Rehab diaries: so, so close

I’m so close to not being injured anymore that it’s driving me crazy with excitement.I’ve been hitting the gym at my office, alternating upper and core and lower and core, and, bit by bit, all of that hard work is starting to manifest results.

Speaking of manifest, I’m a big fan of taking my brain through my goals. Before I run a race, I visualize the sections of the race as if I’m running them. Before I take on a fitness challenge, I visualize myself kicking ass as it. It’s not nearly as new agey as it might sound, and for me, it gives me a slight advantage: my brain seeing how doable the task ahead is before I try my hand at it.

So, yesterday, a group of people assembled, many strangers until yesterday, and whipped through magazines, books and newspaper we each toted along and assembled some goals in a visual way. We each threw together basically a collage of images that represented our goals for the year ahead.

I didn’t pay much attention to selecting images that represented anything, deciding instead to just grab images and words that appealed to me and that seemed interesting to me, throw them together and then see what it all meant.

Needless to say, my lovely collage is peppered with chicks kicking ass, strong abs, tight rear-ends, buff arms and athletic women with arms raised in victory.

I’ll take that.

Find me elsewhere on the Web lately:


Rehab diaries: the bounce back kid

After hobbling, and after having to make myself totally stay out of the gym: I’m back.

Granted, it’s tough to go from being in great shape to being feeling like I have to start over fitness-wise post-injury. I had a great workout today, yet I could feel where exercises felt challenging with lower-than-usual resistance. But, that’s okay; it just shows me where to do the most work. I’ll get back to as fit as I was before my wreck last year.

(Sidebar: it was a year ago Thursday, that car accident that started this whole mess. )

So, in summary: I feel  the lost time for which I need to make up from being largely on the fitness sidelines this past year, but my head is in the game to get back that smart and fast.

Who knows, maybe I’ll come back better than I was before. That would be ideal, fer shur.

The rehab diaries: part bajillion + 1

I ditched the cane three days ago.  Apparently, it takes three days to really see what’s what, but I think I’ll keep it at bay. I wasn’t feelin’ it, that cane.

The good news about that, though, is that I immediately felt like my injury rehab was back in my own hands. Funny how jettisoning a stupid piece of metal can do that.

Now, I just need to remember to not get frustrated by starting from scratch, fitness-wise. I’ve gone from what I would classify as “extremely fit” to “strong as a garden slug” in a matter of months. So, that part should be interesting.

Fight The Bonk: 12-Week Fitness Challenge Redux

I took on a mega-fitness challenge, but my timing sucked. As some  of you may know, when I’m not running, I am a literary blogger, author, editor and festival founder. Well, in the calm before the storm of the literary festival, in March, I took on a modified version of the Body for Life 12-week Fitness Challenge.

Well, that was kind of dumb timing. But, it had its good points. For one, I was working out and not stressing out through the festival in late May, which is also known as my busiest time of the year. But, it did lessen my workout focus in the week that followed, when I was planning for live stream author interviews at Printers Row Lit Fest. But, that’s ok.

A blog I really love is Slow Mofo, by John Frenette of HellaSound. One thing I like so much about his blog is that Frenette isn’t afraid to try new things and doesn’t blame himself when said new things don’t go to the letter. Because, really, what does ever go exactly as planned? Right.

So, with that in mind, I’m starting over. Granted, I’ve never really been in terrible shape but I’m in better shape than I was when I first started the fitness challenge back in late March. So, I’m not starting from the same place this time. So what? I’m starting again, in any case. Part of the fitness challenge is to photograph oneself at the beginning and end of the challenge. On my first time at bat with the challenge, I did Day Zero photos, and was shocked when my halfway point photos looked exactly the same. But, that’s also okay. I could feel a difference, and really saw a difference in my running economy, and that’s what counts.

And why, prey tell, am I doing this? Why not. I mean, really, why not? I’m active and in shape, but I think it’s time to bring it up a notch. I don’t want to just be fit, I want to be strong, have better running economy, expand my fitness activity horizons and be in better health. And, I don’t want to stop at the 12-week challenge. Nope. I want to declare this the summer of uber-cross training and of expanding my fitness horizons.

So, the new 12-week Fitness Challenge is on. It’s inspired by the Body For Life program, but I’m adding to it for variety. And, I’ll document it all here. Because, you know, why not?

Bonkfighter: HellaSound Rocks (and Reads)

Bonkfighters! Do make a point to stop over at HellaSound when you have a moment.

(A) Yours truly has reviewed a runnerly book, Personal Record by Rachel Toor, over there. But that’s secondary to the next item:

(B) Mega-announcement from HellaSound! HellaSound now has some of its fancy running music available. “Fancy” because it is customizable to fit your pace, which you can determine with a rather innovative built-in pace calculator, if need be. Very, very cool. Check it out.

Bonkfighter: The Ben Tanzer Interview

patternssidebarnewEveryone, today I’d like to introduce all of you to the one and only, Ben Tanzer, friend, bonkfighter and author of Lucky Man, Most Likely You’ll Go your Way and I’ll Go Mine, and most recently Repetition Patterns. I caught up with Tanzer recently to talk about writing, running and a very cool event.

