Thursday, January 31, 2008

Couch To 5K: 4-2

A character building run... A headwind for most of it. A bit of calf cramping about halfway through, but it eased up after I got to a walk and never came back. The rest of my knees seemed OK, for a change. It felt harder than Tuesdays, but these Thursday runs always seem to be. I was a little off with some family related stress. But hey, I may be doing some of week 5 in Colorado. Maybe the altitude will help my cardiovascular development. :)

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Couch To 5K: 4-1

About 2.5 miles, those longer run times add some length. Toby was into it and I was feeling pretty good. Some tightness behind the knees, that I now am pretty sure is calf related. I stretched well before and during the warmup walk, and once or twice during the walking segments. Seems to have made a difference.

Added a little bit because I misjudged my turnaround and felt like it was taking forever to walk home... Thank goodness for the podcast though. Some great music in the second half to keep you motivated and moving. The front of the knee seems a bit tender after this run, nothing during the run thank goodness. Some Advil and ice and we'll see how we look tomorrow.

Switching to an essentially flat run seems to be helping my knees as well. I think that the hills were a little too early in my current level of fitness and weight. Having some trouble with keeping on track with my diet. Some is emotional eating (some family stuff), some is that it's not new and 'fun' anymore and now it's work, and some is that I feel like "Hey I'm busting my ass on this run, I deserve a brownie for fucks sake!". Tonight at least I went upstairs to the computer with a Sugar Free Popsicle instead...

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Couch To 5K: 3-3

Done with Week 3! It's cheesy, but this time when the podcast said "If you are finishing Week 3, congratulations!", it actually made me tear up a little. Despite frustrations with my knees, etc... I was able to finish this week on schedule, and not (I hope) injure myself. It feels really good.

It was a slow, squirrelly run. It was 34 when I went out at 0745 and we had moisture (rain/snow) yesterday. The new route (nice and flat) was runnable, but getting there and back on the warm up and cool down was interesting.

Left Toby behind today because I wanted to concentrate on my body. I'm still not sure about front inside of my knee, but the soreness doesn't seem much worse. I think I figured out behind the knees though... Looks like calf and/or hamstring tightness. I tried stretching a little before I left (which I hadn't been doing since I had read stretching after was the better thing to do), a little during the warm up, and once during the run. It seemed to solve the problem.

So, stretching before and after like I did 10 years ago, and more research (and possibly time or a professional) for the front of the knee.

Tuesday is week 4. Can't wait!

Saturday, January 26, 2008


Supposed to get up this morning and run the last day of Week 3 of Couch To 5K. I didn't. Toby got me up early to go out and my knees felt great, but it was cold out. I decided to sleep in and give my knees some rest and run in the sun. Once I got up, I decided that taking care of my knees was more important.

I'm running tomorrow, but I accidentally walked 3 miles with Toby tonight (Thought my turn around was at a mile...apparently not). I'm hoping that wont affect my run and knees. The sore spots on the inside/fronts of my knees are still there, but the rest seem to be gone. That being said, the backs of my knees never really loosened up on the walk.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Short Walk

1 miler with Toby to save me for tomorrow's run, and to give my knees a break

Wore my Oranges (Asics) and my knees felt different, maybe that I'm just fixating on them and causing them to do odd things. I may wear them on the run instead of my Blues (Saucony) and see what kind of damage they do...

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Couch To 5K: 3-2

Another run in the sun. How nice. :) Unfortunately the sun didn't make this run any easier...

My knees warmed up today, but they were still very tight, especially behind the knee (back of the leg) and just running was work. I finished to plan though, so that's something.

I got home and took an 'ice bath' just to see how bad it would be and to see if it might alleviate some of the knee pain I've been having. I've got another browser open as I Google for information about why I'm tender to the touch at the inside left 'knob' of my lower leg... If I can't figure it out, I'll have to go see a professional, I suppose.

Off for some ice, I think...

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Chilly Walk

2.38 mile walk with Toby. Should have worn long johns... wind chill of to 27 (not cold for a lot of you, I know) but my knees never loosened up from yesterdays run, and it was too cool to get them warm apparently.

Dose the obsession over every twinge or ache in your knees/legs ever go away? I forget. :) I hope so...

