My first treadmill run…

It has been a while since I’ve written.

Life has been hectic.  I was in Louisiana for a week doing a work project.  Let me say, I only ran once while there and that was my first run ever on a treadmill.  Just sayin… I’m not a fan.  That was the Sunday I arrived.  After that, I worked 14 – 15 hours each day and just couldn’t bring myself to get up to run on that machine again.

This last week was my first full week of running since I last wrote.  The week before my trip I was able to average 7 miles a day for 6 days.  Not bad for me.  In fact the only week I ran that much in the past was during marathon training.  On top of everything it was very warm out, but I wanted to push it (time wise, not speed wise).  Last week, I felt like I had lost everything.  I was tired and it was tough outside with humidity.  TJ and I did a hill run on Monday that was harder then any other run I’ve had in a long time. The week of running was simple 2 – 5 mile runs, but it was difficult.

So the week off really messed with my running.  No exercise, not much water, and not much walking either.  Just spending all week in from of my laptop programming.

This week is a new week.  I had a relatively good run yesterday morning.  It was hot, but I did get in 5+ miles.  I’m doing my best to break the 4 mile summer barrier I hit last year during the heat.  Today is another hill run with TJ and then just normal runs.  I have another business trip though that might mess things up a bit.  Normally I wouldn’t be worried as it is only a few days, but after having a full week off of running and now a few more days off, I’m going to have to be really careful, especially with my weight.

Have an awesome week. Hopefully things slow down after this week and I’ll get back to writing.  I’ve missed blogging and keeping up with my blog running friends.  Right now it is all I can do to write.

Thanks for reading and have fun running!


Running better, Running faster

I’m out of town and can’t run.  I’m a little bummed about that.

Tuesday was my last run and it my running keeps getting better (finally).  I am sticking to my 5 mile route for now and the mountain on the weekend.  Tuesday, I went out slow at first.  As I got going, I started feeling better and stronger.

Here are the splits:


8:19 Pace

8:19 Pace

My legs felt strong.  My hip felt good overall.  It always seems to bug me a little more at the end of my runs, but not much.

So at an 8:19 overall pace, this was the best 5 miles I’ve run in my neighborhood in a long time.

So, is it the mountain running or the ACV (apple cider vinegar)?  Yes, I am still doing both.  Either way, I am getting good results and am excited about my race at the Country Music Half Marathon in April.  I do need to work on my long runs though.  I still stop at 8 miles after going up the mountain and back.  I would like to add more miles to that soon.  That should wear my legs out well.

Anyway, no running yesterday, but I hope to get home before dark so I can run today.

I hope you all are happy and running.  I also hope to get back reading blogs soon.



Weekend running and 10K goal

I haven’t yet written about my weekend runs because of life getting in the way and my pondering the 11 year old me yesterday.  By the way, if you haven’t done so, ask yourself what you would say to the younger you with what you know now.  It really is helpful!

Yesterday was my off day and I took it with eagerness.  I ran 9 days in a row and was quite sore.  In fact my hip was really bad, but I walked 3.1 miles yesterday and that seemed to help quite a bit.

So Saturday I ran with my running geek friend (@BigBigGeek) and had a great time.  Realize I didn’t say I had a great run, but that I had a great time.  I think my running streak really was getting to me even though my mileage wasn’t very high.  After the week was over I realized that I ran almost 50% of the mileage I ran in September last week alone, so I might have over done it. 🙂

Anyway, we had a fun run talking the whole time.  I was glad to be the one listening more since by the time we hit the 3 mile mark I was about ready to walk.  Neill is really improving a lot.  It was just a few months ago that our runs would have messed up my pace for the week and now I am pushing to keep up with him!

We finished the 6 miles and I had to head out for weekend errands.  It was really a beautiful day and seriously a lot of fun.

Sunday was another run in the park.  TJ, RS and I ran in the park for about 5 miles.  TJ asked Saturday if I wanted to go there on Sunday morning, so I said sure.  We got there and knowing that he enjoyed the trail run we did right after our marathon (that I had to cut short), I chose to run the trails with my boys.  We got half way through and RS wasn’t feeling well so he walked back to the car on the road and TJ and I ran back on the trails.  I was a bit apprehensive since my achilles hasn’t been doing too great, but it really felt good.  At the end of the trail we still had a half mile to go to make it a total of 5 miles, so we ran up the road and turned back after a quarter mile.  I was exhausted, but in order to learn to push through, I ran as hard as I could back to the car.  TJ measured us running under 6:00 pace at the fastest, which was exciting to me.

Now this week.  TJ and I drove the Vulcan 10K course last weekend and it is going to be fun.  It is pretty flat other than a mile hill that goes up a mountain.  So I am going to try to get my speed up over the next few weeks preparing for the race.  I have 3 weeks to get back into racing form, so it isn’t long.  Between hill runs and tempo runs, I hope to be able to run the 10K under an 8:00 pace.  Actually I hope to hit 7:30/mile.  Time will tell.

