Monday, February 28, 2011

A2O Video Diary Part I - One year of maintenance

I celebrated one year of maintaining my weight loss last week which was exciting.  Looking back, losing the weight was just the first step and keeping it off for the next 40 years will be the true test.  I am happy with my progress and thanks to Austin at A2O Fitness for pushing me to give everything I had on Thursday.  I was glad we were able to get this day on tape too. 

I did tell Austin we need some more manly file footage.  Curtsy lunges just don't say manly for some reason! ☺

BA Mother Runner

Saw this shirt on and had to share.  The book was highly recommended too!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Long Run Part II

Yesterday was my long run and I was happy with the results for the most part.  I had a 7:15 pace through 15 miles but then my left achilles started to hurt and my right knee was pounding too.  I think my main problem was the fact that it was like 15 degrees and my muscles never seemed to loosen up.

So, I learned that I run better in temperatures above freezing.  No surprise there.

The other thing I realized as I was going over the run afterward is I need to work on my endurance by simply putting in more time on my feet.  When Michelle and I were training for St. George last fall I did my long runs on Saturday and her long runs on Sunday.  The Sunday runs were great for me to learn to run tired at a pace that wouldn't kill me.

Michelle and I normally run together on Sunday because we are both signed up for the Pocatello 50 race on Memorial day.  I am doing the 50 miler and she is doing the 20 miler.  So, to work on my endurance I got up early and left the house before she got out of bed then told her to pick me up on the way.  It was 5:51 and 17 degrees.  Now that I have a headlamp there is no need to go in Jedi stealth mode like I normally do.  My only goal was to keep moving and whatever pace my body felt was right would be fine.  Today that was 10:00 per mile.  I got about 4 miles in the dark before Michelle caught up with me.

I told her when I got in the car that I am convinced that going for her long run on Sundays last fall was one of the keys to my success.  I told her she was more important to my running than she knew!  She gave me a funny look and I attempted to recover by saying 'allow me to rephrase'.  You know how important you are to me and I just wanted you to know.  She smiled one of those, that's better, kind of smiles.
 So we ended up going to Wilson Creek out south of Nampa and going on the trails for another 7.5 miles which was fun.  We saw the wild horses and there was a new colt in the bunch we hadn't seen before that was brand new.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Mind Over Body Marathon: 20 miles is worse than 26.2

Repost from a friend on Rychen J.

I have a 20 miler this weekend it this says it all.........

Mind Over Body Marathon: 20 miles is worse than 26.2: "Occasionally someone will mention that they've seen me out running and ask if I'm training for something. When I tell them I run and train..."

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Saturday Long Run

Yesterday my motivation and positive attitude got a serious test.  Once again it was quite cold in the morning so I waited until about 11am to go out.  Mistake number 1.  All of my training last fall was first thing in the morning while I was still fresh but the temperature was warmer than 30 then too.  Plus, the wind kicks up around here after the sun comes up and you never know what direction it's going to be blowing.

My plan called for 18 miles at a pace of 7:11 per mile which seemed achievable after last week's 13 miler at a 7:00 pace.  Michelle and I started at Lucky 13 in Harris Ranch and headed toward Discover Park below Lucky Peak.
The first few miles felt good and the wind was still pretty calm.  Mistake number 2, was not following my normal hydration and fueling plan, which is to alternate 12 ounces of water and 12 ounces of Gatorade every 2 miles.  The distance from Lucky 13 to Discovery is 4.33 miles and I figured I would just get my Gatorade when we got to Discovery.  This extra distance without fuel was the start of my crash.  I took water at 6.33 and then decided again to wait the extra distance for Gatorade until we got back to the truck at 8.67 which again was not smart.  These two stops are to first two dips on the HR chart. 

In addition to not fueling properly, I was overheating.  I had an extra long sleeve shirt on which felt good for the first few miles but stopped to ditch it at the truck.  When we left the truck I felt horrible so I took some extra energy chews which caused my HR to spike between mile 9 and 10 before settling back into the normal range.

