Wednesday, June 27, 2012

This Week's Fruit

Monday's fruit detox day went pretty well.  I went with mostly bananas, eating about 20 on the day.  I also had a bowl of cut fruit like canteloupe and whatever that green melon is, and downed 2 apples.  Plenty of calories for the day, I stayed full the whole time.  Monday night I went to the gym and did some strength training and rode 20 miles on the stationary bike.  I also did yoga that morning.  And I had plenty of energy for all of those workouts.

Monday's weight was 182.6 lbs at 21.7% body fat, which is up slightly from last tuesday's 181.4 lbs and 20.8% bf.  But that's normal, I would still consider the effects from last week's fruit detox day to be still there.  I didn't go straight back to 185+ lbs like I was last monday.  So how did it go this week?   Tuesday morning's weight was 179.6 lbs and 20.2% bf.  That's the first time since Jan 13 that I've come in under 180 so I'm very happy about that.  I'm also very close now to getting under 20% body fat, which is another goal.  At the peak of my Ironman build last year I was around 175 lbs with 18% body fat, and if I can get close to that by just adding more fruit to my meals instead of adding another 20 hours a week of training then I'll do that and be happy about it.

I'll call these Fruit Detox Monday's a huge success.  Others are starting to agree with me too.  Several people at the swim practice last night remarked how thin I was looking.  Plus others are starting to catch on.  My friends Jeff and Christina are going all fruit today.  Christina also has another friend that is giving it a try.  Even Kelley is getting on the bandwagon. So that's pretty cool.

Workouts are also going great this week.  Saturday was a fun 1800 yard swim with a 20 mile bike ride for a new brick.  Then sunday was Bigun's birthday so I squeezed in a time crunched 18 mile ride/3 mile run brick.  Monday had the 20 mile bike ride, and yesterday was a fast 4 mile tempo run in 29:52 over lunch followed by 2700 yards in the pool for a RAM practice. The most interesting thing about the RAM practice was seeing Erica there.  Erica qualified for the olympic trials in the 50m freestyle, so I thought she was going to be in Omaha this week.  I have really enjoyed watching the swim trials on tv and looking for her.

The end of June is almost here!  Have a great week!

Monday, June 25, 2012

The Birthday Party

Yesterday was Bigun's 7th birthday.  I remember my 7th birthday quite well, so we really wanted to make this one special for her.  I think we pulled off a pretty decent time.  We ended up with a package for four girls to get a spa party with a princess theme. So Bigun got to invite two of her friends over to spend the night and the party was underway.
The decorations came out great!
We started with pizza and all of the giddy schoolgirl laughter you would expect putting all of those elementary school girls together.  There was also cake and ice cream.
It's tough to blow out all seven candles!
Evil Genius is still evil

moose ears have replaced bunny ears.
Of course there were presents too.  She loved the new nightgown she got to wear for the sleepover.  It had all of the Disney princesses on it. So it was all the way cool.  Then the spa girls showed up.

They setup the kitchen table decorated with the Princess theme and brought robes for the girls to wear.  So as they were lounging in princess glory they got manicures with some designs on their nails.  So cute!

Then they moved to the living room for pedicures.  Soaking their feet and reading magazines was just unbelievably cute.
It was a regular girl gab-fest
The finished products were just adorable:
Multicolored decorated fingernails

and toenails with Tiger stripes
Glitz & Gloss was the company that sent the college kids over to take care of the girls.  They did a great job, the people they sent really knew how to talk to the little kids, and everyone ended up having a good time.

After the spa party was done, there was some requisite play time with pets and toys.  Then we setup couchbed and got them settled in to a movie.
When we put the two halves of that couch together it's almost the size of a double bed.  Sleeps 4 small girls comfortably.

Got the movie going, gave them popcorn, water bottles, and glow stick bracelets and the sleepover ensues.
Sunday was her actual birthday.  Kelley's sister came up friday night and left sunday morning, and Kelley's mom got here sunday afternoon.  Bigun was so worn out from the fun sleepover that she actually took a 4 hour nap sunday afternoon.    Everybody ended up having a great time, and it's so nice to see our little girl growing up, even if it does seem to happen so fast.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Fruit Detox Report

We all can remember that gluten free sucks, right?  Also right now Fruitarian is all the rage.  I really like seeing the trend towards more whole, natural foods and away from processed stuff.  I've been finding and reading a lot of blogs about whole, raw, & fruit based eating, and it's getting really interesting.  So I've decided to try a little experiment with Mondays.
Supposedly this is from 1917, stole it from facebook
 The fruitarian picks one fruit and eats only that fruit each day.  His theory is that in nature you wouldn't visit a peach orchard and an apple orchard in the same day.  So he buys his groceries in bulk from a restaurant supplier, has 4 refrigerators at home, and stocks them heavily with fresh fruit.  Today's eats might consist solely of a 40 lb watermelon.  Tomorrow might be 10 lbs of apples.  He eats massive quantities of fruit every day, all raw and natural.  And he wins 100 mile ultramarathons.  We cannot question his methods.

