Sunday, December 23, 2012

Running Update for November... Updated in December

We are flying high over the United States on our way to Florida where we will spend one and half days before departing on our cruise. The plan for the cruise is to work out everyday. Treadmill, track, or running on the beach... Keep the running alive even while being on vacation.

My running the past month has been probably once or twice a week on average. With the days getting darker earlier and the cold starting to set in has led me back to running on our treadmill. I joined the gym at work, but have only been there once... That was only to check it out and see if I would like it. I need to get a new lock and figure out a routine for using the work gym. In the meantime, I have been running regularly on the old treadmill in the basement.

I really do not mind running on the treadmill. However, since I got my Garmin watch and like tracking miles and where I run, I miss not being outside to run. A few times when it has been nice, I have run outside. It is so easy to get cold running outside even when the temperatures have not been bad at all. Not having the right running clothes for winter has a lot to do about that problem.

The above three paragraphs were written while on our way to our cruise...  I never got back into finish up this draft blog posting and just came across it today.  So much for keeping the blogging going as I mentioned in my last post.  Instead of clearing this post, I decided I would go ahead and post it.

I did keep the exercise going during our vacation back in November.  I ran a couple times during our time in Florida and then while on the cruise ship.  Even though I ran, I gained a lot of weight.  With the vacation and holidays which includes a lot of eating, the battle of getting to my target weight is not working too well.

The running continued into December, but so did the eating.  I am basically back up to where I was a year ago when I started all of my exercise.  It still amazes me that when I take off a week or two from running that the next time I run I feel horrible.  It should be a lesson to myself not to take off because it is just like starting out new when I start running after a week or two off.

Until next time... Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Already into October and My Update

It is hard to believe that we are already into the month of October.  In fact, we are fast approaching the end of the month.  The end of football season and the beginning of basketball season.  Where did the Fall go?

I have been running on a regular basis.  This past week, I decided to join on our gym at work.  I figured it would help motivate me to lift weights because I am definitely not doing so with my home weight set.  I also joined the gym so that as it gets colder out, I have a place to run inside.  They have a track that is indoors, but it is only 1/8 of mile around.  Yeah, so that is a lot of laps to make one mile.  Still, better than running outside and I have treadmills if I need them.

My races are over for this year.  I thought about possibly doing another 5K in November, but at this point I do not think I will be doing so.  Some friends are going to be running in the Thanksgiving races, but I will be headed to Florida at that time or on a boat enjoying cold drinks.  So, I do not think I will be running in any more races this year.

Next year I am looking forward to my first ever attempt at running a 10K.  Right now, that first time appears that it will take place in Denver, Colorado.  I am looking to sustain my 5K running through the winter months running at the gym or possibly outside if there are nice days.  Then, starting in February or March, I plan to start training for the 10K.  I have only run the mileage for what is a 10K once or twice while out running in my neighborhood.... never in a race.  I am excited!

Happy running!  Until next time!

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Time Flies Once Again...

Well, here we are early into September and I have not posted anything since July. I am going to try and pick up my posts again and fill in some of the blanks from the past few months. I trust everyone had a fun and safe summer. I know my summer was crazy! July was so busy with traveling and I turned 40 that it kept me away from writing anything at all. Yes, I thought about posting updates, but I just simply did not take the time to do so.

I intend to start regular updates once again. I know, this is a common theme in my updates over the course of the past few years, but I do intend to get regular updates posted at least once a month. I should have a few more updates before the end of the month to catch up on some of the things that have taken place since July.


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Month Seven Update and Third Race of the Year Results

Month Seven Front Shot
Front View Month 7 Update
July brought me to month seven of my life style change. Eating differently and working out at least three times a week. All of this since January 2, 2012. I mentioned in my last update that I would post picture updates of my weight loss status. After seven months, I really cannot see a difference from month two, three, or seven. Even though when I look down I think I can see a flatter stomach, but still when I stand in front of a mirror or look at my pictures, I can still see my gut. Ah, the love of beer and not eating right for so long makes it fun to try and lose the belly. I have mentioned it a number of times, but last year when I did this same thing the weight seemed to drop off much easier and I could see major differences when looking in the mirror or viewing pictures. Maybe it is because I am nearing in on the big 40, but this time I do not see the difference.

Month Seven Side View
Month Seven Side View
I feel better and can run farther. I do not ache when I run and I cannot wait until I run again. When I do not run, I try to figure out when I will be able to get another run in as soon as possible. Still, I do not see any differences in how I look. While only a little frustrating, it is by no means going to deter me from continuing to eat well and run.

So, there you have it... A front and side view of my seventh month in my new life style change. I do not see much difference, but I continue to work at it.

Now, on to my big news for the month of July. I ran in my third race of the year and my second 5K of the year. I had my personal record (PR) in this race. I did not start out intending to run as fast as I did, but I felt great and just started running. I started off with a good pace. Even though my Blackberry Endomondo app said it was still searching for a signal when the race started, it seemed to catch up and register correctly. It clocked my first mile at 9:28 and it only got better from there.

The official results of the race were posted this evening and I was thrilled with my time:

145 JOHN HAVERTY Topeka KS 20 40 M 12 40-44 29:06 9:23/M
The results are from Sunflower Striders web site who record the official results of most races in the area. This was the Fiesta 5K race which helped to kick off the week long Fiesta Festival in Topeka. My official time was 29 minutes and six seconds. I blew my previous 5K PR finish out of the water with this race. My previous PR was a little over 31 minutes. I shaved off about two minutes of time and had a average pace of 9:23 a mile.

