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.

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Wednesday Roundup

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Yesterday was the big test day, and my unofficial results on the GRE were comfortably above the minimum needed for acceptance to graduate school.  The test was only slightly nerve racking and I’m very thankful that I used a study guide for the past few weeks.  Otherwise, I would have been completely lost.   Now, I need to focus on the rest of my admissions materials, which hopefully won’t be as time consuming as the test prep proved to be.

The Germantown Half Marathon is this weekend and I’m thinking about walking a part of the race this weekend.  I have already paid for the race, so unless I complete the entire 13.1, I’m going to lose money.  The race does offer an option to register next year at a discounted rate of $25 (from the early registration fee of $45) for anyone registered and unable to run this weekend.  You just contact the races hosts (which I already have) and then save their email response until registration opens for next year’s event.  At that point, you contact the race director and you should get a link to the discounted registration.  It is a decent option, especially for those of us straddled with an injury, but I have some reservations about it.  It is very likely that I delete this email over the next eight months and then, I am SOL.  There is also the possibility that the race will fall during spring break and Susan and I will be out of town during the event.  I am tempted to show up as scheduled on race day and just walk the 5K that is associated with the race.  My rationale is that either option means that I am going to eat about $25 of my registration fee, but this way, I at least do something associated with the race.  Plus, my 2013 goal was to complete a race each month of the year, and I know that I had no control over my injury, but I don’t want to fall short of my goal.  I’ll see how I feel this weekend.  All I do know is that I am not going to attempt to walk the 13.1 in my walking boot.

I finally did so cardio today at the gym.  I rowed for twenty minutes and it felt good to do some cardio again.  Of course, trying to use the machine with my boot on was as much a workout as the exercise itself.  I couldn’t strap the boot down, so it kept sliding off the machine, and all of this extra movement nearly caused the death of my headphones.  The wire on my Yurbuds got caught in the track of the seat, and now the wires have been stripped down on them.  So, I guess I’m in the market for some new headphones once again.

After my cardio, I completed another modified :30/:30 Warrior Dash circuit.  Today’s circuit included a couple of repeat moves since the vast majority of the circuits focus on a person’s legs.  Today, I did the following:

  • DB Incline Bench
  • DB Lateral Raises
  • DB Front Raises
  • V-Sit on a Bench
  • Pull-Ups
  • Wipers
  • Russian Twists
  • Reverse Crunches
  • Straight Leg Lifts
  • Supermans

Sadly, I noticed today that my strength is not where it was a couple of weeks ago, nor is my stamina.  Now that I have an idea of what I can do at the gym, I need to start pushing it again.  Warrior Dash is only five weeks away, and it would be great not to embarrass myself there.

There are only three episodes each left for Justified and The Walking Dead this season, so that means there will be a significant gap between the end of these seasons and the beginning of the final eight episodes of Breaking Bad.  I have been enjoying The Americans and The Following, but neither are near the quality of the other three shows.  But baseball season is starting (Go Braves!), and hopefully my foot heals quickly so I can enjoy the April running weather here in Memphis before the heat becomes too unbearable.

 

Study Break

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Tomorrow is the day that I will finally take the GRE, whether I’m ready or not.  I spent the last weekend visiting my parents, and since I didn’t really have an option to do much in the way of a workout, so I mostly did was GRE test prep and played catch up with my family.  Studying has been quite nerve racking, and it would have been beneficial to be able to go for a run to relieve the stress, but I am adapting.  The test will be at 12:30 pm, and hopefully by 5:00 pm, I will have a good hunch if I will have to go through this hell another time or if I should start prepping for classes in the fall.  I’m taking a break from reviewing my notes right now, watching The Following, and I will probably review for another hour or so afterwards.  Prior to the test tomorrow, I’ll work through some sample problems to keep sharp.

Today, I finally did return to the gym, in hopes of doing as complete of a workout as possible. I was planning on rowing and then doing a modified Warrior Dash circuit.  The problem was that my gym no longer has rowing machines outside of the rowing room, and on Monday nights, there is no access without being signed up for one of the classes.  So, that means it will be at least one more day until I get in a full cardio routine.  I did, however, complete my :30 exercise, :30 second rest warrior circuit routine, consisting of the following:

  • DB Bench
  • DB Row (:30 on each side)
  • Bicep Curls
  • Pulldowns
  • Russian Twists
  • Plate Crunches
  • Chair Dips
  • DB Military Press
  • Bicycle
  • Wipers

It felt good to finally get in a workout after my injury, even if it was an abbreviated one.  I really need to figure out a reliable option or two for cardio while I can’t run.  Rowing or swimming would be ideal, but my gym doesn’t have a pool, and my usual gym time is during the peak class times, so I guess I need to get on the list for rowing later in the week.  Memphis did recently open a new facility called the Kroc Center, which has a fitness center, pool, aquatics center, basketball gym, fitness classes, chapel, and auditorium.  The facility has not been open very long, and is state of the art, but the place was at capacity when I toured it at 6:30 pm tonight.  From the reviews that I have read, there is a wait for most machines and a thirty minute time limit on the machines.  Also, I’m not sure on the pool schedule, but tonight, no one could swim because there was some sort of water basketball going on.  I may go check it out one morning this week, to see what the crowds are like before work versus after work.

