Why do I do this...

Why? To be better...

1. I promised (only a few people will know what this means, and if you don't, you will).
2. I am better than this.

Personal Bests

Santa Race November 25, 2012
5k 30:51 min/sec 6:11 pace per km

Boxing Day 10 Miler December 26, 2012
16.09 k 1:42:22 hr/min/sec 6:23 pace per km


Road 2 Hope Half Marathon November 4, 2012
21.1k 2:16:41 hr/min/sec 6:27 pace per km

Road 2 Hope Marathon November 5, 2011
5k 34:18 min/sec 6:52 pace per km



Around the Bay March 25, 2012
5k 32:07 min/sec 6:26 pace per km


Burlington Runners Good Friday 5k April 6, 2012
5k 31:22 min/sec 6:22 pace per km
(Garmin Race Time 5k 31:12 min/sec 6:14 pace per km)



Imperial Glass 4/8K Grey Cup Run November 26th, 2011
4K 26:55 min/sec 6:44 pace per km






Non Race Personal Bests

2.4km 13:19 min/sec 5:31 pace per km
July 17, 2012

5k 28:13 min/sec 5:40 pace per km
Nov 15, 2012

10k 1:02:25 hour/min/sec 6:15 pace Aug/29/2012

Challenge Start: July 18, 2011
Start Weight: 286 lbs
Current Weight: 208 lbs as at November 11, 2012
Total lost: 78 lbs
Goal Weight: 197
Last Cigarette: June, 2011

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Boxing Day 10 Miler

The 92nd Boxing Day 10 Miler

This was my first year at this race and I have to tell you, the way I felt after it, I almost wanted to say it could be my last.

In a bit of a spur of the moment decision I decided that I would run this race on December 1, and race day was Boxing Day, obviously. Training would last for three weeks (until December 21), with a program self designed to increase my physical toughness. It was 21 days straight of workouts with alternating run days. It worked out that I ran 3-4 times a week, 2-3 times per week of weights at home and 1-2 times per week of Crossfit. It was, for me, a pretty intense three weeks which left me a bit broken and sore.

Looking back and thinking more about this race I should have known not to take my body to the edge like this considering it was a 16.09 km course which according to the race website, is described as challenging. Confidently I agree and feel this it is a course for the experienced runner, which I am not.

The Hamilton Road2Hope Half in retrospect was equal in difficulty, if not, easier. Yes, it was longer but the entire course was down hill. The same can't be said for the Boxing Day 10 Miler, rather the last third is basically hills and the largest being a 3/4 climb of the Hamilton escarpment.

Because of the hills I think my training was all wrong for this race. As I sit here typing, my calves are still burning from a mistaken attempt at going for a PB on a hill course at sub zero temperatures, 60 to 80 kph winds, ice and snow covered roads in certain areas and lastly, a muddy trail portion which after that Chedoke Hill felt very similar to ice.

Here is a link to the Race website, if you would like to know more about it. http://www.boxingdayrun.ca/

My largest error was in the amount of hill training I did and my final selection of pace for race day. Before race day I had some great runs which were quite fast for me. However most were on flats and or only half the distance which was not a true indicator of the pace I could hold for the entire 16kms.

In those three training weeks before the race I did muster two long runs (13.6km and 14.5km), but in retrospect one was a run above my abilities (a one off), and the other was more in my range (a bit slower). The other costly mistake in regards to my training runs was not taking an actual average of all my training runs, rather, I did a guesstimate.

I believe now that guesstimate was even less of a guesstimate, it was actually an emotional expectation of what I think I should be doing in regards to pace and speed. Do not get me wrong, I think its good to push yourself but as I learned from the half, the numbers are the numbers, and you cant expect to go out and run something you never have before. One again this is a generalization, and yes the race atmosphere can bring more out of you but not an unrealistic amount more.

