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Archive for April, 2011

When It Rains

I did not run today. The Ohio river is at or above flood stage and getting worse. Basically, it has been raining/storming almost constantly for the better part of 2 weeks and doesn’t look like it’s going to give up anytime soon. I run outside. You do the math.

I plan on trying to fit in a run tomorrow to keep with the schedule, but barring that, I should find some time next week as I travel to western Kentucky and hopefully dryer weather. I’m a lot more lenient on myself with my workout this time around. If I’m off by a day or even a few days it isn’t that big of a deal. I’m still exercising and I’ll complete the program eventually. I’m not working against a deadline or anything.

I’m still a running noob. I don’t have a rainy day alternative to running other than perhaps doing  a cardio video from P90M, but even then I’m just sweating, I’m not improving my running stamina/skill/tolerance. I’m more interested in that than losing a few pounds (though the latter would be nice too). I’m looking for a free alternative to running in the rain if anyone can recommend one. A gym or the Y come to mind, but they don’t fit with the “free” requirement. If I was going to pay to join a gym or go to the Y I would just do those things rather than workout at home. Hell, I could even get some swimming in in that case. Talk about your cardio! Digress. So yeah, any recommendations about places that I can run or even simulate running (e.g., treadmill) on days when cats and dogs and all manner of house pets are falling from the skies are very welcome. FREE PLACES. I’m broke afterall.

In other news, I have been issued a challenge. A peer of mine has challenged me to a weight off (well, it sounded clever as I typed it). She is working out to meet a goal and when she found out I had started working out she issued me a challenge. The specifics are still in discussion, but it involves money paid to the victor determined by who has lost the highest percentage of weight over a given time. It looks like about a 75 day time frame and a $25 buy in. She’s also trying to get a few other people involved to sweeten the pot. I’ll update once the terms are agreed upon (gosh, I sound so formal).

That’s all for tonight. Easter is tomorrow. I will do my best not to gorge, as is tradition during holidays. I foresee a big ol’ plate of leftovers coming home with me in any case.

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UML

Upper. Middle. Lower. A ~45 min workout that works your (yup, you guessed it) upper, middle, and lower body. It really amounts to a variety of pushups (U), crunches (M), and squats/lunges (L) and none of them are all that fun. Ok, at least the Sumo Walk sounds fun.

I am consistent in my workouts at least. Monday sucked and I did about 1/2 the reps they did. Today sucked and I did about 1/2 the reps they did. I’m going to go out on a limb and say Friday is going to suck and I’m going to do about 1/2 the reps they do. I’m very happy with how my Vibrams are working. They have solved my no-traction-while-barefoot problem. Working out on carpet isn’t all that great though. Traction really makes a difference. I’ve taken to modifying the majority of my pushups with my pullup bar so that I have better control of my upper body. I have a lot of weight on my upper body and my arms aren’t all that strong, so I fail early on most of the pushups. Still, I’m pushing myself quite a bit and I’m doing at least a few reps on each exercise.

C210K day 2 tomorrow. Looking forward to it.

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Takin’ it slow

When I purchased my Vibrams the man at the athletic store told me to take it slow with them if I’d plan to run in them. They take a while to get used to if you’re not accustomed to barefoot running. I took his advice and when I did my C210K workout today I didn’t push myself for the extra cardio. I didn’t get my heart rate up too high and I would occasionally wander into the grass to let my feet rest a bit. The trail over at the Sam Peden Community Park in New Albany is nice and surrounds a pond frequented by water fowl. The weather was decent. There was a breeze, it was slightly warm, and the clouds teased me with once-in-a-while raindrops.

I used my C210K app and listened to Gravel Peril, the third of Jim Butcher‘s Dresden Files books on audiobook. I found a new connection with Harry (the main character) in that I felt tired and achy (the latter from yesterday’s workout) as I ran, which is pretty much how he feels through 90% of the books. He works himself to near death at times and at other times creepy crawly monsters do all sorts of mean things to hurt him physically or otherwise. Also, as I’m typing this, I recall reading that Harry himself is a runner. Well, he does get chased by evil nasties a lot. The first rule of dealing with zombies is Cardio afterall!

The first rule of Zombieland: Cardio. When the zombie outbreak first hit, the first to go, for obvious reasons… were the fatties. – Columbus (from Zombieland)

That’s all for today. Time to make a sammich and work on my dissertation.

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I take it all back!

