Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Winter training is not always fun

That's right, I admit it.  I don't enjoy every aspect of running.  Especially in the winter months.  The shorter days means there is less sunlight and many times you're running in the dark. The cold temperatures require you to carefully choose how many layers you need to be warm enough but not too cold. Dodging ice patches and snow drifts is tough and no matter what you do it seems that some part of you is cold while the others are sweating. 

Many people choose to stay indoors and train during these harsh months and log their miles on a treadmill or cross trainer.  I used  to do the same thing but there are many things you  miss out on.  Treadmill  miles are not trail miles and, for me, that matters.  If I spent my winter months inside I would be at a major disadvantage at the beginning of the spring.  I have some big  plans and cannot afford that.

So whats makes winter running in sub zero weather in the dark worth  it?  So many things!  The exhilaration and sense of accomplishment is there no matter what the temperature. Above all else, that's makes it worthwhile.  Personally, my body performs better in cold temperatures than hot.  Long distances are much easier in the cold than in the hot weather and there is alot less problems with keeping hydrated. 

Running with a group makes all the difference as well and the Seoul Synergy team pictured above has been my running family of choice these past few months.  Sometimes meeting for coffee before, catching a bowl of steaming korean soup afterwards, it truly does make all the difference.  I know I preach "Integrity First" but  there is no way I would push myself this hard if no one else was around.  The comradery, the natural and friendly competitiveness, you just miss that when running by yourself.  Although I enjoy the meditation of a long solo run every now and then, I much prefer the company of the group.  Thanks guys and gals!

That's it for now.  Let's bundle up and get some miles done!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Maintaing but not straining.

It's been awhile since my last update.  The main reason is that I have been busy with the new job.  I finally hooked up with Seoul Synergy and started running with them.  We run hills on Tuesday's and down by the river on Thursday's.  The runs take place in the evenings and it's an adventure to put your life in jeopardy dodging the taxi's and motorcycles. 

Since I've gotten here, I've practiced the Forrtest Gump style of running. I don't pay much attention to my time or pace.  The group says "Run", I run.  I go as fast as I feel like going. No pressure. 

Then again, there is the testosterone that kicks in.  Latey there have been some young lads showing up for the Tuesday run.  I say "lads" because two them are from Ireland I do believe. Young and full of piss and vinegar as the old folks say.  No, I can't keep up with them but it sure is fun trying.  I always like to have someone in front of me when I'm running.  It's a great motivator when you have something to chase.

I must say that my training seems to be in more of maintenance phase though.  I don't seem to make it to the Gym for strength training as much as I like and my distances have decreased.   The longest training runs I've been on are around 8 miles not counting the half marathon.

I'm doing less miles but at a faster pace. I must be doing something right, I ran the 10K on post this morning and logged my best time once more shaving 17 seconds off my old time.  44 Mins 43 Seconds.  That's a 7 min 11 second pace! Not too bad old man. 

Monday, October 19, 2009

Goal: Run a Half-Marathon in Under Two hours. Pass!

I have to admit, my first few weeks in Korea have been busy and its been tough to make my workouts.  Despite my lack of a regular routine, I managed to commit to a half marathon this weekend.  It was called the Saber Run and took place on Osan Air Base which is about an hour away from Seoul.

I managed to figure out how to catch a bus and headed out at 7AM.  I was traveling alone but met two Army guys who were headed to the race as well.  Derrick and Mike, both in their late 30's.   It turned out derrick was from WV and we ended up talking about running the whole trip.

Signing up for this run was a no brainer.  Free running shirt, free coin, and a free BBQ at the end.  I usually spend around 50 bucks for an event like this!

On to the run itself.  I had one goal for the day.  Beat my previous best half marathon time of 1:59.  Since its been about 6 months and 25 pounds since I ran my first Half-marathon, I was pretty confident I could meet this goal.  The two army guys were also trying to run it in under 2 hours so I decided to run with them and see how I felt.

Prior  to this run I had not ran over 10 miles since my marathon on Sept 19 so I was a little concerned.  It turned out I had nothing to worry about.  I settled in to a nice brisk pace and felt good for the whole race'.  The whole course was two laps around the flightline and in the end I can in at about 1 hour and 47 minutes.  Around 12 minutes faster than my previous half marathon.  That's over 13 miles at a 8 minute 9 second pace!  The fastest half marathon of my life at 43.  Oh yeah, I feel kind of bad for mentioning this but I also finished in front of my two new Army friends.  Sorry guys, couldn't  resist.

