Monday, March 31, 2008

Baby Update

Yes, Steph was due Saturday. No, we haven't had the baby yet. Due dates come and go all the time, this is nothing out of the ordinary.

It is so nice of everyone to be inquiring about our soon to grow family, but the endless email, Skype and AIM messages, phone calls and SMS messages are a bit overwhelming. If you're comfortable enough using one of the above means to contact us and make an inquiry, you are also on the phone or email list to be notified when there is something to know. No, we haven't forgotten about you, or the almost 200 other people on our email list. I'm not trying to be rude, so I hope nobody takes it that way.

In the meantime, life goes on as normal. Well, sort of... I have no focus at work and Steph is watching bad daytime TV and playing Super Mario Brothers on the Wii.

Of course the obligatory cute baby pictures will be posted when there is something to post...

Friday, March 28, 2008

Bootcamp Physical Fitness Test

Bootcamp is over and I did my fitness test today. I knocked 2 minutes 40
seconds off my 1 mile run (from 10:30 to 7:50!!) and improved my timed sit ups, push ups and dips. w00t! I'm going to take the weekend for a little relaxing, a lot of beer drinking and some good, unhealthy foods that I have been craving before I get back to the hard work of working out hard on Monday AM.

I bought myself a heart rate monitor this week to help me train for the Peachtree Road Race. I'll be taking it out for a run this weekend to guide me to keep my heart rate in the 70 - 80% max heart rate (MHR) zone as I run so I can (hopefully) start extending the length of my runs in both time and distance. Right now I'm working off the age based calculations, but I should find some time soon to determine my MHR more scientifically based on my resting heart rate as I wake up in the morning... if I can remember to do that at 5:30 AM when I get up.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Operation Boot Camp - Week 3

Three weeks have passed since I started at boot camp. I just signed up for three more months. I am a glutton for punishment.

On Friday I take my PT again to check against my stats from day 1. I can't wait to see the improvements I have made...

If its not obvious already, I really like boot camp. Having someone to push me every day, make me work harder and go beyond what I think my limits are is a powerful motivator.

The only thing that would make boot camp better is warmer weather. Tomorrow morning it will be hovering around the freezing point as we head out for our morning work out. YUCK! It is almost April already, the dogwoods are in bloom and the pollen is in the air. What's with the crazy weather?! Spring is coming soon and then summer. By then I'll probably be wishing it was in the 30s again...

I'm not dead yet!

Last Saturday Steph and I were at home, entertaining some friends when I stepped outside to take a call. I took the opportunity to check the mail and, damn, did I get the surprise of my life. Java died. I have the condolence card from my vet to prove it!

But, there's one problem: Java is still alive and kicking! Perhaps because it was Easter weekend he had been resurrected (if you can believe in such fallacies)? Probably not.

It appears as if there was some mistake at the vet. While I love the vet herself, her staff is pretty dumb. There is more than one Java that visits our vet clinic and the vet herself often refers to Java as "she" instead of "he" before quickly correcting herself and mentioning, yet again, that she sees multiple Javas of different genders. (This is especially humorous when Java is prone, legs in the air, displaying his junk for all to see. Perhaps she's not aware what a penis is? Maybe the twig without berries is confusing? Who knows!?) Apparently her staff has somehow mixed up the records for Java (with twig, no berries) and Java (no twig or berries), hence the condolence card to Java (with twig, no berries). Needless to say, the vet was quite embarrassed when we called to alert her to her (his?) mistake.

Next time I get a dog I am giving it a unique name so that this kind of situation doesn't happen again. Perhaps we'll use one of the baby names we considered and quickly threw away, such as S'phyllis or Lemonjello... only time will tell.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Bootcamp - End of Week 2

Its been two weeks since I started bootcamp and I reached my first goal. For the first time in way too long I broke 190 lbs, losing my first 10 lbs! After two weeks I am really starting to notice changes in my body as my waist becomes slimmer and my legs are becoming more defined. I'm amazed at the difference two weeks of working hard and eating right makes!

Today I ran my first road race. If you know me at all you'll know I am fond of saying, "I only run when chased." Well, no more. I ran the Sham Rock 'n Roll 5k this morning at Atlantic Station in a hair under 30 minutes! Considering 2 weeks ago my 1 mile run at boot camp was 10 minutes 30 seconds, I've gained both speed and endurance through boot camp training. The best part about the race? The 2 hour nap I took when I returned home!

