Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Workout 7/30

I was met at the gym by "Linda" a.k.a. "The 3 Bars of Death." No, it's not an actual woman; it's a CrossFit workout named after a woman. So does that mean women bring you so many aches and pains? Of course not Susanne! But these CrossFit women do...hence the reason why I am not working out on Tuesday. Rather, I will give my body a chance to recover and double up the workout on Wednesday. Okay, so that's probably not the best thing to do for my physical health, but I'm going to anyway. Well, here are the stats on today's workout.

Run: 4.08 miles (36.41, 8.59/mile pace)

CrossFit: "Linda" or "3 Bars of Death"
10-8-6-4-2 Rep Sets of:
185# Deadlifts
115# Bench Presses
95# Cleans

* I'm sure the owners of the "GloboGym" I go to hate me because I sweat buckets all over the floor when lifting weights after my runs. Not that it matters...I am throwing my money at them after all. I might have to start piecemealing a home gym together if we ever have the room. Especially if they make me pay them $900.00 to renew a membership. TOO MUCH!

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Workout 7/28

Two weeks and counting! That's how close the Chicago Distance Classic is to our team. I didn't think I was going to run this, but I recently decided to undertake this run with Team M3. I am committed to the marathon, but I know this will be an excellent chance to see some of these kids accomplish something amazing. Today was a 15 mile run! We cruised! A sub-2 hour half-marathon is definitely in sight for a few of our students.

Run: 15 miles (Time:???)

Friday, July 27, 2007

Workout 7/27

Consistency and Expectations...two of the most important elements in many areas of life. Teaching. Parenting. Training. Running. This topic was the highlight of our run today. It came up when I noticed how my students will reach for high expectations when consistently and explicitly stated to them. I'm teaching summer school right now, and many of these students have a history of not meeting expectations. But when it is consistently stated to them that I do not accept "C," "D," or "F" work in summer school, it is amazing how focused they get on earning and meeting those expectations. The same holds true for parenting. It is only fair to children to be consistent in discipline and explicit in expectations.

When thinking about running and training, I came to the conclusion that I have to do the same thing for myself. If I want to meet a goal, I need to be consistent in my training. Taking the weak areas and making them stronger through hard work will only benefit the outcomes of races and fitness levels. If I don't write my goals down, I will forget them and neglect to take steps to meet them. So here's my encouragement to you; be consistent in what you do and be clear with your expectations. You'll be amazed at how that affects both yourself and those around you.

Run: 9 miles (1:23.42, 9.18/mile pace)

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Workout 7/25

WEAK! That's what I found out about myself today when I tried to do my goal workout. I was supposed to do 20 (yes, 20!) sets of the CrossFit workout. As you can see, I only squeezed out a measly 7 sets. But, hey, isn't that what training is all about. I read an inspiring quote yesterday that applies to both this physical training and spiritual, faith training that is most important in my life.

Like a sportsman in training, faith must keep itself fit. It must be trim and in good shape. It must keep its hand in and never be out of practice. It will have its limits, but it will know them and do its best to extend them. What it fears above all is the test which shows that its training has gone to seed, its muscles have grown soft, its confidence has been misplaced... Not surprisingly, many of the biblical pictures of faith are strenuous, active and energetic. Faith is the athlete straining for the finishing line, the boxer kept in superb condition by his training, the soldier stripped to his essential equipment... Faith presses forward or is pushed back. Faith trains or grows slack. --Os Guinness

So, not only am I physically weak sometimes, I am extremely weak in my faith often. But this is encouraging because in both we can train ourselves to be that "soldier stripped to his essential equipment" and "press forward" to a strength that can move mountains.

Run: 4.08 miles (37.14, 9.07/mile pace)

CrossFit: 20 rounds of:
5 Pull-ups
10 Push-ups
15 Sit-ups
(Argh...I only completed 7!)

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Workout 7/24

Mmmm...tiny bits of protein unexpectedly flying into your mouth is quite a way to start off your morning. One can tell the humidity is on the rise when little flying insects infest the Lakefront Path. Unfortunately, you can't see them before the sun rises, so a surprising mouthful of protein is what you get. It gives a whole new meaning to protein shots to help with your endurance during a longer run. This situation seemed to have an effect on my fellow runners' friendliness reciprocation this morning too. I think I hit an all-time low on received "Mornin"s with a total of 14 out of 18 (78%). Word to my running buddies: "Don't let the bugs get you down." Today was a relaxed run because yesterday's CrossFit still had a hold on me.

