Kyle Seiwert

Kyle Seiwert | This Fat Guy is Running

Kyle Seiwert is the midst of a personal transformation project. At the end of March 2010, the 29-year-old Topekan laced up a new pair of running shoes and set out on a journey to lose weight through distance running. You can read his entire blog HERE.

You wanna step outside?

January 19, 2011

I have never claimed to be very tough. In fact, I'm a big time weenie. The thought of going outside to run, as you may have noticed, has been something I have yet to really come to terms with. Frankly, I'm terrified of running outside in the cold. Will I be under-layered? Will I be over-layered? Granted, there are not a ton of questions to answer, but I keep thinking that going outside in the cold will be the absolute end of my desire to run. It's cold, and cold has never really been something I enjoy. At least not since I was like 11.

But with Abilene now 12 weeks away, I needed to get out and hit the concrete and get my legs used to the pounding they are going to take. And that meant going outside, into the cold, and toughening up. Well, yesterday was that day. I had to get in a 3 mile run, and I was bound and determined to do it outside in the elements. So I went for it. And it was cold.

To set the stage, I should at least elaborate on how I had to dress to make sure I made it. I figured I would just pick out some clothes, and if they were enough, they were enough, and if they were not enough, I would warm up eventually. I went with two pairs of socks. I have some Under Armor fleece running pants, which I wore over a pair of flannel pajama pants. I have a long sleeve Mizuno thermal wear shirt, and a track jacket to wear over that. I did also wear a wool stocking hat and running ear muffs, as well as two pairs of gloves. It was enough, fortunately. I would freaking hope so, but since it was 22 degrees out at 11 AM, I did not know what to expect. I guess I would find out.

Really, it went as well as I could have hoped. For the first run outside in at least two months, off of the treadmill and into the cold weather, it went very well. I tried not to worry about times in 3 mile runs starting in August, or some time last year, so there was no certain time I was aiming for. I just wanted to get a feel for the pavement and not push too hard or think about times. What I ended up with was a time of 25:26, which was under 8:30/mile. A great start for me, since I'm hoping to put up some great times this year in the upcoming races. I should also mention that the cold was not all that bad, even if the wind chill was 11 degrees, and it was something that I'm probably not worried about anymore. Look at me toughening up. So, until next time ... later.

At a Medium Pace

January 14, 2011

With the impending training circuit coming up for the Eisenhower Half Marathon in Abilene, my first of the year, I stop to look back and think that it has been exactly three months since I completed the KC Half Marathon. OK, enough of that. It's time to look ahead.

What I'm looking for with the next 4.5 months is a couple of things. First, I need to stay healthy. Last year, starting up running out on the pavement and going basically 6.5 straight months to train for a half marathon led to all sorts of nagging problems. Shin splints in June, foot problems in July, IT Band problems in August, etc. It basically led to me taking it very easy in September, which I needed, otherwise I might not have been able to run in KC. Luckily, I was able to heal and rest up after the race, and now I feel as good as I have since I started. Second, I need to make sure the training schedule works for me. I moved a lot of days around last year, and it seemed to be easy to keep up with, but I'm not sure that it was all that great of a schedule since I did have some injuries, and would often follow up a long run of 8 or 10 miles by having to go to work and spend the night on my feet for 8 hours. Hopefully I'll be able to keep with long runs on Sundays, giving me basically a full day of rest to keep my legs fresh.

The third thing I need to do is make sure I do not push too hard, too soon. I won't lie. I'm pretty excited to get out there and start training again. Check my times, work on my pace, look to improve ... the whole nine yards. But, between Abilene and Hospital Hill, I've got 5.5 months worth of Half Marathon training, as well as several other shorter races, to consider. So, there is not going to be much reason for me to come out and try to hit 24 minutes on my first 3 mile run. The difficult part is going to be putting in the miles at the beginning and knowing that I just have to complete them, not try for a great time. I think I can do it. As I've said several times in the past, doing this training is nearly all mental.