Scott Jurek's new book Eat & Run is getting very popular, and I can't wait to get my hands on it.  He promotes a vegan lifestyle with proper training and he's been winning ultra's for years now.  I will read this before my first ultra in December.

I also found this great documentary called Pure Fruit if you've got an hour to watch it.

I'm totally sick of reading Wheat Belly, but determined to finish this incredibly boring read.  It does a really good job of putting me to sleep at night, but the theories are sound and medically based.

If you choose to eat nothing but fruit as a lifestyle, that's called Fruitarianism.  Fruitarianism also allows some nuts and seeds.  If you stick to only fruits for 1-3 days, it's called a "fruit fast", and if you only go all fruit for one day it's known as a "fruit detox".  I'm going to start taking Mondays as Fruit Detox days, starting this week.

You learn different things trying a fruit detox like this.  I decided to take the Fruitarian's approach and start out with an apple day.  Figuring that you could have multiple varieties of apples in the same orchard, I went out Sunday night and bought a shitload of apples. 

There is no concept of timed breakfast, lunch and dinner when you eat all fruit.  You just eat more fruit whenever you feel like it. I still drank coffee all day.  I still drank a bunch of water.  But whenever I got hungry I grabbed another apple.  Monday night I hit the gym for some weightlifting and an hour on the stationary bike, just like every other monday.  The workout just happened to be fueled on apple power.

I also learned that apples are very acidic.  Towards the end of the day my teeth really started to hurt when biting into the apple.  So I switched to a banana before and after the workout, and had some nuts about 10 pm as well.  Overall I still ate about 2000 calories on the day.  Aside from the painful teeth there were really no negative effects.  But on the positive side, we can start by comparing weights:

MMNW: 184.8 lbs, 22.7% body fat
Tuesday's MNW: 181.4 lbs, 20.8% bf

When you multiply that out, I lost 4.2 lbs of pure body fat, and 3.4 lbs overall so I must have retained some water.  But that was only in one day!  One day people!  The theory is that when you only take in food that contains less than 5% fat, the "you are what you eat" rule dictates that you will then have less than 5% fat.  The effects were residual too, as 181.4 is the highest I've weighed since tuesday morning.  I went right back to eating natural, unprocessed foods for the rest of the week. So that fat melted off of me and has stayed off so far.

So I was full the whole day, ate as much as I wanted to, ate constantly the whole day, had plenty of energy, got in a great workout, and melted away bodyfat.  What would I change?

I still don't want to try and sustain eating only fruit all the time.  For a one day detox it worked great, and I'm really looking forward to next monday.  But one day a week is enough.  Eating only one type of fruit for the whole day is also a really bad choice.  I got so sick of apples by the end, ugh.  I can see having a primary fruit with some secondary stuff to back it up.  But you need more variety in the day than just that.  It's supposed to be seasonal fruit anyway.  Apples were a bad choice for the one fruit I was limited to, they are really too acidic.

I'm already looking forward to doing this again next monday.  You never know, I might just eat 30 bananas.  But mango's are in season right now too, and the berries are starting to come in.  So there will be a variety of fruit, and we'll have to see how that detox turns out.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Best Father's Day Ever

Some people may claim they have the best dad ever (and I may be one of them), but today I'm going to rock the world a bit and declare that I have the best kids ever.  The entire day, hell the entire weekend, was absolutely wonderful.  Jam packed with fun activities and not nearly enough sleep, I need a recovery day from father's day.

Jordan Lake Open Water Challenge
Before the start of the race

What better way to kick off father's day than with an open water swim race?  My goal was to break 30 minutes, and I finished in 31:24.  I saw on site that was good enough for 6th place in my age group out of 16 m35-39, and 82 / 148 overall (male and female).  Last year I did this one in over 34 minutes, so making up 3 minutes on a mile swim is a tremendous improvement. 