At about mile 11 was where my body officially gave up.  My HR started climbing while my speed was declining.  My average HR for the first 11 miles was 163 with and average pace of 7:10.  Miles 12 through 15 my average HR was 174 with an average pace of 7:39.  During each of these 4 miles my max HR was about 185 which is off the charts for me.

My water and fuel timing continued to be horrible until mile 16.  If you look on the HR graph you can see where it settles down and looks pretty normal.  I got the right amount of water and ate some energy chews which seemed to help.  I ran mile 17 at a normal HR then practiced pushing myself without pushing my HR too high.  My average HR for mile 17 was 155 and mile 18 it was159 but 30 seconds faster.

All in all, it was a pretty horrible run. BUT here is what experience I gained from it:
a) Go first thing in the morning, which is what my body is used to
b) Follow the hydration and fuel plan, once I start crashing it's all over
c) Stop experimenting with gels and chews, use the one that works for me (Clif Shot Bloks Margarita flavor with added sodium, which I did not have on this run)

One final note, when we were driving home I was trying to figure out why things went so terribly wrong today and everything fell apart.  If you don't count the time using the restroom and shedding clothes my moving time was 2 hours and 13 minutes or a pace of 7:23 per mile for 18 miles. (Which coincidentally, is just under the pace required to qualify for the Boston Marathon for men 35-39) 

I felt like the contestants on the Biggest Loser when they complain about ONLY losing 7 pounds that week and it not being good enough.  Michelle reminded me that most people would kill to have a bad day like mine. She was right and I decided that I would find the positives and learn from my mistakes.

A2O Question of the week

What motivates you when you do not feel motivated?

What motivates me is having specific measurable goals that have a deadline. The other motivating factor is being accountable not only to myself but to others. When I set my goals, I tell everyone so that they will hold me accountable not just on race day, but on cold Monday mornings in February too. I think that is why running has been so wonderful for me. When I sign up for a race, it addresses these items with an added bonus. This was my goal for the first race I ever ran:

Run the Dry Creek Half Marathon– specific
13.1 – measureable
In under 2 hours – specific and measureable
On April 3rd, 2010 – deadline
Tell everyone who will listen and ask for support – accountability
Paying the entry fee – The Added Bonus

When I set this goal, I knew that to achieve it I would have to have a plan. So I put together a schedule that I felt like if I followed would prepare me for that day. There were days I didn’t feel as motivated as others but what got me moving each day was the deadline and the accountability. I say paying the entry fee is an added bonus because once I actually paid the entry fee it motivated me to get started right away! I finished the Dry Creek half marathon last year in 1 hour 51 minutes and met my goal.

This quote helps me some days too….. "There is no glory in practice, but without practice, there is no glory...” Unknown

Friday, February 18, 2011


This photograph is hanging on the wall at A2O Fitness and I just love it.  Thank you Gina Radovcich of Photography by Gina Marie for letting me share this photo here. 

I do not know that I have any special ability.  I didn't even realize I was a runner until September of 2009. What I do have, is the motivation to achieve my goals now and the positive attitude to take the highs with the lows and learn from each experience along the way.

I am convinced that the positive attitude is the most important part of the equation.  It is what allows you to see the opportunity in every difficulty instead of the other way around.  I have visited with many people who are trying to get in shape and turn their health around.  I have heard several say 'nothing works so I might as well give up'.  My usual response is, every day is a new day!  Last week was horrible, SO WHAT!!  Put it behind you and recommit to your goals.  You can do it!

*On a side note, someday I hope to learn how to properly execute the move they are demonstrating in the picture without looking like a total uncoordinated idiot! I blame it on my left-handedness.  I end up dancing around like a leprechaun and laughing!

I'm TALLER today!!

Last night I had a personal training session with Austin at A20 which went well.  I started with measurements and to my surprise I am maintaining my weight while using the ColorFuel food plan.  I say surprised only because I feel like I am eating more, but in reality I am fueling my body with just what it needs in the proportions it needs.  I enjoy the food choices and to this point I am happy with the improvements. 

