Thursday, September 27, 2007

Actually, I Run

So if you've read this site before then you may know I've already declared that I run. Todays announcement then may seem like a reiteration, but it's more like a 'no really'. Last night I ran the whole 1.8 miles without taking a single walk break. I started out a little slower than normal, unintentionally, it just happened. I didn't know I was going slower until the 1 mile mark when I looked at the time and saw 17:??. I picked up the pace a bit when I saw that but I was in such a good rhythm I already knew that it was important that I finish without walking. So it took me 30:53 to run the whole thing, but that doesn't matter. What matters is I ran the last 1.3 miles or so in such a good rhythm I was almost sorry that I didn't have a longer run on the schedule. My left foot started to fall asleep near the end, but was fine about 5 minutes afterward. I didn't mention it yesterday, but near the end of Tuesday's run both feet were falling asleep. I attribute this usually to when I'm pushing myself, but I'm starting to think it may have to do with how I lace my shoes. If it persists I've found some different lacing methods to try.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Doubler Hills

I did my routine. I added some triceps lifts. It was uneventful.

I ran in town this afternoon. I'm calling the route the Doubler Hills 1.83 miler, as it begins with a wickedly large hill and ends with a shorter steeper hill. I made a big mistake in the beginning when I ran up that first hill. Even though the ensuing 2/3 of a mile was a gradual downhill I was out of breath and very tired. I never did get into a rhythm. I walked up the last hill. I finished in 30:39 with walk breaks totaling 6:00. So I know for next time that I should just walk up the first hill. I'm also looking at different routes in that area that may be less hilly while I'm still getting used to running outside.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Weekend Blog Dump + Weigh In

I did my Tar Chip 1.8 miler this afternoon. The wind was against me both ways, not really sure how that worked. I felt slower than last time, I pushed myself to take the same walk breaks. I finished in 28:14, which validates my guessed time from Wednesday.

I ran on the treadmill today. It's not that it's bad, it's just that running outside is more fun. It was my light day so I was working on my mile again. This time I played with the speed as I ran. As I felt stronger I would up the speed a little and when I felt weaker I would take it down. At one point I was at 4.0 mph but I ended up running most of the time at 3.8 mph. In the last tenth of a mile I started upping the speed again. When I hit the mile mark I was at 4.2 mph and a time of 15:36. I know I can do better as my average mile time for running outside is in this neighborhood. If this week goes well I will be doing my mile outside next Saturday. The only reason I didn't do it this week is I wasn't sure how my body would feel after running outside for 3 days in a row. So far (knock on wood) I haven't felt much in the way of bad affects from running outside.

I ran my long run mid-morning today. Since the target is 48 minutes, the plan for today was to run in one direction down my road for 24 minutes and then turn around and head home. In most of the reading I've done the recommendation has been to have hydration on runs longer than 45 minutes. Since this was my first time doing this I decided I should probably take the advice. So I filled up a throw away water bottle and drove down the road to my normal turn around spot and threw it in a roadside bush. It ended up working out really well. I ran to the water spot, took a walk break and sipped a little water, and then through the water across the road so I could pick it up on my way back. As time got close to 24 minutes I started looking for a landmark that might be visible on a satellite photo. I was in luck there was an old tree line bordering a farm field ahead. It ended up taking me an extra 10 seconds to get there, but it was worth being able to see what this distance would be with one of the online pedometer mappers. Luckily no one trash picked my water while I went down the road as it was there when I came back about 10-15 minutes later. I probably looked pretty funny to the car waiting at the cross road for me to run by. All he saw was a big guy struggling to run down the road. I can imagine him telling the story to someone, "So I pull up to the stop sign and I see this Walrus struggling down the road. I look again thinking Mary spiked my coffee this morning and it wasn't a walrus at all it was just an escaped shut-in who was attempting to run. It looked like he was going to have a damn heart attack right there and then all of a sudden the desperate fatty picked up someones discarded water bottle from the side of the road and he starts to drink out of it, crazy S.O.B.!" Oh well it's not such a bad thing to be the inspiration for a humorous story. I finished the run in 48:32 having only taken 4 walk breaks totaling about 6 minutes. After using runningahead (and my car as back up) to measure the distance I found out it was 2.8 miles. So that felt really good to have covered such a distance. My left foot was the only thing that suffered poorly from the run. I gave it a good rub a couple times through out the day, but by bedtime it still felt a little crampy on the outside edge.

