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11 Sep 2010

An Unusual Anniversary

5:35 pm

It seems somewhat funny to call this a milestone; like it’s some kind of bad pun. But that’s exactly what it is. A year ago today I set out on a journey that has made profound, and visible changes. It’s a journey that had helped me become a happier and healthier person then I ever thought possible.

Of course, it really started more than a year ago. In March of 2009 I had another profound, life-changing, and wonderful experience getting to marry Marie. It was a joyous occasion of course. I want to grow old with her and I want that experience to take a very very long time. On getting the wedding photos back, however, I noticed how much bigger around I had let myself become over the years. I decided to make a change.

At the end of May that year I started seriously watching my calories. It’s not the only route to weight loss, but I’m here to tell you it works. By September of 2009 I had already lost nearly 25 lbs, simply by contentiously recording and tracking everything I ate. For the first time, I believe, my BMI was in the average range.

I realized, though, that if watching my calories was the only thing I did, then it wouldn’t take much for me to backslide and eventually end up right back at my starting weight. I had to accept that research shows the key to losing weight and keeping it off is the regular combination of diet and exercise.

This lead me to further introspection. One of the keys to my calories monitoring success was an iPhone application called Lose It. I entered my food and it would calculate how many calories I consume and how many I could still eat that day. It also tracked my overall progressed. I looked at that and realized it worked for me partially because I’m a technologically motivated gadget nerd.

I decided to leverage that realization when it came to exercising. Cardiovascular exercise, I learned, is the key to burning calories and weight loss. After some more research I learned there was already an application on my iPhone that could help me track one of the most common forms of cardio exercise.

So, on Friday, September 11th, after I got home from work I put on some shorts and a t-shirt and some new shoes I’d just bought the day before. I put my iPhone in my pocket, went outside, turned on the built in app, and started putting one foot in front of the other.

It was hot and it was hard work. I’ve always felt that I could walk almost forever, but running was downright painful. On this first day, I still felt like that was all true. All I had to do was walk a lot and run for 60 seconds. While running, I was sooo tired and winded and I almost didn’t make it to the end of the minute.

But I did make it to the end. Not just of that interval but all the intervals of the Nike+ training program to follow. Six days a week I was out the door training. I ran in the hot sun, the worst rain storm and flooding in Atlanta’s history, cold weather, and muggy evenings.

Over the course of this year I grew from barely being able to run 60 seconds to running strong for 30 minutes. I’ve learned to run to running 5ks. And now, just last weekend I ran/walked 14.1 miles. ( )

I’ve set new goals. Soon I’ll be running in my first half-marathon on October 2nd and I’m aiming for a marathon on January 9th.

This running has changed my life in ways both obvious and subtle. I weigh 35 lbs less. My waist has shrunk from 34 – 35 inches to 30 – 31 inches. The physical success has lead me to taking better care of myself. I’ve started working with a nutritionist and I’m watching what I eat more closely than ever.

The end result of all this is that I have more energy and I feel better about myself overall.

Now I’m particularly excited to see that my wife and my best friend Steve, have set out down the same path. Even my dear friend Beth is getting into it, and what an inspiration she had been!

Thanks running! In just a year you have shown me that I can accomplish so much more than I ever thought. Happy runnaversary to me!

03 Sep 2010

Water Lilies

7:34 am

Water Lilies

Originally uploaded by Bob Owen

Water lily flowers begin to bloom.

02 Sep 2010

Strategic Retreat

7:10 am

Strategic Retreat

Originally uploaded by Bob Owen

Chlorophyll enriched cells retreat from the damaged lower area of a palm frond revealing rich colors and complex understructure.

01 Sep 2010

The White Knight

6:37 am

The White Knight

Originally uploaded by Bob Owen

White butterfly on red flowers. Most of his brethren on this Sunday morning were yellow.

31 Aug 2010

Knit Together

6:51 am

Knit Together

Originally uploaded by Bob Owen

The madagascar palm frond shows beauty in the symmetry of it’s structure.

29 Aug 2010

Garden Flight

12:25 pm

Garden Flight

Originally uploaded by Bob Owen

Zoom in on the Dale Chihuly sculpture at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. Taken from the rose garden overlook.

Put the camera into it’s lowest ISO and the lens into it’s smallest aperture, then actively rotated the zoom while taking a long-ish exposure shot.

21 Aug 2010

Half Marathon Distance!

11:35 am

I set out this morning with the intention of doing 12 miles. Somehow I ended up doing 13 so I squeezed out the extra .1 to make it a full half-marathon distance.

This is a pretty amazing moment for me. I started learning to run on September 11th, 2009. At that point I was struggling to complete 30 seconds of running. So in less than a year I have gone from non-runner, non-athlete to running 13.1 miles and living to tell the tale. Feels pretty darn great!

Today’s run took me to the Chamblee city limit sign and back.

07 Aug 2010

500 Miles on Road and Counting

10:06 am

One of the reasons I keep keep syncing with Nike+ even though my Garmin is capturing most of the same information is that Nike does a lot to keep you motivated. I just crossed over the 500 mile mark from when I first started leaning to run last September. In response, Nike+ gave me a video by Paula Radcliffe congratulating me on reaching this milestone.

Here’s the run that put me over the top:

31 Jul 2010

Longest Distance so far, 10 Miles

10:15 am

Here’s the details:

20 Jul 2010

First Running Injury

7:15 am

I suppose it was bound to happen sometime given all this running in the dark. I took a tumble during my 2nd walk interval less than 1/3 of the way through my regular morning workout. Both hands are a little scraped up, but my left knee took the brunt of it. I dusted myself off and finished the workout.

Scaped knee with blood dripping down.

Does anyone know how to get blood out of running socks?

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