Started C25K Week 5

I can’t believe it’s been a month since I started this weight loss effort and the C25K. I’m feeling good and still motivated.

It also means it’s been a month since I’ve been back from the Colorado 2015 adventure, which has become the impetus for the weight loss effort and the C25K. I plan to return to Colorado in 2016 and I don’t want to be fat and overweight and so out of shape when I try to hike the Colorado trails.

Week 5 starts off with a 17 minute run, broken into 5 – 7 – 5 minute intervals with 2 minute walking breaks between each interval. It is a step up from the 12 minute total run from the last day of Week 4.

I wasn’t certain that I would make it through the second 5 minute run … but I did. Thankfully.

Actually, even with the extra 5 minutes, the workout was relaxing. It wasn’t my best day at the office and I was a little depressed about my son’s birthday (he’s 24). His birthday, as any of my kids’ birthdays, reminds me that I’m getting older. The workout relaxed me and gave me a feeling that I was working toward a goal and not just wasting any more time.

I’ve also been looking at the racing calendar from the Indy Runners Club. I won’t be ready for an official 5K until mid to late August. Even so, I’m looking forward to participating in a local 5K and so looking at the calendar.

Sign post at mile twelve on the Gore Valley Trail, Vail Colorado.

Sign post at mile twelve on the Gore Valley Trail, Vail Colorado.

 

Week 4 Complete with a MiO

Hello Everyone …

I completed Week 4 of the C25K program. Yay. The final session in the week called for 13 minutes of running spilt into 3, 6 and 4 minutes intervals. Even with the heat and high humidity, the 13 minutes wasn’t all that bad. The mileage was 2.21 at a 13:09 pace.

Progress.

Today is my son’s birthday. Alex, brother to Jacob. We are having a party to celebrate his 24 years at his favorite Japanese steak house this evening. I will try to fit in a repeat of the Week 4 Day 3 workout before the party. On Wednesday night, I have an appointment that will take all evening so I will not be able to exercise at all. And with the Thursday morning weigh-in only a few days away, I want to get in as much exercise as I possibly can.

This morning, my blood pressure was 116/81. That is the lowest I’ve seen it in a very long time, maybe even years. I’ve stayed away from process and high sodium foods and stopped drinking beer … maybe that has something to do with it.

I’ve also started drinking more water and decreased my consumption of diet soda. I’ve experimented with those flavor things you can buy for water. Plain water is ok but I like the flavors too.

I’ve bought a few of the MiO Liquid Water Enhancers (here’s the website: http://www.makeitmio.com). It’s a cool web site. Not promoting it or anything of the like but it’s what I’ve been buying lately. Last night, I picked up the Orange Vanilla flavor from their Artist Series. This flavor reminds me of those orange ice cream bars I bought from the ice cream truck when I was a kid. Kind of cool.

The bottle of Orange Vanilla is decorated with an illustration from Sophie Roach. Here’s her web site http://sophieroach.com. She has some cool artwork. I like her style.

MiO bottle with artwork by Sophie Roach

MiO bottle with artwork by Sophie Roach

 

Progressing …

So … I completed the second week of the C25K program. My performance in the final day of the second week was less than the second day of the second week. My distance was 1.90 miles at 14:33 per mile. The second day my pace was 14:19. So, a little slower. But, I’m still progressing and moving forward.

At least on a bright note, I got my fat lazy slug ass out of bed this morning and did the workout instead of waiting until this evening after work. That is a major break with my usual habit of staying in bed until the last moment before I need to rush to work. It was a good morning, kind of cool, windy, slight drizzle. It was good to be up and exercising in the morning. It was relaxing.

So about the weight in … since Thursday mornings are my chosen time to weigh in.

194.3

Is that good? It’s down 1.4 pounds from last week. My goal is at least 1 pound a week. The health experts say 1 – 2 pounds a week is healthy. So, I guess I had a healthy weight lose for the week. Yay!

However, I really wanted to see something bigger … like at least 5 pounds, maybe more! But I know that is not realistic. Maybe a fantasy, but not realistic. I’m happy with the 1.4 pounds this week.

My eating has been in control. Except for last night where I had an ultra gross hamburger from an expensive restaurant with a Vegas theme on the south side of Indianapolis, I’ve stuck to my

Monument Rock in Kansas

Monument Rock in Kansas

modified Subway diet and vegetable juice and water. I’m certain once my running and other exercising really kicks in the weight lose may increase.

Anyways … here’s a photo from the Monument Rock … one of the 8 wonders of Kansas. I was there on a foggy morning so my photo isn’t the best. A unique site, worth the drive on a rutted dirt road in the badlands of Kansas!

First 5K In A Very Long Time

running_08182014The last time I ran any distance greater than a 5K was March 21, 2014.

