San Antonio Finish Line

San Antonio Finish Line
Jeremy, Jen and I rocked it!

Fraternity Centennial Celebration

Fraternity Centennial Celebration

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Vary your workouts to see best results

Hello Readers!

I thought this week I would change up my post a bit. I normally would go into great detail about the cardio workouts that I had performed for the week. Don't worry I continued with my serious cardio blast, but I have recently been reading studies and have talked with some people who have pointed out that I will see best results by varying my workouts. I have tried to take this to heart in many ways. I have been varying my cardio. I am a runner by nature but with several Tri's on my plate for this season I have really been working the swimming and biking. I did stretch out my longest run since the marathon and put in 9.5 miles in 89 minutes which was a really good pace. I owe this to being fresh and having bumped up other areas.

Two things have really been helping me see results. The first is that I have really stepped up my core training. Each day before I begin my workout I make sure to get in 250 crunches/sit ups and at least 50 push ups. This has really been great for building my core and building my strength. This also shows up in my running. By having a stronger core I run with better posture, and my technique is stronger. I am a firm believer this has had an impact on why my times continue to drop. The second thing which has been vital in my variation is I have made sure to add some weights to my training. I was afraid to add weights at first as I didn't want to gain weight but many studies show that it is extremely important to add weight training in a weight loss program as it builds muscle which burns fat. It also helps to increase your metabolism and increase your calorie burn throughout the day. On a side note this is important for me as with the extreme weight loss I have experienced I have a great deal of loose skin or flab as I like to call it. This helps me tone this flab up, and again helps with strength in my running causing improvement.

Lastly I wanted to follow up on last week where I mentioned I would be paying it forward, another opportunity opened up that I am really excited about. My friend, tennis captain, and realtor Bruce offered up an opportunity to be on the Heart of America tennis committee for marketing and public relations. Thanks Bruce I am looking forward to the opportunity to help another sport which means so much to me grow.

Hopefully everyone can take some of these tips and take their workouts and weight loss to the next level. Readers keep living life to the fullest!


Thursday, January 20, 2011

Taking Chances by Paying it Forward

Hello Readers!

In my initial post of the year I mentioned that a goal of mine this year would be to take more chances in a personal manner. Recently I received an e-mail from a great organization looking for volunteers. The organization is "Girls on the Run" it is an organization who has a running program for girls between 3rd grade and 8th grade. They instill values in youth about the importance of running and exercise in their daily lives. They run two twelve week sessions each year where at the end of the twelve week session the girls you work with run a 5K in Kansas City.

You may be reading that first paragraph and be thinking how is this taking a chance? The chance that I took is that I applied to be an assistant coach for these youth. I would have applied to be a head coach but they are looking for only women to be head coaches. For me this is truly taking a chance that I might have let slip in the past. As an assistant I will dedicate two afternoons a week to helping teach the values of the organization and help motivate these children and pushing them to reach all their goals. I am a huge believer in charity and paying things forward, running basically has given me my life back so this is the ultimate opportunity for me to help make a difference in others lives and pass along the amazing feeling that running has provided me.

Coaching has always been something that I have desired to do in my life. So by taking this chance I will be fulfilling a life long goal of being able to coach and paying it forward at the same time. One of my great friends Andre is a coach of a track team and I always see the great pride he gets from helping children every day reach their goals. I can only hope that I get to see the children be excited to learn from me and achieve their goals in life. This is an experience I think will be so rewarding for both me and the people I am able to coach. Another friend of mine Cynthia's daughter participated in the program last year and she told me that I will be perfect for this. She said that it was an amazing experience for her daughter. I feel blessed in so many ways that this opportunity presented itself and that I didn't hesitate to act on it. I look forward to sharing some of the great stories of my teams success!

Have a great week readers! Make sure to keep beating those winter blues!
Life is short, Live it Hard!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Winter Blues and Wake Up Call

Hello Readers!

Hopefully everyone is off to a great start on their New Year's Goals (Resolutions for some). This is the time of year we are all anxious about what we have set out to do in the next year, but many of us live in cities where mother nature quite frankly doesn't care about our goals. I know for me in Kansas City this week we were hit with 8 inches of snow and temperatures not getting out of the teens during the day and below zero at night. This makes exercising tough for many of us. My message is don't let the weather be an excuse, don't let it get you down this is actually an extremely important time to stick with your plans and hit the gym even harder. Winter is tough as most of us would prefer to do our exercise outside, but you can be creative and just as effective with inside workouts. I recommend trying classes at your exercise facility. The trainers are professionally trained and are always working on new and exciting ways to make exercise fun!

