Monday, June 22, 2015

An Important Announcement

I admit I've been struggling a little bit about how to approach this post and in some moments I actually thought about not writing it at all. However, in the interest of full disclosure, I think it's important I talk about it for a bit just so you know where I'm at and since it is part of this fitness journey then why not?

As you may have read here lately, there have been some pretty big changes going on as I ramp up my efforts on my way to the Goofy Challenge. Nutrition, diet, even the entire family approach to how we deal with health and everyday life has changed and so far it has been a very positive experience for which I'm very happy, especially having my wife on board working out and eating better. One of those changes is cross-training and P90X3 which has kicked my butt in a million, albeit good ways. The effects of that have also been very positive, even if I have been sore most of the time for the past 4 weeks or so. People at work and friends are starting to notice the changes.

Which is why, I decided to become a Beachbody Coach.

Beachbody is the parent company that makes P90X3, plus many other workout videos and they have a business opportunity where you can sell their products and earn a commission for it. Coaches also give support to the people who buy the products through them at no extra cost to keep them accountable and increasing their chances of finishing their program and stick to their workouts and nutrition, thus adding value. For me, the logic behind the decision to do this is: If people ask me what I'm doing and I tell them, and they end up buying a video or Shakeology because of it, is it a bad thing that I earn a commission? For something I was going to tell them anyway? Heck no!

This is not something I was planning to do but then people actually started asking "You look good. What are you doing?" so I felt I should look deeper into it and give it a try. After all, we have three girls to take care of and money doesn't grow on trees. Plus, I got running shoes to buy you know. I see bloggers promote and endorse products they believe in all the time and in my case, P90X3 has proven to be a game changer in my fitness journey so far. I feel this a logical next step.

However, I do want to make a few things clear and put your minds at ease.

What I won't be doing

The Fat Runner has been, and will always be about my running journey and sharing it so that maybe it can help others. That is not going to change. I will not be pushing products on this blog or trying to convince anyone to buy them. 

I will also not pester anyone I have met through this blog to buy them either so friends and readers, rest assured I have not turned into a greasy car salesman and you can continue reading knowing that this place will remain what it always has been.

What I will be doing

You will see banner ads that lead to my personal Beachbody coach page on this blog. There were ads there before so the only difference is, you will see more Beachbody ones than the others. Hopefully, it will prove to be more profitable than the 18 bucks Google says I have made so far with Ad Sense... (and I'm rounding up)

When I do a workout like P90X3, I will mention it like always so you know what I'm doing fitness-wise. It is part of my journey after all. It will not be to sell it to you. If I try a new workout from them, I will review it as I always have, both the bad and the good. Just like I do when I report on running gear, watches, my bike etc... I know that cross-training is an important topic for runners and we are always looking for both practical and functional options so my reviews will focus on how these workouts impact runners.

Plus, there are several videos I have my eye on that I would like to try out and as a coach, I get a discount so it's like... cool. Win-Win.

You will see on my social media outlets (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram...) mentions and invites for Challenge Groups. This is the support part I was talking about earlier. I will be setting up these groups for people who want support and accountability while doing the workouts. A haven if you will, so they can share their experience and motivate each other. I can tell you that the support I have received from friends online has been an integral part of why I have made running a really important part of my life so being able to pay that forward is something that interests me very much. So, when you see me mention it on social media you will have a head's up and will know what I'm talking about.

Of course, I will not turn you away if you ask me about it and I have always been here to help. If you have always wondered about these videos or Shakeology or anything else I'm always more than happy to answer your questions and help out in any way I can. This blog has put me in contact with some pretty awesome people and opportunities so I'm always more than happy to repay in kind.

So that is pretty much it. 

We now return to our regularly scheduled programming.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

The Mystery of Running Shoes

Do any of you actually know when your running shoes are done? You know, that point when you can longer use them anymore for running?

Based on my experience, I'm kind of surprised no one has come up with something -anything, really- that lets us know for sure, that your shoes are done. That person would make a lot of money with that.

