By Steve Sharpton, Parsons Training Center, Tucson, Arizona
February 7, 2016
I don’t have much to write about today, mainly because I have been a bit under the weather for nearly a week. I guess I could ramble on about today’s Superbowl, which pit two teams I really don’t care much for against each other. I guess I will go for the Broncos, mainly because I have family and friends up in Denver and that would totally make their day. It is kind of funny though, my little nephew Elliott is becoming a big Broncos fan for some reason. Neither of his parents even care about sports, yet somehow he proudly proclaimed to my mother during her last visit that he was a Broncos fan. I guess the kids at school are rubbing off on him being a bad influence on him or something because he used to be aGiants fan! I suppose I should also choose the Broncos because it would benefit me more at work, for we supply most of our products to the west coast and having a more western based team will help as the band wagon will get sizably larger post victory. And for those that doubt this mantra, I have seen a lot of Seahawks memorabilia for kids the last few months, so kids (mainly due to their parents) are definitely the biggest bandwagon jumpers. Darn kids, can’t they just be manipulated to liking a team like everyone else. I mean, my dogs are huge Giants fans, even though I don’t watch TV anymore!
Anyway, due to a weird head cold and an extreme lack of energy, I canceled all my runs and my workouts since Tuesday, where I had pretty spirited workout but could tell something was just not right with me. I put together a pretty good workout on my own, incorporating some good movements that would aid me in all aspects of my body. It’s something I have been wanting to do in regards to my fitness, putting together some new ideas that will benefit what I need to do to fix some of my balance issues while also strengthening smaller muscles. It was pretty ambitious, especially since I walked in extremely sore from an actual weekend of work. That’s right, I logged in 36 hours in three days! Plus, there was this extreme fatigue that kind of sept over me, but I thought that was just the fact I had worked so hard. Anyway, I started with some simple training, putting together a bench press, back squat and one minute planks. Since I didn’t want to take up too much space, I did each thing individually. Now I wanted to go heavy but I could tell something wasn’t quite right on the back squat. 225 pounds seemed awfully heavy for some reason, so I just stuck with that weight and did five sets of five. My shoulders were pretty burned out as well, so I just did five sets of 145 on the bench. Even though I could have gone a little heavier on both, I had to listen to the weird feeling in my body at that moment. The planks gave me the most joy. You see, I have had so much trouble just trying to get one one-minute set up to this point, so to do it five times despite using up a to of energy really made me happy.
The next group of movements, I was ablate do that circuit style since they didn’t take up too much space for me to accomplish. Utilizing the monkey bars in Parsons Training, I hung down and did leg lifts to the best of my ability. Since I want to try and strengthen my stomach and such, being able to control my core is something I’ve been wanting to do, so this is kind of an introduction to what I hope to accomplish. Someday I hope to get my legs up really high, but for the time being I have to kind of bend them in simply because I am not flexible enough. I was more impressed with my hand strength than anything, mainly because I had ripped it up pretty good during the weekend and even suffered an unfortunate potato cutting accident (the blood really brought some panache to the taters…hahaha!!). I squeezed in some bent over rows at 145 pounds and also did some kettle bell lean downs. I basically would use one leg to keep my balance while holding the kettle bell in front of me. I would bend over to the ground until the kettle bell touched and then bring myself back up. I did this for each leg ten times, doing five revolutions of all these things. Now, I did have couple other exercises on the docket, but I had already put together 70 minutes of work and decided to try one last thing, in spite of my fatigue. I grabbed the monkey bars, pulled myself up and touched the ceiling with my head, seeing how long I could do this. Considering all that had happened up to that point, holding for 25 seconds was pretty good for me. Granted, my forearms were on fire after that, at least I tried something that was a little outside of my comfort zone. You see, I still stink when it comes to the true pull-up, and the frustration has been getting to me due to my perceived failure.
