Sunday, April 15, 2012

Weighty Matters

The last 2 years I successfully managed to drop quite a few pounds off my frame just before my spring goal race by staying off any sugary things during lent. This year, it was a complete disaster; despite following the same procedure through a torturous few weeks, I actually gained half a pound before Connemara. It's probably all down to starting from a lower base - despite that setback, I was lighter for Connemara than for any other goal race in several years.

You might have thought that since staying off sugar did not lower my weight, re-introducing it should not cause a weight change either. Not so. I must dig out that article I read a few weeks ago that mentioned that eating chocolate can help in losing weight. I'm dying to find out how they did it. Following my selfless scientific experiment of the last two weeks that consisted of sitting on the sofa stuffing my face with chocolate until it almost comes out of my ears, I can conclude that it is not a successful strategy for weight loss. No need to thank me.

Actually, having Easter one week after running almost 40 miles through the beautiful desolation that is Connemara is a brilliant way to ensure a completely guilt-free two-week gluttony session. Me and the Easter bunny have become best mates. Right now I'm 5 pounds heavier than 2 weeks ago and truth to be told I'm loving it. I just need to get back on track in time for my next race.

There is still a bit of a problem as far as my running is concerned. My subconscious pacer is completely locked into Connemara pace and I find it very hard to break out of it. I don't want to spend every moment of my run concentrating on slowing down. It would not work anyway. Instead, I'm working on the theory that low mileage keeps my legs in too fresh a state and am therefore in the process of cranking up the training again. When I say fresh legs, that's all relative, of course. I can still feel the effects of Connemara deep inside. That will take a good while longer to go away.

My resting heart rate of 50 bpm is still about 10 beats higher than before the race. I was surprised to still see it at that level yesterday, unchanged from the week before. The pace/HR ratio that I keep tracking after each run is still significantly lower than before Connemara, but at least that one is showing clear signs of improvement.
12 Apr
8 miles, 1:00:31, 7:33 pace, HR 153
13 Apr
8 miles, 58:55, 7:21 pace, HR 153
14 Apr
10 miles, 1:14:31, 7:27 pace, HR 153
15 Apr
12 miles, 1:30:36, 7:32 pace, HR 147


  1. Sadly I don't really like chocolate - oh sure the expensive stuff Lindt and Thorntons, you can't really eat more than one little piece of that stuff though, finances dictate etc - but on behalf of all my chocoholic friends I would like to thank you for the huge personal sacrifice you have made on their behalf.

  2. Sounds like the recovery is going OK. You should try Tassie's Cadbury Marathon one year - free chocolate!

  3. Really enjoyed your chocolate reflections. I am fascinated by your HR readings; really does show up the distress/recovery. Have been off for 2 weeks myself (injury) and my heart rate was really up and down today, really affected by every little teeny tiny hill tug, despite a fairly steady slow pace.