2015 Week 16 Weigh-In & Marathon Madness!

On the surface it looks like I dropped 6.8 lbs from last week and have my 6th straight weekly drop now totalling 24.8 lbs.

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I’d like to offer a little transparency here regarding weight fluctuation.

  • 4/09 8:19 am – 254.8 – Week 15 Weigh-In
  • 4/10 7:53 a.m – 254.0
  • 4/12 5:08 pm – 248.2
  • 4/13 6:55 am – 249.2
  • 4/14 7:56 am – 249.2
  • 4/15 6:04 am – 250.8
  • 4/16 10:09 pm – 248.0 – Week 16 Weigh In
  • 4/17 8:30 am – 250.0
  • 4/19 6:38 am – 255.2
  • 4/21 6:51 am – 257.2

Those weigh-ins are from my Week 15 weigh in on 4/9 through this mornings 4/21 weigh in, the day I’m writing this blog.  Between this blog and the half dozen diet bets I’m in it’s become a bit of a habit to weigh myself nearly daily and I take a quick snapshot with my phone camera which is how I know the dates and times of each weigh in.

This past Thursday’s 4/16 weigh in was a bit abnormal.  I’d planned on leaving St Louis for Iowa around noon on the 15th after getting some work done on my car.  Car work took longer than expected and wasn’t done until 5 p.m. – I still had errands to run and didn’t make it up to Iowa until after midnight on the 16th.  The lovely Days Inn I was originally going to stay at cancelled my reservations without telling me and it was about 5 a.m. before I was finally settled into a new hotel.  I managed to knock out a 5K run that day before my reviews started at 5 p.m. but, reviews were cancelled so I headed down to the riverfront, pulled my bike out of my trunk and biked 22km before heading back to my hotel.  I hadn’t eaten since early that morning so between the 27km of biking and running I got a nifty 248 lb weigh in.

My recent uptick in weight to 257.2 is kind of interesting.  Fridays reviews went until 10 p.m. and the weekend reviews on Sat & Sun ran from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. – just a whole lot of sitting….  I played hookey Sat morning to sneak in a 10K over in Iowa City but still managed to get back for the last 8 hours of reviews that day.

Today was my 12th DietBet weigh-in and I only needed a weight below 258.7 which I got with my 257.2 weigh in so I’m now at 12 straight wins.  Other than my final two weekly Thursday weigh ins or this blog, I have a 13th dietbet weigh in pending for Thursday, April 30th and need to weigh no more than 252.8 and that objective will help keep things in check and not too relaxed this week.

Regardless of how the last 10 days of this month play out I’m pretty much guaranteed an average weight (as shown in the table at the top of my Running Log tab) somewhere in the mid to low 250s.  Which means I will be well poised to have an average weight in the 240s for the month of May.

From January, the data in my table shows a 6 lb drop in Feb and another 6lb drop in March.  So far this month I’m down about 12lbs from last months average and the big difference is the inclusion of races.  Since 3/14 I’ve ran in two 5K’s, one 5 mile run, two 10K’s and two half marathons.

For May, I’m currently registered for two 5Ks, one half marathon and one Full Marathon.  I’ve toyed with the idea of changing the half to a full which would give me two full mary’s in a weeks time and that would qualify me to become a Marathon Maniac as well as a Double Agent for being both a Maniac and a Half Fanatic….

The best analogy I have in my head for covering a single 26.2 mile full marathon is Columbus crossing the ocean in wooden boats or man going to the moon with 45 year old computer technology.  In either case, each had just enough resources to get the job done but not much extra.

2015-05-16 IG

This is a beautiful looking course up in Ottawa, Illinois – close to Chicago.  I’m already signed up for the full and will have a “back of the pack” pacer and hopefully as many other people as possible tackling the full.

Contrast that full mary run with the Moonlight Marathon held from 6 p.m. Saturday May 9th through 1 a.m. May 10th in a cemetery where President Lincoln is buried in Springfield, Illinois….

USATF Moonight Marathon Route

…quite a difference.

I only have 2 full marathons under my belt – from ’94 and ’04 so – flat out ignorance may be part of what gets me to attempt this – along with TS Eliot’s quote.

