Saturday, December 20, 2008

Another tool

I think the internet is great... I keep finding these amazing tools that will help me keep track of... well... just about everything!

I was over at Pokey's blog "Miscellaneous Ramblings of a Slow Poke" and I noticed that she's using a tool called "Running ahead" that helps her to keep track of her distances.

There's a little under a foot of snow on the ground right now... I'm not going to be doing much running any time soon (at least out doors), but I'll be able to use this come spring to see just how far I run!

... Of course, I was humbled a bit when two of my friends from school stopped by my work... in the middle of a 5 mile run, in the 8 inch deep snow. When asked how it was running in snow, they said it was kind of like running in sand... EXCEPT THAT SAND ISN'T USUALLY COLD!

Those guys are hard core... they ran a 4-man race around Door County, WI with each guy running about 11 miles... and they didn't even really train for it.

Some people just have it in their genes I think...

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Well, it's about that time... ok, really, I'm just taking a break from studying. Two finals and an 8 page paper due tomorrow... and then the semester is OVER!

Get your own graph at skinnyr

I'm still on the down slope... that was 4 pounds in the last week! I don't think that I can (... or really want to...) keep this pace. But honestly, I haven't really been consciously doing anything to accomplish this. They talk about the Freshman 15 of your undergrad years... are you really supposed to lose 20 pounds when you start grad school (... or a new job... or have a baby... or babies, as it were...).

Therein, of course, lies the rub... I simply haven't had that much time to eat, I guess... I dunno!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Taking care of babies... the healthy way and saving your back!

Well, seeing as I'm in the running for "health blogger" awards, I should probably write a post about being healthy!

As you know, my wife and I have two (now six week old) boys. They're amazing bundles of joy... but they do require quite a bit of "maintenance." Having twins is tougher than having a singleton... and it is more than just two times tougher. With one, when the baby is crying, you have to help remedy the problem. Once you do this, you have peace and quiet, and your baby is happy.

But with two kiddos, one can be crying... and you can remedy that issue all you want... but that has no bearing on that second wonderful bundle of joy...! What we have found is that as soon as we get George settled down... Patrick starts to fuss. Thus, no down time.

But alas, that wasn't even what I had planned on writing about!

In changing lots of diapers and clothes, I've noticed something... I'm doing a lot of bending over, and it really hurts my back! The changing table we have is average height... and the crib is average height... for a changing table and a crib. That's low by most normal standards. Usually if you're going to be handling heavy items, you do it in a way and a place that allows you to use your muscles to their full advantage. Not so here! I'm bent in half, completely isolating my upper body, putting lots of strain on my core and my leg muscles.

I've had to figure out a way to fix this problem!

For one... I've started to bend my knees before leaning over. That takes quite a bit of strain off of my back and hamstrings... but it puts strain on my knees. This is definitely better though.

The other this is that I've started stretching. A common misconception about back pain is that your back muscles are the muscles that are tight and need to be stretched. Now, while that might be true, more likely your hamstrings are tight. The muscles of the core do need to be strong... they help to transfer energy from your upper and lower body when doing strenuous activity, and they're great stabilizers... and they CAN be sore in and of themselves, but, like I said, they're linked to the upper and lower body.

And if most people are like me, stretching is not a normal part of their daily routine!

There are lots of ways to stretch your hamstrings. One of the best, though, is the doorway hamstring stretch:

Lie face up in a doorway.
Lift one leg up to rest against the wall or doorjamb.
Keep your body, shoulders, head, and other leg relaxed comfortably flat on the floor.
Keep both hips flat on the floor. Don't let your hips round under you.
Relax and breathe.

A few keys here... make sure that your other leg, your hips, shoulder, and back are flat on the floor. I know the first time I did it how inflexible I was... My "doorway" let was at about a 45 degree angle! It really goes to show, though, how much MORE flexible I could be. And as you do this and get more flexible, there will be less and less strain on your hamstrings and back, and when you are bending over baby (or doing whatever it is that has caused you back pain).

Saturday, December 13, 2008

I've thrown my hat in the 2008 "Health Blogger Awards" over at, a collection of bloggers and general info about getting in better health and getting/staying in shape.

Click "Vote Now" above to vote for my blog!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

New Template!

Well, I got tired of the limited width of my old blog template, especially when I was trying to embed content such as pics and videos, so I found a new one...! Let me know what you think!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


Just for giggles, I weighed myself the other day. Mind you, I haven't worked out in several months, though I've eaten less due to my current lifestyle (full time grad school and work, with two 5 week olds at home).

Needless to say, I was shocked:

WOW! I was amazed when I stepped on that scale! I really think that, in addition to not eating as much, being on my feet, running around one of the busiest pharmacies in the country has certainly helped me lose weight! It is amazing to me how a lifestyle change like switching jobs, from sitting at a desk all day to being on my feet all day, has has immensely more of an impact on my weight loss than working out did! I guess slow and steady certainly is better than short, harder, and more intermittent!

And, as I promised, here are some pictures of the kids. Unfortunately, I only have a few from the hospital on the computer right now... we've been too busy to take other ones!

George Steven
From Kids @ hospital

Patrick Lee
From Kids @ hospital

My two little men!
From Kids @ hospital

Monday, November 24, 2008

Been a while...

Well, it has been a bit since I have written here... and lots has happened! We had the twins! Two beautiful baby boys!

George Steven Gleich was born at 4:00 AM on Thursday morning (10/30/08) and is 7 lbs 10 oz, 21 inches long. his twin brother Patrick Lee Gleich was born at 4:13 and is 6 lbs 7 oz.

I will try to post some pics later!

Monday, October 27, 2008


So, my workout regiment has been slim to none since I stopped training for the 5k. It's so hard to find time with school, work, and a doubly pregnant wife who has to sit at home all day alone... all I want to do is spend time with her when I'm not running around every place else!

I did get a chance to "work out" yesterday... I played two games of flag football. Now, you might not think that's too much of a workout... but I'm so freaking sore today... wow! I can really feel it in my back, shoulders and gut especially.

