Motivating weekend at performance camp.

Hey, did you miss me? How do you like the NEW ChicagoNow?

I’ve written a few draft posts that I never published in the past two weeks. They were about my recent lack of motivation to continue training.

It was a funk I couldn’t seem to shake. I felt like I was just doing the workouts just to get them done instead of doing them to perform better.

But after this weekend I feel like I was put back on track!

I kicked off Saturday with an easy 15 mile bike ride before I headed north to Algonquin for a morning of performance training at ProKine Performance Move like a Pro camp.

The camp is run by fitness pro’s Drew Whitehead and Kate Galliett. Kate is also Coach Jen’s performance coach. To be honest I was pretty unsure of what to expect.

The camp started out with everyone getting there picture taken to assess your body’s imbalances. The picture was taken while doing an overhead squat. My squat felt fine, so I assumed it looked fine to Kate & Drew.

Before Front Before Side

After picture time we went through a series of stretches to help open up our hips, shoulders and other joints. Throughout each stress our coaches would talk us through proper form to get the most out of the exercise.

The stretches were followed by a series of lunges and body weight squats that Kate kept telling us would “wake up our glutes.”

Stretching it out at ProKine Performance Camp

From there we worked on some trigger point techniques. WOW those were painful! Using a lacrosse ball and golf ball I was able to pinpoint all the little knots in my feet calves and hips. We also worked on a variety of balance exercises using a BOSU ball, stability ball and TRX bands. I could use some serious balance work.

The final workout consisted of 2 circuits working your core. Kate had mentioned at the beginning of camp that “Core work” is mentioned a lot in gyms, but it’s often very effective.

The workouts we did at camp were KILLER! what seemed like very short stations the 1st time through seemed like an eternity on the second pass.

After the circuit we took another picture doing an overhead squat then Drew came around and went over the pictures with us individually. You can see there is a drastic difference between my two pictures. In the first set but body is pretty crooked, my arms aren’t straight and my shoulders are coming forward.

After Front After Side

The second set of pictures shows my body in better alignment, my left arm still dips a bit, but my shoulders are back and knees aren’t coming out as much. It’s a pretty drastic improvement for just 4 hours of training!

Kate put together individual workouts for everyone based on the result of the pictures. By continuing to work on correcting all these litte imbalances I can get my body moving correctly and more efficiently which will help me perform better in races and training!

I left camp exhausted and full of new knowledge. Throughout the day I could feel a little soreness creeping in, but Sunday morning I got out of bed and almost yelled

Oh THATS what they meant about my glutes being sore! WOW! My ass hurt an still does!

But that didn’t stop me from meeting Dave from Pace of Chicago for a nice ride 40 mile ride. Dave took me along, Sheridan road, or as I like to call it the LX.TV Open House Chicago Tour. It was a great ride considering how sore I was from ProKine Camp… and that soreness was about to get worse.

Dave has told me about this moster hill a few times. He said he’s only ever see one guy complete the climb. So as we’re riding he asks “Do you want to see THE hill?”

Umm yeah!

As we’re approaching this hill all I could see was a ledge, not the path down it… Have you ever seen The Plunge at Noah’s Arc in Wisconsin Dells, it’s like that but concrete.

Coasting down it, you have to ride the brakes… but you’re still moving… I knew there was no way I was making it back up this thing. At the bottom Dave readies himself for the climb. He looks up the hill and says “I’ve been fighting you for 30 years.”

He takes off and fights up making it over half way. The whole time I’m thinking where a respectable place to start walking would be!

I mount the bike and….

THAT was exhausting!

After a breather we headed back, I struggled to keep up towards the end and eventually made it home completing a total for 40 miles. I was really a good ride and I was wiped, but it felt great. A jam packed weekend like this is really what I needed to help get me motivated an back on track to focus on the races ahead.

A big thanks to Kat ena Drew from ProKine Performance for kicking my ass Saturday morning. And as always thanks to Dave form Pace of Chicago for riding with me on Sunday!

Today is a (well deserved) rest day. I’m going to hit the hot tub and the foam roller. Tomorrow I’m back in the pool and strength training.

