Category Archives: Exercise

Comparing yourself to yourself.

Yesterday I did my first track workout with the Brandon Running Association.  Even though I was running much less than many of these seasoned veterans, I could confidently say I was only running 2×800 sprints, with a mile warm-up, 800 between, and a mile cool down.

After the 4 laps around the track for the warm-up, I had already made new friends, caught up with old ones, and was schooled on the ways of “Track Night” – Sprinters run counter clockwise; those cooling down run clockwise;   and I can take off solo for the 800 sprint or try to find others to join at my speed.


Running around a track is kind of like swimming in a pool.  My mind has lots of time to wander and calculate each exact move at an exact point.  I can pinpoint how I feel after 400 meters or 10 meters from the finish line. 

My first 800 was good.  I left with two girls I ran with for the first time last weekend, Patricia and Kristen.  They are a bit faster than me, but it is good for me to try to hang on.  I was just a few seconds behind them at the finish.   I was pleased with my result.   Time 3:48. 12 seconds ahead of my goal.

My second 800 was right where I needed to be at 4:00.  I was about 10-12 seconds behind the girls on this repeat, and I was perfectly okay with that.  This sprint hurt.  What got me through was having two girls to chase and knowing that I was done when I crossed that finish line! 

As I did my cool down though, my mind started to wander.  Over a year ago I could hold the exact pace that I just struggled through for 3.1 miles.  And there I was, comparing myself to myself.  

It’s bad enough when I compare myself to others, as this behavior only leads to self-doubt.  But when I start to compare current self to my former myself, self-deprecation sets in.  I had to put a stop to it. 

I am constantly changing and evolving and looking back to compare myself – whether my running times, or my weight, or my swimming times, or how much money I had, or how fun I had doing this or that – is not healthy. 

I am generally a very happy person, but when I start looking backwards instead of forward, I have to reign in my thoughts.

I keep a gratitude journal and each night I write what I’m thankful for and give myself goals and a daily mantra for the next day.

After last night’s track workout I wrote the following:

I am thankful…
… that I had a great day at work.
… that I got out of my comfort zone and did a track workout.
… that Dave’s client is very pleased with him.

Tomorrow’s goals…
…. Yoga
…. Finish lingering work tasks before the holiday weekend
…. Stop comparing myself to myself

Daily Mantra….
I am uniquely me right here, right now, constantly growing and evolving.  

Be well,



Filed under Exercise, Healthy Living

Heart Health

FYI – I’m failing on my Vegan CrossFit adventure.  After the soreness subsided from my first outing, I was left with a screaming IT band.  I’ve never had an IT band that tight before and rushed right to the chiropractor to cash in on a sports massage before my insurance deductibles rolls back to $0.  It

Lots of pigeon and stretching ensued for a solid week before I felt any relief.  This move worked wonders.


The tight IT band was causing symptoms of my previous injury to emerge.  And I got scared.  So I’ve stopped my CrossFit adventure for the time being.  I’m really worried about all the squats, ball to wall, etc. as I’m convinced all the leg work and heavy lifting I was doing  in the past is what caused my injury (even though the doctors tell me it’s all the football and gymnastics I played as a child!?!).  Luckily, I have no pain today. 

I really enjoy lifting, but I also want to be able to say, “Nope.  I’m not doing that exercise”  and I don’t feel comfortable doing it in the Box since the workout is essentially a race, in a group environment, and sometimes with partners.  CrossFitters, can I ask for modifications? 

Anyways, I’ve been doing my own thang as the usual – a little bit of running, a little bit of spinning, a little bit of riding, a little bit of yoga, a little bit of swimming, a little bit of lifting.  I’m kinda wandering aimlessly without a big race I’m training for.    But…


I did run a 5k on Saturday – the Palm Beach Turkey Trot.   I didn’t PR, but it felt good to get out there.  Actually, it hurt like hell.  It was in Palm Beach, so the run was beautiful.  We passed beautiful mansions, manicured lawns, and yachts galore.  It’s fun to see how the 1% live.  I could get used to that lifestyle.


Honestly.   I couldn’t even look around much because I was so concentrated on putting one foot in front of the other and thinking, “where the hell is that f-ing finish line?”

14/66 in Age Group.  8:33m pace.   26:29. 


Not my best, but I got out there and did it.   And it was good to judge where I’m at in my running game.   And I also had to check myself against an article I recently read in the Health-e-Times magazine that I picked up as a freebie from the health food store.  Read on.

Heart Health by the Mile

How fast can you run a mile?  New findings in Texas may make you want to hop on the treadmill.  In two separate studies, researchers analyzed fitness levels of more than 66,000 people and found that, for middle-aged adults, how quickly they could run a mile was a strong predicator of long-term health.  “In both these studies, how fast you can run in midlife is very strongly associated with heart disease risk when you’re old,”  says Dr. Jarret D. Berry, coauthor of both studies. 

Dr. Berry calculated that a man in his 50s who can run a mile in 8-minutes or less or a woman who can do it in 9-minutes or less shows a high level of fitness.  Moderate fitness is represented  by a 9-minute mile for a man or a 10:30 for a woman, and men who can’t run faster than a 10-minute mile and women slower than 12-minutes fall into the low-fitness group.  The small difference in speed made a big difference in heart disease risk- participants in the high-fitness group had a 10 percent lifetime risk, while those in the low-fitness group had a 30 percent risk.  “If we’re trying to boil this down into practical implications, it’s the speed at which you can run,”  says Dr. Berry.  “Heart disease risk increases markedly for every minute longer it takes you to run a mile.” 

Okay, so I’m not a middle-aged adult, but I thought these findings were interesting.  I guess I’ll have to do a time trial in 20 years and see where I fall. 

Do you think a timed mile is an indication of your fitness level? 

Be well,


Filed under CrossFit, Exercise, Healthy Living