Hopefully A New World

If I would count my blessings then I am the most blessed man in the world.

However, I haven’t been counting any blessings of late. Monday night (12/28) I laid in bed and over ate and over drank and didn’t do anything of consequence or value. The day before was pretty much the same.

Last night, however, I decided to run. I ran 5.12 miles in 51:09 for an average pace of 9:58. The run lifted my spirits and the world has become a new place. Ah yes, just in time for the new year.

My splits:

  • 1 Mile : 10:04
  • 2 Mile : 9:50
  • 3 Mile : 9:56
  • 4 Mile : 9:51
  • 5 Mile : 10:06

I had a hard time on the last mile, as one can tell in the split. It was a cold and dark evening and my first run in the last three days. I didn’t properly warm up before I started running. And, my eating has been the pits so my stomach was full and jiggling. By the fourth mile, the bottoms of my feet were hurting. I don’t know if that means I need a new pair of shoes or new insoles.

I have let circumstances and events and things and personalities beat me down. The holiday’s did not help with its own brand of expectations and obligations. Mild depression has crept into my soul and is starting to find a hold. If I would talk to any other person like I talk to myself, I would have no friends.

However, the 5 miles was a good step in fighting back, or taking back, or rising above. My motto for 2016 is going to be “Progressing” and or “Improving” instead of perfection.

After Christmas Long Run

I was motivated by a you tube video to get out and run.

I was watching a video produced by Chris & G Travels. This you tube channel follows the RV living and travel of this couple. I enjoy watching their channel as I can live vicariously through them. And other people who produce you tube channels of their van dwelling and RV living adventures.

Anyways, Chris and G were traveling through a town in British Columbia in their Monaco Class A and they decided to stop and run. They wanted to get in a 5 mile run around this scenic mountain lake.

How cool. Driving through mountain town and found a scenic mountain lake to run around. What a way to live.

So, still under the covers, still in bed, still a little hung over from Christmas dinner and drink, I thought I should get my fat slug ass out of bed and get in a run of my own. If Chris and G can do it around a scenic mountain lake in British Columbia, then I could do it around the neighborhood.

I wasn’t able to get in a long run on Friday since it was the Christmas holiday and there was too much holiday to get in for the day. I prefer long runs on Friday evenings but since that wasn’t possible I decided Saturday was the next best day.

So, this morning was my long run. A quiet Saturday morning, chilly with grey overcast and slight rain. My goal was 5.5 miles of straight running with 3 sets of intervals of 5 minute runs and 2 minute walks.

The reality was that I did 6 miles of straight running and then 3 sets of intervals. Yay! The total mileage was 7.87 for total time was 1:20:04 and for an average pace of 10:10.

My splits were :

  • 1 mile : 9:40
  • 2 Mile : 9:45
  • 3 Mile : 9:52
  • 4 Mile : 9:52
  • 5 Mile : 9:50
  • 6 Mile : 9:46
  • 7 Mile : 11:33

My fastest mile was the first one. I slowed down for the next four miles and finished strong with a 9:46 mile for the sixth. Not too bad for a holiday wasted slug.

Wishing everyone a great weekend and a great run.

Christmas Eve Weigh In and Run

177.4

Good grief. Up 4.2 pounds! Holy Cow. Four point two pounds in one week. How does this happen?

Brief pause … realization …

Of course. It’s all the Holiday food and drink I’ve been consuming. I shouldn’t be surprised. I should have expected it. I have been too liberal in my eating. Too many office cookies, too many Little Debbie snacks, too much craft beer. I’m calling this weight gain an example of Holiday Bloat. But, I need a way to ignore or overlook or skip over or overcome the temptations to eat all those available goodies.

My running has been good this week. Although I only ran 3 days, my total miles was 18.83. I would have run last night Wednesday (12/23), however, a major thunderstorm passed overhead when I got off from work and sort of drowned out my opportunity to run outside. So, I jumped on the Bowflex for 22 minutes. If I had a treadmill, I would have run on the treadmill.

Running for this week :

  • Friday 12/18 : 7.51
  • Sunday 12/20 : 6.01
  • Tuesday : 12/22 : 5.31

A Morning Run …

Thursday mornings are my weigh in day. And, today is Christmas Eve and I have the day off. So, once I slept in till 7:30 am, I got out of bed and weighed in to see what the frustrating number would be, as reported above.

