Monday, October 12, 2009

So....


So I came home Friday to a huge surprise. I have been wanting a dog to run and hike with cause the vast majority of my workouts are just me out there and to be honest, I get bored with it. It's not that I don't want to do it, it's the scenery being the same all the time has gotten old. So I have been looking for a dog, and to my surprise my wife found one, picked her up and had her at the house when I got home. Her name is Lucy and she is a sweetheart. She loves everyone and other than some pulling issues on the leash, she is awesome.

Tonight, her and I are going to go out on a long walk, with a few little jogs mixed in to see how she does. I don't want to push it with her and she is too young yet to go very far running.

As for me, I am sure you all are wondering what is going on. Well, I am still nipping away at this running thing. the time I took off did wonders for my shins and they don't hurt at all anymore. Also I have been doing Pilates at work once a week and those sessions are really strengthing my Core and legs.

I have commited myself to do the Rachel Carson Hike next year. All 35 miles of it. So I have been training for that a lot as well. it's also helped my endurance out a ton. Pushing those hills even walking makes you get stronger I tell ya.

Speaking of hills, well it's getting colder, and I am itching to try the steps again. I set a goal pf 12 times up by the end of winter, that would be one vertical mile up. So keep checking in for my progess on that.

For all of you who's blogs I follow, I am in catch up mode. I am sorry I haven't been there. Life gets in the way of everything. But things are slowing down, it's that time of the year again.

My next 5K I believe will be a turkey trot of some kind. Just not sure which one I am going to do.

Also, I have been doing a lot of reading lately, my last book which I finished yesterday was Into Thin Air, by John Krakauer. Highly suggest reading it, and while you are at it try Into the Wild by John as well. Both are on the tops of my all time best reads.... but that is for another day...

Till then.....

Monday, September 28, 2009

Still Here and A Race Report

Let me open this by saying that I know I haven’t been posting because life has been exceptionally busy these past few months. But I haven’t given up, haven’t quit, I am still going strong (well kinda).

About 8 weeks ago I noticed the pain in my shins was getting to be a bit well um painful so I decided that I would let them rest. Give them the time they needed to heal before I ended up in a cast or something. So I hiked a lot. But no running other than the occasional run to the car when it was raining. No pounding on my legs so to speak. I wasn’t sure I was going to do this Race. I wasn’t ready for it in my mind, I hadn’t been running. But a week before the race I snuck out while my daughter was on her horse at the barn and took a nice little run in the country. Just 2 miles total counting warm up and cool down, nothing all that long. I just wanted to see how my shins where, if there was any pain I committed myself to go see a doctor.

Well there was no pain, other than my lungs screaming I thought you quit doing this! It was wonderful; I was running on country roads through corn fields. So I decided that even though I wasn’t ready for the race I would do it and see what I had lost and start the rebuilding process from there.

I registered and the day after that I got an email that was sent to a running club I joined that they were looking for 15 people to run the race in all Adidas gear, with a foe blindfold on to advertise the Adidas tent at the end of the race. For this I got a shirt shorts and a pair of Adidas running shoes, to keep! Plus they are going to cover my race entry. So I emailed them back and was like HELL YES! Well I really didn’t do it that way, but that was my initial response.

Pittsburgh hosted the G-20 Summit 3 days before the race and on the last day of that I could pick up my race packet. I didn’t let the stinking protesters stop me from getting my race packet. I left work and drove right down on Friday to pick it up. Walked around, talked to a few people I know and then headed out to drive past soldiers and check points to get home. Went for a small run Friday night, to double check my legs and try for distance. I didn’t go to set any records on this run, just wanted to warm up some for the race on Sunday plus I wanted to see how I was going to fair on hills. Still no pain and the hills sucked like always but I got up them with a little walking. On Saturday I had to go get all my new FREE gear, I have to admit I was a little worried about running a race in brand new un tested shoes. But since it’s only 3 miles and I wasn’t going to push it to hard I figured I would be fine. When I got there the girl told me that she didn’t have the blindfolds yet but would send one up with someone else on Sunday morning to the starting point.

Race day:

I woke up at 5:45 am to it pouring down rain, it was cold and miserable. I had to repress the thoughts about backing out down, so I really wouldn’t do it. I had to show up at the starting line 45 mins early to meet the other Adidas runners and get my foe blind fold. When they were all there, none of them had a blind fold for me. So I went without it.

There were over 5,000 people entered in the race and it looked like all of them showed up. I ended up in about the middle of the pack because there were walkers and I didn’t want to have to get around them at the beginning. It still was raining but it slowed to a drizzle and while I was wet, the excitement of the race start kept me warm. I talked to friends and waited for the gun to go off. Once it did, all bets were off, you ran or you got run over till it thinned out a little. When it did I set a nice comfortable pace and just ran. I had forgotten to bring my heart monitor, so I didn’t have a way to watch my HR, which should have bothered me, but I was enjoying the race too much to notice.

At the end of the first mile they had a water station for us. I grabbed a cup and kept going, by this point I was still in the pack but at the back of it, but I was still running, which was my goal. I didn’t care about the time, although I did think about it. The water at the first station almost made me throw up. It was warmish and tasted a like a swimming pool. Tons of chlorine, I tell you. But it did the trick to keep me going, we were about ½ ways up the first and only hill in the race, the rest was all down. Once we started down I had to walk for a min to stretch my leg muscles they weren’t hurting but I was really tight. I ran beside an older gentleman who told me that he runs this race every year for the view. He comes in from Boston to run it. The view of the river and the city is awesome on the roads we were on. Normally, I drive these roads at 50 mph. I suggest to anyone, even walk the 5k if you really want to see Pittsburgh’s beauty.

Coming into downtown was awesome too, to see the buildings and the noise of the crowd at the finish line was echoing up through the city. We ran down through town, turned to outskirt a little of it then right into Point State Park. Coming in with 10,000 or more people cheering you on was great, I sprinted the last 500 yards, I was tired, spent and I really could feel the effects of the weeks I didn’t run pulling on me, but with the crowd there, that many people, I wasn’t going to give up until I hit that damn line.

I crossed it, looked at the time and was like really? I knew I PR’d but I didn’t know by how much. I didn’t have my HR monitor so no timer there and my phones GPS system was too hard to run because I wasn’t allowed to show anything but Adidas stuff. So I went and ate a Banana (god they are still my favorite fruit) drank ice cold water and then had some pasta and ½ of an orange. I still wasn’t sure of my time though, but the rain started to really come down and I had to get a shuttle back to my car. I went home, knowing I did well but not how well.

Finally after I got home, I got my time (40:17) beat my PR by a full minute even with the weeks off. Today I am a little sore, but there is no shin pain to speak of. But it is a good sore, a well fought sore that I will remember for awhile.

Tonight, well I hear the road calling me, saying hey 17 seconds and you would have beat 40 mins. By spring my friend you are going to beat 30.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Major Slacking

Life is really getting busy as of late. I tell ya it's hard enough to find time to do anything outside of work and exercise. I am sorry I haven't been here for so long.

I do have a ton of updates for you all though!

Let me start by saying other than running I have been hiking a lot and riding my bike as well. That being said 2 weeks ago I had a fight with some gravel on the road and well it won. My bike stopped and well to be honest I didn't :P I have a major rip out of my knee and it's all scabby and gross. But it's a battle wound!!!

So for the past 2 weeks I have been babying my knee, well except for last Saturday, I had a 5k planned. On the Thursday before I got out and tried to run but the pain that was shooting up through my leg didn't let me go far. I barley made it a 1/2 mile before I turned around and walked back. I had ice in the car so I iced my knee down and grumbled the whole time. I had this 5k that was planned and paid for, not by me by a friends company and I promised I would be there.

