Thursday, December 8, 2011

Brrrr.....and the percentages

When we’re told how to overcome barriers, it brings to mind the picture of a hurdler jumping over one obstacle, then another, and so on.  As the hurdler jumps each obstacle, he moves forward.  Wouldn’t this be nice if this were actually the case?  Unfortunately, it isn’t.  At times, we are presented with multiple challenges stacked on top of each other.  Think of those hurdles balanced on top of each other, or placed back to back, making the task of moving forward that much more difficult.

I feel like some hurdles have been stacked up against me lately, so slow progress seems to be even slower.  But I’m still trying to push forward.  First, money has been tight with the holidays, a rental property I own seemingly self-destructing before my eyes (and wallet), and the usual costs of living.  Second, work has been busier than ever; both at my primary job and the numerous others I have on a “part time” basis.  Third, after the half I experienced the usual runner’s slow down.  Fourth, the cold weather has been difficult for me to deal with during my training.  I’m sure there is a fifth, sixth, and seventh, but you get the idea.

Despite this, I’ve tried to keep moving ahead.  Some things show signs of lessening; others not so much.  I think I’ll eventually get acclimated to this cold weather and how to dress for the different temps.  So far I’ve been layering and trying some different hats and gloves.  I’m open to suggestions, though.  Here in the Midwest, it can go from 55 to 25 within a day, so the morning forecast is very important.  I do have the treadmill, but I try to avoid it as much as possible.  I’d like to stick to the streets unless precipitation pushes me toward the hamster wheel.

Ah; the hamster wheel.  Complete with paneling view.

Perhaps the biggest challenge is just to keep moving forward.  I recently read about Ben Davis in Runner’s World.  I’d seen Ben’s video before, but it had been some time.  In the RW article it was discussed how many people who lose a substantial amount of weight gain it back.  I’ve seen different figures, but usually from 80-90%.  Regardless, it is high!  I want to remain in the percentile that do not.  That is my biggest, highest, longest, life consuming hurdle to jump.  After all, count me in the numbers who wish to “Do Life.” 

My "Do Life" long sleeve t-shirt...recently acquired

So where am I at?  After packing back on 23 lbs of the original 70 that I lost (thanks to very little exercise and a lot of eating post-half marathon, on a road trip, and over Thanksgiving), I’ve taken off about 4 lbs and I’m on Week 2 of good nutrition again.  I’m trying to keep up some mileage. My training for my next half marathon (in April) starts the day after Christmas.  2012 is going to be a big year.  I have a lot of challenges for myself ahead.  I just need to keep running; and jumping!

Enjoy your progress!


Monday, November 21, 2011

The Blogger Game

Alright, so Mike W. from has passed along a "get to know you" game, where I offer seven random tidbits about myself and then proceed to tag 15 other bloggers.  One minor problem:  I don't have 15 bloggers that I follow that are distinct from Mike W!  In order to play along, though, I looked at my list and found four to tag.  Well, here goes!

1.    I love Las Vegas.  I’ve been there about a dozen times.  It is one of the only cities, outside of my hometown, where I know some of the streets and highways.  It is one of the only places where I can truly unwind and relax, although I usually come back from a Vegas vacation exhausted.  I listed to three Vegas podcasts regularly.  I can pretty much tell you anything you want to know about the place.  I plan on running the Rock and Roll half marathon in Vegas next year, nicely combining a couple of my interests.

2.     I’m a published author.  I wrote a textbook a couple of years ago titled “The Investigation of Crime.”  Along with my half marathon, it was one of the biggest challenges of my life.  It hasn’t been a huge seller, but hey, it’s a textbook.  Writing a book, particularly a non-fiction one, is a tough job. 

3.    I’ve been a police officer for almost 20 years.  I’ve worked in a variety of assignments, from patrol to investigations to narcotics.  I worked in a drug task force where I did a lot of surveillance undercover.  I served as a crisis negotiator, and talked a few people out of killing themselves.  I’m currently in a non-exiting position as major of administration, where I’m working on stuff like a $1.6 million radio project.  Not my favorite assignment, but I like working for the police department.  My father is a police chief in a small town; retired from the Kansas City, Missouri Police Department after 26 years.  My grandfather was also a state trooper.