I remember that run. It was the most painful run I’ve ever endured. But I ran through the pain and completed the run. And, the very next day when I attempted to run again, the pain in my lower left leg was excruciating. So agonizing was the pain, I could hardly walk. I self diagnosed the pain as a severe stress fracture. At least, everything I read on the internet said that is what it was. I couldn’t run for the next 12 weeks, although I did try a few times but the moment I took the first stride the pain came back in force.

The pain totally faded by the first of June and I was ready to hit the road again. However, in the 12 weeks during my layoff, I gained weight and lost most, if not all of my fitness since I didn’t attempt any kind of exercise. I could hardly walk around the block. So, I decided to work through the C25K program. I stuck with the program for the next 12 weeks and worked through every exercise session and sometimes repeated weeks and sessions.

Last week, I was finally able to complete the final session, Week 8 Day 3, which requires a 30 minute non stop run. Yay! To see if I really had completed the program, I repeated that session three more times. And finally, last night, I switched back to the Nike + App and set the distance for 3.1 miles and ran non stop for 33 minutes for a distance of 3.17 miles.

Yay!!! A 5K.

My average pace was 10:27 per mile. It was a rather humid day and warm day too.

So, I guess that I’ve completed the C25K program. Yay!

A few things that I did learn about myself while working through the C25K program. The first is that I need to lay aside the ego and just run for the pleasure and benefit of running instead of the bragging rights. And two, interval training and running is something that I’m going to explore in the future. In the latter weeks of the program, where it required a 15 minute run and then a two-minute walk, that two-minute walk was really refreshing and in the next 10 minute run I was more energized than the first 15 minute run. My thoughts were  confirmed by a co-worker who followed a different interval program similar to the C25K and he said that running for five minutes and walking for 1 minute and repeating for the duration of the run allowed him to go further each week. He said the 1 minute of walking sandwiched between 5 minutes of running was better for him than non stop running.

But, the bottom line is that I was able to reach my goal of running a 5K non stop! Yay. Now, my next step is to register for a 5K event and confirm my C25K success on a measured course.

Couch 2 5K … Day 2

Yay … I got out of bed this morning and completed the Day 2 Week 1 of the Couch to 5K program.

The air temperature this morning was over 70°F … wow … and it is early May … but it felt like mid summer already.

The only issue I had this morning is the stress fracture doesn’t seem to want to fade totally away. It was giving me some pain. But, I ran through it. Not that it was a great challenge as I was only running for about 30 – 45 seconds at a time and only covered less than two miles. Hopefully, that stress fracture will fade totally away soon.

I hope that everyone has a great day and a great run. Onwards.

Starting The Couch to 5K Program (Again)

Believe it or not …. I dragged myself out of bed at 4:30 am this morning and rummaged around for my running shoes, checked the weather, found the C25K app on the iPhone and … and … and actually went outside for a run.

It has been over seven weeks since the last time I ran.

I believe the stress fracture has finally healed. At least there is no pain in my left shin any more. So, I believe it is safe to risk going out for a run.

I decided to start the C25k (Couch to 5K) program again. The 8 week program starts with a little running and a lot of walking in the first few weeks to build stamina and in the later weeks you find yourself running for almost 30 minutes. In my youth I would have just ran a 5K to impress my ego and prove I still had fitness after a 7 week layoff. In my old age, I am no longer in a hurry and don’t mind taking two months to rebuild my fitness. Ego, or no ego, I would rather run a little instead of being sidelined for another 7 weeks with another stress fracture.

Today, I ran 5 sets of running for 45 seconds, walking for 90 seconds, running for another 45 seconds and then walking for 60 seconds. I covered less than 2 miles in the 29 minutes it took to complete Week 1 Day 1 of the program.

There was a little pain in my left shin after I walked home. Hopefully I’m not re-stressing the stress fracture. I can’t tell if it is just discomfort from moving my body or real pain.

Anyways … hope everyone has a great day and a great run. Onwards.

2014 Indianapolis Mini Marathon

Last night, I went to the Convention Center in downtown Indianapolis to pick up the 2014 Indianapolis Mini Marathon packet. It’s been over 6 years since I’ve run in the Mini and was looking forward to starting with 35,000 other people in downtown Indianapolis and running through the west side ghettos and around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and finishing at Military Park on the campus of IUPUI (Indiana University Purdue University at Indianapolis). The times I’ve run the Mini have always been enjoyable and rewarding.

But this year things are very different for me.

I registered for this Mini back in September 2013. At that time I was eager to run and was coming off recovering from that heart issue and wanted a “carrot” (goal) to motivate me for the long-term. I figured the Mini, which is the world’s largest mini marathon and in my own back yard, would be the ticket.