So I intended on running a little of it and walking the rest. But on Saturday morning when I woke up at um 4 am for a 8:30 start. BTW the race was 90 minutes away from my house. We packed up the car and headed out and my knee felt better, not 100% but better none the less. So I said well I won't try for a PR I will just try and see how I do. And if I have to walk most of it so be it.

We got there and I met my friend Betsy and her Hubby and got group photos done of our team. Then we stretched and got to the back of the pack for the start of the race. There was a 10k, 5k run and both in a walk program too. So the walkers waited until all us runners left.
The race started out on a 1/4 mile track then we hit the roads of Somerset PA. For those of you who that don't remember this is where the plane went down on 9-11. After we hit the road the first mile and about a 1/4 was basically flat. It was humid and foggy and I was sweating like a pig but my knee wasn't hurting all that much. More of the scab crunching than anything else. Then I hit the HILL, it was a long one, not very steep but long and drawn out. On this hill I chose my target of who I had to beat. I didn't intend on running most of this so I hadn't picked anyone out. But there was this lady who was pretty far ahead of me and I choose her to pass. She was my target, but after another 1/4 mile I noticed she was pulling away, damn this hill is long. So I forgot about passing her and just ran with some walking of course up the hill. On the hill I heard a huffing and puffing and looked back to see a power walker coming to pass me. Man he was moving for walking. He ended up coming in with 10 min miles. Where was I... well read on :P

At the top of the hill it kinda leveled out and then we hit another little hill. My knee was holding up pretty well and I looked up and still didn't see my target. I kept thinking oh well, I picked someone that was to far ahead to catch. But I kept trucking on. I wasn't walking as much, I am slowly learning pacing. It's very hard to run slow :P

When I started to hear the announcer at the finish line I really felt like I should just keep running harder but I held back because I really wasn't sure how long I had left. I just held my pace and then I saw the fence and the grandstands of the track and knew I was close now. I was really tired and my knee was starting to ache a little and I really wanted water (they didn't have a good water stop on the course) I came through the fence and Betsy was already done and there cheering me on. Just 1/4 mile to go and I looked out and about 1/16 of a mile ahead was my target. I could catch her if I just pick it up a little. So I did, and she did too.... B***h :P I was spent to be honest, even the little I picked it up killed me but I really wanted to pass her. 1/2 way around the track now, she was just ahead but I wasn't gaining I was pacing her. What to do, Oh hell, I went all out at a sprint as fast as I could. I felt great the knee pain melted away, or was hidden by the pain of running this fast. I have been doing speed work but not after 3 miles of hills. She was right there, Right in front of me. I am not sure if she knew I was trying to pass her but I did, I flew by her and across the finish line. 42:31... slow, not a PR but my knee didn't kill me. Then I got my water and I was ready to run more. I was pumped that I passed her.

2 days later Betsy emailed me the link to our photos that we can purchase, and told me something interesting. The start was shotgun, so being at the back of the pack of about 600 people I lost a minute maybe more before I actually hit the starting line. So I more than likely did PR. Just not sure of the time.

This weekend coming up I have an 8 mile hike planned. It is a sweep hike of the Rachel Carson Trail challenge 34 miles. We are sweeping check points 3 -4 then on Sunday I have a 5k trail race. That should be interesting. I'll let you all know if I am still alive after that :)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Ok,,, Sarah tagged me so.....

Sarah tagged me awhile back so I figured I would be nice and actually do this....

8 Things I am looking forward to:

  1. Driving my Jeep off the lot in September.
  2. Getting thinner and more in shape than I have ever been in my life.
  3. Taking all my large clothes to the Goodwill.
  4. Learning to ride a horse.
  5. Warm Weather.
  6. Going to New York this summer.
  7. Whitewater Rafting in July.
  8. Finishing these lists.
8 Things I did Yesterday:

  1. Found a cheap healthy lunch near work. YAY!
  2. Sprinted up a very steep hill, just because I could :)
  3. Worked. UGH
  4. Went with my daughter to her 4H meeting and almost fell asleep at it.
  5. Talked to an old friend from college.
  6. Played with my new phone.
  7. Treated myself to an ice cream cone.
  8. Learned to hate the words "You Know"

8 Things I would like to do:

  1. Run a marathon.
  2. Go visit my sister in Arizona.
  3. Go see the ocean again, it's been way to long.
  4. Hit the lottery so I can run races all the time :)
  5. Move to the country.
  6. Go back to college and finish it.
  7. Learn to sail.
  8. Get a good nights sleep for 2 days in a row.

8 Shows I watch:

I hardly watch TV anymore but...

  1. House
  2. NCIS
  3. Terminator Sarah Conner Chronicles (RIP)
  4. Battlestar Galactica (RIP)
  5. FireFly (Yeah it's been canceled for years but I still watch it)
  6. IT Crowd (great British comedy)
  7. Hockey (GO PENS!)
  8. Really can't think of one here... :P
8 People I tag:

You all have been tagged already... so get to it.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Mars Band on the Run 5K

This was the first annual running of the race that supports the Mars High School Band. I showed up early like I always do and picked up my packet. I was hydrating myself all morning because it was really hot/humid and to be honest sticky. I met up with some of the people I know from Meetup.com and we BS'd while we warmed up and stretched. I had no intention of pushing myself for this race, I wanted to work on pacing and just being able to run the race with as little walking as possible.

The band played the national anthem which was really cool because I have never seen this done at a race before and they had the honor guard from the Marines there as well. After that we started out. This was a nice rolling race through the country side on paved roads. We ran through a housing project and at about every mile there was a group from the band playing music for us.

Right as we started the rain let loose and it was really refreshing. It really cooled things off at least for a bit. I ran the first mile at about a 14 min pace. I kept up with a couple that was running and you could tell she was less experienced than I was and at about 3/4 of a mile she told the guy with her she needed to walk some. I ran right past them. Then came the first of the smaller hills.

I ran about 1/2 way up it and had to cut back to a walk, but as soon as I hit the crest I started running again. At the half way point they had a water station and now that it stopped raining it got even hotter and stickier. Then came the LONG hill that everyone was worried about. I walked it but after last weekends Murder mountain this seemed like a piece of cake. When I got to the top there was a volunteer there that said so soon as I hit that little bump ahead it's all flat to the finish. So off on a run again, I did have to walk a little of the last mile, the heat was really getting to me, but then I saw the school and could hear the band playing the pink panther song, so I kicked it back in gear and started to run again. When I came around the turn into the parking lot where the finish was I hit into a little sprint and ran through the finish for a 41:17. This wasn't a chip time, and by my timer I was at 40:50. So To be honest with myself I am calling it an even 41. Which beats my previous PR by 43 seconds. Not that great but still a new time to beat. My friends both got medals which was really cool and I won and ice cream cone as a door prize (just what I need huh?) but I am giving that to my daughter.

I paced myself pretty good and came away from the race pain free which is a win for me. Last night my shin did get a little achy, not painful just enough that I iced it but I ended up sitting a lot yesterday and I was getting stiff by the end of the night. Today I feel great and am ready to go do it all again. This race is definitely on my radar for next year as well.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Crazy Horse Trail Run 2 Miles

I had originally signed up to do 4.5 miles but I wasn't feeling the 4.5 mile distance when I showed up for the race so I down graded myself to the 2 mile race, which in turn was the smartest thing I did all weekend.

The race was held by the Greater Pittsburgh Road Runners group, of which I am a member. This means it is a small race, about 40 people showed up for the race. Most of them were doing the 4.5 mile. We all started at the same time and ran the same course, but then the 2 milers turned back.

