Thursday, May 27, 2010

Martian Marathon

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Half A Raffle

On Memorial Day I did my second return event, the Cadillac Rotary Stride for Strive 5K. There were a couple changes to the event this year. The race started at 8:30 am rather than noon and the finish line was on the High School track instead of on the road in front of the City Pavilion. The start time change was a big help as I remember this race being overly hot last year. The weather was just about perfect, other than a headwind coming off the lake, we couldn't have had a better day. For me it's easier to run into the wind than the oppressive heat, so I didn't mind too much. I ran 1.5 miles as a warm up before the race with a target of keeping my heart rate in zone 2. I left for the warm up a little earlier than I should have, but I wanted to be sure to be back on time.

Earlier in the week I did a little tempo run time trial to see where my ability was. I ran a 1 mile warm up in zone 2 and then 2 miles as fast as I could, followed by a 1 mile cool down. The fast miles came in at 8:17 & 8:51. Now this happened at the end of the day and it was hot and more hilly than the race course so I decided that my goal pace should be 8:35. If I was a little faster that would be ok but I wanted to keep it as close to that as possible for the first 2 miles. Then if there was anything left in the tank I'd crank it up.

So back to the race, we're off, it's a little windy. I'm passing people, I look down at the Garmin and it says 7:58. Pull back a bit, let those people pass me back. This was the second race of wearing the Garmin, but the first time I let it really dictate pace. The first mile came in at 8:22, a little fast but I felt solid, working hard but not even close to dead. The second mile I slowed down to 8:29, still a hair fast but not bad. It took me about a tenth of a mile to remember that there wasn't much left of this race and if I had anything else left it was time to use it. I saw a friend coming in for the finish (coming back from the short out and back I was about to head on) and cheered him on which gave me a boost oddly enough. Then when I was coming back the same way I saw another fella I recognized so I hollered for him too and got the same boost. For the finish we turned off the road and into a parking lot then across a field and onto the track for a half lap. As I was approaching the track I was catching a woman in front of me. She popped out of the gate onto the track a step or 2 ahead of me and made a beeline for the inside lane. I came out the gate and instead ran the tangent toward the curve in the track to pull ahead of her. As we came around the final bend I could feel her on my right hip. I turned and told her to come with me, waving her on. Something about the competition in the heat of the moment, with someone right there I couldn't run faster until she was there and then I had the juice. A second or 2 later and I could feel that same juice bubbling away in my stomach, I wondered if I was going to erupt like Mt. Vomitous. Somehow I kept my breakfast. A guy came out of nowhere and passed me, then I could hear the girl coming again, but it was too late I crossed the finish line, totally spent. I turned around immediately and gave thanks to the lady for being there, I told her I couldn't have run that fast without her there. Then it was time to shed my chip and find the family. According to the Garmin the third mile came in at 8:08 and the last .06 was recorded in 20 seconds for a pace of 5:42 (I question the possibility quite frankly). So anyway chip time was 25:25, better than expected. Some stats for comparison:



I'm happy with it and if I run another 5K this year I'll have a nice round number to aim at. Next Sunday is the Dexter to Ann Arbor Half Marathon, so I'm looking forward to that.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Video Daily Double

I can't seem to find the motivation to write a race report for the Grand Rapids River Bank Run 25K. Everything went well, I think I just waited too long. Instead here's video from the half marathon on April 5th and the GRRBR25K.

Future Plans: On Memorial day I have the Stride for Strive 5K, my first since last years. Then the following weekend I have the Dexter to Ann Arbor Half Marathon.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

For The Record

This is an archival post, the info below used to be in the right column of my blog, that space is now changed and the information is being saved here.

I have always been overweight. The summer of 2007 I decided to change my life. I knew that whatever I was going to do needed to be simple, so I decided to eat less and move more. So far it has proved to be just that simple. The eating less is helped by eating more vegetables and drinking more water, but mostly I just eat less. The move more part's success has turned me into a runner. I started by walking and it just snowballed to October 27, 2007 when I ran my first 5k, 44:05. My new goal is complete a half-marathon. If you are just starting out I encourage you to read how I started, Fat to 5k.

Weigh Ins
• 07-30-07 - 367 lbs
• 09-05-07 - 342 lbs
• 09-17-07 - 333.8 lbs
• 09-24-07 - 336.2 lbs
• 10-01-07 - 328.6 lbs
• 10-08-07 - 330 lbs
• 10-15-07 - 325.8 lbs
• 10-22-07 - 320.6 lbs
• 10-29-07 - 320.0 lbs
• 11-05-07 - 316.0 lbs
• 11-12-07 - 313.0 lbs
• 11-19-07 - 308.6 lbs
• 11-26-07 - 308.2 lbs
• 12-03-07 - 305.0 lbs
• 12-10-07 - 303.2 lbs
• 12-17-07 - 303.6 lbs
• 12-31-07 - 292.8 lbs
• 01-07-08 - 293.2 lbs
• 01-14-08 - 294.0 lbs
• 01-21-08 - 286.4 lbs
• 01-28-08 - 283.8 lbs
• 02-04-08 - 282.2 lbs
• 02-11-08 - 282.4 lbs
• 02-18-08 - 276.2 lbs
• 02-25-08 - 269.0 lbs
• 03-03-08 - 274.2 lbs
• 03-10-08 - 268.2 lbs
• 03-17-08 - 269.0 lbs
• 03-24-08 - 260.2 lbs
• 03-31-08 - 260.0 lbs
• 04-07-08 - 258.0 lbs
• 04-14-08 - 252.2 lbs
• 04-21-08 - 252.8 lbs
• 04-28-08 - 251.8 lbs
• 05-05-08 - 245.0 lbs
• 05-12-08 - 245.2 lbs
• 05-19-08 - 244.6 lbs
• 05-26-08 - 242.0 lbs
• 06-02-08 - 241.8 lbs
• 06-09-08 - 237.2 lbs
• 06-16-08 - 241.2 lbs
• 06-23-08 - 239.0 lbs
• 06-30-08 - 236.4 lbs
• 07-07-08 - 236.4 lbs
• 07-14-08 - 234.8 lbs
• 07-21-08 - 236.0 lbs
• 07-28-08 - 233.2 lbs
• 08-04-08 - 234.0 lbs
• 08-11-08 - 230.6 lbs
• 08-18-08 - 229.0 lbs
• 08-25-08 - 233.6 lbs
• 09-01-08 - 229.0 lbs
• 09-08-08 - 229.8 lbs
• 09-15-08 - 233.0 lbs
• 09-22-08 - 232.4 lbs
• 09-29-08 - 231.6 lbs
• 10-06-08 - 231.6 lbs
• 10-13-08 - 232.4 lbs
• 10-20-08 - 234.2 lbs

Title Defense

This past Saturday was the Wood Memorial Trout Run 10k. I ran this race last year and placed third in my age group due to lack of attendees. I thought it was only fitting to return to defend my title. Race morning was quite warm, not a good sign for me as I prefer cooler temps. I arrived an hour or so before the start, only hitting a little rain along the way. As I sat in my car listening to an audio book after check in, the sky began to get quite dark. Then the downpour started. The parking lot was instantly a pool. I wasn't worried because it's quite rare for storm of this magnitude to last for more than 10-15 minutes, around here at least. People were scrambling around trying to get into the VFW, where registration was being held. I thought to myself, last year it was spitting snow at us about this time, so apparently the weather gods don't want pansies at this race, thank you. Sure enough by about 9:50 the rain had stopped and the parking lot began to drain. I hopped out and finished getting ready. I noted the temperature had dropped a good 15 degrees, and thanked my good fortune. After a quick stop at the port-a-john I asked a race official if they were still shooting for a 10:15 start. He said that it would probably be closer to 10:20-:25. No problem, it was 10:00ish and I wanted to run a mile before the start to warm-up. I set my watch timer for 5 minutes and took off as slow as I could force myself. This was the first time I've ever ran before a race, usually I figure the race is enough, but I noticed in tracking my last few 8 milers that it was easier to go faster after a mile or so. I've always felt more comfortable in my runs after a mile or so but not until recently did I see times that went along with that. Since 6.2 miles has turned into a very conquerable distance, I figured this would be a good race try out a warm-up. Eventually my watch dinged and I turned around and started back, just a long straight stretch pointing perpendicular to the race course, directly to the starting line. I was about two blocks away when I saw the familiar lurch of the crowd toward the finish line. In an instant I was running faster, pressing. I could tell the crowd was straining to here the instructions from the official. I was trying to calm myself down, it wasn't 10:20 yet, but the race was clearly moments from starting. I entered the crowd as the same guy who said 10:20-:25 said, 'Ok, everybody ready.' Then he raised his hand and fired off the air horn, it was 10:15. I started off fast, I was still worked up about almost missing the start. Everything worked out really quite perfect, but I was in the moment so there was no slowing me down. About 3/4 of a mile in I thought I heard a guy say, 'It's alright we're on an 8 minute pace, right where we want to be.' I wasn't certain I heard him correctly, but I knew I was going to fast and I wouldn't be able to keep it up the whole time. I slowed a bit. The first mile marker came at 8:17, way too fast, like fastest mile ever territory. I slowed some more. The next mile came at 9:22. Perfect, I had done some basic calculations before hand and determined that if I ran 9:30 the whole way I'd break an hour, which has been my goal for the last year. The next mile came at 9:25, feeling good going into the hills. They are a couple small rollers, nothing to fret about. Mile 4, 9:19, at the turnaround I got to look at the rest of the field, only 2 people behind me. The next two miles came 9:09 and 9:03, I'm not going to beat my goal, I'm going to destroy it. The last two tenths, 1:40, and I'm done, watch says 56:15, chip said 56:20 (no starting mat). From watching the field I knew the guy who won the whole thing was in my age group, but I wasn't sure if anyone else was. There were only 15 or 20 people in the race. The 5k had good participation though, 50-75 at least, so I don't think the race is in trouble. I stuck around to get a medal and was very pleased that the race had hired chip timers to do the event this year. They had the whole thing sorted out so fast I think I only waited about 15 minutes to get my second place silver age group medal. I made sure to thank the winner, as if he hadn't won he would have been in the age group and pushed me down to third. Overall a good race and now as a two time medal winner, I don't see how I'll miss it in the future.

