Tag Archives: Exercise

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? 

Non-Marathon Marathon Training

 

Well it’s hard to believe that it’s been over a month since my last post but I’ll catch you up. My wife has signed up for her first full marathon so guess who gets to tag along? I guess you can say I’m officially in week 7 of my “non-marathon” marathon training schedule. She’s doing a 4 day a week training schedule which is 18 weeks in length and to date I’ve run them all with her. Not knowing what my limits are physically and mentally will soon become a reality in the upcoming weeks. I’m enjoying the exercise and freedom it’s given me to eat whatever I want but I really could do without the running portion. To date the longest distance I’ve put in with her is 12 miles and I totally didn’t think I could do it. I was also recently matched with a match in the “I Run 4 Michael” group and it’s made the longer distances physically and mentally rewarding. I share my miles and workouts with my buddy Alex and he’s there to give me that extra push every time I feel I can’t continue.

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I’ve also had to cut back on the gym activity as my right shoulder has been really irritated and I’m not quite sure why. While I wasn’t doing extremely heavy weights, I do have that competitive nature within where I’m always trying to one up myself. Over the last month I’ve tried to nurse it but with no luck so I’m off to see the doctor to get it all checked out. The thoughts of downtime and missing out on the gym are why I’ve been a tad bit stubborn and kept from going. Several people remind me on a daily basis I need to go so I’ve set an appointment with my regular orthopedist but I hope I can get in to see the sports medicine doctor that I really want to see.

 

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What’s the most extreme run you’ve ever done or trained for? Are you as stubborn as I am when it comes to injuries and going to the doctor?

Back at the gym weeks # 4 and 5

Weeks # 4 and 5 had to be the most challenging for me as we were in the middle of a major project at work which required over time and worked some weird hours. This has taken away from my blog time as well as some other projects that I’ve started and will become reality soon. Taking into consideration all these factors, I was able to successfully maintain my gym routine and still manage to keep within the same weight.

 

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Week # 4 included my workout rituals but threw a curve ball at me diet wise. Instead of packing my lunch and snacks we’d generally go out for lunch which was a major test and I failed. My diet consisted of everything I shouldn’t have had and the scale reflected that. Week # 4 brought me a 3lb gain and it wasn’t from the working out. My eating out contributed to that and I totally take responsibility for that. The stress and weird hours affected me mentally and I immediately turned to my comfort food as we all do in times of stress. While the workouts were as strong as they ever have been I found my moments of weakness with my sweets ultimately won and I was left to face the consequences of my actions.

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Week #5 turned out to be an awesome week as my workouts continued to be just as strong as the previous week and it was showing in my gains. I was able to make considerable gains on the amount of weight I was doing and the fatigue from those increased weights were not apparent. This did leave me wondering if I had sold myself short when I initially setup my workout. Another surprise week #5 brought me was a present which I received when I went to that evil scale. Thru gaining control of my diet and a little bit of sweat in the gym I was able to counteract my damaging actions of the previous week within .4lbs which I’ll gladly take any day. This made me smile and was reminder of how we as individuals control our destiny and are ultimately responsible for our progress. Yes it’s easy to blame many other things but I’ve come to realize it doesn’t do any good so take ownership of those moments of weakness and learn from them.

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Running continues to be part of my workouts and I’m running 6 days a week. The days I workout I’ll start with a moderate run on the treadmill which is the equivalent of a ½ mile at a fairly aggressive pace. My days outside the gym include running with the wife 3 days a week. Our runs during the week are generally around 3.2 miles and we’re usually out around 5:30am to beat that Florida heat. Sunday’s are the longer ones which we generally run a minimum of 4 miles (it all depends on her training schedule as she’s training for her first full marathon in November). Her training will allow me to push myself to the limit and test just how far I can take my running and survive. One thing I do want to mention and this should be everyone’s focus whether running, biking, paintball or any other activities is HYDRATION. Please remember to hydrate and I’m not talking about grabbing a water to take with you as you head out the door. In order to truly hydrate I generally start at least 24 hours before, but then again I’m drinking more water these days and less soda.

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What’s been your worst week ever? How did you recover from falling off the wagon?

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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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

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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.

 

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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.

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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

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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.

 

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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?

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Change is in the air

To say change is in the air right about now would be an understatement. As you can see one of many transformations has already started. The wife and I sat around last night discussing blogs over dinner and I decided it was time to change it up. The apparent cosmetic makeover is the first of many so stay tuned as I’m gearing up (no pun intended) to kick it into high gear. If you wondering what’s coming you’ll just have to wait and see as I have a list of ideas and working on even more as we speak.

 

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The wife and I have set out on a change that’ll affect both of our lives as well. We’re working on our training for our journey into becoming a “Big Couple” which I’m sure is going to a great experience. The wife and I have been trying to spend more time giving back to the community and we both agree this is one of the best ways.

BBBS                                                       (Source: http://www.bbbspc.org/ )

Yet another change came in the form of a change in attitude. Lately I’ve let the little things ruin my abilities to focus on the main objectives and trying to have a good time. Well I’m here to tell you I’m letting go of the negative and focusing on the positive. The negative has been running and ruining my life for far too long so it’s time to let go.

Those who know me will say I’m an “all in or nothing” type of guy and it’s been apparent in my latest attempt at exercise I’ve been more of a nothing guy. Saying those two magical words “food and exercise” to me lately has had zero effect on me and actually caused a decrease in my drive to do so. Yes I’ll admit I have been running, but it’s been so rare that every time I go out it’s like starting over from square one. The biggest hold back for me is the planning. I’ve been told by others that I put too much time into planning. I’ve spent too much time trying to make everything perfect that I lose sight of the task at hand and lose a lot of valuable time. These changes will obviously be over time but one thing for certain is “Change is in the air”.

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What changes have you decided to make in your life? How did those changes affect you in your life?

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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Gaspiralla

Have you ever taken on a challenge only to fail?