February 25, 2011

Down and out with a head cold

The cold seems to have regrouped and found refuge in my head. This is rather frustrating. I'm hoping it's over with before this next batch of warm weather comes by.

February 24, 2011

Excuses, Frustration, and Lessons Learned

I was supposed to run today during lunch. This morning I woke up with a stuffy nose and the frustration of not being able to shake this cold for good. I almost didn't pack my gym clothes this morning because I was so disgusted. I pack my clothes and become even more determined to run. A surprise meeting during my lunch hour. No worries, I can run after the meeting. I discover I forgot my towel. No worries, I have a spare in my desk drawer. Early on when I started commuting to work I realized the wisdom of having a spare set of clothing and towel at work just in case. It's a bad day when you get to work and realize you forgot to pack pants. Then I go down to the locker room and start to change when I realize that in my early morning haze I had packed two running shirts and no shorts. This I had not been prepared for. This was frustrating. I do admit, before finally giving up, I did momentarily consider the logistics of wearing one of the shirts as a set of shorts.

Today I learned that I need to keep a spare set of workout clothes in my drawer, right next to my spare set of work clothes.

February 23, 2011

Swim Swam Swum

Got back in the pool today. It was nice to get out and do something after 6 days of sitting around.

February 21, 2011

stinkin' colds

Yup, I got the cold. The whole family had it and it was my turn. I'm well enough to go back to work, but not quite 'run-4-miles' well. Still have a little congestion in the chest. I asked my doctor for his opinion on exercising when you're sick with a cold and he said that as long as it was from the throat up then it's ok, but from the throat down he wouldn't recommend it. I missed all the sunny and 60 degree weather this weekend and last night we just got a fresh dump of 10" of snow. Bummed that I didn't get to go out and enjoy any of it, but that's life. Soon enough it will be way too hot, right?

February 16, 2011


Went swimming for 1/2 an hour today. Both of my kids are sick and today I started getting the sniffles. So, swimming was either a great idea or a really bad idea. In the past I've been able to shake colds early on by exercising, but sometimes it would make them even worse. So far it feels like it was a good decision, but we'll see as the day progresses.

Also, I won a 2XU C:1 wet suit on eBay today. Turns out there's an advantage to being an 'abnormal' size for your sport. Sometimes you can snag a great deal from a store trying to get rid of excess stock. And an XL wet suit only pulled in 2 bids. I'll write more about it once it arrives and I get to try it out. I'm pretty certain I'll look ridiculous in it. Probably a bit like a walrus crammed into a latex glove.

February 15, 2011

This post brought to you by the letter "F"

F is for February. And F is for Four, as in four miles. Today marks the first four mile base run I've done this year.

Looks like the weather is going to be getting warmer soon, so soon a post might be sponsored by the letter B, as in Bike!

February 14, 2011

Splish splash

Did the 30 min of swimming today. The pool was a bit more crowded than usual, but aside from that it was swimming as usual.

February 11, 2011

Swimmy Swim Swim and count those laps!

Did 30 minutes in the pool. I counted my laps for 5 minutes after having warmed up for 20 minutes. I was able to swim 225 yards in those 5 minutes. That means I would swim a mile in just under 40 minutes at that rate. However, I doubt I could keep that rate up for a whole mile at this point.

While swimming my mind tends to wander, so it was pretty tough for me to keep count of the laps without losing track in the middle. Because I'm such a dork for gear, I've been oogling these two devices:

The Finis Lap Track

SportCount Lap Counter

It would be neat to accurately keep track of my times in the pool, but I'm not sure if I want to spend more money and haul around yet more gear. I think between the two I'd be more inclined to get the Finis Lap Track because I think wearing a stopwatch on my finger would drive me nuts. With the Lap Track you just push on its face when you are at the end of the pool. Wearing a stopwatch during practice would be something different between when I'm training and when I'd actually do the triathlons. Small, but I know it could be a source of at least minor distraction during the actual events.

February 10, 2011

Run run run

Ran 3 miles today. A co-worker of mine came down and ran with me for a little while. That was fun. It helped take the edge off of the mind numbing monotony of running but not actually going anywhere.

