Losing It/Fitness

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The times while I was going through the changes in my life.. going from the Old Mal to the New Mal

 

Training Update

Well it has been a month since the injury at the end of February and as I start the last month before the half marathon I have finally come to the conclusion that I doubt i will be able to run the full half marathon. I am barely back running as it is right now.

It has been a long process for the last month as I kept my brain in check without falling apart again. I have been trying not to just give up entirely and keep pushing forward with the running. I had hoped to be running solidly by now but unfortunately 2km at the moment is the longest stretch I have managed (though I am going for 2.5km tomorrow). The running is slow, but it is definitely happening. Slow is better than not at all right?

So I have finally come to the conclusion that although I won’t be able to run the whole way, I am going to try and run as much as possible. I am already $120 in the hole for this half marathon and I am not going to waste that, so if I have to walk some of it, I have to walk, so be it. I am not giving up! I may not be able to run but I am going to give it a crack anyway.

I also have really decided that maybe a half marathon is a bit far for me. I still love my 5ks, I love doing a 10k as my real challenge, so maybe that is as far as I push it? Is a half marathon just that little bit to far for me? I don’t really know and only time can tell but for the immediate future, I will stick to 5k runs!

Tomorrow I run again (after giving today as a break day in between training) and will go for a 2.5km run with a 500m walk and then another 2km run back. That should hopefully do ok enough that on Saturday I can try for a full 5km. If that works and I don’t feel the pain too much, then I can start adding back in the length to the run. Who knows, maybe I can run at least half of the distance in one stretch? Time will tell.

:(

This is not the post I wanted to make while giving updates about my Half Marathon training. Im screwed :( My injury from last year has come back to haunt me and i have strained the same muscle i did in Hong Kong. It’s crap and I have only myself to blame but right now, I am stuck.

I have already paid for the entry fee to the Vancouver Half and now I 100% know I won’t be ready. Right now I don’t know if I should just keep training towards running the half still or training more towards getting myself recovered from the injury. I know that if I try to run the half, things are probably not going to end well (and a big part of me is saying that I should just suck it up and take it like a man) with possible further injury. But then I would be wasting all that money I have already paid for the entry fee.

Unsure what to do about the race right now I need to try and at least get back to running out right. I tried running this morning, was aiming for a good 1km run just to get myself back after a week off of running (not training) but i got about 500m in and the muscle started to fight back. I was able to walk still and it was a bit stiff on the way to work, but it’s not to bad now.

I know I need to work back towards actually being able to run, but at what point do I give up on the half? Should I still stick the half and just do what i can in a Run/Walk mix? Do I just go balls to the wall and go for the run? Should I just give up entirely of this half marathon challenge and stick to 10ks?

Should

Quitting

I went to church this morning (Yes a few people will be shocked by this but stick with me here) with Heidi. It was not the first time it has happened, it probably also will not be the last, and suprisingly I left this morning feeling like someone had been reading my mind. They talked about “Being in a Team” and how we all have someone (aka God) to back us up as we will all be tempted to quit. The person giving the sermon was actually really good and even gave a good example, one that really struck home. He talked about training for a half marathon. Hello!!

The temptation to quit runs through my head quite a lot, it is something I deal with on a daily basis. I look at things like the during the weight loss period (something I have been struggling with still lately) where I had others to support me, guide me, to keep me going and I felt that if i quit, I wasn’t just letting myself down, I was letting others down. To be honest, up until now, I didn’t really feel that way over here. I have felt alone, I have felt that things every day in life (work etc) are mine and mine alone. Though I have friends over here, I had not really realised just how much of an impact they have on your life. It really hit home this morning when I heard about not wanting to give into that temptation to quit, to keep going, to strive and in those times of struggle when we really need help, to look to those around us for help.

Yesterday I was back on Burke Gilman for my 13km training run. It was cold, I was tired and the rain kept away until the last kilometre. All the things that when combined (Worse if it was raining the whole time) create a perfect storm of quitting, or as you hear me refer to it as “copping out”. I could have made excuses, I could have said “I will do it tomorrow” but instead I sucked it up and kept going. The only person I am letting down is myself, but can I live with myself when I want to cop out. I know my friends would have understood me, but would I be happy with myself. Could I look at my friends and family in the same way and feel the same if I told them I had quit? I know that the sermon talked about support from those people, but could I let them down? Could I let myself down?

