Tag Archives: mental-health

Back On Track…(A New Track, But Back Nonetheless)

It’s good to be back.

I just wanted to check in and give you a quick update on where I’m at and what the immedate future has in store for me.

I have been going to Physical Therapy to address my crappy knee and build up my legs/ core. It’s been going ok, but it’s not a quick process. I am adjusting to it, adapting it into my daily routine, and having patience and faith that as long as I keep it up and trust the process it’s going to put me where I need to be.

I’m not 100% yet, but all the swelling is gone and I can safely say that the vast majority of the pain is gone as well. I have been cleared to begin working out again…slowly.

There’s a  lot of work for me to do, but pretty much everything I’ve done to date has required a lot of work…so why stop now, right?

So it will be the new and improved workout routine now. Starting with short runs, and alternating with rides on the bike and pool workouts. I got my hands on a hand-me-down road bike which I am slightly obsessed with right now, and I am joining the local YMCA to get myself access to the pool as well. All the pieces are falling into place.

I go on vacation with the family next week, which will free up a lot of time. I am hoping to churn out a handful of reviews I have been meaning to write but running out of hours in the day to get to, start to piece together the panel of people that I want to assemble for the blog to field beginner’s questions, and get some form of workout in every day, alternating between rides on the bike and runs, followed by ice and rest/ playing with my daughter on the beach. (…and probably eating & drinking more than I should be, but hey: I’m on vacation, so it is what it is)

I am looking forward to ending the forced rest break that my crappy knee enforced. But while it did make me lose my mind with no real activity to speak of, I feel like it did me some good too (and not just in the obvious physical sense) This break also provided the “reset” I think I needed to shift my perspective a little bit.

Running will always be a love of mine, but I am really excited about the new multi-sport approach I will be taking.

The more I talk about/ read about/ plan for my Triathlon focus the more excited I get.

And to bring it back home, one of the reasons why I get so fired up about it is because by adding biking and swimming into the mix, it’s going to make me a more well rounded, stronger, more flexible, BETTER runner. So let’s fix this crappy running form of mine and start to build up the rest of my body that has been neglected with the laser focus on the weight loss and endurance running. I am excited and nervous. I am not under and false illusions here: I am fully aware that incorporating not one, but two new sports that are completely foreign to me is going to suck. It will hurt, I’m not going to be good at either (at first) and the temptation to go back to my comfort zone of solely running will always be there, but if I do this and do it right, it will pay off massively (in multiple ways). So as my good friend Lonnie says, “Suck It Up, Princess”…and just get after it.

As I get into it all I know I will have more to share, but for now it’s all about getting the work week wrapped up, getting packed and getting my ass down to the shore.

Anyway, I just wanted to check in and let you know that you can (hopefully) expect a flurry of product reviews from me next week, and give you a peek as to where I’m at both physically and mentally.

Much more to come, but for now:

Take it Easy

Breaking Off From MFP A Little More / Intro & Training for Broad Street / Reviews On The Horizon

Pretty quick post today, it’s a welcome breath of fresh air from my recent exceptionally long-winded posts.

Weight is still good. Nothing new on this front and no news really is good news since I am maintaining. All steady and feeling good. Seriously contemplating knocking off another day from logging and seeing how I do with that, time to continue weaning myself off of the MyFitnessPal a little more. I would anticipate the same continued success but don’t want to be cocky or overconfident, so only way to find out is to just jump in and find out. I’ll let you know.

