Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Treadmill is IN!!!!!!

The Treadmill is IN!!! It is put together and ready to go. I must admit I have not gotten on it for more than 5 min yet. Tomorrow is the big day. I am off work and thought I would start my 8-9 week plan. I have not been walking or running so I will use these next few days to work up to Monday and start the Couch to 5K then. I am really excited and can't wait to get started!!!!!

Last Run of 2008

I ran earlier today and Angela is right--it was windy!! I don't think I can use that as my excuse though. Only 15 minutes again, for the second time in a row. I think I did about 1.5 miles which is acceptable but not good by any stretch of the imagination. My legs felt like lead the entire time, and my lungs were barely functioning. I hope I'm not getting sick again.

It is worth mentioning, as I did on my other blog, that we recently adopted a dog named Moxie. She is 3 years old, so old enough to go on runs, but she is just as out of shape as I am...I took her with me today and she was huffing and puffing right along with me. It's somehow comforting that she and I are on the same level, although I think she will get better than me pretty soon! Still, it's nice to have a companion on my runs, no matter how awesome she will soon be.

And on a sentimental note, while I think 2008 will probably go down in history as one of my worst running years (although that statement puts a lot of pressure on my future running self), it will always hold a special place in my heart because this was the year I finally got serious about running and my health. This was the year I did my Couch to 5K plan and actually saw it through to completion. This was the year that I was mad when I was sick because I couldn't run. This was the year I finally had enough of the baby weight (4 years later) and was ready to get rid of it. This was the year Angela and I started talking on the phone every day (sometimes multiple times!) so we could discuss running. This was the year I ran over a mile without stopping and didn't die. In short, I became a different person this year, and I love it.

Running again...kind of...

So I couldn't take it anymore. The sun is shining, and I have a new gadget to play with, so I headed out for some exercise. The plan was to run and walk, but really to do whatever felt comfortable on my knee, and in terms of breathing (chest cold in if I have time for this!). I didn't go fast or far - in fact, I ran just a little and walked the rest while the wind blew dirt in my face ('s really, really windy out there today!).  I completed just 2 miles in 26 minutes (didn't I just do a 5K in just two minutes more time?!), but it felt good to be running again, if you can call it that.

Another bonus - I was too lazy to actually drive anywhere to run/walk so instead, I discovered a terrific 2 mile loop in a nearby neighborhood!  I actually took a short-cut too, so I'm excited to get back to that area and discover longer routes!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Quick post!

15 minutes on the elliptical machine and yoga abs/relax workouts complete.  My knee started to hurt just a little today, so back to ice and aleve... I'm trying to be cautious, but this really is no fun...

Who Knew?

Still not running....but planning to do so this weekend, if the weather is nice, or next week if not. But who knew (I bet you all's me who didn't! :-) that a elliptical machine offered such a tough workout?!  I managed 30 minutes, but I have no way of judging the workout in terms of distance (doesn't seem that distance on one of these things is the same as running distance?), but I could tell that my heart rate was up and my legs were tired!  I'm going to try again today, and this time wear the heart rate monitor. 

Speaking of, if anyone has experience with, or recommendations for a good book about, heart rate monitors, let me know - it seems like a helpful tool, but other than calculating my max heart rate and setting the % based on that, I'm not sure I know where to begin! :-)

Monday, December 29, 2008

Oh Well

My run today was probably just a warm-up run for most actual runners. I did 15 minutes, and felt bad the entire time! On the plus side, I really didn't want to run at all, but I wanted to be able to post that I did something. I guess in that respect having the accountability of this blog is good. It would be too easy to go a week without running during this rainy holiday season.

The memory of my good run from 3 days ago is still with me, and I hope to have another one like that soon. I'll keep chasing that good run.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Ok, not running...but moving...

So I'm still babying my knee....and that being said, I still feel the need to report my physical activity just to make myself feel better:

-- Yoga relax and abs routines complete
-- A one-mile walk through the neighborhood, with about a minute of "running" with Shelby at a 15-minute mile pace :-)
-- Three push-ups...and no, that's not a typo - I managed three whole push-ups before I collapsed on the floor...time to give a bit of attention to my upper body strength?

Better than sitting on the couch, feeling my butt expand....but not nearly as satisfying as a run.... 

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Mystery Solved!

So in an effort to give my knee continued rest, but not be so lazy as to feel as though my butt is expanding by the minute, Ed and I headed to the park, for what ended up being a "picnic" of sorts. But enough on that...see the eating diary for details on that. I HAD to move a little though, so I whipped out my new Garmin Forerunner 405 (Santa was good to me!), and Ed and I walked a lap around the track while Shelby rode her bike. The distance - 1.02 miles. Ed thinks it probably is exactly a mile, with my meandering from side to side of the track accounting for the .02. Good to know!

