Sunday, November 15, 2009

Tapering for upcoming 5K & 10K runs

As I look to the upcoming week and the 5K coming on Friday and the 10K on Sunday it is going to be a busy week. Let explain how I wrapped up this past week. Thursday November 12 I ran for 45 minutes and logged 4.48 miles with an average heart rate of 146 BPM. This run was very successful and was wearing my Somnio Exact shoes. These shoes have around 11 miles on them and I need to make a trip to Pentagon City for an adjustment. Saturday November 14 I visited Waters Edge a fitness center that has a swimming pool along with cardio and weight training equipment. They are offering a 3 month trial for $100.00 that I will be signing up for to begin my training for the 2010 triathlon season. Sunday November 15 I ran 3.26 miles in 33 minutes and wore my Adidas Supernova shoes. These shoes seem to be causing my right knee to tweak and while this was going to be a 10K run I had to call it short. The only shoes I feel comfortable running in are my Asics that currently have 268.5 miles on them. With so many miles on these shoes I have to find another pair soon or I will find myself running barefoot (ouch).

Tomorrow I am going to the doctors with my wife and we will find out if she can get approved for her to get the gastric bypass surgery and relieve the stress on her back and knees. We are really hoping that she will get a surgery date for December and she can begin the New Year on her way to a healthier life style. Please keep her in your thoughts as she goes through this process and that the insurance company approves her surgery.

Friday November 20

Friday night I will participate in the Anne Arundel Medical Center and Annapolis Striders "Dashing Through the Show" at Sandy Point Park, MD. This is a 5K run through the "Lights On The Bay" light show that benefits the Anne Arundel Medical Center. All proceeds benefit the medical center that I credit to saving my life when I had my heart attacks. To be able to run this race and help raise funds to support this medical facility is remarkable. When I lace up my shoes on Friday evening it will be with pride and I am looking to run a personal best.

Sunday November 22

Sunday morning is the Cold Turkey 10K that is run annually in memory of Kati Fisher. The race starts at 8:30 AM at South River High School and is always a fun time. There are several hills on this course and always presents a challenge that I feel this year I will be better prepared for. With the exception of maybe a jingle bell run in December this will be my last organized run for the year.

This wraps up my thoughts for tonight as you can see I have a busy week ahead of me and need to get plenty of rest.

God Bless you all and thank you for reading my blog.


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Information Session - Comprehensive Obesity Management Program

Well I spoke tonight at the information session where there were around 25 – 30 people in attendance. When I was introduced I stood up and got to show my B & A Trail Half Marathon medal and my Marine Corps Marathon medal. When I explained that the half marathon was achieved 8 months post gastric bypass surgery and the marathon was 15 months post surgery they all applauded. This made me feel very proud of my accomplishments. After speaking about my experience with the clinic at GBMC I answered questions from the attendees. The questions ranged from was I hungry after the surgery to how am I doing now. When I was talking to them it felt really good and I truly feel that the team at GBMC is the greatest.

Obesity is a real problem in our society and you should know that those that become obese do not set out to be that way. My weight problem came on by genetics and illnesses. These things combined to get to the point where they almost took my life. When I speak at these sessions I feel like maybe one person will learn something from my experience and am successful like I have been.

I have one wish and that is if the government passes a health care bill it does not limit the access to life saving and enhancing procedures aimed to help people like myself that need it.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Run 30 minutes to relax

Whenever things seem to get a little bit out of control I go running either outside or in it doesn't matter. Usually after a good run I can relax and focus on the tasks at hand. Many only look at the physical aspects of running while I look at the mental benefits from it. When I am training there are no thoughts about anything except the goal of the day's routine. There are times when after clearing the mind and getting in to the zone that problem resolutions just seem to come to me. Many runs I have been on have concluded with a resolution to an issue I have been working on.

My run today was a short 30 minutes and 3.42 miles, since I was getting stressed over something at work it was a welcome break. After the run my day went smooth as silk and everything that seemed to be overwhelming me fell in to place. So the next time you see a large task ahead of you take a moment or two and go for a run you will see the difference.

Tomorrow night I will be going to GBMC to speak to a group of people exploring the road to better health. This will be my first time to speak at this venue and not sure what to expect. The first step to the program at GBMC is to attend a conference where they explain about the different options available and then they have a patient talk about their experiences. So I guess I'll take my marathon medals with me and maybe the jeans I use to wear before surgery.

2 runs today

As I am still trying to break in a new pair of shoes I ran 2.61 miles around 8:25 AM. With the recent purchase of a Timex heart rate monitor and I am trying to track how my heart is responding to the training. For this first session my average heart rate was 156 with a maximum rate of 159. The second run was at 12:15 PM using my Asics and even though they have 265 miles on them they are very comfortable. This run my average heart rate was 143 and the maximum rate was 161. The mileage for this run was 3.19 miles and I was listening to Lance Armstrong: Run Longer that I downloaded from iTunes. This is an interval training program that after an 8 minute warm-up it then there are a series of 4 minute intervals with 4 minute recovery runs. By incorporating this in my training routine I should be able to increase my run times.

