2012 has been rolling on and school’s now started for myself and the girlfriend. Right now, my training schedule is a little off but starting next week, I’ll be running with some friends again, while training one of them for an upcoming 5k they’re registered for, exciting! I’ve also enrolled in a new class that, according to the professor, will be more difficult than normal: PET3361 Nutrition in Health and Exercise. Basically, it’s just an intermediary class on sports nutrition so I get to learn all those fun things that I thought I knew 12 years ago (when I was last interested in taking classes on nutrition): metabolism, food chemical interactions, how RDAs/DRIs are calculated for age groups and activity levels, and so on. I think our textbook serves two purposes, one to educate us, but the other is to make us physically stronger. It’s one of the heaviest paperback books I’ve ever owned, I was pretty much curling it last night while flipping the pages. I’m so glad this is an online class, otherwise I could substitute this book inside my backpack for wearing a weighted vest…or for use as a kettlebell.

Now that we’re well into January, I’ve been developing and integrating a new training plan into my life. This new training has included an expansion of my kettlebell workouts and I am now going to be including sledgehammer work and I want to integrate some strongman-type work such as tire flipping, farmer’s walks, and I want to add in some rope climbing work. I’m still shying away from the craziness of CrossFit, especially after seeing more videos from CrossFit gyms like this one (h/t to Conditioning Research) where all the CFers are visibly struggling with their workouts and are clearly setting themselves up to get seriously injured, without any worry from the trainers; in fact, they’re encouraging these people to lift weights they can’t handle or do movements they can’t complete. This gym should be ashamed of themselves for simply taking these people’s money without any concern for their well-being, just watch the video to see what I mean. I’m generally more interested in improving my GPP than just relegating myself to gaining fitness through running only or working to prepare just for races or events.

So far, this has worked to help improve the injury in my hip from last September although it does still hurt on and off, I’ve now realized part of the issue is my office chair so I’ll be getting that replaced as soon as possible as well. I’m not 100% sure if these changes along with ART will get that pesky ITB fixed or if it’s going to make it worse, but we’ll see what happens.

I’ve also moved into adding music back into my workouts only because it’s pretty boring listening to myself breath in and out while jumping rope, so I’m going through Bluetooth headsets like you wouldn’t believe. Since December, I’m on my third pair for evaluation. I’ve only returned one pair because they were just incredibly terrible and poorly thought-out, the Motorola S10-HDs. I don’t know how anyone can wear those things and say they’re comfortable. When I got them in the mail and plunked them on my head, I got a massive headache within 30 minutes from the neckband simply squeezing my head to death. I never actually got to test them during a workout because I couldn’t even wear them. I’ve since returned the Jaybird JF3 Freedoms as well, the wire connecting both earbuds would get caught on everything and that was just unbearable, so now I’m trying out the Arriva Leo headset. My first impressions are:

    Crazy design
    Incredibly light, you hardly notice them
    Getting them to fit is the hardest part
    Using the included Acoustibuds, they have great sound

They’re sweat resistant but we’ll see how long that lasts, I’m expecting a few months at most, if that. The worst part about them is getting them adjusted to fit your head since they use stiff-but-adjustable arms that need to be slightly molded to your head and ear shape. Once they’re adjusted, you’re good to go. Just be careful when removing the earbud tips, you may pull off the speaker mesh.

Now, I gotta get back to work, although I really don’t want to.

Ah, I forgot how busy the first few weeks of school are. And I forgot how much I typically hate them. I am going into the third week of classes now and I am ready for the newness to wear off. However, this is a semester I am not looking forward to as it is one required class (Interpretation of Fiction) and one fun class that’s just a lot of talking (Russian art). Unfortunately, classes in my major of Anthropology are getting to be slim, I have only taken one interesting Anthro-related class in the last year. Not only have they scaled back the classes, there are fewer qualified teachers for the classes which really stinks. Many of the classes offered now are not even in my specialization or realm of interest, it is just mostly archaeology classes and Latin American history. Neither of those are very interesting, I promise. North American Prehistory was boring enough and it was chockful of data memorization of names and dates, I cannot imagine doing the same thing for other Archaeo classes where I just endlessly memorize things rather than learn and interpret data. I cannot wait to be done with this major.

