Monday, January 26, 2015

Want To Help? Charities of the Glass City Marathon


     Some wonderful charities have partnered with The Glass City Marathon this year to provide awareness to their cause and to raise funds to support those who they help.  Since 2009, over $250,000 has been raised for Toledo area non-profits.  Through a careful selection process, partner status is awarded to programs or organizations who are aligned with the Toledo Road Runners Club’s constitutional purpose which is “to educate Club members and the community about physical fitness and health through the sponsorship and promotion of running, physical fitness and other health related events.”

Official Charities of the Glass City Marathon

Great Lakes Collaborative for Autism — The Great Lakes Collaborative for Autism works within the community to promote awareness of Autism as well as collaborates with community partners to provide programming, services, and support for those affected by autism…

Maumee Valley Habitat for Humanity — Maumee Valley Habitat for Humanity works with low income families in Lucas County, Ohio to provide new or rehabbed housing, critical home repairs, clean-up and exterior maintenance. Please visit for more information…

Kids Unlimited — Kids Unlimited is an after-school tutoring/mentoring program operating in five central city Toledo locations. It focuses on providing a comprehensive approach to educating and mentoring children in three critical areas…

 Catholic Charities Diocese of Toledo — Catholic Charities Diocese of Toledo serves more than 41,000 people of all faiths and backgrounds in 19 counties of Northwest Ohio by providing food and shelter, adoption services, pregnancy support, guardianship for the elderly, jail and prison…

 Toledo Community Service Center, dba Family House — We provide services and programs to over 267 homeless families every year, at an average cost of $1700 per family served. With $10,000 we will be able to shelter, empower and re-house 6 families who find themselves in a homeless crisis…

 Girls on the Run — Girls on the Run is an after school program meeting twice a week in small teams of 8-15 girls. The program teaches life skills through dynamic, conversation-based lessons and running games. Running to inspire and motivate girls, encourage lifelong…

 Goodwill of NW Ohio — Goodwill Industries, a household name that evokes images of thrift stores, donated goods and workers with disabilities. We improve the lives of people with disabilities or other disadvantages through employment training and job placement…

 Racing for Recovery — Our mission at Racing for Recovery is to prevent all forms of substance abuse by promoting a lifestyle of fitness and health for all those affected by addiction. Racing for Recovery works to save lives and improve the quality of life for addicts and…

 Hannah’s Socks — Hannah’s Socks – restoring dignity one pair of socks at a time. It’s a simple premise really. Giving a person a brand new pair of socks. What many take for granted by opening their drawer in the morning to get ready for the day, is not possible for…

 Josina Lott Residential & Community Services — Enriching the lives of persons with developmental disabilities by providing quality services, safe environments and opportunities for self-determination and community integration…

Sunday, January 25, 2015

The Goals for 2015

     This past month everyone has been making and letting the world know what their New Year resolutions or goals are for the year.  I actually love seeing what other people are looking to achieve in the coming year, it gives me such motivation to sit back and really look at what I want to achieve.  Last year my goals were to continue my weight loss, run the Owens Corning Half Marathon, run Ragnar SoCal with my SoleMates team and complete my first marathon.  I would say that last year was a resounding success.  Not only did I run the Owens Corning Half Marathon, I ran it in under two hours, and I did run and obviously loved every second of my Ragnar adventure.

     On January 1st I weighed in at 210.5 lbs and on December 31st I finished out the year at 175 lbs, that's a total of 35.5 lbs down for the year.  As for the marathon, I couldn't have asked for a better first marathon experience.  Not only did I finish the race I did it in under 4 hours when everyone thought I was crazy to even try to attempt a sub 4 marathon.

     My plans for 2015 have changed several times over the last month or so as I have thought about it.  Before this IT Band issue consumed my life, I had glorious ideas of going after a sub 3:30 marathon this fall.  I also wanted to earn my membership into the Half Fanatics club, but that now has been scrapped, at least for how I intended to do it.  I was going to run the Owens Corning Half Marathon and 6 days later run the Indy half with my SoleMates for our reunion, but thanks to a large 3 day mandatory all hands on deck event at work being moved to the same weekend as Indy I am gonna have to miss out on the reunion and the Half Fanatics.  

