5K

#100daychipquest

If you follow me on twitter, you’ll probably notice that I kinda suck at it. I’ve been sticking with it longer this time than I ever have before, though. Some people have thousands and thousands of tweets. I’ve tweeted around 530 or so. Part of it is because I can’t consistently tweet at my job (because they expect me to do work – how presumptuous!) and when I get home, I frequently like to unplug, at least a little bit. But I have gone from the camp of, “Twitter is for losers!” to “Yeah, I can see how someone can get into this.”

One of the biggest reasons I am enjoying twitter at the moment is the #7daychip challenge, started by Brad Gransberg. I’ve gotten several tweets from some in my twitter feed would fear I may have become an alcoholic. Not quite. For those who don’t know, it’s a self-selected program (and I use that term loosely) where we support each other with the #7daychip hashtag as we go about our day, trying to live up to our own expectations of what we want to accomplish. It’s not a case of “do this and you make day one.” It’s a case of “I decide what a healthy day looks like” and when I’ve strung seven together in a row, I get a seven day chip. Like this one, made by Brad.

He offered us a small chip with just our own picture, but I’m happy to include the others who made it with me on this. (And tons made it before us.) Amy Westphal was my day-to-day #7daychip buddy, and she was a huge help. Thanks Amy!

It’s been a big help, and it’s gaining momentum on twitter. If you aren’t currently doing it, you should think about it. I’ve met some cool people doing it, and people that I have never met in my life face-to-face frequently send me tweets, encouraging me to keep it up and helping me back up when I fall down.

So what, then, is the #100daychipquest? After the 7 day chip, you have the 30 day chip. But this trumps all of it. It is a group of us who are pledging to follow some kind of guideline (all at our own choosing) for one hundred days.

I jumped on board, too. What goals do I need to follow for the next 100 days for me to earn my 100daychip?

1. Do 3 5Ks a week (either official, as in races, or unofficial, as in treadmill).
2. Drink at least 96 ounces of water a day.
3. Do some type of workout every day (whether it’s a 5K, weights at the gym, or Zumba on the Wii).
4. Eat at least two vegetable servings (starchy veggies are okay) with every dinner.
5. At least 98 of my next 100 days must be good calorie days.

So does that mean I’m allowing myself two binge days?

No. But I’m also human, and if it happens, I’m not going to scrap the #100daychipquest and say screw it. I’ll keep on keeping on.

I am purposefully vague in what a good calorie day is. Let me explain why.

On June 25th, Tina and my parents are piling into my mom’s car and we’re going to Sikeston, Missouri, because my parents have wanted to take us to Lambert’s for just shy of forever. I’m making this little short overnight trip a two-fer, by the way, because Tina and I will also be running the Huskers 5K on Friday night in East Prairie, Missouri, before we go to Lambert’s on Saturday.

I’ve never eaten at Lambert’s. I’ve heard the food is amazing and the serving sizes are generous. I won’t binge when I go there, but it’s also not an everyday occurrence, either. I’ll probably eat what I want within reason. I’m not going to consider that day a binge or a failure. It’s planned eating, and probably a bit on the higher calorie side, but I’m going to be with loved ones. That’s a FAR cry from my binge days where I would eat six Wendy’s Jr. Bacon Cheeseburgers because I’m trying to fill a void that I sometimes didn’t even know was there.

So some of my good calorie days will be higher than others. It’s all perspective.

It’ll be a tough climb, but the view will be worth it.

It’s not too late. Join us?

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31 Weeks and Counting: A Run For Your Lives Update

I can’t even begin to describe how utterly surprised and astonished I am that I have found (if not love) a strong like for running. I’m actually having to restrict myself in how often I run. I do weigh over 350 pounds, and I’ve found that if I do a 5K every day, my feet are a little achy. I still workout every single day, but I’m doing the 5Ks every other day. And I’m doing my very best to improve, at least a little bit, with each one.

When I first started this journey, I did a 5K in 56:47. On Saturday, I did one in 48:32.