There seems to be so much to do before Christmas day and that adds to the stress of the holiday season. So, I thought I would get in a morning run since I have the day off. I’m thankful that I was able to get in a run this morning before I get busy with the holiday responsibilities.

I ran 5.31 miles for a total time of 50:34 with an average pace of 9:31. Wow !!!! I guess maybe the holiday bloat gave me some extra energy for a fast run. At least fast for me. In fact, I believe this is fastest run to date. The splits were :

  • 1 Mile : 9:26
  • 2 Mile : 9:30
  • 3 Mile : 9:30
  • 4 Mile : 9:25
  • 5 Mile : 9:36

This run was encouraging. Especially after such a dismal weigh in. And, it was warm and sunny this morning too. It was like a Spring day. And, it’s late December. Incredibly warm weather. I saw several other runners taking advantage of the warmth and sun while I was doing the same.

Merry Christmas Everyone !!

 

 

 

5 Miles On a Bad Attitude

It’s hard to believe the warmth this December. It was in the high 50’s when I stepped into the darkness to run a few miles. My plan was to run 4 miles. I was slow, averaging about 10:12 per mile. At the end of the four miles I thought I had enough energy to get in another mile for five total miles. It was a good run.

I’m glad the Winter Solstice passed over on Monday 12/21. That means that evening daylight will increase. Maybe soon I could take an evening run in daylight instead of darkness.

I haven’t had the best of attitudes this Christmas season. Not sure what is causing it. My guess is that it has many contributing factors … ownership change at the company I work for, not being married anymore, overeating, over drinking, wondering if my ladder has been on the wrong wall for all of my working career (kudos to Steven Covey for that meme) … maybe so. I don’t know.

It’s not depression. I know what depression is. Been in the depths of that before, many times. This holiday bum is just bad attitude. Whereas I should have a better attitude because I am blessed in so many ways. I’m just stuck in this bad attitude.

I have notice that this BA has given me a mouth. As, I’m not too hesitant to filter stuff coming out of my mouth. Whereas in the past I was. And, I will be in the near future once this BA fades and I return to my normal subdued self.

But anyways, I carried the BA with me as I started my run. Thankfully, the runner’s high come into play and by the time the five miles ended, the BA had faded to stage left. Or stage right. And the rest of the evening was pleasant.

But, the BA is back in full force this morning. Thankfully it is the final day of the work week for me. Then, a long weekend. Yay!

Sunday Lists

I’m in a list making mood today.

Things I did yesterday :

  • Watched van dwelling and full-time RV living you tube videos
  • Went Christmas shopping
  • Wrapped Christmas presents
  • Went Grocery shopping
  • Drank beer at Sun King Brewery
  • Went to church with my ex-wife and her friend
  • Went to dinner at a Mexican restaurant

Things I did yesterday but shouldn’t have done :

  • Watched too many van dwelling and RV living you tube videos when I should have been doing something more productive
  • Drank too much beer at the Sun King Brewery
  • Drank too much beer at the Mexican restaurant
  • Ate too many Reese’s mini peanut butter cups
  • Did I say … drank too much beer

Things I need to do today :

  • Finish Christmas shopping
  • Finish Christmas present wrapping
  • Need to drop a Christmas card in the mail
  • Need to pay bills and mail them so the lights and heat can stay on

Things I have already done today :

  • Ran 6.01 miles in 1:00:51 for an average pace of 10:07. I ran 4 miles straight and did 3 sets of 2/5 intervals.
  • Took a shower
  • Wrapped some more Christmas presents

What I would like to do if I get all the Christmas things done today :

  • Go to the Indianapolis Art Museum

Wishing everyone a great Sunday!

 

 

Friday Night Long Run

I was anxious to get home after work. It was the last full work week of 2015. The week ended on a good note and so I was pumped to get home and get in my long run for the week.

It was about 6:00pm when I started. I was already dark and cold. My goal was to run 5.25 miles straight without walking for those miles. After than, I would do 3 sets of 2 minute walking and 5 minute running intervals.

So, the 5.25 miles went quickly. I averaged a 10:00 minute pace for those miles. I felt strong enough so I thought I would squeeze in another .25 miles to make an even 5.5 miles.