Here are all my training runs for the month of December (you be the judge)...left to right..DATE, TIME, DISTANCE, ELEVATION GAIN (in meters), and AVERAGE PACE.
                                               

Sat, Dec 1, 2012 3:51 PM

29:40

5.00

30

5:56

 
Sun, Dec 2, 2012 1:43 PM

56:19

8.62

19

6:31
 
Wed, Dec 5, 2012 11:25 AM

29:27

5.00

25

5:53
 
Sat, Dec 8, 2012 8:02 AM

1:35:29

13.60

83

7:01
 
Mon, Dec 10, 2012 12:50 PM

28:35

5.00

26

5:43
 
Thu, Dec 13, 2012 11:09 AM

42:12

6.70

28

6:18

Fri, Dec 14, 2012 1:42 PM

28:08

5.00

27

5:38
 
Sat, Dec 15, 2012 9:07 AM

46:39

7.74

43

6:02
 
Mon, Dec 17, 2012 12:41 PM

30:00

5.00

35

6:00
 
Thu, Dec 20, 2012 8:57 AM

1:28:17

14.50

98

6:05


So when I looked at this I just made an assumption on the pace. What I should have done is thrown out all the 5k times and thrown out the Dec 20th run as that was the one off. I was running beyond my abilities that day.

So my emotional guesstimate for race day was 6:00 min per km pace. Based on the above numbers it would have worked out to be 6:06 pace per km and that would have been closer than what I picked but still not a true reflection of my actual abilities. I picked 6:00 min per km for race day on race day! (smart)

The difference between 6:00 and 6:06 pace per km is not a lot of time but it is for me and especially over 16km. The other failure in my guesstimate was only 3 of those 10 runs included serious hills. Over 50 percent of my training runs were not realistic examples of what I could do at the 16km distance and definately did not take into account for the aggressive hill terrain. Oh and all the hills are in the last third of the race.

My final pace for the Road2Hope Half Marathon  was 6:27 per km which I was very pleased with. My final time for the Boxing Day 10 Miler was 1:42:22 which is a pace of 6:23 per km. Now this is a small difference but it still is an overall improvement of pace on what I feel was a very challenging route compared to the half marathon even though it was shorter.

Having gone out with the mindset of a 6:00 min per km pace made me diminish my improvement of pace (I think i could have run 6:15-6:20) as you can tell most of my fast training runs were with little elevation and did not surpass 10k. Because I did not analyse this pre-race and went out with the mindset of 6:00 min per km; at the 11km mark, my legs filled with lactic acid right before the Chedoke Hill and I did not get my legs back until the 15th km.

I am quite positive if I had held back just a little bit in the front 10 I could have definitely performed much better but as I said, I learned a lot and will hopefully account for these underestimations the next time out.

KMS 11 through 14 were very disheartening kms as I passed a great deal of people (km 5-10) and then...yep you guessed it....the worst happened, a few even talked about it, "see its back and forth, we are passing those that passed us, just keep our pace."

You have no idea how angry that made me, and to make it even worse (typically my anger gives me another gear), I could not respond due to physical inability. A lesson I wished not to learn!

If you want to see the course route, please go to this link provided by Garmin connrct (tm). http://connect.garmin.com/activity/254923634

Here are my splits from race day.

KM1. 6:19 KM2. 6:03 KM3. 6:00 KM4. 6:02 KM5. 6:14 KM6. 5:55 KM7. 5:50 KM8. 5:57 KM9. 6:40 KM10. 6:05 KM11. 6:13 KM12. 7:19 KM13. 7:18 KM14. 6:21 KM15. 7:05 KM16. 6:11 KM17. 5:41

Best Running and Fitness wishes for 2013!!!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Part III Race Day

Hamilton Marathon Race day Recap

So as I reflect back on this morning, I truly believe I would not have done one thing different up to and including race day. I believe my preparation and preparedness was the best it could be for a beginner who is over two hundred pounds and up until 2011 could probably say he hate running!  On top of that, I have to admit that when I was in any kind of physical condition,  running was more like punishment than any type of enjoyment. 

