Friday, February 27, 2009

One of my goals for the first quarter of 2009 was to lose some weight. I’ve still got March but there is no way 165 is going to happen for me. Well maybe if I get that flu again and it lasts 7-10 days instead of 4.
172-174 is my current range, which I am alright with, Really the weight loss thing has been a slow and steady process anyhow. Maybe I’ll be 165 by the time Timberman rolls around in August.

It’s also easy for me to be okay with the stalled weight loss when there are so many other good things going on.
1) Todd and I managed to do a ton of running this winter. Much of it was hills and he kept us building by adding a little more each week. We are both hoping all the cold miles will pay off.
2) Yoga, obviously a work in progress but what isn’t? I’m just glad to have fit this into the schedule every week.
3) Diet, I think I’m averaging 3 days a week where I don’t eat any meat. Those days require quite a bit more effort to eat the right foods to get the required protein for the day. I’m not really trying to make this happen, it just is and it’s an interesting twist to the diet learning curve.
4) Balanced workout schedule, I didn’t do much biking last year, there was never a plan in place to make it happen. That isn’t the case this year. I think the big difference is morning workouts. I remember thinking Armando was crazy when he said he’d be out running at 4 in the morning. Well recently my alarm has moved from 5AM to 4:30 AM just to get a bit more time on the bike. I won’t be surprised if eventually it’s 4AM. This is where my long commute is a bonus. I can sneak in a couple 20-30 minute naps on the train before I get to work.
5) Genine’s progress. Last night at the gym Genine wanted to run on the treadmill before she started lifting. At one point I was on a leg extension machine not far from her and I’m watching her run. She looked great, very smooth, strong and fast. I got a big smile on my face and then I noticed the woman on the treadmill directly in front of me was looking at me. I wonder if she thought I was some creepy guy checkin’ out the girl kickin’ butt a couple treadmills over from her… I was, but it wasn’t creepy. Ha ha.

Well in other news. The economy will get a boost from us next month. We have to get Genine geared up and ready to go. So we are looking at a wetsuit purchase, areobars, a bike fitting…. I think it gets cheaper from there. Little stuff like a Race Number belt but it all adds up.

Lastly, I should have the fundraiser website up and running this weekend. It’s actually up and running now but I need to customize it. Then I need to think about what types of fundraising events I can squeeze in this year. A couple things I didn’t manage to do last year included a poker tournament and a raffle.
One other thing I think I’ll do this year is setup an account on a photo hosting website from which you can actually sell your photos. Money made from the site will go to the fundraiser. I’ll post details about that later on. I’m not exactly sure how to let people at the events know that the photos are available or if we would be frowned upon for doing such a thing. I plan on contacting a couple of the race directors to get some feedback about it.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Race travel & accomodations provided by...

I signed up for the 15K run yesterday. I started to think about all the races I backed out of at the last minute for no good reason and figured I’d better just pay for it ($25) and make it official. The registration form asked for your fastest pace for any race over 3 miles. I put down 7:20 which was my 5 miler pace from last year. I guess my best 5K pace was 6:47 but I don’t see how that’s going to translate to a 15K run. I’m guessing they are going to use this to establish their corrals. I’ll be curious to see how that works out. I expect the course will be very tight and I won’t be able to be on my pace at times.

I think the only race (so far) that I need to have a hotel for is Columbia. So I decided to get this done. The “host” hotel is a Sheraton 2 miles from the race site and the triathlon rate was $125. I wanted to make sure I got in on that deal. I also had them put me on the list to try and get the late checkout as well. (lessons learned from last year).

Todd and I lucked out on the morning run today. There was absolutely no wind. The flags were hanging limp. So 18 degrees was tolerable, my fingers were frozen for the first mile or two but that’s because I couldn’t find my 2nd pair of gloves. I'm so organized....

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Another busy weekend

I’m feeling pretty good about things right now. The last few days of training have been very positive.
Friday night at the pool, that was not the case. If Genine were not there with me, I probably would have been out of the pool in 15 minutes. Fortunately that is unusual for me. I was back to normal the next morning.