Workouts. Oh Hell Yes. I am back in the saddle and running my ass off again. Loving it. I am just getting into week #3 of my training plan for Broad Street and feeling good about it. I am happy to report that I had my first step up in the Long run dept. (only 3 miles up to 4 miles, so we’re not talking massive miles here yet…) but that being said it was great and I’m really looking forward to working my way back up to the decent distances again. It was a great 4 mile run and I felt awesome as I did it. Yes, It was on the treadmill because it was frickin freezing outside (low 20’s and windy), but I’ll take a victory however I can get it. I have a full training plan set to carry me from now straight through to my big run of the year, The Broad Street Run. It’s a 10 miler (one of the biggest 10 mile races in the country, I’m told) that hosts 40,000+ runners and runs straight through the heart of Philadelphia in May. Broad Street is the central road that cuts through the center of the city and hosts the entirety of the race, hence the name. This is one of those truly “Philadelphia” races, and the last of my original goals from last year that I wanted to accomplish but simply was unable to do last year. Plain and simple, last May I was nowhere close to being able to run for 10 miles straight. At that point I was still trying to chase down the elusive 10K. (which I would not be able to hit until a full month after the Broad Street was run. And that was just 6 miles vs.a  10 mile race). All that said, I’m there now, and really excited to hit it and hit it hard. My very aggressive and borderline unattainable goal is to try and run it in an hour and a half. Not sure if I can string together 10 consecutive 9 min miles but I’m going to try. If I miss it, no worries, I can’t wait to experience this race. It’s supposed to be one of the most fun races you will ever run. But I always need an aggressive goal to hit, and 90 min will be the stretch goal for this one.

On a side note, looking back to my stepped up treadmill training run: along with feeling great, it was also my first run (pretty much ever, I believe) without music. Really came down to the fact that I was rushing to get out the door to get on the way to the gym and forgot to grab the ipod I had set out. It was not as horrible as I thought it would have been. Granted, I missed the extra distraction and motivation and would prefer to not run without my music again, but it is reassuring to know that I can pull it off if push comes to shove. My mind does tend to wander and I don’t even know how many odd tangents I went off on while running in my non-music run, but hey, whatever.

I’m happy to say that I will have 2 more product reviews coming up shortly. I have been provided a pair of Pro Compression brand compression socks to use and review, as well as a hydration backpack from Hydrapak. I have used the socks already and had a great experience with them, but want to try them out on some longer runs and varied conditions before I write the review, and same thing with the Hydrapak. I’ve filled it up and tried it on, but really want to put it to the test before I give an official review. It will definitely be an adjustment to be running with a backpack full of water, but then again, so was strapping a water bottle holding 24 oz of water to my hand, so I’ll try it out and see which I prefer. I’m looking forward to seeing how it holds up to the longer runs. I’ll be back to let you know the deal. Both coming soon, however.

Lastly, one more heads up. I wrote about this last year and it’s getting to be about that time again so fair warning it’s coming. Every year my family puts together a team for a local charity fundraiser 5K for the UCP Orginazation (United Cerebral Palsy of Philadelphia). We have some close ties to them as my cousin Madison has CP and has benefited from their programs/ activism /resources and as such, there is now a desire to give back and help out however we can. My next post is going to be the “upcoming races and goals” post, and a large portion of this is going to be dedicated to the UCP run.

I cannot tell you how good it feels to be looking ahead and gearing up to get deep into my training plans and chasing down some running related goals again. Here we go again, 2013 I’m coming after you.

I hope this post finds everyone well, and as always: until next time, take it easy.

Andy

Chilly Cheeks Recap I/ Thoughts On My Birthday

Wow,

What an amazing experience.

Sorry it’s taken me a full week to come up with the recap, but it’s been a hectic week with doing all the “back end” work for the race. It never occurred to me that with 140+ runners participating in the event, there would be 140+ emails coming in with times to keep straight and reply to, a lot of organization, 140+ finisher’s certificates to create, etc. Not complaining, I was just a busy little bee every night this week. Not to mention that Monday was a day off from all things race related for me, as it was my birthday and I really just wanted to spend a night hanging with Jenn and Tess. More on birthday thoughts in a bit. But the race itself was one of the most successful and satisfying things I’ve done in a while, especially fitness-related.

So the race. I’ll tell it by the numbers first.

All told, we had 141 registered runners (plus the 3 runners from “Team Pegasus”, my running team for the Broad Street Run), so 144 total. Financially speaking, we needed 60 runners to hit our initial fundraising goal. Needless to say, we made that initial goal our bitch. Completely shattered it. (And let me tell you, I went to the “kick-off” event last night held by the American Cancer Society where they were telling us that our fundraising mentors would be reaching out to us soon. They then asked me if my team has managed to raise any little bit of money yet. It felt pretty damn good to tell them that after I wrap things up this weekend I anticipate depositing funds that roughly double our initial commitment. Therefore, we are done. Completely donezo.) Broad Street, here we come.

