Sunday, April 20, 2008

Monday Night Food and Fitness


This week, in addition to some of our new staples - tortilla soup and chicken meatballs, LW also made one of my old favorites this week that she hadn't made in a while. It was from this Cooking Light recipe she found when we lived back in Monterey. If you don't like spicy food, don't be alarmed by the word "spicy" in the recipe title. It really isn't spicy (at least by my standards). It's a chicken rubbed with some spices and cinnamon and served with a relish made of diced onions, red peppers, basil, and balsamic vinegar. According to the Cooking Light nutrition info, it's 4 points per serving on WW (one chicken breast and 1/2 cup of relish).

One of my new favorite snacks is the Organic Beef Jerky that LW found at Costco. I love beef jerky, but most of the regular stuff has MSG in it. The organic stuff is really good!


Tis the season once again when we see large groups of people mustering in PT gear near the big yellow line painted on the pavement to mark the PRT start point. We kicked off our first PRT this morning at 0630, and we're running it every day this week. I did mine this morning to get it out of the way. I did okay.

I need to pause here and say congrats to my good friend Loping Squid on his AWESOME PRT run time. (a) I've NEVER run the PRT that fast. (b) On my last PRT before I left shore duty, I set a personal record (PR) and ran it faster than I had as a midshipman, and I remember how AWESOME that felt. So I can relate to Loping Squid's feeling of accomplishment.

After I got back to my office this morning after the PRT, I was looking up my PRT score and got to wondering. Why is there a non-linear relationship between run time and score on the PRT? In order to improve your grade from a "Satisfactory" to a "Good," you only have to knock 15 seconds off your run time (14:23 to 14:08). Likewise, at the other end of the table, in order to improve your grade from "Excellent" to "Outstanding," you only have to knock 30 seconds off your run time (10:38 to 10:08). It's a lot harder in the middle of the table though. In order to improve your score from "Good" to "Excellent," you have to knock a FULL MINUTE off your run time (12:23 to 11:23).

So if I was either a borderline failure or a jack-rabbit leading the pack, then there would be incentive to try harder because 15 to 30 seconds will bump you up a grade. As a guy who typically scores in the "Good" category on the run, what incentive do I have to try and improve my run time? I got a "Good - Medium" this morning (just under 13:23). I'd have to knock a full minute off my time to get an extra 5 points and the distinction of a "Good - High", and another full minute off my time to get an "Excellent - Low."

You would think when the Navy went back and revised the PRT scoring table and divided the Satisfactory, Good, Excellent, and Outstanding grades into Low, Medium, and High sub-divisions, that they would have made the increments a little more achievable to provide incentive to improve.

Okay, I'm getting off my PRT soap box now.

More Fitness-Related Shopping

I have previously written about my quest for Under Armour running shorts. As much as I love the Escape II shorts I picked up, I decided to try something else out. For one thing, I still have a few nice pairs of cotton PT shorts that I would like to continue to use. More importantly, the Navy is about to release the all-new, officially sanctioned Navy PT Gear (see Bubblehead's post on that topic). We received a message that encourages people in leadership positions to get their official Navy PT Gear right away and set the example. Being one of those guys in a "leadership position," I suspect I'll be getting my official Navy PT Gear sooner rather than later and won't get to wear my nice Escape II UA shorts to Command PT anymore.

All that being said, I decided to try some UA HeatGear boxer jock shorts as something I can wear under my older cotton gym shorts or under the new Navy PT gear shorts. I really like them a lot and plan to buy a few more pairs. They provide the same anti-chafing comfort and support that I liked about the Escape II shorts.

When I go hiking, I want the extra pockets on my cargo shorts for my GPS receiver and cell phone (common, who can go hiking without a cell phone? :-) ), but they were never the most comfortable. However (comma) the UA boxer jock shorts work great with my cargo-shorts when I go hiking.

I don't understand UA's L, XL, XXL sizing system though. For both the Escape II shorts and the boxer jock shorts, I've had to try them on to figure out what size I really needed, and I took a different size for each type. My point: TRY THEM ON BEFORE YOU LEAVE THE STORE OR BUY MORE THAN ONE PAIR ONLINE.


Sam said...

UA has great gear but you're right...TRY IT FIRST! The heat gear stuff is great!

*high five on the PRT* It's over for another few months! At least thats the theory that floats around here at our house!

Thanks for posting the chicken recipe link. I think I might make it this week!

E.P. said...

Good work on the PRT! I'd never notice the non-linearity before.

With so many "fitness shopping" stories on your blog...

I love my UA stuff too. I made a mistake with the shorts though, I wear an XL in just about everything...except UA shorts. I now, of course, have a pair of them in XL which are just slightly too big, b/c I was in a rush in the shop and didn't try them on. Silly me.

As much as having mandatory PT gear grates against me for some reason, I can't complain too muchI hope you read the fine print on the authorized colors for shorts to wear under your 'all-new, officially sanctioned Navy PT Gear'. As much as having mandatory PT gear grates against me for some reason, I can't complain too much. I just hope rational heads prevail on some items: The Navy Times says they are still discussing whether you have to keep the shirt tucked in to the shorts. I'm hoping the powers that be ok the untuck, as they did the ability to wear whatever athletic shoes you want (the original plan was an 'official shoe' or 'muted colors only'. I'm also hoping they authorize "Command PT shirts" so an individual command could decide to wear a unit T-shirt in lieu of the yellow. Good for unit morale (until people start bitching about having to have another shirt...)

Caffienated Cowgirl said...

So what do you serve the spicy chicken with? (the recipe sounds great)