Sunday, June 29, 2008

Before: 183-pound weakling

I figured that since I'm now serious about getting in shape, it might be fun to have some Before and After pictures. Technically, I suppose I should have taken the Before picture at the start of C25k. I'm already in Week 3, and have lost nearly 10 pounds already. But close enough, right? Hopefully, I'll be able to post an "After" picture at the end of C25k and the Hundred Pushups Challenge that looks substantially different.

C25k: Week 3, Day 1

I now have W3D1 under my belt. Since today is a Sunday, I did this as a park run. I misjudged the time just a bit, though, and by the time I woke up and had my running gear on it was already almost fully light outside. That's a bit of a problem when you live in Florida, in late June. It was a few minutes to 7 AM, and it was already bright, hot, and humid. I think today is gearing up to be a scorcher. I enjoyed the run, nonetheless. This time through, I've been feeling it in my knees more than anywhere else. Nothing too painful, thankfully.

It's funny how time alters perception. I remember my first time through C25k - at the beginning of week three, I thought that I'd never be able to run for three whole minutes without stopping. But I also remember looking back at week three from the end of the program and thinking "ha! Three minutes? That's nothing!" Now, here I am once again, looking at that same three minute run and thinking that it is quite an imposing hurdle. But I did it today, and so I'm proud of myself. And I'm looking forward to doing it again on Day 2. More than that, though, I'm looking forward to the fact that in a few short weeks I'll be looking back at the three minute runs of week three and thinking how laughably short they are.

In other Dan Health News: Yesterday I started with the Hundred Pushups program I mentioned in my prior post. It begins with a test of the maximum number of pushups you can do, to set a baseline and determine at what level of the program you should begin. I was only able to do 7 measly pushups before collapsing. That put me in the second tier. Then, a few hours later, I started W1D1 of the program: with 60 second breaks in between each, I did: 7 pushups, 7 pushups, 5 pushups, 4 pushups, and 8 pushups. I thought I'd be feeling it in my arms or chest today, but I'm really not. It so reminded me of that classic pushups scene from the beginning of "Stripes," with Bill Murray and Harold Ramis:

I bet you can't do five pushups.

Five pushups?

I got $10 says I can do five pushups.

Okay, let's go. Five good ones. Come on.

- Not Marine pushups.
- No, simple pushups.

I've never heard bones creak like that.

That's none.

- I'm praying.
- You ought to.

Let's go. There's a time limit here.

He's almost set. He's eyeing that rug.

And that's one. All right. He's off. He's moving now.

That's two. Not that good though.

That's three.

I think you're ready for the Special Olympics.

That's three.

- That's four.
- Four.

I was testing you.

And here goes five. Will he do it?

Congratulations. You just doubled your money.

I gotta get in shape. I gotta dry out, or I'll be dead before I'm 40. The Army's my only chance.

Friday, June 27, 2008

C25k: Week 2, Day 3

Another week down! Not much to comment on for this run. I woke. I ran. I blogged. It was good.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

C25k: Week 2, Day 2

I originally planned to run W2D2 yesterday, rather than today. Like the two previous times I've done C25k, I am sticking to an every-other-day schedule rather than a 3-times-a-week schedule. That way, if there is ever a scheduled day in any given week I can't run, I am still technically on-schedule. It's kind of like having one free pass each week. Yesterday, I had to use that free pass: doing laundry until 1:00 AM the night before meant I was just too tired to get out of bed at 4:45 to start getting ready for the run. I got up, shut off the clock, and went back to bed until 6:30 AM. Today, Wednesday, I got back on track and did W2D2. The run was fine. A few barking dogs took interest in me, but thankfully all were leashed or fenced. Otherwise, the roads were pretty unpopulated.

Last time through C25k, I tried but didn't really succeed at adding a strength-training routine to my running schedule. I think part of the problem was that C25k provides a great graduated structure, but I didn't really have anything similar to follow for an upper-body workout. I've now found what I think will be perfect: - I'm excited to start with it tomorrow.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

C25k: Week 2, Day 1: Cracks in the Pavement

Today was my first weekend run. I rolled out of bed at about 6:45 AM (I got to sleep in!) and was on the road by 7. It was already fully light, but not yet too hot. Perfect running weather. I sprayed myself down with bugspray (we've had a lot of rain lately) and headed off to the park. This was my first run through the park in about a year. It's funny how it has changed during the course of a year in minor but noticeable ways: the palm trees are a bit bigger and more covered with spanish moss and kudzu, there's a bit more graffiti, and there are a few places where tree roots have begun to buckle the running path, pushing it up from underneath. I wonder what it will look like in a few more years if it is let go? I guess the park and I share a bit in common: we're both a little more overgrown, and we both a few new wrinkles, but we're still holding it together for the most part.

The run itself was fine: Week 2 always seems easier than week 1: tacking on 30 seconds to each run isn't hardly anything, and the intervals between the runs are longer (2 minutes, as opposed to the first week's 90 seconds) and there are only 6 runs rather than the first week's 8. I am really anxious to get back to the uninterrupted runs that comprise the final weeks of the C25k routine, but I know that my body is not ready for me to jump right back to that. Slow and steady wins the race.

Friday, June 20, 2008

C25k: Week 1, Day 3

In order to write this post, I first had to set the WayBack Machine to Friday, June 20: Although I ran on Friday as scheduled, I didn't have the opportunity to post until Sunday morning (which is now).

W1D3 concluded well; I'd say it was the easiest of the three runs this week. Not much to report. I'm looking forward to my first weekend run, which will take me back through the park route and which will be the first run of Week 2. After this run, I weighed in at 185.7, so I'm moving in the right direction.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

C25k: Week 1, Day 2

I now have W1D2 under my belt. I felt a little sore yesterday, which is to be expected, but it didn't prevent me from getting out there this morning. It was a perfect morning for running: low humidity and mostly clear skies. It was fully dark when I set out, and the sky was just starting to lighten when I returned home. I went out to walk the dog a half-hour later and it had started to drizzle. I looked up and saw a beautiful full-arc rainbow crossing over the route I had just run. I'll take that as a sign that I'm back on the right track.

Monday, June 16, 2008

C25k: Week 1, Day 1 - third time's a charm

I rolled out of bed this morning, geared up, and hit the road just as dawn was starting to break. The run felt great! I could really feel it in my calves. I'm looking forward to feeling sore tomorrow. Right now, I feel like I have a spring in my step, and I'm so glad to be back on the path to good health. It was good to hear Robert Ullrey's voice again, giving me encouragement through my headphones as I ran.

When I weighed myself after running (which was -- is -- my normal routine), my weight was 188.6. I assume that my weight last night of 194.5 was a false reading, artificially high due to it being post-dinner and taken at the end of the day. Still, seeing the drop first thing this morning was nice.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Hit the Road, Jack

After a long hibernation, I am back and motivated to get back into shape. I'll be restarting C25k from the beginning. For all those keeping score, this will be my third time through C25k. I've graduated each of the other two times, and I intend to do the same this time around. Only this time, after I graduate I'll keep on going. And going. And going. Unlike the second time, where I completed it but didn't lose any weight, this time (like the first time) I plan on keeping to a better diet so hopefully I'll be shedding some pounds: My weight is 194.5, which is just about as heavy as I've ever been. My sportbrain needs a new battery, as does my Nike+. But I'm not going to let lack of tech keep me off the road. I figure I can pick up a new battery for the former at CVS tomorrow. Getting a replacement battery for the Nike+ is a bit more problematic as I think I may have to send the whole unit in, or something like that.