Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016 year in review

It's been a good year.

I set my goals for this year on Dec. 31, 2015. On that day, I weighed 214 pounds.

This photo was taken on that day.

The goals I set were these:

I wanted to weigh 170, finish a 5k in less than 30 minutes and finish a 10k race.

I ran my first sub-30 5k on April 17.

I went on to clock a 26:53 on my race in October.

I ran 10 kilometers distance way back in February, but I pushed myself further on that run than I was supposed to and ended up hurting my knee a little. It wasn't a big problem, but it scared me. I've fallen in love with running and I'm not anywhere near ready to give it up.

Sometime in summer I decided that I needed to run an actual 10k race. So I started looking and found the Ward Parkway Thanksgiving Day Run.

I started training and was raring to go by the end of November.

I wanted to finish in less than an hour, and I came so close clocking 1 hour 40 seconds. I had an absolute blast. It was so much fun!

The last goal on my sheet was to weigh 170 pounds. When I wrote that down, I have to admit I just pulled that number out of the air. I didn't really think I'd get close, I thought I was aiming high. But as the year went on I realized I was getting very close.

I dropped below 180 pounds for the first time on Nov. 8. I almost can't believe it myself.

This photo was taken a couple days ago, my weigh-in this morning was 177. I'm going to count it as a win!

So what are my goals for 2017? Well I went a wrote up a sheet for them too.

I'm excited, it's going to be a great year!

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Running in the cold

I love running. I can't stand the idea of not being able to run. That first year of running, winter was coming on and I knew I had to continue running through the winter. I despise the treadmill, so I had to figure out how to run outside no matter the weather.

This morning was the coldest weather I've ever run in. The app on my phone showed -2 degrees!

And it was great I was warm the entire time.

The first thing I discovered when I began researching this topic was thermal running tights.

Now I was more than a little self-conscious going out the door wearing nothing but tights. But I got over it pretty quick. Nobody else cares.

The first year, I bought a couple pairs of Under Armour's ColdGear leggings. And they work. Runs down to the middle teens, my legs never felt cold. My only problem with these tights is that they have a different color waistband and they have seams running down each side of your crotch. I've highlighted the seams below.

They look very much like underwear. Which contributed to my self-consciousness in them. But when I was wearing them it wasn't very noticeable, there was always either my shirt or jacket covering that area.

This year I bought the Saucony Omni LX tights. They don't have those awkward seams or the contrasting waistband. Maybe I'm just used to it at this point, but they don't feel nearly as weird when I'm out and about.

Plus they have a nice little accent of color down the outside edge of the legs.

The thing to remember is: It really is all about the layers. Start with a base and build from there as the need be.

So here's a little breakdown of what I wear when the temperatures start falling. Generally speaking, I'm talking about calm wind here. If its really blowing I'll adjust as necessary.

30-50 degrees Fahrenheit

Below 50 I switch to my winter running gear. Usually it'll be the Saucony Omni LX tights, and a Saucony Velocity long sleeve. If I'm chilly, I'll add a hat and gloves. The hat is just a cheap one I found at a local feed store of all places. The gloves are just the cheap knit type which are like $1 at Wal-Mart.

20-30 degrees

At this range -- or if the wind is really blowing -- I'll add my Saucony Nomad jacket.

The Nomad is barely more than a shell, but it keeps me so warm. It is windproof, and I'm sure that plays a major roll.

0 to 20 degrees

Now we're starting to talk real cold here! It doesn't often get this cold in my neck of the woods, but we're getting off to a real good start this year!

The first thing I add when it drops below 20 is my balaclava.

It is an Icebreaker Oasis. It's made of wool which is great and really adds a lot of warmth. My main complaint when it gets this cold is my nose and this takes care of that.

Below 0

Now I don't really have any experience at running at these temperatures, seeing as how today was my first ever (well since I was kid anyway). So I don't have a set prescription for this kind of cold.

Today I added a short sleeve Nike tech shirt under the Velocity. And I put my cheap beanie on top of my balaclava. And I was warm the entire run. I could feel the chill, but it wasn't worrisome at all.

Just remember to stay safe out there!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

November miles

Racked up 62.5 miles during the month of November. Was kinda aiming for 80, but I forgot about my training plan tapering me coming up to my 10k.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Ward Parkway Thanksgiving Day Run

I ran my first ever 10k ever Thursday morning!

It was the Ward Parkway Thanksgiving Day run.

I had a blast.

I really wanted to break an hour and I came so close! My official time was 1:00:40!

Here's the start, I'm in there somewhere!

Finished! I really pushed it there at the end.

Here's the official results.

Every finisher of this race gets a pie. I ate it all in one sitting. HaHa! It was good!

