This year we didn’t travel for Thanksgiving so I decided to take the opportunity and run a 4 mile race. The weather was cold and I mean cold. It really made me realize I wasn’t prepared for cold weather running so I had to go purchase some new gear over the weekend. I’ll post a separate review on those later.
I managed to pull a 7:19/pace according to my Garmin but the official time was 7:27.
I’ve recently been on a roll running 5k’s, marathons, Tough Mudders and the o2x Summit Challenge in Windham, NY on October 25th, 2014. This year was o2x first year doing racing and I had the opportunity to participate in the last race of the year at Windham.
So what’s o2x? It’s a race series focused around mother nature and her natural obstacles without destroying or alternating the existing terrain. This makes a really cool race environment because its nature at its best!
The races are currently classified in “diamonds” much like you would find when skiing, for example the single diamond is ~1,000 vertical gain and around 3-5 miles in length, the double diamond is roughly ~2,000 vertical gain and 6-7 miles in length and the final most difficult is the triple diamond which is ~3,000 vertical gain and 7+ miles in length.
The race I participated in was a single diamond race in Windham, NY and the terrain consisted of streams, rocks, boulders and a lot of up hill running. The morning weather was cool and the ground on the trail was covered in leaves and wet. Three waves were scheduled 9am, 9:30am and 10am and I was in the first wave. We started at the base of the mountain and quickly made our way up to a massive boulder which we had to crawl through. They had two water stations throughout the course, a few people carried bottles of water or ran with a small camelbak. At the top of the mountain you got a really kick ass o2x water canteen for finishing and some hot cider.Oh and a really cool gondola ride to the bottom!
I’ll be honest I’m addicted to the o2x races and I’m trying to determine if I want to purchase a season pass next year. The biggest challenge is making sure I can attend all the events since I’ll have to travel a pretty decent distance so I’ll have to decide if the trade off is worth it. On the flip side, I like the premise of o2x, I like being in nature and I like that I’m less battered when completed as compared to a Tough Mudder.
The swag bag is also the best I’ve ever seen. It included a pair of mens or womens Lululemon running shorts, tshirt and a Juti bar.
Below are some pictures taken of me during the event. You can view more from the Windham race at Gameface Media.
I recently picked myself up a pair of Brooks PureGrit 3 shoes to run the o2x Summit Challenge in Winham, NY this past weekend (I’ll post a separate review). My purpose of selecting these shoes was two-fold, I wanted to replace my Solomon Speedcross shoes which I’m previously used in three Tough Mudders.
The speedcross are a great sturdy shoe but they always hurt my feet specifically my akle and heel and I wanted to test out something else. After some extensive testing and purchasing and returning the Rebook All Terrain and Merrell All out Rush I settled on the Pure Grit 3’s and I’m glad I did. I’ll be testing them out in the Central Florida Tough Mudder in a few weeks and I’ll provide a quick update since the terrain will be different.
Brooks PureGrit 3 Review
The terrain for the o2x run was 1300 vertical feet up Windham ski area in the beautiful Catskill mountains near Albany, NY. The environment was interesting but expected for the time of the year, leave covered logs, twigs and tons of loose rocks, wet stones, streams and various other outdoor obstacles.
Muddy after the o2x summit race. (Side View)
Top of the brooks pure grit 3 after the o2x summit race.
The bottom of the shoe has a nice grip.
My rating: 8/10, they were comfortable and stability wasn’t an issue. The grips on the bottom gripped the hillside wonderfully and the shoe provided decent cushioning when needed. My only issue with them is and this goes for all brooks shoes I’ve tried is the toe box is roomy and prefer a more tight fit.
However, my interest in Brooks has returned and I’ll give the Brooks PureConnect 3 a shot when my current supply of Saucony Mirage 3 has run dry. I’m not a fan of the Saucony Mirage 4 (2014 model) so I’m going to need a replacement in a few months.
For the first time in 6 years I just completed my second marathon, the Columbus Marathon 2014. In 2008 I ran the Green Mountain marathon in Vermont, I weight 300lbs and it took me 5 hours 27 minutes. This past weekend I completed the Columbus Marathon in 3 hours 59 minutes and 31 seconds and I’m over 100lbs lighter :). My goal was 3 hours 45 minutes, but I got calve cramps around mile 23.5 so the last few miles were done with a run/walk strategy.
After a successful weight-loss in 2013 and hitting a plateau in 2014 I decided to change things up a little. On June 22, 2014 I decided to try eating keto, which essentially consists of a very low carb (20-30g), high fat (180g), moderate protein diet (150g) and the idea is your body will learn to utilize fat stores for energy.
I’m just about two weeks into my eating keto style experiment and after suffering the typical keto flu symptoms the first week I survived!!! Total weight loss which was water consisted of about 6.5 pounds (water), and 2.4% body fat so far. I’m almost finished with the second week, my strength is back and my dizzy spells are gone (yay).
