Saturday, January 31, 2009

Faster? I think so...

On Tuesday, I went to the gym to run on the indoor track (11 laps to a mile, ugh) and play a little basketball with Lisa. I had planned to try to run fast, mostly because I'm sick of running indoors. So, that's what I did...

I started out at a nice clip... low 7:00 mile. Then, the further into the run I got, the more I want to really pound the pace. I actually felt pretty good and I don't feel like I was going 100%. But, I ended up running 3.05 miles in 21:45. So... if I would have completed the full 5k (I had no way of knowing, since I was only counting laps), I probably would have PR'd. My PR at 5k is 22:51.

So.... I definitely wasn't running at full speed and I would have PR'd. Now, take into account the fact that it was on an indoor track, which I'm sure makes you faster. But, at any rate, I think I'm primed to break my 5k PR. Now, I just need a race to prove it. Must be the cross training and weight loss. Can't wait to see where I'm at...

Then, I finished up by getting wooped by Lisa in a few games of this relay shooting game we've been playing. It's definitely a nice after workout workout. I've been doing a lot of that lately.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Woops... Weigh-in, Week 4

Can't win em all, right? Well, I was feeling really cocky and overconfident by Wednesday of this week. I had dropped all the way down to 195.8 on Wednesday morning. That would have been quite the loss. But, after all that, and a pretty consistent week... I managed to pig out the night before I weighed-in for the week. So... I woke up this morning weighing 197.8. That's a .8 pound weight loss and 7.2 pounds in 4 weeks. But, it could have been so much better. Next week should be a big loss I would guess. Can't be perfect all the time...

My First Spin Class...

The thought in my head was that spin class was gonna be difficult, beat the heck out of my legs, and be a little intimidating.... check, check, check. All that said, it was really fun. I can't say that I've ever done anything like it. It's the first time in my life I've even taken a group cardio class of any sort. So, that was weird in itself. But, I definitely see spin classes being a part of my new routine.

Also, until it gets warmer outside, I'm gonna depend on spin class to supplement my biking for a while. I don't intend this to be the answer for my training. But, I really don't think it will matter until I start my actual training program (maybe early March). So... I better get used to this sore butt. I'm sure it comes with the territory.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Still Love My Gym, But...

My gym has this "Face to Face" program that I thought was supposed to support a new member to get towards their goals. On top of that, they offer a nice ancillary benefit of a $50 gift certificate toward services or products at the gym (can't be used towards membership fees) upon completion. So, more motivation to take part in the program...

On to the program itself. So, I go in for my first eval. I brought my goals sheet and they had a little conversation with me about what I was hoping to achieve. I told them that I wanted to start swimming because I was planning on training for a triathlon and I also told them that I was hoping to lose about 20 pounds. She asked if I was interested in weight training and I said that I was. But, I also told her that with all the training for the tri, I was probably gonna be pressed to get any in.

On to appointment number 2. A few days later, they devised a weight training schedule for me and showed me the machines in my routine. Again, I told them I probably wouldn't have much time for this but I appreciated the walk-through.

Then, we hit a roadblock. I got in to the gym on Friday morning for my third appointment and it was a follow up on the weight training "I was supposed to be doing". Well... for the third time I told the trainer that I really hadn't had time for the weight training and didn't realize that this "Face to Face" program was all about weight training. I told him that I thought it was supposed to guide me towards my goals. He told me that the appointment was kind of pointless if I hadn't been doing the weight training. And... I had to agree. Then, he proceeded to say something to the effect of, "We designed this program with the idea that you would have at least 20-30 minutes two times a week". And, I told him for a fourth time... "I don't have that".

So, we agreed to see other people at that point. It sucks, because I would have liked to get that $50 gift certificate to use towards swim lessons (you know, my goals). But, it seems that wasn't meant to be. Eh... I learned the hard way that there is no such thing as a free lunch...

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Runiversary Coming Up...

Andrew reminded me of a milestone that I would hate to forget... So, while I'm thinking of it, here's my annual celebration of running. On January 28th (next Wednesday), I will have been running for 2 years. My life has completely changed (and stayed the same all at the same time) over those two years. But, I really can't imagine a life without running at this point.