I’ve got even better news about it. I ran for seven minutes straight. You have NO idea how freaking gigantic-huge that is. And, even better better yet, I then followed that up with alternating five minutes of running with three minutes of jogging. 48:32.

I know for some runners, that would be a terribly slow time for 3.1 miles. But for me, that is gargantuan mega huge. It is literally the most I have EVER run in my entire life.

On the days I don’t run, I lift weights, or do Zumba (we just got Zumba for Wii – review coming soon!), or the elliptical, or take the dog for a walk, or whatever keeps my body moving. I’m not becoming a runner, per se. I want to be fit, and I’m choosing to make running a big part of that.

Quick caveat – I’ve mentioned this before, but I’m currently going for endurance and not speed. In fact, my “running” pace would probably be a swift walk for someone else. I set the treadmill at 4.1 miles per hour for my jogging and 3.2 for my walking. At 4.1 miles per hour, it will take me over forty-five minutes to run a 5K. I am totally fine with that. I don’t expect to place in a 5K any time soon. I am completely at ease with being the last person to cross the finish line.

Because here is how I look at it – I might be the last person to cross the finish line, but there are millions of people who are choosing not to even get up and walk. Dead last at the race or not, I’m still winning. Duh. Tiger blood. (Sorry; got possessed by Charlie Sheen for a moment there.)

But as far as my speed… October is the first race I’m going to do where I think speed may be something of a factor. In Run For Your Lives, I’ll be chased by zombies. Hopefully, I’ll have sped up by then. Maybe by October 22nd, I’ll be able to run a sub-33 minute 5K. We’ll see. But I’m okay crawling across the finish line on October 22nd, covering zombie bites and on the verge of becoming undead myself, just because it will mean that I’ve accomplished something that I never thought I would do. Become a runner.

Zombie movie of the week?

Trailer Park of Terror. Seriously awesome movie. Go watch this.

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A Steady Downhill Jog Weigh-In

I’m calling this one a Steady Downhill Jog Weigh-In.

The info…

March 18, 2011
Last Week’s Weight: 355.1
Today’s Weight: 354.7
Change from All-Time High: -48.1 pounds
Change from Last Week: -0.4 pounds

First of all, yay! I don’t think I’ve ever been as happy to see a loss on the scale as I was this particular morning. I know, it’s not much, but I’ll explain why I’m totally okay with that in just a minute. But first… my measurements!

The last time I did them was on February 4th, when they looked like this:

Chest: 52 1/2″
Stomach: 60 3/4″
Bicep: 17 1/4″

And today?

Chest: 51 1/4″
Stomach: 58 1/4″
Bicep: 16 1/2″

I did a 5K last night in 50:22. I ran for FIVE minutes straight. Seriously, you don’t know how freaking huge that is for me! And this is why I’m pleased to show any loss on the scale at all today.

First of all, I’ve been counting my calories religiously. #7daychip is the greatest diet tool ever, in my opinion, but I’ll talk about that more in a different post as soon as I’ve officially earned it. (Currently on Day 5. Go me!)

However, as we all know, it is SO easy to mess up the scale with a water or salt imbalance problem. The true weight loss is still there, but it’s hard to see and for some of us who still stupidly live and die by the scale (*raises hand*), that can be frustrating. On Tuesday, I weighed in at 359.3 for PhysicsDiet. That number FREAKED me out. I promptly put the scale up until Friday. It clearly does not do me good to weigh in daily. Back to once a week, just for my mental health. Someday, I’m sure it won’t bother me, but for now, it does.

Anyway, last night after work (later after work), I went to the gym and did my 50:22 5K on the treadmill. I went straight from work, so I was completely without water during the 5K, and on top of that, I didn’t stay very hydrated yesterday at work. So as soon as I got home, my body cried out for water, and I drank half a gallon before bed. It’s just water. That’s good for me.

