Weekly Weigh-In, Week 3

2018/05/02 at 9:59 pm | Posted in Discipline, Exercise, Health, Inspiration, Life, lifestyle change, Motivation, Weekly Weigh-In, weight loss, weight loss blog | Comments Off on Weekly Weigh-In, Week 3
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Sorry about posting this a day late. I fell asleep early last night and didn’t get around to it. At any rate, here we go.

Weekly Weigh-In for May 1, 2018: 237.6 lbs.
Loss/Gain for the week: -1.6 lbs.
Total lost: 7.2 lbs.
Weekly average loss: 2.4 lbs.

As anticipated, the weight loss has tapered off from the first few weeks but it was not unexpected. It definitely won’t discourage me.

But with the week I had I’m surprised I lost as much as I did. The weekend was filled with poor choices when it came to eating (read: Big Mac but hey, no fries) and for the first time in months, I took a break from my Saturday run and Sunday bike ride. The family had things to do so I thought I’d better skip my routine. Despite it all, I have to admit that not getting up so early to go out and exercise was a welcome relief — I’ve been doing it so long that I suppose I deserved a break.

The one thing I have been consistent with is the tried-and-true 30-Day Plank Challenge. There are diagrams on how to do it but like everything else, there’s also an app and this is the one I’ve been using.

The app not only gives you diagrams on how to do the exercises (more than just a standard plank), it also keeps track of your progress and sends you reminders to keep it going. I’m sure there are others out there but I tried this one and I’m sticking with it because it just works.

In the past, I’ve completed Beginner Level 1 and 2 so this time around I decided to start with Intermediate 1. It’s been challenging to step it up and at first the new moves were difficult master but as I enter Day 18, they are much easier. The best part: my dreaded love handles are starting to disappear thanks to the hip dips and core twists that the app makes you do on this level. I’m very happy with that.

One more thing. When I first started to change the way I ate 10 years ago, one of the things I decided to ditch was dairy milk. Being lactose intolerant I really should have done that long ago. In its place, I tried every kind of “milk” on the market: rice, soy, and now almond and cashew (with rice being my least favorite). But lately I’ve been buying hemp milk and I’ve got to say that I like it. The only drawback is that it’s mostly only sold in 1-qt. boxes so I usually end up buying two.

The good thing is that it’s shelf-stable, meaning you can store it unrefrigerated until ready for use. I also like that it’s low in fat and packed with vitamins and minerals. It’s an excellent source of Omega 3. Read more about it here. Give it a try if you need something different.

That’s all for this week. At this rate I’ll definitely reach my goal in time and possibly earlier. See you next week!

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.

…For An Old Guy

2013/02/08 at 3:03 pm | Posted in Discipline, Exercise, Health, Inspiration, Life, weight loss, weight loss blog | Comments Off on …For An Old Guy
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IMG_20130122_190746 I left work early today so that I could attend an assembly at Anthony’s school since he was getting an award. I told him that I wouldn’t be able to make it since we were busy at work but, as I do from time to time, I surprised him.

And being that I made it home with little time to spare, I stayed in my work clothes and only changed my shoes – from dress to running, for comfort and because it was raining.

Once the assembly was over Ann and I waited in the car for Anthony and his friend who we watch on Fridays. Close to dismissal time we headed over to the school to meet them. By the time they were dismissed it was drizzling a little bit and the two of them decided to make a run for my car.

So I decided to have a little fun with them. I asked Ann if I should try to pass them up and get to the car before them. She agreed and off I went.

From a dead stop down the sidewalk I sprinted passing a few students and parents along the way. In the end I did beat them both to the car and as I waited, I noticed Ann approaching and laughing.

“Did you hear those kids?” she said pointing behind her.

“No. Why?”

Ann tried to regain her composure. “They said, ‘Wow, he runs pretty good for an old guy!’”

