A Little Quicker – RunLog 2-23-18

A pretty normal morning, Bennie’s first walk, then a walk with Mary and Bennie, then taking off for the gym to do something. No I didn’t have a plan on what I was going to do for a run today, Fridays have become my free day, where I get to do what the body wants to do.

Today it also meant eating some of those wonderful highly sugared, nasty, horrible, yummy snacks that I can’t open the package and eat just one. YELLOW PEEPS!!!!!

Getting back to running, some weeks, it means a couch potato day, others it might mean a good run outside up to 5.0 miles. Well this week I really didn’t have a clue when I left the house or even when I walked through the Planet Fitness doors what was going to happen. Yeah, on the way in I thought about a few possibilities, but nothing seemed to be the “right” thing.

I decided that I wasn’t going to run outside even though it was very runnable (high 20’s, a little breeze, clear roads), so I went through my warm-up routine for the treadmill and stood on the last treadmill available (school vacation week means more people) – the same one I ran on yesterday.

While I was finishing up my final stretches while standing on the sides of the treadmill, inspiration hit me. I decided to only do 3.0 miles and then foam roll and stretch things out after. Okay that sounded pretty good, unless I do not run this weekend, I am pretty sure of getting in my 30 mile week.

As I was getting the treadmill upta speed, I had another wonderful idea, why not go a little faster today. The body seemed to want to go faster than I have for a while.

Okay, I set the treadmill to 7.6 mph and did that first mile without any issues other than the little toe on my right foot was not splaying out like it should and was still pressing in too much against the other toe (too many runs in the wrong shoe this week) – if I had to guess.

At 1.0 miles I pushed the speed up to 7.7 mph and then again at 1.5 to 7.8 mph. After that I started increasing the speed every so often and had a really good last quarter mile kick.

It ended up being my best Treadmill 5K time of 2018 by a whole second.

No, I was not attempting to go for that, it just happened. The best part of this run was that I never felt like I was working harder than I should for the speeds I was running until that last quarter mile, even then I was still feeling strong, but also know that I am not in any kind of shape to do those speeds for much further than I did.

However, I felt as if I could have kept going if I had slowed down to the pre-last quarter speed for a while longer. Which to be honest surprised me, usually at those speeds my tongue is dragging on the belt and the old heart is pounding or is that hammering away pretty good.

After getting done, with the run, I cooled down a bit and then did 15% incline for 5:00 minutes @ 4.0 mph. I do like to do that at the end of a workout, I am not quite cooled down and it forces me to pick up my feet for a bit.

Then I hit the mats in the stretching area, silently screaming a few times when that damned foam roller hit or is that bit into some spots on my legs. Damn that thing does find some nasty spots on those old legs of mine. Did a few stretches and called it good.

I felt very pleased with the run and the pre/post workouts that I did, now to have a few Peeps, then later for supper a great homemade Pizza and Beer.

Gonna be a good night.

Make Sure Everything is Measured

The old sayings “if you measure it, you can improve it”, “if it is important, it can be quantified” or this quote:

“Perhaps what you measure is what you get. More likely, what you measure is all you’ll get. What you don’t (or can’t) measure is lost” – H. Thomas Johnson …

Yes, they are true, so very true.

As a runner, I ask:

  • How many miles did you run today?
  • How many minutes did it take you?
  • What was your pace?
  • What was your heart rate?
  • What was your suffer score?
  • How many miles are on your running shoes?
  • How many steps did you take today?
  • How many hours did you sleep, how many were quality sleep hours?
  • How much did you weigh today
  • Did give an alpha or numeric grade to your run?

All these metrics and so many others — dependent upon the sport, your level and interests.

Like most runners, I can be a bit obsessive about my running stats, because the numbers don’t lie, they give a verifiable snapshot of how I did during that particular workout, moment or period of time that I am attempting to measure.

They show when I going good, when I am doing okay and when things are going pretty bad. The good, the bad and the ugly as I like to call my running progress most of the time. The numbers and measurements that I get from those numbers tell me where I stand in comparison to other runners and the runner I used to be, and possibly give me an idea of the runner that I could be going forward.

However, are the numbers a true representation of you or I and the runners we are?

Has running…hell has life in general only become a series of measurements that are plugged into a computer program, graphed, averaged and where the one who has the best numbers – is the best?

What happened to all the things you can’t measure:

  • Being challenged and the satisfaction derived from picking your arse up out of the dirt and working hard to overcome the challenge in front of you.
  • Giving a piece of yourself, if you must call it this, sacrificing something of yourself for the benefit of others. That idea of giving back.
  • Being honest with the numbers that have accumulated. Not cherry-picking or cooking them to meet a particular expected or preferred outcome or to show how great you really are.
  • Being honest and not cheating to finish ahead your current abilities. Just because a friend qualified for X does not mean you have to also.
  • Being comfortable with who you are and the journey you are on. We all have different paths and perspectives on what happiness for us is and might be.
  • Being able to think beyond the numbers and think about what IS important.

And all the other things in life that are not quantified and reduced down to zeroes and ones then programmed into a graph or other display to show to the world what the numbers say you are.

What does matter and does it matter if you can measure it or…not?

I wonder if the numbers tell the whole story of our running or our lives.

Do we measure too many things in our efforts to control too many things.

Sometimes I think too much, me thinks.