Monday, February 13, 2017

Routine

One of the hardest parts of getting into another fitness activity is setting up a new routine. I’m not sure if it is because I’m a guy and my simple brain works best when it can automatically float through life (it does), but all of my past successes have been when I have a good “running routine”.  Get up at 4am, run, stretch, shower, be to work by 7. Simple.  Hell, there were a few mornings where I didn’t even remember the first part of my runs! But, for some reason with the time that I took off, I’ve gotten into an entirely different routine.  Let’s call my current routine the “sit around and be fat” routine.  SAABT for short.

To be fair to myself, I’m not JUST sitting around, I’m also eating. :) Seriously though, for a variety of reasons (work mostly), I’ve fallen out of my normal habits.  Over the last 6 months or so I’ve attempted to get back on a regular schedule of working out early in the morning with limited success. More often than not, I’ve used the quiet time of the day to catch up on work or maybe quietly drink coffee without 15 nonstopped questions about “dad, when Max gets his (neutered) stiches out, THEN can he make baby puppies?”.  No, son. The answer is always no.

What I say I've been doing: Drinking coffee in the morning

What I've actually been doing.....


The other challenge is gear.  The thing that initially drew me to running as much as it did was the lack of ‘gear’ required. All you need was a pair of shoes and a garmin, and body guide, and a water belt, and shorts with the underwear built in, and some gels, and maybe even a wicking shirt if it was colder than 50 degrees and you were off and running! Cycling requires more parts than trying to put together a dresser from IKEA and lifting weights requires some form of weights if I want to actually get bigger vs just toned like Justin Bieber. (Actually, nevermind. Biebs is actually looking pretty ripped.  Crap.  SPEAKING OF, have you heard his music lately?  It's actually pretty good!  Double crap.)



So, like anything new - be it working out, a new hobby, or even regular old work – there is a learning curve that must be overcame.   It seems like scheduling and lack of gear are the ones that I’m currently working through. One of those would seemingly be easily fixed with money.  The other is a little bit harder to overcome – but not nearly as hard as it would be for Max the dog to have babies after his surgery….  More to come on how I work through setting up a routine!

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Oh Hi

Oh hi.

Have you ever had one of those weeks where you're so busy that you just don't have time to do laundry and before you know it you're wearing your old fat clothes from high school?  What about one of those years?  Yeah, me either.

So, I haven't blogged in over 6 months.  That is my longest period of time without blogging in nearly 10 years. To put that into context, when I started blogging I was married, lived in a different state, had a different job, and didn't have a rambunctious 6 year old.



Also, when I started blogging, I still ran.  Womp womp.  Part of the reason for my lack of literary inspiration is due in no small part to my lack of running.  It is 50% of this blog's title, afterall! Rest assured, the other boring half of this blog will forever be burned into the fiber of my being.

As you might recall, I had surgery on my knee in September of 2015.  I had torn my patellar tendon as well as a host of other things.  My surgeon at the time told me that the surgery had a 50/50 chance of success..... guess which side I was on?  So, as I sit here 18 months later, it hurts to get up off of the toilet, hurts to flex my quad all the way, and I'll limp for days if I run more than 2-3 miles. So, yeah.



So, my surgery failed. Now what? It is interesting how much you realize your personal identity is tied to something when you can no longer do it. Even today I'll get the "so, any races coming up?" questions by people who mean well. For the first 6 months or so post surgery, I tried very hard to do everything I could to get back to running. For the next 6, I moped around and gained a pretty solid 15 pounds (of muscle obviously french fries). These last 6 months or so I've come to grips with my new 'reality' and have been actively searching for my next 'thing'.


While selling face cream and/or smelly oils crossed my mind, it seems like I have settled on a combination of bike riding and weight lifting.  My body has always been built for doing a little bit of work 10,000 times really quickly vs a lot of work 10 times, so weightlifting has been providing the humbling challenge I crave.