Learning how to eat. A session with a nutritionist

On Tuesday I had a one hour session with a nutritionist. This is the first time I'd ever seen someone professional about how to eat. Seems rather simple, you take some food and put it in your mouth. If you want to lose weight you put less food into said mouth. But, no, it's so much more complex. The nutritionist told me that I basically had to throw out much of the common wisdom about regular nutrition because I should be focusing more on sport or athletic nutrition which is somewhat different from what the average couch potato's diet should be. This surprised me slightly because I never really thought of myself as an athlete. Just some guy who likes to go run, bike, and swim.

What follows is a summary of how things went during the session, more or less:
Nutritionist: Let's start by reviewing your goals.
Joe: I don't want to be fat and I want to stay safe when logging long miles.
Nutritionist: I see, lets go over your eating log for the last three days.
Joe: ok.
Nutritionist: Looks like you probably get hungry around 9am and 8pm, right?
Joe: ummmm, yes, how did you know?
Nutritionist: It's what I do. Looks like you're using caffeine as a crutch during those times to suppress your appetite. See, here you drank a soda, here a coffee, and another soda here...
Joe: ummmm, yes, looks like it. Wow, you're smart. So, what do I do?
Nutritionist: You need to eat more food.
Joe: wait, what?
Nutritionist: You should start planning to eat at least two or three snacks per day. And this spring and summer when you're logging all those miles you'll basically not stop eating all day.
Joe: wait, what?
Nutritionist: Right now you're only getting about 1,800 calories a day and I calculate that right now you should be getting more like 2,500 at a minimum. And that would also give you room to lose weight.
Joe: wait, what?
Nutritionist: you seem confused.
Joe: I need to eat more to lose weight?
Nutritionist: Right now you're putting your body into starvation mode so it's hanging on to everything you put in it. So, yes, you need to eat more food to have a chance at losing more weight.
Joe: awesome.
Nutritionist: yes, but here's the list of food types you should be eating. You can't just go out and eat big macs.
Joe: bummer.

So, the nutritionist handed me a sheet of paper that said I should eat 8 ounces of grains, 3 cups of vegetables, 2 cups of fruits, 3 servings of dairy, and 6.5 ounces of meat and beans (protein) PER DAY. I've been trying to follow this for the last one and a half days and so far I've noticed a big increase in energy.

The nutritionist also recommended I read "The Sports Nutrition Guidebook" by Nancy Clark.

February 9, 2011


Went to the pool before work and swam for 30 min. And, I ate a lot of food. I feel pretty good. Maybe this nutrition stuff will work. More on that soon. Really. I promise.

February 8, 2011

Running and eating

Ran my 3 miles on the hamster wheel today.

During lunch I got paid by my employer to go see a nutritionist. Part of a 'go get healthy so we don't have to pay as much for health insurance' program. It was mind bending. I'm still wrapping my brain around the experience and will post more about it soon.

February 7, 2011

Swam today, what about Friday?

I went to the pool today and swam for 30 minutes. Everything went well.

What happened to the Friday post? No, you didn't miss one. I didn't go. I won't go into all the excuses, but muppets and lots of snow were involved. It won't happen again.

February 3, 2011

Run, Chub, Run!

It was a pretty crowded scene at the local dungeon (also known as the little gym in the basement of my office building). I don't know why I'm so fascinated with people's choices for workout attire here, but I am. Today I saw a woman in a business suit with skirt on the treadmill (she had at least ditched the high heels for running shoes). There was also the person in a knit sweater and jeans on the elliptical machine who was talking on their cell phone the whole time.

Environmentals aside, I ran my 3 miles. Yay!

February 2, 2011

Snow Day. No Swimming - Snow Shoe Time!

Today it snowed. It was supposed to snow over a foot of snow. I think we got a little over 6". But that didn't stop everyone (except my employer) from preemptively shutting down for today. That includes my gym, where I go swimming. So, instead of swimming I went out snowshoeing with some fellow chubs. I forgot how much work it is to walk around in fresh snow with snow shoes. I really like my MSR snow shoes. They don't look like your typical 'tennis racket' snow shoe. Rather they look like something out of the future, with a flat, rectangular shape, and big metal teeth on the bottoms. You don't have to walk like a duck as much with these.

February 1, 2011


Ran for 3 miles. Woo.

I was so distracted by the oncoming snowpocolypse that I forgot to post this on Tuesday. So, here's the retroactive post.