One Man's Fitness Fitness Adventures and Musings

Monday, November 2, 2009

A Decent Week

This last week was a pretty good one. I felt stronger each day I ran and was able to cap off the whole thing with a 9.75 mile run. I ran a very hilly course for this long run. It is a bear to say the least. Up, up and up and then down down only to go up, up, up again. I will keep with this course for my long run for the next few weeks as the half marathon is fairly flat and the hill training will help with my endurance. The end result was a 20.55 mile week. That is impressive for me these days. I haven't broken twenty with any regularity as of late and hope to make two in row this week. My long run is slated at 10.5 miles. Wish me luck.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Getting into a Groove

It has been hard for me to get into a rhythm when it comes to running. Since I hurt myself last year I have had a lingering calf injury, that turned into a lingering hip injury, that turned into a lingering motivation problem. One thing just led to another and then another. I am ashamed to say that I let myself get derailed. I seem to be back on track now, but it has been a long time coming. I have not run a race in a year. I know a whole year, that is quite some time. The last race I ran was the half marathon at the Philadelphia Marathon last year.

So now I return to the scene of the crime. I believe I have myself sorted out but I have to stay vigilant when it comes to my running. Keeping on schedule can be tough when you have a busy schedule but it is easy to make excuses for yourself. The bottom line is that successful people do not make excuses they get things done. I have to admit my short comings when it has come to my running. It is true that I had some injuries but I could have been more diligent in working through it.

I have noticed over the last month that my ability to push my running has returned. I think I was flat out not working it hard enough. Now I am getting back into the groove, which for the record does not really start until mile 3 or 4. This was when I was ending so I was selling myself a bit short. Running is an endurance sport, to get the most out of it you have to sport your endurance. (I just made that up, but I like the way it sounds). So here is to a PR at the up coming half marathon.

Monday, October 26, 2009

A Couple of Weeks

It has been a couple of weeks since the last post. It doesn't seem that long but I have been super busy trying to promote my business. On the running front I have been getting in 15 or so miles per week. I managed to get in an 8 miler last night even though I was jammed up this weekend. It seems that weekends have turned into times to meet with clients. But that is good thing after all. I feel I am on pace for the half marathon and should be in good condition for the November 22 race. Happy running.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

P90X: D5

Today I went for my little morning run and pulled a muscle in my lower right calf at mile 2 of 4. In the past I would have looked at this as a devastating injury. I mean it hurts and is a bit tender but I know the score on this one. I can't get any speed on it but it will carry me if needed. So I will move my running game indoors until it works itself out. So that means I will be doing 9 miles on the treadmill tomorrow. Not somethin I am looking forward to but I will do it.

On the P90x side I had to do legs and back today. But I had to take it easy on a few of the exercises due to the muscle pull. I did an honest workout and feel wiped out. but I can't sleep for some reason.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Day 4: P90X

Today was the 4th day of P90X and the program called for Yoga. To be truthful, I am not sure if I will ever do this program. I am sure it is a fine program and has a good deal to offer. The down side it is a little over 90 minutes and I am training for a half marathon. I just will never have 90 minutes to dedicate to the cross training. Sorry, just the truth. That said today was a 2 a day. I started the morning with a 3.55 mile run and finished with the Cardio program.

The Cardio program is allegedly the least intense of the workouts. I think I would beg to differ. There are no breaks. it is only 45 minutes where the others are 55 to 57 minutes. The program starts a bit slow with some yoga. But the killer is the end and there is a part where you roll on your back and come back up and jump in the air. I think I threw up a little in my mouth on that one. This is a disgusting truth. But I knew I worked that is for sure.

I am 4 days in with a rough weekend ahead. Between meeting clients and taking care of errands I will have to put in a 4 mile run, a 9 mile run and two p90x workouts. I will report how that goes. I will do my best that is all I can promise.

Finally Back in the Swing Again

The trip to Vegas really put things out of whack for awhile. I think I used it as an excuse to take some time off from doing other things. So my running is off a bit and I had started the P90X before I left and then took a week to get back to it. Well it seems that things are back to normal.

I managed a little 3.55 mile jaunt this morning. Well I think it was 3.55, it usually is when I take that route but my Garmin was quirky today and could not find the satellites until I had about 1.25 miles in. So I am flat out guessing today. That said the freedom was nice. I just able to push myself and didn't worry about what my watch said. It was a good feeling. I think I was fast, I felt fast. Well you know not Jesse Owens fast but fast for a middle aged guy on a Friday morning. So fast enough, fast enough to feel fast.

As for the P90X, I hurt ... everywhere. It is a nasty, nasty sequence. My abs actually quiver the day after the ab workout. I decided to start the clock over as I only had 4 days in before Vegas. So I have done three days, only 87 to go. (phhaa, 87 to go).

Friday, October 2, 2009


I was in Las Vegas over the last weekend and have to give a proper update. I was visiting my brother for a few days which was a nice change of pace. I did manage to run but my routine is all messed up and I hope to get back on track for the weekend.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

P90X: Day 4

I started the P90X workout this last weekend. I have been concerned that I wasn't getting enough cross training for my core and with a half marathon coming up in November I thought it was a good time to mix things up. I have seen the infomercials and did a quick ebay search to see what I could come up with. I managed a very good deal for the product and I would say that in the 4 days I have been doing that it really does work you. So far I have done:

Chest & Back: This is pretty intense chin-up and push-up program the next day I felt so dead.

Pylometrics: This is an hour of jumping. It is hard, really hard. It probably didn't help that I ran 8 miles that morning.

Shoulders and Arms: This is another tough work out much like the first one. It is hard.

Kenpo: Well I train in Kenpo but his is just a little cardio kick program and for me it is light weight. But it does make you break a sweat and that is good thing, any time you can add an hour of sweat to the day is a good thing. I also, ran three miles before I started. I was supposed to do yoga but that is 1.5 hours in length and I really needed to keep on my run schedule.

Overall I feel good and I think that if anyone keeps with this program for 6 days a week for three months they will have great results. I am hoping that two months will give me extra strength and spring for my half marathon.

