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Saturday, August 31, 2013

Joshua's First 5K - Kicking Childhood Cancer 5K Recap

Joshua wanted to get into the race fun and asked me if he could do a 5K race with just him and I.  After the shock wore off, I was thoroughly delighted by the request to join him for a race.  Not soon after his request I found this little 5K for "Kicking Childhood Cancer" which seemed quite fitting for Joshua's first 5K race.



Joshua's good friend Mason showed up in support.  It was a pleasant surprise for Joshua, and although Mason may not appreciate this request from his mom on an early Saturday morning, I know that he enjoyed supporting Joshua as much as Joshua enjoyed having him there.


Now, I have to say that I was quite impressed with Joshua's first showing.  He managed to keep a 10 minute mile pace; something that's taken me months of training to achieve, and if I'm honest, I didn't think he would do that well given that the extent of his exercise is sitting behind the plate as a catcher in baseball.  He gets out running with us everyone now and then but not consistent enough to consider himself a regular runner.  I imagine that he would do quite well if he trained on a regular basis, however, baseball is activity enough for a 10 year old. I was particularly impressed with his drive at the very end despite sharing with me that his legs were on fire.



Of 247 participants, Joshua got 94th place in his first 5K in the Kicking Childhood Cancer 5K on Labor Day.
This was such a great father son activity and something I'll remember for my life time.

As a side note, I often find myself doing these charity events as "running" activities with little focus or attention on the nature of the event or the cause.  I have to say that these race organizers did a great job of highlighting their charity and assistance that they are providing to children fighting cancer. I was doing fine until I got to see the little children we were helping with this event.  I think it struck a personal emotional cord because of what we're going through with Debra.  Seeing a small child bald from chemo and then understanding how hard this process is from seeing Debra go through it, hit me real deep.  I thank the Lord that we got to participate in this event, and even more so that our monies will go towards helping a child fighting cancer.

~J 


Monday, August 26, 2013

[Week 8: Journey to WDW Marathon] Running with Gilligan and a Tminus110 Update...

Well, with my ankle being a factor in my running, I took some days to rest the foot.  It went well for me to do it this way because we were on vacation on Sanibel Island, Florida for the week.  When I wasn't running, I was doing some other type of exercise including swimming in the pool and the beach, walking the beach and bike riding.  Some of the earlier days in the week, I spent some time skim-boarding with Joshua (read my previous blog and see my YouTube video on my skim-boarding bucket-list completion).  This was also the long run week, so the extra rest was good to support that effort.





I posted this on Sunday in the previous blog post, but I did two of of these runs to the Sanibel light-house along the beach.  Alexis joined me on the second day.  We got out at 7:30 just as the sun was rising and I can say that it wasn't early enough since the sun became a factor.  Other factors that made the run tough were the sand (of course), the wind, humidity (duh, Florida on the beach) and the brutal beating of my already aching ankle. These struggles were a small price to pay for the beauty of this run.  I just love running along the ocean; the birds and other wild life, the people activity on the beach and unique running conditions made for an interesting run which seemed to virtually go quicker.


Alexis and I moved our long run to Friday since we would be traveling on Saturday.  We got up the earliest we have ever gotten up, much less during vacation, at 5:00 a.m. to begin our run at 5:30 a.m..  We decided that this would be the best to keep us out of the sun and make the run a little bit easier.  Just a little bit since the humidity index for that morning was 100%.  I didn't need the weather man to tell me that because just as I stepped out of the condo door my shirt was already getting wet and soaked within minutes of the run.  The moon provided the only "light" source for much of the path (my only complaint with Sanibel's trails is no lighting -- otherwise they are fantastic for walking, jogging and biking).  We began the run by jogging up to the light-house and out to the beach where the light house is located.  We then circled back and just followed the "main road", Periwinkle, down to Bailey's Market and hung a left.  We ran out to the beach and up the beach for a mile to complete the 9-mile long run distance. We walked another 2 miles making the total distance 11 miles. The beach at this end was a little softer than the end up by our condo so it was a little more challenging as evidenced by my pace dropping down drastically. 

