Weekly Recap 9-24-12 to 9-30-12

A fairly normal week.  Was off work on Friday to drive to Raleigh and back but I still managed to get my lifting in when I got home so no missed workouts.  I’m doing good with my eating, but struggling to keep my sodium down.  I’m watching it now, and so at least I’m aware, but even with eating less processed food there’s still a lot of sodium in everything.

Starting weight – 246.6
Monday – Spinning – 50 minutes
Tuesday – Run – 4.5 miles
Wednesday – Yoga – 60 minutes
Thursday – Run – 4.5 miles
Friday – Weightlifting – 30 minutes
Saturday – Run – 4 miles
Sunday – Run – 7 miles + Yoga – 60 minutes
Total Mileage – 20 miles
Finishing weight – 242.4 (4.2 pounds lost)

I seriously have no idea where that big loss came from, was not expecting that at all, in fact almost expected a gain with the struggles with sodium and water retention.  I must be drinking enough water to flush most of it out. The extra Saturday runs are doing wonders for my half training and also seem to be doing wonders for my weight loss.  I’ve lost nearly 8 pounds in the last two weeks which is just astonishing.

Several major running milestones this week.  20 miles for the week matches my previous long week which was the week before the New Orleans Half Marathon (5/5/10).  81 miles for the month of September blows past my previous high of 63 for my longest mileage month ever, and also today’s run pushed me over 500 miles for the year (502).

I have 5 weeks left until the Rex Healthcare Half Marathon and October looks to be another 80+ mile month.

Fun With Numbers

If your a statistics geek and like to crunch numbers in excel spreadsheets than this will be the post for you.

I mentioned this in my weekly recap, but I wanted to get a little more in depth with the numbers, since I am the aforementioned statistics geek.  On my Saturday run last week with Rob he mentioned a training calculator on the Runner’s World website (found HERE).  You input your finishing time for your last race at any distance and it will calculate for you a projected finish time for most of the standard race lengths (and a few odd ball ones).  I plugged in my finish time of 58:50 from my 8K two weeks ago and this is what it gave me.

1500m                                  9:55
the mile                               10:41
3000m(3k)                        20:40
3200m(about 2 miles)  22:08
5000m(5k)                        35:32
8000m(8k)                       58:28
5 miles                                58:50
10,000m(10k)               1:14:05
ten miles                           2:02:40
a half marathon             2:43:19
a marathon                     5:40:30

These are some interesting numbers, the formula uses a fraction of the race distances to increase the time and then a static multiplier (1.06) to account for slower pace at a longer distance.

The shorter distance numbers are interesting, the one mile at 10:41 is pretty quick, and while my fastest mile is 10:08 my “usual” mile is not anywhere close to that.  35:32 is a pretty good 5K time, although my PR is 34:02, I was 35:10 at the Beat the Heat which was my last road 5K.  The trail 5K was a whole different animal.  The 10K time of 1:14:10 would be a new PR (current 1:15:34) so that’s encouraging and gives me something to shoot for at Rural Hall in October.  Just over 2 hours for 10 miles is an interesting target as well, gives me something to shoot for at the Tar Heel 10-miler.

Of course the half marathon and marathon numbers are what jump out at me the most since that’s what I was trying to predict.  2:43 for a half is a 12:45 pace, which shows the “slow down” with distance, since the 8K time I put in was just sub-12 (something like 11:57).  But 2:43 will certainly get the job done in Raleigh and bring me home in less than 3 hours and blast my New Orleans PR time by a good 30 minutes.  The marathon time is also interesting, because besides obviously not being trained for it, I’ve shied away from the marathon distance because I didn’t want it to take 7 hours. 5:40 is still a long time…. but it’s not an eternity.  And it’s a 13:00 mile pace.

The website also gives some “pacing information” which I found telling as well, and this is the part where I would like some advice from my fellow runner friends out there.  The training paces tell me my “Easy Run pace” should be 14:00, which seems a little slow, my “Tempo Run pace” should be 11:40, which is pretty much what me and Rob are doing on Saturdays, maybe a little slower at 11:50 or so.  Then it tells me my “Long Run pace” should be 14:00 – 15:30.  I never run my long runs that slow, in fact 15:30 is walking pace.  I know I’m a slow runner, but I don’t need to slow it down that much.

So here’s my question… Am I running my long runs too fast (12:30-13:00 pace)? I feel like if I run my long runs at a 15:o0 pace I’m gonna end up running my half marathon at a 15:00 pace, which is not gonna get the job done.  I know I don’t have hit my target pace of 12:30 on my long runs, but I want to stay pretty close like 13:00-13:30.  Should I slow it down, or should I continue to run what’s comfortable?