I started with my new friend Brad, he was doing the 4.5 and had just come from the race for the cure. We started doing a 1/2 mile loop on a gravel track, Brad and I went the opposite way from the rest of the pack so we could cheer them on. After the half mile loop we hit the trail, they call the first 1/2 mile of the trail murder hill. I am renaming it to murder mountain, That was not a hill, it's a 1/2 mile up of pure pain. We walked it and by the time we hit the turn around where I left Brad my legs felt like rubber sticks underneath me. But I pressed on and headed back down. I think I'd rather go back up it to be honest. Down was hard and i wanted to make up some time so I ran most of it back down. Some parts you didn't have a choice but to run. Once I hit the level part of the hill I did walk some, my legs were hurting a little and I was worried about pushing to hard. Then out of the woods all I had left to do was the 1/2 mile loop on the gravel track again. My legs were tired i walked the first 1/3 of the track but I knew by my time that some of the 4.5 mile runners would be headed out soon. I was determined to not get passed by anyone running a longer race than I did. So I pressed on and ran the last 1/4 mile. I finished at 33 and change. I can't remember my exact time, once it is posted I will post a comment.

I waited and watch everyone else come in. Rooted them on and even filled up some water glasses for people. Afterwards Brad and I hit up Panera bread and had a little lunch and BS'd about running, dieting and what races we are going to hit up this summer.

Today, I feel like I had a great workout yesterday. My legs are even a little sore, but it's a happy sore.

Saturday I am doing a 5k that I promised I'd do back in March. Really looking forward to it. I can feel myself getting stronger with each run. Racing is just a bonus!!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Things Are Slowly Coming Together.

It has been 7 months since I started this journey. I'll admit 7 of the hardest months of my life. I have had more set backs and breakthroughs than I can mention. Some are small, some are major but in the end they all end up making me a better person physically and mentally.

When I was a kid at 16 I used to work in a chain donut shop. We used to get 50 lbs bags of sugar in and I hated unloading them. Now I look back at that and think that I have lost more than that bag in weight. I hardly have any clothes that really fit me anymore. I have gone to the closet and pulled out the pants that I should have gotten rid of years ago but I held on to for when I loose weight. Well now they are too big too. Even the belt I bought a few months ago I have had to put new holes in to make it so my pants aren't falling down. It's the greatest feeling you can ever have. I am very happy about where I am and I know I can get to where I want to be.

When I started this, I couldn't walk up a flight of stairs without getting a little tired. Cardiac hill near work would wind me so bad that i had to stop at the top. Now I walk that once a week just because I can. Soon I will run it. Very soon.

I have found new friends, reconnected with old ones, and have more self esteem that I ever have. Some of these friends I haven't met yet but I talk to a lot on line, but most I will meet someday. I have found new a new passion that I will never give up. It is leading me to newer passions. Newer things that I can do that I couldn't this time last year cause well i was just too fat, too out of shape.

I have broken goals, made new ones and broken them. Only to find newer ones after those. Dreams become reality leading to more dreams.

Life has changed for the better, and I am taking steps to make sure I am going to be here for a long time to enjoy it.

Since my last post I have run trails, roads and fields. I have found myself in those places. Especially the trails. If you haven't run one yet, go do it. leave the Ipods and mp3 players at home and just listen. Listen to what is around you. As you feet hit the ground they echo ever so slightly. Last Thursday, I ran a trail that was made in dedication of a 7 year old boy that passed away. On that trail, with the sun sqeaking through the trees, the birds chirping and the deer, yes the deer that decided I was ok to be there and stood there while I ran past. Not that I was close but wow, I was close enough.

On Sunday, before it got to hot. I went to North Park and ran walked the lake. 5 miles, I was a little slower than I wanted to be. But the heat was a little warmer and I didn't wanna pass out :)

On Monday, I had the day off from work because my wifes Aunt passed away. While everyone got ready for the funeral. I went for a little run the sun was just coming up. The birds sang to me as I ran.

Amby Burfoot suggested that you run without music. I don't do it all the time, but the past 2 weeks I have been on call so I have had to carry a blackberry with me and I need to hear it if it goes off. I will never feel it vibrating when I run. Like Amby, I suggest you try it, preferably in the early morning, right as the sun comes up. The world can be a beautiful place if you let it.

This weekend is the Pittsburgh Marathon. Over 10500 people will be running the streets of my city. I will meet some of them the days before the race at the expo and on race day I will hand some of them medals for finishing the race. (Better not be any biggest looser people there GRRRRR) I signed up for motivation, it is funny though, when all I think about is when I can run next how much more motivation do I need? Not much, but I will enjoy it and maybe next year I'll pick one of those packets up with my name on it. :)

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Boyce Park 5K Trail Race



Yet another race report....

I got there really early cause I wanted to get breakfast on the way over and I wanted to eat 2 hours before the race. So I had a bagel at Panera with peanut butter of course. Then hit starting line and still had 90 + minutes to kill. I talked to the race organizer for awhile. But this was the first race my wife made it to so this time I had a cheering section. Plus we brought the dog with us, so she was cheering for me as well. This race was being held by a running group that I joined last week called the Greater Pittsburgh Road Runners. Their fee is extremely cheap and their races well 3 dollars for non members and a whole buck for members and they have one a month!

I finally met Brad AKA Sumorunner and we started the race off together. This was a true trail race, with very little paved or gravel trails and TONS of hills. I finally got my trail shoes dirty!

The start was not at the same place as the finish but very close and the trail was very well marked so there was little chance of getting lost. We started out at a nice pace and Brad and I ran close to a mile before I needed to back off and walk a bit. Then I kept telling Brad to go on and not wait up for me, which he did at about a mile and a 1/4. On the trails there were some trees laying over and there were a few small streams that we needed to jump over. But for the most part it was dirt and mud. At about the 1/2 way point there was a hill that was a gravel path then you ran through a little asphalt parking lot, then back to the trail which was the hilliest part of the course. I had to walk most of the second mile. I was tired my legs were working well and running on the soft dirt I had almost no shin pain. But I held back a little as well back there because I didn't want to hurt them agian. They are getting better and I am getting better, but there is still the fear of really hurting them again. So I walked ran the rest of the race. I was feeling really good until I hit the last hill up to the finish line. WOW that was a long hill, It really wasn't that long but it felt like It was going to kill me. But I kept pushing up it and after I got past the steepest part I could see the finish line so I started to run and I finished in 45 mins.

I feel pretty good about that time because I am hitting 43 on nice paved roads, I had to cross a few trees and streams and acutally let a couple runners past me. The trail was pretty narrow. But I do feel that this type of running could over take the road running for me. At least I will be training a lot more on trails in the future!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Sleep...who needs it....

So this morning I couldn't sleep. I woke up at 3 am and stared at the ceiling. Pondering on my day I decided well, no sense in just laying here. I'll go for a run.

So at 3:45 I got out of bed, grabbed my running stuff and clothes for work and headed out the door. I drove past work, dropped off my clothes and then went to where I park. Oh, in case you hadn't figured it out, I got my car back on the road!!!

Where I park is down in this place called Panther Hollow in Oakland. It's down a really nice long hill that I walk up every morning. Today though, I went up another hill that leads away from my office building. i walked up it, intending for this to be my warm up. I had no clue on distance (still need that garmin) but I was feeling the lack of sleep at the top of it. But I still ran, down forbes past the library, across the bridge into the park and then back out, down past the library around the fountain and then back on forbes to the office. I did have to stop and walk here and there. Mostly due to lack of sleep and then lack of nourishment. Up the steps, streached in my cube then hit the showers down the hall. I did over dress, there was a ligth misty rain this morning that made it seem colder than it was. Once I got moving I was more soaked from sweat. Next time I will know better.

