Archive for the ‘Goals’ Category

So the last post was me feeling kind of sorry for myself. This one will be better.

See, I got a package in the mail yesterday. That package contained my medals from the Nerd Herd Running Virtual Racing Series.

These are the first medals I ever got and it dawned on me that it is a big deal. At least to me.

My medals

My medals

The medals themselves are of good weight and fit to ether to form the Nerd Herd logo. There’s one for the May the 4th Be With You 5K, the Happy Birthday Harry Potter 10K and the Banned Books Half, as well as a fourth medal for completing the series. It really filled me with a sense of accomplishment. I know some marathon snobs would say that it wasn’t a “real” race and I didn’t have a stellar time, but it’s a big deal because I did it.

In short, that package was a vindication of what I’ve been trying to do.

Next up will be the real 5K. I’ll get a medal for that, too, but it won’t have the same impact because it won’t be the first one.

I can see how this can become an addiction, though. Guess I need to find a place to display the bling that’s sure to come my way.

There are worse things.

So, in closing, a huge thank you to the Nerd Herd… Sara, Julie, Jamison, Mike, Joelle, Christina, Brad, Erinn, Dan, Jeff, Christine and April and all the folks who participated in the series that raised $15,000 to benefit StupidCancer.org. What an amazing journey!

Yes, I'm flying the Jolly Roger

Yes, I’m flying the Jolly Roger

Avast, me hearties!

Today is International Talk Like a Pirate Day, and I thought I’d get that out of the way before I got into the meat of the post.

In a surprise move, it’s about grog. Or booze, or hooch, or whatever else you feel like calling it.

I’m not a big drinker. I feel that once I turned 21, the fun wore off. As such, I haven’t minded not being able to drink on a semi-regular basis. It’s one of those things with a bypass. They do warn you that your tolerance is impacted post-surgery.

They weren’t lying.

See, Supportive Partner Woman got some news worth celebrating yesterday. After work, we adjourned into the Nerd Lair, she opted for tequila and I opted for my old standy, Jagermeister.

Normally, I’m feeling buzzed after three or four shots.

Not last night. One shot, I was lightheaded, flushed and feeling very warm.

So, moral of the story is that I have to be really careful if I opt to drink and should never drive.

In other news, iOS 7 landed yesterday afternoon. So far, it has a lot of features I like. There’s a few that are going to take some getting used to. It’s a little more stripped down, so I’m going to miss the subtle touches, but I’ll survive. Since I’ve only had it for a day, I’m not prepared to pass judgement.

Oh, and finally, I covered over 26 miles last week. That was a goal of mine… I still don’t know how some folks can cover that in a day and still be alive afterward, but maybe that’s just me. I’m trying to break up the training between walking, the dread mill, and the elliptical. In that regard, SPW and I tried a new rail trail (to us) yesterday and got an exact 5.000 miles in. Felt pretty good, although too much walking really does a number on my ankles. Just need to get them stronger.

At any rate, hope you have a great day, ye scurvy dogs!

Song of the Day: Take Me to the River – Talking Heads

Currently reading: Atlantis Found – Clive Cussler

Hit a major point in my burgeoning career as a wogger.

I accomplished the week marathon.

Basically, I covered 26.2 miles in seven days.

For a reformed fattie like myself, this is a pretty huge deal. For me to drag my tubby butt out of the house and either hit the gym or the trail is something that would’ve been laughable eight or nine months ago. Back then I was struggling to do a mile at a time on the dreadmill. That wasn’t every day, either. That was twice a week.

My average per day now? 3.78 miles.

It’s pretty cool. As one of my Team AllEars teammates has told me, there’s a lot of the population that isn’t hoofing it that far in a week and I should be proud of myself.

It’s just that I can’t take the credit.

The credit goes to the people that encourage me… my family, my teammates, my coworkers. They deserve the credit, because without their encouragement, I’d probably still be sitting on the couch getting fatter. Thanks to the support and encouragement I have been given, well, I spend less time on the couch and more time being constructive.

Spectators lined the course

Spectators lined the course

The highlight of today’s travels was the fact that I managed to jog around 1/4 mile of the 4.28 that I logged. It was a good day on the trail… perfect weather, spectators (of the four-legged variety), and not too many horse mines to dodge. It seemed like some of the spectators were hanging out just to watch the folks on the trail, and maybe offer a whinny of encouragement. All in all a good day.

