Tuesday, December 11, 2012

New Equipment

While I was out this weekend getting gifts for other people, I bought a few "gifts" for myself.  I was using an old pair of Bose earphones with a really long wire, which I had to wrap around the arm band a few times just to keep it out of the way, but not any more!  While at the Apple store in Orland Park, IL - I found a Bose sport set, which had the volume/talk/change song controller built into the wire (I never looked for one, so I didn't know it existed).  I bought it, but also a Thomas the Train ipad game so that I wouldn't feel guilty for buying for myself only, hehe.

Next I strolled into Finish Line just to take a look at running shoes.  They had a sale, so I stepped up the quality of my running shoes.  I bought a pair of Nike Freerun 5.0 running shoes and I really love them.  They have great arch support and seem to help roll my foot forward duing the run.  Anyone have thoughts on the Freerun's?

Now I know that these things are not needed to run successfully, but I will say that both of these purchases have helped me focus more on the running and less on the distractions that come with sub par running equipment.

Yesterday I signed up for 1 race a month from March to July 2013.  I also signed up for a 10 mile run into Soldier Field in May.  50 yard line in the home of the Chicago Bears...bad ass if you ask me!

Thanks for stopping by!


Monday, December 3, 2012

Shamrock Shuffle

As of yesterday's weigh in (and a weekly loss of 5.2lbs), I've lost a total 42.5 lbs in les than two months. Running has really helped me get back into shape. As such, I signed up for another run today, the Chicago Shamrock Shuffle an 8k in April. This ought to keep me running all through the winter.

It is 68F in Chicago today and I'm going to take advantage of this great weather and run outdoors when I get home.

Thanks for stopping by,

Thursday, November 29, 2012

New clothes

Although it is a good problem to have, I find myself buying new clothes rapidly since my old clothes look funny on me now. And just to think, when I was still in denial about how much weight I had gained due to an increasingly sedentary lifestyle, I thought I looked good in all those XL & XXL clothes.

I am buying clothes slowly however, and a bit smaller than I currently am.

I bought my first Northface coat today and just wearing it makes me feel more active.

Blogged from my iPhone

Ps. Please excuse my wind hair

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Heart Monitor

So I was talking with a friend yesterday about qualification for the Boston marathon and, at my age, it would take me 7:15/mile to qualify.  I was thinking that I would try to not only run the Chicago marathon in Oct 2013, but qualify for the Boston at the same time.  It is going to be trying enough to make Chicago a success, I don't know that even with the most positive outlook I could make the Boston qualification for 2014...but we will see how I am doing come April/May 2013.

I am thinking of get a heart monitor, but am not really sure it will offer much if any value.  Does anyone have any suggestions on a good one and whether or not it is really very useful?

Thanks for stopping by!


Monday, November 26, 2012


I lost 3 lbs over Thanksgiving week! I was afraid I would add 1 or 2 as the worst case and break even at best. I guess the Turkey Trot I ran in the morning and the 2 miles I ran after dinner helped keep the number going in the right direction. I did keep my caloric intake to about a 10th of what I would usually eat on T-Day (still took in more than 2,000 calories for the entire day- I'm almost certain). I also ran a lot during the week in anticipation of the big dinner. But whatever the combination of eating and running that allowed me to drop more weight during the week, I'm taking it as a big victory! Time to move to the next week.

How much have you sweat today?


Thursday, November 22, 2012

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

After run hair

Maybe I should have told the girl to cut the top a bit shorter the other day. Oh well, I can handle it for two more weeks.

Not so quiet day in the office

I decided to go into the office today despite the fact that most of my colleagues in the office usually take the day off. I assumed that the office gym would be my playground.and to my surprise it was more crowded than usual. I guess everyone that came in also planned to hit the gym one last time before the big dinner.