The thing is, that all the running shoes I have bought so far (OK, most of them) look just as good after I've used them as when I bought them. Right now, I have two identical pairs of Brooks Beasts: One new, one spent. They look the same and yet I can't run on the old ones without major knee pain.

I used to go by pain. When I ran and my joints, hips and back started to hurt I knew it was time for a new pair. Most (sane) people will tell you that when you reach that point you are past the time to change them but that's what I did. But that was before I started to have knee issues. Now, the knee is the first thing that starts to hurt. Way before anything else. What's worse, I can't yet identify if the knee is hurting because I need new shoes or simply because it hurts. (Yes, it will hurt from time to time)
Ahhh... fresh pair of Beasties.
The newest pair of Beasties I bought last week were long overdue apparently. When I talked about my running funk and about how running didn't feel right, it seems the shoes where part of the problem. On the first run with the new shoes, I ran the fastest 3 miles I've been able to run in a long while. Probably since the Puerto Rico Half Marathon in March. Why? No knee pain.

This is bad news. Not because of the knee perse. I'm learning to deal with that and I'm hoping it gets better as I lose more weight. It's because now I have to buy shoes more often. On average, I've heard running shoes can go 300-500 miles before they are spent. I was already below that, reaching 250 miles if I pushed hard enough. This last pair was done with 210 miles. Crap.

Such is life. You know, Brooks Running should sponsor more Fat Runners. That, or I also hear that there's a bunch of stuff in the human body that there's two of that you could survive without one of them. You know, like kidneys and lungs and stuff like that. Apparently there is a market for that...

How about you guys? How long do your running shoes last? How do you know it's time to change them? Any tricks you can show me?

Thursday, June 4, 2015

The Winds of Change

So a lot of stuff going on in The Fat Runner household...

We're cross-training ourselves into shape. Hopefully a nice shape. As far as shapes go, round doesn't seem to agree with my running. The biggest change by far though, has been nutritional. A complete 180 degree turn in that area and so far, our kitchen makeover has proven to be for the better. We have severely cut back on fast food and other processed stuff and the effects are already being felt.

Chicken Sausage Frittata
 My wife started feeling funny about two days after we started. I've been thinking of a word to describe what she was feeling and the best I could come up with was malaise. A general feeling of malaise. She felt weak, with no real desire to do much. I thought at first that it was the onset on a cold or something like that. Then, she told me "I feel like I need to eat candy or something sweet." Well, she didn't need to say anything else after that. She was going through withdrawal. A natural side effect of eating home cooked meals instead of processed is that you consume a lot less sugar. Sure enough, a couple of days later she was feeling great and I'm kind of surprised about how great actually. She is also doing P90X3 and she wakes up every morning charging to do it. Amazing how we get used to things and let them take over.

Then there's me. After a week of eating as clean as I have in a very long time, I was faced with the situation I was kind of dreading. I was on the road, no lunch from home and hungry. I had to eat something so after much pondering I settled for a Mexican food place and had some tacos. I went heavy on the salad and went for chicken instead of beef trying to at least minimize the damage. An hour later I was regretting that decision. I had to get to the bathroom. Bad. The tacos were really not agreeing with me or my stomach. I've never had any problems with eating fast food. Believe me. But after only a week of better nutrition my body just said "Hey! What happened here? You were throwing in the good stuff!"

Panko breaded Tilapia, asparagus and rice with beans
And it's not like we have been lacking flavor-wise. I love to cook so I took this opportunity to revamp our diet as a challenge. Chicken Marsala, Mexican Tostadas, Open-faced Bacon and Egg Sandwiches... it has all been made at home with healthy recipes and it has all been good. Of course, I've had to manage my time a little better to be able to cook. My wife is taking care of dinners (and subsequent lunch for me the next day) while I do breakfasts and try to keep it interesting on the weekends. Not only are we feeling great but the cut on fast food, as I mentioned in the beginning, has been severe, which is a good thing. Where we were doing 13-15 meals eating out, the average these past two weeks has been about 3-4. Not bad right?