Oh, I forgot to mention that yes the "40 M" that you see in the race results above was a mistake on my part. When I filled out the form for the Fiesta 5K back in early June, I made the mistake of putting down that I would be 40 on the date of the race. Well, I do not turn 40 for another 18 days from the race date. Opps! Well, I do not think that it caused any major problems other than my friends teasing me about not know how old I was for the race.

Other news involves a new purchase I made for my running and biking. I just purchased a Garmin FR210 with heart monitor. It should be here in about a week and I cannot wait. I am hoping with this new Garmin watch that it will be easier to track my miles and of course it will be much more accurate than that of my Blackberry. I am sure it will also help to motivate me to run and bike.

My next race is scheduled for the end of August in another 5K race in Kansas City. It will have a lot of hills (I ran it last year) and I doubt my time will come anywhere close to the 29:06 of the Fiesta.

Happy running....

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Second 5K of Year and Third Race of the Year Coming Up in a Week

I am looking at about one week until my second 5K and third race of the year. The second 5K will be in hot and humid conditions for the Fiest 5K. This will be the 79 years for the Fiesta Festival in Topeka, KS. It will be my second time running in the 5K race. I am looking forward to it. Truthfully, even though it will be hot and humid, it will not be too bad because we run early in the morning.

If you follow my updates (Month Six Update on Life Change) you know the the past few weeks I have been alcohol free. Yes, no beer, wine, or anything else that even resembles those items. I did not give it up as long as I did a year ago when I went for a few months without anything. This was primarily to see if it would help to drop any pounds. Just three or four weeks is not enough to notice anything when giving up drinks. Still, it was tough when grilling not to have a beer. Not to mention when going to my parents for pizza and not having a glass of wine. That was tough! Other than those instances, it was not bad at all.

Now, I am ready to go back to drinking beer. It is not as though I am going to go crazy, but I do look forward to enjoying a beer now and then. Before long we will be into football season and tailgating and I am not sure I could go through that without any beers.

I mentioned last time that I have my account on MyFitnessPal set to lose 1 & 1/2 pounds a week. I do plan on trying to keep that plan and not going over my calorie count. This might prove a little difficult to do if I am including beers into my diet. The weekends are always tough for food in general and that has been the case the past few weeks without alcohol too. Now, introduce alcohol and it will make it extremly difficult.

Following the Fiest 5K race, I will post picture updates. I do not see any changes when I look at myself, but I have had others say they can tell I have lost weight. No pictures have been posted for a few months, so I am interested to compare them side by side.

My friend Javier has been taking the magazine Runners World for a while now. He gives me issues to read and I have enjoyed the articles. This past week I received a email from Zinio electronic magazines with a $10 off code for any magazine. I decided to go ahead and buy it. I purchased it on Tuesday and I am almost done with the magazine. I have been reading it on our iPad and it is great! Getting tips and techniques from other runners and inspiration on doing more. I am excited to get the next episode too.

Until next time, happy runnings and stay cool!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Washburn in Wild Cat Territory

As I was driving back from a Washburn Alumni event in Manhattan, KS, I decided I would try something new this year. After all, I am the new incoming president as of July 1, so I thought I would try to post a brief update following each Washburn event I attend as a board member. One thing this does is add additional content to my blog and helps me to post on a regular basis.

With a little background and what I hope to accomplish over the course of the next two years, here is a summary of what happened at the June 14, 2012 event in Manhattan, KS. I plan to do something similar for meetings, sporting events, After Hours, etc.

The first alumni event ever held in Manhattan, KS was at the Colbert Hills Golf Course. For the first event, we had a nice group show up from the Manhattan area. There were about twenty signed up to attend and although I did not count, I would say just about everyone showed up.

The room we were in for the event was perfect (The Founders Room). It was the perfect size for our get together. We actually pushed the two tables in the room together to make one large table so everyone could sit together. We had wonderful appetizers to eat as we visited with Washburn alumni from the area. President and Mrs. Farley were in attendance too.

After visiting and snacking, President Farley spoke to the group about various happenings at Washburn. He said how happy he was to have a alumni gathering in Manhattan, KS and that he hopes it continues into the future. He shared various news with the group and answered questions they had too. Following the get together I spoke to Susie who told me that they expect to do one alumni gathering in Manhattan each year. We hope the word continues to spread through the community and we keep getting more and more people.


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Month Six Update on Life Change

Loving Beer in Colorado a Few Years Ago
This is month six on my life change style. Since returning from Colorado (see Trip to Colorado Good Times), I have decided to give up any type of alcohol. Primarily this is because of the calories that alcohol has in it. Secondly, because when I drink beers, I want to eat afterwards or at least at some point after having a few beers. No, this is not a permnant life change as I LOVE beer. I am basically only giving up beers until the end of June. It is a experiment for myself to see if I can drop any more weight. I have been right around the same weight for the past 60 days. Goes up and down, but right around the same weight.

You might have noticed that I have not taken pictures (front or side) as I was doing initially. The main reason for no pictures is that I have been lazy about posting this on, or around, the 5 of each month. The other reason is that I have not noticed any changes in my physical appearance the past few times I did post pictures. So, part of the experiment is to see if giving up alcohol for a few weeks does anything drastic in terms of weight loss.

