Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Hill Training.....great for us FLATLANDERS!

I went back to NY to visit my family last week and had three opportunities to do some of the hardest running us Hoosiers can do: HILLS.

The first run was easily in the top five hardest workouts I have ever done. It was a run up Mt. Beacon in NY state. Only 2.5-2.75 miles....but the last mile and a half is a constant mountain times over a 20% grade. I ran it with my nephew who has been doing it several times a week and I thought I was going to have to stop twice, but I plowed through. The reward was a gorgeous resivoir at the top, and a great swim. I was obliterated. Granted, I had done a weight workout earlier that day, and it was about 90 degrees, but it would have been extrememly hard anyway.

I was so intrigued by it, that I ran it again two days later. Not as fast this time, but I made it. I ran alone and didn't push as hard as when I was with my Nephew.

Two days later, I ran at my Mom's on River Road (Ive blogged about that before) and I BLEW through those hills!!!! Something about the mountain's constant climb made the River Road seem much easier.

And today, at an indoor track at NIFS I took advantage of my "mountain legs and lungs" and set two records for myself. Fastest five miles ever (6:28/mile) and fastest 6 miles ever (6:28,75/mile). No, I didn't run 11 miles! I ran 6 miles, but noted the time each mile.

So if you can get to some hills....train on them!!!



Monday, August 3, 2009

Another Mini Under my Belt......

Ran a half marathon yesterday in 91:30. Not an official race, just me in my neighborhood. Felt really good and I was glad I brought my stopwatch. I wasn't going to for fear of getting too much performance hype in my head. But I never did. I felt like my RPE started out at about a 7, and when I finished my first lap (it takes a little over nine laps around my neighborhood to do a mini) I was surprised that my time was 10:10. Usually I have to push to get under a ten minute lap. Since I was close to that, I decided to lightly push the next lap, which I did in 9:44. Well, then my positive cometitive juices kicked in and I had a lot of fun challenging myself, without going overboard. The result was the fastest half marathon I've run in two months. Not my personal best, but really good on a day when I was just going to run without timing myself.

I can push myself for another sub-90 half marathon. It's just about putting the fear aside and doing the work and enjoying the effort.

QUESTION FOR CHRIS OR ANYONE ELSE: Is it common to be stronger on your "non-dominant side" and better with balance on your "dominant side"? I am and I think it's odd.
My entire left side is stronger than my right, but my right leg is a much better anchor for single-leg poses than my left. What is up with that?!?!?!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Update.....a brief one!

Keeping up with Kelly!!! I will not let her have to take on the whole blogging duties!!!!

My trip back home was AMAZING! My Mom was blown away and surprised completely by the party.

And near the end of the great night, Jen and I wound up on the dancefloor with about five of my nephews teaching them yoga moves! Headstands and arm balances! And they did really well and we provided lots of entertainment for the hard-core party-goers.

And the day before the party, I ran ten miles on River Road. I have run a half-marathon on that road, but this was cooler and maybe more challenging. The reason: I ran a hillier section of the road. It was INSANE!! So steep hills, but it felt really wonderful. And Jen did three miles and one mile walking, so I think she is good to go for the "Go Girl" race!!!!!

Jen and I took the ACRO-YOGA workshop tonight and it was wonderful! We balanced each other in lots of different poses. Although some of it is challenging, I think many of our community could do lots of these poses. Kelly! You and Matt could totally do these! We should talk!!

Hope all are well!


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

My Mom is Turning 80!

Hi All,

So next weekend Jen and I will be travelling East to see my family and have a party for my Mom. She is tunring eighty, and I can't really belive that. Well, part of me can. I think we are all aware somewhere inside ourselves of the constant progression of time. When my Dad passed on in 1989, a clock sounded in my head that began a different awarness of my mortality and everyone around me. And it seems like only a short time ago my family was having a party for my Grandma turning 80, and now it's my Mom........the onion keeps peeling, doesn't it?

I don't know what to say about it, except that it's cool. It must be! It's what we all signed on for. Or what our parents signed us on for when they has us. But I feel like we signed on for this life, and our parents just provided the entrance into this world. Sometime I'll explain my theory behind this, and then you'll all think I am either really in touch with things, or a real whack-job!!

My bod feels pretty good. My voice is a little ratty, which is no good for actors! My fault for doing some things that don't help it, like the occasional cigarrette. But I am working on keeping that down. I want to admit that I do that to my "healthy community" of friends because otherwise I feel I am hiding it, and that is only adding to the issue in a negative way. And you know, there is a part of me that views an OCCASIONAL smoke as an ok thing. But the majority of my mind and heart recognizes that it is incidious; it will always be a habit forming and addictive temptation. And it will not help my career.

Besides that little ommision, I feel very strong and healthy. Mixing up the workouts: Some project stuff (the last one Chris put out there was GREAT!) and running, biking and the Gauntlet. All of these are keeping me strong for the upcoming acting season and for perhaps becoming a Papa......!

Jen and I are talking, I don't like the term "trying". We are talking about "making the opportunity very possible" for becoming pregnant. Haven't made things fully possible yet, but maybe soon. Scary and absolutely wonderful!

What else? Thanks to my Nephew, Zack, I am picking up the guitar after a sixteen year pause! Only for fun and probably just for myself and Jen, but it's so nice to strum some chords again. So theraputic. And Jen has begun tickling the piano keys again! Hopefully we will keep this up. Much better than the t.v.

Wow, lots of topics. But I will keep writing thanks to Kelly and Chris for the re-inspiration into blog-dom!!

With love,


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Kelly has inspired me!

I have been off the blog lately, but not because I have nothing to write about. Just got out of practice. But Kelly and her posts have got my mojo going again. I do miss keeping up with how everyone is doing, so I am going to get back into it.

