Monday, May 3, 2021

April Check In

 

Theme of the month: Injuries and/or sickness.  It has been a trying month for sure.  The month started out great and even got in my first bar muscle up at the gym but ended up cracking a rib in the process, fuck...  There was a couple of rest days.  After finally getting to the point where running did not hurt the ribs, I was running along the Mesa trail in Boulder for my long run on Easter Sunday when a dog on a leash reached out and bit me at about mile 7 of my 16 mile run just north of NCAR.  Ended up with 6 stitches (photos below), thankful it was not worse because it was a German Shepard that got me.  Then after that healed up I started having extreme lymph node and jaw pain after getting my second COVID shot.  Had a golf ball in my arm pit of the arm I got the shot in and was put on nerve meds for Trigeminal Neuralgia or nerve pain in the jaw which I am still taking.  This was the worse pain I have ever had in my life, it go so bad that I just puked on myself and passed out from the pain in the middle of the night in bed. I would not wish this on my worse enemy.  With that said the meds run out tomorrow 5/4 and I am scared as hell that it is going to come back this week.  We will see I guess. Well at least I got the second shot of the COVID vaccine out of the way and I am done with it even with all the side effects it caused for me. 

On the more positive side of things with all the down time from not training as much I read another 6 books this month.  LOL.... Also did a race as well at the Rattler 25K winning the Masters.  Was racing for the overall win but took a wrong turn adding 2 miles to the run so had to fight my way back up ending up in 5th overall (photos below).  Donnie had a great race at the 50K as well winning the Masters in that as well.  I was supposed to do the 50K but downgraded because the stitches I got the weekend before, did not want to over do it to much and pull a stitch.

Also reactivated my Facebook account on 4/13 after being off it for 8 months.  Been thinking about doing this for a long time but really wanted to make to the 8 month mark.  I had a lot of anxiety around getting back on and still do.  I feel that my past behavior around Facebook is one of the causes of some of the problems I have had in the past 18 months.  I have been successful in limiting to once in the morning and once in the evening for 10-15mins max each time.  A huge improvement over the constant checking of it that I used to do.  I also do not have it on my phone but can only check it on my PC which farther limits my access to it.  I have made a promise to myself that if I get back to that point again I will take another long break from it to reset, so if I disappear that would be the reason why.

 

Training Update

Another down month with all the bullshit that happened this month.  Not even close to where I want to be running mileage wise or overall miles or hours.  Not going to keep on complaining in this section, think I covered that well above.  Well at least there is a trip to North Carolina planned this month, just not sure if I am going to do the race or not with this jaw shit going on but super excited to go on a trip.  I really need a change even if it is only for a few days.

 Did also catch up with Avery, Rebecca, Clyde, Lizzy, Kelly and Donnie this month in person so I guess I am still forcing myself to be somewhat social.  Trying anyways......

Here are the total hours broken down by activity for the month.

 



 

April GoRuck Tribe

Done with GoRuck Tribe for 2021.  I made up what I need to for March and finished April.  Decided that I just have to much on my plate between running and the gym to add this to it anymore.  Was feeling overwhelmed.  It was fun though and may go back to it after the summer activities are done  You can find the information on it here if you are interested.  Here is what it involved for April. 

 



Goals Check In

  1. Re- Qualify for the Hardrock lottery- signed up for Run Rabbit Run 100
  2. Average a Peak a week in 2021- Behind
  3. Travel somewhere new for a race- Trip to North Carolina in May scheduled
  4. Run Coaching Certification- 55% done
  5. Read at least 30 books-  22 completed
  6. Sky Dive
  7. Leave the lower 48- Is it possible due to Covid?
  8. Travel somewhere I have never been if I can't leave the lower 48
  9. Keep the blog more updated- on track
  10. Backpacking on the Colorado Trail for 3-7 days

Pictures inApril
















Saturday, April 3, 2021

March Check In

 

Divorce from Sonja was final as of March 1st.  Got the paperwork in the mail about 5 hours after I posted my February update last month.  I know this may have come has a shock to some who were unaware of what has been going on, I am not going to get into the details on here but I made a promise to Sonja and myself that I would be totally honest and open if anyone was to ask about it.  So if you want to know you will have to meet me for a run, ride, drink, ect, then ask and I will be more than happy to share my fuck ups.  Just not going to into the details on the internet out of respect for her.  Anyways with that comes all the depression and struggles I have been talking about the past few months.  There is a driving force behind it all.  I know that it will pass with time, hopefully, but that does not change the challenge of it in the current moment.  With that said this month was not what I hoped it to be on the training front but was what it was.  Well at least I got the first shot of the COVID vaccine out of the way, can't wait to get the second shot in April and be done with it.