I had some ideas for time goals in my head, but I really would hate to put them out there right now because I have no idea how training is going to go. All I know is that for the next 5 months, I'm looking at logging a few hundred miles, trying to lose a few extra pounds (weighed in at an even 170 this week, folks!), and have some fun out there doing some races and meeting some other runners through the Daily Mile, which at first I did not think I would use, but it is actually a pretty neat tool for tracking your workouts, receiving feedback and motivation from other runners, and meeting people you will be running with in future races. All in all, it should be fun for a while around here. No more boring, content deficient posts for a while, and you'll get to read about me flailing through some tough workouts. Until next time ... later.

Let it snow?

January 10, 2011

I usually ignore weather warnings around here, because they are usually so tough to nail down, but they nailed it down this week. 7 full inches and still snowing. This is bad for running. This is really bad for driving. Next week I am starting my training schedule for Abilene and Hospital Hill, and I am a little worried that I won't be able to go outside and start out my runs. I have been keeping it inside for the winter, but when it comes to race preparation, I like to get out in the elements, because you never know exactly what you will get in Kansas at any given weekend. But, if there is still several inches of snow out there, we'll see if I have the ability to get out there and get some running in. I really did not have much to say today, just that I'm already tired of the snow. Until next time ... later.

I think I'm going to Boston

January 3, 2011

I'm not talking about the awesome song by Augustana, but rather, the Boston Marathon. One of the things I have enjoyed about taking up running is that there is virtually no ceiling to what you can do with it. There are tons of races to enter, and if that isn't your thing, you can just run for the *** of it. I've gotten into the races. I like them. It's sort of nice to have something to gauge your improvement, if you care about such things. I would say that I do. I'm a lot more competitive than I lead on, and the nice thing about running is that I can continue to challenge myself. I'm not really into trying to beat other runners at this point, except that I do like to see where I place in my age group and overall in races. I supposed that could be considered competing. Anyways, what I was saying is that throughout last year, I liked using the races to see if I was improving as a runner.

Running appears to be something that, if I can avoid any major injuries, something I'll be able to do as I get older, and something that enough people I know already participate in so that I'll always have people to lean on as I continue to run/race. My story is most likely not any different than many other people, and frankly, not nearly as impressive as someone like Brian Sparks', my long distance running buddy. But it is working for me, and if what I write about gets someone out on their feet for the first time and they find a new hobby that they enjoy, then that is just neat. I still don't know that I have set any real goals for running, in terms of what exactly I want to do with it. I mean, sure, setting little timing benchmarks is a short term thing, but over the course of the next year, three years, five years, etc., where am I going, exactly?

Or do I need to go anywhere at all? I could just run for the sake of running, using it as a good exercise tool while trying my hardest to maintain my weight. But I think I'd rather try to accomplish something with it. This really isn't anything I've talked about before, except with Sparks, but I've got a goal in mind, and I hope to achieve it someday. It'll take a ton of work, and I don't know that I've even got the energy/ability/patience/desire/etc. to make it happen. All I know that I have it in my head that this would be considered a terrific goal over the long term, and I might as well try it, since I've got the extra time.

I want to run the Boston Marathon. There it is.

OK, so what does that mean? What does that entail? How does that happen? It means, I've got work to do. It entails a lot of time and miles. And it happens by being fast. Way faster than I am now, and frankly, way faster than I can even imagine running a single mile, let alone a marathon full of them.

I call it my "5-Year Plan". I have not been at this for very long, so I am behind the curve with a lot of real runners that have been doing this since high school, and possibly earlier. If anything, this is more like an experiment of sorts. A regular, beer loving, non-athlete deciding to one day lace up the running shoes and qualify for the Boston Marathon? Probably not totally unheard of, but at this time last year I certainly would have laughed at the idea of running 26.2 miles in under 3 hours and 10 minutes, which is what it would take to qualify, as well as being able to beat the online crowd for registration, but that is an entirely different issue. I just figured that with running, I might as well try to run the most prestigious race out there, right? Set those goals at the top? If anything, I might get to go to some cool places, meet some cool people, and generally just enjoy putting my time in running races. Could be worse, I suppose. I figure that if I work at this for 5 years, I should be in a position to post a qualifying time. If I don't be then, well, I don't. No big deal. I guess we'll see.