I have also been sticking to a strict diet. Staying under 1,860 calories a day. The weekends are typically the hardest time to try and stick to that calorie count. If I remember correctly, I have that calorie count set to try and lose two pounds per week. Well, after two months of sticking right around the same weight, I need something to change to kick it into the next gear with weight loss.

Until next time on my life change update, have a good June! Next month I will run in the Fiesta 5K which I am looking forward to. I hope to be able to post some pictures from that race.


Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Trip to Colorado Good Times!

Colorado Mountains of Estes Park

We had a wonderful time in Colorado. The weather was beautiful and we ate at so many good spots. Lots of pictures of where we ate or what we ate.

We had beautiful weather the whole time we were there. The first day it was so cloudy a d smoggy that we could barely see the mountains. In fact, we could not see them at all except for the outline of the peaks of snow capped portions. We later found out the bad visibility was caused from fires in New Mexico and how the winds were carrying the smoke. After that first day, we had clear views the rest of the trip.

We were out in the Boulder, CO area during the annual BolderBoulder 10K race. A few of us plan on being out there again next year to take part in that race. Over 50,000 people show up for that race and they had wonderful weather for the event. We booked our trip not knowing it was the same time as this annual event, so we ended up getting hotel rooms in Louisville, CO which is only 15-20 minutes from Boulder.

Stream through Boulder

Streams through Colorado always bring back memories. Memories of being a kid with my parents and family traveling through Colorado Springs and on into Green Mountain Falls. We would go there just about every summer. I remember wading out as a kid into the middle of the stream with the water so cold, but yet I never wanted to get out of the stream; it felt so cool and it looked so cool seeing the occasional trout swim by. Good memories... This trip will bring back good memories too.

We did so much in the five days we were in Colorado. We started every day early and went until late in the evening. Javier and I did workout while we were there with running and biking. There were beautiful trails that went through the neighborhood we were in and eventually through ended up in a golf course.

Estes Park

Estes Park was amazing. We stopped by to take a tour of the Stanley Hotel. While it took longer than expected which cut into touring of the Rocky National Forest, I am glad that we went through the tour. It was interesting to hear the history of the hotel and how they came to be in Estes Park. Hearing how the rooms were haunted was also very interesting. No, we did not have any occurrences while we were touring. When they were talking about the kids tugging on fingers or uniting shoestrings, I found myself watching the others hoping to see their shoestrings untie.

In front of Stanley Hotel
Stanley Hotel

A few pictures of the food and drink we had while we were in Colorado.

Pancakes at Snooze. Best place for breakfast! These were so good!
Pancakes at Snooze

Drinks... Some of many

There was a festival taking place when we were there in Boulder which was a lot of fun too. We went down one evening to look around and there was a Neil Diamond singer there too that we had to stick around to watch.

Neil Diamond Singer

Drank some local beers while we watched and listened to the Neil Diamond band. He was good and sounded just like the "real" Neil Diamond. Carrie took the following video while we were there.

On the Beer Bus

We had a fun time on the party bus. The party bus started off at a tavern and then went to three breweries. It was funny that when the bus ride first started, groups on the bus were staying primarily within their own groups and not talking to the other groups. That all changed by the end of the evening after three different beer stops and various amounts of beers were consumed. We took a taxi from our hotel to the tavern and then back home, which was a good thing as we all had a good time.

The beer tour bus was a excellent experience. We had so much fun on the bus and we were able to experience three extremely different local breweries. From the beginning brewery that was all natural all the way up to a brewery that we can get here in Kansas.

Beer Tour Bus
To the left is the beer bus that we set out in for our evening of adventure. As we were driving down the highway, there were people taking pictures from their cars as they passed us. You cannot make it out from the picture, but there is wood on the side of the bus and the windows were completely open. That might be part of the reason why when we first started that no one on the bus was talking as we were just hoping we would make it to our destination. If you are in the Boulder area, I recommend taking part in the beer bus tour. Note that it is only available on Sunday evening.

To see more pictures from our trip, visit my Flickr page. I look forward to being out in Colorado again next year to take part in the 10K race. Our next vacation will be on the Washburn Alumni cruise in November.

One Year in June we Remember Sidney our Family Cat

Sidney reflection
It is hard to believe that one year ago on June 7 we put down our kitty Sidney. It seems like just yesterday that I met him for the first time (2001). The first time that I figured out exactly how cool cats can be. By the time I met Sidney, he was already an adult cat. Set in his ways and use to his owner Carrie.

We became good friends and I enjoyed seeing him each day once Carrie and I were married. Shortly after we put Sidney down, I wrote a post about my memories.... Sidney put to rest...

It is hard to beleive that a year has passed and we celebrate our cats existence in our family. What a great part of the family he was in our lives.

We were so miserable for so long after we down Sidney that I was not sure we would ever get over not having him in our family. Both Carrie and I would start crying at the slightest memory of him. There was no way I thought we could get past not having him in our lives let alone ever having another pet. We knew there was no way Sidney could ever be replaced and did not want to try and replace him. We figured we would not get another pet for a while.

We put Sidney down on Tuesday, June 7... Little did we know that two days prior on June 5, 2012 a Japanese Chin had been born that would become a part of our family.


Saturday, May 26, 2012

Update Month Five for my Life Change -- Exercise

While I have been slacking in my monthly updates, I have been eating and exercising on a regular basis. My weight loss started off great, but has not changed much for the past few months staying right around twenty pounds lost. I am still weighing in daily and find it interesting to see how my weight changes day-to-day depending on what I eat each day. Yes, it can be frustrating to only lose a few pounds after a day of watching what I eat and exercising.