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Couch To 5K: 3-1

Got to run in the sunlight today. :) Kaitlyn's been running a fever, so she can't go to daycare, so I worked from home to watch her. It's been in the low to mid 20s the last couple of nights, so I decided to sneak in a run when she went to Grandma's instead of working so I could do it in the sun. Glad I did. It was 38 when I went out, it was 30 when I would have gone out.

Used the CouchTo5K podcast for the first time. Very nice not having to obsess about the watch, and the tunes were a nice distraction. A needed distraction. Those 3 minute runs were a bit tougher than I thought they would be.

And now, just because I need to whine... I think I need to find a flatter route (current route) (roughly first and last quarter mile is walking warmup)(make sure gmap has Elevation on)
I swear I hit one of the major hills (uphill) each run leg. I suppose it's good for me. :)

Having some trouble being good with the diet the last couple of days. All the sudden it's work, and I've got very little will power... Very frustrating. I'm not doing anything complicated yet. Just using a food log to track calories (it also does carbs, protein, fat and calculates percentages, but I'm not paying attention to them yet. Feb 1, one step at a time...).

I'm estimating 2400 sedentary base calories for my 205 weight (I've seen from 2200 to as high as 3000, but I threw the 3000 out as an outlier), and cutting 500 from that puts me at 1900, which is a fair amount of food for now. Add some running, and come Feb 1 I hope to see some good progress on the weight. The junk food is killing me. It's easier at work because I only have what I bring. I've been home for the long weekend, and now a couple of days working from home. Picking a pear instead of chocolate is not working right now.

Sunday, January 20, 2008


2.38 mile walk with Toby tonight.

We're headed towards chilly this week. It's supposed to stay around freezing for the next week. It's supposed to stay dry all week though. I can handle the rain (now at least, it used to be one of my excuses to not run) or the cold, but not both at once. The rain isn't too bad if it's not blowing right into your face.

After some helpful input (thanks, guys!) I'm going to use the incentive program at work. It's free money, and now that I realized I can't double dip with two trackers, I'll just track the workouts using the tool at work since it's not going to take me a month of weekends to set up right, and do the nutrition/diet tracking the way I am already.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Couch To 5K: 2-3

So, I procrastinated getting up. This meant that Toby and I ended up running in the rain instead of staying dry. :)

The rain started as I was taking Toby out before I ate something. I only waited 30 minutes before this run, instead of an hour and things seem to have been OK. I'm assuming that I need to eat before these morning runs, and that it's doing me some good vs. just getting up and running.

Was going to try the CouchTo5K podcast Lisa suggested, but I forgot to transfer it to my iPod. I'll try them starting next week. They sound pretty good. I wonder how he makes them. Hmmm...

Learned yesterday that work has an incentive program to encourage healthy living. You track you exercise and nutrition and you get points to 'spend' on incentives. Now I just have to decide if the extra time (I already track runs and walks on Breaking The Tape and nutrition/calories in an Excel spreadsheet) is worth it to exchange for overpriced 'rewards'. They have some clothing and accessories that might be worth it. It would be pretty cool to pay for some of my running with my running.

I'm impressed with all of you who do all of the cross-training and workouts other than running.
I'll get back into it eventually I suppose, but that sure looks like a lot of work. :)

Friday, January 18, 2008

Walk With Toby

New 1.7 mile route with Toby. Needed the variety since our normal route is our run route.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Couch To 5K: 2-2 ;Lead Calves

So who replaced my calves with lead filled balloons?

Rough run. Comfortable enough at 36. I had been obsessing about some knee twinges all day, but those went away after the first few minutes. My calves felt like they were just hanging there weighing 25 pounds though.

Needless to say I ran at a much slower pace, which was probably good for my aerobic development, but, damn!!!! Possibly a mild case of shin splints might be coming on too, but we'll see how things look in a day or so.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Working Out the Kinks

Quick 1.38 mile walk with Toby.

Trying to work the kinks out of my knees and shins. Not sure if they are from the run last night or from the walk to lunch in my crappy work shoes.

We'll see how tomorrow feels.

I wear my iPod when I walk, but not when I run. I think it's because I feel like I need to concentrate on running more...

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Couch To 5K: 2-1

A brisk run. :) Brisk as in chilly, not fast. :)
It snowed last night, and most of it had melted off, but right around the house we still had black ice on the roads and some sidewalks. By the time I got out there, it was somewhere around 32 to 34.

