Sunday, November 30, 2008

Training and Templeton Rye

I had lots of fun over the Thanksgiving holiday. Here's a summary of two of the fun events.

1. Touring the Templeton Rye distillery on Saturday. It was so much fun to meet the fun folks at Templeton. Scott, Keith, Meryl, and Michael were great hosts and put up with all my picture taking. I think I came off as a crazy Templeton Rye fan. Go figure!!

Scott Bush, me, Jerry, Keith Kerkhoff

Jerry, Meryl Kerkhoff, me, Keith Kerkhoff

We got to sample some whiskey straight from the still. It was really good! I labelled a bottle and bought a whole bunch of Templeton gear. Unfortunately, in Iowa you can't buy whiskey from the distillery, only from retail stores. Bummer! But I did have five samples so I was feeling great on the ride home!

Meryl and his grandson at the still. (Meryl is the man who brought the recipe back into production.)

Me with Michael Killmer, Brand Manager

You HAVE to check out the Templeton Rye website and blog to read and hear about the history of this whiskey which was said to be the favorite of Al Capone. You can also read about all of the great people who bring Templeton to us.

2. Getting Jon, a personal trainer and Advocare advisor, started with kettlebell training. Jon is a big guy and very strong. He really didn't know what he was in for when I walked into his gym with my bells. He was a great sport about it - willing to try and to open his mind.

A lot of men I encounter are not as open to kettlebells. Why? Because kettlebells aren't hundreds of pounds. It isn't as cool to say you did squats with two 20 kg bells as it is to say you squat 500 lbs.

Jon put the macho stuff aside and went with me. He was a fast learner. I left him with a 16 kg bell and two hours worth of training. I also got in quite a bit of training myself. I easily cranked out forty 16 kg snatches. I'm ready to start snatching that 20 kg regularly.

Jon helped me do a couple pull ups and played with my dog. Here's a picture. Jon has two boxers as well, so he and my boxer Penny were fast friends.

Now it's back to my mountain of grading. The last 10 years have pretty much been the same in the month leading up to the fall semester's end. You'd think one of these years I would figure out a way to lessen the grading load at the end of the semester. I just don't think it's possible without reducing the rigor of my classes. So, until I'm willing to do that, I'll have to put up with the pile of papers and stress of getting through it. Sigh!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I Am So Thankful

that I don't run anymore. It was 45 degrees and sunny today, so I decided to replace my planned training with a run. Why, I'll never know.

I hooked up Penny to the leash, set the iPod to some kickin tunes, and away I went. I only ran for twenty, twenty-five minutes. I wasn't breathing hard. It was so much easier than doing V02 Max with the 16 kg bell as far as my cardiovascular system was concerned.

As far as my feet go, running sucks. My feet were not made for running. They were not impressed with me. LOL

So, I decided that it was kinda fun to do a little run; however, I'm thankful that I found kettlebells so that I don't have to subject my feet (and the rest of my body) to the pounding. I don't know how people run marathons. I'm in awe of those who do because I would never be able to do it.

Good thing God made us all different. This Thanksgiving, let all of us appreciate the abilities, interests, and bodies that make us each unique!

Gobble, Gobble!!!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Back to Work on My PhD

Not in rhetoric or linguistics. Not even in education. PhD as in Piehole Diary.

Brad gave the order. I am powerless to resist. I have been coasting for too long. My body hasn't changed in months. That's the good news and the bad news, I guess. I haven't gained; I haven't lost. So the PhD is started. I instantly became more aware of what passes o'er my lips!

I also need to set three goals. Here they are in no particular order.
1. Press the 20 kg (44 lb) kettlebell
2. Drop 3% bodyfat
3. Drop one more jean size

All three are doable. All three are controlled by me. In order to do any of them I need to manage my stress better. Life has been crazy non-stop for the last 6 weeks. No breathing room. I've been busy with play practice, performance, school board meetings, work, work, oh yeah, and work. There are no visible surfaces in my office. They are all covered with papers I need to grade. Uhhhhgggg!!! Not to mention, the holidays are here.

So, with all of you as my witnesses, I will slow down. I will enjoy my cup of green or red tea after supper. I will snuggle with my kids. I will put only healthy food in appropriate portions in my body. I will train hard and sleep more. (I feel better already!)

Speaking of training, I had the pleasure of the "Hotel Workout" today:

4 Rounds of Each Couplet

1. 10 burpees
2. 12 tricep dips

1. 8 lunge switch splits
2. 8 rows

1. 8 pushups
2. 8 jumps up onto the bed/box

I have a Z Health session planned for later. It really helps me wind down at night. If I Z before/during training it energizes my training. However, if I do targeted R-Phase drills before bed, I feel destressed. Love the Z!!!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Yes, Virginia, There Is a Blog

I haven't updated this week. Sorry! I'm alive and I've been blog stalking all of you. I needed a little break from writing. What? Me? English professor!!? Yep. So I will be back writing next week. I have been on facebook, so you are welcome to check in on me there. Have a great weekend!!

Oh yeah, go Lions!! (My school's football team is playing in the state championship game Saturday for the third year in a row against the same team.)

Monday, November 17, 2008

In His Own Voice

Check out Brad Nelson's vlog (video blog) at You'll get a tour of his studio and hear from the man himself. This will give you a glimpse into my training life for the last (nearly) two years.

Brad definitely keeps my training challenging and different. Often when I am given to complaining, I hear his voice in my head and shut my pie hole. Now, I, along with anyone else who cares to listen, can hear him for yourself. He talks straight and positively. He sees your potential and pushes you to see it for yourself.

