Thursday, July 26, 2012

No major races this year

So it looks like the only race I'm going to be participating in this year is a local turkey trot 5k. I was hoping to take part in a half marathon and maybe a triathlon but that just isn't in the cards. I have a very busy schedule from now until the fall and money is playing a huge factor as well.

I have something big I'm working on, but I won't get into that right now... If all goes to plan it could mean huge changes for my family, in a good way. So right now my main focus is on that, my job, and of course my family. Priorities... they're in order.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

My Marathon Story

June 20th 2010
The furthest I’d ever run before that date was 32 kilometres. I was confident and very excited. When the starting gun fired, I felt a surge of energy. I wanted to run as fast as I could, but I didn’t. I had a plan and I was sticking to it.
I ran the same pace I had been training at, the only difference was I was not alone. It was a little claustrophobic running with so many people. I didn’t mind it, but was annoyed at the runners who pushed their way through the crowd without warning anyone. Running etiquette dictates when passing someone you should give them some warning.
It wasn’t until around the 10.5-kilometre mark things got interesting. This was where the full marathon runners separated from the half-marathoners. The road suddenly became a lot less congested as there were about five times more half-marathon runners than the full.
At around the 16.25-kikometre mark, I came to a group of runners who were very friendly. I learned one of the men in the group was a veteran marathon runner. He was giving advice to the group. One of the guys told him this was his first marathon.
“We have a marathon virgin over here,” shouted the veteran.
The crowd cheered.
I told him I was one too, so he announced me as well.
As I passed the group, the veteran told me to slow down or I’d never finish. I thanked him for the advice but proceeded at my pace.
At around the two-hour mark I did a body assessment. I realized I was getting kind of cold. I hadn’t eaten yet. I slowed down and began walking. I grabbed an energy bar and took my time eating. I started to feel better immediately.
When I passed the 32.5-kilometre mark, I began to smile. At this point my legs were burning but I still had plenty of energy. And I remembered one of my favourite quotes, “pain is temporary, quitting lasts forever.”
As I crossed kilometre 39, I felt tears well up. I could have easily cried. I knew at that point that I was going to finish the 42.6-kilometre race. I was focused and tried not to pay much attention to the occasional EMT helping runners who more than likely didn’t finish the race. A few of them I recognized as some of the runners who pushed their way through the crowd at the beginning.
With just over a kilometre to go, I really began to pick up my pace. I was surprised at how good I was feeling, especially when I entered the university stadium.
When I rounded the final corner, I saw my wife and our friends the Jones’ cheering me on. I crossed the finish line at four hours and 32 minutes.
I was greeted by volunteers who brought me to the recovery area. It was there that I drank the best chocolate milk I’d ever tasted. I have to wonder if all food tastes this good after running 42 kilometres.
I did it, I had a medal around my neck. I set a goal and I achieved it. I am bothered a little by my time. I feel I could have done better. I could have easily finished about 10 to 15 minutes sooner if it wasn’t for those darn lineups at the portable toilets along the way. But I’d rather be a little slower than extremely embarrassed if you know what I mean.
So I’ve been bitten. This will not be my last marathon.

Sunday, July 22, 2012


Much like Ms. Krabappel I hate yo yos. For her they were just getting on her nerves, for me they're having an effect on my health. For her we're talking about the toy for me? My weight.

I stepped on the scale this morning to find that I'm now 177 lbs. I've gained 7 lbs in 6 days and I have nobody to blame except myself. I'll admit I haven't been eating as well a I should have.

This is my problem... I have to get past that voice that tells me "You're at a healthy weight, eat whatever you want!"

I have a feeling that voice is still that obese version of me. I've been overweight for the majority of my adult life... I don't want to go back so I need to find a way to get that inner demon to shut up and let me be healthy. I find it refreshing that I'm actually acknowledging this tiny bit of weight gain as a problem. It's a problem because it's happened before. I'll lose a whole lot of weight, only to become lax and as a result gain weight. In the past I had this mentality that it was "only 10 lbs" then that would turn into "only 15 lbs" and so on. I told myself when I began this weight loss journey that I would have an alarm weight... that number was and is 175.

Today is Sunday... the beginning of a new week. It's going to take longer than 6 days to lose that 7 lbs but I'm determined to get back on track. I feel good about this, this could be a turning point for my weight loss journey, a period where I can finally say I cut the string on that damn yo yo.

