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Jeff's training blog: 3 months, 30 pounds lost!


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Haven't gone running other than in a 5k race in about a month now, and decided to skip the last couple of 5k races. At this point I'm pretty sure running aggravates my foot far more than, say, playing racquetball, so I'm laying off until I have a chance to go to the sports medicine person. Fortunately, they'll be able to see me next Wednesday instead of the end of the month.

 

Played basketball twice with my son last week, about an hour each time, and I've also played racquetball twice recently, last Monday and yesterday. Did 15.7 miles on the bike Sunday in 1:07, with average HR of 138 and max of 165, and about a dozen miles yesterday at a fairly leisurely pace (around 115-120 average HR) as well as playing racquetball. I'm not even going to step on the scales any time soon -- too scary!

 

Unfortunately, my wrist is still not healed enough to start lifting weights in any serious way yet. I can do curls with about 15-20 pounds without it hurting much, but the doctor advised me to stay away from weightlifting for at least another month.

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Nothing new to report, really. My heel/foot injury is still there, so I'm still not running since that's what caused it and what aggravates it the most. I've been to a sports medicine doc who does active release therapy a couple of times now. It's too early to tell if it will help, but it seems to be helping a little bit.

 

Since I really need to be able to run for maximal weight loss effectiveness and I've also been really busy with work, I've been basically stuck in the mid-160s weight-wise for a couple of months now. I'm playing racquetball about three times a week and biking maybe a couple of hours a week.

 

Today's workout was pretty intense: Six tough games of racquetball plus about 15 minutes of practice, so almost 2 1/2 hours of racquetball in all.

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Well, haven't posted in a while, basically because nothing has really changed. My foot still hurts, damn it, despite several trips to a sports medicine doc who does Active Release Therapy. It's not that painful; it just doesn't go away even when I rest the foot for several days. I'm starting to think maybe it's a stress fracture, which would put weight-bearing activity off the table for probably a month, which would really suck. As I said, not much has changed; I'm still playing racquetball about 3 times a week and doing other stuff like riding my bike trainer or doing some lifting when I have time, my weight is still in the mid-160s, and my foot still gives me trouble. And my finger, too--jammed that playing racquetball about 3 weeks ago when my opponent and I ran into each other, and it still bothers me. I served a lot of forehands in my racquetball games tonight even though it hurts a bit to hit forehands, but now my bottom knuckle on that finger is swollen. Hopefully I haven't broken that, too!

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My gym has racquetball courts, I see these guys all the time. Wrapped up, tied up, knee brace, ankle brace, You can't talk to these guys. there cartilage is worn or gone. I find it amazing how they can't get away from the comp. I know I use to play handball before tearing my achilles tendon. I've played some since but just don't have the speed I would like. Why not give it a break and come back strong so you injury doesn't deteriorate?

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My gym has racquetball courts, I see these guys all the time. Wrapped up, tied up, knee brace, ankle brace, You can't talk to these guys. there cartilage is worn or gone. I find it amazing how they can't get away from the comp. I know I use to play handball before tearing my achilles tendon. I've played some since but just don't have the speed I would like. Why not give it a break and come back strong so you injury doesn't deteriorate?

 

My foot injury turned out to be something that rest alone wouldn't help. Tarsal tunnel syndrome, apparently caused by having high arches in addition to it being partially an overuse injury. I took about 3 weeks off from racquetball as well as basically anything involving running, as much because of my sprained finger as because of my foot, and it didn't help the foot that much. What is helping is that I've now got custom orthotics for my shoes. I'm also taking a prescription anti-inflammatory as well as a gabapentin/amitriptilene ointment, both of which also seem to be helping some. Unfortunately just as my foot and my sprained finger were both getting a lot better, I pulled a calf muscle a little bit, so I'm taking yet another week off, but I should finally be in good shape for racquetball and running by some time next week.

 

This is the first post to this blog in a couple of months, again because there hasn't been much new except continued frustration with injuries and undesired layoffs from exercise. But my finger is finally healed enough to resume weightlifting as well as racquetball, and I'm seeing light at the end of the tunnel for my below-the-waist injuries, so hopefully I'll have progress to report soon.

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Nothing good to post about lately--due to injuries and my regular racquetball partner moving away, I've been pretty inactive the last couple of months. So, despite eating as healthy as always, my weight was up to about 176 (from 165 or so a few months ago). With the warm weather and all, I've managed to get out on the bike as well as put up with relatively minor pain in my foot and run. This week:

 

Sunday: 6 mile run, "granny" pace of 72 minutes, average HR 133.

Monday: 22 mile bike ride, 2 hours, avg. HR 119.

Tuesday: 6 mile run, even slower due to just having eaten dinner. I won't do this again! Average HR was 158 despite <5mph pace.

Wednesday: 3.7 mile run, 42 min., avg. HR 134; 12 mile ride, 65 min., avg. HR 110.

