Thursday, March 31, 2005

A Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese per Day

Woke up a half hour before the alarm for the second day in a row. This is a good sign that I am catching up on my sleep. If I get so caught up that the circles under my eyes go away, I think I can declare victory. Ultimately, I'd like to get up early enough to do my daily run before work. Since I get to work at 6:45 AM, I'd have to get up really friggin' early. To add to the challenge, the Empress is a very light sleeper. If the alarm goes off early in the AM, she has trouble getting back to sleep. As such, I need to be able to just wake up at 0 dark thirty. Few weeks off yet, I think.

Weight loss seems to be at a standstill. I have a few theories about this:

1) The Universe is essentially an unjust place and is actively scheming againist me.

2) The "Diet Industry" does not want me to succeed in my quest to lose weight with exercise and is sneaking lard into my herbal tea.

3) My metabolism has slowed down without the prompting of caffeine. It has not adjusted as of yet.

4) Shit happens. Keep running.

5) "Muscle weighs more than fat so your increase in muscle ... Ahhhhhhhhh! ... splat! (i.e. sound of smug dietician de-accelerating on pavement beneath 100 story building)"

I am definitely slimming down a bit. I judge this from the highly precise measurement of GDCBWWP (i.e. General Discomfort Caused By Wearing Work Pants). GDCBWWP is way down, but the weight is holding steady at 202.5. Whatever.

I did some research yesterday and discovered that I am burning between 750-850 calories every night when I go running (depends which diet goober you believe). I also discovered that a McDonald's double quarter pounder with cheese has 730 calories. In short, I am running off a double quarter pounder with cheese every night. This was strangely comforting.

11 days down, 89 to go
Weight: 202.5
Resting Pulse: 64

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Rest Days are Cool

Went out after a day of rest and flew over my library loop. Last week, I could not complete the whole loop in 60 minutes. Yesterday, while maintaining an ave heart rate of 147, I covered the same distance in 53:15. If I keep the same percentage increase week to week, I will break the world record for the five mile in about week 11. If I can knock off the same number of minutes every week, I will break the sound barrier middway through week 9. I think I'll stop then because I would soon approach relativistic speeds (probably around Thursday) which would cause my mass to increase which is the opposite of my intention.

On Saturday, I went jogging around a "vita-course". This is a little jogging path with various and sundry exercise stations along the way. It was half mile loop, so I decided to stop at the push up station each loop to do 10 pushups. Well, I switched over to sitps after 5 loops because people were starting to look concerned for my health (physical and mental) as I tried to squeeze out the last few pushups. I was making sounds that are usually only heard in maternity wards. Anyway, it Tuesday now, and my chest muscles STILL hurt. I wanted to give myself a day or two to recover before I tried some more, but I may have to bravely venture forth while still sore.

9 days down, 91 to go
Weight: 201.5

Monday, March 28, 2005

Rest Day

Took Sunday off from running because it was Easter. Was REAL tempted to declare it a exception day expecially when sitting next to a big pile of chocolate that my mother-in-law had bought me for Easter. Though probably a justifiable , it is too early in the program. Need a good month under my belt before I can start cheating. Have been invited to a "Boyz" weekend in May which will definitely be an exception weekend. In fact, I'm a little frightened what might happen when I release all that pent up abstinence. Could be entertaining.

Took my blood pressure at a CVS yesterday -- 114/74. Not bad, but it didn't exactly look like a highly tuned instrument.

Would like to get below 200 by next Sunday. I might even consider cutting down on the intake a bit. With the caffeine jones over, this may be possible this week.

8 days down, 92 to go (Yes, rest days count!)
Weight: 202.5

Saturday, March 26, 2005

One week

Went jogging last night and just got back from an early afternoon run. Legs feel surprisingly good. In fact, I feel like I could probably keep going without a rest day. Nonetheless, I think I will make Mondays my rest day for three reasons. First, I can remember in earlier training what a huge difference rest days make. Even though I would feel fine, I would take take or two off an come back having made a jump in fitness. The body just needs that time to do a little healing. Second, over-training can have a long term unhealthy psychological impact. Though nothing may be physically wrong, runners often become depressed by the stress on the body. I'm naturally prone to depression, so best not to mess with it. Third, I have to go grocery shopping Monday nights, so it's a real pain to go running too!

Been sleeping a lot -- a hat trick combo of being over-tired for the past few months, no caffeine and being tired from running. It is good to catch up on sleep. Again I recall past experince when I went through a period of giving in to being tired. You sleep and rest for weeks thinking, "Obviously I will never feel rested. I should just give up trying to sleep through it." And then one days, you wake up rested, and you don't need so much rest anymore. It is possible to get fully rested even in the 21st century in America. I have done it before.

7 days down, 93 to go
Weight: 202.5

Friday, March 25, 2005

Something shifted

I think my body is finally adjusting. Yesterday was the first day I didn't feel like I was carrying Shaquille O'Neil's baby. A more common term for this would be "bloated", but I refuse to be "bloated". 300 lb women wearing orange sweat pants in Walmart get bloated, not me. Though I suppose decribing myself as pregnant with another man's baby isn't all that masculine either.

Had a nice run last night -- ave pulse 150. Completed my library loop in almost precisely one hour. Though my calves were a little tight in beginning, I stopped and stretched and felt fine the rest of the run. And this morning, I had actually lost some weight!

Caffeine jones is nearing the end. I have the slightest trace of a headache but that's it.

5 days down, 95 to go
Weight: 202

Thursday, March 24, 2005


Had a nice jog for an hour last night. Ave pulse was 145. The "rest" day from the day before seemed to have helped. Bit achy last night. Was considering some ibuprofen when I drifted off to sleep.

