Relay run preparation

This week so far has been a very lazy week. I had the very first training session for the relay run in July and I went swimming on Wednesday.

I had this wicked plan for today’s early morning to go for a jog in the park nearby, but firstly my bed was holding me really, really tight and secondly I made a mistake the day before. I ate a cheeseburger with french fries. My stomach was aching and sounded for some periods like a chemistry lab.

I switched my jogging dates to the weekend and will hopefully be in a better condition without having to fear the revenge of fast food debauchery.

My suffering with my heel spur is still going on. After the relay training I once again felt a pain under my foot and I had problems to correctly step on the ground. I’m thinking about getting some insoles for my shoes to absorb some of the pressure that pushes on my heel.

On the other hand, I’m very happy to announce that I had no serious problem to run the whole distance that is given. And I was also able to keep up the pace with the other runners who were running with me.

I’m also keeping an eye on the scale and like I expected, the weight is dropping slowly but it drops. It’s something around 3 kilograms since I started with a more intense training. I still haven’t changed my nutrition that much, because the past showed me that the final results will turn into something totally different and unexpected. I’ll change my nutrition in two or three weeks and even then not too drastically.

Break even

So I’ve made it into the relay team of my company. Well, I’m reserve but nevertheless I’m part of a team and I get some good training with experienced runners over the next couple of weeks. Nothing that would hurt.

Speaking of hurt – I kind of injured my heel spur at one gym session the other and instead of just breaking everything up, I decided to give it a rest for a few days and then continue with sports that doesn’t stress my feet that much. At least one time a week I go swimming, so my feet will be fine. And in the gym I moved to rowing and indoor cycling.

Rowing for instance almost killed me after the first time doing so for such a long time. My legs felt like filled up with plumb and I had sore muscles in my neck and my upper arms. I’ve done multiple sessions so far and I’m getting used to it. I always underestimated rowing but compared to jogging, which powers me off quite good, is one sports discipline that’s able to show me my borders.

And speaking of borders – I seriously have to do some extra training for my back. During the rowing sessions I felt that my back isn’t as muscular as it was a few month back. I was never in the condition that I looked like a body builder when it comes to this, but I always managed to train the stabilizing centre of my body quite good – like belly and back.

This is very important to gain good training results, because you don’t develop in a good pace when you miss to do the additional workouts your main disciplines base on. Always keep an eye on your centre!

To summarize what this post was all about, even with injuries, I’m still focusing on my training. And hopefully I’ll get back to jogging and running very, very soon. Everything looks good so far.

Time for a relay

After a slightly of depressive undertoned post a couple of days ago, a more positive post is going to follow.

About one or two weeks I signed up for the runners team in my company. With this assignment and the fact that we will appear at the companies relay in the middle of July this year comes great responsibility. The form of responsibility is mainly focused on my person. I have to schedule a tight training plan to get in shape to run the 2.5 kilometers without having a breakdown or need half of an eternity to finish my round. Secondly is it more than important to get in shape so that my team can count on me. I don’t want to let them down and I also want to make my appearance at the relay with a quiet good finishing time.

running empty

In other words, it’s very important for me to be part of that team and I also want to celebrate a successful finish. For me it’s not only about the appearance, it’s also about good results at the end of the day. In almost two month I’ve to train really hard – absolutely hard. But I also have to keep an eye on my current condition which, in numbers spoken, is a bodyweight of 112 kg and a BMI of 31. That’s a terrible condition, but if I can make it without exaggerating I’m sure it’s a goal that can be reached. The condition to be in shape to run and the finish line as well.

I’ve told our team leader that I’m far from good at the moment and that I’ve just started again with sports and all these things. You may remember from several posts from the past, I was injured and in those periods where I wasn’t injured I was sick. Or just stupid, fucking lazy. She accepted even though I actually am not the kind of runner to push the team on the top of the leader board. This is a good sign for me. I feel safe and sound in this team because I know that I’m with people who are aware that I am their weakest link and they are willing to accept. I’m truly thankful for that.

