Monday, August 27, 2012

What do you think about?

Getting this out a day early so let me start off by saying that this past week has been a great week for me to run.  I got in three days this week and had a total of over 24 miles.  On Tuesday, after running 10 the previous Sunday, I got out and ran 4 miles.  The reason I only ran 4 was because I was having some sort of pain in my left calf but could pinpoint exactly what was causing it.  It would only hurt when I walked but not when I ran.  Even after running those 4 miles on Tuesday the pain while walking was gone by Thursday.

After missing the last couple of weeks out on Hwy 350, I was ready to get out there again.  I couldn't wait.  It had kicked my butt three weeks ago and I wanted to show it who was boss.  I had decided that I was going to do 5 and evaluate how I felt and either turn back or go on.  Even after getting to the end, 7.5 miles, I still felt good.  My legs really weren't tired and all was well, except that hunger pain that I was feeling.  After making it back to the water stop and 11 miles into my run, I was beginning to feel it.  I will admit that I walked quite a bit of the last four miles.  Looking at my split times, I really didn't start to slow down until mile 13.  Then my time climbed to over a 15 minute pace.  I ended up with a time of 3:18:16.  I also enjoyed the watermelon that Dr Jim Jackson brought.  It had been probably a couple of years since I'd had watermelon and I had already forgot how good it was.

Sunday brought another day for me to get out there and try a new pair of shoes.  I had heard about these great Asics Nimbus shoes and have been looking at them for over a month now.  I decided to go ahead a get a pair of the Nimbus 14.  I could tell they were slightly heavier than the Saucony Ride 3s I have been wearing but I'm sure I'll get used to them.  I ran just over 5 miles in them and they felt really good.  Looking forward to my next run in them.

Some people have asked me before what I think about while I'm out there running.  With permission from my running partner, Jeff, I am going to share a few of those things with you.

If you have ever read any of my very early post, you know that I started this journey alone.  I just started getting up and walking and walking whenever I could.  The first time I ever ran with anyone was on Christmas Eve 2011.  That was over a year after I started.  After that, it was a few months, and now I enjoy running with or without someone.  I know not everybody's schedule fits mine.  All those months that I ran alone and while I was still writing this blog, I would sometimes think about what my next post was going to be about.  I would think about what I would say and how it would motivate or encourage someone else.

I can remember what all Jeff and I talked about on our first run on that Christmas Eve morning except how we got into running and the usual stuff that you talk about when you first meet a person.  Although we had been "friends" on Facebook for a while, we had never seen each other before that day.  Since then, Jeff and I have become good friends and run together when we get a chance.

During most of our runs, we talk about different things and we do talk a lot about running.  We talk about what our goals are and we even talk about some of the things that are happening in the world of sports.  I'm glad Jeff has come along because he motivates me and encourages me, as well as others.  He is always giving others an encouraging word and if you ever get a chance to run with him, you should.

Jeff is running the St Jude Marathon on December 1st and if you'd like to make a donation to St Jude then please do so at Jeff's fund raising page here.  As of this writing, he has raised over $1000 and is looking to raise $2000.  He is part of a team, Team Corinth, that hopes to raise $40,000 for St Jude and they are well on their way with almost $15,000 in donations.  If you can, please give to this worthy cause.

Thanks for stopping by this week and I will see you again next week.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

How My Journey Started

For the third week in a row, I have been so busy that I only got to run one day this week.  I didn't get in off the road until Saturday evening and didn't get to run with the group.  I did get a good 10 miler in Sunday morning around the new route that I mapped out a couple of weeks ago.

This week I want to share with you, for the first time, the event that took place that lead me to start this journey in the first place.  Some of you may already know but most of you do not.  Two years ago this past Saturday, on August 20, 2010, I got up just like it was any other morning.  I started my day in Kentucky and was on my way home to spend the night and then deliver my load about an hour from home.

Since no one was going to be at home, I decided I would stop about two and a half hours from home and eat some lunch.  Any other time I would have gotten something to go and head on to the house.  As I was finishing my lunch, I noticed that the sky was getting dark and knew it was going to rain soon.  I got in the truck and got back out on Interstate 40.  I did run into the rain and soon after "the event" happened.

Just west of the 139 mile marker, a car hydroplaned in front of me and I made a split second decision to change lanes.  I glanced in my mirror and saw that I could safely change lanes and just when I thought I had missed the hydroplaning car, we crashed.  There was no time to react.  I won't go into detail about all that I remember except to say that the two ladies in the car survived the crash but the driver passed away a couple of hours later at the hospital.

I had heard for a long time that exercise was a great stress reliever.  The stress from the accident was getting to me so I made the decision to start walking on October 1, 2010.  At the time, I couldn't walk a half a mile without my legs hurting bad.  I learned to deal with the stress and even now when I'm stressed I go out and pound the pavement.

This is the first time that I've ever shared my story except for telling individual people one or two at a time.  Even after two years, sometimes it seems like it was just yesterday but other times it seems like it has been a very long time.

Thanks for stopping by this week and I hope to see you again next week.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

No More Two's

Another busy week and I had two days of running.  My first run of the week was on Saturday and it was a very good 10 miler.  I hit the floor at 5am and ate a Cliff bar and drank a cup of coffee.  I was waiting on Jamie to arrive and he was already there when I walked out the door.  We started from my house and just made a big circle and I can't say how good I felt during the entire run.  It was the best run that I have ever ran.  I have never felt and much energy during any of my previous runs.  I have to believe that most of it came with the weather.  We couldn't have asked for a better morning.  When I walked out the door, it was 59 degrees and it felt fabulous.   What more could a runner want during August?