Race start was scheduled for 8:45, so to be well prepared I got there with a ride from Enz @ Downward Trenz. We were nice and early, the way I like to be and even though we were early, parking was not easy. Because of the hassle of parking, next time I will use the shuttle service that is provided.

We proceeded into Dofasco Park and were instructed once inside that all the half marathoners should go to the gymnasium which I did. Once in there, I took my layers off and gave all my unnecessary items to Enz and she took them and agreed to go outside to see the start of the full and lookout for another friend.

This left me to myself which I must admit I quite enjoy.  Its an opportunity to go over everything I had planned and do a light warm up of light jogging, high knees, toy soldiers and some easy stretching. That time was an all around great relaxing moment to take it all in, stay warm, and enjoy the time before the race started.

Our race was to begin at 8:45. I headed to the door about 10 minutes beforehand but noticed no one was really going out. I decided staying warm was more important than being outside and I am glad I did this as the race started a little late. Only once more people started to exit did I leave (thought it was a bit funny that organizers were not announcing anything) but I thought to my self that as long as I follow the crowd it will be all okay. I was there to finish not jostle for position and regardless the start line is there even if you are the last one to cross it.

Once outside I casually got in line for the race start. If I had to guesstimate, I was probably 200m back from the start line. This was closer than I expected and as I got in line I am sure it doubled behind me.

During those 5-10 minutes outside waiting, I just stayed focused on my plan of going out controlled. No out of breath running is what I promised myself and I reminded myself that people passing me is okay because if it was their first half also, it was also highly likely we would meet up again later on after they spent too much energy at the start. I drilled this into my mind, that there is no benefit to go out fast and then not be able to be give my best effort in the end.

Once the race started, that is exactly what I did, just ran a comfortable pace and there were many people passing me but I just ignored it. That is a difficult thing to do especially when you know you can go faster but I knew it was necessary and convinced myself that this may hurt many of them. Likely it didn't but I knew it could hurt me, especially my hip. Stay the course and finish.


The 3k mark was the first water station which I passed on, but it was the first time I looked at my Garmin and saw that I was a little off the 6:30 pace I planned. I was warm and lose so I picked it up a little. I felt great and can really say I was enjoying the group of people that were around me.

There were a few spectators at Centennial Parkway which was nice to see and always adds a small spark to my step. Now they were there for their friends or families but they were hooting and hollering which makes for a great running experience. 

The next water station came and went (6km...no water for me) but another look at my watch and I was below that 6:30 pace which pleased me and I still felt great. I believe it was 6:26 per km which as mentioned before is approximately what my average pace was over my training runs so I wasn't worried. The course was treating me well, I wasn't out of breath and not at all like I was pushing myself so I kept it there. Energy levels were good and no feeling that I was building lactic acid too early in the run. 

Now being at 6km this is where I needed to start being more careful and keeping thoughtful as for anyone that knows this course knows it is a complete downhill course right to the end and the next 5-6 km were going to be the steepest and I knew this could be a problem if I let myself go faster than I should. During this section there would be over a 100 m elevation change as we headed towards Lake Ontario.

Here is the link to the course map if you would like to take a look. http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=5520844

Interestingly, I never trained much  for a steep downhill but I did heed the warnings. Reading something and doing it, really does not provide exact expectations. I am glad I thought about this because on km 7 I let my legs go a little bit (faster) and I found out why one needs to conserve on the downhill portions. That km was my fastest yet at 5:55 per km. I felt my breathing come up a little and decided to back off.  I am SO glad I did because on the next km I began to feel pain in my right calf which I had never felt before. It was not bad but focused in the middle of my calf like a slight burning sensation. It was not overly painful but enough to make you mindful and wonder if it was going to progress into something more.

This was what everyone was talking about when running downhill; the calf muscles are always stretched out rather than contracted like going up hill and they were not accustomed to it. When you read that, it really sounds like a minor difference but its a big difference for the muscle. I am convinced that if I kept that pace going which I could have, it would have most definitely caused a catastrophic injury in my calf and likely caused me to stop or seriously slow my pace. Thank-fully, I stuck to the plan and backed off.


