February Diet Update

It’s been a good month of exercise, and I’ve been doing pretty good on my goals that I have laid out for the year. The scale has been frustratingly un-helping this month though, and done some ups and downs. I have also devised a schedule to keep my running a little more exciting. The most frustrating part of the diet and exercise this month has been the diet part. Let’s start with the charts.

2012 February 30 Days Graph

The last thirty days can highlight my frustration with my weight over the last month or so. This graph has far more red areas than I am comfortable with. It seems like my weight is still on the downward trend, which is good at least. My daily deficit from this graph is about 300 calories less than I am aiming for, but it isn’t a big surprise.

2012 February YTD Graph

The year to date graph looks better. There were a lot of gains in the first month of the year which make the whole year not look so bad. I’ve been a little more lax on my diet in the last month. I don’t watch the calories as much as I used to when I go out to eat, and sometimes have days when I overeat by a ton because I am eating lots of empty calories like chips and sweets.

I’ve found for a while that eating too many carbs just makes me hungrier later in the day, and makes me want to eat more again. This is probably some of the reason why a low-carb diet worked so well for me last year, and makes me want to start adding a significant amount of protein back into my diet, especially at the beginning of the day when it will have the most impact.

Recently I have been having a meal at about 4pm, which does some kind of substitute for a lunch meal which I usually skip. I really like to work at my job straight through the day so that I can get a full day in without having to take time off for lunch, and also get in fairly early. Having a meal right when I get home helps me get through the three or four hours of structured work that I have at home before a real meal, usually something wonderful cooked by my partner or a nice meal out.

Usually this mid-day meal is carb-packed because it’s the most efficient way to get a decent number of calories into me. I usually don’t want to spend a ton of time before I start cranking on some actual work and the exercise schedule.

Speaking of the exercise schedule, I’ve been pretty happy with the progress since the last report. By running graph shows the miles that I’ve run, and can lead you to all of the miles that I’ve done. The swath on the graph also makes it clear that I will handily make the one hundred miles a month goal that I have planned for the year. I’ve already got far enough ahead that if something kept me from exercising, I would be okay skipping a couple of days. According to my dailymile stats, I’ve almost ran 1000 miles since I started tracking it as well. That is a pretty nice accomplishment.

I’m starting to spice up my running schedule with the new workout type that I laid out in the last month’s report. The pacing runs, I’ve found, are good for my confidence, and hopefully will help in the long run to nudge me toward running a longer time without stopping. I’m toying with the idea of running a half marathon without stopping sometime in the future, and I definitely can’t do that if I keep running at my natural pace, which I end up tiring myself out too much.

In order to incorporate them into my workout, I’ve started replacing some of my interval runs with some of them throughout a month of workouts. My schedule is a little complicated now - it doesn’t follow a set schedule as much as it used to before. I run on the “training schedule” on Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday, which consists of three interval runs followed by a pacing run, that I end up repeating. Because this is four slots for three days in the week, I only repeat the schedule every four weeks.

On Thursdays, I run “As You Like” days, where I run the course around the park, and run whenever I feel like it. Lately that has been meaning that I run longer distances than I would on my normal interval run, and have variable speeds. Usually it’s not faster than the interval run days, but one of them is still in my top five fastest. Sundays are still the one day between two training days, so they are a dedicated walking day.

This schedule ends up being regular enough, and spiced enough because I’m not always doing the same day for the pacing day every week. I’m hoping that I can still have some gains in the next months like I had earlier when I first started running. It’s still a lot of fun to run though, which is a good sign. I still haven’t talked about staying warm, but there hasn’t been as much need in the last month, with more forty degree days. Maybe next month.