Back To Normal…Almost

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I finally returned to work today.  I wasn’t at 100%, but I couldn’t justify staying home another day so I sucked it up and went to work.  I’m sure my coworkers were questioning my dedication after I had a coughing fit at the morning status meeting.  I didn’t have quite as much work piled up on my desk when I came in today as I was expecting, but I had enough to keep me busy all day long with plenty left to tackle on Monday.

After work, I decided to try to get in a quick workout.  I was still coughing a bit and was tired from actually working all day, but I knew that I needed to log some miles.  The temperature has been dropping for a couple of days here in Memphis, so I decided to head to the gym.  Today was the first day of March, in Memphis, and our high was thirty-eight degrees.  Plus, if I wasn’t feeling well, I could stop my workout much easier than running up and down the road.  Fridays at the gym are usually great since it is most people’s skip day from the gym, and you have free reign over the entire place.  Today that was taken to another level since the desk worker didn’t have any towels ready when I got there.  I guess it was his skip day as well.  I did an easy 2% grade on the treadmill, hoping to run four and a half miles followed up with some TRX or a Warrior Dash circuit.  But, during my run, I started to get dizzy and thought it was prudent to cut the workout short.  I ended up running 3.51 miles at a 9:30 pace, so I wasn’t terrible today.  Hopefully, I’ll feel a little better tomorrow so I can get in a quick non-running workout and be in good shape to tackle a ten miler on Sunday.  I haven’t had a long run in two weeks, and with the Germantown Half Marathon coming up in just over two weeks, I really would love to return to my schedule to help stay prepared for race day.

Currently, the Grizzlies are in a very entertaining game with the Miami Heat, with the Grizz trailing by only one after the third quarter.  And as a Memphian, I must say, I am sick and tired of Mario Chalmers hitting threes against our teams.  I’m cutting this post short to be able to catch the entire fourth quarter unabated.

Hiatus Over

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It has been far too long since I have posted on here and sadly, I have not worked out much during this hiatus either.  I was a best men in my best friend’s wedding this weekend and the combination of rehearsals, dinners, and hangovers, I was unable to get in my miles for nearly a four day span.  And of course, once my duties were over, I got a sinus infection.  Everyone endures a stretch of obstacles that keeps them from running, but in the future I just need to do a better job of juggling my runs and life events.  So here is a recap of the last five days.

Thursday: I had to go home straight after work to take care of Beau since the wife had to work late.  It was a stormy day, so I was unable to got for a run, but I did complete a TRX workout.  It was the first one on a little over a week and I focused on one of their total body workouts.  I made sure to incorporate chest, arms, back, abs, and legs.  On a side note, I did finally get a frame for one of my Valentine’s Day gifts from the wife.  It is quite difficult to find a frame for a 12 x 15 print, especially when the print is actually 12.5 x 15.5.

One of the greatest  moments in Braves postseason history

One of the greatest moments in Braves postseason history

 

Friday: I didn’t get a chance to run due to the wedding rehearsal and rehearsal dinner.  The groomsmen were needed to help put out tables, chairs, and such before being told what we needed to do on the big day.  Filets, mashed potatoes, creamed spinach, wedge salad, and cheesecake from Flemings, so I could have found a much worst way to spend a Friday evening.

Saturday:  It was the big day and that meant fifteen hours devoted to the event due to lunch, pictures, the wedding, the reception, and the after party at Brookhaven.  The last item is what got me in trouble with the wife as well as inhibited my ability to run ten miles the following morning/day.  But the day was a lot of fun and it was great to be a part of my friend’s big day.

Talking to the parents of one of my friends, Susan and I decided that I should go ahead and try to run in the Oak Barrel 13.1 in Lynchburg, TN.  There are only 100 slots left for a last ditch registration scramble in a couple of weeks, so hopefully I can get registered for this race when this registration free-for-all opens up.

Sunday:  I was hungover for most of the day and by the time I was starting to feel better, it was time for trivia semifinals.  So no run on Sunday.  Our team, Rum Ham, was able to move on to the finals in eighteenth place despite having a bad night.  And I must say, the carrot of $20,000 in cash and prizes is not worth two semifinals (one in an overbooked bar and one in West Memphis) as well as finals in Tunica, MS.  Our team got second place over all two years ago, and actually had a realistic shot of winning that year, so I guess we feel that we are going to win prior t o every round of trivia.

Monday:  Going a little over four days without run is unacceptable, so even though it wasn’t the greatest idea, I went to the gym for a quick run despite my sinus and throat infections.   I ran 3.33 miles at an even 9:00 pace.  Not too bad for someone that couldn’t breathe.  I decided to not to push it too far with a followup circuit .