A slightly modified CouchTo5K to match my modification from last week. 90 sec run, 120 sec walk, it says for 20 min, I did 7 reps which maps to 24:30 for the plan, as close as I could sanely get to 25:00 from last week.

I finished in about the same spot as last weeks runs, which means I'm probably doing a better job keeping my pace down. I'll blame a lagging Toby, and icy conditions outbound and inbound from the house. :) Keeping the pace down to where I can talk is hard, especially when I'm this out of shape. It feels like I should just walk I'm running so slow sometimes.

I know I;m not supposed to be measuring distance, since as I recently read somewhere, it makes you start trying to compete with yourself instead of keeping the pace down and building your aerobic capacity. It's hard, it's nice to measure performance, and I want to see miles on my BTT, not some vague time. I'll just have to pay attention to my pace.

I think I may need a heart rate monitor though. I think I pushed a bit in some spots, and I think I had some heartbeat in my ears when I finished. Have to pay attention to that as well. I'm trying to run to get the blood pressure down. I don't need it permanently down. :)

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Motivation, Support, and Running Partner

I thought it might not be a bad idea to introduce my motivation, support and running partner to the world, so people can know who I'm talking about. :)

My Motivation.
Kaitlyn. Turned One 2 days ago. She's my little Energizer baby, and I need to be able to keep up. :)

My Support.
Valerie. My wonderful wife. What can I say that would be adequate.

My Running Partner.
Toby. A slightly over 2 year old Bernese Mountain Dog. So far runs for him are just really fast walks. He weighs in at 105 and is about 28" at the shoulder. Maybe one day the brain fairy will finally arrive. :)

Measuring Fitness

I've been thinking a lot about fitness since I started running again. Probably an obvious statement. :) Specifically, about measuring fitness, and if standards can be used to measure fitness.

I'm a Air Force brat and spent a few years in the Army. For me, fitness is measured by a PT test, and that is how you know that you are 'fit'. I wondered then, and I wonder again now, how do these tests measure up to the US (or world) in general. If you pass an army APFT (42 pushups in 2 min, 52 situps in 2min, 2 miles in 15:54, at least when I was in for males 17 - 21), are you fit?

I still plan on shooting to pass the APFT, possibly adding in the Marine Corps requirement for pullups (because I could never do more than a handful of them). I suppose if I run a marathon at any pace, I qualify as fit, but I need to have a standard to measure myself by, I guess.

Anyone else?

Long Walk

Nice rest day.

Long walk with Toby for 2.38 miles.

I couldn't tell if he expected to do some running though. A couple more days. :)

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Couch To 5K: 1-3

First morning run. Bleah... This one was work

Took Toby along this time. He wasn't the problem. Once we got past his sniffing spots he ran when I ran, and heeled very well.

My calves felt like they weighed 50 pounds, but my thighs felt good. At least for the first half of the run. Second half was just hard. Not sure if it was hydration, food, or 5 hours of cleaning for Kaitlyn's birthday party today. Probably finished about where I finished on Tuesday. Nice to know I'm not going backwards at least.

I'm going to have to figure out morning run nutrition, too. I got up at 6 had some oatmeal and a banana, and went back to bed for an hour. Seems to have worked, we'll see next week.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Couch To 5K: 1-2

Second CouchTo5K run. I used the same rules I used last time: alternating 60 run, 90 walk. Since I measured last run I know I got the the stopping point from last run about a minute faster than the first run.

I know, i know, I'm running for time, not distance or speed. But it felt good and was so hard to resist. :) I'll try to be good Saturday. :)

A bit drizzly so I tried out my waterproof jacket and a pair of field pants I had in the house. Jacket will probably work. It's got zippered vents under the arms, and seems to breathe pretty well. I bought the pants for a tracking class with Toby and they turn out to be 100% nylon. Don;t breathe very well and are pretty clammy. We'll see how they work after a few more runs, but I suspect I'm going to need something breathable.

No walk or run for Toby today, he had daycare and is a basket case on daycare days. :) Yes, he's spoiled. Need to get him in the groove though if we're going to run the Furry 5K in June.

Signed up for the Saint Patrick's Day Dash today. I'm committed. :) 3.58 miles on 16 March.
Whooo! Oh, crap.... :)

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Couch To 5K: 1-1

First Run in probably 10 years!

