Journey to Greatness

jeff_sekerakThat title might sound a bit arrogant, as I look towards my next 2014 challenge, which takes place at Northstar at Tahoe in August, known as Tough Mudder (read Tough Mudder Experience). Last month, I achieved my biggest accomplishment to date, finishing a 50K on Mt. Diablo. It was an amazing run and now 3 weeks later I am still on a running high from that adventure. Now I have 3 months to prepare for my second Tough Mudder event.

Since my left shoulder surgery in October, 2012 to reattached a bicep tendon I have not lifted weights. I suffered further complications by contracting frozen shoulder during my rehabilitation that required rest and a Cortisone shot to finally relieve the pain. Thinking I had maintained my strength from last Tough Mudder I tried to climb the monkey bars to show my son how it was done. I grabbed the left rung and pain shot up my left shoulder and I dropped to the ground.

While I should have known better, the next 3 months will improve my strength and conditioning in order to participate in` Tough Mudder again, as well as get me into better shape than I was last year when I was challenging myself with Stronglifts 5×5, a program I still believe in. While I still own my power rack and weight set, those will supplement the full body exercises I am starting.

Been reading more about running and improving my endurance and strength in order to run faster and further in hopes of challenging a 50 mile race next year. I want to focus training on my calves, glutes and abs in order to make me a better runner. At the same time I want to increase upper body strength by adding muscle and reducing body fat. These are typical goals for those who turn to weight training, they were for me when I began Stronglifts.

I followed Jeff Sekerak onFacebook and bought Confessions of a Super Fit Vegan or ”I ate the food ‘of the gods,’ loaded up on carbs, forgot to count calories, and built the body of my dreams. You can too!”  His book was bought as a motivator to build a better, healthier body using body weight exercises (no gym memberships as an added bonus!) to improve the overall conditioning of the body including all major muscle groups. His approach to weight training is known as extreme minimalist fitness. In Jeff’s words, “essentially a series of calisthenics done one after the other in a circuit-training style–designed to build strength, flexibility, and endurance without needing separate workouts for each” (source).

leadville_pacerRunning won’t be optional, as I am already planning on a few challenges for next and possibly even a marathon at the end of 2014. I am excited to get back to the trails as my new Luna Leadville Pacers arrived by USPS yesterday. Tried them on last night and am wanting to see how they perform on the trails. This pair of running sandals move a bit further away from the Xero Shoes (sandals) I have been wearing for the last year. These Lunas have a nice 9mm Vibram sole, which makes the sandal very light. They also came with a pair of ATS laces or “add-on ankle strap that helps keep your heel strap and ankle secure.

I am hoping to detail the changes over the next 12 weeks if I am able to keep up regular workouts, which could take just 30 minutes a day with 7-10 miles of running every other day. Even now and then I would like to put in a long run of at least 20 miles in order to see how my body is responding to the changes it will be going through.