2015 Running Preview – Part 1

I’m currently signed up and registered for 11 of 15 runs on my list for 2015 and will definitely add the Macklind Mile once registration is available.  Here’s my current list (also found in my Running Log tab) and what’s cool about each of them.  :)

2015

  1. Saturday 3/14 – St Pats 5M Run. – REGISTERED
  2. Saturday 3/21 – McKendree 5K – REGISTERED
  3. Saturday 3/28 – Bridge & Dam 10K – REGISTERED
  4. Saturday 4/4 – Lincoln Presidential Half Marathon – REGISTERED
  5. Sunday 4/12 – 15th Annual GO! St Louis 1/2 Marathon – REGISTERED
  6. Sunday 6/21 – Go! St Louis All American 5k - REGISTERED
  7. Saturday 6/27 – Macklind Mile – registration not yet available
  8. Friday 7/10 – Tour de Belleville – registration not yet available
  9. Saturday 7/11 – Tour de Donutregistration website. ($30)
  10. Saturday 8/8 – Moonlight Ramble – registration not yet available
  11. Sunday 9/20 – US Navy/AirForce 1/2 Marathon – REGISTERED
  12. Saturday 10/17 – RnR 5K Spinning Medal – REGISTERED
  13. Sunday 10/18 – Rock n Roll St Louis 1/2 Marathon – REGISTERED
  14. Saturday 10/24 – 5K Monster Dash – reg not avail. pending.
  15. Virtual Run – Race with Reason – 500 Miles in 2015 for Fighter Medal

 

March 14th, St Pats 5M Run

March 14th – St Pats 5Mile Run
What’s cool about it? – Registration for one thing!  This is a 15,000 person run through the streets of downtown St. Louis and the cost even two weeks out is a mere $29.  What’s really cool about it is that there are NO additional fees tacked on to that price.  It’s really $29!  I’ve never ran this race before so I have nothing to offer first hand but I am anticipating lots of green things and beer.  Which is another cool part – I can take the MetroLink over and have all the green & beer stuff I want and don’t have to worry about driving :)


 

Ramble Into Spring 2015

Ramble Into Spring 2015

March 21st – McKendree 5K
What’s cool about it? – McKendree University (population 2358) is nestled into the historic community of Lebanon, Illinois (population 5523)  I’m guessing it’s historic because the last time we played golf out there me and my buddies stopped at a bar afterwards and the road out front was made of cobblestone.
For me this race is cool because it’s local (a plus), it’s 5K (a distance I can actually run) and it was only $15 bucks!  (I’m frugal)  :)


 

2015 Bridge & Dam Half-Marathon & 10k

2015 Bridge & Dam Half-Marathon & 10k

March 28th – Bridge & Dam 10K
What’s cool about it? –
Are you kidding me?!!?  How about a list?

  1. It’s the INAUGURAL Run!!!  How many times do you get to participate in the very first time a run has ever been ran?
  2. BRIDGES – lake-of-the-ozarks-half-marathon-10k-run-bridge-img2-500x220
    I was under that bridge on a jetski last year on my birthday! :)
  3. DAMS – Bagnell-Dam-img-500x220
    Maybe it’s a guy thing but, I think bridges and dams are cool!
  4. LAKE OF THE OZARKS!  My family has had a condo at the lake since the 1980’s so it’s familiar territory but I’ve never ran across any of the bridges or dams so I’m really looking forward to this race.
  5. The MEDALS! – In my opinion, these are some of the coolest looking medals I’ve ever seen:

10K-Medal-e1420488263196 Half-Marathon-Medal-e1420488401650

 


 

 

April 4th - Lincoln Presidential Half Marathon
What’s cool about it? – It’s classic!  Walk where Lincoln walked – literally in Springfield, Illinois.  There isn’t just cobblestone here, there are several streets & houses where Lincoln lived and roamed that have been preserved to this day.
I’m also a bit of a numismatist so the medal has a special appeal to me and traditionally, a GIANT penny is the medal! :)

2011-lincoln-presidential-half-marathon-2-e1302026363788

I’m hoping it’s a wheat penny this year.  Those were made from 1909-1959.  Lincoln was born in 1809 and the Lincoln wheat penny helped commemorate that and in 1959 is when we saw the switch to the Lincoln Memorial pennies at the 150th anniversary of his birth.   And, of course, in 2009 to commemorate the bicentennial of his birth there were 4 varieties of Lincoln cents …predominantly made of zinc (97.5%) since 1982…

One really legitimate cool thing about this year’s LPHM is that it has been selected by the Road Runners Club of America as the Regional-Central Championship Half-Marathon and it’s one of only four regional championships sites nationally for the half-marathon distance.  So..there may be a slightly bigger crowd than last year when I ran this race for the first time.

oh yeah – you get to have your picture taken with the PRESIDENT after the run!!!

