Monday, March 28, 2011

Fast food eating - volume 1

Occasionally, it is unavoidable with a three year old at home, and a hectic work schedule, to not eat fast food. Over the years, I've narrowed my intake down to a select few restaurants where I can get something mildly healthy for myself, while still satisfying my daughters craving for chicken nuggets. Training right now is rather boring due to last weeks snow and ice and now frigid temperatures, so it seems like a good time to talk about eating better and making good choices. From time to time, I will randomly insert some posts like these when things are slow.


I think everyone is effected by the general garbage out out by McD's. As a general rule, I've tried to stay away from this joint since I've had my epiphany (except on father's day when I allow my wife to indulge me with steak and egg bagels). That is until I discovered the Southwest Grilled Chicken Salad. I've always disliked salads from fast food outlets because you always have to douse them with salad dressing to help choke down the questionable greenery, but this little gem is great without any dressing. Here are some of the particulars:

Calories - 320
Fat - 9g
Sat Fat - 3g
Trans Fat - 0g
Dietary Fiber - 6g

It consists of grilled chicken breast, mixed greens, tomatoes, corn, black beans, poblano peppers, shredded cheddar-jack cheese, chili-lime tortilla strips, and a lime wedge on the side (squeeze the lime over the salad, not salad dressing - good stuff).

I'm not recommending that you drop your usual meal to head over to your local McD's and grab one of these salads, but inevitably, you will find yourself at McD's sometime in the future. When you do, keep this salad in mind for a pretty healthy alternative.



Friday, March 25, 2011

Deep Tissue Massage

I had my first real deep tissue massage last night. WOW! I am sore. That little lady really packs a punch. Usually most people are satisfied to just beat me for free, but I actually paid her to do it. She said that my back is actually starting to get pretty messed up. After all of these years of slouching (I am 6'-3" well may be 6'-4" if I stand up straight) was causing damage to not only my upper back muscles, but my pectoral muscles as well. Oh and my scapula are beginning to separate. That was the diagnosis.

The prescription - STAND UP STRAIGHT. She also went over some good stretching for my back and pecs. I also feel I need to start yoga sooner than later. So now hopefully I can still correct this situation. She also stated that better posture is going to make me a better athlete, and that's what I'm striving for.

This is the first time I've gone to this gal for my theraputic massage needs, and I'm glad I did. To have her tell me these things I think will really make a difference. The lesson learned here is if you haven't had a deep tissue massage, get one. It'll hurt like a mother whilst you're getting it done, but the benefits far out weigh the temporary discomfort.



Thursday, March 24, 2011

Back to the stationary for you!

After a glorious week, weather wise, where I was actually able to get the bike out and get in a couple rides, it's back to the stationary bike for me after a nice winter storm blew through over the last two days dumping mostly ice on my neck of the woods. Now the temps are back down to highs in the low 30's. Sure gets frustrating this time of year, especially after I put up two rides of 14 MPH average speeds or better (in relatively stiff winds) after not having been on a bike in four months. Oh well, winter has to end sometime right?

Seeing as the next event for me is a cycling event, my training has switched up for at least the next month and a half. Will be doing 6 days a week now with two days focusing on distance cycling, one day on speed cycling, and the other three just keeping myself in running shape (this will consist of alternating distance and interval training).

Going in tonight for my first "rub down" of the season. Looking forward to getting this pesky IT band worked on for a bit. Business is about to pick up.



Monday, March 21, 2011

FDLRC Legal Runaround Race report

, It was a beautiful "almost spring" morning as 250 or so runners and walkers gathered at Marian University in Fond du Lac, WI for the annual 5K run to benefit the FDL police K9 unit. I had eaten my "breakfast blend" approximately 2.5 hrs before race time. 45 minutes prior to start, I took my first GU energy gel. I had a bottle of water, and then 15 minutes prior to the start had another GU energy gel.

8:58 AM - Racers to the starting line, go over course layout and finish line "need to knows".

