Monday, December 28, 2009

Monday, December 21, 2009

Giving old shoes a new life

Yeah you're probably hoping this post is about being able to run another 500 miles on your old,worn out, compressed shoes. Hmmm....sorry I can not tell a lie. But, I can say that your old shoes can be given a run at a new life with a person who doesn't have shoes to begin with. For many years we have asked for your old shoes which we then donated locally.

Well, in the last couple of years we have been shipping them to central Mexico to a town called Casas Grandes. This is a special place for Guy and I and the rest of the Perry family. In 1999, we adopted our newborn son, Jansen, from Mexico. Jansen's birth family is from this small town. Last summer, the summer of 2008, we took a trip as a family to this town. We knew going into it that this would not be a touristy town in any way. Yet, we were excited to connect with the people who lived there, take life at a much slower pace and help where we could.

We were lucky enough to be put in contact with the Ed and Gayle Whetten before we arrived to set up doing some volunteer time at a school for the handicap that they started and now run. During our 10 day stay, the reality of what poverty does to people was painfully unavoidable. It was heartbraking to watch good people not be able to get the help they need. Although, on the other hand, it was equally inspiring to watch people like Ed and Gayle put their whole souls into lifting these people out of desperate times. The Whetton's have not only spent years helping the handicap children go to school, but have also been running a medical clinic that gives much needed medical help to all kinds of people in need. Completely unbelievable and humbling to watch how the Whetten's spend their lives only in the service of others.

So, after that experience, which really did change all of the Perry's on one level or another. We committed to trying to do our part as we now feel even more emotionally connected to this
small town that gave us our son. The Whetton's said that any shoes we could send would be a blessing so we promptly started sending them to Casas Grandes. We had no idea how much good they would do. (Read one of Gayle's emails below)

Now that the everyone at SLRC has become a part of this shoe resurrection legacy, we hope that more of you will too. Next time you drop in, bring us your old shoes. Any old shoes will do, not just running shoes. We promise to make sure that they live out the remainder of their days on the soles of someone who will really wear them out!

THE SMILES THAT OLD SHOES BRING -- An email from Gayle Whetton

"our association was established in 1993 by a group of parents with handicapped children. The group has grown from five families meeting to have a little fun together to a school and medical clinic that has helped several thousand people over the years. Our school "La Gaviota" (it means seagull in Spanish) has an enrollment of over fifty children under the age of 18 and twenty seven young adults. The children attend in the mornings and the adults in the afternoon. We do not charge for our services and depend on donations and volunteers to make our program work. We have 5 paid employees (2 teachers, 2 teachers' aids and a secretary) and a physical therapist that is paid a minimal amount to supervise group therapy sessions with the mothers and children. The children that attend our school are integrated into the regular school system whenever possible but many are with us for their entire lives.

We have a medical clinic that provides dental, orthopedic, plastic surgery, dermatology, opthalmology and audiology services to persons that are financially or medically challenged as well as the families that belong to the association. The donated shoes have been an ongoing source of help for our people. First, everyone that attends the school (parents and children) have good shoes, then the shoes are sold to high school and college students mostly, for a very reasonable price. The money generated is used to pay electric and heating costs for the Center, gasoline for the vans, and has helped with two special projects this year.Our school hosted the regional Special Olympics this last summer that included feeding and housing the 10 participating schools. Money from the sale of the shoes helped cover some of the costs.

The second project was a plastic surgery clinic...our first in our newly registered operating room. Funds from the shoe sales helped buy the medical supplies necessary for the surgeries. One of the special patients was a little three-year old girl that had been badly burned. We also corrected 3 cleft lips and a deformed nose. We are attaching 2 photos of the little girl and a picture of one of the babies that had corrective surgery.
The distribution and sale of the shoes is an incredible resource for us. The parents are able to get involved cleaning and selling the shoes (it
makes them feel that they are contributing towards their child's education and services).

