Haze Grey and What do I weigh?

We’d been having a decent bout of spring in New England, largely because I spent a big chunk of the last two weeks on travel. So, of course, it’s got to be nice here. So nice, in fact, that the wife and kids put fans in the windows, and the leaves came out.

Today? Not so much. Friday? Beautiful. This morning? Grey. Not even the grey of a TV tuned to an unused channel, but the grey of limbo. Even the new leaves seemed subdued. You can thank Troop 76, because we’re camping this weekend, and our motto is “Troop 76 percent chance of rain”, with the records to back that up.

I had crap to do first thing in the morning, and didn’t get out to ride until about lunch, at which time the grey and misty morning had turned into grey and drizzly if not actually rainy. But, I saddled up the Cannondale, thinking that maybe it was raining because I’d been a New England bike apostate by riding in the basement in front of Zwift all winter, instead of doing my penance in March and April on the salt bike, bundled up against the cold and slush.

I’d like to say transcendence set in during the ride. But I can’t – the ride was cold and wet; the cars sent up spray, and I can’t even pretend to have “early season fitness”; this ride was fueled by guilt and what few dad watts I’ve got left (I think that teenage children may actually drain dad watts).

Neither can i say I was sad to ride today. There was value in the cold rain, and reality in the painful joy of hot water on cold flesh. I still can ride, I still love where I ride, and maybe not all things good are joyful.

The tale of the scale hasn’t been good. I haven’t gained weight; neither have I lost any. Fitness seems to be coming back, which is good. I don’t think I’m going to die at the Vermont City Marathon relay in three weeks.

And the campout is awesome. The frogs are louder than the scouts; and letting boys self-organize occasionally yields amazing stuff – like the campstove donuts that were embellished with the addition of girl scout cookies and marshmallows. 6 hours of laughter brings light to absolutely any day. Though I do hope that the sun comes out tomorrow.

So, it turns out the world exists before 6AM

I did something unusual for me this morning – I got my butt out of bed and went for a ride. River Road, as always, was spectacular.

River view, overcast, docks

The ride itself was only kinda meh – not feeling strong, but I think this may have been the Cannondale’s first outing this year. Not a huge ride, but the victory was 100% getting out of the door.

On track for this year’s mileage; now to focus on losing weight.

Spring Sprung

Time for a quarterly update from frosty New England – it’s April, and there were daffodils under the snow we got this week. And it was 50 degrees after the snow stopped.

I’m excited – I think I’m turning a corner with consistiency again – great months in the Strava Log since the new year. No pains, no nags. Really embraced it. I’m ahead on my annual goals for the bike AND the run, which is nice, and with a push in the pool for a week, I could get caught up.

Weight is still an issue, but it’s almost a year since it moved up again, so I’ve got that going for me.

My intentions for the next two months are to keep consistiency of the working out going; get through spring break, and then start tackling nutrition head on with the summer.

Kelley’s Pace in Old Mystic Village starts their Thursday fun runs again tonight; can’t wait to  be back in the swing.

So, I really, really like Zwift

Dunno why. Maybe it’s the combination of technology, maybe it’s the low overhead for a workout. It boils down to:

    put on shorts
    grab water
    walk down stairs
    put on shoes
    ride
    Finish ride
    Check Strava
    Take off shoes
    Walk upstairs
    Shower
    Beers

When the bike’s loud, I oil the chain. About once a week, I check the tires. Easy.

Now, if I can do it enough to get some fitness, I’ll be happy.

Fell off a little bit

So, technically I finished the RW Run Streak. But I’ve failed on the 100 days goal. Not really spectacularly failed; just kind of faded out.

I’m not necessarily upset – looking at Strava and just kind of feeling my body, I’m still in better shape than I was over the summer. I also didn’t put on any weight over the holidays.

There’s a whole bunch of “buts” – the weather has been unseasonably cold (like below freezing for about 10 days); I finally got serious about screwing around with my 3d Printer, so I’ve been up late and distracted, had some personal drama.

But, I’ve pretty much got the 3d printer running now, the weather has returned to New England seasonal, and I have my Zwift setup dialed in.

So, let’s try this again. But easier. Goal is to be on track with running, biking, and swimming mileage for the year by the time Paris-Roubaix rolls around. I’m not going to try to streak because I’d like to up the intensity of each training effort, so the critical measure is going to be the mileage targets on Strava.

Anyway, hope y’all are having a good new year.

Think I’m gonna make it (Run)

#RWRunStreak, the Runner’s World Run Streak, is in full effect. I’m feeling strong, have only had one 10 PM run, and much like my experience last year, I’m finding that, strangely, running EVERY day instead of every other (or worse) actually makes me feel less sore than alternating. I’m sure it means that I’m actually getting stronger, or if I’m setting up for injury later.

Regardless, you can track my progress towards the end of year goal here:

I’m iffy on the bike and swim goals; if I cross the line heading stronger, I’ll link to them, too.

Loving the second week of streak

Yesterday and today were pretty amazing runs. Beautiful running weather – 40’s and mostly windless. Last night was kind of an interesting situation, though. Busy day at work, so I was initially going to do the run after I walked the dog with Mrs. Jank. But, I got home with some time to spare before we sat down for supper. #2 son was cooking, and it was going a little slow, so I popped out the door for one lap of the neighborhood (~1.5 miles); ate a light-ish supper, and then walked the dog and ran another lap for another 2.7 miles on the day. Legs felt good.

Today was AWESOME. The Nike+ app suggested I do 5x400m repeats, so, sure! That meets the intent (2 miles on my feet each workout, at least 1 “running” – actually exceeds the intent in my set of rules for this year, which was going to give me the “cheat” of only having to sweat for 1 minute out of the two miles). Rather than do them on the track, took advantage of the GPS and did them on the trail alongside Narragansett Bay by the office.

