Weekly Update #8

I slacked with the blog last week. I can’t believe I didn’t post anything during the week and this update is late. There’s a reason for it all but it’s not a very good reason.

The good news is that I stayed relatively active throughout and was able achieve my goal of getting out 4+ days a week.

On my last update I finish by saying I would either go a party and stuff my face with food or go riding. I kind of did both.

I went to the birthday party but didn’t stuff my face. I also went out on the bike after the party! And I broke the bike during that ride. 

From the start of the ride I felt the chain slipping from on the gears. It, the chain, eventually came off the large chain ring on the way to Deer Island. On the way back home the chain came off the cassette and got stuck between the cassette and the seatstay. 

One of the spokes broke and the rim bent. I was able to pull out the chain and walk the bike home for the last half mile.


I brought the bike to the shop on Tuesday to have it fixed and got some upgrades and accessories. I picked it up all fixed on Friday evening.

Weekly Breakdown:

Monday: My friend and I  walked Breakheart Reservation, 4.5 miles / 1 hour and 15 minutes. We followed the Couch to 4K app for the first half hour then we jogged up all the hills.

Wednesday: I went back to Breakheart Reservation with my cousin and his nephew. We biked the 4.5 miles, I didn’t log the activity so no time recorded. He let me borrow one of his old bikes ūüôā Thank you Jesus! 

His nephew had an accident coming down one of the hills and scraped his knee and hand. He’s okay.


Saturday: I jogged my usual route around my house and the beach. It was 3.7 miles and 54 minutes. It wasn’t as hot as last week; it was only 80 degrees instead of 95!


Sunday: I went to Deer Island to practice clipping and un-clipping my new bike shoes to the new pedals. I went around the island 5 times and climbed one of the hills for a grand total of 13 miles in 1 hour and 2 minutes. 

I was concerned with the pedals clipping and un-clipping mechanism. My friend Jose had told me I would fall the bike a few times before getting used it. I was determined not to fall and I didn’t, until I did! 

Throughout the ride I was stopping and practicing un-clipping the shoes. I felt really comfortable after one hour. When I decided to call it a night, I rode back to the parking lot. I get into the parking lot. I un-clipped my right shoe. I came to a complete stop when I got to my car. I set my right foot on the floor. My body decides to go to the LEFT! I slowly fell to my left side. As I hit the ground I couldn’t stop laughing, I lay there for about a minute literally laughing out lout. I got a scraped knee.


This week I’ll be more active on the bike. I need to fall off a few more times I suppose! The goal for the week will be to get at least 30 miles in one session. The most I’ve done so far is 16 miles.

I mentioned that I had neglected the blog this week. The reason is that I started playing a game on my phone. I’m very close to being addicted to it. The good thing is that I’m aware of it and this week I will intentionally stop myself from playing it as much, but look at that sweet gear the commander is using!


Thanks for reading and hope you have a great week ahead!

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Motivation which pushes you past your perceived limits

I have to preface this entry with a disclaimer – I’m a huge procrastinator! Why do it now when I can do it next week?

I hope the title of the entry isn’t too misleading. 

Last night, Monday, I decided to go out for my first-ish bike ride. And as previously mentioned why go right after work when I can go waaaay later at night, smh!

Around 8:30pm I load the bike on the car rack; drive to one end of Revere Beach; park my car; unload the bike and got going on my Monday night ride. 

I ended up riding for 16.2 miles in 1 hour and 15 minutes. Not bad for my first ride. I’m getting used to gears and the breaks. 

As I’m making my way back to the car, a couple miles away in the distance I see flashing lights, I was able to make out police and tow trucks. I realized that there are different parking rules for the end of the beach where I parked this time. I typically park on the OTHER end of the beach when I run. And of course I didn’t bother to read the signs!

Those last couple of miles I was pedaling so hard I don’t know where the energy was coming from. I was very tired but I had the proper motivation to go beyond what I thought I could do. In this case the motivation was very self serving. I didn’t want to spend several hundreds of dollars to get my car out of the tow yard or pay any other police fines. I simply wanted to avoid  all the hassle of this process. 

