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, October 30, 2009

Day 61 - We did it!

Well, it's official. After completing our run about 6 PM this evening, Mrs. F and I officially completed the Couch-to-5k training program. We're going to keep our secret a little longer (about two weeks) so we can surprise our kids when we run in the Chaska Turkey Trot on November 14.

Today's run was hard, but good. I managed to keep pace with Mrs. F through the first nine minutes of our run. In fact, as I tried keeping up with and alongside of her, I could sense her speeding up, so I would speed up some more. I let her start to pull ahead after that first bit of time, however, because I knew I would not be able to sustain the pace for the duration of the run.

Still, even though I let her pull ahead, she was not ahead by much. When we broached the one mile mark, she was ahead of me by about 30 seconds. I ran on, enjoying, as best I could, the scenery. It was starting to rain and even sleet a little bit as we began, so I left my glasses in the car. Moving into that next segment of leaf-covered trail, I had to be extremely cautious. I'm nearsighted (I don't see things at a distance well without glasses), so it was very hard to spot small branches on the trail among the leaves until I was nearly on top of them. The large ones gave me no trouble--we had some pretty significant wind gusts later in the day, and it cut at us as we ran. I'm glad I wore my nylon windbreaker shell today.

The halfway point in my playlist arrived, but I was still 20 to 30 meters short of the turnaround point I referenced on Wednesday. I yelled out to Mrs. F that we had hit the halfway point, but neither she nor I turned around. I continued on to my chosen spot, and then turned around.

Back across the road I went. My legs were tired and I could feel the muscle strain in my glutes, especially on the right side. I pushed onward. I kept hoping for a breakthrough to that state where the run is easy and all seems well with the world. If it came today, it was subdued. I had a segment where my stride didn't feel as labored, but my breathing just seemed a little off. I pushed through it.

From the road, someone in a pickup truck honked, and I think they waved. So it seems someone caught me in the act of running. A few moments later, as I continued down the trail, I saw some movement ahead of me. Then, quickly and quietly, a large doe came up from a low bottom near the lake, across the trail, and up the embankment and across the road. She crossed, perhaps twenty feet in front of me. My eyes scanned the terrain around me, looking for others. If they were there, I could not see them. On I ran.

Upon reaching the point where I let Mrs. F start to pull ahead on the way out, I really felt the fatigue hit me. My right shin had started to hurt a little earlier, and not it was a persistant nuissance. My left knee was holding out okay, but it was a bit uncomfortable as well. I pushed on.

As songs on my playlist changed, I refernced them against some of the notable points on the trail--a bench here, a side trail there, a paved driveway, a gravel driveway. It was clear that I was going to run out of music before I ran out of trail. That meant my pace was not as good today as it was on Wednesday, but I quickly let that thought go. I was, after all, running for time and not for distance.

Sure enough, the final song, my favorite one, began at a point I recognized as far too early. Still, I pushed on. At this point, I knew my body was tired and that it wanted to give up, but I vetoed that option. I turned and looked behind me. Mrs. F was there, about as far back from me as she had been when I turned around. No matter how fast or how far either of us had gone, we both were pretty consistant and maintained a steady pace relative to each other.

As the final song of my run ended, I pushed myself to increase my pace. I knew I could not sprint, but I could push myself just a bit more. My cool-down music started. On I ran. It, too, finished, so I quickly restarted it and ran on. Just before the end of the trail, I turned right along a paved trail into a park. I ran along its distance a ways, and then turned around, convinced to run back toward Mrs. F.

As I reached the trail, I saw her coming some distance away, but not too far. "I'm gonna keep running," was all I said as I turned right, and ran past the end of the trail and across the street. There I turned to the right, and began running back toward the car.

I don't know why I did it. It's not as if I was short on time. It's not as if I had this overwhelming urge to run, either. I was definately tired, but whereas, on many of our training days, my body was desperate to stop when I hit that virtual finish line, this time I did not feel the need to stop immediately. Perhaps it's because I did not sprint. In any case, I ran on.