I was looking back at my one year anniversary post and enjoying the accomplishment of it all. When you're living it, you tend to forget what you've been through. Just one of the many benefits of keeping this blog alive.

One thing that I do realize is that I (warning, sappy content to follow) miss running with the guy that I started this whole journey with. I don't work with Nate anymore and he still lives as far as he ever did (an hour). But, I think I'm gonna make an effort to get some more running in with Nate, hopefully in the near future.

So... if you're reading buddy... prepare for me to be calling about a nice run on the Conewago (or the Barracks, yikes).

Anyhow... happy runiversary to me... Many to come, I hope!

A Quick Lunch Run With "The Guys"

No offense to the girls that I run with at work. But, I've been feeling kinda left out among the running guys at work. Well... one thing is that most everyone is faster than me. I don't consider myself to be slow. But, even my running buddy (Justin) has made big strides in getting faster. Part of me is like... awesome, great job. The other part is... man, I better get faster.

All that said, I got the chance to run with Marcus and Justin today. They actually weren't running that fast (for them) at 8:35 pace. But, it was still encouraging to not get dragged along by them. In fact, 8:35 didn't feel that bad over 3 miles for me either. However, if we had tried to do their tempo 7:00 pace, I would have absolutely died.

Eh... I'm sure I'll get faster. But, it's not exactly like I'm putting all my ducks in running right now. With having just started triathlon training, there's definitely enough mental energy going into that. So, the speed work will probably have to wait a bit. But, I really think all this cross-training is gonna add fitness without the wear and tear (ok, I stole that thought from Marcus, but I was already thinking it). So, maybe I'll gain with the weight loss and cross-training. Here's to hoping...

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Scared, Excited and Scared...

Ok, mostly scared... But, I am officially signed up for the Got the Nerve Triathlon in May. And, because I took my good ole time about deciding, I got charged a $20 idiot tax (for signing up after the new year). Oh well, I'm in now. On to the training.

Monday, January 19, 2009

5 x 100 Yards in the Pool...

This swimming thing is not easy, but I'm making small gains. When I started, I could barely do 50 yards in the pool, I couldn't breathe and I didn't have goggles. Weeks two and three I just concentrated on doing a couple 100s and filling out the 500 yards with as many 50s as it took. Some days that meant I did 3 100s and 4 50s. Other days, 2 100s and 6 50s. But, today, I decided to "eat a bicycle" (i.e. I mine as well eat a bicycle, it's that hard), to quote Nate. And, I swam 5 x 100 yards!!

So... that was a nice early accomplishment. I am already planning 2 x 150 and 2 100s for my next time out. That may be a little early, but there is only one way to find out.

On top of that, I maxed out in pushups on Sunday and did a disappointing 32 pushups. I meant to do more the rest of the day, but conveniently "never got around to it". So, when I did pushups with Adam (another contest mate) today over lunch I was super surprised to find that I could do 40 straight pushups. Whaaaa??? I have no idea. I obviously still don't have this pushup thing figured out. But, that's two big accomplishments in the same day.

Adam and I were talking and it's really not gonna feel all that big a deal until we can do 50 pushups. But I gotta admit, after doing 32, 40 sounds really good.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Hundred Pushups Update

A couple weeks ago, I hurt my wrist doing pushups. I have a history of weak wrists from my college days of weight lifting. So, I think that I might need/want to buy one of those "perfect pushup" machines that twist your wrist as you are doing them.

So, I had to take a couple days off and go a little lighter when I came back. So, that was a slight set back. But, at the end of this week, I actually got further than I have since I've been doing pushups. I finally finished week 3, day 3. From what I can tell from reading pushup entries on my blog, this is the first time that I've passed week 3. So, that's progress.

I'm gonna max out today to see how many I can do. But, I have to believe that I've improved upon my 33 max from a couple weeks ago. Only one way to find out...

Keep em coming...

I started this "diet" 3 weeks ago and it feels a bit more like a plan than a diet. I mean, I know diets to be starving, miserable, hateful experiences. But, this has certainly not been that. Because I consistently eat over 2000 calories and I eat back the calories that I exercise off, I don't really feel hungry. So, because of that, it's working.

