Thursday, May 30, 2019

Almost there

Did another hard mtn bike trial today, came up just short of my PR in 23:40.  Have been eating real lean, and dropped below 144 momentarily after doing some projects all day - one of which was changing out a manifold and riser on my Mercruiser boat engine.   What a job, went extremely well.

Mercruiser Chevy 5.7 exhaust manifold
I had a slight shoulder injury in a freak bike mishap, but it's no problem.  I can do pull ups but not yet pushups.

I'm feeling like I can comfortably jog but I'm just testing.  I do think a return to the track and stadium stairs is certainly within a month.  No hurry to sprint.  Expect to be doing foundation for some time.

Shedding fat has been quite a hobby and motivational.  I've found good substitutes for carbs and sugar, but I'm still eating extremely light, probably avg about 1000 cal/ day.  It may sound like a sacrifice but it's easy for me.  Besides my one main meal, I may have sweetened (no cal) iced coffee with a little chocolate and nuts.   Not the healthiest thing, as some days this Belgian chocolate and nuts account for 50% of my daily calories, as my meals are very low cal.  (Fortunately, I'm almost out of chocolate).  When I reach my leanest point, I'll shift my diet and training to include more cals, protein, carbs and more strength work.  I'm thinking 2 weeks.  I'll see what Dr. LaPrade says in 10 days.  Right now, I'm upping my ab work, doing body weight exercises.

Meanwhile, I'm enjoying the hell out of this vacation.  Practicing music, making improvements in my boat and motorcycles.

Monday, May 20, 2019

Back to the track, but not running ...yet

After another wicked mountain bike 10k sprint on Friday - a new PR, I had an active weekend of riding and returned to the track for the first time this yr.

PR - 23:31
4:59 - end of road
11:50 - turnaround
At the track I did my usual pre workout stretches, then did my ab routine, pushups, band exercises, single leg squats and A skips, B skips.  I just liked being there, at the track, with Roya.  Coming up on 18 weeks post op.  Probably 4 weeks minimum before I can think of doing some slow running, maybe stadium stairs.

Fat is coming off as I'm solidly under 150 lbs now.  On my 3rd week of calorie restriction.  Easier to do when I'm home and can have total control of my diet and exercise schedule.  Even after more than 2 weeks eating an avg of 1100 cal/day or less, my daily range is about 145.2 to 148.5, so presently about 146.8 avg.  I think this week will prove to make a difference.  I'm almost there.  Roya noted I have the small 'handles' that protrude from the workout tights, gone when I'm in racing shape.

My strategy is to get very light and lean before starting to run, then start packing on the protein and build muscle.  Easier to keep the fat off when it's gone.  Losing the last 5 lbs are the hardest.  Humans are proficient at storing fat.

Tonight,  I'm going to the weight room.

Eating great.  Nothing but organic fresh vegetables and fruits, nuts, berries, an occasional protein shake, poultry, fish, shirataki noodles.  Making another batch of turkey jerky.  Much better to munch on protein and not fatty nuts and chocolate, like I sometimes do.

Friday, May 17, 2019

losing the fat

Weight / fat is coming off after almost 2 weeks of calorie restriction.  My daily intake has ranged from about 1300 calories to a few days where I was under 500.  I was busy and on my feet during those light days so I really saw a difference.  Weighed 145.2 this morning but my daily average would probably be about 147ish. 

Working more on abs and upper body, can do 16 pull ups and 40 pushups so I think my strength is increasing.   

Last 2 days was busy with visitors and had not worked out much so I'll be back into it today.  I've not by any means lost my abdominal fat completely.  It's a process that will take probably 2-3 more weeks of careful diet and by the time I see Dr. LaPrade in June, I'll be able to start building muscle mass back up again with a bigger diet, more protein, some supplements, and soon .... a little running.  

The dangerous thing about doing these quasi fasts, real low calorie days while being active is that the less I eat, the less I want to eat and lose my appetite.  But now I'm back to a nominal diet and eating really well but small.

For example, this is a common dish for me, very simple and super tasty, high protein, very low carb, and low cal for a main meal.  This is about 380 calories:

shirataki noodles
32 medium shrimp
snow peas
olive oil

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

The fitness life

Officially on summer vacation, living the fitness life.  Training daily, mostly bike and weights.  

Yet another PR on the mountain bike.   I always start like 'ok, not going not go for the record' ... but did it again.  10k course with numerous hill climbs.  A third on gravel, 2/3 on paved.  Increased my record by one minute!   It was all on the second half of the course as my splits were about the same as the previous record.  
5:12 - end of road  
12:15 - turnaround
24:28 - Total 
This is the last week the gym is open til 11pm.  It's great, I was there until 10:30ish and it was a ghost ship.  Only 2 other people there.  What is astonishing is that with this lightly used facility, with most everything I need to train, including an indoor track, Sewanee is building a second fitness center on campus.  Seems ridiculous.  I heard it was due to the money being earmarked for that specific purpose by a wealthy donor, I think it was $30 million.  For that money, they could expand the track and create a real banked 200m mondo, and maybe get some more hi tech machines - like the Alter-G running machine.  There's one in Chattanooga I can use, and my friend Tom in Atlanta actually owns one.  It costs like $40K new.

