Archive for Weight Loss

4 miles for day 7 of 2016 run streak – puts me at just under 34 miles in. Off to a good start.

Seven days into 2016 and I am seven days into the run streak (technically eight since I ran on Dec 31st…) and I am 33.98 miles into it. Considering I ran a grand total of 36.6 through December 2015 – I would say I am off to a pretty good start.

Current daily average is sitting at 4.85 miles which I am happy with – by late spring I would like to be back up to pulling off the occasional 50 mile week though.

Overall I am feeling pretty good. My legs are tired but right now I am letting how they feel dictate how fast I am running and that seems to be preventing injury or burn out – and all things considered the speed isn’t too awful. I still have a lot of work to do there but I am still capable of good bursts so I am feeling pretty positive I will get that back.

So far the runs have broken down to about 2/3rds of the miles on the treadmill and the other 1/3rd was done outside. As I ramp up longer runs outside I suspect this should get closer to half and half.

Even though I am tired I do feel more energized overall so I am feeling pretty good about this run streak experiment at this point. It is still early stages but I am motivated and that is a nice change of pace compared to a good chunk of last year.

I’ve seen a slight improvement in my weight as well as I kick my metabolism back up (and watch what I am eating better) – there is still a fair bit of work to do there as well an improvement is an improvement.

Tomorrow should be a 1 mile rest day and then some decent outside mileage outside over the weekend. The weather is supposed to get quite cold again though so I might be spending more time with my dear friend the treadmill for a while!

3.5 miles in 29:44 tonight. First day in 2 weeks my head has felt clear. Still lots of work to do to get strong again.

First off – congrats to all that managed to get into the early entries for the 2016 Disney World Marathon! I envy you all. I have gone a total of 6 times (the last 4 in a row) and would love to go and do my beloved Goofy Challenge again but it isn’t in the cards this year.

So now my health. As I mentioned in my last post, I have been having some health issues out of nowhere and I have been feeling pretty awful. Today was the first day in 2 weeks that I felt like I could think clearly and didn’t need to take anything for headaches. It appears I had a toxicity issue with black licorice and my system went wonky and my potassium levels crashed hard. This led to some major swelling and weight gain – a total of 14 pounds gained in under 10 days. Over the past 2 weeks I have tried to run twice – once early on where I got in 3 miles in about a half hour and then once on this past Sunday. About a minute into that one I ended up walking to finish out 3 miles in just under 45 minutes.

In that time I did get in some yard work and I seemed ok but with anything strenuous like climbing multiple sets of stairs, I felt pretty much destroyed.

But I started hammering back the potassium in the form of Gatorade, bananas, orange juice and supplements. This got me to the point where I felt mostly human yesterday and then today I was feeling pretty close to myself (in the head at least).

In the end I felt good enough to attempt a run and even though it was glorious outside I decided I better do it on the treadmill in case things went south really quickly.

I started out at 7 mph and felt a bit rough, so I backed it off to 6 mph for a minute to catch my breath and then pushed it up to 7 again. I took the 7 mph to the 15 minute mark with one more minute at 6 mph thrown in there. After that I was up to 7.2 / 7.3 mph with another minute at 6 mph near the 25 minute mark and then finished up the remaining time at 7.5 mph. This gave me a total of 3.5 miles in 29:44 with a 1% incline.

By the end of the run I felt pretty good and probably could have kept going if I backed the speed down. But I really didn’t want to push it too hard and maybe relapse a bit, so I counted the run as a victory and shut it down.

Now that I have showered, I still feel pretty good – I guess I am on the mend here but it will probably take some time to get back to normal! It should be interesting to see how things go with my next race coming up on May 3rd (the WPS Half Marathon).

On a side note, I have now dropped 5 of the 14 pound weight spike over the last day and a half. I am hoping that most of the rest of the spike is gone by the end of the weekend!

2012 versus 2013 versus 2014 mileage and run comparison

As I have now completed my miles for 2014 (and Dopey Challenge 2015 taper is in effect), I wanted to review my mileage from this year versus last year’s and see what kind of progress I have made.

Quick highlights for 2014 are:

Goofy Challenge #4 completed in January.

Winnipeg Police Service Half Marathon (WPS Half) – completed in May with a time of 1:46:00 breaking my old PR of 1:46:11 set in 2002.

Manitoba Marathon completed in June with a time of 4:09:44 breaking my old PR of 4:15:01 set in 2005.

Fort Garry Rotary Half Marathon run in mid-September. (My wife Heather ran this one too)

Followed 2 weeks later by the 12 Hour Lemming Loop Ultra Marathon (49.2785 miles in 12 hours).

And then the WFPS Half (Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Services) 2 weeks after that.

I had 3 months with greater than 200 miles run.

Total year mileage was 1971 miles – a 571 mile increase over 2013. The first 6 months of the year I did 900 miles and then 1071 miles in the last half.


Now onto the real comparison…

Total volume of mileage doesn’t tell the whole story so I picked a few specific data points to compare year over year to give a better sense of how different parts of my training have gone.

As I defined what those data points would be I got to wondering as well how far I have come since I decided to get serious about getting back in shape and losing weight back in Sept 2012. Since September through December covers my Goofy Challenge / Dopey Challenge training periods, I figured it would be interesting to also look at how each of the training periods for 2012, 2013 and 2014 compare.

So with that in mind, I came up with 2 major comparisons to do – all of 2013 versus all of 2014 and September through December for 2012 versus the same periods for 2013 and 2014.

