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July 07, 2008

Prolog

When I was heavy, my limitations were pretty clear.  No climbing stairs, have to use the 'handicap stall' in the bathroom, no sitting in booths at the restaurants, push the seat in the car all the way back, and so on.  But now, I don't know my limitations.  Now, I need to find out what I'm capable of.

With the help of one of my co-workers (Joseph), I have been trying to push how far I can go with my running.  It was just last month that I ran my first 5k.  Since then I've tried to go just a bit farther each week.  Now that you know the history, enjoy the story.

The Story

The alarm goes off...5:15am....oh crud, what was I thinking?  Just a few minutes more...I just need...5:25am...oh crud, what was I thinking?  Just a few more...no Robert...get up.

Its a Sunday...I should be asleep.  I should be enjoying my day off.  But this is more important.  Besides, I'll enjoy it when I get started...no...I don't believe that lie either.  This is probably going to hurt.

I should have set out my running gear last night.  But I fell asleep on the couch and forgot to do it before going to bed.  Now I'm scrambling to find everything...

  • Compression shorts
  • Outer shorts
  • Compression cuff
  • Socks
  • Running shows
  • HRM (heart rate monitor)
  • Shirt
  • Sun visor

Should I do a breakfast?  No...I'm pushing my long run today.  A full breakfast would probably have me barfing.  I slice of whole wheat bread is probably all I can hold down.

Light stretching....grab my water and keys...let's get going.  Feel ridiculous wearing the sun visor.  There's no sun out yet.

Get to the track...my current favorite place to run.  A half mile dirt track.  Already a few diehard runners out here.  People trying to get in their run before going to church.

Do the rest of my warm ups and place my water bottle where I can grab it as I run by.  Now it is time to get this thing started.  I take the first step.

The first steps are always the hardest for me.  It is a mixture of doubt and being self conscience.  Plus, the first couple of steps sort of hurt.  Not badly...it is kind of a wake up call for my legs....no matter how much I warm up...the first few steps hurt just a touch. 

But that passes pretty quickly.  I'm glad I came out this early.  It isn't hot yet and the track isn't crowded.  I've got a nice stride going.  Check my HRM to make sure I'm still within my target zone....looking good. 

I'm doing walk/run, so every 6-7 minutes I slow down to a fast walk for a minute to get my heart slowed down a bit and recover.

ONE MILE

That wasn't so bad.  Still breathing fine...still in my heart rate zone.  But I have to keep a close eye on it.  I'm all over the zone...can't seem to settle into a groove.

TWO MILES

Grab the bottle.  I could go farther before using the water, but I don't want a repeat of last Sunday's dehydration debacle.  Taking sips as I run, I consume about a third of the bottle.

Feeling fine...starting to get into the groove of it.  My pace and heart rate are maintaining steady.

I put the bottle back on the next time around.

THREE MILES

Everyone that was at the track when I arrived is gone and a few new people have joined.

This is a major point for me.  Just a month ago, it was all I could do to run three miles.  Now, I view three miles as my 'short run'. 

My pace has slowed...but just a bit (10 seconds).

FOUR MILES

Suddenly the sun pokes out from behind the trees.  I pull my visor down.  I'm glad I brought it.

Time for more water.  Check it out...4 miles and I'm totally in the groove.  Heart rate steady...legs starting to tighten up a bit...calves feeling a tiny burn.

Logically, I know what this means.  I know that my muscles are starting to produce lactic acid faster than my blood can remove it.  But I only have two miles left....I can tough it out.

FIVE MILES

I've never been this far before.  At first I think it is going to be cake.  But then it starts.  That tiny burn in my calves quickly becomes a roaring fire.

The first half of the mile its like I'm moving through water.  My heart rate monitor says I'm actually LOWER than my zone.  I could run faster...but my legs won't do it.  I CAN'T MAKE MY LEGS GO FASTER.

The second half of the mile, it feels like I'm half running...half limping.  I slow down for my last 'walk' and when it is time to start running again, I almost can't do it.  I let out a small scream and my legs grudgingly comply.

As I approach the end, I realize something that I never really thought about before....the root word for endurance is 'endure'...as in "I must endure this awful pain"...."To find out what I'm made of, I will endure until the finish"

SIX MILES

Oh...crud...what have I done?  Walking now...grab the bottle...drink the last of my water.  All I want to do is go home.  Walk it off, Robert....walk it off....do your cool down or you will be REALLY sorry later. 

Ease myself into the car.  Grab my sports drink...I need this...water just isn't enough anymore.

How I got home and cleaned up is sort of a blur....no clear memory of it.  But I afterwards I passed out on the bed.

Yeah, it hurts today...but tomorrow I'll have the bragging rights of the time I ran six miles.  I beat it...owned it...

NOTE:  In gamer speak..."i pwned 6 m1lez"

Not bad for a Token Fat Guy. 

Epilog

It is 24 hours later now.  I'm a bit stiff.  But that's fine, I'm not running again until tomorrow and that will just be a short run (3 miles).  In fact this week is my recovery week.  So I'll only be doing short runs.

It was a great experience, but I do have a word of advice for any men that are getting into endurance running.  Look into a condition called 'runners nipple' and take preventive measures before attempting anything in the neighborhood of 6 miles....owie...whimper...

Progress Report

After my six mile run, I finally gave in and bought some running shirts.  It is past time for me to give up on the old cotton T-shirts.  They rub too much and hold in sweat.  Plus, most of my old stuff is size XXL and apparently I'm a size LARGE now.

Last week I talked about changing my breakfast.  That's working out well.  Most of my weights have increased in the strength training I do. 

My own weight has not changed.  I'm still hovering at 199 pounds.  But I'm not worried too about that at the moment.  My body had changed quite a bit in the last couple months and it is only natural that my weight loss slow down while it gets used to everything.  If my weight loss doesn't pick up after a month, THEN I'll worry about it. 

TFG Past

Every now and then, I like to point out what was going on a year or two ago for TFG.  Today I looked back to my blog from the first week of July 2007.  It brought back some fond memories.  So I'm going to include a link to it.

Please enjoy what some people say is the funniest blog entry I've ever done....TFG's Second Law of Motion 

murdercat2dg5 

Now get off my website before I turn Murdercat on you!

NOTE:  Friends visiting from Spark People be sure to check out the home page to get your humor fix.  And those of you that are hitting the site from elsewhere, check out my page on Spark People.

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