Any views or opinions presented in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the company. This blog is a unique perspective of one persons journey into fitness. Not all clients and participants at Parsons Training undergo the same training, and each person makes his or her own decisions regarding dietary discretions.
By Steve Sharpton, Parsons Training Center, Tucson, Arizona
April 23, 2017
Once in a while, there are some days where I wish I didn’t have the schedule I had at work. While enjoy my Tuesday through Saturday schedule—giving me some options to do things on Saturday nights as well as do some things on Monday—I still feel like I am missing out on some things. Take for example the moment I missed out on that happened just yesterday. Now I was never a fan of Pat Tillman both football and political but on the other hand, his foundation sponsors an event every year called “Pat’s Run” up in Phoenix Arizona. Well, recently, I sort of joined a group of runners called Desert Flames, which was the team I joined for my most recent Ragnar adventure in March. Due to my recent struggles with my running and the fact I am barely trying to get myself back on the mend, I haven’t been able too join any of the other runners on the team for various runs that they show up to. Even though they hooked me up with a really nice shirt and a hoodie, I feel angry that I am not able to join them as much as I could. Some 16 people from the team showed up for that run in Phoenix, and here I was at work getting caught in the middle of family quarrels and having to explain to people that they cannot put 17 lines on one account and try to put them all on one unlimited plan (by the way, the limit is ten connected devices, just so you can spread that knowledge to your friends…trust me, I don’t want to get into another 25-minute argument over this with stubborn people that think they can play the system). Either way, I would have rather enjoyed hanging out with them, so I will have to wait for the next Sunday based event before I can even do anything about it. Anyway, I long for that camaraderie and with the running season coming to an end here soon in Arizona, my chances are becoming slim (I mean, who want run in 100-degree heat!). Either way, I will seek out some other avenues, like reaching out to anyone that might want to join me for any night runs in Tucson, especially since it is getting warm during the evenings and people might want to start doing early morning runs. I might have to subjugate myself into such a culture regardless, because even at night the temperatures could still be 100 degrees and the only difference is the fact it is dark rather than light.
This is something I have been trying to get my butt into doing these last couple years—joining a running group that is—but I just can’t seem to find the freaking time for it. I was talking to an old friend the other night and kind of lamented that idea to him as well. It just seems like I never really have time for anything these days. It’s been a problem I have tried to analyze deeply, especially since I want to add the plasma donation back into my schedule. Trust me, I hated going to plasma but I really could use some extra cash, but it comes down to spending five hours a week doing that sort of thing while also dealing with the issue of my dietary change. Since my diet is becoming even more low protein these days, will I even be able to donate anyway? Now I like the idea that I don’t need to go anymore, mainly because my body feels much better these days and I don’t have to worry about wasting my time in line only to find out that I was not able to donate due to low body protein. And then of course, the issue with the donation process is where will the running come into play. How will the depletion of my stores affect that aspect of my life to begin with?
The biggest concern I have right now is how to approach my running troubles. I have finally started getting myself over the three mile threshold again, and I will soon take advantage of a gift certificate to get some new shoes (the Saucony Triumph 3’s were less than satisfactory to my body’s needs) so I can really get the ball going. But let’s face it, I’m going to have to do a lot more things to get this body cranking at the level it used to go at before the malaise, injuries and the sitting down all day caught up to me. One thing is for sure, I think I might have to actually do some physical activity before and during work to keep my body in motion. I’ve written several times about the scourge of sitting down all day, but I also have not been doing much about it either. My back is getting used to the idea of sitting down all day now, so there could be hours on end where I don’t stand up. So what is a guy to do now that is body is adjusting to the horrible conditions that he is placing on it? Time to whip out the old Tony Horton nonsense and set out “muscle confusion” (even though it is not real) Well, I was thinking this might help out in a way, but perhaps do a few minutes working out before I go to work and even do a few minutes of working out during my lunch break. Personally, I’m not really interested in doing these kinds of things mainly because I really don’t want to get up earlier in the morning and I really don’t want to use my precious lunch hour (which I sometimes nap during half of it) for this matter. However, I may absolutely be forced to do this sort of thing whether I want to or not. One thing is for certain, if I want to get better, I have to do more things to get my body loose and moving, because that is really the issue I am running into when I start my nightly workout regimens. Granted, it doesn’t affect me as much during my weight training, because I can easily throttle the effort who I need to. I mean, I was tired as heck on Thursday and ultimately tried to reach a couple of good pinnacles on my working out. After doing some hang cleans, I ultimately got up to 205, doing it rather easily. I tapped out at 225, able to get underneath the bar but not able to get the bar up (I had to escape a couple times). I also did the same with front squats, which is one of my weakest lifts due to my bad wrist and my arm tendinitis. I managed to do the 205-pounds like I used to, but it is still clear that I need some work to do when I failed at the 225. Basically, I need to be able to do the 225 front squat if I want to be able to do the 225 hang clean, and vice versa.
