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One Week Down.

8 August 2016

22.3 miles down, 414.2 to go.

That’s my longest week in a while. I really dropped off my training in June and July, from a running perspective. Obviously, while I was triathlon training, I took some runs off my calendar and added some biking and some swimming. As a result, my total miles this year, compared to last, are way, way down. In fact, through the end of July, I’ve run 200 fewer miles than the same period last year.

On the other hand, in the entire calendar year last year, I rode 523 miles. Which I’ve already surpassed this year with five months to go. And I’ve swum some 10 kilometers this year, compared with about 1 last year. And in both years I’ve maintained a good gym presence, and done at least weekly strength training, and usually twice a week.

But the biking will drop off from here – and a lot of it won’t get recorded because I’m riding to and from work every day but not wearing my watch for that. So I could be adding almost 30 miles a week I won’t be recording. But that’s at the cost of walking. So, higher heart rate but lower calories burned. I don’t know what the effect of that tradeoff is, and I’m not convinced anyone does. I’m sure it’s idiosyncratic to the individual.

My knee is still barking at me, and this weekend’s long run was tough, but I did it at a fair clip. 10 miles at a 10:39 pace. It was cooler and drier, which helped. 65 degrees at the start of the run and only about 72 at the end of it. But I was still drenched in sweat, and the last two miles were unpleasant. After my triathlon, I rested for a week. And before it, I tapered for a week. Which means I basically took two weeks off with a big lift in the middle.

I needed that from a mental perspective: it’s a grind getting out there day in and day out. Some kind of exercise for at least 40-45 minutes six days a week. I generally get in somewhere between 7-10 hours of exercise a week, which seems like it ought to make me a lot fitter than I am. Just goes to show how hard it is for me to make improvements.

But I have been making them. I have done four chin-ups (palms in) and I even did two pull-ups (palms out) this weekend. That is a strictly objective measure of my improving strength. I hadn’t been able to do a real pull-up since junior high. Now, at 42, I did two of them in a row without putting my feet down in between. That feels really good.

I don’t get the same sense of accomplishment from lifting a heavier weight as I do from running a longer race. Races just take more. But I do like seeing the improvement from my strength training, and I feel strongly that it contributes to my running. But mostly, all of it contributes to my overall health and wellness.

My blood pressure is good. My other blood numbers are pretty good. And my A1c is staying below 5.8. I’m in pretty good shape, and while I could weigh less, I look good in a suit and feel fit when BB and I go hiking in foreign cities wearing heavy packs. That’s what I want out of life. So it’s going well.

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