Major Presidential Cool!

Major Presidential Cool!


 

Landing-Page2

April 12th – 15th Annual GO! St Louis 1/2 Marathon
What’s cool about it? – Actually, plenty.  If you’re from the coastal states and are looking to knock off two states at one time in your quest for 50 then this run will cover both Missouri and Illinois!

This race course has you covering TWO bridges (hence, the two states) and even has a race within a race which consist of the 3.5 miles it will starts at the entrance to the Eads Bridge and concludes after finishing back on the Martin Luther King Bridge.  This race w/in a race is called the “Bridge Challenge 3.5″ and comes complete with top age group winners & medals.  More details w/ a map of the race can be found by clicking HERE.

I’m not sure how much this race is, I usually sign up before December 31st of the previous year to get the best deal, as I did for this one and don’t remember.  I could probably look it up but ….I need to go carb up and my favorite restaurant will be raising it’s price in 29 minutes so, I gotta scoot!   soooo, I’ll simply retitle this Part 1 and continue it later ;)

2015 Week 9 Weigh-In

In spite of a pizza before bed last night (and the night before) I’m still down 2.2 lbs from last week with a weight of 267.6 and have an average weight for February of 272.

2015 Wallpaper 02 half - 2015

 

It is an odd and different situation to find myself “underweight” according to these DietBet games.  The only real reason I have for not letting myself drop too much is because of another one month long 4% diet bet challenge which starts on February 28th …and …holy cow – I just checked that game and it looks like the initial weigh in is …NOW.   I have between today and the 28th to weigh myself in for an initial weight.

My unique weigh-in word is FOOTBALL.  I like that :)  I don’t have time before work to take care of this but, it looks like I’ll need to drop another 10+ lbs or so between that initial weigh in and March 27th.  That will put me down to 257 lbs.  These weight drop goals are pretty small and it does look like I’ve had 5 consecutive weeks of dropping weight.  In previous 12 week “mad dash” weight loss contest there are usually 3 times where my weight will go up or stall.

I’ve updated my Running Log tab and have 17.5 miles of running in for the month.  I also spent some time a few days ago updating my individual runs with some extra thumbnail pics.

I do have those two 1/2 marathons coming up in April and I remember well, after my Lincoln Presidential Half Marathon last year my legs were totally spent after the 13.1 miles and had them packed in ice right after the run because there wasn’t any formal training before hand.  I’m looking to avoid that this year and would also like to beat whatever time I got last year.

I did a 2.5 mile run yesterday and was testing out a new 1/2 marathon run strategy.  In the past, I got one of my best (recent) times by chunking the race into 5 minute run/walk intervals.  One great thing about jogging a minute or two every 5 minutes is being able to pass people throughout the entire race (assuming you start at the back of the pack which, I normally do)  because nobody else jogs at all in the back of the pack, especially towards the end of the race.

With this strategy, I am considering jogging the first and last mile and doing 5 minute intervals in the middle 11 miles.  As I progress throughout the year, then I’m thinking I can increase the beginning and ending run times thereby minimizing the 5 minute interval times.

For now, my goal is the same as last year – to simply finish a half in under 3 hours.

(Calculator out…)  3 hours times 60 minutes per hour…. 180 minutes …divided by 13.1 … equals …13.74 minutes per mile or, about 13 min 45 sec per mile.

I should be able to do this.  I let myself jog at a more normal pace yesterday since I wasn’t trying to maintain my jogs for any great length of time or distance and that equated to speeds ranging from 5.8 to 6.2 mph or, about 12 minutes per mile.  I’ll just need to keep aware of not letting my walking intervals get too slow.

Looks like a pace of 13.75 min/mile comes out to a pace of just under 4.4 mph which is a fairly brisk walk but, doable.  I just need to build up the endurance between now and April 4th …probably need to request off from work as well ;)

2015 Week 8 Weigh-In

In this blog:

  • 2015 Week 8 Weigh-In
  • Running vs Pumping Iron
  • Mental & Physiological Concepts

 

Week 8 gives us our first official dip below 270 and by official that means it was part of my weekly Thursday weigh in.  In all fairness, the first time I woke up Thursday morning, I weighed 270.6 but went back to bed and upon waking up the second time is when I weighed 269.8 :)

2015 Wallpaper 02 half - 2015

This past Sunday I was down to a low of 268.4 and Tuesday and Wednesday morning weighed as high as 273.8 lbs.  Generally speaking, weight fluctuates like the stock market.  Too many people get upset when they see their weight go up a pound or two and, as I alluded to in a blog I posted on DietBetter.com getting frustrated seems more like a necessary psychological ploy for many people which mainly serves to set up a plausible future reason for quitting an otherwise healthy lifestyle because the notion of a living a continued healthier lifestyle is too far out of their comfort zone.

