It’s been a while

I stopped posting about my progress at the end of last year. It’s kind of difficult to pick up again after stopping for a while. At first it was “I’ll do it tomorrow”. Tomorrow became next week. Next week became next month and before I knew it SIX months had gone by.

Here’s a QUICK update about nothing specific just to get going again. 

The great news is that simply because I stopped writing about my progress I didn’t actually stop my activities. 

I’m glad I listened to suggestions about bundling up during the cold weather and go outside. I was running during snow storms and it was great 🙂

I’ve kept up with my jogging regimen until I twisted my ankle during a jog at night; not very smart. 

I’ve gone out on the bike every chance I get. I’ve been increasing my distance and speed. This year I’ve been out 33 times and have done over 800 miles. The most miles I’ve ridden in a single day alone was 80 miles. I’ve also gone out a few times in group rides which are a ton of fun. 

I’ve picked up a few other activities too. This year has been a year of many firsts. Things like yoga. Things like Zumba. Things like spinning class. 
All in all this year has been pretty  awesome. 

Until next time 🙂

Back to ‘normal’

I feel as if I’m getting back to my cadence from a month ago. As a matter of fact I think I might be doing better. I had my weekly goal of 4+ active days. I’ve increased it to 6 active days a week.

During the two weeks I was sick I was active only two days per week. Last week I started my new regimen of 6 active days a week. I didn’t do anything on Friday, every other day I was doing something; jogging, biking and walking.  

The weather is getting cold. Soon I won’t be able to do much outside. Typical this is the time when I hibernate and don’t come out until next spring erasing any progress made this year.

This year I’m determined to break this cycle. I have a gym membership and I believe I’ll be cancelling it. I’m thinking of joining a crossfit gym instead. Having different activity options will probably help me keep me going back. 

New goal: keep blog  entries short and frequent. 

Keep moving. Keep making progress. Keep going. You’re doing great. 

Weekly update #12

Health and wellness is the catalyst of my recent lifestyle change. At the end of last week I felt discouraged and deflated. The lack of active days, pain, and gaining 5 lbs overnight! Needless to say last week was really tough; but it helped me refocus and also reminded me why I started my lifestyle change. It’s not going to be easy, it’s not going to be quick, it’s not going to be fun. It’ll take hard work and it’ll take a long time. 

This week was the complete opposite of last week. I feel re-energized and super satisfied with my activity and overall results. I feel I’m back on track. I lost 6 lbs this week, 1 lb net lost since last week. My goal is to lose another 2 by the end of the month. I should be able to lose that in the next 4 days. 

I had been putting off jogging due to the pain from plantar fasciitis the day after the jog. I had been icing and rolling my affected foot without much improvement. It was suggested by my manager to ice and use the roller immediately after jogging. I don’t want to  jinx it but it seems to be doing the trick.

This coming week I will be on vacation, staycation. I’ll be playing host to my childhood friend visiting from California. I love playing tourist around Boston. I’m sure we’ll be doing a lot of that. I should also have some extra free time to explore new bike courses and jogging routes.

Weekly breakdown:

Monday & Wednesday & Saturday: Jogged the 3.7 mile course around my house and the beach. The time ranged from 50 min and 30 sec to 51 min and 30 sec. Not too fast and not too slow. I walk for the first 15 minutes to warm up. 

Friday: Biked 19.8 miles / 1 hour and 21 minutes / 689 ft of elevation / 14.6 mph average speed / average heart rate 152 bpm. I emphasized heart rate because it’s the primary way to know I’m actually doing work and burning fat. I’m still obese and speed will come as I lose weigh and get stronger. 

Friday Night: I went out dancing. I’m counting it as exercise because it was four hours of nonstop dancing (30 mins break for a drink). I think I sweated more than any of my jogs or rides.


Sunday: I’ll be repeating the same course as Friday, 19.8 miles. I’m expecting similar stats too. Although I want to break the 15 mph speed average.

