Thursday, September 4, 2014

The Injury Bug Strikes!

All the way back in May, I announced that I was going to tackle my first FULL marathon after a few years on the bench. But, as you can already probably predict by the title of this post, that will not be happening anymore.

About a month ago, while up at a summer camp with friends and family from church, I tried to participate in the annual sand volleyball tournament. Well, my knee felt otherwise. During our second game of the tournament, it decided to buckle underneath my overweight-ness (accompanied by three, terrifying pops) with a little help from the uneven, shifting, soft sand court. Awesome. At least my team went on to win the tournament without me!

As you can see, my right knee swelled up nice and big...
After getting back from camp, I wasn't able to get to the orthopedic doctor for 2.5 weeks. By then, things had started to settle down a little bit - I was able to walk without a limp, and it really only hurt when doing a squatting motion or trying to jog. The doctor didn't really find anything wrong either, with the exception of a half-hearted, hail mary "possible torn meniscus" diagnosis. He suggested I head to physical therapy for 6-8 weeks and get back to him after that. While there, they further diagnosed a hamstring strain and possible meniscus tear. Splendid.

So since then I've been forced to deal with the reality that I won't be able to finish training for the marathon in two months. I've fallen extremely far behind in my training, and don't want to risk further injury by trying to rush back into things. The icing on the cake is that I can't get sell my registration to someone else either, since the race is a Boston qualifier. Better believe I'm going to pick up my swag bag though!

Monday, May 12, 2014

26.2 - A Beginner's Tale

I've done it. I've registered for a full marathon. Frankly, I have no idea why I let myself be convinced this would be a good idea. I have a ridiculous amount of work ahead of me. And honestly, it makes me quite fearful.

26.2 miles is TWICE as far as I've ever run at one time in my entire life. I remember finishing my half marathons in the past and thinking, "so I'd have to turn around and do this again? Oh, heck no." Now here I am, already paid for the race, and unable to take it back.  **GULP**

The realization of this possible mistake has rattled me so much that I've restarted this blog post four times. For someone who sure seems to have a lot to say on lots of topics, I'm really at a loss when it comes to this. The fact that I've registered for and will be participating in a full marathon in November evokes all sorts of emotions within me - most of which I still haven't completely worked through (as you can see below).

I feel very intimidated. I am doubtful. I am pessimistic about my ability to complete it and therefore am procrastinating when it comes to training.

Yet I am excited. I see my potential. I see this as a mountain to be climbed. I know it will be a life-changing experience both mentally and physically.

I don't understand how so many negative feelings can exist in my mind about this, yet I am still so excited to tackle this challenge. You'd think it would be one or the other. Either way, I better stop typing and lace up my Mizunos.

In the coming weeks and months, I will be documenting my journey and progress as I train for my first full marathon. I hope that you'll read along with me. Any tips and tricks for training are much appreciated!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

120 Days...

My 30th birthday is rapidly approaching. At this point, I'm not exactly sure how I feel about that. Even though it's "just another year," I feel like moving into the next decade of my life carries more psychological weight than it might physically.

In my case, I'm looking to carry much less actual weight into my 30's. But as you can see by the title of the post, I only have 120 days!

My original slogan was "Ripped by 30," but since I've continued to put off the part where I start to eat healthy and work out, I doubt that I'll actually be able to obtain 'ripped' status by August.

However, there are still 4 solid months until my birthday, so there is still plenty of time to make some good progress - and I will keep you posted!

Question: What foods or exercises should I definitely take advantage of before August to make the most of these 120 days?

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Chicago Half Marathon Giveaway Winner!

Congrats to Dave H. for winning the free registration to the September 8th Chicago Half Marathon! I will get in touch with you to get you the details.

Thanks everyone for reading! I hope to have more giveaways soon!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Registration Giveaway - Chicago Half Marathon - September 8, 2013

It's that time once again, readers! Time to give away a FREE registration to one of the Chicagoland area's premiere races! Let's read on, shall we?

The 17th Annual Chicago Half Marathon (and Hyundai Hope On Wheels 5k) will be host to thousands of runners that will enjoy a beautiful 13.1 mile course along scenic Lake Shore Drive with great views of the Chicago skyline, starting and finishing at Jackson Park. Visit for more info!

There aren't a lot of half marathon courses around here that feature as gorgeous of a view as the one that runs up and down Lake Michigan. Since most of you reading this are from the Chicago area, you know what I mean - so awesome.

