pops, although its not what I usually see for this desert.  You basically bake a cake, grind it up and blend it will a cup of butter cream frosting.  Then roll it into big balls, freeze it, and dip it in chocolate.  The centers are soft and a kinda gooey, but still taste like cake.  Here’s a pic of the results:

I do like how they look, even if they have  an odd consistency.

still not playing

I haven’t been on the game since I quit, so I am very proud of myself for that.

On the other hand, I have not run since last week, which is not so good.

I’ve decided I am disgusted with myself for letting the fat climb on me again, so I am dumping the sugar again and going back to my 1700 calories a day, without candy, bread, and sugary things.

Typical food for the day:

All-bran with 2 heaping tablespoons of ground flax seeds, skim milk
chicken with carrots, broccoli, and often some fat-free refried beans
whole wheat wrap (50 cal, 7 grams of fiber)
spinach salad with cukes, tomato, and green pepper
3 tablespoons of Italian dressing with extra virgin olive oil
large apple
100 calorie piece of 90% cacao dark chocolate (my one vice, don’t hate)
can of raspberry lime Polar Seltzer
2 cups of fat free cottage cheese

Actually everything, except the cottage cheese, I eat during the day.  This has been my typical diet for a couple years now.  Its the evening food that makes me gain weight.  If I’m watching my weight, I’m careful about what I eat at home.  If not, well, I end up stuffing in 1000 calories of other stuff, and there goes the weight gain again.

What I like about this plan is that I only have to modify one meal really, dinner/home food.  Which makes it easier for me to focus on ways to avoid junk.  If I can get working on a project it will take my mind off the junk food.  Its really only a few hours before bed, once I get home, so I don’t need to distract my cravings for very long.

But I do need to get out and run now.  I need to run and lift some weights.  I miss the weight training.  I looked into joining Planet Fitness.  The gym is cheap enough, I just don’t want to join and then not go.  Also, you have to let them do automatic withdrawal from your bank account, which I have a real problem with.  Thinking about it.

 

Does sugar make you sad?

When I eat candy and sugary stuff, its first makes me feel happy (because I’m eating candy and sugary stuff), and then I feel sad.  And then the next day, I want MORE sugar.  I did so good this week, but then I ate some candy on Thursday, and then I was sad.  And now I can’t stop the sugar cravings again.