Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Off to a pretty good start.

Yesterday was pretty intense. I got home from work at about 1 in the afternoon. I almost immediately went downstairs and did the day 1 of P90X. Its Chest and Back. So its mostly push-ups and pull-ups, with a few weighted lifts thrown in. It kicked butt, mostly because of the thermogenic I am on giving me a lot of extra energy that I poured into the workout. I did 125 push-ups, and 75 pull-ups (with a chair for assistance.) It was pretty beastly feeling. Then when I was done, I went out and ran 5 miles. I ran the first 4 miles without much problem, but the last mile I definitely started to bonk out.

I am gonna go to the store this week to look into the GU energy packets, so that I can get used to them before my race in 4 weeks.

Today is the Plyometric Cardio day for P90X, plus a 5 mile bike ride, or maybe some rollerblading, depending on what I fancy here in a few hours. Will update about how that all goes!

Sunday, August 28, 2011


So these last two weeks have been a lot of bumming around, and not really doing anything productive. I let my birthday weekend turn into a birthday 2 weeks. It was abysmal in terms of doing anything good for my body, and I definitely set back a bit.

But on the bright side. My aunt and I really committed to the next 90 days to get in the best shape of our lives. She purchased the Tracy Andersons Metamorphosis workout series. Its similar to the P90X program in style, but geared directly at women. It's a really legit looking program, and doing one of the workouts today, I got my butt kicked. I on the other hand, will be sticking with the P90X program, as well as incorporating my running regiment until my half-marathon in 4 weeks.

Today was day 1 for her, and tomorrow is day 1 for me. That makes Sundays my off days. Last night, we both sat down and got our body measurements, I did the fitness test, and we took out "Before" photos.

I am warning you now. If you don't want to see pictures of a fat hairy guy in nothing but workout shorts. Don't scroll down any further on this page. 

Current Measurments
Weight: 234 lbs
Biceps: 15 in
Chest: 44 1/2 in
Waist: 44 in
Hips: 43 3/4 in
Thighs: 25 in

So yeah. I am definitely in need of a radical change in my lifestyle. But I am hoping through changes in eating habits, working out, and motivation from my aunt, from family, and friends, that I will be able to achieve my goals, and much more. In 90 days, I am looking to be down close to 200 lbs. 34 pounds in 90 days. Thats a lil more than a pound every 3 days. Which is easily attainable with all the work I plan on doing.

I am making healthier choices when it comes to eating. Limiting myself to a 2000 calorie diet, eating more throughout the day instead of big meals late at night. I also added a protein shake to my daily intake, every day after I workout.

I am also using a thermogenic, which is a weight loss supplement, designed to raise core temperatures in the body, and speed metabolism. That, coupled with a workout program, a healthier diet, and continued motivation, will definitely help drive me to success.

Every 10 days I will be retaking my measurement, and every 30 days, I will be doing new pictures to monitor progress. I am looking forward to sharing my results with you guys, and seeing just how much I can really change my lifestyle in the next few months! Thanks for your continued support and love guys! I promise that I will be much better about updating, and getting around to showing some love and support to all you guys from here on out!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Sorry I have been dead guys...

Hey. So Yeah, birthday week got a little hectic. Ended up not really doing a lot of working out, and ate way too much, and drank way too much. But the silver lining in all of that is that I have a very much renewed vigor for kicking myself in to shape. My aunt and I both committed to doing a full blown workout program. I am going to complete P90X for the second time, in its entirety, and she is going to do her 90 day program designed for women.

I also went out and got a protein supplement, and a thermogenic metabolism booster that I used a few years ago to drop from about 285 to 240. I think it will be a good solid kick to really start to lose more as I amp things up.

Going out to run 4 miles tonight. Gotta get back in the swing of things for getting in shape.

Post about Barefoot and minimalism training will be coming sometime this week. Looking forward to getting back into this, and being encouraged by all of you guys!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

day 28

Yesterday was a really nice rest day. Did a whole lot of nothing, and really enjoyed it!

Today, I kicked my own ass. I got up and went to church, which was freaking awesome this morning, so I was in a really good mood. My cousin invited me to go to a hot wing cookoff thing tonight, so I figured I would get my running in early instead of waiting til dusk. But since we are in the middle of a bunch of storms and gloomy weather, and for the sake of my nipples, I didn't want to go running in the rain, I decided to hit the treadmill for the first time in my training. It was weird, and actually a whole lot harder than running outside. And I didn't even have the incline up.

I popped Inception into the dvd player in our workout room, and I started running. I set the treadmill on speed level 6, which was supposedly a 10:00 minute mile. It felt like I was sprinting on this machine. So I scaled it back to 4, which was supposedly a 15:00 minute mile. It felt more like my normal 9:20-9:40 pace. My training for today was to do 7 miles. So I was in for the long haul on this machine. I fluctuated in speed between level 3 (a 20:00 minute mile) and level 4. All in all, I didn't reach the treadmills 7 mile marker for an hour and 50 minutes. I think something was very wrong with either the distance measurement on the machine, or its speed. I know for a fact I can do seven miles a lot quicker than that, with less effort. But for the sake of my training, I am calling it at 7 miles, even though I feel that I most likely did more. The treadmill is like 10 years old, so it wouldn't be a stretch for it to be faulty.

