Author - previouslyfatguy

And there was mud…
Lean Attitudes
Da Hills!
Overtraining…myth or reality?
The “F” word…my war on Fat

And there was mud…

The weather promised a little sun and no precipitation. The morning started with a balmy 29 degrees, almost a half-inch of snow on the ground, and me having to defrost my windshield to head to the race. This was an impromptu race. I hadn’t planned on running this morning but Dan ‘Cyclops’ Humphrey registered on a whim and I couldn’t let him get one race up on me so I opted in. (I’m not too competitive).

When I got to the course at Angel Mounds it was frigid. The wind was blowing and sleet hit me in the face. It would be a good day! I could hear others in the background telling each other it would be warmer in the woods. It was not.

Dan showed up ready for the worst and we set off looking for the other Corn Fed brethren lurking amongst the pretenders. I knew Phillip Powers was there someplace, and Jennifer Barns. We found Phillip. Jennifer was there someplace. So there were four CFS in the house!

The race started on time and the chill drove into me all the way to the woods. The trees did provide some respite from the wind but 100 yards in we hit the first of much-anticipated mud and icy water. Now it was game on. The pack started to separate as many runners tried to gingerly make their way around the water and mud. As a true Spartan I drove through the impasse secretly hoping I didn’t step into a deep hole and snap my leg. (It would have been very non-Spartan to be carried out)

A mix of mud, icy water, a few log obstacles, the race was deceptively difficult with its terrain. Somewhere along the route I ended up by myself and had managed to stay on my feet the whole time. I didn’t see Dan behind me anymore and only at the 5-mile point did I find Phillip and finished the 10K alongside him. He was slotted for the half Mary and headed off, as I broke right after the finish line heading for the food.

I saw Dan emerging from the woods and met him at the finish. Both of us agreeing that we had more in the tank and should have opted for the further run. I had been skeptical because this was the first race with my New Balance Minimus 10’s. I posted my feeling on them already.

All in all it was a great day and race. Not quite Spartanesque but a good challenge never the less. I encourage any Spartans in the area to try it next year. It was a good test and a good workout. Well worth the $35.

What I did learn was that all of my race prep, nutrition, clothing, sleep (of which I got little because I was thinking about all the other stuff) meant very little at the start of the race. I didn’t set a PR nor could I have with the conditions so I just ran for the fun of it (despite rerunning the race in my head 800 times seeing where I could have shaved a minute or so here and there). It was fun and that was all it needed to be.

PreviouslyFatGuy out!

Lean Attitudes

Change is emotional, it can take a huge toll on our attitudes and our progress when it comes to fitness.  I got into a funk the last few weeks in my own quest for abs.  I was discouraged and feeling like I was not making progress.  My weight hadn’t changed much and I felt tired.  I dug out these three principles that I wrote when I started my journey.  They are my own Lean and Mean Principles.

For me, Lean and Mean is a whole body attitude…mind, body, and spirit.  All three of these things work together or work against each other.  I was out of sync in all three and I was struggling to make any headway with my training, subsequently, my own attitude was poor and training behavior was reflecting this (mostly in the diet area).  Once I really decided to focus on ALL of the crucial elements, the physical part became much easier.  Now my weight hasn’t changed but a pound this week (for the positive) but I feel leaner, I feel tighter, and I notice my strength growing in key areas.  I can only attribute it to a harmonious balance in all three areas of mind, body, and spirit.

Lean Thinking – actively progressive, willing to commit and make changes.  Fat thinkers do not move physically or mentally. 

Lean Attitude – Optimistic, realistic, honest with self.  Willing to see the benefits of the changes and actively pursues a better personal state.  Fat attitudes = fat minds and body.

Lean Actions – I move with purpose now.  I have goals that I can measure and I actively pursue not only improving myself but also sharing what I learn with others.  I believe my successes obligates me to help others. 

Anyway, my quest is back in full swing.  Will the abs be present at the Midwest Spartan Sprint…maybe.  I do know I will be closer than I am today.

Previously Fat Guy

Da Hills!

Hills. The word sometimes used to refer to life’s obstacles, trials and tribulations. Us OCR racers use the term to identify…hills. Some big, some small, and, as with many things in life, when we talk about hills, size does matter. I write about this today following my race this past Saturday. This is two races now in a row that I failed to respect the hill. The first race was New Years day. I was not one bit prepared for the hills that loomed at me every step of the race.
Two days again, I faced the same thing. It was only one hill this time but it was a big, big hill, straight up into the sky as far as the eye could see. My Corn Fed buddies Dan, Jeff, And Phillip can attest to the enormity of said hill. We all see workouts telling us to incorporate hill training into your workouts, whether it is hill repeats or endurance running training. Both OCR training and marathon training work them into the routines. I am here to tell you to not ignore the advice.
A little bit of hill training for me could have made a big difference, if not just simply how to keep solid form and consistent pace, neither of which I had, and of which I became painfully aware of as, and I will call her The Lady in Gray, passed me effortlessly on the hill. The angst is more compounded by the fact she was probably 20 years older than me. (I hope I am moving that well in 20).
SO today I started my workout with a hill routine. A bit slower than my normal run, and a bit shorter but every bit as intense. I will not ignore the hills anymore. My advice is find that monster of a hill near you and take it on one day a week with everything you have. It can only help, and I venture to say some intestinal fortitude will be forged.

