Sunday, March 21, 2010

So Sore

We had our annual Alumni Basketball tourney the last couple of days. It is always a great time. Reliving the past, catching up with friends, playing some ball and realizing just how old and out of shape we really are now. Our team did pretty good this year and we ended up playing in the championship game, which we lost (and I hate losing). So that means that we played one game Friday night and three games throughout the day on Saturday.

So while it is always a great time playing it comes at a price. Those four games over the weekend sure take their toll. Let's see if I can list all of the parts of my body that are sore. My neck, my back, my arms, my quads, my calves are unbelievably tight, the balls of my feet and I have a couple blisters on the tips of my toes. But it is totally worth it.

When I got up this morning I sure wasn't feeling any looser. But I went on a nice and easy 2.75 miles run with Amy and I feel a lot better now. Don't get me wrong, I'm still going to be plenty sore the next few days. I plan to spend the rest of day with my foam roller and doing some yoga, we'll see if it helps.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

It's Been Awhile

It sure has been awhile since I posted anything. I have been running quite a bit and learning more about it though. I guess I just haven't really had anything to say about it though. I do plan on sharing some of the information that I've been acquiring in future posts.

I signed up for the Lincoln Half Marathon and have been working hard at getting ready for it. I'm pretty excited about it, but I think Amy might be more excited than I am since she ran it last year and had an awesome experience. And I'm actually more excited now than I was even an hour ago, I just found out the race is going to finish on the 50 yard line in memorial stadium. I always thought that would be the best way to finish it.

For my training plan I start off following Hal's Novice Half Plan for a couple of weeks. I switched for a couple of reasons. Hal's plan only gets up to 10 miles, which is almost a quarter of the race short. While I'm sure the excitement of race day could push me through the last 5k, I'd feel a lot better about the race if I had run closer to the actual distance. Hal's plan wasn't fitting into my schedule very well either. I usually ended up running Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday with a long run either Saturday or Sunday. Sure I was supposed to cross train on those off days but I wouldn't get that done very often.

When I found the half plan from I liked it a lot as it fixed both issues I mentioned above. With it I'll get up to 12 miles while still increasing mileage at a reasonable rate. It fits into my schedule much better too. I have every other Friday off from work and those are my rest days with this plan. Since I was working out at the gym on base while it was still cold and snowy out I would usually end up taking that day off from training instead of heading back to work on my day off.

My training has been going well so far with just a couple minor setbacks. I use runningAhead to map out all my runs so I know how long they are. There is a bike trail about a mile from our house that I've been running on. Since we're still pretty new to the area each time I run farther on it is a new adventure. Looking at the trail on Google Maps (which runningAhead uses) it looks like it is paved, but I've found out a couple times that isn't always the case. The first time it wasn't a big deal, instead of pavement it was a rock trail, so I just went with it. The next time it happened it was a bit more of a problem. I set out for a 6 mile run, my longest at that point, again the trail switched to rock. But then I had to cross a street and there was a bar across the trail that said 'No Trespassing' so I crossed to the other side of the creek and ran along the trail on the other side where it was paved. Well the landmark I was looking for to know when to turn around was on the other side, so I missed it. I ended up running 7.6 miles instead of 6 and ended up with a few real nice blisters. With about a mile to go I could tell I was going to have them, so if I would have ran the correct route I would have been fine.

Last weekend I set out on an 8 miler, pretty much the same route as the 7.6 miler from the week before so no surprises. My blisters were still pretty far from healed so I'm not sure if I was compensating for that or what, but after my run my the outside edge of my right was bothering me, it felt bruised. When I ran Monday night it hurt quite a bit when I ran on the road, so I ran on the grass along side it as much as possible. I've been icing it a lot and instead of running I'll continue to use the elliptical until it's better. It seems to be much better now so hopefully will be better next week if for no other reason than I'm not a fan of the elliptical, I just can't seem to figure it out. I think that my stride is too long for it or something so it feels really unnatural.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

500 Reps

Zunana from posts daily workouts and the one she posted for today was a 500 rep workout. I've been sitting on the sidelines planning for too long so I decided to give her workout a try.