Monday Morning
I weighed 336.2 lbs this morning. That is an increase of 2.4 lbs from last week. Disheartening. I know that the scale doesn't measure my level of fitness. I know that the scale also doesn't measure the effort I put into getting said fitness. Looking back for the error in my ways I see two dietary mistakes. Saturday I didn't eat dinner till 8:00 pm which is far too late, and Sunday I had a second helping of taco salad that I didn't need. At this point I'm focusing on the John Bingham quote, "Progress isn't always linear." I'm not falling off the horse. The scale is welcome to feel like a failure but I'm not choosing that for me. I ran 2.8 miles on Sunday, 2 months ago I couldn't run at all. Also on the good side my left foot felt fine this morning.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Status, The Quo

I measured out where a mile is on what I'm calling my 'Tar Chip 1.8 miler'. Since it was a cross train day I did my modified workout. Ever since I ran that first day I ran outside I've been mapping out different courses around town. It's fun to see the different places I can run now that I'm free of the treadmill. Barring a foot of snow or horrific injury I will be running one run in town next week.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Running With A Judo Head

Well I ran outside again last night. I knew it would probably be a good run when my mp3 player's battery died on the second song of the run. See my only means for keeping time is on the stopwatch that is in my mp3 player. So I figured that I'd probably end up with a run that I'd really like to know what my time was. I got into a good rhythm early. I easily ran past the point where I took my first walk break yesterday. Every time doubt crept into my head I did a body inventory to evaluate my pain, there was none. So I just kept pushing myself. I told myself I'd just run to the next mailbox or power pole, but then I wouldn't stop, I'd just tell myself ok now the next one. I felt really strong when I ran past the mile point (which is still just an estimation, I have to actually measure it tonight). The thought that finally made me walk was that I might be progressing a little too fast on the outdoors running. I don't want to be injured just for the sake of one great run. So I eventually took a minute walk break, and then another on the little hill near the end. So 1.8 miles traveled with only 2 minutes worth of walk breaks, I call that damn fine. Since yesterday it took me 29:12 to do the same course with six walk breaks, I know I was faster than that today. Between my wife and I we estimate it took about 28 minutes, but I wouldn't be surprised if it was even faster. Oh well I'm just really happy at the quality of run at this point. My lower thighs, right above my knee, were tight last night. This morning they are still a little tight. Luckily today is a rest day, it looks like the schedule is serving me well. I'm really looking forward to Friday's run, I'm charging my mp3 player as I type this. I'm unsure how I will do my short and long days this weekend. At this point I don't really want to go back to the treadmill.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Anbody Need A Treadmill?

I ran outside. It was liberating. Here are some things that I learned.

1. I run faster outside.
2. Small rolling slopes don't really look like hills when you are running on them, but your legs know the difference between them and a treadmill.
3. The gravel on the side of the road might look like a better running lane, but those weeds growing in it make it a lot tougher than just running on the asphalt.
4. Seeing the mile marker down the road is not the same as knowing exactly how far you have come.
5. A compression shirt is like a body bra for a fat guy, it doesn't eliminate the jiggle it just controls it.
6. The sun is hot.
7. A breeze at your back in the last 5 minutes of a run can feel like a real blessing.
8. Nothing beats seeing the endpoint of your run and being able to run faster to it.

I probably learned more than just those things, but that is all I can think of right now. I finished my 1.8 mile course in 29:12. I wasn't even trying to run faster, at least until the final 300 feet or so. Let's put it this way, I know my next run will be outside.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Excuse Denial

Despite the presence of so many excuses I did get in a cross training workout last night. I've said before that I am reading, Running For Mortals. Well it has so good info on running related exercising. I took a couple of the authors exercises that I could do and added it to the paired down routine that I got from Still no luck in finding an exercise bike. It seems that craigslist for northern Michigan isn't all that active in that regard. I've also been perusing the local scandal sheet's classified section without luck. So far the weather looks good for tonight to be the first run outside. The only thing going against me at this point would be the heat, though it has been cold it is supposed to be a windy 82 today. I'll probably just remind myself of what Pat goes through and suck it up.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Weekend Blog Dump + Weigh In

I was supposed to do a weight workout tonight, but that didn't happen. I could post a few different excuses, but it just didn't happen so the excuses don't really matter. I did however buy a digital scale, I'm not sure whether this is good or bad. I really disliked our old scale as it was always inaccurate. I'm not even sure if it was supposed to give an accurate weight to a person my size as it is a dial scale and I made it go around twice. At least the new one will be accurate as long as I am under 350 lbs.

