Wednesday, October 31, 2012


This has been an eventful day. After a successful morning workout yesterday, I did another one today. Unlike yesterday, I made today into a two-a-day. This is something I am going to have to so more and more, because I just can't get everything I need to into one workout. I need to be home in the evenings, but I don't need to be home at 5:30 am. This way I can get in about 6 or 7 miles of cardio, and I can get in more core and leg lifting. It is just going to be hard to get into a new routine. I will talk about this more later in the post.

Right now I want to talk about what I am most excited about from the day; I am now registered for the 2013 Flying Pig Marathon in Cincinnati! I now have 185 days to get trained and ready, and I know it will go fast. If I want to get under 4 hours, I am really going to need to work it. The key is going to be really building up my legs and basic cardio over the winter, while still keeping my knees and ankles fresh. This should allow me to hit full road training in earnest in March. At that point I will start with some smaller races as additional motivation, and then I will just work up my mileage towards May. Once early May comes, I should be in the best shape of my life, by far. Then I want to get into some sprint triathlons over the summer, followed by the Air Force Marathon at the end of summer. Then in 2014 I want to do a half iron man. Yeah, I am planning way in advance, but I think that is necessary. Plus, planning in advance allows me to get early bird specials on race prices; as a poor teacher, this is key.

Back to my training today: I did interval training and some crossfit burpees and back lifting, followed by chest and back. This made for a quality morning. I do love how energized I am after this for most of the day. This will help when I need to do morning training runs in March. In the afternoon I was back at it with more interval and crossfit. This time I focused on core exercises, as legs, lower back and core were the afternoons focus. I really tried to vary my exercises over the day, so I think my results will be quality. Plus, I may actually start losing body fat again, which has been a point of inner-contention for me. I love eating too much to diet everyday (I still try to eat healthy, just don't have the will power everyday). I will get better about nutrition with time, and as I get closer to race day.

Obviously training for the pig is going to be a topic of conversation for a long time. I am very excited about this upcoming step in my personal evolution. I really can't wait to cross the finish line!

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Monday, October 29, 2012

Get It Started

After a Sunday off, it was back to the gym today. I can't say it was my best workout, and I am already missing running outside all the time, but I will take it. The weekend was full of poor dietary choices and alcohol. I am going to need to really get it going the next few weeks before I go on vacation in Florida. I gotta make sure my poolside body is up to snuff. Additionally, I really gotta work on my portion control. Too bad there is so much Halloween candy in the house.

In order to try and counteract my poor choices, I may just have to work out more. That is why I am definitely getting up early tomorrow to hit the gym. Plus, I won't have time to work out in the evening. Gotta keep the metabolism working all day. I also can't wait for my knee to be back to 100%. I think another week off the road should do it. At least the weather is awful, so I won't be tempted to go out.

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Thursday, October 25, 2012

I love Thursdays

For whatever reason, I think Thursdays are generally my best workouts of the week (at least at the gym). Today was no different. I had some quality cardio and lifting. My arms felt really good, and I should be able to up the weight next week. Once I hit the weights alone, I really focused on going from one exercise to the next in quick succession. I wanted to make sure that I kept my heart rate up the whole time. I am going to continue to improve on this n order to reap the most benefits from my time.

I am really considering getting up and going to the gym tomorrow morning. I say that now but who knows? I love the benefits from morning workouts, but I am always so tired. My schedule and days are always intense, then add some hardcore working out after work... I am need my sleep. Still, if I am going to really get better, I need to do two-a-days a few days a week.

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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Just Brief

I will talk more about tough Mudder at some point, but I just have time to talk about my week's training right now. Yesterday, on my shortened day, I just went on a timed 5k. I managed a 21.01 time, but I was pretty zonked. I was mad at myself at the time, but I hadn't had a day of rest, I hadn't had anything to eat since lunch, I was tired from my day, and I didn't warm up first. I like to think that in a real race, with all those issues fixed, I would probably PR. Who knows. I don't have any plans to run one, as I don't have a weekend that would work for quite some time.

