Monday, November 24, 2008

A Good Lesson

Today I wanted to work out on the step-mill, or the "Gauntlet" as some call is the actual steps that are on a loop that fall under you. Can't cheat on that machine......unless you hang on the rails with all your weight.....anyway.....

I couldn't use that machine. And I didn't want to run as my ankle is a little tweaked from acting on a hill of snow

I looked towards the Precore....the elliptical machine. A few years ago, I LOVED that machine. But I was going at such a high rate that it was starting too not really feel healthy. I wasn't doing it for was for see if I could still go as fast in my 40th year as when I was in my early 30's.

I had a bit of fear as I stepped onto it today. But as I began, I took my ego out of it and really listened to what felt good to my edge TODAY. Not slacking off. Not pushing for what I have done in the past. What is good in the NOW.

And the result was a wonderful workout that left me feeling great. And it wasn't too far off what I used to do (see my ego can't take the WHOLE day off!) which surprised me.

My workout today was a good reminder of how what you are wanting out of life changes as you age. It is ok to let the past accomplishments and failures go. It makes room for todays goals. So I am back to the precore. Another friend in my arsenal of aerobic attack! Between precore, gauntlet yoga and good ole' running, I should be in great shape for my life. The thing that really is great about hitting the machines is that it gives you a break from the jarring that running can give you......BUT it is vital to keep the running up because some of that jarring is really good for your bones and muscles!

Ok, no HUGE revelation today....but a good old friend came back into my workout world.



Monday, November 17, 2008

A Chilly Half-Marathon Inspired by Roche!

Okay, it has been two months since I posted an entry here. I thought I would let this go after the Project was done. But today I remembered, "We are never DONE.....when we are trully done, I think we are dead!" So having an inspired day, I am writing again and will do so once a week at least!

I wanted to run with Chris Roche around Eagle Creek yesterday. He is training for a full marathon on a wooded and hilly trail. It is happening in six weeks, and the man was going out for a looooong run yesterday, despite having a fever earlier in the week! But my legs needed a day of rest as I have been pushing them hard this past week. I decided to honor my need for rest, as it was the heathier choice. I did house chores, watched football and thought of Chris often.

I had planned to run 10 miles today after my rest yesterday. 10 miles on a nice indoor track that is well padded. 10 miles in shorts and a tee shirt. But I kept thinking about Chris' run......

I decided to suck it up and run outside today. After my matinee of Christmas Carol, I stopped by the Running Co. in Broad Ripple to sign me and Jen up for the Turkey Day run. I invested in some good cold weather running pants and gloves. They gave me a 20% discount because I signed up for the race!

You know.....I used to HATE the notion of running in cold weather. HATE IT!!!!! No, maybe worse than hate.....I just refused to let it be an option. But today something flipped. Maybe it was because I know Chris is working so hard at it no matter the weather.....maybe also because I saw an old friend in the park running this morning as I walked my dog......but whatever the reason, I did it, and in style!

I wound up running a half marathon and really enjoyed the weather. As long as you have the right gear, running in the upper 30 degree weather isn't too bad!

So now I am warm and happy inside. Waiting for Jen to get home from Ohio. A warm cup o' joe and a sleeping pup at my side as I type. And I want to thank Chris for once again guiding me into another option for health and well-being.

Rock on, fellow Project Grads.....and all potential Project enrollees!!



Monday, September 15, 2008

A New Personal Best Using Roche's "Interval Training"

Happy Week 11! Eleven is one of my favorite numbers, so it is fitting that I had one of the most euphoric workouts of this whole project today:

I used the monday interval training for AN ENTIRE HALF MARATHON!

Basically, I ran .2 miles at a moderate 7 on the RPE. Then I ran 1.2 at an 8 on the RPE. The result was a personal best time for me. I sliced over a minute off my old personal best time.

As I learned in reading the Runners Commandments, when you have a good fast run, you don't need to talk about it, so the exact time is irrelevant. What is relevant is why I have been able to improve. Here are some reasons I belive this project has helped me achieve this:

Better all around strength. Chris has folded in so many things that all systems are improving.

Better Mental Attitude: I am not letting my beliefs get in my way. I am listening to my body, not telling my body how it feels. Letting my mind be more passive, more an observer and less of a dictator.

Using outside inspiration....literally! Running outside has gotten much more pleasing for me. Also, I use other peoples success to fuel my own. My wife is a constant source of inspiration, as is Chris, as are all the other Project folks and my yoga pals. Also, my prof. atheletes that I admire help me find my edge and continue to stretch it. Sound corny, but a pitcher for the Cubs threw a no-hitter yesterday and I used him to push me to do the interval training all through the run. That was my "no hitter".

