Year 2, Week 44, Down 80 lbs

Gotta play some catch-up for the last couple weeks.  Last week had five Thursdays which meant five weigh-ins for me but the last one was extremely manipulated since I needed a weight below 223.2 for some DietBet’s I was competing in.  I managed a 222.8 to win my bets but the weight was nothing legitimate so I decided to leave it out of the October weigh-ins plus, it keeps things looking nice and neat with four weigh-ins per month.

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My weight for the first weigh-in of November was at 234.0 and I was pretty happy with that.  Especially since my goal for the year was the low 240s.  I’ll need to stay in striking distance for some diet bets I have going through February of next year.

2015 Wallpaper 02 - 2015

by midnight this coming Friday night I’ll need a weigh in of 227.8 lbs.  I’m not overly concerned.  In my mind, I know I can go out one evening and run 4-6 miles, then go to bed and wake up 5 or 6 pounds lighter then what I weighed before the run and I also know I can zero out my carb consumption for a day or two in order to very quickly lose water weight.

My run streak is still going strong and at 134 straight days of running at least 1 mile every single day with a daily average of about 3 miles right now.  It’s a busy time of the year and I’ve got a lot going on so every thing seems rushed.

Last year, in November, December and all but the last day of January 2015 I did not run a single mile – not a single step.  So, even maintaining my daily miles will be upping my trailing 365 day running total which is currently at 685 miles which are entirely from this year.  By the end of February, I should be pushing about 1,000 miles for my trailing 365 days.   …which reminds me I need to update my Training Log page as well.

Future Goals???
I’m not exactly fully engaged and focused and know there will be slight variations in my mindset regarding my running and other fitness oriented goals.  I have a 222 lb DietBet goal for the middle of February and a goal of 212 lbs by July 5th of next year.  I know I want to get a mile in under 8 minutes for the Macklind Mile.  For Running Goals, I’ve done some work looking at maintaining a 5 (or 5+) mph pace through a half marathon distance.  I think that equates to around a 2 hour and 37 minute half marathon.  I’ve easily exceeded that pace in the 5K distance but not for a full hour although I am close.  I’m figuring on 5-6 mph pace goals with various distances.  It’s not exactly setting the world on fire or anything but it would be steady pressure and allow for continued improvement with minimal risk of getting injured.

Since I started my Run Streak on July 1st of this year, I’ll be able to join and be listed in the United States Run Streak Association as a personal birthday gift to myself on July 7th, 2016 and that will be kind of fun.

One of the most interesting things about running every single day is that my days seem longer.  They seem more like 36 hour days instead of 24 hour days.  Several times when people talk of an event that happened yesterday, in my mind, it seems like something that happened a couple days ago.  Overall, it’s been a very, very good thing.

There are some people that it annoys.  And many of those people want to fight me on the issue and maybe point out that injury is inevitable by never taking a day off.  Their words never say to much about me or my situation but it does say a lot about them.  When it comes to the human body, I’m definitely in the top 1% of people in the world when it comes to understanding the human body.   Of course, even in the US that could mean there’s still 3 million people that know more than me but, …none of them have been people who have given me shit about my running, that much is certain.

Incidentally …there are less than a million MDs, under 100,000 DO’s and around 70,000 DC’s in the US …at least, those are the rough figures that permeate my brain.    I’ve got too many tangents going off in my head and need to wrap this up.

Heck, I should have weighed myself again before I blogged all this since, technically, it’s Thursday again and time for another weekly weigh-in 🙂

oh, i did notice something else – it looks like in 2014 I ended the year weighing about 40 pounds less and in 2015 here it also looks like I’m about 40 pounds less.  A little more than 40 pounds each year.  Not too shabby and the nice thing about it – should that trend continue that means 2016 will be my last year with any significant weight loss.  Kinda like finally paying off all your credit cards 😉

 

Year 2 Week 38 Weigh-In & Washington DC

I was stunned, tickled to death and pretty happy this morning when I saw a 232.8 staring me in the face when I weighed in.  Last night I weighed in at an even 233.0 and was amazed because of all the eating I’d done during my DC trip this past weekend.  Last night we had relatives stop by from out of town and we went out very late to eat & socialize and I ate PLENTY.  I had a snapshot of my 233 weight and half expected to use that weight because it seemed representative of where I was but thought I’d check my weight this morning and was a whole 0.2 tenths lighter 🙂

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For the month, I’m at 70 miles and need 30 more to hit my 100 miles so there’s plenty of running left and I’m thinking I have a very good chance of seeing my weight dip into the 220s in October with a decent chance of having an average weight in the 220s for October.

My #1 priority is my Running Streak.  #2 is hitting 100 miles per month.  A distant 3rd was increasing mileage by 10 miles per month for 6 months to earn a rarely earned badge on SmashRun.com.  I have found it interesting that I think of these things mainly in terms of priorities as opposed to goals and while these things are priorities specific to my running it made me wonder what my priorities were in my life in general.  This is where things get a bit hazy.  There’s a plethora of other things in my life, so many items that I can’t hold them all in my head at the same time.  I might be able to jot out 4-6 bigger items but more will come to mind given time and only a list or my calendar can help me keep everything straight.

