Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Aqua Jogging: First Thoughts

Since my doctor gave me the prescription of herpies no running OR biking for the next few weeks, I’ve been resigned to the pool.  I don’t like the pool. It’s cold, it’s wet, it makes me smell like bleach. Like my girlfriend in highschool? I’ve said that my idea of swimming is with a beer in one hand while I’m cannonballing into the deep end. Well no - I take that back. I think that there could be exceptions made for various co-ed activities in a well alcohol-ed hot tub. Anyway.....

Normally when I am hurt I get lazy.  I push very hard while training that's what she said so I generally use the injury periods to catch up on sleep and get to know my family again. (Let’s all ignore the voice in our heads saying “well dummy, if you wouldn’t push so hard maybe you wouldn’t get hurt”)  I lose a little fitness, but I claw back a bit of my sanity so it is basically a win/win.   Oh, but this time is different.  This time the Boston Marathon is leering around the corner.

As such, I’m doing all sorts of things that I normally wouldn’t do at a feeble attempt at being race ready.  Case in point? Aqua jogging.  Essentially, you strap on a floating ring....and run in the water without your feet touching the ground.  It’s really that simple.  So, I borrowed a floating belt from my Virtual Run Coach co-developer Chad and hopped in the pool.

Party up front
I have NO idea what I was doing here....

This was supposed to be a picture of me pointing at the floating belt. Turns out it was just me pointing at my ass.

Business in the back
Spandex gives me love handles

I’ve done it twice for a period of 1 hour each.  A few first thoughts:

  • The belt is TIGHT around my chest so that it doesn’t slip and give me a doughnut shaped chaffe mark like a sports bra uhhhh or so I've been told. That means that I can’t get a completely full deep breath and sort of grunt a bit. I’m assuming people walking by the pool think I’m having sex.
  • It's a great ab workout! I'm sure I twist and turn a bit more than I should, but at this point I'll take any cross training that I can get.
  • Everything that I’ve read says that you should simulate running with heartrate and time.  So, if I run 8 miles in an hour with an average HR of 160, then I should be in the pool for an hour with a similar heart rate.  However, I really can’t seem to get my HR up that high!  I’ll kick and run and kick, but my heart rate sort of hovers around 140.  Will try to get it higher soon.
  • The pool that I swim in is a play pool with a fountain instead of a lap pool.  So, I have to do cannonballs off the fountain every 15 min do a very small out and back in the deep end.  It gets pretty boring pretty fast, but it allows me to not have to travel to a gym.
  • I honestly don't feel like I'm getting as good of a workout - which sucks.  I'm sure that once I get better at aqua jogging I'll learn how to push myself harder, but until then I'll be the guy by the fountain, grunting, trying to drink out of a water bottle without going under.

Finally, I did buy this on a bit of a "I'm sad because I can't run" impulse this weekend.  Although, if the last one I bought is any indication, it'll sit there for 2 months half eaten and I'll throw it away after it gets 1/2" of frost on the top.  I fail at emotional eating :(

Friday, February 22, 2013

Funny Foto Friday: Add Minutes to my Life

Thanks to everyone who had kind words for my Stress Fracture post.  It is a tough pill to swallow for sure.  Which, is ironic, because I’m on enough calcium and Vitamin D supplements to keep a small horse healthy for a year.  I’m trying to keep everything in perspective.  I’m not happy about it in the least.  But, it has been two or so years since I have had to take any time off because of injury, so I really shouldn’t complain.  Besides, I can’t think of a better First World Problem than trying to bitch about how “I can’t run so I’m eating too much food and getting fat”.

This week’s funny foto Friday isn’t so much funny as it is informative.  Although, as I look at something like this I’m always looking for a loophole.  So, if drinking one glass of wine gets me 30 min and two gets me 15 min (30 min minus 15 min) then you can bet your ass I’m having two.  Or, better yet three to basically be where I was to start with.

And coffee?  Please tell me more!  It seems like I could just watch some TV while having 2 cups of coffee and keep my life the way it was.  That is a sacrifice I’m willing to make – I’ll just need to buy more toilet paper.  Happy Friday!

Finally, here is this week’s picture of my son.  I think this is what we call “playing with stickers – EXPERT MODE”.  In hindsight, maybe I shouldn't have given him the entire sheet of them.

I think that there is some space left on my sleeves....

What the hell?  No more stickers?


Thursday, February 21, 2013

Stress Fracture v2

I identify myself as a lot of things.  I’m a dad, a friend, chip n dales dancer, etc.  But, if I were to identify myself as anything, I would consider myself a chip n dale runner.  But, for the last 2 weeks that hasn’t been the case.  Hello, my name is Adam, and it has been 13 days since my last run.

