For new readers

To get an idea of what I'm trying to do and why I think it's possible, check out the following entries, they'll help get you up to speed.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

who needs toenails

who doesn't like black toenails?
Apparently i don't.  The big toe nail on my right foot has been perpetually dead or gone for a number of years.  It grows back, i do a long run, and it promptly dies again.  It came off again a month after the Idaho Expedition race back in August.  Looking down at my feet last night i realized that three of my other toes had grayish/black tinges on the nails and were only attached at the back and part way down the edges.  They don't hurt.  I don't notice any difference really.  In fact, i can't really think of any reason why we even have toenails anymore - it seems that they are an evolutionary trait that we have simply outgrown in modern times.  I mean i can still think of lots of times when i use my fingernails (picking out splinters, as a flat head screwdriver) and even my hair (keeps my noggin warm, impromptu floss substitute, deterrent to keep people from eating my guacamole), but seriously, when is the last time you used your toenails?

Thursday, October 6, 2011

micro-nutrition test

I decided to try to get a better idea of what i'm actually putting into my body these days.  Its tricky for me because i tend to be a garbage disposal for the family - any food the boys don't eat (piece of banana, crusts of toast, etc automatically goes into my mouth) - but for three days i kept careful track.  Here's the results:

Sept 16th (in no particular order):

  • 2 pieces of toast with butter, peanut butter, and honey
  • Crusts from boys toast
  • 2 cups of coffee (16 oz) with cream and raw sugar
  • 1 bite banana
  • 1 slice cheese
  • 4 tbsp sunflower seeds
  • 1 vegie bowl - swt. potato, onion, green beans, cucumber.  sauteed with oil. salted
  • 1 apple
  • handful of graham bunnies
  • 1 raw rev bar
  • 1 plus bowls of pasta w/brocolli, mushrooms, onions, carrots, and feta cheese
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • handful of walnuts
  • 3+ cups popcorn (no butter, hand popped in canola oil)
  • hot chocolate (from mix)
Sept 17th:

  • 2 pieces of butter, peanut butter, and honey toast
  • 2 cups of coffee (16 oz) with cream and raw sugar
  • 2 small pieces of cheese pizza and 1 cheese breadstick
  • 1 small piece of cake (birthday party)
  • small bowl of veggie mix (same as Sept 16)
  • 1 tbsp sunflower seeds
  • apple
  • 1 tbsp walnuts
  • 1+ slice of homemade wheat bread
  • 2 bowls of homemade chicken and vegetable soup
  • orange and apple slices
  • 1 cup or so of popcorn
Sept 18th:
  • 1 piece of toast with butter, PB, and honey
  • crusts from boys
  • 2 cups of coffee (16 oz) with cream and raw sugar
  • 2 raw rev bars
  • 2 bowls of chicken soup
  • 2 pieces of cornbread with butter and real maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp of sunflowers
  • 2 handfuls of cheddar bunnies
  • all fruit fruit leather
  • banana
  • small bowl of ice cream with melted peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp left over chicken salad mix with crusts from boys sandwiches
Thats it!  Looking back it doesn't look too shabby, at least not compared to the average diet.  Lots of nuts, lots of veggies and fruit, but clearly not a very austere diet in my opinion.  Keeps me ticking anyway.  Cheers!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Peanut butter and the five minute rule

I eat peanut butter.  By the spoonful.  Probably 6-10 spoonfuls a day, sometimes more.  Awesome.

Now to the five minute rule.  It's more of a goal or a benchmark really - on my 20 minute workouts, particularly with biking and running, I usually try to be pretty worked by the five minute mark.  As of late i've consistently been doing one minute work and rest intervals, following a two minute 'warm up' which is more of just a steady pace designed to let my heart rate climb.  Five minutes in i've completed two work intervals.  A week ago during my run i outdid myself and was completely spent after the first interval - there's nothing like really high intensity intervals to make 20 minutes seem like a lifetime.  But this is the point really - how much can you get out of that time?  The biggest concern that i can think of for a reasonably fit person is risk of injury by hitting it hard right away.  I'm somewhat sensitive to this, particularly with running.  going from an 8 mph pace to 12+ mph after 2 minutes might not be a good idea for everyone, but there are easy ways around this, particularly if you're inside on a treadmill.  I've been running at incline lately - i can go from a 3 mph walk at 15% incline to an 8mph desperate run without really risking as much physical injury.  Its my lungs and Heart rate that make the effort seem so brutal.

But what about that spiking heart rate - shouldn't that also be a concern?  There may be those that disagree with me, but i don't think so - at least not for those who are in good shape to begin with.  After all, one of the physical benefits of good fitness is a responsive heart rate.  It goes up fast and it comes down fast.  Good 400 meter sprinters, for example, go from a resting (or slightly elevated due to anxiety/anticipation) heart rate to pretty near their max HR in under a minute every time they race.

The nice thing about being significantly physically challenged 5 minutes into a 20 minute workout is that even this briefest of weekly workouts provides a opportunity to also work on cultivating the mental willpower/toughness that is so crucial to having success in serious endurance sports using a limited volume training approach.