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.


Jeff said...

Great job keeping up on the exercise and getting through the plateau. That's the difference between successful dieters and unsuccessful ones -- staying the course through the plateaus.

You are smokin!

Pat said...

Your times are getting really good. I didn't read every post, I got burned out reading. But that 5 miler in just over an hour is pretty impressive.

You should post every day. I like following your progress.