I also wanted to mention that this was the hardest long run that I've done due to some severe pain that I experienced starting at mile 4.  Let me explain.  At the start of the run, my thighs were a little sore from skim-boarding and my foot was also a little sore from the injury that I've been nursing.  As we approached a bridge around mile 4, I got scared by a bush and branch hanging through the bridge supports and rubbing my leg. I tensed up my muscles while continuing to run and all of a sudden, I was in some fairly bad pain.  The closest association I can give is muscle pain like felt after lifting weights and then continually pushing it. The pain in my thighs caused me to loose form and my ankle began to hurt at a greater level. I probably should have stopped running at this point but pushed through the pain in both locations.  My pace decreased quite a bit but I'm proud to have completed this run while pushing through the pain.

When this run was done, I was feeling pretty good about the amount of calories I had on the board for the day.  I had a little over 3500 calories (to maintain a weight-loss deficit for the day) and as a result of this, I decided to enjoy a "free" day of eating.  We enjoy going to a restaurant by the name of "Cheeburger Cheeburger".  I ordered a Mountain Dew (MD) for the first time in over a year.  Mountain Dew was my elixir when I was 314 lbs. and I was previously addicted to this stuff and drinking about 6 to 8 cans a day.  My regular breakfast was MD; no kidding. When I stopped drinking MD, I went into a fairly severe withdraw.  The withdraw was so bad that I have stayed away from drinking it purely on the fear that I would go through that again. Boy did a get an ear full from everyone (but Debra) at the table.  They thought I had back-slided and began my road back towards weight-gain.  After I flexed my authority as "Dad" and told everyone to take a chill pill (the kids just love the 80's talk), I explained that I was not backsliding and this was a one day type of thing.  Isn't is great to have a family support you this well?  I had two jars of Mountain Dew and I'm glad to say that it was not at all enjoyable.  I've been drinking water exclusively since being on Tminus110 and the MD was simply too sweet. I got a sugar rush but it made me sick to my stomach.  I also got a headache, presumably form the caffeine, shortly after drinking it.  In addition to the MD, I had fried mushrooms, fried pickles and onion rings.  Again, another shock to my body since I've stayed away from fried food since December.  The net result of my "free" day was sickness in my stomach and a firm conviction that I won't be doing that again any time soon.  What a great feeling!





All and all, the whole week was relatively a "free" week.  I told myself I would enjoy vacation and not get legalistic about the calories or eating.  I did, however, record my calories as to not go crazy on the eating but I was free to enjoy things like cup cakes, key-lime pie and ice cream and other snacks I usually stay away from.  As you can see, I went above my calories each day for the week (except for Friday even with the fried food) and I did gain two pounds but that's not too bad.  I'll take it and get back to working hard again this coming week.

I did have a victory this week, even with the slight weight gain.  For the first time in years, I bought and wore a XL shirt and it fit well.  As a matter of fact, I bought a few shirts in celebration.  This really feels good and validates the hard work that I'm putting in.

Until next week, this is the Skipper saying, "until our next one hour tour",

~Jason Furtak~

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

[Week 7: Journey to WDW Marathon] New friends and bucklist item 8 completed...

This week was marked by a couple of fun runs on the Disney property that I organized in Orlando through a FaceBook Group that I started for the Space Coast Marathon.  We met some great people and had a blast with the runs on Disney property.  One can read the summary at: http://www.runspacecoast.com/2013/08/orlando-meet-up-and-run-august-14-15.html  As for the WDW Marathon training itself, this was the "easy" week mark by three mile runs.  I think scheduling the fun runs with Run Space Coast, made it easier to stay on track during vacation.  The greatest thing about running is that I can take it anywhere I go.