 At about the 8k mark it was time for a gel pack.  I tore the top off and push the glob into my throat. It is kind of like the texture of honey but a little more fluid and less sticky but none the less a different sensation to try and consume while running!! Down it went and at the 9k mark there was another water station and because of the gel I took a cup and WHAM! Wow, I should have tried that pre-race. Its hard to explain but basically it was a pasty, sugary sweet but sour taste in my mouth. At the time I thought I was drinking sugar water instead I now know it was the combination. I thought this because I remember reading in race info that they were going to offer a energy drink at the water stations but I don't remember seeing any indications that it was anything that I took. Thankfully it did not cause any stomach issues so I just pushed on.

Here is the gel I used.



Approaching the 10k mark I knew there was a small elevation to get off the Red Hill Valley Parkway so I increased my tempo to maintain pace and started to pass a few people. As I rounded the corner on to Barton St I saw my friend and his son. This gave me an energy lift and the support was appreciated.

We  then entered the short trail portion down to Van Wagners Beach |Rd. There were some small hills through this section and the trail was very narrow. Not sure if this convergence made me nervous but it did increase my pace so not to block the elite runners. The Marathon leaders had already passed but the remaining top runners were coming through at the same time as my group which is far slower than them. I am not sure but I think this portion of the course likely annoyed many of the elite runners as we (I did) the recreational runners had no idea they were coming and it would have made them work harder to get through this area and maintain their pace. My pace went down to around the 6 min per km pace which was at about the 12km mark.

Here are my 1km splits up to getting down to Van Wagners Road.

16:37.01.006:37
26:43.31.006:43
36:41.61.006:42
46:31.61.006:32
56:36.81.006:37
66:18.31.006:18
75:55.01.005:55
86:18.31.006:18
96:30.01.006:30
106:26.41.006:26
116:28.71.006:29
126:02.51.006:02
So you can see that the major downhill started at about the 6th km but I did correct my pace and held back until that 12th km were there was a lot of passing and concern for being in the way of these amazing athletes. My time for the fist half of the race went to plan and I was still pain free (other than that small pain in my right calf).

Now because I did go a bit faster than I should have in the 12th km I slowed it down and took the atmosphere in and let me say this was most interesting time during the race. The way they laid the course out split the beach road path in two, so the slower runners could see all faster ones.  The expressions on the runners faces is what interested me most. They were in their last 5kms and watching is what I did for the next 3kms.

What an amazing story each face told. I mean many you could tell they were chasing personal bests, some were in pain, others had little expression, and then there were the few that you could tell they were filled with joy and were just so happy with their race/day. It was interesting to say at the very least and many runners made eye contact with me which was almost like a mutual hey and obviously many were doing the same as I. This was very cool and I am so glad I took that time to watch the race while being in it.

During that time I also took my second gel pack and made sure to ask at the water station that it was water that I was taking. They confirmed such and that's when I figured it was just the water with the gel pack that made that odd taste but I was expecting it this time so it was all good. That was about kilometer 14 or 15.

At km 16 it was time to run my race. It was my plan to run my hardest for the last 5.  Having past the 16 marker, I began to increase my turnover pace and it felt good. I began to look ahead and try to dial people in to chase. For me this is a great motivator. You can't always catch people but it creates a drive to go faster.

From that point on, I do not believe anyone passed me. Interestingly though, shortly before the 16 km mark, a man that I estimate was about 275lbs (looked like an offense lineman) passed me. I had passed him earlier and he was with a couple of friends and was running what seemed to be 10's and 1's. This is the person I chose to chase. He was about 100-150m ahead of me when I started my run for the finish.

Every time he stopped for his walking portion I would catch him a little but when he began to run, the gap went back to what it was. He was amazing and during this time I passed many people but not him. Gradually I lost sight of him, it must have around the 19k mark. He must have decided to run the remaining km's and not walk. It was amazing, he brought me along with him but had another gear and pulled away. This confirms that healthy people come in all sizes in my opinion.