Just a shortie tonight, as it is LATE!!!

Jen and I have been doing a stationary bike at NIFS. Jen much more than me, but thanks to her I am into it as well and it is GREAT. It's called the Expresso, and it has 30 different virtual courses you can do, and some of them are butt-busters! I never dug cycling, but this has me a little stoked. I will write more about it later.....other topics I want to cover:

Me and Jen thinking pretty seiously about having a kid.

My Mom turning 80.

How my mind feels at 43, and how my body feels. And how my mind sometimes THINKS my body feels! ha ha! that's a good thing to ponder......

gotta sleep. More soon! Hope to see more of you good people!


Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Summer Sweat Teaches me why the song says, "Don't Fear the Reaper"

So it's been two classes back on the mat in Indy. And the teperature has been getting higher....and with it my mat is gettin' slippery-er!!! And I love it.

There is something about the heat and humidity that opens me up like a waterfall in the summer. And during the other months I take much longer to start a sweat in class. I think this is due to my aerobic work. I don't know if this is usual, but it seems that the more I have been able to raise my aerobic capacity, the longer it takes me to break a good sweat. But in summertime yoga, I sweat more than I think I ever have in my life.

And the feeling at the end of a class where I have literally left a puddle on the mat, and the floor around it, is amazing. Completely spent and a feeling of euphoria. Oddly enough, I feel like it might be what someone feels (or what I HOPE they feel) when they leave this life and move on. A feeling of leaving "it all on the mat" and just letting go. I have heard the "corpse pose" at the end of class is a good comparison for letting attachments go, including the fear of having to let life go. But if leaving this life will be anything like the end of Chris' Saturday class, then I don't have to fear death at'll be wonderful.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Back in Indy and on the Mat!!!

We are so happy to be back home! And Chris welcomed us back with a GREAT CLASS this morning. A sweat fest, which I have missed with the weather being not hot enough to really "get my sweat on". But today was a dripper, and I look forward to many more.

One thing I am dealing with that I am not too happy about is a bum shoulder. I think I have a problem with my rotator cuff. I need to find a sports doc, and Ginger might have one for me. If anybody else has suggestions, I would welcome them.

But pain or no, I am gonna keep working, get the problem dealt with, and then get right back to the work......and I WILL be careful not to injure myself further!

So nice to see all the folks at yoga today, and come to the WOODRUFF flea market this weekend!



Friday, May 22, 2009

Hikin' the Canyon with Jen

Just a quick note to all our fellow Yogi's to let you know that Jen and I successfully hiked the Grand Canyon yesterday......from Rim to River to Rim in a day!

It was my fourth time doing that, and Jen's first. I am so proud of her fortitude in doing this....

It took just under 10 hours. And we had one good scare in the desert section before getting to the river, but we got through.

Today we have sore calves, and a feeling of calm fatigue and happiness, and that is about it.

We are going to spend the rest of today tooling around a rainy Flagstaff AZ where we are staying for a few more days. I love this town.

Our scare was a result of not being sure we had enough water to get us through the desert-like section of the canyon, coupled with fatigue setting in and not being sure exactly how much farther we had to go until the bottom. The trick is this: when you reach the colorado river, you can only use that as a water source if you have purification tablets with you..... I WILL ALWAYS HAVE THESE FROM NOW ON WHEN I HIKE THE CANYON!

We would have had to hike along the river for two miles before coming to the next drinking water. Rather than do that and risking too much fatigue ( we still had to hike up the canyon!) we opted to go down to the river, rest, split an apple and a gel-energy pack, have a little water and then hike three miles up to the nearest water station going back up the canyon. Once we got there, I knew we would be fine, no matter how long we took to hike out. There's more water the further up you go.

Weather wise, we were lucky, the top of the canyon was a mile 60 degrees, and the bottom only got near 90, which is not bad. I have been there when it went over 100. And it was overcast. If we had had a hot day, we might have been in some trouble.

But that "trouble" is one reason I love the canyon. At least once each time down, you recognize your mortality in relation to the life span of the earth and everything that created the earth. you hike into this amazing chasm, and it looks like a snapshot of an avalanche that someone has frozen just long enough for you to sneak into and get out of. you see huge boulders that are so close to tumbling down on you, but the are frozen because our life span is only a blip in the life span of the Canyon. you see how short our lifetime is in relation to our world.

And when you are in the depths of the desert, the reality is: you see that your death in the desert won't be a big deal in the eyes of the Earth.

But we didn't die! We got out, exhausted and happy. We returned to our normal understanding of life, but with a new appreciation of the Earth's time. But we didn't get too profound....we went and ate pizza at the most awesome place in Flagstaff!

More later......but for now....I'm still spent!

Love to all,


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Reunited with my Wife!!!

Here I sit typing away in Dayton, Ohio.....Jen and I in the same room! she is back from her NY gig and we can now have our lives together for the forseeable future. We know we have our next two gigs together, which we are very thankful for.

My training is going well. My running feels very strong as I have had the chance to hit some hills in Dayton. I ran a mini ten days ago that was by far my best time (85:11) but I need to get a pedometer and check the accuracy of the course. It was listed as a 1.2 mile track and I think it is short of that.....but nevertheless I felt great!

I am coming back to Indy for Saturdays' yoga class. It will mean driving home Friday night late, and leaving right after class Saturday to get back for two shows the next day, but SCREW IT.....IT'S BEEN TOO LONG!!!!!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Back in Indy for a Day....

Had a chance to come into Indy Sunday night and stay all day Monday. What a treat. Back to Dayton tuesday morning but I wanted to do a quick blog shout-out while I had my own computer....

