Monday, December 31, 2012

A Year in the Life

I can't believe 2012 is already over... wow!

A quick runthrough of some of the highlights:

January: First Broncos game, trip to Florida for Warrior Dash
February: Skiing @ Keystone
March: Skiing @ Breckenridge, Trip to Moab, UT
April: Bought the first pair of jeans I've owned in 10+ years
May: Ran my first half marathon!  The Color Run
June:  Visited Rocky Mountain National Park
July:  Trip to MN for the 4th of July, climbed Mount Elbert (highest peak in CO)
August:  Trip to Arizona- Phoenix, Sedona, Grand Canyon, had an amazing RA training
September: Started a new school year working at JWU, Rock n Roll Denver 1/2 marathon relay
October:  Anniversary trip to Albuquerque for the International Balloon Fiesta
November: Surprise trip to Aspen/Hanging Lake
December:  Casa Bonita! Christmas with the Amazing family, Cousin Allison's wedding

Holy cow!  As I look back on the year I realize how lucky I am...

Now, a look at the goals I had for 2012:

1. Get down to 210, then never get back above 220.  Made it to 217 in May during 1/2 marathon training.  Gained plenty after.  

2. Run a race every month.  The streak continues!

3. Run a half marathon.   Ran my first half marathon in May!

4. Climb a 14era.   I climbed my first 14er this summer - Mount Elbert - the tallest peak in CO

5. Ski Keystone, Breckenridge, A Basin, Vail, and Beaver Creek. Didn't make it to all, but I will in 2013!

6. Go to a Broncos, Avalanche, Rockies, Nuggets, and Rapids game. I love sports!

7. Join a sports league. Technically, no, but did some great things and met some awesome people through running and volleyball

8. Present at a professional conference. Submitted proposals for 2013, but was denied - oh well!

9. Discover or rediscover a creative outlet. This got neglected through the shuffle of life.  I have a few things up my sleeve for 2013 though!

10. Read 50 Books. Not even close - barely read anything the second half of the year.

11. Visit 5 new places
-Ski Resorts Keystone & Breckenridge for skiing, Beaver Creek for Tough Mudder
-Moab, Utah & Arches/Canyonlands National Parks
-Fort Collins for my half marathon
-Rocky Mountain National Park
-Phoenix, Sedona, and Grand Canyon
-Albuquerque, New Mexico

Throw in a trip back to FL and a 4th of July in MN and this guy's a happy camper!  Yes, a lot of these are in CO, but when you move to a new place, it's so much fun to explore.  Especially a place as amazing as Colorado!

12. Smile and laugh. A lot.   These are the moments that make life worth living.

Although I'm ending 2012 on a rough note, it was a phenomenal year, filled with memories, adventures, and love.  Thanks for sharing the journey with me!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Ugly Sweater Run

Today marks the 2 year anniversary of my first race.  I got to bust out the same shirt that I wore that day for this one as well.  Full circle.

My coworker Renee and I headed to City Park for this adventure.  As we were walking to the registration area, we knew this was going to be a race to remember.  People walking from every direction in ugly sweaters.  7,000 strong.

I'm pretty happy with this race.  I was very consistent throughout, and I was just hoping to go sub-30.  It's been a struggle to get back that that consistency, but I've been working out pretty consistently over the past week and a half.

It was a weird combination of struggle and feeling pretty good, but I just kept trucking along.  One of the most fun races I have ever done!

2 Years

2 years ago today, I ran my first race.  It was the Jingle Bell Run in St. Petersburg, FL.

I was fat.

I reached my peak weight of 284 pounds in the fall of 2010.  My life was in an incredible place - I was in the midst of earning my master's degree, living this adventure filled life in Florida.  Life was great.  But I wasn't happy.  So I started running.  And by running, I meant elephant-stomping my way to a quarter mile.  Yes, a quarter mile.  That was my first run in years.  I never considered myself a runner, but at several points of my life it was a way for me to lose weight, most notably during high school and then again during college.  That quarter mile in late 2010 was one of the most eye opening and reality checking moments of my life.  How did I let myself get there?

It's crazy to think of how different my life is from that moment, and how much my life has changed.

And I owe a lot of that to running.

On December 8, 2010, I ran the race with a bunch of friends on the St. Petersburg Pier.  When I signed up, I made a goal that I would run a 5K every month for a year.  A goal that I knew I would not reach.  That night, as thousands of people were gathering toward the start line, I felt a sense of rejuvenation that I had not felt in a long time.  As I plowed my then-260-ish-pound body through those 3 miles, I knew that I was headed down a road that would set me up for success for a long time.  When I crossed the finish line, my life changed forever.

