Quick Injury Update

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I went back to the orthopedist today for my follow up about my peroneal tendonitis, and got some good news.  The doctor was encouraged by my progress and moved me from the boot to an ankle brace.  This was a week ahead of my original prognosis and according to the doctor today, I am very fortunate.  She said that usually she has people wear the boot for a couple of months, so I’m happy that isn’t me.  I need to wear the ankle brace for a couple of weeks, and while working out after that.  I have to wait at least another week before I can start a running program again.  And even then, I’ll have to take it slow.  I will start with a light jog for a mile to see how my tendons react, and if all goes well, I will add speed or distance each subsequent run/jog.  Hopefully I will have no setbacks so I can run well for Warrior Dash on the 20th.

Yes, those are dinosaurs

Yes, those are dinosaurs

Get Off Your Ass Memphis

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So while putting together my race itinerary for this year, I noticed a shortage of fun and inventive races in this area. Memphis cannot or refuses to get Warrior Dash, Tough Mudder, Spartan Race, Hero Rush, Tap ‘N Run, Ragnar Relay, Run For Your Lives, Foam Fest, or any of the numerous other national themed races. These races will all come to Nashville, some will come to Little Rock, AR and Jackson, MS, and some won’t come within 200 miles of the city. And my question is why? Memphis has venues for these events and I’m certain people chomping at the bit to participate. It gets quite expensive and annoying to drive seven or eight hours round trip to run a race. Now I don’t expect to get every race (like Nashville seems to), but at least a couple of them. I am not sure what has to happen to land an event, but Memphis should explore the procedures. Tough Mudder and Spartan Race are not coming to the Volunteer State this, or any year, so it would be very encouraging to snag one of these events next year. Also, getting the Navy Ten Nautical Miler back next June would also be very good news.

Furthermore, there is a complete lack of distance races in this town. From online searches, you find five half marathons within fifty miles of Memphis, and one of those five may not be happening this year. Conversely, there are eleven half marathons within fifty miles of Nashville, twelve to Chattanooga, ten to Knoxville, and even seven for Huntsville, AL! If there were 100 races here, the St Jude Marathon and Half Marathon would still sellout every year. It is a great event, for a great cause, so if that is a part of the reasoning, then it should be ignored. I know that we are a city that prides itself on BBQ and quality southern cuisine, but that should not deter us from hosting some premier races.

I’ll get off of my soapbox here, it just is quite frustrating that Memphis has such shortcomings in this area. The Greenline was a great move in getting healthier, as are the bicycle lanes in Midtown. It would be great to continue to improve in this area. I can only hope.

Weekly Gym Update

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So it has been awhile since I updated about my training efforts while injured, so I thought I would give a quick update of what I’m trying to do to stay fit while not running.

  • Last Saturday: First official day at the new gym and I swam 34 laps (25 yards each)
  • Sunday: Walked the Germantown Mayor’s 5K in my walking boot.
  • Monday: Upper body dumbbell routine. Two sets of ten exercises using my warrior circuit timing (:30 exercise, :30 rest).
  • Tuesday: Swam 34 laps.
  • Wednesday: Swam 34 laps.
  • Thursday: Rest day to watch basketball. Go Tigers!
  • Friday: Swam 35 laps.
  • Yesterday: Unintentional rest day. The Tigers played (not well) at 1:45 CT and I slept in a little longer than I anticipated. And I have no real excuse for not going after the game in the roughly two hour window that I had.
  • Today: I wanted to swim and then lift a little, but the pool was crazy busy so I rode the bike for twenty minutes and then did two circuits of twelve reps per each upper body machine.

I need to get a constant routine going again, as well as focusing on what I eat a little closer moving forward. I may try to do two a days a couple times this week by swimming in the morning and completing a warrior circuit in the evening. We shall see if I can get out of bed to do this. And of course, watching basketball all night is not going to help me with this goal, especially when the life of my bracket hinges on this Miami – Illinois game. Also, once this game concludes, I must watch the second to last episode of the season of The Walking Dead.

I go back to the doctor on Tuesday, so maybe I can get some good news, ditch the boot, and get back to running. We shall see, and I am definitely not going to push it further than I should.

Congratulations to the Memphis Grizzlies for clinching a playoff spot today thanks to the loss by the Utah Jazz!

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We really did witness quite a bit of greatness in the 90’s.

Nowhere To Go But Pop

By Ian Goldstein

Think of the greatest television sitcom of the 1990s. Would it be fair to guess that one name comes to mind, personified by a guy who inflects his voice and constantly asks: “what is the deal with this”? and “did you ever notice that”?

When you think of the greatest NBA franchise of the 1990s do you see a red-faced, white-horned, angry adult male of the Bos Taurus species?

Yes.

So we realize that Seinfeld and the Chicago Bulls were the best of their respective fields in the 1990s, possibly of all-time. But why is this relevant?

Because they’re actually identical twins, separated at birth, both growing up to be the unstoppable force and the immovable object.

