Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Men's Health

I had my Men's Health Magazine photo shoot yesterday! It was an interesting experience. We met the photographer at around noon at his studio/apartment in Chicago. He was extremely nice and he really took his time with everything...I'll be very interested to see how the pics turn out.

We shot a few pics at his studio and then we went to a 'cool' Chicago gym (David Barton Gym) for some strength training pics. I did a lot of exercises ranging from bench press, to crunches, to pushups....I actually ended up getting a decent workout in! The gym was very interesting...it felt more like a club, but once we got to the fitness area it was pretty solid. Lots of great equipment and a really cool vibe. It did feel a little strange doing exercises with all kinds of lighting and camera equipment set up around me. The other gym-goers didn't seem to mind and the gym staff were extremely friendly. The pic that I've posted is from the gym lobby...in one of their 'cool comfortable' chairs... :)

After about 5 hours, we walked outside to get some pics of me running along the Chicago River. BTW, I was told to bring sleeveless shirts and running shorts....but, at the last second I decided to toss in my new Nike running jacket. Luckily the photographer seemed to like the jacket so I was able to keep it on for the river pics. But, it was still a very cold Chicago evening and I was freezing....a sacrifice I was willing to make for the good of Men's Health :)

I'll be in the April issue which will come out in March. The whole thing is still pretty crazy to me....I still feel like someone is playing a joke on me. Quite an experience...and quite a reward for working so hard over the past 18 months. But, I'm convinced that if I can do it...YOU can too!!

P.S. I went and scouted some gyms with my pops today....he and my mom are going to be joining one next week!!!!!! My dad has been a significant source of motivation to me on my fitness journey....I can't wait to see him start his.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Just Do It

Finally....I scored some cold weather gear!! After months of endless online surfing, store browsing, and visions of running tights dancing in my head, I finally landed on some solid CWG. If you can't tell, I decided to go with the Nike gear. I'm completely Nike'd out from head to toe....err, head to ankle (shoes are NB and socks are DryMax).

I just did 10 miles in some pretty heavy snow and some chilling winds (around 26 degrees). For the most part, I was very comfortable. When I ran into the wind my hands got a little cold. But, my LiveStrong running gloves probably aren't made to be wind resistant ($20). The tights were perfect...my legs stayed dry and warm. I have to admit....I never thought I would be running outside in a pair of tights. It feels good to be so comfortable with my masculinity..... Anyway, the Nike thermal jacket and the thermal mock long sleeve shirt were outstanding. But, today's CWG surprise goes to the Nike ninja mask (thanks Mrs CJ)!! The hood and face mask are surprisingly warm!

I was also able to take a Garmin 405 for a test drive today. I LOVE IT. I need one......it was nice to look down and know how I was doing on pace, distance, and time (I think it does your taxes too?). I shall have one of my own....

It felt great to be outside again.....I feel refreshed, but most important...I feel warm!

P.S. Tomorrow I get to pick up my new running shoes! My New Balance 1063s are being replaced with the new model (1064) due to a minor defect. I keep hearing how the 1064 has really improved the minor flaws of the 1063. I can't wait to get some miles on them!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Running in a Winter Wonderland

I did about 11 miles today....outside. It was 22 degrees out when we started. Luckily I was with a buddy who happen to have some solid cold weather gear for me. But....I was reminded again how much I need to invest in some cold weather running gear for myself. I'm currently in the market for the following items: Cold weather compression tights, running gloves, and a running cap

I know the gloves and cap will be easy to find...but, I've been looking for compression tights for several weeks now and can't seem to find what I'm looking for. If you have some good suggestions please comment!!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Treadmill Blues

Well, it's been a while since my last real post.....so here goes. The past several weeks have been full of good eats and 'minimized' workouts. I was either dealing with sick kiddos during the week of Thanksgiving, or I was dealing with a sick Curto.

Yep, I caught the bug and it sucked. I was planning to do a race in East Peoria on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, but I was a sick little boy....I did however, manage to win a nice hand in the annual Thanksgiving Poker Tournament. I spent most of the week after Thanksgiving recovering (from the sickness....and from poker night). I was still able to get a few decent workouts in, but something still wasn't right.

For some reason, my side cramp keeps coming back and it's having a serious impact on my running. It's no ordinary side cramp either....I can usually run through the standard cramp...but these are painful. Very painful. I think what I'm experiencing is known as a side stitch. It's a sharp pain just under my rib cage on the right side of my body. It sucks. Sooo....I did a little research, talked to some resident experts (one told me it might be a flesh eating disease?)....and the last couple of runs have been much better. I still feel the stitch, but it's not as painful. To remedy....I'm doing some yoga-like stretches before my runs, I'm cutting back on my pre-run snack/drink combo, and I'm trying hard to focus on deep breaths during runs. So far, things seem to be going well. Let's hope it is just a side stitch and not a flesh eating disease. :)

Also, while I've had to cut back on the running....I've modified the strength training a bit. Just to mix things up over the past week or so, I've decreased my reps and increased my weights. I think I might keep mixing things up every couple of weeks or so.

Monday: 5.18miles, 40 min, 7:44 pace and BIG chest

Tuesday: 7 miles, 58:10, 8:27 pace (bad side stitch), and abs

Wednesday: Planned to do a 5 mile run, but the side stitch came back hard core within 10 minutes of running....so I did about 15 minutes and then switch to the evil stairmaster for 15 minutes of torture....then did BIG lats and back

Thursday: REST (not feeling great)

Friday: 6 miles, 49:39, 8:13 pace, and BIG arms & shoulders (yeah!)

Saturday: Christmas shopping...ALL day (scored some sweet clothes...and bought the wife a new coat!)

Sunday: 2 miles 17:30? (slow....focusing on side stitch breathing....then had to make a quick latrine break), got back on the treadmill and did 10 miles, 83:33, 8:20 pace (YEAH side st(b)itch!!)

Total Mileage: 31.x
Weigh-In: 157.4?? (seriously....how did I drop more weight?)