I have come out swinging this year. I had a little too much fun over my Christmas holiday, I ate everything in site and over indulged in way too much holiday cheer (beer for those who don't know me) I have been on a personal mission to get back to being me and killing it at the gym. The first two weeks of fthe year I have done two a days every day getting up and putting in either a 4 mile run or spinning every weekday before work, I then follow this up with either my bootcamp classes or swimming and biking at night. On the weekends I try to get a good run in and play some tennis. I do make sure I get one day of rest though otherwise my body yells at me and lets me know I need to slow it down a bit. The great news is no matter how nasty the weather gets the "Y" and probably whatever gym you use stays open. While normally this time of year no equipment is open due to all the resolutions made on days where mother nature takes over if you dare to go to the gym it will be primarily wide open for you. This is how you can avoid the winter blues.

I mentioned in the title of this week "Wake Up Call" this may sound strange but yesterday at work I had my health assessment and needless to say this was a wake up call for me. They measure things like body fat composition, body mass index and other important health tidbits. I went in like the contestants on "The Biggest Loser" do extremely confident. I knew that the last year had been a great year so I was almost cocky as I went in. The results received actually shocked me and provided me with a wake up call. My body fat composition while much improved from last year was still on the upper end of overweight. I had a body fat composition of 23%, compared to last year and 28% this was awesome, but in reality healthy is considered 18% which means my hard work is nowhere near done!!!

Lastly I wanted to say thank you again to all my followers, people on FaceBook who read this and everyone, this marks the one year anniversary of my posts. Last year in early January I started with an inspiration post, the people who provide me inspiration. This list has not changed it has only grown. It is the support received from all of you that continue to push me down the right path and to eventual healthiness!

Life is short, Live it hard!!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Happy New Year!! Goals not resolutions for this year!

Hello Readers!!

2011 has been rung in and it is underway. I hope everyone had an incredible Christmas and New Years celebration. I know I enjoyed spending awesome time with my family and friends. Santa and friends were kind to me this year and has prepared me for another incredible year. I have new running shoes and a new watch to take me to the next level. Hopefully he was good to everyone and they are set for what should be another incredible year!!

I wanted to start this year talking about my goals for the year. You notice I said goals, I don't believe in resolutions because no one holds us responsible for resolutions, but if you put goals down people will hold you accountable and you will be forced to go for your goals and ultimately achieve them.

I visited the Doctor last week for my yearly check up, while he was very happy with where I am weight wise, he said that I need to lose another 35 pounds to be the correct size for my height. This is a goal of mine. I want to visit the Doctor this same time next year have him tell me you are now where you need to be. I know many of you wonder why this is so important as I do have my health and do look very good right now, but this is important. I don't know that I have ever been the correct weight for my height since I was about 7 years old. It is a lofty goal but I have made a habit of reaching lofty goals and do not look to fail at this.

Secondly I have a personal goal, I am a person who doesn't take a lot of risks or chances in my life. This year I have the expectations of myself to take more chances. This is not a fitness goal, this is from the standpoint that many times I allow awesome opportunities to pass me by. This year my goal is to act on opportunities. This doesn't sound lofty, but those who know my personality know this will be a challenge for me and one I look forward to taking on. I look forward to sharing results of my progress.

The main portion of my goals is my fitness goals for the next year. When I completed the marathon I received a plaque from my friends Jeremy and Jen, the plaque has a phrase that is on my facebook homepage now and hangs in the living room of my house, "Ryan, The only way to define your limits is going beyond them". This is my goal for the upcoming year is to not define limits but to truly exceed them. I have lined up some lofty goals and expectations to reach this year. The first is I will be running two half marathons in one month. April of 2011 I have already scheduled the Rock the Parkway run on April 2nd and then the Country Music Half Marathon in Nashville on April 29th. I have scheduled some fun triathlons in my schedule, the first being in Columbia, Missouri the first weekend in May which is a sprint Tri. The second is the Rock and Roll Tri in Seattle Washington on July 17th. This will be an Olympic sized tri. The culmination of my triathlon year will be on September 18th. I have committed with my friend Jen to running the Half Iron Man Triathlon in Branson, Missouri. I may have mentioned before, but the Half Iron Man is a 1.2 mile swim, followed by a 56 mile bike and capped off with a half marathon. This will be the ultimate test of my body and mind. I will complete this and look forward to sharing the stories upon completion of each. I am hoping if the time presents itself this year to throw a marathon in the mix in October or November.

The next year is going to be a special year, what is going to make it so special is that all of the events mentioned above will be competed with so many different friends. My "Y" crew plans to join me in Columbia for the Tri, I plan on running Nashville with my friend Jen's husband Benny, my great work friend Cynthia, and a good college friend Kristi. The Seattle Tri and the Rock the Parkway will be with friends Jeremy and Jen, and the crowning jewel in Branson will be with my friend Jen! This embraces why I got into running is the incredible lifelong friendships I have gained from it and the incredible feeling that come over me each time I finish an event.

Cheers to you Readers and your goals for 2011