Evolution of a Man

Leave a comment

I’m Jacked UP!

Well, F.

My left knee is pretty messed up.  The day of our 12 mile run, it was achey, but not unbearable.  The next day however (even with appropriate stretching, nutrition, and manual removal of lactic acid buildup), my knee was more than just achey.  It hurt to bend it, particularly when lifting as well (think stairs and walking).

Pain in a knee. sports trauma




The run was on Sunday, and it’s Wednesday now, and I’m still hurting.  Not as much, but it’s still there.  I bought a knee brace and have been wearing it.  It helps.  I also have a hot gel pack to let the pain soak away with.  I had to miss a training run this morning, which sucks…and i’m worried that I’ll miss the 14 miler this weekend.  It isn’t a huge deal if I have to, I’m not married to the idea, I just would rather run it than not (or rather, I’d like to be healthy enough to run it than not).

I scheduled an evaluation appointment at Loudoun Sports Therapy Center, to begin physical therapy on my knee.  Hopefully they’ll have some good tips or answers for me with this part of the journey.

My thoughtful wife Jessica sent me an article, with some highlights too.  Here they are.

Strengthen The Quadriceps.

Leg curls using a weight machine is a good way to do this, but make sure you start out with light weights until your strength increases. Another exercise is simply knee bends. Here you hold onto a table or something similar for support and gradually bend the knees until the thighs are almost horizontal. Then straighten up and repeat. Using the front of your feet makes this more effective, and do not go beyond the horizontal, which just puts extra strain on the knee joints.

Wear Stability Shoes If You Pronate

Check with your local running store (or physiotherapist) if you suspect that you have a foot strike problem. Then buy the appropriate shoes to correct this. I also like to wear cushioning shoes for marathon training, but this is a personal choice and might not suit everyone.

Avoid Sloping Running Surfaces

If you frequently run on paved roads, try to pick a flatter area where possible. Even the sidewalk is preferable although it is often a harder surface. Running tracks in gyms are usually banked, so try to avoid these as much as possible.

Be Wary Of Speed Work

Although speedwork is often called for in more advanced marathon programs, it can be a major contributor to knee problems. If you decide to do this as part of your training, go for the longer (slower) intervals rather than the short bursts of fast running. Most of us can run a successful marathon without including any formal speedwork in our training.

Take It Easy On The Hills

Hill work is a great way to improve your leg strength and aerobic capacity, and should be part of your marathon training. However too aggressive an approach, and going too fast on the downhill, can be very detrimental to your knees. This is where the ‘listen to your body’ advice comes in. If you have been strengthening your quads, and you are wearing the right footwear you are probably OK. Just ease off the moment you start to feel any discomfort.

I’m going to focus on the PT and strengthening my quads.  Hopefully I’ll be up to running, and not limping around my house before too long.

1 Comment

Progress on my health goals.

“I don’t know how people live without coffee, I really don’t” – Martha Quinn

The goal that I thought might have been harder than it was, was in giving up coffee.  I haven’t had a cup of coffee (or even a sip) since September 11th.  I really thought I was going to have some psychological issues with removing coffee from my routine, but I have found that it doesn’t bother me.  It does affect me in some ways though.

I’ve found that I have to sleep earlier, and I pay dearly if I skip this to watch a show or stay up and write or read.  DEARLY.  The next day I drag, but I sort of like the idea that this is a natural reaction, that my body is telling me  ‘hey fucker you didn’t sleep enough last night, enjoy your bag of shit day today’.  This sort of ‘body neutral’ feeling is alright.

I’ve also been taking twice daily supplements of Fish Oil and an organic multivitamin, sourced from fruits and vegetables.

I take Rainbow Light Certified Organic Men’s Multivitamin, twice daily.  It’s got a really wide base of vitamins, and is particularly strong in B vitamins (which help provide me with natural energy).  It also has pro-biotics, helping to keep my internal fauna kicking ass.

I’ve been taking Fisol fish oil supplements, and these are for brain activity.  keeps me sharp, and these don’t digest until in the intestines, so no fishy burps (which is key).

