Wednesday, April 27, 2011

It has been a long time

Today is the 27th of April and it has been weeks since I have blogged. Simple reason. It has been weeks since I have had a good series of workouts.

Due to some health troubles, lots of travel, and some other personal/holiday stuff, I am struggling right now.

On Saturday, I did have a good workout. I walked for 15 minutes at 4MPH and then ran for 5 minutes at 6MPH. The 6MPH is the fastest I've run since 1979, so that was a good move forward.

Sunday was Easter and Monday I left for the trip I'm currently on. I'm headed home tonight and I'll be going back at it tomorrow.

Thanks for your patience. I knew this would be hard physical work. I way underestimated the logistics aspects to actually get to the physical part.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Another detour on the journey

Well, I've hit another detour.
It seems that I caught a cold or something while I was working in California.
Could have been the quaint but odd hotel in Redwood City that was "open air" so I had to walk outside from my sweaty workout back to hotel room. Could have been either of the mega-crowded plane trips to/fro.
In any case, I'm not in workout condition as my throat is sore and any strain sets me to coughing.
I missed Thursday and Friday workouts this week with an eye towards getting fully better before I head back out on the road on Monday.

Bummed, but I'm 100% confident I'm doing the right thing.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

update on the new segment

Today is the 4th day of my new, higher-octane segment of the 5K journey.
Each morning I've been walking 12 minutes at 3.9/MPH and then doing 8 minutes at 5/MPH.
This makes for a tough 20 minutes for a guy like me. However, it has gone to the almost routine stage already.
The really tough part comes when I finish the workout and realize that at these times, I can't even get 1/2 way to the 5K. YIKES

The good news is I'm moving forward with each two week set. The other good news is that I'll only 2 months into this 12 month journey.

All in all, things are all good.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

two weeks into the new combo pack

OK, things are really starting to more forward.
After the shoe fiasco that set me back some weeks, I'm getting the very strong feeling I'm making real progress.
Yesterday (3/26/011), I completed my latest two week segment.
I walked 15 minutes at 3.7/MPH and shifted to running 5 mins at 5/MPH. With 14 sessions behind me, I can honestly say it is tough, but doable.

This morning, I started the next segment. 12 minutes at 3.9/MPH and 8 minutes at 5/MPH. Still just 20 minutes, but a fair amount tougher than yesterday. Good workout that feels good.

Monday, March 21, 2011

It was my shoes!

This is a mentally painful post that reflects the psychically painful situation with my left knee.
No doubt you remember that my journey came to a full stop back in mid-February. There was an, at the time, unexplained pain in my left knee that made just regular walking difficult.
I took two weeks off and then I restarted with two weeks of walking only. Thankfully, there was no new pain.

Last Friday, just to test a theory, I put on the same shoes I wore the morning of February 18th. By 10:00, my knee was throbbing. I was shocked in one way and pleased in another. The shock was due to the fact that I'm third generation shoe dog and I've never bought a pair of shoes that caused me a once of trouble. Turns out that streak is now over. While I had had those particular shoes for over a year, something has happened to them that throws my skeleton out of alignment and drives too much pressure to the knee area.

The pleasure comes two-fold. First, because my theory was correct and the shoes were the problem. Second, because there is nothing wrong with my body and my journey can move forward with confidence and renewed vigor.

All's well that ends well.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Day by day along the way

Well, it looks like the decision to rest for two weeks and then re-start on a walking only regimen is paying off nicely.

Not only am I a week into the re-start, but I am pain free. I'm also to the point where the 20 minutes at 3.7MPH is becoming a solid and comfortable way to start my day.

I'll be sticking with the two week walking re-start and see how things are going next Saturday.

This knee injury had me worried on several levels. Fortunately, I remembered that like is a marathon (no pun intended) and not a sprint. By regrouping and giving myself time to rest and heal, I'm now in a much better position to complete his journey.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

four days in and going strong

Ok, the restart of the journey is going very well.
Today is the fourth day back on the treadmill. I''m doing 20 minutes at 3.7/MPH which ends up being about 1.23 miles.
This is certainly well behind where I wanted to be accordingly to the original plan.
However, the injury to my knee really but a full stop to things. The two weeks with no exercise put me in a somewhat dark and difficult place about doubting if I could actually do all this.

These past few days have restored my faith, my focus, and my vigor. It is my plan to workout at this same pace through the end of next week (through 3/19/011) and then make a new plan for pushing things forward.