In one moment, I realized that this is something that I want to do for the rest of my life.

I am not a runner.  At least, that's what doctors have told me.  This is something I should not be doing.  But this is something that has saved my life.  Or at least the overall quality of it.

I run to free my mind and soul.  I run for the love of it.  And nobody can take that feeling, meaning, and passion away.

So here I am, 2 years later.  60 pounds lighter.  400+ miles later.  I have ran a whole lot of 5Ks.  A couple 10Ks.  A 15K.  A Tough Mudder.  A half marathon.  And coming in 2013: a marathon.  And that streak that I never thought I would accomplish is still alive.  I have ran at least one race every month since that December day, and I plan to for as long as my body will let me.

As I reflect over the past 2 years, I am in awe of how much my life has changed and will continue to do so... step at a time.

Some highlights of the 2 year journey:

Races:  31
First Race: Jingle Bell Run - St. Petersburg, FL - December 8, 2010
Fastest 5K: Run for the Door - Denver, CO - May 12, 2012 - 27:26
Favorite 5K: The Color Run - Denver, CO - May 26, 2012
Coolest Race:  Fans on the Field 10K - Denver, CO - Sept 25, 2011
Most Scenic Race: Canyonlands 5 Mile - Moab, UT - March 17, 2012
Most Memorable Race: Colorado Half Marathon - Ft. Collins, CO - May 6, 2012
States raced in: Florida, Minnesota, Colorado, Utah
Hottest Race: Red, White, and Boom! Twin Cities 5 Mile -Minneapolis, MN - July 4, 2012
Coldest Race: Christmas Day 5K - St. Paul, MN - December 25, 2011

To see some of the running milestones, visit my running page.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Turkey Day 5K

Happy Thanksgiving!

If you're a runner, you must do a turkey trot.  It's apparently a rule.  Thanksgiving day races are some of the most popular races in any area for runners and non-runners alike.  In fact, the Turkey Trot in Buffalo, NY is the longest running continuous road race in the country, first welcoming galloping gobblers in 1896.

To kick of my Gobblefest, I chose to do the Highlands Ranch Turkey Day 5K.  I knew a couple people doing it, who I ended up not seeing due to the crowds of people, and it was on the end of town I would be spending my day.

I got there later than I had hoped, so there was a little scramble to get my chip and bib in time for the start.  Because of this, I got stuck behind a lot of the people with strollers, people with kids, and people with dogs.  That's all I need to explain for people who run races frequently.

The first quarter mile was spend weaving through people on the flat path, but then the course turned into the surrounding neighborhood streets.  And went up.  And up.  The first two miles of the race were uphill winding though the suburban neighborhood.  It was tough.

Then, once we hit the 2 mile mark, we went onto a paved trail that went down through a ravine to the finish line.

Nothing overly special or impressive about this run.  I learned to never eat BDubs the night before a race (I thought I was going to throw up for a little bit after the race).

But no matter what, there's not a whole lot of things I would rather be doing on a Thanksgiving morning.

Chip Time:  30:43

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Run for Remembrance

Since I ran my half marathon in May, I haven't been running that consistently.  Or that far.  So I've been trying to find opportunities to gain consistency and keep pushing myself until the end of the year.  About a month ago, my coworker Renee told me about a 10K that she wanted to do, which would be her first.  I signed up and spent the next month trying to get to a point where I could run 6 miles again.

When the morning came, I was excited.  And nervous.  I had no idea how it was going to go.  Normally, I go into races with a time goal in mind.  Not this time.  I was just concerned about running the whole thing.

The race was the Run for Remembrance 10K, which benefits Remembering the Brave - an organization that honors the memory of our fallen soldiers.  The morning was cold - temperature dropping by the minute and wind gusts piercing everybody at the starting line.  It began with the organizer saying a few heartfelt words, a moment of silence, and the countdown.

Mile 1 was considerably easy - nothing special.  I usually start races too fast, so I made sure I kept a pace that I could maintain for a while.  We looped around a building through a park.

Mile 2 was the same.  Except I was already starting to get tired.  Not a good sign not even 1/3 of the way into the race.  But this part was flat, so I just focused on trudging along.  I looked up to this ridge in the distance on my left and saw the lead runner on top.

Mile 3 was a little ridiculous.  We rounded through the starting area where a few soldiers made a human gate for us to run through.  The course took us across a grassy field that felt like running through sand.  Then we had to climb a tough hill for about .2 miles that took us to the top of the ridge.  Once on top of the ridge, the view was great.  Swampy wetlands to my right, the Denver skyline in the distance to the left.  Once I caught my breath, I could start to enjoy it.

