Year 2, Week 34 Weigh-In

I got my 238 average back! :)  I wasn’t overly thrilled with the 239 average I had last week.  With August firmly in the books I can lay claim to a 4 lb drop this month and a very nice 10 pound loss over the May & June months when I averaged 248 each month :)

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My original goal set in January was a weight in the low 240s because I don’t look pregnant at that weight and I have a lot more clothes to wear.  With the 230s one things I recall are visual changes and I noticed that in the mirror this morning when I woke up.  I hadn’t regularly bothered measuring my waist but was looking for a tape measure this morning :)  Right now I’m down between 8 & 9 inches in the waist so that’s pretty cool.

Back to Back Half Marathons

I did complete two half marathons this past weekend in two different states, namely Iowa and Minnesota.  It took about 1,400 miles of driving over 23 hours but I did it.  Something else, I manually entered some data in SmashRun from Athlinks.  SmashRun will only accept data from 2007 on up but, the race I did this past Saturday was only 1 second per mile slower than my fastest half marathon back in 2007.  In my mind, I’m pushing the clock back and right now I’ve pushed that clock back close to 8 years in terms of my running performance :)

I haven’t gone through all my pictures & videos yet from the weekend but did find a finisher’s picture from my Sunday race in Minnesota.

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Running 2 half marathons in 2 days is enough to qualify for Jupiter level with the Half Fanatics running club.   If I can run another half marathon this coming weekend I’ll have 3 in 9 days which qualifies for Mars level :)  The closer to the Sun, the higher the ranking.

Up until now, my training has basically consisted of taking the words of the poet T.S. Eliot to heart who said, “We Never Know How Far We Can Go, Until We Risk Going Too Far”.  So, I’ve been pushing myself in light of these words.  I think breaking is going too far and that’s what I’m on the cusp of right now.  There is a race in Missouri I could run this coming Sunday.  There are also some boat races at the Lake of the Ozarks were my family has a condo and the race is only 1 hour and 46 minutes away from the race.  I’m not sure if completing another half marathon would be most responsible for me breaking but rather another goal I’ve been working on which is to increase my monthly running mileage by 10 miles per month for the next 6 months.  I need 117 miles this month to hit that goal for a 2nd consecutive month of mileage increases.  I’m around 92 miles right now.  I also have a Running Streak goal – to run every day and I’ve kept that up for 58 days now.  I would give top priority to the Running Streak.  The second most important running goal I have is to knock out consecutive 100 mile months and I’m well within reach of that goal.  When I hit 100 this month I’ll be Double Platinum.  I mainly wanted the 10 mile per month increase to earn a rarely earned badge on SmashRun but, there are a couple other easier badges to earn.  One only requires a 5 mile per month increase and the other only requires an increase of any amount.

We’ll see.  Gotta Run!

 

 

Year 2, Week 33 Weigh-In

I didn’t end up weighing in until last night but was still in the 230s which is pretty cool.  Recalculating my average weight for the month puts me at 239 (rounded).  That’s not quite as cool and I’d rather have a 238 average.  Of course, had I weighed myself in the morning when I first woke up I know I would have weighed less than the 238.8 so, the reality in spite of the scale reading is probably still an average of no more than 238.  I would like to end this month averaging no more than 238 which represents a 4 lb reduction over last month’s average.  I’m good with that.  the 230s and numbers I’m dealing with now are numbers my mind isn’t wholly used to.  But, I’ll get used to them. :)

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This is where data is helpful for adhering to reality.  A 238 average isn’t just a new low or only 4 lbs down from the month before but it is also a 10 lb reduction from the months of May & June and that’s good, solid progress.

Looking Forward – 

I’ve signed up for 5 more DietBets on DietBet.com.  Two of which will take me through February of next year with a goal weight of 222 lbs.  That weight will match my bench press competition weight from around 2001, so that will be turning the clocks back about 15 years.  A longer term HealthyWage.com bet is slated to end on July 5th of 2016 with a goal weight of 212 lbs.  I’m not sure how far back that rolls the clock but I know my high school or teenage years weight was around 195 to 205 so, 212 lbs pushes the clock back pretty far.

