Valley Air Dictates Safer to Workout Inside

I’ve lived in Bakersfield, Ca on and off all of my life. My family is from here and it is where I am from as well. Bakersfield will forever be a part of who I am. Unfortunately I have also grown up with asthma. So I know that when the wind is blowing, all of those particulates get kicked up and it messes me up pretty good. I wanted to go for a ride in the 102 degree weather so bad, I was even a suited up to go after kid shuttling, but I opted for the safe route once i saw the dust in the air. So I figured out how to make my workout tougher than just T25 – Cardio in the pain cave (fancy name for garage conversion to workout area). I figured a one hour brick workout would do nicely. Obviously hot outside the uninsulated garage leaves temps inside the garage a little more tolerable. I already had my skin cooler gear on and tri-shorts so I was ready to go. The workout was rough even with hydrating plenty but I didn’t overheat. The skincooler gear definitely helped! Time for some recovery (sleep)!

Focus T25 Day 18 – Alpha Phase

Morning Weigh-in: 184
Breakfast: AcidCheck Caplets and Cafe Latte Shakeology
Lunch: Left over Fajita Bowl (no tortillas), carrots, and a nutty Clif Bar.
Workout: Cycling 14.8 miles followed immediately by Focus T25Cardio added Beachbody Hydrate to water.
Post-Workout – Beachbody Performance Recover
Dinner: Slice of Turkey Meatloaf, 6 baby potatoes
Snack: 2 Oreos

Day 15 – Taking Care of Business

Monday is for taking care of business. Starting off the week right is so important. Its easy to let the weekend carryover into the week. Fortunately I have a bunch of stuff to do. This is the last week in my Psychology in Education class so I’ll be working on my Signature Assignment. Can’t procrastinate this time. Gonna be way to busy! Getting the workouts in while I can and when I can. I worked on fasting in the morning so that I could burn some fat during my workout. Push-ups were tough but I got through them. Cycling was fun. I decided to work on some leg strength and rode the first half of my ride in the 50-11 gear. Definitely a leg workout. Doing this forces you to really work the down and up stroke to keep momentum. Getting up to speed is the hard part but it was fun to change up the workout!

Focus T25 Day 15 – Alpha Phase

Morning Weigh-in: 187
Breakfast: AcidCheck Caplets and Cafe Latte Shakeology
Lunch: Peanut Butter Sandwich
Workout: Focus T25 – Total Body Circuit added Beachbody Hydrate to Water
2nd Workout: Cycling 26.3 Miles added AcidCheck Granules and Pink Himalayan Salt to Water
Post-Workout – Beachbody Performance Recover
Dinner: Spaghetti with Meat Sauce, Caesar Salad, and French Bread with Butter
Snack – KIND Bar

The Weekend – A Look Back on the Journey

This weekend was a bit of a last hoorah before getting into full nutrition mode but I’m ready to start this third week of getting back into shape! The first week of getting back into a regiment was just about getting through the initial pain of working out. Massive micro-tearing of all of the muscle fibers in your body is never fun but its an unfortunate by-product of successful muscle growth. Everything hurts and you just want it to stop. I made it through about 4 days with extra workouts before I needed to recover and increase my mobility. My foam roller was my best friend (and still is – sorry babe!). The second week was about hitting all of the workouts and putting in some additional work just because its getting easier to move. My nutrition was decent all week and then Friday afternoon the weekend was upon me. The time when all of my schoolwork procrastination culminates into hours of sitting on my rump in front of the computer to complete my week’s worth of papers. And what comes along with sitting in front of anything for hours? You guessed it, “procrastination-induced anxiety!”

When I was at USC I had a teacher who proposed an effective way to write papers for those suffering writer’s block, or performance anxiety. I am not going to run through the entire story, however I will tell you that it involved at least a few days of drinking adult beverages to help unlock the creative process. I fully tested this theory for the rest of my undergraduate career and believe me, my A average while later getting my MBA was made way more tolerable with red wine and Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. Thank you Professor! Now I understand why many of the world’s most celebrated writer’s indulged in the wiles of fermented and distilled libations. Unfortunately it does little to help with personal fitness, hence my blow up to 230 pounds after graduating from grad school and one of the reasons I gave up alcohol when I made the decision to lose weight and get healthy again.

