Wednesday, December 30, 2015


Well, Planet Fitness finally put out a new deal that I could stomach. $10 to join and then $10/month. Doesn't get much better than that, so I went ahead and pulled the trigger. It will be nice to have that as an option on those dark, cold, and rainy nights where I lack motivation. Katie also joined so it will be nice to have a gym buddy if we end up going at the same time. I made sure to go last night to establish myself as a "pre-January 1ster." That way I can act all annoyed at the people coming in January. "This place used to not be so crowded! Man, I long for the good old days of three days ago."

Anyways, I ended up doing thirty minutes on the elliptical at a pretty decent clip. The program I did wanted to know my target heart rate, so I plugged in 168, not knowing what that really meant. Turns out that is almost 90% of my max HR, so it was a pretty decent clip. The running equivalent of my average speed was 6:50/mile. That just goes to show you how much easier an elliptical is! It was a good workout though, got me sweating and burnt some calories (375), so mission accomplished.

Katie then showed me how to use a number of the weight machines, so that was cool. A lot of them look like torture devices, but I guess once you know how to use them they aren't too bad. I don't want to get ripped, but I guess some upper body tone wouldn't hurt. Also, I need to strengthen my core (whatever the fuck that is) for running. I always hear about that and running. So I'll probably do some weight stuff too. The new plan is to hopefully run three times a week and then elliptical/weights twice a week. I'm not going to be too rigid about my schedule because usually I am pretty good at being flexible but not slacking off. I imagine something like this though:

Mon: PRC Run
Tue: Gym
Wed: PRC Run
Thu: Rest
Fri: Gym
Sat: Long Run
Sun: Rest

Thursday, December 24, 2015


This guy.
Just figured I should give you all an update. Basically, nothing has happened since I last checked in except that I saw The Force Awakens and it was AWESOME. So awesome I saw it again yesterday. And I'll see it again at least once more in the theater. I gave Revenge of the Sith a "B," and I'll give The Force Awakens a solid "A." It was really all we could ask for, the return to fun space adventures with characters were care about (and mostly new ones! I cared about Rey and Finn. I didn't give a shit about Anakin or Padme). Not over the top CGI shit wrapped around a boring political drama and painfully forced relationship.

ANYWAYS, go see it if you haven't. Other than that, I haven't done much. I haven't ran since the 5th of December. My legs still felt funny until a few days ago, but I'm back to feeling fresh. I think I might run on Christmas morning because that has been one of my favorite traditions the past few years. A group of us meet at the Tualatin Starbucks and do an easy five miles or so and then have coffee. It's fun. So I'll probably do that very easily and see how it goes. Assuming nothing major happens I'll probably slowly get back to running again. I have the Miami Half Marathon in like four weeks so yeah... need to get on that. 1:58 here I come.

To be honest I haven't missed running, or working out, at all. Like pretty much zero. There have been some times when I feel lazy and like I should do something, but that is just my brain being conditioned and not my body physically yearning for exercise. Left to my own devices I'd be a sloth and 250 pounds. The good thing is I realize that, so even if I don't necessarily want to do it, I'll still get out there and do it... probably. I envision moving forward I'll probably run three days a week and workout twice more. We'll see how it shakes out. For now, I'm enjoying the time off.

Thursday, December 17, 2015


First of all, tonight is the first night of the new Star Wars movie. I'd be lying if I didn't say I was having a mini-geek out. So excited! I have to tickets to see it with Libbie and Jeff so we'll be there opening night. Thankfully, the showing is at 7:30 or something, so I don't have to stay up until midnight like in previous years. Remember when you actually had to be hardcore to show up on opening night? I guess society has become that lazy. Anyways, venture back in time 10.5 years when I wrote a post about opening night for Episode III. Unfortunately all the pictures were hosted at a now defunct server.

Moving on, this post was supposed to be about what I learned during my recent 11 pound loss. Well, mostly I re-learned a lot of things and I am still learning as I transition back to normal eating. The biggest takeaway for me was portion control. The first week or so I was starving while eating 1700-1800 calories a day. By the end of the 5.5 weeks I wasn't starving and satisfied with 1500-1600 calories a day. I'm fairly certain my stomach shrunk a little! Now that I am back to "normal" I have tried to eat "old normal" a couple times and ended up in pain from being so full.

