Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Crossroads of America

Work sometimes takes me out of town for my customers.  My latest project had me driving around the northwestern part of Ohio.

I passed through New Hampshire, Ohio driving from point A to point B.  As I passed through the center of town I had to stop and get a couple of pictures. Something about what used to be in this small town called out to me.

It looked like this "general store" was closed for good.  I'm sure that pump hasn't been used since the 70's.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Crazy Eric

This morning I woke up and was trying to decide what to do.  I hadn't been to Crossfit for a while, but I also hadn't run since the weekend. 

The wind was blowing on an already cold morning.  Maybe a run wouldn't be such a good idea...there I go wussing out again.

So I opted for a Crossfit workout instead.  Kate has open gym 7 - 8 in the morning.  We can come in and do the daily WOD, work on miscellaneous skills, movements, flexibility or just shoot the shit.

I decided I would get my running in AND a good Crossfit workout.  After some warmup exercises and 3000m of rowing I setup my workout station.  The only piece of equipment I needed was an Abmat (something used for sit-ups).

I put my WOD on the white board and set the timer.

10 pull-ups
Shuttle run
10 push-ups
Shuttle run
10 toes to bar
Shuttle run
10 sit-ups
Shuttle run
10 Burpees
Shuttle run

Repeat for a total of 5 rounds

The Shuttle run is just like you did in elementary, middle and high school.  I ran back and forth to five different spots on the gym floor. 

The Toes to Bar....well...

So anyways....the worst part of this workout was the unknown.  I just put it together because it got me running and most of the other exercises were upper body.

The second worst part was running after the burpees.  Jumping up and down then the shuttle run was killer on the quads. 

I just plugged away at the rounds.  I was really doubting my sanity during the fourth round and thought about cutting it short.  But I wrote 5 on the white board so I re-committed myself to completing the WOD as I wrote it.

The fifth round was starting to get into my gut.  My brain was going fuzzy and I was happy that I didn't have any food in my stomach.  I was either going to finish the final shuttle run strong or puking.

I was pretty close to doing both.  I sprinted across the finish line and immediately bent over against the wall trying to get my breath back. 

Finish time was 36:33. I felt like I just set a PR in a 5k.

Kate was cheering and encouraging me on the entire way and it was great hearing her voice in the background.

As I was collecting myself I could hear Kate introducing everyone to a new member.  All I heard was, "That's Crazy Eric down there.  He's an Ironman."

Guess I have a new nickname at the gym.  Just a part of the Crossfit community that I really like at Coca.

Crazy Game On

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Making your own workout

I hit the pool this morning for some yardage.  It sure is hard to get out a warm bed knowing you will be standing on the edge of a pool in your speedo/jammers working in up the courage to jump in.

I've been very loose with my swim training.  I have not been dipping into the bag of workouts for a long time now.  Usually I think up a workout as I drive to the Y.

My first 1000 yards are always the same.  500 warm-up doing crawl, breast and back strokes.  Then 500 yards of drills.

The main set today was only 800 yards but the intensity was the focus.

The workout broke down as follows:

200 - 25 hard, 150 steady, 25 hard
200 - 50 hard, 100 steady, 50 hard
200 - 75 hard, 50 steady, 75 hard
200 -  200 hard

200 yards cooldown

I used this as a race simulation.  Short hard efforts act as the start of a race and the ending efforts would be surges to break away from a pack or catch a faster pack.

Because the time swimming hard increases the total time for each 200 should drop.

My 200's were: 2:59, 2:56, 2:51, 2:46. 

Boy did I feel it in my arms.  But the feeling told me that I was maintaining good form and catching a lot of water with each stroke.  The times reflect that also. 

Give this workout a try and let me know how it goes.

Monday, January 16, 2012

8th Annual Winter Run for Regis Trail Fun Run - Report

...or the

Have Your Legs Ripped Off, Beaten Against a Frozen Tree and Put Back on Backwards Saga.

