Friday, December 31, 2010

Take your time

12/30 lift power clean 3x195 deadlift 3x365 plus inclines with 70lb and 75lb dumbells

I'm still under the weather but feeling much better than yesterday.  Had some very troublesome shoulder pain on the inclines, hopefully it's not the start of something bad.  I need to clear up this illness and get serious with my running if I plan to have a chance on the 8 miler.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Down with the Sickness

12/28 lift box squat 3x315 towel bench 3x245 plus pullups with 50lb kettlebell and snatches with 70x5, 85x1 and 100x2 (only got 1 with left arm).

I was already sick with what I thought was just a head cold from our eurotrip but later that evening things took a turn for the worse.  Today I feel like I got hit by a truck between the muscle aches, constant throbbing headache and congestion that has completely blocked up my sinuses.  I hope I get better soon because this sucks.  I think I should probably go to the doctor but the thought of trying to get myself presentable enough to leave the house seems like an insurmountable task.  On the brightside, I went to bed around 6pm and minus a brief period where I had to get up until the mucinex kicked in I slept through until 10am.  This means I might finally be back on East coast time!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Pack it up, Pack it in

This is going to be a kind of random post, but I find it helps me consolidate my thoughts.

So we are in the final 36 hours before we board our flight to Germany.  I'm doing my best to prepare us for all travel related scenarios, both good and bad.  Just interpreting the baggage and personal item guidelines for foreign airlines is time consuming and confusing.  Many people have told me to pack with extra room to bring back any gifts or souvenirs, but looking at the fee structure in place since 1/10 for over weight and extra bags... well, it seems kind of retarded.  Based on my understanding of Austrian Airlines policy, if you have ONE bag and it's over 23kg you pay a fee of $150 USD, but if you, instead bring a separate bag weighing up to an additional 23kg it only costs you $50 USD.  So it sounds like I'm better off bring 2 bags or perhaps nesting one inside the other for the flight to Germany. 

Also, the carry-on aka hand luggage policies are very confusing.  They read like you are allowed only one item up to 8kg.  So does this mean if my wife brings a carry-on suitcase, she has to leave her purse???  They also state any hand luggage weighing over 8kg will have to be checked.  I'm beginning to think I should pack a scale and tape measure for the trip!  At least the trains seem to have a relaxed stance on baggage.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Last lift before Europe!

12/15 lift power clean 2x225 deadlift 2x375 plus inclines up to 8x80

I can tell I'm dropping body weight and it's starting to affect my heavy lifts.  I once again did a bit of a split clean, as my left foot isn't popping out like it should.  The deadlifts went well, but I'm starting to feel a bit more like a leaf in the wind under heavy loads.  I've been weighing in around 212 lately, which is down from the 225 I was at around the time I hurt my back.  I'm expecting I'll drop more weight when we travel due to my limited food options, which isn't a bad thing, but I don't want it to mess with my lifts.  Tomorrow I will be running for sure.  We are supposed to get some winter weather tonight, so the run should be fun.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Monday log

12/13 lift box squat 6x320 towel bench 5x245 plus some ugly snatches 3x100 on right side only and pull-ups with 50lb kettlebell.

I figured I should clean this post up post-mortem.  My left shoulder is definitely "off."  I can't really think of another way to put it.  It happens every now and then where it starts to ache and I have some weakness in it.  Sometimes it can last for months, other times it clears up in a few weeks.  I need to be diligent with my rotator cuff exercises.  Our eurotrip should be a good time to focus on rotator cuff work as most hotel gyms have extremely light dumbells and you really don't need more than 10lbs to effectively target the cuff.  This was my first time doing pull-ups again in a few weeks and I don't feel like I lost much, if anything.  My forearm is not ready yet, that's for sure, but it felt good to do them.  I feel like my bench was hurt by leaving them out, either that or the dips were pushing my chest over the edge.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

45 minutes of training and almost 22 hours of continuous work

12/11 lift squat 1x300 (no beep) bench press 1x265 (after a near miss at 270) plus some rotator cuff work

I had to cram this little bit of lifting in on Saturday when I had about 45 minutes between changes for work.  We use a Safety Squat to make sure we are going deep enough on every rep and I didn't get low enough to make it beep on my single, hence, no beep.  I seem to have a serious sticking point in my bench, I just need to figure out what is causing it.  I come of the chest strong and get to where my elbow are about 90 degrees.  This is where I burn out.  I seem to be able to hold the weight at this spot forever but I can't get that last little bit of kick to lock out.  I dropped back to 265 and managed a molasses slow single to finish.  Did a my rotator cuff work as my left shoulder has something new and weird going on.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Building my Aerobic Base

12/8 spin SYNCCycling 60 mins

The +1 talked me into playing hooky instead of cycling on Tuesday, so we had to make up for it on Wednesday.  This meant weights and cardio on the same day, not one of my favorite things.  She hadn't forgotten about it and made a point to call me earlier in the day to make sure I signed up...  So off we went for a full 60 minute class.  I think I haven't done a full spin class since before Mexico, which would mean October.  We've done quite a few of the combo classes lately, but none of them having more than 30 minutes of spinning.  I muddled my way through it, lacking rhythm as always.  My knees are feeling very stiff and making lots of funny noises.  I hope things feel ok tomorrow.  If I have time and the energy, I might try and hit the ATT for another run.  I need to make the most of the last days before our trip.

Mixed Results

12/8 lift power clean 2x225 (after missing 1x240 and 235) deadlift 1x385 plus inclines of 70,80,75.

I won't say it was a bad day, but certainly not my best.  I can't seem to get both my feet to move on my cleans lately.  My left stays planted and my right steps back.  Perhaps it's related to my arch troubles with the left foot.  I think I'm still worn down from work, weather and running.  My lifting partner tells me I was shaking like a leaf on the deadlift single.  Not exactly what I wanted to hear, but my back is still in one piece, so I won't complain.  I need to focus on the fact that I only have a few lifting sessions left before we leave for our trip and make the most of them.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Muscular and Mental Failure

12/6 lift box squat 1x345 (failed 350) towel bench 2x255 (failed on 290, then 285)  snatches 5x70, 3x100 plus dips with +45

I think today was a perfect storm of failure due to too many hard lifting sessions in a short period of time and lack of sleep the last few days thanks to some work emergencies and Time Warner Cable failures. 

Let me explain.  I normally work from home and use a Time Warner Roadrunner turbo cable modem for my connection, but over the last 4 non-consecutive work days, my connection will start slowing down around 12-2am with an eventual complete loss of cable and tv signal by 3am.  This failure will last until around 8am or so.  After MANY MANY calls to their support desk and MANY MANY dispatch attempts to repair the problem (it's always working by the time they show up).  The problem has been classified as a group outage and the field techs have informed me the entire street, if not a larger area shows an outage during the exact same periods on these 4 nights.  At least I feel like we are making some progress.  I am told their overnight crew will be on the street watching the signal levels all night tonight and my devices have been put on high alert so a page/email goes out in the event of another outage to my specific equipment.  At this point, I intend to call our only other competing provider (if you could call it that), Frontier Communications and see about getting a DSL line installed as a backup.  I have lost what little faith I had in Time Warner Cable.  In the past I could count on them to consistently screw up my Tivo CableCARD setup and overcharge me on a monthly basis but I could also count on a decent internet connection in the deal, but those days are over.

Dashing through the snow

12/5 run 30ish minutes on Umstead trails in New Balance MT101's with left foot taped

I found a good video on how to tape your foot for plantar fascitiis.  Using some 3M nexcare tape I managed to do a half way decent job of taping it up.  This really paid off on the trail.  I had some pain on the back of my heel where the tape rubs, but otherwise my foot felt pretty good.  My right knee is a little sore and stiff but for such uneven and technical terrain I think I came out relatively unscathed. 

I was out of my comfort zone on this and in the +1's natural habitat.  I felt like I was chasing a snowshoe hare through the woods.  This worked out great, as it allowed me to focus on the terrain and her cute little posterior without having to worry about trail markers or mentally psyching myself out.  Perhaps I will ask her to wear a bunny tail on her running tights next time and I can just do my best impersonation of our retarded lab chasing rabbits in the yard with complete disregard for her personal safety.  Either way, I think we will make a weekend trail run together part of the regular schedule.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

less than 24 hours and another lifting session

12/4 squat 4x265 bench press 5x230 plus some my rotator cuff exercises

I puss'd out on the squats for the 5th rep.  I guess after taking deadlifts to the ragged edge only 16 hours ago I didn't want to push my luck.  My training partner has definitely jacked up his back.  Here's wishing him a speedy recovery.  He still worked up to 185 though.  My left shoulder felt "wrong" yesterday on the inclines and I could definitely feel it again today on the bench, so I did some rotator cuff exercises.  Now I need to try and get a run in this weekend, looks like it might be in the snow!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Rough Week with a Strong Finish

12/3 lift power clean 5x205 deadlift 5x365 plus incline dumbell presses with 70, 80 and 75.

