He’s Back! He’s Stronger, Faster (and Thinner) Than Before!

Hey Everyone!

It’s been a REAL long time since I’ve updated this blog. Too long as a matter of fact. I have seen this happen to many of the other weight loss blogs/running blogs on the internet that I have found. Usually, there is always a post similar to the one that I’m writing now. They almost always say “Well I fell off the wagon, but I’m back…”  That’s NOT the message you’ll see here today.

I’ve been doing my thing, just haven’t been writing about it. I’ve just about reached my first major weight loss goal – I’ve dropped 90+ pounds so far, and I’m still going strong. Am I still running the marathon? The answer is YES!

Initially, I was going to put things on the back-burner marathon wise until 2012, but I decided that there is no better time than the present. Today marks day 1 of my 18 Week Marathon Training Program.

It was an awesome 3 mile run at the College of Staten Island (CSI) track. It’s been a little while since I’ve been there, but after the first mile I fell into step and ended really strong. Am I ready for 26.2 yet? Hell no. Will I be ready by November? You bet!

I would never had reached the weight loss goals that I attained without help and support from my awesome friends and family, and I am going to ask for that same support from you guys again to complete the marathon. Along with the moral support, I need help with fundraising – I’m really bad at it. My goal is to raise $2,600.00 by October 6, 2011. If you would like to help me reach that goal, click here. I’m running as part of the Team for Kids NYC Marathon team. Learn more about them here.

Well, that wraps up this post for now. I will definitely post more often from now until the marathon. Thanks for everything so far, and please continue to help me reach my goals! I can’t do it without you!

-therunningfatguy

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Week 10, Day 1

So, in my last post I brought all of you up to speed with my accomplishments and current goals. I’m glad to say that I signed up for what will be my first 5k run! It’s the Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis, hosted by the Arthritis Foundation on December 5th. Being that I also suffer from arthritis, I figured this would be both a worthy cause, and a fun first race to enter. My initial fund-raising goal is $100, and I will need your help to meet or hopefully surpass that. Here is a link to my donation page with more information and ways to donate:

therunningfatguy’s Donation Page

On to the running…

Well, my last two runs were pretty hard. Yesterday, I decided to enjoy the nice weather with a scenic run at Clove Lakes Park in Staten Island. It is a gorgeous park, complete with ponds, trees, and all that good stuff. It also has some treacherous hills, which made the climb up the Bayonne Bridge seem like nothing. Nonetheless, I did my half-hours worth of running and went home sore, but victorious.

Today, I decided to reintroduce my kettlebell routine as a pre-run resistance workout. I had been doing this before, while I was still doing the run/walk, but stopped when I  began running 30 minutes straight. After 100 kettlebell swings, (following a proper warm-up of course,) it was off to the track for a two and a half mile run. Boy was that run HARD. I felt tired after the first lap, which usually indicates a hard run ahead. I labored through it though, and finished.

I decided to start a 10k training program, since I feel that I can handle the distance with another 8-10 weeks of training.  With this program, I could definitely handle the 5k distance by the time the Jingle Bell comes around, and I should be primed and ready for the Cold Feat 10k in February.

Well, thats all for now folks! As always, questions, comments, and suggestions are always welcome.

-therunningfatguy

 

Update (FINALLY!)

So, I know I promised a beginning of week 8 update last time, but I did not deliver. I’ve been doing a pretty bad job of keeping you guys updated with this blog, and that trend may continue for the rest of this semester unfortunately. One thing I will promise you though: My running breaks won’t be nearly as long as the time between updates here! (lol)

I announced on Facebook two weeks ago that I finally reached my 8 week goal of running for 30 minutes straight. I did it! The first part in my long journey is complete. It’s such an incredible feeling to start a program like this, stick with it through the hard parts, and accomplish your goal(s). Not only am I running strong(er) now; I’m 15 pounds lighter!

I’m putting in 2 miles or so on each run now, which feels GREAT! Next up, I am training for my first 5k, which I feel I can run, (with proper training, of course,) in the next 3 -4 weeks. After that, it’s right into a 10k program. I don’t know where I will do my first 5k race yet, but there is a 10k race on Staten Island called the “Cold Feat 10k” in February that I want to run. Does anyone have any suggestions for a good 5k race coming up within the next 2 months in NYC? Beginner-friendly races would be nice, as well as a race for a good cause.

As far as my running days themselves, I must say that running the 30 minutes straight has felt a lot easier than doing the run/walk splits. I don’t really know why. Maybe it has to do with the stopping to walk, or my increased fitness? I wonder…

I did take advantage of my newly rediscovered fitness this week, and ran over the Bayonne Bridge into New Jersey. I’ll start by saying that I don’t live very far from the entrance, so it wasn’t hard getting there, but the run itself was a bit difficult. For those of you who haven’t seen the Bayonne Bridge, this is it:



Bayonne Bridge

Bayonne Bridge - So beautiful at night

It’s a marvelous piece of architecture, although there is some controversy with it now since the clearance under the bridge is only 160 feet; some cargo ships have trouble getting through, and when the Panama Canal Expansion Project finishes, some cargo ships won’t be able to fit at all.

Running-wise, it’s a tough little run. For those who are better conditioned, of course, it would prove easier, but for me it was a great challenge. You can see from the picture that the inclines are a little steep. The bridge itself is 1 mile across.



Bayonne, NJ

At the end of the bridge and entering Bayonne, NJ. Time to head back!

It was pretty much half a mile up, half a mile down. I loved the down part as it gave me a rest after the long climb. Once I got across I snapped the shot above, then headed right back!

Back to Staten Island - Bayonne Bridge

Back up and over the bridge to Staten Island!

The climb back up and over the bridge was pretty hard, but I trudged along. I decided to snap a shot of the cool view from the apex of the bridge. If I’m correct, the body of water is the Kill Van Kull.

Top of the Bayonne Bridge

The view from the top - cue Rocky music

Then it was time to head back down into Staten Island:

Back to Staten Island

Heading back home, just a little farther...

Overall, this was a roughly 2.75 mile run – my longest to date. I will be doing this one again soon! I can only imagine what it must look like at the top at sunset. I’ll probably find out a little later on!

As always, any questions, comments or suggestions are welcome.

-therunningfatguy

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!

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

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