So, I maintained my weight and cut a little flab off my stomach which is nice.  I think over the period I was losing weight my gut measurement went down 18 inches.  I honestly don't know where 18 inches of stomach goes but I am not complaining!

Then we did an anaerobic threshold test on the treadmill to help make me more conscious of where my threshold is.  As a runner it is very important because when you cross over the line it doesn't take long to burn up all the glycogen in your muscles.  So, 8.0 on the treadmill for a few minutes resulted in a HR of 129.  Gradually Austin increased the incline for the first 7 or 8 minutes while holding the speed constant.  The last couple of minutes were 8.5% incline and 8.0 mph.  I could definitely feel my body reaching my AT at a heart rate of 160.

The workout was predominantly upper body to give my legs a rest for my 18 miler this weekend which was nice.  BUT, the best thing was doing stretches on the rings hanging from the ceiling.  I am taller than the height of the rings.  Holding 1 ring, I was able to lean into a full side stretch which really relaxed my spine and back.  I did it a couple of times on both sides and felt great.  When I got up to go to work this morning both of my side mirrors and my rear view mirror were way out of alignment (which I didn't notice last night in the dark).  I have come to the conclusion that I got about an inch taller doing those stretches!!  Running seems to jar and compact everything so it was good to re-set my height!!

Make it a great day!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The mayonnaise jar and 2 glasses of wine theory...

I have seen this before but it was worth reading again. 

When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar and the 2 glasses of wine theory...

A professor stood before his philosophy class with some items on his desk in front of him. When the class began, wordlessly, he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls.

He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.  The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous 'YES.'

The professor then produced two glasses of wine from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed. 

'Now,' said the professor, as the laughter subsided, 'I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things; your family, your children, your health, your friends, and your favourite passions; things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. 

The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house, and your car. The sand is everything else; the small stuff. 

If you put the sand into the jar first, he continued, 'there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the good things that are important to you.

Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your partner out to dinner. Play another 18 holes. Do one more run down the ski slope. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal. Take care of the golf balls first; the things that really matter.

Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the wine represented.

The professor smiled. 'I'm glad you asked. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of glasses of wine with a friend!'

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Changes for Boston Marathon Registration and Qualifying

The Boston Athletic Associtation announced today that they will be implementing new registration and qualifying times in response to registration filling up in just over 8 hours this year.  Looks like I lucked out this year.  OR, it could be that this is the way Robie Creek fills up EVERY year so I was ready!!

BOSTON – The Boston Athletic Association (B.A.A.) announced today a change in its registration process for the Boston Marathon, allowing the fastest qualifiers to enter the earliest and with a rolling admission system while also offering all eligible runners an increased registration period. The changes in registration are a response by the B.A.A. to greater than ever demand by runners to gain entry into the Boston Marathon and culminate more than three months of analysis, including input from the running industry. Rather than accepting runners who have met the qualifying standards on a first come, first served approach, a more systematic, performance-based process will be employed.

2012 Boston Marathon
For the 2012 Boston Marathon, registration will extend for two weeks, beginning on Monday, September 12, 2011 and continuing until Friday, September 23, 2011. The qualifying times for the 2012 Boston Marathon will not change from recent past years since the standards had been previously announced and have been in effect since last September. However, the new registration process addresses the increased demand among qualified runners to participate in the Boston Marathon and will accommodate those who are the fastest qualifiers first.

Registration will occur on a “rolling admission” schedule until the maximum field size is reached, beginning with the fastest qualifiers. On the first day of registration for the 2012 Boston Marathon, those who are eligible for entry by having met the qualifying standards for their age and gender group by 20 minutes or more will be able to enter on the first day of registration (September 12). On the third day (September 14), registration will open for those who have met their qualifying standards by 10 minutes or more. On the fifth day (September 16), registration will open for those who have met their qualifying standards by five minutes or more. During this first week of registration, applicants will be notified as they are accepted and their qualifying performance verified.

