One Man's Fitness Fitness Adventures and Musings

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.