You may remember some previous reports from the Winter Run for Regis.  This was my fifth time at this race and I love supporting the Regis Shivers Scholarship and the Zachary and Elizabeth Fisher House.  It also helps that this run is a blast thanks in part to the head honcho Tanya.

One of the best parts of this race is listening to her pre-run instructions.  Tanya is funny and isn't shy of telling people to shut up so her instructions won't be missed.

Aimee and I signed up for the half marathon again.  We would have TriSaraTops, JenP, Brandy and Ana joining the fun this year.  They were all newbies to either the event or the course.  A fresh layer of snow had fallen overnight and the clear skies had the temperature at 10 degrees.  At least there was no wind.

With the unceremonious "go" we headed out on the 8 mile loop.  As the crowd started to thin out I found a comfortable pace with two other runners.  Cassandra and Jeff would be my running mates for this first loop.

Being a very casual run it's great to be able to talk with people. The cold weather was fine if you were running.  My toes finally warmed up at a couple of miles.  We talked about other trail races, triathlons, and other BS. 

At the first aid station I took my time and they continued on.  I ate and drank what I felt like.  The Coke and Mountain Dew were already getting slushie.  The PB&J sandwiches were not frozen yet.  I thanked the volunteers and head back to the start/finish(Home) to complete the 8 mile loop. 

Back at "home" I had my number marked that I completed the loop, said hi to Joe and hit the restroom. 

I thought I felt good starting the 5 mile loop.  Before we actually hit the official loop part there was another aid station.  I took a HammerGel despite its frozen condition.  I would get a small bit out and let it melt in my mouth.  I needed some extra energy to make it through the loop.

As soon as I hit the rollers through the woods my legs started to complain.  My left knee was starting to bother me and a general lack of energy was sitting heavy in both legs.  Maybe that 90 minute bike session on the trainer was a bad idea.  I rode pretty hard since I had missed the Tuesday spin because of work.

I started walking every little incline.  It felt like a monstrous hill but I kept the legs moving.  Slowing down too much or stopping would have been worse because of the cold weather.  Each time I would spot a tree and tell myself that that is when I would start running matter what.....because it would get me back to "home" that much faster.

It was a big struggle to keep moving.  But I embraced the mental challenge of pushing my legs despite their protests.  I crossed the finish line and gladly relinquished my race number to the volunteers.  I had completed the 13 miles in 2:25.  Two years ago I managed a 2:05 on the same trails. 

I wasn't very well prepared this year.  Since the Salt Fork 10 Mile Challenge I had let my running slip pretty bad.  I need to get my ass in gear.  I signed up today for Triple T again.  Now that is a course that will kick your ass if you don't prepare properly. 

So let this past weekend be the start of something wonderful.....a good training plan leading up to Triple T.

Game On.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Indoor Trainer Test

The Snakebite Team has been having spin sessions every Tuesday at Ride & Workout, one of our sponsors.  The cool part is that we lead the classes.  Five of us have been rotating through the classes and we each bring a different style to the workouts. 

I like to come up with theme, build the music around it then create a workout.  I was testing out my latest playlist this morning.  I had my laptop on the floor in front of me to keep me focused on the workout.  No television, just the music from my playlist.

I don't want to tip my hand for my next spin session so you will need to wait two weeks.  I will post it here.

But here is one of the other workouts I lead.  Try it out and let me know what you think.

Game On.

All songs are from ESPN Jock Jams Vol. 2 and 3.  These are the "exercises" I used as a guideline for the spin session.  I might have improvised a little during the class. 

Thursday, January 12, 2012

MG Snickerdoodle

This post is for those that don't follow me on Facebook.

MG Snickerdoodle is the American Kennel Club name for our dog Snickers.  

Snickers, and Ruby, were first introduced as part of Family and Friends Friday.

This picture was taken about 14 years ago.  Such a small little puppy.

This picture was taken 3 days after Christmas.  This picture holds so much meaning to me because I believe it shows him in the twilight years of his life.  

