Weight Loss Ticker

Monday, October 29, 2007

Week 39 Weigh-In & Race Update

This morning I weighed 281 lbs. which is a loss of 0.6 lbs. for a total of 99 lbs. in 9 months. My fat ratio remained at 29.1% giving me a lean mass of 199.2 lbs (-0.5) and a fat mass of 81.8 lbs. (-0.1). My waist remains at 52.5 inches.

Now for the race:

First of all, this race turned out to be expensive. Not only was the entry fee higher than many races, but since it was on Mackinac Island, there was an expensive boat ride. Also, we signed up for the dinner afterwards which was not as good as it cost. So, between 2 entry fees, 3 ferry tickets, and 3 dinners, it cost about $150, not including the gas to drive the 2.5 hours there and 2.5 hours back. Thankfully, my in-laws watched the other kids.

The weekend before the race was beautiful, sunny, and unseasonably warm. The weather forecast for the race day was 40% chance of rain and a high of 47 degrees Fahrenheit (8.3 Celsius). Driving there, it rained off and on. It rained on the ferry ride. It was drizzling when we got off the ferry.

This is a picture of the island from the ferry on our way out. You can see the clouds started to break up and there is sun. Go figure!

Mackinac Island is an historic island in Michigan. There are no motorized vehicles on the island except a fire truck and an ambulance. You must either walk, ride a bike, ride a horse, or ride in a horse drawn vehicle. When we got off the ferry, there was a horse drawn vehicle with a sign that read public transportation. It was headed to the where the race begins. So, we got on with a bunch of other people. Then the driver turned around and said, "Every needs to pay $4.50 per person. I will not leave until everyone pays." So we hopped off and walked the mile to the hotel in the rain.

My Daughter and I before the race.

When we got found where the registration was, there was a big wall with every one's name followed by a number. We gave that number to the people at the registration desk and they gave us an envelope and a race shirt. The envelope had our race number which we pinned on and a tracking device which we put on our shoes.

The tracking device is pretty cool. It's not gps or anything. When you cross the starting line, the computer starts tracking your personal time. When you cross the finish line, it records your time. In other words, it doesn't matter how long after the race starts that you cross the starting line, your time is tracked from when you cross the line. My wife said that there were people who waited five minutes before they started.

Anyhow, it was cold and rainy. We were miserable. However, the rain had let up by the time we started.

And we are off!

The road we started on was a nice flat, level path. About 50 yards (45.7 meters) after the start, the road turned. At the turn, I was surprised by a steep incline. which after a while veered off the to the left. Then there was a turn to the right, and the steep incline continued. Then there was another turn to the left where the incline decreased...a little. After a while, it finally leveled out.

After that first second turn to find more steep incline, I was scared. I was afraid that half the race was going to be uphill. I was already winded, and I wasn't sure I could last. I was afraid that even if it has leveled out that I had used up so much energy just running up the hills, I wouldn't last. I was also afraid that my 8 year old daughter would get discouraged right away. She was somewhere behind me, but I couldn't go back to see how she was doing.

I kept plugging away, and hoped that my daughter was too. Once we got past those initial hills, we were in the woods. It was much warmer in the woods. In fact, I started to wonder if I overdressed. Anyhow, I picked my pace and just kept going. I was surprised to see that some of the runners just walked up the hills in the woods. I kept running, hoping I would not wear out too soon.

Back in the woods, there some downhill stretches as well. I just let my weight, momentum and legs take me quickly down those.

It was interesting running with all those other people. I was tempted to run to try to pass up people who passed me, but I would have worn my self out too soon doing that. I was surprised to pass people that looked to be in much better shape than me. I even passed up another fat guy, though he was not as big as me.

Still, I was worried that I picked too quick of a pace. I wanted to finish the 5.7 mile race in an hour. I would need to run about 10.5 minute miles to do that. The first mile was over 11 minutes. I thought I would be faster the second mile since that huge incline at the start slowed me down. But I was still over 11 minutes by the second mile.

This is a picture of the downtown area of the island. I took this on our way out. It figures that the sun came out after the race. lol

When we were running through the woods, we were on a paved bike path. However, there was a point just before the third mile, the race turned onto an unpaved path. Now, I had to contend with mud and puddles. I made it through, but I kept worrying about my daughter. I hoped that she wasn't discouraged or all worn out.

