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.

Clint Eastwood

September 8, 2010

So things turned fairly real this morning. Taking on a large hill or two will do that.

I would have to say that today was the most challenging run I have had in a long while. Probably since the first time I ran 6 miles. I know that the KC Half Marathon course is going to be up and down, literally, as I've seen the hills that the course entails. At least one day of the week from here on out is going to have to be dedicated to running a hilly terrain, so I figured Wednesday would be nice, since it falls at the end of a three day running stretch.

I didn't know what to expect with this type of run. I knew it would be tough, but I didn't know how tough, or how to pace it, or where I was going. The Nike iPod was set to 4.5 miles, and I started out just past Hy-Vee on 29th and Wanamaker. Heading south, I made it as far as 47th street, right across the street from Washburn Rural High School, before I turned around and headed back. Let me tell you...that was not a fun run. The elevation rise from Hy-Vee to WRHS is nearly 200 feet. That sucked. My legs felt shot pretty much by the time I hit 41st Street, with the worst still to come. From 41st to about 47th, it is nearly a 100 foot climb. It was nuts. I can't remember the last time I felt like I couldn't make up any ground or run at a pace I wanted.

Since this was a new experience, I was just going with the flow, and didn't care too much about time. I was mostly concerned with not getting hit by a car since I did have to run on the shoulder for a stretch down Wanamaker. But, I do have a base time to work with. Not so much the overall is what I'm looking at, because I'm pretty sure my distance on this particular course will change, but my overall pace is important. If I can run these substantial hills under 9 min/mile, then I know I can have a fantastic time in KC. Today I was at 9:11/mile. A nice barometer for next time.

Saturday is the Race Against Breast Cancer 5-K, and I'm thrilled that I will be joined by Sparks, the dude running the Half Marathon with me, my little sister Kristen (our first race together), and a co-worker that I talked into running her very first race! Should be a good time out at Washburn, and then with a K-State football game that night, should end up being a pretty awesome day. Until next time ... later.

Everybody’s heard ...

September 7, 2010

... about the bird! Sorry for the Family Guy sidebar, but for some reason, I had it in me to watch that episode last night. It's brilliant. And now with Family Guy streaming on Netflix, I have a bad feeling I'm going to be watching this a lot.

With the long weekend wrapped up, I am back in the swing of things. Nice work out on Sunday, but it was pretty clear that going 5 weeks between lifting weights was not good. But I needed to get back into a little bit of cross-training and light weights to sort of develop more overall strength so that I do not wear down on the big race. But with 6 weeks to go, I feel that I can build up some muscle and help not only burn more calories, but get back to the fitness level I was at when August started.

As for running, I took yesterday off due to the terrific weekend of tailgating, eating, drinking, eating, and drinking. That will probably be the hardest I hit it before the race, and since it was a long weekend, it was nice to sort of get it all out of my system at once. Always beneficial, for your mind at least, to let lose and have some fun during training. If you make it all work all the time, you will burn out. Today and tomorrow are going to be run days, with Thursday and Friday off to rest for Saturday's 5-K at Washburn.

Today's run was a 3 mile trek. If you've followed this blog in the past, you know 3 miles tends to be the run I really use to focus on speed work and running at a pace faster than what I would consider to be a "race pace". Now, primarily I think race pace as pacing during a long race, not necessarily during a 5-K race, so running a little faster during a 3 mile run is mostly used to gauge how I am doing on overall speed and where I am at in terms of my overall fitness. Had a few apprehensions about running today due to the weekend, where I still felt slightly dehydrated and had done very little working out since Friday. Unless you count agonizingly walking through the the strains in my calf and quadriceps muscles, I had not been very active over the past three days. But with the cool weather this morning, and wonderful cloud cover, I knew I should try to take advantage of the conditions and go have a great run, because tomorrow I'll be stepping it up (more on that later). Right out of the gate I felt good. Had a much better stretch session than last Friday, and really wanted to push the pace. I ran back over the dam today, which I have not done in months, so I had to take advantage of the flat sidewalk while I could. Everything seemed to go well, except I did feel like I could have used a little more warm-up time, but it was not a big deal. I even had a perfect run of Rise Against and My Chemical Romance on my iPod, so I thought for sure I was destined for a good run. I was right. This particular stretch of trail was not a modified, flatter portion designed for good times like I had used in the past. This was a track I had used many times, with hills in the middle of the run. So I was very pleased to set a personal record for 3 miles at 24:01, 15 seconds better than my previous PR. This puts me in good spirits heading towards Saturday, where I would really like to go under 25:00 for my time.