And, I’m pretty pleased with the result. Nike+ says I did about 7:10 average for the 5×400 intervals; even though I walked the breaks from interval 2 on, Strava says I did 2.5 miles at under 11:00/mile overall. Not gonna qualify for Boston any time soon, but I’m really starting to feel stronger.

Today was also the second day in the pool this week. I had a pretty rough swim on Saturday; decent swim Monday afternoon, but today was another “meh” day. Regardless, I gutted out 1 KM. Form didn’t feel bad; I think it was mostly light breakfast + intervals + no lunch yet.

Tomorrow and Friday are big meeting days at work. I’m going to try running before work. I don’t usually have good luck with that, but if I don’t, I’m probably not going to get it done. So – wish me luck!

Week of Streak

So, I’m a week into my second run at the Runner’s World Run Streak, and I’m completely loving it.

Tonight – late leaving the office (Story of my life), but had a transcendent run. Yesterday was an almost cheating long run – it was

    long – 6.7 miles, pretty reasonable
    slow – Walked the first and last miles; Galloway’d the rest
    distance – Having run marathons, it’s tough to remember how amazing it is the first time one runs for a mile; or three; or five, or for an hour…

Tonight, I thought I would bang out the 2.4 miles I needed to keep pace with 500 miles for the year. But, when I got to the turnaround, I realized that the legs felt good, and extended for another .3 miles for the evening.

Chunked out 1200m in the pool after the run. More LSD; felt great to be swimming until the close with fewer and fewer folks in the pool.

Turkey Trot 2017

Banged out another Turkey Trot at the Mystic YMCA. We’re at a weird place in our lives – boys are 17 and 14, oldest leaves for college next year. No company at Thanksgiving this year, interesting spot.

Melissa’s not running this year. Which is an amazing thing – she’s qualified for Boston last Sunday at Philly. She is radiant – it’s a weight off her shoulders that she’s been carrying through several unsuccessful attempts and struggles with injury.

Perfect day – 30, sunny, no wind. The race is PACKED – it’s gone from a small group waiting for a guy with a megaphone to say “go” to a “Girls on the Run” arch at the start/finish. Nice t-shirts today; a comfy cotton-poly blend that will actually get worn.

I don’t see the boys after the start – J is running with some of his high school XC buddies, and N – well, like usual, he’s off in his own world. I started too far back in the scrum – took almost a mile to get some running space; but that’s OK.

About the first mile, I watch the leaders run back the other way – M, who’s at a service academy; D, who’s going to captain the high school XC team next year, with C, who’s going to be crushing school records when he gets to HS next fall hot on his heels. It’s kind of fun, since I can remember all of these guys as tiny kids pumped to make it to the mile turn around; then as elementary school kids finishing the 5K for the first time. Now they’re burning it up before turkey.

I don’t dip this year, since I’m still phleghmy from having the flu last weekend; but J does, so I loan him the

Autumn is a time for new starts

It’s been a … well, pretty good year. I’m still not quite back from 2016’s episode with Lyme disease, but I’m pretty good for consistency since about September. The summer was a little more sporadic than I hoped; partially driven by work and non-work activities; partially driven by a little bit of slack.

My current battle is to catch up with my (very modest) Strava goals for 2017 – 1,200 miles cycling; 500 miles running; and 50Kyds swimming. The Cycling is pretty much in the bag – 150 miles to go; if I were really ambitious, I’d knock that off between Turkey Day and the Sunday after Thanksgiving – it looks like the weather should be pretty nice in New England; not many horses are going to be pulling the sleigh through the white and drifting snow.

Swimming: I’m not quite sure if I’ll nail this one. I set it pretty low – 1K/week, but took a hiatus from actually swimming from about April through September. I need to do about 2.5K/week, which, for me is really only two half hour sessions; but that’s consistency I haven’t been able to muster so far. I think I can nail it, but this will be the first one that I’ll let slide of the three.

The challenge that I’m pining my hopes on is hitting the running goal. I set it at 500 miles for the year – a relatively easy 10 miles / week, but let things slide while finishing grad school, traveling a bunch for work, and trying to keep up with life. August, September, and October were all good months, with mileage at or over 50 miles for the month; November, I’m behind – sitting about 28 miles with 10 days left in the month. Strava tells me I’ve got 100 miles left for the year, which, on one hand is pretty easy – only 2.5 miles/day; on the other hand, it’s doubling my mileage for November and hitting a PB for mileage in December.

Which brings me back to one of the things that really got me going last year: The Runner’s World Run Streak. I can’t tell you HOW MUCH it meant to me to have this going with my brother last year – really pulled me through a rough time physically and psychologically. So, I’m back in this year, but I’m setting a personal baseline at 2 miles/day, and I’m starting today. Not quite the 2.5/day that I need to make my annual goals, but more than the bare minimum.

The second modification I’m making is that I’m going for #100DaysOfNewYear, starting 23 November and going through Saturday, 3 March 2018. For this year, my rules are as follows:

  1. Until 31 December, the streak is completely a run streak.
  2. After 1 January, the streak can take four forms: Run, Bike, Swim, or Nike Training Club workout.
  3. Run is defined as: At least a mile (2 miles from 23 Nov through 31 December) during which a sweat is broken and a heart rate of at least 120 is obtained for a minute.
  4. Bike is defined as at least 10 miles or one hour. Either on the road, or trail, or Zwift, or a crappy stationary bike in a smelly hotel gym.
  5. Swim is defined as 1,000 yards, any stroke.
  6. NTC is defined as at least 15 minutes of some workout. Admittedly, this is a cop-out, as there are some gentle stretching routines, but, I’ve become convinced that there’s something to a strong core.

Anyone else in?