Summer running update!

I haven’t posted in a while, and yes, I feel guilty about that.

Basically it has become hard to post for a couple of very good reasons:

  1. I run 4 miles a day and 7 miles on Sunday with Saturday off.  Not much variation happening with this routine.
  2. It is hot and so my runs are rather slow and exhausting.  I usually have to stop after 2 miles and once or twice on the last 2 mile stretch.  I don’t stop long, just enough to be able to catch my breath and walk for a few seconds in the shade.  All in all though, I’m not breaking any records out there.  In fact, I don’t even take my Pebble watch with me because I don’t want to feel I have to run hard in the heat of the Southern summer.
  3. I have few races ahead.  I am going to run a 5K with TJ (and maybe RS) in a couple weeks, but nothing major for which to train.

So here I am.  Mindlessly running 4 miles a day at 3:00 in the afternoon.  My knee is better and I haven’t had to stop a run again since I walked down the mountain, so that is good.  And I took off the weekend of the 4th to head to Chattanooga with my Lovely Wife.  I left my running shoes at home so I could take a break.  Wouldn’t you know that it was some of the best weather we’ve had all summer.  Cool mornings and low humidity.  Pretty much I have figured out that if I want it to cool down outside all I have to do is not run and… BAM – it gets beautiful out.  I started running again on Monday and, yes, it was hot and humid.

So all in all life is as monotonous as a slow 4 mile run in the heat.  Work is very busy and home is just about as busy with things breaking (like our central air).

I can’t complain though.  Other then my knee issue, I haven’t really been hurt much lately.  In fact the last time I took a week off of running was several months ago.

Finally, I honestly haven’t had time to read too many blogs lately (another guilt trip for me).  I think that adds to my monotony.  I get motivated by reading other blogs and by skipping them, it just isn’t the same.  Hopefully life will slow down a bit and get back to normal.

Have an awesome weekend and enjoy life.

Tom

Some running and much weight loss

I ran two days in a row.

It seemed to go well.  Yesterday evening my back was sore, but not until I went to bed.  This morning I am fine though.

So I think I am progressing past this very strange injury.  I am trying to slow down my runs and walk slower at work.  I tend to walk between 2 – 3 miles a day at work and have so much to do, I’ve learned to walk briskly.  I honestly think this is much of my problem since the pain in my back is always worse in the afternoon.  I am also making sure I get up from my chair every 20 – 30 minutes to stretch and walk some.  This has also helped.

The body is a complicated thing, especially mine.  I guess 40+ years of inactivity has caught up with me now that I am active again.

I am still losing weight.  This morning the scales weight in at 181.8 which is my lowest weight since before my marathon last Fall.  On top of that, I am wearing pants that wen’t close to fitting me 2 months ago and now they feel fine.  I’m thrilled that I finally am getting my weight under control.. and.. wait for it… yes, I attribute it to apple cider vinegar (ACV).  I started taking my 2 Tbs of unfiltered ACV twice a day a couple of months ago.  Back then I weighed in regularly in the mid to upper 190’s.  So, to be conservative, I’ve lost over 15 lbs in the past few months.  This includes pizza on fridays and burgers on Sundays.  I honestly think the key is exercise and consistency taking it.  It took well over 4 weeks for me to see a weight loss.  The only thing that kept me going was it also gave me energy for my afternoon runs.

The cool thing about ACV is that I don’t feel like I am dieting.  I do watch what I eat, but I am not hungry.  Yesterday I even turned down cake at work!  I’ve never done that before.

So I honestly can’t complain.  Even with my 5 days off running last week because of my back, I am still keeping my weight down.

Now if I could only run as fast as I want to, all would be good.

Have an awesome last half of the week!!!

Tom

An unexpected consequence of being a runner

I love running.

Okay, when I am out there and it is really cold or really hot or I just don’t feel good, running can be a chore.

What I love most about running is the freedom that it gives me.  An unexpected consequence of being a runner.

Last Saturday was a rough day.  In fact it was a difficult week overall, it just came to a head on Saturday.  I needed to get away.  A couple of years ago that would have entailed driving to Walmart and surrounding stores and walking through the isles of stuff.  Not this time.  Instead, I walked.  In fact I turned off my phone and walked for hours.  I walked on a trail I have run before, but never actually just took the time to look at the surroundings.  It was really cool.  Waterfalls, beaver dams and quietness.

I realized that day that because of my running I could walk as far as I wanted and not worry about how to make it home.  I was able to just go and be free.  It was awesome.

The other time this “consequence of running” occurred to me was this week while shut in at work for two days because of the snow.  I was able to spend hours outside helping people get their cars going.  I walked miles to the pharmacy to pick up meds for a coworker (and buy toothbrushes).  I never once thought, “can I make it back?”  I had freedom.  Who needs a car!