One of the things I that seems to derail people when they are getting back into a workout regiment and nutrition plan is that they try to do everything at once. Remember that as is true in nature is also true in our lives – application of force is met with an equal and opposing force – meaning, if you try and do it all at once its going to be way more difficult. There is a reason why cars don’t go from 0 to 60 instantaneously, one of them being, our bodies aren’t made to accelerate that fast. I took the route of shocking my system into submission with the goal of a complete transformation. Fortunately for me I had the opportunity to sequester myself from almost everyone for about 3 months and focus on my nutrition and workouts while I completed P90X. My results were life changing and for that I am forever grateful. However, that model does not work for the majority of people out there who struggle everyday to just get a couple moments to themselves to take a breath…..work, kids, school, kids, 2nd job, kids, social media, kids. I get it. I realize that this disconnect between my health and fitness journey and those people who really “don’t have the time” to workout. Over the last couple of years I now identify with not having the time to get it all done and its rough. It just that I know if I somehow carved out a little time for myself everyday, that I will have so much more energy to do everything that needs to get done and still have something left in the tank for me. This time, I am coming at getting back in shape with a different perspective.  Less shocking and more phasing. Stepping on the gas a little more each week and building that foundation slowly to ensure a greater chance at success. Here are the last two days of Week 2 – remember “no judgement zone”:

Focus T25 Day 13 and 14 – Alpha Phase

Saturday:
Morning Weigh-in: None taken
Breakfast at noon: AcidCheck Caplets and Cafe Latte Shakeology
Lunch: Peanut Butter Sandwich
Workout: Cycling 28 Miles, added AcidCheck Granules and Pink Himalayan Salt to Water
Post-Workout – Beachbody Performance Recover
Dinner: Ramen with Pork and Spinach, 1/2 Kamisama Roll (Sushi), and 2 IPAs (for their inflammatory effect)
Snack – Popcorn and 4 IPAs (lots of homework – 2 papers)

Sunday:
Morning Weigh-in: None taken
Breakfast: Water and Coffee
Lunch: 1/2 Turkey Sandwich, Pasta Salad, Garden Salad
Workout: Baby Shower
Snack: 2 IPAs (finished homework 😉 )
Celebration Dinner: 1 Margarita and One Pacifico, 1/2 Chile Verde Burrito

Cheers to the end of Week 2! Next week we dial in the “extra calories” 😉

In Medias Res – A Man on a Mission

Playing a little catch-up here. I started this round of Focus T25 on April 17th at a weight of 191. This was the heaviest I’ve been in over 5 years. My goal is generally to lose 25 pounds in 100 days, or get to about 8% Body Fat of what ever weight I end up at. The goal isn’t always as simple as a weight. Body composition is really the goal and a better gauge of a person’s health.

The first week of training went well. I completed 3 out of 5 days of workouts but also added in double workouts with spinning and a substituted workout on my bike another day. The weather was nice so I had to take advantage. My goal however is to not skip any of the T25 conditioning workouts and to use them as my base of training and fitness. Any secondary workouts will just be icing on the cake and get me to my goal faster. This week I hit all of my workouts and was able to add a few spinning sessions as well.

Now for my first accountability post in a long time. Today is Friday so I treated myself for a good week’s work as you will see by my nutrition log. The good, the bad, and the ugly truth about calories in and calories out.

Focus T25 Day 12 – Alpha Phase

Morning Weigh-in: 186
Breakfast: AcidCheck Caplets and Cafe Latte Shakeology
Lunch: Chicken Sandwich, 2 Street Tacos
Snack: 1/2 Peanut Butter Sandwich, Handful of Goldfish, KIND Bar spread with peanut butter
Workout: Focus T25 – Lower Focus added Beachbody HydrateAcidCheck Granules and Pink Himalayan Salt to Water
2nd Workout: Focus T25 – Ab Intervals added Beachbody HydrateAcidCheck Granules and Pink Himalayan Salt to Water
Post-Workout – Beachbody Performance Recover
Dinner: 3 Pieces Pepperoni, Tomato, and Jalepeno Pizza (thin crust), 4 Potato Wedges, and 2 Hot Wings, and 4 IPAs (lots of homework)
Snack – Popcorn and a slice of Angel Food Cake

I am definitely going for a bike ride tomorrow! Gotta get back ahead of those calories if I want the fat to come off!

