Monday, November 30, 2015

A LOT TO BE THANKFUL FOR!! Drumstick Dash Indy Race Recap

WHAT A WEEK!  I have had a ton going on during the past week, but I am truly thankful for all of it.  Today, you will get a recap of my workouts, the Drumstick Dash, Thanksgiving festivities, and another trip to the Colts game.

Posing pre-race!
Let's start off with my workouts.  For the first time in 3 weeks, I was actually able to get in some valuable training. I started with a quick run last Sunday just to get my legs back under me and then I had the Drumstick Dash on Thursday.  This Sunday I was able to get in another 2 mile run with some speed work to loosen my legs back up after resting from the Dash.  I am back in it for the training and ready to pick up my speed.

The most exciting part of the week regarding fitness was definitely the Drumstick Dash.  I was so pumped to be considered a VIP, park close, and have a nice warm place to hang out before and after.  We arrived early and parked to walk to the VIP tent.  When we walked in they checked our names and gave us some free gloves from Franklin College.  There was a nice spread from Einstein Bagels, but we took them and saved them for later.  I didn't want to have a full stomach to run on.  I had a bite of a bagel Mrs. Re-Dan-imation decided to have and sipped on a bottle of water to stay hydrated.  I also made sure to hit the porta potty before I left the tent.  

We did a little hanging around the tent, saw a couple of the celebrity runners come in a hang out, and milled around a little bit.  I was aware that I was supposed to hang around the front of the run to be announced as a Fund-Racer, but it was a little confusing and I wanted to make sure I was in the right corral for my time rather than getting recognition for raising money.  I started the long walk back to my corral and started getting myself pumped up for my run.  I snapped a quick selfie as I was waiting in the mass of people and got my music going in my ears.  To be honest, I didn't really hear much that was going on after that, I just tuned in to my thoughts.

At 9:00 the celebrities got a 3 minute head start.  They have their own competition and get out in front of the elite runners before they begin so they can get over to the right and out of the way.  The crowd took a few steps forward and then we were in a waiting game again.  This is obviously my biggest race, so the delay was expected but was also new to me.  I just tried to stay loose as I waited for the crowd to begin moving.  We began our slow crawl to the start line after just a couple minutes. According to my finishing clock time in relation to my actual moving time it took me 12 minutes to get to the start line.  It's ok though, I was enjoying myself.

If you look really close, you can see the starting line.
I finally crossed the line, started my Garmin and focused on avoiding others and working towards getting to my race pace.  For those of you that are not runners, there is 1 rule I beg for you to follow...IF YOU ARE WALKING, PLEASE KEEP TO THE BACK!!  I may not be the fastest person in the world, but I am running the entire race and do NOT plan on walking at all.  Let's just say, I spent the first 2.5 miles of the race dodging people roughly every 20 steps.  I shouldn't complain and just get used to it.  The Mini in May will be much more congested and I will probably be dodging people the entire race.  The people around me were fun to look at.  There were people on the sides of the road cheering for people.  The Turkey mascot was heading back toward the starting line giving people high fives and there were photographers in the middle of the road on step stools.  I actually saw the first photographer stick out his hand to stop a couple of girls that were LITERALLY getting ready to run him over.  They barely missed clipping the feet of his stool.  The atmosphere was happy and you could tell the families were all thankful to be there together.

I hit a pretty decent stride about a quarter mile in and decided anything over a 13:00 minute mile was unacceptable today.  I kept a watchful eye on my Garmin and did pretty great with this until about mile 3 that consisted of a gradual climb for probably 200 meters.  That sounds like nothing, but I could feel a little burn in my legs.  I pushed through and the other side of the incline was a nice reward.  I accelerated on the down and coasted through the next little bit.  Mile 3.5 to about mile 4 was a mental struggle as I had only run that distance once before.  At about 3.5 miles in I passed one of the firefighters that was walking the course in full gear (70 pounds of pack and oxygen).  I patted him on the shoulder and gave him a thumbs up.  I knew I was good to go from there.  I puffed up my chest a little and maintained my goal pace.