At the end of the muddy path, we turned on the road that went around the island. This road was exposed. The wind was blowing and the rain was drizzling down. Thankfully, the wind was at our backs. The people who ran the half-marathon had to run into the wind for a good 1/3 of their run.

Once, I was out on the flat road, I knew I had to pick up my pace if I were going to finish in under an hour. So, I started to go a little faster and see how I felt by the 4 mile mark. By the time I hit that mark, I saw that I would need to go even faster to make it in under and hour. So I picked up the pace a little more.

My heart rate monitor showed that my heart rate was pretty high. I started to worry that I would have a heart attack. I was mad. I couldn't blow all this training by having a heart attack. I thought maybe I should slow down. Then, reason returned. I thought about all that I had done over the past 9 months, and the running I had done for the last 13 weeks, and said that my heart could take it. I have built up its strength and endurance. So, I told myself, I would see how I felt by the 5 mile mark.

When I hit the five mile mark, I realized that there was no way I would finish in an hour, so I quit!

...Hah! Just kidding. I didn't quit. I picked up the pace anyhow. I wanted to finish as close to and hour as I could. I even passed a few people who had passed me earlier. That reminds me. Somewhere after the four mile mark, a walker passed me. She was a power walker. The difference between her walking and running is a fine line. I expected to be passed by a few power walkers. Thankfully, it was only one.

I am coming to the finish line and pass that guy before I cross. Hah!

That last 0.7 miles, I kicked it up. When I saw the finish line, I poured everything I had left in me as if I were battling for first place. When I crossed the finish line, I had tears in my eyes. I am not sure why I cried and became so emotional. I certainly wasn't sad. They weren't tears of joy either. I think I was profoundly moved by what I had just done. I guess I didn't realize how much this race meant to me until that moment.

In the last 9 months, I have lost a lot of weight. I have fit into smaller and smaller clothes. I have enjoyed compliments about how I look. I have been able to physically do things, I had not been able to do for awhile. None of it even comes close to how I felt when I crossed that finish line. I am getting choked up now as I write about it. I am not sure why this had such a profound affect on me, but it has. Without a doubt, I will be in more races.

After finishing, all I wanted to do was bask in my accomplishment, but I still had a 8 year old girl on my mind. So I headed back down the road. This time, I was going into the wind. It was miserable. I had no idea how far back my daughter was, or if she was even still running, or what. My heart leapt when I turned a corner and saw her running. It was somewhere between 4 and 5 miles. She was doing it. She kept going. I started to cheer for her. She looked up and smiled.

When I saw that smile, a pride welled up inside me like I had never felt before. All my fears and worries dissipated as she kept plugging away. I fell in beside her and ran with her the rest of her way to the finish. When she passed the five mile mark, she said, "I can't believe I have actually run five miles. If I ran five, I can run the rest." I told her, "I know you can. You are stronger than you think you are."

That a mantra I had her say when we trained. When we were getting toward the end of our running sessions, I would tell to say out loud, "I am stronger than I think I am!" It would have her repeat it louder and louder. Then I would cheer. Now, I saw that she was stronger than I thought she was and I couldn't have been prouder.

When she saw the finish line, she put on the gas and sprinted across it. She is a champion. I am not sure, but I think she might have been the youngest runner there. Regardless, there are not many 8 year olds that can say they did what she did.

Here is my daugher coming to the finish line. They guy behind her is a half-marathoner. The finish for both races were at the same place though the trails were different. She is AWESOME!

After the race, we went to were they posted the results. My finishing time was 1:03:58 with a pace of 11:14. I missed my goal by 4 minutes. However, I did reach my other 2 goals: To finish the race and not to come in last. I came in 18th in my age group (35-39) of which there were at least 20. I came in 289th overall of which there were at least 380. The final stats haven't been posted yet. We don't know my daughter's official time yet, but I think it was around 1:40:00.

This post is way too long already so I will end it here with our running mantra:

"You are stronger than you think you are!"

Living Fit Is My #1 Job!

UPDATE: The final results are in. There were 398 finishers and 21 in my age group. My daughter's time was 1:41:37 and she was 397th overall. Hah! She didn't finish last either!!!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Week 38 Weigh-In

This morning I weighed 281.6 lbs. This is a 3 lb. loss from last week and a total of 98.4 lbs. lost. My fat ratio remains at 29.1% giving me a lean mass of 199.7 lbs. (-2.1) and a fat mass of 81.9 lbs. (-0.9). My waist remains at 52.5 inches.

