The Color Run

So The Color Run has been spamming the shit out of my facebook wall recently with sponsored posts. They have been promoting pre-registration for a run here in Central Oregon.. After clicking on the link to pre-register, you need to specify what city you are pre-registering for..Guess what? No city is listed for Central Oregon. The closest match was Portland some 180 Miles. Boneheads.the-color-run

I don’t quite no what to think of these events. I’m not one to bash something that someone else is passionate about, but there is just something about these that seems off to me.

These events have a very corporate feel to them, the sheer amount of events in the various cities has got to be logistically a nightmare. They claim a portion of their proceeds go to a local charity. Portion…who knows how much that is exactly. This guy did a good write-up on that.

These runs are not inexpensive for a 5k. $45-55. I’d expect to pay that for a half marathon, not a 5k (most actually aren’t a 5k, nor are they timed). I guess you are paying extra to have people throw shit at you while you run? Doesn’t sound like much fun to me, but whatever floats your boat.

Maybe I am fortunate to live in an area where there are plenty of local 5K events that are managed by local race directors that give a significant portion of their proceeds to a local charity. I’d much rather spend my money on those kinds of events.

Has anyone participated in one of these? Did you enjoy it? Well organized?

Merrell Trail Glove 2..taunting me

So yesterday my new Merrell Trail Glove 2 shoes showed up. They look great and feel wonderful on my feet, however, I can’t run in them quite yet.

I’m still trying to get my foot better, and it slowly is. Today I was able to run 3 miles with no pain, but am having some tenderness a few hours after the run. So i’m still obviously not there, but at least it is going in the right direction. I’m trying to not get too freaked out that training for the 50k and Portland Marathon should ideally begin in a few weeks. Nothing I can really do to speed up the process.

From what I’ve read and been told, the peronous brevis and longus are responsible for stabilizing your foot. So switching to a shoe like the Trail Glove that doesn’t offer any stability probably wouldn’t be the best decision (and I’ve made some dumb ones before). For now, the Saucony Kinvara 3’s seem to be doing good for me, I will stick with that for now.

I will be sure to do a review on these when I can actually run in them..for now I’ll just look.

merrell-trail-glove-2

Lunch for the day

Whoa! two posts in one day.

Add this to the list of things I never imagined me eating (and liking).

Spinach-Salad

  • 3 ounces of Chicken Breast
  • Handful of spinach
  • Slivered almonds
  • Dried cherries
  • Basil tomato feta
  • Fat free italian dressing

Nutrition

  • 310 Calories
  • 10 Grams of Fat ( Eliminate the feta to cut that in half)
  • 35 Grams of Protein
  • 6 Grams of Fiber

MyFitnessPal Calorie Counting App review

I’ve been a myfitnesspal (MFP) user for a couple of years now, previously I used an app on my windows phone to track my food and exercise log as a calorie counter; so I’ve been logging off and on for about 5 years. The process and habit of logging I think has been key for me to keep my weight

I’ve been pretty consistent about counting my calorie intake for the past 18 months or so, there have been a few lapses while camping, weekends, or just needing to “take a break”. If I go long periods without tracking it, I have a tendency to start cheating on my portions or dismissing that handful of nuts I just ate. Logging also gives me a much better visual understanding of what a portion looks like.

MyFitnessPal has a website, iPhone and iPad app to keep track of everything. They also offer a large community for support, information and encouragement.

MyFitnessPal account setup

The setup of your account is pretty simple, just enter your stats (age, height, weight) and what your goal is (drop weight, maintain or gain weight). It will give you suggested calorie intakes along with guidelines for your macro nutrients. From there, you can tweak and modify things as you see fit. I’d suggest double checking the results they spit out with a few other BMR/RMR Calculators.

MyfitnessPal-Goal-Modification

MyFitnessPal Goal Modification

MyFitnessPal Calorie Counter

Daily entry of your exercise and food is pretty easy. They have a large database of foods already in the system and easy access to your most commonly entered items. For the most part, I tend to eat a lot of the same things (especially for breakfast). You can also create your own “meals”, which are just a collection of individual ingredients and can easily be dropped into a meal. I have one setup for a yogurt and oatmeal bowl that I eat for an afternoon snack frequently. The barcode scanner on the iPhone and iPad app also helps enter your data, but always double check the actual label to their database. I think most of the calorie counting apps use the same crowdsourced nutrition database, and I have found lots of errors.