Moonlight Marathoners get to pick their own starting time (whoever finishes closest to midnight wins) and I can start as early as 6 p.m. (earlier if they let me) and have until 1 a.m. to finish the race – so, an average pace of 3.75 mph would accomplish the task.  The pace is not intimidating – the 26.2 miles is.

I’m thinking if I can get some 4 hour training walks in at 4 mph and maybe two 5 hour walks also at 4 mph then maybe maintaining a slightly slower pace for an entire 26.2 would be feasible –

My mind thinks a lot about the muscle breakdown and recovery necessary for completing two full marathons in a week at my level of fitness.  Rhabdomyolysis comes to mind, heck, even troponin levels come to mind even though troponin is usually a marker tested soon after a person has a heart attack.

Two 10 miles and a 10K – that’s a marathon.  I should be completing at least one of those in May.  If nothing else, I should definitely be able to have an average weight in the 240s for the month of May – i don’t know the last time I’ve had a month in that weight range so, it will be a milestone type of accomplishment :)

 

15th Annual GO! St Louis Half Marathon Review

Ever since I ran my first 10K in the Summer of ’94 then my first full marathon a few months later every downtown St Louis 1/2 marathon followed essentially the same routes.  This year was a welcomed departure from the norm turned this course into one of my all time favorites.

2015-course-map

The course started from it’s usual location on Market Street but instead of starting out by heading South towards the Anheuser Busch brewery, it went East, straight towards the first of two bridges which were to be crossed.  Shortly after the the first mile marker began the “race within a race”  the 3.5 mile Bridge Run which had it’s own starting and finishing strips to time runners.

During the first mile this giant flag was hanging a little too low, and unless you were 4 ft tall or less, you were bound to run into it.

During the first mile this giant flag was hanging a little too low, and unless you were 4 ft tall or less, you were bound to run into it.

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A little low but at least it wasn’t hitting the ground.

With overcast skies at the beginning of the race we didn’t get to see the sunrise until the start of our first bridge, Eads Bridge which was had it’s initial construction way back in February of 1868 and first opened to the public on July 4th, 1874.  I never realized how long this bridge was until running over the whole thing but the beautiful sunrise kept us all company.

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another view of the Eads bridge (picture via Wikipedia)

After exiting the Eads Bridge on the Illinois side of the river we made our way over to the Martin Luther King bridge via Collinsville Ave in East St Louis.  I’m not sure how many runners realized this but, along the right side of the road we got to pass the Majestic Theatre.  About 20 months ago, I did a little research and expose’ on the Majestic Theatre after taking a snapshot of the building from the highway and being curious about it.  At a cost of $1 million the Majestic opened in 1928, had seating for over 1,800 people and a 3 tier balcony.  Up until it closed it’s doors in 1960, it was known as the brightest spot in Illinois owing to an illuminated marquee which contained over 3,000 bulbs of various colors and a chasing border surrounded by neon lights.

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The run back into Missouri via the Martin Luther King (MLK) bridge offered some fantastic skyline views of the city of St Louis.  If the GO! St Louis race directors keep this same route and you’ve never been to St Louis before, I would highly recommend this run as a great way to see the city for the first time.

St Louis skyline.  Note the long stream of runners heading into the MLK Bridge

St Louis skyline. Note the long stream of runners on the right heading into the MLK Bridge

As we got closer to the MLK bridge the skyline, the gateway Arch and the Eads bridge we had crossed to get into Illinois provided some more nice views.  In the picture below, you may be able to notice the coast guard in the Mississippi river but there was also a helicopter overhead as well as a drone by the MLK bridge.

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After getting back into St Louis city, we quickly found ourselves at Miles 5 and 6 – the race was nearly half over.  From mile 7 to about mile 12.5 was really cool.  That 5.5 mile stretch was out and back to the Anheuser Busch brewery and it was enough distance that I was able to see my brother on his way to the finish around the 11 mile marker (his side of the road)  It was really fun.  The brewery had one of it’s signature clydesdales horses out for photo ops.

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After hitting mile 12 and turning back on Market St I kept looking for that 13 mile marker ….I think that marker should be about 40 feet tall and in neon lights personally….. after a couple more turns and going one block north it finally emerged.

