Jamie's Running Blog

What's this all about? (expand/collapse)


January 9, 2009

Before starting to write this entry I decided to take some time to read my very first one.

It was over nine months ago on March 25, 2008.

Somehow in the first couple of weeks of March I had devised a plan that I would start running with a goal/reward of a Disney World vacation if I were dedicated and could successfully run a 5K race in January.

Tracy was immediately supportive of me, but confided recently that she really never thought I would make it.

I don't blame her one bit.

She has watched me over the past nine years with attempt after attempt of getting healthy. Each time lasting a few great weeks with a lot of progress and benefits, only to see me slowly lose interest and motivation and quickly become even more heavy and unhealthy than when I started.

I have to admit that this whole crazy idea, in many ways, didn't seem possible to me either.

But for some reason, on March 25th I found myself outside our house with Toby on his leash while the whole family slept. I started walking, but I had nowhere to go. I just knew that I needed to get moving!

And, it just so happened that I never stopped.

I don't really know if anyone has read any of the words I have been writing in this blog. That was really never the point. I have read it several times, and will probably continue to do so in the future. It may sound kind of cheesey, but I really feel like I am a different person than the one who wrote those words nine months ago. I'm quite happy to have the chance to remember my thoughts, my accomplishments and my setbacks.

I am very happy to report that I successfully achieved my goal of running the Circle of Life 5K at Disney's Animal Kingdom theme park on a very cold Florida morning on January 9th.

I finished in 30 minutes and 26 seconds.

I am actually writing this on January 21st, a couple days after returning from the vacation on the 18th.

Today is one year from the day that I received the phone call that I knew was coming but never really expected to receive. My sister called, right about the time I am writing this, to inform me that my Mom was not doing well and that I needed to come to the hospital as quickly as possible.

Andrew and I had spent a night with her just a couple of days before and had returned home after a perspective-changing night of caring for her to give my Dad a much-needed break. This was one of the worst nights of my life, but I am very glad I experienced exactly how hard she fought to live each and every day. I sat on the steps with Drew in my lap as we watched her leave her home for the last time, carried by firefighters out to the waiting ambulance, mouthing "I Love You" through her oxygen mask as she went by.

One year ago today, all five of us packed into the car not knowing what to expect when we reached the hospital. One year ago today was when I had the awful but often missed opportunity to say some last things to my Mom and to spend just a few more minutes with her before she passed away early the next morning.

While not planned in the least, it is quite fitting that I am able to record my thoughts and experiences with reaching my goal on the one-year anniversary of this day.

It is hard to believe that she has been gone a year now. I miss her a lot, and I am sure she was very proud when I crossed that finish line.

It is too bad that it took my Mom passing away to finally make me realize that I was wasting the gift of being able to move.

So, now I would like to tell the story of our first day and a half of our Disney World vacation.

Tracy spent (literally) three full days trying to pack things for the kids. The night before we left, both Tracy and I spent a long time packing for ourselves and making sure we had everything. We finished a bit before midnight, as I recall.

The alarm clock sounded at 4:00am and Tracy was up, and I tried to drag myself out of bed over the next 15 minutes or so. The car was pre-packed as much as possible, so it was a matter of showering, dressing, getting the kids up, piling into the car and getting to the airport. Drew was quite confused as we woke him up. He tried to explain that it is still nighttime. We knew that already, of course.

Getting to the airport was not much of an issue. We parked at USAirport parking, and they have the shuttle pick you right up at your car, and the driver helps load all of your things. You then get dropped off right at the curbside checkin for your specific airline, and the driver helps you unload all your things.

After checking our luggage we were ready to proceed to the gate. Our flight left at 8:45am, boarded at around 8:15am, and the clock showed that it was almost 7:00.

We then became our usual traveling circus as we tried to lug five carry-on bags, two carseats for the girls, a double stroller, three kids and ourselves all the way to the gate.

We spent a long time getting through security (seemed like 20 minutes) and barely made it on the train, off the train and to the end of the concourse in time to gate-check the stroller, grab some breakfast to take on the plane with us and board. It happened that fast.

On the plane itself was a continuation of the circus. Tracy took the kids on herself while I tried to get the bags and the carseats on after. I ended up leaving a couple bags near the front of the plane while I toted the carseats back fifteen or so rows.

The flight could have been worse (the return flight was MUCH WORSE) and we arrived in Orlando. Then came what I thought would be the most difficult part of the trip: getting from baggage claim to the rental car. I booked a car right at the airport to make it as easy as possible. There happened to be a gentleman with a very large cart to help us, and I tipped him $20 for alleviating this concern. We were soon at our hotel, the Walt Disney World Swan.

The bellman helped us up to our room and we unpacked a bit and then headed back to the rental van (Toyota Sienna minivan) to drive to Disney's Wide World of Sports where I checked in for the race.

When we arrived at the parking lot, it was packed because of the Health & Fitness Expo, and after a long, tiring day the last thing we wanted to do was to drag the now-sleeping kids out of the van and into the complex after walking from a far away parking spot. So, I stopped near the entrance and Tracy hopped into the driver's seat while I headed into the complex.

The whole complex is kind of neat, and it consist of several large buildings/stadiums which can house different events from baseball games, to indoor games like basketball or volleyball, as well as conventions, etc. I assume. I followed the crowds and the signs to the checkin for the Marathon Weekend.

They had a big setup on the floor of the arena with different lines for each event, broken down by the letter of your last name. I had to first pick up my race packet and then go pick up a commemorative pin I had purchased. It didn't take too much time at all.

My bib number was 256, meaning that only 255 people were more dedicated than me. There were a total of 5000 runners, I think, based on the signs I saw.

With nothing left to do and Tracy waiting outside, I quickly made my way back to the car, quickly stopping by the Champion shop where I picked up a Marathon Weekend stuffed Mickey which I was certain Tracy would love...and she did.

With the aid of cellular phones, I met back up with Tracy and we used the wonderful GPS system to find and navigate to a WalMart to purchase supplies for the next week and a half.

We spent a lot of time buying diapers, wipes, bottle fillers, snacks, mild, yogurt, and just about everything else. I also decided to try to buy some Disney tickets because it looked like they were discounted.

Tracy was off somewhere else and I figured it would only take a minute. About 45 minutes later we were able to leave, after a total of over two hours in the store. My credit card had a fraud alert and was denying all charges because I had been making some big purchases (almost $700 for the Disney park tickets alone!). Suffice it to say that I am not impressed with the speed at which a fraud alert can be cleared on that credit card. I was very thankful, however, that this time was spent on this night instead of right before we want to enter a theme park.

We finally make it back to the hotel and lug the groceries and kids back to the room. I self-park the van and head up after Tracy and the kids.

When I arrive Tracy informs me that Drew is not feeling well and may throw up. I promptly head out in search of a Sprite to calm his stomach. I won't go into the details, but I return 45 minutes later with a Sprite and find absolute chaos in the room.

Drew did, in fact, throw up. And so did Lexi. Tracy had all three kids in the bathtub, and the room was a mess. I made a list of needs and called guest services. A team of four people descended on our room to handle much of the mess, but that left a lot of very pressing laundry for Tracy to handle.

If that weren't enough, Brielle was in a panic for some reason, and she didn't want to be away from Tracy. So, Tracy took Brie and all the puke-soaked laundry over to the Dolphin hotel (next door) and came back at about 1:15am after finishing it all.

I had responsibility to get the other two kids to sleep and prepare for the early-morning race and get to sleep myself.

Tracy and the kids being at the race was just plain out of the question.

Lexi was the first asleep, and I successfully transferred her to her crib without waking her. Drew was next, but he fell asleep on the floor, and I left him there for the remainder of the night.

This left me with some time to try to organize the groceries, get my bib number pinned on my shirt, get everything set for the morning and get to bed.

I pinned the bib number on my shirt in dedication to my Mom for the Walk to Defeat ALS late last year. She was much of my inspiration, so I figured it was fitting.

I fumbled with but finally set the alarm clock for 4:45am and was asleep about 1:00am.

The alarm clock sounded and I turned it off as quickly as I could to avoid waking everyone up. I was successful, and in the next 15 minutes I was ready to go.

I decided it was better to wake Tracy to let her know I was leaving, and it scared her to death. She says she was happy I did so, but I am not 100% convinced.

Right at 5:00am I was out the door headed down to the front of the hotel to catch the Disney Marathon Weekend transportation to Animal Kingdom.

As I headed outside, the bus was parked at the pickup location and I boarded quickly. There was a father/daughter combination on already, but that was it.

The morning was very cool. Actually, it was quite cold. I had shorts, my t-shirt and my running sweatshirt on, but the bib number was pinned to the shirt, not the sweatshirt. And, I really wanted to run in just the shirt.

The bus left soon after I boarded and we made a couple more stops at the Dolphin, Boardwalk and Yacht and Beach Club resorts before heading to Animal Kingdom.

The bus drops us off about a half-mile away from the starting line. It is still very dark and very cold. Cold enough to see your breath very easily. I follow the signs and the directions of the volunteers to the starting line, which is well lit and there is some very loud African-sounding Disney music playing. I really like that style of music, so it was really a neat experience.

I walked around a bit to check everything out and I finally decided that it was cold, but not too cold, so I checked my bag including my sweatshirt. So, I was left in the cold with my t-shirt, shorts, stopwatch and camera. If Tracy had been there I may have nixed the camera, but with only me, I was determined to capture as much as I could.

When I checked my sweatshirt and other belongings, I didn't have a watch so I didn't know that there was still over an hour until the start of the race.

It is a very good thing that I have been training in colder weather, because it was cold standing out there like that.

I asked a couple of strangers to take my picture, and I took a few myself. More and more people started to arrive so I decided to secure my place in my chute near the starting line.

The starting line had signs which indicated where you should go based on your mile running pace. I lined up at the front of the 9:01-11:00 minute time. The starting line was near the speakers, so the music was even that much louder. Still really, really neat. I was probably one of the first ten people to line up.

Then the waiting began. I still had over an hour before the start of the race. There was not much to do other than people watch and just enjoy being there. Yes, it was cold, but it was not really a big deal. It was not that cold, compared to some mornings I have run in Colorado, but it was much colder than anything I ever expected in Florida.

About fifteen minutes before the start of the race, directions came over the loudspeakers requesting that everyone make their way into the starting area. Within minutes it was quite packed and there was not much room between you and the next person.

Over the next fifteen minutes or so was all of the pre-race activities, such as the Lion King characters Timone and Rafiki showing up and two announcers bantering back and forth.

About a minute before the start of the race, without any sort of noticeable cue, everyone started moving forward, filling in all available space as each of the chutes dissappeared and the runners became one large mass of people. I don't know why, but this was a really neat moment, probably because of the extra anticipation.

There continued to be a lot of noise of people, music and the announcers. Then came the countdown.

With all the noise, the countdown was hard to hear, but there was some African-sounding recorded voice counting down from ten, with some small pyrotechnics firing off above the starting line as the race began. I had my camera in movie mode at this time, so at this time I frantically was trying to turn off the camera in order to get it into my pocket.

More quickly than I ever expected, the people in front of me were running, and so was I. I don't know what I was expecting, but the running started much faster than I thought it would.

The start of the race took us around a big loop of the parking lot before entering the Animal Kingdom theme park. I was surprised just how far this first loop was before actually entering the park. The first mile marker was just a bit inside the park, almost a third of the race was in the parking lot.

Entering the theme park itself was kind of interesting. The only time you get through security and ticketing that quickly! This part was definitely better than the parking lot.

At this point I was doing very well and didn't feel tired at all. I was trying to focus on pacing myself irrespective of who I was passing or who was passing me. It is hard to know how fast to run with so many other people running at different speeds.

There were a lot of bottlenecks in this first mile, and I found myself darting left and right trying to get around many slower runners. Unfortunately, this definitely slowed me down and took more energy than a simple, constant forward motion. This may be standard in races like this, but this is my first race, so I don't know. I definitely lost some time because of this, though.

After entering the park, I knew that the Tree of Life was not too far ahead, so I fumbled with the camera to get it into movie mode and get it started. I was successful, even while running the whole time, and was able to capture a short movie as I rounded the corner to the Tree of Life.

This was the best part of the race. Next was a run through Africa after passing the Tree.

Beyond Africa, the race continued on some back roads that are not normally accessible to the public. This was neat at first, being somewhere you have never been before, but then it was just a bit more boring than being in the themed areas of the park.

The water station was on this stretch of the race, both coming and going after the path doubled back on itself. I have never had water during my training, so I didn't need any water now. In hindsight, though, I wish I would have at least taken a cup of water just for the experience. You see that all the time on TV, runners grabbing cups of water while running, but I chose to skip it, and I wish that I had not.

I was now on the home stretch. Just like my training path in Colorado, this path was a gradual uphil for the first legs, and then downhill the last legs. This worked well for me. I was starting to feel tired and a bit winded at this point, which is standard with my training experiences.

The last 1.1 miles went pretty quick. I captured another movie rounding the corner to Everest, which we saw being built in 2004 but I had never seen completed. Not much movie at this point because I didn't have the extra energy and needed to focus on running.

The rest of the race is somewhat of a blur in my mind. I was very focused on finishing well. I remember running through Dinoland, but I am not quite sure how we exited the park. I think we went through some service access, but I didn't recognize it.

We rounded a corner and all of a sudden the Finish line was in sight. I didn't expect it so soon, but I was glad it was there!

Leading up to the Finish line were a LOT of people cheering. It was a very neat experience running up to the Finish line and finishing on time.

Maybe 20 yards past the Finish line were ten or twenty people placing finisher's medals around people's necks. I got my medal, and walked over to the table with Powerade, muffins and bananas. I grabbed a "red" drink and a muffin for Tracy. I was definitely not hungry at this point.

At this point I headed a bit further away from the Finish line and tried to do some stretching like I normally do after my running. I asked another stranger to take a couple pictures of me as well.

I tried to cool off a bit and then headed over to pick up my checked bag.

There was really not much else to do, so I headed over to the bus that would take me back to the Swan.

Within a few minutes the bus departed and soon I was back at the Swan.

I was apprehensive to open the door to the hotel room because I wasn't sure what I would be returning to. I expected the worst.

I quietly opened the door, in case anyone was still sleeping, and found all the kids awake and on the bed with Tracy. Nobody was sick, nobody was crying and all was well. Everyone had just woken up a few minutes before my arrival.

We didn't see any more sickness (read: throwing up) in the kids until Lexi decided enough was enough in the car ride from the airport to home on the 18th of January.

The rest of the vacation went very well and was very fun. It was an amazing experience and both Tracy and I were glad we got to see our kids at Disney World at their respective ages. We will go again, but it will definitely be a different trip than this one.

I am very thankful that we had this chance to go to Disney World, and that it was relatively inexpensive with the free hotel room. It was also great being in shape (and Tracy now, too!) enough to not get too tired walking around all day.

I finished my race and completed a goal I set over nine months before. Something I have never done before.

The day of the race and the next few days felt kind of odd to me. Sort of like after our wedding. You spend months preparing for a day and then it is just done and you move past it. It was definitely weird being past the race.

I achieved my goal, but I am not done yet.

This Disney World race and vacation were the end point on the first leg of the rest of my life.

I have achieved a lot, but I am definitely not done yet.

I would like to share some things I have achieved in the past nine months, though. Some of these I have not shared with anyone before.

  • I have lost almost 50 pounds of weight since I started.
  • I started out stuffing myself into stretched-out 42-inch jeans, and now I can fit tightly into my old 38-inch jeans, and I have to use a belt to keep my fresh-from-the-dryer 40-inch jeans from falling down.
  • I have gone from estimating my body fat percentage because my measurement was off the charts to being on the low side of the "average" column, well on my way to being in the "ideal" column.
  • I lost enough subcutaneous fat on my legs to reveal a very long vericose vein that has existed in that state for quite a while.
  • I find myself running from random Point A's to Point B's without even thinking about it, such as when I need to get something from our house while at the neighbor's house.
  • I have gained an unknown, but noticeable amount of muscle mass which makes my weight loss that much more significant.
  • I have finally set a long-term goal, dedicated myself to it, and achieved it.
  • I have created good, healthy habits that are now difficult to break. It feels odd when I skip running for a few days.
  • Without watching what I eat and simply stopping when I was full (or maybe a bit past full) I lost 3-4 pounds on our Disney World vacation. My stomach just doesn't hold as much as it used to. I rarely went back for seconds at the buffets.
  • I realized just how many different ways the Rocky Mountains can look throughout the seasons and at different times of the day. I never get tired of seeing the mountains in the morning.

I have achieved a lot, but I am definitely not going to quit now. Continuing doesn't even seem like a challenge anymore. It simply has become who I am.

I am a runner.

Over the past nine months I ran for my family and I ran for my Mom. From here forward, I think I will run for me.

Me at the starting line

People starting to fill in before the start of the race

Running into Animal Kingdom



All Worth It

December 29, 2008

I know I have not been posting updates here for a while. Sometimes you simply just get behind.

I've had my ups and downs during this time for sure.

It started to get very cold, which really wasn't a problem, but it also started to snow. Snow is a problem, I have found.

I just simply can't keep up with the running when there is snow and ice to contend with. So, I just simply stayed home.