All in all, I feel great and I'm pain free.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Back on the work-out wagon

Well, the first day back actually feels really good.
The two weeks of layoff, while necessary due to injury, didn't seem to set me back too far.
This morning I walked for 20 minutes at 3.7/MPH on the treadmill here at home. The distance was over a mile, but not the 1.55 miles that was my initial distance.

I can feel the blood pumping through my left knee. I'm very aware of it and where the pain used to be. However, the is no pain this morning just some soreness. I'll be watching/feeling it very closely during the day to see if I can continue at this pace tomorrow.

Before I started today, I decided to listen to my iPod. As if I was in some cosmic "strength of youth" moment, the "shuffle" put of Merle Haggard, Bruce Springsteen (twice), and the Eagles. Exercise always makes me feel young, but there was something special about this workout.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Last day or rest

Well, today makes the last day of rest before I restart my training tomorrow. I'm still not sure what happened to my knee, but I'm sure resting was the right thing to do.

Yesterday was the first day that I had no pain at all and today everything feels as good as new (new as in almost 50!) and I'm excited about starting up tomorrow.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Progress, sort of

Today is the first day that my knee pain has prevented me from walking normally. I've only been up for about 15 minutes, but it feels much better. However, the knee feels nowhere good enough to tax with a workout.

I'm on a tough stretch of travel. Home tonight on the last day of a three day trip to Houston. Sort of regular day tomorrow with a long drive to/fro Chicago in the mix. Three day trip to NY starts on Wednesday.

I'll be monitoring the knee very closely during all this travel with the hope of restarting workouts over the weekend.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Time grinds on and so does my knee

Well, I am now on day seven of knee rest.
Last Friday (2/18), I jogged just over 7 minutes and everything was fine.
Then I got on a plane to DC and during that ride, which took place 7 hours later, my knee began to ache like nothing I'd felt since High School. Here I sit a full week later and it still hurts!

One of the main cautions around starting to run again, is to not overdo it. 7 minutes hardly sounds like overdoing it, but I might be beyond my current running limit. The weird thing is, there was no pain until I got on the plane.

I'm hoping this is something non-workout related and that with some more rest, I'll be fine.

I'm going to give it another several days and we will see what happens.

I'm seriously bummed, but I really don't want to do any permanent damage.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Catching up after missing time

Due to the undocumented corporate policy of the people that run O'Hare International Airport, is was almost midnight on Thursday when I got home from my trip to Texas.

I was dead tired on Friday morning and it was just too easy to pass on my opportunity to do my workout. The fault for being late clearly goes to O'Hare. The fault for missing the workout is all mine.

I made Saturday morning a "speed" day and everything was fine. In fact, the treadmill in Austin showed me that I could run a little faster than I thought.

The price for skipping that Friday morning was paid this morning. It took everything I had to do the 40  minutes (I've just rounded up from 39min45secs) and I'm still feeling it at almost 11:00 this morning.

The good news is that I did complete my time this morning and that I've learned a valuable lesson along the way.

Tomorrow starts a tough stretch. I'm flying at 08:00, so I'm doing a speed day a 05:00. I'll be in NY for Tues and Wed working long conference hours. My hope is that this morning's pain will be a strong reminder to keep me on the workout path and on my broader journey.

Stay tuned to see how I hold up under this trip.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Another distance day

In an odd way, the fact that the treadmills at this hotel don't have the same sort of controls as the treadmill at home has worked out for me.

This morning I set out to do my 39 minute 45 second walk at 3.55MPH. However, I ended up with a 40 minute walk at 40 minute walk at 3.6MPH. Not very much of push, but a nice forced step toward upgrading both distance and speed.

I really didn't even notice the difference.

Great start to what should be a great day. Headed to my favorite place in the world today, the arms of my lovely bride at home.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

quick 2 day update

Hello from the Republic of Texas. It is above freezing down here, yet some people are wearing coats??

After that real awakening workout on Monday, I had a pretty easy day on Tuesday. It was a flying day, but I didn't leave the house until 09:00. Therefore, there was plenty of time to do my new full walking workout. The 2.32 distance is already seeming normal.

This morning, I was scheduled to do the 4.66MPH run for 6 1/2 minutes. The hotel has a nice little workout room complete with fancy treadmills. However, the fancy treadmills didn't have much flexibility. So...this ended up being a 7 minute run at 5MPH. It was tough, but not as tough as Monday.

I think that initial off period of 31+ years from running carried more shock value than body punishment. I was prepared for the run this time and I handled it well this morning.

