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Kestrel Grey

Kestrel's Mighty Maxi-Mini Challenge (Vintage Cartoon Edition)

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12 hours ago, Kestrel Grey said:

This is the beginner friendly run and the shortest one available.

 

Yeah, our regional trail running club has a "beginner run" that I've done several times. It is friendly to various skill levels, and I fit in just fine, but I was kind of annoyed by the name. I'm not a fast or elite runner, but I don't see myself as a "beginner" in any way. Was talking to another woman about it (who I consider a badass) and she felt similarly. It doesn't seem like you have an issue with the name, but being a slower person in a so-called beginner group does not mean you aren't also a badass runner 🙂

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On Saturday, I decided to run an "aerobic fitness assessment" as the gym was open and these things are more precise on a treadmill than over hilly roads.  The test involved running 5 miles while staying fully aerobic (first ventilatory threshold).  It did not go well.  Moving from a brisk walk to the slowest run/shuffle possible let me stay at the threshold for most of the first mile, but by the second mile I had to drop to a walk so frequently to prevent an HR spike that there was no point continuing.

 

According to the test author, this means I am severely stressed, on my way to adrenal insufficiency, and should not be running at all.  Um.  I'm pretty sure it mostly means I am out of shape. :D  Though it is right in that I have been a little run-down recently.  It will be interesting to try it again next month.

 

On Sunday our trail runner's group had a make-up run for people who skipped Tuesday.  It was nice, because there was one person there who had never run hills at all so I felt less pressure to push a harder pace than I could maintain.  I walked up the hills and ran easily down, and it was pleasant.  I decided the limiting factor on my trail runs isn't actually my running.  It is my inability to hike hills quickly.  A fellow runner offered to hook me up with his coach, as she helped him a lot with hills - he runs mountain ultras now.  Apparently the first thing she asks is "how bad do you want this?"  I immediately noped out.  The last thing I need is encouragement to be more stressed over hitting running goals, when really I just want to get better at enjoying running.  My values allow me to pursue running goals, but not at the expense of health/family/work, so I have to be on guard against the darker side of obsession.

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This best thing to do is; Squat and not worry about it. As a former locally competitive runner I can honestly tell you trying to race other people is a disaster, do the best you can and enjoy yourself (as a real person easier said than done; ha)

 

If you want to conquer hills, first step is to do them; second add squats to your work out routine, I honestly only do body weight squats and lunges, no weight; even with those two exercises in my routine I can feel a major difference when running uphill. 

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3 hours ago, Capt Frost said:

This best thing to do is; Squat and not worry about it. As a former locally competitive runner I can honestly tell you trying to race other people is a disaster, do the best you can and enjoy yourself (as a real person easier said than done; ha)

 

If you want to conquer hills, first step is to do them; second add squats to your work out routine, I honestly only do body weight squats and lunges, no weight; even with those two exercises in my routine I can feel a major difference when running uphill. 

Thanks! Now that you say it, I do remember how much easier hills were when I was squatting. 

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19 hours ago, Kestrel Grey said:

On Saturday, I decided to run an "aerobic fitness assessment" as the gym was open and these things are more precise on a treadmill than over hilly roads.  The test involved running 5 miles while staying fully aerobic (first ventilatory threshold).  It did not go well.  Moving from a brisk walk to the slowest run/shuffle possible let me stay at the threshold for most of the first mile, but by the second mile I had to drop to a walk so frequently to prevent an HR spike that there was no point continuing.

 

Have you done these before? I haven't (and don't really know exactly what it is) so I'm obviously no expert. Just wondering if either the threshold you are using is too low or if whatever measurement you are using needs to be smoothed a little. Maybe try the same workout but allowing HR to go a bit higher (5 bpm? 10 bpm?) and then look at the data...break it into splits of some kind and see what the average heart rate is during each period (reducing the influence of small spikes).

 

Running on the treadmill can also be harder because people tend to overheat.

 

19 hours ago, Kestrel Grey said:

A fellow runner offered to hook me up with his coach, as she helped him a lot with hills - he runs mountain ultras now.  Apparently the first thing she asks is "how bad do you want this?"  I immediately noped out. 

 

Noping on that one sounds like a great decision. But I'm also loving the idea of you looking her in the eye and answering "Uh, more than a root canal, but less than an ice cream cone. I was hoping you could teach me some technique, not judge my life motivations."

