Two races in one week

It’s been a long time since I have written on this blog so let’s get back to it with a small post.

EA Sports Riverside Dash 5k

I last ran a 5k in mid-November of last year and did so so. Actually, I was in pain for much of the run but I finished it. I then get sick and didn’t return to running until February. I registered for the EA Sports Riverside Dash 5k. This past Sunday in the very early morning I trekked up to Sanford and joined the throng of people milling around prior to the race. Now the Riverside Dash has both a 5k and 15k race but I’m not even quite up to the task of the 5k yet so the 15k is right out.

Photo Apr 12, 6 55 20 AM


I did alright in this race and finished with a time of 38:46.8. My tracking put this run at 3.17 miles and although the time isn’t my personal best I did complete the race and felt good about it. Here is the bling.


Photo Apr 14, 1 08 58 PM

IOA Corporate 5k

For my second race this week I did the IOA Corporate 5k. I have done this race 4 times so far and back in 2012 it was the first 5k I had ever participated in. Looking at my previous times I have improved nicely over the last three years but I’m still unable to jog a mile straight. Well, it rained quite a bit and there were approximately 18,000 people crowding the streets so I’m using that as the excuse for why I was slower on a Thursday evening than I was on the previous Sunday morning. There was no official timing but my self timing put me at 39:17. Here is the IBM runners.

The IBM Running team


Here is where I started in the racer’s starting queue.

Runners take your mark

And here’s the swag.


Comments off

The Rising 5k – Run through the past

So on Saturday 10/25/2014, I got up before the sunrise and dragged myself to downtown Oviedo to run a 5k. My car’s temperature gauge said it was 64F and I felt it. The runners gathered and about one quarter of them were wearing some sort of costume. Here’s a horrible pre-dawn selfie.

Photo Oct 25, 7 07 55 AM

After some stretching and announcements we were off.

My plan was to run 2 minutes and then recover (euphemism for walk) for 2 minutes but I only use this as a guide when running a race. After the first running interval I felt pretty good and I really wasn’t out of breath so I decided to push myself and run through my first recovery segment. At the end of that recovery segment I re-evaluated myself again and I was doing great so I ran my second running interval. So for the first 6 minutes of the race I ran which gave me a lot of confidence.

Fast forward to about 30 minutes into the race and I was struggling a little with my breathing but other than that I felt strong. I wanted to run for the last 4-5 minutes but my will power wasn’t there. when I was about a minute out (I saw the turn that led to the finish line) I kicked it into high gear and strode through the finish line.

My time is officially 35:00 and that is my personal best beating out my last record of 38:28 on 5/5/2012.

Here is the unofficial times that were posted.

Photo Oct 25, 8 22 15 AM

My obligatory shirt with bib photo.

Photo Oct 25, 9 28 18 AM

And these signs were all along the race route with little sayings taped on like “You like great!” and “You’re doing awesome!”

Photo Oct 25, 8 45 27 AM

Comments off

Health Kick Reloaded – End of 2013 update and review

At the beginning of October I decided that I needed to get into a routine with my exercise and make a habit out of it. Here is the first post related to this followed by the update. The process that I wanted to follow was to set one goal and keep with it until it became a pattern. Then once I felt comfortable I would add another goal. The first goal I wanted to obtain and stick with was walking (or running) at least 10,000 steps a day. As of yesterday (12/28/2013) I have missed my target only 12 days out of 88. I totaled almost 932k steps over those same 88 days which gives an average of over 10k steps per day. I’m pretty happy with how well I stuck with this goal.

In November, I decided to add a secondary goal of restarting the Couch to 5k program in order to add running to my goals. I choose to start from the beginning of the program and take my time advancing through the weeks as opposed to forcing myself to advance through the weeks. I wanted to make sure that I felt comfortable with the effort and my health before moving to the next week. I moved through the first three weeks on the regular schedule and I felt pretty good. My first workout for the fourth week went horrible. I decided that I would create my own “week” to go between week three and four of the program. Shortly after that I fell off the wagon on my running program so I’ll have to start it back up in the new year.

So what’s next? Well, I’m going to get back into running. Once I get that into a pattern then I’m going to look at getting my diet under control. I have a few ideas in this regards but if you have any input or suggestions then throw them in the comments.

