Month in Review – March 2015

This month there was some really cool things and some not cool things. Let’s review, shall we?

Training

Monthly Review - March 2015
Monthly Review – March 2015

This month I ran for a total of 113.89 miles in 17:01:22. I think that is a pretty good total considering I missed a bit of running due to my hurt foot. Luckily it was nothing major, and I have so far been able to get back to running. It is only 7 miles below the average I need to hit my end of year goal, so I am not too worried about it. Speaking of, year to date I have run 397.76 miles in 59:18:08. Wow, kind of crazy to think I have spent almost 60 hours and run almost 400 miles already this year.

Year to Date - March 2015
Year to Date – March 2015

If you keep up with the blog, you may know that I am in the beginning of my half marathon training program for the Cellcom Green Bay Marathon coming up on May. So far it was going pretty good, got sidelined a bit by the injury, but hope to dive back in.

News

As you may have read, I was lucky enough to be named as one of the Leaders of the Pack for the Cellcom Green Bay Marathon. This is a really cool opportunity to share my story with more people and hopefully inspire people on their journey to the marathon or half marathon.

In other cool and exciting news, I actually placed third in my age group in the FNB 5K I ran a couple weeks ago. Never thought I would place, and in fact left and didn’t get my trophy! Not to worry, though. I did pick it up, and it is displayed proudly on my fireplace mantel in the living room!

FNB St Pat's 5K - 3rd Place age 35-40.
FNB St Pat’s 5K – 3rd Place age 35-40.

Well, that is about it for the month. The weather is getting nicer and hopefully my half marathon training stays on track!

Week in Review – March 29, 2015

This week turned out to be a pretty good week after a bit of a rough start. Let me start with the news/updates.

News/Updates

This week I went to the doctor on Wednesday to get my foot checked out. I had a lot of pain in it last week and took some time off. I called Monday and got in on Wednesday to get it checked out.

Foot X-ray
Foot X-ray

Turns out that there were no breaks or fractures or anything wrong with the bones. Actually on Tuesday and Wednesday (the day I went in), it felt really good. The doctor said I may have just strained it and had some inflammation.  He told me to take it easy but I could run as I tolerated it and to take 2-3 Ibuprofen 3 times a day for the next couple of weeks. I ended up running 4.57 miles on it the afternoon of my appointment with no pain at all. Luckily, I think it just needed a bit of rest.

Training

This brings me to the training that was impacted by the foot pain issue I had. I ran a total of 17.17 miles in 3:21:17. I ran 3 days straight after my doctor appointment and had no pain at all, so that is a great sign! I was scheduled to run 10 miles on Sunday, but I decided to skip it. I still went to the gym and lifted and worked on the elliptical machine, but I felt like I wanted to give my foot a bit more time to make sure everything is ok. I will be starting back up with the next week of my training schedule so I want to make sure I don’t do anything to hurt my training for the half marathon.

The runs I did, as I said, felt good and had no pain at all. It just felt really good to get back into the running. It is always a good reminder when you can’t run, just how much it means to you to run. The elliptical machine is good, but nothing beats running for me. I am also hoping that with next weeks training and the hopefully better weather, I can hit the trails again! I love running trails actually. More so than on the road actually. I will have to see if I can get some trail races in this year.

Races

I have a 5K coming up on Friday April 3rd. It looks to be a fun, flat and fast 5K. I highly doubt I will place like I did in the last 5K, but I am looking forward to running it. I plan to take it a bit easy given my foot, but that always changes when the adrenaline hits and you get around all the other runners. Should be a fun race.

Gear

This weeks new gear is not really gear, but a book I have been reading. I finally started reading the 80/20 Running: Run Stronger and Race Faster by Training Slower by Matt Fitzgerald. So far, I am really enjoying it. The author spends the first half of the book explaining the science behind the 80/20 running and the second half explaining how to actually do it. Turns out most amateurs run about a 50/50 mix of hard and actual easy runs (some a lot less easy as what they say is easy, really isn’t). I am only through the first half of the book, but I am a believer so far. Now I just gotta learn how to apply it. I will have a fuller review when I complete it but I have already started running my easy runs at more of an actual easy pace.