I think this is just proof that it IS possible to get positive results even if you don't had a ton of time to work out. I went really intense for about 2 hours and I can feel the effects.

That's not to say that this is the best way, for sure... those flag football games certainly weren't no contact, I tell you what! And if you're not prepared to go really hard, you set yourself up for injury... that's why stretching is so important. Just gotta listen to your body.

Next weekend is the last week for football... and good thing too, it snowed here (flurries) today, and we got rained and hailed on yesterday!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Fun with Mythbusters

So funny...

Running on a treadmill while drunk...

Running again and getting smacked around

Thursday, October 16, 2008

First day of practice

How about a little nostalgia...? Today (well, yesterday, it's after midnight) is October 15th, the first official day of practice for Division III basketball. Three years ago, I would have been (as my wife so eloquently put it) "running my butt off." Ya know, there's more to that phrase than first meets the eye!

This is the first year I've been away from Point since I graduated and it will be the first season where I'm not able to see more than a couple of games, max. Up until this point, I've known all the guys. This year's seniors were freshmen the year after I graduated, so I've followed their careers... from a tough freshman year, coming off the heals of back-to-back National Championships (and losing 6 seniors) to a sophomore season being ranked, #1 in the country much of the year and not losing to another D-III team until January 24th, to a junior year spending the entire year ranked in the top 15, with much of it in the top 10. They had to overcome some injuries last year and ended up getting upset for the second year in a row in the NCAA tournament, but 4 starters return and they've all started most of their careers. This could be the year where it all pulls together... and I know I'm sure pulling for them!

Sunday, October 5, 2008


Yikes, it's been a while...!

Today is officially the day I would have been running my 5k. I'm kind of bummed that I wasn't able to keep training... but I think I have a great plan (the couch-to-5k) and I have a good mindset about doing it now!

I hadn't weighed in in a while... and I was kind of surprised when I did...

Get your own graph at skinnyr


I've started a new job as a Pharmacy Tech, so I'm up on my feet all day instead of sitting at a desk... and I think that that's helping me lose weight!

Friday, September 19, 2008


OK, how about something entertaining?

This song kind of got in my head... and I found myself sort of swaying to it throughout the day! And the video is just amazing...! Reminds me of the pool in front of the Bellagio in Las Vegas:

The music is different (as is the backdrop) making one seem more like art... but I think it's just different art!

The top vid was put out by, who also put out this next video...

Absolutely mesmerizing!


It's beginning to be about that time...! My wife is currently at a little over 32 weeks with the little ones... and the doctors said that if we get to 35 weeks, we should be golden! She's hoping for at least 36 weeks... I'm hoping for... 3 years? (just kidding!). There's certainly a give and take with when they come, though. If they come too early, their lungs may not be fully developed and they may need to spend some time in the NICU. And if they... uh... bake(?) longer, they'll get bigger, which isn't a bad thing... once they're out! I love my wife and I think she's a rock star. I know she's going to do awesome with the whole childbirth... but it's going to be hard.

From our Lamaze class a few weeks ago, there was something that stuck out that's hung with me. The sentiment that "hospitals are go when you're sick" (or, as my grandfather used to say, "Hospitals are where you go when you die") holds for just about every instance where you'd go to the hospital... except for childbirth. Childbirth is normal, natural and (... something else I can't remember... guess it didn't stick with me as well as I thought!). I just thought that was a very interesting idea... because many people, like my grandpa, DON'T have a good feeling about hospitals, and honestly, it's hard to!

But in no other instance does going to the hospital bring you a wonderful perfect new life (or lives in our case!). It may make you better... but the thought is that, prior to whatever it was that caused you to have to go to the hospital, you were fine as you were.

With the birth of our children, I'm going to be stretched in ways I didn't even KNOW I could be stretched. But I'm also going to be blessed in unimaginable ways, too. People have told me they think I'll be a good dad... and I hope they're right! I had/have a good mentor in my own father, and we both did with my grandpa too. I just hope that the "trials" I'm going to have to endure when they're very young will strengthen me and make me a better man so that, as they grow, I can grow too and be an even better dad.
Yikes, it's been a while since I posted...!

Double yikes, it's been a while since I ran...

I've unofficially stopped training for my 5k on October 4th. Because I've missed so much, I would have to run a TON to try to make up the runs... and that's not how the program is designed.

When I do this again (and I will, next spring) I need to commit to what I had originally done... 6 days on, 1 day off. Even if only 3 of the 6 days are true workout days, I am too much a creature of habit with slothish tendencies...!

I do intend to keep trying to work out and I'm still going to post weekly updates in terms of weight. That alone will be a good motivator for me to get off my duff an do something.

I think that I may restart the 100 push-up club (AGAIN!?!) so that it gets me in a pattern. My dad saw it here and he's been doing it. He's worked out pretty much every day of his life (that's not true... he usually takes at least one day off per week) since far before I was born. His typical routine is 3 miles and then some body-weight lifts (push ups, pull ups, sit ups, etc), but since he's retired, he's been going to a health club several times a week. I'm not sure if this is in addition to or in place of his run ... but I digress...

He tested into the toughest group and he said it's gotten more and more difficult (as is to be expected...), but that he feels it may get to a point where it's too difficult for him to do.

... this really SHOULD serve as motivation... my retired father is able to do more push ups than I can and he can run farther and faster (probably) too.

I mean, I am at a bit of a disadvantage I guess... he's been doing it since before I was born... but still! I could certainly come up with excuses... He's got lots more free time... yeah, that one pretty much takes the cake for anything else I could come up with...! But, as he said last week when we were talking about this again... he made a conscious choice that he was going to work out, and to do it, he had to make certain sacrifices. He got up at about 4:30 every morning to he could run his 3 miles and do everything else he needed to so that he could get to work on time and not be in anyone else's way!

And... because I haven't posted anything in the last two weeks, that means I missed a weigh-in. ... and it wasn't a great one either... my weight went up, not down.

Just weighed myself tonight... and it was the same.