When I woke up this morning, I barely had to pee at all. Normally, if I drink that much immediately before bed, I’d be up to pee at least twice during the night. Not once, and barely any in the morning… My first thought as I got on the scale was, “Oh crap… Who knows what this number will be, because my hydration was all screwed up.” So when that 354.7 popped up, I did a happy dance. I may have only loss 0.4 pounds, but I may have lost even more and it just hasn’t shown up yet. Maybe I’ll post a HUGE number next week, who knows? But regardless, my inches show I’ve done pretty well in the past month and a half, so I’m pleased all the way around. No matter what, I am smaller now than I was in February. Woo hoo!

My first 5K (which I will do as a walk/jog combination) is coming up in a week. If you read my last post, I’ve decided to tackle the job of doing a 5K for every pound I’ve lost. I may have to eliminate a few of the ones I initially posted due strictly to financial matters, but I’m not dropping it and I’m still going to do as many as I possibly can. I’m going to keep an “upcoming races that I have already paid for” list in my sidebar, so if you’re reading this in a blog reader, you can hop over to my webpage to see that.

Good end to a good week. How was yours?

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32 Weeks to Go and Counting: A Run For Your Lives Update

I’m really starting to enjoy jogging. In fact, I am enjoying it so much that I’ve had to back off a little bit.

Did you know when you are just starting out and still weigh over 350 pounds, it isn’t a good idea to do a 5K on the treadmill EVERY day? Whoda thunk it? I’m aiming for about three 5Ks a week right now (all currently on the treadmill). I’m still not jogging a straight 5K yet, but you know what? It can take people a while to actually do that. But I know I’ll get there, and hopefully, by October 22nd. My fastest time right now is 51:23. I’m slowly building up to jogging longer and longer sections of time without quitting.

The 5K bug has bit me. When Tina and I signed up for Run For Your Lives (takes place October 22, 2011), we knew that would not be our first 5K. Last week, I talked about signing up for the Buffalo Crossing 5K in my hometown of Munfordville. We picked it because it had the benefit of offering a walking 5K in addition to the running. Given that I don’t quite run yet, that was perfect.

And then I had a thought… Bear with me here, it may get a bit circuitous.

I used to weigh 403 pounds. I’m going to brag on me here for a minute. The guy who weighed 403 pounds NEVER would have expected his slimmer self in the future (if such a slimmer self even existed) would ever become a runner. So kudos to me for taking this first step, even if it is a walking/jogging 5K I’m doing first.

My ultimate goal weight is 180 pounds. That’s a LONG way away. I may get to 220 and decide, “Hey, this is perfect for me,” and that’s great. But I could also get to 180 and say, “You know, I could stand to lose five or ten more pounds.” (Unlikely because I already have a fair amount of muscle from lifting weights for the past three years, but you never know.) So for the sake of simplicity, let’s say that my goal weight, the weight I’ll want to stay at, is 180.

That means I’ll have lost 223 pounds by the time I get there. There are some obese people who start out their journey at 223 pounds.

That’s a big number. I want to do something with it to celebrate that number… getting it off of my body. Despite the fact that I have one already, I’m not a tattoo guy and don’t want it on my skin… (although that would be a cool tattoo)…

And this weekend, it came to me.

I’m going to celebrate every pound lost with a 5K. Not on the treadmill, an actual here’s-money-for-charity-where’s-my-free-t-shirt 5K. Two hundred and twenty-three different 5Ks. And besides, if I decide 180 isn’t my right goal weight, then the number will change. I’m just sticking to 223 for now as a place to start. That number may change.

I know it’ll take me years. I’m totally cool with that. Best case scenario – I’ve got a good two years ahead of me to lose the rest of this weight. So I better get cracking, right?

My rules – it can be a walking, running, or mix 5K. At some point during these 223 5Ks, I must do a Krispy Kreme Challenge. (The University of Kentucky actually offers a 5K version of this for charity. And this one will occur AFTER I have reached goal weight. I’m not doing that kind of damage to my body while I’m still losing weight.) Obstacle Course 5Ks are allowed. And I must get the t-shirt, and even if it doesn’t fit, I’m taking a picture of me wearing it to post here on the blog. That means you’ll probably see me in a few skintight t-shirts here in the beginning, but that’s okay. This is about celebrating me and the weight I’ve lost and am still losing, man boobs (which will someday be gone, yay!) and all.

