Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Grrrr….. Now I’m pissed!! (At least I hope I am)

First of all, sorry for the French.

Being a rather mild mannered guy, there are few things that can get angry, and honestly, most of the time it’s at myself. A good thing I think. Getting angry seldom gets me what I want. Trust me.. 33 years in the service area of a company, talking to customers all day long, will cement the feelings that you can certainly catch more flies with honey than vinegar (I’m also not a fan of that idiom but it’s better than “Mad as a wet hen”, “Don’t piss on my leg and tell me it’s raining”, “Better than a sharp stick in the eye”, and certainly “Don’t spit in another man’s face unless his mustache is on fire”)!

But in this case, I think (and hope) that a little anger is exactly what is called for!

So here’s the deal…. And let me start in the present and move backwards.

My runs the past several weeks, maybe months, have all been pretty crappy. Not just slow as hell. I can deal with slow. Actually, I’m pretty much over the whole running for speed stuff anyway. But I WILL not accept running not being fun anymore! I will NOT wake up in the morning and dread heading out for an hour of something I can’t live without.  No way I will sit here and tell myself running 2-3 times a week is fine. Taking a week off in the winter will HELP me. Feeling this way is expected at my age. All of it… BULL CRAP!

It’s not just the running stuff either. My whole energy level sucks. I’m not in the mood to roll around on the floor with the kids like I always do. I sit for 30 minutes, stand up and feel like I’m 80.

This is just NOT me.

But the good news here is it’s no mystery what’s going on here! I know exactly why I’m going through this! Curious aren't ya?  ;-)   OK, let me share, because this could just be YOU we are talking about!

I've become a FAT BASTARD!!!

Dang Gwin, lighten up on the foul language man! But I warned you… I’m pissed!!

Let’s recap, very quickly and briefly, the last 18 months of my life..

September, 2011: There I was, running 160 miles a month and averaging 6.2 miles every time I headed out. I was mostly using a 4/1 ratio and consistently holding a 10:30 per mile pace. My log shows me using terms like “Felt GREAT today”, and “Felt very good again”. I weight 176 lbs. at that time.

At 176 lbs.,  I was wearing clothes I hadn’t worn for years! I was looking forward to my next run the second I finished my last run. I was playing with the kids from the time I got home from work till they dropped off to sleep. All good stuff and I KNOW you know that feeling.

One month later, on October 10, 2011, I was summoned into my boss’s office where I found him sitting with an HR rep. Never a good sign. A short few minutes later I found myself staring into the ugly face of retirement/unemployment.

So, let’s continue our stroll down memory lane and jump to January, 2012, just 3 months later.

My old nemesis, Mr. Scale said 183 lbs. I had gained 7 lbs. but somehow managed to keep the running at 155 miles that month with an unchanged average of 6 miles. The notes in my log show I was still feeling strong, keeping mostly a 4/1 ratio. So, the added poundage so far doesn't seem to be an issue.

Back into the time machine for a quick stop 5 months later in June, 2012.

Total mileage was starting to fall off. I ran 146 miles that month. Still way acceptable. Again, the averages were hanging in at 6.1 miles per run too but I had switched to a 3/`1 ratio and my average per mile pace had slipped to 11:30. Granted, the weather turned very hot and the slowdown should be expected, but my notes show I was defiantly losing some Mojo. Add to all of this another 6 lbs., weighing 189 now. For those of you with a public education, that’s a total of 13 lbs. I was taking along on my runs with me.

Fast forward another 5 months and we find ourselves in November, 2012. Mr. Extra Miler found yet ANOTHER 6 lbs. (195 lbs. now) and managed only 94 miles that month. My average run was now 4.5 miles and my pace was close to 12 mins/mile. I see a lot of notes like “added more walk breaks” and “Should have taken the day off”. WTH!

One last trip forward and I bring you gently back to today.

When my alarm went off this morning at 5:00 am, I cannot tell you how badly I wanted to bag it! I laid there for a while, wrestling with myself. The deciding factor was that I had taken yesterday off and I just didn't want to take 2 days off in a row, not the best reason but it worked.