Having said that, I think dropping weight to a healthy and perhaps a visually pleasing level is one of the top priorities in my life right now.  Kind of nebulous, ephemeral and not so clearly defined as a priority in my life.  I wonder if I were to rank the priorities in my life and if my health, specifically my weight was the #1 priority if I could achieve greater results.  This may be a concept ball which needs to bounce around in my brain more before I have any final conclusions.  I may say that family, friends and people would be a bigger priority but, in a way – taking care of myself could be considered a means of respect and love for those I care about because I would assume that people I care about reciprocate and care about me.

I think I can use extremes to help with this point.  If I were strung out on drugs, getting high everyday and always drunk then the people who care about me would be distressed but if I’m at the opposite end of that spectrum and doing well then I would be removed as a source of stress in their lives.  Perhaps at the other end of that spectrum lays hope and inspiration …a much better scenario.

I think of a quote attributed to Padmisambha

If you want to know your past,
look into your present condition;
If you want to know your future,
look into your present action.

I think my train is headed in the right direction.  I’m slow to want to speed up the train or alter its course.  Patience and time are great allies now.  Some people make weight loss and their health a priority via surgery which is a huge decision but also one that represents one of their priorities in life.  My venue consist of running, running every day, hitting 100 miles per month and keeping very little food in my home.  If those efforts take precedence over other areas of my life then I may conclude my physical condition is a priority and supersedes other aspects of my life however important those other aspects may be.

I suppose today’s blog, up to this point is mainly clearing out, organizing, clarifying and cleaning up any clutter in the attic of my mind.  Which …now leaves me little time left to cover my Washington DC topic but I’ll do the best I can 🙂

Washington DC

One thing is pretty certain – I’m going back 🙂  I’ve heard back from the race directors of the Navy/AirForce Half (NAFHALF) that a permit has been submitted for Sunday, September 18, 2016 and I’ve already checked on hotels and found a very appropriate one in the Pentagon City area which includes free shuttle service to & from the airport and is only 1 1/2 blocks from the Metro.

I’ve got a couple pictures from my run and have noticed two things about them.  My gait is much better than pictures from the Lincoln Presidential half marathon last year where I was shuffling along and it also appears that I could still stand to drop some weight.

2015-09-23 21.16.37 2015-09-23 21.17.05

Something else I’ve learned in the past couple months is I don’t think I ran any half marathons prior to 2007.  I did full marathons in 1994 and in 2004 but have no record of any half marathons until 13 years after my first full.  As such, I don’t have any spectacular race times for my half marathons.  I really wish I could find data on my first full marathon.  I finished that one in approximately four and a half hours.  The first 20 miles were non-stop running at single digit minutes per mile so I would guess maybe a sub 2 hour half but have no data to support that guess.  The last 6 miles consisted of stopping every couple blocks to squat down so I could keep moving my legs.

Regardless, I’ve still pushed the clock back by beating my best time from 2007.  My time is up here.  I’m thinking next year I’m going to crush the time I got this year.  🙂

Year 2, Week 37 Weigh-In

It’s kind of late Wednesday night but, past midnight so technically this is a Thursday weigh-in.  It’s kind of a fluke I weigh the same as last week but all weigh-ins this week have been in the mid to lower 230’s so this is a pretty representative weight and this also moves my September average down to 234 and I’m AOK with that 🙂

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It’s almost 2:30 a.m. and I’m hoping I can get at least 3 hours of sleep before I have to get moving tomorrow.  I’ll be heading to the airport around 7 a.m. then traveling to Washington DC for the first time in my life and I’m pretty excited about that so, sleep deprived or not I’ll definitely be wide awake to see the sights 🙂

I’ve been pondering some realistic and shorter term goals.  While I don’t have anything left to hit for this year (officially) …any, by officially I mean there are no running goals left that were set at the beginning of the year that remain to be achieved.

However … my biggest priority is to maintain my running streak and my 2nd biggest goal would be to keep up with a minimum of 100 miles per month of running.  The other “goal” i have … I would like to throw in the trash – that’s the one about adding 10 miles per month for the rest of the year.  I just shake my head everytime I think about it.  I don’t know – I’ll be heading back to the Ozarks at the beginning of next month so I could get a really good jump on my miles with that extra time but that also means I have to somehow manage 126.8 miles for this month …idk ….

I did get some unexpected news about the upcoming Chicago half marathon in that as a volunteer – Back of the Packer – we may not be getting a medal.  I do appreciate the kindness of other members letting me stay at their home and a free race  which really helps with the expenses but it’s still a good 9 hours of driving and probably $70 or so in gas alone and I’m not sure if it’s even going to count as a race – i need more information.

…hmmm, almost 6 a.m. now – guess I should pack 😉

Crazy Running Goals

When I first started this blog I had a tagline which read “can a man who can barely run a minute complete a marathon?”  It took a while but eventually the answer was yes and Yes times 3 since I completed full marathons in the months of June, July and August this year.  But a subsequent tagline I had in my head for after completing my 3rd, 4th and 5th marathons was – “Can a man who can barely complete a marathon qualify for Boston?”

Qualifying for Boston – 

I guess that would be Crazy Goal #1.  Of course, one rational reason I had for changing the tagline to the qualifying for Boston reference is unlike the first tag line goal which was achieved within a year, the Boston tagline could keep me going for the rest of my life or, at least a significant portion of it.  I think on blogspot I actually had a blog I’d started specifically for qualifying for Boston and there is a Word document I found a few months back from 2010 which has the pace I needed broken down to the 10th of a mile – 1/10th, 2/10th …all the way up to 26.2 miles and recently, I made up a slightly more rational breakdown of the slightly faster 2016 qualifying times in a recent spreadsheet.