Here is the workout. And to keep things interesting you are supposed to see how fast you can do it, while keeping good form of course. It took her just under 36 minutes.
  1. Prisoner Squats – 50 reps
  2. Sit Ups – 50 reps
  3. Backward/Forward Lunge – 25 on each leg (one time back and forward counts and 1 rep)
  4. Push Ups – 50 reps
  5. Reptile (Plank Knee to Elbow) – 50 reps switching the legs
  6. Turkish Get Up – 50 reps
  7. Side V – Crunch – 25 reps on each side
  8. Split Push Ups – 50 reps total
  9. Jump Forward and Two Jumps Back – 50 reps total
  10. Reversed Plank Knee Tucks – 50 reps total
If you want to see a video of her doing the workout and her words of wisdom head over to her site, it is much more entertaining than mine.

Otherwise, stick around and read about my experience.

I didn't give the workout much thought before I started it, like how long I expected it to take or anything like that, I just got going. I'm glad I did because I might have talked myself into only doing 30 reps instead of 50 or something like that.

Prison squats - I didn't think these were too bad. My quads were burning a bit toward the end but I could have done a lot more. My knee has been bothering me a bit lately and I was worried about how it would handle them, but it didn't hurt any more than normal. I tend to stay away from squats because of my knees, but maybe if I do them without any weight I can strength the muscles and that will fix what ever is wrong.

Sit ups - When I do sit ups I usually don't go through the full range of motion like she did in her video. It was hard not to use momentum and just use my tummy muscles to pull myself up, but I don't think I did a great job. I had to take a break in the middle of these because I was really feeling the burn.

Lunge - For this one I did 5 reps on a leg then switched. Since the squats didn't bother me too much I didn't think these would either, but halfway through it was all I could do to get through the 5 so I could switch over to the other leg. These burned like hell and I was starting to wonder what I got myself into.

Push Ups - I've been trying to do a couple of sets of push ups to failure in the morning. I've been doing an okay job and do them around 3 times a week. I usually do between 40 and 50, so I figured these shouldn't be a big deal. I was wrong again though. I took quite a few breaks and had to do a couple of them on my knees so I would keep going. I managed to get through them though.

Reptile - I had never heard of these before so I didn't know what to expect. But since my arms were dead from the push ups, I figured they would be interesting. I didn't really feel these anywhere but my arms, but I'm not entirely sure I was doing them correctly. I did have to take a break or two because my arms were so tired.

Turkish Get Ups - I'd seen these but never done them. I grabbed on of Amy's 8 pound weights and almost started one get up before I switched over to one of her two pounders. (Actually they might only be one pound, they don't say) That was more than enough weight, my arms were so completely dead by the end of these I could barely lift the weight anymore. I managed to get through these with only a couple of breaks.

Side V - For these I did two sets of ten on each side and then a set of five. By the end of each set I was feeling it, so switching sides was a nice break.

Split Push Ups - These completely kicked my ass. My arms were so dead when I started them I wonder how I was ever going to get through them. I managed to, but all but about 10 of them were on my knees and the form on about 10 of those was far, far from perfect. Breaks were frequent and long during this exercise.

Jumps - I liked this one. It was tough and my jumps were quite a bit shorter at the end than the beginning but I only took one break this time. My balance isn't great so I had some extra hops and steps that others probably wouldn't have needed.

Reversed Plank Knee Tucks - This was kind of an awkward position. My arms were still dead so that didn't help anything either. I didn't think this was awful, but I had to take a break in the middle because my lower back was starting to hurt. Hopefully that means I was strengthening it, because I tend to hurt it more often than I would like.

My total time was 66 minutes and 35 seconds. So I managed not double her time, but only by a few minutes. I'm not sure that this post accurately described how completely dead I was while I was doing this. It really amazed me, but I'm not sure why. My heart was pumping extra and I was completely drenched with sweat by the time I was done. I'm sure that I am going to feel it in every part of my body tomorrow. I thought it was a great workout but it just goes to show how far I have to go before I am in good shape.

If you decide to give the workout a try let me know how much faster you were than me.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Do the Little Things

When I used to play basketball one of the things my coaches stressed was "do the little things". The little things are the things that are easily over looked in the big scheme of things. Things like chinning the ball, keeping your head on a swivel, ball fakes, crisp passes, going to the ball, boxing out, etc. If you don't know what those things are, that's part of the point. Everyone knows how exciting a dunk or steal can be, but for those things to happen consistently the little things need to be done first. Our team took great pride in doing those little things even though our fans didn't notice them and they didn't make the highlight reel. However, our fans did notice the results those little things produced, a state championship.