Yet, my training broke down in late February 2014 due to a painful stress fracture in my left leg and I haven’t run in over seven weeks. Due to ‘other stress’ in my life, I over drink and over eat and lost my fitness and so I’m in no way in shape to attempt a 13.1 mile mini marathon. It’s a true shame, too. Before my training broke down, I ran through the pain and trained up to 8 miles as my longest run. Had I been able to stay on schedule, I would be fully trained for the Mini by now. I only gave up when I couldn’t run any more through the pain. I’m so disappointed in myself for letting a simple shin splint develop into an injury that stopped me from running. I’m disappointed in myself for letting external stresses derail my internal peace.

Last night, when I was walking around the Expo, I felt like I had a huge “L” painted on my forehead and everyone knew what a loser I am. I saw people of all shapes and sizes with huge smiles and bright eyes saying what a great opportunity it is to be included in the Mini.  The energy was exciting and I wanted it. After I left the Expo, I found a sports bar, sat by a window, drank beer and watched people walking the streets with their Mini Marathon packets in hand.

Since I knew I would not run in the 2014 Mini Marathon, I need to somehow redeem myself from the guilt. So, I decided to give away my bib number to someone who had the desire and energy to participate. Earlier this week I posted an ad on Craigslist saying that I had a bib number to give away. There were several responses within minutes after the ad went online. Of those that quickly responded I randomly picked one and replied to say “you are the chosen one”.

So, last night, I was picking up the packet for someone else. Someone who wanted to run in the Mini. The “chosen” one is Kara and she is now driving down from Chicago to run in the Mini.

Wow, I live in the back yard of the Mini and I can’t muster up the drive or energy to do it. Yet Kara, who has the ambition I lack, scrambles for a last-minute entry and drives from Chicago to participate. Wow, I AM a loser.

I wish the absolute best for Kara. I know that she will do great. We meet up later today to pass the bib so she can run in the Mini. I wonder if she will have the traditional pasta dinner tonight? I will probably drink beer and over eat tonight.

Maybe next year I can fully redeem myself and properly train for the 2015 Indianapolis Mini Marathon. Hopefully things will be different next year.

 

Saturday … Saturday

So … I was able to get to Planet Fitness this morning. Thankfully the car started.

Yesterday morning, when it was about 3°F outside, the car didn’t start and I had to call for a ride just to get to work. I was certain it was the battery as it’s been about 5 years since I’ve replace it. Later than evening, when it warmed up to about 20°F, I was able to take out the old battery, find another ride to the auto parts store, buy a new battery and then install it. And … it worked. The little 2000 Honda Civic started on the first crank. I’m not a mechanic by any means so when I can do something successful to the car (other than filling up the gas tank) it’s been a great day!

Thankfully little red Honda started on the first crank this morning! It was about 14°F. Yay. So I found myself at Planet Fitness about 8:15 am to work out on the treadmill. I put in 5 miles (about 700 calories burned) and lifted a little weight afterwards and called it a successful workout. It’s been a long time since I put in 5 miles on a treadmill and it was a refreshing run. Although I would rather be running outside there is just too much snow and ice on the streets to safely run outside today.

I’m sure that I’ll be using the Planet Fitness facility in the next few days. The weather man is calling for sub-zero “high” temperatures and dangerous wind chills. In that regard, I’m bless that the old battery bit the dust before this winter storm hits. Now I have a fresh new battery. And, don’t forget the 8-13 inches of fresh snow he says will blanket the area in the next day! Sub-zero temperatures and a foot of snow … what a great winter!

This is the fourth day of my 2014 Restart and I’ve been faithful to the program, counting the calories and staying on the exercise. And, best of all, I haven’t had a beer (even though I want one or two or three or more). I remind myself that this month is “No Beer January” and since I’ve told several people at the office and the blogging world, I really need be faithful and stay away from the beer. So far … so good.

I hope everyone has a great weekend. Stay warm!

Fresh Start in 2014

I spent my January 1 running miles inside the Planet Fitness facility. It was such a bleak, gray and cold morning that I just didn’t want to run outside. Usually I would just blow off the running episode because of the weather but since it was January 1 and I wanted a fresh start for the New Year I decided to go to PF and use their treadmills. Even though I prefer to run outside on the road, I pay the monthly membership fee so if I’m unable to run outside due to weather or other issues I can drive to PF and still get in a workout. I haven’t been to PF since April 29, 2013.

So, I ran my first 5K of 2014 on the Planet Fitness treadmills.

On a bright note, I discovered that my Nike + app, which I log my running miles and time, has an option to track ‘indoor’ miles run on the treadmill. Yay! Now I can track any mile that I run indoors or outdoors.

