Sunday, May 15, 2011

Exercise & Music

If you read my entry on my marathon and how music was a major factor on me completing it, you will realize that I am very driven by music.  I think music can be soothing, sensual, uplifting, inspirational, motivating, and downright nasty.  Today, I wanted to give a brief snippet into what I currently have on my playlist and what motivates me in my workouts.  

Eminem.  Easily Eminem is my biggest motivator when I'm working out and I need something to get me over the edge.  I wrote about that for my marathon and it's true for any of my workouts.  Once I hear an Eminem song come on the old Ipod, it's on like Donkey Kong!  And his new stuff is ridiculous.  

Metallica is an obvious choice.  Anytime they come on it usually sets the mood right.  What really gets me when they come on is their instrumentals.  They usually last about 8 minutes long and they tell amazing stories without having to say any words.  If they can't get you in the mood to throw some weights around the room, there's something wrong with you.  

Dr. Dre is another choice.  Whenever his bass beat drops, things are about to get hectic.  Love it!  And his new song with Eminem is off the charts!  The flow he has and the beats he brings get me going every single time.  

Those are just a couple of the artists that whenever I hear them I get pumped.  Below are a few of the random songs that are on my list right now that absolutely get me jacked!  Hopefully you get the same from some of these.  If you got anything that I don't have, I'd love to hear it.  

  • Make Some Noise - Beastie Boys  (new song from new CD kicks ASS!)
  • Welcome to Atlanta - Jermaine Dupri, Ludacris, Snoop Dogg, Murphy Lee, Diddy
  • Remember the Name - Fort Minor
  • Metalingus - Alter Bridge
  • I Will Not Bow - Breaking Benjamin
  • Break Stuff - Limp Bizkit
  • Hell Yeah - Rev Theory 
  • Street Fighter - Sick Puppies
  • I Came To Play - Downstait (yeah, I know it's a wrestler's entrance song but it's absolutely badass!)
Anyway, that's what I'm listening to now to get me jacked.  If you got something better, I'd love to hear it.  

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Train for a good cause

If you have been reading my blog for any length of time, you will know that I am looking for something else to train for now that I am done with the marathon.  I've had a lot of suggestions from various runs such as the Warrior Dash, Dances With Dirt, Tough Mudder, to triathlons, to CrossFit competitions.  Today I got an email from a coworker of mine Suzy, who you can follow at and watch her quest to complete a marathon in all 50 states, and she sent me a link to a great competition and something that is a great cause. 

The link is and it's for the Afghan Games.  It's sponsored by Kandahar CrossFit in Afghanastan and is a way to see who is the fittest soldier taking part in the operations over there.  It's also a way for those of us over here to compete against them at a local CF affiliate.  The cost is $20 and all of the proceeds go towards purchasing weight training equipment for the troops over there.  I for one couldn't think of a better way to spend 20 bucks and get in shape in the process. 

So if you have the time, check out the link to the event or check out the Facebook page at!/AfghanGames?sk=info.  I am looking forward to competing against the great men over in Afghanastan and helping them get the training equipment they need.  This is my next event and this is what I will be training for.  I urge you to join me and show a little support to our troops.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Rest, nutrition, and other stuff

I remember when I ran my first half marathon in 2004 and it took me about 2 weeks to fully recover to where I was ready to start working out again.  That, of course, was long before I knew proper pre-hab and recovery type exercises and before I dove head first into the mobility world.  This time, I ran (mostly) a full marathon and was ready to hit the gym again within about 6 days.  Did I want to?  No.  My mind still is on vacation but I know that I have to get back to it.  My body feels great, I'm still not quite ready to run a long distance again, but I feel I am ready to do some light cardio and hit the weights again.  Met-con workouts here I come! 

Today I hit the gym with some motivation, intensity, and a proper mindset.  I knew that I hadn't worked a hard metcon in a while so I gave myself something about a 6 on a scale of 10.  Intense but nothing too sadistic.  So I did 10 x 75 sumo deadlift hi-pulls, 15 x 75 push press, 100 jump rope for 5 rounds.  I went at it hard but again, not too crazy.  I basically just wanted to wake myself up again and get back into the groove.  That was one of the critical mistakes I made during my marathon training was going away from my metcon training.  I simply didn't have time to get both my runs and weights in everyday.  That whole family commitment thing got in the way.  I know, priorities, right? 

Not only did I take a week off of my workouts for rest, but I also took a week off from exercising discipline with my diet.  I ate a whole lot of gluten last week and a whole lot of sugar.  I know it too because I have been a little gassy, a little bloated, and a little tired.  It's time to get back at that also. 

Speaking of nutrition, I had a cousin (in law) ask me a couple of questions today regarding her nutrition and timing of eating.  Her first question dealt with eating before her runs.  She says she gets up at 4 in the morning for her runs and doesn't have time to eat anything prior.  This is fine.  Ideally, yes, you would like to grab a piece of fruit or something along those lines before you run but if you can't, you'll be fine...if you are eating properly during the day and night prior your training.  If you are getting a good amount of fats, protein and carbs (no sugar) every day, running first thing in the morning on an "empty" stomach will be fine.  Personally I would still grab maybe half a banana and a few almonds to get me started in the morning and hit my run.  As long as you don't have an easily upset stomach, you will be fine.  She also asked about the difference between yams and sweet potatoes.  The biggest thing I know between them is that yams contain more sugar so if that is something you are looking for, there you go.  As far as other differences such as chemical makeup and how they digest in the body, I would check out or  Both of these sites have a ton of nutrition information for this stuff and I would recommend them to anyone looking for nutrition advice. 

