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Continuous improvement... hocum!

Friday, January 06, 2012

One of the articles Spark e-mailed me this morning was one addressing those "new to exercise", but one of the points it made spoke to me, personally. It was about the initial fatigue one feels when stepping it up, especially if one tries to do too much, too soon.

Well! What have I been blogging about off and on the past few weeks? Tired, choosing a rest day? Hmmm! So I took a look at how much a step up I'd been giving myself since November. I joined a gym, hired a trainer, and the trainer gave me workouts that were twice to three times as long as those I'd been doing. I changed sports, took a spin class or two that were half again as long as my half hour workouts. I swam, but I took that easy, starting with 20 minutes, gradually increasing it to now 35... swimming does not give me that fatigue. But the four mile run with son? When I hadn't been running continuously more than 3? Hmmm, yet again!

Too much, too fast. No wonder! An ah-hah moment. It can hit at any time. Be prepared! emoticon

So... rethinking yet again. The conceptual thing I've been toying with has to do with the natural limits of the human body. Granted, we can all do more than we THINK we can. But as the line in Chariots of Fire said, "you can't put in what God's left out". There is a physical limit to how far my body will train. And there is a psychological limit to how much time and effort I am willing to commit to the effort.

How much of the half marathon I will run... when the knees complained for a couple of days after a 4 mile outing? Last year I trained to walk... much easier on the knees. The jury is still out. Maybe I'm not a real runner, and maybe, just maybe... I've just been pressing the limits of "too much too fast".

to be continued...

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MOBYCARP 1/6/2012 7:04PM

    Well, Barb, we egg each other on and we're good for each other . . . except when our competitive natures get us to try too much. I've got much the same type of puzzle to solve here that you have, with respect to how much can I do without burning out.

I've been down this path before. As you note with the weight never being the same ten pounds, I think it's never the same overreach to run/swim/bike/lift weights/pick your current passion.

The real puzzle is, how much is "too much too fast" and how much is just plain "too much?" It's not unlike losing weight without knowing exactly where the goal is.

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KRISZTA11 1/6/2012 12:35PM

    Good insight...
Take care and do only enough, not to much!

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MSLZZY 1/6/2012 11:08AM

    You read the same article I did and came to the same conclusion. The body is only
designed for so much and it needs time to adjust to all the extra activity. You are
doing the right thing to re-think the situation. Take care-hugs!

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DEBRITA01 1/6/2012 9:22AM

    Good to listen to your knows best. I'm sure after careful thought and consideration, you'll make the right choices for you. emoticon

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LJCANNON 1/6/2012 8:57AM

    emoticonI know you have learned to really Listen to your Body and it does let you know what it can do. I know you will get to the right decision for YOU, and that is what is important.

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_LINDA 1/6/2012 8:55AM

    Welcome to the overdid it club. I have a very sore leg from doing that pile of strength training physiotherapy exercises. I am not used to it, and perhaps my physiotherapist thought I could take more because I was in such good shape before the surgery, but two problems with that. I had a eight week layoff just before and during the surgery and you do lose toning rapidly. The other factor is I was a cardio junkie and rarely focused on strength training, big mistake. I put all my effort into whatever I do and was probably squeezing my muscles to the limit.
I am glad you are rethinking your position on running. While I have read its supposed to be something your body does naturally, those of us with any kind of condition or health issues it can be bad for. I know impact bothers my joints and I try to not do too much of it. You never know what underlying condition you have that makes running a bad choice. Arthritis doesn't show up in the blood tests before it strikes. An X-Ray is the only way to tell if you have the beginnings of arthritis changes. Perhaps you need a thorough check up by a Dr. and clearance before attempting this..
That being said, it does sound like you have jumped into a lot..
Good luck with it..

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PENNYAN45 1/6/2012 8:53AM

    We Sparkers have trained ourselves to ignore complaints from our body: "I'm hungry, I'm tired, I don't feel like it." That is how we were able to succeed.

Now - though - I agree with you that it might make sense to scale back a little on some of your physical activity.