So,going forward, I have another week until the Banned Book Half kicks off. I’d love it if some of you folks could see fit to help the cause by donating to my Avon Walk fundraising page. Every little bit helps, even if it’s only $5.00. I would be grateful, as would those the foundation helps.

Have a great week, everyone!

P.S. I found myself sitting in the Nerd Lair at 4 AM watching The Jazz Singer on one of the Encore channels.

Song of the Day: Short Skirt/Long Jacket – Cake

Currently reading: Atlantis Found – Clive Cussler

The pedometer screen

The pedometer screen

That’s right, campers… yours truly completed a 10K yesterday. It wasn’t the fastest on record, but for me, it’s a pretty big deal. I did it on the rail trail, so it was nice and shady, there was a breeze going, and it felt pretty good.

Until the last half mile.

That’s when the ankles started barking, and everything hurt, but the only way I’m getting back to the car is by finishing the walk. One of the good reasons to do this stuff on the trail.

My Harry Potter bib

My Harry Potter bib

The little 10K jaunt also marked the completion of the second part of the Nerd Herd virtual racing series. This one was Harry Potter themed, and I’m glad I managed to get it done. Next up is that banned book half, but I’m sure I’ll be doing that over two or three days.

I spent this morning at the Harrisburg Half Marathon cheering on two of my Team All Ears teammates. It was TAE teammate Joe’s first real half, and he was running it with his mentor, Brad, a good friend of mine. They both finished the course in under 2:30, which really puts into perspective how slow I am, and how far I have to go. Then there are the really fast people, doing it in under 90 minutes. To put into persepctive, they did 13.1 miles in less time than it took me to go 6.2.

Yes, how far I have to go.

See, I’m looking at 2015 to run the Disney World half AND the Disneyland half. If I’m going to do it, I want the coast to coast bling,

There. It’s in print.

That’s my goal.

I have no idea how I’m going to accomplish this, just that I have to do it somehow. I think it was in the back of my mind when I first thought of doing the 5K. Either that or Melanie planted that seed somewhere on a ship in the Caribbean way back in 2010.

In other news, Supportive Partner Woman and I were able to join TAE teammates Matt, Brad and Joe, along with their families, for a lunch at TJ Rockwell’s in Elizabethtown. Special thanks to Matt who drove the farthest, and it was especially great to see him, as it’s been around four years. Wasn’t even too bad a food day. We all shared a huge appetizer platter (sliders, onion rings, boneless wings, pretzel logs and the rhino fries. I managed half a pretzel, half a slider (left the bun), two onion rings and three fries. For a main course, I ordered a crab cake sandwich, of which I could only eat half.

So, folks… there you have it. I’ve set a pretty big goal for myself.

Now to make it happen.

I’ll keep you posted.

Song of the Day: Without Me – Eminem

Currently Reading: Fourth and Long: The Fight for the Soul of College Football – John U. Bacon

So, fresh on the heels of completing my 5K yesterday, I thought I’d do it again.

Yeah… I’m getting the bug. I’ve been told it’s expensive.

Yikes.

Supportive Partner Woman and I hit the Rec today. We took adjacent treadmills and got started. I didn’t start the workout thinking 5K. I just set the timer for 45 minutes and thought I’d take it easy. Three minutes later, I’m clipping along at 3.8 mph and I’m not really winded. I added some 30 second running intervals to get the heart rate up, but as I got closer to the 45 minute mark, I opted to see if I could get 3 miles in 50 minutes. I managed to do that with 4 second left and finished my workout having done 3.06 miles in 51:15. That was a 16:44 pace, which is pretty much the best pace I’ve ever recorded (since doing 9 minute miles in high school).

This really gives me hope that I’ll be able to break 50 minutes at the WDW 5K. I still have four months until the race, so there’s still time.

The other good news was that Wayne & Stubby came through with no new injuries… no blisters, corns or whatever foot ailment you can think of.