Remember the times, last April I ran the same 10k and and the 10k associated with my recent half marathon.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A Few Good Miles

So lets see what's up since the last time I updated? A few weeks after the Grand Rapids half marathon I started having gall bladder attacks, so I had to have that chopped out. By the beginning of December I was back on the treadmill, where I spent most of the month easing back into things. January saw my return to the roads. On January 17th I ran the Frozen Foot 5 Mile Race in Traverse City, 50:13. I was hoping to be a little quicker but the snow was pretty fresh, we got at least a couple inches during it.

February brought more miles and a sudden realization. Since August, I have/had been bothered by a pain that I had always thought was sciatica. Well, while reading another runners blog, where she talked about her ITB pains, I realized my pain matched that exactly. I did a little googling and decided that's what I have/had. Through stretching, running closer to the center of the road, stretching, ibuprofen before long runs, and stretching I have reduced the pain to only day after run appearances at it's worst. I did not take any days off of running but I have held myself maxed at running no more than 3 days a week since. I rode the exercise bike a few less times to give myself more rest days as well. Anyway that all continued through March. The end of March we took a road trip to Georgia where I did get to run a couple times.

When we got back it was a week before the Martian Half Marathon and I was a little concerned that I wouldn't be prepared but I couldn't do anything about that. The race turned out to be an absolutely perfect day. Weather was sunny with a slight chill in the air for those not running. Pacing couldn't have been better. Very little pain. It felt pretty darn awesome, tough to explain. Finished in 2:11:26, 10:02 pace, something I honestly thought was at least a year away. I'm not used to being this much faster on race day. I felt so good after the race that I registered for the Grand Rapids River Bank Run 25K, which is coming up on May 9th. This coming weekend is the Kalkaska Wood Memorial 10K which will be the first race that I have run twice.

Weight wise, over the last four to five months I have gained about 10-15 lbs from my lowest. This is a result of a return to poor eating habits. I've recently rededicated myself to smaller portions, more water, and less nighttime calories, so we'll see if that doesn't start creeping down again.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Grand Rapids Half Marathon

For about a half hour on Sunday morning it felt really early. By 5:00 am though we were on the road and that felt normal enough not to be early. The wife and I rolled into Grand Rapids without event around 6:45 (only one potty stop). Parking took about 15 minutes, but that wasn't bad considering the volume of vehicles. We landed in a lot that ended up being about a half mile from the check-in (YMCA). That went pretty smooth, got a free pair of socks along with the long sleeve tech shirt. I was most concerned with finding the start next, so that took a bit. By the time I knew where to go we had just enough time to get back to the car and then back to the start. Logistically speaking, not the best way for me to have organized that. It didn't end up mattering though. With 10 minutes to spare I said goodbye to my dear wife who would act as an intrepid videographer for me, and made my way to the participant line up.

I stopped moving forward in the throng of people when I saw the 4:44 pace team sign just ahead of me. My idea was to run with them as long as possible. I came to the race hoping for 2:18 to 2:25 finish, having run most of my long slow runs at a 10:30-10:40 pace. So 2:22 didn't sound half bad, assuming they would finish as advertised. The race began and we in the back waited, then walked, then waited, then walked, then ran, then waited, then walked, then ran, and we were off. This was the largest race I had ever run in, but that just meant more occurances of the typical things that happen in races (passing people that lined up too far in front and getting passed by people who line up too far in back). The 4:44 pace team was running a very comfortable pace on the first couple miles 10:36 & 10:46. I can never get myself slow enough on the first mile when I run alone. Around me people were shedding clothes like crazy. It had been around 45 or 50 degrees at the start but I was too excited to be cold. I knew I'd be running soon enough and glad for the temps. Somewhere after 2 miles I caught up to the front of the 4:44 pace team. I could hear one of the leaders was keeping a running dialogue (pun intended). He was giving advice and telling stories that were supposed to be shocking. He meant well but after 7 or 8 minutes I questioned how long I'd be able to listen to him. Mile 3 went by in 10:34, which happened right at the first spectator viewing location and second water stop. Getting a boost from seeing my wife I took the opportunity pass the 4:44 pace team and see if I could stay ahead of them. As soon as was a couple hundred feet ahead of them I overheard a woman talking behind me who was also very glad to be rid of the talkative leader of the 4:44 pace team.

The next segment of the race was hills, no real killers, just a few rollers. After the first up I came upon a dude who happened to be on the board for the race. We ended up talking for a couple miles. I told him my running back story and it turns out he was originally from the area I work in. He was really encouraging and knowledgeable about the course. His pace was also a little quicker than mine but I was glad to have him, mile 4 10:23, mile 5 10:21. Somewhere in there we came on a water stop that he needed to check some things out at so I thanked him and bid him adeiu. Shortly after that was the next spectator viewing location. I looked for my wife but couldn't find her. I found out afterward that she had gotten a bit turned around on her way to this location but she did eventually make it, but when she saw the 4:59 pace team she figured I was too fast for her. Mile 6 must have been more downhill, 10:16. The next mile was mostly in a little park or was it a subdivision. I remember lots of winding sidewalks and winding streets. The whole thing looped back on itself a few times and ended being mile 7, 10:25. The next mile was back to rolling hills, 10:33. There was another spectator viewing area, but I didn't plan on seeing the wife due to it's remote location. Then there was the gummy bear stop, which I declined. Up until this point I had been drinking my own gatorade, but I was beginning to run low. So from this point forward I made sure to snag at least a cup at the aid stations.

Somewhere in there we were routed onto a 5 foot wide paved trail that would end up lasting a couple miles or so. I witnessed a woman pull off the trail ahead of me and she looked like she was going to puke. That didn't make me feel to good. I had to pass her fast to avoid sparking my own evacuation. Mile 9, 10:35. The full marathoners took a left and I was pretty happy I didn't have to. Fatigue was starting to set in. It felt like I wasn't even lifting my right leg off the ground. I thought for second that I might have to slow to a walk, but I was able to fight through that noise. Mile 10 was the toughest, but not the slowest at 10:45.

Luckily I got to see my wife again at the next spectator viewing area. She was dutifully operating two cameras at once. It didn't make me any faster, but it made me feel stronger. I gave her a couple big hands in the air to signify 10 miles down and I was on my way. There was also music at this point which was nice. The course looped back on itself after the spectator viewing area, so I was suddenly familiar with my surroundings.

Mile 11, 10:51 and then Mile 12, 10:55. It was getting easier mentally to keep myself going cause I was getting closer to the finish. As we got closer to the finish we got more crowds as well. Finally mile 13, the slowest 10:58. I saw my wife at the last second before I passed her. The finish line reeled me in like a fish given over to life on the dinner plate. I was exhausted but happy to have accomplished my goal. My time was 2:18:56, about as good as I could have possibly imagined.

I shook Don Kern's (the RD) hand and someone with a large camera took my picture. Then I collected my medal and staggered off to find nourishment. There was plenty of free food and beer at the finish line. I reconnected with my wife and we swapped our unique accounts. After a bit of consumption I went in search of the free showers at the adjacent YMCA. Of all the amenities I probably enjoyed this the most. The rest of the day I was a little tired, a little sore, and absolutely ravenous.

Here's a video of the event. I just realized I put the wrong date on it, but I didn't save the project so I won't be fixing that. It's my first time editing and my wife's first time manning the camera, can you tell?

Monday, October 6, 2008

All blood present and accounted for

I was pretty disappointed about missing the Lansing half marathon. I ended up choosing the Grand Rapids half marathon on Oct. 19 as my make up. It wasn't the only factor, but having the race director comment on my last entry was a big nudge.

Running has gotten back to normal since the surgery. I ended up taking 5 days off. It appears to have been enough as I am not experiencing any negative consequences from running. With planning this new race I figured I only had time for one more long run and it was last weekend. So this past Saturday I knocked out a solid 12.18 miles, 2:08:32. Not my fastest at this distance but it was more about completing without taking any damage, so mission accomplished. The plan is to run my short runs during the week and one long run next weekend of 6 or 7 miles. Also I'm back on the bike as of Sunday and that appears to be in order, so there will be plenty of miles to log there too.

I appreciate the well wishes. If, when and where to comment back still stymies me in such a way that I may look arrogant/ignorant, so thanks to everyone.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Doctor's Orders

Tuesday I had surgery. It was supposed to be minor and relatively pain free. Apparently that last sentence has different definitions for different people. I had incorrectly assumed that I would still be able to run my half marathon on Sunday. I'm considerably disappointed at this point, but I don't really have an recourse. I'm not supposed to run for a week or two. I think I will either run the Grand Rapids or Detroit half marathon. I'm bummed about all of this but I've had a couple days to process it all and I know I'll be fine.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Making Current

Ok so I haven't posted here in a long time. I have very little interest in writing blogs. Luckily I am still very interested in running. A brief overview of the summer, for those that weren't paying attention to my log.

No races. No rest days. Lots of 10 milers. I switched strategies on the indoor bike near the end of the month. Previously I was pedaling on program 1 which increased the resistance at timed intervals, the change was to keep the resistance low to increase the cadence. By keeping the resistance at 3 I can pedal around 20-23 mph for the whole 30 minutes and keep my hear rate up the whole time. I retired my first pair of dedicated running shoes at the end of the month with 585.7 miles. I got new shoes at the end of the month and I was able to get the exact same kind (New Balance 1061) as last time. If can 60% of the miles I got out of the firs pair I'll be happy.

