Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Role Models

Two more weeks until Chicago!

This week’s post is devoted to all the people & events that have helped me become a better stair climber.

Mr. Paradis: He was my high school X-country running, track, and X-country skiing coach. He was also my Physics teacher and he helped foster my interest in math and science. Mr. Paradis led by example and he trained right along with the team. He would even drive us to local road races on the weekends *.

Derek: The manager at the local fitness center who also happens to be a pretty solid cyclist and triathlete. He runs a mean spinning class. Unfortunately, we’ve never been able to compete against each other at the Pine Bush Triathlon at full strength due to various injuries**.

Scott: A coworker of mine who likes running. He came in 2nd in the Corning tower climb a few years back (an impressive feat) which is how I heard about stair climbing in the first place! His training was pretty hardcore. He used to wear ankle weights to train (since the stairs weren't hard enough!)

MRG: A friend of mine who got me into cycling back when I only lifted weights. Mike is a talented cyclist & runner who could probably finish the Pine Bush in under an hour. Mike is the type of guy who will keep up with you on a steep hill, start a conversation, and then effortlessly pass you right before the crest of the hill.

My Parents: Although I wasn't very athletic, they had me take swimming lessons the summer after kindergarten. It turns out I wasn't too bad. I even won a local swim meet for the 13-14 year old boys division (special thanks to Eric Weddell, my first swimming coach). Without swimming lessons, I wouldn't have ever trained for the Pine Bush Triathlon... and without that training, I wouldn't have built up a strong fitness base.

Maria: Another friend of mine who is into fitness and is learning to become a massage therapist. She taught me how to do dead lifts and squats. She still can do the squat matrix  faster than I can (squat matrix = 25 squats + 25 lunges + 25 jumping lunges + 16 jumping squats) than I can. Hopefully she will do more stair climbing events!

Mt. Algonquin: The 2nd highest peak in the Adirondacks. While climbing this mountain I realized that I was pretty good at climbing uphill.

The Pine Bush Triathlon: My favorite event (outside of stair climbing). A few years ago, I managed to place 3rd in my age group even though I rode a hybrid mountain bike. This year I was in much better shape and I rode a true road bike... but managed only 5th in my age group. I guess next year it will be back to the hybrid mountain bike ^_^

* while grading physics & chemistry papers
** or having my bike stolen while out on a milk-tea ride with MRG a week prior to the race

Saturday, October 8, 2011

M&Ms and Oreos

As I get ready for the Sky Rise Chicago race, I'm going to try and drop 5 lbs while keeping muscle mass. I have just under 4 weeks to complete my goal, but it is going to be a real challenge. I've been trying to drop weight for months, but the scale *still* hasn't moved below 175. These last few lbs are going to be a real bitch.

The hardest part will be cutting out junk food. I have a pretty good diet throughout the day, but when I get home from work I CRAVE junk food. Recently, my nemesis has been oreo cookies and M&Ms. For example, here is what I ate on Wednesday, which I felt was a pretty good example of my regular eating habits.

  • Breakfast: 1 cup Chobani Yogurt, 1 blueberry bagel (plain), 1 english muffin (plain), 1 apple
  • Lunch: 1 large salad (w/fruits & vegetables), 6-8 oz. of grilled chicken, a table spoon or so of salad dressing, 1 dinner roll (plain), 1 dinner roll w/margarine, 2 small cookies.
  • Post-workout Snack: 4 oz of grapes, large glass of milk mixed with some protein powder, 1 large banana, 1 plum
  • At Home Snack: 4 oz of cherry tomatoes, 1 yoplait yogurt, 1/2 an apple, 1 granola bar
  • Dinner: 9 oz of salmon, 1 medium sweet potato, small glass of milk, 2 oreos, 20 peanut butter M&Ms

Granted, it seems like I eat a lot of food througout the day, but to be honest, I'm pretty much always hungry. I estimate that I need at least 3000 calories per day on the days that I exercise. The problem is, even with a few cookies and M&Ms, it turns out I'm consuming about 300 calories of "junk" food, which is about 10% of my daily caloric intake.

It looks like I'm going to have to start counting calories in addition to cutting back on sweets. It is going to be a difficult road from here on out since Oreos and M&Ms have such a drain on my willpower. Any suggestions you have would be greatly appreciated. My future six pack abs thank you in advance!