Year in Review

1/10/2013 – The Color Run – 2.95 miles in 40:07 minutes

2/23/2013 – I was supposed to do a trail run/kayaking event but sprained my left ankle while removing my kayak from my truck. This put me out of action for a while although I could walk on it almost immediately. I think I caused some permanent damage as now it’s ten months later and I still have some discomfort in that ankle.

3/5/2013 – I got back to running a bit and it actually felt better after running than it did when walking.

4/6/2013 – GR8toDon8 5k – 3.2 miles in 42:57 minutes – I did all right but my right calf muscles were extremely tight and painful for the whole race. This really made it difficult to keep any sort of pace.

4/18/2013 – Corporate 5k – 3.21 miles in 43:10 minutes – I didn’t feel injured but I definitely did not feel good throughout this run. I don’t know if it was the lack of energy or not being hydrated enough but I just had to drive on will power alone.

5/11/2013 – Operation Giveback 5k – 3.1 miles in 42:30 minutes

May – October 2013 – I’m not certain why I didn’t exercise in a consistent manner but this helped inspire the Health Kick Reboot. I then went to England for a week and spent a ton of time walking around London and I knew that my body could handle it.

8/24/2013 – Runyak – 2.5k run – 5k paddle – 2.5k run – I don’t think I got the mileage correctly calculated but my time was 55:42 minutes. I was the last one to get into my boat. I caught up to and passed 5 or 6 others. Then I was the dead last person to cross the finish line. But at least I finished. I enjoyed this race but it showed me just how out of shape I am.

Comments off

Health kick reloaded – November update

So in my previous post I stated that I was going to go about changing my behaviors surrounding my health one change at a time. My first change was that I was going to do at least 10,000 steps each and every day. With the exception of one day I have kept up with that. Based on my fitbit, that works out to be 349,600 steps or 162.71 miles. Pretty awesome if I do say so myself. My eating habits haven’t changed nor have I lost any significant weight or inches but I feel like I’ve accomplished something by sticking with something for a whole month.

Now for my next challenge. I’m going to restart the Couch-to-5k program again from the start. Tonight was my first night and for not having run for a long while it was difficult. I was able to complete all of my intervals but it was definitely tough. It’ll be better the next time. Wish me luck!

Comments off

Health Kick Update April 2013

If you have been following my blog then you would know that I was on a health kick. As part of this self-imposed improvement program I have made sharing my progress (or lack of) public so that you, my family and friends, can assist in motivating me. I have done very poorly for the past six months and have over the past two months attempted to back into the swing of things.

Food Intake

I have been horrible over the past six months. I stopped tracking my food and I started to eat a lot more desserts and snacks and high caloric meals. This has affected my weight. This past week I tried to start not eating bread or other foods with large carbohydrate counts. That was until this weekend when I totally fell off the wagon again.


My weight has increased since October and I’m currently hovering around 230 lbs. That’s an extra thirteen pounds. This is definitely the wrong direction. My short term goal will be to drop to 225 by the end of April which will bring me back to where I was in January.


In December I decided that I needed more exercise (because I was basically at zero) and I started slowly by doing about three long walks or hikes per week. After the new year I decided to get back on doing the Cto5K program. It was definitely difficult to get back to jogging. As the weeks passed I noticed that I was progressing but at a slower pace than the program dictates. But progress is progress.

On February 23rd I was supposed to participate in a Run & Paddle event with a three mile off-road run followed by a three mile paddle in a local river. Well while I was getting my kayak off my truck I stepped down on a big piece of gravel and rolled my left ankle. I heard a pop. Yay! So anyway, I didn’t run that day but I was able to hobble around without crutches. This of course put me on the injury roster for about two weeks as I rested my ankle and learned to walk without limping.

I can jog on it now but it definitely is not back to normal. I would say that it’s about 90%. What little jogging form I had before seems gone now. But I’ll keep working on it until it is back to 100%.

I think I also need to find some other activities for the days that I’m traveling.


Here is a restatement of my goals and where I am on each

  • Reduce weight to 190lbs – I’m at 230 lbs now
  • Reduce waist size to 36 inches – currently 43.5 inches
  • Ability to do 100 pushups
  • Ability to complete a 5k run – I had completed week 4 of Cto5K but I’ve not been running lately


Comments off

Health Kick Update late August 2012

If you have been following my interests as of late then you would know that I am on a health kick. As part of this self-imposed improvement program I have made sharing my progress (or lack of) public so that you, my family and friends, can assist in motivating me.