One Tough Mudder

The Tough Mudder sounded awesome to me. To my surprise it also sounded good to one of my co-workers in New York.

Check out this segment from LX.TV 1stLook where George takes on the Tough Mudder

http://c.brightcove.com/services/viewer/federated_f9?isVid=1

Nice work George, next time you’re going to do something awesome… call me!

What a week!!!

What a week. I’m exhausted. Coach Jen is not messing around! I have been in ironman mode since Tuesday, and there’s no stopping now!

I did miss one workout on Friday. It was a long sleep deprived Thursday night, which turned in to both an early and late day on Friday. I was sent to interview Daaaaaa Coach, Mike Ditka for our show… It was awesome… I don’t want to give too much away… But can you can you made Da Coach cry? Didn’t think so

After that I had to finish our upcoming Open House show, the go back out at 5p to produce the 85′ Bears reunion show at The Arie Crown… I was beat when I got home, so I did not run…

Saturday I hit the pool with the Buehler Breakers… I explained it to coach Jen as a near death experience. I had to modify my workout a little, but I survived! The rest of the day was spent preping for my son’s 1st birthday party, which was going to be the next day. I also went to the Emmy Awards on Saturday night cause both of my shows were nominated for awards. We won one and lost one… But more importantly WE WON ONE!!! 

I shall now be referred to at Emmy winning Prodecer –  Editor Phil Castello!!!! But you can just call me Phil. 

After some late night celebrating with the Open House Chicago team… And my friend Jonnie Walker. I was ready for a Sunday bike ride followed by a 1st birthday party. The ride was good, the party was great!!! But needless to say I’m wiped. 

Monday was a rest day and today I’m back in action!!!

Big week ahead!

I’ve got a lot going on this week. Work-wise my goal is to put the next episode of Open House Chicago together in record time! I always try to get shows done fast, but I’d like to get this one done significantly ahead of schedule to try and get ahead of the game for the end of the year.


Today I get to talk with Coach Jen about my goals for the year. Coach had me fill out some paperwork specifically asking about goals, races I want to run and how I think I can accomplish all of it. So I’m interested to hear her take on what I wrote. Since I’m a total newbie to triathlons I think it may be safe to say my goals are out of whack!


I’m hoping that I can jump right into training this week too.


Back to work stuff… Friday I have a helluva-long day. I get to interview the legendary Coach Ditka in the morning, then head back to my office to work on Open House, THEN head out to the 85 Bears reunion for another shoot in the evening.


Now let’s talk weekend cause it’s gonna be busy too! Saturday I’m headed to the Emmy’s here in Chicago. Our shows are up for 2 awards and one of our hosts is up for an award! It’s exciting stuff! But it’ll be a long night and there is sure to be an after-party.


Sunday… It’s my son’s 1st birthday party! I can’t believe it’s been a year already! So like most parents, we’re having a big party at our house. About 30+ relatives and friends are coming over to party with Sammy! We’ll have a lot to do to get ready, and after a night at the Emmys it’s going to take a Starbucks “Black Eye” or two to get it done!


Whooo, just writing all that is exhausting, but I’m geared up! 


Let’s Do It!!!


I’ll be sure to post more tonight after talking to Coach Jen!

Did you miss me?

Another log and hectic week is over. Thank God.

I spent most of this past week stressed out at work. There’s been a lot of projects for me to work on that are just so time consuming, but thankfully they’re done. We relaunched Open House Chicago, the first episode will air tomorrow morning at 10:30a on NBC5.

My body has felt like a wreck this week. I’ve had a lot of lower back pain and I’m not sure where it came from. It’s kept me from running all week, but I’ve supplemented by biking and walking daily. I’ve been stretching to try and loosen it up, but so far no luck. It’s slowly getting better but there it still noticeable pain and tightness.

I’m sure it stems from being stressed out too. In addition to the work B.S. I’ve been dealing with, I’m also in the process of trying to move and rent my condo out. I’ve gotten a good response which is nice, but I’m still looking for a place to move to!

Tomorrow I’m going to get back in the saddle and go out for a light run. Hopefully my back won’t be a big issue.