Posted in Uncategorized on July 17, 2013 by ridin

Running in the mornings T, W, Th: street runs with hills, no pushups or burpees. This afternoon was a core hammer workout to be noted below.


WSJ has a pretty icky piece on snail facials, which is spa facial treatments consisting of having snails slither all over your face. I personally would rather have snails slither all over my face than join the 85% of Americans with this disgraceful crap in their kitchens. This AdAge piece makes the interesting allegation that the mainstream American diet hasn’t changed much over the past few decades.

“Consider Pinnacle Foods, a 12-year-old company which over the years has acquired a who’s-who list of classic pantry brands like Birds Eye, Hungry Man, Vlasic, Duncan Hines and Mrs. Butterworth’s – one of which can be found in 85% of American households.”

Vlasic makes some good pickles, and Birds Eye frozen veggies can sub when no good fresh ones are available, but come on, I mean, for chrissakes, Mrs. Butterworth’s isn’t even syrup. As sales of Spam continue to rise, the marketeers assert: “There is clearly a movement toward health and wellness, but the bulk of consumption is still in the mainstream, indulgent flavors.”


More than a movement toward health and wellness would be nice, but not so much for the shareholders. Hormel, makers of Spam, make the following outrageously wrong claim on their website (emphasis added):

“Hormel Foods is active through the Hormel Foods Charitable Trust, which focuses its community giving on education, hunger and health. We invite you to become more familiar with the diverse array of wholesome and great-tasting foods that are part of the Hormel brand—as relevant, delicious and high-quality as ever.”

The Hormel product line consists entirely of highly processed factory farm meats. The same can be said about most of the US population.


Core Hammer: full sweats and weight vest

Floor wipes x 20

Metronome x 30

Zercher good morning x 10

Squat x 10 <–or substitute any other full body-type exercise that will NOT mess up you stupid shoulder that got you condemned to PT

Seated waist twist x 20

Crunch x 10 (the vest makes a difference all right!)


Do the above circuit FIVE times. Stretch it out…slow down the exercises. The above took an hour and now my core is, indeed, hammered. Have fun!



Posted in Uncategorized on July 15, 2013 by ridin

So Simple Week ended with a morning of hill runs and an afternoon of squats and lunges. And the realization that my shoulder is just not really any damn good, so I broke down and saw a sports medicine doc this morning. Verdict: latissimus dori strain. PT for 4-6 weeks. Spartan Races permitted only if lots of improvement. So my job is to be very diligent about PT, let go of my Spartan plans for this year ($400 season pass…it was such a good idea…), and watch my diet to ensure I stay lean, since I can’t really work on strength right now. This will be discipline without much reward. The best outcome I can aim for is to stay lean and return to where I was before attempting to waterski in May. Tough! 


In other news…who knew the old Twinkies only had a shelf life of 26 days? I had assumed it was very much longer. Eating a Twinkie is great. After a 50k trail run or a couple miles’ open water swim. Hostess didn’t make any actual food, though, which makes the company’s demise even more a classic American story. We had rapacious executives bleeding the coffers dry for millions in bonuses while the rank and file refused to increase productivity. But in another classic American twist, Hostess of course has hauled itself back out of its unquiet grave to prey on the living once more.




Posted in Uncategorized on July 10, 2013 by ridin

Simple Week continues with Overhead Day.

Morning run: 3.5-ish miles. Run up the hills. I had a trail-running friend who once said, “Attack on the uphills. Defend on the downhills.” Now, not every hill is suitable for this. But on a boring old street run, try sprinting/running to the top of, and then over the top of, every slope that comes your way. Then lope down the other side, and recover (i.e., jog) on the flats.


Afternoon: underwear. That’s it. Feels good sometimes {heh}. And no, I wasn’t outside.

Overhead lunge (with waterbag) x 10

Squat to clean and press (with blaggis) x 10

Metronome (holding blaggis overhead in bench press position) x 30

5 sets of each with 30 seconds rest between sets. (Yesterday took too long!)


That was easy, right…? Now. All of today’s work involved holding weights overhead. Think of it as a metaphor–pushing against, fighting, a weight that’s trying to press you down. What overhead can you eliminate from your life…?