The funds help cover our operating expenses as well as special needs...such as supplies for the operating room. We cannot adequately express what a blessing it has been to wonder how we are going to pay for something and find a case (or 4) of
shoes waiting for us in El Paso.

You can also see more about us on our blog at: It is a little out of date but it gives a good history of things that we are doing.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Top 5 Winter Running Tips by SLRC staff

After Reading the following Top 5 Winter Running Tips from most of our employees. Can you pick out what the #1 most common tip is?

Mike’s tips

1) When it is windy, start your run against the wind and have it to your back when you return

2) Stay hydrated

3) Wear Smartwool socks

4) Wear reflective gear (lights, vest, etc) Be seen!!!!

5) Realize you are ahead of most when you train in the winter.

Amanda’s Tips

1. Don't worry about your feet getting wet. If you have good socks they won't and if they do you won't notice. If you do notice, you should go faster.

2. Dress warmly throughout the day. If you are cold just doing the day to day stuff, you won't want to go run outside in the cold.

3. If your shoes are wet from the previous day's run open them up, pull the liner out a little and stuff some newspaper in there.

4. Remember to drink lots of water throughout the day.

5. Get some nice running underwear. It makes a big difference to be warm on your bum.

Brandon’s Tips

1 Running partner to complain with

2 Smart Wool socks

3 Sport Hill infuzion gloves

4 Sport Hill wind protection underwear

5 Pipeline trail-the snow is packed down and the scenery is pretty darn nice

Scott’s Tips

1. Continue to drink and eat gels. Even though it's cold outside, you still sweat. Also your body has to work harder in the winter to stay warm, so your energy demands are actually higher during a run, especially during long runs. I like to fill my water bottle up with warm water to start out with. Drinking ice cold water or frozen water isn't easy.

2. Yaktrax rock. Use them on packed snow for good traction or during a snow storms. Not great on pure ice, or hard surfaces though. Running with them is much easier than not in many situations, and it's safer.

3. Be aware that if you are running outside for the first time, it will be a shock to the system. The lungs may burn and your face will probably get cold. You will get used to it though, so stick with it. The best thing to do is to continue running outside as the seasons change and you will adapt much easier.

4. It's ok to run on a treadmill. I don't like to be outside if it's below 0 and would rather run inside. Incline the treadmill 1-2% to make up for the effort in comparision to the road. It's also a good idea to not run outside on red burn days.

5. Find safe roads to run on. Running on State Street during the winter is probably not a good idea. Back roads tend to be the best, much less traffic to deal with. I also like to run on the left side of the road into oncoming traffic, it's easier for drivers to see you. NEVER assume a driver see's you at intersections or at driveways, be overly cautious.

6. One more just for kicks. Run with a cell phone if you are running alone. Spraining an ankle or getting some other injury (heaven forbid getting hit by a car) can be deadly and you get stuck in the cold.

Travis's Tips:

1. It is mental not elemental. Yes it is cold, but life does not stop so why should your running. Kids still go to school. People still have to work. Shopping still gets done. We still go to parties and travel. We should still run.

2. Expect to start a little bit cold. You will heat up very quickly, but once you are hot it is very difficult to not overheat. Start cold and allow your body to warm itself.

3. Combine layers when possible. Clothing that combines layers is much more comfortable than using individual layers. A light base layer with one heavier top works better for me than multiple layers. Same for bottoms. A heavier pant is more comfortable for me than wearing a pair of tights covered by a light pant.

4. Good gloves make a big difference. It is handy to have a couple of different weights available so you can keep your hands the right temp on different days and in different conditions. If your hands get too hot, the rest of you is hot. If your hands get too cold, the rest of you feels cold.

5. Wool socks!!!! Even if your super breathable shoes get wet a good wool sock will help keep your feet comfortable even in the snow or rain. Waterproof shoes only make your feet more susceptible to over-sweating because the waterproof barrier keeps the sweat in just as much as it keeps the elements out. It also takes waterproof shoes much longer to dry after your run. If you do need to wear a waterproof shoe, once again wool socks are key for keeping your feet comfortable.