The only other noticeable change I made in my Weekly Weigh-In desktop wallpaper was the addition of a car in the upper right hand corner.  It’s a 2005 Volvo S60 and has been ranked for several years in Kelly Blue Book (KBB.com) as one of the best affordable used cars and it’s the only luxury type car to make that list.  Last years weigh-in wallpaper included a variety of cars such as the Corvette (’cause it’s cool) and the new model Camaro which was a car I traditionally never liked but did like the newer body style and was enamoured with the performance of 323 HP from a 6-cylinder engine :)   But, with close to 300,000 miles on my Saturn I really need a new car sooner rather then later.  That Volvo has very good reviews and a trunk often described as enormous (13.9 cubic feet) which I also figured could be very useful for business.

The HealthyWage prize badge didn’t change but the prize amount did due to a fellow dietbetter.com participant who clicked on my referal link and signed up for a bet of their own which added $20 to my pot so, my new HealthyWage prize is now standing at $2,056.00 :)

If anyone reading this wants to set up their own HealthyWage prize to win some serious money – please click on my referal link below (link will open in new window)

http://www.healthywage.com/referral/healthywager/name-your-own-prize/75264742700057

Running vs Pumping Iron
Right now, I’m at a tie in 2015 with 6 runs and 6 lifting workouts.  I’ve modified my miles/weight table found over in my Running Log tab by including a column to keep track of the number of times I’ve been to the gym to lift weights.

I’ve had a long time alternating relationship with Lifting, Running & Karate for a very long time – All three since 1982 and a challenge for me has always been to embrace all of them at the same time.  Any one of the three is the easiest endeavor, and I’ve had fair results dabbling in two at a time and very little results trying to maintain all three of them at the same time.  So, there may be a time when I put my weight at the very left column then Running, Lifting and Karate as the subsequent three columns to the right.

Sometimes, I have fun with my Running Log tab and think I might add pictures of trophy’s from lifting, maybe karate certificates and small pics for the rest of my running medals.  I don’t really have any cohesive place in real life where I keep all that stuff.  If I look towards the ceiling in my garage, I can see a bunch of medals hanging from two old bicycle hooks in the ceiling and there are a few places in the house where medals are hanging.  All my lifting trophy’s are gathering dust in the garage and the usual resting spot for any other kind of awards are boxed up in the floor of my spare bedroom.  I suppose the Running Log tab could be a kind of virtual trophy case.  Plus, there have been a number of medals or trophies that are either given away or end up breaking so it might be nice to have at least one picture of each for posterity’s sake.

I’d also like to add my specific goals for the current year.  I know I mentioned some reasonable improvements I wanted to make this year in a previous blog but sometimes I’m hard pressed to remember them all.  The list was pretty simple.  …let’s see if I can recall …  I know there was a bodyweight in the low 240’s – I don’t particularly care where, 242 ,243 – even 244.  I just know I feel pretty good physically at that weight and have a lot more clothes to choose from.

Running a sub 10-minute mile at the Macklind Mile run was another goal.

I think hitting a sub 3 hour 1/2 marathon (about time…)

oh, and another 100 mile month of running training like I did last August.

Mental & Physiological Concepts
One of the reasons I’ve thought of doing a VLOG in the past has been to keep track of what I’m doing.  When I started again this year with the DietBet & HealthyWage type of competitions I had a hard time remembering exactly what I did last year to drop 72 lbs in 12 weeks.  I remembered one competition I logged close to 100 miles walking in the first two weeks and this last competition was more focused on eating less and staying calm.

Two ongoing things which help keep my in check physically are this blog for one and keeping calm is the other one.  The blog provides an ongoing awareness and I can easily become imbued with too many other facets of life and easily ignore my physical condition altogether if there is not some semblance of awareness.  There was a post I ran across on Instagram a while back which really embodied my mindset more than most other descriptions:

tumblr_myqfywNARG1s2cmkto1_500

Honestly, the whole notion of diet & exercise, certainly in the traditional sense most people think of those words is rather repulsive to me.  I don’t have any particular diet I follow.  I’ve learned a little bit from a friend who was a big advocate of the Atkins diet and I could easily feel how avoiding traditional breads and other tasty complex carbs/starches helped me to not feel so full after eating but, by and large, there is no particular diet I follow.  I eat.  I learned more about the quality and nutritional values of foods last year when I logged everything I ate into an app called MyFitnessPal.  I kept that up for maybe the first 3 weeks of my 12 week contest last year and that provided enough awareness to help me win that contest.

What I eat is mainly dependant on what I have in the house or what’s readily available to me.  So, I suppose there are some changes specific to me.  I’ll avoiding buying 2lb jars of peanut butter because peanut butter usually has a lifespan in my house of no more than 36 hours and that’s a huge number of extra Calories to consume over a day or two.  And, when I’m in a mode of improving myself, I don’t run to the nearest, local cheap buffet to consume a days worth of calories when I’m hungry and out of food at home.  Lately, I’ve been having a vegan/protein bar to help quell hunger cravings and have recently resupplied myself with this option –

2015-02-18 14.11.14

On big key to success in transitioning to a lower weight is allowing myself to be hungry.  This is where staying calm comes in handy.