I'm hoping that I'm completely finished with this sick and weak feeling!!!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Amazing Disappearing Ginnis Boys

Here's a pic of me (red shirt) and my uncle (brown metro shirt)... :)

I'm down 100+ and he's down 180lbs!!!! I'm not gonna lie folks...we look good. :)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

EoW Report!

Had a great high mileage week! Looking forward to hitting it hard this coming week in preparation for Turkey Day!!

Monday: 3.1 miles, big chest!
Tuesday: 7 miles in the freezing cold rain.....and abs
Wednesday: Back, Lats, Arms, 3.1 miles
Thursday: 5 miles, abs
Friday: 5 miles, legs, shoulders, arms, pushups
Saturday: rest! (pushups)
Sunday: 12-13 miles w/ mom2!! (hills and intervals)...total distance is unknown due to my interval strategy...I would run ahead and then run back to mom2 (I think she was annoyed)

Total mileage: 35.2-36.2

Sunday, November 15, 2009

EoW Report!

Had a pretty solid week....recovered from the 15 mile run and hit the weights pretty hard.

Monday: No running (recover from 15 miler); Chest
Tuesday:7 miles, 56:49, 8:07 pace; Abs
Wednesday: Back, lats, & arms; 15 minutes on the stairmaster
Thursday: 7 miles, 57:02, 8:10 pace; Abs
Friday: Shoulders, arms, & pushups (100)
Saturday: Walked around the Lincoln Museum and....pushups! (100)
Sunday: 10 miles, 83:21, 8:27 pace...on a treadmill!! (stinkin rain!)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veterans' Day

Happy Veterans' Day to ALL of the Veterans out there!!! Use the cool link below to send a thank you note to someone that has served....the company I work for is making a financial contribution to the Fisher House for every thank you sent!!!


Information on the Fisher House:



Sunday, November 8, 2009

Angry dogs, big cows, corn dust...and Lilly...a solid 15 miles

For some reason the number 15 has been floating around in my head lately....I knew the day was coming when I would have to push my limits. Today was the day. I did 15 miles on a beautiful November afternoon. I ran from my house to basically the edge of Normal. I never EVER thought I would run from my house to a point where I could see Watterson Towers...

For some reason my legs felt super tight for the entire run and my stomach didn't feel right, so I knew that my time wasn't going to be great. It was pretty slow for me (2:16....around a 9 min/mile pace), but it's the longest I've ever ran....and it feels great to be done. Those grain elevators by Mitsubishi never looked so good.

I survived angry dogs (almost bitten...again), said hello to some big cows (I always give a mooo shout out when I pass cows on a run), ran through a cloud of corn dust (I'm very allergic to corn...fyi), and I made it through the town of Lilly (I'm pretty sure that's where Deliverance was shot).

EoW Report
Monday: 3 miles, 23:12, 7:44 pace, and BIG chest
Tuesday: 7 miles, 57:16, 8:11 pace, and BIG abs
Wednesday: 28 minutes on the stairmaster and BIG back/lats, and 1.6 mile fun run at work
Thursday: 5 miles (I was dead tired) and BIG abs
Friday: Arms, Shoulders, and 100 pushups (poker night!)
Saturday: REST
Sunday: 15 mile run

Total mileage: 31.6

*This coming week will be pretty strict on the eating...I'll be limiting carbs over the next couple of weeks to help prepare for MH!! :)

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Building an Ark

Today's run was quite interesting, yet still satisfactory! I started off not knowing exactly how far I would go and I couldn't quite figure out the weather. I ended up ditching my gloves and long sleeve shirt to go sleeveless. It was a cool November day, but it felt great to be outside. I had a nice pace going on my normal 12 mile route. In fact, it felt so good that I decided I was going to go for 12 again, trying to beat last weekend's time. But, at about mile 3.5 I came across a major obstacle....my road was closed due to flooding. Yep, one of the great things about living around the Mackinaw River valley is that when it rains the back country roads flood out. I jogged around for a little bit looking for a trail to lead me close to my path, but all I found was mud and water. So, I turned around and headed back to a different route.

I ended up doing around 10.5 (hard to tell without a Garmin!!...that's a hint for Santa if he's reading). The wind sure made it seem like a 12 mile run though... I'm glad I was able to work off some of that halloween candy!!!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Men's Health

A lady from Men's Health magazine called me at home last Friday. I thought for sure she was trying to offer me a special gift to renew my subscription or something. But...she was calling to setup an interview!! Per suggestions from some family and friends, I submitted my fitness story to them...of course, I didn't think anything would come of it. But, it turns out they have selected me for their March or April Belly Off profile!!!! Absolutely crazy.

I did a phone interview with the writer yesterday and she said the art department would be in touch with me....for the photo shoot!!?? I'm still shocked....and I'm wondering if someone is playing a prank on me... Any minute now that Ashton dude is gonna pop out of the bushes and yell 'You've been punked!'....

Saturday, October 24, 2009

The October 12

I had a nice and cold 12 mile run today. The breeze was quite crisp, but it was just enough to take my mind away from my burning calves, which were still hurting from Thursday's leg workout (I think I might scale down the calf raises next week...). I haven't been able to get a long run in for a couple of weeks due to 5k races and other obligations. It felt great to get outside and off of the treadmill again. It was a tough run, but if it was easy everyone would be doing it!!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Heritage Lake 5k - 22:27

I survived the hills of the Heritage Lake 5k. As of 1pm yesterday I still had not decided if I was even going to run the race...but, I finally gave in. It was a beautiful day - a perfect day for a tough race. I would dare anyone to find a 5k course that is more challenging than this one. I expected to be about a minute off of my 5k PR from last weekend's race (21:56) but I was a little off.