 

 

Cheers to the end of a long hibernation?

It’s Friday! I’m 12 days into getting back into shape and things are starting to feel good again! After taking about 2 years off from racing in triathlons, I am finally ready to find a race again. I mean yes there were other times in the recent past that I may have said I was ready, but now I am really ready. My workouts are getting better and I’m feeling the motivation kicking in. I’m eating better and making sure that my efforts in the workouts are at the highest level of my current ability. I know that its going to take me the rest of this Spring and through the Summer to get back to where I was a few years ago, but my determination is there! I want to get into the best shape that I have ever been before the beginning of the 2018 triathlon season. As with any long term goal, I need to set incremental goals along the way. I am looking at doing a series of sprint triathlons this Summer and get into some longer races in the Fall. Can’t deny it, I am so excited! This hibernation is finally over!

In the spirit of getting back into shape, I have found that accountability to myself helps me to stay on top of my nutrition as well as my training. My goal is to post my nutrition, supplements, and workouts everyday (both the good and the bad days – full disclosure) as long as school, work, family time, and coaching allow for it. Sound good?

The format will be the same as it has been in previous years per the following format:

(This is a part of my post from 2014 when I was doing P90X2 and enjoying my time riding for Falco Bike. See the actual post here http://wp.me/p2pRzM-Ff )

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Got in some time on the Falco V just as the sun was going down. That felt nice. Got a little dark at the end 🙂 Finished up in time to get asked out for Sushi. I Love Sushi! I didn’t eat enough at dinner though. Should have gone for some sashimi. Oh well, peanut butter and almond protein works too!

Morning Weigh-in: 175
Breakfast: Chocolate Shakeology with Beachbody Vanilla Whey2 – Slimming Formula, 2 – Cordastra, and Coffee
Lunch: 2 Pieces of Chicken Quesadilla
Snack: 2 Breaded Chicken Bits
Pre-Workout: 
Energy and Endurance Formula
Workout: 
Cycling 18.6 Miles
Post-Workout: P90X Results & Recovery Formula
Dinner:
 1 Fresh Sushi Roll and Cucumber Salad
Workout: P90X2 Recovery + Mobility
Snack: A Handful of Almonds, 2 Peanut Butter Sandwiches, and Pretzels

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My hope is that through sharing my journey that some of you may find some inspiration to do something to help you become the best version of yourself. Thank you for taking the time to read this! I look forward to reading any comments you may have and meeting any new readers as well!

As always, Tri Hard!

Finishing Up Week 2

Gained a little weight back this weekend. It could be water weight from a higher that normal salt intake and Halloween candy. But I am not too worried. Finished up the week some foam rolling recovery which I totally needed. My IT Band and Quads have been a little tight so when the spasms released I was really happy. My legs should feel fresh going into Week 3. Only 6 more days until the Bakersfield Marathon! I can’t wait!

Here is my Workout and Nutrition Log for the last few days:

Day 11 – Thursday, November 3, 2016
Breakfast: Chocolate Shakeology, 3 – AcidCheck Tablets, and Coffee
Snack: Granola Bar
Lunch: peanut Butter Sandwich, Corn Chips, Carrots, and Water
Workout: Focus T25 – Cardio with Beachbody Hydrate and Energize in Water
Workout #2: 50 Minutes Spinning – 19.2 Miles
Post-Workout: P90X Results & Recovery Formula and  3 – The Final3 Capsules
Dinner: Bean and Cheese Burrito

