Saturday, March 31, 2012

Tough Mudder "Dallas" 2012

Tough Mudder is a mental and physical battle of strength, endurance, and pain.

Friday evening Ellen's parents arrived in town. We headed over to Genghis Grill so Phillip (my father-in-law) and I could carb load for the big event the next day. I joined the Amarillo Athletes team that was headed by Blue Bagget, the owner of the Amarillo Athletes CrossFit type gym. There were 31 people on our team. Click this link to read the Amarillo Globe-News article about the team.

We woke up at 5:30am and got on the road at 6:30 to head to the hotel in Dallas where the rest of the team was staying. Phillip and I were still full from dinner so we just got a strawberry/oatmeal parfait and I got a smoothie. Our team was scheduled to start at noon and the website said to be there 2 hours early for registration/packet pickup. The team was taking a while to get ready so Phillip and I headed out at 7:50. It is a 100 mile drive from Dallas. We decided to stop in Corsicana to make a rest stop and get any supplies/snacks we needed. Phillip's friend Dr. Bob Gerald was staying in Corsicana and we met up with him because he knew they way to Freestone County Raceway. I had planned to grab some breakfast from Sonic but just grabbed a Powerade instead. We got to the exit for the event and found that the line to get in was backed up over 4 miles. Luckily it was just past 9am and we had plenty of time until we had to start.

We waited a while and slowly started moving. The rest of the team was way behind us. I finished my Powerade and starting drinking the 1.5 liter bottle of water I brought to stay hydrated. It was cloudy and 71 degrees so we rolled down the windows and opened the sunroof. Eventually the water did it magic and I decided to let Phillip take over the wheel while I found some bushes to water. As luck would have it as soon as I got out the traffic started moving. I started sprinting to the car running along side a mini-van full of people. The driver pretended he was racing me. Phillip had pulled over and I hopped in the car and it stopped moving. We lost about 4 places in line. I decided this was the perfect time to put on some sun block and flip thru my CD collection to find music to pump me up. Phillip decided to find a fence so I got back at the wheel and put in my James Brown album. He always gets me pumped up. Half an hour passed and I did not see Phillip but I kept moving forward. About 11:15am the sun came out and the clouds started to fade away. I decided to take am 5-hour energy drink and listen to Rage Aganist the machine. I felt like I was in high school again bouncing around in my car with the music blaring and my windows down. Ellen called me and I explained what was going on. Right about this time I saw Phillip and Bob drinking beers with some cowboys leaning again a fence. Leave it up to those to to find such a thing. I got a text that said, "We apologize for the delay in parking. Don't worry if you missed your start time, time you can start in a later group. See you soon." I started to relax a bit. Alot of people had abandoned their car along the road or paid to park at some ranch houses and were walking and jogging to the entrance. Eventually was got to the overflow parking lot and waited to assemble our group.

We walked into the registration area and turned in our "Death Waiver" and picked up out bibs and got our numbers written on our arms with a permanent marker. We made a dash for the restroom then scaled an 8ft wall to get to the starting line. There was an MC with a microphone there getting up pump and playing the national anthem. At 1:10pm we started. The beginning was a bunch of hills along the motorcross track mixed in with puddle of mud. The first obstacle was a pond with rows of barrells across it. You had to swim under them and get to the other side. Next up there was a 10ft wall. I am only 5'7" on a tall day so I had someone give me a lift and I fell backwards right on my ass. The second attempt was a success. Next up we had to crawl under some barbed wire in the mud. We waded thru another pond then came up on a bunch of mud/clay hills with shoulder deep water between them. There was a photo op right in the middle. We got out of the mud and came up on three dumpster and an ice truck. We climbed into the dumpster and had to duck under a board into the ice cold water. I screamed like a little girl as I came back up and climbed out. Mile 1 complete. Next up was a long run and I trailed just behind Bob and Phillip. I slowed down when we crossed a watery mud puddle. The next two miles had a few obstacle but i can't really remember them or the sequence. We had the crawl thru a dark tunnel, under more barbed wire, and thru a wooden narrow trench. At mile 3 we came up on a sign that said "You just completed the Warrior Dash but you are a Tough Mudder and still have 9 miles to go." Yay, looks like this is a 12 mile obstacle course! We came up on a traffic jam. We got a chance to pee and catch out breath.