This was a great race for me.  I hit my sub 3 hr time goal last week at the LPHM and I was just looking to emulate that time but with less pain.  Mission accomplished.  This was one of the easiest half marathons I’d ever done.  I had about 95% less pain then the week before and even shaved about 5 min 30 sec off my time from last week.

Out of the 6,253 half marathon runners, about 28% of them finished between 1 and 2 hours.  63% finished between 2 and 3 hours and the remaining 9% finished in greater than 3 hours and I was just fine being amongst the majority of runners.

A big hat’s off to my brother who was among the 28% who finished under 2 hours.  His final time was 1 hour, 59 minutes and 45 seconds :)

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Brother’s Scott & Troy :)

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2015 Week 15 Weigh-In – The Downward Spiral Continues

This is the 5th week in a row of weight drops which now total 18 lbs or about 3.6 lbs per week.  The running has certainly made a difference.  My average weight for this month is now at 256.8 which is nearly 10 lbs less than last month’s March average weight of 266 lbs.

2015 Wallpaper 02 half - 2015

I did add a couple pictures to my laptop wallpaper (that I intend on buying) from the LPHM (Lincoln Presidential Half Marathon) and one from the Bridge & Dam 10K which I really liked.  Once I buy those pictures I may share in a future blog when I have the original digital copies.  The prices for the Bridge & Dam pictures are phenomenal and start at only 89 cents for 4×6 copies and I’ve already emailed the photographer about digital copies and she said she would add those for free once she gets my order.

I haven’t blogged much about my runs and I’ve completed 5 so far this year.  My first two runs were pretty lackluster – not much better than anything I did last year but that Bridge & Dam 10K at the Ozarks seemed to be a bit of a game changer.

PURE – that’s the word I think of with that run.  It was the kind of experience that helped me to fall in love with running all over again.  The fact that I was able to do it non-stop was amazing for me and when I talk about Pure, I mean the run was all about running.  There are a lot of races which ….how do I put this …they seem to have a keen slant towards entertainment which would not be pure.  The Rock & Roll events can be a great deal of fun but, having cheerleaders, pom pom girls and marching bands from every high school in a 60 mile radius of the run doesn’t have a lot to do with running.  From what I understand those 5K “color runs” aren’t even timed events, just people who end up with a bunch of color on their white shirts by the time the event is over.

At the B&D 10K there were 4 or 5 cars on the shoulder of the road right after the 5K turn around point where kids held signs cheering for their Mom or Dad and a few other places had some single individuals sitting out front on a lawn chair enjoying the spectacle but, that was it – the whole thing was about running.

The LPHM was very different also.  That run actually has pacers for times like 2:45 and 3:00.  Last year, I tried staying with the 3 hour pacers but, around mile 10 – a long, unforgiving uphill stretch of road, those pacers became like specks and eventually disappeared from my vision because I couldn’t keep up with them.  This year, there were three different sets of 3 hour pacers each with different run/walk strategies.  The lady I picked had the slowest running pace and probably the shortest walking time but, I figured I had my best chance to stay with her.  It totally worked.  There was one point, maybe 8 miles in when the 3hr pace groups got ahead of me by about 20 feet but, I caught back up to them and around mile 9.5 broke away from them and never looked back.  I finished about 4 minutes ahead of those groups.

The 15th Annual GO! St Louis Half Marathon is 3 days away and I’m hoping to come in under 3 hours again and I would be thrilled if I could do it with a bit less pain :)  For this half there are a slew of pacers up to the 2 hr 30 minute mark and then no other pacers until the 3 hr 15 mark.  However, I have found some 6 hour pacers for the full marathon advertised so I’m going to search them out on the day of the race figuring they will need to hit the 13.1 mile mark around 3 hours.

The course for the GO! half mary is pretty cool.  The full marathon runners don’t break away from the half mary runners until mile 13 so I will at least have the opportunity to stick with them for the entire half.  At the point in the race where I turn right and finish my race – those others will keep heading straight out and back for another 13.1 miles.