Today I got a little more work in, but not as much as I would have liked. I had a short errand to run, but any little thing digs into my workout time, as I have to be back by 6. I got in some elliptical and burpees for half an hour. I worked through my sore knee, and it feels better now. Hopefully it will be something I don't have to worry about. I don't plan on doing a long run for at least another week. After cardio I just tried to get in as much back, chest and abs as I could. I don't feel like it was enough, but it will have to do. I just really need to start getting workouts in in the mornings; I am just too lazy. I need to find more inner motivation... Just hard doing it all on my own. I wish I has someone to go through all this with. So hard sometimes... I will just keep truckin'.

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Monday, October 22, 2012

Tough Mudder Part 2

The appeal of tough Mudder is two fold: teamwork and primal desires. Much like a person's desire to have sex, I think we also yearn to run. Additionally, we all yearn, deep down, to run and commit ourselves to challenges. Tough Mudder forces people to push themselves to do crazy, scary and often painful things. This experience changes people. I feel stronger and more confident. I feel like I can accomplish any of my goals, both fitness and otherwise. I am already looking forward to my next Mudder.

I am going to use this post to talk about some of the more intense experiences from the Mudder. The first and foremost would have to be the electric eel. This little obstacle involves live wires and a very muddy plastic sheet to slide and crawl across. Personally, I didn't get shocked. I was able to get low and slide 2/3 of the way across, and I never touched any of the wires. Some of my friends were not so lucky. One got a wire to the head, which forced him to hit his head on the ground. Watching this obstacle was priceless. People were screaming and losing body control left and right. There was a good crowd watching this one too.

There were also two obstacles involving small tunnels. One was a bit more dry than the other, involving a crawl through more mud than anything else. The problem was that the tunnel was lined with 2x4 supports that often met with my knee. I still have some bruises from it, but it was pretty freaky to be underground in the dark. I loved it. The other tunnel was much more difficult and intimidating. I had to slide down a steep plastic tunnel into a freezing cold pool of water. Then I had to go under water to climb into another tube and make my way up again. Getting back into the tunnel was tough enough that hit my forehead right at my hairline. I still have pretty good gash from this. Still, this was my only blood drawn, so I have to talk it up.

Obviously I will be talking about this for awhile, but I want to talk about my workout for a bit. I got back to the gym, even with a sore knee. I think the workout actually helped quite a bit. I think I just needed to stretch it out a bit. I hit the elliptical hard, doing 6 minute 50 second miles while interval training. I also did 17 burpees every 10 minutes. I had a consistent heart rate above 150, which is great for my cardio.

Following successful cardio was a quality lift. I had already warmed up with the burpees, so I worked my back next. Then I did abs in between each individual exercise. I benched a little, did some body weight work, and hit my back hard (I really need to focus on this more as I work towards triathlons). For a Monday after a day off, I was happy with the experience.

Tomorrow I am going to get up early, knee permitting, to go on a run. The weather is going to be surprisingly warm all week, so I want to take full advantage. I also want to get in as much work as possible on a day where I have to work two jobs. I just have to get creative with it. Additionally, I think I will bust out the old resistance bands and work my arms a bit. We will see ow the day goes. Should take some pressure off during my brief afternoon workout, and I won't feel like such a bum.

I leave you with another Mudder picture.

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Sunday, October 21, 2012

I Am A Tough Mudder

Yesterday was one of the most miserable and rewarding days of my life. I went out to Maysville, Kentucky with 7 friends and competed in Tough Mudder, perhaps the most challenging obstacle course on the planet. When the day THE most, I mean it. This course was possibly the most challenging on any Tough Mudder course, let alone some little 3 mile mud run.

I should start out by explaining the race from the beginning because I still have some a concrete memory of nearly every mile; it was that memorable. We were the second group to leave the gates at 8:20am. Fortunately for us, this meant the course was nearly untouched, and therefore, not too beat up yet. Still, it had rained the night before, so an already inherently messy race became even more so; even the starting gate and pavilion were trampled and muddy. The weather was brisk. Very, very brisk, at only about 40 degrees at start time and never working its way much past 45. Keep that in mind when I am explaining the obstacles and the run itself because by the end of this thing, I was colder than I ever have been before, and there was a constant stream on ambulances taking people away because of the elements.

