The Only Easy Day Was Yesterday…

Hey everyone! It’s been a while since I’ve posted here, but I’m back. Last time I left you, I was at the halfway point of my 8 week program. Unfortunately, life’s commitments got in the way of my updating this blog.

I am happy to tell you all that I am currently nearing the end of week 7 and going into the final part of the program – week 8! I’m feeling stronger than I have in a while, I’m not as sore as I was a few weeks ago, and have significantly improved my running time and distance.

I have also introduced kettlebell training into my routine, as well as some pushups. I don’t have much more time at the moment for a comprehensive post, but if you tune in this weekend I will tell you all about what I’ve been up to lately , as well as talk about the last run of week 7 and my future running goals.

So now you all know I’m still alive and still running! Until next time.

-therunningfatguy

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Running: Week 4, Days 2 and 3

Hey everyone, I missed telling you about yesterday’s run, so I’m going to tell you about that one and today’s run in one post. It’s just more efficient that way ;-).

The field and track

A lot easier on the knees than concrete!

So yesterday was day two, and it was another one of those days where I kind of considered skipping, and giving in to the fatigue that had plagued me the whole day. I’m glad that up to this point I have been able to fight the urges to skip a day, as in my prior attempts at losing weight and/or getting back into exercise, such days would have started the snowball effect of skipping workouts, and eventual binge eating.

I’ve decided that I will be using the track at the local college to do my running from now on until I drop a few more pounds, and get proper running shoes. It’s going to be better for my knees and feet in the long run anyway.

Last night’s run was a bit difficult in that I was pretty tired to begin with, so it became a mental struggle as much as a physical one. I hit the wall pretty early on, so I had to motivate myself to just get through the rest of the workout.

I always listen to music when I run as I feel it helps pass the time, and can be really motivating depending on the song. Well, when I was into my fourth set I felt like my legs were made of lead. I just wanted to drop when, totally unplanned, “Eye of the Tiger” comes on. Corny, I know, but it motivated the hell out of me. I picked up the pace, and got through the rest of the set strongly.

Today’s run was a whole lot better. I just felt stronger overall, and had considerably less discomfort in my feet and legs at the end of the workout. I even challenged myself, increasing the tempo of the run on every other set, and challenging myself to maintain that pace for the whole five minutes. It worked, and I managed to log about another 2 miles of run time today.

I really noticed that I’m starting to feel a whole lot better while I’m out on the track and, after today, I can actually see myself accomplishing my first goal of running for 30 minutes straight. If I can do this, I know I can make it to marathon training.

That’s all for now folks. Questions, comments, or suggestions are always welcome.

-therunningfatguy

Eye of the Tiger (album)

And he's watchin' us all in the eye... of the tiger!

Running: Week 4, Day 1

Track

The rain can be soothing when your sweating bullets and trying to pump your legs as much as you can

Today, I reached the halfway point towards my initial goal of running for 30 minutes straight. I’m happy to say that I covered at least 2 miles with my running portions alone! That’s pretty good for a fat guy!

The workout for this morning called for 2 minutes walking, with 5 minutes of running for 4 sets. So, altogether, that’s 20 minutes of running, and 8 minutes of walking. I’m getting a lot closer to that magical 30 minute mark!

For those of you who have been following along, you’ll take notice of the picture at the top of the page, and note that I am at an actual track. For the last 3 weeks I had been running on concrete and asphalt. While any running is good, my worry was that eventually, with my size being a factor, running on concrete could affect my joints pretty badly (as if running at all at my weight isn’t doing enough!) So, today I decided to head down to the track at my old school, and run there. Man, was it great!

The surface that you run on truly does make a difference. I noticed my feet took me farther than usual more easily. They did not hurt as much as they usually do. The workout was still challenging, but it wasn’t overwhelming, which is great. I’m still pretty sore from yesterday’s mile, the running workouts the 2 days prior, and the stair workout on Friday. My body sure does need some rest, as my legs are feeling pretty sore.

Soon enough, I’ll be running 30 minutes straight (hopefully 2, maybe 3 miles at a time), and then I’ll start training for a 5k race. That’s all for now folks. As always, questions, comments, and suggestions are always welcome.

-therunningfatguy

Another Day, Another Mile

Today was supposed to be an off/rest day for me, but they say that you should really avoid doing absolutely nothing during these days (which, of course, was my plan). They call it “active recovery”. That means that, although it’s a rest day, you should do some easy exercise to keep your muscles loose.

Well, I decided to do some easy (and I use the term loosely here) jogging today. I figured, hey, it’s been two weeks since I ran my first continuous mile, and started blogging about my journey, so why not try to do the mile again and see how far I’ve come. The answer that I got was, not that far; but I’m getting there.

It still is pretty difficult for me to jog for a long, continuous time with my robust frame, but it has been getting easier little by little. The mile was pretty difficult in the middle section of the run. I think what makes it difficult is the hardness and unevenness of the surface (concrete), and the incline of the street, which is pretty significant. Still, I have been able to push myself (without hurting myself) through these rough parts, and finish the workout. I finished the mile in about 16 minutes, which is ridiculously slow, but I know that a) I was able to get through it, and actually felt strong at the end, and b) I know I can run continuously for at least 16 minutes, which is halfway to my initial goal of being able to run 30 minutes straight.