9:00 AM - Racers ready? GO!

I started out pretty strong, but not too strong. At about mile 1, I began to pass people I didn't have any business passing (no body was passing me). At about mile 1.75, a young lady passed me. I used her to pace myself. At about mile 2.25, I passed her. No on else passed me after that.

When I got within spectator distance of the finish line, I could hear people cheering on runners behind me. Then I heard the foot steps. That was all I needed to kick it up to about 10 MPH and finish hard. I crossed the finish line at 24 minutes 2 seconds. This brought my mile pace to 7:42, 18 seconds less than my pace for the last race.

Now the switch occurs. Next event is on two wheels, not two feet. Time to change up the training a little. Started with a nice 13 mile ride yesterday before the rain set in. More to come on cycling training.

On a sad note, the very division of the Fond du Lac police department that we ran to support on Saturday morning, suffered a great loss on Sunday morning. Officer Craig Birkholz of the FDL police was shot and killed yesterday morning in a standoff with a real piece or garbage that took the cowardly way out and shot himself before he could be brought to justice. Before he took himself out though he also shot Officer Ryan Williams of the K9 unit as well as his dog Grendel. Officer Williams required surgery and is expected to recover. Officer Williams was also our MC for the race this past Saturday. Hits pretty close to home when a guy that you were talking with one morning, almost dies the next morning. Puts things in real perspective.

RIP Officer Craig Birkholz

Speedy recovery Office Ryan Williams



Thursday, March 17, 2011

Pre-Race Prep Day #5

Last day of workouts before my race on Saturday. Got a nice 5 mile run in with 49 degree temps @ 3 am this morning! A little off my pace, but I was shooting for endurance on this run. I think endurance is on board, now I just pray that speed decides to come along for the ride. Tomorrow will be a rest day for me, so I probably won't have a lot to post about.

As far as fuel goes, I had my new favorite "breakfast blend" as I like to refer to it this morning. The recipe doesn't get much easier:

1/2 cup of Strawberry Special K
1/2 cup of Fiber One
1/2 Banana (sliced)
1/2 cup fat free milk

I'll start the "carbo overload" tonight. I like to do my heavy carb intake two nights before a race, and then a little lighter on them the night before. And of course a light breakfast on race day, usually fruit. Nothing to eat for me at least 1 hour before racing, but I will be fueled once again by GU (45 and 15 minutes prior to).

My next post will probably be a race report on Saturday or Sunday. Everyone have a great weekend and good luck if anyone else is racing this weekend.



Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Pre-Race Prep Day #4

Sorry I missed a post for day #3, but it was a rest day any way, nothing to really report.

Got a good 5k in this morning. Man, the weather is just starting to get so much better here in Wisconsin! Hopefully spring has indeed sprung. Today starts day 1 of no caffeine until after the race. These no caffeine days have been a point of contention for me in the past (crabby and headaches). I have tapered my caffeine intake to one 16oz. cup of coffee every day and that's it. I've switched to decaf tea and anything else I drink is caffeine free. Hopefully that will help with my mood on caf-dep (caffeine deprivation) days.

On another note, I was speaking with my eye doctor on Monday evening (I did have an appointment. I'm some crazy dude that just calls his eye doctor to talk about life - although we do have a lot in common), and he was telling me about this detox program he was going to be starting. Not for drugs or alcohol, but for food. I was all about getting off of all the processed foods that we have become accustomed too in this society, and getting on all natural, healthy foods to better your body, become stronger, and live longer. The company he was going through for this program is Standard Process . They are a supplement company among other things, but I find their theories to be, at least, interesting. I think I may look into this a little more, and would be interested in any feedback, thoughts, or experience that any one else has had with similar diets.



Monday, March 14, 2011

Pre-race prep week Day #2

Had another good run this morning. 23 degrees out but no wind made for a pretty comfortable jaunt. Went for distance today and not speed. Got a nice 4.06 miles in. The giant chicken enchiladas went over good with the whole family last night and I'll be eating them for lunch for the next three days too.

