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, November 6, 2009

Day 67 - my run -- Mrs, F

It was a beautiful day for a run. The sun was shining, the temps in the lower 60s and a very slight breeze. I was really excited to get out and run today.

Im not sure what was different today or what even brought the thought into my mind. I realized today as I was running -- that I am indeed a runner. Im not sure if it was where I was, or how I was runnig or what. The thought just was there and it was a good feeling to realize I can do this!I am a runner. Im one of those crazy running people that prior to C25k, I thought were crazy too!

I pushed hard on the first mile, partly because I knew that I was only going 2 miles today. It wasnt my fastest mile time but 11:30 isnt too shabby. I deliberately took it slow on the return stretch. I wanted to try and run with Mr.F for awhile and keep it slow. Its really hard though for me to run slower than my normal pace. Trust me, my normal pace really isnt that fast. Its just hard to force my body to go slower -- when I slow down -- my mind screams you might as well walk then. So that was challenging.

By deliberatly slowing my pace on the 2nd mile, I had plenty of reserves for our final sprint. I could feel my stride lengthening, my legs speeding up and I went faster and faster. On all the other runs, where Mr. F and I were sprinting at the end, I had pushed hard all the way through. And I just didnt have anything left at the end. So this was a nice victory!

My legs and knees were a bit sore on the return jaunt. And I could feel the strain on the area above my ankle but on the side of my leg. All in all, not anything that overly concerns me. Just reminders that I need to be kind to my body and take it slow somedays!

Keep on running,
Mrs. F

Ps - One week until our big race and our reveal!!!

Friday weight check


Last Friday: 280.2

Today: 280.0

Gain/Loss: -0.2

Goal: 210.0 lbs.

Cumulative loss: 20.4 lbs.

Pounds to lose: 70.0

Comment: Seeing that I didn't track (or well manage) my eating this week, I didn't run on Monday, and had only a short run on Wednesday, I have no complaints.  I honestly expected to gain a couple this week, so I'll take what I can get.  I'm still on track with my planned loss of eight pounds per month, so I'll just get back on track from here and look forward to a better week ahead.

Mrs. F

Last Friday: 173.7

Today: 172.5

Gain/Loss: -1.2

Goal: 150.00

Cumulative loss: 10.3 lbs.

Pounds to lose: 22.5

Comment: I was really happy that the Halloween candy didn't win.  Ten pounds are gone, and I'm looking forward to saying goodbye to the next ten.

A nice evening for letting go

Well, if I ignore the fact that I got out of work an hour later than I expected, it was a nice evening.

The scale was not as cruel as I feared (I'll post our weekly weight check after this), so that was nice.  Then, there was the run.  Mrs. F just got an mp3 player today (a bargain we found on one of our favorite sites,, so she ran with it.  I opted for a music free day, to see what it would be like.

My legs were feeling pretty good this morning, so I was a bit optimistic.  The warm-up walk seemed okay.  I stretched after the walk, and everything felt pretty good.  I don't know how warm it was this afternoon, but it was mild enough that I only needed my lighter under-layer, my shorts, and my top.  No need for my vest today; neither for my gloves.

As I began, I had a nagging concern I was going to hurt myself, but I simply decided to keep it slow.  As Mrs. F started pulling ahead, I felt the urge to keep up, but I let it go. I let her pull ahead, and I kept a steady pace.  My left knee was a little sore, but nothing beyond a nuissance. My right shin didn't bother me at all during the early stages.

Mrs. F was absorbed in her run, perhaps helped by the music she was using as background noise.  She didn't see the grey heron that was perched on an old dock, and she didn't hear me call her attention to it, either.

That was the first thing I noticed about running without my music--I spent much more time looking around at the scenery.  It was nice being able to do that. It was so much different than the first few weeks of the Couch-to-5k program, when it seemed like every run was a struggle that ended with me desperate for breath.  I could hear every footfall and the crunch of the leaves and the aggregate.

When reach approximately 3/4 into our first mile, Mrs. F was about a tenth of a mile ahead of me.  Again I had that urge to speed up, but I let her go.  My knee had settled in.  It was still a bit sore, but not bad.  So far, my shin felt fine.