Lake City Greatest Fourth in the North '10K'- I wasn't paying attention at the beginning of the race and I followed the 5K racers on a .3 mile loop so I was the very last 10Ker by the time I was back on the 10K course. Interestingly this led to a new experience. I passed more people in this race than in any other past and future. It was a lot of fun to encourage people on as I passed them. I didn't make my time goal of under an hour, but on a hot day and running an extra .3 mile I was happy with 1:02:37.

Traverse City Cherry Festival of Races 15K- In case you ever hear about Mt. McKinley in the middle of this race and think people are pulling your leg, they aren't. The evil thing is about a mile long and varies from very steep to pretty steep to holy crap how can we still be going up. Once you finally reach the top it's flat for about 100 feet and then you go all the way back down except this is the steep side you do it in about a quarter mile. Yeah... I was on a killer pace (10:15ish) when I hit that monster. I even made it up and passed quite a few people. Something happened though on the way down. I wasn't hurting I was just done for. All the people I passed came back and got me within a mile or so, including a 67 year old women who I still think was a robot. Humidity and spending a little too much energy on the hill led to just miss my time goal, but I've got a challenge for next year, cause I know I can beat 1:41:41.

This ended up being a light month in terms of running miles, 70.9. The hot temps were not friendly to me and needed 5 rest days.

Somewhere at the end of July or the beginning of August I made a conscious effort to stop starting my long runs so darn fast. This 'ability' helped to finally push me into the 12 mile range on a couple long runs, 12.18 miles to be exact. My work schedule changed to 4 - 10 hour days in the middle of the month so morning runs/bikes are officially a thing of the past, during the week at least. I really liked running and biking in the morning, but I am not going to get up at 4 am to do it, 5 am is an early enough time to get up. With running later in the day I've seen a decrease in my speed, but heat is part of that as well. I took 5 rest days again, but it didn't seem to affect my running mileage this time, 83.95 miles.

Cadillac Festival of Races 10K- This race started at 9am. I think I would have preferred it start at 7am. By 9am it was already hot enough to form a layer of sweat. The first 4 miles weren't too bad since there was good tree cover and a slight breeze. I was following a guy in a red shirt for the first 4 miles and I he was paced almost perfectly for where I wanted to be 9:20-9:30. The problem happened somewhere after 4 miles though the shade ran out and the breeze died for about 1.5 miles. It was just enough to put me off my time goal of under an hour, 1:01:20, but good enough to be a PR. As we were leaving I happened to hear my name get called over the loud speaker at the awards ceremony, I won silver in my age group. I ran up and collected my medal and in doing heard them call someone else for bronze so I know I beat at least one other person in my age group, but there weren't too many people behind me.

70% of the incredibly small field

Medal in hand, with sporting beard

Weight Loss
My eating has gotten less in control over the summer. I need to focus on consuming less. Luckily my activity level has kept up with my calorie in take and the pounds are still slowly creeping down overall. My last Monday weigh in had me at 233 lbs, but I've been fluctuating between 233 and 229 for a few weeks.

Into the Future
I am registered for the Lansing Half Marathon on September 28. Expect at least one more post cause that has been a goal for a long time.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Memorial Day and such

Memorial Day was the Cadillac Rotary Stride for Strive 5K. It is an event that is held in conjunction with the culmination of the Girls on the Run program. So while 300 or so 'regular folks' showed up to run or walk, they were joined by 500 or so 3rd to 5th graders. The day started out overcast and windy, but race time it was just hot and humid. This was the first race that my daughters were able to attend as a cheering section, so that's cool. I also talked a friend into running as well. This was his first 5k, but he's been training for a sprint-tri. He's also pretty quick. He told me before hand he was shooting for an 8:30 pace. I told him good luck, that quick you're running this one alone friend. He ended up finishing in 23:57 so he crushed his own goal. They tried to line the 'regular folks' up in the front and the girls in the back, but the starting area was so small everyone was pretty mixed. With 2 minutes to go my friend popped out of the porta-john and we wormed our way into the middle. The race was chip timed, but there was no starting mat, so I was keeping track of my own time. The front of the pack surged forward and that was our cue. It took about a quarter mile to thin out. By the time we'd run a half mile my friend was far enough in front of me that I knew I wouldn't be seeing him again. I hit the first mile marker in a ridiculously fast 8:32, a new PR. About a mile and a half in I spotted my family, and my friends'. They were cheering and it felt pretty darn cool. The race had two water stations, which was nice given the heat. It would have been nicer had the water been cold, but beggars can't be choosers. I hit the second mile marker in a decidedly slower 9:28, nothing to sneeze at though. The last 1.1 miles were the hottest. I thought we'd pop out of the tree cover and catch a breeze off the lake. Instead there was no breeze just hot sun to go with all the humid air. This was definitely the hottest it's been for any of my runs yet this year. Can someone remind me why this event is held at noon? Yeah, I'm just not sure why. I rounded the corner with about a quarter mile to go and I could feel myself slowing down. Then all of sudden I heard my oldest daughter yell, "Go Daddy!" I turned to my left and to my surprise there was the family again. I waved and headed off to the finish line. They separated the Girls on the Run to the left and the 'regular folks' to the right since the Girls weren't being chip timed. As I got closer to the finish I could feel someone right behind me, then I caught sight of the finish clock and I could see I still had a chance to PR. Apparently that was the motivation I was lacking as there was no doubt I started running faster. I finished in 28:30 by my watch, 28:38 chip with no starting mat. Since there was no starting mat I'm calling my watch official time.

After the first water stop. Wearing my Michigan hat and Meteor 10K race shirt (it finally fits).

Not half naked.

I also weighed in this morning at 242 lbs, which is a loss of 2.6 lbs since last week. Which brings my total weight lost to 125 lbs. It's nice to see the scale moving in the right direction, I hope it continues.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Still going... A little faster even

Ok, so I suck at blogging. I've kept up running and biking though. I got sick at the beginning of May. I had ran 10 miles and I realized that I wasn't feeling quite right. An hour later I couldn't keep anything in my stomach. It was a miserable 24 hours, but thankfully I lived. A couple weeks ago, the day before Mother's Day, I ran the Mesick Mushroom Festival 5K. It was a small race, but well organized. It snaked through a campground on their paved road for the first half then it was on a trail the rest of the way back. There was a hill near the beginning of the trail that if I approached it in any other circumstance I would have expected you'd need ropes and carabiners to ascend. This was a race though and I had no choice but to just run right up. My only regret for the race was the lack of mile markers. I finished in a still surprising 28:52, an over 10 minute improvement from my previous best.

This past week I've changed up my routine and switched to morning run/bikes. I've noticed a bit of a decline in my bike stamina, but an increase in run speed. It'll be interesting to see if these changes hold true. I certainly like having my stuff done early as it allows for more family time after work. The toughest part is I have to get up at 5 am, since I have a 45 minute commute and I have to be at work by 7 am. It's all working so far, so fingers crossed.

The scale isn't really cooperating. Since I've recuperated from being sick I seem to be plateaued. I have continued to drop sizes in clothes though, I'm an XL in shirts and a size 36 pants. This means most of my race shirts fit me now, so that's pretty cool. The pants thing is crazy. Last time I lost weight back in '99 the lowest I got was around 216 and wearing a size 36. Now I'm 245ish and wearing size 36. Nutty.

A look towards the future shows I'm planning on running the Stride for Strive 5K on Memorial Day. This will be the first race I've done in my hometown. The next race after that isn't till July 4th, then hopefully another a week later on the 12th. There are some other races around in between, but I'm not sure if I'll make them or not. I've decided against running the Dexter to Ann Arbor half marathon as I really don't want a time limit hanging over my first half marathon. My goal half marathon remains the Lansing Capitol City River Run on September 28.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Sports Bro Or How To Miss A Medal

Saturday I ran the Wood Memorial Trout Run 10k in Kalkaska, MI. This was the first race that I ran with no support staff/family/friend cheerers. This was another small race and I had showed up early enough to drive the course. Luckily the course was marked very well and exactly as described, 6.2 miles. Since it was such a small event the 5k was run at the same time. I had gotten a new compression shirt the week before and had saved it's inaugural voyage for this race. The start was a bit delayed, which wasn't helped by the cold and wind. Just when I thought I couldn't possibly wait anymore the gun went off and we were on our way. About a tenth of mile in I learned the error of my ways. I have been wearing a 2XL compression shirt, but the new one was XL. My bouncing belly was a little too much for the XL and it started to slide up. No matter what I did, I couldn't keep it down. So by about two tenths of a mile I had resigned myself to run the next 6 miles with what amounted to a 'Sports Bro' (or a 'Sports Manzierre'). I looked at my watch at the first mile split and was shocked to find that I had run an 8:57 mile, a new PR. The rest of the race went fairly typical. Most of my splits came back a few seconds over 10:00. At the turnaround I could see 4 people behind me, which made me happy not to be last. I took water at about 4 miles. The volunteers were helpful and encouraging. At about the 6 mile mark I got 'chicked' by one of the ladies behind me, fun, yeah I didn't have a shot at staying ahead of her. She must have been running 8 mm when she passed, I think I felt a breeze coming off her. I ended up finishing with a PR of 1:02:08 by my watch, no chip times, so I don't care what number they come up with. Most of the race I had been watching the other participants noticing that young males were really not represented well. By the time I finished I had convinced myself that there was only one or two other 20-29 year old males that had run the 10k. So instead heading out afterwards I tried to find the results sheet. It wasn't posted, but they said they'd post it and then hand out medals. Ten minutes stretched into an hour and finally they had printed something and were reading out names from the 5k. Almost immediately though people were calling out that things were amiss, so and so finished ahead of what's his face, that sort of thing. After an hour and a half of waiting I went up to the head table to ask if they could just tell me how many people were in the 20-29 male age group for the 10k. They told me they were still trying to straighten out the 5k. I decided at that point that it wasn't worth it to hang around, since I had friends due at my house from downstate and I was 40 minutes from home. Today they finally posted the results on I found out I was right, 3rd place in my age group, so if I would have stayed I would have gotten a (lack of competition) bronze medal.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Meteor 10K

