Sunday, October 07, 2007

Just Stuff

Today I received some troubling news. My father has calcification in his heart. Apparently the calcification takes place over plaque and this is all occurring near a valve. It looks like my dad requires either a valve replacement a bypass or both. Unfortunately because I have a background in neuropsychology I also know that plaque buildup is also a major cause of stroke. This is just not good. This is why I fight to keep the weight off, this is why I’m just too damn scared to have an off season, to race less often, to race shorter distances. It really isn’t because I’m too thick to understand the benefit of recovery or the fact that if I raced less I would most likely be faster. I am just looking for a balance between training as much as possible without getting injured.

I’ve been overweight my entire life with the exception, thankfully, of the time between ages 14 and about 21 when I was most active and chock full of all those fantastic young guy hormones. Since being in triathlon I have sustained a lower weight for a longer time than at any other time in my adult life, even when I gained weight and went into IMKY at 223. I figure that if I can keep this going for a few years I will have kind of reset my system to being used to being relatively thin. In other words I will have thoroughly changed all those really bad habits that kept me overweight and then maybe things won’t seem quite so pressing.

Speaking of weight, I have stuck firmly to my diet and weighed in this morning at 208, that’s 15 pounds down from Louisville! Interestingly, weight watchers kind of admonished me for losing too much too fast. I subscribe to weight watchers for men online. I really love their point system because it is so easy to track and it allows me to snack. I get 33 points per day plus 35 “flex points” to spend during the week PLUS I earn additional points for exercising. I am actually supposed to “spend” all my points each week to lose weight at a proper pace, about 2 pounds per week. I have not been spending all my points so the last time I entered my weight I was told, “Great job! You should be very proud of your weight loss but we are concerned that you may be losing weight too fast.” And then it gave me advice on how to slow my weight loss and why so I guess I’ll try eating a little more.

I also found this very interesting article in the journal Sports Medicine titled “Low Energy Availability in the Marathon and Other Endurance Sports.” So here is a quote that should give you the gist, “Energy availability is the amount of dietary energy remaining after exercise training for all other metabolic processes. Excessively low energy availability impairs reproductive and skeletal health…” Further, “Inadvertent low energy availability is more extreme when consuming a low fat, high carbohydrate diet.” That has been my diet exactly for about the past 8 years. It also says that prolonged low energy availability can lead to low bone density and stress fractures. Viola! ME!

I’ve been taking meds for the low bone density for about a year now and have altered my diet by increasing vitamin D and calcium. More recently we have triend to push up the percentage of calories we get from protein so maybe the exercise induced stress fractures will be a thing of the past…fingers crossed.

Finally, this is a bit embarrassing, but I seem to have strained my calf again. I came home from work and went to do a little 6 mile run and it was raining so I thought I’d just hit the treadmill. Well, my treadmill is full of shit. It said I was running at a 10:15 pace and that my HR was at 130. I honestly do not think I could have run much faster so I was probably closer to a 7 minute pace and my heart was getting ready to hammer a hole in my chest. The idiotic thing is I KNEW I was going way too fast but I just kept looking at the numbers and cursing the treadmill and at mile 1.98…BANG, pain in my left calf. So I have been taking a break and my running, so recently the best it has even been over a long distance, is now back to square one and I am waiting to get back to building again.

However, the cycling is going pretty good. I took a good recovery week from my last bout with the ride I now call “The Punisher” and hit that mean bastard again today. In fact, I found a way to add another 1500 feet of climbing to the route with only one more mile of distance. That ride now sits at 110 miles with 11, 583 feet of elevation gain! IT is my sincerest hope that if my rides are tougher than what I will face at Silverman I will have a better shot at the run.


  1. I'm sorry to hear about your dad, but thanks for the tip on Weight Watchers for Men! I forwarded the link to my husband. Maybe it'll inspire him. I miss running and riding with him. Your wife is one lucky lady!

  2. That is bad news about your dad -here's hoping for the best outcome. How irritating about your calf!

  3. I'm sorry to hear about your Dad, but here's hoping for the best possible outcome. (I have a friend who had emergency quadruple bypass 12 years ago, and he's one of the most active seniors I know!)

    208! Excellent progress!

    Now, take care of that calf ...

  4. you aint gonna be a clydesdale soon! That's some serious riding there...lots of climbing in a century+...awesome!

  5. Best wishes for your father's health, and also for your training. I had a stress fracture last year that in retrospect probably had something to do with that kind of energy deficit--just be careful, and good luck with the inconvenient calf!

  6. Sorry to hear about your dad, Hope he gets better soon.

    I totally understand about "the keep training" to stay on top of your health..

    Keep at it with the weight loss, sorry to hear about the calf injury again.. But No matter how big or small we are, those nagging injuries do totally suck..

  7. Sorry to hear about your dad...I hope things get better soon.

    Great job on the bike ride!

  8. Hope things go well for your father. All the best with your lifestyle changes.

    Awesome biking!

  9. Nice ride. My treadmill lies too. Same exact deal. Says you are going really slow but my heart rate tells me otherwise.
    Sorry to hear about your dad. Hope all goes well.

  10. Best wished for your dad!

  11. Sorry to hear about your father. I hope he pulls through.

    110 miles with a bazillion feet of climbing - yeah, that should do the trick.

  12. prayers for your Pops!!

    weightwatchers for men.. humm.. could be something here..


  13. Sorry to hear about your father.

    Nice bike ride, though!!

  14. Congrats on your weight loss! You have convinced me. I'm going to give weight
    watchers a try! Sorry about the injury. But I know you and I know losing a foot
    during a race wouldn't stop you! Look foreword to seeing u @ the Silverman!

  15. My dad had a CABGx1 too a few years back - scary stuff. You can't fight heredity, but you sure are making up for that on the lifestyle end of things.