A New Year, A New Set of Goals

It’s going to be 2013 soon and as with most folks, I’ve got a list of goals for the coming new year.

  • Running – I’ve been running consistently for two weeks…I know it doesn’t sound like a lot, but it’s more running than I’ve done in years and it’s been pretty awesome. So, I want to keep that up. I also want to participate in a number of running events. I’m not sure how many or which events to run, but I’ve signed up for the Krispy Kreme Challenge (running and donuts!) and will be signing up for the NC Half Marathon soon (But that’s a different topic all-together!). Maybe it’ll be one event a month (excluding January…), maybe it’ll be a mileage goal for the year. I haven’t decided yet, but when I do, I’ll let you know.
  • Complete a half-marathon – I haven’t yet, but will soon, register for the NC Half Marathon in March. I’ve been running consistently for a few weeks and starting today, the half marathon training begins for real and for serious. My goal is to finish in 2 hours, 29 minutes and 59 seconds, which allows a pace of 11 minutes 27 seconds per mile. I think it’s a realistic and reasonable goal for me.
  • Practice yoga consistently – Once upon a time, I practiced yoga pretty regularly. That studio has long since closed, though and I’ve never looked for a new one. Onslow Fitness has a weekly class on Tuesday evenings and I’m going to start going.
  • Commute to work by bicycle consistently – This one is easy and hard at the same time. It’s nothing new, this bicycling to work business. But it takes a lot of time. I also need to balance my running with the bicycling, at least at first. My plan is to only run in January, then in February start riding on the two off-running days (Mondays and Fridays). After a few weeks of that, maybe riding on a couple of run days, too.

Those are my primary fitness goals. What are yours?

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Fitness Week in Review December 24th to December 31st 2012

This is an ongoing series of posts reviewing my week’s worth of exercise and fitness activities.

  • Running:
    • I ran week 2 of week 1 of the 12-week half-marathon training plan I’m using to get ready for the NC Half Marathon in March.
    • The running is going pretty well, even though it’s been on a treadmill. I’m still running with the Asphalt Junkies a couple times a week.
  • Food:
    • It was the Christmas holiday week and I ate. My gosh, did I eat. I didn’t track food for Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, and though I ate more heartily than normal, I did concentrate on not overeating.
  • Weight:
    • Beginning of week – 191 lbs, 30% body fat
    • End of week – 189 lbs, 29% body fat
  • The week ahead:
    • Running: I’m starting week 1 of the half-marathon training plan for real.
    • Exercise Classes:
      • Yoga. Really. I’m going to keep listing it until I really do start going.

It’s been a good week for me. How was your week?

Running Like a Nerd

I’m a nerd and I’m (trying to be) a runner. So it’s really no surprise that I’m combining the two. Fitness technology is a big money-maker for consumer product and services companies and the current crop of devices and web-services make adding a technological twist to exercise a lot easier than it was just a few short years ago.

Here are some of the tools I use to plan, track and motivate myself into being a healthier me.

First and foremost is my iPhone 4. I use it to track my food, exercise and just about everything else in my life. Without it, I’d have to manually map routes and use a stop-watch to time runs. Which means I’d probably not do anything.

I use Strava, Daily Mile and Runkeeper to track running. At the moment, I’m using the Runkeeper iOS app and exporting the .gpx files to Strava and Daily Mile. I’m not sold on any of the three services, so I’m using them all until I figure out which I like most.

I had been using the Ease into 5k and 10k apps, but have really preferred just running to run/walks.

I use MyFitnessPal to track calories and weight. Whether it’s food or exercise, it all goes in there.

I use Google Calendar to keep track of my workout for the day (I have a dedicated calendar to the half marathon training plan I use).

And, though it’s not directly fitness related, I use WordPress to help keep track and motivate myself.

I’d really like to get a Garmin fitness watch (It’s a toss-up between the Forerunner 210 and it’s much more capable younger brother the 610), but right now they’re a bit out of my price range.

What tech do you use to keep active? Am I missing a key app or gadget?

Fitness Week in Review: December 17th to December 23rd, 2012

This is an ongoing series of posts reviewing my week’s worth of exercise and fitness activities and looking forward to the week ahead. Hopefully it’ll keep be accountable for my fitness goals.

  • Exercise
    • I ran Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday with some folks from the Asphalt Junkies Running Club. It’s much more fun to run with other folks and I really appreciate the more advanced runners taking the time and making the effort to run with me. Saturday’s 3 miles were on the gym treadmill. Let me tell you, running on the treadmill, while warmer and more convenient than outside, sucks. But I did it and got the miles in and that’s what counts. I did not run Sunday. We had Maggie for her holiday with us and had spent the day in Wilmington. AM and I had a date night dinner at Hops Supply Co. and the tremendous burger combined with being extremely tired when we got home around 11pm made me give in to my laziness.
    • I haven’t had any real pain issues or anything serious (which is significant after the last three attempts at Ease into 5k) but my calves were very happy Friday was a rest day. I’m in the market for a foam roller, so if any of you folks have suggestions, please let me know.
    • I wanted to, but alas didn’t, get to the gym to do any other exercising. Maybe moving the Tuesday run to mornings will clear up the evening for a yoga class.
  • Food
    • You can see the details of what I ate at my MyFitnessPal food diary.
    • It’s still a struggle to not eat out so much. It’s just easier sometimes…And I’m pretty lazy, so easy wins most days. Also, the Big John from Jimmy John’s is excellent!
  • Weight:
    • Beginning of week – 191 lbs, body fat 30% on Monday, December 17th.
    • End of week – 189.5 lbs, body fat 29.5% on Monday, December 24th

The week ahead:

  • Repeat week 1 of the 12 week half marathon training plan (four 3-mile days and a 4-mile Sunday). This is a continuation of the “soft start”…I’ll be running week 1 of the plan for two weeks and the actual start is December 31st. I need to work harder at maintaining a constant pace. I’m shooting for 12:30 – 13:00 minutes per mile pace for the training runs, but generally going a bit faster (11:30 – 12 minutes per mile).
  • My goals for the week:
    • Continue running 3 days during the week and the weekend runs.
    • Make more of an effort to exercise at the gym on the off-running days.
    • Do better at meal portion control. I don’t necessarily eat bad food, I think I just eat too much.

It’s been a great week. How’s your week been?

Fitness Week in Review: December 10th to December 16th 2012

This is an ongoing series of posts reviewing my week’s worth of exercise and fitness activities and looking forward to the week ahead. Hopefully it’ll keep be accountable for my fitness goals.

  • Exercise
  • Food
    • You can see the details of what I ate at my MyFitnessPal food diary.
    • In summary, I ate too much. We really cut back on the eating out, but I still need to work on portion size when we eat at home.
  • Weight:
  • Beginning of week – 189.5 lbs, body fat 30.5% on Monday, December 10th.
  • End of week – 191 lbs, body fat 30% on Monday, December 17th

The week ahead:

  • I start week 1 of a 12 week half marathon training plan today with a rest day. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday will be 3-mile days and Sunday is 4-mile long run. Tuesday and Thursday’s runs will be with the Asphalt Junkies Running Club. This is a “soft start”…I’ll be running week 1 of the plan for two weeks and the actual start is December 31st. This will set me up as completing the training plan on March 24th (NC Half Marathon!)
  • On the off-running days, I’ll be heading to the gym for classes (Bodypump on Mondays, On Demand on Fridays?) or some sort of non-cardio exercising.
  • My goals for the week:
    • Five days under my caloric limit (1680 daily) without counting exercise as extra food.
    • Complete the three week-day runs and the Sunday long run.

It’s been a good week for me. How was yours?