I ran, and turned, and ran some more. I suddenly pictured Forrest Gump as he began his years-long run. Yet, on I ran. At one point, I turned to look over my shoulder and startled myself to find Mrs. F right there. She caught up to me and was only a little more than an arms-length away. Together we ran the rest of the way to the car. It was no super-human achievement, only 3/10 of a mile, or a sliver more, but the fact remains that I ran a distance I was not required to run.  The extra time totalled seven minutes beyond my already 31 minute playlist.

All in all, then, if my estimate of my trail distance from Wednesday was accurate, I ran 2.8 miles today. Without any doubt, I clearly ran at least 2.7. I might be ready for that 5k in two weeks after all.

My right shin is definately sore, but I remembered to ice it this evening. Mrs. F and I have talked about taking an extra two days off going into next week (skipping Monday) so that I don't further inflame those shin splints, but all that is a worry for another day. Tonight, right now, I'm just glad to be able to say that I made it through--we made it through--we completed the Couch-to-5k running program!

Week 9 - Weight Check


Last Friday: 280.7

Today: 280.2

Gain/Loss: -.5

Goal: 210.0 lbs.

Cumulative loss: 20.2 lbs.

Pounds to lose: 70.2

I was really bummed, but I'll take a half pound. We had birthday cake around the house and I think last Saturday was the biscuits and gravy day, so overall, it could have been worse.

Mrs. F

Last Friday: 174.7

Today: 173.7

Gain/Loss: -1.0

Goal: 150.00

Cumulative loss: 9.1 lbs.

Pounds to lose: 23.7

Right on target -- I cant wait to hit the 10 lbs gone though~! Im planning on continueing to eat the way I have been. Ive made the switch from drinking mostly diet sodas to drinking water. The diet soda now is more of a treat -- woot!

Day 61 - Week 9, Day 5 - Graduation Run - Mrs. F

Perhaps I was cocky, perhaps it was really cold and windy, perhaps it was having a less active day -- who knows but it was hard!!!!

For almost the entire run, I felt like I was running slower than molasses. My legs felt like dead weight and I just couldnt move myself faster. On a side note, my breathing was fine, I could hold a conversation at the end just as easily as the beginning. Maybe I needed a slow workout today but man do I feel it.

For the first 8 minutes, Mr. F and I ran close together. Then I got ahead but not by far. I did make it to the same turnaround point that I did on Wednesday. I tried my concrete block idea from wednesday -- didnt help. So I sludged on.

It was cold and very windy. On the way back we were running directly into some major wind gusts!!! That has to count for extra calorie burn for sure!

I tell you though, I really wanted a blizzard to celebrate the end run! I did not succomb though. We came home and ate homemade turkey vegetable rice soup instead. Mr. F makes the most awesome soups.

This overall was a very hard run for me. I had some medical appts that left me sitting a good portion of the day in the office and the van. As well as a less active afternoon, so my legs really felt todays run.

At the end, Mr. F decided to run the distance back to our car as well. Well even though he was ahead of me, I decided to as well. Eventually I caught up to him and we ended together at the car. So all in all I did about 3 miles in 38 minutes. Not too shabby folks!

Keep on running
Mrs. F

The original FatManRunning Logo/Avatar

In responding to a recent comment, I mentioned that I would post my original FatManRunning logo here. Here it is.

I created it in good old Microsoft Paint (that little utility that hides on PC users' Start Menus under Accessories). I don't know. It sort of made me look muppet-ish, especially the nose!

Day 61 - A brief note

Okay. Just a quick note as I check in here. We will be running later today, but we also need to get to the next major town and do our household shopping this evening, so we might not be able to post until late in the day (we'll try to get something up right after we run).

I was also thinking about the name of the blog today, and the page title. We're going to maintain our address (, but I think the title will need modification. After all, we'll be done with the Couch-to-5k program today. It will still reference my screen name, FatManRunning, but I need something more... A Fitness Odyssey? I guess I'm open to suggestions at this point.