Mile 4 was pretty good.  Flat.  Gravel.  Just focused on going.  Not stopping.  By the end of this mile, I started feeling really good.  I caught a second wind that felt great.  We ran down a hill off the ridge, passed a dog park, and back onto a sidewalk.

Mile 5 was the hardest of the race, but since I caught my second wind, I could make it without dying.  Instead of the big hill earlier, this was a slight uphill that lasted about .75 mile.  As I was going up, people were passing me on the way back of a small out-and-back portion of the course.  All I could think about was getting to the turnaround so I could go downhill.  Finally got there, and started the home stretch.

Mile 6 was starting to get a little painful.  I still felt ok, but my legs and feet started to hurt.  My body is not used to running this far, so I was paying for it a little in the end.  The distance between runners was expanding, so this was the only stretch of the race that I was really alone.

The Finish was across that grassy field again, but this time it felt easier.  Perhaps that was because in just a few hundred yards, I could stop running.  I crossed the finish line with a smile on my face, caught my breath, then grabbed a water.  A few minutes later, I got to watch Renee cross the finish line and her excitement was priceless.  She completed her first 10K and hit the goals she set for herself.

It was my slowest 10K, but I wasn't expecting a whole lot out of this one.  I just wanted to use it as a challenge to keep getting back on track.  I just wanted to see if I could make it the whole way.  I just wanted to enjoy a fun race.

I just wanted to run.

Friday, November 2, 2012

No Quit November

Thinking back to the beginning of the year, I wanted this to be the year of no excuses.

I will reflect more on that as the year comes to a close, but I think I have done a pretty good job of not making excuses for my shortfalls.

However, I have let myself quit this year.  I have let things get in the way.  I do a good job of owning up to where I feel I need to improve, but I'm not seeing the follow through.

So this month, as everyone grows out disgusting beards, I will make this month


Specifically as it relates to running and fitness.

Specifically as it relates to weight loss.

November, it's on!

Oct 1:   234
Nov 1:  230

Goal:  210 by 2013

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Just Keep Swimming

Pretty good week!  Had a successful 5K last weekend, and had a great 4.5 miler in the snow the other day, with a few things in between.  Time to put it into high gear this weekend for one final push to close out October.  

Oct 1:     234.0
Oct 5:     229.8
Oct 12:   231.8
Oct 19:   231.4

Oct 26:   229.8

Goal: 210 by Dec 31

I'm realizing how difficult this is going to be, but I need to step it up.  

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Back on Track 5K

Yesterday, I ran a race with my friend Emily which I deemed the "Get Back on Track 5K."

The actual race title was Juvenile Justice 5K.

My running has been of and on over the past several months.  I am making a final push for 2012 to hit some of my goals and set myself up to start 2013 on a strong note.

This race was at a familiar place for me - Cheesman Park.  I've done a few races there, and it is beautiful.  However, I always forget how subtle the hills are.  This course featured 2 laps around the outer gravel path, so the hills were wearing.  Twice.

The first time around, I felt good.  The second - pooped.  But I kept trudging.

My goal was under 30.  I didn't quite hit it.

Official Time:  30:24 - 9:47 pace - 23rd overall out of 104.

I feel ok about it.  I knew it wasn't going to be that great, but it was a good race considering the last several months.  It's just a little disheartening knowing I've lost 3 minutes off my 5K time since my half marathon training this spring.

Oh well, I know that I have to work at getting consistent again, so this is a great step for that.

Friday, October 19, 2012


I realize that I have to do more.

I can't live my normal life and expect things to change drastically.

After a reflective week, I realize that my default is lazy.  My default is not exercising.  My default is food.  So I have to fight against what's normal for me in order to see any changes.

After a bad first part of the week, I rallied and had a great second part of the week.

Oct 1:     234.0
Oct 5:     229.8
Oct 12:   231.8
Oct 19:   231.4

Goal: 210 by Dec 31

Hoping for a little more progress at this point, but changing and adapting as I go.  In order to stay on track, I will hopefully be around 226 by Halloween.  

This is going to be a good week.  I can feel it!

Thursday, October 18, 2012


This marks my 100th post on this blog!

