4 miles on 4 apples

Well I must say life has been too busy to write.  I tend to prioritize things that I need to do when life gets crazy and unfortunately, this blog isn’t a high enough priority (unlike family, work, sleep and running).  

Yesterday I had an apple day.  What is an apple day you ask?

We first started apple days on the diet that my Lovely Wife and I lost most of our weight.  Basically, an apple day is where you take 1 day and eat 6 apples.  That is it.  No other food.  Just 6 apples.

That isn’t a fun day.  It is hard, and it is a sacrifice, but the results cannot be questioned.  Yesterday alone, I lost over 3 lbs.

My weight has been creeping up.  I was in the mid 180’s and have been closer to 190 for the past month.  I questioned my doctor as to how I can run 4 miles a day and gain weight.  Part of the answer is poor eating and that has caught up with me.  So… an apple day was to be had.

On to my run.  I started my run after work as usual, but yesterday after work I had only eaten 4 apples of my 6.  I really wanted to run my 4 miles to keep up with running for the week, but I was worried about 4 miles on 4 apples.  I shouldn’t have worried.

I didn’t break speed records.  I still stopped at 4 miles, but I felt great.  One reason was probably the 69 degree weather.  It was beautiful, sunny and not a cloud in the sky.  But I also felt better.  Not as heavy (not speaking weight heavy, but overall  heavy).  It was just a good easy run and about at the same pace I’ve had for the week.

I was excited to check the scales this morning and find I lost 3+ lbs.  The thing about an apple day is that something in the apples kicks your metabolism in the pants.  The weight loss continues as long as you don’t eat something stupid like pizza (did I say we are having pizza tonight).

Anyway, I just thought I’d pass that tidbit along.

All is well.  I have my eye on running a half marathon in December and a full in March.  I think training during the fall / winter / spring should be a good thing since I live in the South.

Have an awesome weekend and be blessed.

Tom

P.S.

TJ showed me this quote from Earnest Hemingway yesterday… It made me think!

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Running backwards

I did a dumb thing.

Last week, I ran through Thursday, walked Friday and didn’t run all weekend.  On top of that, I eat like a king (not a good king) for the second weekend in a row.

I think it’s the summer heat that has gotten to me.  That and a very busy schedule that seems to be getting busier.

The bad part of my dumb thing is that I have gained weight.  More then I think I should have, but considering 2 weekends of eating frenzies, I guess I understand why.  I’m not too concerned as when I get back out and run, I can loose the extra weight pretty fast.  However, I really should have been more self controlled this weekend.

Saturday I was out with my family shopping this weekend and ended up in a bike shop.  I had a great sales guy just try to give me some biking basics and help me price out a bike.  Wow, biking is so much more expensive then running.  For a basic bike and all the stuff that I’d have to buy to go with it, I was looking beyond $1,000.  Fortunately my old running buddy @BigBigGeek is now an avid cyclist and he things he can get me going on an older bike my sister left to me for a lot less.  I hope that works out.  I’d like to add biking into my routine, but I honestly don’t want to spend $1,000 until I know I want to go that route.

Back to my weight.  I did another stupid thing.  I skipped my apple cider vinegar (ACV) yesterday.  I was just too busy and decided mot to drink it.  I paid for that today and I was back on the ACV train this morning.

About ACV, I know now that it really helps my workouts.  I run in the afternoon and in the summer, it gets HOT outside.  I forgot to take my ACV twice last week before my run and I was spent after 2 miles.  I basically had to run/walk most of the rest of my route.  Then Thursday I remembered it and had a much more consistent run.  I wasn’t setting any records, but I only stopped twice.  I can really tell the difference.  It must have a property that I need or that helps endurance in the heat.  Either way, I am still hooked on the stuff.  I just wish someone could make it taste better!!!

That is about all for me for today.  I hope everyone had a great weekend!  It was way too short for me, but I guess that means I got a lot done!

Tom

A Fathers Day run and busy weekend!

It was a good Fathers Day weekend overall.  The one exception was a migraine yesterday, but at least I got to run.

Saturday was busy with errands to run and things to do.

Yesterday, though, I got to run the mountain with TJ.   First we eat breakfast (his treat) and then headed to our state park to run.

It was humid and I was soaked by the time we finished, but it was a lot of fun.  We ran the same route as last week, but without stopping (except for the ports-potty).  We finished yesterday’s run in the exact same time as last weeks, which was pretty interesting.

The mountain was quiet.  I didn’t see any other joggers and only a few cars.  AND, after the run, I had no pain in my hip or back.  That was the most amazing part.  I guess this seat cushion has really helped.

After the run and Church, we “ran” a few more errands and that was when my migraine started.  To be honest, some of my kids and my Lovely Wife suffer with headaches a lot, but I almost never have one; so when I get one, it shuts me down.  I did make it to TJ’s for burgers, but that was about it.  I came home and went to bed.  I fell asleep pretty quickly, but woke up with my head raging about 10:00 last night.  Fortunately I woke this morning feeling pretty good, so I got up and headed out to work.

