Extra post for today –

1. I kind of blew the diet (already). OK, not diet, but counting calories. And not so, much, but just a bit. Breakfast, as you know, pushed 500 cal. Lunch – I did good; leftover fajitas, no cheese, no guac: about 400 cal, near as I could figure. Supper – My folks decided to treat us to a local seafood restaurant. Good stuff. In hindsight, I should have gone for the off-season lobster – if you avoid the butter, which isn’t needed now that the critters have their winter fat, it’s not so bad for you. Instead, I got the fried platter. I avoided the fries, and stole some of my wife’s salad, but I figure supper was 1,000 calories or so. So I’m up about 2,000 for the day.

If I fight off the monster for the evening, it’s not so bad. Plus, I swam, so there’s a deficit to make up there. Only, I’d hoped to make it up off of my belly (mmmm, whole belly clams….)

2. Speaking of deficit: I found the coolest calorie calculator. It purports to solve for your baseline, but more importantly, it gives inputs for calories burned running/swimming/biking, etc. Good stuff.

3. There’s been a bunch of good comments on about body fat monitors on Sunday’s post. Appreciate all the information about potential inaccuracies, but I’m pretty confident it was accurate. It’s too close to the BMI and my physical appearance as a little bit fluffy. Much like the scale, though, I’m going to continue to formally avoid it 6 days a week. Oh, and Jon – it was an impulse buy. $5 cheaper than normal.


178 – Added a pound but it’s within the margin of error, and I was sick last week.

One of the upsides of being sick has been getting back into a regular sleep cycle, so I was up early this morning to hit the pool at the Y. And hit the pool I did. 1,000 yards. Everything felt fine, but I was still fighting some of the lingering weariness that hobbled me last week.

**** WARNING – Nasty statistics to follow ****

I picked up a small body-fat monitor at Target yesterday. Yech. 32%. Meaning that I’m carrying around about 55 lbs of lard everywhere I go.

The upside is that the measurement “checks with chart” as the quartermaster would tell me back in my submarining days. Say I cut down to a healthy 15% body fat – that’s about 27 lbs to lose, which would put me right at 150, or about where the BMI calculations tell me I should be.

This, though, was a real eye-opener. In the past 3 or 4 years, I’ve peaked out at about 195 or so, almost 20 lbs higher than I am today. Yee cats.

**** Back to regularly scheduled navel gazing ****

This week begins counting calories. I’m going to shoot for an 1800 calorie base, with an addition of about 50% of what I burn in exercise. Breakfast – Trail Mix Bagel and Honey-Walnut Cream cheese. Only a gazillion calories. OK, only 530 cal. Washed it down with good old fat burning coffee. Yippee! (BTW, whoever posted about coffee’s fat solubility last week deserves a gold star.)

Should have written on Wednesday

Wednesday was a great run. Ma and Pa Jank were on their way up for Nate’s first birthday (Saturday). Their flight got into Providence about 9, so Missy said “Hey, why don’t you save the drive and just hang out in Newport until their flight gets in?” So I did.

Four miles along the western side of Aquidneck island as the sun set. I faded a bit in the last mile, but the entire run felt great. Christian and I (and a couple other guys from work) headed over to Warwick for a little bit of bar-b-q for supper, and believe it or not, some guy shopping – LCD TV’s at Best Buy and random sports equipment. Plus, there was hoops on. (That sounds a lot better out loud than in print)

Skipped Thursday. I was going to go on my way home, but ended up working late on an urgent project for the boss of one of my client. Ended up with the client happy, but I was late getting home, and didn’t get in a run.

Not wanting to fall behind, I headed out for the loop from the Waterford office. Beautiful, beautiful. We got about 4″ of snow last night – not enough to go skiing, darnit, but enough to warrant shoveling prior to heading to the office. The run was tough – 3.3 mile, and I did it clockwise instead of counter. The last mile, with a huge uphill pretty much tapped whatever effort I had left.

So Friday night I had to admit that I was finally sick. Not gawdawful hacking up lungs type sick, but sick enough to warrant a couple of days rest. I’m not going to make this week’s mileage, but I’m cool with that. It was the triple whammy (blood donation, sick baby, and general life stress – family visiting, interesting projects at work, navel gazing) that did me in. The running slips this week, but the body puts itself back together.

Thanks for all the great comments after Tuesday’s whine. I’ll have more later, but for now – thanks.


So I’m catching up on my paper exercise log for the last week, and it hits me: I am absolutely terrible at following through with stuff. Like really following through. My entire life is a string of events where I am able to make initially great progress through luck and natural ability, ending in missed opportunities because I was too eager to relax and sit in the first patch of shade, so to speak, to which I arrived. I could list items ad nauseam, but that’d be dwelling instead of getting off my butt and continuing to soldier on.

What set me off was the three day gap from the easy 3 miles on Wednesday of last week to the 5 miler on Sunday. The gap in and of itself was not so bad, but what killed me was remembering how psyched I was on Wednesday afternoon when I realized that I was only 5.1 miles short of hitting my first hundred miles for the year. I had been pumped, excited about how easy it was going to be to finish out the week with an honest century under my sneakers.

But then I gave blood, and the excuses for slacking added up.

I would have cut myself a bit more slack, but I also stayed out of the pool for the entire week. Grr.

Like I mentioned, this is just another example. The difference is that this time, it appears that I’ve been able ot identify why I continually let myself down. I’ve excelled when there has been someone else to hold my feet to the fire. I need to learn how to hold my own feet to the fire.

