Push-ups and Sit-ups, How Good Are They?

Push-ups and sit-ups are the most basic of exercises we learned to hate as a child.  We were introduced to these seeming tortuous wastes of time by the sadistic discretion of  phy-ed teachers.  Of what use are they really?

Apparently, they're quite underrated.  The standard push-up engages a number of core muscle groups to keep your body in a straight plank, and serves as an excellent workout for your pecs and triceps.  Of course, you knew that.  You probably also knew about the One Hundred Push Ups training program, a site that provides you a schedule toward completing 100 consecutive pushups.

The initial test is simple enough, do as many pushups as you can.  Use that number to determine where in the schedule you should start.  Five sets of varying reps for a week at a time.  Fun stuff!

In likewise fashion, there is also a Two Hundred Situps training program, Two Hundred Squats, and soon to arrive Twenty Five Pullups sites give you schedules for similar physical feats of endurance.

I wouldn't be posting about this if I hadn't started, of course.  33 push-ups for the initial test moved me to week three.  I tried Day 1 of the program, and didn't quite finish my fifth set: "at least 20".   We'll see how Day 2 goes on Friday.  I did better with the situps Day 1.  I haven't tried the squats yet, but I might as well add that one in two.  The triumvirate complete.



A Runner's Glance Back at 2009

Running!  Who knew I liked it so much?!  O.K.  I guess that's not really a genuine statement, since I've had a spotty, if not fond history with running most of my life.  On a few occasions, I've stepped out the front door and ran a few miles, keeping up the routine for a week or three.  Some reason or excuse would surface that allowed me to drop out of the race, figuratively.  Why I never stuck with it seemed a mystery to me, until this year.  I needed to remove the "figurative race" and replace it with a real one, a bunch of them.

As a result, I've accomplished quite a bit in this last year.  I raced in not one but two 13.1+ mile courses, the Minneapolis Half-Marathon and Ragnar Relay Great River Race, as well as three 5k's and an 8k.  I really committed myself to success!  I missed the last half-marathon I had signed up for, Monster Dash, on account of hip bursitis, most likely caused by over-training.

This next year looks promising!  My hip is back to almost-normal, and I've been running during lunches on Tuesdays and Thursdays with friends in the Saint Paul downtown area.  I hope to run at least one 5k or 10k each month starting with the Polar Dash 5k on Jan 1.  There's a 15k in the last week of February in Florida that a friend of mine suggested.  With my wife's gallivanting about the country this last year, I feel that some travel is due to come my direction sooner or later.

My focus run this year is Grandma's Marathon.  It's something I've wanted to do for quite some time now.  If you live in Minnesota and are a long distance runner, it has crossed your mind no less than a few dozen times.  I'm no exception, obviously.  Registration begins in mid January, and although they didn't fill registration last year, the same may not be true for this year.  I'm anxiously awaiting the 14th!

I might consider running the Minneapolis Half Marthon again in May as a training race.  The Minneapolis Duathlon is in August, and it sounds like a fun change of pace from just running.  I ride my bike to and from work in the nicer months of the year.  Finally the Monster Dash Half Marathon is in late October, the race I missed this year.  Four of these races fall under Team Ortho's Marathon Marathon Series, which if I sign up for by tonight, I'll get some fancy Merch.  Woohoo...

Rather than focusing on Merch, I want to make sure I'll be healthy to race, and perhaps mix it up a bit with different races. There are so many events across the country that it seems a shame not to try them.  Ever hear of the 50/50?  50 marathons in 50 states?  I also think it would be awesome to run as a pacer for my ultra-marathon friend, Adam!  His run is in August, I believe.  If I'm in shape for it, and if he would have me, I'd love to do it. (Hint, hint.)

Am I crazy?  Probably, but there are worse things to be crazy about.

Keep Moving Forward!


When is a Holiday Ever a Vacation?

I know, I know.  A Holiday is no guarantee that you get to relax and kick up your feet.  It is simply a time when you're not expected to go to work -- unless you're on-call, that is.  This season was no exception.  November and December are pretty much non-stop for our family.  Not only do we have three major holidays within 45 days of each other, but we also have no less than six birthdays.  Our children aren't really school age yet, but Connor did have a holiday concert as well.  I can only imagine what our calendar is going to look like in a few years.  Add on top of that my wife's fan-girl trips to other states to see a certain group of British musicians, and life's been pretty full-up lately.

I guess I shouldn't gripe much.  I knew what was going to happen over these two months. We've been pretty fortunate lately.  I've found a job that not only do I like, but pays well, includes a team of exceptional talent, and challenges me day in and day out.  I managed to leave behind a position that wasn't really going anywhere for a product that was seen as the black sheep.  I hated leaving my friends behind to deal with it, but I liked my sanity more.

I've accomplished quite a bit in this last year with respect to running, which I'll cover in another post.  There are friends out there who don't care much for the details, and I get pretty geeky when it comes to things I like.  The short of it is that I had a great year, finished a bunch of fun races, made some new friends, and over-trained!  I'm recovering and expect to enjoy some new races next year!  I may even enter a duathlon or triathlon!  Hopefully Grandma's will be on the list!  We shall see!

As for things I didn't accomplish this year?  I didn't get my SCJP, nor did I hold a conversation in Chinese.  Not bad, really.  I did get a new job, learn some new stuff on my guitar (very beginner-level stuff), and of course ran my ass off.

I hope your year was a fruitful one for you, and if not, I hope this next one will be!