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I was once a runner...and I will be again. I started this journey several years older and 60 lbs. heavier. My name is Jake and this is my story

Thursday, June 23, 2011

I've Been Absent, Not Gone

I haven't posted in a while because I really haven't had anything good to post.  I trained for the Firefly 10k for months and felt like I was going to die after mile 3.  The heat was overwhelming.  That experience in conjunction with my lack of weight loss had me discouraged for a while. 

I am getting back on track now.  I joined Weight Watchers (again) about 3 weeks ago and have since lost 9 lbs.  I have been running some, just not on a training plan.  I am focusing on my nutrition right now since I learned that exercise alone is not enough.  I will start my training program for the Las Vegas Rock and Roll Half Marathon at the end of July and my new goal is to be below 200 lbs. when we go to Vegas. 

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Test Yourself 5k

We ran the Test Yourself 5k yesterday monring.  The weather was unseasonable cool for May and it was perfect for running.  However, I didn't get much sleep at work on Friday night and didn't feel like running at all.  I didn't know the course at all, which always bothers me.  I like to know what lies ahead. 

Once we got started I felt pretty good.  The first half of the course was great.  At the turn around we headed up hill, and it was uphill the rest of the way.  I pushed hard and ran a good race.  I finished in 29.35, which I am calling my new PR.  The race a few weeks ago was not an official course and my Garmin measure it short.  This course was exactly 3.1 and certainly challenging. 

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


I  had a 6 mile run scheduled today.  Kristi also had a long run planned and said she wanted to run with me.  It was a good thing because I didn't really feel like running.  We headed out and the battery on my Garmin died in the first 1/2 mile.  That was also a good thing.  Kristi tracked our pace and distance,  I just ran.  I felt strong after 2 miles and we kept a very steady pace.  I made it to 6 miles without walking and Kristi continued.  I walked for about 15 seconds and said screw it, I want to finish with Kristi.  we went 1 more mile and then walked back to the car.  It was an awesome run.  I ran farther and faster than I planned.  I have never run with Kristi before and I loved it.  Running with a friend is the great, especially when it is your best friend.  Thanks for pushing me babe!  I love you!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Cougar Prowl 5k

I had a 3 mile training run scheduled last Saturday, but I felt like racing.  I had a very tight window to fit it in.  I had to be at work at 10:00 for a concert.  Kristi found me a 5k that started at 8:00.  I learned from my last race and this time I had a plan.  I needed to average 9:40 pace to break 30 minutes.  I did a good warm up and felt great when it started.  I was in control of my pace the enire time and had a little left for a kick at the end.  I finished in 28:40.  Another goal achieved!!!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

It Is Working

I have now lost a total of 10 pounds since I started running.  Another goal achieved!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Longest Run in 5 Years

I did a 5 mile run today.  I haven't run that far since before we had kids.  The first 2.5 miles I didn't feel good.  I can't explain it, just uncomfortable.  Once I hit the 2.5 mile mark I settled into a good pace and felt strong for the last half of the run. 

During this run I realized how mental running can be. I was anxious all day about my 5 mile run in the windy conditions.  This anxiety translated into doubt during the first part of my run.  I learned how important mental preparation is and will approach my runs differently in the future.

The Easter Bunny brought me a sign that is now hanging on my closet wall.  It says;
"Believe that you can and your are half way there" - Theodore Roosevelt

That is 100% correct!!!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Busy Week

I had an extremely busy with work, but managed to get all of my runs in. To do so I had to do one on my lunch break.  I accomplished one of my goals this week.  I ran a total of 10 miles! (4, 3, 3)  I am proud of that because it wasn't easy to make the time.  My nutrition management plan (because I am NOT on a diet!!!) was not very good though.  Gotta do better this week to achieve my goal of 10 lb. weight loss by May 1. 

Sunday, April 17, 2011


Last night Kristi proposed the idea of running a marathon next spring.  She did her homework and wants to do Galveston.  Being an island on the Texas coast it is safe to say the course is very flat.  I told her she was crazy, but there is this little voice in the back of my mind that says "you can do do it".  Wow, 4 weeks ago I was scared of a 5k, now I am considering a marathon.  I am not committed to the idea by any means, but it is something I want to do someday.  That is the cool thing about running.  You prove to yourself daily that you can do anything you set your mind too. 

Runner vs. Person Who Runs

I have continued to gradually increase my mileage.  I am sticking with the 10% rule as I increase.  I really dont want ot get injured.  Got in 9 miles this week (4, 2, 3) and all felt good.  

I am beginning to realize that there is a difference between a runner and a person that runs.  The difference...when you are a runner, running becomes a part of your life.  That happened to me this week.  I was working at the fire station and picked up an OT shift the next day.  Good news except that I had a 2 mile run scheduled and I didnt have my shoes with me.  All of a sudden that run was a priority.  Kristi brought my shoes to me and I got my run in by doing laps around that station.  It was incredibly boring but it felt so good to get it in.  4 weeks ago, that wouldn't have happened.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Seton's Soles 5k

I ran my first 5k in several years today.  I didn't sleep good last night and was nervous before the race.  I felt better once I warmed up and the my "competitive juices"flowing.  I had a great plan.  Run a comfortable first mile and then negative splits the rest of the way.  Just be patient and run my race.  Great plan...until the gun went off!  I went out way too fast.  After 1/2 mile I got it under control and ran a good race.  The hill in the third mile killed me.  I still finished strong, but it hurt bad.  When I running again I hoped to run my first 5k under 35 min.  After several training runs I was confident I could do that, and I was right.  I finished in 30:05.  I am very proud of my performance, but frustrated that I couldn't save 6 seconds somewhere along the way to finish under 30.  Oh well,  I'll make it next time. 