This pace is good news for many reasons. From what I have read, that pace should actually allow me to finish a marathon in under 4 hours which is my goal before I leave Korea.  I'm not confident I can meet that goal at this time though.  Hopefully I will slip into a good training routine with a good group and start pushing myself to new limits.

So, where will my next run be?  I have a big plan in the works for my next marathon.  If it works out it will be THE RUN OF A LIFETIME and I don't use that term lightly.  I'm keeping the details under wraps until I see if I can actually make it happen.

Stay tuned,

Monday, October 12, 2009

Korea: New Country. New Goals!

Here I am in Korea!  The Fat Sergeant has made it to a new country on a new work assignment.  I left the United States on a high note meeting all three of the goals.   As I've said earlier, I need to have goals to work towards or I can easily go right back to my old habits,  As someone who has lost and gained weight my whole life, I now know it's my reality.  If I want to stay healthy and fit I have to set goals and work on fitness constantly.

The good news is that I truly enjoy working out and running now!  That's not always been the case.  Running used to make dizzy, nauseous and miserable. I'm without a vehicle right now and I was thinking about this while walking and running around the base this week.  The garrison is very hilly and I was surprised how easy it was to travel up and down the hills without getting winded.  It's a great feeling to know that you can run for hours.  The reality is you have to actually run for hours to maintain that ability.  

Moving to a new place is a great time so set new goals and start good habits.  About three years ago my wife and I left Germany and threw the cigarettes in the trash before we got on the plane.  We've both managed to stay off the smokes since then.  In our new home we were not in the habit of going outside to smoke. We didn't smoke at work and didn't have people asking us to go to the smoke area.  That's why I contacted running clubs in the area before I left the country.  I ran a 5K fun run this morning and will be running with the club in the morning.  It's likely that the people I end up  meeting here will be fitness oriented and that will help me stay fit.

This blog is also a big part of my mental conditioning.  When I commit to my goals everyone knows about it.  I feel that my friends are rooting for me and I don't want to them down.  

I have come up with some short term and long term goals for my tour here.

Short term goals:
1. Compete in a half marathon before the end of the year and finish in under 2 hours. (a new personal best)
2. Get my weight down to 190 lbs and maintain it through the holidays to  Jan 1st. 

Long Term goals:
1. finish a marathon in under 4 Hours. (I need to shave 24 minutes!)
2. Compete in a triathlon!  (This is a big one!  I don't even have a bike here.)

That's it.  Goals set!  Wish me luck.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

My Air Force Marathon Expericnce

Like nearly ten thousand other individuals,  I recently traveled to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio to participate in the 13th annual Air Force Marathon. Some came with family and friends to cheer them on while others came alone.  Some people were running their first race while others were seasoned veterans of marathons.  Many0 individuals came to run in the 5k and 10k races while others had trained to run the half and 26.2 mile full marathon.

Runners came for many different reasons but we all shared a common goal of crossing the finish line.  As I ran my race, it was exhilarating to see all the different types of people of all ages, men and women, young and old.  I was also amazed at the number of people who volunteered to help at the hydration stations and the people who showed up to cheer us on.  Working with the Public Affairs at Wright-Patterson gave me an opportunity to meet some amazing individuals.

Air Force Col John Alveraz was a Navy Seal and lost his leg while in a joint special operations counter-narcotics mission in 1996.  After his accident, he went through water and survival training again and got certified to fly.  Although the Navy always took care of him, he choose to take an inter-service transfer to the Air Force to stay in Special Operations.  He is now assigned to the Defense and Air Attaché, LaPaz, Bolivia. He ran the Marathon in dedication to 20 individuals who have either fallen or were wounded in Iraq/Afghanistan. This year's Marathon landed on the same day that his accident happened 13 years ago.

