No Man’s Land

5 Mar


Over the last couple days, I’ve been contemplating on how far I have traveled through my fitness journey. From being at my heaviest 190+ pounds years ago to now at 157 pounds. I’ve read so much fitness and diet books, blogs. I’ve purchased many exercise programs and equipment. Joined gyms, hired coaches, took privates, seminars, workshops. Traveled to ride, race and run. It has been quite the ride.

I’ve reached several goals with my biggest last year of reaching 160 pounds. Even before I started working on my goal, I knew I was going to reach it. And when I successfully reached my goal, it was going to be awesome. I could already visualize it clear as day. When I woke up the day that I reached my goal of 160 pounds, it was just as any other day. Quite boring actually.

I expected the world to stop and parade around me. I wanted to be showered with rose pedals falling from the sky when I walked in public. Strangers stopping me in the food aisle at the grocery store to congratulate me, pat me on the back and tell me how great I look.

None of that happened. You reached your goals, maybe crushed them. So Fucking what. The worlds marches on. Time to set new goals. And repeat…

Sit back and enjoy the process, the journey. Who knows where it will take you. Only one way to find out.


Belay On?…

10 Sep


Over the week I rewarded myself with an indoor climbing session when I reached my lowest weight in over four years! I hit 165.6lb this week. My goal is 160lb by next month. My weight loss motivation is to come in leaner and meaner for the upcoming cyclocross season which kicked off today in Milwaukee.

I’ve never climbed before and over the last several years I developed a fear of heights. I wanted to test my new strength from doing crossfit over the year. In all honesty, it took my nearly 2 years to develop the courage to get on the wall. When Vertical Endeavors opened a new location, I volunteered at the grand opening. I’ve asked a couple friends to join me but never got any solid commitment.

So this week was now or never. I’ve seen people use the auto belays and thought that was what I was going to do. I picked up the phone to set up an orientation/beginner class on the auto belay. I arrive at the gym and join a small group of climbers. Apparently we were learning how to belay and tie knots. I didn’t think anything of it and thought that this class was part of getting to auto belay. 2 hours later, the class is done and I realized when I asked the instructor when were we going to auto belay that I signed up for the wrong class.

I didn’t expect to be responsible with a stranger’s life hanging from a wall 40 feet up in the air on my first day learning to climb!

It was all good. Once again I surprised myself by learning a new skill, meeting new people and attacking my fear of heights (I got up past half way up the wall on a 5.8 route). Can wait to go back and planning my next visit.


Break Out Season

19 Jul


I’ve always have been curious about working with a dietitian, and not just any dietitian, but one that also workouts out and knows the technicality of losing fat while retaining strength. I’ve ready many books on diet but I wanted a diet that tailored to my lifestyle.

I’m planning ahead and want to be race ready for cyclocross season in September. I expect this to be my break out year and my fitness is not going to hold me back this time. My goal is to finish a race in the top 30 and to Cat up to Cat 3 mid season. It’s important to start the season with good finishes in order to secure staging in the front.

Between now and October, I’m going to drop to 160 pounds from 175 pounds. That’s why I’m teaming up with Renaissance Periodization and working 1 on 1 with a coach who writes up a 3-month diet plan based on my goals. I’m working with Paul Salter, The Nutrition Tactician.

Today was Day 2 and I’m getting use to the diet plan. Hardest part is meal prep and trying to mix up the menu so that I don’t get bored.

If you don’t have a plan, plan to fail!

Any New…

22 Mar


After spending almost a year thinking if I should enter a sanctioned racquetball tournament, I finally decided it was time to test myself against the competition. The Illinois State Singles Racquetball Tournament was held on February 25 through the 28th, 2016 at Glass Court Swim & Fitness in Lombard, IL.

The time was perfect because I came back from not playing several years to playing a full year three times a week. I took lessons with the best coaches, seeked out to play the best players I could find, traveled to different clubs to play against as many styles that would prepare me for tournament play. Outside of racquetball, I cross trained doing olympic lifting and metabolic conditioning.

I felt that nobody was training harder – getting up a 5:15am to make my 6am morning weight lifting workout then playing racquetball for 2-3 hours after work in the evening. It was a hard routine but my confidence soared. Before the tournament started I clearly see myself making it to the finals and taking the victory.

The tournament was a great experience. They are so physically and mentally draining. I entered the D division since this was my first tournament. I was not use to playing my match a 11pm! Finishing at midnight and not getting home until almost 1am. When you get home you just can’t fall asleep. You are still pump with adrenaline and your mind is restless with how the rest of the tournament will play out. So I walked my dogs to get a little more tired.