4.  I almost died when I was in my 20’s.  I had gallstones, and was misdiagnosed for months.  I couldn’t eat and hold anything down.  Finally one night, I collapsed and was taken to the hospital.  My pancreas had become infected.  I was given a high dose of morphine, but still felt the pain.  I was told that pancreatitis, my condition, is more painful that childbirth (although I can’t testify to that).  They ripped out my gall bladder and all turned out okay.  In fact, maybe I’m faster without it?

5.   I played bass in a rock band.  We featured a lot of Van Halen covers, but added some other hard rock tunes here and there.  I had played guitar a little as a kid, but hadn’t played in 20 years before I was asked if I was interested.  I figured what the heck, and played enough to be decent in a year.  The band hasn’t practiced in a while; not sure if we’ll continue on or not (life is busy, no?).  My favorite is a Fender Precision Bass Lite. 

6.    I’ve taken motorcycle trips all over the United States, and a couple of years ago went into Canada.  While I don’t ride much day-to-day, we usually take one big trip a year.  While Canada was cool (it was the less pretty eastern part, though), Utah is by far my favorite.  Zion and Bryce Canyon were a couple of the most amazing places I’ve ever seen…particularly by motorcycle (although it got up to well over 105 degrees).  I usually go with my dad and a couple of friends.  It is great bonding time, and I really enjoy hanging out with the ol’ man. 

7.    For all of my accomplishments in the past, I’m so proud of my son and his just concluded high school marching band career.  Over the course of the last four years, he’s gone to the Rose Bowl, the Presidential Inauguration, and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.  He also played in the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, and Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.  I don’t think there’s much that can top the feeling that you get when you see your child accomplish something significant.  And he’s one of my biggest running fans!

Here is who I'm tagging:

Jessica @LilMissRunshine

Sunday, November 6, 2011

A Plan for 2012

Not having some sort of plan was killing me, and also adversely impacting my running.  I had to have a destination…without it I was horribly lost!

Now, I have a plan.  The plan is to try a new half marathon training regimen.  I’m going to give it a trial run, and if it works well I’ll use it for my full marathon training.  It is the FIRST training plan, advocated by Runner’s World as a “Run Less, Run Faster” method.  It is based upon three strategic runs per week: a track repeat (city streets for me; I don’t have a convenient track), a tempo run, and a long run.  The key to making this work is that you also include two (and an optional third) cross training workout.   I like the sounds of it, and the variation that cross training brings.  We’ll see if I like it after an extended period of time.  That’s the true test.  If not, I may try PRSfit…which is something I might do in the future anyway.  Have heard lots of good stuff about them and they seem like great people. 

I’ve signed up for my first half in 2012.  It is called “Rock the Parkway” and is local half marathon in April.  It is kind of a local version of the Rock and Roll series, but is also quite well-attended.  It is more than 16 weeks out, so I don’t officially have to start the FIRST program yet.  What I’m doing, though, is extending FIRST a bit.  I’m going to repeat the first few weeks until I hit that 16 week out mark and then follow it exactly.  By the time I’m actually in the program, I should have the concepts and runs down. 

What am I doing for cross training?  I’ll likely focus upon stationary bike work at my local gym and swimming.  Swimming will be a new deal for me, but there’s a local indoor community pool nearby that should work (the hours are limited, though…and I keep missing the right time of day!).  I’m also trying out some pilates to help strengthen my core.  So far, so good with that. 

After Rock the Parkway things are more fuzzy.  I want to run the Chicago Marathon this year.  As long as I get registered I’ll do it.  Between Rock the Parkway and Chicago, I’m thinking I want to do one more half around the first of June.  I’m considering either Hospital Hill (another local, challenging half marathon with lots of hills) or the Minneapolis Marathon (and half).  Minneapolis is 8 hours away…might be a nice trip and a good experience.  I’m undecided. 

Finally, I want to wrap the year with the Rock and Roll half marathon in Vegas.  I think I'd be able to enjoy Vegas more after 1/2 the misery :-)  We'll see if my legs will agree to do a half a couple of months after my full.  

