If you’ve been breezing through your current workout, may I make a suggestion? Shake it up. Try something completely different. One reason is that your body gets used to the same old thing.
Bodies are smart. They figure out what you’re throwing at them, how often, and then they try to plan accordingly. They’re efficient that way. Bodies want to have all the scoop and figure out how many calories you need, how much muscle is required to do what you’re trying to do, and give you just enough to accomplish those goals. So, changing it up gives your body a new message: work harder.
Here are my current goals for 2005:
The races are self-evident. I believe that staying in races keeps me focused on my goals. Once the race directors of the world start looking forward to 2005, I’ll have a better idea of what races I want to do. Jay Challenge 1/2 marathon is high on my list (they require you to do the 1/2 if you’ve not done any of their challenger races). Nipmuck might be another marathon. 7 Sisters in Western Mass. One with Marshall. Probably an adventure race or two.
In my continuing efforts to build myself into a functional superhero, I’ve found a weightlifting routine from the military’s pararescue groups that promotes functional strength and agility over bigger muscles. I’ve had a few email conversations with a guy who runs a website based on this stuff, and have read several interesting documents on the topic. I love this kind of learning, because I feel like it’s forward motion in my quest to be a much more fit overall kind of guy.
One area where I need to improve myself is stretching. I’ve pretty much abandoned my flexibility for other goals, especially after a recent rash of studies that say stretching isn’t exactly great for you. (Yes, there are several counter studies as well). I’ve decided that I’m either going to find a yoga class for cheap, or maybe martial arts (something like Tai Chi, which is flexibility based). I’m leaning towards yoga, because it’s less expensive, but I’m open to either. But man, yoga. I’ve read REAL MEN DO YOGA, but I’m still not convinced. Ah, my own bag.
I’m back from our little jaunt. Kat and the kid and I traveled with my parents to stay in Stamford, Connecticut for a day, and then onward to New York City, for a quick jaunt down to rendezvous with my inlaws, who were down from Canada to see some Broadway shows. We ate Thanksgiving dinner in our hotel rooms, courtesy of the only restaurant open in all of Stamford (for the record: The Court House Cafe). I split a greek chicken affair with Kat and the kid. My folks had grilled chicken caesar salads. The restaurant was run by Bulgarians, and I watched a snippit of some action film starring The Rock and some weasel boy. Yes.
Friday in New York City was interesting. We went to the Hotel Pennsylvania in downtown Manhattan, met up with the inlaws, and exchanged a few holiday gifts. My daughter had a great time, and acted like she hung out all the time with her grandfather, who she rarely gets to see.
I’m a fan of Experience Life magazine, published by the folks at Lifetime Fitness. This issue was entitled Rejoice (they are all themed). So, I want to take a page out of their book (not literally) and talk about our successes.
What did you do in 2004 towards your own goals? What got better? What brought you closer to your future dreams?
I lost 6 pounds since last week. This was the first week of Operation Streamline, my winter training regimen, that will hopefully drop a sleek, 210 pound runner on the trails come spring. (If I were in the mood to cheat, I’d tell you I lost 8, because I lost 2 pounds from before the gym to after the gym, but that’s water).
Part of the reason I lost the weight was because I changed up my eating a bit. I carved out a few calories here and there, especially in my choice of monster foods. But the real reason, I think, that things changed, was that I dove into a fairly intense weight lifting program, and started repeatedly banging out 500 calories worth of work on various cardio machines.
Reason # 44,051 why I married Kat is that she is great at challenging me. I mentioned that I’d surfed something like 30 fitness or weight loss blogs, and only found 1 good one. I started to gripe about how many of those blogs say the same thing: “I’m going to start tomorrow,” and “This time, it’ll be different,” or “I’ve stopped working out, but I’m going to keep up on…”
And that bugs me. Really gets me going.
I jumped on the scale this morning and found I’d knocked four pounds off since Monday. Then, I got back from the gym, and I guess I sweat another 2 off. Whewww! Ain’t weight loss funny? (These numbers don’t mean diddly, really).
I’m doing these really weird lifts at the gym. One’s the one-armed snatch (shuddup, beavis), which looks fairly stupid, but works lots of diverse muscles. The other is called loading (I said, shuddup, beavis!), and that involves something that looks like picking up your suitcases and throwing them into the overhead bin on the plane. What I’m doing are exercises from the back of this month’s Men’s Fitness, a magazine I don’t really endorse, except for these workouts.