Thursday, August 30, 2007

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The Precipice Of The Backslide

One of the worst and toughest workouts last night and I even decreased the intended difficulty. I knew things were going to be tough in the first 90 seconds of running. My legs felt like I had already been running for 10 minutes. I gutted out the normal routine for the first 10 minutes but after that I had to modify my walking to be extra slow (2 mph) just to recoup something for the runs. I did as planned and slowed my runs down for the last 4 segments which I'm sure helped but I didn't feel it. Of course because of all the extra slowness my mileage was the lowest it's been since last week, down to 1.56 miles. I have a planned rest/mow the lawn day today, then Friday and Saturday I should be on mornings. I think I am going to go backwards to the 15 minute running routine, as I blame all the trouble lately on my trying to increase my running time when I wasn't ready. I got so excited that day I ran 16 minutes and I didn't want to go backwards then so I upped myself to 18 minutes and it's been all trouble since. Anyway the 15 minute routine calls for 90 seconds walking and 90 seconds running, which sounds like cake compared to 60 seconds I've been walking. With this routine I think I may be able to incorporate some odd 2 minute run segments in here and there so that I slowly progress to 18 rather just jumping up again.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

A Reprieve At The End

Another 18 minutes of running last night. It really kicked my butt, in a good way though. So far I have been adamant about sticking to my running speed on the treadmill because I didn't want to sacrifice my mileage. Anyway somewhere around the 20:00 mark I felt like it was getting easier to run. Then I looked down at the display and realized that I had been running at 3.5 mph instead of 3.7 mph. I changed it and gutted out the rest of the workout expecting my mileage to really be off at the end. I was surprised though to find that I finished with 1.644 miles only 3 thousandths off yesterday. So I did some thinking and some math and I came up with a new idea. From now on for my last 4 runs, which amounts to about 6 minutes, I am going to run at the slower pace. My logic is that if I were running outside there would be no way I would keep up the 3.7 mph pace when I'm so drained. I don't think I need to retreat my whole workout to the slower speed because my body doesn't get bad until the 20:00 range. Also the past couple runs I have had a slight chafing issue on my inner thighs so I think I'm going to start using my compression shorts that I bought a couple weeks ago.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Improvement? No Vacancy

Well running after a rest day certainly didn't seem any easier. I'm sure the difficulty I had was not related to the rest day, but rather my unhealthy addiction to increasing the amount of time I run. It was tough but I made my 18 minutes of running. Somewhere around the 21:00 mark my whole right foot was asleep, but I persevered. About 30 minutes after I was done I felt fine. The morning after I feel fine. I think my right foot is just my body trying to slow me down. Ideally I don't want to slide backwards, my current routine of 60 seconds walk and 90 seconds run is difficult, but I've proven I can do it. So I will do my best to stick with it knowing full well that it will get a little easier every time I complete it just like all my other routines. My legs and feet want to be what is holding me back, but my brain and self doubt feel a lot more powerful.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Weekend Blog Dump

I needed a good day today and boy did I get one. My previous workout had been 90 seconds walking and 60 seconds running. Unfortunately the only thing I could think about all day was, "I wonder how far I could run if I just kept running." My plan when I got home was to do my normal workout and then maybe tomorrow try run as far as I could thing. Well after I talked to my wife I was even more anxious about seeing how far I could go, so I just said the heck with it and went for it. I did my mini warm up of 90 seconds walking and then I ran... for 6.5 minutes straight. I know it may seem insignifigant if you've been running for awhile, but I doubt I have ever in my life run that long continuously. At 3.7 mph that amounted to .4 miles! Anyway after I walked for a little I decided I'd run again but of course by this time my stamina was pretty low so I only lasted 90 seconds. Now for my normal workouts I have printed out from excel (yes, I'm a nerd) the exact times of when I'm supposed to do what. So I ended up walking till the 11:30 mark and from there I ran and just stayed on my normal routine. When my 30 minutes was up I had ran for 16 minutes and a total distance of 1.616 miles. Before today I considered what I was doing as walk/running, because a majority of my time was spent walking, but 16 minutes running is definitely run/walking. I know these hurdles I keep clearing are all in my head, but they make me feel like I'm really accomplishing something.

I bought some new workout shorts today and had a bit of a surprise. I am no longer a 2XL short size. I put them on when I got home and they were far too loose, almost nothing holding them on! So those have to go back to the store. I felt a little bit tired today after yesterdays big jump to 16 minutes running, but I want to keep progressing so I went for another PR today. Doing the math for my workouts, to keep things even I have a 15 minute running formula and an 18 minute running formula. Since yesterday's 16 minute routine was unconventional I decided that I was ready for the 18 minuter. This would be 60 seconds walking and 90 seconds running. Well it didn't take too long to figure out just how wrong I was. By the 16:00 mark I was absolutely dead on my feet, so I walked through that run mark and stayed on routine for the rest. Then at the 28:00 mark I ran for the last 2 minutes. I finished with 17 minutes of running. Not the PR I was shooting for, but still a PR. I think the biggest lesson I learned today was to listen to my body and watch my past performance. If I wake up a little sore the day after doing something I've never been able to do then there is no shame in taking a rest day.

