Posts Tagged ‘run for your lives’

29 Weeks and Counting: A Run For Your Lives Update

I skipped my weekly countdown to Run For Your Lives last weekend. Sorry; last weekend was crazy busy, the following work week was even busier, and now, as I sit sidelined with an injury, is the first real time I’ve had in a while to sit down and collect my thoughts.

Okay, not entirely true. I posted about my planned month-long attempt at intuitive eating that started on April 1st. So far, so good. I’m feeling mentally good, I’m feeling physically good, and I am truly looking forward to weighing in on May 1st and hopefully seeing a significant loss.

I’m going to combine this update with the story of my 2nd 5K, because the two are very closely related. So before I go on to describe the update of my training plan for Run For Your Lives, let me tell you a bit about our experience at the 3rd Annual Buffalo Crossing 5K in Munfordville, Kentucky.

This was a much smaller race with about 150 participants as opposed to the 500+ present at last weekend’s Family Enrichment Center 5K. Not a problem. It was also in my hometown, which was a nice bonus. (After the race, we went to visit my parents. And I actually saw my dad during the race, because he is the president of the local Rescue Squad and they volunteered to block off the intersections so we didn’t get run over. He was our only cheering section during the entire race except for the finish line.

And a quick photo of Tina and I before the race… much warmer than last weekend, which was nice. (Note: You can also see the tattoo on my lower left leg that I want to get removed at some point.)

The race started in Thelma Stovall Park by Green River. I realize if you aren’t from Munfordville, that pretty much means nothing to you. Just know that it meant that, as soon as the race started, we would have a VERY steep, 1/8 mile climb out of Thelma Stovall Park to get to the historic downtown streets where the rest of the 5K took place.

I don’t mind saying that the first hill kicked our butts. It is seriously a tremendously steep hill. It is probably the steepest hill I have ever walked up. Very few people were even able to jog up it.

The rest of the race went up and down the remarkably hilly streets of Munfordville. It was a surprisingly strenuous course. Even though I more or less grew up in Munfordville, (I actually lived in the country NEAR Munfordville), I had no idea how hilly this little town of 1,700 people actually was.

The last ½ mile of the course took us back to Thelma Stovall park where we finished on a very uneven, rocky, dangerous “walking” course. It would have been tremendously easy to turn an ankle. I was very relieved to finally cross the finish line at fifty-ish minutes. I can’t give you a time more exact than that because the timing system was… well, it was pretty much a guy with a clipboard and a stopwatch.

My thoughts on this race: Suckfest. Hated it. I am SO glad I did the 5K I did last weekend first, because if this had been the first road race I had EVER done, I would probably have never done another one. It was poorly organized, and those of us who signed up for the walk (instead of the run) were told at the start line that we were not allowed to run. Pfft. Tina and I ran past the guy who announced that just for spite. I get his point; people who ran during the walk portion can throw off their awards system. Well, I had no plans to place high enough as a walker or runner to receive a medal.

As far as race swag, nothing but a t-shirt. I will concede that it is a nice t-shirt, even if it is the brightest pink I’ve ever seen.

Last weekend at my 5K, I said I was going to write the name of someone who inspired me on my arm as inspiration. I thought that was a great idea, as a lot of people have inspired me to get to this point. While that remains true, the words of Carla a.k.a MizFit also rang really strongly in my ears this week, too.

“I am my own superhero.”

Truer words have never been spoken. While I am grateful to everyone (and I forget tons of people off of the list I posted last weekend – one of my main fears for creating such a list!), I must also acknowledge that I am doing this for me. So I did this 5K with no sharpie tattoos. All me.

I wish I could keep this 5K story from being a total downer, but I’m afraid I have even more bad news. I have a pretty severe case of bursitis at the moment.

Okay, maybe it’s not severe. Maybe it’s mild. All I know is that there is clearly an inflammation on the back of my right heel, it hurts in a BIG way, and I am currently hobbling when I walk.

I’m blaming it on three things. One, I am obese. That’s obviously a big contributor.

Two, my shoes suck. They are old and clearly no longer do the work they should. (Tina and I took a trip to Shoe Carnival this afternoon to remedy this.)

And three, I pound when I run or walk, and I was running/walking on pavement. Bad move. I’ve really, sadly come to the conclusion that I am not meant to run on pavement until I’ve lost some more weight. Last weekend, my right heel hurt pretty severely, and I was pretty much on ice-pack detail for two days. Same this weekend, only it hurts more. I’m not insane; something must change.

So, the 5K plan is being temporarily scrapped. I still hope to someday do 223 5Ks, but while I am now two down, the other 221 are going to have to wait for a while. It does me no good to injure myself and prevent me from doing any substantial exercise.

Now, all that being said, I do still have the Run For Your Lives coming up on October 22nd, and I am still immensely excited about it. It’s not just a 5K; it’s also an obstacle course. So there is still TONS of training that I can do.

