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October 22, 2014, 1:25 am
Bishop's Half-Marathon Blog Archives for 2013-01

There's an app for that ...

Where were we on our journey of a dumpy millennial adult training to run the Lincoln Presidential Half-Marathon? Oh yeah, food!


You've gotta have it! But I'm overweight and running 13.1 miles will be easier if I'm 40 lbs lighter.


So, I've got to eat right and lose weight.


Repeat over and over: The right foods, in the right portions, in combination with consideration for burning more calories versus calories ingested equals weight loss.


In other words, I study what I'm eating, calculating the calories and keep track of my progress. That kind of thing can be hard to manage. But the good news is: there are resources!


I've been using this free application called Map My Run. This is just one of several free services that would allow you to upgrade for more "features," but for my purposes the free features on Map My Run were enough. One of the great things about the application is it allows me to track my caloric intake by searching foods and entering the calories.


Screen shot from Bishop's Map My Run profile


It also calculates how many calories I should have a day based on my height and weight. The program even offsets those calories when I log certain workouts.


By having all this in one location I can obsess over my weight loss and challenge myself to be satisfied with nutritious foods, proper portions, and more water.


Also, when I see how many calories are in fast food burger or the malnutrition in many popular foods, it really plays games with my head to where I don't want those things anymore. It's kinda like that psychology thing I talked about in a previous post about quitting smoking.


Using that program and keeping a daily food log for the past three weeks has allowed me to lose over 15 pounds. The proper nutrition plus daily exercise an occasional long-distance run ... I'll be ready for this half-marathon by April 6th!


On the next blog: My daily exercise. Hint ... it involves a lot of sweating and strange noises mixed with really loud music or talk radio blaring in my ears.

Food for thought ...

I've now officially been "training" for the upcoming International Lincoln Presidential Half-Marathon for about two-and-a-half weeks. I'll detail more of what kind of routine I'm doing everyday in a future posts. But these first few posts I wanted to focus on the things I've been doing to prepare for the training and workout routine.


You can read my last post about how I quit smoking here.


Now I want to focus on diet.


Greg Bishop

I'm overweight. Not gonna lie. I've really let myself go. But I'm determined to get that penny (not sure what penny I'm talking about? Be sure to check out the blog "And So It Begins ...")! So, in order to finish the half-marathon in one piece, I better lose some weight. Plus, I'll be more healthy in the long run (pun intended)!


How do I go about losing the weight?


It's amazing how simple, yet how hard it is!


Eat right!


But breaking those bad habits can be tough!


When you hear the word "diet," you typically think of some restrictive plan that has you eating a pack of rice cakes all day everyday for weeks until all of a sudden you get to your ideal weight. Then the diet is off ... and you're back to eating the poor nutrient foods.


Magnify nutrition facts

That's not what I'm talking about. The diet I'm talking about is something that is everyday, for the rest of my life.


This is probably the most important thing, in my opinion, and the past few months I've been really focused on getting fresh foods, vegetables and fruits ... essentially vitamin rich foods. The more fresh, the better. The more raw vegetables, the more nutritious.


I know we all have the habit of getting the quickest food we can because we're all crazy busy, or too tired to put any effort into our meal planning. That leads to consuming foods that are over processed, chock-full of bad fats, a ton of calories and lacking in good nutrition.


It's good nutrition that will give me the energy to get through the day ... I know that!


Without good nutritious foods, I can eat and eat and eat and still feel hungry because my body is craving the good nutrition. I hear more and more from people much smarter than I on the subject of nutrition talking about how we're all tired ... not because of having a hectic day, but because we make horrible food choices.


It totally makes sense! Here's an analogy: If we use a gas that's dirty and full of stuff that's not going to help our engine run and just there for filler, then our car won't go very far. But if we use high octane fuel, we'll be purring right along with power all day!


What does this mean? The better choices I make in what I eat, the more energy I'll have and the more healthy I will be. I gotta put down the pizza rolls, stop going out to that fast food place everyday for lunch, cut out sugary drinks.



When grocery shopping, I'm getting more foods from the fresh produce section and skipping the snack section all together. I've started eating more leafy greens and raw vegetables.


One thing I've been enjoying a ton is fresh vegetable/fruit juices. I'm not drinking the "juice *from concentrate" as found on the store shelves, I'm actually juicing my carrots, celery, beets, broccoli, cilantro, peppers, apples, oranges and more!


And, to get even more of the right nutrition, I've begun taking a super-food supplement that is loaded with all the essential vitamins and minerals we need everyday. I simply mix a super food powder (that can be found at many supplement shops) in with my freshly made fruit juice in the morning.


I'm not cutting out meats and sweets, just being cautious of what I'm eating and how I'm eating. I'm logging my food in a diary of sorts and studying what I'm eating. What are the calories? What am I allotted

today? These things I really need to force myself to do. 


I'm told it's all about calories in versus calories out.


The things I've done in the past two weeks alone has helped me lose 15 lbs since Christmas. And the more I watch what I eat, take in nutritious foods and continue to work out, the more energy I have! It's amazing.


I really can't wait to see the results come April 6th when I'm ready to hit the road for the Lincoln Presidential Half-Marathon.