2016 BQ Paces

Maybe such thoughts are in my nature.  Maybe they are in everyone’s nature.  Hasn’t everyone at least thought once about climbing Mount Everest?  Maybe it’s just a reflection of how I see the world or how I’d like to live it.

Why is this goal crazy?  Well, I did a 6 mile training run earlier tonight and had a 13:20 pace.  That particular pace, according to SmashRun.com was my fastest 6 mile run in the past 2 years.  To qualify for Boston, say at age 50, I would need to maintain an 8 minute per mile pace for 26.2 miles and that’s just to technically qualify and not necessarily be accepted.  Heck, my best mile for this year is 8 min 50 seconds.  Perhaps the craziness or absurdity of the goal is a bit temporal based meaning it’s kind of stupid to be thinking of such a vast minute per mile increase at this stage of the game.

Why is it not crazy?  Well, it gives direction.  It gives meaning to Interval training and speedwork.  It’s a mountain that’s maybe 5 or 10 years in the future and maybe it’s something I’ll never attain but even so it still gives a direction and a heading.  Something I read back in 1994 and recently came up in one of my facebook running group replies and also came up tonight in an article I read was that runners can maintain their marathon pace for about 3x their average daily mileage.  If I run 50 miles per week then I average about 7 miles per day which means I’ll run out of gas around mile 21 but, if I run 63 miles per week then my daily average is 9 and should be able to sustain a marathon pace for 27 miles.  For me, this helps give credence and justification for another crazy goal I currently have about increasing my monthly mileage 10 miles per month for 6 straight months… I’ll get into that one down below…

Running 7 Half Marathons in 7 States in 7 Days –

Crazy Goal #2 – This is one I’m looking at for May of 2016.  One thing I’ve learned with my training is that many goals and aspirations don’t always happen as fast as I originally think they well.  I’m not always crazy about this aspect of reality.  I have a half marathon coming up on the 20th of this month – about 5 days away and I thought I would be much leaner than I am now.  I thought I would be faster sooner.  I didn’t think I could do all the training I did last year and not be able to pull off the marathon I was registered for but, I didn’t.  well – whatever – I am improving and I am grateful that I still have enough physical acumen to be able to improve.  The question is, how much can I improve?  I suppose that’s another thing that helps make these goals ….crazy is one word but challenging might be another adjective we could use to describe them.  The Mainly Marathons New England Series from May 15th to May 20th plus a 7th half marathon in Indiana is what’s been in my head.

Advantages to this Crazy goal? – It may be do-able.  I seem to like the fact that there are no training programs out for such an endeavor so I have to use my own brain to come up with ideas and I like that.  It’s another reason to keep pushing up my monthly mileage.  May 2017 might be much more reasonable but …the darn challenge of it seems to have an appeal also in which case it will be much more challenging in 2016 then in 2017.  I really like to travel and see new places and this goal would allow me to visit every state east of New York.  I’ve read great reviews about the Mainly Marathons running series so that could be another big plus as well.  I don’t know – 8 months isn’t the longest time in the world to elicit an overwhelming number of physical adaptations but – therein may be one of the biggest advantages – if I can keep this goal in my head then maybe it can help me be more serious and disciplined with my training.  You know, reach for the moon and even if you miss you’ll end up among the stars sort of thing.

A Sub 6 Minute Mile

This goal exist because of a run we did for my high school football team.  If we ran a mile in 6 minutes or less then we got an extra sticker on our helmets – a freakin’ sticker – maybe a star sticker or something.  I think I got 6:05 but lately my mind has been telling me it was 6:04 – either way, it was just shy of 6 minutes.  This goal is crazy because I’m basically wanting to outdo my performance from when I was a teenager.  Ludicrous, right?

Why do I even think this is remotely possible?  I think partly because I was never a track athlete.  I was a lineman, a weightlifter/bodybuilder type person.  I threw a shot-put and discus during the few seasons I was in track.  I wonder now, if I’m actually training as a runner – even as an “adult onset” runner that maybe I can train to that level.  I don’t know, but this also gives me direction.

Perhaps a tangent here but …I realize there will come a day when I can no longer improve, when my times will slow and then my goals will need to change.  However, in my head, I think the better, stronger, faster I can get now – … Citius, Altius, Fortius – the Latin motto of the Olympics meaning Faster, Higher, Stronger – the better I can get over the ensuing years, the greater the mountain of decline will be.  I’d rather be coming down from a 20,000 ft mountain than a 400 foot hill.  I’d like to have mobility and be able to enjoy life for as long as possible ….hence …these crazy goals.

A Sub 60 Second Quarter Mile

While I was training for my first full marathon in 1994, I wanted to see what it was like to run at a 4 minute per mile pace.  The pace Roger Bannister ran when he broke the 4 minute per mile barrier.  That comes out to running 15 mph for 4 straight minutes.  Obviously, I knew I wasn’t going to run an entire mile at this Olympic pace but I figured I could sprint it for a tenth or two and I did.  I had a sub sprint speed that I kept up for 2/10ths of a mile and pretty much crushed that pace.

idk – this goal is a bit crazy because my current endeavors revolve more about getting back to a 10 or sub 10 minute per mile training pace and that pace would need to be more than cut in half for this goal.  I kind of hate to admit this because it reflects on my age but, I have looked into the local senior olympics and it appears I  could maybe even set a record if I could pull off a sub 60 quarter mile.