Typically during a race prep week, this would be day 2 of higher protein diet. I would probably go with something like baked beans with turkey dogs, whole wheat bread and a fruit (probably pears) for supper. But seeing as this is only a 5k race, I don't want to get too "heavy" with the fuel foods. I'll probably just go with a rice and ground turkey casserole for tonight.

Taking a rest day tomorrow but back at it again on Wednesday. The weather is supposed to be great all week and on race day. Has spring finally sprung?



Sunday, March 13, 2011

Pre-race prep week day 1

It's time once again for my pre-race prep week. I haven't had this blog up long enough to post my superstitious and ritualistic pre-race routine yet so let this be the first one. I welcome any comments or ideas to expound upon my training.

Had a nice 5k in this morning (the distance of next Saturday's race). Didn't go all out so as not to inevitably pull something if I did. Pre-race diet starts this week as well I like to do 3 day of high protein foods followed by 3 days of high carb foods. Seeing as this is not going to be a high endurance race (I'll get into those deeper into the season), I'm not going to go gonzo on this, but I am going to try to stick to it for ritual purposes.

Tonight will be my famous "Chicken Enchiladas the Size of your Head". Ok. they're not really the size of your head, but they are big enough the one is pretty much all you need. Obviously, they contain copious amounts of chicken, but I also like to throw in some black beans for that extra kick of protein. The great thing about these is that my recipe makes for 8 of them, so with a family consisting of me, my wife and a 3 year old, I have enough left over to have for lunch on my high protein days as well.

Until tomorrow my friends,



Thursday, March 10, 2011

Things are looking up!

After a quick spring snow storm blew through yesterday (3-5 inches which has since pretty much completely melted), the weather for the Legal Run Around 5K on the March 19th has gotten to be much more positive. Just a couple of days ago the weather was supposed to be in the middle 30's with snow & rain. As of today the forecast is 48 degrees and partly sunny. Woohoo! I realize that this could change drastically in over a week, but the point is that this gives me hope for spring above anything else. And with spring comes a rebirth of the "training bug" and much more bearable workouts.

On a completely different note, does anyone else find Charlie Sheen to be mildly humorous?



Tuesday, March 8, 2011

2011 Goals

Those of you that have read my other blog have already seen my posted goals for 2011. Since I've started this blog though, I realize I should probably post them here as well.

For 2011, my goals are as follows.
  • Ride 1500 miles
  • Run 500 miles
  • Complete 2500 total fitness miles
  • Ride my first century
  • Compete in more than 1 organized ride
  • Compete in more than 1 running event
  • Go for more 10k or longer runs
  • Slim down to 175 pounds
I realize some of these goals look pretty small compared to some other peoples goals, but I need to keep in mind that only 3-4 years ago my fitness was a big ole goose egg - "0".

Took a rest day today, but will get back at it again tomorrow. I've been thinking a lot about Kovas' comment from yesterday's post, and I realize it's time to start integrating my workouts (this goes for cycling too) to make myself a better athlete. Thanks for the little push Kovas. Sometimes that's all a guy needs.



Monday, March 7, 2011

This 5k's gone to the dogs

I am officially registered for my next race. 5k to benefit my local police department K9 unit. At first I was a little apprehensive. Not because I don't think I can run a competitive time, but because I think the K9 unit may make me nervous. What if the dogs are there (you know they probably will be for promotional reasons)? What if the smell my nervousness? What if they miscontrue my scent and try to attack me? What if they smell the GU or Clif blocks or Gatorade Prime on me and blow the whistle on my performance enhancement? "Honestly officer, I didn't know it was a banned substance!"

Oh, the possibilities are endless, but more than likely, I will go run my 5k, have some free food, grab my free t-shirt, and go home.