I ran the 13km in a fairly good time, within what I had expected. I am aiming for 2.5 hours for my Half Marathon time and although that is fairly slow, that’s what I want to do to make sure I don’t walk away with an injury. That little fact kept me going during the run. Yes I had some pain but I had to be smart. The training now and the pain now mean that time after my run won’t be so bad later. I kept pushing myself, every step of the way, during the run. I had to keep telling myself why I was doing it, why I shouldn’t quit. What was my answer?

The look on my friends and families face as I cross that line or I pass them during the race, for them to see that I can do the things I set my mind to, that although I may want to quit. Doing so is not in my interest, because I do it for them as well.

Am I Stupid?

It is week 3 of training for the Vancouver Half Marathon, it is all paid for so there is no way out of this without losing a whole lot of cash. The training is going well and I have started my distance increases. Week #1 saw a 10km run

Then the week after (last weekend) I did 11km

Then yesterday morning before starting work in Vancouver for the day (well a few hours anyway but that is a different story) I did a 12km run.

Now the ones on the Burke Gilman trail (10km & 11km) were so much easier than the run yesterday. The good thing with running on the Burke is there is no stopping and it is mainly flat. The trail makes it easier to keep on pace. Running around the streets of vancouver was tough. There was a lot of height changes and a LOT of stopping for the first half as there was a lot of roads to cross as I headed out over the Granville bridge into the city. But there was many times during that run I just wanted to end it early and give up, but I kept going. It was only 1km more than the last run but, damn, it was tough.

The longer I keep running each week means the easier it is going to be on race day, but the more I run now, the harder it is on my body. Yesterday I could barely walk up steps after the run and that was only 12km! I have to add another 9km for that day. I sure as hell am not driving back from Vancouver on the day of the race (someone else can drive me!) as I have a feeling I will be barely able to walk. But I am in this now and I am going to keep at it.

In the famous words of Yoda, “Do or Do Not, there is no try”.

Glutton for Punishment

One of my goals for 2014 on the fitness side of things is to run a half marathon. Thinking it would be smart to find one around here (rather than have to travel halfway across the country like I did for the Marine Corp 10K), there was a number of options I could run. The two big ones in Seattle are the Seattle Half Marathon in the first weekend of December and the Seattle Rock & Roll Half Marathon which is generally around late May/June. Now let’s look at those dates. December in Seattle, freezing cold temperatures, possibility of rain.. let me think for a second…. PASS! May/June the weather would be much better. Looking at the course (since both are exactly the same apparently) it is fairly hilly so if I was going to run it, I would definitely be doing the Rock n Roll since it would be in better weather (I hope).

But The Seattle course has some pretty decent inclines in it, and if I am going to run double the longest distance I have ever done, I would prefer it to be fairly easy. Nice and flat like the Gold Coast Marathon would of been nice, but can’t have that. So I started to ask around and get opinions from others about what a good run was. In the end I took some advice and just ran with it. I decided to do the BMO Vancouver Half Marathon. What I didn’t expect to see when I decided to do it was the date.

The BMO Vancouver Marathon & associated events (Half Marathon & 8K) are both on the first weekend of May (may 4th to be exact) so that means I have about 3 months to train for this. It scares the crap out of me that I now have to REALLY start training to get this done. It will not be easy and I should have just enough time to start increasing my runs each week by an extra km up to the 21.1km mark. I can’t believe how soon it is but will have to live with that decision. It will be a much easier course compared to the Seattle courses:

Vancouver Half Marathon Course Map - Image stolen from BMO Vancouver Marathon Site

Vancouver Half Marathon Course Map – Image stolen from BMO Vancouver Marathon Site

I am looking forward to a new challenge but it is going to be not that easy. I need to really get my butt in gear and get training and think smart about this. This is not some little 5k where I can just shrug it off if my time is not so great. This is going to require discipline, dedication and some good old luck to keep myself injury free between now and may as the entry fee is paid for ($130!) and since I am paying for a weekend up in Vancouver as well (though thankfully I can drive up and the accommodation is already booked, but doesn’t need to be prepaid) I kind of need to be smart about it.

I don’t know what times or anything to aim for and frankly I will be happy with just finishing. This won’t be an easy challenge, but I guess there is no turning back right now, at least i know I am a glutton for punishment!

Looking Back & Looking Forward – Goals in 2013 & 2014

Each year I set myself goals for the year ahead. These are not “resolutions” as that is just a way of saying “i should do this” where as a goal to me has an end and feels more like an achievement. I tend to set two different kinds of goals, I have my fitness goals and I have my travel goals. In 2013 my travel goals and my fitness goals were fairly ambitious (at least to me). Some people may not think so but well, they are my goals anyway.