I mentioned that I would be stepping it up tomorrow. My plan has been to tackle hills on Wednesday's, and I found some hills to tackle. I'll be attempting to run down Wanamaker from 29th Street (or so), up to Washburn Rural, and back. This has a nearly 200 foot elevation climb over 2 miles, which is in the ballpark for how the KC race sets up. They have one hill that might be a little more extreme, but there are a couple of elevation changes similar to that. Hopefully nobody hits me, as I will have to run on the shoulder (it is a large shoulder) until the sidewalk appears around 37th Street. Wish me luck, and until next time ... later.

Here we go

September 3, 2010

I always like to take in the scenery during my runs, and today I caught a Bud Light billboard that is on 21st Street. I had not quite hit the halfway point in my run, but my calves were on fire due to the apparent lack of stretching that I had done before I started. I thought I had done enough, but very clearly I had not, as evidenced by the fact that I can barely walk right now. Anyways, I was at a point in the run where I was trying to push it at race pace, but felt myself starting to ease up ... until I caught that billboard, which happened to be right before one of the bigger downhill stretches on Shunga Trail. I turned it on, and felt that my run really picked up from that point. I would never drink Bud Light by choice, preferring Miller Lite or any other beer that actually has flavor, but for today, Bud Light was a nice boost for me.

As I had stated earlier in the week, I decided to take a little bit of time off from running to heal some nagging soreness. I hesitate to call them injuries because they really haven't affected my actual runs, just my normal walking around during the day. I ran on Sunday, and had not run again until today, when I just jumped back into it with an 8 mile long run. I would say that, in regards to the time off, the run today went pretty well, covering 8 miles in 1 hour and 10 minutes, and one second (1:10:01), so I am still under my "goal" of running 9 min/mile on these longer runs. I am going to have to remember to do some extra stretching, because I feel like my calves have ripped in half. Not a good feeling. I tried stretching them on the course during my water breaks, but to no avail. I'll just have to periodically stretch them out over the next couple of days until I run again on Tuesday. Another light week is in the cards due to running a 5-K race next Saturday.

On a separate note, I have been holding steady at 177 lbs. I'm a little frustrated, I won't lie, because I feel I have really been watching what I eat, exercising more than ever, and I can't quite get over that hump. One thing I am attributing it to is the fact that I have been relying solely on running, and have forgotten to hit the gym (Pinnacle Fitness) to life some weights in over a month. That won't cut it. I have been slacking in that regard, so I blame myself for not crossing that 175 threshold yet. For the next 6 weeks leading up to KC, I am looking at doing some weights on Sunday and Tuesday (following my run), and mixing in some Wii Yoga on Monday and Thursday. Laugh all you want, but that Wii Yoga, which I did during this week, has stretched out my shoulders and hips in ways I needed so badly. It has been a lifesaver. I figure if I can go strong for the next 6 weeks, I'll be in as good a shape as I can be for the race, and running the time I want (still undecided) will be within my grasp. So, have a good three day weekend, and until next time ... later.

Listen to your body

August 31, 2010

I've heard this time again over the course of the year, but didn't really get it. I suppose, in theory, it is a safety device to make sure that you do not hurt yourself, or that you know when to say when.

Well, I officially know when to say when. That time is right now.

