Monkey See, Monkey Doo

I didn’t quite understand just how much my actions would influence my children’s behaviour until very recently when I had a numerous of life hard truths that I had to first face, and then overcome.  The last few months I have had the absolute pleasure of seeing the results of a positive, action lifestyle.  A few weeks ago during one of my MasterMind group calls, the topic of doing things in front of your children.  One in our group is learning to play the guitar, and it was suggested to practice while the kids were around so they could see Dad practice…  Interesting concept.

This has now translated into working out with Austin each day as opposed to lifting weights at the gym, I have the ability to do this at home.  Each day he gets very excited to join Daddy in building muscle downstairs in my home gym.  Today will be no different as Austin and I will soon be crushing chest day.

The opposite effect of something like even writing this blog post is that Austin is lying here beside me watching his Ipad, or his cartoons on the TV.  If I am not actively engaging him he can get lost in the electronic world, and I’d much rather have him based in the real world.  With most of the snow now melted up here, Austin has also started asking to go the park, as this is when my “training” will get to be really a lot of fun.  As beneficial as lifting weights has been to my overall strength it does get rather repetitive and boring for me.  Perhaps lacking a true workout partner to push me harder and further… who knows… but what I really enjoy is jumping on my bike with the boy in tow, and then stopping at parks for him to play and me to get some working out in on the playground equipment.

It’s a lot of fun, it’s a lot of weight based movements with lot’s of pushing and pulling involved, I challenge you to try to the kids monkey bars the next time you find yourself passing a playground.  It’s tough.

https://www.northwestbakery.com
North West Bakery is based in Barrie, Ontario serving Simcoe County and the Greater Toronto Area, all of our products are homemade with love.  We can hand deliver to your business, party or special event.  Visit https://www.NorthWestBakery.com for details!

 

100 Days of Running – DAY 50

Many people have expressed to me, including the Nike coach that sometimes whispers in my ear as I run to start off easy and build into the run.  It was a hard lesson for me to learn, and even after all these years I am not sure that I still even get it.  Let me explain, back in 2007 when I was a 234 pound coach potato and had yet to do my first triathlon I started to run.  I can visualize the run corse still in my head, I would start on my driveway head about 150m down the street with a left turn and a kilometer down the street to an Esso gas station, turn around and return home.  Two kilometers in total.

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My run accountability tracker.  It’s half full!

When I started I could not get to the end of my street without my heart pounding, a stitch developing in my side, and me being completely gassed.  What I was doing was leaving my driveway and not running, sprinting at full speed!  My inexperience with anything athletic at that point in my life, had me dazed and confused.  I didn’t know how to run, my goal was to run as fast as I could, I still shake my head sitting here over 10 years later that I couldn’t understand the concept of how to run…

So here we are 11 years later, and I am smack dab in the middle of a personal 100 day run challenge.  I had heard of this challenge a few years ago, and have tried it in the past.  My mindset was that if you could run 100 days in a row, it would put you into fantastic physical condition for the upcoming triathlon season. I believe I tried this challenge two or three years already and never ever made it into double digits.  I gave up, I quit, I missed a day, I left life get in the way…

So what is different this year?  How have I made it all the way to day 50?

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The man in the glass.

That is a very good question, something I will reflect upon today during run 50. What immediately comes to mind is the support circle and system of accountability that I have surrounded myself with.  The changes that I have made in my life both on a personal and professional level.  The fact that I know own my shit, not all the time but it is definitely a work in progress.  The MasterMind group I have joined, is an amazing place for support and accountability led by Jeff and Jason have encouraged me along the way.  New friends like John Bauer inspire me to keep going on this crazy adventure feeding off each others positive energy and good vibes.

Most importantly is the man I see staring at me in the glass each morning.  He inspires me to be better, he inspires me to try harder, he inspires me to run further, he inspires me to grab my shoes and go for a run each and every day for the last 50 days.  He will continue to inspire me to run for 50 more!

https://www.northwestbakery.com
North West Bakery is based in Barrie, Ontario serving Simcoe County and the Greater Toronto Area, all of our products are homemade with love.  We can hand deliver to your business, party or special event.  Visit https://www.NorthWestBakery.com for details!

