Damn Those 10 Seconds!

Today’s run was amazing! Marchy pushed me to run 6 laps of my park (~3.5mi) as fast as I could, we’re going to use these laps as a time-trial to beat each week. Last friday I did the same distance in 37:50 without concentrating on the pace: today I smashed 4:20 off that time, an average of 46 seconds faster per lap! That’s massive :D.

I haven’t pushed myself like that, over that distance, in ages. It felt like I was back doing the later C25K runs – proper effort! I also felt like a real runner, my average pace was 9:45/mi. That should have been fast enough to give me a sub-30:00 5km, but I blew it with a slow section near the end, argh! I passed the 5km point in 30:09, 10 seconds too slow.

Great run though and I’m only going to get faster. It’s been 6 months and about 60lb since I started running. What a 6 months! And has it really that long since I started?

Weigh-in #58: tired of the 270s

Peak: 435lb
Previous: 277.0lb
Current: 270.4lb
Loss this week: 6.6lb
Total Loss: 164.6lb

There’s the big drop I was expecting and that’s the lowest number I’ve seen yet :).

Exercise was ok again this week: 3 runs, 2 weights and a bike session. I’m still slacking on the cross training and in particular I’ve not started swimming yet – that’s my job of the week.

Food was ok: I didn’t log my calories but I did write them down/calculate them for a few of the days. Saturday was a bit of a blow-out with a couple of takeways and chocolate. I started playing around with “not eating lunch”, by having two snacks at 11am (apple + 2 yoghurts = 250) and 2pm (sultanas/nuts = 250). My usual lunch is nice (~600 calories of deli sandwich) but it’s calorie dense for not much nutrition; I think I can get better value from the snack approach, as well as breaking my meals down a bit. I’m going to try this again this week, but perhaps with 3 snacks during the day – more calories than normal, but better calories spread throughout the day.

I almost forgot to mention (but not really), that my long run this week was amazing! Guess who cranked out 8 miles? Woop! I smashed my previous PB by 2 miles and 20 minutes. Can you believe I was running for 1.5hrs? I can’t :D.

Weigh-in #57

Peak: 435lb
Previous: 279.6lb
Current: 277.0lb
Loss this week: 2.6lb
Total Loss: 158lb

I’m a day late with this one and it’s taken in the middle of the day; earlier readings had me in the low 270s and I feel 277 isn’t really true, but I’ll bank the 2.6lb and hope next week shows a bigger number.

It’s been an OK week really, not as tight as I’d like it but still going strong: 2 bike sessions, 2 runs, 2 weights. Without wanting to sound too conceited (but let’s face it, I am a bit), six workouts really does feel like just an OK week right now; I missed a run, a swim and another weights session. It’s a nice to feel like a slacker yet still be doing a lot. Maybe there’s some interesting psychology in that, it’s akin to the saying – “Shoot for the stars and you might just hit the moon”.

I didn’t log my food, I haven’t for the last couple of weeks. That’s something I need force myself to do again, it always helps keen me on track.

Nothing else to report, bring on a new week.

Happiness is…

I think I’ve just had an epiphany, whilst writing the following comment to my previous post:-

I’m so excited about the next 6-12 months. I used to want an immediate cure, to be instantly at my goal weight – what I’d have paid for that superpower! But now, I’m just enjoying the whole process.

Honestly, if a genie offered to transport me 12 months into the future, putting me at my goal weight, I’d turn him down: I’m enjoying my now too much.

There are many things I’d like to change in my life, but they’re all in the process of being changed. What more could I ask for?

More Posing (pics!)

About every 6 months I go to a geek conference in the UK. A friend of mine is a decent photographer and he often takes some nice shots at these events, including some cracking portraits. A couple of years ago he snapped me and I was mortified when it appeared in his Flickr stream:-

Holy Crap
Holy Crap

Last weekend we met at another event and he snapped this:-


I love this photo! Perhaps my favourite picture of myself ever.

Here’s another quick before/after, using a before from 1st Nov 2009. (I’ll post a proper “+1yr” version of the before in a couple of weeks).

Same guy?
Same guy?

Not bad eh?

You need a new photo!

(Please excuse my bragging!) On the way out of the gym the receptionist stopped me: “Hey Richard, I keep meaning to say this when you come in, but you’re looking great, you need a new photo!”. Oh yea! Cue the happy dance! She called her colleague over and they pulled up my membership photo, a nice “before” shot: “Wow, that’s amazing! So how much have you lost? How did you do it? Cool!”.

I’m keeping my old photo on the system though, I love beeping myself in and seeing the old me up on the screen, it always makes me smile :).

Ah, I’m in such a good mood. Working hard over the last year has been the best thing I’ve ever done. I can’t believe it, I’ve f*cking done it. GET IN!

Weigh-in #56

Peak: 435lb
Previous: 282.4lb
Current: 279.6lb
Loss this week: 2.8lb
Total Loss: 155.4lb

A mixed week. I had a pretty hedonistic weekend and missed a couple of training sessions. That said, the scale is going in the right direction again. My 10K race turned into a 5K, as I narrowly avoided a “Paula Radcliffe” moment and retired early with a bought of Dehli-belly. It was still a good run though and I felt great.

Today marks the start of a new 4-week period of training and Marchy has cooked me up a new schedule, now that I’ve ditched the rugby and am picking up the running again. It looks pretty awesome and I’m going to do my best to stick to it all, which is no mean feat as it involves 9 sessions/week! (3x weights, 4x running, 2x cross-training). The cross training is also likely to involve swimming, which is something I requested because it will push me out of my comfort zone. My body is still a mess, but compared to a year ago I’m rocking it; it’s time to start building on my confidence and being comfortable in my own skin.

Nervous About Sunday’s 10K

I’m doing a proper 10K race on Sunday (http://www.sheffield10k.com) and I’m bricking it :).

Four/five weeks ago I ran a 10K in training and I was so confident about entering a proper race. The plan back then was to keep doing long runs at the weekend and Sunday’s race would just be another one; then along came rugby. Since starting to train for rugby, I’ve only done a couple of runs and only 5K max in distance. That makes me nervous about Sunday!

I’m sure it’ll be fine, but I’ve got butterflies!

Discipline Is a Product Of Motivation

I watched this last night: it’s a panel comprising of Tim Ferris, Leo Babauta and Susan O’Connell (Zen Monk?) talking about “The Art Of Life Manangement”. It’s a 1:40:00 video so not a quick fix, but it’s worth a watch if you’re interested in those people and that sort of subject matter.

One of the takeaway points I remember is Leo saying that “discipline” is a product of motivation. You can’t make yourself “be more disciplined”, it isn’t something you can buy in a store or take a pill for. What you can do though, is engineer better motivation. The more motivated you are to do something, the more disciplined you’ll be at doing it.

So if you’re struggling to lose weight, count calories, or hit the gym, just “willing” yourself to be more disciplined isn’t going to work. You need to go a layer deeper and examine your motivation.