January 3 – An ill wind

Suffering the slings and arrows all in the name of fitness and to face this challenge head on. Day 3 done. No blues here.

5KMelissa did her 5K indoors today at a gym on a treadmill, which is fine, considering how cold it was here today. The cold plus the wind makes for a very good excuse to stay indoors. It was so cold and windy when I went out at lunch, I almost didn’t go. I did go, however, and I drove instead of taking my walk to the little diner I frequent for lunch.

By the time I got home, it was dark again, so no picture of me claiming victory over the elements. I did my 5K outside in the wind and cold. My performance wasn’t spectacular today. An average of 14:14 minutes per mile. Not bad, but not great either. However, let me say that I had to motivate myself just to do it at all in the cold. My best pace was 8:14, but of course, that is only sustained for a few minutes during my downhill jogs. In all, it was a good 5K and I’m happy with it. I did it and I finished, so that can’t be bad.

At mile two, I suffered a bit with the cold air. I suggest that you wear a scarf over your face so that you don’t breathe in so much cold air because it hurts. It hurts my chest and throat to breathe it in. Suffering the slings and arrows all in the name of fitness and to face this challenge head on. Day 3 done. No blues here.

January 2 – Dark Days

My basic strategy for this 5K, and all races really, is to jog the downhills to increase my overall pace.

No picture today I’m afraid because it was dark by the time I got home, changed, and hit the road for my second 5K. I decided that today I’m going to do the jog/walk strategy and see what kind of time I can turn in. It is my own personal challenge and is not part of any workout format or online routine. It’s just something I decided to do in the moment. According to the MapMyWalk iPhone app, I covered 3.12 miles in 39:35 minutes, which is approximately 12:42 per mile. Not bad considering that my walking average is somewhere between 15 and 16 minutes.

I also wear my Withings Activite Watch that measure steps by arm swings. It is pretty accurate, but be aware that it isn’t precise. In a 5K walk, I lose about 500 steps, so that’s something to consider. I suggest using a geo-tracking device or app to give you a more accurate measurement. Step watches aren’t bad, but they just can’t compare to their satellite-based competitors.

My basic strategy for this 5K, and all races really, is to jog the downhills to increase my overall pace. I don’t jog fast, but jogging is at least twice as fast as walking, so I use it to get those lower mile per minute numbers. I also sometimes jog level ground, after I’ve caught my breath a bit. No, 12:42 won’t win any medals, but it also puts me far from the back of the pack, so I’m happy with it.

Melissa walked her 5K today on her own. She didn’t provide any details. To her credit, she has been sick for a week and does well to get out and walk 3 miles. Kudos to her for being dedicated to our challenge.