Sunday, May 25, 2014

Exercise Diary and Random but Related Thoughts: Get real

The Inactivity

When I finally made myself to go and run today I realized that it's the first one in 5 days.  Although I never intentionally said no to running on a perfectly nice weathered running day (there was none), I couldn't help but also realize that apart from 2 planks I did at some point I didn't actually exercise in any other way.  I was going to go play badminton on Thursday, but due to some timing issues I decided to skip.

The Run

Woke up this morning and found a beautiful running weather.  Checked the forecast, low 70s for the few hours I planned to go running.  Got a nice, 9-hour sleep.

But there was a problem.  I didn't want to go.

I don't know what it was.  Whether my easy decision to say no to running from the week had seeped through my brain (which is bad), or whether I was just afraid (which we can work on).  I knew I haven't been moving much, and my last run wasn't really a success.  And just the night before I had dinner with friends and I ate way too much.  I ate so much that I was dizzy by the end (not drunk, didn't have any alcohol).  Although I didn't feel full this morning, and I made myself eat something for breakfast so I don't get weak, I could feel that it was going to be hard getting back into running again.  I also dug a hole for myself by planning a long, 6.8 mile route.  Not that I thought I was ready, but I just didn't want to waste a beautiful weekend day.  Weekend is the only time I can go out and explore new routes and be comfortable in feeling that I have endless time to explore and feel the route.

It didn't work.  I didn't get to run any of the streets I had planned to do.  There was a Memorial Day parade in the town, and they blocked the street I was going to go on.  So I turned onto a smaller street, and happily ran blind until it merged onto a street I had run before.  By that point I had already done almost 2 miles, and felt out of shape and unfit the whole way, so I decided to head back.  My body felt heavy, my heart beating too fast, my shoes were tied too tight so my feet are hurting (I feel that I could use even less arch support, maybe minimalistic running is a good choice for me).  I didn't feel good, I felt tired.  I stopped to walk after just 1.1 miles, and walked even more afterwards.  I practically walked all the way back.  I headed back early.  It was still an almost 5-mile loop from where I live, so at least I got some nice walk in, which will still help with getting back into regular exercise in the future.

I also think I picked a bad time to go.  It was warmer than I thought, there wasn't much of a breeze to keep me cool.  I also forgot to put on sun block or bug spray and that was bothering me more mentally than anything else.  All in all it was a failure.

Persistance is key.  With my upcoming Run Streak Challenge I will have to force myself to get into a more regular exercise schedule.  I now also realize the importance to quality exercise, not just the quantity (the long distances I rake up, or try to rake up, on weekends).  Although I have had good long runs in the past, today's run really made me feel that just because I did a 7-mile loop once doesn't mean I have to top myself every time afterwards.  Piling on crappy walk/run milages isn't necessarily good I don't think.  I really have to change my mentality to settle for doing a solid 2-miler and be happy.

The Shoes

I ordered a new pair of shoes which should arrive on Tuesday.  It's a pair of Inov-8 Women's F-Lite 185.  They are considered by the manufacturers as fashion sneakers, but most reviewers of the shoes use them for cross-training and sometimes running.  I got them because they were on sale, and because most people consider them true to size, so I risked buying shoes I haven't tried before.  I originally got them because I need everyday sneakers for the summer anyway, but I now am thinking of trying to run in them as minimalistic shoes.  Just to see.

The Magazine

I subscribed to Runner's World magazine and just got the first issue!  It was actually their April issue so I hope I will receive the May issue soon, not 3/4 into the next month.  I have been reading the RW website regularly and gradually came to the realization that what they put on the website is probably a portion of what's in the magazine.  So finally I decided to subscribe the printed version.  I was slightly nervous about this since all the magazines I've subscribed in the past have largely been left unread.  But I was hoping this one would be different since I had really wanted to read it, not merely thinking it would be interesting, or because it was on sale.  I finished the entire thing already, which is something I rarely do now.  I think this is the first time I subscribed to a magazine because I really want to read it, not because I think I should read it to improve my general well being.

The Festival

The Runner's World magazine naturally devoted large, full-page ads on their upcoming Heartbreak Hill Half&Festival in Boston.  I obviously will not be running the half marathon, but I really want to experience an expo, as well as attend the various seminars they organized.  As far as I know they are free but still requires registration.  They also have a 5K and a 10K event with the festival, which I was sort of considering, but timing-wise was just too cruel.  They start at 7:15am and 8:15am, respectively.  That's means I'll have to spend the night the day before and still have to get up obscenely early, and possibly miss a morning seminar, since I will be slow if I do the 10K (which I'm only considering because it starts at a later time).  I really want to see if I can drag anyone to go with me.  I don't know why, since I usually like to work alone, but this just seems more appropriate to go as a group.

The Challenge

In addition to the festival, another RW event coming up is their summer Run Streak Challenge.  Basically you run at least a mile everyday from Memorial Day (tomorrow!) to Independence Day.  You log it via MapMyFitness, and at the end of the challenge be eligible for some sweepstakes event.  I forget what you can win, but BelVita is sponsoring so I'm guessing food.  I signed up for it so maybe there will be a badge on my blog soon :)

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