And then there is Army Captain Ivan Castro, Castro, who is the one of three blind active-duty officers and the only one serving in Army Special Operations, ran the Air Force marathon for the second time.  Castro lost visibility in both eyes while serving in Iraq Sept. 2, 2006 when a 82mm enemy mortar exploded just five feet in front of him. 
When Castro was interviewed before the Air Force Marathon in 2008 He could remember the exact moment when he decided to run a marathon lying in his hospital bed Bethesda Naval Medical Center.  He overheard a doctor and nurse discussing the Marine Corps Marathon. "As they left, I thought to myself, 'I love running. I miss running. That's what I'm going to do,'" he said.  That’s exactly what he did. Since then he’s competed several other runs.  This year he ran the Air Force half marathon with a t-shirt that read "I will never accept defeat."

A highlight for me was getting to meet Dave McGillivray who is the race director for the Boston Marathon. This guy is the original Forrest Gump who ran 3,452 miles in 80 days!  His record includes over 122 marathons and 8 Hawaii marathons all to raise money for numerous causes.

I was also touched by the story I read about CMSgt. Brian Hale who was running the half marathon with his wife's bib number.  The original plan was for him to run the full 26.2 marathon while his wife ran the 13.1 mile half marathon and their daughter breana would cheer them on.  Tragically, Michelle who was struck and killed by a sport utility vehicle in the early morning while training for her run.  Chief Hale completed the half-marathon with bib number 4193 while his daugher and family cheered him on at the finish.

Many people out there will ask "Why"?  Why do all that training?  Why would you want to get out of bed before the sun comes up, just to beat the heat and train for hours?  My personal reasons were to improve my overall health and celebrate 25 years of service in the Air Force but if you ask 100 different people you are likely to get 100 different answers. Each runner has his or her reason to run.  Some of these stories are very inspiring.

The Air Force Marathon was a tremendous experience that offers a race for almost any fitness level.  If these individuals have inspired you, maybe you will join us next year.  To give you a idea of what it's like to run a marathon, here is a video of the 2009 Air Force Marathon from a runners perspective.

Friday, September 18, 2009

My best friend for 4 hours and 20 Minutes!

I got a chance to meet with Nancy from the AIr Force Marathon Team who I hope to keep up with tomorrow.  Wish there was more time I need to get ready for tomorrow

Don't forget, you can follow my progress via GPS here starting at 0700 in the morning.

Thanks again for tuning in!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

I'm in Dayton for the Air Force Marathon! Odds and ends from the Sports Expo

I arrived this afternoon in Dayton in time to check-in and pick-up my race package at the Air Force Marathon.  While I was there I took some pictures of some of the Air Force displays and even took the lipstick Video Camera along for and operations check.  Here are a couple clips I captured.

This is the Stealth Bike.  Commisioned by Northop Grumman and built by Orange County Chopper.

Nothing too exciting here.  Just some of the vendors from the Sports expo.  Lots more going on tomorrow!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Headed to Ohio: Please Join me online!

It's been quite a week!  I've taken it easy on my workouts and eaten some good quality food.  It was also very cool to have an article written about the me and the Fat Serteants Blog.  You can read it in two different forms here:

Face of Defense: Airman Sheds Pounds, Gains Health

Blogging Airman sheds 70 pounds, ready to take on marathon

I'll be leaving tomorrow for Ohio and will be covering the Marathon events here and on the Air Force social media sites.  Not sure how I will use the footage but I also plan on running with a video camera on my head!  

I really appreciate all the support I've gotten from everyone so far.  You can also follow my progress on Twitter by following FatSergeant. Lastly, you can also follow my progress Via GPS coordinates by following this link at 07:30 on race day 19 September:

Thanks again for tuning in.  More to come from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

One week till the marathon. 26.2. miles. Am I ready?

I now have less than week until I travel over 500 miles to run 26.2 miles.  At this point I have a lot of fear and doubt about being prepared.  Am I ready to run this marathon?  I've logged hundreds of miles, dropped the excess weight, and ate right foods. Even with all that preparation, things can still go wrong.  That nagging heel and ankle pain can I run with for 10 miles can grow to be unbearable when you more than double the distance.  The kids just started back to school and everyone in the house is getting sick.  There is a good change I'll be fighting some sort of virus when I get on the starting line.
At this point my race training is over.  I'll do a short run or two and some strength training but my long runs are finished.  It's time to take it easy, get lots of rest and eat some good food. I must admit I'll feeling the pressure though.  I've gotten so much support and inspiration from others and I don't want to let them, or myself, down.  No matter what happens, I promise to give it my all.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Goal 2 of 3 PASS: Faster than the 18 year olds, faster than ever.