It was a deep water start, so we had to tread water for over a minute after checkin.  The race started promptly at 7:30 am, and we were off!  Not too crowded at the start, but I still got kicked a few times about the abdomen and chest.  It was a triangle course, and I felt like the first side of the triangle took the longest.  I got into a pretty good rhythm, found my stroke, and just kept at it.

Made the first left turn, then it was the short side of the triangle to get to the next turn buoy.  I think this is the part of the course where my form started to break down a bit.  Made the second turn and started heading back to the start/finish line.  My kick got really inconsistent during this last stretch.  I didn't feel fatigued, but I knew I was really pushing myself.  I gave the effort and left it all out in the lake on that day.

I was still disappointed when I came up and saw 31:24 on the finishers clock.  I was chatting with the race director (who happens to be a friend), and he thought the course was a little long. Most of the other racers were finishing 1-2 minutes slower than they were expecting, including the winners (21:08?  seriously?)

Fun thing about the elites here:  They were all over the place.  The top 7 were an age 19 male (21:08), 30 female (21:47), 40 male (22:07), 43 female (22:12), 33 female (22:18), 40 male 22:21, and 40 male (22:51).  This is proof that there are no restrictions on age or gender in open water swimming.  Fast swimmers are made, not born, and they can be made out of anyone with enough practice.  Open water swimming is a great equalizer, because anyone, any age, any race, either gender can get out there and get fast. 

This was a fantastic race, I enjoyed it just as much as I did last year.  Sure I could have been faster but this is the best I could do on that day and I am satisfied with my effort.
After the race, that's a happy swimmer.
I actually went to the race by myself, nobody else wanted to get up that early in the morning.  Can't say I blame them.  I got home before 9 am, and found the Evil Genius sitting on the toilet.  We were the only people that were awake.  She actually remembered it was Father's Day and wished me happiness.

Pretty soon Kelley and the Bigun got up too, and we ended up going to church.  Actually I really wanted to go to church yesterday, I got to sing in the choir, and we did one of my favorite anthems that we've been practicing for a while.  It was a great service.  Great message about family, and lots of good music.

Lunch with Mickey
Usually we end up going out of town for Father's day, coming to Raleigh before we lived here, or going to the Lake or to Greenville to see the other fathers.  So this year we stayed in town thanks to the race, and took Kelley's dad out to lunch at the Player's Retreat, one of his favorite places in town.  Kaileigh was awake by the time we got home from church, so she joined us as well.  Good times all around.

After lunch, the kids gave me some Father's Day presents that they picked up.  Bigun got me a fishing pole so I could join them fishing at the lake, which really makes me want to go fishing again. Kaileigh got me a pair of NC State flip flops, which always comes in handy.  And Kelley got me a new set of clippers so I could keep shaving my head.  The clippers I've been using I've had since college and were really starting to break down a lot.  The most unusual present of all time had to come from the Evil Genius.  She picked out some underwear for me.

Actually she picked out some no-fly bikini underwear.  I can only imagine that conversation from the store.  Mom: what do you want to get daddy for Father's day?  EG: I know, underwear!  Oh wow.  Then she picked those out?  They look like women's panties.  Then she wanted me to model them for her.  I did actually put on the entire pack of fruit-of-the-looms at once and strut around the house for a bit.  She's going to need a looooooooot of therapy later on.  These are the kind of scars that take years of repression to get past.

New Trail Shoes
We had a groupon to Raleigh Running Outfitters that was about to expire, and there was a store on the way to the Tobacco Trail that we were going to anyway.  So we got there right as they were about to close at 4 pm and used the groupon.  With my first trail ultramarathon weighing on the brain already I knew I needed some trail shoes for training and the race since I'm going to be doing lots of training in Umstead.  I ended up getting guidance from the ever-knowledgeable shoe guy and decided on some Asics that are black, green, with a stiff rock plate and very aggressive tread.  I like them a lot and can't wait to put some miles on the trails.  Ultra training here I come!

Riding the American Tobacco Trail
We wanted to wear out the kids so they would sleep good, and they wanted to ride bikes for a bit.  We thought the ATT would be the right place to go.
Ready to ride!
I am so proud of my girls.  We all had such a fun time out on the trail today.  This is the same trail that Kelley and I ran a marathon on back in march, and is the launching point for a lot of my road rides and training runs. The young ones really wanted to ride bikes, we forced Kaileigh to walk with us, and we all ended up having a great time.  Kelley brought her bike too so someone would be able to keep up with Bigun.