Run: 8 miles (1:11.56, 8:59/mile pace)

Monday, July 23, 2007

Workout 7/23

HOLY crossfit killed me BATMAN! I cannot believe what the quick succession of exercises will do to your body and will to live. There were times today where I considered making things easier by dropping weight or by doing fewer reps...but I did it anyway!

Run: 4.08 miles (36.10, 8.51/mile pace)

CrossFit: "Fight Gone Bad"
*In this workout you move from each of five stations after a minute.The clock does not reset or stop between exercises. This is a five-minute round from which a one-minute break is allowed before repeating. On call of "rotate", the athletes must move to next station immediately for best score. One point is given for each rep, except on the rower where each calorie is one point. (crossfit.com)
45# Thrusters
45# Sumo Deadlift High Pulls
20' Box Jumps
45# Push Presses
(Rep. Scores: Rd. 1: 20,17,12,16,9; Rd. 2: 15,16,12,11,14; Rd. 3: 10,17,10,10,10)

Family Bike Ride....for Ice Cream!

What better way to spend a sunny Sunday afternoon than taking a bike ride to get some ice cream? We had a wonderful time out with the kids as you can see. So next time the weather is ideal...eat ice cream...then burn those newly acquired calories with a bike ride with you most favorite people.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Workout 7/21

We were rewarded for our hard work in training with a BBQ. MMM...cheeseburgers at 10:30 in the morning do a body good! I ran with Ryne (named after the Chicago baseball icon) today and had a great time talking to him. Sometimes it's hard to believe that he is only 14 years old because he is so bright and well-spoken. It's been awhile since I met a young man of his caliber. Most of our conversations revolved around "Best of..." lists. My favorite topic was talking about comic book heroes and villains. My favorite superhero: Wolverine (he's got the cool factor too). My favorite villain: Venom (again, cool and one bad dude). The BBQ offered us a chance to really get to know the kids on a more fun level. We played kickball, beach volleyball, 3-on-3 soccer, and played around in an obstacle course at the beach. I wish you all could experience this mentoring opportunity because it is totally worth the time to create relationships with teens who's persistence is inspiring.

Run: ??? miles (??? time) *It didn't matter today because we just enjoyed the time out there on the path.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Workout 7/20

Since when did mid-range runs start feeling like long runs? Either way, today was a good day! The morning air was crisp and cool. The sun rose up among puffy clouds. No bugs were flying in my teeth. And my legs drove me all they way to the finish. I tried to make this run a pace run, and it turned out to be a perfect morning for that attempt. By the way, in case you're curious, I filled out my profile for Team M3 yesterday (that photo is not of me!). Please feel free to take a look at it and check out this awesome volunteer opportunity for next year's Chicago Marathon.

Friendliness Quotient: 100% (9 out of 9). YEAH! Chicagoans ROCK!

Run: 8 miles (1:08.06, 8:30/mile pace)

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Two-fer Workout 7/18

My body feels like it was put through a wood-chipper. My hamstrings are tight, my back aches, and I swear I almost hallucinated. But something about me must be insane because I like this feeling...it's a productive ache. So how did I get to this point? Well, try this for a change in your workout life.

Morning Workout: CrossFit - "The Chipper"
20 Walking Lunge Steps
15 Pull-ups
35 Box Jumps (20' box or step)
15 Tuck Jumps
15 Bar Dips
20 Knees to Elbows
15 Kettlebell Swings (1.5 pood=about 50#)
30 Sit-ups
15 Hanging Squat Cleans (20# Dumbbells)
12 Back Extensions
15 Thrusters (45# bar)
15 Towel Pull-ups
(Time yourself, I did it in 26.03)

Afternoon Workout: Run 9 miles
(1:30.03, 10:00/mile)
*That was a sorry pace. I can make my excuses (90 degrees, super-sunny, tight hamstrings), but that was a pretty slow pace. One of the points of marathon training is to get the miles under your belt. Today's run was a mileage builder more than a pace run. So I am not discouraged. For any newbies to training, you don't need to push yourself to your marathon pace during every run. Otherwise, you will burn out and risk injury.