Rhielle’s Tips

1. On red burn days run at elevation (go to for a list of groomed trails in PC or go to Mountain Dell Golf Course) or go to the olympic oval. Although all gyms and indoor running tracks have filtered air, the Olympic Oval has to keep the air climate controlled and is therefore the Gold Standard. Additionally, most indoor tracks are 200 meters, and the oval is 440, fewer turns = fewer injuries.

2. Running in snow is harder, similar to running in sand, so go slower and run for time not distance. The stuff you are running on is uneven and moves when you put weight on it so your muscles fire twice for every step, once to stabilize and once to propel. You work twice as hard in the snow.

3. To stay upright in the snow, instead of on your bum, run like you don't have shoes on. When you heel strike, you land on the snow with a very small amount of surface area giving the runner very little stability. When you land on top of your foot, you have much more surface area, making you more stable. You can also stay in car tracks where the snow has been moved away a bit. Running on flat surfaces, not hills, will also make it easier.

4. Dressing to stay warm: 1. Use the VIP layering system. 2. No cotton. 3. Wear an extra layer over the core. 4. Buy Smartwool socks and baselayers- they retain heat even when they get wet so you can sweat and sweat and stay warm the whole time.

5. To dry your shoes out after a wet run, take the liner out and stuff the shoe with newspaper. The paper will draw the moisture out of the shoe.

6. Wear reflective gear. Most people don't know that the yellow is not reflective so it doesn't do you any good at night. It is only good to help you stand out during dusk and dawn. The silver, silky stuff is the reflect so wearing something that is a combination of both is very important.

Jesus’s Tips

5.- Plan ahead, we all are busy specially in this time of the year so make sure you make some time available for your run.

4.- Dedicate your run to somebody, whether is your mom, your wife or your dog is a great motivation tool, i use it specially in this weather.

3.- Don't overdress, my biggest mistake when i started to run in the winter was to bundle up to much, keep in mind that you will increase your body temperature by about 20 degrees, so if the temperature is in the 30's dress for 50's.

2.- Wear reflective gear, this time of the year when it gets dark by 5 o'clock you should always wear reflective gear when is dark, you never know when a distracted driver could cross your path.

1.-Base layer up! this is a must, it makes a world of difference to have the right base layer when you need it. My favorite are Smartwool and Craft.

Chris’ Tips

1. Smart Wool socks

2. Along with cold weather comes less day light, so I use my Black Diamond Sprinter head lamp a lot.

3. Vest

4. Sport Hill mens cold weather underwear

5. a fairly tight/tapered running pant or tight

Seth’s Tips

1) Afternoon trail runs. (You will see tons of wildlife, no one is up there and it is warmer)

2) Sporthill pants (Great wind resistance and super flexible.)

3) Amphipod Reflective Vest if running on the roads at all any time. (Holds your ID, Phone, Gel and keeps you from being hit.)

4) Trail shoes, Brooks Cascadia. (The snow is giving you plenty of cushion, the traction is what you need.)

5) Warm light weight gloves, Saucony ultimate Run Glove is my current favorite.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

How to run a sub 16 min 5k while pushing a baby jogger

Yeah, it makes people all warm and fuzzy to see Daddy pushing Baby in the little baby jogger forBaby's first 5K. Aww, shucks! But, seriously people, it is a bit much when Daddy just happens to be Seth Wold and he says things like "I knew that a sub 16 minute 5k with Sage was pretty fast for me, especially with talking with Scott for the last Mile." Uhm...are you kidding me? Does anyone relate here.AT.ALL! (BJ you don't count...ever...because you are a genetic freak too) I mean don't most of us consider just showing up as half the battle of doing a race? So we really don't understand the numbers here. Especially when adding in said baby in baby jogger, then our brains just fry.

BUT, and we all know that word nullifies all other words before it, we do understand sharing our joys with our kids and families. And that is awesome. No matter the distance or the time, passing along our legacy is what keep good thing going. So, thanks for sharing in your new Daddy phase Seth. Even if your crazy fast, we will forgive you. Eventually.

