Thursday, May 28, 2009

Eat This, Not That

While I recognize that I'm at least a week late on the Take It and Run Thursday topic from Runners Lounge, I figured I'd at least give it a go since the topic is near and dear to my heart.

When I'm able to be in control of my food, I've been able to eat healthy (at least since I started to eat healthy, that is).

Eat this

For breakfast, I'll often have:
  • eggs over easy
  • Weight Watchers bagels
  • smoked salmon (for lox & bagels)
  • oatmeal
  • bananas
For lunch, I've been quite consistent:
  • lean sandwich meat (chicken, turkey, ham)
  • low-fat cheese
  • high-fiber, low fat bread (Weight Watchers has a couple excellent variations)
  • 1/4 cup of almonds (pre-measured and in bags so I can take it and go in the morning)
For snacks, I've been consistently going to chips and salsa. The Baked Tostitos are good and salsa is significantly low in calories. I eat this snack often as opposed to potato chips.

My normal dinner diet consists of:
  • grilled boneless, skinless chicken (with some sort of rub)
  • grilled salmon (often pre-seasoned)
  • swordfish
  • tuna
  • shrimp
  • turkey tacos
  • lean hamburgers (90% lean or more) -- probably turkey meat
Like Leana, I've largely sworn off red meat, with the rare exception of a steak when I go out to a nice restaurant. I don't have red meat much more than 12 times a year. I just don't get a craving for it anymore. In fact, my body tends to punish me when I do eat it. I always wake up in the middle of the night sweating and I never sleep well after steak. I just think my body can't process it very well.

Not That

When I'm in control of what food is in front of me, I'm quite good at eating healthy. I know that my willpower comes at the grocery store, not at home, so I just don't bring bad food into the house, unless I'm hosting a party.

I have completely gotten rid of regular soda (though Diet Coke and Diet Sunkist still play a major part in my day). I have no taste for pasta and only have to eat it come pre-race fuel time. And when I do, I get the whole wheat stuff.

I substitute turkey meat for beef and haven't missed red meat at all. I substitute fat-free shredded cheese (for tacos, nachos, etc.) for regular cheese. I substitute Weight Watchers sandwich rolls for regular, heavily starched rolls.

For me, I ask myself one simple question: do I want to spend the calories I worked so hard to burn on a fuller-fat roll or a regular Coke? That's an obvious no. Do I want to spend the calories on beer or wine? That answer's not so obvious.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

1 year to go to reach Los Angeles

I'm now 2 years into my 3-year journey from Philadelphia, PA to Los Angeles, CA. Law school graduation for the class above me occurred last week, so that means I've got one year to go. That also means that I have one year to get to Los Angeles to complete my run across the country.

I've finally gotten out of Texas, no easy feat for such a large state. I'm in Bard, New Mexico on my way toward Albuquerque and across the state into Arizona. I'll be on Route 40 for the majority of the trip into Los Angeles.

At this point, I have about 37% left in my journey, which puts me slightly behind the 8 ball with only a third of my time to go. But, I've got just over 1,000 miles to go. If I average just less than 20 miles a week, I can make it to Los Angeles by graduation. As I've got a marathon coming up in September, I'll be getting lots of miles in for training.

Los Angeles, here I come!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Gearing up for summer

There's no time I like more than when I can finally exchange my YakTrax, long-sleeved shirts and pants for a t-shirt and shorts to hit the roads. After a long and very cold winter in New Hampshire, it's finally time for spring and summer.

But what that means for me is that I need to be careful about hydration. During the winter, I can do 6-8 mile runs without taking water with me. In the summer, I at least need to use my fuel belt. If I run over 10, that means I take my Camelbak. The rule that I stick by is that if I get thirsty, it's already too late, so I try to hydrate early and often.

The same 20 degree rule that you used in the winter also works in the summer. Your body thinks that it's 20 degrees warmer than the air temperature, so address your clothing appropriately. You don't want to over dress and get overheated.

The other thing seems like common sense: listen to your body. If you need to stop to walk, do it. If you need to slow your pace because your heart is beating out of your chest, do it. I've stopped a number of times and I'm always glad I did it. Your body is not just fighting the distance and the speed, but it's also fighting the heat and humidity. No reason to be a hero.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Philly to LA on Bike?

Though I had been planning to do this for a while, I finally went out a couple of weeks ago and bought a bike. I bought a Giant Defy 2 which is a decent bike, not ridiculously expensive, but not cheap either. If I end up riding like crazy, I'll upgrade at some point later.

And, since I can't do anything small, I took it out the next day and rode 9 miles, and then rode 40 miles the day after. Who says you have to start slow?

It was amazing to me how little I needed to start out slow. We use similar muscles between running and biking, but I didn't have any pain after the 40 mile ride and in fact when out the next day and rode another 15.

As for cross training, I'm finding that I can ride one day and run the next without any pain or sluggishness. On the running side, I find that I'm running a bit faster. I can't tell you how much I needed something to break up the constant pounding on the road. I needed it to keep my body together, but I really needed it to keep me sane.

I find that I really look forward to rides and to runs as well because I'm not doing the same thing every dang day.

Monday, May 4, 2009

My Record Calorie-Burning Week

Last week set a record for me that I think I may be able to beat sometime this summer when the weather is nice all the time.

This past week, I burned 7,873 calories--roughly 4 days worth of calories on a 2,000 calorie diet or 3 days on a 2,500 calorie diet (likely what I'm on, if I had any idea). To give you an idea, here was what I ended up doing.

Sunday: Biked 40 miles
Monday: Biked 14 miles
Tuesday: Ran 4.3 miles
Wednesday: Rest
Thursday: Ran 4.4 miles
Friday: Biked 14 miles
Saturday: Ran 16 miles

That works out to over 93 miles this week and nearly 8,000 calories. I suppose it makes sense that I'm continuing to lose weight and my pants that I bought 3 weeks ago are too big.

I did move my longer run to Saturday (but still biked 15 yesterday), so the numbers may be a bit high, but still... very happy with the results. The good news is that I don't have a voracious appetite right now. Though that could change at any minute.