Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Break Out Your Snappy Serape

Since the invention of the Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato sandwich the world has had its fair share of notable trios. Some famous, and well others, not so much.

Abraham, Martin, John.
Larry, Moe, Curly
Peter, James, John
Peter, Paul, Mary
Sabrina, Kelly, Jill
Starsky, Hutch, Huggy Bear
Kukla, Fran, Ollie
Alvin, Simon, Theodore
Jack, Chrissy, Janet
Snap, Crackle, Pop
Yakko, Wacko, Dot
Maxene, Patty, LaVerne
Barry, Robin, Maurice
Tom, Dick, Harry
Jan, Marsha, Cindy
Greg, Peter, Bobby
Mike, Chip, Ernie
Hoss, Little Joe, Adam
The Lion, The Tinman, The Scarecrow

Oh there are others to be sure, pigs, billy goats, mice and bears, plus three guys in a tub whose names shall remain forever anonymous.

But as for Me, Myself, I, not even Huey, Duey, Louie hold a candle to those three happy chappies with snappy serapes better known as The Three Caballeros, Donald, Jose, and Panchito.

So imagine my surprise when I learned that the 2012 WDW 5K was to be themed around three of my favorite Disney characters. I just could not resist the temptation to add this run, so this morning I officially registered. Not sure what this makes me? Certainly not a Dopey, but more than a Duck for sure. This raises the question. What should we call 16.2 miles in two days? “The Donald Plus Fun Run?” or perhaps "Duck Sauce 2012"

As of this post we are just over 10 weeks away from Marathon weekend. Are you ready? Is everything coming together?

Here is an update on me, post Des Moines Half.

Sent in proof of time to RunDisney. They confirmed my proof of time but could not locate my half registration. Panic set in and I called Active to see what was up. At first they told me I was not registered because my credit card had been declined last June when I signed up. WTF? I insisted that I was registered and Active finally figured out the problem. During my first sign up attempt my registration was declined and then I recalled why. It was because I had forgotten to add the 3 digit code on the back of my credit card to the online form. Once I updated that form last June it had gone through. For some reason Active had a matching confirmation number on both the failed attempt and the successful one.

I informed RunDisney and all has been cleared up and I now have an updated registration confirmation that includes the new proof of time. This morning’s 5K sign up went through without incident.

Last week’s exercise:

Wed 19th: 4 mile walk

Thu 20th: 3 mile jog, 1 mile walk. Paced 10:08 during the jog.

Sun 23rd: 8 mile jog. Paced 10:40 (I have a blood stained shirt to prove it)(Body Glide Please!)

Mon 24th: 4 mile walk

Chris commented on my last post wondering about goals. Here are my goals leading up to and including marathon weekend.

Two weeknights each week walk for 4 miles. If under 60 minutes keep walking to get in a full hour.

Two weeknights each week jog for 60 min. Once casual and once pushing myself.

Weekend. One long run either Saturday or Sunday. Watch forecast on Friday and commit to which day. 8 mile minimum. If weather is bad get to the Y and get in those miles.

My Goal for the January Half is to finish with a PR for the half. This means breaking the 2:22 finish I had in Des Moines back in 2008. Doable? Yes! How do I get there? Commitment.

My plan is to move up the pace of the virtual partner on my Garmin from a 12:00 to the 10:80 I averaged during the 2008 Des Moines half. Then just stay ahead of it. If I can continue to average what I achieved last Sunday I should be good. Outside of working to improve pace and endurance my goal is to keep a close eye on my daily calories and keep losing weight.

Monday, October 17, 2011

2:29:28 Updated 10/18/11

Last January when I received my corral placement for the half marathon at Walt Disney World I set a few goals and this past weekend I achieved the first of those goals. That goal was to be able to provide a proof of time performance at a 10k or longer event during the year to allow me to move up in the corral placements during Disney 2012 marathon weekend.

The past three Disney half’s that I completed were each over 3 hours and I have been on a quest to not only break that 3 hour window, but to get back under a 2:30 finish. My best half marathon run was in Des Moines 2008 where I finished the IMT half marathon with a 2:22 finish. Following that run I developed planter fasciitis which greatly affected my training for WDW 2009 in which I finished with a 2:49.