The data points / metrics I wanted to look at were:

  1. Total mileage for the period (to see just how much work I put in)
  2. Highest mileage month in the period (to see where I peaked for mileage in the training period)
  3. Fastest run in the period (to see how much quicker I was getting period to period)
  4. Longest run in the period (to show endurance)
  5. # of runs 13.1 miles or greater in length (to show how much of the training time was put into doing long runs)
  6. # of days where I did more than 1 run to get a total of 13.1 miles or greater
  7. # of runs over 13.1 miles (to help show the number of very long runs done in the period as an endurance indicator) (for the September to December comparisons I did this as runs greater than 15 miles to show just the number of long slow runs I did)
  8. # of days where I did more than 1 run to get a total daily mileage greater than 13.1
  9. # of races run in the period (just for interest sake)

2013 versus 2014 full year comparison:

Metric 2013 2014
Total mileage 1400 1971
Highest mileage month December November
Highest month mileage 191.19 201.8
Fastest run (by average mph) 8.32 mph average 4.16 miles in 30 min 9.0 mph average 5 miles in 33:20
longest run (miles) 26.2 49.2785
# runs 13.1 or greater 28 36
Days with total mileage 13.1 or greater with 2 or more runs in a day 0 4
Total days with 13.1 or more (sum) 28 40
# runs greater than 13.1 13 20
Days with total mileage greater than 13.1 with 2 or more runs in a day 0 3
Totals days with mileage greater than 13.1 miles 13 23
# of races and types 5 half marathons, 2 full marathons 4 half marathons, 2 full marathons, 1 x 12 hour (49.2785 miles)

Some quick conclusions here – I trained faster and I did a lot more high mileage training. Both of these showed dividends by breaker half and full distance PRs this year and by completing my first ever ultra marathon.

September through December Goofy Challenge / Dopey Challenge training cycle comparison:

Metric 2012 2013 2014
Total mileage 471.87 649.65 683.0185
Highest mileage month December December November
Highest month mileage 166.88 191.19 201.8
Fastest run (by average mph) 6.99 mph average 5 miles in 42:55 8.32 mph average 4.16 miles in 30 min 8.83 mph average 5 miles in 33:58
longest run (miles) 20 20 49.2785
# runs 13.1 or greater 6 15 12
Days with 2 runs equaling 13.1 miles or greater 0 0 2
# days with total mileage  13.1 miles or greater 6 15 14
# runs 15 miles or greater 5 5 7
# of races and types 0 3 half marathons 2 half marathons, 1 x 12 hour (49.2785 miles)

Quick thoughts – Significant improvements in 2013 versus 2012 – followed very similar plans for training but I did additional training in the summer of 2013 that put me a better spot going into the training that year. 2014 total mileage is not much higher that 2013 and 2013 shows more runs at 13.1 miles or greater (1 more in 2013 shown – weather and treadmill issues played a factor here though). But 2014 had more runs at greater than 15 miles – so I did more long slow training runs in the 2014 training period. This makes sense to be ready for the Dopey Challenge but also the 12 Hour Lemming Loop ultra.


From September 1, 2012 through December 31st 2012, I lost 22.5 pounds. Through all of 2013 I lost a further 15 pounds. For 2014, my weight has been static within 5 pounds either way of 219.5. All races run in 2014 were run with my weight between 219 and 222 pounds.


Looking through all the numbers, it becomes pretty apparent that I peaked in September 2014 in terms of motivation, speed and proper focus. After having completed the 12 hour race (the Lemming Loop) in early October I was probably a bit tired and burnt out and that showed in my performance at the WFPS Half Marathon in later October.

With weather turning in Winnipeg making outdoor running a slower process than it was before and the treadmill crapping out, speed work went out the window. I had a very impressive mileage month in November but without the speed work to add some excitement it just felt like I was phoning it in – there was no spark there, just a continuous push. December was a slower month as well for the same reasons plus my one knee was aching a bit and it had to be babied for a while.

What this all comes out to, is that I am ready for the Dopey Challenge and I am in better shape going into this challenge than I have ever been for any of the 4 Goofy Challenges I have done. But I definitely could have been in even better shape if either the weather or the treadmill had cooperated a bit more. That is the nature of the game though when you are training for a January race and live in Winnipeg.

Part of me is a bit upset that I didn’t get more speed work in but for the most part I am happy with how I have done and how far I have come. Basically I have laid the foundation for my goal of being able to do the Dopey Challenge and actually enjoy it!

Broke down the last 2 years of my running journey into a Coles Notes version to highlight how far I have come.

As I have been doing this blog for almost 2 years now I realized that many of my posts are really just my exercise log posts and other stuff I have written can get kind of lost in the archives. That and the exercise log posts can be mind crushingly boring.

So I have decided to go through my old posts and try to create a bit of a timeline of where I was at different times in my running journey. I figure I will highlight and link to various posts that have some deeper thoughts but also give an overview of where I was physically and mentally. Think of it as a bit of a Coles Notes of the site so far.

I have broken down the journey into calendar years to help keep things organized:

  1. 2012 Running and Blogging Highlights (Sept – Dec)
  2. 2013 Running and Blogging Highlights
  3. 2014 Running and Blogging Highlights (so far)

Hopefully those pages are a little less dull than some of my usual posts!

8.85 miles in 1:16:59 on a cool and rainy day – felt strong – only 9 taper miles left until Manitoba Marathon!

Last medium to long run before the Manitoba Marathon – felt very good – time seemed to fly by and I had no issues with my knee or hamstrings. Feeling positive for a new PR on race day!

It did rain a few times while I was running but it was pretty light and I never got soaked. It actually kind of felt a bit refreshing.

So far I am also managing to keep my weight in check during the taper period – I tend to gain a couple pounds during taper but I seem to have that sorted so far.

Not much to say today but over the next week I expect I will have a new training schedule up that will cover 2 half marathons this fall and my ramp up to the Dopey Challenge in January.