I guess that means I'll also need to re-work my logo, even though it took me weeks to figure out how to get it to display as it appears today. lol! Such is life, I guess.

I'll catch up with you all later.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Evening update - Mrs. F - run postponed til afternoon.

Mr. F has more reading to do for his graduate class and I have a busy day tommorrow, so we will do our graduation run in the afternoon again. I dont mind so much, usually have warmer temps and the scenery is nice.

Thanks for taking this journey with us, it means a lot!

Keep on running,
Mrs. F

Day 60 (week 9) - What should we do? Help us decide.

Well, I feel pretty good today. My shin was sore into the evening and I neglected to ice it, but it feels good today. I'm still getting used to feeling more full at meals. We have some wonderful chocolate cake in the kitchen from a birthday celebration last evening, but I just don't have the room for a piece.

In talking with Mrs. F, we do plan to try the 100 Push-ups Challenge (, but we have not agreed as to when we will start (whether next week or after our first 5k). Mrs. F is also leaning toward One Hour Runner (one site where it can be found is, but I've not looked at running options seriously yet. Up until last week, I was still concentrating on finishing the Couch-to-5k program.

If you have any ideas for programs we might consider, please let us know, but that's not the primary thing I want to ask our readers today.

What should we do about our little secret?

Should we let them know this weekend, when the Couch-to-5k program is done, or should we wait to surprise them at the race? We won't have all of our kids with us at the race (just too cold to have them sitting around outside for over an hour while also in a crowded place under the watchful eye of our eldest daughter alone), but then again the youngest ones won't have the capacity to understand the significance of our undertaking anyway. If we tell our kids before the run, our cross country runners could run with us while we train, and they might have some good pointers for us (we've tried to milk them for as much information as possible without raising their suspicions). There are definately pros and cons to both. I believe both will be a surprise, but actually getting them to the race (perhaps under the guise of going to watch our friend, Amy, and our eldest son run) would be a bigger surprise.

So, what do you think we should do to reveal our little secret? Should we do it this weekend, or should we wait to the race. We are open to either at this point, so we really would like to know what you think.

Day 60 - Mrs. F

I am a bit sore in the leg muscles today. I can tell its because I worked them really hard yesterday. I don't seem to be in the type of pain that indicates injury--just usage!

I'm feeling the lack of sleep today though. I didn't get to bed til 10:30, so I'm dragging a bit more today. It also could be the busyness of the week and it catching up to me.

I've been thinking more and more about one hour runner. The 60 minute end run of that program scares the snot out of me. Just as thinking bout the 30 minute runs of week 9 at the beginning of C25K scared me too. I remember thinking that I can't do 30 minutes but I can run for 60 seconds and I did. The beginning of one hour runner is 30 minute runs -- I can do that too!

Im excited for the weigh in tommorrow. If I lose 2 pounds exactly, I will hit the 10 lb mark and be 1/3 of the way through my goal. I dont expect to lose 2 (after all my goal is only 1) but I'm secretly hoping that just maybe. So likely next week for that!

Keep on running ,

Mrs. F

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Day 59 - Week 9,Day 3 - Mrs. F

Wow, to think I only have one more run and I will have completed 9 weeks of Couch to 5k! Thinking back, I wasnt sure I could do this... I thought I would likely fail and here I am at the end!!!! My mind barely comprehends that and my emotions are threatening to tear up.

I'll echo what Mr. F said -- it was a hard run today. Running in the afternoons leaves the full stresses of the day weighing upon me. I ended up picking up one son from practice, heading to the grocery store for milk and making a birthday cake for this evenings celebration all before our workout.

So the first mile was hard and I really had to push through it. I borrowed my sons watch today, so I had that to focus on a bit. I did the first mile in 11:15. So I based my next segment on halving my mile time. I orginally was going to run for 5.5 more minutes and then turn around. I quickly figured that would make the run way too long, so I cut it to 4.5 minutes. I made it further along that stretch of trail than I did on monday! I wasnt sure if I could do the return as fast. But I did do the next part in about the same 4.5, maybe almost five. Its hard to focus on the exact seconds sometimes.

