Thursday, May 15, 2008

5 4 Laps Around The Lake (Solo Run)


My friend's taking the night off from running, which is a very good idea, considering the situation with her knee. We're going to reconvene on Tuesday, to see how her knee's doing, & then just gauge it from there.

So I did a solo run starting at 6:30 pm, starting with a 5-minute warm-up walk & then running 4 laps around the lake (or 2.96 miles), for a total of 32:49 minutes, or an 11:05 minute/mile pace. Since this is only my second time doing 25 minutes or more of running, it's fairly decent for where my fitness is right now, but of course, there's a lot of room for improvement.

I don't have any quantifiable data on the pace I did at the end of last August, when I was at a comparable point in the CT5K program, but it makes me feel good to know that my current pace is much better than my pace a few weeks into the BOHR program that I did last fall.

Which means that my fitness level is much better than it was last year. So yay! ;-)


A final footnote: This time around I'm very cognizant of my attitude surrounding training metrics. Last time around my big mistake was getting bogged down in my performance statistics, constantly measuring various aspects of my running performance, & it led me down a path (with a rather limited focus!) that I'd rather not go down again. Hence, my statement of months earlier about reluctance to focus too much on metrics. Of course, back then I merely stated that I disliked focusing on training metrics, but didn't really specify the exact reasons why. Well, actually I might've stated some emotional reasons for this stance, but didn't really go into the logical reasons at the time. Now, with a bit of hindsight, I can see that I'd been so very focused on it, to the point where it became counterproductive to my enjoyment and performance! ;-)

So with that little piece of wisdom front & center in my mind, this time I'm determined to set a new focus. I think it's possible to use training metrics in a way in which a person can use them merely as a guideline, & sit back & observe in a nonjudgmental manner. So I'm still going to track my performance, but am also going to occasionally take runs that aren't "on the clock," so to speak, so that I'll be able to remind myself that running is fun & not just another task or chore I tick of on my list of things to do.

I'm really determined to do everything to make strides in my running & fitness level, & while I'll still step on the scale every now & then, I'm also not going to focus excessively on the weight-loss aspect of running. That's a side-effect of the running anyhow, provided I continue to eat nutritionally & maintain reasonable portion sizes. If I keep running, & do it three times a week, the weight's bound to come off.

The good news is that just from the few weeks of running I've done thus far (after a previous two-month hiatus from my training), I've already lost a few pounds of those pounds. So yay times two! ;-)

My whole perspective on my weight-loss progress has changed considerably. Whereas before I knew I had to lose "x" amount of pounds or "x" body fat percentage points to get to a certain milestone & probably focused a bit too much on those goals, now my attitude is quite different. Again, I will use metrics for measuring statistics on performance & weight/body fat loss, but am determined not to let the metrics become the central focus!

While I'm obviously not happy about the weight gain/body fat increase that occurred back in February-March (& probably also the first few weeks of April, which occurred even while I was running!), there's nothing I can do to change the past. So, I'm just going to focus on the future.

I plan to not only lose the body fat I regained, but to work my way past this milestone & lose even more! As I mentioned months ago, the goal is still to get down to 14-18% body fat, i.e., the level of a high-performance athlete. Not only will it help my running pace, but I'm looking forward to the feeling of accomplishment that comes from achieving a higher level of fitness. It's not a "numbers on the scale" thing, it's a "fitness & wellness" thing. ;-)

"Here I go again.... going down the only road I've ever known...."


Greg On the Run said...

Gret attitude you've developed about your running. You are absolutely correct, I think. Metrics are a guideline but they really can't be used for day-to-day adjustments to your running and running schedule. They are good for assessing performance and fitness over time.

The same thing with weight. I've been stuck at the same place for about a year. I'm not satisfied with it and I'm not done losing weight. I've need to not only refocus on the nutrition and continue to learn how to change my eating habits, I need to constantly evaluate my motives for sticking to a game plan.

I've found that I have enough unexpected glitches iwth watches, GPS units, and heart rate monitors that when something fails, it's ok. I still run and I still learn something about myself and my running.

Blaine Moore said...

I'm glad that your friend is taking some much needed rest to recover a bit.

As for metrics, take a picture of yourself. Then work your ass off. Then take another picture a few months later in the same pose with the same clothes or lack thereof. If you are happy with the difference, keep doing what you are doing. If you aren't, then mix up your activity.

How you look is more important than an arbitrary measurement.

TexasTesla said...

It's so easy to get caught up in metrics of any fast you run, how much you weigh, etc etc. Good luck keeping perspective on those numbers! Remember, no number can determine your value as a person.

Eric Gervase said...

Good attitude toward the metrics. I could probably take a piece of that myself. I'm very focused on the stats. In fact, it's one of my favorite things about running. But, it can get a little overwhelming some times.

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