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Fighting Off Injury

I have developed a mild case of Achilles Tendinitis.  This is really nothing new.  It started years ago when I was running alot and never really got better.  It just gets aggravated when I run.  Kristi convinced me to see a chiropractor that does "soft tissue treatments".  One of her friends used him and said that he works miracles.  I was all for trying it because I have no intentions of slowing down.  He did a very thorough assessment and found several areas that were "injured" that I didn't even know about.  Plantar fascia, calf muscle, hip flexor, back...then the treatment began.  It was not your standard cracking and popping chiropractic adjustment.  Think deep tissue massage, with tools!!  I am pleased to report that it did provide some relief when completed, but not without a price.  The treatment is more painful than the injury.  Kristi took the picture below while he was working a knot out of my calf.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Week 2 Review

My second full week is complete and I am feeling good.  I stuck with my training plan and increased my weekly mileage by 3/4 of a mile.  I complete a training 5k for my long run.  It gave me confidence that I can run that distance and I am confident that I can finish my race next weekend under my goal of 35 min.  That is a very conservative goal, but you gotta start somewhere.   I also ran my first "tempo".  I happened by accident.  I had a 2 mile run scheduled for Saturday.  I had been up most of the night at work an really didn't feel like running.  when I started I really didn't feel good, but after 1/2 mile I got into a groove and complete the run with an average pace of 10:20.  I am getting stronger with every run.  I can't wait to run my 5k next weekend.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Annual Physical

As a firefighter, I am required to have a physical each year during the month of my birthday.  I got the results back today.  Bloodwork, ECG, chest x-ray, and every other test came back completely normal and once again I was declared fit for duty.  No surprise to me.  However, The cover sheet that was sent to the city said:

Concerns: BMI
Suggestions: Exercise / Lose weight

That is medical jargon for You're Fat! Duh!!! Didn't have to be a doctor to figure that one out.  I'm working on it.  Next year that form will be blank.

Goodbye 250!

I have lost 5 lbs. since I started running again. It is working and I feel good!!!!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

First Full Week

I logged 6.5 miles this week in 3 runs and have felt much better than I expected. I also attend 1 TEAM Fitness class. I'm off to a great start!

Rock-n-Roll Expo

Kristi and I went to the convention center to pick up her packet and check out the exhibits. I got some money for my birthday and I intended on doing some shopping. I found some shorts by Asics that have compression shorts built in and I love them. I also got 2 pairs of socks.

I enjoyed checking out all of the running stuff and Kristi is excited. I am excited too. I can't wait until it is my turn. Until then, I get to cheer for best friend! I am so proud of her!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

First "Good" Run

I did a 2.5 mile loop around the neighborhood after I got off work this morning. That my my longest run since returning to the sport and I felt great. The weather was perfect. Temp. in the 50's with no wind. I maintained an average pace of 11:17, which was also my fastest run. I finished feeling strong and wanting to run more. It was a huge boost in confidence with my first 5k 16 days away. I now know that I can do it.

Monday, March 21, 2011

All In!

We booked our flight and hotel for the Las Vegas Half today. No turning back now. I am ALL IN!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Kids Speak the Truth

We were riding in the car after the Gorilla Challenge and I asked the 4 year old if she wanted to run a race. She replied "No way, running hurts!" Amen little girl!!!!!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Gorilla Challenge

Kristi and I entered the Gorilla Challenge in Downtown Dallas. It is a scavenger hunt similar to "The Amazing Race", but it only lasts 1 day and is done using no motorized transportation. The race started when the clues were issued. There were 12 tasks and we had to complete 10 of them. We sat down and solved the clues, plotted our course on a map, and we were off. We decided we were going to run as much as possible, having no idea how many miles we needed to cover to complete the race. I suffered through the first 3 tasks. The first mile is always the worst...I remember that. The we started them out and my competetive spirit kicked in. We made quick work of the clues and raced to the finish. We were the third team to finish, but the second place team got 1 task wrong. We were in second please...for a brief moment. We got 2 clues wrong and were also disqualified. DAMN!!!!! Oh well. I plotted our course on Map My Run when we got home and it was about 3.4 miles. We had a blast and I was proud of my performance. Who knew running could be so fun?!?!?!

A Runner's Birthday

I turned 37 today. I told Kristi that I wanted running stuff. At this point, she knows what I need better than I do. The kids woke us up for presents in bed. They brought them to me and unwrapped them for me. It was fun. Kristi got me a Garmin Forerunner 305. Very Cool!!! The kids got me a book, "The Long Run". It is the story of a F.D.N.Y. Firefighter that runs a marathon after he was run over by a bus. Talk about inspiring!!!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

My First Run

I got up at 4:15 and headed out on a 2 mile loop around our neighborhood. I decided to take our dog Shiner with me. It was her first run too. I completed the 2 miles in just under 26 minutes. It hurt the entire time, but I didn't walk at all. I can do this!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

My inspiration

My wife Kristi has been training for her first 1/2 marathon. I went to watch her run a 15k and was completely inspired by her performance and motivated by the race environment. I went out on the course and cheered for her in several places and was amazed at her strength. As I sat at the finish line waitng to see her, I watched runners of all shapes, sizes, and ages finish and I couldn't help but notice the sense of accomplishment that all of them had. I have run a few 5ks and was on a marathon relay team and I know exactly how that felt. I decided then that I wanted experience that feeling again.