"Jordan, stop talking! How do I get my mitts on this free registration?"

Okay, okay. Your name will be put in the hat by simply commenting on this post either here on my blog, or by commenting on Facebook when I share this link.  Easy peasy!

I'll be choosing a winner at the end of this week - June 14th - so get to commenting!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Painful Reminders

If you often find yourself enduring peaks and valleys when it comes to healthy living and working out (like I do), then you know the feeling. The feeling of those eye-opening, post-work out/run muscle aches and pains that come with restarting a fitness regiment. Oh. My. Goodness.

I won't lie to you guys - I've recently found myself tipping the scales at my new highest weight ever. Not proud of it. Not looking for sad panda faces or your typical "you'll do it this time!" comments. Just stating a fact. And when one sees a number they've never seen before, it usually springs them into action. Hence my return to the gym and the blog-osphere. Time to tighten it up and get my mind focusing on the right things (healthy foods, helpful reading materials, supportive environments, etc)

Well, when one sits on their rear for a month straight, it's a hearty wake-up call when they start working those dormant muscles again. Take this morning for instance. Today I decided that I would 'do legs' - which is a weird way to put it, but you all  know what I mean. I have a weight routine that was provided to me by a dear friend and today it had me scheduled for a handful of leg workouts using some of the machines.

I get to the first machine - taken. I head over to the second - occupied. And since these workouts are supposed to go in a certain order, I found myself aimlessly walking around the gym playing the waiting game. It then finally dawned on me - "hey, I don't need machines to work my legs - let's do some lunges." Well I did not know what I was getting myself into. Apparently I forgot how much I weigh because when I got to the end of 60 lunges - 30 on each leg - my legs were noodles. I mean, it was terrible. As a result, I unfortunately abandoned all my other leg workouts.

But instead, I thought it'd be a splendid idea to hit the treadmill for 30 minutes. Let's just say I'll probably be paying for it tomorrow... It's a long road, but it's gotta start somewhere, I suppose. But hopefully these painful reminders will make me realize the need to continue moving forward rather than sitting on the sideline and allowing a month to go by and watching the progress I'd made fizzle out and disappear.

After enduring this same cycle probably 10 times a year for the last 4 years, you'd think I would have put this all together by now. I see a lot of stories of people who decided to lose 50, 75 or 100 pounds and they just did it, and I find myself saying, "wow, I wish I could do that." Well...why don't I? Why do I assume that's something I can't accomplish? It's that mindset I tell's crucial.

Just thought I'd toss this lunges graphic in here. Also thought it was interesting that I was wearing the same thing during my lunges this morning!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Details, Details, Details

I've never been diagnosed, but I'm pretty sure that I have a twinge of O.C.D. I mean, I do some things that - when I'm finished - I step back and go, "Now why did I do that? Was it really worth all that extra work?" Can anyone relate with this?

For example, I have a Netflix Instant Queue with hundreds of movies, documentaries and TV shows in it. If I have a TV show in the queue, I 100% intend to watch the entire show completely from the beginning. I've restarted "Lost" three times now because "it's been too much time since I started it last time" and watched the entire series of "Prison Break" because I never saw the last season. I write and rewrite and rewrite my To Do Lists so they looks cleaner, and I'm also the guy that would completely rewrite my class notes in college because I didn't think it looked neat enough. I'm also currently listening to a September 7, 2012 episode of a daily podcast that I like because I am trying to catch up (doubt it'll ever happen).

So why doesn't this exhausting process carry over to the health/fitness portion of my life? In recent introspective sessions, I've often pondered this question. And I think I've found the answer...

For me, it's easy to organize and control the physical surroundings around me. It's easy to pick up my laundry, make the bed, organize my desk  or do the dishes. But when it comes to organizing and aligning my mindset and my actions towards a healthier life, that's not as easy... It requires much more effort and dedication and my mind wears out well before my body does. So how does one go about conquering this giant?

That's what I'm still trying to figure out. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem that I have a switch that I can flip that automatically turns on self-control, discipline, motivation or commitment, so I guess that means I'm going to have to go it alone. Yikes, that definitely hasn't gotten me anywhere since I started back in 2009... But I'm making the attempt once again to kick this healthier lifestyle into gear, so we'll see how it goes this time!

What have you found that motivates you to commit to life-long, healthy changes in your life? Was it a life event, a particular person, a new-found passion for running? Let me know!