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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
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!
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?
It has not been the easiest of weeks this week but with all the the stress and #fml thoughts I have managed to keep things on track. Although I haven’t had to walk home in the rain once from Canyon Park (an all to common occurrence lately) I have kept myself in check and on track.
Last week I managed to knock myself down by 8lb which is a good amount, yet long term that is not smart nor sustainable. Right now though I have lost a further 4lb and I am at my pre NZ weight, which makes me pretty happy.
This isn’t the time for me to take a break, I still may be 12lb down, I still have a good 8-10lb more to go. My goal to achieve the reduction back to my “happy” weight by December looks om track, which will make that BBQ in Kansas all the more tastier, as I will have earned it? Your thinking right now, “since when did he say he was going to Kansas?” well to be honest since last week I have been planning it but that’s for another time.
It does tie in though with my endcif year rush to complete my goals. I have to decide today pretty much which 5k to run before Christmas. I need to do one more to finish off my fitness goals for the year. I haven’t decided yet on the Thanksgiving Run on the Sunday before Turkey Day or the Santa vs Superhero 5K at the Seattle Marathon. This end of year run is more about fun than time so no hard training or anything but knowing me that won’t happen, I will push myself either way.
It’s Monday and as I head to work this morning I have plenty of time to think and look back. Mondays are always a gamble. For me they will either start out good or bad (though they usually never stay good due to work but that is another post entirely).
Monday is generally my weigh in day, the day that is either going to make or break my mood. If the weigh in is good i’m happy, if not good, let the self hate begin. It has always been this way and as I fluctuate up and down like a yoyo, it is a never ending cycle of craziness.
So this morning I wasn’t looking forward to the weigh in, I know I will be higher than I want to be but how much more do I have to lose? It was a tough weekend, temptation was everywhere and I battled my own brain a lot. I got up this morning and went for my run, usual time, usual route, usual hatred of my body as I climbed the first incline and usual question to myself of “why do I do this again?” on the final incline as my body hates me by that stage.
I get back and good news, really good news, my week of hard work has paid off, I am down 8lb yes thats right 8 pounds! (roughly 4kg for my aussie friends). I have every right to be happy this morning.
I guess all the hard work does pay off and although that is not a maintainable loss rate, it shows me that no matter what if I focus, work hard and stick to it, I can do the things I want. As was said in Star Wars Ep 4 as red squadron flew down the Death Star Trench “stay on target”. For me that is going to be a whole new task.
It is now November, o how the time has surely flown by this year. It felt like only yesterday I was at SeaTac on New Years Day spotting by the water tower. It has definitely been a long month in October though, lots of travelling. But today is a new month and a new challenge. I aim to be down to my 175lb mark by the time we have the work Christmas Party. So to start with after my hour of extra sleep (thank you daylight savings ending, I forgot, when I realized went back to bed) I got my internet working again (long story) and after pulling the box out of the cupboard I donned my new running shoes. All $35 worth of them You have to love the Brooks Outlet sales. When I first bought my new pair after getting fitted they were $90 and heading towards being replaced. This is good news as they would then go to the outlet once the new model comes out. At the outlet they are essentially half that price (around $45). Then twice a year the Outlet has a massive truck sale where they just roll in a truck, empty the contents into the parking lot and they just sell it all till it’s gone. Managed to score my shoes from that sale. While visiting New Zealand last month I checked on what they were selling the shoe for…. $240NZD. Yep gotta love a good mark up.
Yesterday I also did my first full hour of weights training in almost 18 months. I want to work more on getting some muscle strength back after 18 months of nothing, but that 18 month has certainly cost me. My arms today can barely move, so this is not going to be an easy thing to handle. I will take all of these things and work hard this month to get that weight back down, to get it under control. It won’t be easy, it will take time. But I will do what I can to get through it!
I flew to Washington DC this previous weekend to run the Marine Corps Marathon 10k and it was awesome. I have not run a 10k race since the GC marathon over 3 years ago. Back then I was a good 20kg or more heavier, and it was the first time I had ever run 10k. Since then I have only ever run 10k once and that was by accident (I got lost, it happens, you can run 10k by accident trust me) so this was an all out effort.
I was a little bit scared after seeing a couple of photos from the day from someone who was running the Marathon from the packet pickup area. Lines were on average 2 hours around mid afternoon and that was just to get your packet with race number etc. That was not exactly the news I wanted to hear as I was cutting it fine already getting off a flight from the west coast and going straight there after the hotel. I didn’t want to have to go their directly from the airport (as I had no idea how I was going to do that anyway) but I kept to my plan and thankfully the lines were not to bad when I got there (only 30 mins or so). I wasn’t really going to be doing much at the “Expo” where packet pick up was anyway as I had been up since 2am so was just wanting to get my stuff, get back to the hotel, get some dinner and get some sleep as the run was first thing Sunday morning.
