As I've mentioned before, I've always struggled with my weight, which fluctuates a lot based upon the unsustainable diet of the moment. Almost two years ago I began my current effort using the low-tech "Eat Less, Move More" diet. I've lost 50 pounds and kept it off for more than a year. Although I wouldn't mind losing another ten, I'd be happy to stay where I am.
One of the problems that I've had with past diets has been that the exercise portion hadn't stuck. I’ve done a lot of things including basketball and even running but it wasn't until I started setting running goals that I was able to stick with something long enough to maintain the weight loss.
My first goal was to run a 10K, then I increased it to a half-marathon, then a marathon, then another. I'm now at a crossroads. I've finished a couple of marathons and while I know that it would take a lot of work to be ready for another, I know that I could do it. The fear of failure that has driven me in the past is gone.
So I've been browsing around for new things to challenge myself. There are several options:
Marathons or half marathons with faster time goals
Pros: Cheap. Familiar. Works well with my schedule
Cons: Might not provide enough motivation to keep me pushing
Pros: Something new, fun, excuse to get a bike
Cons: Expensive (see bike above). Have to get access to and arrange time at a pool
Ultramarathon (running anything longer than a marathon, usually 50 or 100 miles, but sometimes as long as 135)
Cons: Time consuming. Crazy
For now I've decided to go the easy route and try for some faster times. My next race is the Martian Half Marathon in April. If that fails to provide sufficient motivation then I'm sure you'll read about it here. Maybe I'll eventually have to rename the blog "Will Run Until My Feet Turn Blue and Fall Off for Dessert".
It must be Christmas time because people around me have started to inquire when they will receive their annual bag of homemade chocolates. My wife and I gave out about 70 bags last year to friends, neighbors and coworkers. Almond Joys are always there (see recipe in previous post) as are Buckeyes. They are awesome.
1 ½ cups creams peanut butter (12 oz.)
½ cup butter, softened (1 cube)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups sifted powdered sugar (1 lb)
1 cup rice crispies
Milk chocolate for dipping
Mix peanut butter, butter, vanilla, and powdered sugar. Dough should be smooth and stiff but not too dry. Add rice crispies and mix gently until distributed. If you mix too much you'll crush them. Shape into balls and place on wax paper lined tray or cookie sheet. Chill thoroughly (I freeze them solid. Seriously, in the freezer for two days.). Prepare chocolate in a double boiler and dip chilled balls. You can drop, coat, and pull out with a spoon, leaving part of the peanut butter mixture exposed looking like a real buckeye nut. What we've found works best is to stick the frozen balls with a bamboo skewer, let drip, put onto wax paper, and pull out skewer. You can press the top to get rid of the little hole later. Return to wax paper and chill to set.