January Diet Report

It’s only been a couple weeks since the last report, but I have a full column in my tracking notebook so I guess I’m getting back on track with these reports. I’ve mostly been on track for the month, with a little blip around the holidays as expected. Exercise has been going well, which is really encouraging to me in many ways. I’ve also added a new style of workout to my schedule that I will work in as I can.

2012 January 30 Days Graph

Looking first at the weight chart, it’s pretty obvious that I took a week or so off from caring about what I eat, right around christmastime. This isn’t really a big surprise because we went on a stay-cation for the holidays this year, which involved a bunch of room service and eating out at the same time. It was quite relaxing though. Lately I’ve been pretty happy with the progress that I show on the scale, and able to ignore it when a day or two goes blipping above the trend line.

Little changes in my weight and trend look really big on these graphs now, which is actually a good thing, meaning that I’m not fluctuating or going all in one direction, keeping to my weight maintenance goal that I’ve been doing for the last couple months. My resolutions call for a loss of at least 12 pounds, which comes out to about 212 at the end of the year. That’s not a lot of weight lost compared to last year’s 75 pound loss, but I really don’t want to push it and really want to be able to keep this weight indefinitely.

I’ve been good at the exercising lately, which is actually somewhat viewable on my beeminder running graph. I’m on track for my goal of 100 miles in each month, with 47.7 miles so far that should climb to above 50 when I finish my workout today. The training plan has been working out well, as yesterday I just upped my interval running time to three minutes. I’m still taking two minute breaks, which means that I will be lowering the walking break time in the next time I change the intervals, probably two weeks from now. Lately I’ve also had a few runs with a sub-45 minute final time, which means that I’ll probably change up the route a bit in the next month so that it is longer.

Weather was something that I was worried about when I started running around the neighborhood, because I do actually live in Minnesota, meaning that it can get very cold and the snow can definitely pile up and cause some problems. I promised Diana that I would not run when it was exceedingly icy or piled with snow outside, but this year we have had a mostly mild winter so I haven’t had to worry about it that much. There are some patches of ice around sometimes on the sidewalk that I have to be on my toes watching for, as the case may be. Mostly I’ve been worried about the cold, which hasn’t been overbearing, but has gotten in to the single digits a few times. Lately I just finished up my gear by buying some running gloves which should keep me from frostbite. There were a couple days before I acquired them that I ran insidje on the treadmill in order to avoid injury though.

I outlined my running schedule in the last month’s report, but part of the treadmill running gave me an idea for a different type of workout that I can do on my non-training days. Last Wednesday on one of those indoor days I did what I call a “pacing run” but is probably more accurately referred to as something else. I set the treadmill to the average pace that I run in one of my training runs, and just left it there for the majority of the run. So instead of running 8 mph and then walking at 4 mph on a rest interval, I run 6.5 mph the whole time. I was somewhat worried that I would just get tired and wouldn’t be able to continue even at the slower pace.

I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to keep such a fast pace through twenty minutes of straight running, completing more than two miles without stopping at all. I didn’t really know how to run slower, as it were, until I had the treadmill keeping the pace. If weather encroaches in the future and the treadmill is open when I show up in the exercise room, I think I will use the equipment to my advantage and have these runs to try to teach my body to run a consistent pace for a long time instead of the running / walking intervals that I normally do. I am definitely more bored when I am just running and not doing intervals though, I may need something to distract me from the monotony. Maybe it would be different if I was outside and the landscape was falling by, but I don’t really have a good instinct to run at that slower pace continually yet.

I still haven’t written about how I keep warm, but I think I’ll put that off until next month’s report. Lately it’s been in the 40s here, which means I haven’t even had to use much of the cold-weather gear that I have around, just walking around in shorts and long sleeve shirts. Even if it doesn’t get too cold, I’ll write about keeping warm in the next report though.