Photo finish...Ignore the clock time, it's from official start, not my start time.
When I hit mile 4, I really picked up my pace.  I knew I had a half mile left and that I had enough left in the tank to push a little harder.  I rooted the people on next to me and told them to finish strong.  I turned the corner onto the final stretch with my watch at about 4.35 miles.  I could already tell the course was longer than 4.5.  It didn't matter, I kept pushing (while looking for Mrs. Re-Dan-imation). Another camera man was in front of me and I gave him a few poses as I ran by (still waiting on their pictures to be posted to see if I made any of them).  I pushed even harder towards the finish line and raised my hands in the air as I saw my wife with her phone up to take my picture.  I finished in a time of 58:44 with an average pace of 12:37 per mile.  I definitely beat my goal of 13:00 per mile.  I was pumped.  As I walked past the finish line, I rejected the solar blanket and headed to get a banana, some water, and some chocolate milk.  I met the Mrs. in the street and we headed back to the tent where I was able to grab another snack and some coffee.  I think I had a smile on my face the whole time.

We made the trip home and after I showered and changed we headed to my in-laws for Thanksgiving dinner as my mom and brothers were in St. Louis celebrating with my extended family.  I had a nice plate of food and some desserts, but I didn't over indulge.  We got to watch a bunch of football and did some exciting Black Friday shopping in the overly crowded location of the living room (online shopping is much less stressful).  We finally headed home to stay around 8 and relaxed for the rest of the night.  I was THANKFUL for this entire day.

We decorated the house for Christmas on Friday and watched basketball at 2 different locations on Saturday.  Sunday we had big plans again to head down to Indy to watch the Colts game.  Myself, the Mrs., my brother in-law, and mother in-law headed down to watch the game.  We had a great time, had great seats, and our picture even made it up on the JumboTron.  Oh and by the way, we got to see a win this time with Hasselback at the helm.  It was a fun day and I am definitely thankful to the people we were able to buy our tickets from as well as for my in-laws for inviting us to join in.  Go Colts!

And now on to the weigh in.  This week, I tipped the scales at 259.4 lbs.  That's a gain from last week of 0.4 lbs.  But, let's look at the rest of the numbers.  Last week my body fat percentage was 36.7% and this week was 36.4%.  That means I lost a half pound of fat.  So Here's how I am taking it.  I lost a half pound of fat and went up 0.4 pounds overall so I gained 9 tenths of a pound of muscle this week.  I refuse to lie to myself about this weight loss progress.  I am looking at the bright side of this as the numbers did really work out in my favor.  I plan on getting in all 3 workouts this week and look forward to seeing the number on the scale next week.  Until then...Food. Feet. Water. Repeat!

Monday, November 23, 2015

VIP Status

This has been yet another interesting week.  I held on to my cough and sore throat much longer than a matter of fact I have been coughing more today than the past few days.  We had a couple fun days at school, attended a fundraiser, and with the help of some generous people in my family and community I was able to raise a considerable amount of money for the homeless people of Indy.

Let's start with the fun days at school.  Last Tuesday, we held FitnessGram day.  This day is intended as a way to benchmark the fitness of the children in our schools.  At my school we tested all 4th and 5th grade students while also giving the 3rd grade students a test of at least one of the tests.  We spent the day measuring running, push up, and curl up tests.  The kids were great and definitely gave it their all.  I can honestly say, thinking back to elementary school, I would have definitely had some trouble with these tests.  On Thursday, we had Snakehead Ed visit our building with 6 snakes and a great presentation to share with the students.  For the end of the program, I was asked to help hold a 100 lb. Albino Burmese Python while every student had the chance to touch it.  It was pretty fun, but I definitely had an odor lingering with me from the snake the rest of the day.

Over the past couple weeks, I have been raising money for Wheeler Ministries by participating in the Fund-Racing program as a part of the Drumstick Dash.  Although I will only be participating in my second organized race, when I saw the fund-racing portion of their efforts I knew I had to participate. During these two weeks I was able to raise an amazing $600.  I had a goal of $500 and I was definitely able to beat that.  I was actually the 7th highest individual fund-racer as of 9:00 am today.  That stat earned me a VIP status for the Drumstick Dash on Thursday.  How great is that!!  My second race and I am already a VIP.  That means that Mrs. Re-Dan-imation and myself will be able to park close and take advantage of the heated tent close to the start line.  This is NOT the reason that I raised these funds but is a nice thank you from the race.  The $600 will feed 266 people!