All in all, it was a good weekend.  Lots of food (too much food).  Funny, I weighed in at 184 today and felt badly that I weighed that much. 🙂  A few months ago, I’d have been trilled to weigh that little.

I hope everyone had a good weekend and an awesome week.  I hope to begin running everyday again now that I’m feeling better –

Tom

Running from obesity

Are you as amazed at the human body as I am?

How is it that a person can go from 160 lbs to 278 lbs and survive.  The amount of adjustment to the structure of the body during that time must be amazing.  I’ve been told, it takes one mile of arteries and vessels to handle one lb of fat.  Think of that infrastructure that God put into place to help us when we become obese.  Not that obesity is  a good thing, but even though I had gained over 100 lbs after college, I was still able to work, walk, sleep, eat and do everyday tasks.  Crazy.

Now, I am just as amazed about how the human body can go from 278 lbs to 178 lbs and totally adjust.  Where did all that fat go?  Where did that infrastructure go?  Where did the extra arteries and veins and… everything that had be be made to contain all that weight go?  I’m sure scientists know and I am sure many of you smart runners know.  I don’t know, but I am thankful that my body was created to adapt.

Another question.  How can a human body go from 278 lbs to running a marathon in just over 2 years.  I am not writing this post to get positive feedback.  I was just thinking of these things yesterday as I was running my 5 mile route.  I have not been running even 2 years yet and have already run almost 2,500 miles.  My weight is up a little from the 178 which was my lowest.  I now am in the upper 180’s, but I’ll get back down there one day.

I guess I am a bit philosophical today.

I am amazed that I have been given the gift of a second chance.  I remember praying years ago that if I could just get my weight under control and get a good job, I would have accomplished more than I ever thought I could.  Now I am a vice president of an awesome non-profit, my weight is in a good place and I am back to running 30+ miles a week.  In fact yesterday my hip had no pain until that last 1.5 miles of my run.  That was HUGE for me.  Running without pain.  Is it possible?

I replied to a comment from Pandora Viltis from my post on Friday when she asked how I could keep running without experiencing much of a “runner’s high”.  My reply was an eye opener to me.  I said, “I run to keep ahead of obesity”.  That is true for me.  That motivates me.  That keeps me going when I hurt and when I am in such pain I have to walk rather than run.  That gets me out 6 days a week, by myself, alone and sometimes wanting to do anything else other than run.  I never want to get back to where I was.  I have been given a gift, an answered prayer, and I do not ever want to lose what I have been given.  It means too much to me.

So I run.  If it rains, I run.  If it snows, I run.  If it is 100+ outside I run.  If it is 10+ outside I run.

Maybe running from obesity isn’t everyones reason for running.  Maybe I should have a better reason.  But for me, that is my reason.

I never want to go back. I cannot go back.  By the grace of God, I will never go back.

Tom

My life, my running, and stuff you never knew about me

I write a running blog.

Most of the time, all I write about is something to do with running.  Something related to running.  Something/anything I can relate to and want others to relate to.  I write about a tiny slice of my day.  I have written a post for this blog about 90% of the days since I started… Just about running.

Ideas can be difficult to come up with. Sometimes when I run I think of what I will write the next morning.  Hmmm, there is a pain in my left foot… A blog post was born!

One of the consequences of magnifying a single part of my life is that people get the impression that this is all of my life.  If I am hurt and writing about my depression of not running, then people get the impression that all I am all day is depressed and hurt.

There are 23.5 hours of the day that I never write about.  Sometimes I’ll include some personal stuff in my blog, but that is rare and when I do it is usually related to my running.

So I decided to write some random personal things about myself that I don’t think I have written about before, or that people who are new to my blog don’t really know unless they have gone over the 300+ posts from the past year (and I don’t think they have).  Also this is in part accepting the Sunshine award that runningtoherdreams gave me last weekend.  Thank you.  It means so much.  It made me think of putting just a little about myself “out there” and I hope people read her blog.  It was one of the inspirations that got me to my marathon last August.

Here we go:

I was born the youngest of 4 children.

I am now the youngest of 3 living children as my sister passed away in a cave diving accident.

My mom went into labor with me at a Penn State football game.

I was born with hips that turned in so severely that I spent a long time with corrective shoes and a bar between my feet.

I could hear when I was born, but soon lost my hearing. My adenoids grew and blocked my hearing.  Since I could hear for some time, I learned to read lips, so no one caught on that I couldn’t hear.  One day when I was 4 years old my mom put me on her lap, facing away from her and asked me if I wanted ice cream.  I didn’t make a move (I’ve always loved ice cream).  My speaking was so poor that my late sister was the only one who could understand me.  So after lots of tests and a surgery, I woke up from the anesthetics and the first thing I said was, “I can hear”.

I lived in a small town in Pennsylvania.  We left our doors unlocked and open when we left the house.  Us kids would all play at the other kids house and vice versa.  It was a good childhood.