I’ve also been drinking Amazing Grass’s Green Superfood.  It’s a green, grassy tasting powder mix that I stir into some water.  Sounds gross, but it’s got a ton of stuff in it, and if you’re even slightly averse to eating vegetables, this helps out big time.  Here are some benefits:

•  Helps you achieve your recommended 5 to 9 daily servings of fruits and vegetables
•  Naturally detoxifies and boosts your immune system
•  Probiotics and Enzymes to aid digestion and absorption
•  Complete raw food with powerful antioxidants
•  Alkaline green plant foods balance acidic pH levels
•  Contains over 70% organic ingredients
•  More organic whole leaf greens per gram than other green superfoods – not from juice
•  Featuring Sambazon organic pure açai powder
•  No soy lecithin fillers
•  Nitrogen packed for freshness

My favorite side effect is being nicer.  I’m less crabby.  I listen more before reacting, especially with my wife.

Leave a comment

Week 5…Done

“Running is the greatest metaphor for life, because you get out of it what you put into it”– Oprah Winfrey

The afternoon run of the 27th of October was my 19th training run, the last run of the fifth week!  (Week 5: Oct. 21th-Oct. 27th)

19 runs in, 5 weeks down, 20 weeks to go and I’ll be running the Saturday Rock N’ Roll Marathon in Washington, DC.

Week 5 Statistics!

Average Run

  • 30:01.00 minutes

Average Pace

  • 8:18 /mile

Average Distance

  • 3.61 miles

Notable week 5 achievements:

  • This week was run by myself – and two of the runs I took a different route.  Instead of going the hilly route down by Trump National golf course, I instead went out to Algonkian parkway, and just ran to see how far 15 minutes out took me.  Without the hills, my pace was considerably improved (almost breaking below 8min/mile).  As a friend reminded me though, i’m training for the long run, not the short sprint.

Each man’s life represents a road toward himself. – Herman Hesse

Leave a comment

A month of progress!

It’s been a little more than a month since I started this journey.  I haven’t had a cup of coffee since September 9th, haven’t played a game (except for Scrabble with my mom) since the same.   My Xbox 360 is gone, and although I know I’m missing out, I strangely am not missing it.

I’ve spent much of my new time sleeping.  Before, when I would coffee fuel myself I’d stay up after my wife went to sleep and play video games, or do other really nonproductive things.  I’d stay up regularly until 1 am.  Nowadays, my bedtime hovers around 10, and I’m trying to push it a little earlier.  I’d like it to be around 9:30, all things being equal.

This newfound sleep gives me the energy I needed to hit my day properly, particularly with no coffee or caffeine.  I do have a cup of white tea from time to time, but probably in the order of 1 cup every 3 days, not 6 to 8 cups in one day, and white tea has considerably less caffeine than coffee.  I just enjoy a hot drink.

I’ve been less cranky.  I’ve been less of a dick to my kids (not that I was always that way, but I was definitely on edge more).  I notice now, that when I do lose my temper, I find it coincides with going to bed too late (thank you 9pm political debates and exams to study for).

I still am trying to balance classwork, family time, and work on my goals.  I don’t have enough time for all – usually just two at a time.  So far, family life has been suffering.  I need to plan and have more family time, but I have to make progress on my life goals too.

I’ve made little progress on my journey of faith, and moderate progress on my book.  I’ve made some good strides (heh heh) on my marathon progress, and have completed my early goals of giving up caffeine and games, and of creating this blog (now to the task of keeping it up to date and current – an ongoing struggle).

When it is time to die, let us not find out we never lived – Henry David Thoreau.


The Journey Begins

Hey everybody.

Sometimes it takes a great event in life, sometimes it’s turmoil.  Sometimes it’s the love of a woman, sometimes, you’ve lost your job or your health.  Where ever your crossroads come from, which way will you go when you get to them?

Coming to a crossroads myself recently, it was time to take stock of who I am, what I am, where I came from, and more importantly where do I want to go?  It’s time for a reboot.

