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Day 138 - Bye Bye 50 pounds!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Spark People Day 138
Cardio Streak Day 136
MA006/NC30/5

70F
0630 hrs

Today marks a major event ... the formal loss of 50 pounds! I can't say I'm sad to see it go, in fact I'm ecstatic and I hope I never see that companion again.

It didn't happen overnight and many times I thought it would never get here. We pack it on slowly and don't really think about it as it's happening. One day we wake up from our haze, purple or otherwise, or have an epiphany of some sort and it's like - - BOOM, the fat is here - - now what are we going to do about it NOW! Once the epiphany occurs, we tend to want instant gratification in the form of something, anything, to take away the results of YEARS' worth of neglect.

We forget the gradual changes and now want instant reversal of the problem. Well, it doesn't happen. I started this trek back in February and I thought I was NEVER going to see results. But here we are, seven months and fifty pounds later, and I'm giddy like a school girl.

The journey is by no means over. I've got another 30 pounds or so left to shed. But one thing I've learned over these past seven months is that the journey takes place one day at a time, one step at a time, and one pound at a time. Forget the magic elixir and quick looking for the magic pill - they're not there.

Here's my secret and it boils down to the following:
1) change the diet / monitor the calories;
2) move your butt in the form of exercise;
3) exercise every day of the week;
4) don't quit / be consistent!

I've discovered that monitoring the calories is not enough. There is conflicting information out there but I now believe that all calories are not created equal. Empty carbs and sugar seem to do more for packing on (or keeping ) weight than protein and fats.

Exercise doesn't have to be all-out sprinting or distance running. It can be as simple as a ten minute walk. I personally believe that for better results, you need to breathe deeply in response to the body's need for more oxygen. In other words, a ten minute walk covering three blocks will not produce results if you are capable of walking ten blocks in the same period of time. CAVEAT--make sure you have your doc's okay before starting a program.

I lost a total of 50 pounds so far and I'm happy today!

For the workout today, I did long/slow jogging:
4 minutes jogging / 1 minute walking / repeat for 5.00 miles

Yep, I can still walk faster than I jog, but perhaps one day that too will change.

5.60 miles
85 minutes
683 calories burned

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHERYLEC 9/13/2011 9:03PM

    Can I say WOW? I have really noticed a difference.

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CATHGRACE5 9/13/2011 2:51PM

    CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!! I'm so happy for you! What a great accomplishment! Your success is an encouragement to me!

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HALEBENT 9/13/2011 1:03PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KARMSTRON 9/13/2011 12:59PM

    emoticon Great Job! Slow and steady is the way to go - I have no doubt the last 30 will disappear as well!!

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JSALERNO 9/13/2011 10:52AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon I HAVE FOLLOWED YOU ALMOST SINCE I STARTED HERE IN MAY AND YOU HAVE BEEN AN INSPIRATION. I AM HAPPY TO BE YOUR SPARK FRIEND.

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SOFT_VAL67 9/13/2011 10:23AM

    that is so great, i look forward to the day when i can also say good bye to 50 lbs, so great!!

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SANDRAAAR 9/13/2011 10:22AM

    Way to go! Keep up all of you hard work!

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KRMFREEONE 9/13/2011 10:18AM

    That is an amazing accomplishment, I love your plan,, consistency is key!!! emoticon

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Day 137 - A black truck following 30 runners

Monday, September 12, 2011

Spark People Day 137
Cardio Streak Day 135
MA005/NC24/4

68F
0545 hrs

I started early this morning so I could leave the house around 0730 hrs. At 0545 I was out the door with breakfast and water happily bouncing around inside my tummy. The weather was cool and very dark, although some moonlight was visible.

Today was an interval day. I've decided to cut back a little on the distance I've been covering, say from 5.00 miles to about 3.00 miles. I've been staying pretty tired and this may help in the long run. Also, it will allow me to work on getting more speed at the shorter overall distance which is probably a good thing.

Intervals within the three mile limit will be one minute running followed by two minutes walking... repeat until the end of 45 minutes.

About twenty minutes into the intervals, I was headed south on a collector street. Even though it's a collector, I was running in the street against traffic because the sidewalks are so dark I hate to run up there.

My focus came upon a very slow moving pickup truck coming toward me. The truck was farther toward the curb than most traffic and was only moving about 10 mph or so. I thought it very strange but then I saw the reason... there must have been about thirty members of the cross country team headed north up the same street, although they were all running on the sidewalk.