Add 10 Miles Per Month for 6 Months

I kinda hate this goal at times and it’s something I’m currently pursuing.  The dumb thing on my part is that I went from around 70ish miles in a month to 107 miles when I started this goal.  That 107 mile month was only the 2nd time I have recorded for going over 100 miles in a month but, the following month I did manage 117 miles (116.75) so now September’s goal is 126.8 miles.  I’m off pace by a fair amount with less than 50 miles in the first 14 days.  I have two half marathons this month which will help but really need to do more.  At my level, the best way I have of pulling off this goal is to get in some double run days with maybe a 5K in the morning and a 5K at night.

On the plus side …If I am to pull off 7 halfs in 7 days in 7 states then bumping up my mileage is probably essential.  Rationally & logically, I know that 10 mile increases when one is already beyond 100 miles constitutes less than a 10% increase per month.  I know that rule is debatable but when you’re already pushing max capacity then it’s one I like to point at to help me say my training isn’t completely nuts.  I’ve already thought about October’s training – should I actually manage to pull off 126.8 this month.  I figured I would intentionally slow my pace down on my long runs and was also looking at another trip to the Ozarks, maybe for 4 days since I remember when I started my run streak on July 1st in the Ozarks and had several double run days.  I also know it’s going to get colder outside and have conceded that I may have to put in some treadmill time at the gym.   But, the gym and weight training is another thing on my list that I’d like to add into my life and maybe that brings up something else that …..well – maybe isn’t crazy but I’ve had a heck of a time incorporating it into my life….

Karate, Running & Weightlifting

Three different venues of aspirations.  I’ve always done pretty well sticking to one at a time and making progress singularly but putting all three together has been a bit of a challenge for me my entire life.  Perhaps cycling could be thrown in there as well although that has not always been in the mix like the other three.

Completing a triathlon or an Ironman could also be nutty goals but those haven’t always been in my life like the other things I’ve mentioned.

I know my lung capacity has always been very close to 6 liters – from high school up through the last time it was checked in chiro school a couple years ago.  I know I’ve had my resting pulse rate in the 30s from being in good physical condition – again, this was back in my teens and 20s but I figure there is some potential there, maybe a fortunate genetic constitution that I’d like to exploit while I’m still alive.

Strength wise – that’s been my forte, if I have one at all but I did hold 7 different state bench press records and have been mentioned in Powerlifting USA magazine a few times and maybe I could give better advice and talk more authoritatively if I were to blog about something I was actually good at – or was at one time but, running is the challenge now …at least one of them.

Reasonable Goals

I know in 2016 I want to get a sub 8 minute mile in the Macklind Mile race.  I did 8:50 this year and I think with the additional year of training and subsequent improvement that a sub 8 minute goal is reasonable.  I don’t really have any other running goals for this current year.  I hit the ones I set already and have only been looking for repeatability in those goals.  My initial mile goal was simply under 10 minutes.  I did that in a race but would still like to hit it in training and I’m probably not too far from away from that goal.  I have looked at things like a sub 2:45:00 half time which should beat my best time from 2007.

hmmmm – other crazy goals????

Beat my 4:30(ish) marathon time – Beat Oprah’s time (4:29) – Sub 4:22:00 time – Sub 4 hour time

These are all marathon times that stick in my head and have been there a while.  4:22:00 is a ten minute per mile pace and sub 4 hours – say, 3:55:00 or so is a 9 minute per mile pace.

When I start talking about time, I recall my previous best performances and a desire to beat those performances.  A sub 4:30:00 would beat 1994 and a sub 5:42:00 would beat 2004.

This is almost the kind of blog that you don’t want to post because on one hand you’re kind of putting it out there – these crazy goals but, on the other hand, I’ve already acknowledged the craziness in the title – Crazy Running Goals.

I suppose dropping excess weight as I have been doing for some 20+ months now is the best thing I’ve been doing to come closer to crazy goals.  I also fully realize the fun that is to be had along the way.  In a recent 5K I averaged something like 11:17/mile so I have a lot of fun and sense of satisfaction to come from any average pace in the 10 minute/mile range.  New distances …which reminds me of an Ultra goal I’ve thought of also – that one would be the Midnight Marathon in Springfield where we would do 5 laps around the Oak Ridge Cemetery (~32 miles) instead of the 4 laps needed for a marathon.

If nothing else – all this tells me that I need to keep training and where possible, improve my training.  There’s a lot of good stuff out there and I’m looking to take the biggest bites out of this banquet of life that I can while I’m still around to consume it.

