Sunday, May 31, 2009

How my story would look in Mens Health

I read those little dealies in Mens Health and other fitness magazines about people that used to be fat and now aren't. And part of me has often wondered how mine would look. So I wrote it. It's longer than what would be in Mens Health, but what the hell, right?

The Gain
Brandon Geist stayed thin in high school by doing all the right things, and got fat in college by doing all the wrong things. “I was an athlete in high school; played football and hockey and lifted multiple times a day. I could eat whatever I wanted and still looked good. In college, I wasn’t nearly as active, but still ate poorly.” Pizza and Chinese buffets became staples, as did booze. He lost his good looking frame and healthy lifestyle, going from 170 lbs and 11% body fat to 208 and 23% body fat. “I was dating a girl who only ate fried food and desserts and got caught up in her mentality. was making her happy or a few hours a week on the ice was enough. In reality, that small amount of exercise probably kept me from gaining 90 lbs.”

The Loss
About a year after that relationship ended, Brandon had his moment. “I literally looked in the mirror one morning and hated what I saw. I wanted the old me back. The fit me, the healthy me.” Walking into a gym took courage, but Brandon signed up for 12 sessions with a personal trainer. He quickly saw results. “I was getting my ass kicked by my personal trainer and it felt great. I was re-discovering something I hadn’t seen in years.” Armed with a new girlfriend, a new mentality, and a new challenge, Brandon stepped it up more. “Her family offered to let me tag along on their Hawaii trip. Knowing we wanted to be that cute couple, we challenged each other to get in beach shape. I hit the weights even harder. I knew I was getting results when my personal trainer told me I was looking ripped.”

The Result
It hasn’t been easy, but Brandon has sculpted himself quite nicely. He’s whittled over 20 lbs from his body and dropped his body fat nearly 10%. He is running 10 miles a week and is training for his first triathlon. “If you would have asked me 4 years ago if this was possible, I’d laugh at you.” Having a girlfriend who cares about fitness helps. “She motivates me and cares about my success. She and I push each other”

Brandon’s Tips

Set a realistic goal – If you try to achieve something that isn’t realistic, you’ll get frustrated and give up. Keep it simple.
Have fun – Remember that things like throwing a softball around or hiking burn calories as well
Think long term – You’re shouldn’t go for the quick fix. Remember that you’re working towards a lifetime goal.

Rocking and Rolling

It's been a week (well, almost) since I had my revelation-type thing and training's gone well.

I told you all about my run on Monday and since then ...

- I swam on Tuesday. 1000m total (100m warmup; 900m continuous) AND tested out awesome new goggles - AquaSphere Kayennes. $25 and worth every penny.

- Took Wednesday off. Walked around a bit, splashed in the neighborhood pool a bit ... and had date afternoon. Worth it.

- Cycled and lifted on Thursday. Got back on the C-470 trail in seriously like the first time in almost a year and still hate it. Hilly and windy, it KILLS your speed times. However, I'm slowly starting to get the hang of that whole "make the bike do the work" in regards to shifting, so that's good. Brandon and I also managed to put in a quick, small upper body lifting session that night. I was worried about it since I ate something that didn't agree with me and I ended up skipping sushi, one of my FAVORITE meals, in favor of trying to puke up whatever didn't agree with me. Once I did, though, I DID feel better.*

- Ran and played softball on Friday. Friday's run was a 1.92 mile loop that took me up that same damn trail hill I mostly ran up on Monday. Friday I actually made it up the hill and the whole loop took 19:18 for a 10:03.12/mi. The softball game (on a team through work), however, went crappily and I totally SUCKED and took a ball of the inside of my foot so I'm nice and bruised now. Ow.

- Took yesterday off. Was only going to do a light lifting day anyway, but really, sometimes sleep is more important.

Which brings us to today. I did the same 1.92 mile loop as Friday, but I went the other way ... which took me down the trail and up Lone Tree parkway. Which makes me think that long, gradual hills are worse than short, steep ones, as I did the same distance in 19:37 for a 10:13.02/mi. A whole 10 seconds slower per mile thanks to that other stupid-ass hill.

I'm skipping dinner with the family tonight in order to eat some fruits and veggies and have a very plant-based meal as I feel my diet's been lacking in those lately and then SWIMMING!!!!! tonight before I have to sleep and go back to work again for the sixth day in a row (of a ten day stretch).

* Okay, so I'm sure reading about vomit isn't pleasant, but at least it's not poop. :-p

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Continuing Tri Training

Hello everyone. Yes, the tri training is continuing.

Due to both my ankles hurting, I have shelved running for 1 week. I am trying again in 2 days up in Fargo. Prior to my ankle injuries, I was able to put in 5+ miles at a decent pace. Girlfriend and I were also sprinting at a track. However, we were both being really hard on ourselves and I'm not sure we were getting everything out of it that we could have. I'm going to try to figure out some other sprint workouts to do that will help us both. Suggestions are good people!

As for cycling, it's something I am really really enjoying. However, it's clearly my weakest of the 3 sports. On our last ride, I was struggling to keep a cadence of 80, which is what I am shooting for. Why was I struggling? Because I still am getting the mechanics of spinning consistently at a consistent pace. This means more riding. And more consistent riding.

