Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Bolder Boulder Run and Walk/Jog Recap...

Yesterday was a beautiful day to run.  I could not sleep Sunday night.  I don't get nervous easily (heck I got more nervous as a coach than I ever did as a wrestler) but for some reason I could not sleep Sunday night.  I felt awake once I woke up at 3:30 and my mind and body refused to get more rest, so I just layed in bed for 1.5 hours to at least get some rest.  The early wake up allowed my body to kick into gear much earlier and I was able to be clear and ready to go before we got up to Boulder, other than the 2+ quarts of fluids I  had drank that morning.  My brother-in-law, Preston, had decided to run the Bolder Boulder last minute and I took him towards race day registration as my wife, Andi, waited in the car and relaxed for the 9:15 start.  I had found the no only no wait restroom in King Soopers (everywhere else was crammed and had a line 10-50 people long).  Thank goodness, that was a full 3 minute pee that could wait no longer.  By the time we found the registration tent, I had 10 minutes until my start.  It was insane looking at thousands of packed people ready to go and then 1000s of people ahead on the course.  After running with a group of 400 people last week (that's what my start wave was for the Bolder Boulder), this was insane.

And just after 7:24:30 AM, we were off.  My group was the just over an hour group or 10 minute miles.  My goal was under 9 min/mi and I knew I had to keep ahead of them.  After seeing the out of the gate too fast go, I was in the next wave and quickly caught up to the group ahead of us around the mile mark.  Unfortunately, there were so many people that I went from running at a really good pace to applying the breaks so often throughout the run.  With all the turns, that did not help.  I could tell I was running above my typical pace but not quite my 5k tempo quick pace and had a really solid first two miles with the very slight incline.  Then the next two miles there were some steep hills and the streets narrowed.  Unfortunately the areas where I could make up time downhill and charging up those, a slight side stitch hit at the 5k point and my race bib ripping off one side and causing me to stop to put it back on so it wouldn't bother me the rest of the way.  I slowed down slightly and knew I had wasted a chance at making time up down the hill at that halfway point but I kept chugging along.  Reading this guys blog (http://thoughtsontherun.com/wordpress/) I read something that he said about yelling out hill crusher as he ran the Colfax and thought the same thing as I approached Casey Hill and the highest point of the Bolder Boulder.  That hill really helped me move past some of the others I had been trying to catch after my bib and side stitch issue.  Unfortunately as Pearl Street approached, I felt like I was going to be lucky to keep that pace.  Then The Boss, Bruce Springstein, made his way into my ear.

In October, my family lost my father-in-law, Zane, to a work accident.  He was the rock of my in-law side of the family and the reason his 3 kids (my brothers/best friends and my wife) and his wife are very strong people but part of that strength left with him.  It is a subject that is tough impossible to describe how difficult it is to have to have that heartache in people you love and know you can do nothing to replace it or help because nothing will replace the man that was their hero and rock.  I feel the most I can do is listen to their stories and be around them as much as possible.

Back to the Boss, it was Born to Run (Very fitting as it was the Bolder Boulder) by a very good cover band.  I heard that and picked up the pace as I barely kept tears away.  I was thinking that I probably would look pretty silly to others crying and look like I was in pain or I had something wrong with me, but the pain of knowing he's not here with us really speaks to me in certain music I hear and just out of the blue thinking of experiences we had with him and this definitely was one of those times and if they had come I wouldn't have been ashamed, but my body was keeping water in and also telling me keep running.  Though I am not a huge Boss fan and sang like Adam Sandler mocking Springstein to ruffle my father-in-laws feathers, I have found a much bigger respect and love for Springstein and embrace when I hear a song come on of his.  I ran with that goose bump feeling I get when I really feel something spiritual like that happen.  I ran through Pearl Street with thoughts of Zane and... hunger.  The restaraunts smells were starting to hit the street and slow cooking barbeque smelled so good.  My mind was still filled with my father-in-law though as I finally hit Folsom at Walnut.  Then it was, wow you only have a mile and thank you Zane for helping me run a faster mile 5 after the previous 2 were not so good.  I powered to where we have been parking for years tailgating and had to weave around some runners that just didn't have the juice for that slight incline up Folsom until you get to that nice tough climb after crossing the Creek.  From there, there was no room to run anywhere and I was caught in the pace of everyone else.  Entering Folsom, I wish I had found my spots earlier because so many people didn't have that last 150 yards of wind and I got caught every time trying to pass someone until the last 15 yards.  My finishing time was 55:48, which gave me 8:59/mi.  I had wanted a 55:00 but really to finish that well having to pass over a 1000 people to get there and finding spots when I had them and that experience was enough.  I finished in the Top 10k of my first 10k and realize more today that I have come a long way in a couple months.

