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, May 28, 2010

Weight check 5/27/10


Last Friday: 285.6 lbs.

Today: 285.4 lbs.

Gain/Loss: -.2 lbs.

Goal: 210.0 lbs.

Cumulative: 14.6 lbs.

Pounds to lose: 75.4


Mrs. F
Last Friday: 159.8 lbs.

Today: 159.3 lbs.

Gain/Loss: -.5 lbs.

Goal: 150.0 lbs.

Cumulative: 23.5 lbs.

Pounds to lose: 9.3

Comment: I was pleased to see the half pound gone. I didnt have a very consistent eating week, so I had feared it might have gone the other direction. Its very encouraging to see the numbers go below 10 towards my first goal. After I reach 150, I plan to reevaluate, and see if I want to lose that last 10 towards my 2nd goal of 140.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


I know its been ages since I blogged but Im still here. I made it through the winter,and did keep running. :) Now its on to learning to run in the heat of the summer!

I ran 39.5 miles in January, 26.5 in february, 33.5 in March, 39.4 in April and thus far 15.8 in May. Im still trying to find the balance of the right amount of running that doesnt cause my legs to hurt. I dealt with some shin splints along the interior of my legs. My desire to run more and faster may have had something to do with that!! I had to take a few weeks off here or there to let the muscles heal and then I dialed back the milage. I have been using runnign ahead to track my miles and i love seeing the numbers!

Mr. F got me my birthday present a few months early - a Garmin 305 watch! I absolutely love it. I love having the data at my fingertips and having the distance as Im running is very very helpful. I opted for the version with the heartrate monitor and have been using that as well.

My current plan for running is to do 3 runs a week, 1 longer run (4-6 miles) and two shorter runs (less than 4), totally 8-11 miles per week. The weeks I went past that and hit 13 and 14 miles run, were weeks that really did my legs in. So while the desire to run a lot is there, I just have to take my time in getting there.

Im also trying on the off days to bike anywhere from 3-7 miles. That hasnt been as consistent for me. Its not as high of a calorie burn so its easier for me to just skip that workout.

Speaking of calorie burn, I officially have lost 23 lbs since last august. I fully believe thats why I have kept running, i can see visable results in having lost 6 sizes of clothing. Well and the fact that I like to eat chocolate, running, allows me that indulgence in moderation. Dont get me wrong, there have been plenty of plateaus and losing and regaining the same five pounds over and over. Lots of weeks of bad eating thrown in there. I just keep on going though. One of the keys to making this work for me was learning not to beat myself up over a bad day. Nor to let that bad day torpedo me into many more bad days of eating. Just to let it stand for what it is and move on to eating better the next day. In fact, yesterday was a really really bad day for eating but today is a new day. Im still using my daily plate for calorie counting and then using the calorie burn on my garmin watch for a more accurate exercise calorie burn.

I dont have any specific races planned but Im hoping to do a few this summer. Im a bit anxious to see how my training has paid off. I can see the results in that my pace is getting better and better but race running is a different ballgame.

Im in the process of transitioning to running in the mornings again. Its been wickedly hot and humid here (80-95) and running in the afternoon was just not an option. Its been a much harder transition than I anticipated. The pull of sleeping is strong. I really need to be hitting the sack much earlier in the night, if Im going to pull off a 530 am run! Its way too easy for me to say, Im not getting up today. When I was running after school, I was very consistent in getting out at least every other day. Just need to keep plugging away at making the change, I guess!

Keep on running folks
Mrs. F

Monday, May 24, 2010

15 Minute Mile

Saturday morning, Mrs. F convinced me to go for a run.  It was my first run in close to six months. The treadmill we bought has a belt-slippage problem, so it hasn't been used.  We know what needs to be done to test it so we can get warranty service, but until the last week or two, I've been tied up with my grad studies and have not been available to help Mrs. F complete the test.

It was only one mile.  I likely could have held on for more, but I spent most of the first half mile trying to get control of my breathing, and I was ready to be done before we even hit the half mile mark.  On the way back, Mrs. F had to jog in place to stick with me at times, and she asked me if I wanted to walk some.  Stubborn as I am, if I was out for a run, I was out for a run. I slogged through the entire mile, and Mrs. F's Garmin Foreruner told her that I had completed it at a 15 minute mile pace. Not bad for a fat old dog who has been sitting in his room reading books and writing papers for what seems like forever.