Well, that is it for this week. I hope everyone gets out and get s chance to run!

Why I Run

This post I wrote for the Cellcom Green Bay Marathon. I thought I would share it here as well.

Some people run for pure enjoyment. Some people run as a mood enhancer. Some people run to be able to eat cookies. And some of us run to lose weight and get in shape. I fall under the last category, or at least I used to.

Just over 1 year ago, I weighed 320 (or more, I stopped getting on a scale) pounds. The picture below is me on March 8, 2014. To say I was overweight, was to put it mildly. I grew up always being on the heavy side. I always wore husky pants and was always heavier than most all of my friends. It bothered me at times, and at times I was more alright with it (probably more than I should have been).

Me at about 320 pounds
Me at about 320 pounds

It was after the picture above was taken and I looked at it, I realized how disgusted I was with myself and decided I needed to make a change and get really serious about losing weight.

In the past I had tried all kinds of weight loss programs. I did Weight Watchers, Atkins, South Beach and tried just going to the gym random times and not really doing any kind of program. As you can guess, they all failed miserably! Weight Watchers worked a couple times for a bit, but as soons as I stopped I would gain back twice what I lost. I ended up giving up after a month or two each time because it was just not working for me. I vowed to myself, that this time would need to be different.

I looked around at my options and most were too expensive or not structured enough. I really needed something that told me what to eat, how much of it and when. I found a book by Ian K. Smith called Super Shred: The Big Results Diet: 4 Weeks, 20 Pounds, Lose It Faster! I used the book for two cycles of 4 weeks each to kick start my weight loss and to help me figure out how to eat a bit better and when and what to eat. The book also had a bit of a workout schedule such as do 40 minutes of cardio today. That is the part that may have changed my life.

At first, being as big as I was, I really took to the elliptical machine. It was good low impact cardio workout that would burn a lot of calories and I didn’t mind doing it. As I started to lose weight and started feeling like my cardio was getting better, I found that I needed something else to really take my workouts to the next level and give me a little variety.

Now my wife and I started this process at the same time and she had been doing some treadmill running and kept telling me I should try it. I have never been a runner. I played soccer from age 5 up through high school, but was not interested or good at any kind of distance running. I resisted her attempts to get me to run, but finally gave in one day. It was TOUGH!

I literally could not run for much more than 30 seconds at a time. I struggled, but kept with it. As my weight kept going down and my cardio improved, the running got easier. It wasn’t long before I was running, doing the elliptical and the stair climber plus some weight lifting every workout. The weight started coming off even faster, and I became more and more interested in the running part of my workouts.

I was so excited one day when I actually ran the whole distance of a 5K with no walking breaks. It took me just under 44 minutes to complete it, but I think from that moment on, I was hooked. Was the time great? No. A little slower and I would be walking, but that didn’t matter. I had done something I never thought possible. I kept running and doing my other workouts and my times started to improve.

It was also around this time that my wife finally talked me into running outside. Being heavy, I was very self conscious about running where people might see me in public. Now that my weight was down and I could run more consistently, I was alright with running outside…early in the morning…when less people were around. We ran outside a few times and I told her that if I could get my 5K time down under 33 minutes, I would consider doing a 5K event.

A few weeks later, I was running near my house, and my 5K time was 32:58. My first thought was, “Crap, I am going to have to actually do a 5K event.” I decided to look at it as an opportunity to prove to myself that all my hard work was paying off and I was bettering myself. I completed my first 5K (The Scheels Paperfest 5K in July 2014) in 32:12. I was hooked! I had just run a PR (personal record) and on a tough hilly course. I was no where near the top of the results but it didn’t matter. I had run faster than I ever did before. It was at this point that my running turned from just a way to eat more calories, to a competition with myself. I knew I would never be an elite runner. I doubt I will ever even be a great runner, but I can try and be better than the runner I was yesterday. And for me that is enough. I thrive on competition and running is one of those things where you can compete with yourself to be the best you can be.

