Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Poor little ankles

I went to the Y with great ambitions of doing my run on the treadmill.  I did a 5 minute warm-up at 3.5mph, did the first 3 minute run segment, and my little ankles were just aching.  So I stopped and stretched for awhile, then got back on and ran 2 minutes.  The pain came back almost immediately so I decided the run just wasn't going to happen.  I didn't want to strain myself so much that I couldn't run the next day.  Off the treadmill I got, and onto the elliptical for a nice 30-minute, low impact workout.

One reason I have a tough time working out at the Y is the abundance of people I went to high school with.  There was one girl there tonight who I knew when I was younger who was just in super shape, wearing this little capris with a zebra print waistband and a neon green tank top.  And there I was, in an oversized Steelers tshirt and baggy shorts, clunking along on my chubby legs.  But I'm trying to keep a positive attitude about those feelings, and look forward to the day when I can wear cute, sexy workout clothes to the gym and feel great.

Decided today that maybe my running shoes are ready to be retired.  I've used them as workout shoes for the past 2 years, so I think they've pretty much had it.  Tomorrow I will be shopping for a pair of Nike Air Pegasus +28s!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Today's Run: Surprisingly tough

In spite of being super excited for today's run, it was a tough one.  I'm really glad I didn't let my cockiness get in the way, because I was seriously considering skipping ahead to Week 5 of C25K.  But you know, that workout might be easier after all.  Today's run involved 3 minute run intervals, 90 second walk intervals, 5 minute run intervals, and 2.5 minute walk intervals.  Alternatively, the week 5 runs involve run and walk intervals of equal times, as opposed to shorter walk intervals.  I think that's what made it so much harder.

I hit the nature trail again today, because it's much more peaceful than running at the Y.  I think after today, though, I might switch to the treadmill.  Next week I'll be on vacation so all my runs will be on the treadmill, so I thought I'd try to start getting used to that.  Also, it's really discouraging when the humidity affects my speed and endurance.

My time today was 12:30 on the nature trail, with an average of 13 minutes.  I made it the whole 3 miles in 39 minutes on the dot, but my warm-up was a little slow because I got caught behind some people walking their dog.  I really want to break past the 12:00 minute mile point.  I think that will be my mini goal for the time being.

The primary thing that made today's run so hard was pain in my shins.  They feel so weak!  Almost like they could just snap at times.  I ice them after every run, which helps with soreness, but it doesn't help the feeling during the runs.  I think I need more calcium in my system.  So, tomorrow's to-do list: get a multivitamin, get a calcium supplement, get more ice packs for my legs.

Miles logged: 3.1

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Today's Run: Evil oval of torture

Today was my “long run.”  I set out with a goal of running 1.5 miles with no walk breaks.  I didn’t have any time goals, I wanted to go slow enough to make it through the whole 1.5 miles of running.  Since it was hotter than usual and I was doing my run in the middle of the afternoon, I opted to do this run at the YMCA on the indoor track. 

I started out with a quarter mile of walking to warm up.  The track is pretty small, so it was 12 laps to a mile.  Since my walk/run pace has been averaging about 12:00, I aimed to take a little longer than a minute to complete each lap once I started running.  Everything started out fine, my legs were a little sore but that wasn’t unusual.  I was also pleasantly surprised to discover that I wasn’t getting winded at all.  I seemed very cardiovascular-ly prepared to run this distance at this pace.  After about the first half mile, though, I started noticing that my legs were not hitting the ground evenly.  The track had such a severe angle that my right leg was always lower than my left leg.  I pushed through the run, determined to get my 1.5 miles of constant running in, because the pain wasn’t unmanageable.  My right leg just felt sore all the way from my ankle to my butt, but it was the dull pain I always seem to get on longer runs.  My left leg, however, only hurt right at the ankle. 

I made it to the end of my 18 laps in 19:30, which I was pleased with.  I started walking to cool down, and felt like I was going to fall over because of the weird soreness in my legs!  It was horrible!  I made it through about 10 seconds of walking around the track when I realized I couldn’t do it anymore.  But I knew I needed to walk to work out the tightness in my muscles that came from the track.  So I jumped on a treadmill and started walking at a 20:00 pace.  The improvement in the feeling in my legs came very fast.  I walked half a mile, felt considerably better, and decided to do a little more running.  Here is the breakdown of my treadmill workout: 

.50 miles – 00:00-10:00 – walk at 20:00 pace
.50 miles – 10:00-17:00 – run at 14:00 pace
.25 miles – 17:00-22:00 – walk at 20:00 pace
.50 miles – 22:00-29:00 – run at 14:00 pace
.25 miles – 29:00-34:00 – walk at 20:00 pace
.50 miles – 34:00-40:00 – run at 12:00 pace
.25 miles – 40:00-45:00 – walk at 20:00 pace
Total: 2.75 miles

I still didn’t feel winded through the whole treadmill workout, which I was really happy about.  When I got home I was flat out exhausted, though.  I got on the couch with a big bottle of water and iced each shin in three different parts (15 minutes on the bottom, middle, and top of my shins).  I was ready to pass out, but I rested, ate some cereal, and I felt a lot better. 