Saturday was a good day. So far though, race day's are always good days. The race was the Meteor 10K in Dearborn, MI. I have non-running friends that live about 10 minutes from Dearborn so I did the 3 hour drive the day before. Race morning we woke up, had some oats, and were on our way by 7:35. I was a little surprised that there weren't signs on the road pointing the way but I was riding with locals so it didn't really matter to me. Packet pick-up went smooth. The race shirt is really amazing, it's posted on the race website if you haven't seen it. We met up with some other friends who were also running the race. I did a little light stretching, but didn't feel like I needed to warm up too much. There was a DJ at the start/finish so that was cool to have some inspirational classics to run with. The course was an odd one, fitting to the alien theme, I'm sure. It looped back on it self a couple times and had an out and back portion in the middle. The weather was absolutely perfect, spring sprung at just the right time. Before I knew it we were off and running. The first mile went pretty quick for me, 9:47. At about 1 1/2 miles we ran through the start/finish again. Hearing dear friends cheer you on while you put forth great effort is a feeling of elation that is difficult to describe. I could feel myself running faster without trying. I hit the second mile marker in 9:52, still pretty quick. The course then went out onto a divided road (at the time I thought it was an expressway, but it's not). The police support was impressive as they had one lane shut down and every 300 feet or so there was a cop car and officer. I forgot to check my splits the rest of the race. When we left the divided road we ran down one of those clover turns that loops around on itself to merge onto another road, so you got to see a glimpse of who was behind you. Next was a mile or so out and back. I spotted my friends and even a fellow blogger, they were all looking strong and about 10 minutes ahead of me. There was water around the 4 mile mark which was nice since this was the least shaded part of the course. As I was running the back portion I was surprised at the amount of people behind me. I wasn't coming anywhere close to last today. The last mile or so was the windiest and hilliest portion, but that was ok as I was ready for a change of scenery. Near the six mile mark there was the only evidence of winter, a former snowbank had melted into a pond in the trail and muddy bog surrounding it. I made the jump and sprinted off for the finish line. About 100 feet later I slowed down, as two tenths of a mile suddenly looked a lot longer than I had expected. I got faster as I approached the cheering crowds. I could feel tears welling up inside me, and a little nausea. I crossed the finish line at 1:02:58 by my watch, chip time 1:03:00. They clipped off my chip and I reconnected with my friends and a bottle of Gatorade. This was probably the best organized and most fun race that I've run yet. I hope to run in either the half or the 10k again next year.

Friday, March 28, 2008


The weight is coming off, as of this past Monday I am down 106.8 lbs. It feels good to be smaller. I'm learning to deal with how my body wants to shed the weight. I don't seem to lose in a contiguous fashion, but overall it is continuous. At least I feel like it is helping me run faster.

I had a doctor's appointment last week. He was happy to see I've stuck with the whole healthy lifestyle thing. My blood pressure was down to 120/80. My pulse was incredibly low at 44. In fact he wanted to keep my BP meds at the same dose, but after such a low pulse he decided to cut my dose in half (My BP meds lower pulse, as does running). So that is good, my hope is that someday I won't need to take BP meds, but high blood pressure runs on both sides of my family tree so I know it may be an inevitability.

Monday I dug out my rubbermaid container of shirts that don't fit and went through it. I found that only one shirt still doesn't fit. I got rid of a lot of my clothes from when I was at my previous thinest, so these were mostly 2X items that I had grown out of. I also went through my shirt drawer and put all the shirts that were too big in a bag for Goodwill. The pants front is getting a little silly. I have 3 pair of size 46 jeans that feel very large on me. I also have 1 pair of size 40 jeans that would be worthless without a belt. I need to pick up a pair of size 38's or maybe even 36's.

I've been watching a TV show on TLC the last couple weeks called 'I Can Make You Thin'. The main thing I'm taking from it is the strategies in recognizing when you are full. Even though I eat better and less than when I started, I still have room for improvement. If you are struggling with weight it's definitely a program to check out. It's not a quick fix, or maximize the loss type of thing, but it is solid steady approach if you are lost.

P.S. Last Night
I got a chance to help a friend out and give a good reference interview to a possible future employer for him. I got the call right as I was about to walk out the door to run. Afterward I must have been all jacked up on adrenaline cause I went out and killed the course. Early on it felt like I was going faster and I got confirmation at the 1.1 mile mark with a 10:53. I did the math in my head and came up that was a pace under 10 min/mi. I was tired but knowing that I was running faster than I previously thought possible motivated me to push as much as I thought I could take given the distance left. I set a new mile PR on the middle mile with 9:37. With only .9 left to go I felt like I let up a little bit, ironically enough though I didn't, 8:31. My total time on 3 miles was a shocking 29:01. Last week when I ran a 30:56 I thought that maybe that was an aberration, now I see it obviously wasn't. Afterward I was pretty spent, but not hurting. I'm going to keep running 3 miles as my easy 3 time a week run until I break 30 minutes again, after that I'll up it to 3.5 miles.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Activity Wise

The Race
Well I ran the '10k' back on March 15. The race went well running wise. I started in the middle of the pack. I got passed a bit in the first 1/2 mile or so. After that I started passing people. It got to a point where I had to leave the street and run on the sidewalk to pass a big gaggle of runners. Of course a couple hundred feet after that all those people I was passing hung a right with the 5k course. Only one person was behind me once us 10ker's were alone. The course was hilly, but no more than what I expected. I turned the last corner and was surprised to see 1:05 on the clock. There was no chip timing in the race so I consider my watch as official time, it read 1:05:44. The first hint of trouble came after the race when I checked the offcial times. It had me at 56:something, so that's 9 minutes too fast by all accounts. They also had the winner of the race at a 4:00 min/mile pace, so my guess is they foobared everybody's time by some factor. Then Monday came and I was back at work so I got into my account to log the 10k. Once I mapped out the course I found out why I was able to run it so fast, it's only 5.84 miles long. Immediately I felt cheated. I've been back and forth on what even to write here. What I've come up with is I take running a bit too seriously. I had fun at the race and though the course was not a 10k it was the right balance of fun and challenging. I won't be counting this race as a PR though, otherwise it might be a record that takes me a year to break.

Things have been going well, I haven't missed a run since I was sick in February. March 18 I had an out of this world 3 miler, 30:56. A good couple minutes faster than anything I've ever done previously. Also that day I absolutely crushed my mile record with a 10:08. This past weekend I ran another 10.05 miler, this time the route was on my road heading mostly in the opposite direction. That too went very well besting my old time by more than 10 minutes, 1:55:46.

What's To Come
My plan is to run another 10 miler this coming weekend. Then the next weekend is another 10k, the Metor 10k (USATF Certified). Then the following two weekends should be two more 10 milers or better. Then the weekend after that is another race, but I'm not sure if I'll run the 5k or the 10k there, as it is a small one. Of course there are a lot more 3 mile training runs too.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Record Smashing

I went on a bit of a record breaking binge this weekend. Friday night I was able to ride farther than I've ever been able to in 30 minutes on the indoor bike, 9.442 miles. Then Saturday I ran my fastest 3 miles ever, which happened to be on the road by my house, in 33:36. Also that day I broke my mile record with the middle mile clocking in at 11:22. Then finally Sunday I knocked out a 10 miles in town, my first time at that distance and faster than when I ran 9, totaling 2:06:42.

I did run into a little problem on Saturday (pun intended). Somewhere in that middle mile I felt what was either a pinched nerve on my heel or a rock in my shoe. I didn't want to stop because I knew I was breaking my mile record. It stopped hurting after a half a mile or so. When I finished I took a look at my heel and it was bloody. Turns out if you run with a rock stuck in your shoe it can break the skin. The next day it was scabbed over pretty good. It only hurt for the first half mile or so of my 10 miler, but when I was done of course there was another bloody mess. My plan for this week is to keep Vaseline and band-aids on it during the day when I'm in shoes and socks. Hopefully by Saturday's 10k it will be healed up enough not to bother me at all.

I weighed 268.2 lbs Monday morning. That is a loss of 6 lbs this week, bringing my total weight loss to 98.8 lbs. Glad to be back to losses, if the pattern holds I should lose this week and then gain the week after.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

White Flag

Not Really News
I concede defeat. I've tried to keep up with the daily blogging, but it just isn't working for me. I have about fifteen half written entries in a text file and I know I'm not going to finish them. I suppose from now on I'll just be posting when I can. If anyone is interested in my daily training stuff they are welcome to check out my page.

Racing News
With the half-marathon plans in flux, I've finally made a decision as to what race to shoot for. The Capitol City River Run (Lansing Half Marathon) will be held on September 28, 2008 and I'll be there. I am dissappointed that I won't be able to attend any this spring, but the stars are just not aligning on that front. The couple that do fit schedule wise have time limits that I'd rather not have to live up to at this point in my ability. This race will also ensure domestic happiness, if you catch my drift.

I'm registered for my first 10k on March 15th in Clare. Looking at the past years finishing times I probably be coming in last, but I'm looking forward to it anyway. I've also registered for the Martian 10k on April 5th in Dearborn.

Weight Loss News
I lost some weight. Then I got sick and lost some more even though I couldn't exercise. Now that I'm better I've gained most of the weight back, but I'm happy to be able to run again.

Training News
The weather has been nice enough that I haven't done a run on the treadmill since Feb 17. It looks like a storm is coming though that might threaten my streak come Thursday.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

What day is it?

Feb 9
I like to stick to my schedule. Looking at the weather forecast heading into this weekend though, it was pretty clear that my schedule wasn't helping me. Saturday: 26 F, 50% Chance of Precipitation; Sunday: 7 F, 80% Chance of Precipitation, Windy. The more I thought about it, the more I thought why not just run my 9 miles on Saturday. So that's what I ended up doing. Friday night it looked like I might even be able to run on the roads by my house, but by Saturday morning enough snow had fallen to remove that from being possible. So mid-morning I headed into town to see if the roads were clear enough to run there. The road that I start my long runs in town on, Sunnyside Dr., is usually pretty clear. I figured that if North Blvd. looked bad I could always just mark out a 2.25 mile section of Sunnyside and run that back & forth twice. North Blvd. was looking like a two track through the snow, so I ended up marking the small loop on Sunnyside Dr. with my car.

