Monday, January 31, 2005

First Month Round-Up

Sunday’s run to end the month was long, cold, wet and miserable. We got rained and drizzled on for most of the three hours we were out. The first 16K we did as part of the regular clinic, and then a hard-core group tacked on another optional 10K.

Actually, the run kind of resembled the month of January itself. I don’t know what is about January, it's kind of a depressing month, is it the blahs or the blues, or do the blues come in February? The first month had its ups and downs. The worst I suppose, being my bout with bronchitis which caused me to miss four days of running and which sapped my strength for a good ten days. So my cold and the weather, first a week of snow, then a cold snap, followed by days and days and days of unrelenting rain from the Pineapple Express, courtesy of the Hawaiian Tropical Punch weather system, stretched my good humour to the maximum. Did I mention the part where my car got flooded? Oh, and an on and off relationship is off, in one of those kind of miserably, soul-wrenching ways, after what was a thoroughly disastrous, hopelessly disappointing Christmas and New Years. And I am still unemployed. Oh, joy!

The ups for January (hey, I’m trying to find a silver lining here) were the undeniable excitement of doing the planning and strategizing of what it will take to quailfy for the Boston Marathon - -this year, starting this Blog, and meeting a whole new group of enthusiastic recruits for the Running Room Marathon Clinic. There were also a lot of good runs in the month, some of them great. I got a new tattoo in January. I got a new dog in January, all two pounds of him. As soon as Cactus Jack stops pissing in the corner, my life is going to be coming up roses, I tell ya! Roses! Cactus, stop chewing on my Nimbus!

I am exactly one month into my roughly ten-month plan to qualify for the Boston Marathon. I say roughly, because the marathon where I hope to qualify, the Okanagan International Marathon in Kelowna - -, is in mid-October, so from the beginning of January until the race is about nine and a half months. As usual, I digress. So how are we faring after the first month?

On January 1st, I weighed in at 201 pounds, a fact of which I was inordinately proud of at the time, after having survived what can only be described as the Christmas from Hell. However, instead of eating and drinking my misery away as per usual, I managed to be reasonably sensible during the Holidays and I also ran at least three days a week. This morning, on the 31st, the scale is hovering between 198 and 199. My goal has been to lose two pounds per month between January and October. So, Month 1, a success! I think February should be even easier in the weight loss/leaning out department, as my weekly mileage is going to start to climb significantly. It would be nice to exit February at 195-196 pounds.

And speaking of mileage, I ran 15 of the 31 days in January. I missed four days because of illness. Bottom line, I managed to run at least every other day and better yet, I never once missed a Sunday long run or a Tuesday night marathon clinic. So in that regard, I consider January a success. And, morale-wise, I feel pretty good about my training. Mentally, I feel confident that I am on the right track.

My over-all January mileage was 176.64 kilometres or 109.76 miles, which took me 18:20 to cover. My average run was 11:78K done in 1:13. My longest run for the month was 27.6K (17.5 miles).

The eighteen hours and twenty minutes of running is an interesting piece of data, because I know that on average I am burning about a thousand calories per hour. So if I divide 18,200 by the 3,500 calories in a pound of fat -, I have burned off 5.2 pounds of fat this month. And well my actual weight loss is in the neighborhood of three pounds, I don't doubt that I have added a little muscle. In addition, I have been careful to watch my protein, to make sure I am getting enough to recuperate and repair my muscles, the kinds of fats I am consuming (from vegetables and fish versus animal fat), and I have been trying to ensure that I get enough complex carbohydrates.

I am looking forward to February!

Post script. And after that long, wet, cold, miserable long run yesterday? A long, dry, warm, thoroughly entertaining breakfast feast with many good friends.


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