Thankfully the hotel I was staying at was not to far from the start line so I didn’t spend all morning trying to get to the start line, just a few minutes on one train, swap to another go one more stop and I was there (saved walking in the cold). The start line area was really busy with people in the subway station (where it was warm) or plenty of people stretched around the race start through various spots. The line up for the port a loo was HUGE stretching almost 100m long and about 20 or 30m in width, not the best if you desperately needed to go (thankfully I didn’t). Got the usual photos you would expect, sealed my bag and let UPS take it from there to the finish line and I settled in to wait. The race finally started with a unique starting gun… a Howitzer! Yep wouldn’t be the marines if there wasn’t a cannon involved.
I was really happy to be running and was suprised at just how many people were running as when I passed the 1 mile marker you could see back to the race start and I wasn’t exactly at the front of the pack, but there was still people waiting to get across the start line. with 10,000 people running the 10k I would think it was the largest race I have competed in (not sure how many people ran the Jingle Bell Run last year or at the GC Marathon). The full Marathon had over 20,000 people competing and they would of gotten the full experience compared to us. The streets were lined with marines and staff at all points and they were all their to encourage us. A lot of the Marines who were staffing the points were yelling the current time to encourage us more, a lot were giving high 5s etc so it was a great atmosphere. The run ran through the National Mall area and then over the Bridge into Virginia, through a few areas of Crystal City, past the Pentagon and into the final stretch up to the Marine Corp Memorial in Arlington (near the National cemetery). The MCM10K site had said that it follows the same “Final Uphill” stretch that the full Marathon gets, and this was the portion that I was worried about the most. Probably didn’t need to worry so much as it was no where near as bad as I had thought it would be. To be honest I need not have worried at all, as the final “uphill” portion was about 250m and although it was a challenge, it was nothing like the hills I had been training on.
The last uphill portion though was definately where the enthusiasm set in. The street was PACKED with marines and staff (its a closed circuit for some reason at this point) and they were there to get us across the line as quickly and easily as possible. Their was encouraging words painted on the street and there was high 5s at every turn if you wanted them. I pushed hard up the hill and finished strong. The photos haven’t come out yet but hopefully my finishing photo is better than my one from the GC Marathon (i look like a doofus in that photo). I managed to get across the line, take a look at my watch and a giant smile came across my face. I had been aiming to do the run in under an hour and been training hard for it (well not Triathlon hard but still been pushing some of my runs hard). When I crossed that line, I saw my time and I was ecstatic, happy as hell that the training paid off. My last distance training run in Wellington had me 3 minutes under expected time, well I beat that, I was over 4 mins under… I finished the 10k in 55mins & 43 seconds…. OOORAH!!!
After all is said and done, I feel extremely happy that I was able to get this done and get the times I wanted. A lot has changed in the last 10 months, I still have one more fitness goal this year (I comitted to two 5ks before the end of the year) and so i still have more to do, but right now, I am looking forward to a bit of a slow down. Maybe the 10k was good for me, maybe I needed that extra little push, I need to get back on track weight goal wise right now, drop back under that 180lb mark that I am sitting at (not that there is anything wrong with where I am at right now) and perhaps refocus for next year. Does this 10K also mean that I need to push harder next time, or is it a stepping stone towards a half marathon? I have already put thoughts into a challenge for next year, and already told a friend that if he does a triathlon, I would join him, but maybe a half marathon is in my future. A Full marathon though is NOT on the cards. I am NOT that crazy.
Well my time in windy Wellington is coming to a close but it was not as windy as advertised. The city was actually fairly calm and did pretty much as advertised. I enjoyed the small amount of time we had here in the city.
It was good as we had some later starts than we have had so far which meant that I could still sleep and get some good runs in for my training (especially this morning). The runs were good and the timing was spot on and I enjoyed running along the waterfront to see the city and just live it up. The sunrise in Wellington has been stunning over the water and several times I was running and the flights were taking off at the same time as I was out there. Always good for an avgeek right?
The rest of the time was fairly relaxed, not much free time but no stress of multiple site inspections or anything like that. However going into Rotorua our next stop, it’s going to be all action, all the time!
Today I am off to the airport around 10am ish for my flight to Rotorua and my first time at Either airport but most of all, my first time on a Dash 8 300, which I am looking forward to the difference compared to the Q400 which is ever so popular.
Time to get some breakfast into me before I pass out, see you all at my next stop!
Current Location: Novotel Wellington
My time in Christchurch was good, a city that had been devastated several years ago, countinues to rise from the rubble and bring itself back, bigger and better than ever.
If lnly a brief stay of 2 nights in the city, it was a good glimpse into what is a massive undertaking to rebuild their lives and in some cases start fresh. It was great to see things like the gap filler projects that help fill those small pockets of the city with community driven ideas (like the pallet Pavillion) to keep residents and visitors sane.
