Thursday, April 07, 2011

Running in the Hood

Yesterday I was scheduled for a 30-minute run but we play soccer on Wednesday nights so I figured that would take care of it. If anyone's curious, here's my running schedule for the next few months. I talked to a buddy about training for the half-marathon and he said that his running coach recommended running for a set amount of time rather than a set distance. I have no running knowledge to speak of so I'm taking his advice.

I was short on time today so I decided to run around the neighborhood instead of heading to Greenlake. We're in a bit of a valley so there's less than a mile to run in any direction without hitting some major hills. I did three out-and-backs and felt pretty good but even the flattest route we have has a decent sized slope making the run much easier away from the house and more difficult coming back. One of these days I'm going to head to a track and run in flat circles to see how fast I can run.

Here's the map of the run:

I would like to have a more consistent pace but it's hard to run the same speed on a light incline and a light decline.

I recently read a book called Green for Life and I decided to add these green smoothies to my daily intake. On the Slow Carb Diet I stopped eating all fruits and I think green smoothies are a good way to reintroduce fruit to my life. Yesterday I made a smoothie with dinosaur kale, strawberries, bananas, and avocados. Today I made one with mangos and kale. The first one was delicious but the second one may have had too much kale and was a little bitter. I do think that these greens are full of awesome nutrients and will be great for my health.

Saturday I leave for LA and even though it's only in the 60's down there, I'm excited for something a little warmer. Hopefully I'll be able to eat well on this trip and run well and not lose everything I've gained. Holla.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Chicken Wings

Last night I ate about 15 chicken wings from the Kangaroo and Kiwi while watching that ugly NCAA Championship game. This morning, I was 202.8 lbs which is annoying because I really want to see 199 on the scale at least once. It's totally an empty and shallow goal but sometimes I'm an empty and shallow person. Since turning 30, I've felt a ton of motivation to "grow up" and get in shape and whatnot that was never there in my 20's. I don't think I was under 200 lbs for a single day of my 20's. 30 is just an arbitrary indicator of age but something about those round numbers really gets me motivated.

So, the weight gained is a minus but I felt pretty good on my run today and that's a huge plus. I would probably rather be 230 lbs and a strong runner than 195 and a weak runner. I think that after running, I'll post the details of my last 3 meals and try to find correlation between food and running strength.

4/4 lunch(noon): Small Chicken Pho, Fresh Prawn/Pork Spring Roll
4/4 dinner(7 PM): 15 Chicken Wings at K&K and 2 large spoonfuls of Athletic Greens
4/5 breakfast(10 AM): 2 Eggs, Black Beans, Spinach, 25g Whey Protein
4/5 run (11:30 AM): 5 miles, 43:00, felt strong, 8 out of 10

Here's the map of my run:

It seems like the high-calorie wings could have helped give me energy this morning. For now, I'll assume that's the case.

I re-read my last post and I realized that I made the Slow-Carb Diet sound like it left me sluggish and without energy. This isn't the case at all and I've felt great for the past two months. It's just on longer runs that I feel like I need a little more gas in my tank and I'm making the decision to eat more on days before longish runs. The Slow Carb Diet is amazing and I highly recommend it to everyone. The key aspects of the diet that I'll keep with me forever are:

(1) Eat a high-protein Breakfast within 30 minutes of waking up
(2) Don't drink calories
(3) Don't snack
(4) Schedule one cheat day per week or, at minimum, one or two cheat meals.

The cheat meals are key for discipline reasons. It's easy to pass up pizza or ice cream or chow mein when you know you can have it later that week. The author of the book claims that binging has a practical reason for boosting weight loss but I think it's mostly psychological. Anyway, I'm a big fan of what this diet has done for me and I can't recommend it strongly enough.

Someday my blogs will be about something other than the Slow Carb Diet. Someday.

Monday, April 04, 2011

Life and Stuff

I'm writing this on my iPad 2 which is an awesome device but isn't great for word processing. Portability is its best feature and it's great for Facebook and email but I don't know how many blog entries I'll want to compose on here.

On January 19th, I was 230 lbs and as of this morning I was 201. I've been following the Slow-Carb Diet from The 4-Hour Body and it's worked extremely well. I highly recommend it for anyone trying to lose weight. The book is only $14 on Amazon and could change your life. Anyway, I only mention it because I'm about to get off the diet. I'm training for a half-marathon in June and I haven't had the energy that I need for some of my longer training runs. A 5-day bender in Vegas hurt me too, but I think that reintroducing some carbs will help a lot. I want to use this blog as a sort of food and training diary...what I ate before certain runs and how I think they affected my performance. I think it might be interesting to read about and will simultaneously help me become a stronger runner. I also might get bored and quit blogging but that's a risk we're gonna have to take.