As we left the gate, we were immediately greeted by our first down and uphill climb. As the event would continue, we would become quite familiar with this inherent obstacle on the course. This whole location was one giant climb or decent, with some parts of the course being nothing less than a hands on the ground climb, or a muddy slide down. There were times where you would have great momentum and confidence burst by the emergence of an impossible climb. Often there were people strewn along the hills with cramps or simple exhaustion. Many times you were only as fast as your fellow Mudders because people had to help each other navigate or complete a simple traverse. By the time we reached the first obstacle, some of my teammates were already feeling it. It turns out they had not trained, a mistake made by many a Mudder hopeful. It seemed that there were plenty of people who showed up thinking it would just be a fun hike, but then realized they had stepped foot onto the wrong obstacle course. People were bowing out of this thing after the first big hill. I cannot stress enough how important quality training is, and I was proof of that fact all day.

The first obstacle was simple: crawl under barbed war in the mud. Although not the most memorable, it was still an easy way to get intimately involved with the mud. Fortunately, I am short, so I was able to go through without having to go fully prone. On the other side, we took stock and moved on, something that, unfortunately, would not happen too many more times. The next obstacle would prove to be one of the reasons why: the arctic enema was a vicious addition to the course, especially as a second road block. This involved the dunking of your whole body into a pool of ice water, traversing a short distance, and then submerging yourself to get under a plank. On the other side was more ice water, and a short wait for others to get out infant of you. All the while I had labored breathing as my body felt like it was it by a truck. Every muscle ached and after finally getting out, I had to make sure to keep moving while I waited for my team. This was perhaps the most physically dangerous and memorable obstacles on the course, but it did make the outside weather feel a little warmer for a few minutes.

There is so much more to tell, so I will save it for tomorrow's entry. Additionally, I am planning on focusing my training on some less aggressive running, and more intensive low impact exercise and crossfit. I am going to hone my muscles while giving my joints a rest. Once march hits, I will resume an intensive marathon training schedule. By that point, my body should be in quality shape, and I will be able to really compete come May. I may also start including more two-a-day workouts, as the afternoon just doesn't seem to be enough anymore. I need more cardio, but I still need plenty of time in the weight room. So much to do, so little time. On that note, I leave with this picture that says it all from yesterday.

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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Final Steps

Didn't get a chance to update yesterday because I had to work pretty late into the evening. Fortunately, I only had a half day at my first job, so I got to spend some extra time at the gym. I usually don't get in a full workout on Tuesdays, so I was super pumped. I did a little extra cardio with some biceps and triceps crossfit. I did 4 minutes at a normal pace, then a minute at a sprint. I did this six times, with a lift between each. felt great the whole time. It was a vast improvement from Monday. The post-cardio lifting felt good too. I was happy with the whole experience.

Today was a much improved version of Monday's chest and back, too. I was tired all day, but the workout itself was energized. I think the cardio and burpees really got me going. I do wish I had had time for a run outside. The weather was really nice, but I had to eat dinner when I got home. By the time that was over, it was dark. Oh well, less stress on my knees before Mudder.

On a side note, my school had a health fair yesterday. I got my blood pressure checked, which was okay, but I will make it better. I also got a flu shot, and got my feet checked out. She said my feet look okay, but I need to file down my nails and really keep them trim. The feet themselves are n great shape considering the miles. I think the low impact exercises I use have really kept my leg and feet health up. Furthermore, the flu shot is far less sore than I thought it would be, and I don't think I am getting sick; I was super nervous about that, but working with little kids makes it important.

A local running store also had a booth, and I stopped by to talk shoes with the guy. I really want to make the move to Vibram Five Fingers after the Flying Pig in May. I don't think it will be a massive jump from my Brooks Pur Cadence, which are light weight and pretty minimal. This is something I will talk more about with time. I already have about 200 miles on the Brooks, so it won't be long before they need replaced.

