Weekly Update 3

Time flies when you’re running ūüôā This has been a fabulous week for me! It’s the first time I write down weekly goals and  better yet I’ve achieved pretty much everything on my on it!

I’m going to be mentioning Mike a lot in this entry and the reason is that he was participating in a step challenge at his job and I walked with him to help him get at least 20 thousand steps a day to help him place top 10. 

Highlights from the week:

  1. I’ve achieved all the goals in my list for the week. 
  2. I lost 7 lbs this week which brings my weight loss to a grand total of 20 lbs since I got active 3 months ago. 
  3. Pena 5K – I reduced my time by two minutes since last week, finished it in 28 minutes and 23 seconds. This is my personal best at Deer Island  ever. 
  4. Ran Deer Island without stopping. One of my main goals was to run the this course without stopping. I can check that one off the list now.

Breakdown of the week:

Monday – Mike and I walked 8.5 miles in the evening. We walked from work to the train station where I leave my car. 


Tuesday – I ran 4.11 miles at ungodly hours in morning, ungodly for me! In the evening Mike and I walked 5.75 miles at the lovely heart break reservation in Saugus. It’s a beautifully scenic and hilly course. 


Wednesday – I ran 2.5 miles in the morning and walked 7.5 miles in the evening with Mike. We went from Downtown Boston to Cambridge, then to Somerville, then to Everett. 


Thursday – Pena 5K @ Deer Island. I walked around the course once to warm up before running it. 


Friday – Ran 3.75 miles in the morning and 9+ miles in the evening with Mike. I didn’t start the tracking app on time, so I missed he first 30ish minutes of walking. 


I have only one goal for the weekend: DON’T GAIN ANY WEIGHT. 

I usually gain a few pounds during the weekend. I spend a lot of time at my parents’ house. There’s always so much deliciousness everywhere!

This week I was telling Mike about it during one of our long walks and because he’s a numbers guy he simply commented that I was ‘losing one third’ of my weight lost. That somehow set things to a different perspective. I don’t want to lose 33% of anything! And that’s what I had been doing for ever. Some weekends I would gain all the weight back during the weekend.

I’m extremely pleased with the progress this week and intend to keep it going next week and into the foreseeable future.

Thanks for reading.

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It Was a Wet Morning

“Who is up at this ungodly hour?” That was my initial thought when I went out this morning. I got up at 5:15am and 15 minutes later I was out the door for my morning jog, as per my¬†week’s goals.

I was woken up at 4am by heavy rain but managed to go back to sleep for an hour. My thought was I’ll have to go to the gym instead of running outside, c’est la vie. Thankfully it was no longer raining by the time I got up and was ready to go out.

I started with a nice leisurely 15 minute walk. My legs were feeling a bit tight, I’m guessing it was due to the 8 mile walk from last night.

Saw this beauty during last night’s walk.

I stopped a couple of time to stretch during those first 15 minutes and by the time I started jogging I was feeling pretty damn good.

I figured I’d stick with my previous 20 minute jog to the beach then I’d head back home. I was glad that my body was responding well, no shin splints or noticeable pain from my plantar fasciitis and I wasn’t gasping for air.

My Runkeeper alerts me every 5 minutes of the time and I feel as if the announcements were coming slower than usual; not because I was feeling tired but because I arrived to places that have taken longer in the past.

After looking at the activity log in detail, I was pleasantly surprised. I kept a 10-11 minute pace the entire 20 minutes of jogging! Which included almost a mile on sand, not lose sand but the wet sand.

One benefit of running on the beach early in the morning: no people and I get a clean set of my foot prints!
It wouldn’t be a blog without the mandatory selfie! Look how hard I’m working! lol

Right as I’m about to head out of the beach it seemed as if it was going to start raining again. In my head I’m negotiating with the rain gods, “just give me 15 minutes to get home, then let it rain as much as you want! Pleeeeease..” I’m glad they listened ūüėĀūüėĀ I made it home without getting soaking wet! I even had a chance to stop and smell the roses!

Nice tiny garden on a large round about close to my house.

On the last leg of my way back home the light drizzle turned into real rain drops. So increased my pace¬†and I felt like I was flying. I maintained that fast pace¬†for about two minutes,¬†an eternity for me. I remember thinking, “wow this must be what what real runners feel!¬†It feels awesome!” Again, looking at the activity log I was running 7:30 minute miles during those two minutes!

I get home feeling great. Ready to start the day right when I realized I ran out of shirts at home! Time to pick up the dry clean, whomp whomp whomp. No problem, pick it up on the way into work and all is well with the world!

I might need more color in my life.

I’m happy things are looking good and on track to successfully accomplish this week’s goals.

Beard is going away soon

What? Four entries in one week? What’s this madness?!

I typically let my beard grow for about a month or two once year. No rhyme or reason when or why I grow it; same is true for when or why it comes off.

