End of Month Update

This has been my most productive month activity wise ever! I suppose it’s easy when I’ve only been consistently tracking  for two months.

I use Runkeeper to track my activity. This month I logged 18 activities and 53 miles vs 10 activities and 27 miles last month.

I also use the Couch to 5K application for the first 30 mins. I walk/jog/run as much as I can after.

I was reminded by SlowRunnerGirl and my friend who is a marathon runner that I shouldn’t focus only on speed. Today I ran the couch to 5k routine slower than other days but felt good at the end.

Next on the list: Sleep. I’ve been trying to go to bed earlier than my regular midnight+ bedtime. I’ve set a goal of going to sleep by 11pm at least 4 nights a week. To help with the early bedtime I’ve also committed to removing the TV from my room. I’m determined that my bedroom will be for sleeping and sex; not in that order!

Next on the list: Diet. The good news I haven’t gained weight. The bad news I haven’t lost weight in over a week. I haven’t been watching what I eat as an experiment. I wanted to see if exercise alone would make me lose some weight. I found the answer: NO.

Run related purchases:

  • New shoes – Brooks 13
  • Running soxs
  • Running boxer briefs
  • Running Hydration Pack
  • Fitbit Blaze – I’d like to determine my base heart monitor, then I increase intensity or distance as my body adjusts to the exercise.

Thanks for reminding!


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Shedding toxic elements

Most of us have that friend, relative or partner who seems to drag you down and never let you grow. They are leeches that can suck all the fun and happiness out life.

Bad relationships like bad habits and other toxic elements in life are not easy to drop.

There’s one person in my life that I need to drop quicker than a bad habit. Maybe it’s simply a case of the devil you know or perhaps it’s simply out of habit. 

Now with the positive changes I’m making in my life I don’t want her to derail me from my path.

I made the decision to change my life not long ago. Toxic relationships are next in my list of changes. I know it won’t be easy but it has to be done.

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results – Albert Einstein

 

Sunday night’s run sucked

Thursday nights is our ‘Pena 5K’ which is the 2.6 mile course in Deer Island. This week I was really happy as I reduced my time by two minutes from the previous week. Friday and Saturday I rested and I was feeling good. 

On Sunday I think I might had eaten a bit too much and it’s my day to run. So I coerced my brother to go on a night run with me, albeit I didn’t have to persuade him much. Perhaps I shouldn’t have rested two days between runs. 

I determined that I wanted to run the distance of a 5K for two reasons 1) I wanted to see where I am time wise and 2) I wanted to complete Runkeeper’s 5K challenge.

I’m also using the Couch to 5K App which gradually changes jogging length each week to get me to a 5K in 9 weeks. 

Sunday’s run was the start of week four and the intensity changes significantly.  There are two 5 minute jogging segments and two 3 minute jogging segments. The walking time is also reduced to only half of the jogging time, 2.5 and 1.5 minutes. 

After completing the Couch to 5K scheduled program, 31.5 minutes, I still had three quarters of a mile go! I was tired by this time but I decided to push myself and jog the last stretch. 

By the time I was finished I could barely lift my feet but I did it. My brother kept encouraging me to keep going and to push myself and I finished the 5K distance in 41 minutes and 17 seconds. Terrible time from where I want to be but now I have a base line. I only have to reduce my time by 11 minutes in the next two months to achieve my  goal of completing a 5K run under 30 minutes. Very doable 🙂

I was definitely hurting more than usual today but I guess some platitudes are in order such as “no pain, no gain” or “push harder today if you want a different tomorrow”. 

I am determined more than ever to change; become healthier, lose weight and have a better life. So, if I have to crawl while crying to make it happen I will do whatever it takes. 

Why am I doing this?

At the tender age of 19 years old I learned I was going to be a father. At that point I had two options; either man up and become a responsible adult OR be an absent father and let the mother raise the kid; she’d probably do an OK job.

I chose the former and get my life in track. I left my dead-end job to pursuit an educational opportunity which opened many doors and changed my life.

The educational opportunity was a one year program that trained me in IT for six months and I was placed in an internship for the second six months.

This was my first experience in a professional/office environment. It was all so foreign to me. I had to learn soft skills as well as the technical skills.

After the one year was up I was awarded a scholarship to a local college geared towards working adults and the classes are in the evenings.

The second year and the subsequent four years I was working full time during the day and going to college full time at night.

For the past 16 years I’ve been driven to succeed because I want to set a good example for my son and show him that it’s possible to work hard and achieve more than what’s expected of you.

I wanted to prove to him that his environment and zip code doesn’t determine his future.

In short, I wanted to make my son proud; I wanted him be proud of his old man; I also wanted to be financially secure to provide a better life and opportunities for him.

I’m glad to say that I’ve been able to do achieve these objectives.

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Soooo… That’s a long introduction to why am I making this new life altering change AGAIN

Because I’m still young and I want to visit other countries; I want to enjoy life, I want to participate in all sort of activities and have adventures with a partner.

Because I want to play and spoil the hell out of my grand children when the time comes; I also want to spoil the hell out of my nephew who I’m looking forward to meeting in 3 months, love you already Baby Lucas!

Because the older you get the more health problems arise if you don’t take care of yourself. 

For the past 16 years I’ve been doing what I HAVE, which is not a bad thing. I always thought about my son before doing anything. I never stopped to think about what I WANT. In another two years my son will turn 18 and he doesn’t need me to be meddling in his life. I understand he will want to be independent. I will always be in his life but I need to think about what I want to do with my life when I don’t have to worry about my son as much anymore.

These are some of the reasons why I’m making changes in my life.

What has been the most significant change(s) you’ve under taken in your life?

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?

 

No more changes

The web designer/developer in me kicked in for the past few days in this blog!  I’ve been changing designs, colors, layouts, etc.

I have to remind myself that this blog is not to feature my coding or design skills; it’s an outlet to express my thoughts and keep track of my life changes.

Writing and expressing my thoughts are not things I’m used to doing. I’ve never really done it before. Writing is one of my weakest suit.

I could blame English as a second language, but it isn’t. Perhaps it’s the way I was raised or the culture I was raised in the early years of life. Perhaps it’s my lack of creativity. I truly don’t know. Thus, I reverted back to my comfort zone which is the technical aspects of the blog instead of concentrating on writing content instead.

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I promise I’m done messing around with this blog’s design and layout for a few months.

photo credits: GEDC027742-23899318 via photopin (license)