Wednesday, December 31, 2008

What a Beautiful New Year's Eve Morning

Plans for this weekend...not a good situation as far as I'm concerned. J and the kiddos are traveling to LA for a belated Christmas on the farm with her family and because I drew New Year's as my holiday on call this year, I have to stay home ALL weekend (including Thursday) and answer my pager. So, it's just me and the dog bringing in this New Year together. Still, I'm thankful for my job and am just glad that NEXT year, I won't have any holiday call. :)

I got to Memorial Park this morning for a workout before the fam packed up and left. It was a pristine morning, nice and cool, just perfect. I had a real treat this morning of running into my friend Reuben. It's funny because I haven't seen Reuben in over a year but I was just talking to J about him yesterday. No lie!!! Reuben is an incredible man and I won't take the liberty of saying much about him on the internet without his permission but suffice it to say, Reuben is an inspirational figure in my life. I was telling J that as inspirational a person as Reuben is, he has always encouraged me in my running and in my weight loss and always said that I inspired him. This never made sense to me as the complete opposite is true. Anyway, it was GREAT to see him this morning and get to talk. Like always, Reuben left me with some words I've been thinking about all morning. He said, "Vic, you have to have your health. Your health will help protect the things in your life that you love, your family, your kids, your career." And I'd add to that my relationship with God. He's so right and that's why this time, I've got to get healthy and STAY healthy, for the rest of my life.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

If I make it through December

Yes, it's been a while since I've posted. That's not to say that I haven't been fully engaged in my quest to lose weight and live a more healthy lifestyle. Well, fully engaged may be stretching it a bit.

Just before Thanksgiving, I looked at the checking account and noticed I was spending quite a bit of moo-lah on weekly visits to the dietitian and with Christmas looming, I decided to give it a go on my own for a few weeks. To quote Catherine the Great, "This isn't the most opportune time to cut loose on your own, Vic." (or something like that). Of course, as always, she was correct. I got a little busy and a bit complacent over the following weeks. I happened to NOT do too much damage on the body mass front. When all the pounds are added or subtracted, I'm just about even to where I was at Thanksgiving. Believe me. It could have been worse. The area where I REALLY faltered was my running/exercise. I only got out 5 times in December and managed to log a dismal 15 miles.

Gearing back up this week, I ran 2 on Monday and just felt GREAT!!! The plan this week calls for 2 on Monday, 2 Wednesday and Thursday, 3 on Saturday, and a mile walk on Sunday. I opened a new log for 2009 and planned out the next 4 months of training as well on another spreadsheet. Here's a little sample of the spreadsheet that I use to plan my training.

I've got formulas in the Goal Weight column that set a 2 pound loss for each week based on the current week's weight. So, even if I lose 5 pounds this week, next week's goal weight will still be 2 pounds less. That way each week is new and the goal is always 2 pounds. I know. I'm not explaining it very well. No biggie. The point is I'm trying to get motivated and get my planning and record keeping set up for the new year.

Well, I'm off tomorrow. That's the good news. The bad news is I'm on call the next 4 days. Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Blech!!!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The morning after

In the last 8 weeks, despite success in my new, healthy lifestyle, I've become all too familiar with the MORNING AFTER feeling. It's the feeling I have the morning after the evening a fast food binge on the way home from work. Every time this happens, when I wake up, I feel like crap. I've usually gained at least 2 or 3 pounds overnight from all the sodium and the CRAP sitting in my gut. I get off the scale wondering how long it's going to take me to get back just to where I was and continue on with my weight loss and I spend the rest of the week wondering "what would have been?".

Well, those feelings weren't there this morning as I made it through the storm yesterday afternoon. It was really the perfect storm. I had a stressful day. I forgot to eat an afternoon snack. I really didn't realize until I got in my car and turned on the ignition that I WAS STARVING. All the familiar patterns were there and I should have stopped at any one or two of several fast food places on the way home. But I didn't do it. I just sucked it up and got home without doing the thing I hate to do but love to do.

And this morning, I was soooooo happy I made that decision. Now I know the OTHER morning after feeling. The one where you step on the scale and instead of being 2 or 3 pounds OVER the day before, I'm DOWN a half a pound from yesterday. Instead of waking up and feeling bogged down and bloated with a bunch of CRAP in my stomach, I felt normal, even a little smaller. Now I have this reminder to replay in my mind whenever temptation strikes.

One of the ways I got through it was firing off an e-mail to Catherine from the car, while I was driving down the Beltway. It was something like, "Driving home. Skipped snack. STARVING!!! Must make it home." I didn't really expect a reply but just knowing the reply could come and knowing that Cat is behind me helped me make it through the trip home. When I finally did get home and got something good to eat, I received Cat's reply. She said some things and then she wrote, "This is your marathon!" Wow, that's profound and sooooo true. Even though my marathon isn't for another 14 months (WOW!!! over a year away), the decisions I make now and the work I'm doing now...well, let's face it. My marathon training and preparation has started. Yes, I want to be healthy. Yes, I want to feel good and there is a big picture to what I'm trying to do here. But the marathon, my comeback, this thing I'm working for is a huge motivator for me. So, thanks for the reminder, Cat.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Yo, peeps!!!

Where was everybody last night? The park was EMPTY!!! And it was a beautiful evening to run. The sprinkle was so refreshing. I got 2 awesome miles in with a mile walking tacked on. I snuck down in the 15's for mile 2 and really felt good. Flashback to October 2006, running the Space City 10-miler in the rain and how good that felt. Of course, the rain last night didn't compare to the deluge of 2006 but still, it brought back some memories that kept my mind occupied during the hump.

I've had good, consistent eating this week. Catherine said one of our goals is to make the junk food binges less and less frequent. I've gone to just about every day to about one per week. I'd consider it a huge success to get through this whole week without one slip up. This is "heavy" on my mind this week. I CAN DO!!!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Let's get this party (week) started!!!

Yes, today is Monday! For me, every Monday brings sort of a new start. This morning in my session with Catherine the Great, we did a good evaluation of the last week. We talked about successes and failures. There were a lot of successes. :)

Success #1 - After falling off the wagon for one meal on Friday, I got right back on the next day. My pattern in the past has been that when I mess up, I mess up BIG. One bad meal will usually send me into a tailspin where it's a few days before I get back on track. Not this past week. In fact I did the bad meal Friday night and still got right up Saturday morning for my "long run". So, that was a SUPER success (even though the mess up on Friday was a failure).

Success #2 - Sunday was a birthday lunch at my house for my Mom. I grilled yummy cheeseburgers. There were also all the usual villans: potato salad, macaroni and cheese, tons and tons of cheese and chips, and of course, MAYONNAISE. So, as long as I was grilling, I did some chicken for myself. And then, for a real treat, I grilled some yummy veggies on the bar-b. Red, green, yellow, and orange peppers, zucchini squash. So, my plate was chicken breast, just a spoon of potato salad, homemade pico de gallo, tomato slices, grilled veggies, and for the piece de resistance, a 100 cal pack of Wholly Guacamole. I was so stuffed, I didn't even have cake. The whole meal was just 685 calories.

Success #3 - I ran 4 miles Saturday.

Success #5 - I ran 4 times for 11.5 miles last week.

Failures - like a good boy who puts all the bad behind him, I don't remember any of my failures last week. :)

Things to work on this week - Overall, Catherine wants to work on keeping my FULL this week. What a great dietitian, right? To lose more weight, she wants me to EAT MORE? Wahoo!!! So, I need to add some fruit to my diet. I'll probably do that in the form of a mid-morning snack and/or for dessert at dinner time. Fortunately, honeycrisp apples are in season so this ain't gonna be hard. Also, I stuffed my desk at work with Smart Pop popcorn bags. Catherine said she'd of course rather me eat a big bag of hot popcorn on the way home than stop at James' Coney Island for a 6 pack. :)

By the way, congrats Catherine on finishing 2nd overall female in Saturday's Rocky Raccoon 25K. AWESOME!!!

Saturday, November 08, 2008

What a wonderful morning

What a beautiful morning. Belated good luck to everyone running Rocky Racoon this morning. It's an awesome day for racing.

I'm eight weeks back on the horse and I guess it's time for some evaluation.

Weight Loss:

I've lost 21 pounds since starting. That's about 2.6 pounds per week and although I never realistically expect to lose more than 2 pounds per week, I think I could have done a bit better. I'll give myself a solid B on weight loss.


When I started, I was running just a quarter mile during the week at a comfortable ~18 minute pace with a long run on the weekend of a half a mile. Today, I ran 4 miles at a VERY comfortable 17:25 pace. I've progressed from 4 miles per week to ~11. Since my goal right now is 100% building base and endurance and not to get faster, I'll give myself an A on the build up to 4 miles.

Now, I've just got to stay positive.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Soduim Update

Ok, as predicted, the 7 pound weight gain from last week has all disappeared plus and extra 2 pounds. Total weight lost since Monday...9 freakin' pounds.

