Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving Time

Yes it is Thanksgiving time which means I will be packing on a few more pounds.  It is inevitable.  My goal is just to keep the damage to a minimum.  And I must report that my tracking of calories has been horrible.  I plan on curing this becoming very strict with my intake once I am back home in Colorado. Yes I am lucky enough to be back in the midwest.  On Sunday of this week we visited my brother in Minneapolis and went to the Packers/Vikings game with him and his wife..who unfortunately is a Vikings fan.  Sorry about the outcome Adrianne.  After enduring a road trip from Minneapolis where it was 20 degrees and freezing rain we arrived in Racine where it was 63 and tornados.  Unbelievable..but we are now back to the normal weather of 30 degrees grey skies and occasional precipitation.

Thanksgiving is also a time to give thanks which I really should be doing everyday.  I am thankful for my wonderful family.  Not only my wife and daughter but my parents who have taught me that no matter how bad things get you need to move forward with life and to try and do so with a smile and sense of humor and to never give up.  I am also thankful for my siblings, my extended family and my inlaws who are my second family and my friends who are there when I need them.  I am also thankful to be from Wisconsin where I grew up with midwest values that people notice around the country.

As for my training it is going slow. Since my sciatica episode my coach has been having me work out with short and easy runs and bikes and a litte core work. When I mean short I mean short. 20 minute runs and bike rides ranging from 30 minutes to an hour.  I still feel a little pain from time to time in my left ankle and hip, but nothing close to the pain I felt a few weeks ago. I am hoping to ramp the workouts up once I get back to Colorado.  Actually the short workouts are good right now since it is always hard to find time to exercise when I am on vacation.

I want to give a shout out to my friends Leah and Kate who competed in Ironman Arizona on Sunday.  Leah did not quite finish the race but made it through half of the run.  Kate finished in 16:44.  Way to go Kate.  Hopefully I can learn something from their experiences.  My friend Doreen also signed up for Ironman Florida next hopefully she will not mind training with me (i.e. not dropping me on runs and bike rides) as we prepare.  Obviously Ironman Wisconsin is much harder then Flordia or Arizona..but they are all the same

Well my last weigh in was 232..yes I am going the wrong way.  Now back to shopping and looking for great Black Friday deals on tri gear... Xterra Wetsuits are more then 50% off with free shipping and I think I see one in my future.  I am also getting ready to head to Madison on Saturday to hopefully watch the Badgers wrap up the Big Ten title.  Come December 1 there is going to be a lot more training related content on this blog..since I notice by the clock on the wall that we are now down to 290 days till race time.

I hope everyone is doing well.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Diet is a four letter word

As many of you know from my constant whining the last week I have sciatica in my left leg.  The pain has gotten better over the last nine days but is still fairly constant.  I plan on running tonight for the first time in about two weeks.  Since I have been sidelined I have decided to take a look at my diet and ways to improve it.  The four basic food groups I have been eating are of course the cheese, meat, fried and pasta groups.  Surprisingly I have been able to get some vegetables in to the diet - fried green beans, fried corn, fried zucchini...etc.  However, even with this balanced diet I have not noticed a lot of weight loss..and possibly even the gain of a stone or two. 

I recently read Racing Weight which describes what the optimum weight for an endurance athlete is and discusses ways of bettering your diet and hopefully obtaining the correct weight.  Apparently I will need to lose about 50lbs and my right arm to be at my racing weight by next September.   Although the book was very informative it did not provide me with any gems that would help me with weight loss that I did not already know.  It did provide a way of rating your diet on a points system with the optimum number of points being 29 for a day.  I kept a four day log of my food and averaged  9 points.  Thus there is room for improvement.  I also had to throw the log out after day four due to the pages being stuck together with velveeta cheese. 

Since it is imperative that I lose weight even before the heavy training starts..just to save my knees if nothing else. I reread all of my nutrition books and cobbled together a plan that will work.  1.  I  need to limit my calories to 1800 a day when not working out and 2000 per day when I am working out.  This should yield  a 2lb loss per week. (I have estimated that my BMR is 2147 calories per day and that my job keeps me lightly active thus I would multiply that number by 1.3 to give me approx. 2791 calories burned per day.  1800 calories would provide about 1000 calorie deficit per day or 7000 for the week.  Since the body must expend 3500 more calories then it takes in to lose 1 lb, burning 7000 extra calories during the week would equal the 2lb loss.  You can go here to estimate your BMR and daily caloric expenditure.)           2.  I have to cut out fried food and soda. I am addicted to both.  3. I have to pack my lunch everyday.  The amount of calories I ingest when I eat lunch out is enormous compared with eating what I brought. The plan is to eat a lean protein at lunch everyday along with fruit and possibly a few vegetables (tuna salad sandwich, apple, small salad) I am not going to worry about percentage of carbs, protein or fat at this point but will revisit this in a few weeks.  4. I just need to watch my portion sizes.  5. I have to log my calories everyday.  6. I have to drink plenty of water - I have a problem with dehydration in the first place so I am going to try and drink 100 oz of water a day.

Now - it is all well and good that I have a plan..but I have little to no discipline.  Thus my wife has come up with an incentive plan for me to stay the course.  As a woman she knows my needs and wants and thus has tied my very base desires to my weight loss.  Thus, she will allow me to put money aside for a new tri bike only after I reach certain weight loss goals. And if I don't reach my goals then no new bike.  The woman is heartless.  I will post my weight every week on this blog to keep me accountable.  Feel free to give me suggestions for foods to try, recipes, offer encouragement or beat me down if my weight goes up.  My official weight on Monday November 8, 2010 was 229.2 lbs.  (only 49.8lbs to go )

Monday, November 1, 2010

End of first week and already behind.

Well the first week of training did not go as planned.  I had promised my coach I would give up volleyball for the year so of course on my first day of training I played volleyball.  The good news is that I actually felt very good with no twinges of knee or back pain.  I did get in my running and biking.  Only 30 minute runs and an hour of biking max.  I also did about 600 yards of swimming just to get back in the pool - piece of cake.  However I also had someone videotape me in the water and was astonished that I could actually stay afloat with how slow I move and the hideous form I have.  Here is the video.  Please note that it is adult content since I slaughtered any semblance of proper technique and I am shirtless.  My coach did give me a couple of different links to videos for technique.  If anyone is interested just leave a comment or email me and I can give you the links.  My coach did review the video and stated that one of the positives is that my hips are near the surface of the water.  I think this has less to do with me actually knowing how to swim and more with the fat in my butt being buoyant.

I am staring week two of training and may have to cut back already. I went to the doctor today and I have sciatica. Pain runs from my butt all the way down my leg to the sole of my foot.  It hurts sitting, walking, standing, lying down..etc.  I was given some steroids and told to take some advil and see how it goes in 3 or 4 days.  If the pain is not gone by then they will want me to go in for xrays and an mri. They offered to give me vicodin for the pain but I declined.  I told the doctor that I probably tweaked something on Saturday building a retaining wall in the front of the house,  However it did not hurt Saturday and I went for an hour bike ride without any pain.  The pain did not show up until Sunday.  So now that I think about it is probably punishment from the heavens.  As anyone knows who has gone out on Halloween weekend the costumes are all now..slutty nurse, slutty cop, slutty box of kleenex (yes I saw this one). Unfortunately I went out on Saturday night and was most intrigued by the slutty nun. I am guessing maybe going to confession could help with the sciatica.  It could also be karma for me being a pain in the ass to everyone else.

Well I am off to watch the rest of the Monday night game. Hopefully I will be close to 100% tomorrow or at least able to sit up for 15 minutes without pain.