Weekly Recap – Jan 13 – Jan 20

Documenting progress, even if it’s “bad” (such as a low mileage week or a weight gain) is a very useful tool, so I am going to try to get back into the habit of my weekly recap posts to keep myself on track.  I have to lose 20 pounds (or try as close as I can) in the next 23 weeks (Doctor’s orders!!) so I’m hitting the ground running, so to speak.

Starting Weight – 272 (275) – The doctor weighed me at 275 with my normal clothes on, jeans, shoes etc.  I weighed myself at the gym the next day in my running shorts at 272.

Monday – Ellipitical – 60 minutes
Tuesday – Run – 3 miles
Wednesday – Rest
Thursday – Rest
Friday – Run – 3 miles
Saturday – Rest
Sunday – Rest (Football party!!)

Total mileage – 6 miles
Ending weight – 270 (2 pounds lost)

Whenever you make a change you’re always going to see a pretty big shift to start with.  The key is to stick with the program when next week this turns into no loss or even a gain.  Your body will fluctuate wildly for a while until it settles into the new routine.  Some of that could also be water weight lost since I’m working on drastically slashing my sodium intake and so therefore should retain less water.

Off to a good start!

2013 Year in Review

Last year I had this to say about 2012.

“2012 was such an amazing year I’m not sure how I’m going to prevent 2013 from being a letdown.  How do you follow up that act?”

Well, needless to say 2013 blew 2012 out of the water.

The Move:

This was the biggest thing that happened this year so I might as well mention it first.  On May 28th, 2013 (a day after my birthday) I got in my car and started driving.  I would drive for the next 4 days nonstop through 10 states and all four time zones.  Until that day I had lived in North Carolina for my entire life.  I arrived in Portland on Friday May 31st at about 7PM local time (by that point I had no clue what time it was anymore, my body still thought it was 10PM).

There are two major “life changing” aspects of this move.  The first is that somewhere (and I still don’t know where it came from) I found the guts to uproot everything and leave everything behind, for all intents and purposes jumping off a cliff and hoping someone at the bottom would catch me.  The fact that a multitude of people, including Lisa’s family, friends and church community did catch me is astonishing and leads me into the second aspect.

From June until November I was essentially “homeless”.  Yes, I was not the traditional “sleeping on the streets” form of homeless, but I had no place to call my own and very few possessions.  I cycled through a series of “foster” homes and couch surfed while I looked for jobs and looked for places to live on my own.  If it weren’t for the people who opened their homes to me I wouldn’t be here.  To know that everything you have at a certain moment in your life, food, warmth, roof, bed, access to a phone to call loved ones, is provided by someone out of only the goodness of their hearts is incredibly humbling.  It is a debt I can never repay, and one that will never be called upon.  No repayment was asked or is ever expected from these amazing people.  Lisa’s church preaches to help the poor and those less fortunate.  These people surely took that to heart and “practice what they preach”.

You can read about the Westward Journey HERE.

Races:

After “The Year of the Race” in 2012 with 15 races in four different distances, 2013 was certainly a step back, but not in a bad way and certainly for good reasons.  2013 featured 7 races including 3 half marathons stretching from Florida to Oregon.

2013 started the same as 2012 with the Running of the Lights 5K at Tanglewood park.  The run through the Christmas lights that started at midnight on New Years day was a repeat for me.  However, this year Lisa had flown out from Portland to come visit me and happened to be here on race day and so she ran this one with me and this was our first race together.

A few weeks later I would travel down to Orlando Florida to run in the Walt Disney World half marathon.  This was a pretty amazing race but unfortunately was marred by a serious knee injury.  I was able to finish the race, but had to walk from mile 9 to the finish in the surprisingly hot Florida sun.  My parents and brother and sister were there to support me and cheer me on and also cheer me up after my disappointing finish.  3:36 was my worst finish ever, but I finished.  I suppose I had plenty of points where I could have dropped out and told the race crew I quit, but I plodded along and made my way to the finish.

