Sunday, December 30, 2007

500 Miles

I have ran over 500 miles with my Nike+ and I have a nifty certificate to prove it. I started using the Nike+ on 4/26/07 and hit the 500 milestone during my long run on 12/23/07 preparing for the OC Marathon. Not bad for Phat Guy!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Interesting Article

I may waddle when I run, but I’m running all the same
By John Bingham

I AM A RUNNER because my runs have names. I do tempo runs and threshold runs and fartlek runs. I do long, slow runs and track workouts. My runs are defined, even if my abs are not.
I AM A RUNNER because my shoes are training equipment, not a fashion statement. The best shoe for me is the one that makes me a better runner. I choose the shoe that goes with my running mechanics, not my running outfit.
I AM A RUNNER because I don’t have running outfits. I have technical shirts and shorts and socks. I have apparel that enhances the experience of running by allowing me to run comfortably. I can say “Coolmax” and “Gore-Tex” in the same sentence and know which does what.
I AM A RUNNER because I know what effort feels like, and I embrace it. I know when I’m pushing the limits of my comfort and why I’m doing it. I know that heavy breathing and an accelerated heart rate – things I once avoided – are necessary if I want to be a better runner.
I AM A RUNNER because I value and respect my body. It will whisper to me when I’ve done too much. And if I choose to listen to that whisper, my body won’t have to scream in pain later on.
I AM A RUNNER because I am willing to lay it all on the line. I know that every finish line has the potential to lift my spirits to new highs or devastate me, yet I line up anyway.
I AM A RUNNER because I know that despite my best effort, I will always want more from myself. I will always want to know my limits so that I can exceed them.
I AM A RUNNER because I run. Not because I run fast. Not because I run far.
I AM A RUNNER because I say I am. And no one can tell me I’m not.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

RNR Marathon - San Diego

YES, I DID!! I finished my first marathon! That right, 26.2 miles in a time of 6:02:10. Boy, it was a great weekend!

As many of you may know, it was Jenn's birthday the day of the marathon. So, I felt the need to make it up to her and planned an entire "childless" weekend in San Diego. We stayed at the Manchester Grand Hyatt in downtown San Diego and according to the front desk, it was the best room in the hotel (corner room with a view to die for).

On Friday, we visited the Expo at the convention center and later that night we had a great dinner at the Blue Point restaurant with a late evening stroll through the Gas Lamp District. Saturday morning, we enjoyed a quiet breakfast at the hotel buffet. A very nice buffet might I add ($50 value included in the cost of our room - Thanks AAA!). After Jenn finished eating, she ran off to a spa appointment that I had scheduled as a gift for her birthday. After I was finished eating and reading the paper, I went back to our room to relaxed and enjoyed the view. Later that afternoon, my best friend Jesse came down to speed the evening with us. We had a "not so good" pasta dinner at a local restaurant near the hotel. We should have gone to Little Italy. After dinner, Jenn and Jess had some very expensive ice cream. Jess had us rolling in laughter from some of the comments he was making to the kids behind the counter.

Later, Jess got a phone call from a friend who happen to be celebrating his birthday as well that weekend. He had rented a limo and was cruising around downtown. I told Jess and Jenn to go ahead and have fun, since all I wanted to do at this point was head back to the hotel and try and get some sleep. 4am was going to be here before I knew it.

Sunday, even though it was my Jenn's birthday, this was the day I had been looking forward to since I began running back in August 2006. MY FIRST MARATHON! Let me see if I can paint the picture for you.

It is 6AM, I have been up for a couple of hours and Jenn just dropped me off at the start of the race. Over 21,o00 people getting ready to endure the 26.2 mile experience. It's about 60 degrees and and I have lots of adrenaline running through my body. I would be lying if I told you I wasn't nervous, but at the same time I was very excited!

And were off! With so many participants, it took about ten minutes to actually cross the start line. The first 6 miles included a scenic route through downtown San Diego which looped past our hotel. I got to see Jenn and Jess, which is always an emotional lift to see friends and family along the route. The next 7 miles headed out of downtown towards the half way point. At this time I was feeling really good, in fact, I was feeling really good the entire run until I got to 19 mile maker. From miles 19 to 22, I felt like I hit "The Wall". I had to alternate walking and running the next four miles, which really slowed my pace down. It must have been a mental thing. My longest single training run over the last few months was 18 miles.