I broke my mile PR today, 16:40, I had the treadmill set at 3.6 mph. It's not fast by any stretch of the imagination, but it's good for me. My feet hurt during the run, but I attribute that to the 5 minutes of walking I did at the start. I thought a longer warm-up might be helpful but at this point not much good comes from walking before I run on the treadmill unless I am drop dead tired. I finished out my 30 minutes with just walking to keep it light so I wouldn't be too spent for tomorrows long day.

I was a little disappointed in my initial endurance today. I was not able to keep my initial run segment going for longer than 11 minutes which is much lower than the last few days. I didn't slip into the 90 seconds walk 90 seconds run though until about 27:00 so that helped me run for 29:00 out of 42:00 total. My right foot fell asleep at about the 18:00 mark and I wasn't sure if I could continue, somehow I pushed through it and around the 33:00 mark it woke up. I've read on the Runner's World Beginner Forum about other people that have this happen and it goes away like this, so it may just be a feature of my long runs until my body gets used to them. Felt good when I was done, having covered 2.256 miles. It'll be distance PR Sunday for the next few in row as I continue add time each week until I get up to an hour.

Monday Morning
I weighed in this morning with 333.8 lbs bringing my total weight loss to 33.2 lbs. I figure I might as well post a weigh-in once a week now that I have a reliable scale.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Rest Days Are My Friend

Another good run last night. It was a little tougher, but certainly not what I would call too difficult. I picked a different album and decided to run for six songs since I knew the songs were a little shorter. Oddly enough when I got to that point it was 21:36 so I ended up just doing the exact same routine as last night. This is encouraging to me to see that it is possible to put two of these workouts back to back. Which provides a perfect time to mention that I finally got my other running book that I ordered the same time as The Courage To Start. The new book is Running For Mortals. It is co-written by the same author as the first book, John Bingham. There is some rehashing so far, but it is a little more about what I would call the mechanics of running rather than the encouragement/ideology. I just finished reading about how slow muscles and bones grow, which is the big reason the authors advocate rest days (6-12 weeks for muscles and 6-12 MONTHS for bones). So armed with this new knowledge I will definitely be incorporating more rest days into my plan. My hang up with the rest days has been that I didn't feel like I was pushing myself enough to deserve them and I liked so much the post workout glow. Both of those I've found, are unacceptable reasons to skip the rest days. So anyway I kind of covered the plan for the future in my last post, but barring any pain/scheduling conflict I think my 7 day plan will contain 3 30 minute run days, 2 rest days, 1 long run, and a 1 mile run with walk after to round out 30 minutes. That should be enough to work me out without injuring me. Also I am giving next Tuesday a stern look and an unfriendly gesture, as it MAY be the first time I try running outdoors.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

I Run

In thinking about the mental aspect of running, I realized that my goal for my routine hasn't been clear and straight forward for some time. I've been trying to run for more time, but I've been unwilling to slow down because I didn't want to sacrifice my mileage. At this stage of the game I need to throw the mileage expectations right out the window, and if I don't care about that then speed can follow it out too.

Now that the goal was/is all cleared up, I can focus on what's important. Running, that's what I'm trying to do here. Sure I want all the great benefits of running, but first and foremost I want to run. That brings me back to last Saturday, I ran for 17 minutes straight. I quit because it was a mile. I watched the time and distance slowly tick away to a mile. As I got closer to the goal my crazy brain told me that was a long way and I should be really tired. Learning from that experience I may have now found the most important tool for running on a treadmill for me. A towel. Securely placed over the treadmill display, it blocks out all the negative sub-consciousness that comes from knowing exactly how far I've come in what amount of time.