I am in Vegas starting on Friday, I will let everyone know how it went.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

What a week

This has been a heavy exercise week. The running went well. I was able to run 4 times. I started with a short 3 miler, just a recovery run, on Tuesday. On Thursday, I did some mile repeats for 3.5 miles. Saturday, was a little longer as I was feeling good and managed 4.5 miles. I finished with an 8 miler on Sunday. This gave me a total of 19 miles for the week. This was a great total and I felt pretty good, well aside from being dead at the start of my run on Sunday.

Why was I dead? Well on Friday, I received my P90x kit in the mail. This is a very intense cross training program for those who have not seen the ads. I did the first installment on Saturday as well as having done my martial arts class. When I woke up on Sunday, I was tired to the bone. But I did my 8 miles like a good boy, it just was about a minute off my normal pace. I finished Sunday, with installment two of the P90x and now I am tired from my 5 workouts in two days. Whew!!! I mean it really I do.

I will say this so far about the P90x, it is as hard as you want it to be. Tough stuff if you want it to be. I started this as I was looking to build my muscles before the half marathon in November. Plus, if I can gain some more tone, I would be happy with that as well. I will keep everyone posted.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Injuries ... Again

I was doing fine with my program and then I went to my martial arts class on Saturday and ended up with a weird injury. We were doing these drills where your opponent holds your leg and then you hop. The drill is intended to help you practice keeping your balance and prevent take downs. I am not sure how well this works. But it is a good concentration drill and hoping for a couple of minutes is difficult. It is very difficult for me. Since I did my marathon last year, my right hip is not 100%. When you are not 100% your body adjusts to keep the injured part from taking all the impact of an activity. This is what happened. As my hip was crying over the impact I was subconsciously turning away from the impact of the hopping and this meant I was landing to the side of my leg and I ended up with a bit of a high ankle sprain in my right leg. So as last week was a down week anyway, I took two days off to recover.

I ran last night without incident but sometimes things happen and you have to adjust. Today is for speed work so wish me luck.

Friday, September 11, 2009

A Decent Rest, but you know....

I am not very good at resting. This is a rest week but I have a hard time cutting back. I was supposed to do just 4 easy runs this week. Nothing fancy and no real goals just get out there and be steady. I hope I don't regret it later but today I did some speed work. I did a warm up half mile and then did two mile repeats with a half mile cool down in between. My pace was 8:45. I don't make too much of this speed as I was on a treadmill and I tend to find that pace easier there than on the streets. Everything is harder on the streets. But it was quick and at the same time serves the recovery week theme. There was less impact on my body after all. But I did break the rules of the 4 easy runs. Oh well, I am sure I will be fine.

Next week I am back into action with tempo runs and what not. Well happy running.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Strong Week

Last week was an excellent one. I managed to put in 19.61 miles, this is a big number for me these days. On top of that my Sunday run was pretty difficult. I happen to live part way up an incline that goes on for miles. I usually do not run north from my house as it is almost all hill. That is an intimidating thought to know that you are going to be running up and up with almost no break until you decide to turn around. But Sunday, I decided to take it on and went 3.5 miles up and then 3.5 miles down. I will say that I did like the last half better. The first half felt like I really did something difficult. Monday, my muscles complained over my motivation but Sunday was a good day to be a runner.

This week is a rest week so I will be toning down the miles to recover a bit.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

August is Over

I am glad August is over. For running it is the worst, it is a month to be survived more than anything else. Now that it is over, I think I will run much easier. I did a little three miler and the cooler weather really made a difference. I did 53 miles for August and considering that I spent the first week swimming I think that is good. I am going to shoot for about 75 miles for September. I think this is a reasonable goal and not quite 20 miles average per week. I would like to add 100 miles for October and another 100 for November. There is no plan for December. Here is to plans and hoping it all goes to plan.

Monday, August 31, 2009

A Good Effort

I was able to put in 4 days of running last week, I had only been able to put in 3 the week before and my numbers were a bit down as a result. I will say this I was not as fresh for my long run this week as I was last week. There is something to be said for less running. But for my 4 runs I managed:

Tuesday: 3.0 miles - just a slow and easy nothing to write home about but it got the lead out of the legs

Thursday: 3.5 miles - a tempo run and I was very pleased with my speed portion and I have been doing much better on the hills.

Saturday: 3.0 miles - A steady but quick run; however, with my martial arts class later in the morning I was tired on Sunday.

Sunday: 7 miles - I started slow but found a nice pace at mile 4 that carried me the rest of the way. I was dead when I was done and didn't feel better until Monday morning.

Over all it was a 16.5 mile effort. I have been experimenting with some new shoes. I picked up a pair of END shoes that I have been mixing in on shorter runs for the past few weeks. I think I will write a shoe review later this week.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Seven Miles

My long run on Sunday was 7 miles. The heat and humidity are a bear in August and I will say that I was suffering throughout this little ordeal. I have felt for some time that August you merely survive until the better running weather of September rolls around. The heat has been chewing me up even on these not quite long runs. I dropped 4.5 pounds from start to finish on Sunday. That is way too much dehydration for a run that is only an hour and change. I had to put down 80 ounces of water and sit in a cold shower for 20 minutes before I was normal again. Well as normal as I get anyway. I will say that I will be happy when this month is over and the cooler September air rushes in.

But I did manage 15 miles on the week, so not too bad for only three days of running.

Weekly: 15.0 miles

Monday, August 17, 2009

First Week of Training

The First week of training went well enough. I managed to run 4 times last week and did well enough for a week one. I was especially proud of my efforts for the tempo run mid week but not so thrilled on the long run. It was very hot and humid and I struggled to get to the 6 mile mark. But it is in the books and I am looking forward to building on these efforts going forward. My speed was super slow and I felt destroyed when I was finished and needed 60 ounces of water before I felt normal again. My body was telling me "Dude, what they hell were you thinking."

This week I have a speed day instead of a tempo run mid week. I am looking forward to the mile repeats. It should be a good time. But first I need a nice calm recovery run. It is too bad that you can't just do a recovery run for other parts of your life when you feel over your head.

The Philadelphia Marathon is about 95 days away. I am pretty excited to be training for a race again.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Tempo Run

With the new half marathon program I had my first tempo run in months last night. Wow, I forgot how brutal those can be. But it felt good to really push myself through the three middle miles of my run. Nice! I have a good feeling about being back on the wagon. Plus I was stagnating without a true goal.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Back to a Program

I haven't really followed a program since I ran a marathon last year. I think as a result my running has not really progressed the way I would like it to. So as of today, I am back on a program and I will be registering for the half marathon section of the Philadelphia Marathon in November. I like the course, even if I did hurt myself running this same race last year. Truth be told, I was undertrained and I suffered the effects of that.