Saturday morning Maija joined Todd and I for our 6AM run. We ran her prescribed workout rather than doing hills, which was a good change for us. We ran in her zone 1 or 2 for 1:05:00 then we ran in her upper zone 3 for 15 minutes? Then cooled down for maybe another 5 or 10 minutes. I think we were just shy of 11 miles. I felt really good at the finish, which I suppose is how you should feel after a low zone workout. I think I haven’t acknowledged the fact that I can actually run 10-11 miles and not be wiped out physically. When I think half marathon, I still think of my injury following the Brooklyn run and what a mess I was nutritionally at the end of the Tango run. Don’t get me wrong, I was pleased with the results of both of those events but these things are in the mix as well.
Genine went Aqua Jogging and IntenSati with Esther. When she got home the French Toast was waiting for her.


Genine and I then met up with Esther and Maija at the pool at 1PM.
I was surprised at how well the workout was going. Typically after these long runs I’m kind of done for the day. (maybe it was the French Toast CarbLoad?). Esther wanted to do Abs following the swim. I did a couple of planks but I knew if I did much more than that, it would probably become a negative return. My legs just love to cramp up on me after I swim. Even when I’m just trying to stretch them out, it’s probably fatigue but maybe the cold water has something to do with it as well. Not a big deal, it’s way better than it was when I first started swimming a couple years ago.

With our workouts done and out of the way, we moved on to our belated Valentine’s date. I had made reservations at Il Pomodoro, a restaurant we’ve wanted to try for a long time. It was quite good. I think we were there for over 2 hours. We will go there again, there was more on the menu that I wanted to try!

I had picked up Genine’s favorite cake from a bakery in town after the run this morning. It’s a flourless chocolate cake from “The Dessert Plate”. We had planned on eating some cake at home while waiting to go to watch Slumdog Millionaire but Genine was zonked. So we watched “No Country for Old Men” at home instead. Well I did anyhow. Genine didn’t make it 10 minutes into the movie. Ha ha!

Sunday we met Esther at the pool at 9. She was doing her own thing though because she had 7000m planned. Genine and I were going to work on drills. We were only there an hour. It was enough. Time to go home and make more French toast!! Another carb load to get through the day’s chores. We made split pea soup, grilled chicken and stir-fry. Then I finally got a quick 5 mile run in (38:22). There were some icy spots so I really had to watch carefully. Definitely would have been smarter to run when it was still light out.

Monday morning I got about 1:15:00 in on the bike trainer. I made sure to check my zones before starting and tried to hang in the middle of zone 2. (140bpm). My bike meter is not working again so I don’t know speeds or distances. I did have cadence but I just stuck with HR Training. The meter I think is another broken wire. I’m not doing very well soldering this thing I guess. Ah well, my software is also not available because the PC side of my Mac has crashed and I haven’t spent the time to figure out what to do about that. Hopefully it’s something easy and that I don’t lose the last year of information from my watch. (not the end of the world if I do).

Then the evening Masters Swimming class, as promised we got to spend 90 minutes working on balance drills. It’s working on stuff like this that makes me realize how tough it is to do something differently. Even with our coach suggesting what to differently, there is a lot of trial and error going on and falling back into the familiar (which we know is wrong) is just too easy. So I’m feeling like I want to spend more time in the pool again. I’m not sure how to make that happen just yet. As you all know, there is only so much time in a day.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

What's up for Tango 2009?

Shawn is planning to do the Full Tango with his brother Bart as far as I know.

Soooooo. Craig, Jim, Casey??? What are we thinking for this year? I'm asking because I'm trying to decide about July triathlons. Kind of a pain that so many of these races sell out so far in advance.

Let's start talking about this and figure out who wants to be in and how much people are wanting to do. I have a feeling we could probably field a couple relay teams. As Todd, Jerry, Chris Johnson and Shawn's friend Greg have expressed interest in the past.

