Tuesday, February 26, 2013

3 things that have me shaking my head

Three things this week that had me shaking my head.

1.  "I've never been to Taco Bell"

So I got done doing volunteer legal aid work today in a somewhat sketchy part of Denver and decided to take the two new interns to lunch.  And yes..I do pro bono work for the poor and down trodden..although I tend to have to bite my tongue..and sometimes I don't.  Like the time a guy came in and started complaining about the system and how unfair it was and how was he supposed to get a job when the courts wouldn't seal his arrest record... I had to remind him.."You killed somebody with a machete!!  You are damn lucky to be walking the streets!  Yes..sometimes the volunteer work also helps me test my patience.   Anyway, both of the interns are second year law students at D.U... you know the University of Denver. (Don't ask..apparently here in the west they aren't bright enough to figure out University of Denver is U.D. or University of Colorado is U.C. not C.U..but I digress).  So, we walk to the Taco Bell next door. One of the interns says..I haven't been to a Taco Bell in years and the other says."I've never been to Taco Bell"  How is this even possible?  These are law school students..who obviously went to college..Hell Taco Bell was mandatory for me through college and law school since I couldn't afford anything else.  Anyway..the Taco Bell we went to was particularly awesome...the manager had to buzz you in to use the bathrooms and at 2:30 in the afternoon there were already two drunks passed out on tables and you had to give wide berth to every one who walked in due to the pungent fragrances they were exuding,  The girls actually studied the menu and I had to tell the woman operating the register to wait for their order...at least I think it was a woman operating the register..she had on a stocking cap, scarf over her face and gloves..I kid you not.  They then asked..is the cheesy potato burrito good?  The person behind the register says.."No..but a lot of people order it"  I started laughing and ordered the burritos for both of them.  The girls and I ate our lunches and talked and in the end they both agreed that Taco Bell was good food and a great value...

2. What were they thinking

So I am looking at possible races to do and the Slacker Half Marathon is recommended. I check out the website..The race starts in Loveland at over 10,000 feet and goes down to about 8400 feet in Georgetown. (I can feel my knees hurting already)  I almost fell out of my chair when I saw the next paragraph on the webpage trying to persuade people to do the race:

"The half marathon begins at Loveland Ski Area and travels the first five miles through a Forest Service area of wetlands and natural waterfalls on a non-motorized paved bike path built to sustain the weight of an ambulance!"

Why are the race directors so excited about the fact that the trail will support the weight of an ambulance that they have to use an exclamation point?  Needless to say this race was crossed off my possible list.

3. Harlem Shake.  Is it worth prison time, your job or your hockey career? (or your dignity)
OK..what is with this Harlem Shake craze..If you don't know what I am talking about you can watch this compilation video..Harlem Shake It has gotten out of hand..an Israeli military commander was stripped of his command and is spending 21 days in prison because of  it Israeli Harlem Shake and in Minnesota 6 members of a varsity hockey team were suspended and missed a playoff game because of it. Minnesota suspensions  What is this world coming to?

OK..done with my rants.  On to triathlon.

First..I am not losing weight..I am eating better..I gave up going out to eat for lent and as such I thought I would be down 20 lbs..instead. I am down nothing...zippo. Although I am feeling much better during the day and my workouts.. I guess I just need to start counting the calories again. 

Second, my wife has decided to do some races this year.  She is even training with me..which I thought would be great but is turning out to be a bit humbling since she is apparently a better runner than me.  My new training partner has caused some changes around the house..including the way we watch movies..

Third..I went to see Joy, my favorite Physical Therapist at University of Colorado Sports Medicine and she checked out my right leg.  Like I suspected I have lost a ton of strength. In addition I have pretty much zero flexibility in my hips..which explains why I can't kick at all during the swim..I have neither the strength nor range of movement to actually propel my carcass.  Never fear though..Joy gave me a ton of exercises and stretches to get some drastic improvements in the next four weeks.

Lastly, it looks like I will be doing the Maple Grove half marathon in May.  My brother's coffee shop may be one of the main sponsors so I think I need to be there. It sounds like a blast. I'll update this information as it becomes confirmed.  I am also trying to convince some of team Abekat Anarchy to join me in the race.

Take care everyone and remember..the answer is always..Hammer Time.


Thursday, February 14, 2013

New Shoes..New Insight..and New Injury.

The last week went by pretty quick..as all the weeks this year seem to have.  I did make a few changes..found out a few things and sustained a slight injury.

