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Retrospective 2021: Exercise

Consistent with 2020, I continue to follow my "No Excuses Workout." Except this year I had more variability in my steps due to the new opportunities available to me after getting vaccinated. I averaged more than 10,000 steps per day. Both car and air travel require a lot of sitting on one's butt, which makes it challenging to get to 10,000 steps. But I made up for it on other days to make my average 10,754 steps per day.

The total mileage is roughly equivalent to me walking from my home to Seattle and back, more than 1,800 miles and a bit shy of 4 million steps. Experts say "The sweet spot for longevity lies around 7,000 steps a day (or 30 minutes of exercise)." However, I'm not in this just to achieve the minimum recommended. Those 3,000 steps that go above and beyond allow me to eat most of what I want. In 2021, my average weight was 1.5 pounds less than that of 2020. While last year's weight chart showed a jagged, but downward trend, this year looks a bit erratic.That's because there hasn't been much deviation from low to high, which you would see if I included the y-axis. (But that would be telling my weight!) When I travel, I tend to eat higher calorie foods. When I'm back home, I lose the extra pound or two from travel.

From March through May I joined California Elite Fitness, a fitness and running group started by my former Team in Training running coach Dr. John Martin and therapist Lori Beveridge, C.P.T. Three days a week I joined a virtual workout class designed to strengthen running muscles and improve balance and agility. They provided a workout schedule to help people get into running. I signed up to train for a 5K virtual run. This got me out of the house and onto the Los Gatos Creek trail. On the week of the run, participants went out and ran, by themselves, on a measured trail and then reported times to the coaches. For achieving my goal, I earned a t-shirt and the first wooden "medal" I ever received. Usually medals are made out of metal. I really like this one because it depicts a surf board. Wood seemed appropriate.

Those who know that I've run 7 marathons and a bunch of half marathons will wonder why I bothered with a 5K. That distance wouldn't even qualify as a training run for a marathon! After being cooped up on my property where the uneven ground precludes running (only okay for walking), I decided on a sure-fire winning goal. Remember, this wasn't a "real" race with cheering crowds and a finish line. It was an alone experience that I wouldn't have enjoyed as much if the distance were longer.

Besides getting off property more, the vaccination allowed my to feel comfortable getting my annual checkup with my physician. I learned I was in great shape except for my bones, which are getting more brittle. It's a condition I've had for over a decade, but it is at a degree that I was advised not to do certain exercises. This cut short my California Elite Fitness training as many of the typical exercises involve forward bends and spinal twists. While some slow, short distance jogging is still okay, my hopes of training for another half marathon have been dashed. Running faster and longer distances are out of the picture right now. That's okay, as my no-excuses workout works for me, as does hiking. I was able to take some great hikes this year. It is was fun to participate in Dr. John and Lori's classes. They are wonderful people and highly motivating.

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