Some noteworthy items throughout the week: 

Wednesday I had my first James Hook lobster roll. I’ve walked/driven by this iconic place in Bosyon for so many years and never went in.


Thursday night I went to the movies, watched the Mechanic. I thoroughly enjoyed the movie. Jessica Alba and Jason Statham are some of my favorite actors. Before the movie I treated myself to a Salvadoran delicacy: Minuta!


Saturday night I served as a judge of a beauty pageant. A friend has been running this pageant for about 9 years. It’s always a fun show. 


I’m really looking forward to this coming week.

Guilt Run

Sunday I decided to go out for a jog at 11:05 pm. Why did I do this? I felt guilty 😔 It was my jog of shame. I was procrastinating most of the day before I decided to jog last second.

Why guilt? Two reasons 1) my goals have  4+ active days out of the week. I had only gone out on the bike three times. 2) I went  out with my friend Oscar to celebrate him getting his GED. I stuffed my face with a 20 oz T-Bone steak. 

Saturday I rode 27 miles and I wanted to use Sunday as my rest/recovery day. But at the last second I jumped in my running shoes and shorts and headed out for a 3.7 mile jog from my house to the beach and back.

I thought to myself don’t make excuses. Check off the 4+ activities for the week in your goals. Also, I shouldn’t need too much recovery time after only 27 miles. 

The good news: I came back 48 minutes and 30 seconds later. When I started jogging back in April this same course took me 1 hour and 4 minutes to complete. I’m happy with the progress. 

The bad news: Monday I woke with a really bad case of plantar fasciitis. PF had all but gone away. I had gone out multiple times for longer jogs at Breakhart Reservation. The two differences 1) Breakheart has lots of hills and 2) I was moving faster on Sunday. I felt good; I didn’t feel pain; I wasn’t tired. I was really surprised when I almost fell to the ground when I got off my bed Monday morning!

My solution: Stop jogging/running for a couple of months until PF is completely gone. I will probably see a therapist about it. I’ll be going out on the bike on a regular basis to stay active. 

I’ll increase the distance of my rides every week. Last week I did 20 miles. A few days later I did 27. This week I intend to do a 46 mile course. I don’t care about speed for now. I’ll focus on distance first. Speed is next on the list, but I want to be comfortable on the saddle for 3-4 hours. 

I’ll keep you posted.

Thanks for reading. Keep moving. 

Weekly Update #5

This week’s goals went out of the window by Wednesday. On Tuesday night I went out for a 3.75 mile run and it all seemed normal until the next morning. My plantar fasciitis came back and put me out of commission for the rest of the week. I went out for walks, not long ones, but I needed to stay a little active. 

That’s the bad news, on to the good news:


1) I got a new guitar – I’ve always wanted to learn to play an instrument and this week I decided it was going to be the guitar. I also want to learn to read music. I got an acoustic guitar, it’s actually my brother’s old guitar that he never used, you can see from the picture he didn’t play much. 

My guitar goal: be able to play at least 6 songs. Ideally 3 in Spanish and 3 in English. 


2) I got a new bike – I’m concerned about the PF not going way. I’ll give my feet some rest and bike instead. Thanks to my buddy Jose, who is a huge bike enthusiast, I bought this awesome bike to get me started. I believe I have all the basics to get me started. Padded biking shorts, helmet, bike rack for my car, a bib (I didn’t know its function), and the bike! 

I took it out for a 10 mile test drive today and I loved it! I’m excited about this and terrified that I’ll like it. I still need to get the heart rate monitor and a phone mount for the bike.

A huge to Jose for spending hours educating me on the cycling lifestyle as well as finding me this bitching bike. Also  thanks to my brother for the guitar, I intend to put it to good use. 

Need new new shoes

A couple of weeks ago I got new shoes and today I’m returning them because they’re causing me pain. 

At first I thought it was just a matter of breaking them in but after several uses it seems my plantar fasciitis reared its ugly again face due to the new shoes.