Running – 

Most immediately, I leave for Iowa Falls, Iowa today and will run a half marathon in Iowa tomorrow, meet with family in St Cloud, Minnesota after that run then complete a 2nd half marathon on Sunday in Woodbury, Minnesota which will knock off two more states.  I want to “level up” with a group called the Half Fanatics and the easiest way I can do that is by completing as many half marathons in as many different states in a trailing 365 day time period.  I’ve learned the full marathons I’ve completed earlier this year in West Virginia and Tennessee don’t count for the Half Fanatics so I’ll have to redo my map a little bit.  I’m thinking of keeping that map in an album on Facebook where I can update with additional maps as I complete each new state.  I know 30 states is needed to reach the highest level in the Half Fanatics.

Two half marathons in two days puts me at the Jupiter level.  The higher the level, the closer you get to the Sun level.  By doing halfs in different states the following numbers are needed

  • Mars – 13 Half Marathons in 13 different states in 365 days
  • Earth – 16 Half Marathons in 16 different states in 365 days
  • Venus – 20 Half Marathons in 20 different states in 365 days
  • Mercury – 23 Half Marathons in 23 different states in 365 days
  • The Sun – 30 Half Marathons in 30 different states in 365 days

I have learned that DC counts as a state for leveling up and, offhand, I know I’ll have Illinois, Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota, Washington DC, New York, New Jersey, Indiana and Tennessee …that puts me at 9 states.  There is a small amount of jostling still needed to pull off those 9 states but I’m already registered for runs in all those states except New Jersey.  I’ll be updating Missouri and Illinois with new upcoming runs that I’m already registered for.

Mississippi, Arkansas and Louisiana are do-able in April of 2016 as a three day series – 3 halfs in 3 days in 3 states which would bring me up to 12 states.  The biggie is still the New England series which is in May of 2016 which would knock out 7 states in 7 days.  Indiana would be the 7th state and is already counted but I would also be able to knock out 6 new states – namely Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island thus bringing my total up to 18 states.

I have no idea how to pull that all off.  no idea.  But, that’s part of the appeal.  Something new.  Something challenging and I’m sure I’ll come up with answers and solutions as time goes by.  For now, I have a bit of direction.  Maybe I’ll keep a current map in my Running Log tab and ongoing maps in a Facebook album.

Mileage goals are still 117 for this month of August with 10 mile increases in my monthly mileage goal for ever month through the rest of this year.  Again, I really have no idea exactly how to do all that and it’s more than just a little bit intimidating to me.  I am working with a running coach from California so maybe together we can figure something out.

For now, I’m bringing Hope & Desire to the table.  …beyond that I’m just curious to see what this enthusiastic novice runner can accomplish :)

Oh – as of yesterday, this blog update also comes with my completion of 50 straight days of running.  During that running streak I’ve covered 157.75 miles which averages out to a little better than a 5K per day with 3.155 miles per day, on average. :)  After this weekend, that average will be up to 3.4 miles :)

Year 2, Week 32 Weigh-In

After some seemingly stagnant consolidation months in May and June, we’re seeing another downward trend with some new low weigh-ins over these past two months.

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In May & June my running mileage was at 76 and 72 miles respectively.  The changes I’ve made for July and August are twofold.  For one thing I bumped my mileage up over 100 in July and am shooting for 10 miles more in August than I had in July (117 vs 107).  Also, on July 1st, I started a Running Streak and have maintained running at least 1 mile per day (or more) every day.  I’m currently on Run Streak Day (RSD) #44.

The lowest documented weight I’m aware of is being 222 lbs back around 2001 when I was in some bench press contest.  If I finish out August with an average weight in the 230’s that will be my lowest average weight in nearly 15 years so, that’s very positive in terms of health and overall condition.

My initial goal at the beginning of this year was to weigh in the low 240’s.  I wanted that goal because I don’t look like I’m 9 months pregnant at that weight and I have a lot more clothes to choose from.  Having achieved that objective and dipping down into the 230’s I can notice more of a visual change in my appearance.   For me, it seems like the scale can move much more rapidly than the tape measure around my waist.  I once read that you have to lose about 5 lbs for every inch reduction in the waistline.  I don’t really know about the accuracy of that assertion but the overall concept is sound.