The walk-run intervals went ok. Although I was growing fatigued by the end of the final interval and was happy to complete my long run for the week!

  • Total Distance : 7.51 miles
  • Total Time : 1:17:28
  • Average Pace : 10:18

Splits

  • 1 mile : 10:05
  • 2 mile : 9:59
  • 3 mile : 10:08
  • 4 mile : 9:46
  • 5 mile : 9:59
  • 6 mile : 10:38
  • 7 mile : 11:32

I wasn’t really hurting when I finished. However, my right Achilles tendon was talking to me later in the evening. So, maybe, I went too long. But, now (the day after), the tendon is peaceful and quiet.

I’m still feeling ‘thinner’ in spite of my weight gain from Thursday (12/17). I wrestled with some slight depression over the weight gain and so found some solace in slight over eating. But, the 7.5 mile run knocked in my depression out and I found a runner’s high. So cool.

Happy weekend !!

 

Gaining Weight Again

173.2

Bummer. I’m up 1.1 pounds from last week. Bummer. I was looking forward to a weight loss, as it would have been 3 weeks in a row, had I lost weight this week.

But, I didn’t. I gained. Geez.

I shouldn’t be surprised. My eating was a bit liberal. My roommates have cooked almost every evening. They cook big meals. Not the canned soup I would cook if I was cooking for myself. There’s more food in the house now and more food to snack on. They bring home Dunkin Donuts. And, donuts are one of my top weaknesses.

And, I’ve had more beer than normal. Which, I’m certain added to the weight gain. Beer is another weakness.

The odd thing about this week’s weight gain is … that I feel thinner. I’m flirting with the 4th belt notch and almost there. I really need to buy a new pair of pants. I’ve noticed a loss in my belly fat. Even my forearms seem thinner. And, I can see a rib. I know my six-pack is still lurking beneath my belly fat. Just a matter of time and effort before it comes to light.

So, there is evidence that I’m thinning down, even though I gained weight this week.

I had a doctor’s appointment this week and there was a blood test. While my total cholesterol was good at 142, my triglycerides are elevated at 186 and my HDL cholesterol is low at 37. Apparently, that is not too good. The doctor wants my HDL to be over 60 and the triglycerides to be under 150.

To reduce the triglycerides, I need to exercise, lose weight, cut sugar, eat the right kind of fat and add omega 3 fatty acids to my diet somehow. To increase the HDL, I need to exercise, lose weight, eat the right kind of fats.

I’ve kind of been doing that for the last 25 weeks. I would have thought the triglycerides and HDL would be ok by now. Unless, of course, they were so far out of whack to begin with. Maybe last week’s liberal eating and drinking has cause this and it was just timing on my part. I don’t have a baseline in the blood chemistry so I can see how my weight loss and exercise efforts are paying off.

The Doctor also said I am anemic. Which, according to the internet, is a low red blood cell count. She says that I may be bleeding out my ass. What?! I haven’t noticed anything like that. Seriously? The internet says that being anemic can cause fatigue, headaches, brain fog and strange cravings, which I’ve always had. According to this web page, chewing ice could indicate anemia. I like to chew ice. Always have. I thought it was just a strange thing about me but maybe I’ve been anemic since childhood. I probably should increase my iron intake.

I had a great week in the running department. I ran four days for a total of 20.19 miles. Of course, 2 running sessions included walking intervals, but still, I covered 20.19 miles last week. Wow!

Last night (12/16) I ran 4.12 miles in 40:07 for an average pace of 9:44. Wow. One of my fastest run to date. Yay!

  • Mile 1 : 9:43
  • Mile 2 : 9:51
  • Mile 3 : 9:38
  • Mile 4 : 9:42

I have 41.0 miles for December. The average pace for those 41 miles is 10:10. Not too bad. If I extrude December’s average pace to a marathon, my finish time would be 4:30. I guess isn’t too bad. Maybe a little below average.

Well, I guess I have some work to do this week. Cheers.

 

Three Runs

Friday December 11, 2016.

This was to be my long run for the week. So, I managed to get in 5 miles straight and then did three sets of walk-run intervals. My total time was 1:13:51 for an average pace of 10:31.