So glad I have a plan of action.  It helps keeps me motivated and moving forward.  After all, we’re looking for progress, right?

Enjoy your progress!


Friday, October 28, 2011

First Step After the Finish Line is the First Step onto the Next Race...

Last weekend was my first official half marathon, and thinking back it couldn’t have gone any better.  Perhaps that’s dangerous, as now I’m going to expect all of my races to go this well!

I ran the St. Louis Rock and Roll half.  It was the inaugural for the race.  I arrived the day before and hit a lot of traffic around the downtown St. Louis area, so I decided that my son and I should park in our hotel (about 3/4ths of a mile from the expo) and walk to the expo.  All was good, until I realized that I had forgotten my race paperwork when we were almost at the expo, so we had to trek back to the car.  A little extra warm up for the legs, I guess!  Come to find out, I could have filled it out manually at the expo, but no big deal. 

Got my number and tag

Beer sample; carb loading pre-race

Registration was quick and easy, as was picking up my swag.  We were then diverted into the Rock and Roll merchandising area.  I had no interest in the stuff.  After that, you’re moved to all of the other merchandisers.  Now this area was too small, with too many people.  Funny that the RnR merchandise area was quite big, with lots of room, but all these other vendors were packed.  It was a bit uncomfortable.  I wanted to find one of those 13.1 stickers for a vehicle placarding ceremony after the race (if all went well).  I did, and also bought a race medal hanger; optimism!

Then it was back to the hotel, where the son agreed we would just room service our evening meal and take it very easy.  My legs needed some rest.  Like many, I had some difficulty sleeping.  I was focused on the next morning, but also we had a domestic disturbance down the hall in the hotel.  Security finally came and quieted them down.

I woke up on race day and walked a half mile to the starting line.  Aside from the expo, I have to give the race organizers credit.  I didn’t have any problems from there on out.  Pre-race, there were bagels, bananas, some water; all I really needed.  I decided to have a half a bagel to ward off any potential hunger.  I was armed with my mp3 player (I could still hear the bands as I ran along with my Yurbuds in), a SpiBelt running belt with my cell phone and some Clif Bloks inside (margarita flavored), a short sleeve shirt, shorts, an Ace bandage around my bad left ankle, and my black Kinvaras with about 80 miles on them.  It was a bit chilly and overcast at first, but the short sleeve shirt was a good call as the weather soon warmed up and the sun broke out.  The weather was just about perfect.

Starting line pre-race

I was in corral 19; way at the back because my predicted running time from 6 months prior was 2:45.  I expected to finish under 2:30 now, but didn’t feel it was worth the hassle to move corrals.  I’d make it work.  It was a wave start anyway, which meant that I had to wait about 30 minutes before my group was able to go. 

View my my corral...waaaayyyyy back!
Sure enough, my pace was faster than many within my group, so I spent the first several miles dodging walkers and the handful of folks slower than me.  I kept an even pace throughout most of the race; about 10:30 or so, stopping and walking at each aid station for water, Cytomax (a nasty Gatorade-type drink), and after the first aid station one Clif Blok per stop. 

We passed fairly close to the arch, by Busch stadium, through an arts district, and into various parts of St. Louis I don’t know much about or couldn’t tell you much about today.  Along the route were several rock bands.  They all sounded good, but I didn’t stop to listen!  I tried to acknowledge some of them as I went by.  Also several groups of cheerleaders dotted the path, which was encouraging as were the spectators.  Received some high fives from several kids and one dog along the way. 

Bottom line is I never felt like I’d have to quit.  The most significant pain, and it wasn’t too bad, was in my mid-back.  I need to strengthen my core for a full marathon.  My legs felt great and my ankle held up nicely.  My conditioning seemed just fine.  My last mile was my quickest; I dropped under a 10:00 minute pace there.  I felt pretty good crossing the line.

I hate to sound like a wuss, but in a couple of spots I started thinking back over the last eight months, all the support I received, all the times I got up at 5 am, all the training runs, and I started to get a little emotional.  I’ve been proud of this journey, and I learned so much along the way.  This was the culmination of a year’s worth of effort.  I hit the finish at exactly 2 hours 17 minutes chip time.