I'm up for doing any/all of the Tango except for the Bike. That's because I don't have a Mountain Bike or Cyclocross bike that fits me. I'd also be willing to do a single event and hang out and have fun the rest of the day. :-)

Funky Feet

So you might remember that I went in and had my gait analyzed back in 2007. That still is one of the smarter things I have done in terms of buying equipment.
Well recently my left foot has been giving me issues when I'm not wearing my running shoes. So I mentioned it to my chiropractor. I expected him to say I should be fitted for orthotics. Instead he said that he used Sole Custom Insoles. Of course he sells them as well for $40. Which is about what I paid for the non-custom Superfeet insoles.
I just baked up my new custom Soles tonight. Yes, you put them in the oven. I'm guessing I'll have an opinion of them tomorrow, as I walk quite a few blocks to get to work.
I'm not trashing my old superfeet insoles yet. I'm going to put them into my bike shoes. Hopefully they will keep my toes from going numb.

Just thought I'd post this up here in case any of you also have funky feet.

Starting Over / New Mooseman Information

At masters swimming last night, we did a 10-15 minute warm-up, then she told us we were going to do 8x200 on 3:30. I got done with 2 of them at which point she said I wasn’t rotating at all. Which I knew because Todd and Bob were finishing well ahead of me, I was probably swimming 1:45/100m. So she gave me some suggestions, slow down my stroke, more glide, more focus on front quadrant swimming. Sadly I was still all over the place. I can feel when I actually am swimming properly. My speed really improves dramatically when it happens. Unfortunately, that happens maybe once every 8 weeks. I really mean that. I am very inconsistent. Anyhow, after watching us all work through these laps, she tells us that even though we’ve all improved over the last few months and she knows that we are all distance swimmers and would like to swim distance workouts… We are starting over. We are going to be working on balance drills. Balance is the foundation on which good swimming is based upon. Our ability to improve is hindered not by our lack of strength but by our lack of form. I don’t think there is anyone in our group that could argue with that.
So last night became a bit of a suffer-fest for me. Once we started these drills, my weakness is incredibly obvious. On a 50 yard drill I at least 20 yards behind everyone else. My kick is just that bad. There were many times I’d look at the bottom of the pool and I wouldn’t be moving. It’s quite humbling. Yet I’m on board with the plan. I figure if I’m this bad, I have the most room for improvement. If/when I catch up to the rest of them doing these drills, I should leap ahead with my overall swim times.
So I have to make time to do these drills and not be lazy about them when I do them. I have to figure out how to tighten up the width of my kick and relax my feet. At the same time I’ve got to be focusing on improving my balance. (It’s never just one thing at a time with swimming, is it.)

Enough of the training woes, time to move on to more entertaining information.
From the Mooseman Race Director:

Moosey's got a TON of new stuff this year, to please one and all.

MARGARITAS ALA MOOSEY...we'll have a margarita and beer tent set up at the race site this year, with complimentary post-race margaritas and beer. Maybe even a pinata to knock around.

ATHLETE TRACKING....provided by MY ATHLETE. This is gonna be really cool.

CLAM CHOWDAHHHH....Real, honest-to-goodness New England Clam Chowda for everyone. Working on breadbowls for it....we shall see:)
(don't worry, we'll still have Jordan's Ice Cream:))

RECOVERY ZONE....we'll have a recovery zone for everyone, with gobs of fruit, recovery bars and drink, ice baths, flavorice, misting tent, and more.

NEW IMPROVED KIDZ ZONE...we'll have Nintendo WII's set up for the kids to play video games during the race, and we'll also have a movie zone with popcorn for kids, as well as Mo the Clown, hairbraiding, arts and crafts, etc.

MOOSECALF KIDS RACE....1K fun run for kids on Saturday afternoon

REPAVED RUN/BIKE COURSE...yup, more than 12 miles of the course has been repaved...

MOOSEMAN GENERAL STORE....Kids can get their Moose MOOLA from Bonk the Moose, and redeem the bucks for cool things at the Mooseman General Store.

SIMON LESSING CARBO LOAD GALA....Simon Lessing will be joining us this year, and will be speaking at the friday and Saturday carbo load dinners.

