What is Productivity?

Today’s Run

Time – 41:16
Distance – 4.3 miles
Pace – 9:27 min/mi
Elevation – Treadmill at 1%

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One mile warmup, 12 x .25 mile with an increase of 1 MPH on the treadmill every quarter, and then a cooldown. It wasn’t easy at the end, but it felt good to run hard. I enjoyed it more than I thought I would, and I had a lot more strength than I thought I had. I want to be a lot faster than this, but to start at 9:30/mile and go down to 8:00/mile on a continous run makes me feel like I can run hard.

Productive Running, Part 2

In my last post, I talked about the Garmin Forerunner and that it is tracking how “productive” my runs are. Garmin’s website has an overview on the subject:

Is your current training intense enough, or long enough, to help improve your fitness? How do you know if you’re working hard enough to make a difference in the long run or if you’re not pushing yourself hard enough? Training status helps you make decisions about future training by automatically taking into account changes in fitness level, your current acute (7-day) training load and any change in training load with respect to previous training. In essence, it tells you the effectiveness of your current training and provides guidance to help you improve your training decisions.

So, effectively, the watch is keeping track of my last 7 days, reviewing the work I’m doing, and judging how that work reflects on my current fitness. The page also talks about how as fitness improves, the amount of work necessary will increase (seems self-evident, but, then again, “Coffee is hot” as the thermal cup from McDonald’s says).

I can’t believe that this is overwhelmingly accurate. It is a good measure, if taken in context. The watch will show the change in fitness relative to it’s own measurements. I can rely on it to rate itself against it’s own baseline. I’ll need to be sure to continue to monitor how I’m feeling on my own. Only I can judge my effort and fatigue. If I’m tired, or sore, or just mentally ready for a day off, I need to take it, no matter what the watch says.

Oh, and according to my watch, today’s workout was “Maintaining.” Grrr…

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Productive Running: The Question

Today’s Run

Time – 58:40
Distance – 6.3 miles
Pace – 9:16 min/mi
Elevation – Treadmill at 1%

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One mile warmup, 4 miles at 8:57/mile pace, then cool down. No fast finish. Just running. No news feels like good news.

What is Productive Running?

My Garmin Forerunner tells me that I am “maintaining fitness” right now with my runs. There’s a metric that shows how each run is supposed to affect me. Now it’s time to research this and figure out what that means.

Blogging for Fun and Profit?

Today’s Run

Time – 1:15:12
Distance – 8.0 miles
Pace – 9:23 min/mi
Elevation – Treadmill at 1%

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Longer run on the treadmill today. 1 mile warmup, then 5.5 miles at 9:05/mile pace. Shifted to 7:59/pace for about a half a mile, then cooldown. It was a good “fast finish” run, and the fast part at the end could have gone on for longer, but I was running out of time.

Finding a Balance

Writing a blog is about finding balance. Not the balance between living life and recording it, or the balance between sitting in front of a computer and spending time with family away from the work. The balance I’m referring to is one of content, or rather, volume of content.

It’s a difficult proposition to write for a blog everyday. I would imagine this is especially hard when you rely on the income generated to provide for yourself and your family. I am not one of those individuals. My content is my own as a collection of thoughts and ideas. I like to go back on occasion and see how I was perceiving my topic (in this case, running), and to let the past help guide my future.

I try to write on anyday that I run. I get to record the stats from the run, and my thoughts on how it went. I also have made a point to include a random collection of thoughts, as much for my sanity as anything else. Some of these posts are so that I can download my brain to somewhere, rather that requiring that The Wife listen to me ramble…

What I write isn’t always Pulitzer Prize material, though. It’s not the best content I could produce everyday, because that is a function of time. I like to give this blog a good shot of my brand of crazy, however sometimes the tank is a little dry. So, you get posts like this.

Regardless of the quality, the thoughts continue to be an extension of what runs around in my head, for better or worse. If I were intending to write for fun and profit, I’d pursue the ideas that Susie Lindau had in her post, “18 Best Blog Tips: New Ways to Promote Your Blog, Increase Traffic, and More!”. She also talks about writing less for better quality in, “How To Be Discovered on WordPress!”.

This isn’t my goal, though. More views would be great. Bigger stats and the ability to monetize would be fun. But my goal remains the same: 100 miles the last Saturday in June…someday.

Flagging Resolve

Today’s Run

Time – 35:03
Distance – 3.6 miles
Pace – 9:35 min/mi
Elevation – Treadmill at 1%

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Now THAT’S a look of determination!

Treadmill run set on easy. Just a light jog to work out the legs after the hard group run the day before. The lack of sleep the previous night probably made this harder than it should have been, but the run wasn’t too painful. Just mentally tiring.

Treadmills are for those who want the miles…

Treadmills are exercise for the body and the mind. Mental fortitude is a requirement some days, because you don’t have the luxury of needing to run home to force the rest of the run. I think this is why I get such good mileage when running outside. I’m too stubborn to turn around and run back the way I came, which means I only have to convince myself to start down the next street in order to get some additional mileage.

