Week in review: April 16-22, 2012

This week was supposed to be a higher volume week, but my weekend family obligations sort of derailed that.  And I’m ok with that.  Caitryn had a once-in-a-lifetime event (first communion), and we had 30+ people to the house for a celebration of that plus 3 other birthdays.  So a big deal.  I traded volume for making sure I didn’t screw that up.  And 12 hours of workout time for the week should be enough for me to make progress.  Expecting more might be a bit greedy.

Here are stats for the week:

  • Runs:  2 for 26 miles, just over 4 hours, including the most intense run I’ve done in 6 months
  • Rides:  3 for 143 miles, 8 hrs and 21 minutes
  • Strength:  1 session that I probably won’t be doing again (more on that later)

If I had figured out a way to get the runs in this weekend, it would have been a great week and exactly to plan.  But I’m not going to go nuts thinking about it.  I’m just going to continue on Monday, trying to make things work.

I probably should report something about my efforts to “stay in the moment.”

From the not-a-surprise department, it works!  I am having much more fun putting my kids to bed, especially Callista (the two-year-old).  She’s crazy like any two-year-old who is just starting to figure things out.  Soon she’ll be running the house.  I used to stress out during that 60+ minute routine of putting her to bed.  But I’ve discovered that it’s actually pleasant when I just focus on that instead of trying to get it over with so I can do whatever I had planned to do next.

But it is hard for me to always stay in the moment.  This week, it was especially true for work, where I’m currently doing some computer-based training that’s pretty boring.  I (re-)learned that when I’m bored, I eat.  I expected some bumps in the road to focus, and overall my focus was better this week than in the past.  So progress there.

Details are below.

Monday (April 17)

This ride eliminated any concerns about the effects of few days off every once in a while.  It was the strongest I’ve felt in a long time.  63 miles in about 3 hrs, 30 minutes.  And while I realize that training workouts should not completely be measured by performance (they’re more about trying to evoke a response from your body), it’s nice to see an improvement in performance every once in a while.

Tuesday (April 18)

Went exploring today in Teetertown nature preserve.  Several of my runs include the ravine part of the reserve, but there is so much more to it.  My recent fishing trips with the kids motivated me to explore more of the preserve, as it is really interesting.  There are a few different types of workout I can get in this place, including:

  • Flat to rolling runs over longer distances in open fields
  • Trails with medium degrees of technical difficulty and short to medium but steep hills
  • Gravel surfaces for longer hills with medium grade inclines:  something like 1+ miles on a ~6% incline
  • One extremely steep trail section (12-15%) that is a tenth of a mile or two

In short, this place will be great for a bunch of different kinds of workout over the next 4 months.  I have no idea why it took me so long (almost 5 years) to discover this place.  Maybe it’s the sign that said:  “Caution:  Hunting allowed from September through February.”  But since it’s now April I’m not so worried about that.

Total time was about 2 hours, 47 minutes.  I’ll call it 17 miles but I don’t have any idea how long it really was.  I kept the intensity at MAF level.

Afterwards I did a strength workout that I regretted until Saturday.  3 iterations of:

  • Jumprope:  60 both legs, 25 each one leg, 60 both legs
  • Step-ups:  30 each leg
  • Single-sided stone squats:  7 with the stone on each side (total of 14 per iteration)

As the picture below suggests, I have a million rocks on my property, of all shapes and sizes.  So I have a ton of choices.  And does anyone need any rocks?  The rock I chose is in the center of the picture below.

I have no idea of the weight of the rock I decided to use.  That should have been a red flag.  My legs were sore for the next 3 days.  I need to re-think the objective of strength training for me, now that I’m about 16 weeks out from Pikes Peak.  I don’t think I should be doing anything new or crazy with strength workouts.  As I discovered this week, it might not help that much and could really disrupt my other training.

Wednesday (April 19)

My legs were really feeling sore from the workouts yesterday, so I cut short my planned ride.  Went 35 miles in 2 hrs, 12 minutes.  Given how sore my legs were, I tried to focus on easy gearing and high cadence.  That helped for a while, but I really suffered in the second half of this workout.