A slightly modified version of the Couch To 5K run, thanks to my brain not quite working right. :)

A strange start to the evening and the run. I picked up Kaitlyn and fed her, and forgot to eat. :) I ended up eating just before 8. A little chicken breast and Angel Hair pasta. I waited an hour till 8:45 or 9 and took Toby for a 1 mile walk for a warm up. A beautiful night; a little overcast, fairly warm, no wind. Ground was damp from last nights snow and the drizzle that washed it away.

It started to drizzle again as I returned with Toby. Dropped him off, changed to a ball cap from my watch cap and headed back out. Started from in front of the house. Couch To 5K calls for 5 min warmup (see earlier walk :)), 60 secs run, then 90 secs walk. They say for 20 minutes total, I thought I read 10 iterations (which works out to 25 min). The 5 min cool down.

First 3 legs were a little rugged, but that maps to my previous run experiences. first 1/4 to 1/2 mile to warm up, then everything eases out. legs 4 to 7 weren't bad. Last 3 legs were work, but not body killing. It started getting colder and raining harder as the run progressed. Sweatshirt was soaked, and sweatpants were damp. I'm going to try my waterproof hiking jacket next rainy run. I'm going to start researching water resistant breathable jackets and pants, anyway. :)

Soooo glad to be back running. I'm sure I'll feel it tomorrow a bit, but I'm looking forward to Thursday.

Monday, January 7, 2008


I finally start running tomorrow. The cold is mostly gone, and it hasn't affected me when I've done some jogging earlier last week. I've been driving my wife nuts for weeks obsessing about getting my caloric intake under control and running. I think she's at the point that she'll only believe it when she sees it.

I've been reading blogs and books and magazines and been getting so inspired be everyone I've read. I remember the last time I started to run again and the glory of getting back moving. And I remember the misery that came next because I had pushed too hard. I'm going to try and keep to the plan, because I realize reading other peoples blog entries that I need to run again. I really need to make this work.

A real running blog entry tomorrow. Promise. :)

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Another Walk

2.38 with Toby. Took the super feet out of the Blues and replaced the insoles. Much better feel on the right foot (a bit loose, but not bad). A little bit of rubbing on the back of my left heel, but I think it was because I forgot to change socks.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Longer Than I Thought

Ended up going on an 2.38 with Toby. Did some 'dog trots' and they felt much better that two days ago. Looks like starting CouchTo5K might actually work. :)

Wore my Oranges, no shin pain. They aren't as 'bouncy' but they felt much better.

I think I need to get a better jacket and some running pants. More research, I guess.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Windy Walking

Another walk with Toby. new 1.67 mile route from yesterday.

Super windy, was going to go for 2 miles but Toby started getting spooked by the wind.

Wore the Blues again. Think I have the lacing down, but a lot of shin discomfort. Could just be getting used to new shoes and real support. I'll try the Oranges, then play around with insoles.

Running History

A little background on my running history, just so you can get to know me. :)

First, I am not, and never have been an athlete, at least as far I'm concerned. And once I looked it up on and got "a person trained or gifted in exercises or contests involving physical agility, stamina, or strength; a participant in a sport, exercise, or game requiring physical skill. " as a definition, I still think that.

One reason I took AF JROTC in High School was so I could get away from gym class, and my previous negative experiences in gym. I ended up spending class half of the year out in the parking lot marching around in circles doing Drill and Ceremonies, but I still think it was a win. :)

Despite not being an athlete, I have done a fair amount of 'formal' running. I ran for a year when I was 10 because it was the only way I could spend time with my Dad (who was in Air Command and Staff College at the time) and to get out of the house. I ran on and off after that up to and through high school, especially when I enlisted in the Army Reserves my Junior year of HS. After that all my running was for the Army.

I ran my only race, a 10k, the Combat Medic Run, at Ft. Sam Houston in TX while I was in Medic school. I was 18 and finished between 44 and 48. Just before I went on Active Duty I ran my best 2 mile PT test ever, 12:30. I normally averaged about a 13:30.

I transferred to the Active Duty Army as an MLRS Fire Direction Specialist and ended up in Kansas with 1st Infantry Division. Our MLRS Battery was the only one in the division, and thus had something to prove. :) Every one of our Battery Commanders was one of those god like marathoners, as well as being over 6'3". We ran like gazelles while I was assigned to 1ID. I walked like mad too. No car meant weekly 5 mile round each leg walks into town to kill some time.