I finished the race pushing as hard as I could, passing and out of breath. My last km was my strongest and relatively pain free (just exhaustion). I am proud of that finish and now have a better understanding of "running your race." I believe I ran the best I possibly could have.

Here is a picture of me taken crossing the finish line by our local newspaper  As you can see there was a young lady that must have been passing many behind me and caught me right at the finish. She recently swam one of the great lakes (Ontario I think) and I thought it was funny that I got into her picture.


 Here are my spits for the last half.

116:28.71.006:29
126:02.51.006:02
136:43.11.006:43
146:30.31.006:30
156:42.01.006:42
166:37.81.006:38
176:27.61.006:28
186:25.11.006:25
196:10.71.006:11
206:20.61.006:21
215:50.51.00:5:51


My chip time was 2:16:41 for a pace of 6:27 per km. As I said in part one, my hope was for a 2:30 marathon and at best a 2:20. Expectations were surpassed and with little stress. I believe my race was prepared, planned and followed. All that training was worth it to know I ran my best and can positively say I enjoyed every step.

I leave you with a final picture of me staying warm at the finish at the Road2Hope Marathon, Hamilton 2012.




Friday, November 16, 2012

Training for My First Half Part II

Pace, and Race Day Prep

Basically Part I, My Road to the Road2Hope Marathon informs everyone I put in the work and was able to finish all my long runs but with some notable pain. The work was put in and no shortcuts were taken. 

It was my feeling that my body was going to hold together but honestly I felt it was going to be a very slow jog to the finish and likely the finish would look very much like shuffling by the 21st km. I knew I could finish and there is a feeling of accomplishment in that alone. I guess this meant I was ready for race day with about 2 weeks to go? I mean I put in the mileage, kept injuries at bay and was confident I could finish.



Now on a few of my runs I put out a very slow controlled pace at the beginning and then at different points tried to let myself go into more of a race mode but all these attempts ended with the same tightness in my hip and really no strength over the last two kms. This left me confused and not sure how to run this race. I mean I knew really it was only about finishing but I wanted a good experience not an ending that was just pain and I had made it. Not sure if that makes sense but basically I was doubting the overall enjoyment based on the long runs I had done which were done but I can't say, wow that was a great workout!

Because of this feeling of not finding a comfortable but doable pace I began to research opinions on first time half marathons pace and times. The best advice I found was that it was best to run your best pace during the last half and conserve yourself in the beginning. 

This made some sense but I had not really found my pace and looking back I think it was because of where I chose to train. The reason I say this is that I had used trails and all those trails are former rail lines. The trails are a gradual incline all the way out and then a gradual decline all the way back.

My body was taking a beating in the beginning and then running downhill all the way back. I think this skewed my reality of pace. A really slow first half (slower than it should have been) and then a faster than normal return. The last 2kms of those runs where at the very least, grueling. This made me believe that there was no way I could have a strong last 10 kms but as I said I think it was because I was not training on flat ground to get a good perspective. So what to do?

Maybe I could run in clown shoes?



Funny! Not, but that is probably how fast I was at the end of those runs and the shoes likely would have not made a difference.

This brings me back to positive people and their influence and motivation. Because of being lost a bit at this point I put it out there that I was wondering what to do about pace. What I got back was huge and priceless for race day. A friend connected me to a person that is an avid runner and most recently ran the Chicago Marathon. This person who did/does not know me at all took the time to write me a great email with a link to a great article. It provided me with great pace answers, nutrition, proper mental attitude and I think most importantly a link to an article about aerobic and anaerobic training which I knew about but let me tell you that the timing of this article was perfect. Sometimes we just do not use what we know and this article was a great reminder. If you want, please take a look at it here http://runnersconnect.net/running-tips/aerobic-vs-anaerobic-training/.