One unique thing I did with MyFitnessPal was to break each day up into 4 hour time segments starting at midnight.  Just take the whole notion of breakfast, lunch and dinner and throw it out the window then, whenever you happen to eat just log what was eaten in the appropriate time slot.  There were many times during last years contest when I would eat after midnight.  Sometimes I would eat some pretty healthy portions – things like French toast and eggs – and syrup and butter.  I logged it all.  But, I made kind of a game out of it.  A lot of times eating after midnight was part of the game because I wanted to keep a certain days number of calories at a certain level so I would wait until the next day.  Sometimes, I would try to make sure that I wasn’t eating in adjacent 4 hour time slots.  Maybe more importantly however, was during the few times I ate after midnight, I was very legitimately hungry – no doubt about it.  Tracking everything one eats can be kind of a hassle so I did not eat out of boredom or just to pass the time  when I ate it was from legitimate hunger and not habit.

Another interesting thing was after eating whatever I may have been craving (usually carbs) I didn’t worry if a lot of time passed until the next meal.  Often 12 or 18 hours or more would pass until the next time I ate.  On two occasions 36 hour passed.

I never worried about the time passage.  Some of my original thinking regarding not eating for significant amounts of time came from co-workers at my last job.  Some were very lean and it wasn’t uncommon to hear them mention during the afternoon that they hadn’t eaten since yesterday.  ..and they were lean.  Eventually, this lead me to PubMed to investigate further.  PubMed was a website often referenced while in school.  The latest article in Cosmo or People magazine just didn’t cut it.  PubMed (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed) is from the US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health and consist of peer reviewed biomedical literature and science journals.  It’s NOT fluff and it also isn’t necessarily the easiest of articles to read but, it is one of the best scientific resources for pretty much any medical condition.

This search led me to a number of articles on VLCD’s which is an acronym for Very Low Calorie Diets.  One traditional argument against VLCDs is that a person will end up losing muscle which, in turn lowers a person’s resting metabolic rate and therefore has a detrimental effect in the long run with regards to weight loss or maintaining lower bodyfat levels.  However, the article I ran across noted that 77% of the weight loss by test subjects utilizing a VLCD was, in fact, fat.  At this point, it’s probably worth noting that people with higher percentages of bodyfat will tend to utilize greater portions of fat for energy so, while a person with a BMI > 40 might metabolize 77% bodyfat in a VLCD, that doesn’t mean an individual with a BMI of 22 will have that same percentage.

There may be some real advantages to having a structured eating routing such as breakfast, lunch and dinner for those individuals who are already at a weight they want to maintain but I don’t necessarily subscribe to that notion for overweight people who are actively working to drop weight.

People also need to have an awareness of their own bodies.  Wanting to eat something for the sake of eating something and no other reason than because maybe it looks good or might bring some immediate pleasure due to the taste is one thing.  Wanting to eat because of hunger is another thing and wanting to eat because you’re so hungry that you’re actually getting dizzy is yet another thing.  I do my best to avoid the getting dizzy aspects of hunger.

I remember another impetus for checking out the VLCDs.  Last year the HCG or Human Chorionic Gonadotropin hormone diet was getting a bit of attention and I had a few friends that were actually on that diet but I quickly learned that part of that diet consisted of not only ingesting the HCG but of also following a 500 calorie a day diet.   Well, heck, I can give you a sugar pill but when combined with a 500 calorie a day diet most people are doing to drop weight pretty rapidly.

I was ravenously hungry this past Wednesday.  I lifted weights that morning and squeezed in a frigid 1 mile walk in the evening.  I did eventually cave Wednesday evening and had one of those vegan bars but, for the most part, I told myself that I would be having a pizza the next day.  It was sort of one of those Denis Waitley advocated mindset things about doing within while doing without.  So, I kept telling myself I’ll be having a pizza the next day and I did.

