Category Archives: Running/ Fitness

This is the home of Running for 356 Days and the place where I talk about my workouts, diet and nutrition. Just because I’m a geek doesn’t mean I dont want to be healthy!

Do You REALLY Need Milk?

My friend Chris over at Stitches n’ Dishes shared a great info graphic he found and I though I should share it with all of you as well. Giving up milk is not easy, but I did that about 6 months ago and it has changed my life. Since I started eating paleo  I have lost about 30 pounds and I eat a richer fuller diet than I ever thought possible. I eat more fresh fruit and veggies than before and I eat a lot of fabulous things like crab legs, shrimp, steak, etc… My initial concern was that my kids need milk, but the logic in The Paleo Solution gave me the confidence I needed to give it a go. My other concern was the cost, and I discovered my grocery bill dropped about 10-15% when I stopped buying processed foods and focused my shopping on quality meat and produce. So… have a look at the info-graphic and let me know what you think. Paleo eating may not be for everyone, but it does accommodate vegetarian and vegan lifestyles and it would be hard to argue against fresh food over processed.

gotmilk

So I’m curious where do you stand on the issue of milk? DO you consider it an essential part of your diet, a luxury, or have you given it up? If you gave it up how do you feel?

My 2013 Fitness Plan 14 Day Update!

A 5 pound and one pound block of fatWell here we are officially 14 days into the new year, so I thought it was time I give everyone an update on where I am and where I am going with my goals so far. The GREAT news is I have lost 11 pounds already in 2013! It’s about 1/5 of what I’m looking for for the year, but I am VERY happy with myself so far. I have been very disciplined about my eating and done a very good job sticking to my diet and the results are absolutely showing. My clothes fit better and some are even a little baggy now and I just feel 100% better. I have two of those five pound blocks and one of the one pounders off my body for good and I am VERY excited! I’m a dad, and getting this weight off is VERY important to me. I need to be here to take care of my girls and everything else I do in the world is meaningless if I’m not here for them. I think when you start looking at it that way it gets a lot easier to stick to your game plan.

I have started my push-up, sit-up, and squat challenge  but have been taking it easy while on the restricted diet. I’ll be relaxing the diet for a few weeks in a couple days though and plan to increase that activity as soon as I do. It’s been cold, so I haven’t been getting out to run yet, but I am taking the stairs at work and trying to generally increase my activity. My birthday is coming up, so I am moving into a maintenance phase on the diet (I’m realistic and still want to have fun!) and upping the physical output till February 1st, then back onto the strict diet for February with the goal of dropping another 20 pounds or so before I get focused on my running.

Anyways… I know people start off very motivated in the beginning of the year, but I know from experience that if you use this time to build momentum you can carry through with your goals for the entire year. Blogging this here keeps me involved and focused on whats important.

Over the next few weeks I’ll start building out my list of races for the year starting with a spring 5K or two leading into my summer and fall mud runs, with a possible BIG event later in the year. Who knows what that will be? Could be anything from a 10K to a 50 mile trail race… only time will tell!

How are you doing on YOUR goals so far?

My 2013 fitness plan!

survivormudrun

Kristi and I at Survivor Mud Run Seattle 2011

I have to admit over the last two years I have let myself go. The stress of corporate life and my doctorate along with some undiagnosed health issues really got the best of me and I ballooned up to nearly 280 pounds. I thought I carried it well until I had to buy a 3XL shirt! I nearly died! Last year I played a lot with food. I ate raw vegan, I ate vegetarian, and I ate a new way… Paleo.  For me this just works. I dropped about 30 pounds on the HCG diet with my doctor and have kept it off with the exception of a few holiday pounds. So here is the 2013 plan. As of right now I am on day 3 of a 21 day HCG cycle. I should lose another 18-25 pounds and I am REALLY excited about that! Then my birthday, a few weeks of paleo eating and another 21 day cycle. That should put me near 200 pounds and pretty close to where I was when I was married 13 years ago.

