Week 10, 11, & 12: Beau 2 Boston

Anything Cool?

The most significant changes in my life—as they relate to health and wellness—have come after facing difficulty head on. If I became stronger, or faster, or smarter, or more equanimous, I bested some type of resistance (pronouncing/spelling “equanimous” being a good example). Some obstacle or tricky path was navigated and, after disciplined training, a new, healthy habit was born.

I’m not starting with that paragraph and saying all that stuff to puff the chest and give a figurative little tug, either, but more to relate that approach of grit unto how I used to think. Both literally, in the actions I would take—and avoid—and as a truism, the path of least resistance was where I based my thinking and doing. It was where, and how I lived my life; erring safely away from trial, pursuing what was easy, and safe.

Without turning this intro and blog into a big soap box oration, until I leaned into “the suck”, seeking improvement under duress, I didn’t really know who I was or have a way to get to where I wanted to go—physically or mentally. Running, and running with means of large-scale improvement, showed me this, teaching me to enjoy, and seek out resistance.

Below are some recent examples with an emphasis on resistance and discomfort: one being specifically about running in the heat—something pretty relevant right now—while the others are a little more life pervasive. They are all connected and all big parts of why I’m super, super excited for this coming Olympic Peninsula Marathon, Sunday, June 6th (Sunnie and Nancy hanging, talking about me and my dad the whole weekend being the other reason).

Examples:

Run in the sun

Training and running in the heat can be a huge aid and catalyst for increased performance. Basically, and avoiding the heavy science, your body and vascular system have to work way, way harder to keep you cool and in-balance while over-heated. When you train like this—hot and nasty—repeatedly, you will become better at creating/distributing certain blood cells that aid performance. The problem, though, is actually trying to do it; to run in Louisiana heat and humidity. I can’t think of many things worse (Tik Tok, partisanship, and Jake/Logan Paul being a few).

Last week, if you didn’t have much on the social calendar and you read my previous post you will recall that I cut a run short, as it was too hot, and I just wanted to be in the pool. I went in, full running regalia, without breaking stride. The heat got me, and I shut it down.

Since that day, though, I’ve made a commitment to the process and the pain—and benefits—of the heat.

On the front end, I drink more water; during, I preserve energy through efficient breath. When a random, bizarre morning of 60 degrees comes from the top ropes, after a full week of 85 plus, I feel like g-damn Superman when I run. It’s an amazing feeling and a measurable sign of improvement… Because I “suffer” in the heat.

The Path of Least Resistance:

Avoiding the heat. Avoiding discomfort and avoiding a premium training opportunity, unique to this geography. And listening to my girlfriend: wearing sunscreen while running, looking like an absolute goober.

Morning riser

I’m up every day now by 6:00 AM—most days its 4:30 because of gym duties. That doesn’t happen unless I address Netlfix, and my tendency to crush a nice docuseries, when I should be sleeping. It was hard, giving Sir David Attenborough the stiff arm, but replacing TV with books, and stretching, and candles, enables me to catch zzz’s quicker and rise earlier!

The Path of Least Resistance:

Hiring a part time, hourly worker, most likely from Twin Peaks, and having them fill in morning hours at the gym—affording me more time to stay up in the evening, in bed in the morning, and active during the day (trying to convince Sunnie to return my calls).

Flexibility/Mobility

Resistance can be fixed thinking, too. Especially as it relates to our bodies, and genetic disposition, and certain limitations we assume about ourselves.

Flexibility, and hip mobility (insert male performance jab here) were two severe limitations I absolutely accepted. For a long time.

Until recent, stretching, and yoga, were done begrudgingly, more as means of making Nancy uncomfortable, really pushing the earthy Buddhism on her. I was stretching to avoid major injury, mixing it in sparingly, usually only when I was sore and my body was trying to catch my attention (think Biff, Back To The Future, trying to get older McFly’s attention with aggressive forehead jabs: “HELLO!!! MCFLY?!?!”). I wasn’t flexible naturally, and both the static holds and dynamic movements were difficult for me.

So, I didn’t enjoy them and I didn’t pursue them.

But, as you’re expecting since I’m a predictable blogger, after further review (Scott Jurek), I decided to push the comfort of my body and my “limitations”.

Gradually, and with more patience than I assumed I had, I incorporated morning and evening routines that actually put me and “flexibility” in the same ballpark. I’m not doing anything outrageous, or defying gravity—unless it’s a red wine Wednesday with Sunnie—but I’m gradually changing my body and movement patterns. I know this because I’m feeling better and stronger, recovering quicker, and running faster.

The Path of Least Resistance:

Accept my fate as the son of Bob Didier: bow legged and shrinking.

Honestly, I’d take it though if I could throw around low 70’s on the golf course like he does.

Grain-free

Bread is the best.

Like, the absolute best.

In every “last meal” or “deserted island” scenario, garlic bread, rolls, and Texas toast are making the cut.

But, when everything you read, from every person and every thinker you respect make it clear that everything we know about bread—and grains—Is wrong, you look into it. And then you see the science, corroborating their assertions of grain-inducing gut inflammation, and you know you need to make the change.

Even as a marathon runner, where “carb-loading” is/was the accepted way, you know real, optimal health doesn’t include bread, or grains (sprouted grains ok, but this isn’t the time to discuss).