This was a big day that I have been working towards for a long time.  In the end I met my goal of 100% on my PT test.  I was ready.  The only real challenge of the day was the weigh-in first thing in the morning.  I hopped on the scale and was exactly were I needed to be, 194 lbs.  If I would have come in heavy, I would have simply went and ran until the scale  read what I needed, but luckily that didn't happen.  
After the weigh-in it was time for push-ups.  40 was required, I did 50.  Then came crunches.  I needed 47 for max points, I got 52 in 60 seconds.  This is not an easy task and I can't imagine doing them much faster.  
The run was the last obstacle of the day and I needed to run 1.5 miles in less than 10:21.  I already knew I would make that time with no problem.  Three months ago I ran it 10:18 and a little over a month ago I made it in 9:41.  The new goal I had been training for was 9:36.  Why this time?  It happens to be the  time needed for an 18 year old Airman to get max points.  
I had the forethought to give my lap split times needed to my PT monitor who was nice enough to keep me posted on my time after every lap.  I started the first lap at almost a sprint and when I went past the monitor I heard him say "10" something.  I didn't know if that meant 10 seconds slow or 10 seconds fast so all I could do is keep it up till the next lap.  This time I heard him say "you're doing good, about 10 seconds ahead of time", Great news!  I kept on chugging.  Lap 3, lap, 4, and on lap 5 I slowed down a bit without realizing it.  For the last lap I kicked it into gear.  My legs wanted fly out from under me but my chest was burning and wanted to stop breathing.  As I rounded the last turn I just thought about all the preparation I had done for this run and how it was all coming down to these last 20 or so steps.  I dug deep, sprinted it out, and it was over.
After I crossed the finish line i kept running slowly for a cool down.  I was surprised to find that about half-way through lap I had already gotten my breath back.  It was like my body was saying "whew, that was a tough hill, glad it's over and we're ready for more."  It was a nice feeling. 

In the end my time was 9:27!  Once again the fastest I have ever ran and almost 10 seconds faster than the time needed for an 18 year old.  I said in an earlier post that not every day is a good training day.  Today was a good day.  Today was my day.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Goal 1 of 3: PASS!

After a long run on Saturday, I attended my 25th High School Reunion at my graduation weight of 195 pounds!  It was a great time and it was fun to see all my old friends and classmates. 
This was goal of one of three I set out to accomplish this month.   Tomorrow I will celebrate 25 years of service in the Air Force and ATTEMPT to max my PT test for the first time in my career.  I'm a little scared at this point.  I just got on the scale and was shocked to see it reading 200lbs again!  It was a tough weekend to watch my weight and I guess I didn't do too well.  All I can do at this point is cutoff the calories for today and hope for the best tomorrow.

17 Mile Pilgrimage run in WV

I arrived at home in the little town of Lizemores West Virginia on Friday. I knew I needed to do a long run over the weekend which would probably be my last long run before my marathon. Since my 25 year class reunion was Saturday afternoon, I chose a Saturday morning run. It can be hard to find a place to run in Clay and wherever you run you're going to be dodging coal trucks.

I chose a one way run that would take be past some significant landmarks. I started out early in the morning at my home in Grassy Fork, not far from my elementary school. About 4 miles into my run I had to climb Holcomb Hill which is more of a mountain than a hill. After about a mile, I made it to the top and passed the Holcomb Memorial gardens where many of my relatives are located. From there I had some smoothe sailing miles with only one small climb before the Hartland bridge which crosses the Elk river.

About 13 miles into my run I finally made it to Clay County High School. I took a diversion down past the school which was one of he best parts of my run. From there I headed back up to highway 16 and into the town of Clay and past my junior high school on the hill.

I found it entertaining to have people looking at the idiot running through town and enjoyed yelling "Hello Clay County!" as I passed the flee market in the old IGA parking lot. It's also interesting that in all the running I've done at home, I've never passed another person running or jogging.

From there I ran out of town and towards the crossroads at Two Run where I spent many weekends at my Grandma Phililps home. My run ended at the Go Mart with strangely enough has become the happening place in Clay.