All of this seems much more real. Feels good!

quick 2 day update

Hello from the Republic of Texas. It is above freezing down here, yet some people are wearing coats??

After that real awakening workout on Monday, I had a pretty easy day on Tuesday. It was a flying day, but I didn't leave the house until 09:00. Therefore, there was plenty of time to do my new full walking workout. The 2.32 distance is already seeming normal.

This morning, I was scheduled to do the 4.66MPH run for 6 1/2 minutes. The hotel has a nice little workout room complete with fancy treadmills. However, the fancy treadmills didn't have much flexibility. So...this ended up being a 7 minute run at 5MPH. It was tough, but not as tough as Monday.

I think that initial off period of 31+ years from running carried more shock value than body punishment. I was prepared for the run this time and I handled it well this morning.

All of this seems much more real. Feels good!

Monday, February 7, 2011

How far is this?


First day at anything beyond walking and I have a V-E-R-Y clear idea of how far away I am from this 5K goal. Today was supposed to be a "speed-day" where I would jog my first mile since 1979. Again, I say Wow!

The idea here was simple. For the next two week segment of the journey I would walk 2.32miles at 3.55MPH one day and then job 1.00mile at 4.66MPH the next. Distance-speed-distance, etc.

Yesterday, while a bit of a push was a very doable 2.32miles.

Today was another matter all together.

As soon as I started at the 4.66MPH pace I wanted to stop. While there was no actual thought of any real danger, a type of panic did set in. I was, I guess, expecting some sort of very fast walking. What I found was that 4.66MPH is actually a jogging speed.

Since I haven't jogged more than 10-15 steps since my soon-to-be 19 year old son was 5 or 6, I had some real trouble right away. Honestly, my first reaction was to just push the stop button.

Thankfully, the very real notion that this is journey and that I can command my own path on this journey just jumped in and calmed me down.

I didn't do the whole mile, but I did stick with it for a 1/2 mile. Time to recalibrate and start a new chart. As I write this, I'm not upset at myself or the outcome. I am surprised that I ever ran a full mile. The really surprising thing is that my 1/2 this morning took a little longer than my full mile back in '79.

I guess 30+ years between laps will do that to you :-)

I am ready to adjust the chart for the speed days and to do my 2.32 in the morning.

Lesson learned. Full steam ahead.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

A new section of the journey

Sunday 2/6/011. While it is not as important world-wide as the Super Bowl, today is also the first day of section two of my journey. The first two weeks went pretty well. A little slip here and there (including one on the ice near my sister's house), but I stuck with it and I feel good about it.

My body is responding to the workouts. I lost 5 pounds during those two weeks and the aches and pains of the section one training diminished over the two-week period.

Section two calls for alternate training. Today is a distance day. The walk will still be at 3.5MPH, but the distance will increase to 2.3 miles. Tomorrow is a speed day. The walk will be 1.0 mile, but the speed will increase to 4.66MPH.

Off I go!

Friday, February 4, 2011

2 tough days

First major bump in the journey.
We had an insane amount of snow on Tues/Wed and I had to fly on Thursday morning. The original plan to leave the house at 06:00 would have allowed me to walk on the treadmill.
Not knowing what road conditions and airport setup I would face, I left at 5:15 instead. Those extra 45 minutes are precious and I just didn't think I should get up early enough to walk.

In a wonderfully odd sort of way there was a fair amount of walking (although not at training speeds) at the airport in Milwaukee and through the airport in DC. Not a workout, but hardly a sedentary day.

I spent Thursday night at my sister and brother-in-law's house in Gambrills, MD. The plan, which impacted what clothes I brought with me, was to walk on their treadmill. Alas, the machine defeated me since I couldn't get it started and there wasn't anybody around to help.

So, I'm headed out now for a brisk outside walk in the neighborhood. Couldn't get the treadmill working, so out I go without the proper clothes. On balance, it is almost 50 degrees warmer here than at home yesterday. No way I'm get to miss two straight days.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

A day for the ages

Yes, yes, I did my walk today, but that is not the interesting part. It was very nice to walk today as this was the first day that I didn't really notice the pace or the reaction from body. Get on the treadmill, push a few buttons, glance a few times at the timer, finish walk, get off.