After cover at work for an emergency from 8pm Wednesday until 7am Thursday and then having to take my car to the shop, pushing my bedtime back to after 9am.  I felt like crap all day Thursday.  Got some sleep and woke up for work on Friday at 7am sharp, as usual.  Still felt pretty crappy, but had a very productive day, so that helps.  My lifting partner had to go it alone today, as I was too busy with work.  He called me Friday evening and told me he hurt his back on the deadlifts!  Crap, I hope it's not as bad as what I am still going through.  This didn't help my mindset coming into the workout tonight, but my brother hit the iron with me.  This helped motivate me and keep me honest.  I managed to hit some new top numbers.  The last set of cleans turned into split cleans and the final set of deads was about as close to maximum effort as I've been since I hurt my back.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Another Solo Run

11/30 run  40ish minutes total:

3 minute warmup, then ran all the way down and back to the start followed by a 90 second walk and a run to the other end, then I walked another minute and ran back to the start.  Total time was around 40 minutes and close to 4 miles, I think.  I really wanted to run all the way to the other end and walk back to the start, but I was hurting too much to keep it up.  I wore my Mizuno Ascends in the hope they would provide me with some extra arch support for my ailing left foot.  They did an ok job, but my knees started hurting and I was starting to get some blisters toward the end of the run.  I'm going to try taping it next time and sticking with my New Balance MT101's for now.  I think the lifting from last night didn't catch up with me until the end of the run and now it's all hitting me like a ton of bricks. 

Evening workout of 5 sets of 5 reps

11/29 lift box squat 5x315 towel bench 5x245 plus snatches 5x70, 4x100 and dips with +45lbs for 3 sets.

I'm still not doing any pull-ups in order to heal up my forearm and it seems to be helping.  The squats felt really strong, as I continue to do them barefoot.  The towel bench felt heavy, but I think my weekend cardio cuts into my bench a little.  The snatches were hard, but I managed to get 4 clean.  The right side went off without a miss, but when I did the left side, I had I think I had two misses but managed to make them up.  We worked out around 8pm this time, off from our normal time of 1:30pm.  I think this might have left us a little more fatigued on some exercises from the activity of the day.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Combo Class @ SYNC

11/28 spin 30 mins yoga 45 mins

This was the SYNC combo class again.  It's turning into a regular thing on Sundays.  After working all night, it really helps to get me up and going on a day I would otherwise just lay around.  I want to thank the +1 for being a good sport and going with me after her morning runs, although I think the yoga makes her angry.  I felt like all the heaving Thanksgiving food I have been eating came back to visit me during the spinning portion, but I struggled through more out than in sync.

2nd Run

11/27 run 25+7 mins  I'm not exactly sure about how long the timing was but I ran down to the turn around and back, which is about 1.25 miles with the +1 then we walked to the other end and ran back, which was another 7 minutes or so.  I struggled a few times to settle in, but not bad for only my 2nd time running again.  My foot isn't killing me yet, so that is a good thing.  I hope to get away with 1-2 runs a week and mix up the rest of my cardio with spinning and other things.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Cookies, Pies and Icecream

11/26 lift squat 3x270 bench press 3x240 plus overhead presses with 50lb kettlebell and 55lb dumbells along with some dips +45lbs

Sadly this will not make up for all the cookies and potpie I crammed in my food hole today.  I'm sure I will pay for my gluttony tomorrow when I try to run my fatass a few miles.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Pre-turkey lifting

11/24 lift power clean 3x210 deadlift 3x350 plus incline dumbell presses up to 80lbs

My forearm was the worst it has been so far.  The cleans were painful but otherwise not too hard.  I moved up another 15lbs on the deadlift, which is still kind of low, but a good improvement from 4 weeks ago. 

Monday, November 22, 2010

11/22 lift box squat 3x345 towel bench 1+2ax265 

I needed an assist on the last two, my bench is falling off and I think it is because I'm dropping weight.  I'm going to try and eat more this week.  Although, my snatches went great.  I did 3x100 on each side without any trouble or failed attempts.  I think I could have done 4 or 5, but I'll save that for next week.  Also did the pull-ups with my busted forearm.  I keep thinking it will get better...

Another Sync class

11/21 spin/yoga Did the SYNC Combo class on Sunday.  My legs were already sore from running on Thursday and squats on Friday.  It was nice to do a little spinning again and keep my cardio up.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Older and Stronger

11/19 lift squat 3x265+3x255 bench press 5+1x225 Pull-ups with +45lbs

So, for my birthday, I treated myself to 13 hours of work and some solo lifting.  Since I was by myself I didn't want to risk failure on the squats, so I ended up doing 3 and 3, instead of the full six.  I got stuck on the last rep of the bench...again.  I think my legs were still in shock from running again, so the squats weren't my best.  I felt strong on the bench and I moved up on the other sets as well.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Running Out of Excuses

11/18 run 10+10 with a 2 min walk in between

My plan was to run to the end and walk back, which is about 1.25 miles.  Instead I ran to the end walked for a minute or two and ran back to the start.  I wore the New Balance MT101's and they didn't give me any problems.  My left foot still feels like it has some issues, but I'm going to see how it goes the next day and try to run again on Saturday.  It feels good to be back at it!

4,4,2 in the books

11/17 lift power clean 2x225 deadlift 2x370 plus incline dumbell pressed up to 80lbs

I made some decent increases today, moving up one of my 4 rep clean sets to 185 and adding another 5lbs to my deadlift double.  I can go heavier, but I want to take it slow and make sure my back feels good every step of the way.  I'm still not back to where I was before the hot yoga class, but it's getting better.

I will start running again this week, but my plan is to listen to my body more this time.  If I start to feel that pain in my foot again, I will immediately dial it back and start mixing up the cardio.  My plan is to alternate my vibrams and my mt101's (which I have yet to actually run in).  I will remedy that later this week.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

All working sets and no sleep makes jack a dull boy

11/16 lift box squat 6x315 towel bench 5x245

I decided to go shoeless today.  I used to lift without shoes more often or I wore wrestling shoes, which had no sole or heel lift.  I think the thick heels of my olympic lifting shoes were making it harder to drive off the box, as it's difficult to keep weight on your heels in a seated position with such a high lift.  Barefooting worked out great for the box squats, not only did I power through all the sets without any problems, but I was able to keep the box one notch lower, meaning I was having to go deeper on each rep too.

The towel bench was a repeat of 4 weeks ago, where I did 5 reps and got stuck on the 6th.  I went up 5lbs, so that makes sense.  The dumbell snatches turned out to be more of a problem than I realized.  I used to do all my barbell clean & jerk workouts barefoot, but now that I think about it, I never did any single arm snatches barefoot.  This turned out be a problem when I went to pop my feet out to lock the first snatch and my left ankle rolled inward, which caused a chain reaction torquing my knee, jamming my hip and back.  I think the knee got the worst of it based on how I feel right now.  I immediately went and put my shoes on but I had done enough damage that I struggled to hit a few clean ones on my right side and when I did my first one on the left side I wrenched my shoulder badly enough to call it a day on those.  The pull-ups went ok with the same +45lbs.  My right forearm is still giving me bad tendinitis problems, but I had bigger fish to fry at that point.  My goal for lifting tomorrow is to avoid any setbacks and take it a little easier.  I think I'm just so exhausted from the last few days.  Hopefully I can find some time to recharge my batteries this week before more company arrives and then Thanksgiving...

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

This should be two posts...

11/10 lift squat 1x285 bench press 2fx275  pull-ups +45lbs

I nearly got the 275 bench, so I figured I would write it down.  I should have just done 270, but I wanted a nice easy number.

