Monday, March 31, 2008

My First 5k

Well, I've gone and done it now. I signed up to run my first marathon ever, The UAB Dollars for Scholars 5k/10k. The above picture is of the route. It may be hard to see, but the majority of it is along University Blvd. next to St. Vincent's Hospital. I decided to run the 5k because I don't think I would be able to survive a 10k.

I tested a certain pace out on the treadmill last week and after the first mile I wanted to stop, but kept going. It took me about 31 minutes to go a little over 3 miles. I'm not used to distance running, so this should be an interesting test. Hey, I'm not ashamed to walk either. I just want to finish. That, in an of itself, should be an accomplishment.

Speaking of running, Forrest Gump has some new running shoes. Just to give you some idea of how badly I needed some new ones, I took this photo to prove it.

I had been running on those ratty shoes for far too long. My feet never did hurt afterwards, but I knew the old ones had served their purpose. Perhaps one day I will give them a proper burial, but until then they serve as a memorial.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Bodyweight 100x2

For my weekly bodyweight workout today I felt like I could move into more than what I have been doing, so I tried the Bodyweight 100x2. I decided to start the day a little bit different by adding more fuel to my breakfast. No doubt that it was burned off because my arms felt like Jell-O and my legs were on fire.

Here's what I did today:
20 Prisoner Squats
20 Push-ups
20 Jumps
5 Chin-ups
20 Forward Lunges
15 Close-Grip Pushups

You are supposed to repeat that twice with no rest between circuits and finish in 15 minutes or less. Not resting in between the circuits is brutal and really pushes your cardiovascular system to supply blood to your muscles. Again, I had trouble with the chin-ups, but after a lot of push-ups, who wouldn't?

I found the trick was the break them up into smaller chunks. I was reading in Men's Health that it was better to fire off a couple of reps, do another exercise, and then come back to the chin-ups to do some more reps. Keep repeating that until you have finished the set. It said that you would get more reps in than if you were doing them all at once. I didn't follow this exact method, but I did break them up, especially on the second time through the Bodyweight 100.

It felt really good to advance onto the next level and I hope to keep it up.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Weekly Weigh-In: Week 13

I'll just come right out and say it: I'm lucky to have a loss this week. Remember me saying that I had to survive the grandparents' good food again? Well, I barely did. I survived the day and, just barely, the week. I was sent home with a lot of leftovers. Most of it was food I only want to eat rarely such as mashed potatoes and gravy, ham, angel food cake (more like devil food cake), hash brown casserole, and you get the idea.

Someone at work said it best that it was like falling off the wagon. That's pretty much how it felt this week. I just need to get back on track.
And why do we fall, Bruce? So, we can learn to pick ourselves back up.

All of this has resulted in my worst loss yet. Even more telling is that I didn't lose anything from my waist. My goal of hitting 185 by week 16 is looking like less of a possibility now and I can't help but feel guilty and disappointed in myself for letting this happen.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Weekly Weigh-In: Week 12

Weight is 191.2.
Waist is 36.25"

The biggest jump for me this week is the waist size where I lost one inch. I can tell that it is getting harder to lose the weight because there is less fat, which means I just have to work that much more. With Easter at the grandparents coming up, it looks like I'll have to survive the good food again.

Yesterday I was finally able to complete one of the advanced exercises called the Stability Ball Jackknife with Rotation. Well, at least one full set. That and the Spiderman Push-up are the two hardest exercises that I have yet to fully complete both sets. But, after reviewing my previous results, I am slowly increasing the number of reps I do.

Maybe next week I'll finally get to 190.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The Spring is Broken

I've been on Spring Break this week and it's really hard to get motivated to workout. I do it because I have to, but since my day is spent relaxing it feels weird to get started. Coming home from work, where I've been active all day, and then working out is an easy transition. I usually get home, immediately change into gym clothes and either head to the treadmill or begin my bodyweight regime. It's a routine that works.

Speaking of routine, I'm going to be breaking from my weekly weigh-in schedule this week because of other spring break activities coming up. I won't have access to my scale on Friday morning because I'll be on a little camping trip. So, I'm going to use Thursday morning as my "official" weigh-in day for this week. Also, I'll be saving the report until Monday morning when I'm back in the office and have access to the spreadsheet.

UPDATE: So much for the camping trip. Something came up with Jason and Emily so it had to be pushed back to Friday. Jason forgot that I was going to B'ham that day, so I'm out. Friday is still the official weigh-in day.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Weekly Weigh-In: Week 11

This week was such a weird week, I almost want to declare it a Mulligan. Not only did we have the time change where I stayed out way too late, but I ate my grandparents' good food, went to a concert (where I stayed out late again), and got drunk at the police academy. With all of that and me still trying to catch up on sleep, I was shocked when I weighed in this morning. If it goes up next week, I won't be surprised. It has been so hard working out this week because I've just been so tired.

Anyways, the results are there and I'm getting closer to my goal. Waist size this week is 37.25" down from 37.75" last week.

I would have been arrested

Last night, I went through one of the coolest experiences I have ever been through. Jason and I went to the police academy to get drunk. That's right, the cops gave us alcohol.

It was all part of this sobriety test for the new recruits on how to identify intoxicated people. I played my part, for sure.

Here's how the night went. When we arrived, they tested our blood-alcohol percentage (which was 0.00%) and asked us what we wanted to drink. We had several options to choose from such as bourbon, rum, gin, and any kind of mixer we wanted. I ended up with rum and diet coke.