I’ll never forget my 2nd full marathon in 2004 when I came to that point where half mary runners turned to finish and weirdos like me ….for whatever reason, had decided to keep going straight.  I actually ran across my times for that 2004 full marathon.  I’ve always referred to that as my walking full mary but, I did maintain a pace of 13:04 which, was actually 25 seconds faster than my average pace for this past weekend’s Lincoln Half marathon but, that last full mary was a bit over 10 years ago and I suppose I have some more work to do in order to overcome those additional 10 years of abuse that I’ve hoisted upon myself ;)

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I wish I could get my stats for the first full mary I ran back in 1994 and I have a tendency to email and ask every race director I can find if they know of anyplace with those records but, no luck so far.  That’s the race where I tell everyone I finished in about 4:30 when it was probably closer to 4:40 – either way, it was a 10:xx pace, something in the lower 10 min/mile pace.

This year has been very different regarding the running.  There are far fewer psychological games I need to play in order to move my legs.  And, even though I ran for about an hour and a half in the B&D 10K non-stop, in my mind it seems like the base for my running would now be the adage, I can run 4 minutes, as opposed to the name of this blog, I can run a minute.  But, there is a lot you can do with being able to consistently run 4 minutes straight anytime you want.  We can push that to completing a half in under 3 hours or even run a 10K nonstop.

I still have nearly 5 lbs I have to drop between now and the middle of next week in order to win two 1 month DietBets which I joined halfway through the games thus only giving myself two weeks to accomplish the 4% weight drop.

There’s so much people don’t understand about weight.  What I’ll be looking to see next week will be a preview of coming attractions.  I might get to see a 249.8 or maybe a few 10ths of a pound less.  The 3500 calorie bean counters always love to do the math, as if any instantaneous snapshot of weight has a high degree of significance.  But, I have to admit that people are a lot nicer on the DietBet website than anything I had to endure when I was on facebook where many of the messages and comments were pretty much like hate mail.

There was a time when the HCG diets were popular so many people accused me of injecting myself with that female pregnancy hormone – what a joke.  If anyone knows anything about that particular diet then they would also know it includes a diet plan of eating around 500 calories per day.  I could drink magical water and lose weight rapidly if I was only taking in 500 calories per day.

The fact is, I can lose weight on 2600-2800 calories per day and maintain in the 2800 to 3200 range.  You just don’t build up a body capable of bench pressing over 500 pounds without retaining a bit of muscle mass – one of the basis for our resting metabolic rate.  So, even without exercise and a sub 1,000 calorie per day diet there’s still a couple thousand calorie per day deficit – add in things like a 22k bike ride or a couple half marathons and that deficit goes through the roof.

and…as I’ve alluded to there are previews and there are actual weights.  I’d say most people don’t know the difference.  I may have to elucidate on this concept in an upcoming blog.  I’ve learned it’s not super easy to explain.

There are a series of weekly Wednesday night races put on by the St Louis Track Club – 12 of them and I think I’ll be able to make almost all of them.  They start June 3rd and the distances range from 3K (1.86 miles) to 4.2 Miles and the best part – they only cost $1.00 per run!  Now we’re talking!   :)

The runs are called the Summer Pace Series.  You predict your finish time, run without a watch then see how close you get to your predicted time.   Should be fun.

We have had some torrential rain in the area so my Metric Half Century bike ride may have to take place next Tuesday (allowing a days rest after the upcoming 1/2 mary)  I think a bit of carbs and adequate water while being careful with what I eat should help provide some really nice looking previews of coming attractions in terms of weight.  I’m looking at a low weight on the 14th/15th, a bit higher on the 16th for my next weekly weigh-in.  There is a DB weigh in on the 21st – only need a 258.7 so that’s kind of a joke but then my April 30th weigh in will need a 252.8 so that will help keep my efforts true. …a few 5k runs then my third half mary on May 9th back in Springfield, IL….I don’t have any weights listed in my Calendar for May.  I’ll have to get on that but, I am looking for an average weight in the 240s for the month of May.  A good preview 5-6 days from now should help ensure that.

2015 Week 14 Weigh-In, Down 16lbs in 4 Weeks

After my Week 10 weigh in of 272.8lbs I’ve steadily shrunk away at the rate of about 4 lbs per week to this week’s weight of 256.8 lbs.

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One big difference after week 10 was an uptick in my running mileage.  I finished out the month of March with 54 miles and the 2nd half of the month included 4 races which include a 5 mile run, two 5K’s and a 10K.  The intensity of races is usually a bit more than simply training so I believed that helped also.