I was still pretty fired up from my long 7 mile run on Friday, that I tried to sneak in a 5 mile run on Sunday, even though I was not slated to run until Monday. Also thought I would point out that I took a 3.5 mile walk on Saturday instead of a rest day. So, as you can tell, I was probably at the point where I was really just going for it because I had a new confidence. I would say that I should probably not break from protocol anymore. My left leg was so sore after the run on Sunday that I had to debate if I would run my normal run on Sunday or not. Didn't happen. Mostly because I was "listening to my body", which was not hard to do because it was screaming at me "Do not run today or you are really going to regret it". Body wins this round.

Taking Monday off, and now taking today off, just does not feel right. I don't think I'm falling too far behind my training or anything, but I'm just bored to tears. At least when I go run, I kill like an hour and a half or two hours between walking to warm up, stretching, running, post run stretching, rehydrating, showering, etc. Now, I've spent two days watching the same Sportscenter reruns during the morning. I'm really, really hoping I don't have to take Wednesday's run off, too, but I'm not going to push it too much, because I enjoy walking normally, not having to limp around because I'm in pain.

So, if no running tomorrow, I've got my 8 mile long run on Friday, which I will not miss because that is where you make gains towards that Half Marathon. Until next time ... later.

Welcome, Pt. 2

August 30, 2010

For a little bit of a follow up, I thought I would include a little bit more about how this blog got started, and why I've been doing it since April.

Originally, I started writing this blog with a couple of goals in mind. One, I wanted to show the few friends that had known I had decided to start running a little bit of my progress. That way, I was held accountable in my workouts. If I stopped writing entries, I figured I would catch a little bit of flak for giving up or slacking on my way towards whatever goals I decided to come up with. Two, I wanted to write something that, in case I was successful in obtaining my goals, weight loss or otherwise, could be stumbled upon by any casual reader and would be both entertaining enough and real enough that they might pick up something from it to use towards their own personal journey. I mean, sort of a "if this guy can do it, maybe I can do it" type of blog.

I encourage you to check out the blog from the start. Maybe not all the way through, but at least to get through the beginning few posts so you can see that starting and sticking to something is pretty difficult, so if you are thinking about starting to run, or are at the point that you are thinking of stopping ... DON'T DO IT! If this fat guy can stick with it, anybody can. Here ... I'm linking the very first post for you to check out so you can see kind of where it started. Just click HERE. And until next time ... later.

Shunga Trail, I am a fan of you ...

August 27, 2010

I decided to take the traveling show known as my long runs out of the comforts of the lake today, and try to get into the city to check out what I've been missing.

I've heard lots of stories ... well, I've read about the Shunga Trail that winds through Topeka, connecting park after park with a nice running/biking trail along the Shunganunga River, I think. I figured it would be a good spot to get to, maybe to break up the familiarity of the lake, since whatever races I run will most likely not be at the lake.

I had taken yesterday off to rest up from back to back 5 mile runs. No doubt about it, I wish I had been running since I was 16, or that I was 16 so that my knees and legs wouldn't ache all day. I've tried stretching them well and icing them, but it is one of those things that if you are not consistent with it every single time, it'll bite you in the ***. So I've been dealing with a slight calf strain on my right leg, and again, my left knee is sore either based on heavy impact, worn down shoes, the fact that I'm getting older, or all of the above. None of it seems to bother me once I get warmed up, and I would imagine I'm not the only one that experiences similar issues. But enough about my falling apart, let's talk a little running.

Going out to the Shunga Trail was an important step in my running development, or whatever you want to call it, in that I was leaving the proverbial nest, or the comforts of Lake Shawnee. Heading to a foreign place, I think, helps you focus on running. Too often I feel that I'm just noting where I am on Lake Shawnee's trail, and where the next mile indicator is, and how far away I am from the next water fountain, etc., as opposed to thinking about my form, if I'm pumping my arms enough, if I'm going at race pace or regular pace, etc.