In the mean time I am also doing the 100 push-up, 200 sit-up, and 200 squat challenges and trying to get some good long walks in on the nice days. Starting in the spring when it warms up I’ll start my daily runs back up and I’m going to shoot for 250 burpees by the end of the summer. I’m also going to start doing some off-road running races, several mud runs and maybe an off-road sprint triathlon. I know it sounds like a lot of training, but it’s really not. I’m trying to keep it under 30 minutes a day and am only at about 15 minutes right now. as the weight comes down I’ll also pull out my pull up bar and kick off the 100 pull-up challenge plan.

I know that sounds like a lot of exercise, but the core of my health changes are really focused on quality paleo eating. In essence it’s the “cave man” diet. Ask yourself would a cave man eat this? and if the answer is no… skip it. I eat all the fresh vegetables, fruit, and organic grass fed meat I want. No counting calories no real rules to follow other than avoid grains and dairy. At first this sounds very restrictive, but I can assure you I enjoy eating this way better than the crap I used to eat. Tonight we had lemon garlic roasted chicken, raw carrots, fresh strawberries, and a spinach salad. For me there is a LOT to get excited about there! I’ll be writing more about paleo eating in the coming weeks and sharing some recipes. If you want one to get you started try out these awesome gluten free, high protein paleo pancakes! 

I’m only a few days into this, but I feel great and I will keep everyone posted on my progress.

Spoiler alert… I’m considering a late fall marathon. :)

What are your fitness goals for 2013?

Why Do I Blog?

Why do I blog? Why do I blog? Why does anyone blog?  Well they are both good questions, but I can only share with you the answer to the first question… The real answer to the next one is hard to nail down because everyone has their own reasons. What I can do is give you some insight into mine.

When I started blogging back in 2006 on my first WordPress.com blog it was because I wanted to share my thoughts on sales and management with the goal of networking with some like minded people, sorting out my thoughts, helping other people and maybe picking up the occasional consulting gig.  To be honest, it worked fabulously! I met some great people, secured several consulting jobs, and even launched a social network and podcast called Sales Management 2.0!

My next blog was a health and fitness blog called Running For 365 Days. On this blog I shared my experiences as a runner. When I started this blog I was just starting my doctoral program, so it fell apart after a few months because I was simply too busy to write as much as I wanted to (daily). At the same time I was also trying to launch an education blog to share my experience in my doctoral program, but again it was all just too much.

That brings us to this blog: Just My Life in Words or The Uber Geek! This is the place where I am pulling it all into one place. It lets me blog about all the things I care about, but if it takes a few weeks to come up with something on one topic it’s no biggie because I have probably written something on at least one of the 15 topics I am covering.

Now that tells you what I have blogged, but not really why… Well it sounds silly, but in part to change the world. I think about a lot of stuff and I am a pretty smart guy so I like the idea of using the internet to leverage my voice and spread ideas. I also do it to help and inspire others. I hope that people will read about my thoughts on leadership, sales, and sales management and learn that the industry is about helping people and not making a quick buck off someone. I also hope they will learn that you don’t have to be a pushy jerk to be successful as a sales manager. I hope people will see how I lost over 30 pounds so far eating paleo and running and give it a go! I’m a geek and I like to share cool things and share games I think are fun! I’m also in the dissertation phase of my doctorate of education where I am studying gamification so this lets me flush out thoughts and network with others interested in my topic. Finally I have 2 beautiful girls who I love very much and I hope long after I am gone they will be able to read my thoughts and take a little something from it that will help them out some day, or maybe gain some insight into who I am as a man and not just as their father.

As you can see I am just one person and I have a LOT of reasons why I blog and I can promise you this is not an exhaustive list. So the real question is why do YOU blog? If you don’t why SHOULD you blog? Share your thoughts in the comments. I’d love to talk to you about it!

-Brad

PS: If your looking for a GREAT book on how to get started blogging I highly suggest you check out Pro Blogger by Darren Rowse! It’s truly fantastic and will help you with all aspects of blogging whether its as a career or hobby!