I need to refocus on my diet, though. It’s not bad, but it’s slipping a bit. I just need to wrap my head around it, because what I was doing was working. My first step was to cut the amount of pasta I had with my meatballs. I’ve been using higher-fiber pasta for a while, but there’s still carbs and carbs are still the enemy. At least the meatballs have plenty of protein. I use 90% beef, plus cheese, eggs and spices. There’s also some bread crumbs, but they aren’t that big of an impact in terms of diet.

My hope is to knock the Happy Birthday Harry Potter 10K out this weekend. Then I can focus on the Banned Books race at the end of September. I’m thinking of that 13.1 miles as a goal. I know it won’t be fast, but I’m hoping to be able to at least walk it in one day without blisters.

It’s a goal… and I think it’s attainable.

One more blurb… if you would care to sponsor my 5K effort for the Avon Walk, please click here. They do amazing work and if you can spare $1 for every kilometer I’m going to finish, that would be greatly appreciated.

Have a great day!

Song of the Day: MLK – U2

Currently Reading: The First Counsel – Brad Meltzer

Today’s weight: 269 lbs – total loss of 111 pounds

I’ve posted a few times about participating in the Nerd Herd Racing Series. It’s a series of virtual 5 and/or 10K and half-marathon events based on pop culture themes sacred to nerds everywhere.

I was late to the party, but I managed to register for the entire series, which means I have three races to do by September 28. The first one was themed after Star Wars and Star Wars Day. It was originally intended to be completed by May 4, but I’m slow. 🙂

My first race bib

My first race bib

It’s a pretty warm day here in cow country. Sun beating down, humid as the dickens, still air. But I knew I had to get my work done. I figured I’d knock the 5K out since it needed to be done and, well, doing it on the treadmill at the air conditioned gym would be sort of like cheating. We have a nice loop in the neighborhood that’s a tad over a half mile. I figured six laps would do it and I could cross that 5K off my list.

Started out swimmingly. The sun felt good, just being outside felt good. Started up my pedometer app and walked. The iPhone served up a nice selection of tunes to keep me moving (Ozzy, Cake, Chic, Iron Maiden, Eminem, and NWA, to name a few). All good.

Made the first and second laps and I could feel the pace start to slow a bit. I wasn’t killing it, coming back from Wayne‘s missing toenail, but I was working up a sweat. That’s when I realized how much of the marathon game is mental. You feel the sun beating on your head. The head and humidity surrounding you, and while your body can take it, it’s your mind saying, “Screw this, let’s go back, grab a shower and watch The Price is Right.”

My respect for the folks who run marathons soared because I was feeling that at one mile and they actually run for 26 miles.

I buried those doubting feelings and gave the voice in my head a smack down. Because it had to be done. If I couldn’t walk a 5K without giving up, well, that would mean all that I’ve been through was worthless.

I wasn’t going to let that happen. I’ve taken the easy way out waaaaaaaaay too many times.

Not this time. No way, no how.

Not the greatest pace, but it's the distance that really matters.

Not the greatest pace, but it’s the distance that really matters.

So, I finished. Hot, sweaty, but I completed what I started. And I feel good about it.

As you can see, it was a pace slightly over an hour. That’s not optimal, but it’s a start. When I do the second leg (the Happy Birthday Harry Potter 5K/10K), that 5K number will be under an hour. And I’ll have a photo to prove it.

In other news, Supportive Partner Woman and I got to pay a visit to the holy temple of Wegman’s over the weekend. Got a lovely piece of swordfish that I just simply baked with some olive oil, sea salt and fresh ground pepper. Very flavorful. I also picked up some 7.66 pounds of ground beef. SPW has been asking for meatballs, so I thought I’d make them for her. I’m always amazed by the selection and quality of meat at Wegman’s. And the price… that 90% lean beef clocked in at $2.99 a pound. Can’t beat it unless you want to butcher your own cows and I’m pretty sure Wanda would take issue with that.

Oh, almost forgot that SPW and I appeared on the most recent episode of the Mickey Miles Podcast. Click here and choose Episode 96 if you want to give it a listen. I’d like to thank Mike & Michelle for having us on and letting us share our story. They do a great job and I’d encourage you to give them a listen.

That’s all I have for today. Hope you have a great day and remember to stay active. Keeps you young.

So, the saga of Brian’s toes continue.

Wayne had a callous that cracked last week. It was not pretty to look at, but then again, my toes usually are NOT things of beauty.

