Sunday, January 27, 2013

Running with a friend.

Aimee had made arrangements for her long run to be with a couple of friends down in CVNP (Cuyahoga Valley National Park).  I wanted to get in a long run as well so I tagged along for the two hours of running.

However, I had plans of my own.  I was going to get re-acquainted with a friend I hadn't seen in a long time. 

Aimee, Dale and Deb headed towards the Towpath Trail and I headed in the opposite directions towards the Buckeye Trail.  The trail goes into the Cleveland Metropark Brecksville Reservation then heads into the CVNP.  This section of trail finishes at Snowville Road where I could catch the Towpath back to the parking lot.

I haven't run this section of the BT for a long time so I was excited to be out there.  The powdery snow was fresh and lightly covered the footprints from the day prior.  The only other tracks were from various woodland critters like squirrels, deer and possibly fox or coyote. 

The peace and quiet of the woods was only broken by some birds or cars when the trail went close to some roads. 

But I had the entire trail to myself.  I could clear the mind and think either about the swim challenge, tasks I needed to take care of or absolutely nothing.

The majority of the time I was thinking was nothing since I had to watch for roots buried under the snow or was simply enjoying the scenery.

The two hours almost went by too fast.  I could have stayed on the trail longer but had to get back to the parking lot.  I'll have to revisit this friend of mine come spring and watch the forest wake up.

Game On.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Baby is it cold outside?

Depending upon who you talk to the answer is probably yes.  Ohio has been covered by a cold mass of air thanks to our friends to the north....and I don't mean Michigan.

Overnight lows have been into the single digits and when the wind kicks up it starts to feel well below zero.  I've been spinning and swimming as normal but getting outside for a run is another story.  And I haven't broken down and used the treadmill yet.

So after work today I decided it was time to get outside for a run.  Temp reach a high of 15 and the wind was light.  I've ran in much worse conditions than this so I grabbed my cold weather gear and suited up for a nice 5 miler.

If you never thought you could over dress for 15 degree weather I am here to prove you wrong.  As I stood looking at my options I grabbed my Pearl Izumi winter wind breaker.  But as I looked outside again and the temp on the thermometer I put it back and grabbed my slightly heavier Nashbar cycling jacket.  Yes you read that correctly...Nashbar.  I haven't been to their website in years so I was surprised they are still around. 

I've had this jacket since around 1999 and the plush lining has kept me warm in some brutal conditions.  So I put on my jacket with a short sleeve base layer and a mid-weight long sleeve tech shirt providing some layers for the cold.

As soon as I stepped outside and closed the garage door I knew I was overdressed.  Usually I follow the 10 degree rule when dressing for a run....dress for weather 10 degrees warmer than it is.  Within the first 2 miles you should warmed up and comfortable for the remainder of the run.

As I said I was overdressed and I didn't feel like going back inside to get my other jacket.  My shoes were muddy and I didn't feel like taking them off.  So I headed out, overdressed.

The first 2.5 miles were comfortable and I couldn't feel the cold on my upper torso.  My legs could feel the biting cold a little and that's what I really wanted all over.  On my return trip home I did a couple of small pick-ups and then I could definitely feel the sweet forming on my body.  For a short run like this it's not a big deal but on a longer run I would want to avoid the sweating and subsequent chills from the cold. 

I made it back home satisfied with my outdoor run.  This weekend will be two hours on the trails and I'll dress more appropriately.

Have fun out there in the snow.....if you have any.

Friday, January 04, 2013

Push It Real Good

Back in November my friend Chris offered up a challenge on Facebook to perform 10,000 pushups during the month of December.  He calculated it out to 322 per day with 340 on the final day.  I'm usually up for a challenge and this one sounded interesting.

It wasn't until I actually started doing the pushups that I realized how real the challenge was.  Would the arms get stronger or would they fall off.

I kept track of each day on a notepad and I'm glad I did.  It gives me something to review and see how the month progressed.

I mixed things up by performing a variety of "pushups".  I did the standard plank pushups on my toes. I also did them on my knees.  I used the rings at Crossfit low to the ground.  I threw in some hand stand pushups against a wall or kneeling on a chair.  The triceps were also worked with dips on the edge of a chair. 

The different exercises allowed me to use different muscles and avoid overuse injury and keep in muscular balance.

