Keith Gets the Runs: 11 Down, 1 to Go

Nice title, eh? No, my digestive tract is fine. This is just an update to let you all know I managed to keep my running regiment throughout the holidays while visiting friends & relatives back in the frigid east.

As you may recall, I set a goal back on December 15th to run 12 times in four weeks. A picture is worth at least several dozen words:

Nike+ goal run 11 of 12

As you can see from the second picture below, I actually have already run 12 times. However, my first run was before I set the 12-in-4 goal.

Nike+ first 12 runs

In other news, I met with TB’s personal trainer, Michael, this past Sunday to have my personalized heart rate training zones calculated. The hour-long test calculates the heart rate zones to make my aerobic activities most optimal for increasing my endurance and helping me burn calories more efficiently.

In addition to $85, the lactate threshold (as in acid, not milk) ramp test cost me blood, sweat and ego during a grueling treadmill run just up to my body’s physical limit. To put things in perspective, I actually enjoyed the finger pricks every 4 minutes, during which my blood lactate level was measured; those brief 10-15 second breaks provided a welcome rest just before the treadmill speed was increased. (I hear the VO2 max test is even more intense but I have a ways to go before I need to worry about that.)

I’m sore, but it’s a good sore. I’m also sleeping better. I attribute this mostly to the increased physical activity but also, in part, to a better diet. I just hope I can maintain both which would mean a healthier lifestyle. As we all know, it’s not easy.

What’s my plan after I reach the 12-in-4 goal? Michael put me on a 5-hours-of-cardio-plus-2-hours-of-strength-training-per-week program which started today. I will need to mix in some cycling, elliptical and stairmill to break up the monotony but I will continue to track and report my runs here on my blog.