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, July 2, 2010

Thwarted twice over

I got up early to run this morning, but when I realized that the garden didn't get watered last night, I ended up taking care of that.  More than an hour later, my running time was gone and I found myself rushing to get to work by 8 AM.

This afternoon, things were going pretty well. We were allowed to leave a little early today, and when I got home, I found myself adjusting to the fact that I don't have any homework to do.  I had started soup when I was home over lunch, so I decided to make some bread. Of course, in our house, making bread is more than baking a loaf.  When all was done, we had three large whole wheat sandwich loaves, a wheat batard, and four French baguettes.  In addition, I reserved half a batch of wheat dough to retard in the refrigerator, and used the other to grill up some flat bread to eat with the soup.  My formulation came out far better than I expected--the flat bread puffed perfectly, making them wonderful, homemade pocket-style pita bread.  All seemed wonderful, and all was wonderful.

Then, it happened.  As we sat down for dinner and Mrs. F served bowls of extremely hot Cajun-seasoned soup, our four year old daughter tipped her bowl out onto her belly.  Her wail made it clear it was no push from a brother or a minor injury.  We rushed her into the bathroom, and I had her lay down in the bathtub.  We got her shirt off, and immediately started applying cold water.  Given the location, the upper part of her abdomen, it would have been tough to immerse the burned area.  We took a wet rag, laid it across the burn (about 2" by 8"), and kept pouring cold water on the rag.  Her screaming and wailing was... She was inconsolable.  In time, she said her fingers hurt, too, so we soaked them in a cup.  We let the tub fill part way with cold water, and kept her in as long as she could stand it.  Then, getting her out of the tub, I loosely wrapped a cold, wet triangular bandage around her trunk. [Thanks, Mrs. F--They were a great birthday gift, and they've proven useful, too.]  It was clear that some blisters were developing, so we headed in to the emergency room.

To make a long story short, our daughter is okay and I didn't get my run.  Because we cooled the wound so quickly (and for so long), by the time the ER doctor took a look, she was left with a line of relatively mild second degree burns.  The rest of the 2"x8" area looked like normal skin again.  Had we not cooled her so soon and so long, she likely would have blistered over a larger area.

She's in bed now, with a bit of medicated ointment and a fresh bandage on.  I'm trying to wind down, and wondering how cool it will be in the morning.  My plans to run today were thwarted twice, but tomorrow dawns a new day.

Weight check 7/2/10


Last Friday:    280.2 lbs.

Today:          277.2 lbs.

Gain/Loss:       -3.0 lbs.

Goal:           210.0 lbs.

Cumulative:      23.2 lbs.
[I readjusted this cumulative total after going to back to realize Mr. F's starting weight was actually 300.4]

Pounds to lose:  67.2

Comment:  I don't feel too bad considering I've run 12 miles this week. I still need to run tonight.

Mrs. F

Last Friday:   155.4 lbs.

Today:         155.0 lbs.

Gain/Loss:      - .4 lbs.

Goal:          150.0 lbs.

Cumulative:     27.8 lbs.

Pounds to lose:  5.0

Comment:  I expected to have a small loss this week since last weeks was so large. So Im pleased with nearly a half pound loss. I really hit running hard this week, in the last 7 days, Ive run over 18 miles!

The 7 miler

Today was slated to be my long run. I was planning on doing at least 6 today since my longer runs lately have been on the shorter end. I got up with the idea that maybe, just maybe, I wanted to try 7.

I set out on a gravel road heading out of town and then connected up to a state trail. Its an old rail line, so its fairly leval with minimal elevation.

The first 3 miles were tough. It just felt long and drug out and I started rethinking the plan. I kept telling myself that I just need to get to 2.5 miles(I was doing a turn around and doubling back). I just keep plugging away.

I set a pacing goal of 12-13 minute miles. It was harder than I thought to keep my pace slow enough to do that long of a run. There were points that I allowed myself to go faster for a short while at least.

At about 3.1 miles, I start thinking about how far out I am and the fact that I didnt bring a cell phone. I started wondering bout the brilliance of this plan. I hit 3.25 and I found my stride for awhile! At 3.5 miles run, I turned around on the trail and started running back.

This is the point where I really regretted forgetting my sunglasses as I was facing directly into the sun. Thankfully the trail was wooded and had various shade patches along the way. It was about 66 degrees out with a nice breeze.

My insides of my legs hurt for the first 3 miles, than at mile 4 my quads took up the mantra. The weird thing was the inside of my legs felt fine then.

I didnt hit the wall til mile 5. Then it was tough, I still had two miles to go and I was in direct sunlight. I had come off the trail section back unto the gravel road. Just keep running, just keep running was my mantra for awhile. The songs changed on my playlist and uplifted my mood a bit. I found a bit more of my stride at mile 6. It just might have been the fact that it was a downhill moment though.

For the last mile, I allowed myself to go as fast or as slow as I wanted. I ran sub 12 for the first half mile, then slowed to sub 13 for awhile and finished by sprinting sub 10. I ended up with overall average pace of 11:57.

This was my longest run yet for distance and time both. It took me 1 hour and 23 minutes and 41 seconds!!!

I will definitely take the next two days off as rest days as Ive run 13.9 miles this week total. And if I included last Saturday as well, it would be 18.6 in the last 7 days. I suspect its time for a rest!

Weight check later today. Im not sure what to expect. Part of me wonders since I had really really low calorie days(1200-1400) last week and had a big loss, if this week will be a gain. I kept my calorie intakes to a reasonale leval this week, but they just werent as low as last weeks. I also ran 3 days this week as well. Time will tell!

Stay tuned folks...

Mrs. F

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

New personal distance record, scary breathing problem

[5.0 miles in 82 minutes]

I missed going out with Mrs. F this morning, because I was up until 3AM getting my paper done.  Rather than letting it slide for the day, I decided to go out for a run this evening. I decided to push myself a bit, and ended up running five miles!  I currently feel like warmed-over death, but that's much better than shortly after my run ended.  Let me explain...

After the end of the run, I came in and planned to take a shower.  As I entered the bathroom, I noticed an odd smell in the air.  Mrs. F told me that one of our daughters had, without permission of course, sprayed a bunch of Febreeze air spray in the bathroom.  I've always disliked strong smells (some will give me headaches), but as I prepared to shower, I found myself gasping for breath.  I literally felt my lungs tighten up, and I couldn't get a good breath without making a horrible, wheezing gasps.  We had an inhaler around, so I took two hits, and I stayed in our bedroom under the ceiling fan until my breathing was better.

Let me just say this: it scared the crap out of me.  For a minute, I thought there was a chance I might die.

I've never been diagnosed with asthma, and this is the first time this ever happened.  I'll mention it to the doctor.  I think the thickness of that scent in the air, on top of my lungs being fatigued from the run, was the source of the trouble, but it still scared the snot out of me.  I'm still coughing every few minutes, even thought I got home 90 minutes ago. Mrs. F is throwing the bottle away, and I plan on writing the manufacturer (at a minimum, they need to know what happened).

That was scary.  It sort of took the enjoyment out of my accomplishment--five miles is my longest run ever, and it brings my total for the past five days to 12 miles.

A family affair

Now that Mr. F is back on the running bandwagon, some of the kids are following suit. We had some discussions about what we wanted for our kids. Neither of us had good healthy execise habits. Imagine where we could have been if that had been part of our lives all along.

So we've decided that being active 3 times a week is going to be mandatory. Most of our kids dont struggle with weight and are fairly active. Although, like other kids, video games and sedentary activities like reading pull at them. So 3 times a week for at least 30 minutes(or they can do distance based like the minumum is a mile). Our family has a genetic history on at least one side of high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholestol and heart disease. So they have a strike right off the bat. I want to encourage them to develop life long habits of making exercise a part of their lives.

Most of the kids are fine with this. A few are puzzled at the requirement -- after all they are pretty active kids. The lone holdout is my 16 yr old daughter. She is very resistant to the idea of adding exercise into her routine. In fact, she is flat out refusing. It doesnt have to be running -- it can be walking, running or even dancing. The main goal is to get out there and be active. I might need to pull out my parental arsenal of consquences :)

I expect some resistence to change but Im hoping we can make this a family affair!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Musical words

I had my yearly physical today. It had been a year since I was last in that clinic. The last time I weighed 183 pounds and today I weighed 155.4. My doctor said that Im at a healthy weight for my height. Those words were music to my ears. Its been a long and hard year.

There are other indicators that my health is on the right track -- my cholesterol numbers were fantastic and my blood pressure was nice and low.

This is the fruit of my labor. I think back to some of those frigid cold days of running. I remember putting on layer after layer just to get out to run. It was worth it. There were months that I thought Id never get here -- after the scale read the same or higher each week.

For some of you, the journey is longer. I just want to encourage to keep plugging away. Keep moving, whether its running or walking or dancing. You can do it!

Mrs. F

Two times in three days...not bad for a reboot

Mrs. F and I were out again this morning.  My pace was still a bit slow (over 16mm), but this route had more long climbs, and one steep one, so I won't complain.  With today's 2.75 miles, that brings me to just a hair under seven (7) miles over the past three days.

My body still remembered Saturday's run as we began, and it seemed to take a very long time to find my slogging stride.  I didn't get that feeling of "everything's good" on this run, and I didn't feel like I was getting into a grove until at least a mile-and-a-half in, perhaps closer to two miles.  It was nice to be on a different route again, however--many visual distractions to keep my mind from focusing on its desire to go back home and crawl into bed.

There was a good, stiff wind this morning, and it was just cool enough to make me feel chilled as we began. We were going head-on into the wind after our first turn, so the wind and the hill opposed us.  Mrs. F has run the route before, so she knew what we were facing.  She told me that there was a "wicked" hill on our next segment, and I could soon see why she described it that way.  I took my eyes off the hill and looked down and around.  I admired the densely wooded lot on our left.  By the time I looked up again, I was well up on my climb, and I just needed to keep moving.

When we reached the intersection that marked where we'd turn back toward the house, I thought about continuing on.  Rather than risk pushing myself too far, however, I decided it was best for me to suffice with a bit less than three miles today.  That four-plus route can wait for another day.

I'm looking forward to weight-check on Friday.  In looking back on my chart (which I had to fill in with dummy numbers around those weights I had recorded in order for the graph to show up in Excel), I realize just how much I messed up over the past six months.  Instead of losing another 30 or more pounds, I had gained back ten (or more) and am only now back to where I was shortly after our secret plan was revealed.

At the same time, however, the prospect of the November Turkey Trot suddenly seemed less intimidating.  After all, I really could drop another 30 (or more) pounds between now and then, and I can only imagine that running will be easier when I weigh less.

Oh, well.  That's all for now.  I need to top off my bike tires so I can get back to riding, and I need to plan on running again on Wednesday.  For today and tomorrow, however, I need to put my nose to the grindstone, and crank out my final research paper.  I'm so looking forward to school being done.  Hurrah!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Not bad, considering...

I actually feel pretty good, considering I ran 4.24 miles yesterday.  I can feel it in my quads, but I had expected to feel it in my lower back.  My quads aren't too bad, either.  I only really notice it when stooping, or when going down the stairs.  Going up feels fine.

Mrs. F has asked me to run again in the morning.  Though I need to get in to work early tomorrow, I just may go for that run (though I don't think I'll be trying for four!).

Good night.