Compound that with a long cold and I was out of the habit for a good two weeks, really more if you don't count a couple of "island" exercise days here and there.

I finally got over the cold and the snow started to melt last week, so I decided that with just a couple of weeks until the Disney World race, I would need to get it into high gear.

So, I ran the full 5K distance on my first run after returning from my break. Finished in 33:36. Not bad for a first time back.

The next day I was SORE! I spent much of the day cleaning up Christmas decorations, etc. and didn't bother with any real exercise.

The next day I was, again, very sore. I didn't want this to keep me from making progress, so I decided to take a walk at least. Drew wanted to go too, so I took him in the wagon to Blockbuster to get some movies. This was a bit more than a two-mile round trip and was definitely some effort to complete. A wagon is easy to pull for the first half mile or so.

That brings me to today. It has been three days since my last run, so I was determined to run. I was not as sore as the previous days, but still a bit of soreness when I walked.

So, I started running, and I seemed to tire out very quickly....probably the walk yesterday.

But I kept going. I was a bit slow on the first mile. Took about eleven minutes. Need that to be ten or less to be on my goal pace.

The halfway point (1.55 miles) had me tired and 90 seconds behind my goal pace. I hit the two-mile point and I was not only TIRED but I had only eight minutes left to finish 1.1 miles to meet my 30-minute goal.

Instead of giving up, I picked it up and started running faster. Any hint of a downhill slope and I pushed it even harder.

I looked at my stopwatch over and over and over and it seemed like I might be able to make it.

I rounded the final corner of the greenway (brownway in the winter) and my chest was hurting, but my legs were not at all. Either they were numb or they are in shape enough for 5K of running.

Heaving and heaving and not thinking about anything but that end point, I pounded forward, probably looking quite silly, holding my stopwatch in my left hand and Toby's leash in my right.

The last stretch of my 5K path is a straight line along the road leading back to our house, and I had 30 seconds left to run it.

Using every bit of backup reserves of energy, I kept going with my chest screaming at me to stop. It literally was hurting.

But I made it. I made it with not even a second to spare.

I crossed my "finish" line at the exact moment that the stopwatch turned from 29:59 to 30:00.

Today I reached my goal after nine months of work.

We leave for Disney World in ten days, and that will be a great reward, but today has made all of my hard work worth it.

I am not done with running, and I haven't yet reached all my milestones I would like to in order to consider myself "healthy," but today is a good day. A day that I can't honestly say I ever thought I would get to.

I wouldn't be surpised if my next post is after we return from Disney World. I am very much looking forward to this trip and running this race.

The Bible teaches that if you have the tiniest bit of faith, you can move a mountain. I feel like I understand this better today than I ever have before. It has taken nine months of dedication to run day after day, in the heat and in the cold and in the rain and in the snow. I have achieved something that I never really thought was possible.

Now, I wonder what my next goal will be . . .

Week 37: Tuesday

December 2, 2008

Things have been very busy and I just haven't had time to update this blog. I can't believe I missed just over two weeks!

I have been keeping up as best as I can with my running and weight lifting, but I haven't been 100% there either.

Not that I haven't wanted to, though.

Last Wednesday I was out running after missing the previous Friday and Monday due to the family being sick in one capacity or another. When I got to my "decison fork" where I either go for my 2.25-mile run or my 5K run, I decided to go for the 5K because I felt really good.

Finishing the full 5K distance was great, and I think I did it in very close to my goal time of 30 minutes.

It was all great until my left leg muscles seized up later that day. I haven't run since, even though I plan to try to run a bit tomorrow.

I pushed it too hard I think. I just hope I don't end up with a leg issue after my race in Disney World.

Overall I am still on track, but I am still concerned as ever about affording this trip. We recently launched my latest website, and it is getting some sales, but the results are slow at best. This is the way all of them start out, so I am trying to keep encouraged about it, but that can be hard at times.

If the website picks up then we should be able to easily afford this trip, especially considering that the major expenses are already spent, such as hotel and airfare. That leaves just food and theme park tickets along with a rental car.

Still just trying to have faith that it will all work out and that my efforts have not been in vain. Well, that is impossible because I am in MUCH better shape than when I began, but actually reaching my goal of running at Disney World will be great.

Week 35: Monday

November 17, 2008

Well, I have been doing good at running, but I have been terrible at updating this blog.

Last week I was successful in all my planned exercising, except for Friday which I missed altogether because of some really weird circumstances. It's a long story, but this morning almost had me running (literally) Drew to school with the girls along for the ride in 30-degree weather with wind. Ultimately I didn't end up going, but we were dressed and out the door when another option presented itself.

As for today's run, it was a 2-mile path and it was very good. I finished in 19 minutes, which is very good for two miles.

Today marks 52 days until we leave for Florida on January 8th. I never thought I would think a vacation was coming up too fast, but I do and there are a couple reasons why.

The first reason is that I am not quite sure I am ready physically for the 30-minute 5K run. Well, let me qualify that. I feel like I am ready now, but I am VERY concerned about the next 52 days when it comes to weather, snow, cold, etc. and if I will not only be able to get out running but keep up my stamina through that time. I'm sure I am concerned for nothing, but I am definitely concerned here.

The second reason I feel that Disney is coming too fast is simply the fact that we really can't afford this trip. When I started this quest to run the 5K in Disney World I knew we could not afford the trip. My plan was to trust that God would provide the means, and I definitely still am trusing that He will. He just hasn't done so yet and that makes me a bit nervous. Again, I shouldn't be, but I am. I know God is always faithful, but He never really agreed to the formal deal, so who knows what the plan is. We have a great room in a VERY nice hotel booked for FREE and we got a very good deal on airline tickets, so the cost will be minimal for the trip, but we still have the Disney tickets, food, and all the other expenses like a rental car and souveniers to contend with.

The last reason the trip seems to be coming too fast is that I am getting more worried day by day that this trip will be difficult with our three young children. For some reason I figured it would be simple with a four-year-old and 18-month-old twins. I am not concerned at all about Drew, but I am a bit concerned about how the twins will handle things. I suppose that our trip to the Omaha zoo last month was a great success (it was a REALLY fun day) so I shouldn't be worried. But, again, I still am.

Even in light of all of this, I am still 100% determined about reaching this goal.

A quick update on my latest leg issue too. The stretching seems to be helping the sciatica a lot. Not back to 100% but I am definitely improving. I can, without a doubt, tell that I can stretch much farther than I could when I started this, so I am getting a double benefit. Even with all my leg and knee and vein issues, I just simply feel so much better and more healthy than before. I haven't reached anywhere close to my weight loss goals, but I have made significant progress, and that is something I have failed to do over the past decade.

Here's something that was super encouraging to me. I was looking through some of the 2004 Disney World pictures that Tracy and I took and it is quite obvious that I was much heavier then than I am now. I may not have reached my goal, but Disney World will see a different Jamie this time around. For some reason I figured that I was heavier now than I was then, because I think I actually weigh more now, by around 15 pounds. Perhaps I have gained more muscle weight than I thought. There is no question that I don't look as heavy now as I did then, so that is the only reason I can think of. I'm surely not getting any younger!

Week 34: Monday

November 10, 2008

I had a great run this morning, even though it was very code. I stretched before I started and that seemed to help I think.

The doctor told me that stretching will help my running too, and maybe that is why code mornings are so much harder to run on. If my muscles need to be stretched and limber to run well, the code surely won't help them.

Week 33: Sunday

November 9, 2008

A planned rest day today. Another good week.

Planning to continue stretching as much as possible to heal up that left leg of mine.

Week 33: Saturday

November 8, 2008

I did go to the doctor yesterday and he thinks that I have either tendonitis in my left leg or, more likely, inflamation caused by the sciatic nerve being irritated.

Either way he says that I just need to keep stretching it out to hopefully heal it up. I should stretch more than I do (which is very little) so that is good all around.

I find it odd that I have had to visit the doctor a LOT more now that I am running and becoming more healthy.

Actually, I am afraid that my past sedentary lifestyle is the root cause of my leg and knee issues. But, I am where I am today and can only work from there.

Week 33: Friday

November 7, 2008

I ran a 2-mile path today because my left leg was aching a bit this morning. It seems to be getting worse and I really need to go see the doctor about this. Hopefully it is nothing serious.

It was definitely good to be running this morning, and I had a pretty good run. It was just a bit shorter than my normal runs.

Week 33: Thursday

November 6, 2008

I only took a very short walk today. Definitely nowhere close to my standard 30 minutes+ of walking.

I had to get back home to help with something, so I just didn't have the time.

Not a big deal to miss one day I suppose.

Week 33: Wednesday

November 5, 2008

Well, as I expected, yesterday was not such a good day in my opinion, but was a great day in the opinion of the majority.

I don't have to like it, but I accept it.

My greatest fear of having all three branches of government led by the Democrats is continued and unabated erosion of our so-called guaranteed freedoms of religion and speech. Over the past couple of years only a presedential veto has stood between these freedoms being redefined as freedoms as long as people don't offend certain protected groups in their use of the freedoms.

Will Obama really be more of a centrist as he claims during this election when a far-left, overreaching, nutty bill comes to his desk coutesy of Reid and Pelosi? Somehow I doubt it.

I don't doubt that change is coming, but I doubt at least half of Obama voters understand what this really means.

Off my soap box now.

Today I realized just how much the cold weather affects my running. I tied my best run ever on Monday when it was warm and I was at my worst today when the weather turned much colder.

That is actually very encouraging for me because I now know why I was running so poorly. Now I know I need to just keep it up and wait for the warm weather of Florida to reach my goal. It might actually be neat to have my first 30-minute 5K be at Disney World.

So, I will keep plugging away for now, regardless of how bad it seems my running gets.

Week 33: Tuesday

November 4, 2008

A great weightlifting day today. I increased one or two things and it just was a good day.

Today is election day, however, and I am concerned that things are not going to go so well the rest of the day. I have some hope still that my candidates and issues will prevail, but not much.

We will see.

Week 33: Monday

November 3, 2008

I can't express how weird it is to get to a new Monday and be changing the week to number 33.

I can't say that I have ever done something consistently for 33 weeks. If nothing else I have proven that I can make a change if I have the right motivation and solid dedication.

I have an odd report today.

I completed the entire 5K distance this morning in 31 minutes...tying my best time thus far.

What makes this odd is that I did it in a mix of running and walking.

I was quite discouraged when I had to stop running and start walking, but I was very, very encouraged when I still was able to complete the entire 5K distance in 31 minutes.

Today was unseasonably warm, and that helps a lot. The cold weather definitely has an effect on my ability to run.

So, the net result is that I am super encouraged by today's run/walk. If I can get that close to my goal on a relatively cold November day when I am running and walking, I think I can make it the entire distance in January in less than 30 minutes.

I figure that if I get this close in Colorado in the cold, I should be able to go above and beyond that in warmer Florida when I have thousands of other people around me in what has to be the best place in the world to run my first 5K.

I do have a concern, though. It may be kind of stupid, but I am really, really worried about getting stuck in the middle of a thousand people who are not running as fast as I want to be and I will be slowed down by them. Granted, Disney provides various chutes for people to line up in based on their speed, but who is to say that people will be honest? I just don't want to be slowed down and not meet my goal because I couldn't get moving as fast as I wanted to. I'm sure this is not going to be an issue, but I have worried about it for quite some time.

But, I remain determined. I tell you what, on January 9th either I will finish the 5K in 30 minutes or less, or the medical squad will be picking me up off the pavement.

66 Days.

Week 32: Sunday

November 2, 2008

A very nice rest day today.

We spent the entire day yesterday cleaning and organizing the house, and I expect to be out raking leaves and mowing the lawn in preparation for Winter today.

So, not a complete rest day, but I won't be out running today.

Week 32: Saturday

November 1, 2008

Pretty standard weightlifting day today. I find it difficult to post anything of substance on these days.

I feel like I am doing well and making progress because I am doing more and more over time. I guess that is the definition of progress in this context.

I took some more measurements today, and I am making progress there, too. Not as much as I would like, but as long as I am headed in the right direction I will meet my goals eventually.

I have just less than ten weeks until the 5K race at Disney World. I will not reach all my goals by then, but that was not my intention in the first place. My goal for January 8th is to run the 5K in 30 minutes or less.

Week 32: Friday

October 31, 2008

Well, today was cold and I was very late. I was out running today, as planned, but I ended up only having time for about a mile.

Not the best day today, but better than not being out at all. I think I may need to get some new running shoes, too. Can't say why, but it seems that these just aren't as good as they used to be. I suppose I have put a few miles on them over the past few months.

Week 32: Thursday

October 30, 2008

Yesterday was definitely a good running day. My legs were very tired the rest of the day, and I think I pulled a muscle.

I am going to try to stretch the muscle, behind my left leg, as much as I can today.

I went on my planned walk today and finished in 28 minutes. I took my 1.8-mile path.

Tomorrow may not be the best running day, because of the muscle, but I am planning on giving it a good try at least, without pushing it too hard.

Week 32: Wednesday

October 29, 2008

I was determined to run my entire 2.25-mile path today, no matter how long it took.

Since it started to get cold in the mornings I have not been up to par with my running. Today was going to change all that.

And it did.

I had a great run this morning, finishing in my on-pace 22 minutes. This same pace will get me to finish the 5K distance in my goal time of 30 minutes.

And I did it in the cold!

I really like my new headband and gloves. Makes it a bit easier to brave the weather.

I feel great today even though my legs feel very tired after pushing them a bit this morning.

Week 32: Tuesday

October 28, 2008

Today was a great weightlifting day, and a great way to get back into the swing of things.

I increased weight/reps on a couple of things and was definitely challenged, but I finished what I set out to do.

Ready for a great day to get back to running tomorrow.

Week 32: Monday

October 27, 2008

I have run in the cold. I have run with a cold. I have run with knee pain. I have run in the rain.

With enough determination, I have figured out that I can run in just about every circumstance.

Except with the runs. (Pun intended.)

There was absolutely no way I could leave the house for any great distance today, so I simply stayed home.

Not ideal, but this is just how life goes sometimes. Back to it tomorrow (hopefully).

Week 31: Sunday

October 26, 2008

Even though I missed yesterday's weightlifting, I still took today as my planned rest day. Back to it tomorrow.

Week 31: Saturday

October 25, 2008

I didn't get to weightlifting today because I just plain didn't feel like it.

It was sad and unfortunate, but yesterday was without a doubt the correct day for us to put Shiloh to sleep.

We took her to the vet yesterday afternoon and the net diagnosis was that she probably had the dog equivalent of a stroke and she was most likely not going to improve.

She had started to walk with her head tilted to one side (when she could walk) and all day yesterday we had to coax her to eat and she stayed (literally) in the same spot the whole day.

We just didn't think it was fair for her to even go through the weekend in her current state, so we made the difficult decision to put her to sleep.

While it was very, very hard, it was also immediately obvious after it was done that we made the right choice. Both Tracy and I stayed with her while the vet administered the barbituate. She was asleep in just a few seconds and was gone in about 30 seconds.

Lying there afterwards, Shiloh looked like she did when she first came to live with us. She was relaxed and looked comfortable. We had not seen her like that in quite a while. Over time she was simply very tense, probably because of her constant pain. We both felt very comfortable with our decision when we saw that. Very difficult, but very much the right thing to do.

We will miss Shiloh. We already do. She really did become a part of our everyday lives, more than we even knew.

Shiloh was a great dog who was always great with our kids, even when they were not-so-great to her, being kids and all.

We will never forget how Drew so quickly included her whenever he listed everyone in our family and how he seemed to not think twice about moving from saying he had one dog to saying he has two dogs.

We will never forget how Shiloh took a special liking to Lexi and would bring her toys and drop them in front of her...specifically.

We will never forget how little Brie would love to pet Shiloh in her very special way, which usually involved her surprising Shiloh by falling on her with both hands.

I will never forget the feeling as I pondered signing my name on the dotted line that would end Shiloh's life.

Definitely not a day for weightlifting.

Week 31: Friday

October 24, 2008

I went out walking and running today, but was not too motivated to push myself too hard. I was still out there, and that is something.

My complete lack of motivation comes from the fact that today is most likely the day that Shiloh will pass away. We just can't stand to force her to go through the weekend in as much pain as she is in.

We have to help her to move anywhere, including heading outside to go to the bathroom.

It just isn't fair to Shiloh, regardless of how much we want to delay this day.

We don't know for sure as I write this if it will actually be today, but I am almost positive that it is.

She has been a great dog, has been absolutely perfect with our kids, and will be missed a lot.

I am very glad that the girls won't really have to deal with this loss at all, and Drew will not fully understand it. He knows that Shiloh will be gone, but he keeps telling us that we will get a new dog that looks just like Shiloh.

This decision and action is part of dog ownership, and although we did not plan to have Shiloh, we have become her family and she has fully become a part of ours and we fully accept that final responsibility for her.

She deserves nothing less.

Week 31: Thursday

October 23, 2008

Today was my planned walking-only day, and it turned out to be just that.

I went downstairs today, as I always do, to get some milk for the girls before I head outside.

I noticed that Shiloh had thrown up on the carpet and had peed in the entryway. She had a very bad night, obviously.