I love this stuff. Another Runner's Commandment I'd like us all to remember: When we are about to run, or walk, or do anything with our bodies, we should give thanks that we are able to use our bodies so well......

Love and Support to you all,


Saturday, September 13, 2008

End of Week 10 Update.....

Where to start....been too many days since I blogged!

I am nursing a sore left ankle and a sore right knee. The good news is that neither "tweak" was due to the was due to a teeny big of stage violence in the show I am in....

But even though I felt a little tweaked, I decided to run yesterday, rather than play it safe on an aerobic machine. And I am so glad I did! Seven miles at a pace of 6:46 a mile. Not bad for being a little tweaked and a little sore from the week's workouts. The Thursday workout is quite a burner for the legs, so the run on Friday is a real test.

I LOVE HOW THE PROJECT PUSHES OUR EDGE! I love being surprised by what I am able to do physically, when I don't let the belief that I am too tired get in the way. I am getting better at trusting my body and not letting my mind rule the day.

I AM GETTING TO BE A GOOD JUMP-ROPER!! I love this last phase of the workout, in that we don't have to count our jump rope reps, just do it for five minutes. Now I am focussing more on the rythm and not getting bad jumps. I have gone for as long as 90 seconds without getting stuck on the rope! Hopefully I'll work my way up to the whole stinkin' five minutes with no hiccups!

I ran for a total of 27.5 miles this week. A marathon in a week! Next week, if my knee and ankle feel good, I want to run a half marathon on Monday. Gotta get ready for October!

Talked to Chris Roche today (with Jen) about what to do after we are done with our twelve weeks. I think I want to get back to a few old fashioned weight workouts for a week, then mix it day a "Roche Weight Workout" then a day of aerobic....then an old fashioned weight workout.......just keep changing it, keeping it fun and challenging and a little shocking for the bod.

I miss doing flys more than any other weight exercise. It'll be good to get them back.

I think the best thing I have learned in this so far is that there really is no excuse not to exercise. Unless you need the rest....but the gym being closed? Bull! It's too late/too early? Crap!! You don't think you have the energy? BULLCRAP!!!!!!!

So here we go. One full week left. Then a "recovery week". I am going to try to be better at the nutrition and the meditation this week

Friday, September 5, 2008

Inspiration at exhaustion!! Singing, Size 32's and Waitin' for a gig....

Okay, to start legs and ass are PISSED OFF!!!!!!!

The Thursday weight workout was great. But I think I pursued the lunge and squat sections a little aggressively.

So today's run was literally a big pain in the ass!

Also, I tweaked my right knee in the show I am rehearsing. I get my head slammed into a table and then thrown accross the room, and we rehearsed it a bunch on Tuesday, and I fell wrong one time and bashed the side of my knee. I am hoping it's just a bruise, and will just nag at me for a bit.....ANYWAY......

Today's run was not pretty. Six miles where I never really got over the "I HAVE to do this" stage....which is pretty rare for me. I chugged along, no worries of time, just wanted to bang out six miles before I had to go to rehearsal ****Does anyone else have a new appreciation for getting their workout done early?!?!?!

I finished the run and came back into my house. Then Jen came back. We both looked beat. But then came the wonderful part!

I never thought I'd be one of those people who "pull out the old pair of jeans they used to fit into".....but.......

Jen was lamenting the fact that I don't have any jeans my butt off. Sorry, but if you're reading my blog, well, it's mine......and I must now write about Jen's view of my butt.....or the view she'd like to get my point.....

As she was saying this, I recalled a pair of jeans I had gotten that were tooooooo small. But because of the project, it wondered if I should try them on......

HOLY CRAP, THEY FIT! Now, if I binged for a few days, they might not fit that well.....but right now, they fit pretty well!!!! I felt great!

Next, I jump in the shower to wash off my ugly six mile run and get ready for rehearsal. My voice feels pretty good so I......for the heck of it....just in the same flippint manner I try in those jeans....try singing a song that has a few notes in it that are very very high and must be sung very very powerfully for them to sound good. Up until this day, I hadn't been able to hit those notes with the abdominal "ooomph" that they needed.


Seriously, this project, and more to the point, the core work in this project has helped my singing and my stage voice incredibly. And today, when I hit those notes I almost couldn't believe it.

Lastly, I got a phone call today from an artistic director for a theatre I am really hoping to work at. But because I was in rehearsal, I couldn't take the call. I knew that when I checked the message, I might have a job offer, I might have a rejection, I might have a "we don't know yet, but we'll keep you posted".