This is how the week turned out mileage-wise.  The two runs in the middle of the week were the "meet-up and runs" and Sunday, August 18th was my first Sanibel Island beach run.  The run is so beautiful along the ocean and the light-house is an encouraging goal.  I was running late for church, so I pushed the run up to four miles even though I was only set to do three.


I told you last week about my foot injury.  Well, this is what my foot looked like after running the two "meet-up and run" days at Disney.  I have a high tolerance for pain and sometimes I think this is to my detriment.



How cool is this?!  Back in December when I first started my Tminus110 journey, I created a bucket-list of things I wanted to do when I lost weight.  You'll notice that Skim-boarding is item #8.  Well, as of this week, I officially checked this off of my list.  When I have time, I'll do a quick blog post of the reasons why this particular bucket item is significant for me.  Please enjoy this little video that Alexis and Madisynne put together:

http://youtu.be/-4zHCu2z8Fs

 -- thanks Rob for loaning the GoPro to us!

Please tell me if you have a bucket item I should try.

Vacation continues this coming week in Sanibel Island, Florida.  I look forward to what next week's post might bring.

Best regards,

~Jason Furtak~


Sunday, August 18, 2013

Team Mickey Athletic Club - runDisney Apparel

Shortly after signing up for the 2014 Walt Disney World Marathon, I wanted to dress the part for my training and purchase some runDisney apparel.  I went out to the runDisney website section of the Disney Store, and was a bit disappointed with the offerings on the website.  None of the shirts offered were in my size, and frankly, there just didn't seem like much on the site anyhow. I also searched the Disney Stores in a couple of local malls, and unfortunately, they don't carry runDisney apparel.


I posted some inquires in some runDisney FaceBook groups and found out that the Team Mickey Athletic Club at Down Town Disney had some apparel. It just so happens that I was going by Orlando and had a little bit of time to make a stop.



As directed by the online community, I made my way to the front of the store (the back if entering from the "external" parking lot area) and to my left-hand side (opposite side from the baseball section).  As noted by the online community, there was only one merchandising rack with a limited amount of apparel and other assorted items.  When checking out, I asked the cast member about the limited amount of stuff, and she stated that Disney seems to favor the expo during the running weekends and limits the supplies to their store.

 The following are some of the items I found:




There were four styles and colors of shirts.  Two of the styles were for men and the other two for woman.  The woman's shirts were white and aqua and the men's shirts were black and green.  Unfortunately, the only size in the men's shirts were medium (I'm a XL).  The green men's shirts had all sizes from XXL to small.




Next to the men's green shirts were men's grey pants.  The pants match the shirts with the gray and with the Mickey which was green.





Above the clothing were associated runDisney items including pins, lanyards, 13.1 magnets (no 26.2... yeah, I'm dumbfound too) and license plates.


I also walked out the door (paid for of course) with the famed iFitness belt. I purchased the belt for two reasons. One, everyone has been talking about this thing and the runDisney logo is cool. And two, I was over joyed by the fact that my weight-loss has reached a point that the "small" belt fit.  As a matter of fact, I wore it during a fun run with my Run Space Coast group and it slipped down necessitating a tightening of the strap.  My only critique of this belt are the size of the water bottles.  There's only 12 ounces between the two (6x6) and that's only good for a walk or a short run.

Of the items I found and purchased, I was most pleased with the running shorts.  First, you have to know that I've only been running for several months and the shorts that I'm wearing are 10 year old Nike Umbro style shorts.  I have to say, I found the shorts very comfortable for running and I was most pleased with the "under shorts" that are provided.  If it weren't for the cost, I would buy more so I'll be on the search for similar shorts at the retail outlets.

If you know of a resource for similar short, please let me know. Thanks!



Well, here we are with our new purchases.  I purchased a new shirt, shorts, a pin and the iFitness belt; and Alexis, my daughter, purchased a shirt.