It was super nice to wake up eat a little breakfast, Toast, scrambled eggs and orange juice, and then head to a race with the family. We arrived there 20 minutes early and picked up the race number. I quickly put it on and then wrapped Sage up securely in the BOB running stroller. One snow suit and four blankets later Sage was warm and barely visible. She wined a little as we were waiting on the start line. I rocked the stroller back and forth to help her calm down. Meagan, Sage’s mom has helped Sage become accustomed to the stroller. Thank goodness for my wife.

Then the race started. For those of you, who like me, have never started a race pushing a stroller, it is a little harder to get the stroller up to speed. Immediately the lead pack was ahead. No worry I kept telling myself most of the people that were ahead would slow down to their 5k race pace within the next couple minutes. I was right about that, I just didn’t know how fast some of the runners could go. Scott Dickey, one of the managers at Salt Lake Running Company had a commanding lead up front, so I had to make a move to try to catch him. I put in a surge after the first 400m or so. As I moved past the chase group there were more than a few comments coming from those fast guys. All were surprised to see my 4-month old daughter going for the leader. Scott, who is in great shape, has not raced a 5k all out in quite a while. He normally wouldn’t slow at all during the entire race, but a painful side ache slowed his pace around the second mile. This was just the opportunity Sage and I needed. We soon were running together. Scott told me he had a horrible side ache, and we were a minute or two up on the field, so we both decided to jog it in. It was a perfect Thanksgiving day race. Scott is a great middle distance runner could have easily pulled away from me at the end but we jogged it in together. He let Sage win because it was her first race. Nice Guy huh.

As we approached the finish line I was surprised that it was on a 90 degree turn. But Sage, Scott and I went across. The race director came up an asked if the last cone at the round about had been knocked over. We responded, “What cone”? As we were coming to the round about we had been chatting, and had chosen to go around the left side of the round about. On the right side there was a cone with an arrow showing us that we needed to turn. We cut off 30-45 seconds of the course. Oh Well. Luckily we were far enough ahead that the race director still gave us the first and second place prizes. I knew that a sub 16 minute 5k with Sage was pretty fast for me, especially with talking with Scott for the last Mile. Fun races like this one remind me what running is all about, having fun and improving health. I am glad that I am healthy enough to enjoy this activity with my friends and family. Sage seemed to find the race to be fun. So fun that She slept through the entire thing. That was a good thing, I had prepared myself to stop running if she has unhappy during the run. She comes first whenever we are running together with her in the stroller.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Hurts so good!

So, Mike is hangin' in there for another week of Crossfit. I am not surprised to find out how much he likes to "play kid games" though since he often likes to mix up his endurance training with grown up man things like basketball and rugby. Yes, folks even runners and triathletes can spend some off season time just playing other sports for the sake of fun. Some of them do wonders for the speed and agility too.

As John Mellencamp has said, “C’mon baby, make it hurt so good.” Yep, that pretty much sums up my 2nd full week at crossfit. I am not sure if it is the fact that I can’t fully extend my arms, OR the fact that when I do get them fully extended my traps feel like I just tackled a semi-truck. Either way, it hurts so good.

I feel like a kid again doing these workouts. The basic idea behind them is to do a half-hour warmup, whatever really comes to the trainer’s mind. For example, we would run 400’s while tossing medicine balls between us, followed by some intense and fast hopscotch. Yeah, that’s right, intense hopscotch. I am not sure if it warms my legs or my cheeks up more from smiling so much while doing it. Followed by some team drills, think one person jumps rope for 30 seconds while the other does air squats, then switch. There is also the ever so fun “goofy ladder run”. Think of awkward football players trying to have fast feet while running a rope ladder on the ground. I am not kidding when I said my cheeks hurt form smiling and laughing. All fun and games until we hear the actual workout for the day. Then it is time to get serious.