Our carpet cleaner is broken because of a previous cleanup of dog vomit, so I had to rely on liquid carpet cleaners for this one. Unfortunately, we were about out.

So, I decided I would walk to Safeway, buy more carpet cleaner, and walk home. This is about a 2-mile round trip, so it was perfect.

On a similar but different note, Shiloh is heading downhill really fast. She has been throwing up more and more, eating less and less and is losing weight. She is also having a lot more pain in her hind legs and can barely move around. We are concerned that she will not be with us much longer. Very sad because she really has become an integral part of our household, even if we didn't plan for that.

Week 31: Wednesday

October 22, 2008

Boy what a cold and windy morning today.

And I almost wimped out.

Then, when I got outside, I almost wimped out again by really having to fight myself to keep going.

In the end, I sort of still wimped out by taking my 1.8-mile path instead of my 2.25-mile path, but I ran the whole thing in the windy and cold weather, so that has to count for something, right?

I am worried that I am at a mental plateau right now where I will need to push myself farther even when everything in my says to stop.

It is definitely a challenge to run in the cold, but if I can get back to where I was running in the warm weather (31-33 minutes for a 5K distance) then I am sure that I will be able to run the 5K race in well under 30 minutes in Florida, where I expect it to not only be warm (relative to Colorado in January) and also have a bit more oxygen per breath.

I have 79 days to complete my goal, and those I think are going to be some of the hardest days yet because it is definitely a mental challenge to step out of a perfectly warm house to go running in the freezing cold.

And, we have not yet begun to see the coldest of the cold that I will step out into.

Week 31: Tuesday

October 21, 2008

Back to weightlifting today as usual. I still feel like I am pushing myself enough, but I have not increased anything in a couple of weeks.

So, perhaps I am not really pushing myself.

Next session I plan to try increasing something, even if it is a single rep here and there. Any increase has got to be beneficial over time.

Week 31: Monday

October 10-20, 2008

Well, I have been keeping up with my running better than I have been keeping up with this blog.

It has been over ten days since I have last taken the time to post an update, and it feels like it has been longer than that.

Ever since returning from our Nebraska trip things have been getting very difficult for me. I'm not sure why, but when I run it is just very, very hard.

I feel like I have lost a lot of my endurance, and I am almost certain that my week off for Nebraska is not the cause. Much more likely is that it is very, very cold almost every morning I am out running.

I don't know much (or anything) about running in the cold, but that is a very quick and significant change that can explain why I have a very hard time even running my 2.25-mile course now.

I am trying to not get discouraged, but it is very difficult to not feel like I have lost months of training.

My thinking is that if it is the cold weather, when I get to the warmer weather in Florida that I will be able to excel. But, I need to keep pressing on here in cold Colorado and hopefully get back to where I was before in warm weather, when I ran a personal best of 5K in 31 minutes.

So, I plan to simply keep going as best as I can. My knee, and really my entire left leg sometimes, if not doing well at all. Thankfully the pain seems to be 100% related to my vein issues and not an injury to the knee itself. That is good to know, but doesn't make it hurt any less. Yet another hurdle to overcome.

This is definitely not a happy post. I am glad to be posting again, but things are not going very well and my day-to-day goal is to not backslide, until I can start making progress again. I have 80 days until we leave for Florida. That seems so short and so long at the same time. We still can't afford the trip, but I am still trying to have faith that God will somehow get us there. The airline tickets are already purchased, and the hotel is free, but we still need to pay for everything else. We are launching a new website business later this month, so I am hopeful that will help us to pay for this trip and more.

I really want to get back to posting every day. This is my first multi-day post that did not cover something like our recent Nebraska vacation. I hope it is the last as well.

Week 29: Thursday

October 9, 2008

A planned walking-only day today.

The mornings are starting to get cold, cold cold. I need to start preparing myself for winter running by getting a hat and/or headband and some warm mittens. I think that should be enough. Well, maybe some special shirts that will not make me colder when they get wet.

I am determined to keep up with my running no matter how cold it gets. However, I need to come up with something to do as an alternate when it is too snowy to go out. I will not risk an injury from a fall just because I needed to run.

Week 29: Wednesday

October 8, 2008

Today was just a bad morning.

My stomach felt terrible and the last thing I wanted to do was to go out running.

But I forced myself to get out and at least try because I want to get the habit going again.

I started out thinking I would run my short 1-mile path, but I extended it at the last moment to my 1.6-mile path.

I started to feel a lot better as I went on, and I was easily (but slowly) able to finish it running.

It was such a great feeling to have run that far today when I considered (seriously considered) not running at all.

So, even though I ran slower and shorter distance than normal, today was a big victory and felt better than most days do.

Week 29: Tuesday

October 7, 2008

I was still not working today, so my weightlifting was a bit later in the morning than usual, but it still happened.

Nothing exciting to report. Just my standard weights and reps. After a week off I wasn't going to try to increase anything. Next time I think I will, though.

Week 29: Monday

October 6, 2008

We arrived home a few minutes before midnight last night after driving the entire distance from Omaha in one day.

We got the kids into their bed and cribs, unloaded the car, relaxed a bit and then finally got to sleep a bit before 2am.

When it came time to go running this morning, I was very tired, but very determined to get back into the habit, after a full week off.

So, I started out and quickly realized how much you can lose in a week. I fought through fatigue and finished my standard 2.25-mile path running, but it was harder than it has been in a while. Didn't expect that.

Definitely a good motivator to keep this up through the winter until we leave for Disney World.

I'm certain that I have gained a pound or two with the steady fast food diet. Will have to get back in the swing of things regarding eating better too. I am really glad that I was back out running again today, regardless.

Week 28: Wednesday - Sunday

October 1-5, 2008

Took a small family vacation during this time period.

Tracy's cousin Leanne was married on October 4th in Omaha, Nebraska.

Long ago, we decided to make a mini-vacation out of the trip.

Wednesday we left Longmont after Drew finished preschool for the day and arrived in Kearney, Nebraska after a single stop along the way in North Platte, Nebraska.

Total driving time was about five and a half hours and the kids all did great. Didn't sleep hardly at all, but not much crying or complaining either.

We stayed at a well-known Holiday Inn that has a perfect "water park" for kids as the pool. All three kids had a great time, and Drew asked if we could sleep there again.

The next day we had three hours of driving to Omaha, and we took our time. We made a stop at the Archway Monument in Kearney. This is a museum of sorts built over Interstate 80. Drew really, really liked this and wanted to go through it again. He really liked the headphones that told stories as you entered the various rooms.

We quickly settled in to our suite in Omaha and headed to meet some extended family for dinner in an Omaha suburb. We returned late (for kids at least) and they went right to bed.

We had three nights in this suite, which worked perfect for our family. There were two rooms. One was the bedroom, which connected to the bathroom. The other was the living area which had a kitchen and TV watching area. The kitchen was perfect because it had a full-size refrigerator, dishwasher, sink, and stovetop. We make good use of this by buying groceries and by taking advantage of the free hot breakfasts.

We made a trip to the Omaha Zoo, which was a lot of fun. We met several other family members there and had a great time. There was a LOT of walking involved. Well, for us at least. We rented a double stroller and a wagon for Drew. And, this zoo has a lot of hills. Very nice going down, not so nice going up again. I'd say that this day made up for my lack of running the entire vacation.

Well, I won't go into too many more details, because this is my running blog and there was no running involved.

There is one other thing I want to mention, and it is related to running.

I failed to try on my suit before I was putting it on for the wedding. Although I was told that it looked very nice on me, I felt like I was wearing those clown pants, complete with the suspenders! You know those pants that clowns wear that are held up by suspenders and have a couple of feet of extra room? Well, that was me. It was a reminder of how much weight I have lost since I started all of this. That suit was tailored to me for my Mom's funeral, when I was almost at my heaviest. Everything was simply too big, and that is great. It would have been even better had I learned this in time to have it tailored before the wedding.

So, no matter how much progress I sometimes feel that I am not making, that is cold, hard proof of just how far I have come so far. I hope to make a lot more in the 100 or so days until Disney World. It would be great to look back from then to now and be as amazed at how far I have come.

Week 28: Tuesday

September 30, 2008

A pretty standard weightlifting day today.

I need to be sure to keep pushing myself more and more, and I think I am doing that, but I need to keep increasing weight, reps and/or both.

It is hard to tell if I am doing as much as I can. I don't want to hurt myself either. For now, I think I am on track.

Week 28: Monday

September 29, 2008

My plan this morning when I started out on my run was to complete the 2.25-mile path and be done with it.

To tell you the truth, I didn't really want to be out running at all.

But as I passed my one-mile point, I realized that this is probably my last run until a week from today.

Tomorrow is weightlifting and we leave on Wednesday for Omaha and will not be back until next Monday.

Well, my mind was not quite 100% because I will still (hopefully) be able to run on Wednesday, but that is my thought process.

So, I decided at the last second (literally at the last second where my 2.25-mile path forks from my 5K path) to run the full 5K this morning.

It was motivating to know (at that point....still hadn't thought it through) that I had to have a good run today because I didn't want to leave running for a week on a lazy note.

Then, for some reason, at about my 2.25-mile point, as I headed down the greenway in our neighborhood, I decided to look at my clock to see my time. I was at 24 minutes with less than a mile to go.

I got this crazy idea that I could push myself that last mile and finish in my 30-minute goal time.

I didn't quite make it.

But, I basically ran myself into the ground that last mile, and I kept it up right to the finish!

I didn't make my 30-minute goal, but I made it in 31 minutes. A new best time!

I don't plan on running like that again any time soon, but it gives me an idea of faster and slower running throughout the distance.

Could I run most of the time at my pace that I can maintain for the entire time and mix in spurts of running faster in order to meet my 30-minute goal?

Maybe next Monday I can try that strategy. Not going to push it on Wednesday because I will be driving a few hours later and I need to be sure that I am rested after my morning run.

But today is a good day. I really have proven to myself today that I can reach and hopefully exceed my goal in the next 101 days until we leave for Florida.

Who would have thought that I would really be running a 31-minute 5K on a Monday morning, starting Week 28 of this crazy idea?

Even if I am running 5K's every time I run by the time I leave for Disney World, it will still be an amazing accomplishment to cross that finish line at Animal Kingdom. There will be thousands of runners, but I am certain that none of them will be running quite like I will be running.

Week 27: Sunday

September 28, 2008

A rest day today, as planned.

Actually, it is good that I have been having my rest days on Sunday because that is when I plan them.

When I have to turn Sundays into weightlifting or running days that means that I screwed up somewhere else.

So, even though I didn't do anything today, it is a great day to be resting.

Week 27: Saturday

September 27, 2008

Weightlifting day today. And, today I decided to try to push a bit harder than my normal weights and reps.

Not much harder at all, but an extra five pounds here or an extra rep there.

I really like how I feel like I did a bit more than usual without really pushing it too far.

If I try to do this over time, I will make big progress.

Week 27: Friday

September 26, 2008

I had a good, successful run today. Not as great as on Wednesday, when I ran the full 5K distance, but still good nonetheless to complete my 2.25 miles as usual.

My legs were a bit tired today and I didn't have as much time as I would like. Still, it is great to be out on these cool mornings. These mornings really set the tone for the rest of my day.

Week 27: Thursday

September 25, 2008

It was a planned walking-only day today.

After such a great day yesterday I was very happy to only walk today.

I decided to walk my original 1.6-mile path, but I did it backwards. It was a nice walk.

The mornings are definitely starting to get colder now. I haven't started wearing my sweatshirt every day yet, but I expect that I will be in the next couple of weeks.

Week 27: Wednesday

September 24, 2008

Today's run was a very encouraging one.

I decided to take it easy in order to avoid injuring my back further than it already is.

I did want to run, however, because it has been since last Friday since I was out running. That is four full days of no running....which is quite odd for me now.

I had plenty of time this morning because the girls woke up earlier than usual, so I was out running earlier than usual.

This extra time afforded me the chance to run the entire 5K distance this morning. Yep, finished the entire distance running the entire time.

This is not the first time I have done this. I have done it at least two times before. What was so encouraging was that I finished feeling less tired than my normal, 24-minute finish on my 2.25-mile path. Sure, I was tired by the time I got back home, but it was great to be able to feel that good while running that far.

I am still several minutes over my goal time of 30 minutes, but I can work on that. Knowing how good I felt at the end may help me to push it just a slight bit harder next time in order to shave off a few minutes over the entire run.

I also didn't think about my back even once the entire time. It is not yet fully healed but it is getting there, and that is very good for my running and just for living life in general.

Today is 106 days until we leave for Disney World. I just counted that from my first day running (walking) - March 25, 2008 - to the day before we leave for Orlando - January 7, 2009 - there are 289 days.

That means that I have given myself 289 days to undo more than ten years of indulgent inactivity.

What that also means is that in nine days I will have used up two-thirds of that time. I suppose that is a pessimistic way of saying that. I should say that I still have one-third of my allotted time to reach my goals. Or, even more optimistic, I have almost reached my goals in just two-thirds of my allotted time.

There are many different ways to look at it, but I still feel like I have a long way to go. Sure, I don't really see any issues with reaching my "5K in 30 minutes" goal.

That goal is a milestone on a bigger goal of being healthy overall and being a suitable role model for my kids.

I have lost a lot of weight, and plan to lose more before I leave for Florida, but I still will have plenty more to lose after that. I hope that I start to see a snowball effect with the weight loss, because my current weight loss has been tempered by a fairly significant muscle gain. I have found what seems to be a credible source that shows that muscle weighs 18% more than fat for the same volume.

In theory, muscle also requires more calories on a daily basis to maintain. Thus, the theory that more muscle means more weight loss when that is the goal. A great theory that I REALLY hope is true. I just haven't seen the snowball results yet.

Anyhow, I am going to keep going and hoping that I am making progress even when some indicators like the scale say otherwise.

After all, I suppose I will still need some goals to keep me going after we get back from Disney World. Maybe the Disney half marathon (or full marathon!) in 2010? I think I may just get through this 5K first before I even think about heading there.

Week 27: Tuesday

September 23, 2008

Well, the back is not 100% yet, but it is getting there.

So, I decided to see how it felt to try some weights this morning. It felt good, so I completed my standard weightlifting today with no back trouble at all.

I think I have acquired some good form over the years with regard to keeping my back out of the weightlifting, so I don't think I was pushing things too fast at all.

I am really glad to be back on the road to Orlando again. Tomorrow I will start with running again as long as I continue to feel good. I will not push it though. I will take it slow and may even do some walking too just to be sure.

By the way, I finally took the plunge and reserved some airline tickets for Orlando! I have been tracking prices and I really didn't want the flights to fill up or for the price to go up. I did well, too. A day or two after my purchase the price had already gone up $80.

These tickets are non-refundable, so now I really am committed to running this 5K in just over 100 days!

Can you believe that I have actually made it to Week 27 and am really going to do this 5K run? I sure can't.

I still have a LONG way to go to reach my running and weight loss and overall health goals, but I am SO MUCH CLOSER than I really ever thought I would be. Looking back I am not even sure that I thought I could do this when I started out.

I can't even remember if I mentioned that my blood pressure has gone down significantly as well. I am now at a very acceptable 120/70. I started at something like 150/90. I bet that when I go to Florida my blood pressure will be even better. I like measurable progress.

My short term goal is to get through tomorrow's run without wrenching my back. One day at a time.

Week 27: Monday

September 22, 2008

Stayed in the hotel in Denver last night, and the back is only marginally better today, so no running this morning.

I think that I have avoided a major back event, but I still want to be extra careful to be sure.

If I do start with weights again tomorrow I am not going to be increasing at all, and when I start running again I am going to take it very slow.

I may not make the progress that I want to make, but if I get a major back injury then I am going to be backsliding instead of maintaining my progress made so far.

I really don't want to push it, so I may even have to take tomorrow off from weights too. Will play it by ear tomorrow.

Week 26: Saturday

September 21, 2008

This Sunday was a "rest day" like most Sundays, but not much actual rest today.

While in Denver, I took all the kids to a park I used to eat lunch at in high school. They had a lot of fun, but it was very tiring for me to move them all around.

I have been wearing a back brace, and that has helped my back to not get any worse, but not much better yet, either. I hope that once I am no longer playing Mr. Mom that I can start to heal it up.

It sure has been an eye-opener for me to see what Tracy has to do on a daily basis with regard to taking care of these three kids. Granted, she is usually at home instead of working out of a hotel as home base, but it can't be that much easier for her. Wow.

Week 26: Saturday

September 20, 2008

Well, unfortunately I stood up from my office chair yesterday and wrenched something in my lower back.

Not very bad. In fact, it is almost on the verge of being very bad, just not there yet. And, I am doing everything I can to keep it from getting there.

So, no running or weightlifting or anything today.

I am basically the caregiver for the kids this weekend because Tracy has a cake conference in Denver. Even more, I will be joining her in Denver later today and returning on Monday. Should be interesting to say the least.

Week 26: Friday

September 19, 2008

I ran my full 2.25 miles today in just about 24 minutes. This is not as quite as my fastest, and not on pace for a 30-minute 5K, but it is always good to simply finish the distance running the entire time.

I would like to change strategy a bit to try to extend my distance some days. Perhaps I should run slower and farther on days where I have more time (less pressure) and run a bit faster but only the shorter 2.25-mile path on days where I am pressed for time.