I got to my mom's house and geared up. This was my first time using bodyglide. I wasn't sure how much to use. The stuff looks and feels like stick deodorant, no smell though. It didn't feel all that slippery, but it's supposed to work, fingers crossed. This would also be my inaugural fuel belt/gatorade run. The belt has a tendency to loosen itself while being put on, so I wasn't sure how that would work, had to put it on a few times to get it right. All set, walking down the driveway, time to put on the watch, where's my watch? Where is my watch!?! I left my watch at home. Back in the house, do you have a watch I can borrow? No help. I ended up grabbing my phone, I figured worst case scenario I can look at the time when I start and stop. Walk down the hill to get to my start, very deep snow on the sidewalk, good thing I intend to play in traffic. Mess around with my phone for a minute or two down there and find it has a stopwatch, awesome, what luck! About 2 seconds into running, my bottle was bouncing all over the place. I rotated the belt so that bottle was on my right hip and that seemed to help. The running itself went really easy. The roads were clear in the travel lanes, but the shoulders were mostly snow covered. I wore my yaktrax in case it was slippery, but I don't think I ever encountered any ice. As I approached the turn around for the first time I took off my fuel belt and readjusted it, as it had begun to slip. I was able to put it back on with only a stop for a second or so. After that I didn't feel another peep from it. The rest of the run went pretty smooth. I got sprayed with slush and snow a few times, but I guess that is to be expected when you run outside in February. If cars just stayed in their lanes I would have been more dry, but I know they had the best of intentions. When I approached the end for the final time I pulled out my cell phone. It was no longer on the stopwatch, that's a bad sign. I went to the stopwatch and it was stopped at 17:46, well I guess that's how long that lasted. The pocket on the fuel belt is pretty tight for my phone so the button could have been pressed when I was jostling around. I estimated that I started at about 10:36 am and my phone was reading 12:46 pm when I finished, so I'm calling this 9 miles at a very slow 2:10:00. The important thing was no pain, no nausea. I was tired, no doubt, but not ill. The gatorade had done it's job perfectly and the bodyglide was a winner as well. 8$ for bodyglide feels like such a deal now, heck I'd pay twice that for something that works this good. I made it back to my mom's house, changed clothes, did some stretches, and sampled a peice or two of fresh shortbread, then I headed home.

Feb 10
Today I just wanted to do a recovery run. My legs were a little sore so I wasn't sure what I was going to be able complete. The weather was in fact much worse today so I was very glad to have done my long run yesterday. Horizontal snow, that's all I'm going to say. I mounted the mill some time before lunch and started out at 4.5 mph. Those first couple minutes definitely felt a bit sore, but by 5 minutes I was able to increase the speed to 4.6 mph. At 10 minutes I figured I'd try 5.0 mph and just see what I could push myself to do. The soreness was gone so I didn't feel like I was hanging myself out to dry. I was able to finish 3 miles at that speed in 36:54. A little bit after stretching the soreness in my legs came back, but that's to be expected.

My mother-in-law cut my hair off this evening. The last time it was cut was August 2007. I'm hoping the treadmill in the basement won't be so hot the next time I run on it. What follows can be considered for the record.

(Post Haircut)

(Christmas 2006, my hair was about this length before I got it cut.
Of course this was a good 80 some lbs ago too.)

Feb 11
I weighed 282.4 lbs this morning. That is a gain of .2 lbs this week, bringing my total weight loss to 84.6 lbs. The rest of last week I was weighing 285ish, so to be back in the 282's this morning feels like a victory.

The last couple days I've been looking at possible replacement half marathons. I've found 4 races that could be considered, but none really seem perfect. The first is The Martian Half Marathon on 4/6/08. The race is in Dearborn which is a heck of a drive, but I have friends who live within 10 minutes. (The race shirt is also very worth checking out.) This would be perfect, except my youngest daughter's first birthday party is already scheduled for this day. Next is the National City Half Marathon on 4/26/08. This race is held in Kalamazoo which is 140 some miles from me. The closest person I even know lives 70 some miles away from Kalamazoo. It's possible but it would take some doing. The next one isn't even a half, the River Bank Run 25k on 5/10/08. This race is held in Grand Rapids which is 90 miles away and it's 15.5 miles long. The distance is very intimidating, but right now this is the race that I'm giving the most consideration. The final race is the Run Charlevoix Half Marathon on 6/28/08. It's not too far away, but a half marathon at the end of June is going to be very warm. There are a few half marathons that are run in the fall, but I really don't want to wait that long. So at this point it's come down to a question, is 15.5 miles with a 3 1/2 hour cut-off too ambitious?

Since I wrote the above paragraph a fellow Michigander/runaholic/blogger, Sarah, commented about a half marathon I didn't know existed. I looked at the info and everything about it is perfect except for these paragraphs I found on the official website:
Minimum mile pace for the half marathon: 12 minutes

Due to road closures limitations, there is a minimum allowed pace of 12 minutes per mile for the half marathon. We must clear Huron River Drive by 11:20 AM. Based on the starting time, this requires a 12 minute per mile pace be maintained. If you cannot make this pace for the entire 13.1 mile race, you should not attempt the half marathon, but are encouraged to sign up for the 10K or the 5K.

If I’m not sure I can keep the minimum pace, should I attempt the half marathon?

NO! Definitely not. (see below) Try the 10K or 5K.
I rode the indoor bike tonight on the Upper Body program. It is setup so that you can do exercises while you peddle, but I wasn't interested in that, I just wanted to try a 45 minute workout. The numbness started to get to me so I didn't last much past my usual time. I ended up riding 10.07 miles in 34:15. I doubt I'll try for a longer bike workout again, at least not on the indoor bike.

Feb 12
The treadmill was whining at me again this evening. I could hear it, so I went downstairs and kicked it's ass for 3 miles. When I was done I told it to be quiet or I'd be back for it. My guess is it'll start to get uppity again on Thursday. I ran 5:00 at 4.5, 5:00 at 4.6, 5:00 at 5.0, and 21:28 at 5.1 mph. That last setting surprised me but I guess I just willed myself to finish something I had started. Total time was 36:28, a new treadmill record.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Behind Again

Jan 29-Feb 8 Short Version

I ran and biked a bunch. I found out my preferred half marathon's registration is closed without me included. Long version follows below, but don't feel obligated to read. I know I need to start posting more frequently, these long ones are killers.

Jan 29
I couldn't take advantage of the weather yesterday so there was no way I was going to let today escape without a run outside. It was raining lightly, but that is a demon I conquered a long time ago. Rain doesn't even feel like a hurdle compared to a foot of snow. It was warm enough that I wore a long sleeve tech shirt over my long sleeve compression instead of my running jacket. It always feels good to run outside, but after being trapped inside for a few consecutive runs it feels even better. I ended up surprising myself by running 3 miles today faster than ever before, clocking in at 36:01. I'm thinking that I've run enough 2.5 milers so now the standard runs will all be 3 milers.

Jan 30
I took an unplanned rest day today because of car troubles. Luckily my wife's cousin who welded my treadmill was available to fix my car. So I traded my bike time for a working automobile.

Jan 31
Today was my first try at 3 miles on the treadmill. I wanted to stick with my previous plan of running as much as possible at 5.0 mph. I started out with 10 minutes at 4.5 mph before I bumped it up to 5.0 mph. Luckily I was able to keep going without the need for a break in speed. I finished 3 miles in 37:01 which is darn close to what I ran outside a couple days ago.
This run wraps up the month of January. I ended up with 54.8 miles, which isn't a whole lot, but is a little more than I've ever run in a month's time. One interesting point to note in the graph above, back in October I ran almost the same distance, but it took me almost 2 hours longer to do it.

Feb 1
I rode the indoor bike tonight on Program 1. I ended up riding 8.807 miles in 30 minutes.

Feb 2
Similar to Thursday I was back on the treadmill with almost the same plan of attack. The only difference was I only ran 5 minutes at 4.5 mph, then I went 5 minutes 4.6 mph, before running the rest at 5.0 mph. I finished all 3 miles in 36:56. I noticed as I entered this run into my log at that I am now over 200 miles on this pair of running shoes.