Posted in Uncategorized on July 9, 2013 by ridin

This is Simple Week. You don’t need much at all to exercise. You can whip yourself into fearsome shape with just pushups, pullups and burpees. Like a holy trinity–in fact, I like that: HFT, the Holy Fucking Trinity. Sounds easy and lame but can whip you. As soon as I can do pullups again, I’m going to build a workout on the HFT. Or you can spend a session seeing how many pushups you can do in 30 minutes. Then try to beat your tally in a month. Caution: make sure you won’t need your arms for a few days afterward–this is the voice of experience. Or see how many times you can flip a tractor tire in 30 minutes.


I thought about acquiring a tractor tire on the wedding road trip this weekend. I saw one lying in a heap of tires in NY. However, Lisa, my VoR, put her foot down, because she has an actually nice car which was full of luggage and formal clothes at the time.


Anyway, this week I’m going to do no more than three exercises a session. For today I chose an all-around exercise, the getup; a core hammer, the floor wiper; and a little something nice for the back to finish it all off. Unlike a lot of other workouts here, this wasn’t a circuit. Five sets of each with 60 seconds’ rest between sets. So for example, on the getups, do five on one side, five on the other, then rest for 60 seconds: that’s one set. Repeat four more times.


Morning: easy 3 mile run, shorts and shirt.

Afternoon: Full seats and weight vest. Temp 80, humidity a gentle 61%. Mmmmmmm.

Turkish getups, 5 per side

Floor wipes x 20

Zercher good mornings x 10

…Believe it or not, just these three exercises took almost an hour; but 20 minutes of that was just rest between getup sets, if you add it together.


Speaking of simple, I stopped going to a gym last year for reasons of cost and because they didn’t have what I felt I needed to train for ultras and these bestial obstacle races. But gyms have their place, and for those who attend, I offer an oldie but goodie: Jason’s 27 Rules of Conquering the Gym.

#6: “Don’t fall for gimmicks. The only tried-and-true method to lose 10 pounds in 48 hours is food poisoning.”


Posted in Uncategorized on July 8, 2013 by ridin

Buying insurance is exactly like casino gambling: the house always wins. It’s a cold game ruled by hard numbers. I’m not saying you shouldn’t have any; I do, and in the event of a catastrophe of some kind, it’s vital. It’s just that the odds of that catastrophe have been calculated already by the house to be in their favor.


So it’s interesting to me that insurance companies are acting as an invisible hand in US policy. Reinsurers (massive firms who insure insurance companies themselves) now take global warming as fact and price policies accordingly. Now, US insurers are dramatically raising rates, or simply refusing to cover, schools in states which made the staggeringly stupid decision to offer arms to classroom teachers.


The free market will also mean less conservative insurance companies will step in to fill the need. However, the house doesn’t always win when it starts loosening its standards of risk.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~


Went to a lovely wedding this weekend and didn’t exercise at all. Tomorrow: morning run and planned afternoon workout.


Posted in Uncategorized on July 5, 2013 by ridin


Wolverine up there has some advantages I don’t, including fast healing and a metabolism that must be out of this world. Nevertheless, even ordinary people like you and me shouldn’t feel bad about integrating beer into a workout. Just Google something like “effects of beer on exercise”; the science shows that, in moderation of course, it makes a good part of a training routine as well as a decent-to-very good recovery drink. Carbs, protein, hydration: what’s not to like?


July 4th morning: full sweats trail run, about one hour. Temp and humidity both around 79. Stopped at regular intervals for…burpee sets! 15 each. I started with 10 to see if the shoulder was going to cave–it didn’t. I think the burpee total was 75.

Afternoon: lawn mowing

Evening: ~1 hr bike ride to see the fireworks, then the same back home. Wearing weight vest.

How it goes

Posted in Uncategorized on July 3, 2013 by ridin

Life is basically about going through this…

DSCN0029-M3 100_2557-M 2

…to get to this.


Would it be worth it any other way? 😀

I forget what my workout was today except that it was in full sweats and the weight vest. I’ll post it tomorrow. Tomorrow I think I’ll just run and do a mess of pushups or something.


EDIT: workout for Weds:Jump rope for 10 minutes. Then, full sweats, weight vest for…

Overhead lunge x 10

Triceps lift x 8

Knotted band curls x 10

Regular squats x 10

Front lift x 8

Seated twists x 20

Crunches x 15 (last set went to 22 just because)

Repeat above three times. Then, two sets of

Metronome x 30