I met my Uncle Tim in the stands and we talked a little before heading to grab my lunch and going to join my family to walk/jog.  He was like, dude you are not even winded and I know he was saying I left time out there and I knew I had too.  Yeah, true.  I didn't look it and I probably could have given more but weaving and getting caught in airport security type lines at times were part of the reason.  He knew that too and said this event isn't set up to PR unless you are in the front to start.  Here are my positives and negatives about the Bolder Boulder as a runner before I get on with the rest of the day.

Positives
  • Beautiful town and place.  I love going to Boulder for CU games.
  • The history of it and the organization is quite amazing.
  • Plenty of water stations on the course and if you timed them well, you didn't waste much time.
  • Plenty of bands to keep you going.
  • The atmosphere.  This is Boulder so you saw the things you'd expect.  I saw two groups of Belly Dancers, a Zumba group, college kids that probably hadn't been up that early on a weekend/holiday in quite some time drinking early or continuing what they hard started that night, old people and hippies.
  • The start area was easy to get to and find your group.  Trash cans were not plentiful but got rid of my empty bottle right before taking off cause I spotted the one lady with a trash bag.
Negatives
  • Clocks!  Come on, this is a huge event and I didn't see the time until I got into Folsom and that still only had the time of day.  There wasn't even a timer on the finish line.  There should have been a timer at every mile mark at least.  I like to run and enjoy what is around me instead of what some GPS or watch is telling me.  I think some GPS apps are definitely off (just ask my brother the crap I have given him on that. LOL. Love you bro) and I like to run my pace but in a race, knowing my time would be nice.  I don't want to have a watch when I don't run with one typically and think people miss the things around them by checking theirs so often.
  • The "Lunch".  Granola, energy chews, nuts and hard chips.  I needed something, besides water, that was soft and could be handled in my stomach and not dry out my mouth and that had substance.  I know I could have paid more to have a sandwich but I run with only a little pocket and didn't feel like having to take a card and ID and worry about those as well.  I also feel $46 pays for more at any other race, so something besides what a bird or hippy would eat would be nice. I ate an orange and drank some water after.  My stomach was pissed since I had not put into it what my body had taken out of it.
  • This will be touched on more below because I like this part when not trying to run but the Teletubbies and people that run in the qualified group should truly shoot to run in that time frame.  You are great to have on the course, but when I am running and get stopped because people are stuck behind what you are doing, it made it tough to meet my goal.  This is so minor because at times having some funny people out pick up your spirits helps running.  Maybe there will be some marathon runners that can help with that.
So I hiked down to our car with my Uncle so he could say hello and to meet up with the group before we started at 9:15.  It included Preston, Andi and Jess.  It was a mile and a half track and other than some tightened calves, I felt really good.  I knew it was around 9 and was thinking, there is no way they are still there.  I was right.  I should have just told them I'd find them in their group at the start since they did need to be there at least 30 min before and there was no way that'd happen with me finishing at 8:20.  Well, it was back another 3/4 of a mile to the start after saying later to my Uncle.  I tracked them down maybe 5 minutes before they took off by being the tallest person on the course (well other than the 7' guy that had 1 stride to my 3 strides as I was finishing).  I am actually only 5'-8" but I stood on a median that made me 7' tall and I spotted the 3 of them.  I was glad to spot them and it was cool knowing the course already, I could tell them some shortcuts and let them know of places to find room.  The walking/jogging group is another world.  I thought I had no room to pass doing my run, but this was insane.  Still, we found pockets when our group would decide to jog for 50-100 yards but still passing was tough and a lot of side to side running.  Walking was fun, it allowed me to get Free Hugs from a grandma, some young college guys and to high five and thank the water volunteers and other volunteers a lot easier.  My right arch was tight but I felt great walking the whole thing again.  The crowd reminded me of going into concerts waitng outside and being all excited to see your favorite band where there were people along the sides cheering and going crazy and getting the crowd fired up as you were herded through.  There is a reason Colorado is the most fit state in the country.  We live a mile high, work harder to breathe and people that aren't active typically still like to do so.  I also see a lot of people, like what I was only 2.5 months ago, that aren't far from making life adjustments and the Bolder Boulder was part of that for them.  When I started this challenge 30 lbs lighter, I would have been lucky to finish in what our group did walking/jogging it.  They really kicked ass, even with sore feet.  As I noted, my wife has been walking/jogging and if it weren't for all the people, we would have been under 100 minutes easily.  She didn't plan on doing this or have any intention but signed up because her work sponsors it and wanted to get me in it as her guest.  I appreciated it and am proud of her going 6.2 miles and passing a lot of other walkers/joggers in the process.