Also, I, too, would agree with your previous commenters. My running in my thirties caused some unintended long-term damage to my knees - so ever since then I stick to walking.

emoticon emoticon

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DEBRA0818 1/6/2012 8:27AM

    In regard to what KATHRYNLP wrote, I have also been advised against running by an orthopod who told me that the long term dangers of running far outweighed any short term benefits. Yet, one cannot deny the many benefits! I guess each person has to decide these things for him or herself based upon body type, genetic endowment and personal goals.

For me, that lead me directly to the pool for swimming and water aerobics.

I know you'll make the right choice for you!

emoticon emoticon

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KATHRYNLP 1/6/2012 8:16AM

    Don't wear your knees or your feet out like a friend of mine did.
She put in several miles a week, running, at age 65, weighing only 132 lbs.and now she needs knee surgery on both knees. Take care... emoticon emoticon

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Here I sit keeping my balance

Thursday, January 05, 2012

The weather was glorious today. I did make it a point to get out in the sunshine, both today and yesterday. Last night I kept my date with the weights after work. Today I was a lazy person and came home, walked on the treadmill a little to bump the step count, and called it good.

Tonight... hopefully a decent bedtime and a good night's sleep. I'm still searching for the right training cycle that won't burn me out. I was chatting with a fellow half-marathon candidate at work today, and we both struggle with the concept of "how much training time" will still allow us to live balanced lives. Because after all, it isn't all about the sport! It's about living healthier lives.

As MobyCarp is fond of saying, Goal #1 is not to get injured.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MIZCATHI 1/6/2012 5:47AM

    Take it easy darlin, I need you! No, seriously. You're doing great, and I know you will find balance because you want it and understand how important it is.

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_LINDA 1/6/2012 12:53AM

    Hopefully, you will figure out a good training routine. I admire a working person trying to find enough hours in the day to train for something intensive like that and find enough rest and 'me' time not to go crazy.
All the best with it!!

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KARIDIAN1 1/5/2012 10:03PM

    Looks like you are keeping on track. Keep it up!

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MSLZZY 1/5/2012 9:43PM

    Good point, Moby! It is all about balance and getting it right. HUGS!

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HOT4FITNESS 1/5/2012 9:01PM

    What a great day it was!! I got a 5k in this afternoon Enjoy your evening relax, and get a good night sleep
Way to stay focused and keep in balance

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WATERMELLEN 1/5/2012 8:51PM

    That cat of yours sitting on the railing has great balance: do you suppose the tail helps??

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The weather is mild for the season... but...

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

BUT... I still feel a little like hibernating! I really need my morning pep talk today!

The high today is supposed to be in the 50's, and tomorrow near 60 degrees Fahrenheit! Amazing. A part of me can't help having that ominous feeling that we'll pay for this later. In the meantime, it sure doesn't feel like a normal Nebraska January. I remember a few when we didn't see 0 F from below. Those minus 20's and minus 30's are nasty, but we endured them.

Somehow, though, temperature isn't as big a trigger for the hibernation in me as the sunlight. Gotta get out in the sunlight. And for that, I have to wait, because sunrise is nearly an hour away yet. Today's resolution / plan is to take my work walking breaks outdoors.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUNNY1432 1/4/2012 8:08PM

    I've been loving this warmer weather, the snow can wait! emoticon
I hope you had some wonderful outdoor walks today and enjoy the weather tomorrow!

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KARIDIAN1 1/4/2012 5:45PM

    We are warm today to, upper 30's in MN. Feel like I am waiting for the other show to drop and the bad weather will hit us like a ton of bricks.

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BUGGYS 1/4/2012 2:44PM

    I just got back from a walk with the dog and although it was a little breezy, it wasn't as bad as I thought and half the winter is over!!! I hope we don't get stuck having snow in May!!!!

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ANDI571 1/4/2012 12:09PM

    I was thinking the same thing. It was so cold yesterday, but the sun was out and shining so bright and pretty. I was up doing laundry and feeling so good. Today it is warmer, but all cloudy and gloomy. I haven't gotten anything done. I am just moving so slow.