Males, females.. all headed up in a pretty large pack of churning legs and arms, separated by only a block or so. I'm glad the truck was there, it must have been one of the coaches driving the "sad wagon" for anybody who came up lame or injured. Although I've shared the sidewalks with them over the summer, this is the first time I've seen somebody shadowing them for safety. It's about time!

I went on my merry way and met them on the way back, this time on the same side of the street. I yielded to the mass of flailing arms and legs and ran again in the street and left them to the sidewalk. By now it was getting light so as soon as the bulk of the group passed, I moved up onto the sidewalk.

On the side streets I probably passed another ten or so residents in various stages of walking to running. It's nice to see so many folks out working on their fitness.

My running this morning was very comfortable. For example, I ran the entire one minute interval going up Cardiac Hill. Yep, I was breathing harder at the top, but I made it. Whew!

For the 45 minutes today, I made 3.26 miles. Add 12 minutes for warm up and cool down and the day was:

4.01 miles
57 minutes
463 calories burned

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JSALERNO 9/13/2011 6:09AM

    GREAT WORKOUT! KEEP IT UP. YOU'RE DOING GREAT. emoticon

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KARMSTRON 9/12/2011 9:48PM

    I love the slow black truck. What a great visual. I wonder if he's for hire?!!! Great job working your run around your changing schedule. emoticon

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3RDBABYWEIGHT 9/12/2011 9:37PM

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CHERYLEC 9/12/2011 9:35PM

    Wonderful job. Way to hang in there with schedule adjustments. WOO HOO.

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Day 136 - 750 miles this year...

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Spark People Day 136
Cardio Streak Day 134
MA004/NC27/4

67F
0720 hrs

This morning I hit the 750 mile mark on RunKeeper that I started in February of this year. Unfortunately I started using the RunKeeper program on my phone before I found Spark People so the totals for SP are lower. But that's okay. RunKeeper, by the way, tracks via GPS and plots those activities on a map not only on your phone, but on the website application at www.runkeeper.com. I'm not hustling for RunKeeper, I just happen to like it.

During the last 750 miles I've learned:
that you can wear out a brand new pair of American made running shoes;
that you can lose a butt-load of weight... literally;
that I can now run up several flights of stairs without having to stop and rest;
that I can now fit into clothes that are tucked away in the back of my closet;
that I look very different in the mirror than this time last year;
that encouragement from those who share a common goal is important; and
consistency will win in the long run.

On a different subject, congratulations to all four of the NCAA football teams I follow. Two of them are places where I have degrees and they both came back late in the game. One of them was 'under the lights' for the first time in 132 years and I had all but given up on the game. Of the other two, one is a local team and had a fabulous unbeaten streak until last week. The fourth is one of the military academies, only because one of my sons is in that branch of the service. So all four won; it was a good football day yesterday.

Today was for cross training. Sunday has been the wild card day for me since I set up the alternating workouts several months ago. I do running intervals on Mon-Wed-Fri with slow jogging on Tue-Thu-Sat. That leaves Sunday for walking or it could be the one day that I do nothing, but I've got this 134 day continuous streak going, so I'm not going to lay off yet.

I started this morning thinking that 2.50 miles would be about right. Instead of leisurely walking the distance, I decided to hoof-it-up a little. For the actual 2.75 miles covered, my rate of speed was 14:30 per mile, about 30 seconds faster per mile than when I jog the same distance.

What's up with that!!??? Walking keeps one foot on the ground at all times and jogging begins to lift both feet off the ground at the same time. Not only does it use slightly different muscle sets, but it's a little harder workout. It gives me something to shoot for.

2.75 miles
40 minutes
328 calories burned

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CMOTTER 9/12/2011 7:46AM

    emoticon
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JSALERNO 9/11/2011 10:51AM

    750 MILES WOW! I'M IMPRESSED. GOOD JOB ON ALL YOUR HARD WORK. KEEP IT UP.

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CHERYLEC 9/11/2011 10:39AM

    CONGRATULATIONS ON THE 750 MILE MARK. WOW WHAT AN ACCOMPLISHMENT. I AM SO PROUD OF YOU.

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Day 135 - Easy walking day

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Spark People Day 135
Cardio Streak Day 133
MA003/NC27 /2

60F
0800 hrs

It was nice and cool this morning and felt better than it's felt the last few days. I must be getting used to the 'cold' weather, haha.