I ran again Sunday morning on the Coke course and, again, the weather was just right.  This is the first run I think I have done without any walking.  I ran the entire time and even set a new PR.  My previous record for 10K was 1:10:57 but my time on this run was 1:10:25.  I know it's not a big difference but it's faster all the same.  It was a great run too.

Way back on January 12, 2011, I wrote a post about how I stayed motivated.  I read that post again and not a lot has changed since then.  The reason I bring this up again is because I've heard some comments from others about how they just can't get motivated.  I'm not sure if I can help you get motivated except to tell you again what keeps me motivated.  Once you start seeing results, you will be motivated.  Making up your mind to get up off your butt is the very first step.  Then putting on your shoes and getting out the door are the next steps.  After that, it's as simple as putting one foot in front of the other.

You don't have to be a runner.  You might prefer to walk or bike.  The important thing is to get moving.  It's no secret, but an important thing about losing weight is to eat right.  That is hard to do sometimes but if you eat right the majority of the time, you will start losing.  One of the things that I love most is french fries.  I have to limit myself to eating them one time per week and then I try not to eat many.  Sometimes it's a struggle but when you start putting the right stuff in your mouth, it gets easier.

I did a little experiment this past week.  I decided I wasn't going to eat meat for a couple of days.  I ate mainly fruits, cereal, and peanut butter.  I succeeded in not eating meat for three days.  It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be but meat isn't one of the things I'm giving up anytime soon.  I still haven't eaten any beef since June 29th though.

One last thing before I go.  I weigh myself every weekend but I don't make a big deal of the numbers.  If I lose a pound here and there, it's no big deal.  This past Sunday, when I got on the scales before my run, I was finally down under 200 pounds.  I'm not sure if I've ever said how much I weighed when I started on this journey but my weight was 241.  As of Sunday, I weighed 199.4.  I am proud of myself and I hope I never see a two in front of my weight again.

Thanks for stopping by this week and I'll see you again next week.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Getting Fit with a Little Help

Another busy week and I only got to run one day.  I did make the best of that day but I will tell you about that later in this post.  The last couple of weeks I have been telling you that I was going to write a product review and I guess that time has come.

The product/device is called Fitbit Ultra.  I have been wearing one since the last part of June and I love it.  I have seen other reviewer call this a high-dollar pedometer but I say that it is much more than that.  It can record so much more that just a $30 pedometer.  As a disclaimer, I did not receive this unit from Fitbit.  I bought it with my own money.  Now that that is out of the way.

Fitbit Ultra (Fitbit for the rest of this post) records your steps and converts them into miles and calories burned.  It has a built-in accelerometer and altimeter.  The accelerometer allows that Fitbit to sense when it is moving and how fast.  The altimeter in there to determine high many floors of stairs you climb.  It comes in two different colors: blue and plum, which is really purple if you ask me.

All of the specs can be found at  I want to tell you about my experience with it.  I have only worn it one time during a workout and the mileage was pretty accurate.  I no longer carry it while running because I sweat a lot and water is not the Fitbit's friend.

One thing that I don't enjoy about using the Fitbit is that when I'm driving a tends to count bumps and any movement as steps.  That also makes my mileage go up too.  I use the iPhone app to record my driving and that deletes any steps and floor climbs during that period.  The only other way around that is to keep it plugged in or completely turn it off.  The turning off and back on is a pain so I just write down what time I started driving and then for how long and that evens things out.

One of the pros of the Fitbit is the number of other services you can connect it too.  Mainly the previous two sites I talked about and also my favorite site for losing weight, LoseIt.  When you connect it to MapMyRun it will record all of your days steps as a walk for that day.  In, you will receive points based on your activity level for that day.  With LoseIt, it will give you extra calories for the day based on that activity too.  I don't use my Fitbit with MapMyRun but do with and LoseIt.

How well are you sleeping?  Fitbit can help you with that too.  You have to wear it on your wrist with the supplied wrist strap.  Press the button for 2 seconds and then go to sleep.  When you wake up in the morning, press the button again and it will tell you how long you slept.  After it uploads the information to the website, you can see how many times you woke up, how long it took you to go to sleep, and how long your were actually asleep.

The two best things about Fitbit are that you don't have to charge it everyday and your data is uploaded automatically without wires.  As long as you have the charging station plugged into a computer that is running the Fitbit software, the Fitbit tries to upload it's data every 15 minutes.  I only upload mine once a day and then everything gets sent at once.  I have been four days without putting it onto the charger.  The Fitbit website says it should last atleast three days and up to seven.  If you don't come near the charger for a few days that is alright too because it can retain the minute to minute data for seven days.  So long as you upload the data once a week you will have all of the data that was recorded.

You can get the Fitbit Ultra from or you can get it from Amazon.  I have seen it as low as $85 on Amazon but most of the time it's the same price ($99.95) at both places.  I picked mine up at Target and some Best Buys carry them too.

All things considered, I think with the amount of data that the Fitbit records it is worth the price and it will keep you motivated to move more so you can reach your goals.

Now back to my running week.  I did have a busy week and my only day running was a 12 miler.  I've been having some bad blisters on the sides of my feet and I think they are caused from my socks getting too wet.  I really do sweat a lot and by the time I have finished the first five miles, I'm soaked.  When I do my next long run, I am going to carry and extra pair of socks and put them on before I feel the blisters coming on and see how that works.

Thanks for stopping by again this week and I'll see you again next week.