Thursday, January 5, 2017

RECIPE: Cream of Pasta

I adopt most recipes from recipes that I found.  This is one that I think I invented, which means that I don't measure anything.  All of the measurements are to taste.  I'll try to approximate.  I don't know if normal people think it's good, but I like it.  I like heat and cheese and vegetables and garlic.

Ingredients: (Serves 1)
  • Whole grain pasta (1-1.5 servings, probably)... I tend to like the shaped pastas better with this dish, like Penne, since it can hold sauce
  • Light Cream of Mushroom Soup (2-3 spoonfuls)
  • Either 1 serving of defrosted chopped spinach, or 1 serving of fresh spinach leaves microwaved for a minute with some water
  • Fat Free or Low Fat Shredded Cheese (1.5 servings)
  • 2-3 Tsp Black Pepper
  • 2 Cloves of Garlic, chopped
  • Make the pasta and put some in a bowl
  • Mix in the rest
  • Microwave as needed, to get everything hot enough
(I know it's not the most appetizing picture, but I like how it tastes)


The last week of 2016 marks the first week of Boston Marathon training!  Exciting.  After a year of not doing much running, I'm fresh mentally and probably physically, and ready to get back into structured training.

Sat, Dec 26:


  • Ruck: 1.8 mi
  • Sit-ups: 325 + 105 = 430 (these seem to be easier when I'm wearing heavier shoes)
  • Plank: 3.5 + 2 = 5.5
  • J-Jacks: 100
  • Flutter Kicks: 45 + 45 + 50 = 140
  • Push-ups: 25 (hard, as usual)
  • Squats: 100 + 100 = 200
  • + various 10lb dumbell exercises

I don't plan to do any Spartan Races until after Boston, to minimize injury risk and to not burn out my body, since those races tend to wreck my muscles and make me really sore.  I will miss it, though, and am envious of all my Spartan facebook friends getting ready for spring races.  Their posts are always inspiring and make me want to go out and get Spartan strong.

Thur, Dec 29:

Wanted to try to get in a quality speed session with sufficient time to recover and make gains before the Disney Marathon.  It didn't end up going that well, though.  I only made it through 2 reps of 0.5 mi @ 9mph.  4 reps of 0.5 mi would've been "the usual", and 4 reps of 0.75 mi would've been tied with my record.  Oh well, it's to be expected, when I have done almost no interval sessions this year, and haven't trained with much speed intensity.
  • 1 mi warmup in 8:04 building up to 7.5mph
  • 2x [0.5mi @ 9mph (3:20), 0.25mi @ 7.5mph (2:00)]
  • Had to take a break after that, even.
  • Got back on the treadmill after the break to do 3 mi in 24:33 (8:11 ave), to not make the day a complete bonk.  Looking forward to eventually getting my VO2max back.

Fri, Dec 30:

I don't run on back-to-back days often, but I wanted to get in what mileage and training sessions I could, before tapering for the Disney Dopey Challenge race series the following week.  The Boston plan had me doing a "long run" of 8 mi this week, so that would've been nice, but I just did 7.0 in 57:54, 8:16 ave, 2 degrees of incline = 7:56 effort.  This was after a 6abv beer, so that twas pretty good. 

I had rucked 2.7 mi in the morning with dad, around the neighborhood.

Sat, Dec 31:

Could've maybe run again, but I wanted to try to hit one last Amerithon milestone before the end of the year.  I pushed to 90 minutes of biking, covering 26.3 miles.  The last 20 minutes were really hard.  I set the bike on level 7 for the first time.  My usual is level 6.  It got me like 8% more mileage, but I had to work for it.  I got back from the gym with 15 minutes to spare before watching the ball drop on TV.

Tapering time for the WDW Dopey Challenge.  4 days of no workouts.  Doing it not so much to increase speed, but to reduce injury risk.  4 days in a row of running, capped off with a slow marathon, will be a lot.

Jan 3rd:
On a walk with my dad around the neighborhood. 

Monday, January 2, 2017

First Christmas in Charlotte 2016 & Lots of Rucking

Wed, Dec 7:
Stayed at a hotel with no gym, so I had to improvise with a hotel room strength session.  No water fountain, either, so I stayed hydrated with hot tea from the Keurig.  Didn't have much time for a full session, after spending time hunting for a gym, but better than nothing.  Still trying to chip away at the Deez Nutz WOD.

