Friday, November 30, 2012

Fly Day!

Yesterday was Thursday, so no running. Except out of a half staffed security checkpoint to catch a flight.

I’m working on a hypothesis that the number of DHS officers staffing a security checkpoint is inversely proportional to the number of people flying. My observations yesterday – on my way from Sacto to OC, there were long lines, but only half the x-ray stations were running. When I landed in OC, there were 10 DHS officers at an empty checkpoint. Hmm. I smell a PhD dissertation.

Calorie budget:

  • Goal: 1780 calories
  • Food: 1960 calories
  • Exercise: 0
  • Too few/(too many): (180)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Rain Check?

After all, it is raining outside.

But seriously, the UC (University of California) admission deadline is coming up this Friday. I still have one kid who is finishing up his undergraduate education, so we spent tonight working on finishing up his application. He had finished most of it, but it never hurts to have a second set of eyes review everything. The good news is that he submitted two days ahead of the deadline. The bad news is he just submitted, and it’s 11:30PM Wednesday night. Needless to say, the treadmill will be lonely tonight.

Calorie budget:

  • Goal: 1730 calories
  • Food: 1775 calories
  • Exercise: 0 calories
  • Too few/(Too many): (45) calories

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Both Words Start with a “C”

It’s 10:55. PM. Just got out of the shower after three miles on the hotel treadmill. Both words that describe this begin with  “C”.  Committed. Crazy. I’m trying to determine which is the right one….

Calorie budget:

  • Goal: 1780

  • Consumed: 1675

  • Exercise Adjustment: 439 (3 miles)

  • Net calories: 1236

  • Too few/(too many): 544

Monday, November 26, 2012

Calories In < Calories Out

That’s the secret. Nothing else really matters. As long as we are able to satisfy this inequality, the weight should go down. I’ve been trying to do this for the past few weeks, and unfortunately, the weight is not shedding. This means one of two things:

(1) I an underestimating my intake or

(2) I need to adjust my target

Over the weekend, I visited the blog of one of the people who got me into the whole physical fitness thing a few years back. Xeno Muller is an Olympic medalist in the sport of rowing, winning Silver in 2000 and Gold in 1996 in the single scull. His website is a wealth of knowledge from someone who lived this stuff while training for the Olympics. If you are serious about rowing, check out his stuff!

One of Xeno’s blog posts covers calculating Base Metabolic Rate (BMR). I used the equation to check to see whether what MyFitnessPal is telling me is correct:

BMR = 66 + (6.23 times your weight in pounds) + (12.7 times your height in
inches) - (6.8 times your age in years)

If I put the numbers in, I calculate a BMR of 2189 calories. If I reduce that by 20% to allow for weight loss, I get a calorie allowance of 1751 calories. Compare that to what MyFitnessPal has been giving me – 2030 calories! Since, I’m not losing weight with the old number, I’m going to use the new number for a while and see what happens. My goal is to lose about a pound a week and grind my weight back into the respectable range in the next year.

So, here are the new numbers for today:

Calorie budget:

  • Food Allowance: 1780
  • Exercise Adjustment: 290 (2 miles)
  • Total calorie budget: 2070
  • Total consumed: 1945
  • Too few/(too many): 125

Let’s keep it cranking!

Back to Work Week

Yes sirree. It's back to work. Hope you all had a great holiday weekend.

It's supposed to be one of the busiest travel days of the year. Could have fooled me this morning:

Summary from last week:
  • Miles planned: 12.5
  • Actual miles: 2 :-/
  • Weekly weigh in: 258 (+2 pounds) :-/
So, it's time to get back to it. Planned for this week:
  • Monday: 2 miles
  • Tuesday: 3 miles
  • Wednesday: 2 miles
  • Thursday: Fly day
  • Friday: SRD
  • Saturday: 3 miles
  • Sunday: 2 miles
  • Total plan: 12 miles
Fingers crossed!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Have I mentioned…..

I enjoy cooking? A little rundown of yesterday:

9:30AM: Get the protein out of the refrigerator to warm up a bit

9:45 AM: Soak the smoking (hickory) chips for the turkey.

10:00 AM: Settle in with a cup of coffee. Eye the pecan pie wondering if anyone would notice a missing slice.