You may wonder after reading that article why this was so important? As I said previously, I had been only running 5kms at a time prior to training for this and had been working speed (not that I am fast..thus working on it). The article brought to light that I had only two speeds which were run as hard as I could and slow. In other words too much of my training was anaerobic and was not preparing me as good as it could be for the long runs. 

Thankfully, after I read this I had one more long run to go (16kms) and it fell into place. I had the most enjoyable long run I had during the previous training weeks. A nice balanced 11kms with good rhythm and then I ran my best pace for the last 5k. The last 5 were my best right down to the 16th. That was a huge relief and a great feeling all wrapped into one.

Being more confident, I wanted to re-look at my strategy for race day. My longest run was 20kms and my time on it was in the 2:20 range and a half marathon is still another 1.1 kms. With this information I contemplated a 6:45 pace per km for a 2:30 pace for race day. Something about that felt wrong so I went back to that email I was sent and re read it. It was there staring at me, as (pace) this was what my original question was, "what pace do I run?"

He said he took all his training runs and found the average of those and that was how he decided on a pace for his races. Now this made me feel pretty stupid because my background is in these types of numbers (forecasting averages and projections) and I had them all. If you have a big enough history; the numbers do not lie.


After reading that email and having the light bulb come on, I immediately copied and pasted all my training numbers into excel and found my average pace. WOW! I was way off! Now this jolted me a lot because it was far lower than my projected pace of a 2:22 or a 6:45 pace per km. The average came in at a 6:27 pace per km with an approximate finish time of 2:16:10. Because there was such a difference I rechecked the numbers and decided to back it off and went with a 6:30 per km pace for the race which would theoretically result in a 2:17:13 finish. This would still  be well below my hope of 2:30 and I would be more than happy to finish at 2:20.

I did do a taper and as much as I had been running the previous weeks, let me tell you its super hard after all that work to sit on your "feet"so to speak. You start to feel guilty for not training but I knew it was best. I wanted to be pain free on race day and I can say today it worked, and it was the hardest easy thing to do.

My last run was on the Friday (a nice leisurely 4.3kms) before race day on the Sunday. During that run I wanted to accomplish some things...1. Can I actually handle a gel pack while running 2. What would my stomach do? 3. Run the trail portion of the race course to get an idea of the terrain. 

I am glad I did all three. The Gel was weird but my stomach was okay and I could swallow it. It was also helpful to find out that the trail portion was narrow and had a small hill and changing terrain. This run also confirmed how I was going to carry the gel packs which I had never done before. Doing these small things definitely helped me be in the moment in the race rather than worrying about the how and if.

I have realized Part II is far to big to continue so I will have to make Part III, my actual race recap. I leave it here with a picture of me pre- race start feeling good and as ready as I could be.



Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Training for My First Half


My Road to the Road2Hope Half Marathon

It certainly has been awhile since I have even attempted a post but I could not let myself not write something about this experience for me to look back on.


So many ups and downs during the 10 weeks I took to train for this race. There were even times I was ready to hang it up and even some medical professionals advised the same. I started adding some longer runs in August but wasn't really training for the half; it was just a thought until I realized not setting the goal (which was already set) and letting fear/doubt decide what I could and couldn't do was stopping me. Coincidentally at the same time I got a push from the people around me. I can't emphasize more how important it is to have positive people around; they are great influences and motivators.

Really I had only been doing 5k runs with the occasional 10k, during August. I was focused on speed and got some good results but its an entirely different challenge going from 15kms per week to over 40kms. I was only running three times a week and doing Crossfit 2 times per week which I think for a lot of people is pretty okay. I decided I needed to go to 4x a week running and 2x Crossfit per week.

I started slowly by using the 20% rule in regards to mileage. Three weeks in, I began to develop pain in my heel and arch in my right foot. Running past 5km also started a new pain in my right hip. As I ran, the best way I can describe it is, that it felt like elastic bands were on the inside of my hip and as I ran it felt like someone was winching it tighter and tighter as I ran. It got so tight my jogging turned into what must have looked like shuffling. Definitely no resemblance to running. What to do?