But what tiny bit of motivation I had when I dragged myself out of bed was gone by the time I was outside staring at my Garmin.

This morning’s run was miserable. Every mile that went by all I could think of was when the run would be over! My 5.2 mile run using my 3/1 ratio became a 4 mile run walking whenever I felt like it. And I felt like it a LOT! In case you care, I came back with a 13:25 min/mile pace!

While we are closing all the loops here, I weighed 195. Add it all up.. I’ll wait.. YEP, I have put on a total of 19 lbs. in a short 18 months.  NOW see why I am cussing?

So that’s where I am today. Wishing my runs were over early and wanting to smack myself in the head for allowing this to happen to me.

So when I calm down a bit and talk myself in off the ledge, I’ll post again and tell you why I’m kind of happy that I’m so pissed off. It might just help you too, assuming you are a fat bastard too  ;-)


Derek said...

Yep, I looked at my pictures from the last couple of marathons and said, "WOW, I'm fat!". But the good news is that I was looking at pictures from my last couple of marathons... Maybe you just need to get something on the calendar and give yourself a reason to run.

Marianna said...

You are where I was at, at age 53, when I just began running. I did it and continue to do it for my kids, I want to be around ( but not round lol) for them and our first grandchild coming this month. Of course you know the best motivation is sitting right next to you in that picture.
But, although it was at the beginning of this period you describe, I remember how excited and enthusiastic you were about the Donna, even when it was tough for you to get down there unemployed. If you could capture that again ( and it sounds like you are going in that direction), it will make all the difference in that joy of running

Marie Burchette Merritt said...

I read your post and thought how it related to my own life. Since completing the Goofy challenge, my running has been inconsistent at best. at a slower pace and with shorter run intervals. Cross training has been nonexistent. Consequently, this old girl (61) has put on 2 pounds. Not much but certainly not a good trend.
Just this past week, my 86 yo Daddy was diagnosed w/ advanced kidney disease. The doctor said it was due to his 10+ years of having diabetes and not closely monitoring it, plus high blood pressure. (hmmmm don't the two often go hand in hand). While I'm blessed to not have either disease, I have had high cholesterol for as long as I can remember. It made me think, am I doing the same thing to myself. Am I pushing my luck against suffering a stroke?!? What will happen to me 10 yrs down the road. So, I resolved to get those 2 extra pounds, plus an extra 15 off. I'll do this by closely monitoring my diet and running consistently and supplementing cross training on non-running days.
Kevin, both you and I will certainly find that joy of running again, plus the added benefit of a healthier body. I look forward to reading of your progress.
Tks for sharing.

Jim said...

Three suggestions....and they really are suggestions! (You can ignore them and we're still friends)

1) 2000 mg fish oil per day. Lots of sound research that fish oil is good for your heart, helps improve your mood, and aid in weight loss.

2) My Fitness Pal. It's a website/app I just started using. I recently blogged on it so please read my blog...I'll remind you...I did say please! Basically though you track you dietary intake. In one week I've noticed some glaring eating issues that always torpedoed my weight and physical health. Very helpful site!

3) Dude, sign up for a big race! A half marathon is big enough. In the last 18 months I haven't seen you working towards anything with your running. Running for running's sake is all well and good but a few races throughout the year give you something to work for and be proud of when you totally kick their ass! ;-)

Take care buddy!

Jim (aka Runner's Anonymous)

Anonymous said...

Hi Kevin,

First, thanks for all of your incredible work on the podcasts. I really enjoy them as I drive to work here in Scotland.

From you blog, it sounds like you might need to shake things up a bit.

Like you, I am a runner. But this year, as opposed to pounding out the miles for yet another marathon, I thought I'd do something different: triathlon.

It's still running. But try the swimming. I was suprised how good it feels to use different muscle groups. And sometimes you can even bring the kids, and let them mess around while you do some lengths. I've found that on running recovery days, swimming is perfect, and still allows my legs to recover. And it all burns calories.

My riding has been more sporadic, and my bike is old. But on a sunny day after work, a ride is terrific.

All the best,
Middle-aged runner