For now, there are three running goals in my head which should help keep my weight in check and perhaps continue to reduce my weight.  For one thing, I would like to keep my running streak going.  If I did the math correctly, 1% of a day, in terms of time comes out to 14 minutes and 24 seconds and that’s enough time for me to run a single mile and keep my streak in tact.  On July 1st, when I started the streak I was thinking I could give myself a nice birthday present next July 7th by having a full 365 day/ 1 year running streak under my belt.  This would also qualify me as a neophyte and get me listed as an active streaker with the United States Run Streak Association (USRSA).

A second goal is to continue a streak of running at least 100 miles per month.  After my first 100 mile month last year in August, I followed that up with 16 miles in September.  100 Miles per month is do-able and I would feel pretty good about closing this year out with 6 full 100 mile months of running. :)

The third goal is a bit more ambitious.  I use SmashRun.com to track my runs and provide me with valuable statistical data about my runs.  They have a badge which can only be earned by running 10 miles per month more than the month before for 6 months in a row.  That means I have to hit 117 miles for this month, 127 in Sept and 137, 147, 157 miles for Oct, Nov & Dec.  That’s a lot of miles and my brain isn’t quite sure what to make of it all but I think it’s a worthy goal and perhaps one I should not shy away from.

Year 2, Week 31 Weigh-In! :)

I am thrilled & tickled to death over this morning’s weigh in.  I didn’t even realize Thursday was upon us so this weigh-in is very candid – and yes, I did skip my week 30 weigh in.

….INSERT PICTURE HERE…..

Well folks.  I’ve recently “upgraded” to Windows 10 and once all the bugs are figured out it will probably be a pretty good operating system.  I spent about 2 hours last night after the Win10 upgrade upgradeing the upgrade with drivers just so this great new operating system would recognize the fact that I have a 2nd monitor plugged into my laptop.

For whatever reason, there are still gliches with pictures and the pics I would normally post with my weigh-ins are all showing up as broken links.

Essentially – I weighed 239.4 today which is the exact same weigh in I had 2 weeks ago but I am extremely happy about it.  You have to understand that dropping weight is NOT  a linear process and that’s part of the reason I predominately concern myself with my monthly average and never get too worked up over any single weigh-in.  What’s most important is the overall direction in which you are heading not what any snapshot static weight says on any particular day.

During this process, we may see glimpses of what lies ahead.  Two weeks ago I saw a glimpse of the direction I was heading but today we may start to take this new low weight as a part of reality.  It’s real.  This also gives me a pretty firm foundation for a belief that I could actually have an average weight this August in the 230s which in itself is pretty remarkable.

That Loonies Midnight marathon I did a couple weeks ago really threw me for a loop.  Running 26.2 miles during a time when you’re body is normally used to sleeping is a formidable challenge.  I had a host of 1 mile runs leading up to that marathon and I’ve had mainly 1 mile runs since, with a few 5k distances thrown in.  I’ll be getting some longer distance runs in this month and believe over the next couple weeks we can see even lower weigh-ins.

Gotta run –

oh & btw- the running goal for this month is 117 miles – also I’m on a running streak, 36 days straight now and I’m looking to make that streak 62 days on August 31st.

and – I’ve taken on a VLOGGING challenge – a VLOG is a video blog.  I’m doing something called VEDA which stands for Vlog Every Day in August.  I created a new channel on YouTube called … i can run a minute and have been vlogging and learning on that channel.  i really do have to run but will probably try to embed some links or videos in upcoming blogs.

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2015 Week 29 Weigh-In, New 2 Year Low

For the very first time since I started tracking my weekly weight on Jan 13th, 2014 with an initial weigh-in of 316.2 lbs we have our first weekly weigh-in under 240 pounds with an official weight of 239.4.  My current average weight for July is now at a very respectable 242 pounds and that’s worth discussing a bit more.

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Since there are 5 weigh-ins during the month of July, each 1 lbs variance on the scale for my final weigh in of the month will influence the average by 0.20 lbs (1/5th of a pound)  That figure may be derived by taking a single pound and dividing it by the number of weigh ins during the month.  Hence, 1 lb divided by 5 weigh ins equates to 1/5th or 0.20 lbs.

Likewise in the upcoming months of August and September, there will be only 4 weigh ins so each one pound weight change will be able to influence my final average for those months by 1/4th of a pound or 0.25 lbs

What does that all mean? – Basically, any final weigh in between 239 and 243 pounds will maintain my average weight of 242 since my spreadsheet rounds my average weight to the nearest pound.  Any weight next week less than 239 will reduce my average and any weight above 243 will increase my average.