But no matter what way you look at it, I definitely ran at least 7 miles today. And I did it in my barefoot shoes. Definitely felt it. For sure. My calves are killing me. Although, I cannot wait until they start getting even more developed looking than they already are. I personally think I have very sexy calves. But thats just me.

Anyways. Due to going out tonight, I am most likely not going to get to do the educational update about barefoot running. Tomorrow is my birthday, I'm turning 21, so I very much highly doubt that I will be getting that up this week. Between celebrating here, and then heading home over the weekend  to celebrate with my family in Missouri, I will be pretty hard pressed to sit down and put that together. I do however plan to still be on or at least near target for my training this week, and will still update about that. Hopefully alcohol and partying don't ruin too much of my training :p but we shall see.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Day 26 - Freaking Awesome

Alright. Sorry that my post was brief and sort of curt last night. I was really tired after opening at work, running in the afternoon, and then having to do a lot of building and such for a church in the area that was being remodeled. Needless to say, I was pretty pooped. But I wanted to at least let you guys know that I had gotten out there on the new shoes, and that I was enjoying them.

Now, to really give them the post they deserve.

These shoes I bought, I consider to be one of my greatest purchases. They are amazing in nearly every way, shape, and form. The first time I went running in them, I trekked out two miles like it was nothing. Yeah it made me feel it in muscles I wasn't used to because of a completely different type of stride when running, but it was a good burn in the muscles, not a pain indicating something was wrong.

I woke up the next day, and my legs weren't nearly as sore as they have been after some of my other runs. So I hopped  back out there and ran 2 more miles in them. It was a little tougher, cause once I got going I could really start to feel it in the calves. But still, virtually no knee pain, my ankles weren't rolling weird anymore, and my run was infinitely more enjoyable.

I have also been wearing them when I go out walking with my aunt, and when I am doing my P90X workouts. I have taken to doing 1 of the lifts every other day, as well as my normal running. For one, I feel actually better doing it, cause its making me feel really buff and leaner looking, as well as making me really feel some good results. So I have done the Shoulders and Arms day, and the Back and Biceps this week, as well as the X Stretch routine. Its pretty killer.

For those wanting some info on the shoes. They are from the "Fila" brand. The model is called "Skele-toes" and they are designed for barefoot/minimalism lifestyles. They aren't marketed specifically as a running shoe. Which actually is apparent when I am using them for running. They are built to accommodate a walking and running stride, which are two different things. But for the most part they are fantastic to run in.

Heres a few pictures of them to give you guys a visual.
The shoes themselves.

Top down view.

Side view.

Bottom view
They are pretty nifty looking, and draw a lot of attention from people out on the paths. That makes running in them a lot more fun, cause peoples reactions are generally pretty funny, making the workouts more light hearted and easier to get through.

So today. I slipped these bad boys on, and headed out to the path for the first longer distance on them. 4 miles. I warmed up my first mile pretty easily, just easing my way into the workout. Then as I neared the turn about at the end of the mile, I was like. Lets really open up, and give these babies a whirl. So I set myself up, and started out mile two, while timing myself. I raced down that path faster than I had ever run in a long distance training before. I reached the end of the path at the mile marker in 7 minutes and 3 seconds. That my friends is a personal best. Three days in these shoes, on top of my half of a month of training, and I shave nearly a full minute off of my fastest mile time previously.

My stopwatch time at the end of my mile.
The progress and results I am seeing from my training are really encouraging me, and I am starting to finally feel really good about this half marathon in just a little more than a month. Its on September 24th, so I have a month and 11 days to get in the best shape that I can.

As for the last two miles of my run today, I took it pretty easy after racing out that mile. But I finished 4 today, which was my training schedule. Tomorrow is a rest day, so maybe some light walking. I also plan on doing the Yoga X routine in P90X. Its a lot of stretching and core work. Looking forward to it. Sunday is my long run, but also my day off work. I will give an educational update on the logistics and science behind barefoot/minimalism running and lifestyle. Looking forward to sharing what I've learned and how I'm applying it!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Day 24 and 25

Yesterday I ran 2 miles on my new barefoot/minimalist shoes. It went extremely well.

Today I ran 2 more today in them as well. They are really comfortable, and are doing really well as to improving my stride and leg problems.

Not a whole lot else to update on. I am tired and don't really feel like writing it all out tonight. I will give a proper full length blog about my experience in the shoes, and a lot of in general info about them tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Impossible List

Alright, so during my time of recovery a while back, I was doing some research into just some proper running stuff, motivation, etc. and I stumbled upon the The Impossible Blog. It's a website by a man name Joel Runyon, who has really gotten motivation right. He wrote and completed a lot of his own "impossible list" which is basically the list of things you or other people may have thought were impossible for you to achieve. But through motivation, determination, and a lot of encouragement and support, you can really do some 'impossible' things in your life. They have a 7 day email series which really motivates you to get up and get out doing some amazing things in life. It inspired me a lot, and helped me get over a slow period in my training session. I went through the email series, and I sat down and put together my "Impossible List" its got things ranging from fitness, to travel, and random things I want to accomplish in life.