Apart from this, I’m organizing my daily life pretty straight at the moment. This is one of the leftovers of my year and a half of commuting. I had to schedule and plan otherwise I couldn’t get anything done. All my gym, swimming and running sessions are scheduled two month in advance. The only thing that is left for me to do is to come up with a nutrition plan that pushes me as well. I’ve to lose weight and I’ve to get fast and arduous.

With this first milestone to reach, the team around me and the power of my own will, I’m dead certain that I can make it. It won’t be easy but it’s not impossible.

Behind the mask

I’m wearing a large mask these days. I’m not quite sure if this mask hits its purpose, but I’m stuck. Since I got away from my old company, where I was hired for almost five years and wanted to explore new territories I actually feel like walking in circles. It is even more frightening that I feel as if I walk backwards.

It’s hard to describe. After all these years I finally made it to the company I always wanted to work for and I feel so unsatisfied. I felt unsatisfied in my previous company as well, but one of the main reasons there was the commuting issue which has exhausted me.

The problem keeps growing an growing. Every time I start something new which excites me for a while I suddenly feel bored, in certain situation annoyed, and I want to leave it. The long breath I need to keep connected with something is gone. And it’s not even the long breath, I currently question everything and everything bothers me.

As you may know, I’m back into sports. After a long period with several small and bigger issues that did not allow me to train how I would actually have liked it I’m back to gym and the natatorium. I’m pretty good and fast when it comes to water sports but in the gym I’ve to struggle a longer period of time to get back to the point where I want to be.

But even there do I suffer the problem that it does not really catch me and it feels more like an automated process and not a thing that people usually do to have fun and enjoy. That’s in fact the core problem – the fun is gone.

With this core problem right in front of my eyes I’m watching out for a solution that is not to be seen yet. I’m tired of this and I really want it to go away.

A lack of everything

It’s been quite some time… (n’yah, yet again another post that starts with this lame excuse) …but I haven’t actually found the right amount of enthusiasm to write. And last but not least, nothing worth writing about happened.

For the those of you interested in my “sports career” I can tell you, that it is currently not existing. I’m pushing the gym appointment in my schedule from one week to another and it’s frustrating. On the one hand I feel the lust and passion to get to gym again, but on the other side I’m just sick and tired of this stuff. Right now, there’s a massive need to actually do some sports because I – once again – gained a lot of weight and my nutrition in the recent has been more than just wrong. According to my BMI and a look in the mirror I’m obese.

But like I said, it’s some sort of a battle of conscience in my head and I wonder who’s going to win. My next appointment for gym is set for tomorrow afternoon and I’ll tell you in the near future if I made it or dumped it.

Yet another hobby of mine that got a little abandoned is the photography. But that’s basically a problem with everything that I currently have no real drive or creative inspiration to go out and take pictures. Right now it’s just the comic books that give a little bit of satisfaction and enthusiasm.

Well, that’s not the real truth. I’ve bought a new notebook a couple of days ago. Actually it’s a refurbished one – an IBM ThinkPad with Core 2 Duo processor. I’ve added a few more gigs of RAM that I had around and replaced the HDD with a faster model by Western Digital and this baby runs like hell with a Linux Mint installation on it. That’s basically why I bought this notebook, because I felt a little “disconnected” with Linux and everything what’s going on in the scene.

I’ve rented this vServer for TeamSpeak several other net related things, but the maintenance is not that intense, that I’ve to work with Linux on a daily basis. And in my current job I do more IT management that actual IT administration, but hopefully this will change during the next two years.

So as you can see, there isn’t anything special going on at the moment. I’m having this serious issues with my sports activities – or the lack of it. And my creative inspiration is still gone and missing.

SE 3.0 – Interim Report – #11

Let there be sports. Or something like that. Actually, I just didn’t find a cool sentence to begin with. The project is still going on and most importantly it does not feel like a project. That’s a serious fact I have to admit. In case this project would feel like something turning into a dogma or at least something that is not fun anymore I would drop it.

I have had some minor injuries during the last couple of days but at the end of the day it wasn’t anything serious. Well, I couldn’t normally walk without having this terrible pain in my right leg but it’s almost completely cured. The reason for that was a little exaggeration on the treadmill at the gym. You know, when it starts to hurts really badly one should stop. I was unreasonable and continued and this led to my whole misery.

