Thursday, October 13, 2011

Chicago Marathon

I finished the Chicago Marathon over the weekend with a time of 4:29. Not quite as fast as I had hoped, but it's still a personal best, and also a best half marathon time of 1:56.

I've also now reached my original goal weight of 155. So I'm finally at my correct weight, at least by BMI standards.

Down to a somewhat loose size 30 jeans (from a snug 36) and medium size shirt (from XL).

Even with as thrilled as I am with all of that, still nowhere close to seeing any sign of abs. My bodyfat is still 22% and from what I've researched I need to have it down to around 10%. That equates to having to lose 12% fat at 155 pounds, or 18 pounds of fat.

So I'm going to try to lose another 10 pounds.

Next up, I'm going back from long slow running to short fast running. My current 5k best is 22:06 and I'd like to see if I can get that down to 19:59 by the end of the year.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Racing and Strengthening

Yep, I'm still on the working out kick and haven't gotten back to studying anything in the networking arena. I did have a couple of big milestones this week, however.

I finally beat my 14 year old 5K record of 24:03, with a new best of 23:16. I've knocked about 2 minutes off my time in the past month so I'll keep working at this until it plateaus.

I signed up for the Chicago marathon this October. There are 40,000 entrants so it could take 30 minutes or more to pass the starting line in the open bracket. I can get moved up considerable to a preferred start by posting a 1:50:00ish half-marathon by August. This equals an 8:23 pace. My 23:16 5k is a 7:30 pace. So if I can just stretch that out from 3.1 miles to 13.1 miles, I'll have plenty of room to spare. And no, it's not NEARLY as easy as it sounds.

The interesting part about running is it is taking the place of college and CCIE studying for my need for acquiring technical knowledge. I spend probably an hour or two a week on my training plan and optimizing it for things like increased VO2 max, lactate threshold, and running efficiency. And then there's the daily eating plan, in which the struggle is typically to get enough lean protein into my diet.

On top of all of that, after 6 months of calorie restriction I decided to take a break. I was at one point within 5 pounds of my goal weight but my hunger was getting ravenous and I couldn't fight it any more. So I threw in the towel and got back with my personal trainer to go with a 1 month bulking session on my upper body and core. I now get to eat about 3000 calories a day, but have to stuff down even more lean protein, with the goal of putting on 1-2 pounds of muscle a week.

In the past month I have gained 5 pounds back. I'm not gonna lie, it's pretty disheartening to be going back the other direction. But on the bright spot I bought some almost uncomfortably tight jeans right before my marathon just to have a reference point for the current shape I'm in. And even with the weight gain, the jeans are still getting looser. So that's reassuring.

Finally, after my marathon, I tried on my Air Force uniform. For the first time this millennium, it actually fit. It was a little snug in the midsection, though. I just tried it on again and it fit comfortably.

I think I can safely mark this as the time in my life I undid the 10+ years of personal abuse and am now in the best shape I ever been in.

Now it's time to keep going and see how far I can take it. Under 20 minute 5k? Less than 4 hour marathon? 100 push-ups? 10 pull-ups? And of course the original goal of washboard abs. I'm not even close to that yet and man it's still not going to be easy.

Monday, February 21, 2011

5 months later...

It's now been 5 months since I've been putting CCIE level effort into improving my health. No washboard abs yet, but I'm pleased to say I have made a lot of progress. I've lost over 20 pounds, 7% body fat, 6 inches off my waist, and now have a medal to hang next to my CCIE plaques: 2011 Myrtle Beach Marathon finisher (4 hours 55 minutes).

Here's pretty much what my schedule has turned into:
Monday: 1 hour weights at the gym
Tuesday: 4 mile easy run
Wednesday: 3 mile fast run to the gym, 1 hour weights, 3 mile easy run home
Thursday: 4 mile easy run
Friday: 1 hour weights at the gym, 20 minute sprint intervals
Saturday: rest
Sunday: long slow distance run (12 - 20 miles)

I'm still sticking with my original quest for now. In running the numbers, it looks like if I keep on track I should be in the ballpark around June.