Earlier this week, I decided to challenge myself a bit more and signed up for two 1-month diet bets that were already about 2 weeks in progress.  Those bets have me starting at ~260 and I’ll need to be down to 250 by April 15th.

I’ve got three things in mind to help me accomplish this feat – two half marathons and a Metric Half Century bike ride.  That was another thing, in addition to the running I’ve gotten in two bike rides so far, one 14k and one 22k (about 13miles)  50 km would be about 31 miles and I’m planning on doing that this coming Wednesday while my car is being worked on.

For the runs, I’ve got the Lincoln Presidential Half Marathon tomorrow in Springfield, IL and the GO! St Louis Half Marathon the following weekend.

Overall, I’m looking to have an average weight in the 250s for the month of April then I’ll be shooting for an average weight in the 240s in May and by the end of May I should have one of my beginning of the year goals met which is to weigh in the low 240s.

After my final weigh-ins around April 24th, I’ll get a bit of a reprieve with my diet bets because I only need a weigh in of 258.7 on the 21st and then a 252.8 weigh in on the 30th of the month which will help keep things in check.  That’s one thing I really love about these diet bets, the ability to rotate the intensity and discipline needed.

Getting down into the 240s is going to be a pretty big milestone for me.  Out of 52 weigh-ins last year, I only touched the 240s twice and never had a month with weight that averaged in the 240s.  So, I want to bust my butt in the next couple weeks and maybe get a sneak preview of the 240s – anything just below 250 for my April 14th weigh ins will be a treat – overall goal this month is average weight in the 250s then May should really rock with an entire month in the 240s :)

As far as diet is concerned, I can be pretty strict and – if I had to give a name to my diet – I would call it; The Feeling Diet.

The Feeling Diet
It’s a pretty simple concept.  If I’m feeling full, I gain weight and If I’m feeling hungry, I’ll lose weight.  And it usually works out that way.

VLCD – VLCD is a term commonly found in medical literature.  It stands for Very Low Calorie Diet.  It’s not uncommon to hear people quip to be careful and you’ll end up losing muscle mass and that’s the basis for your resting metabolic rate …yada, yada, yada

Well, the percentage of fat loss by an individual using a VLCD approach really varies depending upon the individual and probably the greatest factor is the amount of fat a person has to lose in the first place.  I wish I had this study readily bookmarked, I know I’ve mentioned it in an email before but, basically, this study from pubmed cited a 77% loss of fat in VLCD participants.  That’s kind of huge and noteworthy.  That number is an average.  A person with say, a BMI at 50 or above may easily be losing a rate of fat well in the 80% range while someone with a BMI in the low 20s is probably asking for trouble.

So, a huge calorie expenditure and very nutritionally dense eating and …not freaking out if I’m hungry.  Sometimes I’ll take the smokers approach about just putting off that next smoke – even if just for 10 or 20 minutes because sometimes that’s all you need to get past the craving.  It can work the same way with food – sometimes – not all the times.

If you use MyFitnessPal, you can break the days up into eight 4-hour time slots starting at midnight, then just log the food in the appropriate time slot.  I didn’t make up the notion of Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner nor did anybody reading this so why is it something we necessarily need to adhere to?  we don’t.  eat when you’re hungry – really hungry and not for any other reason.

Sometimes, you might just want to push off eating until the next 4 hour time slot.

That’s about it – I might miss one weekend when I’m out of town on business but, I’ll be taking my bike and shoes along and …when I get back, I’ll be hitting it with a vengeance and am looking at 3 races in 24 hours for the 25th & 26th of April.  Two 5Ks on Saturday and my first duathlon on Sunday.  I’m not sure I would do all that on my own.  I like to sleep.  I like to sleep in.  I like to have my morning coffee and lounge :)

Currently, I’m registered for 3 more runs in May including another Half Marathon and pondering a biathlon.  I figure I’ll just keep this up until things are the way I want them :)

Also joined the St Louis Track Club and a neat thing about that organization is they have a fun little competition where you can earn points for every mile you race.  I’m starting a little late with that but, like the dietbets, anytime I can turn something into a game, it seems to help have fun with the whole process and also increases awareness.

ha! :)  just got an email reply from a race director and i’m able to get in a 3.5 mile race this Sunday :)

At this rate …I’ll be ready for my reprieve in two weeks!  :)

 

 

2015 Week 13 Weigh In

Today I weighed in at 260.2 which is exactly what I need to weigh this Saturday to win my next DietBet Challenge.  Pretty cool :)  I’ve actually dipped down into the upper 250s so, I’m well on my way to hitting my previously set goal for this year of being down into the low 240s.

