Happy New Year!

running shoes.jpg

I would like to wish all my followers a happy new year.  Thank you for reading and I’m looking forward to sharing my running adventures in 2016.

It’s funny how this blog has evolved from being a business related blog to something that is basically a journal of health and wellness.  I couldn’t be happier that this has happened.

As we prepare to bid adieu to 2015 I can’t help feeling a little sad.  This year has been good to us, and to me personally.  It has been a while since I could say that.  We’ve had a few rough years previously.  But I’ve gone from being on the verge of taking two drugs for my type two diabetes to taking no drugs at all.  My sugar is under control.  Only this morning my fasting sugar was 76.  I owe it mainly to two things.  MyFitnessPal and running.

Running especially has transformed me.  I’ve lost over 30 lbs.  I’m much fitter and happier with the way I look and feel.  When I first started out in March I couldn’t even run a quarter of a mile.  But a few days ago I ran my first 8 mile run.  I still can’t believe I actually ran 8 miles.  It shows my fitness is coming up.

For Christmas I finally got a proper pair of running shoes.   I went with ASICS because I’ve read a lot about them on Twitter and in Runners World magazine and they seem very popular.  I had my first run in them tonight.  A 4 mile run on the treadmill.  They certainly felt much more comfortable than the cheap pair of sneakers I’ve been running in up to now.  I will give my new running shoes their inaugural outdoor run tomorrow.  I have to run 5 miles to reach a new milestone (pun fully intended.)  This will be the first time I hit 50 miles in a single month.  That 8 mile run certainly helped.

It’s also a nice feeling to know I’ve inspired my wife, Christine, on her own journey to health.  She has lost 22 lbs since July and gone down 3 pant sizes.  She is also a demon at the gym.  She’s stronger than she used to be and loves to lift weights.  She’s giving me a run for my money!  Her blood pressure numbers are coming down.  When you have someone who’s on the same journey it makes a huge difference.  We encourage each other.  We push each other when one of us doesn’t feel in the mood to exercise.

So it’s goodbye to 2015 and hello 2016.  I have so many running goals to hit next year.  To keep increasing my distances.  To finally run my first official race.  Maybe to answer the question that keeps lurking at the back of my mind:  Can I really run a marathon?  I have my Twitter followers to thank for that.  I’m following so many people who have run marathons and the way they talk about it makes me want to do it!  It probably won’t happen next year.  Maybe 2017.  Who knows?

Whatever I decide I will be sharing on this blog.  So, again, thank you for following my journey and I look forward to sharing more.

See you all next year!

Dave

Merry Christmas

I would like to wish all my followers who celebrate it, a very merry Christmas.  It has been fun sharing my health journey through this amazing year.  Thank you to all of you who read my posts.  I’m looking forward to sharing even more success in 2016 as I’m going to be ramping up my running.

I’d also like to share something I just posted on Facebook as it seems relevant to the time of year and I know a lot of people are missing loved ones at Christmas…

Christmas is always a bittersweet time of year. It has always been my favourite holiday. But it’s also tinged with sadness. Each year I remember fondly Christmases spent with my mum and dad. I still miss them both. I miss mum’s baking and her Christmas dinner. She made the best mince pies I’ve ever tasted. I’ve never seen mince pies even remotely like them. I’d give anything to be able to go back and experience one more Christmas with them both. But life doesn’t work like that, sadly. I know they’re with me and I will always have the best memories.

I know Chris misses her stepdad, Don, and her grandma, Rose. Time passes and life moves on but you never forget the people who matter most to you, your family. So While we’re wishing everyone a merry Christmas we’d like you to join us in raising a glass to those we’ve loved and lost along the way.

My Fastest And My Longest Runs

I had a pretty good weekend from a running point of view.  Saturday I went for what has become my standard 4 mile run.  My speed is definitely picking up as I ran the first 2 miles at a 9 minute mile pace.  The last two miles were 10 minute mile pace.  So my total run time was just 38 minutes.  Considering I used to take 48 to 50 minutes to run this same distance, that was pretty fast.

Sunday my wife came with me to the same park.  It was meant to be another 4 mile run.  She dropped me off at the entrance and I ran the two miles to my halfway point.  She parked halfway up and then walked up to where I turn around.  I then planned to run back down to the entrance, then walk back up to meet up with her again.  But as I approached the entrance I knew I still had something left in the tank.  I knew I could keep going.  I took a breath for five minutes then turned round and ran back up the course.  I planned to run just one more mile and meet her where she’d parked.  But as the car came into view I wasn’t ready to stop.  So I ran the full two miles again then turned round and ran back 2015-06-28 12.04.47another half mile.  By now I was feeling twinges in my left knee so decided to leave it at 6.5.  The last thing i want now is an injury.  Especially with the holidays fast approaching.  I need to keep running so I  can burn off the extra calories!  So the day after my fastest run I go on my longest run.  I ran 10.5 miles in total.  My legs were pretty stiff after yesterday’s run, but a long soak in the bath sorted that out.  They feel good today.  I may get to the gym later.  If I do I’ll run another 2 or 3 miles on the treadmill.  Or not.