I got up, had breakfast, drank water, then encouraged a friend to go out and walk... Success!

People need encouragement. That's one of the things I really like about this website. If you're reading this, I know I'm preaching to the choir but if we had to do this alone it would be much more difficult to get out and do it. That's too bad, but it's human nature.

Thanks to all of you who offer encouragement to me. I really appreciate it. I recently qualified as a Community Team Member and one of the 'duties' is to greet and encourage new members. That's something we all should be doing but again, if you're reading this, you are probably already doing it.

I decided to take it easy on my shins again today and did a walking only day. Great weather, a little sunshine, and not many people out today. About ten minutes in, I came up on two guys walking neighborhood dogs on leashes. They were on the opposite side of the street going the opposite direction (no sidewalks) and one of the dogs reminded me why it's nice to have a leash law.

The dog fussed and strained at the leash and all the while the owner was pulling and telling him 'no' while trying to keep him on his side of the street and away from me. Obviously the guy need to watch The Dog Whisperer because the dog was very much trying to be the pack leader instead of the human!

All other dogs were well behaved.

Today was walking only, no need for warm up or cool down:
5.20 miles
80 minutes
636 calories burned

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LESLIELENORE 9/10/2011 5:48PM

    My dog pulls on his leash because he wants to go make friends with everyone! He is generally pretty well-behaved though. I had a lot of fun this summer getting my aunt to go walking with me. As for the support? I believe it is crucial to maintaining motivation. I am pretty sure I would have given up by now without the support and encouragement of all my SparkFriends!

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CHERYLEC 9/10/2011 2:56PM

    Way to go. Woo Hoo.

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JSALERNO 9/10/2011 11:45AM

    GOOD JOB ON THE CONVERT!

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Day 134 - Cooler weather has more folks out

Friday, September 09, 2011

Spark People Day 134
Cardio Streak Day 132
MA002/NC021

68F
0600 hrs

68F is so much better than the last two months. I was hoping we were going to stay here for a while, but the weather folks are talking about temps back over 100F sometime next week. It looks like we may equal or surpass that record for the greatest number of 100+ days in a summer.

I got up about 0530 hrs and needed to leave at 0730 so I did a quick workout. Today was scheduled for intervals:
1 minute run / 2 minutes walk for 45 minutes regardless of distance (there is a second part to it but I truncated the workout as you'll see below).

Since I was running short on time, I decided to do 39 minutes (it divides equally by 3 minutes) which would give me 13 segments of running.

I've got to tell you, there were a lot of folks out this morning. I think the cooler weather has folks coming out of the woodwork. I counted about 20 folks out for a walk/jog/run including one I believe was part of the cross country team that I've written about in the past.

I came around a corner at the start of one of my running intervals, in front of the cross country runner. I can proudly say that he did not pass me until I slowed for the walk after the minute was up. He was right behind me but didn't pass.

I feel pretty smug about that, although the end of the one minute interval for me was just another minute for him. He kept going at the same speed with easy breathing while I walked and panted to recover my breathing and heart rate.

However, it's so much better than I could do before I started this program, I just can't say it enough - the human body really does respond to exercise, thank the Lord.

I finished the 39 minutes with 2.75 miles. Add walking for warm up and cool down gives a total for the day:
3.35 miles
49 minutes
400 calories burned

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KARMSTRON 9/10/2011 10:46AM

    Wow - you Texans must be a healthier breed than Floridians. I didn't see anyone else when I was out running - save some poor guy in a suit heading to his car. I remember thinking I was much happier running than getting ready to go to work (although he could have been heading to a wedding or such.) Anyway - glad you are at least getting some break in the weather!

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JSALERNO 9/10/2011 6:41AM

    HOPE THE COOL WEATHER STAYS FOR A WHILE. WE ARE SUPPOSED TO BE IN THE 70'S AGAIN FOR A WHILE. THAT WILL BE NICE. LET'S HOPE YOU GET RAIN AND WE DON'T.

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CATHGRACE5 9/9/2011 11:54PM

    Congratulations on how fit you are! That's great!

It's extremely hot here in Redding, CA. My car said it was 109. It should cool off to the 90's next week. I think we have a little less humidity than you guys in TX, but once it hits 100 -- it's dang HOT!

Hope it stays cool for you!

Thanks for all the encouragement!
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