I’m trying to climb back onto the wagon that I so thoroughly fell off of during the summer months. I have the ability and desire to concentrate more on my efforts to better my health so I’m rebooting my program

Food Intake

I started tracking my food intake again. I had fallen into some really bad habits of eating sugary and doughy items. Also, I was overeating at most meals. I have now made an effort to eat only cereal with milk for breakfast most days of the week and for lunch I typically make a sandwich. I have an apple or banana for a snack in the late afternoon. Dinner is typically eaten out even though I did make my own a couple of nights last week. I have also not eaten many potato products over the last two weeks.


My weight has not changed at all, other than small up and down fluctuations, but I think it will only take a little time before my body starts to metabolize my reserves.


I’ve made it my main goal to exercise almost every day. I play wallyball for a couple of hours twice a week, kickball for two to three hours once a week, and I’ve been taking long walks at night on the days that I don’t play a sport. I do leave one day a week without anything just so that I know my body gets a little rest.

I plan on starting my couch to 5k program again but it’s really difficult for me to run outside. Maybe someone has some suggestions for me.


Here is a restatement of my goals and where I am on each

  • Reduce weight to 190lbs – I’m at 224 lbs now
  • Reduce waist size to 36 inches – currently 43.5 inches
  • Ability to do 100 pushups
  • Ability to complete a 5k run – I had completed week 4 of Cto5K but I’ve not been running lately

Comments off

Health Kick Update August 2012

If you have been following my interests as of late then you would know that I am on a health kick. As part of this self-imposed improvement program I have made sharing my progress (or lack of) public so that you, my family and friends, can assist in motivating me.

The subtitle for this post is “How easy it is to fall off the wagon”.

Food Intake

I have stopped tracking my caloric intake. Oops! I haven’t been going crazy with the food that I have been eating but I haven’t exactly been careful either.


Luckily, when I have taken my weight over the last couple of months it has for the most part gone down. It is now hovering around 224 lbs.


I have been extremely inconsistent with my workout routine. In other words there has been no routine. I hiked a lot in Alaska and Western North Carolina but other than that I haven’t been inconsistently active.


Here is a restatement of my goals and where I am on each

  • Reduce weight to 190lbs – I’m at 224 lbs now
  • Reduce waist size to 36 inches – currently 43.5 inches
  • Ability to do 100 pushups
  • Ability to complete a 5k run – I had completed week 4 of Cto5K but I’ve not been running lately

Comments off

Health Kick Update April 2012

If you have been following my interests as of late then you would know that I am on a health kick. As part of this self-imposed improvement program I have made sharing my progress (or lack of) public so that you, my family and friends, can assist in motivating me.

Food Intake

I continue to log all of the foods that I eat. I still have been eating way too much junk but I know how much junk I consume. I have switched from logging my food using the fitbit site and app to using Loseit connects up to the Fitbit site so I get the same benefits of having my calorie intake and expenditure together. I currently have a 2642 calories per day goal which I would say that I stay under about half the time. Which sadly means that the other half of the time I am over my limit. I have not really started eating better but I have noticed that I am eating more salads. My weakness has been ice cream such as Jeremiah’s Italian Ice. I also haven’t given up on french fries or other potato based foods.


I continue to weigh myself every morning with my withings scale when I am home and I am still fluctuating between 225 and 230 (most recently hovering around 227). I’m not happy with these results, or better yet lack of results. I’ve not had the will power or drive to improve as much as is needed.


Since my last update I have some good news and some bad news so I’ll start with the bad news. I had injured my elbow (I think I bruised it) while playing wallyballand it forced me to stop progressing on my pushup goal. This was at the beginning of the year and I have yet to get back into doing pushups. I think I’ll start over on the program starting this week.

The good news is that I signed up to run a 5K in mid-April. Since the time I signed up until present I’ve been attempting to train for the run using the Couch to 5K(Cto5K) program. After trying out a handful of iPhone apps I finally found one, iSmoothRun, which allows me to set up interval training to fit my needs. It also tracks my run via GPS when outside or accelerometer when on a treadmill.

My progress on the Cto5K program has not been without it’s issues. I seem to have a lot better workout when I’m on a treadmill than when I’m running outside. Also, I have all sorts of brick walls that I have hit. During week two of the program I pulled muscles in both of my calves which too me out of running for about a week. Then in week four I tweaked my back which again took me out for about a week. I had about a week at which point I finished week four but then I developed a cough that took me out for another week. And that’s where I sit now. So I’m going to start up again this week which will begin week five. If all goes well then I’ll be able to finish week five and some of week six before the race. I should start looking into more races.