We had to cross a creek with steep muddy banks. Everyone was going to the left so our guy decided to go to the right. Phillip was the first one up and warned me about the thorny wild roses so I climbed up a steeper area. I grabbed a thick root and used my right leg to climb up and my right calf cramped up a little. We started running again and came to an water station. I grabbed a banana and chugged 3 cups of water. I felt a boost of energy and started back on the trail with a some pep in my step. I think it might have been at this point that we did the log carry. Bob, Phillip, and I carried an 8-10ft log together. I got in the middle and had to hold it up while they rest it on their shoulders. We waded thru a pond then put it back. It was at this point we lost our other team members and headed down a long straight out and back. Next up was rows of walls across water with 2x4s for your toes and fingers to scale across. Phillip went first followed by Bob and I was right next to him. When we got 3/4s of the way across the board got thinner and I was putting all my weight on my finger tips. I slowed down and made it across. That was a fun unexpected obstacle. We took up running again and Bob twisted his ankle so we slowed down for a bit. The next task was crossing a long with two ropes. One for your feet and for your hands. The other guys in our team catch up and Bob crossed with them and I cross the same rope as Phillip. It got wobbly but I found holding my facing each other on the rope helped me keep my balance. We got across and Phillip cleaned out his shoes and Bob fell on his face in the slimy mud. I think we were at about mile 6 at this point.

At the next water station I grabbed a gel back out of my bag, tore it open with my teeth since my gloves were caked in mud and just quirted it at my mouth. We took off running again and came up on a HUGE hill that was muddy. We decided to go up the left side since it was a little dryer. When we got to the top the other side was slick so we slide down on our butts. I hit my tailbone halfway down and winced in pain a little. We ran over some smaller hills and with the last of my endurance I took off sprinting and waiting at the beginning of devils beard. We got behind a guy that was 6'4" or more and walked under the heavy muddy rope nets holding it above our heads. The next obstacle was twinkle toes. 8 double 2x4 across a pool. We went to the one on the far right but soon found out it was bowed and wobbly. Phillip went first and made it almost halfway before he lost his balance and fell in. I decided to go next and lined my feet up straight with the board. When I got to the middle it started to shake so I stopped and found my balance. I slowed down and made it across. Next up was Bob and after seeing a girl take uff her shoes he did the same holding hit arms out like a T with his shoes in his hand. He made a ways but fell in when the board started shaking. We got back on the trail and crossed mile 10 marker.

We ended up in some super sticky mud and my left shoe was close to being sucked off. We got down into a creek bed and everything came to a stop. I found pointing my toes downward and keeping my heels high reduced the mud sucking in my shoes. Bob and Phillip and some other got fed up with the traffic jam so we hopped a fence and back tracked to the next obstacle, MOUNT EVEREST!!!. It was tall curved wall that was oiled down. There were guy was the top laying down with there arms out to catch people. Bob went first and ran up but could not grap their hands. I went next and sprinted but missed and slid down on my toes. Phillip and I tried about 3-4 times and on the fourth time I banged my knee and scraped as I came down the wall. We both decided we were done not wanting to injure our knees. We watched Bob keep trying and he finally made it. He is a tough 63 year old. We waited while he helped up a few fellow mudders. Bob's wife Laurel was there taking pictures. We were at mile marker 11 and there were alot of spectators watching the final 5-6 obstacles.

Next up was the electric eel. It was similar to the one where you crawl under barbed wire but this one had electrical wire dangling lower and it with full of thick muddy slimy water. There was a guy saying,"The power is off, GO! GO! GO!" so Phillip dived in and I followed right being him. We managed to make it without a shock but we had to keep our whole body and half our face up to our nose in the mud. We got out and Laurel took a picture of the three of us. NEXT UP the one I had been dreading for a while, Funky Monkey, pyramid shaped monkey bars over water. When we got to it the water was deeper and it was shorter than it looked in the videos and pictures I had seen. Phillip and I used a discarded piece of cloth use while the mud off our gloves. I said my goal was to make it 5 bars but when we got closer we saw the bars were not secured and rolled in place. I decided to go last. Bob and Phillip both fell in and I made it 2-3 bars and did the same. Right after we came up to the plank. You have to climb up a slanted wall to get to the platform. I climbed up first once we got on top I decided to jump as soon as possible because height tend to make me nervous. I jumped in and held my bag because the zipper was stuck open. The water was refreshing and the cleanest we had been in all day. I was able to zip my bag under water and we headed to the final obstacle... Electric Shock Therapy! There was a big group wait to cross so we cut over the left side. They were letting waves of people cross in rows. The first wave we saw a guy got zapped fell into the row a hay in the middle you have to jump over. He grabbed his knee and crawled off to the side getting zapped as we winced in pain. Next thing I know we went next skipping about 30+ people who were waiting. I got zapped in my right shoulder and dove over the hay and crawled then jumped up and hit a few wires at the end but no shock. We took a group pic at the finish line and grossed it about 5:38pm. It took us 4 hours 28 minutes and we have planned on 3 hours. We got our orange headbands and grabbed a victory beer, chugged it, then grabbed another for good measure.