So after a second go of the course, my positives and negatives:

Positives
  • Enjoying the course with my family.
  • Getting to enjoy the relaxed atmosphere of the race and the people dressed up and everything else going on and being relaxed about it.
Negatives
  • You already saw my others, so I won't hit on them too much.
  • The "Expo".  After reading 10k, 10 mile, 1/2 and Full Marathon blogs, I can not wait to experience those.  I understand there are over 50k people and another 15k or more of spectators that enjoy this event so free stuff is not as plentiful but I was hungry and still had my wallet in the car a mile and a half away.
I was glad to do this event.  It is something I feel everyone needs to enjoy as a Coloradan sometime in their life and maybe walk/jog it to partake in the funny aspects and high fives of it.  There are a lot of people along the course and entertainment to keep you going.  I was glad to run without anything in my ears and enjoy it all with my wife, brother-in-law and Jess.

So, after the race, I grabbed a beer and tossed it after a sip.  If I want beer, I want something that enriches my taste buds, piss beer doesn't.  Myrtle Beach sounds like they have microbrews to enjoy and sandwiches and foods I will totally need after.  We walked around to see everything had a price to it and thus my Expo issue.  Put another few tags where you get one free thing from all the different vendors there.  A mini pizza, sandwich or smoothie all would have been perfect but again, not carrying a credit card or paying for a FedEx locker I have to walk all the way to the other side of the stadium to get to in order to enjoy it.  I am a cheap ass, what can I say?!  Anyhow, after taking a 10 minute break we needed to get to the cars and go get something to eat.  Only problem was once I got to the car, my stomach started hurting and I was in need of food but was worried it'd hurt more if I did eat.  I toughed it out and we went to get a couple things done before heading back to my mother-in-laws to finally see our little Sophie and get a shower.  I am glad Memorial Day is on a Monday because Chick-fil-A is open!!!  It was much needed soft, tasty and not too fatting of a grilled chicken sandwich after trying to ease my stomach pain when we got home.  Sophie was super excited to see us and it was great to be back.  After a long shower and more stomach issues, it was good to see everyone had come over for the family BBQ.  We were exhausted but still awake and enjoying being with each other.