Last week was fairly busy. I ran the Summer’s End 5 on Sunday and managed to run another 5k on Tuesday, which completely surprised me. I had come home after school feeling pretty tired and run-down, definitely not the way I want to start an easy run. I was more worried my ill mood was going to make me choose to stop the run shortly after it began, I just felt really negative/down which is not like me. I felt like I was searching for reasons to not run other than I just did not want to. I knew my legs felt good and not to beat up from Sunday but my feet were another question, especially since I had a pretty big blood blister on my big toe. Things went even further downhill as I neared the one mile mark and I was running on some gravel-based concrete that I hate running on, it just makes my feet hurt uncontrollably and I knew it would cut my run short if I stayed the course. Luckily, I found aside road that had a black-top sidewalk that was smooth and cool since it had just finished raining. Once I hit that black-top, I instantly picked up pace and I felt great. I just kept running and running, my body barely felt the effects from running two days prior. I know this is not a big deal to those running double digits but it was pretty surprising to me. I did not run for almost a week after my first 5k, my body just felt ripped up. This time, I simply felt like I had gone out for my normal run and pushed myself a little too hard. Before I knew it, I was coming up on the road to my house and I did not feel like stopping yet so I kept on going. Then I went some more. Then what do you know, I am at 2.5 miles and was coming up to my street and I just felt like I could push on through to 5k distance. Something about that smooth sidewalk just felt so nice on my naked feet. So I pushed on through to 3.1 miles and was utterly drenched in sweat, it felt great. I did not run for the rest of the week but did not feel like I needed to, especially with the schoolwork I had to complete.

The week was rounded out nicely with the start of college football season, which is the only season I observe. Down where I live in Florida, we do not really have seasons based on the weather, it is either hot or less hot, that’s all there is to it. But then we have football season and my girlfriend and I get all geared up for four months to watch games every weekend until December and it is my favorite time of the year. My teams went 2-2 this weekend with TCU playing poorly against Baylor and barely pulling out a loss, Auburn won their season opener just like they played last year (winning at the last moment), Boise State had no problems handing Georgia a loss, and Oregon just did not come to play with a loss to LSU. I was surprised at the sheer number of cramps I saw in all the games I watched. There must have been 4-5 guys cramping up in the first two quarters of play in the 7 or 8 games I watched. Everyone was cramping up and all they did to try and fix it was guzzle down gallons of Gatorade, stretch out, and get IVs put in for fluids. I think they need to take a clue from endurance athletes and fix their hydration regimen. TCU/Baylor and Boise State I can totally understand, it was insanely hot in Waco, TX where TCU was playing and Boise State had to play their first game in years in Georgia humidity, there is no way to prepare or plan for that. But Auburn and LSU? They are used to that stuff and had no logical reason to start cramping so early except due to poor training. They needed more salt and should have taken a page from Mark Ingram’s playbook; last year he was cramping up in the Iron Bowl so he was drinking jars full of pickle juice. I do not know what happened to the pickles but he was drinking that stuff like it was the only thing keeping him alive. I can already tell that it is going to be a good year for college football, a lot of underdogs either won their games over better opponents or played the best they have in years, that is only a trend that will continue over time.

The site will be up and down over the next few days as I am moving hosts from Limestone Networks over to Wired Tree and I am downgrading from a dedicated server to a VPS. This will be the first time in almost five years that I am not in total control of my server or its hardware and it is going to be hard to give up. Luckily, all I need is the web hosting and MySQL hosting, all of my email is handled by Google Apps, which was my only concern. I went with Wired Tree over getting a server from my own company because frankly, I know how awful our hardware is and our support is abysmal, I do not want to go down that route even if I would get a very steep discount. That is just asking for trouble all around and I am not going to do that. DNS should propagate fairly quickly since I will do forced DNS pushes but we will see, I just hope the new hardware is as zippy as my current server. I will be sad to not have a dedicated server but I just do not need that much power any longer and I do not want to pay the bill any more just to run one site. I read a lot of good things about Wired Tree so we will see what happens, the support guys from LSN have been nothing but awesome for the last three years, WT’s support has a lot to live up to.

I am not looking forward to class tomorrow, I think I will go to bed now just to decompress from a long and extremely boring day at work.