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...


Friday, January 16, 2009


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 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


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


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. :)

Saturday, January 3, 2009

The Coopers Test

Well, I did it. Not too impressive but considering 3 months ago I could barley walk a mile at a fast pace. My distance covered was 8 tenths of a mile. Can't wait to get that up higher.

Today I also got enrolled in the Biggest Loser contest. So we will see where that leads to. If I don't win you will all get to see my shirtless on there. Of course that may scare most of you away :)

On the meet up running group I joined one of the guys suggested that I may want to do a race here in June called the Rachel Carson Challenge. It's a 35 mile hike that you have to complete in at least 15 hours. They are going to start training for it soon. I don't have any notion that I could ever run it. But I think by June I could be able to complete this. So I am thinking about it. Sounds like a lot of fun. Just one more thing for my friends to look at me and go wow you are nuts. :)

Friday, January 2, 2009

Yeah that is me

Yep, there I am walking away from the camera. This is what I looked like before I started anything. The dog is my buddy, her name is Buttons and the Horses' name is JR (JAY-R) no junior :) I looked at this picture over the weekend and was amazed at the difference. Soon as we get our camera back from Best Buy Service I will post a new photo of the new me :)

This morning I got up to go to the Gym and the roads were snow covered and terrible. So I had to put it off until tonight. But I grabbed a pair of jeans to wear to work, and I remember this pair being a little snug in the waist. Hey there is over a inch of free space there now. Nice to see the difference. Tomorrow I am going to do my very first Coopers test and I am stressed out right now about it. How will I do. I know I am going to be in the poor to very poor category but how far into it will I be? But at least I know I have no where to go but up. And with the encouragement of new friends I will get there.

Life couldn't be much better right now :)

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year

So it is a new year. Time for all those resolutions to be decided upon and hopefully kept. Most of them are going to be geared towards weight loss and fitness.

Here are mine:

  1. To run at least a 5K this year. I mean run no walking at all.
  2. Do as many races as possible.
  3. Make new friends and try not to be any more of a social outcast.
  4. Loose my belly and get in a lot better shape.
  5. Not use Elevators for any climb under 4 floors and add to that.
  6. Stay in touch with my friends. I am the worst at this and I vow to be better.
  7. Have one day a week where I do all vegitarian. No meat at all.
Not too difficult.

So today I turned over a new leaf and instead of killing myself out there trying to just run I am going to work on getting to a mile, then go from there. I purchased and downloaded some mp3s that will help me get to this goal. They are called Personal Running Trainer and you can get them here: . I went out and did exactly what the trainer on the mp3 told me to do with a little more cool down since I had to get back home. Came home streached and then iced my shins so I won't get shin splints again.

My plan is tomorrow to hit the Gym and do all strength and ab workouts so I don't overdo it on my legs. Here is my schedule of what I want to do:

  • Sunday: Rest or just hike or something like that nothing to exhausting.
  • Monday: Run with the trainer MP3s. Push ups and sit ups at home.
  • Tuesday: Strength and ab work at the Gym.
  • Wednesday: Run with the trainer MP3s. Push ups and sit ups at home.
  • Thursday: Strength and ab work at the Gym.
  • Friday: Run with the trainer MP3s. Push ups and sit ups at home.
  • Saturday: Strength and ab work at the Gym. Or hike.
This is going to be my plan for the next 4 weeks. Then it will change a little once I work on increasing distance. I plan on hitting this as my next big event and my first 5k that I am going to run as much as possible. If I follow the plan at Personal running trainer I will be just finished with the 8 weeks to a 5k for this race.

I'll keep you updated on how it is going.

A Little About Me

I have been overweight for 29 years. I am almost 40 now. This story starts with me at 283lbs. My blood pressure is high. My health is really poor. I couldn’t even do one sit up or one push up.

Back in September my sister in law decided to do the Great Race here in Pittsburgh PA. She is overweight, has a bad knee and walked the 10k leg of the race. She was the second to last person to finish. In fact they were ripping down the finish line and had to replug in the timer for her to be counted. But she did finish it. While I was sitting there waiting for her to come in watching all the runners and walkers come in I kept thinking to myself, why can’t I do this. Why don’t I do this. So I made a bet with my wife, if I run the great race 5k next year and I mean run not walk, I get a Jeep, if I don’t she gets another Horse.

So I started walking, I walked 4 miles my first time out. And felt like I was going to die. Yeah I know way to much to fast. I know that now. Wish I knew that then. But the next day I did it again, there was pain but it was a little easier. I kept going for about a week and then said hey I should run some. Yeah I know big mistake. So there is this 283lb man in the wrong kind of shoes. Did I also add that my blood pressure had been sky high for years. I mean really high numbers that made the doctors think about admitting me into the hospital. That already has shin splints but doesn’t realize it and thinks its just muscle soreness, trying to run. Needless to say I didn’t go very far maybe if I am lucky a 10th of a mile. And I highly doubt it was that far. That night I hurt. The next day I had to walk a hospital looking for lost equipment and well I hurt. Every step screamed pain and shot fire up through my legs. But I kept going. I looked up running injuries online and saw that I had shin splints or maybe worse. I started icing them, sleeping with my legs elevated and taking it easy. After 2 weeks the pain was gone, but I was scared to death to go back out and do that all over again.

So I joined a Gym. Talked to the people there and they suggested low impact cardio workouts. The first time I got on an elliptical I did 5 mins and thought I was dead. I wasn’t even pushing myself. I kept going back though. Everyday, I would go to the gym and get on that damn machine. I wouldn’t let it beat me.

So here I am now. 245lbs still struggling with holding back, There is so much I want to do and I know I am not ready for it but I want to push myself to be there.