WEBCASTS...working on this. Hopefully, we can make this happen this year.

ALUMINUM FINISHERS WATERBOTTLES...Yup, REALLY nice aluminum Finisher's bottles this go along with your towel and medal...AND...another VERY special finisher item. We're not going to let the cat out of the bag on this one, though.....

TEAM TAILGATING...if you've got a team, make sure you email to reserve your spot for your team.

MUSIC BY THE MILE....4 bands on course, plus 5 sound systems set up, to play your favorites. Email me at to let me know what songs you'd like to hear as you're running....

We're not messing around this year!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Fun Weekend in NH

We ended up driving to Eric's on Saturday morning. Nice easy drive no traffic hangups.
The workouts on Saturday were limited to Wii Sports. The Wii Boxing is some funny stuff.
I got some good carb loading in as Eric had the Long Trail Double Bag and some IPA's in the fridge. Which went great with our pizza. :-)

Sunday I made sure I got out to do some running. The loop I drew up was about 4.5 miles. I started out thinking that I'd do 3 loops. Just keep the pace steady, the HR low and make it happen. Genine ran the first loop with me. I was feeling good and kept rolling into loop 2. Ate a GU at about 50 minutes, I didn't have any water or anything with me tho'. I did ask Genine to put something out for me so when I finish lap 2 I'd have something available. Unfortunately, towards the end of lap 2 I started to get cold and tight. I didn't see how I was going to work through this. I could only see it getting worse. So I figured I'd rather run another day. I'm plenty happy with the 9 miles. Pace... 8:20. Of course!!
Reward, some awesome steaks, sweet potatoes and of course a few IPA's.

Monday, we are back headed for home by about 10:30AM. Another easy day of driving, although there were a couple close calls.
It was a nice day out so I decided I wanted to get another 10K of running in rather than swimming. So out I go. I was feeling awfully slow for the first mile. 8:20-8:30. Really just trying to get stretched out from the 5+ hours of driving. The bit of a down hill the next mile allowed me to pick it up a bit. So once I got to the 2 mile mark I had decided I was going to push the next 4 miles up a bit. (Getting tired of this 8:20 min/mile). So I kind of decided to shoot for 7:30ish and keeping my HR under 180. I finished the 10K(ish) in 47:16 so 7:37 pace. It was a very comfortable run.

I'm starting to look forward to race season. Because I can never remember when this first 15K race is in Central Park, I took a few minutes to add a few race "countdowns" to the side of the blog. It looks like I have a month to get ready to run. Maybe I should see about running the park once before the race? Everyone keeps saying hills, but I think that what I've been practicing on for hills, they aren't going to be an issue. Maybe it's better I don't know the course going into it. That seemed to work well for me at Tewksbury last fall.

Friday, February 13, 2009

I may not be fast...

I don't have a lot going for me in the athletic world these days, but I did do a semi-successful front handspring on the dance floor this week.

After that, some guy who didn't know me came up and said "Dude, you are my hero."

Then a female teacher said "I don't think I have ever seen someone so large do something like that."

I guess I'll take the compliments where I can get them.

You might ask why I did a front handspring on the dance floor? I can't honestly answer that question. It just seemed like the thing to do.

Nordic Race Results

Dead last 25 out of 25.  Just so we are clear x-country has way more form involved.  Bill Pope would have beat with or without broken skis.  71 yrs old and I think he was holding back.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

New Race in Warren for 2009

WAR- Warren Adventure Race

Matt's week so far.

Monday: Masters Swimming in the evening. I felt that I had really good balance tonight and got through the sets without feeling like I was falling apart. Even the shark fin drill I felt like I was much improved.

Tuesday: This is supposed to be my full day off for recovery. Because I'm not sure what this weekend is going to be, I decided to do 1:20:00 on the bike trainer in the evening. There were times were I felt I lost focus and my cadence dropped 10rpm. Then I would have a hard time getting back up to speed. Often I would feel like I have no form at all and was just struggling. All of my training has been done with the extra weight on the fly wheel which is supposed to help replicate a long flat ride. I haven’t compared what the feel of these workouts would be if I removed that weight. Maybe I’ll do that Thursday night.

