Thursday, January 15, 2015

The Beard Lives...Plus, An Unrelated Itch

Yes, friends (i.e. the one or two people who still read this), my inner Anton is still surfacing, in the form of an ever-growing beard.

I'm still holding out hope that running speed goes hand-in-hand with a big, unruly beard. Perhaps the grayness of mine (along with many other issues) signals the unlikelihood of that becoming a reality.

Which brings me to the unrelated itch. No, the beard hasn't itched for several weeks now. But I am, finally, getting the itch to run again. Or to at least incorporate running into my training program.

In past years on this blog, I've done an end-of-year rundown on my various training numbers. I failed to do that on this neglected blog for 2014. Honestly, there's not much to report that would be any interest in relation to running.

I ran a total of 75 miles in 27 runs in 2014. My longest run was 5 miles. Sad, I know. I did walk 516 miles, so I at least got some aerobic exercise. I spent the majority of 2014 trying to get stronger, mostly at the deadlift. Did I succeed? Sort of. Yes, I set a PR in both the deadlift and the bench press (and, come to think of it, the squat), but while those numbers may be good for a middle-aged distance runner, they were pretty weak when it comes to the powerlifting world...even for weekend warrior amateurs.

No matter how far in the rear view mirror my last run was, no matter how much my various joints protest or my muscles twinge, I will always be a runner. After 32 years of doing it, it's too much a part of me now. Will I ever be fast or be able to run mega mileage? Probably not. Does that matter? Not as much as it used to.

Not being a New Year's Resolution guy, I prefer to set goals (semantics, I know). I still haven't decided on all of them yet, but I have three mileage goals for outdoor aerobic activities. I want to at least:

Run 500 miles
Walk/hike 500 miles (want to do a LOT more hiking this year)
Cycle 500 miles

Those are minimums, but that's 1500 miles for 2015...and I like that sort of OCD symmetry.

They're pretty modest goals, really, but I know that balance is the key for me in order to not push too hard and end up injured, as usual.

Getting back to running is going to be a challenge. I'm at least 15 lbs. over my preferred running weight, and my cardio conditioning is non-existent. I'm also currently sick, so climbing the stairs in my house is a workout. I have yet to run a step in 2015, but as soon as I shake this illness, I'm going to start again. The cycling might have to wait a bit, as I'm pretty wimpy when it comes to riding in the freezing (and sub-freezing) weather.

One thing that should motivate me is a 10k coming up in April that my oldest daughter wants to run. I was going to run the 5k, but I decided to commit to running the 10k with her. Where I used to push her in races a few years ago, I'll be happy to keep up with her, if that's even possible.

As for dropping some weight, I've begun that process by getting sick ;-)
Actually, I've started cutting way back on sugar and watching my portions. That, plus increasing my exercise should start the process.

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