Next we headed to the showers (a firefighter with a big hose). I laid my stuff in a pile and got sprayed down. I took off my shirt and my superhero boxers and got sprayed again in just my compression shorts. It felt sooo good to be cleaned off. We found Laurel and she gave us our checked bag and took a picture of Phillip and I. We hung around for the rest of our team to finish. Everyone was done by about 6pm. They were headed back to Dallas/Addison and go out for drink but since we had a long walk to the car and a 2+ hour drive back to Denton we decided not to join them. We called our wives and asked them to have some dinner for around 9pm. When we got to south Dallas we called again and they had not figured out food yet so we went to Torchy's Tacos. I had never been there before but I heard of the taco of the month, "Ace of Spades." Since it was March 31st and all be had to eat that day was a parfait, banana, and trail mix I figured it would be the perfect snack before dinner.

I took my Olympus Stylus 720SW Shock and Waterproof came with me in a fanny pack. Some areas there was just was too much mud to clean off the lens. Here are the pictures I took along the way:

I will upload more pictures later and update this blog...

The Course

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Lean and Psyched

I can't believe it is 2 days until the Tough Mudder. Time is flying by right now. I have finally surpassed my end of BFL Challenge 1 (march 2010) level of leanness. A co-worker told me today that I look "cut". I am going thru waves of excitement and nervousness today about the Tough Mudder. I got texts from Ellen earlier that said, "I'm no nervous I don't want to lose you." and "Don't let anyone try to convince you! (to do anything stupid) If my dad trys remind him of the grandchildren he wants someday." It is calming me down reassuring her I won't do anything too risky. I am pumping myself up mentally for the TM. Monkey bars are VERY hard for me and maybe wearing gloves will help. I am doing the pullups so build up my climbing strength.

Right now I am debating if I should skip my usual bicep/tricep workout tomorrow to save my strength and keep from being sore Saturday. I am considering doing the 5:45am Spin class instead.

For my weekly Thursday weight in I was at 170.0 and 13.5% body fat making today the leanest I have ever been. Not being in a 12 week challenge means no stopping any time soon.

This picture describes how I feel right now...
Left (January 2011) right before my first 10k. I was very nervous and almost didn't go.
Right (March 2010) Monkeying around in Reno during Active Rest after my first BFL challenge.

Running with Winston

When we were getting ready this morning Winston (our dog) got very excited. I asked him, "Do you want some more punishment?." He went nuts making some sounds I have never heard before. So we did the same thing as Tuesday evening. We rode to the gym in Ellen's car. She went inside to get on the elliptical trainer. We started out at a slower pace and I could tell he had less energy that two days ago. I decided to turnaround at .75mi instead of 1mi so my run would end closer to home. At 1.5 miles he ran out of steam again so we slowed down as we crossed the crosswalk over Loop 288. We did the last 0.4 miles at a 11-12 min pace and his collar came off right at the end finishing 2 miles in 19:01.

I put the dog inside and decided to do another set of sprints to burn off some more energy. I started under the street light by my house and sprinted 2 streetlight down the street. I rested for 75 seconds then sprinted back. I want to add more sprints into my week to improve my 5k time so I can run the Mayfest 5k in under 25 minutes.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

5k Obstalce Workout

Ellen was not feeling good and lacking motivation so I headed to the park alone. I decided to mix my 5k run with my obstacle course training to simulate more realistically what I will be doing at the Tough Mudder on Saturday. I took off running at a sub 7min pace thinking I might do the 1.5 mile loop in close to 10 minutes but soon discovered I was out of breath so I took the shorter loop that ended up being 1 mile. I ran into the playground full of kids looking like a sweaty bearded crazy person and got on the monkey bars. I found that I am not able to make it across the 8-10 bars. I then did 5 pull ups and 5 chin ups then ran back to the loop. I ended up doing 3 rounds equaling 3.17 miles in 31:20.

