Friday, June 29, 2007

Weight Loss Train...

This week just seemed to fly by and its now time for some weekend fun!

My niece turns 8 tomorrow so we are headed over to Rock Hill, SC. for her party which is about an hour away. Gracie is so excited and went out today and got her cousin a couple of gifts so it should be a fun time. There will be lots of pizza, cake, and ice cream but none of that will enter my stomach. I will be preparing my own meal and taking it with me. I'm now at a new cutting low of 203. Not much longer now and I will finally be below the 200 mark! I'm also seeing some great improvement in strength at the gym as several exercises have increased in weight over the last week.

For my strength workouts I'm using almost all dumbbell and barbell exercises. I love the free weights. I do use a few of the Hammer Strength machines for quads, hamstrings, and sometimes biceps but mostly free weights. My waist size has now gone down another full size as I'm now in my 34 shorts! It feels really good to pull clothes out of my closet, try them on, and them being way too big to wear. That's a great feeling!

My running this week has been non existent but I'm really ok with that because I will be running enough come July 9th. I am going to get a few runs in this weekend just to keep up some running but my mileage for June will be the lowest since October of last year. That will soon change! I've been doing some research on this new training concept that is very similar to what I've been doing over the last month. This concept addresses nutrition and workout frequency. I'm still reading so I will share more when I educate myself more, if that's possible!:) The pushup challenge is going great. Tonight will be 29 pushups and hopefully this time Gracie won't try and add 56 pounds to me. Talk about challenge!:) I found this picture of me this week at my heaviest weight and was floored. I will scan the photo in and post it this weekend. I couldn't believe it when I saw it.

I hope everyone has a great Friday night and Saturday morning! - Jason

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Quality Training

So far this week has been about strength training.

Bench Press: 4x10
Standing Calf Raises: 4x10
Lat Pulldown: 4x10
Weighted Crunches: 4x15
Incline Press: 3x10
Decline Press: 3x10
Shoulder Press: 3x10
Hammer Curls: 4x15
Regular Curls: 4x10
Leg Curl: 3x10
Pushups: 1x25

Bench Press: 4x10
Weighted Crunches: 4x15
Incline Press: 4x8
Decline Press: 4x8
Shoulder Press: 3x10
Flat Flyes: 3x10
Regular Curls: 4x10
Hammer Curls: 4x15
Pushups: 1x26

The pushup challenge is going strong as I pushed out 26 strong pushups with no problems. My weight has been very consistent and I anticipate finally hitting sub 200 very soon. No cheat meals for me as I've been like a rock! Tomorrow will bring another strength session at lunch and a short 3 mile easy run in the evening.

This weight loss success has been about consistent QUALITY training. My June so far:

June Snapshot:
Running: 31.3 Miles
Biking:48.3 Miles
Strength: 15
Weight Loss: 7 pounds

I will probably see somewhere between 10 to 12 pounds lost for June. I am very pleased to be able to lose basically the max amount of weight per month and still gain strength...very cool with me! You really don't want to lose any more then 2 pounds a week and if my strength was decreasing I would adjust my caloric intake and decrease my cardio to slow the weight loss to maximize the amount of lean body mass. So far though my strength gains are still increasing. My calories are sitting between 1500-2000 calories depending on the day. Sunday was a day off and I just creeped over 1500 calories for the day. Saturday I actually had just over 2100 calories but with strength and a 3 mile run it needed to be higher. Come July 9th I will be consuming more carbs and the amount of calories will slowly increase as the mileage increases. Hope everyone has a great Wednesday and hey Wes did I win a free dinner? - Jason

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Candlelight 5k

Got over to the race around 8pm last night and it was packed! I didn't do this run last year but looking at the results they had around 500 runners and this year had 800 pre registered.

Well, I would say they had close to a 1000 runners last night easily. I moved to the start line a little earlier so I could get a good spot at the front to avoid the traffic jamming. We waited a few minutes and then it was time for the countdown.

The gun went off and we were off. The first part of this course is slightly downhill and then goes uphill for a little then levels off and turns right into a new business complex called ICAR. Once you make that right hand turn it is all downhill for the next mile or so and then you turn around and come back. Yes, that means the last 2 plus miles, for the most part was all up hill with the exception of short level off and downhill section right near the finish.

So, I took off and when we hit the first hill I had no problems. When I reached the top I was really winded and just seem to be struggling. It was very humid and I was already drenched but I was thinking I never get this winded this quickly and then I glanced at my Garmin and noticed I was running a 6:55 pace...OUCH. No wonder I was hurting and had to slow down. I quickly slowed to about a 7:50 then eventually settled in around 8:00 pace. The downhill was great and I tried to take advantage and go as fast as I could knowing full well my pace would slow coming back up. The pic on the right is just after I crossed the finish line.

