Phase 1 of 2017’s Goal Accountability project was a disaster, as I chronicled here. Phase 1 ended weak, really non-existent adherence, which rolled into Phase 2 beginning equally weak; but I got my butt in gear one week in and finished it strong!
I’m one month into my exercise isolation experiment to see what would happen if I really crank up my crappy exercise regiment (which means not exercising at all) while holding my pretty decent diet pretty static. Over the month I’ve seen some good changes, but some other things stayed more static than I was expecting. A full writeup of my experiment methodology is here. I’ll do a full break down later, but I wanted to do a quick summary with the last day done.
November is now in the record books and even with a huge Thanksgiving feast and some travel it still went quite well in terms of my overall health. After two months of eating mostly crap I decided I needed to start dialing in my nutritional practices. I had no choice but to power through my marathon distance training, but I didn’t end up incorporating as much cross training as often as I would have liked. While the experiment is set to begin in earnest in about a month, I didn’t have much I needed to get done for that but time is quickly going a way for when I can dabble with the first phase recipes.
After all of the gorging in September and October I felt that a good part of my training problems were really due to poor diet. Yes, I was technically getting all the micronutrients I was supposed to be getting but I was getting a lot of gunk with it too. I didn’t totally clean up my diet, after all there was plenty of Thanksgiving and practice cooking (and eating) for Thanksgiving, but compared to the previous months I ate much cleaner. The only two nutrients I was even somewhat deficient on were Vitamin E and calcium. Both of these were just slightly below the recommended levels (96% and 92% respectively). I’m not buying the levels on the calcium however because I often fail to record the mineral water I’m drinking and each serving of mineral water (Pellegrino and Perrier anyway) has 4% of your daily value of calcium. I’m a bit high on my fat and saturated fat (about 140%), which I wouldn’t care as much about if I was eating all good fats but I know a bunch of that came from ice cream and cheesecake. A lot of my calories were coming from food that is now home made rather than store bought, things like home made health bars and yogurt. Lastly, with the exception of Thanksgiving weekend, I didn’t have any huge gorge fest weekends.
All that said I had a hard time keeping to my original calorie budget plan. Training for the marathon is believed to be a way to stay lean. I think it has the opposite effect. I often found myself famished. That didn’t happen as much on the day of my long trainings, which were hard to me to eat healthily up to the level I burned that day. It was more the out days. Even up to three or four days later I would be craving carb rich food (both healthy and unhealthy) and really felt like I needed to give my body what it needed. In the beginning I did that the easy way out, by having another slice of cheesecake or scoop of ice cream. However after I had my little talk with myself about straightening up my nutrition I was doing that with apples, carrots, plain yogurt and berries.
My weight kept going up and up until mid month when it suddenly plummeted. I’m not sure what exactly was going on but I have two theories, both of them dealing with excessive water retention. The first theory was that my body was more inflamed as I kept on increasing the training mileage. As a result of that inflammation it was taking on more and more water weight, distributing it pretty evenly. My second theory was that it was due to some supplements I had started to take in September. These supplements are supposed to help boost testosterone production. No, I’m not looking to a “natural” steroid replacement or anything like that. What I was trying to do was up regulate my testosterone production while I was increasing my mileage. Between my various blood tests I had a pretty good drop between the second and third quarter results. Knowing that endurance training can create that effect I figured I would try to give my body some tools to fight that. I stopped the supplements right about the time I also stopped the mileage build up. I therefore can’t tell which of the two caused it. I could possibly due an experiment to find out, but I mostly don’t care at this point.
The overall summary for November was one where I got kept my marathon training in check but I didn’t get my cross training ramped up like I had hoped. I was able to get my nutritional profile better but still not great. Lastly, I believe I’m on target to begin the experiment in the beginning of January 2014. Overall, I’d say that’s a pretty good month.
From a fitness and wellness perspective, October 2013 was a bit of a mixed bag. I did a good job keeping up with my running routine in preparation for the marathon at the end of this year. I didn’t keep up with my cross training at all. That is actually a pretty bad thing. While running does wonders for the cardiovascular system and does work some muscles, there are lots of other muscles that are important for running without injury that really should be worked out by doing other things. I did get some cycling in, but I totally skipped out on yoga, swimming and/or strength training. As I said this time last year when I finished my first half marathon, I’ll concentrate on that after the race. I didn’t hold to it last year, perhaps I will this.