I continue to use Endomondo and it really helps to keep me motivated. Running three to four times a week each week has been great! I am happy that I have kept the momentum that started back on January 2. I have run in two events so far this year. The two mile fun run in Manhattan, Kansas back in March. Then at the end of April, I ran in a four mile race called The Trolley Run in Kansas City. It was so much fun minus the cold and the rain. We will be doing that race again next year.

John in Trolley Run 2012
Following the Trolley Run started the thought process to train and run in my first 10K next year. Shayne and Autumn ran in the Trolley Run with me in Kansas City and they were the ones that started me thinking about a 10K. They will be running their first 10K next weekend. They asked me to do it with the, but we will have just returned from vacation and already had events planned the day. Possibly next year for the race.

Back to my progress with life change... No pictures for this month five update. Primarily because my weight has not changed much since I took pictures last month. I need to kick into gear weight training and abdominal workouts which I was doing a lot more of last year. Part of the change of not doing weight training is that I am doing all of my running outside. Last year I was doing all of my running on a treadmill which means when I finished running I was immediately reminded to do weights. Running outside and coming back in afterwards, not so much with the weights. I have a reminder on my calendar on days I am not running, but other things take priority.

The other part of my exercise has been incorporating biking into my routine. Only managed to bike a few times during May. I plan to increase that considerably in June. Again, I am tracking when and where I bike on Endomondo.

I hope everyone is having as an enjoyable spring as I have. Beautiful weather here in Kansas and lots of exercise. I plan to keep it up through the summer months too.


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Testing with Blogsy for iPad

This is a test with Blogsy for the iPad. It looks straight forward. I did buy this one as I watched demos and it looks very easy to use.

I continue to test and it is very easy to insert images. Wow! That was simple. It looks like inserting video is easy too.


Crashed a few times when dealing with YouTube video, but not to bad. I was able to resize the video very easily. Looks promising. Should make it easy to keep my blog udated.

More later as this is only a test.


Sunday, May 13, 2012

Test with iPad

This is a test with a new app I found for the iPad. This is a test.  Not thrilled with how it works, so I will continue to do my updates via the web site.  Anyone have any recommendations for apps to use with iPad that work well?

Monday, April 23, 2012

Fourth (and 1/2) Month Status Update

I am a bit late in my fourth month status update.  The pictures from the forth month, taken today (4/22), I do not see much of a difference.  However, I can tell from the clothes that I wear that the weight is coming off.  I can also tell from looking at the scale each day that weight is coming off.  Still, it does not seem as fast as it was last year when I went through this same process.

The good news is that I am running on a regular basis and I really enjoy my running.  I enjoy my time three times a week to run.  I can hardly wait and if for some reason I have to miss a run, I try to figure out when I will be able to make it up or run the next night.  As I have mentioned, I am running outside and I am loving it!

This time I am running outside and while I have had a little pain in my legs from time-to-time, it has not been bad at all.  I am not sure what I did last year when I was running where my left leg would hurt to the point where I could not walk, but that has not been a problem this go around.  My right leg in the groin area has been a little sore after runs, but usually does not last long.  Nothing like what was happening last year when I would run.

Forth Month Progress for Haverty
I took a snap shot of my progress going back 180 days.  So, well before I started my training after the start of the new year.  As you can see, I was clear down at my last weigh-in clear back in September of last year (the last race I ran) of 204.2 lbs.  The least weight I have weighed in a long time.  I am currently as of this morning at 212.4.  I feel good and I can run four miles easily without walking.  I am averaging a pace of 10m:44s with a average speed of 5.59 mph. The only problem I have been having is that I sometimes start my run way too fast (quickest mile so far is 8m51s) which I think might be causing my groin to be sore following the run.  I am trying to control my run and not run so fast.

I have started using a new application for my phone that I am really enjoying.  It is called Endomondo and it is helping to track my runs, cycling, and walking.  It does a number of other items too as far as tracking of my workouts.  I definitely recommend checking it out as I have enjoyed it so far.  I listen to my music when I run and the app keeps me updated on my miles.

So far this year, I have run in one race which was a 2 mile fun run in Manhattan, Kansas.  It was a good way to start out the year and helped me to get focused for upcoming races.  That race was back in March for St. Patrick's Day.  The next race I will be in is this Sunday for the Trolly Run.  This is a four mile race which is timed.  I will be running with Autumn and Shayne Friedli.  We are looking forward to it although Shane and Autumn have both been fighting a head cold.  We will be leaving Sunday morning from Topeka at about 4:30 in the AM.  Early start for what I expect to be a fun event and I think I am as ready as I will ever be to run.

Future 5K races that I will be in this year include the Fiesta Mexicana 5K which will be in July followed by the  Susan B Komen 5K in Kansas City in August.  The last one I have planned is the Washburn Alumni 5K Fun Run.  For me, it is important to have races to run in that keep me focused on my workouts.  Following the 2011 Washburn Alumni fun run this past year, I did not have anything to focus on, so I lost interest in running and got very lazy.  We entered the holiday season and my weight sky rocketed until I started working out again on January 2.