As I approached my pre-determined turnaound point (the one-mile mark), Mrs. F had already turned around and was running back toward me. When we met, she turned again and went with me to the end of the trail.  Together we turned around and started back.  Mrs. F glanced at the watch she was carrying: 14 minutes (she had made the first mile in 11:30 before turning around for me).

The return trip was a bit harder.  Although I ran longer distances last week, I hadn't run on Monday and Wednesday was a disaster.  Since the Turkey Trot is a week from tomorrow, I just didn't want to overdo it.  My left knee was holding out, though a bit sore.  Now, though, I could feel occasional twinges in my shin.  As they came on, I felt myself tightening up.  I resisted as much as was possible for me, deliberately trying to keep my leg relaxed. It seemed to work.  As I felt that bit of pain and my leg wanting to tense up, I deliberately relaxed my leg and kept on moving.

Mrs. F had pulled ahead of me shortly after we turned around, but I did not let her get a full tenth of a mile ahead of me.  I wanted to sprint and catch up, but I knew I would not be able to finish if I did that; it likely would have caused me harm, too.  Instead, I picked out a landmark ahead of me on the trail, and I increased my pace until I reached that landmark.  Although I wanted to keep up the pace, because I could see myself gaining on her, I let go of the urge and I slowed down.  Soon, I picked another landmark and did the same again.

As we got to the final quarter mile, I was only about 20 feet behind her.  I picked up my pace and brought myself even with her.  By then, however, it seemed that she was starting to speed up, too.  The end, after all, was in sight.  I pushed harder. She sped up. I increased my pace.  She increased hers.  Pretty soon, we were both running at a sprint.  Normally, I can pull ahead of her in a sprint, but she clearly had some energy in reserve.  Though I pushed myself as much as I could, she pulled ahead of me and won our little race.

During that last segment, I definately felt more of a pounding on my left leg, and the shin splints on my right flared up.  It was a short push, though, so it didn't seem too bad.  In fact, my right shin hurt more at the end of our cool-down walk than it did due to the splint.  It was good to be back at it today, and it felt good to let go of my baggage from earlier in the week.

What a difference a night makes

Having knocked off my main assignment for the week a few days ago, I've been left with reading.  As last night rolled in I hit the home stretch.  I nearly finished the weekly reading in the denser text, and that leaves me with just a few pages there before diving into the easier read that I should be able to wrap up in an evening.  That being the case, I allowed myself to watch an hour of TV (Stargate Universe via Hulu), and even got to bed before 11 PM.  I iced my left knee for about an hour before I went to bed, and I popped a few Ibuprofen tablets.

I felt much better when I got up this morning.  The daylight savings time change has shifted dawn an hour earlier, and that does make it a bit easier to get up.  When I stepped outside to go to work, and felt how relatively warm it was (compared to what it had been recently), I lamented that we didn't decide to run in the morning.  Oh, what a difference a night makes!

We'll run this afternoon.  I should get off work about 3:30 PM, so we should be able to run before 5 PM.  I'm not sure how far I'll go today.  If we keep to our pattern, this will be one of the last three runs before our 5k.  Mrs. F read that one should not run two days prior to a major race, and, for us at least, our first 5k run is a major race.

Thanks for all the comments from everyone while I was feeling down.  It's good to be reminded that there are good runs and bad runs.  I also want to acknowledge that you shouldn't run with pain when you're as green as am I.  I should have been more open with Mrs. F about not wanting to run the other day, and should have given myself the time to recover.  Whatever I opt to do this afternoon, I'm going to take it at an easy pace--something maintainable.  If I get hurt between now and Wednesday, my chance to run that Turkey Trot will gone.

I'm not expecting the scale to be kind today.  I've not been tracking my intake this week.  I'm bracing for a two pound gain.  If it's higher than that, I'll need to swallow the bitter pill of responsibility for my own actions.

Well, good day to all.  I have much to do.

Day 67 - Mrs. F -

I plan to run this afternoon. The temps are supposed to be in the 60s and it should be nice out for a change! Mr. F may bike but Im not sure yet.

Today is one of the more challenging times. I am sick, just seems to be a standard cold, but the first day is always the worst. So its very tempting, to skip today. Either put it off til tommorrow or skip entirely. I really dont want to get into the habit of doing that, so Im planning on going but taking a slow run and probably no more than 2 miles. Thats part of the reason, I elected for afternoon, I figured I really needed the rest last night!