In other news, today is my birthday. I am 41 today. I don't feel as old as the number sounds.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Swimming Makes Me Tired

My swim week is at an end. I should say I am tried. I swam 5 times this week and three days in a row at the end of the week. Swimming just saps my strength, I have a great respect for those that do this on a more constant basis than I do. I needed a nap this afternoon to recover from my week in the pool. This was a good move. My muscles feel worked but without the damage that a week of running can do to your body. I feel ready to get out there tomorrow and go back to my running program.

In other news, I was a dummy for a black belt test on Saturday. I can always go with a good ass kicking so I volunteered to get beat on a bit in the name of school spirit. It is always nice to be there for those moving up the ranks. Plus, as I always say a good deal of what training provides to you as a practitioner is the removal of the shock of actually being hit. If you can get over that you have a much better chance of getting through a fight.

Friday, August 7, 2009

It's About Pain

I have not been as diligent about posting as I should have been. I think that blogging is an ebb and flow sort of thing. I have noticed that I have some nagging injuries these days. Mostly the culprit is my right hip. When I train heavy the hip lets me know about it. I am not sure if it is a result of my body telling me to slow down or the result of some injuries in my "bullet proof" twenties coming back to demand payment. I know I get a nice creak in my elbow from where I elbowed a man in the fist, while he was throwing a punch. (A dumb move on my part but probably singularly impressive to watch). The point of the day, pain management.

So here I sit attempting to battle to stay in as peak of condition I can get while maintaining a successful law practice. It is a hard balance. As I mentioned, I believe I will need to supplement my running with swimming to cut down on the wear and tear on my hip and calf. These are the two problem areas. Tonight I managed another 32 laps. To go with this I do manage to get my martial arts training in as well. To be truthful the running and swimming are tools to make my martial training more effective. That is the point, well for me it is. The running has its own goals but the reason for doing so was to be more effective on the mat. The surprising thing that running has brought is its own little addiction.

There is something that borders on spiritual about tapping the physical. It is the feeling of truly being alive and connecting to the universe. (If that makes any sense). I have never really be a very religious person, but sometimes when I am really in the heart of a great run or flying through techniques and I get that "perfect moment", I think at those times I truly understand spirituality. Because the feeling is beyond simple satisfaction, it is as if I have tapped into something more. To get there through, there is a pain barrier that has to be broken through first, at least for me. It may be because I am now in my 40's and I can't quite get rolling with out a little bit of discomfort. Once I get there it is worth the little pain barrier.

This has been a bit of an affirmation. Why do I beat myself so relentlessly? By most accounts I am a fairly intelligent man, some might debate it but I like to tell myself that anyway. The answer is that beating myself down is worth it. When I can get those singular "perfect" moments it justifies all of the pain. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Happy running or swimming or fighting or what ever your poison happens to be.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Some Time in the Pool

I have noticed that I get some injuries when I train too much. A big suprise but true. To combat the tendencies of my right hip, left calf and right hamstring from yelling too much, I have decided to take a more reasoned approach to my training. This is tough for a guy who at some level enjoys chastising himself for not gritting through the pain. So I have decided to take a 3 week on one week off sort of routine. But my off week is a pool week. I am not a big fan of swimming laps, there is too much isolation in swimming. There is too much disconnect from the environment for me to ever be enthusiastic about it. But to keep injuries in check it is a must. So I did 30 laps on Sunday, 25 on Monday and 40 today. That is a lot of laps and I think it is good for me, even if it is boring.

As to the running, I am getting faster again. I dropped some speed after my illness. I think that lung infection really hit me hard in terms of endurance. I am only now getting back to a 10:00 pace. For a while I was around 11:00 to 11:30 for a time. Now I am back to 10:00 to 10:15. With a little speed work I should be ready for a half marathon in November. Here is to happy training.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Once a Runner by John L. Parker, Jr.

I read a book, not a big suprise. I read a novel about running, okay a little unusual. I have seen Once a Runner a few times in the book store and I have picked it up and put it down. I was finally intrigued enough to buy it. The book itself has an interesting story. It was out of print but the demand for it reached a critical mass the the publisher put it back on the shelves.

The story itself is simple enough a college runner is quite simply trying to break the 4:00 barrier and to hopefully break a world record. A secret lofty goal and an impressive public one. I got the point of the book pretty early on. The book is about the cost of dreams and running can be seen as a metaphor for what ever your dreams are. If you want to succeed you have to give everything you have to achieve them. For our main character in the book he comes to realize that to achieve greatness he has to foresake everything else in order to achieve it. That is the cost, everything.

I found the book to be equal parts uplifting and grim. It is a triumph of the human spirit and at the same time a slap to those who think they can do it all. I think you can do it all, you just can't do it all well. Excellence equals sacrifice. We all on some level know this. I like this book and how often do you find a novel about running. Give it a try.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

I Sit at the Cross Roads

I believe that I sit at a cross roads in my life. Lately I have been looking back as much as looking forward and taking stock of not only who I am, an important endeavor, and how I got to be here. Recently, I was laid off for the second time since January. This was a hard thing for me to come to grips with, I have always been employed. This was since I was 16, always working. I never had an issue with work. It is an odd thing to realize that after putting myself through law school I have less job security than I did doing entry level jobs right out of high school. Odd, truly odd. But it makes you take stock of the reasons that you did things in the first place. The question becomes, why is it that I became a lawyer? How is it that I got to here? I do know one thing, I never wanted an ordinary life.

I know that I didn't go to law school to get a fancy job or a fancy title. I have always been possessed with a sense of justice. It has always been important to me to help people. I think I saw law school as an opportunity to have my life mean more than just collecting a paycheck. More than just showing up. I looked at it as an opportunity to be able to bring my principles into my work life and define my life on my own terms. When I say it that way it sounds pretty terrific. So here I am, a man of deep principle faced with a big decision. I can either go back to the corporate side of law and potentially look at the same soul crushing work or I can make a change. I think I have begun this transition already. However, this is a bit of a mission statement. I am now cutting ties and accepting responsibility for my own security. Truth be told in the legal profession the only security you have is what you give yourself.