My goal this year is to work out all year.  Although I might be eating foods that I like come November and December, I plan to continue running and stay in shape.  I do not want to go through what I did this year when I started running where I could not even run a minute without losing my breath or having pains in my stomach or legs.  I have motivation with running and I truly enjoy my runs.  Even when it is raining outside and I am forced to run on our treadmill, I enjoy it and look forward to doing so.

Finally, I am sorry that it took me so long to update for this month.  This is of course all for me and my keeping a plan.  As the weeks clicked by from April 1, I kept reminding myself that I had not posted a update for the month.  Well, here we are at the last week of April and I am finally getting it posted.  Better late then never I suppose.... I do plan to post a new update following the 4 mile race this upcoming Sunday to let you know how it goes and my status going into May.

Happy running to you all and keep up the good work on your life style change!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Third Month Status Report on my Workout Progress

Progress Report of Weight Loss
I am a little bit late in posting my update for March.  I had been trying to do so on or about the second of each month.  Well, that slipped by a bit with other things going on and I did not take the time to sit down and write out how things are going.  A big part of that is because things are not going that great.  I am doing great on the eating and for the most part of watching calories.  However, as you can see, I am not doing well on losing the weight.  I have been right around the same weight since I started this back on January 2.  The weight goes up and down, but I am basically right around the same weight.  I am not losing the weight in my belly like I did last year when I did this and I am finding it difficult to run.  I do not have the motivation that I had last year when I was doing this same process.

While I am about to finish up the Couch 25K, I have not felt as great doing the runs this year.  It has taken a lot more motivation to get me to run.  When I do run, I have not felt great during the run.  I have had pains in my side, legs, and chest.  Those have somewhat gone away since I have made it to the point of running non-stop.  Still, I do not feel the drive that I had a year ago to run.

I feel motivated to run and I like the outcome, but I am not seeing the results.  I am weighing in every day, which I have heard is not a good idea, but I like seeing where I am at each day.  By the third month last time, I could already tell the weight was dropping off.  I could see it in my stomach, my face, and I felt great.  I also had people telling me I looked great... yeah, not so much this time.  I am not even sure if people know that I am running again.  It is for me though which is what I have to remember....

Not a lot of changes from the previous pictures.  Hair is shorter that is about it.  I did lose another lb this morning.  Still, after three months of working out... I cannot tell.  Carrie says she can tell in my stomach, but I sure cannot see it.

Then looking at the side view, I really cannot see the difference.  Is it frustrating?  Yes, a little.  As I have said a number of times, I am not cutting out alcohol completely like I did last time which I think helped to shed the weight fast.  It is not as though I am drinking every night either with the current workout.  I do enjoy a beer here and there or a glass of wine.
A lot more work to do.  Next weekend I will be running in a warm up two mile run in Aggieville.  While it is timed, it is nothing too serious.  I will be running with Javier who has also been getting back into the work out routine.

As the weather improves, I find myself wanting to run outside.  I enjoy the treadmill, but running outside is a nice change.  I will try to post again before the end of the month regarding my routine or how the 2 mile run goes in Manhattan.

Until then, enjoy March Madness!  It is my favorite time of the year and even better when your team is playing well.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Brief Update on Jogging and Status

I had lunch with my friend Shayne yesterday. We talked about jogging and how it was going. I told him that this time around it seems to take a lot more energy for me to run.  I am through week five of Couch 2 5K and I seem to be laboring to get through it. I finish my jogs and I am winded and in pain.  This has been true since I started back in January.

Shayne reminded me that when I was running last September that I was lighter. I gained on a lot of weight through the holidays and then end of 2011.  Thus, I am running with that weight now, so I am carrying more weight running.  I think that could very well be why I feel so miserable when I am doing the jog now.  I have lost a few pounds since I started, but not a lot.  I have to keep in the motivation and stop focusing on how much I have lost.

The part that is causing the most problems is that unlike when I did this back in 2011, I am enjoying a few beers whenever I want.  Last year, I cut out all alcohol for weeks.  That helped to really drop the weight fast. This time around, I have not done that complete cut out of alcohol.  I planned on doing so, but I have not done it as of yet.

I have a few races in mind to do for the year, so at least I have events that will help me be focused.  I have a lot of work left to do and must keep the motivation.  I am still weighing daily which I like to be able to look at my weight graph, but that might also be working against me in motivation.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Wings for the Super Bowl... More Grilling!

We had a lot of food for Super Bowl Sunday.  I managed to grill some wings as well.  We were no where hurting for something to eat or drink that evening.  Nothing too fancy in regards to what was grilled.  My main problem was keeping the grill going.  I had problems lighting it and then half way through the grilling of the wings I had to swap out propane canisters.  When doing so, I could not get the flame high enough to get heat in the grill.  I had to disconnect everything and hook it back up to get it going again.  It was odd!

Anyway, regarding the grilling, this is what we did for simple wings that I think are pretty good for quick and easy (when the grill works).  Grilled the wings without any sauce or rub directly over medium-high heat until done.  Once they were done cooking, put them in a container, poured a little Frank's Red Hot Original sauce into the container, put the lid on, and shook it up to coat the wings.  The picture above is the finished product.

While they do not look hot, they had a nice kick of heat without a lot of sauce.  It was a quick and easy recipe for game night.  We have some other recipes for wings that I will post later this year.

Don't forget the Ranch with your wings and a ice cold beer!  Enjoy!