All in all it was a great run. I think this may become the norm for me. It's so nice to run in town when it's quiet like that. Just me and the birds. Oh, I haven't used my ipod for about 2 weeks now when I am running. I am finding it easier to control my pace when I can hear my feet hitting the ground.

Well, time to work...after today I am off until Monday :) Tomorrow morning I am going to hit a trail near here and run it. Then rest friday and saturday for the trail race on sunday.
Blogged with the Flock Browser

Sunday, April 5, 2009

What a weekend...

This was another great weekend. The weather was wonderful.

On Saturday I spent the morning buying a pair of trail running shoes. I ended up going to REI to get them. I went by bus to the store, so that dropped me off about a mile away from the store. I hiked over to the store and got my shoes. After trying a few pairs on I decided on Salamon trail running shoes. They are very light and feel great on my feet. So in the spirit of buying them I put them on when I left and well I had intentions on getting a bus back downtown right outside of REI. Well there is this Gyro place there and well they are the best so I decided to cheat a little and have one. After that I was really full and walked out to get the bus, but something sparked, not sure what but I started walking towards town. Next thing I know 2.3 miles later I am in town waiting for the bus to come home.

Today, my wife and daughter wanted me to go to the boarn with them to see our horse. But there was a catch, we had to go to 2 other barns first to do a few things for friends. So after we got home I felt the calling to go run. I ran into the house changed and ran out. I decided to take one of our dogs with me. He is my little buddy and I wasn't going to run that much. Just a little jog to burn off some energy before bed.

Well after the warm up I looked down at him and said hey you ready. We started our nice slow jog. With him leading me we went a little further than where I usually burn out and need to walk. But I was watching him and not really paying attention to where I was on the route. I was worried I'd kill him. He isn't used to getting out and running like that. But we kept going and when I looked up I almost fell over. I stopped dead in my tracks and looked around. I picked him up and screamed we did it buddy.

I broke the mile! Finally after all this time I ran 1 mile without stopping to walk. I felt like I could go further but he was panting pretty good so we walked back home. All this time in my head I knew what the problem was. I wasn't trying to go to far, I was trying to go to fast. My shins didn't hurt either, but I came home, streched them out really good then massaged and iced them like I knew I better.

I finally feel like a runner!!!!!!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Not so random thoughts

Yesterday, I decided to run/walk the lake at a local park near me. It's a 5 mile loop and well marked and basically flat. I ran a lot of it but not all of it. Someday I will run it all but not yet, slow and easy. It was a beautiful day, 65ish sunny and a light breeze. What a day... there were a ton of people there, the walkers, runners, and bike riders. We all shared that hour. There was even a woman that was clearly not there to run walk or ride, well not a bike anyway. Oh did I say that..... :)

I have figured out that I am running to fast and need to slow down, working on that now, just slow running and enjoying it. I have decided the next 2 weeks are for me to just enjoy running and not concentrate on any race. Although I will probably do a 5k trail race here in the next couple weeks.

So, back to the unrandomness of this....

While I was going horribly slow for the 5 miles, I just started to let my mind wonder and see where it would end up. At first I thought about someday running with all my online friends. What a blast that would be. Then I thought about my life and why I didn't start this sooner. But lastly what kicked in there was my friends and family that don't run and what they thought of me running.

So I thought I would put it down yet again on WHY I run, so here it is.

Mostly I run to loose weight, get in shape and feel better about myself. At least that is why it started. Well that and the promise of a Jeep :) But then something happened, something kicked in that was really unexpected. I started to feel better not just physically, but mentally.

But that still doesn't say why... does it?

I run because it's one thing that no one can take away from me. I control it. It doesn't cost me money, it doesn't depend on anyone but me to be there doing it. I run to be me cause that is what I am a runner. I always have been, I just never let that part of me come out. I think back to all the times I thought, hey I am gonna get in shape and start running and never did.

So to the naysayers the doubters and the people that think I am plain insane, give it a shot, see how you feel. Yes there have been days when I haven't been able to take a step without pain. There have been days when I got out there, ran less than a 1/10th of a mile and said F this, I quit. But in the end, I go back the next day, I never quit. Cause in my heart I am where I want to be.

I know it was fiction but Forest Gump had it right. I could just go someday like that and not turn around. Just run and run and never stop.

Wanna come with me? ...............

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Just A Short Run Race Report

Today was a good day...

First off there were 4 races starting at the exact same time and there were 2000 people running. The 5K, HM and the HM relay were all starting from the same starting line at the same time. The 30k people were further back.

All week they had been calling for thunder storms and that concerned me. But yesterday they changed it to just rain and then the rain hit early and we had a beautiful sunny day to run in. And of course I forgot my sunglasses (grrrrrrr!)

So for the race. When the gun went off a massive wall of people started moving. I had to wait about 2 mins for the crowd to thin out so we could start running. My sister-in-law was doing this race with me but she was walking, so I knew I was going to have to leave her. Once I started running I ran the first 1/2 mile then I hit the hill... 1/2 mile hill that was really steep. But I walked it as fast as I could and once we hit the top I ran down the other side. At 1 1/4 miles they had water for us. It's amazing how I won't walk when I hit a water station. I want to be running when people like that see me. LOL But I did have to walk some today. But not as much as the last 5K. Once we hit the bottom of the hill the rest of the run was fairly level. I picked my I will pass target and keep him in my sights until just about 2 3/4 miles then I passed him. He passed me once, then I saw that magical starting line up ahead and kicked it into higher gear and passed him to beat him by 59 seconds.

Now, so you know I was content going slowr on this race because of the hill. The last one was flat, but I was going to try and beat my time. I just didn't think I would be able to. That hill was a killer I tell ya. When I came in I was so excited about finishing and the fact that I did run almost 2/3s of the race that I forgot to look at my time at the finish line. Then, they posted the 5k times but I was looking for my sister in law and when I went to look someone had taken them down. So I knew about what my time was, but I didn't know my offical time until about 8pm (20 mins ago). My offical chip time is 41:43... I beat my 43:20 even with a hill in it !!!!!!!!!!

For this race I got a very nice pair of shorts (hence the name just a short run) and I ended up buying a long sleve tech shirt with the races logo on it. I am going to get a picture of me in them but my daughter stole our camera for her stuff today (it's acutally her camera, but we use it to) So I will get a pic of me in them and post it ASAP.

After the race I got a massage and I tell you what, if you have never done that DO IT!! OMG it was awesome and I felt so great after it. I ended up talking to my target and we exchanged numbers and are going to get together for some runs. He has lost over 100 lbs since last summer and runs at pretty much the same pace I do. Talked to a few of the 30kers that I know from meetup.com as well. All in all it was a great day and I am very happy right now!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Yeah I know....

I have been slacking really bad. For that I am sorry.

Life has been getting in the way of blog time. But rest assured I am still alive (got an email about that) and still going strong.

Tomorrow is the big day, race number 2. There are 2000 people running the 3 various races tomorrow. 5k, 30k, and HM. I am doing the 5k. Looking forward to it but the nervousness of ti all is there. This 5k has a killer hill on it. But after that it's all downhill or flat. So I just have to get over the top :) I will post either tomorrow or Sunday on the results.

The past 3 weeks have been extremily hectic for me. I went to the Docs and he is puzzled at why I am loosing weight but my blood pressure isn't dropping. Personally, I think the meds never did squat for me and it is dropping but he won't listen to that. So, I had to go get a echo cardiogram done yesterday. Will let you know the results but the tech looked unworried. One thing I did notice is that my resting heart rate is down, even with the nervousness of the test I was sitting at 72 bpm.