I did what Chris has termed the "Godzilla" workout today. What I have done is combined four supersets from past workouts to make an hour-long workout that is as aerobic as it is strength-building. I am woozy as I write this.

I have been feeling a bit blue lately. I think I am doing good work on stage, but I miss Jen very much and miss my friends. But I am meeting wonderful folks with this project. It's just been four weeks away from Jen, and three away from home. That's enough!

I weighed myself for the first time in weeks and was worried that I would be heavy. I was right where I was in the midst of the first time I did the Project, which made me smile. I think I have a little fat that I could shake, but no reason to shame myself.......THERE IS NEVER A GOOD REASON FOR SHAME!!!!!!!

I am training now for the big hike coming up for me and Jen in three or so weeks. We are going to see if we can hike the Grand Canyon rim to river to rim in a day. I have done it three times in my life and want to do it again.

I was hoping we could break it up and camp down in the Canyon, but I couldn't get a we're gonna go hard-core!! At least I had the good sense to book us a room in Flagstaff that night that has a small hot tub in the bathroom!

Miss you guys....



Sunday, April 5, 2009

A Wonderful Run Down Memory Lane

Hi All,

First off, thanks to everybody who was so supportive of me and Alison yesterday for each of our race endevours. I case you didn't hear, Alison cranked out a great run, too! Doing 9 miles in way under a 10 minute pace. (Hope I got those facts right, Alison!)

I was happy with my run. My hip was sore, but I really didn't feel it on the run. And perhaps I could have pushed my pace more, but I really didn't want to. I just wanted to try to enjoy the run...which took me past so many old college memories.

My ego took a bit of a bruise when I checked the results and found that I was a little slower than I had thought, but not by much. It took a BIGGER bruise when I saw that a theatre friend of mine who is ten years my senior outran me by a minute!! But the other side of it is: that shows me that I can still be running this well in ten years......and perhaps even better!

So now I am going to rest my legs from running for a week. I am going to find a good machine to sweat on while I am in Dayton, Ohio. I leave as soon as I finish packing and finish this blog......I am apprehensive to go so I am stalling........anyway.

Good luck on the last week, project's a RECOVERY WEEK!! Way to get through all the workouts. Think about the ones that you got the biggest bang out of so you can keep them in your arsenal!!!



Friday, April 3, 2009

Am I creating DRAMA here?????

So I went to bed feeling a little "tweak" in my right hip. And woke up with it. I did the last project weight workout (but one I LOVE so it's staying in my aresenal on a regular basis!) and that helped my hip loosen up. But it still feels really sore and TIGHT.

So, tonight as I pack for my Ohio gig and the race tomorrow, I will do lots of the great stretches we have all learned on the mat. Anything I can think of to help. And a little time on the inversion table.

And maybe this is going to cause me to honestly enjoy running at an easier pace tomorrow. I just want to be able to run it all......

We'll see!

Trimmed lots of time off my super-sets today. I love the mountain climber/push to thrust/push ups speed round. I love sweating like it's aerobics when you are "lifting". It's a keeper in my life. Thanks, Chris.......

Peace and lots of love,


Thursday, April 2, 2009

The race hasn't started, but I can smell the barn!

Quick note.....longer one to come.

I will complete my last (scheduled) Project weight workout tomorrow. Although I think I will keep up with them after this week because I really love them.

Then Saturday I run the Bloomington Half-Marathon.

Sunday is a friggin' day off, and a travel day as I head to Ohio to start my next show. That will be the first day off from workouts that I have taken in ten days.

My hope is to run a strong race on Saturday, but not try to break any record. Under 100 minutes would be great. My honest goal has been to see myself through a pretty hard week of workouts, culmintaing in the race. Normally you rest for days before a race, but I always like to see how the project has helped my endurance and ability to recover quickly. So that is the test of this whole nine days.

I'll let you all know how it goes!

And I KNOW I won't sleep tomorrow night. I don't sleep well the night before a race. So I will sleep in tomorrow (sorry to all with kids....I am still able to sleep in sometimes) and then take naps whenever I feel I want to tomorrow. And then "rest" tomorrow night, leave the house at 5:45 and head to Bloomington........send me good thoughts!



Sunday, March 29, 2009

Ten Miles at "under 90 mini-pace" and KETTLE-BELLS!

Jen and I went to the gym today and I was feeling the fire.

My calf, which I was a little worried about a few days ago, was better. And things just feel good. Jen and I are going to do a show together at the IRT this fall, and that gives me great joy. And I know I have a one-man show coming up in under a year, and I want to be in great endurance shape for that. So today I felt the fire from that.

I wasn't concerned with my time, but after the first mile (6:20) I knew I had some kick. So I decided to concern myself with my time. I wound up running 10 miles at an average of 6:43/mile. It felt great. Challenging at times...some walls to get through, but mostly great.

And I am still not going to run next weekends half marathon for an under 90 minute attempt. I just want to enjoy the sights.....and HOPE for nice weather!

The Kettle Bell stuff Chris has us doing is wonderful. And the agility, superset stuff is so challenging and a real rush. I am keeping it in my workout routine.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Half Marathon on the Gauntlet and 100 chin-ups

Back in Indy! So nice to be home, but boy did I need to see my family.

Yesterday I did 90 minutes on the step-mill (Gauntlet) and burned 1670 calories and "travelled" 14.5 miles. I think for sure that machine is generous with it's distances and burned calories. 90 minutes is enough time for me to run 13.2 miles if I am JAMMING, and I don't think a "gauntlet half marathon" is a rigorous as a running half, so I think the machine is lying.

That being said, it is still an ass-kicker!