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It’s kind of crazy, from the first weigh in of the month when I went up a bit and hit 272.8 I ended up dropping 14 pounds over the next 18 days.

The one month DietBets where we’re supposed to lose 4% of our body weight have been interesting because the one “big money” game where we bet $100 only paid off a total of $108 but the smaller games that cost only $30 ended up paying off about $45 each – easy money.

Next week, I’m going to sign up for a third 6-month transformation DietBet where the goal is to lose 10% of your bodyweight in 6 months.  The breakdown of what we have to lose each month is really cool.  In order, the weight loss goals are 3%, 3%, 2%, 1%, 1%, 0% and as long as you hit your goals each month, you with money.

These 6 month challenges require a wager of $150 but, if you pay it all at once you can get in for only $125.  If you choose to pay monthly then you have the option of quitting at anytime and not paying any more money.  Half of the money bet goes towards the final jackpot while the other half is split evenly among the preceding 5 months or rounds.  Since I put in $125, half of that or $62.50 goes towards the final jackpot month while the rest is split up and $12.50 (1/5th of the remaining half) goes towards the first 5 months or rounds.

I’ve got one 6 month game, which is generally referred to as DB10 for DietBet 10%, that has completed two rounds so far.  In the first round I won $15.67 and there were 296 winners who each got that amount.  Just a tad over $3 profit on that round since I had $12.50 at stake.  Round 2, however, paid out $24.85 with 180 winners so I about doubled my money in that round.  Nothing huge but it sure is fun :)

weigh in progress

The Dashboard section of each game shows you exactly where you’re at and what you need to weigh at each checkpoint.  There’s also a neat graph which shows every time you weighed in.  I’ve never seen my weight on a graph before but, here it is for one game

weight chart

As things stand now, I’ve already touched on the weight I need to be at for next months jackpot – that round ends in 25 more days.

Anyway, on April 1st I’m going to join my 3rd DB10 game which runs from Apr 01 – Sept 30 and I want to weigh in at exactly 260 lbs so, i might have to eat up to that weigh a bit but I want 260 because that will give me a final weight in 6 months of exactly 234 lbs :) and I like how those numbers all go in order …. 2 – 3 – 4 :)  I’m funny that way.  :D

234lbs is also exactly about 10 lbs under the low 240s goal.  I’m comfy in the low 240s.  I have plenty of clothes to wear and don’t mind taking my shirt off to go swimming and stuff like that.  240 might seem like a heavier weight to some but, I still have a fair amount of muscle mass – I’m good with it.

The one thing that is pushing me is the running.  I really want to get better.  I want to be faster.  I want sub 10 minute per mile training times to be the norm again.  As a football lineman in high school I ran a 6:04 mile – we needed 6 or better to get an extra sticker on our helmet but, the goal of wanting to get under 6 minutes has never left my head.  I still believe it’s possible.  When I was a few weeks away from my first full marathon, I was able to maintain a pace better than 15 mph for a bit over 2/10ths of a mile.  I wanted to see what a Roger Bannister speed felt like.  If there’s anyone reading this who isn’t aware – Roger Bannister was the first person to ever run a sub 4 minute mile.

May 6, 1954 Roger Bannister Breaks the 4 minute barrier with a time of 3:59.4

May 6, 1954 Roger Bannister Breaks the 4 minute barrier with a time of 3:59.4

15 mph is the pace you need to run a 4 minute mile.  1 minute per quarter mile.  I remember conversations with friends about that quarter mile and the 60 second mark.  Sub 60 seconds would be super cool to hit.

This Saturday is the middle of a 5 week stretch of runs I have every weekend.  It’s an interesting mixture of runs I have going.  Two weeks ago was the 5 Mile St Patrick’s run in St Louis, last weekend was a 5K at a local University, this Saturday is the inaugural Bridge & Dam 10K at the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri then I’ll have back to back 1/2 marathons to cap off the 5 weeks.