I'm still trying to find that next event to train for.  If you have any ideas, let me know.  So far the best I can come up with is a Tough Mudder, but I have travel quite a bit for that. 

Monday, May 2, 2011

Upstaged by Seals

This blog is written as a journal of my efforts to stay active in fitness, sports, and athletic events. But every now and then I am reminded that there is much, much more to life than me running a marathon. Today, I was reminded of that.  

I served in the Navy from December 1996 until December 2002. I was pier side onboard the USS OAK HILL on September 11, 2001 getting ready to ship out to sea for a major inspection. I'm pretty sure I do not have to describe the events that happened that day as most of you are well aware of what happened. My main job in the Navy was to operate the ship's weapon's systems and I was a member of the ship's security team. I was the very first person sent out as additional security force for the command. Before I was sent out, I made a call to my wife telling her that it was time for me to do my job. I had spent 5 years in the military up until that point and now it was time for me to get to work. Within a few days, it was discovered the person responsible for this was Osama Bin Laden.

I got out of the Navy in Dec. 2002 but always felt extremely proud of the work I had done and always had a spot in my soul for everything that happened on that day and many of the days after that. In 2006, I discovered that one of my former officers from the OAK HILL, Lt. Mike McGreevy had been killed in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan. He left my command to become a Navy Seal. He was one of the officers that "got it". He was in the military for the right reasons and was one of the good guys. I was saddened to know he had died even though I hadn't spoken or seen of him in more than 5 years. He died trying to carry out the mission from 9/11. 

2 years ago, my nephew, Gaelan, decided to join the Army. He was sent to Afghanistan last year and I prayed for his safety but I also knew he was the type of person to get the job done while over there. As a former military guy, I have always felt a little jealous of my friends that are still in the Navy and my nephew. I am very much of an adrenaline junkie and still take great pride in what I was able to do in the military. I've always been a little jealous of my childhood friend Matt German for making the right decisions and becoming the great officer in the Navy I knew he could always become. I wish I could be there with you Matt. I am extremely proud of these men for representing me and my country and the freedoms that we have. I am extremely proud of the women like Carrie Tripp that still serve and are a part of what happened today.

I'm sure you have already read and heard the news that our U.S. Navy Seals have shot and killed the man responsible for 9/11. While I'm sure there are people under him that will take up the fight for him, this chapter of our nation's history is over. Lt. McGreevy has not died in vain. Thank you Gaelan, Matt, Carrie, and everyone else still serving. You are hero's. Thank you to all of my fellow brother's and sister's who served with me. You helped make this happen. While you may not have been there today, you were a part of it and I hope you have great pride in what you did.

My son asked me today why they keep showing this news on the TV. He of course wanted to watch cartoons but that wasn't happening. I told him because it is a day he might remember for the rest of his life. I hope he does. I know I will.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Aftermath

I mentioned in my post yesterday that I had read during my training that I shouldn't take ibuprofen DURING a run because all it will do is mask the pain.  It won't heal what's bothering you, only mask the pain while you continue to do damage.  I totally get that while training but when it comes game time, you got to do what you got to do.  So of course I took some yesterday when the pain in my knee got unbearable at mile 15.  I was able to run the next 7 miles pain free and then it returned for the final 4.  Well today I am feeling the effects of running through that pain.  My knee feels like it is being held together only by my skin.  Holy cow!  It hurts to straighten, it hurts to bend, it just hurts.  So I guess I will be out of commission for a while.  But, the more I get up and move around, the better it feels.  I even went to the gym with my wife and rode the bike for about 15 minutes and walked on a treadmill for 20 (while watching Rocky II).  That definitely made it feel better but I'm also so freakin' tired that I don't want to do anything active today.  So it's like a catch 22. 

Another thing that happened during the race was my toes were hurting.  I guess hurting is not the word.  Numb, on fire, burning, hit with a hammer.  Those are much better ways to describe how my toes felt during and after the race.  Last night while trying to sleep, trying being the main word, my blanket on top of my toes felt like a 50 lb dumbbell.  And today they have so many colors I'm not sure what they are supposed to look like.  I'm pretty sure I'll lose a couple of nails though.  Pleasant I know.  I definitely also realized how tight I ran yesterday because my neck and traps are very sore along with my inspiratory muscles and lungs because every time I take a deep breath in I feel soreness. 

So, was it all worth it?  A resounding yes!  I did what I didn't think I could do.  That was my goal.  It's good to have goals.  And I personally think you should set your goals beyond what you think is possible.  If you fail, at least you did something.  If you succeed, then you have accomplished something huge.  Like I said yesterday, I wonder if I could complete an ultra marathon?  You never know until you try, right?  But yes, all of the pain today and the pain towards the end of the race was worth it. 

Tomorrow I will try to come up with my next venture.  I have no idea what I want to train for now.  Maybe I'll try my hand at an MMA fight or something.