In February, I would suffer my first DNS (Did Not Start).  I had signed up for the Pilot Mountain Payback “Heavy” half marathon before I was injured at Disney and I decided I was going to try my best to still complete it.  I had completed the 3 in 3 months I needed to qualify for the Half Fanatics, but now was going to try for 6 in 6 months.  Due to my injury I was not able to run for several weeks and not able to put in any serious mileage at all.  The “Heavy” was about 14 miles so longer than a half and would have been my longest run to date.  I was still dead set on running it until the night before the race.  I was literally in a panic.  I wasn’t sure I could do the distance, it was snowing that night and conditions on the course were going to be horrible.  After a long conversation with Lisa, who told me that if I was so upset about the race I should skip it, I decided not to go.   A few days later, I found out how awful the course was, with creek crossing that were waist deep, and how many people skipped and how many people did not finish and I knew I had made the right choice.  I wasn’t happy with it, but I was at peace with it.

In March and April I ran a pair of 10Ks, a repeat of the St Leo’s 10K and then a new race, the Hope for Hospice 10K.  The first one I merely wanted to finish, which I did in a respectable 1:13, while the second one was part of the training for my second half marathon and I finished a tough course in 1:11 which was only 3 minutes slower than my 10K PR from last year.

In late April I ran my second half marathon of the year, the Kings Mountain Half in Kings Mountain SC.  I was excited to run this race since it ran through a Revolutionary War battlefield, but that ended up being a huge disappointment since the “cannons and monuments” portion of the battlefield was nowhere near where we ran.  An out and back on some access roads with nothing by trees to look at was a HUGE letdown.  Also, towards the end of this race my calves cramped up really bad and I ended up walking from mile 11 to the end.  My 3:08 finish was better than Disney, and slightly better than my first half in New Orleans, but nothing close to a PR.  About the only saving grace was this was my first race in South Carolina, so it was a new state for me.

At this point, the rest of my 2013 race calender got completely erased.  The races I had planned for the Fall were not going to happen and the races for May and June I needed that money for my move across the country.  It would be a while before I would race again, but me and Lisa started running together as often as we could once I got settled in Portland.

In November we ran our second race together, a 10K, and my first race in Portland.  The Cause and Event 10K was a fantastic event that supported many different causes.  The course was mostly greenway through west Portland/Beaverton neighborhoods.  Of course, being Portland in the fall, it rained on us during the race, but it was mostly just a slight drizzle.  I got to meet some of the people who help run Camp Lutherwood and raise some money for them so that was all good!

In December, we finally ran our first half together in Portland, the Foot Traffic Holiday half.  A nice run through Northeast Portland, it was COLD and rainy, but a really nice course and well supported.  Other than my bad cramps for the last two miles it was also a great run.  Lisa rocked it! We finished in exactly 3 hours which was not a PR for either of us, but not our worst finish either.

The next run for Lisa and I will be another midnight New Year’s Day race, but that’s for 2014!

Hiking:

While we didn’t do as much running over the summer as we planned, we certainly took advantage of the gorgeous weather and Lisa introduced me to one of her favorite past times.  Hiking! What else does one do in a place full of mountains and trees? I was quickly hooked.

We started out with an “easy” hike that turned out to be quite a journey.  The loop around the Trail of Ten Falls was about 7 miles or so of mostly flat terrain, but then at the end there was some steep switchback stairs and a steep uphill climb to the last falls which really took it out of me.  I was completely exhausted by the time we finished but it was totally worth it.  The scenery was unbelievable and you couldn’t believe you were just a short drive outside of the city.  It felt like we were in the middle of nowhere.

The next hike, merely a week later, was the shortest in distance, but by far the most challenging.  We drove up to Timberline Lodge, which is about halfway up Mt Hood (roughly 6000 feet elevation) and hiked out to Zig Zag Canyon.  It was only about 2 miles there and two miles back, but it including dropping down into several smaller canyons, as well as the terrain shifting as we skirted along the edge of the timberline.  At times we were deep into an old growth forest bushwhacking through underbrush and giant ferns and then at other times we were sliding through a sandy/rocky type landscape with not a tree in sight.  We lost several hundred feet of elevation on the way out to the canyon and while the way out was a nice “walk” the way back to the lodge was suddenly extremely uphill and turned into a “climb”.  This however, was an incredibly rewarding hike.