I walked back to my car and after I caught my breath I felt like I had more energy. I look across the field and saw some trees and decided to sprint to them as fast as possible. I sprinted 400ish feet and it took me 25 second with a 4:50-5:25 pace. I rested and caught my breath again and sprinted the same distance back in 20 second with a 4:27-5:15 pace. It was dusk and running in the grass in the dark felt like an amazing windy rush. This is the fastest I have even moved on foot according to my garmin connect activity log. My second fastest was my spring thru downtown Fort Worth at the Cowtown Half at a pace of 5:33

Tough Mudder in 3 Days

I am reading over my wavier for the Tough Mudder this weekend. They call it the DEATH WAIVER. Hehehe, uh scary. I am the strongest I have ever been and faster with endurance but nervousness is setting in right now. (That's why I wanted to do it. It is scary and I am tired of saying I am afraid of heights and other excuses.) Checkout the map of the course. You can hover the mouse over each obstacle for a brief description.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Running with Winston

Ellen and I had decided to go to the park for out workout but when I got home I remembered that it it Tuesday and I do my obstacle workouts on Wednesday so we decided to go to the gym instead. We were leaving and out dog Winston started getting excited and running around the house. I decided to run outside with the dog while Ellen got on the Elliptical in the gym. I was only doing 2 miles so I decided I would ride to the gym with Ellen and walk home after my run since our house is about 0.3 miles away to give her a longer time to workout.
We started out at an 8:15 pace and reached 0.5mi in 4:05. Then came the long uphill and we slowed down a little. I was unsure how far he could go but he still had energy at the 1 mile turnaround. We headed back up the hill at a 9ish pace and came down the hill strong. Winston seemed to loose steam at 1.47mi and we slow down to a jog at 1.5mi to recover. At 1.6 I picked up the pace again and with some words of encouragement he stayed just behind my side until we had 0.25 left and I slowed down a little then we went full speed (6:45-7 pace) till the end finishing in 17:36. We started walking home but I love to run so we sprinted another 0.2mi on the way home. Winston was panting for an hour after we got home. He and Ellen will be doing the couch to 5k program together soon.

Quote of the Day

“Beyond the very extreme of fatigue and distress, we may find some amounts of ease and power we never dreamed ourselves to own; sources of strength never taxed at all because we never push through obstruction.” - William James

Monday, March 26, 2012

Chest/Back Superset & Shoulders

I overslept this morning and did not get in my workout before work for the second Monday in a row (three if you count that I took off a Monday from work but I worked out at 9am). I left work an hour early so I could finish my workout before Ellen got home from her physical therapy session. We were both starving and decided to go to Fuzzy's Taco Shop. Our Primal Challenge starts in 2 weeks,
I had a strong workout. I cut some of my rests down to 45 seconds between sets instead of a min and my entire workout lasted 31 minutes. I did drop sets on my instead four 12 rep sets of my third group of superset to cut down addition time. I got home feeling all pumped up and threw on a tank top. Ellen talked me into wearing the shirt I wore to work saying I looked like a douchebag. I told her douchebag is an attitude not a look and I just felt confident and good about myself. Plus this sunny warm spring weather is nice sitting out on the restaurant's patio. Summer is coming and I want to enjoy the comfortable sunny days in the 80s.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

10 Miles in Denton

This morning my friend Eric and his girlfriend Andrea came to Denton to run/jog 10 miles with me. We ran together last Sunday and it was so much fun we decided to do it again. I pushed them hard the first few miles running sub 11 min miles on large rolling hills. We slowed down when we go to the UNT campus and they decided to take a walk break at 5mi. I had to go to restroom so we jogged to 7-11. We got back on pace and I decided to take a flatter route back. Mile 6 was our slowest mile. I had planned it out so that there was a big hill in the last mile and the last 0.5mi was all down hill. With 0.1mi to go I sprinted to the end. We ended up finishing in just under 2 hours.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Where was this article 5-6 weeks ago?

