Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Wednesday Weigh In

     Not only is Wednesday my weigh in day it is also my day off from work, which is why I also did my long run today.  The reason I bring it up is because I have a lot going on over the next two weeks and today is my last day to just relax and not have to worry about anything but getting my run in.  At work, we have one of our biggest events of the year, a 3 day kick off spring event.  3 days of killer sales, food, vendors, music and more sales.  Monday and Tuesday I have to get my dept squared away for when I leave for California, which I too have to pack for in that time frame and be up and at the airport around 5am to catch my flight out.  I would suspect that Wednesday in California I will be able to relax a little bit, but come Thursday, we have to pick up the rest of the team that is flying in, go shopping for whatever we need, drive north to our hotel near the start, decorate the vans and be up and at the start line by 4am for our 5am start.  After Ragnar is over, we'll get to relax and do some sight seeing, but Tuesday, I fly home spend some time with Mandy and it's back to work Wednesday morning.  Man I can't wait, its gonna be a blast.
     Well lets get to the reason for today's posting.  I stepped on the scale this morning and weighed in at 196.8 lbs, which I round to the nearest half pound so my official weight for today is 197 lbs.  I am very happy with that, scratch that, I am ecstatic with that.  After a couple weeks of minimal losses, to have a 2 pound drop made me smile.
Official Results
Current: 197 lbs
Change: -2 lbs
Total lost from heaviest: 120 lbs
Current BMI: 30.8
Change: -.3
      I also have been tracking my BMI on an app on my phone so I figured I would show you a quick snapshot of my journey to get out of the obese category. I have .9 points to drop and I will finally be able to kick that label to the curb.  This does not show my entire weight loss journey, as I found this app well into my weight loss.
      I have a total of 13 miles on the schedule today, and seeing how it was still pretty cold out this morning I decided to do a split session.  I did 9 miles (81 laps) at the gym earlier today and after Mandy got home from work we headed back to the gym so she could walk the track while I could get the other 4 miles (36 laps) in.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Shorts kind of weather!

     10 days from today I will be boarding a plane to sunny Southern California for my first Ragnar Relay!  I have started putting my list together of what I will need to pack.  Of course all my running gear was at the top of my list but when I got to my regular street clothes I realized I didn't have any shorts.  As I have been losing the weight I have replaced my jeans and my shirts 2 or 3 times now but I never considered my shorts.  I looked to see what I had and the smallest size I had was a 46" waist.  See as I am wearing a 36 now, what I had was not going to work.  Mandy and I headed out to the store to grab me a couple pairs because there is now way I am spending 7 days of California sun in jeans!

 I ended up going with these.  They weren't to long or short and seemed to fit the best.  I also picked them up in blue and white. 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Wednesday Weigh In

     Usually every other day I will step on the scale quick before I hop in the shower, mainly to see how my routine can affect my weight.  The number that comes up on Wednesday is what I deemed my "official" weight each week.  Well, this morning I saw something that I haven't seen in almost 20 years, a 1 at the beginning.  I can't pin point exactly when the last time this happened but I would venture a guess to be my freshman or sophomore year in high school.  What's sad is that when I saw it, I thought I would be going crazy just enamored with what I had accomplished, but I didn't.  Don't get me wrong I was happy and very proud of myself, I mean come on I have put in a shit ton of work to get here, but it really just felt like another day.  It wasn't until I texted Mandy a pic of the scale and got this response:

 ...that I realized, yes I put in a lot of hard work, but to have the support of my wife, my family and my friends is what really has done it for me.  With that said here is my official weigh in for Wednesday 3/19/14, no rounding necessary a clear 199 this week with a loss of 1lbs and a current BMI of 31.1.
       For my Long run this week I had 12 miles on the schedule and I really wanted to do the whole thing without any interruptions.  The weather was looking pretty good with this heat wave we are having, but the news was forecasting rain all day.  After I had my pre-run snack I check the weather map and it looked pretty good, a nice window of no rain and a temp of almost 50.  The only down side was the wind but hey 2 out three ain't bad.  I decided to do my "hilly" 6 mile route twice, which doesn't take me to far from the house in case any thunder storms were to arise.  Overall I would say my run when great.  I had the wind at my back for 2/3 of each lap of my route and other then a little heel pain at mile 7 and a dog that just watched me roll by, I had no major issues.
         Now to head to my running club's monthly meeting and then spend the evening with Mandy!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

60th Wearin' the Green 7K

     Today was the official kick off to my 2014 race schedule and despite the cold and windy conditions I had a blast.  The race was put on by the Toledo Roadrunners running club and held at beautiful Maumee Bay State Park along the shore of Lake Erie.  Mandy and I live a short 30 minute drive to the park so we headed out around 8am for the 9:30am posted start time.
  When we arrived the wind was coming right off the lake so that 20 degree reading on the mercury felt more like 5.  We headed into the main lodge to get my bib and shirt.  While at the lodge I found out that the kids 1 mile race starts at 9:30 and the main race started at 10, so I was a little disappointed only because I could have slept in for an extra half hour :)

      The race was giving out a custom race medal for the first 60 runners to cross the finish line and custom glass mugs for the top 5 finishers in each age group.  I am a bit of a glutton when it comes to race bling so my goal was to try and earn a race medal.

