Kingry Metric Century


This was my second attempt at a Metric Century, and thankfully ended a whole lot better. I completed all 65+ miles dog-free, at a very good speed, and rode over half of it with a group of nine riders who challenged and encouraged each other.

As you can see from the graphic, this ride had only 1,600 feet of elevation gain, much less than the last ride. It was hilly, but not a roller coaster of high climbs and steep descents. There were more groups of riders, and more riders stuck around after the ride. We had a great BBQ lunch waiting at the finish, and all had a good time after the ride as well. It was everything the first ride was not.

My goal for both of these rides was to prove to myself that I could complete the 56 mile bike portion of my upcoming August Toughman 70.6 Triathlon.

Kingry Metric Century


National Running Day

Today is National Running Day in the US, and they have a link on their site to create a personalized running badge, which is shown below. It’s now just a couple weeks short of 10 months since I started working out – as a matter of fact my very first Sprint Triathlon on the 22nd will be a ten month anniversary.

My first recorded “run” was 2.5 miles at a 12:46 pace, and I could not “run” another step. My first lap swim, the same week, was 350 yards at an 8:31 min/100yd pace. I made huge progress the next swim, going 500 yards at a 5:41 min/100yd pace, and then it just got harder. I was sore in places I didn’t know I had, but I kept at it.


This is my reason for running, and why I went out this evening and ran 3.65 miles at a now slow training pace of 11:00 per mile…when the temperature was 91 and heat index said “feels like 96”. I was doing about 10:15 splits but by 2 miles thought I was going to die. I’ve been running in the morning when it’s cool. I’m going back to running in the morning! So for everyone who is still trying to get over that first hill, it does get better, and becomes enjoyable, peaceful, and frequently painful out on the road alone.

Of course once I got over that first hill I found that there is another, bigger, hill in front of me. And I know that if I can improve enough to get over it, there will just be yet another, bigger, hill past it. But I’m not running to get over the hills, I’m running because I love the view from the road.


I Got the Results Back On My Fitness Test

I completed an entire battery of fitness tests, at the local university, designed to give me an overview of where I stood on bone density, breathing, heart rate, etc. A lot of it was informative; the EKG part was great because it showed there was no problem with my heart that should interfere with my running, and it calculated fat content about six different ways plus it included bone density.

The fitness test was the common treadmill fitness test where they ramp up the speed and the incline until you stop. I never run on a treadmill, so it was a bit strange for me, and it turns out they measured my max heart rate before I thought I would fall off the back of the treadmill, and not my max heart rate.

I know this because the report says my max heart rate is 167, which seemed a little low, but they’re the professionals, right? So I updated my MHR values in iSmoothRun, and after today’s 5k it showed 98% of the race I was in zone 5. So I looked at my heart rate graph, and the first 5 minutes it was all over 170, close to 180 a couple of times. Now that was probably adrenaline, but still, max heart rate cannot be exceeded, and still be max.

So I changed by MHR to 180, and everything after that first five minutes fell firmly into Z4, which is where I should be, running my 5k pace.

So all-in-all it was a good report, and worth the money just for the positive EKG reports.

Goals for 2013

Looking back (a very short distance) at my four and a half months of 2012 fitness totals, I get these numbers:
(There are some extra treadmill and elliptical workouts added to the totals, for anyone who notices the math is not right)

Frankly, it’s staggering to me to think that in a third of a year I lost 39 pounds (I just missed my 12/31/2012 goal of 40 pounds) while walking/running/swimming 302 miles. Because before I started I had never run or done lap swims.

My initial goal when I started was simple – get out of bed at least three mornings a week and do some kind of exercise. And I have, so I’m now claiming a 100% success rate for 2012!

My 2013 goals need to be just a tad more precise, however.

  • To start, I want to lose that last pound and keep it off.
  • I also want to continue to lap swim three days a week, and run three days a week, for an hour every weekday and longer for my weekend run. My times will take care of themselves, if I spend that hour every morning.
  • I want to run three or four 5k and 10k races this spring, and get my 5k time to 33 minutes or better.
  • My longer goal is get ready for, and finish, a half marathon by the summer.

Nothing Much Has Been Happening

Yesterday I finally broke my goal weight loss barrier. I wanted to lose 36 pounds by Christmas, when I started, and I had no idea how achievable that was. Now I’d like to get down about 4 more pounds, and see if I can keep it there. Oh, and work on getting the stomach flat, to match the new look.

I this article yesterday, Burning energy may build up your brain and really liked the part that says “In the study of 876 adults (ages ranged from 69-95), those who burned the most calories had 5 percent more gray matter…If you want to maximize the effect on your brain, these physical activities are something people have to start engaging in earlier in life, in your 50s and 40s”. So I’m not just burning calories, and feeling better. I’m increasing my grey matter. Even better.

Since I finished my first 10k a couple weeks ago, I just been working on stamina in both swimming and running. I have finally gotten my 100 yard average time, for a one hour swim, to drop from a really bad 4:15 to a mostly bad 2:37. Which, if my math is correct, is a 38% improvement since the first of November. Before then, I did not even speak of times.

My running time is now below 10 minutes per mile, but I prefer to call it 7 minutes per kilometer, because it sounds faster. Still plenty of room for improvement!

I don’t really have any plans set for 2013, but already have a couple 5k/10k runs in my area that I I’d like to do. If I think I have progressed to being able to finish a half marathon still standing up, I’ll need to find one that happens before June, because by July it gets bloody hot in Alabama. June would be month ten of my new fitness life, so that’s also good timing.

So here’s to hoping I can keep exercising over the holidays, and keep the weight off as well, and head in to January with no backsliding. Merry Christmas to anyone who happens to see this post!

I Can’t Believe I’m Eating Yogurt

After putting on several pounds over Thanksgiving, setting my weight loss back a couple weeks, I decided I should man-up and try some of this Chobani Greek Yogurt I keep hearing about.

I bought a Plain and an Apple Cinnamon, and I have to tell you, the Plain was like eating Elmer’s glue. But I had already bought the Apple Cinnamon, so I tried it the next day. Maybe because the first attempt had set the bar so low, this one was edible – but not enough to buy it again.

But then I saw on the Chobani website that every flavor had a “likability index”. Non-fat Plain got a 291, and Apple Cinnamon got a 350. But Black Cherry got a 412, and I used to love Black Cherry Jello, so I bought one…and it is awesome! Stir all the fruit from the bottom and it is a smoothie right out of the cup. And it’s 0% fat.

So then I tried the 2% fat Pineapple (it got a 413) and to pump it up I added a Dole Pineapple Tidbits cup, and it’s great also.

Here’s the cool part – the nutrition benefits. The Black Cherry has 140 calories in a 170g cup, with no cholesterol, no fat, 70mg of sodium, 22g of carbs, 21g of sugar, 14g of protein, and 15% RDV of calcium.

To compare, a 6″ Subway turkey sandwich on Italian wheat bread (the lowest in sodium) with no cheese or condiments, has 280 calories in 221 grams, with 20g cholesterol, 810mg of sodium, 46g of carbs, 7g of sugar, 18g of protein, and 30% RDV of calcium.

Half the calories of a Subway turkey sandwich, a tenth the sodium, and a third the cost. Yup, I’m hooked.