Little did I know 14 days later we would be saying goodbye to our wonderful family member.

We had a great life together and he will be missed. But he is in a better place.....waiting for us to call his name again.

I share this poem in remembrance of him.  He is having fun now with Bo, Foster, Freya, Frankie, Marley, Calvin, Claude and many others who have passed before him. 

Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.
When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.
They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.
You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.
Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together.... 

Monday, January 09, 2012

Digital Photography

For Christmas I got myself a new camera.  The Nikon D5100 was my one and only choice.  I'm so glad I got it.  It allows me to do so many different things.  I've enjoyed learning about the basics of photography playing with my new toy.

I have been reading a lot from the website Digital Photography School.  It has really helped open up my thought process about what to take pictures of and how to use the equipment. 

Here are some of the latest "tinkerings" with zoom blur.

My desk

My computer I need to tell you that.

This is Ruby on our bed.  

All of these pictures are raw from the camera.  I have not done any post processing with programs like Photoshop. 

Pretty cool huh?

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Overnight Visitor

It's been a busy day with running, work and having some visitors at the house.  Aimee's niece Brooke, 3 months old, is spending the night with her mom and dad.

She's a cutie, isn't she.

Friday, January 06, 2012

Christmas is over

One last picture of the Christmas tree before we take it down.  Don't worry.  It's a fake tree so we don't have to worry about it being too dry. 

WOD:  Rest Day

Thursday, January 05, 2012

And I ran.....

So the weather was pretty nice here in Cleveland today. The temperature got into the 40's and the skies were clear for most of the day. I sucked it up and ran outside. Actually it wasn't hard to do.

I ran 4 slow miles. Better than nothing, right? I was still tired from the crossfit workout last night. It must have taken more out of me than I thought.

I did the math during my run and I lifted a total of 175 * 10 = 1750 * 3 = 5370 lbs. Then I add on the weight lifted during the deadlift max, which I don't know the total of, and we are over 3 tons.

Moving that much weight reminds me of a video I saw of the great Jack LaLane.

Before the run I noticed the thin layer of clouds looking rather nice with the sun setting.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

I need to run.....outside.

What has happened to me where I have become Wimpy Wimpy Wimpy about running outside.  The weather hasn't been too bad and I have done some running outside.  But my running in general has been almost non-existent.  So when I looked outside today at the cold with the wind driving the chill into the single digits I turned around and said "forget about it".

Our three planters with herbs are still growing but the cold is starting to take over.

So I would say these plants are Heftier than I am.

I've been trying to make up for it with crossfit and rowing. 

Todays WOD:

After warmup we had ten minutes to reach our max in the Deadlift.  I managed 255lbs tonight.

The workout was, using 175 lbs on the bar:
10 deadlifts
250 meters rowing
10 deadlifts
500 meters rowing
10 deadlifts
1000 meters rowing

I focused on form over speed on the deadlifts.  I was really happy with my 1000 meter row time...just under 4 minutes. 

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

They call her...Biker Chick

Our running friend Dale likes to give his friends nicknames.  Because of her triathlete status, Aimee was nicknamed Biker Chick.

For Aimee's birthday and our anniversary, both in September, I made her something for her medals.

It was a slow process due to my inexperience with wood working tools and mounting the appropriate hardware.

The medals are hanging from two crank arms I had boxed up in the basement. 

It looks good in our office.

Workouts of the Day (WODS)

Morning Swim
2700 yards
500 warmup
500 drills
Swim with pull buoy
200 3 breathe stroke
100 5 breathe stroke
200 3 breathe stroke
100 3 breathe stroke
100 4 breathe stroke
100 5 breathe stroke
100 4 breathe stroke
100 3 breathe stroke
50 x 10 on 60 seconds
200 cooldown.

Evening Spin session
1:30 with the Snakebite Team.