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Monday, October 15, 2012

Always Move Forward

For whatever reason this was my worst workout in awhile. I had a tough time getting going through my cardio, the burpees between miles were rough, and I just wasn't feeling it. The following chest and back lifting was atrocious. I just wasn't feeling as strong as I should. I was definitely hungry, so that might be a factor, but I am always hungry. I had a few skittles earlier in the day, so maybe my body was thrown off by the sugar. Maybe I drank too much over the weekend, and I am still a little dehydrated, but I don't feel it.

For whatever reason, it just wasn't a good day. I think the main reason is the change from warm to cold weather, a dreary day, and just feeling all around in a funk. Hopefully I can work out of it tomorrow. I just feel crappy after the only person to compliment me in my new contacts was a guy. Amazing how emotions and confidence can play into a work out.

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Saturday, October 13, 2012

Bring On The Mud

I completed my final long distance training run for tough Mudder today. Since I did 18 miles last week, I toned it down and just did 13.1. I didn't want to overdo it and risk injury.

For the run I decided to do something new. I headed down to a path by a river and ran 7 miles up and the rest back. It was beautiful in many parts, but not as much so as I thought it would be. There were long stretches where you couldn't see the river, or when you could, you were right next to a highway. Traffic is not remotely relaxing. Regardless, I am glad I did it. I needed a change of scenery, and the weather was quite nice; it may have actually been too warm. I did see a lot of wild life, and there were a lot of other people doing the same thing (most bikers who looked at me like I was nuts. Yes, I am a distance runner, deal with it. Anyone can bike, but not everyone can run 13 miles).

I now feel very prepared for the Mudder next weekend. I really want to be able to support my team to the fullest. I am just going to take it fairly easy on my legs this week, and hit the weights hard. I fully expect to be Mudder ready. I am very excited to cross this off my list. I also can't wait to have a ton of pictures to remember the moment.

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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

I See You Tough Mudder

With Mudder a week and a half away, I am feeling pretty good about things. I am not going to be going for any crazy records because I will just be trying to support my team, but I really want to be the strongest on the team. If I can motivate the rest of the guys to keep moving, then I think I will have done my job. I can't wait to be jumping over walls, running through mud pits, and carrying logs up hills; I have officially lost my mind.

More proof that I have lost my mind: I am registering for the 2013 Flying Pig in the next few days. I want to make sure to do the early bird and get the best price. It is just crazy to be making plans for something that is so far away. Regardless, registering will give me even more motivation to train hard through the winter and early spring. The Pig has always been my primary focus since I started training, so it is pretty wild to be signing up for it finally. I really want to come and out do great in it. I have so many reasons to keep working hard and moving forward, so I just need to keep at it, focus on staying healthy, and work harder on my nutrition.

I continued in earnest today after my usual abbreviated Tuesday workout. I did a half hour of crossfit and interval training. Then I hit the weights with a new found intensity. My muscles felt strong and I looked great. My form is getting better, and I am loving the new workout additions. I am trying to do exercises that incorporate multiple muscle groups at the same time. This allows me to fit more in in a lesser amount of time. I cannot wait to keep moving my fitness towards previously impossible goals.

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Monday, October 8, 2012

A Tale Of 45 Burpees

After a day off, I was back at it hard today. I was itching to get my mind and muscles working again. Off days are really the worst. I find myself becoming more and more addicted to seeing how far I can go and how strong I can be.

I started the workout with 30 minutes of interval training on the elliptical (knees aren't 100% yet). I did 2 sprints every 10 minutes. I also incorporated cross training into the mix. I did 15 burpees every 10 minutes. This occurred right after a sprint, so by the time I was done with the burpees, my heart rate was working. This is definitely something I will do more and more of with different workouts, and additional time. I could feel the positive difference in the end.

After cardio, I hit the weights. I can't say I did much special, but I did incorporate some new stuff. I tried to really hit my core, and do some body weight stuff to compliment the burpees. I feel good about the whole day of chest and back. I just wish I has equal time tomorrow for my arms. I hate Tuesdays. Plus, in non-running related news, I am going to miss the majority of my beloved Reds game.