The last couple training cycles I went through, all there was to running was to run. That did work for me, I was able to bring my times down quite a bit. As I'm getting back into running again though I'm starting to realize that I need to do the little things for running too. Little things that will help me produce better results more consistently. Some of the little things I'm focusing on (or need to) are my core, total body strength and flexibility.

For my core I started doing the Ab Workout for Runners from after my runs. It only takes a few extra minutes and if the amount of hurt is any indication, I'm sure I will feel and show results soon.
Here are a few ab workouts from Runner's World that I plan on stealing parts of to incorporate into my routine over time to mix things up and keep my workout fresh to avoid muscle memory.
Abs Plan
The Ultimate Ab Workout for Runners
Ab-solutely Necessary
While I'm still trying to develop a plan to follow this winter I know I'm going to be incorporating some strength training into it once or twice a week. Until I find something better I'm going to be following Skip's Dumbbell Training Workout. I like it because they are simple exercises and pretty much every muscle group gets hit at some point. My plan is to do two sets of 12-15 reps on my strength days.

I've talked about flexibility, or my lack of, before. I really think that being more flexible will help me as a runner. It will help prevent injuries and help me have better range of motion, which would make me faster. I don't have a plan for this one yet though, so if you have any suggestions I'd love to hear them. What I would like is a series of stretches (static or dynamic) to do after my core workout (or before my run) that would take a few more minutes. Then in addition, I'll do yoga once or twice a week.

I'm sure there are a ton of other little things to do too, like diet and sleep, that I either don't know I should focus on, or don't know enough about so I can focus them. So if you can think of any that I missed let me know.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Normality Restored

The last few months have been really crazy for us. I finished my bachelor's degree in May, then during the summer I found a new job in the Omaha area. So that lead to Amy needing to find a job and us needing to find a place to live. We wanted to take advantage of the $8,000 tax credit for buying a house but we thought that'd be too much to do from 3 hours away, so we just got an apartment. Amy had a few interviews, got a couple offers and accepted a position. In the middle of August we moved to our apartment in La Vista, and started our new jobs about a week later. We decided to start looking at houses a little bit and found one that we really liked, after a couple of rounds of negotiations we came to terms (on Amy's birthday) and we closed at the end of September. So we got another chance to move, yay. Once the house was ours we spent a little more than a week cleaning and painting and we finally got somewhat moved in (on my birthday). It's been three weeks since then and we are finally mostly settled in.

So now that normality has been restored, we have time to get back to some of the other things in life, like running. I have access to a very nice fitness center there and I can get Amy in as well. The place is huge. When you first walk in there are a ton of cardio machines, treadmills, elipitcals, bikes, stair climbers, etc. Then there are racket ball courts, tennis courts, weight machines and free weights, volleyball courts, basketball courts and a indoor soccer field. The whole area is surrounded by a .4 mile track that is 2-3 lanes wide. They also have a 5 lane lap pool. So it is a pretty nice benefit that we'll be taking advantage of this winter.

It seems like I have a ton of time and a big weight off my shoulders now that I'm out of school. So I've came up with quite a long list of things (probably too long) to fill the time. I really didn't work out much during my last couple of semesters so getting back in shape is high on the list. I don't have a plan for that yet though. While I plan on getting a bulk of my exercise from running, I also want to mix some other things in. I'd like to swim from time to time, which could be interesting because I am not much of a swimmer. I also want to do some weight lifting and I like doing yoga, so I'll have to work that in too. I've been looking at the P90X program and it is something that I want to do. But I don't feel I'm in good enough shape to do that yet at this point. So I think maybe that will be a new years resolution.

Oh yeah, I'd also like to work on getting on a normal sleeping schedule. But I am pretty close to scrapping that idea. For as long as I can remember I haven't slept normal. And a normal schedule kind of conflicts with my other hobbies of programming and poker. If I'm the middle of a programming problem or playing cards the time seems to just fly by and all the sudden it's three in the morning and I'm wide awake. I'm not a big fan of using drugs to help either. After I take them Amy tells me stories that I have little to no recollection of. I'm somewhat inclined to believe her because they are too crazy for her to make up. Even after I take them I'm not wide awake and ready to go the next day, so what's the point wasting time sleeping? Also I'm writing this post at one in the morning. (Yeah I probably need help, but denial and justification are easier than fixing the problem.)