And this morning I did my 100 chin-ups workout. And nice upper body workout that gives my legs a break in prep for yoga tomorrow.

Next weeks workouts that Chris has prepared loom. I am a little nervous about them.

Counting the Gauntlet workouts, I am right around 230 miles run/stepmilled since the project began. Still have no desire to ever to a full marathon....I'll leave that to the other crazies!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Yoga in the Country

This morning I went off the project workout schedule. No, I am not turning over a new, bad leaf and shirking my workouts. I am "improvising due to wonderful opportunites".

In the last leg of my trip home, I slept at my brother, Russ' house. He has a beautiful home in a small country town called Jeffersonville. His house is heated mainly by a big cast iron-wood burning stove. I had planned to lift today, entering the final weeks of the project. But as I was packing up my gear at 7:30am, I looked at the open space in front of the was BEGGING me to "get my Roche on". So I did!

It was so much fun. I had Chris on the i-pod, so I put on my headphones, strapped the i-pod to my arm, and went to town. My Bro's cat, Lynx laid on the couch, half watching me, half sleeping. The fire roasted, and during the half-moon section almost roasted me!

I had such a good time, and paused the shivasana section because I wanted a longer meditation in front of the fire.

I love this trip home. I have had some epiphanies, and also enjoyed shaping my workouts around what the world was giving me. A half marathon called to me because River Road was there. A great non-project weight workout followed the next day because my two nephews wanted to work out with me and show me some things they had learned. The wood stove was irresistable!

So next week, it's back to the Project full time....fueled by a wonderful adventurous time this week.

Monday, March 16, 2009

When the Spotlight isn't on you....

Hi Bloggers!

I am visiting family in New York. I have been feeling a "pull" or a "need" to come out here. But it was deeper than just to visit my family. And I want to share what I have found with you guys. Don't know if it'll make sense, but I hope it does. It's been pretty profound for me, and I am still just processing what I've experienced.

First off, I ran a half marathon on a road that runs along the Deleware River. Some amazingly challenging hills (Jen can vouche for me on this!). The longest I had ever run on this road was eight miles, and to go 13.1 was really intense. I didn't keep time, just wanted to do it. No musice, either. I had the amazing musice of wind, water dripping from melting ice, and the occasional distant sound of a car. The temp was about 32 degrees. Chilly but so beautiful. I will take some pics and post them when I get home.

But the run isn't what I want to write about.

I have felt the "spotlight" of acting take a shift away from me. It's been awhile since I played Cyrano, or the Librarian in Underneath the Lintel. And even when I have been "the main dude" in a show, I just have felt that I was no longer a focal point in the theatre. And it has jossled my ego a bit from time to time. Some of this feeling is self-imposed and negative, but I think there's some truth to it.

And I think I had to come to New York to learn that that shift of the spotlight isn't a bad thing. And it doesn't mean it won't shift back once in a while. But how I live my life shouldn't be based on whether or not a spotlight is on me. I should be living and doing as peacefully AND purposefully when I am in the center of things in the theatre world, and when I am on the perifery (spelling??).

One big reason I came to New York was because my wonderful Father In Law got me tickets to a Ranger's game (hockey!) and I took my Brother, Rich. Rich introduced me to hockey and got me playing that wonderful sport, which in turn helped fuel my passion for acting. So in a lot of ways, I owe my career path to my bro!. Anway, at this game there happened to be, among 18,200 fans, three retired players from the days when I watched the Rangers as a kid. One of them was an old bruiser named Nick Fotiu. Nick was a favorite of mine and Rich. He grew up in Staten Island and worked his butt off and got to play for his childhood favorite team, the Rangers. Nick was not the most talented guy, but he tried harder than anybody. He only scored about four goals a season. Not much when you consider that good goal scorers get at least thirty! But everybody LOVED to watch him play. He retired a long while ago.

The last time Rich and I were at a game together was over twenty years ago. And at that game, Nick Fotiu scored the winning goal. It was the only time he ever did that in his career. He scored with two minutes to go, putting the Rangers ahead of their arch rivals, the New York Islanders, 3-2. When Nick bullied the puck past the Goaltender (it was not a finesse goal, he forrced the puck THROUGH the goalie) Nick started jumping around like he had just won the championship! It was not even a playoff game, but for Nicky, it was the most important game of his life.....the crowd went nuts for two reasons: the Rangers were ahead AND their beloved hometown boy had done it! Nick was so excited that when he got back to the bench, he threw up! The next day it was in all the papers. One writer said that Nick better not score winning goals too often or the excitement will kill him.

My Bro and I have retold that story many times. It's a great memory for us. So of course we were thrilled to see him back at Madison Square Garden. And we sat close to him during the game, about a section away. During the game, I watched Nick. His love for the game is still there, apparent in how he watched. His love for the family that is that hockey team is still there, and he is still a big part of that place, even though he is no longer on the ice. He matters. Even today. Maybe today he matters even more. Not many players in today's sports world are associated with only one team. They go were the money is, not where they feel they are "family".

And during the game I thought about my "spotlight" and thought about Nick's "spotlight". I am not retired, not by a long shot. But I see that we have to be in different lights as we go through this life. You can't be so in love with one type of focus that you are unwilling to give it up when the time is right. Sure, work to stay with something as long as it feels right, and it feels in balance with the universe, but have the grace to feel when a different light wants to shine on you.
And relish that one as you relished the last.....

After the game, we were leaving the parking garage and my Brother looked up and said, "No way. Rob, look. It's Nicky."

Nick had parked in the same garage. And we called to him and he happily spoke to us. And I told him that the last time Rich and I were at the Garden was his "famous game". Nick knew exactly what I was talking about and he started nodding his head and laughing, the memory instantly flooding back to him.

