Pardon The Interruption – Technorati Claim In Progress

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Posted on 16th July 2010 by Ben Krasner in Website Updates

Hi Everyone,

Sorry for the interruption, here.  This is a test… only a test.  TGNRYP6KKU9Z .

We will now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.


Weight Loss & Fitness Pursuit – Day Four

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Posted on 15th July 2010 by Ben Krasner in Health & Fitness


It’s day four of my born-again active ways with the continued goal of putting down a nice base to build on for the coming weeks of physical activity.  As I wrote earlier, I have registered for this Sunday’s Healthy Kids, Healthy Weight Run in University Circle and have altered this weeks plan a little bit to accommodate that event.  Natalie and I both felt pretty strong and surprisingly pain free after three days of training.  As a result, I decided to work extra hard today and take tomorrow and Saturday off before the event to recharge.  Any muscle soreness or stiffness from today will be long gone after two days off.

Together we repeated the first three days workout schedule and felt more confident doing so.  After we were complete with our workout, I went back outside and did some additional running.  Since we jog our neighborhood route, I decided I would like to push it up and train a little harder on shorter runs.  There’s a stretch from our house to the next subdivision intersection that is almost exactly a tenth of a mile and I was running that at what I felt was about 85% of my top end distance running speed.  I did 8 of those (based on 4 quarters, just like in football conditioning) and was pretty gassed afterwords.  I let myself rest while walking it off and then ended up in the circle in front of our house doing some short 75% sprints, some backpedaling and some shuffling to begin to work some of the muscles in my legs that haven’t seen much stimulation in some time.

The workout went well.  It was hot and I pushed it for longer than I had in the previous three days… I put out some serious sweat in the process.  Now it’s two days off before a 5K on Sunday.  I’m excited!  It feels good to finally get back to being active.  I’m not sure what took me so long to wake up and realize that a 60 – 65 hour a week, oatmeal brain producing, life wasting job wasn’t the right main ingredient in my life’s recipe.  But if I didn’t have regrets, I guess I wouldn’t be human.

Registered For Healthy Kids, Healthy Weight Run This Sunday!

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Posted on 15th July 2010 by Ben Krasner in Day to Day Goodies | Health & Fitness

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Good morning!  So, I’ve decided to do it.  I’ve registered for this Sunday’s Healthy Kids, Healthy Weight Run in University Circle.  The cost is $16 (including a small registration fee) and it’s being put on by Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital with Aetna as one of the prime sponsors.  I fully intend to take advantage of the fact that it is a run/walk because there’s no way I can run 3.1 miles from start to finish.  I hope to get a great look at just how horribly out of shape I am in and finishing in the middle of the pack would be a victory, I think.

3.1 miles… wow.  Thinking about it, I’m not sure if I have completed 3 miles since my high school football days – honestly.  When I was in college I was in great shape because I was at the rec center every opportunity I got but, even then, I was only running a mile at the beginning of my workout and a mile at the end.  I’m going to need every bit of energy I can muster.  And, actually, my biggest challenge of all might just be getting there.  The event is at 8:30 in the morning on a Sunday, with check in and packet pick up starting at 7:00.  It’s about a 35 minute drive up there and I have no idea where to park.  So I’ll likely be leaving at around 6:30 am … on a Sunday.  Those hours just don’t exist for me so I hope I can pull it off (the event AND getting up in the morning… or maybe those should be the other way around).

Since I’ve signed up for this, I’ve decided that I want to take note of working out before hand.  I don’t think I want to work out on Saturday at all and I probably will end up counting Sunday’s activities towards this week’s goal of 5 days.  So I will probably manufacture two days off.  Right now I’m thinking of taking today off, then working out tomorrow and taking Saturday off.  We’ll see how Natalie feels… she could encourage me one way or another.  For instance I could go real hard working out, today, and then take Friday and Saturday off to recharge – I’m flexible, here.

Weight Loss & Fitness Pursuit – Day Three

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Posted on 14th July 2010 by Ben Krasner in Health & Fitness


Yesterday was a Wednesday – usually my golf league night – but Natalie and I continued to feel strong as our initial onset of soreness is wearing off quickly.  So we continued to try to build our new active habits by working out, again.  We repeated the same workout schedule as we are trying to lay down a decent base and, again, just kick start our systems and get over mental hurdles.  The admittedly short jog around the neighborhood isn’t really getting physically easier, for us, but the mental block of doing it is pretty much history.  Push-ups and sit-ups don’t feel anywhere near as strenuous as they did on day one although we are not yet extending the number of reps that we are doing of them.  Arm curls, lateral raises and one-arm shoulder presses don’t seem to fatigue us so rapidly either.  After our base week we’ll definitely be looking to up the reps and sets to keep things progressing.

