31 January 2008

Half-Marathon Training Check In (January)

I love January, not only because it's the month of my birthday, but also because of the feeling of a clean slate given to each of us for the upcoming year. I know that any day of the year can be like that, but January in particular seems to hold extra promise.

This, my friends, was a good month. When I realized on my birthday (the 6th) that I have not lost a single pound in a year, it dawned on me that the solution to losing weight was not running more, but eating better (not necessarily less). Of course, I have known this for years, but actually doing it is the rub. As you will see, I ate better, and I went ahead and ran more anyway.

Here's how January went (last month's numbers in parentheses):

Miles run: 80 (50.25)

Weight: 213 (225)

Pounds to Goal Weight: 18 (30)

Miles run this year: 80 (last January: 43.5)

Days to the Flying Pig Half Marathon: 93

Basically, I just limited myself with two criteria: 1) eat 1500-1600 total calories a day, and 2) stop eating out...except on Sunday. Sundays were free days, and boy did I take advantage of them. The first Sunday I had IHOP's all-you-can-eat pancakes for lunch (comes with a side of sausage, eggs, and hash browns), and Papa John's for dinner with about 4 cans of Dr. Pepper thrown in as well. (Did you know that one slice of Papa John's chicken BBQ pizza is 340 calories and has 40% of your daily recommended sodium? Yikes...I had five slices that night.)

The calorie limit, although probably not the best way to diet, forced me to make better choices. Salads with a can's worth of tuna on it and fat free Zesty Italian dressing replaced a 1 from Wendy's. Diet Cherry Vanilla Dr. Pepper (and various other diet drinks) replaced my beloved DP (except on Sundays - don't worry, Doc! I still love you). Water intake went up. And so on happily ever after.

Finally, I think I have settled on this program for my training. I like the days off, and it has good (but not too much) mileage. My first day of training is Feb. 25th.

See you next month!

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