Category Archives: Running

Fitness and Tears and Fractures….. Oh My

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In November 2015, I  went to see my doctor because of knee pains but I wasn’t ready for what they’d tell me. After going to see the specialist and an MRI, I was told mid-December I had two tears and a fracture in my left knee. While I’ve been nursing this injury and have yet to schedule my surgery, I feel as if the injury had started to run my life. Not working out or playing paintball has taken a toll on my sanity and I finally decided that I can’t let this injury run my life. Recently getting back into it slowly and not pushing myself is the key to not making this injury any worse then it already is.

About six weeks ago the wife wanted to run and I was like “sure, let’s go” because I was going stir crazy and felt like I really needed the exercise. So, after  getting ready for the run I decided to throw my leg brace on and go for it. I’m not going to lie but it felt good to be out there, but it hurt like hell by the end of the run. We kept the run to a little over four miles but my leg felt like I had just run a half marathon. I’ll admit, I need the exercise and the scale confirms this fact, but I need to find that happy medium until I have my surgery.

We have run almost every Sunday since then and it’s nice to get out there and get in some miles for my pal Alex. But, I pay for it afterwards.

 

Have you continued to work out through an injury? 

MyRaceRagz.com Review and Giveaway

 

**Disclaimer: MyRaceRagz.com provided me with a custom shirt for review and one free giveaway. All opinions are my own and not those of MyRaceRagz.com.**

 

Being active means having the right gear. Living in Florida, we have hot and humid summers. It’s best to wear dri-fit style clothing to keep sweat and moisture off your body. Since I am active in both paintball and running, I like to wear shirts that suit both purposes, on and off the field. And I recently had the chance to order a custom shirt from MyRaceRagz.com to try out.

When designing my shirt, I decided to go with a long sleeve shirt. I have many sleeveless and short sleeve shirts, and decided a long sleeve would be nice for when it finally cools off. MyRaceRagz.com offers men’s and women’s short sleeve, tank tops, and long sleeve. All materials are light weight.

 

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The website and ordering process is very user-friendly. Whether you use a stock design or have your own, you can easily customize your shirt in minutes. I went the custom route, using my own blog logo. MyRaceRagz.com will even tell you when the images you upload are not good quality based on the size you are trying to use. In addition to the logo on the front, I also did a nickname and number on the back of the shirt in football style.

After ordering my shirt, it arrived in about a week. I ordered a 2X and feel that it was very true to size. This shirt will be perfect for both running and playing paintball in.

Would you like to WIN your own custom shirt? Enter my Rafflecopter giveaway below and be sure to share with your friends.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Back at the Gym Weeks # 2 and 3

 

I just realized I’m a week behind as I’ll be starting into Week 4 and have yet to go through Weeks 2 and 3. Week 2 brought me the usual growing pains of getting back into the gym that most people would experience. Every day at 4:00am the clock goes off and I struggle to get up and out the door to head into the gym. When I arrive I’m the only one there so I totally enjoy that as there is no fighting over machines and can workout at my own pace.

Week 2 brought my first hurdle of getting back into the gym which was timing. I could feel myself slipping and wanting to sleep past my 4:00 am alarm and just say forget it, but I didn’t cave and managed to roll out of bed (as hard as that was). Once I arrive at the gym and walk thru the door a switch seems to flip and mentally nothing else exists. I’ll throw on my headphones and nothing else seems to matter. The next thing I know it’s time to stretch and go home to prep for another day at work.

My one saving grace comes on Tuesdays and Thursdays as I can sleep in until about 5:30 because those are my running days (3.11 miles to be exact). I’m usually bitching and complaining that I’m sore and don’t feel like it but once I hit the pavement I’m fine and usually find my pace pretty quick. While my running days aren’t really for time I’m always finding myself wanting to improve on my previous time.