I finished with a decent time of 22:27, beating last year's time by about 5:30 minutes. There were around 97 runners and I placed 11th overall. I was the 10th male finisher, with the first place female runner finishing just ahead of me. Out of the 10 people that finished before me, 8 of them were in my age group. So....unlike last year, no AG trophy for me this year. The 30-39 AG is a very tough grouping....lots of great runners. But, I placed 42nd out of 83 runners last year, so I'm pretty pleased with the improvement. :)

I do a lot of hill training, so I was fairly prepared for the tough hills. The downhill sections were probably more painful. In fact, during most of the race I was going back and forth with a guy that went to the same high school as me (he's an ironman athlete). I would pass him on the uphills and he would pass me on the downhills. But, within the last mile I really turned it on and ended up passing him and 3 other guys.

I have to admit, I never thought I would ever come close to finishing in the top 10 of this race. Last year I got smoked by my brother (26:31) and my bro-in-law (25:27), and 39 other runners. I had a blast this year, but I'm hoping we can all run it together again next year.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Ryan A Beaupre 5K - 21:56

It was an honor to be involved in the Ryan A Beaupre Memorial 5K at Illinois Wesleyan University. Captain Beaupre was one of the first US casualties of war in Iraq. He was a dedicated Marine, an IWU grad, and a State Farm employee.

Even though I PR'd today....I didn't run for time. No one did. We ran for Ryan.

On this fine October day, I raise my running shoes to Captain Ryan A Beaupre, US MARINES.

You will never be forgotten.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Sunday to Sunday Recap

Here's the Sunday to Sunday report:

Sunday: 11 miles
Monday: 4 miles, big chest
Tuesday: 7 miles, abs
Wednesday: 3 miles, big back & lats
Thursday: 6 miles, abs
Friday: arms, shoulders, pushups (4 sets of 25)
Saturday: rest!
Sunday: 10 miles (hills)

I've decided that I'm going to really focus on tone for the rest of the year, specifically abs, lower back, and legs....while also continuing a similar running plan. It's time for me to start seeing more definition in my abs - my goal for the next couple of months will be to reshape my abs and obliques. I'm also going to work on building up leg strength in order to help with my running in 2010 (full marathon training perhaps?).

I've got a 5k in Bloomington coming up this weekend and then I have the Heritage Lake 5k in Mackinaw the following weekend. The Bloomington 5k should be a fairly flat course, but it does have a lot of turns. I'm really looking forward to the Heritage Lake 5k....it is by far the most challenging 5k around (hills....big hills), but I'm anxious to see how well I've improved from last year.

This is your face.....100lb update

This is your face on not running...

This is your face on running...

Any Questions?

Monday, September 28, 2009

No Sleep 'til Brooklyn

My half marathon rest period is officially finished. I did a decent 11 miles yesterday and I only logged about 18-19 during the week. I'll glad to finally get back in the routine this coming week. I told myself that I was going to cut down on the mileage a bit during the week after the Lewis and Clark race, so I could increase the strength training....but, I'm not exactly sure what I'm going to do yet. I'll probably still try to increase the strength training, but keep logging about the same amount of mileage. I have a couple of 5ks coming up (one this weekend in Bloomington and one the following weekend in Mackinaw) so I might try to do some speed work. I definitely need to hit the gym hard this week because I've been eating like crazy during the past two weeks....the resting period really interrupts my routine. I love the races, but the week prior and the weeks after really take a hit on me.

On another note....I'm really considering running a full marathon next year. My goal for 2009 was to run a half. I ran my first half in April and then did my second a few weeks ago. I always said that I would never do more than a half....but lately I've really been giving it some thought. I don't want always wonder if I could have done a full....soooo, I'm considering making it a 2010 goal. Possibly Chicago in the fall? We'll see. Hopefully my feet and knees will hold up!!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Lewis & Clark Half Marathon - 1:51:31

Pre-Race pic of me and my bro-in-law!

I survived the Lewis & Clark!!! It was a beautiful day...perfect weather for a half marathon. Not too cold in the morning and it didn't really get too hot during the race. There were some serious port-a-potty issues (lots of port-a-pottie, but very few were actually operational) at the start line and at the end, but, over all it was a pretty good race.

I knew that I started off much faster than I had planned, but I was feeling pretty good so I just kept it up. Unfortunately, I felt a pit stop coming on at about mile 4. At mile 6, I sprinted to a port-a-potty station, but they were all occupied. Sooo....I made about a 10 second stop at mile 10. I had an orange cliff bar gummy at mile six and then half of a margarita gummy at mile 11. I also had a sip of water at 3 water stations.

Miles 10-11 were definitely the toughest. Mile 10 was more of a mental challenge because it was the most back-country stretch of the race....it was just us runners and some cornfields. I really felt like we were in the middle of nowhere. I really started to drag at mile 11, but luckly by mile 12 we were back in the city and the crowds picked up my motivation.

10 minutes after my finish I started to feel extremely sick. Not sure if I was just severly dehydrated or what...but it was bad....REAL bad. I was sick all the way home from St. Louis...it wasn't fun. But, everytime I looked down at my stopwatch time I was able to smile just a bit.

Lots of hard work went into training for this one. My first half marathon was in April and I came in at around 2 hours. I'm pretty pleased with the improvement!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

If it ain't rainin, we ain't trainin

I had a decent 12.5 mile run on Sunday...thanks to mother nature I'm still trying to dry out my shoes. As soon as I hit the road it started to sprinkle a bit, but I was going to drive on. At miles 5 and 8 the rain was coming down pretty good and I was soaked. But, I finished my last long run before the Lewis & Clark Half Marathon this coming weekend.

I did 6.23 in 50 min yesterday, I'll do a 30 min tempo run today, and then an easy jog around the pond tomorrow. Looking forward to the weekend!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Dueling Banjos?

I'm going to try to take advantage of this beautiful weather and do another long run today. I'm going for a 12 miler through the Mackinaw River Valley...let's hope I don't run into any banjo players.