I don't know where I would be if it weren't for Brad Nelson. God definitely puts people in your life for a reason. Brad has been my coach and guide. He believed in me from day one. He takes me seriously and seriously trains me. I am truly blessed to have him in my life.

Brad is a true friend - he is honest and focuses on the positive while helping me overcome my weaknesses. Thank you, friend, for guiding me on this journey.

Friday, November 14, 2008

I Got Nothing (For a Title, That Is)

But I got blisters. And a good training session. And a great end to my week.

VO2 Max Protocol
12 kg
7 Rep cadence
60 sets = 420 snatches

followed by

Waiter Windmills
12 kg
5 x 5 L, R

I do believe I have made great strides during this cycle of training. I have become noticeably stronger as evidenced in my pushups and presses. The VO2 snatches are getting much easier. I actually did 10 sets more today than I had planned because I felt so good. I'm keeping my eye on my goal of pressing the 20 kg (44 lbs) by Christmas. Stay tuned!!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Thursday Training Log

Heavy duty training today, but it was all good.

Clean & Push Press - 20 kg 4 L, R
Clean & Push Press - 16 kg 7 L, R
Clean & Press - 12 kg 5 L, R
4 Rounds

20 Burpees - 2 Swings - w/16 kg
18 Burpees - 4 Swings
16 Burpees - 6 Swings
etc. to
2 Burpees - 20 Swings

After that, I had a massage. Then it was dinner - grilled salmon and mixed veggies and pumpkin pie (homemade - low sugar!). Now I'm ready for a bath and bed.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Why Not?

I put in an impromptu training session today. I thought, why not? It was a snowy, icy, rainy, crappy day. School was two hours late. I just about had a ditch sandwich on my way to work (even with my truck in 4-wheel drive, what gives?!?). I didn't get nearly enough papers graded, soooooooooooooooo

I figured I might as well end my day on a positive note.

Off to the TKD room at the gym. 20 kg and 16 kg bells Ready. Set. SWING!!!

I did 5 sets of 1:00 swing, :30 rest w/ the 20 kg (44 lbs)
Then 10 sets of 1:00 swing, :30 rest w/ 16 kg (35 lbs)
Then 1 set of 1:00 swing w/ 20 kg

I did 40 swings/minute of work (give or take). Some were two-handed, some were one-handed. All-in-all I got in approximately 640 swings in 24 minutes. I have the blisters to prove it! All that was an awesome workout for my grip, especially if I'm going to press the 20 kg by Christmas!

After that, I did my R-Phase. All I have to say about that is

AHHHHHHHHHHHH That is some good stuff. Z Health never gets old.

Well, here's to a better day tomorrow!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Strength Gains

Today's training was uplifting. It proved that I am definitely gaining strength. My EDT numbers continue to increase. Plus, my pressing is improving.

EDT (Escalating Density Training)
20 minutes
Pushups - 135
Tricep Dips - 225

Last week I did 123 pushups and 205 dips.

Clean & Press
16 kg (35 lbs)
4 x 4 L, R

I forgot to do the presses before my EDT, so I attempted them afterward. I could only eek out 2 presses per side before switching to a push press. So, I did C & P L (2) then C & PP L (2) then switched to the right side. It felt great even though I had to do push presses. I mean seriously; I had just smoked my arms with 20 minutes of nonstop pushups and dips!!

I can't wait to see how I do with my presses on Wednesday - heavy press day.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Drama Queen

Here's a few pics of me on stage. I played Suzanne, a bitter woman who talks all the time and whose husband blows all their money and cheats on her with a woman he met in the K-Mart parking lot. The play "Dearly Departed" was a comedy, of course. I got to put on my best southern accent and dress trashy. Think Naomi, the daughter-in-law from Mama's Family. Pretty fun, huh?

I can't wait to get back into a real training schedule. I just maintained last week. Now I need to burn off all the junk I ate backstage! Pretzels and trail mix. I'm over it!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

VO2 Max Snatches It Is!

I opted for 16 kg snatches.
6 rep cadence
44 rounds

Then I followed that up with
Waiter Windmills
12 kg
5 x 5 L, R

When I finished that, I did an entire cycle of R Phase Z Health. I was bawling like a baby. It's been too long since I did the entire R Phase. Wow did that feel great!! I just felt all my stress melt away.

My fellow castmates and I had another stellar performance tonight. Two more to go. Now I'm getting sad to be so close to the end. :-(

Pictures are coming!

Just Checking In

Two of the five performances of "Dearly Departed" are in the book. Three more to go. I'm having a lot of fun being on stage with my wonderful castmates. I'll try to post a few pictures of us in action before the weekend.

I will get in some training today, no doubt. I just have to decide what I'm going to do - heavy presses or VO2 max snatches. Decisions, decisions!

Monday, November 3, 2008

He's Back with a Vengeance

Brad Nelson is back from Africa. It's been a little strange not having contact with him for 3 weeks when I've been in contact with him every week for nearly two years. I can't wait to hear all about the trip, Brad! Keep checking his blog for the update

This week is pretty hectic for me. I'm in a play with my local theater group. We have practice tonight (Monday), dress rehearsal Tuesday, and performances Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday. It's a dinner theater, so we have to be ready to go by 6:30. My training will be sparse this week. I do enjoy being on stage, so it will be a good back off week for me.

Today, I was back at my EDT:

20 minutes
Tricep Dips

I did 123 pushups and 205 tricep dips. Oh, that was after

Descending Ladder Clean & Press
16 kg
4, 3, 2, 1

During the rung of 2, I threw out my neck. Too much tension I guess! My good friend is a chiropractor, so I went straight to her to get back in alignment. Ahhhhhhhh!

I'm off to practice. The Play's the Thing!!!!