Later this week I will write about my nutritional and supplement program. This has been a very difficult learning curve as I do not eat like I had in the past. Through research I have learned quite a bit and will write that up and post it around the end of this week.

Keep running and no matter what don't let anyone tell you that you can't do it. The phrase "I can't" was not excepted while my children were growing so I won't except it from myself. I CAN or WE CAN Let's Do It!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Why run triathlons

Let me first say that the reason I want to attempt to run at the triathlon level is personal. January 2008 my doctor told me that I was on the border of becoming a diabetic. This was something that was scaring me as I was unable to lose the extra weight I had put on over the years with all of the medications I was taking. There was the fear that I may not live out the year and that was also scaring the daylights out of me. This caused me to look in to my insurance and I found that they updated our benefits and gastric bypass surgery was an option for me. My doctors agreed it would be good for me to look in to the procedure and find a provider that would take my insurance. After extensive research I found that the obesity clinic from GBMC took my insurance and was highly recommended.

With the team at GBMC I began my process to have the gastric bypass surgery performed. This time in my life I could not walk a flight of stairs without sweating up a storm and being totally out of breath. After going through all of the post operative tests I was given my surgery date and on July 2, 2008 I underwent gastric bypass surgery. Dr. Babak Moeinolmolki, performed the surgery laparoscopy method which helps speed the recovery process. The post surgery diet is very strict and I followed it 100% and it paid off for me. By August 2008 I was being removed from all of my medications and was no longer using the CPAP machine that I had to use prior to surgery.

What medications was I on and why? March 2004, I had 3 discs removed from my neck with multilevel fusion. This was done to prevent the use of my arms and hands. The Virginia Spine Institute and Dr Hasz took very good care of me and I recovered and had full use of my arms and hands. The recovery from this I was not allowed to left anything over my head and I was not allowed run. This was the beginning of my weight gain and other health problems. December 2004, I had a heart attack and was sent to the Washington Heart Hospital in Washington, DC were the doctors put 4 stents in my right coronary artery. Under the care of Dr. Hall from Chesapeake Cardiology in Annapolis, MD I was on several heart medications and also cholesterol medicines as my cholesterol was 7 – 1 to the bad. The following March and April 2005 I was in the hospital for additional heart issues that was controlled by adjusting the medications. My lower back started to give me more problems in 2005 and by 2006 Dr. Hasz was telling me that I needed to lose weight to relieve the pressure on my back. This was not something I wanted to hear as I couldn't exercise with the other medical issues. By 2007 I was being diagnosed with sleep apnea and was getting pain blockers every other month in my lower back so that I could make it through day to day.

Today I am taking no medications and have completed the B & A Trail Half Marathon in March 2009 and recently completed the Marine Corps Marathon (October 2009). While I am wanting to focus on my first Sprint Triathlon in June 2010 and maybe a full triathlon in September 2010, I will continue to run some 5K & 10K runs to keep the edge of competing if only against myself.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

30 minute run on treadmill

Brian Lewis ran 3.35 mi on 11/5/2009 at 1:25 PM with a pace of 8'57"/mi

Felt really good today but got tied up at work so jumped on the treadmill in the office and went for a 30 minute run. This a good thing and benefit available to those of us that work from home.

Went to the YMCA to view what they have to offer and while it is good equipment I was not impressed. Need to get information about AquaFit in Chestertown, MD.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

5K Training run

Went for a 5K run today in 33:35 at a pace of 6:43 it felt great except it got a bit cold over night. The run was using my new shoes and while it was pain free I am not sure that the shoes are configured correctly. Tomorrow will be another 30 min run around lunch time.

Tomorrow morning I will go to Easton, MD to look at the YMCA and what they have to offer for my training. This weekend I will checkout Aqua Fit in Chestertown, MD and join the one that has the most to offer.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

P90X - Strength training

Well I am going to use the P90X system for some of my strength training. Today I completed the UML training program and while it was not pretty I did get through it. This program will be revisited monthly to check on my progress. The large issue I have with the P90X program is that the chin-up bar does not work on my door jams. To replace the pull ups I will be using cables.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Recovery from the Marine Corps Marathon

Since running the 34th Marine Corps Marathon I have worked on recovering and I am glad to begin running again. Throughout the rest of 2009 I will run some 5K and 10K runs to keep the competitive edge. While rebuilding my mileage I am looking for a gym that has a pool so that I can start training for triathlon season next year.

Since this is a new venture for me I am looking for all the tips anyone is willing to share with me. These tips can be from exercises for strength to the gear needed or that would be good to have. My bike is an old road bike from 80's but until I find that I want to continue down this path it will have to do. I am looking for new pedals that don't cost a fortune instead of using toe clips.

Thanks to Facebook I do have this link from Do you have any triathlon wisdom to pass along to others? Please share it.