When I got to the 22 mile marker, I told myself that we (me, myself and I) only had four miles to go, which is one loop around Mile Square Park. A loop that we had ran many times during my training days. Then, there it was, the finish line. As I crosses the finish, I spotted Jen in the crowd and raised my fist in victory. I had completed my goal (6 months sooner then I originally anticipated)! 26.2 miles! Damn, what a feeling.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Out of Touch

First, I want to apologize for being out of touch since my last post almost two months ago. I have been very busy working, traveling, and training. I know it isn't a good enough excuse, but its the truth.

Over the past two months, I have been flying back and forth to Michigan for business. I am involved in a global project that is consuming a majority of my time these days. Even though I have been traveling, I have been keeping up with my training routine.

Amongst the many trips to Michigan, I was able to escape with my family to Oregon and Washington for my sister-in-laws wedding. My girls were flower girls in the wedding. They really enjoy being involved. It was a great trip and we had a great time being together as a family. The wedding was in Stevenson, Washington at the Skamania Lodge. They had some walking trails there, so I kept up with my training by doing a 10 mile trail run. It was different and not on my normal training plan, but it was great to add some variety and I had fun doing it.

Well, let me catch you up to date. I was unable to participate in the La Jolla Half Marathon as scheduled. I learned my lesson for not signing up for an event in time. I was going to treat it as a training run anyway, so it wasn't a big deal. Since then I have been focused on the Rock 'n Roll Marathon coming up next weekend in San Diego. This is going to be my first full marathon. The training has been pretty intense. It amazes me that my weekly long runs have been longer than any distance that I have completed in any competition. In fact, last weekend I completed 18 miles which was my longest non-stop run to date. I have done a couple 20+ mile weekends, but never completed in a single non-stop run of this distance. Since then, I have tapered down and will be running minimal miles this week leading up to Sunday.

Sunday is also my wife's birthday. We will be spending the entire weekend (without the kids) in San Diego. We are planning to celebrate her birthday Friday night and I have schedule a spa appointment for her on Saturday morning.

Wish me luck and I will report my results upon completion. I promise.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Carlsbad 5000

Can you say Personal Record! Yes, Carlsbad was very generous to me. My race time was 27:46, a sub 9 minute pace (8:57 to be exact). It was fun to participate in the 5K, not only because I have been so focused on endurance and distance running in preparation for my first marathon, but because my 7 year old daughter Emily walked in her first 5K. My wife (Jenn), her best friend (Kody) and husband (Brian), and myself walked with Emily. After running in my race with Brian, we joined the girls for their walk. By the time we caught up with the girls they had passed the first mile marker. Jenn mentioned she was getting worried about Emily, but when I arrived she got another boost of energy. As she continued to walk, running at times, she goofed around like any normal 7 year old. As you can see in the picture, Emily was very excited to cross the finish line. Mom and dad were really proud.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Busy, busy, busy...

Well, it's been awhile since I've updated my blog. I just got back from another business trip. Speaking of that, in preparing for my trip, I realized how running has become so much a part of my daily routine. When packing for the trip, it was automatic for me to include my running shoes and enough gym clothes for the week. When on the road, I don't have to feel guilty that the family is at home waiting for me, so I tend to run more often.

This trip instead of doing my usual 4-6-4 during the week, I ran a daily 5K, in preparation for the Carlsbad 5000 this weekend. I haven't run a 5K since November when I ran the Dana Point Turkey Trot (31:52). Since then, I've focused on distance runs participating in two half-marathons and training for my first marathon (which has been going really well lately). I am currently up to, and routinely been running, a 10 mile long run on the weekends. And after this weekend, I'll begin gradual increases to my long run to prepare myself for the Rock n Roll Marathon in San Diego on June 3rd. I think my speed and endurance have improved and I am anxious to see my results this weekend. My goal for the Carslbad 5000 is to come in under 30 mins. Wish me luck.

Sunday, March 4, 2007


As you may or may not know, my new found insanity for running was developed when I hit my first plateau back in September of last year. Everyone knows that during a long-term weight loss program, you are going to hit the wall every once in a while. However, it starts to get really frustrating when that wall is two months long.

In my first 12 months I averaged a weight loss of over 1.5 pounds a week. But since January, my one year anniversary, I have averaged a weight loss of ZERO pounds a week. Yes, you read that correctly, a big fat ZERO!

