Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Back again...

I've had various blogs over the last 10 years, and each has served as a creative outlet.  They've explored different topics and had different focuses, and I've found a balance with each. 

I'm still trying to figure out that balance with this blog.

How much do I reveal about myself?  What topics do I explore?  Running, weight loss, sure.  But how much of the rest of my life to I let leak into my posts? 

In the past I've probably erred on the side of revealing too much.  Letting personal drama play too much of a centrist role makes for juicy reading, but it also has real life consequences.

In general I'm a pretty withdrawn and private person...until I know someone well enough to trust them.  Then it seems like I reverse myself and over-share.  Clearly I have boundary issues, but like everything I do I have to make it complicated and have issues on both sides of the plate.

So I'm blaming my sporadic posts on that.

It's my story and I'm sticking to it.

While I've been away several notable things have happened.

First, the good:
  • My weight has dropped into the 220s.  It's probably been 10 years, or more since I've been in the 220s.
  •  I had my first run at sub-9 minute pace.  I really have no idea how long it's been since I've been about to run continuously at that pace.  High school is the last time I know for sure...
And, the bad:

I tweaked my knee. 

I'm not sure how, or exactly what I hurt anatomically, but I have flashes of sharp pain in my right knee.  There doesn't seem to be a particular motion that causes it.  There doesn't really seem to be a rhyme or reason as to why or when it hurts.  It's been swollen and stiff at times, but anti-inflammatory meds don't seem to help.  With my medical background if I had to make an educated guess, I'd say probably there's a small fragment of meniscus cartilage floating around in there causing problems. 

I took several days off to rest it, and today was my first day back running.  I had a couple of tense moments at the start of my run, but then it settled down and hasn't hurt since. 

Regardless, I think I may be pushing too hard to go further, and faster all the time.  And so to push back at some of the stressors putting pressure on me, I'm scaling back my race expectations.  I was pushing to run a 10k in just 2 weeks, and a half in March 2014. 

Right now I'm putting off the 10k for sure.  I'm almost certain I could run the race, and finish. 

But at what cost? 

To date I've never run 10 kilometers.  And I'm just not comfortable with the race being my first time to conquer that distance.  Maybe that's the way I'll have to approach a marathon, but for a distance as relatively short as 10k, I want to have several runs at least that long under my belt before I step onto a race course. 

I guess I just want to be in control of my race.  No matter the preparation, there's always the possibility of having a bad day and running a terrible race.  I want to step to the starting line with the confidence of knowing that the distance is well within my reach.

What does that mean for my planned half marathon in March?  I don't know.  I'll just have to see how I feel as it approaches.

The drama:

And here's the part where I possibly stray out of bounds for this blog.

My wife and I planned on selling our house and moving this coming summer.  After contacting a realtor to get some advice on improvements to help get the house ready for sale, we actually sold our house, without it ever being on the market. 

We closed on the sale 3 weeks later. 

Now the new owner is allowing us to stay in the house until we find a home of our own--a very generous arrangement.  However the inventory of homes for sale in our desired neighborhoods is ridiculously low right now.  Like 2 or 3 potential homes on the market. 

That's it. 

Somehow through all of this we decided that if there wasn't a perfect house out there for us, we should just build one.  (Because it's every just that easy.)


The neighborhood we moved into in 2005 has unfortunately bottomed out.  For example, when we moved here, my oldest daughter was in first grade, and the elementary school was rated as exemplary by the state authorities. 

Flash forward 8 years and my middle daughter is now a first grader at the same school.  Unfortunately the school is now a Title I school. That in and of itself isn't a bad thing, except that the entire school seems to be proud of that status.  Instead of expecting the students to perform at exemplary levels, they instead insist on giving students an out and an excuse for not performing well.  Instead of simply taking the extra money and creating programs to enrich the academic experience of the kids (like the program is designed) the administration seems intent on using the money to tell the kids they aren't as good as other kids in the district and require extra help to perform as well.  In my (often jaded) opinion, if you tell kids something enough, they start to believe it.

Either way, it's time to get my kids somewhere that is intent on challenging them. 

So that's what I've been up to lately.  :-)

Friday, November 1, 2013

Calorie Anxiety

I use MyFitnessPal to track my calories every day.  Every single day, otherwise my calories get away from me.  It's a truly perfect tool for me.  I love that it scans bar codes and imports nutritional info.  I love completing my diary every day and getting the evaluation, "If every day were like today, in 5 weeks you would weigh Xlbs".  Talk about keeping your eyes on the long term. 

But something I've noticed is what can only be called "calorie anxiety" and I'm a little worried that it might be interfering with my health.

Essentially, calorie anxiety (as defined by me, and I'm making it up) is skimping on breakfast and lunch calories out of fear of running out of calories later in the day, and ending up hungry.

It tends to be my general MO.  I'll eat a packet of oatmeal for breakfast--130-160 calories.  And then for lunch I'll limit my calories to around 320-350 calories.  What this often means is I've only eaten 500ish calories by dinner time, and I end up eating the bulk of my daily calories in the evening between dinner and bedtime.

So far I've been extremely lucky that this practice hasn't sent me into starvation mode and I've continued to lose weight.  But it's something I continue to work on, with some success lately.  I've left my breakfast routine alone most days, although I've added a glass of juice before I leave on work days.  I had to do this because I've had days so busy that the first time I've thought about eating has been about 2 in the afternoon.  At least with the juice I've had a few calories.  Lunches I've allowed myself more calories--500-550.  Choosing wisely allows for a great deal more food than before. 

I've continued to lose weight, so I can only assume that it's at least as effective, and probably more.  I think it's probably a more healthy approach both metabolically and mentally.  At times I could see how people might end up with an eating disorder...

Overall it's a lot less anxiety.

How do you break down your calorie intake through the day?