So I will be from this point, on for good or ill, a solo attorney. It is going to be a tough road but I think I will have more satisfaction in my life as a result. As I go I have to just remind myself of what is truly important and repeat my mantra, "honor first". Because, in the end how we live is far more important that what we accumulate in life. For me it is "honor first", the journey is far more important than the destination. Here is a toast to the journey, I hope it is interesting.

An Update

Has it been a month, I suppose it has. In that time I have finally picked up my running to 15 miles a week for two weeks in a row. I have been to my martial arts class and got seriously clawed up by a training partner who doesn't seem to understand the wisdom of the finger nail clipper. When doing grabs and locks you have to respect your training partners and that means clipping the nails to avoid unnecessary injury to your partners.

I have been excited over my running as of late. I was able to put in a six mile effort one day last week and that has been my longest run of the year. This is simultaneously sad and exciting. Sad as I ran a marathon last year and exciting to finally get things back on track. Whew!!!

Here's to hoping for better things in the coming weeks.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

A Good Week, Finally

It seems that I have been struggling for this entire year to get a good routine together. This week was finally one that I think I can build upon. I was able to get out of the roads four times for a total of 12.5 miles. The milage may not be breath taking by any stretch of the imagination but it was a solid start.

When life is chaotic it can be difficult to get things together. When my life became a bit chaotic my running also seemed to followed the same chaos. I am attempting to get things in a more organized framework and hopefully I will be able to follow up on this.

Currently, I am thinking of doing the Philadelphia Distance Run in September. It is a nice half marathon and I haven't done a race since last November. It feels like too long of a break, probably because it is. Here is to getting another number.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Harsh Conditions

I have been laid up for the last two weeks with a nasty lung infection that really laid me low. There was no running and to be truthful there was little of anything that was not laying my head on my pillow. Over the past week I have been able to get out doors again, I even bought a new pair of shoes. Nothing says summer like new shoes.

I have been running in stability shoes but as I was at a water park on Sunday I noticed that my wet foot print does not match the stability foot print. I decided to go with a lighter shoe and see how I do. So I went from the 12 oz Brooks GTS 8 to the 8 oz Brooks ST 4 Racer. A racing shoe, just so I say. I will use it for my speed workouts and on race days. I have done a couple of quick runs and I would say that I like it. I can feel the weight difference but I also would be afraid to go very long distances in the shoe. It says that a half marathon would be fine but I don't think I would do one in them. Perhaps a race of 5 miles or less, 8 miles tops. There isn't alot of shoe there but there is enough.

Here to hoping for a healthier summer than the late fall has allocated me.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Gosh, a hard one

My new found speed has left me a bit more self critical on my run times. I went for a 3.75 mile jaunt on Saturday and it was a killer. Killer I say. The humidity was insane and yet I was determined to get a run in. I stubbornly refused to back off my pace for the entire run and managed to log a 9:45 average time throughout the run. The cost was a bit high. I was hyperventilating at the end of the run and my legs were giving me a bit of a shake. Not good. My inner Viking refused to quit and I paid the price. Earlier in the day I had done an hour and a half of martial arts training.

The combination of being a bit tired when I started and the humidity really dragged me down. It was a short run but I was dead when I was done. I think I am pushing harder these days trying to crack my speed barrier and hopefully reach the 9:00 mile. I am not sure if I will get there but now I am at 4 runs in a row with an average under 10:00 per mile. I am getting better.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Escrima Class

I have been training for a good many years and in that time I have trained with a lot of traditional weapons: Chinese Broad Sword, flute, bo staff, jo stafff, spear and so on. My attention to these weapons has been really limited to say the least. I have always been of the mind that they look nice and they do help to improve your balance and coordination but I found them to be of little practical application. I mean who walks down the street with a Chinese Broad Sword strapped to their back, beyond the legal implications you look like a psycho. So here I am again being coaxed into weapon work again.

I will say that I have finally found some practical application to weapon work. The school I train at has a good deal of knife and eskrima work. I have never worked with eskrima before two months ago. I had seen it done but I never gave it much thought. I admit with chagrin the error of my ways. Eskrima and Kenpo are two twins born of different mothers. Kenpo, the art I study is an art dominated by hand techniques that is filled with slashing techniques where movements work in concert. Eskrima is a Filipino art down with twin sticks to simulate machete movements. The techniques are with two weapons and are also done in concert. To say that I love this new weapon training is an understatement.

The most difficult part of learning the new weapon is the two man training drills. There are a series of drills that are performed with a partner that hone your skills with the weapons. The drills help you to mentally adjust to wielding two weapons at the same time. It takes some time to get used to the idea of controlling multiple weapons at the same time. It seems odd as I have been thinking in terms of multiple weapons for many years; yet with actual weapons rather than two hands and two feet it seems more difficult. I have been having much difficulty in getting the hang of the drills. That said anything worth doing takes effort. I don't mind looking like a fool in the short term.

I do appreciate my instructor's patience with my learning pains, I am sure it isn't pretty. Here is to future competence.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Home Practice versus Class Time

My schedule is ... well ... insane. I am starting my own law practice which takes a good deal of time. I think I am dedicating between 70 to 85 hours a week to work related activities. This leaves precious little time for anything else. What it means is that I cannot get to my Kenpo class as often as I would like. To fill the gap I am forced to do a few days a week of home practice while the rest of the world sleeps.

