Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Don't Take Things For Granted

Never Say Never

I often will post a quote that I find inspirational.  However, when I saw a quote the other day that included the words "running", "rain", and "crying", I thought that's not a quote I will post.  I thought to myself that I don't run crying in the rain.  So what happens this morning?  I listen to a podcast from Radio Labs that got me tearing up as I was running.  Stupid show!  If you aren't a Radio Labs listener already, I highly recommend it as a podcast to listen to.  This one in particular was powerful in many ways.  If you are interested you can listen here.

Kohn Ashmore
Kohn Ashmore

There were several things that got me thinking as I listened to the story of Kohn Ashmore.  He was severely injured when he was hit by a car when he was eight years old.  He was in a coma for five months and when he awoke, he couldn't talk or walk.  He had to relearn many skills and had to learn how to cope with his permanent disabilities.  One thing that stuck out was how he never realized that his speech was so slow until he recorded himself trying to sing.  He came to an abrupt realization of how he sounded to others and it devastated him.  It took him a long time to overcome that devastation.  Luckily he found friends along the way who helped him in his struggles.

Like I said, there were many things I thought about as I listened to this podcast, but one that really stuck out was how it took a moment like that in my own life when I realized what I was doing to myself and others with my weight problems.  It was a devastating moment of my own.  Thanks to others encouragement and my willingness to work hard I was able to turn things around.  Thanks to all of you who have encouraged me and I hope I have helped you as well.

No Exceptions
With Thanksgiving weekend behind us now, I wonder if you like me made too many exceptions.  We not only had the holiday and the food to deal with, by the time this week is done, there are three birthdays and a family Christmas party we have celebrated as well.  I made way to many exceptions when it came to food choices.  I need to get back into No Exceptions mode for a while. It's too easy this time of year to make too many exceptions and gain weight over the next several weeks.  I'll be accountable in my blog about how I am doing through the New Year.

Hang in there and I will too!

Saturday, November 19, 2011


Attitude plays an important part of everything we do.
Provo River Trail

For example, It has gotten colder here the past few weeks.  I was getting a bad attitude about it getting cold.  We had a cold spring and I just wasn't ready to head into winter.  After a couple of days of grumping about it, I got to thinking that the main problem with the cold was my attitude about it being cold.

I was able to get through last winter (other than an non-weather related injury) just dandy.  I know how to stay warm and mostly comfortable.  I just needed to accept the fact that the cold is going to be here for a while.  

There are plenty of things to be positive about.

  • I really enjoy Thanksgiving and Christmas and all the fun associated with getting together with friends and family.  
  • I enjoy extra time off from work.  
  • I enjoy how things look after a fresh snow.  
There are plenty of things I like about this time of year.

I have settled down a bit and am getting back into the cold routine.  I just check the temperature when I get up and layer up accordingly.  I use up more clothes in one day than I do all week it seems when the weather is warm, but that's no big deal.

What I do to keep warm.

  1. I layer according to the temperature.
  2. I wear moisture wicking clothing. (No cotton at all!) 
  3. I even layer my hands.  I have light weight running gloves that I start with and will either put fingered gloves over them if I need extra warmth.  I also have some thicker mittens when it gets really cold.  I have on occasion even used hand warmers with my gloves, but not very often. 
  4. I warm up just a bit before I go out.  I will do light leg and arm swings to loosen up a bit.  It also warms my core up a bit making the shock of the cold not so bad.
  5. A nice synthetic wool hat makes a big difference
  6. I invested in some wicking thermals as well.  They cost a bit more, but I have been happy with them on the occasions when it is extra cold.
I used to worry about rain and snow getting me wet, but on most of my runs, I get wet from the inside out from sweating so I realized that it didn't make much difference what the source of the wetness was.  As long as I'm moving, I am keeping warm.  The only exceptions are my hands and feet.  I explained above about my hands and it's not often when my feet get cold.  Just on those wet, cold, slushy days.  But even those days are not that bad. The only thing that I don't deal with well is ice.  I have slipped too many times in my life to enjoy that, but most of the time, the roads are clear enough to run on.  I go early enough and try to avoid the really busy streets so I don't have much of an issue with cars.  I wear a reflective vest and sometimes use a headlamp.  I have used Yak Traks knock offs before.  They do help with traction on slippery surfaces, but don't do well when the snow is wet and heavy.  I might not have used the best model for what I was trying to do.  Mine didn't have a strap across the top, like the video shows.  I think they would do better.

On those rare days when it's just not doable because of ice, I do have a tread mill as a backup. Now if I can just get a better attitude about the rest of my life, everyone else will be happier!  :) What do you do to deal with the cold?

 Hang in there and I will too! (5 miles away from 1000 miles for the year!)

Sunday, November 13, 2011


Alan at Pounds Off Playoff wrote a couple of thought provoking post.  Read them here and here.  It got me thinking about what I do to justify my actions.  These justifications are what sabotage me in the long run.  Here are two of them.