The good news is that I am the new 2016 Illinois State D Division Champion. The bad news is that I ended up getting tennis elbow which affected me in the next tournament 2 weeks later. I’m training and preparing myself for regional in a month and looking forward to having a better tournament.

Halloween Cake!

31 Oct


I’ve been missing in action here but I have not given up on building the best version of me. Since my last post, I’ve started competing in local cyclocross races. Let’s just say, I’m addicted. I bought and built the bike above and sign up for any race my schedule will allow. My races are on Sundays but pick up races on Saturdays up in Wisconsin.

The picture above is from today’s race, the Halloween Cyclocross Classic in Milwaukee, WI that is part of the WCA Cyclocross series. I was looking at a youtube from last year’s race expecting a fast and flowing course but the rain brought a change of plans. It rained all day and soaked the course to cake. The whole course was a slip and slide with about 4 inches deep of mud. Any uphill climb was a struggle to push your bike up, meanwhile your wheels were collecting mud. Picking up and running the bike was the only option which now was 10 pounds heavier with the mud caked to the bike.

I finished 21st out of a field of 24 riders. The course was so slow, we usually get 4 laps in today but because of the weather, only two. The thought of giving up on the first lap through did cross my mind but I’m glad I endured.  I need these type of muddy races to build experience and character.

Tomorrow is  Campton Cross in Campton Hills just outside of St Charles, Illinois that is part of the Chicago Cross Cup Series. After suffering from today’s slop, I’m ready for anything. Bring it.

Clearing My Pipes

25 Jul


I got my first set back in my Asylum career, I got the allergy bug earlier this week. With stuffy nose, sore throat, water eyes and body aches makes for restless nights. I’ve gone through several over the counter drugs but none seem to get me back to my old self. We’ve had some beautiful summer weather and I get stuck inside laying in bed. 

I pretty much rested all week and I’m starting to feel better now. I thought that I might have lost my strength but I was able to do 6 dead hang pull-ups in a row. One better than my previous best. Decided to clear my windpipes and see if I can best last week’s 5 mile run time. 

Was glad to beat my previous best by over a minute and keep my 5 mile run under 43 minutes. Looks like I’m ready to hit asylum come Monday and get back on track. Yes, that’s my folding bike in the background.

I got a feeling that I’m going to be doing my longest run this summer.

Grease the Groove

19 Jul


Day 13 – Asylum Hybrid – Speed & Agility and Ab Shredder

I started with Ab Shredder first to warm up my body. Amazed at how much I sweat with only working my core. I’m sure yesterday’s 5 mile run had something with me feeling drained today. Noticed lactic acid build up in my legs and did some quad stretches to alleviate the discomfort. I usually look forward to Speed & Agility but today I just couldn’t take off like I wanted to. I got gassed a couple of times during the bear crawls.

I had a short 4 mile bike ride that I wanted to stretch to 20 miles but I had too much to do in too little time. I started getting restless and knew I had to get off the bike.

My silver lining today was that I was able to knock out 5 pull-ups in a row. Getting stronger by the day. Everyday I try to do some form of exercise that will help me get stronger on the bar. From Australian Pull-Ups, reverse pull-ups, presses and push-ups, got to grease the groove.

Catch Me If You Can

18 Jul


Day 12 – Asylum Hybrid – Off-Day Stretch

Opted to run a 5 mile trail run today instead. It felt good to revisit an old favorite trail route 10+ pounds lighter. It almost felt like I wasn’t running but just watching. My body was ok with an uptempo pace at times. All credit goes to Asylum and blasting Megadeth’s Rust In Peace in the headphones for running 5 miles under 44 minutes.

Suffer in the gym, reap the rewards on the field.

Old Things New

17 Jul


Day 11 – Asylum Hybrid – Vertical Plyo

Not as difficult as I had remembered it. It was nice that it was under 40 minutes too. The hardest part was the jack push ups with bands. All along I was doing them wrong. I was only doing the regular push up and not also the tricep push up. No matter how many times you’ve done the workout, you can always pick something new out.

Looking forward to tomorrow’s stretch but I may go on a trail run instead. I want to go farther than my usual 5K. Going to shoot for 5 miles and curious to see how long it will take me.

Double Trouble

16 Jul

two-birdsDay 10 – Asylum Hybrid – Back & 6-Pack

This has become my favorite Asylum disc along with Speed & Agility. Especially when done with a pull-up bar, it works my two weakest areas, core and back. You’re even working your core when you’re up on the bar with the leg lifts knocking 2 birds with one stone. There’s many pull-up and Ab workout DVDs on the market that cost almost as much as Asylum with less material. For $20 more you get a total of 8 discs.
I’ll be using some of these pull-up exercises away from the Asylum that show you what more you can do with a pull-up bar than just pull-ups.