It’s time for Greg 2.0.  The phoenix has burned down, arisen again.

Too Much Time Wasted.

I wasted a lot of time.  Not in the sense that I didn’t have enjoyment (I did), but in the sense that nothing outwardly productive came from my efforts.  I don’t think that’s always a bad thing, sometimes entertainment is it’s own reward, but other things can be so much more so.  To this end, I’ve come to the first life changing task:

No More Games

(apart from family time games).

I packed up all of my Xbox 360 games and sent them to Amazon to their trade-in program.   I ended up getting almost $400 for them, so I’m happy.  Next to go is the Xbox itself.  I’ve got it, a controller, a hard drive, and a wireless adapter on craigslist right now, but after the listing if I still have it, it’s to Gamestop I go to get gouged.

Next, I’ll be going through my games closet and getting rid of all of my board games too.  Time to get focused – and time I’m not playing games is times I can spend doing all of the things I really want to do.

I have always been a gamer, so this one hurts.  At the same time, I’ve always been a gamer.  I was a pretty damn good one too.  Perfecting that, what else can I be?  What else do I want to be?  If I’m not gaming, what will I be doing with my time?

Next, I have committed to

No More TV or Internet

(except for work and this blog)

Too much time wasted.  See above.  Small Facebook games (while fun, and thank you everyone, it’s not getting the house cleaned, or helping my children with their lives).

I’ve committed to:

No Coffee, Tea, Drugs, Alcohol.

(White Tea and the odd wine/beer with my wife allowed)

This is a tough one.  I’m on day 12 of no coffee, and have only had  a few cups of caffeine starved white tea else wise.  I posted about the coffee struggle earlier.  Ouch.

Too many drugs in the system..am I me, or am I the drugs?  I’d like a baseline to spring from, and to do that I need to understand how much sleep and nutrition I really need to function, so this is a no brainer.  Posts on this path will appear under Health and Wellness, because well, they affect my health and wellness.  🙂

Next, I’m

Running A Marathon!

I’ve always wanted to do this, but never got off my LAZY ass to do so.  This time, it’s time.  I actually booked and PAID FOR my marathon, the March 2013 Rock N’ Roll Marathon in Washington, D.C.  My progress is under Running a Marathon!  in the links.  Since I’m a rookie at this, I’m going to be detailing my progress in slow, steady steps.  I hope that all of my research into running a marathon from scratch will inspire some of you to get up and do it yourself.  Only 1% of the population will run a marathon in their lives, and it’s a BFD to me.

Something else that I’ve always wanted to do, but never got up and did it (apart from the dreaming and thinking) is…

Write A Children’s Book!

Yep.  I’m just gonna do it.  I’m writing and illustrating an children’s book.  By the end of September 2013 I will have a published children’s book on the shelves somewhere.  It factors to be a labor of love, and I’ve already got some great feedback to my story ideas, so hopefully it and I will be hugely successful in this endeavor.

Next, I’m going to

Commit To A Religion

Not a theistic one, just can’t wrap my head around that.  I am very interested in the concept of spirituality however, and there are some fantastic non-theistic religions that I would like to delve into.  First up to see if I’m a fit, Buddhism.

I’m also come to the realization and acceptance that I’m not good at home.  I need to be in an out of the home job, so,

I’m Getting A ‘Real’ Job.

Not sure exactly where I’ll end up, but I have some very promising irons in some fires.  I want to join the adult world, have adult interactions, and regain some lost ego.  It’s just time.

Something I’ve been wanting to really get a hold of forever, is

Brush and Floss twice a day.

It’s all about habit making and sticking.  I just need to do it.  People who brush and floss live longer, and I want to be here for my family.  It’s as simple as that.  This, of all the things I’m looking to do may end up being the hardest to actually stick to doing.  I’m so God damn lazy.  Must. Stop. The Madness.

Go To Therapy

Ok, so I have some issues to work out.  Some serious ones.  As I get through some of them, I’ll share more.  Bottom line is, that a therapist can help you sort out who you are and where you’re coming from, so you can get to where you want to be.  This is exactly what I hope to do, so I think seeing a therapist can help me jumpstart this journey on the right foot.