On Saturday, I'm heading to LA with my girlfriend for a few days. She was planning on flying to Japan on Tuesday the 12th, but for obvious reasons she canceled her trip. She's going to fly home instead and save the vacation time for a trip to Mexico this summer. On the 12th, I'm flying to Baltimore to visit my brother and his fiancé. Cliff is graduating from a nine-month Army course and he's really excited. My Mom is flying in on Thursday and it'll be a great little family reunion. Cliff is probably the best athlete I know and I'm looking forward to running with him. It's still a difficult concept for me to grasp, excitement about running, but I'm really starting to enjoy it. Who could have guessed it?

In May, I'm heading to Madrid for a week to play in the EPT Grand Final and the EPT Champion of Champions freeroll for all former EPT winners. It's not a huge prize pool but the tournament will be televised and sounds like a lot of fun. My good friend Mike Martin will be there as well and we'll probably check out a Real Madrid game while we're there. Madrid is an awesome city and the EPT Grand Final has to be the 2nd best tournament of the year, after the WSOP Main Event of course. Estoy muy excited!!

Ok, that's all for now. I'm planning on a 30-40 minute run tomorrow, I'll let you know how it goes.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Travel Blog

I'm realizing that I blog a lot when I travel and I never blog when I'm at home. It's not really the life of Brandon but more like the travels of Brandon or something like that. Anyway, I'm fine with that. Feel free to check in periodically...if there are new entries, then I'm traveling somewhere cool. If not, I'm enjoying myself at home so stop harassing me for mundane entries about walking my dog.

I actually do want to write about something other than travel for a second. On Saturday, the Seahawks won the best game I've ever seen live and I've seen a lot of great sporting events. It helps that I had a decent amount of money riding on the game but it would have been phenomenal without any financial gain. After about a month of getting torn up by the media, we fans were fed up and Qwest Field was absolutely electric. It's always really loud and fun but Saturday was something else. I'll never forget the chills up and down my spine and the tears in my eyes when Marshawn scored that TD.

Someone asked on Facebook if Lynch's run is the equivalent of Edgar's double. A walk-off double is so hard to top in football but I actually think the analogy could work. Bear with me.

I think that the Edgar double helped kick off the "golden era" in Seattle sports where the Sonics, Mariners and Seahawks were all competitive for a lot of years. However, to me the double helps define the golden era as an era of underachieving. With all of the superstars and great teams that we had across those three sports, one of them should have won a Championship. Instead, the Mariners era is defined by Edgar's the ALDS...and David Justice's homer against Arthur Rhodes in the ALCS a few years later. The Seahawks are defined by a poorly played Super Bowl XL, aided by some poor reffing. The Sonics era is defined by Mutumbo's finger-waggle. Tons of talent, no championships.

I'm hoping that the Marshawn Lynch run, and this overachieving Seahawks team, helps kick off a new era of Seattle sports. The Seahawks have no business being in the NFL's Elite Eight, yet here they are. I'm thrilled with the job that Pete Carroll has done and I can't wait to see what he can do with more talent on his roster. The Mariners have nowhere to go but up and it was just last Spring that people were calling Jack Z a genius. Did he get really dumb all of a sudden or were the Mariners victims of a lot of bad luck? We still have Felix in his prime, we still have Ichiro, we still have Guti. If the role players can play decent baseball, this team definitely has a chance to "overachieve". I think that only time will tell if the Lynch run will be as important as the Edgar double in defining Seattle sports but let's hope that it is.

OK, now that that's off my chest, I'm ready to blog about traveling again. On Monday, I'm heading to Singapore and I'll be spending 3 weeks traveling through SE Asia. Here's a link to my itinerary, in case you want to stalk me.

I'm really excited to see Kento in Singapore. He moved there 2 years ago and I promised that I'd visit him someday. It'll feel good to make good on that promise. I've also wanted to see Malaysia for a long time now and it'll be fun to lay on those beaches. Thailand is the land of smiles and I'm excited to return. My friends Will and Kat are Peace Corps volunteers in Thailand and we're going to spend a week with them as well. It's going to be awesome, stay tuned for pics and stories.

I've been learning French, using Rosetta Stone, and I really like it. I'm done with Level 1 and I'm on part 1 of Level 2. It's an awesome little hobby and I can't wait until I finish all 5 levels.

The other hobby that I just picked up is running, believe it or not. I've been getting faster and running longer but my foot has been hurting for the past week so I'm going to rest up for a while. I'm pretty sure that I increased my speed and distances too rapidly, considering I hadn't run in about 5 or 6 years. Here's my Garmin Connect page. Cliff bought me a GPS watch for Christmas and it's pretty sweet to look at the maps:¤tPage=1

That's all for now, please pray for my foot to heal.