I dropped out of my first official 5k race, I more than made up for that on Sunday when I pushed myself to run one myself. This was my second attempt at running one by myself and I managed to run three miles while only walking one tenth of a mile spread out through my route. For the race on Saturday I was hoping to pull a 10:00 minute pace and I almost pulled it off with my three mile splits coming in at

  • Mile 1: 9:32
  • Mile 2: 10:44
  • Mile 3: 11:20
  • After I finished up, I then took another 24 minutes to walk the mile back to my house, I was absolutely exhausted. My heart rate hovered around 170BPM for the duration of the route and topped out at 183BPM, which has me a bit worried. But by then, I was damn near done and trying to decide if my body was going to force me to puke on my shoes or not (it did not!). I can only attribute this to being extremely overheated and dehydrated so next time I’m taking a ton of water with me and maybe some nuun or a salt packet. All that aside, I managed to finish my first (unofficial) 5k! and I could not be happier. The weather was perfect as well, it was a dreary humid-but-not-hot day and was drizzling the whole time. I think the light rain kept my body cool although my head was burning up.

    Here I am a few days later and I did not run today because my calves are still screaming from my utterly poor running form, which means starting with my next run, I am 100% barefoot when I can. Hopefully that day will be Thursday as I have been pumping protein in my body like crazy to help speed recovery. On the diet front, since I started my dietary change and running, I have now lost a total of fifteen pounds and only have five more to go until my first goal weight is reached! I am beyond happy about this especially since this new diet is incredibly easy to stick to and ensures that I can eat food just about anywhere. When I lost this much weight a few years ago, I was very strict on only eating at home and only ate out once every month or two and that made things very difficult at times. Now since I have gone Paleo, I can eat at almost any restaurant as long as I pay attention to what I am ordering. I can order steaks and burgers to my heart’s content as long as I forego any added butters or breads. I am in the process of trying to document my food intake so I am posting as much as I can over at my new food porn blog. Some of the pictures are going to suck because cameraphones are awful at low light and I am certainly not dragging my pro shooting rig around to snap shots of a smoothie I made in my kitchen.

    But right now, I have to sleep, I have a massive headache!

    Yep, I am going to get a DNS (did not start) on my first registered race. I am doing this despite the fact that I have been hyped up about this for weeks and have been talking about it quite often with my friends, all of which roll their eyes when I bring it up. This is unfortunate because my new hobby — getting healthier — has run into my other hobby/job: photographing live music. Tonight is a concert I have waited for since the beginning of the year: the return of local metal legends Cyst. The band is a throwback to old school thrash metal a la Reign in Blood from Slayer with some modernizing. Their drummer sent me the new album they remixed this year about a month ago and it blew my mind. So, combine them with everyone else on the bill (Fall of Olympus and Response Negative) and it is going to be one hell of a night for metal. I predict it will be so awesome that by the time I get home tonight, it will be around 3AM and I would need to get up for the race around 6AM. I do not want to ruin my first race by getting only three hours of sleep, so I would rather take a DNS and not bonk out and sleep on the course. Not that a DNF or a DNS would really affect me, I am not a competitive racer…probably.

    So in light of that, I have registered for another race in July, the Levis Run, Sweat, and Beers 5k. This gives me plenty of time to continue training up to the 5k distance with Tony because honestly, the last I tried to solo-time a 5k, I gassed out with about half a mile left. Even though I gave up the ghost on my last attempt, my time broke me into the range of about a twelve minute mile which is only two minutes slower per mile than I had planned to run the 5k tomorrow. I figured that a ten minute pace would get the race over rather quickly but was a slow enough pace for me to know that I could (probably) handle it without much cause for concern. However, now that I have an extra four weeks to train, I should be able to meet a ten minute pace with ease as long as I can keep myself from passing out during this damned Florida heat.

    Work’s almost over and while tonight is not my dietary ‘cheat’ night, I will be gobbling down a stupid amount of sushi and seaweed salad before the concert tonight. I will also attempt to keep the beer consumption low so I can keep my weight’s downward trajectory going, well, downward.

