Tag Archives: Challenge

Couch to 5K Week 1 Day 3

Week 1 Day 3 of the Couch to 5K training is in the books and I’m happy to report I’m still hanging in there. While the routines were the same I noticed that my walk and run paces for day one had to be bumped on Day 3 as I felt they were too slow. The paces that I felt most comfortable with were 3.5 mph walk and 6.5 mph run. My warm up and cool down pace are always 3.0 mph, but other than that I’ve felt comfortable enough to increase my pace. I’m sure that there are some that’ll tell me to take it slow and let the program guide me, but I’ve never been one to go slow. Being committed to the program and my goal I’ve determined that the weather isn’t going to hold me back. I found myself on Day 3 having to seek the shelter of the indoors due to weather but I’m ok with that. Running indoors on the treadmill seems a bit boring as you’re generally staring at the same area, but I try to focus on the run rather than the fact that I’m indoors. Looking forward to the future training I’ve seen they take the walk duration down and running time up as you would expect but it’s a gradual approach. Over time I’m sure the goal of myself running a full 5k will be met and then some. Over the next few weeks I’ll keep you informed on my progress and what I’ve observed while completing the program.

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What type of training have you done to prepare for your first 5k? How do you feel it prepared you for your first timed event?

Couch to 5k Week 1 Day 1

Confusion has probably set in on those who just read the “Couch to 5K Week 1 Day 1” title as I’ve already ran several 5k races. With taking as much time off as I have and some knee problems starting to progressively get worse I’ve decided to start from square one. My first 5k I ran in February 2013 with minimal training. Even though I did well on my time, I didn’t totally run the 5k which is now my goal. I’d like to run a 5k from start to finish and have a respectable time. After speaking to several people who had never ran and trained they all suggested the Couch to 5k so I thought I’d give it a try. I went thru iTunes and found a C25K – 5K trainer from Zen Labs and that’s the app that I’ll be using throughout my 5k training.

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Looking thru the workouts it’ll be a 3 day a week program for a total of 8 weeks. Week 1 day 1 was 30 minute workout with walking/running intervals. The program started with a 5 minute warm up then into a 1 minute run. The 1 minute run was followed by a 90 second walk then repeat the process. Day 1 wasn’t too bad and I feel as if I’m off to a good start.

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So I chose to start Week one Day 1 at my most favorite place in the world (sensing a bit of sarcasm) – the Memorial Causeway. I say that jokingly of course as I actually do love that bridge. We met several years back and it’s been a love/hate relationship. I love the bridge and the challenge it offers but my knees hate it. Going forward the first day of the week for the entire program will be done at the bridge but days 2 and 3 will be done in the neighborhood as time doesn’t always permit me to go to the bridge. One thing is for sure, by the time the Best Damn Race comes around in 2014 I’ll be able to say that was the first Damn race I totally ran.

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What type of training have you done to prepare for your running? What type of progression have you seen over the years as you continue to train?

Finding your Zen

While running this morning I found myself thinking about my next blog post and then it came to me “Find your Zen” would be perfect. The weirdest part is it came to me while I was running, there are so many times I struggle with what to write next and out of nowhere Zen appears. While everybody’s Zen is different the end result will be the same. The meaning of Zen for me is finding my happy place or activity that you love to do and removes any thoughts or cares, but allows you to live in the moment. As weird as this sound my Zen place would be playing paintball (minus the drama that’s sometimes associated with it). I’ll have to admit another Zen place of mine is yoga, while I don’t get to go often enough I do enjoy my visits to Hot Yoga 365 and the relaxation it brings to me both physically and mentally.

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Ask anyone what their Zen place is and I’m sure you’ll get a variety of answers. I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt the wife’s Zen place is running. She’s told me before that when she runs she tends to forget anything and everything and just enjoy the run. Her disconnect from anything and everything is what makes running her Zen place. I’ve had others tell me running, graphic design, yoga and even charity are their places of Zen. While there is no right or wrong everyone has their own idea of Zen and where it is.

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With this being said I challenge you, Think about it and consider what would be your Zen place. Then make it happen, your Zen place may just be enough to help you forget about this crazy world for a bit and enjoy life.

