2012 Run Around the Square 5K: Personal Course Record!


I ran the Run Around the Square 5K today. My training has been going well, I’ve been losing weight, and I’ve felt really good lately, so I’d hoped for a personal 5K record. Unfortunately, the temperature was about ten degrees warmer than I’d hoped, the humidity was high, and the ozone level prompted an orange air quality action day alert. Consequently, I didn’t manage to beat or match my 5K record of 25:12.

However, there is good news. My 25:42 finishing time was good enough to beat my personal course record by sixteen seconds!

Even more good news can be found in the context of my previous course record. That 25:58 finish happened in 2008. That was also the year I ran my 10K PR at the Great Race, finishing in 50:49. That means I have a very good chance of beating my 10K PR this year!

Great Race, here I come! 🙂

Pounds = Minutes


I’ve determined that there’s a fairly linear relationship between my weight and my finishing time for any given distance.

10K Time (minutes) = .538 * Weight (pounds) – 39.573

My 10 K PR is 50.82 minutes, so my target weight to hit 50 (± 1) minutes is 166.5 (± 0.9) pounds (I was actually just under 172 lbs at the time, so I over-performed.). I’ve been trying to lose 1/2 lb per week since late January. So far I’m well ahead of schedule, but I’m sticking with the planned rate and not trying to force continued “excess” loss. Since I’m about 173.5 right now, that means I’m shooting for 167 on the day of the Great Race, 09/30.

Being the nerd I am, I also did a regression with both weight and distance predicting minutes/mile pace.

Pace (minutes/mile) = .142 * Distance (miles) + .063 * Weight (pounds) – 2.942

For a 10K race (6.2 miles) and a weight of 175, the prediction is 8.96 minutes/mile. I ran 8.63 minutes/mile on Sunday.

Hold On To Your Butts…


​[This post was originally a post at the Nerd Fitness forums.]

“Hold on to your butts…”

Man, I love that line from Jurassic Park. What can’t Samuel L. Jackson make cool? Oh yeah, the prequels. Damn.


Why am I here?

I’m here because I’m a stressed out grad student and father of 3, and I’m just a couple months shy of 35, overweight, frustrated, somewhat desperate, and in need of a cheering section.

Let me explain. No, there is to much. Let me sum up.

I’m 5’8″ and I’ve been actively trying to lose weight (to varying levels of commitment and degrees of success) since I peaked at 205lbs in early 2003. I was as low as 170 in 2008, but no matter how hard I’ve tried, my weight keeps coming back to the 185-190 range. I’m sick and tired of it. I want to be 150 lbs by the time I finish my PhD in August 2013.

How did I get this way? Well, it’s a long story…


And Miles To Go Before I Sleep


​[This post was originally a post on the DadLabs forums]

I recently embarked on a long-term weight loss journey. My point of departure was about 191lbs. The distant land is 150lbs, and I pledged to traverse the 41lb distance in 82 weeks (losing .5lb/week). 82 weeks is a long time, so I’ll be celebrating every 5lbs of net loss.

So far, so good. I’m slightly ahead of schedule, having lost 2lbs in 2 weeks. The app I’m using to track weight (Libra for Android) uses a moving average to indicate stable trends, and it expects me to hit 185lbs mid-April. It’s a little depressing to think of 185lbs as a loss, but I’ll take what I can get.

After that, I hope to hit 180 by Independence Day.

175lbs will hopefully be close Labor Day.

God-willing, I’ll face the gluttony of Thanksgiving at 170lbs.

I’d like to see a smaller shadow on Groundhog Day 2013, weighing in at 165lbs.

Some time between Easter and Tax Day 2013, I’ll be looking like a sophomore in college, weighing 160lbs.

A couple weeks before Independence Day 2013, I should be 155lbs.

As September 2013, 18 years after I left for college at the age of 18 as a scrawny weakling weighing 140lbs, I should be a toned 150lbs.