  • Sit-ups: 175
  • Plank: 2.5 + 3 = 5.5
  • Flutter Kicks: 65 + 45 + 45 = 155
  • Squats: 110
  • Push-ups: 25
  • Mt Climbers: 100
  • Stairs: 30

Thur, Dec 8:
At a better hotel tonight, did 5.0 in 40:40, 8:08 ave, 2 degrees of incline = 7:49 effort, at 6am.  Temps were 64 degrees but still felt warm with not much air flow.  Kept 7.4mph most off the time, which felt reasonable.  Nose breathed all but the very beginning of the run.

Sat, Dec 10:
Started doing my usual long run at the Whitewater Center, but it was anything but usual.  Either they changed the trails, or things look different in the winter, because the paths I took were different.  And later on, on the flattest section of trail called the "Lake Loop", I sprained my ankle.  I roll it about every other run here and have been able to keep going after those incidents.  I had to stop and limp back to the car, on this one.  Fortunately, it was at the beginning of the trail.  6.0 in 1:09:30, 11:36 ave, 433 feet of elevation gain.  It was my first time running in new shoes called the Saucony Nomad.  I had it on tight, too tight, if anything... usually, it's having shoes too loose that's the problem.

Sun, Dec 11:
My ankle was perhaps a little bit swollen, so I considered biking or doing a strength session, but all my body wanted to do was get some speed in with running, so I went for it.  6.0 in 49:13, 8:12 ave, 2 degrees of incline = 7:52 effort.  Glad to be able to run the day after a sprain.  It's the first run in a while where I've felt good and in shape.  I pushed the extra mile to hit 6, to be able to compare yesterday's stats to today's.  Trails are slow going.  Immune system felt kind of down today, before and after the run.

Fri, Dec 16:
Another run at the hotel gym.  This time, pushed to 7.0 in 58:18, 8:19 ave, 2 degrees of incline = 7:59 effort.  Temps felt better today at 68 degrees.  Happy I could do 7 more easily today than I did with the past couple 6 milers, where I had to count down 0.01 mi increments in the last mile to get through it mentally.  Still counted down today, but not with as much desperation.  Trouble sleeping (normally, not the case).  Was going to bike, but body wanted a bit more exertion than that after 4 days off.  Even walking seemed more appealing than biking, to at least have body weight effort.

Dec 17, went to a local park.  Forgot to bring my ruck, though.  Still had fun.  Got a couple of geocaches, and explored the park with my dad.


Sat, Dec 18:
70 min biking session, covering 19.2 mi.  Also rucked today, 3.85 mi around the neighborhood, plus 6.45 mi at Kings Mountain National Military Park on the lake trail with my dad.

Tue, Dec 20:
Deez Nutz WOD while watching Spartan Race on TV - great combo.
  • Ruck: 1 mi
  • Sit-ups: 105 + 110 = 215
  • Plank: 3.5 + 2.5 = 6
  • Squats: 135
  • Burpees: 60
  • Stairs: 27 + 17
  • Flutter Kicks: 55 + 65 + 50 + 40 + 45 = 255
  • Lunges: 165
  • Push-ups: 25 + 25 = 50
  • Mt Climbers: 100
  • J-Jacks: 105
Thursday - Sister came, and we played Pickleball and Bocce with my dad.
( A perfect shot... of my sister completely missing the ball)

(Bocce... yeah, none of us were close on this one)

Fri, Dec 23:
Rucked 7 mi today at Kings Mountain, this time on the Battlefield trail and up to Browns Mountain, with my dad and sister.  Rolled my ankle again, kind badly, but walked it off without making my dad or sister notice.  It was flat ground again, too.

 (Kings Mountain National Military Park)

 (Rucking with 20lb + bag/water/food, to make it more strenuous)

Later, ran 6.0 in 49:29, 8:15 ave, on 2 degrees of incline = 7:55 effort, after rucking another 1.8 mi to/from the gym.

Sun, Dec 25:
First Christmas in Charlotte...

Rucked with mom, dad, and sister on the East Main trail at the Whitewater center.  It was Pokemon Go time for me and my sister.  That's my least favorite trail, since they seemed to just want to fit as much mileage as possible within a certain area = lots of gratuitous switchbacks.

 (East Main trail at the USNWC)

 (First time taking over a gym)

Made Tofurkey for Christmas Dinner...

How to get my sister to come to the gym with me: Pokemon Go and the promise of seeing Pokemon on the way there.  Got in only 60 minutes of biking, since she did her run then had nothing to do.  At least there was Modern Family on TV.  Covered 16.7 mi.