Lessons learned from a habitual outdoor runner

Tag: health Page 1 of 3

March 2020, COVID-19, Stayin’ healthy

If you’re on planet earth you already know what’s happening in the world, so I’ll only share my March updates.

As I mentioned in an earlier post I was able to run a little again and how wonderful that is. I’m still taking it easy and trying different routine alterations to see how my knees react. I found three contiguous days of running about 5 miles, even at a slow pace, was a bit much for the knees, so whenever possible, I’m alternating running and cycling.

Yes, I am calling what I do as running, even though it’s slow and likely looks like a character Tim Conway used to play on the Carol Burnett show. It’s still dark in the morning when I run so at least I’ve got that going for me. Not that there are many people out in the fields where I’m running, or even in the town segments.

The March activity report shows that I’m still moving! I’ve learned a lot about recovery the last 6 months and continue to learn what works and what was a bad idea. If I can look for benefits from this period, it would include additional stretching (Yoga/Pilates) and strength exercises that I’ve incorporated. Also, just how amazing our bodies are at healing if we give them the proper help along the way.

Pursue health

An object at rest remains at rest, or if in motion, remains in motion at a constant velocity unless acted on by a net external force. – Newton’s first law (extrapolation)

Our mortal bodies left to themselves will self-destruct. We must pursue healthy nutrition and physical movement to counter balance. Our bodies don’t appear to be designed to lounge in comfort for extended periods, in fact, when in excess, comfort turns into discomfort. This becomes more obvious the longer we occupy this form.

I exercise everyday. Every-single-day. Why? In my mid 30’s the above became very apparent, yet I did what we humans usually do, ignored it and somehow believed the 18 year-old version of me was going to show up again. He didn’t.

In my mid 40’s the visits to the physicians and modern equipment and medications were being prescribed. If things were going to get better for this body someone had to do something. Oh, that was me, nobody else could do it. I wrote about this in more detail in some of my early posts on this blog.

So now each day I pursue my health.

If it’s going to be, it’s up to me.

Back to LoseIt from MFP

In an older post I described why I left the LoseIt app to use My Fitness Pal (MFP). Those reasons no longer exist and other circumstances on the MFP platform motivated me to switch back to LoseIt.

MFP is free, so is LoseIt, however things begin to diverge from there. The Garmin connectivity was my major reason to move to MFP, it was already there and not available on LoseIt. Now, LoseIt supports Garmin connectivity on their paid platform and when I combine the functionality and stability benefits of LoseIt, it was an easy move.

MFP has struggled to remain stable from a technology perspective, often times the system was unavailable or some features were not working properly. I work in tech, I get it, I can put up with a lot of interruptions, but after extended periods and a continued downward trend, other options become attractive.

Since I left LoseIt a few years ago, they have continued to improve the platform. This app/system actually feels like a health management assistant where MFP is sort of like a “spreadsheet” to store your data. I suggest you try them out and the focused purpose of the apps will become clear to you as well.

Run for life

We’ve heard this said numerous ways, as in:

  • I’m running for my life (being chased?)
  • I want to run for my entire life (accomplishment)
  • Running is my life (or focus)
  • Do these things, and you can run more/longer (competitive)

For me, running is one of the key elements that keeps me vital. Genetics, poor life choices, time, and circumstance are all influencing my physical presence and yours. Running has proven to be a significant asset in my journey to live out my purpose.

Several studies have pointed out the benefits of gut health and the impact on our longevity based on our personal diet (which is what works best for our body). Similarly, there have been studies showing that physical exercise like running can actually extend (rebuild) the age shrinking telomeres in our DNA structures.

I see running as my fountain of youth, regardless of what life brings, I’m doing what I can with the body I have to keep up with the changes and challenges being thrown at it.

Mind performance impact

The mind has so much influence on physical performance. My switch to the Garmin Forerunner 25 reminded me of some new personal records.

Apparently, the watches themselves keep track of the personal best times and do not check with the profile history on Connect. That’s ok as it is nice to feel the “new records” appear on the watch as I have those better days.

As I look back on my current personal records in the 5k, 10k, and half-marathon, I am reminded most of those were accomplished when I had some exciting things happening in life. There were new challenges and adventures on several fronts which apparently provided some additional motivation.

I’m still working through the book, Running Flow, and many of the examples and research points are very relatable, and it is good to read the stories of other runners.

Now, to work on freeing my mind so I can run free of mental obstacles!

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