Detaching Yourself from the Outcome


When you’re facing 26.2 miles of hard open road with nothing but a pair of Nikes and your own determination to see you through, you get a little attached to the outcome. In fact, the outcome – the finish line, the win, the PR – sustains you. It drives you. Without the promise of relief it holds, you wouldn’t be here, doing this, running this ridiculous number of consecutive miles. You certainly aren’t going to be savoring each and every step. You won’t be basking in the glory of the toil and immense physical effort as they transpire. You will be anything but present, in the moment; you will be attempting, with all of your mental faculties, to transport yourself to the finish line so that you can finally end the misery of the moment.

Sounds great, doesn’t it? Really makes you wanna become an elite world-class marathoner, right? That’s what I lived for twenty some-odd years of my life as a runner and, later, triathlete: an obsessive fixation on the outcome of whatever grueling bout of endurance I was currently performing complemented by a feverish attempt to ignore what was happening as it happened. If I could have popped a handful of Xanax and conked out for the journey like an air traveler with flight anxiety only to wake up just as my foot crossed the finish line, believe me, I would have.

Naturally, then, getting away from that mindset, especially as it pertained to fitness, was a huge inspiration for me as I developed the Primal Blueprint. Intuitively, it didn’t seem right that humans would willingly submit their bodies to this kind of physical and mental torture. It didn’t make sense. When I asked myself just what the hell was I doing, why I was putting myself through it, I honestly didn’t have a valid answer. I tried to justify it. Believe me, I tried.

“Winning is worth it.”

“Beating the other guys.”

“Setting a PR.”

“Making the Olympics.”

And the best of all: “There’s nothing quite like the feeling of relief right after a race.”

Notice anything? Each and every one of my justifications for continuing to race revolved around the finish line, a hard goal, a destination, a single moment off in the distance. The journey was never even considered. In fact, it was actively ignored and forgotten by design.

It wasn’t always that way. I started out as a kid in rural Maine running for fun with my buddies. I’d run to school. I’d run through the woods. I’d play army games in the forest for days at a time that ranged over miles in every direction. We would run hard, and when we got tired, we would stop until we weren’t. No expectations, no starting blocks, no rules, no winners – this was pure play. Then I got to high school, joined the track team, found that my way of playing translated pretty well to endurance events. I discovered that winning races felt pretty good, and I was pretty good at winning them. What had once been the greatest source of play for me – running – was now a means to an end – winning the race, scoring the points, beating the other guy, making the cut. That I actually enjoy my physical pursuits was immaterial, because I was basically addicted to the winning and the numbers and the records.

Our lives are defined by moments in time, small bits of experience and emotion and sensory input that are fleeting and insubstantial when taken and perceived alone. What I was doing was focusing on just one of those tiny bits of time-space to the exclusion of everything else that led up to it. Winning feels good, for a second. You might even get a trophy or a write up in the paper, but eventually you stop looking at it, and even if you do it’s just a memory of a moment and a feeling – not the moment or the feeling itself. All you can do, then, is create more moments and be present for them. By detaching yourself from the outcome – whether by ignoring it completely, or by not letting it define your self-worth or the worth of the activity – you are free to acknowledge, experience, and enjoy the full spectrum of spacial/temporal/sensory moments that life can offer. In sheer economic terms, you’re getting more (enjoyment, satisfaction, experience) for your money when you detach yourself from the outcome.

If you’ve ever wondered about my focus on play, playing is the best way to teach yourself to enjoy the moment and detach yourself from the outcome, for by its clinical, scientific, objective definition:

Play is purposeless. There is no goal in mind, no destination. There is only the experience of the moment. Otters don’t play to improve their chance at surviving predators or procuring food (in fact, their playing might actually have survival costs in the short-term); children don’t climb jungle gyms and hang upside down from monkey bars to improve their grip and get sweet abs. They do these things because they’re fun. Any tangible benefits are extra.

Play is all-consuming. Real, honest (not half-hearted) play demands your full attention. You’re not thinking about work or bills or what you’re gonna make for dinner that night. You’re fully immersed in the moment. Your only concern lies in getting that ball in that hoop, or getting around your defender, or reading the defense, or figuring out how to get the other guy’s rook without leaving your bishop open to attack. And quickly – just like that! – the situation changes, and your focus along with it. But it always remains honed in on the present moment.

Beyond it being, well, fun, there are practical reasons for incorporating play into your fitness.