Weekly Recap 9-17-12 to 9-23-12

This week was a normal week, no special things, no missed workouts, just sticking with the plan.

Starting weight – 250 lbs
Monday – Spinning – 50 minutes
Tuesday – Run – 4 miles
Wednesday – Yoga – 60 minutes
Thursday – Run – 4 miles
Friday – Weightlifting – 30 minutes
Saturday – Run – 4 miles
Sunday – Run – 6 miles + Yoga – 60 minutes
Total Mileage – 18 miles
Ending weight – 246.6 (3.4 pounds lost)

First off, 18 miles is a big week for me, and next week looks to be pushing 20 as my mileage increases for the half training.

Second, holy cow… I was not expecting to lose that much, in fact, I wasn’t expecting to lose any.  I was expecting another gain.  I’ve been stress eating and eating stuff I shouldn’t be and so I am shocked to still see a loss, especially one that big.  I assumed last weeks gain was water/bad food/alcohol from last weekend, but I expected it to hang around after this week wasn’t much better.

My Saturday running partner, Rob, pointed me out to a training calculator on the Runner’s World magazines website.  It takes your finish time for your last race and calculates your projected finish times for other distances.  It uses a formula that multiples by the distance (example: a Half Marathon is 2.62 times longer than an 8K) and also a conversion factor (1.06) that takes into account that you will be slower at longer distances.  I plugged in my 8K finish time from last week of 58:50, which is just under a 12:00 mile pace, and according to the website my finish for a half marathon should be around 163 minutes, or 2 hours 43 minutes (12:45 mile pace).  So you can see the pace is slower for the half, as you would expect, but that still gets me in under 3 hours, so it accomplishes that goal, but the other thing is I was originally targeting 13:00 mile pace for the half, I lowered that to 12:30 mile pace, assuming I could go a little faster, and 12:45 is right in between, so hopefully that’s indicating that I am heading in the right direction!

Weekly Recap 9-10-12 to 9-16-12

This was an interesting week.  I had to go to Raleigh on Friday to handle some very stressful personal business, and then spent Friday night with my friends Gray and Katie.  I kinda let myself go over the weekend.  Ate out Friday lunch, then nice dinner (and wine and beer) at their house Friday night.  Cookout Saturday for lunch (which I mentioned in my race recap) and then stopped in Greensboro on the way home from Raleigh to run an 8K.  I got all my workouts in except the Friday weight lifting, which has suffered the last couple of weeks, and I planned a second (short) run for Sunday, but after sleeping very late, and some right knee/right quad soreness, scrubbed that idea.  Did do yoga for some much needed stretching after a lot of car seat time this weekend.

Starting weight – 248.6
Monday – Spinning – 50 minutes
Tuesday – Run – 4 miles
Wednesday – Yoga – 60 minutes
Thursday – Run – 4 miles
Friday – REST
Saturday – Race – 8K
Sunday – Yoga – 60 minutes
Total Mileage – 13 miles
Ending Weight – 250.0 (1.4 pound gain)

Not surprised to see a gain this week to be quite honest.  A good portion of it may very well again be salt/water gain from restaurant food and alcohol.  Stress is not good for the diet.

Mileage dropped a little this week without two weekend runs, but still well into double digits.  Should pick back up next week.

Good Eat(s) of the Week:
Hard to pick just one, so this will be a list of good eats.  First, lunch Friday was at a place in Garner that I had never been to called Kickback Jacks.  Typical sports bar type place.  I had a fried shrimp poboy which was out of this world delicious, and also a pint of the house beer called KBJ draft, which when I asked for a description of the type of beer, the waitress told me it was Killian’s Irish Red, which I happen to love.  That night (after our walk) we went out to Goodberry’s for frozen custard, which I had not had in forever (Chocolate with Reese cups, very good!).  Then, to finish off the weekend of gluttony, the hot dog cookout which was a smorgasbord of delicious things.  Great mac and cheese from Katie’s sister, great potato salad from Katie’s mom, great oatmeal cookies from Gray’s mom, well you get the picture, all around delicious.

Good Drink of the Week:
I mentioned the KBJ draft in the food section, but the good drink of the week has to go to the wine from dinner.  I continue to be amazed by my sudden taste for red wine.  I’ve always hated red wine, but suddenly I like it.  And it’s not as if I had tried it over and over again until I finally got used to it, I hadn’t tried any in years until I tried the Merlot at Stony Knoll vineyards and liked it.  The wine we had at Gray and Katie’s house (which I can’t remember the name, and searching for it I can’t find it, started with an M, Maggio or something like that) was a red Zinfandel and it was very good.  Strong fruit flavor, very bold, but not enough to really blow your head off.  I think the over the top “red’s so strong to be undrinkable” fashion is over now and the reds are milder and smoother and more easy to drink.  This is a good thing!

