Thursday, May 18, 2017

Quick Update of the Fast and Addition of a Challenge

Quick update on the fast:  It's been pretty challenging the past week and a half due to illness and the constant rotation of waking hours my job requires and things have gone a little haywire.  I have not gotten into the 14 hour fasts yet and am simply attempting to maintain 12 hours consistently; which I've done OK with.  I've completely lost focus in regards to maintaining my journaling, I just acquired a new cell today actually but haven't had time to set up the necessary tracking features, and I've missed some other consumption goals such as daily kimchi and my daily veggie quota.  But, all is not lost.  I'm still dropping weight consistently, post meal consumption issues have lessened considerably, and I've decided to extend this for at least a couple more weeks as I try and decide if this is just trial or whether it could and should become my daily life.  There will be more updates forthcoming in the coming days and weeks so stay tuned!

Overall, the experience I've had and am having with fasting, has been positive.  I'll get into much greater detail in the next week or two when I write another post dedicated to the subject but I really believe that what I've been doing the past few weeks and how I've been feeling contributed greatly in my decision to take another step forward on my path to health improvement:  I signed up for my first running race over the weekend!  Now, it's not a marathon but rather a 5.5  mile (mile, not kilometer) trial race  that I scheduled for months out so that I've have an opportunity to build into training while reducing the risk of overuse injury.  My spot is paid for and booked, it's in the calendar and in-fact I've already begun training and dropped some dough on new footwear.  In reality I have no idea how this process will actually go but I'm in it now so many of the questions are of no concern.

So why did I chose to take on such an endeavor?  The answer is really two fold.  The first is that for the past months I've been watching some personalities I follow on social media discuss and post pictures from the various areas they trail run.  Alex Viada of Complete Human Performance is a crazy all around athlete who takes on and promotes a variety of athletic pursuits with trail running among them.  The other is Bow Hunter, Ultra Marathon, and Under Armour sponsored athlete, Cameron Hanes.  The other night I finally hit the point where I could deny their inspiration no-longer and made the decision to just go for it.

All Good Things Must Come To An End
The second reason is pretty straight forward.  I wanted to give myself a reason to do cardio that would be hard to bitch out of.  Weight training is fun, I enjoy doing it, so, in-general, it's not that hard to talk myself into getting after it even on the days I'm not feeling great.  Provided I can force myself through the warm up, I can get it done and and even relatively enjoy myself. When it comes to doing cardio, however, convincing myself that it's OK to skip is far to easy.  I don't like to run for the most part and yet, walking takes too long.  I don't mind throwing some sprints in now and again but lately they just remind me how out of shape I am so that wasn't happening either.  However, now I'm signed up for a race and while I have no illusions of winning I do have some goals with this process; the biggest being to not embarrass myself by showing up wholly unprepared.

Why did I pick this particular type of race?  For starters I work on Friday and Saturday nights so I needed something on a Sunday, which knocked 80% of the races from contention.  Second, trail running has intrigued me for awhile so I was looking to go that route over the tradition road race. Running trails or on dirt is much easier on my joints than hitting the road.  Not to mention, the roads around here are all crowned and the unevenness kicks the hell out of me and causes some awful imbalances which lead to serious discomfort.  Finally, I actually enjoy hiking and walking through the woods so I genuinely hope this will be an experience that I'll enjoy.  Trail running is more technically challenging I know but it sure beats staring at the same things while working out at the track and the aforementioned discomfort that comes from use of the local roads.

Concerning the training, currently I'm writing my own plans, though that might change in the future. During this phase I'm really just getting myself up and moving again and will be taking a very slow approach for the next month.  Now, when I say slow approach that doesn't mean that I'm only doing a day or two per week.  I've already planned out the entire first month and will be using a combination of ruck marching, walking, light jogging, and sprinting to lay a base.  Whether or not I'm doing it 100% ideal can certainly be questioned but, and this is a huge but, part of the enjoyment for me is in the learning and experimentation.  (I'm planning to discuss this in greater depth in an upcoming post so stay tuned for that).  I know I need to start putting some miles on and building both strength and stamina and want to do that while minimizing impact on my joints, especially given the excessive body weight I'm carrying (291 lbs as of this writing), that's where the rucking will have the greatest impact..  Running is going to play havoc with my body and beat my joints as I mentioned but if I build into it slowly, I'm hoping to avoid overuse issues.  Plain walking is a given and I'm hoping a lot of that will actually be hiking to keep it interesting as well.  Finally, I need to sprint because getting the heart rate up is important to building cardiovascular health and stamina.  My plan and hope it that approaching the training this way will set me up down the road to combine everything on my way to becoming a legitimate trail runner.  In addition to race training, my strength training is going forward, though it'll be undergoing some needed changes soon I think, and I'll maybe, possibly be taking on another endeavor in the next few months but time and money are a consideration for that one so no definitive announcement for now.

Cam Hanes pursues wild game and dreams though not necessarily in that order.
So there you have it.  Fasting is going pretty well given circumstances and I'm taking on some new challenges.  Whether trail running is something I'll stick with is impossible to say for now but I could definitely see it becoming a staple in my training regime given it combines my loves of woods, hiking, and physical exertion with clear cardiovascular benefits.  Not to mention, it clearly helps Cam Hanes with his hunting and outdoorsmanship and this coming year I'm looking to reinvest myself into my own hunting pursuits so we have higher quality meat in our freezer come cold weather; because who doesn't like clean, lean, naturally organic meat?!  Stay tuned because things are just getting started.


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