So for 2013 I set my goals and to be honest I am pretty happy with the way it turned out. I didn’t complete all my travel goals but i did complete everything else.

So for my Travel Goals I did requalify for Virgin Australia gold, and managed to do that after 2 mileage runs and a trip back to Australia. I did get to spend a good amount of time at OshKosh and I am extremely happy with that week off in July. A truly happy and amazing experience.

Then there was the goal to explore more of my own new home state. I did this in two parts with a trip out to Yakima with Dan & Shawna to go cherry picking and also the last minute (like on Monday) trip on the ferry to the Kitsap Peninsula. I did also drive down to Portland for a weekend back in May but that doesn’t count cause it is technically another state :P But it was fun none the less. The only Travel goal I didn’t complete was to use up the remainder of my Qantas points. I had been banking them for something I have planned this year hopefully but time will tell.

I did however complete all my fitness goals for 2014. I had set myself the goals of competing in two 5ks here in Seattle, the 10k at the Marine Corp Marathon and also the Triathlon. All were completed successfully and I was impressed with my times for each and every single one of them.

My two 5ks in Seattle:

Then there is the Triathlon

And the 10K for the Marine Corp Marathon

But what about my goals for 2014? Well that is pretty simple, but I am going to break it down to 3 parts this year Personal, Fitness & Travel.

My Travel goals for 2014 are:

* Return to Japan
* Visit Maho Beach
* Singapore Suites
* Lufthansa First Class

Ambitious for the last one, but I have enough points to do it, it is just going to be a matter of timing.

My Fitness Goals for 2014 is just one:

* Half Marathon

It’s a big one, and I am sure I can do it, but anything else will just pail in comparison. Essentially doubling my longest ever run and more will be nuts, it is going to take a lot of preparation for it, but I am in for a challenge. Not sure which one I am going to do yet (depends where I am I guess) but I will do it!

My Personal goals for 2014 are where what would normally been mixed into one of the other two categories I want to do this to challenge myself some more I guess. These goals are also something that I think if I put them out there it makes me more accountable. So my personal goals for 2014 are:

* Jump out of a plane
* Go on at least 1 date
* Get my weight back to pre USA levels and keep it there!

The first one is pretty crazy but I have been working towards it. I don’t really want to do it as a tandem but I will do what I have to do. I would rather do it as a Free Fall and deploy my own chute (my friend Dan has done it that way) but I will take it anyway I can. The other two are definately something I wouldn’t normally put out there but I need to make myself accountable for it!

So there you have it my goals for this year are out there, I can’t go back on it now!

Looking Back at 2013 – Fun & Memories – Part 2

I ran through my fun memories of the first half of 2013 in this post and here are the last half:

July

In July I had a chance to go tripping in summer with my friends Shawna & Dan as they showed me a little bit of their home. I had a blast as we went Cherry picking and I got to see parts of Washington I had not seen. I got to use the Truck for its intended purpose of hauling stuff around. I Also had another dream fulfilled when I got to step foot in OshKosh for the EAA Airventure.

From Seattle Life 2013
From Seattle Life 2013
From Seattle Life 2013
From AirVenture 2013

August

In August while I was in OshKosh I got the chance to accompany a group of Vietnam Veterans on an Honor Flight to Washington DC. Words can not express exactly how amazing this day was and how many memories I have from it. Being the month of my Birthday there was lots of celebrations and a few friends came to visit. Another memorable experience was getting to see my parents as they were stopping in Vancouver for a brief visit. It was a great weekend (though only brief) and getting to spend more than 3 hours with my family was a memory I will not forget.

From EAA Honor Flight
From EAA Honor Flight
From Fiona's Visit
From Fiona's Visit
From Family Visit to Vancouver
From Family Visit to Vancouver
From Family Visit to Vancouver
From Family Visit to Vancouver

September

September saw my friend Yena come over to visit, (though she was here for the last couple of days of August as well but he, it counts) and getting to spend Labor Day weekend with a great friend and showing her my new home town and having some old school shenanigans like old times was great (like licking a GE90 to win a $20 bet). A memory I will not soon forget. September was also the month I had trained long and hard for. I competed in my first Triathlon, a Super Sprint distance event in Woodinville for the “Cottage Lake Tri” and I did so much better than I expected.