Say hi to your 11 year old self for me. 🙂

I can’t run today, but…

Just sitting here with BZL and The Dog.

It is raining outside, but who cares.

I can’t run today.

No figuring out when to run.  No worrying if it would it be better to run in the rain this morning or wait until it clears up this afternoon.   No trying to figure out how to fit my run around football and family time.

I don’t have to take Ibuprofen today for my sore body since I’m not running.

I don’t have to decide which running shoe to wear.  My Saucony Fastwitch feel better, but really are too light for regular running.  My Saucony Mirage hold up better and give me more support, but are heavier and take more effort to run in.  Doesn’t matter today, because I’m not running.

Also I don’t have to decide where to run.  Do I run in my neighborhood (where I am bored of running) or drive out to the State Park and pay to run there?  Doesn’t matter, because I can’t run today.

There are so many great reasons to be happy that I can’t run today…

So why aren’t I happy?

I want to run today.  I want to run in the rain.  I want to figure out how to run around football and family time.  I want to feel my body hurt.  I want have to chose which shoes to wear.  I want to go run in the State Park.

I can’t run today, but at least I can give my body a rest, enjoy my family, hang with The Dog and take a walk.

I’m glad I’m alive and have such small problems.  🙂

Bye bye running, for now

Okay when I said “for now”, I meant for now.

I had a small procedure done today that will prevent me from running until next Friday.  I can still walk, but nothing beyond that.

Sadly I didn’t get a final run in yesterday.  I got up at 3:30 AM and got home at 6:30 PM.  On top of that I had to be in town at 3:50 this morning, so as soon as I got home, I went to bed.

Any suggestions on what a running blogger should write while he can’t run?  I’ve had one suggestion already, but I am open to more.

Up until yesterday my running has been slowly improving since the big marathon day.  I got up to 4 miles on Wednesday and probably could have done more, but chose not to push it.  The heat has been getting to me again.  I haven’t run in 90+ degree weather for a couple of weeks and I can tell it has made a difference.  Of course it is supposed to be a high of 77 degrees tomorrow and I can’t run.  I guess I’ll have to sit and watch football.  Darn.

TJ has helped me map out my running plan for the next 6 months.  It is so nice to have him as a resource!  My goal for my next marathon is going to be three fold.

  1. Under 4:00
  2. 3:45
  3. 3:30 (BQ)

It is nice to have several options to push for and with cooler weather just a month away, I’m excited to have new goals.

I’m jealous of all you marathoners tapering and preparing for your Fall marathons.  I so enjoyed mine.  I hope I can keep healthy and keep running long distance races.  I really enjoy them.

Finally, a shout out to my running friend Neill (@BigBigGeek – as he runs the Talladega Half Marathon Sunday.  I’m so excited for him.  If it weren’t for my current running situation (or lack thereof) I might think of running it myself – just for fun.  Good luck and God speed Neill (Isa. 40:31).

[I just got a tweet from him asking for advice for a newbie half marathoner – It would be awesome if you all could go to his blog (linked above) and give him some encouragement and support.  He is a great guy and really moving forward with his running!!!]

Sorry to be all over the place with this post.  Now what am I going to write tomorrow.  🙂

An amazing run that never happened

Listen to your body…

How many times have I heard that over the past few weeks!

Yesterday I was at my Chiropractor and I was glad to be there.  The track run the day before was horrendous on my body.  My good hip hurt so much that it was hard to walk.  I got up in the middle of the night and limped to the bathroom.  Work wasn’t much better.

After my last few blog posts there seemed to be a theme from the comments and that theme was, “Listen to your body”.

As I was waiting for the Chiropractor to come into the room, I had made up my mind I was going to run after the appointment.  Yes I had been in pain and I was tired, but it was to be an easy run and only 5 miles.  I could do this… But in the back of my mind were the “what ifs”.  What if I run and my hip gets worse?  What if I hurt myself and can’t run the marathon?  All those miles and all the pain would be for nothing.  Then came the other “what ifs”.  What if I don’t run and that would have been “the” best run?  What if I don’t run and in some small way it affects my marathon?  It is only 5 miles after all, I can do that much.  Finally, if I ran all my planned  runs this week I’d be at a 200 mile month which I’ve gotten close to before, but never actually achieved.  “I can’t give that up”, I thought to myself.

The doctor came in.  He adjusted me and asked about my running.  He said I was really stiff and spent extra time trying to loosen me up.  Finally he asked if I was going to run after my appointment.  I told him I was waffling back and forth as to whether I should run or take a day off to recover.