After the race 3 weeks ago, I took some time to let my shins recoup and heal up. And then when they felt good, I ran again and the pain came back. So I did a lot of research on the internet and stumbled on a site that they suggested consistant shin pain could be related to a vitamin b definceny in your system. So I went out and bought a B complex to try it out. The first day I took one my shin pain seemed better but it was an off day and since the race is coming up I didn't want to push it so I waited. Yesterday I ran without any pain in my shins so maybe that is the reason. At this point I will try anything. I don't think it is to overdoing it because I haven't increased anything for a long time.

I will post the results for the race as soon as I can.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Race Day

Well, the race is over and I am home. WOW, I am so pumped about today....

I got there about 15 mins before warm ups offically started, signed in, got my packet and my chip. Then went back out to the car to drop that all off. Went to where warm ups were being held. Well, I was running on the Pittsburgh Steelers indoor practice field. Man, If I could run on that all the time, it's so cushioned and nice. My legs were saying hey, this is more like it. After I warmed up streached, ran around a little on the fake turf. I relaxed and just streached my legs out some more. My shins were still a little sore from the other day. I have been worried about this. But this morning they didn't seem all that sore. Mind you the new shoes are doing wonders. But I need to let them heal up now. I talked to a few people. No one came with me today. I was alone.

At the start of the race I decided to stay in the back of the pack. I knew there was no way I was running the whole thing, But I was sure as heck gonna run as much as I could. Once we started I faded back but not to the very last spot. I paced myself as best as I could and rand until about 3/4 of a mile in. Then my shin started to ache a little so I backed off to a brisk walk. I ran walked a few more times before the turn to come back, then I ran through the turn. There was at least one guy behind me at about 100 yards. When he would get closer I would run and bring it back to 100 yards. My shins weren't screaming pain, but I didn't want them to be so I held back. Then I saw 2 people in front of me. An older man and woman walk running as well. My goal was to at least catch them before the end. I caught up to them at about the 2 mile maker and we all stuck together until the end and in fact crossed the finish line together.

So I guess you all wanna know my time. Before I tell you, I would like to point out that in November I did a fun run and couldn't get 5k done in under an hour. So I set my goal at 45 mins. If I beat it great. If I didn't well that is my goal.

I crossed the finish line at 43:20. Yep I beat it... Wasn't great, wasn't the winning time at 17:10. But for a guy who is just starting, well, I'll take it.

In 3 weeks I have another 5k, I am gonna beat that time then. And each race I am going to get better... :) Oh btw I was hooked before this race. The grip got a little tighter now.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Random thoughts

Not much to report on the exercise front. Been taking it light to gear up for the race tomorrow. I did run very little in my new shoes yesterday. The pain in my shins was still there, but its much lighter now. I think a good day of rest should clear it all up... least I hope :)

First off, I got my new Runners World in the mail yesterday. I swear I am like a kid at chirstmas when it comes. I picture myself looking like Ralphy when he got his Little Orphan Annie Decoder. I grab it and run looking for somewhere peaceful in the house to read it. And then after a day or 2 I sulk until next months comes out.

Although, this months issue, a few pages in there is a advertisement for a new movie coming out that I am defiently going to go see. Here is the link to the trailer: Beyond the Epic Run. Check it out. I see great motivation coming out of that. Wish you all lived closer... we could all go see it together. :)

Speaking of movitation, the Pitts Marathon called me about my selections for volunteering. I guess they aren't having chip retirival this year so they needed me to pick something else. So after a few days of thinking about it. I choose to hand out medals. (Dane better not be there cuase I ain't giving him one)

Anyways, its nice out today, really hard to take today off... I mean it's close to 70 already and its only 8 am... I may get my bike out this morning and ride a little... its been sitting there saying hey isn't it about time?

Will blog tomorrow after the race... can't wait to tell you all about it... cya then!!!!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

The Morgue and New Shoes... :)

At work this week they did a number of layoffs. I am still safe though at least for the moment. It has been like working in a morgue this week. Everyone is nervous and justifiably so. A good friend of mine that they just hired not to long ago lost his job. A lot of people lost their jobs :(

Now we all get to work and play the waiting game. Will they decide to do it again? I really hope they don't but that stress is going to be there for awhile. I am glad I have running now to release it. I am really glad to be honest. It's nice to get out there and not think about anything but the road in front of me. I try to explain this to my non runner friends and they just don't get it. Maybe someday they will. But for now it eludes them. Running has become a lot more than just exercise to me. I don't think I will ever be able to stop. I hope never to have to.

I have been taking it easy this week in preparation for the 5k this Sunday. But I did want to run a couple times this week outside. No treadmills! But it has been so cold up until today it is hard to do anything outside. Today though... 60 degrees!! I went to a park near my house called North Park and there is a nice large lake there. If you go all the way around the lake it's exactly 5 miles and they have it marked for you. It's a little hilly but nothing major and it's a really peaceful course.

So today, I got out there and decided to run walk all 5 miles... I have never walked the entire lake before, but it was so nice I was not going to let that stop me. I started with a 10 min warm up, a nice brisk walk to get my HR up and my muscles warmed up. This got me to about the 1/2 mile marker then I took off on a nice easy jog. at 3/4 of a mile my left leg started to hurt. My shin was aching, but as soon as I stopped running the pain was totally gone. So I trekked on....

At one mile, I started to jog again. The pain was back almost immediately. But I pushed it out to a slow 1/4 mile before I stopped running again. Walking there was no pain what so ever and I put pressure on my shin and there was no pain then either.. Just when I ran on it. Of course I was worried and disappointed. But I was going to do the 5 miles, even walking.

So I kept up a brisk walk until about 2 3/4 miles. Then I tried to run again, but after 1/4 mile the pain was there again. I backed off, checked and the same. Nothing.....

Then I got to thinking. My shoes are pretty old, and the do have a lot of miles on them. So at mile marker 3 and 3/4 I decided soon as I get done I am getting new shoes.

Got to the car, stretched and looked down at my old friends. My first pair of running shoes. They served me well, and still will but not for running. I don't ditch old friends that easily. So we went to my favorite running store and I explained my pain to the salesmen. He told me that I more than likely need some more cushion in my shoes and went in the back and came out with a pair of Brooks Dyads. Wow the cushions were like a little bit of heaven right on my feet. He even brought a pair of my older shoes out for me to try next to them. Even with a brand new pair on the difference was night and day.

Tomorrow, after work (ugh work) I am going to test my new friends out. Gotta give them one good test before Sunday don't I ... yeah I know there should be more but I have been wanting new shoes... the money just hasn't been there for me to get them... So tomorrow, me and my new friends are going to hit the open road. Saturday I am going to rest and Sunday is the big day.. my first real 5k...wow the butterflies are there already :)

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Sometimes you have to wonder why we do it...

So last night I went to the stairs yet again. Most of the regulars didn't show up, think the first 50 degree day got them to go outside. But I have a goal, and that number is 6. I want to get that one time before it gets to warm to climb them. Which what I am seeing could be very soon. I think it must have been 80 degrees in there last night. I was soaked even my wicking clothes looked wet.

But, I did 5. Yep I am one time up away from my goal. I honestly could have done 6 last night but I ran out of water and the water from the fountains in there is warm. So it is not too refreshing. Next time I will bring more :)

I tried out some power gel tabs last night to get past the hunger pains. I also loaded up on carbs for lunch so I would have more energy to get up them.

First time up as usual I timed myself. I tried to pace myself a little more. I was feeling great though and I went up 18 without having to stop and that was just to hit the fountain cause I was so thirsty. (I leave my water at the top as an incentive to get up there). So I did that in 13.5 mins. Was awesome!!!