11/10 hot core "yoga" 1hr

I have mixed feelings about calling this yoga, as it was more like an ab/core class in a sauna full of smelly people.  I'm not sure if it was dehydration or some of the questionable exercises that have resulted in current state of back pain.  All this is kind of ironic, as not even two hours before, I was in the garage working on the car thinking how great it was to be back pain free again, as I have some seriously painful memories of trying to work on the car when my back was at its worst.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Moving on up

11/9 lift power clean 1x235 deadlift 1x375

The clean was ugly and I definitely need to practice more cleans over 200lbs, but I got it without too much drama.  The sets leading up to deadlift max were more concerning than the actual max.  I did 245, 285, 345, 355 and 375.  The jump to 345 was a real shock to the system, but once I got my form in check the rest were easy.  I could have gone higher, but for the safety of my back, I plan to stick to no more than 10lbs a week.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Max Out of Time

11/8 lift box squat 2x335 towel bench 1x280 dumbell snatches 3x100

I missed an attempt at 345 on the box squat, which sucks, but I managed to get my 2 reps again with 335.  I kept the weight the same on the bench, but I should have moved up 5lbs.  My right forearm is a real mess and it's surprising how important grip is on a bench press.  I didn't do any pull-ups today in the hopes that will get better.  Even typing hurts at this point.  My plan is to do the pull-ups on Wednesday and see how it feels.  If I don't notice some improvement, I might take some NSAIDS for it.  I'm still undecided if down dogs in yoga help the forearm or hurt it.  Sometimes I think they make it worse and others I think the blood flow helps in the long run.  All I know is doing pull-ups almost every day in Mexico was not a good idea.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Sunday Cardio

11/7 spin/yoga 30 mins spinning and 45 mins yoga

I felt bad for skipping out on the +1's hot yoga class Saturday morning, but I was super tired.  So I made sure to sign up that night for a SYNCStudio combo class on Sunday.  Wow, I forgot how hard spinning can be...  Apparently I completely lost what rhythm I had picked up before our Mexico trip, so I just kept the tension up and the feet moving.  The yoga was ok, not my favorite poses or style, but it was nice to practice again.   Now I really have to up the cardio this week.  It's time to start running again.

Friday, November 5, 2010

5x5 week is on the books!

11/6 lift squat 5x265 bench press 5x225 and attempted seated overhead presses with 55lbs and pull-ups with +45lbs

I thought I was going to pop my breakfast out trying to do the squats, but I managed to pull them off.  This was definitely at my limit.  We kept the bench the same, as we went up 10lbs 4wks ago.  I think I could have gone up 5lbs, but we've had a tough week and next workout will be moved up to Sunday.  Since we leave for the beach on Thursday, I will be trying to cram in all of our 5,4,3,2,1 workouts into the next 5 days.  Looks like I'm supposed to be doing some kind of hot yoga tomorrow.  I'd rather do my regular yoga, but I'll do my best to humor the +1, plus I get to see her wear her new shorts!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Back on Track

No, really, my back is back on track!

11/3 lift power clean 5x190 deadlift 5x355 plus incline dumbell presses with 65, 80 and 70's

This is the toughest back workout I've done since before my first back injury.  5 sets of 225,275,315,335 and 355.  This was our first time doing 3 sets over 300lbs, which really put my back to the test.  My back doesn't feel great, but it's not horrible either.  Something kind of funny and disturbing we realized in the middle of our deadlift sets, is that the bar we use for power cleans and deadlifts is seriously bent!  You can see it very clearly when turning the bar with the plates resting on the ground.  This really freaks me out with my concerns about twisting when I pull and how it could contribute to back injury.  Looks like it's finally time to invest in a quality bar.  I'm glad we are finally "back on track" for our Mon/Wed/Fri workouts, at least until the end of next week, as we leave for the OBX Marathon on Thursday.  Tomorrow I need to do yoga and perhaps start running again...

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Back to the weight pile

11/2 lift box squat 5x295 towel bench 5x245 plus snatches 2x100 and pull-ups with 5x +45lbs

The squat we moved up 10lbs for all 5 sets and the bench stayed the same from 4 weeks ago.  I could have probably hit 315 on the squat, but I think it's better to ease back into things.  The bench was near max effort though, but we did add 10lbs only 4 weeks ago.  I only did 2 snatches on each each side with the 100lb dumbell, as I didn't want to miss any reps, in order to build my confidence for hitting more reps next week.  I felt this was more important than the actual number after the fiasco that was Monday's snatches before the trip, where I was missing multiple attempts.  I'm a big believer in having to do something right twenty times to make up for doing it wrong one time.  We are going to lift again tomorrow, so I plan to take it easy the rest of the evening.  I will say today's 5 sets of 5 reps felt a hundred times better than last week's 3 sets of 3 reps.  I think Mexico and the layoff really helped to restore some of my energy.

In other news, I'll try and get all the photos from Mexico up on my site for everyone to enjoy.  Maybe even a video or two...

Monday, November 1, 2010

Stay Busy

10/31 Mexico

Treadmill 20 mins
push-ups and various sit-ups
then I grabbed the 50lb dumbells for a few exercises of roughly 2 sets and 5-10 reps of each
2x incline curls
2x seated overhead presses
2x seated one-arm rows
2x bent-over rows
2x alternating dumbell bench press
Some rope cable press-downs and curls along with cable crossovers and reverse cable crossovers (delts)
various yoga poses including a bunch of inversions
another 20+ mins on the treadmill

The +1 had a 12 miler today, so I did my best to hang out while she busted out the treadmill time.  The hotel gym requires shoes for working out, so I had to do all my yoga and treadmill time in shoes, which really sucks.  Yoga pose alignment is crucial and it starts in the feet.  When your feet are sliding around in a pair of shoes, it's nearly impossible to line everything up correctly.   The treadmill was just as bad, as they would go numb in the first 10 minutes.  I didn't do any pull-ups and my forearms already feel a little better today.  I don't think we are going to workout again before heading to the airport, but you never know...

Finding Snorkland

10/30 snorkeling in mexico

The +1 is not for snorkel, so I went with eight other people in our wedding party.  This was my first time snorkeling ever.  My main concern was not getting sick on the boat ride to the reef.  Lucky me, the boat ride was less than 10 minutes.  I had a bit of anxiety when we got there, as I've never used a snorkel before, but it turned out to be a ton of fun.  Once I figured out how to defog my goggles by periodically taking them off and dunking them in the ocean; I had a great time.  We saw lots of fish schools, barracuda and conchs.  The reef was beautiful and I got a pretty good workout for about an hour.

Day Late and a Peso Short

10/29 mexico

10 mins on treadmill (I think)
push-ups and handstand push-ups
various sit-ups and v-ups and side-ups

I didn't get in much of a workout on the 29th, as I wanted to do the "rifle shooting" activity.  After I walked up and down the beach to find out where they were shooting rifles, This turned out to be more of a "two kids shooting a BB gun" activity.  I skipped it and headed back to the hotel gym.  I keep doing pull-ups, even though my forearms and hands are having serious issues from all the lifting I did before leaving town.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Finding Eduardo Sanchez

10/28 mexico
10 minutes warm-up walk on treadmill around 6-8km/h
5 cycles of:
10 pushups
10 abs (v-ups, bicycle, side-ups, crunch etc)
10 pull-ups
lunges from one end of workout room to the other and back

I did this cycle 5 times and finished with around 5-10 minutes on the treadmill at the same 6-8km/h pace and some basic yoga poses to stretch.  I hope this loosens my back and neck up.  I've been feeling under the weather since we arrived at the hotel.  I think the combination of air and land transport motion sickness plus heat and sun have taken their toll.  I just hope I don't have any food related issues while south of the border.

Wednesday's Leftovers

10/27 lift squat 3x265 bench press 3x230 pull-ups with +45lbs and overhead presses with 50lb dumbells plus my rotator cuff workout

Tired, that sums up this workout perfectly.  We were tired and worn out before we even started.  I hope the break will give us both time to recover and revitalize our training.  Now for the Mexico workouts....

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


10/26 lift power clean 3x210 deadlift 3x335


10/25 lift box squat 2+1x335 towel bench 2+1x270 

Missed a bunch of snatches with the 100lber, I think I only completed 1-2 per side with another 3 almost there.  Pull-ups were equally hard.  I think we are both burning out a little bit.  I'm dropping weight, so that is part of the problem.  I think the Mexico break is going to be good for us.  It might be time to taper back down and then build up again.  I can feel it mentally, as well.  You can tell just by looking at my recent posts.  It's all I can do just to document each day.

Sunday, October 24, 2010


10/23 spin 60 mins

Did another one of these on some pretty beat up legs.  The girl in front of me was always out of rhythm, which kept throwing me off.  My knees are aching right now, but I hope some sleep tomorrow will alleviate that.  I'm taking Sunday off.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

almost there...

10/22 lift squat 6x255 bench press 5+1x220 plus dips and pull-ups.