Get your own graph at skinnyr

Friday, September 5, 2008


So something interesting happened today... I did my weigh-in (a day late, but...), and I'm using an electronic scale that charts my weight in addition to Well... it said that I lost zero pounds... but that my weight was 321! So I either charted my weight wrong last week, or I lost 3 pounds!

Either way, I am starting to see a difference... I had a job interview today and I put on my suit. For the first time since I bought it (several years ago), I could button the top button (though not as comfortably as I would want).

I'm certainly seeing progress!

I do need to get back to running, though... After running on Tuesday, I was going to run on Wednesday after I got home from class... but had to run around and try to get my new Illinois Driver's License. Well... long story short, they wouldn't accept the documentation I had, which ate up lots of time. Then I came home but I didn't have enough time to run before I went BACK to the DMV to hang out with my wife while she got her license. We then had to run about 20 mins away to drop off some paperwork so she can get her leave after having the twins.

Then, yesterday, we got about 3 inches of rain, compliments of the remnants of Hurricane Gustav. That and the fact that I had to run all over creation to get my birth certificate and passport from my parents' house, to the DMV to get my new license, BACK to the county courthouse to get a certified copy of my birth certificate and then back home, an hour trip. And it rained the whole time. I wasn't running yesterday!

So, I've gotta get back on track and do day 2 from last week, so I can try and do day 3 tomorrow and day 1 of this week on Sunday. I've gotta fit in my homework for my classes in there somewhere and, oh yeah, Sat and Sun we've got Lamaze class! And I'm still looking for a job. At least I don't have anything going on...!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Welcome to September

Hmm... I don't think this running plan was supposed to be a WEEKLY plan...

But that's what I've made it the last two weeks.

Here's the first day's run for last week (that I did today):

Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then:

  • Jog 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Walk 1/8 mile (or 90 seconds)
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
  • Walk 1/4 mile (or 2-1/2 minutes)
  • Jog 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Walk 1/8 mile (or 90 seconds)
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
The fact that it was 92 degrees today didn't help. And it was still 85 degrees when I left... at quarter to 8:00 PM!

Seeing as I haven't done anything for a week, I figured it was going to be tough. And it was. I jogged the whole time I was supposed to, but it was a struggle. Now, to catch up, I'm going to have to run more more frequently, likely even tomorrow (though the weather should cooperate... it's supposed to be 72 for a high tomorrow!)

In other news, the twins are officially at 30 weeks today. 6 more weeks until they're considered full term, but the doctors say that 5 weeks will be good. I say let 'em cook for a bit longer... but the pregnant momma said that she's big enough!

Friday, August 29, 2008


Well...I'm on a roll, though it hasn't been a TON of improvement, it's in the right direction!!

Just under 2 lbs in 3 weeks (the graph is a bit off... I'm going to see if I can fix that...)

And all of that with an extended break last weekend!

I need to run the next 3 days to keep on track, so wish me luck!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

100 Push up challenge

Well... turns out I was doing te 100 pus

I am a bum.

Bah... I'm a lazy bum. After running on Thursday, I didn't do anything on Friday (I was supposed to do the 100 push up challenge). Saturday is my day off... so I took that day off instead of catching up. Then, on Sunday, I was supposed to do my last run of the week... and I didn't do anything.

So, yesterday, I did my last day of the push up challenge from last week and I did my final run from last week today too...

So I'm going to be able to catch up... but I'm going to have to bust it this week. I'm planning on running again tomorrow and doing another set of the push up challenge tonight to try to get caught up.

... This just proves to myself that I'm a creature of habit... I feel like if I'd been walking every day, (instead of not running... and doing nothing) I would be in the habit, and I would have had a much smaller chance of skipping out on a workout...

As far as life goes, I'm starting school tomorrow, still temping, so my job situation still isn't finalized (though I have an interview Saturday and another potential prospect for an interview, possibly next week). Also, the Most Wonderful Woman in the World had a doctor's appointment today... and she has to go on modified bedrest soon, so she'll have to work part time instead of full time. This will enable her to have extra rest in the morning and in the afternoon, which should be good, because she's gotten really, really exhausted of late. Thankfully, her wonderful parents (YES, I love my in-laws!) are coming this weekend, so that should be good to see them... and hopefully we can get everything in tip top shape in our house so that we'll be ready when the babies come (... they've been very obedient.... we told them that they can't come until at least October 15th!)

Gotta go do tonight's workout for the Push up challenge.

This week I've got:

Day 1: 4,4,3,3,max
Day 2: 6,5,3,3,max
Day 3: 5,5,4,4,max

And tomorrow's run:

Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then:
  • Jog 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Walk 1/8 mile (or 90 seconds)
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
  • Walk 1/4 mile (or 2-1/2 minutes)
  • Jog 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Walk 1/8 mile (or 90 seconds)
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
This is going to be a stretch for me... I've struggled with the 3 minute runs, and I've got to add in 5 minute runs! I'm going to do my best!

It's interesting... I think that I'm running the correct distances when I'm doing my runs, but I don't really know, as I've been marking my time, not my distance. Michael has been doing the Couch to 5k for about 5 more weeks than I have and he's almost done with the program, but his 5k isn't until October too... but he's going to start tracking his distance. If I get a chance, I may do that too! I know that my route is 1.5 miles... and if I add up the distance of the workouts (for example this week) It's 200, 200, 400, 400, 200, 200, 400, 400 (all in meters) for a total of a mile and a half. But... I haven't finished right at home, so I think I'm not running the full distances. I may need to go over to the track at my school and do some distance AND time training too!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Today's run

OK, had my run today. It rained earlier today a bit here so my path was wet, which made it a bit more precarious... but other than that, it went pretty well! Why is it, though, that the 3 minutes that I walk always goes so much faster than the 3 minutes when I run...? I mean, I think Einstein's Theory of Relativity states that time goes slower for objects that are moving faster... could I be going faster than I think?!

Hey, stop laughing....!

One good thing is that I was able to run the whole time today again. I also had a couple of revelations while running today (not related to the Theory of Relativity).

