So here we are

Funny how a blog about self-improvement can go on without an update for close to a year and when he finally makes it back to post an update, there’s nothing new. I pretty much took the whole damn year off from running but have still been going to CrossFit regularly. I’ve noticed a difference in my body composition and have yet to come to terms with how things have changed. It’s mostly got me motivated to start running again … right when the crappy weather starts rolling in. Duh. My eating habits have gone in the dumper too, so it’s safe to say I need to get my shit together.

Last winter I almost refused to set foot outside if the weather was less than 30 degrees. Should be different this year cause what we’ve had so far has felt really nice. If I can keep my wife from stealing all my cold weather running clothes it shouldn’t be too hard to get out. I’ve got a 5k trail race (my first legit trail race) coming up in about six weeks that I’m looking forward to. Should be messy and fun.

Can I do better?

I’ve been asking myself this question A LOT lately. And yeah, I can do better, at pretty much everything. I’m not necessarily picking on myself for anything in particular but as I assess the things in my life that matter: my family, my health, my career … I’m positive that consistently trying to improve should be my ultimate goal. Not just for myself but for the betterment of those that matter most. Because everyone has a plan until you get punched in the face.

It’s hard to believe that one of the most ridiculed figures would be responsible for one of the most poignant quotes but there it is. I would very much like to believe I’ll be able to protect my family from the nasty things in the universe but that’s not only unrealistic, it’s irresponsible and they deserve better.

This post could easily evolve into a list of famous quotes, each with their own inspirational value, but that’d be too much salt in the sauce. I’m not great at picking one thing and focusing on it, making a plan and executing it to the end but when I do, things come out better than if I just rely on some sort of inspirational soup from day to day.

I can do better and will. Just one thing at a time. Until I get punched in the face.

Book – The Cool Impossible

I started reading The Cool Impossible by Eric Orton a few days ago, launching into it after finishing Born to Run. It has become quickly evident that my shortcomings are due to the fact that I’m totally out of balance and don’t train with any kind of purpose. I’m only two chapters in and the part about being unbalanced and what it will do to your body and the pain you will experience is like a training log. Ugh.

Gonna read the rest of the book and try not to cry about how I’ve wasted this much time training without purpose.

Eating clean – A two day experiment

As I get older, I’m starting to notice how my body isn’t taking to certain foods the way it used to. Dairy and fried foods are the main culprits I’ve come to realize definitely don’t sit well but sugar rich foods, especially cheap baked goods, are likely to be added to a “why bother” list of things I won’t eat.

Yesterday, I ate how I usually eat when I plan out my meals. I had oatmeal with chia seeds and a banana for breakfast, chicken breast with roasted vegetables and a salad with beets and zucchini for lunch and turkey tacos for dinner. Result: felt great!

Today, I had McDonald’s for breakfast and lunch, a donut around 10:00am and a monster energy drink after lunch that I bought at a gas station where I filled up. I haven’t had dinner yet but pretty much no matter what I eat, it will be a better choice than everything else. Result: feel crappy, falling asleep at 3:00pm.

I need no further evidence that my diet needs improvement and that my body is definitely responding to what I eat as I get older. I’m not even enjoying eating poorly so it’s obviously time to address the issue.

Running buddy

There’s a small park close to my house that is relatively wooded and has a decent size (for suburban Chicago) lake in the middle. It has a decent amount of wildlife, which is more prominent in the summer, but there’s a year-round resident who camps out in the middle of a marsh I came across twice this weekend. A reasonably large, very fluffy, very cute coyote.

On Saturday I saw him when first going out in an area close to where he’s believed to live and I decided to give chase as he was about 100 meters ahead of me, heading away from me. It was a bit of fun to see how he’d react and all I got was a fair amount of humiliation for my efforts as there’s no way in hell I’d ever be able to keep up with him.

Sunday, it was a different story. I was on my way back and spotted him again, over by the lake just ahead of me crossing the path. After crossing, I stopped and waved at him since he’d stopped and was looking over at me and was rewarded with a playful bow and a little bit of a wiggle. I won’t read into it too much like I had some kind of Disney princess experience but it was at least a fun way to end a run. I kept a look out for something he might have been eating and maybe I interrupted his mealtime but couldn’t see anything. Either way, I’ll be keeping a lookout for him on upcoming runs. And maybe keep a few biscuits at the ready in case I get another friendly curtsy.

Getting closer!

I’m about five weeks out from Grandma’s and training is going well, despite really not committing to any kind of schedule through winter. My longest run so far has been twelve miles and I’m mixing some shorter runs in during the week and haven’t felt anything that seems like I might run into trouble like with Chicago in 2015. Continue reading “Getting closer!”

Renaissance Periodization

Since I apparently have diet tourette’s, I’m gonna just put this out there: I’m starting RP (probably next week). A bunch of people at my box have had great success with it and it comes with a template that tells you what to buy and when to eat, based on the time of day you workout or what do eat on rest days. I’m doing the basic cut template and a lot of what’s involved I’m doing already on the weekends with meal prep anyway so I’m hoping this will all so fairly smooth. Continue reading “Renaissance Periodization”

Shoes – New Balance Minimus 40 Trainer

As far as CrossFit goes, I’ve had a love/hate relationship with general-purpose trainers. When I first started I used some New Balance Minimus 10v2s that I got from REI on clearance and liked them pretty much all around except that there was almost no heel stability. I occasionally used whatever running shoes I was training in (my first year of CrossFit coincided with my first marathon) and overall I was pretty happy but I wasn’t really focusing on getting better at lifting or anything CrossFit related.  Continue reading “Shoes – New Balance Minimus 40 Trainer”