I don't know what it is about 10, 8, 6 week, but it's turning into one of the hardest weeks.  We have moved the weights up for each working set to our absolute limits.  Instead of working up to a maximum effort, it's now warm-up sets and then 3 sets of maximum effort lifting.  I'm glad we wrap this up next Wednesday, but I'm not looking forward to 3 lifting days back to back.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Finish Strong

10/21 spin 60 mins

Doing my best to get in at least two spin classes a week.  I do think I'm getting a little better at it, but I still have no rhythm.  Since we are leaving on next Thursday, the plan is to lift on Mon, Tues and Wed.  I want to get in at least one workout this weekend too.  Now if I can finalize these holiday plans..

Too Busy to Post

10/20 lift power clean 2x225 deadlift 2x365 plus 2 sets of 55lb dumbell incline curls and 3 sets of incline dumbells press working up a 10x80lb set.

Not bad progress, as both the core lifts are using the weight I singled last week.  The deadlift is still in my head pretty bad, but I haven't hurt my back yet...I think this is my longest stretch with reinjuring the back.  I've been so busy trying to sort out holiday plans I nearly forgot to write up a post.  Not much else to report.  I did nothing on Tuesday.  I need to hit the afternoon yoga and the spin class tomorrow, unless I'm out chasing the +1 on my bike (which is a good possibility).  If that's the case, I will need to really push hard the whole time, as I really need some brutal cardio.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Medoc 10 Mile Trail Race Report


I barely had time to eat my breakfast before they finished galavanting through the woods for 10 miles.  It seemed kind of silly to have the first mile be a down and back on the access road, but it was a great opportunity for spectators and allowed me to figure out and relay their positions in the pack.  Medoc is probably the best trail race for a spectator due to the out and back first mile and the long field run to the finish.  The +1 one finished 8th in her age group and TD finished 5th in hers!  They are definitely in for next year as everything about Medoc was great.  The trail, organization, layout and schwag were all awesome.  If I ever decide to do longer runs, this one is definitely at the top of my list.  Say it with me:


Squat and Cycle

10/18 lift 1:30pm box squat 4+2x315 towel bench 5+1x240  snatches 4x100 and the usual pull-ups

Wow, we have pushed our weights up on the working sets for 10, 8 and 6 reps to the point of bombing on occasion and this was one of those occasions.  This used to be an easy recovery week, but now each weight is at the limit for the required number of reps.  I was so tired on the snatches, I had to do 6 on my left side as I missed lock out on two of them.  I had a really scary moment on my first rep with the 100lber, as my right hand slipped at the top of the snatch.  Thank goodness I was able to get my palm under the weight or it would have fallen on my head.  So I completed my first rep looking like a waiter carrying a tray.

10/18 spin 5:45pm 60 mins

So apparently doing heavy squats before a spin class isn't a good idea.  I made it through the class, but not my best performance.  I would rate this one up there with the intermediate class, maybe a few less sprints, but if you keep your tension where it should be; it's just as hard.  I think I excel at slow, high resistance climbs and suck at sprints.  This kind of makes sense with my build and how I train.  These last two spin classes feel like I'm moving backwards.  My legs feel heavy and my lungs are struggling to supply them with oxygen.  Hopefully it's just a little bit of overtraining and lack of sleep giving me troubles.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Out of Sync

10/17 spin/yoga spin 30 mins yoga 45 mins

We made it to another combo class at SYNCStudio today.  I think taking the last two days off did more harm than good.  Working all night and waking to an upset stomach didn't help either.  My legs felt sluggish the entire class, and I still have no rhythm.  The yoga went fine,  I even brought my mat, which I haven't used since I hurt my back.  It's nice to do a shorter practice as I ease my way back into it.  My foot is unhappy again, but I've stopped taking the diclofenac for now.  My plan is no running and no NSAIDs for another week.  I really hope this foot problem doesn't become chronic and I can start my running again.  I would like to do a trail race in early December before the big one in February.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

random diet info

10/15 just work

Since we did our Friday workout on Thursday, I didn't do anything today outside of regular work.  I think I should devote this post to something of use, so I'm going to talk a little about my gluten free diet.  I have celiac disease that was caught fairly early and it's been a real blessing in disguise.  I used to eat this clean, but slowly, over the last few years, I drifted away from it.  This made the transition to gluten free eating relatively painless for me and I have added motivation to eat clean (so I don't feel ill).

big ole bowl of quinoa w/ raisins or banana & walnuts (sometimes honey or maple syrup)
whole avocado
2 hard boiled eggs

carrots and/or sweet peppers
string cheese stick
berries or piece of fruit
2 corn tortillas with turkey and apple butter

sweet potato
lean protein (burger, chicken breast, fish etc)
frozen veggies (things like peas, brussels sprouts, corn, greenbeans

There are plenty of days I don't eat this clean.  Dinner is the big offender, and sometimes gluten free desserts sneak into the house...  The main adjustments I've made from a more traditional clean diet are the addition of the quinoa and the corn tortillas instead of bread for my sandwiches.  The quinoa is easily cooked in a rice cooker.  I realize there are better rice cookers out there, but I've had this one for 15+ years and it's still going strong.  Yes, I actually asked for a rice cooker for Christmas...  I've learned to cook it using the brown rice instructions instead of the white rice ones, which softens the texture a bit (more water).  For eggs, we use our toaster which can hard boil up to four eggs at a time.  I haven't dusted off my bread maker yet, as I'm worried about trying to clean out all the gluten from loaves past.  I have the original Trillium Breadman, it's so old I can't even find a picture online.  You can see it on the cover of The Breadman's Healthy Bread Book.  I think I made just about every recipe in this book back in the day.  I have fond memories of having a slice of fresh bread I made before heading out the door to wait for the school bus, so I was definitely under, I must have been a weird kid.  I use a Foreman 360 Grill to cook lean proteins, gluten free pancakes and grilled cheese.  If anyone has a question about my diet, which I call "eating clean for lazy people," please leave a comment.  I'd be happy to help with any celiac related questions, as well.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Thursday is the New Friday

10/14 lift squat 1x285 bench press 1x260 plus 3 sets of pullups and dips with +40lbs on the 2nd set

I should point out that we made significant increases to the weights we used for our 5,4,3 and 2 rep sets, so this made the singles even harder.  We should start adding more weight on the dips, even though my shoulders sound like rusty hinges doing them.  The squat was brutal for me, but I'm still relearning how to fire my back and hips without pain.  If I can keep from hurting my back again, I bet I could hit some of my old numbers in the next two months.  My lifting partner tried to talk me into doing 275 on the bench, but I stuck with my 5lb increase from last month.  This was probably for the best, as I got a little crooked when I went to press it out and I don't think I could have recovered with another 15lbs on the bar.

Running Shoes for a Guy who Hates Running and Shoes

If you have been reading my early posts before I started to have problems with my left foot, I was running exclusively in Vibram KSO treks.  The only problem I had with them was blisters on my big toes, until I started to develop the tendinitis in my left foot.  I think this is really a mechanics issue, as I've always rolled in more on my left foot and I can tell it's not as strong as my right.

I was wearing Mizuno Wave Inspire 5's and Wave Ascend 4's before I got my VFF's.  I wore the Ascend 4's for the Leatherneck (USMC Mud Run) as I wanted maximum traction.  They didn't let me down, but they did get super heavy after slogging through the deepest, thickest mud I've ever seen.  After the race I did one last one run in my VFF's, which is what put me out of commission.  I haven't run a step since September 30th, in the hopes of healing this foot and coming back stronger than ever.

When I first started having problems with my left foot, I tried to find a pair of shoes that would allow me to keep my barefoot running style, but still offer some protection from rocks and support for my plantar fascia.  I went to Bull City Running Company and Evan had me try the Brooks Green Silence, Saucony Kinvara and Mizuno Wave Precision 11.  I got to run up and down the block in each pair and tried most of them on more than once.  I'll go ahead and tell you I ended up with the Brooks Green silence, but that isn't where the story ends.  A little background before I give you my thoughts on each shoe.  I wear between 11.5-12.5 in a 2E width, so the toe box can be a big issue for me.

Mizuno Wave Precision 11:  These shoes felt the most familiar to me and probably the most comfortable.  I think this is because they really aren't much different than my Wave Inspire 5's.  If you had blindfolded me and put me in a new pair of each, I probably couldn't tell the difference.  This is a good thing if you like the Inspire 5, which I do, but it's really not a minimalist shoe.  The shoe is pretty light, but the sole is of traditional thickness with a normal heel to toe drop.  I think it's a great shoe, but not one that encourages a forefoot strike or a barefoot running style.