First off, my recovery time is getting lots better. Here's a rundown of my workout again:

Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then do two repetitions of the following:
  • Jog 200 yards (or 90 seconds)
  • Walk 200 yards (or 90 seconds)
  • Jog 400 yards (or 3 minutes)
  • Walk 400 yards (or three minutes)
Now, after the second rep of 3 minutes I walked for another 3 minutes... and I felt like I was ready to run again.

My second revelation came 2 minutes later when, after walking for 2 more mins, I was exhausted and felt ready to stop! So, my endurance, though it's getting better, isn't tremendous yet. Technically, in terms of the Couch to 5K, my workout was over at that point... but I wasn't home yet so I had to keep walking!

I had another weigh in today too:

So, I dropped .2 pounds, which really is negligible... but it's in the right direction, even if just a half a smidgen.

This is going to really spur me on to do the nutrition I was talking about earlier. It's amazing how much better I feel when I eat well versus when I don't!

Push up Challenge, day 2 of week 1

Well, I was reconfirmed that my core is weak last night... my abs are the body part getting the best workout right now!

I guess what that says is sitting in a cubicle all day for the last 2 years and plopping in front of a computer/TV while at home isn't a good way to keep your stomach toned. Who knew?

I think I need to start researching to find a good core program to do in addition to my other new activities. I know that back when I was in shape and HAD a good core, I felt better overall and working out was easier and more enjoyable. But there are more factors than just my weak core that are prohibiting that...

This week shot by... I've got another weigh-in tonight. Hopefully I see some progress, but I haven't done any of the nutritional types of things that I mentioned earlier this week.

Also, I start school next week. My class schedule is Mondays and Wednesdays, but because a week from Monday is Labor day is a holiday, they have those classes on the preceeding Wednesday (so, a week from yesterday). It's taking me a bit to get in the mindset that I'm going to have class and schoolwork. I mean, don't get me wrong, I'm really looking forward to this... it's been a goal of mine for like 5 years and it's finally coming to fruition.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Tuesday run

Well, I think I've got a plan now... Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, I'm going to do the 100 push up challenge workouts and Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays, I'm going to do the Couch to 5k workouts. I started over with the 100 push up challenge last night because I'd only done 1 of the week 1 workouts...!

As I started my run today, I had a talk with myself. When I had set out, I was running fairly fast... but I wasn't able to sustain that speed, not even close. I also (like on Sunday) hadn't been able to finish my run out fully. So, I decided that I would take it a bit easier and try to run the whole time.

Well, this week, this is what my workout looks like:

Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then do two repetitions of the following:
  • Jog 200 yards (or 90 seconds)
  • Walk 200 yards (or 90 seconds)
  • Jog 400 yards (or 3 minutes)
  • Walk 400 yards (or three minutes)
I also stretched quite a bit before I left and... shockingly! it wasn't as tough on my legs!

Yesterday for the push up challenge, I had 4 sets of 2 (real) push ups with 60 seconds between sets and then maxing out. I still am shocked how weak my core is. I may need to supplement with some additional core exercises.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Sunday run

Wow... today was by far the toughest run so far. It was the warmest (82 degrees) with 62% humidity. That's about 10 degrees and quite a bit more humid than it has been too.

This past week, I worked out for 20 minutes... 90 seconds running, 120 seconds walking, and I did that 4 times. Well, today I didn't feel great when I started out and I hadn't stretched as much as I should have. The first half went ok, but I only got though 1 minute of my third and fourth runs. I think I need to get back to activity every day (except for one) instead of taking so many days off. I understand the idea that a day off to recover is good, but it's one thing to take a day all the way off, and another thing to take it off from going hard, but still doing some sort of activity.

I think this is actually a BETTER idea in many respects. One of the things we used to do when I was in high school the day after a Friday night football game, and to some respects with basketball too, was to jog a bit. That warms up your muscles enough to get the lactic acid out of your body that's causing you to be sore.

I've just gotta get pumped up for next week!

Saturday thoughts (well... Sunday)

First off, Michael Phelps is awesome. 8/8 in gold medals, 7 of them world records. Just awesome.

I loved Usain Bolt's 100 meter race too. He shattered the world record and let up before going the whole way. Amazing that this was Jamaica's first gold medal in the Olympics for the 100m... it seems to me that they've been in the hunt before, but maybe that's just been in the last several years.

Also, it is weird seeing Brett Favre in a Jet's uni, but... I can actually cheer for him now! Now that he's not on the Packers, I'm the biggest Brett Favre fan in the country! Just as long as they don't play the Bears.

I have been a bum the last two days. I told myself that I was just going to take my day off yesterday and work out today... and I didn't. Tomorrow is my run, so I can't miss that... but I wanted to do SOMETHING today, even if it was just go for a bike ride. Shoot, just realize I missed my workout with the push up challenge too... better go do that now!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Push up Challenge feedback

So, like I said last night, I started with my first real "workout" with the pushup challenge. I'm amazing at where it makes me sore... I would have thought that my arms and chest would be the most sore... but it's my abs!

I also saved myself some money last night. On a whim, I searched the internet for discounts for Sprint cell phones... and there's SO much out there! I've been a Sprint customer for 8 years and, though I've got an ok plan, I still have paid about $80 for my phone and my wife's. We've also recently (since our move to IL) gone over on our minutes, which has cost us $120!

Well, I found several places that there used to be a discount called a SERO discount that got 500 mins for $30. Unfortunately, not only has it expired as of last month, it can't be used for family plans. I did also find, though, a "customer loyalty discount." So, I called them up last night, and now my cell phone bill costs 10% less! Just like that! Sprint also has corporate discounts available for lots of companies. You can find out more about that HERE. All you need to do is put in your work email address, and if your employer qualifies for discounts, that's extra $$ off your bill!

On another whim, I did a search for a free headset. I don't talk on the phone while I'm driving much, but when I do, I don't like to have to hold my phone. That, and it's likely safer to have both hands on the wheel (10 and 2 and all that...). Well, I found a company that gives away headsets for just the cost of shipping! will send you a free headset! Unfortunately, it doesn't look like they have one for our phones... but I've sent in an email to check. I'll let you know how it goes.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Day 8 of 60

Did my second run of the week today. That's 20 minutes of a run walk combo... 90 seconds of running, 120 seconds of walking, rinse and repeat. I even stretched more than I usually do and walked for 5 mins to warm up.

