Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Three Rivers Water Trail, 12 mile run, family, and everything in between

What a weekend.  Sometimes you plan a trip and you can't wait for it.  This was one of them.  Since my grandparents decided to move back to their hometown, Lori and I knew we needed to visit them this fall so they could meet their newest great grand kid.  Anybody that knows me knows that my Pap is my idol.  Him and my dad are the two most influential people in my life.  So we decided to pack up and drive to Pittsburgh, spend time with my cousins and grandparents, and give my wife and Tim a tour of where I spent most my summers.  So much went on this weekend so I will go from the boring parts to the amazing parts.


I had my last weekend of training for my half this weekend.  It was pretty stressful to figure out where I was going to get 12 miles in a place I am not familiar with for running.  I do know Pittsburgh is very hilly.  So i kept Google-ing places to run.  My cousin recommended me run nearby his place on an extended shoulder.  I said, "hell no".  I found a rail-to-trail in Pittsburgh.  I was a little nervous because I didn't know the area real well but it was somewhat flat (on the river bank).  So I went with it.  I wrote down my start point, the bridges I was crossing, and key places so Lori knew where I was.  I got there right as the sun came up.  It was beautiful looking at the city skyline as the sun came it.  The course i went was amazing.  If you are ever in Pittsburgh and want to go for a bike ride or a run.  Check out the 3 Rivers Trail.  It was fantastic.  It even had a pedestrian bridge across the Monongahela (which as a pedestrian planner makes me smile.  It can be done folks).  I got my 12 mile run in and it was awesome.  It was a bit hillier then I am use to but I lived.  My calves are mad at me but I am fine.  Well worth the 20 minute drive.  It was a great way to see Pittsburgh too.  Completely different than driving.  It is one of my favorite cities too.

The Rest

The weekend was so much fun.  I got to see my brother +Scott Lambert, my mom +Debbie Lambert , my cousins and grandparents.  I am so thankful for my amazing family and that my grandparents got to meet Avery.  I got to show +Lori Lambert  and Tim where my grandparents use to live, where my Pap grew up and where I spent a ton of time in my childhood.  Even though it was only 3 days it was well worth it.  Just having my brother come in too from Pittsburgh was great.  I actually got to see him Twice in the past few months.  Avery had a blast spending time with her extended family.  I sometimes get jealous because to visit all of Lori's family, I just have to walk next door.  For mine, we have to drive 8 hours.  Anyways.  Great weekend.  Amazing family.  

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Two Year Anniversary

My life has changed so much since I moved south.  Sometimes I think about how my life was and is and I am just blown away.  5 years ago I would of never thought I was a husband, a parent, and an employee of one of the biggest city's in Virginia.  Sometimes, you hear about people in the past and go, "wow, glad i don't talk to them".  This week that happened to me.  Which is kind of funny because on the eve of my wedding, this said person was emailing me about a damn shot glass.  Anyways........as I digress.  I remember leaving Michigan and saying, "What the hell am I doing?".  I didn't have a future, all I had was a U-haul with a bunch of crap.  I still have a lot of that crap but now  it means something.  I remember three Halloweens ago I was having a blast, being single, and just enjoying a friends of a friends party.  I never thought in my wildest dreams that I would of met the woman of my dreams.  But I did.  It's funny too because in all my years, all the parties, all the friends I had who were female, this is the only person I truly chased.  Maybe it was because she was beautiful.  Maybe it was just because she was funny and just had a lot going for her.  If you were to look on paper, we would of never been a match.  Here it is in a nut shell.

Divorced, older, single parent, elementary age son, works night, Southern, loves country music

SINGLE, younger, scared of kids, Damn Yankee, From the City, Loves Hip Hop

But we met, fell in love within months.  We had to plan our wedding before we had even dated a year.  But a few things happened.  I fell in love with her, loved being around her son, and enjoyed her lifestyle.  I enjoyed meeting her extended family on our first date.  

Two years ago, I got to throw the funnest party I have ever been to and it was my wedding.  We had an awesome site; outdoors, only a few miles away from our house, in beautiful Pungo.  We had an amazing DJ.  We had an eclectic group of family and friends.  I had some non drinkers, from friends from Michigan and close family.  Lori had half of Pungo there.  The party was awesome.  My best friend didn't even leave until midnight.  The best part was that I had the hottest date there, my beautiful wife, +Lori Lambert .  She looked drop dead gorgeous and still does to this day.  

