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So I’m Still Alive

2015/02/04 at 10:01 pm | Posted in Cycling, Discipline, Exercise, Health, lifestyle change, Motivation, Running, weight loss, weight loss blog | 2 Comments
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If there are any readers of this blog left, I’d like to take a moment to let them all know that yes, I am still alive. I just got a little sidetracked with a lot of things.

First, unemployment. At the time of my last post, I was still not working which for all intents and purposes would mean I’d have time to post even more. True, but I didn’t feel the need to since there hasn’t been a lot going on. I’m happy to report that I’ve since been employed part-time and will be starting a second job very soon.

But because of my unemployment and part-time minimum-wage job, making ends meet has been difficult. As a result, I’ve decided that I will not participate in any events in 2015. Even though my second job will provide additional income, I just want to take a break from them and focus on getting in better shape.

Why better shape? Oh. That.

I made some really bad choices during the holidays last year and as a result, my weight soared to its highest level in a long time: 231 pounds. On average, I’ll add a few pounds during the holidays but never this much. I wasn’t happy with myself and decided to start over in January.

And I did. By participating in the 30 Day Plank Challenge, doing routine exercises, and logging my meals with MyFitnessPal, I’m pleased to report that I shed 10 pounds in January. I’m getting older and while running is still part of my routine, I’m also walking when I go out so as not to apply too much strain on my knees. Recovery takes longer but I’m still happy to get out and break a good sweat.

During my last outing, I decided to add another challenge: running up the inclined walls of the local river/channel. I did about 10 reps the first time and will add more as I see fit.

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This is a still captured from a video I shot of me sprinting up and down the walls. At this point I was at about 5 miles of combined waking and running so I figured that 10 reps would be my maximum. I was right — it was enough, but it felt great.

Speaking of events, here are some pictures from the ones I did last year. I only did a few because of my limited income so I had to choose wisely.

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February: Chinatown Firecracker 30-Mile Bike Ride. They changed the course and it killed me! But I finished and had a great time as usual. It’s a fantastic event.

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March: The Coaster Run. I only did the 5k but it was still a lot of fun, especially running in the rain. Yes, it rained! I can’t recall the last time I smiled so much while running.

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October: Long Beach Marathon Bike Tour and 5k. For the second year in a row, I rode 20 miles then transitioned over to running and ran the 5k. The difference last year from previous years was that you could enter both under the “combo” option and not have to pay for the ride and run separately; both events got official times; and as you can see, a third medal was awarded to all finishers. It’s a great incentive for those who want to do their first duathlon.

So that’s it. I’ll continue to focus on losing what I gained and then some, and work on my goal to be 200 pounds again — maybe less.

Thanks again for reading! Don’t lose sight of your goal and stay committed!

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In Response to Chad Stafko’s “Get Over It” Diatribe

2013/11/14 at 11:00 pm | Posted in Discipline, Exercise, Health, Inspiration, Life, lifestyle change, Running, weight loss, weight loss blog | 2 Comments
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A few days ago, Chad Stafko wrote an article for the Wall Street Journal entitled “OK, You’re A Runner. Get Over It” and since then, runners from all over the world have chimed in on what Stafko had to say, much less wonder what the act of running had to do with WSJ.

If you don’t want to read the article, he basically doesn’t get why runners insist on “patting themselves on the back” by showing the world what they’ve done. This can be in the form of wearing a shirt from a recently run event or, in some cases, a 13.1 or 26.2 sticker on their car. He only quotes those two because 70.3 or 140.6 probably would have blown his mind.

But that’s the extent of belittling I’ll do here. In fact I probably shouldn’t have even gone that far because running is something not everybody “gets” and Stafko definitely falls into that category despite how many running friends he says he has.

I’ll quote one part of his article, prove my point, and the game will be over. It really will be that simple.

Why would someone want to get up at 5 a.m. and run 10 miles adorned with fluorescent tape to avoid being struck by someone who has the good sense to use a car for a 10-mile journey?

