New Year, New You II

So, this post gets a “II” because, technically, I already used that post title back in January, 2016, and frankly, I’m too lazy to come up with anything more clever…so it’s a sequel.

To be fair, it’s probably worth an update, 3 years later. Back then, we had just picked up the bicycle trainer in hopes that we would use it. We actually did use it a fair amount that year, and a little the winter after. But then I started running quite a bit more and didn’t use it at all last year. These past few seasons, we’ve set it up downstairs, but Brooke only uses it periodically, mostly because it’s cold and boring down there. Brooke found that, earlier in the Fall, she’d stay on the bike longer if she had a magazine available to read while she was doing it, but for the last month with the holidays, it’s been harder and harder to get down there.

Today, we renewed our YMCA membership. Summer 2015 was the last time we used it, back when we thought Meg would do summer camp (note: she hated it). We let it lapse and haven’t looked back, but recently, in an effort to get some more exercise in, we opted to renew it because they run a sign-up deal in January like many other gyms do. Mostly, Brooke’s thinking that she’s more likely to get some exercise in if we set up a routine where the whole family goes: Brooke and I go to work out and the kids get to play in the ball pit play pen area they’ve got set up on the main floor. For my part, though i get plenty of jogging in (more on that in a moment), I’d still like to get more upper-body workouts in, so this gives me an excuse to go a few times a week to lift some weights.

Anyway, Brooke will probably check out some of the organized workouts for adults, and we’re still investigating if the kids are interested in any sessions. We may spring for swimming lessons before this summer, but we haven’t decided quite yet. At the very least, as Calvin is aging out of preschool, he’ll be home this summer and it’ll be a lot easier for me to keep up my jogging if I can drop him off at the Y while I work out or jog on the treadmill.

Speaking of jogging, the picture above is from yesterday when the weather was 63 F. On January 7th. In Missouri.

No, climate change totally isn’t real. Obviously.

I slowed down over the break, but was able to pick it up a bit in the last week. I’m trying to stick to a 20 mi per week average, but in an effort to “catch up,” I pushed it a little more this week.

Anyway, the temperature was awesome and I got to run in the afternoon, which usually goes better for me. I started out with a 7:22/mi average early on, which was a good 20 sec/mi faster than I ran last week, so that already felt great. I kept pushing it as fast as I could, slowing down a little bit toward the end, but still maintaining a 7:26/mi average over 6.2 mi (10k). In the end, I did it in 46:28 min, which is utterly spectacular for me.

Did I say I ran in a T-shirt and shorts? In early January? In Missouri? Seriously.

After I ran, I grilled some brats and hot dogs. Because it was 63 F. In early January. In Missouri.

And they were delicious.

…after I put them on the grill for a few minutes longer because it got dark and it was hard to tell…because…it’s early January

Jogging Update


A little over two months since starting jogging, I’ve completed my goal of “being capable of running a 5k.”  For the most part, I’ve been jogging 2 miles each week day, aside from holidays like Labor Day or rainy mornings (of which there have been very, very few…).

Two miles a day has actually become surprisingly easy.  After Meg started school and I started taking her with me, I shifted my morning schedule a little bit, getting up at 6:30 am and jogging for 20 min.  My pace has gradually improved, where I now (roughly) average about a 9 min mile, on most days.  By the fourth or fifth day in a row of jogging, I’m getting pretty tired, so my pace slows, but I still make sure I run the full 20 min.  Really, I’ve been pretty sure I could run the 5k for the past few weeks.  It was just a matter of having enough time (and will) to do it.

Now that the weather improved (finally), was in the mid-70s and sunny during the day, and I finally had some free time in the afternoon, I decided to go for the 5k run that I said I was going to do.  Brooke’s due date is coming up and my jogging will drop off precipitously thereafter, so I was running out of opportunities to get it done…unless I was going to get up earlier…but that’s just silly…

As you can see above, I ended up actually going about 5.38 km, so I over-shot a bit.  Shucks.

Still, I’m hopeful I can continue running most days during the week.  Perhaps I’ll need to shift to weekend jogging for awhile after “Clarence” arrives, as I’m confident my sleep will be disrupted enough such that I won’t want to do anything on weekday mornings.  Brooke picked me up some better jogging pants so, as it gets colder, I should be able to extend the routine a bit.

Regardless, I’ve proven I’m capable of running a 5k.  At least I know I can do it.

So, I started jogging…

Not my feet.  Sorry, not that talented...
Not my feet. Sorry, not that talented…

I’ve tried running before.  Actually, the last time I “seriously worked out” on a regular basis was in college when I had access to a rec building and treadmills.  My problem with keeping up a workout regimen is simply the routine of it: if I miss one day, then it’s possible I miss two, and after that, I’m likely not coming back to it.

Well, for a variety of reasons, I decided to give it another try, this time with something of a clear goal, and also with the full knowledge that even if I’m able to keep it up, once the baby comes around at the end of September, that schedule will be disrupted and I’ll probably stop.  The goal, in my mind, is to be capable of running a 5K (3.1 mi) non-stop.  I figure this shouldn’t be too difficult with the appropriate training, but is something that, today, I don’t think I could reasonably do.

Two Mondays ago, I started jogging on a road near here that’s popular among joggers, and connects up with an asphalt trail that goes for quite awhile.  To get started, I decided I would jog for 20 min and get as far as I could, then hopefully, do the same thing again on each following week day.  That first day, I made it two miles (though, the last quarter mile was pretty painful…).  But really, having not seriously jogged in years, I felt that 2 miles was pretty good.  In the end, it’s the “20 min non-stop” part that’s most important for me.  I’ll push that longer and longer in the upcoming weeks.

Last week, I ended up jogging three days (rained out one day, then had some set up for Kristen’s wedding, so I got my exercise later in the morning).  This week, I jogged all five days and averaged a little over 2 miles each day.  By the time I hit Thursday/Friday, I was definitely more tired than I’d been the earlier days, but I was also less sore after running.  Progress!

I’m tracking everything using an app called RunKeeper.  It takes advantage of my phone’s GPS to track how far I’ve gone and give me some idea of pace.  I’m still trying to work out a consistent pace, rather than waffling between 10:30/mi and 9:30/mi.  It’s nice having the app “break through” the music I’m listening to and let me know that it’s been 5, 10, 15 or 20 min, how far I’ve gone, and what my average pace is.

We’ll see how long I can keep it up.  Again, I’m optimistic I can keep this up to some degree for the next month or so.  I’ll probably end up dropping to three times a week rather than five in awhile, but I wanted to get a good start with the routine of getting up at 6:00 am, rather than falling back asleep.

Heck, as long as Brooke keeps making me a smoothie each morning, I probably have enough incentive to keep it up. 🙂