speedy morning

I had a really speedy run this morning.  7:45 pace which is the my fastest yet on a midweek morning run.  It felt pretty good too, so I’m happy with how that is going.

Of course, I totally fell off the wagon at lunch.  I had the flourless chocolate cake.  Argh.  It was like a giant brownie.  My stomach was so full and I got a headache from all the sugar.  Not a very good plan.

I’m thinking a longer run tomorrow would be a good idea.

better but broken still

My back was still sore today.  I still walk a little hunched over, but if I stop and let myself ease into a more upright position, I can walk straighter.  The problem comes when I need to get up from my desk and go somewhere quickly.  I kind of do the hunched-duck-and-run thing.  I had to do that leaving someone else’s office.  It looked really odd.

I bought some gels tonight.  I had been avoiding them because I don’t like using them in races or long runs.  But I think I need to.  I’m too hungry at races.  I think I burn through fuel faster than I expect to.  Maybe need to work on eating before the race/run too.  I still think plain pasta does not digest well.  Rice was pretty good, so I will probably go back to that.

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.


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.

3 miles and more food

This morning I got out for my three mile run, albeit exceptionally late.  Tomorrow I will do better.  Here’s my food for the day below.  Since I basically eat the same thing every day, I’m going to start just taking pictures of it all in one big group food shot.  No need to re-explain myself.

I was able to take pictures of lunch in the morning at the same time I ate breakfast, so the two meals kinda blend together here.

All-bran, ground flax seed and milk (same as everyday)

Lunch has steamed carrots and broccoli with chicken breast.

I wrap some of the chicken stuff in a small pita. Good fiber. :)

Also with lunch is my daily spinach salad with 1 tomato, some sliced yellow pepper, and some cucumber.

Italian dressing (3 tablespoons) made with extra virgin olive oil and dressing mix.

My apple and selzer water (zero calories).

Desert at lunch is 100 calories of dark (>85% cacao) chocolate.

Fish oil at breakfast

My water bottle (1500 ml)

This was part of my dinner at home.  Whole wheat bread with fat-free mozzarella cheese and Hormel turkey pepperoni.

One of those chocolate cake ball things again.

And my Chobani strawberry yogurt with bran.

Food from yesterday

Yesterday I did not make it to my weight workout.  Not such a good start to the year.  I went to see The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.  Horrendously graphic, violent, and gruesome.  Not a show for anyone under the age of 35.   Women will find it particularly disturbing because of the theme and several of the more violent scenes.

However, I did get pictures of food from yesterday, which I had meant to post this morning but did not get to it because I was goofing around and not getting done what needed to get done.  Anyway, here it all is:


So first up is my usual All-bran with ground flax seed and milk.

Then later I had a favorite treat of mine, Caponata, which is an Italian eggplant appetizer.

Its got lots of good oils in it and not too many calories, but TONS of sodium.  I try to eat this sparingly.  And no I did not eat the whole jar.  Maybe 1/3.  Still.

Yes, I did eat potato chips but it was a small bag.  Pencil shown for scale.

And a bosc pear.

And my favorite chicken sandwich.  That being, chicken and mayo with salt and pepper.

The bread above is homemade, as is the bread here.  I made it that day and it came out pretty good.  I like it with Promise Light, which is affectionately known as mono- and diglyceride spread.

Yet another pear.

We were out of Chobani yogurt so I went with our Stonyfield strawberry with my All-bran.

And lastly, two pieces of Valrhona chocolate.  Yea!

Ok, that’s it.  And let me say that all the picture taking is hard work.

Food log

I’m following Amanda’s blog and have signed up for her monthly project, which is to keep a food log.  I’ve done this in the past using an Excel spreadsheet (used it to track calories and weight) but haven’t done it with pictures before.

Here is what I ate today:

Ok, this first one is kind of a regular with me.  I have this every day.  I even bring it for camping trips if I can, as well as “away” races.  All-bran, skim milk, two heaping teaspoons of Red Mill ground flax seed.  Good stuff.

I get my three fish oil pills in the morning after breakfast.  I have some doubt as to its efficacy, but I figure it can’t hurt much.

I tend to each a lot of chicken.  Since this is the weekend, I have a regular chicken sandwich.  Whole wheat bread.  A bit of Miracle Whip.  ;)

Fruit.  ‘Nuff said.

Now these things below may look like meatballs but they are actually made of cake.  Santa bought me a cake pop maker (looks like a waffle iron really), so I tried it out.  They come out crispy on the outside and cakey on the inside.  I had two.    Spoon shown for scale.

Remember what I said about chicken?  Second chicken sandwich of the day.  And carrot.  Vitamin A.  :)

This is 1 cup of Chobani fat-free strawberry yogurt with All-bran thrown in for crunch.  Good stuff.  Sorry it was out of focus.

And just before bed I had a can of progresso beef soup.  Reduced sodium but still more than I really should be having.

So there it is.  Food I ate today.  Its a bit of a pain having to go get the camera before I eat, but I can deal so far.  During the week, I can take a picture of my lunch before I pack it away, so I won’t have people wondering why I am taking pictures at lunch time.

Looking back at today I see a distinct lack of green anything.  During the week I have a salad every day, but I guess on the weekend, that slips.  Hmmmm.

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.

The magical shrinking Ghirardelli chocolate chip bags

I’ve been buying Ghirardelli chocolate chips for years.  Its what I use for making truffles and it has performed very well.  I’ve gotten the recipe down just perfect so that I know how much cream and butter to add to two bags of chips to make the right consistency.

But that all changed.

When I pulled out my bags of Ghirardelli chocolate chips today, I discovered something wrong.

Yup, that’s right.  Ghirardelli shrunk the amount of chips in the bags.  They left the wrapper the same (except for extra advertising), but put fewer chips in the bag.

It’s an all too common method that companies are now using to increase profits without overtly raising prices.  Put less product in the same packaging and leave the price the same.  Its like buying a ca and finding out that it didn’t include the back seats.

I was very disappointed to see this .  It makes me feel less trusting of Ghirardelli. I understand that they want to increase profits like everyone does, but sneaky ways like this makes me feel they are dishonest.  I mean, if they would do this, why wouldn’t they cheat on the ingredients too?