     This IT Band has really put a damper on things for me, just because of the uncertainty with this injury not knowing how long it will last.  That, however, has not kept me from still thinking big for this year.  First, without much thought I signed up for a Fat to Finish line Facebook group challenge of 2,015 in 2015.  Stupidly I pledged that I would attempt to cover all 2,015 miles in 2015 all by myself considering I am starting out not being able to run, but it didn't cost anything and it actually helped form the rest of my goals or challenges for the year.

     For me 2015 is going to be all about miles not time.  I want to work to get healthy and run as much as I can, no matter how fast or slow it is.  That sub 3:30 marathon time goal will come, but I truly think that I pushed my self so hard this past summer to that sub 4 goal that I forgot why I was really running, to lose weight.  I can't burn calories and continue to lose and/or maintain my weight if I'm not running.  Right?  OK, I can but I would rather run than something else because I enjoy it so much.

2015 goals in no particular order

Get back to regular running
     Continue to work with my therapist till I can run pain free.  This is the biggest because if I can't do this than I can't do anything else on this list.
2015 or more total miles for the year
     I explained this one already earlier
Run a trail race
     This is a little tougher only because we don't have a lot of trails in Northwest Ohio and the ones we do have are pretty flat and basic vs other areas, but here is a local race that features a 5K, 25K and a 50K called the Oak Openings Stampede.  My first thought is to run the 50K because this will cross the trail race and ultra marathon off my list, but I may just do the 25K for the experience of it, but we'll see.
37 miles on my 37th birthday
     This may be a pipe dream, but I was inspired when I read a lady's blog, who was recently featured in Runners World magazine, that she was running 50 miles on her 50th Birthday.  She was running a race, but I am thinking about just hitting the road in the morning till I hit 37 miles and then have Mandy pick me up and take me home. 
Complete an Ultra Marathon
     Ever since I completed the marathon I was so proud of myself, but I had that feeling of what next.  I was mostly thinking of time goals at that time, but the more I read about ultra running the more it intrigues me.  I don't know if I am built for it mentally or physically, but I wanna find out. 
Complete the Detroit Marathon
     Katie from my SoleMates team and the runs for cookies blog is shooting for a marathon PR this year and our fellow SoleMates teammate, Thomas, is coming in from Portland, Oregon to help pace her to her finish time.  I wanted to at least run one marathon this year and my very first half marathon was the Detroit International Half, so I thought it would be perfect.  I'll get to see Thomas and Katie and since I don't have a time goal this year I'll just hang with them to give Katie any support I can.
Hit my goal weight of 173 lbs
     I am so close to my goal weight I set for myself, and I think I would be there already if it wasn't for me not able to run much these last couple months.  Once I am back on the road I'll make the push to get there.
Maintain my weight within the range of 168 - 178
     Once I hit my weight goal I need to give myself an range to live in so I thought a 10 pound range is an acceptable way to maintain where I am at.  That is unless I become some muscle bound buff guy and put on 20lbs of muscle or something crazy. Bahahahaha!
Try more fruits & vegetables 
     Trying the Apple has really opened my eyes and made me think that I need to give some other things a try.  This will be slow and on my terms, but even if I only try one new thing this year I will call that an accomplishment.

     So that is it.  That is what I am thinking right now.  I reserve the right to change my mind and or alter my goals, but I feel like this is really representing how I feel right now.  I never ever thought I would say the words "I really miss running", but I do miss it.  If running a little slower and going longer is better than short and fast (#) than that is what it will be.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Wednesday Weigh In / Rehab Run

     We got two inches or so of snow this morning and when I let Jedi out to go potty that was the last thing on his mind.  He seems to love playing in the snow so I went out to join him.  Now two inches of snow doesn't sound like a lot, but when you are a chihuahua dachshund mix and your legs are only like two inches long, that is a hell of a lot of snow.  Anyway I snapped this pic of him and had to share it because he looked so stinking cute.

     I was excited to get to my PT appointment because I really wanted to get some new things to work on because the static stretches I have been doing three times a day, every day was getting a little old.  Well I still have to continue the stretches, but got some new stuff to work on including yoga.  Yep that's right I said yoga.  I will give this yoga the old college try, especially because if I do I can skip two of my stretching sessions.  Today she also gave me a variation of a single leg squat to build strength and promote good running form.  Basically I do a single leg squat on an elevated platform and swing the opposite leg in a running motion.  It was quite difficult at first, but I was getting the hang of it by the end.

