Friday, December 21, 2007



I ran tonight. 1.741 miles in 30 minutes. The first 8 minutes I walked then I ran the rest. The plan is phase out the walking over the next week or so. It's good to be back. Less happens while running when you run on a treadmill.

I took a rest day today. As much as I want to run, I really don't want to injure myself. I think three days is fine for the first week back.

I contemplated whether I should start my long run today or wait until next week. In the end I decided there was no time like the present. I ended up running 2.355 miles in 40 minutes. The first 8 minutes I walked. I didn't reduce any of my walking time since I was adding ten minutes of running already.

I weighed 303.6 lbs this morning. That is a gain of .4 lbs this week, bringing my total weight loss to 63.4 lbs. Considering how poorly I ate and drank this weekend I'm not too upset at this gain. Beer and pasta are not items that will make you lose weight. Equally as bad are the eggnog and chocolate pie. I didn't go out of control with any of these foods, but I know that consuming these in even the most moderate of portions will not help my weight loss.

I ran 1.77 miles in 30 minutes. I walked the first 6 minutes. I'm not sure how much longer I can keep up the walking. It's just so incredibly boring. Perhaps the problem is that I told myself I would wait till I was back to running the whole thing before I would start upping my speed again. The slow runs have felt good, but it's like my legs want to go faster. Also the treadmill's normal whirring pulse noise that it makes while I run was louder tonight. I'm going to have to keep an eye, or ear, on this.


Today I had to wait a long time to find the silver lining. It was office party day so while my food in take was not as out of control as past years, it was also not as good as it would have been without a holiday party. When I got home my first priority was to hop on the treadmill. I started it up and it was still sounding loud. The deck felt more springy than usual also. So I stopped it and folded it up to see if I could see anything underneath. Sure enough a plate that holds the deck on the right side near the front had broken. The opposite side was severely bent and looked like it would be breaking soon. Needless to say there would be no using it today. I called my wife's cousin who knows how to weld and has the equipment to do so. He said he'd check it out and see what he could do. I decided that tearing the deck apart would be the best idea since there would be no way to weld the metal back on with all the wood and rubber so close. Figuring out how to disassemble a treadmill deck is not easy, and apparently it's designed that way. After some time I was able to get it apart a sufficient amount. Ideally I would have been able to remove the deck frame from the rest of the treadmill, but those alan screws are hidden a little too well. Later in the evening my wifes' cousin came over and gave the treadmill a look. He was happy that I'd tore it apart as he wanted no part of that particular necessity. Luckily he thinks it's a doable procedure, at this point it's just a matter of him finding time to do it. He thinks it might be possible to do on Saturday or Sunday, so if all goes well this won't be too long of a running drought. Worst case scenario someone at my wife's work is selling their treadmill for $250. One way or the other I'll be getting my runs, just not today.

*Sorry this took a week to get posted and ended up all in one entry. I'm not sure how much I will be updating in the next 11 days as I have them all off from work. In case I don't have a chance Happy Christmas and a Merry New Year, "wait minute... scratch that... reverse it."

Friday, December 14, 2007

The Agony And The Ecstasy


Warning: There may be too much information in the following paragraph.

I ran last night. It felt really good, but it was painful. I tried to do the same routine as Tuesday night. Walking the first ten minutes went fine. The running started out well too. After five minutes though I knew I was running into trouble. I could feel the pain starting and it wasn't going to go away on it's own. With each foot fall my colon was shrieking, "I am full!" I held out as long as I could but by 29:06 (1.655 miles) there was nothing else I could do. So I shut off the treadmill and kept pace up the stairs and through the house to the bathroom. I was surprised I didn't leave a trail behind me. Remember, I warned you.

It's interesting to think about how I view running on the treadmill now as compared to my first tour. When I was doing run/walk intervals this summer I would tell myself that I just had to run for two more minutes or whatever the time was. Then when I started trying to run all the time my head was still wrapped around the idea of walk breaks. So I'd be running for 5 or so minutes, reminding myself that there were no walk breaks, no short term goals, and it turned into a big mental hurdle. Running outside came at just the right time. My transition outside worked perfectly for jettisoning that mindset. I ran all the time because I wanted to, but also it's the fastest way home when you are a mile away on foot. I don't know what to credit, whether it's the injury or just all the time spent running outside this fall, but it's not the same on the treadmill now. Sure there is still a little apprehension in the first few minutes, "I'm really going to be down here for 30 minutes." The thing is it sure doesn't feel the same, and after 15 or 20 minutes I actually lament the fact that I will be done soon. It's just interesting how things change.