Anyway, I got a thirty minute workout and now I am going to hop on the train and head out early so I can get a run in before I've to get the house ready for our guests tomorrow. 6:00am wake up for a turkey trot, which is 1hour from my house and one of the guys running with me has thrown out the time challenge. He has been running for years so wish me luck

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Turkey Trot

I lost another 6 lbs on my weekly Sunday weigh-in and was surprised to see another big loss.  I am now at 211.4 lbs from 245 in 6 weeks.  I was thinking that I would only lose around 2-3 lbs a week from here on out so it was a great surprise to lose double that. 

I have a turkey trot 5k (my second 5K since late Oct.) to run Thanksgiving morning with a couple of friends so I should not feel too bad about having a bit of food not on my daily menu.  Although I won't vary much from my regular mean plan (because I just don't want to), I will have have to have at least a taste of most things since others are taking the time to make them and bring them to our home.

I finished my first 5k in 30 minutes even, so I am hoping to do much better this time.  This run is on pavement as opposed to a forested area so I imagine that will automatically improve my time (I just wish I knew by how much so I could adjust for it).  I did run it at home the other day in 27:19, perhaps adjusting 2 minutes for better terrain, puts me at ~ 41 seconds better than my first run.

Anyone else running a turkey trot of sorts?

Thanks for stopping by


Saturday, November 17, 2012


Last night for dinner I had the Asian Sesame chicken salad at Panera w/o the wonton's, which brings the total calories to ~310 according to their website.  Although a few reviews gave the salad good rating, I thought that it was not very good at all.  For my $8, I could have made a much better salad and would have had it for 2-3 meals.  It was still better than making chicken and corn for dinner again however.

This morning I am going to go for a run, but I've to take it easy because my calves are still stinging and I'm afraid of injuring myself too much running.  They are feeling better this morning so let's see how it goes.  Planning to run 5 miles. Tomorrow it my weekly weigh in, Im hoping for another 5lbs this week.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Meal Plan

I have been sticking to a caloric deficit from what I was consuming and the menu is getting tired.  I have been exploring for healthy options that fit my daily schedule and taste, but I’m trying to incorporate them slowly. 

My basic meal plan has been as follows:

6:30am Breakfast – fiber 1 (90 calories) or chocolate granola, banana & two boiled eggs (white only)

9:00am Snack 1 – Oatmeal w/honey

11:30 Lunch – Chicken breast, corn or green beans, carrot sticks or green red and orange pepper slices.

2:15 Snack 2 – Apple & 10-15 almonds

4:00 Snack 3 – 10-15 almonds – this helps me from snacking when I get home and just jumping into my running gear

7:30 or an hour after running Dinner – Chicken breast, corn or asparagus (I like to dip my chicken in Buffalo Wild Wings bbq sauce, which I purchased from them – its ~25-40 calories/tbsp and 500 sodium, but in my opinion, it still better than getting bored with my food and giving into my old ways).

I also try to drink a gallon of water throughout the day (sometimes I have a 6oz V8 too).

It is about 1,400 calories, which is about half of what I was eating and I don't feel that I am still hungry at the end of the day at all.  It showed me that I was living to eat and drink instead of eating to live.

If there are any thoughts for improvement or just better ideas, please share.

Thanks for stopping by and have a productive day!

Thursday, November 15, 2012


I made the 5 mile goal on Wed night and ran another 3.2 miles last night.  My right ankle was a bit sore, so I wanted to take it easy before I injured myself.  I have ran everyday at least somewhat since I have started my program on Oct 7th of this year.  I know that I am not supposed to do that, but I consider a light run a break on my body.  So I have my hard run days, which are most days, and a few light run day sprinkled throughout the week's, which is really just a jog for 30minutes just to get a bit of a sweat worked up.  I can no longer think of going a whole day without sweating at least a bit.  In fact I like to ask myself thought the day, how much I sweat today (HMHYST?) just as a constant reminder that I have to do something to keep my health going in the right direction.

Thanks for stopping by and have a productive day!