  The course was laid out very nice, leaving the lodge parking lot and making our way towards the winding roads of the park campground.  We were about a mile in when I heard rustling in the trees to my left.  Just as I looked over a deer jumped out onto the course about 5 feet behind me right in front of the lady that was about 10 feet behind me.  It happened so fast and being so bundled up I was unable to get a picture of it.  The other deer got spooked and stayed in the tree line running against the flow of the runners.  I am not sure if it ended up also crossing in front of any runners but no one was hit or injured.  For miles .5 through 3 we were, for the most part, completely surrounded by trees so the wind was a non factor, but after that wow was it cold and windy.  The last mile or so we left the protection of the campground tree lines and ran the path parallel to the beach.  The wind was blowing so hard that it felt like I was just running in place.  Once I got off the beach I had the wind at my back for a nice strong finish.
When I crossed the finish line, I was so elated to accomplish my goal of finishing in the top 60 runners.
     Mandy met me at the finish to snap a few pictures and then we headed to the lodge to warm up and check my official time.  They had bananas, chocolate chip and shamrock shaped frosted sugar cookies.  I fought the urge to eat the shamrock cookie, it looked soooo good but I gave it to Mandy to enjoy.  They had to delay the awards by almost a half hour due to a computer crash with the results.
Here is close up pictures of the medal and shirt!
 The official times weren't posted till later in the day on the Roadrunner's website, my official finishing time: 36:58 / Pace: 8:32 avg mile
I finished 7th in my age group and 52nd out of 148 overall.
     Despite the weather I had a great time and to celebrate my finish, when I got home I went out for another 4.5mile run so I could get my 9 miles in for the day!         

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Wednesday Weigh In

     Well you could say this week was a victory because even though I didn't lose much I still lost and I am so close to going under 200, but close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades!  So my scale weight was 200.2 so as always I round to the nearest half pound so my official logged weight is and even 200 LBS. 
     This week, I would say has been a constant struggle for me, my guess is because my routine has varied a little from the norm.  Last Thursday my wife left for Phoenix to visit her family and attend her niece's wedding.  Her flight was at 7:45am so that meant getting up at like 4:30 to be ready and out the door by 5:30, so needless to say my morning routine and breakfast was shot.  after I dropped her off I wanted to go to a sit down type place where I could control what I was going to eat but with traffic and time constraints, the best I could do was McDonalds.  I did my best by getting 2 egg white delight sandwiches which wasn't to bad but for some reason I ordered hash browns too.  Old reflex I guess.  All day I felt hungry and when I got home I over ate on my dinner and evening snack.  As I look back through my net diary, keeping in mind I try to stay right at 2000 calories, out of 7 days I was significantly over budget on 5 of the last 7 days.  The only thing I can think of is that because I new I was so close to breaking the 200 barrier I got over confident and quite laxed  in my dedication to the process.  Suffice to say, the fatman inside me fought back this week and unfortunately won this battle.  
     And the hits, they just keep on comin'!  Wednesday weigh in is also long run day and with Mandy flying in today I was already having to cut my run short, but not as short as I ended up having to.  It's almost the middle of March and spring is suppose to be right around the corner, but today old man winter gave us the big middle finger with another snow storm!
Here was my view as I drove to the gym earlier today.  Thank God for four wheel drive, but I still couldn't go more that 15-20mph and couldn't hardly make out where the road was.
     When I made it to the gym I got warmed up and started my long run.  I had 12 on the schedule but I only had time to get 8 in if I was going to have time to shower and make it to Detroit Metro airport with the weather we are having.  I got to 4.75 miles and of course, the county went to a level 3 snow emergency and the gym made the decision to close up for the day.  Ahhhhhhhhhhhh
I guess some miles are better then no miles at all, right?  The only thing that went right for me today was my wife's plane was on time and I get to spend the evening with her and hear all about her vacation. 