And swimming? I'm working on tucking the chin and pushing the hips up. I think I'll have a slight advantage over some of my competitors in that I am NOT afraid of the swim leg. No, it's the leg I'm probably most looking forward to, in fact. I'm a decent swimmer and my swimming endurance is there. It's obviously not going to be neglected though.

Motivation though is definitely at an all time high for the tri. I want to do so well in this it's not even funny. I'm basically thinking about it multiple times a day. I'm definitely talking the talk, and I'd like to think I'm walking the walk. We'll see what happens in June and July, when we start stepping it up to 2 a days, doing brick training, and basically killing ourselves.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Calm. Focused. Determined.

I don't know what prompted it, but at some point late this morning, I looked in the mirror and said to myself, "T, you need to get your shit together. You need to quit procrastinating on this tri training and just freaking DO IT. I know you're not as motivated as Brandon right now, but who cares. Train and the motivation will follow."

I came out to my computer and wrote a poem/mission statement-type thing and then went out for a run.

It's a humid, overcast day here in Colorado; a rarity for us and, given that it's slightly drizzly as well, a day that normally I'd say "eh, I'll go to the gym later" and then probably not end up going because that's the way I work sometimes.

But today, I ran. It was a little chilly, but I felt better for going. I planned my route to have two decent-sized hills in it - the hillier part of that 1.35 mile loop and then this bitch of a trail hill that I'll undoubtedly have to face in the Lone Tree Firecracker 5K on July 4th. I had to walk a bit on the trail hill to regain my breathing, but also because I had some pain/discomfort in my abdomen. As I got to the top of the hill (2.34 miles in) ... I realized what it was.

I had to poop. Badly.

I walked the remainder home (the last .57 mi) and barely made it. Still, what I ran I did in 24:20 for a 10:23.93 mile. Not great, but given that it's the first time I've really run since the Rockies race (done a few sprint workouts, but that's it), I'll gladly take it.

Perhaps something more tonight when Brandonpants gets home, but for now, I'm content with what I did and hungry for more.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Now ...

... I don't know what it is about swimming (and, more precisely, a GOOD swim), but I almost always exit the locker room afterward feeling good about myself. Maybe it's the total body workout, maybe it makes me stand taller, but I almost always feel stronger and leaner and have a good body image after putting in a good swim.

100m breast warm-up, 800m breast, 25m back and 25m free cool down. 950m in 25ish minutes. I'll take it right now.

Thursday, May 21, 2009


We're not dead over here at ISDreams and have been working out quite a bit (well, brandon moreso than i. stupid work exhaustion) ... we just haven't been blogging. I'll try to formulate something soon.

In case I don't, however, we've been riding a few times, done a few track sprint workouts, FINALLY played hockey again, I've been playing softball, we've been going on semi-regular walks, I've swam once or twice and Brandon's been a running ROCK STAR.

That's the main summary; again, hopefully back with something longer soon! Perhaps tomorrow, as I don't have softball due to Memorial Day weekend ...

Friday, May 15, 2009

Tri Training has begun officially

A few important things have happened over the past few weeks.

Important thing #1. I got my bike! Yes, I did. A Trek 1.2. It's a good starter road bike that will basically allow me to do what I need to do. Which is complete my tri and add some variety cardio to my workout routine.

We went for a 14.5 mile ride the day after I got the bike. Aside from a crappy cyclometer that didn't tell me my cadence, no problems. This is going to be my weakest point in the triathlon, I believe, so I am going to be really focusing on cycling in the next couple months.

Important thing #2. I've re-evaluated my running. Armed with a new running playlist and a new mindset, my running has gotten better. I'm overnighting in Fargo a lot this month and every time I'm in town, I go for a run. The first two times this month were 45 minute runs, and today I upped it to 50 minutes. This has allowed me to run 5 miles for the first time since I ran the 10K nearly a year ago. I'm not concerning myself with distance, I'm not conerning myself with time, all I'm doing right now is running. And really really enjoying it.

Important thing #3. My mindset is the best its been in a long time. It's funny, but I guess when you have something you are trying to achieve, you can really want to do what it takes to get it. I'm shooting to complete a thiathlon, but I want to do more than just finish it. I want to do good. I want to finish it with a respectable time. And I want something to build off of.

Anyway, that's an update on my tri training for now. More to follow soon. :-)

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Race #2 of the Season: Rockies' Home Run for the Homeless

Yes, this is my long overdue race report from LAST SUNDAY'S race. Results were finally posted a few days ago, but I'd been lazy (okay, too busy to) and hadn't uploaded my photos until today.

So, here we go ...

Rockies' Home Run for the Homeless
Brandon after his pre-race poop. I took mine right after.

After port-o-pottying and stretching, we found some poor sap (okay, some chick who offered) to take our picture.

Rockies' Home Run for the Homeless

We then found our way to the start line.

Rockies' Home Run for the Homeless

At about 8:15am, we were off. Brandon soon sprinted ahead of me, but I stayed steady. TONS of people passed me (we were kind of near the front because this race didn't have chip timing), but I wanted to stay consistent.