Oh, I’ve wanted to run.  I’d drive to work and see people prancing along the side of the road like little booty short clad antelopes and I would secretly despise them. I’d want to yell: “YOU DON’T KNOW HOW GOOD YOU HAVE IT!!!” out the window while throwing a packet of GU as hard as I could. (Read: into the next lane - if I had the wind at my back)

The issue is pretty simple: My calf hurts. A lot.  So, like I think I mentioned before, I went to the doctor. After an MRI scan, a body cavity search which the doctor said not to mention to anyone? Strange, and an x-ray on Tuesday, I was told the news that no runner wants to hear: I have a stress fracture.

Of course, I like to think of myself as a pretty above average individual.  I do tell 3x more innuendo jokes as the average person. I’m 31 years old and people tell me that I have the mind of a 12 year old ALL the time which has to mean that my brain is young and fresh. So, not to be outdone not only do I have one stress fracture, I have TWO!!!  What now legs?!?! Who is your daddy!?!?

So yes, two stress fractures, both midway up my calf.  One of them is on my tibia and one of them is on my fibula.
Well, and I guess that is all I have to say about that

Prior to going to the doctor, I was biking like Lance Armstrong shoots EPO.  I even had borrowed a trainer from a buddy and had a sweet setup including a Netflix subscription and a TV big enough that I could practically see the track marks on Lance’s arms.

My son's toys and my toys!

I had taken hold of biking with the same intensity that I do running.  Logging 5 or so rides a week with a long 37 miler on Sunday. In Phoenix, it is the perfect time of year to ride, so I headed out at noon and was able to bronze...  slightly sun kiss...  lobster fry my skin.

I think that I have since started to sprout lobster claws
No, this is not photoshopped (wait, yes it is - I made my arms smaller)

Unfortunately, on Tuesday, the doctor told me that biking was a no no for the first month or so.  In fact, we even discussed the possibility of a boot for a while.  No bueno.  He said that I could swim and that I could aqua jog.  Lovely.  So, since each time I tip my head while swimming my ear canals seem to operate like toilets to my brain, I’m going to try the aqua jogging.

Sooooo, that is what caused my absence from the blog for the last few days.  I have to admit that I wasn’t super excited about sharing the news so I sort of moped around for a while.  As a coach, part of me wants to think that this was preventable as part of a training plan.  I suppose that it probably was – if my training plan involves lots of beer curls and couch-to-ass contact. But, I know that this is probably just “one of those things”.  I had a blood test done and my vit-D levels were off the charts low so that has to be a part of it.

As for Boston? I’m doing it – even if I have to strap on a floating diaper and aqua jog all the way to the Citgo Sign.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Funny Foto Friday-ish: COFFEE!

Ok, I know, I know. I'm late on this.  But, to be fair, I was busy riding 37 miles today getting my arms FRIED. Seriously, I think that I might be growing lobster claws. I'll bet I taste delicious.

Oh yes, I've had those mornings. I call them: "morning"

Funny, I've had these mornings too

Finally, I think that every parent has to have a picture of their kid in daddy's shoes. And, well, here it is!  Happy Friday!  Or Sunday.  Whatever. Crap, by the time you read this it will be Monday.  Ugh.  I need some coffee.

DADDA!!!!! SHOESSSS!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

For the love of the sport?

I think everyone who has a blog is a bit narcissistic.  By typing into this little box, I’ve carved off a small piece of the internet and made it 100% about poop me. Well, and as long as we’re throwing around big fancy words, for reading this you’re a little bit voyeuristic!  I’m ok with it.  Come into my house, I’ll show you where I keep the good wine....

Because I’m still not running due to some calf issues (MRI tomorrow to rule out a stress fracture) I’ve had a lot of time to pontificate (jeeze, another big word – go me!).  When I run, I don’t think about anything and I sleep HARD.  When I don’t run? My mind wanders like a 3 year old on an espresso. Also I sleep like a 3 year old on an espresso.

Anyway, about a week ago ultra-runner extraordinaire Ashley Walsh posted a doozy of a question on twitter:

You can replace 100 miles with whatever completely epic adventure that you might want to be involved in.  Climb Mt Everest?  Sleep with Kate Upton?  All qualify as equally epic.

In my run-deprived state, the random question really got me thinking.  I would LOVE to think that regardless of the lack of notoriety that I would have, I would still do something that was incredibly hard.  But, I think I can be honest with myself that not being able to share would make the sacrifices necessary a much greater burden.  I mean, who wouldn’t want the Daily Mile ego stroking that I would get after logging: “Climbed Mt. Everest in 12 days and felt Good. Seriously earth, is this the best you have?!”  or, better yet “Went 2 rounds with Kate Upton in 3 minutes and felt Alright. Meh, I’ve had better

That said, while the work would SEEM harder if there wasn’t an ear to take in all of my glorious splits, I still think that I would run just as hard, just as fast, and just as far. Because honestly? My blog is the only real spot that I talk about my running and I’m not 100% you all are real.