I woke up today at 198.6. 3 weeks ago, I weighed in at 205. So, that's a total weight loss of 6.4 pounds in 3 weeks. Since I set my weight loss goal at 2 pounds a week... Not only is TheDailyPlate helping me lose weight, it's helping me control the weight loss. I say I want to lose 2 pounds a week, I lose 2 pounds a week. Neat.

Saturday, January 17, 2009


My ever evolving swimming training reached another point of stupidity yesterday. I had swam 4-5 times already, all without goggles. The last time I went (prior to yesterday) was the first time the chlorine even remotely bothered me.

I don't know if a new batch was just "dumped" in (as I'm sure that's how it works) or if I finally became a normal human being. But, that was the longest swimming session to date. I NEED GOGGLES. Funny thing is, this is probably one of the most elementary things about swimming. I shouldn't have had to learn this one the hard way. Alas, that's pretty typical Eric right there...

I see goggles in my very near future. Moron.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

A break from "serious" mileage...

In the last couple weeks I've realized something. For me, chasing number of miles in the winter is just not something I'm interested in. Instead, I think that it is becoming more and more beneficial to keep up a nice base... but not get too wound up about how many miles. The reality is, the nearest race in my future isn't until March. So, there is no reason to overdo it right now.

So... that begs the question, "What am I focusing on?". Well, I'll tell you. If you've been paying any attention to me lately (and it's quite possible you haven't), I've really been trying to focus on getting my weight down. And, I've had some success. I've also embarked on a triathlon journey, however early in that journey I am... And finally, I've fallen off the pushup bus (again), but want to get serious about that (again).

So, it's not really that I'm scaling back... just that I'm making room for the other elements of my training. For me, the running started as a weight loss opportunity and turned into a running obsession... That's not a problem, in fact I love my "healthy" obsession. But, I have kind of lost track of my original intention. Recently, I was even moving in the wrong direction with my weight battle.

I think I'm pointed in the right direction again. But, come early February, I think the miles are going to come back. I just need a couple weeks to really concentrate on some other things.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Got the Nerve... Triathlon

Well... I think I made this decision earlier in the week some time. But, for the first time, I'm actually writing it. I'm gonna do a triathlon. Not only that, I've picked one that I'd like to do. It's called the Got the Nerve Triathlon and it is in Lebanon, PA.

It's a sprint triathlon. So... a 500 yard swim, followed by a 14.8 mile bike ride and a 5k run. Which, for somebody who has never swam seriously (other than playing around in the water) is a pretty tough thing anyway. So, I'm definitely going to spend a majority of my worries on the swimming end of things.

All that said, I think this is also an attempt to "dip my toe in" to the world of triathlons. I've spent almost the last two years on my running and I think I'm ready to shake it up a bit. Obviously, there is a running component to a triathlon. So, the running isn't going anywhere. But, I'm ready to see what else is out there.

Wow... I'm actually pretty excited about this. At this point, I would definitely consider my two years of running a complete success. This is just an extension of that. Hopefully it will even bring some added successes in my running in 2009. I can't imagine it hurting!

Another week, another pound

It was a busy week this week followed by another busy one this coming week (off to NYC and Boston). But, I've really taken to this "DailyPlate" diet. I've been working out as consistently as before (ok, add swimming a bit), but the difference in the weight loss and commitment to eating well is amazing. I'm not blowing doors off the weight loss. But, I am continuing to eat well and lose weight.

This week, I lost another pound for a total of 4 in two weeks. I'm down to 201. And, not coincidentally, I am shooting for two pounds weight loss a week (which is exactly where I'm at so far). I've tried and tried over the last year or more to get back into eating well to lose the last 10-15 pounds (actually 20 at the beginning of this most recent attempt). Don't get me wrong, I'm not uncomfortable where I'm at now... I just want more.

So... this last two weeks leaves me feeling awfully optimistic of my chances to get to 185. And, I think I'm gonna be lean and mean by the time the triathlon comes.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Swimming: 7 Things I've Learned So Far...

