Mid-Week Review

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Back in March, I did a post about the Alter Ego line of clothing from Under Armour.  You can have a refresher here, or the Cliff Notes version is the line is workout clothing inspired by superheroes.  The nerd in me was very excited about these shirts, but being of the larger persuasion and these shirts being base layer compression shirts, it did not look like I was going to get one.  Well, a random trip to the local Dick’s Sporting Goods changed that for me.  I was shopping with Susan and Dick’s was next door so I hopped in for a second.  And as I walked in, I noticed the Alter Ego display.  I stopped to look for a second and noticed two things.  One was that the compression shirts are tiny.  I seriously though I was in the children’s section!  Also, I saw a Batman shirt that said that said “loose fit” on it!  This could not be right, and I had to double check the tag.  Yep, “loose fit” just like my other Under Amour shirts!  I decided to try the shirt on, just in case, and it was a perfect fit!  So I now own a Batman Under Armour shirt!  I am such a nerd.  Maybe they will release the other superheroes in the “loose fit” as well.

Batman Under Armour

Batman Under Armour

Last week I bought my first pair of shoes from Kindrunner and the experience was very simple.  Today I am returning a pair of old shoes that will become $10 in Kindness Cash.  It is kind of a bittersweet moment since the shoes that I am returning are the ones I ran my first half marathon in.  But I cannot wear the shoes anymore and someone needs to get some use out of them, so sending them to Soles 4 Souls in a positive outcome for these shoes.  It is ironic that these shoes that I randomly bought with no knowledge of my gait, running mechanics, or shoe life held up for over a year and 700 plus miles without incident.  And now that I know this stuff, I have had some injury issues with shoes closely fitted for my feet with very strict mile management.  It is funny how that happens.

Kindrunner donation

Kindrunner donation

And speaking of my new shoes from Kindrunner, I made a rookie mistake over the weekend.  I was so eager to wear my new shoes that I did not properly break them in before taking them out for a long run.  I ran ten plus miles on the Greenline last Sunday and this run resulted in blisters on both of my big toes!  Thankfully these blisters were not a lingering issue this week.

I am also going to be trying something new with my runs and workouts over the next few weeks.  I almost exclusively listen to music on my runs, so I am exploring some podcasts to listen to, as well as an audiobook to utilize during my runs.  I will also try to watch some Braves games on the treadmill at the gym when the opportunity presents itself.  Last night was my first run listening to a podcast and it went well.  I had no problems staying motivated on the run, and it provided the distraction that I sometimes need on my runs.  I am still browsing audiobooks and honestly did not realize how expensive that they are.  I read several non-fiction books, and I am a little wary of running to an audiobook of a non-fiction book.  We shall see.

Today is the longest sports day of the year since it is the only day of the year that there are no activities from any of the major four American sports leagues.  What sets today apart from the past two days is that Monday has the Home Run Derby and Tuesday has the MLB All Star Game.  Even worse for Atlanta Braves fans is the fact that the team is also off tomorrow, so there is a four day sports void for us.  ESPN puts their annual sports awards show, The ESPY Awards, on Wednesday to help fill the void, but no one really cares about that.  The USA and Costa Rica game that was played last night would have been perfect in prime time tonight.

Update: I just read an article on Deadspin talking about the ESPYs, the hatred for the event, and the colossal waste of money the awards show really is.  You can read the article for yourself here.

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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…

Late Week Update

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This week has been quite hectic at work, and when you factor in Valentine’s Day, the end result is no new posts for a couple of days.  I did, however, get in workouts on each of the last three days and I am gearing up for a race tomorrow.  With that being said, today’s post will be on the lengthier side.