I was shooting for 12 minute mile pace on the return. And I came in 20 seconds under that -- woohoo! So I did the whole run in about 32:41. I think I was somewhere between 2.75 miles and 3 miles. Its really hard to estimate on the trail. I was very pleased.

The last 7/10 of a mile was hard but not so bad today. I really concentrated on knocking down the wall. My strategy today was to focus on the idea that God has given me the strength to knock down the cement wall. So I would pick a tree, or sign or marker point and as I saw it coming closer and closer, I envisioned the cement block sliding further and further out. And as I passed it, I knocked it out with the sledgehammer. I randomly picked a number, 11, and then counted down my blocks from there. It really helped me to have something else to focus on. At this point,Im not running with music or anything. So having the mental calthenics of knocking out a wall was good!

I heard Mr. F call out once again and I picked up the pace at the end. Overall a good run!

Keep on running,
Mrs. F

Day 59 (week 9) - Good, but hard

I'm still in a state of shock. We have only one workout day left before we have officially completed the Couch-to-5k program.

Because of my late night last night, we postponed our run until this evening. It was a very nice one, too. The temp was in the mid-50s and it was overcast, but there was no threat of rain. While there was a breeze when we started out, it was still during the return leg. With it being warmer, I left off my polyester long-john top, and I'm glad I did. With the layers that remained, I was sweating much, especially during the latter half of the run.

The start was hard, as expected. It was the typical resistance during the first five to ten minutes. I just reminded myself that I've run this far before, and reminded myself that we could do this--no problem.

Despite my positive self-talk, the run was stil tough. The first half felt pretty long, but that could have been due to my pace. For the first half of our outbound trip, I was within five meters of Mrs. F. During the second part of that outbound leg, she picked up ground, but she didn't circle back for me once today.

As we crossed the road near the dam, I felt a little boost of encouragement. I knew I was running further than I had run before. Mrs. F was still in sight. I wanted to identify the area on the trail where I turned around on Monday.

Running with the benefit of daylight was wonderful. Instead of just hearing the crunch-crunch-crunch of my footfalls, I could see the miriad of colors. Leaves on the trail, leaves yet in the trees and on the understory. I spotted my first landmark from Monday, then the second. I assessed my place on my playlist, and I kept running. I could see Mrs. F ahead of me--quite a ways, but not too far. I could also see something else in the distance--the road which is 1.66 miles from our starting point. I knew I could not make it to that point and back to our start in the time that remained, but it was heartening to know I was that much closer to a full 5k run. I picked my new turnaround point, where some downed wood was piled next to the trunk of a tree. It was something that would be easy to see when either Mrs. F or I ride back to the trail to measure the distance.

I shouted out to Mrs. F and then turned around. Moving, moving, moving with the crunch-crunch-crunch of the leaves. I looked forward to my good stretch, that point in the run where everything feels fine, but I only got a taste of it today. The difficulty of the run eased a bit, but not for long. It settled in as a long, hard run.

I fought some struggles in my mind, as I wanted to slow down, but all the while I kept going. I thought about taking 15 seconds of walking, but I kept running. I could tell my pace was slower on the return, but not the death-slog that seemed to settle in some days. I found that the slight uphill portions did not intimidate me any longer. [We learned this week that there's actually a 100' elevation change along the length of the trail, but since it is an old rail bed, the grade is very slight.] My favorite song, the last on the running section of my playlist, began. It was a bit earlier than I expected, but, then again, I had run further today. Although my heart lifted with the song, my body still felt heavy, as if rooted to the earth. Instead of increasing my pace, I was happy to simply be moving at a regular cadence.

