Friday, August 30, 2013


As in preteen-girl kind of squee.

Exciting things from today:

1.)  I dropped into the 240s today.  30 lbs lost now.  Short term goal is 240 lbs even for my CRNA school interview on Sept 19.  Long term goal?  Who knows?!  Who cares!  I'm enjoying watching the numbers on the scale go down, but I don't have a goal weight in mind.  I want to be as efficient as possible when I run, so whatever weight that turns out to be, well, I'll take it! Judging from the inches I can still pinch, my guess is that will be quite a few pounds yet.  Bring it on.

2.) I officially signed up for a 5k on Sept 14th.  Waaaaaay before I thought I'd be ready.  Previously (in 2010) I started running so that I could join family and friends in running the local Turkey Trot.  It took me months and months, and when it came time for the race I ended up walking part of it.  It went that well.  This time I think I'm ready.  I've already run the course twice by myself, so I know I can finish it without walking.  This is a very official feeling step though...

3.) A pair of my new shoes got here!  The Brooks PureCadence 2's showed up today!  Excited!!

So there.  There's your "squee" update.  And pictures:

Box lid.
Inside the lid.
Pure corporate drivel, but pretty cool drivel.
Inside the box.
If you had any misconceptions about how ridiculous a size 14 shoe looks...

Morning Postmeal

Morning post...morning oatmeal...morning postmeal--see what I did there?

This is a ridiculous post for sure, but I just have to share my morning "aha" moment.

I eat this Quaker Fruit & Cream oatmeal nearly every morning.  I know there's probably much better breakfast options, even much better oatmeal options, but these are 130 calories a packet and super portable for when I'm at work.  In fact I have a box sitting in my work locker, and I make it with hot water from the coffee machines.  (Sometimes I even get to eat it before lunch time...)

But that's not the point.

The package comes with strawberries & cream, blueberries & cream, bananas & cream, and peaches & cream.  Of the 4 flavors, my least favorite is the peaches & cream.  Not that I have anything against peaches, but of all of them in the box, peaches are the least sexy, most ordinary flavor.

I like to play a little game with myself in the morning, and reach into the box blindly, to see what flavor I get.  It's fun to me, because like the mystical iPod Shuffle always picking a pertinent song, it seems that I end up with a flavor that suits my day.  You know, like a gastronomical horoscope.  A breakfast fortune cookie.

I equate bananas & cream to having a crazy day--as is apt to happen on an ICU from time to time.  I associate strawberries & cream with the strawberry patches from when I was child, so these days tend to be nostalgic.  Blueberries & cream tend to point to an all around excellent day.  Peaches & cream, well, just an ordinary day. 

See what I mean?  Being told you're going to have a peaches & cream day is a little bit of a disappointment.

And it seems like I pull peaches & cream so much more often than the other flavors.  Disproportionately so.

As I thought about this, I ruminated on what implications that concept bears on my life, my goals, my aspirations.  Why did I feel like, more often than not, I was living a peaches & cream life?  I pondered the thought of how to create more blueberries & cream days; how to enjoy the strawberries & cream days, and just roll with the bananas & cream days.

And then I noticed something on the box.  Turns out in every box there's 2 bananas & cream packets, 2 strawberries & cream packets, 2 blueberries & cream packets, and 4 peaches & cream packets.

Maybe my life isn't as ordinary as I was lamenting.

And...sometimes I make my own head hurt.

Regardless, eat your oatmeal!
As Wilford Brimley says, "It's the right thing to do."

Thursday, August 29, 2013

New Nutrition Plan

After some reading and drawing information from several sources (thanks Jackie!)  I've settled on a plan that I hope works.  And if it doesn't then I'll try something else.

I'm pretty sure that the treadmill and MFP are overestimating the calories I'm burning while running. And further, I want my workouts to help create that calorie deficit that's going to cause me to lose weight.  I'm pretty sure that replacing my calories burned during a run, calorie for calorie isn't an effective way to lose weight--especially if my workout calories are overestimated!

