Eating Habits

Our son will soon start to learn how to eat. Maybe I should do the same.

In a realistic(?) self assessment I have to say that I have a very hard time controlling my eating habits, in particular if there is free food available (and this, unfortunately, is usually junk food). Even if I am not hungry, or at least not really hungry, I would still eat another slice of pizza or a cookie and a brownie, it's free after all. Is it?

At home, I think, I am a bit better. I eat an apple before going for a run (7.5 to 10 miles if possible). After running, I stretch, drink water, and then I have breakfast: cereals with blueberries (if they were not too expensive) and plain yoghurt. Finishing with a European-style chocolate yoghurt, a cup of milk, and a piece of chocolate. Well, maybe not ideal for the body but good for the soul.

For lunch, I usually bring a lunchbox and I have dinner at home, usually with dessert. But if there is some free food anywhere, I usually eat it on top of everything. Hungry or not. Maybe these are just grad student habits? Or maybe even caveman habits?

I also managed to limit my caffein intake to one cup of espresso per day. Maybe another decaf somewhere. But if I happen to go to a coffee shop or to a bakery, that espresso is usually complemented with something sweet, a brownie, a chocolate brioche, or the like.

Even though I am running quite a lot, and also reasonably fast, if I reduce my mileage because of any reason, I almost immediately start gaining weight. I wanted to consistently weigh below 70 kilograms for quite a while but somehow I seem to be unable to achieve this goal, my wife even jokes about it... Maybe it is time for another attempt. Diets would not work, I think, a more long-tern solution is needed, like curing the grad-student-eat-all-the-free-food-you-can-get problem...

Running-wise, I am training less since our son was born in February but I still run almost everyday, and I also join Saturday's Fresh Pond races, I usually run the two laps (5 miles) in a bit more than 28 minutes, and today I went to Thursday's evening race (one lap, 2.5 miles), which I ran in 13:30, a bit below 3:30 pace (and I already did a 5 miles jog in the morning). The half marathon a few weeks ago went ok, I enjoyed it a lot and finished in 1:18:08 (if I remember correctly). Two more half marathons scheduled: Cape Ann Half on 8/5 and Greifenseelauf on 9/22. Probably another half on 11/4. I wonder whether I can be way below 70 for these...



My legs felt really trashed after yesterday's workout. Blisters are proof that my feet aren't used to it anymore. It's going to be a hard transition. I wanted to jog to yoga this morning but I could barely get up. The yoga helps a lot with stretching though and I hope that I will have less problems due to the intense practice.

Today's lunch meeting is going to be another challenge. The pizza we have is so good that I'll really have to control myself.

Some people asked why I decided to do a marathon in three weeks. There's several reasons. I'd like to run at least one marathon a year; I'll have more time to prepare as long as my wife isn't here. Watching the finish of the Chicago marathon was very inspiring. Reading about Yoda-san qualifying for the Hakone Ekiden Select Team made me feel like I should run again too. M.'s boyfriend L. told me about a workout they used to do when he was a rower: running up the seats and down the stairs of the Harvard stadium (it's 37 sections, I haven't managed to complete all of them yet). I didn't want to continue eating crappy food all the either. The start of the registration of the Boston marathon and L.'s comments finally triggered the decision. Unfortunately, the marathon has already sold out. But still, I want to find out whether I can do it.


Sold Out!

Wow, just came back from my workout (4 laps around fresh pond, 1h19m), had some dinner (pasta...), and then read online that Boston Marathon sold out within less than 24 hours. Is this good news or bad news? ;-)

Well, I haven't run a marathon this year yet. Wouldn't want to break the tradition. The challenge stands, I'll try!

Food intake for the last 24 hours:
Sunday: Dinner with big dessert with K. (hadn't made the decision yet)
Monday, breakfast: two apples, half a bread, a mug of milk; lunch: egg&eggplant sandwich, brownie (before the decision...), another apple (thanks V.); dinner: pasta, some more bread, another apple, and a yoghurt
No cookies, brownies, etc. for the next three weeks, no alcohol - sacrifice for a marathon...

Crazy Challenge: Sub-3 in Sub-3?

I haven't run a marathon for a while. While I wanted to qualify for Boston Marathon 2011, an injury (I fell on a jog in Davos, Switzerland, and badly twisted my ankle in mid-August, apparently it took more than a 1.5 months to recover) kept me from any serious training. I tried to jog every now and then but I didn't run much more than twice a week for an hour or so. It's not that I didn't exercise at all: I'm cycling daily and I'm using some of my muscles during yoga (which I just started).

Time is ticking. Registration for the marathon started today. The question is: can I get back in shape to qualify within three weeks? I am definitely not eating as healthy as I did in Japan; a tight budget adds an extra incentive to eat whenever there's free food anywhere (yes, we're talking pizza and cookies).

Here's the challenge:
The time left is a bit less than three weeks until November 7. The (very) optimistic goal is to go under three hours. The hope is to go under 3:10 (which is the qualifying time). And another hope (which is not under my control) is that there are still spots available by that time.

Sub-3 hours in less than three weeks?
Any advice? How should I train?
Who wants to take a bet?
(I actually don't believe that I can do it yet... I hope to know more next Sunday)

Some statistics:
Current weight (using the scale in our bedroom, don't know whether it's accurate): 155 lbs (a bit more than 70kg - damned brownies...)
Previous runs:
last Thursday: three laps around fresh pond (1h)
Saturday: four laps around fresh pond (1h20)
Sunday: jogged to yoga and back (25 minutes per way), ran stairs in the Harvard stadium (half-way)

Going for a jog now...

PS: the reason I need to re-qualify is that only times after September 2009 count. My last marathon (the disaster in Beppu was in February 2009)

PS2: needless to say that I will also have to work hard during these three weeks, no time to focus on running only.