Wednesday: Morning swim with Genine. I must not have eaten enough to recover from last night’s bike because I had nothing. It was the exact opposite of Monday’s swim.

Evening yoga with Tiffany and Genine. I really look forward to this every week, which is funny considering the fact it’s not easy for me at all. I guess it's because I'm learning so many things that are going to help me balance out my strength, and the stretching should help keep the injuries down. Then of course there’s the fact I always feel great when I finish.
A few key things I learned this week.
I learned how to hold Genine’s foot the right way while stretching her out.
While doing one of boat poses (forget which, half boat?), we’ve determined my glutes are not in balance with my hip flexors in terms of strength. This would be a good explanation of why after long runs I have hip flexor issues. I need to work on strengthening my glutes and think about how they are involved in my running (currently, probably not very much). I also should be thinking more about my core while running. Keeping the belly button pushed back, holding a strong core. Planks and side planks will be a huge help in building stability through the core.
She also brought out the foam roller and showed us how to use that to work out the adhesions in our calves, IT Band, hamstrings…

Thursday: Morning swim w/ Maija. Left shoulder is a bit sore. I’m guessing this is because I probably tried to power through my bad swim Wednesday morning…
A good part of Maija’s swim workouts are strength focus. So there is a bunch of pull buoy in the workout. Which would be make for an easy workout for me and Maija knows this. So she says that I should probably be doing kick sets rather than pull. She’s right but I know I’d never make it through 1000m of kicking. Heck 100m of kicking and I’m not a happy guy. So I decide to alternate 100s. Pull/Kick. I got through 500 I think before I had to warm down and catch my train.

That’s where I am now. Sitting on the train typing up this post. My left shoulder is still reminding me that it’s a chronic problem for me. I didn’t mention this before. Sunday while Genine was at Trapeze, Hal, one of the instructors was asking why I wasn’t up there. I explained that my major concern is my left shoulder. It’s flakey enough that I feel that I could seriously injure it. He immediately asked if I had a shoulder horn (which I don’t). He explained that this is something I should seriously consider adding into my training. So of course I looked it up online when I got home. I also found links to ways to perform the exercise without the “horn”. I’m still considering buying this thing. I know from yoga that I’m not the best at holding good form while doing any kind of exercise and these rotator muscles aren’t very forgiving when it comes to poor form. It would definitely be nice to have the stronger shoulders.
Then there is the glues issue, Genine says we should just add those exercises in with the 50 days of abs workout. So that’s what’s going to happen.

Looking to bike tonight, not sure what Friday morning yet. We will likely be on the road Friday night to NH to visit Eric. I’ll probably do some running up there. It’s kind of nice to run in a new area for a change. You know, you have the excitement of an unknown dog charging off the porch and you have to wait and see whether there is an invisible fence or not. Or you have to hope you remember your course and how to get back. Mostly it’s just nice to be on a different course for the variation of terrain.
Of course Genine suggested we take out bikes and we could go ride the Mooseman course this weekend. Her argument was that it’s not likely to be any colder than it was last year when we rode it in April and it was snowing on us at times. (good point). I do have a nicer bike jacket now too. Hmmmm…..

Monday, February 9, 2009

Running, Trapeze, More running, Photo Editing

Saturday Morning: 11 degrees, 11 miles of hills.
It’s kind of funny. The last few weeks I have been a whiner and complainer about running in the cold. I’ve also felt that I’ve been really dragging in terms of speed/power. Well here I was driving to our longest run of 09 and I was up and ready to knock it out. Fortunately there was almost no wind, otherwise I’m not sure we would have made 2 miles. As it was we had to keep telling ourselves that we just had to get the first 3 miles in, then we’d be warmed up and rollin’. About 5-6 miles in we stop to eat a GU. They were so cold they were kind of like taffy. Definitely the first time I’ve felt like I had to chew to get one of those down and it was good to get the extra boost from it. We got through our planned course for the day, 1220 ft of ascent 8:20 average pace.
Not bad considering I could feel my eyelashes icing at times and Todd had a 1.5” long icicle hanging off the back of his hat.
I went back into the Y right after the run and hopped in the pool for a few 100’s. The Tango swim came to mind. Not enough food/energy and dead legs. It was a recovery swim, 15-20 minutes and my legs felt much better getting out of the pool than they did going in. Fortunately, the showers were not freezing after the swim.