Then there’s going to be a weekend break while I’m out of town on business but after that I’m very curious about a local Duathlon which consist of a 1.5 mile run, a 10 mile bike ride then another 1.5 mile run.  It’s perfect for beginners :)

The following week is another local 5K which is one of a three part series of local events.  The other two events are the local Tour de Belleville which I do almost every year anyway and the final event is a Gingerbread 5k sometime in December but, completing all three events qualifies people for a 2015 Belleville Triple Crown Athlete Medal – sounds kinda cool.

Right now, my current weight is below my average 2014 weight.  In April, I’m looking for my average weight for that month to be in the 250s and, probably by May, my average weight for this year will be below what I was at last year.  So, three little metrics to ponder and help keep the game fun & winning.

Exactly 1 year ago on 3/26/14 is when I kicked off my running for 2014 so I’ve been able to put in 61.5 miles of running so far this year which puts me well ahead of last year.  With this weekends 10K plus a simple 5k I’ll break 50 miles for the month.  I only had 4 months last year when I hit or exceeded 50 miles.  I’m really looking forward to seeing what the rest of this year brings in the running aspect of my life :)

Almost forgot to advertise!  :)  The other bets I was talking about in this blog are from DietBet.com but, i also have a big money kinda bet going on a site called Healthywage.com.  Below is what I can win from a $756 bet.  If you want to partake and add an extra $20 to my final prize to boot then just click on the picture below and a new window will pop open to let you place your own bet.  You pick what you want to weigh anywhere from 6 to 18 months in the future and can wager as little as $10 per month or more to reap some serious cash :D

Click on the Banner to get your share!

Click on the Banner to get your share!

2015 Week 12 Weigh-In

We’re down another 3.2 lbs from last week and down 8.8 lbs from two weeks ago but don’t begin to think that’s anything miraculous.

2015 Wallpaper 02 half - 2015

 

We need to keep in mind that my weight went up two weeks ago and the week before that I was at 267.6 so we could also say I’ve lost 3.6 lbs in the past 3 weeks.  It’s a perspective thing.  Too many people trying to lose weight are short-sighted – nearsighted or live in a constant state of myopia – they only see the short term and not the big picture.  Weight loss is not linear, it does not follow a straight line.  If we had an accurate enough scale, we could probably record weight changes by the second and certainly by the minute.  Hourly our weight will change, daily and certainly weekly.  I have my averages for each month in my Running Log tab and for March we’re at an average weight of 268lbs so I’m down 4 lbs from last month’s average.  As an instantaneous snapshot of weight, the 264.0 represents a weight that is less than my average for all of last year so, we’re moving in a good direction.  Current efforts which include the same kind of effort that was put out during the week when weight was gained are bearing fruit and should be maintained and continued.

In all these DietBet’s I’m in there isn’t a day that goes by where somebody isn’t lamenting the fact that “they gained a pound this week”  It’s like the 12 or 15 lbs they lost over the preceding 6 week’s no longer matters.  It’s a crappy way of thinking and an attitude that is detrimental to any long term plan of success.  That mental attitude and the psychology behind it is probably something that needs to be changed and worked on more than the diet and exercise aspects if any real success is going to be achieved.  Mentally fertilizing and growing the perceived failures while ignoring the success and what’s working only heightens the probability of quitting while diminishing the likelihood of continued, long term efforts.


 

Right now I’m 5 for 5 with my DietBet’s and only need a weight of 264.3 for this Saturday’s weigh in so it’s looking good for going 6 for 6.  The following week I’ll need to reach 260.2 in order to win my $100 monthly bet.

For now, I’m well ahead of the game compared to last year when I didn’t have a single recorded run until March 26th and, as of today, I’ve managed 18 runs totalling 52.5 miles.  We’ve got a local 5K coming up this Saturday and then the much awaited Bridge & Dam 10K the following week at the Lake of the Ozarks!


 

Some of my main current ponderings deal with the end of April and whether or not to partake in the Nashville Country Music Marathon on Saturday, April 25th.  There’s also a local 5K on the same day which would be much more financially friendly although not nearly as exciting or fun :)

The following day – on Sunday, April 26th is very interesting to me.  There’s a Duathlon consisting of a 1.5 mile run then a 10 mile bike ride then another 1.5 mile run.  The shorter distances make it ideal for a newbie like me.  I don’t recall ever doing a multiple sport event before.  I think it would be a neat challenge to knock out a half mary the day before in Nashville then get up the next morning to another event like the duathlon.  Right now, the local 5K doesn’t increase in price until the 10th of April so current thoughts are to make a more informed decision after the Lincoln Presidential Half on April 4th.