Free on Amazon: Gluten Free Cookbook: Gluten Free Diet and Gluten Free Recipes for Your Good Health

Gluten freeMost people know I have been a paleo eater for a few months now and I thought I’d give a quick update and share a fantastic free resource! As of right now I am down about 25 pounds, but the more important thing is I feel awesome. The two main things Paleo cuts out are gluten (wheat) and dairy. I don’t know wich one has had the bigger effect for me, but I know I can absolutely feel a difference!  A BIG part of eating Paleo if figuring out how to cut gluten. It’s in EVERYTHING! Right now on Amazon you can get a copy of Gluten Free Cookbook: Gluten Free Diet and Gluten Free Recipes for Your Good Health free from Amazon in the Kindle addition. If you have a Kindle or any iOS device or Android tablet you can get the free Kindle app for it and take advantage of this opportunity! I just downloaded this tonight, but I will try to do a more thorough review soon!

If you download this please let me know what you think in the comments!

 

 

Delicious Paleo Pancakes!

Gluten and milk free palio pancakes

My kids LOVE these!

I haven’t had a chance to blog about it, but most of my friends know I have tried many different eating strategies and while I like most of them in the long-term it always seems extreme and I never get to eat the things I really like. I’ve juiced, gone vegetarian, raw vegan (that didn’t last long), and numerous other “plans”. My personal opinion is they just don’t work well for me for a couple of reasons. First I don’t enjoy it, and second I feel trapped. I don’t really have time today to go into why I enjoy paleo eating or how much better I feel on a paleo diet, but I did want to share this awesome gluten and milk free paleo pancake recipe because it was fantastic and my kids LOVED it!

Here is the recipe for them:

Start with 1 package gluten-free all-purpose pancake mix (cravings place)
8 eggs
2 scoops protein powder ( We use vanilla egg protein nothing with milk or soy)
2 cups unsweetened almond milk
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup grape seed oil
1/2 cup coconut oil
1 package enjoy life mini chocolate chips.

put everything in a mixing bowl and thoroughly mix everything together, then brown on a lightly oiled griddle.

This makes a HUGE batch of pancakes. We eat all we can then freeze the rest. They are great tossed in the toaster oven and re-warmed. I like them with a little organic maple syrup but this morning I at three of them plain in the car on my way to work. They taste great and the chocolate adds just the right amount of sweetness.

 

Let me know how you like these! If you have another recipe you enjoy please share in the comments!

My current training plan… A long overdue update.

 

One of the difficult things about writing a blog about running every day is getting the time to write consistently. I promise I’m working on that!

A lot has happened since my last update so I’ll share just a bit.  So far I have run a minimum of one mile every day since the 9th of April 2011. My current total mileage is 178.28 miles! Not bad for 3 1/2 months! In that time I have lost about 20 pounds, but more importantly my body shape has been changing a lot. When I started I was in size 48 pants and 2 days ago I was able to get into a pair of 38’s something that has not happened in a LONG time! Just a healthy reminder that it is not ALL about weight loss, but more importantly how you look and feel and I look MUCH healthier and feel GREAT!  I ran in my second obstacle race last weekend: The Warrior Dash (Race Report to follow) and am now weight lifting as part of my training plan.

A lot of people have ask my why I keep my mileage so low… my first response is usually something like: “How many miles did YOU run this week?” or Most people do not consider 10-15 miles per week to be low mileage. The truth is for someone who has only been running for a bit over 3 months a 15+ mile week is a BIG week and at this stage of my running career we are putting in base miles. Basically I am building up the joints and muscles for harder training to come by taking it slow and easy right now. I have managed to stay healthy and injury free up to this point because I am VERY careful and listen to my body and what it is telling me. MY body takes this level of mileage fairly easily at this point, but I am staying here because I have added some weight training to my plan to help me in my obstacle racing, to build strength, and stay injury free.