What I’m trying to get to is that motivation comes in all shapes and sizes. For me, at the end of my ride my motivation was avoiding getting towed. Earlier in the ride I had a different motivations. I imagined myself fitting in 34″ waist pants. I imagined myself cycling for 100 miles in a day and completing one of those weekend cycling challenges. I imagined myself holding my grand children and playing with them. I saw myself happy and healthy. 

I feel motivation doesn’t have to be something grandiose. It just needs to be enough to get you through today and just enough to try again next time. I’m a terrible golfer, but I enjoy the game. When I’m out in the course I just need to hit one great drive. That is enough motivation me to bring me back. 

My first ride was pretty interesting. Lots of learnings, such as … 1) I need to get a front and rear light, especially if I’m riding at night. 2) I shouldn’t ride on sidewalks, I went over bike to avoid a pedestrian who jump in front of me. I landed as gracefully as a walrus. Thankfully I didn’t get hurt and the bike didn’t get damaged (I think).

I didn’t mean to create a cliff hanger. I did get to my car just as the tow truck was  backing up to lift it. I rode up to the state trooper, out of breath, told the that it was my car. He stopped the tow from continuing and now I have this great story to tell!

Weekly Update 3

Time flies when you’re running ūüôā This has been a fabulous week for me! It’s the first time I write down weekly goals and  better yet I’ve achieved pretty much everything on my on it!

I’m going to be mentioning Mike a lot in this entry and the reason is that he was participating in a step challenge at his job and I walked with him to help him get at least 20 thousand steps a day to help him place top 10. 

Highlights from the week:

  1. I’ve achieved all the goals in my list for the week. 
  2. I lost 7 lbs this week which brings my weight loss to a grand total of 20 lbs since I got active 3 months ago. 
  3. Pena 5K – I reduced my time by two minutes since last week, finished it in 28 minutes and 23 seconds. This is my personal best at Deer Island  ever. 
  4. Ran Deer Island without stopping. One of my main goals was to run the this course without stopping. I can check that one off the list now.

Breakdown of the week:

Monday – Mike and I walked 8.5 miles in the evening. We walked from work to the train station where I leave my car. 


Tuesday – I ran 4.11 miles at ungodly hours in morning, ungodly for me! In the evening Mike and I walked 5.75 miles at the lovely heart break reservation in Saugus. It’s a beautifully scenic and hilly course. 


Wednesday – I ran 2.5 miles in the morning and walked 7.5 miles in the evening with Mike. We went from Downtown Boston to Cambridge, then to Somerville, then to Everett. 


Thursday – Pena 5K @ Deer Island. I walked around the course once to warm up before running it. 


Friday – Ran 3.75 miles in the morning and 9+ miles in the evening with Mike. I didn’t start the tracking app on time, so I missed he first 30ish minutes of walking. 


I have only one goal for the weekend: DON’T GAIN ANY WEIGHT. 

I usually gain a few pounds during the weekend. I spend a lot of time at my parents’ house. There’s always so much deliciousness everywhere!

This week I was telling Mike about it during one of our long walks and because he’s a numbers guy he simply commented that I was ‘losing one third’ of my weight lost. That somehow set things to a different perspective. I don’t want to lose 33% of anything! And that’s what I had been doing for ever. Some weekends I would gain all the weight back during the weekend.

I’m extremely pleased with the progress this week and intend to keep it going next week and into the foreseeable future.

Thanks for reading.

Relativity

Put your hand on a hot stove for a minute, and it seems like an hour. Sit with a pretty girl for an hour, and it seems like a minute. That’s relativity.
– Albert Einstein

No, I’m not going to attempt to explain the¬†theory of relativity. Continue reading.