Feb 3
After last weekend's epic treadmill journey I was in no hurry to repeat myself. I've basically come to the realization that if I'm going to run long I'm going to do it outside. Luckily the weather backed me up by not adding a foot of new snow last night and just overcast skies today. I hadn't mapped out an 8 mile route ahead of time, but I figured I could easily add on an extra mile out and back to the 6 I ran three weeks ago. So when the time came I headed into town. Once I measured out the additional mile I dropped a water bottle in a snowbank around mile 2.7. I wore my sweat wicking hat, glasses, long sleeve compression shirt, running jacket, shorts, and yaktrax on my shoes. The run started out smooth for about 100 feet, that's when the sidewalk stopped being clear of snow. The first 1/2 mile or so is ideally run on the sidewalk because there is no shoulder on that side of the street. After about .3 miles on the sidewalk in the ankle deep snow I had enough and elected to go play in traffic. Luckily the traffic was quite light and I made it to the shouldered section of road without incident. I did my best not to push or be overly concerned with time. I only have very vague estimates of my mile markers so I didn't bother hitting my watch for splits. I made it to my water without incident and dropped it in a spot where I could pick it up on the way back.
The area on the map above marked 'Mitchell State Park' is all businesses, snowmobiles & traffic, so that was a different environment for a run. Lakes Cadillac and Mitchell are connected via a canal that runs between them. It's difficult to see on the map due to the scale, but it runs along the edge of the road that I ran on when I turned right off of M-115. The lakes are frozen this time of year which attracts a lot of snowmobilers and ice fishermen. The canal however doesn't freeze, and for some reason this fact attracts the craziest of snowmobilers. I saw a couple snowmobilers make it across the mouth of the canal on the Lake Cadillac side as I was nearing my turn around. It's actually a pretty common occurrence this time of year. In case you are wondering there are people that don't make it, but I've never witnessed that. Even though my mile markers were a loose idea, I could tell I was slowing down. The time was 52:43 at the turn around. Somewhere in here I started to notice that I couldn't wiggle my toes because the yaktrax were pressing down on them. My head told me that meant that my toes hurt, so for the rest of the run my toes hurt. Everything was uneventful until somewhere after 6 miles. That 6 to 7 mile just seemed to take forever. By the time I hit mile 7 I was starting to get a little paranoid that I wasn't going to make it. I did my best to remind myself that the fastest way home was just to keep pace. I could feel that my legs were really starting to chafe. The pain I was feeling there, the perceived pain in my toes, and the fact that I had been running for over an hour and a half were really starting to wear on me. In the end I was able to quiet my mind and finish in 1:48:21. The walk back to my mom's house, where I had parked wasn't much fun, but I'm glad it was mandatory I would have laid right down otherwise. The chafing hurt the most, other than that I felt fine right afterwards. I changed clothes and drank some water as soon as I got in. Then I did my stretches and I started to get hungry. My mom had made polish sausage earlier in the day and there was a little left so I tried to eat some. After one bite I felt like I was going vomit myself inside out. I got some more water and sat down. The vomitous feeling passed after a minute or two, but I was still really hungry. I ate a cookie instead, thinking that maybe my sugar was way out of balance. I still wasn't feeling right, but I was getting better so I ate a couple more (they were little sugar cookies). Finally after about 10 or 15 minutes of sitting there I felt ok enough to drive. The rest of the day went fine, by the time I got home I was feeling about 95%. I ate a sandwich and was back to 100% a half hour later or so. The chafed thighs seem to be the only lasting pain, but tomorrow will tell.

Feb 4
I weighed 282.2 lbs this morning. That is a loss of 1.6 lbs this week, bringing my total weight loss to 84.8 lbs. I'm surprised that I ended up with a loss this morning, as all this past week I was hovering a little higher than last Monday's weigh-in. I have finally broken a record set by myself the last time I lost a bunch of weight, back in 1999. September of 1998 I weighed 300 lbs, so to lose some weight I tried a basic no-carb plan. It wasn't Atkins or anything, I just avoided carbs as much as possible. By spring of 1999 I was down to 216 lbs, 84 lbs lost. I started dating my wife, got happy, got fat, had kids, got more fat, and last August started all of this. Now I've lost more weight than ever before.

I rode the indoor bike tonight on Program 1. I ended up riding 8.850 miles in 30 minutes.

Feb 5
Today was a tough day on the old treadmill. I ran for 10 minutes at 4.6 mph before finishing out my run at 5.0 mph in 36:49. I'm not certain whether it was tough because I was starting at 4.6 or if I'm just feeling the after effects of Sunday's long run.

Feb 6
I had a crap day. I thought it was going to be good. The plan was to go to the local running store to see about getting a fuel belt and some GU's. First none of the 2 bottle (10 oz) belts were fitting around me. Then we found a one bottle (22 oz) belt that fit, but I was concerned about the concentrated weight of having all the water in one place. Then while I'm talking to the guy about GU's and stuff I mention that I'm interested in running the local Bayshore Half Marathon at the end of May. First thing he says, 'Did you sign-up already?' I start to answer, 'No, I'm waiting to make sure...' He cuts me off, 'You're too late. I'm sorry but it filled up on February 2nd.' Crushed would accurately describe my feelings. I ended up getting a couple GU's and a couple Hammerhead Gel's, on the guy's advice. Though he did caution me that if I start using them my body will start wanting them. His explanation was that my body is trained to burn fat now, but if I use these it's like training my body to burn sugar. Still it's better to use one than to bonk, so I will carry one in my fuel belt pocket. I was so distracted with the bad news about the half being full that I didn't even remember to get bodyglide. (Went back the next day and got some, $8, hefty.) When I got back to work I checked the race website and sure enough registration for the half is closed. So now I'm looking for other races. I've found 4 so far, but none are perfect. I'll write about them later.

I rode the indoor bike tonight on Program 1. I ended up riding 8.919 miles in 30 minutes.

Feb 7
I did the exact same thing as Tuesday and it was still pretty tough. I'm not sure what to do about that. I tried drinking some Gatorade during my run just to see if my stomach could handle it. That seemed to go fine so my next long run I will use some of that.

Feb 8
I rode the indoor bike tonight on Program 1. I ended up riding 8.939 miles in 30 minutes.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Weather or Not


I weighed 283.8 lbs this morning. That is a loss of 2.6 lbs this week, bringing my total weight loss to 83.2 lbs. I am always happy to see a loss.

The weather finally broke today, temps got up into the 30's. Our road was clear by the time I got home, unfortunately it wasn't a run day. If I wouldn't have run as far as I did yesterday I would have broke schedule and ran outside, but 9.5 miles in 2 days is enough. I wish my bike was in a little better condition as I could have at least rode that outside. I need to get it into the shop for an overhaul in the next month or two. When the weather breaks I want to be able to do as much outside as possible.

I rode the indoor bike this evening on Program 1. I ended up riding 8.603 miles in 30 minutes.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Calorie Deficit

Yesterday the fam and I went scouting in town for acceptable running locations. The forecast for today was overcast with no precipitation, so I figured if we could find a road with clear shoulders I might have a shot at running my scheduled 7 miler outside. Unfortunately most of the roads in town still have pretty snowy shoulders. The roads out by my house seem to require a weather anomaly to be runnable this time of year. By the time we were headed home I was pretty sure that running outside was out of question. This morning I ate breakfast at about 8 am. Then at 9:50 am I had a banana. By about 10:45 am I was ready to run. My plan was to do the first 10 minutes the same way I did yesterday's run. Then alternate runs of 10 minutes at 5.0 mph and 10 minutes at 4.5 mph. By 17 minutes in I knew that my plan was for crap. While it is perfectly fine for me to get up to 5.0 mph on my shorter runs, it wasn't going to be feasible with such of long distance on the menu. The 4.5 mph felt a lot better. By 30 minutes in I had decided to up my speed to 4.6 mph and try to leave it there as long as possible. There were a few times that I had a crisis of faith as to whether I would honestly be able to finish. It was just getting to me that I had been running for over a half an hour and I still had at least an hour to go. In all of my preparations for someday running a half-marathon, I guess I haven't spent alot of time considering that I may be on my feet for 3 hours or more when the day comes. Luckily I was able to work through my mental freak out. One of the things I told myself was that the race won't be held on a treadmill, that seemed to make me feel better. Somewhere near an hour in I had a slight pain on the top of my left foot, the same place I was previously injured. I suppose a cautious person may have called it quits there, but I pressed on. I was relieved when it went away 3 or 4 minutes later. In a week if I'm laid up with an injury I guess I'll know where my error was. I didn't have any other problems until about the 6.4 mile mark. All of sudden I was hit with really intense hunger pains. Something I haven't really considered through any of my runs yet, is the possible need for gels or gu's. Clearly as my runs are getting into these longer distances, that's something I'm going to have to plan for. I finished running all 7 miles in 1:30:57. The most surprising number though was calories burned, 1189. It bears mentioning that is calculated without a height or weight input, so in reality it was probably a larger number. I can say without a doubt that this was my toughest run, but I think that is mainly because it wasn't outside.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Greased Lightning

I rode the indoor bike tonight on Program 1. I ended up riding 8.755 miles in 30 minutes.

Today I was more ambitious than I have ever been on the treadmill. I started things out at 4.4 mph, 5 minutes later I upped it to 4.5 mph and then at 10 minutes in I went to 5.0 mph. I knew I could make it for at least 10 minutes or so, but beyond that it begins to be mentally taxing. The last time I ran I was able to complete 16:49 at 5.0 mph, but that was pretty difficult near the end. By 20 minutes in I was telling myself that 4.9 mph wasn't enough of a break to be worth knocking the speed down. Just over 25 minutes in I hit 2 miles and suddenly the math rang clear in my head. If I kept the speed where it was I was going to finish faster than I had ever ran 2.5 miles. With that kind of mojo, the rest of the run was a breeze. I ended up finishing in 31:07, a new 2.5 mile record by 6 seconds over an outdoor time. Today I feel like my treadmill running has finally come into it's own.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Ketchup (Redux): The Quickening - This time it's personal

Jan 6-24 (Short answer)
Life continued, I worked out. (For the long version see below)

Jan 6

Being a Sunday with a relatively warm temperature for January, I decided to do a long run outside. The plan was to run 5 miles, 2.5 down the road and back. Everything went well. When I was almost to the turn around a big rottwieler ran out in the road. I just about filled my drawers. The dog tried to jump up on me and I yelled at it to get down. I'm not sure who was more shocked me or the dog. It just stopped and gave me a look like it was offended that I didn't want it to jump up on me. Then a second later someone from the house yelled for the dog to come back, so it promptly turned tail and headed back. I'm just happy that the dog seemed to have some level of training or discipline. Out here in the country, it seems most folks have dogs to chase people away. The rest of the run went well. This is almost the same route that I couldn't finish because of my foot injury back in November, so it meant a lot to me to be able to go out and conquer it. The splits ended up as follows: 1.1 miles - 14:33, 1 mile - 12:43, 1 mile - 12:49, 13:10 - 1 mile, .9 miles - 11:05. I finished the 5 miles in 1:04:20, an awesome improvement from the last time I completed 5 miles.

Jan 7
I weighed 293.2 lbs this morning. That is a gain of .4 lbs this week, bringing my total weight loss to 73.8 lbs. Similar to the last time I gained I consider myself lucky to be up so little. When celebration is the problem I'm not too upset, cause I know that's not my everyday life.