If the field size is not reached after the first week and additional space remains, then registration will open to all qualifiers at the beginning of Week Two (September 19) and those who have met the qualifying standards by any amount of time will be able to apply for entry. The application process will remain open for the entire week, closing on September 23. At the conclusion of Week Two, those who are the fastest among the pool of applicants in their age and gender will be accepted. Accepted athletes will be notified on September 28.

If space remains available after this two week process, registration will remain open to any qualifier on a first come, first served basis until the maximum field size is reached. The field size for the 2012 Boston Marathon will not represent a significant increase from the most recent years.

Registration Process for the 2012 Boston Marathon

September 12, 2011 20 min., 00sec. or more below their qualifying time (based on age/gender)
September 14, 2011 10 min., 00 sec. or more below their qualifying time (based on age/gender)
September 16, 2011 5 min., 00 sec. or more below their qualifying time (based on age/gender)
Second Week
September 19, 2011 All Qualified Runners
September 23, 2011 Registration closes for qualified applicants
September 28, 2011 (appx) Qualifiers from entry during second week of registration are notified of their acceptance.

If the field is not filled at the conclusion of the two weeks, then registration will remain open and qualifiers will be accepted on a first come, first served basis until the maximum field size is reached.

2013 Boston Marathon
For the 2013 Boston Marathon, in addition to the new “rolling admission” process for registration which will be in effect for the 2012 Boston Marathon, the B.A.A. will adjust the qualifying times by lowering them by five minutes from the times which have been in effect in recent past years. The adjusted qualifying times will go into effect on September 24, 2011, and are as follows:

2013 Qualifying Times (effective September 24, 2011)

18-34 3hrs 05min 00sec 3hrs 35min 00sec
35-39 3hrs 10min 00sec 3hrs 40min 00sec
40-44 3hrs 15min 00sec 3hrs 45min 00sec
45-49 3hrs 25min 00sec 3hrs 55min 00sec
50-54 3hrs 30min 00sec 4hrs 00min 00sec
55-59 3hrs 40min 00sec 4hrs 10min 00sec
60-64 3hrs 55min 00sec 4hrs 25min 00sec
65-69 4hrs 10min 00sec 4hrs 40min 00sec
70-74 4hrs 25min 00sec 4hrs 55min 00sec
75-79 4hrs 40min 00sec 5hrs 10min 00sec
80 and over 4hrs 55min 00sec 5hrs 25min 00sec

*Unlike previous years, an additional 59 seconds will NOT be accepted for each age group time standard.

Registration for the 2013 Boston Marathon will begin on Monday, September 10, 2012.

“As the number of qualified runners has increased combined with greater demand to run the Boston Marathon, our new registration process enables those who qualify by the greatest amount of time to have the longest period to enter,” said Tom Grilk, B.A.A. Executive Director. “Our new registration process takes into consideration the many comments we received from runners this past fall and winter, most of whom urged the B.A.A. to institute a system which recognizes athletic performance above all else.”

Additionally, to recognize and to encourage longtime Boston Marathon entrants, the B.A.A. will allow those who have met the qualifying times and who have finished the last ten consecutive Boston Marathons to enter anytime during the registration period. Currently, there are approximately 500 runners who have run 10 or more consecutive Boston Marathons.

The B.A.A. last adjusted the qualifying times for the 2003 Boston Marathon, relaxing times for runners who were 55 years old and older. The last time the qualifying times were made more stringent was for the 1980 Boston Marathon.

The 2011 Boston Marathon reached its maximum field size of qualifiers faster than any previous year when qualifiers rushed to fill the race and the qualified field closed in eight hours, three minutes.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Welcome A2O Fitness Powered by Colorfuel!!

Thank you to Allison and Jenn at A2O Fitness for this wonderful opportunity to partner with them!  When I met them at the Humphreys Diabetes Weight Loss Challenge kick off I told them everything I knew about nutrition and fitness was either through trial and error or I found someone on the internet that said it was so!!

Trial and error is no way to go through a diet and exercise plan but somehow I was able to stick with it and lose the weight.  Unfortunately, I still have a lot to learn about both nutrition and structuring a workout routine that will provide the maximum results.  I have been training with Austin Zander at A2O for 3 weeks now and going to a group class once a week in addition to my own training at home.  Austin has helped me add strength training to my routine which has helped my performance already.  My running weakness has always been my core strength which has improved in each of the classes and sessions!