I am working hard so I can have a little extra.
I deserve a little extra!
This one gets me every time.  If I run six miles, it's OK to throw in a little treat.  I know darn well that it isn't a good thing, but I easily fall into this one.  If I run six miles, I burn a net 812.7 calories.  For more info see this article in Runner's World.  So let's say I justify eating a Whooper with cheese as a result and I've eaten 760 calories in about ten minutes.  Not much calorie deficit after that!  I usually don't go out and get a Whopper with cheese, but I do tend to eat a bit more here and there throughout the day and that adds up really quick.

I'll start being good on Monday
Michele blogged about the importance of today.  I commented that my tomorrow is usually Monday.  Like in, "Monday I'll start watching what I eat better."  But before long it's Tuesday... Thursday... Friday and then it's time to say, "I'll start being good on Monday."  Like Michele pointed out today is the day.  It got me thinking that today is the only day we can do anything.  Yesterday is gone and we have to wait until tomorrow becomes today to actually do anything.  I need to quite justifying today's behavior based on a better tomorrow.

On an upbeat note
I have been logging my mileage on dailymile.com.  I noticed a stat on there that had me feeling pretty good and gives me some incentive to keep going this year.  Since I logged my first mileage in there last year I have run (mostly) 2028 miles.  This year I am at 971 and counting.  I am on track to get in another 1,000 mile year.  Keep your eye on my daily mile update on the side.

People comment that I am an inspiration.  I am happy if I can help others "hang in there", but you have all helped inspire me as well.  I read of you successes, dealing with your challenges and a lot of you have given me pause for thought many times.  Thanks for inspiring me!

Hang in there and I will too!

Monday, November 7, 2011

What's Next?

There is something magical about running; after a certain distance, it transcends the body. Then a bit further, it transcends the mind. A bit further yet, and what you have before you, laid bare, is the soul.
Kristin Armstrong, Mile Markers blog at Runner's World.com
Mile Markers with Kristin Armstrong
Kristin Armstrong
It is hard for me to express sometimes why I run.  I think the quote I included today helps in a small way to explain to me what it is.  There are few things in life that can help me get a better look at my character, my determination and persistence than running.  It gives me a chance to face my limits and see what I have in me.

So... What's Next?
    I've had a fun and challenging last few months.  I ran a couple of 5K's, ran a 10K, ran two half marathons.  I even made it to the highest peak in Utah!  So what am I going to do now?  I find it helps if I have some short and long term goals.  Here's what's up for me.
    I took it easy this last week.  I have found when you run races, it puts extra stress on your body and you are pretty much forced to take it easy.  I didn't do anything on Monday and Tuesday.  On Wednesday, I walked a couple of miles on the treadmill and stretched.  That really helped.  Friday was my first day trying to run.  Even six days after the half, my legs still felt sluggish as I ran almost three miles.  This would have been an easy run the week before.  Saturday, I ran 5.5 miles as a tip of the hat to my age on my birthday.  I posted on Facebook that "Bill Hiatt ran 40 miles on his 40th.  Not to be outdone, I ran 5.5."  That was a hard 5.5 miles, when I was done, I hurt more than I did after I ran the half.  I think part of the problem was I ran too fast and a little too far.  This morning's run of 3.5 went much better.  I slowed down a bit and I felt much better, especially after stretching.
      Last Tuesday, I made the commitment to run a marathon by signing up for the Ogden marathon.  Others who have run this have said that this is a great marathon for someone doing their first and they really enjoy the course.  I must be crazy!  I'll be writing more about this as the weeks go on.  I start official training on January (brrrrrr) but I need to keep my base training up and get my core strong again.
      26.2 Ogden Marathon
      Ogden Marathon

        I also signed up for a Earn Your Turkey run on Thanksgiving morning.  It is a 4 miler.  It will be a good short term goal to get me back into training.
        Orem Thanksgiving Race 2006
        Earn Your Turkey

          I signed up for my work challenge -  Challenge: Maintain, don’t gain this holiday season! I have had mixed results in the past with the annual challenge.  I plan on being successful this year.  Last blog, I challenged you to do the same.
            Big Clyde (I always enjoy his blog!) left me a question in the comments last week that got me thinking.  He said:  

            "All-in-all, we're you happy with the race? I think you should be proud."  

            Thanks for that question because it really got me thinking.  I was disappointed with that this was my slowest half marathon.  But putting things in perspective, IT WAS A HALF MARATHON!  And thinking more about it, IT WAS MY THIRD HALF MARATHON!  Many years ago, I started training for a marathon.  When I got up to about 11 miles, I couldn't do it any more.  I was in my early thirties and I had to quit.  Here I am over 20 years later and I have done 10 miles and more dozens of times now as I have trained.  Two and a half years ago, I was 325 lbs and couldn't even walk a quarter of a mile without a lot of effort.  Now I am thinking I can do a marathon!  Thanks Clyde for putting this back into perspective for me!  I learned a lot  from this last half marathon.  One thing being, that you get out of it what you put into it.  The change to an easier paced half marathon schedule left me with an slower pace on race day.  
              Thanks to the support you give in the comments.  It really helps and encourages me to keep writing and to keep after my goals.  If I didn't post about them, I wouldn't be near as accountable as I am now.

              Hang in there and I will too!