Two years has past.  We have a bigger family.  We have baby Avery in our lives now.  We have a great group of friends and family.  I couldn't be any happier.  Lori and I have had our trials and tribulations before we met each other but sometimes fate just hits in you in the face.  We have both had heartache and pain.  But the difference now is we will have each other to lean on during those times.  

It might be only two years but it has been the best two years of my life.  Marriage, new job, weight loss, new baby and let's not forget, Lori has been going to school during this whole time.  But one thing hasn't changed.  Just like two years ago when I saw her for the first time in her wedding dress, I am still madly in love with her.

Happy Anniversary Lori. 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Weight Watchers: A Year in Review

Last summer I decided I wanted to change my lifestyle.  I never thought I would be where I would be today though.  But I knew I wanted to be a healthier dad and husband.  I didn't want to be the biggest guy in the room.  Which I still am but definitely smaller.    I also didn't want to be like my family.  I wanted to live an active lifestyle and be able to do things I really want to do.  I decided I was going to join Weight Watchers again.  This was going to be my third attempt.  The first time went alright but I quit a few months in.  I remember I went from 290 pounds to 270 o somewhere around that.  Then I tried again a year or so later when I wasn't really ready emotionally or physically due to my life and all the things going on.  I do remember I weighed in over 300 pounds.  It was the first time I acknowledged that.  I was really embarrassed and disappointed.  I didn't last long in the program (I remember my mom breaking down and telling me my dad was cheating on her right before one meeting).

I remember talking to my wife last summer and telling her that after the summer was over, I was fully going into Weight Watchers.  I found the local site and meetings and decided to go.  September 18, 2013 was my first meeting.  I weighed in at a whopping 330 pounds.    Way more than I thought and way more than everybody around me thought.  But that number scared the shit out of me.  I had just found out my wife was pregnant and there I was, clinically extremely obese and about to be a father to a newborn.  I couldn't be that.  So I stuck to it.  I had assistance from my wonderful wife +Lori Lambert .  We transitioned easily to making healthier dinners, helping me not look for bad snacks and organizing our fridge and cupboards better.  I never thought I would make a year, but I never thought I would be that fat.

Here is me right before I signed up.  Lori had this picture while we were looking back and it doesn't even look like me.

I took one week at a time, one pound at a time.  I concentrated on just eating better.  It was tough in the start.  I don't recommend starting to diet right before Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years but I did it.  I made adjustments on the fly.  We tried different meals.  I learned what I needed to make me happy and full in the morning.  I learned how important fruits and veggies were.  I learned that eating better doesn't always make you not be able to enjoy the good things like beer, ice cream and pizza.  But you do need moderation.  You do need to pick your poison.  

This past year has been so much fun.  I remember my first 25 pounds, my 10%, my 50 pound, my 75 pound.  I am now actually having the conversation about making lifetime goal weight.  In one year I lost over 82 pounds.  I basically lost a quarter of myself.  But I like to think I basically lost all the beer and food I ate from high school until now.  I am officially ate my high school weight.  Which is crazy and great at the same time.  Oh yeah, in the last year, we also had our beautiful daughter, Avery.  Which by itself is pretty awesome.

I couldn't have done it without my wife +Lori Lambert  and our two wonderful kids.  Without them I wouldn't of been motivated to do this.  I still have work to do but I am much better than a year ago.  I am just one of the great stories of people who have done Weight Watchers.  I hope I can keep it up and keep doing what I am doing.  

In a year I went from not being able to run a mile to training for a half marathon.  I went from running 13 minute miles to running my average of ten years ago of 10 minute miles.  I have run numerous races and have scheduled more.  I am more confident.  Most importantly, I am so much happier.  I am also much more energetic.  I love it.  I need it with a 4 month old.

So, one day, when you read this Avery, I am doing this for you and me.  So I can play with you when your crawling, when you running around our yard, when your playing spots or dancing or cheer leading.  I am doing this for you, your big brother and your mom.  Because I want to live long and enjoy my life with you all.

Thank you all for the support and love.  I look forward to my second year in Weight Watchers (AA for fatties).

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Freedom Run 9.11 Mile 9-13-14

I didn't really know what to expect for this race since it was the first I have ever done with Mettle Events.  I was impressed with the Dismal Swamp Canal Trail. It's nice to see work I am doing happen in real life.  The race was for a good cause.