Moon shining
Feet moving, arms slashing
World Sleeping
I don't claim to be a poet and I know it is a bit off in the 5/7/5 format but there is my Haiku on my nocturnal activities. I digress.
As my schedule only permits so much time to exercise and maintain my skills when the rest of the world is at work and play, I need to practice at home. During my home sessions, I execute my lists of techniques and kata and try to maintain my form, speed, power and fluidity. Home practice is not the same as the time in class. There is no one there to correct you if you are off which can create an issue if you are practicing incorrectly. Because it is not practice that makes perfect but rather perfect practice. Additionally, Kenpo is about working techniques on your training partners. Without the reaction of an opponent you are not getting all the benefit you could be. Does that make it without merit? No not at all.
I have found my home practice very valuable for a few reasons. First, I get to set the baseline. When working with an opponent you have to adjust for the movements of the individual. When working alone you do not. Of course you have to remember this when you get on the mat. But working alone helps to cement the techniques in your head that isn't really duplicated when working with an opponent. Creating a mental blueprint is easier on my own than when working with others. I know that I have a tendency to try to work everything at once in class: power, speed and fluidity but this is not always the way to train. Sometimes you have to go slow to better understand the techniques. As I am not always able to do this in class my home study allows me to be more critical of the techniques and their applications.
Second, I am able to recover. The style I study comes with a good amount of contact. I like that about it but I need time to recover from it. A typical class comes with a few black and blues and a stinger here and there. Home study allows me to keep up on my training while dealing with these little hurts. When I was 20 I probably could have trained 6 days a week with no issue but at 40 I need a little recovery time.
Finally, (I say finally because I am a lawyer and I always make three points,there are more) I get to choose. Class time runs on the instructors prerogative, home time runs on mine. When I think I need to work on things I get to decide what needs to be worked on. The flexibility to decide where to focus my attention is a great benefit. Sometimes I feel that my kata needs work or I would like to really concentrate on speed or working my techniques in a 2 foot square or I might just decide that I need to work a horse stance and hand strikes for 30 minutes. Where ever I decide to take my training I am able. I appreciate and respect my instructor's guidance; home time is critical time to determine where the work needs to be done. In many ways home practice is about honing your skills where class time is about application. Application is important but you can't cut down a tree very well with a dull axe.

Monday, May 4, 2009


I wanted to wait a day to follow up on my record breaking run. I think I have placed myself into good speed for some time. I went for a 3.5 mile run on Sunday and ended with an average pace of 9:39. Previously I had always started a little slow to get myself into the running mode. But the problem with starting slow is that it can create a self fulfilling prophesy in terms of speed. So I have been starting faster and that has turned into more speed.

The last three runs my first half mile is at a 10:20 and then I drop that to 10:00 for the next half. I then kick this to below 10:00 and continue to drop it as I go. So far my fastest sustained pace has been at 9:13 but for a guy who has been happy with 10:30 this is great. I am feeling faster these days. I am not sure what the next few months will bring but these are great runs right now. I am taking it a half mile at a time.

On my Saturday class, I usually work with the same black belt. He is a bulky guy and hits with force and weight. You know when you have been hit. This last weekend I was fortunate to work with a second degree black belt who is more of a precision striker. He isn't the full body hitter the other man is but his strikes go through you like a shock wave. It is more of a focused power that seems to echo through your body. If this sounds unpleasant, it is; however, that is the intention. I always feel fortunate to work with people who are willing to lay one on me as this is how I get better, even if it makes me a little dizzy afterward.

In other observations, I find that I am progressing in skill but I also find that I am not operating at the level of precision that I would like to. I believe that will always be the case. You are looking good but there is room for improvement. We should always be trying to improve. It is the point after all. I only wish that I could go to class more often.

Friday, May 1, 2009


I have been getting more speed as of late in my runs. I was going to run yesterday but I wanted to be fresh for my little 5k experiment this morning. One of the things that has gotten me down was that I was not able to crack the 30:00 threshold for a 5k. When I came close last year, I was in truth a bit bummed about it. But now it seems that I have gotten some experience and with it some speed. Enter this morning:

I got up and out the door for a little run in the morning drizzle. I wanted to see exactly how fast I could do a 5k. So I started with my 2 minute walk and then set out on about a 10:00 minute pace for the first mile. Once I was awake I was pushing the envelope the entire time, uphill 9:45 pace, down hill 9:20 pace and so on until I hit the 3.11 mile mark which was at: 29:52 or a 9:37 pace. This was a great feeling. I am happier about this PR than any I can remember right now. Excuse me while I bask in my own accomplishments for a time ... ahhh. Ok, I am done. I am not sure what my running will look like in terms of totals this year but it will be faster. Also, if I didn't run another mile for the rest of the year after today, I would call it a success.

Thursday, April 30, 2009


I have not posted in some time, I am sorry for that I have been quite busy for work and my running has been ... erratic at best. Time demands are what they are. Last night I put work off and went for a run, I needed it. It was a good 3.4 mile loop and I was surprised when the result was a 9:45 average time.

It seems that I am getting much faster when I run these days. I am not sure if it is that I am fresher when I get out because I am running less or if I am just getting more experienced. But what ever it is I am happy with it. I can now cruise at around the 10:00 range for the whole run and manage to pick up some good half miles here and there to sink the entire run in the sub-10:00 range. It is a nice feeling.

I will do my best to get out there a couple more times this week.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Sometimes you have to Take one...

Martial Arts schools can be a funny thing. You really can find a school that suits almost anyone's needs. There are schools that will work you out hard and teach you nothing practical and schools that are incredibly realistic. I will say that you can always find what you want given a little search. Personally, I like a little contact. Well why mince words, I like a good deal of contact. I don't feel like a class is a good one unless I have taken some decent shots to the body, arms and legs and been violently taken down a half dozen times. Beyond waking you up, I think it is necessary.

I had a conversation with the "theory of the clash." Well I call it the "theory of the clash" I have run this by folks in other arts as well, notably a good friend who will be testing for his black belt in Danzan Ryu Ju Jitsu. In martial arts you have to be used to being hit. If your art is a grappling art, I am sure that being slammed and thrown is equivalent in my mind. Realistically speaking you cant take strikes to vitals but taking some body shots and other non vital strikes is necessary for development. My "theory of the clash" is simply this, if you are in a confrontation and you can take the initial assault you will most likely survive the encounter. I will qualify this to exclude confrontations with deadly weapons.

Some people will shy away from the largest men at their schools as being too dangerous to spar with. I say forget that notion. If you can work with the largest man at the school you will gain great benefit in your skills. I like to work with the hardest hitting men at my school. It is simple they make me a better fighter. Last week I was fortunate to work with a man who really is a stone wall cleverly disguised as a human being. He hits like a piston and you feel it. After that class was over, I knew that I had genuinely worked my techniques and that they worked. I feel you won't know the answer to the effectiveness of techniques until you start doing them with conviction. Not a conviction to injure but no one is doing much of value unless you are taking some shots. If you don't how will know you can when you are actually in a situation.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Test You Say

On the 28th of March, it was raining. So I decided that my daughter's tee-ball class could be put off for the day. But that said, I thought that it would be a perfect day for a private lesson at my Kenpo school. I gave my instructor a call a little before 9:00 am and was lucky to catch him. When I asked him about the lesson he said, but you have a test today. My reaction was "I do?" I knew I was getting ready for a test but I did not know I was testing this month. "Uh, OK I will be there". He must have thought I was some sort of dimwit that morning.

