Tasty Buttered Toast

Quips and Quandaries from a re-employed house husband

Archive for the tag “Training”

Goals

What is it about the end of one year and the beginning of another that can either suck the smiles out of you, or hit you with a right hook to the gut when you least expect it?  For me, I feel like I had a pretty solid dose of both this weekend.

The New Year gives us a moment to reflect back on those things or events that help shape our year and our lives, while the idea of opening a fresh calendar to the first month of the year is like the birth of the person you want to be or the spectacles you hope to witness in the coming year.

Rather than make a list of “resolutions” or the idea that I can make a list of the things that I like least about myself or my habits, and decide that this year I’m going to change; I thought I’d make a list of goals that I hope to achieve this year.  Maybe it’s the same as a resolution, but in some cases, I think it’s different…

Vehicle Upgrade for Kate – it’s no secret that Kate in in need of a different vehicle.  A small, two door coupe isn’t exactly conducive to a hot mama taking the kids home from day care.  Something with four doors at a minimum and decent gas mileage wouldn’t hurt either.

Graduate from College – Some of you will remember that I was fortunate enough to graduate with an Associates of Liberal Arts, and if the schedule at the school works out, I should be able to graduate with an Associates in Network Administration.  This would be great as I’m ready to be done with school for a little while.

Welcome Charlie to the family – My 2nd son will be joining the family in March.  Given the inspiring journey I’ve made with Eddie thus far, I am super excited to see how the addition of another person to our family dynamic will affect our routine / mindsets / emotional growth.  I can’t wait to become a family of 4.

Ride my bike more – Ok, this really sounds like a resolution… but the truth is, I was fortunate enough to receive a bike last Christmas, but failed to ride it as often as I had hoped to.  This year, I hope to log some miles of pleasure riding as well as for purpose… that is, as an added element to an exercise plan.

The exercise plan – so yeah, resolution #2… but isn’t this one that is on everyone’s list?  And if it’s on our list every year is it still a resolution?   I might even think about running another 5k.  For some reason when there is something to train for, it makes it easier to get out and actually exercise.  So that’s what I’m going to try to do.

Be a better friend – Over the last year or so, I haven’t done a whole lot to maintain those relationships with the friends that I hold near and dear. Most of them are now spread out across the country, that seeing them in person happens so infrequently, I feel guilty when I can’t give them my full attention when they visit.  My goal is to make a more concentrated effort to communicate with them on a more regular basis… be it a text, email, skype session or a hand written note… just something to make sure they know that I’m thinking about them and that they are important to me.

And finally… Blog more – I stated a couple months ago that I was going to try to blog every Sunday… and for the most part I managed to stay true to that goal.  Unfortunately, once finals rolled around and term papers were due, I found it tougher than I had tough to get a post up every week.  In fact, after writing a couple pages for class, I really didn’t want to think about writing anything else, even if it was for fun.  With the New Year, I’m going to try to stick to that Sunday post goal, but not beat myself up if I miss one due to a school requirement.

What about you?  Any goals that you’ve set for yourself in the coming year?  I’d love to hear them, maybe even append my list…

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I’m no Forrest Gump

Last Saturday was the morning of the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure 5k and Katie and I had been fund-raising and training talking about for the last few months.  We were asked to be at the race check in by 7:45am for a group photo which meant we needed to be there by 7:30 to give us time to find the group.  Seeing as we had about a 30 minute drive to the venue and we had to drop Short Stack off at his grandma’s house so he could hang out there rather than the cold out-of-doors on the race route.  All this early morning planning made it painfully obvious that we needed to be up and at it by 6 so we could eat a little something, and at the bare minimum be coherent enough to be able to put one foot in front of the other for 3.2 miles.

After the group photo, everyone was milling around waiting for the race to start.  We assumed our positions in the “Over 9 minute mile” group, just ahead of the walkers.  The announcement was made that the runners were off… our pack of runners slowly made our way to the starting line, eventually thinning out enough that I could get a decent jog going without feeling like I was going to get my feet tangled up with the person in front of me.

