Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Where I'm At

It always seems like tomorrow is a good day to get back into shape, but as the saying goes tomorrow never comes. So after a few years of starts and stops I finally reached a decision point. If I want to do these ultra’s I actually have to train for them. And if I want to train for them I actually need to get away from the TV and go outside.

Well the stumbling block for me has always been weight, which has been hovering around 260 pounds (but I am 6’4” so it isn’t as bad as it sounds). My exercise of choice has always been running but the extra weight causes a lot of stress on my lower legs which leads to injury. SO I would get started on a “new” exercise program only to stop again. After a not so good visit from my Doctor (Hypertension and the usual extremely bad lipid levels) and a weekend with my family of origin (for all my problems I am in the best shape – i.e. my medical future doesn’t look good unless I actively try to change course) I realized that tomorrow has finally arrived. As hard as it is today, tomorrow will only be harder.

So I have learned even though I may not be able to run at the moment, at least not more than a quarter mile at a time, I can surely walk. So with that in mind I have been walk/jogging over 50 miles a week for the last 5 weeks (90% walking) and I have been noticing some changes. First of all I am doing some long walks of 10-12 miles and my weight has been coming down. For the year I am down 20 pounds (at 242) which means I am only overweight now instead of obese (247 is the BMI obese weight for my height). Another 20 and I should be able to start running a bit more consistently.

But I am a goal orientated person and I think I have a pretty good one to keep me going. In August I turn 42 years old and just down the road we have an excellent trail that is 42 miles long. So tentatively on Saturday August 13th I am going to walk my years in miles on the Root River Trail (Houston to Fountain). It is a doable goal and on the positive side it will get that first ultra mystery out of the way. A lot of hesitation of doing a 100 miler is facing the great unknown of going beyond the marathon. Especially traveling a fair distance and paying money for an event you don’t even know you are capable of. I think doing this 42 miler will go a long way to alleviating a lot of my fears.

Plus it will pave the way for my first real ultra which will be a 24 hour race. That is where you do a loop course for 24 hours; and you can go as fast or slow as you want with all the breaks you want. I think then I will be ready for a 100 mile trail race next year sometime.

Anyways, if any of you will be in the area and would want to walk a few miles let me know. I can use all the company I can get (but I am not sure if any of you are as crazy as I am). I plan to walk the first 30 or so miles exclusively and then see how I feel for some jogging at the end. That could very well mean all walking.

Also I think I will start posting more about my walking here as a means to keep myself motivated. Maybe not as interesting but better than nothing, maybe?


Nessa said...

I'll walk some of it with you...not ALL, but maybe 7-10 miles. I warn you though, I am not as entertaining as an iPOD!

TStevens said...

There are several short segments between towns. Plus we can always make it clothing optional to beat the Ipod :-)

TStevens said...

Of course that might make you way more interested in the Ipod.

Kris said...

Good to have you back! Too bad you don't live closer, Mike and I always love a good running partner. We have these great mountain trails around here that we are just discovering so we are adding hiking to our program.
Now I just want a nap.