Monthly Archives: May 2012

Week in Review (5/13-5/19)

After an unintentional hiatus, I’m back blogging with a week in review! The week I missed blogging (5/6-5/12) I didn’t do so well, I may have pushed too hard to break 75 the previous week and my body just decided not to co-operate. I just could not get up in the morning to get out the door.  I wound up missing 2 planned runs (Wednesday and Friday morning) and cutting one short (Saturday’s long run).  I ended that week with a total of 59.99 miles, which really isn’t that bad all things considered, but I beat myself up a bit about it.

Now for this week:

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Recharging through Running?

During my usual daily visit to r/running  I came across this infographic  posted by Alex Enberg of Running.com and thought I’d share.

Note: After reading the comments in the r/running thread, It appears most of these numbers are way, way off, but it’s still interesting to think about.

The Power of Running Infographic

If you’re having trouble reading it here’s the Infographic as text:

  • Total calories burned by core runners in one year equals 4,234,278,397,440
  • That’s enough to power the electricity needs for 1,771,622 homes for a year.
  • That is equivalent to all the homes in Los Angeles and San Francisco combined
  • Total energy used by all core runners is equivalent to 177,162,208 gallons of gasoline
  • That’s enough to power a Boeing 747 around the world 1,093 times
  • That’s also equivalent to the energy expended by 177 atomic bombs the size of Little Boy, the bomb dropped on Hiroshima.
  • Calories a man runner burns per year of running equals 175,386 which is enough to power an LCD TV for 107 days
  • Calories a woman runner burns per year of running equals 119,574 enough to power a clothes washer for 6 months
  • An average woman running a marathon will burn enough calories to power a 60 watt bulb for 8 days
  • An average man running a marathon will burn enough calories to power a laptop computer for 8 days
  • For a half marathon, a woman runner will burn enough calories to charge cell phone for more than 21 days
  • For a half marathon, a man runner will burn enough calories to run a clock radio for over 3.5 days
  • The total calories burned by all finishers of the New York City Marathon equals 145,154,457, that is enough to light up NYC for 7 .5 hours

Disregarding the sexism of some of the power choices (I find it annoying that women are powering washing machines while men are charging TVs), It’s a really interesting thing to think about all the work we do as runners and how much could be done in the world if it was somehow harnessed.  Some people are in fact already trying to harness the power runners produce:

  • In 2010 a team of engineering students made a rough prototype Energy Harvesting Running Shoe , it wasn’t very efficient, effective, or good looking but it worked as a proof of concept.
  • A quick Google search yielded multiple Faraday principle  based devices, that work similar to a pedometer except for the fact that rather than counting the steps/calories it’s using the swinging magnet to generate an electric charge.

I don’t think either of these technologies are going to be mainstream any time soon (if ever), but just like the Running.com post they present an interesting thought experiment, because it’s pretty cool to finish a race and realize that you did more work running that marathon than your laptop does in a week.

Week in Review (4/29-5/5)

I love reaching a goal! This week was hard, but the hard work paid off in my first 70+ mile week!  I’ve been in the 60’s before but never for long, maybe a week here and a week there, but never broken the 70 mark so this is a real milestone for me (pun intended).
I had a few really awesome runs this week, even with the weather being spotty compared to the last few weeks. I was able to do 3 days of 2-a-day this week, which I think is about the right number, 4 will be good once in a while, and it’s okay if I end up with 2 some weeks, but I know I can keep three consistent and not be over exerting myself.

Sunday:

Run 1: 7.55 miles in 59 minutes. Truly slept in for the first time in weeks, so this was a late start (12:30 in the afternoon) on a cloudy afternoon.  I had a decent easy pace (considering my 16 miler the morning before) and I could feel this would be a great week. Did an hour of upper body at the gym afterwards.

Run 2: 5.28 miles in 44 minutes, picked too hilly of a route and over exerted myself a little (a lesson I should have learned from last Sunday, but I was just too ambitious!) I had the bad moodiness/jerkiness that I associate with too much training and not eating quickly/enough afterwards.  Lesson learned, if I’m doing a time consuming dinner I need to drink some Gatorade-like beverage or a chocolate milk right after the 2nd run.

Monday:

Run: Workout! 10.33 miles in 1:17,  I could not will myself to get out of bed this morning so wound up skipping my planned morning speedwork followed by lower body at the gym.  I didn’t want to miss 70 again this week so I got myself out after work: 2.5 mile warmup 3X800 (sub 6’15” mile pace on the intervals) and then took it pretty easy to finish out the 10 miler.

Tuesday:

Run 1: 7.39 mile in 57 minutes, easy pace, beautiful morning, was a bit hard to get moving considering the hard evening workout I had the night before, but I kept in the fast end of my “easy run” pace

Run 2: 5.71 miles in 48 Minutes, slow run in the rain.     This run solidified my love of running in the rain, I thought I only liked it when I could wear headphones and ignore how soaked I get, but I genuinely love it!  There were a bunch of great vistas, because the sun was getting low over the Olympics and shining under the clouds, through the rain.  Even got a rainbow out of it.

Wednesday:

Run 1:  Workout! 7.45 miles in 53 minutes, kicked my butt! 1.5 miles to warm up, 3xMile intervals at 6’15” pace followed by 2 miles or so of cooldown, these longer intervals really take more mental fortitude than the 400 or 800s, I have to push through the burn to keep pace and I love it.