Second time up was a little more painful, it was the heat getting to me. I was soaked through and I had serious doubts about going for more than 2. But the this would be the least you have ever done syndrome got to me and I kept going.

Third time, I decided to try the power gel tab thing. It was lemon and I was really seriuosly worried about putting it in my mouth. How is it going to taste? Well it tasted like a lemon drop so I was good. I popped it in before I hit the elevator down and by the time I got to the bottom I felt a HUGE rush of energy. Damn little thing works I tell ya!

Fourth time up well it was non eventful. I was way hot this time and my heart rate was spiking a lot. I decided on 18 to not go for 5. To not overdo it, But then after 18 I noticed my HR was lower and not spiking as much. Once I got to the top I finished my water bottle and was like well that ends it. But then I said F this.. outloud too :P And took the bottle to the bottom with me to fill up.

Fifth time up. Well My HR never went abouve 150. Not sure if this is due to the tab of a second wind but I felt great. :)

That is it... was a great time. Hopefully next week I will hit that magice 6 which is a vertical 1/2 mile if you are wondering why I set that goal.

Well today is a day off from work, going to the gym to do some strength training. My legs are begging for a day off so I am giving it to them... Although it's 50 out there.... come on guys...heh.....

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

I May Just Be A Runner Yet

On Saturday I did a coopers test. For those of you that don't know what this is, you run/walk for 12 minutes as fast as you can without huffing and puffing for 12 mins. Then you take the distance you went and go by a scale that tells you your fitness lvl. The first time I did one of these I didn't even fall on the scale. This time I ranked as Bad at .948 miles. Hey not great but I am getting there. Then I came home bragged a bit to my sister in law then we went on a hike that was supposed to be 6 miles.

Remember, she walked a 10k, that is what started all this. But lately she has been backing off on working out and hasn't been doing as much. Well at 2 miles out she wanted to turn back. So we did. I was a little disapointed but I understand when you just can't do it.

I was going to run yesterday but it was way to freaking cold out there for me to even want to go back out once I got home from work. So I put it off until tonight.

But first, I signed up for another 5k today. I don't plan on running this one totally as it's in 2 weeks. But work is sponsoring it, so I figured I should do it :P Of course they won't let me in free but it is for a good cause so I am ok with that.

Now tonight's run...

Well I have to confess I have been a wimp when it comes to running outside this winter. The cold tears me up when I try to run in it. But tonight, it was cold. Really cold. But I wasn't not running and I didn't want to do the treadmill. So I went outside and did it. I did a 1 min run 2 min walk program. My goal was to finish this program with warm up and cool down in the distance of a 5k. I did fall a little short I did exactly 3 miles. But this is also the first time I ran hills up and down. It was fun and I really didn't want to quit, but I also don't want to hurt myself so I stopped. Was a wonderful run. Avg HR 136 max 167.

Tomorrow night I am doing the steps and this time, baring death (kidding) I am getting 5 times up in. Wish me luck :)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Steps take 3

The steps are quite the challenge I tell ya. I didn't increase this week. I got 4 times up in. I could have gotten 5 but after 4 I was starving and I was afraid to go for 5 without having anything with me to put back into my system. This is something I will correct next week. I haven't been going for longer than an hour all that much so I am not used to having to take an energy bar or gels or something with me. Generally all I take to the steps in water.

I forgot my Ipod as well, which made the climb up boring too. That is the first time I have worked out without it. It's not something I want to do again. The music makes me move faster and do better. I did time my first trip up, took me 14 mins exactly. Not all that great but I know the first time I went up it took me over 20. It was also very humid in there last night which made me drink a lot more cause I was sweating so much.

This weekend I am looking for a hike to do. There is one on Saturday but it is really far away and I don't know if I can devote that kind of time to do it. Still ahve that no car situation to deal with. I am going to get mine fixed soon. That will enable me to do a lot more.

Today I am resting my legs, tomorrow I'll run, more than likely at the gym cause of course it snowed here again and it's blowing snowy cold outside. I ain't gonna try and run in that...

Monday, February 16, 2009

Yeah yeah yeah

Well, here I am again slacking away. I have been boycotting the PC on the weekends for the most part. Well I did watch a movie on my laptop this weekend, but that doesn't really count as on the PC. I sit at a desk all day and work on computers. It's hard now to come home and sit at a computer and do anything. But, tonight, I knew I needed to update you all. So here I am...

Recap of the steps part 2. I did 4 times up. That is 148 stories...umm wow just realized my math was a little off. See I told people that I climbed the Empire State Building. Well, I did.. it's only 102 stories... I did 148.. so.. HAH! Check that out! This week, I am going to go for 5. But I have to tell ya, 4 was one of the hardest things I have ever done. By the 4th time up my legs were like cement, but I kept at it and made it up. Got cheered when I got up there too. Yay!

On friday I was supposed to go hiking and to be honest my legs were still a little tired from Wed., but my plan was to go and it fell through. After all was said and done I ended up taking friday off as another rest day. But Saturday, I hit the track at the local high school and just walk/ran. No plan, no time limits, I just ran till I was tired then walked till I felt like running again. Was a good time. I have no clue how far I went, only thing I can tell ya is it took about 90 mins.

Which gets me to today, I was sitting at work and I had a serious case of the monday blahs. I did a lot of work, but I just didn't want to be there today. When I got home I knew I had to do something to get the Blahs gone so I thought, "Why not go to the Gym and hit the treadmill". Yeah I know the treadmill? But hey it's 25 out there and snowing off and on. I didn't feel like running outside. I wanted to wear shorts and run in warmth. So I got there and my favorite treadmill was open. It's the only one there that works with my HR monitor so I don't have to look at the watch. And if shows me all kinds of neat graphs when I am done. (guess that nerd in me is still there) I did a 5 min warm up then decided to try out a 1 min run/2min walk x10 routine. *If you will note I couldn't finish this the first time I ever tried it.* I blew threw it with little stress, my avg HR was 138 and my max was 154. I was very proud of myself. I was a awesome feeling knowing that just 3 months ago I couldn't do this program.

So there you have it... oh yeah... the weight thing. Well it's pretty much the same as 2 weeks ago BUT I got a new pair of shorts (LARGE sized) Yeah... and a couple new pairs of jeans umm 38 not 42 :) So I am happy with the way things are going. I figure it's just my muscles tighting up which is a very good thing.

Ok, well. I am off to bed 4 am comes early.. but one more little itty bitty thing.. Thank you all for supporting me in this. Without all of you (you all know who you are) I couldn't get through a lot of this. :)

I'll try and let you know how the stairs go Wed... before monday... :)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

I have been slacking on updating this all week. So I figured instead of reading news that just depresses me, I would give you all a quick update on what is going on with me.

After the stair climb, I figured I would be wore out and sore. I waited and it never came, which is a good thing. On Saturday, I hooked up with a meetup group going on a hike at Frick park. When we got there we saw that it was more like a skating rink than trails you could hike on, so we ended up hiking through a cemetary and then on our way back through we cut thru the park to save time. (I think it endedup taking longer) The ice was bad, and once you were down in it there was no going back. We made it through and I was the only one who fell. (It was a graceful fall, I more like sat down than fell). This was a goo hike but due to the ice it wasn't very strenous on me. The hills were impossible to climb. But I got out there and did something.

Last night, when I got home from work it was still 45 degrees out there. I ran in the house changed and ran out for a run. Was so nice to get outside to do it. I ended up running/walking close to 3 miles. All those boring hours on the treadmill are paying off. I can really run some distance now. I still am short on the mile marker but last night it wasn't my legs that gave out on me, it was the cold air going into my chest that made me back off a little. After that, I realized that when I am out there I need to figure out how to keep my pace. I am pushing alot harder than I should. But my heart rate never went over 162 and it felt so good to just get out there.

