Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Wednesday Weigh In - Tough Week

     Well it has been one tough week riding this roller coaster we call life, so I am just gonna get this out of the way.

5/28/14 official weigh in
192.5 lbs
Change: +3 lbs
Total loss from heaviest: 124.5 lbs
Current BMI: 30.1 (obese)
     To be honest with you I am not really that surprised by this mornings outcome.  When I look back at the week it is filled with eating out several times, going over my calorie limits several times, and of course the lack of physical activity. Since I won't be doing anything physical this week I guess I will have to cut my calories back a little bit to help compensate, while trying to keep my spirits up that this is only a temporary set back.  It is so hard not to think that this slide will snowball its way into a full blown land slide.  I have worked so hard and put in a lot of effort to change my life, but it is still in such a fragile state and sometimes it really scares me.

     My wife and my Mom have asked me several times how my knee is doing, but it really is a hard question to answer.  I have had a couple of twinges of pain while moving around, but for the most part I only really had pain while running, so until I attempt that again I really have no idea.  It is so tough not to go for a run, I get the urge to go and I have to fight it and say no I need my rest, but after today's weigh in just makes that reasoning harder and harder to deal with.

       I have also been asking myself if my desire to push myself is the reason behind this injury or is it just a fluke.  Obviously it is only natural that my speed and times would improve as I lost the weight, but was I pushing myself to fast to soon.  Sometimes I think I lost focus on the real reason why I started running in the first place and for that is why I am now sitting here typing away instead of doing my long run for the week.  When I first started running I wasn't thinking to myself I need to work hard so I can get a sub 2 half or a sub 4 full marathon, all I was thinking about is going just a little further each day so I could burn a few more calories.  I think maybe I need to place getting to my goal weight back to the top of my priority list before I worry about how fast I can run my marathon.  Don't get me wrong I still plan on doing the marathon, but staying healthy enough to keep running so I can reach my weight goal needs to be my primary focus.  


Saturday, May 24, 2014

caution whining ahead!

     I want to preface this by saying I have changed my tune since writing this earlier.  After I wrote this I couldn't think of a title so I left it till I got home from work to create one and publish it.  In that time I came to the realization that all I was really doing was whining about my stupid situation, and that I am sure their are millions of people out there that are so much more worse off than I and would beg to be in my situation.  There are people that right now are being told they will never walk again, little lone run and I am bitching about a sore knee.  Yes I am still bummed but I am determined to not let this little set back ruin all my hard work up to this point.  So with that said feel free to read below but just remember:


     At this point I am not sure if I should change the name of my blog, I mean I can’t call it running in the fat lane if I’m not running right?  Of course I am just being facetious because I am dealing with this F-ing injury.  I feel like I was on such a roll with my running and weight loss that if I am forced to stop now, all may be lost.  I haven’t had a professional look at it yet, but after some research online it would appear that I have an IT Band issue.

     My wife has been wonderful with trying to keep my spirits up and telling me the sky isn’t falling and I have come so far that I won’t revert back to my old ways, but truly it is tough.  From all the suggestions and support from my Facebook community the most important things I need to do is stretch and rest; rest being the key to this injury and also the hardest piece of advice to follow.  Every day I am not running is one day less I have to prepare for my first marathon. 

    Now, I am overly in tune with my body and I am questioning every little tweak, twinge and ache that I feel.  To add to my misery we have been rearranging some of the furniture in the house to make room for the new hutch my wife got and last night I felt a little pain in the other knee, which has really depressed me.  Now I have issues with both legs, WTF!  I just can’t believe it, two weeks ago I felt great and now I feel like my whole body is over worked and deteriorating.  Really the only thing I can think of is I was way to aggressive with my strength training to early while keeping my running intensity up and all that contributed to it.

     So, my plan going forward that I have told myself, but need to convince myself to do is a full week off from everything, running and my strength workout plans, a total body rest to get things back to an even keel.  After that I am going to head to the gym a couple of times and hit the sit down version of the elliptical and/or the stationary bike, all low impact stuff.  I will spend this rest time doing a little more research on a proper daily stretching plan and a runner specific strength training program that I will very slowly incorporate.  The week of Monday June 2nd I will hit the gym for some low impact stuff and I won’t attempt a run of any kind until Monday June 9th.  If things do not feel any better or seem to be worse I will then make an effort to seek professional medical help.