Training Update

About 20 hours less overall than last month, it was like I hit a damn wall this month both physically and mentally.  I did struggle somewhat motivation wise with all the snow we got this month but that is no real excuse, think that is just my depression looking for things to blame it on.  I'm still doing the stretching at least 30 minutes most night and can feel the next day if I don't, getting old sucks. Race wise the only race I had planned in March was Salida Half Marathon which was moved out a week from when it was planned due to snow.  This sapped any motivation of going so bagged it and took the credit to use in upcoming years.  Speaking of races I did sign up for one of the classic ultras in March.  Planning on heading back to the east coast in November to run the JFK 50 miler.  No real goals for JFK for it will be about 8 weeks after Run Rabbit Run 100 so I won't be in real race shape due to still recovering  but I plan to explore and take in the history of the race and the area.  Super excited about this and kind of wish it was sooner rather than later, could use a trip right now.

Only got in one ski day this month with Debra at ABasin.  It was a fun day catching up with an old friend that was needed even though I ended up straining my calf some how and had to cut down my runs some in the week after.  Worth it 100%, really need to socialize more and get out of the damn house.  Had a few other days planned where I even took off work but ended up staying home.  Just don't have the internal drive to go ski like I thought I would this year, would rather run and go to the gym.  Think it is just time to let it go for the year and not force it.

 Did also catch up with Avery, JT, Donnie, Rebecca, Clyde and George this month in person so I guess I am sort of forcing myself to be somewhat social.  Trying anyways......

Here are the total hours broken down by activity for the month.

 


 

March GoRuck Tribe

Still on track for the GoRuck Tribe for 2021, sort of.  I will be making up the 8 mile ruck that I missed in March in April, late but will get it done.  You can find the information on it here if you are interested.  Here is what it involved for March. 

 






Goals Check In

  1. Re- Qualify for the Hardrock lottery- signed up for Run Rabbit Run 100
  2. Average a Peak a week in 2021- Still averaging, barely... need to get back on this
  3. Travel somewhere new for a race- Trip to North Carolina in May scheduled
  4. Run Coaching Certification- 55% done
  5. Read at least 30 books-  16 completed
  6. Sky Dive
  7. Leave the lower 48- Is it possible due to Covid?
  8. Travel somewhere I have never been if I can't leave the lower 48
  9. Keep the blog more updated- on track
  10. Backpacking on the Colorado Trail for 3-7 days

Pictures in March

 
















Monday, March 1, 2021

February Check In

 

And month #2 of 2021 is in the books.  It has been one of my more trying months as far as my mental health which I touch a little bit in the No TV update section below.  With that said I think I am on the upswing again finally. Here is to a sunnier and better March!

No TV update

As stated in my last post I think have been using the TV to cope to much lately.  Well the challenge started out great but fell apart in dramatic fashion.  The first 2 weeks of the month went great, read a shit ton and got stuff done that I have been putting off for far to long, ect.  Then Feb 12th happened.  The temps dropped down to 0 degrees or lower for the next 4 or so days, then Valentines Day came around followed directly the next day with what would have been my 1 year wedding anniversary on the 15th if Sonja and I were still together.  I fell into a deep depression that lasted for weeks.  That weekend and the following weekend I did not even get out of bed from Saturday mid-day until Monday mornings, I have never been so low.  You can see it reflected in the training graphs below where I missed 2 long runs that I normally do on Sundays (yes I spent 2 weekends in a row in bed).  Anyways, I fell back into old patterns using TV to cope and to shut out the world.   I would lay in bed and watch Netflix or Amazon Prime on my IPhone to shut out the world.  I am just now starting to get myself out of his black hole in the past few days and while out on my daily dog walk last week I listened to this, Trailrunner DNF Podcast #10 which you can get here.  The podcast is about depression and binge eating in male ultrarunners.  It really hit home.  I have always struggled to some degree with both issues for years but never knew how to talk about it or how to even put it into words.  Mike just did that for me in this podcast. Guys aren't supposed to struggle with issues like this according to society.  It is sort of a relief to hear someone else talk about it, as he says, when going through it you feel like you are the only one in the world with these issues, good to know that is not true.  Give it a listen.  It really hit home for me.