I've had a couple of good runs this week. I'm at a point where I can do the whole Memorial Park loop, no problem. So, that makes it nice to get away from the out and backs.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Not so good weekend

I have to admit, not all is rosy. I had a bad couple of days over the weekend. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday included trips to McDonald's, grilled cheese sandwiches, Halloween candy, chips and cheese...that's about it. Oh, and I totally skipped my workout Saturday. Oh, the shame!!! And something VERY WIERD happened with my weight. My weight went up over 7 pounds in just a couple days. That's crazy!!! If that were 7 pounds of fat, that means I would have taken in 25,000 calories more than I burned over two days. I may have binged a bit but there's no way I steered that far off course. So, what's the deal?

I'm just about 100% sure that the deal is the high, high sodium content in fast food. I just bloated me up like a balloon. I think most of the gain can be attributed to the water retention and just all that food sitting in my stomach trying to digest. I got right back on track Monday morning and in just a 24 hour period, I've lost 4 of the 7 pounds I had gained. I drank a lot of water yesterday and did some exercise. I ate a normal, good diet the whole day and hope to have that other 3 off soon so I can get back to business.

The important thing is to stay positive. It's been the pattern for me to look at a small failure and just say, "Screw it!" and go off on a major prolonged binge. I'm breaking that pattern and getting right back up on that horse. Besides, this is going to be a fun week. I may be posting BIG numbers, like Biggest Loser numbers, with 4 pounds lost already.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

This morning

Alarm rings at 4 am. Snooze x 1. Coffee was on the timer and ready when I got up. I actually planned ahead and ironed my clothes and packed my bag the night before. All I had to do was get some Body Glide onto a couple of hot spots, get dressed and I was ready. After a yummy bowl of GoLean, I was off.

I arrived at Memorial Park to an absolutely B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L fall morning. After some moseying around and some stretching, I took off for my 2 mile trot. "What's this? No aches? No soreness/stiffness? No twinges or tweaks that I just have to work out over the first half mile until they go away?" I felt great right from the start. I kept my effort very easy early on as I didn't want to fall into the "horse out of the barn" trap. Anyway, the run was great!!! I felt strong. I felt like my feet were under my legs and my legs were under ME and everything was just clicking instead of just leaning forward and letting inertia pull the rest of me along.

I finished the last mile a good 30 seconds faster than the first. When I was done I just laid down on the bench and relaxed. It was one of those mornings where the steam just sort of rises off your body into the fog. It was nice. This morning, I didn't run because it was a chore or because it was something I've been working on. I just enjoyed it and had a blast!!!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

My pace

I've seen pace recorded, of course, as minutes/mile. Then there's the popular miles/hour. Some have even gone so far as to "describe" their pace instead of actual time and distance. For example, "an easy pace" or "5K pace". While running last night, I was trying to think of the best way to describe my pace. I came up with "just fast enough where I don't crush every bone/joint in my body". I know with my weight that I am putting an extraordinary amount of pressure on my knees, ankles, and hips and the faster I run, the more time I spend "off the ground" between strides, the harder I land, and the more pressure I put on my bones and joints. This REQUIRES a new, heavy runner like myself to be patient, not think about my pace in the past or what pace others are running, but to run within and for myself. My main goal now is losing the weight, not PR'ing for 5K or 10K or whatever. Staying healthy and getting smaller!!!

I had my visit with Catherine the Great this morning. Upon reviewing my logs, I got away from the basics a little this past week. I skipped breakfast several times and skipped a few afternoon snacks. Big NO NO's!!! I also had two so-so bad meals this past week. Nothing horrible but definite deviations from the norm. Anyway, a big part of all this for me is to maintain consistent, good habits not just some of the time but all of the time and that means eating breakfast and eating snacks between meals. I still managed to drop a pound this week which puts me down 20.5 pounds in about 6 weeks.

Oh, and Tiggs, I'll definitely be seeing you at all the warmup races next fall. And guaranteed, you'll be seeing a lot less of me. :)

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Wish I was there!

Good luck to all of you running the Houston Half and congratulations ahead of time to the Houston Striders. I know it's going to be a FABULOUS event!!! I've got prior commitments this weekend so no volunteering this year. This is the first year after 3 in a row that I was not able to volunteer for the race. Bummer!!!

I did 3.5 this morning at Memorial Park. It felt good and I ran easy and strong. I probably could/should have done 4 but I opted for 3.5 with the last .5 about 1 minute faster than my average pace. It feels good to finish strong. I ran over an hour. It was an absolutely beautiful morning and I know it's going to be beautiful for the race tomorrow. That's makes me happy.

This weekend with the Houston Half going on, I've been reflecting a lot about this past year. Tomorrow's race marks my exit from runnning and the start of a downward spiral and return to obesity and unhealthy living. It's crazy that that came after the greatest race of my life. I remember Steeeve commenting how that race should really motivate me to an awesome marathon in January. Man, I'd like to have that moment back. I'd like to redeem that time, buy it back somehow. But that's obviously not possible. All I can do is remember all that I gave up and let it motivate me to never ever let that happen again. Nothing is worth your health and happiness. No job, no amount of money, no project.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Day off

I took the day off today get a little break and to get ready for DS's big homecoming game tonight. It cracks me up. He's going to a new school that has only 9th and 10th grade. Who's coming home!?!? I don't understand how they are having a homecoming but nevertheless, they are doing the whole thing. All the hoopla. Mums, bands, homecoming dance, the whole 9 yards. And DS was even nominated for homecoming king or prince or something. Anyway, I have to parade out there with him and DW at halftime. Should be interesting.

The day off afforded me little excuse to get out for an early morning run so that's what I did. Memorial Park was beautiful this morning. Kind of quiet by the time I got there. I did my 2 miles, tried some core exercises, realized I have no core, and left. It was a nice leisurely morning and I enjoyed every minute.

Now, let's hope it doesn't rain while I'm parading around with the next homecoming king and his mom.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Ramping up and thinning down

I made it over to Memorial Park yesterday after work for a 2 mile run and it was just a beautiful night. I slogged through the first mile and a half at just about slower than a snail's pace. By 1.5, I started to feel it in my knees and ankles. Not a bad feeling. I just felt stiff and achy. I relaxed a little and picked up the pace to just a little faster than a snail's pace and it felt great. I got the heart rate up into the red zone for the last .25 and really tried to relax and feel what it used to be like to RUN. It felt great. All that achyness went away and I remembered for a few minutes what it was like to MOVE and exercise. It was nice.

I am constantly evaluating how I feel after these runs. I made a pretty decent leap from runs of ~.5 to 1.5 miles up to a long run this last Saturday of 3 miles and runs during the week of 2. I'm doing fine with the added miles but I think I'm going to have to make the days in between (my easy days) VERY easy. I may cut back to just a walk on those days. But we'll see. Stay flexible and listen to your body. That's the ticket.

I'm glad I decided to extend these workouts. I need to be doing something longer than 5 or 10 minutes a day. Being on my feet doing exercise for 30+ minutes at a time is going to help me reach my weight loss goals quicker. Speaking of which, the pounds continue to melt away. I weighed in at 331.2 this morning. That's right at 20 pounds lost in about 5 and a half weeks. I know the plateau is coming soon but I'm enjoying this while I can. And I know when the plateau comes, Catherine the Great is going to have a plan.

Hey, thanks Steve for the fresh supplies last night. And no, we're not dealing drugs at Memorial park. Steve had some freebie med supplies for me. Good to see you Steve. It's been too long. I need every kick in the arse I can get so bring it on.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


I just got back from the park where I ran 2 miles tonight. Don't worry about the pace. Just 3 words. THAT FELT GREAT!!!

End of post.

15 in a month

I've had some significant success since Repentance Day and have lost 15 pounds in about a month. I couldn't be happier with the progress so far.

I had my visit with Catherine the Great this morning and it's confirmed. I'm on a roll. The weight is melting away despite a short "lapse" the first week of October. This lapse included a trip to KFC on October 1 and then my trip to Kansas City for a conference 5-8 October. Cat is so positive, she said, "Well at least when you had the fried chicken, you didn't get home and eat supper...AGAIN!!!" I cracked up when she said that 'cause she knows the old me all too well. As far as the trip to Kansas City, I did fail to log my intake and I did eat whatever I wanted to in the evening but for the most part I was good. I did all my workouts through the week and ate what was provided for lunch. Breakfast could have been much worse. They had an awesome buffet in the hotel. Lucky it was $20 bucks or I would have done it every morning. I just did the breakfast buffet 1 morning and I had them make me an egg white omelette. Anyway, I ate a moderate lunch served at the conference and then ate out in the evening. I did eat what I wanted for dinner and enjoyed dining out. When I got back, though, the damage was minimal with no weight gain. I got right back on and have been good since then.

