Thursday, 19 May 2011

The Morning After

I knew that it was going to hurt.  The morning after my first run in years was bound to bring pain.  I was prepared for the pain and ready to push on through it.  Then, just before 4:30, I woke up.  I was a bit sore and stiff but not too bad...until I started stretching.  OUCH.  Why am I up at this ungodly hour about to inflict more pain upon myself?  Once I got through the stretching and started out on my run things loosened up nicely and the run was pretty good.  I was a little slower than yesterday but not much.  All of this being said, I am popping some advil with my vitamins this morning.
I know some people like to say some sort of mantra when they run and others will listen to music.  I just run and think.  Unfortunately I can not control what I think about at all.  Yesterday's run was great.  I have a notoriously horrible memory and, during yesterday's run, I remembered to do all kinds of stuff when I got back to the house.  It was pretty crazy because my wife usually has to do all of the remembering (and with full-time jobs and three kids and a house to run and a dog and blah blah blah, that is a lot of remembering.)  I was completely on the ball...a changed man.  Today, however, the powers of recall that I had been blessed with were gone.  I was no longer super human.  My thoughts today just ambled on and on.  Why are there people on my street still partying at 5 AM on a Thursday morning?  Why do people have to park their cars in their driveways so that they are blocking the sidewalk?  Why am I so misunderstood?  OK...I just made up the last question.
Well my second run of the new me is in the books.  I feel pretty fantastic and I am thinking about signing up for a 5k race that is coming up in a few weeks.  Life is good.

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

The Break of Dawn

Actually it was well before the break of dawn when I got up and at 'em this morning.  I set the alarm clock for a quarter after four knowing that I would hit snooze a couple of times before I could actually get up.  I was right...two snooze hits and I was up at 4:33 in the AM.  For some reason I slept fitfully, waking up every hour or two last night.  Maybe it was in anticipation of the journey that I would embark on in the morning.  Or maybe I just slept funny.  At any rate, I got up in time to go for my first run in years.
At about 4:45 I left the house.  I haven't really run for a long time so I decided that I would go for a nice easy run.  5k it was...easy - well, not super easy.  The best runners in the world run 5k in 14 or 15 minutes.  I didn't quite hit that time.  I missed it by about 16 or 17 minutes.  Not great but not too shabby either for an out of shape old guy.  I finished my first 5k run in 31:03.  It hurt a bit.  A little past my halfway mark I started to feel some cramping but other than that it was a piece of cake.
I have to say that I am quite happy.  I went for a run, walked the dog (a really nice way to cool down), ate a breakfast of scrambled eggs and rice with hot sauce, and woke up the family.  Now here I am at the office ready to begin a new day.  Of course, the best part so far was turning my running blog into an actual running blog.  Yay me.  Stay tuned for a full report on what hurts when I wake up tomorrow.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

I Am Not Perfect...

But at least I am completely impulsive.  Despite having told myself (and my wife) that I am going to wait until I am back down to 160 lbs before I attempt to begin my running, I have decided that this simply will not do.  After checking out running sites and blogs for the past week or two and then finally starting my own (yesterday) I have decided that there is no time like the present.  Running will commence tomorrow morning...I hope. 
I have been researching available races in my area and I have found one in mid-June.  It offers a 10k and a 5k race.  I think that I will shoot for the 5k as this will be my first race in well over two decades.  My last race was in high school where I finished a solid 27th out of 73 runners in the South Western Ontario finals before throwing up the contents of what I had consumed at the bar the previous evening.  Ahhh, high school.
Tomorrow marks a new beginning as I start the quest for not finishing in last place in a race.  I feel reasonably good at the prospect as I am not as totally out of shape as I was a mere month and a half ago.  I would like to take a moment and thank Max (my dog) for this...we have been averaging about 20k to 25k in walks per week with the occasional sprint thrown in because there is nothing like racing an animal that is much faster than you (especially when you hold the leash.)
I have also made another dietary decision regarding my most favourite of all parts of my diet...BEER.  In order to cut down further on beer consumption I have decided to (mostly) only drink Guinness.  I know, I know.  It sounds crazy but, because Guinness is not as readily available, it will cut down on the possibility that I will drink it.  Also, it is much more expensive than most of the other beverages and, due to my always limited finances, I will only be able to afford so much.  It also makes a delicious treat to reward major accomplishments (like running in my first race in over two decades.)
That is all for now.  Keep tuned for how things are progressing.  

Monday, 16 May 2011

Fat, Drunk, and Stupid is no way to go through life.

These are the words of advice that were imparted to Flounder by Dean Wormer in the movie, Animal House.  These are also the words that make up my new mantra.  I guess I am not stupid but I did drop out of university so that certainly doesn't speak well of me.  Fat and Drunk, however, are two words that may apply.  As a once-upon-a-time party animal beer is still a big part of my life...and fat...well fat tends to come upon us as we get older and get less exercise.  These are the things I am looking to overcome.
I used to be in pretty good shape.  I ran cross country in high school and sporadically through adulthood.  However, exercise has not been part of my routine for a number of years.  As I have grown older, taken on a full time job, gotten married, and had kids I have not exactly made keeping in shape a priority.  This year I will hit one of those milestone ages.  I will be the four oh in November.  I have decided that I am going to enter my 40s in much better shape than I spent my 30s.  I am going to do it through running and this blog will be my tool to keep me honest.
About six weeks ago I came back home from a mini vacation with the wife and kids and in-laws.  It was at one of those hotels where it is just a giant water park on the inside.  As I was downloading my pictures I noticed something.  I am getting fat.  My wife had already decided to join Weight Watchers so we had a brand new scale in the house.  I got on it and found that I pushed my way up to a whopping 191.6 pounds.  I couldn't believe it.  When I graduated high school I weighed 140 lbs.  For the first half of my twenties I was generally around 150 lbs.  I knew I was gaining weight (my clothing would tell me) but I didn't know how bad it had gotten. 
As my wife had joined Weight Watchers I, too, decided that I would try to lose some pounds and then start running my way back into shape.  I don't do well with organized things like Weight Watchers so I decided to cut a few things out of my diet.  No more fatty snacks (just fresh fruits and veggies between meals.)  No more sugary pops (now it's just down to the occasional Coke Zero.)  Portion sizes - reduced.  Last but not least, the beer.  OK...I haven't stopped drinking beer but I have cut back considerably.  I am proud to say that I am about 16 or 17 pounds lighter than I was just a month and a half ago.  The dietary changes coupled with extra long walks with the dog are paying off.
I am not quite prepared to start running until I drop a few more pounds but figured that writing a blog would help me to stay motivated and maybe even entertain complete strangers.  I will try to post every few days so please come back to see how I am progressing.  Thanks.