Fitness Update: taking advantage of a warm February

Last week was a warm week for February — some might say unseasonably warm for Missouri — though when you look at the stats, we may get more weather like this in February than we remember. It just isn’t something you can count on.

That said, a lot of people got out to exercise and enjoy the heat while it lasted.  I was one of them. The 70s came on Thursday and lasted through Saturday, and I got out during all of them for some time. The bike trails I traveled Saturday were especially crowded. I even saw bicycle-mounted police officers for the first time.

So, now to recap the week’s progress. MisFit worked well for me with tracking swimming on Thursday — once again I swam 1,050 yards when I thought I swam 1,000 yards. Friday I swam again, but couldn’t get it to tag the swimming. It wasn’t until I got back to my app that I realized I had somehow turned off tagging — my fault, but also not the best design where it is that easy to turn it off when you just mean to change tagging activities. So now I am up to 13,050 yards swam for the year.

On cycling, I crossed the 500-mile mark on Saturday with a 30-mile bike trip to Tiffany Springs and back.That means I’ve completed all the miles needed to be on track for the month of February. gives me another week to start working on my March miles.

For running, I did a 5K Thursday afternoon and Saturday morning. That brings me up to 9 for the year. I also increased my average speed on each. My previous best was 6.39 mph, but on Thursday my average was 6.62 and Saturday was 6.82. I had wondered whether my improved performance was due more to the changing weather, but am certain that at least some of it is due to actual physical improvement. The weather was 70 for my afternoon run Thursday, but the Saturday run was done in the morning as the sun was rising. I started when it was 45 and finished when it was about 50 degrees (the temperatures rose quickly when the sun came up). The light gloves I wore came in handy. I still wore shorts and a T-shirt, and managed to sweat it out between the shoulder blades, and need to wipe sweat from my forehead before it occluded my eyes.

As you can tell, Saturday was a duathlon day. I started with the 5K, and then pumped out the 30 miles on the bicycle (with an hour between to eat a high-protein breakfast). The last time I did the 30-miles route, I averaged 15.4 mph on the way over, which dropped to 15.2 by the time I got back. This Saturday it was 13.5 on the way over, rising to 13.7 on the way back. I experienced some minor winds, but not enough (or so I thought) to explain that much of a drop. Obviously to me the 5K took enough out of me to tap my umph on the bike ride. What was interesting is that it seemed like I was recovering on the way back, and was able to increase my output. The running definitely takes more out of me than the cycling. I don’t seem to have a way to max my output on the bicycle — though I can max my ability to go any faster.


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