As I crossed the finish line, I thought of John Bingham’s words that one foot across the finish line is one foot into the next challenge.  I know it will be much tougher, but I feel like I’m ready to try and tackle a full marathon.  I’m still ironing out my game plan, but without a plan I feel absolutely lost.  Since this race completed, I feel like I need some direction.  I’ve had some trouble taking some days off, and have only had a run of three miles since.  I know it is good to take some time off, but I’m ready to keep pushing forward.  This experience was fantastic, and I’d recommend it to anyone. 

I am so thankful to my wife and family who put up with my absences during my long runs, my gripes about my aches and pains, and my obsession with my challenge.  I’m also thankful for all of my friends, online and in person, who have encouraged me to keep going.  To hear someone call your efforts “inspirational” is probably the best compliment you can receive, and I’ve heard that from a few.  I tell them that there are inspirational people all around them; you just have to look or ask. 

The all-important sticker!

The bragging rack

On to the next challenge! 

Enjoy your progress,


Friday, October 21, 2011

Almost There...

The day is nearly here!  My first half marathon is Sunday.  Or maybe it is better to say my primary physical goal for 2011 is here.  When I think of it in those terms, I get pretty excited about it.  To think that all those runs I’ve done since I first set foot on the treadmill will culminate into 13.1 miles on Sunday is motivating and overwhelming at the same time.

I wouldn’t say I have jitters; I honestly think I have prepared about as well as can be expected.  For that, I am proud.  No matter how the race turns out, it is hard to believe how far I have come.  My life has truly changed over the last eight months.  I have been inspired by others, but nothing makes me feel better in life than to inspire a few others myself. 

Funny that my training started in my basement on the treadmill, and it looks like it will end there.  My last training run was a 3 miler on the hamster wheel.  I can’t say I enjoyed it; I’ve come to appreciate running outdoors.  But cold weather drove me inside and I didn’t want to try anything new (cold weather running) before the half.  As of now, the weather they are calling for on Sunday looks pretty good. 

One step at a time, right?  Well, I do already have some plans in mind for 2012, but I know if I get through 13.1 I should take a few moments to bask in the glory (I hope).  I feel so appreciative of the people I’ve met along the way to get me here.  As much as I am proud of myself, I had no idea of the support that I would receive from other runners via DailyMile, blogs, podcasts, Twitter, Google +, etc.  I wish I could thank them all personally, but I’m sure I’d forget someone in the process.  I am so thankful for all the help.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.  I’m still a couple of days away from the race, but I’m ready to go! 

Enjoy your progress,


Friday, September 30, 2011

Rounding the Bend

It is interesting to see the things I am experiencing as I draw closer to my 2011 goal of completing my first half marathon as compared to what fellow runners are also going through.  Some of the late training doldrums certainly hit me, as training runs drag longer and become less inspiring.  As I enter this home stretch, though, I’m becoming more and more excited about scratching the half off of my to-do list.  I can’t wait until race day!

Going through races leading up to the big day has helped me out.  A couple of weeks ago I ran the longest yet; a 15k race.  What surprised me was that I ran the entire thing.  My walk breaks were only at water stops, and probably about 15 seconds each.  This gave me the idea that I might try to run the entire half.  I won’t shy from taking a break if I need to, but I believe if I dig deep I can do it. 

The end of the Cerner KC 15k; looking worse than I thought!

I’ve also spent a bit of time thinking about how far I’ve come this year, and some of the lessons I have learned along the way.  I have to keep reminding myself that I’ve only been running for seven months; less than a year, and I’m about to run a half marathon.  I have to remind myself that a 5k was out of the question this time last year, and I just ran 9.2 miles.  I have to remind myself that my goals at this point should be finishing, and not based upon times.  Some of the lessons I’ve learned are:

Race day effect:  I have found that on race day, you will perform better than you have in your training runs.  The adrenaline, being among fellow runners, and just being caught up in the moment will inspire you to push harder than you ever have.  I’m not talking slightly harder; you will do much better than you have previously (at least in my experience) as long as you have tapered a bit before the race (always one rest day before a race of doing nothing). 