Made the turn around and headed up the climb. What makes this hill very difficult is not only is it steep but it just keeps going on and on. As I was running up the hill I passed two folks tossing their dinner and to be honest I was close to joining them. Hills are bad enough but add in the humidity and it just plain sucks. I wanted to stop and walk a few times but I stayed strong and was able to push my way without stopping. Once you crested the hill it leveled off and then a slight downhill before you hit the next hill straight up to the finish. Yes, the finish line was right on a small hill. When I neared the finish line I looked down and to my amazement I was still seeing sub 27 min. So I went into high gear and gave it everything I had, literally! Hit the finish line at 26:58 (8:36 pace). I'm happy to hold a sub 9 min pace on a course like that especially since I haven't been running nearly that much in the past few weeks. In fact, I think I can PR that course if I ran it again.:)

Gracie wanted to take a pic of Mommy and Daddy after the race. One frustrating note about the race. I went down to pick up my packet a little after 5pm. Got my packet and shirt and took back off to the house. When I got home I went through the packet which was filled with the typical race packet junk. I never thought twice when I didn't see a race chip. In fact out of all the races I've done only two have used chips so it wasn't a second thought not to have one. When I crossed the finish line I was pissed to see people taking their chips off. I received no chip which means my time was not recorded! Nothing I can do now but just be frustrated. Glad I decided to wear my Garmin! Oh well!

I will say this about the course, it was the toughest 5k course I've run. Besides the hills the humidity made things very difficult. Overall it was a great night and a lot of fun and for a great cause. We had a blast!

My weight this morning came in at 204 for an all time cutting low. I'm now very close to my sub 200 goal and the weight is just falling off. I am going to make one change to my marathon plan. I'm going to move my quads/calves workout from Tuesday to Thursday. That makes more sense since Friday is a rest day and Saturday is cross training. The quad workouts will be very light anyway.

Hope everyone has a great Monday morning! - Jason

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Marathon Training & Race Day...

The last couple of days have been right on target with the nutrition. This morning I jumped on the scale to a new cutting low of 206. The cool part, my lifts in the gym are going up and in fact last week I hit one of my personal goals for my strength training, bench pressing my body weight!

That means I'm dropping the fat and adding lean mass which is a very difficult balance between really hard work in the gym and in the kitchen. I'm dialed in now, last night we were out getting some sandals for Gracie and decided to head over to Sonic for some ice cream! Not me, they sucked down their ice cream and I stayed dialed in, no thank you!

Tonight is the Candlelight 5k charity run and I'm really looking forward to the run. It's a challenging course but I'm up for the task. I would love to PR but I'm not going to worry about time I'm just gonna go out and run as hard as I can. Bring on the hills, I love hills, can you tell I'm trying to convince myself there?:) Anyway, it should be alot of fun and Gracie is excited because she gets to stay up much later then her normal bedtime! I remember when I was a kid that was a really big deal so she will have fun.

This week brought on 4 strength training sessions and just 9 miles of running. I'm keeping the mileage dialed back a bit and will try and be consistent with 2 to 3 days a week. No more then 6.5 miles in distance. Come July 9th when the marathon training starts it will start to increase. My peak week is on week 15 (10/15 - 10/21) which will calculate to 42 miles with a long run of 22 that week. I will continue, as I said earlier, the strength training through the entire 18 week training plan. It will be the normal 4 day split routine up until week 10 and then I will move to a three day a week full body routine. That will last until week 16 were I will drop it down to just 2 days a week doing my full body routine, which will continue right up to race day.

I will be doing one 20 mile long run on week 13 and week 15 is the 22 mile run. After week 15 it's time to start the downhill in mileage. I'm going to take Thursday and Friday prior to the race as rest days. Total mileage through the entire 18 week program is 430 miles. I will be one lean mean marathon machine by November. One thing I also will do right up to the end is cross training which will be mostly biking but I may through some elliptical in there to switch it up every once in a while. Here's the breakdown on what I will be doing each week:

Monday - Strength Training
Tuesday - Easy Run + Strength (This day will start at 3 miles and only go to 5 miles by peak week)
Wednesday - Mid Distance + Strength (this day will increase to a 10 mile run by peak week)
Thursday - Tempo Run + Strength (This day starts at 3 miles and goes to 5 miles by peak week) I will rotate Tempo and Easy runs on Thursdays, so not tempo every Thursday
Friday - REST (Phew!)
Saturday - Cross Training (Biking and Elliptical at nice easy pace)
Sunday - Long Run (Starts at 6 miles and goes to 22 miles by peak week)

Strength Routine
Monday: Chest/Biceps/Core
Tuesday: Quads/Calves/Core
Wednesday: Shoulders/Triceps
Thursday: Back/Hamstring/Core

Yes I am doing 4 straight days of strength each week. Keep in mind this is a split routine with good separation between muscle groups giving me plenty of rest between each one. I will also keep a close watch on the program and make changes as needed. I feel this program will be the best at making my marathon experience the best it can be. It will take alot of hard work but I am looking forward to July 9th when the training starts.

So there's the rundown of what my days will look like come July 9th. Most of my runs during the week will be done in the evening with some in the early morning hours. My strength training will occur during my lunch hour Mon-Thurs. My diet will also stay very strict through the entire 18 weeks. That's the plan, now it's time for an egg white omelet and start getting ready for the race this evening! Have a great Saturday night! - Jason

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Feeling Thankful...

Run: 5.3 Miles
Time: 53:54
Pace: 10:11

Tonight's run was the first run I didn't look at my garmin at all during the run. Took a nice easy pace and just took in the scenery. No predetermined route just went out and ran.

Funny thing happened...I don't remember much of the run as my mind wondered to how blessed I really am and how thankful I should be just to be healthy enough to be out running. It's so easy to take so many things for granted. Lately I've been unhappy about my job, or should I say, complaining about my job, when in reality, I need to be thankful I have job to complain about. I've been so lucky that God has blessed me with a wonderful wife and a great kid that puts up with all the running and training, getting up early for races, and cheering me on to the finish lines.

