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batlou 09-06-2012 05:23 AM

Batlou's Journey to better health
So here I am back at it again, I guess it's been so long since I posted a journal entry that mine has been removed. I have been an absentee poster for 6 months or so while I was preparing for Ironman. The fact is that I was feeling guilty that I was eating all of the sugary fuel required to train for extended periods of time. Just made it difficult to post here and not feel like a poser.

One thing I found out was that extreme endurance training is not great for weight loss. I was hungry all of the time and struggled to find balance. It still amazes me that I could go on a 6+ hour bike ride on Saturday, 2+ hour run on Sunday and follow up with a swim that same day and still step on the scale Monday and be up 2 or 3 pounds. Ackk!!!

Here's me at the finish.

Well Ironman is over and I finished a little slower than my goal of 14 hours (15:13) but I finished and I guess thats worth something. Now it's back on Atkins and eating clean again. Amazing how I felt better within 48 hours of cutting out sugar again.

I took a week off and told my Wife and Family that I was not planning to say "No" to anything the week after Ironman knowing that I needed a bit of time to recover from a ridiculous diet/workout regimen that consumed all of my time over the last year. Of course there is a price to pay for that and on top of the 10 pounds I gained during IM training I added on another 5. Oops...

So on Monday I started back on Atkins at a weight of 190 pounds, up a total of 15 from my lowest weight. My plan is to get down to 160-165 over the next 6 months. Next year I will begin prepping for either Chicago or NY Marathon depending on which one I can get into but I need to drop some of my weight in hopes to shave off some time and make running a bit more comfortable.

This will be my first stand alone Marathon and I am hoping to go sub 4 hours. While this is a tall order I should have a better idea of what I am capable of after my half in April. Last year I ran it in 1:54, however, I was uncomfortable the entire race and had hip joint pain that persisted for a month or so after. This was likely from over striding so the only way I am going to get down to 1:50 or less in this half is to shorten my stride and increase my leg turnover. To do this I need to lose weight, which is where I came up with 160-165.

I will begin weighing in each Monday and tracking my progress along the way here. If you actually read the above post thank you and feel free to comment or just call me an idiot as much as you wish.

Feels good to be back!

batlou 09-07-2012 04:16 AM

I started cross fit this week and I hurt everywhere. My more experienced IM friends told me that my recovery from the race will likely take 2-3 weeks. I guess they are right, I was able to finish the workout but I was completely gassed. Add in that I have not done any strength training for 6+ months and I am sore and tired. Feeling very humble right about now.

batlou 09-10-2012 05:44 AM

Start Date: 10/3/2012
Begin Weight: 190
Current Weight: 186.8
Weeks Loss: 3.2
Total: 103.2

Pretty good first week. Diet wise it seemed pretty easy and normal. Fitness is still coming along. I went Mountain Biking on Sunday which was a lot of fun but I really struggled with some of the climbs that are typically pretty easy and just generally felt sluggish. Likely because of the change from Carbs to low-carb and I know it will get better but it's still a little frustrating.

I have been dealing with a shoulder injury all year that flares up when I push to hard. Have managed to maintain swimming fitness by modifying my stroke over the last several months to minimize some of the movement. However, the cross fit class I took last week I believe made it flare up again. I am supposed to start Insanity today but I am struggling with what to do. For now I may do the workout but avoid all of the movements that rely heavily on shoulders.

Picked up some chicken thighs on sale at Kroger last night. Planning to cook them up tonight, although I am not sure how. I was thinking of grilling them so that they can be easily reheated. Suggestions?

Have a good week.

batlou 09-11-2012 04:38 AM

Insanity Fit Test last night. Wow, it was harder than I thought and I felt a little pain in several areas that I guess I have negleted during the last year. Movements where a little tricky as well, so I am hoping that I see improvements in 2 weeks just based on feeling more comfortable with the movements.

batlou 09-17-2012 10:31 AM

Start Date: 10/3/2012
Begin Weight: 190
Current Weight: 187.0
Weeks Loss: +.02
Total: 103

Insanity week one is done. First few workouts were a little rough trying to figure out the moves and get the language down. Learning on the fly and so far it's been pretty challenging. I did not realize how much strength I had lost from IM training, Ughh. I am such a weakling.

Weight was up just a bit but I am attributing it to a late dinner which is typically a no-no. Just have to wait and see how it plays out next week, I know my clothes are fitting a bit better so I am making assumptions that I am losing fat and adding a bit of muscle.

