My run this morning was for 60 minutes with the goal of staying in my zone 2. I didn’t want to run in the dark and keep monitoring my heart rate, so I opted for the treadmill at the gym. Unlike the variety of the intervals yesterday, I prepared myself for the potential boredom of an hour on a treadmill. I brought my iPad to read a book and put my headphones on. I wanted some music to keep me going, but I didn’t want the lyrics to interfere with my reading. So I did the practical thing – I listened to Benedictine monks chanting. The looks I got today from fellow runners when I told them what I listened to was hilarious. One friend at work thought I was kidding. I had to show him my play list to convince him I really did. I have the music for meditating and relaxing. I figured it was perfect for my run. I was able to read and it was not upbeat to the point I wanted to run faster.
The run went very well. I didn’t stop at all to walk to keep my heart rate under 133. I ran 5.05 miles in the 60 minutes and my average heart rate was 130. Today and this workout were milestones for me. This was the first workout I was able to run the entire time, stay in zone two, and average under 12 minute pace. Ah, the advantage of a treadmill or flat terrain. Today itself was a milestone too. With today’s 60 minute workout I have now walked, used the elliptical, swam, cycled, and ran year to date a total of 353.3 hours. For the entire year of 2011 I logged a total of 352.5 hours. I just surpassed all of my training from last year. My swimming is what really put me over, I have 30 more hours in year to date than all of last year. My running is catching up, with my marathon training I know I will surpass last year in both hours and miles. My cycling is so close. I am less than 4 hours and 110 miles away. I will make sure I pass it this year.
Will I hit 500 hours? Maybe. Does it matter? Not really. Only in that I am accomplishing so much more than I ever dreamed possible. And I am improving despite gravity and the passing of time. The same friend who couldn’t believe I listened to Benedictine monks today told me he never thought he would be as fit as he is now, and he is 53. At first I agreed, then I said “Why not?” All too often the excuse that with age it is acceptable to add weight, to stop exercising, and eat more of the “bad” stuff. That does not have to be the case. At all. From blogging I have come to know several people who defy these odds. Two that quickly come to mind are Fit Recovery and Tri-Grandma-Try. Very different people – Jim at Fit Recovery has an amazing story of how he was an alcoholic who was told in his 20’s his liver would not last long. Now he is sober and 41 – and killing it on the bike. Cindy at Tri-Grandma-Try is a grandma as her title explains. I love how she adds on her about page that in addition to triathlon she likes to sew, quilt, and knit. She is running, cycling, and swimming – in a wet suit in open water. I hope I am still doing it when I am her age. The only time I want to measure is the time I am enjoying life, and I want that to be all of the time.