Wow!

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OK, so when I post my September stats tomorrow or the day after, you note that overall this month just sucked. There’s really no more eloquent term to use (although since readership is growing, I should probably try).

However, October is my re-commitment month. It’s a busy one, still, but I think it’s time to bite the bullet and do it. You’ll note from an earlier post that I still haven’t gained anything back, which is fine, but I need to keep losing if I want to reach my goal.

The rest of this semester is going to be a killer. Trips to Phoenix and Philadelphia (and one to Orlando just completed), plus deadlines for conferences, journal articles, and research advisors are on the horizon. But, I still have to reassess my goals and get in gear.

Tonight I went out for a run (3.15 mi.) and ran it in 43:38…my best to date.  I was scared at first because I haven’t run for two weeks (I know, I know), but was encouraged to keep going when I found it was my best recorded time for that distance.  But it’s getting cooler, and I’m used to my schedule now, so things should only get better (at least I hope).

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In a funk

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Help.

So, I knew that having a child and starting a killer semester would more than likely negatively impact my training and exercise, but throwing me into a slight paranoia wasn’t quite expected.

Friday was a busy and chaotic day.  Our little guy was beyond fussy and it was apparent that my wife needed my help, so I gave up the run to help her out. Saturday, I woke up with incredible pain in my ankles. I wanted to run, but I knew the pain was probably a bad sign. Sunday is always my day off, so no running anyway.  Yesterday chaos resumed…the boy was needing his parents, I had my econometrics class, a meeting with my advisor and a slew of work to be finished. I at least managed to get about 40 minutes on the stationary bike in. Then today wasn’t much different…no run.

I NEED TO RUN! What is my deal?  My first 5k is coming up on Saturday morning, and I’ve yet to run this week. I suppose it doesn’t hurt to give my body a bit of a rest if I’m going to go full force on Saturday, but I feel like I’m slipping a bit. Am I afraid?  What’s with me?

Milestone: 20 minutes

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I did it.

Classes have started and I already feel a bit swamped despite having a good start to the week. Life with the bambino is an adjustment, but one I’m happy to make. With all this stress Piled high and Deep, I’m amazed I had the time to run at all yesterday. Here’s what I did:

  • I ran twenty minutes straight without any walking breaks (when I first started, I could make it make it maybe 90 seconds before needing a walk break)
  • I ran my fastest 3.1 miles ever at 44:33 (when I first tried this distance, it was almost 53 minutes–lots of walking!)
  • I ran my fastest pace of 14:20 (I believe my first calculated pace was something like 16:05)

Needless to say, I am very happy. I had my doubts, but they are no longer present.

On to victory…

I feel good, I feel great, I feel wonderful…

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Some days are just What About Bob? days.  What can I say? Today was one such day.

However, repeating the phrase above didn’t help me as much as my run, which, for the most part was fabulous. Today was my last day of intervals for Couch to 5k. I can’t believe it.  It called for a 10/3/10 run/walk sequence. I did the first ten minutes with ease and I felt great! I’ll admit, I walked a little longer than the three minutes, but not much. The second 10 minutes was a bit broken.  I ran about 5 before I needed a walking break…just about a minute, and then ran three more. So, in total, 18 minutes of running…I really should have tried to get those other two in…I probably could have done it. However, I had a pace of 14:44 (second best) for one of my longer distances. I’m still quite happy about it.

However, I am a bit nervous about my remaining three weeks. I’m supposed to run 25, then 28, and finally 30 minutes without any walking breaks. Not gonna lie. I’m bit scared.  But I know I can do it. I know I can do it. I know I will do it. It may not be perfect, but it will get done.

Here’s to a great week!

July stats

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So, I was on vacation a large part of July and was scared that my weight loss might be less than stellar. Needless to say, I’m perfectly complacent with the 4.4 lbs. I lost. That’s about a pound a week, and right on par with the least I hoped to achieve. I’m really looking forward to the 349 milestone on the scale though…that will be the lowest I’ve been in a while, and will put my overall weight loss goal at a double-digit…sure, it’ll be 99 lbs., but still…a double-digit. 😉

So, for the month of July…

MILES RUN:                       29.7

TIME SPENT RUNNING:      7:38:02

DAYS I RAN:                      13

SHORTEST DIST.:              1.5mi (2.4k)

LONGEST DIST.:                3.35mi (5.4k)

CALORIES BURNED*:         22,216

WEIGHT LOST:                   4.4lbs.

On to the crazy month of August!

*=includes cross training workouts

Ain’t nobody rainin’ on this parade…

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Friends, it’s been a few days.  It’s the end of my summer term and I’ve been scrambling to finish some assignments. But never fear…I am here…with a LOT of stuff to write, so bear with me.  Let’s see if I can succeed at not making this entry too obnoxiously long…

  1. Goal Reassessment. Most of you have probably noticed that I was supposed to have completed the 100 push up challenge by now. I have not. I have decided that I need to reformat how I am going to accomplish this, rather than kill myself trying to do it.  I am a big guy, but my upper body strength is not sufficient to heft my 352 pound body off the ground that many times yet (hence the entire reason I’m doing the challenge). So, I’m going to start on my knees and work my way up to 100, and then try the legit push ups.  My new date is September 30.
  2. Couch-to-5k update. I am euphoric, people. I am on week 7 of running (week 5 of the program). Monday called for a 5/3/5/3/5 run/walk interval sequence, and I’m happy to say I ran every 5 minute interval. I kid you not, in the very same spot where I passed the snide firefighters, I saw a group of kids running with a couple of older guys…I assumed they were a youth track club, or something of the sort. As I passed them, the two older guys’ faces lit up as they waved when we passed each other. Then the kids started cheering!  I couldn’t believe it…they just kept clapping and yelling for me to keep up the good work. Their coaches and parents should be proud…that was sportsmanship. I loved it. And to top it off, today’s run was an 8/5/8 run/walk…and I did it!
  3. Last, but definitely not least, MY COACH. I am blessed with a great “team” of supporters. My family, friends, and definitely you all who read and support me definitely inspire me to keep going. I have, however, a good friend of mine who is one amazing, inspiring athlete who has been with me on my journey, who, for all purposes intended, is my coach. Aaron Shamy is nothing short of amazing. He is an X-Games gold medalist in speed climbing (rock climbing), a former Cirque du Soleil performer, has completed at least one ultramarathon that I know of, and runs “regular” marathons on the side…just for fun. He is energetic, inspiring, and he’s helping me a great deal. Aaron is also working on furthering his education, and if there’s anything I can do to help him with that, it’s this: He has entered a scholarship contest that is based on votes through YouTube, so please, help me help a great buddy of mine and watch his quick four-minute video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aTohVkO2dew or http://www.wgu.edu/landing/video_repeat.asp. You be able to catch a glimpse into his unique life, and help him and his family for the better by helping him with one of his biggest goals. I’ll definitely be writing more on Aaron later, but let the video be your first introduction to my amazing friend.

Well, that’s it for now…see you on the flipside!

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?

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