Archive for April, 2009

Weight Loss Update

So, no column this week due to:

1. An impending town election, which means that everyone is writing in to my local paper to tout their individual candidate.

2. A final push to finish up this semester’s homework, which is all due in the next couple of weeks. Papers, portfolio’s, ugh. Now is a time for softball and grilling, not poring over some graduate school project…but, since I already paid for the classes, why not waste the nice weather?

Update on the weight loss. Last Wednesday I ran 2 miles outside in the morning. Then, after work, I ran 2.5 miles on the treadmill at 6.0 mph. I have run that far at that speed recently, but not as my 4th+ mile of the day. After that, I felt like dung. I had clearly overdone it.

The next day I ran 2 miles and felt lousy. Then I played softball…I got 4 hits, pitched well, and we won, but I felt lousy again. I skipped running the day after, but played softball again and felt weak and lousy (still got 3 hits, pitched well, and won). By Sunday, I had a full blown illness (the nurse practitioner says “virus, but not swine flu.”). Monday and Tuesday were a wash (fever, chills, gross)…but because I was sick, I didn’t feel like eating. So this morning I was down to 269.4. Not great, but better than expected for not working out in a week. Hopefully it’s not all lost muscle.

This morning, I tried to run, but only made it a mile. My lungs are congested (they weren’t yesterday), and I ended up dry heaving on the sidewalk. Yeesh.

Why Me Weight Loss Tim 30 Apr 2009 No Comments

And I Ran…

I enjoy running. That’s not a normal thing for a person of my size and shape to say, but I do enjoy it. Even at my fattest, I’ve always been able to run a mile or two (although I’m not sure that at my speed it actually classifies as “running” – more like “glacial movement.”). Every Marathon Monday, including this most recent one, I feel a small pang of regret that I didn’t run the big race. I always think, “Maybe next year I’ll be in shape and injury-free and motivated enough to train,” but that year hasn’t come yet. I’m not sure it will, but I hope to keep running anyway…at least as long as my knees hold out.

When I tell someone that I enjoy running, he or she will stare for a second at my triple chin and think to themselves, “Really?” Then, in an effort to break the awkward silence, the person will blurt out, “I only run when chased.” That must be in the Non-Runner’s Guide to Wit, because I have heard it thousands of times.

It’s understandable that people are reluctant to run. It can be dangerous. There are dogs, cars, and bikes to be avoided. I have a tendency to keep my feet low to the ground, which means that I also have a tendency to trip on uneven sidewalks. That means that I further have a tendency to fly through the air, in brief but spectacular impressions of the Greatest American Hero. I have permanent scars on my palms from using them as brakes on various pavements around Massachusetts.

Because of this, I have started looking at the ground directly in front of me when I run. This has its own set of dangers, however. Once I ran into a sign post. One second I was running, and then BONNNNGGG, I had stopped.

Treadmills are less dangerous, I suppose, but they have the disadvantage of being incredibly boring. Plus, if the belt on the treadmill is at all loose, my leg slips forward a little sometimes, and it feels like my knee is going to hyperextend. The worst, though, was the time I dropped my iPod: It hit the belt and rocketed backwards into a weight machine. Luckily, no one was killed, but the iPod was never really the same.

Even treadmills, however, can’t protect me from the most annoying part of running: the chafed nipples. They bleed. I’ll finish a run and it’ll look like I’ve been shot twice. I’m not sure how to avoid the problem, since Band-Aids fall off and Vaseline stains my shirts, but I suppose a stained shirt is better than screaming in the shower when the water hits my chest.

But, new t-shirts and iPods can be purchased, and cuts heal (eventually). Despite the dangers, I enjoy the exhilarated feeling of accomplishment I get when I finish a run, and the peaceful alone time that I get while running. Many people, who look at me like I’m crazy when I talk about running, never stuck with it long enough to get past the early stage of “I’m going to die. Right here.” That takes a couple of weeks, but after that, running can actually begin to feel good.

My jogging career started when I was a fat high school kid. I started out running from one telephone pole to the next, then walking, then running again. Then I moved up to a half-mile a day, then a mile, then two, then four. I’d turn on my old Walkman with the same old mixed tape and hit the roads, every day, step after step and mile after mile. Eventually I got up to 4 miles a day.

From there, my level of running has varied. I have gone long stretches without running, and then come back to it. At one point, I was running 6 miles a day and feeling great. At other points, I have gone years without running regularly. I find that when I’m not running, I tend to get depressed more easily, and to resolve that depression, I eat. It’s a vicious cycle. When I am running regularly, I’m happier and healthier.

With my recent weight-loss challenge, I have thrown myself back into running. Once again, I started slowly, and had to overcome the “Why am I doing this to myself?” stage. Now, however, I’m running upwards of 4-5 miles in a day and I feel pretty good. I’m even thinking of running in the Tribute – a five-mile road race, sponsored by this newspaper, which features some killer hills. The race is on May 9th, which gives me a couple of weeks to ramp up and judge my chances of survival.

I ran the race once before, in 2000 (when I was much, much thinner), and came in 209th out of 244. This year, if I run, I will be happy just to finish. But, if I can finish this race, and continue to run through the summer, then maybe, just maybe I will be able to train for next year’s marathon. I think it would be fun – as long as my knees hold out.

The Day to Day Grind Tim 23 Apr 2009 1 Comment

Worth your Time

Wow. Just wow.

The Day to Day Grind Tim 21 Apr 2009 No Comments

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