Saturday, September 3, 2011

stupid rain...drizzle is for kids...

So, my running group's (Erin and I) weekend run is traditionally Saturday morning.  Lo and behold, Tropical Storm Lee decided to show up at exactly 0645 as I was lacing up my shoes.  I checked our Facebook page and there were comments regarding not running in the rain and how I "obviously" wouldn't run in get the idea, wimpy stuff that makes no sense...who doesn't love a nice run in a tropical storm? right?

Anyway, I texted my running partner, letting her know I would be at her house in 7 minutes, be ready for a trail run.  If running in the rain is in your future, why not go down some trails that are sure to get you covered n mud...  So we meet up and it has just started to rain so we laugh really quick about how silly this is and then head for the woods.

It is about a mile before you get into the "real woods", "real" woods being identified by dirt, not gravel and side trees, not just overhead.  So the branches are a nice obstacle to dodge and the dirt has a certain shiny quality to it as we tear off down a side trail.  If anyone has run in central Louisiana in the woods, in the rain (or just after it), then you know how the mud clings to your feet, giving you a free pair of shape-ups.  We both have to stop a few times to scrape and or fling the mud off of our shoes before we find the sweet spot in the wet grass/edge of the trail.

The plan was to run 4 on Friday (I did...4.21 actually), 6 today, 8 on Sunday and then cap it with an easy 2 on Monday.  I knocked out the 6 today and with the rain looking like it will continue through the weekend, the 8 planned for tomorrow should be pretty messy...I am a big fan of running in the rain, but 3 days will get a little old.  We shall see...

Saturday, August 27, 2011

really? months since my last post...

So, I am sitting at home watching the news, wondering how much of a problem Hurricane Irene will be for my family up north...
My entire family (with a few exceptions) lives in either Massachusetts or New Jersey.  While I waste away in central Louisiana, my wife is at "home" visiting and vacationing in Laconia, NH and Gardner, MA.  Her flight was supposed to be Sunday afternoon, now AA says Tuesday instead.  Not sure if I am too happy about that. I know that with everyone there and extra food and generators it will probably be fine, but I still worry.

Now, on to other more interesting updates since last least it seems like it has been that long since I wrote.  I have limited the amount of running I am doing.  I usually only run about 10 miles a week right now.  The weekends consist of a 4-6 mile effort with Erin and now Aleece, while the week has a few treadmill efforts, usually 3/4 mile repeats for 3-4 miles at a nice pace.  I mix in a few days of some light crossfit and HIIT (high intensity interval training) and that is it.  I have made a few new commitments recently as well...

Monday I start college classes (Eng Comp Monday/Wednesday afternoons, Psych and Govt on the weekends), agreed to help train my buddy Pete for an Ultra-marathon (with a few regualr marathons thrown in for good luck) can follow his progress here  So that should be fun!  I plan on ramping up the training next week (I planned on it this week, but got real sick and was in bed a few days), doubling it up on Saturday and Sunday mornings.  Probably do 4-6 miles each weekend day with a few early mornings through the week.

My Bike!!!  I sent it in for services a few weeks ago, got it back and it is in tip-top condition now!  I went on a few tester runs to work and back and plan on adding that to my routine as well.  I figure I can ride my bike to work almost everyday and get some extra burn there...  Down here in central Louisiana we are having a MTB Festival called the Fat Tire Festival in October that is being promoted through Red River Cyclery ( and should be a great weekend of riding.  I just need to get ready for it!

On a personal note, my wife and I are expecting a baby in the spring!  We are both super excited about this and have been trying for years to start our family and finally have been blessed with a child on the way.  My time in the Army is also approaching the end soon...I have decided to part ways and am looking forward to moving back east (probably Virginia) and going back to school full time to become a history teacher...might need a little bit of luck on getting through 3 years of school!

So with all of that said, I am going to make a real honest effort to write at least weekly on here and will start including my weekly workouts and how it is going on all the other aspects if they interest me...My dog is laying on the floor next to me crying and making little grunting noises, which means she wants to chase the ball in the back yard...time to go...thanks for reading and remember to like, share and spread the word!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Injured yet again...

So there I was in my backyard doing some kettlebell and medicine ball workouts...I finished up and went for my normal jog around the block to finish off and...SNAP, my foot makes this awful sound and I walk home...

That was 2 weeks ago, I haven't ran or rode my bike (maybe once or twice) and I have limited my workouts to really light training...I am broke yet again and the doctors tell me, "well, we'll have to wait a few weeks to see if the hairline fracture opes up...blah, blah, blah..."  So I have a follow up next Monday to see if the fracture "opened up" enough to see in an xray...I really do love Govt. healthcare!  If you have not already been allowed to purchase and reap the benefits of govt healthcare, just get ready for the hurry up and wait game...coming soon to a hospital/office near you!!!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Cheating on my trails with a dirty bike...