Here is my current plan:

My heavy days: 2-3x per week (By feel if I am too sore or tired I skip one weight session)

My light days: 2-3x per week (Again by feel skipping a session if I am too sore or tired)

My heavy workout is obviously focused on developing whole body strength and power, while the light day is much more focused on core strength and cardio. The light day was also added because I noticed that a lot of the “easy” obstacles were really feats that required good cardio while working the entire body while taxed by running. Both workouts are short and designed to work the maximum volume of muscles in the minimum amount of time. I’d love to hear feedback from other runners and obstacle racers to learn what you are doing. My goal is to build strength and learn the basic lifts to get started in CrossFit. I am starting an 8 week cycle of this routine, at the end of this cycle I will meet up with my trainer again and adjust the exercises based on my the gains I have made and current needs. My big goal is to do a marathon this Fall, followed by Tough Mudder Seattle next year, and if I’m up for it a 50 mile race. :) For more frequent updates make sure to like Running For 365 Days on Facebook!

 

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Obstacle Racing ROCKS!

Survivor Mud Run with my Wife Kristi and we had a blast… So much that I think I found a new hobby! (click here for the Survivor Mud Run Seattle Race Report) I am REALLY excited about obstacle racing first because it is a HUGE challenge both physically and mentally, and second because it tests every aspect of your fitness. If you have never seen an obsticle race or mud run before this video will give you a little taste of what the Warrior Dash is all about:

If that doesn’t get you excited to work out and have a blast with a few good friends I don’t know what will! I’m also planning on doing them all in my Vibram Five Fingers, because after last weeks mud run I really feel like they offer a HUGE advantage in traction, ground feel, climbing ability, and weight when wet. Anyways, I am REALLY pumped up and excited about the upcoming race and am adding in some additional elements to my routine now including some body weight exercises, kettlebell swings, plyometrics, and weightlifting to help me drop more weight quicker and get over those BIG obstacles a bit quicker! Have you ever done a mud run or obstacle race? What was your experience like and how did you train?

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Running Every Day Isn’t Easy, But It’s Worth It! – Survivor Mud Run

Survivor Mud Run Seattle Post Race Photo

Survivor Mud Run LogoRunning every day isn’t easy… and some days are harder than others. June 18th’s Survivor Mud Run Seattle was one of the tough days! If you have never done a mud run I highly recommend you try it out! It was an EPIC day of showing the world how tough you are in the 60 degree pouring rain. With 3.3 mils of mud, rivers, and mayhem including 14 obstacles you absolutely got your moneys worth! When the race started a 9am I saw the first finishers coming over the line and thought to myself these people do not look too muddy! By the time my 11:45 heat started and close to 2000 people had covered the course it was a pure mud-fest.

Brad, Krisy, and Sophia before the Seattle Survivor Mud Run.

Brad, Krisy, and Sophia before the Seattle Survivor Mud Run.

This was my first race as a barefoot runner, and I used my Vibram KSOs. People looked at you a bit weird, but I really feel like they were a HUGE advantage. My ground feel was awesome and not running in waterlogged trail shoes was totally worth it even with the rocks and gravel roads. They also stayed on amazingly well in the deep mud. There was one point in the bog where myself, Krisy, and a guy we had never met were mired so deep in the mud we were unable to free ourselves. It tool a solid 10 minutes of pushing, lifting, and pulling to get all three of us free. I was literally up to my hip in mud so deep I could not move and had to crawl on my belly to avoid sinking deeper. My first thought when I sunk that deep is this is how dinosaurs got fossilized! The 10 foot wall was awesome, the pipes were cool and a bit freaky, and the other racers were awesome!

Survivor Mud Run Seattle Post Race Photo

Brad, Krisy, Solomon, and Alyssa after the Survivor Mud Run.