Woah woah woah, hold the phone, Mabel! For an old guy? What, because I have some spots of gray hair* as well as a graying goatee, that makes me an old guy?

Pfft. Whatever! It’s a state of mind, kiddies. You remember those words when you’re uh…older – say, in your teens – and can’t get yourselves to get up in the morning to exercise or don’t want to mow the lawn. This “old guy” turns 44 in a week and feels as fit as ever.

I’ll give you old.

Ahem. All that aside, I did get a compliment from the parents I passed who told Ann that I indeed run fast – period. She told them that I run every weekend and whenever I can and again, another compliment.

And that made me feel darn good.

But old? Come on, kids. I’ll take on your mom or dad any day of the week from a dead stop like today. Then you tell me who the old guy is 🙂

*It’s more than a “patch” but you know…oh well.

Getting Closer to Half Marathon Distance

2012/11/13 at 10:30 pm | Posted in Discipline, Exercise, Health, Inspiration, lifestyle change, Milestone, Motivation, weight loss, weight loss blog | Comments Off on Getting Closer to Half Marathon Distance
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It’s been getting a bit chilly here in southern California. Sure, 40 degrees at 7 am isn’t exactly freezing when compared to other parts of the country this time of year but for those of us that have lived out here all our lives, it’s pretty cold.

But regardless of the weather I made it a point to go out Sunday morning for a decent run since the previous week’s run of 5k was just awful: I had little motivation to do it and was tired by Mile 1. Such is life.

Last Sunday was not the case. I knew I was going to go at least 5 miles. This was in my mind starting on Friday and into Saturday. So when Sunday finally rolled around, I was more than ready.

And in the end, I reached yet another milestone: 8 miles! Here’s how it looked on Sports Tracker.

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There’s very little difference when comparing it to my 7-mile run from two weeks ago. I think I may have gone maybe an extra block but pretty much followed the same path.

Overall it was a good run and I didn’t really hit my groove until Mile 4 along the bike path. It was then when my legs pretty much took over and I was on cruise control, and also when I was passed by a few runners who exchanged pleasantries with me as we continued. One asked how I was doing.

“Starting Mile 5,” I said smiling.

“Only 10 more to go!” he replied. I chuckled and nodded as if that was really going to happen.

But they passed me I began to think about it. Would it be so outlandish to think that another 10 would be possible? After all, I started running after walking 1.5 miles during my lunch hour got boring and from there is just snowballed:

  • 1.5 miles became 2 miles
  • 2 miles turned into 5k
  • 5k stretched into 5 miles
  • 5 miles has been increasing incrementally into the 8 miles I did on Sunday

So no, to think that I might one day reach that point is definitely not crazy. The next time out I might just choose to add another mile and push it up to 9, then 10 miles. Once that’s easy then why not add another 5k which would turn it into a half marathon?

It’s looking very likely but it will continue to be baby steps.

The good thing about my 8-miler was that my average speed, average pace, and max speed were better than my 7 mile run. I’m pretty happy about this.

Now comes the bad news: I may have injured myself. Gah, not what I wanted! I have a slight pain on the bottom of my right foot and ankle, and the only thing I can compare the pain to is when I sprained my ankle years ago. It’s not as bad but the feeling is definitely similar.

There’s a good chance I am going to stay off of it this weekend as I don’t want to injure it any further of have it worsen while I’m out running. If anything, I may have to revert to walking a few times before picking up the pace and distance. It’s a day-by-day thing that I’m keeping a close eye on.

The good news? This is the first time I’ve been injured since I starting running some 2 years ago. I know they happen but man, it stinks having to sit on the sidelines.

I’m off to tend to my gimpy foot. Here’s hoping it’s back in order in a few weeks – 9 miles, I’m coming for you!

Oh, and as for my kicking the soda habit? It’s been almost 3 weeks and while the temptation has been there, I haven’t touched one. I’m sticking to my plan and I refuse to let it get the best of me!

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