I ended up on Kelley's bike for a while just to keep up with both kids.  Bigun turned into a speed demon.  She would fly away from everyone else and I had a tough time keeping up.  Sometimes we'd race to the next gate or something, and it was so fun to see the excitement in her face when she was able to be competitive. We just rode around and talked the whole time, and really had fun just being out in the woods.

They had these gates up at the road crossings, so it made for a nice place to regroup.  EG had a great time pedaling along on her new Barbie Bling It! bike that she got for her birthday.  She was enamored about how much better her bike looked than Bigun's did.  The streamers were more colorful, the paint job was brighter, it had training wheels, she was really enjoying the whole thing.

Bling it Barbie!

Girls on the trail!
Take special note of Kaileigh's different colored socks with sandals.  The shoes rubbed a blister so she switched and put on Kelley's sandals.  We then proceeded to poke fun of her publicly for the rest of the trip. 

Bigun rode ahead of me once then stopped abruptly, and when I caught up with her this was the conversation we had:
CJ: Why did you stop riding?
B: Well, I'm just watching this guy run. (cue thin, youngish, shirtless, hairy-chested guy running 6 minute miles coming towards her)
CJ: He's very attractive, isn't he?
B (now in a trance-like state): Yea, he's really... wow, I can't stop looking at him.

I think my almost-7 year old just discovered why boys are cute while on the trail.  I have to admit, she really knows how to pick them.  I discovered girls at my 7th birthday party, and remember the moment well.  So I knew it was about time.  But to see it happen in front of my eyes was really hilarious.  I mean she just stopped riding in the middle of the trail and stood there captivated.  Hilarious.

At least she still knows how to have fun with daddy.  We were both throwing our feet out in front of the bike at the same time, while I was steering with one hand and taking a picture with the other.  Pretty dangerous, I know.  But it was tons of fun.  We just has such a good time out on the trail.  We ended up riding/hiking 3 miles, which was the longest Kaileigh has walked in a long time.  The kids wanted to keep going, but it was getting into dinner time so we had to take off.

Father's Day Dinner
We all went to the Carolina Ale House in Cary, which is one of mine and Kaileigh's favorite restaurants.  Everyone was well fed.  When we got home I got the girls in the shower and put to bed, then I did some yoga and got to watch the very end of the US Open and the NBA finals game.

This has to be the best Father's day ever in the history of the holiday.  We were going non-stop from 6 am until 11 pm.  Racing, food, family time, trails, swimming, presents, church, you name it.  ah-may-zing.  I am so grateful.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Aquathon #2 Race Report

This aquathon was a blast.  The format makes it tough but fun.  It's a 300 yard swim followed by a 1 mile run, then you repeat that two more times.  So there's five transitions included in your swim times.  I ended up finishing a few minutes slower than last year's time, but took third place in my age group.  It's my first ever AG award!  I'm very excited.
Ready to race!

This sandy lake beach was the transition area
We got there a bit later than I wanted to, but still in enough time to get my timing chip on and get TA setup.  The key that I remembered from last year was to bring 2 extra bottles of water to wash the sand off of my feet before putting my running shoes on.  Last year I ended up with bloody toes from all of the sand in my shoes, and I certainly didn't want that again.  Before I knew it, we were ready to get in the water.  This time was the first time in the aquathons that we had a crowd big enough for two start waves.

Ready to swim!

Notice how white Bigun's dress is.  It's a progression, really.
Swim 1 & T1: 7:17

All of the men started in the first wave, and we took off.  It was pretty crowded at the start, which I expected.  But I knew by the first turn buoy everyone would be spread out a bit.  300 yards doesn't take incredibly long to swim, so I expected other people to be in my way for the first lap.  I was not disappointed.  We swam counterclockwise, so turning left twice in a triangle pattern got me back to shore.

They are getting farther into the water now and didn't notice the swimmers in the background.

Still feeling strong coming out of the water!
 The transition consists of washing the wet sand off of my feet, sliding on the running shoes, chugging some sports drink, grab the visor and getting on the road.  No time for socks, so the feet had to be pretty clean.