Where is your Zen place? Do you go there often enough?

Failing a Challenge

Those familiar with me know I’ll never back down from a challenge so when the “Run Every Day in May Challenge “popped up I joined. At first I thought it would be a piece of cake and I’d breeze right through it, but the further into the month I got….. the harder it was. I’ll admit I made it ¾ of the way through the challenge before I gave in. Week one I was all pumped up and ready to take on the challenge, but by the end of week two it seemed monotonous and I was ready for it to be over. Week three brought procrastination and contempt for running and I actually found myself running the treadmill one night at 8:30 as I felt guilt for even thinking of skipping that day. Missing one day was the start of my downward spiral on the challenge and the end of my streak. That’s the one big difference between the wife and me. The wife runs because it’s her time to forget about everything and de-stress. For me on the other hand I run because I need to lose weight and also helps with my conditioning for paintball. While I’ve been slacking over the past few weeks (and it shows) I actually went for a birthday run with the wife Saturday. Granted it was under 1.5 miles we still went and I survived, barely but I did. I opted to skip this morning’s run but I have a feeling I’ll end up on the treadmill this afternoon for a mile or so to get back into a schedule.

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Have you ever taken on a challenge only to fail?

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?

Move that Scale

Since the beginning of the year I’ve always been in some sort of weight loss challenge which is always a great motivator, I mean who doesn’t like a little friendly challenge amongst friends. While the competitive side always wants to win, my reality is I’ve already won because I’ve committed to the challenge. Well that’s partially true as I’ve been half-assing it lately and the scale has been my reminder. While I’ve got my desired weight loss goal set in stone I’m failing miserably as I watch the scale. Telling many in the past to not pay attention to the scale and watch for the visual changes, I feel as if those are slowing down considerably as well. Even with taking lunch, healthy snacks and my daily runs with the wife it’s becoming harder and harder so this is my official wake up call to myself. No longer will I procrastinate on running or even trying to finish my workout routine, which is my way of procrastinating on working out. I will also not be a slave to my sweet tooth and give into my desire to indulge. This will prove to be my ultimate test as my job is going to prove to be my biggest challenger due to the fact that on any given day you’ll find sweets flowing pretty much everywhere and we have our own soda fountain which is like 100ft from my office (my biggest weakness). With committing to working out and continuing my healthy meals, but watching the sweets I’ll move the scale in the right direction. This week was great for me as I managed to lose 2 pounds, which was great as the scale had been stuck at the same weight for about 3 weeks.

What motivates you to lose weight? How do you keep from falling off the wagon?

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.

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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?

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?

The Weighting Game

 

A few months ago the wife and I joined up with a bunch of others for friendly little weight loss challenge. The thought of competition seems to light a fire under me, well at least most of the time. This time seems to be a bit different for me as I’m struggling a bit more than usual. Where I’m normally motivated by the smell of victory, I can’t help but think to myself “why bother”? While my numbers have been smaller I’ve started to notice changes physically and others have noticed as well. See I’m usually a numbers person when it comes to weight loss and I tend to obsess over them and are usually my downfall. Reaching the halfway point I’ve found myself giving into temptation with the stressful week I’ve had. It’s no secret that my weaknesses are chocolate and peanut butter, which around this year turn into Reese’s peanut butter eggs. The other day while dealing with a ton of stress I found myself at the store and purchasing those evil little eggs (which to make matters worse they were BOGO). Here it is the end of the week and I’m set to weigh in but those two bags of eggs are nowhere to be found. Yes I ate them both and feel guilty as hell, but at the time it felt oh so good. My downfall when it comes to fitness is my sweet tooth and that’s usually what gets me into trouble. Coming home early Thursday and going for a nice walk was a nice surprise and my attempt at trying to keep from falling back into the egg trap. While I do still feel the urge to have one, I currently only have one (singular) in the house and that’ll be my reward for walk I did tonight. I’ve made a pact with myself to try and prevent that from happening again and only time will tell if I’m successful or not.

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What motivates you during weight loss challenges? Have you ever “Given in” to temptation and fallen off the wagon?