The 10-30 minute INTENSE workout starts after the fun time. Many of the exercises that we do only involve body weight or light loads. Let me give you an example, today it was max rounds in 20 minutes of a 200 meter sprint, followed by 15 thrusters (front squat to below parallel and shove the bar above your head upon standing), followed by 15 kipping (think thrusting your hips to the air and using momentum to get above the bar) pull ups. REPEAT, REPEAT, REPEAT until the time is up or if you boot, in that case, wipe your mouth and get back to it. Not kidding.

The great thing about these workouts is the camaraderie. Everyone in the gym (really a modified industrial garage) is doing it and you are all pushing each other. The only way to truly get the most out of these workouts is to go balls to the wall. That means NO PACING, something that is completely foreign to many long distance athletes. It is tough, builds pain tolerance, and is a killer workout that will result in big improvements.

I have decided to go 3 days on, 1 rest day, 3 days on, etc. I leave every workout exhausted and happy it was only an hour. I also go to bed every night pretty sore and wake up that way as well. I asked some veteran crossfitters today if that will ever change. They told me that it does get better, but the great thing is, your body is NEVER able to adapt because the workouts are so varied. There really is no getting bored here.

For those of you scared to take the plunge here are some of my recent observations: When I look around the room and think I am going to beat others that look like they went to high school with jesus, I get my butt kicked. You are never to old or out of shape to lift your own body weight, in that same vein, your body weight is A LOT more than you think. Proper form is full range of motion for most exercises (not 2 inch squats and half length presses). Proper lifting form produces results, fast (ask my wife as she has commented on my new found arms). Crossfit is kicking my butt and I like it, I like it a-lot!

More to come next week, hopefully by then my arms will be able to straighten.

Monday, November 30, 2009

He said....He said...Compression wear

Other than the fact that is looks kind of dorky, is there really something to compression-wear? Well, after my own experimentation, I would say that it is worth the money in what it does for recovery. I figure that it is one more tool in the recovery tool chest to add to Trigger Point Therapy and a GREAT sports massage therapist. But, don't take my word for it, Seth and BJ have their own opinions on compression and which brands is their favorites. If you want to look at more info and research, then click on the brand links. Oh, and looking for a great gift idea?

Seth: Compression is another modality that can be used to speed recovery and minimize wear on muscles. For years runners have been using the other modalities; icing/icebaths, elevation, and rest, to speed recovery. These methods are all effective, but I am not patient enough to sit around and wait for my legs to recover. I was lucky enough to have BJ introduce me to compression. The Zensah calve sleeves helped me throughout the hard winter training months as I wore them under my pants to work.

BJ: Compression has been used for many years in the medical community as way to speed recovery, promote healing, and decrease the risk of clotting. Many of us are familiar with the R.I.C.E method of treatment when it comes to injury treatment. It is only recently that compression is gaining strength in the world of athletic performance.

Seth: Zoot was the first compression brand I tried. They worked great, so I was skeptical about the other compression brands. I decided that Skins had put out some pretty good products and that their technology was advanced enough to really work. I slid on the Skins Active use tights. They stayed on me for three days, excluding showers…etc. They are super comfortable. The Skin Fit technology, a precision fit based on your body mass index (BMI) algorithm, helped the sizing feel ideal.

BJ: Regardless of what sex you are, the compression garments made by Zoot are sized based on circumference measurements on the calves, quadriceps, and hips. Using this method makes it possible for the tights to provide the appropriate amount of compression along the muscle. We don’t want it too tight or too loose. I use the recovery tight mostly so I sleep in them so they need to fit comfortably so that I can sleep through the night.

Seth: With wearing the Skins tights so often I am often asked, “Don’t they get stinky?”. This is another important aspect of compression clothing that must be addressed. If a company only goes up to meeting the minimum manufacturing standards for making compression, then yes the compression clothing will trap bacteria in its fibers, and when those bacteria die they will cause the clothing to maintain a stench even after washing it in detergent. But Skins is made with Skin fresh, antibacterial and antimicrobial treatments discourage growth of bacteria and help prevent odor. So, no the Skins don’t stink.