I’m going to continue doing 5Ks at the gym. The treadmill is more cushioned than pavement, and it doesn’t hurt. (Please note – if it starts hurting on the treadmill, too, then I’ll have to modify this yet again.)

The Run For Your Lives is also an obstacle course, so there is plenty of strength and agility training we can do, too. We’re going to keep hitting the weight room hard. We’re going to keep doing yoga and stretching, and we’re going to incorporate some plyometrics, too.

Zombies beware. I may be injured (note to Zombies: my right heel is especially tough, so if I am caught and you decide to eat me, I won’t be offended if you give my right heel to your zombie dogs.) but I am not down.

Zombie movie of the week?

28 Days Later.

Just a little over six months to go. I’ve still got TONS of training left to do!

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

I can’t believe how ultimately simple it was for me to enjoy the process of starting to jog. I am not running yet. I am still slow. If today were October 22, 2011, I would be zombie chow. (And to be honest – I think I might even want a zombie medal instead of a survivor medal… still not sure.) But I am in the process of walking and jogging my 5Ks (all on the treadmill). My time is steadily increasing.

My first 5K was 56:47. Then I bumped it up to 53:36. Today?

52:24. I am getting progressively quicker. Okay, still slow. I get that, but you know what? For me, this is EPIC.

And the best part? I’m enjoying it!

Today, I put my DVD player on the elliptical (below is a picture from a workout about a week ago), play Supernatural (just started Season 3), and I walk two minutes at 3.2 and jog one at 4.1. I realize that for a lot of people, 4.1 miles per hour is a fast walk. For me, it’s a jog. I’m in “jogging motion,” so to speak. But I’m finding it gets progressively easier. Today, I did one minute of jogging for every two minutes of walking. Tomorrow, I’m going to bump the jogging time up a bit. I’m concentrating on jogging the ENTIRE 5K at 4.1 miles per hour before I work on my speed.

During today’s 5K, I realized the change that made me enjoy it.

I HATE Couch to 5K! It is too freaking difficult to time and I get bored… I’m either stopping jogging too soon when I want to walk or I feel like I have to jog for too long too early. C25K has done miracles for some people, but I think I am better off just listening to my own body and slowly increasing my jogging time.

And I’ve got another piece of running related news to share. I am signing up for my first 5K. It’s not my first sign up (that honor will always be with Run For Your Lives), but this one is happening first. It’s in my hometown of Munfordville, Kentucky (population 1,700). I’m signing up for this one because it has the benefit of a 5K Walk option. I’m not quite ready to run 3.1 miles, but I fully expect to walk and jog this one. And who knows? Maybe I can even break 45 minutes. It’s on April 2nd, and I can’t wait!

(BTW, if you look at the picture closely, you’ll notice I circled the wrong age division. Wishful thinking, perhaps?)

Don’t worry. I’m not just doing cardio in training. Tina and I continue to lift weights. Even though I’ve already gotten a 5K in today, we’re doing yoga tonight. Run For Your Lives is also an obstacle course, so we’re working on strength and flexibility, too.

Zombie movie of the week?

Zombie 4: After Death.

A friend gave it to me YEARS ago. It’s on VHS. Watching a VHS movie is going to feel like building a fire with flint or something. I’m not even sure if Zombies 1 thru 3 even exist… It’s been eons since I’ve watched this, and I remember it sucked. I’m sure it still does.

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

This is a quick Saturday night post. Run For Your Lives is still on, and we are still in full training mode. We did just receive word from the race organizer that DJ Pauly D will not be available for the Apocalypse Party the night of the race. Uhm, okay. To that, I only have two things to say. The only way I would EVER watch Jersey Shore is if I was guaranteed the entire cast would be eaten by zombies while I was watching, and I don’t mean some lame Halloween special. They would for real need to be eaten by zombies during the show. And then the show ends. Forever. And MTV starts playing music again. And two, if DJ Pauly D had been there, we would not have stayed. We may now stay for the Apocalypse Party, so yay for that.

Now, on to training news…

When I’m at the gym, even on weight lifting days, I always put some treadmill time in. Today, Tina and I took Malcolm to a local park and got in some walking and jogging. It’s getting easier. I’m still taking it VERY slow. I am well aware that I weigh over 350 pounds, and not many guys my size put their bodies through the stress of jogging. So slow and easy goes it, but I’m feeling my heart and lungs get stronger every day, and so long as my feet and joints stay pain-free (which they currently are), I’m going to stay the course.

I’ve slacked off a bit on the stretching, so I need to pick that up. I’m so stiff, yoga will definitely be a big help. I just need to do it more.

Zombie movie of the week?

Dawn of the Dead. 1978 version. Those zombies don’t run. That might give me a little bit of an ego boost.

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