Speaking of fundraisers...Mrs. Re-Dan-imation and I attended one for a friend of mine that is going through her third bout of Cervical Cancer (check out her blog here).  The fundraiser was a painting event basically like a wine and canvas evening.  We were to paint a picture that looked as if it is painted on wooden boards.  One of the letters was replaced with a picture of Indiana.  My wife chose the word "Hope" and I chose the word Give."  I don't think they turned out too bad.

Sunday, I was finally able to get in my first run in almost two weeks.  I hit the treadmill and got in 3 miles with a warm up and a cool down.  I felt pretty good considering the issues I have had breathing the past couple weeks.  Hopefully, the cough that I picked back up today will make it easy back out of town again as coughing during a 4.5 mile event on Thursday doesn't sound too appealing.

Finally, I stepped on the scale this morning and was pleasantly surprised to see 259 lbs. even.  That's a difference of 3.3lbs from last week.  I honestly think this may have more to do with the amount of sleep I got over the past week trying to heal myself from this cold.  I think I was in bed before 10:00 every night.  I am looking forward to Thursday and a new experience at a MUCH bigger race than my last one.  Until next week...Food. Feet. Water. Repeat.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Ups and Downs

We all have our ups and downs.  About a month ago, I posted about being sick and not being able to run.  Little did I know that I should have run that week as it was nothing.  For about the past 5 days, I have not been able to breathe regularly without coughing.  It has gotten to the point where I even went out to sleep on the couch the past couple nights to allow Mrs. Re-Dan-imation to get some well deserved sleep.  I am working on getting over it but it has been a struggle.  So with that being said, let's talk about my journey over the past week.

After my trip downtown to watch the bands last weekend I was a bit tired to begin the week.  However, on Tuesday I did manage to get in a run before my cold got too bad.  I hit up the treadmill for a quick 2 mile run. I decided to try to get in some speed work during this workout and it was definitely work.  I did a couple 2 minutes stints at 6 miles per hour with a 1 minute rest in between and I was truly winded at the end of each 2 minute session.  However, I finished, and again achieved the goal I had set for the day.  I also started Fund-Racing for the Drumstick Dash and currently I have raised $500 for Wheeler Mission.  If you are interested click here and check out how the fund-racing process works.  You can make a donation right there if you would like.

Look at Rob's form!
The rest of the week, I was stuck not being in what I deemed good enough health to run.  I recently ran across a post on Runner's World about whether or not to run when you have a cold.  They mentioned a simple test...If the sickness is above your neck go ahead and run, if it is below your neck you should hold off.  Basically, if you have a sore throat or chest congestion, it is better to wait and let your body heal than to wear it out even more and take away the healing power from your immune system and transfer it to your muscles.  I heeded the advice.  However, I am still healing.  I have a feeling I would have already been over it, except I caught up with some college friends this weekend.

On Friday, I headed down to Louisville to catch up with my old college buddies.  We first headed to an indoor golf simulator where we got to "play" a round at Pebble Beach.  It was an interesting experience and something I think we will probably repeat at some point.  Then we headed to Horseshoe Casino to do a little gambling and stay for the night.  Well, gambling didn't happen as I ended up losing the remainder of my money at the bar.  However we had a pretty good time and headed to bed feeling pretty good.  I woke up in the morning feeling a little worse for the wear.  We headed out to Cracker Barrel for breakfast and then headed back home.  I spent the rest of the weekend still not working out and trying to recover from the cold.  Unfortunately I am still hacking all day long.

When I stepped on the scale this morning it wasn't what I was hoping for.  After a great week last week and only one workout this week I tipped the scale at 262.3 pounds.  That a 2.6 lbs. increase.  I didn't gain back all the wait I lost last week, but it still wasn't great.  I will be back out there. I will continue my mantra.  Until Next week...Food. Feet. Water. Repeat.

Monday, November 9, 2015

RUNNER in training!

I have had quite a busy week.  However, I have started to become more dedicated to training in the past few weeks than I have been before.  I officially consider myself a runner at this point.  And, I have the data to prove it.