I really like my GP but I know their response...physio and rest with an non-inflammatory like Advil. As mentioned in previous posts, I have seen a Chiropractor and received relief for other things using a technique called A.R.T. (Active Release Therapy). Off to the Chiropractor I go, and right away she finds a problem. Again, my left glute is NOT firing and its making me overcompensate and use the hip flexor and hamstring rather than all three. This is a likely a result of all the years at a desk and obviously with little activity but who knew, you would, or could stop using certain muscles?

The Chiropractor works on my hip, adjust my feet, the arches and finally recommends that I back off on the mileage. OH GREAT! See where doubt slips in, but any good doctor has to tell you to back off...I know this..let me say, I did not back off totally but I did hold the mileage that week and saw her biweekly and weekly if needed. Ice, orthotics,  ART therapy, foot adjustments, stretching, gradual increases in mileage, and not giving in allowed me to stabilize the pain and the potential for injury that would have forced me to stop. Basically finding my limit and getting to it but not going past it.



The long training runs began to expose more than just a partial "sleepy body" (my new term for a fat guy sat at a desk for too long and not moving when he got home). It also revealed a toughness I had not tapped into in some time. You know the toughness that when no ones watching and really no one cares? Do you take the long road or the short cut? We all know the long road is necessary to truly develop any skill athletic or otherwise but the shortcut is right there and it wont hurt anyone, will it? Now add pain..and I don't mean exhaustion that's still coming. Isn't that short cut looking better? But wait there is more! I never have gotten thirsty during a run and or hungry but that was about to change. Oh wait there is more (yes added value infomercial). I don't think I have ever mentioned this but I sweat a lot (gross amounts) and typically run with music. Yep you guessed it, I sweat so much I shorted out my headphones. Okay so let summarize a long run for me.......Pain+hungry+thirsty+no music+exhaustion (normal pain)+cold+alone (forgot to mention I did all my long runs alone)+temptation by the short cut=DAMN CLOSE TO CRAZY!! I learned a lot on those runs, and it reminded me its okay to run without music. You are more involved with the run and less with the distraction of music (pace, breathing and how well your feet are connecting with the ground). All valuable lessons.

The next issue was pace for race day. The long runs I did complete felt so slow and I was unable to match the pace I had set into my Garmin during those runs. After reading a bit about pace, this had me worried,  compounded with my hip tightening as the kms went by. What to do? Just go run?



Part II....Pace and race Day solutions with a recap of my race.

 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A One Year Summary

So most of you likely thought I was gone, but you are not so lucky! Changing ones lifestyle is difficult, and over the last 6 months I have also had a career change, which has been challenging for many reasons, but to keep it simple because of both of those being very important; (lifestyle and work) I have had very little time to blog. I have missed it as blogging is a great tool to build a journal of success and set backs for review.

During my hiatus I can say I have stayed on track most of the time. I can admit that I am mostly better at getting my exercise in, than always making the right or amount of food choice. Because of exercise, I have gotten away with it and thank goodness! Obviously this needs to stop, and after some reflection I am going to call it a vaction rather than a deviation from the prize (prize=me at a healthy weight).

Because I felt food was starting to get the better of me, I started a FB page called the 60 Day Summer Weight Challenge. About 6-7 friends have joined along in the journey and I hope it helps them as much as their company helps me. Its helping me get refocused and ultimately achieve the weight goal that I promised for myself at the beginning of the year.

Really because its been such a great year, I wanted to list my achievements and the goals that are still not done. This list reminds me of what I have done and what still needs to get done. I am proud of it, but I know with success comes confidence and sometimes confidence leads to laziness thus me reminding myself; Iam not done!