First..the changes.  Since getting the dreaded gout last year I have been having issues with my feet.  I couldn't run for quite a while and when I did my shoes exacerbated the problem.  I have been running in Newtons for about three years and love them. They transitioned me from a heel striker to a mid foot striker..which in turn got rid of almost all of my knee problems when running. They are also long lasting and built pretty wide in the toe box which is wonderful. Not to mention they are extremely light. I love running in them. Even for a big guy like me the minimal cushioning was not a problem at all.  I would recommend Newtons to anyone who was looking to get away from heavy cushioning and those who are looking to try and get away from heel striking.   In fact if you are interested in a pair you can order them online here  Kompetitive Edge Newton Selection and use my code havn2013 to get 15% off online orders or if you walk in the store.  In fact Kompetitive Edge now has demo shoes you can try before you buy.

Unfortunately the Newtons are not working for me any longer...if you know how the Newtons are constructed..or can see the picture above..the platform is built with a lug system.  That lug system is great for helping a person to mid or fore-foot run.  However, it also sits squarely under where I have been having foot issues..and the increased pressure from the lugs has really caused me problems.  Thus I needed to find a new pair of shoes.  Just my luck Kompetitive Edge started carrying a new brand this year..Scott..I needed a new pair of trail shoes since my North Face pair was over 4 years old..so I purchased a pair of the Scott T2 Kinabalu.

 Here is a REVIEW.  I love these shoes. I have only worn them about 3 times but they fit great..and zero issues with my feet.  Better yet..I am still mid foot striking in them and thus zero knee problems.  I will keep running in them and if they continue to work out I will be getting a pair of the Scott MK4 Road Shoes.

Yes..the badger red of the MK4's is much superior to the Kinabalu's colors..  Either way I am pleasantly surprised with the fit and performance of the Scott shoes..and the fact they personalized them with my name on the side and back..how cool is that. (This may come in handy if I lose one)
Again, if you are interested..contact the guys at Kompetitive Edge..and mention my code (havn2013) for your discount if you do end up purchasing. 

The new things I found out this week. 1. My underwear fits better when it is on backwards. (We will not get into how I know this).  2. I am getting to be one of "those" parents. At rock climbing this week my daughter was the only girl without $60.00 rock climbing shoes, her own harness and rock climbing pants.  (This is week 2 of the beginning class!!). She is as tall as all of the other girls and was doing well to keep up. She actually went higher then the other girls on  a couple of occasions. On one climb a girl in the class did go higher and I could see the smug look on the father next to me..so of course I said, "Wow. That's great..by the way where does your daughter go to school?" He answered with the school name and said she was in the second grade along with the other girl in the class.  I of course then informed them ..that's great..maybe my daughter will go to that school when she starts kindergarten next year... Yeah..I'm an ass.  3. Almond milk is not as tasty as regular milk.  It is a lie. 4. I do not miss sugar all that much out of my diet.

The injury I did while working out at the rec center. I tweaked my hip a bit as well as some other things. My coach had me running on Wednesday so I did it at lunch on the treadmill at the rec center.  Since I sweat like crazy I have to shower after any sort of run longer than 30 seconds.  Since I had done 40 minutes I was pretty much a disgusting mess.  I thus went to the locker room and showered.  I came back to my locker with my towel around me and of course there was a guy on either side of me at their lockers. (They give you locker keys when you check in and for some reason the front desk guy thinks its funny to give the lockers out next to each other..thus if there are four guys using lockers they will all be within 4 lockers of each other..even though there are 60 empty lockers).   Anyway, since there are guys in the immediate vicinity I do what I usually do..which is drop the towel and put my underwear on as quickly as possible...of course..I do not want to actually bend over to put them on for obvious reasons..So standing straight I put one leg through and then quickly put the other leg through..except I miss the leg hole and actually catch the underwear fabric with my foot..Now I don't want to step down since the underwear will be between my foot and floor..and that would be disgusting.  So I try hopping..because I still do not want to bend over..after the second hop I realize that I am going backwards and there is no way my momentum is not going to take my naked butt to the floor.  I guess I should not have been concerned about the underwear on the floor or bending over since in the next 2 seconds I have actually fallen over on my butt onto the locker room floor with enough momentum for my legs to go up and flip my underwear 6 feet from me. To make matters worse..one of the guys next to me is naked old guy...so when i sit up on the floor to reorient myself I get an eyeful of ..well lets just say it was not a pleasant sight..probably just slightly less pleasant than the feeling of my butt on the floor (since being male I obviously do not actually towel off when I get out of the shower and thus am pretty much as wet as when I am in it) and wondering what I am actually sitting on and what is going to be sticking to it when I get up.  The other guys in the room do not know what to do..naked old guy goes to give me a hand up..without covering himself..and the slightly less old guy..70 ish..goes to get my underwear..bends over to grab it..then straightens up..grabs a towel and then picks them up for me.  At this point I am just thankful I remembered to pack clean underwear.  I thank both of the guys and retreat back to the showers and take a 15 minute shower to not only rid myself of anything that could have possibly adhered to my body but to also make sure that both the guys had time to leave the rec center.  Anyway..my hip now hurts and I have a weird rash in the nether regions which I need to explain to the wife.  I also will not be doing lunch time workouts at the rec center for a few weeks. I have to think that this crap happens to other people besides me..Right???

