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!"

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!!!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Our next 5k?

I don't mean to county our chickens before they hatch, but I just learned that some people in the next town north of us (about 7 miles) are organizing a 5k that will be held on Thanksgiving morning.  The entry fee will be only $7 to cover the cost of a t-shirt.  If all goes well this Saturday, I think I may just sign up for that one, too.

Thanks, Mrs. F, for sharing... ;)

Well, I officially have the sinus-cold-funk that had Mrs. F miserable for a number of days.  To me, the timing could not be worse.  I yet need to finish my coursework for this week, and I have our first race on Saturday.

We did not get out for a run last evening, and that was okay.  We ran just one day prior, so it might have been best not to try our first back-to-back runs in the days prior to our big day.

Our sitter backed out on us, but the race lists that they have childcare available.  Our eldest daughter will be there with us (she's been an unsung hero of our secret plan, but we'll touch on that more on Saturday), but the little ones just can't be expected to sit still for her for an hour on a cool morning.  We're also not sure what to do with one of our litlte ones--our fellow with special needs who has a hard time regulating his temperature (he can get very cold, very fast).  I would not want to foist him on the childcare folks at the race, since they'd have no preparedness for dealing with a child like him.  Our friend, Amy, who follows this blog (one of two Amys listed as followers), will be running, too.  Her husband will be there with their kids, so he might be able to lend a little support, if his kids cooperate.

Our eldest daughter is actually a little miffed with us, because we are forcing her to attend another one of her brother's races.  I guess she'll be surprised as well! We've already told her that we need her there to watch the kids because we need to run an errand during the race.  She looked confused when we told her that, but since one of the boys has a birthday coming up in a few weeks, we told her that we would be near a Kohl's store, and that we were going to sneak away to find a birthday present while our eldest son was running.  She thinks we still hate running as much as she does, so I think she was just jealous that we were getting out of watching the race!

Oh, we will have so much fun!

I'm still not sure if we will let our eldest son in on the secret at the registration table, or after he finishes the race.  Perhaps we'll tell him to stay near the finish, to cheer on neighbor Amy, and then Amy can ask him to stay with her to cheer on a couple of friends who will be finishing after her.

I already have a cover story for wearing our running shoes: we're going to wear them as a sign of solidarity, in support of his running.  Of course, underneath my jeans and my chamois shirt, I'll have on my running gear, all ready to go.

We're even thinking about having ourselves a bit of a celebration lunch after the race.  We're not quite sure about that, though.

Anyway, that's the end of my break, so I need to get back to work.

Thursday -- prerace -- Mrs. F

Im starting to get a bit nervous. Not about the race itself really, but the details. Will child care at the race work out fine for our youngest? Will everyone be ready and up early enough to get out the door? The race is 45 minutes away. Stuff like that.

Its been an eating week too, so Im not sure how I will fare at the scale tommorrow. Less workouts, more junk does not equal a good combination. So time will tell on that front.

At this point, our goal is to get as much rest as possible between now and Saturday morning. So no more workouts this week.

We are still leaning toward doing one hour running and switching up our days we do it, so we have the long run on a weekend day. As well as the 100 pushup challenge. I can say with an emphasis, I am not looking forward to that one! I am looking forward to one hour runner -- I like the longer stretches of runs myself.

Well folks -- only 2 more days until the big race! I cannot wait to see the look on my sons face when he realizes his momma can run a 5k!

Keep on running
MRs. F

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The cold rebound?

Right as we've started to get some warmer temperatures, I seem to be getting a cold rebound.  Either that, or the bug that his Mrs. F is a different variety and it has found its way to me.  My sinuses have me wishing I had a pressure cooker safety valve on my face, I'm sneezing, and my throat is scratchy.  This is absolutely not what I wanted.

Even with the bug, we might go out for another run tonight.  We just ran yesterday, but were really hoping to have two in this week before our race on Saturday.

I'm not sure right now, however.  My head is starting to scream "Go home and lie down you idiot!"  I also have need to make progress on my coursework tonight.


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Day 71 - Mrs F

It was another beautiful fall day -- perfect for running.

