God, I’m rusty at this, but it’s time for an update, if only to push the Gallowalking stuff down the page. The highlight of my life these days, however, has nothing to do with running, but I’ll start with that anyway.
The Running Scoop
I did the run/walk deal for 2 months. It worked well in that it got me extending my runs and allowed me to explore Richmond. Eventually, I started jonesing for continuous runs again and dropped the walk breaks. But it still seemed my runs were more laborious than should have been for the slow paces I was taking. So finally, I strapped on my heart-rate monitor (which I should have done months before). I wanted to see if there was a real reason it felt tough, or if I was just being a wuss.
Turns out, there was a very real reason…my current sluggish paces were producing the same heart-rate as my old tempo runs! Specifically, a 170bpm that used to bring me a 7:11 tempo pace was now reaping me 10+mi/min. Sobering as this was to see, it brought a sense of relief as well, because at least now I had an objective basis with which to deal.
Thus began my next experiment: Hadd Heart-rate training, where you keep your heart-rate at 75% aerobic zone throughout the run. Since my max is 193 bpm (maybe a couple beats higher but that’s what I’ve clocked a few times), 75% is 145 bpm.
It was quite a challenge at first; I initially had to intersperse random walking to get my HR back down – my pace during this time was over 12min/mi! The only time I’ve ever run that slowly (no offense to those who do, just relatively speaking from my old self) is when I began running for the first time in 2007, and that only lasted a matter of weeks.
Anyway, after about 10 days, the numbers showed improvement, though a couple weeks ago I regressed due to a stretch of icy weather; my growing mileage (a mere string of 30mi weeks) came to a sporadic putter.
I’m back at it now though, albeit annoyed with the heart-rate monitor, the regression was a little confidence-killing, making me want to run without thinking about numbers and not wear the damn strap [insert footstomp here], which I have done for the last couple runs if only to soothe the whiny child. But I can only fool myself to a point: if the heart-rate numbers are not good, ignoring them isn’t going to help. So back on the wagon I go.
I have a master plan beyond the day-to-day training though. I want to find out once and for all if my shitty running is due to low mileage or if my body has shifted permanently. No biggie if the latter, but resolution would be nice, giving me a break from being mean with myself “you lazy bum!” If I am just a lazy bum, that’ll be fine too, I’ll own it! But let’s give discredit where discredit is due.
So I need to run more mileage consistently to get a proper tell. Until I do that, I can’t fairly compare heart-rate data to previous years because when I began the sport, I added mileage at a rapid rate, so my current mileage needs to be near the same ballpark to make proper comparisons. Luckily, Spring is in the air so I’ll be able to manage it easily. I’m thinking 3 months of steady 40mi weeks should reveal the story.
FORTUNE! The Real News
Something so odd and unexpected has happened. Over the course of a few short months I have, despite my penchant for being a financially-struggling loser, become a monetary success.
Remember the main reason I moved from Philly was for a lower standard of living? Because if something really was happening to me healthwise, I’d be in big trouble since I didn’t even have a savings account, while my retirement plan consisted of “La la la, I can’t hear you”.
Also remember, last April I started concentrating on & building Nifty Printables. The whole reason for doing that was borne out of desperation: I was going to move and without voiceover income to count on, I had to create another source of income.
From the moment I started, sales grew much faster than expected, customers were returning, I was having a blast adding new designs, that by August when I moved to Richmond, I felt financially confident enough to buy a new car and spend more on rent than I had initially planned. At that point, I was day-dreaming “Whoa, maybe I could make $72,000/year with this thing!”
Life moves rapidly sometimes. This January, I started making stupid money. I mean STUPID money (as in 5 digits a month). So, er…yeah, I’ll be making over $100,000 this year, all self-powered. And to think it was just a year ago that I was inquiring on Facebook for cities to move to where I could pay $700/mo rent and not need a car.
So that’s my story. I hope the next installment brings conclusion to the running story (improvements on the horizon? or is this all there is?) – either way will be fine. Life is pretty rich regardless.