Monday, January 26, 2009

Re-Discovering Disco Music

What does disco music have to do with running?  For me music is everything.  I need music to run or else I'm bored.  Since I have more than 3000 songs on my iPod, you would think I do not need any more music.  But I Love Music!  I also collect Old School R&B, Disco, and Rap.  So, with extreme caution, I downloaded five new disco songs to add to my collection.  And I played all five of them to death too.  The music helped me get through 6 long miles on Saturday and 3 miles today.  I think I got my ROI on a $5 download.

Week 5, Day 1: Two Hundred Sit-Ups

Here we go: I'm on Week 5 of The Two Hundred Sit-Ups Challenge.  I modified my crunch just a little - now I hold my legs at a 90° angle to my torso.  I have read that this gives my upper abs and lower abs a better workout.  And, I could feel it about half way through set 1.  Er, um, 255 crunches in about 10 minutes is pretty good to me!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Week 4, Day 3: Two Hundred Sit-Ups

I'm done with Week 4 of The Two Hundred Sit-Ups Challenge.  This was the toughest day so far - I did well over 200 crunches!  I didn't stray off the minimum requirements this time.  Week 5 will really be a monster as I will be doing 8 sets of crunches

Practice, Practice, Practice!

Practice is the key right?  The more I practice, the better I'll get.  This week I decided to modify my training routine.  I added two workouts on Tuesday and Friday because I can not last for more than hour on the treadmill no matter how hard I try. Those long runs of 10 miles or more won't happen, for now.  Tuesday's run is a Hill Workout and Thursday's run is another Easy Run.  Once the weather allows, I'll go back to my regular schedule and run outdoors at least once per week.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Just Hydrate Me!

I got off my rear today and did 6 miles speedwork on the treadmill.  After mile 2, I started feeling a little strange - like something was sucking the life out of me.  I was unsure what was going on, so I pulled over to the side of the rode at mile 3, i.e., I paused the treadmill!  A few seconds passed before I realized I had not drank enough water before I started the run. Sooooooo, I chugged as much H-2-0 as I could stand and hit the pause button.  I immediately felt better and finished the run with more energy than I started - at least it seemed that way to me.  The lesson for the day:  Just hydrate me!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Week 4, Day 1: Two Hundred Sit-Ups

It's getting a little tougher now that I am on Week 4, Day 1of The Two Hundred Sit-Ups Challenge this morning.  I am still able to do 50 sit-ups in set 5.  However, the burn is starting a lot earlier - like in set 2 instead of set 4.  My abs are getting tighter although I can not see any physical difference.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Taking It Easy

Today was an easy 3-mile run - well, it was easier for me than it was for this guy.  Anyway, I setup a thermometer just outside the window of my workout room so I can see what the temperature would be if I were to run outdoors.  I'm wondering if that was a bad idea now because the temperature will drop below zero for a few days this week.  Boy, do I need motivation!

Week 3, Day 3: Two Hundred Sit-Ups

I finished Week 3, Day 3 of The Two Hundred Sit-Ups Challenge this morning.  Just add 50 sit-ups to set 5, pour a little water, and you have my workout. 

Friday, January 9, 2009

Week 3, Day 2: Two Hundred Sit-Ups

I continued Week 3, Day 2 of The Two Hundred Sit-Ups Challenge this morning. Once again I completed the first 4 sets and went on to do 50 sit-ups in set 5.  There's plenty more flab to burn!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

My Run, My Tempo

My run today: An 8K tempo run on the treadmill (that's 5 miles for the metrically-challenged). Here's the details of my tempo:
  1. 10.5 minutes/mile for 1.5 miles
  2. 8.5 minutes/mile 1 mile
  3. 10.5 minutes/mile for .5 mile
  4. 8.5 minutes/mile for 1 mile
  5. 9.5 minutes/mile for .5 mile
  6. 10.5 minutes/mile for .5 mile
    (.25 mile @ 0%, .25 mile @ 4%)
  7. 5 minute cool-down at 4.7/3.7 mph
  8. 2 minutes stretch
After the second segment, my heart rate rose way above 170 BPM.  Nothing to worry about...I just kicked it down a notch in the third segment and cruised the rest of the way.

Tomorrow, I might run outdoors with a friend who needs motivation.  Hey, could this be my first client?

For more info on training programs, go to, click on the "Tools" link and then click on "SmartCoach" (go directly to SmartCoach now).

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Week 3, Day 1: Two Hundred Sit-Ups

I started Week3, Day 1 of The Two Hundred Sit-Ups Challenge this morning.  The goal was to complete 120 or more sit-ups as shown in the ">40 sit-ups" column.  I completed the first 4 sets and went on to do 50 sit-ups in set 5.  I guess my abs are stronger than I thought!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Who Is That Masked Person?

Well, it ain't the long-lost suburban X-Man, Captain Cold.  It's just me about to get my jog on in the middle of January in the frozen tundra of south suburban Chi-Town.  The thought of running more than 3 miles on the treadmill was just too much for this brother.  So I bundled up, found my old ski mask, put on my spandex shirt / pants, and prayed my fingers would stay warm with two pairs of gloves.  (Hey, I remembered the tips I read in the article "How to Dress for Cold Weather Running"!)

Everything went well until I hit the final mile and realized I was losing the feeling in the tips of my left fingers.  Man, I know things can be worse.  But when you are a mile from home, sweaty, tired, your fingers are cold and don't have your cell phone to call someone to pick you up, ]you start to wonder why you are a jogger!  If you are smart, you pray for strength like I did and the Lord will deliver you to your doorstep with some minor discomfort.

I completed 10K (6.3 miles) and ran through the Heights because I thought there would be less traffic - bzzzz, I was wrong about the traffic.  In case you were wondering, the temperature was below freezing (only 28 F - 19 F with the windchill).  Since I know I can run in cold weather, I guess I have no excuses for running indoors now unless the temperature drops below 25 F or so!

Monday, January 5, 2009

The Two Hundred Sit-Ups Challenge

Steve Speirs is back with another exercise program: The Two Hundred Sit-Ups Challenge.  I completed the Hundred Push Ups Challenge a few months ago and was looking for something different this year.  Well, my mid-section has never been where I want it to be, so taking the sit-ups challenge is really a no-brainer.  After this challenge, I need a pull-up or chin-up challenge and then I'll be set!

UPDATE: I completed 100 sit-ups in my initial evaluation.  I've also setup a Two Hundred Sit-Ups group on  Will u take the challenge?