Oh yeah..running is improving..stopped the run/walk stuff and am running. Although my heart rate is still crazy high for the slow speeds I am doing (think very slow jog). With the new shoes I have minimal pain while running. The swimming I need to build endurance..but am under 2:00 per 100..and I am beginning to get used to the bike trainer again. I do need to strengthen the hip and quad considerably though. Down 2 pounds this week..not bad but not good..228. down from a high of 235.

Take care..and Happy St. Valentine's Day...

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

February already?

Yes it is..and I am glad. I am glad to be away from December and January..collectively the last two months have been some of my worst ever on so many levels.

So to start off the month I decided to cut sugar out of my diet...just the refined or added. How hard could that possibly be?  I mean heck..girl scout cookie season is here..and Valentine's day is not far off...it's not like there will be anything extra sugary around the office.  This is something interesting I learned..everything in the grocery store has some sort of sugar in it.  Try to find bread without it.  Seriously, we had to look and look to find bread without sugar. We found out the french bread and other "artisan" breads in the bakery do not have added sugar..so that is what we have been eating.

Actually the no sugar thing has been fairly easy.  It definitely keeps me away from processed foods and I am down 3 pounds this week.

And if you notice the training log on the side of the page..it actually has colored bars. Not only have I been doing my workouts..but also logging them.  The workouts have been less than stellar..my two month hiatus has taken a toll. My heart rate is extremely high and my endurance extremely low.  The only bright spot is that my swimming has not suffered all that much from the layoff.

I took some before pictures of my fluffy self..which are absolutely hideous and I will not be posting..yet anyways.  I also took my body measurements..needed to use two measuring tapes to get around my fat rear.  Actually I may post all of this..on a separate page of course..I'll probably have to mark it adult content.

The gout is under control. I finally gave in and went on a daily med. So far so good. There was a night where I felt a flare up..but it was gone by mid-morning. And honestly the last couple of runs I have done I have had phantom pains in my feet afterward..but I think I am good.  Setting a physical up the beginning of March so I'll have all my blood levels looked at.

Besides actually training...I signed my daughter up for a climbing class.  She is a natural.

Then the instructor thought it would be funny for me to get my fat ass on the rope..Wow is my butt big..but the calves are looking pretty good.  It was actually pretty fun..but it is amazing how tired your hands and forearms get..not to mention the stress on your feet. Plus I tried climbing with my size 13 shoes..yeah..most of the"holds" are not compatible with huge feet..which apparently are still growing..WTH?  I was up on the wall for two minutes and my limbs felt like they were shaking.  Man do I look old an out of shape in this video..probably because I am old and out of shape.  And it looks like I tucked my shirt into my shorts..which I did not!!  The climbing is  definitely something I want to continue to do.  Obviously losing weight is going to be huge in this endeavor.

Before I forget..make sure you check out my friend Angela's blog Another hole in the head..  She said she failed training last week..but really neglects to mention that she was shooting a television show for the DIY network...read about it here.. and this week one of her documentaries debuted...Check it out Happy on the Ground.  Jen Roe also was one of the producers of the film so I should mention her too..I don't want a NJ chick ticked at me.  As you are probably aware Angela is going to do the Olympic distance race at Rev 3 Knoxville this year.

I am also trying to make it to Knoxville for the race so I can kick Angela's butt.  I just hope she stays busy and doesn't have time to train.

Take care everyone!