Monday, April 30, 2012

I promise...I Actually WILL Talk About Running on This Running Blog Soon!

It has been a couple of weeks since my last post, and I actually do have some good news on the weight loss front.  I no longer see a "4" in the second digit of my weight...the scale shows 237, which is down 19 lbs in 2 months of dieting!  I actually topped out at 261 in mid-March, so I'm unofficially down nearly 25 lbs since my heaviest this year.  I've dropped 2.5 inches off the waist, 3 inches off the chest, 1/2 inch around the neck, an inch around the arms, and 1/2 inch off the thigh.  The #@$^(^@#$!#@$%&& Easter Bunny has not been kind to me with all the chocolate over the past 3-4 weeks (I've heard that hasenpfeffer low in've been warned, wabbit!).  The clothes are definitely fitting a little better, and there is a slight change in the way I look.  I'll post a pic when I'm down 25 lbs!

I was planning on taking around 3 months off of running to rest the IT band as well as to get around 20 lbs off - that's NOW, so I'm hoping to start pounding the pavement (hopefully without cracking it this time) in the next week or 2, so long as I survive the last couple weeks of the semester.  I'll be posting my running on Daily Mile (profile is at ... feel free to link me up over there if you haven't already done so...I'd LOVE to track your progress, too!).  My 7-year old wants to do the local 5K again in July, so that will definitely be the motivation to get back out there.

Oh, and for those wondering how Tory (from my last post) did at was a finish, even with the (REALLY) hot conditions out there...9:38 pace, which is awesome...congrats!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Running Against an Olympic Gold Medalist

There!  Maybe the catchy title caught some new readers' interest!  But seriously, I guess I should follow up a little...

I had the pleasure of running track at Shippensburg University from 1989-1993.  For most of you who don't know, Ship is in south-central Pennsylvania.  It's about a two-hour drive west/northwest from Washington DC.  Included in our alumni (athlete-wise) is Green Bay Packers FB John Kuhn, former Green Bay Packers NG(?) Rob Davis, and 1991 World Champion Bronze Medalist in the marathon - Steve Spence.

Anyway, my first outdoor meet as a freshman was a small meet down at the University of Virginia.  It was us, UVA, and a couple other smaller D-I schools.  Why little D-II Ship was there, I've still no idea.  Heckuva way to start your season.  I remember it started snowing on the way down - to the point where we had to pull over at an IHOP while the coach ran in to make a phone call to see if the meet was still on.  Yes, the weather was THAT bad!

Eventually, we make it to UVA about an hour late.  I was scheduled to run the 400 meters that day.  I report to the staging area only to find out that I was in the fast heat of the 400.

** Gulp! **

Where's the heat for freshmen?

I'm just glad my best friend and future roommate was in the same heat as I was.  Somewhat comforting...

So the marshal starts barking out lane assignments.  Of course, I was in lane one.  For those of you who ran track, you all know how crappy lane one is for a 200 or 400.  Whatever.  I'm a rookie freshman.  I just had to deal.

Than the marshal called out "Paul Ereng!"

Wait.  Who?

Again, the marshal called out "Superman Ereng!"

For those of you who don't know, Paul Ereng was the 1988 Olympic Gold Medalist in the 800 meters.  Kenyan.  A current undergrad at UVA.  Whoa.  This is a big deal for me.  All of us from Ship started whipping our heads around trying to get a glimpse of this guy.  But he was nowhere to be seen.  I like to think he was psyched out at the prospect of facing big, bad freshman phenom Rob Wilhelm over 400 meters.  He was afraid to get his butt handed to him by all 6 feet, 155 pounds (at that time) of me.  But I guess the reality of it was the weather was still pretty bad, and it was actually still snowing.  Whatever.  Chicken. 

But seriously, it was still pretty disappointing that he didn't show up.  Not many people from D-II schools can say they had the chance to race head-to-head against someone of Ereng's caliber and pedigree. 

I had to wait until my junior year to get another opportunity to race against someone of that same caliber.  It was at an indoor meet at the Naval Academy.  Only this time I had advance notice of who I was going to run against so there were no surprises.  I was scheduled to run the 55-meter dash that day.  So, who was it that I was up against?

Jamison Reynolds might know this name.  It was a guy named James Jett, a senior at West Virginia University, a future NFLer, and a future gold medalist in the 4x100 meter relay at the 1992 Olympics.  He actually beat Carl Lewis at the Olympic Trials later that year.