This swimming continues as well and it’s slightly getting better. On our very first session we (that is me and a friend of mine) swam around 1,500m in about an hour. Yesterday we made the 2,000m in about an hour. I also tried to improve my technique to simply get a away from my current casual style of swimming, which is terribly slow.

Every time we go swimming I try to convince my friend that he should also try another sport like running, cycling or even go to a gym. I personally think, it’s only a matter of time till he starts with another sport beside swimming.

Still, I’m glad that the project is still going on. The only disappointing issue is my current weight problem that has returned. After all these weeks at home with my back injury and too much sweets and little movement I gained a lot of weight back that I already lost. But I’m an optimist and everything will get much better soon. Even with Christmas in the meantime.

Fall of video games 2012

The year 2012 had quite a terrible start with video game releases. I almost thought that I’ll stick to games I bought in 2011 and 2010, because there was nothing on the market that could catch my attention. Luckily, the situation has changed and with autumn 2012 some very nice release hit stores.

There’s this brutally hardcore RPG called “Dark Souls” that finally made it to the petition, thanks to a petition of dedicated fans of the game series. The port to the PC itself was horrible when it comes to technical realization. “Dark Souls” itself is a game that splits the gamer community. The reason for this is the extreme skill level or in other words, you die pretty often in this game. But this what RPGs were about back in the days. Avatars were not slaughtered through hordes of enemies without even taking one single scratch. And that’s what makes this game so special, because it’s a relic from the past that has made it to the present.

Even though it was already in the first quarter of 2012, “The Darkness II” is a game I put my hands on just a few month ago because I was skeptical about it and did not want to pay full price on release day. To a certain degree I was wrong. The game is cool, pretty brutal and catches the flair of the comics very well. It’s worth playing, but I still wouldn’t consider this game an absolute blockbuster or something I would recommend to almost everyone. It’s basically the same like it is with “Dark Souls”, it’s a game for a special gamer audience with a special background. So if you’re into the comics or these type of comics you should get, otherwise you’ll find yourself soaked into an average everyday shooter with a nice demon arm gimmick.

I stick with the word dark, because “Darksiders II” came out in September (if I remember that right) and it served the PC gaming community with solid jump’n’run RPG. Not much has changed in comparison to “Darksiders I”, but that’s not a show stopper, because the predecessor was decently mellow. I personally think, that the controls are much better than the ones you have in “Devil May Cry IV”, but it can’t compete storywise. It’s a fine, solid game that you want to play to leave the day behind and just slaughter. It’s also the complete difference to “Dark Souls”. It’s easy to learn and also easy to handle and weak spots in boss encounters are found quick and you don’t step into an almost frustration like mood like you may find in “Dark Souls”.

Just in case that you find even “Darksiders II” too scary and dark the only option left is a game called “XBlades” that came out a couple of years ago. Bright environments and a very nice looking avatar, if you know what I mean.

 

Also in September the sequel to my beloved “Borderlands” came out. I’ve to admit I absolutely love “Borderlands” and I had pretty high expectations on “Borderlands 2” and I did not get disappointed. But what could have Gearbox Software done wrong if not totally changing everything? They kept everything from “Borderlands 1” that was good and made some fine tuning in “Borderlands 2”. Most importantly, different environments and not only deserts and deserts and deserts. In my opinion, the interface is still a little bit grumpy, but at the end of the day it’s okay and does what it was meant for.

If you’re not into shooting things in the head the yearly update for “Pro Evolution Soccer” and “NBA 2K” stood around the corner. “Pro Evolution Soccer 2013” is a solid development and once again Konami got rid of many bugs I’d to suffer from in “PES 2012”, like many, many, many offsides and weird acting goal keepers. Football itself feel much more fluently in “PES 2013” and the aim assists are very welcome.

With “NBA 2K12” my beloved Seattle Super Sonics made it back to the game without any need for doing unlock games. The menu system is rather confusing than useful and Justin Bieber and his all-star team are, for me personally, a pain in the arse but aside from that “NBA 2K13” looks great, plays very nicely and it simply feels like a good NBA broadcast on TV and transports the atmosphere very well. Slight changes were made to the control, like the two-stick shooting controls, but after a few minutes into the game you get used to it and it does make sense.

