Saturday, December 29, 2007

Frostbite 2M

I completed the 2 mile race in the Frostbite series today. My unofficial time is 20:03. That is just shy of 6 mph and I’m pretty pleased because it was only 3 or 4 months ago that I couldn’t run 2 minute intervals at 5.5 mph.

I’m still trying to learn POSE running. My foot placement is still in front of my body but I’m wasting a lot less energy on bouncing my 250lb body up into the air and then reabsorbing the shock of it coming back down.

I ran with Harry again for most of the race. (Harry is the aforementioned ‘metronome’ from my 3K race. He and his wife were both running. Again, his pace and his words of encouragement during the race were key in finishing as fast as I did.

The next race in the series is the 5K. When I complete that race, I will mark this goal complete. Only 2 weeks to go before my first official 5K race.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

On Track

So far, I’m meeting this goal. I’ve been working out T-W-T, S-S except for this last Sunday when I was sick as a dog. My workouts have been everything from climbing the stairs at Creve Couer park to CrossFit classes, from running the Frostbite 3K to lifting with my trainer. As long as I can keep it going over the holiday weekend, completing this goal should be simple.

Saturday, December 15, 2007


I’ve just realized that as I’ve posted something new and fulfilling for each month, I’ve actually completed this goal. It was worth doing and I think I’ll try to keep it up. You should do at least one new and fulfilling thing each month, if not each week.

Frostbite 3K

Nerves before the race. I nearly lost my breakfast approximately a quarter mile in. Michele kept up cheerful banter before the race and I just sat there mildly sick to my stomach.

Standing in the mob before the start, I pick my mark; I will beat him. No matter what happens, I will finish before he does. Of course, as the race started, he disappeared behind me never to be seen again.

There is a strange thinning effect at the beginning of a big race. Everyone starts out together in a semi-shuffle with barely enough room to take a step. Then, gradually, as people begin finding their pace, the crowd pares down. After several minutes, you are surrounded by those who are likely to be nearby the whole race as well as though who will soon find adrenaline has dropped them in the pot and running a pace they can’t sustain. For most of the race, the flow of people around you will be from the front, falling back. It seems not too many people realize they should be running faster, not slower and start actively passing people.

At the end of the race, there is a corollary effect as the strong finishers start picking up the pace for that final run in. Those hearty souls who have the heart to dig deep and leave it all on the track begin to creep forward until the time for the final effort, a mighty burst with, surely, some impact on their speed. I wonder, do the spectators see the change in speed or is it just in our hearts and our heads that we are sprinting like the wind?

Michele had hot chocolate and chicken noodle soup waiting in thermoses in the car. Of course, I was home before the thought of something in my stomach wasn’t repulsive. Gasping for air, just past the finish line, I managed to keep my breakfast down for the second time.

I’m glad I did this run. The longest run in the series will be 4 miles. I think the 5K is the 3rd run so it is a month away right now. Running in the slush and falling snow, searing my lungs with gaseous fire, tempering myself to make a stronger, more resilient me.

First Official Run - Frostbite 3K

I just completed my first running event. The first run of the 2007-08 Frostbite Series by the St. Louis Track Club. The weather was perfect for my inaugural Frostbite run. 31 degrees F, 2 inches of snow accumulated on the ground with more falling throughout the run. Running through slush was a new experience.

I owe sincere thanks to the gentleman who ran more than half the race to my right. I shall call him metronome until I discover his name. He set a perfect pace and offered encouraging words several times throughout the run, especially when I realized I’d just set a PR on the mile, halfway through a nearly 2 mile race.

Results (probably not available until after December 17, 2007) Until the official results are available, my wife’s unofficial report on my time is 19:01.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Registered for the Series

I registered for the Frostbite Series this week. Nothing like cutting it close. The reduced fee postmark deadline is today. One week from the first run of the series. 3K on Saturday, Dec 15. CrossFit has really upped my tolerances for faster paces but I still have no idea how to pace myself on the road. We will see how fast I can pull this one off. I think my trainer is running the short version of this series as well. I guess I can eat her dust for a couple minutes.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Innaugural Class

I attended my first CrossFit Des Peres class on Wednesday. In honor of this, they named the WOD after me.

The following is the workout as I completed it. Weights were scaled and I subbed jumping pull ups for regular pull ups.

Complete for time:
25 KB swings (30 lbs)
25 jumping pull ups
25 forward squats (30 lbs KB)
25 lemon squeezers
15 KB swings (30 lbs)
15 jumping pull ups
15 forward squats (30 lbs KB)
15 lemon squeezers
5 KB swings (30 lbs)
5 jumping pull ups
5 forward squats (30 lbs KB)
(this is where I lost the contents of my stomach)
5 lemon squeezers
25 burpees

I finished in 19:28.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Hunger and Cravings

For 6 months, I’ve been paying a lot more attention to what I eat. I’ve also been working my body, sometimes much, much harder than I have in the past. Sometimes, watching what I eat is really hard. Sometimes, I completely lose it. Today was a perfect example of this.

