Saturday, October 15, 2011
When I left off blogging on Thursday, my pedometer had died. I wore it Friday anyway, and periodically looked at the zero steps. Hope springs eternal. After work, I got a cheap pedometer at Walmart to use this weekend. I wasn't so much concerned about Saturday, which had a planned 5K run, as Sunday, when I usually need the pedometer to remind me to move.
The forecast for today was chilly with wind and rain. The plan was to get my 5K timed run in before breakfast at McDonald's with my daughter. Since I'm now in maintenance and have an extra 200 calories to play with, I ate my usual breakfast of oatmeal with skim milk and raisins, seasoned with unsweetened cocoa and cinnamon today.
Yahoo told me it was 48 degrees. No rain, but wet pavement and sidewalks. I made an executive decision to run in shorts and a tee shirt, since this is fairly close to SP's ideal running temperature of 55 degrees.
This is supposed to be a virtual race, so I tried to start off fast, visualizing a crowd of runners at the start of the race stimulating my competitive instincts. I shaved 30 seconds off my training time at my first watch check. After that, the route diverged from my training route and I didn't have good comps.
Found the wind in my face on the second long straight stretch. Midway through that stretch, a very light rain started. Even running, that was a bit chilly. Fortunately, the wind wasn't in my face after I got past that stretch, though the light rain continued.
In the spirit of this being a "race," I visualized the real runners passing me when I needed to slow down, and visualized passing runners who had slowed to a walk when I was able to pick up the pace. I did pass one actual walker, but he clearly wasn't pretending to be a runner. Just like a real race, I made myself sprint for the last 80 meters or so. Final time for 5K was 21:57, or a 7:05 pace per mile. I'm pleased with the effort.
Observations: I don't know how to put it all into the race and leave nothing in the tank when I cross the finish line. 48 degrees with wind and light rain is the bottom limit of weather I'm willing to run in shorts and a tee shirt. Any colder, and I want a jacket.
Because of the rain, I was forced inside for my stretching. My glasses were fogged over, so I went to tilt the new cheap pedometer to read it. It said zero. That reset button is just too easy to reach. Hmm. I saw 850 steps some time before I started, should have started with at least 900. 4+ miles was around 6K steps, so call it 4500 for 3.1 miles. A third of a mile walking cooldown should be around 600 steps for me. Call it 6000 at that point, and don't touch the reset button!
I will be glad to get my real pedometers in the mail next week.
Getting the other 4K steps turned out not to be a big deal. Picked up some stuff at Sam's Club, adding a chunk of steps. I had been confused by options for extending downspouts last week, and ended up not buying anything. Now I know what I want. Looked at stuff at Home Depot, decided what I'd seen last week at Lowes would work better. A trip to Lowe's, and I'm over my 10K steps for the day. Big box stores are good for adding steps to the day when you don't want to do formal exercise walking.
It turns out that I can't buy a 6 foot aluminum downspout extender. I can buy a 15 inch extender, or a 10 foot downspout. Bought 5 downspouts, with the plan of cutting them down to size. Lowe's parking lot taught me an interesting lesson about light aluminum tubing and wind. The downspouts didn't fit in my small car. Put the back seat down, shoved them in as far as I could, and drove home with my flashers on. I was mildly surprised that this didn't turn into a bigger adventure, but I got them home. Enough for one day. Cutting and installation will wait for a day with less rain.
Now, on to finish the boring every Saturday household chores.
Thursday, October 13, 2011
Today was Week 5, Day 2 of the 5K Your Way running program. After turning in a slower pace for W5, D1 than the previous 2 sessions, I tried to pick it up. I deliberately tried to run a little faster in the early part of the course, and I tried not to decelerate as hard on the downhills.
This worked. I covered 4.06 miles in 30 minutes, for a 7:23 pace per mile. I expect my 5K pace on Saturday might be a little slower, because we're supposed to have colder weather with wind and maybe rain. Today might have been the last day of really good running weather this year, and was almost certainly the last good evening for running this year. Even at 6:30, it was getting toward dusk; and we go back to Daylight Wasting Time in three and a half weeks.
No injuries, the run felt good, the time was good, I'm happy with my pace, I got in 15,637 steps when I sat down to record the run. Should have over 16K by bed.
After dinner, the pedometer still said 15,637 steps. Apparently the step counting mechanism has broken. I tried resetting to factory defaults, and I tried removing and reinstalling the battery. That gives me a constant 0 steps instead of the constant 15,637. The clock still works, but no steps are counted.
Tomorrow I will break a 3 month streak of 10K steps per day, because I won't be counting steps. I ordered a pair of new pedometers from Amazon, but they won't get here till the middle of next week.
I'm having pedometer withdrawal symptoms. It shouldn't be too bad on work days, if I just follow the normal routine. I'll beat 10K steps even if I don't know exactly how many I have. Saturday I'll need to get in a walk or more running than just a 5K to get 10K steps; not having the pedometer will be a nuisance.
Sunday I could be under 2K steps without a pedometer to remind me to get out and move a bit. I'll have to think about how to deal with that. Hmm. Maybe I need to look for a cheap pedometer locally tomorrow or Saturday. Should have thought of that before I ordered from Amazon.