So, what about this running blog? I honestly don't know. The truth behind "The Boring Runner" is that I wanted to be funny in that my blog was (hopefully) not boring but that running is indeed super boring. I wonder if I could maybe continue the irony of having a running blog without actually running? Couldn't be worse than the blogs with 15 sponsored posts in a row...... heyoooo.



I'm not sure when I'll blog again, but I feel like I owed the 10 people who kept this blog in their feed an update. I'm thinking I might catalog my foibles trying to learn how to lift weights... Believe me, there are months and months of content involved with that!  If nothing else, at least I hung on to my high school fat clothes!  Acid washed jeans are still in style, right?


Saturday, May 14, 2016

Fast or long?

"Oh baby, I'm not built for speed.....I'm built to go long!" -- Every male junior high cross country runner, ever.

Since throwing caution to the wind a few weeks back and deciding to suck it up and run on my injured knee, I've been on quite the endurance tear!  I'm running 2-3 times a week and am trying to get on the bike at least once or twice (usually once).  Now that I'm falling into somewhat of a routine, I can't help but ask myself: now what? Should I push my knee to its limits and see if I have another half or full marathon in me?  Should I focus less on distance and more on speed? Forget about goals and simply run for fitness? 

Right now I'm running 3-6 miles at my old long run pace, 7:30/mile. When I first started back at it, my pace was all over the place but I've fallen back into the comfortable rhythm of 8 miles per hour. The only difference is that while before I could sing the star spangled banner while running with Mariah Carey style gusto (and also with a Mariah Carey shaped ass, obviously), now it is all I can do to blurt out 3 word answers to my running buddy, Ryan.  But, I'm sure that if I keep at it I'll be belting out showtunes in no time at all.

But, moderate running success aside, I need a goal. On the one hand, I'm pretty certain that if I try to jump back into marathon training I'll hurt myself again.  On the other, I could probably train pretty successfully for 5K races with moderate but consistent mileage.  Quite honestly, I'm not sure what to do or where to take my running future. (Or, should it be a biking future?)

Hanging w/ my running buddy, Ryan
God I love "running"

While I know that I don't need to figure this all now, I'm a planner, so yes I do thank you very much. In all seriousness, I don't really need to figure it out for a few weeks, but it would be good to know if I should start looking at marathons again or if I should buy a pair of track cleats. I suppose if I go with the latter, I'll fit RIGHT in with all of the cross country boys and their sophomoric jokes!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

I'm Running Again!

A lot of runners get really worked up about the wording of running. I learned long ago that the term "jogging" is a big no-no and that I should never call one of my races "slow". I could totally see where people are coming from but never shared the same passion for the nuances of verbiage.  So, it is with a slight wince at the risk of backlash that I say.... Well, I guess I'm SORT OF running again.

I've been pretty down in the dumps the last few months and as a result let one too many workouts slip away and one (five.... okay maybe ten) too many pounds pack on. The excuses aren't as important as to what snapped me out of the funk: a podcast.

Two Gomers Run for Their Lives is a running podcast about two normal mid pack guys who battle with the 20 pounds we all need to lose, watching a bit too much TV, and are generally as clueless as the next guy about how to go about running. (THESE ARE MY PEOPLE!)  Lately, the podcasts had been less about running and more about life stuff and TV.  Ultimately a listener called one of them out that he had totally stopped even caring about running and how he had a laundry list of excuses on why he wasn't active. Needless to say, the message was received and he immediately went out an ran 6 miles. Later the day I listened to it, I ran 5mi in the already miserable AZ heat - the first time I had ran (had run? did I mention the thing about the nuance of verbiage?) in over 6-8 weeks.

Oh god I was sore afterwards.  You would have thought I had just ran a marathon with a sumo wrestler on my back. Turns out it was just a food baby in my muffin top.  I honestly have been less sore after marathons.  It was humbling.  But, the speed was essentially still there (~7:30 pace), just not the endurance. I've since made sure to run 3x a week, 4-5 miles at a shot. So, not anything like I was before, but still running.