Next time I'll share with you some of the things that have helped me in tracking my nutrition, calorie count and exercise.

For all you smokers ...

See the previous blog "And So It Begins ..."


I am going to be honest with this running blog. It's a blog about running, but I'm going to be updating it consistently, so please feel free to subscribe to the blog by putting this link into your RSS reader. Also, be sure to give me some feedback. Either through email, tweet, Facebook message or whatever. Let me hear about the things that's helped you out along the way in getting healthier or in training for a long-distance run. Also, if you have questions for me, I'll do my best to answer them!


For the first few initial posts, I want to share a few things that I've already been doing. These are things you could do yourself, but keep in mind, I'm not your primary physician. Before beginning any workout, you should consult a physician.


Quit smoking! Next to a good diet and exercise, quitting smoking is the best thing you can do to jump-start a healthy lifestyle--in my untrained opinion. If you smoke, I'd strongly suggest quitting! I have!


How did I quit? For me, I'm a smoker. I've smoked for years! I'm not quite 30 years old, but let's just say I had my first cigarette nearly 21 years ago. Since then, I've quit about two-dozen times and broke many resolutions. Though I've had my one evening of weakness hanging out with some old friends over the holiday, I can say I've successfully 'quit' cold-turkey for about seven weeks.


"But Bishop, you said you are a smoker. How can you quit if you ARE a smoker. What gives?"

Put that cigarette down and get running!
Put that cigarette down and get running!


Well, I know I have an addiction. When I see a smoke in a movie or I'm in some social situation where I used to enjoy a cig, it is difficult to refrain from asking someone to bum a square. But I know I'm human and that even if I do slip, that doesn't mean I have to go out and buy a pack and smoke them habitually until they're gone.


One of the wonderful gifts of this life is we have will power! We can tell ourselves that we don't need cigarettes.


I wanted to get into shape and going to the gym smelling of smoke is embarrassing. Also, my girlfriend does a good job of telling me how badly my skin would stink, even if I hadn't had a cigarette it would still linger for hours. It is disgusting! These types of affirmations, when repeated, will work to change your psychology. You will start thinking how little value cigarettes really is in your life--it's science (though I don't have a source for that, so just take my word).


Everyone is going to be different. I've tried the nicotine gum, and it only seemed to make me chew more gum. I'm not one to take pharmaceuticals to cure something so I've never taken that Chantix stuff. Plus I've heard horror stories of mood swings and nightmares, so ... no thanks!

Chemicals in the standard cigarette
Chemicals added to the standard cigarette


I've also heard that the hypnosis stuff works for a while, but then people relapse. Surely some of you have heard of the other ways people have tried to kick the habit.


Another thing I feel helped me quit this time is the fact that for a good three to four months I bought tobacco and rolling papers and rolled my own cigarettes. I specifically used organic tobacco that isn't sprayed with all the chemicals that make smokes even more addicting. Now, my roll-your-owns tasted like I was smoking a piece of bark that had fallen from a tree. It eventually just seemed pointless to be smoking those, so I gave 'em all together.


The urge to go out an buy a pack is there, for sure, but I just think about how I don't want cigarettes to control my schedule (more psychology). I don't want the cigarette to consume my breaks at work or to postpone my trip to the gym to better myself or to train for a half-marathon. I don't want my clothes to stick anymore. I enjoy actually smelling and tasting foods instead of there always being a hint of ashtray. I don't want my skin to be smokey and oily anymore. I don't want my lungs to fill up with toxins from all the chemicals sprayed on the tobacco.


So as I work and train for better health and the half-marathon, what seems like more of a daunting task, I'm going to keep telling myself how much better I can breath without lungs full of smoke. In order to run 13.1 miles, I am going to need all the lung capacity I can get.

And so it begins ...

I have agreed to run in the International Lincoln Presidential Half-Marathon.  That's a half-marathon ... 13.1 miles.  


For those of you out there who have performed the epic feat in the past, congrats to you.  I envy you.  


Me, I have not.  Actually, I hate running!  I don't think I've ever ran long distances.  Even when I played football all throughout my adolescence, I hated running.


But, I plan on doing this.  Why?  For me.  


Penny picture from
Penny picture from

In 2013, I'm going to be 30.  I want to be in better shape at the age of 30 than I was when I was 18.  Why?  For quality of life!


Actually, we all know it's because I want that coveted Lincoln Penny Medal! 


But really, I want a better quality of life!  We only get one round on this earth.  Why not take it by the horns and embrace the things that this body is capable of doing?  If we really put our mind to it, we can change things.  But, it starts with us!  


This won't be easy.  I know that.  I don't want it to be easy.  Why?  Because I know the easy way doesn't produce results.


I hope you'll join me in this journey!  You can get more details here.  Also, check out some video from when my friend Josie ran the half-marathon last year.  


The 13.1 mile half-marathon is April 6th.  Between now and then, I'm going to train into a running machine!  There's gonna be a lot of baby steps along the way, and I'm going to learn more about my body than I probably wanted to know, but the goal is to finish the race.


Any and all tips and tricks and resources you'd like to share, please do! 


2013-04 | 2013-03 | 2013-02 | 2013-01

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