Sunday: We take the 8:30 train into the city for Genine’s Trapeze Lesson. Genine did really well and had a ton of fun. I got to play around with the camera in a tough lighting environment for photos. I was disappointed with the majority of the shots but was glad that by the end I had found a good setting and got some good shots of Genine being caught by the instructor.

We got home around 5 and I was kind of feeling like I needed to do something. It was still in the 40’s outside so I decided I’d go out for a 4 mile run. Genine was running with me but she was really feeling her Saturday workouts with Esther and Tiffany. I on the other hand was feeling really good and said I was probably going to turn this into a 6 mile run. So she took off on her run course and I ran down to the ballpark. It was nice to stretch the legs back out after yesterday’s long run. I started to question whether 6 miles was a good idea considering I haven’t been running much lately, but everything felt great.
Oddly enough, my average pace was 8:20 again. Avg HR was 157 whereas during the hills run it was 163.
We then worked on editing the almost 800 pictures I took at her trapeze lesson and got those posted to Facebook and Flickr. Then it was time do ABS. Day 7 of the abs workout and finally I posted more points than Genine. She was exhausted. So while I crunched she just chilled out on the floor beside me for moral support. She should have said she was practicing “corpse pose” for our yoga class. Ha ha!

So now it’s Monday morning, my legs were feeling really good up until I started walking to the train. As always my hip flexors are feeling a bit tweaked. I was supposed to bike this morning but opted for sleep, it could have been a good warm up.. ah well. Hoping I didn’t make a mistake by running last night. Guess I’ll find out soon enough.

Skiing my Booty off

Did a ski race yesterday.  5km at Laurel Ridge State Park.  I did the classic style race, by the looks of my skis I was classic.

How did I do?  I was dead last (second in my age group).  That is right dead last.  Of course if you know me by now, there is a "Story".

Last x-country ski race I did was 21 years ago.  The skis and boots I used then, I used yesterday.  You may not even thought, "What happens to Yugoslavian boot glue over a 20 year period?".  I will tell you, it fails.
It was a interval start, 2 people every 30 seconds.  About 20+ people.  I think there was three pairs behind the guy I went with (who was the only person I knew at the race).  It was up hill to start.  Within 3 minutes I had passed three people.  Then we went downhill, three people passed me.  I worked to pass two of them, then the next down hill, three pass me.   Just before the 2km mark I hear a loud click from my right ski.  I think ice is stuck on my heel.  The skis started to perform really bad on the downhills and flats.  I went down what would be the biggest hill.  Almost didn't make the turn at the bottom.  Realize at this point my shoe is separating from the sole.  And now my left ski is making the same clicking noise.  More people pass me.  I just cannot glide on the flats.

The last big hill, my right boots separates from the sole, the last skier passes me, rather the second to last.  I was past the 3km mark but not to the 4km marker when this happened.  I tried to run carrying my skis and poles in a ski boot missing a sole, one losing a sole, and through 8 inches of slushy snow.  Again, I was dead last, both feet soaked.  Amazingly I was only about 4 mins behind the last guy.  My run/walk must have been about 3/4 of a mile.  
The people putting on the race loved the story.  I am scheduled to go downhill skiing with Maddy this Thursday, I was planning on using my old down hill skis (20 yrs old), I am opting to rent as of today.   

