If you couldn’t tell, I LOVE tracking. I always joke that Microsoft Excel is my best friend. Whether it comes to finances, wedding planning, nutrition, or exercise, I don’t count it if I don’t track it.
Let me give you an example:
When I’m really “on,” I’m tracking my total caloric intake (along with protein, fat, carbs, etc. through MyFitnessPal), whether or not I take protein, the time/distance/speed for runs, and whatever other exercises I’m doing. With all the technological advances over the last few years, it’s easier than ever to keep tabs on what you’re doing to/for your body.
I recently added a “Current Results” page to RBB. I did this so I would always know what my best times/weights are, but also to help me track my progress. If I’m not updating that page at most once a month, I know that I’m not pushing myself very hard.
I currently use the “Notes” app on my iPhone to jot down my exercises (and weights), and to write down my running times if I’m on a treadmill. If I run outside, I use iMapMyRun to track distance/pace/time/speed. I use MyFitnessPal (can’t talk this FREE software up enough!) both online and on my phone to ensure that I’m staying up to date. It automatically syncs with their website, so I’m always good.
And, as you can see from above, I transfer a lot of information into an additional Excel sheet, so it’s all in one place. I just looked back through all of 2012, and could tell you the exact day I ran my first 4 miler (March 5, 2012). By keeping an honest record of what I’m doing (or in the case of the blacked out sections, what I’m NOT doing), it helps me to get better.
Today I pushed through a 6:51 mile (as part of a 2 mile run). I’m really working on speed, but my distances are ugly right now. That’s ok. I survived a 4.5 miler on Saturday, and I’m going for probably 6 this weekend. I figure if I can stick to an interval/speed training schedule through May, I’ll be ok when it comes time to pick up my weekly miles.
The fiancee and I have our upcoming running plans laid out, and here they are, in order:
1) Run a sub 25 minute 5k
2) Run a summer half marathon in sub 2:10
3) Weigh sub 190 pounds by July 31
4) Run our first full marathon in October in sub 4:30
5) Run the Disney Full in January in sub 4:15
Additionally, I’m going to take my “middle” picture in this road to fitness NEXT weekend, while I visit a close friend in San Diego. We’ll be at the beach anyway, so it seems to make sense. Now I really have to push myself to sneak under 199 Pounds, which will put me at 15 pounds+ lost since I started back in January. Most of this is internal motivation, but I’d be lying if I said that it bothers me that a friend who is three inches taller than me weighs 5 pounds less than I do. I don’t want to “beat” him, but I will use his progress as additional motivation.
Running that first half marathon was an amazing feeling and I can’t wait to achieve the goals listed above, and then create newer, even harder goals. Someday I’m going to run a marathon in under four hours, and I’m going to laugh at where I started. But, the important thing is that I started.
Today I went on a nice “recovery” run. Went 4.5 miles, slowly, through the hills of the south shore. Got some great views of Boston:
Ran slowly, and definitely felt a light of soreness in my hamstrings/glutes. Part of the reason for this was my gym session Thursday. I may have gotten a little carried away. My initial plan was the ride the stationary bike in an interval pattern for twenty minutes, and get back to weight lifting. However, when I finished on the bike, I felt totally unsatisfied. So, I hopped onto the treadmill and busted out a quick mile. I knew I was going to run a short distance, and I definitely want to work on my speed, so I negative split the mile, finishing in 7:53.
Now, after working up a good sweat via the bike and treadmill, I hit up the weights with reckless abandon. I tried to circuit train as much as possible to keep my heart rate up. For example, I did squats (probably the FINAL straw the lead to these sore hammy’s), and in between sets, I did plyometric jumping squats. I also bumped up my weights on all my arm/chest/shoulder/back exercises (Current Weights Here).
Now that I’ve finished the half marathon, I need to do a better job of balancing my weight lifting, weight loss, and distance running. I’m going to go 4+ miles at least once per week, but here is a rough outline of what I plan on doing over the next month or so:
2x Per Week – Interval Running – 25 minutes, ~3 miles and Weightlifting (Upper Body)
1x Per Week – Negative Split Speed Training – Two goals: Sub 7 minute mile pace AND building miles (goal of a sub 25 minute 5k).
1x Per Week – Lower Body Lifting & Cross Training (Elliptical, Bike, etc.)
1x Per Week – Distance Run (Adding a mile every other week, starting at 4 miles)
1x Per Week – Something else athletic (Basketball, Tennis, Yoga… any other good suggestions?)
May NEEDS to be the month I get below 199 pounds (just over halfway to my goal). I think I can sneak down to 196 if I work really hard. But I also really want to build up my shape. I know I haven’t mentioned core workouts, but they will be sprinkled in a minimum of 3x per week. A co-worker and I keep joking about our “beach bodies,” but that stupid big boy beach picture is one of the reasons I”m blogging.
Additionally, I have my distance running plans for the rest of the year:
July/August – Half Marathon (Sub 2:10)
October – Full Marathon (Sub 4:30)
January – Disney Full Marathon (Sub 4:10)
I think these are realistically aggressive goals. I refuse to “lose” my miles from this training so far. But I also recognize that I have to focus on my other goals as well, even though I’d MUCH rather be on a race course than in a gym. I also think I’m going to post a “mid-way” side-by-side comparison picture. I”m not in love with myself, or my body, but I’ve tried to be both honest and optimistic as much as possible in this blog, and I think it’s important, for me, to put the results out there for public consumption. It will definitely help motivate me to break through and get down to sub 190 pounds!
Over the next few weeks I’ll be posting a lot of weight lifting / workout thoughts, tips, routines, and related items. I do a lot of reading when I’m focused on stuff, so hopefully it will be informative. Additionally, I’ll be looking for a lot of guidance! And lastly… MUST IMPROVE DIET. M&Ms have been brutal. No more. And my dinners have been shameful. Truffle Mac & Cheese. Proscuitto Pizza. All you can eat sushi buffets. No more. Time to focus!
Just because I finished (my first half), doesn’t mean I’m finished. This is just the beginning.
All the training. All the work. The miles of running. It was all leading up to this. My first half-marathon. The future Mrs. Big Boy and I successfully reached our fundraising goals. We trained hard. We LOVED our Team in Training running-mates. It was an awesome experience. But, now it was time. We were in Providence, RI, at the starting line.
I slept for two hours the night before. Nerves, mixed with sickness (a NASTY lingering cold), mixed with a 4:30 AM alarm clock wake up, contributed to this lack of rest. This was not good, and made me even more nervous at the race. I stretched, danced, and just generally tried to stay loose. I believe there is a video floating around somewhere of my crip walk, and if I find it, I’ll share it.
I refused to let any of that negative energy bring me down. THIS IS WHAT I WANTED. We crowded toward the starting line, and in waited for the starting gun. It didn’t go off, so a simple anti-climactic “go” was all that set us on our run. I was running with the misses and another teammate, and we all agreed to try to run the race utilizing negative splits. I carried my phone and used the MapMyRun app to track our pace. We started at a nice slow 10:23 pace, and kept it up for the first seven miles.
Throughout these miles, we talked, laughed, joked, and really enjoyed our time. The sun came out and the weather was perfect. We met some amazing cancer survivors who were RUNNING WITH US, and it was so motivating. Every spectator cheered us on with such enthusiasm. It was AMAZING! I used high-fives for energy. I also used singer honey/ginseng energy GU, and it worked wonders. There were so many runners!!! I think 3,000 registered and ran in this event.