That 2018 Fitness Post!

Hey, welcome to April end of May. Only *checks watch* 5 months late on the start of this. It’s fine. It’s fine, let’s just pretend this is January. I’ll set the mood. It sucks. It’s cold out. Your body is never going to be warm again. It’s persistently grey-skied, and it’s seemingly always night. OK, now that you are sufficiently depressed, let’s get this train wreck a-rollin’.

In summary, 2018 was a good year for fitness for me. Thanks for coming everybody!

Fine, let’s dig into the numbers a bit. This is what we are known for here at Killer Tofu HQ, data dives and frequent, on-time posts. The two things.

I personally approached 2018 as a makeup year for 2017. I really felt like I slacked off in 2017. So, did that show in the numbers? Well, let’s start with the baseline, the number from 2017.

2017

Running:

Total Runs: 86

Total Distance (Mi.): 650.47

Average Pace: 10:42

Average Time: 1:12:14

Full Marathons: 1 (1 failed)

Half-Marathons: 2

10ks: 2

Lifting:

Total Weight Lifted (Lbs.): 129,741

Days at Gym: 80

2018

Running:

Total Runs: 114

Total Distance (Mi.): 874.81

Average Pace: 10:55

Average Time: 1:25:13

Full Marathons: 2

Half-Marathons: 2

10ks: 1

Lifting:

Total Weight Lifted (Lbs.): 83,896

Days at Gym: 74

I definitely put more miles in. 224.34 more miles! I’m very happy with that. And I will say, it shows in the race outcomes.

I PR’d in Chicago, and then turned around and beat it in Indy. I am so stoked with those races. I also PR’d for a half during the Santa Hustle. I never broke 2 hours for a half-marathon, and I just crushed it by 8 minutes. I am ecstatic how I finished out 2018. I wish the weather didn’t turn because I felt like I was in such a good groove. I would very much like permanent fall please. A breeze 65 degrees at all times would just be peachy. Alas.

The average pace went up, which is not great. It didn’t jump a whole lot, but speed continues to be my weak point. I think that is going to be my goal. I really want to speed my runs up. At the very least I’d like to continue to beat my PRs.

At least for this year, I’ve changed up my Marathons. I’ve done Chicago and Indianapolis for the past few years, trying for NYC. Well, I didn’t get into NYC again, and also Chicago this time. I still want to do at least two marathons, so this year I’m running Minneapolis, Minnesota and Madison, Wisconsin. I’ve never ran Minneapolis, but Madison is one of my favorite towns in the few times I’ve been there. Great running town.

Sidebar, last time I ran in Madison, I ran around one of the lakes, about a half-marathon. I parked at some public garage, near a support. Well, after I was done, and when I was pulling out, I wasn’t paying attention and dented the passenger-side fender on that support. Normally, and understandably I would be extremely upset at myself. This time however I was on such an endorphin high that my reaction was basically, “Oh well, cars are made to be broken.” That was until hours later when I calmed down and then realized the damage I did and had the proper reaction, you absolute idiot (me to me).

Now for lifting. I definitely spent less time in the gym this past year than I did the previous year. It was a 32.6% increase in the number of runs and a 34.5% increase in number of miles. It was also a 8.1% decrease in the number of times I made it to the gym and a 35.4% decrease in the amount of weight I lifted.

These are rough measurements, but it seems like the more I run the less I left and vice-versa. This should be apparent with just how time allotment works, but now it’s in the data! It seems to correlate at roughly the same rate. Glad we can confirm the obvious here at KT HQ.

With any hope 2019 will be better than 2018 with more improvements. OK, I’m going to stop writing or this post will never get out. BYE.

The Check-in. April 2018.

This month has flown by. One of the busiest in recent memory.

I was out of town every weekend in April doing something. Which was fun, and exhausting. In the spirit of that this post will be short and sweet and totally miss details. Always more to do.

The business didn’t stop me from keeping on those #hashtaggoals.

Political Stuff

In terms of political stuff, I moderated my first debate/town hall/forum for two of the Democratic candidates for IN-4. It was a fun, new experience that I would not mind doing again. I’d wish I would have probed on some of the answers, but I was so focused on getting through the many questions in time for the audience questions that I got sidetracked.

Here is the video for the event!

Podcast

Like all good people who are tragically online, I’ve started a podcast with my cousin, Jay Pavlina! It’s ostensibly about game development and programming, but we touch on some weird, wild stuff as well. Jay explains more here. Check out our first episode! We are recording episode two this weekend, so stay on the lookout for that.

That VG Goodness

Upgraded the setup once again to new degrees of greatness/completely unnecessariness.

Firstly, I got tired of Tim and Matt play streaming in potato quality, so I went to Purdue Surplus and grabbed the best machine they had there for $50. It needed RAM and HDD, and I had that. It proved to be a choice decision as the machine can stream and record in 1080/30 (limitation of the capture device I have) to Twitch.

Second, after trying for a while I was able to snag a gscartsw_lite, which allows me to have all my old consoles connect via RGB without having to switch. This also provides dual outputs so I can hook it up to my upscaler as well as my CRT television. In essence, I can now stream to Twitch, play on the HD TV and play on the CRT all at the same time. It’s very cool! (Like, I think it’s cool) It works, the problem is the SCART cables I bought are of surprisingly low quality and introduce an abundance of noise to the signal. I have some much better (and sadly, more expensive) SCART cables coming from the UK as we speak.

Running

Let’s see where we are this month:
April 2018: 75.1 Miles
April 2017: 30.9 Miles
Difference: +44.2 Miles
Year difference from 2017 (as of this post): +176.7 Miles

Whew, what a month. 2018 is proving to be wild.