Week 3 seemed to light a fire and I deviated from my workout schedule as far as weight I had determined. I bumped everything up even though I should have waited a few more weeks to max out again and adjust my weights. Part of me thinks this was a bad thing but my other half wonders if I tanked my first week intentionally to keep the weights lower (which wouldn’t surprise me at all). Honestly it wouldn’t be the first time I had done it and I feel guilty about it every time I do it. The past week also had me rethinking my workout schedule as far as what body parts I’ve been working out and on what days. I sat here all day Sunday plotting and planning what changes if any I can do and how it will affect me, but I’ve decided to wait a few more weeks so I can gauge my results and see what I need to adjust. I’ve been happy with my results so far as I haven’t lost much weight but I’ve noticed changes in my body which I’m fine with.

My hardest body part to deal with are my abs. No matter what I do or how hard I work them they are slowly changing but not fast enough for me. If I had to choose one body part I hate working out I’d definitely go with the abs. While it doesn’t take a lot to work them out when I do it seems like I’m spending hours on them (when it’s really only minutes).

What challenges do you have when working out? Which body part do you hate working out the most?

Back at the gym week #1

It’s been a few weeks so I thought I’d give you a quick update on how it’s going. My struggle to get back in the gym has been going on awhile and my excuse has always been that I didn’t have a workout planned. Approximately 30 days ago I started to devise a plan which when the wife looked at it thought I was crazy. I was going from not working out to a 5 day routine which incorporated 3 days of running 3.11 miles each day which has proven to be interesting. I will say I have yet to make the 5 days in the gym as the early morning runs conflict and I’ve thought about cutting out 30 minutes of my workout to allow for the Tuesday/Thursday runs. The one problem I have is Tuesday morning is leg day so it wouldn’t be too smart on my part to do a full leg workout then go run 3.11 miles.

I won’t bore you with all the details of my workout as every person/body is different and what works for me may not work for you. My workouts focus on a different body part each day as this will allow me to spend more time focusing on isolating the muscle while performing proper technique. My time spent per session averages about 2 hours and seems to fly by as the only time I could seem to squeeze the time in is 4:00am. Many people tell me I’m crazy for getting up that early to go but it fits into my schedule and I’d rather go at 4:00am than not go at all. The best part of going that early is the gym is empty so I don’t have to fight for any of the equipment.

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The running regiment has me running about 5:30 in the morning with the wife and accomplishes a few things. First it allows her to get out and do her running which she loves to go early and get it done, but safety is always an issue as you never know what crazy people are out that early in the am. Secondly it’s my additional cardio I need to train for my first race challenge race I have coming up in 2015. I’ve done 5k’s, 8k’s and 10k’s but have never run any hack to back so I’ve signed up for my first challenge race in 2015, the Best Damn Race in Safety Harbor. The challenge race is a 10K race which when I complete I will hit the starting line to get ready to kick off the 2nd race which will be a 5k. Total mileage between the 2 races will be 9.33 miles and it’ll be interesting to see how my body handles this.

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Overall I haven’t seen much change on the scale but I’ve seen changes in the way my clothes fit and just generally feel better all around. One thing I’m really interested is I’m within 5 lbs. of my weight I last hit as a plateau and spent several months trying to break that. I’m not ashamed to say that my plateau weight has been 215 and I’m ultimately trying to get do about 190 lbs. Everything I’ve read tells me my ideal weight is about 160 to 170 and I feel I’d look like anorexic and sick if I did hit that weight so I’m sticking with the 190lbs. These next few weeks will be interesting as I continue to tweak my workout/schedule so I can continue to make it work.

How hard was it for you to get back in the gym after being out for a while? How often do you modify your workouts?

These past few weeks

 

So as many have noticed I’ve been MIA over the past few weeks on the blog front as I’ve been trying to balance life and all the day-to-day drama that seems to come with it these days. I’ve recently looked in the mirror and have decided I don’t like what I see and I’m the only one that can change that. Since my last post I’ve started to get back into a workout regimen which includes running 3 days a week to help improve my overall health and physique. I’ll be updating my journey thru my blog so stay tuned and you can join me on my journey to a happier/healthier me. Many have asked where I’ve been hiding over the past month so I thought I’d address that. Works been super crazy and we have major projects in the works which is going to tie up most of my free time over the next few months, but I’m trying to create my habits now so when the time comes I’ll be used to it and won’t fall off track.

