Category Archives: Exercise

Better late than never

 

Better late than never has been my philosophy as This Crazy Life of Mine has kicked into full affect. Corporate projects, budgets, new hires and drama seem to have taken control of my life and it’s been a downward spiral ever since. I’ve grabbed firmly on the controls and started to pull myself out of this downward spiral and take back control of my life. With most of my projects winding down I can now start to concentrate on the things I love to do and work on the items that seem to cause drama as of late. The major toll this has had on me personally would have to be fitness, having zero desire to workout, run or even walk, which will surely affect me on the scale this week. That and the fact that my water intake is down and my soda and sweets intake are on the rise will definitely be a factor.

With my one major project coming to an end soon I’ll be able to work semi normal hours and hopefully decompress. It’s always fun to work on projects that seem to have little direction and constantly changing on the fly because of this. Also being into budget season for 2014 makes it that much more interesting. Trying to figure out your 2014 is always fun….. especially when your still in 2013.

Fitness will be the next item to take control of again and it should prove to be interesting. I’m hoping to get in a run when I get home and maybe even sit down to finish that workout routine that’s collecting dust on my desk at home. It needs to be finished and implemented but it’s hard when you get home and you’re physically and mentally drained. I do think the most interesting thing will be when I finally decide to go play paintball again. It’s now been over two months since I’ve played and about four weeks since I’ve even held or worked on one of my paintball guns. Paintball was an avid part of my life and I was consistently going every two weeks but I’ve had to stop as it was taking a toll on me mentally and has really had me questioning if and when I’ll return. One thing for sure is no matter what I’ll always be a Paintballer4life, but it doesn’t mean it will consume all of my life. Paintball is my passion, my release and a sport I’ve grown to love in the years of playing, but comes with its baggage just as any other things in life we love.

What’s caused your life to go into a downward spiral? At what point did you grab the controls and pull out of that nose dive before crashing?

This body was made for running?

Some years ago when I was in high school I played football. For those who knew me back then it wasn’t a stretch as I was 5’10 and 220lbs. I wasn’t the biggest guy but I managed to hold my own when it came to football. Here I am twenty-three years later with two bum knees and about ten extra pounds from what I was in high school so what do I do? I decide to take up, running of course. I know I’ll never be a runner to take on a marathon or even a half marathon, but I’m using running to try and reclaim my body and fitness level I was at in high school. The years of physical torture from football seems to have taken to my knees the most. Over the years it’s no secret that I’ve been in and out of training at the gym and managed to drop below what I was in high school, but quickly fell out of the routine and gained it all back and then some. Finding those activities and knowing my limits for what my knees can endure have been a constant challenge but I do have this knowledge. What I choose to do with it is a different story. I’ve been searching for that motivating factor to get me to commit to the gym 100%, but have yet to do so. Over the next few weeks I’ll have to do some soul searching and see what it’ll take to motivate me but for now nothing I seem to do or say works for me.

Have you ever lost motivation or desire to continue your fitness journey? What did you do to motivate or rekindle that spark or desire to continue on your journey?

New shoes for the road

The last few runs for me have been painful (both figuratively and literally). I’ve managed to get major shin splints which have caused me to do more walking than running. This past Saturday the wife and I went to Fit2Run over at International Plaza in Tampa so I could have a gait analysis done to see if it was my shoes. After arriving we were greeted by one of their sales staff and we proceeded to tell him about my issues. We discussed many things and then we proceeded to doing some tests so we can see if I had the proper shoe. They first did analysis on my feet which would show them the arch of my feet and how my weight is distributed. We then discussed shoes and we tried out a few pairs with me taking the new ones for a test run on the treadmill. I only ran for a minute on the treadmill but I could tell immediately the difference between my shoes and the proper shoe. That being said I made sure they came home with me so I could test them out. After trying on several pairs I ended up with the Asics Gel-Nimbus because they seemed to be the best fit for me and my training needs. The fit was perfect and the padding made it feel like I was walking on air.

5

 

Sunday morning the wife and I woke up and went the Memorial Causeway for our weekly challenge of the bridge. It’s not really a challenge, but more like a test to see how we’ve both progressed in our training. She’s managed to progress and I’m at a stage to where I’m maintaining, which I’m perfectly fine with given the current issues with my shins. I’m very pleased to announce I ran my first day in my new shoes with far less shin issues than I’ve had in the past. I did have minimal pain, but I believe they could be irritated from running with the wrong shoe for so long. Given time I’ll make it to my end goal, but for now I’m taking it day by day. I’m now armed with the knowledge and the proper shoes to take me to the next level.

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Have you ever experienced pains or discomfort during any physical activities? What did you do to help correct the problem?