Mile 1: 10:22 (or so the dude called out)

Right after Mile 1, we headed out of downtown proper, up a hill and on the other side of I-25. Most of the second mile was over there. Up another hill, over another bridge and going back down into downtown finished it out.

Mile 2: 20:44 (see above)

At this point, I was apparently running EXACTLY a 10:22 pace which is kind of funny. Consistent? Ridiculously so.

After Mile 2 is when I started to hurt a little. At Mile 2, you're running next to the stadium, but then hang a right and loop back around and in. I was considering walking, but told myself "NO" and kept on plugging. Soon, it was time to enter the stadium ... and the deceptive part of the race (which brandon got a picture of because i gave him my camera).

Rockies' Home Run for the Homeless
It's kind of hard to see, but there's the finish line. You see it, maybe get a glimpse of your time ... and then, oh wait, you still have to run around the damn warning track.

Right after this point, I saw Brandon running out of Coors Field as I was running in and knew he was doing a lot better than I was. Still, I kept running. I also think I screwed myself a little by leaping up and high-fiving all the kids along the wall. Kicked my calves in the process and ow.

I also (somehow) had enough in me for my final kick.

Rockies' Home Run for the Homeless

I finished just under 32:00 with a 31:55 finish and a 10:17/mile pace, which means I kicked it up a tad for the final 1.1 miles.

According to the fun e-mail I got from the race people:
- I placed 737th out of 2184 finishers
- I was 309th out of 1227 women
- I was 92nd out of 246 in my age group (25-29). What doesn't help was that the winning female was also in my age group, with a time of 19:36. Ouch.

I'm not the happiest with my race performance, but I still improved on my first time of the season which is really all I care about right now.

Now, it's time to focus on training. No more races (most likely) until the Lone Tree Firecracker 5K, so it's time to beat my ass into shape.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

2nd 5K of the season...nearly a PR

Time to blog about the Rockies 5K Home Run for the Homeless.

When girlfriend and I were in the offseason, we both realized that while running races is fun and we like getting race t-shirts, we don't want to pay 30 bucks to run 3.1 miles. So we determined which 5K's we really enjoyed last year and wanted to do again, and the Rockies race made the cut. I'll explain why I like this race later.

Woke up super early on Sunday and made up breakfast. Of course, stupid Denver had to be cold that morning. So I wore my standard get up of shorts, long underwear up top, and my Nike race shirt. We got to Coors Field in plenty of time to have a pre-race poop. Then we warmed up and stretched. Also took in some of the sites and sounds of the race. Last year I remember there being a lot more dirty hookers wearing Tulo shirts. This year, I think the temperature and clouds kept them away. Whatever, fine by me.

When the gun went off (ok, airhorn) I ran with girlfriend for maybe .01 miles and then lost her. We decided at the beginning I was going to do this one on my own. And in the back of my mind, I was going for a PR, but I knew it would be a stretch.

Nonetheless, I settled into a great pace. The first mile was 9:30 and I felt like I wasn't even pushing myself that hard. In the 2nd mile, I amazingly held about the same pace, and when I hit the mile sign and the dude called out 18:45, I knew a record was in reach. However, I also realized I was pushing myself, and that to reach my PR, it would take a lot of strength, grit, and determination.

As Coors Field came in sight, I remembered that we had to make a right turn, then double back to the stadium. At this point, I was maybe at 23:00 in. Knowing I still had a lap around the warning track, I decided that a PR wasn't in the cards. I wasn't upset however, and kept pushing. As I hit the warning track, I dug deep and pushed myself. Coming out of the stadium, I got to see girlfriendpants running in. She said go baby dinosaur, but I wasn't able to formulate a sentence back. :-( The finish line in sight, I picked it up, crossing officially at 28:56. Being that I didn't cross the start line right at the beginning, my Nike+ timer said 28:39, but whatever, no big deal. Either way, a huge improvement on last year and also the knowledge that I am improving.

So why is this race one of my favorites? In addition to an relatively easy course and a cool lap around the warning track, I love the post-race food. Bagels, bananas, squishies, and ballpark hot dogs! Seriously. That is so badass.

So...obviously something to build on, and something to be proud of as well. And if you're wondering what my PR is, it's 27:17.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Sneak, Rockies, Grr.

Brandon and I did run the Colorado Rockies' Home Run for the Homeless on Sunday, but the official race results aren't up yet so I've been waiting on blogging. *sigh* I did beat my Sneak time, however, and Brandon was about a minute shy of PRing so I'm super proud of him.

Anyway, the official race photos from the Sneak came out from FotoJack, so I wanted to share those with you. :)

Brandon's there with the white shirt and black shorts.

Remember how I said I took a photo of one of the course photogs? Yeah, well I was right and that same photog got three pictures of me. Here's the first ... with my shorts looking awkward ...

Camera's now down and I look silly. Like stupid silly. Oh well, at least this got me smiling with less than a half-mile to go, you know?

And here's me running after everything. Best picture the photog got of me.

Hopefully, the Rockies race results will be up soon so I can blog about that ...