Monday, December 25, 2017

Run nay Fitness Report 2017

This year's focus has been more on fitness then on running. Atleast for the first half year, I worked on picking up skils for weight-training and strength-training. Once the gym machines and dumbells stopped scaring me and I had a ST routine, I could ramp up my running on the remaining days. Not on the exceptional race-training mileage, but just enough to know that I have not forgotten it.

I did kick off 2017 with a Commitment day 5K. But rest of the Jan and Feb were my least mileage ever I think. Jan was a continuation of the workout series I joined in Nov 2016. Then in second week, I was busy packing and then went on an India trip for 4 weeks. And another week of settling down after return. I slowly crawled back to running in Feb-end. And got into a flow in March. In April, I woke up to the fact that I had signed up for some races. Which meant it was time to get serious.

All this while I had been riddled with self-doubt, for a while now. Reading some workout books makes me realize this is the usual cycle of a relatively short workout-life. But it does not help me find solution. I needed to choose between reducing running distances vs increasing strength.

In June, I found the word I was looking for. I had been asking, how did I run so fast in the first year of running ? How did I loose weight in the first year only ? How come my toenails never went black again after that year ? Answer is intensity. Yes I have been very cautious in my running, simply to avoid any injury. But that meant reduction of performance.

By Nov I had made my peace. Its possible to balance running and strength training.

I did reduce the number of races. But I ran them with my Run-buddies. So they were very enjoyable. This is in addition to hte usual goodies of great location and awesome support that each on of them offer. I can even notice my progress in times.

Temp Name Date Distance Time
20F Cloudy Commitment Day 1-Jan-17 5K 40 min
53F Get in the Gear 29-Apr-17 10Mile 2:20:00
54F Lake Minnetonka - Half Marathon 7-May-17 Half-Mara 3:01:53
69 Minnesota Half Marathon - StPaul 5-Aug-17 Half-Mara 3:05:01
57-87F City of Lakes Half - Calhoun & Harriet 11-Sep-17 Half-Mara 2:57:34
35F Cloudy No-Wind  Minneapolis Halloween Half Marathon  28-Oct-17 Half-Mara 3:06:54
35F Sunny No wind Hindu Mandir Thanksgiving 5k 24-Nov-17 5K 37 min

Weight control
For the overall goal of weightloss, I took help from Personal Trainer. It is worth all the fees charged. I learnt most of the workouts and how to do it. I actually introduced the needed diet changes because PT said so; and found out I can do so much more even within a restricted diet. All past experiments actually helped me with the transition, without making me feel deprived. Plus there are so many time-lapse recipe videos floating on FB, its bound to leave some impression.

But every single change takes a month or so to adjust and only then you move onto the next changes. Trying to do everything at once wont work.
Make a calorie log for a week or so. That gives an idea on
  • what foods to discard, just downright stop buying,
  • what foods to replace with something better
  • how to reduce calorie count by 200 every month till you reach the goal of 2000/1800/1500 whichever works for you. This also means it takes months to bring down your regular calorie intake - not a few weeks of dieting.
There was also the realization that there is a range of difference between Thin, Fit and Healthy. People can be one of these or all of these, but they do not mean the same thing.
Different lifestyle behaviors can bring about each of these results. But its easy to avoid comparing one goal with the other and being disheartened. Just something to keep in mind.

S1:E9 Mr Monk and the Marathon Man
Before I end, I want to share this I found this year, from my favorite show. Mr Monk & Running - I couldn't believe ! And him fanboying an elite runner in SF Marathon. Lovely.

S1:E9 Mr Monk and the Marathon Man.

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