Over the past week, I have spent a considerable amount of time sitting and watching events, but it hasn't stopped me.  Tuesday is one of my normal run days and I decided since it was in the 70s during the day that I should be running outside.  When you get home at 6 and the sun has already dropped you have no choice but to run in the dark.  I decided to eat dinner and let it digest a little before I headed out.  I thought about running on the streets with the street lights but decided against it and instead headed over to the school parking lot and did a few laps around the building to get in a "quick" 2 mile run.  Those 70 degree temps definitely didn't last into the evening by the way.

Wednesday, I headed out to Clinton Prairie to watch the staff take on the Harlem Wizards.  This was a pretty good time and a great fundraiser for their athletic department.  My brother in-law took part in the event although he claimed to be in bad shape due to a lingering cold.  It was fun to watch these athletes perform and the tricks were pretty good including the dunks.  Two of the wizards ended up getting hurt during the event with one playing on a bum knee the remainder of the night and the other realizing he may have broken his wrist during an exhibition dunk.  When I asked him if he planned on taking time off he simply said, "looks like I'll be going left tomorrow."  Those guys definitely put on a good show and they are dedicated to their jobs.

Thursday, I needed to get in another run so I hit up the treadmill.  I slowed the pace a smidge from Tuesday and ran 2.5 miles.  The treadmill is not the most enjoyable place to be, but putting in the work is worth it.  I managed to see an episode of Pawn Stars while I was there and it at least took my attention from the mileage meter in front of me slowly ticking toward my goal distance for the day.

Saturday, I had BIG plans.  My Brother, his wife, and my alma mater were all three set to compete in the Indiana Marching Band State Finals at Lucas Oil Stadium.  I didn't get to sleep in nearly as long as I normally do on a regular Saturday, but this was probably good for me anyway.  I woke up and remembered that the Monumental Marathon was taking place the same day, so I got in a little bit of a hurry to head out earlier than I expected.  I had decided that I was going to park at the Indianapolis Zoo as the parking would be cheaper and the walk was just under a mile and a half between the two places.  I thought of it as a way to get in some steps for a day when I expected to sit for a LONG time.  I even got to roll down my windows and clap for/congratulate some Monumental finishers on my way to park and also when walking to the stadium.  Kudos to them!!!  After eleven and a half hours of sitting in the seats of the stadium, I was finally ready to head back on my walk to the zoo.  I arrived home exactly at midnight after leaving at ten in the morning.  However, it was worth it!!!  F. J. Reitz, the school where my brother is the Band Director, earned a 7th place finish at their first finals appearance in 17 years.  His wife, the percussion instructor at Castle High School, came home with a 4th place finish, as did my high school.  Congrats to all three!!

Sunday, I had plans for a LOT of physical activity.  I had scheduled my long run for Sunday as I didn't want to head out quite as early as needed for it on Saturday.  I headed out for my first 4 mile run and completed it in 53 minutes.  I stayed the exact pace I wanted to and kept my heart rate a bit lower to maintain the level where I could have held a conversation had someone been running with me.  This put my pace a little over 13 minutes a mile.  When I had finished, I again had a feeling of accomplishment.  Every time I finish a new long run and extend my physicality I am so proud of myself.  I honestly felt as though I could have just kept running the same loop for another time, but my muscles are definitely not ready for that...YET.  Sunday afternoon, I was able to borrow a friends truck to move three truckloads of gravel.  Thanks to my brother in-law and father-in law for helping.  For the entire day I put in just over 17,000 steps and I managed to do some lifting as well.  I did wake up a little sore today, but not nearly what I expected.  This just goes to show how much better shape I am in now than when I began this journey.

Today, I stepped on the scale and I was pleasantly surprised to see 259.7.  That's right folks...under 260!  With a weight loss for the week of 3.4lbs.  Say What!!! Yep, 3.4.  I made sure to contain my excitement for writing this tonight, but I was pretty pumped.  That puts my total weight loss at 34.6 pounds.  Heading in the right direction.  I have also decided my next 2 runs.  I will be participating in the Drumstick Dash for Wheeler Mission on Thanksgiving morning.  The proceeds go to a great cause and I was looking for a bigger run to be a part of.  I found the 2nd largest run in Indiana.  Last year there were 17,000 participants.  Oh and by the way, the Drumstick Dash is 4.5 miles!!  Excited to see if I can push the tempo a little at that distance.  The second race I will be a part of is the Santa Hustle 5K in Indy.  This one is a fun race where every participant gets a santa hat and beard along with their shirt.  How fun is that?  And the water stops feature candy canes and cookies.  I won't be picking up the candy along the way, but it should be a good time.  The Santa Hustle takes place on December 13th.  If you feel like signing up for either of these races click on their names and it will take you to their website.  I would love to see you out there with me.

