Disappearing Will or How I Jumped the Track

Sorry everyone, but I am going to get introspective and use the medium to speak some personal words into the universe.   I have found that stating and sending out personal affirmations help me roll my boulder forward and kill the albatross (I hate that Mother F-ing bird, as in my own personal albatrosses)

After taking inventory regarding my last couple of months of health adventures, I must compile.  Like anything, the results we see are often of our own doing and I have to own my own contributions to the undoing of three years of hard work.   85 pounds went away and 30 have returned.  I was chewing up many miles a week, at least 4 days a week, but I am lucky to get in one a week anymore.   Certainly too much time is spent with the TV as down time musing and too much work.   Getting up at three or four in the morning is not healthy when you go to bed near midnight.

I certainly cannot ignore the diet.   Being from the south, my culture is one that eats whenever a worthy occasion arises.   That Pavlovian conditioning means that all the milestones in my life essentially are rewarded with food.   So what happens when stress triggers kick in…? I eat.  Having a culinary degree and love of gastronomy makes the difficulty setting go from hard to heroic. It is a coping device, and one that will kill me unless I get on top of it again. Couple that with a household full of junk food fanatics, and time starved adults and I guess it is easy to see I am like Scarface at a cocaine factory.

We all win the lottery in some way.   Something in our lives beat the odds in a big way.    In my case, I hit the genetic sweepstakes.   My unique body chemistry is such that a world-renowned physician that concentrates in lipid research thinks I am neat. He has stated, “I collect people like you.” I guess it is good to wanted, right?    My chemistry coupled with certain nutritional combinations results in a vicious cycle of triglyceride elevation and insulin resistance.   It creates conditions just right for pancreatitis. It is genetic, to paraphrase a doctor, “you could eat a bucket of lard and not get triglycerides that high.” Thanks mom, dad, and recessive genes; It’s all Friar Gregor Mendel’s fault.

I have avoided another pancreatic attack since 2011, in fact, that is why I lost all the weight in the first place.  When friends asked me why I ran so much, I always remarked, “I’m just trying to outrun my mortality.” Tongue in cheek for sure, but I did hope it helped stave off the inevitable until I am reasonably old.  I had a mission, and for the most part, I stayed on mission.

So here I am, 6 months after injuring my calf, half-defeated and half-overwhelmed. Most who know me, know I am pretty career orientated. I love being an appraiser; it is something I am good at and something that interests me. I have been steadily busy getting a second professional designation, getting approved to instruct for the Appraisal Institute, helping build out a team in a private venture, while working full time with the government. Not to mention I am developing educational material for two classes. I sit on three committees, write in my spare time, and try to make time for my running. Add In the personal stuff like my mother is nearing her life expectancy and was diagnosed with stage 2 dementia, among other things…

Yeah, on paper it looks like too much. Something has to give and it will not be me. Part of being strong is saying no and understanding my limits. Part of that is also remembering that I cannot hide from contributing to the world or better yet, myself. I am too smart to be this dumb.

My good friend and colleague had this to share with me, “So you are 15-years into appraising (thereabouts) and already have two designations, are a national instructor, and are about to co-teach an advanced class, and have been speaking nationally? Sheesh, slow down or you will crash and burn.”

She is right. Now I must figure out which piece(s) to remove. Fortunately, that is easy for me. Circumstance,cosmic timing, and a friend from Ocean City have converged…or M-Brane theory has overwhelmed my reality.


In the next several days a major change will occur. I will transcend, I will escape me, and I will overcome. I will.

“It is the power of the mind to be unconquerable.”
Seneca, The Stoic Philosophy of Seneca: Essays and Letters



Delta, Delta, Change in Process

I have been remiss with keeping up with my running blog.  I figured I would throw together something quick to share with everyone.  My whole plan has been adjusted for the next several months, but this is a good thing.  It started a few weeks ago when I had to attend an educational offering from the Appraisal Institute in Chicago.  That weekend away was fun, but it got in my way of running because my son and I decided to stay in the suburbs, something I will never do again.  I just couldn’t fit everything in with the train commute and class and social obligations.  Not to mention the food that is not on my diet.

