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.