As you can see 2012 is no longer that bad as originally expected by me and weird disappointment are barely to find. Even more important, the release of good games does not end. We’ve got the fabulous “Sleeping Dogs”, the return of #47 in “Hitman Absolution” and additionally “Far Cry” is coming out next week and the previews are very promising. I’ll give a short impression on these games in another post that will be up in the near future. In the meantime, game and enjoy!

SE 3.0 – Interim Report – #10

My personal challenge, formerly known as “Straight Edge 3.0” was interrupted by a back injury. Well, injury may be the wrong word, it’s more an issue. The cause for my back issue was found after several sessions at the physiotherapy. It’s my bloody furniture at work.

I demanded new furniture that will fit much better to my height and habits how I usually sit at a desk. Nothing happened actually and the pain in my back gets a chronic characteristic. I personally think, that this is not fun anymore, that I’ve to suffer by sitting at a fucking desk that is much too low for me and by sitting on a chair that was already outdated twenty sodding years ago. Trust me, I’m really furious about this.

A few weeks ago, it started getting serious by Thursdays or Fridays but these days I already suffer on Mondays. I’m not quite sure for how long I’m willing to take this. I never had problems with my back, because of one simple fact, I always cared about it. And by that I do not mean, that I always trained it or made special exercises. I just mean, I simply cared in daily life and especially at work, which is the major part of my day. The ignorance I currently experience is far beyond any description.

Looking back at the first weeks of SE 3.0 I made a lot of progress. My endurance increased, I lost weight and I was able to improve my strength as well. All this progress is now lost. I’m still able to run on the treadmill for quite some time and I also do not drown in the pool after swimming a couple of lanes, but it could have been much, much better than it is right now.

I’m a little bit confused about what I should do with this whole situation. I want to stick to my project, without a single glimpse of a doubt. And I’m not willing to give the whole thing up, just because my furniture is not correct. My therapist said it very clear, ‘If it hurts and your employer doesn’t change anything, then you’ve to quit your job’

That sounds rude and pretty cynical, but she’s right to a certain degree.

You might have noticed it, swimming is now included in my sports scheduled. One time a week me and a friend of mine make it to the natatorium and swim a few lanes. Well, something about 1,500m or so. Currently it’s more about endurance than technique. But we’ll change the training focus in the future.

I cut down the gym sessions to one or two per week and I plan to include one mountain bike session per week or every second week, depending on the spare time I’ve got left for this. Due to the fact that I’m “slightly handicapped” I avoid doing any sessions at the gym that only consist of strength training. I’ve to see how it all develops in the future and if everything is getting better.

SE 3.0 – Interim Report – #9

Almost two month away from this blog and no report about my current sports activities. And there’s a good reason for that. An injury was the reason for my long time of absence. Everything started very well on the first days of my vacation.

I got to jog every second morning and right after that I went to swim in the lake nearby, which was so refreshing. Till that time the only problem I had was this muscular imbalance around the left shinbone. To a certain point I was able to handle it, but on the very last day of my week in the forest that was scheduled for sports I had to cancel during my jog. Mainly because I slipped pretty hard off a stone and was not able to cushion it. Well, another lesson learned.

So that was a minor problem, that wasn’t actually that kind of an issue, because I had planned to rest for three or four days and stay away from sports. During that regeneration period came issue number two. My back – I had this terrible, awkward pain around the right middle of my back. It wasn’t that I couldn’t actually move or something, it was just painful and very disturbing. Vacation 2012 was ruined.

It took just two days and went to my doctor. She ordered me an x-ray to see if there’s anything wrong with my spine or related. It took a couple of days till the statement was done and it says that everything was all right. Well, the pain in my back told me something different. Next conclusion of my doctor was, that it has to be a static problem. By having said that she kept me off vacation and work as well for another couple of weeks. This whole things lasted for five weeks. Only one of my previously planned three weeks of vacation were taken. Serious bullshit.

Especially when you consider that I haven’t had a few weeks off for almost a year and a half. Which leads to the next issue. I already had several problems with my back over the last couple of month. Some minor and through several short periods even some major problems. But nothing that lasted for longer. Me and my therapists did a lot of research (of course) to find out where my problems come from.