On On

blotto76 09-24-2012 12:17 AM

Hi Batlou - I'm writing as I'm currently training for my first half iron man, the Phuket 70.3 in December. I remember you training for the Louisville Ironman (huge congrats btw!) and wanted to ask about low carb nutrition, as I'm really struggling with training at the moment on a low carb diet. However, having read this journal I see you weren't really low carbing, haha!

It's hard isn't it? Like you I've been gaining weight, not losing, as I've been trying to keep my energy up with carbs and I'm permanently hungry, but I really need to shift some weight before the race so reverted back to low carb a couple of weeks ago. The weight is coming off but I'm now struggling with the training. What to do?! :dunno:

Any suggestions please?! Thanks a million.

batlou 09-25-2012 12:49 PM

@blotto: It certainly is a difficult position to be in. There are people on here that can do endurance events on complete low-carb diet. However, I am not one of those people. I can train for extended periods if I keep the effort low but what's the fun in that. Like you I wanted to lose a bit of weight about 6 weeks out and tried low carb to accomplish this. Did not work out, I crashed hard on my first extended workout and just decided I would remain on a carb fueled diet until the race was over.

That race is in Thailand? Sounds like a fun venue. Are you from the region?

batlou 09-25-2012 12:53 PM

Start Date: 10/3/2012
Begin Weight: 190
Current Weight: 183.6
Total: 106.4

OK, so I was feeling a little crappy yesterday and opted to take a mental health day from work. Slept until noon and watched some TV. When the kids got home I was a bit wound up though.

At 4:30 we did Insanity and then I rode to the park and went for a short trail run with a friend. Turned out to be a great day and the weather has turned for the worse today so not much chance to get out on the trails until tomorrow maybe.

Weight was down a bit this week which I am excited about. Lets see how it holds this week.

Tonight is Insanity with the kids and then off to a Parent meeting about College choices at my Son's High School. Ughh, I am not ready for this.

blotto76 09-25-2012 09:43 PM

Hey Batlou, thanks for replying. Urgh, I was hoping you'd have some magic low carb solution to this, but I'm not surprised you haven't! I've actually been sick this week so I've had a few days off the training, but thought when I get back to it I might try higher carb low carb, if that makes sense - ie still avoid the bread, pasta, junk etc, but add in more healthy carbs - bananas, dried fruit, sweet potato etc. I've got a 90k cycle to do on Saturday so that will be the test. If I still struggle, I'll have to rethink!

Yep, the race in in Phuket in Thailand. A very hilly cycle and humid weather apparently! I'm from London, but currently live in Abu Dhabi - so at least I'm kind of used to the heat. I'm a complete novice though, and rubbish at all three disciplines, so it'll be a miracle if I finish in the cut off times - that's my only goal!

What's your next race??

batlou 09-26-2012 05:40 AM

Humid and Hilly...sounds like my race in Louisville. Blah

I wish there was a magic bullet for the nutrition part of triathlon. You have the right idea though, adding carbs when you need them and healthy carbs. On that ride that I felt so terrible on we stopped at the 40ish mile mark at a little restaurant where I had 1 pancake (no syrup) and a regular Pepsi. Felt better instantly and the ride home was uneventful and I was able to keep up with the group.

Right now I am just trying to drop weight, so not real focused on future races. I am planning to do a stand alone Marathon next Fall but have not picked one out yet. Considering Chicago or NY, although the later might require a Brother-in-law pulling some strings since you have to qualify to run it.

Will likely do some shorter triathlons next year and begin adding in some XTerra Triathlons. I am partial to the woods and trails so racing a tri that involves a trail run and mountain bike sounds like it's more my venue. I tend to get a little bored on long rides and runs. A Half Ironman is more my distance as it's far enough to be hard but not so far that I get bored.

batlou 09-26-2012 05:50 AM


Well, I have been eyeballing this bike all Summer waiting to pull the trigger until Ironman was over. It's over and I am now the new owner of a 2012 Salsa Mamasita. This bike is awesome and the only weakness I have found so far is the engine. Screams downhill and climbs like a Mountain goat handling is a little different as the 29er wheels don't turn as sharp but I am getting used to that quickly.