About two weeks after that we embarked on our third hike of the season which started out innocently enough but turned into quite an adventure.  We had planned on hiking up to Wahkenna Falls and then taking the trail back down along Multnomah Falls.  Unfortunately, through a combination of a poorly marked trailhead and a confusing printed map we ended up parking and starting at the wrong place.  We got onto the Angel’s Rest trail and of course we were several miles into it before we realized it but we continued on to the top of Angel’s Rest. We climbed about 1400 feet along the way and were rewarded with an amazing view up and down the Columbia River.  Across from us was Washington State and we could almost see all the way back to Portland.  At this point we continued along the trail which we thought would take us to Multnomah Falls.  We crossed a creek and then lost the trail and were a few minutes away from becoming very lost.  A couple and their dog emerged from the brush and warned us not to go that way since the trail was overgrown and faded.  It turned out they had just come from where we wanted to go, so they showed us the way.  We parted ways at the top of Wahkenna falls as they headed to Multnomah but without them we would have been seriously lost.  We made our way down the side of Wahkenna falls which was absolutely breathtaking and made our way back down to road level.  Now because of where we parked, we had about a 2 mile walk along the side of the road to get back to the car.  This was terrifying since there was no shoulder and warnings to NOT do what we were doing, but we had no choice.  What was supposed to be an easy 4 mile hike turned into a very challenging 9 mile hike, but we survived it and made it.

Travel:

Lisa loves to travel and we’ve done our fair share of it even if only in the local area.  Shortly after I arrived in Portland, we headed out to the Oregon coast and took in Cannon Beach, Tillamook, Lincoln City, Depoe Bay and Newport.  The Oregon Coast is not like anything I have ever seen before.  Rocks and cliffs and lava flows and trees right up to the water line.  It resembles close to what I expect the Northeast looks like up around Maine.  Also, a month ago we went to Seattle which was a really cool trip and a place I’ve wanted to go for a long while.  We will certainly be headed back there soon I’m sure.

Job:

Changing jobs is never fun, but moving all the way across the country meant quitting my job and then trying to find a new one.  After 3 months that felt like FOREVER I landed a job in Vancouver at a company that makes vitamins and herbal supplements, so I got back into the Food Science industry to a certain degree.  I’m doing quality work but also a decent amount of paperwork and regulatory responsibilities.  They weren’t kidding that the job title “Lab Administrator” is a “little bit of everything”.

Weightloss:

This part hasn’t gone so well this year, but I’m not too terribly upset about it.  I started the year at my lowest weight ever at around 235, but my Disney injury sidelined me for a long while and I ended up putting a little weight back on, probably close to 245.  Then after I moved I’ll admit that I put on several more pounds as I ate my way around Portland (no regrets AT ALL).  I’ll be finishing this year in the 260’s so I’ve actually gained weight, but I’m still way under where I was in 2011 and most of 2012, so I’ll take that and jump into 2014 with both feet.

Can 2014 build on an incredible 2012 and then an epic 2013? Stay Tuned!!!!!!

Weekly Recap 4-22 to 4-28-13

This week culminated in my fifth half marathon, the Kings Mountain Half in Clover SC.  Besides that it was a pretty normal week.

Starting weight – 245.0
Monday – Walking – 45 minutes
Tuesday – Run – 3.5 miles
Wednesday – Bodyflow – 60 minutes
Thursday – Run – 2 miles
Friday – REST
Saturday – RACE – Half Marathon – 13.3 miles
Sunday – REST
Total mileage – 18.8 miles
Finishing weight – 242.0 (3 pounds lost)

Good loss this week, some (or all) of which may be water weight loss from the race on saturday, but I’ll take it. Hopefully this can continue.

Weekly Recap 4-15-13 to 4-21-13

Well, this has been an interesting week.  All the craziness in Boston focusing everything on runners and our sport, all of us gathering together to support those killed and wounded and celebrating when the men responsible are caught.  I ran my 5 miles on Tuesday in my yellow and blue Half Fanatics shirt to support the yellow and blue of the B.A.A.  Friday I got in a crummy treadmill run of only three miles, but today me and Laura knocked it out of the park with a nicely paced 10 mile run around Salem Lake.  I’m very happy with this run and it gives me a lot of confidence going into the Kings Mountain Half this weekend.

Starting weight – 245.0 (from 3-31-13)
Monday – Spin – 50  minutes
Tuesday – Run – 5 miles
Wednesday – Spin – 50 minutes
Thursday – REST
Friday – Run – 3 miles
Saturday – REST
Sunday – Run – 10 miles
Total mileage – 18 miles
Ending weight – 245.0 (unchanged)

My longest run by far since Disney also translates into my longest weekly mileage in quite a while.  The last four weeks have increased from 3.5, to 5, to 9 and then 18.

