5K Training, Week Two

I am tired. In a good way, mind, but tired.

This week was week two of the Zombies Run! 5K Training app, and it consisted of the following:

  • 10 minutes walking
  • 5 repetitions of a 1 minute walk followed by a 30 second run and then 5 heel lifts (to stretch the calves)
  • 10 more minutes walking

As mentioned before, I’m picking up the pace a little from week one. Walking is 3.1 mph, and the running is 4.1 mph. My aim is to hit a 4 mph sustained run by the end, hold that for a while, and then start building towards a 10 minute mile (6 mph).

For now, though, a 15 minute mile is a good target. Particularly since my current pace leaves me drenched with sweat. My calves ache, too. Not badly, certainly not the “carved from wood” pain from when I started walking, but I feel them.

And, starting Monday? Week three. Wish me luck!

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The Lure Of The Comfy

I’m not going by to lie, here. Much as I love getting out for my morning walk, it was tough getting out of bed to do it this morning. My alarm went off, and my bed was all like “I’m comfy! You should sleeeeep!” And then I got outside and found that the temperature had dropped something like 25 degrees from when I went to bed, just in time for a non-treadmill day.

Don’t get me wrong: I still walked. I just spent a good half the walk wishing I was in bed.

But enough whining! I’m awake, and I’ve got my morning walk in, and I feel great! Tired, but great! And now I know to dig out my sweatshirt, because I finally checked the forecast and it’ll be 49 degrees tomorrow morning. Which is not, to put it mildly, t-shirt weather. And I may as well enjoy being outside while it’s still nice enough to do so.

Checking In With The Monster

A week ago, I mentioned that I had installed an app called The Walking Monster, which is pretty much what it sounds like. A cartoon monster that stalks you, walking at a starting pace of 4,000 steps a day and getting 10 steps faster each day. It’s kind of a cute little thing, and I’m having fun with it.

Last week, I was 6,643 steps ahead when I posted about it. Today I’m, let’s see…

Hmm. That’s just a bit of a lead. I’m sort of idly curious about how long I can keep going before I “die”. Also, when I first thought about writing this post, I had some sort of vague idea about trying to use the monster as s metaphor for… something. Fears, or challenges, or maybe mortality. But, to be honest, I’m just not feeling it. It’s just a silly little game, and there doesn’t need to be any deeper meaning.

I also broke 15,000 steps again, yesterday. 15,507 steps, to be precise. That’s 7.81 miles by my FitBit, and I’m sort of glad I didn’t notice that mile count last night. I was tired, and I’m pretty sure I’d have talked myself into hitting the extra distance needed to break 8 miles.

Heck, I know I’d have tried. Just so I could make an extremely dated Eminem joke for my title this morning. And nobody wants that.

15,146

I’m back on my 5K training! I won’t say I’m fast or anything, but that’s not important. Not yet, anyway. No, what’s important is that I’m doing it. And I’m pushing my self to go a little faster each week. Week one (two weeks ago), I set my average pace at 3 miles per hour with the interval running at 4 mph. For week two, average is 3.1 mph with the interval running at 4.1 mph. My goal is to be up to an average speed of 4 mph by the end of week 8 – aggressive, sure, but I think I can do it.

Running. Who’d have seen it, back when I started? (Well, Maybe I’m being disingenuous. I remember thinking, more than once after I got in the stride of walking, that I might have to start running eventually. If for no other reason then the need to not spend the whole day walking to hit goal.)

As far as the title is concerned- 15,146 – that was my step count from yesterday. Around the time I was getting ready for bed, I happened to notice that I was at 14,600 steps. Well, I decided that it might be nice to break 15,000, since I was so close. So I marched around my living room for a while. It felt ridiculous, but I made it.

Heck. Maybe I’ll manage it again today.

Some You Win, Some You Lose

We had my 6-year-old nephew over to spend the weekend, a fact that resulted in a great deal of excitement from my son (right up until we had to take him home on Sunday afternoon). This little fact resulted in some success and failures for me. And, in the interests of getting it out of the way, I’ll hit the failures first.

In brief, I’m back to 323 pounds.

No, I’m not blaming him for this. The weekend was really a continuation of the “eating poorly” trend I’d established by Thursday of last week. Something in my head said “well? I’m not exercising anyway…” and I sort of went off the rails. Then we had a busy weekend and ate out a bunch, and the end result is that I put some weight back on.

Bah.

Now. Onto the goodness. I took my son and my nephew for an accidental mile-long hike around a lake.

I can hear the question now: “how do you go for an accidental mile-long hike?” And the answer is simple: you take the wrong trail.

See, we went to the Cincinnati Nature Center on Saturday, because it’s pretty and because they were having a free orienteering class for kids as part of the Great Outdoors Weekend. So they learned about how compasses work, and wanted to go hiking. So we headed out in a trail, and I thought we’d taken the trail that just went around the back of the Visitors Center.

It did. For an extremely generous understanding of “around the back”. I mean, the lake was around the back. Right?

The kids did great. They loved walking through the woods, and over the two bridges we came to, and they found all kinds of cool sticks and rocks and places to see birds. They would sprint up the hills and stare back at me impatiently, and had a great time. They were also really glad for the water we got when we got back to the Visitors Center, since we hadn’t brought any (see “accidental”, above).

I felt good, too. I mean, sure. I was drenched with sweat and my legs were a little sore, but it was nothing that sitting for a few minutes couldn’t cure.

Next time, though? I’ll check the trail maps and take water.

Heading Into The Weekend

Something cool happened yesterday. Well, two cool things. The first is that I realized that I still get to walk home with my son after school. The bus drops him off about halfway between our condo and his old kindergarten, so we still get to look at lizards and talk about things as we head home. (There’s also exercise, because he likes to climb up in a retaining wall and jump so I can catch him. 60 pounds of flying 6 year old is a workout.)

Here’s the second cool thing. After he put his backpack back on, he yelled “catch me daddy!” and took off running down the sidewalk. So I took off running after him, and chased him about 150 or 200 feet. When I stopped, which I only did because I’m not entirely confident in my ability to make a sharp turn and transition from concrete to grass yet), I realized something: I wasn’t winded. Not in the slightest.

It’s a little thing, but it felt good. Even better, I’d realized that I could have run farther if I’d been inclined.

Progress!

I Really Can’t Wait For Monday

You don’t see that particular sentence written with any frequency, do you? People, as a general rule, hate Mondays – mostly because it’s the traditional first day of the work week, and it is a ritual to hate on your job and having to get back to it.

I try not to join in. I happen to like my job. But that’s neither here nor there. The point is, I’m really looking forward to Monday. Why? Because, after two weeks of inactivity, I’ll (finally) be getting back to my morning walk! I’ve really missed it, despite how insane it sounds to go for a 1.5 To 2 mike walk at 3 am. It starts my day off right, and I just feel better for having done it.

Of course, I also feel better for having taken the time to rest up and recover from being sick. So I’m not angry at myself or anything like that. I’m just eager to get back to exercising.

Speaking of exercising, I had a sort of “aaawww” moment with my son last night. We’re eating dinner (out, thanks to the chicken having taken a funny turn), and he puts down his taco and looks at me. “Dad,” he asks, “when you go exercise on the weekend, can I go too?”

“Sure,” I say, smiling. “How come.”

“Because I want to get more exercise. I want to be like you, daddy.”

How can you say no to that? But it was also a reminder that he’s watching what I do. So, I need to remember to stress that all of this work is about health, not just weight loss.