Here's the skinny: I've been near 300 lbs. for years and need to lose weight. I'm married to a wonderful lady, and we have a family. One of our boys often asks if I'll run with him. I've always had to tell him, "No." In August of '09, my wife learned about a couch-to-5k running program, and I agreed to try it with her. This blog chronicles our progress on that training program. I hope I'll soon be able to surprise my son by telling him, "Yes, I'll go running with you!"

Friday, December 25, 2009

White Christmas

Well, here in Minnesota it surely was a white Christmas.  We had about 14" of snow going into midday today. I'm sure glad I got my run in yesterday.

Yes, I got a run in yesterday, on Christmas Eve day. It was the first real run I've taken in a month.  I ran a bit over the weekend a week or two ago, but nothing major.  I guess yesterday wasn't anything major, either. Since it was my first run in a month, I stuck to a mile (actually, just a bit over a mile).  Since we had a break in the snowfall during the morning and the plows were keeping the roads clear, we decided to take a run through the neighborhood.  Mrs. F and I set out with our eldest son and our almost 10-year old daughter.  Josiah ran with Mrs. F, and Ariana ran with me.  I was pleased that I was able to keep Mrs. F and Josiah in my sights--at the end of my mile they were less than two blocks ahead of me.

I could have pushed further on, but decided to take it easy on my first day back at it.  Overall, it didn't feel too bad.  At the end, I finally felt myself rolling off of my legs.  I was tempted to keep running, but erred on the side of caution.  Sitting here as I write, I'm glad I took it easy.  My leg muscles are a bit sore today, but I can't be sure if it is from the running, or dealing with the snow yesterday, or helping to build some huge snowmen in the yard today.

I was up 1.9 lbs. this week, and my sugars have been edging higher again.  I really need to get back to my regular exercise routine.  I really need to get back to getting out with Marie, because if I'm left to do it on my own I'm more likely to just take a pass with the intention to try again the next day.  Argh! I guess I'll just be thankful that I had some time off yesterday and today, and am now looking forward to a nice weekend.

Whether you observe it or not, I hope you've all had a Merry Christmas day.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Friday 's run

Its been a very stressful week, so I was tempted not to run. I knew though, that I had a holiday party for Mr. F's work and probably needed to burn some calories before hand!

The temps felt tropical compared to the subzero stuff from before. Its amazing how relative tempature feels. I remember complaining bout running in 30 degree temps earlier in the season. Now Im particularly thankful for a 20 degree day to run in!

I ran my alternate neighborhood route. Basically I run from my house, through a neighborhood and out of town on a gravel/dirt road. It works well since the traffic ie really light and the roads are fairly clear of snow and ice.

Overall it was a good run, had a few slow spots but I did 3 miles in 44 minutes. Not too shabby for cold weather running. I keep reminding myself, its not so important how fast but that Im out there moving and improving my fitness.

Weight check went well. I was hoping for two pounds down but I'll take the 1.2!

I'm enjoying being in the 160s's even if its on the high end. Im down a total of 14.3 pounds. Seeing the weight come off definitely helps on the motivation end. Plus if I run, i can eat some chocolate. You know the important stuff!

Im hoping to get to run with my eldest son over break. Hes been super busy with wrestling, that we havent had a chance to run together. Im sure he will take off and meet me on the run back but hey, we can start together. Some of my younger kids want to come run too. They will likely not make it hte entire three miles but it should be fun getting out together.

Keep on running
Mrs. F

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The run around the lake, number two

The temps were warmer, a balmy 10 degrees, and the sun was shining -- so I took off for my long run around the lake ( 4 miles). It was nice not having subzero winds blowing for a change.

The first two miles are the tougher of the 4. So I reminded myself of that as I was running. I didnt get to borrow a watch, so I carried the cell phone instead. That gave me a starting and ending time but I elected not to pull it out as I ran each mile. Good thing I didnt, it died right after that lol.

I was looking forward to the mile segment of the trail I often run on. Last time, I was able to make up some time on that stretch as its mostly flat. Not this time! The recent snows left the trail tough to run down. Snowmobilers had packed down some of the snow but it made it hard to get traction to run. The uneven terrain of snow bumps didnt help either. I ended up walking 3 different times during that segment. It really was just hard slogging along. I allowed myself those walking segments, for 15 or 30 seconds. I figured I was at least moving!

Next time I run around the lake, I plan to take the parallel road nearby. It will add some distance but not too much more. It seems to parallel the trail fairly closely. I think though I will lose my flatness and have more hills to run.

The last mile seemed the easiest. Perhaps cause I knew I was almost done or perhaps just getting back to the mostly clear roads. It was much easier runnign there, than on the snow covered trail.

All in all, it was pretty tough running it out but IM glad I got out there and did it! I did 4 miles in 58 minutes. For comparison, last time I ran around the lake I did it in 52 minutes. It was warmer and no snow too though.

I made some good choices on food today as well. I knew I wanted a bigger sandwich at mcdonalds (the crispy chix), so I elected to skip the fries and go with water as well. I did ask my son if I could have a few of his fries and that satified my desire for those. Been busier and more stressed lately and less time for snacking. All good for weight loss, I suppose.

Keep on running
Mrs. F

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A short run

I knew I needed to get out last night, since I didnt run this weekend.

It really was an out of sorts day. I was really super tired and grumpy. So I elected to just go for 2 miles or so. It was getting colder and with the windchill warnings hitting like 30 below. I knew I wouldnt want to run in that!

It actually felt slightly warmer than when I went out in the 3 degree weather. I was dreadfully slow of course but I kept reminding myself that Im getting out there and moving!!!

All in all, I think it ended up being like 2.25 miles. I even got to try out my new headlamp since it was nearing dark.

I really enjoyed the run but coming home to chaos wasn't so much fun. My off day turned into the kids off day too. Sigh. Oh well, today is a new day.

I did semi okay on the eating. A bag of one of my favorite types of xmas candy did not help. Thankfully I ran, so i had a few extra calories of indulgence.

Keep on running folks
MRs. F

Into the new week

I woke up tired and sore yesterday, and woke up down today.  My calves are sore from running in my winter gear this weekend, and from hiking over many hills throughout the day.  I came home from work yesterday not excited to run, but ready to run, but then I realized that all of my tech undergarments were still in the wash from this past weekend's camping trip, so I took a pass on the run.  I made productive use of the time, however, and got nearly all of this week's coursework done by the time I turned in.  I now only need to stay active on the course discussion board for the balance of the week.  That will let me get a head start on next week's work.

I remember my mother being after me regularly to get my room clean.  Typically, when I set about to do it, I'd find something interesting that would take my mind off the task and the task would then drag on and on and on.  I think I started keeping my room better when I discovered girls, and was allowed to have an occasional visitor of the finer persuasion.  Perhaps it is only fitting that my kids seem pretty much cut from the same cloth.  Unlike my childhood home, where my mother would not let us do household chores apart from our rooms (she said it was her job, after all), our kids have been doing chores since they've been able to follow instructions.  There's enough of them to spread out the work (perhaps that's part of the problem?), so none of them are overloaded.  Each has one chore room or area to care for each week, along with one specific dinner-related chore (e.g., clearing and washing the table, washing up the little ones, doing the dishes, sweeping the floor).  They are on a rotation.  Yet getting them to do that oftentimes feels like trying to pull teeth from a velociraptor.  If we put our attention one one or two who are slacking, the others start slacking.  If one gets a room cleaned well and early, some others will toss some things in it or make it a complete mess again.  I now understand why one of my schoolmate's parents made some rooms of the house off-limits, but that's a policy I would not be able to tolerate.  Perhaps I'll resort to my mother's course of action: wishing that her kids would grow up to have kids just like them. No, I would not wish that on my kids, though should they ever have kids of their own they might finally understand why I could so often get so frustrated so easily.

Anyway, I just wish they would realize that they get more freedom, and more privileges, when they take care of the house and keep up on their chores.  Time spent on chores--doing them, doing them again, re-doing them yet again--is time that could be spent elsewhere.  The extra wear and tear on the house and furniture means we need to repair or replace things more often, taking monies we could have spent on other things.

To top it all off, I'm not super-handy when it comes to home repairs.  There are some things I can do (I really like mudding and taping drywall), but most things take me so much longer and are so far outside of my comfort zone that I'm always second-guessing myself.  When the budget allows it, I'd rather hire one of the handy fellows from the church to come over and take care of project A or B, but the budget rarely affords such luxuries.

I'm really starting to sense that being healthy goes way beyond nutrition, rest, and exercise.  It has to do with limits and margins; it encompases how you live in all areas of life, not just what goes into the body through the mouth.

The cabin this past weekend had no TV, no computer, and no phone.  Heat was a wood stove. While there was time for fun and conversation, much time was spent preparing meals and keeping the fire going (to keep warm).  It hearkened unto a much simpler life.  Admittedly, a much harder life, but a simpler one.  I would just love to figure out some ways to simplify my own life, without making a drastic change like joining the Amish or moving to a cabin in the woods.  I really believe that a lot of the inner struggles that plague me arise from all the craziness I've allowed to come into our lives.  Running should be one of those things that gives me a taste of that simpler life, but in many ways it seems more like "just one more thing" I'm supposed to be doing.

Until my outlook changes, I just need to keep my feet going, my intake limited, and my sleep regular.  For now, that's all I can do.