But, once again, there is a big difference between picking up two large supreme pizzas from Little Caesars on the way home from work and devouring those with a few 2 liters while watching television and simply having a medium thin crust veggie pizza for lunch.

btw – Denis Waitley is a graduate of the US Navy Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.  He has done a lot of sports psychology stuff with elite athletes and olympians.  Which reminds me, I came across an Instagram post by an old gross anatomy lab partner of mine who was recently invited to become part of the US Olympic training center which is pretty cool :)

Anyway, the word ‘diet’ to me simply refers to the food a person consumes.  I don’t particularly advocate any diet in the traditional sense many people use the word but do think increased awareness of calories and nutritional content in what we eat can be a positive influence in helping people eat better and perhaps reduce weight if that is a desired outcome.  I don’t think feeling hungry from time to time is any worse than feeling stuffed or full and, from what I recall in the back of my biochemistry book (i.e., Medical Biochemistry 2nd edition by Baynes & Dominiczak, page 606)

“Calorie restriction (CR) is the only intervention that consistently extends maximum lifespan in a variety of species including mammals, fish, flies, worms and yeast.  Reduction in total caloric intake appears to be the essential feature of this intervention, i.e. the beneficial, life-extending effects are observed whenever CR is applied and regardless of dietary composition …”

 

2015 Week 7 Weigh-In

I was so excited about my upcoming DC trip and Race with Reason that I completely forgot to post my week 7 weigh-in last blog.  Before these betting contest on DietBetter.com I only weighed myself every Thursday but, lately, I’ve been stepping on the scale everyday.  I guess it’s the money thing.

I had dropped a bit below the 273.4 lbs mark which is the weight I needed for 3 of my contest so I ate a bit extra and have been solidly at 273.4 for several days. I know a week of working out can elicit about a 5 pound gain but, I’m not working out with enough volume to cause those changes – kind of being a bit careful and taking my time.  About the only real concern I had was the $100 bet I have already in place for when one of my contest ends on the 28th of this month because another one starts that very same day so, if my weight is too low then it might be more difficult to drop the extra 4% that the contest requires.  OR – maybe I need to look at it as more of the challenge that I need.

For Christmas My brother had gotten my a couple cases of the following type of protein bars

2015-02-15 01.37.16 - Copy

I waited until these betting contest start to have any of them.  I knew I was going to be doing something in January, I just didn’t know what.

As of today, I’m down again to 271 and I would like to see 269 just because that was my average weight for February last year.  If I drop down to 264 for the last couple weigh ins of this month then I’ll have a 269 average.  We’ll see.

2015 Wallpaper 02 half - 2015

Last year, my average weight was 264.5 so, I’m in the ballpark.  I did not have any months last year with an average weight in the 240 range and that is one of my objectives.  I really like the low 240s :)

but… I have that $2,000 prize for the middle of next year for a weight below 212.  That should be interesting and 3 of the 6 month 10% drops should just about do it.

Something else – the gym I’m going to has a couple of Omron body fat analyzers laying out on their front tables which I’ve used the last few times I’ve been to the gym.  Kyle, another blogger on here mentioned some races with Clydesdale classes – basically a weight class for runners 220 and over.  I’m pretty sure, at most any bodyweight at or below 220 that my % of bodyfat has measured in the teens which is ideal according to most charts (specifically bodyfatcharts.com) so I’m curious what the body fat analyzer will say when I’m down to 220 lbs.

 

Washington DC Navy Air Force Half Marathon Preview

In this blog:

  • Washington DC Navy Air Force Half Marathon
  • Race with Reason
  • Gaining Weight & Pumping Iron! :)

Washington DC Navy Air Force Half Marathon Preview Earlier this year, I was indulging in my rich fantasy life by spending money on winnings which I hadn’t actually won yet by checking out various vacation destinations to be used as part of a reward system for effort which hadn’t actually happened yet either… I was checking out the Las Vegas Rock n Roll half marathon and think I may have mentioned it in a previous blog but, I also wanted to check out places I’d never been before and one of those places is Washington DC.  I found a pretty cool looking run in the DC area called the Navy Air Force Half Marathon and Navy 5 Miler.

click on pic to go to website

click on pic to go to website

For somebody, like myself, who has never been to our nations capital, this is a perfect run.  The run actually starts at the Washington Monument just South of the White House then goes past the Lincoln Memorial, MLK Memorial and the Jefferson Memorial.  A good portion of the run is along the Potomac.  The beginning of the run will also take us across the Potomac on the Arlington Memorial Bridge.  I’m pretty stoked about this run and have signed up and booked a flight :) The registration opened on Feb 2, 2015 and the race accommodates 7500 for the 1/2 and 2500 for the 5 Miler.  Below is a jpeg version of the pdf course route. Washington DC NAF course map From what I can tell, the ongoing motto for the run is Prepare, Execute, Achieve and is reflected on the event shirt.

