getting buff

Wednesday, June 28, 2006


On tonight's run, I improved my pace by at least 30sec per km. Guess that graceful speedwork pays dividends.

deege said this at 10:05 pm | 0 comments |

Tuesday, June 27, 2006


So, in an effort to try and improve my speed a little while running, I decided last night to take the advice of some of the magazines and finish off my workout with a couple of short sprints so the legs get used to the feeling of going faster.

[BTW has anyone else noticed that there is a particular fashion in running magazines of having little sidebar articles titled something like "what are strideouts?" which never actually explain what they are? Uhh, yeah, you just stride out easily and efficiently while not using much effort. Okay, I'll try that.]

So I finished my half an hour run about 500 metres from home and walked for a little to get my breath back. And then I picked up my legs to do a quick easy sprint while using not much effort - and I almost fell over. What I didn't take into account was the fact that once my legs stop moving back and forwards they are not so easy to get started again. I feel like I need one of those cranks from an old car to get some energy back into them. So no speedwork last night. But I did treat my neighbours to the thrilling site of me staggering along the street in an ominous fashion with a determined smile on my face whilst trying to expend not much effort.

deege said this at 10:37 am | 4 comments |

WWI the twelfth

Starting Weight - 107.5kg
Current Weight - 104.5kg
Total weight loss - 3kg
This week's weight loss - +1.0kg

Grumble mumble bumble.

deege said this at 9:37 am | 0 comments |

Monday, June 26, 2006


Have just entered the Queen of the Lake fun run on 6 August. This is my first fun run and I have entered to do the 5K. It is a nice flat course for my first race and there is about a month between me finishing the C25K and the date of the race.

My plan in terms of preparation for the run will be to continue to consolidate my running so that I will feel a little more comfortable with the running. I am trying to have no expectations for this event and am telling myself that it doesn't matter if I am very slow, as I am going to be using this time as my improvement marker. At this stage my only goal is to run the whole thing.

This is actually my first 5K. I never ran a 5K when I was younger, sticking to the 10K distance. So theoretically I don't need to compare my results to my PBs from back then. But I do know what I would have been happy with for a 5K and my expected time for this race will be a lot slower than that. Officially I am no longer counting my PBs from my previous career, on the basis that they were acheived by a different person (who went on to eat several other people). I say "officially" because if I ever get to the stage where I can have a good go at going under 53 min for the 10K, I will feel an extra incentive knowing that was about where I was running as a 20 year old.

For now I am aiming for under 53 min for the 5K. Okay, I probably won't be that slow, but I am tipping some walkers will pass me.

deege said this at 10:52 am | 5 comments |

Friday, June 23, 2006


I feel about a hundred today. It has been a crappy week for family reasons and the upshot is that we have been staying at our weekender since Wednesday, which meant a long commute yesterday. An hour and a half each way in car and train and necessitates a very early wake up.

And I needed to go for a run last night otherwise I was well in danger of having another really slack week due to external issues. I don't normally run from this hosue at night (on weekends I run during the day). And it was dark so I was tense about the fact that I couldn't always see where I was putting my feet. Was happy to have my big dog for company and protection. It is pretty hilly where I live, so the route was a little more demanding than I normally run. It was drizzling, which normally I like, but it was making the trail pretty slippery and treacherous. I felt dreadful the whole run, but kept going. It was one of those occasions where you don't really feel like it before you go, you don't enjoy yourself while you are doing it, and afterwards the only real enjoyment is that you can put a tick next to doing it.

And today I feel like my body is making creaking noises whenever I move, and eight hours sitting in an office chair won't help much. What I really need is a good long soak in a rustic cedar hot tub. As luck would have it, we even have a rustic cedar hot tub on our back deck, and I have nothing in my schedule this evening which would prevent me from having a soak.