Take last night at Fuddruckers. Normally the 1/2 pound burger and fries left me satisfied but not overly full. Last night I thought I was going to explode and severely regretted my choice to eat it all. Lesson learned. I want to avoid stretching my stomach back out, so I'll have to be very aware about how much I eat. I liked that 500 calories could fill me up for a meal! I'll have to make sure to still eat enough calories, 2100 or so, because I don't want to keep losing weight. I think the re-introduction of beer and alcohol should do the trick.

Another lesson has been that fruit and vegetables are delicious! I was never against fruits and veggies, but I didn't make a conscious effort to constantly include them in my diet. When you are losing weight they are a great source of food for not a lot of calories, so I found myself eating them often. Lately I've been obsessed with apples... I cannot believe these delicious orbs of juicy yum flesh just grow outside in the wild. It's crazy. Long story short, I plan to continue to supplement my meals and snacks with fruits and veggies.

Really, that's about it. I already knew all this stuff, but over time you just kind of forget. The Force was strong with me. Do, or do not, there is no try (when it comes to weight loss). I used to bullseye wamp rats in my T-16 back home, they aren't much bigger than that Fuddruckers burger. That's not true, that's impossible that you can be satisfied with 1600 calories! Search your feelings you know it to be true that apples are delicious. Okay, I'm running out of Star Wars quotes. Off to the Tosche Station to pick up some power converters!

Monday, December 14, 2015


Suck it Trebek.
It's over, it's over! Wohoo! By the grace of his noodly appendage I hit 165.0 over the weekend and am officially done losing weight! As I mentioned in my last post, I was already very over this thing, but felt the need to get down to 165 since that was the original goal I put out there. It was getting to the point where I was just going to not drink water and go work out on the elliptical for two hours to hit the number, but thankfully I stepped on the scale Sunday and saw that magic number.

I will replay the experience for you. A few seconds of stunned silence as my eyes grew in size, then a loud "fuck yea!" followed by many primal grunts and celebratory gestures. I stepped back on the scale just in case... fucker flashed 165.2 for a second before settling back on 165.0. I think it knew I would have thrown it out the window if it didn't comply, so good scale. Anyways, I was very excited. I've been having this dream of buffalo wings for a couple weeks and I immediately went out to Safeway to try their new wing hot bar. Unfortunately, there were no wings when I went, so I had to buy the cold ones. They were good, but I still need some real, fresh wings here soon.

Now that it's over, what's next? Well, hopefully maintain around this weight. Like I mentioned last post, I am a little skinnier than I planned and my pants don't fit great anymore. My 32-waist jeans are trying to fall off my body. I really don't feel like repurchasing a bunch of clothes, so a few pounds of gain wouldn't be the worst thing in the world. I'd like to maintain in the high 160s, so maybe set 168 as my target weight. The goal will be maintain that for the foreseeable future. I'll have a  post about what I learned during this whole process soon.

Yes, that's copious amounts of blue cheese. Not pictured: beer.
Also, an update on the gym thing. I went with Katie to join Planet Fitness if they'd waive the "start up fee" but they played the "we can't change it, corporate won't even let us" card, to which we said, "okay, cool, bye." Probably true. I'm sure the mothership pays them dirt and gives little authority over such things. So the plan now is to wait for the gyms to start putting out their "New Years Resolutions" deals and take advantage of one of those. Last year Planet Fitness had "$99 for one year, no start up fee" right before the New Year, so hopefully they'll do something similar again. Their next promotion should start on the 18th, so we'll see then!

Last Week: 166.6 lbs
Yesterday: 165.0 lbs
Weight Lost: -1.6 lbs
Total Loss: -11.0 lbs
Pounds from Goal: 0.0 lbs (!!!)

Wednesday, December 09, 2015


Let me just start by saying that I am so fucking over this. My pants are falling off my hips and I'm definitely a bit skinnier than when I hit 165 before (this was pre-running, so I've added lower body muscle I'm guessing). Anyways, I should just stop now. There is no point in going to 165... once I get there I'm immediately going to indulge and get myself back up to 168 or so, when I don't have to keep hiking my pants up like an early 2000s teen.

However, I set a goal of 165, and even though at this point it's RIDICULOUS, I'm not going to stop until I am there. Because when I set a goal, I like to achieve it. I don't like excuses or giving up. Even when it doesn't make sense. So with this week's slightly anemic loss and the lack of running, it might be a little bit before I hit my goal. Basically, the first time I weigh in at 165.0 or less, it's over. Doesn't have to be a Wednesday. I'll call it as soon as I see that number. Hopefully it's soon. I'm over it.