Monday, December 14, 2009

The weekend

Mr. F was gone for the weekend, camping with 3 of our boys. It was a looong weekend with doing some deep cleaning and not getting enough sleep. Sick baby girl added to the fun.

I found it much more difficult to make good choices and get out and run when tired. So I didnt run either Sat or Sun. And I ate an entire small supreme pizza -- no I didnt track that day! I really dont want to know how many calories I overate!!!!

But Im trying to get back on track today even though kids were up again last night. Its hard not to reach for food when you are tired. I already had an extra cup of my coffee. That added enough calories with my creamer!

Mr. F and I plan to run tonight. So Im hoping to get my body back into submmission.

Mrs. F

Friday, December 11, 2009

A long overdue weight check! (Friday weight check - Week 15)

I had to go all the way back to November 20th to find our last posted weights. I know that we have weighed in since then, just didnt post it in the format.

Friday weight check (week 15)

Last Friday:   283.0 lbs.

Today:         279.4 lbs.

Gain/Loss:      -3.6 lbs.

Goal:          210.0 lbs.

Cumulative:     21.0 lbs.

Pounds to lose: 69.4

Comment: Mr. F isnt here to give me official totals from last week. So I estimated about where he was then. He will chime in when he returns.

Mrs. F
Last Friday:   171.8 lbs.

Today:         169.7 lbs.

Gain/Loss:      -2.1 lbs.

Goal:          150.0 lbs.

Cumulative:     13.1 lbs.

Pounds to lose: 19.7

Comment: I am so happy! My hard work, aka running, aka watching my caloric intake is paying off. I felt like I had a good week, so I was hoping for one pound down and was estatic when I realized it was 2!!!! It was so much fun to lower my culumative amount to lose below 20. Yay!!!

Although I haven't exercised...

Although I've not run or done my pushups in two weeks, I have some good news to report.  Simply by returning to getting a full night's rest and by being a little more careful with my food intake, my weight has dropped back to where it was on November 13! It had gone up a half pound on the 20th, about another pound on Thanksgiving week (I only got to weigh on Wednesday that week, so I cannot be certain), and was up almost two more pounds by December 3.  As of today, I'm back to 279.4! What a relief!

I won't have time to post our regular Friday Weight Check today.  Mrs. F might try to get it up later this evening.  At 2 PM, I'm off to pick up some things for our Boy Scout outing this weekend, and then two of our boys and I will head out about 5 PM.  Our eldest son, our first cross country runner, decided to wrestle again this year, so he'll be at a tournament tonight.  Mrs. F will drop him off in the morning.

Have a good weekend, all! I'm looking forward to a fresh start next week.

Really cold!

I did my first almost subzero run yesterday(technically the temp was 3 degrees!). I had the option of borrowing a friends treadmill but I really wanted to see what I could do in this kind of weather first.

This is a real change for me, I hate cold with a passion. So going outside in nearly zero weather is not first on my list, let alone running in it!

I added a few things to my running gear -- arm warmers, windbreaker pants, hubby's biking googles, and wrist bands worn at the ankles. I was looking for something to add as another layer for my arms, when I remembered that asics had sent us arm warmers. Bingo! Those worked great. I wore the wrist bands at my ankles since thats where my warm wear tends to ride up and i figured it would keep that area warm. I felt like a giant dork in the big ski type googles but hey I kept my face from getting frostbit.

I orginally thought Id just go two miles. The first mile and a half was great. I didnt feel cold and breathing was okay with my fleece scarf on . Although it did threaten to freeze to my face but since i kept breathing in and out, it didnt have a chance to. The run was feeling good, so I elected to go my full route of three miles. I did my alternate route through the neighborhood and out of town since hubby had both sets of the keys. My the time though I hit two miles, my thighs were pretty darn cold. Im wondering if its cause i put a cotton layer between the warm wear and windbreaker pants or if it was just that cold. Either way, I knew that walking would just make me colder, so i had no option other than running the rest of the way home.

There were challenges like the googles steaming up in spots but not wanting to take them off to clean them in the cold. Or my shoe coming untied. That always seems to make it extra challenging to get running again after stopping.

All in all, a good run. I went pretty darn slow and even slowed further at points when breathign was getting harder. I am pretty proud that I got out there and ran in that cold of weather. I, really , never thought Id be one of "those" runners!

After I got home, I remembered back to the early days of C25K and how some days, I could barely walk after running. And here I am doing 3 miles! Its pretty darn amazing.

Keep on running
Mrs. F

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The run in the snow

There is a wicked winter storm heading our way. It did start this afternoon and should give us 6 inches or so, when its all done. So although, technically I should be running tommorrow - I elected to get out today before it got too deep to run.

We still havent gotten a treadmill yet, so options are limited. My friend, Amy, did let me know that I can come over and use hers though.

It was around 16 degrees and blowing snow. The winds were about 12 miles an hour. Given the weather conditions, I decided that I was just going to run 2 miles.

I grabbed my fleece scsrf for todays run. That helped tremendously!!! It kept my face much warmer and kept the pelting snow off my face. Overall, the run was great. The last 3 runs have been tough for me, so it was really nice to have a good one.

The only time it was particulary cold is where the trail is more open to the lake. At those points, the wind blowing off the lake made the snow hit me like ice pellets. I tried to turn a bit to prevent it from hitting me as directly.

Since my mp3 was almost dead and it was snowing(I didnt want it getting wet), I elected to leave it home. Im kinda glad I did, it gave me some good thinking time. I found my groove and I just ran. Its been several runs since Ive had that good of a groove. I had a good pace and I kept it throughout until the last half mile. Then I slowed a bit. I was feeling good, so I ended up going 3 miles today.

I thought for sure the snow would have made a tougher run. Apparently not!

Ive been doing a better job tracking calories this week, so im looking forward to seeing the scale on friday.

Keep on running
Mrs. F

Monday, December 7, 2009

I am my own worst enemy

For the first time in over a week, I have the time to write here, but I find that I don't have the desire to do so.  I just finished up a class last night, so this is the first night in a couple of months that I don't have a boatload of writing or reading to do.  Technically, I could get a head start on the next class, but I just can't.

If it were not for the fact that one of our sons celebrated his birthday this weekend, I'd have no clue as to the date. I've not run in 10 days, and I haven't finished the second week of 100 Pushups.  I've been staying up way too late, getting too little sleep, and have been using food to get me through the longer study nights. I'm up a couple more pounds, and I have no desire to exercise. On top of that, I'm dealing with a lot of personal stress on other fronts right now. I just want to give up, but I know I can't. I need to get back in the game.  I need to stop the snacks and get back to healthy portions.  I need sleep, and I need to exercise.

Please don't be mad at me. This is a real struggle for me.

I'm so tired.  I want to give up, but I don't want to give up! That sums up much of my struggle.  It's a battle in my head, and my life and health are at stake.

I guess I need to celebrate the little victories, even in the midst of my losses. I've gotten back to biking to work regularly.  When my knee was giving me problems, I laid off on the biking.  I resumed a few times, but would stop again after the next rough run.  Now that my knee is no longer bothering me, I'm trying to ride every day, even though we're below freezing and expecting six inches of snow.  I have some gaiters that both protect my lower leg and ankle from the wind and keep my pants from snagging in the chain, a light fleece balaclava that fits under my helmet and keeps my face warm, large snowmobile-type gloves, and (since I wear prescription glasses) ski goggles.  Overall, it makes me quite a sight, especially in this smaller town where most people think of bikes as three-season transportation.  Mrs. F got me a set of studded ice tires last spring, but I don't yet have a second set of rims on which to mount them.  I'm keeping my eyes open for a used bike I can rig with them, so I won't need to worry about switching them off and on as the weather changes.

I've had enough for tonight. I need sleep.  I've come to learn that a lack of sleep affects everything else--my mood, my energy level, and even how much I crave crappy foods.  When I'm well-rested, I feel better and think clearer.  To that end, I'm signing off now.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Weekend Wrapup

I managed to get in two runs this weekend - Friday and Sunday. That gives me a grand total of 10.6 miles for the week -- woot! I ran 4 miles on Wed, 3.3 on Friday and another 3.3 today.

It wasnt easy but it sure felt good afterwards. Both weekend runs were tough but Im thankful I pushed thru it.Fridays run was 3.3 miles in 42 minutes. I know I have done that stretch faster but the cold weather really does have an impact. It was 18 degrees and the wind was biting. My core was plenty warm, thanks to a new fleece vest from lands end but my thighs were ice cold!

I took my mp3 player out and got it charged. So I enjoyed having it on both of the weekend runs. My playlist consists of Go fish music. I love their upbeat fun music. I had on my christmas cd, Snow, and then snazzy and superstar as well. Some of the songs are so upbeat that you just want to run faster :)

Its a good thing that I started C25K in august. I know had I started in the cold weather I would have given up by now. Thankfully, I have learned to enjoy it and make it a habit, so the cold isnt as much of a deterrent anymore. Today it was 17 degrees, so chilly but less wind. I added an extra pant layer and that definitely helped. On my top, Im wearing a tech long sleeve shirt, then a light windbreaker and a fleece vest. On my bottom, Im wearing some warmwear, then my yoga capri pants and then a mesh long pants over the top of that. Top it all off with fleece gloves and a stocking hat!

The only part of me that really was cold today was my face. So next time, I think ill grab my scarf. I thought of it again today, but I just didnt want one more thing to mess with, if I got too warm while running.

