Thursday, May 9, 2013

Barnes @ Work (May Update - 31 LBS and counting)

I started this journey on January 3. Here I am on May 9. Four months into this transformation and this is where I stand. A weight I haven't purposely seen in over a decade.

I'm currently 180 lbs. I started at 211 lbs. 31 lbs shed in four months. A state of mind renewed. Looking slimmer in pictures than I think I have since high school. I can't believe it!

Let me say that again. THIRTY-ONE POUNDS LOST. I went from averaging 14-17 mins a mile in January to 13-14 mins/per mile when I started running at the beach in February to now averaging 11-12 mins.

I got to reconnect with Cleveland Cavaliers coach (and fellow USD alum) Mike Brown last month, who I first met in 2010. But I'm just amazed how slim I look in this photo.
April was such a good month for me. I forced myself to run further and push harder than I thought I could do. I went from running 5 miles one week to chasing six the next. Last week, I ended April and started May running 6 miles, 3 days a week.

I'm now running from the beginning of Redondo Beach to the beginning of Hermosa Beach. It blew my mind that it's a 3-mile run and when I hit the Hermosa border, I almost get giddy and want to keep going even further because I can't believe I've run into another city.

This is the Strand in Hermosa Beach. This is where my runs end - 3 miles and change from where I started in Redondo (Taken from Wikipedia)

One day particularly symbolized my new thirst. I had finished running 5.98 miles and I knew the next day I could run 6. So I kept running non-stop on my usual path and when I was finishing up, knowing I was close to 6 miles, I ran up one walkway and back down. Then I ran it up again and ran down another walkway before I finished. I didn't just want 6 miles, I wanted to run 10 kilometers.

That right there shows how dedicated I am. I didn't care about passing 6 miles for the first time, I was more happy that I ran the equivalent of a 10K nonstop for the first time. I stopped, sat on the sand and just prayed for how far I've come. Staring at the ocean, I was in disbelief that I accomplished maybe my biggest goal so far.

My playlist has also challenged me as well. During my runs, I've been doing what I call the "Movement" minute. Whenever LCD Soundsystem's "Movement" comes on, I let it build up and then run it out full speed during the final minute or so when the beat picks up. It helps for me for changing pace as well as slowing down to resume my pace.***

So what's next? Well besides surprising my sister when I see her this weekend in Atlanta, I'm going to keep on going. My target weight goal was 175-180 lbs so I want to get to 175 or lower. One of my friends has challenged me to see who can lose the most weight by the end of the month so that's extra push to keep up the pace.

I'm also planning on mixing in speed runs instead of just distance. I've heard someone say that running faster in short distances can help burn as much as running long distance so I'm trying that out. I'm also going to start running on the sand more and as my legs are feeling right now, running 1.2 miles is a lot of work but it'll help me with speed for when I start hooping again.

I also want to run 6.55 miles nonstop. That's a quarter-marathon and while I've passed it twice, I want to be able to get there without stopping. Speaking of races, I might still consider running a 5 or 10K this summer just to prove to myself what I've done.

Seven Mile Island is in sight for May. I've enjoyed my 6 Mile Island/10K Paradise Runs so it's time to expand that.  Who knows, I might look into doing more full Crossfit routines. My girlfriend has slimmed down as well doing those workouts so it might be a summer thing we do together, in addition to more hikes.

This song describes my mindstate since I started. I'm chasing a higher level and feeling higher than I've felt before.

Honestly, this journey has taught me so much. Discipline obviously but the idea of running your own race most of all. You can't always try to outrun or outdo folks, but you have to just concern yourself with finishing strong. Do your best and compete with yourself most of all. Challenge yourself to reach those goals and let others around encourage you to keep going.

Just like in life, you can't compare what you do to others. My man Tyler has lost 40+ pounds doing yoga and instead of feeling like I'm not on his level, I'm proud of him and I'm encouraged to keep on my journey. Same with success - don't be jealous or discouraged by others but continue your work and you know it's coming soon on your end.

I look forward to what May holds. Thank you for the well wishes and encouragement.

***I actually do the same thing at the end of "Angel of Death" by Slayer. When those guitar solos start, I just run with fury. It's even better when I'm near fatigue and it pumps me up to just dig deep.

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