10/28 - Swim and swim

Today's workout was a long swim. It has been close to a week since I was in the pool. Swimming is boring. Let's face it, following the black line on the bottom of the pool lap after lap gets old after 5 laps.
Today's workout consisted of 64 laps or 3200 meters. So, about 59 of those laps allowed my mind to wander a bit. I thought of things like how much I miss running, how much I'd like to be running, and when I can run again, how much will I be able to run?
I guess I had running on my mind.
Anyway, to kill the time; I broke up the swim routine into the following, taking a 1 minute break between each:
200 meters
400 meters
800 meters
200 meters.
repeat set.
I did the set twice, except my final two hundred, I did 3 x 50 meter sprints on the 1:10. This gave me about 25 seconds of recovery between sprints. I than finished with an easy 50 meters with the kick board.
Food: Right now, I'm trying to increase protein consumption to help me heal. Over the past three days, my calories split by carbs, protein, and fats is about 40%, 40%, and 20%. Eventually and gradually, I'll work to 50%-25%-25% before high mileage training. Right now, I'm focused on becoming leaner, hence more protein and less fats.
I was going to take a picture of the really good salmon sandwich I had today for lunch. But I was too hungry and ate it before I remembered to take the picture!!


10/27 - Oops, no postings in two weeks!!

Sorry, I seem to have been absent for a while, but I wanted to let you know that this blog is not forgotten. Life is busy and there is no excuse for not posting, so I'll catch you up to date to what's been up with this "recovering runner".

My shin is really good, I had to ref a game for my youngest son's soccer team (in addition to coaching at the same time) this past week, and absolutely no pain or "feeling" anything in my shin. Another 4 weeks until I start running, so I'm optimistic that it is healing well. I cycle/swim/elliptical 6 days a week for at least 60 minutes, and do one long workout (90 min) on the weekend - by combining two of the three - (example 45 min swim/45 min elliptical or bike).

I hired a nutritionist to help me out. She specializes in endurance athletes. So far all is good.

I started out on a restrictive diet to lose a few pounds that I recently put on because of the lack of running. I'm already back down to my goal weight, so now it is a matter of increasing the amount of protein to help my body recover and heal and cutting out the junk food. Currently, I'm at a 2000 calorie diet. When eating lots of plants (I now know what Mark Bittman is referring to here) - they can be filling. For example, for lunch today I had 6 oz of chicken and 3 cups of veggies which came in at less than 300 calories for lunch. I've increased the amount I eat in the morning as well to start my day off on the right foot. Instead of my usual what bagel with natural peanut butter, my mornings have recently included a big egg omelet with veggies, along with a cup of oatmeal. That was a big breakfast, but it keeps me full for the morning.

However, my meals have not been my downfall - it is the snacking that has always been problematic. She has given me many options for snacks - and that is going well. I'll start to take some pics of my food and post them out here.

I really miss running this time of year - if you can, get out and enjoy the beautiful colors of the trees - it is the best!!


10/13 - Spinning/lifting

Today was a spin day after my day in the pool. I lifted before class (upper body only at this point due to the stress fracture), and started out spinning 15 minutes prior to the 45 minute class. Lisa, one our wellness consultants here at work, taught the almost full class. Lisa does a great job of keeping me motivated through the class - she always makes me give an extra 10% effort beyond what I tend to think is my all out effort. Nice class Lisa!

Prior to class, I lifted - I'll admit - my lifting is not great, so I'm open if anyone has any thoughts on how to improve my routine. Here is what I did today - all three sets of 10 reps on the following on machines:

  • lat pull down
  • bicep curl
  • chest press
  • lateral raise
  • row
  • triceps push down
  • fly
  • shoulder press

Between class and the upper body workout, I ran out of time to do my core routine. I'll do that tonight as I watch the biggest loser.

Food is becoming more and more important to me - I am really starting to get into a habit of eating whole foods as best I can. For example, today I made a salad for lunch. Salads can be tricky, but I found this handy container where you put the dressing in the top and it keeps is separated from the salad until I'm ready to eat. I like this container!

As you can tell - yes, I do eat at my desk!!

As far as what was in the container, it was a pretty easy. I used about a cup and half of baby spinach, about three large strawberries sliced, a tablespoon of light balsamic vinaigrette, and about 1/8 of a cup of feta cheese. This is one of my favorite salads. Sometimes, when I need a bit more, I'll put some grilled chicken or some turkey from deli on this. Yummy! Also, I'm going to try this with beans instead of meat sometime - like red kidney beans!

Along with the salad, I had 4 oz of 2% cottage cheese to help get the protein count up, and a handful of grapes for the sweet taste I need at the end of lunch!


10/12 - Swim and Run

Today was a swim day and aqua jog day. I had about 55 minutes in the pool. Here is what I did to pass the time:

1 min rest
1 min rest

Aqua Run:
5 min warm up
1 min hard
1 min easy
2 min hard
1 min easy
3 min hard
1 min easy
4 min hard
1 min easy
3 min hard
1 min easy
1 min hard
1 easy

Overall - 52 minutes in the pool. 8 minutes short of my daily goal - but I have soccer practice tonight - so chasing around a group of 4 and 5 year olds, as well as then chasing around 6 and 7 year olds right after that should get me to that hour.