Thursday: 6 mile run, 74 min., average HR 129.

 

Lifting a couple of times per week the last 3 weeks, mostly upper body.

 

I'm hoping for 174 on the scales in the morning. My conclusion about my metabolism: It sucks. I need to average at least an hour a day of exercise or I'm doomed to be a few pounds overweight. (The upper end of "normal" for my height is about 160.) My goal for the summer is to get back down to 150 where I was a year and a half ago.

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Weight this morning: 172.0. I think the last time I weighed my stomach wasn't all that empty despite it being morning, because I'm sure I haven't lost 2 pounds in 2 days.

 

Yesterday I ran 6 miles. I think my time was around 69 minutes and average HR was around 135, but not sure because I was stopping and starting my monitor. I wanted to see exactly what heart rate I would be at for a 10-minute mile pace (low 140s) to use as a benchmark for what kind of shape I'm in in the future. Ran several laps at different paces, the fastest about a 9-minute mile pace (the track is actually 8/10 of a mile).

 

Feet are a little sore. I will try to go for a bike ride today, although the necessity of doing my taxes soon may prevent that.

 

Update: Went for a ride anyway despite the looming taxes & other work. 22.13 miles in 1:48, average HR of 121.

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Took 2 days off due to amount of work I've had this week, but unfortunately I didn't actually get a great deal done, aside from taxes. Now the government has more $ to kill people in Afghanistan and Iraq with. Great.

 

Ran 4.4 miles in 44:50 this morning, average HR 145. Hopefully I'll soon be in good enough shape to average under 10 minutes a mile at this HR.

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Ran 4.4 miles yesterday, focusing on speed work. Jogged pretty slowly (HR around 115 average) 1 mile to the park, then did intervals where I went at a moderately fast pace (a little faster than 5k pace) until I was nearly out of breath, then walked until I had caught my breath, then did again, covering a total of 2.4 miles in a little under 24 minutes. Each interval my heart rate got up to the upper 150s to low 160s, and generally I let it drop down in the 120s to 140s before starting the next one. I then ran a 10-minute mile home, throwing in a couple more bursts of speed toward the end. Average heart rate overall was 137.

 

Unfortunately, I overdid it a little. After initially feeling fine, a couple of hours later my left lower back/hip/butt area started hurting, and within a couple of hours it was painful to even walk for a while. I'm feeling significantly better today so hopefully it's nothing serious, but I'll have to give the exercise some rest for another day if not more. To compensate I'm trying to be super-strict with the diet. I haven't had any bread since yesterday morning, still eating very low-fat with lots of green veggies, and for now I've cut out all beverages other than water.

 

Weight this morning: 173.0, down a pound from 10 days ago.

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Weight this morning: 169.8. Like last Monday when I weighed 172, my stomach was unusually empty, so comparing the two empty-stomach weights I guess I've lost about 2 pounds in 8 days. Not bad.

 

Shot some basketball with my son this afternoon, but didn't play a game, due to Sunday's injury. It's feeling a lot better, but I'm not going to take any chances coming back prematurely. I'm thinking about running a 5k race this weekend, although I know with the extra few pounds I'm carrying my time is going to stink compared to my best times.

 

Got Robert's new book in the mail today. Maybe once my injury is healed up that will inspire me to start lifting regularly again!

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Weight this morning: 168.0. My stomach was pretty empty this morning so it's hard to say how my weight actually compares to how it was at the beginning of the month, but my best guess is I probably weighed about 174-175 on an equally empty stomach back then, so that means I've lost perhaps 6 or 7 pounds this month. I think it has really helped me to almost completely cut out beverages other than water. As healthy as what I was eating was, I was consuming several hundred calories a day in the form of sweetened tea and the occasional margarita or glass of fruit juice. it seems there's a lot of recent research suggesting that liquid calories (unless it's a smoothie or something else that contains fiber) do little to nothing to satisfy hunger, so even if they're otherwise healthy they're a poor choice for anyone trying to lose fat.

 

Ran about 9.3 miles in 116 minutes, average HR 125, max HR 140. It's supposed to rain a lot tomorrow, and I wanted to get my long run for the week in today anyway so that I can rest tomorrow and run the 5k on Saturday. It's always fun to step on the scale after a long run, even though I know it's mostly water and glycogen that's been lost and only a little of it fat. Weight was 164.2. Hopefully I'll still be under 168 tomorrow morning!

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Foot is still bugging me. The pain comes and goes and sometimes goes away, but the problem (tarsal tunnel syndrome) has been about the same for months now despite orthotics, anti-inflammatories, and other attempted treatments. I guess it's back to the podiatrist soon.

 

So, back to riding the bike today, since it doesn't aggravate my foot at all. Did 12.14 miles in 56:10, with an average HR of 122, max of 150. I'm contemplating doing a 5k Saturday, but I don't think I'll do it if my foot doesn't feel better Saturday than it has today.

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