For the $60 entry fee you got to race (obviously) a shower!, a free beer, a free Brat,  t-shirt, and a finishers medal. Well worth it in my opinion. My only gripe was that there could have been a few more course safety people on hand as there were a few injuries and I saw one girl wait a very long time to get help for an injured ankle after jumping off the 10 foot wall. Overall though, the available staff were nice, friendly, and helpful. The DJ was good and the event was well organized and planned. my only other grip was the volume of showers available… it was a LONG line to get cleaned up and even after we did we used two 2 1/2 gallon jugs for a sponge bath at the car just to get sort of clean. I needed one more real shower and Krisy needed two to get her hair clean. This race is on my must do list for next year…

No iPhone GPS tracks with Runtastic though! No way I was going to carry it on this course.i saw too many people looking for gear in the thick soupy mud! I uploaded the time and distance manually: 3.3 miles in 1:50:30. Most of that extra time was spend waiting to get over crowded obstacles, but it was a welcome break, and I was BEAT when we finished! This isnt a course to set a new personal best on… Its about covering the distance and I think most reasonably fit people should be able to do it if my tubby butt could! :)

Survivor Mud Run with Finishers Medal

Krisy and I after a shower and an additional sponge bath in the parking lot. Sophia was MAD she was too young to run!

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Days 24-51 – Holy COW I am a Blogging Slacker!

Wow… Where did the MONTH go? I know (hope) there is someone out there that is asking themselves What on earth happened to Brad? Well… First let me say I did in fact run every day this month. If you would like to see the details of every run you can see them on my Runtastic Profile. Here is the High level summary:

Not bad for a guy who thought a long run was to the fridge and back 52 days ago!

So, whats happened this month, well I have flirted with the idea of eating vegetarian, and I have to say I don’t really miss meat like I thought I would. I am currently about 90% veg and 50% vegan. Not really for any moralistic purpose, I just feel like it is a healthier way to eat. I have been reading The Engine 2 Diet and it has been a BIG help in showing me how to eat “man food” that is vegetarian, healthy and delicious. I always felt like eating veg was eating foods food and that I would be limited to salads, sandwiches,  and stuff like that, but I have had some AWESOME vegan and Veg meals. If a Texas Fireman and IronMan Triathlete can eat Vegan I feel like I should be able to go veg for a month so that is the current challenge.

I have also been barefoot running off and on in my Vibram Five Fingers, and I really enjoy it as well, but it is hard for me to get the distance in that I can in regular running shoes, but I understand the logic behind why it is a good idea to run barefoot and how it could benefit me. The issue is that your feet are used to being supported all the time, so there is a lot of muscular development that has to happen to build healthy strong feet, and it just takes time. Krisy is a stay at home mom and wears her Five Fingers out and about every day so the break in period for her has gone MUCH faster than it has for me due to a demanding work schedule. Still both of us love them and I highly recommend you try a pair on and see for yourself what you are missing. If you are thinking about it I recommend you check out Vanessa Runs, the famous Barefoot Ted or Barefoot Running University for good barefoot training information. I share what I am doing and what works for me, but I think it is always a good idea to get multiple perspectives.

I also had my first business trip as a careful eating runner. Its not as hard as I thought it would be. I was on a three day trip to Salt Lake City for a district meeting and I was able to go to all my meetings, dinners, drinks etc… and STILL get my runs in. Its a beautiful way to get to experience a new city. and the only advice I have to give is pack some shorts, shoes and tech shirt and get off your butt. It really was that simple. :)

Finally, I think I have a new direction for the blog. Instead of blogging EVERY run no matter how boring I am going to do a weekly wrap up of mileage and what happens and try to share more recopies and items of interest. I’ll still blog great runs, PB’s, and races, as well as the random intriguing thoughts I have, but I am not enjoying the pressure and tediousness of blogging every run with a map.  Hopefully it will make the blog more readable and informational for everyone. I’m down 13 pounds in a month and a half so the REAL plan is to keep running, blogging, and sharing with others to make their path to health a little easier.

Thanks for reading and please feel free to ask questions in the comments or hit me up on the Running For 365 Days FaceBook Fan Page.

-Brad

 

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