The other great thing about the weekend is the weather was amazing!  Mid 60’s temp on both days.  I was able to run in shorts and a t-shirt in mid December!  I could get used to that sort of winter weather.  Of course, it won’t last.  I have no doubt the cold and snow will be here before we know it.  But it’s good to know I took full advantage of the good weather while it lasted.

MY Health Journey – One Year And Counting

It’s hard to believe that it was a year ago this month I received the final kick up the butt I needed to make healthy changes to my life.  Last December my A1C was 7.2 and the doctor wanted to put me on a second medication to control my diabetes.  As I had already been on Metformin since August 2008, I did not want to take more drugs.  Especially when research showed that drug was strongly linked with causing liver damage.  That was when I knew I had to change my habits.

Fast forward to March 2015 when the weather finally thawed after the frigid winter from hell.  I started walking every day, then began incorporating running into my new regime.  The running built slowly, but now it’s an integral part of my weekly routine.  I try to run at least 3 times a week.  Last month my A1C was 5.5 and I’ve been off Metformin since April.  I still test my fasting sugar almost every day and it’s averaging in the 70’s and 80’s.

My cataract surgery has slowed up my fitness routine as I’m not allowed to lift anything over 20 lbs for two weeks after surgery.  Next Wednesday will be the two week point after my second surgery so I’m planning to go to the gym and begin to lift weights again.  I can’t wait!  (Play on words fully intended!)

It’s always the way.  When you know you can’t do something you want to do it more!  I hadn’t realized how much I’ve come to enjoy lifting weights, but I really miss it.  It makes me push the cardio more.

I lost another pound today.  I’m now 30 lbs lighter than I was when I started this journey in March.  I just want to lose another 5 lbs and really firm up what’s left.  My fitness lifestyle is so ingrained into who I am now that I really miss it when I can’t do any one part of it.  I just wish I’d started this 20 years ago when I started to gain weight.  I can’t change the past.  All I can change is what I do today.  And how I affect tomorrow.  Fitness and health are part of what defines me today.  I know I will never go back to who I was.

Seeing In HD

fire in the skyI decided to share something that I went through recently.  I just had cataract surgery on both eyes.  My right eye three weeks ago and my left eye yesterday.  I keep hearing that at 47 I’m fairly young to need this surgery.  I guess my diabetes has been the main cause, even though it’s under control.  My sugar was high for years before I got it under control.  And that takes a toll.

My right eye was the worst affected.  I think I was about 80 % blind in that eye by the time I had surgery.  When I covered my left eye I could barely see any details.  When I looked at someone’s face with just that one eye all I saw was pretty much an egg.  I saw the oval outline of a face, but I couldn’t see the details; the eyes, the nose, the mouth.  Think about what you see in a car on a humid rainy day when the windshield is all fogged up and all you can see is the vague shape of a car ahead of you.  That’s what I saw through my right eye.  It seemed to affect me really suddenly, deteriorating in just a few months.  The left eye wasn’t nearly as bad, though I had a cataract in that one too.  Things got so bad I had to use reading glasses and a magnifying glass to read a book.

I’ve always had a severe phobia of anyone doing anything to my eyes.  I won’t even wear contact lenses for that reason.  So I dreaded the first surgery, despite being assured it was safe and one of the most common surgeries.  I had to be at the out patient hospital at 6 15 in the morning.  Which was good, because at least I didn’t have it hanging over my head all day.  The worst part of it was the eye drops.  Before you go in for the procedure they give you six eye drops in quick succession.  Then after five minutes another round of the six eye drops and after another five minute break yet another round.  I’ve always hated getting eye drops and the last one of each set stings and burns.  The procedure itself was a breeze after that.  I definitely have no regrets at my decision to have this done.  Though I pretty much didn’t have a real choice.  The surgery happened on a Wednesday morning.  But it wasn’t until the following Sunday that I really appreciated the difference.  I had noticed I was able to sit at the computer and watch television without needing to wear glasses.  But that Sunday morning I went out for my first run since the op.  It was amazing.  As I walked to the park I usually run in, I looked around me and was amazed at how sharp and clear everything was.  And the colors!  The sky was such a vivid shade of blue.  The color of the leaves in the trees.  The detail!  It was as if I’d switched from an analog television to watching in HD!  That whole run was the most amazing experience and I couldn’t help looking around in wonder.   And this was with just ONE good eye!

So I didn’t dread my second procedure yesterday.  I dreaded those bloody eye drops!  They were just as bad as I remembered.  The procedure itself didn’t really worry me.  It’s fast.  It’s simple.  And it’s painless.  For anyone who is thinking of having surgery to remove cataracts I say go for it.  You won’t believe the difference.

I plan to go for my first run since my second procedure on Saturday.  I’m looking forward to that run.  Now I’ll have HD vision in BOTH eyes!