I felt GOOD the first 90 second run, for the most part. Same for the second 90 seconds, which was encouraging, because I was pretty much hurting the whole time on Monday! By the end, though, I was going to slow that I was kind of jogging in place... but I was still a job by my definition. It's amazing how much more tiring it is to jog than to walk, even if you're moving faster walking!

I've gotta be honest, though... there were some tough things about this workout tonight. First off, my legs aren't in great shape, so, though I'm used to stretching out and really reaching with my legs (which I can do, 'cause I'm 6'10"), they're really not strong enough right now to be able to reach like that. That fact gets more and more pronounced as I get more and more tired.

For the first time, I really feel like this:

... an athlete in a fat body.

Also, I'm used to swinging my arms more than I'm currently able to right now. I account that the added mass I have in my upper body. I mean, I've always had big (thick) legs... but my upper body wasn't as big. ... I grew into my upper body in college, and since the end of my basketball career, I've put the majority of the weight on in my gut. This fact has added additional... action (?) to my run. In other words, I've got some jiggle. As I lose weight and get my legs in shape, it should help the entire situation.

On the weight loss front... I have lost a little bit, though I don't really credit my working out for that yet... my weight always fluctuates a few pounds here and there.

I'm also going to do my first day for the Push-up Challenge. Here's my workout (3 days) for this week, with 60 seconds in between:

level 1 2
level 2 2
level 3 2
level 4 2
level 5 max (at least 3)

The reason why I'm doing this is something that I learned while reading the Abs Diet by David Zinczenko, editor of Men's Health. I started that plan in terms of the nutrition last August, but I didn't add any type of exercise with it. In a little over a month, I lost 8 pounds, and my wife Kate, who had already lost about 20 pounds just from working out, and she was doing a lot of calorie counting. When she switched to the Abs diet nutrition plan, she stopped counting calories and lost another 2-3 pounds and she didn't have the guilt that goes along with calorie counting.

The big thing with the Abs Diet is that you pack your diet with certain "ABS DIET POWER" foods and these foods work for you. They're complex carbs and packed with protien and they really boost your metabolism. Also, if you're lifting weights, you're boosting your metabolism there, too. When you weight lift, you break down your muscles... so your body works to build those muscles back up for hours and even days to repair the muscles... and you're burning calories the whole time. And he makes a good point, too... when you're at a health club, look at the people on the treadmills and look at the people doing free-weights. The free-weight studs are ripped. The people doing the treadmill often are on the thicker side. So, that's another reason is why I'm going the 100 Push-Up Challenge!

Here are the ABS DIET POWER foods:

Almonds and other nuts
Beans and legumes
Spinach and other green vegetables

Dairy (fat-free or low-fat milk, yogurt, cheese)
Instant oatmeal (unsweetened, unflavored)
Turkey and other lean meats

Peanut butter
Olive oil
Whole-grain breads and cereals
Extra-protien (whey) powder
Raspberries and other berries

The great thing about this is that these foods really taste awesome. It isn't like you're keeping yourself from things that you like... there are plenty of things in here that taste great and are great for you too.

Wednesday off

I decided to take Wed off to let my body recover a bit. I fully understand that there will be some pain... but if I push myself too hard, I won't be able to do as much work later too.

And so, in lieu of runnin info... here's a picture of a llama:

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

More about the Olympics

So, as I've said, I've been watching the Olympics. The time difference is starting to get to me a little bit though. I usually watch in the evenings (which is live, I think), and then I'll also listen to the radio in the morning, and they'll talk about the Olympics then. ... But there's a bit of a disconnect somewhere... I watch and (obviously) see what happens, and I listen and often times hear what I saw... but sometimes they talk about things that I missed. Now, this isn't unnatural... I'm asleep, so I'm not watching.

But the problem comes in when I turn on Olympic coverage that night... They pretty much continue coverage from the LAST night... and don't assume that anything that happened after I went to sleep has happened yet! So, if they watch some tape-delayed coverage, it's like it happened live... but really it happened 18 hours ago!

So, that brings me to Michael Phelps. According to the radio this morning, he's 5/5 in gold medals, but I think I've only seen 3 of them... so did I miss 2, or will I see those tonight? Arg!?!

Speaking of records... especially in swimming, it seems like EVERY gold medal winner is breaking the record for that particular race. In the relay I watched last night (800 meter freestyle), the American's shattered it and then blew up the shards into tiny pieces. They beat the previous record by 4.5 seconds! And in the 4x100 freestyle (the one where the French were running their mouths) the Americans beat the previous record by 3.99 seconds. That previous record was beaten by the Americans (#1), French (#2), Australians (#3), Italians (#4), and Swedish (#5). That means that the Italians and Swedish swam faster than anyone had ever swam before... and didn't even get a medal!

Mental Floss talked about the fact that records are falling faster than Bohemian elites from a second story window.

They list 6 reasons why the records are being broken so relatively easily.

In terms of training... I'm trying to decide what I am going to do today. My legs are telling me that I need a day off. I'm still aching from my run on Monday. Today was supposed to be another run/walk day, but I may take it off to try to recover, so it won't ruin the rest of my workouts this week.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

More than just a running plan

Well, in addition to my running plan and my training for a 5k, I'm also going to be doing a couple of other things to get in shape.

First off, I'm going to also do the 100 push up challenge. This plan will help me develop my upper body as well, which will help me with my metabolism (more in a later post about that) and with my core, so I don't lose the momentum of my arms in my gut.

I just did the initial test. First off... it's lots tougher than push ups when I was in shape... I wasn't "pushing up" as much, and my body didn't touch the ground quite as early on the way down!

I also am tracking my weight loss at . They've got graphs so you can track it really easily, like below, with my baseline:

Get your own graph at skinnyr

It's impossible to follow a trend with one point... but it makes it easy to set goals!

