Pardon the dust !

Has it really been 3 years ?  Yes it has. Since my last entry, I have a 24:30 5k PR,a 53:40 10k PR (of which I am accused of throwing in order to pace a friend), and a 1:58:02 half marathon PR. I am a member of Summit Athletic Running Club and t huh e Phillips Phlyers, and am training for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Marathon. What a difference three years makes !

I  remember sitting in front of whichever computer I was sitting in front of, writing about ball  games, restaurants, food of any kind, etc.  Never in a million years did I ever think I would write about running.  Sure, I’d write about running for a bite of food at whichever buffet piqued my interest at that particular time.  Or maybe I’d run to the lake and try to catch the big one.  But running-running ?  Never.

In a week that saw the Boston Marathon run in blistering heat, and won by Kenyan Wesley Korir in not-so-record 2:12:40 (last year’s winner, Geoffrey Mutai, ran the fastest marathon ever at 2:03:02), I set a couple personal bests of my own.  Those PBs were not time-related, to be sure, but distance-related.  After having hit a PB time in a 5K distance and breaking the thirty-minute barrier (both on 4/10/12), which was a goal I had set before moving on, I decided to set my sights a little higher on Tuesday.  After receiving a message from a certain running ecomom (no names, please) who I have been friends with for upwards of 10 years (which was a map of a run the Towpath Turtles running club was running), I decided to give it a try.  I had no intentions of finishing it, having been a bit over 5 miles.  I wanted to see what I could do on the course, which does have a good number of hills on it.

I finished the course in about an hour, then came to the realization that I read the course map wrong and actually EXCEEDED their run.  Not by much.  theirs was mapped at 5.15 miles.  Mine measured out at 5.25.  My Tuesday afternoon run became my PB distance.

That PB went down at about 8:11 am this morning.

I set my sights on the exact same course, but decided to add to it.  Instead of running down 21st St.and then along Broad Blvd. in town, I continued down 21st St. to the end, cut over Sackett Av. to 20th St., down to Grant Avenue, over to Meriline St., across Chestnut Blvd. over to Fourth St. to the front of the Circle K at Fourth and Sackett, closing the loop I ran.  The additions added a full half-mile to my run, and also to my PB distance, which became 5.75 miles.

If you want to know a good place to eat, read some of the other articles in this blog.  I mentioned some really really good places for you to go. You can run and get a bite, based on the advice of a much more rotund yours-truly.  You know what they say…you want to know where to eat, go find the fattest hog you can and ask him where the trough is.  Well, I reckon that was one benefit of having been bigger, offering plenty of advice in that regard.  However, that won’t be the kind of running I will be largely discussing here.  I have really enjoyed this running bug biting me.  i wish it would have bitten me when I was younger…I missed a lot of great years, I’m sure.  But thank the Lord for second chances.  I lost the weight, got bitten by the bug, got hooked, and am now a runner.  

How long will that 5.75 mile distance PB stand ?  That aforementioned certain running ecomom suggests I will be running a “half mary” (13.1 miles, i.e. half marathon) by fall.  You never do know…I just started this on 3/4/12, and running almost 10k a month and a half later.  We’ll keep plugging away and see what happens, i reckon.

I blew the dust off this old blog about 3 months ago, and never came back. And wouldn’t you know it, another layer of dust formed. I reckon you’ll have that. I really should make better use of this forum, especially seeing as how I lost a bunch of weight and am now working on maintaining that weight loss for what I predict will be the rest of my life (or at least am hoping for that end).

I ended the diet phase on 3/16/12, four weeks ago this coming Friday (insert George Jones’ song “Finally Friday” here). I weighed in at 210 lbs. that day, which represented a loss of 145 lbs. That was the day I started my maintenance plan and increased my daily food intake ever so carefully. I started running almost 2 weeks before that (which I’ll discuss further shortly). I have bebopped between 208 and 212 lbs. for the last four weeks, which is OK. I am trying to maintain things somewhere in that area, basically between 95 and 97 kgs (209-213). I know there will be peaks and valleys, but as long as we can keep in that neighborhood, all is well.

Based on my frame size and height, I can weigh between 204 and 219 lbs. People with average frames can keep a body mass index (BMI) of between 18.5 to 25, but since I have a large frame, it is not recommended for me to go below a 23 BMI, which would be 204 lbs. Today, I weigh 209 and can wear size 34 jeans comfortably (I could do a 33, but definitely not a 32, even though I recently buttoned and zipped a pair of 32s but were not in the least bit comfortable).

When I started my diet on 9/12/11, i wanted to do things the “old fashioned way,” which meant reducing my weight by conventional means – diet and exercise. I went about the diet aspect of it very unconventionally and very aggressively (1000 calories per day, which i am not recommending to anyone – and if you do ever go this aggressive, don’t do it without taking a vitamin supplement every day…keep yourself nourished), but began the exercise part in a very conventional way. We started the first day off with ha one-hour, 2.6-mile walk (keeping in mind I weighed 355 lbs. that day, so it wasn’t exactly a power walk right out of the gates). But we worked at length of the walks and the speed, wintering at the local malls to build-up stamina and speed while being able to dress comfortably and not all layered. Timing myself averaging 3.5 to 3.8 mph walking in the malls made me realize what the natural progression would be from that point…running. I acquired some gear (running shorts, shoes, socks, etc.) and set a goal…start running on April Fool’s Day. I figured i’d look like a fool running, why not make it official and start that day ?