Let’s meet the man, shall we?

Thanks for coming by. I have to say– I like this book cover a lot; I really like images of the road ahead, especially as a runner. I know you’ve written about runners before; any runners in this book?

Sadly, not so much, just the opposite, shooting pool and Pac Man.

Pssh, pool is a sport! You wrote about a runner in your first novel, Lucky Man. What about your most recent work? Any connection to runners in there?

benphoto21There is no connection to runners in the book I just published, Most Likely You Go Your Way and I’ll Go Mine, though Bonkless readers are still welcome to buy it. But, I am working on a new novel tentatively titled You Can Make Him Like You and in it I bring back a character from Lucky Man who runs for the same reasons that Louie ran in Lucky Man, and that I probably started running myself – for escape, primarily, but to think as well, to quiet the voices, find some calm in otherwise chaotic days and channel the need to be compulsive into a physical act. Ultimately, to find some peace I guess.

I’ve often said that my running and writing completely inform one another. How do your running and writing lives come together?

They work together in a variety of ways for me. Generally speaking, when I run I get to strip away the stuff of the day that I am bogged down in – work, bills, children, the economy, Christian Bale’s tirade on the set of the new Terminator movie – and it frees me to actually make room for the million other things I might think about, which in turn allows ideas of all kinds to now flow into my brain in some inverse relationship to the tension flowing out of my body. More specifically though, as I zone in on one step and the next and as I concentrate on what feels good, where I feel tweaky, am I going to bonk (Do you like that shout-out?) and I am breathing well, this ability to now concentrate creates an opportunity for me to lock into the parts of my writing that have been lying there, sometimes consciously, other times unconsciously, that I haven’t been able to untangle. It can be like a knot slowly unraveling, a word here or there, a phrase, or tricky chapter, and I can picture what now needs to be moved around, changed or added. It’s very nice.

What running gadgets/tech apparel brands can you not live without?

benhsI am a bit of a shoe fetishist anyway, I won’t even get started on my sweet new Adidas Bucktown Streets, but several years ago when I was still running marathons and the arthritis in my right knee was not so advanced or pronounced, but definitely there, I decided that I needed a heavier shoe, with more padding and more stability, and it was recommended that I try the Brooks Beast. The guy told me that I would probably find myself running slower than I had been, not a big concern at 40– pain free is the goal these days– and the Beast has been great to me. The other thing, which is sort of the embarrassing would be my iPod. There was a time back when I competed in high school that I wouldn’t have been caught dead running with something like an iPod, or back then a big bulky Walkman, it wouldn’t have been pure enough, or something, of course I wouldn’t have worn a Dri-fit shirt either, so there you go, but the iPod really has been a wonderful weekone-post-run2thing. One morning I was well into an hour-run along the lake, it was maybe 5:45am and the sun was coming up and the song Dear Lord came on by Joseph Arthur and it was just such a wonderfully slamming moment, like what a religious experience must be for people who are actually religious. I wouldn’t have traded that morning for anything. Well, maybe for a sub-3 hour marathon. Okay, even a sub-4 hour marathon would be great.

I understand you’re involved in a race here in Chicago? Tell us about that. How can people get involved?

pcaamerica_logoYes, yes I am, thank you for asking. I work at the national office of Prevent Child Abuse America here in Chicago and in partnership with Voices for Illinois Children we co-host the annual Wrigley Start Early Run, which has a 5k and 10k run and a walk and is held in lovely Lincoln Park. You can find out more information on the race microsite and connect with us through our Facebook event page as well.

The race will be held on April 18th this year and we encourage runners and walkers of all stripes to come down and join us. We also hope people will seek donors and put together pledge teams and I want to stress that the event is super-family friendly, so we hope families wrigley_start_earlywill come too. We of course have the chips for those looking to be timed and the race is big enough now that they close the streets in the park along the course so the runners can get off of those narrow running paths. It’s a great event and a great cause, early in the year so nice for training purposes, and I hope people will not only come out, but that your vast array of readers will also spend some time on our website and learn more about our focus on child development, how people can become engaged in our cause and ultimately how we can prevent child abuse and neglect from ever occurring in the first place. Cool?

Very. Thanks for coming by, Ben Tanzer. I’ll see you on April 18th, and hopefully will bring a few Chicago bonkfighters along with me.

Fight The Bonk: Go Red

red1Tomorrow, Feb, 6th, is Go Red for Women Day. Read here about how it raises awareness and much-needed money to help combat and educate about our country’s primary killer of women; heart disease. Then read Lee Trujillo’s post about his wife Sheri, a heart disease activist powerhouse, and how heart disease became such an important issue to them the day after her 39th birthday.

And read here for simple tips to make a difference in the Go Red campaign. To me, any steps taken to improve and support heart health and promote public awareness of heart disease prevention measures are quite worthy.

(Cross-posted on Bigmouth Indeed Strikes Again)