You’ll be more active. Humans are ultimately hedonists, and a hedonist is more likely to do a thing that feels good. If exercise is fun and “feels good,” if the “journey” itself compels you, you’re going to end up fitter and more active.

Your training will be more effective. By focusing on the moment – on what your body is actually doing – you will enjoy more powerful and precise neuromuscular engagement. Quite literally, thinking specifically about the movements you’re performing will make those movements more focused, powerful, and effective.

You will reduce injury. I attribute some of my running injuries not just to the sheer volume of my training (overuse), but also to the loss of technique and form that occurs when you try to ignore the act of running. I would focus only on the finish line while trying to block out what my body was undergoing, and in doing so, the quality of my running would suffer.

Now, I don’t want to discount the place of goal-setting. Goals can be helpful for some, and necessary in many situations. I’m not against planning, or thinking ahead, or competing to win. But I caution against allowing your goals to define and control you. And this should go without saying, but don’t do something that makes you avoid the moment. Ultimately, wedding yourself to the goal sets you up for what feels like an EPIC FAIL and crushing disappointment when it isn’t reached while precluding you from enjoying life – enjoying those little seemingly inconsequential moments that lead up to the finish line. And this says nothing of the fact that strict goal setting can keep you from enjoying the end result, however good, if it isn’t exactly what you expected it to be. That is, it can keep you from seeing all the other possibilities that result from the the process you commited to, or the principles you let guide your day-to-day decisions.

Listen, you’re not going to control the outcome by honing in on it to the exclusion of everything else. On the other hand, when you focus on the present (when you think about what your body is doing and what you’re lifting and where you’re landing and how this muscle feels when it’s engaged and the power of the current and the temperature of the water and the blazing sun overhead – all of it!), you’ll likely end up smashing the competition and reaching your destination anyway – without having missed the awesome journey.

Are you able to detach yourself from the outcome? If so, how has it affected your life and your training? If not, do you think you should? I hope you all got something from this post. I don’t expect (or even want) you to quit your jobs and take up full-time hacky sack while dealing patchouli oil on the side, but I do hope that you’ll be able to divorce the outcome (no prenup required) from time to time and learn to be here now.

At least some of the time.

Bicep/Tricep Supersets & Abs

This morning I slept in longer than I would have liked. I am only working 7 hours today and I can come and go to work when I please because we are closed on Fridays. One of our new chickens has been sneezing all week and now her eye is swollen shut and she is having trouble breathing. I decided to go to the feed store right next to my gym after my workout. I got some antibiotic mix to put in their water.

I had a good workout. I picked up a NO Xplode from the gas station because the price with from $3.50 to $1.99 and each shot bottle lasts 2 workouts. I worked out my biceps and triceps and finished with the AB routine Legs told me about.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Treadmill HIIT

This morning we got woke up before 5am. I laid in bed while Ellen got ready. I felt tired and too lazy to get out from under the covers. After laying for another 15-20 minutes I turned off the ceiling fan. A cold front came thru overnight and it was chilly inside. I ate half a banana and got dressed for the workout. We got to the gym at 5:35 so I decided to just to a 20 min HIIT workout. Ellen got on the Elliptical behind me. I did 2.6mi, same as tuesday, then went downstairs to stretch. I am working on stretching more to avoid another injury.

I am LOVING doing intense short cardio right now. Before my training ended due to my knee my shortest runs were 5 miles. I have been focused only on endurance running since August. I have not ran an a 5k race since September. I started thinking maybe it would be better for me to run the Big D 5k instead of the Big D Half so I can see how I have improved instead of shooting to run 13.1mi under 1:58 and risk another injury.

Starting the week after the Big D I will be switching to my new Vibram Fivefingers and staring over from scratch working from 0.25mi to 8mi over 10 weeks.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

2 Miles + Obstacle Course Workout

On my way home from work I could see a big rain cloud coming off the the southwest. I looked up the hourly forecast and it was going to rain around 8pm. I got home around 6:30 an checked on the chickens. Ellen got back from physical therapy and said she wanted to walk the dog. I asked her to walk the same path I was about to run. We parked at the gym and started on the same sidewalk. Today was my lower carb day on my carb cycle routine and I felt like I had less stream (ate half a banana before workout) and was moving slower than last week. I reached the 1 mile turnaround in 8 min. I got over the big hill and saw Ellen had already turned around and was walking back. I caught up to her at 1.5 miles and she ran with me for a little while. When I finished my run I went into the gym to do my obstacle course workout minus the 100m runs (I ususally do it as home). I used a machine that looks kind of like this.