I have also been doing Colorfuel for about three weeks now and I am loving it.  The meal plans have given me a variety that I haven't had in a long time and even exposed me to some new things I had never had.  I had TOFU in a shake yesterday and it was wonderful!!  My kids even liked it.  The meals are well balanced so I am getting just what I need and nothing I don't.  My wife and I have been doing this together and she has already lost18 pounds with the help of Heather Easton at A2O and the Colorfuel nutrition plan! 

As you can tell I am really excited about this opportunity and look forward to going from good to great with their help and guidance!

"Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity"~Seneca, 1st Century Roman Philosopher

Wish me luck! Ryan

Feb 12th Long Run

Last Monday I mentioned that Michelle had yet to join me for one of my long runs and I was looking forward to her being there with me this weekend.

Well, it worked! I ran 13.1 miles in 1 hour 31 minutes and 53 seconds, which was a great time for me. My plan called for 13 miles at a pace of 6:56 per minute and my time yielded a pace of 7:00. The weather was a record high of 61 degrees, which was amazing other than the headwind I was fighting for 6.55 miles!

We did two loops. We started in Ann Morrison Park crossed the bridge and down to Warm Springs Golf Course where we crossed the river again the back to Ann Morrison. This was basically the Boise Ironman course less the few blocks up to BoDo and back that we did last year.

When we finished I was sweating bullets and walked through the park with my shirt wrapped around my neck, which got me a few crazy stares from people in hats, gloves, and coats!

Overall, it was a good day. Now I just have to double the distance and cut off about 4 minutes to reach my goal! ☺

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Yasso 800s

Yasso 800s

I started week 1 of doing these today and did 6 of them but only rested for half of the recommended time.  Next week I'll try 7 and actually include the appropriate amount of rest and see how it goes!


Les Brown Quote

"The things you do for yourself are gone when you are gone, but the things that you do for others remain as your legacy....." ~ Les Brown

Thanks for sharing Vicki

Monday, February 7, 2011

Has anyone seen my Groove? I left it around here somewhere....

I have still been struggling to find my groove since resuming training for the up coming marathon.  I usually do great on my speed and tempo runs but can't seem to get everything together for the long runs on Saturday. 

January 15th it was foggy and icy so I had to go slower.  Michelle took a spill on her bike while following me which was scary.  January 22nd there was more fog and ice which got me out of my mental 'place'.  January 30th was the day following a trail run with Michelle and friends in the Owyhee mountains.  It was gorgeous and I had a blast but it wasn't the best 'rest day' prior to a long run! 

This past Saturday was my closest to a good one yet.  I was having a problem with my left calf muscle since Thursday and on Saturday morning it hurt so bad I decided to just go for my run on Sunday.  Michelle and I normally run together on Sunday so she wasn't terribly excited about me pushing it back.  My daughter was having her 8th birthday party from 12-3pm and afterwards I felt 100% better than when I woke up.  The temperature had warmed up to 50 degrees too which helped my mood.  So, I went down to the greenbelt along the river to run 10 miles upriver and 10 miles back.

My goal was to do the 20 miles at a 7:26 per mile pace.  I was ahead of my pace at the halfway point and I had been running slightly uphill.  I figured I would get a little lift once I turned around.  Unfortunately, when I turned around I had a stiff breeze in my face that slowed me slightly and gave me the chills.  Since it was so nice, I only had shorts and a long sleeve shirt which didn't help in the wind and late afternoon temperatures. 

I continued on at my pace until mile 14.5 and then stopped. I had a 7:27 per mile pace at that point.  I felt like I was developing a blister on my right foot and didn't want to risk it.  It was also about dark and the last five miles are along a sketchy part of the river that isn't lit up very well.  So, I called Michelle's mom and she picked me up and took me to my truck.