I have to say that I was disappointed that there were no runDisney caps.  I'm particular with my caps and a little reluctant to buy one online without the ability to try it out but now that I haven't found a hat at the TMAC, I'll have to take a chance and buy one.

Overall, I was quite happy with what I found but I do have one area of confusion.  The races are so popular, I just don't get how a retail giant like Disney is missing opportunities to sell merchandise to addicted runDisney runners. Does anyone have an official answer?

So that's my review of the runDisney apparel at Team Mickey Athletic Club.

Please let me know if this review was helpful.

~Jason Furtak, Minus 85 lbs. to date
http://www.facebook.com/tminus110


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

[Week 6: Journey to WDW Marathon] Jogging the gateway drug...

"Hi, my name is Jason Furtak and I'm a runner..." I've been sedentary free for 8 months... My path towards the hardcore distances and other fitness activities came by way of an innocent use of a Couch-to-5K program.  I promise, I only did the recommended days and did not hide any jogging activity.  I also ran out in the open where people could witness my activity. It all seemed so innocent but before I knew it, I was calling 3.5 miles my "easy day" and my Saturdays got longer and the more I ran, the more I found myself wanting further distances. Before I knew it, I was 82 lbs. down in weight, completed my first  half marathon distane and signed up for a couple of half marathon road races and a my first full marathon in Disney.  By way of example of this addiction, this past Wednesday, Alexis and I woke up early (6:00 a.m.) to run only to find our local greenway closed due to flooding.  We put in an hour in the gym on the bike instead and when the weather cleared in the evening, this addiction pulled me out to our "standard" hill run.  Alexis looked at me crazy (she's not a fan of the hill run) but she understood my need... my need for speed... On Saturday, we put in 8 miles.  I'm a bit bummed because I managed to injure the tendons in my right foot.  These injuries drive me crazy.  During the run on Saturday and the walk that followed, my foot felt fine.  It even felt fine throughout the day but in the morning, I had this intense pain.  I'm afraid my "new" New Balance shoes are not good for my feet.  I had other pains during the week and was hoping things would work out but this latest injury has proven that these shoes are no good.  I'm really close to going to get fitted for some shoes but I just can't take myself to spend as much as $100 or more for shoes. I know that I'm supposed to be taking time off to allow the foot to heal but I'm hoping that my foot goes the way of my other injuries and I'm going to keep running despite contemporary wisdom.  It's a combination of the before mentioned addiction and my worry that I'm going to loose my present fitness level.  In the past, I have just slowed things down and eased my stride and the pains have eventually gone away.  Let's hope this goes the same way (I have my doubts).

Next week, I'm meeting up with some folks in Orlando for a fun run before my vacation in Sanibel Island, Florida the following week.

Cheers,

~J

Monday, August 5, 2013

[Week 5: Journey to WDW Marathon] Easy training week ends with a 10K road race...

This week, being week 5 of the Walt Disney World Marathon training, was designed to be an easy week.  My legs are feeling great and my recovery from the half marathon distance was easy going.  Actually a lot easier than I expected.  The week itself was fairly typical with 5K distances Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.  Debra came to us on Friday and encouraged us to race the "Old Soldier's Day 5K/10K Road Race".  We performed it for our Saturday run.  Even though it was supposed to be an easy 4 mile run, we went ahead and did the 10K distance for the race.  I'm really enjoying 10K runs and this was a nice little race. [ Race recap ] My shoes have finally hit their limits.  I'm a bit frustrated with this because contemporary running wisdom says that you should be able to get around 400 miles on a pair of shoes and I barely got 100.  I went and bought two new pairs of shoes.  The first pair is my current Saucony Cohesion 6 and the second pair is a New Balance shoe that I have never worn before.  I'm hoping having two pairs of shoes will reduce the replacement window and it gives me an opportunity to try a different shoe with the New Balance.


This is how the mileage shook out.  Long run of 8 miles planned for week 6.

Until next week,

~J