I didnt have a watch today but I could just tell I was slower. The first mile was pretty good, as was the next .66. It was the 2nd half of the run that was just tough. The last mile in particularly was torturous. It didnt help that twice, my shoe came untied. So I had to stop and tie it, and walk some while getting my gloves back on. Its been a long time since I had the desire to walk, while running but it was strong today. Its good thing the bench that I run by was frosty or I might just have sat down!

To get through the last mile, I pulled out my mental trick of counting down 12 or 13 cement blocks. I picked a tree or spot ahead of me and then imagined hitting that block with a sledgehammer. That seemed to help me finish.

On an upnote, since its gotten colder, I rarely see people on the trail, other than an occasional dog walker. Today two doe bounded across my path, not even 30 yards ahead of me. It was really cool! Definitely can tell I live in a more rural area!!!

I need to do my weight post yet. I was pretty discouraged this week. Since I had the kids at the doctors office on Thursday,I weighed myself. It was an icky 176.2, another 2.2 lbs up. I hadnt tracked exceptionally well but still, it was disheartening. Well, on Friday, since I was going for a run anyway, I decided to weigh in my workout clothes, for the official weight check. I normally weigh in on fridays in workout clothes. Note to self -- Jeans are bad for weigh ins lol. And somehow, in the last 24 hrs, I dropped 4.4 lbs!!! I was down to 171.8. Strangest weigh in ever! Though that definitely made me get cracking on the tracking calories.

Still have to get back to the pushup challenge. Life is really really overwhelming right now. So its tough to do stuff like the pushup challenge that I really dont like at all. I still enjoy the running -- I get a break from the house and kids. So thats not too hard to get motivated to do.

Keep on running folks
Mrs. F

PS - Mr. F is writing his last paper for this class -- hooray! He starts another tommorrow but it only has 1 book, so its got to be easier!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Feeling dead tired (papers, papers, papers)

Last night saw me up until nearly 2 AM to get a paper in on time.  I was up this morning at 6 AM, so I'm running on fumes.  Less than four hours of sleep definately does not cut it for me. Work has also required some longer hours of late.

I have a research paper due Saturday and another paper due on Tuesday.  It's not the school work itself that is getting to me, but rather the lack of sleep and exercise.  I've really started to feel the difference between when I'm rested and when I'm not, and I now can also feel a difference between when I am exercising regularly and when I'm not.

I need to finish Week 2 of the One Hundred Pushups challenge, and I need to run.  I've not run now for a week (since Thanksgiving Day). I'm falling asleep in my chair as I'm writing this. I need to get in early tomorrow, because we have a new employee starting and I was informed just this morning.  I have yet much to do to be ready for his arrival at 8 AM.

Yikes! I need a break.

The run around the lake

I didnt get my run in yesterday -- life got the better of me and it didnt happen. Mostly cause when I did have time, my workout clothes werent dry yet. Then the evening flurry of activities occurred. This included a late night run to target for a black shirt for a holiday program and sheets for our new bed. I discovered I have no willpower whatsover at 11 pm at night.

I knew I only had 12 calories left but yet I found myself in arbys drive thru. Fast food is one of my weaknesses, so its a good thing we dont have any in town other than subway! I ended up with some mozz sticks and curly fries but at least I ordered a small and shared with my daughter. All said, i ended up 564 calories over -- yikes!

Mr. F wasnt going to be able to go with me tonight, so I took the opportunity to run when my big kids got home from school. I was excited to try to run around the lake. A bit scared that I wouldnt be able to complete it but still excited. The only bummer I had was that I forgot my mp3 that I just uploaded new music to.

I walked to my starting point, in this case, it happened to be city hall. That took about 8 minutes or so. I tied my shoes and I was off. I must say, it was a bit more intimidating for me to run in town. I realize no one probably thought anything of it, but it was a bit of mental battle for me. The route took me up a hill and then out of town, around the lake and back down my trail and into town again.

The first mile was particularly tough. I started out going uphill and it was an unfamilar route to me. If I measured accurately, the first mile was about 15 minutes. It was just about at the one mile mark, that I stopped to tie my shoes again and then walked just a little bit as I put my glove back on. Then back to the running I went!

The next mile was tough but a little easier. I was nearing where I could view the lake again and the road was far less busy, vechile wise. I had a bit of aches and pains during the run but nothing that caused me to stop, thankfully. I did enjoy running on the gravel road section, it was far softer than the asphalt of the first part of the run. That one seemed to be about 15 minutes as well.

The next part of the run was easier, since it was familiar territory. I ran the mile segment of my normal route on my trail. After having some different terrain(more hills and slopes), it was nice to get back to the mostly flat! I lost track of exactly how many minutes this took, but I think I was able to make some better time on this stretch, given the lack of hilly terrain. It was also encouraging to be able to see the city hall(where I started) and realize that I have made it nearly around the entire lake!!!

The last mile, was back on asphalt, and had a couple more hills. Though it didnt seem as difficult. I think part of it, was realizing, I was on the home stretch. At most, I only had a mile left. I was able to speed up the last stretch of hill by the lake park and finish strong.

My goal was to do it in an hour or less. It looked as if, I wouldnt make that goal. I told myself, that it was okay, after all Im out and moving and exercising. I finished 4 miles in 52:34!!!! I believe that calculates out to 13:08 miles. Woot!

It felt really good to complete that. In the beginning, I was a little unsure I would make it all the way around running. But I did! I even stopped in at our local pharmacy to encourage the people there that are doing couch to 5k!

The walk home though was cold!!! I was fine while warming up and running but afterwords it certainely was cold. The tempature today was about 32 degrees. I thought I would be colder than I was. I am encouraged, that baring 3 feet of snow, perhaps I will be able to run through the winter afterall.

Tracking calories is going better. I tracked yesterday and today again. It feels good to be getting back on that wagon and getting my eating under control somewhat. Dark peppermint truffles are a downfall! Even though I ate 9 truffles today, I got out there and moved my butt.

I plan to get back on track with the dreaded pushups tommorrow. So I will be finishing up week 1 of the pushup challenge tommorrow. Who's idea was this pushup challenge anyway(pointing the finger right at MR. F)

Keep on running folks,
Mrs. F

Monday, November 30, 2009


No - don't worry, running is the only thing right now that I dont want to quit. I know its a season but seriously I'm ready to give up on most everything.

Tracking calories and eating less is just plain hard. And the gain last week, really made me just want to give up. Thankfully, I still enjoy the running, so Im not completely sabataged.

Life is hard sometimes and I'm in a stage where I need to make some order out of chaos. My natural inclination is to hide and avoid. Thats really working well, I tell you.

I cant seem to get myself to do the pushup challenge either. I defitinely want to quit that! I managed to do the first two days of week 1 and havent done any since. Sigh ... I know I need to get back to it. It just feels like its one more thing for me to do. And I definitely have enough of those "things" to do.

I did get out for a run on Saturday. I was having a hard time, so it felt good to take it out in the form of exercise. I decided I was just going to run. I didnt have a watch or my mp3 player or even a specific goal in mind. I just started running. I ended up running the whole segment of trail and back and thats 3.3 miles. I briefly thought bout going on further until I remembered that I have to get back to the car lol!

One hour runner just doesnt feel challenging enough for me. Right now Im finding I want to run further and longer. Mr. F acknowledged too that hes nearly running an hour already. Im thinking bout creating our own plan. Both of us want to increase our distance, so we may work on that. Im just not sure and Im open to suggestions. I like the idea of following a program but OHR just doesnt seem to match well. I was thinking of first, running 3 miles, 3 times a week. Then adding in 1 mile runs on the off days, 1 extra day per week. So first week would be a total of 9 miles, then the 2nd week would total 10 and the 3rd would total 11 and the 4th then 12. So then, we would be running a total of 6 days a week. Still not sure on that though.

I find Im liking the longer distances. It takes a while for my body to find its stride and just run. So I think thats part of it.

Hope y'all have a great week, keep on running
Mrs. F

Friday, November 27, 2009

Post Thanksgiving Day and Pushups

Well, today was the day after Thanksgiving, and I'm thankful that I had the day off.  We woke up early--4 AM--to get in some Black Friday shopping today.  It's the first time we've done it in a number of years.  We knocked off a bunch of our gift shopping during the year through clearance purchases and our regular monitoring of bargain websites, so we didn't have a hard and fast list for the day.  The way we approached it was with a number of door-buster items noted, but we'd be fine if we didn't get any of them.  We figured it was some time together, for Marie and me.

Overall, that went well.  We got plenty of walking in, and got some good deals.  We were home before lunch, and the kids had kept the house in decent shape, so we decided we'd all go out to the budget theater to see G-Force.  It was a fun film!

The later afternoon had me feeling exhausted.  I couldn't concentrate enough on my reading to get my final chapters done, and I ended up falling asleep in my chair.  The rest of the evenign went well, too. I don't have any aches or pains from yesterday's race, and that's a good thing!

Right now, it's going on 9:30 PM, and everyone is already in bed, including Mrs. F.  I stayed up a bit later to get my pushups in.  It's W2D2 for me,  I did a total of 53 pushups tonight, in five sets (10-12-9-9-13).  The final set (13) was the minimum required for that set, but I really had to strain to finish it, so I'm happy with that set.  My next workout will put me 1/3 through this six week program.  The earlier sets tonight were surprisingly easy.  The fourth was tough, but not horrible.  The final one really required some fighting to get through it.  Instead of collapsing near the end, I paused in my up position a couple of times (after the ninth and twelfth), and was able to finish them all.  I'm waiting to be able to see some of the benefits in my chest; some benefit is already visible in my shoulders (deltoids).