    Friday’s photo shoot at Dekka South went very well. While it started considerably later than expected, it was a lot of fun overall, we were treated to ten female songwriters who sang about some very interesting topics. I will start editing those photos tonight or tomorrow so I can get them delivered and posted to my portfolio site. I am glad that I ate such a large but late lunch on Friday as that held me over until Saturday morning, unexpectedly. However, due to the shoot and general lack of moving around, I ended up losing only half a pound between Friday night and Saturday morning. I attribute this to two things, both of which were preventable by me. I definitely felt a bit bloated when I went to bed Friday night.

      1. Poor hydration strategy
      2. Bloating due to liquid retention from #1

    Normally, keeping hydrated during my shoots is not a problem because I am either moving a lot and have down time between artists to grab some water or a beer or I am on a modeling shoot where I can interrupt the flow of the action at my whim to take a drink. Around 95% of the time, I am fully in control of my ability to get something to drink but when in small venues like Dekka where the activity taking place is something people are usually quite concentrated on, a lot of movement interrupts the flow of the event and causes undue commotion. Imagine a wedding photographer endlessly shooting a bride and groom while they are saying their vows, but moving from side to side quickly and getting in everyone’s way. Yeah, that is how it is at these small artsy shows. Since I had only a large coffee and half of a 20 ounce bottle of water all night, I went to bed on Friday with some unnecessary water weight on me. The rice I had probably had something to do with the water retention as well but I have no definitive results to back that up. I simply know that bloating occurred and I was not happy about it.

    Saturday was a lazy day, spent recouping from the night before while my girlfriend worked. I woke up weighing in at 205lbs which was a bit disheartening but I expected it given my lack of hydration the night before. I did not let it get me down, after all, I have made good progress over reformulating my diet and nutrition intake lately and there are bound to be ups-and-downs while I get everything sorted out. Or so I thought until we went out for a light lunch at Pei Wei Asian Diner. I ordered something that sounded splendidly awesome: minced chicken with cool lettuce wraps. And it did taste great, the lettuce was a crispy serving utensil for the delectable chicken, garlic, water chestnut, and mushroom pile sitting in front of us. Then I found out the caloric value of just half of what was on our meager plate:

      Minced Chicken w/Cool Lettuce Wraps (sauce not included): 310 kcal per 1 serving

    310 calories for two to three slices of iceberg lettuce and a smattering of chicken+garlic+chestnut?! That’s insane. What the hell is in this to make it so calorie heavy? And how many calories does the sauce, slathered all over the chicken, have? My main course was the Japanese Chile Ramen with rice noodles rather than egg noodles and it was equally calorie-heavy: 540kcal per serving. How much of that is a serving? I have no idea, their nutritional info just says “serving”. It was good and I ate the whole thing so my intake for one meal tipped the scales at just under 1,300 calories. According to MyFitnessPal, that was over 2/3 of my entire day’s calories in one meal, which sucked. So instead I just had a delicious rib eye and some turnip greens for dinner. That gave me some good brain fuel to mess with my new B&N Nook Color all night and root it, adding the Android Market and Amazon Appstore to it. When I awoke Sunday morning, I had packed on a full pound from Saturday’s gut-busting excursion, so I ate light (eggs, steak, broccoli) for the rest of the day. Despite that, more bloating occurred.

    I just spent the last week eating nothing but steaks, eggs, bacon, and vegetables and the only weight I gained the entire time was the two days I introduced a carb into my diet. I am definitely starting to believe in the Paleo diet ethos now, it proved its worth by melting weight off of my body in just a few days. While I am not eating strictly Paleo — that has caused some unnecessary stress in my household — I am closely following a synthesis of the Perfect Health Diet and the 4-Hour Body. Say what you will about Tim Ferriss and his endless self-promotion but in all honesty, the diet information in his book is fairly sound. He developed a Paleo diet all his own and has it highly tailored to his needs and its adaptability works. I have implemented some of his recommendations into my diet and the results are already there. Of course, it does not hurt in any way that the two diets I have mashed up are Paleo-based. Some would say I should attribute my weight loss to running but since I have logged only three runs this month totaling less than 8 miles and 1221kcal burned, I have hardly burned enough calories through exercise to single it out as the major cause.