I noticed on my run this morning that I'm staring to slow down. Maybe it's just running 4 days in a row catching up with me. I certainly hope so. If anyone has any "go faster training tips" feel free to post. 'Till next time.



Friday, March 4, 2011

What kind of cyclist are you?

I'm in the middle of reading Bike Snob NYC's book, aptly entitled "Bike Snob". Last night I finished the chapter on different types of cyclists. I found all of his "tribes" of cyclists to not only be humorous, but frighteningly true.

I also found myself trying to classify where I fit into these tribes. After closely studying all the classifications, I finally settled on being labeled as a "Lone Wolf". I usually ride alone (but I do show up to charity rides), I don't fall into any kind of fashion or social stigma or stereotype, I get along with generally every other cycling classification, and I probably don't always use the right equipment for the job.

The line that actually had me laughing out loud was in regards to "Contraption Captains" (or recumbent riders). What had me laughing was what a conventional riders reaction is to seeing a recumbent. And I quote (I'm probably breaking some kind of copyright law here, but I am giving credit to Bike Snob for this so I should be okay), "Cyclists all notice one another, so when we see something that looks somewhat like a bicycle yet places the rider in an odd position with his feet kicking at the air as if he's defending himself from an attacking eagle, we become confused and disoriented." Please recumbent riders, I'm not laughing at you, just at some cyclists reactions to you (this is at you Big Cat, you know I love you brother).

At any rate, check out Bike Snob's book and see if you can classify yourself.



Thursday, March 3, 2011

How cold is too cold?

At the beginning of the last race I did, I was talking briefly with an older gentleman in a chicken mask. This was not a one of those rubber chicken masks, it was actually fabric mask that completely covered his head except for his chin. I felt that it was okay to talk with him because I believe that anyone wearing a mask like this in public is asking for a conversation. If not a conversation WITH him, than at least a conversation ABOUT him.

I chose to talk with him instead of about him. So I says to the chicken-man, "I'll bet that thing is at least warm." He then proceeded to tell me why he wears this silly thing. It is indeed warm. He makes sure he keeps his bear skin covered with warm things now because he learned the hard way. At some point in his life, he had ran a race in which the air temperature was -12 degrees F (not including the wind chills). At the end of the race, he proceeded to remove the face mask he was wearing. In doing so he also removed some skin. Now that's bad frostbite.

So now I wonder this time of year, how cold is too cold to run outside? This morning was a balmy 9 degrees F (without wind chills). I don't think I've run in temperatures that cold before, but I didn't feel like taking the chance. I got on my indoor bike and spun for 50 minutes. Does anyone else have a temperature limit that they absolutely will not expose themselves too or am I just a "sally"?



Wednesday, March 2, 2011

We suffer from the same affliction...

So the other day I tweaked my back a good one. Had pain most of Monday, yesterday was a little better, but today it's starting to twinge a little again. I guy I work with swears by this Absorbine Liniment Gel. "Sounds good, let me use a little man". Only kinda weird thing is it's Veterinary liniment gel meant for horses. Oh well, what else have I got to use? It's all natural. Doesn't say "not for human use". Alright, I'll try it.

I will never buy another tube of Ben-Gay or Icy Hot again! Absorbine veterinary liniment gel (which i affectionately refer to as "horse cream") is where it's at. I'm not even kidding, next time you pull or strain something, try it, you'll like it.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Mandatory Weigh In - March Edition

Had my mandatory (self imposed) weigh in this morning after my run.

(Insert drum roll here)

201 lbs. Down 5 from the 1st of February. I realize these aren't "Biggest Loser" numbers here, but with that weigh in, my BMI goes to 25. What this means for me is that for the first time in over 20 years, I'm not considered over weight. My weight right now is considered "desirable".

Now the key is to not revert. Stay the course. Push forward. I think I've gotten this far due to my self discipline and perseverance, but the key will definately be to continue to not go over board on food. It took me three years to find the right combination to loose the weight, I hope it doesn't take another three to find the code to maintain the weight.