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!!!!!!