Thursday (April 20)

My legs were still sore, but I was ready to get some intensity in today.  I think yesterday’s bike ride really helped with recovery.  Enough so that I could do something today.  I returned to a staple training workout for my 2010 Pikes Peak effort, but I modified it slightly.  The workout was 3x over and back one of the hills in Schooley’s Mountain park.  The degree of technical difficulty on this trail is much less than the one I’ve been running on Schooley’s.  Each “over and back” includes:

  • About .6 mile hard effort (mostly uphill, some downhill).  Each of these lasts about 5 minutes.
  • About .3 mile recovery (downhill).  Each of these lasts 2-3 minutes.

So with 3 “over and back” repeats, I got just over 3.5 miles (6 x .6) of hard running in about 30 minutes.

My aim for these is what Jack Daniels calls “VO2max intervals,” which should be 95-100% of your max HR.

HR average for each of these hard efforts was 166-168.  So they might not be at 95-100% of my max HR yet.

I also put in a bit of progression work on the run home from the park, with my HR increasing every 3-4 minutes over the course of 17 minutes.  I maxed out at 175 in the sprint down my street to finish my run.

My legs weren’t feeling great at any point during this workout, but I was pleased with the intensity I was able to achieve.  I need to be able to sustain it for longer though.  That’s a major focus for the next three months.  About 9 miles in just under 1 hour, 21 minutes.

Friday (April 21)

Back to riding today.  My legs were actually feeling better than expected this morning.  The soreness from those ill-advised stone squats was finally subsiding, and yesterday’s interval session caused less lingering pain than expected.  So I added some intensity to this.  Again trying to focus on high cadence, easier gearing.

45 miles in 2 hrs, 39 minutes.

Saturday (April 22)

For a brief moment, I considered trying to sneak in a workout early in the morning.  But I had stayed up late the previous night (preparing for the party), and I was tired, and I didn’t want to take any chances.  So I skipped it.

Sunday (April 23)

More family stuff mid-morning through mid-afternoon.  Callista is in that mode where she wants to skip her afternoon nap.  Given her late bedtime last night (and no nap, and a ton of activity), she absolutely needed one today.  So I decided to make it a team effort – I took an afternoon nap too.

I probably could have figured out a way to get something in today, but I was mentally 0ff with no interest in fitness.  Hoping this is just a passing wave of dis-interest.  Took a zero today on fitness.

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Week in Review: April 9-15, 2012

This was a different sort of week for me, a self-imposed rest week.  Or rest weekend.  After two straight high volume weeks, I decided to take a long weekend off.

It started with my decision to take a day off from running.  That felt good, so I decided to take two more off.  Those decisions were partly based on recognizing commitments and obligations beyond fitness and partly based on the need to simply disconnect from fitness.  I think that’s good every once in a while.  My performance had been slipping, so I’m hoping the rest will give me the opportunity to come back stronger.

I felt sluggish all week.  Not sure why, but one suspect is that I donated blood last Friday.  I don’t know how that affects fitness.  Perhaps it doesn’t affect fitness, but it temporarily affects performance.  How temporarily, I don’t know.

One other consideration – I am in process of transitioning to a higher volume approach to fitness.  More running, more riding.  In the past, I would run or ride only 5 days a week, and it was common for me to take 2 days (the weekend) off.  In that context, taking three days off really is not all that strange.

And I did actually manage to still get in a pretty good bit of volume, even in four days.

  • Runs:  2 for 30 miles, 4 hours 18 minutes
  • Rides:  2 for 80 miles, 5 hours
  • No strength work this week.  I will start to regret that if I don’t do it
  • Sleep:  Close to 7 hours average per night, almost 1 hour more than past weeks…so I did get some “rest”

9+ hours of workout time in a “down” week is nothing to sneeze at.

The other reason why I took the weekend off was a quick peek ahead in the calendar.

Looking ahead, I’ve got two fairly open weeks followed by a week of travel.  So the plan is to go big volume for the two upcoming weeks, making for two big volume (the past two), one down (this week), two more big volume (next two).

Oh, and I don’t feel pain in my right foot.  How about that.

Making my way through Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.  It’s been more difficult than I anticipated.

Details are below.

Monday (April 9)

I had planned a longer ride today, but things at work got a little tight.  So I opted for a shorter ride, which ended up a good thing.  Classic spring day in the form of a rough wind…to the tune of 25+ miles an hour.  I would not have enjoyed a longer bike ride.  Riding straight into the wind felt like I was on a trainer.  No forward motion.  It was interesting to see what happened as I came into open fields (there are lots of those around my house with all the farms)—my bike was almost knocked over.  I felt sluggish on this ride, like I could not find my form.  Not sure if it was the wind or why, but I felt off.  35 miles, 2 hrs, 11 minutes.  Really off from a performance standpoint.

