March Diet Update

Another month has gone by, and that means that it’s time for another Diet and Exercise Update. I’ve been pretty happy with my progress in this month, which is really pleasing to me. That’s somewhat strange to say this time, because the 30 days of progress graph doesn’t show much in the way of progress.

2012 March 30 Days Weight Graph

2012 Year to Date Weight Graph

Thirty days doesn’t look good, does it? Except for that little dip down near the end, I don’t really show a lot of progress on the scale. I can’t say that I was unhappy to wake up this morning and see the lowest weight that I’ve achieved yet (and only about 3 pounds from my year goal), but I haven’t really been focusing on it this month. Partly that is because of the scale starting to go up and down without much of a prompt from me. The other part of it is that I have been happy with other stuff that’s been going on.

The first thing is that I have been making progress on my running habit and it’s been going pretty well. The training schedule that I outlined last month has been working out okay, and recently I’ve added some mileage to my interval workouts. I switched out my interval route run for the longer one that I was previously doing on my “As You Like” running days, because the original route was consistently less than 45 minutes.

That means that I’m running about a third of a mile longer than I was before. It also means that I’m also trying to find another route for my longer runs just to keep it interesting. I’ve tried a couple of different routes on my walking and Thursdays, but haven’t settled into anything yet. I’ve been exploring around the neighborhood on my walking days lately, trying to find a course that is only 10% or so longer. All of the easy answers are kind of boring. I’ve found one last Thursday which I ran that was a good distance though, or at least felt like it. It was technically longer than I was looking for, but I like the route because it goes over a massive train yard, and apparently I am still 12 or something. At any rate, my running goal graph shows me 6 to 7 days ahead of my plan, which feels pretty good.

In the last month, it’s been probably some of the coldest running days. This winter has been very mild, in major contrast to last year. I still had to don some of the gear that I would normally have to work out with when I went outside though. I wasn’t really running last winter, so I didn’t know what was really up. I did some research when it started getting cold and got what I needed though. Over the last three months, I’ve worked out what I need to stay comfortable in the harsh climate while I am running.

First off, I don’t run when it is dangerous outside. That means that I won’t run when there is a lot of ice, or the snow is high enough that I can’t see obstacles or ice patches that I might need to avoid. I also don’t run when it’s raining or snowing significantly hard that I would worry about my phone breaking in the moisture. I got lucky enough this year to not have to switch to an inside workout or switch some of the days of the workout.

When it gets colder, I go through multiple stages of upgrades to the wardrobe as it gets colder. The first thing that I’ll do is switch to a long sleeve shirt. I have two different long sleeve shirts now, one that is a little more breathable than the other, so I will use one first and another if it’s windy or a bit colder. In the past I have felt strange wearing long sleeve shirts and shorts at the same time, but the rules of running are different. I will go around with just shorts and a long sleeve shirt until it is about 35 degrees or so.

Once it gets colder than 35, I’ll consider switching out the shorts for running tights. I hadn’t really experienced wearing tights before, but they work remarkably well for keeping the legs warm while they have a good compression feel on the legs for running. If it’s colder than 30, I will almost guaranteed to have the tights on. Once it gets below 20, I will wear a compression top that I got as well, which layers under the long sleeve shirt.

If it’s colder than freezing, I will wear some nice running gloves and a hat, which will protect my hands from getting frostbitten. When it was just starting to get cold, there were a couple incidents with my hands getting cold and not being able to move them earlier this year, which was bad, so I got these and they have been working good. They also have some mitten parts which come out, and block the wind while they also are hot yellow for visibility.

I have two different pairs of tights now, a lighter pair and a pair with a wool lining. The pair with wool lining is extremely warm, and I wear it when it gets below 15. If it gets colder than that, I will start layering even more on the top. I have a coat that I could wear, but I have never had to this year, and I also have a set of loose pants that I could put on top of the tights, but honestly with the wool lined ones, they were almost too warm even at the coldest day this year.

It’s getting warmer again, which means that I haven’t had to change from my default outfit of shorts and a running tech tee or long sleeve tee for a week or two. With any luck, spring has sprung and there will be a lot of good days from now on. I’ll have to figure out some storage scheme for the winter stuff.