His response…

“Listen to your body”.

Alright, I might be a little obsessive about my running.  I need to be.  If I weren’t I would have stopped long ago.  But eventually hearing all of your comments on this blog and his response got to me.  I knew I had to take the day off.  Sometimes things are said in such a way, and so many times, that I know it is wisdom and not just a coincidence.  This was one of those times.

So I went home.  I got in bed.  I read your blogs.  I rested with heat on my back and hips.  I slept.  I got up this morning and felt great.  I’m still a bit sore and it was hard when I first got out of bed, but I almost beat “The Dog” down the stairs for the first time in weeks.

So yesterday was an amazing run.  I ran it in my head and not on the streets.  It may have been the difference between a good marathon and a great one for me.  It might not make much of a difference.  Either way, I’m glad I didn’t run.

Ten years from now when I am reading blogs and posting comments to help new marathoners, my advice will be:

Hi IrunBecauseIwantTo (made up blog name).
Years ago I was preparing for my first marathon.  I had trained a lot and had a rough couple of weeks toward the end of my training.  I got some of the best advice from fellow runners that I had received in my year and a half of running.  They told me over and over, “Listen to your body”.  Finally I listened.  My marathon was awesome and I can look back and see it was that advice that made all the difference.  So I leave you with the same advice.  Listen to your body and have a great marathon!!!

More thoughts on “The Voice”… Thankfulness is the key!

Thank you everyone for such a great response to my blog post yesterday!  I had more views on my post yesterday than the day of the Boston Marathon.  It was also a great thing to see another blogger pick up where I ended and write their own story about struggling with “The Voice”.  Sarah wrote a really good post here (  Go read it when you get a chance.

Yesterday, as I lay on the Chiropractor table waiting for him to work on my hip, I thought more about combating that voice that talks so negatively to me during my runs.  I realized that it actually begins before my run.  Mainly on my speed workout or long run days.  So I decided that I am going to begin thinking more positively about my running, especially on those days.  I am beginning by just being thankful that I can run, let alone so many miles and in the Southern heat.  I am thankful that I can go to a Chiropractor who can help me be able to run a 5K race and a 17 mile long run in the same weekend and still be able to walk.  I am thankful for my continued weight loss and keeping those 100 lbs off.  I am thankful that I am off all my prescriptions that I took for years.  I am thankful I am off my CPAP.  There are so many things that running has helped me with that I cannot even begin to list them here.

Running has changed my life.  I went to the doctor the other day for my sinus infection and my heart rate was 56!  That isn’t even one beat a second.  That reminded me of something my father used to say to me.  He said that his theory was everyones heart has a finite amount to beats for each life.  So the slower he could get his heart to beat, the longer he would live.  I don’t know if that is scientific or not, but it sounded good to me.

I am training for my marathon on September.  It is hard and not every workout will be pleasant.  However, I am going to work harder at being more positive and thankful to God for the fact I can run and I am really going to work at extinguishing that negative voice before and during my workouts.

Life is too short!  I want to make the most of all the time I have to live.  Running helps me do that!

I am thankful!

Sick Daze

Okay, it seems that as soon as I committed to running the Lehigh Valley Marathon on September 8th, my life has… well fallen apart.

Maybe it is just me, but I was very sick the past two days.  I had the worse sinus infection I’ve had in years.  In fact, I don’t think I have missed a day of work since I have lost weight and stated running because of being sick.  Now…  2 days.

I just had a great run on Tuesday and now the week is gone.  Today I will run, but since we have a 5K race in the morning, I’ll have to take it easy (and since I haven’t been out of bed in 2 days).

But I am going to try my new magic weapon.  Beat root juice.  Yes it sounds disgusting, but it is loaded with nitrates and is supposed to increase endurance by up to 15%.  Well, I guess I’ll find out tomorrow.

Short post today.  Tomorrow I’ll be hangin’ with the dog and then running with TJ, RS and my friend Neill (@BigBigGeed) in the Shake and Bake 5K.


My running “adjustment”

A quick update as I need to get to work and didn’t get a chance to write this last night…

The Chiropractor went really well.  He took x-rays and said that everything looked great.  He did an adjustment that really did seem to help, but I was sore afterwards.  He then gave me some exercises to do and said that if I get my muscular issues taken care of, he thinks my pace will improve quite a bit.  I hope so!

One interesting thing.  This morning was the first morning in a LONG TIME that I walked down the steps after I woke up and had almost no pain!  Don’t get me wrong, my hip is still hurting a little, but my body wasn’t sore and my legs felt good.  That could the be the Chiropractor or the fact I’ve had 3 days off from running.  Either way, I’ll take it!!!

So he told me to take yesterday off and that I could run again today.  He then called me last night to see how I was doing.  I go back tomorrow morning for another round of adjustments.