Year 2, Week 36 Weigh-In

233.2 today for a September average of 234.6 so only a couple 10ths of a pound more is needed to round my average down to 234 which would be a 4lb drop from August.  I’ll take that 🙂

2015 Wallpaper 02 - 2015

From the 20th of this month until the 18th of next month there are 4 half marathons and one 5K on the books with a strong possibility for another double half marathon weekend.  I’m not sure I realized the upcoming intensity but here’s what we’ve got

  • 09/20 – US Navy/AirForce Half Marathon, Washington DC
  • 09/27 – Chicago Half Marathon, Chicago, IL
  • 10/10 – Brooklyn Rock n Roll Half Marathon, Brooklyn, NY
  • 10/11 – Shades of Death Half Marathon, Allamuchy, NJ
  • 10/17 – St Louis Rock n Roll 5K, St Louis, MO
  • 10/18 – St Louis Rock n Roll Half Marathon, St Louis, MO

I’m registered for all those runs except the Shades of Death Half.

Another interesting run coming up in November is a 5K on Thanksgiving morning which has a Clydesdale Division for runners who weigh 220 lbs and over.  There’s a good chance I’ll be below 230 by that run and according to a chart from Runner’s World the extra weight drop will help my speed.

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As of yesterday my Run Streak was at 71 days, on Thanksgiving I’ll be on day 149 so that’s over double the streak running and I’ve also added weekly Tempo Runs and Speedwork to my running routine.

From what I’ve read an average elite runner is around 130 lbs and I’ll never weigh that little so I’m kind of excited about a chance to be competitive against people of similar weight 🙂

Year 2, Week 35 Weigh-In

This has been an interesting week.  This past Monday I saw a weight in the 220s for the first time in I don’t know how long ….

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That 229 weight was after a lot of running and a bit of sleep but still a nice preview of things to come 🙂

I took my official Thursday weigh-in at the end of the day for a nice 236 which helps to solidify my place in the 230s which is well beyond what I was shooting for at the beginning of this year.  The next morning I was 234.2 so I am on course for another month in the 230s and should have an average weight maybe 3 or 4 lbs lighter than last month 🙂

2015 Wallpaper 02 - 2015

I actually set a 5K PR (personal record) this past Saturday (8/29) and thought of the many people on DietBet working to improve themselves.

Changing oneself, dropping weight or improving as a runner can be such a long, arduous process.  I’ve been fortunate and grateful that I am still able to improve.  I am very grateful.  However, the timelines in my head, the pace at which I envision improvement has always fallen short of the reality.  Maybe not by much, a few months perhaps, maybe more but there’s no cheating reality.

I guess a key to success is in bolstering hope while minimizing discouragement and continuing with persistent efforts.

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For me, that 5K represented an expression of hope and something I wanted to share.  It represents 20 months of training that started in January of 2014 with a few hundred miles of walking and culminating with nearly a 1,000 miles of running thereafter.  It started with a body weight of 316.2 pounds and barely able to run 15 seconds.  So, while a 5K in 34:25 is below average or mediocre at best in the world of runners, it was huge for me.

There will come a time in our life when we won’t be able to improve our times anymore.  I don’t know exactly when that will be for me but, for now, my goals are still fraught with improvement.

2015 Week 16 Weigh-In & Marathon Madness!

On the surface it looks like I dropped 6.8 lbs from last week and have my 6th straight weekly drop now totalling 24.8 lbs.

2015 Wallpaper 02 half - 2015

I’d like to offer a little transparency here regarding weight fluctuation.

  • 4/09 8:19 am – 254.8 – Week 15 Weigh-In
  • 4/10 7:53 a.m – 254.0
  • 4/12 5:08 pm – 248.2
  • 4/13 6:55 am – 249.2
  • 4/14 7:56 am – 249.2
  • 4/15 6:04 am – 250.8
  • 4/16 10:09 pm – 248.0 – Week 16 Weigh In
  • 4/17 8:30 am – 250.0
  • 4/19 6:38 am – 255.2
  • 4/21 6:51 am – 257.2

Those weigh-ins are from my Week 15 weigh in on 4/9 through this mornings 4/21 weigh in, the day I’m writing this blog.  Between this blog and the half dozen diet bets I’m in it’s become a bit of a habit to weigh myself nearly daily and I take a quick snapshot with my phone camera which is how I know the dates and times of each weigh in.

This past Thursday’s 4/16 weigh in was a bit abnormal.  I’d planned on leaving St Louis for Iowa around noon on the 15th after getting some work done on my car.  Car work took longer than expected and wasn’t done until 5 p.m. – I still had errands to run and didn’t make it up to Iowa until after midnight on the 16th.  The lovely Days Inn I was originally going to stay at cancelled my reservations without telling me and it was about 5 a.m. before I was finally settled into a new hotel.  I managed to knock out a 5K run that day before my reviews started at 5 p.m. but, reviews were cancelled so I headed down to the riverfront, pulled my bike out of my trunk and biked 22km before heading back to my hotel.  I hadn’t eaten since early that morning so between the 27km of biking and running I got a nifty 248 lb weigh in.

My recent uptick in weight to 257.2 is kind of interesting.  Fridays reviews went until 10 p.m. and the weekend reviews on Sat & Sun ran from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. – just a whole lot of sitting….  I played hookey Sat morning to sneak in a 10K over in Iowa City but still managed to get back for the last 8 hours of reviews that day.

Today was my 12th DietBet weigh-in and I only needed a weight below 258.7 which I got with my 257.2 weigh in so I’m now at 12 straight wins.  Other than my final two weekly Thursday weigh ins or this blog, I have a 13th dietbet weigh in pending for Thursday, April 30th and need to weigh no more than 252.8 and that objective will help keep things in check and not too relaxed this week.