I could have really started to stress, but my yoga helped. "that job does not define me. And though I really want that job, I am happy right now in my life without it, so whatever waits for me on the other end of that message, I am okay."

That is what I really thought, and the message was "give me a call back...looking forward to chatting with you about the project...." but no concrete I still don't know. And I think that's a good test for me. It would be so easy to stress and obsess about what's going to happen. But you know what? Shows come and shows always go. And I know I did the best audition I could and left the choice to them. I can leave it until they tell me and I don't need the stress.

I really think my yoga has helped me realize that stress has no good place in life, no matter what.

Here's to three more weeks! And beyond!!!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Giving Blood and Running a Mini Marathon with Chris' 5:00 Interval Training

Howdy Project Pilots!

First off , this entry title does NOT mean I gave blood, THEN ran a Mini-Marathon!

I wanted to mention first about giving blood. Jen and I do it regularly. Jen has been deferred a few times due to low iron, but if you have that problem, check this out! The blood center will put you on a great iron supplement FOR FREE!! And give you good education materials to make sure you are eating what you need to boost your iron.

I am all for everyone donating. And once you start doing it, it becomes second nature. And the needle isn't half as bad as the anticipation of most things :0)

And yesterday I gave platelets, which takes longer because they put everything else back in you. The good thing is your recovery time is less with platelets.....and they are always in huge demand because leukemia patients need the clotting factor in I even spelling that right?!?!

Anyway. I say give it a try.....good karma.....AND you can call ten days after you donate and find out your blood type and your cholesterol! AND AND AND!!......many times you get a wondeful "prize" for giving. This week Jen and I got $40 gift card for the Outback Steakhouse!! One time we got free passes for King's Island! Of course the real reason to give is to help the great need for blood, plasma, platlets, ect......but the extra stuff you can get doesn't hurt.....

I think we'll use the Outback for a celebration at the end of the twelve weeks....which ain't that far off!!

Okay! Now for running the mini:

I expanded Chris' interval training to match a longer run. Instead of running at an RPE of 8 for 5 minutes, I extended it to about eight minutes, then took about a 90 second RPE of 6.5. Then I was back up to 8 for eight minutes. I did this for about 50 minutes. I think if I had been able to sustain that pace, I would have broken a personal best for half marathon time. But I decided to pull back a bit because of fatigue and the fact that I really hadn't had a day of rest in a week. I finished the mini in 91:19. About two minutes off my best time. But I am interested in trying to do a whole mini with the interval mindset and see how I do. I think it will take some building up to be able to endure it, but I'm game!!

I really love tweaking my running with Chris' interval work, particularly the Monday run.

And these last weight workouts began today......holy crap! Where did he think of this stuff? And the combo of excercises!!! I have a real love/hate relationship with it......but mostly love. Helps to have my honey workin' alongside me........

Have a great week 9 everybody!

Peace and pushups....


Thursday, August 21, 2008

Working out during a one-man friggin Scotland!

We found a gym to do the Thursday workout in today. Needed it because there's no other way to do chin ups or lat pull downs in the house we're staying in......after some poking around we found a great gym, mapped the bus route there, worked out anyone else ready for a recovery week?!?!?! And an hour after we finished, I was starting the one man show.......holy crap!

I love it, is amazing how much stamina you can find with the right mind set.

Tomorrow is a run. Probably in the rain....again. But that's cool.

Jen's folks are in town to see the cool is that?!? My in-laws travel to Scotland to see me perform. They are great friends. Anyway, we ate with them tonight and it posed some challenges, but we came out of it without being too bad. Still probably eating a bit too much later in the evening.

Looking forward to the last three days here, then getting back to the states. But I want to be very present for my last 72 hours in a wonderful foreign land.

Much love your way, fellow bloggers!


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Running in the Rain in Scotland

Howdy everybody!

Wanted to share a really cool experience with you all. Jen and I are in Scotland. We have done a good job with keeping up with our workouts over here. The only day we missed was all day on the plane...they kept stopping us from jumping rope in the isles. Damn airline rules!

Anyway, we had our interval run yesterday. We have found a nice park not too far from our flat. Hee hee......I love using all the terms that are new to us....flat, loo, privy, dustbin, carpark, rubbish, petrol, allu-MINIUM can......but I digress.....

It was a cold, rainy day. And by cold, I mean the kind of day we might have in late October. Really kinda chilly. I have loved the weather over here.....we are getting a break from the dog days of Indiana. But yesterday was lousy and chilly.