Here's what I came up with. I am sure as time goes on that I will change and add things, and I will update as I manage to accomplish things on the list. Its not enough to live an ordinary life, I want to get out and do the extraordinary!

The Impossible List
Fitness Goals
Run a 10K
Run a Half Marathon
Run a Marathon
Run a Duathlon
Run a Triathlon
            Fake Triathlon
            Sprint Distance Triathlon
            Olympic Distance Triathlon
            Half Ironman Triathlon
            Ironman Triathlon
Get Ripped with the Hollywood Physique
Get a six pack
100 Consecutive pushups
100 Consecutive Sit-ups
Do 5 one-armed pull-ups with each arm
Do 10 one-armed pushups with each arm
Achieve a black belt in a martial art
Travel Goals
Visit Every Continent
            North America
            South America
Go Swimming in Every Ocean
Obtain Dual citizenship in two countries
Swim in the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean in the same day
Visit Mount Rushmore
Go Through the Panama Canal
Dance Tango in Argentina
Dance in the Moulin Rouge
Visit Machu Picchu
Visit the Blarney Stone in Ireland
Visit Stonehenge
Climb the Eifel Tower
Visit the Palace of Versailles
Visit the Notre Dame Cathedral
Gamble in a tuxedo in Monte Carlo (Hehehe James Bond style)
Attend Oktoberfest in Germany
Visit the Coliseum, Vatican, and St. Peter’s Basilica
Visit the Leaning Tower of Pisa
Visit the Parthenon
Visit the Pyramids
Go on an African Safari
Go on a walk about in Australia
Climb Mt. Kilimanjaro
Ride a Camel through the Sahara Desert
Visit the Great Wall of China
Visit the Taj Mahal
Skydive in New Zealand
Scuba dive in the Great Barrier Reef
Study Kung Fu at the Shaolin Temple
Set foot on Land in Antarctica
Chum around with a Penguin!
Visit Pompeii
Visit New York City
Take a gondola on the canal in Venice
Visit Petra in Jordan

Random Accomplishments
Change one person’s life for the better.
Become Fluent in 4 languages
Go without the internet for a month
Go without a car for a month
Go Skydiving
Go Bungee Jumping
Go Scuba diving
Learn to Surf
Bike across America
Do a Cross Country road trip
Be in a Flash Mob
Be an extra in a movie
Put $100,000 in the bank
Donate $100,000
Write an eBook
Write a real book
Start and maintain a successful blog
Go White Water Rafting
Be in a commercial
See the Northern Lights
Research my ancestry as far back as possible
Attempt the Ninja Warrior Course
Pilot an airplane
Perform on stage in front of at least 1,000 people
Write and record a song
Buy my own island
Climb a Mountain
Take a road trip from LA to New York
Stay in the Amazon Jungle for 3 days
Learn to play the guitar
Go to an airport and board a plane without planning as to where I am going
Take an international trip with both of my families
Take dance lessons in
Swing  Salsa   Tango  Ballroom    Samba
Swim with dolphins
Embarrass myself in front of hundreds of people
Create my own drink, and get it on a menu at a bar or restaurant
Live abroad in another country for at least 3 months
Camp on a beach under the stars and watch the sunrise
Own a Kawasaki or Yamaha motorcycle
Buy and restore a 1969 Ford Mustang
Stay in a Bungalow in Bora Bora
Join the Military
Build my own house
Marry the woman of my dreams
Be an influence for Christ in at least one person’s life
Start my own Personal Training business, no matter how small
Become a youth minister
Get a Masters in something
Events to Attend
Visit and participate in the Burning Man
Participate in the Running of the Bulls
Mardi Gras in New Orleans
St. Patrick’s Day in Dublin, Ireland

Day 23

Today was a great day. I did the X Stretch dvd, from P90X, and walked two miles in my barefoot shoes.

They seemed to work really well, handling the terrain following a good rain really well, and not causing any issues being wet, or causing chafing or blisters.

Tomorrow is a 4 day run, I don't think I am gonna take them out for that, but the follow day is a 2 day run, and it will be a good time to take them out and really test them

Will let you guys know about that when it happens.

I finished the Impossible List. I am gonna dedicate an entire post to it. I will post that here shortly.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Day 22

Alright, so as I said, I skipped a few days since my last run. And today I definitely felt it.

I went out running around 6:30 p.m. I met up with Ashlynn (The cute girl I have mentioned, who I now know is married with a baby) We ran the 2 mile loop, and that went alright, I have to say, I am pretty darn sure I slowed her down, but she was patient and kept my pace. Then after that, we stretched a bit, and she was all like "Lets go do the other loop."

Let me tell you about this other loop. Its only 1.65 miles long. But its all hills, and a long stretch of its is right out in the sun. I tend to avoid it in my runs, cause quite frankly I hate it. But Ashlynn wanted to run it, and I figured since I had already taken away from her workout, I could at least give it a go.

It was tough guys, I should be able to knock 3.65 miles out like its nothing, even with hills. But taking nearly a week off really killed me guys. But after all was said and done, I felt a lot better for having gone out and ran. So I think I will begin to do better again. I am hoping to be ready for my 7 mile long run on sunday.

