I’m Back

Well, it has been quite a long time since my last post. Woah! since July 19th! My bad! I got busy with training and work and then hunting season happens, and then I am never home, so let’s review what has happened over the last 6 or 8 months!

First, running.

I ended up running a total of 1494.99 miles in 222:42:05! Well above my goal of 1200 miles for the year, but kind of sad I just missed 1500. Oh well! Maybe this year.

2015 Total Mileage
2015 Total Mileage

My goal is a minimum of 1400 miles this year. that equates to 116.6 miles per month. So far this year in January I ran 161.89 in 24:26:48, so I am on pace to do that.

Jan 2016 Total

And really I have spent this off season just running enough to stay in shape, and trying to let my body recover to ramp up for this race season (which my first training block started yesterday and went really well).

Between July and now I ran a couple more races. I ran the Fox Communities Half Marathon on September 20, 2015 and the Appleton Turkey Trot on November 26, 2015. I finished the half marathon in a time of 1:47:36, which set a new PR for me! I was really excited about that, especially since the first few miles I felt slow and like I wouldn’t even break my 2 hour goal. The Turkey Trot was a 5 mile race I finished in 39:07. Again I was pretty happy with that, as I was hoping just to be 45 minutes or less since I had already started to cycle down my running and my wife decided at the last minute we should all run it.

The whole family after the Turkey Trot
The whole family after the Turkey Trot

Overall, I would say 2015 was a great year of running for me, and I think 2016 will be another great one as well! I already have a couple of races lined up, including the Cellcom Green Bay Half Marathon again!

Other adventures!

As I said, before, once hunting season starts I am never around! I am always chasing after the big buck, and this year I was lucky enough to get two! One up in Michigan and one on my cousin’s farm that I have hunted since I was 12.

In Michigan, we had this really nice buck on trail cams. The nicest buck we have seen. Somehow, I was lucky enough to have him come right in by my stand the first night we were there!

My Michigan Buck
My Michigan Buck

He is probably one of the heaviest deer I have ever gotten. He is a nice 9 pointer, especially for Upper Michigan.

The second buck I got was a really nice 8 pointer. My brother had shot his buck opening day in Wisconsin, and since we decided not to shoot does in Wisconsin, his season was over. He had been sitting just to try and see where they are moving to help me out. Well, on this day it had been raining, and we hadn’t sat together yet so we decided to. This nice buck came out walked to 33 yards to eat some apples that had fell off a tree, and I was able to make a good clean shot. We actually watched him fall. You can see in the picture actually the box blind we were in!

My Wisconsin Buck
My Wisconsin Buck

It was a good season for everyone on the farm as all 4 of us that bow hunt there regularly, shot nice 2.5 year or better bucks, and we saw even nicer bucks than what we shot! Gun season was slow for us, and while I did see some deer and a a buck, it was too small to shoot this year.

I also spent a lot of time in my garage building things.

I built a set of bar stool chairs for my kitchen.

Bar Stools I built
Bar Stools I built

I also ended up building a big out feed table/assembly table for my table saw.

Table saw out feed table
Table saw out feed table

That is actually prior to me adding drawers and some doors and shelf for storage, but I love it! Makes working on stuff a whole lot easier!

We also did stuff like go see Garth Brooks in concert in Milwaukee, went camping, and recently my brother and I just bought the cottage that my grandpa actually built in 1974. My grandma had sold it to another couple a few years after he passed, and they lived there for 30 years, but they are in their 90’s and were ready to move on, so we had the chance to buy it back.

The Cottage
The Cottage

I would say it is in pretty good shape for being that old, and the the couple that bought it took pretty good care of it, but it does need some updating. Everything is original from 1974 except the carpet in most rooms. Living room may be original. They left quite a lot of stuff in it so there is a lot of cleaning and junking to be done. My wife and my brothers fiance spent most of the first weekend cleaning everything while my brother and I got the outside stuff situated. Last weekend my brother and I with the help of his fiance painted the living room and the kitchen and hall area. There is more to be done for sure, but it is coming along slowly. Once nice part is it backs right up to Tommy Thompson State Park, so last weekend after we were done painting and to have a little fun, we hopped the fence and went right on the snowshoe trail that goes right by the house. Plus in hunting season (for part of it anyway) we can hunt right in that park.

