Fitness Update: On Track Through January

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Today starts February, so I can log my fitness progress for January. One month already done for 2016.

Last week I had a really exciting fitness moment on Thursday: I finally got all the settings correct on my Misfit Shine for my morning swim session. It told me I swam 42 laps for 1,050 yards. I intended to swim 20 laps for 1,000 yards, so I must have miscounted, and it seems to be using laps to mean lengths of pool, but it obivously knows the distance and what it means.

That puts my swim yards for the month at 8,050.

So now I have to figure out how I can sync that to an app that monitors my swim goals. I’ve looked into the Speedo Fit app, but it appears to be an Apple only app, so I cannot use it on the Kindle Fire.

The weekend had nice weather, so I got a 5K in on Friday in the 65-degree weather. My average speeds earlier in the month had been 5.5 or 5.6 mph until last Sunday, when I did a 6.09 mph average. Friday felt good, but it was slightly slower, at 5.9 mph.

Saturday was a slightly cooler day in the lower 50s. I put in a 30 mile bike trip to Tiffany Springs and back. It helped me cross the 250-miles a month goal for cycling. By the end of the day Sunday I had 271 miles in January with an average speed of 12.17 mph and total cycling time of 22 hours 17 minutes 39 seconds.

Speaking of Sunday, it was another wonderful weather day. I took another 5K in the afternoon with a temperature in the lower 50s. I have two 5K routes currently, one that is actually 3.3 miles, and one that is 3.4 miles. on Sunday I ran the 3.4 mile route in reverse of the way I have previously. That left the flatter section first and the hills for the end, but also ends with the downhill slope back to the house last instead of an uphill slope to the house.

I always start my runs wondering if I’ve set a good pace, and usually thinking why I ever got myself into this, can I really make it? It is an interesting psychological phenomenon. But somewhere in the run I get this sense of I really should be able to push myself harder, but I don’t. Today was no different.

I wondered if I was slowing a bit toward the end, climbing the hills. I noticed that I actually run better on a slightly inclined hill than on a level or even a downhill. It is also the breath, rather than the legs, that keeps me from pushing harder.

That said, when I came upon the last turn home, I saw the boy and the dog coming from the other direction on the last leg of their trip home. They ran to greet me, and then ran to pass me. Of course, they hadn’t been running the whole way, but they had the energy to sprint beyond me.

I noticed I had more energy to lift my legs higher when I ran up the front steps and into the house to hit the stop button on my run timer. I was sure my average speed would be good, but down a bit. But it was 6.28 mph. It was my best run for the year.

I have decided that I cannot compare my runs on how I feel at the end. As I improve in condition a better run, like today, might feel worse than an earlier run that felt great.

So I finished January with six 6k’s out of my 52 I set for the year, and a best average speed of 6.28 mph. Those are all runs by myself. I’m getting a bit better at the psychology of making myself run. When I actually compete I expect to pare times down even better.

I’ve noticed I’m not an exceptionally competitive person, but the presence of other runners does motivate, just like driving, to place myself in a certain relationship of passing and being passed by the current traffic. This  tells me that I need to place myself in the right section of the racing pack, people of about the same speed as myself, so I can spur myself to run slightly faster to pass them.

So far I haven’t over-estimated myself. I always have more left at the end of the race.

To recap:

  • 271 bicycle miles
  • six 5k’s
  • 8,050 yards swimming

 

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