Heart Monitor

I need a new heart monitor. In my End of Month Update I mentioned I purchased the FitBit Blaze. Well, I returned it after reading reports of it not measuring accurately AND also wanting to buy the wireless headphones. 

I’m in the market for a heart monitor now. I want to see how my heart rate is doing while I’m running so I can adjust accordingly. 

I was thinking of getting a chest strap over a wrist option simply because I have a Fitbit already that’s tracking steps and anytime I got out for a run I use the Runkeeper app to track distance with GPS. It would be redundant getting a wrist HRM with all the bells and whistles. I want something simple and accurate. 

Research time. Any recommendations would be appreciated ūüėĄ

Weekend Update

Well… I had ONE goal for the weekend: don’t gain weight and I failed miserably.

On Saturday morning I weigh in at 249 and I was so excited about it. Monday morning I weigh in at 253, crap!

I have two suspects that could be responsible.

  1. Cooked whole milk with coffee
  2. Sweet bread

I’ll have to make a more deliberate effort to avoid these in the future .

Perhaps I should avoid my parents house on weekends all together, who am I kidding that will never happen.

Anyways, it’s still progress overall but sucks that I gain back a high percentage of the weight. It’s so god damn difficult to get rid of it.

Thanks for listening!

Saturday was my day off from running but it was full of activities. Started with breakfast with the family @ Hammersmith in Saugus. After breakfast we went to Castle Island in Boston so my nieces could run around and play.


In the afternoon we split up; the girls went to the museum with my brother and my mom and my son and I went to the movies. After the movies we went out for sushi!

Finally my brother and I finished the day by watching boxing! Keith Thurman vs Shawn Porter was a fantastic fight. I like both fighters and they did not disappoint.

I started Sunday morning with a 3.6 mile run; then breakfast @ my parents. In the afternoon we went shopping with my niece who’s visiting from Texas. I finished the day with a 5.3 mile run along the Revere Beach.

Sunday evening I got a haircut and shaved my beard. I think I’ll start growing it again pretty soon. 


Aside from the weight gain, it was a great weekend. All I can do is keep working at it this week. We’ll see what happens. 

I should mention my buddy Mike, the one participating in the step challenge at work, got the final results today. He finished in 9th place out of 233 employees. Congrats Mike, nicely done.

Thanks for reading! What did you do this weekend?

Weekly Update 3

Time flies when you’re running ūüôā This has been a fabulous week for me! It’s the first time I write down weekly goals and  better yet I’ve achieved pretty much everything on my on it!

I’m going to be mentioning Mike a lot in this entry and the reason is that he was participating in a step challenge at his job and I walked with him to help him get at least 20 thousand steps a day to help him place top 10. 

Highlights from the week:

  1. I’ve achieved all the goals in my list for the week. 
  2. I lost 7 lbs this week which brings my weight loss to a grand total of 20 lbs since I got active 3 months ago. 
  3. Pena 5K – I reduced my time by two minutes since last week, finished it in 28 minutes and 23 seconds. This is my personal best at Deer Island  ever. 
  4. Ran Deer Island without stopping. One of my main goals was to run the this course without stopping. I can check that one off the list now.

Breakdown of the week:

Monday – Mike and I walked 8.5 miles in the evening. We walked from work to the train station where I leave my car. 


Tuesday – I ran 4.11 miles at ungodly hours in morning, ungodly for me! In the evening Mike and I walked 5.75 miles at the lovely heart break reservation in Saugus. It’s a beautifully scenic and hilly course. 


Wednesday – I ran 2.5 miles in the morning and walked 7.5 miles in the evening with Mike. We went from Downtown Boston to Cambridge, then to Somerville, then to Everett. 


Thursday – Pena 5K @ Deer Island. I walked around the course once to warm up before running it. 


Friday – Ran 3.75 miles in the morning and 9+ miles in the evening with Mike. I didn’t start the tracking app on time, so I missed he first 30ish minutes of walking. 


I have only one goal for the weekend: DON’T GAIN ANY WEIGHT. 