Just a couple fun facts to capture the journey that it's been:

-My first post was November 18, 2010.
-There have been 6,438 page views.  That seems like a lot to me.
-April 2012 was the most visited month.
-After the US, the most viewers by country are:  Russia, Germany, Canada, UK, Malaysia, Australia, Japan, Latvia...
-For all the nerds in the audience, 33% of visitors to my site use Firefox, 21% Safari, 19% Internet Explorer, 17% Google Chrome.  55% have used Windows, 30% Mac.  55% are incorrect.
-My top 5 posts (by # of views):  Fat Kid Chronicles, Tough Mudder, Lessons from Tangled, Dear Jeff, Police Appreciation Run

This was never really meant to be anything big.  Just a way for me to chronicle my life- a sort of digital personal scrapbook to keep me motivated and strive for new things in my life.

But as it turns out, a lot of people have read it.  Surprised.  Flattered.  Humbled.  Honored.

A word that keeps coming up when people talk to me about it is inspiring.  For some reason, people read some of my posts, stay connected to my life, and feel a new sense of inspiration and motivation.  I'm not sure if I will ever understand it, but it amazes me.  I've shared some ups and downs that I have experienced in my life.  I have shared successes and failures.  I have shared once in a lifetime moments and the mundane.  For some, a few of my stories have struck something in them, made an impact, and inspired some sort of action.

Through this journey, I have spent a lot of time thinking, reflecting, challenging, dreaming, hoping, learning, and living.  And through this journey, I have found so much hope and joy in in the people and world around me.  So I want to say a quick thank you to everyone who has read my blog, commented, talked, and shared this journey with me.  Whether you realize it or not, you are the ones who inspire me.

And for that, I am forever grateful.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Hard Work

Losing weight and being healthy is hard work.

Especially given the busy schedules and commitments that so many of us have.

Especially when someone's natural tendency is to not exercise.  And eat A LOT.

I know the final push to my goal weight is going to be tough.  Challenging.  Troubling.  Wearing.

But in the end, it will be worth it.

Oct 1:     234.0
Oct 5:     229.8
Oct 12:   231.8

Goal: 210 by Dec 31

Put a couple back on this past week, but not discouraged.  It just means I have to step it up this next week.  As long as I'm at around 226 by Halloween, I'll be right on pace :)

Friday, October 5, 2012

The Ball is Rolling

Ok, so a lot of people have been talking to me about my recommitment to healthy living in these last couple months of 2012.

Since the end of September, it has been a good start.  The eating has gotten more on track, the exercise is coming back into a routine, and things are on the upswing.

I am hoping to get into a consistent running schedule again so I can springboard into 2013 and accomplish the goals I have.  The last two days I have done a couple of 2 milers, feeling the weight of the last few months of apathy.

No more.  The ball is rolling.

Weekly weigh-ins.  (I usually do them on Fridays, so this first week isn't a week...)
Oct 1: 234.0
Oct 5: 229.8
Goal:  210.0

The easy weight is falling off... that's a good start, but I won't be too satisfied until I start hitting the low 220's/high 210's.

Monday, October 1, 2012


October 1st - Time to look in the mirror.

This summer, I have let things slip -

-I have gained 18 pounds since May
-I have basically stopped running
-I have not been exercising
-I have gone back to my old ways of eating.

Basically, things have gotten out of hand.

I've been having a couple wake-up calls recently.  In September, I bailed on my first race ever, and it's the favorite one I have ever done.  I had to switch from a half marathon to a relay since my training was nonexistent.  I have gone back to feeling sick after a lot of meals due to overeating on a regular basis.

The worst part - I have been making lots of excuses.

So now the time has come to step up.  Now is the time to reevaluate and make some changes.

So here's my commitment to myself and my goal for the remainder of the year:

I will get down to 210 lbs by Christmas.  I stepped on the scale this morning and it read 234.  24 lbs.  almost 3 full months.

Game on.

What are your end of 2012 goals?  How can I help you accomplish them?  Here's my deal to you:  if you have goals for the end of the year, let me know - we'll be accountabili-buddies! 

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Rock & Roll

A few months ago, I signed up for the Rock n' Roll half marathon here in Denver.  It was supposed to be half marathon #2, was supposed to have another great training round, and help get me back on track physically.

Emphasis on the words "supposed to."

This summer was a killer for the training schedule.  From the get go, I noticed my motivation was not at its peak.  Insert a busy summer of work.  Add on the free time that I did have was spent with friends, traveling and exploring Colorado, and not spent running.

Come September, I made myself a crash course training program - one that I stuck to for the most part, but wasn't enough to make me feel comfortable about the half marathon.

A week before the race, I had a first - the first time I bailed on a race I had signed up for.  I signed up to run Fans on the Field 10K again (as I did last year), but when I woke up on race day, I was not feeling it.

The last week of training was nonexistent.