Of course, the bloody thing is broken and we have to rely on the yokel pool people who NEVER BLOODY SHUT UP WHEN YOU ARE TALKING TO THEM in the hope that they will come today and fix it. And I don't want to call them again to check whether they will be able to bring the part back today because I WOULD NEVER GET OFF THE PHONE, and they would still turn up whenever they darn well felt like it.

deege said this at 10:25 am | 4 comments |

Tuesday, June 20, 2006


Me: I ran for 28 minutes in a row for the first time and I ran more than one time around the block!
Hub: How many times did you run around the block?
Me: One and a bit - I kept going up to the corner
Hub: I thought you said that you ran more than once around the block.
Me: That is more than once around the block!

Hub has taken up a starting running program as well and tells me that his shins are really hurting. And I say "Ha ha, my shins don't hurt anymore! Sucked in!"

PS. I do also encourage him.

deege said this at 9:15 am | 4 comments |

WWI the eleventh

Starting Weight - 107.5kg
Current Weight - 103.5kg
Total weight loss - 4kg
This week's weight loss - 0.5kg

See how I did that? If you don't like what the scales say on the Monday, you can move your WI to the Tuesday, on the basis that we weighed in last Tuesday (or on the basis of whatever justification I can come up with).

deege said this at 9:13 am | 0 comments |

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Dieting down to just being fat

Weigh in tomorrow. If I have another loss then I will be the weight that I was when I last joined a gym/took up regular exercise. I am officially dieting down to the goal of being fat (rather than morbidly obese). Meh. At least I am aiming to be a fat runner rather than a fat person spending too much money on a gym membership that totally demotivated me (more on that later).

Two more weeks on the Couch to 5K program. Had the first run of the Northern Running Group with people from the ausrun forum on Saturday. I was pretty much holding them back at the same time that they were pulling me towards a pace that made me uncomfortable. From my estimations ran a minute or so per km faster than my normal pace. Note to self - must go to Princes Park and practice running faster so can blow away other NRG runners at next outing. Note to self 2 - when planning devious plan for massive secret improvement, don't post it on the blog.

deege said this at 10:05 pm | 2 comments |

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Oxygen debt and second winds

Further to my earlier comments I have dug out the Runners World complete guide to try and find the reference that I half remembered. They say this (in talking about the concept of a second wind:

The most common theory goes something like this: when yu start exercising, your muscles burn glycogen as fuel. This requires oxygen. Your body has a limited amount of stored oxygen, and it burns it quickly. After that, if your body can't supply enough oxygen to your muscles, the muscles break down glycogen without oxygen, or anaerobically. This produces lactic acid. You're in oxygen debt, and you feel awful - your muscles burn, your heart beats quickly. Second wind, that welcome flush of relief, occurs when the body finally begins to supply enough oxygen to your muscles.

The term catch up is important when we talk about second wind....'When you go from total inactivity to heading out on a run, you create an oxygen debt. The payback in an unconditioned individual can be uncomfortable.'

Because their more efficient systems can supply their muscles with a steady stream of oxygen, fit athletes avoid oxygen debt... and never experience second wind."

I am definitely an unconditioned runner and this seems to describe what happens on my runs. I start out with a brisk walk and feel fine. After a couple of minutes I feel dreadful and then as my body adjusts to providing more oxygen to my muscles I feel good again. It is pretty noticeable because the whole cycle takes place in the space of about 20 minutes. Hopefully as my training improves, my ability to make the transition efficiently from not exercising to running will also improve.

deege said this at 8:42 pm | 3 comments |

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

easy run

Really enjoyed tonight's run. A couple of running books have introduced me to the concept of "oxygen debt", where the body takes time to adjust to working efficiently at a higher rate. It is helpful because it explains why the first ten minutes or so of my runs lately have been pretty rough. This has been since I have switched from the walk/run to simply running. Once that period passes, I feel much better. Hopefully this will improve as time goes on.

Quick notes. Doctor's appointment yesterday identified a potential problem with high blood pressure. I am going back in three months to see whether the fitness weight loss program makes a significant difference. It certainly can't hurt, but it creates another goal for me to work towards. She is very happy about me losing weight and supportive of the run program. Want to be able to tell her in three months that I have lost a significant amount of weight.

