Saturday, November 28, 2015


This will be short, because like with anything to do with running lately, I'm half assing it. This race sounded like a great idea a month ago, and I suppose it has served its purpose of keeping me in shape in order to run it. However, now that it is hovering in front of me in the morning... not so excited. Supposed to be around freezing tomorrow when the race starts, so that's going to suck. Probably the coldest race I will ever run (will be close with Detroit).

Anyways, the good thing about the race is that it is a really flat course. We start in downtown Vancouver at Esther Short Park and then run out west along Lower River Road toward Vancouver Lake. There is about four miles of farting around downtown first, so those miles should hopefully fly by. Speaking of flying, we'll run by Pearson Airfield, which the race started at when I did it back in 2012. That place was nice because you were able to hang out indoors before the race. I remember it being really cold that year too.

The large out and back starts around mile 4 and we turn around at mile 7.65ish. So it shouldn't be too bad, I'm thinking I'll get to that point without hating life too much yet. Once we flip around, I'll be good for about a half mile, seeing all the people coming toward me I'm ahead of, then that novelty will wear off, and I'll hate life for about 40 minutes. Around mile 11 we split off and take a slightly different route back downtown. It is up Mill Plain Blvd, which I remember from the 12k a couple years ago. Slight hill to deal with there.

Once I conquer that mini hill, it should be smooth sailing into the finish. I've definitely lost my "marathon legs" so I expect the last few miles of this half to be challenging. Hopefully I'll have enough juice in them to finish strong though. Then comes the sweet, sweet relief of not running. Katie, who was going to run the race before getting sick, will be there spectating so I'll be able to hand a sweatshirt or something to her for the finish line. Once I drink my well-earned hot buttered rum, I'll likely head home and collapse on the couch for the rest of the day.


"A" Goal: Sub 1:45. I'm not nearly as fast as I used to be. I'll be very happy with this time given my current speed.

"B" Goal: Sub 1:50... if I can't hit my "A" goal, then I can accept this. Maybe I'm just not feeling it tomorrow. Maybe the cold air fucks with my lungs.

"C" Goal: Sub 2:00. Otherwise, barring injury, I'm quitting running.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015


Good weigh in this morning. I was down 3.4 pounds to double my total weight loss to 6.8 pounds. Now, is this my "real" weight or did I happen to hit a valley? I think it's my real weight. It was similar on both Sunday and Monday. And my weigh in last week at 172.6 was a day or two after weighing in at 170.8. So it feels about right.

That being said, this week may not be as good. Yesterday I celebrated with some friends to the tune of 2,500ish calories and Thursday is Thanksgiving. I was glad yesterday's fun did not affect the scale too much this morning. But movement might be hard this week. Good thing I have that half marathon on Sunday to keep me in line. Anyways, If I could lose just over a pound this week and be at 168.0 next Wednesday I'd consider that a huge victory.

Hopefully I can lose these final 4.2 pounds in the next three weeks. 1.4 pounds a week. If I keep doing what I have been doing, I should be able to manage that. That'll release me to freedom on December 16th, a week earlier than I originally hoped. This whole experience has taught (and re-taught) me a lot about my daily eating habits... I'll have a post on that once this is all over.

Last Week: 172.6 lbs
This Week: 169.2 lbs
Weekly Loss: -3.4 lbs
Total Loss: -6.8 lbs
Pounds from Goal: 4.2 lbs

Tuesday, November 24, 2015


Back when Hot Buttered was a 12k.
Well, slap me sideways, I have a half in five days. I haven't thought too much about it... I have been doing my long runs on the weekend in anticipation for it, but other than that I've done no real preparation for it. I've done a couple "faster" runs in the last two weeks but nothing much that really qualifies as speedwork. So I'm not expecting miracles here. I'll have a preview of the race up likely on Friday or Saturday, but needless to say, I'm not expecting a great time. I'll give it 100% and that's all that you can ask!

The wet and the cold has really sucked recently. Since I just don't care as much anymore, I'm not going to force myself outside to run when I don't have to. Since the marathons I've been running three days a week and that is serving me just fine. I want to see my buddies and feel guilty if I skip the Monday and Wednesday PRC runs, so that takes care of two days a week. That just leaves the long run on the weekend in the light. I can manage that. Hopefully some weeks I'll feel like going for a fourth or fifth run of the week but I'm not going to expect it.