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4 hours ago, Xena said:

 

Noping on that one sounds like a great decision. But I'm also loving the idea of you looking her in the eye and answering "Uh, more than a root canal, but less than an ice cream cone. I was hoping you could teach me some technique, not judge my life motivations."

That is fantastic. I may use that some day.

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4 hours ago, Xena said:

 

Have you done these before? I haven't (and don't really know exactly what it is) so I'm obviously no expert. Just wondering if either the threshold you are using is too low or if whatever measurement you are using needs to be smoothed a little. Maybe try the same workout but allowing HR to go a bit higher (5 bpm? 10 bpm?) and then look at the data...break it into splits of some kind and see what the average heart rate is during each period (reducing the influence of small spikes).

 

Running on the treadmill can also be harder because people tend to overheat.

 

It's Maffetone, so he is very firm on his calculation and it does seem to match up. An HR over 145 corresponds with my breathing getting heavier to speaking in partial sentences.  His thing is all base training should be done in what would be zone 1 in a 5 zone system, where I use zone 2. Because if I had to stay in zone 1 I couldn't run at all. 😂

 

But I think it is a good tracking test for aerobic fitness if I can get to that point.  He wants to measure just aerobic here, so you need to stay out of any anaerobic involvement.

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On 7/6/2020 at 1:31 AM, Kestrel Grey said:

According to the test author, this means I am severely stressed, on my way to adrenal insufficiency, and should not be running at all.  Um.  I'm pretty sure it mostly means I am out of shape. :D  Though it is right in that I have been a little run-down recently.  It will be interesting to try it again next month.

Sounds about like my Garmin telling me my run was "unproductive"

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Microhabits

Zero Week: Open my planner when I wake up in the morning (before checking my phone) while I am having my morning tea.

Week One:  Check in with my stomach before and midway through meals, and assess how hungry I am.

Week Two:  Get dressed (in workout gear when appropriate) immediately after breakfast putting my breakfast dishes in the sink.

Week Three:  Take lunch dishes out of my bag and put them in the kitchen, after putting the keys away when I get home from work.

Week Four:  TBA

Week Five:  TBA

 

As usual, my triggers need some finessing.  Opening my planner while still not quite awake isn't useful because I am in no state to think about organizing my day.  After/during breakfast is better.  Yesterday I bought a larger day planner with room for to-do lists so it will be more helpful in seeing what needs to get done.  Getting dressed after breakfast is great, but I needed something more specific.  Was I supposed to get dressed as soon as I finished even if I was in the middle of something?  After clearing breakfast away?  After breakfast but before I finished my tea?  Yes, I do need my triggers to be that specific or they don't work.  Checking in with my stomach has become pretty routine now.

 

This week's microhabit: taking my lunch dishes out of my bag, after putting away the keys when I get home from work.  I forget them in there and then they don't get cleaned promptly...

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I followed @Capt Frost's suggestion and squatted today.  Originally I had planned an easy run, but my ankle was still twingy from being rolled on Sunday so it seemed like a good day to restart a lifting routine.  Today's goal was to re-establish what weights I am lifting.  It was only moderately depressing.  My max for squat was around 130 last fall; today my form got wobbly at 105.  My OHP is the same because I never had any pushing strength to begin with, and the occasional pull-up practise this spring has kept my max rows at the same weight.

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On 7/7/2020 at 2:56 AM, Kestrel Grey said:

Because if I had to stay in zone 1 I couldn't run at all.

 

Yeah, I'm not sure that I could either.

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Just a quick update. Went for a long but gentle hike with a friend on Thursday. Otherwise I've been adulting and trying to be gracious about it. It's a work in progress.  If I wake up early tomorrow I'll be able to get a short run in before work/errands, and it will be the only one so far this week.

 

Gracious adulting. People do this all the time. I'm sure I can manage. Had to go back on my winter medication just to dredge up the enegy this week but maybe I'll get used to it.

 

Edit:

Actually it's been fun. My current inner monologue is 12 year old Kestrel in a whiny "don't wanna" mood. She's kind of cute. Much more fun to practice the acknowledge/dismiss method with than that jerk Bob.

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On 7/11/2020 at 10:19 AM, Kestrel Grey said:

My current inner monologue is 12 year old Kestrel in a whiny "don't wanna" mood. She's kind of cute. Much more fun to practice the acknowledge/dismiss method with than that jerk Bob.