Shift in my Plan

So the biggest change up for me post Chicago, is that I decided to seek out a running coach.  I figured I have been doing this for two years now, and I want to see what I could do better.  I inquired around Richmond and Charlottesville and noticed one thing in common between program that offered one on one coaching:  it is too expensive for me.  I am a member of the Charlottesville Track Club (CTC), and I found out that they offer training programs.  They do three programs annually: a four-mile program, one for women and one for men; a marathon/half-marathon program; and the ten-mile program.  For less than a cheap pair of running shoes you can join the club and join a program, or just join a program, as no membership is required.

Doing this means that I will not be doing the half-marathon in Mt. Airy in November, but I will be doing the 10 Miler in March here in Charlottesville.  But it does mean that I will have the expertise of Mark Lorenzoni.  Mark has been involved with running at just about every level.  I hope to do a piece on him at some point in the future as I am learning that Coach Mark is a fixture here in the community and is really a catalyst when it comes to all thing running in our community.

Group Sessions

I have to admit it; so far, I love the group sessions.  I have struggled with pacing myself while running on my own.  I chose a pace group based on what my data was telling me, which is about what I have been averaging in my races when I go out too hard.  I figured I have been burning up energy and stores too early because I want to run faster than I really should, so I trimmed it back and I will be trying it from a slower perspective.  Which I have done well in my last two groups runs, nut during the week I am going faster than the group.

I am hoping that my group sessions will help me develop a natural feel for the right pace.  I see in our schedule that we will be doing speed work starting in January.

october 25 run

This was my run from Saturday.  It had some decent hills in it, but was pretty easy.  I think one of the best aspects of doing this program is that I will learn some great paths in and around the City.  Since I am a relatively new here, this is an added bonus.

running blog 10_27_2014 charts

September 15-21 Week One of Paleo

Well this week has proven to be one full of great starts and some humbling speed bumps.  My glucose levels are continuing to fall.  My perspective of success really hinges on the glucose levels, with running progress second and my weight last.  My glucose lowest of the week was 108.  Not perfect but getting close.  My highest was 244 with the weekly average at 144.  It I stay on track my average should drop, and I am hopeful the daily will be closer to sub-100 this week.

Much of the success I think really goes to nutritional changes I made starting Monday.  I have done my best to stick with a paleo-style plan.  Most of my meals are easy, but one night for dinner, I made a thin cut T-bone, rubbed with paprika, cayenne, salt, pepper, garlic, and onion.  I sautéed it with coconut oil and a small bit of butter and finished it in the broiler.  It was served over mixed greens and homemade salsa.  The topping was pumpkin seeds, walnuts, and macadamia nuts; sautéed mushrooms and yellow peppers.  It was a great meal.

Run Fat Boy, Run

Easy Runs

Monday was a decent run; I am trying, almost in vain, to slow my pace down on easy days.  I get carried away and pace harder when I feel good about the run and my mood is optimistic.  I need to stay consistent and not speed up to then have to slow down.  Sometimes (most of the time) I run more of a fartlek than an easy run.

9 15 2014 summary

Wednesday ended up being a walk because I ate when I got home and ran too soon afterwards so it was not as productive as I would have liked it to be.  The image just shows my run, not the 0.99 mile walk I did at lunch.

9 17 2014 summary

Tuesday was my interval run of the week.  I hate these things.  I cannot seem to find a happy medium.  Most of what I read says that easy runs should be run at a very easy pace, almost slow.  However, if I track by heart rate, I am blowing the upper levels out of the water by mid workout.  I still want to run the warm up paces too fast, so it makes the heart rate go high too soon.