My runner friend Kristi and I had been keeping tabs on each other's training, or lack thereof, throughout the past few months.  As we got closer, apprehension overcame both of us, so we were both not feeling confident heading into a half marathon.

We pulled a few strings and were able to switch to the half marathon relay.  We both jumped at the chance, feeling lucky not to have to trek the entire 13.1.

Kristi took the first leg, and I took the second.  As much as I hated admitting it, I was not sure I could even do my 5.3 mile leg (Kristi volunteered the 7.8 mile portion).

I met a few of my friends at the starting line, as well as Kristi, and wished them all good luck.  Lots of people in my life were trying to hit new PRs or attempting their first marathon, so they were filled with great energy.  The starting line was filled with the buzz of the ~15,000 participants.  The morning was glowing, and the countdown began.  The elites bolted into downtown, setting their sites on victory.

I hopped onto the shuttle bus, talking with a few of the people doing the second leg, and headed to the transition area at city park.  After watching those same friends run by me looking very strong, I heard the announcer say "Team Lazy" was approaching.  Kristi rocked the first leg, and it was my turn.

I grabbed the official drumstick baton and started running.  In the first half mile, I felt it was going to be a long 5 miles.  My legs started hurting and the breathing became heavy.  I hit mile 8 and mile 9 (my first couple of miles), and something clicked.  I felt strong.  The next couple miles felt easy and free, even though I know it was tough since I hadn't ran that far in a while.  Each band that was playing provided me with a great boost.  I crossed mile 12 and I lit up.  I'm almost home.  As I kept going, I kept speeding up.  More people started lining the streets.  I saw the final mile markers for the marathon and then the half.  I rounded the final corner and saw the finish line.  I took off, running by everyone in my path.

Nike+ Stats for my leg:  5.46 miles - 54:10 - 9:55 pace
Total relay times: 2:23:21 - 10:57 pace - 168/256 relay teams

And one heck of a day for a run!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Chipotle It Forward

Yesterday, I took a trip to Chipotle.  A common occurrence, but ended up being a memorable one.

The line was long, which means I usually turn on my heels and walk out the door - impatience taking its toll.  But I REALLY wanted Chipotle.

So I waited.  And waited.  I had a lot of time to just sit in line.  Cue the people watching.  Couples.  Families.  Coworkers.  The typical Chipotle crew.

As I was looking around the restaurant, my focus fell onto one family in particular.  A young couple, probably in their mid-30s, and their two kids.  One about 4.  The other in a high chair.  I watched them interact with each other - feeding the kids, the 4 year old in and out of the chair, clearly restless, and the high chair toddler looking around - in awe of everything.  Pretty much what you would envision any young family spending time at Chipotle during a busy lunch time.  I found myself watching and smiling.

I finally got up to the counter and ordered my burrito, and proceeded to the register.  As I kept walking, I found myself turning around and peeking at this precious family.  And in a moment, impulse took over.  I asked to put some money on a gift card, wrote a note that said "Happy Friday! Enjoy :)"  I then asked the employee to wait about a minute and go give it to that family, and I walked away.  All I hope is that it put a smile on their face.

My challenge to you is to do something similar.  You always hear stories of people paying for other peoples' groceries, leaving random notes, and similar things to brighten someone's day.  But what holds everyone back from doing something like that?  There is no reason to turn away when making a difference in someone's life is only a moment away.  Do the thing that others won't.  Focus on the little moment that will make a huge impact.

Don't think you can make a difference?  Watch this video.  Anyone can.

Pay Chipotle it forward

What have you done to make a difference in a stranger's life?  Share your story...

Friday, September 7, 2012

Crunch Time

To say I've taken this summer off of running is an understatement.

After I ran my half marathon in May, I took some time off.

A lot of time.

I ran the Tough Mudder in June without much training, and it lived up to the name.

I did a race in July in MN, but it was so hot and I had not been running so it wasn't successful.

On July 2nd, I wrote a post mentioning the start of training for my next half marathon, and how I was going to dominate this 12 week program.

That lasted until week 3.  And it was far from domination.

Since July ended, I have been running a couple times... and the word "couple" is close to accurate.  I can count the number of times I ran during the month of August on one hand.  Sometimes life gets in the way of the goals you set, and you become content with not reaching them.

Then I looked at the calendar and it read September.

There, staring me in the face was impending failure, just 3 weeks away from running my second half marathon.

I made a crash course 3 week training program that will get me back into running - probably not prepared to conquer the half marathon, but get comfortable again with running and logging extensive miles.

This is the training I should have been doing all along, but come Sept 22, I will be completing another 13.1 miles.