Listening to the body:  I heard this from many different sources beforehand, but I can’t say enough how absolutely true this is.  I’ve started to tune into my body more these days.  When I have a bad run, I know why, and I’m able to make the correction.  Sometimes it is just a lack of recovery time, and I know that if I just keep working and then resting the good runs will come.  I have confidence that I can prepare myself for race days (I hope I’m right, anyway!).  The more you run, the better you’ll know your body.  In the beginning, I didn’t know it at all.  Over time, I’ve come to understand myself better.

Locus of control:  We are so good at putting limits on ourselves.  We can exceed what our mind tells us our limits are.  As I was running the 15k, a thought came to my mind.  I started to tell myself “you are a machine…your legs are prepared for whatever is thrown their way.  You’ve prepared for this.”  It sounds dorky, but I pictured the bottom half of my body to be like a robot.  No hills were going to stop this machine.  Each drink of water or Gatorade was just fuel to prime me for the miles ahead.  This helped take some of the mental aspects out of the long run.  I’ll have to think of something new for upcoming races…that one might not work again.  I’m a big believer in mantras and mind tricks to push you forward.

I’ve learned so much from my DailyMile friends, bloggers, Twitter friends, podcasts, books, etc.  There is a wealth of information out there and a community of people who truly want to help you meet and exceed your goals.  I can’t wait to finish St. Louis Rock N’ Roll and lay out my plans for 2012!

Enjoy your progress…


P.S.:  Check out my friend Mike's blog at:
He's giving a great book by John "The Penguin" Bingham away there.  Not just for that reason, Mike writes some good stuff and is a good follow.  

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Trending Downward

I’ve been noticing a bad trend here lately.  I’m hoping things are on the upswing, though. 

My last few runs have been, well, subpar.  After a very successful 10k, I had some bad runs along with a pitiful attempt at a “long run” prior to a trip to Vegas.  Today was my first day back from a weekend of bad nutrition, no exercise, but a lot of fun!  The results (of my run) were awful.  I struggled to get through two miles.  My legs and feet didn’t feel good at all.  It almost felt like I was back to square one!

So obviously this makes me a bit nervous.  I’m ready for a “good run,” but concerned it may not come my way.  There are some possibilities that I’ve mulled over for my current low period, including:

1.    -    I’ve started a short softball season, taxing my legs and body (particularly my back) in different ways.  This has led to some new pains.

2.     -   I’ve had a few new free weight workouts; I think they’re helping with my strength but again they’re taxing. 

3.      -  This seems to be a typical training season malaise period, as evidenced by reports I see on DailyMile.
4.       My body has not adjusted to the new challenges from above.

I think things will turn around as my body gets used to this new load, and I’ll be better for it in the long run.  Time is shrinking, though.  I have a 15k coming up in a few weeks, and my half marathon is in October.  I’m hopeful I’ll get on track soon. 

I’ve got some confidence brewing, though.  If I just keep stirring this confidence, I think I’ll be okay…

This morning was in the 50's!  Not cold, but cooler.  I'm going to need some cold weather gear in the future, but I really have no idea what to get.  Looking for some ideas...

Enjoy your progress!


Friday, August 26, 2011

Coming Back from the Wooziness

Ever read one of those blogs where they haven’t posted for a while, and the blogger says stuff like “I’ve been sooooo busy” and the like.  Well, go back and read those and that’ll fit this one, too!  I have been terribly busy, but through it all I’ve been able to keep up with running.

The week before last I added in some new weight training.  Up to this point, I’ve stuck with machines, but I decided to switch over to free weights to make my workouts more effective and efficient.  Among the exercises was the highly recommended squat.  Well, the squats really thrashed my legs.  This derailed my running a bit, and I wasn’t able to put in the miles I had previously while my legs recovered.  I still got a long run of 11 miles in despite the damage.

Then on Sunday softball season started.  We had our first practice, and the first ball thrown my way I misjudged or lost in the sun or something; I don’t really know!  Anyway, it smacked me in the face, causing a nasty little cut and some pretty good bleeding.  I patched it up the best I could and got back out there.  Unfortunately, there was a little more to it than that.