This last weekend I ran eight miles as my long run. Part of the "taper" for the half marathon. Yesterday I wasn't able to get to run group in time after getting stuck in traffic. I was actually pretty glad I didn't make it, it was 39, raining, and cold as balls. That is the sort of thing that is going to make me hate running. Old Thomas would have got home and ran the miles on his own around the neighborhood. New Thomas turned on the fireplace, kicked his legs up, and watched football. I'll run on Wednesday and then again on Thursday to burn off some calories before Thanksgiving. Then on Sunday I'll have the race. So the week will shake out just fine.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015


Another week in the positive direction. I am a little disappointed just because I saw about a pound less than this when I stepped on the scale Monday, but I know from last time my weight bounces around and I can't always step on the scale when it happens to be at a valley. This is actually probably much closer to reality... I am eating and exercising to lose an average of a pound a half a week and that's pretty much exactly what I did. My scale only goes in .2 increments so I might have actually lost exactly a pound a half, who knows.

Eating was very good this last week, didn't go over my allotted calories once. I did eat two meals on Sunday and Monday that were large and made me feel kind of sick to my stomach (after going lighter on the other meals in anticipation). Probably not the best strategy there, so I'll try to avoid those. Can't wait until I hit my goal and can just pig out.

Last Week: 174.0 lbs
This Week: 172.6 lbs
Weekly Loss: -1.4 lbs
Total Loss: -3.4 lbs
Pounds from Goal: 7.6 lbs

Monday, November 16, 2015


How exotic! (not)
It's amazing how quickly your perspective can change. Just a month ago I was in between the Portland and Detroit Marathons and the thought of twelve miles was nothing. What a short little run! During the summer I would have killed to do a twelve miler on the weekends. It would have flown by and felt really short. Well, now that I am out of the marathon mindset (and marathon shape at this point) this run is no longer a gimme!

Luckily Katie wanted to run twelve miles too (we are both getting ready for the Hot Buttered Run Half) so we met up on Saturday morning to get 'er done. Neither of us wanted to do hills, so we settled on Fanno Creek to run the distance. Really, it was an uneventful run. We ran part of the trail the week before on our ten miler, but for the most part it was new (old) territory. It was nice and flat but it was really windy. Parts of the run I wouldn't be surprised if we were running into a headwind of 20mph.

Anyways, long story short, the run felt way longer than it should have and was harder than I would have liked. All told it was 1:50:28 good for 9:12/mile. Not bad when you think of that as a 2:00 half marathon pace. I am a little sore from it and I guess that makes sense... normally my long runs are done a little slower. Still though... I am less than a month removed from a marathon. I guess maybe that's the problem. Maybe two weeks off wasn't enough? Honestly, I'm being dramatic. It wasn't that bad. Just annoying to be outside in the cold and wind for two hours.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015


I've got the fat feet of a 300 lb guy.
First of all, I stumbled across this interesting piece about why weighing yourself on Wednesday is actually the best. And here I liked it just because of the alliteration.

Man, a lot of memories this week. Takes me back to 2011. The first few days I was starving and even ate 2,000ish calories because I exercised each day. It's funny though once you are determined to lose weight how you are sort of able to just ignore it. By day three I wasn't hungry all the time but definitely very hungry leading up to each meal. I think my body has adjusted a little, and I'm still hungrier than normal, but it feels just like 2011 so I guess that's a good thing.

Pleased when I stepped on the scale this morning and saw a two pound loss. I'm hoping to average 1.5 pounds a week, so that is a good start. If you look back on my 2011 chart, once I got in the weekly weigh in groove I was averaging just slightly over 1.5 pounds a week. I know it'll fluctuate a little, so even if I have another good week and I only lose 1 pound, I'm still on track.

If I lose 1.5 pounds each week I'll be at goal on December 23rd. Perfect timing to pig out on Christmas! ;) There will be a couple challenges in there... one, obviously, is Thanksgiving. I'll just make that a high calorie day and make sure to go on a run in the morning to jump start my metabolism. Shouldn't be too much of an issue. Then comes all the Christmas treats, cookies, popcorn, eggnog, etc. I shouldn't have any in my house, which is good, so I'll just have to worry about those at work. I'm very good about tracking (MyFitnessPal this time instead of a Excel spreadsheet) so if I do have any I'll just have to be honest and work them into my day.

The great thing about losing weight is that it is just a simple math problem. Calories in versus calories out. Really simple. There is no way to cheat or game the system if you are counting calories as long as you are honest about what you eat.

Last Week: 176.0 lbs
This Week: 174.0 lbs
Weekly Loss: -2.0 lbs
Total Loss: -2.0 lbs
Pounds from Goal: 9.0 lbs

Monday, November 09, 2015


I might have imagined this while running through that tree with the really bright leaves. If you recognize this, you are a nerd.
Yesterday I did my first long run since September 26th, before the Portland Marathon. I wasn't too worried about the distance, it was only ten miles, and my marathon shape won't fade that quickly. I am a little concerned about whether or not my body is actually recovered from my two marathon experiment though. The first few runs back have been a little more challenging than I would like. However, they are my first cardio in two weeks and have been pretty hilly runs, so maybe that is to blame.