Im not sure bout the weight check today. Im so hoping to hit the 10 lbs lost point but on the same hand, it was halloween candy week. So im just not sure what the scale will read. Ill weigh in at lunchtime today.

Keep on running
Mrs. F

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Still here

Despite having a lousy run last night, I'm still here.  Perhaps Mrs. F was right in pushing me to get out.  I felt pretty good this morning, though it doesn't seem as if that feeling will last through the day.

I was pretty terrible last evening.  My attitude sucked, even before I went out, and that probably had a bearing on having a sucky run.

My knee pain (on the left) is different than what I saw the doctor for before. This is definately below the joint line toward the inside--it seems to be just to the inside of and extending slightly below the patellar tendon. My right shin is a bit tender this morning, but it is not bothering me while I walk.  That's a good thing.

I have another headache starting.  I think it's stress.

Sorry, Mrs. F.  You were right.  I needed to get out and get moving.  I guess taking our runs late in the afternoon is okay, but taking yesterday's late in the evening just made it that much harder.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

A miserable run (double-whammy)

I was not looking forward to running today at all.  I had a headache most of the day, and by the time I got home from work, about two hours later than I had planned, I was just ready for bed.  My headache was building again, and my left knee was still sore from last Friday's run.  I even tried wearing the too-tight patellar stabilizer during the day today, but I had to take it off at noon because it was just too tight and too uncomfortable.

I should have known better than to let Mrs. F push me to run when my mind and body were telling me it wasn't a good idea.  I know she meant well, but I just should have listened to my body.  My leg wrap/tape combo didn't seem to help much today.  As it turns out, both of my long-sleeve polyester shirts were in the laundry, so I didn't have my two base cold-weather layers.  I had my loose-fitting long-sleeve orange shirt and a windbreaker shell--let's just say I was too bloody cold before the run and immediately thereafter.

As I stated earlier, I did not want to be out running today.  I was grumbling and cursing under my breath because I was tired, uncomfortable, and sore, and because I knew I still had a load of reading to finish for my current class.  I was slow on the warmup walk, and my knee was already aching.  When I started the run, I gave it everything I had though, but I'm guessing it wasn't much.  Mrs. F was still stretching when I got started, but that was fine because I knew she would catch up.  However, as we progressed and I could either hear her coming or see her long shadow coming up behind me from either a car's headlamps or a street light, I pushed myself to go faster.  Honestly, I was not really happy about being out there running and I figured I would at least make it a bit rough on her today.  Not nice, I know, but c'est la vie.  She almost caught up to me a couple of times, and each time I pushed ahead.  I kept the lead through most of the first mile, even though my knee was painful and I could feel the shin splints in my right leg starting to flare up. She got to pull ahead as we neared the one mile mark.  I was fine with that, because I knew I was done.

Today I felt like I did during one of the early weeks of the Couch-to-5k program--I didn't want to be out there, and I wasn't going to kid myself that I'm a runner.  I'm a hugely fat guy who had been out there forcing himself to run for nine weeks, partly motivated by a fear of death and partly motivated by knowing that some people would think that I wouldn't be able to do it.  Yeah, I got through the nine weeks, but who am I trying to kid now? Or, at least, that's how my thinking was going.

When we got to the end, I turned around and told Mrs. F I needed to walk.  Maybe I could have run more if I had not pushed so hard on the way out, but by the way my knee was hurting before I got started, I don't think it's likely that I would have made the two miles anyway.  Upon hearing I was going to walk, Mrs. F decided to run further on before turning around.  Oh, how I envy her! She's really enjoying this, the running.  I've had some good runs, but I can't say I really enjoy it right now, at least not consistantly.

So I started hobbling back.  I yelled and cussed at myself in my mind (and probably out loud, at points). I knew I had run nearly three times as much before.  Heck, I ran about seven and a half miles last week! There was no way I was going to keep walking.

That settled it.  I decided to push myself back to a run.  It didn't last very long, though.  My face and neck were cold and my headache was getting worse.  My left knee was sore with every footfall, but if I tried to adjust my stride so as to spare the knee, it aggravated the shin splints on my right leg.  I tried to put the pain out of mind, and pushed on, but when a burst of burning pain erupted in that right shin, I gave up all hope of running. That was the double-whammy: my sore knee and the shin splints.