Time to watch more of the Olympics! Michael Phelps won his 3rd gold medal and set his third World record (his 10th medal - the most all time, and his 25th world record, one less than the most of all time for world records). Have I mentioned yet that he's awesome?

That's it... I'm heading to the Couch!

... the "Couch-to-5k" plan, that is!

Michael is training for a 5k too, and he's doing the "Couch-to-5k" plan, and, even though he's at week 6, and I'm at week 2, it appears that there are at least certain aspects of that plan that thought out better than mine.

On my plan, today was supposed to be a "run 10 minutes" day. Yeah... that's not happening. Like I said yesterday, I don't have the endurance for a longer run like this... and the Couch-to-5k has longer activity than I was planning on my "hard" days, if you will. So, today I walked (swapped my running and walking days this week), so tomorrow I will run again.

Then, tomorrow, I'm going to do workout #2 on week 2 of Couch-to-5k:

Brisk five-minute warmup walk. Then alternate 90 seconds of jogging and two minutes of walking for a total of 20 minutes.

Thursday, I'll walk again, then on Friday I'll do workout #3 on week 2, etc (which in this case is the same).

I like this plan because it's realistic. It doesn't tell me to go run for 10 minutes. It understands that, darn it, I can't run 10 mins straight right now... so let me run 90 seconds and walk 120.

So, this is basically a meld of my old plan , the Couch-to-5k, a little bit of the Beginning marathon training plan, and the Beginning 5k plan from Runner's World.

In general, M,W, F will be a walk -> run/walk day; T,Th, Su will be a run/walk -> run day.

This is a much more realistic plan for me.

Btw, walked a mile and a half today and my legs are feeling it... gotta stretch those calves!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Day 5 tougher than I thought

Well... I officially had my first run. This is going to be harder than I thought.

I don't know why I figured it would be easy... after nearly 3 years of doing nothing, I guess I believed my lie that I could just pick it up from scratch and have that be that. Oh well, I've got some work ahead of me!

I figured out that my route is about 3/4 of a mile each way (so, 1.5 miles total). That will help me figure out my distances for future runs.

Today, I was going to make up my run from yesterday and walk too. I realized that I pretty much wasted Thursday and Friday from last week... I need to be working up to running, not just doing activity. It will be better for me to do a run/walk like I did today, expanding the amount that I'm running, than just walking. I broke a sweat today (early, early on!) and really got a workout. I didn't get a workout last week.

One thing I did realize is how much easier it is to run when you have goals. Like I posted last week, along this route are these plastic ties along the way advising that the area contains wetlands, and if I gave myself a goal of running to that point, it was much easier than just saying "I'm going to run for 15 seconds or 30 seconds." or whatever the time would be.

I also caught myself slowing down when I would get to markers where I decided I was going to run again. Instead of keeping the same pace, I'd stop running and go into a brisk walk... to a semi-leisurely walk... to a sllllowwww walk. I need to keep moving so that I get used to going for that whole time and make the entire time, whether I'm running or walking, be worth while.

Though this, though, I found that I have several different speeds. These are from fastest to slowest:

Sprint- The Bear's after you...
Run- My "distance" pace. Yes, you're faster than me, but I have more endurance, so you just sprinted away... but I'll get there. May just take me a bit right now!
Jog- Feet are leaving the ground, but I'm not moving very fast. I'm also not covering very much ground. I need to work on RUNNING, not jogging!
Racewalking (aka Power-walking) - Both feet DON'T both leave the ground at the same time. I know I'm not working very hard in my "jog" when I start walking... and I'm walking faster than I was jogging! Exaggerated arm movements optional. But keep in mind... we will laugh at you.
Walking - Not as fast as Racewalking, more leisurely and "easy," often done in a park. Thus the term "Walk in the park."
Stumble- Still moving forward. Both feet usually on the ground. Not moving very fast, probably avoiding getting someplace (i.e. me right before I get to one of my "run" markers).

My legs are really feeling it right now... especially my hips and my calves.

Btw, as I've said, I've been running on a path. Unfortunately, Google Maps (my preferred mapping software) doesn't allow any trips off of roads (despite their new "walk there" feature).

But... there is another website that uses Google Maps that DOES let you create trips that aren't on roads. It also will track your distance and makes an approximation for how many calories you've burned. This website is: . This is VERY helpful for planning trips and tracking distances.

The Mole finale is tonight... gotta find out who the Mole is! Also, Men's gymnastics are on right now in the Olympics. The US is second (12) to host China (14) in total medals and third in Golds with 3, behind China (9) and Korea (4). Michael Phelps is 2/2 in gold metals and world records so far... going for 8!


This is a test. If it was a real blog post, then it would have useful information of some sort. It doesn't, so it isn't a real post.

This is only a test.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Day 4... not so much

Well... I didn't et my run in today... Kate and I went to te zoo, so I did et some activity in but it wasn't much... I'm oin to try to do both my walk and my run tomorrow to make up. This was supposed to be my first official run, and I really don't want to miss it...!

Did you see the Olympics? The French 400 meter freestyle relay team came in favored and they were talking all kinds of trash about how they were oin to beat the Americans... and the US came from behind and beat the French by .08 for old. It was an awesome race!

And while were hatin on the French... this is my favorite anti-French site... This is the result if you type in French military victories in Google and click I feel lucky. Click the resultin link for a very interestin list...

And yes, it is (mostly) a joke... I just hate when they run their mouths, because they never back it up!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Here's another interesting bit I found on Mental_floss. It's a commencement speech by Steve Jobs from Apple and it's both entertaining and good advice!

... Now there wasn't anything wrong with my commencement speech... but the only thing that I really remember from it is that I rented my tuxedo for my wedding from him

and he's now the Mayor of Stevens Point, WI. Couldn't tell you a thing he said though...

Day 3 with a bonus link!

Off day today. Well, it's planned to be off... I might go for a walk today because I'm actually enjoying getting outside and exercising... imagine that!

The MWWITW and I talked it over... we're going to go to Brookfield Zoo tomorrow instead 'cause it's open later.

I'm going to spend some more time going through stuff that still doesn't have a place yet... I really don't like moving because things don't have places... I'm a "collector" as it is, so when things DO have places... I manage to find things that don't have a place.