As I reached one of the driveways that signaled my approach to the final stretch of trail, I turned and ran a few steps backwards, so I could view the trail behind me. I could see Mrs. F. She was still about as far behind me as she was ahead of me when I turned around. She would finish about a minute after me.

The end came into sight. I pushed myself, but could not greatly increase my pace. My song came to an end, but the trail was still ahead of me. While it still faded from my ears, I pushed to start a sprint. I was moving faster now, despite my body's objections, but it was not as fast or natural as some I have experienced. My body wanted to slow, but I insisted that it speed up. My music was over, but the trail was still ahead of me. Now I was sprinting. It was a hard, labored sprint. My body begged to slow, and I felt it trying to do so. "No!" I screamed in my own mind as I pushed to keep the pace up. The music for my cool-down walk had started, but I did not care. I pushed, and pushed, and pushed, until I finally reached the end of the trail. This time, I was somewhat winded.

With a slight bend in the trail near the end, I began walking back toward Mrs. F., but I called out to her before I could see her. Sure enough, about a minute after I had finished, she came to our finish line.

The cool down walk was wonderful. As I got into the car to drive, however, I noticed pain along my right shin. I know that pain. It has a name.

Mrs. F told me that I dropped my hat on a segment of the trail. She had picked it up once, but she lost it again at some point before crossing back over the road again. So, we drove to our parking place by the dam, and then got out and walked to find my hat. As we did so, I counted my walking paces to estimate my distance. We found the hat near where I turned around on Monday. I walked on to the point where I turned around today. It was, using my 5' pace as my scale, between two-tenths and a quarter of a mile beyond the one mile mark. So, my 32 minute run was between 2.4 and 2.5 miles.

As we turned around, I felt pretty good, and I started to run. Mrs. F joined me. We ran the distance back to the road, then walked over to the car, stretched and went home.

It was a good run, but if felt long and hard. Yet I'm so glad I was out there making it happen. Then we even added that short run at the end (after which my shin hurt more, by the way). Yet despite a little bit of discomfort, it was a good run. A very good run for a fat man who is hoping to leave that title, like the leaves on the trail, behind him.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Day 58 - late - Mrs. F

We likely will do our run in the late afternoon/evening time tommorrow as Mr.F is bogged down with graduate work. That, in turn, means he wont get to bed as early as he would need to for a morning run.

It will be nice to run in the daylight so I will be able to see how much further I ran. I couldnt really tell how much exactly in the dark!

Keep on running,
Mrs. F

Day 58 (week 8) - Feeling it

Since starting week 9, I must say I'm really feeling it. It's not the same as the way things felt in the early weeks. No, this is something different.

You see, during the first few weeks, I felt it in my leg muscles and in my lungs. I lacked for breath. I often was beat as soon as I started. Getting into the driver's seat after a training session took effort. My legs just did not want to bend. That's not what I'm feeling.

During the middle weeks, I learned that my breathing would largely take care of itself. There were still muscle aches, but not as bad. The pounds were coming off. That's not what I'm feeling.

In these later weeks, there has been a different type of fatigue, and, at times, renewed fights for breath as I pushed further and further. There's been my sore knee. That's not what I'm feeling.

It really didn't hit me until last night. We made a turkey for dinner. Alongside it, we served mashed cauliflower with some pototo flakes mixed in, and a big pan of simmered acorn squash with a hint of butter and a touch of brown sugar. It promised to be a good, generally healthy, and filling meal.

I, for one, have always loved roast turkey meat. Aside from fresh fish fried over an open fire, it is my second most favorite food. Thanksgiving and Christmas were the only two times each year that my childhood family would make turkey, and they were my favorite meals. I loved the turkey even more than I loved the chocolate pudding, or the strawberry Jello with strawberries. To me, you could get rid of the rest of the meal--even the mashed potatoes--just so long as I got my turkey.