  • Mile 1 : 9:46
  • Mile 2 : 9:45
  • Mile 3 : 9:38
  • Mile 4 : 10:11
  • Mile 5 : 10:01
  • Mile 6 : 12:18
  • Mile 7 : 11:54

As you can tell, I was pretty fast (at least for me) in the first three miles and then started to slow in mile 4 and 5. The walking intervals added time to my pace for the 6th and 7th miles. Overall, it was a great run.

After the run, my ex-wife stopped by to pick up some furniture she had kept at the house. I helped her load the Uhaul and then went to their house to help unload. I was wiped out by the time everything was over.

Sunday, December 13.

It was incredibly warm for mid December. So, I took advantage of the day light and the warmth and went out for a few miles. I ran three miles straight without stopping and then added 3 sets of the walk-run intervals. The total distance was 4.89 miles at a total time of 50:37 for an average pace of 10:20.

  • Mile 1 : 9:54
  • Mile 2 : 9:45
  • Mile 3 : 9:52
  • Mile 4 : 11:12

I felt like I could stay outside for the entire day to enjoy the mid December warmth and keep on the walk-run intervals. But I had to stop my exercise to work on other obligations. Later that evening I went over to Nikki and Joi’s house to help paint.

Monday, December 14.

I left work at 3:20pm for a doctor’s appointment. She was happy with my progress at running and exercise and losing weight. My blood pressure was normal (about 115/75), which is not the ‘normal’ for me until I started to run and lose weight. A year ago, my blood pressure was about 150/110 and the Doctor was very ‘concerned’. Once I started running and exercising and reducing my calories, the blood pressure started to come down.  I was home by 4:45 (I usually don’t get home until 5:45 on most work days). I thought I would take advantage of the remaining day light and get in a run. The weather man said it would rain later in the evening and I also wanted to beat the rain.

I ran 4.16 miles in 42.02 for an average page of 10:05. I ran straight, no walking. However, I couldn’t break below 10 minute miles on the average for some reason. Although I did feel good and energetic.

  • Mile 1 : 10:05
  • Mile 2 : 10:06
  • Mile 3 : 9:56
  • Mile 4 : 10:15

I didn’t do a good job of beating the rain as a heavy cold rain started about mile 2. And, the daylight quickly faded as the rain came it. I didn’t wear my reflective vest or headlamp and I was probably hard to see in the fading day light and rain. But, I ended the run safely although somewhat soaked.

My room mates cooked french fries and cheeseburgers for dinner. I actually had a beer with dinner. Just one beer. And it was good!

 

Return to Colorado

I work as a graphic designer, web programmer slash front end designer, photographer and general illustrative person for a small midwest manufacturer. I’ve been in this position since 1998 but been with the company since 1992.

Not very often are there ‘kudos’ for a good job. You might hear about a bad job. Kudos, good and bad, do come at times, thankfully. But since there are no quarterly or yearly evaluations I never know if I’m doing as expected or if I’m doing great or if I need to improve in some area or if they are planning to show me the door. And with the new ownership change, not knowing can play havoc inside my head.

However, two recent comments made by the some of the new owners kind of took me by surprise.

The first comment, made directly to me and about me and made by Owner #1, concerned my lack of use of ‘vacation time’. Just a comment, no “you did bad by not taking all of it” nor “you did good by not taking all of it and being at work”.

The second comment, spoken in an expressive tone loud enough for all to hear expressed Owner #5’s point of view as to “WHY anyone in their right mind WOULDN’T take ALL of their VACATION TIME”.

I thought there are several reasons why someone wouldn’t take all their vacation time. In this company, vacation time is earned, not given. Therefore, it’s pay. Some people, like me, can use the nice ‘bonus’ at the end of the year to pay bills, debt, kid’s tuition, etc. Other people, also like me, just don’t know where to go on vacation nor have the cash to go. Other people, like me, use vacation time to work around the house or wait for the cable guy between the hours of 8 – 4.

I’ve used 7 days of my 15 days of total 2015 ‘vacation’. Five days were taken to drive to Colorado and hike and explore. Two days were spent hiking around some state parks and going to a doctor’s appointment. I did have other vacation scheduled but those days were delayed and then rescinded due to work and other conflicts.

There are five new owners at the company. Maybe they want people to take vacation time for good employee morale or accounting or other reasons. Probably for accounting reasons since vacation time is not accrued from year to year. They cut a check for unused vacation time at the end of the year. So, if you don’t take two weeks of vacation then you get a ‘bonus’ (not really a bonus but you understand my drift) of two extra weeks of pay.

