As someone who has watched his pace slow over the recent years, this article caught my eye. Not that I have any desire to run faster at this point in my life, but still and interesting read.
Something I can definitely relate to and confirm in my own experience:
“The main reason that runners slow isn’t our bodies. It’s our lives. We get married, we have children, we work longer, our parents get sick. We have more important things to do with our time. Running is a sport that rewards consistent effort, and once you step away it’s hard to come back. Your body frays, which makes running less enjoyable, which accelerates the decline. We go slower as we age, but we also age when we start to go slower.”
So, this past holiday weekend, in between multiple Thanksgiving gatherings, I took advantage of the beautiful weather and spent some time making progress on planking the bridge across the narrow end of our pond.
Everything about the bridge has been reclaimed from the scrap heap. The telephone poles that span the banks were delivered free from a friend of mine who works for an electric company. The boards used to plank the bridge were a mixture of reclaimed pallet boards and various odds and ends that I scrounged from a big junk pile that came with the property that I’ve slowly been tearing apart. Overall, I’ve been able to get about 80% across and it’s cost me nothing but sweat and muscle. Still need to pull about 7 more pallets apart, use the wood to plank the remainder of the bridge, sand everything down and put some sealer on it.
Now that the Route 66 5K is over and most of my winter preparation chores are complete, I figured it was a good project and metaphor to subconsciously begin thinking about transitioning into some new goals.
The winter months have always been a time of rest and relaxation for me. I usually spend my time watching movies with the family, reading books by the fire, and doing everything I can to go to bed early and catch up on some sleep. I also try to pick some sort of writing project and exercise regimen to work on just to keep my creative and physical muscles moving.
Here are some of the new things I’m shooting for:
Running – I plan on continuing my progress and slowly furthering my distance up to 10K. I’ve put together a running schedule for the next 8 weeks that I think will get me there. In addition to increasing my mileage, I’m also adding in a few days of light cross training to try to strengthen my ankles and legs a bit more for the longer distances.
Writing – I’m still working on getting this screenplay over the finish line. I’ve not been as disciplined in my writing as I have been in my running, but I have put together a schedule that I think will get me to THE END by the first of the year, possibly sooner if I buckle down or get a long weekend to focus on it.
Reading – I’m currently reading Digital Fortress by Dan Brown. I’ve got about 50 pages left to go and then I’ll pick up the next book on my reading list. My goal is to read 4 to 5 novels over the next few months as well as a stack of non-fiction books on gardening and a few memoirs from fellow farmers.
2018 Goals – every year I take the month of December and try to set some yearly goals for myself, so over the next few weeks I’ll be thinking through and writing down some bigger goals for the coming year (more to come in a future post).
Well…I have to admit, my first race in over 3 years went a LOT better than I expected. My wife and I ran the Route 66 5K Saturday and I beat my time goal by a minute. I was shooting for an even 30 minutes flat and clocked in at 29:05.
No injuries, cardio felt decent, and I hit my time goal even with there being more hills than I expected.
I call it a win.
So, now I have to build on my momentum and start working toward a new goal. I think rather than pushing my distance a bit farther right now, I am going to train for one more 5K and try and get my time down. This will allow me to get a good base in place and stabilize my core muscles a bit more before upping the distance.
The plan is to add one more day of running in the mix and then supplement the days off with a light bit of cross training. Now I just need to find my next race. :)