Actually, she said I started at an 11 minute mile pace, and slowed from there.  When I get my stamina back, I might even surprise myself.

Okay, it wasn't just agreeing to go with her on the run, either.  I don't remember what bargain we struck the night before, but when I asked her to do something, she replied, "Only if you agree to run with me in the morning." I need to watch what I agree to when I'm tired.  ;-)

Speaking of bargains, Marie has been trying to bait me back into the health and fitness thing (I've not even ridden my bike to work since we hit a particularly cold stretch this winter).  She offered that, if I can get to my goal weight, I can get a motorcycle.  At first, I thought she was kidding, but she's made the offer numerous times over the past couple of months.  Before some of you go off on how dangerous motorcycles can be, let me just say that I'm aware of the risks of riding an open-air vehicle at highway speeds.  Had I gotten a motorcycle when I was in my 20s, I would have been afraid for me.  As I am today, I'm much less inclined to be reckless--there's no one I want to impress, and I have plenty of reasons why I want to stay injury free (not the least of which is knowing that one good accident would mean that the motorcycle woiuld go bye-bye).

At first, the thought of a motorcycle really didn't motivate me at all.  As the weeks have worn on, however, that little voice in the back of my head is saying, "Why not? You can do that." Perhaps I can.

I didn't weigh on Friday, but I did weigh at home on Saturday morning: 285.6.  Thankfully, I've held at this plateau without losing too much ground.

It's not that my first run in a while went off without a hitch.  I don't know if it is just starting again after so long, or the run coming so soon after all that time carrying our gear up in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, but I really had some discomfort in the time after the run.  Of course, my legs were starting to feel like Jello when I finished, but I really feel the strain in my quads.  Then there was the back pain.  On Saturday evening, Mrs. F and I made four batches of Hudson Bay Bread, and that left me standing and bending (for the lower oven) a lot.  By the time we were done, I was too sore to stand.

Hudson Bay Bread, by the way, is definitely not a low-calorie food.  It's basically ground oats, brown sugar, butter, honey,  and molasses.  We make some varieties with nuts and dried fruit as well.  It was one of the foods we took with us to the Boundary Waters on our canoe trip, and since we signed up for snack at our church fellowship for the weekend after we returned, we thought it would be a fun treat to share with others.

Taking time to follow this rabbit trail, I'll admit that making it re-awakened some of my entrepreneurial leanings.  We figured that, if it was well received, we could look into renting some food-grade kitchen space to make a few batches for samples and sale.  I know someone who has a website through which he sells camping gear (aimed primarily at canoe trekkers), and I've seen a number of inquiries online from people who have searched for places to buy Hudson Bay Bread, so I thought it might be a good fit.  Getting ready for this canoe trip also had me working on a design for a lightweight, packable, wood-burning stove, but that has not gone past the drawing stage (though I do have a friend who is a design engineer working up the sketches in AutoCAD). Thus, I've obviously had some time beyond my studies, but allocating time is always easier when you enjoy what you're doing.

When I first completed the Couch-to-5k program, I can't say I really enjoyed running.  There were a few runs that felt great, but it never became the butter to my bread as it seems to have become for Mrs. F.  She'll be the first to admit that it hasn't been easy for her by any means, but running did seem to "click" for her (I'll let her post as to whether or not I characterized that correctly).  Of course, it probably helps that, since she was able to stick with it better than was I, she's seen a bit more of a return on her labor: she's looking great.  It might not make sense to most of you, but while I'm glad for her success, it also makes me feel worse about my inability to keep going.  I try to focus on the former (being happy for her success) without dwelling too much on the latter.  She's able to run with another friend in town now, and she's talking about 10k races, half-marathons, and even mini-triathalons.  All the while, I was just realizing how much my mind really is a one-track mind: when I got into running, that's all I cared about.  When school started up again, that's all I could do.  As our BWCA trip got closer, it was the only thing on my mind.  Now that the trip is over, school is nearly done, and a motorcycle is being dangled in front of me, my mind might be realigning to return to running/fitness as its focus-du-jour.

Now, if I could only remember to brush my teeth every day...