Anyway, I'm going to take this opporunity to get to bed early.  I'm glad tomorrow is a Saturday and work free.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Turkey Tagalong and this weeks catchup!

It got busy towards the end of the week and blogging took a back seat. I did get out and run on tuesday evening. I ran a slow 2 miles. That was a tough run for me. Not eating well, not having anything but coffee to drink and extra life stress took a big hit on me. Im just glad I was able to persevere and get out there anyway.

I decided, to do the weight check yesterday(Wed), mostly so I dont have to deal with it on Friday. Mr. F and I plan to get some time out shopping on Black Friday. Although after seeing the results of the scale, I may yet see if Friday offers me any better numbers. It was bad, like train wreck kind of bad. I gained 1.9 lbs!! I have not been tracking this week at all-- big mistake. Second factor is lack of sleep. Both Sunday and Monday, I was up until almost 1 am. Add in drinking more diet soda, less water. And the final straw was the stress of the week. I was so discouraged with everything last night, that I was ready to give up. Not so much on the running, but on the trying to lose weight.

Thankfully, some sleep last night and a good race today gave me a different perspective. I elected that Thanksgiving was not going to be the day to get back on track. Although,Im pleased to report that I couldnt finish my plate for dinner or dessert. Last year I would have eaten that and more. So baby steps. Tommorrow, I plan to start tracking again in my daily plate. Its far too easy to eyeball it and say you are counting. When in reality, you are not.

Wrapping up the week was our Turkey Tagalong. I wasnt sure what to expect. After all, I was up late making pumpkin pies and strawberry jello. I got into a disagreement with Mr. F and the kids werent cooperating either. All that the night before the race wasnt very helpful. I got up this morning, feeling rested somewhat but sore. I was a bit worried, since the sides of my legs were hurting. I thought well IM going to get out there anyway. Im really glad I did. I had an excellent race. The 3 big hills were tough but not unconquerable. There were not a lot of runners but the bulk of the pack took off fairly quickly. I kept reminding myself that i wasnt here to beat so and so. I was here for me. I was here to beat my own time and not worry bout passing that runner up ahead.

That being said, I did pick out someone ahead and work on running. Sort of like, there is my goal person. It just helped me keep moving, although I wasnt speeding up really. This race was far more informal, so I have no idea where I placed in the group of runners. It wasnt chip timed, they just used a stopwatch. My time though was 34:48!!!!! That is a full 40 seconds faster than my first 5k. I was extremely proud of myself. It really was a fun race. Im already making plans for our entire family to run/walk next year. I figure those that dont like to run, can walk with the stroller and littles!

My son took 2nd place. He missed first by one second. A 40 yr old marathon runner beat him! He ran with a 20:07 and beat his cross country coach who placed 3rd! It was fun seeing some of his teammates running today as well.

All in all, an okay week. Im glad I got out and ran a 5k today. I need to start a change jar to support my 5k running habit! Ive gotten bit by the running bug.

Keep on running,

Mrs. F

Turkey Tagalong - Completed

Well, we finished our second 5k today.  The course had a number of large hills, but it was not quite like the roller coaster we experienced a couple of weeks ago at our first race.  It was, at the same time, a bit more fun and a little more intimidating to be running with people we know and people who know us.  A number of runners from the cross country team were there, as well as the coach and his wife. We also saw someone from our church, and a number of other somewhat familiar faces from around town.

For me, the first mile was the worst.  Between having done my pushups last night, being up late, and it being very cold this morning (at or below the freezing point), the first mile was simply misery.  From being up early this morning and working our our turkey and other preparations, my back was already sore before we left. Needless to say, my lower back and pelvis were sore by the time I got up the first hill.

This was an inaugural run.  We weren't quite sure how many to expect, but there was a good turnout! As before, I didn't finish last (though I was the last runner), and I didn't place on an ambulance.  Time keeping was a lot less formal here.  They timed me at 42:23, which is 10 seconds slower than my first race, but I'm starting to wonder if our numbers at Chaska were accurate.  I definately finished ahead of my prior pace based on my playlist.  Going by my playlist (which was easy for the Turkey Trot, since it switched to a new song right as I crossed the finish line), I actually finished that prior race in 42:53.  I finshed 15-30 second earlier today, according to my playlist.

Either way, I have no complaints.  Given my weight, my age, and my status as a newbie, I'm pleased with my numbers.  Our son placed second overall.  He was passed in the final seconds by a 40-year old marathon runner. Our son didn't have enough reserves to push any harder at that point.  Mrs. F definately improved her time, but I'll let her tell you about that later.

Apart from the start, the hardest part of this run was in the final few tenths of a mile.  The route had us running toward the finish line area, only to find out that we needed to go by (it was on an intersecting street) and run another block up before turning, running a couple of blocks down, and then rounding our way back to the finish. I had already started pushing it once the finish line was in sight, so it was hard to pace down and keep on running.  I still had enough in reserve to sprint to the finish, though, and that felt pretty good.

I allowed myself to run faster down the hills today.  I relaxed a bit and let my stride stretch out. I watched for any pain in my knees, but none came.  I found returning to a regular stride after a downhill was tough.  Going immediately into an uphill, however, was even tougher.  I did agitate my right shin quite a bit during the race, but my left knee held well. Overall, it was a good race.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Race tomorrow, second thoughts, and pushups

Well, it's official.  Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and we will be running our second 5k in as many weeks.  Right now, as it is already two hours past when I wanted to be in bed, with a turkey that is still too frozen to dress and get in the oven (we traditionally sear the bird and then turn down for a long, slow roast), I'm wondering why were were so crazy as to sign up for a race on Thanksgiving morning.

Only our eldest son will be running with us tomorrow.  The rest will stay at home, the younger ones in the care of the remaining elder ones.  The race is early, so they'll spend a good chunk of our absent time eating breakfast and playing.  We'll be back before they'll have a chance to get too antsy.

I started Week Two of the One Hundred Pushups Challenge tonight.  My sets were 9-11-8-8-(min. 11).  I collapsed during my 10th pushup during the final set, but after a few quick breaths, I got up and did three more, so I'll count that as 12. That means I did 48 pushups tonight.  That's amazing considering the fact that I only managed six (6) during the pre-program exhaustion test.

We did preliminary weigh-ins today, just in case the clinic is closed on Friday, and it looks like I'm up a pound.  I'll really need to watch myself tomorrow.

Good night, all, and Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 23, 2009

My first true solo run

If you've been following this blog for a while, you know that Mrs. F has done some runs on her own, but I've not.  Sure, we've had some workouts where we ran separately along the trail, because her pace was (and still is) faster than mine, but we were always doing it together.  Even on that one day where I asked her to drive the car so I could get in an extra mile, we started together and we were still out there together.  This afternoon, though, the craziness overtook me.  I got off work a bit early, put on my running duds, and headed out into the cool afternoon and the light drizzle.  Oh, and I left my knee wrap off.  My knee has been feeling good since our first 5k on just over a week ago.

We recently drove a route through our neighborhood out to one of the dirt country roads that connects back up to the Luce Line Trail.  We noted the one mile point, but also drove it a bit further in the hope of finding a good route for a possible 5k in town (we'd like to organize one as a fundraiser for the local cross country team and for a charity).  That's the direction I decided to head today.

Overall, it was a great route.  The smell of manure from the farm along the way wasn't pleasant, but it's just part of life this far out. Besides, to me it beats breathing in car exhaust all day.  I didn't do any real warmups, so I just started out slow.  There was part of me that was a bit nervous about running in the neighborhood, but I told that part of me to shut up.  I'm FatManRunning and I'm out taking action to become more fit and healthy.  Where's the shame in that?

Pavement gave way to a dirt road about six tenths of a mile into the run.  I finally found a surface that I like better than running on the trail.  Perhaps it was because of the rain we've had, but the road surface was soft.  It wasn't so wet as to be slimy or muddy.  It was just soft.

I had already kicked it up a bit after the first three tenths of a mile, and I really let myself play with my pacing once I was on that dirt surface.  I tried long, slow strides. I tried short quick ones. My left knee felt great, and so did my right shin.  If anything, my right knee felt a little strain, but that eased over time.

When I hit the one mile mark, I thought about turning around. After all, I was planning on just an easy two miles, since I'd only run once (for more than a few minutes) since the race.  Yet when I hit that point on the road, I was feeling really good.  I knew that if I ran to an intersection less than a mile ahead, my return run would push me up over three miles.  I suddenly wanted to go the distance, but I hesitated a bit since I have a 5k coming up on Thursday.  I definately did not want to hurt myself before our next formal run.

I decided to go for it. I figured that I could always turn around earlier if I started feeling fatigued or experienced any pain, and I could always walk home if I needed to do so.

So, on I ran.  I made it to that intersection and made my u-turn. I was still feeling pretty good.  On the next stretch, for nearly the next mile, my body was just doing it for me.  When I tried to think about my stride, it was if my body was telling me, "I've got this.  You go do something else." That was an amazing feeling.  I didn't worry about my knee or shin.  Everything felt good.