It’s going to be long, hard road, and I know there’ll be setbacks, but I’m determined to succeed. I need all the help and support I can get, so any you can offer will be appreciated. 🙂

Marathon Training Phase I: Endurance


Pursuant to my marathon training plan, here’s my training plan for 10/25/10 through 01/02/10:


29 Weeks and Counting


After a disastrous marathon in 2010, I’m determined to be better prepared for 2011. Despite having successfully completed two marathons, I’m swallowing my pride and following a 26-week beginner plan. I’m treating this year as though I’ve never run a marathon before. Since I have to run through holidays and the birth of my third child, I’m stretching the plan out to 29 weeks. Here’s the breakdown:


Squirrel Hill to Oakland Walking Group


I’m PhD student. I’m a father of two with a third on the way. I’m a busy guy. I’m also overweight.

I’m about 187 lbs now. I’d like to be around 175 lbs by the end of November and 165lbs by the middle of March. My running training isn’t going so well. My job (research) is sedentary. I feel like I’m going nowhere fast. I need some daily exertion that will boost both my metabolism and my spirits. So…

I’ve been thinking.

Misery loves company, right? Seriously, though, I’ve found that camaraderie is invaluable for self-improvement. It’s easier to stay on the wagon push yourself when your friends are trying to do the same thing along side you, challenging and encouraging you along the way.

What am I getting at?

Well, I’d like to start a group for folks walking to work or school. Specifically, I’m hoping there are folks in Squirrel Hill who commute to Oakland during the work week and who would be interested in walking together. Leaving work can be unpredictable, but most folks go into work at a fairly consistent time.

What I’m proposing is that we meet at a mutually convenient location in Squirrel Hill (e.g., Forbes Ave and Murray Ave.), walk a common route to Oakland, and peel off as we reach our destinations. Depending on the route taken, it’s a 30 min to 43 min walk, which is very reasonable. I don’t know about anyone else, but I’d be willing to walk in almost any weather (except possibly driving rain).

Who wants to join me? Leave a comment, email me if you have my address, or talk to me on Twitter. 🙂

Addendum: I’m aiming to leave Squirrel Hill around 8:30AM each morning. I might be able to swing 8:00 or 8:15, but it’d be a tight squeeze.

Update 09/29/10: I walked from Murray Ave and Pocusset St to Tennyson Ave and Fifth Ave this morning (through the park), and it took me close to an hour. A route through neighborhoods is somewhat shorter. Either way, I still want to do this. Will anyone join me?

You Bet Your Ass


You bet your ass!

As additional inspiration to enhance the DadLabs Weight Loss Challenge, I’ve created two fat bets – one short term and one long term. Don’t what FatBet is? Go check it out!

Misery loves company, and competition is a good motivator, so please join us. The more the merrier. 🙂

From Keg to Six Pack (ends 11/30/10): watch join

The Ides of March (ends 03/15/10): watch join

DadLabs Weight Loss Challenge


I’m sure most of the socially networked dads reading my blog (all three of you) are already family with DadLabs. If you’re no, go check them out!

Daddy Clay has decided (again) that he needs to lose some weight, and that misery loves company. Thus, he’s inviting folks to take part in the 2010-2011 DadLabs Weight Loss Challenge or FitFatFitFatFit v3.0.

“I recently returned from a summer vacation, spent beached like a walrus, munching giant hoagies and slurping beer as dark and thick as motor oil, to discover to my shock that I had put on a bit of weight. Actually, a huge amount of weight.

“In that I am not alone. Seems like articles about the obesification of America are everywhere these days. And there is something that we can do about it, right here in this office.

“It’s FitFatFitFatFit v3.0. I have challenged Brad and Troy (despite having lost two previous challenges). They have accepted. I also challenge any willing member of the community.

“So here is the deal: join the DadLabs Weight Loss Challenge or DadLabs BMI Bash or DadLabs Diet Discourse today. (First Order of Business: Come up with a catchy name.)

“Weigh in, calculate your BMI, that kind of stuff, and make note either publicly or privately. We will debate here the best way to calculate the winner and/or winners. Weigh in to establish your starting weight at any time of your choosing, but the Weigh Out will be Valentine’s Day 2011 (which corresponds with my goals for running my next competitive half-marathon).

“Huge prizes will be awarded is a variety of categories TBD (open to suggestions for categories here).”

I’m 20+ pounds heavier than I ought to be, so I’m definitely in. Besides, losing weight should help me run faster. 🙂

Join us. Misery loves company. 😉

Go to Top