Dealing With Failure (Or Not)

If you haven’t surmised from my Spacebook, Twitspace, or Instagram (sorry no cute name for this one) I fancy myself quite the runner. I’m far from the ranks of the elites. If they are the crust of the Earth, I am near the molten core in terms of proximity. The one thing I can do is pack on the distance. It’s been a slow build through the years, but it’s one of the things I can point to and say, “See, I’m a runner, look at the numbers.” Why do I need to point and say I am? Well, it probably has a lot to do with the fact that I still suffer from imposter syndrome when it comes to running, among other things. One thing that has helped curb this feeling is running marathons.

When I ran my first marathon in 2015, it was watershed moment and the culmination of my efforts as well as a solidification into the runner class. Having that medal around my neck made me feel powerful (while the rest of my body was crying out in agony). Once I ran that I knew I caught the bug. This would not be a one-time deal. The next year I decided to up my ambition and try for the Chicago Marathon. This was a far bigger event than the Indy one I had ran the year prior. It was a lottery system, so I was not guaranteed entry. Due to this I signed up for the Indy Monumental Marathon as a backup. As luck would have it I was admitted to Chicago. Great! But I had paid for Indy already! I mean, I ran one last year. What’s one more? They were a month a part, plenty of time for recovery (I also had a half between them, but that wasn’t another full, not a problem). Long story long, I ran them both, and myriad other races I had signed up for. I felt like a fully-fledged member of the running fraternity. Marathons were old-hat!

Fast-forward to this year. I wanted to up my game even more. I got an auto-entry into Chicago this time around because I finished the previous year, so I decided to sign up for that again because I enjoyed it so much. I also signed up for the NYC Marathon, with the same restrictions as Chicago, lottery system. I went drinking with a buddy of mine and he mentioned he would like to do a marathon someday. I still maintain that anyone can do a marathon (barring extreme physical impairments) all it takes it lots of time and miles. Maybe it was the alcohol that convinced him, or maybe it was my silver tongue (in no uncertain terms was it my silver tongue), but he decided he would run one this year. I couldn’t run Indy and NYC because they were only a day apart, but I said I would totally run Indy with him if I didn’t get into NYC. Sadly, I did not get admitted to NYC. So, I signed up to do Indy as well this year. Indy is next week. This is where this post is going to take a bit of a turn.

In the timeline of this story, Indy is next week, which also means that Chicago has already happened, or in my case, didn’t. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I went. I trekked up to the windy apple, fought terrible traffic and inadequate signage, grabbed my packet from McCormick Place, and even inconvenienced an old friend to let me stay with them. On top of that, I went to bed early, did not overeat the night before, got up early got all my gear and preparations done, and got to the race with hours to spare. Everything was moving like clockwork. When we started the race, I was feeling strong. I was going at a great clip. THIS WAS A SUCCESS STORY IN THE MAKING. Well, if I haven’t set you up for this to fall off a cliff, then here it goes, around mile 7 my stomach started to disagree that this was going to be a day to celebrate. It was just a little something at first. However, it started to grow. It felt nauseated. I was eyeing every trashcan along the throngs of cheering supporters. I stopped at a med tent and asked if they had anything for stomachs. Nope, just Tylenol. I decided to keep going. I play with pain. It was not subsiding. I stopped and tried to throw up, but couldn’t get anything to happen. Still, I had come all this way, had to keep going. Around mile 10 I hit another med tent, and thought maybe I was dehydrated or something, so they looked me over and gave me some Gatorade. I rested for a few minutes, and went back out. It only got worse. It felt like there was just a rock in my stomach – immovable. At mile 13, I stopped and got checked over by a doc. I asked what she thought I should do, “Well, you can keep going, but you will probably dehydrate yourself.” I could call it quits, be taken back to the starting line and chalk it up to bad luck. I could continue, and perhaps injure myself even more. This was Sophie’s Choice. I don’t mean to overstate the impact of this decision, but only to show the weight of it on me personally. I really wrestled with it. The decision had been tumbling around in the back of my head since mile 8. I ended up calling it.

I felt a crushing sense of shame while walking to the bus to take me back. The first text I sent about it was incredibly hard to press send on. If any of you know me personally, I’m not really a crier. I have nothing against it. I don’t think it’s emasculating, and I think it’s a pretty healthy thing for humans to do if they feel the need. Even so, I rarely cry. Well, I was on that bus choking back tears. I can blame it on any number of things, but the truth is, I didn’t finish. I carry that around with me. In the grand scheme of everything, it is the most trivial problem to have, but it still sits with me. It doesn’t help, that I’ve had to tell the story of this to countless relatives and others who have asked about it (just got asked about it yesterday as of this post). I don’t fault them at all either, they are taking an interest in what I do. How nice of them! I want to say that my friends, family, and loved ones were and have been just the most supportive about this, and for that I am incredibly grateful.

So, I have this glaring failure just following me around. How do I come to terms with it? I certainly have no idea. If I had misled you, I apologize, I tried to give it away in the title. I can tell you how I’ve dealt with failure in the past though. I’ve used it as a motivator to ensure a different outcome in the future. That’s where I’m at. I have Indy in a week. I have to complete it. I’m nervous. I’m extraordinarily nervous. I have a lot riding on this, mentally. I’ve run a half marathon between Chicago and now, and my stomach caused no issues. These are good signs. I am treating this as a comeback. All I can say, wish me and my cohorts luck next week. I will report back with how it went.

I’ve been in the quote mood, so I will depart this post with the mantra I kept repeating when I ran my first marathon.

“The best way out is always through.”
― Robert Frost

P.S. I am not a psychiatrist and do not advocate dealing with any issues you may have in this manner. Truth be told, this is probably a really bad way to go about it.