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Running Tired - Nov. 11 & 12, 2012

3.2 lbs lost last week for a total of 28 lbs in five weeks.  Not to bad, but still about 40 lbs away from where I want to be.  I do feel much better already though and that is what really matters to me.  Although I want to be at 180 lbs, I am happy to have found running again and will take the proper amount of time getting to that weight.

One of the big things I have changed is my drinking.  I used to go out with friends on Friday or Saturday night (only one night a week) for drinks.  Having a few soda’s in those drinks every week really added calories fast, but when I stopped drinking rum & soda, I lost about 18 lbs in two weeks.  Probably 10 of it was from no more soda and the rest from lower food calorie intake in addition to the running.

Additional benefit's of giving up the regular social scene is many fold:
1.       I save more money (which I have been using some to register for runs)
2.       I don’t have hangovers which make me prone to sitting around all day instead of exercising
3.       Spending my weekends reading more about my investments and running and spending quality time with my family
4.       Finally, I have meet up with my friends from time to time over the past month and I sip water and it is really no different to me.

Yesterday I was a bit exhausted I spent 30 minutes in the gym at lunch, but when I got home I was not feeling the run, but I put on my gear and forced myself to do it anyway.  I put in  a 30 minute run at 5mph and ran about 2.7 miles.  I ate some chicken, corn and asparagus and went to sleep shortly after.  Wanted to stay up for a while after eating, but was just too tired.  I am going to shoot for a 5 mile run tonight at 5.4 mph.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Saturday 11-10-12

The weather was so nice in the Chicago area after work last night that I decided to get out and run a basic run.  I made it 4.5 miles before I decided it was time to take a break.  That was my longest run outside yet.  I was really sore after the run and a bit sore this morning but that didn't stop me from running another 3.5 miles on the treadmill.  I have really learned to enjoy the outside runs, especially in the nice weather, but the inside runs are so much better on the body and for some reason I really feel like a work up much more of a sweat.

I bought some Irish oats steel cut oatmeal and I am going to cook some up tonight and eat it tomorrow for breakfast.  I also have to run to the store to grab some more chicken, fruit and vegetables before I run out and then crash the lesser quality foods that are reserved for my son and pregnant wife.  Having a constant supply of healthier food options and planning out my daily meal plan at the top of the day has been an enormous help in eating right.  I cannot say enough about it.

I am looking forward to weighing in tomorrow - hoping for another 5+ lb loss for the week.  I won't be discourage if I don't get it however.  It is not a sprint - it is a (couch to a) marathon!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

In the Gym

There is a gym in my office building and I have decided that I will take advantage of it during lunch time.  I went Monday as well as today for about a half hour.  I was going to use it again Wed., but I forgot to bring a change of clothes.  I guess that is what happens when you usually don't bring workout clothes, you don't think of it in the morning.

I'm a month in and I am as motivated as day one.  I am also 25lbs lighter and I have a 5k under my belt, so I am going to use this gym as long as it fits my work schedule. Otherwise, I am going to sign up at a gym near my home and use it after work.

Today I did more light weigh training on my arms, back, stomach and legs.  I was going to stick to upper body, but wanted to start leg strength for my knees - I found out that I need a lot of work with the weights so I will spend a bit more time on lower body to ensure that I get better time in the Thanksgiving Day 5K.

I will run for 40-45 minutes tonight at about 5.6mph.  I hope to drop another 5+lbs this week, which will get me down to ~215lbs.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Week 3

The weather was in the 70’s during week 3.  Much warmer than normal and about 30 degrees warmer than race day was expected to be.  I was again getting worried that I would train in warmer weather and then not have the ability to finish the race in colder weather, but I didn’t let those worries slow me down.  Not this time, this time is a change in lifestyle. 

I ran inside the Monday morning and in the evening, outside.  It wasn’t with much fanfare  that I left the house for my run, but I did it.  And kept on doing it, and kept on going.  “One mile”, my Nike app said….”half way there, 1.55 miles to go” it then said…”1.1 miles left” it again said to me, “your goal is in sight, keep it up” I picked up the pace and finally “congratulations, you’ve reached your goal”

I ran 3.16 miles at an average pace of 10’56’’/mile and completed the run in 34:35.  It was so exciting that I was able to achieve the goal in such a short amount of time.  I knew then, that I was going to succeed the 5k, but still wanted to work on time and endurance.

