December Diet Report

Okay, so it’s not December anymore, but the data and charts that I’m presenting in this post are, so it’s still the December report. I am proud to report that while most of the month is already done I have been on track. I’ve been watching what I eat less, mostly because of holiday treats in the office and various social functions, but I haven’t been super off my game, and I’ve been able to make sure I don’t go overboard too often.

2011 December 30 days graph

The chart still says that I’m losing at 1 pound a week, but the data itself is showing me a lot of red points which I haven’t been really that used to seeing in the last year. I should be expecting to see it a lot more as I switched from losing weight to maintaining in October. The closest I’ve come to giving up the ghost has been 229 shortly before Thanksgiving, and I haven’t come close yet. At this rate it looks like I will succeed with my goal of being below 230 at the end of the year.

2011 December Year to Date graph

The yearly image still makes me look good, with the lions share of the year losing and being on a straight trend downwards, and with the last few months showing the kind of straight across line that I should be seeing when I am maintaining weight.

Exercise has been going as well as can be expected, and I still don’t have a good way of graphing my runs or anything, so no fancy graphs, but I have been improving. My average was 10:17 per mile a month ago, and the last run that I did was at 10:07 per mile, which is not bad of an improvement. I’ve kept on schedule for the interval increases, which means that now I’m running for 2 minutes 45 seconds and walking for 2 minutes still. I think that when I get to 3 minutes and am comfortable, I will try reducing the walking time instead of increasing the running time.

This month I’d like to expand a little on the workouts that I do, and my plans for improvements in the next year. Each week, I run or walk five days a week. On Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday, I run the Five Parks Goal Loop, so named because while I am on it, I run past or through Audobon Park, Deming Heights Park, Cavell Playground, Waite Park, and Windom Park. The route itself I would rate as pretty hilly, if only because of the monster of a hill which just precedes the Deming Heights - I took a picture on one of my off days of this 80 foot climb. Lately I’ve been finishing it in about 45 minutes, and when I am consistently finishing it in less than 45 minutes, I’ll be changing up the route so that I am running farther.

So that’s three days of what you might call “training” a week, at about 4.5 miles. On Thursdays, I am starting to do something that I am going to call “run as you like day”, where I run and walk at the intervals that I feel like instead of in the lock step of the timed intervals on my other days. Lately I’ve been going around Columbia park during these, but that might change in the near future as well as I want to be able to shake up the routes every month or so just to keep things interesting. In the most recent one, I’ve been pretty happy with the pace that I kept up. Usually I try to get some longer distances on this run just because, and I have been able to run for almost a mile straight, which is pleasing.

Sundays are my day where I am really giving myself a break, because it’s between two “training” days, which means I don’t want to strain the system too much. Usually it’s the same route as Thursday but I am very restrained, walking almost the whole route. I usually end up trying to keep a pace which is under 12 minutes a mile though, which I consider to be a fast enough walk to get the heart rate up. On Tuesday and Friday, I have actual rest days where I don’t exercise at all.

In summary form:

  • Monday: Interval running, 4.5 miles
  • Tuesday: Rest day
  • Wednesday: Interval running, 4.5 miles
  • Thursday: “Run as you like”, 4.8 miles
  • Friday: Rest day
  • Saturday: Interval running, 4.5 miles
  • Sunday: Walking day, 4.8 miles

Every week this ends up being about 23 miles total of running or walking. I’m hoping in 2012 to increase this to about 25 miles a week so that I can make my goal of 100 miles a month. I don’t actually have to that much because of the extra few days beyond 4 weeks in a month, but I will probably be doing it anyway, because I like my interval running to last between 45 minutes and an hour, and lately I’ve been under 45 minutes so I need to make the route longer.

I don’t know if this is a great training program, but it’s been the one that I can keep to for the last few months, so I am happy with it at least, and I’ve been improving my times. As the weather gets colder, I have had to gear up in order to avoid freezing my extremities off. Next time, I’ll be writing about how I keep warm.