Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Experiment Almost Derailed (Day 18)

As you know, I am doing a 5 week experiment in which I cut out all sugar and grains, I don't count calories AND I don't weigh myself. I have stuck to these rules until last night's VO2 max testing at the University of the Pacific. Before the students started the testing, they had to collect certain statistics...including weight. Not only did this break my "no weighing" rule, it went against all of my standard, self-imposed weighing rules...

  1. I only weigh myself first thing in the morning before eating or drinking ANYTHING (Last night's test was at 5pm... after a day of eating as well as drinking lots and lots of water UGH) 
  2. No clothes allowed (I was fully clothed last night except for shoes SIGH)
  3. Because the weekend usually includes a cheat day (or two), I NEVER weigh myself on Mondays. I like to have a couple of days for my body to normalize. I also tend to retain water after my Sunday long runs. (If you haven't guessed, or don't have a calendar handy, yesterday was a Monday BLEH).

Yesterday was a perfect storm... a weighing "no-no" trifecta...something that could potentially send me off the deep end into Skittle-town if the number on the scale came back high enough that I would be unable to explain it to my very fragile self. Oh, let me add a 4th "bad" component...it was a medical scale...guaranteed to be at least 5 lbs. heavier than my home scale.

I steeled myself for the results....drum roll... 150.5. Only half a pound heavier than my weight at the start of the experiment. On January 10 (a Friday, after 5 days of clean eating), I weighed in (on my home scale) at 150. The fact that it was virtually the same number last night in the lab was a good sign. I really, really wanted it to be lower though.

The Test

Such a ratty little pony tail...I need a hair cut
I don't know the exact protocol for the test, but I'm pretty sure it was something like this...

  1. Allow test subject to warm up for 10 minutes at a comfortable pace. This will give them the false impression that this test isn't going to hurt.
  2. Fit the subject with a plastic mask attached to a tube. Crank the mask tight until the subject begs for mercy or you hear the skull crack.
  3. As soon as the subject is comfortable breathing into the mask/tube, clamp off their nose and watch the panic in their eyes. Fun times!
  4. Start the test.
  5. At predetermined intervals, ask subject, who is completely wrapped up in trying to breath through a tube, to rate their perceived exertion. (WARNING: They'll probably just make something up so you'll go away and they can get back to focusing on breathing).
  6. Did the subject say they still think it is easy? HA! Increase speed.
  7. Continue increasing speed until subject admits that anything more would be considered "difficult". At this point, start increasing the incline. BWAH HA HA HA!!
  8. Continue this torture until the subject admits they can endure no longer or until they fly off the treadmill and land in a heap.

Fast feet
Stop! Stop! Stop!

I glanced at the computer screen after I tapped out and saw that I had been tortured (not counting the warm-up) for over 27 minutes. HS said I was at a 14% incline. WOW! After test ended, I kicked myself a bit for not pushing myself more (HS felt the same way about his test) but I was seriously concerned that my legs would hold out at that incline.

You see, I am not a "hill" runner and to trying and run at a 14% incline was quite a struggle for me. My hips and glutes were begging for mercy. Seriously, my biggest fear was stumbling and shooting off the back of the treadmill. Fear vetoed my ego and I asked to stop the test. Boo :-(

Oh, well...maybe there will be a next time...