Like a Bigfoot

Motivation, Mindset, Positivity, Endurance, Adventure, Perseverance, and Possibility

Category: Fitness and Health (page 1 of 3)

This Morning’s Inner Monologue After My Alarm Went Off

4:29 am- Yes!! I’m finally sitting in the theater…Rogue One is about to start, I got my popcorn, sitting next to supermodels, the Yeti and George Washington.  I’ve been waiting forever to see this movie and it’s finally going to happen.  Oh boy, the lights just went down.  YIPPEE!! This is going to rock! Get ready lightsabers, space battles, and, of course, Darth Freaking Vader!!!

4:30 am- BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! (Note: it’s actually that super annoying verizon ring tone but I have no idea how to put that into typing…maybe Dun dun dun dun du du dun dun dun dun du du du)

4:30 am- What??? Vader…you’re fading away?? Where’d you go…What’s going on???

4:30 am- …..oh…alarm….

4:30 am- This can’t be happening….this isn’t happening….no….NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

4:30 am- look at phone 

4:30 am- Well crap…

4:30 am- Hit snooze…you know you wanna!  Come on, fall back asleep.  I bet you’ll go right back into that sweet space operaesque dream…all the cool kids are doing it.

4:30am- Or I could actually man up, go to the gym, deadlift, pull-ups, clean and jerk and 6 mile run…you know?  Like we originally planned last night!

4:30am- There’s that option….but just take a second and really feel how warm these blankets are… like a cozy fireplace of happiness.

4:30 am- mmmmmmmm….warmmmm blannnnnnkets….

4:30 am- Exactly!

4:30 am- Before we decided, let’s just see how cold it is outside…I mean you don’t wanna freeze to death trying to get your run on in the dark.

4:30 am- Excellent point, me.

4:30 am- Rolls over and looks at weather app….40 degrees.

4:30 am- Welp there you have it.  You are obligated by the weather gods to get up now.  This might be the only time in months it’ll be this warm in the morning.

4:30 am- You present a very logical argument but let me present a counterpoint…sleep is awesome.

4:30 am- ROLL YOUR EXCUSE MAKING A$$ OUT OF BED AND DO WHAT YOU SAID YOU WERE GOING TO DO!!!!!!!

4:30 am- Glad to see ole Drill Sergeant Ward has woke up.

4:30 am- Yup…was waiting for him to put in his two cents.

4:30 am- YOU ARE WASTING PRECIOUS TIME ***CLOWN!! WAKE UP!!! OR THERE WILL BE PUNISHMENT!!!

4:30 am- Ugh…..blah.

4:30 am- I’ve been waking up this early for literally 3 years now…you think it’d get easier, right?

4:30 am- (John Locke Voice…for you Lost fans out there) “IT’S NEVER BEEN EASY!!”

4:31 am- Roll out of bed and put on my workout clothes…sleepy but proud to have conquered in my daily battle with the inner resistance monologue demon.

This happens literally every morning.  A chance to practice my “discipline muscle”.  Usually I win…not always but most of the time I do.

Now if only I could use that discipline muscle to counteract the “must eat ALL of the Christmas cookies my wife makes”.  Still working on that one.

Happy Holidays! Conquer the resistance and keep pushing forward!

P.S.- I’m not joking when I say that I start most days visualizing this scene from LOST “IT’S NEVER BEEN EASY!”

Biking: Day One

Day one of bicycling:

  • Rode about 22 miles in an hour and a half.  Didn’t crash.  Didn’t run over a copperhead.  Need new brakes though…my brakes are garbage.
  • Note to self: Always wear sunglasses when riding a bike.  I spent the hour after my ride pulling random insect parts out of each of my eyes.
  • Note to self #2: Geese don’t give a shit if you are walking, running or even on a bike.  They will still chase you if you come close to their babies.

In all fairness I did end up running almost a mile yesterday…  I was pushing my daughter in a stroller while on a walk with my wife and her friend when a giant thunderstorm rolled in.  Being superdad I jogged back to the house to beat the storm.

That’s all for today.  Just a quick check in!

Have a wonderful Tuesday!!

Recovery Month

It’s been one week of absolutely no running.

NO RUNNING….AND I DID THIS ON PURPOSE…

AND I SURVIVED!!!

It has been a strange week.

It’s going to be a couple of strange weeks.

I’ve officially put myself on a running hiatus after training for and participating in two 50ks in the last few months (Holiday Lake and Grayson Highlands).

Basically, I’ve been in training mode since December and need a month off for mental and physical health.

One of my life goals is to stay a lifelong athlete. I need competition in my life. I always want to be competing because competition brings me joy, purpose, a reason to stay healthy, adventure, inspiration and so much more.

Also, I never want to lose my “super power” of being able to run up mountains like a freaking goat.  To keep this ability sharp I have to avoid overuse injury.

To be a lifelong athlete, it is important to take time off.  Not time off from being active, mind you, just time off from trail running.  This allows the body to recover and the mind to relax a bit.  So until June I am not signing up for any future events (beside a few backpacking trips I’m planning).