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Second Month Day 35 Update

It has been a little bit since my last update and I missed updating with pictures for month two at the February 2 mark.  Better late than never.  So, here I am at day 35 and my second month under way.  Based on the picture to the right, there is not a lot of change from what Week 1 Day 1 Begins showed at the start.  To me, I still see a (beer) gut hanging over my workout pants and I do not see that I have lost much at all.  My face and body basically look the same as they did back in beginning of January.

Twenty-eight days ago, I was sitting at 226 and today I am sitting at 220.4.  So, not a lot of weight lost during that time, but there has been a lot of fluctuation during this time.  My lowest weight being 218.6 during the past month.  Last weekend and this weekend have proved to be tough with lots of things going on and I have not been able to completely cut out alcohol as I had hoped.  The longest I went without beer or wine was about two weeks.  I did not keep notes, but I believe that's when I went down to my lowest weight loss point during this past month.

I have been running consistently during the past month with only missing a session or two.  I have stayed on pace with the Couch 2 5K program and just completed week 5 day 1 today.  The running has been going well with some minor pain.  Primarily the pain has been in my calves or my sides (stomach) hurt a few times when running.  I ran seven minutes non-stop in one segment today and it felt good.  No pain or tightness, so I was happy.

Again, the side view just as I did in the first update back in early January (Week 1 Day 1 Begins) is to the left.  Not a lot of difference between the two pictures.  I believe this is primarily due to the way I am training.  I am doing the Couch 2 5K as I have mentioned a few times.  It builds up from running only a few minutes a session to running a 5K non-stop.  So, this first week has not been a lot of sweat or workout.  Gradually building up to longer workouts and then eventually more fat burned which I hope will be noticeable in future pictures.

In regards to eating, I think I am doing a good job.  It has not been difficult to keep counting calories and I enjoy doing so with MyFitnessPal.  Yes, there are some days where I have gone well over my calorie count, but most days I am well below.

I have enjoyed reading and getting encouragement from a friends jogging diary.  He recently ran his first 10K.  Not an actual race, but simply ran on his own a 10K.  That gives me drive to try and do the same some day.  He has also lost over 100 lbs.  If you are looking for another blog to read with interesting updates, check out Ernie's Web.

I apologize for posting this three days after I should have, but I am happy to keep this up along with pictures of my status.  It is about time for the Super Bowl to begin, so I better sign off and finish cleaning the house for guests.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Tuna steaks on the grill... Turned out Great!

Prepped Tuna for Grill
Picked up tuna steaks from Hy-Vee on Saturday.  I got a new grilling cookbook for Christmas and this is my first attempt at grilling using one of those recipes.  I received the book "The Cook's Illustrated Guide to Grilling and Barbecue".  Tonight, I tried the recipe for Grilled Tuna Steaks with Watercress, parsley, and spied vinaigrette (page 244).  We changed the recipe slightly as we were unable to find the watercress at the store (not in season).

The preparation for cooking was fairly easy. Blend everything in a bowl, grill the tuna, combine ingredients in a bowl, place cooked tuna on top of leafy parsley.  We loved it!  Turned out great and it was simple to cook.  I cooked the tuna for about seven minutes.  We have some friends who will really enjoy this sometime later this year.  I am hoping to be able to grill more and more this year.  Like last year, I plan to post blogs about my grilling and it will also help me to remember which recipes we like.  As you may recall, I did not post many blogs or updates regarding the grilling I did last year.  Hoping to change all of that this year.

We are trying to eat healthy (see my Life Style posts) to lose weight.  So, many of the recipes we will pick out will be low calorie or easy split.  This recipe tonight was perfect for a Sunday night and turned out great!

Tuna Steak Hot off the Grill
The finished product was exactly what I was hoping to accomplish.  Pink in the middle and nice grill marks on the tuna.  The bed of parsley was perfect with the cooked tuna.  I cooked two tuna steaks.  Carrie and I split one and we will have the second one tomorrow night with a pasta dinner.

The tuna with the parsley was good and to split the portions was only 536 calories.  I definitely like this new book that I received.  Made a note next to this recipe and I see others that I want to try.

Carrie has bunco this Friday and I think I am going to grill again.  I picked up another gas tank from the store today.  So I am ready for more grilling!

Primarily it has been Carrie who has cooked our meals.  Unless we are grilling of course in which case I have done the grilling.  While I enjoy grilling, I also enjoy cooking in the kitchen too.  Although, I have not had the need to cook my own meals for the past ten years.  I told her I would love to cook our meals at least once a week.  More than simply grilling, but to actually cook in the kitchen.  All preparation and then cleanup.  Give her a night off.

I am looking forward to cooking our meals each week.  I did let Carrie know that I might need help cooking.  Since I have not cooked much in the past few years, I forget things that I use to know.  Still, I expect her to simply help, give direction, or recommendations on how to do things better.  I would like to be able to get to the point where I can cook the whole meal.  More than just a simple sandwich, but things a bit more complicated.

My first blog of the 2012 year regarding grilling.  I hope to have many more throughout the year.  Maybe not all with pictures, but at least my posting about recipes I like or recommend.  Until next time, have a great week!

Three Weeks Done Status Update

I officially started this life style change on Monday, January 2.  I just finished the third full week of trying to improve my eating and exercise habits.  How am I doing so far?  Well, I am feeling pretty good.  I am slowly getting back into being able to jog long distances and I am eating better.