I thought about those men and women who are overseas defending the very freedom that allows me to go out and run 5 miles. I thought about their families and how much they must miss their loved ones, what a sacrifice! I thought about my cousin Chucky that's probably headed over to Iraq very soon. I pray that God will keep him safe. I thought about so many other things and before I knew it I was headed down into my neighborhood and finishing my run. I stopped my garmin right at 5.3 miles. I walked around the driveway for about 10 minutes and stretched real good.

It was so nice to be able to get out and reflect on life and what it is I need to be thankful for. It was so nice to be able to just run and not worry about pace, time, or distance. It was so nice to!

My nutrition today was good but I missed my afternoon meal, which is my biggest meal, and it really put my calories too low for the day. I was going to add a meal this evening but I just didn't feel like eating it. My total calories for the day were 1300. I was curious how I was going to feel on my run but as you read above I don't really remember, no I felt fine no problems at all. Hey, it will probably spur some additional weight loss. No cheat meals in my near future. I'm in a zone with my diet!

I did finish my marathon plan and will post an example of what I will be doing sometime tomorrow. I took Hal Higdon's Novice 1 plan and made a few small tweaks to fit my needs but the short of it is, 4 days of running. One tempo, one easy, one mid distance, and a long run. One full day of rest and one full cross training day. I will also continue my 4 day split strength training for the first few weeks and then probably scale that back as I move through the plan. Anyway, I will give a more detailed view tomorrow. Have a great Thursday and think about what it is your thankful for! - Jason

Monday, June 18, 2007

Back to Running...

Run: 3.1 Miles
Time: 28:17
Pace: 9:08

Well, I missed my wake up call this morning and didn't get up until 6:50! Way too late to get in a run and get to work on time. I'm not much of a morning person and I still don't know how for about 6 months or more I did my 5:30am cardio session a couple of years ago...I know, going to bed before midnight might help!:) Back then I was in bed by 10pm every night. Gotta get back to the habit of early to bed, early to rise!

Got a great strength workout in at lunch doing chest, biceps, and core. I also added three sets on the lat pulldown and three sets of standing calf raises to the mix.

Bench Press: 4x10
Incline Press: 3x10
Decline Press: 3x10
Dumbbell Chest flyes: 3x10
Hammer Curls: 4x10
Regular Curls: 3x10
Straight Bar Curls: 3x10
Weighted Crunches: 4x15
Regular Pushups: 1x18
Lat Pulldown: 4x10
Standing Calf Raises: 3x10

Followed my nutrition plan to the letter today not missing a meal and not cheating. Here was the food consumption.

7:15am: 3 eggs/1 yolk, 1 whole grapefruit with splenda, 32oz water
10:00am: 1 large banana, 32oz water
12:00pm: 1 organic whole wheat wrap, 1 tbsp organic light balsamic vinaigrette, 1/4 cup feta cheese, 1 roma tomato, 4oz boneless skinless chicken breast, 3 pickle chips, 1 diet cherry pepsi
3:00pm: 1 cup oatmeal, 1/4 cup sugar free maple syrup, 2 tbsp natural peanut butter, 32oz water
5:30pm: 1 organic whole wheat wrap, 1 tbsp organic light balsamic vinaigrette, 1/4 cup feta cheese, 1 roma tomato, 8oz sliced turkey, 3 pickle chips, 32oz water
7:30pm: 1/2 cup cottage cheese, 2 tbsp sugar free red raspberry jelly, 32oz water

After dinner I played with Gracie on the new playset for a little bit and then she wanted to ride her bike so we got her helmet on and she road around the cul-de-sac for about 30 minutes pretending to deliver mail to all our neighbors!:) After she went down to bed around 8:30 tonight I was able to get out on my run. The plan was to do 3.1 miles at nice steady tempo. It took my legs about a mile to really loosen up and feel good and by mile two I felt great. My route did take me over a couple of tough hills and I have to say I felt pretty good going up and over. Very happy to keep it close to the 9min mile pace.

My friends Mendy and David are going to run the Candlelight 5k coming up this Saturday night and I decided it would be a fun run to do. It actually starts at 9pm and the run is outlined with luminaries, cool stuff. So, I am adding that 5k and maybe one other 5k or 8k before my marathon but not much more in the way of races after that. I think this race will be alot of fun and also a little challenging. I know the course well and there are a couple of nasty hills in this one so I'm not expecting to PR but I am expecting to have fun. I'm not going to worry about time or pace I'm just gonna go out and enjoy an evening race with friends! Hopefully David and Mendy are still planning on running?:) Should be a nice evening!

I'm almost finished my marathon plan. I decided to do a modified Hal Higdon Novice 1 plan. This is an 18 week plan that will start on July 9th. Once I get it all completed I will post a good example of it. Hope everyone has a great Tuesday! - Jason

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Weight Dropping...

My weight is really starting to fall off. I'm now at a new cutting low of 208 pounds. Had a great Saturday at my sister's in Rock Hill, SC. The will power was tested yesterday and I succeeded. I passed up pizza, cake, ice cream, and candy and planned my own meals for the day. Planning my meals out day to day is a big reason for my weight loss success. I've jumped on the weight loss train and I ain't gettin' off for a while!:)

Yesterday was a full day of rest from workouts and a good rest at that. Now it's time to kick up the running mileage again and get back to it. Strength workouts will continue at the normal 4 day a week plan this week. I'm going to make a strong attempt at getting up at the unholy hour of 5:30am and do a 3 mile run...did that sound convincing?:) Will see how it goes! Strength training at lunch and family time in the evening for tomorrow. My pushup challenge is going really well. This afternoon I did my 17 pushups with no problems and I went a head and did 20 crunches as well. Tomorrow will be 18.