My next run went okay, but not quite up to par as I seemed to be very lethargic.  This general feeling of being tired, and also feeling out of it, continued through the week.  I went back to the gym and the free weights, cut out one set (I’ll add it back in as I progress), and my body responded great without pain.  I still felt quite tired, though.  Also, loud noises really bothered my head, and I would get headaches from time to time.  The culprit?  A mild concussion!  I’m feeling better, but still not completely rid of the ailment. 

This morning, though, I had a great run.  The weather was outstanding, and I’m motivated to do the North Face Endurance Challenge 10k this weekend.  Saturday will be an off day and then the 6.2 miles the day after.  I’m not doing a long run this week because of this race.  I’ll pick them up again next week.  Might do the body some good anyway.

At packet pickup, I snapped this shot of the starting line:

This is in Kansas City, and that's the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in the background.  This is a picturesque part of the city, so it should be nice.  They are calling for mid-60's weather, too...I hope the forecast stays true!

Seems like a well-run event so far.  Nice North Face Tech t-shirt to entrants.  Dean Karnazes is the headliner; he’s running in the marathon on Saturday, but I’m not sure if he’ll still be around on Sunday when I run. 

I feel like I’m getting back into the swing of things.  Next weekend I’m going to Vegas, and while there I’m going to enjoy myself.  I might (repeat, might) do a three-miler on the Strip on Sunday; that’d be kind of fun.  I’ll be sure to do my long run on the Friday before I leave.  I’ll keep on track…still have my half to worry about!

Enjoy your progress,


Friday, August 12, 2011

From the Treadmill, a Glimpse Back

The roller coaster ride of running has continued for me lately, but I’ve been working to keep my eye on my immediate goal of the St. Louis Rock N’ Roll Half Marathon in October.  October is getting closer and closer every day!

Last weekend, I had a terrible run where I just didn’t have it in me.  In retrospect, I believe it was the culmination of negative thoughts, humidity, and hills that did me in.  Four miles in, I was spent.  Shortly after that, the heavens intervened with a fantastic thunderstorm that forced me to shelter.  I called the wife to pick me up and save me.  Luckily she was off work; she’s a school teacher and was enjoying her last Friday off of the summer.

I was irritated by the effort throughout the weekend and Sunday I thought, “Hey, I’m feeling pretty good right now.”  I decided to give my long run another go.  This time I concentrated on a slower, steady pace with the goal being to eat up miles; not set land speed records.  It went well and I made it through 12 with energy to spare. 

It has been a decent week this week as the weather has cooled.  This morning, though, the rains came again with lightning and thunder.  I decided I’d hit the home treadmill; something I haven’t done for a while.  I’ve either run outside or run at the gym’s treadmill.  My treadmill is not a terrible one, but also not a great one.  It is a middle of the road machine but gets the job done.  I figured it’d be a good way to put on some miles, but an unremarkable run.

As I was chugging along on the hamster wheel, I looked down at the treadmill and noticed the piece of paper on it.  What I found was a reminder of how far I’ve come since February.

C25k note; sorry for the poor quality cell phone shot :-)

The paper outlined a Couch to 5k run; one of the parts where the times can be confusing (particularly when you’re tired).  Today I was running a 5k on the treadmill and thinking of it as a shorter, easier run.  Back then, such a thing would have been preposterous.  It made me feel good about how far along I’ve made it, and thankful to the me of old for starting down this path.  Along the run I picked up my pace, and registered the first sub-30 minute 5k I’ve ever run.  It was on a treadmill, so an easier environment than an outdoor run, but I still felt good about it afterward.

Ready to tear into the weekend now and squeeze in a long run on Sunday!

Enjoy your progress!


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Roller Coaster and a Break

It has been a while since I’ve posted, and sort of a roller coaster the last couple of weeks.  I believe I’ve found some new focus to hopefully carry me through to October and my half marathon, as well as hitting my weight loss goals.

A couple of weeks back, some frustration was setting in.  Perhaps the daily grind was just getting to me, as it can tend to do.  I probably needed a break. 