I just finished week two day three of Couch 2 5K, so I am jogging about three minutes without stopping.  I could really feel it on Friday when I did my last session.  I admit it that I like to sweat and I like to sweat a lot.  I believe it helps to motivate me to keep going and it of course is a indication to me that I am burning calories.  Now that I am getting deeper into the Couch 2 5K program, I am starting to sweat more and more.

Along with running, I am also lifting weights.  This is not something I have really done in the past.  I am trying to track it as part of the MyFitnessPal diary.  I have been doing weights for probably about two weeks.  I could really feel it the first week and then on Thursday after working on my legs, I could really feel my legs.  It is a good feeling and lets me know that I am working out correctly.

The good news about finishing the second full week of jogging is that so far I do not have any pain in my legs.  You may recall that last September when I ran my last 5K of the season, I was having major pains in my legs after each run.  To the point where it was difficult to walk following a workout or race.  It was even difficult to stand after sitting for a period of time.

So far, non of that has happened so far.  I believe that part of the reason I did start having pain is due to the fact that I tried to run faster than I should have and I was working out four times a week.  I put too much torture on my legs which caused pulling of muscles.  In a way, I believe it was good that I took off the four or five months off from jogging.  It helped my legs to repair whatever was hurting and hopefully with lots of stretching before working out, I will avoid having any pain in my legs.

Everyone, have a great week and keep the focus on your life style change...

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Windows 7 Problem After Failed Hard Drive... Problem Resolved!

I had a hard drive failure on my Dell Windows 7 system back at the end of November.  I ended up purchasing a new drive and copying the drive to it.  Everything appeared to work without any problems.  Updates were working and overall the system seemed to be working correctly.  I thought the problem was resolved and everything was going to work correctly.

Starting a few weeks into January, I started noticing problems with Windows 7 not being able to get Windows updates.  It would display a error message that "Windows update can not currently check for updates, because the service is not currently running".  I checked to confirm the service was running and could not get it check for updates.  I even tried clearing out the directory where updates are stored to see if perhaps it was corrupted, but the updates still would not run.  This was true for Microsoft Security Essentials as well and it had not received updated since the last week of December.

I tried various things to try and resolve the problem.  Going into the middle of last week I was planning on reformatting and installing Windows 7.  Not a huge problem in itself, but I did not look forward to getting all of my music off or the various programs I use re-installed.  I spent the rest of last week preparing to do the re-installation this weekend.  Backing up files, locating installation disks, etc.

Saturday morning I was ready to do the installation and decided to do one last search to see if I could find a solution for the problem of why Windows Updates would not work.  I found a article that spoke about having a old, outdated, or not installed Intel Rapid Storage Technology causing the problem I was seeing.  I decided to give it a try, so I downloaded the program.  The system rebooted and when it came back up, I found that I could at least get into the Windows Update section now on my computer without the error.  The system starting checking for updates and since I had removed all previous history of the updates, there were a lot to download.  It was working again and all because when I re-imaged to another drive the Intel Rapid Storage Technology had to be re-installed.

Everything is working again and I do not need to install Windows 7 again.  I made sure that Microsoft Security Essentials was running too and that it would update.  I promptly ran a full scan on the computer and found a few trojans that had gotten through when apparently I was unable to check or do Windows Updates.

As of today, the computer appears to be running smooth with Windows Updates running correctly and no errors showing up in the logs.  Ah, it is good to have my computer back and working properly.  I would provide a link back to the file I downloaded to correct the problem, but I cannot find it in my history.  If you are having a similar problem, I would suggest searching for the Intel Rapid Storage program.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Friday Night Food Implosion.... Ouch!

Finishing up my second full week and I was doing good.  I had eaten well through the week and not had any alcohol.  Well, Friday night, we decided to get take out from Chili's which was not the bad part.  I love the Margarita Grilled Chicken from there and it is only 550 calories.  Very tasty!  In addition to the chicken, I also had a lot of chips.  Again, not too bad as it was only about 240 calories.  The down fall came with Spangles shakes that we picked up.  It was our treat for the week... er, well, my treat anyway.  One large shake (yes I went for the large) is 4,200 calories.  For just one freak'n shake.  Ouch!

If I had stopped with the chicken and chips, I would have had about 300 calories to spare.  Nope, I had to have a shake too and it was delicious!  That one shake put me in the negative calories by -3,620.

I believe it is worth it to have a free day or have a few beers if I have been doing well, but this was over doing it a bit.  I need to be smarter in what I reward myself with or my cheat days.  Anything over 1,000 calories is probably not the best choice.

I weight this morning and remained the same weight from yesterday which is good.  I am sitting at 222.2 lbs.  I will probably see my free night tomorrow morning when I weigh-in and it should not shock me at all.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Two Weeks in Status Update

I finished the first week of Couch to 5K last night. Not bad for my first week back into running again. I ended up skipping last Sunday as I did not feel like running. I also ended up having beers last Friday and then wine on Sunday. OK, so not as planned, but better than drinking and eating throughout the week. Plus, I have been doing well with what I eat. I have been tracking it on MyFitNessPal.

Tomorrow, Thursday, I will start week two and I plan to include some weight lifting in my routine too. I used some birthday money and a money from Sprint rebate to get some weights. Basically a whole weight set from Dick Sports for about $150. I am excited to start using them and I might bring my weight bench out of hiding in the back of the basement. I plan on starting with small weights and of course not over doing it. I am doing the same with my jogging and trying to keep it at a 5 mph pace. So far so good and no pain when I jog.

