Consistency is difficult

It’s been a pretty bad pair of weeks since my last post – but that’s to be expected with me if you read my first post. I have an uncanny ability to find and then somehow absorb food that is within 30 feet of my body.  I continually play the same game with myself, always endeavouring to start over tomorrow. Unfortunately that means I spend most days just thinking that I’ll try again tomorrow and write the day off. 

Waking up each day with carte blanche in and of itself is freeing, and helps to rid me of any lingering guilt from whatever abhorrent amount of calories I somehow managed to shovel down my gullet. 

However starting each day fresh can lead to an inability to hold myself accountable for my actions. Rather than thinking of each day as an individual war I’m hoping to coach myself into thinking that each passing of the sun is just a tiny skirmish in my struggle against excess the bulk of excess lipids in my body.  I’ve been consistently losing battles these past two weeks and need to rally to fight through the end of this month.

2 weeks of weight loss, 2 weeks of stagnation

I’ve also taken to a religious diligence to my favourite method of ‘dieting’ – Calories In, Calories Out (CICO) – and have been recording my calories diligently with myfitnesspal since Wednesday, October 10th.  I’ve lost 5.6 lb in the 4 weeks from then, an average of 1.4 lb a week, which is not enough to reach my target of 221 lb by the end of November. To hit my short term goal I need to shed 13.1 lb over the next 3 weeks, a massive 4 lb a week, that isn’t easily doable. But I will soldier on. 

Short term goals update

Despite my setbacks on the fat front, my running is ticking over and it looks like I’ll complete every scheduled run as I’ve set out to do. Having just finished Week 4, I’m happy to be just over halfway through this base period. I continue to try and wake up to run before work, but it never happens. When marathon season comes around I’m going to struggle to fit in double-digit runs during the week if I can’t manage to run in the morning. 

8 weeks of Base Training, increasing by 4 miles a week

When my base training is finished I’ve scheduled in a week of recovery before I jump into Hal Higdon’s 10k Advanced Plan, which is what I’ll be following through to the Maddog. The year seems to move along quite quickly when you chop it up into training blocks. 

Marathon ‘A’ Race

I’ve also just signed up for my first marathon of 2019. I’m returning to the venue of my marathon debut and I’ll be pounding the streets of Cincinnati, Ohio for the 21st Flying Pig Marathon on 5th May 2019.  Life is just a series of training blocks isn’t it?

Goal(s) Weight

I have a few goals I’d like to accomplish over the next one-hundred days; it’s always commendable to have goals. There are a myriad of ways to go about setting goals, from the business popular SMART goal and now the hip & trendy – forward thinking CLEAR goal, but the important thing is to set them.

Because, what are you working towards with your life if you haven’t specified something to achieve?

My Goals:

  • Smash my 10k PB at the Maddog 10k in February
  • Reach my goal weight (180 lb)

I haven’t attached a date to the latter, because I’m not sure what is reasonable, or attainable so instead I’ll break it up into smaller easier to digest increments. My primary motivation in weight loss, besides the obvious feel/look better, is to become a better runner. So I’ve set some short term goals below that I think are doable. 

For the former I think it’s important to have some context. When I set my current 10k PB of 49:25 it was at the Maddog 10k in February 2012, and I weighed somewhere between 217-220 lb. When you consider that every extra pound of weight slows you down, dragging my current 235 lb frame each of the 6.2miles is a significant disadvantage. I’m confident that if I can hit the same, or lower weight by 3rd February 2019 that I’ll be able to run faster and beat my PR. 

Short term weight goals:

  • Reach 221 lb (100kgs) by the end of November (also the end of base training)
  • Get below 200 lb before the Maddog 10k 

Short term running goals:

  • Complete 8 weeks of base training (ends the last week of November)
  • That’s it, just finish the 8 weeks completing every run

I’ve been ‘bigger’ for a while

I’ve thought about where to begin this for a while now. But like most things in life there is never really a good time or place to start, so just start.

My whole life I’ve always been on the wrong side of the BMI Chart, which is not surprising considering my expertise in food consumption. But I’ve also been relatively active, swimming competitively for years and then taking up running as a means of shedding some adipose tissue from my frame.

But once again I’m trying to get to a ‘healthy’ weight. After achieving an all time personal best of just over 290lbs in 2010 I signed up for my first marathon and got down to 220lbs in early 2011. I’ve promised myself that I’ll never get that big again, but it’s hard, and it’s a constant struggle.

Since then life has balanced out and I’ve done well to find a happy place. I’ve regained part of what I lost and for the past few years I’ve floated between 240-250lbs. But this isn’t about then – it’s about now.

But this isn’t about then – it’s about now.

After a year of fluctuation weight, and two less than ideal marathon performances, I’m starting to gear up for the next year. Part of that is this blog, which is great for me to vomit my thoughts onto. Also, I’ve signed up for my first ‘A’ race, the Maddog 10k, and I’m focusing on getting my weight down while chasing a personal best come February. 

On Monday I began an 8 week base building period which will lead me from 24miles/week up to 52miles/week. After 9 months of back to back marathon training schedules, the first for London and the second for Berlin, I thought a season of gradual mileage building would be beneficial. I also hope to incorporate a regime of stretching and strength training all leading up to a good foundation to begin a 10k specific programme in mid-December.

Base building is literally some of the most boring running I’ve ever done. It’s simple really, and that’s what makes it boring: keep your heart rate down, keep the pace easy, don’t run too much, stick to the plan. But I keep telling myself it will all be worth it come December when I can start churning out 10k specific sessions and striving for that PB.

So let’s do it. That’s the royal we.