I started on 3/4/12 indoors, and worked my way outdoors two days later, running intervals (which means time running, followed by a one-minute walking break). On 3/11, I ran a kilometer straight. Twice. I followed-up a few days later running two, even three, kilometers straight. Then came my first 5k on 3/18 (36;15.03). I kept at it and at it. Yesterday, I broke 30 minutes for the first time (29:49.56). I entered my first official 5k, the Lodi Sweet Corn Run, which will be run on 7/21.  Who’d have thought I would run at this stage in my life, let alone at ANY stage of my life ?

So from here, we stay the course. Run often, eat right, and keep the faith.

Get Jacked Up

The Columbus Jackaroos is the Australian Rules Football Club I joined in 2010.  I joined as a social member, realizing I was probably too old (and also too rotund) to play…however, this is a favorite sport, and I am happy to lend my support to this club.  I do, however, have a goal…to play in an intrasquad (the term used in the USAFL is ‘metro’) game this spring, if time permits, since I eliminated the rotund barrier…or most of it, anyway.

There are two teams that compete…the men’s team (the Jackaroos) and the women’s team (the Jillaroos).  The Jills took on intersquad play last year for the first time, successfully, if I may add.  The Jacks also enjoyed a measure of success, losing only to an always-tough Chicago United club and shorthanded at the North Carolina Tigers.  We enjoyed victories over the Milwaukee Bombers, Nashville Kangaroos, and swept a home-and-home with the Cincinnati/Ohio Valley River Rats.

Our home games are generally played at Tuttle Park on Oakland St., near the Ohio State campus.  Additional information can be found at http://www.columbusfooty.com .  I will also try to post the schedule for the season here.

Out with the old…

I put up a new set of drapes on the old blog, if you will.  The old picture I had up was taken a few years back at Goodyear Heights Metro Park, and featured a more rotund, less in-shape me.  The new picture was taken 1/2/12 at Cabela’s in Wheeling, WV.  The picture is limited: the shirt I had on was a large, as opposed to the short XXXL in the previous picture.

My morning weigh-in: down 121 lbs. since 9/12/11.

My work  schedule actually allowed me to go to church last night.  It was good to get back to church.  The funny thing was, one of the men didn’t recognize me until our pastor told him who I was.  I guess 120 lbs. gone does make a difference.

Rain today, snow tomorrow and over the weekend.  Just in time for Saturday’s extended hike at Sand Run.  the plan is to hike half of the jogging path this month, the other half next month.  On Saturday, we will meet at 9 am at the Old Portage lot, just off Portage Path.  You are welcome to join us.

…but of my friend Laura’s new blog.

http://sutainabilitylookingglass.wordpress.com/ is the site for her new blog, “Sustainability Through The Looking Glass.”  She will be offering tips that will positively impact the environment, as well as your life, through healthier habits for both…and maybe a tip or two on saving a few bucks too !

So check in…here and there, as we both venture into 2012 with a plan.

Wow, a lot has changed since my last venture in here.  Lots of dust to blow off of the old blog – thank the Lord for Swiffers.  A major change I have undertaken is simply this…

On 9/12/11 , I began a journey.  A journey towards a healthier me.  After a challenge was thrown my way by two of my Columbus Jackaroo teammates (I joined this Australian Rules Football Club in May 2010), I decided to drop a few pounds.  A few became several, and now I am down about 120.

How did I do it ?

I was eating a shocking number of calories each day.  I guesstimate in the 4500-5000 daily range.  It’s easy to drop half a box of donut holes while watching the TV after a hard day at work, and there’s about 1500 right there.  I decided that day to cut the junk out and try this thing out, with a mission of losing 25 pounds by Christmas.  I got rid of a lot of the heat-and-eat and replaced my high-fat hamburger with 96/4 (half the calories and not near the fat), replaced fish sticks and pizzas with chicken breasts, turkey, and salads with near-zero calorie dressings.  I’m eating a cereal bar instead of a half box of donut holes the rare occasion I crash in front of the tube. Right now, I have cut my intake back to about 1000 calories per day, while taking a vitamin supplement every morning as well.  And I walk a lot more frequently…like 4-5 days a week in my neighborhood or at the mall.  I have the world’s best support group, in an Australian Rules Football Club and a community of fans and players from at least one other club as well.  Also friends, family, and co-workers rallying behind me.

But I am remiss not to mention three of my Jacks’ teammates that have been instrumental in their support of this endeavor.  Those being Chet Ridenour, Scott Matheson, and Mike Krause.  They put up with my text messages and calls  updating my status, and rally me to victory, which will be in probably another 30-35 pounds.

So although the road is a lot shorter, and there is light at the end of the loss tunnel, there is still a long road ahead, as in maintaining.  This is not a quick-fix, look good for Myrtle in May thing.  I want this to be a lifestyle change.  And thus far, it has been.