**Update: I decided to drive the route before I ran it...you never know when the back country roads will be closed due to flooding. Sure enough, a section of my running path was closed. I modified the route a bit and I have pasted the new mapmyrun.com route above. It came out to be a little over 12 miles. It felt great!! I definitely felt like I could have kept running...in fact, I would have, but I had a softball game to get to. It was a double-header...I should have just kept running because we got smoked.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Hello Again...

Okay, so it's been a while since my last post. My bad. I'll spare you the excuses and just move on to the blogging.

First off, I had a great 11.5 mile run yesterday with my bro-in-law in St. Louis. We came in at about an 8:37 pace. It was a tough run, but it was a beautiful morning. I was due for a good run because my mileage was pretty low during the week (16.65 miles).

Second, I found out that my younger brother isn't going to be able to run the USAF Half Marathon....turns out that the USAF can be about as dumb as the USARMY...typical military bs. Unfortunately, I'm already registered for the race so I'm not exactly sure what to do. My options are: stick with the USAF half (drive 4+ hours to Dayton, OH and spend more $$ on a hotel room) or cancel (be out of my 60 bones) and look for another race closer to home (I'm considering the Lewis and Clark half, which is in St Louis...my mom-in-law and bro-in-law are both running....but, that's another 55 bones to register). I also saw that there is an IVS half coming up in Peoria, but I know it's going to be very hilly. I'd like my second half to be similar to my first so I can check on progress accurately (or something like that)...
If anyone has any other suggestions, please let me know!

Lastly, I'm hoping to reach the 100lb mark very soon....possibly this week. My goal is to be there by the end of August...we'll see!!

Monday, August 10, 2009

EoW Report

I had another solid week of running and I hit the strength training really hard (I think I'm still sore from Wednesday's deadlifts...). Looking forward to a productive week and then some fun in the sun with friends in Michigan over the weekend.

Monday: 4 miles, chest
Tuesday: 7 miles, abs
Wednesday: 3 miles, back, lats
Thursday: 6 miles, abs
Friday: pushup workout, biceps, triceps, shoulders
Saturday: 11+ miles (I'll have to measure it out...I think it might have been just under 11.5)
Sunday: REST

total mileage: 30+

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Need Some Motivation?

I love this story...this what I think about on mile 7 when my feet hurt, my legs ache, and I want to stop. Enjoy.


...As the squad leader then zigzagged through a field, he felt someone tug at his shirt sleeve. Hours later, after the firefight, he’d discover that a bullet had whizzed right through it, narrowly missing his bicep. It tore a hole through his 10th Mountain Division patch and through a pack of cigarettes in his arm pocket, destroying all but one.

"So I pulled it out and had myself a cigarette," Camacho says, holding the patch over his arm. Then he lifts the patch to expose a scar. It’s not from that bullet in April, but from another one a month later, earning the 22-year-old his fourth Purple Heart for wounds in a war he just won’t quit...

Saturday, August 1, 2009

I love the smell of sweat in the morning

It was a beautiful morning for a 10 mile run. The weather was nice and cool, there was as slight breeze, and the traffic was very light. I had a great run...my best 10 mile time yet. Man...it feels great to get that knocked out first thing in the morning.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Running is a big question mark that’s there each and every day. It asks you, “Are you going to be a wimp or are you going to be strong today?”

Peter Maher, a Canadian marathon runner once said that. It reminds me of a brief conversation I had in the gym locker room a few weeks back. I had just finished a tough run and was about to hit the shower. I said hello to another morning regular and asked him if he had a good workout. He said something to the effect of, 'Yeah, hopefully this running thing will get easier soon'. I knew that he hadn't been running very long, so I didn't want to squash his motivation. I simply replied with a casual, 'Yeah, I hear ya'. But, what I wanted to say was the truth. I wanted to tell him what really happens. I wanted to say, 'Hey buddy, this stuff never gets easy. If it's easy, then you are doing something wrong. You aren't pushing yourself.'...or something like that. I understood exactly what he was saying, but I don't like to ever hear the world 'easy' in the gym. Sure, I might have periods of easy running during a long run, but nothing about the full gym experience should ever be easy.

So, to my loyal Running on Ginnis readers I say this. Sweat it out, grunt it out, lift it out, run it out...whatever it takes. Every drop of sweat is another calorie burned. It's never easy, quick, or painless....if it was, everyone would be in shape. I certainly don't consider myself to be the perfect example of fitness, but I know that I am different from others because I enjoy the sweat and the pain. I don't ever want it to be easy. Sooner or later, some of us have to realize that we are not normal. Normal is sleeping in. Normal is going on vacation and not even thinking about working out. Normal is easy. Normal is weak. Like Peter Maher said, 'are you going to be strong today?'....well, are you?

EoW Report:
Monday - 5.5 miles, big chest
Tuesday - 7 miles, abs
Wednesday - 3.1 miles in the morning and about 2 in the evening, big back and lats
Thursday - 5 miles, light abs
Friday - pushup workout, curls, shoulder press, upward rows, tricep extensions
Saturday - looking forward to a nice long run in the morning!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Vacation '09 Pics

Our first steps in the Atlantic Ocean

Getting sand in places where the sun don't shine


Skylar swims with the fishes

Posing in Gatlinburg

Traci about to give Ty a bath

Standing guard

Vacation '09

Back from vacation! We had a blast at Myrtle Beach, SC. The trip started out a little rough....Gatlinburg, TN is quite an experience. No offense to any of my loyal readers, but I would describe Gatlinburg, TN as the place where carnies go when there are no carnivals. The kids loved the aquarium, but we were ready to leave shortly after we arrived. So, we changed our plans a bit and headed to Myrtle Beach a day early. We loved it...the weather, the hotel, it was perfect. I was able to get a few runs in along the beach...an experience that I will never forget.

In my previous life, I hated the beach. I hated everything about swimming. I pretty much hated anything that meant shirtless frolicking on a hot day. But, this time it was much different. For the first time ever, I really enjoyed the beach. I felt comfortable with myself. This might seem like a trivial and insignificant accomplishment to some, but for someone that has struggled with weight for his entire life....this was huge. People that have never had weight issues don't understand the emotional baggage that all of those fatty pounds carry with them. I was glad to finally have a vacation on the beach. I've got a long way to go still, but the future looks bright.

