Keep on keepin’ on…

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Here’s to you, Gladys Knight…I really gotta use my imagination…for a better blog post title! 😉

Friends, I ran today, and though I felt completely sluggish the entire time, I did a good distance with a decent pace.  I was pleasantly surprised. I didn’t get 20 minutes down yet.  It’s going to be a while.  So, instead of trying to run until I get the 20 minutes down, I’m going to finish out the days of Couch to 5k that are interval runs…and then try to run 20…then 25…then 28…the finally 30 minutes straight. I know I can do it…I just need to do it in a manner that my body will let me.

SO, I found out that I’m going to be a dad TOMORROW. Like, yes, we’re going to the hospital and Ms. Fat Guy (who is, not-so-ironically, neither fat, nor a guy) will be induced and hopefully our little boy (whom we sometimes lovingly refer to as Chico) will arrive quickly and without too much discomfort. Wish us luck!

Since we’re not going to have our last date like we had hoped for, we’re going to choose one of our favorite teenage girl, soccer movies…either Bend It Like Beckham or She’s The Man…to watch tonight (JohnT if you’re reading this, remember I told you my man card was taken from me a long time ago…slowly, but surely, I’ll get it back).

I know everyone who reads this might not be religious (or a Christian for that matter), but I hope you’ll indulge me in sharing something with you that has kept me going all these weeks…

But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary; and they shall walk and not faint.  –Isaiah 40:31

Here’s to running and not being weary!!

OK, guys…this post was replete with my ADD, so I’ll stop here. Hope your weeks are off to great starts and I’ll be back as soon as the little guy is here!

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sapped + lapped = slapped (?)

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Energy has not been my friend lately.  I don’t know what it is, but the past few days have seen a sharp decline in my overall energy.  Once we returned from vacation, my internal clck got all screwed up and for the past week, I wasn’t able to run in the mornings, so I ran in the evenings instead.  For a few days it seemed to prove worthwhile as it seemed that I had more energy, however, it’s not been constant.

Friday was a big milestone for me…or at least it was supposed to be.  Friday was the day I was supposed to run 20 minutes straight without a walking break. From the very beginning, I knew it was going to be difficult because I was so blasted tired. Even my music didn’t help. I lasted a paltry 9.5 minutes before I broke down and took a walking break. My energy was totally gone.

Plus, in hindsight it probably didn’t help that I decided to try a paved running trail that ran in a loop nearby. I thought it would be fun to try, but I knew my entire course after just .65 mile. It got boring and hard all at the same time.

Sleep has been shaky, and I’ve realized fast how important it is to keep a good running regimen going. I came home from church this afternoon and literally slept all day.

Something is clearly up.

Tomorrow, I’m going to do my best to get up and get that 20 minutes in.  It’s going to be hard, but I’m going to do it.

I’ve been bad on responding to comments lately and I apologize for that!!  I WILL get to them…that’s one of the things I wanted to do most when I started this blog…respond to every one.

WEEK 8 starts tomorrow…and I’m supposed to weigh in. Hoping for something good!!

Inspiration and Influence

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In the past six or so weeks that I’ve been blogging my health and exercise updates, I’ve become keenly aware of the people and things I have been influenced by, for better and for worse. In 27 years, I don’t know that I’ve been involved in anything so life-transforming as the past six weeks. Surely, some might doubt that, and that’s okay, but let me break it down in terms of some ‘causality’ that my little journey is experiencing…

I am happier than I’ve been in a long time. I have more energy. I have a more positive outlook on life. I have spent years being skepitcal and nonchalant about exercise.  But let’s face it…the hardest thing I have had to admit is this: I am was lazy. Nobody ever likes to admit that.  Now, that’s not a universal laziness…there were some things that took a rather high priority with me that I ensured never fell by the wayside. Such an example would be my schooling, which, for the most part, I have always taken very seriously. Some time ago, a friend of mine asked, “Why can’t you apply that same drive you have for knowledge to your health?”

Sadly, I never thought about it before, thereby making me realize it had never been that important.

What?!

Seriously, I needed to change. And the time was then, is now, and will be in the future. This is not a fad diet. This is not me slimming down to look good for a 10 year reunion. This is for life.

Having more energy will allow me to work more efficiently and will allow me to accomplish more, and in turn will hopefully make me a better husband and father, a more productive scholar, and hopefully a better friend. Losing weight and exercising…let’s face it..the more of that I do, the longer I have on this earth. I really do believe it to be that easy.

I have had so many inspirations and good influences that it would be nearly impossible at this point to stop and ever go back to my old self. You — readers, friends, family — have all been of tremendous positive influence, and I can’t thank you enough. My initial design was to keep this blog on the down low and not share it with any friends and family. Believe it or not, I was embarrassed…only of myself…because so many people have seen me fail, I didn’t want this blog to chronicle yet another flop. But I’m invested.  I’ve heard from many of you through comments, blog posts, e-mails, etc. on how I’ve inspired you in some way…and it is so very humbling. All I can say, is thank you for believing in me, but more importantly, thanks for believing in yourself and recognizing that you too…anyone…can make these changes. I promise you they will be well worth the challenges, pain, tears, frustration, anger, difficulty…and sheer joy of what you can accomplish.

You will not see me flop. You will see me succeed. I will be challenged, but I will seek creative ways to overcome obstacles. I will move more, eat better, improve, and dammit, I will endure like I never have before.

Thanks to all of you who have inspired me and influenced me for the better. Thank you for not giving up on me, and for continuing to cheer me on.

And even those of you who lost track of me, who aren’t reading this, who made fun of my weight as a kid…thanks for your juvenile remarks and cowardice. They only made ME stronger.

The time is now 3:04 EST. Who’s up for a run?

Food as Fuel: An Inquiry

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Hope everyone had a splendid weekend.

Today started week two of my Couch-to-5k program. It was a good workout…a bit longer and further, but I must admit that I still have some doubts to my ability. When I “ran” on Saturday evening, I did 1.75 miles and my pace was nearly 16:00. However, this morning, I went 2.25 miles and had a pace of 15:09. Am I getting delusional or am I just slowly improving? Anyway, I also realized that I probably should invest in a decent heart rate monitor and watch to help me with timing and to optimize these workouts. Any suggestions for a good buy?

So, lately I’ve been reading snippet’s of Galloway’s Book on Running. I have found it to be helpful for the most part, though there’s some antiquated stuff in there that should probably be updated (I don’t know…I’m reading the 2nd edition – is there a newer one?) Thanks to Andrew and all the nifty online tools he uses, I doubt I’ll ever necessitate a handwritten runner’s log. All that aside, I was surprised to read that Jeff Galloway does not do the somewhat ritualistic “loading up of the carbs” the night before a race. In fact, he said that it might be best to eat nothing. Is he serious?

I know he’s Mr. All-American Runner, and obviously I value his advice (else why pay $14.95 for the book), but I can’t, for the life of me, fathom not having some sort of fuel to burn off. The race I did with my family in April, we definitely ‘carbed’ it up the night before. Whether or not it made or broke the race for me, I don’t know, but I do want to know what others think

  1. What should one be eating before a race?
  2. What should one be eating before a regular workout?
  3. When and how much should be eaten?

The past two weeks I’ve eaten a little energy ‘cube’ with who knows what mixed with pistachios from a local store and a couple of pieces of dried fruit to give me a little boost before I start. It seems to be somewhat effective, despite the taste of the cube.

Bear in mind, I am a large man…I am almost 6’3″ and am pushing 365…maybe I’m nuts, but it just seems slightly asinine for someone of my stature to ever run on an empty stomach.

Can anyone give me their take on it?