I did 2 sets of all legs, actually doing light leg extensions and curls, 70ยบ leg press and squats, all with much lighter weight than I normally use.  I didn't due the hip glute machine due to a slight hip pain I was having.  Also did some A skips and some brief high knee drills.

I was concerned I wasn't getting enough protein, but thinking back to previous training, at my peak, I'm sure I wasn't getting more than 60-80g per day at the peak of my speed.  So with my present level of training, I'm thinking important to get lean so I can start eating carbs and protein and build lean mass.  I'm counting my calories for the first time, making notes on what I eat, and even have a scale to weigh stuff.   So, I'm staying easily under 1200 calories and working out daily so I should be able to lose this fat by June.  I'm averaging about 150lbs, want to be 143.  I have tons of time but feel the urgency to get fit.

I'm just 16 week post op, which means I am at the point where I'm just able to start light leg ham resistance, although I've been doing it for a little over a week now.  According to the chart, no running for 8 more weeks... which seems like a long time.  I'm thinking maybe a week after I see Dr. LaPrade in June, so maybe 6 weeks.  I'll certainly ask him.  No hurry!   I really don't have to be in full training mode til early next year.   I'm not even supposed to start Stairmaster or rowing for another month.  Unfortunately,  the pool is closed for this week and summer hours start Monday, when the gym closes at 9pm.  I can do a lot at home, like my ab routine, bands, etc...

No matter what I do, the fitness gained by the specificity of running is impossible to duplicate any other way.  I'm sure my butt will be kicked when I do start running again.  I'm sure I won't be attempting any sort of meaningful track workout til late summer.

With this new food scale, I was able to weigh my shoes:
Clifton 1    - 7.1 oz
Clifton 3    - 8.1 oz
Puma training spikes v5 - 5.8 oz
Puma racing spikes v3 - 5.2 oz

Friday, May 3, 2019

Another mtn bike PR / annual blood work

Today was another killer effort on the 10k mountain bike course.  Another PR.  I was toasted afterward, felt like I just ran 3 x 800m.  It definitely pushed my aerobic capacity.  I was huffin' ... hard.
5:01 - end of gravel road
12:10 - turnaround
25:28 - Total

Last night did my usual stationary bike intervals, 20 x 15 sec sprints w/ 45 sec rest.  Quite a bit easier than the mtn bike circuit.  Also did a few upper body machines, leg extensions and my first leg curls.  I'm living the 'sports camp life.'  I will be completely done with MTSU on Monday and finished Sewanee up last night.

Annual blood work

As expected, my bloodwork declined from last year when I was sprint training and taking a lot of supplements.  I guess this is anecdotal proof that supplements - both for vascular health and hormones, together with HIIT do help.   My cholesterol jumped from 163 to 213 which was a bit surprising since I gave up eggs and butter, and have NOT eaten red meat in 18 yrs.  It's totally genetics.  But the Dr.  said it was nothing to worry about because, as proven by my zero score on the calcium heart CT scan, 'it's not sticking' ... I have no plaque in my heart.  He said even if my cholesterol were 20 or 30 points higher, I still would be comparatively low risk.   When I had my excellent readings last year, I was eating oat bran in the morning and taking 2 heart supplements - CoQ10 and niacin.  Haven't in a while.

What concerned me more was my total testosterone dropped from 560 to 380.  This is likely the result of some calorie restriction and a 40 hr fast and having the test taken later in the day after a poor nights sleep.  I do think taking legal herbals in conjunction with hard HIIT, T levels will improve.  I will never supplement testosterone - because as my Dr.  said, "once you start, it destroys your body's ability to produce testosterone naturally, and you're dependent on it for life."  Not to mention, it's illegal in my sport.  I'm on a 'over-50s fitness blog and it's startling how many guys my age are on dope (they call it 'gear') and the grey market internet sites they get it from.  Many of these poor idiots self esteem is apparently wrapped up in the size of their biceps.   That, my friends, is why 'body building' will never be a real sport, like an Olympic sport.

My Dr. also whole heartedly agreed and and endorsed the concept that intermittent fasting is extremely beneficial.  It stimulates hormones, helps fat burning, and the immune system.  The rub is that I'm trying to rebuild muscle and I find it extremely difficult to consume what is the accepted amount of protein an athlete should have to build muscle and support good T levels. For me that would be about 120 grams / day.  I almost never eat that much protein, rarely get over 70g / day.  I guess I'm going to have to supplement.  Thinking I can get half from shakes, and half from food.  The trick is to do it and keep calories low.  The protein powder I just ordered has 28 g / 170 cal.   With some milk thats about 70g protein in about 500 cal, which is good.  I found a way to make a tasty "ice cream" - almond vanilla flavor - with protein powder, milk, ice, and almond butter.  Also,  testosterone production is hurt by eliminating cholesterol from the diet, unfortunately.

At the gym, I did some drills and for the first time did about 10m of high knee running drills just to see what it feels like.  It's fine, no pain.  I'm pretty much off the brace, I did my bike PR without the brace, no issues.