Training Report (well not really)

This post will have to be quick because I have crap to do.

I feel like this will be a frequent complaint in many of my future posts so I might as well get it out of the way now. Man, oh man, is it hot out there. Ok, done.

This past week, I ran a little over 12 miles. Ugh, I’m already feeling defeated for the marathon training plan that I described yesterday. I mean, 12 miles is supposed to be the beginning of my weekly long runs, and that’s the distance I covered over seven days. I will admit that having a holiday in the middle of the week did not help matters.

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A nice view of the George Washington Bridge and Hudson River during my Sunday run.

Fourth of July

Before I jump into the report, I had a fantastic time on the 4th of July. I spent it at the hubby’s friend’s rooftop party, which had an awesome view of Manhattan and (most important) the Macy 4th of July Fireworks.

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I probably had waaaay too much wine, beer, champagne, Jello shots, and (ugh) Fireball. Seriously, who the hell over 30 years old still drinks/shoots Fireball? One week into the last year of my 30’s and I already failed my motto for the remainder of my 30s.

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Battle of the bulge

Aside from running my weak 12 miles, I have been incorporating more strength/X-training into my weekly routine. Not only has my running power dwindled, so has my general strength overall. Man, the next few marathon training months are going to be Zd2qdi+ZRZqJKjqJWBFT7A_thumb_2fcd a complete STRUGGLE. The Marathon Training Academy had a great podcast about weight loss for marathoners, and I received some decent advice and a couple plans of attack from the podcast. One key thing that I learned is that you cannot/should not count running as your leg days. I guess that I knew that but I actively ignored it.  Since I have bad/weak back issues, I have been doing nightly stretches and low-impact lower body exercises every night this week. Hopefully, this will be a practice that I can incorporate for the long term. I have noticed that I have a tendency to slouch a lot on the sofa when I’m home, and it creates back issues during the week. I guess it was not too big of a deal when I was a scientist (and weighed less) because I would stand for about 50 – 70% of my workday doing my experiments. Since I’m an administrator, I sit pretty much all damn day. Another thing I learned from the podcast, hard liquor and wine are better than beer. 😉

Meeting and greeting folks

For the past couple of entries, I mentioned that it has been kind of difficult meeting and making new running friends/acquaintances in real life. This weekend, I volunteered as a “bageler” with the Front Runners NY – my other running group that I never run with.  But, I have a feeling that will change very soon. After the Saturday fun runs, frnythe club provides breakfast (bagels, cereal, protein bars, fruit, etc.) for members. Actually, it was a pretty nice experience, and the members were super nice and friendly. The past couple of Manhattan events that I attended, I found that quite a few of the members were kind of sassy and cliquish. I specified the Manhattan events because there is a Brooklyn component to FRNY, but those folks were SUPER nice and cool. Since I was working crazy hours that that BS biotech company in Brooklyn, I could not make many of the Brooklyn fun runs. Hopefully, this weekend volunteering event will be a nice reset of my relationship with FRNY. This reset could really help me train for this year’s marathon because FRNY’s long run schedule aligns with mine (or rather Runner’s World) for the most part.

Foot Gear

Looks like it’s time for a new pair of shoes. These shoes aren’t even THAT old; I think I got them last year in October.

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Random, why do my shoes always rip, tear, or have holes in the right shoe?

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The right shoe is a mess (the pic was taken in a mirror)

The shoes before the pair in the above had a big ass hole on the outside of the right shoe. Maybe I land weird on my right side when I run.

Going back to the point that I made earlier in the post about my dwindling general fitness. As you can kinda see in this photo, my arms, without flexing, had some definition.

A couple more of my shoes with holes in the right shoe.

LOL. The Alcoholism “book” in the above-left picture is a free journal subscription for members of the Research Society on Alcoholism (RSoA). Back in my scientist days, one of my research projects involved studying the role that alcohol (and cigarettes) consumption had in oral cancers. 

Fingers crossed that the NYRR Superstore/Supercenter (or whatever hell it calls itself) has this shoe . . . with the wide toe box.