This morning showed me just how out of shape I really am. I did the Sculpt 5-6 workout from P90M, which I am at least familiar with and have completed before, and it sucked a lot. I completed each of the exercises, but didn’t come close to some of the reps. I’m talking maybe 8-10 reps when I have rocked 10-15 reps in the past (all exercises and weights being equal). Also, I opted for lighter weights for the time being so as not to hurt myself. I did several modified exercises and on some of the pushup exercises I was only able to do 3-5 reps. I will be upping the weight on several individual exercises and pushing for an extra rep or two on others next time. I’m still really getting used to the process again. It like falling off a bike. Or was it like riding a bike. I forget.

Even with this modified effort I still feel exhausted. I don’t ache (that’ll be tomorrow’s fun), but I definitely felt the difficulty of the exercises. I wobbled a lot and felt like my arms were made of lead during my shower. Ugh. I didn’t have any cardio problems, which is unsurprising since this is primarily weight training. I pushed myself during the warm up though, which included some cardio. Not too bad. Overall, I felt done after 30 minutes and was a little sad about having about 15 more minutes to go. Gotta learn to pace myself I guess.

In other news, I am satisfied with the performance of my Vibrams. They did exactly what I expected of them by providing more traction than bare feet on the carpet (sadly, I have to work out on carpet due to the layout of the apartment), while allowing for flexibility and balance from a barefoot workout. So far so good.

I start C210K tomorrow: 7 reps of running for 30 seconds and walking for 4 minutes 30 seconds. I think I may check out the park over by Walmart in New Albany for a trail or track. Prolly not a good idea breaking in the shoes on the random bits of everything found along the road until I am more comfortable with barefoot running in general and the feel of surprise rocks under my feet (ouch!).

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Out of Shape

Well, I can’t really say that I’m out of shape–I’m a nice round shape actually. But I’m going to do something about it starting this week. I have several toys to help me with this. Here’s the plan.

1. I got me some apps. I got a fitness tracker app for keeping track of my P90 progress and a Couch to 10k (C210k) app. Both are ~90 days, 12-13 weeks. The former will prolly help me more with P90X once I get fit enough to pass the introductory test (it’s sad, really). I say that because the exercises are already programmed in (for the most part) but the exercises I’m gonna be doing (from P90M) are prolly not programmed in, so I’ll have do do that myself.

2. I got me some new kicks. Vibrams are apparently really hard to come by. If you find the ones you want in your size, buy them. You’re prolly not gonna find them in your color though. The guys at the running stores (plural) I visited said the manufacturers are way behind on production due to the ridiculous demand. The Komodos (see below) are only sold in stores, not online. Also, they didn’t have my color 😦 Still, I wore them for a little while today and they felt great. I don’t think they’ll work very well as all-day-long shoes, but for 1-2 hours they’ll be fine. Everyone said to take them a bit slow when you first start out exercising with them so your feet can adjust. I can attest to that after walking on them for several hours. Still, I like how sensitive my feet are to the ground while wearing them. I walked across cobblestone and could feel the subtle differences in each stone.

Man I have hairy legs.

3. I got me a running partner. Sort of. John wants to run, even though no one will be chasing him, and he thinks the C210k might just do the trick. I see it as running for noobs. It takes the guesswork out of trying to get into running and challenges you quickly. Plus, the app I have is both idiot proof and allows me to listen to my iPhone/Pod. Also, come on. Couch to 10k. It is an exercise program that has the word “couch” in it. I can’t think of a more clear starting point. Anyway, running with a buddy is a bit more motivating, but even without a buddy, I got lots of books on tape. Dresden Files FTW. I’m on book 3 of 12 and book 13 comes out in July. I got some catching up to do (fyi, I am rereading them).

So here’s the plan. Pretty simple. I’m gonna do the P90M program, which is a step up from the P90 program I finished months ago, without the cardio. This program is very unorganized (the other P90 programs have excel files to track progress for crying out loud) and I had to track down a recommended schedule. The result is that I’m going to alternate Sculpt 5-6, Upper Middle Lower, Core Cardio, and (stab me) Plyometrics so as to challenge myself like the other programs do (3 weeks heavy, 1 week light, last month hell). I’ll do three of these videos each week alternating days with C210k. I’m thinking MWF weight training and TThSa C210K.

I am currently 225lbs. Yup, you read that right. When I finished this up last time I was 204lbs. Backsliding with a deficit of 21lbs. For shame. I can do 3/4 of a pull up (the P90X intro expects men to be able to do at least 3) and my pushups fail around 20 or so. I have no idea about my other measurements or my heart rate. I don’t feel the need to get bogged down in details until I’m actually doing P90X.

Tomorrow starts the suck. Be prepared for updates with me whining about how much I ache. It’s gonna happen.

EDIT: Wow. I must have been in a mood. I wrote “I got” a lot in this post. Whatever. I’m excited and a bit silly. No judging.

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