Kenpo tests can be grueling affairs that can last many hours and have a bit of a rite of passage feel to them. I will let you know that this one was not too terrible. I arrived at about 11:00 and the test started at 12:00. This was a very large test. We started with random attacks. This is probably what makes Kenpo what it is. Respond to a random attack and counter attack. We spend the next 20+ minutes on these basics along with more set techniques. We have very strange names for our techniques that will remind people of bad kungfu movies. These are things like "Gathering Clouds" and "Dance of Darkness" and "Bowing to Buddha". Mmmm, it looked like Kuan would win until Qian bested him with his secret Bowing to Buddha technique. I digress. The point of the techniques during the test is to guage your execution at as close to full speed as possible without seriously injuring your partner. There is generally contact in Kenpo, it isn't a knitting class after all, you just have to keep an eye on the level of contact. My partners were both seasoned and I thought they did quite well in their own right.

I have a tendency to sweat up a storm once I get going. I think this has a good deal to do with the effort I like to put into martial arts. The test was no different. Once we finished with our techniques it was on to sticks and knives. American Kenpo has an affinity for the Filipino stick arts and we train with them in conjunction with our open handed techniques. There is a good deal of compliment to the slashing hand techniques of Kenpo and the machete based Escrima arts. It can be quite beautiful to watch people who have practiced a good deal use the sticks. I thought the level of skill at this part of the test was excellent. The thing about sticks is you need some room so I did get to watch a bit. But I also had to help some folks who didn't have partners so I was able to not only be evaluated but was able to practice a good deal.

The test concluded with Kata. Kata is the traditional part of martial arts and is a dance like set of movements simulating a fight. Some of the more modern MMA arts are critical of Kata is not preparing one for an actual fight. There are responses to this but I will save them for another time. Suffice it to say that Kata has been practiced for hundreds of years and has been used to hide techniques of particular arts. At its heart Kata is a demonstration of grace, power, coordination, execution and determination, it is all of these things simultaneously. I am sure the average person on hearing this might have a bit of an incredulous look ... but that is the goal. I have to say that my kata was a bit off, I have been starting my own business over the past month and my practice has been off. I think I did well but my focus was about 15% off the norm and my ideal of perfection was not close in my mind. We are our own worst critics, my instructor was fine with my performance.

This concluded the test. I felt fairly spent but fairly positive about the whole thing. I passed and as I try to reach black belt again, I am one step closer. I am now a green belt in American Kenpo. Life is about the journey not the destination. In my mind the rank is not nearly as important as the experiences necessary to pass these guide posts.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


It seems that I have discovered some speed. I didn't run at all last week due to my schedule being crazy, I was covering for another attorney on a few cases and it cut into my day quite a bit. Then I went out on Monday and did well as I mentioned, I had a couple of miles sub 10:00 and finished just a bit over 10:00.

Tonight after work I hit the roads in my favorite running weather: light rain. Light rain is the best. I always feel great in the rain. It keeps me cool and feels fresh. I went out for "The Loop". The Loop is a 3.65 mile stretch that circles my house. Tonight it was excellent, I felt like I could just push it and push it. So I did, the first mile was 9:55, the second was about 10:20, the third was 9:47 and the last part was about the same pace. The total 36:22 minutes or a 9:58 pace. Wow!!!. I have not run so fast in about a year and it is nice to know that I can the dump truck, i.e. me, up to speed.

Yes, it is going to be a good spring for running.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

I have been less than diligent this month

That is in terms of posting. I have been working very hard this month and I have not been posting as much as usual. I hope to change that. I did update my miles and am at a bit over thirty miles for the month. I have two thoughts about this ... really only thirty miles and wow thirty miles. I suppose that it is fair to say I am both disappointed that this is the number as I like to do much more than that and at the same time I have been a very busy lad so the fact that I got any miles in seems like a great achievement.

Last night was a very good run. I am a bit of a plodder when it comes to running. If I were a vehicle I would be a dump truck. Lots of power but not much speed, that sort of defines me. When I started running, well it is nice to call it running, I was doing 14:00 miles. Just to put it in perspective I did weigh around 300 lbs. Now I weigh in at 230 and generally do about a 10:30 pace. I have been trying to cut into the 9:00 range for the past year with limited success. I did do a 5k last year when I averaged 9:50 but I have not duplicated the effort since. Last night was a good step toward the 9: something.

The first mile of my 3.65 loop was at 9:56 and the last mile was at 9:48. The in between was my normal pace and I ended up with a 10:06 total pace. I am quite pleased with my effort on this one. I am going to go out tonight just to see what I can do. Nothing like a good run to get you all motivated again.

In other news, I had a belt test at my kenpo school on Saturday. I passed and now I am one step closer in my training. It is interesting the way things went down. I called my instructor at a little before 9:00 to see if he had some early room for a private lesson. This is when I learned that I was going to be taking a test that day. The good news was that I wasn't able to develop any pre - test jitters. I just went in took my beating and went on with my day. I may do a more extensive post on this later on.

Friday, March 27, 2009

It Has Been a Time


It has been some time since my last post and all I can say is that I have been quite busy. Between the court time and the remaining work I have been doing I have not posted as much as usual. I have been running few days a week with a day or two of martial arts.

It has been nice getting outside again to run. I will say that. My calf has healed over the winter and now I feel fresh and well to be honest... pretty fast. My time on the treadmill has quickened me up a bit. I think I would like to keep a day a week on the treadmill (heaven forbid) to speed train. It does work and I do like the ability to try some speed out even if it is on the treadmill.

Sometimes I could use a good ass kicking:
I was going to private lessons first thing on Saturday mornings. It was nice but I didn't take the pounding that Kenpo is known for. If you are not being bashed, pummelled, thrown, kicked and elbowed it just isn't a good class. I have had to start taking a later group class on Saturday (I take my daughter to T-ball). The good news is that I get what I want. There is a certain black belt in the late morning class that hits like a piston and is as solid as a stone wall.