     Now for the good news, I got an email from the head race ambassador for my local marathon, The Glass City Marathon.  She was asking me a few questions and if I had any intentions of running it next year, and I told her I plan to run the event next year, but I haven’t decided if I will be doing the full or the half.  I have to see how Columbus goes before I make that decision.  The main reason why she contacted me is because she is looking for others to also be race ambassadors.  I told her I would be very interested in helping to grow my local race.  She said she would get back with me, so we will see!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Wednesday Weigh In

     Sorry for the lack of posts this week, my parents have come into town from Georgia to visit and since being tattooed last Wednesday I haven't done any running until today.  I was really expecting to hop on the scale this morning and see no change or even worse a gain, but once again I some how was able to squeeze out a loss.  I felt like I kept my diet in check for most of the week, but we ate at Max & Erma's restaurant Sunday evening and Frickers, a more local place, last night.  I did my best to keep my calories in check for both days, but it was 50 cent wing night at Frickers! ;)

5/21/14 official weigh in
189.5 lbs
Change: -1.5 lbs
Total loss from heaviest: 127.5 lbs
Current BMI: 29.6 (overweight)
Change: -.3

     Now for the bad news.  I think I may have had my first running injury today.  Now remember I haven't run in 7 days so my legs should be pretty fresh but I didn't want to over do it so I made sure I went out with an easy (slow) pace.  I was planning on doing 8 miles today but ended up cutting it short at 7.25 miles.  I didn't get out till almost ten this morning due to some thunderstorms that came through, so the heat and humidity really kicked up after I left.   I stopped and took a quick picture of a family of geese that where making their way through a field heading to a nearby lake.  They blend in well so its kind of hard to see them.  Now my run was going fine until right about when I got to mile 4.  I started to feel an aching feeling on the right side of my right knee that slowly progressed in intensity.  I stopped and stretch for a second or two and then kept going.  That seemed to help for a couple of minutes but then the pain slowly came back.  I had to stop again at mile seven and I was just going to walk it in but I gave it one more stretch to see if that would work.  Obviously it didn't, because I stopped a quarter mile later.  I mostly told myself that this run means nothing and I shouldn't push it, but this is a first for me so I don't really know how to handle it.  So far I have iced it down a couple of times but I haven't decided if I am going to run or rest tomorrow.  Anyway, here are a few stats from today's outing anyway:

     This is nothing running related but I thought I would show you Mandy's new piece for the kitchen that I had to pick up today.  She found it at a local antique/refinishing store and just fell in love with it.  We had them paint the inside red to match the kitchen and give it that distressed look along with having the chicken wire put in to replace the glass.  Now she is out with my Mom to hunt down some knick knacks to dress it up, Lord help me!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Wednesday Weigh In - Overweight

     Well I think the title for this week says it all, Overweight!  I bet not to many people are happy and excited to tell people they are overweight, but when you have been obese and probably considered extremely obese, becoming overweight is a huge deal!
     I had a very busy day today so the first thing I did was get my weigh in out of the way.  When I hopped on the scale and looked down I saw 190.8lbs, exactly 1 pound less then last week.  The funny thing is because I had to keep moving due to my schedule I didn't record my weigh in till I got home later in the day and totally didn't realize that my BMI rating had dropped out of the obese category.

5/14/14 official weigh in
191 lbs
Change: -1 lbs
Total loss from heaviest: 126 lbs
Current BMI: 29.9 (overweight)
Change: -.1

      After I got my weigh in done my long run was next on my list.  It was cool in the mid 50s and overcast which made for a nice run, to bad it was only a 6 mile long run.  I just know when I hit the peak of my marathon training it will be in the high 90s and super sunny and humid.  Recently I have been trying to work on keeping my pace pretty consistent mile after mile, and today I did a much better job.  Usually I start out fast, slow way down mile two and slowly recover to a steady pace.  Today I wanted to keep the pace at 10mins per mile and it looks like other than mile 6 I kept a pretty steady pace going.