Tuesday (April 10)

Another step towards increasing the intensity.  Just getting slowly back into it.  On the flat crushed gravel of the Columbia Trail, I did 8 x half mile, with a quarter mile recovery.  These felt awful.  Like I couldn’t get going.  Times reflected that, ranging from 3:30 per to 3:39 per.  Including warm-up and cool-down, the total was 12 miles in 1 hr, 40 minutes.

After this run I spent a lot of time thinking about what I really needed to perform well at Pikes Peak.  I’m going to elaborate on this in future posts, but I was happy (maybe delusional) to conclude that raw speed wasn’t super important.  I don’t have much of that right now.  In the future, it will be more important to develop strength and endurance than raw speed.  So if I can only run an 8 minute mile now, it’s OK because when I run up the hill I will be running much slower than that.  More on this in the future.

Wednesday (April 11)

Back into the rocky trail at Schooley’s Mountain Park.  I almost feel like my training mantra should be “hills and trails never fails.”  When in doubt, I should just run a hill or a trail.  Hills for the strength, trails for the technical skills.  I really need to just plan for hills and trails each week.

Four loops on the 3.5 mile trail, MAF intensity.  Felt sluggish again, but at least this time I did not fall.  I did roll my right foot/ankle though.  Not sure if this was the pain I felt on Thursday.  18 miles, 2 hrs, 38 minutes (3 minutes slower than the same route last week).  Average HR 144.  The positive out of this run was that I did four loops, two in each direction.  For each pair of loops, the second was as fast as the first.  I hope that’s a positive…I need something positive.

Thursday (April 12)

Riding again today.  Thankfully, less wind.  45 miles, 2 hours 50 minutes.  Again, super slow compared to what I’ve been doing.  Just not feeling strong like past weeks.  It was a beautiful day and the ride was good for the soul.

Another positive about this ride—I have a real reason for wanting to get into the neighborhood of 3 hours for a bike ride.  I’m anticipating that 3 hours is about how long it will take me to run up Pikes Peak.  So any time I can get 3 hours of workout in, I feel like I’m approaching what I might do on Pikes Peak.  I believe this will help me build enough aerobic fitness to feel like 3 hours is not such a big deal.

Friday (April 13)

No workout today, as I described in this post.

So what did we do?  I took the two girls out Friday afternoon for an awesome day…we

  • Watched softball
  • Hiked through the woods to retrieve softballs
  • Invented some sort of game in the bleachers of the football field
  • Walked around a bit and watched some baseball

No question, the girls got more exercise than if Caitryn had been running track.  And they had more fun too.

Saturday (April 14)

Another family commitment for mid-morning.  I could have woken up early to get out for a couple hours riding, but I decided against it.  Just wanting a rest.

Instead, we went fishing.  Three or four fish (blue gills) in 3-4 hours of time, probably 2 hours of fishing.  If they keep wanting to go, I’ll keep taking them.

After we got home from fishing, I tried to burn a bunch of wood in the outside fire pit but stopped.  Too dangerous with dry conditions and a pretty stiff wind.

Dinner outside on the back porch tonight.  Need to do more of that.  It was nice.

Sunday (April 15)

Day off.  Spent the day with the girls and just reading.  Needing a mental break.


When to not run

Recently I’ve started to ramp my weekly mileage up.  The past two weeks I was in the 65+ mile range.

My personal history suggests that 65+ miles per week is about when I start to risk injury, so I’ve been paying more attention than usual to how I feel.

Sure enough, on Thursday morning (the morning after an 18 mile trail run), I woke up with a bit of pain in my right foot.  The pain wasn’t too severe, but I have been conservative.  I rode my bike Thursday morning, which didn’t seem to affect the pain at all.

Friday morning – it hasn’t gone away.  I scrapped my planned run.  At this point, it isn’t worth risking more injury just to get another run in.

I’ll ride on Saturday, then take another checkpoint on Sunday.

I’m not willing to risk another injury just to get a run in.  Perhaps I’m starting to learn something?