So make sure to sign up for the blog to be delivered to your email inbox over on the right hand side of the homepage, and follow me on twitter at @kyleseiwert, and I hope you enjoy what could be a hilarious crash and burn adventure, or a pretty fun story. Thanks for reading, and if you like it, send it to your friends. I'd like to keep the reader numbers up, otherwise they might yank my blog off the top of the Topeka Parks and Recreation website. Also, please leave comments for some interaction. And keep reading. Seeing all the page views is an enormous boost to my already huge ego! Until next time ... later.

Ringing in the New Year

December 31, 2010

Hello again. Now that 2010 is coming to a close, it is time to look ahead to 2011. I have already reflected back on what I set out to accomplish during this year, and now I need to think about what I want to spend 2011 doing. I've got a very small, more modest list so far. Maybe I'll come up with a longer list later on today after I post this entry, so here goes.

1. Improve my penmanship.

This might sound like a bizarre sort of thing to do or work on, but believe me, my handwriting is atrocious. At my job, sometimes I need to write a few things down for a co-worker or someone else, and when I look at the garbage that I am writing, I sort of laugh about how bad it is. It is something that I should probably develop, so it is something I am going to try to improve on.

2. Play Chess.

A long time ago I bought a book about how to play chess, and I never read it (surprise, since I hate to read). But now, I want to play some chess. It just seems like something I can learn and take up as a hobby, and with a few places to play online, it should not be that hard to find people to play against.

3. Watch more movies.

I have not seen any movies. Well, I have not seen very many movies. If it is not a comedy, especially an immature goofy comedy, I most likely have not seen it. I don't have a list in front of me or anything, but feel free to email me or post comments or tweet at me movies that I need to see. Odds are, I have not seen them. I will keep a list of movies that I see and post them throughout the year.

That's all I've got. Not very ambitious, I guess, but after failing so many times last year, I needed to pare it down to a doable amount. I did not put any sort of weight to reach or anything because I feel that I have basically plateaued at 172. If I get below 170, so be it. I am not going to sweat it any more. One thing new that I did was sign up for The Daily Mile website, which will be kind of cool to keep track of throughout the year as I work from Half Marathon to Half Marathon. I did already sign up for the Hospital Hill Half Marathon, and we're only about a year away until I run my first full marathon at Disney in January of 2012. Hope everyone has a great New Year's! Please sign up for email on the side so that posts can be sent right to your inbox. Also, follow me on Twitter at @kyleseiwert. Until next time ... later.

2010: Year in Review, Part 2

December 20, 2010

In case you missed it, the 2010: Year in Review, Part 1 can be found below. I've been up since 5:30 this morning (Sunday) as I just could not fall back asleep after waking up. I hate that. So now that it is 9 AM, I figured I would kill a little more time by starting to finish up my 2010 Resolutions list. Time to see if I won the year or not.

7. Hit the driving range twice a week between May and September.

I like golf, but don't play it very often. I figured if I were to work on it a little more, it would make it a little less terrible every time I went out. Going out and working on my swing twice a week would keep me somewhat sharp, and maybe I would be able to have some consistency for once. I did not make it to the driving range once. Not one time. I live less than 2 miles from a driving range/golf course, by the way. Fail. (3-4)

8. Put more money into savings.

I'm not going to go into details on this one. Fail. (3-5)

9. Get better about spending smartly.

This could go either way. We did not do too much traveling this year, save for a trip to St. Louis in June, and with my running, I've stopped buying beer as often as I had in the past, which was very often. Overall, I'd say I didn't buy things I didn't need, so yeah, we'll go win. Luckily Twitter is free. (4-5)

10. Never be late on paying a bill.

I must have been having a financial crisis last year when I wrote these. I think I became concerned with buying my car, and I just wasn't exactly sure how to budget for it. But really, it was never a concern. This was an easy win. (5-5)