Oh, well. In the grand scheme of things, missing a pedometer for a week will be a blip. I can still get some exercise in, and I can still track what I eat. I will get another working pedometer, and life will go on.
Monday, October 10, 2011
This evening was Week 5, Day 1. The protocol says to run 30 minutes, in which I covered 3.92 miles. This is a bit off the pace I ran 40 minutes on Saturday. That might just mean that the easy training gains are in, and now I see some variability in how well rested I am and what course I run.
Two more sessions left in the training protocol. Thursday I will run 30 minutes again. I might use Thursday to test out trying to push for speed, knowing that I can run for the stated time. And Saturday I'll time a known 5K route. It won't be like a real race with other runners, but it will be a fixed 5K distance.
That brings me to the end of the structured running training. I've signed up for a local 5K on Daylight Wasting Sunday, November 6. Obviously, I need to keep running between now and then if I want to put in a respectable showing. But I get to build my own running maintenance program.
I don't know what kind of routine I'll end up settling with. I'm thinking I want to keep a longer run on Saturdays, but I'll experiment during the week. If the weather is nice, I can get a shorter run in on my lunch hour. That would free up an evening for strength training, which has been slighted recently.
I will also soon need to figure out how to dress to run in colder weather. Hopefully I can make my mistakes small and I'll know what I'm doing in fall weather by November 6!
Sunday, October 09, 2011
I'm in Stage 3 of the Spark Diet. The current email says I'm supposed to give myself a big reward for 12 weeks of hard work. Instead of doing that, I punished myself.
I went shopping for a new suit.
I dislike shopping for clothes. Shopping for formal wear is worse than shopping for casual wear. Suits are the top of the avoidance list, being formal wear and custom tailored and expensive. I hate the whole process.
But, the suit I bought to celebrate my low weight in 2005 is definitely too loose now. (Less than a year ago, it was too tight and I wore a fatter suit instead.) And I heard an ad on the radio yesterday saying Men's Wearhouse had a buy one, get one free sale that ends Monday. Monday is a running day, so that leaves today. Went shopping after church.
Found out that I've shrunk from a 42 coat to a 40. Waist is 34, which wasn't a surprise. Ended up getting two suits that should work okay. One of the slacks is snugger than the other, which will tell me if I'm losing fat. And I got a sportcoat, which I can wear with Dockers if I have to.
Got that unpleasant task out of the way, and rewarded myself with a 2.71 mile walk to mail my registration for a local 5K on Daylight Wasting Sunday, and to get my 10K steps in today. The weather was beautiful, and the walk was a lot more fun than shopping for clothes.
Saturday, October 08, 2011
Eight days ago I had a man in for a home energy audit. He wouldn't do the blower test for where the air leaks because of mold in the basement. The concern is putting a possibly harmful substance into my breathing air.
Today I got another fellow in to look at the mold. It can be dealt with. This will take three days and have a noticeable cost, though I don't have a precise quote yet. Part of the solution is fixing the moisture problem so the mold won't come back. I will also get a quote for the real solution to fixing my sump pump outflow to go to the creek instead of to the sewer.
That was a 10 AM appointment. Because of the time, I had to cancel 9 AM breakfast at McD with daughter. She's not hurting; I took her to Taco Bell when I helped her move on Thursday.
Having a 10 AM deadline at home instead of a 9 AM deadline a couple miles away let me be more leisurely than usual this morning. I didn't get out for my 5K training run until 7:42. This was Week 4, Day 3 of the 5K Your Way running program, calling for running 40 minutes. If I can keep up the pace I ran on Thursday, I will overshoot my standard 5.2 mile loop from home by a bit.
On this route, there aren't as many hills and I know where miles 1, 2, and 3 end. So I looked at my watch at those mile points. Mile 1, 7:43. Mile 2, 15:06. Mile 3, 22:34. Okay, looks like I started out slow then warmed up. That's fine.
Through the last third of the run, I'm concerned that I won't be able to keep running the whole time. This isn't entirely rational, but that's how I was thinking. There is a hill on the route that comes in that last third; I slowed down to rest before the hill, and managed to run up it. After that, it was pretty easy. As predicted by Thursday's pace, I overshot my driveway.
40 minutes, 5.33 miles. That's an average pace just a bit quicker than the 35 minute run on Thursday. It might just be that I had 5 more minutes to run after warming up on the first part.
I think this is the first time I've run over 5 miles continually in my life. That feels good. What feels better is, by now I have a cooldown and stretching routine that works so I can still walk afterwards.
Of course, I failed to look at my pedometer at the exact start of the run, or at the exact end. I did look a bit before and a bit after; the 40 minutes, 5.33 miles generated maybe 7500 steps.
Not all pedometer steps are created equal. Those 7500 steps felt like they were worth at least 10K walking steps. I've come to the belief that the value of the pedometer isn't so much on running days, as on the off days. It motivates me to get those 10K steps when I'm otherwise resting. That means I don't have any days of 2K steps just hanging around the house. The extra steps mostly don't count as exercise for the SP tracker; but it's worth getting them on days when I'm resting between runs.
Now, on to household maintenance chores. I have laundry to do, and downspout extenders to buy.
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