Here is a restatement of my goals and where I am on each

  • Reduce weight to 190lbs – I’m at 227lbs now
  • Reduce waist size to 36 inches – currently 43.5 inches
  • Ability to do 100 pushups
  • Ability to complete a 5k run – I have completed week 4 of Cto5K

Comments off

Health Kick Update

Back a month ago I posted this blog entry where I laid out my intention to start down a path of a healthier lifestyle. My goals included tracking my weight, food intake, steps taken, as well as starting to exercise more.

Food Intake

I have been able to keep up with logging all of my food intake using a combination of the site and the FitBit iPhone App and it has shown me that I have not been great at limiting my calorie intake. After the new year I will probably set a goal related to what I eat but for now I’m still just going to keep logging everything. Most days I consume between 2500 and 3000 calories. I know that is a lot but I have not really changed what I’m eating yet. I’m just trying to get into the habit of logging everything. I have noticed that for the most part I skip extra snacks or candies that always seem to be hanging around the office. Maybe the thought of having to catalogue them helps to deter me from eating them.

Weight Measurement

As for logging my weight, I have been doing that when I can. I only weigh myself when I am at home and I can use my Withings scale. I have only dropped a few pounds from my starting weight on October 16th but I feel like I have a good idea of where my weight currently sits which is between 225 and 228 lbs. I have also been keeping track of my waist size based on the correct way of measuring one’s waist and not based on the size of clothing I fit in. I have not seen a significant change yet.


Although I have not been the greatest at organizing my exercise I have been making some improvements. I have been keeping track of my walking using the FitBit and I typically get in around 4000 steps per day when I’m not at home. When I am at home it’s closer to 2000 steps per day.

I have been doing well on the one hundred push-up program. In fact yesterday I finished up week three (I know I should be in the middle of week four) by doing 122 push-ups in five sets. I will probably take the rest of the week off in order to get myself back onto a schedule.

I have been back at playing kickball on Saturdays which has contributed to a few 10k or more step days.

I researched some things to get me excited about starting the C25k but I have yet to start that program up again. I also need to do more activities when I am at home to be more active and burn a few more calories.


I am making progress but I can still do more.

Comments off

My “New” health kick

Starting date 10/16/2011

Ever since I have returned from Nepal, where I had lost about 15lbs, I have been steadily gaining weight. I gained a few pounds back within the first couple of weeks due to getting back into eating my standard meals and I was also recovering from a chest cold/cough from the trip. Anyway, that’s my excuse and I’m sticking with it. I did plateau at about 5lbs above the weight I was at when I returned and I attribute this to the fact that I was exercising three times a week even though I was eating poorly. Fast forward a bunch of months and I’m traveling for work again and I’m eating large portions and desserts. I’m also working late and getting almost zero exercise in and I’m up towards the high end of my record-high weight. I’m not totally certain as I haven’t stepped on my scale for a few weeks but I can tell that my waist size has grown. This has to end as I’m getting close to my 35th birthday.

So I’m going to use technology and you, my friends and family, to help me to reach a bunch of goals. I know that long term goals are extremely hard to reach so everything I do will be metered out into bite sized morsels so that I can more readily make progress and get the feedback to push me forward. With that said I do need to put down some long term goals to achieve which I’m going to put a date of my 36th birthday as the deadline which is in just over a year.

  • Reduce weight to 190lbs (I’m at 228lbs now)
  • Reduce waist size to 36 inches (currently 44 inches)
  • Ability to do 100 pushups
  • Ability to complete a 5k run

Now that I have my goals down what are my incentives to achieving those goals. This I’m still working on so I’ll need some ideas. I know that there are built in incentives of being more healthy as well as looking and feeling but that’s not typically what inspires me otherwise I wouldn’t be in the shape that I am now. I need something strong and tangible to push me.

You may be asking how I’m going to accomplish these goals. Well I plan on using a few different gadgets, some websites, and various exercise programs to get me to my goals as well as keeping track of all that I am doing.


Everything I plan on tracking or doing I will update on the web immediately or will summarize on a regular basis. I already have a Twitter account, amartina_health, that I set up for this purpose a while back and have had some information posted there automatically. I will still be posting my updates there and I would love if you would post some encouragement on there now and then. What you can expect there are weigh ins, exercise summaries, and possibly calorie summaries. I also plan on writing updates to this blog now and then which I will post links to them in Facebook and Google+. This will motivate me to make progress and maybe inspire others.