I realized two things on this run.  First, it was a smart move to stop early, rather than risk developing a blister. Second, I missed Michelle at my side.  She has been my marathon training partner since we started all this and she hasn't been able to join me since slipping on the ice.  For me, running is as much of a mental game as it is a physical test of endurance.  When my mind isn't where it is supposed to be, my performance always suffers.  She knows exactly what I need when I need it so I don't have to worry about it.  She is also getting to be quite a talented one-sided conversationalist while I am huffing and puffing!

Before we went to St. George last year we even joked about my ability (or inability) to cope during the race without her there by my side!  I owe a great deal of my success to her.

Everyone has someone who motivates and inspires them.  Take a minute and make sure they know it!


Thursday, February 3, 2011

Nutritional Misfits

Great article from Runner's World.

Nutritional Misfits

"Don't think of food as calories, think of it as fuel. You shouldn't be running so you can eat--you should be eating so you can run." (p.11)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

What's been working for me.....

This is a list from my friend Guenevere who reached her goal weight and has been maintaining for over 1 year.  Hopefully there is something useful here to incorporate into your healthy living plan.
• I tried to create a healthy living plan, rather than a diet.

• Generally, I look for filling foods with the most nutrients for the least calories. My meals consist of a ton of vegetables, large portions of lean protein such as fish or egg whites, quite a bit of fruit, small portions of high fiber whole grains, a lot of low-fat dairy (I love nonfat Greek-style yogurt – it’s higher in protein and lower in sugar than “regular” yogurt), a little bit of sweet treats once or twice a week, and a little bit of unsalted nuts a few times a week.

• I try to eat at least 5 servings of veggies and 2 servings of fruit a day, every day. And I try to eat my veggies first so that I eat less of the other stuff on my plate.

• I try to keep temptation out of my home. Anything I have a tendency to over eat (sweets and salty snacks) I keep out of my home.

• Instead, I stock my home with easy to grab veggies, fruits and low-sodium/low-calorie soups.

• If I have treats I make sure to buy and eat only a small, single serving and I make sure to eat it outside my home (see above).

• I roast a lot of vegetables in the oven (on a baking sheet coated with olive oil). Whatever I don’t eat right away I put in the fridge and eat as a snack later or the next day, cold right out of the fridge with a little balsamic vinegar.

• I try to limit my carbohydrates to mostly beans/legumes, sweet potatoes and fruit, and the occasional sweet treat.

• When I do eat carbohydrates, I avoid anything with white flour and I keep the portions small. (I avoid supposedly innocuous things like pretzels because eating pretzels makes me crave more and more pretzels. When I ate pretzels I tended to eat the entire 16 ounce bag over the course of a day, which has almost an entire day’s worth of calories!)

• For everything except for fish, vegetables and fruit, I stick to smaller portions, using proper serving sizes as a guide. I use small plates to help me control portion size.

• I count calories. I always read labels.

• I limit my alcohol intake to a glass of wine a month. (Alcohol is high in “empty” calories and loosens willpower.)

• I drink at least a gallon of water a day every day. (And I take a lot of bathroom breaks!)

• I try to eat only when I am hungry. (I had to re-learn what hungry feels like.)

• On the other hand, I try to go no more than 4 hours without eating something. If I am “starving,” I am more likely to binge.

• I try to eat slowly.

• I weigh myself once a week, on the same day at the same time of the day every time.

• I used a spreadsheet to record and track my weight loss goals and my weight. I set small, achievable goals, such as losing in increments of 5 pounds, and I celebrated reaching these goals.

• I try to exercise at least a little bit every day. I’ll take a 15 minute walk when I can’t find the time or the motivation to do more. In addition to my exercise classes, I’ve made an effort to incorporate physical activity into my every day life, like walking more and take the stairs more often and carrying heavy bags of vegetables home from the grocery store.

• I remind myself that although eating can be a very pleasurable experience, food does not give me happiness or a happy life. I am learning to stop associating emotions with food, or rather, to unlink my food with my emotions.

• I also try to encourage others (who ask for it), and in doing so it turns out that I am also helping myself stay positive and focused. So thanks for helping me!

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