The stimulation of two older lions beating the hell out of each other is great. Sure I wake up the next morning with lots of bruises but it is worth it. The heart of martial arts is different for each art. For Kenpo, I believe it is in the clash. There is a certain purity of two artists mixing it up with no pads, no gloves, no head gear. It is the essence of it, that is what I love. In many ways it loves me back, with a good ass kicking that is, we have to find our humility after all.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Less Running and More Weights

I have not been getting in the miles I have in the past; however, I have been making sure to get strength training in. With my current economic situation I am not really sure if I will get a race in this year. Things are up in the air and I don't really think that spending money on registration fees is a wise use of the resources I have. So I have decided to change up my routine a bit. I am still running and will most likely still get between 12 to 18 miles a week in. I think this is decent enough. On the gym front, it costs me $100.00 a year for my membership so it is pure economics at this point.

I have been concentrating on my core. I have been doing a lot of squats, dead lifts, dumbbell swings and anything else I can think of to increase my over all fitness. The other night when I could not make it to the gym my work out included curling three gallon water bottles and doing other exercises with a five gallon jug. Your muscles really have to work to stabilize the weight when it is sloshing around. So I do push ups, crunches, run up and down one step and so on. I am sure that having a more general focus to fitness will have two results. First, my running ability will decline a bit. This is unfortunate but necessary for the short term. Second, my over all fitness will increase. Adding overall fitness will in the long run be the right move, I am pretty sure of that. Coming from a lineage of Vikings and Highlanders, I was probably never going to have a runner's build. I suppose I am saying that this is probably the right move. Also given my concern over spending money it makes me feel better as well.

I am going to be be kicking it old school on the gym stuff. I am going to be looking for ways to stress out my body. I will let you know how that goes. Oh, I warmed up today with 3.25 miles so as I said I am still running but just not as far. But I am running faster, my pace today: 10:05. Not bad for me. When I know I am only doing three I can get the lead out on the last mile or so and do about a 9:40 for that last stretch. Who knows I might just get faster, that would be a cool side effect.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Cross Training 101

I have been posting infrequently at best as of late. I can only say that my schedule has been a bit on the demanding side these days. This last week I was able to log 12.85 miles and did some cross training as well. I usually do martial arts to fill in the gaps but today I did some circuit training. I am usually worried about my lower back as most men my age start to have some issues there. I have thus far been blessed in that department. I think a lot of that has to do with my fear of developing problems so I do exercised my lower back on a fairly regular basis.

After my 3.5 mile run this morning I did some really basic exercises to blast my core a bit. Everything was done for one minute before moving on to the next exercise with no break in between.

1. Planks
2. Medicine ball swings. (legs more than shoulder width apart and swing a medicine ball from between your legs to over your head)
3. Stepping (up and down a single stair)
4. Crunches
5. Lunges
6. Jumping jacks
7. Standing back extensions (bend at waist and then come up and back further than a standing position)

I then took a two minute break and did it again twice more. I was a very tired at the end. Sometimes one does not appreciate the length of time that a minute encompasses. A minute is very short unless you are doing something unpleasant. This was hard, harder than I thought it should be. I can run well but I think my other muscles were suffering a bit from lack of use. I will have to do more of this type of exercise in the future.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Finding Harmony in Uncertain Times

I have done my best to maintain harmony in my life through some pretty difficult times. It is easy these days to be discouraged and see things in a negative light given the economic news. This is more so as I came to work one day and was simply laid off once I left work for the day. I sensed the end was coming but when it came I was still a little taken a back. I just got a phone call on the train ride home informing me that my services would no longer be required, after two and a half years I thought I deserved better. In the end we can only be responsible for our own actions.

Keeping positive was difficult. I had sent out a ton of resumes but no response. I was getting discouraged and my attitude was starting to falter. I did find a temporary job but my skills were not really being used and I knew at the end of February or early March I was out of work.

I had to really look at myself. There are three parts of a person, I think: the mind, body and spirit. In the past, I had exercised my mind with much vigor but had ignored the body and my harmony was all out of whack. I find for myself that being balanced in my life requires that all three be exercised. When I keep healthy through exercise it helps to keep my spirit in check.
I find that for myself, I get pent up aggression. I need to work this out of my system. This has been the way for as long as I can remember. When frustration and anger would build if I could work it out of my system I would feel better. Martial arts became my release early in my life and more recently running has become part of this as well.

The anger and frustration that I harbored for whatever reason could be melted away. I merely had to focus my energies toward the physical and the spirit could come back to balance. This has always been the lynch pin for me ... the physical. The physical seems to have always held the key to the other two. When I find my moment of zen in my physical the rest of my life seems to up tick no matter what the other circumstances.

Today, while I was going through my techniques this morning I found perfection. It was elation, like hitting a runners high or hitting the perfect golf shot. It is when everything comes together into a single perfect moment. My speed, power and execution were dead on. It was simply stated ... Perfection, my moment of Zen. Perfection happens so infrequently that to find it seems in many ways a miracle. What follows?, harmony in my life. Now I feel great, hours later and usually when this happens it sparks weeks of progress and positive feelings that spill into every aspect of my life.

I think the next month is going to be pretty good.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Getting a Bit Burned Out

I am currently working a temporary job and have been since early January when I was laid off. The hours are starting to get to me. I have been investing 70+ hours a week to this job since I started and have not had a proper day off in that time. I am feeling a bit worn down. I have been trying to keep up on my exercise so that I can fight off being sick. Today, I am tired.

Thursday is a down day so I can relax tonight. I will need it. It feels like someone has really taken the wind out of my sails.

For the mid week I have done two Martial Arts work outs for at total of 2.5 hours and ran 3.4 miles yesterday. I feel healthy but just a bit tired. I think a good deal of my trouble is that I started a stricter diet and I am taking in less calories. I don't feel hungry but I think the reduction in calories is making me feel more tired. I think once my body adjusts I will be fine.

I do apologize for not checking in on everyone's blog this last month. I hope to be better about it once this job ends.

Career wise things look tight. I am sure I will be able to land another temporary job but long terms looks very uncertain. I think I may have to start my own practice on the side. Anyone looking for Immigration, Family Law or Personal Injury representation let me know. :)

Monday, February 16, 2009

Week in Review

Work: 73 hours
Martial Arts: 3 hours
Running: 15.51 miles

I did not get up to the 16 miles I wanted to. My long run on Sunday only made it up to 4.25 miles. I was just worn out by the time Sunday rolled around. This 70+ hours a week is taking its toll. The good news/ bad news is that this job will be over in a few weeks. The bad news being that I have nothing else on the horizon. These are lean times to be sure.