I did some searching last night on found Ohio Runner, a website that includes a calendar or running events in Ohio. I was hoping to find something around Cleveland in a few weeks … something I could use to measure progress maybe.  I found a 5K event in Cleveland, this Sunday (July 18) called the “Healthy Kids, Healthy Weight Run“.  It’s a charity event for the children’s hospital and it’s classified as a run/walk.  It doesn’t look like a very competitive event and I’m strongly considering signing up for it to give me a firm snap shot of just how out of shape I am.  Also, even though it doesn’t appear to be a competitive event, there’s still nothing like an event where there are others around you to challenge you and get the juices flowing.  It could be beneficial to me so I’m seriously thinking about it.  If I do sign up, I probably would alter the plan for the rest of the week so I can rest up for it.

Michigan Stadium Once Again The Biggest House

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Posted on 14th July 2010 by Ben Krasner in University of Michigan Sports

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The University of Michigan announced, today, the new capacity of newly renovated Michigan Stadium – 109,901.  Once again, Michigan Stadium will be the biggest football stadium in the United States when play kicks off this fall, beginning on September 4th against UConn. I do know that work will continue in the bowl of the stadium as seats and aisles are widened and handrails and other structural improvements are added.  This will take place over the next two seasons, at least, and when these changes occur some additional seating will be lost in the stadium.  So this 109,901 is a temporary number and it is not clear what the final number will in fact be.

I can’t wait to get up there for games this season.  The work on the stadium has looked great throughout and it will be great to finally get to use what we’ve all been waiting for.  We are taking part in the new construction – our new club seats are in section 302 and did not come cheaply.  We’ll be taking 8 people to each home game with 4 new club seats plus our existing 4 seats in the southwest corner of the stadium in section 18.  This will be a tailgate season to remember for sure and, hopefully, the product on the field is memorable (not forgettable) as well.

Let’s Go Blue!

Steelers Give Coach Mike Tomlin Extension

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Posted on 13th July 2010 by Ben Krasner in Sports Commentary


I saw, today, that the Pittsburgh Steelers have given head coach Mike Tomlin a contract extension that will take him through the 2014 season.  The three year extension comes after an up and down 9-7 season where the Steelers missed the playoffs by losing 5 straight games and looking very mortal in the process.  I like coach Tomlin and I think that he is a good leader.  I think he can put things together well as long as he has a good staff behind him.  I’m just not sure how strong he is as a coach that has to overcome a whole in his staff or the roster.

9-7 is not a record to sneeze at, really.  My other team – the Detroit Lions – would love to sniff that record sometime soon.  However, missing the playoffs the year after winning the Super Bowl is hardly the time to extend a coach… right?  Extend him immediately following the Super Bowl victory and nobody is going to question it.

It will be interesting to see how Tomlin does this season with all the stuff that has happened this offseason.

Weight Loss & Fitness Pursuit – Day One & Two

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Posted on 13th July 2010 by Ben Krasner in Health & Fitness


Yesterday and today became day one and two of my weight loss and fitness pursuit as I am getting started on what is likely a long journey.  Together, Natalie and I will tackle this challenge head on and without pills, powders or gimmicks – just good old fashioned hard work and smarter eating.  As I mentioned on Sunday, we’re not weighing in this week or doing anything critical, we are simply getting started and making sure we strongly build what we view as the most important habit in our quest – being active on a continual basis.  This weeks goal is 5 days of activity before seeing where we stand.  The workout schedule is simple – jog parts of the neighborhood, come back and hit some sit-ups and push-ups, then head to the basement to work the arms and shoulders with weights.  Eventually, we’ll add to that mix but these exercises hit the majority of the muscles that we need to wake up.

Yesterday (Monday), we jogged for about half a mile… walked a bit and then jogged another half a mile or so.  While some muscles were sore, it was mostly our cardiovascular weakness that limited us on day one.  We were simply out of gas and breathing very hard.  My allergy and exercise induced asthma was held in check, but I simply needed to slow it down to a walk to catch my breath.  We broke a pretty good sweat, too.  We waited until the evening after Natalie got home from work but it was still very humid and about 80 degrees.

After we ran we went inside for some sit-ups and push-ups and quickly found that we lacked the ability to do very many of either exercise.  We each managed a couple of sets of just 15 sit ups/crunches (yikes!) and, similarly, completed fewer push-ups than I thought as well.  I did two sets of push-ups – one at 15 and one at 10.  That’s just embarrassing, but that’s what it is.  Natalie did 1 set of 15 from her knees but felt she could maybe do a few more.

Downstairs, Natalie used small free weights (10 lb I think) for arm curls and lateral arm raises, while I used our short olympic lifting bar to curl with.  Yes, that’s right, we own a weight bench… one that has obviously not been used much of late.  We had it in our apartment and so purchased the short bar (some call this a women’s bar, I guess?) because of a lack of space for the standard bar.  These bars weigh about 33 pounds.  I curled with 12.5 pounds on each side of the bar, so I was lifting 58 lbs.  That’s not a ton but I think that’s the only weight lifting amount that I could work right now that is remotely respectable.  I finished up by using 25 pound free weights to do one-arm shoulder presses with.