For July 2015 I’ll be achieving 2 more of the 5 goals I originally had set for 2015 – copied directly from my Running Log tab:


For 2015 I’m looking for…

  • sub 3 hour 1/2 – Achieved! 4/4/15, 2:56:39 & again on 4/12/15 w/ 2:51:28
  • sub 10 min mile – ACHIEVED! 8:50 at the Macklind Mile on 6/27/15! :)
  • body weight in the low 240s
  • another 100 mile month :)
  • 500 miles for the year

The 242 average will give my the third goal, body weight in the low 240s and I’m at 94 miles for the month so even the minimum of 1 mile per day running to maintain my current running streak will put me at 103 miles for the month which will check off the 4th goal listed for 2015.

I’ll finish July out with at least 376 miles for the year which compares very nicely with my entire total miles for last year of 391 miles.  Either by the end of August or the first week in September I’ll hit my final goal of 500 miles for the year.

Visually, what I can see by the end of this year are an average bodyweight in the 220s, maybe the low 220s and there’s a good chance of seeing weight in the teens – 21x’s and perhaps even an average in the 210s range.

Loonies Midnight Marathon Review

I’ve started writing some reviews for BibRave.com and below is my review copied from that site starting with OVERALL.  A few additional pictures have been added towards the beginning which are not found on the BibRave review.

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BibRave Review:

OVERALL – This is a great race and run very well by the race directors. Starting at midnight the race is unique and can pose an extra challenge if you are traveling a long way to get there. For me, my Friday started out at 4:30 in the morning …with a short 1 mile run to keep up a running streak and after a 6 hour drive to my hotel in Cookesville, TN my attempts to get even a couple hours sleep before the race did not happen. The packet pick up is from 8 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. that Friday night with the race starting at midnight. by the time I finished the run I’d been up well over 24 hours straight. Getting there a day earlier may be something to consider if traveling a great distance.

The Loonies race is limited to 300 people and a little over an hour East, South/East of Nashville, TN. I signed up rather late since I was scrambling to qualify as a Marathon Maniac so Cookesville, TN was the closest hotel I could get. I stayed at a Best Western/Thunderbird Inn and was very happy with the hotel. The drive was a pretty short 30 minutes to the start of the race.

T-SHIRT/SWAG – Very high quality. Such high quality that I almost felt as if I was relation to a rich little family. Super nice tech t-shirt and a Loonies hat which is very nice and not something usually received. The medal is probably my favorite ever, 2nd only perhaps to the first marathon medal ever received some two plus decades ago.

AID STATIONS – After the initial 1.2 mile loop, there were five 5 mile loops with 3 aid stations which all featured water and gatorade. If you want or need GU, you’ll need to bring your own. I finished towards the end and there were about 30 pizzas ready & waiting for consumption as well as an ample amount of snacks and typical post race food.

COURSE SCENERY – The course is ran starting at midnight so there isn’t too much to see other than the dark lit town of Livingston, TN which isn’t so bad. Along the start of the race we run by each lap there is a row of vehicles – tents, RV’s and people cheering on their loved ones running in the race and it’s always fun to get a constant influx of cheers and applause every lap. That is a benefit of lap structured marathons. With more typical long route marathons you may see a bunch of support at the beginning and the end but you’re pretty much solo in the distant miles.

Another interesting part of the course was the starting point and which had a little loop to run and the farthest portion of the race was a little loop and those two loops were connected by a couple shared miles where you could see other races in an out and back type fashion. Think of two circles connected by a line, that was the course :)

EXPO QUALITY – No expo.

ELEVATION DIFFICULTY – One short area of the race had a bit of a hill but, after a couple laps you barely notice it anymore. Mostly flat terrain. There were 6 people in the 2015 race who qualified for Boston as the race distance is certified.

PARKING/ACCESS – Very easy and ample parking for all – runners and spectators alike.

RACE MANAGEMENT – High Quality. Not only was my experience positive for this 4th Annual race but everybody else I talked with who had run in previous years all had positive comments.

