Friday Five: The Five Things I Would Have Posted About If I Could Have

The blog went on a bit of a hiatus for the last month and a half, but I finally got a chance to wrap up my review of the Samsung Gear Fit Smartwatch earlier this week.  There were tons of topics I wanted to post on during that hiatus, and the truth is, I’m still really swamped with work while the holiday madness is on the horizon, so I guess it could happen again.  Still, I want to move forward, so rather than try to write all those posts that were timely weeks ago, I’m going to use a Friday Five to get caught up on the big ticket items and move forward from there, OK? These are the posts I woulda-coulda-shoulda posted:

  1. Featured Blogger at Fitfluential - Running Apps: Did you guys see my guest post on the Fitfluential Blog? In October, I covered Running Apps, what’s available, what’s important, etc..  Here’s the link to the article.
  2. Levac Attack - This year’s Levac Attack came and went, and I wish I’d been able to do more to promote it.  We were in a new location (Port Credit) and it was a fun course, with a 15 km option this year in addition to the usual 5 km, 10 km and half-marathon courses.  While we enjoyed it, I think it marks the close of our stroller running career as Shark Boy rode his bike for a lap then chose to hang out near the finish line and gorge himself of Timbits.  The Lightning Kid started to cry after a lap, so my wife and I had to split up our running and did the last 5 km of our 10 km runs separately - each taking turns to watch the Lightning Kid.  It was another big success raising money for Mount Sinai hospital, and I’ll keep hoping to get some more of my local bloggers involved next year!
  3. Angus Glen 10k/Half-Marathon - This is my wife’s favourite race as it has an awesome post race meal inside the Angus Glen country club.  Due to an organizational/scheduling snafu, we scrapped our childcare plans for the day, which was just as well as I had a splitting headache and didn’t feel like running, so I watched the kids while she ran it.  We also met my friend John and his wife there - she scolded me for not recruiting her to watch the boys, but once she saw how they tore it up running around the inside of the country club, she might have had second thoughts!  My wife was really happy with her time, as it wasn’t a personal best overall, it was certainly faster than she’s run all year, and that’s especially impressive considering how hilly the Angus Glen course is.  John PR’ed his half-marathon, which I thought would be impossible considering how hilly it was, but he had done the Scotiabank Marathon weeks earlier; being in marathon shape makes a half-marathon no big deal, I guess.
  4. New Phone - In spite of a protective cover, I cracked the screen of my Samsung Galaxy S3. One crack wasn’t so bad, but then this happened:
    And here's how:
    Anyway, we were due for an upgrade at work soon enough anyway, so all I had to do was stick it out for a couple of weeks, and ta-daaa! Samsung Galaxy S5.  So far, I really like it, and though the S5 comes in an Active version that is waterproof and shock-proof, which I didn’t get.  I still like this model, especially now that I have a Lifeproof case on it to make it waterproof.
  5. A photo posted by Axel Kussmann (@apkussma) on

I’m still getting used to the phone, having to make little changes to make the user experience more like what I’m used to, and I have yet to use all the new bells and whistles it offers (HR sensor like on the Gear Fit Smartwatch, ANT connectivity - hopefully to connect to my Garmin accessories).  I can post a review of the phone and the case in the near future hopefully.
  1. Weight lifting - The general, haphazard approach I’ve taken with my off-season is to lose weight, or more accurately, get leaner.  I’m using the principles from Tom Venuto’s Burn The Fat - Feed The Muscle; but not only am I not adhering to his prescription very closely, I haven’t even finished the book cover to cover.  Still, it’s gotten me re-engaged with strength training and considering macro-nutrients a little closer. I’ve known that protein is supposed to make you feel full, but I usually felt just as hungry for a mid-morning snack when I ate egg whites as when I ate cereal, and unfortunately, healthy snacks like veggies or nuts never seemed to satisfy.  I’ve been playing around with making a smoothie with hemp protein (from Manitoba Harvest) alongside my breakfast (which is starting to include more protein sources too).  While I’m wary of simply adding too many calories to my day, it’s better to have them earlier than later, and feeling full right through till lunch has kept me away from the Tim Horton’s more and more often.  On the exercise front, the idea has been to schedule in strength workouts as first priority, with the idea that cardio is easier to come by - I could run or even bike outside my lunchtime workout slots more easily.  While work and family chaos, high-priority items and emergencies have kept me from being on point and regular with workouts and nutrition too often during the last month and a half, when I have been good, I’ve seen results.  Pounds come off the scale and go on the barbell.  Some of the strength gains might be actual muscular strength and some might be more me getting more confident with the lifting technique and willing to push it more.  If I keep up some endurance work, I shouldn’t really bulk up, and generally when I’ve gotten too swamped to fit in the endurance work, I’ve been too swamped to weight lift too, so it kind of works out.  I’ll be posting a time-space efficiency hack of my workout routine in the near future so stay tuned for that.

Is your off-season regime radically different from your on-season? Is there a phone upgrade you’re craving?  Do you know of a hidden gem race like Levac Attack or Angus Glen?

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