Well, I ended up taking one.  This coincided with a decision I made to alter my nutrition plan (aka diet).  Since January, I had lost about 65 lbs on “The Four Hour Body” diet.  My running started in late February.  The problem was that I had stalled and I wasn’t losing any more weight.  I have some theories about what the issue was, but it really doesn’t matter as the end product was pure frustration.  I decided to switch my diet plan to Weight Watchers and give it a try.  I thought this my kick-start me back into gear.

The results?  Disastrous!  Now, I’m not blaming Weight Watchers.  I did not follow the plan.  Partially this was due to the fact that I was ravenously hungry all of the time.  I ate, but couldn’t eat enough; particularly in the evenings.  On Four Hour Body, I would occasionally get hungry, but this wasn’t a big problem. 

For one week, I was able to keep up my running but I didn’t cross-train so much.  I ate way too much of foods that aren’t that good for me.  I was able to get in an 11 mile long run and did pretty well with it, although I had some aches and pains in the ankle afterward.  By the time this week was over with, I had put on 10 lbs and didn’t feel good at all.

So Sunday morning I started back on the Four Hour Body.  I was supposed to put in a three mile run, as well, but I was still hurting.  I think I might have to cut down on the training a bit; I’m considering 3 days a week instead of 4, or just seeing how I feel before deciding whether or not to throw a 4th in. 

The results thus far: I have lost the 10 lbs again and I feel better.  My ankle is still bothering me a bit, but I hope it gets better with some lighter running over the next week or so.  I have a trip to Vegas planned in almost exactly one month, so I plan to be dedicated to the diet and running until that time, then take a two day break to enjoy all that Vegas has to offer (at least the legal stuff).  I think a break every once and while helps maintain the sanity.  As far as nutrition, I am going to try to consume some protein and maybe a small amount of sugar pre-long run; something like a tablespoon of peanut butter.  I’ll see how that goes.  I’m only two miles shy of a half marathon, so I think I’ll be good.

So that’s my roller coaster story for the past week.  I’m back on track and ready to push for St. Louis in October. 

Enjoy your progress! 


Monday, July 25, 2011

Sound Barrier

One of my favorite movies is “The Right Stuff,” which is all about the early Mercury space program and man’s quest to break the sound barrier and beyond.  One of the primary characters profiled is Chuck Yeager, one of America’s true heroes.  Chuck was the first to break the sound barrier after piloting a jet that everyone thought would crash like all the others before him.  The sound barrier was considered by many to be impossible to breach by man. 

What does this all have to do with running, health, etc.?  We all have our own sound barriers.  And I’ve been thinking about mine quite a bit lately.  Today I had even more time to think about it because I had a miserable run to start the day off.

So here it is publicly: my sound barrier is 200 lbs.  It has been so difficult for me to get under this weight; I relate it to that which at times can seem impossible.  About eight years back I was on a pretty good health kick, and got close to getting under 200 lbs.  I didn’t quite make it, and ballooned back up (and down, and up, and down) again.  This current period has been my most successful period to date where I’ve lost over 65 lbs., and again I’m close to it (and have been for a couple of weeks).  I’ve been stuck, though, and just can’t seem to get under.  I know with effort and time it’ll happen, it is just frustrating to see it right in front of me and not be able to get there.

I’ve switched things up this week in order to break through.  I have abandoned my slow-carb diet and have gone back to Weight Watchers.  This was not an easy thing to do.  Slow carb took me down all this weight, so moving away from it is a bit daunting.  I had stalled on slow carb, though, and I think it may be due to my body becoming accustomed to the plan and me not getting enough calories/carbs to support my running.  So I figure I’ll try WW, which has worked for me in the past, for a few weeks at least to see if it kick starts a loss. 

Day One did not go well.  Might have been something mentally, but I didn’t stick to it very well.  I didn’t eat well at all this last weekend, and this morning my run was awful.  My nutrition likely contributed to it, but the heat was also fierce.  I struggled after two miles, pushed through to four, and quit before my goal of five.  So those excuses probably contributed, but I still think a lot of it was mental more than anything.  Ugh.  That barrier. 

I’m staying positive.  It will happen.  I have no choice but to keep pushing.  Barriers are meant to be broken.  My nutrition for the next for today and tomorrow will be good, and Wednesday morning my run will be awesome.

Enjoy your progress,