Currently on non-gym days I'm consuming between 1500 and 1600 calories/day.  This is what's helped me drop the 28lbs you see over there in the sidebar.  Since it's working, I'm going to continue that.  On run days however, I'm going to cap my calorie intake between 1700 and 1800.  This way I'll be getting extra calories to help fuel my runs, but won't be over eating either.

It's interesting the choices I find myself making while I'm restricting calories.  I try to eat nutritionally dense foods, and I keep an eye on the nutrients that MFP tracks.  When I only have a certain number of calories to eat per day, I make choices based on how much of my calorie budget it's going to cost me.  Almost always if a food is too "expensive" and not a good value of calories vs. nutrients, the choice to avoid it is also a nutritionally sound choice.  For example, there's no way I'm going waste 240 of my allotted calories on a soda.  I mean that's nearly a 1/6th of my daily calories! For the same 240 calories I can eat 6 oz. of greek yogurt, a plum (yum!) and a slice of my favorite cheese.

I think the key to long term weight loss and management lies in listening to your body and learning what's truly hunger, what's thirst, and what's boredom.  I thought I was doing a good job at this, but I simply wasn't hungry during the days, and calories started to dwindle more into the 1300-1400 cal/day range.  I stopped losing weight until I forced myself to eat at least 1500 cal/day. 

Overall, I hope this plan continues my weight loss and allows me to push my runs as well.  I can hardly wait to lose more weight, because I know that every pound I shed is one less pound to carry with me on my runs.  And I can hardly wait to run, because it helps me shed those pounds!

That's the new plan.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Yay for Pay Day

Pretty excited because I bought not one, but two new pairs of running shoes tonight.  I really try to support my local shops pretty much on anything I purchase, but my local running shop (LRS) has a really poor selection in my size--size 14.  When I walk in and let them know I need a stability shoe in a size 14, they bring out their single option, in the single color they carry.  Which is better, I have to say, than any other local stores--franchise, chain, or otherwise--who don't even stock 14s.  They're happy to direct me to their websites though.

So web shopping I went indeed.

My go to running shoe has been the Brooks Adrenaline, and this year's GTS 13 seems to carry on the Adrenaline name quite well if the reviews I've read are true.  So of course I ordered up a pair--in lovely gray and yellow.  I had no idea that Brooks had so many cool colors--I've always been stuck with the standard blue and white or red and white because that's all my LRS stocked.

I've been reading that rotating shoes is a good thing, and not only just different pairs, but different types and styles.  From what I understand this can help prevent over-use injuries by varying food/joint position.  This totally makes sense to me from a physiologic point of view, so I bought into the strategy.  I've read a few articles about the Brooks PureCadence 2.  It's an interesting shoe because it has minimalist aspirations, but it's also a stability shoe.  Since the high school student/shoe guru at my LRS gravely diagnosed me as a pronator, a stability shoe is in order.

I'm excited about my new shoes, I can't wait to get them!

And PS, Dick's Sporting Goods has just average pricing, but also has free shipping on footwear, and free returns.

Monday, August 26, 2013

It Was a Dark & Stormy Night...

The blizzard winds kicked up the 3-4 feet of snow when I set out on the course that was uphill both ways.  Did I mention I was barefoot?

Ok, ok.  Maybe that's a bit of an exaggeration.

Regardless of the hyperbole, today was my first run outside in nearly 3 years.  The last time I ran outside (Turkey Trot 2010)  I don't really recall it being a particularly pleasant experience.

I got up at 5am to make sure I had plenty of time to run and make it back home in time for 1st day of school festivities.  I went to try out the certified 5k course that the hospital put together for the upcoming race.

