One of the reasons I run

87F31B0F-This morning, I was a grader for my National Guard’s annual physical fitness test. I took my own test last month and scored a 273 out of 300. Today, I took the scores down for the soldiers taking their own tests.

It’s days like this that I’m glad I’m fit. I am leading from the front, and by example. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Post-Run Report: April 19, 2017

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This was a much shorter run and at a slower pace as I get ready for my APFT on Saturday. For the first quarter of a mile, I tried the new running technique which was a mistake. My calves started hurting and they ached for the rest of the run. I hope this doesn’t effect my run time on Saturday. I should have stuck with my plan to not change anything until after the run, but I was too eager to see if it could perhaps make me faster. Instead, it may end up slowing me down. I’m hoping two days of resting the muscles is enough for me to not experience any pain for a full-effort run on Saturday morning.

I started with 75 push ups. Again, not max-max effort, but I’m hoping for 80 on Saturday morning. Not that I need to go that high, but I want the guys to know that I can do the true max, not just the max for my age group. Things like that matter to soldiers.

I now begin my pre-APFT break. I will post on Saturday as soon as I can after my APFT to report on how I did. I’m hoping for 61 sit ups in two minutes, 61 push ups in two minutes, and a run close to 16 minutes (or less). As for weight, I’m well under my max, so that’s not even a remote concern at this point for the first time in a very, very long time.

The Big Week

img_57441This is a big week for me. As a new National Guard soldier, I will be taking my first APFT, or Annual Physical Fitness Test. Since I’m an old guy, the standards are a little lower for me, but basically I need to do 61 sit ups and 61 push ups in 2 minutes and complete the 2 mile run in under 19:40. Well, as of my last few runs, I was completing the run closer to 16:30, so I think I’m going to be in good shape. As for my weight, I’m a good 6 lbs under my max, so even there, I’m in good shape. My body fat is around 15%, well under the maximum allowable for my height/weight.

This week, my workouts will be a little different. I will likely go for 3-3.5 miles today (weather willing) and then do a slow run on Wednesday; like a 3 mile run. I’ll take off Thursday and Friday to have my muscles be as fresh and ready as possible on Saturday morning.

I’m actually looking forward to the APFT which is something I never did in the Marines. I’m a much more active runner now than I was as a Marine, and I actually run for fun. I never thought I’d be a person who enjoys running, but I am.

Post-Run Report: March 30, 2017

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Today’s run was actually really quite nice. I wasn’t really in the mood to run or exercise, but I decided to just go out and do it anyway. What’s 30 minutes out of my day to stay fit anyway, right? The temperature outside was perfect; not too hot, not too cold, and not too humid. I did my 70 push ups and then hit the pavement. My pace average was pretty decent. Not sub-9’s yet, but I figure I’ll be back there again soon enough. I did push it, but not too hard. I pushed just hard enough to get sub 9:30’s.

My next run will likely be sometime Saturday. Not sure exactly when, but most likely in the afternoon. Hopefully, it’ll be nice out as well.

Post-Run Report: March 6, 2017

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I had my first run since returning from vacation in Spain. My wife asked me if I had a good run, and I answered her by saying, “Not really, but it had to be done.” Now, don’t get me wrong. I do enjoy running, but today’s run wasn’t pleasant. It was hard work and it was painful at times. I didn’t understand why until after my run when I looked at my stats.

The first half mile, I ran hard because I wanted to beat the 10 minute mile pace. Well, I guess I was a little over-zealous, because my first half-mile pace was an 8:34/mile pace. My second half-mile was at a 9:17/mile pace, and I kept it under a 10 minute/mile for the first two miles. Only the last mile went over by a little bit, but that was to be expected after the lack of running as much as I normally do in the last two weeks.

Overall, I am happy with the average pace being under 10 minutes/mile, though. That did make me happy. Also, I pushed myself to do 65 push ups. Well, not really pushed myself, but I was able to do them without much trouble. I could have pushed to 70 or even 75, but I figured there’s no sense in causing myself arm pain tomorrow. Besides, I’m already over the required 60 push ups in two minutes for my Army APFT, so at this point, I’m working on gravy.

I’ve yet to start my sit ups. I need to do that before my next run on Wednesday. I have my first APFT in April, and I need to do my very best. I want to show the soldiers I’ll be working with that I’m ready for the tasks at hand, and that I take this seriously.

After all is said and done, I’m glad to be back to my routine. My legs felt pretty good, and although I’m a bit tired, I’m more relaxed having run. I actually am already looking forward to my next run. There are things I’ll do a little different (like not start off so blazing fast). I need to even my pace a bit more on my runs.

Post-Run Report: March 1, 2017

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Although I planned on running more while in Spain, I was only able to get in two runs in the 12 days I was on vacation. This was my second run. My first run in Spain was in Barcelona, and this run was in Madrid’s Parque del Retiro. I’m glad I got out there and ran, but I do with I ran more often.

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With that said, the run was actually pretty decent. I had to work pretty hard running up some hills, but that was a good thing. My breathing was okay, and my legs felt pretty good, too. My pace was much slower, though, due to the altitude. I never realized how high Madrid was! All the walking we’ve been doing in Spain made sure my legs were still strong, though. I could definitely feel the lack of cardio coupled with the altitude, though.

My push ups definitely suffered: I’m down to doing 60 instead of my usual 80. No worries, though: I’ll bring those numbers back up over the coming weeks.

I am happy that I ran on vacation, even if it wasn’t as much as I had planned. I made it a priority, and I stuck to it. It was also nice to run in such beautiful places. I will always treasure the memory of running in these locations, and I hope to be able to do so more in the future.

Post-Run Report: February 1, 2017

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Today was an interesting run. I set out to take my time and have a comfortable run. I also set out to do over 4 miles, which I did. What surprised me was my pace: 9:34. This is within my happy range. I am able to consistently run within the 9:30’s, which is good for a comfortable slow run. When I kick it up, I can hit sub-9’s, which is my PRT goal (that’s what they call PFT’s in the Army/National Guard).

As for push ups, I did 70 and called it good. I could have knocked out the last 10, but I wasn’t feeling it. The day was long and a little stressful, so I felt I could use an easy workout day. Oddly, running 4.13 miles felt good, and the last mile was really very pleasant.

I’m getting the hang of this running thing more and more. I can’t say I love it when I start a run, but by the end of it, it’s actually pretty nice, and when I finish? Even better. It’s a great sense of accomplishment, and the stress or anxious feelings I’ve carried with me for the day all melt away. After a nice hot shower and then dinner, all is good with the world.