We moved to Northern Va. (Mt. Vernon area) when I was in high school.  George Washington used to fox hunt in the backyard of the home my parents bought (long before I was born ). 🙂

I used to race sailboats with my mom and dad on the Potomac.  We won many trophies over those few years.

I was a messed up kid from the time we moved to DC (age 15) until after my freshman year of college.  During that summer after my freshman year I became a Christian (that story is under my “Faith” tab) and my life has never been the same.

I am married with lots of kids.  They are almost all grown (no more child tax credits), and have all turned out to be honorable, good children.

I have been an evangelical Protestant Christian my whole Christian life, and am becoming Catholic on Easter this year.

Although life has thrown in some challenges over the past few years, I am so thankful and grateful for my life, my family and my work.  I couldn’t have created a better life for me if I was the one creating it.

The day Joe Paterno got fired from Penn State, I was going to have wrist surgery, I weighed almost 300 lbs, I couldn’t get my wedding ring off and they threatened to cut it off, so my Lovely Wife “helped” me get it off.  Hmmm. That hurt.

I lost 100 lbs in under a year.

Running is a big deal to me because it has allowed me to do so much more in my life since I stated.  It was almost 2 years ago when  I ran my first 1.5 miles.  I have run many 5K’s a half marathon and a marathon since then.  I enjoy the outdoors for the first time since I was a child.  I am in great shape for the first time ever in my life.  Since the age of 49, my life has been more impacted from running than almost anything else.

Okay, I’m done.  I guess I wanted those who read this to know that running isn’t everything.  It is just a thing God has used to add value to my life and give me experiences that I never thought I would have.  One day when I finish this ultimate race I am running called life, I will look back and be in awe over my “midlife crisis” called running.

Thank you all for being a part of it.

Tom

Pizza, brownies, donuts and running

Yesterday was a “run off lunch” type of run.

It was 30 degrees colder than Monday and the wind was blowing at 20mph.

Lunch was provided by work and it was PIZZA!  I’m sorry, but if there is pizza, my will power goes out the window.  So I proceeded to eat until I was full.  Then I went back to my desk in a carb/gluten crash and waited until I could head out.

By the time I got home (after several errands), I was in no mood to run.  It was cold out and I was tired as I didn’t sleep well the night before.  BUT I had all that pizza at lunch and I know my body and how it works.

Here is my theory:

Eat before running…  Everything gets burned off in the run.  The carbs are used for energy and by morning I lose weight.

Eat after running… Everything gets stored because my body thinks that at any moment I’ll go for a run and need the reserves.

This is my theory and I am not a doctor (that I know of).

So yesterday I might have walked rather than run or taken the day off, but 5 pieces of pizza were sitting in my stomach and forcing me to get out and get my 4 miles in.  Let me tell you, running with 5 pieces of pizza in your stomach and 80 oz of water isn’t my version of a fun run.

So it would have gone well for my weigh in this morning other than the fact we had a birthday in our family and the chosen “cake” was brownies.  Outside of pizza, brownies are my favorite food.  So I indulged.

How did my weigh in go?

I was up half a pound from yesterday’s weight.  Not bad really.  Assuming I have no temptations today, I’ll probably lose that and some tonight.  Of course there is the Donut Dash this weekend that @BigBigGeek wants me to run… Donuts are right next to brownies and pizza as a favorite.  So I want to get another couple of pounds off before then.  I figure if I can get down to 188 or lower, I’ll be fine.  After all it is just a 2 mile run, eat a dozen donuts and a two mile run back.  No problem.  And the eating of the donuts is chip timed, so I could win a medal.  My type of race.  I doubt I’ll PR, but then again, I’ve never run a 4 mile race before, so any time will be a PR.

I love running!

189.9

Yes!

I made it back down to the 180’s. Okay, the upper 180’s but it still counts!

After my marathon and my injury and Thanksgiving and Christmas… well let’s just say I was pushing 200 lbs.  I think I got up as high as 197.5.  So for me to weigh myself this morning and see the second number of my weight be an 8 was a wonderful thing!

For me… this is how I lose weight.  This is what works for me..

I eat anything I want before I run and nothing after.

Now that isn’t exactly true.  Essentially my basic diet consists of eggs for breakfast, almonds for a snack, Stouffer’s macaroni and cheese for lunch and about 64 oz of water.  Then I go home and run at least 4 miles in the afternoon.  It has to be 4 and not 3 miles.  I will lose weight at 4 miles and I won’t at 3.

So I might snack after I run, but mainly I drink 32 oz of Gatorade and try not to eat much.

If I eat a regular dinner, I usually gain weight.  However I can eat almost anything (within reason) in the morning (Krispy Kreme 5K is looking tempting).

My eating isn’t complicated.  I do know that if I run at least 4 miles and don’t eat much for dinner I’ll lose weight.

Tonight for dinner… Pizza.  Oh well, I’ll have the rest of the weekend to get back down to the 180’s.

I love pizza.