My nutrition today was as follows...

8:00 am: 1 Large Banana, 32oz water
10:30am: 1 cup oatmeal, 2tbsp Natural Peanut Butter, 1/4 cup sugar free maple syrup, 32oz water
1:30am: 1 ruby red grapefruit, 32oz water
4:00pm: 1 organic whole wheat wrap, 4oz of boars head turkey, 1 roma tomato, 1/4 cup feta cheese, 1 tbsp organic light balsamic vinaigrette, 1 diet cherry pepsi
6:00pm: 1 organic whole wheat wrap, 4oz of boars head turkey, 1 roma tomato, 1/4 cup feta cheese, 1 tbsp organic light balsamic vinaigrette, 32oz water
8:00pm: 1/2 cup cottage cheese, 2 tbsp smucker's red raspberry sugar free jelly, 32oz water

This calculates to just over 1800 calories for the day. I have to say that turkey wrap I made was really good. So good at 4pm I had it again two hours later.:) I hope all the fathers out there had a great Father's day! I know I did. There was nothing better this morning then getting a homemade father's day card from my 4 year old Gracie! It was awesome when she looked up at me and said...."your the best daddy I've ever had, happy father's day daddy!!!!":) I chuckled and gave her a big kiss and hug! Awesome...just awesome! Have a great Monday morning. - Jason

Friday, June 15, 2007

For David & Wes...

I think this towel would help David and Wes! Keep them on track like the soap!

Sorry, I couldn't resist!

Marcy, your in luck!
Wow, look guys...problem more wondering!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Building Strength...Where's the Running?

My strength workouts have been fantastic this week, worthy of a gold star! Ok, maybe not but I'm loving the strength training. My running however has been non existent this week. The last run I had I believe was last Friday. Up until this week the longest I've gone without running since October was three days. I'm actually considering not running until Sunday. Maybe now is a good time to take a solid week off, especially since my marathon training will start very soon. Good time to rest the joints and gear up for the higher volume of running that awaits.
I'm still trying to tweak my plan and I had a good conversation with Mendy this morning about speedwork. She brought up some good points and made me think about why I would do speedwork. I also took the time to read a few good articles on the subject as well and have come to what I feel is the best decision for me. I will not be doing speedwork as part of my training. Since I've only been running consistently since October I do not feel it would be of any benefit to me at this point in my running. For me it will be about the all important long runs and building that endurance up over the 18 week plan.
Don't get me wrong I feel speedwork does have alot of benefits and I know Mendy has had good success doing it but I'm not trying for a PR or break any land speed records so why put my body through the stress of speedwork? I would rather put that energy into my long runs and tempo work. I should have a plan finalized by the end of next week and will post an example of what I will be doing. Thanks Mendy for discussing it with me and I went back and forth about it all day.

My diet has been super clean all week. I do have a bone to pick with my wife. The last two nights I have had to watch my two ladies suck down homemade chocolate milkshakes with whip cream and cherries! Wrong, just wrong on so many levels. I was able to fight off the urge and stay true to my nutrition which consisted of the following...
8oz grilled boneless skinless chicken breast
2 whole organic eggs with yolks
1 cup steamed broccoli
2 hours later...
1/2 cup cottage cheese
1 cup sliced strawberries
2 tbsp Natural Peanut Butter
I'm guessing but I think by tomorrow morning my weight will hit an all time cutting low. I will report tomorrow on that front. Gracie has not had a lot of time to play on her new playset due to all the storms we've been having but has really enjoyed the short time shes had. I even goofed around on it with her last night. This Saturday we are going to my sister's house, my nephew David has turned the big 10! WAHOO happy b-day! They live only about an hour or so away and we're looking forward to it, will be lots of fun. Gracie just loves her cousins!
Tomorrow will be another good strength workout and then some much needed weekend fun! Hope everyone has a great Friday! - Jason

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

It Is Finished...

Wow...tonight we finally finished the play set and after dissecting terrible instructions, missing parts, and broken pieces, it is finished! I thought putting baby toys together was a challenge but this topped them all. This project started out Sunday afternoon when the Lowe's delivery guys pulled up around 1pm. After we started pulling all the parts out we quickly realized we had some broken and missing pieces and Ashli got on the horn with Lowe's and they were able to come out and replace everything by 4pm. So, we were able to finally put a dent into the assembly and we worked until about 7pm Sunday night. What made Sunday even more difficult was the heat. It was easily in the 90's and very humid. We made the mistake of not covering the hardware while working. Bob and I found out really fast how hot metal can get when left in the sun...OUCH! It was like grabbing a hot poker! Did we learn our lesson for whatever reason we just continued to leave them sitting out baking in the sun! Well, after spending time on Monday and today it's now completed. They did short us one board which you can't see in the pic but the company is sending it to us and it should be here in a couple of days. It's just a small framing piece so no big deal.