Fitness:

While I’ve been saying for a while now, I’m going back to the gym. I’ve finally been able to motivate myself and got back in there. I’ve been fighting it for a while and have no one to blame but myself and I’ve finally accepted responsibility and taken on the task at hand. Anyone who knows me will agree that I never do anything half-assed, I’m either 100% committed or I just don’t bother. This holds true with every aspect of my life from my blog, fitness or even pursuing my goal of playing a single season of tournament ball. My biggest problem with the gym was timing and I could never seem to find the time so I’ve decided to start my day a tad bit earlier and going at 4am. I‘ve had people tell me I’m nuts for going that early but you have to go when it fits into your schedule and that’s what seems to work for me. I will tell you day one was a bitch as I fought with every ounce of my being, but once I walked through those doors I realized I had missed the gym and it felt right being there. Another piece of the puzzle was my workout as I’ve always been very “structured” in the past when it came to working out. I can’t just walk into the gym and say “Oh I’m doing legs today” and go from there so I had to write out my daily workouts before I went as well. I broke my workouts into 5 days and could have very easily done 3 but I chose to spend more time devoted to working out and my overall performance in the gym.

Along with working out I’ve committed to running 3 days a week with the wife. Anybody who knows her will tell you she loves to run and that I really need to as part of my conditioning. The 3 days a week I’m running I’ve committed to running a 5k (3.11 miles) or better in preparation for my challenge race in 2015. I’ve done 5k’s, 8k’s and 10k’s but I’ve signed up for the Best Damn Race Challenge in 2015 which is a 10k race and once I complete that I’ll line back up and run a 5k. I know it sounds crazy, but I know I can do it. Sometimes I just let the lazy come out and it consumes me to the point where I give in and let it win.

 

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Paintball:

There hasn’t been much to really report on this front these days as I’ve been too busy to go play (as sad as that sounds). I finally did get a chance to go back out a few weeks ago to knock off some of the rust from not being out for a bit. Some of the guys from the old team were there and it made for a fun time with them and all the others who came out and enjoyed the nice weather. I’m not going to lie, I seemed to slide right back into my groove after a few games and it felt great being out there. Even though we’re going into the hotter months I’m planning on going out more (I just have to remember to properly hydrate and monitor myself on those days). My future plans are to travel to more local fields to find others who share my passion for paintball and grow my contacts. I’m also planning several trips to a few different fields for larger games which I’ve missed in the years past. I’m looking forward to going to LCP in Georgia and meeting up with some of the people I chat with but haven’t got to put a face with the name yet as well as Wayne’s World.

 

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Food:

While the wife is doing Weight Watchers and that translates into healthy eating for me, I still have my sweet tooth and addiction to sweets to try and conquer. I’m trying to curb those urges but it’s hard as I tend to gravitate towards the sweets when I’m stressed which has been a lot lately but I’m getting better. My sweet tooth still exists but I’m learning to control it but sometimes it still wins. The next few weeks of working out and watching the foods I eat will tell the true story. My true tests will be the day to day temptations that come to me… whether it be someone bringing in free food at work or the thought of ice cold $1 beers at a baseball game I just need to remember I’m accountable for my own actions and I can only blame myself if I overindulge.

 

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What have you been up to the past few weeks? What do you turn to when you’re stressed or having a bad day?

Starting off the New Year on the right foot

With 2014 well under way I’m starting off on the right foot. The wife and I made a stop this morning at the store after her 6 mile training run for a bit of shopping. I’m happy to report no “sweets” or “extra goodies” seemed to make their way into the cart as they would have in the past. Instead snacks high in fiber with low fat content made their way there and I’m perfectly happy with that. I chose to go this route to feed my sweet tooth but at the same time being more weight conscious.

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The training run for the wife forced me to get out for bit as I rode along on the bike taking our normal route. While the wife is training for her next half marathon I’ve got a few smaller races coming up that I should be preparing for but being the “King” of procrastination I haven’t even begun. Over the next 2 months I’ll be running (1) 5k race, (1) 8k race and (1) 10K race plus the Warrior Dash. While I normally wouldn’t run this many races 2 are races I normally do yearly and the other 2 were last minute additions.