I am going to make one change this week. I'm "jumping ahead" with my running program. It's one thing to run excruciatingly slow but to also run excruciatingly SHORT is wearing on my patience. I'm going to stay slow and keep the very easy pace but I'm going to be upping my mileage a bit. I'm feeling good and I've done this before. I know how to avoid injury and I know when to back off and how to train heavy. I just want to start going to the park again and driving in for .5 mile runs or getting up early and driving in to do a 1 mile walk...It's just not worth it. So, I'm going to up the ante a little and get back into a more aggressive running routine. The nice thing is that I've gotten used to doing something 6 days a week and I'm going to keep that going. Even if my easy days are VERY easy, I'm sticking to the 6 days. The basic plan is to be up to 17-19 mpw by early January. I'll be very happy starting off the year there.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Lesson learned

I ran 1.5 miles continuous yesterday and am feeling good. It's been a while since I blogged but not to worry. I'm still on the wagon. I'm down 14 lbs in 4 weeks and have stayed on my running program religiously.

I had some good news this week. I got a promotion and a BIG raise. I'm talking 10K/year. WOW!!! In this economy, that's good news. I've very happy that all the hard work and sacrifice this past year has paid off.

Still, I've been thinking. If on October 29th of last year, the day after my 13 minute half marathon PR, someone would have come up to me and said, "Vic, I'll give you a choice. Either you can continue your healthy lifestyle, take an hour or more off of your marathon PR, continue to lose weight, run and race through the spring and summer, and get within reach of your ultimate weight loss goals, have time to train, and all the time you want to spend with your family. Or, you can have $10,000." I can tell you right now what I'd choose. I can't recall anything in my life that I regret until now but given the choice again, I'd choose the healthy lifestyle over the money, hands down. And I'll have to live with this regret for a long time. All I can do now is draw on that experience and never, ever let ambition or work take precedence over my family and my health. Lesson learned, the hard way!!!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Traffic problem

Each week, I'm faced with a traffic problem and the solution has me sitting her in the parking lot of a convenience store at Memorial and Post Oak. Here's the dilemma. My appointment with Cathereine each week is at 7 am. Now, with no traffic it's about a 25 minute drive from my house. But with traffic, it can take over an hour, even up to an hour and a half. Traffic on 290 starts to build up around 5:50-6 so if I wait until 6 to leave, I won't make it by 7. So, I left before traffic started building up, around 5:20 and sure enough, it only took me 30 minutes to get into town.

So, now I have an hour to burn. Maybe I should go to McDonalds. LOL!!! Just kidding. I took a drive around Memorial Park. I haven't been there in the morning before dark since the storm. Man, the Southwest corner of the park is DARK. Kind of scary. But the lights are on around the rest of the park and the runners were out. After that, I'm like...What now? So, I'm sitting here in the parking lot of the convenience store blogging. Luckily, I'm on call so I have the Sprint card. Here's my view:

Well, now my battery is running down so I guess I'll just listen to some talk.

Edited: I just got done with weigh-in and have lost another 4 pounds. Down to 341. I commented that my daily calories were LOOOOOOW!!! but I feel fine. Just great. Catherine said it's probably because I'm eating GOOD food that I feel satiated. For now, she wants me, of course, to just keep doing what I'm doing.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

No need to fret!!!

Not to worry, Tiggs, I may not have blogged in a few days but I haven't reverted in the least bit back to the unhealthy lifestyle. If fact, I've been doing GREAT!!! Sticking to it. Staying motivated. Eating right. Logging my food. Sticking with my running program. Being patient.

Speaking of patience, I think I'm losing it. I know this is normal and is something everyone trying to turn themselves around deals with. I'm ok with the gradual weight loss. That's not a problem and in fact, I'm a little ahead of where I expected to be. My big thing right now is the weather is so beautiful and I've been feeling really frisky. I'd love, TODAY, to just go to Terry Hershey Park and run 10 miles. Or just to run for a good hour. Or just run one loop around Memorial Park. I really, really miss being able to do that and I'm tempted to go to my running program and start deleting (rows) weeks to accelerate this thing. But I know patience will pay off in the long run. No pun intended!!! So, yesterday, I did my 0.75 mile long run. Yes, you read it right. 0.75 miles.

I finished the week with 4.5 total miles, up a half mile from last week. I see <Catherine on Tuesday which is weigh-in day. I haven't a clue where I stand. I took that sorry scale back to Bed, Bath, and Beyond. I'm going to get a real scale. Maybe on the internet or some medical supply store. Needless to say, the suspense is killing me not having a scale to weight on every morning. I have to trust that I'm going to post some good numbers, hopefully 1-3 pounds. If I don't, there's seriously something wrong. I've averaged ~1550 calories per day this week. Carb/protein/fat percentage was 48/30/22, just perfectly on target. :) So, I'm expecting good results Tuesday.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Today was my weigh-in day. I've switched it up from weighing in on Saturday morning to weighing in when with Catherine either on Tuesday or Wednesday when I have my appointment. All my appointments are early in the morning, before work so it's just perfect. Plus, she has an awesome scale. My freakin' scale at home is so incosistent. I just bought it, too. Every time I get on it, it's something different. Like this morning, I stepped on it and it said 348. I got off, let it reset itself, got back on and it said 343. I got off again and back on and it said 347. Then 346, then 346, then 346. I figured I was honed in on 346 so I got in the shower. I got out and it said 347. Well, which is it? It's very frustrating. I really need to get a real scale. A balance if you will. Maybe something like this.

They're dang expensive, though. But I guess it could be the last scale I ever buy, right. Wish I knew where to get a good deal on one. Maybe online or something.

Anyway, back to the weigh-in. I'm down to 345.0 lbs. That's about 6 lbs lost in a week and a half. That's a good start.

I'll tell you what, the last week was a complete success. And Catherine was able to look on and see the whole picture. It is really and AWESOME website. And there are a bunch of great charts and reports you can run to get any number of stats on just about anything. Carbs/fat/protein, sodium, fiber, sodium, everything. And she sees everything I eat each day. We get to talk about the good days and the bad (there weren't any bad this last week). Anyway, the 30 minutes I get with Catherine is jam-packed with information and counsel on just about everything nutrition.

One of the questions Catherine asked me was "What do you think made the difference this week since you had such a good week?" I said, "YOU!!! I mean knowing you're there and seeing what I eat, knowing I have an advocate and a plan." Plus, just the fact that I'm dropping a couple hundred dollars a month for a dietitian is motivation to stay on the plan.

Another thing I've done is I've let just about everyone know that I'm on a diet. That I'm seeing a dietitian and I'm turning over a new leaf. Everyone at work knows. I've even got a partner now at work who was very happy that I decided to do Subway everyday for lunch and he's joining me, no matter what everyone else is doing. Plus, I've gotten some great encouragement from friends through the blog and that's been fun. So, blogging again has been fun and has helped.

I just need to continue to put the pieces back together.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Run for your life!!!

I've gotta post my Sunday afternoon lunch experience yesterday.

The whole fam was over after church for homemade everything. Mac and cheese (mmmmm!), pork chops (not trimmed), green bean casserole (fat, fat, fat), ceasar salad (from a bag, like 20 g fat/ serving), and peach cobbler with ice cream. Did I mention the rolls with REAL butter?

Anyway, I was so uptight and in such a strange mood. Part of me was mad at the fam putting me in a situation like that. Part of me felt bad because that's the way my family eats. And part of me was just SCARED because I know I can't resist. Plus, to make matters worst, I made the mistake of skipping breakfast so I was real hungry.

Well, when I got home, I just went to the fridge, go out some grilled salmon and a sweet potato, made me a spiniach salad and just in front of everybody...while everyone else was waiting for lunch to be ready, I just sat down and ate. It was rude but ya know...

Then, when I was done, I was seriously craving MORE. And not more of my stuff, more of THEIR stuff. So, even though we had company and even though it was family, I just go my keys, told everyone it was good to see them, and I left. I went and got a coffee at starbucks (black) and just drove around. I visited an exercise equipment store I've been wanting to check out on 290 and 1960. I've got my eye on a beautiful treadmill there. Then I just drove around Cypress. By the time I got back, not only was lunch done but everyone was gone. I felt bad about that but good about not CRASHING. DW was good. When I came in, she DUMPED the peach cobbler down the drain. A waste? Yes. But it was a good thing.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Long run and 1.4 lbs lost

What a beautiful morning for some exercise and HOLY COW, there were a ton of people at Memorial Park, as many as I've EVER seen there. I debated whether or not to drive into town for such a short run but hey, I've got nothing better to do. And adding on a trip to Whole Foods made it worthwhile.

Today is my long run day. Week 1 of my schedule has me doing 0.5 miles for my long run. Man, I'm anything but proud for admitting that. But I AM CONVINCED by coach Bill that this gradual base building period is what someone in my situation needs. Here are the first 13 weeks of the program.