This time is a little different than previous years. First, I got this salt and pepper thing going on, I kind of like it! Secondly, the beard was coming around the same time when I determined to change my lifestyle back in April, three months ago.

I’ve lost 15 lbs thus far. I’m thinking I’ll shave if off when I lose 20 lbs. Then I’ll start growing again at my next 20 lbs mark in another four to six months.

But I reserve the right to change my mind  when I grow it again before the weight restriction.

Although it would be yet another motivator to keep working … Mmmmm

Relativity

Put your hand on a hot stove for a minute, and it seems like an hour. Sit with a pretty girl for an hour, and it seems like a minute. That’s relativity.
– Albert Einstein

No, I’m not going to attempt to explain the¬†theory of relativity. Continue reading.

A quick refresher and context setting. 1) As soon as the weather is tolerable here in Massachusetts my friends and family go to¬†Deer Island in Winthrop, once a week to¬†walk or jog or run.¬†It’s actually a peninsula not an Island, but that’s besides the point. It’s a beautiful 2.66 mile scenic route, not quite a full¬†5K but we dubbed it “Pena 5K”. 2)¬†April 19, 2019 was the day when I got my behind off the couch and to a gym for the first time in years.

My first Pena 5K this year was on April 21st, only two days after my first gym visit. I walked the entire thing and completed it in 45 minutes and 45 seconds! Not a great showing, but I made it out and completed it. The following days¬†I kept going to the gym and worked on the elliptical machine and the treadmill. Whenever the weather allowed I’d¬†walk/jog¬†a 2.5 mile loop around my house using the Couch to 5K app.

I’ve stuck to the weekly Pena 5K religiously since that first run on April 21st. I couldn’t make it to the island a couple of times, but I’ve¬†completed¬†it virtually. My time to complete it slowly began to decrease.

Left to right: Me; my brother Jose; my sister in-law Vero. Before each Pena 5K I take a selfie with the group. Yesterday it was only three of us.

On May 12th, my time had decreased to 36 minutes and 40 seconds. A week later, on May 19th, my time had decreased again by over 3 minutes to 33 minutes and 31 seconds. Seeing the progress encouraged me and motivated me to keep going.

May 26th¬†and¬†June¬†2nd were my virtual runs @ Revere Beach. On June 9th¬†my ¬†plantar fasciitis (PF)¬†condition didn’t allow me to run, so I compensated by walking 8 miles.

All of this brings me to yesterday’s Pena 5K.

The past couple of weeks I’ve been walking a lot and not much running. My PF is almost gone and I was feeling good. I was¬†excited to see if I would¬†improve my time since the last time I ran it over a month ago. I was only hoping to finish under¬†33 minutes and¬†31 seconds.

To my amazement when I looked at the tracker upon finishing, it read¬†30 minutes and 29 seconds! I was overcome¬†with¬†excitement, joy, happiness, and sense of accomplishment. I was so proud of myself I had to shout a loud “YES! YEAH!“.¬†To this moment I’m still ecstatic.¬†It’s a great feeling.

Vero took a picture of me as I started to run. Thank you Vero!

Coming back to relativity. Completing 2.66 miles in 30 minutes and 29 seconds is a great accomplishment for me, but¬†it’s a joke to any serious runner.

Like everything¬†else in life there are others in life who are better off than you and others who are worse off than you. Be happy with what you have. Look around and be thankful for what you have rather than what you wish you had.¬†This has served me well in life. It applies to all aspects¬†of life. There will always be someone who’s faster than you; someone who makes more money than you; someone who’s smarter than you; someone who has your dream car or a bigger house; someone who travels more than you; and the list goes on forever.

I’ve been working on my¬†goals post and I’ll publish it soon. One of my goals is to complete the Pena 5K @ Deer Island in 25 minutes or less. Yesterday’s run encourages me to keep working¬†towards my arbitrary 25 minutes goal.

Thanks for reading! I didn’t realize¬†how therapeutic writing this blog would become.

Sunday night’s run sucked

Thursday nights is our ‘Pena 5K’ which is the 2.6 mile course in Deer Island. This week I was really happy as I reduced my time by two minutes from the previous week. Friday and Saturday I rested and I was feeling good. 

On Sunday I think I might had eaten a bit too much and it’s my day to run. So I coerced my brother to go on a night run with me, albeit I didn’t have to persuade him much. Perhaps I shouldn’t have rested two days between runs. 

I determined that I wanted to run the distance of a 5K for two reasons 1) I wanted to see where I am time wise and 2) I wanted to complete Runkeeper’s 5K challenge.

I’m also using the Couch to 5K App which gradually changes jogging length each week to get me to a 5K in 9 weeks. 

