Sunday, April 13, 2008

04/12/08 Food Record

Different day, same story. I ate and drank:

- Ginger Hemp Granola, Skim Milk
- Hummus and Pita
- Chicken Gyro, Chicken Shawarma (1/2 each)
- Cappuccino
- Champagne
- Cantaloupe

Yes, I'm missing a meal. I'm in the middle of changing my sleep schedule over, and wasn't hungry for dinner after a big lunch, so I didn't eat. Sometimes this happens (the not hungry for dinner part), so I was curious to see what the totals would be. Drum roll...

1469 calories
49.7 g fat
171.2 g carbohydrates
47.1 g protein

My fat intake just about hit the goal amount, but is probably estimated high due to the nature of splitting something with someone else. I don't believe I got as much of the tzatziki sauce as would normally be present on half a gyro, but it's a decent estimate. So, this day was high in fat, and low in everything else. I needed to pump some pasta and lean meat into myself.

I think this'll be the last food record entry for a while. I'll continue to record what I'm eating and drinking, but until I change my workout intensity/amount, notice something interesting about my diet, or drop a significant amount of weight (not planning on it), I'll keep my numbers to myself.

04/11/08 Food Record

Same story, different day. I ate and drank:

- Biscuit and Sausage Gravy, Scrambled Eggs and Cheese, Bacon
- Tums (breakfast didn't sit well)
- Ham and Cheese Sandwich
- Diet Coke and Chips Ahoy Thin Chips
- 3 Maki, 2 pieces Salmon Nigiri, Hand Roll, Green Tea

And the totals?

1706 calories
72.8 g fat
174.8 g carbohydrates
84.2 g protein

My carbohydrate intake is worse this day. I ate a lot less carbohydrates at breakfast and it seems I put myself into a deficit I couldn't get out of, even with sushi for dinner (I had 62.5% of my carbs at dinner). My fat intake is about 20 g over (I had 53.5% of my fat at breakfast). My protein intake is 8 g over, which I think is acceptable. Learning from this, I should have left off the cheese and/or bacon (dropping the fat about 8 g and the protein 6 g for each) and picked up some fruit. Doing so may also have helped with the heartburn I experienced after breakfast.

Guidelines and 04/10/08 Food Record

So before writing everything down I ate and drank, I needed to calculate the guidelines - the number of calories, fat, carbohydrates, and protein that I need per day to maintain my training level. First, I had to pick out the type of athlete I am from the nutrition presentation. At 0.5 - 1.0 hours, 3 - 5 times per week, I'm in the Health/Fitness catagory. Yikes! I don't even make it to the Recreational/Moderate Activity Intensity level which is 1.0 - 1.5 hours, 3 - 5 times per week. Seems I need to pick up my training... but that's an issue for another time.

I'm in the Preparation Phase of training (I chose from Preparation, Pre-Race, Race, and Transition), which puts my intake needs at 5 - 7 g/kg (for Recreational/Moderate Intensity) of carbohydrates, 1.2 - 1.7 g/kg of protein, and 0.8 - 1.0 g/kg of fat. Since I have a light training schedule, I picked the low end of the ranges so my exact numbers are 5 g/kg carbohydrates, 1.2 g/kg protein, and 0.8 g/kg fat. According to my weigh-in a few days ago, I'm 140 lb which puts my mass at 63.6 kg. So, that comes out to 318 g of carbs, 76 g protein, and 51 g fat. I predicted in my last post that I would be high in carbs and protein, and low in calories and fat. Considering that calories are directly linked to the amount of carbohydrates, protein, and fat in the food, I can't really predict where my calorie count is going to fall. So, I will revise my prediction to high in carbs and protein, and low in fat.

My food intake on Thursday was:

- Apple Oatmeal, Cranberries, Peach Yogurt
- Crystal Light
- Peanut Butter Hershey Kisses
- Chicken Noodle Soup, Honey Maid Bees
- Turkey and Cheese Sandwich, Gala Apple
- Italian Sausage on Roll with Peppers and Onions, Chips, Homebrew Beer
- Hazelnut Hershey Kisses

Either through reading the nutritional labels, using CalorieKing, or doing a Google search, I found the numbers I needed and wrote them down. I was originally planning on not altering my eating habits to determine what I was actually eating throughout a day, but I subtotaled everything before dinner and decided that I couldn't handle the penalty of eating two Italian sausages, so I only ate one. But I could definitely have a beer, so I did. At the end of the day, I put away:

1877 calories (2035 calories goal)
53.9 g fat (51 g fat goal)
239.6 g carbohydrates (318 g carbohydrates goal)
78.5 g protein (76 g protein goal)

The additional sausage and roll would have cost me 400 calories, 23.5 g fat, 29 g carbohydrates, and 21 g of protein, putting my fat intake way over where I needed to be.