I am cautiously happy about this weeks loss. While I didn't get under 280, 3 lbs. is excellent. On the other hand, if my fat ratio is accurate (of which I have always doubted) then my most of that loss was not fat. All and all, I am expecting to lose lean mass as I lose fat. It only makes sense. If there is less fat then there must be less other materials (like water) to support that fat. Anyhow, I will enjoy the loss and keep my eye on the stats.

Five days until the big race. I am getting nervous and excited, but not so much for myself. My 8 year old daughter has been training for this race along with me. I am so proud of her. She has been plugging along for 3 months preparing for this race. I thought she would quit long ago, but she proved me wrong. However, the furthest she has run in all our training is 3 miles and the race is 5.7 miles. It will prabably take her at least 1.5 hours to finish the race. So, I am a bit nervous for her, but I bet she will prove me wrong yet again. After all, what are kids for if not make their parents look foolish.

I probably will not be posting again until after the race. I hope to have some pictures as well.

"Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude." Thomas Jefferson

Living Fit Is My #1 Job!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Three Quaters Man!!!!! Half-Way There!

Today, I weighed 284.6 lbs. which is a 1.4 lb. loss for the week and a total of 95.4 lbs. I have lost a quarter of my weight, and I am now half-way to my goal. My fat ratio is 29.1% (-0.3) giving me a lean mass of 201.8 lbs (-0.2) and a fat mass of 82.8 lbs. (-1.2). My waist remains at 52.5 inches.

I was shocked and frustrated by the scale this morning. While on our mini-vacation last week, I made a lot of unhealthy food choices. I did no cardio besides the regular running routine. I thought for sure, I would show a gain on the scale. Of course, it might not show up until next week. None the less, it was a nice surprise to see the loss. Then I thought, imagine what it could have been if I hadn't eaten those donuts at the cider mill or ordered the moussaka (sp?) at the Greek restaurant or etc... Anyhow, I am redoubling my efforts this week.

It is now 12 days until race day. I was hoping to get into the 270's by race day. It may still happen, but probably not by my next official weigh-in.

"You cannot plow a field by turning it over in your mind." -- Author Unknown

Living Fit Is My #1 Job!

Monday, October 8, 2007

Week 36 Weigh-In

This morning I weighed 286 lbs. which is a loss of 2.4 lbs. from last week and a total of 94 lbs. My fat ratio remained at 29.4% giving me lean mass of 202 lbs. (-1.6) and a fat mass of 84 lbs. (-0.8). My waist remains at 52.5 inches.

I don't have much to report. The kids have Wed.-Fri off of school so I am taking a few days off work so we can go down and work on my dad's house. My back seemed to be just about fully healed until my run on Saturday. When I began my post run stretching, the pain in back returned. I don't recall doing anything in particular that agitated it. I ran this morning despite the pain. All I can do is be careful.

I hope every is having a terrific week.

"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit." Aristotle

Living Fit Is My #1 Job!

Monday, October 1, 2007

Week 35 Weigh-In

I goose egged it this morning weighing in at 288.4 lbs. My fat ratio is at 29.4% (-0.2). My lean mass is 203.6 lbs. (+0.4) and my fat mass is 84.8 lbs. (-0.6). The fat ratio numbers are in comparison from 2 weeks ago. My waist remains at 52.5 inches.

Considering I did very little exercise last week on account of my back along with sitting and laying around a lot more, I am not surprised about this week. My back is feeling better, but it's not 100% yet. I started running again. I plan to start my weight training back up today.

I think I was in such a foul mood last week because I wasn't exercising. I think I was used to the endorphins exercise produces and when I went a few days without that, I was not able to cope as well with the other crap going on in my life. Now that I am back at it, I am feeling better.

I finally purchased the power blocks I wanted for years. I hurt my back before I could use them. So they have been sitting unused for over a week now. I am itching to break them in. That will come this afternoon.

Also, I recently purchased a stability ball and a bosu. I think these along with the weights will add a lot of variety to my fitness routines. I am confident that the balance and stability I will gain will improve my running and biking as well.

I am not a gym rat, nor do I have time to be one. I consider that having a home gym to be an important investment in my future and the future of my family. Now, I just need to be careful so that I don't injure my back again.

"Life is not meant to be easy, my child; but take courage: it can be delightful" -- George Bernard Shaw

Living Fit Is My #1 Job!