On our first ride out after years of riding a 26" and always looking for the right lines through technical sections the Mamasita just begged for the rough stuff and rolled over anything and everything. While it took some getting used to by the end of the ride I was looking for the toughest lines just to see what would happen. Love my Mamasita!

blotto76 09-26-2012 11:40 PM

I think I might have to take your approach, and just eat more carbs on the big training days, and worry about my weight afterwards - I just wish tri clothing wasn't so damn tight and revealing, haha!

Half iron man is definitely a better distance than the full - I could never commit to all the training for a full, you have all my respect.

Nice bike by the way! :)

batlou 09-27-2012 06:58 AM

That sounds like a good idea.

Went out on a trail run with a friend last night and wore my Vibrams for the first time this year. Wowsers! My feet were hurting like crazy. Need to start wearing them again but perhaps next time limit the distance and expectations a bit. The last year of running in cushy shoes most of the time has left my feet ultra sensitive to rocks and roots. Also got a small blister on each of my big toes.

batlou 11-06-2012 12:52 PM

Start Date: 10/3/2012
Begin Weight: 190
Current Weight: 192.4

A few setbacks. Injured my shoulder doing Insanity, cut back to just riding and running. Made it worse mountain biking and just decided to rest and heal for a bit. Too much free time and I was eating everything in site. Back up to 192.4 as of Monday, my shoulder is still a mess but I can run so no excuses.

Need to stop sitting around getting fat and feeling sorry for myself. I am the only one that can make a difference so I just need to stop thinking about why I can't and just start doing.

blotto76 11-06-2012 10:36 PM

Hey Batlou, sorry to hear about the setbacks. Looks after that shoulder, don't do anything to make it worse.

Sounds like you're ready to jump back on the horse and sort yourself out. You'll feel so much better once you are out there running again, and I'm sure you'll get the eating back under control. I know all too well how easy it is to slip into a rut of not exercising and eating too much of all the wrong things!

I'm still training like mad for the half iron man but not long to go til the taper now. Totally given up on the idea of trying to eat low carb, it's just impossible - hence I'm carrying aroung 10-14 more pounds than I would like - but hey ho!


batlou 11-07-2012 05:03 AM

Thanks for checking in. It's a bit of a bummer but in the grand scheme of things I have remained mostly injury free for the last 4 years. I guess it was bound to happen at some point. It's starting to feel a bit better and I may go do a little Mountain biking tomorrow if the weather clears. More than likely will have to see a Doctor at some point, just putting it off for now.

You're right at one month out. What is your plan for these last few weeks? Looking forward to some pressure free rides/runs? Taper is nice but it was a little stressful when you going hard for so long then it seems like you completely put on the brakes. Start to question everything a bit with so much free time. My favorite part of it was just going for bike rides and runs and not looking at time, speed, pace, cadence, etc. Low stress and easy paces are a nice stress reliever.

batlou 11-12-2012 06:50 AM

Start Date: 10/3/2012
Begin Weight: 190
Current Weight: 189.0

Down about 3 pounds already from last week. Could have been more but I got in a bit of a tussle with a bag of peanuts yesterday. Needless to say I lost.

Weather has turned to crap so it's time to go to the gym for the first time in a couple months. Going to try and get in a swim, not sure how my shoulder will hold up though.

batlou 11-12-2012 07:13 PM

Weird night, I actually felt nervous heading out to the gym. Also found out I am really out of practice. I was missing my goggles for swimming and had to wear dress sock to run in. Looked a little funny I guess. No swim so I opted to abuse my core with lots of crunches and oblique work. Ouch, I am going to feel this tomorrow and perhaps the next few days after.

blotto76 11-12-2012 08:47 PM

Ouch! Bet it feels good though!

batlou 11-19-2012 07:30 AM

Start Date: 10/3/2012
Begin Weight: 190
Current Weight: 187.0

Down another 2 from last week! Feels good to be heading in the right direction again and my diet is getting back on track as well. Funny, I was starving all day yesterday and it seemed like I never stopped eating but I still woke up this morning down.

Short week this week at work and then Turkey day with a 5 day weekend! Woo Hoo! The plus is that despite what you might think I find the Fall/Winter Holiday's are easier to stay on plan the Spring/Summer Holidays.

Typicallly Spring/Summer is filled with Grilled items served on bread with lots of chips and other high carb foods. Fall/Winter is more of the roasted meats with cooked vegi's. The big temptation is the desserts but I can usually make a low-carb pumpkin dessert to satisfy that craving. Pumpkin cheesecake with an almond or pecan crust sounds like a good idea.