Run 4 The Greenway 8K – Greensboro, NC – 9-15-12

This evening I had a race that fit perfectly into my half marathon training.  This weekend’s long run was 5 miles and this race is 5 miles.  I didn’t have my camera, so just took one picture with my phone of the shirt and bib.


So this run is set up to raise awareness and funds for the Downtown Greenway being built to circle downtown Greensboro.  The race was mostly on the streets but there were some stretches on the portions of the Greenway that have been completed.  The greenway includes many permanent art installations which is fitting for Greensboro’s bohemian artistic feel.

In typical race fashion I started out too fast, which is really something I need to work on.  But it’s so hard to know where to start, when they are saying for the competitive runners to be in the front and walkers/strollers/dog walkers to the back.  I started what I thought was near the middle, but still had lots of people passing me as I chugged along.  I tried to slow myself down, and a good portion of the first mile was downhill so with the flow of the crowd and downhill I was screaming through the first mile.  I got it whoa’d back, but was huffing pretty good by about a mile and a half, which is not very good when you have 3 and a half miles left to go.  If I had a complaint about this race it would be that the water stations were very very understaffed.  I actually skipped past the first one because they had no cups filled and ready, people were standing waiting but I didn’t want to wait.  A little while later there was a water fountain on one of the greenway stretches so I got some water, but of course then you have to stop completely rather than jogging, or even slowing to walk, you can keep moving.  That throws you off a little bit.  I had some stomach issues around 2.5-3 miles where I got hit with some awful heartburn.  I was in Raleigh before the race at a cookout with my friends Gray and Katie (from over at A Recipe a Week) and their families, so not great pre-race meal of hot dogs and the fixings, but was great to see some friends and family I hadn’t seen in a long time.  The last two miles were a struggle but I managed to push through it.

Despite not feeling very well, and the course measuring slightly long, I managed to set an 8K PR.  Besting my Winter Flight time of 1:02:55 by 4 minutes with a 58:50 finish.  My first mile was too fast, and then miles 2-4 were pretty good and mile 5 slowed down a bit.  Splits: 10:28, 11:31, 11:30, 11:59, 12:27.  The course was fairly hilly with an overall descent of 3 feet, but along the course, an ascent of 569 feet and descent of 572.  I actually thought it would be majority downhill, so the uphills must not have been too bad, but there were a few decent climbs along the way.

I didn’t stay for much of the after party, but I did get my one free beer (Natty Greene’s Buckshot Amber ale, which I love!) and had a picture taken post race that they put on a magnet.  I’m surprised they weren’t charging for those rather than handing them out free.

A lifetime ago…..

Eleven years seems like a lifetime.  At 32 years old, it’s in fact a full 1/3 of my lifetime.  But sometimes it can seem just like yesterday.  I’ve heard several people that were angry when September 11, 2001 was compared to the attacks on Pearl Harbor.  But, for my generation (and at least one generation younger and several older) that’s what it is.  September 11th is our “date which will live in infamy”.  It’s a date that will never be the same, and it’s a date we will never forget.  We all know where we were and what we were doing when we learned of the attacks in NY, Washington and Pennsylvania… and is something we will never ever forget.

I may have already shared this story on the blog, so forgive me if it’s repetitive, but this is how I experienced September 11, 2001 and the weeks that followed.

It was my fourth year in school at NC State (also known as, Red-Shirt Junior Year).  School had just started back, classes were only a few weeks old and if that weekend had not been the first football game of the season than surely the next weekend would have been.  I was driving to school listening to a local morning show on the radio.  As I pulled into the parking lot they made a brief mention of “a plane has crashed into one of the World Trade Center towers”.. there was no other details to report at that time, the DJ’s speculated it was a small plane, a Cessna, a Beechcraft etc, which can, and do from time to time, run into tall buildings when they fly as low as they do.  Nothing else was said, they went back to playing music or cracking jokes.

I walked across campus to the student union to grab breakfast and the place is absolutely mobbed, although that was normal for that time of day.  I got my food and miraculously found and empty table.  At this point I noticed that the TVs in the student union, which were normally on “College TV” that showed music videos and sports highlights, were tuned to CNN.  They were covering the tower that had been struck as everyone was trying to figure out what had happened.  It was bigger than what it sounded like on the radio, but still some freak accident right?  Right about this time, the second plane veered in and struck the second tower.  There was a collective gasp in the room, followed by a deathly silence.  Then the place erupted into a deafening roar as everyone started asking questions as once.  “Did you see that?” “What was that?” “What the Hell just happened?”

