04 November 2007


This past week I officially weighed in at less than 200 lbs - known as Onederland in the Weight Watchers community. The first digit of my weight is simply a statistic I know, but there is something more satisfying about passing "round" numbers, multiples of 10, multiples of 100. And passing a multiple of 100 is very satisfying. I have to admit that before I started WW and really for six months or so after I started I never dreamed I would see Onederland again. As I said in August, this is 20 year territory for me, freshman in college territory, it still boggles my mind ... Still, if at the end of my life I can say I "only" spent 20 years weighing more than 200 lbs I bet I'll be ahead of many.

I ran another half marathon yesterday, the Heart Center of the Rockies Half Marathon. I am not sure which is more mind boggling to me, my running half marathons or my weighing less than 200 lbs. My answer probably switches daily. I had a good race, finishing in 2:15:41.7, a pace of 10:22 per mile. That is 5:19 faster than the half in August, 24 seconds per mile faster. Maybe most impressive to me is how strong I felt even at the end of the race. And today I feel great, a little stiff, but not that much -- I even took advantage of nice weather and went biking today. Maybe most mind boggling is my excitement about training for and running a full marathon next May or June. And I bought an issue of "Triathlete" magazine the other day... The sky's the limit.

It's been a few months since I posted any pictures. I don't think I look much different now than I did in July, but here are a couple. The one is from behind only because I was actually amazed that I almost look like a skinny guy in that picture (everything's relative!), and I didn't find another picture that captured that. The pumpkins my daughter is standing by were grown by her and I in our backyard. The largest weighed 74 lbs. and together the 4 of them weighed 202 lbs., more than I do!

Now playing: R.E.M. - Gardening At Night
via FoxyTunes

24 September 2007

I Run

I run
Because I can
Because I couldn't
Because I wouldn't

I run
Because they do
Because you don't
Because you might

I run
And it is work
And it is fun
And it is spiritual

I run
And I finally understand
And the world is a better place

Now playing: Led Zeppelin - Achilles Last Stand
via FoxyTunes

14 August 2007

New Milestones

In the past few weeks I've hit a couple major milestones in my weight loss. First my BMI has dropped below 30. This is significant because a BMI of 30 or more is considered obese. While I have thought of myself as obese in awhile, I guess it is official now. Now I'm simply overweight. The second milestone I've hit is losing 40% of what I weighed when I walked into Weight Watchers in March 2005. That's right, I'm 60% of the man I used to be. But so much more. At 203 lbs I am very close to breaking into "Onderland". It will take a good couple weeks to get there by my summer goal of my birthday (the 28th), but if not by then it will be soon after. This is territory I haven't seen since my freshman year in college (1987). I've also seen several people this summer who I hadn't seen in several years, and few of them recognized me. That's pretty fun.

Last weekend I ran another half marathon, The Georgetown to Idaho Springs Half Marathon. It was a beautiful course up at 8000 ft in the Colorado mountains. Initially the thought of running down an interstate frontage road was kind of boring but the course was really pretty. About 1/2 was on dirt roads and paths and nearly all of it was far enough from the interstate you didn't even notice the cars. I was shooting for a finish of 2:17:30 (10:30 / mile) . I finished in 2:21:05 (10:46 / mile). Still a personal record by 6.5 minutes and 11 minutes faster than my first half marathon. I will run at least one more half marathon this fall, but haven't decided on which one yet. Or maybe I'll look for a duathlon -- I've been riding my bike a lot lately. I also need to find some time to get up another mountain. Our plans started grand and we kicked Mt Massive's butt, but we haven't gone out for another yet.

I'll have to look for some pictures. I'm sure my wife has taken some.

Now playing: Steely Dan - Kid Charlemagne
via FoxyTunes

24 June 2007

Summer: Hiking and Biking (and still running)

It was "Bike to work day" in Colorado on the June 27th. I figured the new svelte and athletic Brian should participate in such an activity. So in preparation I've been riding some, although not as much as I probably should have. But I did it. 25 miles to work and then 15 miles back up to the softball fields for our game that night. Biking is going to become part of my weekly routine now, I'm even riding to my Weight Watchers meetings now.

I've also been out hiking a few times this summer. I hiked
Twin Sisters (11428) one Friday after work and hiked most of the way up Mt. Meeker (13911, we got to around 12750). The Mt Meeker trip was exciting as we came across a sleeping mountain lion on the way down. The detour around him added several miles to our trip! But he stayed asleep and we stayed alive. I hope to climb a few 14'ers in the next month or two. At lease Longs Peak (14255), Mt. Massive (14421), and Mt. Shavano (14229) are on my list for this summer.