"I wish I could still do that!" He said.

We told him we loved him and thanked him and went on our way. It was a brief and blissful exchange and I really think that was why I felt a pull to come home.

I still wish I could play Cyrano sometimes. It's okay to sometimes "wish I could still do that". And it's nice to know that my old hero, Nick Fotiu feels that way too. But getting to see him in a different, equally wonderful role, is helping me realize that life, and my wonderful career, is about much much more than just scoring one game winning goal.

Thanks, Nicky.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Recovery Please! And a trip home...

I did my Monday aerobic on Sunday so Jen and I could have a day off together today. So I worked out seven straight days, and I am still fatigued at the end of my day off. I was planning to do a five to seven mile run and then Chris' Tuesday night Class. Still planning, and hoping I wake up with my legs feeling like they have some energy in them. Right now....they is still BEAT!

I am going to drive back east to see my family in a few days, and there is a BEAUTIFUL road to run runs right alongside the Deleware River and is very hilly. I hope to do a 10-15 miler on that road at least once while I am home.

I am really lucky that I get to go back to see my family. Been way to long. I also think I am going to drive to New Jersey and see the place where I grew up. Have lunch with an old friend, but also spend some solitary time to let the past wash over me. Going back brings up the teeny little memories that won't come up unless you go back. Sometimes it makes me a little sad, or feel like a ghost that is haunting it's past life. But I think overall it's a good thing.

See you all in Two Saturdays at Cityoga....but lotsa blogging till then!

Happy Recovery Week!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Tempo Run, and yes my photo is not to be taken seriously....

Went for my "running for time" run today. I should have checked with Roche beforehand, but I had good reasons like:

I didn't do a tempo run last week after running a half marathon instead of the tempo run.

I wanted to do a hard run on Sunday, and take Monday off because Jen's schedule at IRT is conducive to having an off day on Monday.

I wanted to just check in with my pace on a day when I hadn't blown my legs out the day before.

So, I ran six hard miles and averaged 6:34/mile. My first two miles I averaged 6:21 per mile, and then backed off a bit. But I jammed hard the last three minutes. After that, I ran two easy "cool down miles" for a total of 8 miles. I like keeping that distance up when I can. Good training for half marathons.

I might ask Chris if I can do the interval day on Wednesday. Or maybe another tempo run....whatever he thinks would be best.

And yes, my photo.....Jen took that for a book we made where I played a very effeminite and pompous character. I think his name is Hedley. Or Peebo. Can't remember.....


I am making the switch to stevia, and am gettin gused to the different taste. I also notice the lack of gassiness that I felt when I was a Splendaholic. I still use a little bit of Splenda with the Stevia, but am weening myself. Thanks Alison!!!!!!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Mentoring in the Community

Ok, brief project synopsis, then on to talking about a very important part of my life: Mentoring!

But first: Great workout week so far. I had a strong tempo run on Monday (7 miles total, with good strong 3 minute speed runs in the middle-6 sets total) a hard leg workout on Tuesday, on Wednesday it was time to take advantage of a 50 degree day outside, so I ran a half marathon with NO TIME GOALS. Didn't even bring my watch. Today I did a wonderfully crafted chest/bi/tri workout (GREAT JOB ON MAPPING THAT OUT, ROCHE!!) and tomorrow I will do an hour on the step-mill (which I also call the Gauntlet).

My legs are getting good at quick recoveries.....hence being able to get back on the aerobic path two days after a 13.1 mile run. I love this program for the training it gives my body to recover quickly.

Now: mentoring.

I am a mentor at New Tech High School and have been for two years. If anyone has considered volunteering their time to a worthy cause in your community, I would suggest getting involved with high schoolers who are at risk of not graduating. It is not glamourous at all. It sometimes really sucks. Sometimes they really don't like you at all. BUT I feel like I have gotten through the most shaky time with them and have won their respect and trust. I don't b.s them. I only talk about things that I know....the rest of the time I ask them questions and try to learn from them. The last three months I have become the unofficial "nutrition guy" for the mentoring program. Every week I try to bring in some info about eating right. Many of the kids are battling weight problems. They really took to the info I talked about bit time! More than I thought they would.

Also, I have won their respect because they came to see the last show I did at IRT. And they loved it! For lots of them it was the first show they have seen. And they all want to come back. I feel like I have created an avenue to make a real impact on the city I call home. Not an easy road to pave, but now that I have it started, I feel a really wonderful responsablitly to maintain it. If I can help just a few students towards graduation, that will be a wonderful thing.

In this day and age I think it is more important than every for us to reach out. Even as we are stressed about our own finances and future securities. When I go to mentor, I feel connected to the world and it makes me worry so much less about my own "Private Idaho".

Love you guys,


Monday, February 23, 2009

New Running Intervals....and SINGING!

Quick post before I fall down for the night....

Started my new interval training today. Running at an 8.5 for three minutes at a clip, then recovery running for a minute. Repeated that 6 times. And ran a mile and a half warm up, and a little over two miles for a cool down. Yea, wether I run the Bloomington race for time or not, I will be ready!

Also: Something "performance" based for me that this project is helping is my singing!

I am finding some vocal power in my upper core, between my chest and my abs, that I am tapping into to hit my upper vocal register. It's starting to give me a stronger third octive than I have had for a long while. A GREAT reason for me to keep up with those core routines!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Signed Up for the IU Half Marathon!

As the regular workouts resume, I found a nice end-goal for my project work(though I know there is no real "finish line" with this stuff). I am doing the I.U. half marathon on April 4th! Very psyched about going down to my old school and running around lots of old memories.