11. Attend the dentist for dental cleaning, twice.

This pretty much was only to use the dental insurance perks that I was paying for. Delta Dental pays for two teeth cleaning sessions per year, and I did not take advantage of that at all in my first year of paying for it. So this year, I did. I also had to get a filling, only the second one I've ever had. Win. (6-5)

12. Get a health check up before April.

Another perk of my health insurance (of which there are very few) is a free visit for a check-up. I did not have a primary care physician when I got here, so I just went to the closest doctor I could find. And that was in January. So, another win to close out the list. (7-5)

There you have it. I won the year, but barely. Goes to show that even a small win is nice to see, and that it is difficult to achieve your goals, but pretty fulfilling when you do. Granted, some of these were very basic, they were things I either had not done or needed to do, which is pretty much the point of resolutions in the first place. OK, someday before the new year I'll be posting a list of 2011 resolutions, but I can't imagine coming up with 12. I've only got one so far. Until next time...later.

2010: Year in Review, Part 1

December 17, 2010

We're counting down to the end of the year, and while running indoors using the treadmill has been going pretty well, as well as you can imagine running in one place while looking at the wall/TV can go, there really isn't a whole lot to report on. I start a 12 week training program on 1/17/11 to get ready for the Eisenhower Half Marathon at the beginning of April, so until then, there really isn't a lot of running/fitness type stuff to talk about. So I thought I would go in a little bit of different direction and talk about New Year's Resolutions. Everyone makes them. Everyone fails to achieve them. No big deal, right? THERE IS ALWAYS NEXT YEAR! Well, maybe this year is next year, you know? For 2010, I had set a few resolutions of my own, and of course, I missed on quite a few of them. Setting up a goal/resolution list seems like something I would have written about last year, had I had a blog set up, so naturally, covering the list of things I set out to achieve/fail at the beginning of 2010 seemed like a good way to fill a column. I thought it would be a good idea to get it out there that not every goal is attainable, but there is no reason not to put them out there and go for them.

Yes, I did in fact come up with a pie-in-the-sky list of 12 resolutions, and posting something like that here at the beginning of 2010 would have been a good way to keep myself accountable towards my goals. Let's go through them, with the gory details about what worked and what didn't. I did actually write these down and take them up in my closet, that way I was able to see them on a daily basis.

1. Weight 175 lbs at some point during the year.

This was accomplished on 9/9/10. The starting point for this was 206 pounds, and I started dropping the weight by joining a "Biggest Loser" type contest at work (Not St. Francis Hospital, remember?) It lasted for 18 weeks, and I think I only gained weight on two of the weekly weigh-ins. It helped that a bad weigh-in cost a dollar, because I hate carrying cash on me, so having to find a single dollar was always a pain in the ass for me. Anyways, I'm currently weighing in at around 172, and have not crept back above 175. So, we can call this one a win. (1-0)

2. Take a multi-vitamin every day.

Ha. This one sort of makes me laugh. Not really sure what I was going to accomplish with this one, but I chose a multi-vitamin that twice (2X) made me actually throw up! A freaking vitamin! This lasted less than a week before it got crossed off. So, fail. (1-1)

3. Never take more than 5 days off between workouts.

Starting running helped this one, because I always felt like I was working towards something big, and I didn't want to quit. Following Hal's training guides kept me on the task at hand. There was one 7 day stretch where I went without hitting the gym, but I was working in KC for the week, and then took a trip to Iowa immediately after that. Didn't really have access to a gym, per se, so I don't really count this week. I call this a win. (2-1)

4. Read one book a month.

ONE. ONE BOOK. I hate reading, which you'd probably never figure from the way I carry on and on and on over here. So my goal was a very minimal ONE book a month. Did not happen. Not even sure I ever picked up a book to read in January. Fail. (2-2)