Sorry for the downer. In truth, I’m really happy that I’ve finally been able to identify my history of false optimism. I think it’s a good step. Life continues to get better. Why? Because I can make it better.

Good run this afternoon. I’d dropped my wife’s car off for rear wheel bearings (Click and Clack talked about them a couple of weeks back, that they could seize on the highway and pop off the wheel – my mind clicked that the mechanic had mentioned they needed to be fixed the last time the car was in, and they were noticeably noisy) on the way to work, so I worked through lunch, finished up, and headed out for a run.

No iPod, no Forerunner, just sneakers, sweats, and a changed Billy (that’s for Pam).

3 miles or so – right on track for the week. Still felt a bit … tired, but not as noticeable as Sunday’s run.

And I’m over 100 running miles for the year. Can I make 1,000? We’ll see…

Good Day

Woke up early, same sniffles. Decided to gut it out and do 5 miles before heading into NYC.

Good Idea.

The run was really tough. I think donating blood hit me for a bigger loop than I’d though. My thighs were sore most of the way, and I felt … tired. Kind of in a funny way. Not in an out of shape kind of way, just … tired.

In any case, I finished a good 5 miles (Same route including River Road that I ran last weekend, ‘cept I did it the opposite way, so half of the hill climb was right at the start, and half was at the finish, instead of saving it all for the end. I didn’t feel drained at the end of the run, all the …tired was during the run.

Packed up Jake and my friend Christian and headed to NYC. Great time. I’ll post pics probably tomorrow. We took the train in to Grand Central Terminal (absolutely not Grand Central Station – the Metro North lines end at the terminal, but pass through many stations on the way), walked past the lions at the public library to the subway station in Bryant Park, took the train up to the American Museum of Natural History. The dinosaurs were great – like I said, I’ve got pictures.

We then had a great walk back to the Terminal through Central Park and the Gates. I’ll be honest – “The Gates” are ugly as sin – big orange monstrosities, and even a pretty terrible fabric used to make them. The Art, I’ve decided, was performance art in two ways – First Christo had to convince a metric ton of people to let him do this (almost all with private money, it should be noted, other than “rent” for the park). The second performance was absolutely packing Central Park in the dead of winter.

Stopped at the Cafe in the Sheep Meadow for coffee (and a potty break). Stopped at the Newly Redone FAO Schwartz – well, I can’t really blame it on The Boy, since I wanted to look at toys too (to see the $30K ride-in Hummer with the real stereo, and the $50K Ferrari), and stopped at about 52nd and 4th to get some Pizza before jumping back on the train. Very nice. Jake was way better than an almost 5 year old should be. And he kept on the same dopey grin that I’ve always got when I’m rolling in the Apple.

The upside – Made my mileage again for the week, one run shorter than planned. Gave Blood. Made Memories.

The Downside? I don’t have a puppy.

(not that I need one – I love our dog. I just had to find something to gripe about)


Woke up this morning with sniffles and an itchy throat, so I blew off today’s long run.

That’s not entirely true. Woke up this morning with sniffles and an itchy throat on a sub 20 degree F day. Had to go to a monthly meeting at work at 8:30, and wanted to be able to play with the boys before leaving. Meeting went long. Wife needed sanity time away from the boys. Aforementioned sniffles didn’t go away. Stories of running coaches getting lung-ectomies and other sick runners ran through my head. Planned Sunday trip to NYC to see “The Gates” and the Dinosaurs with Jake ran through my head. So I blew it off, figuring one week won’t hurt me.

We’ll see.

Rest-ish day / Nag – Why don’t you go give blood?

I’m ahead of schedule for the week’s training (Three miles ahead and one extra day of running), so today’s a rest day. Sort of. Even though hearing about Jeff’s flying run last night. RBF, y’all rock – every day, at least someone has a phenomenal run, which is incentive to get back out there.

The one thing I will nag y’all about is donating blood **. The clockwork blood drive at NUWC was today; I donated. Cheap way to lose a pound, and the red blood cells will be reconstituted out of other parts of my body assuming I don’t break down and get another Squishy (Icee, Slurpee – term is from the Simpsons) or otherwise compensate by extra eating. Here’s the Red Cross’ site. It’s also a great way to get a health update – BP was like 108/70, thanks to a month and a half of running. Only took an hour from walking in the door until walking out after cookies and juice.

I will probably go for an easy swim tonight. Though I cleaned out the part of the basement dedicated to bikes last night, and did an assessment of what needs to be done to the family’s five bikes (My beauty road bike, my beater road bike, my beater mountain bike, Missy’s hybrid, and Jake’s tiny bike) prior to spring. Although the rains have washed much of the sand off the roads, and I may be sorely tempted to log a quick 15 or 20 miles on Saturday.

** The reason I nag is that I’ve had a couple of FOAF (Friends of a Friend) whose lives have been saved by donated blood. I understand that not everyone can give, too, and apologize in advance if for whatever reason you can’t.


Forgot to bring a drink for lunch today, so I stopped at the Circle K (or 7-11, or Stop ‘n’ Go). Picked up a Squishy. Did I break Lent? I vote no: the goal was to give up eating crap, and a Squishy is not food. Supporting the no vote is this morning’s unofficial weigh in somewhere south of two pounds lighter than Monday.

Quick run at lunch after two epics – Programmed the Forerunner for a 5K. Finished in 24 something, a 7:57 average pace. Yeah, baby, sub-8’s. I think I could have done a 7:45 if I’d pushed down to nothing, but it was windy, windy. The last mile was almost all into the wind, and was about an 8:20 pace.

Great run, although I’m kind of getting paranoid about having three strong runs in a row and still feeling gooooood.