I think I like that plan. Now to try it out . . .

Week 26: Thursday

September 18, 2008

Today was a walking-only day as planned.

These days are usually hard to not run, but today was a very nice walk on a very nice, slightly-cool morning.

I took my original, old path but did it backwards. This path has a section where I walk through our neighborhood, but it is not too big of a stretch. The rest is the greenway and along some fields.

Looking forward to a nice run tomorrow. I plan to run my 2.25-mile path but at a slightly slower pace so I don't run out of steam.

Week 26: Wednesday

September 17, 2008

Today I think I pushed it just a bit too much.

I reached about the 1-mile mark and I just had to stop running because I just couldn't go any more.

I don't know if my legs were just tired or if I tried to run too fast, but I had to stop and walk.

I turned around at the 1-mile mark and walked for a while. I was quite disappointed in myself, so I started running for the last half mile to home.

I finished the whole path in 20 minutes, which means an average of 10 minutes per mile, even with the walking. This is my required average speed to finish the 5K in 30 minutes.

So, this means that I pushed myself too far. I didn't feel like I was running faster than usual, but I must have been to still have finished 2 miles in 20 minutes with a half mile of walking in there.

Next running day I plan to take it easy and not worry about how fast I finish, but focus on finishing at all!

Week 26: Tuesday

September 16, 2008

A good weightlifing day today. I am still pushing myself each time I lift weights, without going too far.

My hope is to slowly increase a bit here and there. An extra rep or a heavier weight, but not too much at a time.

I think that the weightlifting is helping with my weight loss goals, too. I have lost a couple more pounds while at the same time I have obviously gained a lot of upper body muscle.

So, in theory I have lost more unwanted weight than what the scale shows, because muscle weighs more that fat.

This is definitely encouraging and I hope to continue all of this right up to Disney World in about 110 days or so and then beyond....but I am only committing through January 9th for now...

Week 26: Monday

September 15, 2008

I was a nice, slightly cool morning today for my run.

This weather helped me to achieve a second-best-ever 23 minutes to finish my 2.25 mile path.

A minute shorter than my previous 22-minute completion, but a minute faster than my "normal" time.

I sure do like the weather getting cooler. Both for running and that there are many fewer people out on the path.

I am usually very good at sharing, but it is very nice not having to deal with many people.

Granted, most summer days I encounter about eight to ten people or groups. Today I encountered three.

Neither is bad, but the fewer, the better.

Week 25: Sunday

September 14, 2008

Today was a planned rest day.

It is getting more and more odd on rest days to not exercise at all. I feel like I should be doing something, but I really am. I am letting my body rest so that I can make progress the rest of the week.

Week 25: Saturday

September 13, 2008

A great weightlifting day today.

I feel like I am getting stronger and I am going to start increasing my weights and reps as I can.

These days are tough, but they are short, so they end up being easier than my running days.

I just hope that I am taking the right approach to do less running and start exercising my upper body on alternate days.

Week 25: Friday

September 12, 2008

It was a very cold and rainy day today.

I really, really did not feel like running in the cold rain today.

But I was out there anyway, but I didn't run my normal path today.

Instead, I decided to find out how fast I can run a mile.

I found out that it takes me 8 minutes to run a mile.

Actually, I may be a bit faster, but I was already running a bit before I decided to do this test.

In retrospect I probably was just wimping out, but it was fun to push myself a bit for a shorter amount of time. So, I might mix this test in here and there over the next couple of months.

Week 25: Thursday

September 11, 2008

Today was a walking-only day.

It is still weird to be out walking, which is weird in itself because I used to only be able to do walking.

I specifically remember being jealous at other people I saw running, thinking that I really wanted to be running too.

Sometimes it is hard to tell how much progress I have made, but when I think in this way, it is amazing how far I have really come.

Week 25: Wednesday

September 10, 2008

Today was a great milestone! I finished my 2.25 mile path in 22 minutes.

This is a milestone because that is the average speed that I need to run to finish a 5K in 30 minutes.

I was pretty tired, and it was obvious that I pushed a bit harder than usual, but I was really happy to see the time when I finished.

Week 25: Tuesday

September 9, 2008

Pretty standard weightlifting day today. I think it is working out very well to do these days twice a week instead of trying to do three times.

I can already tell that I can either do more weight or that I can do the same weight with less effort. Progress!

Today I started a log of what I am lifting each time so that I can ensure that I am always pushing myself more and more over time.

I don't know why I was not tracking anything until today, just lazy I suppose.

I was quite surprised, however, as I was writing some tracking data on my whiteboard in the basement I saw some old tracking stats from the past two or three years (of failed exercise attempts).

I was surprised because of how much progress I have made then to now. I know I have done well, and that I continue to make slow progress towards my goals, but I have made significant progress from some of those historical attempts.

For example, I measure body fat percent in order to help me understand that I may be making progress on losing body fat even though the scale may stay the same (or even increase!).

Right now I am at a 17 on the measurement scale (mm I think), but the highest I saw on the whiteboard was 42!

It is not a linear scale, but that is a 60% reduction from the largest measurement, and I know for sure that measurement was not taken when I was at my largest.

I was my heaviest right before I started running, and I specifically didn't take any measurements (I wish I did!) because I simply didn't want to know how bad I had let things get. I was at least 12 pounds heavier than my previous heaviest point which where I would have taken the measurement of 42.

Anyway, that is encouraging, even though progress is very slow nowadays. I am still hoping that this weightlifting will take me to that next level and I will see more progress again. That is the whole point of this change, after all.

Week 25: Monday

September 8, 2008

Today was cold and wet with just a slight drizzle.

It was not too bad of weather to be running in, actually.

I finished my 2.25-mile path in 24 minutes. I think this is my best time yet. That works out to be 0.94 miles in ten minutes. My goal is to run at 1.03 miles in ten minutes!

I am not quite there yet, in speed or distance, but I feel like I am improving week by week. I would like to say that I am improving day by day, but how I feel on a certain day's run varies wildly, so there is no real constant improvement on how I feel each day I run.

I think we are reaching a point with the weather that I will have to take my sweatshirt with me each morning, even if I don't think I will need it. I can tie it around my waist so I don't get stranded in the cold a mile and a half away from home. Today I was wishing I had it, even though it was not too bad to go without it.

Week 24: Sunday

September 7, 2008

Rest day as planned today.

It is very weird every Sunday when I am about to start a new week.

Tomorrow will be the start of 25 weeks of doing this. I have never been so successful and so consistent. I really, really hope that this is a life change for me and not just a temporary change.

Week 24: Saturday

September 6, 2008

Today was supposed to be a weightlifing day, but I had a big install for IBM at 6:00am, so that was out.

Instead, I thought about it ahead of time and lifted weights late last night instead.

So, even though there was no actual exercising/weightlifing today, I still don't consider today a free day because of last night.

Week 24: Friday

September 5, 2008

It was a much colder morning today than on Wednesday.

Perhaps that is why I finished my regular 2.25-mile path in 24 minutes. A minute faster than normal!

This is may be a fluke, but I tried to focus on making sure I was relaxed (as much as possible) when running and also to try to extend my stride slightly.

I am trying to take advantage of my longer legs to extend my stride which will get me a few more inches with each step, increasing my speed and reducing my time.

We will see if today was a fluke or if I can expect 24-minute completion times from now on.

Week 24: Thursday

September 4, 2008

Just walking today. Boy was that weird.

I felt the whole time like I was cheating or being lazy. I actually wanted to run!

But I kept thinking that I ran yesterday and will run tomorrow and my legs need rest.

I walked the 2.25-mile path and it was quite a good morning.

Week 24: Wednesday

September 3, 2008

Another great run today, but it was quite cold.

I'm not complaining, though. I really like to run better when it is colder.

This is not winter cold, just cooler than the summer weather.

This is kind of a milestone that I did not expect. I have started running (walking) in the cold and I have run through the summer and now I am running in the cold.

Twenty four weeks is a long time considering that I have not lasted long at all in any other attempt to get healthier.

Week 24: Tuesday

September 2, 2008

Lifted some more weights today, and it felt like a good amount of time had passed since my last weightlifting session.

So, my plan is to not lift weights again until this coming Saturday and walk on Thursday instead.

I REALLY like this new plan of mixing in some weights. I feel better overall and think I am getting stronger. That can only benefit me in the long run.

Week 24: Monday

September 1, 2008

It seems almost routine to create entries on my running days.

I am still on my 2.25-mile path and it still took me about 25 minutes to complete.

I can't really find anything on the Internet that describes whether to increase speed or time or both.

For now I think I may focus on just sticking with this regimen and re-evaluate in a few weeks after I am really used to this schedule.

Week 23: Sunday

August 31, 2008

Rest day today, and I am planning on going to the CSU/CU game at Invesco Field tonight. Should be fun.

Week 23: Saturday

August 30, 2008

I was back with the weight lifting today.

It has only been two days and I still feel sore before I start with the weights.

I am definitely going to put my plan of action into place where I only lift weights twice a week.

I think that will give my muscles enough time to recover before I damage them with the next session.

Week 23: Friday

August 29, 2008

Pretty standard 25-minute, 2.25-mile run today.

I can't tell if it is getting any easier or not. I am encouraged that I am at least sticking with running only now. It feels weird to walk when I start out to warm up.

Week 23: Thursday

August 28, 2008

I did some weightlifting today, but my muscles were still sore from Tuesday, so I don't think that it was the best choice.

I will have to try to come up with some other solution where I can run and rest my legs and I can lift weights and rest those upper body muscles too.

Perhaps I need to mix in a day of walking as well.

Maybe I will try to do MWF running my 2.25-miles (and eventually my full 5K) and then leave weightlifting for Tuesday and Saturday and walk on Thursday. Sunday will remain my rest day.

Week 23: Wednesday

August 27, 2008

Running longer distances is quite odd. At first I feel great and feel like I could run forever.

Then I go through a period of fighting my body, which is screaming at me to stop.

Then I get past the difficult time and I feel good again. Not as good as when I first start, but my legs seem to give up their fight and simply start carrying me as far as I want to go.

I took notice of all of this more than usual today (for some reason) as I ran my full 2.25-mile path. I am not running it quite as fast as I want to be, but I still have some time to improve.

I calculate my current speed at 5.19 miles per hour. This is (obviously) slower than my goal of 6.2 miles per hour.

I am pretty consistent at that 5.19mph speed. For the same 2.25-mile path I only vary a minute or two in both directions.

So, now comes the decision. Do I try to increase my speed first, increase my distance first, or do I try to slowly increase both at the same time?

I think I may try to research a bit to see what others suggest on this topic.

Week 23: Tuesday

August 26, 2008

It was a scheduled weightlifiting day today.

This is week #2 for this new strategy of mine, but it still seems very weird on these days that I don't run.

I sort of feel like I am not doing anything on these days, but I'm sure that my muscles will feel differently (sore) tomorrow.

Week 23: Monday

August 25, 2008

It was a very clear, cool morning today, and it felt very, very good to be out running again.

I ran the entire 2.25-mile path in 26 minutes today.

I think I like that length for now. I will have to increase it eventually, but for now it pushes me enough and allows me to get back home in a reasonable amount of time.

Eventually I would like to keep the amount of time the same, but somehow add some distance a little at a time. That might be hard to find longer and longer paths without going the entire 5k, but I will have to figure it out somehow.

Week 22: Sunday

August 24, 2008

Still no chance to run today. Tracy's back is still pretty bad.

It seems like forever since I have been out running. I am determined to run again tomorrow. It is really nice, however, that it feels more odd to not run.

There will be days like I have had the past few days, but I need to learn to work through these times and stay motivated, which I think I still am.

Week 22: Saturday

August 23, 2008

My plan was to make up for missing yesterday by running today.

That didn't happen. Tracy pulled a muscle trying to help Drew get in to preschool yesterday and it got pretty bad for her.

So, I am taking on a lot more of the household responsibilities, and that pushed out my chance to go running. Maybe tomorrow.

Week 22: Friday

August 22, 2008

Today was Drew's first day of preschool, so I didn't have time to go running today because I wanted to be sure that we were all on time for the first day.

This is a big milestone for him, so I don't feel one bit bad about missing the run today.

Week 22: Thursday

August 21, 2008

More weights today, nothing too special to report.

I am a bit concerned about only taking one day off in between weights. I want to ensure that my muscles have time to repair themselves in between sessions.

My muscles were VERY sore today. Not quite sure how I will handle this. I don't think I want to go a full week in between the weightlifting sessions, but only a day is not that great of an option either.

It would be nice if I had a third option to mix in there. That would allow me to have three running days, two weightlifting days (Tuesday and Saturday), and a third activity for Thursdays.


Week 22: Wednesday

August 20, 2008

Back to running again today, and my legs felt well-rested and ready to go.

Again, I ran the entire 2.25-mile course today, and I felt pretty good doing it.

I think the day of "rest" yesterday helped my legs today. My hope is that the cross training days will give me a physical and mental advantage when it comes to pushing myself on the running days.

And, my plan is to be flexible when the cold weather and snow comes this winter. I can move the cross training days around if there is too much snow, etc. to go running.

So far I am quite happy with this change and it definitely does not feel at all like I am "cheating" on my running. The weights are not easy by any means!

Week 22: Tuesday

August 19, 2008

As scheduled, I did not go running today but lifted some weights instead.

I plan to only deal with upper body weightlifting, because the running is more that sufficient for my lower body muscles.

It was very odd to not go running today, but I think that this plan may work very well. I'm sure I will get used to it.

Week 22: Monday

August 18, 2008

Today was a great start to my cross training schedule.

I ran the entire 2.25-mile path in just under 30 minutes.

I will definitely have to increase my speed if I want to complete the entire 5k/3.1 miles in about the same amount of time by January.

Tomorrow I will start with my weightlifing regimen and see how that goes.

I am very happy with how today's run went and hope to continue running and not walking anymore. Walking days are now cross training days.

Week 21: Sunday

August 17, 2008

A rest day as planned today. Will get started tomorrow with my new cross training idea.

Week 21: Saturday

August 16, 2008

Well, today I did not end up running the entire 5k distance as I had planned, but I did run my 2.25-mile path, which is still a pretty good run.

I have been thinking a bit and I am going to start a cross training schedule which will have me running fewer days of the week while I mix in some other activities, such as weightlifting.

So, I will start that come Monday, which will be a normal running day.

Week 21: Friday

August 15, 2008

Today was, by far, the most wet morning that I have ever run in.

I woke up to a steady rain that is enough to get you completely wet in about a minute.

I really hate to admit it, but I was even later today than I was yesterday. In fact, I was so late that I was soooooo close to not even heading out the door, especially when faced with drenching rain.

So, I am very happy to report that I was out running this morning in spite of all of these factors. I only ran a one-mile path, but I felt victorious anyway.

And, I felt very, very wet.

By the end I had water literally dripping off my face from just about everywhere. My "double dry" sweatshirt actually lived up to its billing, though. So, the majority of me was dry even though it was a very wet day.

If all goes as planned I want to run the entire 5k tomorrow after two poor days in a row now. We'll see.

Week 21: Thursday

August 14, 2008

Ran out of time (again) today. Darn it!

At least I ran almost the entire time today. I took a reduced path that is probably about 1.5 miles in length. So, I wasn't totally lazy, but I didn't get in my normal run either.

Hopefully tomorrow will be better.

Week 21: Wednesday

August 13, 2008

After being quite disappointed with my walking only yesterday, I decided that I needed to run a lot today.

And that is exactly what I did. About two miles of my 2.25-mile path.

It seems to be easy to do this some days (like today) and very, very difficult on other days.

I got out there a bit earlier than I have been, and it was very nice to not be time-pressured. I will have to try to keep getting up earlier so I have no excuse but to complete the distance I set out to complete each day.

Week 21: Tuesday

August 12, 2008

Today I did not have much time and felt very tired.

So, I wimped out and only went walking today, and not very far. Maybe just a mile or so.

I suppose this means that I have no excuse to run a lot tomorrow. That is my plan at least as I write this.

Week 21: Monday

August 11, 2008

A great start to week 21 today.

I ran most of the 2.25-mile course that I have been running lately.

The distance is not the full 5K, but this shorter path allows me to complete my run in the reduced time I seem to be having lately.

Here's what I am going to try over the next couple of weeks. I am going to try to continue running this shorter path and try to make progress on making sure I am not overeating and that I am eating healthier things.

The goal of this change is to effect a bit more weight loss in hopes that less weight will mean less knee pain and make it easier for my legs to move me the longer 5K distance.

I have lost quite a bit of weight so far, but I am still nowhere near where I need to be, and that is what I think is the primary reason for the knee pain. So, a change of strategy is in order. At least a temporary change in strategy to get me jump-started.

Week 20: Sunday

August 10, 2008

Planned rest day today.

Week 20: Saturday

August 9, 2008

Today's run will instead be walking through the farmer's market and Boulder County Fair.

I won't know exactly how much distance I will cover, but I'm sure that it will be more than my standard distance.

Technically, this is not a rest day, even though I am not out running. So, tomorrow will probably still be my rest day for this week.

Week 20: Friday

August 8, 2008

The pain in my right knee is 100% gone. I don't know where it came from (or where it went, for that matter) but I am just happy to be past that.