 

The Push Up Challenge & 24 Hour Fast

One of the trendy things to do in some of the Facebook groups that I am in has been a pushup challenge, one guy is working his way up to 100 pushups in a row.  A few others have gotten on board with doing them in public places and getting there family members involved.  So I decided to join in on the fun!

The kids really enjoyed climbing on Dad’s back and going for a ride, and I think I will continue this each time that I am doing push ups.  The extra weight will certainly help in the development of the chest, shoulders and biceps…

While it’s great getting in all this exercise, and running I will openly admit that my diet sucks.  Somewhere in the back of my mind it’s okay to eat whatever I want, whenever I want as I am burning off most of those calories throughout my training.  However I have recently started to notice that while my breakfast would be a three egg omelette filled with peppers and onions, a small slice of banana bread, orange juice and coffee.  Lunch would be a turkey sandwich with turkey bacon, lettuce, tomato, onion and marble cheese, it was dinner time when I would struggle with.  Lots of chicken wings, homemade and baked in the oven, I am one of Domino’s best customers and have racked up several free pizzas over the past few months.  And I openely admit to having both a sweet and salty tooth, with bags of chips and cheesies or dollar store chocolate bars being my favorite.

My latest indulgent is the “extra” Sugar Cookies that I have been baking and decorating, as I have been making some orders and some promotional cookies to photograph and I have a hard time unloading them on the kids and putting them in the food waste bin as I hate wasting food.  What is a guy to do?  My freezer is already filling up with extra treats the kids couldn’t quite eat…

So today I decided to have a day of fasting, after my morning coffee and the two extra sugar cookies (breakfast of champions indeed) that I would drink nothing but water until 8pm tonight when I am sure that I will eat an entire pizza…

https://www.northwestbakery.com
North West Bakery is based in Barrie, Ontario serving Simcoe County and the Greater Toronto Area, all of our products are homemade with love.  We can hand deliver to your business, party or special event.  Visit https://www.NorthWestBakery.com for details!

 

100 Day Run Challenge Update – Day 25

So I am a quarter of the way through my 100 day running challenge, and yes it’s a little nuts to even think of going for a run for 100 straight days.  However, barring some kind of injury this is going to happen as it’s a matter of will power, drive and determination moving forward to get it done.  There have been days when I didn’t feel like running at all, when I was extremely tired, days when my legs were incredibly sore from a long run the day before BUT every single time I have dragged my butt to the YMCA I have felt tremendous afterwards.  It may take a KM or two to loosen things up, or perhaps it’s the right tune at the right time to get me moving but so far I have really enjoyed the experience.

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I am loosely following a triathlon (which I am training for) training plan which starts with a base week (week #1) and you add a bit more on week #2, a bit more again on week #3 and then an active recovery week, which I am currently in where you take things relatively easy.  So with 11 weeks still to go, I will be ramping it up to another level three more times.  I have learned and listened to my body a lot during the last 25 days, and will be altering the run schedule accordingly.  For example I will NOT be doing any more long runs back to back during the next cycle… in week #2 I did four 10 km over five days, and during week #3 I added distance everyday of the week culminating with an 11.5 km run right before the start of the recovery week.

The plan this cycle is to increase the number of recovery days in between more difficult runs, especially ones of double digit distance.  Most likely there will two recovery runs in between, as I will be creating a plan and training schedule for the remaining 75 days and strategically plan things out.  Training for a TRIATHLON is not just about running, there is a lengthy swim and bike element as well, two kilometers of swimming, and 94 kilometers of hard biking around the Lake of Bays with lots of elevation changes.  It will be very tough indeed but after 100 runs in a row, I should have the leg strength to crush the course.

I have also been doing weight training four times a week, focusing on arms, chest, back/shoulders, and legs on an alternating cycle.  This is new for me this time around during my training plan, as when I did three and half years of triathlons back in 2007 through 2010 there was no strength training to be found.  It was a whole lot of swimming, biking and running and not much else.  The only element that I would really like to incorporate is some abdominal days, some stretch days and even some yoga days.  If I can manage to add these last three elements over the next five months I believe I would be unstoppable on the course.

https://www.northwestbakery.com
North West Bakery is based in Barrie, Ontario serving Simcoe County and the Greater Toronto Area, all of our products are homemade with love.  We can hand deliver to your business, party or special event.  Visit https://www.NorthWestBakery.com for details!