MyFitnessPal Ipad Screen

MyFitnessPal Ipad Screen

It’s only going to be as accurate as what you input. One of the more difficult items to tackle is eating out. To get the most accurate measurements, I try to deconstruct the meal and enter ingredients individually. If I eat a cheeseburger, I will enter the ground beef (normally selecting a 85/15 lean beef, because honestly that is probably what the restaurant used), bun, cheese and any condiments by itself.

One complaint with the food database, and this isn’t really their fault, but I wish it was a bit more curated. Sometimes finding what you are after can be hard with the variations. Using ground beef as an example, there are probably a hundred entries, that could probably be scaled back to just 10 or 20 if they got rid of all the duplicate entries.

Tracking your Exercise

Depending on the type of exercise you do, the accuracy of their database is pretty questionable. I think most calorie counter apps and gym machines over estimate calories burned. What I have come up with is a base of 12 calories burned per minute as a 10 effort level (going all out). From there, I have to use my best judgement on what my perceived exertion level was for that exercise. For the most part, a easy run is about 80 calories per mile or so. This usually matches up with my heart rate monitor on my garmin. The one huge are of concern I’ve seen is on the eliptical at the gym, those machines seem to really be generous (there is no way I am burning 15 calories a minute at a medium level of intensity). Again, you will have to make the best judgment there. A heart rate monitor will really help take a lot of the guesswork out of this.

Tracking your progress

MyFitnessPal allows your to track your progress in a couple of different ways. You can go by weight or measurements. I personally just go by weight, not too interested at this point in my measurements. You can update your progress as frequently as you’d like. I typically weigh myself daily (just for my own curiosity) but only look at weekly progress (will be the topic of a future post).

MyFitnessPal Progress

MyFitnessPal Progress

MyFitnessPal Community

The community aspect of MFP is something that is a bit unique from other calorie counting apps I have come across. You can connect with other friends or people with similar goals and become friends through the app. This can be more appealing to others I think. For me, it’s not a big motivator. I have in the past friended a few people, but have noticed like in real life, they tend to lose their enthusiasm for the app/site after a few weeks.

Their forum is very active and can be a good place to find some feedback and general tips. Again, it’s all peer to peer so there is also a lot of bullshit (IMO) in the forums.

Overall

There are a lot of options for calorie counting apps out there. The quality of the app is not what is going to make or break my goals. It’s the decisions I make on a day to day basis. What I want is a tool that is simple, works consistently and allows me to quickly track what I want to track. MyFitnessPal does just that for me.

Being an injured runner sucks

It’s been about 3 weeks since the Eugene Marathon and I’m still struggling with pain in my left foot. At first I thought it may have been a stress fracture, but am now leaning towards peroneal tendonitis. From what I have read; pain from a stress fracture would be more towards my toes and not in my heel/anklebone area.

I’ve tested it on the treadmill every few days and it seems to slowly be getting better. Yesterday I ran outside, was able to get about 2 miles before the pain came back.

I have an appt with a podiatrist on Friday to hopefully get a firm diagnosis and to be told (I’m assuming) no running for 6 weeks. 6 weeks seems to be the standard healing time for any soft tissue repair.

I had to cancel my pacing duties for the Happy Girls Half marathon for this weekend and I’m going to guess that the Dirty Half will also be off the table for me. If it were a road half, there may be a possibility, anything with an uneven surface causes a lot of pain (another reason why I think it’s the Peroneal).

Sooooo, I’m left with doing some stationary bike at the gym, some light eliptical and some swimming. Not the ideal situation, but also out of my control.

The most difficult aspect is thinking I’m going to lose any gains I have made over the past several months. I know logically that there will be some hit, but the fear that I’m going to be starting back like it was day 1 is not real.

Until I can get back to running, I am trying to enjoy the break; catch up on some stuff around the house and wrap up the remodel we have worked on in the motorhome.