As that next mile passed, I did start to notice some fatigue in my legs, and I started to notice my right shin getting a little tender, so I did slow myself down to allow myself to adjust.  I started preparing myself for the final three tenths of a mile, through the neighborhood again.  I figured it would be hard.  I decided I would not sprint the final distance, because I did not want to risk injury.  My playlist told me that I was passing the 43 minute mark, so my pace seemed slower than it had been at the 5k.  I felt good about that, however, since this was supposed to be an easy run.

While that last portion of my run took some effort, I finally may have experienced a bit of that "runner's high" so many have experienced.  Yes, it was hard, but I was feeling just fine.  In fact, I probably could have run for another twenty minutes (if my body would have accepted the beating).  As I got to the house, I slowed myself to a walk for the final few yards.  Unlike other times during my training, and after the first race, where the end of the run left me drained and stuggling even to walk, I found my pace long and even, and accompanied by a really good feeling about overing the about 3.3 miles.  When I got inside, I was tired, but not the I-need-to-collapse-in-my-chair type of tired that normally hits me after exertion.  It was that good tired--tired from exertion, but not exhausted.  My right shin was definately a little sore, but not too bad. I ran for 50 minutes without taking a rest, and I felt like I could have run for another 20 minutes or more! I just told Mrs. F that we might need to ditch One-hour Runner and take on the Gateway to 8k challenge instead.  For now, I'll just be glad I had a great run, and I'll try not to get the cart before the horse.

It was still fairly early (I had gone in and gotten out early today), so I managed to trim my hair and take a shower before dinner.  What a wonderful afternoon! As I write this now, my right shin is still  a bit tender, but my left knee shows no sign of discomfort. Apart from dealing withe some teenage drama this evening, it turned out to be a very nice one.

The school load is slightly lighter this week, so I should be able to catch up on some reading, and everyone at my place of employment has the day after Thanksgiving off, so that should let me get some work done before the weekend. Of course, since I will have the day off, Mrs. F and I may try to catch a few bargains on that Friday morning, but we'll just need to make sure we are not out too long.

Today, for the first time, I really enjoyed running, and even imagined it as something I might do regularly for the enjoyment of it.  There's a small city 17 miles west of us along the trail.  I've got a bit of an itch to try running there someday!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

One hundred pushups - Week 1 completed

I just finished the final day of my first week of the One Hundred Pushups challenge.  I did 42 in total between all my sets, with a maximum of 10 in my final set.  I had forgotten just how much I can dislike pushups!

I did not get out running this weekend.  Our kitchen sink broke--leaking cracks in both basins--so I lost some hours yesterday dealing with a run to Menards and the other shopping we needed to get done while we were in Hutchinson.  Then my grad school work ate the rest of my day, as well as most of today.  I just finished my paper for this week about an hour ago, but I decided to take a zero on the preceding week's paper.  I had gotten permission to turn it in late, but I just did not have the time to write it while I was simply struggling to get the current assignments done.  Technically, I don't even have all of the reading done for this week.  My essay was on one specific text, so the other book was only general reading for the week.  That puts me at a six chapter deficit going into this week, and, althought in includes the Thanksgiving holiday, we have no break from class.  That's one of the things I really despise about this college's online courses.  The on-campus classes get breaks for holidays, but the online classes don't.

I had really wanted to run, but just could not set aside any more time. Had the sink not given out, I would have had time for the run.

Mrs. F is going to be doing a little extra work this week.  She's going to be emptying our bedroom so we can paint it.  One of the stops we made on Saturday was to pick out a new mattress, as ours is the only one in the house that has not been replaced recently. In fact, we've had ours for over 13 years--and it shows! We also opted to get our first ever new bedroom set. You didn't think we'd paint just for a mattress, do you? If we manage to get everything other than the bed out of the room (and the closet) by next weekend, it can be painted. Of course, I'm likely to be tied up with homework, but the prof did promise a lighter courseload this week.

Oh, well.  I need to get moving. I need to send an email message out to the other Scout families about a change in our meeting location for this week.  That was a set of phone calls I was supposed to make this afternoon--another thing left undone due to my schoolwork. [Sigh.]

OHR - Day 3 Mrs. F

I took a different route today. I started walking from home and then running. The nice part about starting from home is you have to keep going until you get back home. You cant cheat if you get tired lol!

The different route gave me some different scenery and was a nice change of pace. The weather wasnt as nice as yesterday but still not bad. Mostly cloudy with a little bit of wind.

Neither of my sons could find their watch, so I really dont have an idea of time. I know though for distance, I did about a 5k. Mr. F and I had mapped out this other route with the car. It was about 1.6 out and 1.6 back. So I know I got a good 3 miles in. The first part of the run just felt slow and heavy. It took a good ten minutes to find my stride. After that, it was still challenging but I picked up my pace a bit.
I even had enough steam to sprint up a hill near my house!!!

I tried on some goal pants that tucked away for a couple of years now. I actually got into a pair of size 12's! I still cant wear that size in all clothing -- I have a ways to go for that yet. Im very excited though to be able to get into the start of that size!!!

Keep on running
Mrs. F

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Day 2 Push ups - Mrs. F

I didnt get my pushups in yesterday. I kind of just kept putting it off to do later. Well later just didnt occur. So I ended up doing them tonight. I was supposed to run today too but too many errands took up the bulk and energy of the day. So thats delayed until tommorrow!

Good thing its supposed to be nice tommorrow too. Just for the record, I really really really dislike pushups. Man, Im struggling just to do the minumum. I guess the real point though is Im down there on the ground doing them anyway.

Its neat to see our children follow suit. You know if Momma is going to be doing this crazy thing, so will they. So after I did mine,my 11 yr old, my 8 yr old, my 5 yr old, my 4 yr old and my 2 yr old were all down on the ground trying to do pushups. We truly do lead the way in terms of how to life our life! Its hard somtimes to put the computer down and get out there and exercise.

I really did want to run today. Even got up at 6 am to do it but the cold dissuaded me. When Mr. F asked me if I wanted to delay til later -- I responded with a definite yes. It didnt help that I didnt get enough sleep either.

So I need to work on making a distinct time to do things. Things wont change overnight. On a positive note, Im down 1.5 pounds -- woot! Im very excited to be nearly the next decade down of weight lose.

Keep on running,
Mrs. F

Friday, November 20, 2009

Weight Check - Friday November 20

Friday weight check (week 12)

Last Friday: 279.4 lbs.

Today: 279.9 lbs.

Gain/Loss: +.5 lbs.

Goal: 210.0 lbs.

Cumulative: 20.5 lbs.

Pounds to lose: 69.5

Comment: I hate stress!

Mrs. F
Last Friday: 173.3 lbs.

Today: 171.8 lbs.

Gain/Loss: -1.5 lbs.

Goal: 150.0 lbs.

Cumulative: 11.0 lbs.

Pounds to lose: 21.8

Comment: I guess last week was more water weight. I was pleased with todays loss(secretly hoped for higher) but 1.5 is not too shabby!!! I am starting to get excited to get below the 170 mark and the less than 20 to lose mark!!!

Note to self: read things through (and, a little extra weight)

Well, I was up early enough today to fit in my pushups before getting ready for work.  I had been under the impression that the One Hundred Pushups challege would be similar to the Couch-to-5k program, so I expected that I'd need to complete the same number of reps today as I did on Wednesday. I was wrong! I need to remember to read things through before I get into them!

Today's workout was as follows (with a minute of rest between each set): 6, 8, 6, 6, min 7.

I completed the workout, but was only able to finish the minimum required in the final set.  Of course, it did not help that our youngest girl was up and she decided to try to sit on my head and shoulders during that final set! That was a little extra weight I wasn't intended to lift.  The ironic thing, however, is that her current weight just about matches what I've already lost (she's about 20 lbs., and I've lost 21 lbs.). I don't think I would have been able to start on level two before I started Couch-to-5k and lost the weight.

I could definately feel it in my arms and pectorals last night, so I wasn't sure how it was going to go.  In reality, my first workout was only about a day and six hours earlier, rather than a dull two days prior, because my first workout was just before midnight on Wednesday.  I want to do these regularly in the morning.  I'll complete the third day for Week One on Sunday, and then will be on Tuesday-Thursday-Saturday for next week.  On the following week, I'll switch to M-W-F, so I'll have T-R-Sa free for One Hour Runner with Mrs. F. I'm not quite sure what I'll do for running next week, when the days coincide.  I might just do the runs anyway, since we'll likely run in the afternoons.

I hope to pick up running on Saturday morning with Mrs. F.  The first three weeks of One Hour Runner are just 30 minute runs, so I know I can handle that.  Times don't increase until Week Four, so we know that some Couch-to-5k graduates jump in there.  We decided that we'll take the extra weeks to make sure we are giving our joints, connective tissues, and muscles time to adjust to running.  Though, as you've probably noticed, I've not run for a week, since our first 5k.  It's not that I've even been sore or injured.  I've just been way too busy with my schoolwork (I'm now behind).

I've told the other Troop leaders (I'm Scoutmaster in a brand new Scout Troop that includes three of our sons) that I need someone else to take over program planning. I just don't have the time or ability to do that right now. I already stepped down from leading worship at church, but that's due to my internal struggles more than time. Work is a killer lately.  Being the only IT guy, it falls on me to keep everything running, and we've had a number of hot issues lately.  Thankfully, it's not as crazy as it was a year ago, when I worked the equivalent of extra weeks of work each in November and December.