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Saturday, October 6, 2012

Going Strong

I set a goal for today last weekend: 18 miles, no matter what. I even made a post on Facebook just to add another level of accountability. In the end, I made it! I was pretty exhausted, and it was fairly slow (9min miles), but I am still proud of myself and my body. Now I will go for 20 miles after the weekend of tough Mudder in three weeks. Once I get to 20 miles I will simply set that as my limit until the flying pig in May. I will progressively get moe comfortable at that mileage, and then I will be far for capable of competing in the big event and following events. I don't want to just start from the ground up like a lot of people who run marathons just to say they did it. I want marathons to become a part of my normal competition. How else will I ever accomplish some of my impossible goals?

I am glad I ran a few miles yesterday to loosen up a little bit. I was pretty sore after my lifting on Thursday, so I need to get out there and just get some action. I tried out some light cross training in the process (60 push ups every miles for 3 miles). I think I will incorporate more of this in the future, but I am not sure how. I don't want to have to go to a park just to train, and the nearest park with cross training isn't right around the corner. I will keep this updated, but it should help give me another edge.

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Thursday, October 4, 2012

Impossible List

I was stumbling running websites yesterday, and I came across a list created by a guy who wanted to make dramatic changes I his life. In order to hold himself accountable he created a list of remote and impossible things at the time of its writing. On his list were a series of running goals, so I think I am going to start my own impossible list. This list will be edited and will grow with time. I just don't have the capacity to come up with everything at once.

- run a 5k in 18 minutes
- run a 10k in 40 minutes
- run a marathon
- run in the Boston marathon
- run in the New York marathon
- run in the Chicago marathon
- do a triathlon (start low and work up)
- do a half iron man
- do a full iron man
- do tough Mudder
- bench 200 pds
- curl 150 pds
- run a ultra marathon
- learn a martial art
- swim 4 miles
- bike somewhere 100+ miles away
- do a race with running, swimming, biking and rowing
- get published in a running magazine

I better get started. I don't think my lowly hour and a half gym workout will cut it for some of those. My arms feel good though. I did some leg lifting instead of cardio. I did get on a treadmill for a few minutes. I just ran out of time.

I am looming forward to crossing things off my list. Wish me luck.

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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Wednesday Is Better Than Tuesday

I hate Tuesdays. I mean, they are just awful days. I don't have any specials, so I don't get any breaks from the kids, then I have to work another job later, so I don't have more than 30 minutes to work out. I did get a little time on the treadmill in the morning, but I still felt like a slacker. So much of my mood is based on my exercise, so when I don't get a good one, I just feel down and lazy.

Today was so much better. I still got a few minutes on the treadmill in the morning, and then I got some good cardio and lifting in at the gym. I did a 5k on the elliptical in around 20.5 min. Then I just closed out the half hour. I did some good weighted abs, and chest/back. I am benching 100 + the bar comfortably. My back is looking and feeling good (swimming portion of a future tri anyone?). Overall, the week's lifting is going well; I will just have some arms and shoulders to catch up on tomorrow.

Beyond the gym, I am looking forward to a likely 18mi run this weekend. I figure that will up the time by about 17 minutes. From what I have read, that is an acceptable increase. My foot feels good, my legs feel better, and I can't wait to challenge myself again. I've been reading about some preparations and things I need to keep in mind. I will share those things that seem to help once I am through it.

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Monday, October 1, 2012

A New Week

After taking Sunday off, I was back at it today. My foot feels great, but I wanted to take it easy today. I just did about 5 miles on the elliptical and then hit the weights hard. I feel like I should have done more core exercises, but I was too excited to get to my chest and back. I will just have to do a bit more tomorrow.

As for my chest and back I feel good about it. The gym was a little busy, so I had to spend more time than I would have liked. I did get in what I needed, and I am really starting to see and feel results. Things should start to speed up now. I just need to fit more cardio in and get my body fat down. Maybe I will get a few morning workouts in. I have slacked in that department since my foot got injured. Plus, my classroom is cooled off, so I won't feel like garbage the rest of the day.

Tomorrow may need to include some leg weights. That means I definitely need to get in my cardio earlier. I won't have time to run and lift legs, along with arms and shoulders. Not enough time in a day.

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