Donald's Bacon Bytes

bytes of information as tasty as bacon

Half Marathon

Topic: Fitness | Tags: ,


Exactly 1 year after struggling through a 5k I made it through a half marathon! I ran the Eugene 5k race last year in 32:55 for a pace of 10:36 per mile. That was a pretty good pace considering I had just started running 2 months before that and could barely go a couple minutes without stopping when I had started running. One year later I was able to complete the half marathon in 2:18:23 for a pace of 10:34 per mile. I had beaten my 5k pace and ran over 4 times further!

What now? Run a full marathon? Hang up my running shoes? Not really sure. It took a lot of time to train for this. Some weeks I was running over 25 miles a week and it was hard to get that many miles done. For a marathon, that isn’t very much. It would be cool to have a marathon under my belt but the time commitment for training is a bit of a hurdle. For now though I am going to scale done the running and hit the weight room.

donald at hayward

Weight loss – before & after

Topic: Fitness | Tags: ,


I have gone to the gym off and on over the years trying to lose weight but never really had that much success. I think one of the biggest things was how I ate and probably somewhat with determination. Back in January I decided that I was finally going to do it. I was going to lose weight and get fit.

So, I started going to the gym more and meeting with a personal trainer. I was lucky enough to have access to free personal trainers thanks to the gym at my work (Symantec).  As a side note, you can’t get into the gym at work unless you work there but they person that owns and operates the gym has a public gym as well ( The trainers split time between both places . I highly recommend checking them out. They were a HUGE encouragement and help along the way. They are great people to work with and they know what they are talking about.

Anyway, when I started this journey on January 20th (2012), I weighed in at 226 lbs and had 28.5% body fat. With lots of running, lifting weights and vastly improved eating habits, I am now down to 179.5 lbs and 16.3% body fat (August 23, 2012).

A lot of people think they have to give up the foods they like to lose weight. I kept a very detailed food diary and if you look at it, you will notice I didn’t give up my favorite foods. I eat bacon on a regular basis (I ate some while writing this post). Last week I had a cheeseburger for lunch on two separate days. Then I had a rib eye steak today for lunch. I do eat a lot of veggies as well. I have probably had more veggies over the last 7 months than I have had my entire life combined. The key has been moderation and tracking how much I consume vs. how much I burn. I used a website and phone app to track everything and you can see my profile at (you can sign up here as well for free).

Diet wasn’t the only thing though. It took a lot of exercise to pull this off as well. When I started, I could barely jog (not sure it was really jogging) for a minute or two. I have now ran in multiple 5k races and two 10k races. I am currently on a routine of jogging 2-3 days per week and lifting heavy weights 2-3 days per week. Next week (and for the next 4 weeks) I will be doing a more targeted weight lifting routine 4 days per week with only 1-2 days of jogging.

I have learned a lot through this journey. I couldn’t have done it without my amazing wife who had to put up with my detail oriented approach to food. Yes, I got a little crazy weighing everything that I ate so I new exactly how many calories I was consuming.

If you have any questions, need help starting or some extra motivation, hit me up and we can chat.


10k Training

Topic: Fitness | Tags: ,


Like I mentioned in my last post, I am working towards running a 10k. For me, it helps to have goals when working out. Something to strive for, something to compete against. I’m a pretty competitive person even when I am competing against myself. I am planning to run the Butte to Butte 10k on July 4th. It will be the first time I have ever run that distance.

Since I am competitive, I don’t want to just beat my goal, I want to obliterate it. So, after reading some various training tips from a few different sites, I have come up with a 9 week training schedule that will hopefully get me to that goal and will also keep me progressing towards my weight loss goal. Check it out and feel free to comment with any ideas, recommendations, likes, dislikes or whatever else.


  • Day 1 – Alternate every week: Stair day / Speed day
  • Day 2 – Heavy Weights
  • Day 3 – Long Distance
    • 5 total miles for 3 weeks, 5.5 total miles for 3 weeks, 6 total miles for 3 weeks
  • Day 4 – Tabata Weights
  • Day 5 – Pace day
    • 3 total miles for 3 weeks, 3.5 total miles for 3 weeks, 4 total miles for 3 weeks
  • Day 6 – Hills
  • Day 7 – REST!!!

