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.