Since 2009 I have struggled with continuing to exercise and keeping my weight in check. Between 2009 and this past weekend I have completed a few races, but to be completely honest all I wanted to do during those runs was to finish and all I did for training was just enough to get me by.

Since I turned 40 I have wrestled with my weight, knowing that my family has a history of heart disease on both sides. My maternal grandfather passed away at 49 following a heart attack and my paternal grandfather passed away at 67 following complications after open heart surgery. At 40 I found myself thinking pretty heavily about my prospective life expectancy. I won’t rehash the past five years here. It’s sufficient enough to say that I had gotten into good shape and that somewhere during the past couple years I lost my drive. Part of it was fear of future injury but for the most part was simply that regardless of family history I stopped caring.

Friends who follow this blog know that in the early days of its history I was very active and posted nearly every day. Then for a while I stopped posting and more recently I post only to provide a semi regular update to say hey I’m here and this is where I’m at.

So where have I been and where am I at today?

Last year I was 235lbs going into WDW 2011. That’s 35 pounds heavier than I was in 2009. This past summer I tipped the scale at my heaviest to date 252. My best weight since turning 40 was when I got down to 185 in March of 2009. In May of this year I began exercising again but my weight never seemed to change. (all due to diet) I just kept cycling between 252 and 244. In late August I finally started to look at calories and since that point things have been turning around.

In May I was able to walk/jog six miles and average around a 13:35 pace. A couple months into it I was finally reaching into the 12s. Once the calorie counting began paying off I dropped into an 11:20s pace range. Mentally the past couple months have been good for me and I am back to getting anxious if I miss a planned jog or gym visit. I used to blame my rotating work schedule for getting in the way of working out but I have found ways to get around that. I’m finally getting consistent with training and its been paying off.

This past Saturday at 229lbs I participated in the 10th annual running of the IMT Des Moines Marathon weekend. My race of choice was once again the half marathon. (The full marathon just seems like such a mammoth under taking) The half continues to be a distance that works well for me. It provides a challenge and requires me to be at a reasonable level of conditioning.

Race day found me quite anxious when I lined up behind the 2:30 pace group. My Garmin virtual runner was set to a 12:00 pace and my plan was to just keep ahead of that pace.

Miles 1-3. Stayed with the 2:30 pace group and felt that they were pushing a bit hard. Somewhere between miles 2-3 my Garmin lost 3/10 of a mile. (Must have been the buildings)

Mile 4. As we approached mile 4 the pace leader checked her watch and realized she was indeed ahead of pace and slowed down to a walk. I was not about to walk so I kept up my pace and although my Garmin’s distance was messed up the clock was fine and as I crossed mile 4 it read 45 minutes which was in line with my goal.

Mile 5-7. Sometime around mile 5 I did have some mild stomach concerns. I blame that on all the fluid I was taking in during this run. Past training runs had not included much fluids and my stomach was complaining a bit. At some point during this section of running I was able to mentally check out and let my mind wander a bit. I found myself thinking about being in Florida and seeing my friends in just a couple of months and as I ran I pictured that these are the miles where you approach and run through the Magic Kingdom.

Mile 8-10. I found myself thinking about my more recent long runs and focusing on the fact that I’ve done this distance and that getting through it should not be too difficult. Although I was growing a bit tired, I did not hit the wall at 9.5 as I had the previous weekend. Instead I focused on nearby runners and picked out a few that I wanted to pass and others whom I wanted to pace with.

Mile 11. Coming into mile 11 I was feeling good and someone ahead of me turned around and mentioned that a pace runner was coming up. That pace runner was the 2:30 pacer who I left behind earlier. She past me on the hill coming out of mile 11. I was a little surprised by this but kept my focus on that pacer and refused to let her out of my sight.