Training Update

Even with the bout of depression that hit me this month I still ended up having the 2nd biggest month ever hour-wise so that is a win I guess.  I still doing the stretching at least 30 minutes every night (most nights, missed a couple) and my mobility has come leaps and bounds.  I came into the year with an achilles injury which I talked about last month, well that is gone.  Back to jumping rope and everything else, non-issue now.  Only went skiing once this month, I had 3 other days scheduled (even took off work) but ended up staying home, jogging then crawling back into bed.  Yep it was a tough month as I talked about above.  At least I was able to force the run or lifting on most days even if they were less than ideal.

 Also did my first race of 2021 on the last day of the month yesterday, Highlands Ranch 10K.  Ended up doing better than expectations.  Went into the race with the goal of going sub 40 minutes since I have not done that in a couple of years.  Honestly did not know what kind of shape I was in and this was to be the test to see where I stood.  Ended up dropping a 35:39 for the overall win.  Shocked.....  I really needed that positive reinforcement for my mental health.  I really did not think I was even able to break 40 minutes right now and to be able just showed me that I am farther long than I thought I was.  And no the course was not short. Here is the Strava data on that here.

Here are the total hours broken down by activity for the month.



February GoRuck Tribe

Still on track for the GoRuck Tribe for 2021.  You can find the information on it here if you are interested.  Here is what it involved for February.  If you got a post card from me this month, this was the driving force behind that.  Hope to keep that up going forward for I know how much I enjoy receiving them so I am sure others enjoy it as well. Looking forward to the March activities.  Been fun!

 


Goals Check In

  1. Re- Qualify for the Hardrock lottery- signed up for Run Rabbit Run 100
  2. Average a Peak a week in 2021- Still averaging 
  3. Travel somewhere new for a race- Trip to North Carolina in May scheduled
  4. Run Coaching Certification- 55% done
  5. Read at least 30 books-  11 completed
  6. Sky Dive
  7. Leave the lower 48- Is it possible due to Covid?
  8. Travel somewhere I have never been if I can't leave the lower 48
  9. Keep the blog more updated- on track
  10. Backpacking on the Colorado Trail for 3-7 days

Pictures in February











Sunday, February 7, 2021

I’m Giving Up TV for 4 Weeks and Why

 

It’s that time of the year again where New Year’s resolutions flourish and die as quickly as they’re made.

So it is Sunday night on February 7th, I decided a few weeks ago I’d commence a 4 week fast of all TV. Yes, you can start a journey when you want; you don’t have to wait until Monday of next month.   I am purposely waiting to start this until 5 minutes after the Superbowl (watching it while I am typing this up).. yes I love my NFL and did not want to give myself an excuse to give in.  I purposely waited until the last game of the season to start, hell I even finished all the episodes of a show I've watching on Apple TV+ (For All of Mankind) yesterday as well so not to have any excuses.  

A few weeks ago, as I was wrapping up some work emails in the late afternoon while watching a series on Netflix, it dawned on me how much time I was spending watching TV — Netflix, Amazon Prime, Apple Plus, you name it — aimlessly filling time and space on my lunch breaks , mid afternoon nulls and before going to bed. Yeah, I know it is what the average American does but there are more ways I can spend my time than in front of the TV.  