Initially when I started running, I had a bad feeling about how things were going to go.  I felt all gangly and out of sync, and the ground felt really hard.  I was having to keep an eagle eye on Runkeeper because I kept surging up to a pace that there's no way I was going to be able to sustain.  About 5 minutes in though, I settled in--I started feeling relaxed and no longer had to constantly check my phone for pace info.

I'll admit that a 12 min pace feels a lot slower in person than it does on the treadmill.  I foresee running outside seriously propelling me forward in pace and distance.

Well, somehow I managed to make a wrong turn on a closed loop course and only ended up running 2.77 miles(??) at an 11:38 pace (with each mile split getting faster), but no matter.  I felt really good.  And next week, or maybe even later this week I'll head back out there and run the full course.

I was surprised how quickly my run went.  Compared to the treadmill this run seemed to fly by.  And it was nice being able to see landmarks, and my progress towards them.

I'm going to refrain from running outside for the next couple of days to make sure that my feet and legs are going to transition without pain.  And I may hit the treadmill this afternoon to finish off a few treadmill miles.

Overall it was very nice experience.

Even if the blowing snow made it hard to see my bare feet as I ran uphill both ways...

Friday, August 23, 2013

Each in front of the other...

Today when I started my workout, I felt terrible.  My knees hurt, I couldn't get into a smooth rhythm, even my belly bouncing hurt--something that I haven't even noticed before (yes I still have a belly, unfortunately, even after 28 lbs gone).  I thought back to my moment of clarity a few weeks ago, and forced myself onward with the promise to myself that if I truly didn't feel good, I would stop before I hurt myself.  About 5 minutes in, I felt right as rain.

So I kept going.

As each mile ticked by I picked up the pace.  The loose workout I had in mind was a moderately paced 5k, but as I planned each increase in speed, I wondered if I might just push past that goal.  It was an effective strategy, because I ran 4 miles today.  Yet another half mile past my previous best last week.  The workout broke down like this:
Mile 1:  12:00 pace (5.0 mph)
Mile 2:  11:06 pace (5.4 mph)
Mile 3:  10:43 pace (5.6 mph)
Mile 4:  10:00 pace (6.0 mph)
Total time:  43:43
Avg pace:  10:56 pace
I think.

I figured that out based on what speeds I set the treadmill for...and then did the math.  Let me know if it looks wrong.

It was tough.  Not going to lie, especially pushing myself at 10 min pace for the last mile.  But my wife finished up her workout and came to check on me at just the right time, about 4 minutes left, so that was a boost for me at just the right time.

Anyway, forced day off tomorrow because of work.  Then a late evening run on Sunday after work.  Tough work schedule this week getting in the way of my workouts.  Work 2, off 1, work 2, off 1, work 2.  But then a few days off.

My work is putting on a 5k and a half marathon on Saturday, September 14th.  I'm contemplating running the 5k...

Without Fear, right?

Tuesday, August 20, 2013


It seems that running can be a very solitary and lonely activity.

Sometimes that's a good thing.

Sometimes it gets a little, well...lonely.

Sometimes writing about running gets lonely too.

As I was finishing nursing school and beginning my nursing career I blogged about my progress. And apparently a male's voice was just what the nurse bloggers world needed. Maybe it was because I didn't dignify the murse stereotypes. Maybe some of my experiences were actually as significant as they felt. Maybe my writing style appealed to that particular audience. Regardless of the reason, all I did was comment on a few other nursing blogs and the silly thing exploded. When I finally took the blog offline under pressure from hospital administration, it was getting about 10k views a month--all without advertising. I was getting requests from industry magazines for articles, and asked if I'd review items.  Now that isn't huge as far as website traffic goes, but it was a cozy little corner of the internet.

I'm finding the running blogger community a little more difficult to break into. I don't necessarily want this blog to blow up--it took a lot of time and energy to keep up with. And really, it's not the reason I started writing this blog. It was mostly to document my journey, for myself. But I'd be lying if I said that I didn't hope to make a few friends, become part of a community, maybe write something that a few people enjoyed reading.

