Friday, January 30, 2009

Weather Report . . . They Closed Schools for This???

It's really no surprise that my New England and Mid-Western friends laugh when they hear about school closures in this part of the country. Tuesday was a great example . . . the forecast called for 1-3 inches of snow. No biggie. By 6 am, there was barely a dusting on the ground and our local schools, CLOSED! In fact, just about every school district in Maryland had cancelled schools. By late afternoon, we had a whopping inch and a half on the ground. What a joke.

I know I'm sounding like my grandparents, but in my day, there is no question we'd have gone to school. Maybe we close early, but if there is no appreciable precipitation on the ground, we're going.

Only thing I can figure is the fear of lawsuits. What else could it be? Buses can drive in a couple inches of snow.

The problem with Tuesday was that it led to Wednesday, when the real weather was expected. A nice half inch coating of ice expected overnight. Nobody's driving on that. And that's about what we got. Schools closed. (Although, apparently it wouldn't have slowed schools in Chicago according to the Obama kids!)

So here's what we've got. . . last Friday the kids had a half day for god knows what reason. Monday was a teacher's professional day, no school. Tuesday no school for no good reason. Wednesday's ice. . . no school, good reason. Thursday, two hours late to let Wednesday's ice that melted in the afternoon and refroze over night do some more melting. All of the sudden, you've got almost a week's vacation for the price of none. A bit of stir crazy going on? Uh huh!

What's all this got to do with a diet and weight loss blog? (This blog is about, well, me, after all, isn't it?) Seems that the classes at the gym don't go when the schools don't go. Over the course of three days, I think I signed up for 8 classes that never happened. Tuesday, I blew off Body Pump thinking I'd get something in later in the day. Didn't happen. Wednesday's ice meant nothing moved. I finally hit the treadmill at home for a 5 miler. By Thursday, the itch was serious. Time to get my money's worth -- an triple header -- 3+ miles on the treadmill, an hour spin, followed by a Body Pump. Man did that feel good.

I've only hit the club in the evening a couple of times, usually for a convenient post work run. Gotta say, the vibe was totally different. First, there seemed to be a lot more people there. Second, there are a ton of kids -- I'm talking teens. They were everywhere. Third, it just felt different. Don't know if the folks felt less serious or less friendly or what. Just different. I kinda like my early morning crew. Looking forward to getting back to them next week.

Can't believe January ends tomorrow. One month closer to spring! Yeay!


Sunday, January 25, 2009

Blog Break

Seems like the library has become much more popular since the economy has gone in the tank. Second Sunday in a row I couldn't find a spot on the lot. You'd think they were giving something away. If I'm right, getting a spot at the Barnes and Noble must be a lot easier.

I'm sitting in a study carrel working on my resume. Gotta say, it was Deb's brainstorm to banish me here and it was friggin brilliant! It's coming along, but really, I'm wishing there was some football on tv to take me away from here! How many days until baseball season. Just working and thought I'd take a blog break.

I met my buddy Dave at the gym at 5:30 this morning for our "warm" long run. It was a crisp 20 degrees on the outside, but nice and toasty at Lifetime Fitness. Plan for today was 11 miles for me and 18 for Dave. Can I just say that I kicked some treadmill ass! The meter at 1 hour showed 6.01 miles. First time ever for 6 miles in an hour. I was able to run continuously for about 8 1/2 miles before I needed a walk break. At the end of the run, I had covered 11.16 miles at an average of 10:10. With 5 weeks to go until the Tampa Half, I am looking forward to crushing -- I mean CRUSHING my PR of 2:36. Okay, yes, I'm getting a bit full of myself, but why the hell not. My goal was to break 2:30 to qualify for the National Half Marathon in March, but 2:20 is in reach. Dave did a crushing workout today, too, knocking out almost 20 instead of 18.

Okay, back to work before Deb senses my slacking and comes to kick my ass!


Friday, January 23, 2009

Moving Forward

It's been more than a week since the ax fell and I have been humbled by all of the well wishes and offers of help in my job search. It is truly heartwarming to hear from so many coworkers expressing their thanks for the work I had done and from so many readers with great vibes.

I am looking at this time off as a real opportunity. Over the years, I had thought about moving on, but there was safety in staying. Safe no more, it's time to get on with the search.

