Thursday, June 6, 2013

Week Two In the Trenches: Weight Loss Demons Skewered

I like to call my new high(er) mileage training as working in the trenches because it (initially) forced me to stop posh things like analyzing every run and reporting my times because my legs were tired as ef from the consecutive 18kays and could not move fast. So, completing the run itself was enough achievement regardless of the speed/time. In other words, I was humbled. I had to pay my dues. I had to roll up my sleeves and trousers and sweat it the ef out. I knew I had to do it because I had exhausted the low-mileage running to its limits. I had to lay a foundation or remain on standstill. So I had to muster patience, respect the fact that achievement takes effort and time and be humble enough to do slower workouts with the aim of getting stronger aerobically. Hence this photo becomes very apropos:
So I put my head down and went down to the trenches and resigned myself to toiling in them like they are my home. Whatever it takes. Nobody can do this for you and you need it as a base for faster runs and better performance.

But interestingly, after nine days, the legs seem to be able to handle the workload just fine. I have always thought at the back of my mind that the 32Kay runs that the torture my legs got from those long sessions would enable them to handle higher mileage weeks - on demand. And I am so glad I have managed two weeks without an injury. In fact, my injuries are healing. Surprisingly. On Tuesday, my shins felt like they were about to blow up but they seem to have settled down.

Look at my progress:
Thu, Jun 6, 2013 5:12 PM____1:25:29    18.01
Tue, Jun 4, 2013 5:26 PM____1:29:29    18.01
Mon, Jun 3, 2013 5:30 PM___1:32:15    18.01
Thu, May 30, 2013 5:51 AM__1:38:55    18.01
Wed, May 29, 2013 5:58 AM_1:37:51    18.01
Tue, May 28, 2013 6:05 AM__1:35:18    18.01

My main fear was that I would be too tired to run fast or do speed runs but Mark has inspired me and I think its a state of mind. There is nothing like "tired because I did x yesterday". Just go out there and hammer each workout hard. The body will find its strength from these killing workouts.

And another thing, I think I have finally figured out this weight loss thingy.

First, my past/recent mistakes:
1. Thinking zero-sugar diet was 90% effective. It was not. I was still eating lots of rice, chapatis and potatoes...These were the demons that kept keeping my weight up.
Rice and potatoes have a glycemic index of 90-99. That is almost as high as the King of glycemic index: glucose - 100%.
2. Not being prepared: I could get hungry and only have some lousy nuts at my desk and could not resist chapos. Worse still, I was also not prepared at home. No fruits, no alternative food yet I was hungry and my house girl presents rice and beef. Both are high calorie crap. So I end up cancelling every good thing I did during the day.
3. Not taking enough water. Sometimes, when feeling hungry, I should have sipped water first and delayed taking those groundnuts for an hour. But I didn't: I went straight for the groundnuts/bread.
4. Sometimes taking bread in my breakfast. Big mistake. Bread, especially white bread, is a NO NO because of having high glycemic index (they contain sugar and use processed flour). Insulin spikes are bad for fat burning.
5. Thinking I have to eat a decent lunch in order to run well in my scheduled evening workout. Wrong. This is an aerobic workout nigger! You can eat something but not view it as fuel for that workout. Just for psychological comfort and to keep MR high.
6. Going to Mombasa and thinking because I have bumped up my mileage, I am justified to take sodas and have a good lump of ugali and nyama. Very big mistake.

So, what did I do?
I had to become my own nutritionist. I read a lot. I now know the calorie content of every staple food around plus their glycemic index. Now I mentally note glycemic index of every food and its calorie content before allowing it to enter my body.
Now, I have no room for rice, potatoes, bread, sugar, ripe bananas and I am allowing very minimal room for groundnuts, ugali and meat.

My Solution - a Sketch
1. Breakfast (6:20am). Carrots and peas or Githeri (avoiding the maize) and a cup of sugarless tea/milk.
2. 10am: about 20-30gm of nuts or 1 sausage (150 calories) and or some carrots and peas (30calories). A cup of sugarless tea or Milo.
3. Sips of Water. Throughout the day.
4. 12-2pm. Carrots and peas and a cup of sugarless tea/milo.
5. 4pm. An apple,20-30gm of nuts and a cup of sugarless tea/milo.
6. 8pm - dinner - ensure my plate is 1/2 vegetables and 1/4 protein and 1/8 carbs and water.

My main task is to pump my kitchen store with carrots and peas to death and to ensure 6 above is achieved  because that has consistently been my biggest point of failure: being unprepared during dinner and being a victim of whatever has been cooked. Peas are very expensive by the way. But I want to move away from groundnuts and focus on peas and beans.

This week, two Kgs gone. For the first time, I feel confident that by end of June, I will have achieved my weight-loss target. After that, I bolt out of the gate like a freakin demon.

The 18 Kms are going very well. It was tough when I started last week but my speed is creeping back. I aim to do a 1:23 mins 18K next week. Then I can figure out how to incorporate hills and speed runs.
Since my long-run route is kicking my ass every time without fail, I will keep it for now until I feel I have conquered it. As things stand now, I am still very weak and my aerobic capacity is poor. And my own route reminds me that I have lots of work to do every time I run on it.

But that 14Km/hr mark must be achieved soon. Latest, early July.Weight loss and better aerobic capacity is what I need. They are what I am working on and for and I am making progress.

We will win. Wait and see.


mista maQ said...

Viola! you have finally got it - the back to back short runs (15 to 20ks) for 2 to 3 days during the week will help u lose weight reals fast. Everybody is telling me i am underweight and I reduced the runs to just two in a week. You are gradually picking pace in the 18k - just keep pushing it down.
I am amazed that you just lost your speed in a flash but i am glad u r getting it back on. i hope by the end of the month u will be able to handle two 13k's in an a hour consecutively. Keep running!

Running Writer said...

It was the effects of the 24K race. No one can lose speed within a week. Yes, that 26K in 2 hours I must do this month without fail. Its one of my targets. In fact its my yardstick for the effectiveness of the 18Ks. But every Sunday is the 27K. For the weight loss, its a combination of both diet (70%) and the workouts.

G. Ogutu said...

In a forum like this, I take out my notebook and pen... then sit down. Elders are talking. I, in matters running, I am a tot.
This is great. Tres grand.

Carolyne Gathuru said...

Hey JA? You've gone off air? No post for 13 days. What's up? You alright?

Running Writer said...

I am in the trenches. I will post tomorrow. I am hale and hearty. Thanks.