Of the 144 total runners, we have had people running literally from all across the country (and Canada too!) Super awesome stuff.

In terms of additional impact, we also are running at approx. a 50% participation rate with the Charity Miles app. So about half of the people who ran with us also used the app and effectively made their run count twice as much by contributing to a second charity while making the same effort. It’s a really awesome app/ program that I am 100% behind and will continue to promote heavily in the blog, so consider this fair warning. Great company, great people running it, and most of all great impact and result.

As for my own Chilly Cheeks run…there’s no other way to say it besides it kinda sucked. I have mentioned in previous posts that I have been sick as hell for the past few weeks. I’m sure a lot of that has to do with the fact that Tessa is in day care a few days a week. She’s in great hands and very well cared for. Loves it there, actually. But as is the nature of the beast when it comes to daycare; she comes home from the child disease center/ petrie dish with every sort of sickness that comes down the road, which in turn gets passed along to Jenn and I.  So it has been 3 separate, distinct sicknesses, back to back to back. It’s been a wonderland of suck. I have also mentioned in previous posts that I am the king of crappy timing. This, my friends, is a living example of said crappy timing. Again, not here to whine and complain, just giving background. So right in the height of sickness #2, I find myself smack in the middle of the race weekend wanting to do nothing but feel sorry for myself on the couch. But I had 140+ runners all getting out there because of a race that I put together; I would be kind of a hypocrite if I didn’t do it myself, right? Right. So out I went. My go-to 5K route in my neighborhood consists of starting at a central point a few blocks from my house, and running out and back in one direction coming back to the starting point, and then out and back in another direction. So with my feeling like balls but still wanting to put forth a good showing, I ran the “outs” and walked the “backs”. Walked and coughed the “backs”, actually. I finished in a dismal 38:30, which has the special distinction of being my slowest 5K time ever. It’s all good, I was not out there to set any sort of time records, I was out there to be there and do my part. It actually felt good to get some cold air in the system and move for a little bit. It also felt good to take a very long hot shower afterwards and take a nap on the couch. Ha.

Back to the race though, and more specifically, all the amazing people who ran it. I don’t want to take the liberty of just throwing anybody’s personal info out there, but suffice it to say there were some really motivational and inspiring stories out there. I will be reaching out to a few of the participants directly to see if I can use their stories and share on the blog. Some pretty amazing stories of comebacks, hard work, and perseverance. Really inspiring stuff. I also got a ton of pictures that I will be compiling into a big collage and posting shortly.  Again, I never expected the response to be so awesome and so many pics to come in. needless to say I want to do this up right, so look for that coming sooner than later. (hopefully this weekend)

So thank you to everybody who ran with us. I anticipate the medals being delivered within the next day or two, and I will turn them around and get them out to you all asap.

And lastly, some thoughts on my birthday. My god, I don’t know what to do now. The quick summary is: Age 34 saw Jenn and I welcome our daughter into our lives, which was clearly one of the best things that we have ever done, and one of the best things to ever happen to me. Age 35 saw me basically lose the equivalent of a teenager in terms of weight and completely change my life for the better; essentially laid the groundwork to live a longer and healthier life. So the question is, what the hell do I do now? Not exactly sure how to top all of that? I guess it remains to be seen, but needless to say I am really excited to see what 36 has to offer. As I get older things really do seem to be getting better and better all the time.

Ok, enough for now, but I’ll be back soon with a ton of pics and hopefully some participant stories.

Until then, take it easy.

Andy

 

Here’s a few pics to start:

“Team Pegasus” (named because we all rock the Nike Pegasus running shoes) in action during our Chilly Cheeks Runs:

Me:Andy

Lauren (Rock):Lauren

Donna:Donna

 

Go Team Pegasus!