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  1. Week 31

    Dec 29, 2008

    A TRIUMPHant week! Well, almost. Had to figure that my streak of solid losses would cease the week of holiday indulgences. I managed to lose 3.5 pounds the week of Thanksgiving, but Thanksgiving doesn't have as much candy as Christmas. I didn't gain though, and although it's a modest loss, I'm less than a pound away from my goal for next week. I'm comfortable in the spot I'm in currently. Setting realistic goals has gotten me so far. After next week's weigh-in I set my sights on April, my birthday, and the 100 pound mark.

    I'd like to thank my wonderful, encouraging wife here for the great Christmas gifts. Truly an enabler (the good kind) she got me some great new Saucony Triumph 4s, a Brooks NightLife vest and pair of gloves, books on running and hiking, a headlamp, an altimeter/barometer from L.L. Bean, and a load of clothes in new slimmer sizes to encourage me on my way toward better health. I feel so lucky this year for my own wellness, but also that I have such encouraging family to help me in the process of my own betterment.

    Starting weight : 315 lbs. Last week : 242 lbs. This week : 240.8 lbs. Since previous weigh in : -1.2 lbs. Total weight loss : -74.2 lbs.

  2. Week 30

    Dec 21, 2008

    And on the mission goes. I'm 3 pounds closer to my goal, that is if this morning's weigh in can be considered accurate. I'm a little on the fence about this one. Waking up first thing this morning I stepped on the scale. Unfortunately that reading provided woefully little progress from last week. I lost just over a half a pound. That's not enough to attain my year end goal. So I decided to wait it out slightly. Perhaps I could get a little better reading after I gave myself a little time to get things, pardon me, moving.

    In the meantime I went for a run. I wanted to get one in before the snow flew. We're right in the middle of two weather systems here in Maine. One just wrapped up last night, and as I write this, we're getting nailed by a storm that could potentially bring us 20 inches. I managed 3 miles in about 31 minutes. That's a little faster than usual but the wind was also blowing to the point it made it hard to catch my breath. I just wanted it over as quickly as possible.

    So with the run and that, umm, other thing my next weigh in put me at a 3 pound loss for the week. I suppose a pretty good deal of it came from sweat but that's fine by me since I think I was holding some from drinking a LOT of water yesterday and dinner last night was a little salty as well. It's progress anyway.

    Starting weight : 315 lbs. Last week : 245 lbs. This week : 242 lbs. Since previous weigh in : -3 lbs. Total weight loss : -73 lbs.

  3. Meet Me @ Thornton

    Dec 16, 2008

    Last night was a bit of a treat. Eric mentioned wanting to go to the track at Thornton Academy in Saco for some track work. I've never gone through this kind of workout and really had no idea what to expect. I know my running program has lacked any type of formality and structure thus far and that's something I plan to work on in '09. I got my feet wet by playing around on the track last night and found out the hard way that maybe I need to learn more about my pacing and that this type of work could be beneficial in a number of ways.

    I arrived early, as was my intention, and started with a few laps. The sun was going down and I really hoped there would be more light on the field but it was pretty interesting running out here in the dark anyway so I didn't mind. I got in about 5 laps before Eric showed up to commence with the pain.

    We ended up doing 1x300m, 3x200m, and 2x100m. I didn't clock the 300m but my times on the 200m were 46 sec, 43 sec, and 48 sec. My times on the 100m were 21 and 20. Sorry I didn't make note of the fractions of seconds but my watch doesn't actually record the splits as it does heart rate information. Anyway, I ended up burning out. At one point I attempted a 400 but petered at about 150m.

    In doing a bit more research I found my problem. I used The McMillan Running Calculator and, after inputting my best 5K time, found that I had gone out way faster than I was ready to at this point. 43 seconds for 200m? Yeah, I shoulda been doing more like, 56.9 seconds tops. Using this calculator however I have a much clearer idea in mind for what to shoot for next time. The tool is really quite handy. I'll spend more time researching the right information next time around rather than just winging it. I think I've said that before though.

    Average heart rate : 138 bpm Maximum heart rate : 180 bpm Percentage of cals burned from fat : 50% Kcals burned : 584

  4. Kind of an ugly week. I'm sure I could have lost more if I didn't get so indulgent at the beginning of last week. A few more miles on the road or another day in the gym wouldn't have hurt either. Somehow this pattern isn't completely destructive though. I still lost another 1.4 pounds. I'm pretty sure my metabolism doesn't know what to do with itself. As I understand, it's important to keep your body guessing as to what's coming next. I've certainly been doing that. I might go from a very lazy week to a completely ass kicking week. The payoff on those weeks really shows, as in week 28.

    I dunno, just wasn't feelin it this past week I guess. I only got 2 real positive workouts in. I'm off to a better start this week, having done some speed work at the track last night. I'm feeling pretty dumpy about taking today off. I figure though if I can get in 4 solid workouts this week I ought to be ok. I'm in a pretty good place to still hit my goal for the new year. 5 pounds left to go. 3 weeks left to do it. Will I make it?

    Starting weight : 315 lbs. Last week : 246.4 lbs. This week : 245 lbs. Since previous weigh in : -1.4 lbs. Total weight loss : -70 lbs.