It was a good run. Surprisingly easy to complete and very relaxing, almost "Zen like". I can't remember a more enjoyable trail.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Testing the Lipstick Camera. 25th Reunion Bound!

It's late and I'm heading to WV bright and early in the morning for my 25 year class reunion! The scale said 197 this morning so I have two pounds to go. I plan a long run Saturday morning so I'll make it.

I took a small camera with me on my weekly club run today. I'll post the actual footage soon but here is a taste.

Plastic Monkey Shoes!

Running with the Lake Ridge Runners Club this evening. Been using these vey unique shoes. Very light and I love them for short distances.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Under 200 Lbs! Less than a week before reunion and PT test

September is here!
This is the month it all comes together. I got on the scale at work today and the reading was 197.5. I just need to drop 2.5 pounds before Saturday to meet the first of my three goals. 3.5 before September 8th to Max my PT test.

I'm in good shape to meet both of these goals. As long as I watch my intake this week, get a couple of good workouts in, I'll make it. It will take some willpower though. I'll me home in WV and my mom will be making those great pancakes! Snacks and meal at the reunion, drinks with old friends, I need to be strong and keep the eye on the prize.

I don't want to reveal too much, but I have some pretty cool stuff planned for the marathon. Stick with me. I promise some interesting multimedia posts in the near future!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Workout routine: Time consuming but very satisfying.

Since starting to workout with my son two months ago, my times in the gym have increased. Many times things come up and I'll miss a workout but this is currently a full week for me:

11:30AM- 30 Minutes at the Gym for Pushups and Abs. (This lunchtime workout my mostly to get me out of the office without going out to eat ever day.
6:30PM- 90 Minutes at the Gym with Josh for Chest and Arms

11:30AM- 30 Minutes at the Gym for Pushups and Abs.
6:30PM- 4.5 mile run with Local running club

11:30AM- 30 Minutes at the Gym for Pushups and Abs.
6:30PM- 90 Minutes at the Gym with Josh for back and shoulders

11:30AM- 30 Minutes at the Gym for Pushups and Abs.
6:30PM- 5-6 mile run with Local running club

11:30AM- 30 Minutes at the Gym for Pushups and Abs.
6:30PM- 90 Minutes at the Gym with Josh for Chest and Arms

0600- Long Run 16-22 Miles

6:30PM- 90 Minutes at the Gym with Josh for Back and Shoulders

Sometimes I just don't feel like going! Tonight was a good example. I ended up working late and didn't get home till 7:30. I knew if I missed it would effect my son as well so we headed out and got our workout in. A free plug for Nike here. JUST DO IT!

This photo was taken of me this weekend at the beach (yes, I skipped several workouts). It was about time for us to leave the beach and get something to eat so I grabbed my shirt and put it on. I didn't realize till later that I had grabbed the wrong shirt. The ADHD shirt I was wearing was my 15 year old sons shirt!

I would have never fit into that shirt 4 months ago. Being an ADHD kid myself, I decided to go ahead and wear the shirt for the rest of the day to celebrate.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

22 Mile training run. FAIL!

Not every day is going to be a good training day. To run your longest training run ever, you need to be on the top of your game. Today was not my day. I set out for a long run before my trip to the beach. I didn't set out to complete a specific distance. I wanted to get running and see how I felt.

The run started out pretty routine and I had a healthy pace which was a little faster than I usually do. I was running on the Mount Vernon trail and my plan was to run out and back to my car. At eight miles I was still feeling good so I headed up into Old Town Alexandria. I made it to the 10 mile turn around point and I was still feeling good so I decided to go a little further to make this my 22 mile training run.

One annoying problem was the shorts I chose. The draw string in them was missing and as I they got soaked with sweat they started slipping off my butt. Very annoying pulling them up every minute or so and it was getting worse. I ended up tucking the shorts into the waistband of my undies. That did a decent job of keeping them up longer at least. (I know, thanks for sharing!)

Around the seven mile marker on the way back I started to feel fatigue in my chest and my back was pretty achy. Them came mile marker six. Mile six is pretty demanding and is almost entirely uphill. I finished it off but that was it for me. I had to start walking at mile marker 5.