Mile 12-Finish. Slightly downhill and flat during this stretch. I walked briefly twice in order to catch my breath. I was pushing a little too hard trying to get ahead of the pace runner. I realized that I might not catch her, accepted it, and kept moving forward. One block out from the finish I had the slightest twinge of a cramp in my right calve. This was my one brief moment of panic on the course. (In 2008 I cramped up really bad here and fought to keep my legs moving) I kept moving and it did not worsen I just knew that after I crossed the finish I needed to get some potassium and salt. I crossed the finish with an official time of 2:29:28. 33 minutes ahead of my WDW half last January. I actually got a little worked up over it knowing that my efforts over the past several weeks had paid off. I also thought about how Chris had such a great full marathon the day before crushing his goal of a sub four hour finish by fifteen minutes. What a great weekend.

Post Race:

I’ve been feeling great. Nothing outside of expected sore muscles. Saturday and Sunday I just shelved the whole calorie counting thing. Monday and today my calorie intake has been more in line with maintaining weight but tomorrow I go back to keeping my daily intake down and getting back on the weight loss train. I’m not sure what Friday’s weigh in will bring but up or down I’m not going to sweat it. I’m just going to keep working at it with a goal in mind to drop another 19+ pounds before January.

Tomorrow I will also resume walking and some light jogging.

Monday, October 10, 2011

8+2=10 and other important numbers

Just Around the (Des Moines) Riverbed

With the 16th only a matter of days away I wanted to post at least one update prior to the event.

This past Saturday I went out for a planned 8 miler but as I was running a few anxieties set in over making the jump next weekend to 13.1 miles. Midway through my run I decided to add 2 and go for 10.

In my mind that 10 mile mark means that all that remains is a 5K. With 10 miles in my pocket it's easier to face that remaining 5K rather a 5 mile hurtle. During the half at mile 10 there will be a water station. I'm hoping that this station will be run better than it was a few years ago. Miles 9 through 11 of the Des Moines are run on a bike path that circles Grays Lake. The problem with that water station before was that they set up tables on both sides of that pathway which created a bottle neck. Coming out of mile 11 is an uphill stretch that runs for half a mile. After that its flat to the finish line.

But let me get back to this past Saturday. The course I ran last weekend was a figure eight that brought me to a water fountain at mile 4 and 8. Repeating part of the first loop would take me back toward where I had parked my car. I hit the wall at 9.5 miles and felt completely drained. With just a short distance ahead of me I somehow shook it off and resumed jogging. A check on my Garmin's history showed that I had averaged an 11:24 pace. I had used the virtual partner during the run and I plan on using that as a guide this coming weekend end.

Post run as I was getting into my car I could feel my right calve tightening up on me. I knew my body needed some electrolytes and sodium so I drove to the neighborhood Kum & Go. By the time I got there both calves were cramping. I purchased some Gatoraid and took a brief walk and my legs began to improve.

It would be very easy for me to get concerned over my leg cramps and the fact that I hit the wall. But actually I'm not worried about it. I feel that it all came down to the lack of fluids and come race day there will be Poweraid and water every couple miles. (plus I've already purchased some clif blocks)

On Friday I will attend the local expo and inquire about what they plan to have for pace runners. I'm still counting on my Garmin, but last time out I did like having a pace runner nearby.

Oh and regarding the other important numbers... My office is once again offering Bio Metric Screening. If you have healthy numbers or show a marked improvement in health in at least three categories from the previous year you get a $30 per month discount on health insurance. I could rant for several pages about this topic as I find it quite intrusive but I'm going to edit myself and not complain on this blog.

Aside from still being overweight all my blood work numbers have come back at healthy levels. My total cholesteral has dropped from 246 down to 160. On the weight side I'm down a total of 15lbs since late August. If I can keep losing 2 lbs a week I could be below 210 in Janaury.

As of this posting the WDW Half Marathon is 12 weeks 4 days and 8 hours away. Oh and I may be adding the WDW 5K event to my schedule. Why? I'll give you three reasons. Donald, Jose, and Panchito

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Professor Von Drake Explains

Hallo und Willkommen. Meine Güte ist es ein langer Zeitpunkt da unser letzter Besuch gewesen. Es ist so wundervoll, Sie wieder zu sehen. Warum betrachten Sie mich so lustig? Oh mein vergaß ich, dass ich auf Deutsch sprach. Erlauben Sie mir, auf englisch zu wiederholen.