I woke up sore today and decided to learn my lesson so I declared a rest day. After 25 days in a row of working out I felt very guilty doing this. I hope that with this rest day I will be able to come back Monday even stronger. Also I returned the shorts from yesterday and got the XL size which was $2 cheaper (another bonus)! I almost forgot to mention that I did run out to our mailbox and back today which is only about 500 - 600 feet, but still it marks the first time I've run outside in years. I will definitely need an adjustment period when I switch to outside running as with just that short distance I could feel it in my knees and feet that I was doing something more strenuous.

Friday, August 24, 2007

What is the prize?

Last night was another good workout. I can't help but wonder how far I could run if I just started running and didn't stop. I may try that this weekend. I'm torn on one hand I want to work the different walk/run regimens and progress slowly. On the other hand though I read about people who do it differently and they just go out and run and I wonder if I would be better suited for that type of workout. I think it may just be that I want to have been running for longer than I have. Patience is the key.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Scale Differential

Went to the doctor yesterday and he seems to approve of my new leaf turned. One thing that was disappointing though was my weight loss. I was expecting to be at 348 instead I was at 353 which means my scale at home is off by 12 lbs, at least now I know. With the timing of the evening working as it was I had to eat before I worked out which is how I used to do it, but is certainly something to avoid. Walking fatigue didn't kick in till about the 21 minute mark. My right foot did fall asleep on me by the end again, but this time I think it was because my shoes were tied too tight.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Fixing Broken Fixes

Well the treadmill did it's thing again last night. So that scratched the idea that it was a sweat related problem as I have been sticking to my running like a normal person routine. On the bright side I was able to up my workout to 90 seconds walking and 60 seconds running which put me at 12 minutes running out of the total 30 and 1.55 miles so another PR. That means that after over a week of walking and two weeks of incoperating running in, I am finally at the beginning level of the Couch to 5k program at I know I need to be more patient with my progress, I'm working on it. The results from tieing my shoes tighter were almost negligible. After I was done I immediately called my father in-law who knows what he's doing when it comes to electricity. With him talking my unexperienced self through it over the phone I was able to shut off the power in the basement, pull out the outlet and determine that is of the insufficient 15 amp variety. So then he brought me a 20 amp GFI outlet and I replaced it. The circuit breaker that our basement is on is 15 amp, which means if anything pops in the future it will be at the circuit breaker. So if that happens then we know we will have to replace that as well. It just feels good to know for sure that we have the problem under control, also not being a handy individual it feels good to now know how to install electrical outlets.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Sloppy Feet

Stuck to my routine last night. I felt comfortable and confident through the first 15 minutes. After that my legs and feet really started to hurt. When I run I try to concentrate on keeping my breathing even and striking the ground first with my heel. Lately as I get in the later part of my workouts I've been feeling like I just can't make my feet do it. I think part of the problem has been that my shoes are too loose. Being a fat lazy guy I've never tied my shoes every time they come on and off. I am in the habit of slipping them on and off, thus they are somewhat loose. I know that it can be problematic to have them tied too tight, so at work today I am trying to get used to them tied a little tighter. That and I am turning over a new leaf of actually tieing them when I put them on. Assuming I keep this up I should probably get a pair of dedicated running shoes instead of just using the running shoes I wear everyday.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Weekend Blog Dump

Finally today I got back to the 1.5 mile mark, to be exact 1.516 miles. To do it I had to up my running speed from 3.5mph to 3.7mph. Tough going though, my legs wanted to revolt earlier than usual, but I pushed through that noise. My only real concern when I up my level of activity is that I will be able to sustain it in future workouts. I'd hate to go too far and have to go backwards. Slow steady improvement is the best thing for my psyche at this point, doubt is the enemy. I'm taking tomorrow off of work to do something fun so that means my workout will be in the morning instead of my usual time of after work.

Wow early exercising is certainly not an easy thing to wrap my head around. Got up at the planned 6:30 am time which was actually sleeping in compared to my work get up time of 5:40 am. Felt tired though. About 12 minutes into the workout the ground fault circuit interrupt popped on our wall outlet that the treadmill is plugged into in the basement. It has done this to me once before and is very annoying as I have to stop and go over to the outlet and push a button and then go back to the treadmill and get it going again. I'm not sure why it does this, after the last time I switched to the top plug and it has been a week and a half without an interruption. Not sure what the fix for this will be, I guess I could handle it if it just did it once every two weeks or so. On the bright side I kept up the 1.5 mile pace.

Tough going today. I would call this the first time I really didn't want to exercise. I pushed the workout as late as I could cause I just didn't want to do it. The treadmill did it's shut off thing again today. This time it was about 9 miles in. My thinking is that we may just need to have the ground fault circuit interrupt taken off this outlet. I can't keep this exercising up with the treadmill shutting off. A disappointing day even with a 1.5 mile finish.