In other news. I actually purchased a pair of barefoot running shoes today. They aren't the Vibram brand I posted a picture of previously. They are Fila brand. They are pretty nifty and about half the price of the Vibrams. Of course, you get what you pay for. They are a lot lower in quality, but they are great for getting me into it. So after my run earlier, I went back out around my neighborhood, and ran a mile in them. It was definitely different. But I liked it, and it felt pretty good, so I am definitely gonna start easing them into my workouts on a normal basis.

Update for tomorrow will be my "Impossible List" which I have been working on for a few days now. It's a pretty exciting prospect.

Sorry Guys

Sorry I haven't been updating in a few days, or being sociable to any of my blogger friends. I had a lot going on, then I got really lazy right afterwards. Not an excuse really, but its what happened.

In the midst of all that, I haven't gotten around to running or doing anything really in the last like 3 or 4 days. I feel like a bum, and I am already noticing backwards progress. So I kinda of kicked myself in the rear today, and decided that its really time to buckle down and get this thing in motion.

The cute girl that I ran with for a few miles the other week came into Starbucks today. I chitchatted with her for a while about running and stuff, and why she hadn't seen me out there, and she said we could run together more often, so thats definitely a motivation. Although, I did find out she's married with a child, so that kind of dampers anything that could go on there. But still its good to have a friendly face to look forward to on some of the tougher runs.

Another project I am working on is making my "Impossible List". The list of all the 'impossible' things I want to accomplish in my lifetime. Its basically a glorified bucket list. But still, sitting down the last few days to make it, has been a motivation in and of itself. I will write a whole post dedicated to it when I get it done tonight or tomorrow.

Other than that, I could use some emotional cheering on to not be lazy and get out there and work my butt off in preparation. Thanks guys!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Day 16

So today I had to contend with these blisters on my feet. I cleaned and dressed them when I got home from work, and they seemed to be doing alright.

I decided to go ahead and do a light workout on them, so my Aunt and I walked a mile, then I went back out and ran a mile. There was a little mild discomfort from the blisters, but nothing more than I had felt all day, and I didn't think anything of it. However, due to a pretty major allergy attack, my run was only cut at 2 total miles today instead of the 4 I was scheduled to do.

When I got home I stripped my shoes off to check on my blisters, and I found that my left shoe had blood in it, and the dressing was soaked through.

This is what I was greeted with.
So yeah, I was pretty surprised about that. I took a shower to rinse it off and clean it with soap and stuff, and when I got out I used some rubbing alcohol on both of them. It hurt like hell, but it got em really clean and cleared out. I covered them again with neosporin and gauze to sit over night. When I got the left one cleaned up, I inspected it to see what was wrong, and there was just one tiny little spot that was a deeper layer than the rest of the blister, so I imagine that is where the blood came from. Now that its cleaned and I am off of it, its not bleeding or anything, so hopefully if I take it easy on them, it will help heal them really good. That being said, I am taking tomorrow off of my running schedule as well. I am gonna do a strength training and stretching day instead, so that I am still burning calories and getting a workout in. Thursday may be another workout as well, and Friday, being my off day, won't change. Hopefully I am ready to at least attempt a few miles by saturday without complicating my feet any further.

Here are some pictures of the blisters all cleaned up.
My right foot.

My left foot.

They are pretty gnarly. But I've had worse. It's just another set back. I am seriously hoping that things go a little better from here on out, I really want to train for this thing right.

Sooo....uh yeah...Day 15

Yesterday was a bit of a bust.

So I am an idiot, and its totally my fault. But I got all jazzed up about going out and doing my first barefoot running that I didn't really think any of it through. At 2 in the afternoon in 95+ temperatures, I decide its a good time to go put in a good 2 mile barefoot run. I get to the path, and I am all excited for it. Man I am ready to do this...

I start running down this nice bright sunny path in the heat. I am already trying to pay attention to my new stride, and how my feet are falling, its going great for about the first 20 steps. Then I notice a weird and sudden pain in the balls of my feet. I stop and look down, and already my feet are blistering. I didn't even think about the pavement being an issue, I just was focused on not stubbing my toes or stepping on anything. So I hobble back to the car, and drive home. Assessing the damage, I have two silver dollar sized blisters on the balls of my foot. So I immediately pop them and drain them to alleviate the pressure, and then doctor them up with hydrogen peroxide and neosporin.

Today, they didn't hurt terribly, but I definitely noticed them at work standing around all day. When I got home just a little while ago, I reopened them, drained them again, then cut off all the excess skin. I cleaned em out good with peroxide, and covered them with gauze and medical tape. Now I can walk on them just fine, and I plan on still running my 4 miles tonight, but with shoes on. I won't be down in miles for this week though, cause I walked those 2 the other night, but I just switched the days I would be running them on. So it all works out. But I think I am just gonna wait til next week when I get my shoes to start the barefoot process.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Day 14, Stretching and recovery.

Today I was really sore. I woke up this morning at 5:00 a.m. to go to work, and man, my legs were killing me. My knees and quads were really tight and sore feeling. I am definitely looking forward to acclimatizing to barefoot running, cause its supposed to eliminate a lot of that pain. But as the day went on, it was bearable.