Now the two big questions for me are:

1. Will I challenge myself to run for time and try to get another half marathon under 90 minutes?

and the more important one.....

2. Where will I eat afterwards?????? many good places I used to love to chow down at down there! I'll think about the answer to that as I train......

I did my Monday interval training waaaaay early (for me). BEFORE my student matinee at 10 am. I ran at 8a.m., which isn't too early. I am thinking of doing that again tomorrow, except trying to start at 7:30. We'll see.

So nice to have a "something special" to work towards.

Hope you are well,


Friday, February 13, 2009

Seven more miles!

Ran an easy seven miles (no watch!) at the Canal near Holcomb Gardens today. What a GOREGEOUS day!! Body felt worked, but good. That's 31 miles for the week. I think that might be the most I've run in one week before, so that's cool.

I cheated a bit this week, in that I did do some weight workouts. Hopefully I won't burn myself out on the recovery week!

I really love running outside on nice days, with no worries about how fast I am going.

Here's to a great 1/3rd of the project! And there's still TONS of time to grow into whatever you want to get better at! Remember that it doesn't all happen at once. Just keep at it.

Love you guys,


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

10 more miles

Ran 10 miles today. First time I have run such a long distance two days after running a half marathon distance.

My first mile was my slowest, which is different for me....and GREAT! I was trying to go slow as my body was sore from Monday's run. I ran the first mile in 7:17....but my average mile time for the first 7 miles wound up being 7:05! I think that is a testament to the Wednesday runs that Chris has had us doing....where we push hard at the end. I have always pushed hard at the beggining and then levelled off. But this is giving me another way to run.

I had to take a "potty break" before running the last 3 miles. And when I started them up, boy I didn't want to run them! My legs were lead. But I chugged 'em out in an average of around 7:22. Funny how a few seconds slower felt like an eternity.

Also am nursing a GROSS blister on a pinky-toe....which might have an impact on what I can do Friday. I was hoping to shoot for 6 miles, which would have given me 30 for the week. But I'll see......

Monday, February 9, 2009

Testing my recovery time......

Went for a 14 mile run today. Easy pace, probably an R.P.E. of 6.5-7 the whole way. I want to see how I recover and if I can do a good run on Wednesday as well. We'll see!

Has anyone seen the film BARAKA? Jen and I watched it last night and I was awed. Seems the simpler cultures really have this whole living thing down well. Simplicity and appreciation for life and death. The images of cities are kind of terrifying.

Anyway, happy week 4 and here's to recovering well!



Friday, February 6, 2009

Week Three Done Early....and 26 Miles Run!

Hi All,

Jen and I finished our week #3 a bit early, but in no way backing off our workouts. We both did our long runs today (Jen jammed out 6 miles running, I did an hour on the Gauntlet) and since we have a theatre obligation all day tomorrow, we decided to do our 90 minute power yoga TONIGHT, only eight hours after our run. Crazy!

But something else it showed us: you can do more than you think you can much of the time.

Usually I would assume that after a long run I need at least a day before I could work my legs the way yoga (especially Roche-yoga!) can work your legs. But we both had good form tonight and a fair amount of strength.

And a bonus: We are getting Saturday AND Sunday to recoup!!! And I am really looking forward to that, as I upped my weekly mileage to 26.4 miles. And if you're wondering, no, I have no desire to do a marathon!! It took me three sessions to run the length of a marathon. Running it in one session? The idea make me ill. It's half marathons for ole' Robby!

Happy recovery to all. Here's to three weeks of good work.



Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Didn't want to run today.....

Strongly disliked the first four and a half miles. Wanted to cry. Dunno why....just not feeling it. But I kept on and wound up running 8 miles in an avg. of 6:45/mile. Then ran two easy "cool down" miles. That makes 17 miles so far this week. My hope is that Friday will put me over 26 miles for the week. Am I training for a full marathon? HELL NO! 26 is just my goal for this week. I did 22 in week one, 24 in week 2 and wanted to up it two more miles this week.

...but boy did I have some dread coming to the gym today. But I am so glad I didn't wuss out.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Making Progress......Read these Brief Points!!!

Hi Project-Folk,

I want to be brief so you guys can get on with your lives, but I REALLY want to share two awesome things about my journey thus far with the Project:

On Friday I pushed myself to working at between 85-95% heart capacity for an hour. The amazing thing was: After only nintey seconds of cooling down, my heart rate had dropped back down to near normal. A testament to the interval training Chris has us doing.....

Also: Three weeks ago I had a nagging ache in my right-upper hamstring. I was worried I wouldn't be able to keep up the running. But incorportaing STRETCHING RELIGIOUSLY after every run (I do it with bands) has made that injury virtually disappear. Not every ache means we should stop exercising!! I just wasn't taking the time I should to stretch!

I ran a total of 22 miles the first project week. 24 miles the second week (If you count 10 miles on the Gauntlet...which I do!!) and I am off to a seven mile start this week. I did 10 intervals rather than seven. I just felt like I had it in me and I want to see if I might be able to get to 26 miles total for this week......

Keep on rockin'.....



Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Fun in the snow....and a SNOW DAY!!!

Why do I love acting? Well, there are many reasons. One fun one that rarely occurs is a snow day. But today, since there was no school, there was no school matinee! WOO-HOO!

My day consisted of shoveling out our driveway and street entry (ain't plowed snow the best?!), going to my nephew's house and shovelling him out (I am watching his dogs for him and thought it would be nice to have him come home to a shovelled place!) and then going to my gym and running eight good hard miles on......A DREADMILL!!!! But you know, I had very little dread! Mostly because my wife was next to me doing her own run. And we don't often run side by side, so I liked it! Might do that every Wednesday run.