I kept running and using the MyFitnessPal app on my phone to track my calorie intake. One year to the day, on March 8, 2015, I weighed in at 185 pounds. I had lost 135 pounds over the course of one year through a lot of exercise (mostly running) and counting calories. Below is a picture my wife took on that morning.

Me at 185 pounds. March 8, 2015.
Me at 185 pounds. March 8, 2015.

So why do I run? Well, these days it isn’t about just getting in shape. It is about competing with myself and trying to be the best I can be. Will I win the half marathon? No way! Does it matter? No way! I am running for me. I am running for my wife (who I really owe for getting me to do it in the first place). I am running to be able to live long enough to see my kids get married and have kids of their own. Whatever reason you are running, and whatever speed you run at, good for you! Good for you for putting it out there and challenging yourself to complete something. Whether it is the 5K, half marathon, full marathon, or relay event, good for you! Good for all of us!

 

Leader of the Pack

I am so excited to announce that I was chosen to be a Leader of the Pack for the Cellcom Green Bay Marathon!

Leader of the Pack - Cellcom Green Bay Marathon
Leader of the Pack – Cellcom Green Bay Marathon

I get to write blog posts for them and posts on Facebook and Twitter to help inspire others that are participating in events at the marathon event. I am so honored that they feel that I will be able to inspire others and really look forward to the whole process!

Week in Review – March 22, 2015

This week was a bit of a rough one for me. Last Saturday evening , my right foot started hurting. I ran my race on Sunday and it was ok. I ran on Monday and my foot was ok, sore but ok. I ran on Tuesday and I could not walk after my run. I was in a LOT of pain. I iced it and took some ibuprofen and the next morning it was a little better, but still not good. I decided to take some time off of running and rode my bike on Wednesday. Thursday and Friday I went to the gym and used the elliptical machine to keep my cardio up and be able to still eat. Saturday morning I tried running a little. I did a little less than two miles and my foot still hurt. So, this morning I called I called the doctor and will be going in on Wednesday to get it checked. Hopefully just some more rest will make everything alright. In the meantime, cardio at the gym and on the bike for now to stay in shape. So here is the break down this week.

Training

Week Ending March 22, 2015
Week Ending March 22, 2015

This week I ran a total of 9.82 miles in 1:24:56. As I said above, my foot injury kept me from running much this week. I did break out my road bike this week and got a little over 7 miles in on that. IT has been a while since I rode it with winter, and it was WINDY and COLD. But I do need to ride it more. It is a good cross training workout.

I also used the elliptical machine a few times this week for the first time in quite a while. I have been running so much and not going to the gym that I haven’t had a chance to use it. I forgot how much I do like it, so I will hopefully be using that more going forward. I would really like to buy one for at home if I could find a good spot for it in the house.

Gear

My treadmill has been broken for about 2 weeks now. Luckily it has been nice so I have been running outside, but my wife needs to use it because of her work schedule. The treadmill somehow by itself went into a 3 degree decline and is stuck there. The company sent a new controller board, and I replaced that. It still does not work, so now they are sending a whole new console for it. The parts invoices they sent for the pieces total almost $2000! More than I paid for the stupid treadmill! Hopefully when I get the next part it will be fixed. I hate having expensive gear like that, in non-working condition.

Well, that wraps things up for this week. I hope everyone gets a chance to get out and run (because I can’t!).

Week in Review – March 15, 2015

This week was a great week of running. The weather was nice and warm and I got to run outside all week! Spring time in Wisconsin is so exciting! Here is the break down of how the week went.

Training

Week Ending March 15, 2015
Week Ending March 15, 2015

This week I ran a total of 27.42 miles in 4:06:56. This week was my first official week of training for the Green Bay Cellcom Half Marathon coming up on May 17th, 2015. On Wednesday, I ran my first intervals in quite a while. They were a good workout, but not terribly difficult, so that is good. I know that they start to get harder as time goes on, so that is good. On Friday I also got to get out and do a trail run for the first time in a long time. It was pretty sloppy and muddy, but I loved it!