Lest I sound ungrateful, there are a few people reading, and commenting. And I appreciate it so much. Thank you! The encouragement and support has been invaluable as I try to push forward in this unfamiliar territory.

You see, the most structured I'd ever gotten with running was following a basic Couch to 5k program that didn't even work that well for me. So all of this is very new to me, and I'm a little afraid I'm going to do something stupid and hurt myself or get in my own way. I was hoping to assimilate into the running blogging community and learn the (or "a") right way to do things.

But so far I've asked one seemingly knowledgeable and popular run blogger, who specializes in supplements and similar products, for advice regarding a protein supplement. I was ignored.


My current nutrition dilemma regarding my calories, I've tried asking a pair of popular podcasters, a sports dietician, and a sports medicine medical doctor who all blog or have groups on Facebook.

No response.

I wasn't asking for a full blown nutritional consult. I was just looking for someone with more experience and success than me to reassure me that I wasn't going to blow my weight loss by eating enough calories to run. Is it an inappropriate question? Am I crossing some unknown boundary?

It's not the end of the world. And I'm definitely not quitting running over it, or giving up on losing weight. Because ultimately those are things I'm doing for myself, and those I love.  And I'll likely not stop blogging either.

I guess it makes me kind of sad. Sad to be fumbling around like a dunce trying to figure this out on my own when there seemed to be a thriving blog community out there. I guess I would never dream of ignoring somebody that asked me for help--even if I couldn't help them.

But maybe that's the nurse in me.

What motivates you to blog? Who do you look to to help you figure new things out?

Monday, August 19, 2013

Measurable Returns

“When health is absent, wisdom cannot reveal itself, art cannot manifest, strength cannot fight, wealth becomes useless, and intelligence cannot be applied.” ― Herophilus 
I went in to my primary care physician's office for a check up a few days ago.  I knew that my weight loss could only be a good thing, but I didn't expect to see changes in other measurable ways as well.

For example the last time I was in, my blood pressure was 132/84--which isn't a horrible number, but not exactly great either.  This time it was 114/70--a number I'm actually a bit proud of considering the stress of my job, parenting, and upcoming life changes.

Last time (although I don't remember specific break down numbers) my total cholesterol was in the 190ish range.  Again, not scary, but not fabulous either.  This time my total cholesterol was 139, the Mayo Clinic says that less than 200 is desirable.  My HDL is 49 which is in the "better" category (>60 is desirable).  My LDL is 79, <100 is ideal for someone at risk for heart disease, <70 is ideal for someone at high risk for heart disease.  My triglycerides were 57, <150 is desirable.

It's nice to see numerical data to back up what I feel.  Because overall I feel much healthier than I did just 5 weeks ago when I started counting/restricting calories and running again.

So if you're just getting started, or looking for a reason to get started, the above data shows that even 35 days of healthy eating and exercise can seriously and measurably impact your health.

There is still room for improvement.  I'd like to lose at least another 30 lbs, and possibly more.  I'd like to see my HDL >60.  I'd like to see my LDL <70 because being adopted I know very little about my familial risk factors.  There is a chance that I'm at a high genetic risk for heart disease.

Regardless, the sum of those improving numbers I hope equals added years of healthy living with my wife and kids.  It also helps ensure that I don't become one of the statistics at work with an MI and bypass surgery in my 40s.  Because take it from me--I see it every day at work--heart surgery sucks. 

What health benefits have you realized from running and getting fit?

Sunday, August 18, 2013


“Go back?" he thought. "No good at all! Go sideways? Impossible! Go forward? Only thing to do! On we go!" So up he got, and trotted along with his little sword held in front of him and one hand feeling the wall, and his heart all of a patter and a pitter.” ― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

Yesterday was supposed to be a rest day, but I ended up going to the gym and spending some time on the elliptical machine next to my wife to give her some moral support.  (Her lower back has been making it difficult for her to exercise the way she wants.  I ended up spending about 30 minutes there, and at a higher pace than I intended, so much for recovery.