Here is Gracie enjoying the fruits of our labor and looking at this picture it was worth every pain staking moment! The play set is from Lowe's and manufactured by Leisure Time Products. Even though their directions were not the best and we had some missing parts (can't blame them for the damaged parts that was Lowe's) it really was well designed structurally and a very sturdy unit. I think SAM'S club has a very similar unit in fact it looks like it may be a Leisure Time Product as well based on the design. What I liked about the unit we got is that you can add to the play set. It has a tunnel, climbing wall, and another slide you can add to it if you want. It also has some cool smaller add-ons like a steering wheel, lookout telescope and a few other neat things. Underneath the little fort is an area for a sandbox so I will have to go down and pick up some sand in the next week or so. Ok, just so glad to get that finished.
To catch up on the workouts yesterday I was able to get a good strength workout in at lunch and I'm really starting to see awesome strength gains. I'm noticing also my body starting to change especially my mid section. I really want to make sure I have a strong core for my marathon so I'm working hard in the gym and on the diet to achieve that. It's not about wanting a six pack or anything like that just want good core strength.
I started something on June first that I forgot to mention. I started a pushup challenge to myself. On the first I did one pushup, on the second of June I did two pushups and so on. Today is the 12th so I did 12 pushups tonight. I'm gonna do the same thing in July only situps. My freezer is filled with boneless skinless chicken breast and the fridge filled with fruits and veggies. Today was a training day off but tomorrow will be double duty with a strength workout and a run. Diet tomorrow will just about be the same from today and Monday. I'm averaging about 2200 calories of all clean foods a day. Well, I have a class in the morning so I must get my beauty sleep!:) Have a great Wednesday. - Jason

Monday, June 11, 2007

Moving Forward

Wow, what a weekend. Friday I did get my strength training in at lunch. Saturday morning I went 14.1 on the bike and seem to really struggle, I just wasn't in to it but was glad to at least get some mileage in.

Saturday afternoon we went down to Lowe's and purchased a big play set for my daughter and had it delivered Sunday afternoon. My father-in-law came over around 1:30 and we got started on the assembly. By 5:30pm we were still working in the blazing heat and we still didn't finish. The project didn't start off well when I started pulling all the pieces out we had some damaged and missing parts and after a couple of hours and Lowe's bringing out new pieces we were able to continue. The directions were not very clear in several sections but we were able to make some headway. Meanwhile, my daughter is jumping out of her skin for us to get the thing together.:) Hopefully tonight we can make a little more headway on the main piece.

Last nights meal consisted of about 2 cups of whole wheat pasta in organic tomato sauce and a small salad. I have decided not to do any more races until my marathon. My main goal is drop fat between now and November. I will be starting my marathon training plan in about 4 weeks. I would love to be in single digit body fat by November 10th. I'm about 21% right now so lots of work to do in the gym and the kitchen. Here's my plan for tomorrow....

Meal 1: Organic egg white omelet, 2 slices of organic whole wheat bread, 1 grapefruit, 32oz water
Meal 2: 1 cup oatmeal, 2 tbsp natty PB, 1/4 sugar free maple syrup, 32oz water
Meal 3: 2 Morningstar Veggie patties, 32oz water
Meal 4: 1/2 cup cottage cheese, 2 tbsp sugar free smuckers red raspberry jelly, 32oz water
Meal 5: 8oz Chicken breast, 1 cup broccoli, 1 can diet cherry pepsi
Meal 6: 1/2 cup cottage cheese, 2 tbsp smuckers red raspberry jelly, 2tbsp Natty PB, 32oz water
Meal 7: 1 large banana

Banana will be decent fuel for my run tonight as long as everything goes as planned on the play set (knocking on wood). Here's the plan:

Super Clean Diet
4 Day a week strength
4 Day a week Cardio - My running and Biking for cross training.

In about 4 weeks I will start my actual 18 week marathon training so things may change a little and I will post a sample of the plan once complete.

Hope everyone had a great weekend and is having a great Monday so far! Waiting to see how my buddy David did on his first international level triathlon! - Jason

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Adding Mileage

Run: 6.4 Miles
Time: 1:08:24
Pace: 10:40

Didn't get out to my run tonight until a little after 9pm. I really didn't think about the distance but knew I wanted to run at least a solid hour. When I walked outside I was hit with this really sticky and nasty air. About 25 minutes in I was soaked and wishing I had taken some water with me. Even with nasty air it was a good quality easy run for me and I was able to finish strong.

So far I've got 20 miles of running this month, 35 biking miles, and 4 days per week in strength training.

Had another good strength workout today...

Bench Press 4x10
Incline Press 4x10
Hammer Curls 4x10 (added weight)
Standing Dumbbell Curls 4x10 (added weight)
Dumbbell Flat Flyes 4x10 (added weight)
Dumbbell Front Raise 4x10 (added weight)
Dumbbell Laterial Rasie 3x10
Shoulder Press (Machine) 3x10
Lat Pulldown 3x10 (added weight)
Leg Curl 3x10
Seated Leg Press 3x10 (added weight)
Weighted Crunches 4x15 (added weight)

I'm really feeling the inches fall off and I've dropped 2 pounds since last Friday. A good consistent strength program, with a good cardio program, and "clean" eating is a great recipe for fat loss. I still need to kick my diet up to the next level. Its not terrible but I really want to add a little more protein.

I'm going to start to incorporate my protein powder, Nitrean, back into my daily routine as well as cottage cheese and my boneless skinless chicken breast. That coupled with my egg whites will be my protein.