I want to put a shout out to everyone at, especially in the 200+ lb. runners threads in the Newbie Cafe.  I've not been able to post as much lately, but I am reading.  Thanks for all of the words of encouragement.  Yes, I know I need to get out and get running.  Yes, I know my plate seems over-full, but I cannot comprehend of anything I can cut (ditching the Scout Troop would cause it to fold, because we are at minimum levels already). I have too much invested in my education to give that up, especially when I have only three or four classes (beyond the current one) yet to finish for my M.A.  One of the downsides of taking a job close to home is that I now have less than half the vacation time I once had.  How I so wish I could just take a few days off, catch up on my homework, and get back into a "normal" groove again!

I'll make it through.  I always do.  I'm going to try to negotiate the afternoon off for having put in time over the weekend last week and late work this week.  That, at least, would help.

Blah, blah, blah...I could go on and on and on.  Maybe one day I'll be able to set aside time for writing--not just this blog, but the fiction I love to write.  Well, until then, I'll just keep doing what I can.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

One hour runner - Day 2 - Mrs. F

First of all, it was a good run. I didnt have any lingering pain so I was able to push myself some.

So I worked hard but it was a good run! I ran about 2.7 (estimated) miles in 32 minutes today. The first mile was wicked fast for me -- did that in 10:30!!! Then slowed it down on the next segment, got my breathing back under control. I sped up and slowed down several times during the run. I especially sped up during the 2nd half of each segment. I did the last mile in 12 minutes. Not too shabby.

Im very happy to report that no shin splints occurred during todays run. Whew! I was worried that would be a lingering problem. The lack of pain definitely helped me have a better run over all. My knees were a bit twingey but I think its still adjusting to be running.

Mr. F wasnt able to get out this evening -- hopefully on Saturday -- he will be able to get out for a run.

It really felt good to run off some life stresses. And to combat the food intake I have had lately as well. I think thats part of what I like about running, it allows me to consume more calories on the days I run. I like chocolate! There I admit it :) So I can continue my weight loss journey with a few indulges here or there. And it does feel good after the hard work of a run!

Keep on running
MRs. F

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

100 Pushups - Day 1

I did not get out for a run yesterday, but I did remember to get my pushups in today.  I started at Level 2 of the program, since I completed six (6) pushups during my pre-test.  That meant today's workout looked like this:

6 pushups
  (1 minute rest)

6 pushups
  (1 minute rest)

4 pushups
  (1 minute rest)

4 pushups
  (1 minute rest)

Max pushups: 6

That final "Max pushups" is the final set.  Each day, you go through the prescribed set and then push through one last set where you do as many as you can.  Each day's final set has a listed minimum, so you have to do at least that many in the final set.  For me, today, that minimum was five (5), but I managed six (6).
I'm trying to do regular pushups, but am a little awkward on my flat palms.  I had dual carpal tunnel realeases about a year ago, and my body is still cautious about putting pressure on my wrists and palms.  It turned out okay, but I think I had my hands a bit too far foarward.  Mrs. F was already retired for the night, so I didn't have anyone to watch my form.  I'll keep it in mind for Wednesday. If I need to change things a bit, I can likely complete mine on my fists.

One hundred Pushups - Week 1,Day 1 - Mrs. F

I have a lot of emotional crap going on right now. I just want to eat my way thru a truffle bag. In fact, Im part way thru that goal... sigh.

Given everything thats going on, I wasnt going to do the pushups. I really hate pushups. I think I hate them more than I hated running! I was going to put it off and just not do it.

Im not sure what changed but as I was sitting here browsing the net,checking our blog for the billionth time, I saw the log. And I got up and just did it. My arms hurt!!!!

Im positive my form sucks but I guess IM trying at least. I only managed 2 on the intial test, so Im in column one. So it wasnt as horrible as it could be, my sets were 2 and 3.

Im looking forward to running tommorrow. It seems easier than pushups at this point. That makes me giggle a little :)

Mr. F is bogged down with graduate work and tech issues at his day job as well. So Im not sure when things will ease up for him, hopefully soon.

Keep on running
Mrs. F

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

One hour runner - Week 1 - Mrs. F

Mr. F graciously agreed to run the bank errand (Thanks honey) so I was still able to get a workout in tonight.

It was strange but fun asking my eldest son to babysit so I could go for a run. He of course, agreed :) Anything to have his dear mother running! He even let me borrow his watch.

This was the first workout of one hour runner -- all three runs this week are 30 minutes apiece. I got my ducks in a row and set off to our trail. I was in a bit of a hurry, so my warm up walk was fast. That may have contributed to the soreness I developed later.

My first mile was 11:45, not too shabby. I wasnt trying for any speed records today. At one point,my left shin was bugging me, so I slowed it down even farther. That seemed to help some. It took me 33 minutes to do 2.5 miles. I think my last mile back was 13 minutes. I was sore and it was getting dark too.

It really did feel good afterwords. The run itself wasnt easy and I didnt really find my stride. I am glad though I got back out there.

Keep on running,
Mrs. F

Its getting tougher-- Mrs. F

Its getting tougher to get the workouts in. We have come so far, I dont want to give up the progress, so that propels me on. Eventually we hope to purchase a treadmill, which will give us a little more freedom in when we can exercise. I still think we will try to do whatever runs we can outside but if time pressures mount, as they are today, then we have options.

I need to head into walmart today(30 minutes away) with the littles in tow in order to get some tights for my eldest daughter. We also need to do another errand and get to the bank as well. It just makes everything feel more stressed, knowing that these things must be done today.

Both Mr. F and I did our pushup intial test this morning. I managed a measly 2 and he managed 6. So we will start that tommorrow and get back to our regular pushup schedule(MWF) next week. Today will be the start of one hour runner. Thankfully its only a 30 minute run (who knew 12 weeks ago, that I would be able to say that woot!).

Keep on running
Mrs. F

Monday, November 16, 2009

Here are my wife, eldest son (J), and our friend Amy before the race. When J found out Mrs. F was racing, I acted surprised, too, and he bought it (even though I was dressed to run, too). I had my vest on and it was zipped up over the number, so that's the only thing that kept him from finding me out, too. In fact, he handed me his warm-ups so I could put them away while he headed to the finish line.

Thanks to Amy's dh, Nathan, for taking this pic and passing it on.

Mrs. F and I are agreed upon signing up for the 5k held just a few miles from home on Thanksgiving Day. We're looking forward to it!

Not only was I up with homework last night, but I had to put in three or four hours on an office project. In addition, we had to spend some time with our eldest daughter, who had a gentleman caller the night before who wanted permission to begin courtship. While she still is a little young, the idea behind courtship (vs. dating) is that he spend time with our daughter in the context of our family so that we may all get to know each other. We discussed my overall assessment, and agreed that this may proceed (cautiously). She's aware of the concerns I have, and we trust that the process will help clarify our understanding in those areas over the next few months.
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Sunday, November 15, 2009

Post Race - Mrs. F

Although our real names are revealed now, we've had these monnikers for so long,they are hard to shed!

My legs felt great this morning when I got up but as I walked to church, they were a bit achy. My knees and wrists hurt a bit but I suspect thats related to my lupus rather than post race concerns. My knees did not bother me at all when I ran and I cant pinpoint an acute pain anywhere, its more of a general ache. Thats why I think it may be related to my other joint issues from the lupus.

Im looking forward to running the 5k in the town near us on thanksgiving. I definitely have caught the running bug. Most of our kids either like running or are interested in it, cept for our eldest daughter. Shes not only my carbon copy in looks, she mirrors the same hatred that I had for running pre couch to 5k. I even offered up the dangling carrot - I swallowed my dislike and told her I would agree to read twilight if she would do C25K. She entertained it for a bit and nope, wont bite.

Oh well , I am looking forward to family run/bike/walk times. I figure we can cull together enough different ways of transport and get out there!

I believe the plan is to do one hour runner - t,th,Sat and then do 100 pushups on M,W and F. I know since we did c25k, we could start at week 3. Both Mr. F and I agree, that we want to build up endurance further and plan to start at week 1. So it will be more of 30 minute runs but I feel thats important to get under our belts. Im not concerned so much with speed(although getting faster is good :) but with building endurance and allowing my body time to get used to the impact running puts on it.

Keep on running,
Mrs. F

Post 5k update

Well, I'm glad to report no major aches or pains after running yesterday.  Sure, I have a bit of discomfort in my left knee and my right shin was a little sore, but no injuries and no problems moving around.  I really can feel it in my glutes and my inner thighs, though.

I've been tied to my books most of the day, and I yet have much to do.  Mrs. F and I plan to run on Thanksgiving morning in a new 5k race being organized in the next town.  We do plan to start the 100 Pushup challenge, but I need to set aside time for the pre-test.  One hour runner is our most likely course of action too.  I need to run for now.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Chaska Turkey Trot - Photos

Mrs. F


The Riemer Family - After the Race

Thanks for the video, Nathan

Chaska Turkey Trot - Completed!

Well, it's official.  The secret is out and our race is run!  After the race and some recovery time on-site, we took a little road trip to the family's favorite Chinese restaurant in Buffalo, Minnesota.  We just got home a little bit ago, and the results are already online.

My name is Andrew, but you know me here as FatManRunning; on, I go by AFatManRunning.  My wife's name is Marie (known here as Mrs. F) b.  We live in Winsted, Minnesota, about an hour west of Minneapolis.  Today was our first 5k, the Chaska Turkey Trot, in Chaska, Minnesota. I finished below 45 minutes, and was not the final one on the course.  Mrs. F also better than she hoped, coming in below even the 38 minute figure I guessed she could make. Some of our friends was there, and they took some pictures and video. We hope to be able to post some soon.

