Starting off 2017

Let’s get this started the right way – 2017 FTW

Let’s try to start of 2017 and spend more time here.  Writing on my weblog used to be something I would do often and I actually enjoyed it, but I never made it a priority and it’s languished.  I look back on it with regret, and that’s wrong – it’s just a thing that happened.

I still work at CenturyLink but I got a promotion last year to management and it’s been a fantastic experience.  I spent the last 6 1/2 months on the road most weeks, travelling across 6 states working with a team of fantastic sales engineers, and that caused me to reevaluate my life habits in general.  Like most people, I have good days and bad so in 2017, I’m going to try to handle things by focusing on “streaks”:

  1. Fitness:  It’s a tired trope of blogs, but I’m going to try to streak for fitness.  I live pretty close to a 24 hour gym and that means that I’ve got opportunity and motive to spend each day there, doing something active.  If I can streak it to 7 days straight, then I’ll try for 2 weeks, then 4 weeks and hopefully the habit is built.  I read about someone that spend last year running 2,016 miles and the idea of doing something like that for 2017 makes some sense.  I can’t run that well, but walking/running for 2,017 miles throughout the year gives me a goal with perspective.  I’m hoping that streaking gym time will push me in other directions like weights and general fitness.
  2. Food:  Food and good eating habits are in my brain, but I usually take an easy way out when I’m on the road for work.  I’m going to find a way to avoid the bad stuff while out of the office and again, streak it until I find a new balance point.  My focus is the streak of good decisions, not the meal-to-meal success or failure.
  3. Structure:  I’m planning my time more because with the new job, the “8-5” of the work day can be very random with priorities.  I’m going to log my time spent on things during the month of January and use that as a skeleton of a schedule for future months.

I think 3 things are enough to focus on for now.  I know from experience in previous years that these will deliver benefits on the side, like stress reduction, weight reduction and “happiness”.

Zarah, the Race Training Overlord

The one where Zarah cracks the whip

So I agreed in June to be in a mini-triathlon in August. We’re coming up on a month away from the start and it’s time to crack the whip. Race Training Overlord [Zarah](http://beautyschooldropout.net) sent me the training schedule that she and [Matt](http://kerner.net) use and it’s a knee-buster.

Thursday morning is a BRICK (bike followed by run) which should tell me if I can really pull this off. I’m doing the triathlon no matter what–it’s not like I’ll win or place or anything–because the goal is more important right now than the result.

Gettting Fit on a Bike

I rode my bike today. Not bad if I was say 12 years old, but it’s the distance that made the difference. Here’s the breakdown of an hour’s worth of bike exercise:

* 1 mile to the Signal gas station to get air for the tires. It’s free, not like the brand new place across the street which wants 75¢. I didn’t buy water here and it would come back to haunt me later.
* 2 miles to the point of no return “Eastgate and Catalpa” on the map linked above.
* 3 miles to from the point of no return to the Royal Bend on the map. That was the point where I realized I was tired, hungry and needed water very badly. I’d left the house without water or eating breakfast, intending the workout to go 25 minutes.
* 2 miles from Royal Bend to the Kum and Go convenience store where I got Gatorade, water, a banana and a Snickers bar. I finished them all before heading on. My legs felt like they were filled with lead but in 10 minutes, the electrolytes and sugar kicked in and I started the trip home.
* 1 mile to Eastgate and Catalpa a second time.
* 3 miles later and I’m home

That was 12 miles in a little more than an hour. Fun but it sure seemed longer than 12 miles.

The next ride is Tuesday and it’s supposed to be 30 minutes. We’ll see how far I can get.

2500 Meter Milestone

Today I ran 2500 meters (or about 1.5 miles) without stopping at a good pace. I was not significantly winded afterwards and my time was around 18 minutes based on my iPod clock. I really need to get a stopwatch!

Pros:

* The run itself was routine and that’s a good thing. It means that my body is starting to acclimate itself to the new exercise. I like that feeling.

Cons:

* I need an orthotic insert for my running shoes.
* I need my new shoes *right now*.

Wishes:

* I wish I had enough money for an iPod nano and the Nike kit. It sounds like a blast.

Running Update: 11 minutes

11 minutes. I was surprised to find that from a “cold start” I can easily run one mile (1600 meters) in only 11 minutes. The pace was easy on my body and breathing, a nice jog. That means I’d likely turn in a time for a 5K run around 34.5 minutes. Not bad, but I don’t think it would be competitive or even realistic. I should add 15 minutes in there for slowing down, freaking out during a race or even getting tired.

I’m talking about a 5K because I think I’m going to enter the Sunshine Run, a local 5K institution put on by the Sisters of Mercy affiliate [St. John’s](http://stjohns.com). It’s an easy race and this year, it will start and end at Hammons Field, home of the Springfield Cardinals.

I ordered new shoes from [Ridgerunner Sports](http://ridgerunnersports.com) — new Cumulus VIII to replace the pair I have now that’s nearly worn through. It’s tempting to save a few bucks and get last year’s pair from Shoe Carnival and I may do that yet. I haven’t heard from them for a few days and I can’t wait the two weeks that they thought it might take.

Running on Empty

Stealing a song title from Tammy…

I ran again this morning, starting off with a 1 mile run after a light warmup then finishing with a half mile jog.  My stamina has increased slightly and tomorrow I’ll try the reverse order or maybe see if I can stretch it to a mile and a half before stopping.

It’s easy to see how daily running success can be addicting.  It’s a good habit to have.

By the way, I’m not going to prattle on each day about running.  Don’t unsubscribe quite yet.