Saucony Kinvara:  This is probably the best shoe for a hard surface forefoot runner or someone looking to dabble in barefoot style running.  The sole is thick and supportive, but the heel to toe drop is minimal (4mm I think).  They felt pretty good, but I'm concerned about the lack of rubber on the forefoot, especially the prime impact areas (outside edge).  The shoe didn't seem rugged enough for trails or with enough rubber to survive very long on pavement.  If I started running on hard surfaces, I think this would be my shoe until there are more options with a minimal heel to toe drop.

Brooks Green Silence:  These are the shoes I took home and did two runs of about 3 miles in.  They are pretty minimal.  Not much support and very lightweight.  They do have a pretty substantial heel to toe drop and a decent amount of sole.  I think my problems with them relate to me being such a heavy guy with wide feet.  They just felt too squishy and I had to get them in a larger size to accommodate the width of my feet.  The extra length and squishiness made it hard for me to get comfortable in my stride.  I found the shoes exacerbated my left foot issues.  I could manage the pain and adjust more easily in my VFF's.  I think they would be a great shoe for a lighter runner with narrower feet.

This brings me to my latest pair of shoes.  I'm still not running yet, but I did some shoe shopping the other day, as I really think I need a shoe to alternate with the VFF's, especially when I start my rehab running.  I think I might have found a winner in the New Balance MT101.  I've been reading some of Anton Krupicka's articles and I find he's most in tune with what I'm looking for in my running.  I know he runs a good bit in the MT101 and helped design it, so I figured it was worth checking out, as the New Balance Minimus won't show up until February.  I'm really digging this shoe.  The sole is thin, there is a nice rock plate to protect me.  The toe box is extremely wide, so I could buy it in my actual size.  The shoe still has a heel to toe drop, but I think the minimal sole height is going to be a bigger factor.  I'll report back once I actually run in them.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Mental vs. Mechanical

10/13 lift power clean 1x225 deadlift 1x365 plus incline dumbells 5x65,5x70,7x75 and dumbell hammer curls 2x7x85

Today I was able to push through the mental barrier I've been harboring on the deadlift.  After another back injury with 365 four weeks ago and a few times where I went to pull 365 and felt like I was going to re-injure myself; I finally did it.  I was only planning to do 335, but my 325 double felt so light, I knew I had the strength to complete the lift, I just needed to get my head right and keep my back lined up and evenly pull my left and right sides.  The actual pull was easy, if I wasn't scared of popping something loose, I could have done something in the 380-405 range.  The best part is my core actually felt stable.  This is the first time I can say that in a long time.  I've done some heavy box squats, regular squats and deadlifts, but I haven't felt stability in my core since I first injured my back.  I wonder if the NSAID is part of what's helping.  Whatever it is, I'll take it.  I used to have incredible back strength and it feels great to see a glimmer of that again.  We have to max out on regular squat and bench tomorrow, so hopefully I will have good things to report on Thursday!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Spin Cycled, Permanently Pressed and Tumbled Dry

10/12 spin 60 mins beginner/intermediate

Apparently I'm a baby spinner because this class kicked the crap out of me.  I think in part due to the intermediate level, there was no instruction prior to each move and they were all done so fast I had trouble catching on.  I had a hell of a time trying to keep up.  I could keep my pedals at the right cadence, but I could never get my upper body to match.  The various 6+ minute climbing sessions didn't help either.  I just hope my knees and my foot feel alright tomorrow.  I think I spent a lot more time off the seat and with significantly more tension and higher pace.  My left foot was starting to hurt like it did from running toward the end of the class.  I think I will try and stick to the basics classes for a few more weeks.  I also wore a new pair of compression shorts that were crushing my FUPA, which messed with my breathing.  I never realized I was such a belly breather until I wore these shorts!

The schedule for this week has changed again, as my lifting partner couldn't make it today, so we are lifting on Wednesday and Thursday.  I still might try to get in a yoga or a ninjafit on Wednesday and Thursday.

Monday, October 11, 2010

All Mixed Up

10/11 lift box squat 2x325 (failed 335) towel bench 1x280 dumbell snatches 4x100 and pull-ups +40lbs

I made good on my promise to get 4 reps of snatches on each side with the 100 pounder.  I also successfully added 5lbs to my towel bench max.  My box squat was up, but still no where near what it should be.  For comparison's sake, my lifting partner did 410 for his single, which means if I hadn't hurt my back, I would be doing at least that much.  I still don't have the feeling of stability in my core I had before my back injury.  I hope this comes back with time, as I think it keeps my body from firing on all cylinders on back related lifts.

This week is going to be all mixed up, as we are doing the power cleans and deadlifts tomorrow.   My lifting partner is out of town on Friday, so I think we will do Monday, Tuesday and Thursday for lifts.  I've also signed up for a spin class already.  So, my plan for Wednesday will be ninjafit and yoga.  Thursday weights and ninjafit.  When we made these plans I think he was trying to avoid lifting on Thursday, but I hope I'm wrong, as I really don't want to try and do max outs on 3 days in a row!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Easy Like Sunday Morning

10/10/10 nothing

Today I took it easy.  Cooked my quinoa for the week in the rice cooker with some sweet potatoes in the steamer rack.  I used the brown rice instructions for adding water last time.  This time I used the white rice instructions and it's definitely made the texture much firmer.  I'm not sure which style I like better.  I made 4 cups this time, so 1 more cup from last week.  Made omelets with deli turkey and cheese for the +1 and myself.  Also got some groceries for the week.  Cooked some salmon on the Foreman for dinner.  This is my first time doing a salmon fillet on the new Foreman and I overcooked it.  I tried a last minute marinade of honey and a fresh orange.

My foot is still not right, but my gait is getting better each day.  I'm still taking the diclofenac and I think I will for the next week.  I did work the legs and feet over with The Stick and my Foam Roller.  I guess this counts as something, as I was pouring with sweat after working out all the knots.  This week is 5,4,3,2,1 on the weights, so I'll be trying to hit some new max outs.  I'd also like to get in two ninjafits, yogas and spinning classes.  I figure with my forced layoff in less than three weeks (Mexico), I should try and peak.  I'm not talking about competition level, but I haven't tried to push myself like I used to in a long time.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Dead Legs

10/9 spin 60mins

Did another "basics" class at SYNCStudio on Saturday.  I decided to try my mountain bike shoes (Specialized).  They worked pretty good, but the bottoms of my feet started to get numb about half way through.  I also felt like I have my cleats set a little too far back from the ball of my foot.  I never noticed this on my mountain bike before and I remember spending a lot of time to get it setup right, so I wonder if the clips are offset on the spinning pedals.  My shoes have laces and velcro, so they are a real pain to put on and take off before and after class.  I'll probably get a dedicated pair of spin shoes if we decide to keep going.

I enjoyed the class, but I continue to struggle with keeping in time with the teacher.  I seem to catch on to a little bit more each class.  I think I might finally get my seat setup just right in the next class.  So far my knees feel ok this time, but I'm reserving judgment until after the next 48 hours.  Otherwise, my body is done from the waist down.  Between the lunges, burpees, squats and spinning over the last few days, I just want to sleep through the rest of the weekend.  I was thinking about getting in another workout on Sunday, but I'm going to take the wait and see approach on that one.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Tired Legs

10/8 lift squat 5x255 bench press 4x225 (needed an assist on the 5th one, as I was uneven at the bottom and hit the stops, throwing off my alignment)  pull-ups and dips

My upper glutes and quads already felt swollen and sore from the lunges and burpees yesterday.  I couldn't believe how heavy each set of squats felt.  I had to do breathing squats once we got over 200lbs.  I don't know how my lower body has gotten so weak, but we still moved up 5lbs on the squat and 10lbs on the bench.  I think my foot is feeling a little better today.  I'll be interested to see if spinning on Saturday makes it sore again.  I think I might wear my mountain bike shoes.


10/7 ninjafit WOD lunges from the dojo to the end of the shopping center and back, followed by 100 burpees

I'm not sure if this was easier than running 3 laps around the complex or not, but the runners finished before the lungers (yes, I know that is not a word).  So I think we got the short end of the stick.  I might have skipped a few burpees, as I'm not used to counting that high, especially under duress. I didn't make the morning yoga, but, instead, I got some DIY improvement projects done around the house.  I think we have spinning class on tap for Saturday and I'm not sure about Sunday yet.  I know the +1 has to run more miles on Sunday than I usually drive in a week, so she's probably going to want to take it easy by the time I wake-up.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Double Day

10/6 1:30pm power clean 5x185 deadlift 5x335  Also did some 5x75 on the inline presses and I did some incline and regular curls 5x55 dumbells.