A short, quick 1-mile run today is all that I had time for.

I could list myriad excuses, but I just simply didn't get out there early enough.

Week 20: Thursday

August 7, 2008

I ran almost all of my 2.25-mile course today, and it felt good to be back running again.

The first half mile is always very tough and I want to quit, and then the old legs seem to give in and decide that they might as well help me instead of working against me.

Of all things, my right knee was a bit sore last night and this morning, but the run actually seemed to make it feel better.

It is still so odd for me to have knee pain. I never thought about my knees much before I started running.

Week 20: Wednesday

August 6, 2008

My left knee was hurting a bit today after last nights softball game (my last one).

I did end up running about a mile today, but walked the rest of the way.

Maybe not even a mile of running today . . . probably less.

My motivation just wasn't there today either, and that contributed to less running for sure. Hopefully I will be more motivated tomorrow.

Week 20: Tuesday

August 5, 2008

Pretty much a normal day of running today. I was back at it after walking only yesterday.

It is really good to be back into running. When I walk now I almost feel like I am wasting an opportunity.

But I am very worried about either getting injured, not allowing my legs to rest, or of simply burning myself out. So I will walk when I feel like I should walk, but only after I make sure I am not just being lazy.

Week 20: Monday

August 4, 2008

The left knee had a bad weekend, even though it was fine for my run on Saturday.

Everything will be fine and then I will take that first step on a flight of stairs and it will almost give out on me and there is pain.

So, walking only today.

I decided to take this "opportunity" to measure my orignal path which I ran on Saturday.

Turns out that it is 1.9 miles instead of the 1.6 miles that I first measured it as.

What I would really like is to get something for my bike that more accurately measures distance, because I am not 100% sure of the accuracy of the pedometer, even when I have it set correctly.

I think I am at least close to the right distance, though, so I will assume it is accurate for now.

Week 19: Sunday

August 3, 2008

Rest day as planned today.

Starting a brand new week tomorrow, I am hoping to renew my dedication and discipline in both running and in how much I eat at my meals.

Wish me luck!

Week 19: Saturday

August 2, 2008

I ran my really old, original path today. The whole thing.

I actually don't know how long that path is because when I measured it I didn't have the right settings in the pedometer.

So, I know I ran at least 1.6 miles, but I suspect it is closer to 2 miles. I will have to measure this path again on the next walking day.

Week 19: Friday

August 1, 2008

Back to walking only today because the knee is acting up. I have been pushing myself a bit this week and I think it is starting to take a toll on the knees.

I don't feel bad at all about only walking today. Walking today means health(ier) knees to run tomorrow, right?

Week 19: Thursday

July 31, 2008

More running today, but less than yesterday. I ended up walking the first part and then running the rest.

I figure that I ran 1.75 miles straight today. Not bad at all.

Still worried about the left knee. The knee brace seems to help a LOT but nothing is a substitute for a strong, uninjured knee.

It feels good to be running more days than I am walking on a consistent basis. I just need to keep it up and push myself more and more.

Week 19: Wednesday

July 30, 2008

I ran my old path today. The whole thing. This is the 2.25-mile path.

I don't know how long it took me, but I was sure tired when I was done.

I think that running is not necessarily getting easier, but for some reason it doesn't seem to have the same effect that it did before where I could really burn myself out.

Perhaps it is because my mental state has changed slightly in that I feel like I need to start pushing myself more and more in order to keep making progress.

Regardless, it was a good run today. Not 5k, but I am happy to have ran as far as I did.

Week 19: Tuesday

July 29, 2008

It was another very hot morning today. I didn't run the entire distance today, but I was running and that is all that really matters I suppose.

I am getting more and more worried about my knee. I just wish I was losing more weight faster so that my knees were not under so much stress when I run.

I suppose I should be happy with how far I have come and how much weight I have lost thus far, but if my knee goes then I am afraid I will lose all the progress I have made.

Week 19: Monday

July 28, 2008

I didn't feel like running at all when I started today. So, I walked.

But when I got to my 1-mile point I felt like I was wasting this day's run/walk, so I ran the rest of the way of the 2.25-mile course.

I really want to get back to the 5k course, but I also don't want to burn myself out. I still feel like I am making progress even though I am not going the full 5k every day.

Maybe with the new knee brace I can start running more and not worrying as much about the knee. It would be nice to be able to run the 5k every day and just worry about going faster over time to reach my goal.

I don't know where this new time crunch has come from, but when I am out running I feel like I need to get back home sooner than I would if I ran the entire distance. Maybe I just need to start leaving earlier so that I have plenty of time and don't feel rushed.

Week 18: Sunday

July 27, 2008

Well, today was not my standard rest day Sunday because of yesterday's unplanned rest day.

So, I was out running today, and I tried my new knee brace that Tracy bought for me for my left knee.

It was kind of annoying, but I got used to it quickly and forgot it was even there. I think it helps a lot to stabilize my knee when running.

I ran most of the 2.25-mile path today. I needed to get back home earlier than I could have if I had run the 5k course.

It was a very warm morning today, so I am sure it will be a very hot day.

Week 18: Saturday

July 26, 2008

Unplanned rest day today. This happens quite often on Saturdays.

Tracy is heading to a MOPS meeting all day today, and I slept in later than usual, leaving no time for running.

So I guess I will be out and about tomorrow morning!

Week 18: Friday

July 25, 2008

Just a short walk today. I don't want to overdo it after I not only ran yesterday morning but ran again last night.

Tracy hooked up the bike trailer so that Drew could ride in it and I ran behind her to the park, pushing the girls in the jogging stroller.

What a hard run! It is a lot more work to push a stroller than to just run. It felt good to be able to do it though. And the crawdad fishing was great too!

Week 18: Thursday

July 24, 2008

I ran most of the shorter 2.25 mile course today. I decided to see if I could just run it all, slowing down if I started to feel tired.

It seemed to work well, so I may try to do that more often. I feel like I am still making progress week by week.

Week 18: Wednesday

July 23, 2008

I ran the entire 5k distance today, and it felt easier than the last time I did this.

I was slower than last time, but that is OK. If I can run this distance more and more, I'm sure I will get faster and faster until I reach my 30-minute goal.

I don't want to get overconfident, but I feel like I can blow that goal out of the water in the time I have until Disney World.

Week 18: Tuesday

July 22, 2008

I was out and about as usual this morning. Nothing special to report. A little walking, a little running. Repeat tomorrow.

Week 18: Monday

July 21, 2008

The weeks seem to start melding into one another by now.

It seems very odd that this is the start of week 18, but it also seems like I have been running forever.

Today I tried running very slowly and it seemed like I could have run forever.

Tomorrow I am going to try the same thing, but for the entire 5k distance.

Running that slow will definitely not get me to the finish line in 30 minutes, but if I start running the entire distance, just slowly, then I can concentrate on speeding it up a bit over time.

Week 17: Sunday

July 20, 2008

My left knee was a bit "off" after yesterday's run, so I decided to walk only today.

I am not sure how long it took me, but I walked the entire distance.

Today was supposed to be my rest day, but that day was moved because of Friday's debacle.

Week 17: Saturday

July 19, 2008

I ran quite a bit of the distance today. I even tried really pushing the speed a bit on the home stretch.

I felt pretty good throughout the run, but I am worried about my left knee a bit now. Will have to take it a bit easier until I lose some more weight which means less force on the knees.

Week 17: Friday

July 18, 2008

Completely unexpected rest day today.

As I was heading out the door with Toby I checked on Drew in the bathroom.

Suffice it to say that there was an adventure that followed, and not a good adventure, and I ended up spending my running time on the cleanup.

So, that is why today was my rest day for this week.

Week 17: Thursday

July 17, 2008

I was out and about as usual today, walking and running a bit. I probably ran about half of the distance.

These very warm summer mornings make for very warm running weather.

I think I am looking forward to cooler days, and much cooler mornings.

I say it that way because I don't remember much about running in the cooler temperatures, so I may simply not know what luxury I have now.

Week 17: Wednesday

July 16, 2008

I changed things up a bit today by taking Drew with me on my run.

Well, there was only walking because I was pushing him in the stroller.

This is always a nice change, and he really likes going to the park first thing in the morning.

The most difficult part was getting him to leave the park in a reasonable amount of time!

Week 17: Tuesday

July 15, 2008

Standard day-after-softball walking today. No running.

Nothing exciting to report, just standard walking of the 5k distance.

Week 17: Monday

July 14, 2008

I completed my standard run/walk/run strategy today where I ran the first mile, walked the second, and ran the third.

I finished in 40 minutes.

The most exciting part was my closest-yet encounter with the fox.

All of a sudden I see an animal on the path walking towards us. It quickly became clear that it was the fox.

He/she ended up heading slightly off the path to hide, and we walked on the path just a few feet from the fox.

The fox ran away after quickly snagging a mouse for breakfast. Quite odd to see a fox running off with a mouse in its mouth.

A quick vein update: Now I have noticed (after my run today) that my mutant vein runs from above my left knee almost all the way down to my ankle. Quite bothersome for something the doctor tells me is nothing to worry about. Maybe it is nothing for him to worry about. Perhaps I misunderstood his statement.

Week 16: Sunday

July 13, 2008

Today was my rest day, so I was not out running today.

Week 16: Saturday

July 12, 2008

I ran 2/3 of the distance today with some walking mixed in the middle. I don't know how long it took me because I forgot when I started, but I think I did pretty good.

I think I am going to try to continue this pace because it seems to be challenging without me dreading it.

Week 16: Friday

July 11, 2008

All walking today. Finished all three miles.

Yesterday my doctor told me that the odd-looking vein on my left knee is a varicose vein.

Basically, I am turning into a mutant.

He thinks that I have had this for a while, by the size of it, and that I have only noticed recently because of my weight loss.

I didn't even notice it, Tracy noticed it Wednesday night.

The long and short of it is that nothing will be done unless it becomes painful, because the treatment can cause pain. So, no pain with it means to do nothing because you don't want to cause pain where there was none before.

I really don't like having a mutant leg, but it is the only left leg I have, so I will keep it for now.

I have been warned that one varicose vein portends others. So, I really am turning into a mutant.

Week 16: Thursday

July 10, 2008

Had to cut the walk short today. I feel bad when I don't finish the 5k distance, but sometimes I just have to get back sooner.

I am fine with this as long as it is not a consistent thing.

Week 16: Wednesday

July 9, 2008

Walking only today after last night's softball game. Pretty standard after a softball night to have sore legs.

Week 16: Tuesday

July 8, 2008

Mostly walking today. My left leg feels a bit odd, and I don't want to push it.

Finished the entire path, but I want to do more running if possible.

Week 16: Monday

July 7, 2008

Today I ran a little more than half of my 5k path. I ran the first part and the last part and walked in between.

It was a very nice, cloudy, cool day and it was perfect for running.

It seems that the weeks are flying by now. I just hope that I am able to reach my goals before they are done flying and we are in Orlando.

Week 15: Sunday

July 6, 2008

Today was my rest day.

It is actually quite odd to actually have my rest day be my real rest day.

Most weeks I end up having my rest day be Saturday because something prevents me from running that day.

Perhaps I should make Saturday my rest day and then the occasional Sunday rest day would be the exception.

Week 15: Saturday

July 5, 2008

Just walking today, and not too much to report.

I have kept up with running/walking even on my week of vacation, so I suppose that is great.

For me it can be difficult to keep with my normal routine when something like vacation comes up and changes the normal day to day life for me.

Week 15: Friday

July 4, 2008

I walked the entire path today. Nothing special happened. Just standard everyday stuff.

Week 15: Thursday

July 3, 2008

This morning the whole family was awake when I was about to head out on my run.

Drew was very interested in what I was doing, so I asked him if he wanted to come with me.

Tracy heard this and wondered why everyone should not go.

I agreed.

So, after about 15 minutes of packing up our entire family headed out for a nice walk.

Tracy likes to have a destination, rather than just walking, so we headed to Safeway.

It took us quite a while, but we got there and back. About three miles total.

It was a lot of fun, even though Drew fell at one point and we had to buy some Band Aids at Safeway.

Drew was super tired when we got back and put himself to rest in Mommy and Daddy's room right after we got home.

I hope that we can do this more often during this Summer and Fall. It was a real treat for me to have some company.

Week 15: Wednesday

July 2, 2008

I finished my standard path again today, running about 50% of it.

I really wish I had more to say on a day to day basis, but not much happens differently each day.

There is the occasional hot air balloon and the occasional fox, but usually it is just me, Toby, and several other people along the way.

It is actually interesting, thinking of other people, to see them come and go.

That was me. I would start, be really gung-ho, and then slowly peter out over a couple weeks.

I see that with many people who start out walking each day, then I only see them a couple times a week. Then nothing.

I feel fortunate I have been so consistent thus far. I have only missed one day and this is week 15.

I do not try to kid myself, however, that I am not anywhere close to being home free.

I have created good habits running each day, but I still need to keep up with it.

Hopefully this will be a life-long thing that I can share with my family. I don't expect everyone to run, but just keeping active daily. My day to day life has improved so much. More energy, etc.

Week 15: Tuesday

July 1, 2008

Today marks eight years since Tracy and I were married. Very much looking forward to the next eight and beyond.

Tracy has been very supportive of my quest to run and has helped by letting me be gone each morning while she gets the kids out of bed. Not a small task but a huge help to let me have the time to run.

I just hope that I can shorten and shorten the time it takes me to finish the 5k distance. Hopefully over time I can be back in 30 minutes or less. Right now I am anywhere from 35 to 50 minutes.

It sure would be weird to be back in 20 or 21 minutes eventually. That is seven-minute miles. Seems impossible now, but I am doing the impossible every day from where I started 15 weeks ago.

I was out running today and I ended up extending my run past my standard 5k.

I did this because there was a hot air balloon landing in a field to the west of our neighborhood.

It was really neat to see this up close.

I don't know how far I ended up going, but I suspect I added about a half mile to the standard path.

And that extra distance was running because I didn't want to miss anything. Good thing too because I would have if I was just a couple minutes later reaching the site.

Week 15: Monday

June 30, 2008

Each and every week I am still surprised that I am starting that week.

Although really not more significant, starting week fifteen seems like a milestone because it is such a standard, divisible-by-five number.

I ran half of the 5k path today and felt pretty good.

My knees seem to be holding up, so that is really good too.

I seem to be sore in the mornings until I get out running. It is as if my body has gotten used to it. I hope so.

Week 14: Sunday

June 29, 2008

With yesterday being my rest day I was back in action today.

I walked my standard 5k path but I timed it to see how long it takes.

I finished in exactly 45 minutes which is the time limit for the Disney 5k.

I don't plan on walking at all at Disney, but I have reached the point where I can walk the entire distance in the time limit.

Not a significant milestone, but when I started it took me 30 minutes to walk 1.5 miles. Now I go more than twice that distance in 1.5 times the time. Not too bad I suppose for 14 weeks of improvement.

Week 14: Saturday

June 28, 2008

Today was the birthday party for Alexia and Brielle, so I didn't go running today.

I suppose that makes today my "rest day."

Week 14: Friday

June 27, 2008

I don't know why, but I was only able to find time today to walk my old path again.

I do not want to make this a pattern, so I will definitely be getting back to the full 5k path again next time.

Week 14: Thursday

June 26, 2008

Today I was a little later than I would like, so I only walked my 2.25-mile "old" path.

Better than nothing though.

Week 14: Wednesday

June 25, 2008

Happy Birthday to Alexia and Brielle!

One year ago today I was six weeks into my latest attempt to get into shape.

I was literally on the stationary bicicle in the basement, pedaling away, when Tracy started yelling to me about needing to get to the hospital.

The twins arrived a few hours later, and thus came an end to my latest attempt at healthy-ness.

Just like all the attempts before, I don't think I ever got back on the bike after taking time off to deal with the twins' non-standard arrival.

Six weeks seemed like a long time then. Now it seems like nothing.

In fact, the number of weeks I have been running is becoming more and more inconsequential.

I was out again today, but pretty sore after softball last night. So, I walked my old path only and not the full 5k path.

You better believe that I will be back to the full 5k tomorrow, though. Don't want June 25th to be the beginning of the end two years in a row!

Week 14: Tuesday

June 24, 2008

Not much to say today.

I walked the entire distance this morning because I was simply tired.

Yesterday really took it out of me.

The whole day I felt weird.

I am really glad I ran the 5k in the morning, but I am going to still have to work up to doing it again.

So, today, I walked.

Week 14: Monday

June 23, 2008

Today would have been my Mom's 60th birthday.

In honor of her I decided that I was going to run my full 5k course today or collapse trying.

And I did it. (Ran the entire thing, not collapse.)

What a great day to reach such a milestone. My Mom is much of my inspiration for running and to run the entire 5k for the first time on her birthday was great.

I am not going to share how long it took me to finish because that is not really important. What is important is that almost three months ago exactly I started walking and could not even run the distance between two electrical poles.

Today I reached a milestone that I thought would take me a lot longer to reach and never thought I would actually ever be running distances in the first place.

I don't feel at all like I am wasting my ability to be physically active anymore, and that is the best part of all of this.