** a bigger GULP! **

I remember that day well.  I was in lane - you guessed it! - one.  Again.  He was in lane 4.  I remember getting out well and even with everyone else.  Heh heh heh...  I had this.  About half-way through the race, I clearly remember him blowing by everyone and winning by like five meters.  I slowed up just to admire it.  I was like "dang....."  Look at him go...  It was actually my slowest time of the year in that particular event.  But what a story I could tell my kids years from now.  I can tell little Harry that his daddy got to run against an Olympic Gold Medalist in college, and proceeded to get his butt kicked by him.

But anyway...  I really couldn't find anything else to blog about today.  I did do an 8-miler this morning, and I spend a good bit of the time trying to find something to write about, but nothing really came to mind.  So I decided to use this week to give you all a deeper glimpse into myself and my running "career."  Not much has changed in the past week.  Weight's still the same.  Still not thrilled with the way I ate last week, but it could've been a lot worse.  Been trying to increase my water intake and decrease my soda intake (again) with success. 

And speaking of junk food intake, this leads to my weekly tip.  My wife and I had a chance to attend a coaching clinic back in December at the University of Maryland.  One of the speakers they featured was a nutritionist.  I forget what his credentials were, but they were pretty impressive.  But anyway...  He said if you want to eat something junky and cheat on your diet, the best time to do it is within 45 minutes of your run.  Something about your body is still in a state of trying to replenish what you had burnt off during your run and things being absorbed and burned more quickly since you just got done working out.  My wife can probably explain it better than me.  All I know is that it made a lot of sense when it was all said and done.

Until next time...  Stay tuned...

Sunday, April 8, 2012

My week of gluttony, soda, and grease

Wow.  A heckuva week last week, and not in a good way exercise or diet-wise...  But it's all good.  My wife's cousins came in from out-of-town (Carmel, Indiana) late the previous week and all of last week, and we had an awesome time!

Unfortunately for me, my nagging cold/flu/cough was still hanging on, so I figured it would be best to take the last week off of running, rest as much as possible, and try and kick this cold.  So, what'd I do instead?  A whole lot of walking! 

On Sunday, we dropped in at George and Martha's house at Mount Vernon,VA.  Hadn't been there since like middle school, and the place is HUGE.  Much walking, and much history there for you history buffs.  And I even managed to get us lost driving home and somehow ran into Embassy Row, which was really cool.

On Monday, we walked/drove around Monocacy Battlefield Park in Frederick, MD.  Most of you have probably never heard of Monocacy, but around here it's billed as "the battle that saved DC."  Another awesome place for anyone who's local to the central Maryland region or is an avid Civil War buff.  One cool thing that happened while I was visiting the museum and talking to the ranger behind the desk was that "Jeopardy" called asking how to pronounce "Monocacy." 

On Tuesday we were attacked by the bugs and bees at Harpers Ferry, WV.  Another really cool place to spend the day despite the bugs.  And for some reason I couldn't get that "Kansas" album cover or the song "Carry On My Wayward Son" out of my head.

On Thursday, we hit up Annapolis, the Naval Academy, and Chick and Ruth's Delly (featured on the show "Man vs. Food"), and this is what I indulged in:

This is called the 1-lb. Colossal Burger.  I got mine with American cheese, ketchup, lettuce, and bacon.  I wish I would've put something better next to it to give it some size perspective, but this thing was big.  Height-wise it was okay to eat, but the width...  You can see the patty overflowing outside of the bun.  The patty was probably the same size of my son Harry's face.  Chick and Ruth's also features 2-lb. and 3-lb. (double- and triple-stacker) Colossal burgers.  I could probably down a 2-lb. Colossal, but a 3-lb. would be a completely different story.  I'm just glad we ate lunch first than walked around downtown Annapolis and the Naval Academy afterward!

Also, my wife and and her cousin's wife are both awesome cooks, so we were all eating very well the whole entire week.  And with the sizeable meals come left-overs for lunch.  And of course with such delicious meals, I gotta have soda with them!

But anyway...  Do I regret my week of gluttony?  Not in the least.  After all, even though I wasn't running I was still getting in a ton of walking.  I also had track practices and a couple track meets that kept me hopping last week as well, so that helped out too.  And I think I did a fairly reasonable job of keeping my weight in check.  Right after my 8-mile run two Saturdays ago I was around 185 lbs. As of yesterday, I was at 187, a gain of two pounds.

