This weekend, by the way, I will be at Pi-Con in Enfield CT Friday and Saturday. Hope to see some of you there!
I'm going to be talking about exercise and fitness again, including some conversation about nutritional and calorie management, so if you hate that stuff page down now.
As you know, Bob, since 2005 or so, I've been embarked on a program to get my blood pressure down, regain my athleticism, and repair the damage I did to my body with six years of neglect and restaurant food. And I'm finally getting near the end of the process--I've lost about a hundred pounds--although this past summer has been tough, between traveling and cons and a lovely bout with West Nile Virus from which I'm just starting to bounce back. In early June, I was excitedly blogging my success at running 10Ks. Alas, I have been knocked back to 5Ks, and I'm not running as fast as I was, and I've gained about five pounds back and lost stamina and strength because of laziness and insufficient dietary discipline. There hasn't been sufficient climbing or kayaking this summer, and I've been a bit lazy about yoga as well. I did do really well with weight training while I was in Wisconsin, and since I will be spending most of September there, I can keep that up.
I just need to be better about dragging my ass out of bed while it's still cool and going for runs. (Meant to try for a long run this morning, but had a bout of insomnia last night that resulted in dragging myself out of bed, groggy and sore, around 9:30. By noon I felt better, and went for a 2-mile jog despite the sun because it was breezy and cool. Do better tomorrow, I hope.)
I have a checkup next week. Hopefully the blood pressure and cholesterol will still be good.
Despite still being about thirty pounds from my goal, I've decided that it's time to amend my dietary practices from "Person trying to restrict calories without losing muscle mass" to "Healthy person trying to lose fat and gain muscle." You know, I'm enjoying the new freedom of movement and strength and stamina--and how much easier everything physical is than it was five years ago--but I'm also burning between 2200-2700 calories a day, and I need to adopt a diet that supports that level of energy expenditure if I expect to be able to keep it up.
I still want that extra weight off--it's no good for my joints and tendons, especially if I expect to keep running and climbing for another twenty years or so (My ankles are not happy even with the five pounds, given the resumed training schedule)--but now it's a matter of re-adjusting to civilian eating while still maintaining healthy habits and undercutting calories--but only slightly, now, not by 800 calories or so a day.
I'm transitioning out of Project: Less Of Me and into total focus on Project: Valkyrie. Let's hear it for the ferocity of climber forearms!
It's been a weird negotiation with myself. I took a month or so off from nutrition tracking, which, combined with illness and lack of exercise is what resulted in the weight gain, so I'm back to weighing everything and plugging my food into websites. Well, if portion control were my strong point, I would never have wound up at nearly 300 pounds. Beer is my downfall, alas. And fancy cocktails. So tasty. So much fun to make and experiment with.
So very very nutritionally empty. And then the pants that fit last month aren't so comfortable to sit down in any more...
(I've actually Less-Of-Me'd enough that five pounds one way or another shows now. Two years ago, it didn't.)
But I want to return to a more normal relationship with food, rather than being the kind of health nut who regulates every bite that goes into her mouth. So I'm trying to do the remainder mostly on exercise, and aiming for somewhere between 1900-2200 calories a day, which will be a bit less than my maintenance diet once I'm where I want to be. (I think I'll maintain okay on 2300-2400 calories, but of course it will take experimentation to determine how the theory matches the reality.)
It's so nice, though, the be back inside the weight range where I am physically comfortable and athletically capable. Even with the layoff from regular running and climbing, I managed to haul my pack a mile uphill for the Ragged Mountain picnic last weekend without too much trouble, and while I didn't exactly tear up the rock face, I did manage two climbs and start two others. Not bad for somebody who had been climbing exactly once since the middle of June.
I love having the stamina to haul a pack up a mountain, rig, and climb all day. I love having the stamina to dance to Skinny Puppy and KMFDM for four hours straight, or run six miles, or paddle all morning. I love being casually strong, helping friends move furniture, picking up my dog to put him on the grooming table. I love it that stuff that used to be impossible is trivial now.
And my yoga form is vastly improved. Although I feel funny mentioning it, since the point is not competition--but I'm feeling the better core strength, even after some time off, and the way it allows me to support my body better.
Core Is Core, after all.
It feels really good to have my capable body back. On today's run, I did the last tenth of a mile in a full sprint, and I was just... delighted to feel my body doing that, pushing faster and faster as if it knew what it was doing and it felt good. Running hasn't felt good since I was a freshman in High School.
It was a long road getting here, but I'm back, motherfuckers, and I'll race you to the ice cream stand.
My current running playlist:
25 tracks in playlist, average track length: 4:03
Playlist length: 1 hour 41 minutes 25 seconds
1. Amanda Palmer - Runs In The Family (2:44)
2. Kate Bush - Running up that Hill (4:59)
3. Everlast - Lonely Road (3:18)
4. Ben Harper And Relentless7 - Number With No Name (3:05)
5. Modest Mouse - Dashboard (4:08)
6. Garbage - Hammering In My Head (4:53)
7. The Velvet Underground - Run Run Run (4:22)
8. Leah Andreone - Who Are They To Say (4:09)
9. The Melismatics - Waves of Sound (3:06)
10. Slade - Run, Run Runaway (4:57)
11. The Blind Boys Of Alabama - Run On For A Long Time (3:24)
12. Shriekback - The Bastard Sons of Enoch (5:07)
13. Sass Jordan - High Road easy (4:01)
14. Cake - No Phone (3:51)
15. OK Go - Do What You Want (3:06)
16. Augie March - Just Passing Through (5:23)
17. Tom Petty - Running Man's Bible (Album Version) (6:01)
18. Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Down Boy (3:54)
19. Blues Traveler - Run-Around (4:40)
20. Creedence Clearwater Revival - Run Through The Jungle (3:06)
21. Black Rebel Motorcycle Club - Beat The Devil's Tattoo (3:45)
22. Manfred Mann's Earth Band - Runner (4:44)
23. Jethro Tull - Truck Stop Runner (3:47)
24. Save Ferris - Come on Eileen (4:08)
25. Peter Mulvey - Sad, Sad, Sad (and Faraway from Home) (2:47)