Wednesday: I decided to try out one of the new treadmills at the gym.  They are quite a bit more sophisticated than the treadmills that they were replacing and I would guess that some will find them intimidating.  They are WiFi equipped so you can log in with an iFit account to track your workout or just surf the web while running.  There are touchscreen controls and a built in iPod/iPhone dock built (unless you have an iPhone 5).   There were two preset courses on the machine, one in Cape Town, South Africa and the other was on the coast of Monterey, CA.  I chose Montery and the display screen toggled between Goggle street images, satellite views, and a topographical map of the area.  The course varied between a -3% and 4% grade.  I ended up running 4.98 miles at a 9:18 pace.  I was quite pleased with the end result.  I want to check out the other bells and whistles on the machine in the upcoming weeks.

The fancy new treadmill at the gym.

The fancy new treadmill at the gym.

In addition to my run, I did a Warrior Dash circuit.  I upped my exercise time to thirty seconds per move with the normal thirty second rest time.  I completed two sets each of the following exercises:

  • Leg Press
  • DB Bench Press
  • Pulldown
  • Leg Curl
  • Plate Crunch
  • DB Step Ups
  • Bicep Curl
  • DB Front Raise
  • Squat Jumps
  • V-Sit Off Bench

You wouldn’t think adding just ten seconds would be that noticeable of a change, but it definitely was!  I felt the effects of the extra work before the end of the first set.  But, in the end, it is worth the end result.

Thursday:  I took a half day off of work so I could finish preparing my Valentine’s Day dinner for the wife.  I printed her a menu and transformed our dining room into a private restaurant just for the two of us.  I grilled filet mignon with a wedge salad, Fleming’s style scalloped potatoes, corn souffle, yeast rolls, and chocolate croissants for dessert.  She was very impressed with dinner, and so were all of her friends that she bragged to about it.  I also got her some flowers and Peter Pan on Blu-Ray (she is a Disney fanatic).  She got me the race medal display that I posted about previously as well as an infographic poster of Sid Bream’s slide, (yep, that’s two links) which is one of the greatest moments in Atlanta Braves history.  I have a bobblehead of this on my desk at work as well as at the house.  Yes, I am a gigantic sports nerd, especially when it comes to the Braves.  I will post a picture of the poster when we get it framed.  It is an odd size, so we have to get a frame made for it.

The Braves promo pic of the bobblehead

The Braves promo pic of the bobblehead

While prepping dinner, I was able to escape for a few minutes to get in a run.  It was nearly seventy degrees here in Memphis, so it was much warmer than your usual February run!  I ran 3.26 miles at a 9:44 pace, that might of been better if I didn’t have to battle someone’s pit bull around mile two.  Seriously, who lets their dog, a pit bull at that, run freely through a busy city neighborhood?  He nipped at my heels a few times, but never got a hold of me.  Usually when I encounter a dog like this, his/her owner is nearby and keeps the dog contained, but not on this occasion.  I guess I need to start running with a stick or something.

The flowers I sent to Susan at work.

The flowers I sent to Susan at work.

Dinner at BK's Prime Chop House

Dinner at BK’s Prime Chop House

I also used this idle time to go pick up my race packet for the Move It Memphis 10K that I will be running on Saturday.  There really wasn’t too many goodies in there, but the shirts are cool.  It is a baby blue, long sleeved Zorrel cotton blend Dri-Balance shirt.  And with a projected temperature of thirty-nine degrees at race start time, the long sleeves will come in handy with the participants.  I’ll post a pic of the shirt with my race racap tomorrow afternoon.

Friday:  I decided to take it easy on my mileage today, so I just ran an half a mile warm up before doing my Warrior Dash circuit for the day.  My circuit consisted of the following:

  • DB Lunges
  • DB Military Press
  • DB Row (:30 on each side)
  • Leg Curl
  • Russian Twist
  • Lateral Lunge
  • Bench Dips
  • DB Lateral Raise
  • Calf Raise
  • Strait Leg Raises

It was a good workout and hopefully I won’t be too sore for my run tomorrow.  I love Friday afternoons at the gym because I am virtually the only person there, so I can use whatever equipment I need without any delays.  It is quite peaceful.

I guess I’m going to call it a night so I don’t oversleep in the morning.