March 3, 2016
February was one day extra-long this year, but still a short month. It was a pretty good month for me personally with LOTS of experiences, but not too great from a fitness point of view.
Continuing this feature I started last month here’s this month’s monthly summary at a glance:
|Goal||This Month||Annual Average|
|This Month||Year to Date|
|Running KM’s||89 km||231 km|
The month started a little rough with an ouchie at the gym. Upon recommendation of my trainer, I got compression knee sleeves to help with my form and injury prevention during squats. I felt so great during the sets, but on the last rep my body failed under fatigue and I fell awkwardly. It was fortunate that the safety’s of the Squat rack saved me from being crushed, but my left arm and shoulder got strained protecting myself during the fall.
A great monthly highlight: Curling! A running friend organized a chance to go curling at her club. I hadn’t been curling in years and years, so it was a nice experience. I never quite got the touch to throw the rock with the correct weight, but I did have a lot fun sweeping.
The weather was weird this month. It was well above zero for the first week. Then the deep-freeze in the middle of the month, close to -25ºC before windchill. Then pouring rain! What a month of crazy weather! But I’ll be honest, if I wasn’t leading this clinic, I may have retreated to a treadmill, or not run at all.
Lent started this month, so I took that as a good moment to rededicate to healthy habits. Some only lasted a few hours like staying off of Social Media and walking more. Others seem to be having a little movement like making time for daily prayer and dedicating some time to paint models. But the big one was getting serious about tracking my food again with MyFitnessPal. I had fallen off the bandwagon for quite some time. I just recorded for the first week, and was pleasantly surprised that I wasn’t doing too badly in general. I suppose just knowing that I’m recording helps keep me honest. Since Lent ends around the end of March, I imagine the March review will be a good time to see how this went for myFitnessPal tracking and progress.
I also started experimenting with Glutamine this month. In general, it seems to be helping, but I’ll give it a few more weeks before I make any final judgments.
But, I did have a very memorable Valentine’s Weekend with Sharise. We danced waltz and swing at an event at Hart House at the UofT Campus called Moment. The event was organized by engineering students at the University of Toronto and featured live music. This event has been held for years, but this is the first time I attended, mostly because I knew Sharise would quite enjoy it too.
And on the 14th we had dinner at the much celebrated restaurant O. Noir. You really are dining in absolute darkness and it’s quite an experience. I was adventurous and picked the “3-course surprise”. To my chagrin, I was not able to identify any of the dishes correctly (for the record, they were a salad with strawberries, duck with polenta, and chocolate cheesecake).
Around the middle of the month, the accumulation of hard training, doses of brutally cold temperatures, and not enough sleep manifest in a cold that knocked me right on my butt. I wound up with a rather debilitating cold. Boo! I guess I really do need to acknowledge I am human after all and that I can’t do everything. However, I’d like to think my symptoms weren’t too bad and I bounced back quickly. I’ll thank improved health for that.
Because of scheduling miscommunications and my trainer’s vacation, we missed a lot of sessions this month. But, it kinda worked out since I was sick for over a week. And, it gave me the opportunity to try some fitness classes like Cardio Combat and Yoga.
Towards the end of the month I tried something else new: Going to a Korean Spa/Sauna. It was actually really nice, like Hot Yoga without having to do the exercises, and no time limit. The place we went to is called Seoul Jjimjilbang Korean Sauna and it may become a regular part of my post-race routine for recovery.
Goal: Reduce Body Fat to 35 pounds by the end of 2016
Status: Right track
|Date||Weight (pounds)||Body Fat %||Body Fat (pounds)|
|December 31, 2015||194.4||24.9%||48.4|
|February 2, 2016||194.0||26.9%||47.9|
|March 1, 2016||193.8||24.4%||46.9|
Well. progress in the body fat, but very minimal progress overall. At least things aren’t getting worse.
I am getting some comments from people about how much slimmer I look. Someone who I run with regularly commented that I look like I’m “narrower.” My clinic members in particular noted that I look at lot slimmer than my clinic profile photo. That photo was taken in 2011 when I ran my first marathon. It’s interesting to note that I’m approximately the same weight now as I was then, but I look a lot better and I think I have a lot less body fat right now.
This was exemplified on a cold run early in this month: I got out an old orange jacket and it seemed unusually large. A running friend said Facebook reminded her of a photo exactly one year ago to the date in which I wore the same jacket, but it was loose this year.
Goal: My average hours of sleep will be at least 8 hours per night in 2016
Status: Average 7.67… Slightly better than January
I figured out the hard way how important sleep is when my body kinda gave up when I got a cold. You can kinda see on the graph when I started really cranking up sleep hours.
I haven’t been including naps in the sleep hours, and I’m not sure if I should. For example, on the 18th, I slept 10 hours, then napped another 3 hours later in the morning. Should I have counted that as 13?
I think I’ve put in place some safeguards to make sure I don’t wind up in such a sleep deficit again. The last half of this month went really well, and I hope March goes well too.
Goal: I will earn at least 6.5 more PMP PDU’s by the end of 2016
This was harder than I thought it would be. I had been enjoying my lunch breaks getting little things ready for the holidays, or getting things prepared for my clinic. But month after month time ticks away, and I knew I had to get back on track for this. So I did an online course for “Stakeholder Management”. It was only supposed to take 1.5 hours but I had to spread it over 3 lunch hours. It’s such boring material, but the PDU’s are earned. Just three or so more courses like that and this cycle is over!
Goal: Save Money
Status: Some saved.
I spent a little more on Valentines than I expected. But she’s worth it.
After reconciling all my bills, I was well in the black for January. Some of it is invested in mutual funds, so I hope that these investments aren’t just disappearing in the market.
Goal: Set a new Half-Marathon PB
The Chilly Half-Marathon is in just a few days, and I’m surprisingly unexcited about it. I guess as my 6th time I’m doing this race it’s lost a bit of its appeal. Then again, maybe there’s something to be said about the familiarity and comfort of doing this race so often. I don’t think I can go for a PB, but maybe that means I’ll just enjoy a Sunday run in temperatures above zero.
Let’s see how I feel by the Mississauga Half-marathon and if a PB is possible.
Goal: Document More
I am continuing to document things, including photos of my clinic during our runs. I’m especially proud that I published a race report for the Tannenbaum 10k. The race was in December, but February’s not too late. I still have to publish one for the Egg Nog Jog…
I really need to get more diligent about sleep. It will make weight loss and recovery much more dynamic. I should probably also stretch some more.
I definitely feel like I over-scheduled myself this year: With 3 days a week of weight training and 3 days with the Running Room clinic, I’m really taxing my body. But, the clinic is over at the beginning of May, and my Personal Training contract expires at the end of May. At that point it’s wide open, and I’ll definitely go for a more relaxed schedule and concentrate on overall health.
It kind of concerns me that I haven’t registered for any races after the Mississauga Half-marathon. Have I lost the running bug? Am I just trying to save money? Or perhaps I just need a new dose of motivation.