     I miss judged my time this morning and was short on time when I got back from my run so I had to quickly eat and shower so I could head to my buddy's shop, Lucky Luke's Tattoo Studio.  I was going to get my long awaited Strangers to Solemates Ragnar tattoo.  I wanted to use the logo that I created for the team, which we did, but we had to make a few minor changes that would allow it to transfer well as a tattoo.  I also wanted to give it that old school Sailor Jerry look to it.  We added the sun and the palm tree leaves to give a nod to Southern California.  Once we worked through all the design stuff, I had to decide where to get it.  I was going to do my lower leg next to my Detroit Half Marathon tattoo, but due to the size and shape it fit much better on the top of my thigh right above the knee.  I didn't keep and eye on the clock but I was probably in the chair for around 3 hours with only one break so Luke could talk with a couple potential customers.
     I am very happy with the outcome and love the simplistic traditional look to it.  The only downer is I won't be running for a least the next week while it heals. 

Monday, May 12, 2014

Say Hello to My Little Garmin

     I got a nice little present in the mail on Friday, my new Garmin Forerunner 220 GPS watch and foot pod.  Those of you that caught my Wednesday Weigh In post from 5/7/14 already know that I made the change because I was just getting tired of the issues my Nike watch was giving me.       
      A little over a year ago when I was researching GPS watches the Nike+ Sports watch was getting pretty good reviews from users and the price point was very attractive to someone who just got into running vs. the other brands on the market.  The first time I connected it to satellite it did take a little bit to acquire, but I thought that was normal.  From that point on it would usually take anywhere between 15 seconds and 2 minutes to acquire a signal, but in the last couple of months it was taking up to 10 minutes or in the case of my run on Wednesday, not at all.  The watch is powered by TomTom, and I recently read online that Nike and TomTom had parted ways, which is probably the reason for my issues. 
     Over the past couple months I began doing a lot of research online for what would become its replacement.  Pretty much all the reviews pointed towards the new Garmin Forerunner 220 or 620.  While I was in San Diego for Ragnar I was able to get some great feed back from my teammates that used both the models.  While everyone had raving reviews of them the biggest tip I took away was from Katie.  She stated that if she had to do it over again she would have saved her money and just got the 220, the few upgrades you get with the 620, in her opinion, was not worth the cost difference, and I agreed.  
     Now the only reason this post is even possible today is because of the love and support from my Mother and Father.  They have been so supportive and proud of my running and weight loss that when they heard about the issues I was having they thought an early Birthday/Christmas present would help with my upcoming marathon training.  So I just wanted to say Thank You both so much for your support, not just now but for everything you have done and/or sacrificed for me over the years.  

     Ok now back to the watch, I am not going to do a full product review with all the tech specs, there are plenty of those online just Google it.  I spent Saturday night reading the quick start instruction and getting it set up. I was amazed how quickly the GPS locked on; I was sitting inside my house and I had a full strength connection in no more than a second or two.  I like how there are two data screens that you can layout with up to three data points on each.  You can also set it to continuously rotate through those screens, but I haven’t tried that yet.  Out of all the features this watch comes with the one that excited me the most was the vibrate alert (#).  With my Nike watch it would only beep when I crossed each mile, but I am always wearing headphones and never hear it, so I constantly have to look at my watch.  With my Garmin I set it up to beep/vibrate when I hit each mile, which especially helps at the end of my runs so I will know when to shut it down without having to break stride to monitor the watch.  I also love the Bluetooth capabilities and the ability to upload your run almost immediately afterwards for analysis.  So far I only have one negative and its a super minor one, the limited color combination choices is annoying to me.  The 220 only comes in white with purple trim or black with red trim, which is the one I got, and the 620 comes in white with orange trim or black with blue trim.  If I had my choice I would have gotten the white with orange or black with blue trim but I can live with black and red.

     I got to head out Sunday and take the watch for a spin, and all I can really say is, wow it was nice.  It didn’t feel heavy on my wrist and again I wasn’t even out my door and I already had satellite signal.  I did a simple 4 mile loop just so I could get use to it and play with the features.
     I did find that I had to re-adjust the data fields; I had the elapsed time showing vs. the lap or mile time which I prefer.   The big test for me on the accuracy of the watch came this morning when I did a 4 mile out and back run.  All my previous out and back runs with my Nike watch were off by as much as a couple hundred yards.  I would assume that if I start at a line, ran till the watch said two miles, turned right around and came back to that line, it should be four miles.  Well with my Nike I was going past that line every time and most of the time it was by a large amount.  Well today’s test landed me at the 4 mile mark within 3-5 feet of the line, which if that trend continues then I will have to say this watch is pretty damn accurate.
     I will continue to play with it (#) and get all the setting just where I want them but my first impressions are so good that I feel like I wasted a year of my life with the Nike watch.  It also made me wonder how many extra miles I ended up running as a result of the Nike’s low accuracy.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Wednesday Weigh In