The running and martial arts are keeping me sane and I hope that I can manage 16 miles this week. There is a good deal of chaos in my life right now. All we can do is keep at it and hope things turn around.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Long Time No Post

Well the week that was seemed pretty decent sitting from where I am. End Results:

Running: 14.75 hours
Martial Arts: 5 hours
Work (including commute time): 72 hours

The last number shocks me a bit and makes me wonder how it was that I got 4 runs in. They weren't great runs and 3 out of 4 were on the treadmill but given the amount of time I dedicated to work, not bad.

The nice thing was that I finally was able to get a long run in. Not a real long run but longer than normal: 5.6 miles. That was nice. On top of all this now I have to think about getting ready for a Kenpo test. I try to stay on top of material so that I don't have to rush like a madman at the last minute trying to hone my craft. But I still like to be ready. Given all this and the job market which is non-existent right now. My stress levels are pretty high. My temp job ends in about three weeks and then who knows what will happen. So I do need to keep the exercise up to keep my worry factor down. These are trying times to say the least.

This next week I will try to top 16 miles and put in 6 to 10 hours of martial arts practice. The unfortunate part is that I will have to put in an equal number of hours at work (and try to find a permanent job while I am at it.) Well there is a fat guy chasing me and I have to stay vigilant. It would be dreadful if he caught me.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Sad News

I had intended to run in the American Odyessey Relay from Gettysburg, PA to D.C. Unfortunately, it looks like I am going to have to step down from the race. I am currently working a temp job that has demands of as much as 70 hours per week. This leaves little time to train and I am lucky these days to get in 1o to 15 miles a week. This just won't get me ready in time. The other consideration is financial.

I would feel a bit selfish to commit to the race when things are so chaotic on the job front. I have hardly had a nibble in terms of jobs beyond a temporary one. The horizon does not look very bright right now. My attitude is fine but I have to realisitic. Until I find a job with more permanence than the one I have now, I can't really be commit to much in terms of racing. I feel bad for my team mates but replacing one person in early February seemed a lesser offense than saying the same thing 6 or 7 weeks from now when things didn't turn out right on the job front. These are trying times.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Good Intentions and all that...

I had intended to update a lot sooner than twelve days but you know how things can go. I am a new job, it is a temporary thing but the hours are demanding right now. I am singing to the tune of 65 hours a week right now. The good news is that I can put together a bank roll while I try to find something permanent.I have been trying to keep up on my exercise, the point of this blog after all. I managed three runs and 3 martial arts workouts last week and and 2 runs and two martial arts workouts so far this week. As this is the last day of the month I will be going out to do at least enough to get me to 50 for the month or 4.08 miles. I think 4.12 sounds good.

It is cold out there and I have been retreating to the gym in the cold but it is closed. So I have no choice tonight. There is always an excuse if you look for one, always. I say don't give in. It is always easy to seek comfort and difficult to force yourself to choose pain. That is in fact what we all do us "exercise people" as one coworker labeled us. We choose pain over comfort. It is the right choice. Here is my nugget of wisdom of the day. We are all choosing pain all the time those who do and those who don't. If you choose the couch over the road, you will pay for it. It won't be today or even tomorrow but it will catch you and the payment when it does will have a good deal of accumulated interest to deal with. So I say run and exercise now the payment plan is much more reasonable today.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Back Outdoors, at last

I have had to run inside since early December. This was started by an injury to my left calf and continued due to some bitter cold and ice. So today, when it was seasonably warm, I finally got to get outside and run a little. My conditioning is sub par. I really struggled with the little three mile jaunt. But no need to get down on one's self, you just draw a baseline and know that you will keep at it and you will get better.

When I started out I felt fine but my lungs started to scream a bit after a half mile. I think that this was just some rust. After a few weeks out of doors I am sure I will be better. But it was a good start and I still managed more than 14 miles for the week which was good. Next week I will need to get outside more.

Happy running.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

The Week That Was

I managed 3 times at the gym and did treadmill time each day. It was not the way I prefer to run but while nursing a bit of a leg injury and the bitter cold it seems to be the order of the day. Today I managed to run almost five and a half miles. This was 60 minutes straight running, not too fast but steady throughout. After almost no running in December it was nice to know that my endurance was still decent. 13+ miles for the week, I will take it.

I also managed to make it to my martial arts class 3 times and log about 10 hours of practice time at home. It was a good week on the fitness front. If I was a man of leisure I would do this every week. I hope to get to 15 miles for the coming week.

Keep running.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Oh Treadmill, how I hate thee ...

Treadmill, oh treadmill, how I hate thee let me count the way. This week I have been stuck with the treadmill. Mostly because of a little nervousness related to my left calf. The good news is that I have progressed from the elliptical machine. I have to say that treadmills have progressed a bit and it was not as horrid as I recall. That may be because I had some foo fighters and linkin park to keep me pumped up.

Wednesday I was able to put in 3.75 miles and today I put in 4.55. It is not the best running I have done in my life but any time on the treadmill is like 1.5 times what you would do on the roads. That is my story and I sticking to it. So it is really like 5.6 miles and 6.8 miles.

For anyone interested I did have an interview today that went pretty well. It is only a short term job but it will take the heat off for a bit.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Dealing with a Lay Off

I was laid off on Monday, I knew that it was coming sooner rather than later. It was still a bit of a shock when it came. I hold no ill will against my now former firm. They have been much more than fair with me over the time I was there. I have nothing but good things to say.

Now I find myself in the midst of a job search. The economy is sobering at best. I have submitted numerous resumes and have had a few face to face discussions and quite a few phone calls. It seems I might have something within a week, but there are no guarantees. I was able to put my student loans on hold so that was good.

Here is my checklist for keeping positive during this stressful time:

1. Take a breath - being laid off is not a reflection of your abilities, it is a reflection of the economy.
2. Remain energetic and vigilant toward your goals. Put in as much time finding a job as you would working. As this is your job right now.
3. Exercise - this will help to keep the frustration at bay.
4. Get your rest - losing sleep does no one any good. You have to be rested to be effective in your job search.
5. Take a breath (again) - be relaxed and execute your plan for finding a new position.

I know that I will have things worked out shortly.