This is also why I don’t like out-and-back runs most times. If my desire wanes a little bit, I know that I just need to turn around. Doing a loop requires that you keep going in order to get to the end and be back where you started.

Treadmills, on the other hand, just let you step off when you don’t want to do it anymore. This is really difficult to overcome some days. Running isn’t always easy or fun, and the act of pushing through and continuing is sometimes harder than the actual running.

It’s amazing how much can go into accomplishing goals. There’s so much that doesn’t get thought about when planning. Even the simple things, like the willpower to keep going, doesn’t always get added to the checklist. Desire is a huge part of being successful and getting things done. Without it, too many times, activities get started but don’t get resolved.

This is one of my big struggles: the closeout, pushing through till completion. This is also why I like running so much. It teaches me to keep going and get the job done, even when the willpower is flagging.

A Day Late

Today’s Run

Time – 55:33
Distance – 6.2 miles
Pace – 8:32 min/mi
Elevation – 108 ft.

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I’m late with the report of the last run due to late night with Baby Girl. Got in a good run with the Runwell crew. Felt really good, ran really hard, and enjoyed the time. My calves are a little sore today, which hasn’t happened in a while, but certainly worth it with the great run.

It was warm…

And then it wasn’t. Running yesterday was nice. Shorts, no gloves, baseball cap, and a comfortable time. I enjoyed it immensely.

Today there is word that we’ll see a lot of ice, a little snow, and a whole lot of danger on the roadways. I might be working from home.

Following The Day Off

Today’s Run

Time – 1:00:32
Distance – 6.3 miles
Pace – 9:36 min/mi
Elevation – Treadmill at 1%

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Easy treadmill run to start the week. Ran quick 6:58/mile pace at the end for about a minute as a single stride to get the feel for running fast. Otherwise, it was 6 miles at 9:30-ish pace.

We’re in the homestretch (no pun intended)

It’s only a couple of weeks longer until we sign for the house, and there’s still so much to do! We haven’t really started packing yet, although one could argue that we never really unpacked in the first place. We’re hoping that the current rental gets taken over by someone else so that we don’t have to double pay for a few extra months, but we need enough time to clean. There’s still movers to schedule, utilities to setup, furniture to plan for, and painting at the new house to figure out.

Through all of this, though, is the excitement of a new house. And not just any new house, but OUR new house. We’ll be married for 10 years this March, and we’ve never been on a honeymoon, never not had kids living with us, and never owned a home. The Wife and I are ready to start this next phase of our lives, and we are so happy to be able to give this gift to our children.

Despite all the craziness, the stress, and the emotion, we have the joy of knowing that our kids should have a place that they can come home to when they DO get old enough to move out. It’s Christmas at our place with them and their families, and summers back home from college, and marking growing heights on the wall in the garage. This can be a new place to store our memories. That’s the best part!

#GetOutTheDoor

Today’s Run

Time – 1:32:38
Distance – 10.0 miles
Pace – 9:16 min/mi
Elevation – 210 ft.

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This guy is cold!

#GetOutTheDoor is real! I got to run outside today before the freezing rain (which wasn’t so freezing after all) arrived. 10 miles of windy goodness, which I enjoyed immensely. I went out at 9:20–9:30/mile, and figured I would just hold that the whole way. As I came back, I got nervous about the rain, I had to pee, and I was getting cold (those last two are a bad combination), so I picked it up a bit and ran 9:03 pace for the last 4 miles, all at a 153 HR. That’s really good for me! I can really see the speed kicking in. There’s a lot of opportunity in these legs. Plus I negatively split the run by more than 90 seconds, which I will take on a 10-miler!

Technology is cool

My running watch has a prediction capability based on different calculations that will tell me what it thinks I can run. While some of these numbers seem ludicrous, they may not be that far off. Today’s run, which was long for me, showed me that I have a lot of ability in my legs, especially as distance wears on. I may never be an elite marathoner or win at Western States, but I might still be able to get to some of my goals.

These numbers are based on the calculation that the watch does for VO2Max. This is something that normally requires much more sophisticated equipment than a HR strap and a running watch to measure, but the general nature of the prediction is the key here. The watch thinks that a 22:11 5k is possible, as well as a 1:41:57 half marathon. Both are still fast for me, and the prediction assumes perfect conditions, but this gives me something that I can aim to accomplish.

Today was a 10 mile run in the cold. I wasn’t wanting to race it, and I haven’t spent any time doing speedwork, or even running very fast for that matter. But I was able to run at a speed for 4 miles at the end that would have caused me to fall over just a few months ago. I know that I’ve been growing and improving as a runner, and that those improvements will taper off. For right now, though, they continue to give me hope that I can do this thing that I want to do.

I CAN run 100 miles. I CAN run faster than I ever have before. I WILL run.