When I finally arose the next day, it was pretty darn clear that I was sick. I mean, my throat felt like sandpaper, my head was in a fog and I had so little energy that letting the dogs outside was real chore. Whatever it was, it hit me pretty hard. Getting sick is not something I need right now, for I have lost at lat a week and a half of training for Ragnar Del Sol, and like I have mentioned before, it is not going to bed an easy task for me. So I pretty much stayed in bed all day Wednesday and all day Thursday, going outside to only walk my dogs and get a little sunshine. I actually turned the heater back on, for I felt the extreme cold that has been hitting my house lately is a big reason why I came down with this sickness. When I really think about it, it was quite evident I had started getting sick the previous week. I was so out of energy on Friday that I skipped my run, and the weekend at work was a real chore to get through. Someone I fought off the fatigue and was able to get that one workout in….but clearly nothing else after that. My week just kept getting worse on me, for Friday felt like the worst day for me. If you can believe it, I was even considering calling in sick the next day, but I decided to change my mind. I decided to do something really drastic, and change up my eating.
For the last couple weeks, I have been doing a lot of carb loading and potato loading, getting myself ready for the training and the running I would need to accomplish or my race. But the one thing a sickness seems to hate is naturally regenerative food, and so I took a quick walk to the store and got a boatload of fruit for the weekend. Blueberries, pineapple, oranges, apples, grapes and bananas came home with me, not a carbohydrate to be seen. I really needed to fight fire with fire, putting some antioxidants and some vitamins into my body that I desperately needed. Now I’m saying I was eating poorly before, I just needed a boost in some of the essentials, and it really hit the spot the next day when began feeling much better, almost the moment I started eating the bananas in the morning. For the most part, I kept everything simple, basically engaging in a rewetting regiment that is quite popular with a great any people on my Facebook feed. Now I have stated I would try a raw food challenge after Ragnar Del Sol, so I figured this might be a good little precursor to what I was thinking about.
Despite the musty smell of my job’s warehouse and the rare unpleasant chill of Saturday morning, a was getting better rather quickly. During my first lunch break when I going town on the fruits I brought, I good feeling started sweeping over my body. It literally felt like my head have the fog clear, and I was thinking a little ore on my feet. It was not like I used some super fruit like dragonfruit or dates or some other exotic looking thing. I just stuck to the basics, and already I was feeling good. My efforts became much more perfected after my break, and I certainly had some renewed vigor in the process. I was kind of surprised how much better I felt, just from two simple meals that were really nothing special or unquote what I have done. I guess it just illustrated how out of whack my body was, for I need that rush of good vitamins and antioxidants, which I probably wasn’t getting enough of from all the potatoes and rice I have been eating as for late. Now I won’t blame my problem on my carbohydrates, for it was quite obvious the change in weather patterns (where it would be 70 degrees in the day and below freezing at night) was the reason for my sickness. But one thing is certain, getting those whole food fruits in really hit the spot.
I wasn’t completely perfect, though. I was still fatigued and went to bed a little earlier than I normally do on Saturday nights, for rest is also extremely important in the recovery process. ButI also know I won’t be down for the count for too long come next week. I’m already a bit scared about my race, because now I have just one week to get myself back into a bit of shape and be ready. I mean, I have spent quite a bit of dough on this race and I sure as heck ain’t gonna let it get away from me. When Wednesday rolls around, I’m going to run seven miles or better no matter what. Not because I want to, but because I really need to. I don’t want to be the guy that has to change legs at the last second for the race because I had some late problems. I don’t want to be the guy that has to be the problem.
Oh well, this is just another in a long line of problems that I have been suffering through when it comes to the lead-up of just about any Ragnar Race I do. Fortunately this time around, I have nothing to really fear in regards to the race. All of my legs are extremely easy on the body, so even if I am not too prepared to do the race (which I think will be the problem for me), at least I will be able to survive. My two long legs are both at an incline during the second half of the 7+ mile runs, so I’m hoping all turns out well. Either way, I got to keep eating the fruits and veggies while I get over this! Sorry for the short blog this time around. When you are sick, you don’t seem to think too much!
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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.