Regardless of how the last 10 days of this month play out I’m pretty much guaranteed an average weight (as shown in the table at the top of my Running Log tab) somewhere in the mid to low 250s.  Which means I will be well poised to have an average weight in the 240s for the month of May.

From January, the data in my table shows a 6 lb drop in Feb and another 6lb drop in March.  So far this month I’m down about 12lbs from last months average and the big difference is the inclusion of races.  Since 3/14 I’ve ran in two 5K’s, one 5 mile run, two 10K’s and two half marathons.

For May, I’m currently registered for two 5Ks, one half marathon and one Full Marathon.  I’ve toyed with the idea of changing the half to a full which would give me two full mary’s in a weeks time and that would qualify me to become a Marathon Maniac as well as a Double Agent for being both a Maniac and a Half Fanatic….

The best analogy I have in my head for covering a single 26.2 mile full marathon is Columbus crossing the ocean in wooden boats or man going to the moon with 45 year old computer technology.  In either case, each had just enough resources to get the job done but not much extra.

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This is a beautiful looking course up in Ottawa, Illinois – close to Chicago.  I’m already signed up for the full and will have a “back of the pack” pacer and hopefully as many other people as possible tackling the full.

Contrast that full mary run with the Moonlight Marathon held from 6 p.m. Saturday May 9th through 1 a.m. May 10th in a cemetery where President Lincoln is buried in Springfield, Illinois….

USATF Moonight Marathon Route

…quite a difference.

I only have 2 full marathons under my belt – from ’94 and ’04 so – flat out ignorance may be part of what gets me to attempt this – along with TS Eliot’s quote.

Moonlight Marathoners get to pick their own starting time (whoever finishes closest to midnight wins) and I can start as early as 6 p.m. (earlier if they let me) and have until 1 a.m. to finish the race – so, an average pace of 3.75 mph would accomplish the task.  The pace is not intimidating – the 26.2 miles is.

I’m thinking if I can get some 4 hour training walks in at 4 mph and maybe two 5 hour walks also at 4 mph then maybe maintaining a slightly slower pace for an entire 26.2 would be feasible –

My mind thinks a lot about the muscle breakdown and recovery necessary for completing two full marathons in a week at my level of fitness.  Rhabdomyolysis comes to mind, heck, even troponin levels come to mind even though troponin is usually a marker tested soon after a person has a heart attack.

Two 10 miles and a 10K – that’s a marathon.  I should be completing at least one of those in May.  If nothing else, I should definitely be able to have an average weight in the 240s for the month of May – i don’t know the last time I’ve had a month in that weight range so, it will be a milestone type of accomplishment 🙂

 

15th Annual GO! St Louis Half Marathon Review

Ever since I ran my first 10K in the Summer of ’94 then my first full marathon a few months later every downtown St Louis 1/2 marathon followed essentially the same routes.  This year was a welcomed departure from the norm and turned this course into one of my all time favorites.

2015-course-map

The course started from it’s usual location on Market Street but instead of starting out by heading South towards the Anheuser Busch brewery, it went East, straight towards the first of two bridges which were to be crossed.  Shortly after the the first mile marker began the “race within a race”  the 3.5 mile Bridge Run which had it’s own starting and finishing strips to time runners.

During the first mile this giant flag was hanging a little too low, and unless you were 4 ft tall or less, you were bound to run into it.

During the first mile this giant flag was hanging a little too low, and unless you were 4 ft tall or less, you were bound to run into it.

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A little low but at least it wasn’t hitting the ground.

With overcast skies at the beginning of the race we didn’t get to see the sunrise until the start of our first bridge, Eads Bridge which was had it’s initial construction way back in February of 1868 and first opened to the public on July 4th, 1874.  I never realized how long this bridge was until running over the whole thing but the beautiful sunrise kept us all company.

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another view of the Eads bridge (picture via Wikipedia)

After exiting the Eads Bridge on the Illinois side of the river we made our way over to the Martin Luther King bridge via Collinsville Ave in East St Louis.  I’m not sure how many runners realized this but, along the right side of the road we got to pass the Majestic Theatre.  About 20 months ago, I did a little research and expose’ on the Majestic Theatre after taking a snapshot of the building from the highway and being curious about it.  At a cost of $1 million the Majestic opened in 1928, had seating for over 1,800 people and a 3 tier balcony.  Up until it closed it’s doors in 1960, it was known as the brightest spot in Illinois owing to an illuminated marquee which contained over 3,000 bulbs of various colors and a chasing border surrounded by neon lights.

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The run back into Missouri via the Martin Luther King (MLK) bridge offered some fantastic skyline views of the city of St Louis.  If the GO! St Louis race directors keep this same route and you’ve never been to St Louis before, I would highly recommend this run as a great way to see the city for the first time.

St Louis skyline. Note the long stream of runners heading into the MLK Bridge

St Louis skyline. Note the long stream of runners on the right heading into the MLK Bridge

As we got closer to the MLK bridge the skyline, the gateway Arch and the Eads bridge we had crossed to get into Illinois provided some more nice views.  In the picture below, you may be able to notice the coast guard in the Mississippi river but there was also a helicopter overhead as well as a drone by the MLK bridge.

