Sunday, May 6, 2012

Running and other happenings!

The view from my front yard: morning.
Well, it's three weeks since my last post, and I'm still running!

Six days after my last post, I ran my first organized 5K -- a smallish event put on by Cal State, Fullerton: the iCare 5K. I ran it with Joanna, my 32 year-old daughter, or rather, she slowed herself down to run it beside me. It was a golden moment: a father/daughter shared memory worth cherishing. And I did.

Half-way through the race, when the course took us through the Arboretum, we heard the cheers of Joanna's husband and four children. Another golden moment, enjoyed despite a pounding heart and tired legs. I had practiced and planned for the event, and met my three goals: have fun, finish, and run faster than some of my co-workers had recently run in their 5K. (I set a personal best, one which I don't plan on breaking for a while.)
Seating for two? (Front yard.)

My other goal was "Don't hurt yourself." And although my legs were pretty tired and wanted to cramp up, they didn't. We all enjoyed a pancake breakfast at the event, after my two granddaughters ran their first organized 1K race, which Joanna had signed them up for. I stood at the finish line and cheered them in.

It was a fun day, and I was only somewhat sore for a few days afterward. I gave myself a couple of days off, and then resumed my training ways.

My running is the cardio part of a fitness regime intended to include strength, cardio, balance, and flexibility. Recently, I've added fat loss to the mix of intentions.

One thing I did not long after the iCare 5K was to research and order a simple heart rate monitor: the Timex Personal Trainer Heart Rate Monitor. It took me a week or two before I took the time to learn how to use it, but it has enabled me to change my exercise program from being mile based, to being Time in Zone based. The Zones are percentage ranges of Maximum Heart Rate, and they help me not to overdo my training. They also help me to find the level of intensity needed to burn fat.

Big sky: front yard view (the park)
One surprising aspect of my three month running journey is the lack of weight loss. I'm hoping that I've gained muscle, and I think that I have, but now that I have established a good fitness base and training program base, I'm fine tuning my life to win the battle of the bulge.

I already had many of the tools and understanding on how to accomplish slow, healthy weight loss, but a week or so ago I re-implemented some things I've learned via Tom Venuto's "Burn the Fat, Build the Muscle" program. I used the program some years back to lose 22 pounds. Over the past three years, I found too many of the pounds I'd lost.

The last go around I did not have as strong of a fitness base. I mostly just walked. It worked, but it wasn't as much fun as what I'm doing now. For example, on Friday, I packed a mini-gym bag and after work, I put on my running shoes and enjoyed a two mile jog along one of the many running/biking/horse trails that thread through Fullerton, my home town. This morning, I did another two miler. I'm getting close to my goal: running for 1/2 hour, three days a week. Only the last week have I been able to run (very slow jog) for 25 minutes straight. (That's two miles at a 12 and 1/2 minutes a mile pace on a slightly hilly course.) Nothing impressive, but it marks a few milestones for me on my personal journey toward improved fitness.

After the iCare 5K, I went back and walked the course, taking pictures along the way. My intention is to start including some pictures on this blog again. I had depleted my collection of pictures and hadn't taken the time to upload and include some pictures. But now, I've remedied that.

So enjoy! (And thanks for stopping by.)


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  2. Well done for keeping it up and for passing another milestone!

    (It may be just me -I'm having problems at the moment - but I couldn't get the video to work.)

    If you want to see some half-marathon folk you might like to look at my latest post.

    1. @Scriptor: Thanks. (And I enjoyed your post, as did my cousin.) I'm going to delete the non-working video.

  3. I enjoyed reading this report and hope you continue to do well as a runner.

  4. By the way, those are nice pictures.

    1. @Dennis: Thanks for the read and the good wishes. I thought of Grandpa's darkroom yesterday. You and I caught a few things from him. (Maybe the poetry bug too?) For sure we caught the last name. ;-)