February 18th, 2009


Running hard

This morning was very emotional for me. I woke up at 5:30 with my mind racing, and could not get back to sleep. I finally left home at 7 a.m. to head down to the Embarcadero for a five-mile run. I couldn't shut my brain up the whole time during the 30-minute walk, and had trouble keeping my composure. I figured once I started I'd run extra-hard to give my mind something else to keep it occupied.

I was planning to run faster anyway, to try to keep my heart rate in the 70-80% zone. I wanted to see if I could cover the whole five miles nonstop, without walk breaks, and in under an hour. I was OK at first, but by 40 minutes I was not feeling great. Turning around at North Point, the Ferry Building finish line seemed very far away. I tried to pick up speed. This is a flat, wide course, and the one chance I normally have (outside of a race) to run interrupted, so I can get a true sense of my pace capabilities.

I kept glancing at my watch, wavering between "I'm not going to make it" and "I'm just going to make it". The closer I got, the more the latter seemed possible. My goal in sight, I slowed very slightly and came to a stop in 58'23", for a pace of 11.7 minutes/mile. Whew.

Have to keep going. Have to keep going.


One advantage of being home during the day right now is that it's easier to eat smaller, more frequent meals. I was very hungry from my morning run and afternoon stretch/crunch session, so I ate five home-cooked meals today:

1. Oatmeal with soymilk and fruit
2. Tofu with corn and raisins
3. Chickpea-vegetable salad on whole-wheat toast
4. Garlic-potato-vegetable soup
5. Lentils and brown rice over lettuce and tomatoes

I also had three cups of tea (one regular, two decaf), a small glass of grapefruit juice, a cup of hot cocoa, and over two quarts of water. (I completely drained my Camelbak following the morning run.)

None of the food I ate today had a significant amount of fat, other than the tofu. I'm not worried that I'll gain weight eating this way. I have to get out of the "I'm fat" mindset, which was one of the issues bothering me this morning. I don't normally count calories, but I did calculate my basal metabolic rate today out of curiosity, and found that it would take about 2100 calories daily to maintain my current weight (135 lbs) at my current moderate level of activity. I burn about 100 calories a mile running alone, and I doubt I am eating even 2000 calories a day with foods like those above. (I did count calories for a week as a spot-check, so I do have some idea.)

Anyway, just some ramblings as I continue getting in shape. I'm caught up with the latest episodes of both the American and Australian versions of Biggest Loser, and am glad I'm doing things my own way instead of theirs...