The day seems like it was 2 days into one since it feels like I ran 2 days ago, other than the sore feet from putting over 17 miles on them yesterday.  I don't have a race until the Georgetown to Idaho Springs Half Marathon in August but have a long training ramp-up and time with family and parties and my 31st coming up.  June is busy as could be.  My best part of the whole weekend was seeing my 3 year old daughter continue to bug us about getting her ears pierced and worrying it'd be a tramautizing experience due to her crying.  Instead she sat in my lap and didn't make a sound as Grandma and mommy watched with me more nervous and worried about having to console her than Sophie was.  I was shocked.  She is tough like Grandpa and mommy.

Friday, May 25, 2012

My run today and 3 days until the Bolder Boulder...

I woke up at 5:00 today.  I didn't want to so I layed in bed until the snooze went off and said, fine, give it a try.  As I tried to use the restroom (unsuccessfully, yes TMI but I read a local bloggers thread about this topic and found it hilarious and may add more to that later (which I did at the bottom).  http://www.shutupandrun.net/2012/05/how-to-not-crap-yourself-on-run.html)  Anyhow, I got my gear on and was like, the bed is right there but closed the door so my wife wouldn't hear me moving around downstairs, closed my daughter's door after covering her up and grabbed my shoes and house key.  Went outside and was like, blah.  Clouds, cold (cold for me considering I haven't ran in under 70 degree weather for over 2 weeks and under 60 most other times with this warm spring/late winter we enjoyed).  I started and was like, damn hiccups and spent the next 5 minutes hoping a dog would scare the crap out of me.  Fortunately they went away on their own.  I decided to not care how fast I was running (and usually don't for this run anyway) but I made sure I  had a slower pace because my legs were not 100%, probably 90% and I kept saying, turn around and head home.  After about a mile, I had warmed up and knew I would be regreeting wearing the long sleeve over the dri-fit.  I had my long sleeve around my neck shortly after and was into the jog with no thought of turning home (though I was like, "I wonder if or when I'll ever cut a run I have scheduled short because I just am not feeling it."  I have every run scheduled, with the assistance of my uncle, until Marathon Day in Feb 2013.  I am sure the schedule will change but right now it's a great 50 week schedule to allow me to do the two 1/2 Marathons I plan before the full where my brother will  be 30, myself 31 and my Uncle still running laps around us at 44.)  Back to the subject, at Mile 3, I was thrilled to have my long sleeve, the wind picked up from 10-15 to 15-25 or so and the air got chilly.  I hate wind, I have tried to avoid running in it at all costs, though it's impossible to avoid, but I didn't mind it too much since it showed me that it's not that big of a deal other than it will slow me down a little.  And how knows what conditions the races will be and my future longer runs.

So after talking to some people and reading others accounts of this race, this race sounds like it is well organized  but there are just SOOOO many people.  I am a Colorado native and as my previous blogged pointed out, this is a race I've always wanted to do.  Unfortunately I never had the drive to be prepared for it until this life and body transformation that began in March with by brothers marathon challenge.

I am used to big crowds with concerts, sporting events and CU football games (sad thing is more people will run this race than people that attend a great college football game in the most beautiful setting for college football, but I digress) so I am not too worried about weaving through people.  Since I am in a qualifying group for my run, I am not overly concerned about this but I am sure it will happen since I plan (hope) on running 5 minutes or more faster than the group I had qualified with.  It should make for a much better run in that I will be targeting people to pick off rather than being caught in the middle of the group like I was my whole 5k last week.  My goal is 55 minutes. I don't wear a watch to run, so I'll just hope there will be clocks at km or Mile points.  Hoping km so I can just focus on keeping around 5:50 splits.