5. Buy more new music.

I've been hesitant in the past to buy an album from a group based on one or two songs. I threw that into the wind this year, buying albums from artists without hearing a single song from it, or from hearing a song only once or twice. Some worked out, some didn't. Not a huge fan of the Phoenix album, but loved the new Roots disc. I call this a win. (3-2)

6. Weigh myself on Wii every single Sunday.

I've got the Wii Fit board, and I like that it tracks your weight and workout times, and stuff like that. Honestly, I use it almost exclusively for the Yoga poses, which is quite the workout. But, sometime around February, I stopped using it. I think I used how my clothes fit, and where my belt loops were, to determine if my weight was dropping. And it was. So, this is a fail. (3-3)

There is no way I am going to bore you with the next 6 on the list...until next week! Enjoy the weekend, and you'll just have to sit on the edge of your seat to see if I ended up pulling out a winning record for the year or not. Also, if you made it this far, feel free to share this list to show people that setting goals is not easy, and that it is OK to fall off of the horse as long as you plan to get back up. Retweet, email, whatever. Also, remember to sign up over at the right hand side (if you are reading on The Blog Website, not on unwind.topeka.net) to have new posts emailed to you directly when they are posted. OK, enough self-promotion. Until next time...later.

Learning the hard way

December 13, 2010

Truth be told, I was sort of running an experiment on myself last week. I work in a lab at a hospital here in Topeka (due to new Social Media regulations, I can no longer say which hospital, but it is VERY CLOSE to St. Francis) that is equipped with a blood bank. Once I started running back in March, I was right smack in the middle of a mandatory one year period where I could not give blood due to an accidental needle stick that I received at work. I've never been so mad at myself. A totally avoidable accident, for sure. Either way, what it meant was I was unable to give blood for a year, due to the rules of blood donation. This was a big deal to me because I had given blood on and off in my life, but never really saw the importance of it until I worked in the lab. To make it doubly important, I am Type O Negative, which means that they use my red cells for traumas and other events. The "universal donor", if you will, in that every patient can receive it without any hemolytic reaction. On the off chance I received Hepatitis C or HIV, they allow for a year to see if any of the virus becomes prevalent in the potential donor. I'll spare you even more of this part of the story, but I received a clean bill of the health from the hospital employee nurse in September, and I was ready to start donating blood again.

Now, at this point, I was about 3 weeks away from running the KC Half Marathon. I had no idea what would happen if I donated blood before the run, so I avoided doing it. One unit of blood donated would take away about 7% of your oxygen transportation, and I figured that might be kind of important when it comes to running 13.1 miles. The week after the race I went in to donate, but the hospital had been having difficulty keeping platelets in stock, so I ended up donating a double unit of platelets instead. Another platelet donation a couple of weeks later, when I was actually back doing more running, did not seem to affect my workout ability. The real test came last week when I decided to go ahead and donate some red cells. I had a little extra time when I went in, so I actually signed up to donate a double unit of red cells through apheresis. This would knock my hemoglobin down two grams, or 14% of my oxygen carrying capacity. No big deal, I thought, I would just give myself an extra day to recover.

Like I said, I sort of had an idea of what I was getting myself into, but I had to know what kind of toll it would take on me since I plan on giving blood as often as I can. I just know now that I shouldn't do it within a month or two of a race. As for the running, it was tough as ***. I set myself up to run 3 miles on the treadmill, and by the end of the second mile I was as winded as I've been since probably back in April. It was exhausting. I could feel my legs cramping and getting tight, even though I had stretched out like normal. By the time that run was over, I was spent. The next day I set my goals for a 4 mile run, just to see if it would be as tough as the first run. It was better, but not by much. I don't want to say I underestimated how tough it would be, but it certainly isn't something I would recommend to someone who isn't already into running. I mean, that might be enough for people to stop running. But, live and learn, I thought it would be a good experience and something to write about. Since I don't start training for Abilene for another month or so, I should be back to full strength when that program begins. I'll be donating again in April once that race is completed. I'm hoping I can find a way to make it work so that I can continue to donate while running and training for future races. Do you donate blood? How does it work for you? Feel free to comment, and, until next time ... later.