Graph of Progress
Progress with Tracking Weight
I started off on January 2 weighing in at 223.2. I have fluctuated a lot since I started, but I am starting to see the line go down on slightly. This does help motivation and helps to make me think I will get back to where I was at back in mid-September. Two pounds in about two weeks, well, not great, but I did have fun last weekend with food and drinks, so no complaints.

Hard to believe that I will soon be halfway through the the first month. In a few short months my first 5K of the season will be here and I plan to be ready. Always good to get some friendly competition going among friends. So, I continue to get my friends interested in jogging and doing 5K's with me. We have fun competing and training for upcoming events. Text messages to brag that we are actually working out or how far we ran. I still have a few weeks to get to the point where I am bragging how far I ran as right now I would not be able to make it a mile running.

I am looking forward to losing the belly weight again and having my clothes fit better. Not to mention being able to bend over or walk across the campus without getting winded. The important thing is that I am having fun and enjoying my workout.

I struggle with eating some days. No so much in that I am still hungry, but trying to make sure I get a mid-morning and afternoon snack. Sometimes things happen at work, life, etc. and I simply forget to eat my snack. I have picked up my water drinking considerably which is supposed to also help with not being hungry. Both the eating snacks and drinking water is something I continue to work on and battle going through this process. Just reminding myself to do so.

That's it for tonight! I meant to post earlier this week on my status, but at least I finally got it on here. Happy jogging to you and see you on the next post!

Friday, January 06, 2012

Brief Update on First Week

It has not been a week yet, but I am feeling pretty good with how things are going thus far. As I would expect, my weight went up/down a few times over the course of the week as my body adjusts to less food and no alcohol. While says I have lost 10 lbs, it is more like just three lbs. I mentioned before that I did not reset it went I started this again on January 2. So, the 10 lb weight loss goes back to when this whole thing started back in March 2011.

Still, I am happy that weight is starting to come off. I also understand that the weight being lost right now is water weight. As I get deeper into my work out routine, I will being sweating more and that will help to drop the weight. The early part of Couch to 5K is not my favorite part, but it is getting me into shape so I can run longer distances.

Last night we went to Dicks Sporting Goods to look at weights. I have a weight set picked out that I would like to buy. Dumbbells and then a bar to use too. All for about $150, so I think I am going to get it. Do a little more than just workout, but also work on the body some too.

Everyone have a great weekend and I will post something this weekend with an update.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Week 1 Day 2 Update... The Weigh-in

One thing I forgot to mention in my update yesterday was that I am going to weigh myself each day. Now, there might be some days that I am unable to weigh-in which would be if I am traveling, but for the most part I plan to record my weigh each day. Well, I did so this morning and tracked it on MyFitnessPal. Nothing like being on the second day and already gaining a pound. OK, I know that is not a huge problem as it is only my second day, but I was hoping to at least stay at the same weight.

So, total weight loss from the time I started last March is now 8 lbs. It is tough to begin a workout and see the weight increase, but I am not too surprised. My body is probably in shock that I did not eat as much yesterday and that I actually exercised. My target calorie count each day is 1920. Of course when I exercise, that is adjusted and more calories are allowed. Still, I am sure my body is going into shock with the new changes. I know my side was killing me at the end of my mild jog last night which it had not done since I started running back in March.

That is all for now, but I wanted to post a update while I was thinking about it. I thought about it while getting ready for work this morning and decided I better post it. Need to get this thing going on the best start I can and keep the posts going too.

Monday, January 02, 2012

Week 1 Day 1 Begins

Week One Front ViewI was excited to start my workout. I had told myself that I would start January 2 and that's exactly what I did. I took a before picture which I hope will motivate myself. I remember how great it felt to lose all that weight (about 30 lbs) between March to September 2011. I still remember how many people told me I looked good. I felt good to and that's what is important. I felt so much better when I was exercising and losing weight.

When I started in March 2011, I was right at about 235 edging in on 240 which was the most I have ever weighed. Back in March, I decided it was time for a change. I knew I had problems when it was difficult to bend over to tie my shoes or get winded walking up a flight of stairs. I started running just for the exercise... I never thought I would actually enjoy running and doing 5K races. I ran in three 5K races in 2011 and I enjoyed each one. Each one helped to motivate me to the next one. Well, that is not exactly true as the last one (in September) I lost all motivation after running that race. I initially thought it would be only short-term and I would start running again. I quickly learned that my thought process had completely changed and that I did not care what I ate, drank, or the fact that I was not exercising at all. How quickly the pounds came back on and back on my belly.

Week One Side ViewTo help to motivate, I decided I would post a front and side view picture. Ah yes, my belly is back and almost to the point where I can rest a can bottle on it. I can feel it when putting on shirts that were before previously fitting very nicely. I felt good and people were telling me I looked good.

While I do plan to post a blog update at least weekly, if not more often, I only plan on taking the set of pictures the second of each month. The next 5K I will be running in is tentatively set for April in Kansas City. Shayne and Autumn found the event and it sounds like it will be a fun one to run in. That leaves possibly three other events for me to race in and goals to train for during the next four months.

I hope everyone has a great 2012 and I look forward to posting my updates through the year on my progress. I hope that if I miss out on posting that you call me out on it and help to motivate me on this life changing routine.

If you have not used or heard of MyFitnessPal, I strongly encourage you to check it out. I can be found on the site where I keep track of what I eat and the exercise I complete by visiting I would be happy to help motivate you on the site too.

Thank you!