A quick refresher and context setting. 1) As soon as the weather is tolerable here in Massachusetts my friends and family go to¬†Deer Island in Winthrop, once a week to¬†walk or jog or run.¬†It’s actually a peninsula not an Island, but that’s besides the point. It’s a beautiful 2.66 mile scenic route, not quite a full¬†5K but we dubbed it “Pena 5K”. 2)¬†April 19, 2019 was the day when I got my behind off the couch and to a gym for the first time in years.

My first Pena 5K this year was on April 21st, only two days after my first gym visit. I walked the entire thing and completed it in 45 minutes and 45 seconds! Not a great showing, but I made it out and completed it. The following days¬†I kept going to the gym and worked on the elliptical machine and the treadmill. Whenever the weather allowed I’d¬†walk/jog¬†a 2.5 mile loop around my house using the Couch to 5K app.

I’ve stuck to the weekly Pena 5K religiously since that first run on April 21st. I couldn’t make it to the island a couple of times, but I’ve¬†completed¬†it virtually. My time to complete it slowly began to decrease.

Left to right: Me; my brother Jose; my sister in-law Vero. Before each Pena 5K I take a selfie with the group. Yesterday it was only three of us.

On May 12th, my time had decreased to 36 minutes and 40 seconds. A week later, on May 19th, my time had decreased again by over 3 minutes to 33 minutes and 31 seconds. Seeing the progress encouraged me and motivated me to keep going.

May 26th¬†and¬†June¬†2nd were my virtual runs @ Revere Beach. On June 9th¬†my ¬†plantar fasciitis (PF)¬†condition didn’t allow me to run, so I compensated by walking 8 miles.

All of this brings me to yesterday’s Pena 5K.

The past couple of weeks I’ve been walking a lot and not much running. My PF is almost gone and I was feeling good. I was¬†excited to see if I would¬†improve my time since the last time I ran it over a month ago. I was only hoping to finish under¬†33 minutes and¬†31 seconds.

To my amazement when I looked at the tracker upon finishing, it read¬†30 minutes and 29 seconds! I was overcome¬†with¬†excitement, joy, happiness, and sense of accomplishment. I was so proud of myself I had to shout a loud “YES! YEAH!“.¬†To this moment I’m still ecstatic.¬†It’s a great feeling.

Vero took a picture of me as I started to run. Thank you Vero!

Coming back to relativity. Completing 2.66 miles in 30 minutes and 29 seconds is a great accomplishment for me, but¬†it’s a joke to any serious runner.

Like everything¬†else in life there are others in life who are better off than you and others who are worse off than you. Be happy with what you have. Look around and be thankful for what you have rather than what you wish you had.¬†This has served me well in life. It applies to all aspects¬†of life. There will always be someone who’s faster than you; someone who makes more money than you; someone who’s smarter than you; someone who has your dream car or a bigger house; someone who travels more than you; and the list goes on forever.

I’ve been working on my¬†goals post and I’ll publish it soon. One of my goals is to complete the Pena 5K @ Deer Island in 25 minutes or less. Yesterday’s run encourages me to keep working¬†towards my arbitrary 25 minutes goal.

Thanks for reading! I didn’t realize¬†how therapeutic writing this blog would become.

Weekly Update 2

Where to start? Overall I’m feeling good about the changes I’ve made so far and my newly developed habits. Most importantly I’m feeling good about myself; I’m feeling happier; I have more energy. There are days when I do feel sored after an intense run or a long walk, but it’s not that bad.

Monday this week I found a gift on my desk from someone at work, thank you Hadley. It was a book, Younger Next Year, I’ve been reading it any chance I get. I’m learning a lot from it and have started to implement some of the advice in it. I’ve ordered the accompanying exercise book.