Today I am resting my legs, letting them get ready for the stairs tomorrow night. I am going for 4 + I should be able to do it. My only concern is that I changed my work schedule to 4 10 hour days so I have to get up at 4:30 am. But, I will prevail and I get Thursday off work :)

Well, it's short and sweet... have to get back to work....will let you all know how the stairs went :)

Thursday, February 5, 2009

The Steps





There they stood, ranged along the hill-sides, met
To view the last of me, a living frame
For one more picture! in a sheet of flame
I saw them and I knew them all. And yet
Dauntless the slug-horn to my lips I set,
And blew. ``Childe Roland to the Dark Tower came.''
~ Robert Browning

So I read that there are 764 steps in my Dark Tower, 36 floors. I got there early, I called one of the people I was supposed to meet and he said, go try one and I will be there when you get to the top. I laughed, I can't do 36 flights up.. the most I have done in years is 7 and I felt like I was gonna die after that.

So, here is the deal before I tell you the story. You ride up... drop your stuff off at the top, ride down and then walk up, ride down... etc...

Ok, I hopped into the elevator and headed down. It opened on the ground floor and I was thinking well, my stuffs up there, I am gonna have to make it at least 1/2 way up to get to the second elevators so I can get to the top. So I went over and from the bottom you have a choice of left or right staircases. I followed a couple of people in front of me and headed off to the right.

Floors: (these are my thoughts as I went up)
  1. I felt pretty good.
  2. Still felt good
  3. I remembered to turn on my HR monitor.
  4. OK what the heck did I get myself into.
  5. Well 31 to go.
  6. OMG 30 to go.
  7. Hmm I can do this...
  8. Heart rate 135.
  9. Ok this is nuts
  10. Ok that guy just passed me.
  11. Well I don't hear the people I started with anymore.
  12. Heart Rate 152
  13. Actually wondering if there was a floor 13.. :P
  14. My mind went numb....
  15. same
  16. same
  17. same
  18. same
  19. Heart rate hit 162... I stopped and took a lot of deep breaths and let my HR drop back down to 140ish
  20. OK this may be doable
  21. Well, I shoulda brought water with me and not left it up there.
  22. Hah I am an idiot and I am gonna die in this staircase.
  23. Wow I see why they said wear wicking stuff it's hot in here.
  24. Numbness again....
  25. Same
  26. Same
  27. Same
  28. Same
  29. Same
  30. 6 more... hell ya I can do this
  31. 5 more
  32. 4 more
  33. 3 more
  34. 2 more
  35. 1 more (an open window... feel that cold air!!)
  36. I made it.....!!!!!!!
Ok some of these are made up. But I did think alot of that. I also though about this sign:



On the second time up the people I was waiting for showed up and when we got to like floor 6 I was like only 30 more. They told me not to look at that, but those damn numbers are everywhere. How can you not look at them! All I kept thinking was I don't wanna die here. But I made it up. I did the climb 3 times before I called it a night. 2292 steps. I loved it and plan to do this a lot more often. Next time though I am going for more than 3.

This is one of the best workouts I have had. I felt like great afterwards and today I can feel the difference in my legs. I suggest this workout for anyone. Just bring your Heart Monitor and keep an eye on it.

Monday, February 2, 2009

A Little Less Aggravation on the Bus

I ride a bus to and from work. Lately I have been very aggravated on the bus because it is way over crowded because of most peoples current economical situations. Today though, the bus was packed but everyone was happier. The person sitting next to me even returned my hello. To what was everyone in this town in a better mood for? The Steelers won the Super Bowl last night of course. I know this blog is about my weight loss and my fitness level but I am getting to why this of all things has anything to do with my running.

Last night with seconds left in the first half, James Harrison intercepted a pass and ran it 100 yards to score a touchdown. When he got done he fell to the ground and could hardly breathe. I watched in awe as this man, who gets paid more than I will ever get paid to be in shape. Gasped for breath on national TV and needed oxygen on the sidelines. I am not saying he isn't in shape, what I am saying is that, that is exactly how I was the first time I ran. Now I hardly get out of breath and normally it's my legs that give up on me before my breathing does. James, your the man.... if you ever read this. I live in NY and my name is Mike... don't let the blog owner fool you. :)

With that said, I haven't hit that magical mile yet. I was disappointed at first. But then I sat back and looked at what I have accomplished over the past few months.

  1. I lost 47 lbs.
  2. I lost 3 inches at least on my waist.
  3. I can wear XL shirts again.
  4. I have a ton of energy.
  5. I made a lot of new friends and reconnected with old ones.
  6. I can run 10mins although slow without stopping. When I started I could hardly do 30 seconds.
That is just some of them. There are a lot more. Some I won't ever post on here. But yes I am happy. Someone asked me recently why I don't smile in all the pictures of me. Well I haven't had a reason to, until today. I am smiling right now.

I am close to the mile though. .80 in 10 mins. I figure I can speed it up soon to get to that mile. But I am in no hurry. I am going at a pace that I feel I won't get hurt at. I don't want another set back with pain involved. So, in time I will get there.

When I am out there on the road I am me. I am the person I have wanted to be for so long. No one can take that away from me and I can get that feeling anytime I want to. I can go run, I can get out and do it without answering to anyone. The stress of the days before melts away and becomes nothing but dust in the little wake behind me. I hope that the people who read this and run already agree with me. But mostly, If one person reads this or just listens to me when I talk about it and starts to do what I am doing, this will be more worth it than anything I could ever do.

Let me tell you, you there person on computer, eating unhealthy and feeling like crap all the time. Listen to me about one thing. Once you start... you won't stop, you won't be able to. You'll want more and more and more... and you will get it. So get up and get out there. Come run with me. I'll be waiting......

But for now, I am taking donations for a new wardrobe :P Just kidding.

Monday, January 26, 2009

40 going on 18

I woke up this morning a year older. I didn't notice it though. Seemed like another ordinary day to me. Got lots of great birthday wishes from friends old and new. That is the only difference today.

On friday, the weather spiked to a warm 35 degrees. So I went home after work and decided to run. I mean I got to go outside and run. I failed miserably. All I can think about was I was exhausted and had virtually no energy to run. I tried pushing on, but there wasn't much I could do. I ended up walking most of the run I had planned. I took the weekend off and rested.

Tonight, I will hit the Gym and start working again. Don't worry Mike, I ain't quitting on ya. Did have a couple slices of Pizza this weekend and a couple beers. Was awesome, I think you have to give in to your cravings every once in a while.

But back to the whole 40 thing.... Umm I don't feel 40. I feel 18, and ready to take on the world. I think I just might... :)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Random Ramblings

Yesterdays run was not as fulfilling as Mondays but it was easier to complete. Same thing as monday 5 mins warm up 2:15 run 45 walk x4 then a 5 minute cool down. My HR avg was 137 and the max was 154, that made me feel better.

I was all primed to climb the stairs yesterday but my wife had other plans for me. So I had to skip out on it. Next week I am going for sure.

The weight is melting off at a surprising pace, I think the low calorie diet is helping a lot as well. But oh boy would a steak taste good right now. I need to broaden my knowledge of Vegetarian dishes. Right now when I do a no meat day I end up eating pasta cause well that is all I know how to make. :P Oh yeah and Veggie rolls from the Sushi Boat in Oakland. My favorite lunch place in all of the world.

Speaking of sushi, I watched a Japanese documentary yesterday and found out that I eat it completely wrong. I use chop sticks, they said don't. I dip rice first, they said flip it over and dip fish first. Well, now I know and will test it out tomorrow at lunch when I go.