Last night I told myself that I was going to run for five songs on the album I was listening to. After that I'd check the display and see where I was. I started by doing a two minute warm-up walk. Then I set the treadmill to 3.5 mph (my most comfortable running pace) and I just ran. My legs did tighten up a little, but they didn't hurt during those five songs. My feet never hurt during those five songs. I'm sure having a rest day before trying this helped, but I think not taking walk breaks helped too. Somewhere in the middle of the 4th song I really wanted to look at the display. I kept doing a body inventory and confirming to myself that I was not in pain and that I could do this. I told myself that as long as I had been running for longer than 17 minutes I would take a little walk break after the fifth song. When that song ended I pulled the towel off and the timer read 21:52. I ran to 22:00 minutes and then took my walk break. I had run for twenty minutes straight! My walk break was two minutes then I ran for two minutes, took another two minute walk break, and finally ran the last two minutes. I finished with 24 minutes running out of 30! To me this isn't run/walking, this is running. Only taking two, two minute walk breaks with a two minute warm-up, now that is huge for me (pun intended).

So this is what I want to do now, I just want to run. Obviously I want to get rid of all the walk breaks and run for thirty minutes straight. At this point I can't imagine that I am more than a week from that goal though. My plan is to do the same thing tonight, run without the treadmill display and see where that gets me again. Depending on the level of discomfort it should tell me whether I can run back to back days or if I need to incorporate more rest days for now. If I can only run every other day then so be it, I'll take the progress with lack of injury over the over training any day. So if tonight goes well then I will probably do a rest day Friday, then another crack at the mile on Saturday with just a minor speed increase (like .1 mph), then the long run on Sunday which will be for 42 minutes this week, and finally a rest day on Monday. Boy do I like to plan.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Athletically Mental

I took my rest day yesterday. I tried to do the routine from, but it clearly assumed I was a lot more fit than I actually am. I changed the push-ups to knee push-ups. I did the bicep curls and the side laterals with 10 lb hand weights, which in terms of the former was probably not enough and the later way too much. The only other thing on the list that I could physically complete were crunches. After about 20 minutes my arms were quivering and shaking so I abandoned the workout about 2/3 through. I will probably try it again the next time I have a rest day, but next time I won't be so ambitious with the side laterals and the 10 lb weights, I think that is what killed me.

I've been thinking a lot about my routine and last Saturday when I ran a mile. I like my routine cause it makes for a pretty even workout. Though I really like the feeling I got from running the whole time last Saturday even if it was only for 17 minutes. I'm thinking that one of the toughest thing about my workouts is all the walking. There is a great thread about the mental aspects of running on the Runners World Beginner Forums. I've long thought that my physical abilities were limited by my own perception of capability. Not that I want to lift a thousand pounds or fly to the moon, goals I know to be absurd. I just wonder if I'm ready to be running for 30 minutes straight and it's my head that is holding me back. I know that the more walk breaks I take the more I want to take them, so there has to be some credence to all of this.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The Detriment of the Youth Benefit

When I planned the long run on Sunday, my instincts told me that Monday would probably have to be a rest day. So yesterday I tried to find an online resource for at home exercise routines. I am reluctant to have a rest day where I just do nothing. I did find one at but I wasn't exceptionally confident in it. So I ended up on the treadmill instead and it only took about five minutes to learn my lesson. Long days prefer to be followed by light days. I didn't let my error stop me though, luckily I have the ignorance of youth on my side. I pushed through my aching legs and upped my routine to 18 minutes running out of 30. I felt better than the last time I did 18. I know that today will have to be a rest day. Not sure what I will come up with for a cross-training activity, but I've got the rest of the day to figure it out.

I haven't mentioned much about my diet changes. Jeff of Formerly Fat Running Guy was curious so I figured I'd post something about that for the record. My three biggest problems in my diet were overeating, late night mass quantity sugar snacking, and a complete lack of vegetables. I was lucky I didn't have to fight the pop demon too as I am a water addict. I had been eating about a cup of oatmeal with 2 spoons of brown sugar and cinnamon for breakfast for well over a year so that was covered already. Lunches have always been either leftovers or a can of soup (steak and potato 360 cal. +-). I did have to stop eating from the break room chocolate box but this was easier than expected with my keeping 100 cal snack packs at my desk to kill the random urges. To conquer my big three, I did a number of things. First I started making steamed broccoli or cauliflower with all of our dinners. I make more than we eat so I can take it to work for some of my lunches. I also switched us off of tater tots and started making packaged hash brown patties. The hash brown patties aren't any healthier, but they are a lot easier to make less of. When I first started I was eating two with each dinner, but now I just eat one. I make pork now as well as chicken and beef, so that helps to have another meat to rotate in. Just this past week I actually bought fish instead of steak for our grilling we do every Saturday. For the late night snacking I bought green apples and grapes and for a month or so I ate those when I needed a late night snack. Slowly though that urge to eat late has curbed itself. I also have some 60 cal pudding snacks if I need something sweet, but it's taking me about three weeks to make it through a package. Basically I didn't want to jump into anything too shocking that I could rebel against. I just took (and am taking) baby steps toward less food or healthier food. Rather than cut off a certain food I just eat less the worse it is for me. That means that sometimes I am strong enough to turn down my mother-in-laws donuts and ice cream and sometimes I just have a small piece of birthday cake. I want to be able to make better decisions, because I think that will stick longer. It may not be the fastest way to lose weight, but I know it will work in the long run.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Weekend O' PR's