Week 13: Sunday

June 22, 2008

Since yesterday turned out to be a rest day, today was supposed to not be a rest day.

But it was.

I suppose one time in 13 weeks missing a day of running is not bad.

Week 13: Saturday

June 21, 2008

Didn't run or walk today.

Today was a special "Carnival in the Park" day at IBM so all three kids and me loaded into the car (Tracy was at a cake decorating conference) and headed to IBM.

It was enough for me to get three kids dressed, packed and into the car. There was no way to add on running three miles.

Drew was so excited and he had a great time. He especially liked that Grandpa could be there as well.

Week 13: Friday

June 20, 2008

Today I walked the entire course making mental notes of various milestones.

There are actually quite a few very recognizable milestone markers at regular intervals. Very easy to remember.

What is quite interesting is that my old "5/8 point" actually turns out to be almost exactly 5/8 of my old 2.25 mile path.

Week 13: Thursday

June 19, 2008

I started out today and didn't feel like running at all.

As I got into it, though, I felt very good.

So, at about the 1-mile mark I started running.

And I kept on running.

I ran the rest of the way back home!

I suppose I have run this far before, but the great thing is that I felt like I could run even farther.

The limiting factor was my legs. My breathing felt very easy and not too heavy as I ran.

So, I just need to build up the endurance in those legs and I will reach my goal.

Depending on how I feel tomorrow I may take some paper with me and, as I walk the entire distance, jot down milestones along the way.

I would do this so I could know how far each point is, or the distance between points.

This actually may be self-defeating, though. My goal is to run the whole thing, not know how far I am actually running between points.

We'll see, however, because I really like to have quantifiable progress indicators, and this would fit that category.

Week 13: Wednesday

June 18, 2008

Walking only today again after my softball game last night.

Really concerned about my left knee, so I may be walking for a while.

I want to get at least some running in again so I don't lose any progress I have made, but an injury will really make me lose progress.

So, at least today, I am walking.

Week 13: Tuesday

June 17, 2008

I decided to walk my path today, but I did it backwards.

I am concerned about my joints again (knees in particular) so I don't want to run too much.

So, I walked.

I still definitely get some exercise even on the days that I walk only.

Moving myself over 5km is no easy task!

Week 13: Monday

June 16, 2008

Today is the first day of Week 13 for me.

There is something about being past the 12-week mark.

This is probably because I have tried so many times to go on 12-week programs that were supposed to get me in shape.

Well, at 12 weeks I am in much better shape than I was when I started, but I still feel like I have a very long way to go.

But I try to remember where I came from instead of focusing so much on where I want to be (and the fact that I am not there).

So, I will press on and start the next twelve weeks . . .

Come to think of it, I started all of this approximately 36 weeks before the Disney 5k. That means I am one-third of the way there.

I feel like I am much more than one-third of the way to reaching my goal of running the 5k in 30 minutes, so I suppose that is great.

I really want to be in this for the long-term and need to remind myself that I will make progress over time and that I don't need it to be super fast.

The most scary part of all of this is that I only have 24 more weeks to figure out how we will afford to go to Orlando!

Week 12: Sunday

June 15, 2008

Didn't go out running or walking today, but I did spend hours today moving mulch around.

So, the net effect was much more physical activity than I would have had to exert had I ran today.

Not exactly my plan . . . I had planned to run today . . . but better than nothing.

Week 12: Saturday

June 14, 2008

I took an unplanned rest day today.

That means tomorrow is not a rest day anymore.

Week 12: Friday

June 13, 2008

Well, I definitely did NOT feel like I could run a marathon today.

In fact, running today was harder than most days.

Not sure why, but I just was running out of steam.

I still ended up running about two miles, though.

I will have to see how I feel tomorrow to see if I do any running at all.

I'm just glad that most days are not like today. Hopefully more and more will be like yesterday.

I had a similar "bird" experience today again. Not as much as a couple days ago, but that mama bird doesn't like me at all!

Week 12: Thursday

June 12, 2008

I felt like I could run a marathon today.

I don't know why, but I was able to run what I estimate to be about two miles and I felt like I could run two more.

I stopped running, however, because I don't want to push my knees too far too quickly.

Nothing would be worse than running three miles and hurting my knees in the process.

And, I am actually very glad that I ended up walking the rest of the way.

As I was on my home stretch I was looking towards the mountains and Twin Peaks and I took some time to realize what I do every day now.

A year ago at that time I was probably in bed still.

Today I was outside on a beautiful, brisk morning after running two miles.

There is so much that I get to experience now that I never did before. Simple things, but very nice things.

I am very fortunate to have the 5k path that I have so close to my house. I have a total of four streets to cross and the rest is non-residential.

I get to see all types of birds that I had no idea even lived around here.

And yesterday (I forgot to mention) I got to experience a mother bird protecting her nest. As I was walking along the greenway I walked past a tree with a nest.

As I passed the tree what I assumed was the mother bird started flying back and forth behind me. It was actually quite disconcerting.

The whole event lasted about 15 seconds with the bird making about ten trips back and forth behind me, flapping its wings wildly.

If I ever do have an inclination to mess with a bird's nest, it sure won't be that one!

So, I guess I realized this morning that not only do I get the benefit of being in better shape, but just the time I spend outside in the mornings is a benefit in itself.

Week 12: Wednesday

June 11, 2008

Walking only today after playing catcher last night at my softball game.

It was a very brisk morning, which was nice.

I was able to confirm my halfway point today. I figure that two measurements to the same point confirms the distance.

I definitely plan on getting back to running tomorrow.

Week 12: Tuesday

June 10, 2008

I switched it up a bit today and walked first and then ran most of the second half of the 5k course.

I took advantage of this to measure where exactly the halfway point is on my current course.

I will have to confirm the distance some other day.

I felt like I could have run more. I don't want to push too hard, but I definitely want to do more and more over time.

Week 12: Monday

June 9, 2008

Is it really week twelve already?

I ran my 5k course today (with some walking) in 40 minutes. Not a bad time at all.

I felt very good along the way.

I may try to increase my running distance while still running very slowly.

I felt like I could have run more but not faster.

I seem to be improving I think. Hard to tell.

Week 11: Sunday

June 8, 2008

Kind of a rest day today, kind of not.

No running today but plenty of yard work.

Still counts as the rest day though I would say.

Week 11: Saturday

June 7, 2008

We held a garage sale today so I didn't have any time to get out running.

The garage sale was actually a remote garage sale at a better location.

No running/walking but we did take the boys to an air show which included plenty of walking.

I will call that good.

Week 11: Friday

June 6, 2008

I didn't feel much like running today. So, I ran very little along my standard 5k course.

I don't feel bad at all about it either.

I was still out there, I still went the 5k distance, and I finished in 45 minutes, which is the time limit for the Disney 5k.

My strategy is keeping motivated every step of the way, and sometimes that means walking and not running. That is what it meant today.

Week 11: Thursday

June 5, 2008

Boy was it raining today!

Enough rain that I almost didn't go out today.

But I made a compromise with myself.

First, my reasoning. I figured that the 5k run at Disney World will be held rain or shine, so I have to get experience running in less-than-perfect weather.

The compromise was that I would run the entire time and would take about a one-mile path.

So, that is what I did. But I didn't take Toby. I didn't want him getting soaked.

I was very surprised at how well my clothing kept me dry. My sweatshirt is called "double dry" and it did a great job.

It was actually a difficult mile to run, but I finished in less than 10 minutes.

Not bad for someone who couldn't run the distance between two electrical poles just a few weeks back.

Week 11: Wednesday

June 4, 2008

Absolutely no running at all today, but I finished my 5k path walking.

I was (am) super sore after filling in at catcher last night for my softball game.

There are plenty of leg muscles used for playing that position that are not needed for just about anything else in life.

Walking my 5k path confirmed the distance is right about 5k. I have to walk in order for the pedometer to be accurate.

Week 11: Tuesday

June 3, 2008

I can hardly believe that I am in week eleven now.

I ran my 5k path again today with a bit more walking than I did yesterday because my left knee started feeling a bit of pain.

I was shocked when I finished in 38 minutes; just a minute slower than yesterday and only eight minutes from my time goal.

I guess I ran a bit faster when I was running.

I still have a very long way to go before I reach my goals of running an entire 5k in 30 minutes or less.

But the goal at least seems attainable.

It is hard to think back to when I first started running and I couldn't even run between two poles along the golf course.

Now I run about a mile and a half straight every day.

I have to try to remember where I am coming from because it seems that sometimes I want more progress and faster than I am seeing it.

I don't know why this is because I am seeing progress on just about every front. Mental hurdles I suppose.

Week 11: Monday

June 2, 2008

It was a very nice, warm morning today.

I started off running and stopped at my 5/8 point.

Then I ran and walked and ran and walked the rest of my new path, which is 5k in length.

My hope was to finish in 45 minutes which is the time limit for the Disney 5k.

I was very shocked to find that I finished in 37 minutes.

That was just 7 minutes slower than my goal time!

Granted, my goal also includes actually running the entire distance, but just to be so close on my goal time is encouraging.

I also will need to come up with a new name for my 5/8 point, because it is not 5/8 anymore on my 5k course. Perhaps it is the halfway point.

I will have to measure the actual distance to that point on a day that I walk the course and then use that to name it.

Week 10: Sunday

June 1, 2008

Since yesterday was my rest day, I was out running (walking) this morning.

I took the opportunity to try to map out a new course that is 5k in length using my newly-measured more accurate stride length.

I combined my new and old paths and that ended up right at 5k!

I finished walking it in 50 minutes, so I need to run that 20 minutes faster in January.

Week 10: Saturday

May 31, 2008

I had an early (6:00am) install today so I didn't go out running.

I suppose that makes today this week's rest day.

Week 10: Friday

May 30, 2008

Nothing but walking today because I am still concerned about my knees.

I figured I was past all of this, but I may just have to deal with it as an ongoing, cyclical issue.

I did take some time to measure my stride today, however.

I had been using 30 inches for my stride in my pedometer, but my stride is actually a bit over 34 inches.

This doesn't radically change the length of my course though.

Instead of the 2.25 miles that I thought it was it is actually 2.38.

If my knees are still hurting tomorrow I may try to walk a slightly longer path to see if I can come up with one that is very close to 5km in length.

With a 34-inch stride I will need a path that is 5789 steps. I think if I combine my current path with part of my old, original path I will come close.

Week 10: Thursday

May 29, 2008

I wonder if I am trying to push myself too hard.

My leg muscles were overly tired this morning. I still ran to my 5/8 point, but that was it.

And, to top it all off, my left knee started feeling a bit of pain.

I think I am going to take it easy for a day or two to make sure the knee doesn't get worse.

Still doing great overall, though. It was a great morning with nice, cool weather.

Week 10: Wednesday

May 28, 2008

My muscles were very tired this morning, and when I started running I was sure it wasn't going to last for very long.

But I pushed through it and ended up running to my 5/8 point and walking the remainder of the way.

I think this is a good plan for at least the next couple of weeks. The 5/8 point pushes me a bit, but not too far.

Once I get better and better getting to that point I can start extending a little bit.

I just don't know why my legs were so tired today. I really didn't do anything last night...softball was cancelled due to rain.

Maybe it was just getting back into running after a few days of not running, even though I was still working very hard on building the park.

Week 10: Tuesday

May 27, 2008

Standing in my driveway this morning about to head out on my run, it seemed like forever since the last time I found myself in that spot.

It actually felt very good being back out there, and it was a nice cool, slightly wet morning that made for perfect running weather.

I had planned to run to my standard point which is about 5/8 of the way through my course and then walk the remainder.

I ended up slightly passing that 5/8 point with running, then I walked for a while, then I picked up the running again and finished the rest of the way.

So, I ended up running about 90% of the way. Not fast running by any means, but running nonetheless.

I felt pretty good out there today. I really want to keep this up.

It surely doesn't seem like it has been 10 weeks now since I started all of this. Just over two calendar months.

I have definitely hit some rough spots, but I have worked through them all.

Today's run was a good one.

Week 10: Monday

May 26, 2008

No "real" running today, but there was a lot of walking involved, and with a kid on my back.

We went to the Bolder Boulder today and had to park about a half to three-quarters of a mile from the stadium.

I had a lot of fun putting Drew on my back as we walked.

The really great part was that it didn't turn me into a walking sweaty nightmare.

In fact, I didn't feel winded, tired, or anything. It was nothing but pure fun to run around with my little kid on my back pretending to not see trees, bushes, light posts, etc. waiting for him to scream for me to change direction.

So, even though I didn't technically get out and run today, it was a great day--for motivation if for nothing else.

Week 9: Sunday

May 25, 2008

My "rest day" today was anything but restful.

I ended up working more today on the kids' park than yesterday, and I got to within about 30 minutes of finishing before the darkness ended my quest to finish today.

I really want to finish it tomorrow.

Week 9: Saturday

May 24, 2008

Took today off from running in favor of building the kids' "park" in the back yard.

I ended up working on this for about eight hours today.

I am nowhere close to being done yet. Hopefully I can finish it tomorrow.

Week 9: Friday

May 23, 2008

I didn't do any running today, but I did finish my full regular course.

As it has always been, my strategy is to focus on motivation first.

Running too much really takes a hit on my motivation. So, I will walk when I am really not motivated to run.

I will still push myself a bit, but not anywhere close to the point where I dread going out in the morning.

If I start to dread it, that is the beginning to a very near end.

Week 9: Thursday

May 22, 2008

I feel pretty good today.

Even though my legs were very tired from swing set work that I did last night, I still ran about three-quarters of my path.

And I think I ran it pretty fast.

Then, when I got home I had enough energy to mow the lawn.

Having extra energy throughout the day is one of the best benefits to my training.

I can't believe that I am almost through nine weeks!

It seems that the weeks just fly by and soon we will be in Disney World!

Week 9: Wednesday

May 21, 2008

Well, my legs were definitely sore and tired today after softball last night, but my knees and all other joints felt great!

What a change from normal. Hopefully that is just normal now.

I did end up just walking my course today because of how tired and sore my muscles are.

I do NOT want to overdo it with anything related to my training, so if my muscles are tired, I am not going to force them to run.

My plan is to be back to running/walking again tomorrow.

Week 9: Tuesday

May 20, 2008

I ran my old/original path today because there was a mom walking her baby in a stroller and a dog on a leash.

She was heading down my new path and was having quite a difficult time. So I decided to run the other way instead of getting mixed up in that.

I finished in a little over 20 minutes, which is much faster than what I used to be able to complete that course in.

That sure was an encouragement to finish in about 3/4 of the time it used to take. I guess I am making progress toward my goals.

Still not running 100% of the time anymore. It may be a while before I try to get there. Motivation is paramount and progress is secondary at this point.

I have another softball game tonight, so that will be a test for how my knees hold up tomorrow morning.

Week 9: Monday

May 19, 2008

I was back in the saddle again today after two days of no running but hard work.

My legs actually felt very good but I didn't run the entire time. I think I may stick with that for a while.

I would rather run 75% of the time and feel good enough to not dread heading out in the morning.

I still have many months to reach my goal, so I need to pace myself.

Pacing myself and keeping motivated are my biggest challenges right now.

Week 8: Sunday

May 18, 2008

Rest day today if you can call it that.

I had to clean up the area I leveled last night because you can only do so well in the dark.

So, not much actual rest on my rest day, but no running today either.

Week 8: Saturday

May 17, 2008

Today was the first day in 8 weeks that I didn't go out running.

This was planned, though, because today I worked on Drew's new swing set.

All day.

This included much more physical work than running for 30 minutes.

My day finished with me digging dirt out of our yard to level the area at about 11:00pm.

So, I still plan on resting as scheduled tomorrow and back to running on Monday.

Week 8: Friday

May 16, 2008

I didn't feel like running at all today. In fact, sitting at home I was dreading heading out.

So, when I got to the point where I normally start running, I didn't.

And I didn't run at all the rest of the path.

My reasoning (or excuse) is that I don't ever want to dread running like I did this morning.

If I start to feel that way every morning then it won't be long before I am sleeping in again and not getting out at all.

I still plan on running at least a couple days each week, building up to running every day, but I have to be strategic about all of this so I don't quit.

Yesterday I made the hotel reservations for our Disney World trip. We will be staying 10 nights which should give us plenty of time to have a relaxed vacation.

Hopefully that many days will allow us to not try to fit too much into each day and wear the kids (and ourselves) out.

Week 8: Thursday

May 15, 2008

I ran the path today in 28 minutes again.

But it was very difficult today.

I think I started off running too fast and that made me very tired by the end.

My muscles also started sore and tired, so that definitely didn't help.

It was good to still run the whole way even though I wanted to walk throughout the entire run.

I feel like I am at another crossroads.

Do I continue running every day and push through this difficult stage until this is a habit or do I hold up a bit to make it easier to stay disciplined and out there every morning.

I think I am going to try and keep up with the running for at least three weeks and hopefully it will be a habit (and easier) by then.

Week 8: Wednesday

May 14, 2008

I really didn't want to run my course today.

And when I started out walking from my house I found out that my muscles agreed.

But I am happy to report that I didn't listen to myself or my muscles and I ended up running my course in 29 minutes.

That is 1 minute faster than my first time I ran the whole thing, and that first time I didn't do any walking at the end.