I ended up not running the mile today like I planned on, since my legs were shot, and since it wasn't really part of my training schedule, I don't feel too bad about it.

I did go out for a nice 2 mile walk though just to do a little something. Once my muscles were warmed up, my legs stopped hurting for the most part.

When I got back home, I popped in the P90X Stretch dvd. It was an hour of intense full body stretching. Starting at the neck and going all the way down to the ankles. It was amazing, exactly what the doctor ordered. I feel refreshed, recharged and ready for the 4 miles tomorrow. I am probably going to try and do them barefoot in order to start getting my self into that. I am looking to buy my shoes in the next two weeks, which works out pretty good, because a lot of the research I have been doing into barefoot/minimalism says that for the first two weeks you should go completely barefoot in order to allow your body to relearn its proper movement and how its feels to be active on them again. So hopefully thats how it all works out. I will definitely update you all tomorrow on how that goes.

For now, I am gonna hit the hay early, cause I didn't get enough sleep last night, and I need to be refreshed and get a good nights sleep. Have a great night and day tomorrow guys!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Hell yeah day 13

Today was freaking awesome!

So I worked this morning, it was freaking killer. We were slammed from 6:45 a.m. til around 11:00 a.m. with a line out the parking lot in our drive thru. But it was fun, and we had a killer team there today, so we rocked it out. I was in a great mood all morning long, and came home feeling great!
Once I got home nothing really happened, I sat around for a couple of hours waiting for my aunt and uncle. We went to see that last Harry Potter movie, since they hadn't seen it yet. So that was exciting. I ate a lot of popcorn, so I was kinda worried that those starchy empty calories might ruin my run. Then on the way home, my uncle stopped by McDonalds. I got a 10-piece chicken nuggets to eat when I got done with my run.
So pre-run, I am in a great mood, a lil worried about my eating for the day, but all in all, ready to get back into it after my two days of recovery.

I get going into my first mile, and I notice that I am running a little bit faster than usual, but it feels good, so I keep it up. I round the post at the end of the mile and think to myself "I feel great!", so I don't stop to stretch or anything like I usually do. I run the whole mile back to the start of the path, and I still felt really good, so I turned back and ran the two mile path again. As I neared the end of my 4th mile, I was hurting a little bit. But a lot of motivational stuff I had found over my recovery day came to mind, and as I ended the second 2 mile loop, I was like "What the hell" and I turned back around and ran halfway up the loop and then back, making an even 5 miles which was my training goal for the day. I ran 5 consecutive miles today. Without walking a single step. I am ecstatic! Today really really really encouraged me for the rest of my training season. Thank you guys so much for you support on here, and your encouraging comments, a lot of them actually came to mind as I was running, and sort of gave me some boosts. One thing that also spurred me on is thinking of what @That Bastard From Bellingham would say when he read that I ran 5 miles without walking. He's always got a lot of good stuff to say in his comments.

Tomorrow I am gonna do a mile barefoot to get started on that realm, and its also a recovery and strength/stretching day.

Day 12-13

Yesterday was a pretty good day as far as recovery goes. I felt a lot less stopped up, and I managed to get through the day feeling pretty darn good. I decided to be a rebel and go out for a quick little mile run. It went well, but it was right after I had eaten dinner, and I got a little queasy, nothing major though. But tip for the future, don't go running immediately after a big dinner at a mexican restaurant. It can kill you, literally....

In other news, while I was out researching and doing my recovery, I found a new plan to follow for the remainder of my training that I like better. So I looked into it, I got it calibrated with my google calendar, so now I get a reminder sent my phone of what I am supposed to day for the day. So tonight will become my semi-long run. the way it works is instead of doing one really long run, and 2 short runs, I do 3 medium distance runs, and one semi-long one, which works its way up to 10 miles in distance by the time I taper my training for my race.

On another note, after a lot of thought given over the last two or three weeks, and in general because I feel good about the idea, I am going to start experimenting with the barefoot/minimalist running thing. If you've never heard of it, basically its a lot of scientific study showing that the human body is designed to run barefoot, and that shoes are actually a lot worse off for the health of your foot due to allowing for improper pronation, and making it so that you land on your heel instead of your midfoot, which causes a lot of shin and knee problems. The solution is to run either barefoot, or get a minimalist shoe, which is designed to make its you run as if you were barefoot, but you have protection from the elements.

Plus they look really cool!
So I am gonna ease my way into, and on my low distance days this week, try and take them barefoot, and look into buying my shoes in the next week or two. I will keep you guys updated!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Day 11 - Recovery

Today is a recovery day for me. Seeing as how I am under the weather, and feeling pretty crappy, I figured I would do some research and pass along to you guys info on recovery in athletics.

There are a lot of helpful ways to get your body back into proper shape when you are feeling down, or just in general after a workout. The best way to stay fit and healthy is to create a healthy and proper lifestyle both within, and outside of your workout routines.