I follow up my first Bolder Boulder by doing what a large majority of participants do, walk/jog it.  I am excited to be walking it with my wife that has been walking/jogging over the past couple months.  We are in one of the last groups for her walk (1hr and 50 minutes after my group starts) but that is fortunate since I will be able to finish, we'll be able to meet-up and then walk together.  She will probably have fresher legs and I believe she'll surprise herself how well she'll do.  She's tough, so she'll be sore at the end but I'll try to keep her going.  I am looking forward to her and I have some time to walk for a couple hours alone.  We love our Sophers and I love our family walks but we don't get to hang out just us 2 very often, so this will be nice.

To finish off, if you read the Shut Up + Run blog and the comments she had about running and pooping, I can totally see this as an issue.  In most of my runs, I can tell after about 2 miles that there is no doubt I could go #2.  It is a big concern for me when I get to 10 mile training since there is not many businesses in long stretches where I plan on running.  Hopefully my body with cooperate or I'll find some nicely hidden areas.  LOL.

Have a great Memorial Day weekend.  Bolder Boulder update on Tuesday.

Monday, May 21, 2012

My first 5k, upcoming Bolder Boulder and the The Weight of the Nation HBO Documentary...

I ran my first 5k yesterday.  I had walked a handful of them, but this is the first time I've competitively tried to go out and post a time.  I was shooting for around 8:40/mi pace and just under 27 minutes.  I was pleasantly surprised to run my 5k with a pace of 8:27/mi.  I am starting to understand the different paces, which are Yasso, Tempo, Marathon and Long.  I have not began my Yasso pace yet, because this 5k was my gauge of my marathon target.  I am not shooting for the stars but something that my Uncle and I believe I can accomplish and my Myrtle Beach Marathon target is a 4:15.

So back to the 5k.  It was Gallop at the Grove in Golden.  I was running with my cousins, Uncle while my wife, aunt, daughter (Happy 3rd Birthday!!!) and mom walked together.  The start was uphill and the whole first mile and 3/4 was a slight uphill after that.  I started comfortably while the sprinters took off and tuckered out.  My uncle was with the sub 6:30/mi group that got out quickly with the sprinters, the 7:45-8:15/mi group I started with pulled away after the first mile and I was stuck in no mans land.  I was looking ahead to that group and stuck in between a group I couldn't catch that was roughly a quarter mile ahead and other than one person no one within 1/3 of a mile behind me.  It lasted like this until the finish.  I had a strong kick at the end (downhill) to gain a considerable amount to the group that was a quarter mile ahead and fend off the only lady that was behind me that I could hear her footsteps before heading downhill.  It was fun and I walked/jogged back up to walk with the other group of family after seeing my 12 year old cousin finish 2 minutes behind me and my 9 year old cousin finish 5 miles behind.  Had my 12 year old cousin been training as often as I have the past two months, I may have been in trouble!  I got to the other group of the family that was missing my mom who had dropped back from them.  Her and I walked the last half mile together and it was nice.  I was proud to see her finish since 8 weeks ago she wouldn't have done a mile of that course.  We enjoyed a nice brunch after courtesy of my aunt and watched Sophie and my cousins play the next few hours while we relaxed and talked about everything including our race schedule.

So ahead is the Bolder Boulder in a week on Memorial day.  It is a 10k in beautiful Boulder, CO which draws over 50k participants.  It is a race that as a lifer in Colorado that you pay attention to and say I want to do that.  It's been probably 15 years I've said it'd be cool to do that, though I've thought about it since I was a little kid and would watch the race.  Training for this marathon has been a perfect set-up to finally run it.  My qualifying run went horribly for it though.  You have to run 2 miles on a treadmill at a 1% incline to qualify and my goal was around 17:45 for it.  Unfortunately, I ran it and had not ran on a treadmill in years and was ill prepared.  I say this because my 5k would qualify to run 8 groups ahead of where I qualified just over 3 weeks ago.  Well, I prefer to catch more people than catch me so it may work out well.  I am targeting sub 9:00 miles, so around 8:45/mi to beat a 55 minute Bolder Boulder.  A month ago, I was just hoping to run 10min miles.  I am excited to finally do this event and see if I can now reach what is a target time though like my marathon target, just finishing and not stopping the whole way is my ultimate goal. 