So, when I sat down for dinner last night, I helped serve plates for everyone, and then I surveyed the plate that held the mounds of turkey flesh. I spotted and selected a significant chunk of breast meat, perhaps 10 ounces in all. I had been logging my food intake for the day, so I knew I had plenty of calories available, thanks to our morning run. Then I turned to the sides. Of each, I measured a half cup serving, and placed them on my plate. Then I began.

Oh!, the marvelous taste of my favorite fowl!

Some turkey, then a bite of squash. Another bite of sqaush, then some turkey. I drank brewed tea that was mildly sweetened with Wal-Mart's Splenda clone, Altern. Then I took a bite of mashed cauliflower potatoes, and then some turkey. Then another bite of each, but especially the turkey.

That's when I felt different.

I looked down at my plate and saw about half of my turkey sitting there. I so much wanted to eat it, but as I just noted, I felt different.

What about another bite of squash? That was yummy. It looked appealing, but I couldn't get myself to take a bite. I felt different.

Different, you see, because I was full. I don't mean that "I've eaten enough and I'm satisfied" full. I mean that "I've eaten so much that I can't possibly shove another bite into my mouth" kind of full. That's right, after eating only about half of what I planned to eat, I couldn't fathom taking another bite!

I told Mrs. F I was full as I pushed away the plate. I sat there and stared at it a moment before getting her attention. "Just look at that," I said.

The evidence was pretty clear. Half of my turkey, half of my squash, and just under half of my mashed cauliflower were still on my plate, and I couldn't eat another bite.

That's when it dawned on me--I've likely changed during these past eight weeks in ways I can't yet imagine. There I was, the biggest person in the room, pushing my plate back after having eaten less than even the youngest of the kids (though the kids likely ate more of the squash and the cauli-taters rather than meat, I'm talking sheer volume/weight).

Then, today, as the lunch hour approached, I felt different again. I knew what it was this time, though. I felt hypoglycemic (the state of having too little blood sugar). We'd already reduced my evening meds because I was feeling that way later in the day a few weeks ago. Now, it seems that I'll need to reduce my morning meds as well (I placed a call into my doctor's office after lunch). When I got home, my sugar was 65, the lowest it's been before lunch in a while. I had seen the numbers creeping down, but that was really low for me. Two teaspoons of brown sugar had me feeling better in a jiffy.

After eating what would have been a small lunch a few weeks ago, I felt full again.

So, it appears that my stomach must be shrinking a bit, or perhaps my abs are finally getting strong enough to fight against my stomach's plans for imperial expansion. Either way, I welcome this new change. I'm so full right now that I can't even imagine eating supper.

This program definately has had an impact on my life. I'm feeling it.

Day 58 - Mrs. F

I feel pretty good today despite getting some interupted sleep. The kids did not cooperate with my plan of sleeping through the night.

My muscles are feeling fine and no lingering pain to report -- woot!

Overall logging my calories has been helpful. In the last week, I have only went over on my daily allotment on one day (biscuits and gravy day). I ended the evening with 740 left. I know there is a point where you are eating too little calories for your activity leval, but Im unsure of where that point is. I plan to try to continue eating under or at my leval and see how the scale responds. If I continue to lose as I did last week, then all is well. If Im not losing and Im consistly eating under my calories, then I will change it up.

Im noticing more often than not,I'm leaving food on my plate again. That hasnt happened in a long time! So its encouraging -- my body is finally responding to the cues I have been giving it.

This whole journey still has amazed me. Part of the reason I didnt tell my son in the very beginning was I wasnt sure if I could do this. And I didnt want anyone to know I tried to run and failed. So thus my secret was born. And as the weeks progressed and I figured out that I can do this, it changed. I think I thought orginally of telling him at the end of C25k but that quickly blossomed into surprising him at a race. And it took off from there.

I cannot wait to see the joy on his face when he learns of what we have done. He loves running with a passion. I dont quite have passion status yet but I do like it.

I never would have envisioned this point of our journey to look quite like this. Its exciting and fun and Im thankful others are taking this journey with us!

