Weekly Review - 16 Apr 2017

Monday: Morning walk with stair repeats.

Tuesday: Quick morning and afternoon walks. Lunch walk with co-worker. 30ish minute run at night on streets and sidewalks.

Wednesday: Quick afternoon walk. Took the kids for a walk after dinner.

Thursday: Dry-run for the upcoming 5Ks. Went for a trail run after dinner, at the Neilmann Parcel. The picture at the top of the post was taken in Miller Swamp; that's quite the left turn.

On my way home I noticed an adult female deer tick crawling around my arm. Ugh.

I feel like I'm finally making progress with my digestive issues.

Friday: I was on call all day, but I managed to get in a quick walk. We had dinner at a local place with a playground, so I spent a while playing with the kids. Thing 2 managed to climb up the rock wall by herself repeatedly, after I helped her once, and Thing 1 did the same thing using a rope and no hand holds. They're getting big. (The wall wasn't vertical, more like an 60-70 degree angle.)

Saturday: I wanted to do something big, so I decided to hike from Spier Falls Road up to the crossroads (junction S9) at Moreau Lake State Park, and then run back down. Twice. It was tough, but I got it done.

My right ankle and then my right knee started to act up a bit on the way down. I need to focus on getting some strength training in, especially for my quads and foot/ankle muscles.

I brought two gels to try out: one from 33 Shake and one from Vega. The 33 Shake one tasted delicious, as it had the first time I tried it, and I liked the fact that I could reseal it. The only downside was that the chia seeds got everywhere. I kept finding them on my hands, and I kept thinking they were ticks. When I got home, I found a huge chunk of chia on my shirt. Not that it really matBters; my legs and shoes were caked in mud.

(99% of the trail was dry; right before the power lines and then twice a short way afterward there were spots where a creek crossed the trail. The one before the power lines was a mud puddle, basically, but it was in line with the creek.)

Back to nutrition: the Vega gel worked well, but it was surprisingly super sweet and bitter at the same time. I think I'll save that for the longer runs, and try it where I would normally start to tuck in to a Lärabar. It doesn't seal, but I think I could eat half of it and then fold it over and shove it back in my pack's gel slots until I was ready for more.

On the way up, I was focusing on gratitude; something I had picked up from a Runner's World article. I was grateful for my family, and thankful that they were supportive in these endeavors. I was grateful for nature, for our glacially- and fluvially-carved landscape, and for our state's foresight to set aside these parks for us to enjoy. And, I was grateful for my body, giving me yet another chance to get myself back in shape and back doing the things that I love. I'm grateful for coconut and soy yogurt, too, and other probiotics, because they've given me back the ability to eat vegan. I'm on day three and I'm OK, and I'm extremely grateful for that. It's been a long 6 months... 18 months, really. (See the link in Thursday's notes for more details.)

After my run, the family went out for a swim session at the Y. I was tired, but the kids had a blast, so I'm thankful for that, too. Thing 2 is getting stronger, and Thing 1 is able to swim well without any assistance beyond a snorkel mask. We spent some time discussing swimming technique, as well as underwater breath control, which was not something I had expected to be discussing with them, but it worked out. I was giving Thing 2 a ride, using a modified breast stroke (more like how a frog swims), and she picked up on it and started doing it on her own. Then later I was showing both of them a backstroke, and working with Thing 2 on her breath control and her fear of jumping in to the water. She was jumping in without me catching her by the end. "My feet touched the bottom!" It's crazy how fast they grow up.

Sunday: I was tired for most of the day, after yesterday's workout.

I'm going to start working on weight loss again next week, following the rules I had set up for myself previously. I'll ease into them, since I've got a fair amount of sugared/flavored coconut and soy yogurt to get through first, and since I'm still feeling my way through these digestive issues. I had an "everything hurts and I'm dying" moment today, but it passed fairly quickly. I hope to forget what that sensation feels like one day.

Also, I've been playing around with reducing the oil I use for cooking and flavoring. Since my paleo experiments I have primarily been using less-processed oils, generally extra virgin olive, coconut, or avocado oils. However, there appears to be a correlation between the oils and my indigestion, specifically the upper level stuff; I noticed that adding coconut oil to my coffee was giving me heartburn. Upon further review, it appears that it isn't limited to coconut oil.

There are some arguments in favor of cutting down or cutting out oil; I'm not there, yet. I get what they're saying, but there are also times when oil is absolutely essential in the kitchen. You'd be hard-pressed to keep cast iron cookware, wooden utensils, or a grill in good shape without fat of some kind. (Yes, I consider the grill to be a part of the kitchen.) Baking pans demand a certain amount of fat on their edges in order to give up their contents when cooking is done. The list goes on.

All that being said, I still think it's worth trying this experiment. I made three simple dishes tonight, two steamed separately in a pan and one in a small pot, and the only oil I had to use was a small amount of avocado oil on our spurtle, to keep the grits from sticking to it. The food still tasted delicious.

Anyway, that's enough rambling for one night.

Be excellent to each other.