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Left, Left, Left, Right, Left

So, I haven’t been posting much about my health.  I have been focusing on it, but the results aren’t as dramatic as I want.  On the eating side I have been tracking calories.  In vs. out and the goal is to have a deficit of 750 calories a day.  Which should come out to 1.5 pounds a day.

 

I am wearing the stupid watch that looks at the heart rate and steps and all those things.  I hate it, it is uncomfy and ugly.  But it seems necessary to reach my goal. 

 



 




This shows how I’ve been doing.  The purple shows how many calories I’ve been eating and the orange is how many I’m burning.  Theoretically if they were equal, I’d be stabilized in my weight.  But there is water weight and metabolism and a bunch of other nutritional things that I don’t know I believe in.  So, that explains why things don’t match perfectly.

 

This one shows my actual weight in the black and what my weight should be based on the calculations in the red.  It seems to follow the trend although the last four or five days have veered off wildly.  Hopefully that will fall back in line soon.

 

The other thing I’ve been reaching for in the nutrition side of this project is a reduction of alcohol.  Sometime around Covid I got in a bad drinking habit.  Something along the lines of a few drinks maybe five or six nights a week.  That has been pushed down quite a bit, but I’m still trying to wrangle the beast a bit better.

 

 

The black days are days with at least 1 drink.  I’m counting anything here although my vice is whiskey.  Weekends are an issue and rough work days are an issue.  Thursdays…   But the idea is to keep dwindling this thing down.  It would be nice to get to a point where drinks are a once in a while thing. 


 

But the reason I decided to start writing about my health journey is because I feel like I had a breakthrough today!  And of all places it came from exercise.  I hate exercise.  I don’t understand people that like it.  It hurts, it makes me feel gross, it makes me tired, I can’t find any redeeming qualities of it other than it gives me more calories to eat.

 

Let’s go back a bit here.  Seven years ago, when we lived in Colorado, my wife decided to do a half marathon.  I’ve watched her train and fight through injuries.  But she did her half.  Then another.  Then another.  In 2022 she decided she was going to do the Dopey Challenge in 2023.  If you don’t know that is a 5K on Thu, 10K on Fri, half marathon on sat, and a full marathon on Sun….    INSANE!  I wanted to come and support her, but felt I couldn’t just go to Disney and sit on the sidelines.  I needed to do something if I was going. 

 

I decided I’d do the 5K.  Hell, it’s called a fun run, I can do this right?  I started trying to train in Jul.  I hurt myself, gave up for a while, then in October thought ok, I have 3 months, lets do this.  And I tried and tried.  The issue was my starting place was I could walk about a tenth of a mile before I was winded, my legs hurt, my back hurt, and my feet hurt.   

 

In specific my shins, my lower back, and the arches of my feet.  I was in bad shape, but I kept pushing to do it.  Although I didn’t ever really get to much of a “run” I did manage to get to the 3.1 mile distance sometime in late December.  Then in January I did the 5K.  It was awful.  It was brutal.  And I hated every step of it.  I will go into detail later, but I can tell you my back and feet hurt before the race ever started.

 

But I did it.  I don’t know my time because it was not a timed race and there are a bunch of corrals so you don’t really know your start time even if you do know your finish time.  At the time I estimated it took me about an hour 15 min. 

 

After the race I was thinking I was done with this.  It is awful.  So, I didn’t do anything for a couple of weeks.  And then my wife decided to sign up for the Las Vegas Marathon in November…  I, in my infinite wisdom, said that I would join her and do the 7.02 mile race.  The good thing is the time limit is 6 hours and 33 minutes.  So I could nearly crawl the race at that speed.  But that isn’t the point I don’t want to shoot for a 55 min/mile pace.  I want to be able to do this in a normal amount of time.

 

So, I started working towards this goal on Feb 20, 2024.  That is 257 days before the race.  Anyway, when I started, it had been well over a month since I tried running.  And my first attempt I managed to get to 1.07 miles in 26 min and 56 sec.  And I was exhausted.  Again, back hurt, feet hurt, legs hurt…  But I’ve been pushing and trying 3 days a week while upping my distance. 

 

In November I need to be able to go 7 miles without being exhausted.  I would really l ike to be able to do it at a reasonable pace 12 – 15 min/mile.  But right now, I think that might be out of reach.  So Hopefully I can at least get to a 20 min mile for seven miles.  Which would make me finish in about two hours and twenty minutes.

 

Just like my weight I am tracking everything and trying to get farther and faster.  Farther is coming along much quicker than faster.  The plan thus far has been to “run” M, W, F and then get a long walk in on the weekend.  And I have felt defeated many days seeing how slow I am and how far 7 miles feels.

 

But today!   Today I did 3.1 miles.  I returned to the 5K.  And no, it wasn’t near a 12 – 15 min/mile.  It was 21:41 mile, so not too far off from my 20 min realistic goal.  But it feels like an accomplishment.  After thirty-six days I am back to a 5K distance and it was better than awful.  It wasn’t fun, I didn’t like it, but I got through it and wasn’t saying ‘never again’.  That feels like a huge accomplishment in itself.

 



 

Here is where I am.  The first one is the goal pace in min/mile.  The green dots are where I landed each time.  So, I ideally want to be under the red line.

 

The second graph is goal distance for each day and the green is how far I made it.  In this one I want to be over the red line.

 

Friday, not wanting to overdo things I plan on returning closer to the 2 miles mark which is where my goal is right now.  But I am happy with my progress and feel like maybe, just maybe the race in Vegas won’t feel like the end of the world again.

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