Reunited with my fitbit

April 2013 I managed to do the unthinkable, I lost my fitbit. While attending Generals Cup 2013 the device managed to slip off of my belt and was lost forever. Totally distraught about losing it, I prepared for the worst, actually having to fork over the money for a new one. Proceeding to fitbit’s site to customer service I found some information I thought I’d never see. One of the options to choose from on the form was lost device so I contacted them via email. While totally planning on having to buy a new one to replace it I figured it was worth a shot and had nothing to lose. Within 24 hours of supplying them with my proof of purchase information I had a response and tracking # for my new replacement device. Needless to say I was happy about not having to spend another $100 but I was prepared to as I love my fitbit. One of my concerns was what about all my data I had previously tracked and I was glad to hear I wouldn’t lose any of it. Once the new fitbit arrived it was so easy to sync the device to my existing account and literally took me about a minute and I was back up and tracking. The 2 week period I was without my device I felt like something was missing. I know it’s weird but even having it just that short time before losing it I can’t imagine going through the day without it. The whole customer service experience from fitbit was excellent and I never had any problems. It was unfortunate that I had to contact them, but in the end it was all worth it and I feel a lot better knowing I chose to purchase the right product.

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Have you ever lost or broken a device? How was your customer service experience trying to fix or replace it?

Stop The Scale

Those are three words I don’t really like but if I had to sum up in three words they’d be “stop the scale”. It seems as though I’ve hit my first plateau in my renewed weight loss journey, but I’m sure it’ll be a temporary one. I’ve weighed in for the past three weeks now at 228.8, which some may say maintaining is great but not what I’m looking to do currently. The question is how long will I be at this plateau? Many years ago I had the same issue while working out and managed to stay at the same weight for three months. Trips to the gym became more of a “chore” and “obsession” at the same time. Every trip to the gym would start with a weigh in and then I’d go off to do cardio for an hour generally ending back up on the scale. There were actually days I’d do this for hours and honestly it frustrated the hell out of me. While it took many changes both physically and mentally I finally conquered that plateau and continued on. Knowing this was actually mentally unhealthy for my weight loss, but still not able to control my actions. While maintaining is actually a great thing it can mess with you mentally and cause one to lose drive. Not exactly what I had in mind when trying to lose weight and I actually became obsessed with the scale at that point. I’ve had to take a step back to see what I can change as plateaus are usually your body’s way of adjusting to your lifestyle change. Whether it is by changing diet, exercise, or even both that’s what I’ve had to do in the past to beat the plateau. One thing is for sure….. This is the week that scale will move again. I’m just hoping it’s in the right direction.

week 2

 

Have you ever hit a plateau when dieting or working out? How did you conquer your plateau?

Memorial Causeway and Fitness

Living in Florida we have the luxury of having beautiful weather about 90% of the time which I’m now learning to take advantage of. Cardio is key to fitness and who wants to be strapped to a treadmill when you can be out exploring and enjoying the Florida weather, so that’s what the wife and I have decided to do. Some of you may know but in April she’ll be doing the Iron Girl Half Marathon which involves two bridges. Many people say “Oh no big deal it’s just a bridge” but for those who run can tell you, they are far from it. The wife wanted to mix it up a bit and train for her upcoming half marathon by involving some Florida scenery along the Memorial Causeway. We decided on the Memorial Causeway for many reasons which include location, the fact that it’s one of the bridges she’ll be running next month, length and the incline. Those features mixed in with the gorgeous scenery make for some great times and excellent cardio.

So what I’ve found out is inclines are no joke and an excellent way to help increase your cardio and overall fitness. The wife is using them to help with her half marathon training and I’ve been using them to help improve my cardio for paintball. The rundown of our bridge cardio was very simple, we wanted to go over and back three times in an hour. The total mileage for this after picking our start/end point totaled 3.77 miles. Attempt number one brought us a time of 58:05 which given the fact it was our first time and were trying to gauge how we would handle it. Keeping in mind this is a run/walk activity I feel the number was fair but we always strive to do better.

The second attempt seemed a bit easier, not much, but a bit easier. We found we were able to run a bit more at a slower pace but we were still running. After everything was said and done our time came in at 51:16 so we managed to shave almost seven minutes off of our previous time. We found the incline running to be a bit easier, not much but just a little bit. Needless to say we were pleasantly surprised when we saw this change in our times.

Our most recent attempt seemed harder for me personally, but then again I hadn’t done any cardio in over a week. It’s funny how it takes forever to get into shape but only takes a short time to fall out of shape. With that being said the wife and I were able to finish this time in 49:01, which means we were able to shave off a little over 2 minutes off of our run/walk for the week. Every trip seems to bring us the results we strive for and I’ve had others express interest in joining. Every trip back seems to bring us closer and closer to reaching the cardio fitness we both desire. Although we have different end results in mind, the road to get there is still pretty much the same path.

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What have you been doing to increase your cardio? Do you or prefer the gym or exploring the natural sites of where you live?