Write A Blog!

In this age of over-sharing, I plan on over-sharing a bunch.  Tear down the wall, exposed in front of my peers.  Read if you like , don’t if you don’t, but don’t do nothing.

Be the change you want to see.

You are as happy as you want to be.

Anything is possible, with hard work and dedication.

If you’ve got dreams, why haven’t you started them?

If you don’t have dreams, maybe it’s time to set goals, instead of just exist.

This is the year of Greg.

Greg Hatchette, the HatchDad, ready to emerge from my shell as a new me.

Someone who I built, something I made.

Thanks for reading guys.


Give. Up. Coffee.

Hey evolvers.  Let’s evolve some.

Something ubiquitous with Hatchdad has always been coffee.  I’m in love with this hot sexy drink.  It’s warm, delicious, and it gives you lots of energy, what’s not to love, right?

Turns out – it depends.   I’ve been a regular coffee drinker as long as I can remember.  Probably since age 12, but definitely had tried it out earlier.  In the turn of events that caused me to reflect upon what wasn’t working in my life and what was, I realized that I was always under the influence of caffeine.  A typical morning would include my getting up and grinding the beans, heating the water, and enjoying a cup of coffee, immediately followed by a second.  Mid morning, I’d make another french press full, and have two more large cups.  Evening time, I’d do it all again (to give me some extra energy for doing school work).  My regular routine would have me caffeine fueled until all hours of the night, well after my wife had gone to sleep.  Due to the hours of sleep I was not getting by being caffeine fueled, I’d need to…caffeine fuel in the morning, to make up for that.  Mid morning/afternoon, my caffeine intake was wearing off, and I’d hit the wall (this wall by the way, that we hit, is natural exhaustion from either lack of nutrition or sleep).  I’d make more coffee until school work time in the evening, wash rinse, repeat.  forever.  this was my life!

On top of it all, apparently I’m a grouchy dickhead when hopped up on caffeine.  Grouchy to my wife, grouchy to my children.  Granted, sometimes in life, people deserve to be grouched at – but I was an on the edge grouch ALL THE TIME.  That’s not fair.  When it would be pointed out, I’d poo-poo (because I’m a poo-poo-er, this is something to change too, but different topic).  I’d get defensive.  I’d insist that “I didn’t need that much sleep”.  I was wrong, of course.  My wife?  You guessed it.  Right, of course.  Funny how that works?  You know, funny like a kick in the balls.


I decided to quit all coffee.  cold turkey. No decaf either (for those other things in coffee – I’m going for a baseline here)

Day one (Monday the 10th of September, 2012 – a day that will live in infamy), I had a slight fogginess.  No biggie, I got this.  No dang addiction to caffeine is bringing Hatchdad down.

Day two, after having stayed up until 1 am, and getting up for the day at 6:45 am – I was ambushed by a crazy headache, coming from behind the eyeballs and raping my brain.  My stomach twisted into some knots.  I had vurps all day (vomit burps, and they sucked).  I felt hot and then cold.  It was terrible.  I had a lack of drive.  I had a lack of everything, I just wanted to die.

Day three.  I got it in my head that I needed lots of sleep, and had fallen to sleep at 9pm the night before, leaving me with a gaudy nine hours and forty-five minutes of sleep.  This helped tremendously.  Also, when I got up, I drank a glass of amazing grass green super food.  Such a natural boost, I love this stuff.  It gave me a little leg up, and I didn’t feel like dying today, but I didn’t feel great.  Decided once again, sleep is the best medicine here, and went down at 9:30pm.

Day four.  No significant issues whatsoever.

Day five.  The same as four.

It’s the 16th now, 6 days later, and although I want a coffee still, the adverse affects of not having the caffeine are gone.  I’ve also changed my life approach a bit, and am getting the sleep that I actually need, not the sleep that I forced my body to accept.  That has to be good for my health.


Be the you that you want to be.  make a change!