     Since this week we concentrated mostly on my running form to try and correct my issues that have been adding to my IT Band related pain, Alisha had me on the treadmill for most of the session.  While working on my cadence, she noticed that my left leg form seemed to be really good, but the right leg, the problem leg, isn't extending enough in the push off and isn't bending enough when I bring it back forward.  This is causing my leg to kind of swing out to the side to help clear the ground.  She had me get off the treadmill and do a few static movements that will aid in the muscle memory for proper form.  My form improved quite a bit after just a few minutes of drills.  Alisha then had me hop back on the treadmill and try it again.  It is amazing how much better you feel when you are running with proper form.  

     We finished with all the running drills, I cooled down and we talked about a few thing and scheduled my next appointment.  When we were all done with this session I hoped on the treadmill and banged out another 2.5 mile run, since I hadn't run since Sunday.  I concentrated on my form trying to keep my right leg in the proper position.  Now this may be due to being on the treadmill versus the road and after my therapy treatment, but I managed to only get a small amount of light tightness and pain for a short time around two and a quarter miles in.  I don't want to get my hopes up to much yet, but I came away from today's visit and run feeling very optimistic.  I would say I am right on track for starting my training for the Owens Corning Half Marathon at the Glass City Marathon in April!  

     Since it is Wednesday I need to post my current weigh in to hold myself accountable.  Sorry I skipped last weeks post, I just ran out of time.

1/21/15 official weigh in
176.5 lbs
Change: +1 lbs
Total loss from heaviest:  141.5 lbs
Current BMI:  27.6 (overweight)
Change: +.1

Friday, January 16, 2015

The Full or The Half? The Full. Wait, no The Half

     First let me start off this post with saying food poisoning really sucks.  Last night Mandy and I felt like going out to eat because nothing sounded good at home.  I won't bore you with the details, but I am surprised my insides didn't come out with all the throwing up I've done.  Needless to say I stayed home from work today, so I had some time to put this post together.
     I have been so torn this year with which race I was going to do as the Ambassador for the Glass City Marathon.  When I first found out I was going to be an Ambassador there was no way I wasn't going to do the full.  In 2013 I did the 5K and in 2014 I did the Owens Corning Half Marathon, so it only made sense for me to complete the trifecta by running the Glass City Marathon.  However, once I got the offer to have a reunion with my SoleMates team six days later at a half marathon in Indianapolis I thought it was best if to do the half as not to over do it and miss out on the reunion.

     Then some of the best laid plans get all screwed up.  Due to a work conflict that recently appeared I have to back out of the Indy race and lose out, not only on my registration fee, but spending time with my team and my shot of joining the Half Fanatics.  Because of all this, I once again said well Glass City Marathon it is.  I never once gave my lack of running due to injury a thought.  As I was writing my goals for 2015 I wrote that finishing the Glass City Marathon trifecta was on my list.  I also mentioned this to my Physical Therapist and I got "the look".  You know the, I don't think that is a good idea look, unfortunately she doesn't know my stubborn huge goal lifestyle I like to live. :)  She stressed her thoughts and concerns that I should stick with the half for now and told me we would talk about it more at my next visit on the 21st.

     As stubborn as I am I still feel like I could do the Marathon, even with a limited training window.  I don't expect a PR by any means, but I think I can do it.  Then I think rationally about it.  I realize that I am going through physical therapy because I can't run and I think running a marathon on short notice is a good idea.  Oh My God I am a nut job.

     So after all that, just to say this: I am officially saying I am proudly running the Owens Corning Half Marathon as one of 2015's race Ambassadors.  There I said it and I am committing to it.  The plan is to start my training for the race at the end of January or early February unless otherwise prescribed by my therapist.

     Good luck on your training to any and all of you that will be running one of this year's events at the Glass City Marathon.  I look forward to meeting and running with all of you!   