Today was the first time I've ever run 7 miles in my life. Think about that. I did something today that I've never done before. I can't say that every day. But with 49 days left until the Half Marathon, which I officially signed up for yesterday (!), I need to make sure I'm covering my long runs, especially making sure I diversify my run between nice pace and race pace.

My boy Hal Higdon tells me that to practice what he calls "Progressive Running", which is to take a middle section of a long run and really push it with "race pace" or the speed you anticipate running a race. Now, clearly I'm not ready to do something like that for 4 miles at a time, but I did feel I could break it up and run about 3 miles or 3.5 miles during the 7 miles at a racing pace.

After the first two miles, I felt pretty warmed up, so I decided to race it until the turn around point, which happened to be about a quarter of a mile from Topeka Blvd. That's a long ways. I should also point out that since I've devoted the middle of the week towards working on speed, I had a pretty good idea of how fast I can push it, which hasn't always been the case. Reference my first 5-K where I had no idea how to race or how to pace, and went so hard to start before crashing out and throwing up immediately after crossing the finish line. But I digress.

It was nice to have a couple of factors working for me out there today. First, it was cool again, around 70 degrees when I made it outside. Second, most of this trail is lined with trees, so you avoid that direct sunlight, which is perfect for a pasty pale dude like myself. Third, no pressure to try for a personal record. I haven't run this far, so I have no idea what is good and what isn't good, so whatever I do, I do. Fourth, and this is the big one, I knew that once I got done with my run, I was going to go home, write, shower, and then go to QDOBA. Once you picture that Queso Burrito staring you in the face, you'll run as fast as you can to finish your distance.

When you roll these four things together, you come away with a 7 mile time of 1:01:11. One hour, one minute, eleven seconds. Roughly 8:40 per mile, which is downright astonishing considering how brutal running 1.5 miles in 15 minutes felt back in April. But if you make time and put in the work, I suppose anything can happen.

Next run is Monday, and we'll be back to three consecutive running days before tackling my first 8 mile run next Friday, which is the day before K-STATE FOOTBALL begins! Also, I have signed up for the Race Against Breast Cancer 5-K (www.rabctopeka.org) on September 11th at Washburn, so coupled with the KSU game that night, that'll be a busy day. But for now, I've got QDOBA to attend to.

Until next time...later

Off and running

August 27, 2010

Hello. If you are reading this for the first time, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Kyle Seiwert, and I live here in Topeka, KS. I am 29. I am fat. Or, at least I should say, I'm working on it. I am very new to running, as you'll be able to tell by my writing. I wanted to keep track of my adventures to keep me motivated to continue to run.

When the calendar turned to 2010, I set forth determined that this would be the year that I would lose my extra weight for good and keep it off. I am 5'10" and weight 206 pounds. I viewed running as something that I did not like, could not do, and generally was not interested in. But, I also knew that when it came to exercise, I was a fan, but not always the most committed individual. I needed something that would allow me to keep losing weight without hitting a typical months-long lull that I had often encountered in the past.

At the end of March of this year, I decided to run, even though I did not plan on enjoying it. I figured that there are so many people who can go out and run, and they don't look fat, so there might be something to it.

So I started, very slowly, with 3 miles a week. I found some training guides from the one and only Hal Higdon to follow, which would put me on track to some sort of running goal, and I was not entirely sure what that goal that would be. It started as a 5-K. Then a 10-K. Now a Half-Marathon. Maybe a marathon in the future. Who knows? I'd like to see if I can do the half-marathon without dying before I think about running two of them. All I know is I wanted to lose weight, and I'm sticking with it.

To this point, I have dropped 29 pounds in nearly 8 months, and currently weight 177. The running has worked in conjunction with a website I use called The Daily Plate, and so far I'm pleased with the results. But I'm not satisfied. I've got weight to drop, races to run, and goals to hit.

Please feel free to scroll through the archives on this blog to see how it has gone up to this point. Also, please drop comments or questions, and I will make sure to be interactive. Basically, if my fat self could get out and run, anyone can. That was sort of the purpose of the blog, and I hope it helps get you moving. Until next time...later.