Tough luck

December 3, 2010

Shout out to the USA World Cup committee for giving it their best shot in an effort to land the 2022 World Cup in America. Apparently having the World's biggest competition in a place the size of Connecticut, that will be hotter than the sun, and most likely have an impossible time getting people into and out of the country (Qatar) was a better idea than growing the game in the most successful country on Earth. Oh well. England continues to get the shaft every time they bid for it, and the game means much more to that entire country that it does here. But really, this announcement is like the NCAA deciding to have the Men's Basketball tournament in Oslo, Norway because they want to develop college basketball in a region where it is not already established. Yeah, I guess in a really lame way that makes sense, but it is what it is. I would imagine that if the USA does not get the bid in 2026, it will never get it again. I suppose time will tell.

I capped off today's news by hitting up the gym for a 4 mile run, followed by a visit to my chiropractor. After laying in bed for three days last week, I needed to be adjusted in a big way. I am back to full strength now after my stomach illness, so it has been nice to be able to knock out some good runs. Hopefully that does it for the rest of the winter in terms of being stuck in bed. I'm hoping to get back to running around 16-20 miles a week until I start prepping for this Half Marathon in Abilene, the Eisenhower Marathon. Should be a good race to use to ease back into some longer distance running. A completely different run than KC, with Abilene being very flat, of course, but challenging enough to keep me interested on the way to Disney. By the time I start training, I'm looking to be averaging around 8:40/mile and take it from there. On the treadmill it is a little bit difficult to gauge what my time is because the Nike sensor isn't exactly perfect, but I think I'll have the general idea. Anyways, have a good day, thanks for reading, and until next time ... later.

I absolutely hate(d) Thanksgiving

November 29, 2010

Make no mistake, Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. Get to eat a lot, eat some more, take a nap, eat some more, watch football, take a nap, eat some more, and then go out and drink with some old friends. I mean, if I could draw up a better day, I'm not entirely sure what I would add, save for maybe taking Paul Stanley's place during a KISS show because he wasn't feeling too well. So imagine my disdain when this Thanksgiving, I get very sick and unable to eat myself into multiple food comas. I NEVER get sick. Never. Never get the flu. Never have to miss a day to stay in bed. You name it. Not my game. So of course, this T-Day, after kicking it with the entire family, I was laid up in bed for the next two days. I won't get into the details, but let's just say that it was not pretty.

I'm pissed about it. I hate that I basically wasted 2+ days doing absolutely nothing. I hate that I missed out on pie, turkey, stuffing, and all the rest of the goods. I'm also pissed that I missed out on two running days. I'm not much for shopping, especially with the crowds that would be out and about in Wichita on Black Friday and the Saturday right after it, so I had ideas of going and hitting the track at the YMCA in Wichita on those two days, like I did a couple of weeks ago. That way, I would get my miles in, burn off some of the food, and still be able to go out for beers with the guys all weekend. Oh well. I'm not entirely sure where I picked up whatever stomach bug I got. We did go to KC last Monday and Tuesday night for K-State basketball games, and there were lots of people out in the bars and at the games, so I guess you never know, but I don't recall anyone being very sick or anything like that. I guess that's just the way things go.

I was able to hit the gym last night and get in some biking, so at least I didn't burn the entire weekend. I'm heading out right now to put in 4 miles and lift some weights. I guess we'll see if I'm up to it, but I figure with the week starting out, now is as good a time as any to get back in there. On the bright side, if there was one positive to take from the weekend, it is that I don't have any weight to lose, being as I did not eat anything. Woo hoo. Now, less than 2 months from now, training for races picks back up. I really should be taking advantage of the sunny days outside right now, but I've been more into lifting weights a little more, and that will pretty much be my focus over the winter. So, I'll make sure to fill you in as to how today goes. Thanks for reading. Oh, and if you sign up on the right hand side, blog posts will be emailed to you. Oh, and I recently reactivated my Skype account, so if you are bored and want to talk about running or weight loss, I'm on there at kyle.seiwert. Until next time ... later.