My friend and I have set up a fitness contest for each other this summer. We were born on the same weekend back in 1977, so this is our 31st birthday contest, or something like that. Fitness is defined as weight loss, strength, and cardiovascular fitness, and the greatest change within these three areas.
Today, we did our benchmark cardiovascular fitness test, which was a mile run. I have been running a bit lately, but mostly on the treadmill. I can run 2 ten-or-eleven-minute miles without stopping, then sputter along shifting between running and walking for the third. I am not at the point where I'm enjoying it at all, but I love how much it really feels like I worked out afterwards. Of course, I've been lifting and doing other cardio (mostly eliptical, but I suppose the three softball leagues I'm playing in counts too) as well, and am only running twice a week, really trying to ease back into it without hurting myself.
We ran on the track at school today. He is 6'3" to my 5'10", and has a longer history of running than me, so we expected him to take the running contest. And we were right. I actually decided I was going to be happy to just finish running a mile without stopping - I hadn't run outside in a while, and certainly not in 90-degree heat. It ended up, though, that the competition helped my time quite a bit. As expected, he won, but only by 30 seconds; he clocked in at 7:53 and me at 8:25. As far as I know, I've never ran an 8-minute mile, so it was nice to see that I'm within striking distance even though I'm out of shape.
Now, I hated every moment of those eight minutes and 25 seconds, and definitely could not have kept going, but I think I'm going to work on this aspect of my fitness more than the others.
We're expecting me to take the strength categories (I lift weights a lot more than he does) and perhaps the weight categories, because I have more to lose. I weighed in at 245 last Sunday, and he at 248.
It's going to be an interesting deal. I agreed to this contest while I was drunk and sort of have been trying to duck it ever since, but I think the competition will work well.
Now, if only I could get a workout partner at the gym. I think that would similarly help my intensity level there.
Tim Russert's death leaves a big void for me on Sunday mornings, as Meet the Press is the only news program I've ever made it a point to watch. I've always enjoyed his dedication to his craft and am really disappointed not to have him around this election season. And what a big bummer for him; he obviously was invested heavily in it.
That being said, I have a friend at work who calls me Tim Russert, says I look just like him, and it's somewhat true - we both carry the extra weight, we both have big heads and wide faces, plus we both have blue collar roots and come off as pretty genuine. His extra weight made him a heart attack waiting to happen, and it did. I was expecting to watch him for the next 20 years, and instead his life was really cut short. A huge wakeup call for me.
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