I still have to get myself proper running shoes. It’s been difficult to make the time to get out to a store that specializes in running shoes to get fitted and what-not, as I have very little time between school, work, running, and now, volunteering. I will get them eventually, as I’m starting to truly realize that really comfortable shoes will be a necessity for the longer runs to come. Also, I’m considering whether to continue running on the concrete surfaces in my neighborhood, or to find a park where I can run on either a track or softer surface. I haven’t been plagued with much knee pain, or shin splints as of yet, but these may affect me later on once I begin running for longer periods of time.

While I’m at it, I want to bring to your attention t0 the SocialVibe  widget that I have on my page. By clicking on it, and donating a little time to perform some easy activities, you can help support the American Diabetes Association (ADA). So please, next time you visit the page, take a little time, click on the link on the right hand side, and help a wonderful organization fund research to help cure and treat diabetes.

Also, I have recently gotten involved in some awesome volunteer projects through New York Cares, which I will share with you in a section called “therunningfatguy Gives Back”. Hopefully, through me, you can get an idea of the cool volunteer opportunities that you can get involved with, and volunteer too!

As always, questions, comments, and suggestions are always welcome.

-therunningfatguy

Running: Week 3, Day 4

Well, today was one of those days where I just felt like sleeping. I did not want to be bothered; just wanted a bed to lay down on, and hibernate until around noonish tomorrow. In hindsight I’m glad I didn’t do that, because I had a very successful run.

My boss and I started our stair walking routine this morning that we had long abandoned. We used to walk the EXTREMELY steep stairs of the college that I work at, from the bottom floor all the way to the top, and back again. It’s 7 flights, but the steepness can take the wind out of people who are in better shape than I. Factor that with my 320 pound frame, and you have a nice little workout (oh, by the way, I was 330 lbs when I started, and have lost 10 pounds so far.)

My legs felt like gelatin after the stair workout, but the rest of the day was pretty much spent at my desk, catching up on some work, and reading the news. Not really an intense day today, which is a nice respite from the craziness that is the first 2 weeks of the new semester.

On the drive home today, I was bargaining with myself, saying “Oh, you went on your run yesterday, you should just take today off, and run on Saturday”, and “I do feel a little sore, maybe I should just take the day off.” I almost did just that, and while laying in bed I started to feel bad about cheating myself. So I took my fat a** off of the bed, put on my shorts and shoes, and took off.

My run started off a little difficult, I guess because of the lack of motivation, or because of the stairs. I was finding myself begging the clock to hit the 4 minute mark so that I could walk again. The first two sets went like this, and I was starting to think “Maybe I should just wrap this up. I went out, finished two sets already, and it’s better than what I was planning on.” Then, I hit the zone.

I realized I was concentrating too much on the pain my feet were in, and not just enjoying the run. Once I stopped thinking about it, the pain just about went away. I let myself slip into other thoughts, and found that I was just moving; no pain, breathing normally, it was almost peaceful. I was able to finish pretty strongly, finding the same stride, and keeping the same pace that I  have when I first start my runs.

This concludes week 3 of training, and I feel ready to take on week 4. It’s another four days of running, with less walking than this week. Soon, I should be at my initial goal of running for 30 minutes straight. Then, it’s on to training for a 5k. As always, any questions, comments, or suggestions are always welcome, and appreciated.

-therunningfatguy

Running: Week 3, Day 3

Hey all, welcome to week 3, day 3. Not much to post today, had a great run, but ultimately it was uneventful. I did challenge myself in the beginning by running at a bit of a faster pace than usual, which made the last leg of the run really difficult.

The one thing that leaves me feeling satisfied and accomplished after this run is that, when I was ready to drop and my legs were burning, I was able to keep myself motivated to keep moving. It’s good to know that when I start to hit the wall, I can psych myself into pushing through it, which will definitely be valuable in those last few miles of the marathon.

Well, that’s all for now. Week 3 is almost done, and then it’s on to the half-way point for my first goal. Will I keep going, and work towards running for 30 minutes straight? Stay tuned to find out!

As always, comments, suggestions, and questions are always welcome.

– therunningfatguy

Running: Week 3, Day 2

Hey everyone, I hope this post finds all of you well.

Today’s run was a little hard, but ultimately satisfying. I was really considering postponing today’s run because I felt really sleepy, and tired after work. The old me would have conceded without much thought, and taken the day off without any remorse. But, today, I decided I would just nap for about an hour, then go out for my run. Yes, I wanted to have my cake, and eat it too. This option was a lot better than just laying in bed and watching TV.

As for the run itself, my feet were a little more comfortable thanks to an over-the-counter orthotic in my shoe this time around. (A tip for my flat-footed friends: an orthotic coupled with a comfortable insole can REALLY help with the foot pain that can come with running.) The comfort lasted until about the halfway point of the workout, where my feet really started to bug me. It was nothing that would have to make me stop though. Just one of those pains that you can push through.

One thing I do want to stress, is the importance of cooling down properly after the run. This includes walking for about 5-10 minutes, followed by some light stretching. It’s especially important to stretch your leg muscles, as it helps reduce soreness both immediately following the workout, and the day after. I can attest to this in that I ultimately feel pretty good the day after, with only mild soreness, and I have not had shin splints or other such ailments (yet, anyway *crosses fingers*) even though I run on concrete.

So, now it’s off to shower and relax before bed, with the comfort of knowing that I’m one step closer to my goal. As always, comments, suggestions, and questions are always welcome. Good night!

– therunningfatguy

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