We considered sports, some untreated injuries, wrong mattress and last but not least the furniture I got at work. You may guess it, it actually is my office furniture that cause these (meanwhile) serious problems. My desk is too low and my chair is a piece of junk that. Nothing that stabilizes, nothing that’s comfortable and far and beyond from healthy.

I’m a pretty petted person when it comes to comfortable office furniture. My last company had these chairs and desks where you could spent days and days on without getting tired or having any issues. I was complaining a little about the fact, that my desk was around 2-3 cm too low, but I had several tricks at the end of day to compensate this.

My desk and chair at home is basically the same. The desk is custom made and the chair is one of these common, badass comfortable ones. It wasn’t all that expensive, rather than the furniture I had at my last company, but I am able to sit there for hours without getting into any trouble.

Long story short, my therapist gave me the advise to quit my job, because with that in mind the whole therapy would be some sort of a bloody joke. Quitting my job is not the best solution, but it is quite an option. I’ve recently made a request to get a new chair and desk that would fit my needs and do no longer get me into such trouble and pain. I hope there’s a good solution on the way otherwise I take the advise of my therapist… well… maybe… possibly… we’ll see.

Anyhow, this whole thing took me apart from sports and gym and I’m not very happy about it. I would’ve been fine with a simple sports injury, but the fact that wrong furniture at work causes this bloody, damn issue makes me sort of furious.

I’ve planned to get back to gym for the first time at Saturday. I will try the treadmill and the elliptical. I’ve scheduled sports for three times per week, don’t want to exaggerate anything. Hopefully I can finally make it to the natatorium and swim a couple of lanes. I’ll keep you informed.

SE 3.0 – Interim Report – #8

My sports activities do change these days. I’m trying to get a little further away from pure gym sessions and focus more on ‘outside oriented’ activities. By saying that I do also consider swimming in a natatorium as ‘outside’. Nevertheless, the intention should be clear. Avoiding boredom and get more versatility.

To be honest, as much as I like to go to the gym and take it to the next limit, I also feel like I should to something that gives more of a ‘I know why I’m doing this’ feel. My mountain bike trips are one of these activities, because a lot of things come together in this – cardio training, leg training, arm training and strengthen of the my back.

Another thing that I have to mention, despite my many sessions on the treadmill I don’t actually like running. Even though it does blast my brain free and helps me get rid of certain things of my daily life that bother me. My plan is to do more and more jogs outside, especially trail runs. It’s basically the same reason as it is with mountain biking. I hate running/cycling straight ahead. I need some obstacles and several things that I have to ‘master’.

There are a lot of parks in my town and also a lot of nature areas that are mainly untouched inviting to sport them. So I’m gonna use them. Last weekend I had the most unpleasant weather on one of my bike trips. Stormy, soppy and cold. But I like it that way. It gives that kind of feeling that makes me want to say: “Come get some!”

That’s this particular point I’m actually missing in gym. You can set certain milestone that you want to reach, but at the end of the day it lacks the bite. It’s always nice to reach a new mark, but on the other hand does it not give the same feel like sports outside. I guess, it got something to do with the circumstances outside and the connections you make between them. Like, ‘hey, it was on this bad, rainy day, where I ran my first 20 km without a single walking break’

Well, I guess, you got my point. Another reason for this whole ‘let’s get away from gym’ thing is, that I now want to know, what do I actually gain from my training sessions. As a short reminder, this whole training is not mainly about losing weight, it’s more about getting into a better shape. The weight loss is a greatly appreciated and welcomed side effect. For this very reason I’m also glad that I finally found someone who is willing to do the swim training with me. It’s perfect for motivation and a great control factor as well.

I’m certain that my technique on some swim strokes is far from perfect and needs a lot of practice. Especially things like the crawl stroke, the dolphin stroke and for instance the quick turn as well will take a huge amount of time of training. Swimming this week is that one thing I’m excited about the most.

And once again and last but not least, for the those of you who like to play with numbers, my current weight is 104,1 kg, which means that I haven’t lost a lot of weight for weeks now. But like I mentioned before in this post, it’s about the shape and not the weight. Well, and the whole “sportability”