I have now spent three full months on the diabetes medication Mounjaro. I have settled in on the 5.0 mg dose for the last two months and have no interest in titrating up in dosage unless I stop seeing its benefits. At this point, nearly all negative side effects have vanished. I did have some moderate nausea in week 10, after injecting the medicine into my thigh, but had no issues the following week after returning to my normal belly injections.
I am still steadily losing weight, having lost over 35 lbs since starting the medication. While Mounjaro has been a tremendous tool to help me make progress, I have also tightened up my diet and increased my running and hiking miles. My calorie intake is consistently around 1300-1400 per day. I also eat very low amounts of processed sugar and consume a “lowish” amount of carbs.
There are still certain foods that have little appeal to me. Basically, anything with spice or intense flavor. I am relying on bland foods such as chicken, salmon, asparagus, nuts, and cheese. I did manage to eat some pizza on a work outing with no ill effects, and interestingly enough, I had no desire to continue eating it … which is a dramatic mental shift for me.
As of this writing my weight is 243 lbs. Down from 278 at the start of Mounjaro. My sugar levels have been pretty decent, though I have had some isolated highs and lows. Most surprising is that my blood pressure has improved. I did not expect that. I have set a goal weight of 220 … I was at that weight in 2021 when I completed the Fuzzy Fandango 50k trail run and my fitness level was far greater than it is right now. I’m hoping that with Mounjaro, I can recapture, and then sustain, that magic!
In this easy read, author Richard Gallegos details his journey from addiction to ultra running. In a memoir that is reminiscent of Mike Magnuson’s Heft on Wheels, Gallegos seemingly moved from one end of the spectrum to the other. His transformation is really quite astounding and should offer hope to anyone who feels too lost to find recovery. In reality, Gallegos seemed to channel his addictive personality for good, replaced a harmful addiction to drugs and alcohol with an addiction to ultra running. I was impressed as much with his transparency as I was his endurance. There is some foul language, and some gory depictions from his career as an EMT. I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in the world of ultra running and/or recovery. I found it on Amazon for my kindle and at the time of this writing, it is free for those with a Kindle Unlimited account.
The Dying 2 Self Podcast returns for the second season absolutely no asked for! In this episode, I will discuss in great detail my experience with the Optavia Weight Loss Program and introduce the new Youtube Channel. I’ll also reveal what I’ve been up to since the first season.
I enjoyed this read for multiple reasons. First, I am am a big fan of race director Laz Lake, but I must admit I more familiar with his Backyard Ultras and Barkley Marathons. By reading this book, I was able to familiarize myself with his Heart of the South multi-day, multi-state format. My interest was really peaked when author Marc Frost shared he was suffering from a torn meniscus as he set out on this adventure. I am currently plagued by the same injury and need to find inspiration wherever available!
Frost details the adventure that is the Heart of the South in a way that is honest, humorous, and accessible. As a fellow older runner, I found this book greatly inspirational. And as a runner who never had much speed … I am happy events like the Heart of the South exist!
Frost shared in this book that he walked this entire event … and <spoiler alert> … he finished quite will. Knowing this makes me wonder if I could train for a similar adventure.
I highly recommend this book if you are interested in ultra distance running events.
I must admit that I am a David Goggins fanboy. The guy is incredible. Its not often you find someone who not only “talks the talk” but “walks the walk”, but Goggins manages to do just that. There’sno denying his accomplishment. Navy Seal. Army Ranger School. Air Force Tactical air Controller Training. Ultrarunner. Ultracyclist. And, as I learned in this book, Medic and Fire Jumper. If anyone has earned the right to speak his mind and spout advices on toughness, it’s David Goggins.
This book chronicles Goggins’ attempt to complete Fire Jumping School after major knee surgery. It also details his attempt to recover his edge (not that he ever really lost it) as he entered his upper forties. In doing so, Goggin’s reveals his growth since his first book Can’t Hurt Me hit the shelves.
I happened to read this book at the right time in my life as I am currently struggling with a Meniscus tear and MCL injury that has shut my own running down for the year. At 52, I walk the fine the line between running long distances and doing damage to my knees and, I must admit, that it was cathartic to see Goggins face struggles of his own. The key to his success as it turns out has little to do with being a physical beast (although he is) and more to do with his mindset. Goggins has determined to be the best in all that he does and has put in the work to achieve it. His story is equal parts encouraging and daunting.