And it's time to run.
Run 1 mile: 7:30
My goal for the race was to get a mile under 7 minutes, and that didn't happen.  I hit a steady pace out of the gate and just tried to hold it.  No garmin out there, so I had no idea what kind of pace I was keeping.  But running right after a swim will really set your lungs on fire if you're not careful.  I had to really work on lowering my heart rate during transition so I'd be able to run effectively.  Run too fast and you've got nothing left for the next swim, so this one had to be played very carefully.

The run course was just half a mile of road to an aide station turnaround, then back to TA.  This time I could see how many people were in front of me, so that was pretty good.  I counted about 12 people ahead of me when I hit the turnaround, and on the way back I got passed by the women's eventual winner.  The women started 2 minutes after the men, so she really made up a lot of ground.  Very impressive.
Coming in after Run 1
 T2 - Swim 2 - T3: 9:00
This looks like a longer time than it would normally take to swim 300 yards because of the transitions.  Coming in I ran back to my towel, kicked the shoes off, threw down the visor, found the goggles and headed back to the water.
That look on my face really means "holy shit not again"

Dolphin diving in the shallow water.  The funniest thing about this picture is that my belly is the first thing creating a wake.  Pretty cool shot.
I took off swimming pretty strong for this lap, and Kelley got some great pictures at this point.  In particular, this is an INCREDIBLE shot:
Check out that breath!
Swim form lecture:  What you hear about swimmers and don't want to believe is that 90% of your body stays underwater the whole time.  This is quite true.  You should rock your shoulders back and forth while dropping your hips to create a whole body roll that propels you through the water like a fish.  Every third stroke your head can turn asynchronously with your shoulder turn to catch a fast breath.  If you go fast enough your head creates a wake that relieves a pocket of air that you can breathe in.  This picture proves that you can still have both eyes under water and get a full breath.  You can clearly see the wake coming up around my forehead and the bowl of air that it creates on the surface of the water.  You can see how fast I'm going - check out the splash created when my arm came out of the water.  The distance it took for my hand to break the water surface is another measurement of speed.  My arm looks relaxed in recovery so I'm going to be comfortable for a long swim.  What you don't see is my kick.  My legs are still too far under the water creating more drag than they should.  As perfect as this is from the waist up, I can still improve my form and get faster.

That kind of form leads to this kind of speed.  Watch as I totally school this guy:
He's a good 8 feet in front of me

I never even saw him there

BAM!  Passed like he was standing still.
I knew swim 2 was going to be the roughest, and the wind started to pick up some in there as well making the water more choppy towards the end.  Just push it a bit and come out of the water clean.
Just glad to be out.
Transition 3 was sit down, wash off the feet, shoes on (no socks), toss the goggles, grab the visor and get back out there to run!

Run 2: 7:49
By this point the field was pretty spread out.  I was running behind some of the people I was with the first time around, but everyone was really about the same speed.  Not fast enough to win, but not so slow that we might come in last.
Out for mile #2

The girls are getting a little farther out into the water, but aren't completely dunked yet.
The run itself was uneventful.  I kept a steady pace, I passed one person and got passed by one guy who also passed me the first time we were running.  The same thing happened on the third run too and that guy beat me by just a few seconds in the end. bastard.

Eye candy?  It's been a while.

More eye candy.  At least she got some hot girls in this one too.

That's my "wow I'm glad that's done" look.

T4 - Swim 3 - T5:  8:56
Now they are all in!
Shoes & visor off, grab the goggles and get back in the water for the final swim.  This is where the swim form really starts to break down.
Time to pass that guy.  Get it!

They aren't even trying to be clean anymore.  And really don't care what daddy's doing in the water behind them.

Thank God that's done.  Time for one last run.

Wash the feet, shoes on, chug some sports drink, grab the visor and go

Run 3 to the finish: 7:37
Again I just went out with a steady pace and no clue how fast I was going. Running with the same people, I saw the women's winner coming in not long after I went out on the run course again.  I hit the mile, ran it steady, and came on in to the finish glad to be done.
Hitting the mat

She cut off my timing chip with her butt in my face.  I was too exhausted to care.

So glad to be done.

That's the happy face.  I know I gave it my all out there.
Finish 48:12, 30/72 overall, 3/6 men 35-39
Last year I was over 2 minutes faster but finished 7/8 in my age group. So the field was just uncompetitive enough for me to snag an AG award.  I'll take it any way I can get it.  I didn't get a sub-7 minute mile in there like I wanted, but that's ok too.  I'm feeling good and the speed is coming in this year, which is really exciting.  This was a great race, and I had a ton of fun.