Billy Off Week 2 (Take 2)

Bad week this week. While I did the 2 minute drill every day, work and negotiation with the mortgage company have pretty much taken all the willpower I’ve been able to summon. Which means that I’m way behind. I didn’t weigh in today; I don’t think I put on any pounds, since during week 1, I went ahead and got rid of most of the snacky-cakes I had in the office. I even passed up communal cake in the coffee area. Yeah me.

So, I’ll weigh in Sunday morning and get in a good run. The Church pageant will be over, and everything will be settled with the new house on Monday. Then, there’s stripping and painting to be done, and my folks here, but that’s all stress that I can control.

Sigh. But not in a bad way; just wanted to maintain full disclosure here.

Happy Holidays for my friends lighting the menorah.

Bail-Out Plan – What’s yours?

Jon(was)inMichigan has a good post up about “What-If”, as in “What-If my running partner knocks herself unconscious when we’re out in the middle of nowhere?”

The general consensus is that one ought to run with a cell phone, or failing that, run where there’s lots and lots of people around.

Missy and I both do that for long runs (my short runs are usually on a Navy base, so there’s ALWAYS people around; hers are usually down River Road in Mystic, where she can flag someone down pretty easily). The other thing we’ve gotten in the habit of doing, especially before long runs, is letting the other know where we’re going, and how long we expect to be out.

I’m a big fan of previewing my route in Google Maps, MapMyRun, Nike+, or DailyMile so that I can plan out:

  • Bail out points (IE, where can I cut the run short if I feel like crap)
  • Fuel points (gas stations, convenience stores, coffee shops, and places to get carbs-(there’s a pub in the basement))
  • Scenery

Anyway, it’s something to think about, especially for those of us north of the Mason-Dixon line who are blessed with cool in which to run for the next couple of months. I don’t wanna hear about any lost fingers, toes, or lives.

Monday Night Ride / Billy-Off 2009 Week 2, Day 1

So, I’m still with the “Belly Off” plan. I was at 177 on Saturday at weigh-in, but I’m not quite sure how much of that was noise, and how much was actual weight loss. But the plan’s working, and I’m starting to like the morning “2 minute drill”. It’s one of those things I always say I ought to do (quick bit of calisthenics right during my morning levee) that I’ve never been able to make stick. We’re 8 days in, which is almost halfway to being a habit.

This evening, I went for a bike ride with a group from the office. There’s a bunch of guys who ride from the office in Newport, and one of my 2010 resolutions is going to be to be on the bike more. I love me some bike.

Anyway, we headed out from the gym at the lab just as the sun set, and cranked north. About 2 miles in, I had a pair of revelations:

  1. I hadn’t ridden in a paceline in roughly 6 or 8 years, and
  2. Man, was it going to be dark.

I got dropped something fierce in the middle of the first climb, but during the winter, this is supposed to be just an “easy” ride. We headed across the island, and down the east side, ending up downtown after about an hour. The other guys had about another 8 or 10 miles to go, but I wanted to see the kids before they went to sleep, so I peeled off, and spun back to the gym.

Plus, I couldn’t feel my toes because I’d forgotten wool socks and don’t have shoe covers (yet).

Pshew. I was beaten. A couple more weeks of this might help with the “Billy-Off”.

Good times.

Billy-off 2009, Thursday

I did wake up sore this morning, but not in my core. it was my quads, which I suppose are related.

instead of spinning, I went to swim at lunch. The 2 minute drill was good, and doing a really easy 1000 meters felt good.

I am starving, though. The diet, as always, appears to be key. (and I’ve been having trouble). Friday, I’ll start counting calories based on the menu plans, and try to tweak my food input that way.

Four days down. I’m taking Missy’s advice, and am only going to do weights on Saturdays. Last was 180; did I make ANY progress?

Billy-Off 2009, Week 1, Day 2

First, a bit of admin – there’s 4 days of Belly-Off each week: M-W-F and a Saturday challenge. So, saying “Day 2” doesn’t mean Tuesday, it means Wednesday.

Anyway. Day 2. Holy crap, I woke up hurting today. Seriously considered taking a pass on the workout. But, then I jiggled my belly and figured out how to make it work.

The Wednesday workout was considerably tougher than the Monday workout – four “SuperSets” instead of three, and the introduction of a couple of stability ball exercises that I pretty much tanked. I managed about 75% of the reps for each set before the form fell apart. I decided to declare success on the manly part of the workout and head outside for intervals.

The run was good – I was tasting lunch again by the beginning of the 4th interval (5 minute warm-up, 6×30 second max effort with 30 seconds recovery, 5 minute cooldown), but managed to keep everything in my tummy through the end. Running intervals is kind of a new experience for me – it’s difficult for me to gauge the effort at which I need to go into the first couple to be recovered by the end of the recovery period. Which I suppose is partly the point.

But, MAN, could I feel every part of my body by the end. I’m feeling better tonight, but am kind of worried about waking up sore tomorrow. Especially my ab (as there’s currently only one mound of lard there. A pony keg instead of a six pack, if you will). BellyOff seems to be very, very core intensive. Ibuprofen would probably be a good prophylactic; however, I’m gonna see if I can muscle this out.

Tomorrow’s just the 2 minute drill in the AM. Though I’ll probably try to spin on one of the bikes at the office gym during lunch.

Billy-Off 2009 Week 1, Day 1


Thanksgiving was good; however, when I hit the scales on Saturday, there was an ugly number staring me in the face:


Wow. 180 pounds. The last time I was there was probably 3 years ago. 180 was a number I didn’t think I’d see again. But there it was, and the fact of the matter is that it’s been almost as long (2 years) since I’ve seen 160, which is about where I ought to be. So, the focus this month is going to be trying the Men’s Health “Belly-Off” plan.

It’s not that I’m not running. Mostly, I think that the problem is diet – Too easy to go grab junk from the geedunk machine or a drive through, and even though I’m more conscious than most, not thinking packs on the pounds. It’s really just the focus part.

The plan’s pretty simple – a “2 minute drill” every morning (15 seconds each of jumping jacks, skips, pushups – basically some plyometrics first thing in the morning). Then there’s about 15 minutes of exercises, and 15 minutes of interval training on M/W/F, and a longer workout on Saturdays.

I did the first workout yesterday – the “No-Gym classic” workout A. I was pretty pleased I was able to finish it, but BOY did I feel it this morning. It wasn’t until I was going through the weekly plan last night that I realized I was supposed to do intervals yesterday, too, so I did those this morning. I hate to say it, but I’ve been focusing on just endurance for SO long, that my legs were jelly by the end of the 6th interval and I wanted to puke. That’s how you know you’re doing them right, right?

So, we’ll see how this goes. If I can stick with the eating, I think I’ll drop weight. If not, I think I’m hozed. I’m planning on working in a long run on the weekend so that I can maintain mileage to start working up to VT the first week in January. But I think that getting some “old-school exercise” might be a good thing, at least for a month.

Longer-term, I think that I’m going to shoot for the Vermont City Marathon – Missy doesn’t want to run it three years in a row

PS – I’m going to spare the before picture. Save for linking to this picture of a scary guy with a moustache during Mo-Vember. (It’s December now, so the ‘stache is gone. It’s also never too late to donate, and most of you guys still have a chance to go talk to your doctors. Take care, fellas)

Lantern Hill Hike, November 2009