December 1, 2013

Baby Steps

Welcome back from the Holiday, Y'all.  In a wonderfully surprising development, despite 6 days in the delicious land of pork, lard, and fried, I only brought 1 lb. of the South back with me.  The previous record low has to be at the lowest 4 lbs -- so this is a PR.  It may be my only fitness related PR this year, so I'll take it.

Given that I indulged as much as I did, this is kind of amazing.  I mean, we had a HUGE Thanksgiving afternoon of food and wine (*AND* the first bloody mary I've ever actually enjoyed -- my Dad was a big bloody man, so I was pleased to finally understand.  Apparently, for me, it just needs to be *ridiculously* spicy and it has to have a pickle, then I'll love it and sip it with care much longer than everyone else in the room, which is a great side benefit of its own).  The other notable indulgences on the short trip included all of E's family/Southern food awesomeness including E's Mom's meaty spaghetti, E's mom's ground beef and risotto stuffed peppers, a lunch of a meat sandwich and potato chips (seriously -- no vegetables at all), spanakopita/pimento cheese/salmon mouse tartlette/etc. hors d'ouevres with wine or champagne before various meals, gratuitous bacon (of course), sausages (for dinner), japanese everything at a deliciously authentic ramen++ lunch out with the family, a true Southern "vegetable plate" laden with fried okra, fried sunchokes, broiled broccoli, mac and cheese, and collard greens cooked with ham, a fancy burger bar joint lunch with friends and fried pickles (Seriously -- I LOVE me some fried pickles), a true Southern breakfast of egg-in-a-hole with roasted tomato preserves and a side of cheese grits (in a sacrilegious but much appreciated deviation, they offered sauteed kale as an option in lieu of a biscuit or potatoes -- but the biscuit is apparently the best in ATL, so choose at your own peril), plus lots of delicious wine, beer, and, in a late night jet-lag hunger random kitchen raid, half a bag of Inca Corn Nuts.

You see what I'm saying?  This PR is a veritable miracle.  Go me.

After the eating orgy and the hard, hilly, and cold (but slow) effort at the ATL Thanksgiving 5K, I was inspired to try to pull together my end of year and early 2014 running/fitness goals.

Turns out, they are fairly simple.  Today, I did a very easy 5.5 miles at 10:35/mile, another 0.5 mile walking cooldown and closed out a week of 16 miles total.

If I increase that "long run" by approximately 1 mile/week (on average), I'll be ready for the Foster City 10 mile race in January. So I think I'll go ahead and sign up for it.  This should keep me honest in my running workouts over the holidays, which I need -- particularly since our Christmas/New Year's travel involves hiking, and without a running goal, I'd run the risk of writing off entirely too much time without a run at all.

After that, I'm thinking I'll do the Kaiser Half and the Oakland Half Marathon (which claims to have coupon codes for Cyber Monday -- so check it out if you're thinking of joining the fun).

My big fitness focus for the next three months is going to be on my diet/overall caloric balance, flexibility, and building up my average mileage per week without getting injured.  This likely means that my paces may take the hit or at least may not drop, but I'm hopeful that this means I'll build a decent mileage base without injury and lose some weight before trying to push on pacing (as, when I try to run hard and I'm on the heavier side, I'm more likely to pull something -- see my SJ RNR dnf).  I am happy to note that both the Foster City run and the Kaiser half have much less elevation change than the ATL 5K, so at least I can comfort myself that if nothing else, I'm already prepared for the hills...this is an anomaly for me, but one that is much appreciated.   

Other than that, I'm looking forward to spectating at CIM for inspiration next weekend and getting back in the Bikram studio and working towards multiple sessions per week while I'm in town over the next few months.  Ideally I'll get in tomorrow, but, realistically, it's the first true day back after the holiday, so if work doesn't allow it, then definitely sometime this week.  There, I said it.  Now it has to happen.


Jen said...

Your time in Atlanta sounds deliciously indulgent. I'm tentatively running all 3 of those races too - fun!

Biting Tongue said...

@Jen -- yay. Hope we get to catch up at all 3!