So, if you look at the big picture (which I'm not supposed to do), I'm up to 13 mpw in just 13 short weeks. The program's heavy on avoiding injury, strictly base building, and getting my bones, tendons, cartilage used to taking a pounding again. After this 13 weeks, I'll still have 4 weeks left to do a little sharpening and possibly do the EP 5K on January 18. That's my plan to get back into this running thing. My 5K should suck enough on the 18th to motivate me into the spring to keep kicking a** and taking names on the weight loss.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Easy day

Today was an easy day on the schedule with 1 mile walk at no target pace. I had doubts as to whether or not easy workouts like "walk 1 mile at no target pace" and "run .25 miles at 18:30" would make any difference at all as far as weight loss goes. But Catherine said that was not the case and that these workouts DO make a difference. And, of course, as I build up the mileage over the weeks as the pounds melt away, I'm going to see a noticeable difference in my running as well as how I feel.

Nutrition was good today. I made one big mistake. I forgot to eat my mid-afternoon snack. I drove out of the garage with major hunger pangs. I just needed to make it home and of course I did. Bummed out at what was in the fridge though. I scrounged and found a chicken breast and put together a salad. I did my walk and am feeling satisfied. I think I'm a little low on the daily intake. Yes, I just checked and my net calories in today was 1398. Gotta watch that. I don't want to eat too few calories.

The Cat-inator

Last night around 6:45, I e-mailed Catherine Kruppa. The e-mail went something like this:

subject: Vic's in trouble
I NEED HELP!!! I mean counseling, meal plans, strategies, hypnosis, whatever!!! How much and how soon?

Wouldn't you know, not 15 minutes later, Catherine e-mailed me and TOLD me to be in her office this morning at 7:30. I didn't blink.

When I sat down, Catherine cut right to the chase. Just just asked me what was going on. When I told her I had reverted back to all my old habits she simply asked, "Why?" For some reason, that was a really tough question. I talked about the project and about how to the same extent the healthy lifestyle had become the norm back in 2006-2007, now the opposite has become the norm. I told her how I had basically stopped running after the Half last October and had let my support system go and stopped being involved in the running community. We talked a little about my current habits but she and I both know what those are.

Then, we got down to it. The plan. Here's how we're going to turn this around.

1) Catherine said, "Vic, I have another client just like you. If she's not exercising, she's not eating right. Vic, we've gotta get you running again, period." Catherine knows that my running is so intertwined with my weight loss and healthy eating that the answer to my will power problems and my motivation is to get back to running. I told her about Bill's program and she agreed completely that that was PERFECT for me in my situation.

2) Now the meal plan. Breakfast if fine. Then, we talked about what I've been eating for lunch. I told her about all the great fast food restaurants we go to and about the CRAP I eat in when we eat in the cafeteria. Catherine said, "Vic, you've gotta become Jared again." So, it's back to 12" turkey subs at Subway for lunch and a bag of baked chips.

3)#1 thing - NO FAST FOOD on the way home from work. Or any time for that matter. I must have an afternoon snack and/or an apple on the way home.

4) I'm logging all my food on Catherine has my username and password and she will log in and monitor my nutrition.

5) I will meet with her once a week and once a week, she will e-mail me. I'm "contracted" to provide feedback to her on her comments on the e-mail. So, basically, we have to communicate and I must be accountable.

6) The kitchen's closed after supper!!! Only water.

What else? I think that's it. Pretty simple. Oh, one more thing...She does NOT want me thinking about the BIG PICTURE!!! In other words, no thinking about how I'm going to lose 150 lbs. or how I'm going to run a 5 hour marathon or how I'm going to get my family to eat right, etc. I'm just supposed to think about today and intermediate, short-term goals.

Well, that's it. It's like...Duh!!! But this will be good to hold me accountable. And spending the money makes me want to not waste my investment. Again, I'm not making any claims of being "back". I'm just going to let the results speak for themselves.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Hope everyone is ok

It's good to continue to hear reports that people are recovering from the storm. I'm so sorry for those who have lost so much and for those without power and water. I won't elaborate because so many are suffering but I'll just report that we had no damage to our house and were only without electricity for a couple of days. Thank God we were spared.

Also, let me just say THANK YOU to the tireless (not literally speaking) first responders, utility workers, garbage collectors, grocers, healthcare providers, and government officials for your relentless effort to get us back to functional and back to normal. I know I don't reach many here on the blog and I doubt this will make a difference but I'll just mention this. I-45 into Galveston is currently in GRIDLOCK!!! All residents and visitors trying to get into Galveston are being turned away at this time. It's so bad that repair vehicles, food, water, medical supplies, and other emergency vehicles can't even get through to get into Galveston. Please, please, please do not try to go to Galveston.

Moving on...

Here's the report on where I am health wise. I was on a roll back in July but fell off again, for whatever reason(s). WAY off!!! I've gained 15 pounds since the middle of July and have become so sedentary, I'm starting to have difficulty with just everyday tasks. I'm only 20 pounds away from my all-time, life-time highest weight of 370 pounds. If I had one, single ounce of dignity or pride in myself, I'd never post this on the blog but hey, I guess that's just where I'm at right now. I don't care anymore. In some sort of perverted, upside-down, backwards way, I've let this blog become a crutch. I've let it become all about me!!! Now, that sounds kind of strange I know. Especially since this blog is about me. :) LOL!!! What I mean is somewhere along the way, instead of using this blog to chronicle my activities and my successes in hopes that it might reach out and inspire others, it's turned into this thing where I just want people to tell me it's ok. It's ok that I'm struggling. It's ok that I've "started over" umpteen million times. It's ok to just do what I can. Poor, poor, pitiful me.

So, I'm faced with a couple of options. 1) Abandon the blog because it's too embarrassing what it has become, or 2) Give it another chance. Make it something better. I think like so many other things in my life, just saying "I choose 2)" doesn't make it so. I've just got to do it. The same way saying "I'm back!!!" doesn't make it so. I've got to prove it. I think announcements like "I'm back!!!" and "I'm going to live healthy and eat right" or "I'm going to make this blog something better" are better made retrospectively than presumptively. So, rather than making some big announcement or claim, I'm just going to state how the last few days have gone.

I started a new running plan this week. It's a customized plan from RRCA-certified coach Humble Runner Bill. It's a perfect, insightful plan for me. It's completely customized for my situation...fat, sedentary, new runner. I think it's going to work nicely with my weight loss goals. The core goal of the program is what every beginner runner should be concentrating on, base building. And not just aerobic base building but more importantly, especially for someone who is heavy, musculo-skeletal base building. I've got to build up my bones, ligaments, tendons, and cartilage to stay injury-free.

So, I started this week with hard/easy/hard on Mon/Tues/Wed. Here's the hard - .25 miles at 18:30 pace. Yes, that's hard to swallow!!! But it's the right thing to do. Easy days are 1 mile walk at no target pace. This is going to be a long, gradual build up to get my running even close to where I want it to be and it's going to take patience. But Bill's got me believing this is the best way for a new runner to start. And yes, I may be an experienced runner but I'm an experienced, new runner. LOL!!! That makes NO sense.

Regarding nutrition, I'm still struggling. I don't have a plan right now besides just trying to make better choices. This is a good thing but my choices need to be made WAAAAAY before it's time to eat. Sounds a lot like having a plan!!! The weird thing is that I've done this before and I have some knowledge about healthy nutrition but when push comes to shove, I just don't make the right choices. Maybe for a while, I need someone else to make the choices for me. I'm talking a professional dietician. I'm talking The Cat-inator. Can I afford it? Well, can I really afford NOT to get her help. I think no. I'll have to see how this works out.


Thursday, July 31, 2008

Marathon "finishers"

Guess I wouldn't be a "valid" Houston running blog if I didn't post some comment about the Marathon's recent decision to not let anyone start early in order to finish by the time limit.

Let me start by saying I totally agree that NO registrant should be allowed on the course before the official start of the race (7 am). Furthermore, the Houston Marathon brought this upon themselves in my opinion by having "official" rules and "unofficial" rules. The Houston Marathon is the one who unofficially allowed a 5 am start for walkers. I don't recall whether or not it was acutally published on the website but everyone knows that there was a 5 am start and that if you started at 5 am, you were supposed to turn your bib around so the number doesn't show, you were supposed to not cross the mats, you were supposed to stay completely to the right, you were supposed to yield at water stations to runners, etc. I mean, heck, USA Fit made a business out of training walkers to walk this course in 7, 8 hours, all with the knowledge and sanction of the HM.

Most of what I've read on the blogs and on the boards, I agree with. And I think any reasonable person would agree with the decision to not allow registrants on the course before the race. And I think most agree that it was wrong for the HM to drop this policy change (yes, it may be unofficial policy but this is a policy change) on folks AFTER they have already registered and/or paid money for training programs, etc.

