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.

Motivation Monday Returns!

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It has been a few weeks since I was able to post a Motivation Monday entry, but it is triumphantly returning this week!

First, I want to share a little something that I stumbled upon in an online running group that I am a member of.  Someone had seen a picture of an iPhone alarm that they thought was funny and shared it with the rest of the group.  The alarm read “If Forrest Gump can run for over 3 years, you can get your ass on a 30 minute run this morning.”  I thought that was great and I should incorporate something similar into my morning alarms.  I am in the middle of training and will be until at least the middle of January, so it is very important to maintain my schedule.  And since I live in Memphis, with its heat and humidity, running in the early mornings is vital to my health and sanity.  Therefore, the following are what my four alarms tell me each morning:

I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13

If Forrest Gump can run for 3 years, you can run 4 miles this morning.

Time to make the donuts. (Idea, not actual process stolen from an old school Dunkin Donuts commercial featuring Fred the Baker saying this every morning)

You’d be done if you got up an hour ago.

Time to make the donuts

Time to make the donuts

I will probably rotate some of these sayings throughout the year, and I will be turning off the snooze function on my alarms so I can’t rest for “10 more minutes” because those ten minutes become thirty routinely.  The various times that I wake up during the week is dependent on the distance that I am running, time I need to report to work, and so on.

My current 4 morning alarms

My current 4 morning alarms

Another motivational item that I came across is something else that I try to consider when I am wavering about getting out of bed and running my miles.  It also serves as nice reminder that we all are not Steve Prefontaine, but we are still runners.  We all get caught up in pace and so, but the most important aspect is getting out there.  On these hot June and July mornings, I need all the inspiration that I can get!

Nice way to look at it

Nice way to look at it

Now that I have said all of this, I decided to sleep in this morning instead of completing my four miles in the cooler morning air, so I will be either sweating away in the 90 degree heat this afternoon or being bored to death on the treadmill.  If you have any motivational quotes, scriptures, and mantras that you like, feel free to share it here.

Friday Roundup

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I have not posted much this week because I have been swamped at work (in fact, I’m neglecting some files right now to type this post) and Susan and I have four extra house guests with this week.  Add in the fact that I got a flat this week that required the purchase of two new tires, I have not heard back from the investigator that is handling my theft case, my mortgage company doesn’t want to update my checking account info, and my mother-in-law having to go to the hospital,  I feel like this week has lasted for about fifteen days!  But, it is Friday, and it is very close to closing time, so I’ll keep my chin up for a few more minutes.

Not the way I wanted to start the morning

Not the way I wanted to start the morning

On a positive note, I am still going strong on my Runner’s World running streak, which will hit 26 days this afternoon when I hit the treadmill at the gym.  This week is also the Boston Remembrance virtual run, so the running streak is helping with that.  I need to run 26.2 miles for the run, and I am at 18 thus far with a run today and this week’s long training run of 7 miles, so I should be good.

I am waiting for just a couple more items to be delivered in the next week or so for the Platinum Sombrero 5K, and then I can mail out race packets, so that is exciting!  I can’t wait to share the final total that will be donated to St. Jude!  I’m also working on a monster post (I hope) about the event.  Stay tuned.

 

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.

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.