It’s not the first time I’ve given up item for a concentrated period of time. I’ve fasted alcohol and certain foods, or I’ve done the opposite and committed myself to a certain task each day like meditation or stretching like I did the whole month of January (still going). I think efforts like this are a healthy way to reset our bodies and our minds.  Heck, I just finished a 4 week nutrition challenge through the gym yesterday where I ate based on the Zone diet which was a fun experiment, so yes I can be a sucker for self inflicted challenges.

So here’s why I’m doing it. 

One. I try to do too much everyday, which drives my energy reserves too low to do anything else other than TV in the evening. Taking TV out of my options will force me to reorient my day and schedule to find something else to fill my time after dinner. I also sleep better and get there earlier (if that is even possible) when I don’t watch TV right before bed. 

Two. I have a genuine love for reading. It calms my "monkey mind" as the Buddhist call it and as a person I enjoy investing time in bettering myself mentally and physically. Too often lately, I find that I’m adding just one more episode in the evening, leaving me less than 30-minutes to read before hitting the sack. 

Three. TV gives me an excuse to stay on the couch and not go out and do anything else. Yes, having a lazy Saturday is great but maybe not 7-days-a-week.  I have a tendency on the weekends of training all morning then spending the rest of the day on the couch watching TV.  There has to be better options.

Lastly, it makes me feel lazy. This is a lot more about perception than reality but I feel lazy which isn’t very motivating, and with motivation in short supply anymore due to the pandemic and my life circumstances right now, I could really use as much as I can get to stay in a positive mindset.  

Some questions I’m asking myself:

  • Have I learned a new skill lately?
  • Have I invested in stronger relationships with my friends? What about my family?
  • Have I invested in myself the way I deserve?
  • Have I brought joy to others around me or sacrificed time to help another?

Most of the above don’t actually require a lot of time, just the commitment to spend the time. Now I have one less excuse. 

Truth is, I don’t really love TV that much, or movies, but that’s not the point. TV is really more of a metaphor about how we choose to invest our time or cope with the stressors in our lives. 

I’ve decided that maybe I’m coping a little too much and it’s time for a course correction. 

If you’re thinking the same thing, here’s one piece of advice I’ve learned while doing different fasts and challenges over the years: don’t over-invest your extra time in something equally unhealthy. For me, that would be spending more time in the garage gym or running. If you’re giving up chocolate, that would be like eating a bunch more fruit to satisfy your sugar cravings. Instead, chart out a list of things you’d like to do with the time instead. 

The last thing I’ll say is this: don’t view missteps as failures. Finding yourself at fault for slipping up or not being perfect that day is almost as destructive as the indulgence itself. Just move on and go forward. As Jocko would say, "Get Back on the Path".  A slip-up, in the end, is really pretty inconsequential in comparison to the journey of forming new habits. 





Monday, February 1, 2021

2021 Kick Off- January

 In the interest of trying to keep this blog a little bit more updated since I have basically dropped off social media I thought I would do a monthly update.  There has been a lot going through my head the past 4 weeks, so much in fact that I am not even sure where to start or what to share anymore.  With that said I guess I will just do a quick training update and maybe in future posts I will share more personal stuff, who knows.... Did have a beer with JT twice this month so that might be a record.

Training:  I really wanted to start the year off on the right foot as they say.  With that thought in mind I ended up having the biggest month ever hour-wise.  I really made it a point to focus on recovery more which included stretching at least 30 minutes every night.  I have noticed a huge benefit.  I came into the year with an achilles injury that was limiting me from running hills or any sort of jumping.  That seems to be sorting itself out now.  I am still not willing to jump rope but I am back to normal on everything else.  Here are the total hours broken down by activity.

One thing that may or may not jump out at you is the walking.  Well, those are all rucks with a 30lb pack this month.  I joined the GoRuck Tribe for 2021 for something else to keep me entertained.  You can find the information on it here if you are interested.  Here is what it involved for January.  Looking forward to the February activities.  Been fun!

2021 Goals Update:

Already 5 books into my goal of reading 30 for the year.  At this pace that should be a nonissue.  Have a trip planned to NC for a race to an area I have not been to before so check.  Lastly about 30% through my coaching certification so progress on that front.  Good start to the year!

 Have a great February!


Monthly photos to share: