Training cycle update

A while back I outlined my new training strategy as I return from a fractured foot and look forward to tackling a (looking like more than one!) 50k in 2015. I have finished the first 40-day cycle and I a bit surprised and happy to say that it’s a rousing success. It could be the the time off while injured, the lower mileage, the focused heavy lifting or the CrossFit mixed it in a smart fashion…more than likely it’s a combination of all of those. Regardless, since it has so far turned out to be the best training and fitness strategy I’ve ever put into place, it’s here to stay.

Over the past 40 days I increased the maximums on all of the lifts I was focusing on…deadlift – 25 pounds, power clean – 5 pounds, back squat – 15 pounds, power snatch – 5 pounds, push press – 10 pounds and overhead squat – 5 pounds. Pretty good results given that I’ve only done 1 Wendler cycle in those 40 days…I just started the next 40 day cycle and am feeling stronger than ever. In addition to the lifting I’ve also set numerous PRs on Strava trail segments that I run regularly…what’s most impressive about these PRs is that I was running steady and monitoring my heart rate to keep it in the aerobic zone. Not once on any of these segments, even the uphill ones, did I have to stop and rest…simply because I wasn’t trying to go fast and set a PR, just trying to stay steady.

This combination has me out on the trails, running along happily and feeling like I could just keep going all day long…I’m extremely eager to see what results the next 40 days will bring.

Elsewerlds…

Digging back into the archives again with another old roleplaying idea, kind of my cross between Sliders and Stargate…full bore geekiness on tap today…

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The chronicles of humanity fail to fully explain the forces at work in some of the most intriguing events, achievements and myths of the known world. As humans crave fanciful explanations for things beyond our comprehension, colorful stories abound, from the idea that aliens must have aided in the construction of the Great Pyramids to the notion that wizards altered the landscape with a single spoken word.

But what if these fanciful yarns are more than just idle speculations or children’s stories? What if they are grounded in truth?

Some humans have recently re-discovered such a truth. In fact, there are countless Earths throughout time and space. Portals exist on every one of these Earths linking them and serving as a nexus between alternate dimensions, a crossroads into the polyverse, if you will. It is through these portals that ancient explorers as well as beasts of legend and mythology have traveled to, or disappeared from, one world and become a part of another.

This discovery casts a long shadow of doubt on events in mankind’s past thought to be myth or simple flights of fancy. Are the stories of knights battling wyrms in the middle-ages the stuff of children’s stories or a half-truth leaving us with an even greater mystery? Is the spear that pierced Christ’s side really imbued with magical powers — waiting to be found by a person who knows how to harness the power?

Come join our intrepid heroes, members of the Magellan Society, as they are drawn into a web of excitement, mystery and discovery while traveling to the four corners of our world and beyond, stepping through portals into Elsewerlds in search of answers to questions they have yet to imagine.

Ode to Nutri Ninja

I can’t remember if I’ve waxed poetically in the past or not about our Nutri Ninja and right now I’m feeling to lazy to look at back posts, but I’ll say hands down, it is the single best kitchen purchase I can remember making. I knew it made rockin’ smoothies and spectacular shakes…and yup, it even makes kick-ass frozen adult beverages in small quantities…I’m talking to you blended jalapeno and cilantro margarita topped with a bit of club soda for that effervescent kick. Hmmmm, is it five-oh-oh yet?

But what I recently discovered was my bulletproof coffee turned up to 11…yup, no more stirring in for me…plopping it in the Ninja and letting it whirl…it’s like a treat in my hand that keeps me going and going until I’m ready to eat my mid-day meal. Not to contradict Spinal Tap, but I’m turning it up to 11 by adding some different spices to the mix as well…vanilla and cinnamon are obvious choices but the favorite I’ve experimented with is inspired by Mexican hot chocolate. Coffee, butter, coconut oil, honey, cocoa powder, cayenne pepper (for the kick) and a pinch of salt blended and piping hot has me savoring every sip.

Damn, almost makes me want a cup right now.

Spreading My Podcast Listening Wings

I have recently begun to try out some different types of podcast branching out from my normal fitness, nutrition and football topics. The first that I’ve quickly become hooked on is one called We’re Alive, an original audio story starting at the beginning of a zombie apocalypse…doesn’t hurt that I’m a sucker for post-apocalyptic stuff. I’m late to the party on this one as they’ve wrapped up the story this summer but that just means I’m assured that this won’t vanish at some crucial story point. The description from their website:

For Army Reserve Soldier Michael Cross, the world as he knew it ended in an instant. One minute, he’s in college, and in the next, rioters are roaming the highway around him, breaking into cars, and literally tearing people apart. This is the day the dead walk. This is the world of We’re Alive.

We’re Alive: Features chapters packing performances and sound effects that rival movies and prove that modern audio drama is undead and well. Join our survivors as they band together, struggle to fortify a safe haven known as the Tower, and discovers that zombies are far from the worst thing in a post-apocalyptic Los Angeles where the rules of human decency no longer apply.

Little food. Little water. Little hope. Who is lucky enough to say “We’re Alive?

I love how each episode is under 20 minutes in length, perfect bite-sized snippets to listen to here and there with perfect stopping points. Each chapter is divided into three episodes, the voice acting and effects are top notch and the pace is moving at a perfect speed to keep things interesting but not overwhelmingly so. If you haven’t checked it out, I definitely suggest it.

I have a few other new ones tagged that I haven’t gotten to yet, but will post about any others I find that may be worth a listen.

Holidays Come and Holidays Go

That completely insane time of year has begun and I’m going to say that this year is shaping up to be quite a bit more hectic that any in recent memory for me and my family. I’m trying to stay focused on remaining in a mellow zone, enjoying the relaxing times and of utmost importance keeping everything in balance. Enjoy things but don’t over-indulge…always a challenge anytime but exponentially so during the holiday season. However I am focused on my goal of returning to running an ultra next year so that is in the forefront of my mind as the holiday season kicks into full gear.

If I fall too far off the rails I’ll have to pay the piper at some point…that’s really a hole I don’t feel like falling into and climbing out of. Gut-check time…

Random ramblings…

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Well, something a bit different for this post…a bunch of rambling thoughts escaping my brain…

Primal

  • Amazing that I’ve packed on around 10 pounds since being injured…goes on a heck of a lot faster than it comes off!
  • I’m going back to a lower carb diet as it’s worked wonders for me in the past. To get myself in check I’ve started logging all food with Lose It! to track nutrients and calories…it’s something I like to do now and then for a stretch to reset myself and keep in tune with where I’ve gone astray.
  • Need to drop those excess pounds before training hits full swing in January…makes running so much easier to be lighter.
  • I’ve been a fan of bulletproof coffee in the past but I’ve always just stirred it up…this week for the first time ever I put it in my Ninja Blender and holy cow…it’s freakin’ awesome…I’m hooked!! I love my Ninja even more now if that’s possible.

Run

  • Experienced a bit of soreness in the foot after an easy trail run last Friday so I eased off over the week and the beginning of this week. Better safe than sorry.
  • I’m loving the Wendler 5-3-1 lifting progression and can tell that it’s paying off already with increased strength. I’m about to start the third cycle to determine new max lifts…I’m excited to see how that goes.
  • The 10-day “week” programming is going great as I head into the third 10-day cycle…I think it’s going to become my training regime of choice heading into 2015 race preparation.

Geek

  • Such a great season for genre television, I don’t know what I’m loving the most…Walking Dead, Arrorw, Flash, Agents of Shield or The 100…I look forward to each of those each week and can’t let them sit on the DVR for too long before watching.
  • I’m still not 100% sold on Gotham, it’s got some bumps to work out and I haven’t even watched any Constantine yet…I’m waiting to see if it gets cancelled or not.
  • Evil Hat Productions continues to put out top notch Fate related products…their latest, Aether Sea, is great.