And after the run, we went back home and put our pup, Lil in the car and took her on a mile and a half hike in some DEEP snow!

Dinner's cooking now, and my legs are done!! ....until tomorrow......yikes.

I am thinking of reserving the right to do a machine (The Gauntlet) on Friday.

I love reading everyone's blogs!!!!! Keep it up!!!

Friday, January 23, 2009

How the #*&#@!!! did I run today???

But I did! Ten freakin' miles. Not fast ones, but they were run. One foot in front of the other. Thighs ACHING from yesterday's leg workout. I haven't used weights in a leg workout in a while, so to run the day after was challenging. But:

This is a great example of hurdling a mental barrier(the idea of hurdling anything right now makes me want to not hurdle, but HURL!.....but I digress....). There clearly was a physical barrier (my legs are SORE!!) but not an insurmountable one. And because I felt an oweness to run today (because I know everyone else is sore and running) I thought I must try. And I was hoping for ten miles, but I wasn't sure if I could actually run ANY. So to make a long story short:

On my own, I could have VERY EASILY passed on the workout today, and that would have been just fine under normal circumstances! BUT! These are not normal times. These are times when I have asked to be pushed to see what my body is capable of. And today I answered the call as did so many of the project participants. Including my sexy,sweet wife, Jen...who ran as well.......way to go, Baby!!!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Six Mile Run

Ran six miles indoors today. Average mile- 6:32.

Liked having to accelerate at last three laps, per Roche's direction. Made me push.

That's all for now........gotta go do calf rubs with my wife!!!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Here we go!!!

Started interval training today, and still kicks my butt! But Jen and I cranked it out and feel good on the other side.

Funny: my "warm up pace" was about a mile and a half at a pace of 6:46/mile. And I felt like I was workin', and then I remembered that last week I ran a mile a minute faster than that time, and I really wondered for a minute how the hell I did that.

So much of this stuff is in the mind. You just make up your mind whether or not you are going to succeed.

Let's all succeed. No shaming ourselves. No shaming the ones we love.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Pre-Start apprehension.....

I notice lots of folks getting ready for the first day of the Project have a lot of nervous energy. Boy, do I get that! It's like anything you are anticipating, though: The worry about it starting is often the toughest part. Soon, you will just be "in it" and therefore no longer worrying about what it's going to be like!

So be "in" Sunday. Prepare for Monday with being ready to make the shift, but don't be "in" Monday. It will come!

Let's have some fun with this!!

Love you guys,


Thursday, January 15, 2009

Breaking the Six Minute Mile....

I know it's nowhere near the fastest anyone has run a mile, but........yesterday, for the first time in my life, I broke a six minute mile. Shattered it. Smashed that silly number six, coming in TWELVE seconds under it, at 5 minutes, 48 seconds.

I have been after that for about six years. So I would like to write about it a little.

Yesterday Jen and I did our fitness test to prepare to do a new round of "the Project" with our Yoga instructor (and dear dear friend) Chris Roche. Being tested for body fat %, flexibiltiy, how many push-ups you can do in one set without coming out of the push up position, and how many sit ups you can do in a minute are the first part of the test. The last part: Run a mile as fast as you can.

When I tested for the first round of the project, I ran a mile in 6:22. And that frustrated me. I knew I could do better. When we tested at the finish of the project, I ran a 6:14. Cutting eight seconds off a fast mile is a cool thing, but I was a little bummed that I wasn't nearer to an even 6.

Six years ago I ran my fasted mile to date, a 6:05.

After running the 6:14, I started to wonder if my time in life had past to break six minutes. Yesterday I answered that question with a resounding "NO WAY!!"

A couple of things that helped me:

1) I was running on an indoor track. Somehow I run faster indoors. I don't know why, but I feel like I can fly inside! Outside I think I get overwhelmed by the stimulous. Inside it's all about the running.

2) I told myself, "No matter how bad you feel, it will be over in six or so minutes! I knew I could deal with intense discomfort for that long.

3) My wife, Jen, was with me. She kept time on the sidelines and her cheering me on was a great help and grounding factor. Originally we were just going to run at the same time, but I am so glad we decided to time each other. She, by the way, ran what I think was her fastest mile ever.....and 8:17!!! She says she thinks she can get in under 8 by the end of the project, and I think she is right.


-Like shit. Really.

Ok, it's seven laps for a mile at this track. I deduced that I must run 51 second laps to break six minutes. I ran my first lap in 44 seconds! I don't remember breathing for the entire lap. At the start of lap 2, I took a gasping breath and was worried I was going to stop. Lap two was all about trying to find some sort of rythm for the mile. I didn't really find it in lap 2, and finsihed that lap in around 45 seconds.

Good news: I am way ahead of my time! Bad news: There is NO WAY I can keep up this pace!!!

Lap Three: Reduce your gait! Breathe! Breathe deeper! NOW I have a form! But I have no idea if I have slowed my pace too much. I will find out when I check my watch at the end of the lap.....I check it and am still in really good shape, finishing lap three in 2:22.

Lap Four: My lungs begin to hurt. I am getting a little light-headed. I feel like I am slowing down (and probably am). My legs begin to burn halfway through the lap. If I can finish this lap, I will be more than halfway home. Don't look at your watch, just keep going!

Lap Five: BREATHE remember your routine. Eyes out in front, arms pump FORWARD. Torso moves forward, not up and down. Start to lengthen you gait can do it for TWO MORE LAPS!!! Still light headed.

-at the end of this lap I check my time and see that I have a good shot at this. Now....

Lap Six: KEEP YOUR FORM. Now it's not so much about speed. You chopped off enough time with those first two insane laps. Now it's about maintaining. Holding on. YOU CAN DO TWO OF ANYTHING!!!!!