So, I've got a whole bunch of things sitting in our living room that probably need to be thrown away... but I have this whole discussion with myself... am I ever going to need/want this again? I don't know... so I can't throw it away!

Here's something neat to look at to pass the time...:

Dinner in the sky

This is super expensive... but it would be an awesome experience!

Friday, August 8, 2008


So... maybe you're wondering about the name of this blog... Abelfarei. I really don't know, to be honest... About 5 (?) years ago, I was playing chess on Yahoo, and I played someone with this as their name. I thought it was cool... it kind of sounded like a country name to me, so I wrote it down and now it's the name of the blog!

Does anybody have any great ideas about what it it could mean...?

Oh, btw, GO CUBS! Won in 11 innings today. Who would have thought they would be this good this year...? 70-46! And I love Jim Edmonds in a Cubs uniform!!!

Day 2 of 60

Workout #2... Fin!

1/30 of the way to my 5k!

It really feels good... It's nice to stretch out my legs and walk... my legs are feeling a bit tired, which kind of shows me how out of shape I've become...

It was a beautiful day in the low to mid 70's today... Perfect weather to be outside! I went on the same route today and I got a little farther, I think. I didn't think I had a stop watch... but it's amazing the things you find in your cell phone these days!

So, I set out, this time with my iPod in one hand and my cell phone in the other. This isn't going to work when I'm running... I may need to get a fanny pack.
Yeah, that's just gross... EDIT: NO that's not me!

... OK, dumbest idea ever. I just need to run in shorts that have pockets I think, or get a watch with a stopwatch on it.

I noticed one negative of my exercising... I saw this spot on my right arm... it was a HUGE mosquito bite. Thankfully it didn't itch... until I noticed it, and then it wouldn't STOP itching. Until I forgot about it. And now it's fine... really weird!

Speaking of mosquito bites... this really odd thing happened to me today. I reached my halfway point, and as I was turning, I noticed there were two mosquitoes on my left shoulder. I smacked 'em, made 'em suffer for sucking my blood.

Not 30 seconds later, I left something on my left shoulder. I looked, and there were two mosquitoes there. Smack, dead vampire bugs. 30 seconds later, rinse and repeat. No fewer than 14 mosquitoes fell upon me for an afternoon snack. I sent all of them wherever mosquitoes go when they shuffle off this mortal coil, but the most interesting thing was that they all landed on my left shoulder. Maybe they saw the big old bite on my right arm and figured that arm was sucked dry, I dunno...

But I had about 1/3 of my walk to go, and my mind started running (Hmm... there's gotta be some joke there about my mind going faster than my physical self, but...).

I thought that I should probably put on bug spray before I go out (especially when I go on this route). The way I go takes me between two golf courses, but there are these ties right next to the trail that say "wetland mitigation." Now, you may not know what that is (unless you followed the last link), but I've learned that it's a plan to keep the same amount of wetlands in a general area. When one wetland area is changed to a form more usable by humans, another area, usually one that used to be a wetland, needs to be reclaimed. It makes sense from an ecological standpoint... wetland areas absorb runoff and additional rain and can store the extra moisture and prevent flooding. In light of the flooding that occurred in Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, and Missouri earlier this year, areas like this can help to prevent situations like that from happening. You'll notice that the devastation all happened in urban areas. That's a bit of a Catch-22... There is additional run-off from the extra paved areas (sidewalks, roads, parking lots, etc), so it all runs off to the streams and rivers much faster and doesn't have an opportunity to seep into the ground... and the areas that are flooded were higher populated areas. Now, we heard about it because it was populated. But, the argument can be made that it flooded because it was populated. I know certain places in Lake and McHenry County flooded for the second or third time in the last few years. Part of that is due to the fact that people have moved to historical flood zones. Whether it be a 100 year flood zone or a 1000 year flood zone... it's still a flood zone! That means that one flood in 100 years or 1000 years floods that area... but it still floods that area! Of course, though, when levies are constructed and dams are in place, it's assumed that those structures will be able to hold against potential floods. Unfortunately, as has happened more frequently of late, these structures can still fail.

I feel really bad for people who have lost so much with the floods. But living in those types of areas means there's always a chance.

Wow... that ended up lots longer than I thought it would!

Anyway... I was walking through a wetlands area and a dozen mosquitoes wanted to feed off of me, and I thought of West Nile Virus. I dunno why... may have been the story I read in the Chicago Tribune, but I almost started to get a bit scared... I didn't know what the symptoms were, but I wondered if they were achy legs, shortness of breath, dry mouth... Then I realized I really was more out of shape than I thought I was!

Opening ceremonies of the Olympics tonight. Too long, I couldn't watch the whole thing... but there were some pretty cool spectacles! Amazing that 15,000 people were involved with the show! If you missed it, check out this sideshow on the Tribune website.

Saturday is my day off... not that I really need it, physically, but it will get me in the habit. And the MWWITW and I are probably going to go to Brookfield Zoo this weekend... maybe even tomorow. It won't be at the "workout speed," but it will be better than sitting in front of a desk, like I do all day!

Hope you have a great weekend! Feel free to comment to let me know who is reading this!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

More about the Olympics!

Mental_Floss is an awesome site. I can only imagine that the magazine that goes with it is amazing too... I have yet to pick up a copy, but that's probably going on the Christmas list (not too much disposable income with twins on the way!).

Here's their take on 7 Medal-Worthy Stories.

One down, Fifty-nine to go!

I have officially begun! Tonight I did my first training for my 5k. I walked for 20 minutes. I'm not quite sure the best way to do this... so I timed myself for 10 minutes (well... listened to 10 minutes on my iPod), then I turned around and went home. Now, this isn't your normal stroll in the park (... though I did walk down a path... in a park-like setting...). This was much closer, though not exactly racewalking. Now, what is racewalking? Well, among other things, it's an Olympic event...

But for those inquiring minds that want to know... Here's Mental_Floss's take on Racewalking vs. Jogging.