But here's where I disagree with some. Maybe disagree is too strong a word. Here's where I look at things a little differently than some. There are a lot of bloggers, commenters, and forumites out there who get their undies in a wad over whether or not someone who finishes 26.2 miles in 6:00:01 should get a medal or not or if they should get a finisher's shirt or not, or if they should even be allowed to cross under that sacred time clock and run through the chute and acutally enter the GRB. Are any of these things really what define a marathon? Do we really train for months and months, even more than a year, just for a pretty ribbon and our name on a web site? I finished my first marathon, the Houston Marathon in more than 6 and a half hours. I didn't care if I got a medal or not. I didn't care if I finished the race under the time clock or in the parking lot where my car was. I set a goal. I worked my ass off (literally) and I did what I set out to do. I did with my body what my mind thought was impossible. I made some great friends. I showed my kids (and myself) that with hard work, consistency, and determination you can do anything. I lost a bunch of weight. I got healthy in the process. I felt strong and great. Do we really want to make such a big issue about who gets a medal or not? Does it really matter? I say no.

So, I don't care if the HM stands out there till dark handing out medals to stragglers. They can just send it in the mail to every registrant for all I care. That's not why I would run a marathon. By the way, I did get a medal for my 6:48:30 finish and I did get a finisher's shirt thanks to the graciousness of the HM volunteers and staff who let me in as well as Matt, who just about beat the door down to get them to let me in. But when I recount my "glorious" day, I don't remember much about the medal and the shirt. I remember the sense of accomplishment. I remember resisting that irresistible desire to quit. I remember Rose leapfrogging all the way up Allen Parkway, running with me a little bit, then running back to her car only to meet me a little further up the course and then back to her car, all the way into downtown. I remember my friends and my family who were waiting for me at the finish. I remember SteveB meeting me a mile out on Rusk and running in with me...IN HIS SANDALS!!! I remember the training, the incredible encouragement I got from so many friends. I remember Steeeve, my coach, who encouraged me, challenged me, and never gave up on me. I remember it all and it's made a profound difference in how I view life and challenges. I'm grateful for the medal but really, that's not why I did it.

One more aside, Yes, it took me 6 hours and 48 minutes to finish but I did not know that going in. I honestly estimated that I could finish in just a little over 6 hours, maybe 6:03 to 6:10 at the latest. If I had known it was going to take me almost 7 hours, knowing there was a 6 hour time limit, I would not have attempted the race. I understood from the get go not to expect support and to not expect a medal or any swag and certainly not an official time posted on the website if I was going to be over 6 hours. I figured they would give us the extra chip time to get across but after that, I expected that the official 6 hour time limit would be strictly honored. So, I do have a problem with walkers/waddlers who KNOW for a fact that they can't finish in 6 hours. It's not safe. I know I'll never forget my first marathon but I'll tell you right now, I'll never finish one like that again. I'll know before I start that I'm going to finish in the time limit or I won't try.

That's my .02 cents.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Now the work begins

I spent some time and energy last week while on vacation thinking about and practicing the healthy lifestyle and had some success. This week has been all about how to incorporate that into my "normal", non-vacation life. Challenges this week included an office party on Monday at Bakers Street Pub featuring 3 solid hours of sliders, buffalo wings, artichoke dip, chicken fingers, etc. Looking out the window of the Pub, it seemed like just yesterday I was limping into the restaraunt after running the 30K. That was a fun day!!! Matt, Bessie, June, Steeeve, Barb, Jim, Matt's mom, SteveB. I remember it vividly...

Back to this week's challenges. So, one of the biggest challenges almost a month now into the healthy lifestyle is the retarded, perverted, idiotic thought process that says, "You've done good for a couple weeks now. You deserve a reward." A REWARD?!?! As in JUNK FOOD?!?!? That's so retarded. How is it a reward to partake of something that has haunted my life for so long? How is it rewarding to digress, regress? I'm trying to PRO-gress!!! So, I think I'm going to "reward" my success with a visit to the Farmer's Market tomorrow morning after my run. I think I'll reward myself with some of those big beautiful strawberries they sell out in front of the market, fresh-from-the-farm. And maybe I'll treat myself to some of that beautiful salmon that is always on display at Whole Foods but always too expensive to buy. Maybe I'll find a new recipe and spend the afternoon tomorrow cooking a fresh, healthy supper for my family. Maybe I'll get the kids to help. Maybe I'll treat myself to some new artwork for my office. Like this:

I've got to re-think this whole "reward" thing. I need to undo my perverted way of thinking. So, that's what I'm going to do.

I kind of got off track with my workouts this week. Running Saturday AND Sunday was not in the plan and I needed a rest on Monday, my regular running day. Tuesday is a regular day off but I probably should have run. I didn't. So, Wednesday, I was intent on getting a good run in. I dodged the storms Wednesday afternoon and did a WHOLE LOOP at Mem Park. Yes, the whole loop. Only walk breaks were for water. Oh, and the last .4 miles. :D I did 30 minutes of walking last night so no running Thursday. I don't want to run today because I'm running in the morning. So, this week is turning out to be just 2 days of running, Wednesday and Saturday. I think it's critical for me to just make a schedule and stick to it. No extra running no skipping workouts. Or maybe I just ought to run every day if I feel like it and quit worrying about recovery. Recovery, schmecovery! MUST - LOSE - WEIGHT!!!

I'm looking forward to a great weekend. Should be hot so be careful out there.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

One of THOSE stories...

I opened the drawer of running clothes this afternoon and pulled out a pair of those old shorts that are too small, just to see if I had come any closer at all to being able to get them up over my huge arse. Well, I wiggled and I squirmed and lo and behold with a little effort, I got them on. They were still pretty tight but they got the ok from DW and I was pleased. I thought I probably wouldn't be able to get them off so as long as I've got them on, I may as well go run, right? I had to take DD into town to spend the night at her cousin's so I headed over to the park after dropping her off.

I was thinking all morning that I sure don't feel like I did a long run yesterday. I felt GREAT!!! It may have something to do with the hour and a half massage I got yesterday afternoon, a Christmas present I never used until this weekend. Anyway, I didn't want to wake up tomorrow and wonder again if I worked hard enough. So, I decided I'd REALLY do an long run. I set out to run the whole loop. Not worried about pace at all. I just wanted to make it all the way around.

I did some stretching (not much for fear I'd rip my shorts) and then headed out. It was about 90-something degrees and I was sweating like, well, like everyone else. I kept a steady slooooooow pace according to the Garmin. The only time I stopped was to get water. And don't think I didn't get water EVERY chance I had.

Here's where the story turns into one of those stories. Please beware. I'm going to give you ample warning to back out of this one. So, have your mouse ready.

...I've been on a diet, right? Well, actually more of a lifestyle change. nutrition has changed drastically over the last two weeks.

...I've been getting plenty of veggies, right?

...but, the past couple of days, I've been feeling a little constipated. (Now's your chance to close your browser.)

...this morning before church, I decided to take a couple Dulcolax, a mild cleanse if you will.

...this afternoon, at about mile 1.8, I was painfully reminded that this morning before church, I had a couple Dulcolax.

...Yes, it hit me on the back side of the Memorial loop (no pun intended), as far from my car as I could possibly be.

...The tennis center is closed. Then men's bathroom was so messed up, it was not usable. The port-a-potty's were at the end of a couple day's use and really not an option for what I needed. So, I got in the car and just tried to make it home.

Now, every one of these stories I've ever been able to make it to the end of (again, no pun intended), has ended with a "just-in-the-nick-of-time, I made it" or "another few minutes and it would have been ugly." Well, my story didn't have such a happy ending...

I just can't continue. It's too painful. And if you've made it this far, I have serious concerns about your sanity. Ok, ok! I'll tell you the ending (no pun intended). Let me see, how can I put this? I don't want to be too graphic but I want to capture the conclusion accurately for any of you that made it this far. Ok, here it goes...

...I almost made it.

The end. (No pun...well, you get it.)

Weigh-in 7/20

3.4 lbs. lost this week.

Blew past my 2 lb. goal so I'm happy. The vacation is over. Back to work tomorrow. Gotta get up a little earlier to get my workouts in. Goal for next week - 2 lbs. lost.

Saturday, July 19, 2008


Got up this morning and weighed. Yes, the scale is still moving. Oh, yes, it's moving DOWN!!! Good question. I had a bowl of GoLean and a big glass of water and I was out the door.

Yes, I have a plan and it's a good plan. Patient. Safe. Not too much too soon. But it still challenges me and builds up every week. But you know, on the way in to the park, I was feeling good and wondering if I should (or could) just throw today's 1.5 miles out the door and try to run the whole loop. Now, here's where the two sides of me get into heated debate. After much back and forth, I decided to go ahead and do the entire loop but only run 1.5 miles, then brisk walk the rest. And that's what I did.