My plan originally was to do my weights routine tonight. Instead I went 3 rounds with a Christmas tree. Living in northern Michigan I am afforded the opportunity to purchase a real tree. They are inexpensive if you feel moral ($8) and free if you don't (10 different unguarded fields in a 10 mile radius of my house). I thought I had it whipped after 2 rounds, but later in the evening the damn thing tried to body slam me and we had to go another round to prove who's boss.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Human-Animal Hybrid

Have you ever seen a dog run? Paws kicking dirt in the air. All the muscles engaged, taught. Head bobbing, digging into the air, like it's burrowing through time itself. Mouth agape, tongue hanging out, spit flying behind. Smiling.

Ok, ok business first. I weighed in on Monday and surprise surprise I'm still losing weight, 303.2 lbs. Everyone who tells you diet is more important than exercise is right. I never believed it until I was forced to not run.

Tuesday came, finally. I spent the day as a nervous wreck hoping for positive news from the doctor. I got my x-ray and had to wait some more. When he finally came in the exam room, I said, "I don't mean to be rude but let's cut to the chase here, was my foot broken?" He laughed and said that according to the report after my previous x-ray the radiologist didn't see anything. This was a fact I already knew though, so I said, "No, I mean now todays x-ray, do you see healing or healed bones?" He said, "No it looks fine, no calcification or bone calluses." The conversation continued but I don't think I was there. I remember it like I overheard someone else participating in it, but I was already off running. I remember him saying it was ok to start running again, but to go slow and incorporate walking. He said if I had any problems I shouldn't hesitate to return.

We had plans with relatives so I couldn't pass go and head directly for the treadmill. At least for a few hours I couldn't. When we got home I made a beeline for the basement. I started with walking for the first ten minutes, no pain in the foot. I kicked up the pace and started to run, it felt like relief. I had a smile wider than the Mississippi river. I felt like a dog. Back to reality I wasn't going fast, but I was running and happy. After about 10 minutes I did feel a little tightness on the top of my foot. I kept running. I figured there is going to be a certain amount of that sort of thing when you are coming back from injury. Sure enough it was gone a couple minutes later. I planned to be walking/running for 30 minutes, but I wasn't sure how much running my foot could take. So I kept telling myself I'd just run for two more minutes and then I'd stop. Then the two minutes would come up and I still felt really good, so I'd keep running. I ended up running the remainder 20 minutes. I could have kept going, but I figured there was no reason to push it on my first night back. I ended up going 1.715 miles.

I'm damn happy to be back people. Don't ever take your ability to run for granted. That's the lesson I've learned.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Greyish Linings

I'm still alive. I still can't run. Let me tell you, it sucks not to run. I have only done my weight routine once since the injury. I can't seem to find the motivation to do reps. Reps suck.

Eating is pretty on track though, still losing lbs. Weigh-ins for the last two weeks have been happening: 11-26-07 308.2 lbs & 12-03-07 305 lbs.Thanksgiving wasn't that tough. I've been eating smaller portions for awhile now, it's almost automatic. For when it's not I've told myself it's ok to throw away food I don't need to finish. It's weird how I actually can feel myself getting full now, that never used to happen when I was eating twice as much. Also I'm finally on my last belt hole. I'll have to punch a new hole if my waistline gets any smaller.

We got enough snow earlier this week that I had to go out and shovel for about 20 minutes. This activity used to just about kill me. I'd come back in the house wheezing and drenched in sweat. It still makes me sweaty, but I wasn't even close to out of breath. Mild soreness in my lower back the next day, but I never work those muscles so that is expected.

We moved my next doctor's appointment up from the 19th to the 11th. If my foot has a stress fracture it'll show by then. If not I might run that night.