Nutrition is a major part of health. It relates to all aspects of our well-being. Eating improperly can cause your body a lot of problems. Especially in those with an active lifestyle. For athletes, foods high in protein content, such as meats, beans, and cheeses, are essential. Carbohydrates are especially good the day before and, the day of big workouts. They are also good post workout to help your body have some reserve energy to aid in recovery.
In general, its always a good idea to try and get proper nutrition, even if you aren't on a diet or trying to lose or gain weight. Vitamins, and minerals found in a lot of healthy foods are essential to overall well being and good health.

Water is another big aspect of health and recovery. Staying properly hydrated helps an athlete perform better during intense workouts. It replenishes sweat stores, and its keeps your body breaking down enzymes so that you can produce energy at an cellular level, which is where a lot of your energy stores come from. Without water, your body can't perform ATP conversions in the cells to produce energy. It can't properly process waste out of the body. There are several uses for water in the bodies processes. There is no definitive rule on how much water you should be drinking every day. A lot of people say a lot of different things. But in general athletes need more water in a day that a sedentary person. Keep a water bottle with you throughout the day, and you will drink more water throughout. Cut out sugary sodas as much as possible, the carbonation and the sodium content in them actually depletes your waters stores more than it adds to them. All in all, its not hard to make sure you are properly hydrated throughout the day, and its one of the best benefits to your body to be hydrated.

One thing overlooked a lot by athletes is stretching. During off days, and even pre- and post-workout its important to stretch out the body, especially those muscles used during the workout.
During workouts, the muscles used contract and shorten, and without stretching, will remain sore and painful longer following a workout. By stretching after a workout, you elongate those muscles, and give them their full range of motion back, thus eliminating a lot of the time it takes to recover. There are a lot of right ways to stretch certain muscles, but there are also a lot of dangerous and wrong ways to stretch muscles, so when you look to get into stretches, read up about them first, and make sure you are taking care of your body. Injuries are debilitating to athletes, and one should take caution in avoiding them any way they can. Listen to your body, and don't overdo yourself. It kills...believe me.

So that's about it for now. I am gonna dive into some more depth later and elaborate on these and other topics in their own posts throughout the week or so. But today, I am gonna focus on my nutrition and water intake, as well as do some light stretching and exercise to help boost my recovery.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Day 10

So its official. I am ill. I went out today to go do my 5 miles, and as soon as I started running, I began to feel like absolute crap. My lungs couldn't handle even my normal pace, my nose was all clogged up and I couldn't breath right, and my whole body just started to shut down. I barely got two miles in before I just had to call it. After talking to some of my running buddies, I decided that I am gonna take tomorrow, friday, and saturday off of running, and just do some lighter workouts in the house, and spend my two days off really resting and recouping. I have been hitting it hard enough the last two weeks that I can afford to do this early on, so that come Sunday, I am ready for my long run.

Its a bit of a bummer and a setback, but I sincerely think I will come off better for it when I go out on Sunday.

In the mean time, I am gonna do some studying up on some proper running technique, breathing, and some recovery info. I will do some research and pass what I find on to you guys!

Day 9.

Sorry I didn't update yesterday. It was a really crappy day. I feel like I may be catching a cold. Honestly, who gets a cold in the middle of July?!

But yeah, I was up at 4:30 for work, and I was sniffles and sneezes all day. Plus I was very lathargic and sore all day. So I opted not to do any running in order to rest and recouperate. Today I am feeling a whole lot better, and I am gonna do my five miles tonight, as well as my five miles tomorrow night. I have tomorrow and friday off of work, so friday will be a rest day that I can sleep in. Thats something great to look forward to. Seeing as how I just got off work and stuff now though, I am gonna chill out for a few hours and go running tonight. I will update later how that goes. Also tomorrow will be an informational post as well as progress, so look out for that!

Update you guys later!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Day 8

Today was a rest day. Spent the morning at work, as usual. Had a decent day, nothing really of note that would have altered my mood too much. Jokes and general levity as usual there.

Slept some this afternoon. Ate a nice dinner of salmon, rice, and asparagus. Sat down and watched the second Harry Potter movie. Gonna watch all of them again this week, then go see the newest one again with my Aunt and Uncle this weekend. So that was pretty fun.

Went for a light 1 mile walk with my aunt and uncle. Today was so much nicer outside than it has been. I am hoping this ungodly heat is gone for a while.

Other than that it was a chill day. Looking forward to the 5 mile trek tomorrow.

I am contemplating signing up for a 5K on august 13th. That would be a good first test to see how I am doing, and I think with the progress I have made, that the results from that would be very encouraging for the remainder of my training process.

On another note, besides documenting my training here for my own purposes, I am going to utilize this blog to put some general info on running and other exercise out there for all who stop by to read what I am doing here. I figure its got to be pretty boring reading about some random dude running all the time. So I will start doing a couple of informative posts a week about whatever I am looking into, or something beneficial to the exercise society!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Day 7.