The next day I ran it again. 3.15 miles at 10’51’’ 34:12.  Two days in a row was awesome I though.  My legs told a very different story however.  They told me that it was not awesome that I did that, but I didn’t care.  I dealt with the sore legs for a day or two more and moved on.  I ran inside the rest of the week  because I wanted to take it easy on my legs in addition to the rain that fell for the remainder of the week.  I really don’t know what I would have done without the treadmill.  It has been extremely helpful for me and I love that it is right there.

I lost only 2lbs on the week 3 weigh in – that was a bit discouraging, but I didn’t have much time to think about it..I had my first 5k that afternoon.  So I ran 2 miles after the weigh in and relaxed to watch the Chicago Bears.

I ran the 5K and came in 30 minutes even.  I was a bit shocked that I came in that time because it was not a paved trail and I had to get around the zombies before they grabbed the flags we had to wear, which was an exhausting experience, but fun!

It was time to move onto the next scheduled 5K, a turkey trot in Thanksgiving day.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Week 2

With the excitement of losing 9.9lbs offsetting the pain I felt in my legs, I climbed on the treadmill for a morning run and this time I made it 2 miles without stopping.  It was that evening I decided to step it up so I ran again in the evening, and that made me feel great.

I ran the second week a few days in the morning and everyday in the evening until Friday evening came... 

A friend whom agreed to run the 5k with me asked me to train with him at the local track for the 5k, to which I agreed.  I made it 1.5 times around the track, which is only 1.75 miles.  Needless to say after running 2+ miles on the treadmill, I was getting very worried that I could not run as far outside and the race was only a little over a week away.  (I have to add that I did run 2 inside miles that morning however).

After failing to run close to a 5k outside during my second week, the good news was twofold:

1. I continued to run inside for the remainder of the weekend with a plan to take the road next week and

2. I lost 7.8lbs on my week 2 weigh in – weight 227.8

Friday, November 2, 2012

The Beginning - Week 1

I have decided to start writing in this blog because I have read many other people’s journeys and have found inspiration from their stories.  I saw that writing and having support seems to help keep them motivated as well as provide inspiration for others (like myself) so I am joining the ranks of the ‘unhealthy to  healthy’ bloggers and I hope to have as much success as many of them have and continue to have.

My journey started about 4 weeks ago when I, like many others I have read about, weighed myself after months and months of avoiding the truth and was extremely disappointed at what I saw…a broken scale that added 65 lbs to my real weight…ha.  But seriously, that was the last straw and the moment that I decided that enough was enough and that it was time to change my life for the better.  A few of my firends had recently run the Chicago marathon in the past few years and on that day, I wanted to do the same.  That day was Sunday October 7, 2012 and it was the first day of my new healthy life.  That day I stepped on the scale and it read back to me 245.5lbs.  I also decided that I would only weigh in on Sundays so that I could eliminate the distractions of daily fluctuations in fat gain/loss and water weight retention. 

First I decided that for me to make this different than in the past I would need to set goals that I would be more accountable for so I signed up for a Zombie 5K which was to be run on October 28, 2012.  A short goal, but I used to run a lot when I was in middle school, so I thought it should be easy to run 3.1 miles with little or no training (I’m sure you guessed I was wrong).  Anyway, I got on my old treadmill that morning and started running.  I ran at 4.8 miles per hour for about 15 minutes and then had to stop, but I did it.  I then ran again the next day but for 20 minutes and by the end of the first week I was running 20 minutes at 5 miles per hour or about 1.5 miles.  I also signed up on Loseit.com at the start so I could start counting my caloric intake making me more aware of my nutrition or lack of it and accordingly adjust the eating habits I had formed over the years.

I lost 9.9lbs my first Sunday morning weekly weigh in.