10:30 AM: Stoke the charcoal for the turkey.

11:00 AM: Prepare the turkey.

11:00 AM: Get the giblets (for gravy) started.

11:15 AM: Get the turkey on the BBQ.

11:30 AM: Preheat the oven to 450 for the prime rib. Settle in for another cup of coffee. Try to figure out how to put a cheesecake back together once a slice is missing.

12:30 PM: Dress the prime rib and get it in the oven. Set timer for 30 minutes.

12:45 PM: Get the yams out of the pantry. Contemplate what it means to wash, peel, and cube 10 pounds of purple tubers. Where’s my sous chef?

1:00 PM: Turn the heat in the oven down from 450 to 325. Realize that dinner is at 5 o’clock and not 4 o’clock. Contemplate how to save a prime rib that is in the oven an hour too early.

1:15 PM: Determine that I can shut the oven off and just let the rib sit for an hour, then fire it up again and cook until desired doneness. Sit down and realize that a) nothing worthwhile is on TV, b) there is no way that I can disguise a slice out of a fruitcake. Give up on trying.

2:45 PM: Get the oven with the rib going again.

3:00 PM: Get the yams in the oven.

3:45 PM: Prep the green bean casserole and stuffing.

4:15 PM: Get the green bean casserole and stuffing in the oven. Take the yams out of the oven, add the sautéed onions, apples, garnish with pecans and maple syrup. Get the gravy going. Add the giblets. Get the cranberry sauces (a couple of different kinds) out of the fridge.

4:30 PM: Get the rib out of the oven. Get the yams back in.

4:45 PM: Get the casseroles and yams out of the oven. Get the turkey off the BBQ.

5:15PM: Dinner for 28 served!

6:30PM: Slice of pecan pie, pumpkin cheesecake and fruitcake consumed.


Hope you all had a Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Just wanted to take a moment and wish all a Happy Thanksgiving! My time in the kitchen and the calorie counter gets shut off in an hour.

Oh yeah. I left things off yesterday at 2:30 waiting for my 2:35 flight. Which finally took off at 4:05. On top of the delay, it was the day before Thanksgiving – one of the busiest travel days of the year. Plus, I get to be back in the skies on Monday – the second busiest travel day of the year.

This isn’t the first time I’ve had to travel around the holidays. I *have* gotten a little wiser though:

  1. If you have to fly around the holidays, leave yourself *plenty* of time. Assume an extra 20 minutes to park, an extra 20 minutes checking luggage and an extra 20 minutes through security. If you don’t have to do some of those (for example, flying home I don’t have to park and I’m not checking luggage, so I give myself an extra 20 minutes instead of an extra 60), you can subtract the extra time, but *do* plan for extra time!
  2. “Patience grasshopper” (some of you *might* be old enough to understand this quote). Remember – you’re flying with a bunch of folks who aren’t wise to the ways of the airport. Be patient with them. They will get in the wrong lines at the wrong times and generally muck up the whole plane loading and unloading experience.
  3. If you have an option, fly to/from an alternate airport. For example, If you are flying to Los Angeles, consider flying into Burbank, Long Beach, or John Wayne. You’ll save a lot of time and headache.
  4. Finally, if you are caught up in delays, miss a flight, or suffer some other unexpected condition, be nice! The customer service rep is suffering through minons of noobs complaining and demanding. Be nice to them. You might be shocked what they are able to do for you if you use your magic words.

Oh yeah. And because it was flight day, exercise didn’t happen. Again.

Calorie budget:

  • Food budget: 2030 calories
  • Exercise allowance: 0
  • Total budget: 2030 calories
  • Total consumed: 2442
  • Too few/(Too many): (412) (sigh)

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Double Arrrgh!

Believe it or not, my back is fine! After a few days off and a good couple of night's sleep, my body was ready to go. Unfortunately, this week my schedule did not cooperate so much.

Monday started with my ordinary 5:30 AM trip to the airport. Unfortunately, that's where normal kind of ended. Even though this is a short (holiday?) week, the work was backed up. By the time I got back to my hotel, it was 9:30 PM. After about half an hour of trying to convince myself that I had the energy, I settled into bed for shut eye instead.