Speaking of feet: The surgery that never happened

Last week (or the week before last), I was supposed to have surgery to shave down a bit  of bone on the fifth toe of my right foot. That did not happen because the podiatrist’s office could not/did not want to get a pre-authorization from my insurance company for the procedure. I am not trying to get a random, surprise 1K, 2K, 3K medical bill for some crap that is not covered by my insurance. Hell just this week, I received a bill for $284 for my last visit. This bill is in addition to the $50 copay that I paid in late May. Basically, $334 for a 15-minute visit. What happened during this visit? He clipped some of the dead skin that was in between my fourth and fifth toes (something I could have done myself at home), put a piece of gauze and a bandaid on the toe, and scheduled the surgery. Fuckin con artists.

Well, I guess that I should have saved this post for Random Thursdays since this was not much of a training update.

What fun did you get up to for the 4th of July?

How do you increase your speed for a marathon training plan during the summers months?

Do you just focus on getting in the distance and worry about the speed in Sept/Oct.?

 

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Food Pic of the Week

I’m still trying to get back into the groove of getting back to my blog updates. 

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Since I’m trying to drop a few pounds, I decided to break my intermittent fasting periods with two scoops of protein powder and then have a nice balanced dinner. Yes, I know this is not technically food, but I needed a moment to bitch about something. This GNC Performance Pro brand tastes like crap. Actually, it tastes like crap mixed with dirt, anger, and evil. Normally, I tend to purchase protein power that Muscle Milk makes, but I was conned by GNC 2 for 1 deal for Performance Pro. Now, I have to struggle through two containers of this crap . . . maybe I will learn to like the taste. Even if this was 2 for 1, I wonder if I can exchange the unopened container for something less nasty like urine, spoiled milk, or raw sheep’s liver?

Making some plans – Weight Loss Part I

In the past couple of years, I try to come up with some things that I can do to get into better shape. Clearly, I’m not doing something right because I have not significantly dropped any major poundage. Usually, this idea comes right off of the heels of the NYC Marathon. After running the marathon, it takes me about 2-3 weeks to care about doing physical activity again. Recently looking at my beer gin gut, I guess now is the time.

For the longest, I have not been happy with my body. Not like sad, depressed unhappy. More like, I want to have a better figure/share. Yeah, yeah, yeah, men can have self-image issues. I’m not super big, fat, thick, chunky (whatever you wanna call it), but I would not mind dropping a few pounds over the next few months. Right now, I am hovering in the 203 – 205 pound range, which is not HUGE (for the average individuals of my height), because I have some muscle. I’ve even been told that I “hold the weight well” because of my somewhat muscular frame. Perhaps, this was a back-handed compliment. Unfortunately, I have inherited the body type of my mother’s side of the family, and all of my uncles generally plump (and that’s being nice) up around the age of 40. It’s funny, one of my uncles was pretty lean and fit at 37 years old, then by 39, he gained like 50 pounds.

A few things that I plan to do going forward. We’ll see how much I screw this up. 

  1. Track my calories . . . again. I accidentally updated the Lose It! app to Lose It! Pro (or whatever the hell the highest tier is called). In the past, I’ve tried (and failed in)  logging my daily food consumption. My biggest issue (aside from not logging my food) was logging my food after finishing a meal. One thing that I realized when logging my food (for the past two days) is that I snack A LOT at home. Since they are little bites to eat here and there (a few pita chips, a small glass of egg nog, a slice of ham, another small helping of dinner), I did not realize how much the little things add up. It’s like they say, losing weight is more dieting than physical activity. 
  2. I have started intermitting fasting (IF) again. Right now, I’m fasting for 14 hours. Although IF is not really a dieting plan per se, I did find that I got fuller with less food after a fast. Also, it works well because I get drunker too so I spend less money on booze. Yes, I’m a nut. 
  3. In terms of my physical activity, I have not really made in any concrete plans. I have been running a bit and going to the gym, but I’m kind of all over the place. I’ll need to sit down and think about my goals and plans that I can do for completing these goals. Word on the street is the NYRR is holding its drawing for the NYC Half-Marthon for March 2019. Maybe if I’m selected for that, I can better devise something to help with my getting more fit and losing some damn weight. Actually . . . Why do not I just “pretend” that I’m running a half in March and devise a training plan that way? Yeah, I’ll do that. Running 13.1 miles on my own is not as an arduous task of running 26.2 miles. Look, I’m already making some progress. 