Day 12 -Friday, November 4, 2016
Breakfast: Chocolate Shakeology, 3 – AcidCheck Tablets, and Coffee
Lunch: Peanut Butter Sandwich, Corn Chips, Carrots, Granola Bar, and Water
Workout: Focus T25 – Lower Focus with Beachbody Hydrate and Energize in Water
Post-Workout: P90X Results & Recovery Formula and 3 – The Final3 Capsules
Dinner: Terriyaki Chicken Bowl
Snack: Kettle Corn and Sour Patch Kids

Day 13 – Saturday, November 5, 2016
Breakfast: Eggs and Potatoes, 3 – AcidCheck Tablets, and Coffee
Lunch: Big Cheese Burger with Onion Rings, Fries, and a Coke
Workout: Foam Rolling
Post-Workout: Chocolate Shakeology and 3 – The Final3 Capsules
Dinner: Pizza with Wedges

Day 14 – Sunday, November 6, 2016
Breakfast: Breakfast Burrito, 2 – AcidCheck Tablets, and Coffee
Lunch: Chocolate Shakeology
Workout: Focus T25 – Lower Focus
Post-Workout: P90X Results & Recovery Formula and 3 – The Final3 Capsules
Dinner: 3 – Ground Beef Tacos
Snack: Kettle Corn and Cookies

NO more sweet snacks for me! At least not this next week 😉

Don’t Let Fear Dictate Your Choices

Not sure what I am going to write about, but I felt that I needed to just start typing. Being a substitute teacher and swim coach has been my saving grace this past year. Even though my monetary pay is nowhere near what I used to make in construction, the reward personally and emotionally has been priceless. Hearing the kids on campus saying, “Hi Mr. Olson!” or the look on their faces when they walk into class I see that I am their sub, makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. As if those reasons aren’t enough to convince anyone into pursuing a teaching career, I took an impromptu poll yesterday in one of the classes I was subbing on whether or not I should pursue becoming a “real” teacher. The class overwhelmingly said, “Yes!” One of the students followed this up with, “Do you like teaching?” I said, “Yes!” And she said, “Well then you should do what makes you happy!” — Wise Child; she must have had me in another class and heard my “Find a career doing something you like” speech. So why am I having such a hard time committing to a complete career change into education?

Every excuse I can think of is rooted in some type of fear. Fear of not passing the CSETs in Math or Business. Fear of failing to connect with the students. Fear of taking on additional debt to pay for the credential program. Fear of choosing a career that is underpaid and underappreciated in our society. Fear of choosing a career that only gets paid 10 months out of the year. Fear of actually being good at teaching. Fear of having a career that I look forward to doing everyday. These are the fears that I think about as I am faced with making this decision. But what really is FEAR? Nothing but False Evidence Appearing Real right? Fear is nothing but an illusion. We make choices and those choices lead us to the next set of choices and the on to the next. If we are lucky, or motivated enough, our choices lead us down the right path, the path that will eventually lead us to living happy and fulfilling lives.

So the choice is ultimately up to me. It seems as though there are finally real options available to me regarding which direction I want to go in my professional life. Looks like I have some real decisions to make. Wish me luck!

Triathlete in Hibernation – Use it or Lose it!

“Use it or Lose it!” is a well known adage that has been adopted by pretty much any situation where attrition leads to non-utility. I am sure you can think of a number of situations where this may be the case. A coupon that expires, muscle tone after an injury, loss of libido….well you get the picture. The basic idea is the less you use something, do something, or are reminded of something, that something tends to disappear and the less you miss it. Unfortunately in my case, the same goes for racing in triathlons.