Today was a bleh day. I had a great morning at church, and had a really nice lunch with the family. We ate a really nice italian restaurant. The pasta was gonna be a good push of carbs for my long run for the day. Afterwards we chilled at home, and my day started to drag at this point...nothing was really going on, and I was just in a bleh mood. We went out to get some frozen yogurt with the family, but I didn't get any cause I was already feeling guilty this weekend. So I just chilled and chatted with the family, and played with my little baby cousin. Came home and just vegged out for a while, waiting for the heat to go away before I went out to run. We got a little bit of rain, which just upped the humidity and didn't help the heat at all. I was nearly convinced to just run my 7 miles on a treadmill, but when it came down to it, I couldn't find a DVD to watch while I was running, so I decided to just go for the outside run.

I went to the paths down at the YMCA. It was like in the 90's out there, and the humidity had to be like 75-80%. It was terrible. And on top of that, I grabbed the wrong Under Armor shirt, I have two that are identical, but one is made for working in the cold so you stay warm, and the other is for working in hot to cool you off. I grabbed the stay warm one...big mistake. I was sweating so bad out there, and it really affected my performance. I couldn't even finish my usual mile warmup before stretching. But after I got warmed up and stretched out, this really cute girl started stretching near me, so when she took off up the path, I was like "What the heck" and I paced with her. We chit chatted a little bit, and it turns out she's running the same half marathon as me. We chatted about running, and such, and before I knew it we had done the two mile path. I didn't even feel it. It was pretty awesome. But she had to get going, that was all she had done for the day, so I still had 4 more miles to go. So I tackled the next mile, and it was miserable. I walked more than I ran that time. After I walked most of that mile, I was beating myself up, so I ran the 1.65 mile path pretty solid, and then reached the entrance to the 2 mile path again. I ran about a mile and a quarter of it, and walked about 3/4 of it to finish and cool down. So all in all I did 7.65 miles today. Thats a little bit past where I was supposed to go which made me feel pretty good. All in all a decent day. Looking forward to resting and light stretching tomorrow!

I skipped day 4!

Looking back, I totally realized that I skipped day 4!

Day 4 was a really exciting day for me. I met with my navy recruiter to weigh in, and I was down another 3 percent body fat, and about 8 pounds. I was ecstatic. It felt really really good to know that I making a ton of great progress.

I didn't really do much of anything to workout that day. I spent some time chilling at starbucks with some peeps from work. And I went to the library to get some books. I walked around for a bit outside, and did just some light stuff.

Other than that it was an enjoyable day off!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Days 5 & 6.

Sorry for not updating yesterday. It was a really lazy day for me.

I woke up and opened at work at 4:30 in the morning. I had a major headache all day, and I wasn't really feeling all to well as the day went on. In the afternoon when I got home, I laid down to take a nap, and slept most of the day away. We had dinner at a pizza place, and I was pretty stuffed, and feeling a lil guilty about how much I ate, but I definitely didn't feel up to running, so it was officially a day off. My cousin and her husband came in to spend the weekend, so that also distracted me from any exercise I may have gotten yesterday.

Today was alright. I woke up a little later than I wanted to for getting ready for work, so I had to rush breakfast. This caused me to nearly choke to death on a hard boiled egg. It was tragic, and it totally started my day off on the wrong foot. But it got better as the day went on. I came home and laid down for about an hour or so, and then we had a nice dinner with all the family. I was in a pretty good mood at this point, and playing with my cousins little baby daughter was downright fun. We caught a break in the heat today following a shower this afternoon, so I took advantage of it. Seeing as how tomorrow is my long run though, I didn't want to set myself up for failure, so my aunt and I went out and walked two miles. We chatted and had a pretty good time, and then on the way home I had her drop me off a lil more than a mile from the house, and I ran the rest of the way home to get a little more in since I was feeling guilty about the food from yesterday.

So all in all a little more than three miles today. Nothing hard at all. Tomorrow is a solid seven miles, and I am not cutting myself short. So I will post afterwards how that goes. I have the day off work, so after church and lunch I will most likely go out in the afternoon, but who knows what tomorrow holds. I will keep you guys updated. Thanks again for the support and encouragement!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Day 3

Today was a really good day!

I woke up at 3:45 this morning to work at 4:30. My morning went really well and I was in a great mood as the day wore on. I barely got a chance to eat, so my stomach was lacking in food til nearly noon when I finally got a break to eat. I had a pretty healthy sandwich from Jimmy Johns.

When I got home around 1:30 I laid down almost immediately and napped until 4:30p.m. I got up and ate a dinner of frozen pizza (Not a good choice, but it was fast, and we had to fend for ourselves for dinner tonight). I ate more than I should have, but I was really hungry and my stomach got the better of me. I am gonna have to work on that.

So there's the set up for how my day set my mind and body up for my workout. Tonight was a light distance running workout. Within the half and hour or so before I left to go do my run, I was texting a few friends and was in an exceptionally good mood that I think boosted my morale for the run. I got to the path and I ran 2 miles. Nothing exceptional distance wise...but its still an easy recovery day. However I pushed myself to the limit. I stretched out lightly before I started running, and I ran the first mile in a consistent with my normal pace 9 minutes and 30 seconds. As I rounded the post to come back my second mile, I figured I'd do some speed work, so I ran at a normal pace for about 200 meters, then I would sprint for 100 meters. I repeated this the whole way back, and it kicked my butt. I was whooped by the time I reached the end of the path, but I had shaved nearly a minute off of my mile time. I am pretty proud of that. So all in all, great mood, and great workout today. Tomorrow is weigh in day with my Navy Recruiter, so hopefully I will see some great changes. I can definitely already tell from the few weeks of light working out I've done, and the starts this week that my body is drastically changing its shape, and I am excited for it!