I did 5 pullps, 5 bicep pull ups, 10 tricep dips, and 10 pushups. I did 3 rounds in 3:51. I left the gym and Ellen was in the parking lot with the dog. I grabbed the leash and we raced to the car. Ellen is pretty fast.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Treadmill HIIT/5k

I set and new BFL HIIT and 5K treadmill PR today. Ellen went with me to the gym for the second time since she broke her wrist in late January. I was super excited by Ellen being there and from being able to do a long run without much pain 2 days ago. We got to the gym a little later than I planned and I wanted to do a BFL style HIIT workout since I had not done one since July. I got on the treadmill and started my 2 minute warmup at 5.0mph and bumped it up to 6.0 after a minute. In my first set of intervals I did 7.0 8.0 9.0 10.0. On my second setI started at 6.0 and worked up to 9.5. I started the third set at 6.5 and worked up to 9.5 again. The final set I started at 6.0 and worked up to 11.0 for my peak minute. I did my last minute of the HIIT session at 5.0 and reached 2.6mi in 20 minutes. Ellen was on the elliptical behind me so I decided to keep going to 3.1mi. I slowly increased my speed and finished in 23:48. I was the sweatiest I have ever been on a treadmill and shaved 55 seconds off my best treadmill 5k time and added 0.11mi to my best HIIT workout back in April 2011 when I held on so hard the paint from the treadmill stuck to my hand.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Chest/Back Superset & Shoulders

I overslept and had to do my Chest, Back, and Shoulders workout in the evening for the first time in 5 weeks. A huge storm was coming and I left work early to get our new chicken coop under our car port. We have not painted it yet and I didn't want to thee to ge wet. After that I got to the gym and pushed thru my workout. Nothing to write home about but I hit my 9s and some 10s. We ended up with about 7 inches of rain.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

9 Miles in NRH

This morning I got to run with a friend from high school and his girlfriend. I recently found out that he is training for the Big D Half marathon. He suggested we should run together and I just so happened to have plans to visit my parents on his long run day. We decided to meet up at 8:30 to get out before it got too hot and be done before brunch at 11am. This is my first long run since the Cowtown 3 week ago. We kept it at a steady 11 min/mi for most of the way and I functioned as the pace leader because I have a GPS watch and usually train at a 10 min/mi. I planned out a route on google earth that was about 9.25 miles and it ended up being 9.5mi. Andrea and I stopped at 9 miles and Eric passed us and we shouted to him but he had his headphones on and ended up doing the full 9.5mi, his longest run so far. I think we are going to meet up next Sunday for 11 miles.

Friday, March 16, 2012


Motivation: I think there are two different types of motivation (maybe even more). One type is the minimize pain and maximize pleasure side of motivation. The other is the desire type, reaching for the goal/ideal/state of being. Most people combine the two for the initial motivation. Setting a goal makes you accountable and achieving the goal provides confidence/self-worth. The means to reaching the goal can be something that is a low-pain high pleasure way (weight watchers anyone?) but in the long run it is slowing you down.
Intrinsic Motivation: The incentive to undertake an activity based on the expected enjoyment of the activity itself, rather than external benefits that might result.
Extrinsic motivation: The performance of an activity in order to attain an outcome.
The two question are:
What motivated you? (Reasons)
What are your goals? (Results)
In the case of the motivation we need for exercise I believe Extrinsic Motivation is more helpful. You can learn to enjoy the activity and enjoy the "pain".
I made a post-it note that sits in my cubicle in 2008. It says, "Willpower is the spearhead of self-discipline." Then I added a list of words:
No Excuses
Peace, Love, and Respect (Think about these as they apply to your our body and negative thoughts and emotions)
When you learn to live outside of your comfort zone it can become almost addicting. You begin to wonder/think, "alright I did it, what can I do next?"
Me personally, I could have stopped and felt content in September of 2009 when I had my last training session and reached my goal my trainer set of 190lbs. I had just bought a house, I had been dating my girlfriend for 3-4 months, I was about to win $100 in my families biggest loser challenge. I was "comfortable" but I was not satisfied. For 18 months I had been focused on the scale and lost 55-60 pounds but I was not at the shape I had imaged I would be at my goal. I began to search online for a new training plan. I found the workout plan Brad Pit did to get in shape for fight club. I joined bodyspace, the social profile part of I lost another 5 pounds the next month. I bought a body fat monitor and realized I had lost 10 pounds of lean body mass during my weight loss. I searched article upon article about how to gain muscle mass until I came across a article called "How I won the 2003 Body-For-Life challenge." I joined the BFL site and posted in October 2009 in the guestbook (pre-forum days) that I was thinking about starting a challenge and someone told me on the . "Make sure to get the book!". Man that book was motivating. It was as if Bill was speaking to me. I decided to start a challenge between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
I think I went on a ramble within a ramble there but my point is to challenge yourself to set realistic measurable goals and think/live outside your comfort zone.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