Until next week.....Food. Feet. Water. Repeat!!

Monday, November 2, 2015

My First 5K!! Brew Haha Halloween Race Recap

A lot has taken place this week!  And, I know a lot of you have been wondering how my first 5K experience went this weekend.  Keep reading to hear about everything.

First of all, this week was what I would consider a taper week.  I knew I wanted to go a little faster this weekend.  I knew I didn't want my legs to be tired so I ran 1.5 miles on Tuesday and 1.2 miles on Thursday.  I pushed the tempo on these runs a little and actually kinda impressed myself on Thursday when I pushed the mile in under 11:30.  I was READY for the weekend.

Friday we headed down to pick up our race packets at the Endurance House in Fishers.  They were nice and organized and we walked out with our bib and shirt.  We walked around the store a little bit and checked out their specialty items.  They had some cool stuff there included running clothes, shoes, and triathlon specific bikes.  Check them out sometime when you get a chance.  We then went to pick up my in-laws from the airport after a quick stop at my mom's house and finally headed for home.

6:30 Saturday morning came pretty early, but I was actually excited.  I purchased some cold weather tights during the week since the forecast for Saturday was pretty chilly.  I had to decide between tights or no tights so I tried a quick trial run in front of the house in both and decided the tights were the way to go.  I am glad that was the decision I made.  I made sure to eat a good but not too large breakfast of an english muffin with some Nutella.  I threw some Gatorade chews on top of that when we got to the race.

After we arrived in Carmel, we sat in the car for a while so we weren't standing out in the cold.  We attached our bibs and headed out around 20 minutes before the race.  It's a good thing we left the car when we did as the line for the porta potty was about 5-10 minutes long.  I got out of the bathroom with 3 minutes left before the start time.  I had to hurry to get my wristband for my free beer at the end of the race and get my phone into my SpiBelt right before the race started.  I made sure to high five Mrs. Re-Dan-imation and then the gun went off.

With my brother-in-law by my side I decided to push the pace.  My Goal pace was 12:00min/mile the entire race.  That's much faster than I have run on a normal day.  After the first mile I was feeling pretty good and my Garmin told me we finished it in 12:06.  The second mile came a little slower at 12:27 as this mile had the only recent hill on the course.  Most seasoned runners wouldn't even call it a hill.  We pushed the 3rd mile and I still felt great.  I mean we were passing people the entire race...which I also didn't expect.  We finished the 3rd mile in a quicker 12:10 and then we really started to push the pace.  We finished the last .15 miles at an average 11:02.  WE FINISHED OUR FIRST 5K IN A TIME OF 38:21!!

We headed out for breakfast and I made the mistake of replacing about twice as many calories as I had burned during the race.  It was good though.  Then, we headed home to relax for a while before heading to Broad Ripple for a Halloween party with some friends.  We had a great night, but I know I slept like a rock when I got home.  I got to sleep in and then I spent the majority of Sunday looking online for ways to display race bibs and medals.  I know, I know.  Already?  Anyway, I want to thank everyone that has cheered me on to this point and I hope you continue to do so.  I especially want to thank Kreg Stockberger for participating with me in what was also his first 5K and my mom, brother and wife for coming out to watch us on such a blustery day.  I am planning to increase my mileage over the next few weeks.  Be on the lookout as I decide what runs to tackle next.  You may want to join in on the fun or get involved in some other way.  Details will be out in the next week or so.

Weight loss wasn't the main goal for me this week, but I still weighed in this morning.  I tipped the scale at 263.1 lbs for a loss of 0.2 lbs.  It's not a gain!  I still maintain that this will continue to get better as I continue to train for longer distances and get better about my calorie intake including eating more of the right calories instead of just calories overall.  Until next week...Food. Feet. Water. Repeat!!