I rode the indoor bike tonight on Program 1. I ended up riding 7.8 miles in 30 minutes. I still go numb sitting on the seat.

Jan 8
I ran on the treadmill again this evening. I set the speed at 4.2 and every 5 minutes I increased the speed .1 mph. The routine really took it out of me. 2.225 miles later 30 minutes had gone by and I was done for the day.

Jan 9
I rode the indoor bike tonight on Program 1. I ended up riding 8.297 miles in 30 minutes. The seat still turns me numb, but not till the last 5 minutes.

Jan 10
I must have some river boat gambler in me. Yesterday the weather was nice enough to run outside, but it wasn't a run day. I almost said the heck with my schedule, to run outside. In the end I decided to believe the weather forecasters that more snow wouldn't come until late afternoon today. I drove home from work and when I got about 10 - 15 miles away from the house it started to snow. By the time I got home it really could have gone either way, as to whether I should run outside. Five minutes later I was out the door. My plan for today was my same old 2.5 mile route that I ran a bunch this fall. I wore my yaktrax on my shoes since it was snowing and I was going to be running on the still snow covered dirt road for about a half a mile. I also wore my compression long sleeve under my light weight running coat and my sweat wicking winter hat. It's always a little cold starting out these winter outdoor runs in shorts, but by 1/2 to 3/4 of a mile I'm warm enough. The run went fine, everything as expected, 2.5 miles in 32:14. By the time I got back home my road was completely covered in snow, like the song says, you gotta know when to hold'em and know when to fold'em.

Jan 11
I rode the indoor bike tonight. For something different I decided to set the bike on Program 3. It's definitely a tougher ride. I'd say twice as much time on the higher resistances as Program 1. I ended up riding 7.998 miles in 30 minutes. The seat still turns me numb, but not till the last 5 minutes.

Jan 12
I ran on the treadmill again this evening. I set the speed at 4.2 and every 5 minutes I increased the speed .1 mph. The routine really took it out of me. 2.225 miles later 30 minutes had gone by and I was done for the day.

Jan 13
When the day began I wasn't sure how many miles I was going to be able to squeeze out of it. It was snowing so my immediate thought was that an outdoor run was out of the equation. I really didn't want to do a long run on the treadmill though. My wife was the one who got all brilliant by suggesting that I drive into town to run outside there. As soon as she said it I remembered that a road near my mom's house, Sunyside Dr., had been completely clean of snow including the paved shoulders on the previous day. It took a few minutes to gather my stuff and I was off. I had always thought that Sunnyside Dr. was 4 or so miles long, but after having driven it twice today paying close attention to the odometer I found that it's actually closer to 2.8 miles. I decided to run a little extra on an adjoining highway, M-115, as it was clear as well. Once I had 6 miles measured out I headed to my mom's house to park and gear up. The start and finish for my route were a block away, so I'd get a little warm up and cool down. The run itself seemed to go fine. Because I had only measured via my cars odometer ahead of time, I only had a loose idea as to where the mile breaks were. I think I ran the second mile a little too fast. Guessing by my watch it took approximately 11:30 which if accurate would have been a mile record for me. The next mile I had to slow down as I was running out of energy, so to speak. I hit the turn around half way point at 38:20. The return trip was slower. I couldn't seem to find the fortitude to push myself to go any faster. I ended up running all 6 miles in 1:20:51. Not as fast I thought I'd be, but at least I made it.

Jan 14
I weighed 294 lbs this morning. That is a gain of .8 lbs this week, bringing my total weight loss to 73 lbs. Honestly I don't know what to make of this gain. I weigh myself everyday even though I probably shouldn't. On Friday it jumped up about 5 lbs which was very surprising as I've been doing well with portion control and exercise. Over the next few days it's been creeping back down, but it's still not where I would expect it. I guess this is a plateau, I knew I'd hit one eventually. On the bright side I wore size 40 jeans today, I haven't done that in years. I rode the indoor bike tonight on Program 1. I ended up riding 8.391 miles in 30 minutes. Until I say something just assume that the seat still turns me numb in the last 5 minutes.

Jan 15
It was a run day and it turned darn cold, so to the treadmill I went. Looking at the runs I've been doing lately I've decided I want to go back to running distances. I've experienced no additional setbacks from my injury and I feel like I'm back in the swing of things so it really in the natural progression. All that meant that I'd have to come up with a new plan for picking my speed on the treadmill. The method I was using of increasing the speed every 5 minutes just wouldn't work for running longer times. I ran the first 5 minutes at 4.2 mph, then 20 minutes at 4.4 mph, and finally 8:55 at 4.6 mph. That made the total 2.5 miles in 33:55.

Jan 16
I rode the indoor bike this evening on Program 1. I ended up riding 8.26 miles in 30 minutes.

Jan 17
The weather wanted to play nice today. On the drive home I determined that the dirt road on my normal route was too snowy for running. Luckily I had anticipated this and already figured out how to squeeze an extra half mile out of the other end of my run instead. The action was pretty uneventful, finished in 31:13. Just the fastest I've ever ran 2.5 miles, ho hum.

Jan 18
I rode the indoor bike this evening on Program 1. I ended up riding 8.392 miles in 30 minutes.

Jan 19
About 5 minutes or so into my run today inspiration struck. I was on the treadmill and I had already run 5 minutes at 4.3 mph. I just increased the speed to 4.4 mph when it hit me. It doesn't make sense to run my fastest at the end of my run when I'm most tired. My plan had been to work up to 4.5 and just run that speed for most of the run with maybe one more increase at the end, but now I was thinking I could just jump up to 5.0 mph at around the 15 minute mark. I wasn't sure how long I'd be able to last, but at least I wouldn't be at my tiredest. About 10 minutes in I went to 4.5 mph. At 15 minutes I hit the 5.0 mph button, nothing happened. I was still running, but it didn't feel like the lightning bolt I was expecting. The display confirmed to me that I was running at 5.0 mph. It took about 2 minutes for what I figure must have been an adrenaline rush to wear off. Now I was starting to feel the difficulty. I figured if I could hold out for 5 minutes that would be good enough. I ended up running it to 7 minutes, by then I needed a break. So I lowered it 4.9 mph, again not the difference I expected. That speed only lasted about 3 minutes, then I was down to 4.8 mph. I was able to finish the run at that speed. So 2.5 miles in 32:09, for me it's astonishing to see numbers like that come from a treadmill run.

Jan 20
This fall when I was beginning to ramp up my mileage I never took any cut-back weeks. I always figured that my mileage totals were a little low to be too worried about cut-backs. Now though that I have put a 6 mile run under my belt I feel like my long runs are getting long enough to justify the need for a cut-back week ever 4 weeks or so. Also I've been wanting to try a brick workout, ever since we got the indoor bike. So that's what I did today, an indoor brick. The plan was to do 30 minutes on the bike and then put my running shoes on immediately and head down to the treadmill for 2.5 miles. I wasn't certain how much of cut-back this was really going to be, but worst case scenario it would be a learning experience. Since I wanted to make sure I would finish I set the bike on the easier Program 2. The bike went pretty normal, I cranked out 8.932 miles in 30 minutes. I used my watch to time my transition, just to be anal. So 2:22 later I was down on the treadmill. The plan here was to do an easy 2.5 miles so speed wise I would start at 4.3 mph for five minutes, then 4.4 mph for 5 minutes, and finish the rest at 4.5 mph. The back of my calves were really the only thing that felt tight. The tightness lasted from about the 3 minute mark to about the 8 minute mark. After that I felt fine. I ended up finishing 2.5 miles in 33:40. Overall the brick was not the fearsome beast I imagined it to be. When I do one of these in the future I won't hold back on the bike and assuming I'm not dead I'll push a little harder on the run.

Jan 21
I weighed 286.4 lbs this morning. That is a loss of 7.6 lbs this week, bringing my total weight loss to 80.6 lbs. Finally the scale recognized what I'm trying to do here. It feels like this has been a long time coming, but looking back at my excel file that holds all my weigh-ins my losses have been consistent overall. Sure there have been a couple plateau points, but I feel like nothing can stop the overall trend. I'm still tying to wrap my head around the fact that I'm not a 300 lb guy anymore.

I rode the indoor bike around mid-day on Program 1. I ended up riding 8.565 miles in 30 minutes. For the first time I had no numbness.

Jan 22
It was a run day and last Saturday's plan worked so good. I knew what I was going to do. 4.3 mph for 5 minutes, 4.4 for 5 minutes, 4.5 for 5 minutes, and then 5.0 mph for as long as I can. I was able to keep up 5.0 mph for 11 minutes. Then I ran the last 5:56 at 4.9 mph. That made a total of 2.5 miles in 31:56. I'm figuring this treadmill thing out.

Jan 23
I rode the indoor bike this evening on Program 1. I ended up riding 8.415 miles in 30 minutes. Numbness returned, my reprieve was short lived.

Jan 24
Another run day, same plan as the last one. I was able to keep 5.0 mph going for the remainder of my run today 16:56. So that made a total of 2.5 miles in 31:49. My plan for the future is to scale back my warm up so I have more time to run at 5.0 mph.

***I'm finally up to date. I apologize to anyone who reads this journal. I never meant to get this far behind. At some point I will probably stop doing an entry for everyday. For now though I want to document every step of my way to a half marathon.

Friday, January 18, 2008


I am so ridiculously far behind. Some of the days I've written entry's for and some I have to go back and fill in stuff. As a show of good faith here's a few days worth. I plan on being fully updated someday, but it won't happen until next week, at least hopefully.

Jan 2
I rode the indoor bike tonight. I set the bike on Program 2. It was definitely an easier ride than Program 1. I ended up riding 8.207 miles in 30 minutes. I still go numb sitting on the seat.