I slowed to a walk, but now the walk was painful for both legs.  Having slowed down, I started to become more chilled (it was in the 30s °F).  Including the distance of our warm-up walk, I was still a mile from the car.  Had it not been so cold, I would have sat down on the trail and waited for Mrs. F to come by, and I would have asked her to get the car.

I made it back to our starting point, and back to the car, but I was not a happy camper.  I was now even more tired and sore.  Whatever good I did resting my right leg since Friday was undone--my shin splints are now as sore as they were then.  If I can't get these issues squared away within the next 10 days, I've just flushed my 5k registration fee down the toilet.

I finished the evening icing my legs and reading my coursework.  Because I got off work late and we took our run right away, I didn't eat until late and that has really thrown me off my pattern.  It's now 10:32 PM and I'm not tired, yet I know I need sleep.

I'm not looking forward to facing the scale this week.  I already figure it will be a few steps back.  I'm just tired of it all. I've never been a thin guy.  I'm just so tired!

Day 66 -- Mrs. F

I ended up with a late evening run since Mr. F had to work late. We didnt get out til 630! It was weird running in the evening dark. Somehow it seems darker than the dawn light. It was a colder night, so that added to making it a little harder running.

I took an easier run today and didnt go as far. Mr. F elected not to stretch and took off right away. I stretched a little and began running. It took me at least 6/10th of a mile to catch up with him. It seemed just as I would start gaining on him, he would speed up!!

I couid feel the effects of too much halloween candy as well. It took me 5 minutes or more of the run to find my stride. And counting calories has gotten harder. I just want to eat and eat and eat. Ugh ... the honeymoon is over with weight loss.

The run itself was good. I went about 2.5 miles(estimated) and Im not sure on time. It was too dark for a watch and Mr. F didnt end up using the playlist for the whole run this time. It did feel good to get out there and run though! I needed that after too many snack size butterfingers. Those things may just be evil -- they are 100 calories apiece!

Hopefully I can redeem the week but Im afraid for Friday weigh in!

Keep on running
Mrs. F

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Post C25K Blues (and drowning in my studies)

The end of the Couch-to-5k program has been very anticlimactic for me.  I'm a bit down, in part from that anticlimax, but also because my right shin is still sore and my left knee has gotten irksome again since Friday. I don't want to run tomorrow at all, but I know I need to do it.  I've been swamped in my studies for the past two weeks--sitting in a chair and reading academic texts for six to eight hours on a Saturday sure seems to be a way to suck the vitality out of anyone.  I've lost just enough weight from my butt over the past nine weeks that even sitting in my chair--my big, blue oversized chair--left me sore.  Although I can't see it, I'm pretty sure I lost some padding back there.

The burden of my studies is one of the reasons I've not been writing as much here or at (that and being down).  This is the first week I don't have an 1,800+ word essay due, so I'm hoping it won't feel so overwhelming this week.  I was required to make a substantial post to our online discussion forum on this week's topic, but thankfully I was able to get that done tonight.  I was the first one to post this week, and I'm usually one of the last because of how long it takes me to get through the reading.  It helped that a significant chunk of the material this week was in the form of PowerPoint presentations with audio (basically, a recorded lecture put into a set of slideshows).  Since I'm primarily an auditory learner, that gave me a leg up this week. Now I just need to finish the last two chapters of reading from last week and read the five I need to finish for this week (it sure beats the 18 I had to read for last week).

Enough of my coursework griping. I need to get my head back into running. Blech! I'd rather get my head into a bucket of Breyer's right now. I guess I'll just take it a day at a time.

Day 65 - Mrs. F

I discovered something today. Perhaps I knew this all along but Im an emotional eater. I got into an argument today and my response was to reach for the bag of truffles. I reached for the package of lefse and had a big plate of spaghetti.

Its much harder on days when things are stressful and Im tired. I just finished supper and i have 249 calories left. So if I can avoid the midnight munchies, I might just be okay.

Im looking forward to our run tommorrow. Depending on how early we manage to make it to bed, will determine if we have a morning or evening run.

A little sore today but not bad. I didnt even need to take ibuprofen.

Hopefully Mr. F's leg will be ready to go after several days of rest!

