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, July 24, 2010

And on and on and on and on...

A friend was joining Mrs. F for her run this morning, since they both run about the same pace and planned to do seven.  She tried to get me up, but I had a minor headache and really didn't want to move.  Last evening, I got home from work just after 4 PM and was baking bread until about 9 PM--eighteen loaves, with some additional dough in the fridge and freezer. Needless to say, I was beat.

So, Mrs. F and her friend got up and left without me, but I did drag myself out of bed a few minutes later. I couldn't find my ball cap or my bug spray, so that added a little aggravation, but I did manage to start running by 6:38.

I knew I didn't want to run out and back today.  Something about covering familiar ground makes that final mile seem really long.

Overall, it wasn't a bad run--few bugs, and early enough to beat the heat.  I ran out to where the trail crossed a major east-west street, and then turned back toward home along the road.

[Out-of-town company just arrived, so I need to cut this short.]

I ran 6.75 miles in 1:48--a flat 16mm pace.  I'm still slow, but I'm moving.  And, hey, that's a new distance record for me.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Weight Check 7/23/10


Last Friday:   272.0 lbs.
Today:         270.2 lbs.
Gain/Loss:      -1.8 lbs.
Goal:          210.0 lbs.
Cumulative:     30.2 lbs.
Pounds to lose: 60.2
Comment:  I'm surprised to have lost any weight because I had a horrible week, as far as eating goes. We had run out of the vegetables that I had been eating for most of my meals and Im just getting back to eating them today.

Mrs. F

Last Friday:    152.7 lbs.
Today:          154.1 lbs.
Gain/Loss:       +1.4 lbs.
Goal:           150.0 lbs.
Cumulative:      28.7 lbs.
Pounds to lose:   4.1
Comment:  I worked really hard this week and ate within my calorie bounds, so I was really disapointed with the gain. Out of the last 7 days, I either rode bike or ran for 5 of them. So im not really sure whats up, but Im just gonna claim that i gained 1.4 pounds of muscle :) I looked up my weight pattern and I havent gained for 6 weeks, so maybe I was just due for some water weight!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

What was I thinking?

Well, I slept in again this morning and missed my morning run.  I figured that was okay considering my 20 mile bike ride the evening before.  I was in such a hurry to get to work that I forgot to eat breakfast.

It was that kind of day.

During the day, I convinced myself that I would run this evening after work, but soon I got a call from Mrs. F--she was delaying her shopping run to this evening and wanted to know if I wanted to go along.  I love stretching the family dollar (and finding good clearance deals), so I knew I wanted to go.  Thus ended the idea of the evening run.

I did remember to eat lunch (1.25 cups of homemade chili with a quarter cup of jalapeƱo slices and a few tablespoons of shredded cheddar), but we had to catch dinner while out an about.  I opted for two Whopper Junior sandwiches (sans mayo--about 290 calories each), and Mrs. F and I shared a mixed Coke-Cherry ICEE.  Not the lowest calorie dinner I've had lately, but one of the tastiest! Given my other caloric intake for the day, I thought a 700 calorie supper wasn't so bad.

So, we didn't end up home until about 9 PM.  By the time everything was in and put away, it was later.  Still, I had that nagging feeling of wanting to run, so I asked Mrs. F if she would mind riding along as I ran.  We started out with our dog, a large golden retriever, but he soon broke off his leash so Mrs. F had to take him home while I ran on.  She eventually caught up to me, and we enjoyed some time together.  The bugs weren't too bad, though I had to swat them away from my ears numerous times.  Occasional raindrops fell, but not enough to cool me down.

We made the route an out-and-back route, starting out uphill before turning and heading downhill a ways.  I turned around at a road where we'd turn to complete a 2.8 route, and headed back home.  I've really noticed my stride change lately.  There are times now when I'm really comfortable in calling it a run (compared to the labored slog that still comprises many runs)--my stride is longer, and I can feel the air beneath my feet.  It's a good feeling.

So, back up the hill I went, before heading down the other way.  Then, up another minor rise before descending toward the house where it began a gradual climb again.  With all done, I headed in and took a shower--hot at first, and then turned down very cool.  I'm not sure how quickly I'll get to sleep now, but I'm glad I got the run in.  In some ways, I wonder "What was I thinking?" It's like I've become one of those crazy runners!

Two-and-a-half miles done in just over 36 minutes--a 14:30mm pace! Definitely my best pace for a two miler since my first 5k races last fall.  Perhaps I might improve my time when I next race two weeks from Saturday, on August 7.

Speedwork Wednesday 7/21/10

Since todays training was a bit more complicated, I elected to set up a workout on my garmin watch. Note to self: Dont do it at 1030 pm when very tired. I got it set up okay but didnt discover til midworkout, I forgot to change some distance values and the last 4 steps were wrong.

My plan called for a total of 5 miles: 1 mile warm up run, 1/2 mile at 4:52 pace, 1/4 mile recovery jog (This set done 4 times totaling 3 miles) and then a cool down mile. I was tired and drug out by last nights drama. I did manage to get a 9.11 mile bike ride in despite it all, at a 4:39 pace. So that was a great way to burn off stress but not so great for getting to bed early.

So getting up wasnt on the early side, I think I got up around 630 and made it out the door by 7 am. It was nice and cool to start with, so that was nice. I was feeling a bit sore yet from the biking, so I made sure I did my half mile warm up walk. I did the first running mile in a little over 12 minute pace.

Then the fun began. I began running my pace halves. The first two tenths of mile sped on by and I thought (mistakenly of course) that this wasnt too bad. The other 3/10ths though drug on and on and on. I did the first speed half in 4:55! Then the recovery jog -- somehow that .25 of a mile goes by super fast when the speedy stuff goes super slow. Hmmmm! The next interval, I hit my target right on and did a 4:52. I was super pleased with that. I deliberately picked a route with hills, as I figured races generally have them.

Heres where my late night set up comes into play. The next interval had a distance of a mile instead of a half. So I thought maybe i could run the half and skip ahead to the next step. I couldnt figure out how to do that and I had a horrible sideache after the 3rd half mile interval, so I elected to walk the other half of that mile. It really didnt help my sideache at all though. I kept trying to deep breath and get it to go away, but it really plagued me for most of the rest of the run. Running in pain , really, isnt so much fun.

I was hoping that i just messed up on the one step and could go ahead to the next .25 interval, but nope that was set for a mile too. So i reversed some steps and did my cool down mile next. Not quite what was intended but hey it worked. I then did the last half mile interval and recovery jog with a little extra added in to make sure I made 5 miles of running. I kept going til my Garmin hit 5:52, that way the half mile of walking didnt reduce my running total. So I didnt end up with the 3rd interval time but I was aiming for the same pace. I did my cool down mile in the 12 minute range and then did the 4th interval in 4:56. Overall I was pleased that I hit the pace time within a few seconds!

It definitely was hard and I was feeling it -- when I finished I was sore! So two day break and then another 7 miler on Saturday. Our race is coming up about 2.5 weeks. I cant wait to see how this training effects my total race time!

Keep on running,
Mrs. F

I missed my run, but that's okay...

I must admit that I was feeling a bit lazy when I got up yesterday.  I should have gotten out for a short run, but didn't.  Last year, I woke up early in the morning as the sun came up, whether I wanted to or not.  It's been that way for me for much of my life.  This year, however, I just can't seem to get out of bed in the mornings.

Now that I think of it, we did get our first new mattress set in 10 years recently.  I wonder if having a nice, comfortable bed has something to do with it...

Anyway, what I'm trying to say is that I've typically been a morning person and an early riser.  Lately, though, I find myself wanting to be a night owl again.  I really think I messed up my internal clock during my last two terms of studying (being up until one or two o'clock in the morning while working on assignments).

Anyway, I decided I would run in the afternoon, which is what I've been doing lately.  When I got home from work, however, I learned that three of my boys, who biked to the next town to hunt for a hidden festival medallion, were not yet home.  I had biked that route before and knew it would take them some time, but it was not like them to miss dinner.  After grabbing a bite myself, I decided to bike out to where they should be--I hoped to find them on the trail, already on the way home.

I was about five miles out of town when the boys called me.  One of the bikes broke down and they were still in the next town.  Someone had let them use a cell phone, so they were hoping for a ride.  I told them I was on my bike, but that I would be there soon, and that I'd call home to have Mrs. F get the van ready.  Well, I did call home, but the call broke up.  When I tried to call again, I realized my phone was dead.

What an evening it was! Mrs. F, not able to reach me via phone, drove the van to the next town, parked near the trail, and waited.  The boys, meanwhile, got some help from a local man who patched up the bike and got them back on the trail.  I came across them ten miles from home.  We turned around and started back.  The youngest of the three was on a smaller bike with only three gears, so he could not keep up very well.  Since all the bikes were working and they were together, I opted to bike ahead, because I feared that my lack of contact might have put Mrs. F in a panic. 

When I got home, Mrs. F was not there.  I called her, and let her know that the boys were on the way home.  She had been sitting in the van, and driving around town, for over an hour.  Needless to say, she wasn't very pleased.

When she got home, she readied for her ride, but before she got out of the door, we were in for more family drama when a police car pulled up with another one of the boys inside.  I won't go into details here, but let's just say that being taken home in a police car is never viewed kindly by parents, and it hopefully scared some sense into one of our boys.

As we were wrapping up with our police drama, two of the boys, including the slowest one, pulled into the driveway.  The eldest? His bike broke down again.  Guess what I'm going to suggest he do with his recent birthday monies? How far back did he break down? More than five miles from town.

Well, being our runner, we knew he had two good, strong legs, and we also knew that we had no way of telling when he'd be near one of the cross-streets along the trail, so we let him walk.  He came in a little over an hour later, complaining of hunger, sore feet, and two-hundred mosquito bites.

Mrs. F came home feeling better after her ride.

So, I didn't get my run in for the day, but I did get in a 20 mile bike ride, half of it uphill, at just under an 11 mph pace (fat mountain bike tires on a trail are such a pain--I miss my old Trek 720 with its narrow hybrid tires!).  I'll just chalk up Tuesday as a cross-training day.