We are having a mild winter here in Ohio also. It has been 40 and 50's. The past two days have been in the 20's, but is moving up today and is suppose to be 51 on Friday. Your weather must be moving our way.

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MSLZZY 1/4/2012 12:01PM

    I got up later than normal but it is the first day back to school for DS and he was moving like a slow boat to China.
The sun is brightly shining but my desk work will keep me
grounded. Lunch time is busy, trying to make sure DS2 get enough
to eat before going back to work. I'll be organizing supper
so the walk will have to wait until later.
Have a great day! HUGS!

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DEBRA0818 1/4/2012 10:47AM

    I'm getting out in the relatively cool sunshine this morning for a nice, long walk with the dog! I need my daily dose of sunshine too, but the water aerobics was out this morning as it was only 40 degrees at 9:00 a.m.! A rare cold snap in Florida.

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ARCHIMEDESII 1/4/2012 10:45AM

    Can you send some of that mild weather towards the Northeast ? It was a balmy 11 degrees with a -7 degree wind chill when I woke up this morning. brr.....

I do have to agree that it has been a milder than normal winter around here too, except for this bitter arctic blast.

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KRISZTA11 1/4/2012 10:31AM

    Outdoor walking is a great idea, it will help you wake up and cheer up,
especially if you get to see some blue sky and sunshine!

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MEDDYPEDDY 1/4/2012 8:42AM

    There has been many years in my life where the weather has been as mild - but the two last years has been really cold early so this year feels different than usual... but I am happy my electriacl bill will be nothing compared to last year! (And I am talking about Sweden Europe)

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MNTWINSGAL 1/4/2012 8:05AM

    It sure is a strange year, isn't it? Here in Minnesota's hard to wrap my head around the idea that it is January and there are really only 3 months left before we will be breaking out the lawn furniture, waiting for the last of the snow to melt. It feels more like late October, when the holiday season is coming up on us. Maybe that's why I don't feel the urge to de-decorate the house and get back to "normal?" This year is anything but!

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Tuesday tireds

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

OK, first workday of 2012 for me... I started out with anticipation that I'd pick up a spinning class after work. But it just didn't call to me. I examined what I'd been doing the past couple of days (strength workout Sunday, 4 mile run yesterday) and decided on a rest day today.

In fact, to avoid overtraining, I'm thinking of dropping into a nine-day training cycle: Strength, Cardio Sport, off. Repeat three times, varying the cardio sport between running, swimming and spinning.

I don't want to trap myself into trying to reach too far, nor to undermine being prepared for any of the planned events of the year. It is important, say all of the training plans I've read, to have off days. Particularly if I'm training for endurance, which I am.

So... today became rest day. Tomorrow becomes strength. Thursday cardio other than running. Friday rest... which works out perfectly as Saturday I have an appointment with the personal trainer for strength, and Sunday one with my son to run.

Of course, understand that for me a rest day has about 12,000 steps in it. My work stress breaks don't take a day off. emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MIZCATHI 1/4/2012 5:27AM

    Your workouts are so inspirational - if you can do it, so can I! (I do, but you are part of the reason I try for my personal best each time I work out).

I haven't tried running yet, though I do simulate it without the hard pounding on the gazelle. Feels very powerful to move my entire body like a sprinter!

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KRISZTA11 1/4/2012 3:35AM

    It's great you do so many kinds of training!

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_LINDA 1/4/2012 12:23AM

    Very sensible plan to follow!! 12000 steps on a off day??? That is pretty amazing for a person with a desk job (I seem to recall you said you were a computer programmer? would that be spending hours staring at a screen? how do you fit the steps all in?) I know I tend to spend too much time on the computer without taking a break. Supposed to do one every hour..
Looking forward to hearing about your progress..

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MSLZZY 1/4/2012 12:19AM

    Rest is good but beating stress is better. HUGS!

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COMETER 1/3/2012 10:23PM

    Criminy! 12,000 steps on an off day? People would pay for that kind of daily exercise. Actually, they DO pay for that kind of exercise. :)

Off days are critical--I have a hard time making sure to get those in, so I appreciate your reminder.

Best wishes for the success of your plan!