@Blotto: Hah, not sure about feeling good physically but psychologically it does feel pretty good to get some core work done. Now that I have provided fair warning to my abs and obliques they are in for some shock and awe this week.

On On

batlou 11-26-2012 04:52 AM

Start Date: 10/3/2012
Begin Weight: 190
Current Weight: 185

Down 2 lbs during Thanksgiving week! Very excited about this, just need to keep moving forward and remind myself that this is going to take some time to undo. Hopefully by Spring I will be where I want to be.

Busy day so not much time to say more, gym tonight, shoulder is feeling better than it has in weeks.

On On

batlou 12-06-2012 10:08 AM

Start Date: 10/3/2012
Begin Weight: 190
Current Weight: 187

Busy week and no time to update. Of course I believe if I am being completely honest, having a set back does not make me feel very enthused to update. Whatever, I am up 2 pounds this week and I am sure its due to the limited workouts over the weekend and to much low-carb dessert (pumpkin cheesecake). Dunno

So it's a new week and I have lots planned. Yesterday I had a physical which includes blood work. Check out was good although I was questioned on the weight gain since my last visit...blah. BP was on the higher side of normal as well which is unusual but I was asked to stop by 1 time per week and have it taken just to make sure it was an anomaly. Okie dokie.

Tomorrow I am going to University of Louisville to have two test taken. First is a hydrostatic test to evaluate my body composition. This is exciting because I will be able to finally set realistic targets instead of guessing. In addition to the hydrostatic test I am have a Lactate Threshold test done. Using this data I will be able to set HR zones based on actual data rather than 220-Age. For training purposes this is a great piece of information to have because my workouts can be very specific in regards to zones and effort.

Also started a Crossfit class last night that will meet twice per week for the next 6. Lots of fun but more on that later, need to go and get back to work.

On On

batlou 01-14-2013 05:33 AM

New Years in New Orleans
Start Date: 1/4/2013
Begin Weight: 195 -- Ackk!
Current Weight: 189
Goal Weight: 165

It was a blast spending the New Years there and being that it was my first time I felt that I should just take it all in, including the Beignet's. I had a blackened Alligator burger with fries and more beer than I have drank in the past 2 years over the course of 5 days. On top of all of that Louisville won the Football game and was crowned the Sugar Bowl Champions. Woot!

Well after a good week of clean eating my detoxification of New Orleans food and beer is complete. Beginning to feel like my normal self again and the weight gained over the Holidays is almost gone.

Back in December I had a Hydrostatic Body Composition test done and it allowed me to finally gain some factual data on what a realistic goal should be. Using that information I have updated my goal of 175 to 165 which will put me at around 12-14% body fat. Once I hit that goal I plan to go and get retested and see if I am on target.

I have been sick since Thursday and today may be the first day that I am fever free. This means that I have not done any workouts since Weds which feels a little weird but I figured it would be better to rest and get better then get after it this week. Hopefully it pays off because I am going a little crazy right now.

Gotta go and will update later. On On

batlou 10-09-2013 05:40 AM

Welp that it is...200!
Start Date: 10/07/2013
Begin Weight: 203 -- Double Ackk!
Current Weight: 203
Goal Weight: 165

Well there it is, it's official I am no longer below 200 lbs. For whatever reason I have lost the motivation and struggled most of the summer trying to find it. After a weekend of excess I reluctantly stepped on the scale to find that my weight no longer begins with a 1 but rather a 2! WTH!

I believe that I have been so busy patting myself on the back for my successes that I lost sight of how I got there. My eating habits have devolved to the typical foods that got me to 300 several years ago. The worst part is that I know I am not making good choices just based on how generally ****** I have felt for the last 6 months or so.

Exercise has been tapering off as well with workouts only coming 3 times per week with an occasional mountain bike ride. The only thing that has got me out running is trying to keep up with my Wife, whom is kicking ass btw.

So here it is, I have a feeling that a large part of the weight is just bloat from to much beer and chili camping this weekend and will quickly drop off but I really need to get back down to that 175 range and possibly lower. Running at 200 blows, my joints, feet and back are all pissed about it.

So here goes, I am on day 3 of induction right now and already feeling better. I am going to try and limit weigh-ins to once a week, no promises as I am rather addicted to the scale. Wish me luck.

batlou 10-18-2013 10:41 AM

Start Date: 10/07/2013
Begin Weight: 203 -- Double Ackk!
Current Weight: 199
Goal Weight: 165

A little late to post but its been a busy week. I had a 3 day backpacking trip planned and went off plan a bit by eating ramen noodles for 2 meals. Not the best choice but they were delicious mixed with some bagged chicken and beef on a cold rainy day at evening camp.