If it weren’t for the evil track (which I can’t understand how anyone walks or runs on ever), I think the workout would have been a lot more successful, but I’m still really pleased with my results.  I can’t wait for next week, actually…week 4 of C25K!

Miles logged: 4.5

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Today's Run: Eager beaver

Well, I guess I didn't learn much from Monday.  I learned I needed to take it slower, but I got over-excited by the success of yesterday's run and decided I just had to go out again today.  Same route, same program as yesterday, but I ran an average of a 13:30 pace.  My first mile was almost the same as yesterday, just about 10 seconds slower, but I was a lot slower on the second mile.  Albeit, it was about 10 degrees hotter than yesterday and more humid, so that in itself slowed me down.  But from the start my shins were feeling sore, and I knew about 10 minutes in that I should've rested today and run tomorrow.  All in all though, I think it will work out well because I'll definitely take tomorrow off and that will give me time to rest up for Saturday's long run.

I use the term "long run" loosely, as I'm planning only 1.5 miles.  But that's going to be 1.5 miles of consistent running, no walk breaks.  At least that's the goal.  I'm planning on doing it on the track at the YMCA so without any hills and a nice bouncy surface, I think I can accomplish it.

Even though today was slow and slightly painful, I'm still feeling very upbeat!  I'm icing my sore shins now, and I have that happy feeling you get after a good workout.  Also, I told my husband and his law partner today about my plans to run the Disney Princess Half Marathon, and my husband was a lot more supportive than I expected!  Typically he worries about the cost of these things, but he seemed pretty open to the idea.  His partner was very supportive, but I expected that because in the last year he's started doing triathlons and running all kinds of races.  He's trying to get my husband to join him in the YMCA's annual triathlon in May, and I've been encouraging him to join in as well.  We talked about it today at lunch and I think I can get him to do it!  I'm really excited because I think it will be so great for us to take our fitness journeys together!

Slow run, but great day :)

Miles logged: 3.1

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Today's Run: Pretty, pretty princess!

After Monday's run, I was feeling discouraged.  After today's run, I feel exhilarated!  I scaled back my goals a bit and decided to start on week 3 of the Couch to 5K plan, which consists of run 90 seconds, walk 90 seconds, run 3 minutes, walk 3 minutes, repeat.  And I have to say, it was a huge success!

Even though I whined about the nature trail in my last post, I decided to go for it again.  I just really liked the solitude - I guess that's how much I am NOT a people person.  I ran the whole 1 mile trail and back on the C25K routine.  And I did it in less than 25 minutes, which puts me at about a 12:15 pace!  I am so happy about that, because I never thought I would be that fast.  That included my walk breaks, so I think I could do 10 minute miles without the breaks.  That may not sound like much, but it's astounding to me!

I'm also excited because today I found a goal race!  It's perfect - in February, so it's far away enough away that I have time to train but I am going to have to train CONSISTENTLY until then to actually be able to run it, and it's the Disney Princess Half Marathon!  I mean, how much more perfect could it get?  Disney World, princesses...  I also found an 18-week training program that starts with a long run of 3 miles, which will be perfect to start after I finish the C25K program.  I am so excited about it!

In fact, I'm so excited because of the race and the success of my run today, I might even run again tomorrow! :)

Miles logged: 3.1

Monday, August 15, 2011

Today's Run: Way too much, way too soon

I ran today, making today a success, but overall, today's run was a big FAIL.  That nice little plan I posted yesterday, that was right in the middle of very beginner and a little challenging?  Well, it turned out to be way too challenging for me.  Here's the breakdown of the run...

00:00-6:30 - ran
06:30-10:00 - walked
10:00-12:00 - ran
12:00-16:30 - walked
16:30-18:00 - ran
18:00-20:00 - walked
20:00-21:30 - ran
21:30-23:30 - walked
23:30-25:00 - ran
25:00-27:00 - walked
27:00-28:30 - ran
28:30-30:00 - walked

I ran on the nature trail in my neighborhood, which measured on MapMyRun as just about 1 mile long.  I made it almost to the end before I crossed paths with a very large bird, it looked like an egret or a crane or something!  It didn't move, so I just turned around after about .75 miles.  I was tired after the first tenth of a mile, but I kept going.  At 6:30 I just couldn't run anymore, so I had to stop and walk.  Looking back at it now, it seems like I came so close to my goal of 10 minutes of continuous running, but at the time I just couldn't do it.  Although as I look at my times now, I think I was going a bit too fast.  I believe I was on pace to run a 10 minute mile, but I think I'd be better suited at 11:30-12.  Overall, I covered over 2 miles (2.11 according to MapMyRun).  With warm-up and cool down included, I covered 3.1 miles (yay, 5K!).