The 1st race on my list for 2014 is only a 5k but it’ll be a fun one. The wife and I decided to do the Color Run with some friends in Clearwater on January 26th and it looks like it’ll be a blast. While this race is an untimed run I’m sure I’ll still put forth an effort and try to run in a decent pace. One of the fun things about this event is every kilometer you get doused with a different color so by the end of the run you’ll be plastered with many different colors. For any of those looking to get a bit of exercise and have a lot of fun come on out and join us. Check out their site @ http://thecolorrun.com/ for more details.

My 2nd race of 2014 is February 1st and I’ll be joining up with some friends to take on the Warrior Dash in Lake Wales. While I’ve conquered this 5K in the past I’m most excited about taking on the challenge with my friend Bob and his wife. This will be his first event he’s running in and he picked a pretty fun (and muddy) one to kick it all off. While I don’t remember much about the one I previously ran, I know I’ll get really muddy and I froze my butt off because of the time of year.

 

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The 3rd race of 2014 will be February 23rd and it’s the 8K Gasparilla run in Tampa. This is one of my yearly races as it was my first 8K race ever. I’ll admit I wasn’t thrilled about running an 8K but the wife wanted to do it so I decided to run with her. We also had a friend and her son come out and run with us. Once I started I actually enjoyed the run . I do remember being a tad bit cold up until the start of the race but shortly forgot about that after I started running. My time from last year was 1:05:59 so stay posted to see if I actually beat that from last year or I come up short.

 

Gasparilla

My last planned race actually falls on March 1st and is in Orlando. I’ll be heading up to Orlando with the wife to run the Best Damn Race and my first 10K ever. Last year in 2013, I ran the Best Damn Race in Safety Harbor and that was my first “Official” 5K I ran so that race will always be special to me. While I wasn’t sure how I’d do I managed to turn in a 38:25 for my first 5K. For anyone who’s ever thought of running a race and has never done so I’d highly recommend this one – it made me want to continue to run (not as much as the crazy wife, but in moderation). They do have Safety Harbor and Orlando this year so if anyone is interested in running either of those go to http://www.bestdamnrace.com/ and check them out. If you decide to register use the code NANCIC (all uppercase) for $5 off.

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How has your 2014 started out so far? Which race was your first one or a special one you remember?

Greeting Fellow Runners

Going out with the wife on her recent training runs has made me sit back and notice the different ways fellow runners greet one another. With the change of scenery today I was able to sit back and observe all the different styles and I found them to be quite interesting.

The first one I noticed was the traditional “Hello”. This seems to be the most common method of greeting from most of the runners I’ve encountered. Of course you may get some sort of variation of the word but you get the point.

Next on the list would be the “nod”. I’ve notice this one from some of the more “focused” runners. It’s merely a simple nod or acknowledgement of their fellow runners. The mere action of nodding is an acknowledgement of their fellow runner.

The funniest one of all though was the “grunt”. It’s merely a grunt type sound that you’ll use to acknowledge a fellow runner. I must admit in some cases it’s a funny as it sounds. I’ve seen the wife personally use this and I was like “what the heck was that”?

How do you greet your fellow runners while out running? How do you prefer to be greeted by other runners?

Couch to 5K Week 8 Wrap Up

Sorry for the delay but week 8 is officially in the books and wow what a week it was. In addition to my Couch to 5K training the wife is doing some half marathon training which has gotten me some extra time in. While I’ve had my routine runs according to the app there has also been a Sunday morning addition to the routine. The wife’s training has brought her 6, 7 and even 8 mile runs on Sundays but I’m unable to complete those so I’ve been riding along. I feel as if the additional training on the bike has helped a bit with my endurance and overall performance.

Days 1 and 2 brought me 28 minutes of run time, which I’m happy to report I was able to run about 25 of it. I did have to stop a few times to take a quick water break but overall I ran a majority of it. Day 3 on the other hand brought me 30 minutes of running of which I was able to run approximately 28 of the 30. I once again did have to stop a few times, but this was for a water break and to catch a quick breath or two.