From Labor Day 2013
From Labor Day 2013
From Labor Day 2013
From Labor Day 2013
From Seattle Life 2013
From Seattle Life 2013

October

Work got really busy towards the end of September but for most of October I actually spent my time in New Zealand, a good portion of the month actually. I was down there for training and the AOT Megafamil. I probably had what I think was my best famil ever and I enjoyed every minute of it. I met some amazing people, had a blast of a time and truly made friends who I hope to keep in touch with for quite some time. I also did some pretty stupid things, like Jump off a building or go on a giant canyon swing (without the canyon though) all to combat a fear. After getting back from New Zealand I jetted back east for a couple of days to Run my 2nd 10K race ever. I ran the Marine Corp Marathon 10K, something I had wanted to do for quite some time. If and when I ever get up to a full marathon, I want that race to be there as it felt like one of most amazing events I have seen.

From AOT NZ Megafamil – South Island
From AOT NZ Megafamil – South Island
From AOT NZ Megafamil – South Island
From AOT NZ Megafamil – North Island
From AOT NZ Megafamil – North Island
From AOT NZ Megafamil – North Island
From AOT NZ Megafamil – North Island
From AOT NZ Megafamil – North Island
From Marine Corp Marathon 10K
From Marine Corp Marathon 10K

November & December

November was a tough month, No real travel, nothing happening really. There was thanksgiving which I spent at home but it was all work. I needed to get back to work after spending so much time off. I did manage to skip out to Kansas City for the start of December for my $100 challenge which I won and then the snowpocalypse happened as well towards the end of month. A pretty cool thing to experience for the second time in a year

From Kansas City BBQ Run
From Kansas City BBQ Run
From Kansas City BBQ Run
From Kansas City BBQ Run
From Seattle Life 2013
From Seattle Life 2013

It has been a year of ups and downs, both good and bad, but I have had a blast and have some memories that will last a life time. To my friends old & new who I have shared moments with this year, Thank you for making this year truly special.

Looking Back at 2013 – Fun & Memories – Part 1

After my post earlier in the week on my travels during 2013 I wanted to go back and talk about some of my favourite memories and fun moments from 2013. Some of these are travel related, but a lot of them are from around here in Seattle and surrounds. The easiest way to go through them is to do it month by month, there are quite a few I wanted to go through so this is going to be a photo heavy post.

January

Not much happened in January other than being here in Seattle but the more fun part was escaping south to Los Angeles for a bit of sun, warmth and getting my first photos at an iconic location, Randys Donuts.

From Artistic 2013

But the reason I was here was to get photos like this:

From LAX Spotting 2013

Where else can you get planes flying through a donut? January was also Australia Day back home, and over here it meant my friends having some fun with that by taking me to Outback Steakhouse for a true “Aussie” experience. While it was far from being authentic it was still a fun night.

February

February was the month of my first Superbowl here in the USA and a friend came to visit me that weekend, though I didn’t go out to any Superbowl parties, I did get to enjoy it on my couch, in real time, with the ads. A REAL american experience! My biggest fun memory from February was over Presidents Day weekend, my first Aviation Geek Fest, I was looking forward to it so much and after helping to organise it along with David and Sandy, it was going to be a big weekend. It was fun and I had a blast and I can’t wait for next year to do it all over again.

From Aviation Geek Fest 2013
From Aviation Geek Fest 2013

March

More work in march and the second half of my mileage running but the first dumping of snow in Seattle I was to ever experience was pretty much my biggest memory from this month

From Seattle Life 2013
From Seattle Life 2013

Pretty amazing yet scary experience for me at the same time

April

In April I headed home to Australia for a wedding and it was great to catch up with my friends. I also got to experience my first real First Class flights and that was truly a memory I will never forget.

From Wedding Time Down Under
From Wedding Time Down Under
From Wedding Time Down Under
From Wedding Time Down Under
From Wedding Time Down Under

May

In May I had my first experience of a Road Trip in the truck on my own when I drove down to Portland for a weekend and I also travelled out to New York for Memorial Day to do some stuff with Delta but to mainly try Cathay First Class. The big ticket item that month was the Paine Field Aviation Day. I smashed my time in the Annual Fly Day 5k and set a new 5K PB, which I was super happy with (though it lead to a very bad memory in the end) and I had a blast with my friends watching the good stuff in the air that day.

From PDX Road Trip
From PFAD 2013
From Memorial Day Firsts

June

Well, June was truly epic. Barely days after getting home from New York for the long weekend I was off again, this time for what was to me an amazing trip, one that I loved every second of. I flew to Hong Kong as part of the ANA Ambassador program to help promote the resumption of 787 services to North America. I had the most amazing time and I blogged heavily about it but here are a couple of photos of my favourite memories. I met some amazing people, did some amazing things I will never truly forget.