=====

On another note related to not running, my 7-year-old Caitryn (figured it was time to start using her name) decided to quit the track team this week.  After speaking with my wife and I, she concluded that she didn’t really like being on the team.

My wife and I actually initiated the question of whether she really wanted to be on the team.

For the past 3 track practices, Caitryn had experienced ‘injuries’ that kept her from running.  The most recent ‘injury’ was the strangest – it struck right before we left for practice.  At practice she could only walk the warmup and do the running drills.  Nothing else.  The injury (miraculously) healed in the car on the way home, to the point where she was excited to run up our driveway, a 30-40 foot elevation gain over a tenth of a mile (not trivial).

It had become pretty clear that she just didn’t want to be on the team.  She also recently decided not to play soccer this fall.

That’s perfectly fine with me.  Track, and actually any organized sport these days, just isn’t for her right now.  And I don’t want to force her into something and cause her to end up hating it.  We did wrestle with the concept of quitting vs. making a commitment.  We wanted to make sure that Caitryn understood what it means to make a commitment and keep it.  But in the end, the concern over Caitryn hating running was too high – we decided to teach her the commitment lesson another way.

Also, it is still important for her to be healthy, fit and strong.

So instead of track team, we’re going to have some fun.  We’re going to do more play…things like playgrounds, bike riding, walking/hiking, maybe even a trampoline in the back yard.

As a parent, it’s easier for me to schlep my kid to a 2-3 hour track practice twice a week than it is to take an active role in her daily activities.  Sometimes I think organized sports is more useful for me as a parent than it is for my kid.  And I’ve been a coach as well as a parent.

Well, we’re trying something different now.  Now we’re spreading the 5 hours per week we would ordinarily spend at track practice over the course of a week.  Maybe adding more hours.  And taking a more active role in getting out with the kids and having fun.

Today we’re going to a high school softball game that is located in the same place as the track meet that Caitryn would have run if she were still on the team.  Ironic.

I’m really looking forward to it, more than if she were running in the meet.


Week in review: March 19-26, 2012

Last week was up and down…a bit frustrating.

First, the moment of the week…my 7-year-old caught her first fish ever.  From what we can gather, it’s a sunnie/blue gill.  Caught in a pond that was about 5 minutes driving from our house.

I’ve never really fished.  I only got into fishing recently when my daughter expressed an interest in it.  My philosophy on parenting includes the idea that you expose your kids to as much as possible when they’re young, then you let them gravitate towards areas of interest, then you support them.  Well, my little one was interested in fishing.  So she got a fishing rod as a birthday present from her uncle, and off we went fishing.  We went once last year, and this was the first attempt this year.  It’s not easy for me–I’m terrible with the hooks, I get grossed out by putting the worm on the hook and I really don’t like taking the fish off there.  But she was thrilled.  So we are eagerly anticipating the start of fishing season on April 7th.  Our area is perfect for fishing–there are a million places to go all within close proximity.  So, fishing it is.

Fitness wise it was another frustrating week.  At the start of the week, I was just getting over being sick.  Mid-week was better, but by Friday I was back feeling sick.  Same stuff–chills, feeling like I got hit by a truck, fatigue, coughing, the whole nine yards.  Although I feel better today, I’m going to the doctor.  I’ve got to get this figured out.

All tolled, I got in:

  • 3 runs for a measley 17 miles, in just under 2 hrs, 45 minutes
  • 2 rides for 90 miles, 5 hrs 38 minutes

I feel like I’m taking two steps backward for every step forward.  Between the foot injury and the sickness, I’m not able to get into any kind of groove.  Pikes peak is 143 days from today, and if I don’t get into a groove soon I’ll have to start re-thinking my goals. 

I’m itching to run today, but I don’t want to push it.  I’d rather take an extra day off to make sure I close out this sickness.  Today is hopefully one final day off with a trip to the doctor.  Then I can get cranked up again tomorrow.

Gory details are below…

Monday (March 19)

Still unsure whether I was fully recovered from the weekend’s sickness, and having an early start for work this morning, I decided to try a short but hard strength workout.  I aimed mostly at the upper body, since I hoped to get a run in later in the day (once I arrived at my destination).  Came up with this:  squat thrusts (10 reps), 10 minutes of wood splitting, chin-ups (overhand and underhand).  All of these were done as intensely as possible.  Just over 20 minutes of this (two sets) left me breathing heavy and sweating like mad.  And I only did about 10 chinups total (including both sets overhand and underhand).  Wow is that weak.