Run 2: 5.57 miles in 43 minutes, Had trouble keeping my pace down, I was on my old 5 miler route from my last bout of race training and I kept having to consciously throttle down, It’s difficult to remember that going slow is sometimes good for you.

Thursday:

Rest: My usual rest day walk, (4 miles) in the rain for a good chunk of it so I didn’t get to read like I usually do.

Friday:

Run: Tempo workout! I warmed up for 15 minutes, did 45 minutes at about 6’40” a mile and then had a 12 minute or so cooldown, Tempo runs are always hard but I always feel so pumped after, they really get me jazzed and make for an awesome start to a day.

Saturday:

Run: 15.87 miles in 2:07.  I’m hating these early starts on Saturday, but with my current schedule if I want a long run I’ve got to get up around 6 to do it.  I got out the door late but still managed to do the 15+ I was shooting for.  Missed my ice bath because of timing, but I didn’t see/feel any issues from it after.

I ran 75.23 miles, over 6 days of running, with an average pace of 7’43”.   I ran farther and faster this week than the last!  I’m hoping for another faster week this week but probably won’t add any significant additional distance for a few weeks. I’ll most likely be staying between 70 and 80 miles at least until June, then we’ll see if I’m ready for a mileage boost.

Eating to Run!

Lately I’ve been on a push to lose a final few pounds and hopefully finally  get rid of my gut.  I’m 6’1″ and I was at 205lbs in late February (or Febtober as I like to call it in honor of SNL’s Celebrity Jeopardy) cut about 10lbs by my Yakima River Canyon Marathon and I’m shooting for a goal of 180 by sometime this summer.  The hard part is, I’m running 60+ miles a week, and lifting weights at least twice each week so I don’t want to short myself on fuel.

In the past when trying to lose weight I’ve shot for a 1000 Calorie deficit a day,  whether through exercise or just eating less, so that I wound up losing ~2 pounds a week.  It always resulted in at least a little rebound weight in the end, because we just aren’t meant to run (pun kinda intended) on that kind of deficit, but I kept banging my head against that wall because I was not happy with my body.  Now I’m basically happy with my body as is,  I just want to drop the weight so I can be a bit faster and to conquer the gut I’ve had for 18 years or more (I was a chubby kid even at 10).  I’m the fittest I’ve ever been and even though I’m not elite, nor am I ever likely to be, I’m an athlete now! (If you’d asked me 5 years ago if I’d ever consider myself an athlete, I’d have laughed in your face.)  I no longer see food as my nemesis (which it really never was to begin with), or as something I need to control, but as my ally in crafting a healthy lifestyle.

Now I’m working with my food,  trying to cook and eat delicious healthy meals to get me to my 2500-3000 calories i need each day.   An average week day goes something like this:

Breakfast: Usually a protein shake/smoothie containing 3oz of berries, 8oz 1% milk and 2 scoops of Protein Powder (total 440 calories, 63g of protein), Sometimes it’s an Omelet or a bagel sandwich.

Morning Snacks at  the office: 1 serving Dried or fresh apples, Yoplait Light yogurt, 6oz Chicken Breast (total 400 – 410 calories, 40g protein) 

Lunch: 1 cup Beans (pinto or black usually), .5 cup brown rice (~350 cals, 16g fiber)

Afternoon Snacks: 2 fruits, (usually an orange and a banana) a can of tuna and a serving of potato chips (~420 cals, 26g protein)

Dinner: Here is where I have my fun! At least when I’m not doing a show, if I’m in rehearsals than this is usually more chicken breast, more rice, and more beans, just dressed differently. A few recent dinners:

Accidental Peanut Thai Soup: 2oz Rice Noodles (dry weight), 6oz Chicken Breast, 1 cup Stir Fry Veggies, garlic, onions, green peppers. Homemade Peanut sauce (2/3 cup Light Coconut Milk, 2 Tablespoons peanut butter, soy sauce, garlic, onion, sirracha, curry powder and lime juice to taste all blended together) (~700 cals, 50g protein)

Beef Fajitas: 1/3lb skirt steak, onions, garlic green peppers, fajita seasoning. 2 or 3 Corn Tortillas, 1 cup pinto beans

Various Whole wheat pasta, sauce, and meat or fish (favorite fishes: Seared Tuna Steak, Salmon Filet) combinations.

Evening Snack: Depends on what macro nutrients I’m short on,  there have  been occasions it’s just a tablespoon of peanut butter or extra virgin olive oil

I know my exact meal plan doesn’t work for everyone, I’m burning 10000 calories a week running and only trying to drop ~1lb a week. But the principles I’ve learned can work for anyone to change their lifestyle so they can achieve their fitness goals. The basic principles I follow can best be summed up as:

  1. Eat mostly whole foods (Fruit, Vegetables, legumes) and whole grains, avoid the processed stuff.
  2. Keep your protein, fiber and healthy fat intakes relatively high, and unhealthy (Saturated or Trans) fat intake low. 
  3. If you’re doing lots of cardio eat plenty of carbs (which you will eating whole grains and whole fruit/veggies)
  4. Don’t deprive yourself, moderation is your friend. You can have a treat, just keep in your calorie goal range for the day and you’ll be fine.
  5. If you make a mistake, accept it and move on, one mistake does not a failure make.

Soon I will hit my goal weight, and the calorie deficit will go out the window, but I will continue to follow those principles because they’re part of a healthy lifestyle, the athlete/runners lifestyle I want to be living far on into the future!