Pumpkins & Carbs

This past weekend was a fantastic. To start, Mizzou Football had a bye week, so there wasn’t anything to stress over. I realized that this makes a big difference in my Saturday, and while that may not be a good thing, I can’t help it. Anyway, what we did this weekend: we watched Westworld on Friday night, went to the Hartsburg Pumpkin Festival on Saturday morning, went out for drinks with Tony, Alex and Kevin K. that evening, and then spent Sunday night with friends at Flat Branch and watching the debate. It was relaxing, the weather was great, and it was the perfect fall weekend.

As far as the diet goes, I decided to add some carbs back into my daily intake. Running is a form of meditation to me, and running without carbs takes the enjoyment away and adds a lot of pain. It just wasn’t worth it. Going two weeks without carbs was a great detox, and made me realize how much I was eating the last few months. I still plan to cut back on carbs, and also eat healthier in general (don’t look at cookie and cake above), and I think I can still achieve my weight goals and running goals with a balanced diet (who would have thought?).

Changing topics – I am struggling lately deciding what my next step in life is. More school? Different job? Go all-in with freelance work? I’m not sure, but I am certainly feeling like I need to do more of something, or something different. My goal is to spend some time this week looking at options.

Lastly note – I have been using and enjoying The Five Minute Journal. Not a bad way to start and finish each day.

Successful Week

I have now officially made it one full week on a ketosis diet! Every delicious calorie was tracked using MyFitnessPal, and I averaged less than 40g of carbs a day (less if counting net carbs). My routine has been bacon, eggs, and cheese for breakfast, and then either chicken or hamburger for lunch. I’ll then do the opposite for dinner, with a vegetable. It hasn’t been too difficult at all, I have had practically no cravings, and I am feeling great.

The only problem I had was on Saturday, when I tried to run and could only make it 3.1 miles. Not having any carbs in the tank made it very, very difficult. Then, I didn’t eat any food at all until 2:30pm (double cheeseburger with no bun at Buffalo Wild Wings). Then, that night I had two low-carb beers that night that I drank during the Mizzou game, and I had a recipe for a migraine that kept me up until 4:00 in the morning. I learned my lesson, though, and spent Sunday taking it easy and consuming plenty of calories. Low carb + low calorie + working out + alcohol is not a great mix.

Anyway, I weighed in this morning at 183.5 (one year ago today I was at 193.5). I would love to see the scale hit 170, and I know it’s possible. Once that happens, I’ll re-evealuate the diet and start putting some muscle on during the winter when running outside is difficult.

Trying Keto

Exactly six years ago, in fall 2010, I hit my weight loss goal of 80 pounds in 9 months. I was a freshman at Mizzou, weighing 170 pounds, running every morning and eating everything I could get my hands on in the dining halls. Fast forward to today, and I am still eating at the dining halls, running pretty frequently, but weighing just a bit more (closer to 195). When I was losing weight in 2010, I had a strict Weight Watchers plan, did 30 minutes on the elliptical Monday-Friday, and wasn’t old enough to drink yet. My plan now is to lose 25 pounds, and I am going to do it with a combination of ketosis and running.

Ketosis, to put it simply, is the state in which you burn fat for fuel. A person who reaches ketosis eats very small amounts of carbs (anywhere from 3-9% of their daily nutrition) so the body begins burning stored fat. Sounds similar to the South Beach or Atkins Diet, and that’s because it is. Diets generally contain a lot of fats and protein – bacon, eggs, butter, hamburger, chicken, nuts and seeds. Jacqueline and I are both going to try this out, so we spent quite a bit at the store yesterday stocking up on all the goods that we’ll need to get started.

The best part about eating like this is the foods you can still eat. This morning, after a 4 mile run, I had eggs with cheese on top and a side of bacon. For lunch I had chicken, cheese and a side of queso. Dinner will probably be hamburgers or chicken, and more cheese, with a salad. The foods you can eat are delicious, and I just need to make sure I have 2300 calories a day, 20g of carbs (3%), 120g of protein (20%) and 200g of fat (76%) – before a workout. I will need to see how running will make me feel, and how I will need to adjust these macros.

The worst thing about ketosis? Judging from others online, it is the “keto flu”. This is the feeling that people get for 2-3 days after starting, and is caused from the body beginning the process of burning fats instead of carbs. It comes complete with headaches, dizziness, nausea, cramps, etc. I guess after eating processed crap for 20 years, our body wants to fight back a bit when we try to take it away. The positive takeaway from the folks who describe these symptoms is that they all say the payoff is worth it. After the adjustment happens, and the body is officially in ketosis, people say they feel awake and aware like never before, and can practically feel their body getting healthier. I am excited for that feeling.

I’ll use this blog to keep track of our progress as we move along. I will also be doing more research on running while on ketosis, and will share any good information and personal insight as I learn!