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

And The Winners Are:

Joanne F.
Jessica C.
Congratulations, I will be emailing you shortly with your race code
     I want to thank everyone who entered, I wish everyone could have won.  For those that didn't and still would like to participate on the Glass City Marathon, Marathon Relay, the Owens Corning Half Marathon or the 5K you still can!  CLICK HERE to be redirected to the Glass City Marathon's web page.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Rehab run

     Up until Sunday, I have only tried a one mile run that didn't really go so well.  I made it to a mile, but just barely as my knee pain had started to return.  I attempted the run right after my first physical therapy visit and at that visit I asked her if it was ok to run.  She said yes, but I could tell she really didn't want me to.  After that run I could see why.  My knee pain had come back, it wasn't to severe, but enough that I decided I wouldn't run again till Alisha gave me the go ahead.  My second PT visit went quit well and it was obvious that Alisha thought I had made some good progress.  She instructed me to give a two mile run a try and report back to her how I felt.

     Do to the frigged sub zero temperatures I waited until Sunday when things got a little warmer out.  Its funny to say that 28 degrees was warm, but compared to what it had been, it felt like a heat wave.  I headed down the bike path for an easy out and back route.  Other than some jackass that plowed a pile of snow right on the path that I had to walk through, the path was pretty well clear of snow.  I kept the pace around a 10:30 for the first quarter mile till I was warmed up, then slowly increased my pace to right around 10:00 per mile avg.  I obviously have been obsessing over this injury, so my senses were hyper sensitive on this run thinking every little thing is the onset of pain.  The thoughts quickly died down and I was able to make it to the turnaround pain free.

     Once I was headed back, I got about a quarter mile in and I started to feel a little something.  If you asked me on a scale of 1 to 10 on pain it was a one, more of an aching feeling than pain.  I slowed my pace slightly and the aching went away.  This feeling would come and go as I finished the remainder of the run, the pain never getting above a two.  I walked a few hundred yards to cool down then headed in to do my Therapist prescribed stretching routine.

     In previous running attempts the pain would get stronger a lot faster and my knee would ache badly for the remainder of the day.  This time no extended aching after the fact and I was feeling pretty confident I am on the right track.  I emailed my therapist with my notes and she sounded happy and encouraged at my results.  She gave me a go ahead to attempt another 2 mile run.  Now it may be awhile before I go out again anyway, we just got more snow and the temps are going to plummet again.  I really hate this time of year.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

The Text...The Visit


     Last night turned into a visit that was two and a half years in the making.  When I started this journey I came across a podcast episode from Runner Academy Podcast that featured Rik Akey and Ada Wong from the Fat to Finish Line Documentary.  They both told their stories of how they gained and lost the weight and how the Ragnar team and the documentary came together.  I knew nothing about Rik before this, but his story really struck a cord with me.  Just listening to him gave me hope that all of this was possible.  I must of listened to that episode thirty times to keep that fire inside me alive as I worked to meet the same distance and time goals in roughly the same time frame as Rik did.  I used what he accomplished as my goals like a compass pointing a ship to its port.  It would not be an exaggeration for me to say he is my weight loss hero and that he unknowingly saved my life.  It was always my goal reach out to him and thank him and even meet him one day.  

     In this day of electronic communication, Facebook made it rather easy to reach out.  I wrote him a long message thanking him for everything he had no idea he did for me.  Rik was so nice when he wrote back and even graciously offered to come run my marathon with me.  Unfortunately my race was the same day as a race he was already signed up for, so we took a rain check.  Well that race was going to be the Indy Mini half marathon that I was also running with my SoleMates for our reunion, but sadly I had to back out due to a work scheduling conflict.  I kept thinking I was never going to get to shake his hand little lone run with him, that was  till I got the text.  Just as I was walking in the door from work my friend Katie, from Runs for Cookies, texted me that Rik and his wife made a spur of the moment visit and asked if I wanted to come up and hang out.  I changed my clothes and literally headed right back out the door, because it's an hour drive from my house to Katie & Jerry's.  If you are a regular reader of Katie's blog you would know that Katie had another weekend house guest, Andrea, who was also a member of Fat to Finish Line team. 