March overall wasn't such a hot month for me.  I upped the soda intake a little and got away from my healthy lunches at work sometime as well.  The good news - I didn't put on any weight.  The bad news - I really didn't lose any weight.  Starting tomorrow, I'll have to re-dedicate myself to everything.  Just hope my foot and ankle cooperate with me.  Over the past 48 hours, they've just been reminding me exactly who the boss is.  Hopefully over the next day or two it will work itself out.

This is the only "before" picture of me that I can find.  Not the best pic in the world - it didn't enlarge very well.  But this is me coming down the finishing stretch of the 2011 Disney World half-marathon - all 202 pounds of me.  Again, this is/was the heaviest I've been since I graduated from college back in 1993.  Hopefully between the Frederick half and Williamsburg half I can post a current photo.

My Zip-Ah-Dee-Do-Dah tip for the day:  if you run with headphones, make sure they fit properly.  I tried out some ear buds from "Yur Buds" at the 2012 Disney Marathon expo and loved them.  I bought a pair when I got back and was pretty satisfied with them up until my last long run a couple weeks ago when the right one kept falling out because of my excess sweating.  Luckily it stayed in place until the last half mile of my run.  But I should've listened to the salesperson when he suggested a different brand.

Until next time...  Stay tuned.

Friday, April 6, 2012

One Month Down, and the Results Are In - OR - What You Learn at the Local Hooters Restaurant

I can't wait to see how many new readers we get with THAT title!

Well, the month of March has been over for a bit...the end results were good!  I ended the month down 12.5 lbs from the beginning of the month (WOOT!!). do I tie in our local Bloomington Hooters Restaurant into this?

Well, I took a day off from the diet to partake in some of the best wings in the world.  Our server (Tory) comes over to get our initial drink order and comments on my Mickey Mouse watch.  She then notices that all of us have Disney clothing on and mentions that she is also a Disney fact, she was just down there for a week in January.  Our interest was immediately grabbed.

"So was I" (as I'm starting to contemplate giving her the smolder look a la Flynn Ryder).  "I was there for (in my lowest voice) Marathon Weekend.  I ran down there during (low voice) Marathon Weekend

About this time, Sheri is scooting over around the table to be within kicking distance of me.

"ME TOO!!" Tory tells us.

She tells us that she did the marathon and was dressed up as Snow White for the race.  I say (too quickly) that I remembered seeing her running and that Lou Mongello even caught her on video running by; actually, there was another girl running the marathon in a similar outfit that Lou mentioned in his live broadcast.  Still, I saw about 85-90% of the marathon runners, and I do recall seeing a couple of Snow White's out there running, so I'm pretty confident that I did cheer for her out on the course.

All of us now know that we could talk to each other for hours about Disney and running, but we also know she has at least one other table, so we release her from our talons for a few minutes.  She's back in a couple of minutes, though, to pick up where our conversation left off.  I ask her what she finished at.

"Around 3:47."

Thud (the sound of my fainting body hitting the floor)

Her pace was around 8:40, and she stopped for a few pictures, from what it sounded like (I was still trying to wrap my head around her pace when she was talking about it).  It was her fourth or fifth marathon...that prompted me to ask her if she hoped to qualify for Boston.

"Actually, I'm heading out there in a few weeks to run it for the first time."


She qualified in Chicago last year and ran even faster at the San Francisco marathon (got her PR there at 3:37).

Thud (TKO!!!)

Long story short, we all agreed that Tory rocks!!

Over the rest of the meal,we discuss running, Disney, WDW dining, etc...all the fun things I love to talk about.  She's a student at ISU (and, no, I probably won't see her as a student...she likely won't need an Econ course any time soon).  She'd love to be able to work down there at WDW in restaurant management or being a sous/head chef.  I can't remember if she did the College program or really wants to do the program (I don't think she has done it).  We talked to her about Team AllEars, and she recalled seeing several of the blue team shirts on the course as she ran (WOOHOO!!!!).

Since she's a BQ, she had to know what a fartlek was, so I gave her the address for our blog as I thought it would be something she'd be interested in reading.  I jokingly said that it felt like I was giving her my phone number with my wife right next to me.  I even got her number, too...her bib number for Boston so I can follow her progress.

When we got our total, see signed it with the standard Mickey head in place of the 'o' in her name...Sheri, Aaron, Eric, and I all immediately fell in love with her.

Hopefully in January 2014, I'll be on the same course as her in Lake Buena Vista, watching her marathon finish time notification come in to my phone as I pass the mile 8 marker.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

We Quit!!!

No more running.  No more diet.  No more caring.  We now smoke, binge drink and eat nothing but quarter pounders and McNuggets.


Its a beautiful day (at least in the DC area).  I hope you made the most out of it.