From this point on, we were free to drink as much or as little as we wanted to. I want to say that we started drinking around 6:30. They had the Alabama v. Florida game on a few TVs plus lots of cards to keep us busy. Other than the fact that we were in a police academy, it felt like just a normal night out with friends. After a few hours of eating snack mix and having the cops bartend for us, they cut us off. It was about 9:00 at this point. Everyone started to line up at the Breathalyzer to get our BAC tested. Jason and I were at the end of the line. After a couple of minutes, we were told that we were not drunk enough. I mean, how do you respond to that? If you're like us, then it's a challenge. Who better to take a dare from cops about getting more drunk.

Most of the volunteers decided to leave instead of continue further. If you drove yourself, you had to wait until you blew a 0.00% before they would let you leave. If you had a designated driver, then you had to wait until you blew a 0.08% before letting you leave. Otherwise, they could have arrested you for drunk and disorderly. Beforehand, we kept joking that if that happened we were going to show the cop our Breathalyzer print-out to prove it was for science!

So, we kept drinking for a couple more hours until we were good and ready. They tested our BAC but hid the results from us until after we had completed the sobriety tests. Waiting for us downstairs were about 30 recruits eager to test their knowledge on the freshly liquored up volunteers. Even though I was several drinks in, I took this part as seriously as I could have--like I was in trouble for real. Since a lot of people left earlier, we had to be tested four times by four different cops. They asked me to "follow the pen", "walk the line", and "balance on one foot."

I was so convinced that I had passed these tests with flying colors! In my mind, I performed perfectly. Unfortunately, most of the recruits didn't see the same perfection. We went back into the "bar" where they had each name on a white board with several columns of how much we had to drink, what our blood alcohol content was, each test they gave us, and whether or not they would have arrested us.

After drinking 13oz of rum and blowing a .09%, three out of the four cops would have arrested me. Jason had 14oz of bourbon and blew a .10% with all cops arresting him. It was really interesting to see the people who were under the legal limit and yet some of the cops would have arrested them. The recruits who marked the legal-limit drinkers as arrested were told to write down what they did and later they would go over how to correct their errors. Needless to say, we were ready to go home and finally made it out of there around midnight.

You can kinda see Jason and I in the video above. We are the ones walking in at the very end with me in the gray shirt, Jason in the green.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Blind Melon

Last night I went to see Blind Melon with my brother and his girlfriend. I was unsure of how it was going to be, considering that the original lead singer has been dead for a long time. Forget all of that. The new guy is like the spiritual successor to Shannon. He sounds just like Shannon.

I've had Blind Melon's self-titled album since it came out and I have watched them live on pay-per-view at the 25th Woodstock Anniversary where Shannon was wearing a dress for some reason. None of this mattered last night because it was like the old band was back together. They must have looked a long time for this guy...the similarities are just uncanny.

The only thing I was disappointed about was that they didn't play one song I was looking to hear: I Wonder. The show was still great and high with energy thanks to the new front man.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Bodyweight 100: Redux

So, a few weeks ago I posted about my progress with the Bodyweight 100 exercises. I'm still having trouble completing the chin-ups, but I'm nearly there. I have added negatives over the past two weeks to help improve my performance.

I consider today's workout a win since I stayed out waaaaaaay too late last night/this morning. No matter. I had my reasons...and it was worth it.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Weekly Weigh-In: Week 10

I have reached another milestone this week. To date, I have lost a total of 20 pounds. Although my weight has been fluctuating throughout the week (194.4, 193.6, etc), the scale finally settled on 195.0 for the "official" weigh-in day. I forgot to measure my waist this morning, so I'll post an update tomorrow.

In order to hit my goal of 185, I need to lose an average of 1.6 lbs per week for the next six weeks. If previous results have been any indication, that shouldn't be a problem, but you never know. I'm starting to get down to that point where I stalled out last time. If I can break the 190 mark, then I know I can get down to 185. From there, if it looks like I can afford to lose more weight, then I'll do it.

Anyways, this week produced excellent results and I can't wait to get over that 20 lb hump.

UPDATE: Waist size this week is 37.75" down from 38" last week.

Monday, March 03, 2008

LOST reaction

I know I'm late on the update for this, but I wanted to post this quote from AICN's Moriarty that I sent to a few Losties last week.
Up until now, watching LOST has been like driving up a hill. And it's a great hill. It's really interesting, and some remarkable stuff happens while you're driving, but the entire time, you're aware that you're going up. Up. Up. And there's a tension building. And in a way... it's kind of unbearable. And tonight, watching LOST felt like cresting that hill. It felt like getting a glimpse of the bottom on the other side. And finally knowing it's there.

I don't think we've quite started back down the hill yet. I don't think we've picked up that momentum yet. I'm betting that's next season. But if this season is about reaching the top of the hill and finally seeing the way down... then consider me satisfied and pleased and feeling vindicated as a fan.

I couldn't agree more.

Clean Eating & Exercise Plan

I have been asked what my "plan" is and as boring as it may sound, the best way to say it is that I just eat right and exercise. For those that need a little more direction, I have created a PDF of the general ideas to follow (download below).

I came across the Clean Eating information several years ago when I was losing weight and such. Even though I got away from it and gained my weight back, coming back to it these many years later makes me realize just how effective it is. The reason it is so effective is simple: it just makes sense. There are no complicated points system to follow (Weight Watchers), a giant list of things you can't eat (Atkins), or unreasonable requests to change your habits.

I kind of made this my own and cleaned it up a bit, but the core information is still there.

Download the Clean Eating & Exercise Plan.