Here is a sample of what my nutrition will look like.

Meal 1: 4 (1 yolk) Egg White Omelet with Veggie Sausage and 2 slices Organic Whole Wheat toast
Meal 2: 2 cups Oatmeal with 1/4 Cup Sugar Free maple syrup and 2 tbsp Natural Peanut Butter 1/2 cup organic milk
Meal 3: 8oz Chicken Breast and 2 cups steamed broccoli
Meal 4: Large Banana
Meal 5: Nitrean Chocolate Protein Shake (Whey, Casein, Egg proteins) 2 tbsp Natty PB
Meal 6: 8oz Chicken Breast and 2 cups green beans and 1/2 cup brown rice
Meal 7: 1 cup cottage cheese and 2 tbsp Smuckers Sugar Free Jelly

There will be lots more on the menu like grapefruits, yams, tuna, veggie patties, and turkey. Also all veggies are game. I have to really switch up the veggies as I get sick of eating one all the time, although I have been known to do that. Most of my calories right now come from carbs but that will soon change to a more balanced breakdown. It will be hard as the wife and kiddo suck down their yummy comfort food but I'm determined to get the rest of this weight off before the marathon in November. Hope everyone has a great Friday....TGIF. - Jason

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Good Strength...Strong Run...

Run: 4 Miles
Time: 36:30
Pace: 9:08

Tonight was another good tempo run for me. My legs felt strong and rested. The bike riding and the strength training has been a big reason for my faster pace times and now I'm able to hold that pace beyond the 5k distance, very excited about that. I had to stop twice to cross the main road but beyond that every mile felt strong. I'm looking forward to running more this month then the last two months.

Today at lunch was another strength training session.

Bench Press 3x10 (added weight)
Incline Press 3x10 (added weight)
Standing Calf Raises 3x10
Front Lat Pulldown 3x10
Hammer Curls 3x15
Regular Curls 3x10
Straightbar Curls 3x10
Dumbbell Front Raise 3x10
Dumbbell Laterial Raise 3x10
Dumbbell Shoulder Press 3x10
Weighted Crunches 4x15

It seems I'm starting to move away from the 4 day split and doing more of a 4 day full body! I need to get back in line with my 4 day split which will be on Friday but overall very pleased with my strength gains so far.

On another note I did finally decide on a new multi vitamin. It's actually a balanced vitamin, mineral, and herb nutritional system. It's called Nature's Code developed by Edward A. Taub, MD. I will be receiving a new supply every 90 days.

Here is the rundown on the male under 50 program. They have different packs for Women as well.

Calories 10
Carbohydrates 1
Vitamin A -- 2000IU
Vitamin C -- 1000mg
Vitamin D -- 400IU
Vitamin E -- 400IU
Thiamin -- 10mg
Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) -- 10mg
Niacin -- 20mg
Vitamin B6 -- 20mg
Folate (Folic Acid) -- 600mcg
Vitamin B12 -- 200mcg
Biotin -- 30mcg
Pantothenic Acid -- 30mg
Calcium -- 800mg
Magnesium -- 400mg
Zinc -- 40mg
Selenium -- 200mcg
Chromium -- 100mcg
Coenzyme Q10 -- 50mg
Asian Ginseng (Root)
Standardized Extract -- 100mg
Lycopene -- 700mcg
Lutein -- 500mcg

Each daily packet contains the following:

2 Multi-Vitamin Tablets: Provide the essential vitamins and minerals to help meet your nutritional needs. The antioxidant Vitamin C is included as well as the B-Complex vitamins to help your body turn food into energy. The minerals in this formula are helpful for a healthy nervous system and a healthy heart. The tablets also contain Selenium. Selenium has been the subject of important recent research, indicating many promising health benefits. Ginseng is used to support the mind and body. Lutein and Lycopene are key nutrients. Lutein is for eye health and Lycopene for heart health.

1 Coenzyme Q10 Tablet: Q10 has been added because it is found in almost every cell in the body. It plays a vital role in the production of energy in cells and is a powerful antioxidant.

2 Calcium-Magnesium-Zinc Tablets:

Calcium - has been proven to help maintain good health by promoting strong bones and teeth. Along with exercise, calcium plays an important role in strengthening bone density. It also helps maintain a healthy heart.

Magnesium - is required by the body to turn blood sugar into energy. It supports the immune system and is important in maintaining proper nerve and muscle functions.

Zinc - is involved in metabolism and aids in proper growth.

1 Vitamin E Tablet: Required for the healthy formation of red blood cells and has a positive effect on cardiovascular health. Recent research strongly supports the antioxidant benefits of this essential vitamin. It also appears to support normal hormone function.

I found Nature's Code to be comparable to other Pharmaceutical grade multivitamin systems out there. One of the other good ones out there is the USANA HealthPak 100. I feel these type systems are far superior to the one a day mutli's you find in the grocery store. Just compare the labels.

One of the other supplements I started taking is for joint support.GLUCOSAMINE (500mg) CHONDROITIN (400mg) MSM JOINT (166mg)SOOTHER® Caps from Puritan's Pride. I feel this is going to be a must for me with my marathon training getting ready to start.

Anyway, I started Nature's Code yesterday so I thought I would share. - Jason

Monday, June 4, 2007

Post Race Workouts & Monthly Totals

Sunday morning I got up and felt really good with little to no soreness. I decided about 1:30 to head to the gym to lift.