A sense of dread began to build in my stomach.  One plane could be an accident… but two?  I also had a sickening feeling as it clicked into my head that hundreds of people had just died instantaneously.

The place was so crowded that someone I didn’t know had asked to share my table with me and I said sure, of course and he sat with his back turned to me watching the television, but we were chit chatting some about what in the world was going.  I remember seeing the huge antenna boom on the second tower begin to rock back and forth and I said to him “It’s going to fall” and a few seconds later it collapsed and crumbled and fell to the ground.  At this point is when mad panic hit the streets of everyone running trying to get away.  We still had no clue what was going on but this was serious.

In the time span between the first tower collapse and the second one (I forget how long it was, 30 minutes? 40 minutes?) they switched to replays of the second plane hitting and replays of the first tower falling.  At some point they went back live as the second tower collapsed in on itself and crumbled to the ground.

At this point I had to get to class so I stumbled out of the student union in a daze trying to figure out what in the world was going on.  People in the classroom were openly crying, everyone was talking, no one was paying attention.  People seemed angry at the professor for trying to teach… “Have you no idea what just happened?” (In his defense, he probably did not).  I left that class and went on to the next, where the professor or a TA told us classes had been cancelled for the rest of the day.  I went home to my apartment to find my roommates glued to the TV, also trying to figure out what was going on.  Now we were getting reports of the plane that hit the Pentagon and the plane that crashed in rural Pennsylvania, which we later found out was saved by the passengers who sacrificed themselves, and was likely bound for the White House.  NC State canceled classes for the rest of the week.  (I believe 9-11-01 was a Tuesday, just as it is today).  We sat transfixed in front of the TV trying to process something that even the smartest among us could not process.  None of it made any sense, nothing at all.  We would go out on the balcony (as several of us smoked back then) and notice the eerie quiet and the lack of contrails in the sky as all flights were grounded for a long time after that.   It was quite bizarre to walk to classes after that with a crystal clear blue sky, not a single cloud, not even a man-made one.  No planes. Weird.  You don’t notice them when they are there, but you notice them when they are gone.

In the weeks and months that followed the stories came out, both on campus and on TV.  People who had been in the towers on 9-10.  People who had forgotten something at home and turned around, a wallet, an ID badge, something you couldn’t go to work without, and were not in the towers when it happened.  The ones who made it out.  The ones who stayed behind.  The firemen who ran UP the stairs, while thousands were running down… the man in the wheelchair who evacuated his entire office and saved them all, but he stayed behind.

For the victims on the planes, who had nowhere to run and no way to escape.  For the people in the first tower who never saw it coming.  For the police, firemen, EMS, military and harbor patrol who perished and sacrificed their own lived to save others.  WE WILL NEVER FORGET.

Weekly Recap 9-3-12 to 9-9-12

Did a little bit of shuffling, but not too bad this week.  Missed my friday weight lifting thanks to the after work employee tailgate party, which was fun.  All my other workouts fell into place.  Even continued my extra Saturday run and even went a little longer than my “long run” for Sunday.  All in all a good week.

Starting weight – 259.4
Monday – Spinning – 50 minutes
Tuesday – Run – 4 miles
Wednesday – Yoga – 60 minutes
Thursday – Run – 4 miles
Friday – REST
Saturday – Run – 3.3 miles
Sunday – Run – 6.9 miles + Yoga – 60 minutes
Total Mileage – 18.2 miles
Ending Weight – 258.6 (0.8 pounds lost)

Very shocked to see a loss this week with crappy eating both Thursday and Friday, was fully expecting a gain, so pleasant surprise.

Slightly lower mileage than last week by virtue of the Saturday run being slightly shorter this week.  Next week I have my 5 mile (8K) race on Saturday, so that will be my scheduled “Long run” since the plan says 5.  I may run something Sunday, maybe something short like 3-4 and try to keep up the 4 day a week running.

In other news… It appears my December race is gonna end up being a half marathon.  As we chewed up the miles around the lake this morning and chewed the fat the whole way, my running buddy Laura (who by the way is a Marathon Maniac and is running two marathons next weekend, one Saturday and one Sunday) had the idea of that if I add the Mistletoe Half Marathon to my schedule (I was planning the Mistletoe 5K as my December race) that I will have 3 half marathons in less than 90 days (From Nov 4th to Jan 12 for Raleigh, Mistletoe then Disney) and that will qualify me to join the Half Fanatics.  It’s a local race (so no travel, no hotel) and the registration is a modest 45$, rather than 100+ (100 for NOLA, 150 for Disney, 75 for Raleigh), so how can I not do it?  I hope this doesn’t turn into a “What the Hell am I doing?” scenario.

  • 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.