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July 17, 2016

I Failed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I failed.  It's as simple as that.  Nine weeks ago I committed to a pair of goals:  To run the 10k at the Bob Marshall Music Festival at a 10 minute per mile pace and to cut my weight down from 178 lb. to 170 lb.  I didn't get close to either.  I was able to work out hard and enjoy it.  However, in spite of dropping what I ate down considerably, the greatest rate I was able to lose weight at was about 1/2 lb. a week. 

The actual numbers were 11.5 minute miles and a weight of 174 lb.  The former does mean that I'll be able to set PR's on any course I run, as well as best times on a treadmill since moving to Seeley Lake.  The latter means I weigh less now than I have during any of the last ten summers except 2013.   That summer, I averaged 10 mph while riding my mountain bike on dirt and hills four and a half hours a week the entire summer. 

These would be much more consoling if I had gotten closer to my goals.  More than anything, I'm embarrassed about how little weight I actually lost.  I set a goal, made a commitment to myself that was certainly reachable, and I didn't get close. 

As for the running---both goals were related to the race----what I have found is my body weight is the biggest factor in keeping my times so slow.  I'm not sure where I would have ended up had I lost the weight I had wanted to lose----I really doubt I would have run ten minute miles----but I would have done much better.   As poorly as I did in losing weight, my workouts went well.  I moved from no running to multiple four plus mile runs per week without any injuries.  I alternated comfortably between runs during which I pushed myself hard and runs that just kept me warm and happy.  Add in a couple of Nordic Track workouts each week and my cardio and legs were doing fine.  If I had lost the weight I wanted to, I would have been happy with my time regardless of what it was.  I still jogged 10k without either resting or changing my gait.  As a sixty year old who's seen too many of his friends' condition go to hell, not to mention friends' bodies suffer from issues they could not prevent, I am happy I can jog at all. 

What I did miss during the past two months were TKD workouts and biking.  I didn't stop completely, but these came few and far between.  Happily, now that running will move back to being primarily an enjoyable form of conditioning, I'll be able to do those more.  Moving forward, I figure I'll run twice a week, bike once a week, do one or two TKD workouts a week, and then one or two Nordic Track workouts each week.  I'll also combine some of the working out---a favorite hard workout is a full monster:  a two mile jog followed by all of my TKD patterns.  I haven't done one of those yet this summer, but am looking forward to it. 

My theory on life is the key isn't not screwing up.  Everybody screws up.  The key is recovering gracefully after you've screwed up.  My response to my failure at losing weight is to continue to diet.  I have lost some weight.   I certainly think I can continue.  The only nuance I'm adding is, rather than focusing strictly on losing weight, I'm going to focus on losing fat.  I had my body fat percentage measured today at 18.8%.  My goal is to have that drop by 2.5% by the end of summer.

Two years ago, I had my body fat measured for the first time in many years.  Even though Terryl told me the numbers were really good, I walked away disappointed.  I dreamed of having my body-fat percentage be at 10% and, at least once she said the numbers looked good, figured it had to be under 15%.  It was the same 18.8% I got today.  Only after the test did I learn about how body fat changes with age.  It ended up that 19% at 58 was more or less equivalent to 10% at 25.  At least I felt good about that.  Moreover, I felt great about having a better understanding of aging in general as well as for me, in particular.  Nothing in life thrills me more than learning.

My favorite run is a 2.3 miler from my house to highway 83 and back.  It passes through pastures with expansive views of the Swan Range.  Coming back, I see the hills I bike and mush in.  And, I cross the Clearwater River both ways.  I get to do this as a sixty year old.  That's a privilege and I will do a better job of living up to it.     

  

   
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