In Philadelphia this week.  Back to my home town.

As the day ended, I had a decision to make:  attempt a quick workout or get to bed early and go a bit longer tomorrow morning.  I elected to get to bed early.  If the fitness center in my hotel had a step machine, I might have thought differently.  But no go.

Good start to the week of eating:

  • 7 am:  yogurt with protein powder, banana, orange
  • 1 pm:  small caesar salad with grilled chicken, apple
  • 9 pm:  salad (spinach, broccoli, peppers, onion, snap peas), sardines

I felt good about this eating day.  I could have easily caved at lunch and dinner, and also in the hotel where there were awesome-looking Philly soft pretzels freely available.  One of my favorite things!  For dinner, I decided to forgo the company dinner (and the handful of soft pretzels) for a trip to the grocery store.  I love it when there is a fridge in the hotel room…I was able to buy breakfast for the next couple days as well.

Tuesday (March 20)

Today I learned something about hotels and fitness centers.  After an hour on the treadmill, the thing basically just stopped.  I guess they limit the time people have on the hotel treadmill to make sure nobody abuses it while other guests wait.  Still pretty weak.  I could have just jumped on another treadmill (or restarted mine), but it was getting close to when I had to leave anyway.  Being new at work, I didn’t want to be late for a client meeting, so I elected to stop there instead of getting another 10-15 minutes in.  Total in the morning:  Just over 5 miles, including 4 miles at grades 7-9%.  HR average 143

In the afternoon, we got lost on the way from our client meeting to the hotel, which ate up about 20 minutes of time I would have spent on a second run.  Ended up still going out, only for about 35 minutes.  Just over 4 miles.  My heart rate monitor wasn’t cooperating, so I ended up just running.  It was probably harder than I should have been running, but it wasn’t super-hard.  I did manage to hold back from what I wanted to do–given the frustrations of the treadmill then getting lost, I really wanted to run all out for a set of intervals.  But I was worried about the potential for injury, so I just took it relatively easy.

Total on the day was about 10 miles and about 1 hr, 35 minutes.  Some good treadmill incline in there.

Eating was good until I went off the rails late in the day.

  • 6 am:   greek yogurt, kiwi, grapefruit
  • 3 pm:  salad with chicken, and veggies
  • 5 pm:  protein bar
  • 9 pm:   lots of bread, rack of ribs, french fries, a few chicken wings
  • 11 pm:  2 cookies

Wednesday (March 21)

These early meetings are hard on the fitness schedule.  Today was “getaway” day from the hotel, so I did a strength workout.  The strength workout is coming together.  I’ll probably stick with something like this for the time being.  The workout looked like this:

  • Warmup (Lunge Matrix, Myrtl)
  • Fast Abs core workout
  • Body weight legs (jumprope, step-ups, squats)
  • Cooldown (cannonball)

Eating:

  • 6 am:  salad (spinach, broccoli, peppers, onions)
  • 8 am:  greek yogurt, blueberries
  • 1 pm:  sardines, blueberries, kiwi
  • 6 pm:  steak, green beans, broccoli, soda, some bread
  • 10 pm:  M&Ms, chocolate chips, cookies, sugar cereal, peanuts

Thursday (March 22)

Doulble workout today!

am:  Riding 36 miles.  This felt awkward at first, probably because I haven’t ridden in a while.  The awkwardness went away as the ride went on, and I got stronger as time went by.  I was disappointed when this ended.  2 hrs, 11 minutes

pm:  Run 7 miles.  Tried a trail that’s close to my house and my gym–Round Valley Reservoir.  It was really convenient to be able to use the gym’s facilities to change before and shower / change after the run.  The trail was great.  I will definitely be back to this trail.  Although I might wait to hear the outcome of this first.