Its been a while since I have talked about my history with the triathlon, swimming, cycling, and running.  When I was in my early teens, it seemed like I was racing in a triathlon every other weekend. I was pretty fast for my age. At 14 I placed 4th at the Ironkids National Championship. At 15 I ran a 15:03 5k. By the time I was 16 I had dreams and aspirations of going to the Olympics so I gave up triathlons to focus on running. My last 2 years of high school went fairly well and I decided to go run for USC. 3 days before the start of my Freshman year I hyper-extended my knee in practice and that sidelined me for the majority of the Cross Country season. I competed at the PAC 10 Championship at the end of the season and took last place over all of those who finished that day. USC shut down their Men’s Varsity Cross Country program after that year and I think that was the nail in the coffin for me. I wasn’t mentally in it anymore. I took some time off and tried to get back into triathlons again a year later when I was 19, but I had been out for too long and didn’t have the motivation to train anymore. I didn’t understand it then, but I was in the downward spiral of a deep depression. The likes of which I didn’t fully understand until 2011. It wasn’t until I decided to lose some weight and get healthy again that I realized the source of my pain and anger. I lost 60 pounds and got back into “running” shape. I decided that it was time to try my hand at the triathlon again. It was like I had returned to a world that I had forgotten. The feeling of being a part of something bigger than myself. The camaraderie. The sportsmanship. The family of crazy people who enjoy pushing themselves beyond any normal amount of physical exertion. I was back with my people and it felt good. 19 years is a long time to go without doing something that you love, but the next few years were great! I enjoyed a busy race schedule with decent outcomes. I was able to travel to Milwaukee for the Age Group National Championship in 2013 which was an awesome experience. Being around some of the best in the sport brought out the best in me and everything seemed to be falling right back into place. I had become a faster swimmer and cyclist than I had ever been but my running seemed to be my new weakness. Weird that something I had been so good at when I was younger is now my Achilles heal when it comes to competitions. Makes sense though, I didn’t and don’t spend much time on developing myself back into a runner. I think I still to this very day hold that fear of getting injured again from truly unlocking my best potential.

Now I find myself in a new predicament. The last time I competed in a triathlon was April of 2015. I didn’t stop racing because of an injury or because I was sick of the sport, financially I just couldn’t justify the cost any longer. Triathlons aren’t cheap, especially when you are looking at half and full triathlon distances — these races range in cost from $300 to $2000 — and frankly I just don’t have that kind of money to spend. So instead I focused on finding more gainful employment. A year and a half later I am still struggling to find the cash flow to get back into the race. Working a few jobs to make some of my ends meet has been rough and has taken up the time I used to have for training. So I have been in what I would call a hibernation phase. Sure I have been able to get out and ride here and there or swim with the kids I coach, but the goal of competing in an Ironman seems so far off now. There is so much training involved and my hat goes off to all of those people who have completed this goal. But in my case, I guess if you don’t use it, eventually you do lose it. Even though I may not be as fast as I used to be a few years ago or even close to the shape I was in, I do know that it wont take me that long to get back to where I was a few years ago. I think my major issue is that I haven’t had a goal set to kick start my training regiment back into gear.

So with that being said, I am setting a goal to complete the Bakersfield Marathon next month. It’s the inaugural running of this race and I would be remise to not take advantage of such a great opportunity here in my hometown. I have just over 4 weeks of training time left to mount an attack on the completion of this, my first marathon attempt. Now I am not going into this marathon with the hopes of winning over all or even placing in my age group. My goal is to simply finish in less than 4 hours which translates to an average of a 9:09 minute mile for 26.2 miles. Now this isn’t going to be easy by any means, but I believe it is a goal that I can achieve within the next 5 weeks of training. I think my biggest issue is, after paying for the entry fee of course, is going to be with pacing at that speed and maintaining enough caloric intake to get through it. Regardless of these challenges, I am ready to set this goal into motion and use this as a stepping stone towards completing my first Ironman someday in the next year. Now all I need to do is figure out which career path I want to follow (go back to construction or keep moving forward with teaching) and maximize my earning potential in that field so I no longer feel this financial pinch and get to enjoy life just a little bit more freely!

All I know is, I don’t want to lose the feeling I get when I think about racing again. So its time for me to make my way back into the groove!

Thank you for reading! I look forward to seeing you at the races!