Speaking of the Olympics... they start tomorrow! It should be fun and entertaining to watch... though it officially is going to begin getting depressing starting this year, I think. I'm 27. The great majority of the athletes are going to be younger than I am. I may have missed my window of opportunity to compete in the Olympics. Darn!

Maybe I'll still have a chance if they bring back some of these Weird Olympic Events.

But I digress.

My workout!

It started off well. I didn't warm up or stretch first (no warm up because my workout was walking... which is how I'd warm up!), and no stretching because it isn't good to stretch cold muscles. ... Well, about 1/3 of the way through, my legs were starting to feel it a little bit, and I wished I'd stretched!

Interestingly, 10 minutes on the "out" of my out-and-back walk wasn't as far as 10 minutes on the "back." (I was going to write 10 minutes on my back... but that sounded like I couldn't handle my workout!) And I think my 10 out was a bit longer than 10 mins, too. I was listening to a recording of a live Victor Wooten solo that was about 9:36, but I restarted it twice, so it wasn't fully accurate. On the way back, it was 8:00 minutes of a different live recording of a Bela Fleck & the Flecktones... but I got back at the end of the song! So I walked down the block for another minute or so and turned around and went home

It was a beautiful day here today, didn't even reach 80, I think... but I was definitely sweating and my legs were feeling it a bit. I got down to stretch and I discovered... that it's tough to stretch with this belly o' mine! I never used to have that problem in high school or college!

For however more difficult stretching was than it used to be, it made my legs feel better!

Until tomorrow... happy running!


I want to be able to keep track of my progress. Now, I don't have a specific weight loss goal, because it's not important to me. I just want to get back in good shape so I can be around for my kiddos down the road. And though it is not a goal, per say, I do want to see how much weight I do lose. I mean, I always said that I could lose the weight if I wanted to... I want to make sure I wasn't a liar!

So, as a baseline before I start, my weight is 325.8 lbs. That's about 25 pounds more than when I got married a little over two years ago, 65 pounds more than my heaviest playing weight during college, 115 pounds more than my senior year of high school, and 150 pounds more than my drivers license after my freshman year of high school.

...Now, I do have to be honest... I was really skinny in high school and I filled out in college. But I ballooned after I stopped playing basketball.

So, I've got a baseline before I start training for my 5k!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

And so it begins...

Well, here goes nothing...

Starting tomorrow, I'm going to begin training for my first 5k in about 10 years.

Lots has changed between then and now.

I graduated high school.

I graduated college.

I moved to two new states (Michigan and Wisconsin) and BACK to the homeland of Illinois.

I was on back-to-back National Championship basketball teams and won 3 conference titles.

I met the most wonderful woman in the world (MWWITW).

I informed the MWWITW that we were dating (one week later).

I married the MWWITW.

I became an uncle (x4, soon to be x5)

I'm soon to be a daddy (x2!).

I gained about 115 pounds.


Ya know, it's amazing how easy it is to gain weight when you replace college athletics with sitting on the couch.

I had all kinds of excuses...

My favorite was "I'm used to competing at such a high level, it's not worth it to do anything if I'm not competing at that high level."

... Yeah, ok.

So, now that the MWWITW is expecting twins, it's time for me to get back in shape. Goodness knows that I'm going to need to be in shape in a about 8 or 9 months when the kiddo's start crawling around!

To get in shape, I'm going to be realistic... I will need a goal. So, a goal I have found! I am going to begin getting in shape by training for a 5k at Morton Arboretum on October 5th. It gives me a goal... and the Aboretum will be so beautiful that time of year!

Technically, I'm not a beginner as a runner. I ran cross county (very poorly) in middle school, and I ran track in high school. I've even run a couple of 5k's and a 10k before, when I was in high school (my best time was just over 20 mins).

Actually, I just checked... my FIRST 5k was 10 years ago, when I was 17, and in the best shape of my life. I ran 20.41 (1999). It was relatively easy for me, because I was just coming off of a good track season. The next year, I decided to push myself... so I ran the 10k. Big mistake... I ran 50.16 and barely finished (2000). I was so exhausted because I hadn't trained for that type of distance. The next year was after my first year of college. I was in OK shape, but not great... and I ran 23.45 (2001). I would love to be able to try to match the latest one... but I'm starting from scratch. I'm treating this experience like I've never done anything like it before. I'm declaring myself as a beginner.

I'm going to start training tomorrow, 60 days before the race. So, here's my plan:

Week Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Sunday
1 X X X Walk 20 mins Walk 20 mins Run .5 miles
2 Walk 20 mins Run 10 mins Walk 20 mins Run 10 mins Walk 20 mins Run .5 miles
3 Walk 20 mins Run 10 mins Walk 20 mins Run 10 mins Walk 20 mins Run 1 mile
4 Walk 20 mins Run 10 mins Walk 20 mins Run 10 mins Walk 20 mins Run 1.5 miles
5 Walk 20 mins Run 10 mins Walk 20 mins Run 15 mins Walk 20 mins Run 2 miles
6 Walk 20 mins Run 15 mins Walk 20 mins Run 20 mins Walk 20 mins Run 2.5 miles
7 Walk 30 mins Run 20 mins Walk 30 mins Run 25 mins Walk 30 mins Run 3 miles
8 Walk 30 mins Run 25 mins Walk 30 mins Run 30 mins Walk 30 mins Run 3.5 miles
9 Walk 30 mins Run 30 mins Walk 30 mins Run 30 mins Walk 30 mins RACE

I formulated it from a combination of a 5 week plan for 5k's from Runners World and a beginner's guide for marathon training from Marathon Rookie.

The Marathon Rookie is a 26 week plan, with 4 days on, 3 days off. That's great for marathoners... and they certainly need the rest to let their bodies recoup. But I'm running 3.1 miles. Compared to what I'm doing now, that's much more... but, though I'm out of shape, getting back to some semblance of shape shouldn't take too long... so I'm going to stick to the 6 on 1 off plan. Half the on days are walking anyway, so it isn't like going out and running 15 miles!

I'd love to hear about other people getting ready for runs this fall and possibly some tips for a beginner!