So I am currently undergoing some difficult decisions in my life...I started riding my new mountain bike last week and instantly became super addicted to it...I also just picked up a pair of 24kg kettlebells which are entirely too heavy for me right now. I am excited about the kettlebells and have mixed emotions about the bike.  On one hand the bike provides me with a form of exercise that my doctors will agree with...I get the "running that much/often is bad for you" and "you really should look into riding a bike or swimming".  I think both of these things are probably (definitely) good ideas and should be explored with as much attention as possible.  The issue I have is that when I start to do something new, I become so absorbed and obsessed with it, all other endeavors tend to fall to the side.

A few years ago when I started running seriously, I cranked my mileage from the regular 10-12 miles a week to 50-60 miles a week and was absorbed.  I was falling asleep early, losing a ton of weight, getting toned (I also hit the gym for 3-4 hours a week) and enjoyed all the benefits that come with tons of healthy exercise.  I had ankle reconstruction in May of 2010 and the result was a nice gift of osteoarthritis and a group of doctors telling me to stop running and start crosstraining more.  I decided after several months of repeat visits and a new set of lesions developing on my ankle cartilage (whats left of it) I decided to drop a few $ on a used mountain bike and started to get into strength training a little more.  The problem is that I feel in love with the new stuff and fell out of love with the old stuff (running).

There is the possibility that I am in "lust" with my new hobbies (I am prone to a bit of impulse and the resulting weeks of extreme behavior) and the shine will wear off in a few weeks.  I am going on a nice run tomorrow to get back to my original love, running.  I feel like a nice long run on the trails I fell in love with back in the day will do me good.  I am hoping that I will be able to split my time between the two love affairs I have while still keeping them both happy and not leaving either of them wanting...wish me luck, I feel like I am cheating on both of them...

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Crosstraining...all the benefits and more!

It has been about a week since my last blog and I have been working out with the kettlebells, medicine balls and generally crushing myself in the gym and in my back yard.  I talked to a buddy and he is selling me 2 24 kg bells this afternoon.  They are a little heavy but I should be able to work into them in a few weeks (or maybe months...they are really heavy).  So working out twice a day, really equals 9 times a week with all the crap that just happens.  I worked late one night, until 10 pm and slept in the next morning, so I only did the morning routine and then the afternoon routine for those two days.  That is how it goes, if you have a workout plan, or at least this is how it goes for me, you schedule all the \sessions and when you miss one you end up feeling guilty.  I made this new schedule so crazy, when I miss one, I feel relieved and am glad I got a rest!

Needless to say I have been really tired and feeling extremely sore most days.  I think that is a good thing.  I also am still plagued by small injuries.  I finished an afternoon session with Amy and then went for a 4 mile barefoot run.  Around 3.2 miles my left foot just started to hurt and there was a slight pop and I had to walk the rest of the way home.  After a visit to my doctor ad an x-ray, thankfully nothing is broken.  I got the requisite speech from my Doc..." you really shouldn't be running so much, have you thought about mountain biking or swimming more instead?"  I respond "Of course I have thought about it...I just love running, I am an addict and need a 12 step program".  I went home and looked on the internet yet again for cheap used mountain bikes in my area.

Craigslist is the only want-ad type site and down here in Louisiana (or so I thought) and there are not a lot of extra mountain bikes floating around!  I made several calls and emails and the closest bike was Baton Rouge, about 3 hours new bike would not be.  I went to work the next morning and asked around about kettlebells and bikes.  This is when my buddy spoke up about selling his bells on  So I went home, made a profile, found a few bike and bought a 2002 Specialized Rockhopper.  It is all white and needed a new soft seat and some lights to make it street legal, but it rides nice and soft, has a full suspension (i wanted a hard-tail but couldn't pass the deal up) and fits me great.  So now I have a bike and can ride to work, go explore new trails on the weekends, map out new running adventures for my running club...they are not motivated enough to go out and run 8+ miles of random back trails to find a sweet 5-6 mile course...I do all the leg work...pun intended.

So the benefits of crosstraining for me have been two fold.  I ended up with what seems to be a great new hobby...mountain biking, I get all the great "soreness" from working out a couple extra times per week.  I am losing fat and gaining muscle at an alarming rate.  I eat like a horse and have not put a single pound on...I also have not lost any weight yet, but my body composition is changing.  Hopefully it will keep me from getting injuries from running everyday, I wish I was one of the genetic freaks who could put in 100+ mile weeks and not get hurt, I just am not there yet.

I love my new bike, I rode it to work on Friday and then home (only a 5 mile round trip) and am excited that it only takes 11 minutes door to door and it takes 8-9 in the jeep.  One more way I can save a dime, lower my gas guzzling ways and keep pollution down a tiny little bit.  I used to think my  .5 mile ride to work just didn't matter, but now I realize that every little bit matters and we can all do a little extra to help out.  And that goes for everything in our lives, not just pollution...we should try to help out a little extra in every aspect... really do our best in whatever we are doing...have a great day, I know I am going to, I have a whole network of trails to explore and only a  few hours to do it!