9 16 2014 summary

 Here are my splits for Tuesday:

splits tuesday 9 16 2014

Here is my heart rate for Tuesday:

hr 9 16 2014

I took Thursday off, which was fortuitous in timing.  I was afforded the privilege to spend the evening with a dear friend and her husband.  She is in town teaching an Appraisal Institute course.  I enjoyed catching up, sharing some professional war stories and getting some career advice from two well-respected professionals.  I also spoke to the class for a few minutes, which in itself is rewarding.  Giving back is food for the soul, as they say.

Friday was Fartlek day.  I love that word.  As juvenile as it sounds, it is an actual running term. From my friends over at competitor.com, it means, “speed play”, it can be a great way to introduce some faster running into your training, typically in the later stages of the base phase before venturing into more structured workouts.

Saturday was my weekly long run, and it showed me quickly that I might be biting off more than I can chew.  I am trying to prepare for my second half-marathon on November 08, 2014.  Which may be too soon.  I am getting ready to sign up for the CTC 10-mile training program, which starts the week prior to my race.  I have been doing my best on my own and have contemplated getting private coaching, but it is so expensive.  The CTC offers a well-respected program for $15; hard to argue with that cost.  I am going to speak with one of the coaches and get their opinion.  If I use the program to prepare for the March 10 miler, I may be better served doing a half-marathon afterwards.  In the meantime, I am going to continue on my current plan.

week stats 9  15 2014

Lastly, mainly because weight is not my motivation, I have really lost some weight this week.  I almost lost exactly 10 pounds: 226 down to 116, rounded.  I realize that will be an anomaly and not a trend.  I went from a two-week light schedule after my half-marathon to a return to a full week of training and I switched up my nutrition plan.  I am sure fooling my body like that will not continue as I normalize, but it was cool to lose that much in a week.

 weight 9 15 14

Overall, my week was acceptable but I know I can do better.  On my off days, I need to find an alternative to running.  I am thinking a bike will be in my future when the budget opens up for it. This next week will be an interesting one.  I leave Thursday evening for a 12-hour drive to Chicago.  My oldest son is going with me.  He loves to eat, as do I, and I need to hold fast to my plan.  I will be in Chicago at the Instructor Workshop for the Appraisal Institute.  I am hoping to get in a good run or two along the lake while I am in town.

Hump Day Results: third day in and some results already worth sharing.

Pleasant surprises were abounding this morning when I woke up today.  It was almost like skyrockets were in flight, so to speak.  My morning was an almost unheard of quick response in positive efforts.  I imagine that part of the response comes from the fact that I have been very active in the last 6 months, and actually going back almost two years now.  It is safe to say that I am more familiar with slow results, as I am sure most people are.  This paleo nutrition plan is obviously the biggest change I have made.    My day stated with some big wins:

  • Big Win #1
    • The scales had to be looked at several times this morning because I thought they were broken. I am down five pounds since Sunday.   With a new nutrition pan in the introduction stage, I figured I would see some loss, just not that much in three full days.   Weight loss is not my goal, but it is a nice thing to see first thing in the morning.
  • Big Win # 2
    • My adopted son, Zack (6 years old), was up when I was prepping for work this morning. He was in a good mood, and pleasantly chatting.  That is rare in the mornings with him.  He can be quite a handful early in the pre-dawn morning.
  • Big Win #3
    • My glucose level was down to within five points of acceptable. That is almost 90 points from my highest observation last week.  By lunch time it is six points under the upper limits, score!
  • Big Win # 4
    • I stopped to fill up the car, and gas was $3.02 a gallon. Not too shabby. I celebrated with a quad latte.  Which I sipped watching the sunrise as I made my way through the tunnel of trees between Charlottesville and Richmond known as Intertstate-64

I am still trying to figure out what the subject of my first video review is going to be.  Regarding my gear, I have several pieces that are key to my daily runs.  From my MIO Link, to my Garmin Forerunner 220, to my Fitletic belts, to my Adidas Sequence Bounce shoes, I have lots to consider.  While a couple of pieces could really stand a full review I may approach it in a modular fashion.  Essentially, doing an overview of my typical work out gear and why each piece creates the perfect-for-me ensemble.  I have also been toying with reviewing my normal stomping grounds.  Personally, I think Charlottesville is a running Mecca.