I started the day all right. For breakfast, I had 16oz whole milk, 3oz fat free turkey breast, a slice of whole grain bread and just a little mayo. Added up, this was a 5 block meal on the zone diet. I ate at about 5:00 AM. At 9:00 AM, I had 3 oz turkey, 1/2 an avocado and 2 small granny smith apples. At 11:45 AM, I had 4-5 oz turkey, the other half of the avocado, several walnut halves and another 2 apples. I got home at about 2:30 PM.

When I got home, I was ravenous. I felt like I hadn’t eaten for days. Suddenly, I cracked and started devouring everything. 2 slices toast with copious butter and jelly. 4 oz turkey. 7-8 chocolate covered, peanut butter filled pretzel bites. 20 minutes later, I was still starving. I ate 7-8 peanut butter pretzel sandwiches and drank another 16 oz whole milk. Finally, 20 minutes later, I wasn’t hungry.

Now, it is 6:00 PM and I have a craving for food. This is different than when I got home though. This is a mental desire to be eating and has nothing to do with the stomach churning hole than demanded to be filled. I don’t understand either urge but I would call the earlier one hunger and this one a craving. I seem to be mostly successful fighting cravings but I collapse against hunger. For example, while I eat everything that was handy earlier, I’m not eating anything now.

I don’t understand how to fight hunger or even if I should. Should I refrain from eating and only eat to my specified schedule, no matter how hungry I feel? Is ravenous hunger an indication that I’m not giving myself enough fuel to support the muscle building that is happening. (This is possible as I’ve just finished 4 days of incredibly tough workouts.) Is there something I can eat to fill the void without destroying what I’m working so hard to achieve? What do you do when you are fighting hunger or cravings?

Sunday, December 02, 2007


I have to register for the frostbite series. I need to get it out this week. I’ll post something if I get it done. Every day I procrastinate is another missed chance.


I think I’ve met this goal. Today, I met with Dan and Orie at CrossFit Des Peres .

I worked on dead lifts, back squats and overhead presses. Dan also taught me the turkish get up and SOTS presses. At 95 lbs, I did a set of 3 overhead press and a set of 6 back squats.

Finally, we did a WOD. With continually running clock and rounds of 3 minutes do the following: 30 sledge hammer tire slams, 20 KB jerks (10 each arm) and 2xround pull ups (2 first round, 4 second round, etc). I subbed 20lb dumbell jerks and ring body rows. Also, after we failed a round, we had to do the incline trainer at 5mph 30 incline.

I completed 4 rounds. After lifting the sledge the second time in the 5th round, I just quit. I think I rested for about 15 seconds then hit the incline trainer for 30 seconds. The last 10 seconds were beyond rough.

I believe Dan completed 5 rounds and 20 seconds on the trainer. Orie was a monster with 6 rounds.

To finish a perfect workout, I bought a 10 session package. I’m hooked on CrossFit. 2 weeks and I have seen marked changes in my upper body. My chest is bulking up. My shoulders and biceps are larger and more defined. My abs are starting to peek through my spare tire. The impact has been remarkable and my weight has started going down again. This morning I hit a new low of 243.5 lbs.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

CrossFit Zone BBQ

Orie invited a bunch of St. Louis Crossfitters over to his house for a CrossFit Zone BBQ.

We started out with a workout on the high school track, literally across the street from his front door. 6 stations setup on half the track. Kettlebell swings. Medicine ball cleans. Box jumps. Sandbag presses. Slam balls. Push ups. 2 rounds of 30 reps each. And to make things worse, between stations we alternated bear crawls and lunges. We did get a 200m recovery jog from the push up station to the kettlebell station. This was an epic exhaust fest. Between my last 2 stations, just walking was a challenge. I’d given up on the transition exercises early in the 2nd round. And by the time I got the push up station both times, I could barely do push ups from my knees in sets of 5. The abuse to my arms was brutal. You can’t get a better workout than this at my fitness level.

After the workout, we headed across the street to Orie’s house. Orie is an amazing cook. He has collected together some great old recipes that happen to be very zone friendly. We had grilled salmon, tilapia and pork tenderloins (absolutely perfect) along with a thai cabbage slaw, a wonderful indian curried mock mashed potatoes (cauliflower), which I will be adding as a staple of my diet because it was so good, and grilled chicories (endive & radiccio).

The workout was intense. The food was superb. The company was friendly, healthy and happy. Really, I don’t think you can have a better BBQ than this.