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.

gym

 

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.

Route

 

splits

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.

 

gym

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.

 

paintball

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.

 

cookies

 

Beer

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

Gearing up for fitness

With summer around the corner I spent the weekend gearing up for fitness and got a few new toys. This year I’ve slacked majorly in the fitness department but I’ve decided it’s time for some changes and started making them this past weekend. Over time these changes will stand to only help improve my overall endurance and abilities on and off the paintball field.

Running hasn’t always been my favorite thing in the world but it’s good for me so I’m going to start doing more in the running front. I’ll admit I don’t get the same runner’s high that my wife does but it feels good to get out there plus I get to spend time with her (as long as I can keep up with her that is). I’ve also taken the plunge and signed up for something running related that I feel is a great concept and will keep me sufficiently motivated as well. I’ll follow up with another post sometime soon as I get more info to share.

First on the agenda was to hit up Feet First in St Petersburg, Florida for a new watch. I’ve been here before to purchase my wife’s watch and found the staff to be very friendly and helpful. Many of you know I used to have a Nike watch but decided to go for an upgrade from my first watch and go with a Garmin. I went with the Garmin Forerunner 220 as the wife just recently got one and has loved it. When it comes to technology she can be kind of picky so I know if it got her seal of approval then I’ll be happy.

 

photo 1

Next on the agenda were some new shoes which I desperately needed. While I still have my running shoes I was in need of some every day shoes so I went with something that I could use for cross-training without killing my feet and breaking the bank. I decided to give Under Armor a shot to see if they can stand up to my day to day needs as well as my gym training with a bit of treadmill time thrown in for good measure.

 

photo 2

Diet and exercise have always been hit or miss for me forever so I’m taking the approach of starting to eat healthier as well. The wife is always pushing me in that direction but my sweet tooth always has other plans for me when it comes to something that will quench that desire for sweets. With these few changes I should be able to start taking a chunk out of that nasty old scale and see results both physically and mentally.

 

What changes have you made to improve life mentally and physically? What things have you used to motivate you in the past?

Spartan Race 2014 Tampa Recap

Well it’s the Monday after running the Spartan Race in Tampa and I’ve survived. I’ll admit I didn’t train as often as I should have for the event and I think it showed in my performance. While walking towards the entrance to the stadium I remember seeing tons of people walking back all with medal (some were smiling from ear to ear and others look like they had been thru World War 3). Arriving at the gate we were greeted by individuals instructing all participants and spectators on where to go. First on the agenda were the waivers which everyone had to sign (including spectators) which I thought was strange at first but seeing how close they could get to take pictures at some of the obstacles I then understood. From there it was off to get my bib # and then go collect my timing chip and actual bib. My check-in time from start to finish was under 20 minutes and seemed to be one of the smoothest check-ins I’d been thru.

 photo 3     photo 4

 photo 5

 

 

When the wife and I arrived we got to watch one of the first waves and I remember uttering the words “I’m pretty sure I’m going to die” which she thought would be funny to tweet out amongst all of our friends. I was able to spend a bit of time relaxing and stretching before the event and I had time to calm the nerves before my 2:00 start time. I also took some time before hand to study the map and get the stations down to gauge how to attack the course.

 

2014-02-15 15.02.05     photo 9

 

Around 1:50 I heard the all call for the 2:00 wave which then sent my nerves into over drive as I walked towards the starting line. As I got closer I looked up and noticed in order to get to the start line you had to climb your first wall. Once I made it over the wall and into the coral, the reality of my commitment had set in and I was all nerves. From the time I touched down after climbing the wall until they said go was pretty much a blur.

photo 1     photo 2

 

Once 2:00 hit I was on my way and off to a great start. Rather than trying to explain all 18 obstacles (yes I said 18) I figure I’d let you take a peek at Tampa’s course map to get a feel for what may be in store for you if you accept the challenge to become a Spartan. Looking below, Tampa’s course took us on a nice winding maze throughout Raymond James Stadium (a place I’ve been to several times but never seen even a ¼ of what I did going thru Saturdays run there). Looking over the map below you’ll probably say “hey I only count 12 obstacles. Trust me there were 18 and the last 6 remained a secret until the day of the event. Looking back to the event, we covered 10 of the 18 obstacles inside the stadium and also over 2 miles.

