Friday, November 28, 2014
I did another half yesterday, and it was really a let down for me. A few year back, when I posted my original Sparkpeople profile, I said that I was 1722 out of 1791 and I wouldn't have cared if I was last.
Between then and now, I had fallen way off the wagon, had gotten much more out of shape, and had stopped running all together. But, since mid year this year, I have been pretty focused, exercising usually 5-6 days a week, eating and logging fairly religiously, with only a few truly F'd up days since July. I am down 40 ish pounds from my high, so I expect a lot more of myself.
That 1722 of 1791 was bottom 4%. Yesterday, I came in 6145 of 6250 - that's bottom 2%. I was actually bottom 1% of the men. I know I shouldn't be so whiny - I finished. My time was faster than before. But, as I have plateaued for the past few weeks on the scale, I was looking for a real non-scale victory.
I do have another one coming up in January. I have to see some real progress by then. I have to.
Not to be a complete downer, the rest of my family had awesome runs yesterday. My wife ran the 5k in 32:20 (my original goal board goal was 35:00 for me on a 5k which I did. Next is 33:00. Her 32:20 is very impressive to me!). My daughter broke 2:00 on the half for the first time! And, my son actually came in 52nd overall in the half (out of that 6250) - friggin unbelievable!
And, despite my inability to move much yesterday after the race (and my extremely limited mobility today), we did have a really nice Thanksgiving.
Hope you did too!
Monday, November 17, 2014
Ever since I was a little kid, I have wanted to go to Notre Dame for a football game. You grow up Irish Catholic, it's on your list. When it was time for me to apply to college way back when, I did not put too much thought into it. I was fortunate to get a free ride to a good school in Philly (Temple - Go Owls!), but, Notre Dame was not even a consideration because, while we did not grow up "wanting" for anything, money was not something that was available.
This weekend, I got to check this one item off of my bucket list thanks to a friend with a brilliant son who is now a sophomore at Notre Dame. It came together and my son and I headed up on Friday (having put Rudy on earlier in the week to get in the spirit).
Usually, I oversell things in my mind and I come up short. But, this is one time when my expectations were left in the dust. Everything was so much more than I ever imagined it could be.
But, I think my favorite part was going inside the Gold Dome (the administration building). My friend's son would meet us upstairs instead of walking in with us. I was confused. Apparently, as a student, you cannot walk up the front steps or, tradition has it that you will never graduate from Notre Dame. So, we started walking toward the steps. And, my son stops me. He says, "Dad. I am not walking up those steps because I don't know that I am not going to Notre Dame."
While I know it may be far fetched from a financial standpoint, I have to say, my heart swelled that he had gotten hooked on the tradition that quickly.
We are heading up to Johnson City, Tennessee this coming Sunday so he can go on his first college tour - East Tennessee State - on Monday. He said he is concerned with going immediately after seeing a campus like Notre Dame. My thought is that if he likes East Tennessee after Notre Dame, it's definitely a school for him. But, a kid can dream...
(And, I did not slip up on my progress in these pictures - I just had layers and layers of clothes on!)
Wednesday, November 12, 2014
One of my Sparkfriends was needing some motivation today and I relayed something from this weekend that each of you needs to know about too.
While we may be connected only through the magic of Sparkpeople, I realized just how real the support, and friendship and motivation I get from this is. My son was running in a state cross country meet, and being OCD, I made sure we were there early. But, it was cold, so we sat in the car for a while and were killing time.
Somehow, Sparkpeople came up, and then I started spouting off and showing off everyone's struggles and successes. How PERSISTENTTIM has gone from being winded sitting on the step doing a video to, a few month's later, being able to walk and video at the same time without being winded. How MOONIUS has been losing weight trampolining and is the reason I bought a body fat scale. How ZAFTIGDIOSA has been working her butt off one pound at a time and will be a plus sized model (and they agreed). How WEWRTFO has dropped from the mid 500s to under 400, went on vacation and still managed to lose weight. How BELLA673 has dropped 9 pounds since September despite the fact that she did not have all that much to lose. Showing them before and afters of everyone and telling them that ADARKARA is a freak about kettlebell workouts and The Princess Bride, and the advice given to me by TJOHNOCONNOR and BCJCPDX2012 and everyone else that chimes in from time to time.
Seriously, spouting off is what I was doing. I guess I did not realize how invested I have become in your successes and that it truly does make me happy - happy enough to share with my family - when you succeed.
So keep it up, your success is my motivation.
Friday, October 10, 2014
I have been putting it off as long as I could. I added two notches over the past month or two. But, since the beginning of the year, I have gone from the outermost notch to my second, "handmade" notch. And, I need another. But, the loose end is already too long to add one more.
So, a new one this weekend. And, with continued effort, I hope to have a similar post in another 9-12 months!
Thursday, October 09, 2014
When my wife and I bought our first house in Philly back in 1992, it had no landscaping. We wanted to get some put in, but did not have the money to have it installed. So a local nursery made a plan and told us you just "drop the shovel in the ground and kick it." We figured with about 50 plants, we could get it done in a day. No way. The drop and kick method was replaced with four full weekends of ground preparation (including about 10 cubic yards of processed fertilizer which, I kid you not, was processed from the Philly sewer system). In the summer. Steaming. Two years married. I am surprised one of us didn't take a shovel to the other and make the other fertilizer. It was that bad. After we finally got the ground prepared, it was another two full weekends of planting. When it was done, it looked unbelievable. We lived in that house for four years, and we took such good care of that landscaping. Out there every weekend, weeding and trimming to maintain it.
We have moved a few times since. One time the builder installed the landscaping. Another time, we had money, had a landscape architect draw up a plan, and we spent silly money on the landscaping. Bridges, stone dry creek beds. It was beautiful. But, over a 10 year period it got overgrown. Every couple of years, we would bring someone in to clean it up and make it look good again.
But, ultimately, we never had such pride as we did with that original landscaping. The blood, sweat and tears (and stench of steaming human waste) that went in to it created a sense of pride in my wife and I that could not be matched by the most beautiful landscaping paid for with cash.
What made me think of this was a post by ZAFTIGDIOSA where she jokingly said she wished she could snap her fingers and be at the size she wanted. And said she knew it would take effort and patience.
We all would like that finger snapping ability. What I'd give to be at 180 tomorrow, and, like I have set as a new goal, be able to walk on a beach shirtless, confidently. But, I will give that blood, sweat and tears (and workout stench (fortunately, not steaming human waste)) to get there. No, it's not drop and kick or a snap of the fingers. But, when I get there, I will take pride in what I have achieved. And, I believe, with that pride will come the same pride to maintain because I will know the real effort that went in to it.
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