Monday, January 02, 2012

The 2012 Racing Schedule

Because of my knee surgery last year my racing was rather limited. I only did one triathlon and it was a sprint. I did manage two aquabike events, sprint and half. Then my running really kicked in during the fall. You can find my race reports at the following links:
CVNP Fall Running Series #1
CVNP Fall Running Series #2
CVNP Fall Running Series #3
CVNP Fall Running Series #4
North Ridgeville Turkey Trot
Nakon Turkey Trot
Salt Fork 10 Mile Trail Run

Wow...I did a lot of running up to Salt Fork. Since then I have not done very much. And I have a trail run in two weeks to get ready for.

The 8th Annual Winter Run for Regis Trail Fun Run will be a training day for sure. Slow and steady, have some fun, enjoy the outdoors.

Looking forward to the new year I do have a tentative schedule. And there is a major benefactor to my 2012 insanity.....Girls With Sole (GWS). Please visit the site to understand what they do. That's okay....I'll wait right here for you.

Isn't the organization awesome?!?!?! The founder Liz is a dear friend of mine. I am not able to help with her programming but I can certainly help raise money for her organization. So I am devoting the entire year towards GWS.

Each of the events listed below will be fund raisers. The beauty is that people can decide which event they want to donate against. Maybe January or February is a bad time to donate, but July is a good time of the year. People can make a choice.

I will also be encouraging people to donate "differently". I don't want to see the standard amounts. I want to see dollars per minute, yard, meter, mile, etc.

I'll post more details as each event comes up.

On with the insanity schedule.

Run for Regis: Entry is confirmed and quite a few of my trail chicks will be there.

Cleveland Tri Club Big Swim. This will be the 3rd year in a row of going long. 8,000 yards in year 1 and 10k yards last year. Going for 10k again.


At the end of the month I will be turning 45. I have also been rowing at my crossfit gym Coca Crossfit. I will row 45,000 meters. This should take me about 4 - 5 hours.

Nothing scheduled yet.

Athens Half Marathon/Training Weekend

Tough Mudder Ohio. I have formed a Tough Mudder team as we attack the course mid-April when I'm sure the water will still be on the chilly side.

I am making a return to the Ohio Triple T. I still need to signup.

National 24 Hour Challenge. 24 hours of bike riding.

Unknown. My son is getting married this month so I may need to lay low.

I have something in mind. Have to see I can make it happen.

The Rev3 "Revolution". This is a sprint tri on Saturday and a the HalfRev on Sunday. Think DoubleMussel...which I've done before.

GORUCK Challenge. You just have to read about it.

Bobcat Trail Marathon. Aimee wants to do this one. I can't pass it up.

Like I said there will be updates and additional information as I get closer to the different events.

One last thing. I bought myself a nice dSLR camera for Christmas. The Nikon D5100 fits my shooting style perfectly. It also has some features I really like. Instead of a 365 Photo project I will try to post original pictures every day.

Today's picture is of the box my mom gave us before Christmas. She makes a batch of treats for the holidays. Chocolate covered pretzels, chocolate from molds, Hershey Kisses, cookies, etc.

I love Aimee very much and I felt that I needed to sacrifice myself so I could save her from the evil treats in the box.

It's the just the type of guy I am.

Happy New Year - 2012

New Year....New Beginnings....New Adventures.

In typical fashion I started 2012 with the Cleveland Tri Club's Polar Bear Plunge. It was great weather that saw over 325 people take the plunge into Lake Erie.

Hey I'm smiling so it couldn't have been that bad. By the time we got home my toes were no longer cold.

Aimee and I then got ready for my family to come over for dinner. With the family expanding this year, more on that later, we pushed our holiday meal to New Years Day. It doesn't matter when we get together because once we sit at the table great times are sure to be had. This year was no different.

We don't need the wine to enjoy ourselves but it does help compliment the meal of beef tenderloin and lobster tails.

Happy New Year's to all. Make 2012 your year of change, challenge and adventures.

Game On.