Lap Seven: Two of the most predominant things that crossed my mind: You could so easily trip and fall......or you could just stop! But in the back of my head, I knew I had the time with a lap to go. All I had to do now was finish. Which I did......

After I crossed the finish line, Jen threw her arms up and cried a bit, as did I, after pumping my fist a few times.

I was amazed that I got twelve seconds under six minutes! But as big a number as that seems, it is wild to think that if I had run each of those laps just two seconds slower, I would not have made my record.

And it is even more daunting to think, that my best time ever, one that I may never beat, or even want to TRY to beat, is FORTY SECONDS SLOWER than the average mile time run by last years half marathon winner.

But I am not racing that man, I am keeping THIS man honest. Finding MY edge. Except I must say that in order to break this mark, I think I pushed myself beyond a healthy edge. And that's okay for today, but it can't be the norm.

But it is so cool to have known what that felt like.

At least for six minutes (minus twleve seconds, that is) I felt a little of what it must feel like to run so you'll win the mini.......

But from now on, I'm cool with just winning my own personal race.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Running slower not exactly "easier"......

During my last two workouts at NIFS, I took a few moments and watched other runners on the indoor track. And I noticed one glaring difference in the running form between slower runners and faster runners.

The slower runners tended to have a two types of movement going on: forward momentum, and also a bobbing", or up and down motion.

The forward momentum of faster runners eliminated or greatly reduced the "bobbing", or up and down motion. They basically were just moving forward.

And in almost every case, it looked like the effort was more difficult for the slower runners, and I believe that PART of the reason is they are working too hard because they are litterally running in two directions!

Now, I know it is far too simple to tell someone who might not like running, or who is struggling to find their form, to "just run faster". I do not think that is the answer.

But I DO think one answer to improving your running form, and therefore your running time, is to really pay attention to your form. Are you wasting energy by bobbing up and down? Or are you using all your energy to move in the direction you want, which is forward!

Remember, if your goal is to run a mile, you don't give yourself any credit for the distance your body bobbed, you only count the forward momentum! So my suggestion is to get rid of that darn bobbing! And PART of that might be playing around with a slight increase in speed and also in your forward stride. I believe that if you can improve your stride (slightly increase your gait forward) you will soon find your mile time improving AND MIGHT FEEL LIKE YOU ARE WORKING LESS-HARD!!!

My two cents for the day.



Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Welcome to the new Project Family!!

Today's entry isn't about my workout (which was fun by the way....90 minute power yoga in my sunroom with my pup, Lil cheering me on during the intense parts....and licking my face during the lying down part) today this is about going down to CityYoga to help kick off Chris Roche's new round of the "Project".

I am going to help in any way I can during the next 12 weeks. And I know being involved will help me. I feel rejuvinated just after the meeting....

I miss my family this holiday season. My wonderful gig at IRT has been so good that I haven't had time to go back to NY to be with my kin. But I was with my kin tonight at CityYoga.

I love the people there. I am at home there. I feel like a kid there. I PLAY there. And I care there....about the other yogi's and there lives. And that care is returned tenfold.

And tonight.....seeing so many new people on that yoga floor. Many who have not yet taken a yoga class. Many who I already know from other parts of my life. Seeing there faces full of excitement (and, yes, a little trepidation, but mostly excitement) at a new adventure about to start. It sends a message to my heart:

"I am in the right place"

Here's to a great twelve weeks.

Here's to us all pushing our edges a bit further.

Here's to my nagging butt/hamstring issue healing!

Peace and love,


Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Be a good Scout....prepare for unexpected workout time!!!

First, I am happy to post that I meditaed tonight. Great to check in to how that feels, and how many thoughts bombarded my mind. But they calmed as I did not give them cause to remain.

And today, as I often do, I threw my gym back, fully packed with gym clothes, into my car. I did not think I would have time to workout today, and built in a possible "off day" for myself as I have had four days of strong workouts without a break. But I knew I would be fine to do a weight workout if I just in case, I packed for the chance.

And when I got released twenty minutes early for lunch, I seized my opportunity! Didn't think twice, just headed for the car and was at the gym in ten minutes. I had time for a speedy and effective weight workout of 35 minutes. Plenty of time if you focus! Got Twelve sets of different excercises in.....and then I headed back to IRT and grabbed my lunch (also prepared the night before so I wouldn't buy some crap in the food court) and had ten minutes to eat, which was enough to eat half my salad, and then I ate the rest an hour later.

That's what it's all about for excuse not to workout.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Ten Mile Run

I am making a new start on this blog. Simpifying when I don't have much to write, but at least writing down what I do for a workout each day, along with anything here goes!

Two weeks until the next Project begins. I am very excited for the new pilots! I have heard from several in the group that they read some of my blog entries and that helped them....all the more reason to write!

I was going to do an indoor workout today at NIFS (my gym) but pushed myself to run outside my door.....I didn't want to!!!! But I did it. Funny, at about mile six I got PISSED!! I really REALLY didn't want to keep going. I felt that way about till mile 8.5. The thing that kept me going was that I knew I could physically DO ten miles, and I had set that as my goal today. And I know I would be bummed if I fell short merely due to being cranky. Also, I knew that overcoming the crankiness in the moment would pay off in being satisfied with achieving my goal the rest of the day....and I was right!!

After I ran I went and taught high school kids stage combat for two great to be around that youthful energy!!!! I love my job.

Still letting myself have desert at night. That will stop soon!!! Two weeks......

ALSO! Did an very intense thing for abs yesterday: Floor sweepers! I will show this to anyone who is interested. But perhaps I will share it with Chris first.......