An uneventful run. I stayed on course and did the same plan as yesterday. I am totally sold on this routine. For me it just feels right. I know I get a good workout and just when I need a break it shifts back to 90 seconds walking and 90 seconds running, which is cake at this point.

My wife and I took our oldest daughter (2) to the John Ball Park Zoo today with some friends, so I wasn't sure what I'd be able to do as far as a workout goes. I also had planned to do a longer total workout tomorrow. The zoo was about 2 hours of walking and it is on the side of a hill, so the stroller made it extra fun. We got home in the afternoon and I took a little siesta. I did my best not to actually fall asleep knowing that would spell demise for my pending workout. I was able to rise from the dead at some point and summon enough energy/wakefullness to get ready to run. My plan was two-fold: 1. See how far I could run, no walk breaks; 2. Attempt to run as much of a mile as possible. I am so slow I often question the value of a warm-up for me at this point in my training. I decided the best way to help myself complete my goals would be to bump my speed down from 3.7 mph to 3.5 mph and cut out my usual 90 second warm-up walk. The first .4 miles where the toughest just because I knew how disappointed I would be in myself if I were to take a walk break then (Having completed this distance in straight running about two weeks ago when I tried something similar). It was tough on my body, but it was probably tougher on my mind. Somewhere after .5 miles I got the feeling that I could actually pull it off and that is all I really needed to do it. 17:08 from starting I had RUN a mile. I know it's slow, but I ran the whole thing which felt like a giant PR. For the first time in my life I ran a mile. Even when I was young and I would run in gym class I never actually RAN a whole mile, there were always walk breaks. I was on such a cloud afterward that I wasn't even upset about Michigan losing.

Last night we ended up drinking with some friends so I wasn't sure how today would work. After being awake for a few hours though I felt fine and decided today would be ok to try the long workout idea. My plan, as I put in an earlier entry, is to add 6 minutes to my long run each week until I get it up to about an hour. It was a little daunting going into this since 30 minutes usually takes about all I have. I decided to bump my speed down from 3.7 mph to 3.5 mph just to give myself the best opportunity to finish. I think the biggest help is that I do have an excel spreadsheet of all the times printed out and taped on the treadmill, so I could tell myself that I only had x amount of run breaks left. I ended up finishing fine, I even thought to myself that I could have done more if I had to. My mileage for the day ended up being an obvious PR of 1.89 miles with 20:30 running out of 36 minutes. Oh and I've started calling my run segments run breaks, just as a little psychological warfare. I was really happy with how yesterday and today went together. I think it is important to go a little easier before the longer day. As I have yet to find a cross-training activity, I think the mile run is good for an easy day. I can either work on adding speed or a tenth of mile and have it contain some kind of progression but still not make me fatigued for the following day. Ideally I can find a used exercise bike here in the next couple weeks to make me feel better about taking running rest days.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Foot Stop Failing Me

A tough run last night. I upped my running to 17:30 out of 30 minutes. I do not enjoy running those 2 minute segments but I feel good when I get done. My right foot feel asleep again at about the 24:00 mark. I know it is not the shoes though cause about a minute after I was off the treadmill, while I still had the shoes on, the feeling came back. My feet don't feel constricted at all in the new shoes so I'm sure it is just my body trying to slow me down. I still have to remind myself that I am a very big individual. No matter how much heart and determination I pour into this sport (Wow John Bingham is starting to sink in, I called this a sport) my body needs time to adapt. To paraphrase Mr. Bingham,it didn't take me three days to get out of shape so I shouldn't plan on getting back in shape in three days.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

