Thursday, November 13, 2014

Change Of Plans

First change of plans: today becomes a rest day. No training outside. Too cold. Too rainy. Freak arctic front pushing down to our humid shores. Low temperatures are one thing. But sprints in the rain? Not conducive to healthy knees or ankles. So, rest day it is.

Second change of plans: Dad did not need me & Liam to help move the 'fridge. Took off a smidge early. Picked up Kidd Maestro Then, no go. But Liam made the highest school on his Advanced Science test today. So he got to pick dinner. Wanted brisket. Instead, he gets burnt ends! Finest BBQ in South Mississippi. And he finished his sammich first. Of course he didn't have two pints of local brew. But who is counting?

Third change of plans: Work from home. (sigh) Director from the office asks for a favor. Can't really say no. And once more into the breech. Might as well. There's no rest for the weary.

But we had a great meal. And it was good while it lasted 

Life is good.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

An Unexpected PR

The Program. The Program. Haunting all my thoughts. Today it called for some posterior chain work. Back Squats at 80%. Two each minute, for 10 minutes. Then Deadlifts at 90%. One each minute, for 8 minutes.

Started with Coach Aaron and a warmup circuit. Three rounds of: 100m sprint, 10 box overs, 10 kettlebell swings, and 10 ring dips. Then Ollie stretches. Some PVC work. And hamstring stretches with the bands. Cobwebs removed. Ready to work.

Hit the prescribed exercises. 165lbs on the back squats. Bar heavy across sore trapezoids. Focus on breathing. And form. Felt great for 80%. Lots of strength and room to grow. Could have done more. But protecting my spine. Risk adverse these days. No race or reward worth permanent damage.

On to deadlifts and an unexpected PR. Used the lifting straps to take pressure off Frankenthumb. Standard grip. Worked up to something like 265! A record for Your Humble Narrator. And Sara said there was room for at least another forty pounds. But a PR is a PR. More in the future. See above, re: risk aversion.

Very happy. Very excited. Couldn't do these weights last year. Now they're comfortable. Consider that a victory.

Stay healthy, Jon. Stay. Healthy!

Monday, November 03, 2014

The 4HB "5K to 50K" 12 Week Program - Second Attempt

For the newcomers, The 4-Hour Body is a book from Tim Ferris that focuses of maximizing personal improvement with a minimum of time and effort. In it, he offers up a 12 week program to take you from 5K (3.1 miles) to 50K (31 miles) with far less training than you would ever imagine. For additional details, please check out my first post, my initial warnings, my prep work, or my first week of results. Lots and lots of background and insightful information there.

As a reminder/spoiler, my first effort to complete the 4HB 12 Week Program was cut short in the 7th week due to my own over-zealousness. Powered too aggressively through a 15K training run and my knees were ruined for the rest of the season. It was a difficult, painful lesson. Very demoralizing and the low-point of the year.

But now we're back and better than ever! Plenty of strength and health and personal wisdom. Won't be any knee-shattering endurance events, this time. Also incorporating daily stretches, chiro support, and hopefully some yoga days into the program. 

As with last time, the goal is to increase my running speed, quality, and duration. The final week will conclude just before the Rock & Roll Half Marathon in New Orleans. Then we proceed to eventually attempting a full marathon and a full Ironman by the end of 2015. 

So join me again, dear friends. Once more into the breach! And we'll see if Tim Ferris is right, wrong, or something entirely different.

Sunday, November 02, 2014

Thoughts Linger

Plunging a toilet clogged by somebody else's... um...  issue...  is a terrible, maddening experience. Trying to avoid looking at the obvious while eagerly anticipating the telltale swirl of success. The odd dance of force plus delicacy required to avoid splashing. Praying no hint of funk slips past the shirt clutched maddening up over your nose. Time dilates. The bowl grows to enormous proportions in your vision. And nearly every beat of your heart brings you closer to either abandoning the effort, puking, or both

But what are you going to do? It must be done. And you're the best resource for it. Will anyone know you did it? Would anyone care you did it, if they knew? Will you get the slightest bit of appreciation or thanks for your efforts? Can any reward be worth the hideously foul effort? Likely, no to all of those.

But you do it. You suffer. You receive nothing. Aside from a place to safely pee. Nobody asks. You don't tell. And other than one or two infrequent readers of your obscure self-therapeutic blog, nobody in your life is aware that you plunged that nasty toilet.

That, my friends, is love.

(Or you have to pee, badly.)

But then a rare moment of clarity: How many people in my life have plunged toilets on account of my issues without my knowing or my thanks or my appreciation?

(How many people in yours?)

Such thoughts linger. Long after the bowl clears.

Saturday, November 01, 2014

Jason & Sara McDougal

On a beautiful Autumn day, November 1st, 2014, my brother and his beloved fiance, Sara Earl, were married in a sunset ceremony, in front of dozens of their friends & our family, at Grass Lawn, overlooking the beach. It was my honor and pleasure to be his Best Man. Helping to herd the cats, so to speak. And do my best to keep him calm while avoiding any accidental meetings between the Bride and Groom. (Mission accomplished!) A fun, laid back adventure throughout the whole process. Couldn't ask for better conditions or happier, more attentive people to be involved in the event.

Jason, as you might reasonably imagine, grew nervous as the predestined time approached. The music started playing. Folks standing everywhere. Ever chair filled. We were ensconced in our designated position, talking with Pastor Wayne, when the first hint of panic fell upon him. "Okay, there goes my heat rate." We practiced a couple of deep breaths, pretended to straighten his outfit, had him straighten mine, and the distraction worked. The mothers were seat, and off we went.

Sara was as cool as penguin's bum in winter. Incredibly beautiful and poised even in the light of the pending adventure. It was my honor to bring up the wedding dress and help position it for the photographer. Helped with some of the Bride's Maid's requests. And stole a quick picture before things got hectic. Very proud to have her in the family and I think she is a wonderful influence and parent for my adorable niece, Morgan. Welcome aboard, Sara. We're thrilled to have you!

The service went off without a hitch. Morgan brought the rings straight to me then behaved very professionally. The three of them performed a sand ceremony to unite them as a family. Then the couple performed a rose ceremony and followed up with the more traditional vows and promises and merriment. The wedding party exited. Pictures. More pictures. Finally drinks and food and good times had by all.

One of the highlights of 2014, for me. Thankful to have been a part of it. And looking forward to seeing more of the newest member of the family!