Cubefarmer has reminded me that I should set some milestones along the way. Here are some of the milestones and goals floating around in my head.

1) Weight under 200 -- this is my traditional "I really have to do something about my weight" weight. I expect to hit this milestone within a week or so.

2) Waist size below 40 inches -- When did this happen for Cristsakes!

3) Weight to 190 -- traditional "I'm only moderately overweight" weight

4) Weight to 180 -- traditional "OK" weight. This is as far as I expect I'll get with exercise alone. I'd be pleased to get here by the end of the 100 days of fun.

5) The nature of 100 days leaves many natural milstones -- day 10, 20, 25 , etc.

1) Finish the 100 days -- This is most important goal to reach first

2) Blood pressure to fall below 120/80 -- My blood pressure has been creeping up over the past 3 years. The numbers have jumped around a bit, but I have seen 130/85 on several trips to the doctors office. Technically, I am pre-hypertensive. I'm hoping I can do this without drastic diet changes, but regardless, this has to get fixed.

3) Weight to reach 170. According to BMI, this is where my weight should be to be healthy. I haven't see 170 on the scale since 1992.

4)Resting pulse to 50 -- not sure how low my resting pulse will go, but it is a true measure of fitness. I have seen it in the low 50's. Would be nice to get to 50.

4 days down, 96 to go
Weight: 204 (Look Ma, actual weight loss)

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Day 3

Did a 45 minute mostly walk last night (Ave pulse 136/min) and 15 minutes of stretching. This was an attempt to have a rest type day, but I may have to do the walking for a couple of weeks as I'm pretty sore.

Caffeine withdrawl continues. Yesterday I had the sore hamstrings, and they feel a little tight today as well. Didn't crash right at 8 PM, though I was pretty tired by 10 PM. Bed felt really nice.

3 days down, 97 to go
Weight: 205

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Day 2

Made it through yesterday afternoon, though I'm not entirely sure how. I'm pretty sure I feel asleep at my desk for a couple of seconds at around 3 PM. Surprisingly, it was a pretty productive day nonetheless. Went to bed early last night but am still dragging this morning.

Walked a half hour at lunch at ave 126/min and jogged in the evening for half an hour at 140/min. Eventually I'd like to get to the point where I am doing 2 days /week at above 85% of max rate (~175 beat/min), but that is a few weeks out at least. Thinking that I will probably have to take a complete rest day once/week. Even though my pace is slow, my muscles are going to need to the rest.

I figure the single largest risk factor for not completing this is still "just giving up", but very close behind is the risk of injury. So I want to keep to my original idea as closely as possible but not so much that I will get injured. One bad injury could sideline me for months.

2 days down, 98 to go
Morning weight: 205.5 (Doh!)

Monday, March 21, 2005

Day 2 -- The caffeine withdraws

I have always had a special relationship with caffeine. As a youngster, I drank a lot of diet soda. As a college student I drank a whole lot of diet soda, but in my early 20's I discovered the joys of coffee. I like coffee, and though I could be wrong, I believe coffee has a special fondness for me. One thing that takes a bite out of the drudge of every day's trip to work is that first cup of steaming java. The second cup not so much, and actually it goes downhill from there.

So, I stopped all caffeine intake yesterday. I have done this before, so I know what to expect. Yesterday was fine as it always is. Takes a while for the caffeine to withdraw. Today I have a mild headache which might get nasty by midweek. I will feel sluggish most of the week and every five minutes will think "Sheesh I'm tired; I need some coffee". On prior coffeee fasts, I have even found myself walking towards the coffee pot before I caught myself. The worst it has ever been is when my hamstrings and eventually my back muscles tightened up from withdrawl. I don't think the caffeine has its hooks into to me so deep anymore, but we'll see.

Slept like the dead last night -- 10 hours. I'd like to say I woke up refreshed and ready to go, but I was oddly tired. I'd better go get some coffee ...

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Day 1

Wow. An hour is a long time. Slow jog. Ave pulse 147.

1 down, 99 to go.

Day 0

(cue Harry Belafonte)

Yesterday was Day 0. Sort of the Fat Tuesday of my exercise Lent. I tried to work in everything that I am giving up. Naturally I did not go jogging. Had a nice, lazy day punctuated by a trip to the local Burger & Fries joint for an absolutely humongo double cheesburger. God forgive me; I do love cheeseburgers. Had a few beers last night to wash down the pint of Ben & Jerry's "Chubby Hubby". Had my last pot of coffee for a while yesterday morning.

So here's the plan:

1) 100 consecutive days of exercising for an hour or more. To be counted as exercise, my heart rate will have to exceed 125 beats/min. A semi-brisk walk should be enough to accomplish this. At least once/week, the exercise will have to be totally non-aerobic. I'm thinking yoga/stretching, but I might even have to toss this idea depending on how muscles are recovering.

2) Cut out the bad stuff of diet -- no caffeine, no alcohol, and no refined sugars. In addition, I'm cutting out hamburgers, hot dogs and french fries. The diet is more a cleansing thing than a weight loss thing.

Obviously, my goal is to lose weight, but I'm not going to push that so much. I want to see how far I get with exercise and modest diet concessions.

Weight: 204.5 (Yee-haw!)
Waist: 41.5
Resting Pulse: 62
Days to go: 100

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

I know; I know ; I'm coming.

So I'm done with the whole chess thing. Worked out rather well. It is my plan to screw off for a few weeks and soak up a few more beers before I get serious about he exercise plan. The Empress is out of town next week, so I'll have to wait until she returns.

I'm actually pretty excited about starting up. Not dreading it all, but reality is that it will take some commitment, and I should probably take a break from "have to" for a while.

Absolute stake in the ground is April 1. Perhaps sooner.