Instead for the month of May I’m doing two things:

  1. Focusing my running muscles and joints on recovery
  2. Expanding my horizons in different activities

I’m going to be doing much more yoga, bodyweight training, biking and swimming (if my face doesn’t swell up like the StayPuff Marshmallow Man again).

I’m not going to be in “training mode” per se so I won’t be on as strict of a diet or a training regime.  This doesn’t mean I won’t eat healthy most of the time, but it does mean that if someone offers me some cheesecake you can bet your life I’m not turning it down (and I’ll probably ask for seconds…sue me).

This is going to be a fun FUN month.  I’m looking forward to trying some new activities.  And I’ll make sure to report on my adventures (hopefully none involving face-planting on the bike)!

(Also I owe you guys a Grayson Highlands report which I promise I’ll post sometime this week…less training also equals more writing)

SIDE NOTE: I am signed up for a trail series in my town that I will be participating in once a week.  Each Wednesday in May about 45 people will run a 4-6 mile loop on the trails.  Times will be updated every week until there is an overall winner (think NASCAR for trail runners).  I’ve skipped it the last two years and wanted to make sure I signed up this year….though I probably won’t be competing too hard.

The Path

At first running a mile was hard…my back ached…my feet hurt…my lungs were heaving.

Then it wasn’t.

Then running 3 miles was hard…I would put on rock music to try to distract myself from pain and misery.

Then it wasn’t.

Then 10 miles was hard…around this time my body would run out of fuel…my ribs hurt…my back cramped.

Then it wasn’t

Then 20 miles was hard…

You get the point.  Of course starting off was hard.  You have perceived limits.  Your body hasn’t adjusted to the discomfort.  It takes months, if not YEARS, to adjust.  If you are a new runner you shouldn’t be intimidated by these challenges and you definitely should not expect to be a gazelle right away.  It’s a process.  It’s something you have to adjust to.

One day, without warning, you will go out for a run and realize “holy crap! I actually enjoy this.”  Running will become a relaxation.  It will be WONDERFUL!

That day is in the future for you new runner.  Keep putting one foot in front of the other.  Be consistent (show up) and persistent (don’t stop showing up).  This is the path you must take.

Happy Tuesday!  Hope you get outside and enjoy the day.

Information Overload

How do I get in shape?

Crossfit, bodyweight movements, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s books, HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training), heart rate training, aerobic training, anaerobic training, high fat diets, high protein diets, “Bulletproof Coffee”, Vegan, Paleo, and on and on and on and on.

Figuring out which path to take gets OVERWHELMING.  So overwhelming to the point of “screw it.”

“The one path that never works is the most common one: doing nothing at all.”

-Seth Godin (my newest life hero)

The only guarantee is that not even trying will certainly lead you to failure.

Keep this in mind as you move forward in any of your goals.

Have a happy Thursday!

Pause in my Routine

Last week I took a pause on my routine.  It was my spring break, I had to travel, I went to the mountains a couple days, etc, etc.

It was good for me mentally.  I can fall into the trap of being too regimented sometimes (waking up at the same time, eating the same food, going on the same run) and every 7 or 8 weeks I need to give myself a week “off”.

My dad always told me “everything in moderation” and I really try to take this idea to heart.  Even healthy activities need to be checked every so often.  I you are incredibly intense and extreme about what you are eating or how you are working out day after day with no break, eventually you will burn out.

This week’s challenge is to get back on track.  Fall back into my routine.  I only have 3 weeks until the Grayson Highlands 50k so it’s time to get really focused!

Anyways…just checking in.  It’s good to be back!

I will have a longer post tomorrow.  I’m planning on reviewing a couple hikes I did over break.

Happy Monday!

Different Days, Different Miles

JUNK MILES

Miles you just run to do it.  You’re not really pushing yourself, not really mentally present.  You are just hooked on running and you are running to run.  These are not only unnecessary, but harmful to training.  They don’t fit into your plan; they are a waste of time.  You just think you need to run more and more and more.

Junk miles are bad and are counterproductive to training.  They are also an easy vice to fall into.  The miles where you feel like an addict “Gotta get the miles in” or “I haven’t ran for 18 hours better go out and do some more miles.”

These are the opposite of rest and recovery miles.  Which brings us to….

RECOVERY MILES

Miles you run to loosen up the legs.  A day out from a long hard training day you might run 4 or 5 recovery miles just to help your legs recover.

These ARE a part of your training plan and ARE necessary for a successful training cycle.

These are good, but these can become junk miles very easily if you aren’t careful.

You can convince yourself that junk miles are helping you recover when really you should be taking….

ACTIVE REST DAYS

Days where you run ZERO miles.  Don’t run dumb dumb.  You just ran all freakin’ week, you NEED to take one day off!

That doesn’t mean you should sit on your butt and shove potato chips in your mouth.

Do something else active.  Yoga, play basketball, go for a hike…whatever floats your boat.  Be active!  Just don’t go out running.