I’ve got to get “back on the wagon” so to speak with the healthy eating, now that I can exercise again.  I signed up for this weekends race to motivate me and get me back into that “training” mindset again.  Now I just need the nutrition portion of that to follow suit.  I haven’t logged a weight in 3 weeks, and weighing in today at exactly the same as I did three weeks ago, which is both good and bad. Not gaining, but not losing.  Need to work on this.

I have another Half on the radar as possible for May, which will help me stay in that training mode hopefully before the Grand Adventure (details to follow).

Weekly recap 3-25-13 to 3-31-13

Well, I’ve had an interesting week.  A lot of running related things but not a whole lot of running.  I hit the elliptical on Tuesday because of some soreness in my ankle after spin class on Monday, on Thursday I had the Dick Beardsley event, which I keep forgetting to blog about but I’ll get to it, I did manage to squeeze in 3.5 miles on Friday with a day off work, and then Saturday volunteered at two different races, the Lillie’s Friends 5K in the morning and then the Indoor Ultimate Runner in the afternoon which my friend Jennifer was volunteering at.

Starting Weight – 246.0
Monday – Spinning – 50 minutes
Tuesday – Elliptical – 60 minutes
Wednesday – Yoga – 60 minutes
Thursday – REST (Dick Beardsley Event)
Friday – Run – 3.5 miles
Saturday – REST (Race volunteering)
Sunday – Walking – 30 minutes
Total Mileage – 3.5 miles
Ending Weight – 245.0 (1 pound lost*)

The Y was closed today, so my weigh in was at home and not on the locker room scale like usual, so I’m going to take that with a slight grain of salt, but happy to be moving down again.  I hopped on the scale midweek last week and was at 248, so it’s likely more than a 1 pound loss, but I didn’t mark that down so it’s not “official”.  It’s also mostly water weight fluctuations the way I’ve been eating crappy lately.  Gotta get back on track.

Too fat to run?

This morning a friend at work approached me to ask my opinion on something that had happened to her the night before.  It appalled me so much I had to write about it, so you guys will get to hear my opinion as well.

She was at the gym running on the treadmill (run/walk interval training) and when she finished she was approached by a young woman who worked at the gym and the woman told her “You know you shouldn’t be running.” asking for clarification my co-worker asked “Is it because treadmills are bad for your knees? Should I be running outside instead?” to which the woman replied “No, you shouldn’t be running at all, you’re too fat to run.  You need to lose another 50 pounds before you should start running”.  Of course, this was devastating to my co-worker who has worked hard and has already lost 15 pounds, but this woman, no matter how “well intentioned” her advice was WAY off base on SO many levels.

First and foremost, she gave her “advice” in the most insulting way possible with absolutely NO tact.  If that was her opinion that’s fine, but she should have had a good reason for it, such as an injury concern or something of that nature.  Not just being “too big”.. that’s not enough of a reason.

Second, as someone who started running at 355 pounds I can say for a FACT that my co-worker is NOT too big to run, and as a matter of fact NO ONE is.  You don’t have to run far or run fast to be a “runner”.  And if you absolutely cannot run, you can WALK.  We all walk everyday, but walking for fitness is different than walking around a store or walking at work.  If you walk with purpose you will walk faster, walk longer and walk further.  You can increase your heartrate with just walking if it’s brisk enough.

Lastly, to lose weight you have to do aerobic exercises.  Exercises that will get your muscles exchanging CO2 and burning calories.  You have to increase your heartrate to pump all that blood to the muscles, and also your heart is one of the strongest muscles in your body and just getting IT pumping burns calories regardless of what you’re doing with your legs.  Running is one of the BEST cardio exercises.  It uses those big huge muscles in your legs which are a FURNACE for burning calories.  You can’t tell someone they need to lose weight to run.  NO, you need to run to lose wieght! It’s that simple.

Don’t let ANYONE (including your own inner voice) tell you that you are too big to do ANYTHING especially not exercise.  Otherwise you will never be able to make the change.  Run, walk, cycle, swim whatever works for YOU. DO IT.

Like the Nike ads say… JUST DO IT.

Weekly recap – 3-11-13 to 3-17-13

Had a successful 10K race this weekend, and a not so successful day on the scale today, but the scale result is not a surprise.

