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Monday, October 27, 2008

Still Here


Sorry, I haven't posted in so long. I have lost some weight, but my scale died since then. I am under 230 and have pictures which I will post when I get a chance. Since my last post my daughter and I ran in another race. She ran 5k with her best time by far. I ran the 10k with a good time, but I know I could have done better. In addition, my wife did the 5k walk. She has been wearing a pedometer and trying to get active. It took a year and half, but I think my new lifestyle is wearing off.

After that, I ran a 15 mile training run. I did not get dehydrated that time and it was a much better experience except it was the toughest run yet.

Last week, my 7 year old demanded that I start training her to run. so now, I am training myself 3 days a week, my oldest daughter 3 days a week, and my second oldest 3 days a week. IOW, I am out running 9 times a week. I am so geeked that I am having such positive influence on my family.

The big news is that last Saturday, my daughter and I returned to our first race. She ran that 5.7 mile that we both ran last year. It's a very hilly course. She demolished her time from last year by 27 minutes. I am soooo very proud of her.

I am flabbergasted at my own achievement. Last year I ran the 5.7 with an 11:14 pace. This year I entered the half-marathon. I knew I could run much faster than last year. For example, my last race I ran at a 9:10 pace for 10k (6.2 miles). However, 13.1 miles is another beast altogether. My 14 mile horror run was at an 11:48 pace. My good 15 mile run was at 10:47. Even though I tried to incorporate hills into my run, I knew that they were nothing like some of the monsters on this course. So I was hoping to finish with a pace around 11:00 which would bring me in around 2hrs 24 minutes.

The night before the race, we drove to my in-laws to spend the night. They were going to watch the other kids. To my horror on race morning, I discovered that my running shoes weren't in the suitcase. Whenever my wife packs me, she always hounds me to double check what she packed. Sometimes I do, but often I don't. I didn't bother. I should have double checked. Now there was no time to get them. Luckily, I wore an old pair of running shoes up to their house. I quit running in them because they were not well padded and rubbed the top of my toes the wrong way. I had no choice, I had to wear them. I only hoped that my feet would survive them.

It rained all morning. It was chilly out, but thankfully the rain stopped before the race began. There were a lot more people running the half than I expected. I figured the more serious runners would enter the half, so I was banking on finishing last and being alone for most of the race. However, I was never alone. There were always other runners around me. The killer hills I remembered didn't seem so bad. Don't get me wrong they were tough, but my training got me through. Miraculously, the shoes never bothered my feet. Thankfully, a good portion of the run was on a dirt trail.

During the run, I knew I was running faster than I had been in my training runs. I was worried that I would run out of steam before the end. I was trying to pace myself so I could complete the race without dying. My hips started to get sore around mile 9. At mile 10, I started to tell myself that I just had a nice easy 5k run. I tried to push out of my mind the previous 10 miles and talk myself into think I was just running a 5k. My sore hips were telling me other wise. However, the thought of only running 5k prevailed. Instead of running out of steam, I increased my pace during mile 10, then a little faster during mile 11, and even faster during mile 12. I crossed the finish line in 2 hrs. 9 mins. and 34 seconds. That was a pace of 9:53.

All I can say is wow. I am grateful that God has given me strength and the wherewithal to run a half marathon and finish in a pace that was over a minute faster than I hoped for.

Some people have asked if I am going to run a marathon. Let me tell you that the half marathon was tough. There is no way that I could have run a marathon. A year ago, I would never have entertained the idea of running a half-marathon. Six months ago, I would have said that I would never have been in good enough shape to run a half marathon by now. I was sooooo wrong. What completing this race has taught me that I am stronger than I think I am. I encourage my daughter during our runs by having her say that she is stronger than she thinks she is. What irony that I needed to learn that very lesson for myself. So the answer is yes I am going to enter a marathon. I found one at the end of May that is on a flat course and not too far away. In addition, I have made up my mind to enter 2 Triathlons next year. One will be an olympic distance in August. The other will be the same one I did this year, but the half-ironman distance.

If you haven't noticed, I have become more self-confident. I have come a long way since my whiny, self-pitying, depressed filled days when I started this journey. I don't believe the confidence comes from the weight loss in and of itself. Instead, I believe the reason is two-fold. One reason is the increased fitness which led me to be able to train for and complete a triathlon and a half-marathon. Second, my biological changes have affected my emotional/psychological well being. This is partly due to the side-effects of weighing less as well the side-effects of living a fit lifestyle.

Sad to say, this does not mean that it gets easy. For example, I pass by a wonderful bakery on the way to the pool. This morning as I was coming home, I thought to myself that I could stop there. Nobody would know. They have these wonderful long johns filled with peanut butter cream. After all I just ran a half-marathon. I could afford to indulge. How easy it would have been to turn in. Frankly, I am not sure why I didn't stop. I didn't use my usually psychological tricks to get pas the temptation. I simply just passed by. I could have stopped an ordered 2 of those fat and sugar filled delights so easily. Sigh...it never gets easy. But it is possible!

"You are stronger than you think you are!"--HalfMan

Living Fit Is My #1 Job!

17 comments:

Sayre said...

This is SO inspiring!!! And it is awesome that your girls and your wife are climbing up on that bandwagon too!

I hear you about how it never gets easier. I hate having diabetes, but it gives me a terrific excuse to pass on some of the more "dangerous" items with the blessing of the offer-ee.

Way to go, Half-Man!!!

cmae said...

Wonderful! For you and for your family! Congratulations! And love your new quote. I'd do well to take it to heart myself.

Yeldarb said...

HALF MAN, YOU ROCK. You give me faith that good things can come with hard work. I'd like to get to the point where I can start running some. Next summer when I am finally well below 300 I may take it up. Right now it is just too hard on my joints.

Keep up the great work and keep in mind when your whole family is into excercise and fitness it will make the ride so much more enjoyable.

Kim Ayres said...

Superb!

Your confidence has grown through constant achievement, and taking the time to recognise those achievements.

Fantastic prgress :)

Spider63 said...

Where do you live that there are so many races all the time?? New York City?

Darn, I want to see some photos of you slobbering and sweating at the end of the race.

john - from fat to fit said...

This is awesome! Getting the whole family involved is super.

Fat Lazy Guy said...

That's awesome man. It's been so great to see your progress, and it really has been leaps and bounds.

You ain't no half-man, you THE man :D (corny moment over)

"The Captain" said...

weighed in at 289
Jeff

Twice the Man said...

so proud of you and your progress, keep running strong.

Clinton Walker III said...

This is a great story and should inspire those who are on the fence about weight loss.

Fitness Guy said...

First off. Great title on the blog, sounds like a movie tag line. :). Thats a good time, for a hilly run, you'll be a runner yet.

Nona said...

Well done!!! Keep up the good work!!

Fat Lazy Guy said...

So dude... it's been over a month now. How's it going? What's happening? Destroyed any more races? :D

CactusFreek said...

You are doing so amazingly! I really admire you :o))

Blogger said...

Great to have you back again, best of luck and good work so far.

Saint patrick's said...

Wow. Your daughter really took her last race time to pieces. Running must be in the blood.

Chris D said...

great job man! hope your life is full of fitness and diet great cause you have done an awesome job and no one can take that away from you!