Today: I had to go to the doctor today for my sinus/throat infection and since it is cold and rainy here in Memphis today, there is a good chance that I will not be able to go for a run today, but I am hoping to do one of my Warrior Dash circuits.  If I can breathe a little easier this evening, I might try to do both.

Back In The Saddle

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After my impromptu rest day yesterday, I made sure to get in a run today.  The temperature never rose above thirty-seven here in Memphis today, so I decided to utilize the gym and the readily available treadmills for my run.  I ran four miles at a 9:34 pace.  I felt great after the run, and definitely could have pushed it a little harder, but I was pleased with the outcome regardless.  I followed the run with a couple of sets of diamond pushups and crunches.  This was all after logging 1,464 stairs while at work today.  I was going to do some TRX or  Warrior Dash circuit, but I was pressed for time and I wanted to make sure that I got my miles in first.  I may try to use the stairs for the rest of the week and see how that goes.

The Four Bridges Half Marathon I’m running in October posts lots of useful information and motivational items on their Facebook page.   They shared the following quote yesterday and I meant to include it in my previous post, but I forgot:

There are plenty of obstacles in your path.  Don’t allow yourself to become one of them. – Ralph Marston

That sums up marathon training fairly well, I do believe.  And I think it applies to my last two days very appropriately as well.  My gym has quotes posted all over the facility and I may have to suggest that they include this one.

After getting back on my workout track earlier, I’m now catching up on my DVR.  First up was the second best show currently on TV, Justified, and I’m now watching The Americans.  Tonight’s episode is tackling the attempted assignation of Ronald Reagan, which made for a very intriguing episode.  Each week, the show gets a little stronger, which gives me high hopes for The Americans comparing favorably to the other highly lauded FX shows.

And one last note, tonight was a goodnight for Memphis basketball.  The Grizzlies beat Rudy Gay and his new team, the Toronto Raptors 88-82, in large part because Gay played his usual selfish and turnover prone fourth quarter.  Toronto is not a good team, but when you part ways with a player, it is always good for morale of a fanbase to perceive that the right move was made.  The Memphis Tigers won for the seventeenth straight time this evening after dispatching the Houston Cougars 81-74.  Chris Crawford finished just one assist short of joining Penny Hardaway and Antonio Anderson as the only Tigers with a triple-double.  Of course Penny had two and is regarded by many as the greatest Tiger of all time and Anderson was in the senior class with the most wins in NCAA history and a Final Four appearance (both vacated because of Derick Rose’s bogus SAT), so including Crawford with that duo may have been a little dubious.

Two Posts In One!

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I meant to write the first half of this entry yesterday, but I got busy and never got to my computer to do so.  I made Sunday a rest day since I enjoyed my friend Will’s last weekend of bachelorhood a little too much the previous night.  Since it was going to be an easy day, Susan and I decided to take Beau to Overton Bark, the newest dog park in Memphis.  This was the first time that we had taken Beau to a park, so we had some apprehension.  He does great with parents’ golden doodles, but numerous stranger dogs was a little worrisome.  But, I am happy to report that our worries about Beau at the park were unfounded.  Beau loved running with the other dogs and had a grand ole time.  I brought a tennis ball for him to fetch, but he was more concerned with keeping up with the other dogs in the park.  However, no matter how much running he did, if he lost sight of Susan and I, he would sprint back to the last place he saw us to make sure we were still around.  We stayed at the park for about forty-five minutes and when we got back in the car, Beau was quite tired.  After the dog park, we took Beau to Hollywood Feed, a local pet store near the house.  We got him a couple of new chew toys and a Kong toy that gives him treats as he plays with it.  It may be his favorite toy of all time!

First trip to the dog park

First trip to the dog park

After the dog park and pet store, we headed home where Susan and I finally decided to arrange our collage wall.  She finds numerous ideas on Pinterest and decides we need to do them at our house.  I will admit, she has found some good ideas, but they are not always the easiest things to complete.  The collage wall was not physically demanding, but lining up all of the frames and maintaining proper boarders was quite tedious.  It took me a little longer than I had hoped, but we were very pleased with the end results.  We are repainting over her spring break, so I wanted to get the wall done so any mishaps would be concealed in the near future.

An afternoon of hard work

An afternoon of hard work

Today, I got back to my workout routine.  It was a cold and rainy evening in Memphis, so I headed to the gym after work.  I was drained from a long day at the office, but I knew I had to get back to my routine.  I ran 3.26 miles on the treadmill at a 9:51 pace.  A little slower than my recent runs, but I felt good.  After the run, I did another Warrior Dash circuit.  I did my usual :30/:30 split for two circuits with a minute rest time between the two circuits.  Today’s circuit consisted of the following exercises:

  • Body Weight Squat
  • DB Incline Bench
  • DB Upright Row
  • Glute Bridges
  • Wipers
  • Reverse Lunges
  • Pushups
  • Supermans
  • Bicep Curl
  • Reverse Crunch/Knee to Chest

Today’s workout went well and I am confident that I will be properly prepared for my upcoming races.