I usually gain a few pounds during the weekend. I spend a lot of time at my parents’ house. There’s always so much deliciousness everywhere!

This week I was telling Mike about it during one of our long walks and because he’s a numbers guy he simply commented that I was ‘losing one third’ of my weight lost. That somehow set things to a different perspective. I don’t want to lose 33% of anything! And that’s what I had been doing for ever. Some weekends I would gain all the weight back during the weekend.

I’m extremely pleased with the progress this week and intend to keep it going next week and into the foreseeable future.

Thanks for reading.

It Was a Wet Morning

“Who is up at this ungodly hour?” That was my initial thought when I went out this morning. I got up at 5:15am and 15 minutes later I was out the door for my morning jog, as per my¬†week’s goals.

I was woken up at 4am by heavy rain but managed to go back to sleep for an hour. My thought was I’ll have to go to the gym instead of running outside, c’est la vie. Thankfully it was no longer raining by the time I got up and was ready to go out.

I started with a nice leisurely 15 minute walk. My legs were feeling a bit tight, I’m guessing it was due to the 8 mile walk from last night.

Saw this beauty during last night’s walk.

I stopped a couple of time to stretch during those first 15 minutes and by the time I started jogging I was feeling pretty damn good.

I figured I’d stick with my previous 20 minute jog to the beach then I’d head back home. I was glad that my body was responding well, no shin splints or noticeable pain from my plantar fasciitis and I wasn’t gasping for air.

My Runkeeper alerts me every 5 minutes of the time and I feel as if the announcements were coming slower than usual; not because I was feeling tired but because I arrived to places that have taken longer in the past.

After looking at the activity log in detail, I was pleasantly surprised. I kept a 10-11 minute pace the entire 20 minutes of jogging! Which included almost a mile on sand, not lose sand but the wet sand.

One benefit of running on the beach early in the morning: no people and I get a clean set of my foot prints!
It wouldn’t be a blog without the mandatory selfie! Look how hard I’m working! lol

Right as I’m about to head out of the beach it seemed as if it was going to start raining again. In my head I’m negotiating with the rain gods, “just give me 15 minutes to get home, then let it rain as much as you want! Pleeeeease..” I’m glad they listened ūüėĀūüėĀ I made it home without getting soaking wet! I even had a chance to stop and smell the roses!

Nice tiny garden on a large round about close to my house.

On the last leg of my way back home the light drizzle turned into real rain drops. So increased my pace¬†and I felt like I was flying. I maintained that fast pace¬†for about two minutes,¬†an eternity for me. I remember thinking, “wow this must be what what real runners feel!¬†It feels awesome!” Again, looking at the activity log I was running 7:30 minute miles during those two minutes!

I get home feeling great. Ready to start the day right when I realized I ran out of shirts at home! Time to pick up the dry clean, whomp whomp whomp. No problem, pick it up on the way into work and all is well with the world!

I might need more color in my life.

I’m happy things are looking good and on track to successfully accomplish this week’s goals.

Shame On Me

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. 

– Randall Terry

My toxic element briefly came back into my life again. Shame on me, I allowed it to happen. It was enough to ruin Father’s Day for me. 

This is my way of coping and I needed to vent. It seemed to help the last time. Also there’s a special friend that helped me through it even though she doesn’t even know it. 

It’s amazing how quickly she can turn my mood and life upside down. I can’t let it affect me anymore than it already has. I already gave her more though and time than she ever deserves from me.

I thought she was completely out of my system and I hadn’t thought of her in a while. I was 100% happy with her out of my life. Why did I let her back in?

Her negative effect on me manifests itself physically . My body gets hot as if I  have a fever and my chest pounds. 

She strolled in and out of my life with her perfectly sculpted ass for a few days and the whole thing got me all rattled in ways that it shouldn’t. I should be in control of my emotions.

I’m I hurt? I’m I simply upset that I let her do this to me? 

I know I deserve better. I know I shouldn’t have answered her text. I should have blocked her number in the new phone too.

Why? Why?