Today I scheduled myself for a long(er) run, and I was feeling ambitious.  I set the treadmill for 3.5 miles, but I was feeling so good that about 20 minutes in I changed the time to an hour, for 5 miles.  I firmly believed that I'd finish all 5 miles--right up to the 3 mile mark.  For the first time I think I kind of hit a wall.  I was feeling good, and then, I wasn't.  Sheepishly I turned the time back to the 3.5 mile mark and held on to the end.

Usually post run, I'm able to recover fairly quickly.  By the time I get my treadmill wiped clean I'm back to normal breathing (although still sweating like crazy!) and my heart rate has dropped into the low 100s.  This time though, I had to be careful walking down the stairs to the main floor of the gym--legs were just a tad bit rubbery still. And I was just wiped out, sitting down in a chair in a daze.

At first I was disappointed in myself, but then I realized that a) a month ago I was running a mere 15 minutes at a time, b) a week ago my long run was 2.5 miles.

I just want so much more, and I want it now!

But I need to just pick up my little sword and let my heart pitter patter a bit.  And maybe, just maybe, enjoy the ride run.
“It was being a runner that mattered, not how fast or how far I could run. The joy was in the act of running and in the journey, not in the destination. We have a better chance of seeing where we are when we stop trying to get somewhere else. We can enjoy every moment of movement, as long as where we are is as good as where we'd like to be. That's not to say that you need to be satisfied forever with where you are today. But you need to honor what you've accomplished, rather than thinking of what's left to be done.” ― John Bingham, No Need for Speed:  A Beginner's Guide to the Joy of Running.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Calorie Intake Question

I've been a little confused lately with my diet--specifically calories. Maybe some of you nutritionally-minded people out there can give me an answer, if you'd be so gracious as to help.

As mentioned before, I'm trying to lose weight. So far the pounds have melted off relatively easy. Serious calorie tracking and a little bit of exercise has been just the thing apparently.

However, as I extend my runs and increase my pace, each workout is expending more and more calories. A little exercise is turning into a little more exercise.

And that's where the confusion is coming in.

When I input my exercise into MyFitnessPal, it gives me a "net calories" number, subtracting my workout calories expended from my calorie intake.  Before, when it was a just a few hundred calories, I kind of just split the difference.  But these days my workouts are burning 600+ calories (and rising).  When added into the equation, if I meet my net calorie goal, then I'm eating a much larger number of calories than my raw goal.

For example--MFP wants me to eat 1840 cal/day.  But when I add in my workouts I have to eat 2440 cal/day to reach my net goal, (2440-600=1840).  That's a great deal of calories comparatively!

And it leaves me with a conundrum.  I don't want to eat so many calories I stop losing weight.  But I really don't want to eat so few calories that I stop losing weight.


Friday, August 16, 2013

GingerRunner's Squamish 50 Video

This video is too epic not to share.

Ethan (THE GingerRunner) put together this video documenting his Squamish 50 miler race.  I highly doubt this guy even realizes I exist, much less know how much inspiration he brings me.

Who's your source of inspiration?


One of my very favorite pieces of gear is my headphones.  They're Yamaha brand, and I think I paid about $30 for them at Fry's on closeout sale, so they're not cheapos by any stretch.  I love the sound quality, and they fit my gaping ear holes perfectly, staying put right where I stick them.  They seal great; not letting sweat in and cutting off nearly all background noise--perfect for the treadmill, (but I'm going to have to figure something out when I start running outside).  The cord is long enough to reach my ears from the book ledge on the treadmill, but not so long they get tangled in my legs.  They're pretty much perfect.

Pretty much.

The only downside?  I have never owned a pair of headphones that can tie themselves in knots like these!  Every time I'm done using them, I coil them neatly (I've even tried folding them!) and the next time I go to use them, they are all knotted up.  And I'm not just talking about simple square knots either.  These babies will put your Eagle Scout to shame with some of the complex knots I've discovered.

My wife laughs at me while I struggle to detangle them at the beginning of every run.  She thinks it's something that I'm doing, because her headphones for her iPod coil into a tight circle that she then clips into the iPod itself. And they stay that way until she gets them out to use again.

But I swear it's not me.

As an experiment one time I held them untangled, hanging free and watched in astonishment as they coiled back on themselves right before my very eyes.

But no matter.

I truly like my imperfect, difficult, pain-in-the-ass headphones.

They kind of remind me, well, of me.

What's your favorite piece of gear?

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Another "mile"stone.

I had to work the last three days, so I've been away from the gym.

I'm an ICU nurse, and that means working 12 hour shifts.  I know that everyone struggles with the same issue of trying to fit their runs into their busy lives; it's probably one the top "excuses" out there.  But for me, running after work means making a conscious choice to not see my children that day.  I leave before they get up, and if I run, they are in bed by the time I get home--especially as we taper summer bedtimes down in preparation for school coming up.

For my first 2 work days this week, I chose to come home.  On my 3rd day though, I chose the gym since I'll be spending the rest of the week with the kids.

But I will tell you, throughout all three days I found myself looking forward to my run.  In fact, I lusted after it.  I noticed I was crabby on the first two days of work, and looking back I wonder if it was because I wasn't going to the gym?  Could 5 weeks of running leave me that addicted?

Either way, by the end of my (very busy) shift yesterday, I was fit to be tied to get off the unit, and to the gym.  I was a little worried that I might have built things up too much, and sent my wife a text:  "I sure hope this run goes well since I've been looking forward to it for 3 days!"

Once I got on the treadmill (towel safely tucked into the cup-holder this time) and started running, I felt the tiredness in my legs and feet melting away into warm fuzziness.

It felt so good.

And I couldn't help but smile.

I was only jogging along at my base 5 mph, and I could tell--I kept bumping against the treadmill rail.  I made the decision to stay at that pace because I wanted this to be a longer run, and I didn't want to burn myself out too quickly.

Anyway, I ended up running a full 5K, which is a good half mile further than I've run continuously to date.

I know that on the spectrum of runners and runs floating out here on the blogosphere, it's an insignificant distance and pace.  And I feel a little silly trumpeting it as an accomplishment here on my blog.  But it was another small victory for me, and I plan to use this "mile"stone as a "stepping" stone to greater times and distances.

Do you remember your first 5K experience?

Sunday, August 11, 2013

That One Song

Do you have a particular song that just lifts you up and carries you while you're running?

For me, it's this Tiesto remix of an Imogene Heap song.  When I run, I use Pandora.  I pick an electronica station, and just use the pounding beats to drive me forward.  I love that Pandora picks random songs for me keeping things completely fresh.  So when this song comes on, it's totally random and by chance.

When it starts playing it never fails to pick me up.  Doesn't matter where I am in a run, this song just grants me another gear.  I usually end up with goosebumps, and often tears streaming down my face.

With this song playing, I am invincible.

Do you have a song like this?

If you're one of the two people reading this, leave me a comment and let me know what song makes you fly.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Mental Toughness

As in, I don't have any.

I was just settling into my run today, 10 minutes in and contemplating turning up the pace.

Then, disaster.

My towel fell off the treadmill and got sucked up into the belt, wedging itself against the frame.

That shrieking, tortured howling sound you heard at the gym today?

That was me, riding a quickly dying treadmill.

I hopped off and tried to see if it would just tug free, but alas the towel had declared its unending love for the treadmill and refused to be coaxed out.

I went and notified the front desk, and then showed the employee of the year which treadmill.

"Welp, there's your problem...there's a towel stuck in the belt."


