MANday Week 4 – Clock Watching

Remember the Sweat Hogs on Welcome Back Kotter? They were always watching the clock. Never paying attention. They were slackers. Losers.


What if I told you watching the clock is a good thing?

In my MANday preparation this week, clock watching has been a tale of the good, the bad, and the ugly.

The good.

I’m breaking new ground on the road. Last Friday I ran 4 miles in 44 minutes. I was ecstatic about that until Monday when I ran it in 43:35. This morning I set a new personal best at 41:35. I shaved off an entire two minutes! I felt great going out this morning and I knew I’d do well, but I didn’t expect to do that well.

Watching the clock and pushing myself is really helping. I noticed two things this week. Most of the time I run with short strides and pace myself so my heart doesn’t explode. Last Friday as I ran the last mile, I opened up my strides and really pushed to beat my time. I ran most of that mile with long flowing strides, much faster than normal.

Today I noticed something else. When I started my breathing was really labored. I was “huffing and puffing” as my cousin described it. She said she could hear me coming. Sometimes I could taste blood. Don’t you hate that?

Well, today, I was breathing easy except when I pushed up a long climb. I was taxing myself and really struggling. I think that was the time I was really increasing my endurance. That push really counted and I pressed so hard because I was watching the clock.



The bad.

If running is helping me shed fat to find my abs, planks, bicycles and the like are helping me define them so there is something to see once the fat is gone.

I fit right in with the Sweat Hogs (how appropriate) when it comes to ab work. I hate doing abs! I need to spend more time doing planks and bicycles. I’m doing planks every day, I just really need to do more of them. The @plankpolice have busted me twice for not posting. I really need to pay more attention to abs. That’s my goal next week.


3 This week!
OMG no!


The ugly.

I did a favor for a friend this week and she gave me a chocolate bar. Not a dinky little chocolate bar. A massive Hershey’s Special Dark. That was the road to ruin. I ate three this week! Enough already. Next week no chocolate. If you see me going to Lloyd’s to get some, help me out and block the door!

Two final notes on clock watching…

My running times are improving by a significant margin and that tells me I have more improvement to come. I’m targeting between 36 and 40 minutes for my 4 miles. That’s somewhere between a 9 and 10 minute mile. I’m not sure how respectable that is to real athletes, but it is a vast improvement from where I started.

I have some news to share. I have set a date for MANday photos. Assuming Jill comes through with 5,000 comments (you can take mercy and help her), my good friend Sue has agreed to take some photos of me when I visit her family in Maine. Some of you May know Sue and her mother-in-law Nancy from my Facebook page.

Sue won the TEOMT photo contest with This amazing entry:


That’s all for me this week. What have you done on the road and on the mat?


9 Comments on “MANday Week 4 – Clock Watching”

  1. It’s been a rough week for me on the road to healthy since my seven year old passed on a very horrible stomach bug… Tomorrow’s going to be PAINFUL when I go back to walking. Right now, I’m still just run down and worn out from it.

  2. Oh good-a photo shoot while you’re here! When Sue and her sister are around we have great fun with photos.

    Today I thought I would try planks. Been meaning to try it, but the pneumonia held me back. I do them regularly in yoga, but as part of a flow, not just holding a plank for a long time. I figure I did pretty good for an almost 70 year old. 3 minutes 20 seconds and I wasn’t completely spent! Yay for me! We can have plank competitions this summer!

  3. Pam Stack says:

    CJ- congratulations on all your improvements – looks like you’re becoming one lean machine!

    I, on the other hand, am living vicariously through your work-outs. However I suspect that with moving from this coast and all the sorting, packing and tossing, I may have dropped a lb or two myself. For that, I am grateful.

  4. Chocolate’s a vegetable! Sort of. 😉 I’m an avid workout fan, but not by nature. I aim to work out 5 to 6 days per week, doing something I enjoy—or can make enjoyable. (Thank god for my Kindle…)

  5. Running from Hell with El says:

    Good on you CJ!!! You’re doing a great job man!!

  6. Ann White says:

    I’m getting ready.

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