In either case, I can’t let this episode throw off my progress. I need to keep on going and ensure it never happens again.

Thanks for reading. I didn’t want to end on a bad note. 

I’m glad I have this outlet now and get this thoughts out of system.

I need to remind myself of how fortunate I am and I need to be thankful for it all. I can’t take for granted my loved ones who are and will always be here for me. 

This Week’s Goals

Reading is one of my new habits since my lifestyle change. One of the books suggests that writing down long term and short term goals increases the chances of successfully completing  the goals significantly. Also, short term goals should be specific. I’ll be posting my long term goals soon. Help me keep me honest. Here are my goals for this week. 

  1. Jog in the morning, before going into work, at least three times a week. Total time should be 60 minutes or more; to include 10-15 warm up walk and 5-10 min cool down walk. Total distance should be 3+ miles. 
  2. Get up at 5am at least three times a week; in order to accomplish #1. 
  3. Get to bed no later than 11pm at least three times this week, again to help with #1 and #2. 
  4. 20K steps a day for at least six days, to be tracked with Fitbit. This one should be completed with my buddy Mike. He’s participating in a walking challenge at work and needs to finish  strong. 
  5. Continue eating healthy food this week too. Hopefully I can shave the beard this weekend. 

Sunday Morning Jog

Today is the second Sunday I decide to go for a morning jog. The sun was out but it wasn’t hot and there was a nice breeze. I was remembering my last morning jog and was hoping today would be better. Last Sunday’s run simply sucked.  

On Thursday’s run my Couch to 5K app told me I should jog for 20 minutes continuously. I decided to repeat the previous program instead, jog for 8 minutes twice with a 5 minute walk in between. 

I started today’s run with a 15 minute warm up walk and decided to attempt the 20 min continuous jog. I figured I can stop early if I had to. 

I’m feeling good the first five minutes… Then my ankles and shins calfs begin to feel miserable. Around this point my head starts to race. Why? Is that I’m not a morning person? Is it the shoes? Is it the terrain? WTF! 

After 10 minutes of jogging I began to feel better again and i was arriving at the beach. Remembering what slowrunnergirl said, maybe I should try different terrains. I decided to get over on the sand. I jogged the rest of the way on the sand. 


Once I hit the 20 minute mark, I started walking again. Maybe it was the ocean breeze or the sand but once I was jogging on the sand I felt even better. I’ll have to integrate the sand more often on my future jogs. 

Overall I felt pretty damn good by the time I made it back home. Just in time for a quick shower then Father’s Day breakfast at my parents.

I’ll be adding a disclaimer at the end of these entries. Please excuse spelling mistakes as I’m posting this from my phone. 

Beard is going away soon

What? Four entries in one week? What’s this madness?!

I typically let my beard grow for about a month or two once year. No rhyme or reason when or why I grow it; same is true for when or why it comes off.

This time is a little different than previous years. First, I got this salt and pepper thing going on, I kind of like it! Secondly, the beard was coming around the same time when I determined to change my lifestyle back in April, three months ago.

I’ve lost 15 lbs thus far. I’m thinking I’ll shave if off when I lose 20 lbs. Then I’ll start growing again at my next 20 lbs mark in another four to six months.

But I reserve the right to change my mind  when I grow it again before the weight restriction.

Although it would be yet another motivator to keep working … Mmmmm

Relativity

Put your hand on a hot stove for a minute, and it seems like an hour. Sit with a pretty girl for an hour, and it seems like a minute. That’s relativity.
– Albert Einstein

No, I’m not going to attempt to explain the¬†theory of relativity. Continue reading.

A quick refresher and context setting. 1) As soon as the weather is tolerable here in Massachusetts my friends and family go to¬†Deer Island in Winthrop, once a week to¬†walk or jog or run.¬†It’s actually a peninsula not an Island, but that’s besides the point. It’s a beautiful 2.66 mile scenic route, not quite a full¬†5K but we dubbed it “Pena 5K”. 2)¬†April 19, 2019 was the day when I got my behind off the couch and to a gym for the first time in years.