By this time I selected another treadmill and tried to resurrect my workout. But when I restarted, I felt awful. I made it another 10 minutes and then bailed.

Maybe it's a step forward--in the past I wouldn't have even gotten back on.

Still, I don't feel good about it.

I'm pretty sure it was all in my mind, something I need to get a handle on if ever I'm to become a true runner.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

In Failure...Victory

Yeesh, if that doesn't sound counter-intuitive, then I don't know what does.

All I know is that I have two small victories to celebrate and claim for my own today.

Failure/Victory #1:  A couple of days ago I sent Dorothy Beal over at Mile Posts an email after reading her Meet Mile Posts page and seeing the massive, massive growth she's experienced as a runner in both pace and distance.  I was curious to understand (she's a running coach too) if anybody can experience growth like that, or if it's a matter of being genetically blessed.

A day or two later she sent me an email letting me know that she'd actually turned my question into a full on blog post.  I was at first surprised, and then very grateful that someone so rooted into the running world would still take the time for beginning runners like me.  You'll have to read her post to gather all the details, but one of the numerous big takeaways for me was the introduction of some speed work.

Well, it turns out I had unwittingly done just that very thing this past Sunday.  As I approached being able to run for 30 minutes straight at 5 mph, I thought I'd test myself at the pace I'd previously been able to sustain myself for 30 minutes--6 mph.  My plan was to run a mile at 6 mph, interspersed with walking enough to recover, and then repeat that as many times as I could.

Well, it was a miserable failure--it went horribly.

I wasn't able to run an entire mile at 6 mph.

And in fact, I was only able to run at 6 mph for 1/2 mile at a time, and then that required 4-5 minutes of walking to recover.  I was able to repeat the 1/2 mile runs only 3 times--ending my workout right about at the 30 minute mark.  So same time, less mileage because of more walking.

I had 3 days rest before I ran again because of work (I work 12 hours, and on my feet most of that) and then we entertained out of town company for a day.

Today I awoke with a food hangover after blowing my calories at a steakhouse with company last night.  It took a bit to get myself motivated to get to the gym, but after I got myself in the right frame of mind I could hardly wait to get going.

I started off at my usual 5 mph pace, and it felt...slow.  I kept bumping into the front of the treadmill.  I shrugged it off and settled in for a 30 minute plod run.  I started Pandora and blanked my mind.

The first realization I had that this might be a different kind of day was when I first looked down and half of my planned workout was already gone.  I was sweating for sure.  But I always sweat.  My breathing was well controlled, my legs felt good, and I didn't feel...tired.

I chugged on for another 5 minutes and realized it still felt too slow.  So I turned up the pace to 5.5 mph.  And 7 minutes later I was working harder, but I still felt good.  So I turned it up to 6 mph, and finished out my run, hitting my 2.5 mile planned distance a good 1 1/2 minutes early.  So I ran until time ended.  And then I walked a minute of my cool down, and then turned the treadmill back up to 4.5 mph and loped out the rest of my cool down, recovering nicely, while I ran.

Now, I don't know for sure that one session of "speed work" would make a such a huge difference.  Maybe it was 3 days rest.

All I know is something changed, and even if it was just the encouragement of a strong voice over the internet...I'll take it.


Victory #2:  The needle that broke the haystack in getting me started back on the nutritional straight & narrow happened to be advice from a friend.  I have a pretty important interview coming up on Sept. 19.  The outcome could truly change my and my family's world.  In a strategy session with a friend he mentioned the only thing he would suggest for me to work on would be to drop a little weight if possible.

I totally agreed with his assessment, and had been flirting with the idea anyway.

I set a modest goal of dropping from 277.8 lbs to 260 lbs over the course of about 9 weeks.

Today, 4 weeks later, I nailed my goal.  260 lbs.  Then I had to pee and I weighed in again at 259.8.

Hellllloooo 250's!