What makes this especially frustrating is that during this time I have continued training for my first marathon and reintroduced myself to the weight room (something I haven't done since I quit playing semipro football almost four years ago when my second daughter, Paige, was born.). My workouts these days are much different. I'm more focused on toning my core (back, shoulders and abs) where in the past I did nothing but meat-head workouts.

When you have an ultimate weight loss goal, you always want to see your progress at the scale. In the back of my mind, I know that I am doing good for myself even though the scale is telling me the same story week in and week out. But finally, this Friday, the scale showed me a glimpse of hope that the fruits of my labor are stating to pay off. A 5 pound drop on the scale. Hopefully, I have gotten over this wall.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

On The Road Again

Well, I am on the road again traveling for work. The hard part about traveling is missing the family, eating right, and continuing my training routine. My company's corporate headquarters is located in Michigan and I tend to do the majority of my traveling during the winter months. Even though I am a California boy, trust me, I know how much it sucks to train during the winter. I can't believe I am saying this, but I truly miss my 60 degree late evening runs after work in the middle of winter. At the hotel I am staying at I am fighting for treadmill time in the exercise closet (it is pretty small). However, I shouldn't complain. It has a TV and I could be running outside in the snowy weather, up hills, both ways. The current outside temperature is 5 degrees. Going home tomorrow (weather permitting).

Friday, February 9, 2007

Pacific Shoreline

On Sunday, I participated in my second half marathon. The Pacific Shoreline was an awesome event. If you are looking for a full or half marathon, or even a 5K in February, there is nothing better than the Pacific Shoreline. They've got great weather, high turnout, an outstanding view of the coast line, unique surfboard finishers medallions, and top it all off with a beer garden at the finish line. The beer garden might have been the motivating factor for me to turn in a new personal best! I ran my first half a month earlier and finished with a time of 2:40:59. Four short weeks later, I cut over a minute off my pace and finished with a time of 2:26:22. I was very happy with these results and really enjoyed those beers at the finish line. I think that is my new prerequisite for signing up for races.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

iPod Recycling Program

You know you have been training pretty hard when your iPod stops working. A couple of weeks ago my U2 Special Edition iPod started acting up. It was not playing songs in their entirety, a problem I have had in the past. So, it was time for the five R's. All iPod owners should be familiar with them. If not, you are very lucky. For future reference, I have included them below.

The Five R's:
1. Reset you iPod.
2. Retry with a different USB port.
3. Restart your computer.
4. Reinstall iPod and iTunes software.
5. Restore your iPod.

Well, for some reason the five R's didn't work this time. I had a feeling something more serious was wrong. It turns out, after two trips to the local Apple store, that the hard drive crashed. At first I freaked out and said, "I NEED MY IPOD!!!" That is when I learned about the iPod recycling program. If you give Apple your iPod, they will in turn offer you a 10% discount towards the purchase of a new iPod. Not a very big discount, but it beats a jab in the eye with a sharp stick.

Now I am the proud owner of the iPod nano (PRODUCT) RED. I decided on this nano because, if I had to spend money on a new iPod, I wanted to at least support Bono in the fight against AIDS in Africa. Also, since I am a tech-lover, I can now break down and spend over $100 on new the Nike+ system. There's something about GPS tracking and the ability to play a power songs at the push of a button that really gets my blood flowing.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

My First Post

Growing up I was very active and involved in sports (football, basketball, baseball, etc...) In fact, I played semipro football until my 2nd daughter was born (time to align my priorities). Since then, I had truly become a desk jockey and packed on the pounds. In January 2006, at the age of 33, I was weighing over 340 lbs.

My wife and I decided it was time to for us both to make a life change and joined a weight loss program. We set short-term goals to keep ourselves motivated and made family members and friends aware of our goals (to keep us honest). My first goal was to lose 40 lbs for our summer vacation in Hawaii. By June I had lost 50 lbs. Hawaii was a great short-term goal, but I needed something else to keep me motivated so I would continue down this weight loss path. In September 2006, I decided I wanted to complete a half-marathon so I found a training program and began right away. I am happy to say that I just completed my first half-marathon a couple of weeks ago. In the process of training, I lost an additional 30 lbs and was really enjoying myself. So much so, that I plan on running my second half-marathon on Super Bowl Sunday.

Today I weigh 260 lbs and feeling really good about myself. But, I still have a long-term weight loss goal that I’m working on, so I will be training for my first marathon to be run in 12/07 or 1/08. I'm not sure how far this journey will take me, but David Fiduccia, "Ironman Finisher" has a nice ring to it.