About a year ago I purchased a scale that I had made a habit of using which is the Withings Scale which is very cool. Not only is it a digital scale that can maintain data for multiple people that it automatically determines but it is wifi enabled so it takes your weigh-ins and automatically uploads the data up to the Withings‘ site. This data can then be forwarded on to other sites such as Twitter as I have done.

I am also going to track other statistics like my waist size and blood pressure as I take those measurements.


My first tool at my disposal will be tracking everything I eat. I plan on using an application on my iPhone for tracking my consumption, probably FitBit (I’ll get into that more later). Regardless of how much or little I consume I plan on tracking it. I probably will not track my diet soda intake but I’ll make that decision as I start logging everything to see if it makes sense or not. I will probably also be taking pictures of more food and using an application like FoodSpotting but that will be more about sharing great foods instead of figuring into my goals. Anyway, tracking my food like this provides two objectives. The first is that it forces me to realize what I’m eating and how much. This may make me consider better choices when I’m eating out (which is about 99% of the time). The second is that the tracking of the calories intake will help in determining if my exercise is counteracting the food I’m eating.

I’ve already started tracking my food and I’m actually surprised how well I stay close to a good level for myself based on the calculations on the FitBit site. I’m not absolutely how they determine that calorie amount but I don’t have anything else to compare it to so I guess I’ll run with it for now.



To get myself started on the path to better health I’ll be walking more. Whether this means that I’ll be taking the stairs more or parking the vehicle further away I’ll do whatever needs to be done to push myself a little bit closer to my goal. A while back I purchased a neat little device called a FitBit. This is basically a turbo-charged pedometer that not only tracks the steps you have taken but can also be used to monitor sleep patterns, calories burned, and activity level. I’ll be wearing this all of the time. I have been wearing it for the majority of the last few months so I’ve gotten used to it on my person. The FitBit automatically downloads the data wirelessly whenever near the base station that is connected up to my computer at home. Anyway, this device will allow me to set miniature goals based on number of steps per day or per week. This is the kind of motivation that I need.


Last year I tried to condition myself to run a 5k using the “Couch to 5k” program and I was able to make it up to one of the last weeks but then I got sick and fell off the wagon. I really enjoyed the program and I will be starting it up again but I’m first going to get in some walking and try to make a pattern of walking more before I start to jog or run. Frankly, I don’t think my knees or back could handle me running right now. I will also use the Nike+ app on my iPhone to track my runs regardless of whether I’m on a treadmill or out on the streets. I’ll have multiple sources of information pertaining to my activity as I’ll have my FitBit on as well.


Another program that I tried but did not complete is the 100 push-up program. I got a few weeks in and was making progress but then I started to fall short. When I start increasing my walking I will also start this program in order to do something with my upper body. The program starts with a self test a few days prior to getting into the scheduled routine and in that test I was able to do 19 pushups before I had to stop. The great thing about this program is that I can do this just about anywhere so I can’t make any excuses for not sticking with it.

There are some related programs like the 200 sit-ups program and 200 squats but I’m not certain I’ll get into these at least right now.


The three above will be my structured workouts but I’m also planning on incorporating activities that I enjoy now into the mix. I play wallyball and kickball and I enjoy hiking, biking, and kayaking. When I do these activities I will log them as well but they will not be used as substitutes for the structured workouts.

Conclusion and Short-term Goals

So that is what I’m going to be up to for a while. So now it’s time to get going and here are my short-term goals to start this off.

  • Log all food that I consume over the next two weeks using FitBit’s food logging
  • Begin the 100 pushups program which is a three day a week commitment. For the next two weeks I’ll accomplish these activities on Sunday, Tuesday, and Friday. This means that Sunday will be considered the beginning of the week. Log my progress.
  • Start walking more. I currently walk an average 2400 steps a day. This first week before I start jogging I want to average 2600 steps per day. The second week I will bump that up to 2800 steps per day. I hope this isn’t too ambitious.
  • Log all significant activities that aren’t automatically logged.
  • Lose 5lbs over the next two weeks. Track this by weighing myself every morning that I am at home.
  • At the end of the first two weeks set my goals for the next two weeks based on the progress made.

Comments (4)