I feel blah today, I want to get up and go but the energy just isn't there. I don't think I am getting sick, I just think my sleep pattern is all out of whack. The dogs don't like it when I hit snooze, they want me up and out of bed so they can go outside. They attack me as soon as the alarm goes off.

Well, Guess I should go start my day, going to walk at lunch. Also I hear that there is a break in the weather coming tomorrow and I may get to run outside!!!!! Can't wait for spring.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Oh Yeah!

I got to sleep in this morning. In my home this is a rarity since the dogs usually wake me up at 5 am to go out everyday. I guess they are trained to when I get up for work. Today started week 3 in the 4 weeks to a mile program. I was nervous about it because I didn't have this one downloaded until about an hour before I went to the gym.

So I downloaded it. Looked at what he wanted me to step up to and was like OMG I can't do that yet. I was doing 90 seconds running 90 seconds walking x4. He wanted me to go to 2mins 15 secs running 45 secs walking x4. I didn't think I was ready. But, I am not going to quit, so I decided ok i'll try it.

The gym was crowded, but luckly no one there knows what I am supposed to do today but me. So no one will know if I fail. I stepped up on the treadmill and started with the 5 min warm up. While I was warming up I still had my doubts. Could I really run this. But the voice said hey lets run and I went. Set one was easy, soon as I hit the first walk I really didn't want to. But I did what the voice told me to do. Looked down at my heart rate 150. I was thinking WOW no too bad. Set two was a little tougher but still easy, I still wasn't huffing and puffing, but I was sweating pretty good at this point. Walked again, turned my hat backwards for a little encouragement and kept going on. Heart rate at the end of set two 160. Ok, so now I was a little worried, 45 secs later... 145. Ok now that is better oh god set three. Set three, little huffing and puffing but not too bad. To be honest all I really kept thinking was why the hell do they have soap operas on the tv. Heart rate 160 again. Hmm cool. So I walked the last 45 secs... waiting ok RUN. Set four, 1/2 wat through I realized this was the last set. My goal was almost completed. I knocked the treadmill up at .5 and kept going. Ok your done, heart rate 165.

The dude told me to walk and cool down for 5 mins. The woman next to me looked over at me and saw the big grin on my face and stopped walking on her treadmill, grabbed her purse and left. (not kidding) I was so happy I wanted to scream. I did it.

After the 5 mins, I went in the back room did some streches. I am noticing a huge difference in my legs on how far I can strech before I feel any pain. Then I was still so pumped. I hit the elipictal for 5 mins backwards ( hate going backwards but it really has been helping with leg strength)

Came home. Screamed I did it and then ate a bowl of bean soup. Even threw a few crackers in as a reward.

I did it... 2 more of these... week 4 and I am going to tackle that mile...

WOOT!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Changes.......

I find it amazing how the littlest changes make the biggest difference in everything. I stepped on the scale today to see that I dropped yet another pound this month. 7lbs down, it's all melting away. I didn't do much to my routine to make this weight drop off, all I really did was stop using the elliptical and start walking and running on the treadmill, and to be honest I have skipped a couple days because of the weather and still it keeps coming off. :)

Just for the record I am not complaining, just mentioning it.

The about.com biggest looser contest is under way and the team competition is starting this weekend. Someone thought it was a good idea for me to be a team captain. Me the one who was always picked last for pick up games on the play ground. Yeah, amazing isn't it.

Anyways, I stepped up the running program to week 2 of 4 to a mile program. 5 mins warm up, 90 run 90 walk x 4 then 5 to cool down. That cool down thing is the hardest part. I still want to keep going, it's the remembrance of the pain I was in when I went to far to fast before that holds me back.

In the past 2 weeks I have reconnected with 3 friends from college through facebook. We have talked like it's been a week not 20 years. I lost touch with so many people that I will never find again. It's nice to know there are ways now to get back in touch with friends and relatives that you haven't heard from in years. Those are changes too, I told you down there in number 6. Stay in touch with friends. I am going to, all the old ones, the newly found ones that I have lost along the way and all the new ones. Your all stuck with me... :)

Monday, January 12, 2009

Pain

So guess what?.. I ran tonight on the treadmill and there was no shin pain at all :)

I guess the exercises are paying off. I warmed up at a nice brisk pace for 5 mins. Then I ran 90 seconds and then walked 90 seconds x4. After that I cooled down for 5. Heart rate was pretty good too. Max was 163 average was 137. I kept at a slow pace around 5.0 but it felt so good. It was all I could do to not keep going, but I didn't want to push too far too fast. I really want to do this right so I can run some of the 5k if not all of it in March. I think I can make it to that point :)

I'll be running with you all soon enough :) I can't wait :)

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Hiking

Went on my first hike today with the hiking meetup. Was a great time, the weather cooperated mostly. Freezing rain started to fall at the end of it. But we trucked on, and kept going.

We went to a park in the middle of the city called Frick park. I knew it was there but I never knew how large it actually was. I am not sure how far we hiked but I know it was over 3 miles. We started at 10:15 and finished at 12:30. We walked forever and I kept up with the group mostly, (there were a couple of people that went way out front).

In the summer, when there is less ice and snow, these trails will be great to run on. It's quiet in there and they go on forever. I can't wait to go back there. So much better than running the streets or a track near my house.

I also talked to one of the guys on the hike about Kayaking in the summer. That is something I have always wanted to learn how to do. Not the whitewater stuff, but just heading out on a lake and looking around.

I have noticed over the past couple days that my legs are getting stronger, so things are starting to come together.

Oh yeah, this is kind of important. I LOST 40 LBS SO FAR! That is 1/2 way to my goal of loosing 80 LBS. I went to REI and bought myself a nice running shirt as a reward. They were having a 1/2 off sale. Nice to be closer to my goal :)q

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

What a day!

I started out today with an awesome workout. The only thing that could have made it better is that I could have gotten outside to do it and not on a treadmill. To be honest it felt so good that I almost want to go back to the Gym tonight. But I am not going to do that for 2 reasons.
  1. I don't want to over do it.
  2. There is snow all over the roads and it's really slippy out there.
Ok, the snow is an excuse. :) I was supposed to do a stair climb tonight with the new people I met last night but with the weather, and the fact that I was supposed to help the Wife with something that the weather canceled as well. I could not go. They do it every week and it's only 2 blocks down the street where I work. It's only 37 flights :) Apparently there is a vacant floor on 18 and we were going to stop there and do a streching and excersise session.

The other highlight of my day is that I figured since there is no way I would ever be able to do the Pittsburgh Marathon this year, I would volunteer at it so I can still be a part of it. I set it all up and for 2 days I will be handing out T Shirts and on race day I will be at the finish line collecting RFID tags. Should be fun :) I am really looking forward to it.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Marathon Clinic

Tonight I went to a Marathon training clinic with the Pittsburgh Running Meet Up Group I joined. It was very informative and actually quite fun. I am really hooked on this whole running thing. It started with a Doctor speaking who has run 35 Marathons and was one of the founding fathers of the Pittsburgh Marathon. He talked about training and what to do and what not to do from his perspective.

Then the owner of the running store I shop at spoke about shoes and how to select the right pair. He also showed us some short videos of over and under pronators and what to look for.

They both spoke about injuries and afterwards we had a question and answer session with them.

All in all it was a great night and I am glad I went. I met 5 people from the running group there and they want me to go hiking and running with them soon. I can't wait to actually run with someone and not by myself all the time. They also suggested a couple running groups and a couple of runs that happen each week where there are people of all levels of running that I can get together with. That is something I am going to look into also.

Also today I took a walk down to the Library and checked out a couple books on running. After I read them I will let you know my thoughts on them. There are about 100 books on the shelf there so I have a lot of reading to do. :)