BJ: The antimicrobial effect found in Zoot compression is provided by silver thread found throughout the clothing. This a natural bug zapper on a micro level and actually helps with thermoregulation as well keeping you comfortable all day and night.

Seth: Why wear Skins during your runs? Ongoing testing of elite athletes have proven that Skins BioAcceleration Technology creates marked improvements in reducing the build-up of lactic acid immediately after periods of sustained exercise (2 hours and 15 minutes up to 37% ), and allows for more rapid return to normal levels (up to 38% at 20 minutes).(1) You experience less fatigue, minimize soreness and recover faster. With less lactic acid buildup I am able to run further without cramping up.

BJ: Wearing the compression during a workout has been shown to reduce blood lactate levels by approximately 30% particularly in runs lasting around 1hour or longer. It has also been shown to lower your Rate of Perceived Exertion by about 1 point. This means I don’t feel like I am working as hard at a higher intensity.

Seth: Skins are able to decrease the lactic acid buildup by enhancing circulation from engineered gradient compression. They fit tighter at the ankles and gradually become looser as it comes closer to the heart. This improves the blood flow in the veins. Most veins have one-way flaps called venous valves that prevent blood from flowing back and pooling in the lower extremities due to the effects of gravity. The graduated compression increase the pressure to push blood back to the heart helping flush away the lactic acid, avoiding unnecessary buildup.

BJ: Like Skins Zoot uses a graduated compression formula where it is applying close to 30 mmHg in the ankles and move up to 20 mmHG in the thighs. Using the graduated compression makes the venous return more effective.

Seth: I love to wear the skins on my way traveling to and from events. I wear the compression tights immediately after completing an event and for several days after the event to decrease the amount of recovery time before I can feel great working out again. I love using the compression clothing because I can use it all day at work, and be ready for my workouts after work.

BJ. I was turned on to compression a few years ago and have found it to be an essential tool in my training and racing. I always regret not sleeping in my tights after a hard workout when I know I would have felt better had I done so. I also will travel wearing the tights and feel it is mandatory after long strenuous races. It only takes one night in compression after a hard day for you to become a convert. Compression comes in a variety of modalities what is important is you find one that fits and use it, you will be glad you did.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Going Gluten Free, Is it for you?


Not many people like the thought of giving up something they love to eat. But, what if what you are eating is making you sick, slowing you down or stopping the fat loss process. Ultimately, food should do the opposite. It should nourish, revitalize, invigorate, heal and speed up the metabolism. So, to anyone trying to be healthy and perform well, it is obvious that some foods are destructive by nature like sugar, white flour, fried foods, saturated fats, preservatives and etc. If you’re already eating healthy whole foods and still are not getting the results you’re after, some not-so-obvious dietary changes may be worth considering. One of these changes is the idea of going gluten free. Gluten is the protein found in wheat and other grass-based grains like spelt, barley, rye and triticale. Gluten can also appear in “non grain” foods where it is being used as a food additive to flavor, thicken or stabilize.

You don’t have to be diagnosed with full blown celiac disease to ponder the elimination of gluten. Some of the population unknowingly has gluten sensitivity. This sensitivity creates some minor health problems that are not usually associated with what they are eating. The health issues to look for after eating a meal containing gluten are: digestive problems, bloating, intestinal issues, headaches, skin rashes, itching, sleepiness, and/or increased heart rate. Additionally, gluten often interferes with a person’s immune system, which can include these systemic problems: mucous production when not sick, seasonal allergies, foggy thinking, fatigue, aching joints and recurring infections. In a nutshell, a gluten-sensitive person just doesn’t feel energized after eating gluten-containing meals and is plagued with some of the minor health problems listed. If you are suspicious of gluten intolerance, then eliminate it from your diet for three weeks. At that point, it should become more apparent if you are feeling better. Sometimes, after avoiding gluten for a period of time, symptoms will flare noticeably when reintroducing gluten food back into your diet. That is another indicator of gluten intolerance.