Then Monday, I noticed Stubby had a crack in the callous on the tip as well, plus Wayne was looking kind of nasty. I had an appointment to see the boys, so on my way, I called my podiatrist.

He could see me in about 90 minutes.

I did an abbreviated workout at the fitness center, went home, washed my hair, collected Supportive Partner Woman (Brave little toaster!), and went back to the Health Campus (or should I call it the Suburban Outpatient Pavilion?).

Dr. Miller was right there, and gave me crap about needing my Dr. Miller fix, since I had only been there the week before. He looked at Stubby first. He (Miller) wound up trimming the edges of the crack and gluing things back together.

Then it was on to Wayne.

Turns out, the reason Wayne was getting a little gushy was that there was a blood blister under the nail. So, it was off with the toenail. I do have some increased feeling, so it did ache pretty good, but I’m happy to report he’s healing nicely.  I was sent off without being sentenced to the Boot of Shame, but I was also admonished to rub my feet every day with ammonium lactate cream to keep the calluses soft and less prone to cracking.

See, Monday was an all-around lousy day.

Mom and Dad in happeir times

Mom and Dad in happier times

It was my dad’s birthday, and that’s always tough to deal with since he’s gone. He would’ve been 78 and I still miss him every day. Of course, tomorrow would’ve been the folks’ 43rd wedding anniversary. That’s also tough. It reminds me of the last one the celebrated. Dad was in the rehab center at the hospital and my sister and I brought in a nice steak dinner from a local restaurant, dressed in nice clothes and acted as the wait staff, even had candles. It was one of the last happy times… he was gone a month later.

Losing him to cancer has been one of the major reasons why I support many of the cancer charities. I’d give anything to have him back and if, through my efforts, I can save someone else from the anguish that I’ve been through, I’m going to do it.

Whether that be supporting the Avon Walk with my participation in Team AllEars or my newest endeavor, the Nerd Herd Racing Series (which supports stupidcancer.org), either way, I’m doing something to help others because so many folks have helped and supported me with my efforts against my own diabetes.

Now, many of you might be wondering what the Nerd Herd Racing Series is all about. Simply put, it’s a series of running (or whatever form of locomotion that you prefer) events themed around various nerdly events. The first race was the May the Fourth 5K (Star Wars), the second was a Happy Birthday Harry Potter 5K or 10K (Harry Potter, duh!) and the third will be a 5K or half-marathon to celebrate Banned Books Week (We’re talking really subversive stuff like The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and To Kill a Mockingbird).

I came late to the party, but there were a few slots open for the trilogy and I managed to get signed up for all three of them. Not only do the proceeds go to stupidcancer.org, you get some sweet bling to display. The best part is that you get a week to complete each event and you can choose to do it all at once or break it up into manageable chunks for those of us who are running-challenged.

Now, if you’re thinking these folks are small-time, well, allow me to enlighten you. The series (through two races) has donated some $10,300 to stupidcancer. That total is only going to go up. If projections hold up, the total should eclipse $15,000. That’s pretty good numbers.

Good people doing good work.

That’s the real lesson… do something good with your life. There’s more to life than petty jealousy and selfishness. Make an impact on someone else’s life. Even if it’s just throwing a couple extra dollars in the Salvation Army kettle or dropping your spare change in one of the myriad good cause cans at your local pizza joint. You’re helping someone less fortunate. Hell, by donating blood, you’re helping someone in dire need.

The Big Whoop

The Big Whoop

In other news, SPW and I managed to make it to Root’s Market on Tuesday. Managed to get some nice produce and some fresh turkey bacon. I have to cook that up (probably tomorrow) and see how it is. I’m constantly amazed by how much local food is available at Root’s. There are so many local farms and butchers selling fresh stuff, not to slight the folks making baked goods and the fast food-type places. We passed the “Big Whoop” which I thought would send SPW (Fan of Whoopie Pies!) into a swoon. It was the size of my head! Thing was huge!

P.S. I managed to walk 20 miles last week. It wasn’t easy, but I did it. Makes me think I’m going to complete that banned books half marathon.

Song of the Day: Tears are Falling – KISS

Currently Reading: The Book of Fate – Brad Meltzer

Current weight: 271 (109 pounds down)