Completely unrelated kid pic from the baseball game on Saturday
Turns out I haven't been taking a lot of running pics


My knee still hurts like always, both during and after running.  If I push too hard it hurts more and I'll wince as I stand up from the toilet my desk chair.  If I go it easy with friends, it barely hurts at all. I'm slowly coming to grips with the fact that marathons are likely something that I used to do vs something that I am training for.

The plan now is to slowly build up my mileage to see if my knee explodes or if it will tolerate a few more miles.....and then explode.

Looking back, I'm not sure if it was the podcast that got me back into running again or if it was the gut-check that I was so terribly out of shape.  The bigger question now is if I am "a marathoner" or if I am simply "someone who used to run marathons"?  I guess maybe all of us get caught up in our own nuances of verbiage after all!

Another unrelated kid pic - he can ride is bike without help!

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Checking in

Long ago, in a land far far away, this blog wasn't a running blog.  Oh, it might have had running in the title and it might have mentioned that I went running in the past few days, but very little of it was about running. For one reason or another I haven't been running a ton lately.  BUT, that doesn't mean that I haven't been busy!

I took the breakup from Laura pretty hard.  And, while it has been nearly three months, I'm still employing the "keep very busy" strategy to keep my mind occupied. A man with a cold stone heart, I am not. I think staying busy has saved the internet from way too many emo posts. Think of it as a public service!  You're welcome, world.

To that end, here is a peek into what I've been up to:


Hiking!!
The thing that I've replaced running with the most has been hiking. It is somewhat easier on my knee as long as I am taking it slow - which I rarely do, obviously. Before catching a terrible respiratory virus, I was going on a long hike about once a week and was trying to hike after work at least once as well.  I've been trying to get around the valley (the Phoenix metro area) to see what is to be seen, but I'll admit there are a few areas that I have been going back to more and more.  Camelback mountain being one of them:

Almost down from Camelback mountain looking over fancy Scottsdale


I have a few work friends who are into hiking which is really fun.  Normally, I'll go hiking on my own and listen to podcasts, but it is super fun to get together with someone and talk about anything and everything (and rarely work). PLUS, I've heard that hiking promotes a good butt.  Win/Win. Again, you're welcome world.

Looking out over the javelina jundred course (I think)

Selfie in the WINDY pass!


Burning things!!!
I've posted about this before, but as of late, my son and I have taken to having lots of bonfires.  Essentially, any weekend night that we're together we light something on fire in the driveway,  I have a beer and he eats Smores.  I've found that it is a great way to unwind after a long day and is a great way to hang out with the neighbors.  (I'm sure having 5 homebrew beers on tap in my garage doesn't hurt either.)

Coloring in front of the fire - possibly my most favorite pic in months

Unfortunately though, the bonfire days are likely coming to an end pretty soon.  The summer heat is on its way and no one wants to sit in front of a fire when it is 95 degrees at 9pm.  Of course, that likely won't stop me from trying it at least one or two times before I give in.

Fire and wine. As if I needed anything else (I don't)

Another gorgeous sunset in Arizona



Ostrich Festival
I feel like every town has their little 'quirk'.  Chandler Arizona's?  The Ostrich festival.  This is an entire weekend dedicated to massive birds with the brains the size of walnuts.  Are there ostriches in Arizona?  WHO KNOWS!  But we're for damn sure going to celebrate them. There are equal parts: carnie rides, people showing too much skin with too many tattoos, carnies showing too much skin and having too many tattoos, and fried food.  Basically people watching heaven.  I've been meaning to go for years and a few weeks ago my son and I finally got there. Believe me.  It did not disappoint.  Of course, there were rides:


Going though the obstacle course type thing

Basically terrified of the roller coaster.  
Chip off the old block...the boring fam doesn't "do" roller coasters

BUT, the main attraction were the ostrich races.  That is when 3 less than 140 pound guys (they pointed that out...strange) grab a massive bird by the neck and hold on for dear life. Believe me, it was just as entertaining as you would have expected it to be..... and my son LOVED IT.