Although my September has been crazy with work, I have been making the time to put my best foot forward.  Literally.

Mornings, nights, battling sickness, battle being tired, choosing running over that other thing I want to be doing, or simply choosing running over doing nothing...

So wish me luck over the next 2 weeks in hopes that I can get to a point where I can do relatively well.

I'm going to need it!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Week 3

Week 3 of half marathon training

Monday - Strength
Upper Body - Abs - Little Lower Body
I used some weights for the first time in a really long time.  I think I'm going to be sore tomorrow. 

Tuesday - 3 Miles
3.11 miles - 29:13 - 9:23 pace
An early morning run to kick off the day.  First mile felt solid, second mile felt great, third - not so much.  I started dragging.  I realized over the past few days that it's going to take me a little while to get back to where I was.  So I have to stop comparing this to that.  I'll get back there.  I just can't assume I'm going to do it tomorrow, or this week.  I am not going to beat 27:16 this weekend.  But I will soon.  Last training taught me to be tough and grind away.  This time around is teaching me patience.  It will come. 

Wednesday - 5 x 400m 
Treadmill - 4 reps of .25 miles, 8:00 pace for 2:00, sprint across campus for 1:03
I only had about 15 mins to do this, so I tried to make the most of it.  I am sweaaaatyy

Thursday - 3 Miles
3.11 miles - 28:59 - 9:18 pace 
Pretty good run!  I felt strong for the most part.  I am very optimistic considering I had to stop and walk for a block (thanks Chipotle...), so I probably would have fallen just over the 28:00 mark.  I'm happy with this! 

Friday - Rest
Bikram Yoga - 90 minute class

Saturday - Cross
Climbed Mount Elbert, the tallest mountain in CO - 14,433 feet
About 12 hours round trip, a grueling mountain, but one of the best accomplishments since moving to Denver.  I'll be writing a full post about this soon! :)

Sunday - 5K Race
I was totally planning on doing a race today, but I'm still really sore from the climb.  It would kill my legs.

Weekly Weigh In

Peak weight:  284
Training starting weight:  228
Last week: 226.8
Current weight:  221.6
Training goal weight:  209 (75 lb mark)
Comments:  Finally, the first good week of training.  I hit all the runs, have been focusing on my eating, and have just all around felt like my fitness is getting back on track.  This is the week I needed to slingshot me toward where I want to be.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Week 2: A Week 2 Forget

My computer died, so I lost my training plan that I had created for myself

Monday - Stretch & Strengthen

Tuesday - 3 Miles
3.02 miles - 29:06 - 9:36 pace
It has been really tough to get back into the swing of things with this training program.  It feels good to get out, but the lack of running consistently has really caught up with me.  On the bright side, I'm starting out at a MUCH faster pace than when I started for my first half, so I feel like after a few weeks I will be back in saddle.

Wednesday - 30 Minutes Tempo
I spent $350 on my car and have been sulking since my computer died.  Apparently I was looking for excuses so I took the liberty to not run, and I ate ice cream instead.

Thursday - 3 Miles + Strength
Couldn't squeeze it in.  This week is failing miserably. 

Friday - Rest

Saturday - 3 Miles Pace
3.05 miles - 29:06 - 9:31 pace
The competitive side of me says this is a little disappointing.  I am realizing how long it's going to take me to get back to where I was 2 1/2 months ago as I was gearing up for my half.  Running 3 miles became effortless.  I could fly (by my standards) through each mile and crush PRs with every race.  Take 2 months off and I am nowhere near that.  It sucks.  The accomplishment-ive side of me says that at this point when I was in week 2 of my half training the first time around, my pace was around 10:30.  So to still be a full minute below that is great!  At week 2 I was about 10 pounds heavier than I am now, and this is after I've just gained about 10 back.  Overall, I am still definitely headed in the right direction.  And that's what matters.  I am excited to see where this training takes me.  I figure it will take me until the halfway point to get to where I was, and then take my running and fitness to a whole new level. I'm not sure how tomorrow is going to go, but no matter what it will be a step toward the ultimate goal.

Sunday - 6 Miles   
Over eating and spending the day inside away from the heat is how I spent my day.  Not happy with it, but can't do anything about it now.  I think I'm going to tweak my training program a bit because something is out of whack.

Weekly Weigh In

Peak weight:  284
Training starting weight:  228
Last week: 225.8
Current weight:  226.8
Training goal weight:  209 (75 lb mark)
Comments:  A bad week caught up with me.  I have to pick this up this week.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Let the Games Begin

Half Marathon Training round 2.