     It was so much fun to just sit back, relax and listen to the three of them reminisce about their Ragnar Key West adventures and the documentary.  We talked about our up coming races, and Rik and I still plan to run a marathon together.  Rik is working on his goal of running a marathon in all 50 states and he still needs to cross Ohio off his list so we plan on getting together for that one.  The time seemed to just fly by and before I new it was past eleven and I still had an hour drive home.  We said our goodbyes, took a few pics so the rest of my SoleMates would be jealous; just kidding!!! 


Friday, January 9, 2015

LAST CHANCE for the Glass City Marathon Giveaway

The drawing for the two entries being given away for your choice of the Glass City Marathon, Owens Corning Half Marathon or the 5K race is only a couple of days away.  This is your last call to get entered for the drawing to be able to run with me for FREE!!!  Click the link below for all contest details and to sign up.  Best of luck to you all!!!

To be routed to entry form

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Wednesday Weigh In / PT Visit

     Hello from cold Cold COLD Northern Ohio. It's been in the single digits the last couple days and wind chills have been almost unbearable.  When its this cold I usually do something stupid like shave my head, but it's a new year so I felt like I needed a new look.  Actually I was just looking pretty shaggy and really need to clean it up some so instead of just shaving my head I headed to the local barbershop to get a trim.   I decided I wanted to continue to grow the top, but wanted to trim down the sides and the back.  I am digging the look and I think it will lay a lot better when it gets longer.
     As you know I haven't been running due to what I have self diagnosed as IT Band syndrome, or better known as "runner's knee", so it has been difficult trying to maintain the weight loss let-a-lone try and loose any. I had a slight up tick this week, but that is not bothering me at all.  With how my weigh ins have been going recently it doesn't shock me what the scale said today. 

1/7/15 official weigh in
176 lbs
Change: +1 lbs
Total loss from heaviest:  141lbs
Current BMI:  27.5 (overweight)

     Today was my second visit with my physical therapist and I have to say it went very well. We reviewed my gait analysis, which gave a glimpse into what my problem is. Running itself without doing any other strength and stretching exercises can cause a muscle imbalance. For me, running is all I have been doing for two plus years now, so it was no surprise to my therapist as to what she was seeing.  Essentially, as things got tighter and tighter on my right side and my right leg was pulling inward and kind of crossing in front of my left. When my right leg would land it was putting torque on my IT Band and irritating it. Eventually it got to bad and my leg said "I give up" with pain on the side of my knee. 

     After we finished the analysis we moved on to the actual physical therapy part of the visit.  After a lot of stretching, bending, pulling, twisting and deep massaging she gave me my homework. I am still to continue my stretching and foam rolling 3 times a day, but she added 3 stability/strengthening exercises to do once a day. 

     As for my running future, she has asked me to attempt a two mile run and email her how I felt.  If things go well she will allow me to attempt 3-4 more runs before our next visit in 2 weeks. If things continue to progress positively then at my next appointment we will talk about where my training will go from here.  

Sunday, January 4, 2015

An Apple A Day

     Well my at home PT is been going pretty good.  So far she is just having me do three 1 minute sets of 4 different stretches three times a day followed up with some foam rolling.  I am trying not to let my inability to run to continue to get me down.  All I am focused on is doing everything my therapist asks me to do in hopes that I will be able to start training for the Glass City Marathon event at the end of April.  It is not what I would recommend as a proper training plan but for me it is all I got.  As far as actual running goes my therapist has only allowed me to run one to two miles at a time as long as I have no pain and though she didn't say she didn't want me running I got the impression that I should keep my running attempts to a minimum till she tells me otherwise.  My hope is by the start of February I'll be back to running regularly and can add some real mileage, but I am not holding myself to a timeline.  March and early April is when I really have to ramp up the mileage if I am to have any hope to completing the race.

     I wanted to share a small victory I had recently.  I haven't really talked much about my nutrition and I promise I will, but this was a big moment for me.  Now I am not a fruit or vegetable guy; in fact I am a self proclaimed meat-eterian, almost the complete opposite of a vegetarian.  Pretty much potatoes were the only vegetable I ate and if I was eating pizza then the tomato sauce was the closest I ever got to eating a tomato.  Yeah I know.
     Well maybe a year ago it was a big deal for me when I added spinach to my diet, so the other day I got the "What?" look from Mandy when I asked her to get me an apple while she was at the store.  I don't know why I wanted to try one but I did.  She ended up getting a bag of them and it took me a few days to get up the nerve to try one and when I did I only ate about a 1/4 of a 1/4 of it and that's it.  A few days later I gave it another shot and ate a whole 1/4 this time.  Both times the apple was at room temperature and I didn't really like it a whole lot.