Last Week: 167.6 lbs
This Week: 166.6 lbs
Weekly Loss: -1.0 lbs
Total Loss: -9.4 lbs
Pounds from Goal: 1.6 lbs

Tuesday, December 08, 2015


My knees hurt just looking at this picture. Do I spot some ellipticals in the next row though?
Even before my latest "freshness" issue (okay, that sounds dirty, I'll explain in a bit) I was tossing the idea around of joining a gym. Now that running and I are no longer in the honeyman stage and are having some martial problems, I have been really dreading the winter. The cold, the dark, the rain. It's just very hard to stay motivated and get out there when it is so awful outside. There is a Planet Fitness really close to my house and I thought it might be a good idea to join so I can still stay active and not be outside.

My solution in previous years has been to go to the THPRD indoor track. At $4.50 (I think) a visit it's not cheap but was a good option for those few times a year I just couldn't get myself outside. Now that I am even more picky about when I run, that could start to add up though. Plus, it's only a track, nothing more. So running is the only option. There are other THPRD facilities with workout rooms, but at $4.50 a pop, it could really add up.

There are my people!
So, about that freshness issue lately; I've heard about this thing called Monistat been feeling really run down. I think I'm working my way toward another overtraining syndrome thing. I need to give me body, my knees in particular, a break. The two weeks off after Detroit was not enough and the recent half marathon seems to have introduced even more problems. After that race on Sunday I didn't run again until Wednesday, when I only did 5 miles. Followed that up with 3 Friday and 6 Saturday. That seemed to really kick my ass, I was physically limping yesterday and my knees actually looked swollen.

I really don't know what the fuck is going on other than I can't keep up what I'm doing. It's not only my knees, but my hamstrings were really sore too. That same "bat to the back of the knee" feeling I had last February. So I think taking some time off would be great. An entire month maybe. I don't know. I think the elliptical would be a good way to keep my cardio up in that time, plus it's way easier on my joints. Maybe I'll actually use some of the other machines and work my upper body too. I don't know.

I just know I can't go through this winter like the previous ones. I need to shake something up. My body needs a break. I have the Miami Half Marathon and the Zena Road run in late January/early February, so if I'm going to take some time off from running, now is the time. Will I pull the trigger on this gym thing? Stay tuned!

Wednesday, December 02, 2015


Good weigh in this morning. I had some "challenges" last week I had to deal with so coming up with a 1.6 pound loss is awesome! I was going to be thrilled with 168, so almost a half pound less was even better. I'm just over 2.5 pounds from goal and so ready to get this whole thing over.

Things that were challenging last week included a night out with friends Tuesday night. I was afraid this was going to jack up my Wednesday weigh in, but that turned out awesome (dehydrated from the alcohol?). Anyways, that was a higher calorie day. I was good on Wednesday but then Thursday was Thanksgiving and my total intake guess of 3,000 might have been a little low. That was probably best case. I then had Brandon on Friday, and while I didn't eat way too many calories, I ate shit.

Anyways, at one point I weighed in at 170.5 or so. I think that was Saturday. However, the half marathon seemed to shed all that Thanksgiving bloat and my weight has been steady and trending slightly downward since then. I guess I was good five out of the seven days, so that's why I still came out pretty well.

With a really good week I could be at goal next week. That would be awesome. However, I know not to expect it. I'm making it my goal to be done in two weeks. I know the nature of weight loss... I could be really good all week and then weigh in with a 1.0 pound loss next week. What I've been doing has been working great, so I'll keep at it and by the 16th I should be done!

Last Week: 169.2 lbs
This Week: 167.6 lbs
Weekly Loss: -1.6 lbs
Total Loss: -8.4 lbs
Pounds from Goal: 2.6 lbs

Tuesday, December 01, 2015


Number buddies! She was getting over the flu
and couldn't run. Bummer!
In what is a very rare occurrence, I woke up before my alarm went off Sunday morning. I believe I set it for 6:45 and I ended up waking up at 6:35. Just the day before I let myself sleep in and didn't begin to gain consciousness until 11:00. That means one of two things... I was excited or nervous. I'm going to go with #2. It has been a while since I remember not looking forward to a race this much. Just not super peppy about running in general at the moment and the fact that it was going to be 28 degrees... just, no.

