Finally!!! Spring is here and the weather is better. Running outside with short sleeve shirts with no gloves or cap on is really nice. The past couple weeks I have been continuing my runs and still biking inside. Due to the rough winter, the roads are in very bad shape, lots of pot holes and flooding in low lying areas. Many of the roads are not bike friendly at the moment. I am hoping, soon, that I will be able to get outside on the bike as the roads dry up and pot holes are fixed. Since the last time I posted, I went climbing at Vertical Limit with my wife. It had been a while since climbing so my arms and shoulders were very sore afterwards. The amazing thing about climbing, at least in my experience, is that the time you have to stop is not determined by your arm fatigue or leg fatigue, it is your grip. Even if you have more energy in your arms and legs, if you can’t grip the wall anymore then your ability to climb is severely limited! Regardless, I need to continue to make a concerted effort on arm and core strength.
I went for a run the other day and realized I was very blue! I apparently need to buy a greater variety of running gear. Over the weekend I ran in my first 5k race in two years. I have not really trained for this other than going out for runs. I have not done any methodological speed training, fartleks or any type of interval training. My goal was to go sub 20 minutes, I ended up running a 20:20 (which is just over 6:30 pace). The weather was not great, it was windy, snowing, and in the teens. Overall, I am very pleased with the result considering the weather, my training, etc. I know I could run faster because I was fairly comfortable most of the race (i.e. I wasn’t hyperventilating!) and I was not too sore in the days following. The race was a good confidence booster knowing kind of where I am at fitness wise and knowing that I have lots of room to improve. I look forward to getting back into doing my 5k’s in the 17 minute range!
What makes cold weather seem worse is when we have those random days that are in the 50’s and 60’s then it dips back down into the teens. I have been consistently running 4-5 times per week except for the week I got sick. I will be doing my first race this weekend, a 5k at USI’s campus. My goal is to break 20 minutes which I believe I can do. I recently got a new pair of running shoes, they are Adidas. I have never worn Adidas running shoes before; I had always worn Saucony and Asics for the most part. So wearing a new brand is a bit of an experiment. So far, I like the shoes, but the true test will be to see how long they last. They are really light weight shoes and that worries me about their durability. I have been doing core and upper body work once a week, so I still need to continue to push myself to do this very important aspect of my health.
My running has been consistent but I am still working on getting consistent with my abdominal and upper body work outs. It is amazing however that the few times I have done core and upper body work in the past couple weeks the difference it can make. I have already noticed a more toned look and I am sure it will continue to become more apparent as I incorporate these activities into my life. My goal is still 2-3 times per week, and right now that is consisting of planks, bridges and push-ups. I figure start with “simple” things then as I have a base I will do other things such as use a TRX, lift weights, etc. When I did planks this weekend, one of our cats decided to help…
So far I have not done well with my goal of 2-3 times per week of abdominal and upper body strength work. So far… I have done it once in the last week… I could blame it on any number of things, but those are just excuses. I have had the time; it really doesn’t take more than 10 minutes to do some planks and push-ups. I just need to force myself to do it! I also have come up with a new running goal. I want to run a sub 6 minute mile within the next couple months. Yesterday I ran a “new record” according to my watch of 6:17 for the third mile of my three mile run. I think the running goal will come much easier than the abdominal and upper body work out routines. I will do some of each when I get home today, before I do anything else (like relax), otherwise I won’t do it… (Fight the laziness, fight the laziness!) I will let you all know how it goes next week, have a good weekend!
Breaks are always in interesting dichotomy. They can never last too long, but at the same time they can last too long. Regardless, our short/long winter break is coming to a close with meetings starting this week and school starting next Monday. This winter break was hectic as usual, but while I was in California I got to go up to Yosemite with my wife and some friends. We brought out snow shoes thinking we were going to need to use them. There was snow, but the snow was not very deep and was not fresh. This meant the snow that was there was fairly hard and you could walk on with limited to no sinking. The first day we went for a hike using the snow shoes, but quickly discovered we did not need them. We did however continue to use them because it is still a better work out then hiking without them! Our second day we did not bring the snow shoes and hiked out to Dewey point which presented a great view of Yosemite Valley.
Overall I was pleased with my physical activity during the break, I got in some good runs and some good hikes. Now that I am back to a normal schedule, I will get back into my normal workout schedule. My New Year’s resolution is to continue incrementally increasing my running miles but the big change will be to include more speed work. Also, I want to set a goal of doing core and upper body work outs at least twice a week.
It was very cold and windy this day…
Thank you Garmin watch for always telling me when I ran a new record. Ever since my wife gave me the watch for my birthday in October I have used it on just about every run since then. I was skeptical at first because I was worried that my competitive side would race the watch instead of running based on how I felt. To an extent I still feel that way because I am fairly confident I would not be running nearly as fast or as long if I did not have the watch. So I see it as a love/hate type relationship. I love the fact I have the data, knowing how fast I am running and for how long, but at the same time I find myself racing or running faster than I should. Yesterday I purposely ran faster trying to break my fastest mile since wearing the watch (it was 6:30 something). I did a three mile run and my mile splits were 7:15 (warm up!), 6:45, and then a 6:20. I accomplished exactly what I wanted to! I am actually sore today; I am not sure if it is because of the run or if it is because I played a game called Tchoukball with my class after they finished their final. Either way, it is nice to continue to see progress!