I very strongly believe that in order to make the fitness thing work, you have to make a lifestyle change. People keep asking me how I lost the weight...I usually tell them that I don't believe in diets, I believe in eating healthy and working your ass off in the gym. That's it. It's a simple plan, but it sure ain't easy. Several years ago I couldn't have cared less about the fitness center in the hotel or accessibility to running routes on vacation. Don't get me wrong, I didn't work as hard as I normally do while on vacation...in fact, I've got a few pounds to shed as a result of some good food and limited exercise, but I didn't completely let go of my new lifestyle. I certainly saw glimpses of the former me, but a few pushups or a few miles on the beach reminded me of how far I've come. I always tell Traci that sometimes I feel like I'm one cupcake away from being the old Curt...I know, it's a little extreme, but it's always in the back of my mind as a reminder.

Vacation was a blast. But, now it's back to reality. I need to hit these next 3 weeks hard - limited carbs, extra miles, and solid strength training. Here we go!!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

EoW Report

After last week's high mileage I decided to turn it down a bit this week. I had some pretty significant knee and leg pain last week, so I wanted to give it a bit of a rest this week. M-Th I got in 16.5 miles and then this morning I did a 4.5 mile run followed by some hardcore sprint work. The sprints are kicking my butt....but, I'm really hoping they help with my tone and endurance.

I've had a few folks ask me about my workout routine, so I thought I would take some time to explain my program. I am certainly no personal trainer, but so far my program seems to be working.

I probably do more cardio than I need to, but I've got the running bug and if I don't get a run, or some form of cardio, in then I don't feel like I've pushed myself enough. Most of my strength training sets consist of a rep pattern of 12,10,8,6,10 (adjusting the weight as I move along).

3 - 5 mile run

Chest: decline dumbbell bench press, incline dumbbell bench press, flat dumbbell bench press or seated press on the machine, cable fly with a pec deck burnout at the end.

5-6.5 mile run

Ab routine: exercise ball crunches (25), side bends w/ 45lb weight (20), 15 pushups, then repeat 2 more times for a total of 3 sets. Sometimes I'll do a flat plank for a minute before the pushups. I think I'm going to start hitting abs a bit more...need to mix it up.

3-5 mile run or elliptical machine (I always play Wednesdays by ear...it depends on how hard I ran on Monday & Tuesday...sometimes I won't do any running on Wednesday)

Back/Lats: Lat pull downs, dumbbell row, deadlifts (light weight, usually 4x10) with a reverse situp burn (holding a 25-35lb plate), close grip pull down, wide grip seated row (or sometimes I'll do a wide grip laying row), I'll finish up with an exercise that I got from Men's Health magazine called the standing face pull...there are lots of variations of it, but I use a rope attached to the cable machine. I grab the rope with both hands facing each other and then pull it to my face, extending both hands just past my ears. It's a good stretch and it's suppose to hit the lats and traps a bit more.

5-7 mile run

Abs: exercise ball crunches (3x25) and side bends with 45lb weight (3x20)

No cardio (REST!)

Fridays used to be a complete rest day for me, but I've recently started doing a pushup and arm routine that I like a lot. The pushup routine also came from Men's Health Magazine....it kicks my butt big time. I use a small platform that is around 3-6 inches off the ground. It goes like this:

1. One hand on the platform the other on the floor, do 10-12 pushups then switch to the other arm
2. Start with one hand on the platform, the other on the floor, do one pushup then as quick as you can switch to the other arm/hand on the platform and do another pushup. Do this 10 times
3. Form a diamond on the platform, touch your chest to the diamond, 10 pushups
4. Form a diamond on the platform, touch your chest to the diamond then push up as hard as you can so your arms land just outside of the platform, do a regular pushup, push up as hard as you can so your hands land back on the platform...this is one. I can do this about 5-6 times.

I've done these a couple of different ways....sometimes I'll do three sets of each before moving to the next pushup type, or I've also done 1-4 as one set...doing a total of 3 sets.

I follow this with light weight bicep curls (3x12), military press (3x10), upward rows (3x10), and then tricep extensions (3x10). Sometimes I'll do the curls separate and then other times I'll do all of the exercises together as one set, repeating 2 more times for a total of 3 sets.

I've been rotating my Saturday runs. It's usually the only time that I can get outside and run, so I love to take long runs. But, lately I've been trying to mix in some sprint work as well. So, one week I'll do a 10 mile run and then the next week I'll do a 3-4.5 mile run followed by sprints. For sprints I'll do a 40-50 yard spring, jog back to the starting point and then take off again. I'll do this 10 times. As I mentioned...it kicks my butt.

REST REST REST REST!!!! Get ready to start it all over again on Monday!!!

So there's my workout plan. I'm sure there's lot of room for improvement, but so far it has worked well for me. I usually try to be done with my strength training in about 35 minutes. It's probably about time for me to mix up the strength training a bit, so I'm starting to look for new ideas. Feel free to send any suggestions my way!

One thing to note....when I first started lifting I wasn't concerned about increasing the weight at all. I stuck with lower weights but higher reps (12-15). As I got more comfortable and started to see more results I increased the weight a bit and lowered the reps. This took several months....I wasn't concerned about being the strongest guy in the gym. But, once I started to see results I was even more motivated to push myself harder.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Thursday Report

Monday: 6 miles (50 min), chest
Tuesday: 6.79 (60 min) miles, abs
Wednesday: back/lats, 15 min elliptical
Thursday: 6.85 miles (60 min), abs

Had a pretty good week...the higher mileage certainly had a negative impact on my energy level and appetite throughout the day though. I'll need to watch this in future high mileage weeks.

Looking forward to some golf followed by a good pushup/arms/shoulders workout tomorrow and then a nice 10 mile run on Saturday.