The cleans went well and I moved up a good bit, although I wasn't moving my feet, but I didn't have to with the weights.  The deadlift really got in my head after hurting myself again on 365 two weeks ago and feeling like something was hurt on the top set last week.  I worked hard on keeping my back protected and the 335 felt good.

10/6 5:30pm Duke obstacle course (mostly upper body)

The course was fun, I feel like I should have worked harder and done each obstacle more times, as we walked it due to my foot injury.  I was planning to do another loop, but we ran out of daylight.  I really didn't have any business doing the box jumps or some of the other jumping obstacles, but I did them anyways.  The walk back to the car is pretty hilly and I could tell my foot was pissed off at me.  Hopefully I didn't set myself back too far doing these.  Tomorrow, my plan is to hit yoga at 11am and ninjafit at 7:30pm.  This should keep my cardio up, assuming the WOD isn't something that will do more damage to my foot.  Speaking of which, I forgot to take my evening diclofenac...  Bedtime!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Along for the ride

The +1 had her speed work today, so I took out my mountain bike and tried to get in a few miles along with her.  I biked the whole time she was running, going ahead and coming back to check on her progress.  I made a point to try some of the stuff we did in spinning on a live bike and it's hard!  Just like running, it takes a while to settle in on the bike.  When I first went out to catch her, I found my quads were burning like crazy as I tried to power along at maximum velocity.  I would do sprints here and there and then try and hold a fast cadence.  Hopefully my knees will feel ok tomorrow, as I was clipped in with the SPD's and I'm still not sure I have the angles right.

10/5 bike 10ish miles

Monday, October 4, 2010

Photos of team "Ground Game" from the USMC Mud Run

At least someone looks like they are having a good time!
Practicing our zombie impressions for Halloween.
Just out for a stroll.
Is that a floater!
Ten feet never seemed so high.
Half way there!
All you can do is hang on for the ride.
I'm pretty sure this is right after the guy dropped me.
I decided to mix it up with a little Frankenstein's monster impression.
Bulletproof tiger!
You can do-eeet!
Coming down the mountain.
Almost there!
But a true champion, face to face with his darkest hour, will do whatever it takes to rise above. A man fights, and fights, and then fights some more. Because surrender is death, and death is for pussies. --Kenny Powers

back in the 5x5's

10/4 lift box squat 5x275 towel bench 5x245

The most dreaded week of lifting has returned.  We are back on five sets of five reps, which is always demoralizing.  I did my snatches 5x65 and 3x100 again.  I definitely need to do four or five reps with the 100 next week.  Pull-ups were with 40lbs, our second week at the new weight.  My back feels a little funny from being hunched over on the spinning bike over the weekend.  I made sure to look at the ceiling on the squats and not allow my back to round when I would sit on the box.  I have started doing the 6 holes showing on the box for all my sets.  The bench was really hard, as we did 225 for the 4th set and that was a struggle.  Somehow I still managed to gut out all 5 reps using 245 without any help.

Looks like I might be doing the 8 mile Uwharrie Mountain Run in February.  The +1 has asked me about it and today I brought it up with my lifting partner and he expressed an interest in joining me on the 8.  This is probably for the best, so the +1 doesn't feel like she's leaving me behind if she does the 20 miler (which she should).

My foot is still bothering me, but it's much better than last week.  I plan to do ninjafit tomorrow and take it easy on the foot otherwise.  I would see about spinning again, but my old posterolateral corner injury is bothering me after Sunday.  So I've been babying both legs today.  If it clears up by Thursday, I might try and get in a spinning session.  I'm still a long way from trying to run again, but at least things are getting better instead of worse!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Spun Out

10/3 30 min spin 45 min yoga

We did another spinning class at SYNCStudio.  This one was half spinning and half yoga.  Online registration showed the class to be mostly empty, but when we arrived the only pair of bikes available were on the front row next to the instructor.  This sucked extra bad, as I was the only dude in the whole class.  I struggled to keep in rhythm with the instructor, but we survived the class.  As long as my back feels good lifting this week, I'll continue to work in a few spin classes.  The vinyasa portion of the class was a nice change of pace and my back felt ok.  I still don't like doing all the forward folds, but I think my back is doing better with them.

I will be getting in some of the ninjafit classes this week and maybe a few Anusara classes, as well.  I think this should keep me in decent shape without being able to run.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Spin it to Win it

10/2 spin 60 mins

This is my first time trying to do one of these.  My only complaint is the height of the handlebars.  They don't go up high enough.  My seat ends up being higher than the bars, because they run out of adjustment.  This was fine for the first half or so of class, then my back begin to really really hurt.  I think I will do some more of the classes and see if it gets to be more manageable as I become familiar with the classes.

On a positive note, it loosened up my foot for a few hours, allowing me to walk normally.  Things have tightened up again, but I think it might be good for it in the long run.

Friday, October 1, 2010


Ok, it's official, I seriously messed up my foot.  I can no longer walk normally without excruciating pain on the push off of every step.  I now walk flat footed on my left side, which results in a nice Igor style limp.  I can flex my foot up and walk on tip toes without much pain, but the push off from full extension is like being stabbed with a knife around the back sides of my heel.  I'm not sure if it's just the tendons on either side of the achilles or more stuff is going on.  Looks like I won't be trying to run for a week or so. I plan to keep taking the NSAIDs and work around it.  I hope I can learn from this one.  One of my biggest training goals, right now, is consistency.  It's something I have felt I've lacked in the past few years and an area that makes the biggest difference in long term results.  I need to realize consistency at all costs is not the best way.  There is a fine line between pushing through to the other side and drowning on the way there.  I think I pushed too hard this time.  Now I need to practice consistency in my other training and my rehabilitation

Lift 10/1 squat 3x260 bench press 3x235 

Also did the pull-ups with 40lbs, up from 35lbs for the new month.  We swapped the overhead presses for dips, as they seem to be more applicable to the obstacle course based training.  We used the same 40lbs on the belt this time.  It felt pretty light, so I think we will be back up to the 90lbs+ we used to do on dips in no time.  Squats are still a struggle with the back injury, but I managed to move up 5lbs.  I need to focus on building my squat variations and take it easy on the deadlifts for awhile.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Collateral Damage

Today I was planning to run solo, but the +1's reindeer games got cancelled, so we ran together.  My foot was probably the worst it's been before we started running, but, in the past, I've felt like running loosened it up a bit.  I think the slow pace helps keep it in check too.  The ground was still very wet and muddy with standing water on either sides of the trail.  This made a great soft surface for my VFF's, so I pushed the pace in the beginning, but the foot just got worse and worse.  I finally stopped before we reached the start, but we only walked for 2 minutes in the beginning, so if I had done the full 5 minute walk, I think we would have reached the start.

9/30 run 25ish minutes continuous sub 10min/mile

I hated to stop, but I think the benefits are no longer outweighing the damage.  I'm limping so bad it's starting to make my right hip hurt.  I took a diclofenac, which is what my doctor prescribed when I had the foot x-rayed.  I'm going to make a point to take them every 12hrs for the next week or so and layoff the foot.  I hate to not run, but I have to do something to let it heal or I will never be able to really push myself.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Rainy Days

9/29 lift power clean 3x205 deadlift 3x320 incline dumbells 7x75 and some curls

Everything felt heavy today, I didn't have much pop on the cleans.  I actually wasn't planning to deadlift over 275, but I was too lazy to take off the plates, so I ended up doing 320.  My plan is to stick to 5lbs a week, in the hopes I don't pop my back again..again.  I could definitely feel it kind pinching after the 320 set.  I went up on the incline presses, as we were doing 85's until we got the extra dumbells.  I figure with my shoulder starting to feel good again, I should pick it up.

I found something that makes my foot hurt worse than running!  It's standing, I had to stand around for about 3 hours on Tuesday and today, even walking a few feet has me in a world of pain.  I plan to run tomorrow, so I hope it heals up tonight.

Day Off

I ran out of time to workout on Tuesday, but it was probably for the best.  Not a whole lot to report.  My knees and foot are still kind of beat up from the Mud Run.  Looks like we will be doing the Palmetto State O-run on March 26th.  This is another team based obstacle course.  The obstacles seem to be more team oriented and there are no intentional mud pits, so I should be able to get away with wearing my contacts.  It's another 4 mile course, so I think we will be shooting for the one hour mark, this time.