Less is More

Well with week two in the books with my fitbit I’ve found out less is more. In comparison of the two weeks, week one had 11000 less steps yet I managed to burn about 800 more calories. The comparison also showed a difference of 5.4 miles (week two had the higher miles). The report also showed that I had a thirty-four floor difference in the two weeks, the second week having the increase of course. Although it’s been recording more sleep time for me I’m still finding myself feeling tired and run down. Last week I did manage to gain a few badges that include ten floors of stairs, twenty-five floors of stairs and my fifty mile badge. It’s pretty amazing to sit back and look at the numbers, of which I was totally unaware of. If you’d ask me how much I thought I’d walk in a week I would have thought maybe a couple of miles, not the twenty plus that I’ve averaged over the last few weeks. While I haven’t been using my fitbit to track my food intake I have been trying to track my water intake and track weight loss. What did I take away from my two week comparison you ask? While my miles were up, my calories burned were down and water consumption is still not where it needs to be. I plan to try and make a conscious effort to increase my water intake and also start to take the stairs at work instead of the elevator. I’m very curious to see how these two little things change the numbers… For better or worse.

 

Fitbit Week 2

 

Do you track your weekly miles walked and nutritional needs? If so, how and do you find it to be beneficial?

My New Partner

A few weeks ago I sat around wondering exactly what my daily stats were so I went and researched different activity tracking devices. I ended up buying a fitbit one as it had all the features I was looking for. The overall size of the unit is fairly small and I honestly forget that I’m even wearing it. The unit stays charged for days and will generally recharge in a couple of hours. Well after a week of using it, I realized I wasn’t drinking enough water. This really didn’t come as a surprise to me but the ability to track my meals and water intake quickly pointed this out again. The other thing I hadn’t realized until I saw my weekly report is how much walking I generally do in a week’s time. While the unit links up with my PC it also links up to either my iPhone or iPad as well. Between the 3 devices it’s constantly monitoring my total steps, total distance, floors climbed, calories burned and also sleep duration (although I only tried it once for the first week). Looking through the report was a real eye opener as I didn’t realize how much unintentional exercise I was doing and not recording. In the next few weeks I hope to have more to report on the device but for now I’ll leave you with a screenshot of my 1st week’s report. I was a bit under on some of the categories but know where I lack and what I need to improve on in my day-to-day activities. This will be the beginning of the many changes to come in order to make me a better player on the field and better person off the field.

 

Fitbit Report

 

Have you tried any devices to track your day to day activity? How did they work out for you?

New Beginnings

Back in December I covered some of my New Year’s Resolutions and I’m going to commit to yet another one on this day. Today gave me some insight into my current state of cardio. The wife and I went and ran/walked the Memorial Causeway in preparation for her upcoming Iron Girl Half Marathon next month and boy was it an eye opener for me. I remember three years ago when doing boot camp three times a week I could run from one end to the other but not today. I got about halfway over and had to stop as I was winded and needed a break. I know inclines have the ability to change things but I was totally unprepared for what I ran into this morning. As an individual who plays paintball there are a few key pieces to the puzzle and cardio is definitely one of them. I’ve had several guys from Tampa bay Damage a professional paintball team constantly remind me of this fact on several occasions. Even in their off season they’re constantly training and preparing the next season. I talked about this in January, so I’m committing again right now publically to make more of an effort to improve myself physically and mentally on and off the field for my 2013. I know I’m off to a late start, but after all it’s never too late to start something new.

 

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What New Years Resolutions have you not acted on yet? What’s been holding you back?

Garrrr Steve

I took this from my one favorite movie “DodgeBall” as I felt it fit today’s blog. This past Sunday I ran the Gasparilla 8k with my wife. Many would ask why and the only reason I could come up with is “because I can”. The most I had ever run at one time was a 5k so this was a challenge to see how I’d hold up. I won’t lie but half way thru my shins felt like someone had smacked me with a sledge hammer.

The morning started off early enough, we were up at O dark thirty in order to try and beat the traffic. First thing my wife does when she gets there is goes to Starbucks but I chose to wait until after the race. We had a couple hours to kill so we sat around waiting for a few friends to show up, we then stretched and proceeded to the start line. The amount of people signed up was pretty ridiculous. There were people as far as you could see.

As usual my race started off strong but as my shins started to hurt my paced dropped off. My pace normally falls in the 11:00 minute mile, but today’s pace was about 2 minutes off. The worst of the 8k for me was mile 4 as I was just ready to cross that line and get food … I was starving. I managed to cross the finish line at 1:05:59 and the only thing I could honestly think about was food. The wife and I went to Starbucks so we could get drinks and decide what we wanted to have for lunch. We decided to have something “Freaky Fast” so we went to Jimmie Johns. What would I choose for lunch after an 8 you’d ask? Well I chose an Italian, a bag of thinny chips and powerade.

Results

Mike and Nanci

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Pretty much the rest of the day is a blur as most of it was spent sleeping on the couch. If I had to do all over again I would, but I’d definitely want to change my pace time.

Have you ever done any races? If not have you ever thought of any and which one?