So what is a person to eat for carbohydrates after striking gluten off the list? Well, the good news is that maltodextrin, the main source of carbs in your high quality during and post event sports drinks, is filtered enough to remove the gluten even if wheat was used as the source of carbohydrate. Also, many U.S. companies use corn as the source of maltodextrin anyway, and corn is gluten free. So the during and post workout liquid replenishments stay intact, but what about whole food meals? Instead of bread, pasta, bagels and etc, try potatoes, brown rice, hard squashes, fruit and vegetables to meet dietary carb needs. As long as you refuel properly, you will meet your energy needs for the rest of the day without the gluten products. Strive to keep your meals balanced with lean proteins, healthy fats and produce based carbs (with occasional brown rice). This approach will help minimize the difficult adjustment away from your favorite gluten rich comfort foods. It is a tough adjustment for some, but feeling and performing at optimal levels is well worth the sacrifice. And serving your favorite meat sauce over baked winter squash instead of pasta is a yummy place to start. Or in place of your favorite warm, chewy and buttery sourdough dinner roll, you could try…

Chili Pepper Potatoes

4 medium sweet potatoes or yams diced

¼ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 tsp. pwdrd garlic

1 tsp. paprika

1 tsp red chili pepper

1 tsp yellow curry pwder (optional)

Sea salt/ground pepper

Dice potatoes to desired bite size pieces or cut into wedges. Peels optional. Place rest of ingredients in a Ziploc gallon bag. Mash bag to mix. Add in potatoes and mix until well coated. Pour all contents onto baking sheet and bake at 375 degrees for approximately 30 minutes or until done to desired tenderness.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Crossfit Kool-Aid

So, one of the endurance athletes I have coached for almost 2 years, has decided to mix it up a bit in the weight room. Yep, Mike, is going to take Crossfit for a spin around the 'ol weight room block. Seriously, here is a guy who HEARTS the weight room, but hasn't given the functional fitness routine a go. Well, I warned him. It may look like it is for girls, but it's like the hardest tempo run going on steroids and forcing you to go lactate with 100 pounds on your back. I don't think he understood the accuracy of that statement until well...until yesterday.

So, if you are curious about this beast, then don't walk into the lair without reading the following words from Mike. He will update us over the next month as he gallantly drinks the ever so power concoction of Crossfit. Here is his pre-workout take and then his first real workout that came charging and snorting like a red eyed beast right into Mike's body. time, don't forget a shield!

Crossfit Kool-Aid

Let me start off by saying that I have been racing triathlons hard for the past 6 years. Numerous M-dot races, numerous 70.3 races, numerous, ahh well, you get the idea. After the debacle of torrential rain that was IM Lake Placid last year, I needed a break, a LONG break from the 3 sport sport. Needless to say, my break is still occurring. Not sedentary, but merely a break from the three headed monster! Enter, weight room!

Last winter I finally got back into the weight room seriously. First time since college Rugby in the late 90’s. The testosterone rush was addicting. I actually hit the pitch (rugby jargon for field of play) again and realized, that stuff really hurts when you can’t wash the pain away with numerous hours at the pub! I decided to hang the boots up and still have fun in the weight room. I did, to the tune of 14 lbs of pure muscle mass!

I had great hopes for this tri season, that is, until I started training! My mind was not fully recovered yet. I guess it takes some people longer than others! Did I mention that Lake Placid was rainy, yeah, to the tune of 4 inches during that hellish day!

Fast forward through the summer, lotsa running, no swimming, and barely any biking. Time for another off-season romp in the weight room. So, I started my first week of lifting 3 weeks ago and it just wasn’t doing it for me. That is when Deb and my good buddy from Ohio, Red, told me about crossfit. Deb had mentioned trying a few workouts, Red had told me to jump in and hold on for the ride.