So, I made it all the way around the loop. I ran for 1.5 miles continuous. I ran for 22 minutes without a walk break. I'll take it. A pretty good jumping off point for next week.

Good to see June there at the end of her run. I did not recognize her. June, you look mahvelous!! Also saw the Steplers and a bunch of other familiar faces. Good times.

Friday, July 18, 2008

A little cross training

...a very little.

After running two days in a row, I decided to jump on the bike this morning for some exercise. I knew it was going to be tough and I set my expectations at reasonable. I figured if I could stay on the bike, pedaling, for 20 minutes, that would be a good start for my first ride in a long, long time. I don't know where I got that estimate but it turns out it was just about right 'cause I am worn out.

So, my wind was fine, just aerobic, and my legs did ok although I definitely felt it. But DANG!!! My arms and shoulders and chest feel like I just got out of the gym. Of course, my upper body NEVER gets any kind of workout. I remember even back when I was running strong, my legs were steel but my upper body was jell-o. I guess from a holistic point of view, my new healthy lifestyle needs to include some upper body work, be it calisthenics, pushups, dumbbells, or riding that bike.

I'm looking forward to my run tomorrow. I know these runs I'm executing in these early stages sound like just 20 minute runs or just 2 miles but the effort is there. I've got to start somewhere and the good thing is that I'm leaving feeling like I actually worked out. Of course, there was a day when I wouldn't even break a sweat running for 20 minutes. (Actually, this time of year, you break a sweat just putting on your shoes.) But we're not looking back, right? Just looking forward. Pressing on. And tomorrow will be a big step for this NEW RUNNER.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

I must want this

I was up at 5, out the door by 5:20, and almost to the beltway when I realized I have my banana, I have my Garmin, I have my water. I don't have any socks. And I just cleaned out all the socks from my trunk yesterday so I didn't even have a dirty pair to run in. I exited Senate and headed back home, got the socks, got back in the car and headed to the park. By that time, the traffic was really starting to build up and instead of getting to the park a 5:45 like I had planned, I arrived at 6:45. Oh, well. The temps were creeping up as the sun was already well over the trees. Still, it could have been worse and was a lot better than yesterday's 8:30 run.

I really felt good this morning and probably went out too eagerly (fast) because I was ready to start walking half way through my 2nd 10 minute rep. But instead of quitting, I relaxed my shoulders, relaxed my stride (if you want to call it a stride) and just kind of zoned out, trying to get this one done. Mission accomplished. I'm tempted to mention that my pace was about 30 seconds better than any workout the last 2 weeks, but I'm not going to mention that. Of course, it's not about pace, right? It's about the weight loss. Still, looking forward to Saturday, I'd better ease up and keep a consistent effort if I want to do my 25 minute continuous run. That'll be a pretty big deal for me.

The scale continues to move. I'm already at my 2 pound weight loss goal for this week and there are 3 days left. Hope to post another big number on Sunday.


Wednesday, July 16, 2008


The last of the running shorts bit the dust this morning. I like to say they had a "blowout". That means that the inner thigh finally wore so thin from my legs rubbing together that they finally just disintegrated. LOL!!!

They were good shorts and sadly the last pair of BIG running shorts I own. Unfortunately, Asics decided to make a change. See, the 2X short that used to fit a 48" waist was no good I guess. Now it's been "redesigned" and 2X now fits a 43" waist. I acually have 2 pair of the new design in my drawer. I was able to fit in them last Fall. But now I guess I have a ways to go before I can get back into them.

Fear not, though. I shall not be detoured.

By the way. I LOVE these little bags:

It's a hot one

DW decided to take off work today with me so we both slept in and layed around until about 8, talking and stuff. But no skipping workouts, right!!! That would be a waste since I'm not injured, not sick, not overly-fatigued, and frankly felling VERY good. So, I grabbed an apple and a bottle of water and headed down to Memorial Park. Yes, it costs a lot in fuel but let's face it. I like to run there and if that motivates me to run, like June says, it's worth it and I'm going to drive the 50 miles round trip to do it. Besides, I just recover a lot quicker and better after running on the soft surface. Plus, there's just something familar about the loop there at Memorial Park, something I can't place my finger on. And I need that familiarity right now, that routine. That's one of my first goals is to get all the way around that loop again and to get comfortable with a nice, easy 3 mile run.

Of course, the absolute #1 goal that trumps all other goals at this time is to get this weight off. I can't see myself setting any lofty running goals yet until I get a handle on this weight. So, as much as I'd like to start racing and training and such, I'm so far away from that now and I don't want to lose sight of my weight loss goals right now. Don't get me wrong. I'm going to be getting back to the racing scene as soon as possible but it's still way to early to start thinking about that.

The nice thing about losing weight is that your running improves very quickly. That's a double edged sword because you feel better and better but you still need to do the work of building up those bones, ligaments, tendons, and cartilage. So, I'm going to continue to plan my work and work my plan which the rest of this week calls for 2x10 minutes with at 3 minute brisk walk between reps and a 1.5 mile continuous run on Saturday. It seems so silly to call it a long run but that's what it is.

Anon: You're right about the gumbo. The thing with the gumbo was I knew when I ordered it what I was getting and given the small serving size, I was willing to accept it. The real complaint was the slather of butter I wasn't expecting to be dumped over my grilled fish. Like Tiggs said, I should ask more questions before ordering. All in all, you're right. I shouldn't expect anything else from a restaurant like Pappadeaux's. I'll steer clear of that one in the future for sure.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

What's wrong with you people?

Not you! I'm talking to the chefs and restaurant managers out there who insist on thwarting EVERY attempt I make to eat right. For the second time in a row, I've ordered what COULD have been a good, lowfat meal but when it came out, it was prepared without the health-conscious in mind.

I visited one of my favorite restaurants today, Papadeaux's, with my mom for lunch. I was going to be good, for sure. I ordered a cup of seafood gumbo and the lunch portion of grilled catfish. And I sub'd mixed vegetables for the dirty rice. Well, when the fish arrived, it was grilled alright. But it had about 2 tablespoons of garlic butter melted over the top of it. I didn't want to send it back so I "soaked" up all the butter with my napkin. The thing about it was the damage was done. The fish had soaked up much of the butter. Unbelieveable. A guy just can't catch a break. Anyway, the fish was scrumptious and I'm glad I didn't get the dinner portion with even MORE butter. I've got to learn to spell it out to the waitress. "I-M O-N A D-I-E-T!!! No butter. Nothing fried. Nothing with sugar. Only grilled. Got it?

Monday, July 14, 2008

Let the vacation begin!!!

I started day one of a well-deserved vacation with an early AM run at Memorial Park. Wanting to beat the traffic, I set the time on my alarm to 5 am. But I forgot one little detail and here's a helpful hint for all you runners in training out there. When you set your alarm, don't forget to also TURN IT ON! No, my alarm did not go off as planned but here's the good news, a sure sign I'm staying motivated a little over a week into living a healthy lifestyle. I woke up on my own at 5:50, checked my clock and immediately jumped up out of bed and out the door I went. I haven't been that motivated in a long time and frankly, now that I got up, got out, did my thing, and am back, I feel pretty good about it. I know it's a little thing but I feel like I accomplished something this morning. A little step but a step nonetheless.

Speaking of motivation, it is so motivating to me to see all the people out at Memorial Park. A lot of training groups, clubs, and even individual trainers out there working their peeps into a sweaty lumps of fatigued flesh. I'll never buy that stuff about Houston being the fattest city in the country.

So, two miles in the log book. I'm sticking with my 2x10 minutes of continuous running during the week. I hope to wean myself off of walk breaks withing the next week or two and get back to continuous running. I know. I know. There are a lot of proponents out there of the run/walk interval thing and I don't disagree with any of that. And maybe I've never given it a fair chance but the 3/1 or 5/1 or 10/1 thing has never been my cup of tea. I'm not ruling it out as a long term strategy though. I think it's great for losing weight because it can really extend your workouts. We'll see. I'm taking this a day at a time.


Sunday, July 13, 2008

Weigh-in 7/13

4.8 lbs. lost this week. An excellent start, well over my 2 lb. goal. Now, the challenge is staying consistent for another week. Goal for next week - 2 lbs.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Shopping trip

Daddy's had a bit of $$ burning a hole in his pocket for about a week now. So, I went on a shopping trip this morning. Should I be good? or BAAAAAAD!?!

Choice #1 (VERY BAAAAD!!!):

...but very GOOOOD!! I've been wanting this kayak for 3 years now but just have never had the money. Today may have been the day.

Choice #2 (Every Badder!!!):

Another item I've been wanting for a long time.

But, I settled on paying some bills off instead. But not before I splurged on a couple of small items for Daddy.


Guess that was the responsible thing to do. We'll get some bills paid and Daddy still feels like he got to splurge a little bit.

