Week 6 Day 2

So … my first run in ten days … geez … will I ever be consistent?

I did have an honest excuse. I had the flu. It started coming on late Monday (10/19) and lingered for about four days. I had to take a day from work because it was so intense. Then, it morphed into a head cold, where my sinuses were packed full of snot I could hardly breathe.

Thankfully, the head cold faded too and I finally felt energetic enough to try a run last night. So, I decided to pick up where I left off and hit Week 6 Day 2 of the C25K program.

I used the hour or so of cloudy fading daylight to mulch some leaves in the yard. It was a good warm up to the run. It was cold and windy. I wore traditional sweat pants and a sweat shirt. I may need to update my running attire if I’m going to run in the cold weather now.

The program called for 5 minute warm up walk followed by a 10 minute run and then a 1 minute walk and then a 5 minute cool down.

My pace was 11:59 per mile and the total distance was 2.42 miles. It was a 29 minute exercise session. I suppose the pace wasn’t too bad. A 12:00 pace is a 5:16:49 marathon finish. Check out this ultra cool marathon pace chart. It’s not a Boston qualifying time but at least it is below the 6 hour average cut off time for most marathons. There is no way I could make the 26.2 miles of a marathon right now, at this moment in my fitness and training … but … maybe one day … maybe sooner than later!

Here’s a photo from my recent hike in McCormick’s Creek State Park, near Spencer Indiana. Photo taken on October 26, 2015.

Trail #2 in McCormick's Creek State Park near Spencer Indiana. Photo take October 26, 2015.

Trail #2 in McCormick’s Creek State Park near Spencer Indiana. Photo take October 26, 2015.

Up Again

176.8

Geez. Up 1.1 pounds from last week’s low. Will this ever stop?

Maybe since I’m still in the midst of the flu/cold? Although I’m on the trailing edge of the flu/cold I can still feel it’s tentacles.

Maybe since I haven’t exercised in a week? Probably. I’ve honestly kept my eating in control but I haven’t had the energy to exercise. I did hike a couple of miles on Monday but that doesn’t really count because those were slow miles.

Maybe since I had a beer on Tuesday night? Yes. I did. My 120 day ticket on the Wagon expired on Tuesday, October 27. The Kids took me out that night to a local brew pub and celebrated my 53rd birthday with a pint of craft beer.

Maybe those were the reasons I gained 1.1 pounds this week. Who really knows what the reasons are.

Am I discouraged? Yes. A bit. But, in reality, 176.8 is just a number that I use to gauge progress. And although progress had been standing still in regards to the scale, I’m still happy with other areas of life. One example is that my clothes are starting to look baggy. And, I like that look. Actually, I like that feel. The other example is that I’m not giving up. This is the 18th week that I’ve been on this weight loss effort and I’m looking forward to the 19th and beyond.

So … I still have 21.8 pounds left to lose. Still have a ways to go. I’ve lost 23.9 pounds so far. My BMI is 28.5. I’m still in the overweight range.

Hopefully, once I get into a solid routine of consistent exercise, I’m sure the weight will start to come off.

Wishing everyone success in their own weight loss effort!

Still Caught in the Flu

So, it’s been a week since this flu/cold took ahold of me. It was hard at the start with the delirium and fever and crushing body aches. It then transitioned into a head cold with the stuffy nose and chest congestion.

Thankfully, I have a few days off from work this week. Although I would rather spend my vacation days doing something else besides dragging along this flu/cold.

Even though I haven’t been able to run, I did get away to some slow hiking at McCormick’s Creek State park yesterday. It was only a few miles but does count toward my Epic Quest to hike all Indiana state park trails. This flu/cold limited my ability and motivation to go further than a few miles. It was a great weather day, bright sun with mild temperatures. Even with a flu/cold it was great to be outside.

The two trails I walked on would be great for trail running. I really need to look into that. Combine two things I really enjoy … hiking and running.

I’m a slow hiker. At least now I’m a slow hiker. In my youth I was only interested in the distance and time. Now, in my mid to old age, I’m more interested in the trail itself, what it offers, what to look at. So, with camera in hand, I tend to stop every so often to take photos. So, I’m not a very fast hiker.

Interesting note … about 25 years ago I came to this park with a friend. We both were (still are … by the way) overweight and sluggish in our fitness. While walking a trail in the park a trail runner passed us by. We marveled at the guy’s fitness and ability to run the trail. That was my first introduction to trail running. I thought at that time what fun it would be to run on the trails.

