Staying On Course With C25K, Some Baking, and Why I Need to Keep Running.

It has a been a pretty dreary (long!) Veteran’s Day weekend.  Definitely had a November feel with gray, rain-soaked days; although, today was a beautiful day with blue skies and that crisp feeling in the air.  I’ve been happy that I have maintained C25K training every other day and I have just entered Week 4 of the program.  On Friday, I maintained a jogging pace for the walking sections, so it was great to finish with a sub-11:00 pace.  I know that doesn’t sound all that great, but I’m excited to be making progress.

For some motivation, I decided to check on my Runkeeper activities dating back to 2014, when I started the C25K program for the first time.  It was nice to see that I am ahead of my pace back then, but I should be given that I am not starting totally from scratch this time around.  As of today’s run, these are my totals of activities that I have recorded on Runkeeper:

Stats

It’s fun to have this record on hand in the app.  Granted the miles have been slow to accumulate this year, but I am looking forward to building them up again.  Not sure yet what my goal for 2019 will be, but I definitely want exceed 1,000 miles as I did in 2015 and 2016.  I’m not ambitious enough to go for 2,019 miles in 2019.  Right now, I’m thinking a 1,000 miles for 2019 is what I will shoot for.  I’m still a ways from averaging 20 miles per week (just hitting 10 per week on C25K), but if I stay on target, I will be starting 10K training in December, which will up my weekly mileage.

After Friday’s great run, it was a bit of a struggle to get out there yesterday, but luckily Katie motivated me to get it done.  I struggled, but in the end it was so worth it.  Afterwards, I started thinking about why I need to keep running:

  1. PHYSICAL FITNESS – Obviously, I know, but running has been the only fitness program I have been able to be consistent with in the past three decades since leaving college and the Army.  I’ve dabbled in strength training and other programs, but the ease of running (just go out the door) and the quick results make it be best for me.
  2. PHYSICAL HEALTH – Obvious too.  As a I approach 50 (yikes!), I’m starting to think what my later years will be like.  I hope to stay active and not be physically incapacitated or stuck with a regimen of daily medications.  I’ve seen too many examples of people who lose their quality of life and I don’t want to be in those shoes.  Just gotta keep moving.
  3. MENTAL HEALTH – This is most important.  In the last two weeks, I have noticed that after my runs, my head is clear of daily and ongoing stress.  In the past two years I have definitely noticed that things seem off when I’m not running.  Maybe it is not having an outlet for the stress or maybe it is not having the feeling of accomplishment a good run gives you.  In the past year I have been dealing with career dissatisfaction along with personal demons that have been dogging me.  It certainly did not help that I was on the road much less frequently; in fact, it just seemed to compound things.  At times, I feel like I am susceptible to depression and/or anxiety, but then again, who isn’t?  The great thing is that when I plug in my headphones and start pounding the pavement, my head is clear.  I’m hoping that these moments of clarity will grow as I add miles and that they extend to my resting hours (I have not been sleeping well – currently trying sleep meditation sessions).  Bottom line is that life is better when you are running!

What better way to make it through a chilly November day than to have some homemade soup and bread.  One of my favorites is Hungarian Green Bean Soup.  My recipe also includes honey and cider vinegar that gives the soup a sweet and sour taste.  I also tried my hand at some baking of honey oatmeal rolls.  Nice comfort food and carb loading for this morning’s run.

See you on the road!

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