So, you dive into intermittent fasting, understanding why we are victim to hunger and cravings (insulin sensitivity with a sprinkle of “d-bagitry” from the processed food industry), and then you work to reduce and eliminate.

It is hard, and I have a reoccurring dream where I’m frolicking in a forest where pastries are the trees, but it is a dietary change that has given me access to a real, vibrant health I never experienced in my first 30 years of living.

The Path of Least Resistance:

Straight up living at the Costco concessions: chicken bakes and pizza (hands in prayer emoji).

Training:

  • 05/12:
    • F45 Cardio based workout
  • 05/13:
    • 1:15 tempo run
      • I mile warm-up: 7:50 pace
      • Five-minute dynamic walking stretch
      • Repeat 9 times:
        • Four minutes at 7:20 – 7:40 pace
        • Two minutes and thirty seconds at 8:10 – 8:35 pace
      • 1 mile cooldown: 7:45 pace
  • 05/14:
    • F45 Cardio based workout
  • 05/15:
    • F45 cardio based workout
    • F45 Oasis pop-up class
      • Workout in the sand, followed by volleyball.
      • Obv I went 4-0 in consecutive volleyball games, immediately after our F45 sandy workout. Really flexing on a Friday evening.
  • 05/16:
    • 19.5 mile long training run
      • 8:08 pace, in the heat.
      • A run that keeps you coming back.
      • Sunnie, like the princess she is, was waiting at my ending point (Casino on the river) with sweet potato fries and water.
  • 05/17:
    • F45 cardio based workout
  • 05/18:
    • F45 strength based workout
    • Half-milers
      • 1 mile warm-up: 7:45 pace
      • Two minutes dynamic walking stretch
      • Repeat 5 times:
        • .5 mile: 6:15 pace
        • 1:30 walking rest
      • 1 mile cooldown: 7:30 pace
  • 05/19:
    • F45 cardio based workout
    • Evening yoga
      • Sunnie stood me up
  • 05/20:
    • F45 strength based workout
      • X 2
      • Sometimes when I’m feeling froggy, and the legs are recovered, I’ll hit a strength circuit in the gym twice. One the second workout I use much lighter weight and work on getting deeper into each movement, or holding certain positions longer.
  • 05/21:
    • “Hard As A Motherf*cker”
      • NOT a song from DJ Brushy’s playlist
      • 1 mile warm-up: 7:45 pace
      • Repeat:
        • .5 mile: 6:45 – 7:05 pace
        • .5 mile: 8:10 – 8:35 pace
      • 1 mile cooldown: 7:30 pace
  • 05/22:
    • F45 Hollywood workout
      • Strength, cardio hybrid
      • Absolutely vibing with DJ Brushy and his mix for this class, until he ended the workout with 90 seconds of some new ballad: “pop that booty, b*tch”.A professional conversation was had after that class. Topics of equality, feminism, and the progress of humanity were touched upon before removing that song from the mix.
  • 05/23:
    • Big time rest.
  • 05/24:
    • F45 “Redline” workout
      • Cardio based workout
      • Very, very happy to see this workout go. The last time it will be featured at F45. 5 second rest in between sets is aggressive.
    • 7 miler
      • 7:50 pace
      • Hot. Very hot
  • 05/25:
    • F45 “MKATZ” workout
      • A two-minute plank concludes this workout.
      • I was feeling good, and cocky, and held for three.
    • Perkins Rowe Speed Circuit
      • Repeat 4 times:
        • Three 110 yard uphill sprints
        • After third sprint, .75 mile run: 6:30 pace
  • 05/26:
    • 16 mile long training run
      • 8:15 pace
      • Again, very, very hot
  • 05/27:
    • F45 “Panthers” workout
      • Strength based workout
  • 05/28:
    • “Fartlek”
      • 1 mile warm-up: 7:50 pace
      • Repeat 6 times:
        • 3 minutes: 6:10 – 6:30 pace
        • 3 minutes recover: 8:20 – 8:50 pace
      • 1 mile cooldown: 7:45 pace
  • 05/29:
    • F45 “NOHO” workout
      • Hybrid strength/cardio hour long circuit.
    • Graduation, pool party, cornhole tournament.
      • Lost the final, title match of the evening. Stormed out immediately, after missing the last bag. Raised my voice with Sunnie. Not proud of it…
  • 05/30:
    • “Fartlek”
      • 1 mile warm-up: 7:50 pace
      • Repeat 6 times:
        • 3 minutes: 6:10 – 6:30 pace
        • 3 minutes recover: 8:20 – 8:50 pace
      • 1 mile cooldown: 7:45 pace

Summary:

Obviously I’m not as regular, organized, and/or committed to blogging as I need to be, hence the jumbled post of three weeks into one.

I’m sorry.

But this coming week/weekend is marathon time. Sunday, June 6TH, is the day. I plan on utilizing all past, recent lifestyle changes (flexibility, barefoot training, nasal breathing, grain elimination, yoga, putting Nancy on mute when she starts talking about her neighbors and/or what she plans to eat that coming day, etc) and running a great race.

And then, I will write a timely, concise post that hopefully encapsulates how a 225 pound dude dropped to 190, without suffering, and ran a 3:15 marathon…

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