What do you think? Would not being able to tell someone about your Boston qualifying marathon make you train any less hard?  What about training for 100 miles?  For the love of the sport or for the love of the admiration?

Monday, February 11, 2013

Biking Walk of Shame

Much like a bear is a hunter, I am a runner.  Sure, you can train a grizzly bear to put on a little party hat and ride around on a tricycle, but eventually he is going to get a whiff of fish on a clown’s breath and go crazy.  As such, I can certainly try to learn how to ride a bike effectively, but deep down at my core I want to jump off the bike and bite a clown run.

Nevertheless, this weekend I got not one but TWO bike rides – an unfortunate side effect of an injured calf. (Doc appt this afternoon – fingers crossed!!)

The first ride was fairly uneventful, if not a bit slow.  I rode 22 miles at 16.7 mph, including stoplights. My butt was sore, but my legs could feel the effects of a good workout. The second ride, on the other hand, was a comedy of errors that rivals the best bear / clown mauling.

The ride started off quite well.  Like any good cyclist, I doped up on EPO and had a quick blood transfusion I made sure that I LOOKED the part.  If you can’t ride fast, you might as well look fast.

So much sexy, so little time

I say this about every time that I go for a bike ride after a few weeks off, biking takes a ton of ass fortitude STUFF.  I would estimate that it took a solid 20 min to collect all of the crap needed to actually go out for a ride.  Glasses, helmet, shoes, bike, extra EPO, water bottles, clown repellant, gloves, garmin, iPhone for self pictures, bike... UGH.  Eventually I did get it all together and hit the road.

The first 5 miles were actually really good – I averaged 18.8 mph which is right where I’d like to be for long rides.  But shortly after the 5 mile mark, I felt it – the bike seat firmly lodged into my colon a flat back tire.

No worry though, I had spare tubes, tools, and a CO2 container to be able to pump up the tire. I’ve done it many times before with zero issues.  Oh, not on Sunday though.  The first tube I must have pinched a hole in while putting it on because it didn’t hold any air when I wasted my first CO2 container on it.  The second tube was fine, but the CO2 thing screwed up and didn’t fill it – at all.  So, for those of you counting, two spare tubes and two air cartages later, and I am still as flat as an American Idol competition.

As you can imagine, I was not impressed

I even walked to a gas station that was about a half mile from where I was flat to see if there was some air that I could use (for free because I didn’t have any money).

Charging for air has to be like charging for tap water, right?

What followed was a 5 mile long bike-of-shame at a slow rate of speed as not to cause any more damage to my rim as possible.  I got home, but I was out of spare tubes so had to completely scrap the long bike ride for the week.  FAIL!  Of course, I did learn a few lessons:

  • Carry money. I could have bought “air” and filled up my tire
  • I need more practice changing flat tires. I suppose I’ll get this as I ride more
  • Need to work on my duckface in self pictures
  • Cursing at your bike doesn’t make the tires fill up any easier

Any tips on changing a flat tire on a bike?  What about fighting back the urge to bite creepy circus clowns?  


Friday, February 8, 2013

Funny Foto Friday: Truth in Food

Oh running.  Sometimes you are a bit manic.  One day running is all booty shorts on a crisp summer morning skipping through the hallways high fiving everyone it sees.  However, sometimes running is more like pooping in your pants pooping in the bushes.  Right now I’m doing a bit of duck walking.

The other day I sort of horked (that is a word, rhymes with fork, synonymous with borked or screwed) my calf – or something.  It hurts when I run. Fortunately, it is not acute “hurts when I pee” kind of pain, but more dull aching.  So, for the past week or so, I’ve been doing “test runs”. Each of them failing.  So, I have an appointment with a sports medicine doctor on Monday who is also a 3:15 marathoner. I’m going to look into having my leg amputated and getting one of those sweet upside down question mark cheetah legs.

BUT, I know that this is something that will heal eventually and I’ve been meaning to do more biking.  So, I’ll roll with it for now.

Here is a representative picture of me that shows the part of my calf that I think is injured.  
Oh darn, the calf part was cut off in this fully representative picture of me

This week’s funny foto Friday is all about being honest with food.

I eat a LOT of cereal. I completely agree with this representation

Mmmmmm, McD's. Tastes like shame and embarrassment. 

Oh, I think I might be a vegetarian now

Finally, the weekly picture of my son.  
Trains rule - he is so happy that his hand clapping is blurry! Happy Friday!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Traffic School

I like to think of myself as a pretty law abiding person (while in the car – but in the bedroom, not so much! Heyoooo).  I basically go the speed limit (again, not in the bedroom!).  I generally only text while driving if I have something REALLY funny to say (read: always).  And I honestly can’t even remember the last time that I stole a car (I think the kids are calling it “boosting” a car now.  I’m so hip. Do kids still say hip?)  As such, I haven’t received any tickets in the last 15 years.  Oh, but that was up until 6 months ago.