Week 1.

This week is funky because of the race in the middle of the week, but I've had some fun with it.

Sunday - Stretch & Strengthen
Tough to start out strong while on vacation.  Too busy enjoying the Twins game to get going.

Monday - 3 Trail
2.86 miles - 27:14
When I knew my training was starting in Minnesota, I got excited!  I would return to the woods and the trail I would run on in high school - I feel like I know this trail so well it's scary, so what a great way to start off my training.  I haven't been able to run the whole thing since high school- the hills are killer, and running is always so inconsistent for me.  So I went for it in the heat (lots of upper 90's and humid in MN this week).  At just under the mile point, there is a HUGE 3-section hill that I always struggle with.  But this time, I beat it.  And I never stopped running other than about 10 seconds of crazy downhill to catch my breath (and not trip and die).  I miss running in the woods.

Tuesday - Off

Wednesday - Red, White, and BOOM! Twin Cities 1/2 Marathon Relay
5 miles - 51:57 - 10:23 pace
This is all kinds of a crazy story.  My friend and I decided a while ago that we were going to sign up for the half marathon relay on the 4th of July.  Sounds fun, right?  As we get closer, we see the forecast.    Hot.  Crazy-humid.  Miserable.  So I was starting to get nervous since I haven't really been running AND haven't ran in anything that hot since I lived in Florida.  On Monday, we get an email from Twin Cities in Motion saying that the run is shortened.  All participants would be running 5 miles.  Because of the heat & humidity and several factors that are affected as a result, it would be too dangerous for the event to happen as planned.  After lots of disappointed post flooded their facebook page, it was finally race day.  We headed to the start line and it was already HOT.  Mid 80's and humid at the 6:30 start, only increasing as the sun came up.  The first 2 miles were great considering I haven't really ran in a month and the heat.  Mile 3 was ok, but I felt myself starting to slip.  Mile 4 was brutal, and I had to stop for a wee bit at probably the 3.25-3.5 mark.  Then I got myself going again and headed for the home stretch.  The race ended on one of my favorite places in MN, the Stone Arch Bridge.  As I ran the last few hundred yards, I waved at my parents and girlfriend who came to support, and weaved in and out of people, sprinting to the finish line.  The time was not impressive.  The race was great but pretty miserable.  What a great kickoff week to this round of training, and I can't wait to see what's in store for the next 12 weeks!

Thursday - 3 + Strength
Do Life 5K - 3.08 Miles - 32:45 - 10:38 pace
This is the reason I woke up at 5AM in MN to drive back to Denver - so I could make it back in time for the Do Life 5K.  After participating last year right after I moved to Denver, I wanted to try to make it back in time, and I did!

What an awesome time!  It felt great to get out for a run, and to chat with people at the race.  Just like last year, I am inspired by the people that showed up to this, and when we talked, their stories of their accomplishments lit another fire inside.  The feeling that I can do this is unbeatable, and this is hopefully another spark that will help lead me to success through this chapter of the journey.  What a great group of people!

Friday - Off

Saturday - 3
2.05 miles - 20:52 - 10:08 pace
2 things made this run a little rocky.  1.  I am dogsitting for one of my coworkers and I decided to take her along for the run.  It was a little hot, so she was panting the whole way.  She made it just fine, but at a fairly slow trot and I didn't want to push her too hard.  2.  I've still been eating like crap this week, so it's tough to get back into training and feeling healthy.

Sunday - 5
0 miles
Today's run did not happen.  I have been feeling super tired and not yet caught up on sleep after my trip to MN.  So a nap happened instead of a run.  Not happy about it, but not the end of the world.  Next week will be better!  Overall, I'm happy with week one.

Weekly Weigh In

Peak weight:  284
Training starting weight:  228
Current weight:  225.8
Training goal weight:  209 (75 lb mark)
Comments:  I am going to be doing my "official" weigh-ins on Friday mornings to monitor my progress.  This was a good week 1.  I know that once I just start getting active again, the weight will drop off pretty quickly.  So this is about what I expected.  These next couple weeks should show some good progress, but the true test will be when I start to hit the next plateau.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Here We Go Again

On September 22, I will be running my second half marathon.  I have found another 12 week training program to get me ready, so I am just waiting for that to start.

Oh wait, it starts today!

For the next 12 weeks, I will complete Hal Higdon's training program.  For my last half, I used the Novice2 level.  For this one, I am stepping it up a bit and doing the intermediate program.  Basically, the only differences are training 5 days/week instead of 4, increasing some of the miles on some of the shorter runs, and adding a little bit of speedwork.

