Category: fitness

Trying to buy a bike, help me decide

So, I want to commute to work and bike around Nashville. To get the most bang for my buck, I’ve been cruising Craigslist for something used. Here are the candidates, in no particular order:

  1. Trek 7.2 fx road hybrid (another one here)
  2. NEW! TREK 7.4 FX BIKE
  3. Road Bike, TREK
  4. trek 1.1

In the perfect world, I’d like to get a road bike with flat handle bars. I’m still tempted to walk into a bike shop and just let them sell me something too.

30 Day Personal Fitness Challenge

These past months have been pretty stressful. That stress has made it easy for me to skip workouts and shovel all the food into my face hole. As a result, I’ve gained about 12 lbs during that time.

I still want to be a happy, healthy, active person so this is me trying to dig in my heels to stop the slide into fat guy land. As part of that, I’m going to do a 30 day fitness challenge. During my challenge, I’m going to do these things to make myself accountable:

First, I’m going to weigh myself and I’m going to post that on the Internet. This morning, I was 280.9 lbs. I’ll post this every Monday.

Second, I’m going to move my body everyday. This morning was a short run but other activities can be walking or hitting the fitness center here in the apartment complex. I’m saving my pennies so I can purchase a bike for biking to work so I’ll have about an hour of cardio built into my day once I start that.

Third, I’m going to track my calories everyday… even on bad days when I’ve eaten all the things and I’m way way over my calorie goal. I use myfitnesspal to do that. I know there are some thoughts that perhaps calorie tracking isn’t the best way to lose weight but I know this method works for me and it makes me think about what I’m shoveling into my mouth.

The goal is for all of this to translate into me feeling better about myself, feeling healthier and for the scales to agree with how I’m feeling. Wish me luck.

Petey’s 5k Face-Off

Morning! Lets run and thangs.

Completing 5 “races” is the second item on My 40 Before 40 list. On Saturday April 6th, I ran my 3rd 5K, Petey’s 5k Face-Off in Hendersonville, TN. This was my first chipped and certified course.

My goal was to run it in 34:45 but in the back of my head I thought 34:00 was a possibility. I hadn’t really been running as much or as consistently as I wanted leading up to the race but I was feeling real good over all.

I didn’t know what the course profile looked like but it turns out that there were some hills! Gah! As soon as I saw that I thought my estimated time was out the window and this actually allowed me to relax and just run and enjoy it without the pressure of beating my old times.

The run itself was really enjoyable. I started out well and felt good. After the half way mark I really started to push myself and pick up the pace. I normally run an 11:30’ish pace if left to my own devices without trying to pace but I was right around 10:00 the whole second half and it felt pretty great. There were several hills but the training runs I do in my hood has lots of hills and some of them are pretty steep; steeper than anything on the race course and I felt like it really helped me a lot. A lot of other people in my speed group were walking on the hills but I was able to just keep on chugging… I envisioned myself as a big ole diesel engine, complete with smoke coming out of my smoke stacks.

I ended up finishing in 34:03! Hah! I feel pretty good about that considering the hills situation.

My next race is the Cinco De Mayo 5k in Nashville. The weather is going to be hotter so I’m hesitant to offer a really aggressive time estimate. I’d be happy with 33:30 but I think if I can push and get really close to 33:00.

AAR: Run For Adoption 5K

Completing 5 “races” is the second item on My 40 Before 40 list. On Saturday May 2nd, I ran my 2nd 5K, the Run for Adoption 5K in Murfressboro, TN. This was a really small event compared to my first 5K. Plus it was cold and snowy so I bet even fewer people showed up.

I didn’t follow any specific training plan other than running as much as I could. In the weeks leading up to the 5K, I logged 31.18 miles which I felt pretty good about.

I finished the run in 35:28 according to RunKeeper. I was expecting to best the time of 38:38 that I posted for the Mayors 5K Challenge back in November. I would have been happy with 37:00 and would have been totally stoked with 36:30 so to even best that by over a minute was pretty surprising! The course was pretty flat and my normal running routes have a good amount of hills. I actually ran the whole course without stopping to walk!

I felt pretty OK during the run tho I never really felt like I got into the zone 100%. I went out kind of fast and then started feeling anxious about how my legs were feeling. After about the first mile, I was able to calm myself and pace myself better. Compared to others, I’m really slow… I was so slow that I got beat by a mom pushing a stroller! I’m pretty sure see was a cyborg or perhaps an ironmom.