Starting weight – 242.0
Monday – Bodyflow – 60 minutes and Spinning – 60 minutes
Tuesday – Run – 3 miles
Wednesday – Elliptical – 60 minutes
Thursday – REST
Friday – REST
Saturday – Race – St Leo’s 10K – 6.25 miles
Sunday – Yoga – 60 minutes
Total Mileage – 9.25
Ending Weight – 246.0 (4 pound gain)

Between a work party Friday, spaghetti and beer dinner Friday night, post race foodage Saturday and then a track club party on Saturday night, everything within arms reach of me went into my face this weekend so not at all surprised to see a big gain.  Hopefully most of it is salt retention/water weight so it will come back off eventually.

 

Weekly Recap 3-4-13 to 3-10-13

Things went a little sideways this week, but ended on a pretty good note.  Had several late days at work with a sore knee and some nasty weather that cancelled my Tuesday and Thursday short runs, but I managed to knock out a good five miler in the gorgeous weather on Saturday which is my longest run since Disney.

I’ve got my 10K this weekend, which may very well be my last race of any distance for a while.  Things are totally up in the air for the spring and summer and I’m just literally taking things one week at a time.  Plus if my knee keeps acting up I may be out of action for a little while until it decides to behave or I have to go get something done to it.

Starting weight – 241.8
Monday – Bodyflow – 60 minutes and Spinning – 60 minutes
Tuesday – REST
Wednesday – Elliptical – 60 minutes
Thursday – REST
Friday – REST
Saturday – Run – 5 miles
Sunday – Yoga – 60 minutes
Total Mileage – 5 miles
Ending Weight – 242.0 (0.2 pound gain)

Very small gain this week which isnt too bad.. I’ve been yo-yoing up and down with the same couple of pounds back and forth for a while now so this is not a surprise.  I’ve gained a little over 4 pounds since Christmas, which is not that bad, but I’ve “shifted” (up or down) 17.2 pounds, so it’s been gain/lose/gain/lose/gain/lose… It’s pretty discouraging when one week you have a 3.4 pound gain and the following week only a 0.2 pound loss.

Weekly recap 2-25-13 to 3-3-13

I got back into running this week and decided to register for a race.  The St Leo’s 10K on March 16th.  Local race, not a bad fee, no travel and I ran it last year.  It was a difficult course, but the people put on a good show.  A pre-race spaghetti party the night before and then plenty of food and water and drinks after the race. A friend of mine from work may be running it as well, and my Maniac buddy Laura is thinking about it even though she’s signed up for the Color Run that same day.

Starting weight – 243.4
Monday – Spinning – 60 minutes
Tuesday – Run – 3 miles
Wednesday – Spinning – 50 minutes
Thursday – Run – 3 miles
Friday – REST
Saturday – Run – 4 miles
Sunday – Yoga – 60 minutes
Ending weight – 241.8 (1.4 pounds lost)
Total Mileage – 10 miles

Really surprised to see a loss this week.  My eating has been terrible lately and I know it has been but I still haven’t done anything about it.  The difference between the 60 minute spin and the 50 minute spin is more significant than you would think! May try the 60 minute class again tomorrow.

Weekly recap 2-18-13 to 2-24-13

Got in a good week of cross training this week as I stepped back from running a little bit.  I decided I needed a little break after backing out of the Pilot Mountain Payback.  I may get back to running this week to see how I feel.

Starting Weight – 243.4
Monday – Elliptical – 60 minutes
Tuesday – Elliptical – 60 minutes
Wednesday – BodyFlow – 60 minutes & Spinning – 50 minutes
Thursday – REST
Friday – Elliptical – 60 minutes
Saturday – Weightlifting – 45 minutes
Sunday – Yoga – 60 minutes
Total Mileage – 0
Ending Weight – 243.2 (0.2 pounds lost)

Well, a small loss, but not a gain… so I guess that’s good.  I seem to be stuck here at around 240.  Don’t know what I need to change up to get it moving again but I guess we’ll find out.

  • About Me

    I am a recent graduate in Food Science (NC State, 2009) and I work for a major food manufacturing company. I love food, but I can no longer eat anything that crosses my path. About 24 months ago I begin a serious struggle to get my obesity under control and reduce my chances of developing Type II diabetes. Since September of '09 I have lost 50 pounds and I still have a long ways to go. I've started eating better and exercising more, including taking up running.

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