Comics I’m Reading

I meant to post this a week ago when I actually picked both of these up from the shop, but I never got around to it. I enjoyed them so much however, that I still wanted to make a post about them. I cannot recommend The Fix enough, and I enjoy it so much I have actually purchased copies of #1-4 that were signed by the artist, Steve Lieber. It’s fantastic, and I can imagine it becoming a movie or TV show in the future. Get your hands on it – the TP came out last week, as well as #5.

In addition to The Fix, I also picked up Hadrian’s Wall from Image Comics. #1 of 8 came out last week, and I tend to like the series that have a planned ending because they tell a great story. Here is the description of the comic from the website: “When an astronaut on HADRIAN’S WALL is murdered, pill-popping detective Simon Moore is dispatched to investigate the ship’s crew… including his own ex-wife. But if Simon’s not careful, what he finds could make the interstellar Cold War go red hot. From the creative team behind the critically-acclaimed series C.O.W.L. comes a gripping, locked room murder mystery where the secrets of everyone involved are as dark as the space that surrounds them.”

A murder mystery in space? I was sold, and really liked the first issue. It’s been added to the pull list!

Labor Day Wedding Weekend

This past weekend was a much-needed long one! Jacqueline and I took Friday off work so we could head to Sikeston, Missouri to help Tricia prepare for her wedding on Saturday. We arrived at noon, checked into our Drury Inn, and jumped in to help where we could. It was a productive and fast afternoon, and we finished it off with dinner at a place called Cheers Bar & Grill. After that, Jacqueline dropped me off at the hotel and then she went to spend the evening with the other bridesmaids. I killed some time at Ruby Tuesday watching football before bed. The funny thing about that? I was back at Ruby Tuesday at 11:00am to watch more football (Mizzou got stomped) before heading to the church for the wedding.

Everything about the wedding was fantastic, and we had a blast. I spent most of the day with Taylor and Brittany since Jacqueline was in the wedding, and after the reception we all went back to Ruby Tuesday (not kidding) for a late-night 4th meal. The next morning we were on the road after breakfast, heading back to St. Louis for the afternoon/evening to see parents and grandparents. We were planning on going to B. Halls, but they were closed so we ended up at a place called 109 Brewhouse that was fantastic. After dinner we hit the road again for the final trek back to Columbia.

Monday was the perfect extra day off work, complete with a 4-mile run, some shopping, good food, naps, and grilling big ol’ bacon-wrapped steaks. It was the nice way to end the long weekend. After four days off work, let’s just say this morning it was tough to get out of bed.

48 miles in August

What a month! There is a good chance I ran more miles in the last 31 days than I have since my half marathon in 2013. I hit 48 miles this morning on my 13th run – averaging a little over 3.5 miles per outing. I have felt really great during each run, and have averaged a 10 minute pace, which has always been my goal – since I started running in 2010. Why? I am not sure – maybe because it’s the fastest I can run while still enjoying the act of running. Should I try to improve this? Absolutely, and I plan to. I am hoping September brings some cooler temperatures, which will make faster times a tad easier. We’ll see how I do – maybe I will shoot for a 9’30” average on a run or two. My training program calls for a 6-miler this weekend, and I should be hitting the 9-mile range by the end of September. That’s intimidating, but I think I can do it.

Another awesome fact about all of these miles – I have completed all of them with my Hoka One One’s. I drank the Kool-Aid, and would call them my favorite running shoe to date. I do use a “runners tie” with the laces, and they are perfect. Expensive, but worth it.

Last thing I want to mention. I have been running with my Apple Watch and really do enjoy the experience. I know people think it’s an overpriced toy, but when I can use a watch to track my workouts, heart rate, calendar, Twitter, emails, text messages, weather, and more, for the price of a Garmin, I’m in. Do I need to have my phone with me? Yes. Does that bother me? No, because I want my phone with me for impromptu photos and phone calls. If you are a person who enjoys running, and also works in a business setting, I cannot recommend it enough. I have the silicone band on for running in the morning, and simply switch it to a brown leather/stainless steel band before work. I am anxious to see what updates Apple announces to the Watch next week during their event.

That’s all for my running updates! It’s been a great month, and I hope September is full of more miles, faster times, and no injuries!

The Running Positives Continue

Time for some running updates! After a few months of no running because of the sesamoid, I decided late July/early August was going to be when I tried to get back in it. Turns out I waited long enough. In the last 4 weeks, I have ran 40 miles and still feel absolutely no pain. It’s very exciting, and I am looking forward to increasing my mileage soon.

I recently started Hal Higdon’s half marathon training, and I am halfway through week #2. Here is what it calls for:

Hal Higdon

I have yet to run longer than 4 miles since my return, but the schedule calls for a 5 miler this weekend. We’ll be in St. Louis for a wedding, so I’ll have to figure out the best time to pencil that in and see if I can knock it out. I am going to do my best to stick to this calendar, only so I increase my milage at a safe pace. I randomly started this on a Wednesday, so the actual date of the half marathon happens to fall on the Wednesday after the election. The joke is that the world may have ended by then and I’ll never have to run it. We’ll see.