I managed to get the potluck contributions cooked up this afternoon,so I was free to sneak in a workout this evening. Its a good thing too, its really hard to portion potluck meals!!

I started out thinking that I would do an easy two miles but time was short, so started out with a shorter run on the 2nd segment of trail. I started out slow as we skipped our warm up walk. Then my body remembered how to run and my pace quickened. I turned around at the end of the segment, ran back to Mr. F and turned around again. I did that in two places, so all in all, I think I managed 1.5 miles today. I could have continued on runnign as well.

I was very pleased that my cold/cough didnt cause problems and I was able to run without any breathing or congestion issues. Whew -- seriously was concerned bout that!!!

As we neared the car, Mr. F asked if I would be willing to drive the car to the other end, so he could keep running. Since I had planned on taking it easy today due to being sick and the race coming up -- I said sure.

Im unsure if we will do a back to back workout tommorrow or try to sneak one in Thursday. Definitely want to do an easy one regardless -- no getting injured before the race!

Keep on running
Mrs. F

We made it (four days before the Turkey Trot)

Well, we managed to get a bit of hustle on while we were getting ready, and we got some help from the older kids so we could get out of the door (they were charged with having everyone ready when we returned).  We set out with plans for an easy run, two miles at best, and neither of us took a watch or mp3 player.  Because we both felt short on time, we decided to skip our warm-up walk and instead opted to start our run slow and easy.  We parked by the dam today, and took off to the east since we had daylight yet remaining and since we knew that stretch was only 2/3 of a mile each way (out and back). We'd get in 1-1/3 miles today, and then would head home to get ready for the cross country banquet.

My knee was wrapped as usual, and I've started wrapping my right shin (in lieu of having a compression sleeve for the leg, something someone elese recommended).  My knee gave me a bit of grief through the whole run--more of an ache than a pain--and my shin held out to the final few hundren meters. Those final meters, however, were not where we parked the car.

It took some time for me to settle in and find my pace.  When I did, Mrs. F was pulling ahead of me again, but that was okay.  We made it to the end--she played turnabout, as usual--and then we started back.  As we neared our point of origination, I asked how she was doing.  She indicated that she was doing well.  We talked about going on, and she was willing, but I indicated that I didn't think I'd be able to get to the far end and back again--that would have been more than a 5k.  She agreed to hop in the car while I continued on.  She was planning an easy day, anyway, so it worked out okay.  I moved on, across the road and onto the one mile segment of trail.  I felt a bit of a thrill, because I was willingly running all alone.  I knew she was neither behind me nor ahead of me.  It was just me, all 280 lbs. of me, and the trail.

To me, there could be no better running weather.  It was temperate, but on the cool side, but once I was running the air felt wonderful.  There was a mild breeze, and the waning sun was tinting the western sky orange.  By the time we made it to the road, I had found my stride.  I did not want to stop, because I needed to make sure I could still handle more than two miles in a session, especially with the race coming up on the weekend.

On and on I ran.  I paid close attention to my legs (my left knee and right shin), and made sure I was landing well. It seemed that the uphill segments made my shin a little tender.  My guess is that it's because my foot angles higher on the incline, allowing those shin muscles to tighten even more.  Still, it was not bad.  I felt good when I got within a quarter mile of the end.  Today, perhaps, I could have kept going.  Mrs. F was waiting for me, however, parked along the curb alongside the park.  I ran through the end of the trail and right up to the car.  Yes, I'll be able to run a 5k this Saturday.  Had I pushed on, I might have been able to do it tonight.

We made it back home in time to change and get to the event.  There were many fun pictures and accolades for the various runners.  Our younger boy, the one who joined after the season was underway, was lauded for doing well especially when he ran one meet in his casual shoes (he left one of his running shoes at home).  Our eldest son was lauded for breaking the school's freshman time record for 5k, with an 18:46 at his last meet.  He actually beat the old record, 18:57, twice this year.  So, he broke the record early in the season, and then broke his own record at the end of the season.  He's exicted about running again for track in the spring, and for cross country again in the fall.  Our other son is not entirely sure.  He's had a rough time academically this fall, so he told the couch that he might not do it next year.  The coach told him that he should work on getting his academic house in order now, so that he'd be ready for the fall.  Man, I could have kissed that guy for telling him that!