Jan 3
Today was a run day and the weather hasn't broke yet so it was back to the basement for me. I started things out at 4.2 mph an aggressive increase compared to last time no doubt, but something to try. Every 5 minutes I increased the speed .1 mph. I ended up running the last 5 minutes at 4.7 mph, my new fastest treadmill speed. For my 30 minutes I ended up running 2.225 miles total. It was definitely my toughest treadmill run yet. I'm not sure if it is really viable for every run day to be at these speeds, but at least weekly. We'll see how tough it will be next time.

Jan 4
The plan was to ride the indoor bike, then life interceded in the form of a visiting brother in-law and a case of beer. Excuses, excuses, I know.

Jan 5
The plan was to do an easy run and the weather really seemed to want to cooperate. It's been warm the last few days and the only breathe of precipitation was a little rain this morning. The roads were clear enough that all I had to do was wait for the fog to lift some. By noon the visibility was clear enough for a run. The dirt road that I run sometimes was still pretty icy so I figured I'd just stay on the asphalt for 2 miles. This being my first run outside since Christmas it gave me the opportunity to try out the new sweat wicking hat, yaktrax, and running coat. The hat worked great, warm but not hot, perfect for running. The running coat was a little warm for the temperature, but it blocked the wind perfect. I wore my long sleeve compression shirt underneath, I probably didn't need it. The yaktrax worked great as well. In case you live in a warm climate, they are basically a set of rubber straps that are stretched over the bottom of the shoes. Each of the rubber straps has metal wrapped around it (like a stretched out spring) to provide traction. Once I got them on my shoes I was expecting to feel all that metal, but clearly some engineer had thought of that at some point, cause I couldn't feel it at all. The roads ended up being ice free enough that I didn't really need them, but I was glad to find out that they worked (on my very icy driveway) and they didn't hurt my feet any no matter the surface. I ran the first mile in 13:11 a happy reminder that I'm still faster outside. The second mile felt fast, but I was afraid to guess by just how much. It turned out to be a new record mile for me at 11:35. If only this warm spell could last a year and a half or so.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Happy Holidays: Daily Accumulations

Dec 21

I got home from work and I got lucky. The weather was great and my wife didn't mind waiting for me to go grocery shopping with the fam. We'd had a few days of sun with no precipitation so the roads were free of ice and snow. There was a time in my life when getting lucky had nothing to with running outside, not anymore. Well maybe it's a shared euphemism, at least. It felt really good to be back out on the roads. With the treadmill being broken it was kind of a double treat, since I have no idea when that situation will be rectified. I abandoned my starting walk and decided I'd just start running like the old days. I felt slow as I was plodding along. I didn't feel like I was running (but I was), more like I was power walking. I tried not to think about speed as I know some of my abilities will be diminished with all the recovery time I've needed. I was only running the 1.8 mile course on my road because I didn't want to over extend myself. I reached the last mile mark 10:42 which surprised the crap out of me. Only twice have I run that stretch of road faster, and that was right before my injury. The last mile went well as usual coming in at a ridiculously quick time of 12:43. I did not expect to be turning in my second fastest mile at home today, but I'll take it anyway. I was glad to see that I didn't lose what little speed I have over this injury. Assuming the treadmill gets fixed soon I probably won't have a run this great (read: fast) for a long time.

Dec 22-25
My wife's cousin never did come pick up the treadmill during the weekend. I weighed 297 lbs the morning of Dec. 24. That is a loss of 6.6 lbs for the week, bringing my total weight loss to 70 lbs. I felt damn proud to be below 300 before Christmas. I treated it like a Christmas present to myself. The best damn thing I ever got myself. I got the exercise bike on Christmas Eve, so once I put it together I'll have something to work out on. Christmas day was nice with the fam. Got some running stuff: A sweat wicking hat, a nice set of wind/rain proof coat & pants, yaktrax (ice crimps for running), some pants, and a few other things. One pair of pants were size 42 and they felt a little big so we are going to take them back and get 40's (this still blows me away). Christmas afternoon, my father in-law helped me get the treadmill over to my wife's cousin. This was helped by their family gathering being held at his house. The cousin thinks it will only take a few minutes, it's just a matter of actually doing it.

Dec 26
After shedding the last of our holiday company I finally got around to putting the exercise bike together. Not too many pieces, more packaging and waste than bike parts. I had to wait for my wife to go buy some D cell batteries because that is what the thing runs on instead of a power chord (brilliant). Once she got back I got my first ride. It has a few programs but I was reluctant to try those on my first voyage. I set the resistance at 2 with a goal of 30 minutes. Since the bike isn't downstairs yet, I took advantage of the television. After about 20 minutes or so I could feel my nether regions going numb. Getting used to a bike seat will clearly be the biggest hurdle here. I finished my 30 minutes having pedaled 7.745 miles. I never changed the resistance setting so I'm not certain it was a great workout. I was sweaty at the end, but not out of breathe.

Dec 27
I decided to try out a program on the bike today just to see how it works. Most of the programs run for 30 minutes. Every minute is considered a segment and the segments range in resistance and target speed. Sometimes the resistance and range stay the same for a few segments in a row, and sometimes they increase or decrease. Like going for a ride outside with a friend who you are trying to keep up with and then finding a few hills. I chose program 1 for today. I was able to stay at least a couple miles an hour faster than the target speed through 95% of the ride. The portion near the end when the resistance goes up to 8 for two minutes, it was all I could do to be barely above the target of 11 mph. Again a little after 20 minutes in everything below my waistline and above my thighs went numb, definitely an odd feeling. Then also to know that it will be numb until I get done and then be all prickly while the feeling is coming back for another 10 minutes afterward. Today's ride felt like a butt kicking. Definitely more of what I was looking for, out of breathe, legs hurting, sweating all over the place. I didn't mention it yesterday but I am doing my running stretches after bike rides.

About 9:30pm or so the phone rang, we were entertaining relatives. It was my wife's cousin, he had just finished welding the treadmill and wanted to know if he could drop it off then. I was shocked, the good kind, and said yes please. A half hour later the treadmill was back in my basement and I was trying to figure out how to make our company leave. Unfortunately our guests stayed till late into the evening and I was unable to make it downstairs, but at least the ball is back in my court (so to speak).

Dec 28
I had made plans earlier in the week for the morning today. So I had to wait till after the kids and I got back from lunch at my mom's house to get downstairs. Once downstairs I was tasked with the chore of remembering how in the heck I'd tore apart the deck of the treadmill. I took a few minute to admire the weld job that had been done. My wife's cousin was nice enough to cut a couple extra pieces of metal and weld them onto the plates that he'd already welded back on, to act as braces. That area looks gaudy with strength now. Most of the putting back together went easy. The toughest part was getting the rear axle back on and inside of the housing on each side. After some failure and some thought I figured it out. It just took a little percussive force on some of the relatively low tensile strength plastic and snap it was back in place. After that I just had to tighten the belt. Which is easy to do but I was unsure how tight to make it. I ended up trying it a few times until finally I had it tight enough so that it wouldn't slip when I ran on it. I don't know if you can have it too tight, so it's not tightened all the way just in case.

Once my wife got home I got a chance to take it for a proper test drive. It felt good to have it back even if it is still a treadmill. Yet another case of you don't what you've got till it's gone. I didn't do any walking as I haven't even felt a tightness in my foot in awhile, let alone pain. I started out running at 3.7 and then took the speed up .1 every 5 minutes. By the end I was running at 4.2 mph with a total of 1.972 miles in 30 minutes. A nice little run. I checked out the welds after the run and everything looked tip top, the metal didn't even feel warm, very good news.

Dec 29
Not wanting to over do things now that I seem to be exercise equipment rich, I've decided to alternate running and biking for a couple weeks at least. Actually it will probably be 4 days run and 3 days bike, but that won't be any different until next weekend. So that made today a bike day. I liked Program 1 so I did that again today. It kicked my butt again. I felt a little vomitous during the segments when the resistance goes to 8. I went numb again at about the same time, I hope that goes away as I get used to the bike.

Dec 30
It being a Sunday and me having a treadmill, I figured I'd try a long run. Since the last long run I did was 40 minutes long, my goal for today was 50 minutes. I ran the first 10 minutes at a speed of 3.8 mph then I ran the next 30 minutes at 4.0 mph and the last 10 minutes at 4.2 mph. It went well and I ended up running 3.332 miles. I got to thinking though as I was nearing having run 30 minutes at 4.0 mph. The difficulty of wasn't bad it felt about as easy as when I start running at 3.7 usually. I think my problem with getting faster on the treadmill is just that I start too slow. I think if I started a little faster and progressed at my usual rate from there I wouldn't notice that much of a difference. This particular realization may seem trivial or obvious to you dear reader, but at the time of my originally thinking it I bet you could have seen the meta-physical light bulb over my head.

Dec 31
I weighed 292.8 lbs this morning. That is a loss of 4.2 lbs this week, bringing my total weight loss to 74.2 lbs. Eating throughout this little holiday break has been held very much in check. I think in the last week I've consumed exactly two cookies, one piece of pie, and one piece of cake to total out my holiday sweets. Honestly though this weigh in was timed perfectly as I'm sure the liquid calories I consume tonight alone will effect next Monday.

I rode the bike on program 1 for 7.74 miles. My butt and stuff still goes numb. I may try one of the other programs this week just to see what they are like. Program 1 still leaves me huffing and puffing, but not sweating as much, at least today.

Jan 1
I was really quite hungover from last nights excesses. The plan was to run but I felt like such crap I just laid on the living room floor and let the kids use me like a jungle gym. Later on in the afternoon I felt much better so I did end up going for a run. I put the plan into action that I was thinking about during my last run. I started things out at 4.0 mph and every 5 minutes I increased the speed .1 mph. I ended up running the last 5 minutes at 4.5 mph, the fastest I've ever run on the treadmill. For my 30 minutes I ended up running 2.12 miles total. I think today's run was the biggest ego boost I've had since back to Dec. 21 when I unexpectedly got to run outside. It wasn't as fast, but it showed me how to push myself better on the treadmill.