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Wednesday Weigh In

     This week has been a little tough for me, I have been battling sore muscles and my diet.  I stayed on track when it came to the type of foods I wanted to eat, but I was having problems with the amount of those foods.  I try to keep my calorie intake to right around 2000 a day but this week I have felt a little snacky.  This led me to eat a little more of this and that, which let the calories crept up to 2200-2400.
     The other hurdle for me this week was my sore/overworked quads after last Wednesday's long run that I split into 8 miles and then ran another 4 miles 6 hours later, trying to simulate how running Ragnar would feel.  I went out a little to hard on both runs and just over did it.  I wound up taking ibuprofen, icing them several times, stretching and rest to remedy the the problem.  As they felt better I started running again but at a super slow pace.  Here's a pic from my nightly rehab. I got tired of holding them in place so plastic wrap to the rescue! LOL
     Well without further adieu, lets see what the scale had to say this morning.  With a few days of "overeating" and not getting in all my runs in I was super psyched after seeing what the scale had to say.  200.6 which I round to the closest half pound TWO HUNDRED FREAKIN' POINT FIVE!!!  I am a half a pound away from hitting my Ragnar goal and saying BYE to the 200s.  I feel like I am almost over that first huge hurdle in the battle of the bulge. This also means that I am only 27.5 pounds away from my goal weight!!!  Total weight loss from my heaviest of 317 is 116.5 pounds.
     Wednesday also means its LONG RUN DAY!  As much as I like running the track at the gym I just felt cooped up and wanted to run outside.  I decided to run in town to cut down on any wind but at 20 degrees is was still F%@king COLD!  I had 12 miles on the schedule today and I wanted to run all of them outside.  Well that didn't happen.  I drove into town and parked at the park on the edge of down to run the paved bike trail into town.  To find 12 miles in this town means running from one end to the other with a lot of detours to get the miles to add up.  I tried to stay on the roads because the sidewalks were not clear most of the time.  At mile 4 I went to grab my water bottle and found I couldn't remove it from the belt holster, it was frozen.  I tried the other but it was frozen as well, so with no water and having two now ice packs strapped to my waist I pressed on.  When I reached mile 8 I was only 1.5 miles from the car, freezing, thirsty and the thought popped in my head to continue my Ragnar training by finishing the run at the gym.  Yeah I know, you could say I gave up, but if this was a race I would have continued on and having the gym option it just made sense in my head. :)

Yeah I missed the part that said "Feels Like 10 degrees" and my post run pic doesn't really say it but I was really really really really really cold.
Now to the gym to put in my last 2.5 miles!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Ragnar Relay So-Cal Preview

12 people, 2 vans, 2 days, 1 night and 200 miles

This is what the Ragnar Relay series is all about.  Friends and strangers alike join together to Run, Drive, (maybe) Sleep and Repeat.  Since I have not yet run one and really don't have any idea of what to expect I hopped on to Ragnar's website for a little more info and here is what they had to say about their unique race experience.
      Ragnar is the overnight running relay race that makes testing your limits a team sport.  You and 11 of your craziest friends (or 5 of your crazier friends for an ultra team) pile into two vans and tag team running 200(ish) miles, day and night, relay-style. Only one runner hits the road at a time. Each participant runs three times, with each leg ranging between 3-13 miles and varying in difficulty. So, from the elite runner down to the novice jogger, it's the perfect race for anyone.
     While one person is running, the rest of your teammates are on support duty in your race vehicles. Teams require 2 vehicles (Runners 1-6 in van 1 and 7 -12 in van 2) Van 1's runners will cover the first six legs. As each runner begins, the crew in the vehicle can drive ahead, cheer their runner on and meet them at the exchange point to pick them up and drop off the next runner. After the first 6 legs, van 2 picks up the slack and starts putting in the miles.
Once your van’s runners finish the six legs, you drive ahead to the major exchange point to wait for your other van to finish their six legs, hunker down and try to get some rest. If you aren’t in the mood to sleep or can’t seem to move your body into sleep mode, try harder because you get to do it two more times!
     That is how Ragnar works, this is how I came to be part of my team.  As I have been on this running and weight loss journey, I had been surfing around the net and I eventually came across a wonderful blog Runs for Cookies by my team co-captain Katie Foster.  Her weight loss story was very inspiring and gave me and many others hope that we could overcome this battle.  She started a weekly post called Motivational Mondays, where she asked her readers to write in and tell all about their accomplishments for the week.  Over the last year I would occasionally send in when I would hit a milestone.  One day out of the blue, Katie emailed me that she was putting together a Ragnar team with her co-captain John from her Fat to Finish line Ragnar team.  They were looking for people who were running to lose or maintain their weight.  I was totally floored that she asked me and after a quick discussion with the wife, I jumped at the opportunity.  Other than Katie and John who new each other, the whole team is made up of complete strangers that have spent the last 8 months getting to know each other on Facebook.  This led to our team name Strangers to Sole Mates and me making 11 new and unique friends for life.  If our contact on Facebook is any indication this is going to be one exciting trip!  Our Race, Ragnar SoCal, kicks off in Huntington Beach and travels 192.9 miles south to sunny San Diego.
     I am now known as Runner #7 for our team, which means I am the first runner in van #2.  My first leg is 8.4 miles, second leg is 5.9 miles and the third leg is 7.1 miles totaling 21.4 miles.  Below is the maps showing my three legs.

April can't get here fast enough, because I am very excited to meet all my new friends, to get away from all this freakin' snow and to visit sunny California!