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After getting back into St Louis city, we quickly found ourselves at Miles 5 and 6 – the race was nearly half over.  From mile 7 to about mile 12.5 was really cool.  That 5.5 mile stretch was out and back to the Anheuser Busch brewery and it was enough distance that I was able to see my brother on his way to the finish around the 11 mile marker (his side of the road)  It was really fun.  The brewery had one of it’s signature clydesdales horses out for photo ops.

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After hitting mile 12 and turning back on Market St I kept looking for that 13 mile marker ….I think that marker should be about 40 feet tall and in neon lights personally….. after a couple more turns and going one block north it finally emerged.

This was a great race for me.  I hit my sub 3 hr time goal last week at the LPHM and I was just looking to emulate that time but with less pain.  Mission accomplished.  This was one of the easiest half marathons I’d ever done.  I had about 95% less pain then the week before and even shaved about 5 min 30 sec off my time from last week.

Out of the 6,253 half marathon runners, about 28% of them finished between 1 and 2 hours.  63% finished between 2 and 3 hours and the remaining 9% finished in greater than 3 hours and I was just fine being amongst the majority of runners.

A big hat’s off to my brother who was among the 28% who finished under 2 hours.  His final time was 1 hour, 59 minutes and 45 seconds 🙂

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Brother’s Scott & Troy 🙂

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2015 Week 13 Weigh In

Today I weighed in at 260.2 which is exactly what I need to weigh this Saturday to win my next DietBet Challenge.  Pretty cool 🙂  I’ve actually dipped down into the upper 250s so, I’m well on my way to hitting my previously set goal for this year of being down into the low 240s.

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It’s kind of crazy, from the first weigh in of the month when I went up a bit and hit 272.8 I ended up dropping 14 pounds over the next 18 days.

The one month DietBets where we’re supposed to lose 4% of our body weight have been interesting because the one “big money” game where we bet $100 only paid off a total of $108 but the smaller games that cost only $30 ended up paying off about $45 each – easy money.

Next week, I’m going to sign up for a third 6-month transformation DietBet where the goal is to lose 10% of your bodyweight in 6 months.  The breakdown of what we have to lose each month is really cool.  In order, the weight loss goals are 3%, 3%, 2%, 1%, 1%, 0% and as long as you hit your goals each month, you with money.

These 6 month challenges require a wager of $150 but, if you pay it all at once you can get in for only $125.  If you choose to pay monthly then you have the option of quitting at anytime and not paying any more money.  Half of the money bet goes towards the final jackpot while the other half is split evenly among the preceding 5 months or rounds.  Since I put in $125, half of that or $62.50 goes towards the final jackpot month while the rest is split up and $12.50 (1/5th of the remaining half) goes towards the first 5 months or rounds.

I’ve got one 6 month game, which is generally referred to as DB10 for DietBet 10%, that has completed two rounds so far.  In the first round I won $15.67 and there were 296 winners who each got that amount.  Just a tad over $3 profit on that round since I had $12.50 at stake.  Round 2, however, paid out $24.85 with 180 winners so I about doubled my money in that round.  Nothing huge but it sure is fun 🙂

weigh in progress

The Dashboard section of each game shows you exactly where you’re at and what you need to weigh at each checkpoint.  There’s also a neat graph which shows every time you weighed in.  I’ve never seen my weight on a graph before but, here it is for one game

weight chart

As things stand now, I’ve already touched on the weight I need to be at for next months jackpot – that round ends in 25 more days.

Anyway, on April 1st I’m going to join my 3rd DB10 game which runs from Apr 01 – Sept 30 and I want to weigh in at exactly 260 lbs so, i might have to eat up to that weigh a bit but I want 260 because that will give me a final weight in 6 months of exactly 234 lbs 🙂 and I like how those numbers all go in order …. 2 – 3 – 4 🙂  I’m funny that way.  😀

234lbs is also exactly about 10 lbs under the low 240s goal.  I’m comfy in the low 240s.  I have plenty of clothes to wear and don’t mind taking my shirt off to go swimming and stuff like that.  240 might seem like a heavier weight to some but, I still have a fair amount of muscle mass – I’m good with it.

The one thing that is pushing me is the running.  I really want to get better.  I want to be faster.  I want sub 10 minute per mile training times to be the norm again.  As a football lineman in high school I ran a 6:04 mile – we needed 6 or better to get an extra sticker on our helmet but, the goal of wanting to get under 6 minutes has never left my head.  I still believe it’s possible.  When I was a few weeks away from my first full marathon, I was able to maintain a pace better than 15 mph for a bit over 2/10ths of a mile.  I wanted to see what a Roger Bannister speed felt like.  If there’s anyone reading this who isn’t aware – Roger Bannister was the first person to ever run a sub 4 minute mile.

May 6, 1954 Roger Bannister Breaks the 4 minute barrier with a time of 3:59.4

May 6, 1954 Roger Bannister Breaks the 4 minute barrier with a time of 3:59.4

15 mph is the pace you need to run a 4 minute mile.  1 minute per quarter mile.  I remember conversations with friends about that quarter mile and the 60 second mark.  Sub 60 seconds would be super cool to hit.

This Saturday is the middle of a 5 week stretch of runs I have every weekend.  It’s an interesting mixture of runs I have going.  Two weeks ago was the 5 Mile St Patrick’s run in St Louis, last weekend was a 5K at a local University, this Saturday is the inaugural Bridge & Dam 10K at the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri then I’ll have back to back 1/2 marathons to cap off the 5 weeks.