Good times this morning at Memorial Park. I got a late start but it was still bearable. It was good to see some familiar faces and to pound some familiar granite. Speaking of granite, I just want to state what most everyone already knows but running on a softer surface, especially for a beginner and a heavy beginner at that, is so much easier on the knees and ankles that running on the concrete. I actually felt good after my run today and my joints have not been painful. I highly recommend when it is possible to run on softer surfaces.

I've been doing all time-based workouts since I started back. Had I known that I was .04 miles away from 2 miles, I sure would have gone for another half a minute or so. But as it is, I did just shy of 2 miles. Still at 2x10 minutes with a 3 minute brisk walk between reps. 5 minute brisk walk warmup and cooldown makes for a good half-hour workout.

I continue to eat well. I've been going strong now for 8 days straight with no hiccups. Well, at least making the effort. I slipped slightly this afternoon but had the best intentions. DW and I wanted to try out a new restaraunt that opened here in Cypress, something-something-Grill. I don't remember the name. I ordered grilled pork chops with a dinner salad and black-eyed peas. Well, when they brought the chops out, they were garnished with melted butter and garlic poured right over the top. And the black-eyed peas were obviously cooked the way they're supposed to be, with a generous ham hock and diced pieces of bacon. Wow!!! I almost sent it back. But I put the chops on another plate and actually blotted them with some extra napkins we got from the waitress. I downed the side of black-eyed peas. No harm done. Besides, this was a late lunch/early dinner so I'll probably just do a smoothie or a salad tonight, something lite.

Tomorrow is weigh-in. I think I'm down 4 or 5 pounds on the week. I hope so. May be more than that. We'll see in the morning.


Thursday, July 10, 2008

On a roll!

Good, healthy lifestyle for going on a week now. A little bit of exercise. A lot of watching what I eat. I'm feeling positive and motivated and it's showing on the scale. It's going to be a good weigh in on Sunday. I think I'm going to CRUSH my weekly weight loss goal of 2 lbs. Ah, the early days of a diet. They are sweet!!!

I got out to run tonight even though I was on call. I took a chance and carried my pager with me. I made it through the workout without being paged. I was feeling pretty good tonight so I skipped the 5 minute interval which was what I had worked up to and skipped ahead to 2x10 minutes of continuous jogging, which I had planned for Saturday. So, I jumped the gun a bit in the schedule but I made it and I feel fine. Give me a few more weeks and I'll be back to running continuous miles at a time (1 or 2 to start of course).

I'm taking off work next week. It's the first day off I've had in over a year and I'm taking 5 or 'em. Not much special planned. I hope to get some running in but not too much. I'm getting a massage on Tuesday. It was a Christmas present that I haven't used since I got it in December. Other than that, I'll probably just end up doing a lot of taxi service, running the kids here and there. I hope to get the kids down to the beach one day. Maybe up to Huntsville another day. Just taking it easy, trying not to think of work 24/7.


Monday, July 07, 2008

Can I just say...?

I've been doing a lot of dwelling today. Even tonight during my workout, I dwelt on the obvious...

I used to weigh 285 lbs. Now I weigh 340. I used to run 3 miles as a WARMUP. Now I can't run 2. I used to be able to go into Luke's Locker and find shorts and shirts that fit me. Now, I can't wear running shorts 'cause they're too small. Last Fall, I broke 10 minutes in a mile time trial. Can't do that now. I used to be able to go up 5 flights of stairs at the parking garage at work without even breathing heavy. Now, I'm doubled over by the time I reach the top. I used to be flexible. Now, I can barely touch my toes. I used to inspire people. Now, I'm an embarrassment.

OK, I just had to get the last of that CRAP out of my system!!! That's it. I'm done with the negativity. Seriously!!! No more looking back. Only looking forward!!! The only looking back now is to remind me that possibilities can become realities if I just do the work, make the right choices, be consistent. I CAN!!! (God, give me strength, please.)

FYI, another good day today. One bad thing...I skipped breakfast. But you know, if skipping a meal is the worst slip up I have all day, I'm in good shape. I'm up to 3 intervals of 5 minutes continuous running with a 3 minute brisk walk in between, all preceded and followed by a 5 minute brisk walk. All in all, a little less than 2 miles in about 30 minutes. I definitely feel like I"m making progress. Not 2 or 3 weeks ago, 90 seconds of continuous jogging was all I could muster at a time. I know it's real progress because I've been down this road before. This exact road. The difference now is I know what's ahead. There's a lot of uncertainty to anyone who is trying to do a 180 and live a healthy lifestyle. I have the fortune to have been there before. And it wasn't so long ago that it's still not vivid in my mind. I'm liking this start. I'm liking how I"m starting to feel just after a short period of time. Still, I have a long way to go.

Staying POSITIVE!!!

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Breaking Old Habits

No, I haven't been running 25 miles/week. I haven't been setting any PR's lately. I haven't put more than a small dent in the weight I've gained over the last 8 months. What I have been doing is trying, trying, trying to break old habits. Habits like every time I go to the store for something, also getting a candy bar, or two. Habits like dwelling on work 24 hours a day/7 days a week. Habits like raiding the refrigerator between meals. Habits like checking my work e-mail all day long and responding to every question immediately. And working on my single worst habit of all. SAYING I'LL START MY DIET TOMORROW!!! SAYING I'LL START RUNNING NEXT WEEK!!!

I've had some small victories this week, particularly the last couple of days. One, we had our famous family July 4 Bar-B-Q yesterday, complete with brisket, sausage, ribs, potato salad, mom's homemade mac-and-cheese, chicken and dumplings, chocolate cake, and ice cream. Quite a menu, huh? This is how I grew up. This is how my family ALWAYS eats. And it may sound gross to folks used to a "normal" diet but I LOVE this stuff. Of course, it's best followed by a late afternoon nap followed by a repeat on the chocolate cake. Well, It was painstakingly difficult but I made my own meal and ate it before the good stuff was served. I wanted to get stuffed so that there would be no temptation at all. So, I blackened 3 tilapia filets in the grill pan and steamed a big Zip-n-steam bag full of fresh veggies with salt and pepper only. Zuchinni squash, yellow squash, onion, bell pepper, broccoli all steamed to perfection. It was about 3 or 4 cups of veggies by the time it was all said and done and I ate every bit and the fish was scrumptious. Mission accomplished. I just watched everyone else eat and never craved anything. And fortunately, everybody took home the leftovers so I'm not staring at the goodies all weekend.

And there were two victories in one day. I was going to Walgreen's to get a bag of ice before the celebration yesterday. I guess I fell asleep in the store or maybe I was in some sort of daze but I awoke to find myself on the candy isle, staring at a box of Reese's Big Cups. I actually had the candy in my hand and was reaching for a second for the short trip home. But I fought old habits, threw the candy back on the shelf, and ran as fast as I could to the checkout with my ice and got the heck out of there.

Then today, I was faced with my mother of all old habits. I was out cruising with the fam and the subject of going out to eat came up. Someone mentioned Chili's and I immediately started thinking about a Smokehouse Bacon Triple-the-Cheese Big Mouth Burger with fries. I was thinking, heck, it's July 4th. I'll start my diet next week...start fresh with a new week. Then, I said as long as I'm starting next week, we may as well go to Natalia's for my favorite 3 beef enchiladas with a full order of guacamole salad. Mmmmmm!!! I acutally turned right and headed with the family in the direction of Natalia's. However, at the entrance to the freeway, I stayed on the feeder. The fam exclaimed, "WHERE YOU GOING, DAD?" I broke the news that plans had changed yet again and we were going with plan A and heading back to Chili's. I had the Guiltless Chicken Platter. 580 calories and I must say it was good. Not as good as the Big Mouth Burger but satisfying nonetheless. I ended the evening with a really good workout at Memorial Park. It was quite a nice evening.

To those that don't have an eating disorder and who are not habitual gluttons, it's hard to explain how intense the urge is to keep following the same old habits. I mean putting that Big Cup back took every bit of will power I could muster. And forgoing my favorite enchilada feast for some grilled chicken and veggies just...well, I frankly don't know how I pulled that one off. But you know, I remember a day not too long ago when my life was lived by a completely different set of habits. I remember a day when I just couldn't stand not to get my Saturday morning long run in. When I didn't check my e-mail at all when I wasn't in the office. When eating fresh fruit and veggies every day was a must. When the only computer "work" I did on the weekend was blogging and reading running blogs. When I actually enjoyed drinking water all day instead of coffee.

So, I didn't break any records this week but to me, it was just as dramatic as a PR. I took a few small steps towards conquering those old habits.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

It's downright nice out

I must say that the last couple of mornings have been almost pleasant. Good week to start exercising.

This will be short and sweet. I did some walking this morning. DW isn't helping things much as she made my favorite chicken and dumplings for lunch. It was the the 6 year old's birthday party so the family came over for lunch and I wasn't prepared. Next time, I need to plan ahead and make something healthy for myself to eat while everyone else eats what they eat.