 

Map Front

Map Back

 

Exiting the stadium and entering the portion outside of the stadium I remember seeing my wife and telling her “I’m done” as I sat there trying to catch my breath, but I wasn’t mentally ready to give in. So I continued on hitting the last 8 obstacles, each one bringing me closer and closer to my breaking point but I still wasn’t giving in. I will say out of all the races of this type this by far was the most intense of them all. I’d definitely recommend signing up for their workout of the day which are designed to help you prepare for your Spartan Race Challenge.

 

Photo 10     Photo 11

Photo 12     Photo 13

Photo 14    Photo 15

Photo 16     Phto 17

 

 

I’d have to rate this as one of my most challenging yet fun events to have been a part of. The running portion combined with all the physical challenges have made me start to think about how I can be a better Spartan next year. While I have to admit I wasn’t happy with my finish time which was 1:32:03 which I feel is a respectable time, I’ve already set my goals on a faster time for next year. Stay tuned, as earlier I gave away a free entry to any race in the Continental US and the Winner Seth will be doing his race at Fenway Park and will be sharing his experiences after his race.

Have you committed to joining the Ranks of the Spartan? Which location have you set your sites on to compete at?

Photo 18     Photo 19     Photo 20

Special Ops Spartan Race Tampa FREE GIVEAWAY

I’ve been thinking of ways to kick of the New Year and there is no better way than hosting my first giveaway of 2014. The winner of this drawing will get a code to register for any Spartan Race in the Continental United States in 2014 and get to join the ranks of all the others who dare take on the challenge.

Fear

Who out there likes a challenge, getting dirty and just pushing yourself physically and mentally to the max? If this sounds like you then Reebok Spartan Race is just the place to make all this your reality. Come join me February 15th 2014 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa as myself and many others take on a muddy 3+ miles /15+ obstacles course race pushing your body to limits you’ve never dreamed possible.

Challenge

With your entry you get the following:

  • Spartan Race T-Shirt
  • Spartan Race Finisher Medal
  • One Free Beer (must be 21 or older)for select USA events only
  • Food Vendors
  • Music/MC
  • Award Ceremony
  • Top 3 Male/Female finishers receive free entry into a Super Spartan of their choice
  • Completion earns you Spartan Agility Certification (Black Level)

 

 

Register today using this link and save 15%. Enter here for your chance to win a free entry to any 2014 Spartan Race in the Continental US.

 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

**Disclaimer: I was given a free entry for myself and a free entry to giveaway but all opinions are my own

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.

snacks

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.

 

WD Collage

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.

BDR

 

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

Great day at the field

Yesterday I decided to dust the cobwebs off the paintball gear, clean the cleats and head out to the paintball field for a few hours of play with some friends. We all decided to meet up at RumbleWoods Paintball in Tampa to just shoot a few paintballs and have a few good laughs with the gang. The day seemed to go fast and you could tell by the way I was playing that I hadn’t been out since the last time we all participated in the Zombie game back in October. As the day progressed so did my play and it felt like I hadn’t taken any time off, which was a great feeling for me. The best part of the day happened to be meeting new players in which we share the same passion which would happen to be paintball.

The guys were out for fun as well but were getting in their last few games before they all pack up and head for Ocala. In December, paintballers from all over head to Ocala for Wayne’s World Grand Finale and it is truly an event I wish I could attend but alas I have to work and am unable to attend. As we left the field I couldn’t help but feel a bit sad. Sad knowing that this is probably the last time I’ll get to play for a bit but also sad that I won’t be attending Wayne’s World’s Grand Finale this year. It’s truly an event I’ve waited for all year but once again I’ll be sitting on the sidelines. Best of luck to all who will be attending, all who attend generally have a great time.

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?

Jingle Bikes for Kids 2013

With the holiday season upon us, I figured it was time to mention Jingle Bikes for Kids again. In 2012 we decided that we would rekindle a tradition in our family started by the wife’s father, which through the kindness of family and friends we were able to donate 12 bikes total. We were extremely happy with the way 2012 went so we decided to team up with Toys for Tots again for our 2013 bike drive. I know 12 bikes doesn’t seem like a lot but imagine being one of those 12 lucky kids who received a bike for the holidays and it makes it all worth it. This year we got off to a late start and are behind a bit but thru family and friends I feel as if we’ll have another strong year. The wife and I went a few weeks ago and put ours on layaway at Walmart and we’ll be bringing them home in a few weeks. The wife also did a blog post which seemed to spark a lot of interest do so I figured I’d write one as well to mention what we feel is a very worth wild cause. When going thru the holiday season this year remember even the smallest of gifts donated may seem inconsequential to you, but you may just make someone’s holiday the best it has been in a while. Please visit our Facebook page.

2013 Bike

Caroline Bike