I didn’t feel great, and I didn’t push it.  1 hr, 5 minutes HR average 144

  • 10 am:  leftover chicken, cabbage, cauliflower, peppers (think this was supposed to be heated up, but I had to take it in the car cold), leftover roasted veggies (zucchini, onion, cauliflower, tomato)
  • 1 pm:  yogurt with protein powder, banana, orange
  • 6 pm:  peanuts, pollock, roasted veggies (zucchini, onion, cauliflower, tomato), salad, asparagus
  • 8 pm:  M&Ms, sugar cereal, ice cream, chocolate chips, 4 powerbar recovery bars

Friday (March 23)

Woke up with a lot of stiffness and soreness, especially in my calves.  Wondering if I was suffering from some sort of delayed onset soreness from that body weight workout I did on Wednesday.   Decided to go for a bike ride, which ended up being great.  54 miles, on a route that I haven’t done in a while.  I started out feeling great, but ended up feeling really bad.  The last hour felt like it was 100% into the wind.  Not sure if it’s loss of endurance (I haven’t been out for this long in a while) or something else.

  • noon:  yogurt with protein powder, banana, orange
  • 2-4 pm:  6 or 8 powerbar recovery bars (lost track), handfuls of peanuts, sugar cereal
  • 7 pm:  Eggs, grapefruit

Feeling sick again.  Chills, fatigue, aches, coughing, congestion.  Perhaps the stiffness and soreness I woke up with was actually this damn “cold?”

Saturday (March 24)

Woke up feeling like crap.  Day off.  Towards the end of the day, I felt good enough to go outside and try splitting wood for a few minutes.  Not the greatest idea.  By evening I was not interested in anything but sleep.

  • 8 am:  Yogurt with protein powder, banana,  orange
  • 2 pm:  4 powerbar recovery bars, handful of nuts

Sunday (March 25)

Still feeling like crap.  Another day off.

  • 9 am:  4 egg veggie omelet (onion, garlic, peppers, tomatoes), orange, leftover roasted veggies (zucchini, cauliflower, tomato, onion)
  • noon:  smoothie (frozen banana, carrots, blackberries, strawberries, cherries, yogurt, OJ, lime juice), popcorn, nuts, sugar cereal, M&Ms, cookies
  • 6 pm:  leftover roast turkey, salad (asparagus, tomato, onion), salad (romaine, tomatoes)
  • 7 pm:  ice cream, cookies

Crayola Factory and National Canal Museum

No workout today…awoke with some thoughts of getting out super-early but decided to get some more sleep.  Had a long day ahead.

Spent most of the day with the girls at the Crayola Factory and the National Canal Museum in Easton, PA.  Strange combination to be in the same building.  It’s a great day trip, only about 30 miles driving each way.

The kids love the stuff at Crayola, but we spent even more time today at the Canal Museum.  They’ve got some very good hands-on activities in there and some good stuff for learning.

But it was a long day; napped hard when I got home.


Brain and Body Journal—October 10, 2011

I think I’ve written about this before…I’ve been trying to give up 5 Cs—candy, cake (including brownies), ice cream, cookies, sugar cereal.  Beyond just giving up the 5 Cs, I’ve been trying to move to a Paleo style diet.  I’m trying to lose the grains, dairy and processed foods, replacing it with fish, more fruit/vegetables and lean meats.  It’s been extremely difficult.  The longest I’ve gone is 4 days before I’ve relapsed into my old eating habits.  Typically I have 1 good day followed by 5 bad days.

A lot of people write online for accountability.  The logic is that you make it more difficult to go off track if you publicly declare your intentions and write about your actions.  Social motivation.

I’m not writing this journal for accountability.  I’m viewing accountability as more of a side effect benefit.

For me, this is just about documenting the experience.  The last few months I’ve become fascinated with human behavior and psychology.  I’ve lost a job, tried a few different careers, ran tons of miles and eaten bags of chocolate chips and gallons of ice cream.  Figuring out what makes people do what they do is extremely interesting to me.  And if I could unlock the secrets to my own behavior, I’d be much better for it.  So that’s what this is all about.  I’m trying to figure out what makes me do what I do.

I hope it is interesting and enjoyable.  I wonder if it will resonate with anyone.

6:32 am
Wake to the sound of my 2-year-old daughter rattling the gate that occupies her bedroom doorway.  We confine her to her room at night so she doesn’t wander too much and get hurt.

Hit “Wakeup” on my sleep log iPad app.  It registers 9.48 hours of sleep last night.  I don’t need to get up early, so I’ve been sleeping until I wake up.  It’s been a good way to get a decent amount of sleep, even when I stay up late.  Recently I’ve stayed up late watching baseball.  Without baseball, I went to bed last night at 9 pm after three straight post-midnight bedtimes.