Overall I’ve been really happy with the Couch to 5K program so far and I have one workout left. My last workout I must do in order to complete my Couch to 5K program is run a 5k. I’ll be doing that this week as well as trying to establish a regular running schedule. I feel the regular schedule will help me maintain and improve on the 8 week training I’ve done so far as well help my cardio progress so I can see changes in my performance on the paintball field.

How far along are you with your training? How do you hope this training will help you?

Couch to 5K Week 6 Wrap Up

Week #6 is done and in the books and I’m feeling even stronger than the previous weeks. Day 1 brought forth the traditional run/walk intervals that I’ve been used to so it was business as usual. The training session for the day ended up being 34 minutes. No real surprises for me but on Day 1 my training felt really strong.

 

Week 6 Day 1 34:00 minutes

5 minute warm up

5 minute jog

3 minute walk

8 minute jog

3 minute walk

5 minute walk

5 minute cool down

Day 2 brought a small change in the fact that I had 2 separate 10 minute running intervals which I completed successfully without any issues. This training session for the day ended up being 33 minutes which pretty my falls into line with most of the other training sessions so far in this program.

 

Week 6 Day 2 33:00 minutes

5 minute warm up

10 minute run

3 minute walk

10 minute run

5 minute cool down

 

Day 3 brought the ultimate surprise and a bit of foul language. See, I completed the initial 5 minute warm up and then I hear the prompt “begin running” which I promptly looked down and saw 22 minutes. I’m not going to lie but once again I blurted out obscenities for the house to hear. I thought to myself 22 minutes…. Is that even possible? I started running and running but by minute 10 I was feeling like I wanted to give in, but I didn’t. I then found myself in a zone where it felt like time didn’t exist for a bit. The next thing I know I heard those words that made my ears perk up and put a smile on my face. What words are those, you ask? Those magical words “1 minute left” came thru my headphones. I pushed thru and finally heard the prompt saying to start my cool down walk. I remember thinking to myself “I made it” although I seriously had my doubts but I did manage to survive the 22 minute run.

 

Week 6 Day3 32:00 minutes

5 minute warm up

22 minute run

5 minute cool down

What part of your training has ever made you doubt yourself and your training? How did you respond and what were your results?

Couch to 5K Week 5 Wrap Up

With the week coming to a close, I’ve completed yet another week of my Zen Labs Couch to 5K program and I’m on my way to hopefully being able to run my first full 5K race. Week 5 definitely came with it’s challenges as two of my three days were spent running indoors on the treadmill due to timing issues. Day one seemed to be a normal routine and I’ve definitely become accustomed to it.

Week 5 Day 1 (31 minutes)

5 minute warm up

5 minute jog

3 minute walk

5 minute jog

3 minute walk

5 minute jog

5 minute cool down

Day two of this week’s training brought me less intervals with higher run times. While they weren’t any issues I definitely found myself noticing the additional run time the training program threw in, but I survived. Day two was done indoors on the treadmill as I had to resort to an evening run and it was just too hot outside. Needless to say I still sweat my butt off even though I was indoors.

Week 5 Day 2 (31 minutes)

5 minute warm up

8 minute jog

5 minute walk

8 minute jog

5 minute cool down

Day three however brought the ultimate surprise for me. See I normally pay attention to what the program has in store for me but for some strange reason I failed to check ahead to see what day three had to offer. I was actually quite shocked after I finished my five minute warm up and the program told me to jog for 20 minutes. Yes that’s right the program had me running for 20 minutes which the wife came running into the spare room as I started yelling obscenities as I’m running. I accomplished the entire 20 minutes without slowing down or stopping at all. The pace remained consistent throughout the entire run and I finished strong.

Week 5 Day 3 (30 minutes)

5 minute warm up

20 minute jog

5 cool down

With my first five weeks in the books I’m feeling more confident about being able to run a full 5K from start to finish, but I’m still a bit off from accomplishing this goal that I’ve set for myself.

 

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For those who have done the Couch to 5K, which portion of the training did you find the hardest? How did you manage to make it through?