    Now that Tuesday is here and my momentary weight backsliding under control — weight was up to 207lbs yesterday morning, down to 204.5lbs today — I have my last run of the week to hopefully log today. I may or may not run as our local World of Beer is having a special Unibroue beer night tonight and I love their beer so I may just skip out and go drink some beer tonight instead. Will that cause more bloating? I do not know and really, I will not worry about it too much since I have drastically cut back on my beer consumption.

    Wow, I’m so full.  I just ate a silly amount of food from a local Colombian joint and I couldn’t be happier.  A delicious helping of churrasco, rice, chicharron, a fried egg, some bits of fried plantains, and hot sauce. I’m allowing myself this tasty indulgence because I have a photo shoot tonight at Dekka South in Hallandale Beach.  It’s an event full of great acoustic music from some very talented ladies.  If you’re in the area, drop by around 8, we’ll be in full swing by then.

    Why did I just gobble down a diet destroying amount of food? Two really good reasons: I’ve lost almost 5lbs this week and I’m notoriously bad at eating before an event.  See, I normally shoot concerts and live events where there is no food available and I’m always starving.  Since this turned out to be a really late lunch, it coincides well with the event since I must leave after work.  Now I can shoot for 4 or 5 hours in my feet without feeling too hungry.

    I went out for a short two-mile run on Tuesday and this time, I had a buddy! I am glad to have now gained a running partner, it will make some runs much more fun. This was also my first full barefoot run, meaning I did not run part of the time shod and I ran more than a few hundred feet. During the run itself, I noticed a slight tight pain in my right knee but I felt no pain in my feet themselves, although I did notice a small pulling sensation in my Achilles tendon during the first few hundred feet. It did go away and must have been attributable to overly tight calf muscles despite having been stretched for a few minutes each. Two days later, I feel absolutely no tightness nor pain in my calves or Achilles tendon. Amazingly, my legs also feel great and there’s zero tightness or pain. Rather than stretch immediately after my run, I ended up getting cleaned up and went out for a few hours and ate dinner, all before stretching. Did allowing my muscles to cool down and naturally relax aid in my near zero recovery time? I have no idea, but I would love to know if other readers have experienced the same thing. Do you normally stretch immediately after exercise or wait an hour or more afterward?

    So since this was my second barefoot run this week, the soles of my feet were still quite black and discolored so I naturally expected the same effect to occur during this run. While we ran, the tarmac was warm but not hot so I know that attributed to the color transfer but my feet were not as blackened as they were on Sunday. However, due to poor running form, another problem popped up: blisters! I had two smaller ones below my big toe on my left foot whereas I had a larger one below my big toe on my right foot.

    My big ol' blister

    My big ol' blister

    That is the sole of my right foot and the blister, while a little hard to see, is right on the distal edge of the ball of my foot and travels from there up to where my toes bend and the skin folds. Between Tuesday and today, the area was pretty sore and got to be about the size of my thumb from first distal joint to the tip of my thumb. It sure did make walking around a curious endeavor both barefoot and in my flip flops. I was very worried about popping them accidentally so I walked around quite gingerly and it was honestly hilarious looking, it was a mix of walking bow-legged while leaning back on my heels to ease pressure on my forefoot. The last time I had a blister, it took a few weeks to fully heal and go away.

    However, this week something strange has happened: the blisters have already disappeared entirely. The affected area is still a little sore but the sub-cutaneous fluid accumulation is gone. This startled me at first because I thought I had accidentally burst all three blisters somehow so when I looked at my foot more closely, or as closely as I am humanly able to do, there are no splits or holes that I can see. It looks like all of them have simply disappeared and the fluid was re-absorbed into my body entirely. I have never seen this happen to my body in all the years I have exercised. Blisters on my hands always took a few weeks to disappear and any on my feet (from poorly or oddly fitting shoes) took at least a week to subside. I am completely unable to explain how they have basically gone away in two days and my feet are nearly 100% healed up. They are still black on the soles but the blisters are gone, aside from a bit of soreness. The only thing I can attribute this to is increased, but controlled, movement and a dietary change. Since I cannot explain this, can any readers actually explain it? I will be looking in one of my medical books about this but I am not sure what they will say either.