Easy. Because I can guarantee that this dad (2004)…

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…had a better chance of dying from something health-related than this dad (2013)…

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…who now runs events with his son and will continue to do so until he drops dead.

(By the way, those are indeed the same two people in both pictures: me and my son.)

He will also continue to be the person Stafko despises in the article: he’ll wear shirts from events, put [insert appropriate distance here] stickers on his car, wake up on any given Sunday at 5 a.m. to go for a 10-mile run, and even wear medals the entire day after competing in an event. And it will be done with pride.

Running any distance is indeed an accomplishment and therefore, I believe is worth bragging about. Running has also changed, and possibly saved or extended, my life.

Game over, Chad.

And no, I won’t get over it.

2013 Long Beach Marathon Weekend

2013/10/14 at 8:19 am | Posted in Cycling, Discipline, Exercise, Health, Inspiration, Life, Milestone, Motivation, Running, Victory, weight loss, weight loss blog | Comments Off on 2013 Long Beach Marathon Weekend
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First of all, my apologies if I have not posted here in a long time. I’ve just been sidetracked by other things and starting to catch up.

Secondly, before we get into this past weekend, I seem to have forgotten to mention that I did one more event in between then which was the OC Fair 5k in August. I had an overall time of 39:51 but this included the time I stopped to play a game and win a stuffed animal for Anthony, so you can probably deduct a good 5 minutes from that. In fact, my time was 33:47 on Endomondo with the time stopped.

At any rate, here I am with the stuffed animal, ready to throw it over to Anthony who was waiting for me.

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Shortly afterward I made it to the finish line.

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So that’s the one I forgot but the big news was what happened over the weekend.

Being that I’ve ridden in previous Long Beach Marathon events, I was part of a handful of participants who were eligible to register their child for the Aquarium of the Pacific Fun Run on Saturday for free. I asked Anthony if he wanted to do it and he said he was up to the task of running one solid mile around the aquarium and beyond, so I signed him up. In the meantime, he was proud of telling me about the “training” was was doing for the event while at school – running away from other kids. I told him sprinting is fine, but you’ve got to find your pace.

He did, and 11 minutes after the start, he crossed the finish line.

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He was sweaty, he was thirsty, he had his medal. He now knows the glorious feeling of crossing that finish line and having hundreds of strangers cheering him on. Yes, he is officially a runner! We’re so proud of him for what he did and he’s told me he wants to do it again, and I have no problem with that. Congratulations, Anthony. You did a fine job!

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Now onto Sunday. In this post I mention that this year I would tackle riding the VW Think Blue Bike Tour as well as running the 5k. I made the commitment and signed up for both without much hesitation and not knowing exactly what I had gotten myself into. With the bike tour starting at 6 am and the 5k at 8:30, I figured I had plenty of time to do both events.

But, as has been the case since 2010, the bike tour started about 20 minutes late. I would just have to step things up a notch to make it back in time to run the 5k. This would be easy since The Powers That Be decided to chop a whopping 10k from the bike tour route, much to the disappointment of myself and may other riders. Sadly, it was the most scenic part of the route but in order to accommodate the runners (as was the reason given), the tour was reduced to 20 miles.

The route also started in a different direction as well as through a smaller starting gate. This made for a traffic jam just as things got underway and many cyclists almost fell since they were clipped in and ready to roll. Not a wise choice by the organizers.

But with all of that out of the way, I crossed the finish line at 1:19:28 according to Endomondo (official times are not tracked).

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One down, one to go. I had just enough time to do some stretching and prepare for the 5k.

The 5k started at about 8:35 (or at least that’s when I started my time). I felt pretty good going into it but about 1/4 miles my legs started to cramp horribly. I walked a little bit then picked up the pace and again, more cramping.

This continued until about Mile 2.5 at which point I decided to not let it bother me anymore and jog all the way to the end. Once I saw that finish line ahead of me I turned it on and sprinted as fast as I could to cross it, proud of what I had just accomplished.

