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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!!!

18 comments:

john - from fat to fit said...

Great job! I'm looking to run a 5k this spring. I have run a 10k before but that was about 100 pounds ago. :-)

I am curious - you and I are about the same size and it looks about the same age. I've been using a heart rate monitor for the last month or so. When I'm running I have been letting my heart rate get into the 160s before I start walking, once it gets down to 130s I'll run again. I'm running at a slightly slower pace than you, 12 minute miles.

When you say your heart rate was pretty high would you share what that was?

Thanks, and again, great job!

Kim Ayres said...

Superb! Fantastically proud of you and your daughter! What an incredible achievment :)

Well done indeed!

Fit Club Scott said...

Congratulations to both you and your daughter!

It's an achievement that you both can be proud of.

cmae said...

YAY! CONGRATULATIONS!! What an incredible experience! SO happy for you and your daughter!

BTW - have you thought about not thinking of yourself as "another fat guy" anymore? You certainly don't look that way.

I ran a 10-K a few years ago (just barely), and a walker passed me too. When she did, I thought, "Damn, I could've WALKED this race?!"

Christopher Maples said...

Congratulations! That is one hell of an accomplishment. You have given me great inspiration, and I hope to do this next year.

CactusFreek said...

Good on you Half Man, that's awesome! For your daughter as well! :o)

Christine said...

Holy cow - you are truly an inspiration. Can you say to yourself outloud "I have lost 99 pounds" - and believe what you are saying??? That's great!!

Good for you for pushing thru the run! Super proud of you - great picture of you and your daughter - I can't hardly imagine you +99 pounds. You look really happy.

Good for you. Will be waiting for the 100 pound post.

Half Man said...

Thanks for all the nice comments.

John, my heart rate monitor starts beeping if I fall below 118 or go over 155. It was over 155, but I didn't see exactly how far above 155 I was. I should have looked.

cmae, thanks for that comment, but at 281 lbs., not only am I fat, but I am severly obese. Yet, you do have a point. If I am going to continue to live fit, I guess I must work on having a fit mental attitude towards myself. I need to stop thinking about myself in derogatory terms. This sounds like an excellent topic for a future post. Thanks.

Sayre said...

I am truly impressed, Half-Man, by you AND your daughter! I would like to do that one day myself.

I recently changed the name of my blog from "Because I'm Fat" for the same reasons. It was a little mental boost to call it "Finding my Inner, Thinner Person" instead.

Iron-Man said...

Awesome story! That was great. I am going to look into doing a 5K run. I am glad to have read what you did.

Wanna_B_slimmer said...

Wow... I got goosebumps from reading this post..
You are so right to be proud of what you have achieved and the tears.. I understand those too.. we have come along way.. mind you I took twice as long to lose similar amount of weight.. and I cant run for shit.. haha but I wanted to do a 10 kilometer rin but due to a hip problem for 6 months I couldnt train for it.. I still want to learn to run.. just need to start again slowly and hope for no injuries!!
well done on your weight loss also.. I am at a point now where I am struggling again.. but I will get there...

David Marasco said...

You kick ass!

I've been working hard and I've dropped from 180 to 150. But there's no way I could run the race like you did.

Keep up the good work, you are an inspiration!

angelfish24 said...

Way to go on your race! Wow. I know what you mean by feeling emotional crossing the finish line. I did the tri in August and I think I was just so happy to finish it. And your 8 yr old doing it too, wow. I don't think my boy could run a mile. That is so great.
You are doing so good on your weight loss...your an inspiration to me as I'm stuck in a rut at the moment. nice post and thanks for sharing.

Twix said...

By the end of your post I have been brought to tears. Your accomplishments are amazing!!! Both you and your daughters! Thank you for sharing your great adventure. What an awesome experience! Btw...I think you look amazing too!

Fat Lazy Guy said...

Ah mate, that is so incredibly awesome. Well done! To both of you. And great photos!

Erika Simmons said...

Thumbs up for you and your daughter. That's a long way you've run. You don't look fat anymore and thanks you've been an inspiration to us.

Betty Anne Dorias said...

Journey Of Fitness? Good to hear it. I've been trying to convince my husband that he looks great but he's still pursuing his work out.

Well, I like that kind of spirit. I hope the result comes out so well.

Billy A. Denim said...

That's great! I've run 3 kilometers before and found it so hard. I hope this coming weekend I can run it smoothly.

Looking forward for a great result on my journey to fitness.