Photo courtesy of CrossFit.com

Monday, July 16, 2007

Workout 7/16

I guess I'll be doing a lot more running and biking in the near future. That's what happens when your transmission conks out on you in the parking lot of the local fitness club. I had an awesome workout this morning, and everything was looking promising for a wonderful Monday. The air was cool, the sun was rising over the horizon, the friendliness quotient was a 77.8%, I pushed myself during CrossFit, and I was reading all about Chicago sports. And then I turned on my engine...hmmm, it surely didn't sound right, but there was a Harley pulling into the gym parking lot. I figured I was just hearing that noise, until I put it into gear. NOTHING! No movement. So I had to take my tired legs and jog home in order to get to work on time. We're having the van towed this afternoon, so I'll let you know what the damage is going to be tomorrow.

Run: 4.08 miles (36.23, 8.55 pace)

CrossFit: 21-15-9 rep sets of--
155# Deadlifts
Handstand Push Ups

So my pace was down, but I did take it a bit easier this morning after the hard work I put in since Friday. I need to make sure I'm eating right too. A lot of birthday cake over the weekend is not what I consider the best food for an athlete. But hey, we must indulge sometime.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Workout 7/14

Team M3 was blessed with clouds and a breeze today as we took on 13 long miles. I think it was 13 at least. I ran the majority of the run with Misael who wanted to run without getting overly worn out. Very wise for a high schooler knowing that there are more miles to go. About halfway through the run, I saw a small group of people swinging around their kettlebells, so I had to go ask if they were doing CrossFit workouts. He said they weren't, but it sure looked fun to me. I'll have to see if they are still out there on Saturday mornings after marathon training has ended. In my further experimentation with things to ingest during the long runs, I grabbed a handful of JellyBelly jellybeans. It was nice to have a bit of sugar in the middle of the run, but I didn't like how they dried my mouth out. For now, I think I'll stick with the Clif ShotBloks. They dissolve faster and don't dry my mouth out. Now for the stats:

Run: 12 miles (1:54.36)

Friday, July 13, 2007

Workout 7/13

Funny how the week can start out with a good luck day (7/7/07) and end with a superstitious bad luck day (Friday the 13th). But that has little to do with my workout, which was everything except bad. Today's run was a PACE run, meaning that I was to run the distance at my GOAL PACE for the marathon. Since I want to run as fast as, if not faster, than George W. Bush, my goal pace is to run each mile under 8 minutes and 35 seconds. If you notice, I like to post my pace for most of my training runs. This keeps me focused on this goal. So today's run was a success. Just check out the pace! Wow, that took a lot of focus.

Run: 7 miles (58.35, 8.22/mile pace)

If I can keep that up, I would run the marathon in 3:39.16...sounds nice! We'll see!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Two-fer Workout 7/11

So, I slept in on Tuesday, so I had to make up a workout in order to stay on schedule. Two-fers are HARD! So, here's what I did:

CrossFit: 3 rounds for time of--
1000 meter row
20 Pull-ups
7 - 65# Push Jerks
*I did this in the morning in 20 minutes (forget actual time). Oh man, my hips were killing me from having done tuck jumps two days before and those rows.

Run: 8.04 miles (1:09.56, 8.41 pace)
*This was my afternoon workout in the sun. I came home with a new tan line, seeing as I usually run in the morning when the sun rises. I ran with Dan (also running the Chicago Marathon), and we talked about CrossFit and how to start a fitness club tied to a church, my new job, and our lovely families. It's nice to have someone to talk to while running...definitely makes the time fly.

Monday, July 9, 2007


As you know, this blog is all about goals that I have. Sometime in the near future, I am going to make a checklist of my goals on here to share with you. But in the mean time, I discovered a new goal EVENT! If you have been reading this for any amount of time, you can see that I have been trying to combine marathon training with CrossFit. An event that perfectly combines these elements of endurance and strength (other than CrossFit Games) is the Urbanathlon. If you are in New York or Chicago, this would be a perfect opportunity to test yourself and raise money for the Challenged Athletes Foundation. My goal is to participate in this in 2008 since this year's competition is one week from the Grand Rapids Marathon. Join in the fun!

Workout 7/9

Oh man! I know I'm going to be hurting tomorrow. My wife and I had the chance to go to the gym together this morning. Thank God for grandparents! It was fun to finally encourage each other and drive each other to the next level. I can't wait until the kids get old enough to hang out in the gym's childcare area. Then we'll make a habit of working out together. But at least it gave us the idea of going to the playground together with the kids to have fun and fit together. Maybe it'll catch on with the kids too.