Overtraining…myth or reality?

I know, I know, the professionals in the room are screaming reality.  I don’t disagree.  What I am really asking I guess is when we ignore the signs of overtraining, (and our body’s do a good job of telling us to back off),  is it ignorance of what the warning signs are, or simply willful pride?  I can tell you from my experience it’s both.  (By the way, I weighed in at 211.5 this morning, 10 lbs off my goal for today’s date, but anyway).

In my youthful exuberance, during my peak body building days I can remember never worrying about over training.  We ate chicken by the flock, rice by the pound, and lifted 4+ hours a day.  Then we figured out how to work in classes and a job.  Most of us ended up being bouncers because it seemed to be the only job conducive to our lifestyles, and skipping class.  Pain was a sign of weakness.  I never thought about overtraining until a joint physically came unhinged or a tendon snapped and hit me in the face (almost a true statement).   We worked through all the aches, pains, sprains finding a gym “expert” to guide us to the right GNC supplement to cure our ailments…which was never, “rest”.

Fast forward 25 years (insert eerie Dr. Who time travel music here).  43 years old and I am paranoid about becoming injured and missing a race.  My run this morning was totally preoccupied with a weird twinge in my right calf.  I’ve always had big calves, never worked them out so I never gave them any thought.  Today I thought, “No big deal” my calves are practically invincible.  And on with my run I went.  It was only later that I thought, “How stupid was I?”  I could be nothing but it could be something and now my age old wisdom tells me not to wait for my knee to unhinge or Achilles to smack me in the face.

Point being, we are all engaging in a pretty intense, albeit, awesome sporting event, intense never the less.  And to do that, I just want to encourage all, especially those just starting out to pay attention to what your body is telling you.  Rest is our friend, trust me.  A few days of modified workouts or rest is way better than six months of no activity because your hamstring disengaged somewhere on a wooded trail and you had to crawl home…wait that sounds like a cool obstacle…I digress.

Take heed, the human body is an awesome thing and can do amazing things, but you need to cooperate with it.  It will take control and shut you down if you fail to respect its warning signs.       


Previously Fat Guy

The “F” word…my war on Fat

Fat, to be or not to be. Fat is that little three-letter word that causes us so much consternation. It sits on the fence of political correctness relegated to the ranks of vulgarity. Not quite one of George Carlin’s seven deadly words, but it is pushed out of the way by words like husky, big boned, thick, you get the idea. Reality is this, as long as we pretend to be not fat, we will stay fat. 65 million Americans are labeled as obese. What’s the old Shakespeare quote, “A rose by any other name is still a rose.” Well, no matter how much “slimming” black you might cover yourself with it fools nobody. So here is the question, is being fat a lifestyle choice or unfortunate curse? Conventional thinking might say nobody chooses to fat. I am going to go out on a limb here and say yes…and no. Studies have shown that a child with two obese parents has a 70% chance of being fat as well. The statistic drops dramatically with only one obese parent, all the way down to 20% with neither parent being fat. I am willing to say environment plays a larger role than genetics. Now you will have those people who will be quick to say they take medication that makes them fat, hormonal issues make them fat, injuries prevent exercise so they can’t help but be fat (despite eating foot long sub sandwiches regularly). I will admit there are medical reasons that may make it difficult to maintain a healthy weight. I am no doctor (but I did stay at A Holiday Inn Express recently) so I can’t comment on those reasons, but the simple truth is the vast majority of us are fat because we eat too much and move too little. Plain and simple. Oreo’s are tasty but not your friend.</p><p>But that is no excuse to abandon striving to create a healthy lifestyle. Regardless of your individual situation, eating healthy and moving you body i.e. walking, jogging…any type of exercise, will only serve to improve your health. We have to make the choice to not be fat. Admit we have become fat and commit to do something about it. We have become a nation of excuses and excesses. I was one of the excuse makers and indulged in food excess…I was fat. It was hard to deny when I saw pictures of myself in my hockey jersey and it was tight (for those who are not hockey fans…the jersey should not be tight.) I am declaring my war on fat and make no apologies if my words cause you to shrink.

I am excited to be part of the Corn Fed Spartans and look forward to sharing my fitness journey with everyone on my way to Sparta and my adventure in finding my very elusive abs!

</p><p>Jeffrey</p><p>Previously fat guy</p>

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