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First for the Season

The flu caught up with me.

It first tickled my throat Monday night. The scratchy throat built up overnight into a major sore throat Tuesday morning. Body aches and general delirium soon followed so by Tuesday evening I was a mess. Once I got home on Tuesday night I stayed in bed until Thursday morning.

The flu is not a fun thing. It always makes me question everything I do and what I’ve done. Just before the flu took hold of me, I had a great workout Monday evening. I ran through Week 6 Day 1 of the C25K program and it was an enjoyable session.

I wonder, if I was ‘over trained’ after that workout since the flu come on me so quickly afterwards.

Ha … as if “over trained” could be applied to me.

Who knows where this flu came from. I spent the prior weekend in Florence Kentucky. Just a weekend getaway, so maybe this is the Kentucky strain of the flu. I stayed home from work on Wednesday, the day I felt the worse. Hopefully, I’m not contributing to the spread of this pre season flu.

The flu has now given way to a general cold with a stuffy nose and general cold symptoms. I can hardly breath. So, it doesn’t seem that I’ll be doing any running this weekend.

Such a bummer. I was looking forward to running this weekend. I could probably do a long slow walk but I don’t I can run any distance.

I usually wait until late October to get my seasonal flu shot. Apparently I was too late this year. Hopefully this bout with the flu will give some boast to my immunity so that when I do get a flu shot I will be totally immune to the flu for this season. If that is even a possibility.

One can hope!

A New Low … Finally

175.7

Yay. Finally, a new low. Maybe I can start to make progress again. The last ‘new low’ was on October 1 at 176.8 pounds. After that, I gained weight and then couldn’t seem lose weight below the 177 area.

But today is a new low.

I define a ‘new low’ as a new weight lower than the earlier ‘new low’. It’s a take off from my trading days when a ‘new high’ was an indicator of even more and more ‘new highs’ and if you bought into the trend then you were certain to make some money.

In a perfect world, the new lows will be only a week apart. Each week would bring a new low and the trend would be a steady declined over time. There would be no interruptions in the trend. Just a steady decline in weight.

However, in the real world, especially the world of weight loss, especially my weight loss, the new lows can be weeks apart.

My current weight as of today is 175.7. In the 17 weeks since I started this weight loss effort I’ve lost 25 pounds. Yay! That is a good even number. My average weekly weight loss is 1.47 pounds.

I’ve been wrestling with the flu the past 3 days. I stayed home from work yesterday to sleep all day. I’m feeling better today. I don’t know if my new low is a result of the flu bug crawling around my body. What is the saying? Feed a cold starve a fever? I don’ know but I haven’t eaten much over the last few days. Not really interested in eating with this flu bug.

 

Indianapolis Mini Marathon 2016

IndianapolisMiniMarathonLogoSo … I registered for the 2016 Indianapolis Mini Marathon. Yay!

I got an email from the 500 Festival Organization saying they were raising entry fees for the 2016 race by midnight and if I wanted the lower price I would need to register now.

So, I did.

I’m usually not enticed by those kinds of emails or offers. Usually, I just walk away or delete the email if the headline says anything resembling “buy by midnight tonight or the prices increase”. Those offers are designed to appeal to my impulsivity and I’m not impulsive by nature. However, I’ve been thinking about running in the 2016 Mini Marathon anyways and so the email only pushed me over the edge.

And so, about 10 minutes later I was registered for the race at a cost of about $150.

I didn’t ‘just’ sign up for the mini marathon. After reading through the web site, I was enticed to sign up for the Mini Maniac Challenge. This Challenge includes the three 500 Festival Miler Series races and the Indianapolis Mini Marathon. So that is 32.1 miles for about $150. Or, about $4.67 per mile for the 4 races. I added the $20 service charge in my calculations too.

The Miler Series races include a February 3 mile run, a March 6 mile run and an April 10 mile run. If you register for the Mini Maniac Challenge you get a special medal for the Challenge along with a Miler Series technical shirt. That is in addition to the technical shirt and the medal for the Mini Marathon itself. So cool.