10953186_385315518309848_8662338201474418112_n

Speaking of t-shirts, I got another race t-shirt in the mail today! :)


Race With Reason 2015-02-14 00.13.02#RacewithReason is something I tag on all the Instagram runs that I post.  The reason(s) are various charities to which money is contributed.  …I’m not sure if I mentioned this but I wrote the organization a little while back to add ALS to the list of charities and am happy to announce that if you look on this page … http://www.racewithreason.com/#!reason/ckqy  my request was accepted and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis is now one of the charities receiving contributions from Race With Reason :) :) :)


Gaining Weight & Pumping Iron! Is it time to gain weight?  …that was going to be the title for one of my blog post but …never got around to it and other things cropped up that I was excited about.  Back on the 9th of Feb my weight had already dropped to 271.2 but the 4% weight loss goal for my 1 month Kick Start games meant I only needed to be down to 273.4 at the end of the month so I was pretty far ahead of the game so I changed things up a bit and have started to hit the gym, lift weights and upped my carb intake a bit. Many people are aware of the 3500 kcal per pound of fat but, there’s also 600 kcal in a pound of muscle and 1800 kcal in a pound of glycogen. (and I put that ‘k’ in there because the calorie everybody talks about is really a kilocalorie)  I’ve read research papers which have cited the average glycogen levels of their test subjects at about 417 grams of glycogen and it takes about 450 grams to equal a pound.  for various reasons, I’d cite my own glycogen levels around 3-4 lbs and, it’s probably also worthwhile to note that up to 4 grams of water combine with each 1 gram of carbohydrate.  If you google that number, you’ll often see 3 instead of 4 and some places cite 2.7 grams.  The peer reviewed article I read said 3 to 4. So, for every pound of glycogen in your body you’re looking at another 3-4 lbs of water associated with that glycogen.  So, for me – conservatively say 3 lbs of glycogen and then 12 lbs of associated water for an even 15 lbs. Anyway, I knew I was dropping weight kind of fast.  I’m not sure why these competitions have this effect on me but, I’ve just been eating less but, it was getting to the point where I was starting to feel a bit shaky up on waking in the morning and even dizzy at a few other times which I contributed to low blood sugar.  Since I was already below the games target weight, I figured it would be a good idea to work at topping off the glycogen fuel tanks and build a bit of muscle.  It’s interesting that my weight has been exactly 273.4 for my last 4 daily weigh ins which is also exactly where I need to be at the end of the month for those three 4% challenges. Pumping Iron – This has been kind of fun.  Whenever I start back lifting after any kind of layoff I follow the same routine.  I’ll do one exercise for each of the following body parts – Chest, Back, Shoulders, Arms, Legs.  This order comes from Arnold Schwarzenegger’s book called The Education of a Bodybuilder which was produced back …I think in the 70s.  I know I read that book a lot when I was younger and recall the time I fell asleep reading it because when I woke up a part of the cover was torn after falling asleep with the book.  Anyway, Arnold recommends that particular order so, that’s the order I’ve always done.  At this point, I’ll do 2 exercises per bodypart using only warm up weights.  There’s no point in using any more weight than that because after being away from the weights, the lighter weight is all that’s necessary to make myself sore from working out. Muscles also tend to come back quicker than tendons owing to their greater blood supply so I’m taking my time with this routine. Right now I’m working both biceps and triceps for arms so I’m at a total of 12 sets and the whole routine scarcely takes 20 minutes. March should be interesting.  Since I’m already signed up for another 4% challenge my weight should be in the very low 260s which is the +/- range I spent most of last year in.  The final 6 month weight has me slated for around 253.  I’m guessing I should be in the low 240s (or lower) by the time the DC run comes around.  That’s something I’m totally looking forward to! :)

fb pic from last years DC run :)

fb pic from last years DC run :)

Betting $1,266.00 on Myself

In this blog:

  • Betting $1,266.00 on Myself
  • Week 6 Weigh-in

 

Betting $1,266.00 on Myself

I’m keeping things fun, interesting and definitely upping my level of self awareness when it comes to my weight by placing a total of 7 different bets which now total $1,266.00.  This could possibly be confusing and it’s taken a while for me to wrap my head around it all but, I guess that is part of what makes it all interesting.  These money bets have been placed using two different websites so, I’ll take each one in turn.

HealthyWage.com
People are only allowed to make a single bet on this website once.  The bet is to lose a certain amount of weight in a certain amount of time for a certain amount of money.

The parameters are that the time frame is anywhere from 6 months to 18 months and the bets can range anywhere from $6 to $500 per month.  The amount of weight to be lost is up to the participant.

I’ve set a target weight of 212 lbs in 18 months or, by June 26th of 2016.  Since any bet beyond $750 yields the same return – namely $16 per pound, I decided to minimize my risk (as well as upping my yield) by dividing that 750 by 18 months which comes out to about $41.67 per month.  Only round dollar amounts can be bet so I’ll be betting $42 per month.  There is an option to pay all the money up front or to make automatic monthly payments.  I’m doing the monthly payment option.  As long as I win this bet then it’s a pretty cool & very profitable kind of savings account.  My personal payout badge is shown below along with my potential prize.

HealthyWage 2036 Badge

At $42 per month, my total investment will be $756.00.  That $2036.00 figure would be getting my original $756 back along with an additional $1,280.00.  That’s a return of 169%.