So, I've watched the first two parts of the HBO Documentary The Weight of the Nation and just 2.5 months ago I would have been watching this and just bitched about how the BMI is full of crap.  Well, I still think it is off and should be adjusted based off your bone structure, etc. but it is at least a close gauge.  At my height my healthy/normal weight would be 125-164.  I laught at that.  I was 5'-8" and 170 in high school and at my healthiest.  I am around 178 now and know 8 lbs would be enough to be healthy, so I feel my BMI is more appropriate around 150-175 for healthy to normal, though 170 is my life target weight.  Maybe when I get to 160 I'll change my stance on this but 1999 was the last time I weighed 170 and I was wrestling at that time.  Well, about the documentary.  My Uncle Tim and I have been discussing many of these issues the last couple months on a regular basis, but the biggest things that are making America obese (I was fringing on that point when I got to 210) is empty calories and not burning off extra calories.  We sit at desks eating candy and drinking sodas and sugary coffee drinks.  I myself have regularly consumed my entire day of caloric intake in 1 hour by eating 2/3 of a Medium bag of M & Ms and drinking a 64 oz Monuntain Dew.  They touch on a lot of great things for if you are overweight and how to change it.  The main ones are:
  • Stay away from empty calories.  Quit drinking sodas, juices and candy.  These have been the biggest things that every person can start with.
  • Eat less portions and more vegetables which help fill the stomach but have very low amounts of calories.  This is tough.  Your stomach must adjust.  Being a former wrestler, I am used to this and having my body adjust is easy.  For the person that is used to eating until they are full, this is tough to get over and takes a lot of patience and will power.  For me, I am used to starving myself or trimming a huge amount of food intake in order to shed weight.
  • Calories in must be less than calories out.  Simple math we refuse to acknowledge.  Diets work because it gets rid of one of those groups with higher calories. 
  • Excercise.  Excercising helps a person sustain weight loss.  Again, simple but a lot of people go on food diets, lose the weight, then go back to eating what they used to without having something to burn calories.  Excercise also is the quickest way to burn calories and allow you to eat.  My appetite increases at times and instead of gaining 2 lbs in a day and not losing it, it's gone soon after because my body uses it for fuel.
The biggest thing I have gathered from this training and hearing people that are working out of their obesity closer to a normal weight or are there is we all have the choice to make this a lifestyle change or just a temporary yo-yo to get back at what you normally are.  It is a choice to change and more people need to make by the sky rocketing obesity rate!!!  I have chose to make this part of a lifestyle change and hope after my year of training for this marathon that the least I do is run 15-25 miles a week, even if it's not to run another marathon or another event but to maintain a healthier lifestyle.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

10 Weeks into Marathon Training...

Yes, I often talk about what I am doing too much to those around me whether it be co-workers, family, etc. I've been told.  So, why not the internet?  This blog is about my efforts running my first marathon but also just what else is going on in life.

So from the start of this whole marathon business.  My Uncle Tim has been running marathons since he was 30.  He has always been in good shape and an athlete.  His running accomplishments include running a 3:01 marathon and thus qualifying for the Boston and running in that.  He had mentioned my brother and I running one but we took it as a joke.  Running was not in my blood at all.  My brother, Alex, ran a lot during college for wrestling and ran here and there to stay in shape after wrestling had concluded in college.  For the most part, neither one of us had been doing anything but some light workouts during coaching wrestling the past few years.

My weight had been going up and down from the high 180s to 210s since college and my brother was in the same boat.  The thing is, even when I got to 188 and maintained that weight for 6 months, it was strictly from eating better.  I was lacking my body being in better shape and my mind as well.

