Category Archives: Exercise

Another Rugged Maniac and Some Busted Up Knees

I finished another Rugged Maniac last week with my friend Pat and daughter Caity.

It was a lot of fun again, and the elements made it more challenging than the last time I did it.

Many things were the same, but there was some rain, so the wood obstacles, like the see saws and balance beams, were very slippery.

There was fire this time, too, which I didn’t get to jump over last year. It was higher and wider than I expected, but I cleared it without any burnt leg hair.

My knees got pretty battered from all of the crawling through tunnels, caves, and mud pits.

Bruised, cut, swollen knees the day after #ruggedmaniac

A photo posted by Shawn Collins (@fatblogging) on

But I have that finisher shirt, so it’s all good.

I am Doing My Second Rugged Maniac This Weekend

This coming Saturday, I will be doing the Rugged Maniac 5k mud run for the second time.

There is a lot more to it than miles and mud. There are 25 obstacles along the 5k course, so it’s more a series of obstacles that you run from one to another.

The course includes fire jumps, water slides, trampolines, and underground tunnels. In other words, it’s sort of a fun version of the more rigorous challenges, like the Tough Mudder, which I did last year.

One similarity is that they both give you a beer at the end, and it’s a well earned beer.

I’ve got a paid of sneakers that are worn out with the bottom peeling off. I’ll be wearing those and tossing them after the race.

Just to be clear, the Rugged Maniac is not easy. It is easier than the longer races, but still lots of physical challenges that will have my old body aching on Sunday.

Still, I can’t wait for it.

I Forgot Where I Packed My Sneakers When I Moved

I moved to a new place in Austin this week, and when I started getting ready for the gym yesterday morning, I realized I couldn’t find my running shoes anywhere.

Lesson learned – know where you packed your sneakers when you move.

A video posted by Shawn Collins (@fatblogging) on

I considered skipping the gym for the day, but I need it to be a regular habit, so I pulled on my Adidas Sambas and hit the bike.

Usually, I will walk on alternate days, after a run, but I think I will mix in more indoor and outdoor cycling, because I like it, and I’d love to challenge more muscles.

Today, I was back with my regular running shoes for a few miles, so all is restored in the world.

The Heat Index of the North East is Nasty for a Run

I woke up around six in the morning yesterday, and it was pouring rain. So, I had a quick, healthy breakfast of an Atkin’s bar and a Diet Dr. Pepper, as I waited for the weather to clear.

It would have been better to run into the rain, because as soon as it stopped, the heat blasted and the air was thick.

I felt like I was going to puke from running in this heat.

A video posted by Shawn Collins (@fatblogging) on

The temperature was probably about 90 when I was out there, and so with a relative humidity of 70% (I don’t actually have any idea how to calculate that, so I’m just guessing), it felt like 105 degrees. This is based on the NOAA Heat Index chart.

Anyway, it reminded me of my high school soccer practices and two a days in the humid August sun. Sometimes, I’d puke from the running in those elements, and I felt like that today.

So, it’s going to be a necessity to get out earlier, or head to the gym for the treadmill. While I dislike being inside, the upside is going for a jump in the pool at the gym after.

Training for a 10k

I’ve been slowly increasing my distance as I do 2:1 intervals, where I go 2 minutes running alternated with 1 minute walking.

For the past several times, I went a little over five miles.

Soon, I will find a 10k to run for as much as I can, and eventually I’d like to work up to a half marathon.

Inching towards a 10k – intervals in the heat this morning for 5 miles.

A video posted by Shawn Collins (@fatblogging) on

Starting weight: 233
Current weight: 220

There are Two Seasons in New Jersey: Cold and Hot

I just knocked out another four miles of 2:1 intervals, but it was super hot, and that made it tougher.

So, for anybody questioning climate change, I can tell you for sure that we’ve moved to a two season year, at least in New Jersey.

There is cold and hot.

A week ago, it was in the 30s in the morning, and now it’s in the 80s in the morning.

It went from cold to hot really quick, and there was no mild in between. I am hoping this doesn’t send me to the treadmills too soon in the summer.

There are two seasons in New Jersey – cold and hot

A video posted by Shawn Collins (@fatblogging) on

Maybe It’s Crazy to Do a Tough Mudder

I was just cooling down from a run the other day and I had worn a shirt that says, “I Will”. It was a training shirt from the Tough Mudder last year.

As I passed a lady on the path, she said, “I Will, what?”

After a second, I realized she was talking about my shirt. As I described what it was about, she looked at me like I was crazy.

And when I think about that day, it does seem sort of crazy to volunteer for that unpleasantness, but it was sure a nice feeling to finish.

Starting weight: 233
Current weight: 222

When Do the Runs Get Easier?

I’ve been running on and off for about 8 years now, and it’s never really gotten easier.

I struggled to finish a 10k without breaks a couple times, but that’s been my ceiling.

On a regular basis, I’ll go out for 5k on the streets or in a park, and it’s alternately doable and really challenging.

Some runs are tougher than others #fatblogging

A photo posted by Shawn Collins (@fatblogging) on

Age and weight are certainly not doing me any favors, but I see people that are older and bigger knocking out the miles.

Am I missing some secret?

Starting weight: 233
Current weight: 222

Lots of Calories Burned Hiking

I went for a hike today and covered nearly 4 miles in about an hour. It was a little muddy in spots and some varying elevations with a total of a 672 foot climb.

There is nothing remarkable about that. But I was excited to see the calories I supposedly burned, according to the DailyMile app.

The app says I burned 852 calories.

hiking calories

The app has my weight, the miles, time, and all of that, so I am hoping that is an accurate reading.

I think it may be, because the day before I went for a run that had some elevation and I had 386 calories for running a 5k in a half hour.

Couch to 5k to Become a Runner Again

I enjoy running outside. Well, I really enjoy the moment of finishing the run, and the feeling of accomplishment. But, I guess, that counts as enjoying running.

In the past, I was running regularly, but during the time that I packed on weight, I was hardly running.

Now that I am getting back into it, I’ve found it a lot more challenging than it used to be – not just the extra weight, but my stamina was killed.

So, I decided to start from scratch to rebuild my running by installing the Couch to 5k app. The app takes anybody on a nine week training course to take you from the couch to a 5k.

It requires about 20 to 30 minutes, three times a week, to complete the training and be ready for your first 5k (3.1 miles) race.

Currently, I am on week seven. I prefer running outdoors, but recent cold weather has pushed me onto the treadmill.

Too cold to run outside – treadmill it is

A photo posted by Shawn Collins (@fatblogging) on

That time goes a lot slower, so I am excited to see the cold days fading.

I’d highly recommend this app – when I started, I was struggling after a couple minutes, and my last run with it was for 22 minutes. The app provides encouragement and gives audio cues along the way.

I am looking forward to getting to a place where I am smiling during the races, like I am in the picture above. Notice how I’m having fun and the other people in the picture look miserable. I am almost back to smile running.

All that said, now I have to pick a 5k and sign up.