 

How I Feel Better, Not Rocket Science…

To say I’ve been in a bit of a funk recently would be an understatement, which is weird because usually after some kid free time I am recharged and ready to face the week ahead.  Not so much this weekend, I had the best Saturday possible where it involved a 11.5km run outdoors, followed by a leg workout.  Then I had the pleasure of playing my x-wing miniatures game and won 🙂 and enjoyed the time in between playing pool and other things…

I woke up early on Sunday and took a look at my MasterMind homework for the week, this scared the crap out of me and I think started the process of getting inside my own head.  To backtrack a bit, I’ve joined several men’s support groups on Facebook and have started working with several guys through weeks of community calls and support to help improve mental health/  The love and support I’ve found here is life changing in so many ways that sometimes words cannot just describe.

So this exercise really got into my head, and it started my mind thinking on a bunch of other things that really had an impact and effect on my mood.  This would be one of the greatest things that I needed to work on and change when I decided to walk away from my job and rediscover all the joys in life.  We sometimes call it Mental Toughness, and it had been awhile since my mind had gotten the better of me.  This mood, if you will drifted into Monday and I got through that day but was very lethargic, didn’t eat well and perhaps drank one or two too many beers last night.  Lying in bed eating a large piece of apple pie right before going to sleep perhaps was not the best thing.

The last two night I have also had very vivid and telling dreams about a few of things that I have been thinking on.  I think my sub conscience mind was trying to work through some of the mental baggage that I am still carrying around in the back of my mind.  And I have a job interview today, one that I am only a little nervous about as it’s my first in a good long while, and there may be some uncomfortable topics on conversation along the way.  I think if I approach it with an open mind, and coming from a point of being vulnerable then I should be just fine.

With all this going on today, I reached out to some friends and posted in a few of my support groups, and I was hit back with some instant comments and support.  Even had a challenge thrown my way to keep at things and I happily accepted that challenge and found my way down to my gym in the basement for a good hour of lifting weights and running the stairs throughout my house.

It helped immensely with my mood and energy level for the rest of today!  I actually feel pretty good, I guess the only thing left to work through is my nerves with regards to both this interview and the fact that I will be the center of attention during my conference call tonight, talking about this very subject.  i actually welcome the chance to get 12 other men’s perspective on my situation and what I am currently dealing with.  It’s an incredibly nerve racking experience to open up and share what’s going on in my head, not something that I have ever done before which is causing the nerves.  When it all said and done I know that I will learn and grow from the experience and continue to move my life in the right direction.

This is a cycle that I have dealt with my entire life, and it would cripple me for weeks at a time.  Dealing with addiction made this cycle even worse, and even tougher to shake.  I have a smile on my face as I type this now realizing that I have positioned myself to help safeguard these self destructive cycles that I know that exist in my life.  Ha ha… win!

I Am NOT A Morning Person

In a quick follow up to yesterday’s post, Austin’s birthday turned out to be pretty good.  Yes there was a lot of running around, and I thoroughly enjoyed taking him toy shopping and then coming home and making a Spider-Man cake that he has requested.

It was awesome!

So this morning I had set my alarm for 4:45 am with the intentions of getting a run and swim in before Danielle would bring the kids back in the morning.  I like the idea of getting my workouts in while the kids are not here, or sleeping soundly in their beds.  This allows me to have more fun time around the house when Austin is here as opposed to dragging him along to the YMCA and dumping him the playroom for a couple of hours.  Yes I am sure he enjoys playing with other kids his age, and I am sure it is good for his social skills however his time at home before school starts is quickly running out and I want to cherish every second of it.

I was up early on Wednesday morning for the run and swim combo, and purposely planned my run on Thursday for late in the evening to allow a good 36 hours of recovery time between cardio sessions.  I am concerned that my legs are not going to make it 100 days in a row unless I am smart and make sure I have good maintenance on those leg muscles, and avoiding injury.  The plan was solid as the legs (in the morning) were quite sore, but throughout the day they felt better, I use a massage roller on the quad and calf muscles and it really seems to help with recovery.