After waking up at 3:30 am, getting on the train to the event at 4:50, walking to the venue and arriving at 5:10, waiting for the bike tour to start then riding 20 miles at 6:20, then finishing up and running 5k at 8:35, I had set out what I planned to accomplish last year at this same time.

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Two events, two medals. Done and done.

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But more importantly, the joy of sharing the weekend’s accomplishments with my son.

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And before you ask, yes, I…well, WE plan to do this all over again next year! It was a great weekend and something the family would love to experience all over again.

Stay motivated, guys!

More pictures from this weekend can be seen on this Flickr set.

Blog Update

2013/07/13 at 9:14 pm | Posted in Blog Stuffs | Comments Off on Blog Update

I know it’s been some time since my last post so I thought I’d make it short and sweet.

Basically, I was laid off from my job and never got around to renewing the 200by40.com domain that I’ve owned for years so as of now, I no longer own it. If you would like to keep following me, please update your bookmarks to https://200by40.wordpress.com.

Also, I’ve been fighting a stomach virus all this week which has seen me go from eating almost nothing (pre-doctor visit) to everything in sight (after taking prescribed medication). I feel better but not 100%.

Other than that, there isn’t really much new to report and I’ve honestly been a little down about being laid off. And because of my stomach virus, running has been put on the back burner for a week and possibly more. I’ll know when my stomach feels better. But that isn’t making me feel any better about things. I’d love to go run with the extra time I have but I just can’t.

And it’s gotten to a point where I’m not sure if I want to continue the blog or not. I’m just a little confused over what’s going to happen next in terms of a job, money, etc. I know my posts are few and far between as it is but I’m finding it harder to find the motivation to do this with everything else going on in my life.

So as of now, things are still up in limbo. I just want to say thanks to those who have continued to hang around and read what I’ve done so far. It’s very much appreciated.

Dave

The Boston Marathon Tragedy

2013/04/15 at 8:38 pm | Posted in Exercise, Running | Comments Off on The Boston Marathon Tragedy
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I had initially planned on updating my followers about how my training for my first half marathon was going and include a map of the distance covered.

Then I got a text alert about the Boston Marathon and everything changed.

Senselessness in that something like this could happen at all.

Cowardice on behalf of whomever perpetrated this act of terrorism (as it’s being classified at the moment) in proving their point, either political, religious or otherwise.

Heroism in those first responders and volunteers who rushed toward the scenes of the bombings immediately in order to help the victims, even it may have been too late. (Fatalities currently listed as three which includes an 8-year-old boy. Heartbreaking.)

While the questions of “Why?” and “How?” may never be answered, there’s one thing that is certain: this will not keep the community of runners down.

We are strong. We face look challenges straight in the face and do our best to conquer them. In time we do and when that challenge becomes the norm, we turn things up a notch and tackle yet another. This is how we live.

We are tough. Anyone who has every pounded pavement for the sheer enjoyment of simply doing it doesn’t have something wrong with them as non-runners may think. It’s just the opposite: we do it because we can.

We are fearless. Danger is all around and we risk bodily harm on our daily outings. It could be something as simple as tripping over uneven pavement or a misstep when we realize how human we really are. But in the end, we dust ourselves off and when our bodies allow, get back to what we love.

We will return. Never tell a runner they can’t. That is word is just not in our dictionary. Not only will we return, we will be stronger, faster, and better than we were before.

So to whomever is responsible for this act, know this: you have not won. You are now and will always be the minority. The good in this world far outweighs the evil and your decision make your point was all in vain.

Yes, there are victims and fatalities.

But the human spirit endures and cannot be broken.

In closing, I have one request. Whatever you believe, whatever brings you solace in a time of tragedy, I ask that you do it to honor all of those affected by what happened in Boston today. A simple moment of silence, reflection, etc. will go a long way in the healing process.

My heart and thoughts go out to all. And as has been trending on Twitter today, remember to…

#KeepRunning

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