The course proved to be a little more of a surprise that I had anticipated.  There was a GIANT hill at the beginning of the course, which you think is a great idea… get the hill out of the way early when you’re still fresh.  The thing about this hill is, it’s like it was put there to beat you.  To make you think twice about why you were out there in the first place.  This hill was there to tell you to slow down and walk, but I went against all common sense and ran on.  At the crest of the hill I felt as though the hardest part was behind me.  Three hills later, I realized it was more of a challenge than I had anticipated.

I’m proud to say I ran the first two plus miles without slowing to walk.  It wasn’t until about the two and a half mile area that I felt a slight twinge behind my left knee and needed to walk for a couple of minutes.  Once that pain had either sub-sided or I was able to block it out of my mind, I finished the rest of the race at my jogger’s pace.   I must admit, that while I did do some training this summer, I never made it a full 5k while on my training runs.  The full distance was a bit of a surprise, but only in the sense that I hadn’t realized how close I was to making it the whole way.  Here’s how I clocked in…

Proof that I Finished

I haven’t decided yet if I want to run this race again next year or even another 5k someday.  This is a great cause and I suggest you give it a go, even if you end up walking.  You meet a lot of great people and it ended up being a pretty good time.

Is That Employment I See On The Horizon?

For those who have been following this blog for some time now, you are more than aware that I’m currently unemployed, a father of one, husband to another, and currently training for my first 5k using the Couch to 5k program.  Well this morning and last Friday I feel as though I was on my way to changing one of those titles… namely the unemployed part.  I managed to wrangle two interviews in two days with two different companies; and frankly, it feels pretty dang good.

I have to admit, after not having so much as a nibble for the last three or so months, having two interviews in two days was a wicked awesome way to bookend a weekend.  Friday’s interview was with a company by the name of TransCorr LLC.  Everyone was friendly and said hello without hesitation.  The interview was your standard question and answer, background questions and what do you want to know about the position and the company.  It was a pleasant experience all around.  I should hear one way or the other later this week from what I understand.

This morning’s sit down was of great interest as it was an out of the blue call from the company wondering if I was still seeking employment and if I was interested.  Indeed I was and the meeting was set.  Unfortunately, due to the nature of the position’s availability, I haven’t been able to share what the job is or who the company is.  I can and will say that the company appears to be an exciting place to work and I should hear back from them sometime tomorrow.  I will say these fingers are crossed for positive news all around.  It’s been far too long since I’ve been laid off and I’ve been ready to get back to it for a while now.

Oh, and have I mentioned that I start Week 7 tomorrow for the Couch to 5k?  That entails three, 25 minute runs… ugh.

Next Stop… 5k?

Having recently completed Week 5 of the Couch to 5k training program, I have become aware of the fact that as the next week or two gets notched off the calendar I could very well jog five kilometers.  This fact is astounding to me considering where I was just 5 weeks ago; gasping for breath after jogging for one minute and then recovering for two.  When I look back at that first week it gets me thinking of how much I had really let myself go. College, smoking, general unhealthy habits all lead to the demise of my high school physical prowess.

But now with the renewed drive to improve my health, raise money for an important cause, and to be along side my wife as we try to find the motivation to get off the couch and get closer to that 5k milestone, I’m now glad that I shot my mouth off and said I would run a 5k with her back in June.  I can say that this is one of those time where not thinking before I spoke may have worked for good rather than opening my mouth and inserting my foot.

As always, still looking for donations for the Susan G. Komen 5k that I’ll be running in September.  You can click on the link on the right to donate or just see how our fund-raising efforts are going.  If you’ve already donated, I thank you… if you aren’t able to provide financial support, I thank you for any emotional or spiritual wishes you are able to give.

Week 4 And Counting

I purposely did not listen or “read ahead” as to what each coming week entailed regarding the kind of pain each successive week would bring via the Couch to 5k program.  As of this morning I completed, albeit with some extra walking that I’m attributing to a terrible and late dinner last night, and am none too excited about week 5.  While selecting tunes for the next week and creating the new soundtrack I had to listen to in the introduction as to what was coming up.  Apparently by day 3, I’ll be running for 20 minutes solid… mentally and physically I don’t think I’m to that point yet.  I understand that running for 20 minutes does not a 5k make, but the whole program is 10 weeks, right?  I guess I’m a little surprised that that long of a run has arrived already.