It was such a great day. I was whipped all the rest of the day. I was really thankful I thought to bring my foam roller along.

Last night while I was playing around online, I got an email from the Garmin Marathon offering me a sweet discount because I've been saying nice things about them on Twitter. So now it's official, I registered to run my first ever half-marathon this April!

Oh boy what have I got myself into now? Haha!

Sunday, November 20, 2016

An interesting phenomenon

I've noticed an interesting thing lately.

This past year and a half I've lost quite a bit of weight, more than 80 pounds at this point.

I am just now into the top of the range that a doctor would consider an acceptable weight for my body. I still measure between 16 and 19 percent body fat, which is higher than I'd like. I'm aiming for 10 percent, and according to the charts that will leave me at about 140 pounds.

The point being I am still about 40 pounds away from being underweight.

Now I've been getting the deprecating remarks about my weight loss for a while now, "You're not the man you used to be,"  or "He's a shadow of his former self." But because of the laughing manner in which they're delivered I'd always assumed they were actually compliments.

But in the last week I've had two separate people express concern for my well-being because of how much weight I've lost. And that's had me rethinking those supposed compliments from before.

When I ballooned from 200-260 over the course of a summer about six years ago, there was only one guy who said anything about my increased weight. In fact thinking back through my life my weight has fluctuated quiet a bit. And the only time I can remember anyone expressing concern was when I was losing pounds.

Most everybody says they believe being overweight is unhealthy. But perhaps that's just another of the myriad things I've discovered people say but don't really truly believe.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Garmin training plan

I can't believe it's been 11 weeks since I hung these calendars on my wall.

One of my goals for this year was to be able to run 10 kilometers distance, but I made kind of a snap decision at the very last minute to run an actual 10k race.

And here I am about a week away from race day! And I'm getting very excited.

My life had a little bit of a shake up last week in the career department. And that's going to screw up my plans just a little but everything should be OK.

I am very happy with the free training plan from Garmin.

I can see a marked improvement in my fitness. Being able to see the improvement in the heart rate and pace data collected by my watch makes a big difference. Without that data I'm not sure I'd feel like I was improving.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

How to stay safe running in the dark

Here's a little video I made showing off some of the things I use to stay safe running on the roads in the dark.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

October miles

I got in a great 77.8 miles in the month of October. Even counting taking it easy for several days with a hamstring issue. 

In other news, only three weeks to go till my first ever 10k race!

Sunday, October 30, 2016

October race

I ran the US Road Running Haunted House 5k for my October race in the Race per Month challenge I'm doing.

I surprised myself with a new PR! 26:53! I love it!

Saturday, October 1, 2016

September miles

Set a new record for miles last month. The 10k training is really coming along.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Good photos

My Beloved has been riding her bicycle when I go on my runs. Lately she's been riding a head a couple blocks and trying to get some photos as I go by.

This one in particular I really like. The lighting. The way my feet look almost like they're both off the ground. It's pretty cool.

Sunday, September 11, 2016


Google photos does this thing every once in a while where it will remind me of photos I took one year ago. Today it reminded me of the photo on the left below.

It really hit me like a ton of bricks. I'm down to about 190 now. And I know I've made some huge progress over the past year. But this photo really took me by surprise. So I had to make the photo on the right to go opposite the one from a year ago.

Long run

Had a nice long run today.

And Google made another little video of my photos and clips. These things are pretty neat.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Snapseed added an awesome text feature to the best photo editing app on Android.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

August miles

Still a little distracted with the new job, but I've been upping my miles this month!

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Signed up for my first 10k

One of my big goals this year was to be able to run 10 kilometers.

I completed that back in like February. Well I thought, I need to run a 10k race!

I found the Ward Parkway 5k on Thanksgiving Day which is now offering a 10k option this year!

So I signed up!

I also found a free 10k training plan from Garmin to prepare for the race.

I printed out the training calendar and put it on my brag wall.

Then I figured I need a Garmin watch capable of making full use of that training plan so I found a refurbished Forerunner 220 and bought that too.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Sunday, July 31, 2016

July miles

A nice long run to cap off July. I've been a little distracted lately with a new job. Here are my July miles.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Trying the new water bottle

I got to try the new water bottle on a run today. It works great! It's got a really neat spout that just gives you a little squirt of water when you squeeze. Really helps to not drink to much at once.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

SPI Belt water bottle

I've been using an SPI Belt for carrying my stuff on runs for a while and I love it!

I got one of their water bottles for when I go on long runs. Can't wait to give it a try this summer!

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Global Running Day

I participated in the Global Running Day today. I also called it my Runner's High virtual race.

I love that medal!