Day 2 part 2

Sorry for not updating last night. I got done with the work out, then crashed. I had to work at 4:30 this morning, so I needed my sleep.

Anyways, Yesteday was a cross training day. So I did a 10 minute ab workout on the t.v. with my aunt, and followed that up with a 15 minute cardio workout on there as well. Those two actually kicked my butt. I was very impressed with the intensity level of those two. After I finished with them, I went downstairs and did the Chest and Back day from P90X. Because I am currently trying to slim up, and improve cardio fitness instead of making muscular gains, I sort of cheated and skipped some of the intense moves, only because I didn't want to wear myself out in the wrong way for marathon training.

Overall my workout went really well. I felt great about the ab and cardio workout, but I think the chest and back one might have been too much on top of it for the day. I need to be careful not to over do this too early. I don't want to start with a bang, fizzle out, and end up not going the distance on this plan.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Day 2

Today I am definitely feeling pretty sore after yesterday. Nothing I am not used to, but I definitely feel it. Under normal circumstances, today should be a rest day, but I realized that I started day 1 yesterday, which was a Monday, and I want my long runs to be on Sundays, so i am skipping a rest day this week, and doing my cross training day today. I opted to do a light weight strength training workout, so as to still give my legs the rest they need for my run tomorrow. Plus its like 103 degrees outside, so I don't really want a heat stroke.

My weight training exercise is the Chest and Back workout from the P90X program, which is one of my all time favorite workout programs. Its a bunch of pushups and pullups and it really does some wonders for my upper body. So thats what I am gonna go do here shortly. I've done it a lot of times before, so I know what to expect and how it feels. So no real need to update here, though I mighht post afterwards just to get it documented as part of my training.

Todays mental mindset is pretty tired from working early, and having a semi-stressful day at work, plus some problems I ran into on the way home cashing my check and such. Although my mood was considerably brightened when in the midst of all the trouble at the bank, I took an opportunity to hit on the teller who was a cute young lady, and I got her number. So yeah, I think the good is outweighing the bad in my head today. We will see how the day affects my workout here shortly though.

As to people giving me some crap about not finishing the full 7 miles yesterday, I know I didn't meet my training regiments outline on day 1. But the program is a flexible schedule telling you to do what you can. I ran a full 5 miles yesterday which is unheard of for me, and was more than I am normally capable of. I know my limits and I did not want to kill myself on day 1. If I could have done the full 7 without causing injury that would have actually set my schedule back further then I would have. I am a 240 pound big guy, running isn't exactly my forte, so I will take what I got. Its not about meeting each and every expectation and rigid number of miles every day, its about working to the point that I am getting the absolute most out of my body before I go too far and start negatively affecting myself. Thats why I am documenting my progress and the factors that affect my workouts so that I can look back and know what happened, and why I did what I did or why I may have felt like doing more if some days call for it. Its all relative, and I know what I am doing. I do appreciate the input though, and it is actually a good motivator.

Well, gonna go workout and eat dinner. Will update a lil bit more later! Thanks for the support, encouragement, and tips guys!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Aspire to Perspire.

Alright. Today marks Day 1 of my 9 weeks half-marathon training. So far the psyching myself up aspect has been pretty intense. I have been drinking lots of water today in prep of my first big run.

Basically my training schedule looks like this each week. Sunday will be my big long run day, starting at 6-7 miles and ending at 10-11 miles in 9 weeks. Mondays will be a light stretch and recovery day, nothing major at all. Tuesdays will be my lighter runs, ranging from 2-4 miles in length as the weeks progress. Wednesdays are cross training. So walking, biking, rollerblading, even light weight training. Thursdays are medium distance runs ranging from 5-7 miles throughout the program. Friday is another light easy rest day. And Saturday is another easy distance 2-4 miles as well as a 30 minute recovery period of light to moderate walking.

In conjunction with my training I will be dieting accordingly. Higher amounts of complex carbohydrates as well as plenty of protein on my hard days. Fruits and vegetables as snacks, low sodium throughout so I don't retain water, etc. The plan is pretty hardcore, but I am totally psyched about it!

Tonights run was pretty good. I got going at a pretty good pace, and ran out two miles at a 9.5 minute mile. I walked the next mile and stretched lightly before I got going again, and did another 2.65 miles. So only finished 5.65 miles today. Conditions outside were pretty humid and muggy, and it was about 87 degrees out there. Started running about 8:45 p.m. and finished at around 9:45 p.m. as the sun was setting. Sweat more than I have in a long while.

Noticed a little bit of soreness in my right ankle, adjusted my stride and quickened my foot turnover and it helped alleviate it. Looking into getting some new shoes here soon. Hardcore looking to try out the barefoot running style shoes by Vibram, or the Skele-toes shoes from Fila. Probably gonna get a pair next week. Will update about how I feel running in them.

Alright! Day 1 is down and I am really feeling good about it!