I think I'll set my new goal at 245 lbs by Sept 19.  I don't know if I'll be able to do it, but it really doesn't matter at this point.

With the way I'm feeling now--so much better--I've already started winning.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Embrace Life

Recently I've started following a local emergency services scanner service on Facebook. The owners of the page essentially post real-time updates about all the ongoing emergencies in my local metro area.  The service is so on top of things that by the time things are "breaking news" on regular news channels, it's often hours old news.

It's also been quite startling to witness the sheer volume of major emergencies that occur locally each day.  And it's eye opening how many people lose their lives just in the cities surrounding where I carry on my daily life.  In fact I no longer have any desire to get back on a motorcycle--I used to ride--because there are 5-6 motorcycle accidents a day during the week.  Double that on the weekends, and it just never goes the biker's way.

All this has really caused me to be a tad philosophical lately, and particularly today on the treadmill.  As such, I'd like to share the following with you, if you haven't yet seen it.  It is one of the most brilliant public service commercials I have ever seen.  It originally aired in Great Britain, but a few years ago it went viral here in the States as well.  It's only a minute and a half long, but it is immensely powerful.

I read so many of your blogs and I see you talk about your beautiful families and vibrant lives.  Please be safe out there in this big bad world.

And give those you hug some love.

Saturday, August 3, 2013


 I had an unexpected day off from work today, so I headed up to our local running shop.  I've never owned purpose made running shorts, and some of my athletic shorts I have been wearing do this really annoying crotch wad thing.  So, I browsed through the sale rack and came up with two pair of running shorts with integrated compression shorts for 40% off--a pair of Nike and a pair of Mizuno.  I hope to give one pair of them a test run later this afternoon.

While I was there I couldn't resist picking up a decal that pretty much sums things up.  Pretty sure it's going to look pretty spiff on my little roller skate I drive these days.

I also did a quick browse through the shoe wall because my current Brooks may be getting a little tired.  Like many people, I'm a pretty big pronator so I have to pay close attention to my shoes.  I'm a little hampered in selection because I wear a size 14.  Usually my local shop only has one or two models that run in 14.  I get that they probably don't sell very quickly, as there's not a lot of people with feet as long as mine.  But, I sure wish they'd have a little better selection.  I like to support my local resources, but unfortunately I may end up shopping online for shoes--which creates problems all in itself.

Next I swung by The Vitamin Shoppe and picked up a protein supplement.  One of the things I really love about MyFitnessPal is the ease of tracking where my calories are coming from.  Over the last month I've noticed that I consistently miss my protein percentage by about 20 grams a day.  I'm focusing on trying to get those grams in whole foods, but there are days it's just not feasible.  Enter protein powder.  A big concern I have is that most protein powders/supplements appear to be formulated for the weightlifter trying to pack on muscle and weight.  Frankly that's the very last thing I want to do, and it's a legitimate fear for me as my frame and musculature would easily support the muscle bound look. My body make up is very dense--I weigh much more than you might expect for my size.  True, I am significantly overweight, but even with all that extra fat, I'm a good 30 lbs heavier than it appears.  Anyway, I'm going to try this, and hope that I don't turn into a mini Arnold while I'm at it.

Edited to add:  Just ran in a pair of my new shorts.  They are amazing, I've never run so fast in my life. 

Ok, that may be an exaggeration.

Actually I didn't think about them one single time while I was running.  Which is a huge win!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Run Report 8/1/13

In keeping with yesterday's push, I ran 25 minutes today.

And for today, that was enough.

It was a good workout. I spent a great deal of that time with my heart rate up, and worked up a decent sweat. I felt good throughout, never out of control or in pain.

I think a corollary to yesterday's "aha" moment is the understanding that there will be days that I push myself, searching for those limits in effort to break down those barriers. And there will be days that I just need a good solid, joyful workout. The last thing I want is an injury.

Today was just a good solid, joyful workout.

I feel good.