So Jen and I finished teching our show and came home and went for our run. Walking to the park it was so nasty! We both had this posture of....well....icky-ness. And then as we ran...the "importance" of the bad weather just melted away as we got into what we were doing. And the really joyful part was that as we walked back home, feeling like we had really conquored something, it was still raining pretty good, and WE DIDN'T CARE!!! It was actually enjoyable to walk in. A gift from the workout....a new perspective on the rain....we were already soaked, so who cares!

Watching other people struggle to keep the rain out, wincing against it, made me wish everybody could feel what I felt at that moment. Like a kid playing outside...

Okay, off to do a weight workout, then my first performance over here.......send me the mojo, folks......



Sunday, August 17, 2008

Hello From Edinburgh!!!

Sunday Night......can't remember the date!

Jen and i are having a very intense time here in Scotland. Travel has been tiring, and we haven't even started the Fringe show yet! But tomorrow we will to the tech for it in the morning, and then jen and i will do our interval run. We searched out a beautiful park to run in today.

So easy to see why Europeans don't have the obesity rate we do: Today Jen and i walked easily four to five miles. We will do that most days we are here. We will NOT be counting that as our workouts!!!! No way. That's just a part of life here, and when we get home, we will try to incorporate it more into our lives in Indy.

Nutrition has been the biggest challenge so far, but we have been pretty good. We ate at a Vegitarian place tonight....the oldest vegitarian restaurant in Edinburgh! It was great and we were very healthy with our choices. All salad....the only starchy things were some yams cut up and a multi grain roll. And now that we are in a house we can cook more for ourselves. Went shopping today and bought great grub for the next week.

We have been lousy with counting the calories. Just trying to make good choices. We will definintely pick the counting back up full time when we are back home. We ARE looking at the labels of everything we buy and making informed choices. Still tough to read some UK nutritional labels, though......

Sorry Chris, I don't think haggis will pass my lips. Although people say it tastes good, I can't do it. I DID however have a glass of twelve year old scotch that made me think I could learn to be a drinker.........

okay. now that we have better computer access i will be writing more.

Wish us luck on the tech tomorrow....and the interval run!!!



Sunday, August 10, 2008

Half Marathon Run and Sleep!

Howdy Pilots!

Well, after many nights of poor and sometimes little sleep, Jen and I cashed it hard last night. Nine hours! I know it's not healthy to try to do "catch up" sleep. I need to get more each night than I do. Of course as I write this I am sure all of you are in bed!

Anyway, I went for a "mini" test run today and felt great! I ran 13.2 miles in a little under 92 minutes. And I didn't feel like I was pushing too hard. Just a good tempo run.

What I love about that is this: Four years ago I was prepping for my first mini and hoping for a time under 100 minutes. I ran that first mini in 90:16....great....except for the fact that I was OBLITERATED for the next five days! Pulled groin, torn up calves, and butt muscles that were very grumpy for a week......

Today I ran at a fair clip for me. Maybe not as fast as I could, but a good pace. And tonight I feel fine. A bit tight, but fine. Thank you yoga and better conditioning in my mind and body.

What do I need to work on in the next seven weeks? Meditiation. Meditation. Meditation.

Eliminating beating myself up when I "let myself down" or don't meet an expectation in life or the Project.

Accept where I am and keep kindly moving myself forward.

Jen and I are off to Europe tomorrow....after our weight workout! Send us good vibes as we keep the project flying high overseas......

Here's good vibes to all of you.....



Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Working Out on the Road....

Hi Fellow Pilots!

Just a quick entry before bed. What a wonderful time Jen and I are having visitng my family in NY/Pennsylvania. My family had converged on my Mom's house to give it some much needed TLC. Ripping down wallpaper, painting most of the interior, and during the progects, so much laughter and sharing memories....and catching up! I am the last of seven so there's a lot of activity here!

And I am proud to say we haven't missed a workout. And Today's entry into the second phase of the strength was.....shall I say......In-Freakin-Tense!!!!! Wow....that was a highly challenging workout. There were a few times that I was laughing at how hard it was. And a few times I thought there was no way I'd get through it. And for the first time I had to stop in the middle of an ab set.....I also had to stop during the two-speed push ups. After the second round of two speeds, when I went to do the three fast push ups, my body froze in fear of doing a complete face plant! I had to just do three "pulses" of push ups.......

Anyway. We are back to full throttle! And tomorrow I run along the Deleware River and will probably see Eagles, Deer and have a remote chance of a bear sighting! I miss this countryside where I am from.

Oh! Monday's interval run was great. I find the minute on and "off" somehow less challenging mentally that the thirty may be also that I let myself do more of and 8 to 8.5 rather than a 9 on the RPE scale. That made a big difference.