 

A Year In Review

  1. Went smoke free June 2011
  2. July 18 2011....Started my "Fat Fight"
  3. No longer require cholesterol medication (huge pay off here)
  4. No longer require hypertension medication (huge pay off here)
  5. A typical resting heart rate of 60 or less (pre challenge 90-105)
  6. Ran my first organized 5km Race--Road to Hope--November 2012
  7. To date have lost 71 pounds.
  8. Ran a sub 30min 5k
  9. Ran 12k without stopping
  10. Ran a sub 13:25min 2.4k
  11. Can do 20 + pushups in one set
  12. Can do 17+ situps in one set (old school)
  13. Can do 2 unassisted pull ups (goal is 4)
  14. Eat a minimum of three meals every day--usually 6 small ones
  15. DO NOT EAT anything deep fried or from a fast food place unless its a salad
  16. I am aware of whats in my food and the consequences of eating it
  17. I always eat breakfast (never did)

Remaining Goals for 2012

1. Run a half marathon
2. Run in two 10k races
3. Complete 4 unassited pull ups
4. Lose an additional 18 pounds (for a grand total of 90)

Beacuse of my work schedule it will be difficult to run in two 10k races, so instead I will race myself and set two different race days. The half marathon is something I am going to have to see if I can get the time off work for but I think I can swing it because its not something I abuse or have done often.

All in all I am proud of myself to this point but I must admit I was getting comfortable with where I had gotten too, thus the 60 day challenge. My focus has shifted to my last few reamining goals for 2012. Although I will be focusing on these goals, it has to be said that I will not let my other physical achievments fade. As with everything..its balance, and thats my lifelong sucess formula; keep it all together and maintain what I have done.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

I am

I am still here and still FAT FIGHTING....this week I will do two or three posts.

1. Goal Update
2. Food and me
3. Why Failure is Still an Option

Hopefully they make sense, and get me motivated to get to the next level. I am not sure if its the nice weather or temporary burnout but my intensity has dwindled a little and I am hoping these three posts will relight the fire!!


Friday, May 4, 2012

Two for ONE!!

I don't usually post my CrossFit workouts but since it was nearly two weeks since I did CrossFit, I thought it was appropriate due to a circumstance I will explain.

Warm Up



  • Inch worm with push-up
  • 10 pull ups (off box)
  • 10 reaching lunges
  • 400m run
  • 10 wall squats (facing)
* 3x

  • 5 sets/5 reps front squats (same weight for me due to hamstrings and glute/65lbs) everyone else did 5-4-3-1 up to max weight.
Buy In

  • 100 kettlebell swings (everyone else did 3x100m resistance sprints)
Workout

  • clean and jerk (65lbs)
  • body rows
25-15-9

Time 9:35

The only reason I posted this is because its monumental in that it caused me to feel the urge to vomit, so in summary, this workout, even though it was no where near the RX weights, really, and I mean really gassed me.




In Other News...The Scale is a Fear Monger!!

As you may have read recently, I don't feel I have been focusing on weight loss as much and have realized my progress may have slowed because of this, however during this time, I have kept my eating under control. It's more that I have not been able to exercise as much as I would like too.

Because of this I have avoided the scale. I mean who wants to know after all the hard work they have done that they are going backwards?

My thought was hold on, get a grip, let things stabilize and then step on the scale. I just couldn't do that. I had to step on the scale last night to see what kind of damage I have done.

Believe it or not I did this at 2 am, probably the worst time of the day to weigh yourself and I had a pasta dinner that evening at Boston Pizza (off their Healthy Menu choices). It was under 600 calories and had less that 550 mg of sodium but still it was pasta.

So I step on the scale, and I step off again. It must be wrong, so I adjust the thingy wheel to make sure it's on zero and I step back on. The same weight!! Now I am thinking I must be asleep because there is noway I have lost 4lbs in the last two weeks could have I? I re-step on the scale and the same weight again..221lbs. HOLY SHIT!! ALL that anxiety for what?

This proves that for me, food is my biggest contributor to my size and the exercise is the catalyst to change the look of my body and how it feels. Ultimately the scale proves I can do this AND have a busy life. It's my experience, that this is a rare statement about the scale.

My theory of BALANCE is actually working!!

What a relief to beat the scale!!



Do you have any unexpected weight loss stories??