So, as you can see, it has been a busy few months, but I am hoping to post more regularly on here again.

Thanks for staying with me and look for more posts!

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!

Looking Back at 2014, Ahead to 2015

I know that we are now into February 2015 already, but I wanted to take a moment and look back at 2014, and to look ahead at 2015.

Looking back at 2014

I had some goals or maybe you could call them resolutions going into 2014. I never really wrote them down or said them out loud, but I did think about them almost everyday.

Really there was one major resolution or goal. I wanted to make 2014 the year of me. Now that may sound bad, but let me explain. I wanted to do things and set goals for myself that would make me a better person.

The first part of that resolution was that I knew I needed to get in shape and lose weight. I was at least 320 pounds (possibly more). I was not healthy and was not happy with myself. As of today, I have lost 120 pounds and I am probably in the best shape of my life.  So number the first part was a success.

The second part of the resolution was to spend more time with my wife and kids. I accomplished this by taking far fewer jobs with my photography business (and in fact I officially closed it at the end of 2014). Previous years found me busy every weekend with weddings and working on the pictures from those weddings. It just got to be too much and I did not want to miss my kids growing up. We got to do more camping and more fun things (like the kids did a bunch of fun runs and other things when we weren’t camping or spending time up north). I feel like I was successful with the second part.

The third part was that I wanted to grow my beard out for the entire year. Now to be honest, part of this was tied in with part number one. I looked at my beard as a visual reminder of my commitment to workout and eat better to try and be healthy. My wife however, hated it. I ended up making it into July before I shaved it off. Part of why I did that was to make my wife happy, but also I felt like I had made a good habit of working out and eating better, and that I wanted to try without the constant visual reminder. I succeeded on the second part of that, because I continued of course to work out and be healthy, but I failed in that I didn’t make it the full year.

So overall I think I did ok with my goals for 2014. I feel like 2014 was one of the best years of my life. Lets take a look at the stats for my workouts.

2014 Stats
2014 Stats

Now I started wearing a GPS watch on June 12th, 2014 so I missed a few months of run tracking before that.  According to my logs though, as you can see I ran 577.82 miles in 97:13:21. I think that is pretty amazing for me! Being a guy that couldn’t run for a full minute even, it has been a great year.

Looking Ahead To 2015

So what is in store for me in 2015? Well, as you can see above, I ran 577 miles in about 6 months. If you double that for the whole year, it would be about 1100 miles or so (I did NOT run 1100 miles last year, I know that for sure!). So I guess my first goal is to put on at least 1200 miles. I think that is something I could do considering I have over 160 miles in January alone. I just need to average 100 miles a month to hit my goal. I think that is doable.

My second goal would be to continue my weight loss. I have lost 120 pounds, but I am not quite where I would like to be. If I could lose another 15 pounds, I would be great with that. Not only losing the weight, but really working on build more muscle and getting more fit. I think this is something that will be a lifetime goal, but I would like to accomplish losing the 15 pounds in 2015 at the very least.

Third, I would like to run a bunch of races in 2015. I only did one event in 2014, and it was fun. I am hoping that in 2015 I get a chance to run a lot more races. I have already signed up for 3, but there are a lot more on my wishlist to sign up for. There are some trail races that I am especially looking forward to. As far as distance goes. I want to do at least 2 half  marathons this year (I am already doing one for sure in May). If those go well, I would consider doing a full this year, but that may need to wait until next year. I am not sure how the half will go yet and I do not want to commit to a full until I have some experience doing a half.

I think 2014 was a great year, and I think 2015 will be even better! What are your goals for 2015?