"Oh yay, riding an ostrich seems like a GREAT idea"

"I regret everything"

"Maybe if I get up SUPER fast no one will know I fell"

LOL, but then he was about ran over...which was great

Meep meep


San Diego
Finally, San Diego.  A few weeks ago, for an entire week, I was in San Diego for work.  Only a 5.5 hour drive from my house, San Diego is probably one of my favorite places in the US.  It is beachy, but not super laid back and annoying, there are still lots of fun non-beach things to do, and it is still cheap enough to be able to have fun without feeling like I need to sell a kidney to afford it (looking at you, Hawaii...).

The training was fun, dare I say life changing, but the real fun was the weekend after.  I sipped on local coffee, had a few nice dinners, and went to more than a few breweries.

Sunset in La Jolla

While the training had a bunch of executives (which I guess I am one of now?), lest I get too full of myself....well, I'll let the picture speak for itself:

#1 gangsta.  Do people still say gangsta?

One thing that I completely forgot about was how....fit...everyone is at the beach.  If you ever need motivation to get into shape, go to the beach. Nothing like a few thousand 22 year olds to make you question that second scone at the coffee place (I had the second scone, obviously).

Since I was alone, I went off of my normal beaten path on this trip.  I hiked in Torrey Pines park, I went to neighborhoods that I had never been to, I ran along new beaches, I stumbled upon nude beaches..... Yes, you heard me right... a nude beach.

So, as it turns out, if you're hiking Torrey Pines, get down to the ocean, and start running south along the beach, you'll run into the nation's largest nude beach - Black's Beach. When I mentioned this to a runner buddy, Chris, that I met up with while there he straight faced said "oh yeah, Black Beach.  Lots of naked dudes on that one".   Indeed he was right. As I was running along, I felt less and less like I was running along the beach and more and more like I was in a men's locker room.  The kind of men's locker room where the old guys let it hang fancy free. For the record, naked women count: 1 (she was like 65 years old) naked man count: 3945848394857.

 Sand

Water

Rocks

Torrey Pines hiking


Of course, those are just the highlights of the last month or so.  If you follow my daily instagram posts, you'll find that I'm up to all SORTS of boring stuff!  Hopefully my next blog post isn't a month from now. But, if it is, reset assured that I'll be keeping myself busy (mostly by burning stuff in the firepit)!

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Three Things Thurs: Hiking, Target, and San Diego

While I'm eyeballs deep at work, I'm finding myself with lots of free time at night.  You know what that means....more blog posts!  My loss is your gain!!

This weekend I went hiking again BUT I DIDN'T GET LOST!!  Hooray! Thanks for everyone's kind thoughts on my previous post (calling me an idiot mostly, I assume). Fortunately, the massive blisters on my feet are finally mostly healed and the sunburn on my nose is all gone.

This time I went with a friend and coworker on an easy 7.5mi out and back course. The thing I love about hiking with him is that we didn't talk about work until about mile 6.  The downside? EVERYTHING is in bloom in Arizona.  Flowers and trees are all shooting off sprouts made more terrible by El Nino which means I am in a constant state of sniffling due to all of the pollen.  It took me a few years to get used to the Arizona seasons - that is, we're basically 3 months ahead of everyone else...where instead of winter we just have 9 months of spring and fall with 3 months of the 5th ring of hell.

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My son and I are still having as much fun as ever. Ask the people at Target, they'll tell you. He is starting to put together letter sounds into full words. Seeing his brain click is basically the best thing in the world.



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Finally, I'm headed to San Diego next week.  I've said before that San Diego is probably my favorite place to go in the continental US. I love the ocean, the laid back culture, and the beer selection is pretty top notch.  To say that I am excited would be like saying unicorns are "kinda cool".  I'm in pretty hard core leadership training all week long, but the weekend after I'm going to stay and see the sights solo. Obviously, by "sights" I mean "breweries and beaches".  If they offered showers at the breweries, I wouldn't even need to rent an AirBnB!

In all seriousness, I'm really looking forward to running along the boardwalk. I really want to get back to running vs all of this getting lost other stuff - no better place than along the beach!