Happy Independence Day! Don't forget to think about the men and women in uniform that are serving away from their families on Saturday.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Ranger Run

For several weeks now I have been trying to improve my 6 mile time. I'm happy to report that yesterday I did 6 miles on the treadmill in 49:16. It felt great!

I've also started to work some sprint routines into my running schedule. This past weekend I did an easy 3 mile run followed by a good sprint workout. I sprinted about 50 yards, then jogged 50. I did that 10 times. I'm hoping this will shock my body a bit and help me shed those additional 10 pounds that I need to get rid of. We'll see!!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Hill Yeah!

I finished the Steamboat 15k on Saturday. My brother-in-law ran it too, while my mother-in-law ran the 4 mile race. I was pretty nervous about this one....after a week in Vegas and all of the bad things I was hearing about the hills....I wasn't sure if I would survive! But, I'm not sure what happened, but it just seemed to click. I felt great throughout the entire race. I didn't think the hills were bad at all...I was expecting it to be much worse. There are several factors that could have led to my race day success...1) I only ran twice during the week, allowing plenty of rest from running 2) I hydrated like crazy on Friday 3)I ate lots of pasta Thursday night and then had a bit more for lunch on Friday 4) my modified training plan during the weeks prior to the race (rotating a week of shorter distances, but more speed; followed by a week of longer distance with the same speed or slightly slower) 5) the 10 mile weekend route with the killer hills 6) increased protein intake throughout the month

I'm not sure what it was...maybe a combination of everything. I finished with a stopwatch time of 1:21:01. My pace was right around 8:48-8:50...I definitely felt like I could have kept going...so I'm looking forward to my next half marathon.

The post-race event was decent....I was really looking forward to the cold beer, but standing in line for 15-20 minutes with a hundred other stinky people made me question my desire for seconds. I was also ticked at all the non-runners that kept getting beer....seriously, they should do something about that. If you didn't run then you go to the other line...where you pay. Oh well, it was a great race and I'm glad it's over with. I did manage to see Mr and Mrs CJ at the end of the first loop...I hear they both did great!!

I've decided that I need to sign up for another half marathon before the AF half in September...I'm going to start looking for a good (and fairly inexpensive) race, so feel free to make suggestions.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Vegas Baby! Vegas!!

I had a great 10 mile run in some beautiful June weather today. The sun was shining, yet there was a constant breeze. Aside from some minor foot pain, I felt pretty good throughout most of the run. I carried a small bottle of Gatorade with me, so I stayed fairly hydrated. Hopefully I'll be getting a new Camel Bak soon.

I had a solid week of running. Last week I tried to decrease my mileage and increase my speed. It was a really nice change up. This week I increased my mileage a bit and tried to keep the same speed as the week before. I logged just over 20 miles M-Th, just over 30 for the week. Not too shabby.

I'm catching a very early flight to Vegas tomorrow morning for a conference...I've already got the running plan mapped out. Luckily I'm going to Sin City with a few runners so I'm sure we will all be keeping each other accountable to logging some miles. I've got the Steamboat 15k coming up next weekend, so I'll have to make sure my trip to Vegas isn't too crazy.

I'm looking forward to the Steamboat race....but, I am a little nervous. I do some hill training (the first 4.5 miles of my 10 mile route are very hilly), but I'm not sure if I'm totally prepared for the hills of Steamboat. I guess I'll find out!

About 7 or so years ago I ran the Steamboat 4 mile race...my time was pathetic, but it was my very first race. It was a blast! I remember how I tried to keep up with my mother-in-law and her running friends, but they all smoked me. I never thought I would be running the looong route. 7 years ago they had a great post-race celebration, so hopefully I'll have that to look forward to again. Nothing beats a cold beer after a good run.

Lookout Vegas!

Monday, June 1, 2009

“I loved the feeling of freedom in running, the fresh air, the feeling that the only person I'm competing with is me.” -William Rudolph

Finally, a 10 mile run that great. The weather was perfect - not too hot, not too windy...it was beautiful. Yesterday's run was one of those runs that makes you look forward to the next long run. I was able to stash some water at about the halfway point, but I only took a few gulps. I also tried a new energy gel that was super...it was Hammer Gel, raspberry flavor. I liked the flavor much better than the chocolate Gu. I'm not sure if it was the water, the gel, the weather, or maybe just the 2 days of rest I had prior to running, but everything just seemed to feel good.

I am going to be trying something new this week. I've found that my energy level throughout the day isn't as good as it should be. I'm thinking that I really need to boost my protein intake - especially since I've increased the lifting a bit. I scored some post-workout protein powder and a multi-vitamin mix. The protein powder is from AMP, it's called Amplified Wheybolic Extreme 60 and the vitamin powder is Mega Men Maximum Nutrition Formula. I had my first taste of the protein drink yesterday and it was quite tasty. Hopefully this will help with my energy level while also promoting muscle growth and repair.

On an exciting note, it looks like I'll be locking in my next half marathon soon - I'm running the USAF 1/2 Marathon on 19 September in Dayton, OH!!! The best part is that I'll be running it with my brother Cody who is stationed in California with the Air Force!!!! The AF is going to give him leave to participate in the race....I haven't seen him since November(?)....it's been way too long. I can't wait for this one! Link to the race site: http://www.usafmarathon.com/half.htm

Sunday, May 24, 2009

I stand corrected...

Well, I was just planning on taking it easy today....maybe mow the yard, do some shopping with the family, and pretty much lay low. But, my lovely bride decided to get outside and go for a 3.6 mile walk this morning....and I could definitely tell by my mood that if I didn't get out and do something too I would be miserable. With all the junk I ate yesterday I was a little hesitant to go for a run, but it was so nice this morning that I couldn't pass up the opportunity. I had a GREAT 4 mile run...it felt awesome. I feel much better now. It's amazing how much a good run impacts your mood....(ask my wife).