But overall it was okay.  The sign up website sucked.  Didn't tell which park entrance to go to, especially for locals who don't go to the Swamp often. I heard all this while waiting for the bathroom.  They also didn't have it mapped out to see where the water stations are.  Which is annoying when you are training for a race and want to practice spreading your water breaks.  I loved the distance.  It was perfect for a practice race for a half.  Other than that it is nothing to brag about. I know it is about a fundraiser but for $50 it isn't really worth it. The medal was cheesy and I can say since I was 55 out of half of the runners, when I finished, it was a dead zone.  Nobody cheering, nobody watching.  I felt bad for the back half of people who weren't close to finishing.

I expected more I guess but I also have expectations of an enjoyable race for $50.  Will I do it again?  Yes.  Good cause, good distance.

Friday, September 12, 2014

September 2009

September is kind of a big month for me.  If there were two months that stand out as influential moments in my life, September is one of them.  January is the other.  But the reason September stands out is I had some really big moments in my life; moved across country, married my love of my life +Lori Lambert , and started my weight loss journey with +Weight Watchers last year.  So I will probably talk about each one of these individually because they mean so much to me.  But the first and most important one I will write about this morning.  Without this crazy event in my life, none of the other great things in my life would of happened.

2009 was a crazy year for me.  My life changed dramatically.  My parents divorced after 32 years, the economy fell apart (In Michigan it was effected extremely at the time), and I had no plans of what I was going to do after I finished LISC- AmeriCorps (Happy 20th Anniversary today by the way).  The whole year was pretty painful for me.  I didn't which side was up or down.  I knew I had to find a job outside the state so i decided on Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina.  I applied for a bunch of jobs.  I had two different jobs call me for interviews.  The first one that called, I booked a flight and went down.  I didn't know what I was doing, where I was going, or where I really was.  I flew to Raleigh and drove this endless drive to Hertford (Which I thought was the end of the world).  I got hired and had to start in September.

My last month in Michigan was difficult.  I was living in my parents house while they were trying to sell it.  The Realtor was a complete Bitch and both my parents were fighting over why the house wouldn't sell (It was clearly the economy).  I was blamed for a dirty house and would get calls from both my parents since they couldn't communicate CLEARLY.  If you ever want to be in the worst position you could for your family, go live with your parents while they are divorcing.  It only made me stronger though.  I also knew that September would be rolling around and I would have to leave my childhood home forever, my friends, my hometown and all the great memories I had.  I also realized i was going to be moving 14 hours away from everything I knew.  I also was letting go of the last good memories I had of my family complete (I always thought it was so hard to leave, especially leaving my big brother since he had a young daughter without any of his family around).  It's probably one of the weirdest things to ever do being the last person to say good bye to your house.  It was really eerie walking the rooms remembering when we first looked at the house when I was 13 and picking the bedroom in the basement.  That house I had a lot of firsts.  More then I can even share publicly.  But most of all I grew up in that house.  I had my graduation parties (HS to Grad School), prom, homecoming, first GF, everything).

Another tough part in life is knowing when things change and seeing who is there to help.  I learned real quick who were my real friends and family were.  Nobody in my family helped me move.  It was pretty disappointing since I was always there for my family to help them.  But at least I had some really good friends who helped me pack dishes, the u-haul, my car, everything.  I literally packed everything I had which included snow skis, shit my parents left behind and all kinds of things.  I also had some really good friends to enjoy my last week of life in Michigan.  I got to go to one more Tigers game, enjoyed my last night out with friends, and I spent some time with my brother and niece.

Nobody can ever understand what it is really like to drop everything you know for something completely foreign without any assistance or support.  I remember the morning I left and it was really terrible.  I remember one of my close friends, +Nicole Klepadlo made me a CD full of Ryan Adams.  I loved the CD but it was terribly depressing for my drive out of the D.  LOL.  It was so sad leaving my hometown, pulling out of my subdivision, driving past my high school, the D, and crossing the border to Ohio.  Nobody can really tell you how that is and I don't know if I am even verbalizing how had it was.  But it was.  But I had nothing left in Michigan.  I only had a clean slate for my future.  I had a job that I wanted really bad (Best thing you can have) and I had nothing to stop me from starting a new life.

Now, I can probably spend about twenty hours typing up the whole story from that day until now but it is really pointless.  I had a lot of down days, wanting to just pack up and go back home but thee was a day where my life completely changed.  When I began to make friends, enjoy where I lived, adventuring the region, and beginning a new life.  If I could recommend anything to any young adult, it is to move far away from your original surroundings.  You can come back but the emotional and mental strength you get that from that makes you unbeatable.  It's funny because the first 2 years of my life down here felt like an eternity but when something great happens life moves so fast.  