I pushed way too hard at the beginning because I was struggling the entire last half of the run.  The last 90 seconds of running nearly killed me.  I think a major part of my fatigue came from dehydration.  I'd only drank one glass of water during the day, and one soda.  From now on I'm going to make it a point to drink more water throughout the day.

I also learned that I'm not a big fan of trail running.  The weather has been great and so it felt wonderful in the shade, but I didn't like the dirt getting in my socks and I didn't like the softness of the dirt.  I prefer harder surfaces.  Also, the fact that the giant bird blocked my path was pretty annoying.  But I did like that no one could see me.  I was entirely alone, no pedestrians or people driving by, no dozens of other people like at the gym.  I haven't decided yet if I'm going to do the trail for my next run of the week.  I'll either just run on the sidewalk or try out the track at the gym.

On a side note, one pretty silly thing that motivates me to run is getting to ice my shins after I'm done.  I have a hard time getting them stretched out enough, but the ice helps.  I have these cool ice packs from Target that came with bandages that have a little pocket for the ice pack, and then they velcro around your limb.  I always feel like a bad ass when I have them wrapped around my legs. :)

Miles logged: 3.1

Sunday, August 14, 2011

The best-laid plans

I always function better with a plan, and I've been going over Runner's World with a fine-tooth comb to find one that looks like it will work for me.  I think I've found one that strikes the right balance of a challenge without trying to do too much too soon.  I'm feeling the urge to start with more than just a 60 seconds of running/90 seconds of walking kind of plan, so I'm giving this one a shot, with slight modifications.  I've decided to lay out my schedule here so I've got something concrete to follow.

Week 1
M - Run 10 minutes
T - XT
W - Run 15 minutes
Th - XT
F - Rest
Sat - Run 2 miles
Sun - XT

Week 2 (modified because we leave for Hawaii on Saturday)
M - Run 15 minutes
T - XT
W - Run 20 minutes
Th - XT
F - Run 2.5 miles
Sat - Rest
Sun - XT

Week 3
M - Run 20 minutes
T - XT
W - Run 25 minutes
Th - XT
F - Rest
Sat - Run 3 miles
Sun - XT

Week 4
M - Rest
T - XT
W - Run 25 minutes
Th - XT
F - Run 30 minutes
Sat - XT
Sun - Run 3 miles

Week 5
M - Run 30 minutes
T - XT
W - Run 30 minutes
Th - XT
F - Rest
Sat - Run 3.5 miles
Sun - XT

Saturday, August 13, 2011

The best of intentions

I've been here before. Two years ago, in a desperate attempt to shed a few pounds before going wedding dress shopping, I started running. I could make it 2.5 miles at most, including walking breaks. I kept it up for almost 4 months, and I'm not even sure what made me give it up... I guess the same thing that causes me to give up all my other fitness plans - I get tired of them and they fall by the wayside. I can't remember how many times ive started Insanity or P90X, but I've never made it longer than 45 days. Running always seemed to me like one of those hobbies that gets under your skin and eventually you WANT to do it. Exercise that I actually want to do, seems too good to be true! The problem is it takes a lot of miles that you suffer through before you make it to that point. I'm a very impatient person (hence all the abandoned fitness regimes) and I worry I'll never make it to the place where I love running.

But I want to run, I really do! So I've created this blog to declare my intention to do what it takes to become a runner! I'm going to get out there, pound the pavement, huff and puff and sweat my butt off. I'm going to do it until i love it.

In addition to wanting to love my chosen form of exercise, I have some personal issues I want to battle with running. I went to the doctor today and weighed in at 156 pounds, my heaviest ever. 80% of my clothes don't fit. My lifestyle also needs a serious overhaul. It's midnight, and I'm sitting in bed reading articles on Runner's World and creating running blogs on my iPad. That pretty much exemplifies my lifestyle - sit around and read online about doing cool things. Nothing motivates me anymore and I get irritated about doing any kind of productive activity that doesnt involve researching my latest obsession online or watching HGTV all day long. On Monday I'm starting a new chapter of my life, in which I run and get things done (and rhyme, apparently.

I hope this blog will serve as an accountability and motivational tool. I plan to blog about each run so I can watch as I improve and remind myself why I'm doing this. Along those lines, I'll start with 10 reasons why I want to run.

1) I want to start an exercise regimen that I can continue the rest of my life.
2) I really want one of those 13.1 or 26.2 stickers to put on my car.
3) I can't fit into the clothes that were my "fat clothes" a few months ago.
4) I want to motivate my husband to exercise as well.
5) I want to wear sexy backless dresses.
6) I want to have more energy to get out of bed each day.
7) I want to accomplish a goal entirely on my own.
8) I want to feel confident enough to work out in just a sports bra.
9) I want to actually like photos taken of myself.
10) I want a new outlook on life.

Stay tuned :)