BALLS OUT MILES

These are also called TEMPO DAYS by more mature people.  The miles you just go hardcore and start sprinting.  These should be the least amount of miles you run, but you should do them every so often (like on “Do Something You Hate Tuesdays”)  These are the training days that are uncomfortable, the ones you dread (until you become a masochist).

These should be hard.  You should be sweating and breathing heavily after balls out miles.

These are also necessary to become a successful athlete.

In fact the variety of training is so utterly important!  Each aspect is difficult and can be hard to master.

For instance, today I have an active rest day but I feel good enough to go out and push myself hard!  Knowing that I need rest and recovery is important so I don’t go out and put in some junk miles that will ultimately hurt more than they will help.

That’s my battle for today.  I’ll overcome it!  Hope you all (southern) are overcoming your Sunday battles.  Have a good week!

Craving Olives and Other Bizarre Oddities of Training for an Ultra

I’m 6 weeks out from the Grayson Highlands 50k so its time to kick training into full gear.

Last weekend I completed back to back long runs and I have a 22 miler scheduled for early Saturday morning (way early…screw you daylight savings time).

Although those are the two big training runs (along with a spring break trip to the mountains near Blacksburg, VA), during the next few weeks somethings will inevitably happen:

  • I will inexplicably crave olives at the weirdest hours of the day.  I’m talking waking up at midnight to snack on green olives with pimento…no shame.
  • I will chase a deer through the woods and realize that my trail running ability doesn’t hold a candle to the majestic deer.
  • I will realize what an advantage being a dad is to ultrarunning:  Post training stroller walks, playground visits, and 2 year old wrestling matches.  No time for R and R when you’re in Dadmode.
  • I will blog about the race to an annoying extent.
  • I will go #2 in the woods at least 5 times…no shame.
  • I will give up beer and pizza…. and instantly crave nothing but beer and pizza.
  • I will listen to over 50 podcasts ranging from serious to ridiculous.
  • I will have training runs where I will feel terrible and others where I will feel invincible- and there will be no rhyme or reason that explains why or when.
  • I will use the race as an excuse to buy $20 socks (Swiftwick if you want to sponsor me I will seriously wrap my whole body in your socks and never put on anything else ever again…what I’m trying to say is…I love you Swiftwick…so very much…please love me back)
  • I will go on some kickass mountain runs and share the pics right here.
  • I will hurdle at least 3 snakes causing every single root and broken branch on the trail to henceforth scare the crap out of me. 
  • I will tell my wife that I love her thousands of times and that I appreciate her supporting my adventures in this batshit crazy sport.

I will keep you guys updated throughout the training.  I’m really looking forward to this race because my best friend and his wonderful girlfriend will be flying out from California to join the adventure!

Happy Tuesday!

The Battle for Self Discipline

I don’t feel like writing this morning.

It would be nice to still be snoozing in my bed, wrapped up under the warm covers, whisked away in dreamland.

But I’m awake….and I’m sitting here in front of the computer.

All because I have SELF DISCIPLINE.

I made it a goal to wake up every weekday morning and write.  There’s nothing (outside of something catastrophic) that will break my self discipline.

Self discipline is a skill that must be developed.  It’s not easy to develop, not something that can be “hacked”, or something that there is a magic pill for.  It is a skill that must be generated BY YOU.

You create self discipline by refusing to take the path of least resistance, the easy way out.  

I said I was going to wake up and write, so I woke up and wrote.

If you say you are going to go to the gym- go to the gym.  If you say you are going to run 5 miles- don’t cut out after 4.  If you say you are going to skip dessert- don’t order the cheesecake.  If you say you are going to step outside your comfort zone- stop doing the same shit day in and day out.

YOU have to nurture your self discipline.  Each time you successfully accomplish your goals, it becomes easier.  Whereas, each time you give in to the path of least resistance, your self discipline takes a hit.

It may be difficult at first but, over time, it gets easier and easier until its internal.  It goes from something that is a challenge to something that is just part of your philosophy.

As for me, I’m glad I sat down at the computer and got these ideas out.  Glad I momentarily conquered the resistance and nurtured my self discipline!

Thanks for reading!

Today is “Do Something You Hate” Tuesdays, so find something that will challenge you, that you don’t really enjoy, and get it done!  This act is the best way to start building your discipline.

“Do Something You Hate” Tuesdays

This is a movement.  A movement to rock people out of their comfy routine.  Something to force discomfort into their lives.

It’s called “Do Something You Hate Tuesdays”.

Let’s be honest, Tuesdays are the worst day of the week.  You don’t have the end-of-the-week joy of a Thursday or Friday or the “sigh…we’re halfway there” feeling of a Wednesday.  You don’t even have the self-righteous “It’s Monday, I’m mad, and YOU’RE going to hear about it!”  Tuesdays are just…there.  They just exist.

So for the last month, I have done something special on Tuesdays.  I have pledged to “do something I hate.”

For me its track workouts, bear crawls, and stadium stairs.  The more mind numbing and physically exhausting, the better!  These workouts are boring, brutal, and very VERY painful.  By the end of the workout I’m usually drenched in sweat, limping around like John Wayne, and muttering “$*** that was ****ing hard.”

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