Sunday Strength
Bench Press 4x10 (added weight)
Incline Press 3x10 (added weight)
Decline Press 3x10 (added weight)
Hammer Curls 4x15
Standing Dumbbell Curls 4x10
Straightbar Curls 3x10
Flat Dumbbell Flyes 3x10 (added weight)
Seated Leg Press 3x10 (light weight)
Seated Leg Curl 3x10 (light weight)
Lat Pulldown 3x10 (added weight)
Weighted Crunches 4x15 (added weight)

When I got home the wife was not back from helping the mother-in-law so I decided to jump on the bike for a good ride.

Sunday Ride
Distance: 12 Miles
Time: 1:00:48
Pace: 12mph

I basically did hill repeats and then rotated and did several short sprints. I felt just fantastic afterward and enjoyed a great relaxing evening with the wife and the 4 year old monster!:)

Last night I had the chance to review my logs and take a look at my May totals and I was very pleased.

May Totals
Ran: 52 Miles
Biked: 85 Miles
Strength Trained: 4 per week average

Very happy to finally see consistent strength training for a solid month and it will continue. I'm still not seeing the scale weight move much still stuck around 210 but the inches are falling and I'm starting to see the benefits of my hard work in the gym. Very pleased with my bike mileage and that will continue as well this month. I still managed to get over 50 miles of running in and those were really quality miles for me. June will more then likely be a slightly higher number. Marathon training will start in about 5 weeks. Once I decide on a plan and tweak it for me I will share. Mendy was nice enough to share her plan and I may still take that and tweak it a little for me. There is only 23 weeks to go so it's fast approaching!

Today I got another good strength training session in at lunch this time with slightly lighter weight and very controlled movements. Tomorrow will be my first run since the race and I'm looking forward to hitting the pavement, it will be just a nice easy recovery run!

Hope everyone has a great Monday! - Jason

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Richard B. Russell Duathlon - Race Report

The Morning started at a very early 5:00 am with me up and eating my banana and drinking my water. By the time we got all packed up and out the door it was 6:15 am. It was about a 20 minute drive over to the park and after about 5 minutes or so we found a good parking spot. Once we gathered all my stuff we headed over to the main area. I was able to quickly get marked and pick up my race chip without waiting in line. As I made my way into the transition area my wife and kiddo found a good spot to setup camp. Found my transition area and got things setup quickly. Found my crew and was able to spend some time goofing around.

Finally they called the swimmers over to the lake and us duathloners:) to the start line. Now, I was really surprised to see only about 30 to 40 runners for the duathlon. We had to wait what seemed like forever for a few late comers and they were also trying to coordinate the swim and run starts. I have to say that they did a fantastic job coordinating the race.

I waited very eagerly at the back of the small pack. The weather was just perfect for the event with overcast skies and the temp never hitting 75 degrees...perfect. When you look at the pick on the left that is pretty much the entire duathlon crew. Maybe about 10 or so runners cut out but not too much more then that. Also, you may be able to tell the we are at the bottom of hill for the start. Yes, they had us run up that for the first few tenths and then the course turned right onto a nice flat smooth road. After a few minutes of waiting we were off.

I stayed to the back and as we were heading up the hill I checked the pace and it was right at 9:30. In the pic on the left notice the older gentleman in the blue shirt and blue shorts, I'll get back to him a little later, just notice him.:) I hung back behind 4 or 5 runners for the first half mile and then I made my move and kicked it in high gear passing all of them. After that I decided not to look at my pace and just run as hard and as fast as I could. At the 2.5 mile mark the course went off road and onto a trail that was kind of a rolling downhill into the transition area. When I hit stop on the Garmin I was very pleased to see 26:21 (8:30 pace) for the first leg...WOHOO blew my goal out of the water.
I was very happy and feeling very strong at this point. My transition time was very fast and once past the yellow line I mounted my rig and I was off on leg number two. Remember that old guy in blue, he's still running the first leg. Again, this leg also started by going up that little hill and then it leveled out nicely until we hit the main road and I saw...THE BEAST, that's my nickname for one of the monster hills on this bike route. Surprisingly the climb, while challenging, went well and at mile 5.8 the route leveled off again. As I was cruising down the road around 18mph I had this guy just fly by me and just as he gets past me his rear tire blows and he cuts right in front of me to pull over, I had to jump out of the saddle and move to the left and as I was avoiding flat tire guy another fast rider had to avoid me, no wrecks and everyone was ok.

I had a lot of people pass me on the bike and every person that passed I wanted to lay the hammer down and try and pass them back but I knew I had to ride my race. We still had several miles to go and I needed to just relax and have fun, so I did. At about mile 11 I had this woman ride right up beside me and say, "you have the greatest calves", as she passed me! I said to her...thanks but they must not be doing me much good your blowing by me!:) We both laughed. I checked her go girl she was fast! I stayed with her for a few miles and then she took off and again I told myself...I'm running my race not hers, soak in the ride and have fun. So, remember the old guy in blue? Well at about mile 16 he blows by me like I was standing still, no joke. I was doing about 15mph at the time up a slow grade. He was 73 years old and in awesome shape for his age. Just amazing to see him do what he was doing. I actually caught back up to him and rode with him for about a mile and then he dropped the 73 year hammer on me.:)