One amazingly cool run is the Moonlight 1/2 in Springfield, IL – it is entirely run in the 300+ acre cemetery where President Lincoln is buried.  If you’re running the full marathon then you start when you want and the winner is the person who finishes closest to midnight.  That might be a neat way to get in my 3rd full marathon since time isn’t much of an issue – just endurance.  No GPS or phones are allowed on the course and everyone wears a glowstick around their neck.

St Pat’s 5 Mile Run & Hot Water Analysis

St Pat Banner

I have a part time gig working at a pizza place where we make our own dough.  With each batch of dough we need 3 gallons of water at a specified temperature.  I suppose the math part of me comes out and I look at the water going in the bucket as the independent variable and the overall temperature of the water in the bucket as the dependent variable.  If the water in the bucket is 84 degrees and the water going in is 92 degrees then eventually the overall temperature of the water in the bucket will go up.

My current efforts as tracked on Nike+ are like the independent variables in my personal running equation and where I end up ranking in various runs is like my dependent variables.  Basically, where I’m ranking in my runs is kind of cold but I’m working to add HOT water to the mix to bring up my rankings temperature :)

A picture taken from my Nike+ website page might help better illustrate the hot water going in.

Nike+ you vs community

Since the miles I’m putting in are more than the Community average, I conclude I’m putting in water that’s hotter than what’s already in my running bucket.  To see what temperature the water is in my bucket then I only need to look at my ranking in a previous run.  Below are my results from last Saturday’s (3/14/15) St Patrick’s Day Parade Run.

st pat ranking

Overall, we see I came in 6,784 out of 7,551 runners.  If we divide those two numbers we can obtain my percentage ranking or 89.8% which is to say I did better than about 10% of the runners participating in that particular race.  So, the water in my running bucket is a bit on the cool side.

To be honest, this is still an improvement over last year.  I was entering my half marathons into a running log on halffanatics.com and when I looked at the specifics of my runs last year via athlinks.com most all of my percentages were in the 90’s, sometimes as high as 98% or 99% which means I only did better than 1 or 2% of the other runners in those particular races.

The size of the runs has a lot to do with how I’ll place overall.  With bigger runs, you get a lot more people doing the runs just for fun and who don’t specifically train to get better at running.  In the Nashville, Country Music Marathon last year, for example, there were 19,149 people who did the 1/2 marathon distance and I came in 16,842 or at the 88% mark.  But, in smaller runs where you get mainly hard core runners such as last year’s Washington, MO run there were only 120 runners and I was 99%.

The overall running goal I came up with in my head last year was to eventually work my way up into the top 50%

hmmmm… reality has a way of keeping us humble.  Looking at my next to last place finish for last year’s Washington, MO run I noticed that was also a 5 Mile run and nearly 2 minutes faster than what I got this year.  But, to be fair, that MO run was in August of last year which was well into the running season and during a month where I had knocked out 100+ miles in training.  It’s really amazing how much effort and time needs to be put in to make improvements with running, at least for me anyway.

Last year at this time I still had zero miles in the books and my first run didn’t occur until March 26th.  Currently, I have 52.5 miles logged over 18 runs this year.

Since I broached the topic of humility, I’ll share one more picture.  When I registered for this years Macklind Mile, I saw, for the first time, pictures from last years event and while scrolling came upon the following picture.

I saved this picture with the filename, "cute little girl humbles me.jpg"  :)

I saved this picture with the filename, “cute little girl humbles me.jpg”  :)

I’m the lumbering guy in the yellow shirt and blue shorts up to the right who’s trying to stay alive and is hoping he doesn’t have a heart attack upon completing the run.  She’s kind of joyful looking and it’s probably no different to her than just being outside and playing.  Sort of like the running is so natural to kids and, i guess, used to be for us too. Now-a-days …running is so rare that we document and log the events using GPS and apps on our phone – blog about them, share the accomplishments on facebook or Instagram.  How different it was back then, when we were kids.