The amazing part about today was the weather. Since this is not a weather blog, I'm not going to type much. However, the weather here is so amazing that I simply can't not mention it. Since mid-morning yesterday, we have had about 15-18" of snow. I say about because the wind (30-50MPH) has made it impossible to measure the snow depth. There are spots in the back acreage that have drifts four feet high. There is also a six or seven foot patch on the sidewalk that is absolutely clear. The awesome power of nature never fails to amaze me.

Back to the walk. I'm now midway through week two of the journey. Next week, I plan to increase the distance and maintain the 3.5MPH pace.

Stay tuned.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Another day forward

Pretty straight forward day today.
Got up, did the mileage (still on plan at 1.55) walking.
Nowhere near as tough as yesterday. The day-off punishment of Monday morning is gone. Today was smooth.
Weight is 228.4
I've started to do some math around A) getting up to walking the 3.11 miles at 3.5MPH B) Increasing the walking speed for 3.11miles C) factoring in a walking/running split for 3.11 miles D) actually running the full 3.11 miles.
Wow, just typing ABOUT the math is making my head hurt. Good thing I'm not walking on my head!

More of the planning grid when it is completed.

Monday, January 31, 2011

First week done, second week starts rough

Well, the first week went pretty well. Despite a variety of easy-to-miss hurdles, I walked every day and I was starting to feel like the walks were getting much easier.

Then came the weekend. Saturday, my lovely bride and I went into the Big City for a wonderful party and we spent the night. Nothing crazy, but it was just enough to get me to miss my walk on Sunday.

Never fear, I was back at this morning. However, this walk was a tough one. I could really tell that I had missed a day and hadn't had enough rest and didn't eat well over the weekend. I wasn't a killer, but it was a painful reminder that this journey will happen one step, one sip, and one mouthful at a time.

More updates to come!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Second challenge met head-on

Well, another small "step" in this walking journey.

I did get up this morning and go outside for my walk. The universe was with me too. It was 21 degrees, a bit above the forecast for this morning. There was no snow falling and the local hotel/shopping area had already been plowed. These may seem like small things, but unless you live in the upper midwest you can't really appreciate the difference these things make.

Since I couldn't be exact about my walking speed , I walked about an extra 5 minutes just to make sure I got the workout I needed.

Again, this was a small step. However, it is a step that I have taken and it has brought me that much closer to that 5K race next year.

Going home tonight! Back to the treadmill tomorrow.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Back-to-back challenges

I'm only a few days into this 5K effort and today was the first day of back-to-back challenges. I'm on a "local travel trip" down and all around Chicago and parts south. Since my first meeting was 2+ hours from the house, I had to get up about an hour earlier than usual to ensure I had time for my morning walk.

I'm proud to report that I did it! The walk was more satisfying since I could have easily just not done it due to the earlier time. Thankfully, I bucked-up and met the first challenge.

Tomorrow, I'm facing the second day of the back-to-back. I'm spending the night in a hotel without a treadmill, so I will have to go outside for the walk. It will be about 18 degrees with light snow when I head out. As I write this, I'm committed and I'm building on the strength from this morning.

Let's see what tomorrow brings.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

My fist step on this journey

Hello all:

 My name is Michael Johnson and I started a journey over this past weekend. You can Search_Me to find out more details about my professional life. On the personal side, I am a wonderfully happy man with a beautiful wife, three great sons, and a super daughter-in-law.

 This posting makes the first step of what will, no doubt, be thousands and thousands of steps as I train for running a 5K race at the age of 50.

  My motivation for this is very simple...Love.

 I love my wife, I love my life, I love my children. I want to continue to experience my wife, my life, and my children for a long long time. Getting in shape for and actually running a 5K seemed like a good way to help ensure I'd be around for a while.

 Just to set the record straight, this is no mid-life crisis sort of thing. For openers, I plan on living well beyond 98 so I am nowhere near the middle of my life. Also, there is no crisis. While I am well above my "ideal weight" (whatever that means), all my numbers (blood pressure, heart rate, HDL/LDL, etc) are great. Anybody that knows me, knows that I'm the sort of person who has always been on the "husky" side of the sizing charts. mid-life and no crisis. Got it?

 This is just one of series of adjustments I'm making in an effort to become a better man, a better husband, and a better person.

 Now for some numbers.
49 -- I turned 49 on January 22nd 2011
232 -- That was my weight when I started this
228.8 -- That was my weight this morning
3.11 miles -- That is how far 5K really is. I'm not a believer in the metric stuff
1.55 miles -- That is how far I'm walking each morning
3.55 MPH -- That is my walking speed right now

That's it for today.