The last couple days I wore my older shoes and things are getting better. I’m actually annoyed that because of this small set back I’m behind on my weekly goals. I only ran once early in the week, in the new shoes, the next day I had a hard time even walking. 

Hopefully I get fitted correctly this time  in something more appropriate for me.

Then I can officially retire this good old friends. 

Weekly Update #4

This will be a quick update because it has been a easy week. At this moment I’m relaxing on the beach in New Hampshire’s Hampton Beach.


Feels like forever since ran. This week I’ve taken it easy. I didn’t run a single day, not even the Pena 5K. There were two activities for the week 1) 5 mile walk at Breakhart Reservation and 2) biking to and from work on Thursday evening as a trial run. It was 8.5 miles each way and took just under 1 hour to complete. 


I did continue to eat fairly healthy and avoid ginormous portions. 
On Wednesday I made it out to the driving range to release to tension. ​


On Saturday we went to Georges Island which is only 7 miles from Boston’s shore.


The good news is I didn’t gain any weight, stayed flat at 250.

This coming week I’ll pick up the intensity again and hopefully make some damage on my weight. 

Weekly Update 3

Time flies when you’re running 🙂 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.

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.

Weekly Update 2

Where to start? Overall I’m feeling good about the changes I’ve made so far and my newly developed habits. Most importantly I’m feeling good about myself; I’m feeling happier; I have more energy. There are days when I do feel sored after an intense run or a long walk, but it’s not that bad.

Monday this week I found a gift on my desk from someone at work, thank you Hadley. It was a book, Younger Next Year, I’ve been reading it any chance I get. I’m learning a lot from it and have started to implement some of the advice in it. I’ve ordered the accompanying exercise book.

Exercise

  • Lots of walking – In the past 7 days I’ve logged 7 walking logs in my run keeper for a total of 26 miles walked. I purposely get off the train many stations before my stop to walk for about an hour in the afternoon/evening. I’ve also walked to train stations further away from my house to get in a 40 min walk before work. One I left my car at home to walk to the train station in the morning and in the evening.
  • Jogging/Running – Sunday I went out for a morning jog. I’ve never done that before; shin splints were bothering me during this jog. Tuesday I went out to the beach for a jog in the evening. To my delight the shin splints were gone and PF was barely noticeable! My couch to 5K app moved me to the next level, two 8 minutes of jogging sessions. I felt great after the 31 minute program (5 min warm up, 8 min jog, 5 min walk, 8 min jog, 5 min cool down).
  • Today I’ll be going out to Deer Island for our weekly Pena 5K. I’m hoping my time will improve. The last time I completed it in 33 min and 32 seconds, about 3 minutes improvement from the previous week. I hope to be closer to 30 minutes this week.

Health

  • Plantar fasciitis is getting better
  • Shin Splints showed their ugly face during the weekend, but disappeared during the week

In the bedroom:

  • I haven’t removed the TV from the room yet, BUT I haven’t turned it on in a few days. I believe I will completely remove it this weekend.
  • Shades are blacked out.
  • I brought an old school alarm clock, so I can leave my phone outside the bedroom. 
  • Early riser – due to work circumstances I’ve had to get up early for about a week now and I don’t hate it! I’ll try to keep getting up early going forward and go for a jog or walk in the morning before heading to work.

Diet

  • During the weekend I gained a few lbs because I love food and have no self control over it yet. Mom’s cooking is so damn delicious!
  • Breakfast- I’ve been good during weekdays. I’ve been eating veggie omelette switch feta cheese.
  • Lunch – I’ve been good during the weekdays too. I’ve tried to get smaller portions and healthy choices from work’s cafe.
  • Dinner – I could do better here. Currently I’ve stopped cooking because it takes long and by the time I get home it’s too late. I’m getting my food cooked by my friend’s aunt. She cooks all kinds of stuff, some healthy and others not so much, but all delicious:)
  • I’ve tried to avoid rice
  • No soft drinks

That’s about it for now. I’ll try to keep these short in the future. I’ll also try to post throughout the week after activities.