On a less than glorious note, I weighed in today. I wanted to get a starting number for a 2014 weight loss effort. Although I wasn’t happy with the number on the scale, at least it wasn’t the number I thought it was going to be. The number was 189.3.

So … I’ve gained back all the weight that I lost last year, about 35 pounds. Geez. Shameful. But … at least I have somewhere to start again. My objective is now to count calories and exercise and hopefully the number on the scale will go down in the weeks and months to come. I also decided that January is a “No Beer” month. Since domestic and craft brews seem to have such a hold on me I decided to go cold turkey and not drink any beer for the month of January. I really need to do something, anyways. I believe that most of my weight gain is from the excessive amount of beer I drink … so if I don’t drink any beer then maybe it will help me lose some weight. So … that’s my January Quest … drink no beer, count calories, exercise and lose some weight.

So … this morning (January 2) a winter storm dumped about 5 inches of heavy wet snow. Since I really wanted to get in a work out and really didn’t want to run in the snow and ice, I cleaned off the car and drove to PF to run another 5K. My 2000 Honda drives through the snow without much effort since I bought new tires. There was really no excuse not to get in a workout this morning. My total December running miles  was a pitiful 19.7 miles. The total for November was 70.9. I want the January total to be at least 50 miles so I really can’t miss too many workouts.

I hope everyone has a great 2014. Happy miles to everyone!

Hello 2014!

I am glad to see 2013 end. It was not my best year. Even so, I’m happy for a fresh start in 2014. Maybe 2014 will be a great year. So, this is the time of year where it’s expected to set new goals and resolutions for the next year. So here goes …

I started 2013 on a roll with a weight loss/calorie counting effort and eventually got down to a goal weight of 155 pounds. But, shortly afterwards I fell off the wagon and lost my focus and by the end of the year I had regained much of the weight. Geez. How hopeless.

My domestic life has taken a tailspin that I’m not sure how to come out of. Not that the details are necessary but I can say that I need to redefine my vision and expectation of marriage (again). This item has been the hardest to deal with and I deal with it by drinking too much beer! Maybe I’ll blog more about it later.

I lost about two months of running time in July and August because I was having chest pains and couldn’t breathe. After several trips to the hospital and doctor offices and several thousands of dollars later … they don’t know what happened to me.

The Positive Highlights of 2013 are :

  • I finished a half marathon. It wasn’t a great finish at 2:40 but at least I limped along and finished!
  • My son graduated from college.
  • My daughter graduated from high school.

So, what’s in store for 2014?

Of course, I want to lose weight. I always want to lose weight and control my eating. I know I can do it as I’ve proven it many times in the past. This time, I want to CHANGE what happens after I achieve a goal weight and maintain the weight loss instead of regaining it again.

I plan on running and racing more … or at least showing up for a “race” and participating. I’m not a bona fide contender. I’m a mid-to-back runner. I just enjoy being involved although I’m always run solo as I don’t have any family or friends who enjoy running as I do. Running is my one true athletic passion.

I plan on being more creative (again). If there is any highlight of 2013 is that I finally broke out of this artist funk that’s held me captive for years. I decided to stop listening to the voices in my head that said I couldn’t draw or paint good enough to be worth the effort to draw or paint. So, I said “screw you” (forgive my language) to those voices and bought paint and canvas and painted my first abstract drip painting. I’ve finished about a dozen paintings in 2013 and I plan to continue in 2014. In addition, I would like to develop my skill at short story writing. Believe it or not, way back in high school (late 70’s) I wanted to be a novelist. I would like to rediscover that passion.

So, here are my goals in 2014 …

  • lose weight keep it off so that on December 31, 2014 I weigh in at 155.
  • continue to run and exercise … run at least 4-6 times a week and race at least once a month. At least two mini Marathons in 2014.
  • continue to be creative … with my abstract drip paintings but also write at least one short story.

There are other things that I would like to do in 2014 related to my three resolutions. For example, I’m trying to plan a trip to the Rocky Mountain National Park to climb Long’s Peak. To do that adventure, I really need to lose some weight and get into better shape. And, if I can pull off that adventure, it will be my first time to climb a Colorado 14er. I would like to run across the Golden Gate Bridge too.

I also would like to develop my “professional” skill set and learn the jQuery and JavaScript languages. Believe it or not, maintaining a skill set in front-end and back-end web development is hard work. I’m a 50-year-old developer and there are thousands of young graduates that would love to over take me. So, I need to work hard to stay ahead or stay with the curve. Otherwise, I’ll be left in their dust on the side of the road.

So, that’s it for me and my review of 2013 and outlook for 2014. I hope that everyone has a great end to 2013 and a fresh start to 2014. God Bless and stay running.