July Diet and Exercise Update

It’s been a while since I’ve put up a post about my diet progress, so I have a bit to report. More about my running and progress there than there is about my actual dieting, but let’s start with the vital stats, shall we?

2012 July recent weight graph

More than two months are on this chart, and it shows my dismay. I started having a lot of days where I was stepping on the scale and being unhappy about it. It progressed for a few weeks, and I was starting to get a bit concerned at the beginning of June. I didn’t really change anything, and something happened to break it though, so I ended up with a negative trend line which is actually not too far off from my goal in the long run.

It’s interesting to find that I wasn’t really doing anything that different than earlier in the year, when I was losing weight just as I should have been expected to. Keeping up my daily diet log helped me persuade myself that I was always on track, by making sure that I wasn’t overeating consistently and causing a problem. It also helped to look at my progress this year.

2012 July YTD weight graph

Last month I was complaining about a big red swath in the yearly graph, but it got matched and dwarfed by the May bump. Little hills on this graph in the weighted average trend line worry me a bit, because it either means that I am backsliding significantly, or something has gone wrong with my diet and exercise. I guess it’s also possible that an event a bit more complex happened, like having modified my set point.

However, while I’ve had some trouble with my diet, the running plan has been going quite well. I signed up for the Red, White and Boom Half Marathon after my first race, which I reported on in May, and my training progressed as planned, along the Hal Higdon Novice 2 schedule - but when an added two miles for every run on the schedule and shifted into the middle of the week for the long run. It was working pretty well, and I even got three runs in that were half-marathon length or longer. My first half-marathon distance was even almost exactly on pace for my goal time of two hours.

The weather had other plans though. My second 13 mile run was a lot slower, and I was drenched in sweat only halfway through. I ended up walking a significant portion of the last half of that run. I resolved that it was just the heat and humidity though, because it was quite warm that day, and the humidity at that point was starting to creep into the uncomfortable range. My shorter runs were still going just fine though, so I soldiered on. The next week, just one week before the half-marathon, I did my longest scheduled run of 14 miles, and it went better, covering one more mile in about the same amount of time. I also had this happen though.

14 mile injury

My big toe got all banged up, probably on the steep downhills around the Walker museum that I was running down. It got a subungual hematoma which was starting to get painful, and very tender to the touch. I went to the clinic, and they poked some holes in the toenail, drained it and then left me with this comical bandage. Di wanted to write little messages on it. It put me out of running for four days or so, but that actually worked out okay because I was already on the taper part of my plan already, so I only had to skip one workout.

A couple days later, and two days before the race, I discovered that it had been shortened to 5 miles because of extreme heat and humidity. I was a tad annoyed, but understood, as the heat and humidity was edging higher and higher. 90 degrees with 80 percent humidity was predicted. On July 4, I ran the modified race, and got my results almost right away - 44:46, which was on-pace for me, and surprisingly so in the heat and humidity. Diana was wonderful and drove me to and from the race, and found me at the end to congratulate me. I got a medal (that says “Half Marathon”) and was pleased.

After being annoyed at not being able to run an actual half-marathon, I signed up for the Minnesota Half Marathon. It was about a month away when I signed up, so I just turned the training calendar back the correct amount of time. I’ll be following it and hopefully running my first true half on August 4. TCM events were nice about the shortened race anyway, and they have given a partial credit back, so I suspect I will run another race from them in the next year too. It’s almost like I actually enjoy it or something.