Our surprise came off very well, though we were not able to keep it a complete secret in the moments leading up to the race. When we arrived, our eldest son, who was registered to run, got out of the van right away and headed in to the registration table.  As soon as the other nine (9) kids were out of the van, we made our way in. [Yes!, we have 10 kids.] Mrs. F three of our youngest four settled in the childcare room (what a nice service!), but we opted to leave our special needs child with our eldest daughter.  She was instrumental to our being able to complete the Couch-to-5k program, as she was the one we got up at 5:30 AM on our training days so that we could fit in our workouts. [As it turns out, she's bummed that we have been running during the afternoons, because she had been using the early wake-ups as opportunities to catch a shower in the morning.]  Our youngest girl just turned one, so we needed to have someone on the main floor who could respond to her if she started crying, which she did on more than a few mornings. Thanks, K!

I had prepped before we left, and just work overclothes to hide my running gear.  Mrs. F opted to change on-site.  So, after we were sure our son was checked in, and Mrs. F had the youngest kids in childcare, we sent the remaining kids out to find a place to park for the race.  While she was changing, however, two of our middle boys came back in to complain about their sister (who was now in charge).  They approached me as I was going through my running packet, and I could tell that one of them saw my race number.  I tersely ordered them outside (likely creating a wonderful little pre-race show for some of the others around me), and went on working to get ready: chip zip-tied to my shoe, and number pinned to my shirt.

When Mrs. F came out, I informed her of our likely discovery.  There was nothing we could do about it, so we kept on getting ready. Once we finished, we headed out towards the main entrance, but Mrs. F noticed our eldest son coming into the building and headed our way.  We quickly turned around and made our way to one of the sponsors' booths so as to stay out of sight.  When seemingly enough time had passed, we again headed for the door.

Everything was going well.  We stopped not far from the door as we made some final preparations--hat, gloves, etc.  I had just zipped my vest up over my number when our eldest son found us, and saw the number on Mrs. F's windbreaker.  He was shocked, but pleased that she was running.  I expressed dismay that she would sign up for such a race! After all, hadn't she just complained about how horrible her two minute run was (the one she owed our son due to his great race time).  She played along, and he bought it.  It didn't strike him funny that I had ditched my warmup pants and was standing there in my tech tights, shorts, running socks, and running shoes, or that my legs were clearly wrapped under the tights.  He was too enamored of learning that Mrs. F was running to recognize the signs that were in front of him.

The call came out to head toward the starting line.  Since J, our eldest son, now knew about Mrs. F's running, they headed off toward the start together, along with our friend, Amy.  I commented that I was a bit cold, and headed off to the van to swap my vest for a windbreaker.  It was not too cold out--in the 40s °F--but the wind was quite chilly.  When I switched into the windbreaker shell, I moved my number to that shell where it was visible to all.  As I approached the starting line, I realized that we would be running the opposite direction I expected, so I tried to stay to the outskirts so that J would not see me.  I made my way to the back where Amy and Mrs. F were waiting. They had found themselves a position behind a group of ladies who had also completed the Couch-to-5k program.  It felt good to know that we were not alone in our newness to running.

When the gun went off, it took us probably 20 seconds or more to get across the official starting line.  The fast ones, including our eldest son, had been in the front of the pack, and they were all jockying for position.  I just switched on my mp3 player and started running.  It was slow going at first, as I made my way through the pack of runners and walkers, passing some and passed by others.  Amy, Mrs. F. and I were bunched close together as our path began its way in front of the school.  We noticed our eldest daughter, K, watching the race those in her care.  The look on her face when she saw us running there was unforgettable.  He mouth was literally drop-jawed, and she seemed stunned.  We smiled, waved, and kept running.  Amy and Mrs. F began pulling ahead of me.  I could feel the adrenaline compelling me to run faster and to keep up with them, but I let rational thought prevail and I settled into my pace.  Mrs. F was clearly running faster than her regularly pace (most likely to keep up with Amy), since she pulled ahead much faster than usual. Soon, though I was still surrounded by others, it was just my music and me, and what still seemed to be like a Herculean labor ahead of me.

The line of sight was clear as we came downhill from the starting line.  We were going further downhill, turning a corner, and then yet further downhill before starting the first climb.  It was no short little rise and was certainly no long, gradual grade.  It was a full out hill that went up to a corner, turned and went on further.  Thinking about the hill seemed daunting.  It started about a quarter mile into the race and seemed to go on forever.

As I made my way up that hill, I remembered the advice Haselsmasher provided us: take baby steps.  That advice seemed to help.  I also remembered advice some of our sons' cross country teammates had provided: lean into the hill and swing your arms loose and low.  I found that advice useful later on.  At this early point in the run I had plenty of energy, so my baby step burst served me well.

On the way up the hill, I heard honks and shouts, and I saw some familiar faces and waves.  Other family friends, the Andersons, were arriving and noticed me as they drove to the school.  They turned around somewhere behind me, driving past moments later with more shouts and waves.  I caught up with them at what I thought was the top of the hill, at an intersection.  As I turned the corner, I told them that Mrs. F was up ahead. With that, they drove off. The trail continued uphill, and that caught me off guard.  I had really been hoping for a level stretch, but this was the second corner where the trail continued uphill.   I next saw them some distance later, where they had pulled off the road and were standing there to give some support and take some pictures.  It felt really good to have friends who took the time to share the day with us! The trail did level off somewhat, but it continued with a set of rolling rises and falls.

About the time I saw our friends again, I saw the first mile marker.  I considered taking a few walking steps, but reminded myself where the one mile mark was on our trail back home, and I opted to continue running.  I wasn't "in the zone" or anything like that at this point.  The long uphill had been pretty tough, but I was still moving.  I passed a few and was passed by others.  There was a threesome with which I kept leap-frogging through most of the course.  I would pass them running, but they would run past me on the downhills, and I would pass them again on the uphills.  All in all, it became a bit annoying, but I could deal with it.  After about the third exchange, one of their number paid attention to where I was and started moving to one side.  At least then I didn't need to run off the trail, which was, in a few spots, a fairly steep decline.

The second mile marker seemed further than I expected.  The ups and downs continued. At one point, the return route came within a few dozen feet of the outbound route.  I watched for any sign of Mrs. F--I figured our son was long gone--but I did not see her. I did, however, see a set of gloves and a hat discarded near a sign.  They looked quite familiar, and I wondered if they were our son's.  It wasn't the only discarded clothign I saw along the route.  It seemed that a number of runners opted to discard items that left them too warm, rather than carrying them along for the journey.  When I reached the marker, I again considered some walking steps, but now I was feeling fatigue, and I feared that slowing to a walk would keep me from resuming a run.  Instead, I opted to slow my pace a bit more, so that I could breath easy and regain a bit of strength.

Around that two-mile mark, the trail started spending more time going down than up.  It wound behind a building system (perhaps another school?), and began a serpentine path back to the finish.  As I got behind the buildings, with so few immediately around me, I felt the desire to give up and walk.  I had developed some discomfort in my knee, and a few landings toward the outside of my right foot caused that shin to become tender.  I fought off the desire and ran on.  As the downhill segment began to bottom out, those walkers passed me again.

[Given my weight, I was holding back on the downhill segments.  I did not want to legthen my stride and use gravity to my advantage.  I could already feel the impact through my left knee and even in my left hip.  I figured that the extra impact force of me going faster would most likely increase my chance of injury, so I did my best to manage my pace accordingly.]

As the return route brought the outbound route into view, it was clear that there were no runners yet coming up that far behind.  Whatever was left of the pack was now behind me somewhere, but I did not let myself look back (verifiably anti-Penguin, I guess).  I passed that group of walkers on a short uphill segment.  Then, to my surprise, I saw our eldest son.  He was running toward me.  Yes, those items I saw were indeed his, and he was running the course backwards to find them.  He had already heard that I was running from his sister, so he gave me a big high five as our paths crossed.

A few minutes later, after I progressed perhaps another qaurter mile, he caught up to me and started encouraging me, telling me that the end was not far ahead.  Then, he sped off toward the finish, leaving me and my music to finish the course much as we began it--surrounded, yet alone.  Reaching the bottom of another hollow, and starting my way uphill, I found myself in a bit of agongy.  It was not a specific physical pain, but more of a combination of extreme fatigue alongside the aches I was having in my knee and shin.  I could not imagine going on, but yet I knew I must be getting close to the finish.  I kept watching for third mile marker, or at least something to announce the final 1,000 meters.  I had been holding back a bit for a reason--I wanted to be able to finish strong.

Unfortunately, there was no third mile marker.  As I rounded a corner of the high school building, I could hear and then see that I was near the finish line.  From the corner of my eye I saw someone starting to a sprint, so I called up my reserves and gave it everything I had.  I did finish at a full sprint, but the other runner was able to pass me.  My final time was 42:13, a 13:36mm pace.  Given that the course was more like a roller coaster track than the trail on which I practiced, I was tickled with the time.  I was neither last (I finished 423rd out of 445 runners) nor the first on an ambulance.  Mission accomplished!