You see, in Phoenix, they have cameras that take your picture if you run a red light.  Welp, I ran a red light while trying to turn left, and got my picture taken.  3 weeks and $300 later I’m practically a felon. I think my ball and chain and striped pajamas are in the mail.  Since I’m obviously a menace to society, a week or so back for an ENTIRE day I was in mandatory traffic school.  ALL DAY.

Going to traffic school is a lot like going to a bus stop or the mall.  For some reason, both places bring out the crazies.  At the office I work at has normal people... the same as when I go to Outback Steakhouse for a 3,000 calorie bloomin’ onion.  But man oh man, if I walk by the bus stop or go to traffic school it is like a mix of the show Cops and a reality show titled “so, you dipped into the shallow end of the gene pool!”

I’m not one to judge.  We all make mistakes.  But, it was horribly interesting to me to hear all of the insane things that people were in traffic school for.  Tons of DUIs, but also kids with skinny jeans who were caught drag racing, a guy who received a few speeding tickets and just didn’t do anything with them, and some gal who had received FIVE speeding tickets in a year. FIVE.  Look lady, you need to stop speeding.  You’re not good at it....

What little I did learn, only served to perpetuate crazy and bad driving behaviors.  It seems that the driving laws are similar to the bible in a lot of respects. There are parts that somewhat contradict other parts.  I can get a ticket for getting hit going through an intersection when I have the green light (not yielding) but not for switching lanes while in an intersection – that is totally legal.  Also, those speed limit signs on turns are not laws – they are just suggestions.

So, essentially all that I got out of traffic school are the numbers of 5 people who LOVE to have a good time and that I can totally go around corners as fast as I want.  Well that and over lunch I ate a bear claw the size of my head while driving back to class. Thankfully we covered the "driving while eating / distracted" in the afternoon.

Has anyone else had to go to mandatory traffic school (not to get points off)? Please tell me the people were as colorful as in mine!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

A will finds a way

Disclaimer: this post is a bit of a departure from my norm.  I’ll work on getting back to the hilarity tomorrow!

The tagline for my blog is “Boring, with a little bit of life, work, and running mixed in”.  While I am sure that some of you just read my blog for the off chance that I’ll post another picture of me on the toilet (found here, but also in many other posts) some of you might have noticed that I’ve been a bit “off” lately. So, while I would love this post to be about me picking myself up by the $600 Jimmy Choo slingbacks and pushing forward, I have a feeling it is going to be a lot more of “life happens, reassess and move on”.

Little bit of life
Things at home have been...interesting.  Some time back I took the fork in the road less traveled and am still sort of waiting for it to make all of the difference. (Ironically, it is a pet peeve when people do the “I’m going to be vague as a call for attention but then never explain myself” thing. I’ll explain soon, promise.)  The result is that my day to day schedule is pretty wonky. Mornings are spent prepping lunch for my son and getting him to daycare and evenings are spent rough-housing, making sure he doesn’t put forks in electrical outlets, and prepping for the next day!  I'm exhausted when I go to bed and exhausted when I wake up in the morning.

I received a pretty large promotion about 6 months ago that put me one level below Partner....which was renamed to Senior Exec...which was then renamed to Managing Director.  Either way, whenever I make it to the next level, I think I have to wear a white wig.  I have teams both in Arizona as well as the Philippines which means that I work wonky hours and have lots of late night conference calls.  Good for productivity, bad for...everything else.  The workload has grown exponentially over the last months to the point that I’m essentially doing about everything I can to keep my eyeballs above water.  Don’t worry though, I have a snorkel on order from Amazon in case I go under.

Running mixed in
“Mixed in” is a very good way to describe my running.  Because of life and work, running has taken a bit of a back seat.  I would love for my running to be my #1 priority, but the reality is that #1 is my son, #2 is being able to feed my family, and #3 is running.  This has meant that I’ve been doing a lot of evening runs (which I hate) and doing a lot of evening runs followed by morning runs (which are TOUGH).  The consistency hasn’t been there which has led to a number of dings and small injuries. Did I mention the Boston Marathon is in 10 weeks?


One of my favorite saying is that if you want something done, ask someone who is busier than you are.  Often times, the people who have the most going on become the best at managing their time and getting the things done that matter most.  I’d like to think that I have become a master at this.  I’ve stopped watching most TV, I’m starting to get good at 5 minute showers, and I’ve cut down twitter surfing to a manageable 7 hours a day.

I’m not running like I would like, and a sub 3:00 marathon in Boston seems like a pipe dream, but I have the will – so I’m going to continue to struggle to find a way.