My first Pena 5K this year was on April 21st, only two days after my first gym visit. I walked the entire thing and completed it in 45 minutes and 45 seconds! Not a great showing, but I made it out and completed it. The following days¬†I kept going to the gym and worked on the elliptical machine and the treadmill. Whenever the weather allowed I’d¬†walk/jog¬†a 2.5 mile loop around my house using the Couch to 5K app.

I’ve stuck to the weekly Pena 5K religiously since that first run on April 21st. I couldn’t make it to the island a couple of times, but I’ve¬†completed¬†it virtually. My time to complete it slowly began to decrease.

Left to right: Me; my brother Jose; my sister in-law Vero. Before each Pena 5K I take a selfie with the group. Yesterday it was only three of us.

On May 12th, my time had decreased to 36 minutes and 40 seconds. A week later, on May 19th, my time had decreased again by over 3 minutes to 33 minutes and 31 seconds. Seeing the progress encouraged me and motivated me to keep going.

May 26th¬†and¬†June¬†2nd were my virtual runs @ Revere Beach. On June 9th¬†my ¬†plantar fasciitis (PF)¬†condition didn’t allow me to run, so I compensated by walking 8 miles.

All of this brings me to yesterday’s Pena 5K.

The past couple of weeks I’ve been walking a lot and not much running. My PF is almost gone and I was feeling good. I was¬†excited to see if I would¬†improve my time since the last time I ran it over a month ago. I was only hoping to finish under¬†33 minutes and¬†31 seconds.

To my amazement when I looked at the tracker upon finishing, it read¬†30 minutes and 29 seconds! I was overcome¬†with¬†excitement, joy, happiness, and sense of accomplishment. I was so proud of myself I had to shout a loud “YES! YEAH!“.¬†To this moment I’m still ecstatic.¬†It’s a great feeling.

Vero took a picture of me as I started to run. Thank you Vero!

Coming back to relativity. Completing 2.66 miles in 30 minutes and 29 seconds is a great accomplishment for me, but¬†it’s a joke to any serious runner.

Like everything¬†else in life there are others in life who are better off than you and others who are worse off than you. Be happy with what you have. Look around and be thankful for what you have rather than what you wish you had.¬†This has served me well in life. It applies to all aspects¬†of life. There will always be someone who’s faster than you; someone who makes more money than you; someone who’s smarter than you; someone who has your dream car or a bigger house; someone who travels more than you; and the list goes on forever.

I’ve been working on my¬†goals post and I’ll publish it soon. One of my goals is to complete the Pena 5K @ Deer Island in 25 minutes or less. Yesterday’s run encourages me to keep working¬†towards my arbitrary 25 minutes goal.

Thanks for reading! I didn’t realize¬†how therapeutic writing this blog would become.

New headphones

Listening to music, podcasts, and audio books while I’m running, jogging or walking seems to make the time pass faster. This doesn’t apply when walking with friends.

Last week I decided to invest in a nice set of wireless headphones. I read rave reviews about them and I made the jump.

I purchased the JayBird Freedom Bluetooth Wireless headphones. I love mostly everything about them.


Things I love

  • I can customize the sound profile and it carries accross any device
  • How light they are
  • The design
  • How comfortable they are
  • It can pair it to two devices at the same time and it works!

Things I don’t love

  • Range – The connection occasionally cuts in and out intermittently.  This happens when I have the phone on my left hand or left pocket. It works well when I have my phone on my right hand or right pocket. According to the manufacturer there are two reasons for this behavior 1) the headset antenna is located in the right-side earpiece and 2) the optimal range for the device is 2 feet from your music device. It seems this is an industry standard with any wireless headsets. I’ll have to test this claim for myself using other wireless headsets.
  • Battery – The battery life is about 4 hours without the charging clip. The charging clip adds another 4 hours to the headset, it also adds a little weight.

Overall I’m happy with my purchase and plan to keep it.

Do you have any experience with wireless headsets? I’m skeptical about the range claim.