This morning’s turn around was much much shorter, about 9 hours of recovery time between last night’s run and back at it this morning.  So when the alarm went off at 4:45 am this morning, my first instinct was to turn it off and roll over.  Luckily for me I generally don’t listen to that instinct anymore so up I got, and headed downstairs to make my mandatory morning coffee.  Honestly I was so tired this morning and I didn’t want to wait for the drip cycle to finish so I heated up what was left from yesterday’s coffee in the microwave, put together my gym bag and headed out the door before I could change my mind.

IMG_4159.pngI think there were four or five other guys in the gym this morning, and when I got onto the treadmill for what was planned to be a 9km run it felt difficult to get the legs moving.  I generally warm up at 6 mph but today it was 5.5 to start, almost like a light jog and what started out as a tough run turned into something much different.  After the 1st kilometer I started to warm up, I think it was a smart decision to wear track pants today as it helped keep my leg muscles warm and loose, and I was quickly able to up the pace and started to feel really good while running.

I let my mind wander to several different subjects while running, this takes the focus off perhaps how sore the legs are, what pain I may be experiencing and in all honesty helps the time go by quicker.  Running outside is fantastic, the fresh air, the fact that your view is alway changing, I love it!  While running on a treadmill is rather static and very boring, the only view is the pool below or your own reflection in the window in front of you especially when you on there for close to an hour or so.

IMG_4161.pngThis morning the kilometers ticked off quickly, and the 80’s workout playlist was spot on as I easily hit the 9km goal and decided to stick around for another 1.5 km’s.  By this time the pool below me had filled up so I decided to come back for my swim later in the morning.  Funny thing from the time I changed and was headed out to my car the pool had emptied, literally no one was there.  So I turned right around and headed back into the change room and jumped into an empty pool for an awesome 1.5km swim all to myself.

The only thing you can really do while swimming is thinking about things, much like running it can really help pass the time.  During this swim I thought a lot about the upcoming triathlon season and what I truly wanted to accomplish this summer.  I started to envision some of the courses that I would be racing on, how I was going to push myself and thought a lot about my bucket list goal of actually winning one of these races outright.  Not just my age group, but first place overall.  I honestly believe with my current mindset, my training plan and with the help of the support system that I put around me will help me accomplish everything I’ve set out to do.

The next four months are going to be a lot of hard work, a lot of sore muscles, there will be a lot of early mornings but at the end of this summer I am going to look back and be absolutely marveled at how much I’ve grown and what I have been able to accomplish.  And I am not just talking about the sport of triathlon, this is going to bleed into all other areas of my life.  As a father, as a partner and as a man.  I’ve got this.  I love it.

Did I mention I am not a morning person?

100 Day Run Challenge Update…

North West BakerySo for the first time in maybe forever, although I know I did some crazy things while Ironman training a few years ago, today I did my second 10 km run in as many days. I had every intention of doing a nice and easy 30 minutes job on the treadmill at the YMCA while the kids ran around the gym downstairs with there hair on fire (not literally).

Perhaps it was the fact that I actually only ran 9.96 km yesterday and not the full ten that kind of bugged me today. I have OCD and I felt I needed to fix that, or perhaps it was the fact that I was wearing a t-shirt advertising my start up baking company for the first time…

North West Bakery

And I figured that the longer I ran the more advertising I would be getting. Is it wrong for me to have parked myself in front of a few out of shape folks sweating away and working hard? And here comes some in shape triathlete running for an hour advertising a bakery company right in front of them.

I ordered a bunch of items from Vista Print including a banner for the outside of my house, business cards, car magnets for my doors and the aforementioned t-shirts… I have high hopes that this business venture allows me to remain at home longer with my younger kids to continue to enjoy he magic of their childhood.

Tomorrow will definitely be no longer than 30 minutes or 5km, which ever comes first!

Does anyone have any tips for muscle and leg recovery that I might use? After all I still have 89 more runs to go!