So I guess my next course of action is to come up with a workout plan that will get me back in shape and also allow time for me to whittle away at our ever growing to-do list of house stuff.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Good Idea, Bad Idea

It's time for another edition of Good Idea, Bad Idea.

Good Idea
- Going on a walk.

Bad Idea
- Going on a 2.5 mile walk wearing jeans and Birkenstocks when the temp is pushing 90 and the humidity is about 60%.

I now have at least three blisters on my right foot and two on my left. There is one in the middle of the bottom of each foot. So things could be interesting the next few days as those heel and I keep running.

Happy Summer.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Havelock Charity Run

This last Saturday was the 31st annual Havelock Charity Run. There are two races, a 10k and a 3k. Since I'm just getting back into things I opted for the 3k. Going into the race I really didn't have any expectations or even a goal time. For some reason, I think it is just because it is a round number, I picked 15 minutes. I really didn't think I would come in under that though because I've been running about a 9:30 pace and I probably been pushing a little too hard at that pace.

Since I'm 6'5" I have a somewhat large stride and hate having to shorten it because I'm running behind someone. So I started up toward the front of the pack even though in the past this has caused me some hurt. I actually did a good job of holding myself back though and not taking off like everyone else. In fact I felt like I was holding myself back a little too much, but I decided that was okay because I would rather finish strong than putter out and die or end up dry heaving partway through the race like I did a few years ago.

One of the problems with starting out toward the front is that all those people that didn't do that, they pass you. And that can be pretty discouraging. But since I didn't realy have any expectations it didn't really bother me too much. I just tried to keep my pace steady and keep going.

Partway through the race there was a sign that had the number one on it. I didn't know it that was one mile or one kilometer though. I checked my watch but it wasn't much help, it read 7:14. So I was thinking, if that was a mile then I went out a lot faster than it actually felt like, but if it was just a kilometer then I was going way too slow. Going out too fast was a lot more likely so I was guessing it was probably a mile. That meant that my goal of 15 minutes actually seemed possible for the first time. I had to tell my legs to take it easy though, they were all exicted and want to make sure we got to the finish in time, silly legs.

The course was pretty much just a rectangle. So if we call the first stretch side A, then side B was pretty much a gradual incline. I finally passed a few people going up that and I felt like I was going to be able to pick it up a little bit along side D.

My plan was going great then I started dry heaving a bit. So much for that holding back thing stopping that from happening. I tried to run through it but then it got worse so I had to stop. I had a few somewhat strong ones then I felt fine was on my way. In the meantime, all those people I passed along side C had passed me back, plus a few more. I did try to push it a little bit harder the rest of the way and I finished in 14:22, for a 7:43 pace. That put me in at 112 out of 616 and 94 out of 261 guys.

I guess I was happy with my run. It's hard for me to be happy getting beat by so many people. I am fairly certain that I left all I had out there on the course and is really all I should ask of myself. I would rather get my ass kicked now and take things slow than to push myself too hard and get hurt, so I'll take what I can get. And for me running isn't about how I do compared to others, its about being active, getting in shape and improving against myself.

Just a little over two weeks until my next race, a 5k in the Kearney Community Olympics. I have some work to do since I haven't ran more that far for over seven months.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training. I've ran across it a few times over the last couple of years and thought is looked interesting. The way that they work is after you warmup you have 6-10 intervals of going all out for a short period of time, then you take a little time to recovery at an easy/medium pace. They say this jacks up your metabolism for the next 24 hours so you can keep buring calories and it is also supposed to be some miracle workout that helps well trained athletes cut their time down 2% in just 7 weeks. All this stuff came from the Wikipedia article, check it out here.

Anyway, it was actually kind of cold out today and rainy this tonight. And on top of that tonight's game had already start by the time I got up from my nap (have I mentioned I don't sleep normal?). So I decided to give the treadmill in our clubhouse another shot.

Ok, let me back up a bit. I tried to run on the treadmill in our clubhouse awhile back (on 5/12 to be exact), but it didn't go great. The treadmill acted funny for me. I don't really know how to explain it, but I'm going to try. As I was running it was like I'm too fat for it or something and the tread would slow down when my foot landed. I had to catch myself a few times so I wouldn't fall. But Amy ran 5 miles on it last night and didn't have any problems.

And now back to the post. I decided that Tuesdays are going to be speed days for me and I had seen some HIIT podcasts before so I talked to my best bud, Google and he pointed me to GetFitPod. It had exactly what I was looking for, thanks again buddy. They have a 25 minute HIIT treadmill workout (get it here) which was exactly how long I wanted to run.