So back to what started this, on March 4, 2012 my brother asked my brother to run a marathon with him after his 30th birthday next January.  My brother and I are very competitive, but I said I wanted to be a part of it mainly to share this experience with them and to feel better.  I was over 205 again and I was not going to lose it on my own, so my brother's little challenge was the needed boost for me.  On March 5th, my training began.  My uncle mapped out a 50 week training for our marathon that will be in Myrtle Beach, SC on February 16, 2013.  It started with walking and light jogging the first week.  It then was 4-3 mile jogs the following two weeks.  I immediately bought in.  I changed my diet.  I quit drinking soda on a daily basis, I started eating fewer meals or less of my meals (I was eating for 1.5 to 2 too often) and cut out chocolate/candy.  Soda and candy are just empty calories but calories I loved.  I have learned to have a pop every few weeks and a couple pieces of candy instead of the sometimes 3x a week half a bag of M & Ms with a 64 oz soda.  I still eat fast food, but it's once every other week or Subway.  I still eat out, but it's half my meal and a lighter meal with less fries, less crap I don't need really.

So Week 1(Week 50 if we are doing the countdown) was good.  My walking felt good and I mixed jogging in but I knew running 3 miles might be a little more difficult.  In the first week from hardly eating and cutting out unneeded things, I dropped 4 lbs easily and was at 200.  I thought I might be 190, 185 at best, before I left for vacation May 5th.  I jogged most of the time in my last two runs, but knew Week 2 was going to be a whole different story.

In Week 2 I instantly cut 4 lbs again.  I jogged the whole time but had soreness in my legs and most surprising, my abs.  Running is really a full body workout.  I at times have had soreness in my shoulders, arms, chest and abs.  It's different from biking in you really are moving your whole body.  Well I finished the whole week and was just over 196.  My wife also started going on walks and we were eating better together.  I bought some new runing shoes to break in over the next few weeks as well.  I thought 180-185 for vacation was a better goal. :)

Week 3 was good and I was really starting to enjoy this.  I still had minor soreness but I was feeling better after giving myself a days rest.  I got down to 191.5!!!  I was well ahead of where I had hoped and there was no stopping me. 180 was my goal!

Week 4 started good and after my first two weeks, my brother was now fully on a 4x a week schedule starting in Week 3 after his honeymoon and getting back into it, though condensed due to his wife's school schedule.  He was still doing it but it was not easy as I could attest in Week 5.  I was only down 0.5 a lb to 190, but felt good and was eating a little more.

Week 5 started great and I got ahead on my running schedule but got blasted by a 48 hours flu bug.  It was not fun but I pushed through my 4 miler and it may have pushed the rest of the cold out that night.  Being sick and dehydrated and lacking food consumption, I was under 190 and weighed under 187 for my Monday morning weigh-in.

Week 6 had work and life keeping me busy.  I lost another lb. and started wearing my new Asics Running Shoes.  They felt much better.  I enjoyed a really long walk with the family on that Sunday enjoying a Starbucks and then taking Subway home for lunch on the way back.

I got down to 183.5 after then end of Week 7.  Running had just become something that was part of my life.  I looked forward to my runs and was disappointed when I had to change planned runs around.  I had found some great places to run at work, at home and at home2 (The Kunkel House).

Week 8 saw another 3 lbs fall off and I was almost at 180!!!  I had run my first 5 miler since college when I walked-on to the wrestling team for a month and a half.  I felt good and I really started looking forward to my Saturday runs.  I was able to enjoy a run with my Uncle on Friday of this week for his warm-up for his "SLOW" marathon of just under 3hr30min.  Most people could run 20 marathons and that would be their best time instead of one of his worse times. LOL.

Week 9 saw me get under 180 for the first time since I was 17, MAYBE 18 years old.  Vacation was only a week away and I wanted to be 178 before I left Saturday morning.  That goal was accomplished and I finished all my runs by Friday night for the week.  I qualified for the Bolder Boulder, though I was barely in the qualifying groups and in the group that averages 10 min miles.  I'd like to do better and will touch on that in a later blog.