So if you are debating if you should start running or you are a runner and are trying to encourage others to run, remember what I learned.  There is a lot of freedom in life once the chains of poor physical fitness are removed.  Once you run 26.2 miles, it dawns on you that if needed, you can walk the 23 miles home in an emergency.

Freedom.  A basic instinct.  One that I am glad I received almost 2 years ago when I started running.

39 years later, he will be a runner

I got this picture from an old friend of me at 11 years old.

Tom at 11

Tom at 11

As I looked at it, I stared into my own eyes and wonder what I was thinking at that moment.  Of course I was eating cake, so I must have been happy.  🙂

Anyway, if you had asked this boy what his life would be like in 39 years, I wonder what he would have said.  I know he would not have had any idea of the ups and downs he was about to encounter.  He probably would just laugh if you told him he would one day weigh 278 lbs.

2011

Tom at 278 lbs

How would that be possible?  Then tell him that less than 2 years later he would weigh 180 lbs and run his first marathon and I’m sure he would call you crazy.

Running my first marathon

Running my first marathon

There have been so many good things that have happened in my life.  I have wonderful kids and a Lovely Wife.  I have a great job.  I am thankful for everything I have and everything I can do at 50 years old.

39 years ago, I only hoped to have the life I have now.  Things aren’t perfect.  There are good times and bad.  There are ups and downs.

But if you took that 11 year old into a time machine and forwarded him to today, I think he would be pretty excited to have seen all he would see with those 11 year old eyes.

This make me thankful.

What are you going to do today?

This is a great video. It is short, so watch it if you can before you continue.  It gives life perspective in just a few minutes.  I like things that make me think and ponder.  This video does just that.

TODAY!

What are you going to do today.  One day.  Not tomorrow, not yesterday, but today.  You have choices to make, either good or bad.

When I began running, it was hard.  Actually, for me everyday is hard.  My body isn’t made for running.  I was born with hips and feet that turned inward quite a bit.  I had to have corrective shoes and a bar between my feet holding my hips and feet in the correct position.  Today you cannot tell that I had a problem, but that problem makes running harder.  When my body gets tired, my hips hurt and my feet turn inward.  That happens by the end of almost every run.

DOESN”T MATTER!

I don’t run because it makes me feel better.  I like the consequences of running.  I like that I have lost a lot of weight.  I like that I look fit.  I like that people who know me, notice even now, changes in my physical condition.  I like the fact I am off my CPAP.  I like the fact I am almost off all medications (I’m getting off my last one right now).  I like running for what it does for me, but running hurts me physically a lot of times.  Not major pain, just 50 year old aches and pains that I have to deal with.

CHOICES!

What choices are you going to make today.  If you want to do something and do it well, make it a habit by doing it at the same time everyday.  Eventually that choice will become a habit and then the choice is no longer a choice.

TODAY?

The end of the video asks, “What are you going to do today?”  The answer may not be running.  DO SOMETHING TODAY.  Make today a day you would want to write about in a blog!

What are you going to do today?

THE CHOICE IS YOURS!

Marathon training – renewed inspiration

I had a revelation Yesterday.

Marathon training is a lot like running a marathon.  If this is true then I am at the 20 mile mark of my training. I have hit a wall.

I realized yesterday as I was watching “Spirit of the Marathon II” that my training has gotten to me.  Of course if you read any of the past couple of weeks of my blog you could probably have told me without me having to see a movie.  The movie was great and inspiring and really made me think.  Running a marathon isn’t easy and neither is marathon training; especially running in 100 degree heat in the summer.

I am inspired.  I am going to do this.

I plan on methodically carrying out my plan.  I will stop if I need to, but I also don’t want to give up too early on my dream of qualifying this year for Boston.  If I run the Lehigh Valley Marathon in September and finish, that will be huge.  If I run and qualify for Boston, then that will be another mountain climbed and conquered.  Either way, I win.

So I resolve, with the inspiration of watching 7 people training and running the Rome Marathon in this movie, to run and to finish.  It will be hot.  It will be hard at times and I will tell all here on this blog. I will do it.

I recommend this movie; it helped inspire me.  Unfortunately it was only in theaters yesterday, but if you can watch at home sometime, do!

Me, I’ll be running.  Because of the heat, maybe slower, maybe not as many miles, but I will be running.

Maybe one day I’ll be in “Spirit of the Marathon III”.  Hopefully it will take place in Boston! 🙂

Inspiration to run

I don’t like the heat.  I never have.

Long before I was a runner, even while a child, I hated the heat.