So today I am very thankful for what I have now.  Without moving 5 years ago to North Carolina I wouldn't have any of the great things I have below.  I wouldn't be married my to love of my life, I wouldn't have two amazing kids, an amazing family, an amazing home, and amazing friends.  5 years ago in September I left Michigan alone, no family, no friends, no home and now I have all those things again.  Without the help from my mom, +Debbie Lambert , and all the great friends I had in Michigan who did support me, I wouldn't be here.  The people who supported me during 2009 don't know how thankful I am.  I wouldn't have anything I have now without them.

So today, this post is really about thanking all the great people you have.  Thank you!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Half Marathon Training Stats

So I reading another blog today and was reading about their training was going.  She posted a bunch a stats that I thought was a really cool idea.  So here goes my version. (PS - I ran 10 miles on Sunday and it went great).  My training started in May (2014).  May 17 exactly.

Total Distance: 252 Miles
Average Weekly Mileage Total: 15.4
Total # of Runs: 61
Average Distance: 4 Miles
Total Calories Burned:  I don't know but my RunKeeper App says I burned over 16,000 in August.
Longest Run: 11 Miles so far (Have a 12 miler coming up)
Shortest Run: 1.75.  Have to start some where.
# of races: 2 (8k and 5k..... I also have a 9.11 mile race this weekend and a 8K the weekend before the race).
Favorite Run:  Just being about to run over ten miles.  It was also pretty awesome to run to the beach.  Great view.

Total Weight Loss Doing Weight Watchers and Training: 24.2

Note: My Daughter is up to 13.5 pounds.  She is the reason I am doing this.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Count Down: 32 days til the Crawling Crab Half Marathon

Man, it is getting closer and closer.  Starting to get a little nervous.  I have been working my ass off for this race.  I have ran over 220 miles for this race.  I have spent a ton of hours away from m wife and kids to train.  I have done his all so I can be healthier.  So I can be a better dad.  A better husband.  Be able to live longer.  It's funny when you look at life and people and typically speaking, except for the outliers, most people who are active live longer.  That is what i want to be.  I don't want to be stuck in a wheel chair because I am too fat o old when I am retired.  I want to be able to walk the beach with my wife when we are old.  I want to be able to be active with my grand kids and maybe great grand kids.

Anyways, I am only a month away from the race.  Pretty scary.  I think every week I get a new pain or injury that makes me worried.  I just need to keep pushing and remind myself that unless I can't push forward that i am fine.  My foot is healing up.  I guess a few days in flip flops and flat running has helped.  Maybe it was hurting due to the fact that all my roads around my house are curved due to the ditches.  It would make sense since it is on the outside of the foot.  I ran my longest run yesterday..... EVER!!!  I am glad my wife +Lori Lambert didn't allow me to run the RnR race here in Virginia Beach.  It was the toughest run I ever had.  Partly because the weather was so cool the past month that I haven't really been training in 80s and 80% humidity.  But when the run was over, I was really dehydrated.  First time I have probably felt that since High School Football.  it took me a long time to get going home from the park.  I didn't pee until like 4 PM.  Which I finished my run at 9:30 AM.  I ran pretty good.  The first  miles I was averaging a 10:40 pace.  The last 4 miles I probably averaged 12:30 minute miles.  I had basically a sip of water left for each mile and I was dripping a ton of sweat off of me.  I felt like I was cooking.  I can only imagine what it was like at the race on Sunday with 10k people.  I would of died.  But I finished with a 11:08 average which is still amazing.  My goal is 12:00 minute miles.

I had a blast running down in Hatteras. I love that island.  I miss being able to go to the OBX like I use to with my old job.  It was a great perk.  Don't miss the travel.  The family had a great time this weekend spending it with our friends at a beach house.  last year we stayed the whole week but this year we couldn't because of time off.  It was relaxing but was difficult with Avery.  newborns do not like really hot temperatures.  But we made the best of it.  her limit was like 82 degrees.  She was great on Friday but was grumpy Saturday.  No big deal.  I still love her to death.

Weight Watchers has been doing good.  I went over my extra points last week due to vacation but I also earned 96 activity points.  I told myself it is alright.  I did good when we went to Myrtle Beach even though I used all my points.  It has been pretty difficult for me the past 4 weeks because I went from 57 points a day to 52.  My app didn't update my daily points for some reason and I was using the same.  It is probably the reasons I was only losing a half a pound a week and the reason I have loss a bunch since.  I missed this weekends weigh-in so I will find out how much I weigh this weekend.  

I am doing good this week.  So there is that.