I figure I should address weight too, as that is why I started this. I have realized 2 things with respect to my weight loss. First, it has become secondary to getting out and being active. Losing weight helps me become a faster runner (I ran my first sub-30:00 5K on Father's Day!) and allows me to do more though, so it isn't ignored. Second, eating healthy really has become a habit for me. I do pay attention to what I eat, but I don't track every bite as I did when I first started. This gives me great hope for maintaining my weight loss over the long term.
I have now lost 133 lbs, being below 210 for the first time in 19? years.

Included are a couple pictures of me taken in June, enjoying some of my favorite summer activities, softball, hiking, and trying to read in my hammock while camping (with 2 girls crawling over me).

31 May 2007

More Running

This month saw me running the Colorado Mini-Marathon, a 15 mile race down the beautiful Poudre Canyon and finishing in Old Town Fort Collins. Yeah, I can't believe I can run 15 miles either. This was the race that I've been training for since the SuperBowl. I finished in 2:51:05. That's 11:25 miles, 11 seconds faster than my half marathon in April. And my half marathon split was nearly 5 minutes faster than my time in April.

I also ran my first Bolder Boulder on Memorial Day. I walked this popular 10K event last spring (and by popular I mean 50,000 runners/walkers). The company I work for sponsors any employee who wants to run or walk the Bolder Boulder. We had 13 people participate this year and had would have had more were it not for 3 training injuries that kept runners out of the race. That's a pretty good turnout for a company of around 115 employees. Last year was our previous high with 12. I like to take credit for the surge - I am proof that anyone can get out and run if they put their mind to it. I finished in 1:04:01. Only my second 10K, but a PR by over 9 minutes! And over 31 minutes faster than last year.

Having completed the Colorado Mini-Marathon I have turned my mind to my next running challenge. In the next year I would like to run a full marathon. There several I'm looking at in the May/June time frame next year. I will spend the rest of 2007 maintaining my half-marathon shape, increasing my speed, and building a strong base to start marathon training upon next winter.

I'm still losing weight, averaging 1 lb/wk since switching back to the FLEX plan in March. I'm at 213 here at the end of May, just shy of 130 lbs gone. My next weight loss goal is to weigh less than 200 lbs by my birthday in August. I probably last weighed less than 200 lbs as a freshman at UW-Oshkosh in 1987.

My wife's digital camera was in the shop most of this month, so no new pictures to share. Thank goodness for extended warranties though -- the repairs were thus "free".

20 April 2007

Half Marathon!

The switch to the Weight Watchers Flex plan (and more good carbohydrates) continues to pay off. I switched on 6 Mar. I've lost 10.8 lbs in the 5 weeks since, and have crossed the 125 lbs gone mark. On 15 April I also ran my first half-marathon. The Horsetooth Half Marathon was 13.1 miles of hills, self-exploration, and fun. And I finished quite a bit faster than I predicted at 2:31:56 (11:36 min/mile). It's cool when you meet your "pie in the sky scenario" goal for a race. I still find myself in awe that am able to run that far. Here is another of my wife's scrapbook pages.

31 March 2007

Faster 5K

After some slow going weight loss-wise, I have broken through and reached that 120 lbs gone that I've been chasing (since last October when I hit 115). I credit the breakthrough to switching to a higher carbohydrate diet (although whole grains as much as possible). Although this sounds weird, I think it worked because I am training a lot in preparation for 2 big races in April and May. Typical weeks have been 17-20 miles, some of it hard and some of it in long chunks (10+ miles). My body is burning a fuel burning machine! Below are some more of my wife's scrapbook pages. You'll see she scrapbooks a lot, and is quite good at it. One is of me in the local St. Patrick's Day 5K. I set a PR of 31:00. This was my first race at a sub-10:00/mile pace (09:59 ;-) and shattered my previous 5K PR of 35:45. We also took a family vacation to Arkansas to see my wife's family this month. I had to include the scrapbook page from the zoo because I can't believe that I look almost skinny in that picture! In addition to getting to show off the new me to Shawn's family, I have had a nice victory recently. Several people at work have commented to me recently that "you look really good" or "you're still losing weight aren't you". Even though the weight hasn't been flying off, I do look and feel a lot better. But it's really cool when others notice!