I pushed with sets of 10, 20 or 30 depending upon the exercise, and how tired I was.

Here is my day-to-day recap.

12/01    Started off strong with 292
12/02    212
12/03    50 - I was sore from the first two days.
12/04    380 - This included 30 Handstand PUs and 50 Rings PUs at Crossfit
12/05    400 - While I was swimming I did 100 press-outs on the edge of the pool
12/06    350
12/07    350
12/08    300
12/09    300
12/10    450 - Time to start catching up.  I was only 200 behind pace.
12/11    450 - 8 shy of goal pace
12/12    300
12/13    150
12/14    400
12/15    400
12/16    0 - Despite this being a Sunday I was busy with work all day
12/17    400 - only 290 behind pace
12/18    400
12/19    240
12/20    0 - This was a work travel day.
12/21    200
12/22    0 - A run/swim brick in the morning had me shelled for the rest of the day.
12/23    60 - Had the family over for Christmas dinner.  Barely time to breath.
12/24    0 - Tired and busy
12/25    400
12/26    0 - I was not 1,566 behind pace
12/27    600 - Time to start cranking them out because of several zeros.
12/28    1000 - I was on vacation but it felt like work to get all of them in and I was 1000 behind pace
12/29    400
12/30    516 - The 16 was to make it an even 1000 the final day
12/31    1000 - Did my final 10 as the countdown for 2012 began.

I woke up the morning of 12/31 and thought to myself....there is no way I'm going to get this done.  But then I remembered some comments posted on Facebook from various friends. 

Cristi.........if anyone could do it, it would be you!
Shawn.......You can do it Eric. You and Chris inspire me to do more...........You got this.
Eric B........If u r awake 12 hrs a day...u can set an alarm to do 33 every half can do it. PTMATBWF = Push the Mind and the Body Will Follow


Aimee and I ran two hours in the Cuyahoga Valley.  At different times I would drop to the ground and pump out 20 pushups.  During that run I did 400 pushups.

Back at home I did another 400 in the early afternoon.

Before heading over to our neighbors house for New Years Eve I did another 190...saving the final 10 for midnight.

I did it.  It wasn't the most optimal way of going about it.  With December being such a busy month between work travel and the holidays it certainly added to the challenge.
Once again there is proof that anything is possible.  Ninety percent of any challenge is getting on top of it mentally.  

How have you challenged yourself lately.

Game On.

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Happy Freakin' 2013

Happy New Year everyone. 

First off you get the obligatory picture of my running into Lake Erie at the Cleveland Triathlon Club's annual Polar Plunge.  I bought a snazzy new swim suit to celebrate the new year.

Here I am counting down the final 5 seconds before everyone ran into the water.  I took my time and walked in.

As I was walking out of the water my friend Troy had just shown up and was just getting undressed.  Troy and I did Goruck Challenge together and one thing we learned....never leave your battle buddy.  Troy wasn't about to take his plunge all by himself. 

If you can't do these types of things without a smile on your face....why bother.   I'll also admit that I didn't dive in or go fully underwater. 

So what does the new year hold in store for me.  More than I could have imagined.  First off I don't like to call my statements resolutions.  They are simply things I should do more or better.

Aimee and I will be racing at Ironman Wisconsin on September 8th.  This is my second trip to IM MOO (third IM) and this is Aimee's second IM, St. George was her first.  There is a group of 30 people from the Cleveland area participating in the race so it will be some good times with friends.

Because of the IM MOO I have a full build-up of races.  Run for Regis, Athens Half Marathon, Triple T, Double Mussel, and a smattering of other races.

But wait there's more.......

I have come full circle with Snakebite Racing and am again the Vice President of the team.

But wait there's more........

I volunteered to be on the Board of the Cleveland Triathlon Club.  My first official duties were today at the plunge by being the emcee and media contact.  I was interviewed by Channel 3 and WTAM radio.

Both of these are my realization that I need to step up and be more active with the team and club.  No time like the present.

So with all of this stuff on my plate I need to blog more......about.....

  • Training
  • Racing
  • Balance
  • Leadership
  • Teamwork

I think one interesting part of this season will be the fact that Aimee and I will both be training for Ironman...the same event.  We know several other couples in the area who have pulled it off so I think we will be fine, but it will still be interesting.

Here's to a exciting 2013.

Game On.