Muddy Peregrine 5

 

New Gear

This brings me to the new gear of the week. The Saucony Peregrine 5. They are a trail shoe that I have been looking at for a while. I needed a new pair of trails shoes since my old ones were worn out, and the other ones I ordered won’t come in until June. I think they will rotate with the new ones quite nicely. They have a nice aggressive lug. The trails were very slippery and wet, and I felt like I had good traction the whole time. The trails have some steep climbs and descents (for around here any way). I did have to run on the road a bit and I did some hill work in them and they are very comfortable. I will have a full review when I get more miles on them.

Race

At the last minute this week, I decided to sign up for a 5K. You can read the ARR (After Race Report) here. I won 3rd in the 35-39 Men’s Age Group, which I was not expecting. I did set a PR and had a great time!

That is it for this week, hope everyone gets a chance to get out and run!

FNB Fox Valley St Pat’s 5K ARR – March 15, 2015

This week at the last minute I decided to run the FNB Fox Valley St Pat’s 5K. They also have a 10 mile race, which I was thinking about doing, but I have been fighting a cold all week thanks to my daughter, so I opted to do the shorter race to get more experience with races. So below is my ARR (After Race Report).

There was a costume contest prior to the race event, but I did not go for that. I spent that time going for a warm up jog to get my legs moving. It was a brisk 40 or so degrees out this morning, but luckily it was not too windy. The sun was mostly shining so the weather was actually really good.

About 10 minutes prior to the race the officials ushered us to the starting coral area. In the coral I tried to stand in the sun because the shade got a little cool just standing there. A few minutes after 9:00, when they had the all clear, the race started.

The coral area was wider than the start gate so it was a bit of a cluster to actually get across the start line. Once I did everyone was a bit bunched, but I felt like my pace was good and I was passing  a few of the slower people pretty good. There was a bit of a mishap though where a guy about my age tripped over the metal barrier feet and fell pretty hard. I think he was alright, but I didn’t stay to see.

A little before 1 mile I noticed that my GPS watch had completely turned off. I was trying to see what my pacing was and the screen was black! I kept trying to get it restarted, and finally I was able to get it going about 4 minutes later. I know I lost a bit of time messing with that, but I kind of just said forget it and ran by feel.

Close to the 2 mile mark there was a young volunteer with a timer who said we were at about 16 minutes, so I figured I was doing pretty good timewise. After that is when I finally got my watch working again. I decided to run a bit harder after the 2 mile mark and was passing more people along the way.

Heading toward the finish line.
Heading toward the finish line.

With just about a quarter mile left, the runners doing the 10 mile break off and the 5K runners take a left and head for home. I tried to run as hard as I could for the last quarter mile. Iran across the finish line and saw that the time was around 25 something minutes. I wasn’t really sure what my time was, and with my watch not working correctly I was really in the dark.

I headed to the food table and got a half banana and half a blueberry bagel. I was very sure that I did not finish in the top and especially not in the top of my age group, so I decided to leave.  I headed home and checked the results online to see what my official time was.

35-39 Male Age Group Results - FNB St Pat's 5K
35-39 Male Age Group Results – FNB St Pat’s 5K

I ended up finishing with a time of 25:07.79. I finished 36th overall and somehow 3rd in my age group! I had no idea I would be anywhere close to the top. I think they were awarding trophies for the age group top finishers, so I did not get mine if I was supposed to because I left! It was quite the surprise to see how I did when I checked, but so much of how you finish depends on who is running, and today I did good against the other guys in my age group. This time also set a new 5K PR for me, so that is great as well.

The run overall was a really great experience.  I will do that run again for sure. I had a good time, and the people were all great. Looking forward to it next year.