A Free Agent Foot

Well I have new shoes. I went to the closest local branch of the Running Fit Store. There I was helped by a very knowledgeable runner named Jeff. Now I know when I walk I put all my weight on the outside of my feet so I thought that made me supinator but, Jeff took one look at my feet and said I was a pronator. He watched me walk to confirm that my feet do roll in. He had me try on a Brooks brand shoe first because it is better for pronators. It felt very sturdy, but not exceptionally cushioned. I went outside and ran on the sidewalk a little. When I came back he had me try on a pair of Saucony's that were also supposed to be made to stabilize pronators. They were more cushioned in the ball of my foot. When I went outside to run with them I could feel the arch support was too far back in the shoe and it felt like it was hitting my heel. When I came back I told him I really liked the cushion on the Saucony but the arch was totally in the wrong spot for me. We tried different insoles and no insoles but neither of those fixed the problem. Then he had me try on some New Balance 1061's. They are neutral cushioned shoes so they won't help control pronation, but Jeff said that I may not be overpronating so I may not need that feature. I ran in them and they felt good. They feel similar to my everyday Adidas Ozweego's that I have been wearing, with one big difference, the NB 1061's are a wide shoe. Jeff told me that anytime your feet fall asleep it means your shoes are too narrow/tight. So anyway the NB 1061 is an expensive shoe so I asked if Jeff had anything that would fit similar and be a little cheaper. He said that since they fit well that he would take 10% off if that would seal the deal. I said sure and that's how I paid $99+tax for these bad boys.Miraculously enough the new shoes weren't the only new thing I tried during tonight's run. Back in August my wife and I happened to be going by a Nike Outlet store. I had just started the whole running thing and I was curious what they might have for that. I ended up buying a pair of compression shorts (which I overpayed for, much cheaper at Wal Mart) and a pair of Fit Dry running shorts with a sewn in underwear liner. The largest size they had in the Fit Dry shorts was XL. I tried them on when I got home and they fit, but they were a little tight. So I threw them in the drawer and figured I'd get to them at some point. Well the day before I neglected to do my laundry so those shorts were the last thing I hadn't sweated all over yet. They fit much better now, my wife thinks they still look a little tight though. The fabric is a little stretchy so she is right, but they are very comfortable. Now having run in all of my clothes I can say without a doubt they are the most comfortable thing to run in. When I race I will wear these. The shoes also felt good. No feet falling asleep, so that's good. My right foot did have a small dull ache in the ball of the foot, but I'm chalking that up to just getting used to the shoes.

The routine was the same as yesterday. Fingers crossed but this schedule seems to really suit me. I am tired after running the 4 two minute run 1 minute walk sets, but by the time I'm done with the whole 30 minutes I feel really good. I'm still reading The Courage To Start, and I came across some ideas last night for how to create a long run. The basic idea is on par with what I've been doing so if it seems overly obvious forgive me but I had to read it to know what to do. The idea is that you add a small amount of time to one run each week until you have one long run of whatever time length you want. Then if you want to increase your other workout times increase them one at a time by the same time increment at a rate of one each week. My plan is to introduce my long run on Sunday. I am going to add 6 minutes to it each week until I get it up to an hour. This should help me slowly get used to being on my feet for longer periods of time. If it all works out my first hour long workout should be on October 7. I'm not sure what I will do at that point as far as my normal routines go. I also have to think about when I am going to try and incorporate some outdoor running. Ideally I will get some time in before snow flies, but I don't want to rush it as I know it will be harder on my body than the treadmill has been and will require more rest days.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Mark Me Down For 50

Well I passed by my first month this past weekend and I never really looked back. When I started I couldn't run. It took six days of walking before I could even think of putting in some running. On that seventh day that I finally ran I managed a whole two minutes out of 30. Fast forward to today, a little over a month, and I ran 17 minutes out of 30. I no longer have to stretch my shirts out for them to fit. I just put them on and they fit. I have been stretching my t-shirts out for years to feel comfortable in them. Not stretching my shirts is crazy. My pants feel a lot more loose, like I should probably wear a belt. I've slimmed down into size XL shorts from 2 or 3 X's depending on brand. I have a lot more energy. My wife has noticed me helping out more around the house. According to my jury-rigged scale that I assume is still 12 lbs off, I have lost a total of 25 lbs so far. Last but not least, today I passed the 50 mile mark.