Legs are a little tight and feet a bit sore as I did not anticipate how rocky the terrain would be on this trip. It certainly made for a slow going hike to each of the days planned camps.

Back on plan immediately upon return and things seem to be trending down. Hopefully next Monday's weigh-in is more of the same.

batlou 10-21-2013 05:49 AM

Start Date: 10/07/2013
Begin Weight: 203 -- Double Ackk!
Current Weight: 199
Goal Weight: 165

Weight is the same as last week, ughh. Stupid freaking Oreo Balls...

batlou 06-11-2014 04:35 AM

Start Date: 06/09/2014
Begin Weight: 220
Current Weight: 220
Goal Weight: 170

Well here we are again. I could sit here and make lots of excuses regarding injuries and limited training, etc. But I know as well as anyone that losing and keeping weight off is 80% diet and 20% exercise. The reality is that I have been goofing around trying this and that to see if I could still maintain. On Monday I weighed in at 220 lbs. Guess my goofing around with the plan does not work.

Time to set a goal and keep at it until this weight is gone. When I lost the weight 6 years ago I weighed in each Monday and that seemed to work. From this point forward I will check in here at least that often to post my weight and probably whine a little here and there in between.

Regarding racing, shoulder is 90% and at this point I think that is about as good as it will get. However, I have not developed Plantar Fasciitis which is limiting my running. As of now I cannot go beyond around 5-6 miles and still be able to put weight on my feet the next day. I have changed some of routine and trying to massage, stretch and medicate (relax, just taking Advil) my way back so far with little success. It's likely going to be that time off is the answer and I am trying to figure out how to do that without going crazy.

I have a Marathon scheduled in October and I am giving myself through the end of the Month to get my long run up to 10 miles without requiring a walker the next day for my feet(heels). If I cannot get there then I am going to sell my entry(bib) and just take about 3 months off from running. Trying to look on the bright side by considering lots of time on the bike and in the pool. But I enjoy running more than both of those so not easy to convince myself.

So here we go again and as usual when I hit one of these walls I like to think about motto's or slogans. For this it seems fitting that I need to be thinking on simpler terms.

"The first steps towards getting somewhere is to decide that you are not going to stay where you are!" ~Unknown

Keeping my fitness goals simple for now and thinking of a Sprint distance race in the Fall. So here we go, lets see what this 46 year old body is capable of. The journey is half the fun and I believe I can work myself back into the front of the "Average Joes". Haha.

blotto76 06-11-2014 06:26 AM

Hey Batlou, good luck! I'm in the US right now, I just raced Eagleman 70.3 in Maryland - thinking about coming back for IM Texas next year! :-)

Are you focusing on mostly on running these days?

Best of luck x

batlou 06-11-2014 07:13 AM

Good to see you, how was Eagleman? I have heard positive things about IM Texas. Regarding running focus, that was the plan but my PF flares up so bad the days after a long run that I struggling a bit. Doctor says I need to just take about 3 months off and heal. Hard to do that and still run a Marathon in 6 months.

So I am going to make a push through this month and if I am the same or worse I am going to take the Doc's advice and sit out from running for 2-3 months and then start back slowly. There is a Sprint Triathlon locally that was my first and I may make it my goal to get healed in time for that.

Probably spend more time on the Mountain bike this summer and focus on losing this extra weight I have gained from eating off plan for so many months. My Wife just warns that I am not allowed to wreck anymore. In 3 separate wrecks over the last 6 months I have broken 4 fingers, one of which is being stubborn about healing. It's been 10 weeks and it still hurts like hell and is about 1.5 times the size of it's partner on the opposite hand.

zipp2play 06-13-2014 05:48 AM

I feel for you! PF is EVIL EVIL! I got it in my right foot back in 2010 while training for a half marathon. It took 9 months of non resistance working out to heal it. It took forever and my foot has never been the same. I had to stop running and right now, I am battling horrible PF in the left foot! BLAH!!!!

Good luck working through the PF, my experience is it takes forever! One thing that did work for me last time is going to the Chiropractor about it. He was able to manipulate the bones in my foot to help the PF muscle. I feel your pain!

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