Keep on running,
Mrs. F

Monday, October 26, 2009

Day 57, Week 9, Day 1 -- Mrs. F

Wow,can I just say it seems unbelievable to type week 9 up in the subject line? I did it, I have exercised for 8 weeks straight doing something that I absolutely hated with a passion at the beginning of this all. Now I can say I actually "like" running. I dont "love" it as my son does but I do enjoy it. Now thats not to say that its not hard, cause it still is. Im constantly pushing and challenging myself to work harder.

It was a good run. By my estimation I went 2.75 miles in 32 minutes. It is a bit hard to judge the distance in the dark on the trail. Today I doubled back for Mr. F 3 times instead of the two I normally do. And I went further on the 2nd second of trail as well. The first two minutes were a little hard and then my body kinda said "oh we are running,lets go". I really pushed in the beginning, it felt good to run fast and move. I was feeling it a bit by the time I hit the end of the first mile segment but not bad. I went on to the next segment and wasnt really sure where Mr. F was. The last run on Friday, he turned around at the dam segment, so I wasnt sure what he was doing today. I was very encouraged when I heard him call out behind on the 2nd section of trail that he was turning around there. I didnt even know he was still behind me running that part!!! I called back that I was going to go further yet before turning around. I knew we had two more minutes of running today.

Im really not sure exactly the distance, I likely will bike it to get a better estimate but I know i went further. I believe i covered another quarter mile with the return of that extra distance. It all felt pretty good until I hit the last half mile. Now today I figured out that must be my wall. It got hard and I wanted to quit and my energy just wasnt there. I didnt want to slow down but i forced myself to do it for a little while just to get my mental game and energy back up there. That helped some. It doesnt seem to matter how far I run, the last half mile is my killer. Thats okay -- now that I realize that this is my wall point -- I can up the mental battle to fight it.

I neared the end of the trail and I seem to be slogging on and I hear Mr.F call out some encouragment. Thats all I needed to hear -- his voice is powerful and I could hear him pushing me on. I picked up the pace and poured it on as fast as i could to finish the last bit strong! I couldnt see him when he called out, it was dark and he was further away but I could hear him! He then jogged the last part of the trail and we finished together.

Keep on running,
Mrs. F

Day 57 (week 9) - What were we thinking?

It's hard to believe that, just over eight weeks ago, I agreed to start this seemingly crazy program. So much has changed in the intervening weeks that I almost don't remember what it was like when I started. I do remember it being hard, very hard, and I do remember things like being dreadfully out of breath after about half of the intervals. Yet here I am after running a little more than the required 30 minutes this morning (my playlist was 31 minutes long). When I finished, I was tired, but not out of breath or ready for a nap. In fact, by the time I got back to our car, at the end of our cool-down walk, I just might have been able to go out for another little bit of running!

What can I say about today's run? It started like so many of the others, feeling some resistance from my body, and dealing with my mind which was thinking about how comfortable the old bucket seats in the Tracer were. My knee felt fine, I found my stride fairly early, and I stayed close enough to Mrs. F that I didn't feel like she was getting away from me. When we got to the far end of the trail, where I would normally turn around, my body protested momentarily as I continued past the road. It full well knew that we normally turned around there, but since it was feeling pretty good overall, it capitulated and came along.

It was a bit eerie running that next segment. Between the trees which still held leaves, the cloud cover, and the fact that it was still well before dawn, the path ahead was dark and neary indistinguishable from the remaining night. Mrs. F pulled a bit ahead of me here, as I tried to gauge when I should turn around. Listening for a cue on my playlit to help me estimate time, I picked a stand of trees that stood against the skyline where the trees thinned to brush on my right. As I reached it, I felt I still had some time, so I picked the next landmark on the skyline and kept running. Upon reaching it, I called out to Mrs. F, so she would know I was turning around. I was close enough that she heard me clearly, and I heard her acknowledge my statement.