I started out on the treadmill, went through the warmup and the first interval, with the treadmill doing the same damn thing it did before, but only it only happened when I was going fast. Then on the second interval it was doing it a little bit more and then it just shutoff. I must have tripped something in it because I had to reset it after that. Anyway, that was it, just 5 minutes on the treadmill, and those will be the last five minutes I'm ever on it. So I moved over to the Elliptical machine and started over. I was able to complete the workout without killing the machine or anything like that, but it did sound like it was going to fall apart when I was going all out.

The podcast was great. The dude talking told you a little bit about what was going on during the warmup and then pretty much just left you alone until it was time to speed up or slow down. This workout was in a ladder structure, the hard parts where 30, 45, 60, 90, 60, 45, 30 seconds with a minute of recovery time between each.

I loved the workout. When I was going as hard as I could for 90 seconds (and the intervals after that) my legs burned like hell and I felt like I was going to die, IT. WAS. AWESOME. I'm going to make my Tuesday runs be HIIT workouts for the foreseeable future. I highly recommend checking them out.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Pushup Update - Week 2

Week 2 of the hundred push up challenge didn't exactly go great for me. In fact I think it would be fair to say that it completely kicked my ass.

On day one I missed the minimum for the max on the last set by 4. I manged to do a total of 58 though.

On day two I took tons of time between sets instead of just the 120 seconds I was supposed to, probably five minutes at least. That helped me come up just three pushups short. My total that day was 68.

Tonight I did day three. Well that isn't quite accurate, tonight, I attempted day 3. I knew from the very first set it was going to be a tough workout. I had to take a break halfway through the third set, manged a few more after that and then I quit. It just wasn't going to happen tonight. I did 11 out of 14 for the third set, skipped the 4th set of 14 and didn't even attempt to max. So I only manganged a total of 44.

Since I was so brutally defeated by week I'm not even going to attempt a max to see where I'm at like I'm supposed to. I'm just going to pretend that it never happened and do it again.

P.S. How do you spell pushups anyway? Is it pushup, push up, or push-up?

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

2009 Kearney Community Olympics - Schedule

In a recent post I presented some of the information I had on this years Community Olympics. Here is the tentative schedule of events. Apparently it may be altered slightly depending on the number of teams entered.

Friday, June 26
5:30 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. -- Jazzercise, Kearney High School
5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. -- Men's Doubles Pickleball, Horizon Middle School Gym
6:15 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. -- Track & Field (Long Jump, 200M Dash, 4x400M Relay), Kearney High School
7:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. -- Women's Doubles Pickleball, Horizon Middle School Gym
8:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. -- Women's, Coed & Men's Obstacle Course, Harmon Park

Saturday, June 27
7:30 a.m. - 9:00 a.m. -- 5k Run/Walk, Good Samaritan Hospital (east parking lot)
9:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. -- Coed Inner-tube Water Polo, Harmon Pool
9:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. -- Mixed Doubles Tennis, Harmon Park
10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. -- Men's Two-Person Scramble Golf, Elks Country Golf
12:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. -- Women's Two-Person Scramble Golf, Elks Country Golf
3:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. -- Men's Croquet, Harvey Park (west soccer fields)
3:30 p.m. - 10:30 p.m. -- Coed Kickball, Harvey Park
4:30 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. -- Women's Croquet, Harvey Park (west soccer fields)
6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. -- Coed Doubles Horseshoes, Fairgrounds
7:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. -- Coed Doubles Cup Stacking, Harmon Park Activity Center

Sunday, June 28
7:15 a.m. - 8:30 a.m. -- 3 Mile Mtn. Bike Ride, Cottonmill Park East Shelter
7:15 a.m. - 8:30 a.m. -- 3 Mile Wellness Walk, West Lincolnway Park
9:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. -- Women's Kayaking, Harmon Pool
9:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. -- Men's canoeing, Cottonmill Park Marina
10:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. -- Women's 6-on-6 Hard Court Volleyball, Horizon Middle School
11:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. -- Men's Over-the-Line Softball, Harvey Park
12:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. -- Hot Shot Basketball Competition, Sunrise Middle School
3:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. -- Kearney's Best Dance Crew Competition, Merryman Center
5:15 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. -- Barbecue and Awards, Harmon Park Sontorium