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Friday, November 5, 2010

Red Bandana: Lost and Found: Subway's Jared Fogle and Us

Read this week's column too! Do Not Run and Play Air Guitar & "Run to Overcome" by Marathoner Meb Keflezighi Reviewed

Do you remember Jared Fogle? He is the guy who lost 245 pounds by eating Subway sandwiches. Losing that kind of weight is amazing and inspiring. That he ate at Subway, while true and great marketing for the sandwich chain, is only part of the story. The real reason he lost weight is that he disciplined his portions, and chose carefully what was in those portions.

What has happened since? He gained 40 lbs., and, apparently, relost it, according to Advertising Age. Better yet, Subway, realizing the opportunity before them, signed poor Jared up for the New York Marathon. They matched him up with Olympic gold medalist swimmer Michael Phelps, for NFL (New York Giants) defensive end Michael Strahan, and, the winner of last year's NYC Marathon Meb Keflezighi. Good company, to be sure, but 26.2 miles is just as long for famous people as it is for we unknowns.

Jared, if successful in finishing the race, will not only weigh less, but by merit of the hundreds of miles he ran in his training, he will be fitter. That is worth a footlong meatball sandwich with extra cheese, in my opinion.

So what if Jared fell off the wagon and gained a few pounds. A big deal? Not at all. Think long-term, and that includes refocusing on the goals at hand. Running head-first in a few too many cheeseburgers could happen to any of us. Success is what happens the next day, and the day after that.

Keep a Running Journal
Are you having trouble keeping yourself accountable? Keep track of what you are doing. This tool can help you remain encouraged as you look back over a few months and realize you are making progress.

A few years back, after a long layoff from running and plenty of fresh flab around my mid-section, I read in "Runner's World" the idea of a running blog. In 2007, I started one, "A Runner's Dilemma." That was 600 posts ago, through my ups and downs of trying to stick to getting fit. Others who in the same boat read it, and let me know how they are doing. It helps us both.

Most posts reflect that day's workout. How many miles I ran, walked, how fast I went, and the total, plus a comment about the run. If I run outside, I include the weather. Sometimes I include things impacting my running, like an inspirational quote or video. Mostly, it helps me watch my progress.

Similarly, try keeping a spreadsheet for each day. Mine is simple. It includes columns for my weight goal, my actual weight, my resting pulse rate, my miles run for the preceding seven days, how many miles I ran, and how many miles I walked. It keeps me honest.

I figure the goal weight by looking at how many pounds I want to lose compared to what day I want to weigh in. In the downloadable chart I have included on my website, I assume you want to lose 10 lbs by Valentine's Day. You have 107 days to get the job done, and I average it all out through a formula. You can change all of it to suit your own situation and goals.

Running Playlist Song of the Week
"Bad to the Bone" by George Thorogood and the Destroyers, 1982

I'm a car singer. When it is just me, I turn it up and sing at the top of my lungs. This one brings out my inner blues man. As a running song, it carries a strong tempo, a hard beat, and twice the attitude found in anything Katy Perry sings.

"On the day I was born, the nurses all gathered 'round.
And they gazed in wide wonder, at the joy they had found.
The head nurse spoke up, and she said leave this one alone.
She could tell right away, that I was bad to the bone.
Bad to the bone
Bad to the bone
B-B-B-B-Bad to the bone
Bad to the bone."

Writer Anthony Trendl loves BBQs, folk music and porches. He looks to running as he battles midlife and his mid-section. Find out more:

For more about my running adventures, see A Runner’s Dilemma (workout details, videos and more):

The Red Bandana: Finding Fitness Through the Joy of Running

More on Jared Fogle's Marathon Journey

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