General Update on the Awesomeness of Q

Hey, sports fans. I think I’ve been underposting recently, but goals have deviated away from running, and I haven’t set up an upcoming race (meaning I haven’t been running like I should have). All this adds up to a lack of updates. But hey, now we’re going to get a 3-part post, so that’s something right? Right? Oh, come on, it’s something.

So here’s how it will go: recapping progress on the music month, taking a pulse on my current fitness state, and setting upcoming goals, etc.

Super Awesome Month of July

This year has been strange for my general wellness blog because I’ve gone a bit nontraditional (for some) in my goals, including this month’s 20 minutes of playing guitar. I used to play every day about half an hour. Then I got a real job and that stopped. I was down to about once a week, and that was just damned disappointing.

12 days in, and I’ve hit on 10. I missed on two days because I was down in the city of New Orleans. I’ll be honest, despite not traveling with a guitar, I thought I might hit my goals down there. I was hoping someone would just randomly ask me to play guitar and sing for the nice people were there.

That didn’t happen. I did have some dude under the influence of something get up off the sidewalk and start following me to say he thought he could tell me where my shoes came from and when if he could just get a good look at them when I was on Bourbon St. Don’t get me wrong, they were some sweet kicks (Pumas, FTW), but I informed him that he couldn’t and he politely left me alone. The world is weird.

Other than a lost weekend, I’ve been doing pretty good. I do watch my watch to make sure I’m hitting my minimum, which I kind of hate, but I usually go at least a couple of minutes over, and I’m definitely playing more than I normally would otherwise. And that’s fantastic. There’s a mental space I have to live when playing and singing, so it’s nice to retreat there. It’s like my own little cabin in the woods where I can escape the world for a few minutes.

So far, so good. A bit more than half a month to go. I’m working my way through a couple of songs that are out of my normal comfort zone, and that’s been a nice change of pace from playing the same things (and same types of things) over and over and over and… Well, you get it.

Taking a Pulse

If was more analytical, I would actually take my pulse. And blood pressure, weight, splits, etc. But I’m not… Ok, I am that analytical, but I don’t like to write that way. I track as obsessively as I can make myself. I still weight myself most days. I’m not tracking calories, unfortunately, but I do try to make non-crappy decisions as much as possible. Why, just today I made a heaping amount of red beans and rice (with some extras) to help get me through the week.

All in all, I’m feelin’ alright. I’ve kept up with yoga even though I’m slacking on running. My body feels relatively happy, and yoga really is a good way to make a quick fix on posture, which is a quick fix to making you look like you’re in better shape. I still throw people off when they realize I way 180-185 (and even more so when they find out I was at 200-205 two years ago), and most of the difference is posture and core strength. Easier to keep the gut sucked in when you do nonstop planks and chaturangas.

But I’m still me. My dinner consisted of pizza, pudding, and beer, so there’s always that.

The Future

I don’t know why I do these things to myself… I’m going to sign up for another 10K.

Ugh.

I had to get that off my chest. There’s logic to it. 1) I sucked it up at my first 10K. With minimal prep (less than a month), I clipped a 31-minute 5k for my debut. My 10K prep was continuous prep for a year and half, basically, and I walked off with 1:08.

I can do better. I think.

2) I want to go after a 25-minute 5K, but that means upping my mileage so I have a higher threshold before my body. For reference, right now my legs can do the work (probably), but my lungs can’t; my legs are yoshi and my lungs are Mario:

I’m hoping that more mileage will make them better partners. And I (sort of) have a plan for how to get there. My first foray into chasing an 8-minute pace crashed and burned. Part of it was overestimating technology, so I’ll amend my workout. I’ll switch to more traditional speed workouts when I can and keep the long run so that I can get back to 10K range. I still want to get in the habit of running an 8-minute pace and upping that as I go along. Instead of my current workout of trying to run a set pace, with the watch chirping my over/under the acceptable range, I’m just going to switch to quarter-mile alerts instead of half-mile alerts and hope that does the trick. The other thing I’m doing is something I used to do before injuries started making me basically dead at the end of runs: capping my runs with a stride (or possibly a sprint). I don’t know why, but I just feel better after doing it. I’m not sure if it’s just that I’m running in a manner that feels more natural (football and sprinter in track, so distance has never come easily to me) or if it’s that I’m putting in that extra little burst and it feels like I’m ending on a good note. No matter either way; I’m going to keep doing it in all likelihood.

The real trick is finding a 10K. I’m not in a running metropolis, so I’ve got to plan a bit more than I’d like. I’m going to target October/November, but I may get squeezed into September or December if need be. My hope is to have cooler weather so that I’m not in danger of heat exhaustion during the 10K. And then in the new year, I’m hoping to make an earnest effort at the 5K mark.

But that’s it for now, kiddos. I’ll see you in the future, even though time is relative, so maybe I’ve already seen you in the future.

-Q

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