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Eat, Drink, and be Merry

It's so much more fun to celebrate your birthday when you've worked hard to be able to enjoy some good food and drinks! Today I turn 30 years old....I have to admit, a few years ago if someone would have told me that I would be able to run a half marathon I would have laughed...a lot. I'm probably in the best shape of my life right now. While it is certainly painful to say goodbye to my 20's, I'm happy to say hello to my 30's about 75lbs lighter than I was on my birthday last year. But, I learned a very valuable lesson last week. 75lbs ago I could consume a lot more tasty beverages than I can consume now. I was also consuming more beverages on a regular basis. Don't get me wrong, I still love to consume....but, I need to be more careful. Plus, I definitely noticed the effects of consuming beverages all week long in the gym.

I had a pretty decent week of working out:

Monday: 5.5 miles, abs
Tuesday: 6.42 miles, chest
Wednesday: 7.x miles, abs
Thursday: 30 min elliptical, 5 min stairmaster, back, lats
Friday: 10 mile run outside....tough run....need to bring water with me now that it's getting hot outside
Saturday: bday!! golf
Sunday: mow the yard :)

Last week:

Monday: 4.7 miles, chest
Tuesday: 5.x miles (I forgot...), abs
Wednesday: 6.5 miles, back, lats
Thursday: 7 miles
Friday: 30 min elliptical, pushups, dips, bday celebration!
Saturday: Recover

Sunday, May 10, 2009

EoW Report

11.5 miles yesterday! I was only planning on doing the 10 mile route that I had mapped out, but at about mile 7 I saw Traci heading my way down the road in our vehicle. At first I thought something was wrong, but then she told me that she was going to finish the run with me!! I was pumped! The only problem was that I had just reached the bottom of a very big hill....and Traci had to drop the kids off at her parents' house...which was up the hill. So, I turned around and went up the big friggin hill, which added about 1.5 miles to the run. But, it was worth it because I had a blast finishing the run with Traci - she did AWESOME!!! I am unbelievably proud of her!! Lookout Steamboat here she comes!!!

The new 10 mile route wasn't too bad. There was a lot of great scenery, but at times I had flashes of the movie Deliverance running through my head as a ran along the Mackinaw river out in the middle of nowhere. That was slightly scary, but I pressed on. The other bad part was that there is about a half mile of dirt/rock road on the route...which really hurt my right foot. I think I landed on a rock the wrong way and every step afterwards hurt...but, I pressed on again.

Overall, I had a pretty solid workout week. I finished the week with a stroll through the trails at Wild Life Prairie Park....after a tasty Mother's Day brunch.

Monday: 3.5 mile run, chest
Tuesday: 5.7 mile run, abs
Wednesday: 20 min elliptical, 10 min stairmaster, back & lats
Thursday: 6.5 mile run
Friday: light pushups, crunches, & dips (I need to start working my arms and shoulders more)
Saturday: 11.5 mile run
Sunday: Pushed a double stroller through the trails at Wild Life Prairie Park...

I need to work extra hard this coming week in order to prepare for all the bad stuff I will be consuming at my bday gig on Friday...

Friday, May 8, 2009

“In life as in dance: Grace glides on blistered feet” -Alice Abrams

When I was in the Army we used to do these things called road marches. These were not your typical frolicking along, singing cadences, strolling through the park marches. The longest one we did was around 20-25 miles...with a backpack weighing around 40-50lbs, a weapon in your arms, and combat boots...not hiking boots, not running shoes, not grandma's slippers....combat boots. They sucked. The backpack and weapon weren't too bad....the boots were painful. When we first started doing them in basic training I always wondered why we had to stop along the march and change our socks. No matter how long the march was, we had to get in the practice of changing our socks. Then, after returning from a march that wasn't too long, I realized the importance of good feet care. For as long as I live, I'm confident that I will never forget the image that I saw that day in our barracks. A buddy of mine walked past my rack (bed) and I just happened to glance down at the floor to see that he was leaving a trail as he walked....a trail of bloody footprints. Yep, each step he took left a bloody image of the bottoms of his feet on the linoleum floor of our barracks. His feet were in bad shape because he didn't take care of himself. I'll never forget it...and because of that, I'll never forget about the importance of taking care of your feet.

Unfortunately, I was blessed with really soft feet....so I get blisters very easily. In fact, the bottoms of my pinky toes typically go from blister to callus and back to blister. It makes long runs interesting, but I'm learning to deal with it.

Socks, shoes, ointments are critical.

My favorite socks so far are the Nike Zoom Tab Non-Cushioned Low Cut (http://store.nike.com/index.jsp?country=US&lang_locale=en_US&l=shop,pdp,ctr-inline/cid-1/pid-207376#l=shop,pdp,ctr-inline/cid-1/pid-179715/pgid-179714)

I'm sure I can find something better, but these are what I'm currently using for long runs. I wear a pair of Addidas coolmax socks for short runs.

My current shoes are New Balance 1063. I also have a pair of specially made orthotics that I wear due to flat feet, a previously broken 5th metatarsal, and a few other fun issues. I love New Balance running shoes...I wear a size 13 extra wide and it seems that NB has the most options in my size. They also seem to last a long time.

Here's a glimpse at my current strategy for keeping my feet in decent shape:

Before Run: I will usually cover my pinky toes and any callused area in Aquaphor. If I have a really painful blister I will also wrap the toe in Moleskin. I'll finish up by rolling a drying agent over the bottoms and tops of my feet. The drying agent helps keep my feet from getting too wet, which can lead to additional blisters or continued irritation of the existing blisters. It's also helps my feet stay smelling so fresh and so clean...clean.

After Run: After I shower I rub Urea Cream on my damaged toes followed by more drying agent. I will usually do this once more before bed.

The Urea Cream and drying agent are prescription only. The Aquaphor and Moleskin can be found in lots of places. I've also substituted Vaseline for the Aquaphor.

So there's my remedy...what do you do?

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Next weekend's route!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Drink Water!