Monday, September 27, 2010


9/27 lift box squat 3x325 towel bench 3x265 plus the regular pullups with 35lbs and dumbell snatches 5x65 and 3x100

This is actually the first day my shoulder has felt good again on the snatches.  I still struggle with my back on the squats, but I started raising the box up a notch due to my height.  I think the limited depth of the rack is making it hard for me to come off the box properly.  Next time, I plan to sit further forward on the box and really push my chest out to keep my back in alignment when I start to come up.  The bench felt pretty good, as this was a 10lb increase over 4 weeks ago.

My right knee is doing a bit of clicking from the Mud Run, but I think it will work itself out after a few days of taking it easy.  I don't think I will run tomorrow, but I might do something else to stay active.  I got my left heel and ankle x-rayed today, due to the pain and swelling all around it.  The x-ray didn't show any fractures (which is pretty normal even with a stress fracture) so I plan to keep running on it but at a slow pace.  I will definitely be adding some more stuff into the schedule to improve my aerobic and anaerobic conditioning.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

USMC Mud Run Report aka Obligatory Long Post

1- Leatherneck Welcome
5' Wall (x3) - each team member must navigate over
I remember thinking as I hit the wall, "I hope my foot doesn't come apart on my landing." Thankfully everything held the together.  The walls looked really high, but I was able to explode over them pretty easily.  I do remember getting over the last wall and thinking, "holy shit, I better save something for the other thirty plus obstacles."

2- The Perfume River
Wall Climb with Rope - each team member must navigate creek and use ropes provided to exit creek
This was more of a fun obstacle than a challenging one, although it was the beginning of the heavy wet shoes.  The climb out wasn't high, so the rope was more of just an assist.

3, 4, and 5- Funchilin Pass
#3 Under Bar Slide (15' length, 8' high) - each team member jumps up and grabs the bar and slides down the bar feet first; 
I was afraid the bar would be hard to hold onto, but it wasn't too bad.  Good thing we got our legs wet on the obstacle before, as this allowed me to slide my legs and just use my hands to push myself along without excess abrasion.

#4 Mud Hole (under logs - each team member crawls under the logs through the mud;
I think this was the low bastard that fucked up my contacts.  The water was thick with mud and sand and it was too low for me to keep both eyes above the water, so I had to dip one side of my head under to clear the logs.  I came out half blind but still able to jog to the next obstacle while waiting for my tear ducts to kick in so I could unclench my eye.

#5 Culverts - each team member crawls through the tunnel on hands and knees
The sewage pipes were more of an annoyance due to the abrasion factor and the mud kicked up by the person in front of you.  I had to be careful about how closely I followed people on obstacles to protect my contacts. 
6, 7 and 8- The Ho Chi Minh Trail
#6 Rope Swing - each team member runs up jumps to grab a rope and swings across the water to the other side
I realize now that I should have come running at full speed and jumped onto the rope and used my momentum to carry me across, but instead, I did like everyone else and ran into the ditch grabbed the rope, ran back up the hill and then swung across.  I think we were all wanting to do our Tarzan impressions.

#7 Low Crawl under cammie net - each team member crawls on their chest underneath camouflage netting
This obstacle sucked for the wrong reasons.  The problem was under the net they had laid down tarps and poured sand on top of them, but the sand was mostly dry and the tarps were much too low to bear crawl, so you couldn't help but tear up your knees and elbows.

#8 Wall Climb (15' height) - each team member climbs to the top of the wall and up and over then down the other side 
This wall was my first realization that a lot of people could get seriously hurt doing this course.  The wall has no safety nets and the ground on both sides was pretty firm.  It's just a big wall of wooden slats cover in wet, slippery mud.  I had to be super careful not to get too close while surveying the wall and to not look up once I started climbing due to the amount of dirt falling off of everyone.  I used to love to climb stuff when I was younger and I think it really showed on some of these obstacles, as I could clear them very quickly for someone with no practice.

9, 10, and 11- Bunker Hill
#9 Log Crossing - each team member walks the length of the log across the top of the pit to the other side without falling
I had actually thought about balance obstacle training and had made a point to walk along the wooden beams edging the gravel path by the parking lot we use on the ATT.  It's alot harder with regular shoes covered in slippery mud, but I made it across on my first try with only one or two close calls.

#10 Mud Hole (over under logs) - each team member crawls through the logs alternating between going over and under the logs
This one is kind of awkward to complete, as you leap over one log and then drop onto your back or stomach to go under the next log.  I would drop onto my back, as it allowed me to keep my eyes better protected and I could negotiate the log with my hands.  I believe going under on my back is the quickest way due to my height, as I would have to get much flatter than most people if I tried to go under on my knees.

#11 Rope Bridge - each team member crosses the pit by walking across the steel cable and not falling in
The rope bridge was a true team work obstacle, as the rope you hold with your hands has a ton of slack in it, so they have long pieces hanging down on both ends for your team members to grab and pull tight while each member crosses the steel cable with their feet.  I was the last of my team to go, as I think we all used the same one and I had a few close calls as no one on the next team held the rope for me on the starting side.  I remember one instance in which the slack caused me to go over, such that I was almost parallel to the ground but my team mates pulled the slack out of the rope, which righted me.  Once across, I held the rope for the next team's first member to complete.  We made sure to pay it forward for every obstacle, not all teams were as courteous.

12- Mud Hole (over under logs)
Each team member crawls through the logs alternating between going over and under the logs 
This was another over/under obstacle.  I think there was more space between the water and the logs on this one.  Some of these obstacles ran together a bit, so it's hard for me to remember any particulars about this one.

13- Parallel Bars (8' high)
Each team member grabs the bottom bar, pulls themselves up to the top bar must go over the top bar and lower themselves back down to the ground (Marines will direct maneuvering) 
I remember these bars, not for the difficulty, but for my confusion about which way to go over.  In retrospect, it didn't matter, as long as I got over the top bar and back down in one piece. 
14- Monkey Bars
Each team member grabs each bar in their hands and swings from bar to bar without falling in the pit. 
These bars weren't too bad for me.  They looked pretty formidable as many teams were struggling with the incline and the distance between bars.  I was afraid they would be too slick to hold onto, but I guess I got lucky with where I gripped.  My long arms helped too.

15- Rice Paddy With Logs
Each team member crawls under the logs from one end to the other
I don't remember if this one was another contact killer or not.  Some of these low logs didn't give you enough room to keep your eyes above water.  I got better about picking which spots to cross as the race went on.

16- Parris Island Grinder
Each team member must pass over the top of each log 
These logs were a real pain.  I remember my teammate in front of me leaping onto the first log and sliding off due to the slick surface and the height.  It took a good amount of explosion to get onto the high ones and trying to control your dismount was an exercise in pain, as the harder you clenched the log, the more the sand and dirt ground away your skin as you slid down the other side.  I had some hard landings on my bad foot from these.

17- Parallel logs (3' high x 5)
Each team member must pass over the top of each log 
I think these were lower than the last set of logs, which alternated between high and low.  I don't have a specific memory of these being too bad. 
18- Hamburger Hill
Triple Hills (10', 15', 20') - each team member runs over the top of each hill
These hills were a pretty big cluster f... as you had a large number of people trying to run up and down these steep, sandy hills all at the same time.  It was nearly impossible to control your descent and you couldn't see what was on the other side until you hit the top.  I had a scary moment coming down the back side of the second or third one, as I was coming down the middle and the hill dropped off halfway down and there was just a giant pit.  I had girls on either side of me and I didn't want to take anyone out, so I leapt, flying into the air and I landed in a full squat, parkour style.  The thought of a knee, ankle or my foot blowing apart flashed through my mind on the landing, but I sprung back up and shot up the next one.   I bet it made a spectacular photo, if someone got it.

19- Chosen Reservoir
Water Hole (10' deep, 48' long) - each team member jumps in to the water and swims to the opposite end and exits the pit (if you can't swim you may take a penalty of 1 min and walk around)
I remember my teammate jumping in before me and he completely disappeared.  I made sure to do so in a more controlled manner to protect my contacts.  This was actually a ton of fun, as the water breaks were stacked at the beginning of the course and we were getting super parched by this point in the 95+ degree heat, plus the trails between had become clouds of dust.  I remember being surprised at how light my feet felt, in water logged shoes.  I started on a side stroke and quickly switched to my back, which I've always been pretty fast at and it allowed me to protect my contacts.  I was able to pass some people on the swim, which felt good as I don't recall the last time I went swimming.  The submersion revived me, as the heat was brutal.