Here are the Top 10 reasons why Seinfeld and the 1990’s Bulls are uncannily similar:

10. Big Shoes to Fill

Television in the 1980s was dominated by Cheers. It averaged 15 million…

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Races I Can’t Run This Year

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I got a Facebook update yesterday from the Navy Ten Nautical Miler stating that this year’s race is a causality of the Sequestration.  That means a very well received race in the Memphis area is no more, at least for this year, and any early registrants will have their registration fees refunded to them.  It is sad news, but honestly, I wasn’t going to be able to run the race this year anyway, but hopefully it will return next June.  But this got me to thinking about races I wanted to run this year but could not due to injury or scheduling conflicts.  The following is some of those races:

  • Germantown Half Marathon: peroneal tendonitis sidelined me for this, I might run it next year
  • Oak Barrel Half Marathon: peroneal tendonitis sidelined me for this one as well, but it would have been difficult to run it anyway since I was hoping to be one of the final 100 registrants for the race and those slots were sold in under one minute!  I will do my best to add this to next year’s itinerary.
  • Flying Pig Half Marathon: big race in Cincinnati, OH that I couldn’t financially swing this year.
  • Navy Ten Nautical Miler: travel schedule and the Sequestration eliminated it this year.
  • Hero Rush: fireman themed obstacle race with various locations around the country, but the one in Tennessee is the same day that I will be running the Warrior Dash in Jackson, MS.  Maybe next year.
  • Key East Half Marathon: Susan and I went to Key West on a part of our honeymoon and the town was a blast, so any excuse to return is a good one to me.  Maybe 2015 (WDW Marathon will be in January 2014).
  • Spartan Race: another obstacle race that I would like to do, but they don’t have any near Memphis, and traveling to one this year is not going to happen.  They offer three different distances (not at each location though) for different levels of competitors, which is a good idea.

There are a couple races not mentioned above, but it is no certainty that I run them this year.  Susan is a little skeptical about me running in either of these events, but I want to try both eventually.  They are as follows:

  • Tough Mudder: this seems to be the biggest and baddest of the obstacle runs out there, and even requires you to sign a death waiver!  Now the waiver is probably a mix of hype for the race as well as a preventative measure in case something does happen.  The problem is the three closest locations are at least five hours away, and the Georgia and Kentucky events pose scheduling conflicts for me.
  • Tupelo 14.2 Miler: Labor Day weekend this year, so the timing works, but it is very hot on September 1 in this area, even at 5 in the morning, and the training prior to the event will occur in even hotter temperatures.  However, I will be two months into my marathon training, so maybe working this in will be a little easier.

Just writing this post has got me itching to get this boot off even more and get back to training at 100% capacity.  I am exactly one month away from running my first Warrior Dash, and I don’t want to embarrass myself on the course.

Nerds

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I realize that I probably fit at least some of the stereotypes of being a nerd, especially in high school.  I made good grades, I didn’t get sent to the principal’s office for misbehaving, I was an officer in several school clubs (including Math Club), I liked comic books later in life than normal people do, wore some very nerdy glasses (I didn’t get the requisite nerd inhaler until last summer), and so on.  I also, however, played high school football, really enjoyed the weekend house parties (maybe a little too much), and dressed like the vast majority of my school.  I say all of this to get to my point that there is more of a crossover in the jock/nerd communities than most people believe.  Look at comic book movies, for instance.  If only forty year old virgins living in their mom’s basement and providing tech support online watched these movies, the genre would be dead by now.  Movies like The Dark Knight and The Avengers appealed to much greater portion of the population, even if “nerds” are the ones straddled with the label of liking comic books.  Or take the runaway success of The Walking Dead on TV.  These numbers show that jocks, soccer moms, nerds, and the whole lot of our population have much more similar taste in entertainment than society is led to believe.

I mean, even sports are being inundated with a nerd revolution.  Baseball has the Moneyball movement and sabermetrics which leads to some very heated debates about the sport and how to play.  Last years AL MVP vote is a prime example of the level of viciousness these debates can climb to.  Fans are split on the validity of a player’s batting average and RBI totals.  On base and slugging percentages are becoming the vogue stat.   NBA teams, such as my Memphis Grizzlies, are hiring more and more front office executives from outside the realm of former basketball players and coaches.  Football teams are analyzing numbers to a degree that would have been mocked ten years ago.

Which one is a bigger nerd?

Which one is a bigger nerd?

Under Armour is now embracing this new found acceptance of nerds, as well as recognizing that many high school nerds have grown up to be fitness warriors.  A friend of mine posted on Facebook yesterday a link to Under Armour’s Alter Ego line of workout clothes.  Basically, it is Under Armour’s compression gear with superhero insignia printed on them.  When I first saw them, I thought, “Damn, I had that idea!”  And that is true, a few months back, after completing a long run, I told Susan that a company should make tech shirts and other workout gear with superhero insignia because I thought it would sell quite well.  She laughed, called me a dork, and we went about my day.  And now Under Armour has introduced this Alter Ego, which is a great name, line of clothing.  MY second thought was “Damn, why does it have to be compression wear?”  Compression shirts and fat guys do not mesh very well.  I get the usefulness of compression, it just is something I normally steer clear of, both for my self image as well as out of respect for others.  I may have to make an exception in this case.