  1. I suck at swimming (so far)
  2. Swimming makes me burp. I think that has something to do with the large amounts of air I'm trying to take in to avoid drowning.. Might have something to do with the egg and salsa breakfast too. Stay tuned.
  3. It makes the middle of my back sore.
  4. I can't do as many pushups because of it.
  5. It's intimidating to see all the "swimmers" while I'm flailing around in the pool.
  6. Blow bubbles under water to exhale so that you can actually breathe when you come up for air.
  7. I... gasp... like it.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

1 Week of TheDailyPlate...

So, I made it through week one unscathed. I've actually followed the plan pretty much to a tee. I really like it so far. And, as of week one, I've already dropped 3 of the planned 20 pounds. That's a real good start. Here's a mini-review of what I like and don't like about TheDailyPlate.

First, for those who don't know, TheDailyPlate is a web site that you log all of your eating and calories. It has a pretty good bank of food and calorie (as well as nutritional) information available in it's database. You search for the food you ate and log it in your "Daily Plate". You also give your height, weight and desired weekly weight loss and it gives you a calorie count to stick to every day. For those fitness buffs out there (most of you are), it tells you to log your activities as well and eat back the calories (the daily calorie count factors in your desired weight loss, so you should be eating back your fitness calories). And that's it in a nut shell.

1. Results (so far)
2. Accountability
3. It really shows you where you are going wrong when you are going wrong.
4. It makes you think about planning what food you're going to eat

1. I'm developing a mild case of OCD. When I am counting calories like this, it gets a little overwhelming
2. Counting calories is a little monotonous.
3. My wife hates the added time I spend on the computer (I already spend a bunch)
4. Always having to know how many calories are in EVERYTHING I eat.

All in all, it's working so far. And, I hope to stick with it until I hit my goal of 185. So far so good...

Saturday, January 3, 2009


Who knew (I'm sure most everyone except me)? But, you have to exhale bubbles under water before you take your next breath when swimming. I kept coming up for my breath and having to exhale first. It wasn't working at all. Then, I put it on my status message on Facebook that I was having trouble and a friend of mine (Andrea), who swims, told me the enlightening news. Gotta love the Interweb. I knew I had to be doing something wrong. And... I was.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Well... I haven't drowned...

I swam for the second time today and felt a little bit more comfortable. I'm not swimming for time yet or even worried about how many laps I'm doing. I'm just trying to get used to it all. The breathing seemed a little more normal. But, still not right. I think I'll get more and more comfortable, the more I do it. I think I need to slow my pace down until I get my breathing right too. Otherwise, I'm going to be stopping every time I get done with one length of the pool.

I also ran around the short track at the gym (yuck). But, it was nice to run and swim in the same workout. I also shot some hoops in between all of that. Did I mention that I LOVE the new gym? Having a lot of fun so far. I really think this is the change of pace I needed.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

1000 miles and a New Year

I woke up yesterday morning super early to get out for a morning run of 5.4 miles to complete my 1000 mile year. It was cold, windy and even my dog didn't want to be out there after a while. But, I did it.

Then, I went directly to work. At about 10:30 our office manager yelled over the cubicles at me, "Hey, I thought that was you over there. Do you know you scheduled a vacation day today?" D'oh. I wasn't even supposed to be at work. Oh well... so I took a half day. I was going to meet Melissa over lunch to sign up for the new gym (Universal Athletic Club) anyway. So, now I didn't have to come back to work after we were done signing up.

The gym is an entirely different story. It's like we're going to be able to totally change our lifestyle there. They babysit from 6 weeks old and up. So, Meliss can go in and work out when she is home with the kids and get her "fitness queen" status back. She really loves to be in shape and after two kids, she is going to start having more time for it. I'm really happy for her.

And... the kids benefit from this too. They can take swim lessons and the kids area at the gym is absolutely ridiculous. It's got a big apparatus inside of a huge gym that includes ball pits, climbing, big slides, tubes to climb around in and much more. Sophie is going to have a blast (already did yesterday). Check out the kiddo place by clicking on the photo below.

And finally... as I said, it has a pool. One of the things on my 2009 calendar is to start "training" for a triathlon. I haven't picked one and I'm not sure how comfortable I'm going to be with the swimming part. But, this will be my opportunity to try. My first swim is today... Wish me luck.