Enter Belleau Woods
20 and 21- Pusan Perimeter
#20 LAV Trench low crawl - each team member crawls under the LAV from one end to the other
I guess we crawled under a vehicle, I think I was having eye trouble here, as I don't even remember the vehicle.  I would have bouts of eye problems on the whole course due to the constant drying and wetting of my eyes and face causing stuff to periodically fall into them. 

#21 Z trench (2 lanes of mud) - each team member runs through the trench from one end to the other and climbs the hill at the end of the trench
This was another fun one.  You had to be a little careful as the trench floor was uneven and would drop off unexpectedly, but the water helped keep us from overheating.  I remember the hill being very slippery on the exit.

22,23 and 24- Hellfire Valley
#22 Parallel logs (5' high x 5) - each team member must pass over the top of each log 
This was another crotch grinder.  I did my best to keep from landing too hard but that meant sacrificing my inner thighs and calves to more abrasions. 

#23 Cargo Net - ( 12') each team member must climb the net to the top and over climbing back down the other side.
The cargo net was kind of a mess as certain section had ripped away and it seemed quite a few people were struggling, so I had to wait awhile just to get a spot to climb over.  The climbs were easy, I was always a little freaked out on the transitions as it was a long way down and my muddy shoes didn't have the best traction.
#24 Mud hole (waist deep) - each team member must run through the pit
I think this was the sewage pit.  It looked like a narrow hog lagoon.  I remember coming up to this HUGE crowd of people just waiting to go in and the mud was so deep and thick it nearly pulled my shoes off several times.  The Volunteers told us we could go around the channel with no penalty.  I think people were just hanging out in it as it was only wide enough for 2 people side by side.  What was inside looked like raw sewage, but I guess it was just thick, thick mud.  Walking around it wasn't any better as the mud was so deep and thick every step you risked losing a shoe.  We all went around. If we had waited to go through, it probably would have cost us another 20 minutes.

25, 26, and 27- DI'S DELIGHT
#25 Weaver- each team member crawls through the logs alternating between going over and under the logs without touching the ground
This one was a real bitch, the logs were pretty high above the ground and they were slippery.  I know most people were falling off or using a teammate to assist them.  I made it across without any help, but it took some strategy and a lot of strength.  The logs were ascending and then descending and there was a groove in the structure between them.  I would go over the one and throw my leg around the next log while I dropped down and grabbed with both hands, this seemed to be a good way to do it.  Then I would throw my leading arm over the top of the next and use the grooved structure holding the logs to post up and over to the next one.  I think at least one of us had a fall.  This one would really tear the skin up on your legs and under your arms.

#26 10' Wall- each team member must get all members over the top of the wall and down the other side
This was another real killer.  The wall was on a hill, so it felt even higher than it was.  I still think it was more like 12 feet.  The whole wall was completely slick and there was nothing to hold onto or post off of.  I was the last to go, as you needed someone at the bottom to boost you up and one or two people at the top to pull you over, as they had done away with the grab slots from last year.  A guy from the team behind us tried to boost me up, but I fell flat on my ass.  I'm not sure if he gave out or I just slipped off of him or what.  Then he and his teammate gave me a boost and my teammates grabbed me and pulled me up.  I made sure to hang out and help pull up one of their team members before we moved on.

#27 Mud Hole (under logs) - each team member crawls under the logs from one end to the other
I think this one was a super low crawl.  I believe I had to go flat and float under using my hands to pull myself along.  I remember the last log was so low I wondered if my big ass would get stuck.  I remarked I felt like Winnie the Pooh trying to get out of his honey hole and one of the DI's barking at the side of the obstacle made some rather hilarious off color remarks in relation to my comment.  It added some nice levity to the situation and got a few of us chuckling.

28- Mt. Suribachi
Stairway to Heaven (15') - each team member climbs to the top of the wall, over, then down the other side
I remember there being another scary high and slippery wall climb, but I can't remember if it was boards or steel poles or what.

29, 30, and 31- Heartbreak Ridge
#29 Tire Flip - each team must move the tire by flipping it end over end the length of the obstacles
This tire wasn't nearly as big or as heavy as I was expecting.  It went flying over on the first flip, but I missed my grip on the second and had to regrip.  It was pretty easy and we moved on quickly.
#30 Arm Walk - each team member must walk the length of the obstacle on their hands without falling or touching the ground
I'm still pissed at myself about this one.  I started to do it on my own, but I slipped on one of the transitions to the higher bars, so I did a partner assist, where we shoulder carried each other.  I think my lifting partner actually got across without an assist on his second try.  I wish I had gone again, and done it, but I guess it was better for our time to do it the way we did.  Makes me want to drive all the way back down there just so I can do the damn bars again.
#31 Switch Backs - each team member must run the length of the obstacle back and forth across the top of the hill
These were brutal and there were a lot of them (maybe 5?).  The downhills were controlled chaos.  I do pretty good running short, very steep hills.  I think this is because I always make a point of running up stairs two or three at a time when I encounter them.  I was afraid for my knees and feet on the descents, as you can only control but so much.

32- Sandy Run
Stretcher Carry - (100 yards) 3 team members carry the 4th team member on stretcher across the finish line. 
The stretcher carry wasn't too bad.  There were two of us holding the back side and the only sucky part was the uneven load this put on my back.  I tried to compensate by switching hands a few times during the carry, but I think I would do better to just take both handles of whichever end I get next time.  It didn't help that our entire team is made up of fatasses. 

The run to the finish was longer than you would think, as was the run to get to the stretcher carry.  There were also some brutal incline runs in between some of the obstacles, but I can't really remember which spots.  We got a nice sprint to the finish and made sure to cross as a group, in case anyone was taking photos.

What would I do differently?
I would wear some lighter shoes with a thinner sole, but just as much traction, like a cross country shoe.  The trail shoes felt very heavy and I wasn't used to such a high, slanted platform after running in the Vibrams for so long.  I would also make sure my foot was healthy before doing another one.  If it was another mud run, I would want to get Lasik first.  I would also make sure to drink more on the water breaks early in the race.

Would you train differently? 
I want to start adding in anaerobic activities before and after my runs or in between sprints and tempo work.  I could also see running with ankle weights to simulate wet, muddy shoes.  Basically I just need to get faster and run more hills and uneven terrain.  Maybe do some more crossfit type workouts to get that full body burn.  I felt like my strength and explosiveness were good, I just need to become a better runner, up my fatigue threshold and improve my ability to recover from burst of explosion.

I hope this was long enough for the plus one :-) 

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Ding Fries are Done!

9/25 run 4.2 miles plus 32 obstacles aka "The Leatherneck"

My home has never looked so good, after being in a car with two staties and my lifting partner for 15 hours (ok, some of that time was spent wandering around a field playing grab ass).  The Leatherneck is definitely light years ahead of last year's course.  Obstacles 25, 26 and 30 were the biggest challenge as you must cling onto super slippery surfaces without touching the ground while trying not to kick any of the other competitors in the head.  We'll see how I feel tomorrow.  I held my own with the rest of my team, thankfully I excelled at the climbing and upper body stuff.  The run bits weren't too bad until we got into some extremely dusty sections, making it hard to breath.  The number one thing I learned is I need to get Lasik before I try this again.  I could barely see after the the 4th obstacle as you had to crawl through mud, under logs that were too low to keep your eyes out of the muddy water.  From then on, I did my best to manage the amount of dirt going in and out of my contacts.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Last Lift Before Mud

9/24 lift squat 6x205 bench 6x215  3 sets of pull-ups and 1 set of hammers

Yes, you are reading that right, I did more on bench than squat.  I have officially become one of those guys...  My back is still pissed off at me, so I wanted to take it easy today with less than 24 hours before the event.  All the lifts felt a little off, like I'm down on strength and feeling kind of brittle.  Hopefully my body is just loading up for tomorrow.

The course for 2010 is apparently much "improved" over the 2009 course.  I read in an article during the initial trial, a team with a 38 minute time on the '09 course took 53 minutes to complete the new one.  This doesn't exactly inspire confidence, but I'm sure we will get through it together.  I plan to take it easy on any of the drop offs, as I'm pretty sure I have a stress fracture in my left foot.  I did a little more research and it sounds like my symptoms point to a calcaneus stress fracture based on the pinch test.  I went ahead and setup an appointment with my doctor on Monday, I figure it's good to plan ahead :-)  There is no way I will cut back unless I hear it from a doctor, so I'm going to suck it up and go again.  The bills I have racked up since I started running this year are just ridiculous.  I'm going to try and cram everything in before the new year, so I don't have to pay my deductible again.