So they are encouraging people to take their vacation. At least that is what I’m hearing. I wouldn’t want the new owners, particular Owner #5, to think I’m somewhat deficient in person or spirit because I didn’t take all of my earned vacation time.

Took this photo in 2015 during my Colorado 2015 vacation.

Took this photo in 2015 during my Colorado 2015 vacation.

So, I’m now planning some vacation time for late July, 2016. And, I’m going to Leadville Colorado and going to run on the Mineral Belt National Historic Trail. It is an 11.6 mile paved fitness trail that winds through and around Leadville.

How cool. It is cool!

I should be in shape to run the total distance by late July. I have two mini marathons scheduled for May and June 2016. So, I should be trained up for 11.6 miles. However, the elevation may offer a challenge, as Leadville is at 10,152 feet in the Colorado Rockies and is the second highest incorporated municipality in the United States.

Most, if not all, of my running and training is in the low lands of the midwest. So it may be a challenge to run at that altitude but it’s a challenge that I’m now looking forward to!

I plan to stay at a campground in Leadville or close by. I also plan to complete the Whitney Lake hike during this trip. In June 2015, on my first attempt at Whitney Lake, I turned back about a half mile from the lake because of deep snow and not really being prepared physically, as I was overweight and out of shape at that time. That hike, and that trip to Colorado in general, gave me the motive and impetuous to get back in shape.

I drove through Leadville on my 2015 Colorado trip. For the 2016 trip, I plan to linger in Leadville, take in some of the local craft brew and color and hike around the San Isabel National Forest.

Leadville is kind of a mecca for running. It hosts an entire series of races, from a 10K to the famous Leadville 100 ultra trail marathon. Here’s a link to their web site.

At least I have something on the 2016 vacation schedule. Hopefully that will make some people happy. However, I’m sure the plans will change and morph along the way before July 2016. Until then, I have something to look forward to and train for.

Continued …

172.1

Yay. I am down 1.4 pounds from last week.

Usually, for me, after a weight loss from the previous week there is a gain the next week. This week, however, there is a loss. Yay. Double Yay.

It feels great to lose some weight. My BMI is 27.8. I’m in the middle of the overweight range. I still have 2.9 points to go before I’m at the top edge of the normal range. I still have 17.1 pounds to lose before I get to my goal weight of 155.

My eating was a little heavy. My daughter works at Dunkin Donuts between classes and so she brings home left over donuts. I ate several over the weekend. And, I had a few beers over the weekend too. But, I’ve continued with the protein shakes for lunch. And, my daughter cooked up some chicken one night this week. Maybe the added protein is working on the fat loss. Maybe? My usual thinking that is the less calories eaten the more weight was lost. But, I’ve eaten more calories in the past two weeks and lost weight. Strange.

I’m flirting with the 4th belt notch. Not quite there but can comfortably squeeze to the 4th. Maybe by the New Year’s I’ll it will be the ‘standard’ notch.

My running was great this week. I ran 17.5 miles over the week. It was four episodes of running. My longest run was on Friday 12/4 at 6.72 miles. In that session I ran 5 miles straight with no walking and added a few walk-run intervals after the 5 miles to total 6.72 miles. One of my unspoken goals was to run 5 miles straight without walking at least once during December.

I can keep my 25 pound trophy on display this week. Every time I look at it I am encouraged to continue exercising, eating better and losing weight. I know it’s silly but it works for me. Since it’s a 25 iron dumbbell (I’ll post a photo soon), when I pick it up I’m amazed at how heavy 25 pounds actually is. And, I had that weight on my body. Wow!

I’ve been at this effort was 24 weeks now. It’s starting to become normal. That is to watch what I eat, try to eat less and exercise. My average weight loss is about 1.2 pounds a week. That is on the lower end of my 1 – 2 pounds a week goal. But, I’m happy with this average.

Last Saturday (15/5) my parents assembled the entire family for portrait photos. I’ve always dreaded the family portrait because I’m never at a good weight and always look fat and bloated. However, this time, I felt comfortable in my weight. Even though I wished I was thinner this family portrait experience wasn’t that bad. (Although, I did miss my ex-wife).

Hope everyone has a great week! Cheers.