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.......