Switching to Intervals to Build Running Distance

I have been running 5k at a time lately, which is six laps around the path of my local park (actually, each lap is a little more than a half mile, but it’s easier to think of it as a half mile).

It has not been getting any easier, which is frustrating, so I’ve decided to switch to 2:1 intervals, where I’ll alternate running two minutes and walking one.

So my latest run was stretched from three miles to four.

The breaks helped out a lot, but they sure did end too quick.

Knocked out 4+ miles doing some 2:1 intervals. I want to work up to 10k.

A video posted by Shawn Collins (@fatblogging) on

Maybe It’s Crazy to Do a Tough Mudder

I was just cooling down from a run the other day and I had worn a shirt that says, “I Will”. It was a training shirt from the Tough Mudder last year.

As I passed a lady on the path, she said, “I Will, what?”

After a second, I realized she was talking about my shirt. As I described what it was about, she looked at me like I was crazy.

And when I think about that day, it does seem sort of crazy to volunteer for that unpleasantness, but it was sure a nice feeling to finish.

Starting weight: 233
Current weight: 222

Best and Worst Alcohol Drinks for Diets

I will say this up front, so nobody feels like they need to clarify it – I get that it’s ideal to not drink alcohol with a diet, but since many people like to have some drinks and eat responsibly, I wanted to look into the best and worst drinks.

GQ posted an article, The Best and Worst Booze to Drink if You Want to Lose Weight, so since they did the legwork, I’ll share the highlights.

Of course, this is all relative, and you should check the numbers on each drink to be sure you’ve got a grip on the calories.

Anyhow, the “best” drinks:

  • Red wine
  • Vermouth
  • Straight liquor
  • Light beer

And the “worst”:

  • Sugar packed cocktails
  • High-Alcohol Craft Beers

Well that sucks, because I like those craft beers. But a good incentive to drink them in moderation is to think of those damn calories.

For instance, Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA is 18 percent alcohol by volume, and each bottle has 450 calories.

Ouch.

When Do the Runs Get Easier?

I’ve been running on and off for about 8 years now, and it’s never really gotten easier.

I struggled to finish a 10k without breaks a couple times, but that’s been my ceiling.

On a regular basis, I’ll go out for 5k on the streets or in a park, and it’s alternately doable and really challenging.

Some runs are tougher than others #fatblogging

A photo posted by Shawn Collins (@fatblogging) on

Age and weight are certainly not doing me any favors, but I see people that are older and bigger knocking out the miles.

Am I missing some secret?

Starting weight: 233
Current weight: 222

Does This Haircut Make Me Look Fat

I went to the barber yesterday, and one of the myths I like to believe is that the scale will look better the next day after I shed the weight of my cut hair.

In reality, I know that it’s probably a matter of a few ounces, but don’t ruin my scenario.

Even if the barber shop isn’t a magical weight loss solution, it is a funny time machine.

You get the old timers with the hot shaving cream and straight razor working those neck hairs. And the barbers say goofy stuff like, “so, you want to get your ears lowered today?”.

Whatever the result, I dropped some weight yesterday with zero effort.

Back in the Saddle with Atkins

After a stunning gain last week, I’ve managed to clear off some of that weight and get back into a good rhythm.

I was eating better, protein rich breakfasts, which kept me satiated more during the day, and making better choices overall on foods.

Lots of Atkins bars and meals during the days.

Plus, the beer intake was cut way back – three total across the week, and only one of those was an IPA.

I think with some serious discipline, I can match this loss for next week, and I am planning to exercise no less than an hour a day for the next 7 days (Sunday to Saturday) to push for that goal.

Starting weight: 233
Current weight: 224

Lots of Calories Burned Hiking

I went for a hike today and covered nearly 4 miles in about an hour. It was a little muddy in spots and some varying elevations with a total of a 672 foot climb.

There is nothing remarkable about that. But I was excited to see the calories I supposedly burned, according to the DailyMile app.

The app says I burned 852 calories.

hiking calories

The app has my weight, the miles, time, and all of that, so I am hoping that is an accurate reading.

I think it may be, because the day before I went for a run that had some elevation and I had 386 calories for running a 5k in a half hour.

A Birthday and a Rebirth

Rock bottom. That’s where I am right now. I had a fun and productive week of work, but it was also a big step back for my diet.

I gained six pounds. Seriously.

Last Saturday, I went to a New York Yankees game with my son, Jack, and that was the start of my week-long junk food odyssey.

Then, I was in New Orleans for a conference, and I love cajun food. I loved a lot of it to that point where I overdid it over many days.

My 46th birthday was during those days, and the combination of overindulging for my birthday and overall eating delicious food like a horse has caught up with me.

After dinner drink #collisionconf

A photo posted by Shawn Collins (@affiliatetip) on

It was fun while it lasted, but I need to get serious about this stuff.

Starting over… I’ve got boats to build…

It’s time for a change
I’m tired of that same ol same
The same ol words the same ol lines
The same ol tricks and the same ol rhymes

Days precious days
Roll in and out like waves
I got boards to bend I got planks to nail
I got charts to make I got seas to sail

I’m gonna build me a boat
With these two hands
It’ll be a fair curve
From a noble plan
Let the chips fall where they will
Cause I’ve got boats to build

Starting weight: 233
Current weight: 227

I Get Gym Farts

When I run on a treadmill in the gym, I tend to get farts. This is not something I have every shared publicly, but I think we need to remove the shame from this condition.

I am not sure if it is some sort of result of the pounding on the treadmill vs. the street outside, but I light that place up.

My stomach will grumble when I run outside sometimes, but that isn’t really a thing, since it just goes up in the air.

I’d like to think I get a little more speed in those brief moments, too.

But at the gym, it’s a little anxiety inducing, since people are in front and on the sides of you.

Plus, I tend to put on the fan on the treadmill, when it has one, so anybody behind me is at risk.

I am not alone in this, right? Or do you noble people punish yourself and hold it until you’re in a private place?

Running to Stand Still

I am a broken record – another week of a decent amount of exercise, and also some calorie excessive days, which balanced things out.

One thing I am glad about is that with finishing the Couch to 5k program, I am completing three mile runs regularly.

But with beers and unhealthy meals, those runs are just helping to maintain the status quo.

So, my mission is to eat less and run more.

I did start off a recent trip to San Diego with a healthy meal, but then I was in the Stone Tap Room a couple nights in a row, too.

Seafood Cobb in San Diego

A photo posted by Shawn Collins (@fatblogging) on

I need to find a 10k to shoot for in the coming months.

Starting weight: 233
Current weight: 221