Aside from all of the running that will be done, I am also interested to see what happens to my weight during this time.  During my first training program, I was able to lose about 15 pounds.  Since then, I've put a little back on in my month & a half off since the race.  So my goal for this time around is to end up at 210 by race day.  We'll see how it goes.

Starting weight:  228
Goal weight:  209 (75 lb mark)
Comments:  They say it's hard to lose weight during training because people have to eat more to sustain the endurance.  Since I was able to lose quite a bit last time, I am confident that I can do it again.  Once I actually get into training and make it through the first couple weeks, I will get to 220 no problem.  That will just consist of working off the excess that I have put on.  The difficulty will lie in passing 215 and getting to 210.  That will take a whole lot of effort.  But it will be worth it in the end.  A couple of "vacation" periods have killed my eating habits, but I'm just about ready to get back into the swing of things.  This first week is funky since I am in Minnesota, but it's starting off with a bang.  A trail run in my woods, a half marathon relay on the 4th, then an unofficial 5K with the Do Life  team.  

Time to kick some butt!

Ready, go!

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Half Way There - 2012

So I just looked at my calendar and it says June 30.  This year has flown by so quickly.  I feel like I went to sleep in February and woke up in June.  It's hard to believe that the year is half over.  Anyone else feel that way?

Every June I like to check in and see the progress I've made on my goals for the year.  It serves two purposes: a sense of accomplishment for the things that have happened this year, and a wake up call for the things I haven't.  A change of focus is good!

Here's my list of goals for 2012, the progress, and the new focus for the remainder of the year.

And here's the original post.

Red = not done
Green = done or plans are made to be done

1. Get down to 210, then never get back above 220.  During half marathon training, I made it to 215.  Now I've put on some weight since I haven't been running lately.  I've been looking forward to July 1st for a while now because it's the first day of my new half marathon training program, so we'll see if I can check this one off before my race in September.

2. Run a race every month.  So far so good!  6 months down, 8 races completed.  I have signed up for races through September, so this one will be accomplished 2 years in a row!

3. Run a half marathon. If it goes well, run one in spring, summer, and fall.  Official goal was 1.  Check!  I signed up for #2 in September, and depending on how that goes, we'll see about #3 or 26.2

4. Climb 5 14ers. Because once you climb one, you just can't stop.  Ok, 5 was a ridiculous number, but I am looking forward to climbing my first 14er in July.  Seeing the view from the top of one last weekend got me really excited for it!

5. Ski Keystone, Breckenridge, A Basin, Vail, and Beaver Creek. I didn't take full advantage last winter like I was hoping, but I'm excited to cross off the other 3 this fall & early winter.  Not done, but definitely still doable.

6. Go to a Broncos, Avalanche, Rockies, Nuggets, and Rapids game. Rapids game is the only one left, and we have tickets coming up in July when they play a friendly against a team from the English Premier League.  Plus add on some indoor lacrosse and 2012 has been quite the sports year.

7. Join a sports league. It would still be fun to do this, but not sure if it will happen.  I haven't played as much volleyball this year as I would like, but I've gone to a running club a few times and we're starting to play some pick up basketball with coworkers this summer.

8. Present at a professional conference. I miss presenting, and I'm looking for chances to do so in the next year.  Anyone interested? I'm open!

9. Discover or rediscover a creative outlet. This is probably the one I want to focus on the most.  I want to find something I enjoy that taps into creativity.  Whether it's musical, artistic, taking an improv class, or going to toastmasters meetings, find SOMETHING to spend my time in creativity.

10. Read 50 Books. Almost on pace.  I'm done with 21 and currently on 22.  After reading 30 last year, I'm excited I am at least close enough to maybe make this happen.

11. Visit 5 new states/countries.  I am officially changing the goal to Visit 5 new places.  Specifically visiting 5 new states or countries is tough, but having new experiences is more important.  So far in 2012, some new places have included:
-Ski Resorts Keystone & Breckenridge for skiing, Beaver Creek for Tough Mudder
-Moab, Utah & Arches/Canyonlands National Parks
-Fort Collins for my half marathon
-Rocky Mountain National Park
-Trip booked to go to Phoenix, Sedona, and Grand Canyon the first week of August

Throw in a trip back to FL and a 4th of July in MN and this guy's a happy camper!  Yes, a lot of these are in CO, but when you move to a new place, it's so much fun to explore.  Especially a place as amazing as Colorado!

12. Smile and laugh. A lot.   These are the moments that make life worth living.

What a great start to 2012.  2nd half, you have a lot to live up to!