With that, I began running back. It was the segment of trail we used during our first couple of weeks. Perhaps my body remembered, because when I got to the road again, there was that same sense of "Are we done yet?" that I've experienced before. Yet, in my mind, I was excited. I had already covered extra ground, though I could not be sure how much, but I was still running. It was about then that I really found my stride and experienced a sense of strength and relaxation. I was running, and it didn't bother me. In fact, I was enjoying it--my pace, seeing the city over the water, seeing the airport spotlight circling on the clouds. It was something I would never have imagined possible in any exercise, much less running.

So, on I ran. The good feeling did not last forever, however, and I felt the fatigue come on me, along with new murmurings of my body to slow down. Knowing that slowing seemed to make me want to slow all the more, I tried the opposite--I pushed a little harder. When I increased my pace, ever so slightly, I found that things were better. As the feelings came on again and again I slowed, I did it again. Soon, I was in my final song, one that I really enjoy, and I picked up my pace again. The end of the song neared and I pushed into a spring. The song ended, but I did not stop. I sprinted through the finish line I envisioned, before turning to walk back toward Mrs. F.

Today, she was not as far behind me, though she had again covered more trail than I (including some shorter double-backs to me on our way out). When I saw her, I called out to her, and I saw her pushing to finish strong. She did, and that meant she ran at least a minute more than did I.

I could never have imagined such a run. I find that my fears about the next day's workouts are largely gone now, since I already know I can run for the alltotted time. The next few weeks, after this program ends, will be a challenge, but I believe I'm ready for them, and I'm looking forward to completing my first 5k race in November.

During those early days, and even during some in the middle, I used to ask myself "What were we thinking?" when we agreed to start this program. Well, I'm just glad we endeavored to persevere, regardless of what we were thinking at the onset, or while on the trail.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Day 56 - getting ready for Week 9 and beyond

Well, it's late. I wanted to be in bed an hour ago, but there was something about an 1,800 word essay that had to be in before midnight... Let's just say I'm glad that one is done.

So, that killed any chance of getting to bed by 9 PM, but at least it's not 11 PM.

Tomorrow starts Week 9! We're in the home stretch. Mrs. F and I have talked about breaking the news to the family at the end of this coming week, but also about keeping the secret until the Turkey Trot. Our eldest son found out that a couple of our friends will be running it (Amy and Nathan who follow this blog), so now he wants to run it, too. We're just not sure how to work out the logistics. If he races, there's almost no way we could hide it from him. Sure, we'd be in back and he'd be in front, but we all would need to check in on race day. Logistics...

Anyway, tomorrow is the first day of the last week of our Couch-to-5k adventure. We'll by no means be done with running or our journey towards weight loss and fitness, but Couch-to-5k will be history... more than that... an accomplishment... a milestone... A monument!

We do plan on celebrating our completion, though we're not sure how. An ice cream cake from DQ just doesn't seem apropos!

Anyway, this week is the big one, well, the first of may big ones. The workout plan for this week? Run for 30 minutes without walking. Pretty simple,huh? Sure, now I can say it is, but earlier in the program I could have had a cerebral hemorrhage just thinking about it. We've come a long way from "Repeat 8 times: run 60 seconds, walk 90 seconds." Going forward, we're going to keep adding time, at least until we get through our 5k run.

Well, I need to turn in. Mrs. F is setting the better example. She didn't make our 9 PM bedtime either (in part, I think, because she was staying up for my benefit), but she did head to bed about 20 minutes ago now, so I had best follow suit.

Anyway, good night, all! Tomorrow brings the beginning of our final week of Couch-to-5k training!

Day 56 - Mrs. F

Im hoping for a better calorie day today. Im not starting out the day with biscuits and gravy lol!

I would like to take a bike ride today but I think household responbilities will prevent that from happening. Time will tell!

I feel good overall. No persisting pain or muscle soreness to report.

Im looking forward to seeing what I can do tommorrow. I plan on borrowing a watch and trying to get a better idea on my time segments. Mr. F thinks Im faster than I think I am.

Keep on running
Mrs. F