     See I have what I believe to be some sort of a psychological block when it comes to this stuff.  Whether its the taste, consistency or the crunch it makes when eating it I start to get a little bit of an anxiety attack and feel like I want to throw up.  For example, years ago I was at a Skyline Chili in Dayton, Ohio and got a couple of chili cheese dogs.  I asked for no onions, but when they arrived on my table, hidden under the cheese was fresh diced onions.  I took a bite and heard the crunch of the onion and immediately knew what it was.  I had to spit it out and almost threw up from a severe anxiety attack.  I know a lot of this is all in my head and I don't know why I let it get to me, but it is just the way I am built.  If you wanna hear something funny, after I graduated college I was looking for a job in my field and to pay the bills I was working in a produce department at a local grocery store.  Me!  A self proclaimed meat-etarian working in a produce department.
     Anyway, back to the apple.  A few days later I took one to work and left it in the fridge all day and forgot to try it at lunch so I grabbed it for the drive home.  This time it was nice and cold and no cutting this one, I just bit right in.  It was so much better cold!  I got through about half of it and decided to call this try quits, but I liked it and I am gonna try it again that way. 

     I know this may sound stupid to many of you, I mean shit its just an apple, but this was a huge deal for me.  When I started this weight loss journey I made changes to my diet that I could live with and was healthier than what I was eating.  Now I feel like I am pretty much at that maintenance period of my journey and I want to explore some other foods that I have never tried or tried and didn't like previously.  Hey you never know what I might end up liking. 

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Wednesday Weigh In / PT Visit

     Well Happy New Year to you as I type this at 1:32am January 1st 2015.  As you all know I have been in a bit of a funk lately with my binge on cookies and buckeyes, my IT Band issues and my weight gain last week.  Today, well actually yesterday, I finally felt like I was on my way back up from the depressed lows I have been feeling.  I managed to have a solid week of eating my usual stuff without any major slip ups.  I also tried an apple for the first time in years.  It was only about a quarter or a little more, but that is more than I have ever eaten before so I call that a success.  The scale snapped itself back to where I was hoping it would be.  I really think the gain last week was more of a fluke than a true weight gain, but the scale is all I have to go on right now.  

12/31/14 official weigh in
175 lbs
Change: -4 lbs
Total loss from heaviest:  142lbs
Current BMI:  27.4 (overweight)
Change: -.6

     As my regular readers know I have been battling a horrible case of IT Band syndrome.  I have been doing a lot internet research and trying to solve the problem myself with no luck.  After talking to Hilary, my Ragnar teammate, she suggested I visit a sports physical therapist for some professional help.  I did some research and found a place in Toledo, Ohio that has impeccable credentials and she is geared to athletes of all skill levels.  I had an appointment next week, but I was really getting impatient waiting so Monday I asked if she had an opening on Wednesday and she did.

     With my first visit Alisha made me very comfortable and asked me what seemed to be all the right questions that helped her narrow down what might be causing my issue.  After a physical exam of stretching, twisting, pushing and pulling she had me running on a treadmill while video taping me for a gait analysis.  She gave me her initial diagnosis and a few stretching and foam rolling things for me to do till my second appointment next week.  At my next visit, we will review my gait analysis in detail and go over my treatment plan and time frame for it.

     I know it has only been one visit and I have to be realistic about this, because this injury takes time to fix, but I feel so much better about my situation.  I need to be diligent and do all my "homework" that she gives me, add in some prayers and time and I think I'll be back to running long distances in no time.

     To add to what I wrote last night, I got up this morning to a very cold and windy new year.  The temp read 30 degrees, but with the heavy winds the wind chill made it closer to 15 degrees.  Alisha has allowed me to continue running but I am restricted to no more than 1 to 2 miles as long as I don't have pain.  After seeing everyone getting out and running today on Facebook I felt compelled to get all bundled up and head out, even if it was only for one mile.