The program has worked like a champ thus far, so I’m not questioning the insanity behind it, but I must say I hope I’m not setting myself up for failure.   And if you haven’t done so already, please click the Susan G. Komen button on the right and make a donation if you can.  It is for an awesome cause and is tax-deductible.  Thank you in advance for you monetary and emotional support!

Can I Get a Do Over?

The injury bug has bitten a few of us here in the Sluiter house… Kate has an injured knee and has begun attending physical therapy in order for her to comfortably complete the 5k in September.  As of late last week, I seem to have stumbled upon a slight but annoying case of shin splints.  I’m in process of taking a few days off and have decided to “re-do” week 3 of the Couch To 5k plan… I was feeling really good about how well I was feeling during the jogging portions and was impressing myself as to the speed I had been able to recover after the longer runs.  I’m hoping that I’ll be able to remain at my current state of fitness and haven’t backslid too much from the extra day or two off for recovery.

As some of you may have figured out, I’ve been using the plain couch to 5k podcast for my audio cues so I know when to do what.  But since it’s only a vocal cue, I’ve begun adding my own soundtrack in the background to keep things interesting.  Week 2 was a fun Cake mix, week 3 is currently a Beck mix that is rather bouncy.  It works well for the 3 minute runs, good to keep pace with.  Here we are coming up on week 4 and I’m in need of a new featured artist.  What say you?  Feel free to vote as often as you like, I’m looking for some reader input.  Cheers!

One down, 8 to go

I would like to announce  the completion of my Week 1 training using the Couch to 5k program.  As my previous post mentions, day 1 wasn’t as pleasant as I would have liked, but after having gone through day 2 and 3 my legs have almost completely recovered and I can tell that my stamina has increased ever so slightly.  I’ve always considered myself a bit of an athlete, but having slowed my general pace of life down a bit since getting married, getting back on that horse was going to prove to be tougher than I thought.

Day 2 I found myself cursing at the voice coming through the little speakers from my iPod telling me that I was “doing great” and to “get ready to run for another 60 seconds.”  I was tired, my legs were sore and the last thing I wanted to do was run anywhere.  But then I thought about why I was putting myself through this hellish training in the first place and suddenly 60 seconds of running wasn’t so bad.

Day 3 began with a renewed sense of motivation.  I set an alarm, (something I haven’t done for myself since being laid off) and I was out of bed and on the road by 6:45am.  Why did I decide to do that you ask?  I’m really not sure.  I think my brain figured it would be cooler outside and maybe I would be more comfortable… who knew at 6:45am it would already be 70 degrees and humid?  The program went well, I did everything the little voice told me to and was back home by 7:20.  Just in time to wash my face and get Ed out of bed.  Minus the requirement of getting out of bed so early, I think I’m a fan of the early morning training session.  I’ll probably give it a go again on Tuesday when I start Week 2 – Day 1.

Training: Day 1

From The Couch to 5k training has begun today… sweet fancy did that make me realize not only how out of shape I am, but I managed to find all those spots on my body that tend to jiggle or bounce when I run that I didn’t realize I had.  You see, I haven’t run anywhere since college, and definitely not for any substantial distance.

I’m following the Couch to 5k podcast based on the same program on Cool Running website.  This program that has been recommended by several of my friends that have become runners… almost to a semi-professional degree finding them running races of increasing distance it seems, every time I talk to them.  At this stage in the game I’d just be happy being able to complete the whole podcast’s directions without having to skip a jog at the end.  Not too bad for my first day, something to build on as they say.

Day 1 in the books, I’m mentally looking forward to Day 2 on Thursday… we’ll see if my body agrees with me.

Help Me Help Save Second Base

This past weekend I signed up to run my first 5k. I’ve never trained to run a 5k. I haven’t run any substantial distance since college… frankly, I haven’t trained for anything that didn’t involve beer since being in college. But this is different, it is for an awesome cause to help so many people and find a cure for breast cancer.

You’ll notice the Susan G. Komen for the Cure logo on the sidebar, if you click the logo it will bring you to my donation page. ANY size donation is greatly appreciated, and if you can’t afford to donate monetarily right now, your thoughts and support is greatly appreciated!

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