Not looking forward to it today…

I think every runner goes through those days when you didn’t get enough sleep the night before, your muscles are still sore from the last run, the weather will be hot and muggy, and you just don’t feel up for a run. That’s how I’m feeling right now.

I know I will get home, I’ll change out of my work clothes and into my running clothes, and I’ll get it done. Why? Because the thought of not running is worse to me than any discomfort while running. It’s become something that I put a priority on in my life. I will give up my comfort to run.

I will do a light run today, though. On my last run on Monday, I planned on doing a light run and while the pace was slow, I ended up going over 4.3 miles. This time, I will aim for right at 3 at an easy pace. I still have more muscle pain than I think I should be having due to pushing too hard last week. I’ll still go for 80+ push ups since my arms have been taken care of pretty well with the slow increase in numbers over the past few months.

Do you ever have those days when you just don’t feel like running but push through it anyway?

Post-Run Report: February 6, 2017

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This was a hard fought 3.78 miles. I experienced a bit of pain in my right leg, just below the knee and general muscle discomfort. I think I’d been running too fast too soon, and I overdid it a little last week. Even two days off didn’t make the discomfort go away, and yet I still ran. I was actually rather okay until I hit about the 2nd mile when the pain below the right knee started. But then, within about half a mile, it went away. The rest of the run was good, and I felt like I was making good time. Only a review of the splits showed that it was actually my slowest run in weeks. Oh well. I got my 80 push ups in which felt great, and the run itself was pretty decent.

I will take tomorrow off again as is my plan, and I will likely have a light run on Wednesday. Hopefully, the muscle discomfort will fade and I can get back to running harder and faster.

Post-Run Report: February 3, 2017

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Another good run. I had a great start but then had some strange quasi-pain in both shins, but I think it had to do with the fact that it was 57 degrees and dropping, and my legs were protesting the cold. After a half mile or so, the pain went away and my legs felt fine. (Even now afterward, they feel fine which, if it were shin splints, they would still be hurting.) I was able to keep my average pace in the sweet spot of 9:30 which is my goal for my runs. I finished with 3.23 miles at 30:51.

It was pretty windy outside which I am never a fan of, but all in all, I can’t complain. At least it wasn’t hot out. As for push ups, I got in a comfortable 75. I decided not to push it going into the weekend.

The next two days are my off days from running. Unless I really feel anxious to run, I won’t do it again until Monday. As for weight, I’m consistently below 175 now which makes me happy. I’m ready for the next block of weight to fall. I’m hoping it comes within the month.

Getting ready for the early evening run

Weather in Houston has been cool lately, so my late afternoon/early evening runs are typically very nice. I’ve been fortunate that the weather has been cooler because I know what’s coming soon: hot weather. That will force me to change my run times to early mornings before work.

I prefer running after work because it allows for me to run longer and/or slower if I feel like it without it impacting the rest of my day. I don’t like to go to bed too early, and I don’t like waking up too early. I typically give myself an hour before I have to leave for work to wake up, get dressed, run, cool down, shower, get dressed for work, make breakfast, and eat breakfast. If I keep my run to 30-35 minutes, I actually can make it work. It’s hectic, but doable. If I’m running and I feel great and want to run longer, I can’t. I have a schedule to keep, and I have to cut it short and head in.

Maybe I have to learn to run in the heat. I did it in the dessert as a young guy and I’m sure I can get used to it again. I just don’t like it so much. It makes for slower and much sweatier runs that feel more draining (because they literally cause more stress on the body, so they are more stressful overall).

With all that said, I’m looking forward to an easy run tonight. I may go for another 4+ mile run like I did on Wednesday. I’m looking to start upping my distances while maintaining the 9:30 average speed. I know I can do sub-9’s when I need to (like my upcoming PRT) and from everything I’ve been reading, the distance running is where it’s at to build stamina and muscle. I try to throw some sprints in every now and then, but I’m not on any serious program for it. I feel like I’m still in a building mode, and I’m not quite there yet.

I’m hoping for the 70-80 push ups tonight; we’ll see where that goes. I look forward to posting my post-run report here soon.

I’ve crossed a line into keeping stats

I’ve read on running blogs and subreddits that people seriously into running keep spreadsheets to track their progress. I didn’t do any such thing. Until today.

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As they say, now I’ve gone and crossed a line into crazy.

Honestly, I am a huge fan of data points. It’s what helped me through Whole30 (even though they tell you not to weigh yourself; I did the entire time as it motivated me), and its what kept me to adhere strictly to my Paleo lifestyle early on. Having immediate data points that I can use to measure my progress has always been helpful and motivating.

I have a Fitbit, and it has been an invaluable tool in helping me keep track of my running progress. Using the Fitbit, I can get (very close to) accurate measures of my progress including things like heart rate so I can see just how hard I’m working on those runs.

Plus, it’s just plain neat to see myself making progress. While my distance is likely to stay between 3 and 6 miles for the foreseeable future, it’s nice to see the pace going down over time. Admittedly, it’s not a very steep curve, but it is progress nonetheless. As long as I’m running mid 9’s, I’m happy.

Next up for the spreadsheet: tracking how the run felt. Maybe add the weather. Try to collect as many data points as possible.

Post-Run Report: February 1, 2017

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Today was an interesting run. I set out to take my time and have a comfortable run. I also set out to do over 4 miles, which I did. What surprised me was my pace: 9:34. This is within my happy range. I am able to consistently run within the 9:30’s, which is good for a comfortable slow run. When I kick it up, I can hit sub-9’s, which is my PRT goal (that’s what they call PFT’s in the Army/National Guard).

As for push ups, I did 70 and called it good. I could have knocked out the last 10, but I wasn’t feeling it. The day was long and a little stressful, so I felt I could use an easy workout day. Oddly, running 4.13 miles felt good, and the last mile was really very pleasant.

I’m getting the hang of this running thing more and more. I can’t say I love it when I start a run, but by the end of it, it’s actually pretty nice, and when I finish? Even better. It’s a great sense of accomplishment, and the stress or anxious feelings I’ve carried with me for the day all melt away. After a nice hot shower and then dinner, all is good with the world.