Add Some Heat for a More Intense Workout

Started off the day with 1 1/2 hours of Hot Yoga! Vinyasa Flow is supposed to leave you feeling grounded, calm, and free of tension after a sequence of poses flowing from one to the next. This was the first time that I have taken this class and I can attest to the fact that it will leave you calm and free of tension. Adding the heat helped with my flexibility but overall it just made the workout that much more intense. Its been a while since I have done any Yoga and after I that was done. All I wanted to do was prop myself up into a recliner, drink water, and watch Stage 7 of the Tour de France. So thats what I did 🙂 at least for a little bit while I gathered up the energy to head out for a ride. By that time came around it was about 97 degrees. Not super hot, but hot enough for sure. Today’s ride was intended to be at moderate intensity. I felt petty relaxed after Yoga and didn’t want to push it too hard leading into the weekend, but best intentions, you know, I was feeling good so I decided to push the pace a bit and try to maintain about 90% and focus on breathing, hydration, and performance in a hot environment. It worked out good. I ended up turning out my fastest time for one of my favorite Strava segments in over a year. Its nice to be hitting some good times again and settling back in to my old Trek.

Something that I have realized since I was a kid, growing up in Bakersfield (which can reach very hot and very cold temperatures for California) and competing in different cities around the US, is that working out in the heat at a high intensity prepares me to perform at a higher level during races which are typically held in the morning when temperatures are much cooler. My theory has been that if I can work hard and maintain a high level of output in temperatures of 100 degrees plus, then I should be able to maintain that same high level of output or better when the temperatures are lower. In essence pushing my body to some type of threshold preparing me to acclimate and adapt to various environments. Now I am fully aware that in hotter environments an athlete (or anyone for that matter) needs to hydrate and replace electolytes while exercising. Obviously in a hotter environment this is even more important and not doing so could prove to be dangerous. So while I exercise in these onditions I make sure that I take enough water with supplements to keep me hydrated and safe. So far this theory has proved to be useful since I was in Triathlons and Cross Country as a young athlete and today in my training as an older age group triathlete. I have found various articles and even a study that backs up my findings. I just ask that if you begin to employ this practice in your training, be smart about it, take plenty of hydration and electrolytes to sustain the planned workout, and listen to your body. If you begin to feel light headed, or stop sweating, or feel anything other how you think you should be feeling, take a break, find shade, and don’t feel bad if you need to call someone to come and pick you up. No training is worth risking your health. So train hard, but train smart as well!

Have a Happy Weekend!

Training/Nutrition Log
Thursday Morning Weigh-in:
 180
Workout: Vinyasa Flow Yoga with Amber
Breakfast:
  
Coffee, 3 – AcidCheck Caplets and Chocolate Shakeology
Lunch: Peanut Butter Sandwich, Granola Bar, and Water
Workout:
Rode 28.4 Miles used Acid Check Granules and Himalayan Pink Salt.
Recovery Swim:
3 – The Final 3 Capsules for Recovery
Dinner: Sushi
Dessert: Ben & Jerry’s – Karamel Sutra

Disclaimer: As a triathlete, I am not always eating with the intention of weight loss but rather to maintain weight and fuel my activity. If you are not as active as I am, please don’t use my nutritional intake as your model. If you would like help finding out a meal plan and workouts that would be good for you, please don’t hesitate to text or call me at 775-722-8184 or Facebook me at www.facebook.com/fityak. Looking forward to hearing from you!

 

Happy 2015! Commence #ProjectNewYear!

‪‎Happy New Year‬! Three 3 years ago I started P90X and completed the 90 Day Program, only missing one consecutive day, with the help of my Friend and Coach Michael Ryan.
10897864_10204614575916006_7322144930559614280_nThank you so much for your continued coaching and support Mike.

Well 2015 is here and it’s time for ‪#‎ProjectNewYear‬. I will set activity based goals and systematically achieve successful completion of those goals through daily dedication.
This year one of my goals is to do at least 25 minutes of logged exercise everyday in the ‪Team Beachbody‬ ‪‎Online Super Gym‬. ‪FocusT25‬ is going to be my baseline workout because I know what a great workout it is for me. If you would like to join me in this goal and already have a Beachbody Program, let’s commit to the ‪Beachbody Challenge‬ and get together on Facebook and make sure we ‪#‎pushplayeveryday‬!

If you don’t have a program, contact me or comment on this post and I’ll help get you started!