Have scheduled the inaugural northern suburbs running group training session with some people from the ausrun forum on Saturday. Told Hub about the meeting and he said "how are you going to keep up with them?" Thanks for the confidence, buddy.

deege said this at 8:53 pm | 5 comments |

Rewards drawer

After being off track for a week or so with exercise, tonight is the first chance I have had to go for a run since Saturday. I was away for the weekend but still had the chance to put on the shoes and go for a run (gee I am a slow runner), but have not been able to since.

When I started this project I went through and chucked out a bunch of clothes that were past their prime but saved a few items that I wanted to fit back into. These have been sitting in the rewards drawer and comprised:

Okay, looking at this list makes it pretty clear that I am a bit of an op shop buff. Actually my weight has made op-shopping much less enjoyable lately as it is pretty difficult to find things that fit, in turn meaning that I am having to spend an increasing amount of money on buying real clothes. I go on an annual opshopping tour with a girlfriend in September/October when we have a weekend away. Last year she bought a bunch of cute little tops and I was unable to find one piece of clothing that I liked that fit (but I did get a very cool handbag).

Plus it is harder to express your unique style when you are trying to dress in such a way so as to call the minimum amount of attention to you as possible.

Anyway, I periodically check the rewards draw (not everything is actually in the drawer, but you get the picture) for progress. So far, two pairs of jeans have graduated to my ordinary clothing. The pair that I had only just grown out of was first, but last night they were in the wash. Instead of pulling on the fat jeans, I thought I would check to see whether the Colorado jeans fit. CHA-CHING!! So the colorados graduate from the rewards drawer and the fat jeans are demoted to the "fat clothes" drawer, destined for use as dress up in my "after" photos.

UPDATE - updated to cross out those items which are no longer in the drawer (because I now fit into them).

deege said this at 3:02 pm | 3 comments |

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

WWI the tenth

Starting Weight - 107.5kg
Current Weight - 104kg
Total weight loss - 3.5kg
This week's weight loss - 0.5kg

One day late due to being away for the long weekend. Was very happy to lose this week, particularly seeing dinner last night was red wine, pizza and chips from the pizza shop. I know that this doesn't really form part of a balanced diet, but we had been camping (!!) in the cold and wet all weekend (don't ask) and we were far too tired to actually cook anything or to care whether we ate properly.

deege said this at 11:55 am | 0 comments |

Thursday, June 08, 2006

cracking the sads

Got the new essential running gear and went for my first run with it. I loaded it up with a bunch of more upbeat songs (which rather depressingly turned out to be mainly tragic eighties songs). I did miscalculate a little though, because I neglected to take into account the fact that I do not actually run at a very upbeat rate. So I sub-consciously upped my tempo to match the songs and felt dreadful for the first half of my run the other night.

I am getting a little dependent on keeping the routine in place with exercise. Sunday is normally a gym day for me but for one reason or other I was on the go all day and didn't get there before they closed. On Monday I was scheduled for a run, but I had worn new heels to work which had given me blisters. As soon as I put on my shoes, I knew that I was not going to be able to run. Went for a walk with Hub and the monsters instead but still felt annoyed. I was out of sorts all night snapping at Hub and The Boarder (such a nice expression I feel and whenever I say Housemate, people seem to wonder whether Hub and I are in a bizarre threeway with this idiosyncratic young man).

My mood wasn't just about lack of exercise (have some family stuff going on) but that was what was pissing me off. I was looking at the rest of my week and realising that I was going to find it hard to get in my workouts on the normal days anyway. Hub went into Mr Fixit which normally bugs me, but this time he said that if I was so annoyed about it, there was no reason why I couldn't get a run in on the day which is normally my only fixed rest day. On that day we go to church in the evening which for us takes place in a pub over dinner. He pointed out that we sometimes have half an hour to kill before we go to the pub and after I get home, and that if I made an effort to be early out of work, I could certainly fit in a session. And I did (I felt like shit for most of it but that is another story).