We also left the city limits and headed towards the south, towards the banks peninsula and Akaroa. Akoroa is a small quaint seaside town about 90 minutes south of Christchurch and has a very heavy French influence. We were in town during french fest and so everyone was out to have a good time. The sun was out, the temperature though not hot was pleasantly warm (enough) and relaxing on a Saturday afternoon was like a gift from above. Add in the views, (that were stunning) a nice spot in the sunshine under a tree and some time to catch up with an old friend and the day was a real treat.
Running in Christchurch was a treat as there was not a single hill around so it was all flat all the time, but there is no sense in the way that streets are laid out at all, so I easily got lost, several times. Running in the dark, in an unfamiliar city is always an adventure.
Time to head north now, away from the plains, to the peninsula areas towards Kaikoura, Blenheim and Nelson. I have to say as we leave that Christchurch is not yet fully recovered, but it will. Time, dedication and passion will help rebuild the city. Something a lot of residents have.
Current Location:somewhere between Christchurch & Kaikoura
It has been a quiet weekend. Paine Field has had its main runway closed, so on a weekend where I have no travel planned or anything crazy like running a triathlon, it makes it REALLY quiet. I haven’t spent any time going back and forth to Paine Field. It meant I have had plenty of time to catch up on a lot of things, finishing off stories for AirlineReporter (like the one that went live today) or get some stuff done around the house. I have even had the time to do most of the packing for my trip to NZ this week. The weekend was just so quiet yet so awesome at the same time. I was able to get get a haircut and try a few different things and now as my weekend comes to a close, it feels kind of weird to not be running around like crazy finishing things off.
Really happy with my training over the weekend. Saturday was bootcamp and I went for a 2 mile warm up run before the session but the session was a challenge as well as we were taking on the hill. I think I went a little to hard to fast on the first hill run as I could not manage the top, something I have done in the past many times without hassle. Eagerness is not always a good thing it seems. But I managed to concur the hill in the second time around and I was happy to do so. Really happy. I came home from bootcamp totally satisified. After a half decent nights sleep last night, I headed out on my training run for the 10k at the end of this month. I am happy with my run this morning, but not overly so.
That was my run this morning and it may look good, but not when you break it down. I am trying to Average 6 min kms for the 10k as I really want to try and get under 1 hour, and keeping it at that level is where I need to be. But breaking down the run it was off pace. I was on pace up until the last km or so which if you check the splits, that’s what I was at. So did I tire out in the last km or did I just screw up? I don’t know to be honest as the first 2km were mostly uphill as I run Punishment Hill as part of the course. Normally if I was running this route as a distance route (rather than punishment) I would run it with Punishment Hill at the end, so that I have the downhill to pick up some speed and as a bit of a reward before powering the last km home. But today it was a bit about pushing myself to do some more uphill training (the last part of the MCM10k is uphill) so the first part of my run was uphill and it was tough but the splits were spot on, they should be that slow. So maybe I just screwed up?
I am quite proud of myself so far this weekend though, being so quiet, old habits could easily come out. But I have kept it under control and I am looking good heading into the start of the trip to NZ. I did give in to a little treat at breakfast this morning but well, I need some reward right? What did I do, well I had some of the Biscoff spread I bought a couple of weeks back and finally cracked open this morning. O M G, this stuff is the BOMB. Way better than peanut butter (And thats saying something coming from me). Amazing and delicious… probably taste pretty awesome stirred into some ice cream… hrmmm now I have ideas!
I have been struggling lately and it is not exactly what you think. Work and life have been buay lately and stress has been high but that is not what I am talking about now.
September was a bad month for me, sure I got to travel for a day, spend time with friends and also complete my first Triathlon, but on the more personal level I struggled, big time. This is tough for me to admit, but I struggled with my eating. In the last month I have gained around 10 pounds (4.5kg) and although that doesn’t sound like much if I leave it the way it is, it could get worse.
This all stems back to Hong Kong and my injury, after that I think I have had some depression as I couldn’t do the one thing I loved, run. But the training I was doing helped offset whatever eating I was doing that was not healthy. I was binge eating at times and was ashamed to admit it. Well no longer. It all came undone in the final weeks of September no matter how much I tried to change, I slipped and went back to “old habits”.
October is a fresh start for me, it won’t be easy as I am traveling quite a bit, but I am going to do my very best to stay in control, if people don’t like it, tough shit to them, this is about my health, fuck anyone else. What it means right now to me is that I need to get back in control, my exercise hasn’t faltered over the past few months, so that won’t change. What will change is the way I have been thinking, no more “Just one won’t hurt”, that is just a lie to myself. No more weekly treats till this changes and even then I am going to really control it afterwards until my brain ia back to the way it was, before this all happened.
I have no one to blame but myself and I hope that those around me will be supporting of my wishes. I won’t be doing anything food related socially for a while, I just don’t want the temptation right now, and this upcoming trip is going to be a real test. Part of me thinks I should just worry about it when I get back but that isn’t going to help. Doing this now will mean that when I get back I will be all the better for it.