Friday, August 27, 2010

Cross-Training - Who Loves You, Jiu Jitsu? I Do!!!

As noted, today is a "rest day". That doesn't mean you rest. It means you cross-train! Bluntly put ... if you don't cross-train, you suck. If you want to "not suck" and cross-train, pick something that you love. If you don't love your cross-training, you won't do it. For me, that love is brazilian jiu-jitsu.

Today was good cross-training. I learned something new and revisited a couple of old friends. I refer to technique and not people. I'm the old one at Team Quest. Days like this make me want to just lay on the mats all day, hang out with my brothers and sisters at Team Quest and soak it in. Yeah, I'd grapple too.

However ... as in all relationships, some days are a bit darker. Some days you can be distracted and go through the motions despite your good intentions. The point is the love of the thing got you there, and the rest takes care of itself. You've cross-trained!

So, those of you familiar with the symbol of the yin and yang will know that it represents balance. See below:

Both black and white are separate but together they are complementary and are harmonius. Jiu-jitsu is "familia" - just sounds more fun to say "familia" rather than "family". Back to my point. Jiu-jitsu is communal and, by its very nature, cannot be enjoyed alone. You can't grapple with yourself! Maybe emotionally, spiritually or philosophically, but not physically. That requirement for community makes it unique amongst martial arts. And so, I cross-train with my Familia at Team Quest. It's o.k. to feel jealous if you are not a part of this Familia.

Feel the jealousy yet? Now read on...

In contrast, I train to run the Redding Marathon on January 16, 2011. I make exceptions, but I prefer to run alone. Being completely and utterly alone suits me despite the fact that my wife has forced me to father seven children.

*** You know where to send the hate mail! ***

A fringe benefit of the loneliness of the long distance runner (notice the Iron Maiden song reference) is that you naturally tune out everything around you. It's all heart and mind. The ability to "tune out" is also a parental coping and marriage saving skill. Can you tune out an obnoxious child or perhaps an angry spouse? I can! Thank you running.

The solitary nature of running and the communal nature of jiu-jitsu are complementary. Spending time with one increases the desire for the other. Kind of like when you are sitting on the couch switching off between Dorritos and ice cream or switching between girlfriends. Get it? Harmony! That is cross-training in a nutshell.

Now, on to tomorrow's 7.5 mile run. At about 9:30 in the a.m., I'm going to put on some Nikes and put my foot on the neck of that run. I'll let it up off of my "mat" when I'm damn good and ready, and I won't be tired. I'm going to follow it with about 12 beers at the annual football barbecue. Yep, bang it there folks - 12 beers! Granted they will likely be wussy beers as follows:

But, who's is the last man standing ... well ... I am!

Getting back to the run, I've planned a playlist for this run on my Ipod. I need an hour of music, so I have to choose wisely. Some highlights to this playlist along with commentary are:

1. Road to Madness by Queensryche. 9:41 of sometimes ambient and sometimes kick you in the gut heavy-metal. This is a real band. Compare, for example, Bon Jovi. Mr. Bon Jovi ... you are on my Ipod just because I'm too cheap to delete you, but you damn sure won't make a playlist.

2. Rhythm of Love by The Scorpions. Awesome song. Guaranteed that when it comes on, I'm gonna think about my wife. The Scorpions were the soundtrack to our first kiss. I'm also gonna think about the bastard that broke into my car that same night and stole my Scorpions cassette. If I find you, you !*&!, I'm gonna hurt you.

PS: The District Attorney may consider this Exhibit A to the prosecution that will surely result. My defense? Jackass should have taken the Bon Jovi, and we wouldn't have had a problem, would we?

3. Today My World Slipped Away by George Strait - If you don't like George Strait or if you aren't willing to like him soon, you aren't American, and I don't know you. Nuff said.

4. Pocketful of Sunshine by Natasha Beddingfield - Don't judge me!

Post-run update to follow early next week. Perhaps you are wondering what the training nexus is for the beer drinking? It's called carbo-loading ...

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Getting Started

This blog is going to focus on my efforts to run the 2011 Redding Marathon. Of course, it will also mention jiu jitsu, Team Quest, my wife, various personal details of my friends etc. They won't be reading it anyway, so I get to fire away.

So, why the hell am I writing this? The answer is pretty simple ... if you are going to run a marathon you need encouragement. If you are like me (God forbid), you'll look on the internet to try to find someone with enough hubris to think that other people actually care how he/she trained for that particular little gem of a marathon you have in mind and how the marathon experience was.

I'm currently doing this exact thing (reading blogs) because I'd like to run the Disneyworld Marathon sometime in the future. The reality is that I know that my kids will suck every spare dime out of me, and I'll never make it to Disneyworld until I'm too damn old to run a marathon. Katy Perry will also be too old for me to meet her as Snow White during my 26.2 miles of Disney fun. She'll probably be too old to impress by then. She'd make a good one right now, right? I'll be too old to remember this particular fantasy anyway and time won't be doing me any favors either. All too depressing. Here's Snow White right now!!!

As for blogging, I'm starting a bit early. I'm just doing base mileage, and that roadwork is simply to build a foundation prior to starting Higdon's Novice II marathon training program. I was going to wait until I actually launched on the program, but that would require me to wait two weeks. Frankly, I need something to do on those lunch hours when I'm not sneaking off to Team Quest to get my arm wrenched and my neck choked.

Today's treat was a 4 miler at pace along the ACID canal to the Turtle Pond just on the other side of the Sundial Bridge. If you aren't familiar with the Turtle Pond, its that little pool of sludge, green with algae. You'll find a couple of forelorn turtles on a couple of logs in that sesspool sticking their little turtle necks as high out of the muck as they are able. Oh, to be a turtle in that pond. Redding turtles look like this but not as happy.

During the run, an unexpected treat was dialed up by my Ipod. Judas Priest's "Victim of Changes" came on in full glory. For those of you who don't know, the song is about a guy who gets a beautiful girl. She then promptly proceeds to get fat, old and ugly. Thus, the singer is the "victim of changes". Rob Halford (the lead singer) obviously solved this thorny problem of the ne'er do well, trickster woman, by deciding that he preferred his same sex. Not so fast, Rob, guys get fat too. Honestly, was anybody really surprised when Rob came out of the closet. See the picture and mouth the word "No".

Anyhow, a great song and, for the sake of my relationship with my wife and all of my female friends, I do not agree with the sentiment in this song. No ... actually, I do. Please send hate mail to my home address and not to my work address.

Anyway, what do you expect from a band named Judas Priest? I only mention it to describe how this song caused me to think "deep thoughts" on an otherwise, sh*t nasty Redding 400 degree day. Curse you Redding!!!

Well, enough for now. Tomorrow is a rest day which means I'll be at Team Quest allowing some other "friend" to stack me until my heels are behind my neck. I do intend to post my expectations for Saturday's long run, so stay tuned.