Saturday, June 21, 2008

I see the light!

Well, I spent some time this afternoon reading through old blog posts. I started at the beginning. The first blog post. That was almost 3 years ago. With just an ounce of character and a little stick-to-it-ed-ness, I surely wouldn't find myself sitting here today in just as bad a shape as I was when I started running in 2004. I'm afraid this is my last chance. My last chance to get this done...Once and for all! If I don't go all the way this time, I'm not sure I ever will.

So, my project at work is over. It'll be official Tuesday or Wednesday this week. It has been quite a ride. So, this week starts my new life. It's gonna be wierd having 4-8 extra hours in a day to do the things I need to do, the things I should have been doing this past year, the things I have to do. This weekend's been a good start. I got up and ran this morning and had a good breakfast. I'm still very tired from the past month or two. I think it's going to take a bit of a recovery period before I'm back in balance.

That's all for now. See you at the track.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Holy crap! When will it end

I just finished a 90 hour work week. Now, today, I'm going on 13 hours. It's stopping tomorrow. No more putting out fires. If it ain't getting done in a 10 hour shift, it ain't getting done.

I promise. I'll be back real soon.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

The last mile

I'm down to the final mile of the marathon that is Pathnet Millennium, the project I've been working on for 25.2 miles, uh, I'm mean 2 years. Although I take full responsibility for my weight gain and fall into the abyss of an unhealthy lifestyle, this job, this project has taken its toll on my life. It's worn me down. It's caused me to lose focus on what's important. And I'm basically a stress eater. Let's face it. Plain and simple, I have an eating disorder. And the stress from this project has been HUGE. Now, I guess, I'M HUGE!!! :) But it's all coming to an end. In 4 days, we are flipping the switch and we'll be LIVE. Although it's been hard and my team has sacrificed much, I'm very proud of what we have accomplished. This was one of those projects where all along the way, THEY said it couldn't be done. Right up until just recently, all you could hear were the nay-sayers. Well, we shut them up and now all they can do is stand there in disbelief that we did anyway.

Now that's two things in my life that I can look back on and say to myself, "I can do ANYTHING I set my mind to." Actually, I don't care too much for that statement at all. I know that that I can accomplish nothing without faith and family and friends. I guess it's like a lot of things in life. The initial decision, sometimes the hardest part, is very personal. Only I can make the decision to change my life and to follow a healthy lifestyle. But once that decision is made in earnest, it's only through prayer and the support of friends and family that I can accomplish my goals. Heck, I may even need some PROFESSIONAL HELP!!! Where are you Catherine?

So, I've been consistent and stuck with the plan this week. I "ran" Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. Tuesday was rest. Now, finding time today to get my exercise in is going to be a challenge but I MUST get through this first week on plan. I need a small victory right now.

My absolute only goal at this point is to lose this weight. Needless to say, I'm not looking at any running or racing goals right now. I did register for Houston back in January but I'm not stupid y'all. I do have a little bit of running experience, you know. I've run the numbers though and it's not unrealistic to be down to 275-280 by January. So my registration wouldn't be a waste of money, maybe by then I could walk/jog the half. Can you switch from the full to the 5K? Do they give massages to the 5K'ers? Anywho, let me now set my goals too hastily. I need to be realistic and thoughtful about this and not set myself up for failure. It took 8 months to get in this bad a shape. It's gonna take at least that just to pick up where I left off in October. Then there's a bunch of work after that so I've got to be in this for the long haul.

Speaking of the support of friends, thanks for the very, very encouraging words on that last post. I figured since I had fallen off the face of the blog world, I wouldn't get any readers at all. Anyway, thanks friends for the thoughts and prayers and support.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Staring at the screen

I'm sitting here staring at the computer screen, feeling very uncomfortable. It's funny because that's what I do for a living, stare at computer screens. But this screen is different. With this screen right now, on this web site, in this text box, I have a connection. It's a connection to a different lifestyle, to friends that I love, to a sport that not so long ago brought me joy and pain and health and strength and camaraderie. It's a connection, needless to say, that I've lost somehow, some way. And now, right this minute, I want so badly to re-connect. But some strange, ugly part of me that I hate keeps telling me to stay disconnected. I don't understand it. It's not what I want to do but I keep doing it anyway. The specter of embarrassment and failure and foolish pride wants me to stop right now and click that little X up in the corner like I've done so many times before. But I can't keep doing that. Enough is enough. I'm back at the end of myself and I can't stand it anymore. I think I'm finally to the point where I hate what I have become more than I hate the embarassment and hard work it's going to take to get back to where I was.

So, I think I know how I got here. As a matter of fact, I'm absolutely sure of it. It's GLUTTONY!!! I'm a glutton. I am plainly and simply a person "who over-indulges in and over-consumes food, drink, or intoxicants to the point of waste." [Wikipedia] I think I'm realizing that blaming it on being busy or on working too much or on anything else is just rationalizing. I am a glutton. Ah, confession IS good for the soul.

On to the updates. Well, here's the embarassing part. I've gained 50 pounds since the half marathon back in October. Yes, you read right. 50 POUNDS!!! I'm up just over 340. So, of the 80 pounds I lost, I'm back up 50. If I don't do something now, I'm going to be back at my all time high water mark of 370 and I think I'd have to jump off a cliff if that happened. Just kidding. And running, well here are my monthly totals this year:

...and November/December were just as dismal. It's like after the best race of my life, I just checked out. Anywho, vivid memories of those days still fill my mind and I have that to hold on to and motivate me.

Some of you may have heard a rumor that at the age of 41, I was going to be a new father. Yes, DW and I had a little surprise come into our life and for a while, it looked like major life changes were in store for us. But I'm sad to say that some weeks ago, DW miscarried and we lost the baby. It's been very difficult to deal with as we had no problems whatsoever with our other three children. It never occured to us that this would happen so it was a shock. But we're getting through it a day at a time. Of course, it's much more traumatic for a woman to go through all that. But DW is strong. She's coping well.

The project I've been working on at work is coming to a close. We are "going live" next weekend, followed by 3 weeks of hardcore 24/7 support. I was looking at my calendar and realized that I have not taken a day off from work in over a year. That is ridiculous. You can bet I'm making up for that starting in July. The good thing about this project is that no matter what EVER comes our way, no project will every be as demanding and as tough as this one has been. It kind of reminds me of the marathon. Once you've done one, you know there's nothing you can't do and everything else seems easy compared to that.

Finally, let me log my workout today. I almost said "log my miles" but I'm not quite up to the "miles" thing yet. Soon, enough, right?

Venue: Fairfield lakes and neighborhood
Workout: 5 min walk (warmup), 8x60/90 (jog/walk), 5 min walk (cooldown)
Total distance: 1.9 miles
Average pace(including walking): 18:07

Congratulations to Bill on his comeback and on his return to racing at the Astros RftP. And thanks for checking in Pony. You're the one that got me thinking about all this. This time is for real. IT HAS TO BE!!!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

In the Saddle

Well, I don't know how many times I'm going to "start over." Tell you what! This will be the last time, ok?

I got out and did three miles this morning. What a beautiful morning for a run. A beautiful morning for racing too. Looks like June and Steve NAILED the Park to Park. Anywhooo!!! I ran a good loop this morning and feel great. I know I can't be where I was so I'm not at all hung up on running as fast as I was last October. But you know, that's one thing that motivates me is remembering the Fall and where I was, where I was headed. I really, really want that back.

So, put me down for 3 miles in about 41 minutes, just like the good old days. :)


Thursday, January 03, 2008

Just in case...

In case, 10 years from now, I go back to see what I was thinking about, what was my focus, my inspiration going into new year, 2007...

I get kissed by the sun each morning
Put my feet on a hardwood floor
I get to hear my children laughing
Down the hall through the bedroom door
Sometimes I sit on my front porch swing
Just soaking up the day
I think to myself, I think to myself
This world is a beautiful place.

I have been blessed
And I feel like I’ve found my way.
I thank God for all I’ve been given
At the end of every day.
I have been blessed
With so much more than I deserve
To be here with the ones that love me
To love them so much it hurts
I have been blessed

Across a crowded room,
I know you know what I’m thinking
By the way I look at you.
And when we’re lying in the quiet and
No words have to be said
I think to myself, I think to myself
This love is a beautiful gift.

I have been blessed
And I feel like I’ve found my way.
I thank God for all I’ve been given
At the end of every day.
I have been blessed
With so much more than I deserve
To be here with the ones that love me
To love them so much it hurts
I have been blessed

When I’m singing my kids to sleep
When I feel you holding me
I know...

I have been blessed
And I feel like I’ve found my way.
I thank God for all I’ve been given
At the end of every day.
I have been blessed
With so much more than I deserve
To be here with the ones that love me
To love them so much it hurts
I have been blessed