My next 5K is Petey’s 5k Face-Off on April 6th. This will be my first certified and chip timed course. I don’t have any specific training plan for the coming month other than run as much as possible. I intend to run 4 times a week. I don’t know what the course profile is but if it’s flat, I hope to finish in 34:45.

Mike at the Run for Adoption 5k
Me before the run!
Cyborg mom with stroller
You can see the cyborg mom in this picture. I think she had power assist on her stroller.

New Weekly Cook Up Menu

I’m changing up my weekly cook up menu a little. I’m trying to get better about what I’m sticking in my mouth and we’re not real consistent with our evening meals lately. I’ll have planned to make fish and broccoli and perhaps some sweet potato fries but when the evening time rolls around, everybody is tired and not really feeling like cooking or cleaning up afterwards. When that happens, we resort to “eat what you can find” mode which leaves lots of room for me to make bad choices.

Below is my myfitnesspal breakdown.


The Eggland’s Best eggs are usually farm eggs we get from our egg lady. Sometimes I have to buy store eggs though and I do buy the EB eggs. I boil and peal these when I’m cooking up my batches on Sunday night.

The PB&J sandwiches are using Arnold Multi-Grain Sandwich Thins for the bread. I made 8 of these and froze them. This is the first week I’ve had these so I’m hoping that by the time lunch rolls around, these will be thawed out OK and ready to eat. I weigh the peanut butter and jelly to make sure I’m only getting what I’m intending to get.

The rice and beans entry for dinner is actually quinoa and black beans… I’m just too lazy to change the title. 😕 I cook this up on Sunday night and store them in glass pyrex containers with the broccoli on top. I just nuke it for 2 minutes and it’s ready.

All of these meals are relatively healthy (tho maybe the PB&J is debatable), frugal and convenient to make in batches. I can cook up everything in about 45 minutes on Sunday evening! It’s also vegetarian, but I didn’t intend to do that.

The only changes I’ll probably make on a daily basis is having wine and baked sweet potato fries with dinner. If I add a lunch time walk around the block at work, then I’m still in calorie deficit on non-run days.


Mayors 5K Challenge – My First 5k!

Completing 5 “races” is the second item on My 40 Before 40 list. On Sunday the 17th, I ran my first ever real 5K, the Mayor’s 5K Challenge in Nashville.

Going into it I really had no idea what to expect. There were lots of people — the website says 5000! — doing this thing and I was a little surprised at how many of us there were.

Seeing how the corrals worked was informative. I got into the main corral; the 21-35 minute one. That seemed like a wide range so I got into the very back. I usually do a 12 minute mile so that means I should be able to finish a 5k right around 36 minutes. The course was hilly and I was a little surprised about that. You don’t really notice the hills when you’re driving downtown but that’s quite another story when you’re running.

I hadn’t really ran any the week before which was a huge mistake… I should have figured out some way to make the time because I struggled on the whole run to find my zone and feel good with my pace. I’m not sure if it was all the people I was running with or the fact that I hadn’t run any that was throwing me off but I was pretty miserable the whole time. Plus, headphones were “discouraged” on the run so I didn’t bring mine. I’m a newbie runner and it’s hard to run without the music; weird I know.

RunKeeper says I finished in 38:38. I thought I would be faster and was hoping for 35 minutes. Another one of my 40 before 40 goals is to finish a 5k in under 30 minutes so that means I have a lot of work to do.

In conclusion, I’m happy I got this first one under my belt. I learned a lot about how these things work so I won’t have that deer in the high beams look next time. I should have probably done some recon on the course so the hills wouldn’t have been a big surprise and I should probably have made sure I was training enough the week leading up to the event. I hope to do another 5K in December. If you guys know of anything fun, let me know. I posted a couple photos below. You can check out the others here.


Nervous energy! Darwin is not impressed.
Nervous energy! Darwin is not impressed.
And the finish..
And the finish..


Weight Loss Beard Update

Weight loss beard!

The weight loss beard is going strong but my weight loss stalled last week. I wasn’t very focused as I didn’t do well on diet or exercise. I’m refocusing this week and had a real good Monday with a new running route of 5.4 miles and good eating.

I’m determined to get a good week of running in as I’m running the Mayor’s 5k Challenge on Sunday the 18th and I’d really like to get a good benchmark on my 5k time.

Into the breach!