However, if I sign up for a race, I'm going to do it, so I used the slightly earlier than normal wake up to have a little bit more of a relaxed morning (by setting the alarm at 6:45, that means actually getting out of bed at 7:30). By the time I picked up Katie I was mostly awake but still very much dreading the race. No getting out of it though. We found parking right next to the start line, grabbed our bibs, stayed in the car to be warm, then left for the start line with about fifteen minutes to spare. I had to use the bathroom so by the time I was done with that there were maybe two minutes before the race started. I jumped into the corral and worked my way toward the front.

The gun went off and away we went. Despite not looking forward to this race at all, once you get running you are sort of committed. The temperature was 28 degrees when it started, making it the coldest race I've done. I did a HoHo 5k with Brandon a couple years back that was 18 degrees, but that was more of a jog for me. Surprisingly, the cold weather didn't really effect me at all. I was slightly cold at the start, but once I started running I warmed up pretty quick. I pulled my beanie off my head about a mile into the race and never felt the need for it again. Even rolled up my long sleeves about halfway through the race.

About to cross the finish line!
When I said the first four miles or so were downtown, that was me speaking as a person who doesn't know Vancouver. The first mile was actually in the city, the second mile was near Fort Vancouver, which was neat, but then after that it was pretty industrially/stark until the very finish. Long story short, the scenery didn't offer much of a distraction. The race is mostly a giant out and back along this rural/industrial section and while it was nearly pancake flat, it was pretty dull.  A trade off I suppose. It was about what I expected and I certainly appreciated the flatter course.

I was surprised at how well I felt most of the race. I locked into my half marathon pace without really thinking about it too much. One of my few skills running is being able to lock into the appropriate paces for various distances. Somehow my body just knows the right speed to go, whether it be a 5k or half marathon. So that was good. The half felt like it should, a challenging pace but one that could be sustained semi comfortably for nearly two hours. The first mile contained a fair bit of uphill running, so my 7:40 was actually a pretty good split. 7:27 second mile on some gentle downhill we got back.

My splits for the first eight miles are as follows: 7:40, 7:27, 7:47, 7:43, 7:51, 7:52, 7:53, 7:55. So around 7:50/mile with a very gradual slowdown. I was feeling pretty good until mile seven, when I apparently took a funny step and then all of a sudden my glute muscle that flared up during Detroit started acting up. For a little bit I was thinking I'd be having a repeat of Detroit on a smaller scale. While it got close to feeling like it was about to really pull and cause an issue a couple times, it never really did. I just ran through it and tried to maintain the same effort level. My times were already heading upward, but you can see an instant 10 second a mile increase at this point likely due to this muscle.

So the final five miles were: 8:05, 8:07, 8:07, 8:24, 8:06. So I was able to "lock in" to my new pace and stick with it. The 8:24 was the uphill portion I mentioned during preview. It would normally be nothing, but mile 12 of the half marathon with a flaring up butt muscle... it was a slight something. Regardless, I scaled it without too much issue and continued on my merry way. The route to the finish line was a slight downhill so I was able to do the final little bit at a sub 8:00/mile pace. Energy wise I felt pretty good, which was nice. My legs were complaining a little, but not too much. The glute toned down for the final few miles and wasn't as much as a worry as miles 8-10ish.

First time on Santa's lap in years!
The last mile or so I was paying close attention to my watch and knew I'd be close on getting my sub 1:45 goal. It wasn't until the final two blocks or so I was assured I'd get it. Rolling through the finish line at 1:44:22, I immediately sucked down a couple cups of water. I had some at the first aid station but that water was so cold and made my stomach hurt that I didn't stop again. On a day like that during a half you don't really need too much liquid anyway. It was nice to have at the finish though. Turns out I placed third in my age group, so after getting our hot buttered rums (yum!) Katie and I found a Starbucks and chilled out for a bit before I collected my medal.

Overall, I'm pretty happy with the race! Not my best time by far, but I still don't think my legs are back fully from my double marathon adventure. That's a post for another time though. I felt really good during the run, except for my glute muscle, and in the end was glad I did the race. That day, and the next day, my legs were very sore, which means I gave it my all. As long as you are hobbling the next day I don't know what more you could do during a race. Good times! While the course wasn't the greatest, I did enjoy this race and would definitely sign up again!

Official Chip Time: 1:44:22, 7:58/mile. 41/380 overall, 30/134 male, 3/12 M25-29.