I mentioned to Tamara about how nice it would be to have new x-country ski equipment, my wish has been granted.  She told me before the race, "Oh, they will be impressed on how well you did with this old equipment"  Well I left an impression.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Good Coffee, Good Quote

As you know, I'm trying to keep away from the coffee and spending $$. Well, someone offered to buy me a coffee today and I decided, why not. I was kind of fighting off a case of the munchies anyhow. This would be a good fix.
To make the coffee even more enjoyable, this was the quote on the side of the cup. It seemed very appropriate as I had just printed out the form I have to sign and mail in for this year's Fundraiser for Dr. Guinan.

“There is a subtle difference between a mission and a promise.
A mission is something you strive to accomplish -
a promise is something you are compelled to keep.
One is individual, the other is shared.
When a mission and a promise are one and the same…
that’s when mountains are moved and races are won.”

—Hala Moddelmog
President and CEO,
Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

ABs Link - Top 10 exercises.

Looked up what a plank should be and got this link.

Relaxed and Powerful... not me

The quote on the side about power and relaxing, well the last 2 nights I have witnessed the physical interpretation of that quote. First was at Yoga Wednesday night. Tiffany pointed out a few times that I was fighting/resisting the pose we were working on. She was explaining that I needed to allow the pose and the form to do the work for me. I just needed to relax. There were a few poses in which I was able to do that.
I feel the reason I can’t relax is that I am so tight that I’m afraid I’m about to tear a ligament or something, seriously. It’s like my muscles are doing everything they can do to protect that from happening. I just have to learn what I’m capable of, at which point I think I’ll begin to be comfortable with it and I’ll relax more easily.

Then Thursday night as Genine and I were doing our abs workout, we were doing planks. So far this week we had only done a minute at a time. I decided to do a couple 1:30’s. Then after doing a bunch of crunches go for 2:00. I got there but it wasn’t awesome. Genine powered though to 3:00 and did not exhibit any of the issues I was having at 2:00. She looked relaxed and powerful. I’ve got to learn how to focus on different muscle groups and gain more body awareness. As I fatigue doing planks, biking, swimming… I feel that instead of digging in and staying focused on the proper form. I allow myself to start floundering in search of some other position, which might allow for some relief.

I’m feeling very positive about the “Frugal Gourmet” plan. I didn’t spend a cent in the city this week. All of my food came from home and I’m feeling like it’s got some momentum already. I’ve eaten very little meat this week and I’m finding I need to work hard to get enough protein into my diet because of that. 1% Cottage Cheese has been the answer so far this week but it’s not enough. I’ll probably be adding egg whites from hard boiled eggs next week. I’m hoping that will do the trick because it’s so easy to have those available.

Because I’ve been biking on the trainer in the morning, I’ve been able to weigh myself pre and post biking easily. This morning, I rode 45 minutes in zone 2 and drank more than half a bottle of water and ate a cliff bar. I weighed 2.5 pounds less post biking. Of course I question the accuracy of the scale but let’s say it’s off by half a pound, that still seems to be a lot. This definitely reinforces my resolve to come up with a good hydration system for this season. Not to mention finding the right balance of enduralyte capsules, unless everyone feels that Gatorade is the better way to go. I’m just not sure that it’s going to be enough.

Hope everyone is hanging in with the abs program. I’m starting to dread it less already. That’s a good sign right? Seriously tho', I know this is going to pay dividends.

Oh! Quote of the week. After masters swim, of course there was no hot water for the showers. So as we are walking out to the parking lot. Todd says, "You know that movie that's out right now? I think that's what's going on here. This Y is just not that into you."
Genine and I have been laughing about that all week.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Day 2 of "50 days of abs"

Anyone feeling like they are Rocky yet?

Yeah, me neither.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Frugal Gourmet

Well just like last year, my first few weeks of the diet haven’t been awesome. There has been some progress but I’m not really feeling like I’m making enough of a change to take me to the next level. I decided to look at last year to see if I could figure out what I did that worked so well.

The number one thing is probably is the food tracking. Last year I was probably getting 90% of my days into the journal. So far this year I’m only about 50%. Obviously, I need to be more disciplined about my tracking. It’s easy, I’m just being lazy.