     When I stepped on the scale this morning and saw 191.8 lbs, a couple of things ran through my mind.  First was I just passed the 100 pound mark from the day I started running and the second was could this be the day I am no longer considered obese!  I sat down to record my entry for today and I just had to laugh.  Why you ask, well anything 30 and above in your BMI score is considered obese and what did mine say THIRTY POINT FREAKIN' ZERO!  I couldn't do anything but laugh, I mean there is no reason to be upset about it I lost 3 pounds, and that's is what it's all about. 

5/7/14 official weigh in
192 lbs
Change: -3 lbs
Total loss from heaviest: 125 lbs
Current BMI: 30.0 (obese)
Change: -.5

     My long runs for the next few weeks are going to be pretty short in comparison to what I will be doing when I get into the heart of my marathon training, and today was short 6 miles.  My gps watch has been a huge pain in the ass lately.  It has been taking forever to get a signal and sometimes, like today, never seems to acquire one.   So after 10 minutes of standing around waiting I said screw it and took off only using the foot pod and it became the most expensive stop watch ever.  Luckily, thanks to the support of my loving parents, I have a surprise coming in the mail on Friday.  Upgrade here I come! 
     I have run this loop many times and I pretty much know where exactly the 6 mile mark is, so I kept the pace slow and easy today, hovering around 10 minute per mile avg.  I am not real sure what happen at mile 4 that my pace dropped so low but apparently it did.

 Sorry for the quick post but I have some other things to attend to which leaves very little time for today's post.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

It hurts when I laugh

     While I was in San Diego I came to the realization that I need to incorporate some additional training in my routine.  Over the last year I dabbled in a little bit of strength training at the gym but ended up dropping it to concentrate on my running.  I have limited time in the early mornings to run before work and I felt like it was more important to get that extra mile or two in vs. lifting weights.  I wanted to challenge myself at Ragnar so I volunteered for the 2nd highest total mileage (22.7 miles).  I put in a lot of work over those few months leading up to the event so I could cover the distance of the three legs and do it as quickly as possible. 
      Now the best part of Ragnar is the team aspect and all the fun that 6 of the the 12 team members stuck in a van can have.  Extreme laughing is a buy product of all that fun and by the time I reached the end boy did it hurt to laugh!  It amazed me how much of my “core” muscles are used while running.  Well I thought to myself, if my abs are this sore after Ragnar, how would I feel 20-23 miles in during my first marathon, and the answer I came up with is not that good.
     I have spent the last couple of weeks trying to decide what to do and how to do it.  After all kinds of research on the internet I have boiled it down to this: 2 Days of Core workouts, 2 Days of upper body and 1 Day of lower body.  I have had an app on my phone for a while now that I never had gotten around to using called the Gorilla Workout.  In a nutshell, this app has several workout plans using only your body weight for your resistance.  Each plan has 4 stages of roughly 9 workouts in each that get progressively harder the further into the program you go.

 Core workout days will consist of:
Gorilla App – 200 Sit Ups
(Works you from 0-200 sit ups)
Standard Plank
Left & Right Side Plank
(you start out doing the superman pose on the floor and then attempt to roll over onto your back and make a banana shape without letting your arms and legs hit the ground.)
Upper Body workout days will consist of:
Gorilla App – 200 Push Up
(Works you from 0-200 push ups)
Supine Holds
Lower Back Extensions
Opposite Arm & Leg raises
Lower Body workout days will consist of:
Gorilla App – 200 Squats
(Works you from 0-200 squats)
Fire Hydrants
(Think of a dog & a fire hydrant) LOL

Here is what my weekly schedule will look like
(Click on the schedule for a blown up view)
          I am going to keep this routine pretty fluid and make adjustments based on how my body feels.  I don’t officially start my Marathon training until June 1st and I am still sorting that plan as well but I wanted to get this going ASAP so it would become routine during marathon training and I think the only way to get me going and make me accountable is post it here for all to see!