Then there’s going to be a weekend break while I’m out of town on business but after that I’m very curious about a local Duathlon which consist of a 1.5 mile run, a 10 mile bike ride then another 1.5 mile run.  It’s perfect for beginners 🙂

The following week is another local 5K which is one of a three part series of local events.  The other two events are the local Tour de Belleville which I do almost every year anyway and the final event is a Gingerbread 5k sometime in December but, completing all three events qualifies people for a 2015 Belleville Triple Crown Athlete Medal – sounds kinda cool.

Right now, my current weight is below my average 2014 weight.  In April, I’m looking for my average weight for that month to be in the 250s and, probably by May, my average weight for this year will be below what I was at last year.  So, three little metrics to ponder and help keep the game fun & winning.

Exactly 1 year ago on 3/26/14 is when I kicked off my running for 2014 so I’ve been able to put in 61.5 miles of running so far this year which puts me well ahead of last year.  With this weekends 10K plus a simple 5k I’ll break 50 miles for the month.  I only had 4 months last year when I hit or exceeded 50 miles.  I’m really looking forward to seeing what the rest of this year brings in the running aspect of my life 🙂

Almost forgot to advertise!  🙂  The other bets I was talking about in this blog are from DietBet.com but, i also have a big money kinda bet going on a site called Healthywage.com.  Below is what I can win from a $756 bet.  If you want to partake and add an extra $20 to my final prize to boot then just click on the picture below and a new window will pop open to let you place your own bet.  You pick what you want to weigh anywhere from 6 to 18 months in the future and can wager as little as $10 per month or more to reap some serious cash 😀

Click on the Banner to get your share!

Click on the Banner to get your share!

St Pat’s 5 Mile Run & Hot Water Analysis

St Pat Banner

I have a part time gig working at a pizza place where we make our own dough.  With each batch of dough we need 3 gallons of water at a specified temperature.  I suppose the math part of me comes out and I look at the water going in the bucket as the independent variable and the overall temperature of the water in the bucket as the dependent variable.  If the water in the bucket is 84 degrees and the water going in is 92 degrees then eventually the overall temperature of the water in the bucket will go up.

My current efforts as tracked on Nike+ are like the independent variables in my personal running equation and where I end up ranking in various runs is like my dependent variables.  Basically, where I’m ranking in my runs is kind of cold but I’m working to add HOT water to the mix to bring up my rankings temperature 🙂

A picture taken from my Nike+ website page might help better illustrate the hot water going in.

Nike+ you vs community

Since the miles I’m putting in are more than the Community average, I conclude I’m putting in water that’s hotter than what’s already in my running bucket.  To see what temperature the water is in my bucket then I only need to look at my ranking in a previous run.  Below are my results from last Saturday’s (3/14/15) St Patrick’s Day Parade Run.

st pat ranking

Overall, we see I came in 6,784 out of 7,551 runners.  If we divide those two numbers we can obtain my percentage ranking or 89.8% which is to say I did better than about 10% of the runners participating in that particular race.  So, the water in my running bucket is a bit on the cool side.

To be honest, this is still an improvement over last year.  I was entering my half marathons into a running log on halffanatics.com and when I looked at the specifics of my runs last year via athlinks.com most all of my percentages were in the 90’s, sometimes as high as 98% or 99% which means I only did better than 1 or 2% of the other runners in those particular races.

The size of the runs has a lot to do with how I’ll place overall.  With bigger runs, you get a lot more people doing the runs just for fun and who don’t specifically train to get better at running.  In the Nashville, Country Music Marathon last year, for example, there were 19,149 people who did the 1/2 marathon distance and I came in 16,842 or at the 88% mark.  But, in smaller runs where you get mainly hard core runners such as last year’s Washington, MO run there were only 120 runners and I was 99%.

The overall running goal I came up with in my head last year was to eventually work my way up into the top 50%

hmmmm… reality has a way of keeping us humble.  Looking at my next to last place finish for last year’s Washington, MO run I noticed that was also a 5 Mile run and nearly 2 minutes faster than what I got this year.  But, to be fair, that MO run was in August of last year which was well into the running season and during a month where I had knocked out 100+ miles in training.  It’s really amazing how much effort and time needs to be put in to make improvements with running, at least for me anyway.

Last year at this time I still had zero miles in the books and my first run didn’t occur until March 26th.  Currently, I have 52.5 miles logged over 18 runs this year.

Since I broached the topic of humility, I’ll share one more picture.  When I registered for this years Macklind Mile, I saw, for the first time, pictures from last years event and while scrolling came upon the following picture.

I saved this picture with the filename, "cute little girl humbles me.jpg"  :)

I saved this picture with the filename, “cute little girl humbles me.jpg”  🙂

I’m the lumbering guy in the yellow shirt and blue shorts up to the right who’s trying to stay alive and is hoping he doesn’t have a heart attack upon completing the run.  She’s kind of joyful looking and it’s probably no different to her than just being outside and playing.  Sort of like the running is so natural to kids and, i guess, used to be for us too. Now-a-days …running is so rare that we document and log the events using GPS and apps on our phone – blog about them, share the accomplishments on facebook or Instagram.  How different it was back then, when we were kids.