Okay. Must sleep. Tomorrow we run, kayak and at night I perform my show that I am taking to Scotland in a week. There's a beautiful old theatre here in town. Small and quaint, like the town itself.



Friday, August 1, 2008

Friday's Aerobic "Classic"

Hi Pilots!

Today I took a "fond" trip down memory lane.....I did my aerobic workout on the Gauntlet at my gym. If you don't know, the Gauntlet is a big machine that is basically a series of steps that revolve and fall beneath you. It is like walking or speed walking or almost jogging upstairs, except you have rails for your hands if you need the aid. And I do use the rails, but I tend to go pretty hard for an hour, so I give myself the rails to help my form a bit.....

And to add to my fun, I am mowing our lawn. One acre of fun! And yep, it's just a self-push mower. It takes about two and a half hours. Just finished about 60% and came in to change shirts and take a break. Lotsa water.

My Gauntlet experience was interesting. Very challenging. More than I expected, but it's probably because I havent done that workout in a while, and even though we've all been running fools, different workouts push you in different ways. It was great to be so challenged by it and feel like I met it head friggin' excuses!!!

Also, have to cut myself a bit of slack as I gave blood yesterday.

Speaking of that......I have to get a mass note out to folks to donate blood. Very good thing to do, and all you have to do is get in the habit of it, then it's no big deal......

Looking foreward to yoga tomorrow, then a loooooong 730 mile drive to my Mom's!!!



Thursday, July 31, 2008

Gave Blood and took a day....

Jen and I didn't get home from our baseball bonanza until almost 5a.m. this morning! Well worth it as the Cubs won and we had a great time. Got to watch the last inning from the second row behing first base!

Our "free day" wasn't too nasty! Air popped pop-corn (which I think is good for a non-free day) at the ball park....then an hour later some AWESOME waffle-fries. We did NOT get cheese with them. Miller Park has some awesome brown mustard! Is that a Wisconsin thing?

After the game, we stopped at Wendy's. Jen got a single burger. No cheese and threw out the bun....BUT WAIT!! I came up with the idea of using a "flat-out" wrap instead of the bun (if you don't know about flat-outs then we must tell you.....) and Jen came up with the master stroke of using a wedge of laughing cow we had in our cooler. The result: a much healthier and I think tastier burger! I got the grilled chicken wrap, threw out the wrap and used one of our "flat-outs".

We of course had our frosty's which is the whole reason we went to Wendy's in the first place. And Jen cut up a bannana and put half in each and we put our fiber ceral into it for the crunch. That is better than any blizzard you could get from the DQ!!!!

Today I gave blood. And took a day off from any training at all. Legs are happy, I think they were a little shot from the week. And it is NEVER a good idea to exercise before of after giving blood. It's a day for rest......

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Tuesday-Yoga Class!!

Had a wonderful yoga class with Chris at CityYoga, and though it was challenging, what a nice diversion from the intense strength workouts we have had for three weeks!

I asked Chris if he would mind me doing an "old fashioned" weight workout tomorrow, as my legs are a bit tired and my upper body is chomping at the bit to have a weight workout. But Chris said that is exactly what he wants us to be feeling be a horse at the gait excited for the next phase to start...but no starting it 'till next week!

So....I'll run easy tomorrow.

One thing that we talked about at the end of class tonight is how cool it is that aside from some little tweaks, no one has sustained an injury during these intense workouts. I love that! And my hip hasn't given me more than a small tweak in a few weeks, and I haven't missed a run workout yet! And don't plan to!

Tomorrow Jen and I travel to Milwaukee to see the Cubs and Brewers play.....can't wait!! And it's our "free day" but I don't think we're going to hit 4100 calories least I hope not!

Speaking of that, if I had that day to do over, I would omit the Starbuck's sweets. 600 calories for both of us, and they went into our bellies so fast, it wasn't really worth it. The pizza, however, was awesome. 1100 calories for us both, but that was enjoyable for about an hour. The pastries? A few minutes at best...... I'll post how we do! Go Cubs!

Entry for Monday, July 29, 2008

Had a good run today. 10 miles! Even though we were at the theatre until 1:30 a.m. Sunday and I had to be up at 6:15 to get to the dentist. 10 miles on 2.5 hours sleep. I am glad I did it but I must get more sleep! (He said as the clock strikes 3 a.m.!!)

Struggling with the late night eating. I know my weight is fine, but I do feel "cleaner" when I stay away from big portions late at night. Even if they are large portions of veggies. I know it's emotional as well......Oh well, a lifetime to work on it!

Giving Blood on Thursday with Jen.

I would like to sub my wednesday run with an "old fashioned" weight workout. I wonder if Chris will ok that.

More later....must sleep!