I am hoping to stick with this running for the next couple of weeks to try to make that easier and easier and then I will work on trying to finish faster and faster.

At that point I can try increasing the distance.

I have seven months to do this so I get to a point where I can run 3.1 miles in 30 minutes.

I am super encouraged that I will be able to reach my goal because I can at least run slowly for 30 minutes straight and I figured I was literally months away from that feat.

Week 8: Tuesday

May 13, 2008

I woke up this morning and it was raining and cold outside.

I literally stood in my closet for 10 minutes debating if I really wanted to go out running today.

In the end I decided that I needed to still complete my run because the 5k I am scheduled for will happen rain or shine.

This turned out to be a good decision because it was raining, but it wasn't raining that much.

My hair was pretty wet by the end of the run, but my "double dry" sweatshirt did its job.

It was another great run this morning. I ran the entire course, but a little less than yesterday because I decided to add some walking at the beginning and end of the course.

I finished in 30 minutes and really was not even as tired as I was yesterday after the run.

I am really looking forward to measuring this course more accurately to see how long it really is. Maybe tomorrow morning because I have a softball game tonight and my muscles may not be up to running tomorrow.

Week 8: Monday

May 12, 2008

I don't know how it happened, but this morning was the best encouragement for me after such a crappy week last week.

I started running earlier along my course than I usually do, and I just kept going.

And going.

And I didn't stop until I was back in my driveway!

I am VERY tired now, but also VERY encouraged.

I finished my 2.25 mile course in 28 minutes running basically the entire course.

I think God just wanted to let me know that I can still reach my goals even after such a bad week last week.

I feel like I can do anything right now.

Now I really want to re-measure my stride so I can more accurately measure my course and see exactly how far I did run today.

I have my stride set to 30 inches and I think it may be a bit longer than that. That would turn my 2.25 mile course into something possibly longer.

For example, a quick calculation shows that a 3-inch increase in stride would equal about a quarter mile longer than I think I have been going.

This is all assuming that my stride is longer than 30 inches. We will see.

Week 7: Sunday

May 11, 2008

Rest day as planned today.

I am trying to not get discouraged, but it seems like I am not getting anywhere.

This is causing me to have less and less willpower to eat smaller amounts.

My plan is to buck my life-long trend and get back in the saddle tomorrow 100%.

Wish me luck.

Week 7: Saturday

May 10, 2008

My plan was to not run at all today because my joints are still a bit sore.

And I was successful for a while, but then I saw what I thought was a fox running across the path in front of me and I needed to run a bit to check it out.

It was, in fact, a fox. I have never seen one on my path before.

And the running wasn't too bad. I am thinking that after a rest day tomorrow I can begin in full force again on Monday with running as much as possible.

I have another softball game on Tuesday, so that will be a good test of whether or not that is causing my joint pain, because the pain has only subsided since Wednesday morning.

I took some measurements after my run (walk) today because I would really like to see some more progress because I am not seeing any in how much I weigh.

I really don't care how much I weigh as long as I am losing size and becoming more healthy. That is the reason for the measurements.

Hopefully that will give me encouragement as I move forward. I just don't know if I should try to wait one or two weeks to take measurements again. Probably won't be able to wait past one week.

Week 7: Friday

May 9, 2008

Only walking again today. My joints are still a bit sore and I definitely do not want to head down that road too far again.

It is very hard for me to be walking only because it feels like a backslide.

I am trying to stay motivated and encouraged, even with this setback.

I have to start thinking about how I can measure my progress, both with running and with weight loss. I have a feeling that I will need that encouragement in the near future.

Week 7: Thursday

May 8, 2008

I woke up this morning and my ankles were VERY sore.

I am thinking that softball is very hard on them. Hopefully that will lessen as I continue to lose some weight which will put less pressure on them during fast movements and my running.

I didn't even try to run today, but I finished my 2.25 mile course just walking.

I am trying to tell myself that I have eight more months to get past these issues and get enough endurance to meet my goals, but I am getting a little discouraged by this setback.

Softball is a lot of fun, and I plan to finish the season. I just hope that I can work through this quickly.

Week 7: Wednesday

May 7, 2008

I was nowhere near my best time today.

Starting out I knew I wasn't going to be setting any records because my joints, especially my ankles, were sore.

And my muscles were tired.

I think both of these were caused by last night's softball game which included a lot more running than normal because we were short a player.

I am hoping that softball will not continue to cause sore joints because it has been nice not having that.

I won't quit softball, however, because it is really fun and adds another active activity for me each week.

I finished in 32 minutes today, two mintues slower than normal. I was just plain tired by the end and I didn't want to push it.

I did, however, have another "three-pole" run today. That was good at least to keep up with that.

Week 7: Tuesday

May 6, 2008

When I set out this morning I decided I was going to make today my best time ever.

Unfortunately, today seemed to have the most people along my course which makes it difficult to do exactly what I want.

I ended up having to walk more in the beginning, but I tried to make up for it with more running at the end.

Long story short, I finished in 30 minutes, so I was able to make up the time. Not my best time, but a tie for my best time.

Tomorrow I will have to try again.

Today was the first "three-pole" day I have ever had. This means that I ran continuously for three electrical poles along the golf course.

My first try running (weeks ago) I almost collapsed after two poles. Three was difficult, but that is tangible progress.

Week 7: Monday

May 5, 2008

A great start to Week 7!

I finished in 31 minutes and it feels good to be running more than walking.

I really want to start running more and more of the course, but I'm sure that will come in time.

Now that it is getting warmer it is taking some time for me to recover (dry) after I am done.

I am just glad that I work from home and can take as long as I need before showering.

Week 6: Sunday

May 4, 2008

Rest day today.

Knees are feeling good. Hopefully that means I can run more tomorrow.

Week 6: Saturday

May 3, 2008

Well, I told myself that I was going to rest my knees until Monday before I tried any running again.

Didn't quite make it.

I couldn't help myself, so I ended up running today and all is feeling good so far.

I finished in 31 minutes, which is a bit slower (1 minute) but still not bad.

Definitely going to keep my rest day tomorrow though.

Week 6: Friday

May 2, 2008

My left knee hurt a bit last night with no warning.

Nothing at all like what my knees were doing before, but enough to make me think.

I iced it for 30 minutes or so, but that didn't make the pain go away.

But the pain was gone by this morning.

The memories still remained though. So, I didn't do any running today.

I used this day to measure my current regular path.

It is 2.1 miles and I finished it in 39 minutes walking.

I normally finish it in 30 minutes when I mix in running.

My running pace is 4.2 miles per hour.

That is still short of my 6.2 miles per hour average over 30 minutes to reach my goal, but it is not too bad.

I will probably still just walk tomorrow and then take Sunday off (rest day) and then back to running and walking again on Monday.

Week 6: Thursday

May 1, 2008

Well, the April Showers were one day late this year.

It was raining this morning. Not very hard, but enough to be called rain.

But I was still out there on my new "normal" route, and I finished in 30 minutes.

My knees seem to be holding up ok. They are a bit sore every once in a while, but nothing like what they used to be.

I suppose it is good to train in the rain because the 5k in January will be held rain or shine.

I like the snow a lot better than the rain for sure.

I am starting to feel a bit better as I am running rather than walking. Still very difficult and I have to stop to walk quite often, but I feel like I am making progress.

I simply can't believe I am almost at the end of my sixth week!

It was right at about the six-week mark last June when the girls were born and it threw my exercise regimen out the window.

I am somewhat worried that something else is going to come up that will do the same.

That's how it usually works for me. I am dedicated, disciplined, and consistent and then I get off course, never to return.

This blog is part of my effort to change that pattern. If I am sharing my progress with whoever in the world cares to read then maybe that will give me the motivation to stay on track when the time comes to decide to keep going or fall back.

I really, really want to keep going.

Week 6: Wednesday

April 30, 2008

Boy were my legs tired today.

They definitely did NOT want to run today, but after I started running they were fine.

I finished in 31 minutes today. One minute longer than yesterday, but still not a bad time.

I think I may stick with this course for a while until I can run a significant portion of it.

As I run more of the course it should take me less time. As I really shorten the time I can try adding some distance.

Repeating this I will (hopefully) eventually get up to the 5k distance in the same amount of time (30 minutes).

My knees feel pretty good. I am still very aware of them and I am trying to run with as little impact as possible.

I look forward to the day when I can run without thinking about my knees the whole time. Definitely not there yet.

Week 6: Tuesday

April 29, 2008

Today was the first day that I truly felt that I can reach my goal of running a 5k in Orlando in January.

I finished the same course I ran yesterday in 30 minutes today. Yesterday it took me two minutes longer!

More importantly, however, is that it seemed almost easier today than yesterday. Not sure why, but it did.

I just had this feeling like I am making progress and that eventually I will be able to run without stopping.

I seem to see people out running everywhere nowadays.

It may sound a bit odd, but I am jealous of these people who can run. I want to be able to run too.

I must look silly running for a few hundred feet and then stopping to walk again, but that is all I can do.

So I hope to keep doing that and adding more and more running each day.

I really needed this bit of encouragement today, because I have been very discouraged lately. Now I feel that I can reach my goal again.

Week 6: Monday

April 28, 2008

I kept up with the running today, but it still took me 32 minutes to complete my course.

I am not sure exactly how far this course is, however, so maybe that is good time.

I am definitely getting a better workout with the running, but I guess I was expecting to make better time.

Perhaps on one of my days that I walk only I will measure how long this path is.

I am feeling really good after each of my short runs. I ran and then walked and then ran and then walked. I kept that up the whole time.

I have to be honest that I am getting a bit discouraged with a lack of progress. I am doing better with the running, but I don't see any progress with weight loss for two weeks.

I am going to keep pressing through this and hopefully this is just a plateau.

Week 5: Sunday

April 27, 2008

Today I finished a little over 1.5 miles in 28 minutes.

Even though I planned to not add any running until tomorrow, I added quite a bit today.

I feel great so far, and when running it seemed to be a bit easier than before. Hopefully that means that I am starting to get in shape, even if just a little bit.

I didn't run for too long of a stretch, but I kept running over and over again.

Unfortunately, the need to utilize the facilities caused me to end a bit early today. I felt great and wanted to keep going.

My knees and ankles feel great so far, so hopefully I can keep up the running tomorrow and each day after that.

It seems like these past five weeks have gone by in a flash. Before I know it we will be packing for Disney World!

Week 5: Saturday

April 26, 2008

Today was this week's resting day because today was Lexi and Brie's Baby Dedication and there was no time this morning to go out running (walking).

On top of that fact, my joints were all sore from the 5k walk yesterday. So it was a great day to rest today.

Week 5: Friday

April 25, 2008

I woke up this morning and both of my ankles were VERY sore.

I don't know if it was the longer run (walk) yesterday or if something happened during my softball game that I was not aware of.

But I went out for my run (walk) anyway.

In fact, I completed the longer path again today. Actually, one a bit shorter (3 miles) and I actually remembered my starting time.

I completed the 3 miles in 55 minutes without trying to walk fast at all. More of a stroll because of my ankles.

That is just 10 minutes slower than the pace required to complete the same distance in my 5k at Disney World.

Not that I want to scrape by at the slowest allowed time. It is just that if I was pushing myself, even walking, I could technically complete the race.

I am trying to not get discouraged with having pain again. I thought I was past this, but as I am going further now it seems as though the pain is back.

But I will press on and try to work through the pain and, hopefully, my joints will all be stronger in a week or two.

Because of this new pain I may hold off on my plan to start some running again on Monday.

Who knows, maybe the pain will be gone by then.

Week 5: Thursday

April 24, 2008

I took some extra time this morning and tried to walk a 5k course.

I don't know exactly how much time because I forgot when I started. Oops.

Time really didn't matter though. I was just trying to find a 5k course that didn't involve running (walking) the same course multiple times.

There is just something I have against completing something knowing that when I am done I have to do the same thing again.

I ended up finding a 3.33 mile course which is 0.23 miles too far.

This new path is a combination of my two existing paths with a couple of extra lengths thrown in.

There is definitely a difference from running (walking) 1.5 miles and running (walking) 3.33 miles. I am tired and my muscles are sore.

But now I have an exact idea of exactly what my goal is.

That is good and bad.

It is good because I know what I need to do.

And bad for the same reason.

At this point I can't imagine running that entire course, let alone finishing in 30 minutes.

But even though I have a long way to go, I also have a lot of time in front of me before the Disney 5k in January.

And I have to remember that I will not be quite as heavy as I am now over time, and that will make it easier for me to move myself down the path.

Today was a good day.

Week 5: Wednesday

April 23, 2008

It was a wonderful, warm morning today.

I completed my new course in 31 minutes, covering 1.73 miles.

When I returned I calculated that is 3.35 miles per hour on average.

A 5k run is 3.1 miles.

If I want to run the 5k in 30 minutes then that means I must average 6.2 miles per hour.

As I start actually running more and more each morning, starting Monday, I will be tracking my average speed. I think this will help me track progress better rather than distance in a certain time.

Once I am able to run continuously for 30 minutes averaging 6.2 miles per hour then I have reached my goal. I am about halfway there just walking.

Starting Monday I am going to run a bit, then walk a bit, then run a bit again.

Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

Over time I will hopefully include more running, less walking, and more distance.

If I have time over the next three mornings, I may try walking a longer course to find one that fits 3.1 miles. I am planning on combining my two courses and hopefully getting close to 5k total without running in circles multiple times.

Week 5: Tuesday

April 22, 2008

Chilly April mornings continued today. Not downright freezing, but chilly nonetheless.

I decided that I would push it a little today along my whole course. No running yet, but faster walking.

Definitely made an impact on my leg muscles, which were pretty tired by the time I finished.

I finished my 1.75 mile path in 30 minutes. Two minutes faster than the same path yesterday.

I have decided that I will not try running until this coming Monday. This will get me out of the Spring softball season in case I do hurt my knee again.

I really want to start making some real progress on time, but not at the expense of my knees....or anything else.

Week 5: Monday

April 21, 2008

It was a great start to week five this morning.

I felt as if it had been forever since my last run (walk) because yesterday was my rest day and Saturday was not on my normal schedule.

I finished my "new new" course in 32 minutes this morning, with Toby slowing me down a bit with his deposit that I needed to pick up.

It was colder again today.

I have had a couple of very nice mornings that really make me look forward to the weather getting warmer. I just don't want it to get too warm.

Week 4: Sunday

April 20, 2008

Rest day today.

I feel good enough to go out today, but I have told myself that I will give my body a day to rest each week.

I find it hard to stick with that, but I was successful today.

What a change to find it hard not to exercise each day.

Week 4: Saturday

April 19, 2008

Tracy went to the twins sale very early this morning, so I was left with the kids.

I was determined to still head out for my run (walk) sometime today.

It was almost 1:00pm by the time I headed out, so I decided to take Drew and his friend Sarah from across the street to the park that is along my "new" path.

This was one of the most difficult days so far because it was warm and because I was pushing 100 pounds of kids and stroller in front of me.

It was a lot of fun and I ended up covering just over two miles by the time I made it back.

The extra distance came from me running back and forth between two sets of swings pushing one kid while the other kept swinging on the other set.

That must have been a sight to see for sure.

Week 4: Friday

April 18, 2008

Boy was today much better than yesterday.

I figured there would be good days and bad days, but I never figured that such a bad day would be caused by my dog!

I went a bit further today, following my "new" path but taking a bit of a detour at the end to slightly extend it.

This even newer path is 1.8 miles and I finished in 33 minutes.

I feel that I am still going strong after almost completing four weeks.

Most importantly, I feel just as movitivated now as I did on day one, even more so.

And absolutely zero pain in the right knee after my softball game last night. I am hoping to be past that finally.

Week 4: Thursday

April 17, 2008

Today was easily the most annoying run (walk) I have had so far.

Not because it was cold (which it was) and not because the girls woke me up early (which they did).

No, today's big annoyance was Toby. I am not sure what got into him today, but he was annoying from the minute I woke up.

He was overly excited to go today as I was preparing the girls' bottles and preparing for the run (walk).

Once we got out on the trail, Toby was relentless in pulling and running circles around me.

Then, he decided he needed to have me pick up after him . . . twice!

To top it all off, his second "event" went partially on the leash, leaving me to clean it as best as I could with my plastic bag.

I hardly had any time to even notice the cold weather or anything else.

Hopefully tomorrow will be better.

Week 4: Wednesday

April 16, 2008

Well, I knew that the warm weather wouldn't last. This has to be the coldest April on record!

Windy and cold, I still was out and about this morning.

I took the same path as yesterday. It is definitely a nice path to take.

I am actually thinking of how I may combine the two as I start running more than walking and increasing my distance.

The knee feels great today. I have a softball game tonight which will be a good test of the healing.

I don't think I could stop now even if I wanted to. Toby is getting more and more excited just to see me in the morning.

He doesn't even wait until I get the leash!

I can't let him down so I suppose he is more motivation to keep going out in the mornings.

Week 4: Tuesday

April 15, 2008

I actually could have taken this morning off because I went on a walk to the park with Drew late last night. We ended up coming home in the dark with a flashlight. He had a lot of fun.

But, of course, I didn't take today off. Instead, I re-walked my walk to the park to see if that might be a new course for me to take on my daily runs (walks).