I was transferred to Ft Sill, OK and we ran, but not as far and not as fast. For whatever reason it wasn't as prestigious to be a running unit there. I got out of the Army from Ft. Sill 10 years ago, right on the edge of passing Army PT tests and about to start getting taped because I had broken the upper limit for weight (180 or so). I just didn't care by that point.

I haven't done anything but gradually add weight over the last 10 years. We got a dog 2 years ago and I started walking regularly for the first year, and then my daughter arrived last year, and my walking gradually tapered off too. :(

Kaitlyn has started to walk, and I can barely keep up. It's time to start running again!

Bruce at work is working to start a Marathon Club, and I've always wanted to do one. It provides me with a long term goal to work towards for motivation. So, November 30, 2008. Seattle Marathon


As part of my research and prep to start this journey/life change, I had to get some new gear.

I'm still not sure about some future gear purcases, there's so much clothing, etc.. it's a little overwhelming.


I haven't seen but one real beginners discussion about watches (or those other assorted watch like pieces equipment)(I'll find the link in a bit). I ended up narrowing things down and getting a Timex Sleek 50. It has two interval timers which will work well with CouchTo5k (or some of it at least) and was the right price. No one mentions the watch as needed gear, but I guess the assumption is that most people wear a watch (Isn't that what your cell phone is for?)


The guy (Chad?) at Roadrunner hooked me up and gave! me a brooks technical shirt (apparently a leftover from some contest.) Apparently because he and I had been talking/bitching about running in cotton t-shirts, and he felt strongly that that would be a bad idea. :) No complaints from me. I know it fits, but I haven't worn it outside yet.


New short socks that I've alway said I'd never wear. I like these! I've always had hot/sweaty feet and these really do breathe like they say they will.


The important part of the gear. :) I did the whole fit thing at RoadRunner for the first time ever. Pretty cool. I have high arches. Who knew... Normal pronation apparently. Watching my legs run in bare feet is a like listening to yourself on an answering machine. A bit disconcerting as far a I'm concerned.

I got two pairs. The original intent was one pair for walking the dog, to save the 'good' shoes, and one 'good' pair for running. Chad pointed out that you can walk in 'running' shoes, so that means I've got two pairs to train in. Duh!

I ended up getting a new pair as the 'running' pair and a pair of worn-once shoes on sale (50% off) . He recommended Stability+ shoes for my weight (205 right now) but I'm pretty sure both new pairs are Stabilitys (because they just felt better)

The Blues, the new 'running' shoes are Saucony Progrid Trigon 5 Guides, with the green SuperFeet with arch support and additional impact protection. These feel great on my left foot (the large one) but I'm having trouble getting the right the way I'd like. I think it's the SuperFeet throwing things off, they felt fine in the store

The Oranges, the 'used' 'walking' shoes are Asics. These are actually use the inserts from the Saucony, since they didn't have any, with no arch support, and are REALLY comfortable.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Well That Sucked

Decided to check out a new, longer walk for the dog and while I was walking it decided to do some dog trots to see how I really felt.

I really am out of shape. I think some part of me thought I wasn't that bad, and that I'd hit week 1 of CouchTo5K and be 'I'll be good and suck this up, but this is so slow.'

Next Tuesday we start and it's going to be painful. :)

Wore the Blues, had some trouble with getting things set up on my right foot. The left fits great, but the right is a constant struggle to get lacing and tension right so I don't cut off circulation to my toes, or fell like my heel is slipping around all over.

1.67 mile walk about 5 block long trots

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Another Walking Day

Still sick, so another walk with the dog. I wore my 'running' shoes to break them in and am having some trouble getting the right one tied comfortably. I think I've got it licked now. The 'walking' shoes feel more comfortable overall, but don't seem to be as 'bouncy'

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

And So We Begin

I started this journey a few weeks ago, and had planned to start running today, but I'm still fighting a chest cold. I got a walk in with the dog at least. Better safe than sorry and let's make sure I start this off right.

The long term goal is to run the Seattle Marathon in November 2008 (11 months from now).

I'm going to start with Cool Running's Couch to 5k program and then we'll see how things progress from there.