My prediction was completely wrong - my fat and protein was spot on that day, while my carbohydrate intake was low, putting my calorie intake low. I'm curious to see what a day with a pasta dinner looks like. Nonetheless, it looks like I need to increase my carb intake. I'll need a few more days of data to see if this is a bad habit.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Things That Make You Go Hmmm

Last night's Club meeting was a presentation on nutrition by one of our members. While he's not a registered dietitian, experience can be a valuable teacher. His presentation was information-filled (the kind an Engineer enjoys) with calculations, graphs, and tables. I loved it. In fact, I've already started to (re)track my daily food intake, but with a more focused approach that will help me adjust what I'm eating to match my training. Before I was writing down what I ate; now I write down what I ate, but am also tracking the calories, fat, carbohydrates, and protein values in each food. I'm already a "crazy" person who looks at nutrition labels in the grocery store; now I look in the store and more closely at home. :O) I've calculated the approximate requirement of fat, carbohydrates, and protein for my training level and body mass, and will see where I land today. I'm guessing my carbohydrate and protein counts will be high, and my calories and fat low. I've always paid more attention to the latter two. It will be interesting.

The Hmmm part was what we chatted about after the nutrition talk. Three members of the Club, including the speaker, have adapted a new running technique. It's called forefoot running, and is how you run when barefoot. There's more to it than just the different foot strike, so I've grabbed myself a DVD to check it out. My knees ache this morning, and I'm not really looking forward to being injured, so I'd like to do as much prevention as possible.

The technical aspects of forefoot running can be found here. And the shoes that apply this technique can be found here. The members were saying that we don't need the shoes, especially at $175 a pop, although one of the guys trains in them. The experience of one convert who has been using forefoot running for a few months is that he immediately developed shin pain, but has passed through that phase and now has sore calves. One of the guys who is a few more months along had a similar early experience, and now finds that because his calves (in particular, the soleus muscle) are so well developed, he has more power on the bike. He used to supplement with glucosamine and chondroitin, but doesn't have to because he doesn't have pain anymore in his joints.

With some successful local cases, I'm willing to give this new technique a try. I used to be a sprinter, so running on my forefoot is something I've done before. Just not for miles and miles. I'll watch the DVD and give it a go in the next few weeks.

I Can Breathe, Sort Of

Yesterday's planned treadmill workout was a 5 minute warm-up followed by an 8 minute run, a 4 minute walk, and another 8 minute run. Since it seems I have a breathing problem when I run, I decided it was time to start tackling that issue. My plan was to concentrate on extending my breathing to 2 in/3 out and breathe more from my belly (lower bigger lung volume) than in my chest (upper small lung volume).

Once I started running, I found that a 3 in/3 out pattern worked better, for the most part. My biggest problem was keeping cadence with my feet while listening to my music. Some of my songs were about the pace I was keeping, but some were quite different. It must have been funny to watch and listen to me, had anyone been nearby. At times I would end up holding my breath for a few steps to get myself back on time, other times I would breathe like an asthmatic to expel the CO2 and get comfortable again. No matter all the issues I had, I felt good. So good, in fact, that I changed my workout to 9 minutes running, 4 minutes walking, and another 9 minutes running. I had a small sharp cramp around my left collarbone, but that subsided as I continued to run.

It was great to be tired from running without feeling exhausted. I hope I pick up the breathing technique quickly so I don't run and breathe like such a goofball for too long. I enjoy listening to my music when I run, but I can't run in step with every song on my iPod. :O)

Friday, April 04, 2008

Cramps!

My most recent run workout was a 5 minute warm-up followed by 8 minutes running, 4 minutes walking, and 8 more minutes running. I found that I continue to be plagued by cramping in the front of my torso from collarbones to belly button, and boy is it killing me. I chatted with Kristin and she asked me:

(1) How is my running posture?
(2) What is my breathing pattern?
(3) How are my eating habits?

The answer to (1) is fairly upright, arms at 90ยบ, hands like holding an egg (unclenched), face relaxed; just like you would read in a running book. My response to (2) was in on two strides, out on two strides. And for (3), pretty good although I'm slacking on taking my multivitamin. She suggested that I try to breath out on three strides to slow things down a bit.

I did a quick Google search and found a few interesting comments. First, how to run through a cramp from eHow. I've been increasing my speed gradually along with my running time, so it's possible that I'm pushing my speed too much overall, but especially when I have cramps. Lesson learned: slow down. Secondly, a description of a side stitch from About.com. I've had these before, not recently, but remember them vividly. It's interesting that depending upon your foot strike, you'll experience these or not. Lesson learned: pay attention to which foot I'm breathing on.