Well that is my Hump Day update.  Just some good news to spread around and hopefully share some much needed progress and proof some things can get better.  Here is some positive energy for my readers.  If any of you have any questions please let me know.  Whether it gear related, diet, or how I am dealing with endurance sports as a diabetic.  I am happy to offer my insight and share; hopefully I can learn something from you as well.

Two Days In… Paleo feels different

Two days into a new week,  which means two workouts done. Yesterday was an easy run and felt pretty good.    The weather was phenomenal.   This is my favorite rime of the year.   Apples are coming in and foliage is changing.  



Today’s run was intervals.   I hate these things but pushed through. The last set was tough,  I was feeling it.   Lots of folks on the trail dogs.   While I don’t mind them,  please put them on a leash.  


Tomorrow will be an easy run then an off day.   Then two more days and it’s a week.   The Charlottesville Track Club is starting their 10miler training program. CTC  Great deal for non-members at $20 or $15 for members

The glucose was better the last two days,  guess the body is taking to the paleo diet.   I did forget my lunch so I ended up doing a Subway salad with roast beef and red wine vinegar.   I stopped in on the way home and grabbed a bowl of pho sans noodles and extra meat.   Dinner was a thin cut tbone blackened with homemade rub using coconut oil and a bit of butter;  Over greens with homemade salsa.   Throw in some sauted musrooms with walnuts and pumpkin seeds  and you have  meal. Decadent for sure,  but limited carbs and lots of taste.   Cooking with coconut oil is tasty.   Time for a break,  then a tiny bit of work and the Sons of Anarchy.  

For Tomorrow We Dive (In)

Just a quick note.   I went grocery shopping this evening.   I stopped in at Whole Foods in C’ville,  I despise that place.   I love what they stand for,  love the products,  but the people that shop there and the volume of them is maddening.  

In the meantime,  I am putting up my first video post.   I made it Saturday before my 10k.  It’s not great,  as I did it ad hoc in a gas station parking lot.  I am hoping to do some video reviews of different products and aspects of my regimen.  

Tomorrow starts a new leg of my journey.   I  start a paleo nutrition plan,  and a stepped up half marathon training plan for my next race in November.   I will be posting as often as I can.  

I should mention that I got two personal records this week.   The first was  a training run,  the second was during my 10k.  I shave about four minutes off of the 10k. 


Fat Boys Do Find Their Way Back…

It has been nine months since I posted anything here.  I got busy with some things through work and through other professionally related stuff.  In the meantime I have run three races, have continued to train and have missed writing.  I keep meaning to come back but have yet to write a single word until today.  What leads me back of a sudden?

I went to the doctor yesterday.

It seems the 8k, the half-marathon and 5k didn’t do me much good in the way of improving my health the way that I thought it would.  You see, I have issues that come from my heritage.  I am southern, and to be southern is to be an eater.  Not unlike many other groups of people, we are indoctrinated with the concept of eating-meetings.  If there is an event or meeting, we consume food.

Now I have not been sitting on the couch and gorging myself on bags of fries and bonbons, but being a type-2 diabetic I might as well have been.  I am coming back to the blog because I need to write to keep myself honest and to stay reflective on what I am doing.  So I hope to be making more updates, probably starting Monday of next week (9/15/2014).  I am on my last couple of days of taking it easy for a couple of weeks to recover after my first-half marathon on August 31st.

Saturday I am running a 10k to celebrate my return to full training mode.  This weekend I start programming my brain for my next nutritional switch.  I am going to go full on paleo and see where that lands me in 30 days.  If what I have been reading holds out, it may help me balance out some glucose issues.

In the meantime, here are my year-to-date stats, or rather my stats since I started using my Garmin Forerunner 220 in February. I will note, just to appease the macho side of my brain, that my average speed includes walks.

ytd september 11 14

So I  just spent my lunch break at work talking about fixing my food problems.  Only in ‘Murica.