There were many factors that went into choosing a final weight as well as the time frame.  Enough factors that would take up a very long blog posting in itself.  In short, however, I picked the 212 final weight because …well, for one thing, it wasn’t nearly as scary as picking a 204 weight.  But, a little over 10 years ago I know I was at a bodyweight of 222 when I benched 515 lbs.  That’s about the only weight I remember from back then and 212 is at least within striking distance of that weight.  I know at 222 there was still some flab that could have been trimmed so the 212 weight goal pushes me beyond a previous best without getting too ridiculous.

The 18 month time frame was picked for a couple main reasons.  A big reason is because of the other website where I’m placing bets and we’ll get into that in a bit but, another reason for the 18 month time span is to help maintain awareness of my weight.  I know that if I don’t do something, like this blog for instance, that I simply won’t be thinking or caring about my weight and my weight will increase.  I think this was pretty well demonstrated during the last couple months of December and January, maybe November too a bit.

That $42 per month is also going to show up on my banking statement and that will be an extra reminder to pay attention to my health.

Almost forgot – I get an extra $20 for anybody that I refer to the HealthyWage.com website that signs up for a wager of their own – just use this link: http://www.healthywage.com/referral/healthywager/name-your-own-prize/75264742700057 which will open up in a new window!  :)

DietBetter.com
This is a really cool website and a lot of fun.  HealthyWage is great for making a big bet and being able to win some serious cash but it’s lacking in any kind of a fun forum to be able to interact with fellow participants.  DietBet, on the other hand, has an Activity Wall for each game which is a lot like Facebook but it also has a lot of other features which makes it even more fun for people working to improve their health.  There’s literally so much, I’m not sure where to start.  There are two basic games which can be played on DietBetter.com, one is called the Kickstart and the other is called Transformation.

Kickstart – DB4
The objective for this game is to lose 4% of your body weight in 4 weeks.  It’s commonly referred to as DB4 which refers to the Diet Bet 4% game.  There are dozens of DB4 games to choose from on the site.  Some have a hundred participants and some have thousands.  The most common wager is $25 to $35 per person.  At the end of 4 weeks, everybody who lost 4% splits the pot.

I’m currently in three of those games right now which all end between Feb 28 and March 2nd.  Two games are for $30 each and one is a $100 game.

The hundred dollar game is called Bet Big to Win Big and has 130 people in it.  Another game I’m in is called ObesetoBeast.  It has 578 players and the guy hosting that game is somebody who lost 170 lbs themselves.  Their theme is Obese to Beast, hence the name of the game.

The largest DB4 game I’m in is called …(I’m almost embarrassed to say this) the Blogilates Hot Body Challenge.  In spite of the name, it’s got 4,718 players and a total jackpot of $141,540.00.  So far, all us players have lost a total of 4,654 lbs.

Transformation – DB10
This game involves dropping 10% of your bodyweight in 6 months.  The game consist of 6 one month rounds with a specific weight drop objectives each month.  The gray diamonds in the graph below represent the specific goals for each month.

Progress Chart

For each month the cummulative weight loss goals are 3%, 6%, 8%, 9% then 10% for the final two months.  From what I understand, half of the total pot is split up between the first five rounds with the remaining half divided up at the end of the 6th month.  Below is a screenshot from the Feb 5 to Aug 4 Transformation game.  It’s what each player sees on their dashboard.

Game Progress

I’ve never done anything before with specific weight objectives and these are pretty reasonable goals to obtain.  When I looked back over my data in last years 12 week contest, I threw out the weight losses in the first and last weeks to consider only the data in the middle 10 weeks which represented the most legitimate weight loss and that came out to 32 lbs in 10 weeks or, 3.2 lbs per week so, even half that effort should keep me in line with the above goals for each round.

So, right now I’m in three DB4’s and two DB10’s.  You can join a DB10 game up to 14 days after it starts and do a verified weigh in up to 48 hours before a game starts.  The 14th day of a 6 month game that started Jan 21st just happened to coincide with 2 days before the Feb 5th game started so I joined them both.

Also just signed up for another DB4 game which starts on the same day as one of these other 4% game ends which will make for some totally legitimate weight loss since I’ll be using my ending verified weight for one game as my beginning verified weight for the next game.

All in all, it’s a really cool & fun site.


 

Week 6 Weigh-in

2015 Wallpaper 02 half - 2015

I’ve tried to clean the wallpaper up a little for 2015 by having one single month per line.  I’ve added in all the various bets to help keep track of them easier.  Most end around the same time so it shouldn’t be too difficult.  The black borders along the sides are so my desktop icons are easier to see and don’t obscure the weigh in data.