I have signed back up for Spotify Premium, mostly because I am a chronic song skipper when I am running and hated commercial breaks. I’ll go through the first 5 seconds of 15 songs until I recognize a jam that will get me up the upcoming hill. I have been averaging a 10 minute pace since signing back up, and I’ve been happy with that. There is a chance I lose my hearing a few years early though, because I do listen to the tunes a little loud when I run, but you can’t have everything.

Lastly, Nike+ has recently gone through a massive update. It’s now known as Nike+ Run Club, and came with a facelift for the iPhone and Apple Watch app. Both look and operate pretty well (at least so far), so it’s actually a change I may be okay with. Anyway, hopefully the positive news continues with my small running career! If I can hit 13 miles in a few months, I’ll be feeling really great!

Epic Weekend

This past weekend was one for the books. Jacqueline got word on Friday that she was selected for a management promotion at work, just one day before her 25th birthday. All of these great things meant we had to celebrate, of course, so for the next two days we ate delicious food and hung out with great friends. CC’s City Broiler on Friday night, Panchero’s on Saturday afternoon, Cheddars on Saturday night (with Cole, Sarah, Tony and Alex – and then game night afterwards) and then Houlihan’s with Frank, Barb and Eric on Sunday. We finished the weekend off by having Adam and Kaylin over for a BBQ on Sunday night. It was all a fantastic time, and a fun way to celebrate everything. The photos above are some of the random ones I snapped throughout the weekend.

Lastly – Jacqueline, I am so proud of you. You deserve all of the great things that come your way. You’re going to crush the new job.

A Dinner Date at Walnut Street Tap + Kitchen

If there is one thing I love, it’s a new restaurant. The potential for a place to become a new go-to is always fun, and I am always very optimistic. In the case of Walnut Street Tap + Kitchen, I could see that becoming the case. Jacqueline and I went here on Saturday evening, just 8 days after the place opened for the first time. It was easy to find (on Walnut Street!), and is right next to a massive parking structure, so it was nice that we didn’t have to worry about that.

We walked in and were told to seat ourselves. We found a tall table with a view of a couple tvs so we could watch the baseball game and Olympics. It wasn’t long before a friendly waitress was bringing waters and a beer (I ordered the New Belgium Snapshot), and then explained to us what the favorites on the menu have been in the first week. We were both craving burgers, so I went with the British Brewhouse (English Cheddar, Fried Onions, Malt Vinegar Syrup, all on a Toasted English Muffin), and Jacqueline ordered the Black and Blue (Peppercorn Crust, Blue Cheese Crumbles, Bacon and no onion). The fries, as you can see, are Steak-N-Shake style, so thin and delicious. Both burgers were cooked well (we were not asked how we wanted them cooked), and I finished every single bite (Jacqueline finished her last bite the next day for lunch).

I used the fact that we were going to blog about this experience as an excuse to get dessert. The waitress mentioned a Cheesecake, said it was made in-house, and it was ordered and gone within minutes after that.

Everything was great, prices were very reasonable, and I enjoyed the experience. We’ll be back for sure – and I recommend you check it out if you’re in town.

A Lunch Date at Formosa

Yesterday, around mid-morning, I realized the other two people in my office would be out for lunch, and that I would be on my own. That is pretty rare, so I immediately sent Jacqueline a text and asked if she packed her lunch. She said she didn’t, and that was exactly what I wanted to hear. I recommended Formosa, and two hours later we were climbing the gigantic (and somehow hard to find) staircase off Broadway to maybe the best Chinese restaurant in Columbia. If you can get passed the initial stairclimb (that smells exactly like a bar’s restroom), and through the front door that makes the place appear closed at all hours of the day, you are in for a real treat. Seriously, you simply have to get over the first impression that you will have.

After you find a seat (in the dark), you can finally relax because the weird parts are over – and now everything runs as a normal restaurant should. The best part about Formosa is the lunch special. The photo above with the chicken, rice, two crab rangoon AND soup is seriously just $5.25. Get that with a water (soda always tastes off here anyway), and you got yourself one of the best deals in town. We both ordered the same thing – sesame chicken, fried rice, rangoons and wonton soup (Jacqueline went egg drop). If it isn’t lunch, the prices are still reasonable, and I see delivery vehicles all the time – so I assume they do that, too. Can’t recommend it enough, as long as you can find the stairs at 913 E Broadway.

Kevin Reape

Hello there, and welcome to my blog! As you can tell, I have a lot of interests, and sometimes I feel like I need to write about them. While I will definitely be blogging about running and eating, I also hope to cover other topics such as movies, books, comics, and who knows what else. I hope you enjoy!