Disclaimer to all readers who are easily offended by bad language … Goggins writes like he talks. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Having read multiple accounts of thru hikers on the Appalachian Trail, I wanted to switch it up and read something about the Pacific Coast Trail. Written, I suspect, as a tribute to his son who joined him for a portion of the hike, Rick Rogers’ book was exactly what I was looking for. Rogers approaches this hiking memoir in a clever, light-hearted manner. I especially enjoined his anecdotes about the people he encountered along the way. I was surprised to discover I became a tiny bit invested in these people and couldn’t help but wonder what had come of them after Rogers (trail name Finn) completed his thru hike.
Like other thru hiking memoirs I’ve read, this one is far less “how to” than it is simply Finn spinning a yarn about his hike. I am completely unfamiliar with the Pacific Coast Trail so I found this fairly interesting. Honestly, there were parts of this book that made the PCT fairly unappealing. The Appalachian Trail seems far superior with less odd ducks and deserts …. it did whet my appetite, however, to learn more about the PCT. I would love to visit sometime and hike its more appealing sections.
This one will appeal to anyone interested in the PCT.
Plagued by a past injury and chronic pain, this book chronicles author Peter Conti’s quest for healing on the Appalachian Trail. While not technically a thru hiker, Conti tackled the AT over the course of 2 years. His hypothesis was simple, to hike every mile of the AT, the chronic and severe pain he suffered from a hip injury would have to heal and, ultimately, disappear. Conti’s story is very much one of overcoming debilitation. I would recommend this for anyone who is at the wrong end of climb. It could be injury, age, weight, bad circumstances … whatever the obstacle, Conti’s story serves as an example of what can be accomplished with patience, grit, and determination.
Parts of this little book were witty and quite enjoyable and George Mahood is a talented writer, however, I grew tired if the random stream of conscience that meandered between running, biking, and swimming anecdotes. It was entertaining at best and irrelevant at worst. It was sort of like reading an extended magazine article … suited well for passing the time in a waiting room, but not much else.
On the surface, this is an amazing story of an endurance athlete overcoming injury to return to her sport. It’s value, however, is at a deeper level. Hillary Allen conquered more then just a physical injury. Basically, the sport of trail running, her passion, tried to kill her. The mental baggage and struggle that ensued would have been too much for some people, but Allen leaned into the tenacity that makes her an elite trail runner to begin with and forged a path to recovery. There is a lesson to be learned from her experience. As a novice, weekend runner, I wonder if it is possible to tap into the same kind of tenacity Allen put on display. Injury? Illness? Obstacles? Is it possible to just keep living and adjust until you are able to overcome?
Hillary Allen has a great deal to teach the reader in this book and I enjoyed my glimpse into the mental space she lives in.
Having stumbled upon this author and her running memoir on Twitter, I decided to take a chance on it. I am glad I did as I found myself identifying with it on many levels. First, I enjoyed reading about Nita Sweeney’s journey from non-runner to endurance athlete as it paralleled my own in many ways. Like me, she began with the Couch to 5k Program before progressing to longer distances. Like me, she shed some weight along the way and was an adult-onset athlete (a term I borrow from John Bingham). I enjoyed reading her story because in many ways it validates my own. I have a tendency to regret all the the years I spent as a non-runner. How fast could I be and how accomplished could I be if I had only started when I was younger? Sweeney’s story remind me however that I am a sample size of one. Being older and/or slower than others does not make me less of a runner!
Secondly, I enjoyed reading about the author’s running exploits in Columbus, Ohio. I live forty minutes from Ohio’s capital and was familiar with many of the places she described. I did find myself growing jealous when she wrote about the support and friendship’s she forged in the MIT running group. The running community in my little town is growing, but there is nothing like MIT where I live. That coupled with my own introverted tendencies has prevented me from feeling like I belong in the running community. Fortunately, I am blessed to have my wife to train with!
Finally, I appreciated how the author found running as a coping mechanism for her depression. Like all families, mine has been touched by depression and I have long argued that a trifold approach must be taken when dealing with mental illness; mental, spiritual, and physical. I firmly believe that any approach to mental illness that lacks one of the pillars is insufficient. Sweeney points out wisely that running didn’t “cure” her depression, however, there is no doubt it has allowed her to cope with it. What a great reminder!
I recommend this book for adult onset athletes, those battling with mental health, and anyone who enjoys a good running memoir.