Fixes and firsts were what I needed today. I might as well just go through it as it occurred. After my first set of walking and running I noticed my hands felt sticky holding onto the handle/heart rate monitor (probably from all the sweat I constantly sweat onto them). So I took them off one at a time to wipe them on my shirt. When I took off my left hand one of the silver heart rate monitor panels stuck to my hand and came off the handle. There was a little wire hooked to it so it could only come off about an inch or so. Almost immediately everything clicked and I knew why the machine had been shutting off on me. All of my sweat must have been running under that panel and then running down the wire to a point where it would short out just enough to trip the ground fault circuit interrupt. I was immediately torn, I solved my problem, but how the hell was I going to fix it? I needed those handles to run, or so I thought. About this time my second minute of running came up so I tried to run like a normal person without holding on... and miracle of miracles I didn't fall over. Now I didn't have the most secure stride in the world, but I did it. So then it was on to walking and wow I could do that without holding on as well. So for the rest of the workout I did it like normal person. I had to catch myself a time or two, but that didn't shake my new found confidence and this will be my new routine. I ended up finishing with a new PR in distance for 30 minutes, 1.52 miles. My legs didn't get really painfully tired until about the 20 minute mark so that is better than it has been. I had one other small first, at one point I got into my groove and ran for a minute and 5 seconds. I know this seems a bit ridiculous to mention, but every little step counts when it comes to motivation.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

One-Third There

Last night I changed up my routine and was able to squeeze a lot more running out. I started out with two minutes of walking and one minute of running and then I just repeated that 10 times. That means 10 minutes of running! Very exciting stuff. I remember last week I thought I'd be stuck on 6 minutes forever, but now 10 whole minutes. The one disappointment is that I still didn't get to a mile and a half (got to 1.484 miles). I was able to get to it only once before when I walked the whole 30 minutes at a 3mph speed. Since I've started incorporating the running in my workouts, my legs seem to have even less tolerance for faster walking speeds, as 2.7mph is all I can handle for any duration. I am grateful for the treadmill though because I know I wouldn't walk as fast if I wasn't walking on it. Oddly enough I feel like I'd run faster outside. I assume because of my body shape I can't seem to swing my arms when I run on the treadmill. When I do swing my arms I become really unstable and I feel like I'm going to fall over. Instead I have to hold onto the heart rate monitor handles on the front console. I'm blaming this on my body shape for now, but if someday I'm smaller and this is still the case I'll blame it on the narrowness of the treadmill's belt.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Forty Five Second Groove

No problems last night relating from the night before when the top of my right foot fell asleep. Continued the 7, 1 minute segments of running. I kept all my walking at 2.7 mph and I'm still running at 3.5 mph.

One thing I did differently for a distraction during last night's workout was that I used my MP3 player as opposed to the laptop with a movie playing. It worked so well that I will be doing this from now on. Not really sure why, but as I have started running the movie option has just been wearing really thin.

The best part about last night was for once I finally found my groove. It was on my fourth or fifth minute of running. I started running and I was just comfortable, incredible. After 45 seconds I wondered how long I had been going and I looked down at the treadmill and saw I still had 15 more seconds to run and all comfort immediately vanished. I was back to reality and 15 more seconds felt like a lifetime. So I learned an important lesson, if I ever find that groove again I'm just going to let it take me as far as it can, no clocks, no time limits, just run comfortable and let the chips fall where they may.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

To begin somewhere...

Not really sure how much back story is really necessary. I am fat and I don't want to be anymore. That sounds good for now.

The last week or so I have been exercising, with a goal. That is new, both parts equally. I would like to run a 5k. Not walk. I found a place that logs workouts,, so I'm keeping track of what I'm doing.

During last nights 30 minute walk/run on the treadmill I ran for 7 minutes which was good. I have been just trying sprinkle in 1 minute run segments so far and for the past 4 days I was stuck at 6 minutes. So anyway last night I decided to try 90 second running segments. So I started with 1 minute walking and then 90 seconds running, then 90 seconds walking, then 90 seconds running. Which if you are not doing the math is 3 minutes worth of running in the first 5:30 of the workout. Before it was usually taking me 8 minutes to get to 3 minutes running. The problem was that at 5:30 I was hurting something awful in my legs. So I dropped my speed to 2.5 mph from 2.7 mph. For the rest of the time I sprinkled in 4 more 1 minute run segments. It's odd though cause when I walk my legs hurt but my breathing is fine, and when I run my legs feel fine and my lungs go on strike in seconds. The worst was at the end, the top of my right foot fell asleep. When I was done and doing my stretches I could feel some of my toes were asleep as well. It took more than 30 minutes before they felt anything close to normal. So it will be interesting to see if that will become a thing or if it was just a consequence of my pushing too much at the beginning. Thusly tonight I will go back to just 1 minute running segments and try to get in 7.