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.