Calorie budget:
  • Food budget: 2030 calories
  • Exercise allowance: 0
  • Total budget: 2030 calories
  • Total consumed: 1842
  • Too few/(Too many): 188
Now, let's talk Tuesday. Isn't it a holiday week? Back to the hotel at 9:45PM. Man, I even had to miss Storage Wars! But, I did have an outstanding dinner!

Calorie budget:
  • Food budget: 2030 calories
  • Exercise allowance: 0
  • Total budget: 2030 calories
  • Total consumed: 2062
  • Too few/(too many): (32) (Damn you cream brûlée!)
And here I sit, 2:30 PM on fly day. My flight was scheduled out at 2:35. As you can tell, that isn't going quite to plan either......

Monday, November 19, 2012

An Inauspicious End to Week 1

So, the first week of my resurrection of this blog was a bit of a bust. My back continued to give me fits over the weekend, and a couple of social get togetherness put the kibosh on the diet. So, to wrap up week one:

Exercise plan: 12 miles

Exercise actual: 5 miles

Starting weight: 255

Ending weight:256


Nothing to do except keep moving forward:

Plan for this week:

  • Monday: 2 miles
  • Tuesday: 3 miles
  • Wednesday: SRD
  • Thursday: 2 miles
  • Friday: SRD
  • Saturday: 3.5 miles
  • Sunday: 2 miles
  • Total plan: 12.5 miles
Oh. And about diet - Thursday, my count will be on hiatus. I'm cooking on Thursday, and not to be braggadocios, if you've eaten my cooking, it would be tough to limit yourself to 2000 calories! LOL!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Ugh. Disabled List

That's right. After two whopping days I find myself on the DL. Turns out I have a condition known as Spondylosis. It's an old man disease that presents as lumbar pain. And yesterday it was a doozy. Sitting was fine. Heck even picking up things was fine. But stand up straight and walk? No way no way no way!

Plus, the really interesting thing is how this flare up happens. I was working at my desk happy as a clam Thursday morning. By lunch I was in pain! Thank goodness it didn't hurt too much to fly home (like I'm going to let this keep me in Sacramento).

The last little flare upnof this was a few years (three or four) back. All I can really do is rest and eat NSAIDs. So, I've been quaffing Motrin for the last day. I'm happy to report that the pain has moved from my left hip (yesterday morning) to my right lumbar region (last night) back to my left hip(this morning). Now if I can just get the shaman controlling the voodoo doll to take the pin out, I should be in ship shape by Monday. Atleast in walking shape.

The worst part of this is the other complications that come along with the sore back. For example, being sedentary, my other malady, fork to mouth disease, has a tendency to manifest itself.

Plan: 2 miles

Actual: 0 inches

Calorie budget:

  • Food budget: 2030 calories
  • Exercise allowance: 0 calories
  • Total budget: 2030 calories
  • Total consumed: 2265
  • Surplus/(deficit): (235) Two days in a row. How many until it's a habit?U

Friday, November 16, 2012

Flight Day!

Thursdays are flight days for me. I get to brave the airport crowds and load up in the flying cattle car for my short (thank goodness) flight home.

To be honest, I think the airline industry gets a bad rap for the whole "cattle car" reference. Yes, airplanes fly fuller these days. Yes, airlines have figured out how to squeeze extra dollars from the traveling public. But, there are things that you can do to keep your flying costs down:

  1. If you are a frequent flyer, stick with the same airline. Your frequent flyer points or segments add up to provide you with all kinds of benefits. For example, some airlines waive baggage fees. On the airline I fly, I get preferential boarding (and hence preferential seating) and preferential treatment for standby (so if I show up and can catch an earlier flight, I get to bump others on the standby list). I also fly enough that my trip to Boston back on Labor Day cost me a whopping $10.
  2. Avoid the temptation to over pack. I travel with a carry on and a briefcase/computer bag. No checked luggage required. If you do need to check luggage, shop for airlines that don't charge for your first checked bag (yes, there still are a couple). A related point - when you are shopping for best ticket price, make sure you understand and factor in those fees in your analysis. Look at things like bag fees, change fees, etc. Are you really getting the lowest cost for your trip?
  3. Understand restrictions and fees on your fare. We all think that shopping in advance is the best way to save on tickets. But, this only works if your flight schedule is set in concrete. If you need flexibility, then avoid the cheapest fares. Very often you will not be able to change flights without paying the difference in fares available at the time of your flight change *and* a change fee. Even at the airport.
  4. Related to bag fees, make sure you understand weight restrictions. Trying to pack it all into one bag? Be careful- you might get to the airport to find you have an overweight bag. And most likely, the fees you will pay for that bag will be more than the fees you would have paid to check two lighter bags.
  5. Related to luggage, if you are going to travel frequently, invest in a good rolling carry on bag. The good bags are specifically made to slide into an overhead bin on a commercial airliner with a minimum footprint. For example, my Travelpro 21" carry on bag slides handle first into the overhead bin. When they can't close the bin, it's not my bag that gets pulled out and gate checked! Not to mention, I can easily pack enough in my carry on bag for a two week trip.
  6. Final cost saving tip - if you are on a longer flight and want/need a meal or snack, bring one on the plane. Yes, you'll have to pay inflated airport prices since you can't bring food and/or drink past the security checkpoint, but those prices are still less (for more) than what you will pay on the plane.
One of the disadvantages of flight day is it can't be exercise day. So I have to kick horse turds down the road and really watch my diet on flight days:

Calorie budget:

  • Standard budget: 2030 calories
  • Exercise allowance: 0
  • Total calorie budget: 2030 calories
  • Total consumed: 2248
  • Calorie surplus/(deficit): (218) Sigh. But that pumpkin spice frappucino at the airport sure was good!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Sad State of Basketball in L.A.

If you’re a basketball fan, you have no doubt heard about the turmoil in the front office of the #1 basketball team here in L.A. Well, thank goodness we have a second team in town! Yes! The Clippers are on a tear, and I was able to watch them hand Miami their heads on a platter while on the treadmill tonight. Ha ha ha! Sigh.

Plan: 3 miles

Actual: 3.04 miles

Calorie budget:

  • Standard budget: 2030
  • Exercise adjustment: +455 calories
  • Total budget: 2485 calories
  • Total consumed: 1891
  • Calorie surplus/(deficit): 594

Life on the ‘Mill

So here’s tonight’s decision process. It’s a little after 6:30PM. I’m meeting the rest of the project team for dinner at 7:30PM. I need to get my a** moving:

  • Hmm. I can go run up a hill for a mile and back for a mile.
  • Hmm. I can hit the treadmill.
  • Hmm. It’s 50 degrees outside (don’t forget, we’re talking someone who lives in Southern California here).
  • Hmm. The treadmill has a TV on it and I have my headphones.
  • Hmm. Big Ban Theory is on TBS.

The treadmill won.

Plan: 2 miles

Actual: 2.03 miles

Calorie budget:

  • Standard budget: 2030 (us Clydesdales get a significant allowance)
  • Exercise adjustment: +380 calories (once again, us Clydesdales burn a lot to keep the mass moving).
  • Total budget: 2410 calories
  • Total consumed: 2395 (more on this in a separate post)
  • Calorie surplus/(deficit): 15 (whew)

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The View From 8A

Hey y’all! This blog has pretty much been MIA for about two years now. Just like my commitment to running and exercise in general.

You know, I started this blog four years ago as my running log. I figured a log would be a good way to hold myself accountable. I then a couple years ago, I figured it would be easier to just no longer be accountable. And you know what? That’s right. It is easier.

The last two years has been filled with false starts. I always had the best of intentions, but, just like in real life, without accountability, there is no achievement.

What’s with the title? Well, here was the view when I realized all this Monday morning:


So, here goes nuthin’ folks. I’ve started (again) the Higdon Spring Training Plan. For this week:

  • Tuesday: 2 miles
  • Wednesday: 3 miles
  • Friday: 2 miles
  • Saturday: 3 miles
  • Sunday: 2 miles
  • Total: 12 miles
  • Starting weight: 255 lbs

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Reality Sets In

About a month ago I made some noise about a 26 week training plan and a certain Stadium to Sea race. But alas, reality (work) has set in. So, no marathoning in the near future for me.

Instead, I’m going to concentrate on base building for the next few months. To do that, I am going to modify and adopt Hal Higdon’s Spring Training program. This program will allow me to put some structure and discipline around a training regimen (please note the lack of the word “program”) while being able to maintain my personal and professional life.