Thursday, 18 September 2014

Changing shape again

So I wrote a post about changing body shape due to running when I was marathon training the last time. At the time I was trying to get to WW goal weight and I was struggling a little. Taking measurements helped me realize I was changing even if the scales didn't tell me that. A while after the marathon I got my body fat measured by callipers (for free) and it came out at 23%. A lot lower than the electronic scales/handheld sensors have ever put me at, I hate those things.
10 months or so later I've gained 2-3 pounds, that fluctuates a bit depending on how I eat, usually downwards when I try to eat well and then back up when I don't. It comes off easily enough so I think a lot of it is water retention when eating more processed foods.

I'm happy to have maintained my weight loss so well, as 2-3 pounds is nothing compared to the 60+ I originally lost. Maybe its a bit vain but I'm curious as to how my body is changing as I train for my second marathon. Obviously the scales aren't changing much so I brought a pair of callipers for at home use.
Granted I know I won't be the most accurate measurer but it can give me an estimate. Taking multiple measurements (multiple times) at different sites, I set out to determine my body fat. First things first you'll need some help as some of the measurements are on the back. Once you take consistent measurements you need to decide what formula you want to use, with different formulas wanting measurements from different sites. There are websites that will do these calculations automatically.
Mine ranges from 18-20% depending on the formula I use. I would lean towards the 20% being correct. That puts me in the 'athletic' range. So almost a year of running has made at least a 3% difference to my body fat without changing my weight.

Would I like to lose more body fat?
Maybe a little as I still hold more than I'd like on my stomach and thighs but not much as I don't think its healthy to go too low unless you are training as a semi/fully-professional athlete with good support in terms of nutrition.

Do I care a whole lot?
Not really. As long as I stay in my healthy range, I'm happy. Weight loss is never going to get rid of my stretch marks (only add to them), scars, cellulite and horrible tan lines. These things will only get worst with babies/age so its important to learn to accept my body as it is.

Am I curious what a hard round of marathon training will do?
Very and I'll take measurements every few weeks to see if anything changes.

Monday, 15 September 2014

Marathon (Kiawah) Training Week Five

I didn't even realise it until I looked at my spreadsheet but my mileage jumped up last week (by 4 miles) and is going up another 4 this week. It doesn't seem like much but it might explain why I've been on the struggle bus with tiredness.
Its also been pretty stressful the last few weeks. The car breaking, dentistry, work...its never one thing :) I don't seem to have time to just sit and relax and when I do I feel like I should be doing something, the list never ends. This is one aspect of my personality that has always been the same but before my energy would be poured into keeping a perfectly spotless house etc. Thats gone by the wayside and I guess it annoys me that I can't do it all. I best get used to it!!!

Monday
Plan Cross-train
Actual 3 miles recovery 10.15 min/mile
So all my races (aka long run days) have shifted to Saturdays between now and the marathon in December (which is also on a Saturday). So I needed to move my training. I thought sooner was better so this week I shifted everything back a day. Unfortunately, that meant I missed cross training this week, again, but moving cross-training to Sundays will be more convenient anyhow, since swimming seems to suck up a lot more than the 45 minutes I'm in the pool.
I did a 3 mile run in the evening along the river which looked like a very different place when the sky wasn't falling down!! I thought this run would be a lot harder coming off a 13 mile one the day before but it was fine. I was a bit sore but once I warmed up that was gone.

Tuesday
Plan 7 miles 9.30-9.45 min/mile
Actual 7 miles 9.23 min/mile


I went some place different to run today, a miracle. I couldn't face the same trail, so I took the shiny new car and went further away to a different part of the river. I did more of my winter training runs here as a nice flat gravel trail runs alongside the paved one. This was my stomping grounds when my IT band was really bad and I could not run on any surface that sloped to the left or right. Familiar but fresh is how I would describe my surroundings. Boy what a difference that makes, the run passed quickly even though it was pretty humid.

I stuck a towel on the car seat to protect it from my sweaty self. I didn't care in the old car but we want to keep the interior of this one impeccable since we are either going to drive it until its really old or we move home and need to sell it on. Do any runners have suggestions for seat protectors (I'm worried sweat will soak through garden variety car seat covers) or does everyone change before heading home?

Wednesday
Plan 3 miles progression
Actual 3 miles 8.58 min/mile (9.11, 9.02, 8.41)
Well I did it, I met up with a running group. This one was having a promo for the race I'm doing in Columbia, in November. So I went along and I didn't really talk to anyone, except one nice lady, who encouraged me to join the group. There were drinks and free frozen yogurt at the end so I really can't complain :) I'll probably switch some of my training back to evenings when it cools down a bit so maybe if I show up a few times people will start to recognise my face. The run itself was pretty uneventful 3 miles starting slow, picking the pace up as I went along.
This was probably the first day this week that I didn't feel dog tired so I broke out the lawn mower when I got back to the house and did a bit of the garden. Me thinks we left it too long. Normally I'm pretty good about keeping the garden cut but its been so rainy the grass is never dry enough to cut. By the time I made it to the back garden the mower kept cutting out, the grass was too long. It got dark and I couldn't finish it anyway...another days work.

Thursday
Plan rest
Actual rest
I took Martina to the dentist, to get three wisdom teeth removed, at 1pm, expecting to go back to work afterwards. One look at her face and I decided to stay home with her for the rest of the day. Luckily they gave her the good painkillers but I wanted to be at home in case she was totally out of it. Really I should have done some reading for work but in the end I wasn't much help to her as I ended up falling asleep for 2-3 hours. I was in bed by 9.30 and probably asleep shortly after. Lots of rest was had.

Friday
Plan 7 miles easy
Actual 7 miles 9.43 min/mile
Brought Boomer for 4 miles. It was great to have company. We took a break and Boomer had a swim in the river to cool off at two miles before we ran back and I dropped him home. I went back out for 3 miles and felt great I even threw in a half mile of hill.

Saturday
Plan 14 miles easy
Actual 14 miles 9.52 min/mile
An early start but not for running. I spent most of the day either in the car or in IKEA. Mostly it was for a friends benefit but of course it sucked me in and we bought some bits and pieces for our house.
 We made it home around 4.30pm and I was out running by 5.30. It's still hot and humid as hell here so I had to stop twice at Wholefoods to refill my water bottles, I was drinking so much. I also brought along Gatorade and Gu Chomps. They didn't cause any stomach problems yay. No pain either it was just a bit of a slog. I managed to avoid lightning this week and only got a nice cooling shower of rain for the last 2 miles. That was awesome, the chaffing not so much! Easy pace is consistent, not quite as fast as I want it to be but I don't want to push myself into overtraining. It's scary but let's hope I speed up as it gets cooler.
 I felt under pressure as we were meeting friends for dinner and mid-run had to text them to push back the time. I made it home as it was getting dark and fought my way through the crazyness that is game day tailgating. After the quickest post run shower and change ever I made it to dinner for a Thai massaman curry.....totally worth running 14 miles. A really long exhausting day done, also marking the end of Week Five. 


Today starts week 6..swimming ahoy. The lawn still isn't finished so maybe that'll add to my cross training today.


How was your weekend? Am I the only person who cannot go to IKEA or Target and spend less than a $100?