Not getting off track…

As you’ve probably noticed, I’ve been off my blog lately.  We had a trip to my in-laws last week, and (no offense) but when I’m on vacation I’d rather spend my time with family then take the time to blog. After all, that’s the whole point of a vacation.  But, as great as vacations are for families, they’re not so great for diets…

I realized today that if I were doing this diet and exercise plan on my own then my summer of becoming healthy would have ended yesterday. In the past I was only able to keep up a diet and exercise plan until there was some change in my routine or schedule, like the end of a semester or a vacation.  Well, right now, in addition to last week’s vacation, I am starting a 2nd job and the summer term ends in 2 weeks.  So, with taking a week off from my diet for a vacation (although I did watch what I ate), coming home from vacation and starting a 2nd job in the evenings, and with my schedule about to change at the end of the summer term…I am so glad I decided to do the training program with the coach this summer.

I have seven more sessions with her, & since we have to miss two weeks between the Summer Term and Fall Semester, I will be meeting with her until about the first week of October, which is when I’ll get to redo all my fitness assessments.  I know I’m improved, but with two more months, the challenge is going to be making sure there is improvement between now and then.

That was mostly what I talked about with my coach today, how to exercise when my time is now more limited. She recommended I refocus on the vigor of my workouts instead of the quantity.  So, instead of running for 40 minutes in the morning or evening, I could just run one mile during my lunch, but make it the fastest mile I can run.

I do think I’ll be able to find the time to exercise, what’s harder for me is the motivation when I’m tired from working 52-55 hours a week.  That’s where having a coach is the biggest factor, knowing that each and every Wednesday from now until October I’m going to have to go account for myself and my behavior.  That reporting element makes such a difference, and I firmly believe is what is going to make me succeed this time.

In the mean time, here are some results:

Weight: 191.2
2 lbs lighter than 2 weeks ago today, so I was able to stay in a downward trend on the trip.

One mile run time: 8:34
I actually did run a lot while I was on vacation. Last Friday when I just couldn’t take the Texas heat, I ran on a treadmill.  I wanted to see if I could run a sub-9 minute mile and did at 8:58!  I then started a 1/4 mile cool-down and was still feeling good, so I tried a second one and did that one in 8:34.  I was very happy about that.  The big question is whether I can turn that into a 27:00 5K time by the end of September.

Lastly: I bought a new running shirt thanks to the abundance of outlet malls in Texas.  I quite enjoyed breaking it in the Texas heat.  It’s a pretty awesome shirt.  I think Nike is right to fear Under Armour’s growing market share.

Out running in the Texas heat

Out running in the Texas heat

The funnest days out running are those that I get to run with my wife. One of the many reasons I’ll miss being at my in-laws. It’s too hard to run together without my mother-in-law there to keep the kids from hurting each other or burning the house down.


Granddad Gil


The XX beer guy had nothing on my Grandfather.  Gilbert Morrison was without a doubt the most interesting man in the world.  In my 34 years of life, I only got to know him a little because he was a very personal man.  Yet, he left an indelible mark on me that has affected my desired pastimes and my career direction.  I have been blessed to have an unquenchable wanderlust that was first piqued when looking and my Granddad’s slides of his world travels, and I chose to pursue a career in counseling thanks to his example as a psychiatrist.

I’ll leave better descriptions of him to those who knew him better, but I wanted to write about the weekend I was able to spend with my extended family remembering him and celebrating his life.

It wasn’t easy, but somehow all my siblings, parents, aunts, uncles, and cousins were all able to set aside last weekend to get together and reminisce about my granddad.  Laura and I were lucky enough that her sisters and brother-in-law were able to watch our kids for us, and so last Friday we flew down to LAX to stay with my brother.  Since I’ve been in grad school for the past several years I haven’t been able to travel much and I definitely haven’t visited my siblings as much as I’d like.  So this was my first time seeing my brother’s newly remodeled house in Santa Monica.  We were the first to arrive, by late evening all my siblings were under one roof for the first time in years.  In fact, when coming home from the airport we were all in one car at the same time, and none of us could even remember the last time that happened.

My granddad was interred at the Pacific View cemetery in Newport, CA.  When we arrived my parents and all my aunts, uncles, and cousins were already there.  We gathered around the wall where his urn was placed with my grandmother and alongside my great-grandparents and we all took turns sharing memories of him. It was a mostly joyful gathering.  After we were done we took a few photos and then looked for some of the famous graves in the cemetery.  John Wayne was the only one we found, but hey it was John Wayne, that’s pretty much as good as it gets.

We then were treated to a lunch at P.F. Chang’s by my granddad’s trust.  It was rather amazing that they actually kept everyone’s orders correct.

We finally got to my granddad’s apartment where my mom, my aunt and uncles had set aside mementos for all of us to look through and to take home.  Like I said, my granddad was an interesting fellow, and his decades of travels had allowed him to accumulate some interesting items.  In the end, we all found things we wanted with no quarreling or bickering.

We finished our weekend with a trip to a swanky West Beverly Hills restaurant, where we all stayed up way too late (especially since Laura and I had an early flight out the next morning), but it was worth it because we don’t get enough opportunities to sit around and just talk free of kids and responsibilities.