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WATERMELLEN 1/3/2012 8:28PM

    Great plan. And your "days off" are pretty darn impressive!!

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Four miles in the chilly air

Monday, January 02, 2012

Having begged off on Saturday, not feeling well, today was the day I went out with my son on the trails. Wore my Christmas running tights, they performed perfectly. Today's high is supposed to rise to all of 35F. It was sunny, though, and not too windy. And of course, having my son by my side chatting as we kept it slow for his old mom... Hallmark Commercial stuff.

We completed four miles in 42:40, for a 10:40 pace per mile. Felt good about that, and he promises me another run next Sunday. Weather permitting, of course. Mom does not run in slick. At this point it's looking like cloudy and 38 in the forecast, and no precip between now and then. And I will take every mom-son bonding chance I get in the next few weeks, which are disappearing far too fast for my liking.

emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BUGGYS 1/3/2012 10:18AM

    How special is that...spending time with your kids and getting in some exercise at the same time!!! emoticon

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KRISZTA11 1/3/2012 5:12AM

I wish my daughter came with me too!

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_LINDA 1/3/2012 1:41AM

    Brrr. That is a bit cold for outdoor cardio for my liking, well done keeping up a great pace!
May the weather behave and give you many more running opportunaties with your son!!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MSLZZY 1/2/2012 8:00PM

    What a neat day. Looks like the weather will be in you favor for at least another week.
Is this really January? HUGS!

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WILMASOTO 1/2/2012 7:53PM

    How awesome is that!! Spending time with your son is so amazing! So glad for you!! Hope you have many many more!!

Wilma emoticon

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FITFABJENN 1/2/2012 7:47PM

    Absolutely awesome! It is so wonderful you get to share those active moments with your son. Kudos!

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JUST_TRI_IT 1/2/2012 7:25PM

    Way to go! Great pace!!

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MOBYCARP 1/2/2012 6:08PM

    35 and sunny with no wind is good running weather. 38 and cloudy isn't bad, either. And the chance to bond with your son is, as you well know, priceless!

The news here is full of talk about lake effect snow tonight and over the next two days. I'll find out in the morning whether it's real or another case of over-forecasting.

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COMPUCATHY 1/2/2012 6:05PM

    That's so awesome! I love that your son ran with you! That's so sweet! Glad you got your game on for 2012! Enjoy! Let's rock the new year! Thanks for all your encouragement! Keep up the good work! Spark on! emoticon

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MILLERGIRL719 1/2/2012 5:11PM

    That's awesome!!!!

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HOT4FITNESS 1/2/2012 4:54PM

    Nice way to start out the year. I did 3 miles yestereday evening at antelope park trail. Was with a friend so kept me company. That is a great pace. You will surely be ready for that half in May.
keep it up!!

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REJ7777 1/2/2012 4:52PM

    Kudos to both of you! emoticon

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46SHADOW 1/2/2012 4:42PM


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SLENDERELLA61 1/2/2012 4:19PM

    Oh, that is fantastic, Barb, that you run with your son!! Hallmark moment, as you say. You are wise to cherish that time.

Wish I could get my daughter running. She's done much better than I did at that age managing her weight. She works out at the Y, primarily doing the classes with light weights. The last time I worked out with her, though, I pulled something and it took me 2 weeks to recover. Oh, well. I do run with 25 year old niece from time to time. She's suppose to run the Komen 10K on Jan 14th with me.

I'm a little jealous of your cool weather. I know you have good running weather far longer than we do. We have many months when it doesn't get below 75 degrees and the humidity is up there. I ran in the morning or on treadmill even when it was hot & humid. But right now it is pretty good. We're suppose to have a cold snap in a couple days, but it will probably still be good running in the afternoon. We don't have to worry about ice, although rain and lightning are big here. Guess we all have different challenges.

Still smiling about the prospect of the Lake to Lake 10K in Nov!! Wish me luck on my first 10K on Jan 14th! -Marsha

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KARIDIAN1 1/2/2012 4:14PM

    Cold and slippery side roads here in Mn. Also very windy still, but not as bad as yesterday.

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