9 miles today....I felt dehydrated for most of the run. I have got to start drinking more water (and probably less beer). When I was in the Army 'drink water!' was often shouted when it was time for a quick break. I need to remember the friendly advice of my drill sergeants and start drinking more water.

Overall this week was a pretty solid 'get back at it' week.

Monday - 3.5 miles, chest, abs
Tuesday - 5.41 miles
Wednesday - 20 min elptical, lats & back
Thursday - 6.50 miles
Friday - REST
Saturday - 9 miles
Sunday - ?? (probably rest, combined with some random pushups and situps...)

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

"Do a little more each day than you think you possibly can." - Lowell Thomas

5.41 miles yesterday! I was very happy to break the 5 mile mark again. It wasn't too fast (50 min; about a 9:14 pace), but it still wasn't easy. There was definitely some pain once I got past mile 4....I just kept telling myself that the harder I push today, the easier it will be tomorrow.

I was reminded again how important 'foot care' is for runners. When I have some more time, I'm going to post the remedy that I've been using and hopefully others will post theirs.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

“Training was a time where resolutions made in the enthusiasm of an inspired moment were put to personal test.” -Herb Elliott

3.5 miles and a light chest & ab workout. It felt great.....it still feels great. My energy level, my attitude, my mood, etc, it's all better when I can workout. The run wasn't fast by any means (3.5 miles in 31:31), I was just glad to be able to get back on the treadmill. I did some interval work to help me ease back into a faster pace and it didn't feel too bad, but I could definitely tell that I had taken some time off. I did notice that my feet weren't in great shape, which is odd considering all the rest they've had. Hopefully I won't get any new blisters this week.

Hopefully the weather gets better so I can get a long run in this weekend!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

“He who loves, flies, runs, and rejoices; he is free and nothing holds him back.” -Henry Matisse

Back in the gym tomorrow and back on the treadmill. I'm scared to even think about what the scale is going to say on Thursday. It's been a rough 10 days, especially the pain and the bad eating/drinking (I like Heineken). But, I'm really looking forward to getting back on track. It's amazing how much better I feel when I'm exercising. Running is like a super happy pill for me....without it I just don't feel right.

I know I'm not quite fully healed, but I'm hoping things are good enough to start easing my miles back up. I'm tired of being tired...and grumpy!!

I'm going to take it slow this week and just play things by ear. My goal will be just to get settled back into the routine.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

My Bday

I know many of you are still struggling with my birthday gift....you still have 32 more shopping days left. To make things easier for you, I wanted to let you know that I am in the market for a pace trainer. I know Garmin has some good ones, but I really don't have a clue what to look for. If you have any suggestions, feel free to comment!

Still no running or working out....I can't wait to get back at it. It seems that when I don't exercise not only am I a grumpy boy but, I also eat really bad....

Saturday, April 18, 2009

I Survived...

I survived. Doc says no running for 10 days.....we'll see....

Thursday, April 16, 2009

“The greatest stimulator of my running career was fear” -Herb Elliot

3.5 miles this morning and 15 minutes on the elliptical machine, followed by a good arms and shoulders workout with some light abs. I was dragging a bit during the run...probably due to running yesterday after work and not resting enough after the half marathon. But, I got a great sweat in this morning and I weighed myself....haven't been this weight since I graduated from basic training!!

Well, no more workouts for me for a few days. Tomorrow will not be a fun day.....yes, I am fearful and nervous. I'm not ashamed to admit it....well, maybe a little ashamed, but hey...this is man's worst nightmare we're talking about. Cheers to the boys.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

“Your training partners are key to your success, and friendships based on your runs together are strong.” -Bill Rodgers

I had a solid back and lats workout today. It felt good to stretch things out a bit. I'm sure I'll be sore tomorrow, but I feel great today. Per a suggestion from Men's Health magazine, I've started to do deadlifts as part of my back routine. They kick my butt, but I can definitely tell that they are making a difference in my strength and posture. I've been working the lats pretty hard too.....I've been struggling with toning up there, so hopefully I'll start to see results soon.

I was supposed to take today off from running or any cardio. But....CJ was there to motivate me to get my butt out of the cube and on the pavement. I ran a nice 5k in some beautiful weather and then went to Papa Murphy's and scored a Delite pizza for me and the Mrs. As always, thanks to my lovely bride for putting up with my running and workout schedule. I couldn't ask for a better support system at home and I'm thrilled that she's joining the running addiction with me. She's got a great workout schedule and I can't wait to see her run Steamboat this summer!

It seems that on a daily basis for the past month or so I've had someone comment on my weight loss. I've even had a few people tell me that they didn't even recognize me. I don't see that much of a difference, but I certainly appreciate the kind words. Runnin on empty.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

6.55 miles this morning at a 9:09 pace. It actually felt pretty good....my quads are still a little sore, but overall it was a pretty good run. I'm definitely looking forward to getting in a long run outside again. I'm having some surgery on Friday so unfortunately, I won't be getting much running in at all this weekend.

I'll was planning on resting tomorrow and just getting in a good back and lats workout. But, there is a 5k run after work so I might give that a shot....we'll see.

I really need to start working on my speed....if anyone has any suggestions send 'em my way!
Still a little sore from the half on Saturday. I did 3.5 miles on the treadmill yesterday and I had a solid chest workout. I took a week off from lifting weights and I could definitely tell....

I think my next race might be the Steamboat 14k. I've heard that it's extremely hilly....in fact, Mrs CJ says it's worse than doing a half marathon. I've done a lot of hill training, but I'm sure it will still be a tough run.

It sounds like the whole family might be doing the Quad Cities half marathon in September! More to come...

Sunday, April 12, 2009

This is your face on running, this is your face on not running. Any questions?

First Half Marathon!

Looking out at the road rushing under my wheels
I dont know how to tell you all just how crazy this life feels
I look around for the friends that I used to turn to to pull me through
Looking into their eyes I see them running too
Running on - running on empty
-jackson browne