After a couple weeks of tracking last year, I realized that I had to make a move away from some calorie dense foods. (Cheese, butter, salad dressing…) Once I did that the volumetric style eating really helped me.
Well I don’t feel I have too many bad foods to remove from my diet this year, instead I think I’ve got to modify a couple eating habits. My lunch during the week I refer to it as the “Monster Salad”. Honestly it’s probably too big and it’s definitely too expensive. Instead of having my monster salad for lunch, I’ll be bringing food from home. Portions will be more reasonable as will the impact on the monthly budget. The Monster Salad will become the evening meal more often now and will likely be less “monster”.

Then there are my snacks. I’ve become lazy here, I’ve been packing various Cliff bars because they are convenient. But when it comes right down to it, they are candy bars. Fruit has to replace Cliff bars unless I am going to workout within the hour.

Often I’ll get busy with something and not eat on schedule. Then when it comes time to eat, I eat too much because I’m so hungry. Also I will often eat way too quickly, I need to take my time, even when I’m hungry. I’ve got to let the stomach and brain have time to tell me that I’ve had enough.

Hopefully theses tweaks will help.

PS: Yes I ate way too much yesterday during the Superbowl Festivities.

I may have broken my Butt?

I know I will get the wise "cracks" like  'I just looked and I have a crack in my butt, too" (that one is for you MC).  I don't think it is broken, but I rattled my pelvis and spinal column while cross country skiing. 

Went for a 50 minute slide on Saturday.  Very Icy conditions.  I traversed the hill back and forth going up and had to take the skiis off a couple times to get through or over fence lines.  I decided to go clear across the top of the hill and catch the farmers tractor road to come back home in hopes of a more even trail down.

I did not expect the road to have all the four wheeler tracks on it.  The tracks were very icy and not very even.  So I jumped in the middle of the tracks.  Right at a false bottom my left ski wandered into a track, as my right ski got held up for some reason.  I started to lose it and decided to fall back in an effort to avoid catastrophic damage.  I don't know if I have every hit the ground when it was so hard.  I hit butt first, but my shoulders were not immune to the hit.

It has been a long time since I have laid on the ground surveying moving parts and waiting for the sting to go away.  I got up skied a little ways, then popped the skis off and walked down the hill, which mind you in ski boots and icy conditions was not a pleasant journey.  Plus, some bold cows kept coming towards me, made me very nervous.  If they ever figured out how much bigger they are than me, waving my arms and yelling won't help me a bit.

I still ache this morning, but not nearly as much as I did yesterday morning.  As some football ball players say, "It is time to give it up when the pains from Sunday don't go away by the next Sunday."  I think I am good, my pain should be gone by next Sunday when I do the x-country ski race.

I did ABs Yesterday.  Man, I wasted them, because I didn't read Genine's blog about the 50 days.  I could have waited, it would have been worth over 50 points.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Time to Toughen Up Cupcakes-Genine's 50 Day Abs Challenge

So after Craig's recent cry for help on facebook, I decided it was time to take action. After all, abs are one of the few things that I can actually speak semi-intelligently about on this blog. Matt came up with a plan that I think could be a great way to challenge ourselves and have some level of accountability. This is only meant to be a fun way to spur each other on to greatness...or at least some tighter abs/cores! Take a look at the plan below and give me your feedback. The tri-fuel thread that we borrowed this program from suggested posting before/after photos.....I'm suggesting not. Unless you really want to.....ha-ha!

Okay, here’s the deal. We are going to rip off the Trifuel Core Thread and put in some serious abs work. Starting Monday Feb 2nd we are going to do 50 days of Abs before March 31st. That allows for 8 days off, if you are sick or something.

1. 100 reps = 1 point.
2. 1 minute of timed exercises (planks etc.) = 25 reps.
3. Core specific exercises only. Abs, obliques, lower back.

The points aren’t about being in competition with each other. It’s so you can measure your progress and push yourself a little bit further each week.

You can go to the TriFuel Link to see what type of things they did if you are looking some variation in your workouts.
We will also try to add some posts with our routines.