Hello and welcome. My goodness it has been such a long time since our last visit. It is so wonderful to see you again. Why are you looking at me so funny? Oh my I forgot I was speaking in German. Allow me to repeat in English.

I’ve just returned from a wundervoll octoberfest celebration. And now with the mass consumption of liquid bread behind me it’s time to get back into the class room and teach you kids a few things. Things such as how you should not drink your calories. Believe me I’ll be paying for it for some time to come. Oh boy will I ever, but where was I? Oh yes calories.

Your body requires energy to keep it running. This energy is defined in calories. Everyday your body burns calories and the food and drinks we consume replace those calories. It goes without saying that some things we consume are healthier than others but for the purpose of today’s lecture we are looking at a calorie simply as that, a calorie.

How your body burns off calories affects your weight. A person who burns and consumes the same number of calories each day will maintain their existing weight. If your calorie intake is greater than you burn off you will gain weight. If you burn more calories than you ingest then you will lose weight. Pretty simple stuff huh? Well it’s a little trickier than that. If your calories are too low your body’s metabolism will slow down. This can make losing weight very frustrating.

Weight loss requires a few things. The first thing you must know is how many calories does your body burn in a typical day. There is no flat answer to cover everyone. Your calorie burn is determined by age, height, weight, and activity level. Now there are very scientific formulas for figuring all this out but thankfully in today’s age of computing technology we can simply visit a web page such as the one listed here. http://www.bmi-calculator.net/bmr-calculator/

Once you go the link above simply input your data and your personalized Basal Metabolic Rate will appear in the green box. Take your BMR number and multiply it by the factor below that best represents your current activity level.

1. If you are sedentary (little or no exercise) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.2

2. If you are lightly active (light exercise/sports 1-3 days/week) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.375

3. If you are moderately active (moderate exercise/sports 3-5 days/week) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.55

4. If you are very active (hard exercise/sports 6-7 days a week) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.725

5. If you are extra active (very hard exercise/sports & physical job or 2x training) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.9

And Vwalla just like that you now have your daily calorie need to maintain your current weight. Subtract 500 from that number to lose 1 pound per week or subtract 1000 to lose 2 pounds per week. As your activity levels and weight change you’ll want revisit this formula and adjust accordingly.

Before we close today’s lesson let’s use our friend Jeff W as an example. Over the past several weeks he has been using these numbers along with the myfitnessparter app for ipod.

At 5’10’’ and age 45 Jeff started at 244lbs with a BMR rating of 2169 that was multiplied against a light activity factor of 1.375 giving him a daily need of 2983 calories to maintain weight. By keeping track of, and balancing, exercise and food consumption he has been successful in eliminating 1000 calories per day for an average daily total of 1983 calories.

This morning Jeff weighed in at 229lbs giving him a new BMR rating of 2076 which when multiplied against a light activity factor of 1.375 gives him a new daily need of 2854 calories to maintain weight. Jeff plans to continue eliminating 1000 calories per day so his new daily target is 1854 calories.

Jeff’s goal weight is 190lbs. At that point his BMR rating will be 1833. Multiply that against a light activity factor of 1.375 and he will have a daily allowance of 2520 calories to maintain weight.

That concludes today's lesson and now here is a brief update from Jeff.

Hey just need to update as it has been awhile since I posted anything relavent to training. Since the end of August I have steadily been losing weight and increasing my mileage. My heaviest this year was 252 and for many months I kept recycling eight pounds of that. In August I discovered a couple different ipod calorie apps which I am always updating. Using an app has been a huge help for me. Since using the app and bumping up my exercise I've gone from 244lb to 229lbs. My goal is to be near or below 210 in January.

On the running front (yes I said running!) I am currently up to jogging continuous 8 milers. I can fell a little fade toward the end of those runs but each one gets a little stronger. Pace on the 8 milers has been averaging in the 11:20s. On Oct 16th is the IMT Half Marathon and I will be running in it. I do have some concerns about how to best approach this. (Being that I'm jumping 5 miles out from where I've trained at) Right now my plan is to use the virtual partner on my Garmin and to stay ahead of a 12:00 pace. I ran this course back in 2009 so it does help that I an familiar with it. In fact this weekend I may go down and jog a portion of it.