I feel like I blinked, and two weeks have passed.

And in the same time frame, all the leaves seem to have teleported to the ground.

First and foremost, let me brag that I ran not one, but TWO pain-free 5ks this week. 35-ish minutes of running feels like plenty right now, and my legs have one pace (easy) but this is now a thing that I can do again, which is very very very exciting after 2 years of fits and starts. My stride, for the first time in forever, feels good and enjoyable. I can get into the flow and enjoy the active meditation of the run instead of being on constant injury watch. I put together Thursday’s presentation in my head on Monday’s run, while enjoying 50 degrees with fog and drizzle. Thursday, I got high 30s and sunny, which is probably my second favorite running weather (the first being Monday’s!). I’ve been so disappointed to be injured during the most wonderful time of the year to run and I’m so here for it in 2022.

So, what now? Nothing. Well, sort of. I plan to continue to run this distance for cardio 2-3 times a week, and that’s enough for a while. Once that feels easy peasy lemon squeezy, I’ll start working on that stuff the garmin keeps bugging me about – anaerobic speedwork. However, for now, I’m just super happy to be able to smiley jog 11-minute miles around my neighborhood a few times a week. If you would have told 2019 me this, I wouldn’t have believed you but here we are, we are here, and it feels better than where we were.

Here’s the rest of it – weights remains first priority, then at least 4xweek cardio, THEN running (as you can see with only one run two weeks ago, oops). Monday, we start the week with chest and shoulders. Wednesday, I do back and biceps on my own. Friday, the squat witch abuses the noodles which were previously known as legs. I seem to get about 4 days of official cardio (run, bike, elliptical), and I’m averaging a decent number of steps – 10k and 8.5k respectively for the two weeks. I haven’t figured out swimming yet again, but the crappy pool near my house is open again and I should have more free time in the next few weeks, so I want to make a weekly swim a habit by the time I have to go back to normal schedules.

Speaking of chronology – can you spot the moment it became the holidays?

I mean, besides Christmas, it was also Bloatmas, the most wonderful time of the month, but that shouldn’t still be kicking a week and a half later. No, it’s been the cavalcade of holiday parties, celebrations, and other adventures in socialization with food and beverages. Because of this, I skipped delivery of one week’s Snap Kitchen box worth of meals. When was it? Yeah, right around when the line went up and leveled off. I’ll try not to do that again.

  • Dec 5 week average: 1630
  • Dec 12 week average: 1673

So, if we’ve established that around 1400-1500 calories per day seems to make steady progress at my current activity levels, 1600-1700 per day seems to stall it out or even reverse it a little. Good data point. Since I plan to maintain my activity level, I need to dial the calories back. Looking at the days where I really went over, it was all holiday celebration craziness, which is great, because that’s not a habit I need to break. There’s a bit more of the nonsense this month, but now that I recognize the trend I’ll better plan my calories to accommodate those days.

And one of those celebrations includes this meal so it will be worth it!

I’ve failed to mention the recovery stuff for a few posts, but that’s simply because it’s become a habit – not quite like brushing my teeth but not too far from it. I can confidently say I’ve rolled, stretched, iced, and used the massage boots most days each week and it’s just no big deal. I’m not sure what was so impossible before in the quest to take 15 minutes to roll and stretch daily, but I’m glad I worked this out. Thinking back to the days of yore, B.K. (before Kerrville), I can’t even fathom how I started my days without meditation, I did zero recovery, I wasn’t tracking my food, I wasn’t lifting regularly, and now that’s just the norm. I was also still putting the pieces of my life into place to prioritize this stuff, so there’s that, but still!

The one habit that has really fallen off is playing guitar. I now have this amazing space in my office, so I have zero excuses, except that I haven’t figured out how to work it into my daily life. I shall endeavor to change that soon.

I should have a chance to establish some habits soon. My life should slow down a bit this week and then I have 17 glorious, wonderful days off planned during and after the holidays. I’m looking forward to hitting the good gym whenever I feel like it, eat good healthy food (except when it’s not!), relax, do hobby things, do some re-organization, and being boring again for a bit.

It may not be the most wonderful time of the year for goals, but I’ll restate next week’s here even though it’s really just “do all the things I’m supposed to do:

  • 1500 calories per day average. It may be a bit of a challenge, but I’m going to do it. The early week should be fine, but I have a feeling the days around Christmas might be a little bit more. I’ll try to eat a little less early in the week to compensate.
  • 3 weights sessions, 2 runs, 1 swim, and at least 2-3 other cardios (yeah, stepping it up just a little because of the above and below)
  • 10k steps average. The weather is absolutely awful on Friday and Saturday, so this won’t be outside. I need to get in some good walks in the evenings before then.
  • Play guitar at least 3 times. Has nothing to do with physical health, but I miss guitar. 🙂

Let’s see if we can make that plateau go down again before the end of the year.