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Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Workout: Day Twenty Six

40 minutes today.  Well, 35 with a 5 minute kicker at the end.

I'm catching up to my goal pretty fast -- Thursday I managed 10 minutes at 4mph on a 16% incline.  Yesterday I managed to more than double it to 25.  Today I slugged it out and made it 40.

It's always when I get *this* close to a goal that it starts to mess with me, starts to psyche me out.  I faced it with my ol' 3.7 nemesis and now, here as I approach the 4.0 I can feel it peeking around the corners once more.

Writing's been tough as of late, trying to find the quiet time I need to get my head back in the game.  Unfortunately one of the side effects of all this exercise is that I've been sleeping my eight hours even if I don't intend to.  My ol' 6am writing sessions, the last bastion of 'me' time, have started to go the way of the Dodo thanks to my increased need for sleep and our son's new wake-up time of 7am (which means we tend not to be able to get him back to bed until 8-8:30... which means I basically have to start getting ready for work).

I'm currently trying to figure out a way around this but so far it's a bit of a no-go.

Back in the day, I could sit there and write in the middle of a house party -- I could just shut everything else out and focus.  Now, the slightest sound seems to break my concentration.  I'm sure a part of that has to do with that whole 'making sure my son is still alive' thing... but man, what I wouldn't give for a decent pair of noise-cancelling headphones and the ability to actually use them.

That said, as I've mentioned before, my workout times have become a sort of new creativity bubble for me; a place to test run ideas in my mind as I pound the calories into the ground.  I thought about running a microphone or something to talk out my ideas as I do my workout but a quick little jaunt into Imaginationland showed me that that'd not end well.  I have enough problems keeping oxygen in my lungs as it is, wasting it on silly things like 'talking' would surely put me into full 'faceplant' mode.

Anyways, yes, today I pulled out 40 minutes -- I think these last ditch 5-minute bursts are actually helping me along somehow.  Some of it's physical, but most of it's mental.

It's an odd thing because I've talked to a few people at the gym now and the general message has been 'don't watch the clock!', telling me to just forget about it and push onward.  Except that the clock has actually helped me -- I use it to psyche myself up, to keep track of where I am, to see how much I have left to go.  It's become a valuable tool -- honestly, there's nothing as amazing as watching those final seconds tick down just as you feel like you've got nothing left in the tank.

Here are today's stats (and yes, the lower calorie burn is actually from moving at a faster pace... I'm not sure why jogging at 4.0mph burns less calories per hour than walking at 3.7 but that's how it goes, apparently):

- User
Age = 31
Weight units = 230

- Workout
Elapsed Time = 60:00
Avg Heart Rate = 179
Max Heart Rate = 192 <-- These final bursts of speed are really kicking the shit out of my heart rate.  Today I looked at the 'heart rate scale' on the treadmill and 192 is so deep into the Red that I'm almost at 100% heart rate capacity.  The more that I think about that the more I realize that that's probably not a good thing.
Avg Speed Units = 3.9 mph
Max Speed Units = 4.0 mph
Avg Pace = 15:23 /mile
Distance = 3.90 miles
Calories = 1282  <-- Yes, I moved faster, ran farther... and burned less calories than yesterday and the day before.  Sheesh.

- Cool Down
Elapsed Time = 2:00
Avg Speed Units = 3.6 mph
Max Speed Units = 4.0 mph
Distance = 0.12 miles
Calories = 19

- Total
Elapsed Time = 62:00
Avg Heart Rate = 179
Max Speed Units = 192
Avg Speed Units = 3.9 mph
Max Speed Units = 4.0 mph
Avg Pace = 15:23 /mile
Distance = 4.02 miles
Calories = 1302

If we subtract that from what's left to burn (4419) then I've got 3117 calories left to burn in 4 days.

Fingers crossed, I'm going to push for the whole one hour tomorrow.  It's only an extra 20 minutes.  Mind over matter, right?

Cheers,
Brandon

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