Anyway, I need to hit the books, hit the ice, and hit the sack.  Have a good night, and keep running!

Will we make it today?

Well, I got off work at 4 PM.  I need to wrap my leg, get dressed, and get out on the trail before we lose too much time.  Although I have less coursework this week, between last night's meeting and tonight's cross country dinner for the boys I'm already feeling pressed to get my work done.  Then my mind just realized that I'll be at our 5k on Saturday morning, so I'm really feeling stressed.

I need to pu that out of mind right now, and focus on getting out the door.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Sometimes it just doesn't work out the way you hope

I was looking forward to my run today.  Morning was nice, and the noontime sun was welcoming and warm.  By the end of the work day, however, I was feeling the stress of the evening.  I got home around 4:30 PM.  It takes me almost 30 minutes to get ready, including the time it takes to wrap my knee, so that would have put me to 5 PM.  Dinner wasn't started yet (Mrs. F was working in the garage and the yard all day and she was feeling sick), and I had a meeting coming up at 7 PM.  Doing the mental math, I knew we'd be pressed for time.  Our run would take nearly an hour (short drive, warm-up walk, run, cool-down walk, short drive), and that would have put us back at home at or after 6 PM.  The odds of getting dinner made and served in time to leave for my meeting by 6:45 PM were slim. 

I made a call, and decided not to run today.  Mrs. F and I will try again tommorrow, if she is feeling well.  If not, I guess I'll have to go on my own.  We'll push back our Wednesday run to Thursday, but then that will be all until the Chaska, Minnesota Turkey Trot on Saturday.

Day 70 - Mrs. F - Feeling sick

Im not feeling well today. I have a cold/cough but no fever. The bad part is that it feels as if its settling into my chest. Not good ... I will be beyond upset if I cant run the race on Saturday.

Im hoping that by pushing fluids and trying to get a little extra rest, that I can fight off the nasties.

Mr. F and I are still planning to work out this afternoon but it will be a slow easy run for me. Thats for sure.

Hopefully this doesnt take me out of the count.

On a side note, I ran my 2 minutes with my son. I ran painfully slow and played up how much it affected me. It was great fun! I told him I almost died!

Keep on running
Mrs. F

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Finally, a relatively quiet and non-busy weekend

Well, neither Mrs. F nor I made a post yesterday.  I think that's a first since we started.  Usually, at least one of us manages to get one out here.

That's okay, though.  Thankfully, our absence wasn't due to swine flu, an emergency room trip, or long hours at the office.  I got my schoolwork for the week, including all of the reading, done by midday yesterday.  I got to watch a movie at home with the family, and episode of one of my favorite shows, and got to vegitate a bit by playing the original SimCity (we found a CD for it at a rummage sale over the summer).  Today, other than fighting with one of our boys over getting his chores done properly, it has been relatively quiet.  Mrs. F led most of the crew to a park after lunch, so I got a little quiet time to start this week's reading, and I got to catch up on my online Scrabble games.  Overall, it has been a nice weekend.

My left knee still hints at a bit of strain, but my right shin is doing fine.  It was tender on Friday and into Saturday, but has felt fine today.  In fact, I just ran my fingers down my shin as I wrote that last line, just to make sure.  Mrs. F and I will be out for a run again tomorrow, but I'm not sure if we will do morning or evening.  Since our runs are longer now, it's harder to fit them in during the morning without getting out even earlier.  When we started, we were only gone for about 35 minutes.  Lately, we've been gone 50 minutes (our short drive, our run, and our warm-up and cool-down walks).  In fact, running after work on Friday seems to have become the norm for us now.  I certainly don't mind that it is a bit warmer at that time of the day.

I'm going to end for now.  We're still more than an hour from dinner, and then we have some family time planned for the evening (our Sunday evening ritual). The older kids are either outside or out of site (other than one who is grounded), so only the two youngest ones are nearby at the moment.  For some reason, the noise they make is much easier on the ears than the sounds of older children bickering about anything.