5K Run

I worked 30 minutes late and headed home. We had plan to meet up with a friend at a new place in town. I got home just before 7 and headed out for my run. I decided to wear my heart rate monitor for the first time since October. The first mile felt great. I was running along a dirt trail next to a small 2 lane road. When I crossed the street to get on the concrete trail along the new commute train track my heart rate alert beeped telling me my I was above 172 bpm. I slowed down a little and it stopped. Right around mile 2 the alarm went off again but I just kept going. I ran the last 1.1 miles annoyed at the sound and finished the 5k run in 27:33. Walking home my heart rate dropped to 145 and 125 when I got inside my house. My avg heart rate for the run was 169 with a max of 186. Sheesh.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

2 Miles + Obstacle Course Workout

I did my old 2 mile route after work in 16:05. My knee felt pretty sturdy and I almost forgot about the injury while I was pushing myself. I was close to my PR of the course (14:57) back in October but I did not feel like I was going to explode like I did back then.
I got home and did my obstacle course training.

Run 100m
10 fast Pushups
5 Pullups
5 flexed arm hang (chin ups)
10 Dips

4 rounds in 7:47

NEW First Marathon Goal

I will not be able to run the Big D full marathon (I might do the Half) next month since I took off 15 days in the peak of my training plan to recover from a sore knee (IT Band). I had hoped to run the Andy Pain Marathon in Oklahoma City May 27th but after talking to a friend I found out it will be HOT and the course is a 13.1 mile loop you run twice (no thanks). I just got an email today that the White Rock Marathon will start/end in downtown Dallas this year. This is my new goal race. If I cant do the White Rock in December 2012 I will do the Cowtown Marathon in Feb 2013. My goal is to run a Marathon before I turn 30 so I have till late November 2013.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

15 Day Break Over

After 15 day off from running (which might have been overkill) I ran this evening. I had planned on trying to do 2-4 miles right after work. With the time change I have plenty of time to run after work before it gets dark. My wife's parents decided to stay one more night. Her dad was determined to finish the Chicken Coop and her mother has been helping reorganize our house. I decided to drive home and planned to do my 2 mile route I did every Wednesday from August to October of last year. . I put on my GPS watch, stretched, and started running. I decided to not look at my watch and just do what feesl comfortable so I do not push myself too hard. I did not have any knee pain but when I got to half a mile nature called. I turned around and noticed I had been running under an 8 min/mi I pushed a little bit and finished 1 mile in 7:28.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Chest/Back Superset & Shoulders

I had a great weekend! Our house had slowly turned into a horrible mess since Ellen broke her wrist. I spent my Friday off cleaning and doing dishes. Ellen and I cleaned Saturday morning/early afternoon until her parents got there. We we out to dinner with both our sets of parents Saturday night. Sunday I worked all day on building a chicken coop with my father-in-law. We did not finish so I took off yesterday to get more done. I did not get to run with her dad due to rain so now it is 15 days off from running.

Friday, March 9, 2012

2 month progress picture update

1-9-12: 176.8 lbs 16.9% body fat
3-9-12: 169.4 lbs 14.8% body fat

I feel alot leaner than I have ever felt before and since it has been 2 years since I first got under 175 pounds. I took some pictures on March 3, 2o11 to test how far my skin sags at 3 different angles. I decided today to take pictures at the same angles so I can see if I am making progress with my skin tightening up.

My monthly progress pictures from Aug 2011 to Now (excludes December)