It turns out that it took me 28 minutes to walk 1.53 miles to the park and back.

Not quite as long as the 1.69 mile path I normally take, but still in the range of acceptable paths.

I really like this one too because there is virtually no neighborhood walking. I just have to cross one street and walk by about 2 houses each way.

I got to see this very weird yellow bird again this morning too. This is the second time I have seen it.

It is mostly yellow but with white and black on its head. Quite a sight for sure.

I have tried to identify it on the Internet, but without success.

My legs were definitely more tired this morning after giving them 10 hours off from the last walk.

But my right knee feels great. Still won't start running again yet, but it feels like I could.

Week 4: Monday

April 14, 2008

Today was the perfect start to week four.

This was by far the warmest and most enjoyable run (walk) I have had. The morning was crisp and clear and I actually was having fun.

Imagine that...I was actually having fun while exercising!

My right knee didn't hurt at all today during my entire run (walk). Perhaps the rest yesterday helped.

I walked the entire course today in 30 minutes. That is one minute faster than normal.

I am finding it very difficult to not start running at least a bit, but I am going to try very hard to go at least a week or two more just walking.

I have two softball games this week on Wednesday and Thursday. I want to get through those without any knee pain and then I may consider adding some running again.

I feel like I am making great progress. I am trying to focus on my running (walking) and how much progress I am making there and not so much on weight loss, but I have definitely lost quite a bit in the three weeks I have been doing this.

It is hard to tell with my primitive scale, but I am approximately 20 pounds lighter than when I started, and I have had to retire my jeans in favor of a smaller size.

Hopefully as I continue to make this kind of progress my joints will not have to work as hard and I can start running without any injuries.

Week 3: Sunday

April 13, 2008

Today was my standard resting day.

I actually found it very difficult and odd to stay home in the morning.

Hopefully I am doing the right thing by giving my muscles and joints a day off each week.

Week 3: Saturday

April 12, 2008

My knee hurt more yesterday as the day went on. I really should not have started running yet.

Lesson learned.

I tried to ice it last night and I iced it right after running (walking) this morning.

I took my time and didn't even check to see how long it took me to run (walk) my standard course.

Everything felt fine again this morning, so hopefully I didn't set myself back too far yesterday.

It is still so odd to me that I even have knee pain. I suppose I am just learning a bit of what it is like to get older.

I will take my standard rest day tomorrow and hopefully be feeling even better on Monday.

I will keep icing the knee to hopefully help the pain a bit and encourage healing.

I sure hope this goes away eventually.

I won't be able to reach my goal of running the Disney 5k in January if I can't ever run.

And, walking the 5k is simply not an option because that is not my goal. My goal is to run.

Week 3: Friday

April 11, 2008

Not snowing today, but there was just as much wind and just as much cold.

I finished my standard path today in 30 minutes.

I was able to finish a bit sooner than normal (1 minute faster) because I spontaneously started running at one point.

I had not planned to start running yet, but it just happened.

My knee felt great while running, but it was a bit sore the rest of the walk. But it recovered completely after resting about 15 minutes after the run (walk).

I am really happy that a bit of running didn't totally take me out. I am going to proceed VERY cautiously.

Overall I am staying motivated and encouraged and am really starting to see some progress toward my goals.

Week 3: Thursday

April 10, 2008

Today was definitely a day to keep my momentum going.

And I realized that running (walking) really has become a habit for me.

The weather outside today was snowy and windy and very cold. When I finally decided that I should at least try to run (walk) today, I was determined to make it a short one.

Well, somehow I ended up finishing my normal path in my normal 31 minutes.

I was actually expecting to be a bit quicker because the blowing, cold snow gave me a lot of incentive to move quickly.

I am really happy that I made it. It really wasn't that hard and I am very glad that I overcame the snow and stayed on course.

Week 3: Wednesday

April 9, 2008

A very chilly morning today.

This was the first day with my new running shoes. Boy do they make a difference!

I never realized before just how poor my old tennis shoes were.

The right knee is not 100% yet but it is getting there. I am just glad it is healing.

Another softball game tomorrow. That will be the real test of the knee.

I finished my normal course in 31 minutes today. Pretty normal.

I thought about trying my course in reverse, but then I would not be facing the mountains along the long golf course stretch.

Instead of missing out on this, I am going to try to remember to run (walk) the course in reverse on the next cloudy day when the mountains are blocked anyway.

It may sound silly, but I really enjoy seeing the mountains in the background on my run (walk).

Getting out there each day is becoming a habit now, which is great! I am hitting that time period, however, where I have had difficulty historically.

The next three to six weeks will be key for me to keep my motivation up and my discipline in check to ensure that I don't fade away as I always do.

Week 3: Tuesday

April 8, 2008

It was a very foggy morning today.

It was actually a lot of fun to be out and about in all of the fog. These mornings are rare and I can't remember the last time I had the chance to be outside during such fog.

My right knee is feeling MUCH better today. It started to feel a lot better yesterday. I think it is coming around.

I am quite encouraged at finally having less pain. Hopefully I can keep it that way.

I was back to my normal course this morning and it took me 31 minutes to walk it completely.

I am finding it difficult to only walk, but the memory of the pain keeps me just walking.

We tried to get me some new shoes yesterday, but the store was closed so we will try again tonight.

I will definitely not try to run at all until I have new shoes.

Overall I am making progress I think and I am trying to stay motivated.

So far, so good.

Week 3: Monday

April 7, 2008

I can't believe that this is already Week 3!

Let's see....I have a 9-month schedule to reach my goal. That is approximately 36 weeks.

That means I am coming up on being ten percent through the time I have to go from fat to fast.

Boy, do I have a LOT of work to do!

Another snowy day this morning.

It is really good to be able to write "Week 3" today. It doesn't seem like I should be in my third week yet. (Did I mention that already?)

I woke up and didn't even think about my knee until after I had gone downstairs, made bottles, came back upstairs to give the girls their breakfast, and was heading back downstairs.

I'm not sure if the icing I did on my knee yesterday helped, but it feels a lot better today.

I was not too smart, however, in that I chose a snowy day where my knee was finally feeling better to try to take a new path.

Everything ended up fine, but it is not good to not know how far from home you are when it is cold and snowing.

I ended up on a 1.9 mile course that I finished in 35 minutes.

I really didn't like this course at all, though. It was too much walking through neighborhoods.

My normal course is mostly along the golf course and through a greenway.

Even if this means I will eventually have to run my normal course two times, I much prefer that to the path I chose today.

I may still venture out in different directions, we'll see.

For now I am glad to be back out running (walking) even if it is in the snow.

Week 2: Sunday

April 6, 2008

As I promised myself, today I rested. My plan is to rest every Sunday, but this Sunday was especially important because the ol' knee is still acting up.

I don't want this to derail my plans, but I also don't want to injure myself. I'm a bit conflicted as to how to proceed.

Went looking for new running (walking) shoes today. Found some that were much better than my current shoes, but I was not certain they fit what I am looking for.

So, my plan is to go to a shoe store (only shoes) tomorrow and talk with someone who can recommend shoes for me.

I am going to try to ice my knee tonight and see if that helps.

I'm really worried that if I stop too long to try to get this to stop hurting that I won't start again. I am also worried that if I don't stop that I will injure myself to the point that I can't continue.

So, I am going to press on, but much more slowly than I otherwise would have.

Week 2: Saturday

April 5, 2008

That darn knee is still acting up. Between running (walking) and softball I think it is just giving out under the pressure.

I still got out for my run (walk) this morning and finished my standard course in 31 minutes. Not a bad time considering the knee.

I also practiced a bit of softball today. That didn't help my knee, but I think it helped my game.

I am actually not looking forward to my rest day tomorrow.

I found myself trying to find excuses to go for my run (walk) tomorrow instead of staying home. That is sure a change.

I think, after debating myself for a while, that I will stay with my rest day in order to try to get the knee to heal a bit.

So, hopefully I will not be writing about my run (walk) tomorrow.

Week 2: Friday

April 4, 2008

Well, my knee was very sore after (and during) my softball game last night and that continued into this morning.

I had a lot of pain just walking down and up the stairs to get the girls their morning bottles.

It was really disappointing to me because I have not yet missed a run (walk) and I just couldn't see missing today.

My motivation is largely based on momentum (historically) so I am really afraid of losing that momentum, even if it is for an injury.

So, instead of heading out for my run (walk), I stayed in.

Yes, that's right. I spent 30 minutes today walking around (and around) my house because I was too afraid of getting far away from the house and not being able to get back.

Fortunately, my knee really loosened up and was largely pain-free by the time I was finished. And, I got a lot of stuff put away throughout the first level of the house. Bonus!

Most important is that I feel like I still had my walk today and that I maintained my momentum.

I think that my knee is definitely a combination of running and softball because it is only after softball that it really acts up. Hopefully a week off until the next game will be enough to heal.

Week 2: Thursday

April 3, 2008

My knee has continued to be sore, but Advil seems to make it go away. This indicates to me that there is some inflammation in there.

It really is not a serious injury, however, because I was able to fully participate in my softball game last night, which included a lot of running and quick movements.

Sure, it was a bit sore after the game, but not unbearable.

When I work up this morning the soreness continued and it was raining.

Compounding the reasons to not go on my run (walk) was a 7:00am meeting scheduled at work.

I am happy to say that I still got myself out there in the drizzling rain and walked about 20 minutes which was about a mile.

My knee actually felt better as I was walking than before I left the house.

I took some more Advil when I got back and will probably continue that regimen until the knee is healed.

I will definitely not be running for at least the next couple of outings. I am sure that if I push too hard I will end up with an injury that will derail my plans.

For now, I am just quite happy with myself that I had the discipline and willpower to head out today when I had so many reasons (good reasons) not to.

Week 2: Wednesday

April 2, 2008

Another very cold morning this morning. But, again, there were quite a few people out and about even though it was quite cold.

My right knee was a bit sore as I was preparing for my run (walk) today, but I went ahead and did my normal course in 27 minutes (tying my best time).

Now there is a bit more soreness.

I think this is a muscle thing so I am going to apply some muscle cream and try to work through it today.

Tomorrow I think I may just walk the whole course. We'll see.

I may also look into getting some new runnning shoes. Just in case my current shoes may be contributing to my knee pain.

I have never had knee pain before. This scares me a bit. Enough to make me want to change my tactics a bit and take it slower before I cause real injury.

I suppose my current focus should probably be on creating the habit of getting out and running (walking) each day and not so much on improving quickly.

I am lumbering around out there with a lot of extra weight and losing that first and then working on improving my speed is probably the best way to go.

So, that is now my plan. I may even take the rest of this week off from running at all. I will just have to listen to my knee and judge when I can start running again. So it is all walking for me for the time being.

Overall I am very encouraged and it seems that I can stick with this for as long as needed. I am very excited to improve but I have to remember that it will take a lot of time to undo all of what I have been doing (or not doing) the past decade.

Week 2: Tuesday

April 1, 2008

Boy did I get an April Fools prank on me this morning.

Two, actually.

I had a 7:00am meeting scheduled so I made plans to go on my run (walk) after the meeting instead of how I usually go on my run (walk) before work.

I call into the meeting before checking my email and, surprise!, the meeting was moved to Thursday. So, my plans will have to wait two days.

I thought that this would work out well....I would go on my run (walk) at my normal time before starting work.

Looking out the window I saw a beautiful, clear day and it made me excited to go.

About three minutes into my run (walk) the beautiful day turned into an arctic experience.

By far this was the coldest day I have yet experienced when out running (walking).

I stuck with it and completed in a record 27 minutes!

That's four minutes off my original time.

I ran my usual "two poles" but then I also ran a short distance as I was on the home stretch (literally). That one was hard because my legs were al dente by that point.

I was very happy to see that I trimmed another minute off, but now I suppose I have to try to keep that pace (or better) from now on.

I don't think I will worry too much if I slow a minute or two though. I just want to try to get more running into the course even if it is three or four short bursts of 15 seconds in addition to my "two poles."

Week 2: Monday

March 31, 2008

Drew was not feeling the best last night and I headed out late to get some Pedialite for him. When I came out of the grocery store it was a blowing snowstorm.

I was sure it was going to be too cold and too much snow to go out this morning.

When I woke up it was very cold but, somehow, the sidewalks were bone dry.

So, I added an extra layer (shirt) and headed out. This was definitely the coldest morning for me yet.

What was surprising was that there were more people out today than any other day so far. Go figure.

I was a bit encouraged today, though, when I actually paid attention to how far my "two poles" of running actually is. There is a road that leads to our cul-de-sac which runs the entire south end of our neighborhood. My running distance is most of this road....much longer than I thought.

It really doesn't make it easier to run that distance, but it makes me feel better about how bad I feel by the time I reach that second pole.

I had my best time today for my course: 28 minutes.

I have nine months to somehow double my time. I want to complete my course two times in 30 minutes on a regular basis. I think I am 3 minutes off my beginning time, so I suppose that is measurable progress.

Week 1: Sunday

March 30, 2008

I rested today.

So sue me.

Actually, I am going to rest at least one day a week. I feel very good today.

Tracy and I were chatting briefly about "vacation planning" for our Disney World trip. I am determined to make it and she believes that I can do it too.

Now, I realize that a 5k run is really not anything to sneeze at for many people, but from my perspective right now, with how I feel even running for 30 seconds straight, it is my Everest.

So I am going to continue planning that vacation.

And I hope that at least a few people are reading my posts here. So far, posting here has been the motivational factor I was hoping it would be. I just can't imagine how bad it would be for me to have to write "Sorry but I won't be posting anymore because I am a big failure and I am giving up."

I would much rather keep running (walking) than write that.

Week 1: Saturday

March 29, 2008

I figured that my "two pole" run would be a bit easier today since I must have improved since yesterday.

I was wrong.

But I did it and finished my course in 29 minutes. I suppose it is not bad to have improved 2 minutes in five outings.

I never thought much about it, but Toby is probably benefiting as much from this as me. He is also pretty tired by the time we are back home. He sure does get excited to go in the mornings, so I think he really enjoys these times.

I may take tomorrow off to rest my muscles and give them a chance to recover from the shock I have given them this week.

Week 1: Friday

March 28, 2008

While walking in the snow yesterday I told myself that I would not yet try any running, but that I had to do some running the next time I was out.

That was today.

There are some very tall, spread out utility poles along one stretch of my path. I told myself that I was going to run from the first one to the third one. Not a fast run, just a trot.

Well, I was heaving by the time I reached pole number two but (somehow) I kept going until I reached pole number three.

As I approached pole number three I was feeling very glad that I had written my name and home phone number on a piece of paper and put it in my pocket because I was sure that I was going to collapse right there.

The unfortunate thing is that now I have to do at least that much running every time. I am not going to increase that for a week or so I would think.

Oddly, having such a difficult moving myself quickly that short distance was somewhat motivating. The sheer embarrassment of how I felt and how I must have looked lumbering along is plenty to make me want to change.

I really can't believe I have reached a point where I am so out of shape. No time like the present to change that!

Week 1: Thursday

March 27, 2008

When I woke up this morning to feed the girls at about 7am it was SNOWING!

My first thought was "Great, here's the standard hurdle that breaks my early momentum."

So, since I again didn't feel like going back to sleep, I sat down to watch some TV.

Then it was almost 7:30 and I decided that I was not going to let a little snow stop me. So I quickly put on my "gear" and headed out with Toby.

This happened to be the exact same time that our neighbor Jen across the street was leaving. She, of course, questioned if I really was going for a walk in the snow.

I had to admit that I was and made a reference to the "double dry" label that was on my sweatshirt when I bought it. Today would be the test!

My plan was to take a shortcut since it was snowing, but it ended up to be a cool, but nice walk. I had to try to go a bit faster because I had to be back by 8am for a meeting.

Despite my efforts I still took 30 minutes to complete my path and ended up being a couple minutes late for the meeting. But I was VERY glad that I didn't let this hurdle stop me.

Week 1: Wednesday

March 26, 2008

I woke up this morning to feed the girls at around 7am and I didn't feel like going back to sleep. I hope this "awakeness" is due to walking more yesterday than I have since....hmmmmmmm.

I repeated yesterday almost exactly. I walked the exact same path in 30 minutes today. I was a bit sore starting out but it took about 60 seconds to not feel that anymore.

Week 1: Tuesday

March 25, 2008

Today is Tuesday and that is quite significant for being my first day on my running quest.

Tuesday is important because it is not Monday. In the past I have started everything on a Monday. Usually this would mean pigging myself over the weekend on anything and everything that looks unhealthy and then going cold turkey on Monday.

Instead of waiting six more days until Monday, I decided to start immediately. So, I put on my shoes and walked out the door with Toby on his leash. I didn't even know where I was going to go.

I ended up following a path that I had never been on before that goes around our neighborhood. When I arrived back home I checked my pedometer and I had walked 1.62 miles in 31 minutes.

I quickly calculated that this is about half of the 5k goal that I have set. If I want to complete the 5k in 30 minutes I will have to go around my path two times in the same amount of time. I will have to travel twice as fast. Seems very attainable.

I felt tired but good when I got back. It made me want to read as much as I could about starting a running program. Everything I found says to take it slow. So that is what I will try to do.