The plan is to work off those nagging last pounds by hitting the gym early and often, just as before. No reason to stop the pre-dawn routine. Keeping the snacking under control will be key -- I snack far more at home than at the office. Gotta change that recipe. I'm thinking Andy is gonna like me being around.

So far this week, things are going in the right direction. Getting in plenty of miles and boot camp to boot. The scale is even cooperating -- just 2 pounds off of my low.

There you have it. . . my plan to move forward. Looking forward to sharing lots of progress!


Friday, January 16, 2009

A New Season of Life

The last two weeks have been pretty tumultuous. Last Monday started with the departure of a senior executive at my company that led to a reorganization that led to the reassignment of the group that I was affiliated with that led to my ultimate termination. It was difficult to hear that my services would no longer be required after nearly 19 years with the company. Needless to say, blogging became pretty low on the priority list.

The tough part was sharing the news with so many people that I had worked with for many many years. It was sad and emotional. Talking to one teary friend, I thought to myself "hey, what the hell are you crying for, I'm the one that got fired!"

Over the years I had thought to myself that a change in venue might be liberating. Well, I guess now I'll find out. It's not really fair to say "I", since Deb and I will be in it together and the kids, too, to a lesser extent. We'll find out -- together.

One of my coworkers called me and said I'd be on to "A New Season of Life". Sounds like a great title for a book chapter. . . or at least a blog post! That's truly how I'm looking at it. I'm far more self confident than I was a few years ago. Now I'm not the "fat guy" looking for a job, just the guy looking for a job.

So what's next? I have no idea. Have to figure out what I want to do when I grow up. Deb found my most recent resume -- a good 12 years old. That'll be the first piece of business. In the mean time, I'm sure I'll have more time to blog!

So that's it, my blog friends. If anyone is looking for a finance/accounting type guy in the Central Maryland/DC area, I'm your guy!


Thursday, January 1, 2009

Looking Forward, Looking Back

Happy New Year. Hard to believe 2009 is here. (Anybody remember preparing for Y2K? That was 10 years ago. Where does the time go?)

I looked back at my 2008 goals this morning and it sure looks on paper like a crappy year. The big three goals were to run and bike 1000 miles each and finally hit my weight goal of 199. Zero for three, I'm afraid.

On the running side, I was right on track through early June, but the injury really killed this one. No miles at all in July or August. Had I been able to run and get the Marine Corps Marathon in, that would be a piece of cake.

Biking was much closer at 957 miles. Cold weather this week killed any chance of getting those last few miles in. On the other hand, I don't count indoor spinning miles. First of all, the spin bikes don't have an odometer, but even if they did, I don't think I'd count them. Just not the same.

On the scale, December was a disappointment after a great start. The month wound up about even. Total loss of 19 pounds for the year ending at 222.2, still 23 pounds to goal. The last few weeks have been the best and worst -- kicking ass in workouts but eating it all back by the end of the month.

Looking at the positives, I've added quite a bit of variety to the day to day routine. Lot's of Body Pumping and Boot Camping. Much more toning going on. Even on the running and biking, I've doubled my running miles total from 06/07 and tripled 07's biking miles. Weight wise, a loss is a loss. Slow and steady.

Oh, yeah, there was that marathon thing. And that century bike ride. Not a bad year at all.

This morning, I woke up with a bad headache. Maybe it was from the lack of alcohol. Given the chill in the air with wind chills in the low teens, the last thing I felt like doing was running 5 miles. I was also reeling from pretty much non-stop eating yesterday. By 9 am, my plan for the day was to sit around and do absolutely nothing.

Shortly after that, we were flipping channels and picked up an episode of All Star Workouts on Fit TV. My 8 year old, Matty, started doing the boot camp exercises. Well, I couldn't let him go it alone, so I joined him for the last 40 minutes. That felt good. From there, I headed down to our lonely treadmill for 5 quick miles. Done. Back on track and feeling fine. That was about as quick an up and down and up as I've ever been through. Sometimes the motivation comes from the most unlikely places.

As for 2009, the race schedule is posted and if my feet and legs are healthy, I should be able to record lots of miles. Given that the tough part of the year will be preparing for both the Marine Corps Marathon and Seagull Century in October, I'm keeping the mileage goals the same as last year since I missed them both in '08. As for weight loss, well, that same 199 is still sitting out there. I'm going to take care of that early in the year (I swear!).

There you have it. Thanks for all of your support!