What does my diet consist of when eating keto? A combination of the following…
Eating Keto, Low Carb, Low Sugar, High Fat, Moderate Protein:
Meat = Beef, Salmon, Turkey, Chicken, Pork
Vegetables = Spinach, Broccoli, Asparagus, and small amounts of tomato, zucchini and summer squash
Snacks = Almonds, Macadamia Nuts, Quest Bars (Chocolate Brownie, Almond Crunch or Apple Pie)
Quest Bar Note: I eat these to get fat, protein and the net carbs are super low making it a good snack
Drinks = Water 3-4L per day (Typical Smart Water it has added electrolytes), Nuun Hydration Tabs (2 per day)
Cheese = Tillamook Cheddar, Cabot Sharp, Blue Cheese Crumbles
Oils = Coconut oil (1Tbps in my coffee in the morning, Bullet Proof Coffee (hint put in blender for a lattee)), EVOO and Kerrygold Butter
Obviously this is ever-changing but it fits within my macros and calorie limits.
Breakfast = Three fried eggs, 6g of butter and a single piece of cheese and maybe a ham slice.
Snack = 12 Almonds
Lunch = Meat, typically 6-8oz and some spinach or broccoli
Snack = 12 Almonds
Dinner = Meat, 8=10oz which spinach or broccoli
Snack = Cabot Cheese and Quest Bar
I’ll continue to try to keep the blog updated with progress along the way..
It’s been awhile since I’ve posted on the blog and today’s lunch deserved a quick post. I was recently at Costco and found a few interesting items that turned out to be a great lunch. Costco carries Bear & Wolf canned wild salmon, from the deli counter I picked up some Quinoa salad.
Wild Salmon Quinoa Salad Recipe
1/4 cup of the Quinoa salad & 1 can 4.5oz of Salmon dump into a bowl, toss and eat.
I decided to try something new today and instead of having Oat Meal, I had Oat Bran and wow it was amazing. I think this will be my new breakfast of choice when at home.
Oat Bran Cereal with Egg Whites Recipe
2/3 Cups Oat Bran (Bob’s Red Mill)
2 Cups Water
3/4 Cup Egg Whites
1/8 Cup Crushed Almonds
1Tbps Flaxseed Meal
Cinnamon to flavor (as much or little as you like)
Directions: Bring the water to a boil and cook the Oat Bran at high heat for 2 minutes, it will start to get thick. Turn down the heat just a little and stir in the egg whites and continue stirring for about 2-3 minutes (it’s important to keep stirring) and you will notice the consistency get really thick. Next, add in the Cinnamon, Berries, Flax and Almonds and put into a bowl. ENJOY!!
I often get asked how I “did it” what did made me “do it” and at first I had no good reason other than It sounded like a good idea. But then I really started thinking about it, which led me to this blog post about my personal fitness motivators… Here we go..
I’ve tracked aspect of my left for the past 14 months. My steps, stairs, miles, food, calories, protein, carbs, fat, weight, measurements, exercise, sleep, heart rate and blood pressure all to various applications that are connected to give me metrics about my life. While not always perfect, it serves a purpose for me. I’m actually so into the metrics I wear a Fitbit and a Nike Fuel Band, just to compare them.
Thinking further into this journey, this blog, the last year, how I have put myself out there on a more intimate and personal level more than ever before. I was that guy who wore a shirt at the pool, I would generally just skip the pool because I wasn’t comfortable with my weight. I never fathomed putting a picture of myself without a shirt on a website, nor being this open about it for the world to see.
A year ago in Feb 2013, I weighted 295 pounds. I was miserable, puffy and tired but I didn’t vocalize it, complain about or frankly do anything about it. Looking back, internally it was something that did bother me. I’m sure someone reading this blog post will relate, either consciously or subconsciously (don’t be afraid to contact me I’ll give you some advice). If you relate and are struggling, I encourage you to take that step towards a better you, a simple walk or cutting out sugar drinks is a good first step and slowly add other positive things to achieve the goals you want.
In Jan 2013, something clicked for me to be motivated enough to make this life change. Perhaps, it was the pants that were size 46 that were getting tight, the XXL shirts that were getting snug, the consistent sweating or maybe it was when my 2-year-old wanted me to chase him and after 5 minutes I was sweaty wet mess and out of breath. Subconsciously, and after many hours of mindless thinking about this subject while sitting on planes and in airports I came to the conclusion I didn’t want to be that dad who sat on the bench, couldn’t chase him, couldn’t play catch, football, soccer you name it.
Actually, I think reading Tony Hortons new book “The Big Picture” really got me thinking about this journey in a different way.
Anyways, everyone has a motivator, mine is being around so I can be a dad, live life to my fullest and be there for as he grows up. My secondary motivator was for myself and my wife, I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. I didn’t want to be out of shape or eat horrible food and I didn’t want to be a statistic. I wanted to wear those jeans (pick a brand), you know the ones you can’t get in size 46? I’m sure I could keep going, but you get the point. It’s really that simple, those things made me change my lifestyle. I’m still on my journey, I’m still tweak my eating, I try new things and I continue to mix up my workouts.
I was doing T25 this morning, I thought to myself seriously it only takes 25 minutes to do this workout. ANYONE can find 25 minutes to workout with this program OR go for a walk or a run or a bike ride. I’ve put together some tips here here if you are ready to get started on your journey.
The more I think about this, the more I want to help others succeed. The journey was hard, but wasn’t unachievable. It just takes motivation and the willingness to change, did I mentioned I usually eat out 2-3 times per day while I lost my weight? It can be done..