For now, I’ve just added the Russian Cyrillic alphabet to the right of the wallpaper.  I think I’ve mentioned my foreign language interest before.  Duolingo.com is a site I have an 84 day streak going with in German.  From what I’ve read in the forums the lessons are like (or even better) than Rosetta Stone but free which is a great price!  The language courses themselves on duolingo are generated by users of the site and often native speakers.  The website ultimately makes money when students become proficient enough to start translating documents from one language to another.  Kind of clever.  :)

It’s sort of like a fun game and doesn’t take too much time per day.  I’m currently at level 10 in German with a vocabulary of 308 words.  I’ve also played around with French, Italian and Spanish but am really anticipating the completion of Russian which is currently at 62% completion.

For now, I’ve been working at developing some proficiency with the Russian alphabet which has 31 characters plus an additional two symbols which designate either a hard or soft sound.  Memrise.com is the site I use for that.

4 Diet Bets Placed & First Run of 2015

In this blog:

  • DietBetter.com – 4 Bets Placed!
  • Charitable Contributions – ALS
  • Race With Reason & First Virtual Run :)
  • HealthyWage.com -
  • First “Run” of 2015

 

DietBetter.com – 4 Bets Placed!

In addition to HealthyWage.com I’ve been keeping an eye on another weight loss betting site called DietBet found at dietbetter.com.  DietBet has two different types of weight loss games that can be played.  One game is called The Kickstarter for losing 4% of your bodyweight in 4 weeks and the other game is called The Transformer and consist of losing 10% in 6 months.

There are many different games of each type to choose from and participants may join up to three of each type of game.  Earlier tonight, I signed up for 3 different Kickstarter games and one upcoming Transformer game.

The most common bet for the 4% game is $25 or $30.  I signed up for two of the $30 games then found a third one for $100.  The initial verification weigh ins consist of two pictures.  One is a full length body pic and a second pic of the scale with a keyword written on an index card next to the scale.  My keyword was “LIME”.

The FAQ for DietBet mentioned payouts of 1.5-2x the amount initially wagered.  I’ll find out in a month if this whole thing is for real and how much I’ve won.  I’d like to turn that $160 into $200 which would beat the heck out of my savings account.  I’ve also learned that in any 12 week period I’ve dropped weight in the past that there’s always about 3 weeks where my weight is stagnant or goes up so I’m thinking those would be good points to enter into new Kickstarter games in the future.

DietBet Profile

Above is a screenshot of the upper right corner of everyone’s profile page on DietBet.  So far, the site is really pretty cool and a lot of fun.  Each contest has it’s own page and a posting wall kind of like Facebook where people can update their status and post pictures.  There’s also a phone app for the site I was able to download on my phone.  We’ll learn more in the weeks to come :)

The 10% six month Transformation game I’m in starts this Thursday.  For either type game we have 48 hours before the game starts and up to 14 days after the game starts to submit our beginning weight.  This game is a $25 per month game for a total of $150 wagered but participants are given an option of paying for 5 months up front and getting the sixth month for free.  If a person chooses the monthly option they get a choice of dropping out of the game anywhere along the line.  Paying up front doesn’t give the option but does save you some money.

Another interesting part of the game is that you can be disqualified if you lose too much weight.  If you lose more than triple your goal, say 12% of your bodyweight in a 4% contest then you get the boot.  The 10% Transformation contest has 6 different monthly rounds and i believe there is a payout at the end of each round.  The target loss for round 1 is 3% and if you lose more than 12% you get disqualified.  Likewise in round 2 the target is 6% and disqualification is at 18%.


 

Charitable Contributions – ALS

One more interesting thing with DietBet is you can allocate a portion of your winnings to the charity of your choice.  I chose to donate 10% of my winnings to ALS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.  I’m not sure if the DietBet site will be able to do that automatically but, if not I found a couple sites that take contributions.  alifestoryfoundation.org and alsa.org.  Another new site I learned about tonight was Charity Navigator (http://www.charitynavigator.org) which ranks over 8,000 of America’s largest charities in terms of accountability, financial health and transparency.  The ALS Association (alsa.org) was cited with 4/4 stars.


 

Race With Reason & First Virtual Run :)

#RaceWithReason is a regular hashtag I used on my Instagram running post.  (@drdukowitz)  I’m not exactly sure how it works but I signed up with the site for an Around the World (location) Virtual Run called Race With Reason 2015.

rwr titles

Apparently, I’ll be getting a Race With Reason t-shirt in a month and at the end of the year I’ll get a medal based on the number of miles ran for the entire year.  Since I got 391 miles last year, I think going for the 500 mile Fighter medal seems appropriate.


First Run of 2015

Looking back over 2014 I had 8 months of running – March through October with zero running the first two months of the year in Jan & Feb and no running in Nov & December.  With a 391 mile total, I averaged just shy of 49 miles per month in the 8 months I did run.

Anyway, I really wanted to put something down other than a zero for this first month so, with less than 2 hours left in the month of Jan I headed out my front door to knock out a couple miles.

daily run