My original BibRave review may be found at http://www.bibrave.com/races/loonies-midnight-marathon#.Va1wq_m6fkg  (link opens in new window)

Year 2, Week 26 Weigh-In

Yesterday morning my weekly Thursday weigh-in put me at 241.6 which I believe might be the lowest weight I’ve recorded since I started taking measurements in January of 2014.  For the record I’ve uploaded all three of my weekly weigh-ins to my About Dr Scott tab, all of 2014, the first half of 2015 and what I have so far of the second half of 2015.

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My average weight for this month is now standing at 243 which represents a good change from the previous month’s average of 248.  I’m not sure if I’ve talked about this too much but I see getting overly emotional about the scale changes as more of a symptom of a problem.  Hitting my final two weigh-ins of July in the 240s will be a good success and a final average in the low 240s or under 245 will be another success.

about 18 1/2 hours from now I’ll be embarking upon another marathon.  It’s about a 5 1/2 drive to get to this marathon so I’ll be leaving home within the next 5 hours or so. I will have to get some sleep in before midnight tonight otherwise I’ll find myself in mile 20+ of a marathon 24 hours from now after being awake for 24 hours straight.

I’m in a Running Group on facebook called July Fun Pick One 50, 60, 70, 80, 90, 100?.  It’s a name that doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue and the name of the month switches with every month but it’s been extremely helpful with my running.  The premise of the group is simple, everybody picks a mileage amount at the beginning of the month they want to hit for that month then post their runs everyday along with how they are progressing towards their monthly goal.

for me, it’s 62/100 which means I’ve gotten in 62 out of 100 miles for the month of July.  It’s probably the most inspirational group I’ve ever been a part of.

I’ve learned about Run Streaks from that group, simply running every day.  There is an organization called the United States Running Streak Association (USRSA) (http://www.runeveryday.com/) and they maintain an active (and retired) list of everybody’s run streak on on their Official USA Active Running Streak List.  The top two people on that list have run every day for the past 45+ years.  There are 106 people on that list who have been running daily for over 20 years.

We have one guy in our facebook group, Marvin, who is on a quest for 1,000 days straight and another really nice guy from Arkansas who will be on his 199th day straight today.  I decided to try a run streak for the month of July so I’m at a 16 day streak right now and, I have to say, I’ve been getting some pretty favorable results.  It only takes a run of any pace, of at least 1 mile to maintain a run streak.  I’ve been noting my Streak with an extra notation on my Instagram post with RSD16 which stands for Run Streak Day 16.

Partly, it’s a mental game.  The time required to cover a mile isn’t much – scarcely over 1% of a person’s day even for the slowest of people.

Hitting the road and running or walking for even an hour is only about 4% of a person’s day but, I prefer to look at it as having 96% of my day SuperCharged.  Giving myself 96% of a day that is going to be more productive and happy.  There’s no guarantee everything is going to be great throughout a day of life given a run but I do believe there is an enhanced propensity for things in life to be better, to see things through a clearer lens and, should things be bad, to help lessen and soften those blows and allow a person to be able to better handle tough times.

This Run Streak notion also goes back to a book I read through in high school called Red Gold – that Soviet Training book and it mentioned doing something everyday regardless of what it is – I’ve given the example they gave in the book of touching a light bulb everyday so, it can be something innocuous.  Some of the best attempts I had with this type of psychological training has been with games in the past.  Last year, I had a 152 day streak with a website called duolingo.com which I used to help study the German language.  Sometime in August that website is slated to have Russian available which I’m also interested in so I may start another streak with that language.

A running streak though… now we’re getting into something abundantly useful and pragmatic.

Speaking of streaks – there is something called VEDA coming up which stands for VLOG Everyday in August and VEDA is also used for April as well.  I’ve created a new channel on YouTube called i can run a minute to use for this new VLOGging venture.  I still want to beef up the teaching videos I have on my regular YouTube page but, it does take a certain skill set to put up a video and I have been learning a lot lately.

The administrator of the Slow Runner’s Club on facebook is a guy that goes by the name of Zen Runner and he is hosting a group of us in yet another group called ZENVEDA.  He’s expanded the VEDA concept to also include blogging and podcast as well as VLOGs.

Well, it’s time to focus and take control of this brain of mine.  A few hours of work and last minute prep, as well as a quick one mile run to keep my run streak alive is all that’s between me and a quick trip to Livingston, Tennessee.