Keep on running
Mrs. F

Monday, November 2, 2009

Day 64 - My turn for a run with U2 - Mrs. F

Mr. F was feeling ill tonight, so he didnt get to run with me. I missed him! Ive gotten used to having the time to chat after our workout and digest the runs. So I missed doing that this evening.

I had a great run! I ran 3.1 miles(estimated) in 35 minutes and 10 seconds!!! I set out intending to just run 2 easy miles and well the run was so good, that I just kept going.

I borrowed Mr. F's MP3 player this evening, so it was my first run with music. I wasnt sure how I would like it. I have to say, I dont like dealing with making sure the headphones are right and the wires and all that but overall it was nice. Im not as in tune to music as Mr. F is, so it really just became background music for me. During the day, I often have the radio on in just the same manner -- background music. So it really worked well.

I took my sons watch with me again. I did the first mile in 10:50! I was flying. And I wasnt even breathing heavy, thats the amazing part. Then I made it almost to the end of my measured trail segment(within a block) before my 17 minutes(half of the 35 I intended to run) was up. I wasnt sure if I could do the return trip as fast. I was estastic when I realized I did!!!! It really was a very awesome run.

I really felt like I had a good pace. I encountered a dog walker, along the last segment, and I was able to talk just fine as I passed him. By the end, my breathing was a bit more labored but not bad at all. And something else, i realized last run, I havent had a sideache in forever! So I must be learning to find the right pace.

It was a little different running in the dusk due to the time change. I loved seeing the full moon reflecting on the lake as I ran by. By the end of the run, it was as dark as if I had run in the early morning hours.

The only pain I had at the end was along my leg, just above my ankle. But not bad, just a bit sore.

I guess it was just my turn for an unbelievable run with U2!

Keep on running,
Mrs. F

Day 64 - Week 11 C25K and beyond - Mrs. F

I will be running this afternoon. Im planning on taking an easy run of 2 miles today, rather than push it up today.

Mr F is still dealing with his shin splint, so IM not sure if he will still take today off or not. Im hoping he will come and run an easy slow run today as well!

Survived halloween weekend but the candy danger is still near. Im pleased though, I was able to have a few pieces and not go back time after time, as I used to. Pizza last night was a little harder. I tried to cut the pieces smaller, to give me the illusion I was getting more , even though eating the same amount of pieces as i used to. I ate 3 and was full. I should have stopped there but did go back for the 4th. I really wanted the taste more than I was hungry. But baby steps , folks, baby steps.

Keep on running,
Mrs. F

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Busy weekend

Between Halloween, getting to the store for our bi-weekly shopping and getting my grad school assignments done, I feel like the walking dead.  I just finished this week's assignments, only about 10 minutes early than I did last week.  We have one little one sick and on Tamiflu, and others around the house are starting to cough, including me.  If it really is H1N1, I'm in one of the primary high-risk groups (obese with other chronic health conditions).  The only thing I have going for me is the fact that I've been running.  I'm healthier now than I was nine weeks ago, including my pulmonary health.  If I do catch the nasty bug, at least I'll be ready for a fight!

I must run off to bed now.  I'm exhausted.

Day 63 - Mrs. F

We have had one of our little ones sick here, so that means a lot less sleep happening! Im pretty beat and was really thankful that it wasnt a running day!!

My diet seems to be far more challenging when Im tired. Yesterday I just wanted to eat an entire bag of halloween candy. I did resist but did indulge in a little halloween candy action but not the whole darn bag!!! I found myself looking up the caloric amount that it would take to maintain my weight. Thankfully I didnt go up to it but I had it in the back of my mind just in case.

Weekends in general just seem harder. Theres far more sitting and relaxing and hanging out with the kids, than there is exercise. I cant wait for the day when we can all go on a family run/bike ride/walk.

Our son finished up his cross country this season by gaining a personal best. He beat his previous time by a full five seconds! He ran an 18:50 at sections.(See why im confident we will never catch up to him in the race!!!) Im incredibly proud of him. And with that, comes my promise of running two minutes with him. I laugh now, I still remember, when 2 minutes felt like an eternity to run. Now its barely a start.

We are still debating about taking an extra day off to rest Mr. F's shin splints. I may run still but Im not sure.

Keep on running
Mrs. F