My last finish at Indianapolis Mini Marathon was in 2008. My time was 2:14:20 with a pace of 10:16. I don’t recall the circumstance of that race. Although I’m sure I was a bit disappointed with a 2:14:40 finish. I’m sure that 8 years ago I would be upset with myself had I not come in under 2 hours. However, now, at this stage of my life, a 2:14 finish for a mini marathon will be super cool. In 2007 I did come in under 2 hours with a time of 1:57:30 with a pace of 8:59. Now, that was super supper cool!! I was at my peak then.

I don’t expect to do that in 2016. Maybe I could if I train hard enough and lose some more weight. But, I’m more interested in running the distance and collecting the t-shirt and medal. The effort is what I’m interested in. The result will reflect the effort I put into the training and the race.

I have 6 month and 17 days to prepare for the May 7, 2016 race. That should be enough time to build endurance and strength for 13.1 miles.

Yay!

Long Run

run10172015Is a 4.27 mile run on a Saturday morning a long run?

I don’t know the proper answer but for me, a 4.27 mile run (actually a run/walk) is a long one for me right now.

My time was 50:31 for a pace of 11:50. Which isn’t bad. My goal pace is under 14:57, so I’m doing ok. The 14:57 is the average required pace to complete the average marathon in the required average time. So, anything under that is good for me.

I walked the first .25 mile and then ran the next two miles and then alternated between running and walking for the last two miles. Overall, a great run. Although I look forward to the day when I can run 4.27 mile straight!

The weather was super chilly, with frost on the yard. A biting wind too. I guess the cold weather is coming soon.

Hope everyone is having a great weekend.

Still Above The Low

177.0

Yes. A weight loss. But, in reality, I’m still above where I was two weeks ago. Not really certain as to what is going on with the weight but apparently something is. But, I’m thankful that this week shows a loss.

I kept the eating in control for the week. Although I did indulge in three donuts over the weekend. Other than that, the eating was in control. I did try a true Adkins meal with zero carbohydrates. I thought that I should try something different. I don’t know if I could keep up an Atkins effort over the long-term. I’m sure I could if I really tried. However, I’m not a cook and my eating routine for this weight loss effort have been subway sandwiches. It fits me right now. It’s easy. Just drive up, order, pay and eat. No cooking involved. If I do Adkins, I’ll need to cook more often. Since I live alone now, it’s only me and the subway routine is good enough. Although, I might work in more Atkins meals more often.

My running is progressing well. I started the 5th week of the C25K program and even ran an extra half mile in the two sessions. I’ll finish up the week with the third session of the week this evening. Hopefully, this weekend I will try for a ‘long run’.

On Saturday (10/10), I tested my theory of 15 minute miles for a marathon by running and walking a four mile distance. For that distance, I ran the first mile and a half and then ran for a few minutes and walked for a few minutes until I completed 4 miles. My total time was 49:38 with a pace of 12:22 per mile. It was a comfortable run. Although I was almost wiped out by the end. But, I kept a 12:22 pace which is about 2.5 minutes under the average required marathon pace of 14:57. I’m not looking to run in a marathon any time soon. But, I’ve proven to myself that I probably could maintain the required pace over the distance.

So, I still have 22 pounds left to lose until I reach my goal of 155. I’ve lost 23.7 pound so far. I’ve been at this effort for 16 weeks now. My average weekly weight loss is 1.48. Which, is where I originally wanted to be. That is, my goal was 1 – 2 pounds a week. My BMI is 28.6. So, I’m still overweight. There is a long way to go in this weight loss effort. I’m not giving up. I’m determined to weight in at a ‘normal’ weight for my height at least once in my lifetime.

On a positive note, I finally made it to the 3rd notch in the belt. I started at the first notch and now I’m on the third. Which is good. It means that I’m losing fat in the belly. That is a good thing. I just wish the scale would reflect it.

So, overall, I’m feeling good. The depression is at a low-level. Even the ownership change at work hasn’t depressed me over the last week as it did when it was first announced. I’m looking forward to running more and losing more weight. Hopefully, by the New Year I will be at a normal weight.

Cheers!

Going In The Wrong Direction

178.6

How can this be? A 1.8 pound gain?!  Last week it was 176.8. This week it is 178.6. The scale is playing games.

Geez. Very frustrating. Other than the small (may it wasn’t that small in retrospect) indulgence on Saturday night (10/3) where I ate some donut holes (and they were so good) I have been faithful to my eating plan. I was able to increase my exercise as well. I was looking forward to a weight loss … not a weight gain.

And I didn’t even drink any beer!