Rebirth Day

Today is my (re)birthday! It was one year ago today that I looked like this:

Me at about 320 pounds
Me at about 320 pounds

After a year of working on changes to my lifestyle including a lot of exercise and much better eating habits, I look like this:

Me at 185 pounds. March 8, 2015.
Me at 185 pounds. March 8, 2015.

My weigh-in this morning showed that I was 185 pounds. That is a weight loss of 135 pounds in the last year!

It has been an interesting journey. I have learned a lot about myself and about nutrition and exercise. It has been such an eye opening experience. It has been sad a times thinking about all the time I wasted and could have been not getting fat. At the same time though, I believe that things happen for a reason and that it was just my path to where I am now. I don’t yet know the reason, but I am happy with where I am right now.

Perhaps, I just needed to be where I was so that I could know how much it sucks, and use that to instill in my kids a desire to be in shape and eat healthy. They have taken to eating healthy and exercise quite well. They love running on the treadmill (but prefer outside like me), and Caleb always asks if the food is healthy that we are eating. Addison was packing a lunch last night for her dance workshop today and made a point to make sure she had good healthy food to fuel her through her day of dance. It makes me proud and happy to see how much they are learning and adopting with me. It has truly been a whole family journey to help me get to where I am.

I am not done yet! I still have more weight I would like to lose, but I feel better than I have in my whole life and I am really excited to see where my running takes me!

Week in Review – March 8, 2015

This was another great week of training. This is also the last week of “free” training. I have just been kind of doing whatever for training the last few months. Tomorrow I start my training program for the half marathon coming up on May 17th. The program I chose was the Runners World half marathon under 2 hours plan. The milage per week is WAY below what I have been doing, so I will be supplementing mileage, but there are some good speed workouts that will help keep and improve my speed, so I am looking forward to those. With that, here is the rundown of this past week.

Training

Week Ending March 8th 2015
Week Ending March 8th 2015

This week I was able to log 40.21 miles in 5:54:17. This included a couple of longer days and a couple of faster 4 mile runs. My long run for today I kept to 10 miles, as I didn’t want to put my mileage too far past 40 to keep it in check going into training tomorrow. All in all, nothing too unusual came up with training this week, so I think I am all ready to begin training tomorrow.

New Gear

Saucony Kinvara 5. Image via www.runningwarehouse.com
Saucony Kinvara 5. Image via www.runningwarehouse.com

I did get a new pair of shoes this week. I bought a pair of Saucony Kinvara 5 shoes. I have been looking at these as a little lighter shoe for speed work ever since I got the Zealots. Also, all my other pairs of shoes were or have hit the mileage max on them. I like having a few pairs of shoes to rotate through so I needed another pair, and will probably pick up another pair of Zealots (as I REALLY love them especially for long runs). Then I should be set for this training cycle through the half marathon.

Back to the Kinvaras though, I got one 4 mile run in this week with them, and I liked them. They are lighter than the Zealots for sure, but also less cushioned. I don’t know that I would use them for a long run, but a good 5K I think would be great in them. My plan is to use them for my next 5K race for sure.

That is about it for this week. Hope everyone has a great week and gets a chance to get out and run! Looks like we are going to have some great weather here, so I am hoping to get outside all week!

Month in Review – February 2015

This month I had pretty good training. I did have a bout with stomach flu so I missed my 15K race that I had planned for early February, and also 4 days days of running overall. Even with that, and the missed day for the rabbit hunting, I ran 23 of 28 days this month.

February 2015 Totals
February 2015 Totals

For this month I have run a total of 121.98 miles in 17:49:58. I was obviously hoping that my monthly total miles would be a bit higher, but having to miss the 4 days due to illness hurt the overall total a bit. I am not too sad though, because 121 still puts me well over my needed average of 100 miles per month to hit my goal of 1200 miles this year.

Year to Date Feb 2015
Year to Date Feb 2015

My running total of miles for the year so far is 298.88 in 44:30:15. Just under 300 miles so far for the year puts me just under 150 miles per month average, which is great! I am more than happy with that so far.