Oh, Yeah!

I rock. 

Yesterday I did workout one of week seven, and it was my best workout to date. By far. 

I was back on the road in front of the house. I always seem to do better there. Maybe it’s the trace of adrenaline in my system from knowing that there are dogs every-fucking-where and I might have to shoot, panic run, or both at any time with little notice. Maybe my body just likes reasonably flat asphalt to a treadmill or a hilly, uneven back yard. I don’t guess the why really matters. 

The workout was a twenty-five minute jog sandwiched between five minutes each of warm-up/cool-down time. And, since I like numbers, I’m going to analyze it. 

According to MapMyWalk, I covered 2.16 miles in 35:08, with an average pace of 16:16 and a maximum pace of 10:35. So, even with 2/7 (or 29%, if you prefer percentages to fractions) being walking, I managed to average 3.7 miles per hour for the entire duration, with a momentary burst of  5.7 miles per hour. 

I held a pretty consistent pace, despite the jagged graph. I turned around when it told me that I was halfway, and I finished my cool down within ten steps of where I started my warm-up.  

My breathing cycle was the biggest change that I noticed while running. As I said, I like numbers. I tend to count the steps per breath. Once established, my cycle had been two steps to inhale, the next two steps to exhale. This time, I was three to inhale, three to exhale. It was probably my imagination, but it felt like I was saving energy by breathing more slowly, which gave me extra energy to maintain a faster pace. It wasn’t until the last two and a half minutes, after I was back on the busier road and in a hurry to get home so I could stop dodging traffic that I was doing the two/two breathing cycle. Yes, I know it’s nuts, but it’s how I regulate my cadence and breathing. And that’s important. 

Best guess, I jogged 1.9 miles at 4.5 miles per hour on a real course. That’s over 60% of five kilometers and a pace that would translate to an approximate total time of forty-one minutes. Yeah, that’s one and a half times as long as my sister’s worst time ever, but I’m eighty pounds overweight. And before making this attempt, I hadn’t ran a mile total in the last twenty years. 

My brother laughed his ass off when he heard that I’d entered a 5K. My mother was worried that I was going to kill myself if I made the attempt. 

Initially, my goal was to be able to finish and not come in dead last. As I improved, I decided that I wanted to finish in less than forty-five minutes. Then I wanted to break into the thirties. That’s probably the maximum goal that I have any real chance to achieve. 

But I have a “reach for the stars” goal now. Finish in under thirty minutes. I know it’s impossible. But I’ll be damned if I’m not going to try like hell. The fastest male aged 45-49 last year finished in 29:26. Thirty flat would’ve been good enough for second place in my age group and 35th overall out of 136. Forty flat would’ve been 87th overall. I  need to finish in the top half. Fuck that. I will finish in the top half. 

I still have fifty-two more days to prepare. I got this. 

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Analog Post

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Pain vs. Injury

I’ve been having a fair amount of pain in my right calf during my workouts for the last week. This pain persists intermittently for a day or so, and is almost gone by the time my next workout rolls around. 

Last night, I was barely able to walk back to the car. As soon as I got home, I threw some ice on it. It felt much better very quickly after said ice application. 

I’m already pushing through plantar fasciitis pain, but that is actually improving of late. My concern is this. I don’t want to call it pain weaknesses leaving the body, keep pushing and further aggravate the problem.  But, if I call it injury and skip a couple workouts, I’m done. Getting in shape after decades of sedentary life sucks!

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This week marks the completion of my fifth week in the eight week Couch-to-5K program. My most recent workout was the first that was all jogging/running – no walking intervals. Twenty minutes straight of the slowest possible jog (15:00 minutes per mile). I know some people walk faster than that. I don’t care. I was jogging. It counts. 

I probably could’ve gone a little faster, but I wanted to be sure that I would be able to finish. Plus, I was on a treadmill, which is hell on my back. I’ll be so glad when my schedule calms down a little, and Snowmageddon has passed so I can go back to running outside. 

I can’t believe where I am today compared to barely being able to jog sixty seconds without stopping just five weeks ago. Now to stretch that twenty minutes into thirty-five and speed things up a bit. The race is still nine weeks away, so I have plenty of time. 

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Treadmills suck. So do gyms that are way too hot. Equally unpleasant is trying to do a new workout in a new format after working a very busy twelve hour shift in new boots. But I survived and got it done. 

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Happy New Year

May 2017 suck less for you than 2016 did. Even if 2016 was a pretty good year. 

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Shoe Success… Maybe

Yesterday, I went to a semi-nearby Red Wing shoe store in an attempt to find some work boots that actually fit. And hopefully will last longer than three months. 

I let them go through their routine. I stood on their fancy measuring device, then told the salesman the relevant particulars about my job. The first pair he brought out was comfortable, and the recommended insole seemed to give the support and cushion that I need. I wore them home. 

They are made in China, which worries me, but they do come with a one year warranty. He assured me that if the soles split, or if I have other problems like those I’ve experienced with the cheap Wolverines before, they will replace them. They damn well better. I spent slightly more than I did on my Thorogoods. 

Speaking of which, they are currently in the shop waiting for a chemical resistant pair of soles to arrive and be installed. Sixty-five federal reserve notes for the service. But they have served me well, and are more than good enough to keep as a backup. 

I go back to work on Sunday. That will be the real comfort test for the Red Wings. I have a good feeling about them, though. 

Thanks to Heroditus Huxley and Odysseus for the recommendation. 

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