Run: 3.2 miles (untimed)

CrossFit: 35-25-20-15-10 rep sets of:
Tuck Jumps

I may not be able to cough without things hurting tomorrow morning. But that's okay; I need it badly.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Workout 7/7/07

This lucky day brought another Team M3 run with a warm smile...a very warm smile. Our runs are getting hot with no signs of cooling off, and you can see it in the faces of the high schoolers. Today's run was with Danny, Manny, Misael, and Edson. This is becoming the core group of front runners, so it will be extra exciting to see how they do on marathon day. Last year Danny smoked everyone and almost had the fastest time for 16 year olds. I love to see these students set lofty goals and push themselves to it. It's really pushes me too and encourages me to set new goals! I recommend to anyone in the Chicago area that you get involved in this program for next year's marathon. Today's heat made me experiment with hydration and nutrition during the run. I tried Clif Shot Bloksand they worked wonders. About 40 minutes into our run, we stopped to rehydrate, so I downed a cup of water and ate one Shot Blok. Those 50 calories sustained me for the remainder of the run. I need to continue playing around with this stuff to make race day a pleasant experience. Here are the stats on today's run:

9 miles from Montrose Beach: 1:24.58 (8 minute run/1 minute walk)

I think we need to start doing a 10 minute run with a walk break...I know we can handle it.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Workout 7/6

Yes, another 7 mile run this week. As the runs get longer, the routes get more difficult to create. Last time I trained, I got bored with running along the lakefront for 15+ miles, so this time around is going to be different. By the way, if you haven't discovered mapmyrun.com yet, you need to check it out. It has been the tool of choice for me when trying to vary things up. So today I took a tour of the south side of Chicago--my hood, so to speak. And today's friendliness count = 10/11 (90.9%). So my urban brothers and sisters are keeping pace with the suburbanites. The one who did not respond was wearing headphones; just further justification that IPods are killing us (I say that in jest, of course).

Run: 7 miles (59.50, 8:32 pace)

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Another Aboard the Fitness Bandwagon

My wife decided to give CrossFit a try, guess what? She liked it! Yes, it was hard, and her muscles are still barkin', but she said it was one of those good sore feelings. Do you know what we're referring to when we say a "good sore"? If not, check this site out. Pick any of the workouts and give it a try. Then let me know how you feel after about 24 to 36 hours. Keep it up, and the good sore turns into noticable fitness changes. Well, that's my little sales pitch. Have a wonderful summer, and keep coming back to see how progress is going on my marathon training.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Happy 4th of July Workout

Marathon training is in full swing. How do we know that? Because 7 miles is considered a shorter run. Whoo! 7 MILES! It was good to get out this morning when everyone was nestled in their beds for the holiday. I don't even think I saw 10 cars on the road this morning. I even tested out peoples' friendliness. Here's a game to play on these long runs. Start counting the number of people who will reciprocate a greeting. Say, "Morning!" or "Good Morning" or whatever you think to be a friendly greeting in your culture. Then see how many people greet you back. Today's tally...7 out of 8 people reciprocated (87.5%)! Not bad that early in the morning. Well, down to the results!

Run: 7 miles (59.47, 8:32 pace)

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Workout 7/2

Run: 3.2 miles (27.56, 8:43 pace)

CrossFit: 9 rounds of 5 reps of the following exercises:
45# Thrusters

I did 5 totally unassisted Pull-ups! Holy Cow! That's an encouragement! CrossFit must be working for something.

Workout 6/30

Whoo! It's hard to keep up on these postings during the summer time. Summer school is in session--hard work. Get home early--family time. It's hot--no time to sit in a stuffy room with a computer. So, sorry for the lack of updates, but it's not like anyone is really reading this anyway. Looking back on Saturday, it called for a long run again. As I mentioned earlier, two long runs in one week. I thought I'd possibly keel over this time, but it ended up much better than I figured. Team M3 was in training again, and I continued to run with the 8/1 group (8 minutes running, 1 minute walking). Even with that sort of a pace, we still made decent time. I ran mainly with Manny today. Manny's a huge sports person (plays football, basketball, volleyball, runs cross-country and track). I don't know how he does it; he's amazing. Although most of the time running back he complained about getting old. I never knew 16 was old, but I guess it is.

Run: 12 miles (1:59.36)

Isn't teamwork beautiful!