Stair Day: This is a 1 mile warm up jog followed by running up and down 7 flights of stairs.

Speed Day: This is a 1 mile warm up jog followed by 300-400 meter sprints (whatever your definition of sprinting speed is).

Heavy Weights: This consists of basic weight lifting but doing heavy weights with low reps and 3-4 sets. Mainly doing upper body to give legs a rest. I will also do some core exercises on these days as well.

Long Distance: The first time at the distance may not be straight jogging the entire time. For me it was jogging for 3 miles, walking for about 1/5th of a mile and then jogging the rest. The idea is to run at a speed that you can cover the entire distance without walking or with every little walking. It doesn’t have to be at your goal pace. Just get the distance covered and pace will be worked on the other days.

Tabata Weights: Just like the heavy weights, this is mainly upper body with some core exercises thrown in. Tabata’s is basically intervals and was originally done with sprints but the style has been used for strength training also. The idea is that you go all out for 20 seconds, take a 10 second rest and repeat that 8 times for a total of 4 minutes. For example, last week I did 8 rounds of tabata’s in this order: push ups, assisted pull ups, rows, shoulder press, dips, plank ups, crunches.

Pace Day: This is a day to run at my goal pace. I may not be able to run the entire distance at this pace so I will run half a mile or a mile at my goal pace, walk for a few minutes and do it again.

Hills: The 10k that I am doing is up hill for the entire first mile. So, day 6 is a day to practice running up hill.

Fitness Baby Steps

Topic: Fitness | Tags: ,


Back around the middle of January I decided I was going to get serious about losing weight and getting fit. I have worked out off and on over the years but never really got in great shape. In 2007 I started doing some running and had run in my first ever 5k race. But, in the fall of that year I ended up tearing something in my ankle and spending the next 3 months on crutches.

This time around, I am doing things differently. The biggest difference has been tracking everything I eat or drink. I set a calorie goal along with macro nutrient goals and went for it. I also started eating real vegetables (ice burg lettuce with a big glob of ranch dressing doesn’t count). It started out by adding a small piece of broccoli to my salad. Then adding a 2nd piece the next week. Baby steps.

I started running again as well. Back in January I could barely make a half it a mile before having to walk. After 5 months of baby steps, I can now get in a 5 mile run. I’m not fast by any means but I am getting better. What started out as jogging/walking a mile in 14 minutes turned into running my 2nd ever 5k race in 32:55 for a pace of 10:36 per mile. My 5 mile pace is a little slower at a pace of 11:55 per mile but I know that if I keep with it, that pace will pick up just like the 5k pace picked up (check out my next post for how I plan to do that). My next goal is to do a 10k in July and finish in 66 minutes.

As far as weight loss, I started out on January 20th weighing in at 226 pounds. I haven’t been under 200 pounds in 7 or 8 years. I have come close but hadn’t reached that mark. As of today though, I finally made it. I came in at 199.2 pounds for a loss of 26.8 pounds so far. It seemed so far away and was hard to imagine reaching this point. My goal of 179 doesn’t seem so farfetched now.

Even if I don’t hit that weight goal, I know I am in better shape than I have been in for a long time. My eating habits have also changed. From having to force down a bite of vegetables to someone who is now enjoying vegetables.

If you have been thinking about losing weight or trying to run, stop thinking and start doing. You don’t have to go out and run 3 miles or lose 10 pounds in your first week. You just have to get started taking baby steps.

I would also encourage you to start logging your food and drink intake. I use a website called MyFitnessPal. They have a good web interface as well as mobile apps. I don’t totally agree with their eating recommendations but it is a start and they do allow you to add your own goals rather than using their pre built ones. Feel free to check out my profile and food diary for ideas and add me as a friend when you get signed up. My username is dhansen999.