Exercise

  • Lots of walking – In the past 7 days I’ve logged 7 walking logs in my run keeper for a total of 26 miles walked. I purposely get off the train many stations before my stop to walk for about an hour in the afternoon/evening. I’ve also walked to train stations further away from my house to get in a 40 min walk before work. One I left my car at home to walk to the train station in the morning and in the evening.
  • Jogging/Running – Sunday I went out for a morning jog. I’ve never done that before; shin splints were bothering me during this jog. Tuesday I went out to the beach for a jog in the evening. To my delight the shin splints were gone and PF was barely noticeable! My couch to 5K app moved me to the next level, two 8 minutes of jogging sessions. I felt great after the 31 minute program (5 min warm up, 8 min jog, 5 min walk, 8 min jog, 5 min cool down).
  • Today I’ll be going out to Deer Island for our weekly Pena 5K. I’m hoping my time will improve. The last time I completed it in 33 min and 32 seconds, about 3 minutes improvement from the previous week. I hope to be closer to 30 minutes this week.

Health

  • Plantar fasciitis is getting better
  • Shin Splints showed their ugly face during the weekend, but disappeared during the week

In the bedroom:

  • I haven’t removed the TV from the room yet, BUT I haven’t turned it on in a few days. I believe I will completely remove it this weekend.
  • Shades are blacked out.
  • I brought an old school alarm clock, so I can leave my phone outside the bedroom.¬†
  • Early riser – due to work circumstances I’ve had to get up early for about a week now and I don’t hate it! I’ll try to keep getting up early going forward and go for a jog or walk in the morning before heading to work.

Diet

  • During the weekend I gained a few lbs because I love food and have no self control over it yet. Mom’s cooking is so damn delicious!
  • Breakfast- I’ve been good during weekdays. I’ve been eating veggie omelette switch feta cheese.
  • Lunch – I’ve been good during the weekdays too. I’ve tried to get smaller portions and healthy choices from work’s cafe.
  • Dinner – I could do better here. Currently I’ve stopped cooking because it takes long and by the time I get home it’s too late. I’m getting my food cooked by my friend’s aunt. She cooks all kinds of stuff, some healthy and others not so much, but all delicious:)
  • I’ve tried to avoid rice
  • No soft drinks

That’s about it for now. I’ll try to keep these short in the future. I’ll also try to post throughout the week after activities.

Rest

The¬†week ¬†of May 9th I was¬†active four¬†days in a row, Monday through Thursday. On Thursdays we run our¬†pseudo 5K, it’s actually 2.5 miles around a nice peninsula in Winthrop Massachusetts.

After Thursday’s run I was hurting more than usual. My body was telling I was overdoing it.¬†One of my main concerns is that I’ll overdo it and get hurt or I’ll burn out. Then, I’ll have to start over again and I know how difficult this¬†is… Aaaah!

I’m very proud of my progress and the changes I’ve made.¬†I don’t want to stop or slow down my momentum.

On Thursday’s¬†run I feel that I would have benefited from resting the¬†day¬†before.¬†Next week’s goal will be to shave off at least a minute from my total time, currently over 36 minutes.

I rested for two days, Friday and Saturday. On Sunday I went for a¬†2.5 mile run¬†close to my house and I didn’t feel terrible; I rested on Monday. On Tuesday I went for a run with my brother and felt better than Sunday’s run. Tuesday’s run was at¬†the beautiful¬†Breakheart Reservation¬†which is a 640-acre hardwood forest with jagged, rocky outcroppings, two fresh-water lakes, and a rambling section of the Saugus River.

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What all this means to me: HILLS! There are hills at this location. I hated going up the hills but I felt pretty good at the end. I plan to go to this location at least once a week.

I’m currently reading a book on being more productive and one of the main principles¬†is to work smarter not harder. I intend to do apply this idea to running. I’ll be doing more research on¬†running; technique; length of run; number of times per¬†week, etc.

Running smarter not harder:

  • Set¬†goals¬†[check]
  • Get started and correct as you go along [check]
  • Correcting;¬†do the minimal amount of work for the optimal results [todo]

My first finding …

… skip a day between workouts to give your body time to rest and build muscle –¬†RedBrick Health

What’s your experience with resting between running/exercising days?