Now I am a runner and I have to endure the heat.  Last year wasn’t too bad.  I was running 2-3 miles a day.  This year I am running 7-9 miles a day and I would like to keep my pace up.  It is hard to get inspired to keep going outside to run when, to me anyway, it is torture.  This morning for instance.  5:00 AM.  77 degrees and at least 80% humidity.  Today and tomorrow the highs will be close to 100 and I imagine with the heat index, over 100.

So what do I do to keep myself going?  It would be easy to slow down for the summer.  Summer here lasts into October – that is a long time for someone who hates heat.

How do I keep myself inspired?

My goal.  I could wait another year to qualify for Boston, but I made a goal in March of this year to qualify – this year.  It really does drive me.  I wrote a couple of days ago that to go from obesity to a Boston qualifier in just over 2 years would be my largest achievement.  10 years from now no one may remember, but I will. I want to do this and I want to do it this year if possible.  That is my motivation.

This blog.  It amazes me how much this blog inspires me.  I write each day on running or running subjects.  I put my goals and dreams down for anyone to read.  I think as I run about what I will write the next day.  But the biggest inspiration are all the people who read and comment and like.  As I run in the heat wondering how I will keep one foot moving in front of another (as I did on Sunday), this blog keeps me inspired.

Other blogs. Reading others ups and downs and inspirational writings really helps.  It is all about keeping my mind in the game.  I have to keep focused, not on the present reality of tiredness, soreness and heat, but on my goal and other blogs and tweets keep me focused.  Thank you for writing and helping me keep inspired!

Inspirational movies.  The Spirit of the Marathon II comes to theaters tomorrow (June 12) at 7:00 for a one day showing.  When the first movie came out I wasn’t even close to running.  I had the desire, but no inspiration or motivation.   Tomorrow I am going with TJ and RS and can’t wait to sit in a cool theater and be inspired. I need a movie like this to keep my mind focused and my head clear.

I apologize for writing some of the same things I wrote a couple of days ago.  But as I said, I need to keep myself going and writing my blog does just that.  It keeps me inspired and accountable as I head outside into the heat of the afternoon to run.

We all need some inspiration these days.  Think sometime of what inspires you and then do that thing.  It makes all the difference!!!

Thank you note to my family, friends, bloggers, runners, etc…

Yesterday was my off day, so I just walked 2 miles and went home to rest.

I thought I would take a moment to say some things about my gratefulness to my family, friends and fellow bloggers who read this blog.  So this isn’t a running blog post for the most part.

I so appreciate the support of my family; my Lovely Wife, kids, mother and brothers.  They are all supportive and caring.

My Lovely Wife, as I have mentioned, has lost a lot of weight and is still working diligently to keep it off.  I know it is a constant battle that I don’t have to face as I can run and keep my weight down most of the time, but with her back problems, she has to do it all through diet and will power!  She has always been supportive of my running.  Even now that it takes about two hours a day to get ready to run, do my run and then cool down outside with the dog, she never complains or makes me feel like I am taking too much time away (I hope that is a good thing :)).  She always tells me to run fast, don’t get hurt and have a good run before I leave.  She comes to most of our races and sits and waits patiently as we prepare, then run and then cool down.  I can’t say enough how much she means to me and how much I appreciate her and her support.  I couldn’t get to where I am today without her.

My kids have been great also.  The ones who run, TJ and RS are always asking me how my runs go and how I am doing.  I really enjoy when we can run together, even though it isn’t often because we all run at different paces, but it is a great time when we can.  My kids who don’t run (yet) BL, JR and HM are also supportive and come to my races and ask me how my running is going.  I am so appreciative of them and their encouragement.

I also appreciate my Mom and brothers who read my blog and are excited as I pass new milestones.  Both my brothers run and though my mother can’t, she is familiar with the sacrifice as my late father and sister were both runners back years ago.  I guess I owe my running to my late father who started it all in his mid 50s.  He just one day got out there in his running shoes and started running.  My siblings followed after and they all ran the Marine Corps Marathon in DC each year.  I do wish my dad and sister could be here to see me run, but they do see I believe.  I couldn’t do it without their inspiration.

Finally, thank you to the blogging / tweeting community of runners and dieters and friends who follow my blog and twitter and encourage me.  I don’t have a Facebook and frankly didn’t tell many people about my blog.  I now have over 70 followers and have had views from over 45 countries.  Quite amazing to me.  I know I can get repetitive with my posts at times, but that is what running is about.  Doing the same thing day after day after day.  Anyway, thank you to all who read my blog, comment and like my posts.  It is very encouraging and give me motivation to improve and move forward.

Okay that is all for today.  I just wanted to take a post and give my gratitude and appreciation for all the support.  I could not be more thankful to have this blog.

Thank you!!!