Anyways, yesterday's run went pretty well. I met with Matt, Katie, and Valerie and we ran ten miles from Matt's house. It was really uneventful. The fall colors are out in full force right now and some parts of the run were really pretty. There was this one tree that was dropping nothing but bright red leaves and that was really cool. I also saw the biggest mushroom ever off the path a few feet. I'm surprised a kid hasn't gone over there and gave it a swift kick. Anyways, the weather was perfect, low 50s and dry for the most part.

My legs started to complain a little bit at about mile eight. Nothing too bad though, I could have easily ran farther if I had to. Our overall pace was 9:30/mile, which was perfect and not bad for a route that had lots of rolling hills. I wish I could say the pace felt easy, but it felt harder than it should have. When we first started we were going about 10:00/mile and I thought I was going to die. By the end of the first mile though I had adjusted. I'm going to have to make a conscious effort to do speed work here shortly... if all I run is 9:00/mile+ then it's going to feel hard.

Wednesday, November 04, 2015


Today's weigh in! 11 pounds to lose!
Until a few days ago, I hadn't stepped on the scale in a while. When I was finished losing weight back in 2011 I was 165 and pretty soon this crept upward to around 170 once I started running about a year later. I figured it was mostly muscle gain since my pants were still fitting the same. It probably was, I don't know. Anyways, I'd weigh myself from time to time and I was always in the "high 160s, low 170s" range. That was perfectly fine.

It had probably been a year or so since I really stepped on a scale. Not purposefully or because I was scared of it, but mostly because I was out of the routine and running a bunch so who gave a shit. This year wasn't as prolific running and I have taken an entire month off (two weeks earlier this year and then the two weeks just recently). Then, the two weeks between the Portland and Detroit Marathons I only ran twice but kept eating like normal and carbing back up. So this year I'd bet I've put on about five pounds, which isn't much at all. Not enough for other people to notice, but enough for me to notice. The belt buckle is still using the same hole but it's just a little snugger than it used to be.

So in 4.5 years I gained 11 pounds apparently, as I weighed in at 176 this morning. Again, some of that is muscle, but probably only a couple pounds. So that's not bad at all. However, I would like to get back down to 165 pounds. It will certainly help my running, which needs all the help it can get recently. And mostly it will just prevent me from continuing to creep upwards and before I know it see 180. If I have to buckle down for a month or two every 4-5 years then I think I can handle that. It's not asking too much.

From my 2011 weight loss spreadsheet.
I'm planning to lose weight in the same manner I did back in 2011. Counting calories and hoping for around 1-2 pounds of loss per week. My target goal is about 1700 calories with no exercise. If I run, then I can eat more. Typically I eat back about half of what I burn and that seems to be a good balance of not starving yourself but also not negating all exercise. I need to relearn to eat until I am satisfied and not stuffed. I also need to curb the snacking and needless calories I eat. I'm not a terrible snacker, but enough where I can certainly make a difference.

There are two approaches I could take with this. A gradual, less painful reduction in calories that would result in me hitting my goal in 3-4 months. Or a more aggressive approach that should have me there in 1-2 months. I'm going with the second option and mirroring what worked for me before. The slower option would also be more susceptible to weeks where I don't really see any movement as I'd lose like a 1/2 pound a week. Anyways, I'd rather just buckle down and get it over with as soon as possible.

Anyways, that's that. I'll have "Weigh In Wednesdays" where I post a picture of the scale every week, and today marks Day One. So you, fair reader, can follow along. Hopefully I'll be at goal by Christmas. This already sucks. The last two days I feel like I've been starving (I started counting on Tuesday). Brings back memories.

Monday, November 02, 2015


Me during my time off.
Well, I had a great two weeks off. I told myself after the Detroit Marathon I'd let my body fully heal and I think I have done so. Hopefully I didn't lose too much fitness during these two weeks off. It seemed like the two weeks earlier this year really set me back, but then again, I wasn't coming off two marathons at the time. I should be fine. The first run or two back will probably suck but I should be able to get back into it fairly easily.

The Hot Buttered Run Half Marathon coming up Thanksgiving weekend should keep me motivated to keep training for the next month. I'll start to work in long runs again, probably 10 and 12 miles, to keep me ready for the half distance. With my next marathon likely being Portland next fall, I can ratchet down my long runs to the 10 and 12 mile variety. Those are really my favorites... enough to feel like you really accomplished something but not so long you start to hate them.

After the Hot Buttered Run, my next race will likely be the Zena Road Runs 15k in early February. Other races on the schedule include the Corvallis Half Marathon and the Shamrock Run 15k. Probably some other ones in there too. I'll be more than content running these shorter races until the Portland Marathon next year. Seeing a bunch of stuff from the NYC Marathon yesterday made me want to run that... one day!