 

TO BE CONTINUED . . .

A couple of questions:

  1. Do you have any plans for dropping some pounds over the next few months?
  2. What has your experience been tracking your food (i.e. counting calories)? Did you find food apps useful?

Just Being Basic

I have been kind of absent from this medium for almost a week. I do not know what happened, but it seems that 50 million things are coming at me all once. I did not even go to “da bar”  (with exception to Friday) or to any Zumba classes at all week. That should tell you how busy I was this week.

Mondays blog entries are supposed to be a weekly summary of my workouts; but alas, I did not do jack sh*t for the majority of the week. I wonder if anyone else has this feeling that I am about to describe.

You miss one or two workouts at the beginning of the week, then you just say screw it for the rest of the week. That pretty much was me Monday to Saturday.

At least, I did an “easy” run to get back into the groove on Sunday. I really need to hammer down and start some type of fitness regimen. I had something set up  before; but clearly, I am not following it. It is hard to stay focused when you do not have anything to train for.

Although this is not a training event, I am starting a training calendar to get somewhat beach-ready for our Cancun vacation in 47 days. Maybe between intermittent fasting and actually working out, I can lose about 8 or so pounds. Although I would like to lose more, I figure 8 pounds is an attainable goal for 47 days. Actually, while I’m writing about this, I probably should sign up for a NYRR race or two.

Here is my preliminary workout schedule:

  • Monday – Zumba
  • Tuesday – Run and X-train
  • Wednesday – Nothing – Date night (unless, I do something in the morning)
  • Thursday – Nothing – Date night (unless, I do something in the morning)
  • Friday – Run
  • Saturday – Nothing (more than likely because of hangover recovery) or X-train
  • Sunday – Longer/easy run

Although I was lazy, I managed to squeeze out one 3 mile run and I was a little surprised (in a good way) with my pace. I thought the Strava app was off but my Apple watch was giving more or less the same splits.

Random: I find that running apps on the iPhone gives faster times than GPS wristwatches. Maybe it has something to do with the constant swinging of the phone while running with it in my shorts’ pocket.

Basically, I did a few loops around Marcus Garvey Park. Actually, I think this park will be a “RUNderful” training ground, because there are many flights of stairs that can climb. During my run, I felt sooooo sluggish, but Apple watch said I ran 8’37” min/mile pace. Perhaps, I felt sluggish because I have not completed any runs in a long time.

Upcoming Registered Races:

  • Japan Run (4M), Sunday, May 13th
  • Italy Run by Ferrero (5M), Sunday, Jun. 3rd
  • Front Runners New York LGBT Pride Run (5M), Saturday, Jun. 23rd. Crap, I just realized that I will be flying back to NYC from Cancun. Well . . that’s 23 bucks down the toilet. Ugh, I hate wasting money on non booze and food activities.
  • NYRR Retro 4-Miler, Saturday, July 14th

 

Fasting Intermittently

I know that I put this term in reverse order. Last week I was kind of dissing this eating program, where I fast for 16 hours and eat within a 8 hour time frame.

I have not weighed myself but I do have some positive (and not so positive) things to report:

  • Although it doesn’t look like I have lost a ton of weight, I think that I have lost a little (we’ll see what the scale says on Easter). The other day I wore one of my somewhat slutty long sleeved, tight shirts and I didn’t look too disgusting … just a little. 😉
  • When I break the fast, I notice that I get fuller faster. Sometimes, I cannot finish restaurant portions of food. Normally, I would destroy this burrito plato, but I could eat only 1/2 of this. Random plug: If you are ever in lower Harlem, check out Dirty Cash/Sexy Taco on Lennox and W116.img_1186I was kind of disappointed, because this shit was gooooooood. I did pick the meat other of the other half though.
  • Sometimes I do not realize I have not eaten by 4 PM, but usually occurs when I have 80 million things to do at work.food
  • I am drinking more water; however, it may be too much. Before starting the fasting program, I would drink about 3-4 liters of water a day. Now, I’m close to 5.5-6 liters.the thirst is real.gif
  • I drink way too much coffee (and diet coke). Keep in mind, I rarely drank coffee before starting this fasting program. Btw, these flavored diet cokes are amazing. img_1181                                                            It was very zesty.
  • Since I’m drinking more liquids (outside of booze), I’ve been pissing more. Now, my job is very meeting based, so I have too make sure that I go twice before a meetingpee.gif
  • I think that I’m smoking more cigarettes. Matter of fact, I’m smoking as I write this entry.
  • I drink less booze during my slore adventures, because I’m buzzed after 4 gin n sodas.
  • I constantly have to be doing something so I can ignore my food cravings. This past Sunday, I was home all damn day and I was constantly grubbing. In my defense, I do not fast on Sundays, since the Lord (well, maybe a pope) says that you don’t have to fast on Sundays during Lent.

Bah Humbug Training Update

Ugh, my fitness goals are all of the freaking place and nonexistent at the same time. Just last week, I was thinking that I hate not having anything to train for. These series of injuries really have put a damper in my fitness goals. I think the back injury is over and the tendinitis in my left arm is recovering.

Intermittent Fasting Woes

I do not know how well this intermittent fasting thing is going. Just to refresh your memory, I decided to do this fast as giving up something for Lent, which is from Ash Wednesday (Feb. 14, 2018) to Holy Thursday (Mar. 29th, 2018). Typically for this season, one is supposed to give up something for 40 days . . . in my case, I guess that I’m giving eating for 16 hours every day. Although this is a religious tradition and I not super religious, I like to give up something every year just to tell myself that I can live without something. Before you ask. No, I have not given up cigarettes or booze during Lent. I mean, word on the street is that Jesus did turn water into wine, so I’m sure that he probably turned water into hard liquor too. I really do not have any excuses for the smoking vice. Ok, I’m getting off topic.

The point of all of this rambling. Basically it has been about 26 days into the fast, and I have not seen any noticeable changes in my physical appearance. Yeah, Yeah, Yeah. I know that 26 days is no time on a diet  on an improved eating program, but I was expecting to notice SOMETHING. I have not actually weighed myself, because I want to save that for the end as a big finale. But, it looks like my big finale will be a bust. . . because I will be busting out of my pants 😉 I really do not get it. I have been working out more or less the same since December, but I’m eating less (and somewhat healthier). I just do not know what I’m doing wrong. Also, it’s annoying that when I see people who live more unhealthily lifestyles than me (yes, there are people who live more unhealthy than I) lose weight by changing one thing.

I swear, I’m going to be very upset if I do not see significant weight loss by Easter aka “Welcome Back, Jesus” Day.

Let me stop there, because I feel like this entry could go down a very dark path, and I still need to saving some hating energy for the rest of the day. . . today is monday Zumba day. I’m going to bring it back to the original idea of this post, training for an event.

The “Event”

As of this morning the BF and I, booked a week getaway to Cancun in June. To be more specific, our trip is in 97 days!!! I know that Cancun is pretty much a typical tourist trap, but I wanted have a super lazy vacation. This means going to an all-inclusive resort, drinking fruity, sugary drinks, laying on the beach, and stuffing my face at the buffets for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Well . . . the resort does have a few swim up bars, so that will be my physical activity. Perhaps, I will fit in a SCUBA diving excursion.

Matter of fact, we are going to the same resort where my cousin had his wedding a few years ago. 

The funny/sad thing is that I was drunk in each picture. (Left) I had gotten back to my hotel room at 8 AM after sloring all night outside of the tourist areas in Cancun (Yo queria practicar my espanol). Matter of fact, I have a gin and juice in my hand. (Middle) The family took an excursion to Las Islas Mujeres and I wanted a pic with our tour guide. . . who was a fun nut. (Right) I had had it with family time, so I ventured out own my own on another night in Cancun. The funny thing is that my aunt was stayed up waiting for me in our hotel room, like I was late for curfew. Well I did arrive at 4 AM. LOL, I was so trashed that I need to take a nap on the beach before my cousin’s actual wedding.