So there I was,unable to run anymore and 5 miles away from my car! I thought if I walk for a mile I might be able to run again. Nothing doing. My brain and body had decided running time was over. I managed to run a few hundred meters here and there but that was it.

Those last 5 miles were miserable! Running 17 miles when you're feeling good is so much easier than walking 5 miles when your body has shut down. I snapped this photo soon after I started walking.

So what happened? I'm not sure but these could have been contributing factors:

- Thursday is not my usual long day. I usually run them on Saturday.
- I got started about an hour late so the heat and humidity may have been a factor.
- I could have eaten a little better the night before.
- I could have eating more before I started and have more to eat during the run.

The whole thing is a bit frustrating but I found this quote in my inbox this morning:

Frustration is the first step towards improvement. I have no incentive to improve if I'm content with what I can do and if I'm completely satisfied with my pace, distance, and form as a runner. It's only when I face frustration and use it to fuel my dedication that I feel myself moving forwards.

John "The Penguin" Bingham

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Working out with my son Josh

In July I decided to add my son Joshua to my gym membership. He's 15 years old and I thought it was about time to get him involved in some sort of physical activity other than Nintendo Wii! He's out of school for the summer and spends most of his time playing video games in the basement. Working out takes allot of my time so I thought it would be a great way for us to spend some time together before I leave for Korea.

It's been a challenge for many reasons. First, to incorporate him into my workouts, I end up going to the gym almost every day and sometimes twice a day. Second, he lacks motivation to go and he only goes because I require it. Thinking back, I doubt if I was motivated at 15 so I can't really judge him. He also battles with ADHD and a touch of Aspbergers Syndrome.

It's taken patience but we have stuck with it for over six weeks now working out four times a week. Many times we both get frustrated but then there are times when he will push himself and add more weight on his own. I'll also catch him flexing his muscles and he will admit that he enjoys the results. That makes it all worth while.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Twenty mile run down! On target to meet goals!

This post should catch my blog up!
Workouts are going well. I completed my 20 mile training run with no real problems. I still plan to complete a 22 miler before the Marathon on Sept. 19.

My biggest challenge will be to make my weight of 194 lbs. by 8 Sept. I need to be at this weight to get my Max points and meet my 100% goal. On friday I weighed in at 199! I broke the 200 pound barrier! Oh weight now, not so fast, three days of camping, eating crap and no actual workouts. Back up to 205. SHIT!

I have to stay focused and avoid temptation to meet my goals. Before my PT test, I still have a trip to the beach and a trip to WV for my 25 year reunion. When and where will I do my long runs?? I have to sit down and figure this out. I didn't work this hard to get sidetracked in the last few weeks.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Faster than I have ever been in my life.

July 2009:
I found that I really enjoy running with other people. I have a competitive nature so running with others always pushes me to keep up. During my six weeks at school I was running at the back of the pack and ended up running with the younger crowd by the end of class.

I also decided to join a running club close to my home and ended up running with the Lake Ridge Runners in Woodbridge. A very small group of people but great motivation. I try to run with them at least 3 times a week.

One of the Officers in the office had to take her PT test so I thought I would tag along and see how my running time was progressing. I had not been checking my times so I had no idea where I would be. My last run was 10:19 if memory serves correctly and my goal was to break 10 minutes if I could. A secondary goal was to try and beat 10:45 which was the time my friend Dave recently ran.

I also started ran for the first time in my lightweight fivefingers shoes. Once I got started I knew my time was going to be good and as they called out my time for each lap I knew it was going to be a good run. My final time was 9:41.

9 minutes and 41 seconds to run 1.5 miles. THIS IS THE FASTEST I HAVE EVER RAN 1.5 MILES!


Wondering what else I am capable of?

A check of the weightbot shows I was at 208lbs on 16 July.

Friday, August 21, 2009

The 25 year Trifecta!

After my PT test in may I was really motivated to keep my training up. I routinely fall into the cycle of getting fit, meeting my goal and then letting myself go. Lesson I've learned?


I realized that I was approaching a milestone in my life. 25 years since graduating highschool and 25 years of service in the Air Force. I decided to set my goals high and I called it the 25 Year Tritecta.

25 Year Trifecta Goals:

1. 5 Sept - Attend my 25th High School Reunion at my graduation Weight (195 Pounds)

2. 7 Sept -Score 100% on your Air Force PT test on your 25th Anniversary in the Air force.