Saturday, July 21, 2012


I've struggled with weight for most of my adult life. I come from a family of big guys... my dad is big, my brother, my uncles, cousins...etc. So when I got out of college and started making a decent paycheque I was able to eat out whenever I wanted, and enjoy junk food if I chose to do so... and I chose to do that a lot.

I work mainly in front of a computer so there'd be times where I'd work throughout the night while snacking, and downing copious amounts of coffee. It didn't take long for my weight to skyrocket. In all honesty I really didn't realize it. I knew I was big but everyone told me I looked fine. In hindsight I really didn't.

My mid twenties - approx 250 lbs
I was snapped out of my high calorie no exercise lifestyle by a huge slap in the face. My dad was diagnosed with Colon Cancer... the same disease that killed his dad when he was 12 years old. After my dad's treatment he recovered fully minus some of his innards, I on the other hand began to look in the mirror.

I started by joining a weight loss forum and sought out advice. I started to go for evening walks, soon that turned into the occasional bike ride. Soon during my walks I'd run a little when nobody was looking.

Calories? I began to understand that calorie counting wasn't just for prissy little Malibu type folks. I educated myself about BMR and began to work on my diet. 

I don't know exactly how long it took, my guess is about a year but my heaviest was a little over 260 lbs. I managed to get myself down to 170 lbs.

I noticed a huge difference in myself. Soon the opposite sex began to take notice too and after a few failed dates I met the woman who would one day become my wife and mother of my child. 

We got married about 15 months after we first met... and then the happy weight came. Since we've been married I've yoyo'd from 190 - 220 until March of this year when I tipped the scale at 230... the heaviest my wife had ever seen me. 

This time around I have an even bigger motivation to stay healthy, he's 6.5 months old right now and I'm the most important male figure in his life. It's a big responsibility, but I plan to be the best role model for my son.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Is it Tuesday yet?

It's easy to become dependent upon gadgets and gizmos. Look at how screwed up we get when the internet goes down! It really is kind of silly, isn't it?

As a runner I'm fully aware of my gadget dependance. Over the last 4 months I've been using my phone to track my runs using an app called Endomondo. The app is awesome, it does it's job. My main problem has been not being able to see my current pace whenever I want. If I want to see what I'm doing I have to unzip my phone from my bicep (not my actual muscle but the case wrapped around it!) and physically take it out without dropping it. I have dropped it a few times and not only did I have to stop and mess up any sort of pace I was keeping, but I would simultaneously have a mini heart attack since those damn smart phones are so expensive!

I have found my solution, I purchased a refurbished Garmin 305 with HRM. If I could have afforded it I would have gone with the 310XT but this will have to do.

So here I am like a kid waiting for Christmas. Is it Christmas yet? Except in my case it's Tuesday... I think. Tuesday is the "Estimated" day of arrival.

Once I get this I'm hoping this little toy will help me to vastly improve my pace. Being able to see my pace drop immediately instead of being told by the endomondo voice at the 1k mark.

I've been reading the reviews and am pretty sure I'll be happy with this purchase. Considering it's a refurbished one, I'm hoping it'll last at least 2 years. *crosses fingers*

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Couch to 20+k in 6 months

On January first my life changed for the better. My son Lincoln was born, and my priorities changed completely. I no longer cared about what I was eating or if I was exercising... I just wanted to make sure that my son was well taken care for.

Fast forward to February, I had gained some weight. No big deal, I still hadn't stepped on the scale. I did however on March 8th. 230 lbs. I'm 5'11" and it doesn't take a doctor to tell me that that isn't healthy.

My diet consisted of junk food, microwave dishes and whatever quick and easy concoction I could eat in between work and taking care of my son. Obviously something had to change.

I immediately started calorie counting, and the scale really liked that. The lbs started to come off pretty quick. In mid April I went out for my first run in over a year. I stopped running as a result of Achilles tendonitis... I still had it but it wasn't as bad. My first run was 5k in about 31 minutes... since then I've been running 2-3 times a week and have watched my weight drop dramatically in the process.
I'm fully committed to living a healthier lifestyle. I want to be able to live as long as I can and watch my kid grow up. The way I was earlier in the year was a path to self destruction... I've fixed that and am now have all my priorities in order.

I'm creating this blog to chronicle my fitness, health and running. I'll be doing my best to update it on a regular basis.