From ANA Ambassador Spotting & Artistic
From ANA Ambassador
From ANA Ambassador
From ANA Ambassador
From ANA Ambassador

But June was not totally a good memory. It was also the start of my toughest struggle. In Hong Kong while running along the waterfront, I strained my peraformis muscle. My first major injury ever, it made life very tough for me. I slumped into a bit of a depression and still battle with the after affects today. But it is moments like this that make us stronger, make us look at our selves and realise what we love and what we do in life. Though not a fun memory, it is a memory I will not forget from 2013

4 Years

Four years ago today, I looked like this:

From AOT All Stars 2009

One year later I looked like this:

From AOT Holidays Xmas Party 2010

One Year after that (two years ago) I looked like this:

From Bucket List Weekend

One Year Later:

From Qatar Trip

You get the picture right? Cause it has been 4 years since that journey began. It has not been easy, things never will, I am a much different person now to what I was then. There are still parts of me that I am not happy about, that I don’t think I ever will be happy with, but each and every day I work towards this new life.

A lot has changed in the last few years and although I still struggle each and every day with my weight, I am happy with the way I am now. My habits have changed a lot and I am thankful that every day I spend on this earth, alive, healthy and well is a good day! Can’t complain about that.

There are times that I don’t want to get up and go for a run, there are times when I don’t want to do anything, but then I remember that I still enjoy those things, I get up and do it anyway! How much has that changed since 4 years ago when I couldn’t even run at all. I wouldn’t run…

Looking forward in life right now, I am happy that I have a future that I see as positive, that I see will be worthwhile. What does my future hold? who knows! but either way I am going to be healthy and alive… and a lot lighter than I was 4 years ago!

Little Bit of a Scare

A very scary thing happened this morning at Bootcamp that kind of gave me a wake up call. I have been working so hard to lose all the weight lately that I think I may have taken things a little to far to fast. I am down a good 15-16lb since I started less than 3 weeks ago. that is a HUGE amount to lose but in that time frame, it is way to much way to fast. I have been pushing it way to hard lately and this morning things caught up with me a little.

It has been cold the last few days, mid to high 20s (Fahrenheit for my aussie friends, think Negatives for Celsius) and that is not a good thing for this Aussie boy used to the warmth of Queensland. My hands feel it the most and even on Thursday after being trapped at the bus stop for almost an hour with my hands in gloves, I couldn’t feel them in the 28F temps. This morning it was around 26-30 and during bootcamp I wear wearing my running gloves (older pair) and usually for a 30 minute run my hands get cold but it is not to bad. I think a combination of the pain in my hands after 45 minutes, very little food or water lately and my body took it all as to much. First I started to struggle lifting a 3 pound weight. Yeah that is like less than a bag of sugar. I kind of knew then something wasn’t right. My hearing started going funny and I started getting dizzy. I immediately stopped and tried to stand still, before I knew it I had managed to safely sit on the ground and grabbed the water from my bag. Thankfully I could feel the bottle enough to get the lid off so I could drink but otherwise it would of been bad.

My trainer (Cassie) came over to check on me and told me to get my stuff and get in the truck straight away to warm up. Though I probably would of tried to push through it all and finish the session off (so close to finishing) I did what I was told. I got in the truck and cranked the heater right up. My body was obviously struggling big time to recover but I started warming up enough to at least start driving home. This wasn’t the smartest thing to do either because about 2 minutes later my hands started to go through absolute agony. I was in excrutiating pain as my hands warmed up and I have never felt that bad before. By the time I got myself home, I just left most of my gear in the truck, grabbed my keys and my phone and my wallet and ran upstairs. Heater on the in the apartment (which is rare for me) and jumped straight into a hot shower (not before hitting the coffee machine to get that going as well, something warm for my hands I guess). Within 15 minutes I was doing better and within an hour after having some breakfast and some coffee and plenty of water (about a litre) I was back to normal.

What am I going to take away from all of this. Obviously the fact that I pushed to hard and to fast. I need to take my time, so to hell with the weight loss this weekend, going to take it easy, and get back into it Monday but not has hard. I will probably still go for a run tomorrow, but at least I will make sure I rug up first. Part of me wants to keep pushing it, but that is a very very very dumb idea. I need to get this loss done gradually and if it takes a big longer, it takes a bit longer. I would rather not have another experience like this. With the temperatures as well lately, it kind of leads into the fact that this is going to be a damn cold winter and I a feel I am going to be in for a rude shock. Time to perhaps get a damn warm jacket?