Wow, I got a lot of sleep last night.  Why am I still feeling tired?  I know I’ve lacked sufficient sleep for years now, but 9+ hours is a lot of sleep.  Perhaps I’ll feel better once I start moving around.

7:25 am
Take the dog out to get him some exercise in the back yard.  If Quincy doesn’t run hard a couple times a day, his natural energy makes him difficult in the house.  Already thinking about sugar.  Have a 10 am meeting with someone who is helping me figure out my job/career situation.

What should I eat for breakfast?  I may not have time to sit down for breakfast, so I’ll need to bring something with me.  How about a protein bar?  I need protein.  Protein bars have a lot of sugar though.  Yes, but this bar specifically is low glycemic (at least that’s what the wrapper says).  On the other hand, whenever I eat this protein bar I usually get sugar cravings.  Or is it that I always get sugar cravings, no matter what I eat?

8:45 am
As I get into the shower, I’m thinking of a big challenge for me with my 10 am meeting.

The route to/from my morning meeting takes me past a great ice cream store.  Should I just stop in for some ice cream?  If I’m going to give up the 5 Cs, I might as well have ice cream as my last sugar experience.  Yeah, that sounds good.  I’ll have the protein bar on the way to the meeting and some ice cream on the way home.

That doesn’t make any sense though.  Why wouldn’t I just give up the 5 Cs starting today, not tomorrow?  If I say that I’m giving up the 5 Cs tomorrow, it opens me up to having more crap food this afternoon.  It’s a short step from “just a little ice cream” to “if I’m giving up the 5 Cs, I might as well make my last day a really crazy cheat day.”

11 am
Leaving my job/career meeting.  I brought the protein bar but still haven’t eaten it.

Can I make it home without eating the protein bar?  I’m not very hungry right now.  I’ll have a lot more good, healthy options if I can get home without eating.  That’s the plan.  Drive home without eating the protein bar, then have a good lunch.

I plan to stop on the way home to pick up some free firewood that my wife saw yesterday.  With the winter coming, I can never have enough firewood (especially if it’s free).

12:30 pm
Made it home with no firewood and no ice cream.  I stopped for firewood but it was pine (not good in the wood stove); I didn’t stop for ice cream.

Hungry for lunch.  I’m trying to implement Paleo style eating, so the great peanut butter debate begins.

I need to get rid of those cut veggies in the fridge before they spoil.  I’d really like to have some carrots with salsa and celery with peanut butter today.  But peanut butter is not on the Paleo menu.  Forget it, I’m having some peanut butter.  The 5 Cs is enough to give up in one stretch.  If I eat some peanut butter, so be it.  It’s better than trying to avoid it and end up eating junk food.  Once I’m over the 5 Cs, I can tackle peanut butter.

Lunch was carrots with salsa, celery with peanut butter and a tasty white bean-free chili.  Instead of beans it had lots of veggies including eggplant and cauliflower.

1:25 pm
Feeling good mentally and emotionally.  Had a good lunch, resisted the 5 Cs even though I’ve been thinking about them for most of the day.  Checking email for the first time today.

Feeling…very…sleepy.

Not exactly sure why I’d be sleepy right now considering the day I’ve had.  But it’s a recurring problem.  Ordinarily I’d try to power through this sleepiness, but I’ll try something different today.  Dropping into my favorite Morris chair for a nap.

3:00 pm
Nap over.  Grab some raisins, cantaloupe and orange slices as I’m hungry.

Just one handful of chocolate chips would be really nice right about now.

5:00 pm
Spent most of the last 2 hours away from the kitchen, either outside with the dog or upstairs playing with the 2-year-old.  Dinner is approaching.  I whip up a quick salad and start roasting the brussels sprouts.

Need something to snack on.  Something outside the 5 Cs…yet tasty and interesting…settle on pistachios and more celery/carrots with peanut butter.

7:00 pm
Dinner over.  I’m trying to drink more green tea…it’s apparently healthy.  I enjoyed it much more when I added sweetener and honey.  It’s a bit more difficult to handle plain.  The only thing left today is after-dinner cleanup and getting ready for bed.  Oh, and finishing my blog post.

Get out of this kitchen asap!  Chocolate is calling.

Reading with the girls is one of my favorite activities.

8:24 pm
Not too much longer now.  Just finish the post and get to bed without opening the pantry door…