  5. Runcasting!

    Dec 12, 2008

    I was recently introduced to the burgeoning online community of vidcasting runners at RuncastTV. I love the concept of user submitted content but have never been one to put any content together myself. Yesterday the state of Maine was declared in a state of emergency, thanks to an ice storm that was part of a system stretching from Maine to Louisiana. 70% of the homes in York county, the hardest hit, were without power. So I decided to share our situation by creating my first Runcast. Give me a holler and let me know what you think.

    Find more videos like this on RuncastTV

  6. Cleaning out Cobwebs

    Dec 11, 2008

    I have been woefully lazy. I mentioned earlier that I was a little indulgent at the beginning of this week too. These things along with a lack of free time have amounted to a setback for the week. If I intend to lose weight this week, or break even for that matter, I need to get to it. Today was back into the gym. I can't squander the good progress I've been making lately.

    It's amazing how I've come to be able to feel these less than healthful foods moving through my system. For the last several days I've experienced an absolutely wretched feeling brought on by the greasy foods I consumed earlier this week. I'm only just now starting to feel as though they've finally run their course through my body, and honestly, I haven't felt much like working out until now.

    So today I knew I had to make it count. I decided to run 5 miles on the treadmill, which I accomplished in about 55 minutes even making it up to an 8 minute/mile pace at one point. My conditioning has gotten to a point where a 12 minute/mile pace is much easier to handle. It doesn't seem like too long ago that I was unable to hold that relatively slow pace without wanting to die. Now I can do it and hold only about a 140 bpm heart rate while doing so. Progress for sure. I can't wait to see what I accomplish in the spring.

    5 miles Treadmill, 0% Incline, Successfully achieved a 8 minute/mile pace!
    30 minutes Cross Trainer, Cross Country setting #1, Resistance level 8, 120 strides per minute

    Average heart rate : 150 bpm Maximum heart rate : 176 Percentage of cals burned from fat : 40% Kcals burned : 979

  7. Thanks very much to Deb for the comment on the previous post. The article is finished and I'm very flattered by the nod to SlimCache she put in. The article is all about the lists we make. Not so much the mundane day to day 'to dos', but the "fun to dos". There are lots of great healthful outdoor pursuits to try out; from major hiking goals such as the Triple Crown (hiking the Appalachian Trail, the Pacific Crest Trail, and the Continental Divide Trail), to compiling a list of completed marathons and ultra marathons, and a pursuit new to me, highpointing, which is to compile a list of the highest summits of a certain geographical location, as in a county or state, and crossing those off the list as you reach their peaks. Check The Highpointer's Club for more info, as I intend to.

    Hats off to Deb, aka ramkitten, for a great article on so many different adventures you can add to your list of "to dos"! View the article here. Also check out Deb's blog for her amazing adventures as a member of the Coconino, Arizona Search and Rescue Team! Cool stuff!

  8. Week 28

    Dec 8, 2008

    I'm kicking myself for not getting this posted last night but I was celebrating. I had a few tasty beers to rejoice in my absolutely solid weight loss week. I haven't been this proud in a while. Somehow I lost about 4 and a half pounds this week! Maybe it was all that running I did in. I ran or walked about 24 miles, and now it no longer feel like I'm killing myself while doing it.

    So I "cheated" a little bit with the beer, and the leftover pizza, and the burger for lunch. *Shrug* What is "cheating" anyway? I just call it surviving day to day. If I eat that burger I'm just going to have to run a little harder the next time I go out, but I'm ready for that. Besides, I'm well on my way to my goal. I've got 4 more weigh ins until my 75 pound goal mark. I really want to avoid being too cocky but I think 6.4 pounds in 4 weeks is attainable. Thanks all for your support. With so many people having my back it really does make the effort seem that much easier.

    Starting weight : 315 lbs. Last week : 250.8 lbs. This week : 246.4 lbs. Since previous weigh in : -4.4 lbs. Total weight loss : -68.6 lbs.

  9. A Faster Way to 5K

    Dec 1, 2008

    God was I anxious to get back to things. The notable loss from this past week was still fresh in my mind, and I feel as though it breathed new life once again into my ambitions. I didn't know going into the gym however that I would actually harness that vibe to drive on to a new benchmark.

    So what if it wasn't the open road? I did my fastest 5K ever today on the treadmill. Does that still count as a personal best? I managed a 30:39. I ranged in pace from an 8 min 57 sec mile to just about 10 min 22 sec miles. My speed is improving. Fartleks during my practice runs are paying off. I've been doing a lot of tempo runs lately too. I really need to get into a more organized plan to help further this. I'm doing ok on my own, buy my routine lacks discipline.

    Aside from that it was back to the elliptical as usual. I've been using the cardio settings lately and those have really been taking it out of me, in a good way. I was extremely tired but gratified when all was said and done.

    30:39 5K on Treadmill, 0% incline
    40 minutes Cross Trainer, Cardio setting #4, 90 strides per minute

    Average heart rate : 157 bpm Maximum heart rate : 181 Percentage of cals burned from fat : 35% Kcals burned : 845