TMI warning (highlight this line to find out). Ugh, my goddamn  poop had a blueish color and  I vomited in the ocean. Oh well, YOLO. I had a blast at Club Once/Once.

My updated training goal is to get a least somewhat beach ready by Jun 18th. I kind of have some ideas of how I can improve some physical issues regarding my workouts and (most importantly) my diet.

Question: How do you get over not meeting your physical goals, especially in regards to weight? Help a brotha out.

Random Thursday Update

Intermittent Fast:

So far, so good . . . for the most part. I have not been weighing myself to see if there is anydiet weight loss, but I do “feel” lighter. Well, I feel lighter until downing 1 liter of water to ward off my hunger. Actually, now that I am in week three, I really do not feel intense hunger pangs any longer. Outside of drinking water, green tea, and diet coke (here and there), my first meal of the day is around 3 PM – a time of day that I never thought I could have my first meal. Also, I have noticed that I do get a sense of fullness faster, since I have started this fasting program. For example, today I ate a little more than a quarter of a sub and I was still stuffed after an hour. Well . . . I also did have a small oatmeal cookie. My downfall to this diet will be late-night drinking, because my eyes become bigger than my stomach in those cases.

Foot infection (don’t worry, there will not be any gross photos).

Ok, I totally understand that a Ph.D. in Molecular Oncology and Immunology is not aphd medical degree, even though the field is biomedicine, but cut me some slack. This semi rant comes up, because I had an appointment with a podiatrist to figure out what’s going on with my foot infection (technically an infection between my pinky and ring toes). From jump, one of the doctors (I was seen by a chief resident and the main doc.) asked about my profession. Told her what I do now and mentioned that I used to be a cancer researcher. Asking that is not a big deal, because I know many doctors like (or should want) to know more about their patients’ lives. Long story short, the chief resident starting to give me a crash course about the epidermis, fungal versus bacterial infections, and the healing steps involved with the skin. All of which I know. Remember, Ph.D. in a biomedical field. She cleaned the wound with betadine, an antiseptic, then she started to explain what it was. Um, thanks, DOC. I used betadine to prevent bacterial contamination in cell culture for over 15 YEARS!!!! I know what it does.

Basically, the doc prescribed me more antifungal cream and to keep doing what I have been doing regarding cleaning the infection. Great a $30 copay and $25 cream well spent.

Half-Marathon

Ugh, I think that I’m not running (or walking) this thing. I feel really shady, because so many folks are posting about it on WordPress and on Facebook. And, I’m all like whatever. I guess that’s how people were when I was always talking about running the NYC marathon during the summer.

Vacation:

The BF wants to plan a vacation (oh snap, this topic reminded me that I need to checkvacation how many vacation days I have) . . . Sweet 7 days (I accrue two days for every month I work, with 24 being the max). Any recommendations for us? We gotta act soon because it’s already March and prices are gonna start going up . . . if they haven’t already. I’m thinking of a lazy vacation, so maybe a resort type of thing. He really wants to go to eastern cost of Costa Rica, which I’m not too big on because I’ve been to that region two times. I do not want to be the person who is the “know it all” on a trip. I would like to go somewhere where I haven’t been but I’ve traveled extensively in Latin America and he has not. Cuba has come up, but I do not know if I can travel there anymore (he can go, since he is a citizen of Spain). HA! Just as I was typing this a coworker stopped by and started to talk to me about his weekend trip. Then, we talked about my potential trips, and he recommended Nicaragua.

Quick List for vacation:

  1. Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic – easy breezy resort trip. I’ve been there a few times, pretty nice (and cheap) accommodations
  2. Cancun, Mexico – resort trip. Laying on my big ass, sloring, and eating tacos are fun things for me. Maybe this time I can check out some culture.
  3. Limon, Costa Rica – adventure  vacation . . . maybe not.
  4. Nicaragua – adventure vacation . . . need to do more intel

That’s all for me.

Where in the Western Hemisphere would you visit multiple times?