Sunday’s run was the start of week four and the intensity changes significantly.  There are two 5 minute jogging segments and two 3 minute jogging segments. The walking time is also reduced to only half of the jogging time, 2.5 and 1.5 minutes. 

After completing the Couch to 5K scheduled program, 31.5 minutes, I still had three quarters of a mile go! I was tired by this time but I decided to push myself and jog the last stretch. 

By the time I was finished I could barely lift my feet but I did it. My brother kept encouraging me to keep going and to push myself and I finished the 5K distance in 41 minutes and 17 seconds. Terrible time from where I want to be but now I have a base line. I only have to reduce my time by 11 minutes in the next two months to achieve my  goal of completing a 5K run under 30 minutes. Very doable ūüôā

I was definitely hurting more than usual today but I guess some platitudes are in order such as “no pain, no gain” or “push harder today if you want a different tomorrow”. 

I am determined more than ever to change; become healthier, lose weight and have a better life. So, if I have to crawl while crying to make it happen I will do whatever it takes. 

Why am I doing this?

At the tender age of 19 years old I learned I was going to be a father. At that point I had two options; either man up and become a responsible adult OR be an absent father and let the mother raise the kid; she’d probably do an OK job.

I chose the former and get my life in track. I left my dead-end job to pursuit an educational opportunity which opened many doors and changed my life.

The educational opportunity was a one year program that trained me in IT for six months and I was placed in an internship for the second six months.

This was my first experience in a professional/office environment. It was all so foreign to me. I had to learn soft skills as well as the technical skills.

After the one year was up I was awarded a scholarship to a local college geared towards working adults and the classes are in the evenings.

The second year and the subsequent four years I was working full time during the day and going to college full time at night.

For the past 16 years I’ve been driven to succeed because I want to set a good example for my son and show him that it’s possible to work hard and achieve more than what’s expected of you.

I wanted to prove to him that his environment and zip code doesn’t determine his future.

In short, I wanted to make my son proud; I wanted him be proud of his old man; I also wanted to be financially secure to provide a better life and opportunities for him.

I’m glad to say that I’ve been able to do achieve these objectives.

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Soooo… That’s a long introduction to why am I making this new life altering change AGAIN

Because I’m still young and I want to visit other countries; I want to enjoy life, I want to participate in all sort of activities and have adventures with a partner.

Because I want to play and spoil the hell out of my grand children when the time comes; I also want to spoil the hell out of my nephew who I’m looking forward to meeting in 3 months, love you already Baby Lucas!

Because the older you get the more health problems arise if you don’t take care of yourself. 

For the past 16 years I’ve been doing what I HAVE, which is not a bad thing. I always thought about my son before doing anything. I never stopped to think about what I WANT. In another two years my son will turn 18 and he doesn’t need me to be meddling in his life. I understand he will want to be independent. I will always be in his life but I need to think about what I want to do with my life when I don’t have to worry about my son as much anymore.

These are some of the reasons why I’m making changes in my life.

What has been the most significant change(s) you’ve under taken in your life?

Rest

The¬†week ¬†of May 9th I was¬†active four¬†days in a row, Monday through Thursday. On Thursdays we run our¬†pseudo 5K, it’s actually 2.5 miles around a nice peninsula in Winthrop Massachusetts.

After Thursday’s run I was hurting more than usual. My body was telling I was overdoing it.¬†One of my main concerns is that I’ll overdo it and get hurt or I’ll burn out. Then, I’ll have to start over again and I know how difficult this¬†is… Aaaah!

I’m very proud of my progress and the changes I’ve made.¬†I don’t want to stop or slow down my momentum.

On Thursday’s¬†run I feel that I would have benefited from resting the¬†day¬†before.¬†Next week’s goal will be to shave off at least a minute from my total time, currently over 36 minutes.

I rested for two days, Friday and Saturday. On Sunday I went for a¬†2.5 mile run¬†close to my house and I didn’t feel terrible; I rested on Monday. On Tuesday I went for a run with my brother and felt better than Sunday’s run. Tuesday’s run was at¬†the beautiful¬†Breakheart Reservation¬†which is a 640-acre hardwood forest with jagged, rocky outcroppings, two fresh-water lakes, and a rambling section of the Saugus River.

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What all this means to me: HILLS! There are hills at this location. I hated going up the hills but I felt pretty good at the end. I plan to go to this location at least once a week.

I’m currently reading a book on being more productive and one of the main principles¬†is to work smarter not harder. I intend to do apply this idea to running. I’ll be doing more research on¬†running; technique; length of run; number of times per¬†week, etc.

Running smarter not harder:

  • Set¬†goals¬†[check]
  • Get started and correct as you go along [check]
  • Correcting;¬†do the minimal amount of work for the optimal results [todo]

My first finding …

… skip a day between workouts to give your body time to rest and build muscle –¬†RedBrick Health

What’s your experience with resting between running/exercising days?