Photo from underarmour.com

Photo from underarmour.com

The Batman one is fantastic, as is the Superman and Captain America ones.  I am not a huge fan of the Hulk or Iron Man ones.  I can only imagine that a Flash one would sell well, as would any referencing the X-Men or Green Lantern.  Also, a Punisher one would sell well, even to people who had no clue who the Punisher.  If anyone at Under Armour would like to know what a member of the plus sized gym community thinks of these, a couple of them can be sent to me in Memphis for some beta testing and product reviews, size XL, please…

New Gym

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I made a major training decision this weekend by joining a new gym.  Susan decided last week that she wanted to focus on getting into better shape and going to the gym.  My old gym, Inside Out Gym, is roughly a twenty minute drive from the house, and that was not conducive to Susan staying dedicated to going to the gym.  She wanted a gym that was closer to the house so she could go before work and return home to shower and get ready for work.  Susan knows that going to the gym prior to work is her best option to staying dedicated to going to the gym and eliminates that “I’m too tired” excuse several of us use to avoid going to the gym after work.  Susan and I decided on the Ric Nuber YMCA in East Memphis after touring the facility on Thursday and working out there on Saturday.  The following is my list of pros and cons for our new gym:

Pros:

  • Susan wants to get fit
  • Close to home
  • There is a pool
  • Several treadmills and other cardio machines
  • About $10 cheaper a month than Inside Out
  • Classes fit my work schedule better
  • It is open longer hours on the weekend
  • Personal TV’s on each treadmill/bike
  • We can go to any Y in the greater Memphis area

Cons:

  • My old gym is very close knit
  • TRX classes are an additional charge
  • There is not a dedicated stretching room (just a small area of the floor)
  • 30 minute time limit on cardio machines during peak times
  • Several more members at the new gym

I am excited with the move, especially once I am completely healed because once I start running again, I plan to run to the gym, do my lifting, and then run home, thus streamlining my workout on those days.  I also love that going to the gym isn’t such a time chore anymore, especially on high traffic days.  That will be at least thirty minutes a day extra for me each gym day.  I am also really looking forward to using the pool three or four times a week, especially while injured.

That being said, I am sad since I have being going to Inside Out for three years now, and they have been there since the very early days of my weight loss and health journey.  I was inspired to run in my first half marathon because of Inside Out and was introduced to TRX there as well.  The gym does a great job of encouraging you to get out of your comfort zone with your workouts and offers positive reinforcement whenever you need it.  I am thankful for my time at Inside Out and I can only hope that the YMCA will be as beneficial to Susan and I as Inside Out has been.

Germantown Half Marathon

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Today was originally supposed to be my third half marathon, but thanks to my recent diagnosis of peroneal tendonitis I was unable to run the race.  And this was quite unfortunate because my training times were steadily improving and the weather today was very comfortable at fifty-five degrees and cloudy.  I was expecting to PR today, and after seeing the weather and other runners I know setting PR’s today, I am still confident that I would have set a PR.  Oh well, there is no need to cry about it now.  I did, however, compete in the Mayor’s Cup 5K, which is the 5K associated with the half marathon, in my walking boot.  Yep, I decided to risk injury to my properly working leg as well as worsening my peroneal tendonitis today for pride, I suppose.  After the first mile today, I was considering attempting to walk the entire course because I was feeling good, but I kept my machismo in check enough to avoid attempting the entire 13.1 with the walking boot on.  I finished the 5K course in 57:30, which is not too bad for a one-legged man I guess.  I made sure to check with the official time-keeper after I finished since I was originally registered for the half marathon and had to switch to the 5K this week.  And it is a good thing that I did, because I was still listed as a half marathon finisher and the time of 57:30 would have placed me first overall for the entire event with a 4:24 pace!   Sadly, by the time I crossed the line, all of the medals had been given out, so no bling for the race today.  The people the finished directly after me were not too happy about this, and apparently they weren’t alone with their complaints.  I guess the race director heard the complaints because more are going to be ordered.

Overall: C: The expo was really just a number and shirt pickup with two vendors, packets were just your number and shirt, and running both the 5K and half marathon from the same corrals probably wasn’t ideal.  In fact, there were four corrals, but everyone just kind of started at the same time.  The race did, however, begin on time and had chip timing.

Swag: D: Extreme shortage of medals for the 5K, plain medals for the half, ugly shirts (but they were at least tech shirts), and nothing else.  There were two water coolers, one with water, one with Gatorade post race, and a table and half of food.  This was the least post race refreshments of any race I have run over the past three years.

Course: B:  It appears to be very conducive to PR and does a great job of incorporating the entire city.

Most importantly though, is I avoided any injury today and my plan of at least one race per month in 2013 is still intact!