Seriously, the pool is boring. I need a waterproof mp3 player or something....

Homemade granola

I have been on a bit of cooking/baking binge lately. By watching my nutrition more, I have really started to look at what goes into the food I eat.
One of the items I do miss is granola bars. Well - here is a home made version! Not a bar, but granola!
I took this from Mark Bittman's Food Matters. I used:
5 cups of old fashioned oats
3 cups of walnuts
1/2 cup of shredded unsweetened coconut
3/4 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
2 teaspoons of vanilla
Baked it at 350 for about 40 minutes. After I pulled it out of oven, my wife added about a 1/2 to 3/4 cup of blueberries.
It is now stored in the fridge and is ready to eat!


10/10 - Swimming and ellipitcal; 10/11 - 45 min spin

On Saturday, like many others in the central Iowa, I woke up to a ground that was lightly covered with snow. Hmmm....might be tough to see those soccer lines to see if the ball is in or out for the boys' games.

About three hours later, the games were finally called off. I was happy to have a Saturday without running the kids around, but now starts the process of trying to fit in and reschedule those games into an already busy weekday schedule.

However, with how much my boys giggle, laugh, and smile; I know all of my "trouble" is worth it.

Anyway - as for the workouts lately - I'm still doing okay without running, but it is tough. I spent 35 minutes on Saturday doing the elliptical before swimming for 55 minutes. The 90 minute workout was my longest in a long time.

Today - I spent 45 minutes on the bike. Solid workout, but a little light after yesterday's longer workout.

Just in case you are wondering how I spend my 45 minutes spinning; here is the routine I follow:

Warm up 5-7 minutes

Set 1
2 min. seated climb
2 min. standing climb
1 min. RC
Set 2
1 min. seated climb
1 min. jumps (on seated climb tension)
1 min. standing climb
1 min. sprint (seated)
1 min. sprint (stand)
Do this set 2x
Set 3
30 sec Hover
30 sec Sprint (seated)
30 sec. Vertical
30 sec. Sprint
30 sec RC
Do this set 3x’s (last one will get a 1 minute RC)
Set 4
30 sec seated hill (med. hill)-30 sec. stand sprint (on seated hill tension) x5
RC 1 min.
Set 5
2 min. seated climb
2 min. standing climb

Cool down

My nutrition plan this last week is going well. I have reduced the number of calories by about 600 a day in order to take off a little weight I have gained since I stopped running. Since Tuesday, I have dropped about 4 lbs. I have eliminated all "processed" junk food from my diet, loading up on the veggies and fruits. I have tried to increase the percent of protein I'm taking in but it is tough to move that needle when I'm trying to maintain a "vegetarian" diet until supper.

I've adopted Mark Bittman's philosophy of "eat more plants". When I get hungry for snacks, I reach for whole foods - such as apples, bananas, and grapes instead of granola bars or protein bars. If it comes in a package, it is likely not on my list to eat.

People thought I ate well before, crazy how there is always room for improvement!


10/7 - What is your goal....

It has been a while since my last post - without running, not much for me to blog about. I'm still keeping up the cycling and lifting routine on one day, and swimming and aqua jogging/elliptical on other days. 60 minutes a day, at least 6 days a week. Just do it, like brushing your teeth. Make it a routine, and don't question if you have to do it, just do it.

I did have an interesting meeting yesterday with a nutritionist/runner. She had some really good suggestions for me, and I'm anxious to see her proposals about moving forward. More on that in another post....

One question she asked me was "What is your goal?"

An interesting question. Of course, I do think there is value in having A goal, but really, I look to add bang for my buck - so having a few goals in mind help me maintain focus. For example, here is how I responded to the question -

First - I want to maintain some good physical condition while I can't run for the next 7 weeks. I don't want to gain extra pounds while I'm out.

Next - When I return to running, I want to position myself to be a better, faster, and stronger runner. If I can begin healthy eating habits now, I should be able to continue them while I return to running.

Long term - I want to be able to better understand how nutrition helps my performance - what/when I should eat. While I train for a marathon/ultra run, I usually need 3000 to 3500 calories just to maintain my weight per day. Many of those calories come at the end of the day when I am hungry and in the form of ice cream or junk food. Probably not ideal - but I never was taught how to eat during these training periods.

Overall long term goal - I've been reading books about making decisions about what to eat that is not only healthy, but also good for social/environmental reasons. I want to be able to start to make good food choices, that in the long term, may be beneficial for generations to come. For example, buying food from the local food coop, eating more plants - less animals, etc and reducing my carbon footprint.

So - there are my goals. This is one area where I look to set goals in area of short term and long term. I'll reset or adjust my short term goals when needed, while keeping in mind my long term goals.