We repeated the same exercise schedule, today (Tuesday), only we jogged a bit further than we did yesterday.  While Natalie was working, I grabbed a couple of pedometer apps for my iPhone and went walking to see what type of courses we were going to be looking at in our neighborhood.  The streets we utilized on Monday ended up being almost exactly a mile.  I added a short section that leads away from our development and that short section adds almost exactly a quarter mile and that was the path we jogged, today.  We ended up jogging about two-thirds of a mile before taking a break to walk and catch our breath.  We then finished by jogging the remaining quarter mile stretch back to the house.

We’re a little sore, but not really as sore as we thought we would be.  This is encouraging because we had hoped to have some muscle beneath the extra insulation we’ve both added over the past bit.  We figure it will be easier to get quicker gains in cardio and muscle endurance than it will be to get our muscle strength or power up.

So far so good.  Two days up and two days down.  Looking forward to the rest of the week to see where this heads.

Take care all.

Couple Of Detroit Lions Updates

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Posted on 13th July 2010 by Ben Krasner in Sports Commentary

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Here’s some Detroit Lions news I came across yesterday:

Weight Loss & Fitness Pursuit – At The Starting Line

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Posted on 12th July 2010 by Ben Krasner in Health & Fitness


Okay everyone, here goes.  Time to get active.  Looking back in the past few weeks I can honestly say that it’s truly disgusting how inactive I have been.  I’ve been so busy, and yet so inactive at the same time.  Well, no more.  Today, I jog.  I haven’t jogged since I was on the treadmill in the winter.  I’ve walked on that treadmill on an incline a lot … lots of good that did me.  I can’t walk from one side of the basketball arena to the other without breaking a sweat and having to catch my breath – ridiculous!

My wife Natalie and I are both embarking on this pursuit together.  For me, this is a personal goal of weight loss, health benefits directly related to that weight loss, and to find great increases in physical fitness.  Natalie is also interested in those things but has another motivating factor – she wants to lose weight for her sister’s wedding which is scheduled for October 16th.  There’s dress sizes and appearances in pictures involved with the approach of that event so all of a sudden we now have two people who, together, have heightened motivation that has been missing for a little while.

Today is simple – get out and jog in the neighborhood.  We don’t want to over-do it we just want to be active today and leave ourselves in a position to be active tomorrow, too.  My goal for us is to go from being consistently inactive to being physically active 5 or maybe 6 days a week.  That means trying to eliminate any days where she or I are sore enough or run down enough to where we decide we need a day off before we even get through a week.  I want to start off strong, even if that means doing less at the beginning.

We’re essentially doing a base week, this week.  We are not weighing ourselves or concentrating on any one area.  We just want to kick start our cardiovascular system and our muscles and see how we react.  Are we sore?  Are we digging into the fridge for extra meals or snacks and what are we eating if/when we do that?  Do we need to switch up exercises because of fatigue or to keep up interest.  We’re just getting started, that’s all.  Nothing critical should happen this week.

Today’s Workout Schedule:

  • Jog the neighborhood we’re familiar with – conservatively – whatever feels right, is right
  • Sit-ups – three sets of whatever starts to strain the muscles… maybe 15 to 20 per set
  • Push-ups – two sets of whatever gets us fatigued… guessing 15
  • Arm curls (biceps and upper arm muscles firing)
  • Lateral arm raises (deltoids and outer shoulder muscles firing)

Later guys and gals.

Time To Lose Weight & Get Fit

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Posted on 11th July 2010 by Ben Krasner in Health & Fitness


I have got to lose some weight and get myself fit!  For the past 6 to 7 years I allowed a worthless desk job to run my life that included almost nothing but a desk, a computer, long and fluctuating hours, plenty of tasty food, a car ride to and from work (35 minutes each way) and a Wednesday evening round of golf.  I have packed on the pounds and clearly am far – FAR – out of shape as recent activities have shown me vividly.  It is time for me to get smart and put my weight and physical fitness center stage and at the top of the priority list.

Sometimes realizing you need to make changes in areas like this hits you like a ton of bricks and completely out of the blue.   Two weeks ago, if you had asked me about my current weight, I would have said that I needed to shed some and that I’ll get around to it sometime.  Last week I was recording video of  the LeBron James Skills Academy in Akron, OH, and the ensuing King City Classic Basketball Tournament in downtown Cleveland, OH.  Things went pretty well but I caught myself sweating more than I thought I normally would have and the events were all indoors.  I also found myself having to catch my breath after quickly walking from where the events were to where people with media credentials (which I was fortunate to have) could interview players participating in the camp and the tournament.  Never was any walk much more than 100-200 yards and never more than one or two flights of stairs were involved.  Even though I’ll never try to suggest that I was in top fitness when I was younger or that I was some great athlete, I know what I’ve been able to do in the not-so-distant past and that’s just ridiculous.

So it’s time for this guy to get up off his butt and get moving.  We’ll start tomorrow with a jog and go from there.