Run with No Excuses

running-no-excusesAs June comes to a close, it’s been just about 3 months since I have taken up running. Not jogging, but running with training and goals in my. To date I haven’t officially signed up for any races, but am planning on three before 2013 is over. I have been very surprised at how quickly my body has adjusted to running, my form has improved and my times have decreased. Still, there is a long road ahead before I am ready to run my first half marathon. I am running by the credo, “run with no excuses” in order to remain on my plan in order to achieve the goals I have set. I still haven’t answer some basic questions; “What does it mean to you? How hard are you willing to work? What are you willing to sacrifice? Why is it even important and why does it even matter?”

My ultimate goal is to participate in my first marathon on December 2. With any luck I will be registering in 2 weeks to run in the California International Marathon in Sacramento, CA. Initially my training started so I could run in my first half marathon on August 3, the Summer Breeze Half Marathon in San Leandro, CA. I blame Born to Run by Christopher McDougall for the onset of this running addiction. It does seem to be the natural progression, running a few shorter races before challenging yourself with 26.2 miles. I have gone back and forth on running in Sacramento, but after planning out my training I realized Sacramento was possible. I am now considering a third race as a tune up to the marathon, the Rock & Roll Half Marathon in San Jose on Oct 6.

It’s an odd feeling of wanting to run, all the time. That is how I feel now after just 3 months, but not the 42 years prior. It is my desire to continue building endurance to participate in longer run and challenge myself. Each run is an adventure. Is it going to be difficult? Yup. Will I want to feel like quitting? Yup. Is it all worth it? Yup! While I still don’t have answers to the questions I asked there is something special about running. Born to Run has inspired me to challenge myself and run with “no excuses!”

While the marathon is the goal for this year, it’s definitely not the end of the road. I am already looking forward to other races, longer training run and getting into trail running. I have experienced some wonderful benefits from running and learned quite a bit in just a short period of time. Reading the CIM website for the marathon, I felt a bit overwhelmed by information. It was overload, but I do feel I will enjoy this “ultimate” experience and reflect upon it positively, looking forward to other challenges.

Up For A Challenge?

Everything as it relates to my health has improved since October, 2011. It’s been am amazing transformation learning how to eat healthy, while giving up foods that promote disease and cancers. While my cardio level is not where I would like it to be, nor my strength I have been working on improving both. At 42 years old, I am looking to get into the “best shape of my life.” I just got an invite from a co-worker today, who asked if I was interested in joining his team in the NorCal Tough Mudder event scheduled to take place in Lake Tahoe on September 22 and 23.

Talk about setting a high goal, I think this would be a serious challenge, but something I could accomplish with my team members. Of course, I would have to increase my daily exercise the next 5 months leading up to the event. Much like McDougall being a life changing event, this challenge could be the goal I need to push my exercise to the next level in order to achieve the “best shape of my life.”

My sister just ran the Primal Mud Run back on the East Coast and by the comments I saw on Facebook and photos, she had a very good time. Physically, she is probably stronger on the cardio side than I am with her constant running and kick boxing she does. Obviously I stronger, but an event such as this requires more than just these abilities, but those of your teammates.

The NorCal event is a “hardcore 10-12 mile obstacle courses designed by British Special Forces to test your all around strength, stamina, mental grit, and camaraderie. As the leading company in the booming obstacle course industry, Tough Mudder has already challenged half a million inspiring participants worldwide and raised more than $2 million dollars for the Wounded Warrior Project. But Tough Mudder is more than an event, it’s a way of thinking. By running a Tough Mudder challenge, you’ll unlock a true sense of accomplishment, have a great time, and discover a camaraderie with your fellow participants that’s experienced all too rarely these days.”

This event is contingent on the results of my MRI on my left knee, which at worst will be arthroscopic surgery to fix a torn meniscus (yes, making my OWN diagnosis…again!). It would also require me to get more serious about my exercise regime. Hopefully I can make a decision by the end of the month and take another step towards a healthier lifestyle.

Stress & Pressure

It has been a very long and sometime challenging 2007. At the end of 2006, I began training for my new job. As of yesterday, the final day in 2007 I am done training. The manager who has been with me every step of the way wrote my letter of recommendation for certification.

It definitely has not been the easiest time, I really cannot compare the stress and pressure I have been under for the last year, trying so hard at time to do everything correct and not make a mistake, that I found myself making stupid, little mistakes. It got to the point where I was extended in my training for 3 weeks. At the end of the third week I was given one more “final” week in which to prove I belonged.

Thankfully that was one of the best weeks I had during training. I was able to demonstrate and overcome some deficiencies that had hampered my “development” through out training. I walked out of work on Sunday with the biggest smile on my face when I was more less congratulated on completing training. There is still some paperwork to finish up and a certification board to go in front of, but the most challenging part has been successfully accomplished.

Things won’t get any easier after certification, but that stress and pressure I felt was suddenly lifted on Sunday afternoon when I strolled out of work as if I were walking on cloud nine. I look forward to the next stages of development as I learn more on the job and grow into my new position. The year has started of on the right foot.

Twas the night before Christmas….

I thought about trying to remake that story based on Urban Terror and then decided I did not have the time, desire or effort to make it. But rest assured, I am sure someone in the community will come up with one. So I was MIA for the quiet release of 4.1. No real PR push or Urban Radio, since I was away at work with many more things on my mind than a release. There seems to be some good feedback and many are enjoying this version, which is a good thing.

As for work, I started by certification week today and things went very well. I even asked for help, which is what management and my peers want to see at this stage in training. So if I can get through the weekend, then I am gold. All I must remember are three small words. ASK FOR HELP! This has been a downfall for me recently, because I would be so focused on a single task that the rest of the system would be falling to pieces and I would fail to notice. That is not the type of person they want working. So as long as I remember everyone is there for me and at my disposal, then I should be fine because there is not much I cannot handle right now.

Christmas came early to our household, as the wife and I along with Zoom, our son opened all the gifts from my parents, as well as the wife and I exchanging gifts. I did call one of the gifts, Guitar Hero III. How and where she got it, I won’t ask, but I have it and have been playing for about 3 hours tonight. Also scored a cordless drill and seasons one and two of CSI. I made out. In return, I bought her a new Kenmore Elite microhood that goes above the matching stove, it is a combination microwave and hood.

More later I hear GHIII calling…

Hit the Wall

While this is no automobile wreck, I seem to have literally hit a wall in training and it has been something I have been struggling with for about 2 months, maybe longer. I cannot recall. As mentioned my training at work was extended 3 weeks, partially due to the fact I missed about 5 shifts on graveyards and I was awarded an additional 2 weeks because I was not able to work on a consistent basis.

At this point in training, I need to be better then others who have been there for years and are more experienced. Okay, I can understand that. I must do everything by the book, not cutting corners. Okay, I understand that as well. What I cannot understand is why I cannot perform when the manager I need to impress is in the room. I completely fall apart and do stupid things that I am sure cause question in her mind.

It’s very frustrating, regardless of what the situation is or what actions I take, it seems I do something wrong or not complete or something could have been done better. That last item is just part of training, no answer I give is ever right, which is fine with me to be honest. I continue to work with my trainer and I feel make progress, even if it is those so called, “baby steps.”

One thing I refuse to do is give up. The pressure and stress are unbearable at this point. More so then anything I have done previously in life up to this point. I cannot take even the simplest task for granted and must have my attention focused whenever I am working.

*sigh* I guess we will see how Sunday goes…I am completely frustrated, bruised and battered, but I will return with a clean slate and prove to those I work with I do belong there and I can do the job.