Thursday, September 29, 2011

"He's a big, dumb animal, folks."

"What's next?"  It is the same question that I ask myself after each big accomplishment.  Since I just finish my first half marathon, I was again faced with this familiar question.  But this time more than others, I feel as though I have a pretty good answer.

I have a handful of races that I would like to compete in over the next 2 months.  There are a couple of 5K's and one 5.5 mile trail run, nothing too serious.  My biggest effort is going towards losing some weight and improving my overall fitness.  I understand that running has been very helpful moving towards these goals, but over the last few months my weight loss has again stalled.  Additionally considering my epic bonk at the half marathon, I feel as though I could improve my fitness level a bit more. To that end and in my infinite wisdom, I have decided to throw my body a little curve ball and try some cross training.

I have heard some scuttlebutt about the crossfit craze from friends and on a couple of blogs recently.  I looked into some info on the web.  While I cannot afford to join a gym that has a crossfit program, I have seen a few general lifts and movements that I can do at home or out on a run, that should keep my body guessing and hopefully improve my fitness.

By Wednesday, I felt as though my body had recovered enough from my half marathon that I could lift some weights while Katie was out on her run.  I settled on 4 sets of 10 burpees, 20 push-ups, 25 sit-ups, 20 lunges (10 each leg), 10 squats, and 10 cleans.  The experience went pretty well overall.  I had not done a burpee in probably 20 years.  While I am confident in its ability to help my fitness, I did not find the burpee to be terribly difficult.  I was impressed with my push-ups; I don't know when I have ever done 80 push-ups in one session.  The sit-ups were a bit disappointing and I may have to consider a separate ab/core workout.  The clean went fine.  I severely decreased my weight in order to make sure I was comfortable with the form. The toughest parts were the lunges and squats.  I used a small amount of weight for both maneuvers, and was shocked at how difficult they were for me.  When I was in high school (yes, I do understand that was over 15 years ago!), I could squat over 350lbs probably a dozen times, maybe more.  I had 45 pounds on my shoulders and my legs were burning when I was done with the workout.  But I was happy!  I was sweaty, my heart rate was up, and I could feel my body reacting to the shock.

Today, was my run day.  I was sore (really sore) from the workout the day before, but I am truly trying to take an aggressive attitude towards these workouts. So, I went out and damn near sprinted a 6:15 mile to the elementary school, went around back to the playground and did 4 or 5 pull-ups, 6 chin ups,and 40 elevated tricep extensions.  Then, I finished with a relatively slow 2 mile run home. I need to clarify these statements with the fact that I have never completed more than a couple of pull-ups.  I have always carried extra body weight and never had a tremendous amount of upper body strength.  So, I am feeling great about the work!

There is only one problem...I am so sore that I can barely walk today.  If my pencil falls to the ground, I am writing it off as a loss because I may make it down to to the pencil, but there is no way I am getting back up!  I am so sore it hurts to cross my arms.  My glutes (ass cheeks) hurt so bad I can't sit for too long before I have hobble around the storeroom to stretch them back out.  The only good thing about this whole situation is that I think the workouts might do the trick, if only I survive to talk about it!  And what does a dumbass like me decide to do with a night to himself? Oh, I signed up to go swimming this evening at the University pool.  It should be okay, I hear that swimming is very low impact.

"He's a big, dumb animal, folks."


  1. Nice! The soreness will decrease the more you do it. Your body is shocked right now but it will adjust. The soreness is a sign that you are pushing yourself hard enough. Remember, soreness is a good thing. Pain is not.

  2. We got a whole lot of a good thing around here!