Today, after work I’ll be running for the first time since Sunday.  I really thing this has been a good thing.  I felt like my body fell apart Sunday and I hope seeing this Chiropractor will begin getting me back in the running mode for the marathon.

BTW, I forgot to mention we have signed up for a 5K this weekend.  It is a fun race at 6:00 in the evening.  Summer evening, 5K, in the South – I can’t wait.  If I have too, I’ll walk the course; but I don’t think that will happen.  🙂

Successful running – create a habit

Running on hold…

My hip is better, but I still have pain.  I figured out that a light slow jog is less painful than walking, but I am not going to take any chances.  I have a Chiropractor appointment later today, so hopefully that will help.  This all comes from the time I jammed my hip while running on a sidewalk.  Lesson:  When running on a sidewalk, don’t get distracted.

So yesterday I went for a 2 mile walk.  The main reason is to keep my “running habit” going for when I am better, which I hope is soon.  My theory from 16 months of running is that in order to be a consistent runner, it must become a habit.  Habit is the key to most success in life.  If you can create a habit, you can be consistent and succeed where others fail.

I used to run 3 days a week.  I did this for a month or two and then it stopped.  16 months ago I started running 6 days a week.  I’m still running.  I’ve learned that in order to create a habit, one must do the same thing at the same time of the day.  Don’t hear me wrong.  I didn’t mean to say the same time, as in 2:00.  I mean the same time as in after an event that happens every day.

Let me explain.

I run after work, which works well for the winter and lousy for the summer.  Because of what I do for a living I get home at various times, but for me it is usually between 2:00 – 4:00.  As soon as I get home I run.  Everyone know this and even the dog leaves me alone.  I go upstairs, get changed, say goodbye to my Lovely Wife and head out the door.  Everyday weekday.  This has created a habit that even if I want to stop, I really can’t.  Of course Mondays are my day off, but even then I go outside and walk a couple miles.  On the weekends I do have to adjust, so I run as soon as I get up and eat.  Every weekend I do the same thing.

So yesterday I decided to walk since I didn’t think I should take a chance on running and I didn’t want to break my habit.  I got home, got changed, said goodbye and walked for 2 miles.  I came home, played with the dog outside while I cooled down and then went upstairs and showed.

I don’t know why I went into this today, maybe because I didn’t have much to write about.  Suffice to say, habits are important to any success, whether exercise, work, family, even spending time with “the dog”.  Next time you want to be successful at something, just do it the same time everyday for 3 weeks and it will become a habit.  It might get boring, but no one said success was always exciting.

Do the same thing, the same time, everyday and you will succeed!

Weight loss update – Running on hold

I haven’t posted much about my weight lately, mainly because there hasn’t been much to post about.  Yesterday was my off day from running, so I thought I’d take a moment to write about my weight.

When I was at my highest weight a couple of years ago, I weighed 278 lbs (thus the name of my blog).  My doctor told me to do some type of exercise and try to loose some weight.  Now, as of this morning, I weight 177 lbs.  That is a 101 lb (45.8 kg)  decrease over the past two years.  In fact it was July 2011 when I was in real trouble.

I am probably not like most people in many regards.  I didn’t just wake up one day and decide to loose weight.  I knew I had issues and was way over weight, but I didn’t believe in dieting and weighed too much to run.

My weight loss actually began with TMJ surgery.  After I had surgery on my jaw, I wasn’t allowed to eat anything I couldn’t cut with a plastic fork.  So, I stopped eating out at lunch and began bringing frozen entrees to work.  Just doing that I lost 25 lbs.  I then began seeing a doctor with my Lovely Wife for her back.  He put us both on a medical weight loss program.  I lost 35 lbs in 1 month.

Then I began running.

I didn’t run to loose weight. I lost weight, therefore I decided to see if I could run.

I could.

Anyway, there is a lot more that happened, but I wanted to just do a quick post about how I got to my 101 lb weight loss.  My Lovely Wife has lost 86 lbs and that has been done with a bad back that keeps her laid up most of the time.  That is honestly the most amazing story to me.  It is much easier to loose weight if you can run 5 miles a day than if you have to lie in bed a lot of the day.

So, I am excited to be below 178 lbs for the first time.  Hopefully this continues.  I have been hovering around 180 for a long time.  For my height, I should really be around 160, but I am not going to push it.  I am happy to be where I am and I will let my body decide for itself if it wants to let go of another 10-20 lbs.

A quick running update…  I don’t know if I will run today or not.  My hip woke me up last night with some pain, so I may have to take at least one more day off and hope for it to get better tomorrow.  I definitely don’t want to take a chance at being out long term because I didn’t give it enough time to get better.  Don’t worry though, I’ll write tomorrow and you will know what I decided.  🙂