Saturday, June 21, 2014

The 15 Hour Prescription

So as I stated in my last post, I have put on 15 pound over the last couple of months.  But that really doesn’t do justice to the 40 pounds I have put back on over the last 3 years.  To put this into context,  8 years ago I weighed over 265 pounds.  A year later, I weighed what I weigh now, 220 pounds, and the following year I was down to a very comfortable 177 pounds.

That was 2009 when I ran my first half marathon and marathon.  At 177, I weighed what I did as a junior in high school and I never thought I would be at that weight again.  I was able to keep at that weight for three years that is until life stepped in 2011.  It was later that year that I lost my job of 12 years due to organizational restructuring.    This is also the year that I saw my half marathon PR, and after my times began to creep up.  Stress, changes in schedules and lack of motivation all contributed to the weight gain.

So when I posted my “May Goals” it was really to jump start my motivation.  I had already been off for a month and was suffering some sort of leg pain.  I later had it diagnosed as a Lymphatic channel infection.  Go figure.  Well, through more water on any motivation that was left.

So now it is time for a new goal…..  

I am not talking about a race, even though there is something on the schedule and something that I am eying.  

So looking back at my stats from 2008 to 2011 there is something that is very telling.  During this time, I averaged 15 hours of exercise.  Hmm…that is an average of over 2 hours of exercise a day.  This consisted either of commute by bicycle or running.  And yeah, there were 5 marathons during that time that were trained for to bump up that average; however, even when factoring that in it makes sense why I was so lean.

Yep, during that time I was also very focused on my running mileage, with the average non marathon training schedule being around 32 mile per week.  The commute was just a bonus since that while I knew it was helping, I couldn’t directly correlate it with my running. However, when you add it up to the greater whole, yes it did factor.

When you think that on average I would end up burning around 500 to 700 calories on the 5 day commute and anywhere between 700 to 2,000 calories on any given run (an average of 4 a week) you can see that at 15 hours of exercise I was burning roughly between 5000 to 9,000 calories a week.

Now for comparison, over the last three years I have found that if  maintain 8 hours of exercise I will pretty much maintain my weight.  I can even play around with reduced calories, macro nutrients ratios, etc, but that doesn’t seem to affect the weight gain or loss.

So long story short, my goal is to work up to the 15 hour goal.  I am calling it my 15 hour prescription.  

Basically, if I am motivated enough, I can easily the first 6 hours through commuting.  I say motivated, it means riding no matter what – wind, heat, rain, no matter what.  This requires 5 days a week riding.

The remaining 9 hours will be tougher.  I can run at lunch; however, I am limited to 1 hour during lunch.  So,  I would have to find a way to get the remaining 4 hours, which would be fine if I was training for a marathon; however in a normal .    So it is time to be creative.

As with most goals, I am not saying that next week I will be instantly at 15 hours; however,  it will be something I will be building on.  And to keep me on track, and accountable, I will be posting my results on a weekly basis.  Let’s see if this new strategy pays off.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Trailquake 2014 - Magnitude 8.8 on the Fun Scale!

Having lived in the East Bay and having direct access to Mount Diablo and the Oakland Hills, we really have not branched out in running in the South Bay or the Peninsula.  So on a whim, as well as a way to kick our butts into gear, we signed up for Brazen Racing’s Trailquake Races.  Emma and I would run the 10K and Beth would run the 5K with our younger kids, Sophie and Myles.

For me, Beth, and the girls, this really was a bit of a whim.  Beth and I have been recovering from various and sundry injuries and illnesses with Beth on a 4 month hiatus and myself 2 month hiatus. For me, this has also led to a 15 pound weight gain. For Emma and Sophie, for some strange reason (only because it is a California School testing anomaly) did not run in P.E. for the second half of the year.

And while most of the family has really embraced the running lifestyle, our son Myles has not really enjoyed running.  In fact, it has been a challenge for him not to end the race in tears.  In fact, he has missed the last two races because he was sick.  Now at 7 years of age, and being healthy, how would he do?

Located in Sanborn County Park on the San Andreas Trail, it is a stone’s throw away from Saratoga, we were treated to what I would have to say is one beautiful but challenging course.  

The first 2.25 miles was a fun climb through a redwood forest with over 1,800 feet of elevation gain.    Most of this run was on single track, so at times you would have to yield to a downhill runner.   We definitely were not going for our PR’s which would be difficult to do on this course in normal running shape, so the occasional stop and start was not a problem.

The downhill was, though, what I was looking forward to the most.  With 4 miles of moderately technical downhill trail, the quads were going to be taxed.  Emma was struggling to some degree and took a header half way down.  Being the good papa that I am, I was a quarter mile a head of her and had no idea until I stopped so she could catch up.  Like a trouper, she had picked herself up and kept on going.  Needless to say I kept her in my sights the rest of the run down.

In the end I would have to say this is now one of my favorite 10K courses.  We finished the 10K in a “I am happy with it” 1:55.  I say that finish knowing that the person who one finished a full hour before.  

That said, I caught an interesting exchange with the 10K winner and his not so happy, I assume father.  It seems that his father was not too happy with his 10K time at 54 minutes and continued to chide his son for the failure.  Clearly there needs to be an education on what Trail running as well as course differences on performance.  Oh well.

For Myles, this was his best run ever!  Always a kid we have to drag, at this race we found him deciding that he would run downhill ahead of his mother and sister by himself!  No complaints with the uphill either.  Hopefully we have turned a corner.  In fact he said he had so much fun he is ready for a 10K….we’ll have to wait a bit until he has a few more 5K’s under his belt before I feel comfortable with that.

It was a good run for Beth and Sophie also. Sophie found her running buddy, Bylthe, at this race and kept with her until the finish.  She also loved the technical aspects of this trail.  Beth will have a complete recap of the 5K on her blog, you can find it here.

So while this is the farthest we will probably drive for a race, it was definitely worth it.  We are already talking about doing it next year.

And thank you Allen and the other Brazen Volunteers for the pictures!
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