Monday, August 27, 2007

Getting Fit for the Trip (Update #2)

Well, if you've been watching my count-down clock (courtesy of's Trip & Budget Planner), you'll be able to figure out that the wife and I will be heading to Disney a week from this Sunday.

The last I left you on my saga of getting fit, I had passed out in the gym after a grueling upper-body workout that I didn't complete.

After that, I starting sticking very close to the diet I mentioned in my second update.  It was amazing how quickly it made a difference.  When a week had gone by and I was having to do the same workout again that I was laid out from before, I not only completed the workout, but managed to significantly increase the weight I was moving.

From the cardiovascular front.  I have found that I can keep the ole feet moving longer if I am on the elliptical trainer, but that isn't always an available option.

But, needless to say, I have been able to get my endurance up to 50 minutes on the elliptical or 3 miles in 42 minutes on the treadmill (at 4.5 mph).

I have started to notice that I was getting the same pain in my feet after doing intense calf workouts just like I get after 2 or 3 days in the parks.  After some thinking, I have come to the conclusion that it must be due to having tight arches in my feet and now that I'm doing all these calf raises that are stretching the heck out of my feet and my calves, I'm hoping that will be one thing that goes away on this trip (the painful feet).

From the body frame standpoint.  My 30" waist pants which fit quite well when I began this journey are now barely able to stay on my body if I didn't have a belt.  Unfortunately, I'm not going to have much luck finding shorts at this point and time since the stores are rolling out their Fall Lines.  That means pants.

Here is what I've learned in the past month:

  • Getting fit is hard to do solo.  The more people who are focused on the same goal, the easier to leverage off each other's energy.
  • Having a goal or purpose is key.  I admire people like Lou Mongello, The Phat Disney Geek, and Jonathan Dichter who are using their training and eventual competition in the Walt Disney World Half Marathon as a way to raise money for charity.  This is a very good motivator.  You cannot be a very successful fundraiser if you are in no position to compete in the Half Marathon.  My motivation is a bodybuilding competition next October.  Unfortunately, there isn't a Disney sponsored event to strive for.  Maybe one day, I'll be in a position to train for one of the shorter races.
  • Diet is key.  By diet, I'm not meaning a new-age bizarre next-to-impossible meal plan, but just what it's supposed to mean....what you put in your stomach.  The body is a machine and it needs fuel.  It's up to you to decide whether or not you want to run on fumes, cheap gas from the no-name station, or high-octane gas that fills race cars
  • If you quit once, you'll quit again.  You can do it.  Just keep telling yourself that.  If you cannot keep running, then start walking.  If you cannot walk anymore, then shuffle, but keep moving.  If you can't move the weight in the full range of motion, then move it whatever amount you can.  This is another place where it's hard to do it alone.  Your workout buddies will motivate you to power through your own self doubts.  There is some credence to the motto, "No Pain, No Gain" you just need to know the difference between good pain and an injury.
  • You have to want to improve.  If you are doing this for any reason other than for yourself, you will not succeed or if you make any success it will be hard to maintain

I like using Disney as intermediate goals to strive for.  Since my wife and I aren't into taking pictures of ourselves to see how we've improved, we use the pictures taken of us at the parks.  We can then compare them from the last trip and compare how our faces look and how our clothes fit us. 

I'm excited about my trip in two weeks.  I have a feeling that all this work that I'm doing so that I can make myself look better will have a great side effect of making it easier to enjoy my trip.  The true test will be EPCOT and see if this is one person who doesn't come out tired.

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