Why 5Ks? Why not 10Ks? Why not Fun Runs? Why not marathons? Because 5Ks are held EVERYWHERE and they are held all the time. Literally year round. It’s a nice short distance (although I’m still in training, so 3.1 miles still seems like a long way to me) but it requires enough of an effort for me that I’ve had to train for it. I’m sure by the time I’ve done 223 of these, I’ll think they are easy. But I’ll always remember how it felt the first time I did one at the gym. That 5K did not feel easy at all. But it’s still easier than every excess pound that I used to (and still do, albeit not QUITE as many) haul around every day.

Oh, and another benefit? Tina and I are always talking about how we should give more to charities. We usually don’t. This way, I will be. (And incidentally, if you would be interested in sponsoring me for a 5K, please drop me a line at jeremy@stellarpath.net and let me know.)

This isn’t something I’m going to start working on later. I’m doing this NOW. After all, 223 5Ks aren’t going to run themselves. This is what I’ve already signed up for. (As in, filled out the registration form and mailed in the checks. [Note: Some are just listed on my local road runner’s webpage, so I technically haven’t registered yet.])

1. March 26th – Total Fitness Connection’s Run and Walk for Children, Bowling Green, KY
2. April 2nd – Buffalo Crossing 5K, Munfordville, KY
3. April 9th – Goose Creek 5K, at E.P. Tom Sawyer State Park in Louisville, KY (1st of 4 Kentucky State Park 5K Series)
4. April 16th – Butterflies for Maddie, Glasgow, KY
5. May 14th – Barren River 5K, at Barren River State Park in Glasgow, KY (2nd of 4 Kentucky State Park 5K Series)
June 11th – Possum Ridge 5K, at Taylorsville Lake State Park in Taylorsville, KY (3rd of 4 Kentucky State Park 5K Series)
6. June 24th – Huskers 5K, East Prairie, Missouri (maybe – not registered for this one yet, but I may be in Sikeston, MO, this weekend, and if I am, I’m going to get a 5K in, too.)
7. July 9th – Rough River 5K, at Rough River State Park in Falls of Rough, KY (4th of 4 Kentucky State Park 5K Series)
8. September 5th – Run for Sight 5K, Bowling Green, KY
9. September 24th – RooBear 5K, Bowling Green, KY
10. October 15th – The Medical Center Classic, 5K, Bowling Green, KY
11. October 22nd – Run For Your Lives Zombie-Infested 5K Obstacle Course, Darlington, MD (the 5K that started it all for me)

More will be added as I come across them. I hope to cover as many different races in as many states as I possibly can. I know I’m undertaking a HUGE, multi-year task, but I honestly can’t wait. And this means that someday, I’ll have a tote (or two) in my garage filled with 223 5K t-shirts. But those totes of t-shirts will still weigh less than the 223 pounds I used to haul around every day with every step.

Okay, back to zombie 5K news. Next time I’m in the gym, I’m going to up my running time. I was doing 1:15 of running to 1:45 of walking. I’m about to increase to two minutes of running to three minutes of walking. Let’s see how it goes!

Zombie movie of the week?

Let’s watch a good one this week. I loved the original, but honestly, I thought the 1990 remake was better. (Mostly because this Barbara was a kick-ass heroine and wasn’t catatonic for 95% of the movie.)

Night of the Living Dead, the 1990 Remake.

Also yoga, for stretching. And I have a theory that stretchy muscles won’t be as tasty, so hopefully, the zombies won’t go back for a second bite if they do catch me.

How are you training for the upcoming zombie apocalypse?

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Weigh-Ins
12-31-13 - 412.0
1-3-14 - 407.0 (-5.0 pounds total)