The next few weeks I am going to chronicle the adventure that is Crossfit. I went to the first class on Saturday, Nov 14th and heard their philosophy. Intense anaerobic workouts that last from 5 to 20 minutes and completely kick your butt. Yeah, right! A 5 minute lift kicking my 200 lb butt that thrives on the weight room? c’mon man!

Well, I decided I needed a new fitness fix, I have decided to drink the Crossfit kool-aid. I signed up for 1 month. I am going to totally dedicate and immerse myself in this crossfit program to see if it will make me a better 3 sport monster, or at least get me ripped like Arnold!

But, I had my first experience with some functional triathlon crossover and I haven't even officially started. On Saturday, my crossfit coach taught me a new squat technique, putting my big ol butt below my knees. WAIT!!!! Isn’t that supposed to be bad for your knees? You ask. Well, the way he explained it is as follows. “When are you ever going to squat to parallel or less.” Good point I thought, and dropped my butt down. He then asked me to sit on a low box and stand with NO momentum. I couldn’t. I was humbled, embarrassed, and a little peeved! He was pointing out the fact that one can be very strong in many aspects, but lack what crossfit terms, “functional fitness”. Maybe that is why I never really have that biking power I want?

To read more about this functional fitness and crossfit, check out this website . I have my next session on the 16th at noon. I will blog again later this week to see if this “10 minute of hell” routine is all it is cracked up to be. Apparently this week I learn how to power clean, dead-lift, jerk, and other Olympic lifts the crossfit way. We will see if the kool-aid tastes as good as I remember!


Now, get ready for blood and carnage boys and girls.

A Whole New Flavor

So, I am almost done with my first week of crossfit. Gotta say, I have really never seen the point in squatting below parallel, using momentum to do a pull up, and other “functional” movements. That is as the crossfit world says. I used to giggle at the “girly men” at the gym that would kip (a form of crossfit hip thrust as you do a pull up) when they do a pull up. I would point at the muscle head that would squat till his trash touches the floor. Well, let me tell you something. It ain’t as easy as it looks.

First off, just trying to get my hip thrust to get a pull up done has caused a mass amount of confusion for my body. Squatting below parallel, well, lets just say that my hips are not quite that flexible. Now, on top of that, throw a 10 minute time limit, box jumps, push ups, and kettle ball swings and a coach yelling at you that there will be no gains unless you go balls to the wall! Lets just say that my guts were on the floor already in my crossfit journey.

So, the week started with a warm up of squats and jogging. We talked some correct form so I would not tag out of this game early, and then onto the workout. My first workout was ten 36 inch box jumps, followed by 10 20 lb kettleball swings, followed by 10 push ups in 10 minutes. The goal was to get as many as I could. And that I did. BUT, let me tell ya something, crossfit is a new game. Total lactate threshold work. I was expecting to blow my coaches hair back. And that I did, with the chunks spewing from my mouth after my last set. SERIOUSLY!

So, the week has progressed, today (Thursday) was my rest day, and I just (read that as 30 minutes ago) am now able to fully flex and extend my arm again. Yep, full on not able to even pick my own nose. G’times. At to think that all of the workouts so far have only dealt with body weight moves. Absolutely zero added weight, apparently this is telling me something. Still trying to figure out what that is!

After almost finishing my first week, gotta say. The kool-aid tastes pretty damn sweet. It has been tough to swallow, but once down, I am liking the taste. I have not puked from a workout since my college rugby days. And to tell you the truth, I like it, I like it a lot. The workouts are intense, full body, 30-50 minute workouts with the hardest part lasting anywhere from 10-25 minutes. I love the feeling of busting my gut with all I have and being able to see results immediately, even if it is simply boogers that I can’t pick;)

Alright, next week I will give more detail on the whole crossfit mind set and let you know if any of my muscles are adapting to the new moves. My guess is that workouts are going to be so varied they will not have the time to adapt. I believe there in lies the benefit of this new cult!

Until then, I’m pouring another glass, or 6, for the next week!