Mrs. F had a good run, too.  She finished 389th with a 35:28.  Our son finished 22nd overall (5th for the sub-16 age group) with a time of 19:01.  The kids were definately surprised, and our eldest son was ecstatic! Oh, and yes, one of our boys had seen the number and figured out that we were running too, but he kept it to himself and didn't spoil the surprise for anyone.  Way to go, Z-man!

Mrs. F just passed me our daughter's camera, so I have photos to upload.  Our friend Amy's husband apparantly edited some video of the finishes, and they called to tell me that it should be sitting in my inbox.  Our friends, Todd and Ruth Anderson, also tooks some pictures, but I don't know if they were using a digital camera.  I'll be sure to ask them tomorrow at church.

Anyway, I yet have four chapters of reading to do and I need to start writing another essay, so I really must go.  Thanks for all of your support! We'll post photos and more when we can.  We'll also formalize our plans (still leaning toward 100 Pushups and One Hour Runner) and post the details here, too.

Race Day - Mrs. F

First of all, I want to get this out of the way -- I DID IT!!!!!!!!!

I ran the turkey trot with wicked hills in 35 minutes and 28 seconds. I not only beat my first goal of running the whole thing, I beat my time goal by almost 10 full minutes. WOOT!

It was challenging getting everything ready. I had all the kids put out their clothes, socks, shoes, and jackets the night before. I had the diaper bag and my bag backed. We woke everyone up at 6 am, so the kids could have time to eat some breakfast before we left. I had wanted to leave by 715, it was about 725 when we finally got gas and on the road.

I ate a half cinnamon raisen bagel with some cream cheese and a half cup of coffee. I also had a few sips of gatorade before the race( I plan on skipping that step next time).

As I arrived, my anxiety went thru the roof. I had no idea where to go, where to take the kids for child care and there were a lot of people who looked like they knew what they were doing. There was a bit of added stress trying to keep this all under wraps too.

Our cross country runner had went ahead and got his registration. Our friend,Amy, quickly distracted him and they went outside to do some warmups. Mr. F went to get our registration packets while I took the kids to the child care area. I got the little ones settled and the big ones sent off for a walk around the school

Our eldest daughter was going to be holding down the fort with some of the kids. Mr. F told her we were going to go shopping for a birthday present so we wouldnt be at the race. Shes like whatever. Afterwords she told me "Next time you tell me you are going shopping, Im not going to believe you".

Mr. F and I then took some time to figure out how to get the chip attached to our shoe, and our race tags pinned on our shirts. At one point, one son came in and saw the number but he wisely kept that info to himself. And at another point, we had to send Amy off to circumvent our cc runner as he was heading straight for us. Mr. F and I were standing next the to door when our CC runner shows up and points to my race tag and says "Mom, you're running?" with this incredulous look on his face. I tired to downplay it but he wasnt fooled lol. I actually said to him that I started running last week and that I was going to go from 2 minutes of running to a 5k. He was too focused on the race ahead to question me He told me he loved me-- aww how sweet. At this point, he has no clue that Mr. F is running, in face, he turns and hands his jacket and warmups to Mr. F to hold!

As the three of us(Mr. F,my friend Amy and me) positioned ourselves in the back -- we jockeyed for position with some other ladies. A conversation ensued after that and we discovered, they too, had done C25k!! That was pretty cool.

It was confusing at the beginning, after hearing the gun sound, but not knowing where the exact starting line was. So we took it slow on the start but the pack began thinning out. It was pretty amazing to see the sea of people ahead of me on one of the downhills!

I kept up with my friend for the first little bit and it quickly became apparent that her pace was faster. So I fell back, not too far, but far enough to find my own pace. I jockeyed positions with a few different people as I went thruout. Some people walked the big hills, but I ran them all! It was a bit discouraging when some young kids running with other adults, passed me. I just tried to remember that I wasnt here to place ahead of anyone, that I was just here for myself! That helped some.

The course was wicked. Big huge sloping uphills and downhills and very few flat stretches. I swear that first mile(they marked 1 mile and the 2 mile points) was the longest one Ive ever ran. It was a bit encouraging, though just as i passed the 1 mile marker, some other friends appeared near the trail cheering. That was just what I needed to keep running on!

I only got a glimpse of Mr. F once, when i was coming back down around and he was on the upper portion of the path. I was very happy to see that he has several people behind him and he was running well!

The emotional moment came though as I neared the finish line and I saw my friends, and my kids all there cheering me on. It brought tears to my eyes to hear their voices cheering their momma on. I was so concentrating on finishing that I didnt even see the clock. It wasnt until afterwards, that I asked my friends about time. They thought somewhere in the 35 minute range. I was estactic with that time. My friend Amy, who rocks, finished in 33 minutes!~ And ill leave Mr. F to share his time!!

Im sore and a bit stiff but no injuries to report! I still cannot believe I ran an entire 5k race!!!

Keep on running
Mrs. F

PS -- Pics and maybe even video to come later!!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Another dose bites the dust (and Tomorrow is our Big Day)

Well, my weight loss has slowed over these past two weeks, but I've continued to make progress on another front: controlling my diabetes.  Although my eating habits are still far from perfect, the twenty-one (21) pounds I've lost have had a positive impact on my blood sugar levels.  I've been feeling hypoglycemic again during the late mornings, so I called the clinic today and they've reduced my meds again.  That's great news. Another dose bites the dust!

Tomorrow is our big day. Not only will be run our first 5k, but we'll also be revealing our secret to our kids.  Many of them were unhappy to learn that they'll need to be up early in the morning, but we were glad to be able to tell them, "Tough!"

Our digital camera died a while ago, so we will be relying on our daughter to have her camera with her.  If we're lucky, one of our friends might have a camera, too.  I might have an option for taping our finish, but I'm just not sure about coordinating that one.

Do I have any goals? I've already joked about two positions with which I'm concerned: I don't want to finish last, and I don't want to be first on an ambulance.  Apart from that, I'd be really happy with anything at or under 00:45:00. I know that's the same time Mrs. F is hoping to break.  In this case, I think she's selling herself short.  Even with hills (unless they are killer hills), I figure she'll finish in 00:38:00 or less.

Dinner for tonight will be pasta and meatsauce.  Mrs. F is taking care of that so I can get some additional reading done.  In addition to our race and my coursework, I also have to put in some work hours this weekend, but I'm trying not to dwell on everything so that I become too stressed.  Tonight's agenda will be a couple of chapters of reading, and then some time watching Aliens in the Attic with the family.  That's all I had best think about for the evening.  I plan to drink a couple of extra glasses of water tonight, and hope to get to bed by 10 PM, with a 6:30 AM alarm.

Good night, all!

Friday weight check (week 11)


Last Friday:   280.0 lbs.

Today:         279.4 lbs.

Gain/Loss:      -0.6 lbs.

Goal:          210.0 lbs.

Cumulative:     21.0 lbs.

Pounds to lose: 69.0

Comment: I closed my eyes when I stepped on the scale today. I really was not sure what it was going to reveal.  I had some good days and some bad days this week. As far as eating goes, today was one of the bad days (free lunch at work never helps, and neither does leftover dessert pizza left in the breakroom!).  I would have been at least a full pound down had I not overeaten today.  Then again, can I claim that I'm carb-loading before a race? Do I get another weight check tomorrow after the race? Still, I'm glad to be in the 270s.  I was about 270 when I married Mrs. F more than 16-1/2 years ago.

Mrs. F

Last Friday:   172.5 lbs.

Today:         173.3 lbs.

Gain/Loss:      +0.8 lbs.

Goal:          150.0 lbs.

Cumulative:      9.5 lbs.

Pounds to lose: 23.3
Comment: Eating candy bars, having less workouts, and not tracking my calories did not work out so well this week.  I'm trying to remember that this is a long term process and I'm not going to let this set me back.
[FatManRunning says: Don't get down, Mrs. F.  Even with this bump, you're still down almost a half a pound from two weeks ago!]

Friday Fun - Mrs. F

The weight check went as well as expected ... sigh... trying to remember weight loss is a short term goal. I learned the hard way that you cant eat candy bars, skip workouts and not track calories well in one week. It doesnt equate good results.

So Im allowing myself an off day tommorrow as we are eating out for lunch and then back on the wagon for sunday. Im still going to try to eat wisely today and tommorrow, Im just not going to track it all.

The details of the race are still falling into place. My cross country runner told me that he wants to be there at 730 am so he can go over the course. Um dude, that would mean leaving at 645 am. Not sure that one is happening. My goal is to get out of the house by 7, which gives me 15 minutes of leeway time and I would still get there by 8. I wish I was fast enough to catch up to him and just say hi son ... but Ill have to suffice with the look on his face after I cross the finish line!

I have two main goals for the race. The first, is to run the entire thing. I know that sounds simple but this course has hills and Im not familar with it, so that is the first goal. The 2nd is to do it in less than 45 minutes. Yes, I have run 3 miles in 35 minutes but people, there are HILLS!~ So I want to give myself some time to spare as I really dont know how Ill fare with those.

I spoke to a friend who had started doing this , after I told her and was able to encourage her to keep plugging away. She had some delays after dealing with her mom and a surgery. So I encouraged her to get back on the treadmill. She was going to go all the way back to week 3 , after starting week 4 two weeks ago. I encouraged her to just go with week 4! It was kinda neat to be able to do that!

Im praying the weather cooperates, if not we will be ready. After all we have run in rain and snow!

Keep on running folks

Mrs. F

PS - Reveal pics will be posted either tommorrow or Sunday depending on Mr. F's time availability!!!