One of my difficulties at the moment is that I am scared that if I get out of the groove and habit of exercising, I will begin to feel like I am failing and feel pressure on myself to make up the difference by increasing my expectations. But at the same time, one of the things that has made it easy to keep up the habit so far is that I have respected my own limitations and not set myself up to do things that would be too hard (like getting up early in the morning). Anyway, it is still going to be an "off" week, but I feel better about it now. By the end of the week I still will have had three sessions of cardio and one of weights which is a helluva a lot better than I was doing ten weeks ago.

deege said this at 2:01 pm | 2 comments |

WWI the ninth

Starting Weight - 107.5kg
Current Weight - 104.5kg
Total weight loss - 3kg
This week's weight loss - 0.5kg

You know, I was sulking and delaying posting this since monday because I thought it was a gain. I obviously remembered wrongly what I weighed in at last week. So with this weigh in I am actually back to my lowest weight since I started this fitness thing. Woot.

deege said this at 1:52 pm | 0 comments |

Friday, June 02, 2006

early rewards

So I have set a reward for finishing the C25K which should take place in about 3 weeks - which is buying an mp3 player that is suitable for using while exercising. The only thing is that my friends have kindly offered to go to a discount sale tomorrow to buy me one at discounted pricing.

I just know that Hub is going to argue that it should stay in its box for another couple of weeks, but I can't see that happening. So I am reorienting my reward system and saying that my mp3 player is actually a necessary tool for running, much like good socks or my cool new asics. Therefore it is senseless to consider it a reward - just as you wouldn't delay buying prescription medicine until you had completed some arbitrary illness-related task.

So, I appear to have convinced myself that this whole MP3 player as reward scheme has been frightfully ill-considered. Thank heavens that I arrested this dangerous slide into lunacy early enough!! We can only hope that no damage has been caused by my flagrant delay!

Many might think that given this grave error I might be shy about setting future rewards, lest I make a similar miscalculation. But I am a firm believer in getting right back on the horse, so I can only move on to setting my next goal and reward. While some might sneeringly suggest that this reward business is just a shameless ploy to validate my own desire to buy cool technology when I should be paying off my credit card, I believe it plays a vital practical and psychological role in my training regime.

So my next reward will be a beautiful Garmin Forerunner 205 which will be awarded upon the completion of my first fun run. It is true that I did fully intend to buy myself one with my tax return anyway, but now it is clear that this impulse is not just a grab for cool gadgets, but an integral part of the getting buff(TM) program. Plus Hub says that I aren't allowed to get it until he gets the new gadget that he has had his eye on for 12 months or so. So two months gives him plenty of time to get his act together.

deege said this at 3:35 pm | 4 comments |

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Of hydraulics and bosoms

So there are a couple of indications that my body shape is changing ever so slightly - but not necessarily the ones that I would like. The dress pants that I wear for work have begun to scrape the ground indicating that there is less butt/belly holding them up. While this is great, I don't think I have yet lost enough to fit into the pile of replacement dress pants in my "skinny clothes" drawer. I don't want to spend a lot of money on work clothes which I hope will soon be too big for me. And of course I have recently be reluctant to buy any nice clothes because to buy myself a whole wardrobe of clothes would be to admit that I anticipate being this size for some time.

Secondly, it appears that the small amount of weight that I have lost has begun to remove itself from... ahem... the 'bustular area'. The girls began to swim a bit and realised that I was on the smallest set of hooks. So pulled out the "sticks-into-me" bra and discovered (at least so far) that it actually doesn't stick into me if I don't stuff it too tightly with oversized boobs. And the girls feel a little more stable, although this particular undergarment seems to point them forcefully forward at a disconcerting angle. Half worried that the first comments from my work colleagues about me looking different will be prompted not by the fact that I have lost weight, but by my hydraulically enhanced bosom.

deege said this at 10:55 am | 2 comments |