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

Friday, February 10, 2012

The Domino Effect

Domino's anyone? I don't remember how to play, but boy when you get dragged into a game and that first tile falls there is no stopping your participation!!

So last night I had the brainiac idea that I would try and set down a benchmark for my 2.4km run so I know what type of time I need to chop off before the end of the year. By the end of the year I am hoping to run a sub 13:25 which will be a big challenge for my body type. I even dragged a friend out to witness it (to validate it), and he was a witness to a circus not anything that resembled organized running!

Where do I start? Ok, in Southern Ontario we have been having pretty mild weather of late and as I got off work last night I was thinking to myself, this is is going to be a great night for a run! I proceeded to change and contacted my friend to confirm he was to able to come and view the "Brick” running as I like to call myself, running laps. And as I am reliable so is he so I set out to go pick him up.

Scene Domino1

Out the door I go, and I am outside and this thing out of nowhere pops me in the face! It was an arctic blast that I can only recall from last winter! No problem running in the cold as its ok. I have done it before and really it does not bother me it just wasn't what I was expecting.

I get in the car and because it’s suddenly winter; I start to look for my gloves. Gloves are like socks sometimes, in the real world they don't exist in pairs do they? When I went in the house both gloves were there and when I need them there is only one! So I start ripping the car apart. I take a sweater and a jacket from the front seat and put it in the back and begin to look under the seats and around the sides of the seats. Then I go into the back and looked under the seats. Nothing!? Swearing under my breath I move the jacket and sweater back to the front seat. It has to be there, it was there only 30min ago! I get mad and throw the sweater and jacket back in the back and scour the floor again. Nothing!! Now I am beginning to tell myself I will just go and forget about the gloves but I tell myself, look one more time in the back. I gently lift the jacket and....you guessed it, the glove!!

Picking up my friend and getting to the track goes with no problems.

Domino 2

We get out of the car, and proceed to the track. We mutually agree to walk the track to determine its length. As we are walking I swear the wind is gusting up to 60kph. We determine it is 675 meters and that I need to do approximately 3.5 laps to get my 2.4kms. We decide to walk an additional 400m to see the approximate finish line. Things are going well. Good planning if I say so myself!

Excitement and being anxious I think come hand in hand. I think they make more sense called, chomping at the bit, let's get the party started type moments. Now remember we had walked about 400m of the 675m lap and were on our way back to the starting line. Guess what, now its urination time. Great! I admit, it’s a bit of a luxury being a man in this regard but I will leave this here.

Domino 3 (aka trigger Domino Scene)

Relieved and at the starting line I set my GPS watch and my friend sets his timer to compare results. Now because I am not a natural writer and it would take to long to really describe what happened so instead I am going to riffle it off with a machine gun technique.

First, start ready go...oops, hit the wrong button....then hit reset...then walk back to start...then restart....run about 100m....is it me or does it feel like my pants are falling down?...yes....they are...hike them up.....oh what's that new pain in my shin (we are at about 200m)...maybe I shouldn't  have worn the orthotics for the first time running... what's this my pants are falling again....what the hell? One false start, pain in my shin and my pants are going to fall off. I get to about 400m and begin to walk, and I might say I was a little bit mad. I begin to walk back to the start line (meanwhile I can hear my friend in my head....is he gone crazy?).

Domino 4 (redo of Domino 3)

Alright let's try this again. Pants tight (check). Watch reset (check). Legs ok (check).

First lap…pretty good..second lap….first half ok but really slowing…third lap..really slowing  but that happens ……but here comes the kicker….400m to go..at about 100-150m to go the GPS watch starts to beep that I am done..what do I do…stop and start to walk…because it is dark I can’t see the watch and I walk leisurely for about 100m…I get to a spot where there is enough light to see the watch and I realize I still have 50/m to go….what an idiot...I followed the advice of the “idiot gauge” even though we measured out the finish…..dumb, real dumb. The watch was wrong and I ruined my time (not that it was great).

Final time 16:03 min/sec with a nice leisurely walk included (yes that is sarcasm). How stupid was that!! There is likely about a 40-20 sec difference because of the walking but it’s hard to tell. So my benchmark has been set 2:28 min/sec over where I need it to be before the end of the year.

On a positive note it will be easy to kill this number next time out and in all of this I have determined my waist has gotten smaller too. Do not try and run with pants/shorts that are too big (ha).....really this is a positive thing just that the timing was bad. Real bad!

Hopefully CrossFit goes a little easier tonight!

Does the Domino effect ever get you?

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Stress is FAT!!

For my life, I have battled my weight but have I really stopped to understand it, and I don't mean from the learned way i.e. environment. What I mean is the way I deal with everything and the way my body responds to it. So my newest theory is I am fat because either I thrive in stress or I create stress and in turn it causes weight gain or maybe even loss.

Don't get me wrong here, my weight is based on choices, the way I was brought up, possibly genetics, and my level of physical activity. BUT, many times I have almost conquered these other elements in my life. Twice in my life I have gone from morbid obese to slightly overweight (based on BMI). So if it was everything that I discussed above then I should have it figured out? Right? That would be a big NO!!

So what I am saying is I know the formula to get there and maybe even stay at the ideal weight but this has not been the case. Why? Really I still do not know because I have not got to goal yet but last week I spoke about a light bulb moment, and its impact. It made me turn a corner and I realized its in regards to stress. This is my failure...stress...time after time...stress.

I had plateaued with weight loss on or about December 12, and then the holidays came and I gained somewhere between 8-10 pounds. Now a lot of this was water but still that is a big number and what bothered me the most was that I was not being a complete gluten over the holidays. I certainly did not go without but my past indulgences where much greater.

So why the crazy gain when we all know it takes 3500 calories in excess of our resting metabolic rate to gain weight and I continued to exercise throughout the holidays?

Then January 3rd came and I began to work harder and harder with little weight loss. Then I was working so hard that injuries were building and getting worse, and it did not feel like my fitness was increasing/changing. So what was going on.....light bulb!! Its was stress.

What is Guenther saying here?

I am saying I was working too hard, and putting too much focus in certain things (not enough in others). Running on an injury--stress!! Trying to run faster--stress. Trying to run with better form...stress. Trying to run further...stress. Just like work, fitness and health has to be fun (limits apply) and enjoyable. If its not, we have a physical response which we call stress and it makes it harder to do the things we want to or are expected to do (IE deadlines, targets). My body was not changing because I was asking too much of it without the appropriate amount of rest, nutrition and healing.

So what has less stress done? Since Jan 23, I have lost eight pounds and surpassed my Dec 12, 2011 plateau by 3 pounds, which I am very pleased about.

Everyone talks about listening to your body, listen to the signs,  and find the balance but do we? I say listen closely, make small adjustments, keep it intense, change it up, do what you like, and most importantly have fun because if its a chore, likely it is starting to cause physical stress and you may not even notice it! LISTEN and progress will happen!!