So Week 10, running in Florida was a treat.  My legs felt great.  I didn't have work to get in the way.  I knew I just had to wake up before 7 and I'd be able to run with no questions.  I started my running with 2 runs Sunday night after a long day at Discovery Cove to get my legs back under me.  I wish I had run on a treadmill before my Bolder Boudler qualifying near fiasco.  Doing so there though made my runs and pace go really well and was a great kick start for my running the rest of the week.  The next day was over 12 hours at Disney World.  It was a great day and we did a ton.  There were a couple, ummm, tense moments with everyone running around but it cooled down quickly and we all really enjoyed the day though were exhausted.  The firework show Wishes at the end of the night was quite amazing.  The next day I woke up on our "relax day" and ran 3 miles.  I felt great and ran through a timeshare but it was a pain with the beginning 1/3 mile on the shoulder of the highway.  I looked for a better run for the next morning.  That morning was Cocoa Beach/Sea World but I got up early again and got 4 in.  I enjoyed the pool after that run and found a great little place to run my other two runs that week.  We once again closed that park down and you could tell we all were worn down but we decided to do Universal still anyway the next day.  My 3 mile went really well and I had a ton of energy and pushed it the 2nd half of my run and really enjoyed that run.  Universal was a trying day for the 10 of us.  We were all exhausted, all frustrated and it was tough, but instead of a blow-up we all bit our lips.  We left Universal after it closed after a long dinner and more shopping for everyone.  The next day was another early wake up due to heading to Siesta Key and a 2-hour drive.  We were all tired but the drive allowed everyone to just relax and the beach, gulf and sun was a nice relaxing 6 hours.  I wasn't going to but got a little over 3 mile run in on the beach.  It was a great run and I flew back on the way back down.  I ran bare foot and just hoped a shell didn't catch me or my feet wouldn't be killing me the next morning.  It was a great day and other than Discovery Cove was my favorite day in Florida.  We got home around 6:30 and just relaxed and ate dinner and headed to bed by 10:30.  I woke up at 7:00 the next morning really excited for my first 6 miler.  I had figured a route out right before bed that was on the same road I had been running.  I was glad I ran it!  The high school at the end of the road was beautiful and it showed me how the economic crisis had really taken a crap on development.  This was a beautiful area that was completely underdeveloped with this beautiful new high school and looked like development was slow or non-existant.  Maybe it was a more ideal area for tourists, but I could live on that road!!!  Florida was great, didn't gain a lb.  Ate well, drank well and enjoyed the time even with the few ahem, tense moments.  In 7 days I had run 24.5 miles. 

Running has allowed me to lose over 25 lbs and almost 30 here shortly in just over 2 months.  I feel better.  I haven't ran with headphones in 2 weeks and am just enjoying the sounds around me, the sights around me and my sneakers hitting the pavement.  I have two full running outfits.  My wife got a new iPad for Mother's Day and is back to walking today after our vacation. She likes new gadgets and I like running so it's a trade off for my fathers day of paying for my marathon, some warm-up races and more gear.  Running has done more than make me feel good about my weight and my body.  It has allowed me to relax a little and take some time during the day 4 days a week where it's just me and I get to just run and have fun.  It's also let me think over things and calm me on some things I would normally let bother me.  This week I have my first official race in a 5k and the Bolder Boulder the following week.  I'll put up a blog next Monday or Tuesday talking about my Bolder Boulder goals and my 5k run.  I want to thank my brother for getting this challenge going, which allows me to  share this with him and my Uncle Tim.  I became much closer with my Uncle when we coached football for a couple seasons at North and have enjoyed his mentoring and talking with him more about it.  I also want to thank my wife for supporting me and the rest of my friends and family for the time it takes to get my running in and pushing me to keep going.  And to my beautiful daughter Sophie, your smile when I get home is the best way to finish my runs.

Ace