I really like this perspective.  Much less adversarial and more "kind and loving but doesn't-take-any-crap mom" type of vibe. :) 

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Not much to update.  Mainly adulting and in a long work stretch.  I did get out for a short run on Saturday.  It felt nice, and the osteopath seems to have fixed my lopsidedness.

 

My inner child is being bribed into behaving with sugary treats; probably not the healthiest choice but I do what I can.  It seems to be working out okay and there have only been a couple morning tantrums when faced with the to-do list after not enough sleep.  Work isn't cooperating though and I end up getting home past midnight, and still too wound up to sleep for a while, most nights.

 

So this week's goals:

  • get out for two runs
  • keep sugary bribes to one a day max
  • maintain the microhabits, especially checking my dayplanner over my morning tea

 

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The week is almost over and wasn't that bad. :) Planning my day out over tea in the morning is helping me free up a little time for myself.  On Wednesday, I went for a run that turned into a walk because I was just too tired. The walk was still nice. On Thursday, I reclaimed some time for strength training. 4x5 at 75% of my 1rm. It felt good. There was an older man there who obviously was suffering under the isolation orders and came over to talk to me, totally invading my bubble, but he was so friendly and sweet that I didn't have the heart to tell him to back off. On Friday, I had time for a little bit of weeding but no other exercise.  On Saturday I squeezed in a 30 minute easy run and bought a ton of fruits and veggies at the farmer's market, then proceeded to eat none of it as I baked up a massive pile of French toast for brunch.

 

Today is my only day off and I plan on enjoying it, probably going for a long trail run or hike out somewhere nice. I'll decide after breakfast.

 

And that's my week!

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17 hours ago, Xena said:

Hope the day off was great

It was useful. I ran errands in the morning, but when time came for outdoorsy fun in the afternoon I was exhausted and slept for 2 hours instead. The extra sleep was needed more than a run though.

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Challenge Summary

 

New trending GIF online: cat, cartoon, tired, sleep, sleeping ...

Mini Goal wondering what happened to Mighty Goal

 

 

Mighty:  Run at least 3 hours a week

Mini:  Microhabits, with a new one added each week.

 

The Mighty half of the challenge was a complete bust.  Every week had something preventing me from running.  Let's see: there was a short quarantine order, a massive sunburn, a turned ankle, an ill husband, and needing to take on a larger amount of adulting than normal.  I suppose it's amazing I got in any running at all.   There is no reason to be anxious about it since the target races were all cancelled anyway but I had hoped to still make some progress.  On the positive side there were some beautiful runs over the past few weeks.  Summer in the Rockies is a glorious thing.  Did I mention I took a break in the middle of my last trail run when I came across a field of alpine strawberries?  I love those tiny things.

 

The Mini half did well.  Actually, with losing much of my free time in the mornings, the microhabits have saved me.  I have stayed more organized and therefore less stressed thanks to my morning planning over tea, and focusing my awareness on fullness has helped me not gain weight with stress-eating.  Getting dressed immediately after putting my breakfast dishes in the kitchen is not going as smoothly - there is some resistance on my part to committing to the day.  And I had to abandon emptying my lunchbag when I got home because the noise woke up delboy.   Microhabits in general work well with me and I will be adding in a couple old and a couple new microhabits for the next challenge.

 

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It sounds like a good challenge overall. And completely makes sense that some of the microhabits work and some of them don't. There were really good reasons for the ones that didn't stick, so you just need to find a different way to get to the same endpoint. Very successful experiments overall!

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On 6/20/2020 at 9:12 AM, Kestrel Grey said:

On Tuesday I went out with the trail running group again, this time on a steeper 13K run.  It was brutal and I finished far behind everyone else.  The uphills were long and grueling and tiring even to hike.  They were followed by steep downhills with lots of loose jagged rocks and roots that I couldn't easily run because I kept tripping.  It was an awakening experience - and it is pretty clear that I will not be up to 60K in a couple months.  As I reminded myself though, 60K was my stretch goal and I was going to see how I felt in August, then decide between a 30K and a 60K.  That is still the plan.

I'm really keen to get to a state where I can trail run well, it looks like heaps of fun. I think a slow build up is the go, even if I could do 10k on an easy trail that would still be awesome. Even finishing 13k is a really good achievement, especially on a more difficult trail. You'll get there with perseverance! 

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