If there is any consolation in this weight gain it is that it’s not the largest gain I’ve had. On August 20 there was a gain of 2.0 pounds. And if there is any other consolation, there was a sharp decrease in weight in the weeks following that gain. So, hopefully, I can report a weight loss next week. Maybe it will be a mega weight loss.

I do feel ‘thinner’ … if that is possible to say. I’m flirting with the third belt notch, which means that I’m loosing some circumference around my mid section.

My overall weight loss is 22.1 pounds as of today. My average is 1.47 pounds a week for the 15 weeks I’ve been at this effort. So, in reality I’m doing ok. My original goal was to lose between 1-2 pounds a week.

My BMI is 28.8. I’m still in the overweight range. So, I still have a long ways to go.

It’s just frustrating at this point. But, I’ll stick with my plan for another week! Maybe I will cut back on the air popped pop corn I eat as a snack. Maybe I should try the Atkins diet for a while. My exercise is starting to build some momentum and maybe that will contribute to a weight loss next week.

Cheers!

A Change to the Possible

Maybe it’s because of the recent divorce, the recent rib injury, maybe the ownership change at the company I work for, maybe just because I’m getting older. Maybe. Who really knows.

But my perspective on running has changed.

In the past, maybe the recent past, I always believe that a ‘real’ runner would run the entire distance of a race. He (or actually I – if I was a ‘real’ runner) would run the entire 5K or 10K or half marathon or marathon or ultra. The ‘not-so-real-runner’ couldn’t run the entire distance and had to walk some of the distance.

However, recently, I’ve read articles and stories about the ultra and traditional marathoners, 10K and 5K runners who actually run and walk their races. There are mixed percentages in their running and walking. Some run most of the race and walk very little. Others walk more than they run. Yet, they all complete their race.

And, much to my surprise, they are not ashamed of walking. Their stories of personal redemption and achievement and perseverance have tugged at my heart. They have encouraged me to think that participating in a 5K or longer race isn’t necessarily about the continual motion of running but about the forward motion of personal victory, overcoming obstacles, endurance in both body and mind.

Maybe I was a purist in my former thinking. Maybe a purist but not an elite. I wasn’t fast. I had bad form. Never stretched enough or properly. But I was always concerned about my pace and time. I tried to improve. I wanted to improve.

I applaud those younger and older runners who are concerned with time and pace, trying to improve their performance. Actually, I’m jealous of them. I’m jealous of those who can effortlessly run a 7 minute mile and build stamina and strength to run a 6 minute mile.

I wish I was an elite runner. I wish I was like one of those thin guys wearing shorts and a t-shirt lined up at the front of the pack on a cold and windy morning of a 5K. I, however, stand at the back in multiple layers. I was never a contender for an award or even an age group award, unless of course, I was the only runner in my age group.

And, I didn’t want to walk any part of the race.

I looked up the average cut off time for a typical marathon. It’s about 6-1/2 hours. Which translates into a 14:52 per mile pace. Here’s the web page I got my information here.

Last night, on my C25K workout, my pace was 12:54 over the 2.17 mile mile distance. Week 4 Day 2 called for a 3 minute, 4 minute and 5 minute interval run with 3 minutes of walking between each interval. The workout was 28 minutes in length when you include the 5 minutes of walking before the first interval and the 5 minutes of walking after the last interval.

When I think of how enjoyable that run was, even with all the walking, and even with the slow pace I maintained, a 14:52 per mile pace over 26.2 miles seems possible.

In my ‘comeback’ 5K on September 14, 2015, I had to walk. In fact, I walked a lot in that race. I didn’t consider it a true comeback 5K since I had to walk most of the race. But I finished the distance. In fact, there was a small cheering block at the end of the race. Even though I was one of the last runners to cross the finish line, people were still cheering for me. Even though I had to walk, people still cheered me on.

The cheering block cheered everyone on. It just wasn’t for me. I was there alone. However, maybe that race was my comeback race in retrospect. Even with the rib injury and the training interruption I still made the distance, I still gave it an effort. And I walked.

My time for that race was 45:06.6 with a pace of 14:31.

I probably will never qualify for Boston. I don’t believe I could run/walk to a 3:30:00 qualify time for Boston. That is an 8:57 pace. If I train hard maybe I could do it. But probably not. I do however, believe that I could participate in another marathon and cross the finish line in with a pace of 14:52. It would include a mixture of running and walking, but it could be done. It is possible!