The actual workout today felt good. I had a slight pain above my right ankle as I left work. It went away a couple minutes in, so that was a relief. The foot pain I've been having was almost non-existent, but my legs hurt a little. I finally figured out how to progress my workouts without killing myself. My plan is to just augment the 90 second walk, 90 second run routine. Today my first 4 run segments I ran 2 minutes and the following walks were 1 minute. I will just keep converting an extra run/walk every couple of days or so. That should keep me from advancing too fast. Then once I am all two minute running segments and one minute walk breaks and feeling good, I will eliminate one walk break at a time until I can run the whole 30 minutes. If by some miracle I can continue on this pace then somewhere near the end of the month I should be able to run the whole thing.

I've been reading a lot of blogs lately to derive inspiration and to see how other people have come from being sedentary to active. One of my favorites is Pat's Note to Self. One of the many things I've found while perusing his pages is the book The Courage To Start. I am only about 80 pages in right now, but it's definitely an excellent first book to read. A lot of useful information on how to deal with wrapping your head around the fact that you are a runner if you run. I probably need to reread the part about progress not being linear after I've gone and written the second paragraph today.

The plan is to head to the running store after work this afternoon. with any luck my run tonight should be more comfortable.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Long Weekend + Holiday Blog Dump

I planned a rest day for today since the last three days have been so tough and tomorrow I would be switching to a morning workout. So I ended up mowing 2/3 of the yard and that went well. I would have done the whole thing, but the grass is still suffering from our drought in the other 1/3 of the yard. I wasn't winded at all like I used to get and my head was the only thing that got overly sweaty.

I dialed back my workout today like I had previously mentioned. I went with the 90 seconds walk and 90 seconds run, I ended up modifying a couple of the segments to be 2:00 minutes running and 1:00 minute walking to make a total of 16:00 minutes running out of 30:00 minutes total. I really didn't want to do this, but the past few days have been so difficult that I had to do something. It turned out that this was exactly what I needed. I felt great afterwards and that is the best birthday present I could give myself. Did I mention that today was my birthday? Also my wife got me some running socks and a couple compression dri-fit T-shirts. The T-shirt was very tight, but that is supposed to be how it fits. As I started running I thought it was odd that my head felt so hot, it took a few minutes to realize that it wasn't that my head was hot, it was that my body was colder. As I said before the run was good, my legs didn't hurt at all. They did tighten up about the 21:00 mark, but that went away in the next 90 second walk break. The only thing that wasn't completely perfect was my feet hurt. It is probably time for some fitted running shoes. I have been doing all my running on a pair of Adidas Ozweego running shoes that felt comfortable for walking about 6 months ago when I bought them to be my everyday shoes.

Couldn't get up early enough to get a morning run in, but luckily some time opened up later in the day. Another good 16 of 30 minuter, felt really strong throughout. My feet hurt about the same as yesterday, but I am mentally strong enough at this point to ignore it until I can get some new shoes. I used my new mp3 player that I got from my mom for my birthday yesterday. It is a Creative Zen Stone Plus. It's smaller in size and capacity than my 20 gb Creative that I've been using, but I will be able to use it for outside running. As an added bonus it has a stopwatch on it so that should be helpful until I can save up enough for a Garmin.

I was feeling a little lethargic today and NBC was playing some of the Track and Field World Championship footage from the past week. They had the womens marathon on, absolutely incredible! I swear at the half way those women were averaging 6 minute miles. It turned out to be a pretty motivating thing to watch, cause after I saw the Kenyan win I headed right down stairs to do my run/walking. I ran a little longer today at 16:30 for 30:00. The pain in both feet was still there, but at this point I expect it to be there until I get new shoes. I don't suspect it to be an injury of any kind because it only shows up after 7-10 minutes of working out and it's gone by about 10 minutes after.

I kept up the 16:30 pace today. I've been working the numbers lately and boy is it confusing. If I stick to 90 second walk breaks and up all of my running to 2:00 each I end up with 4:00 left over and only 16:00 of running. Before I ran today I thought I might step up again, but after all the math I just decided to do the same thing as yesterday. I look forward to the time when I will no longer have to time things out and I can just be a little more free to go run. I felt good and strong throughout. The foot pain took a little longer to start, but it's there as expected. I know I can't get to the running store Tuesday, but maybe Wednesday.