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Painful Progress.

9 March 2018

I am slowly ramping my fitness back up. As a man now essentially in my mid-40s, my body doesn’t quite respond to effort the way it did seven or so years ago when I first decided to get into shape. But it’s not awful. Since arriving in Seattle, I’ve been running or going to the gym 5 or 6 days a week, and that’s critical to my physical and mental health.

Yesterday was my longest run since November. I ran from my house to Greenlake and then around it twice, then back home for 7.2 miles. I did walk for two tenths of a mile after hitting 10km. I did it at a good clip too. Including the walk, I averaged 10:12 minutes per mile. So when running, about 9:44. Getting back below 10 minute miles for an hour feels important. I know it doesn’t actually mean anything to a totally recreational runner like me, but there’s a mental aspect to being faster than that.

My time for the 10km split yesterday was 1:00:32. I’d have loved to hit 59:59, but it wasn’t to be. But I have to remember: when I first set the goal of running a sub-1 hr 10km, it took me about three years to get there. Now, having been all the way back at 12+ minute miles only a month ago, I’m able to brush up against that goal pace again already. Only about 5 seconds per mile. If I hadn’t done 4 miles of hill training the day before, I might have gotten there.

I also really want to get my strength up for another Spartan (or other obstacle) race. I’ve been doing a lot of upper body strength work at the gym, including my new favorite exercise: tying 100+ pounds of weights to the end of a long rope and pulling them hand-over-hand across the room. Great arm and core work. Hopefully one day I’ll be able to climb a rope. As of now? I can hang from one for about ten seconds.

But it’s ok to be bad at things. I’m working at being better and I’m excited about the prospect of improving.

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