Since 5k was a breeze (well, not really), its time to take it up a notch to a 10k. I just completed my Peachtree Road Race application so I can run with 55,000 of my closest friends on July 4th! I've never run a 10k before but I have more than 3 months to train before the big day.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

BootCamp - Week 2

We're in the middle of week two of bootcamp. I'm feeling stronger, faster and generally have more energy than I did in the beginning. The meals are getting easier as I get into the habit of eating six times a day. I have the additional benefit of needing to cook at home in order to meet my daily allowance of protein, carbs and vegetables while minimizing my fat intake. This has been great for me since I love to cook, but often find excuses why we need to go out to dinner instead. I've taken quite a bit of inspiration lately from Rick Bayless' Mexican Everyday where the meals are healthy and relatively quick to prepare. Rick's Chicago restaurant, Frontera Grill/Topolobampo, is one of my favorites and a must-do when I am in the windy city. As a huge Mexican food fan its nice to see some more healthy alternatives to what most Americans think Mexican food is. Not that the cheese filled and fried foods aren't good... they are! But they are not on my eating plan at the moment.

Interestingly, I'm already noticing significant changes in my body composition. I've lost more than two inches off my waist already! Clothes that didn't fit 2 weeks ago now fit. Clothes than I haven't fit into in more than 2 years now fit, as well! By the time I get back on the road for work (May?) I'm going to need to buy a new wardrobe! This is seriously cool stuff.

At the doctor's office yesterday it was noted that I have lost 18 pounds since the last time I saw her! (2006? At the time I was pushing 210 pounds, near my heaviest weight.) That means I am down about 9 pounds since the beginning of March. W00t!

There's still 2.5 weeks of boot camp left in March and I'm already considering joining again in April. Boot camp and a newborn. It sounds crazy. It probably IS crazy. But I'm committed to being in the best shape of my life by the time I turn 35 in July! I'm already in the best shape of my life, I'm just hoping to continue that trend, increasing my strength and endurance while bringing my weight down to a healthy level that I can maintain for the remainder of my life.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


Shawn Mullins has a new album out today. Shawn is one of my long-time favorite artists and an Atlanta institution.

I first saw him play acoustic guitar at Oxford Books (an Atlanta institution that is long gone now) in 1993. I used to go there to read/study when I was in grad school and discovered Shawn, Millan & Kenzie, Matthew Kahler and others there. I have so many good memories of going to shows where Shawn played, such as New Years Day 1994 at Rainy Day Records (also long since gone) when I met Shawn's dog, Roadie, and a very intimate performance at Oxford College with perhaps 20 people, Shawn playing and singing and Andy Edmonds (???) playing harmonica.

I'm giving the new album a first listen right now...

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Bootcamp - Day 2

I'm on the second day of bootcamp.


I hurt.

Bootcamp is kicking my ass.

One of the most difficult things to do is eat properly six times a day. Thankfully my job keeps me at home, so I have everything I need in the kitchen to make good, healthy choices following a meal plan like that in Body for Life. Since I did BfL back in 2001, the food is not as daunting as it could be, but I was so hungry yesterday.

So what do we do in bootcamp? Get our butts kicked around the parking lot and fields at a local tennis center! Yesterday was a physical fitness test where we got to find out how out of shape we were. My stats:
  • 1 mile run: 10 minutes, 30 seconds
  • Push-ups (timed, 1 min): 30 manly pushups, 8 more girlie-style
  • Sit-Ups (timed, 1 min): 35
  • Dips (timed 1 min): 20 (straight legs), 10 (bent knees, much easier)
In 30 days I hope to see these numbers improve!

Today we focused on legs with lots and lots of squats and lunges, with a good number of push-ups and sit ups to make it interesting. One thing that the instructors are great at is keeping everyone moving for the entire 45 minute workout. When you are in line waiting to run the course you are still moving: running in place, lunges, squats or the "listening position" where you hold a squat with your legs bent at the knees at about 45 degrees! OUCH! I was definitely showing my lack of cardio training today as I started fading half-way through the workout and my runs became slower, my push-ups uglier and my clothes soaked through and through. (Sure, it was raining, but I'd wager my clothes held more water weight in sweat and tears than rain!)

Tomorrow is an off day, so I'll be doing my homework running on the PATH near my house... This is the test to see if I can be as motivated without being surrounded by others going through the same workout as I am...