So why should I worry about running if I am able to perform my best in the gym? I mean, most people don’t really care and for the most part, being strong is more preferable. I mean, in this great movie that came out some years ago called “Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner,” the titular character was relatively mocked by his community merely because he wasn’t that strong…but a good runner. I’ll admit, in my weakest moments, there were times where I felt like giving up on the whole expenditure and spare my body. But dammit, I am stubborn. If anything, I will have to start doing more during my work days to prepare my body. Walking the dogs really isn’t doing enough for me anymore in terms of warming up my body, especially if I want to get back to the levels I used be at. I just want to reach my ultimate destiny and get down to a sub nine minutes per mile on my average. We shall see where that takes me.
So what can I do to really get the body going? For me, the biggest issue has been the breathing. One thing that is problematic for people that sit down a lot is the fact they are not using their body at full capacity. One of the partial reasons why I am going with the controlled food regimen is the fact I have legitimately gained weight. I have talked to some of my fellow workers and this seems to be a problem all across the board. If you don’t gain some 15 pounds doing the job, you ain’t doing the job right, which seems to be the general idea. One person mentioned they gained some 25 pounds in a couple months (which of course doesn't help that you eat the whole day). My co-workers and I often times envy our supervisor, who is lean as a rail and can’t seem to put on any weight (not to mention he rarely works out). Seriously, how do you keep it off! I do try to keep myself flexible with a lot of stretching, but trust me, when you are near the end of the week on your schedule, standing up becomes a constant battle because why stand when you can sit and wait for the next call? Of course, there is the other problem I have when I write my blog…the chair is seriously the most uncomfortable chair ever. Anyway, this is what I was thinking of doing, which might cause some rage for people at work…maybe doing some sprints at lunch time since I am right next to the Rillito River running path. While the sun might be brutal at the time, what do I have to lose? Putting maybe 10 to 15 minutes into this might be in the near future for me, which means I might have to start dressing a lot more casually and start investing in more deodorant sticks. I have to do something, mainly because I still want to be better and just sticking with the current routine will not work for me.
I could also go with drinking more coffee, because god knows how much I have written about coffee over the years. While it will certainly help with my liver, coffee also makes me sleepy by the end of the day. Say what? Now this may be because I drink so much of the brown elixir of the gods, but it might also mean my body is getting tired fro the caffeine that is racing in my body. I could start adopting a small regimen of drinking coffee right before my runs going in the near future, taking advantage of the 4-6 ounces of coffee necessary to make my performance better (this was determined years ago when I did research about using coffee as my “pre-workout” rather than some powdery, sugar laden junk that no one can pronounce any of the ingredients with. There has been some unofficial study done on the effects of caffeine and running. http://www.menshealth.com/fitness/caffeine-before-running I have to admit there is some truth to this story, for my best run at Ragnar was the first one, where I had consumed some 40 ounces of coffee leading up to that leg. I mean, ran at roughly 8:30 in the morning and had been up since 1:30! I had to drink copious amounts of coffee just to stay upright!
So that seems to be the plan for the time being. Get some new shoes, the types that have multiple impact zones rather than one layer to work with. I then need to start doing more strenuous working out activities before and during work on days where I am not going to the gym. Become a night coffee drinker (?). I don’t know about that last one. I mean I have enough issues with my sleeping patterns, which is also tied into another problem with my running…when I sleep terrible, I run terrible, no matter how well I eat the previous night or that day. so how is a guy to battle all of this nonsense in his life? Well, he has to put his foot down and actually do it. The problem with my eating wasn’t about my desire to eat, it was about my desire to not hunker down and show some discipline. This also rings true for my running and my working out. If I don’t stay focused and keep working on the obvious obstacles my way, I’m never going to get them dealt with. So in the coming weeks, especially with my Tucson Heart Run on the horizon, it helps to have a little more of a plan. I hope the plan I start implementing will help me in the long run.
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Parsons Training is a Tucson leader in fitness and personal wellness training. Every personal trainer with this company designs and implements effective fitness programs for their clients; these programs serve as the foundation for good health, fitness, and wellness. Additional information about Parsons Training is available at http://www.parsonspersonaltraining.com
Any views or opinions presented in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the company.
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Steve, a Parsons Training Client, went from 400 pounds to Running half-marathons, from lifting pizzas to lifting hundreds of pounds through training with us.
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