3. 19 Sept - Complete the Air Force Marathon at Wright-Patterson Air Force base.

May 2009: Time for the PT Test!

When I finished my time at DINFOS, it was time to take my PT test. I hadn't started lifting weights yet but I had added push-ups and sit-ups to my routine. I had not been timing my runs but I was very confident I would have a good time.

Test results:

1.5 Mile run: Full Points (10 Mins and 19 seconds)

Push-ups: Full points

Sit-ups: Full Points

Overall score: Excellent (can't remember the actual score but it was around 92)

I was pretty happy with that but it also pissed me off a bit. I had max points for everything except my waist size. To get max points for that that Air Force says my waits needed to be 32.5 inches?

32.5 inches? REALLY? I'm 6'2" tall and I haven't had a waist that small since Junior High! I fail to see how having a waist that small will make me healthier.

I did my research and found there is another way. If your BMI is under 25 you can also get full points. At 6'2" I would need to be 194 pounds. Over 25 pounds less that I was at the beginning of May. OK, that was a goal that I could possibly attain.

I was motivated. This was a real turning point for me!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

After six weeks in school I had lost close to 20 pounds and was down 40 pounds since Christmas!

Esprit De Corps and good eating at DINFOS

My six weeks at school at Fort Meade was great for my conditioning. During this time my workouts were just running. I had myself on a very healthy diet conisting of mostly steamed veggies, fruit and good carbs like whole wheat English muffins. I really learned to appreciate fresh vegetables during this time. I took a wok and a bamboo steamer along and just threw a little of everything in there. Onions, Broccoli, mushrooms you name it.

I also discovered the beautiful taste of fresh Almond Butter. Oh man, it's like peanut to the on 11!

I also got to do something I haven't done in a few years. Run with a group of people. It really does make all the difference in the world. I started out at the back of the pack of young officers and NCO's and at the end of the six weeks I was running with them. They were great motivator, I hate getting passed up! Close to the end of the class I was I would do well on my PT test that was coming up. I wasn't concerned with passing at this point. I wanted to kick it's ass.

Monday, August 17, 2009

March 09: Off to DINFOS!

I got a chance to take the Pubic Affairs Qualification Course at Fort Meade Maryland and Jumped at it. It's a six week course that teaches you most everything you need to know to work in the Public Affairs career field.

Up to this time I had Incorporated running and gym trips back into my weekly routine but I know now I would need to step things up a bit. I think I mentioned earlier that my PT test was in March which was incorrect. I would be taking it in may right after the PAQC course. This means I had 6 weeks at Fort Meade to make myself fully ready for the PT test.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

February 2009: Still a long way to go.

I went through my photo library for a photo of me during the time period and only found one. It's blurry but speaks volumes.

Weightbot says I weighed around 245. That's about a 20 pound loss in about a month and a half! This is a fact I've learned. The first 20 are the easiest when you've let yourself go.

New Years 2009!

Around this time I installed an App on my iphone called Weightbot to keep track of my weight. Great App and it allows me to go back and know exactly how much I weighed. Ugh 265... Enough said.

Back to work after the Christmas break and I knew it was time to hit the Gym. Yes, me and a large percentage of the US population in the gym with high aspirations. Unlike most Americans, staying fit is part of my Job. More is expected of you and if you don't meet those expectations, there are penalties. Fear can be a great motivator!

Christmas 2008

This is about my regular routine. I decided to let the festivities continue before I kicked the my workouts into gear. I knew my military PT test wasn't until March so I had time. On December 26th it was time to start working. I stepped on the scale and at 42 years old I was heavier than I had ever been.

Catching up:

I should have stared this blog much earlier so I need to do some catching up.

November 2008:
Working at my new job in Arlington for about 6 months. I was in a bit of a Rut and packing on the poundage! I just couldn't seem to make time to workout and running in the city just didn't appeal to me. Jogging in place until the lights change? No thanks. I was really missing my running route in Old Town.

For some reason I also felt a bit guility about going to the Gym at work. The office was mostly a civilian workforce and the military folks didn't seem to going on a regular basis.

This is a photo of me taken at Thanksgiving with the family.