I made the turn at mile 18.8 to head back to the park which required one last difficult climb. Before the climb there was a real nice descent that got me up to about 38mph and I was hoping "old blue" could hold together.:) Then as I was climbing up the last hill I had this girl pass me and as she was climbing she fell apart and I was able to pick her off. We turned right back into the park and it was all downhill from there. When I looked down at my computer as I approached the dismount area it read 1:22:00, I think. My bike time was somewhere between 1:22:00 and 1:33:00. I averaged just about 15mph for 22 miles. My bike computer got reset somehow when leaving this morning.
There I am coming in from the 22 mile bike ride, making sure to dismount before yellow line. Again, I felt like my transition time was at a good clip and I was able to get out on the final 10k leg. Now, the only bad part was we did the run from leg one in reverse which meant hitting the trail uphill. This was a 3.1 mile out and back 2 lapper. I kept my stride nice and short going up the trail and once I reached the top I hit the level pavement running. I made it to mile 2 and decided to walk through the water station.

That would be a recurring theme as I had to stop and walk several times during the final run. When I started the final 10k I noticed my right calf was really causing me some grief as well as both my quads. I felt like they were cramping up so I drank as much water and Powerade as I could. The picture on the left is me coming off the bike and heading to the final 10k run. The end of the first lap takes you right down the hill to the finish line so you have runners who are finishing on the right and runner heading into their second lap on the left. It got kind of hairy for moment because you have runners trying to finish strong and the slower runners trying to move to the left and out of the way. I was able to avoid any problems and head into my second lap.

The picture on the right is me heading into my last 3.1 miles. My daughter slapped me five and I was on my way. By mile 5 my calf and quads seem to loosen up nicely and I was able to at least keep a nice steady 12 min pace. When I rounded one corner there was one gentleman that was severely dehydrated and had fallen over. Thankfully he had 3 or 4 race vols there and they called rescue to come pick him up. Hope he's ok! After rounding the corner it was all downhill to the finish. I was able to pick my pace up a little bit to try and salvage what walking I did but looking at my Garmin I knew I wasn't going to come under the 1:10:00 I wanted to. I'm ok with it and I think when I crossed the finish line the time was 1:15:40 something (12:13 pace).

This is me just before crossing the finish line of the final leg. I was so excited when crossing the finish line as I hugged my kid and kissed the wife. What an amazing experience...I have been bitten by the multi sport bug. In fact I think I'm going to do another duathlon at the end of July in this same series. It's down outside of Augusta, GA and it's a sprint distance. A 5k then an 11 mile bike, and another 5k. Anyway, even though I didn't hit my goal time on the last run because I did better then I thought on the first and second leg I far exceeded my goals for this race and even more importantly I had an absolute blast. We got back into town and had a great lunch at Panera Bread. I was hungry and it was yummy! Thanks for all the well wishes...I think I'm hooked already!! - Jason
Official Times are in...
Run #1: 26:19 (8:30 pace)---------Goal Time was sub 30
T1: 2:27 (Sure didn't feel like that long...I must have taken a nap:))
Bike: 1:28:43 (14.9 mph avg.)-------Goal Time was 1:35:00
T2: 2:30 (Again, these transition times are hard to believe)
Run #2: 1:12:35 (11:43 pace)--------Goal Time was 1:10:00
Overall Time: 3:12:36----------Goal Time was 3:14:00
Very happy with times. I finished in 4th place out of 4 in my age group for the duathlon. I should have been classified as a clydesdale. I would have been the only clydesdale in the duathlon! Oh well no biggie. I'm very happy with the first leg and a new PR for the 5k distance for me. My last 5k race time was 31:05 in Jan. what a great improvement in speed in a little over 4 months. Transition times were a real eye opener and I will be working on those for the next race. I am very happy with my results and look forward to really improving my overall endurance and speed in future races.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Race Day Is Here...

Thanks for all the kind words. Got to the race site at 1:45 this afternoon and picked up my packet. Not many people around the site and they were still setting up. Got a chance to see the transition area and drive a portion of the bike route on the way to check into the hotel. Let me just say one thing...holy hill at about mile 2 through 4 is a serious gradual climb. What goes up must come down and there is a great down hill on the other side. I'm looking forward to that.

My daughter has been a little hyper, can you tell, and jumped in one of the pictures! She is having a blast swimming in the hotel pool. We actually checked in our room around 3:00 pm and got settled in. Elberton, GA is not a very big town, like I had to say that, so there is not a lot of eating other then fast food type places. I did manage to find a Subway and had a great foot long subway sandwich with some baked lays chips! Yum, Yum!

My plan is to get up around 5:30 and drink about 32oz of water and eat a large banana. I will take around 30oz of Powerade and 30oz water to the race with me. I have a 16oz bottle for my bike that will have water in it and two 10oz bottles of Powerade in my Fuel Belt. If I go through that or they get to warm my wife Ashli will pass some Powerade to me while on the last leg. I do have a Hammer Gel pack that I will take on the bike if I need it and the looks of that hill and the others I just might! Anyway I'm feeling really good, my tummy is full and it will be an early bed time tonight. We are going to pack up and leave the hotel around 6:30am which should put us in the park about 40 minutes early so I can rack my bike, setup my transition area, and have some time to warmup and chill out before the race starts.

Hope everyone has a great night and a fun Saturday, I know I will be!:) I will post a full race report with pics as soon as I can! Thanks again for all the kind words! - Jason