Oh, and I'm also going to post my other fitness activities for the day, as I'm committed to doing abs and yoga on a regular basis in the coming months. I did the yoga "Relax" and "Abs" workout this morning. I won't say the abs workout felt good, but it did feel good to do it...know what I mean?! :-)

Friday, December 26, 2008

Day After Christmas

Yesterday I decided to take off as a Christmas gift to myself, but my husband made me look bad by going out for a run without me. Today, after we all watched "Kung Fu Panda", he started getting ready to go out again, so I knew I had to too. And believe me, I was not happy about it. We ran a route that I've never run before, and it seemed very long and full of horrible hills. My husband wouldn't let me stop running, something I was NOT happy about at the time, but of course thank him for now.

In reality the course wasn't all that hilly, but there were two notable slopes that we had to try extra hard to get up. My total time was 32:11 and according to Google maps, we ran 2.9 miles. I really, really, really hope that is true, because I was starting to get pretty discouraged with my 15 minute runs. I seem to be the type that has a few really bad runs followed by one good one, just to keep me interested enough to keep running.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve Jog

The family and I ran today on a very torturous Christmas Eve run. The weather is very pleasant, and everyone was feeling very jolly as we started out. That feeling went away very quickly for me, as I struggled along at a snail's pace. I'm just not sure what is going on with me lately! I barely managed to eke out 22 minutes of running, with about a minute of walking at the halfway point. We covered about 2 miles and I am now collapsed. I guess my mantra has become, "It's better than nothing"!!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Trying To Beat The Dark

Today was such a busy day that I didn't think I'd manage to get a run in. But in the end I psyched myself up enough about it that I sort of had to! I got all bundled up since it is so cold today (32 degrees with lots of wind!) and off I went. The only problem was, I forgot how early and quickly it gets dark this time of year. I hadn't been running for more than 5 minutes when it was almost totally dark. We have no sidewalks in our neighborhood, minimal lighting, and a ton of crazy drivers, so I had to get home fast!

I really picked up the pace and got back home safely. I only ran for 12 minutes, which was a bummer, but I covered over a mile, so that means a faster pace than usual for me. I guess it was better than nothing.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Reindeer Run - again!

I'll get right to the point - finished the Reindeer Run in 28:00 officially, but five seconds faster according to my own timekeeping. Either way, still way better than the first race!

If you've read Claire's post (thanks for the comment, by the way Claire!), she said she thought the course was tougher...I, on the other hand, thought it was ridiculously hilly and difficult - a fact that was confirmed later at a birthday party by a veteran runner who claimed that the course we ran today is the hardest 5K course he's ever run! The only reason I didn't sit down on the side of the road halfway up the toughest hill and cry until someone carried me across the finish line was the fact that Ed's friend Doc ran with me. Of course, he just did it to support me (I don't think he even breathed hard at any point during the race, hills or not) and it made a huge difference.  He kept me posted on our pace and distance throughout, and of course told me I was doing a great job, etc. I think I'm going to adopt him as my new coach, assuming he'll do it for free and promise never to yell as a form of motivation!

Reindeer Run

I wrote about today's Reindeer Run on my blog but I will put a few details here, since this is our running blog, after all. Today was a bit harder for me than the last race. I think the course was tougher; it seemed much hillier than the last race. Also, last time I had a really good "first run after not running for 2 weeks" kind of day, whereas this time I have been running here and there, but have only been managing about 2 miles.

Happily though, I completed it, with an official time of 37:50. I walked for about 90 seconds when we had about 1/2 mile left-there was a giant hill that I ran up part of and walked the rest to catch my breath. I'm glad I did because it allowed me to finish strong. My husband and daughter ran with me, and I loved that. I can't wait until Laura is old enough to be running with us instead of riding in the stroller.

I don't want to spoil Angela's post by giving away her time, so I'll just say this: she totally rocked it!!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Quick run...

Ran today for 20 minutes. Felt good to be back at it!

No run yesterday... :-(

Ok, so it's not that newsworthy, but I'm posting it anyway. I didn't get to run yesterday as planned, and I was annoyed all day as a result. I'm planning on running this afternoon though, and then taking tomorrow off in anticipation of 5K #2.... Hopefully, I'll have good news to report after today's run, and even better news to report after the race! :-)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Acceptable Run

26 minutes, over 2 miles, no walking, constant drizzle. I deem it acceptable.

Afterwards the husband and I did the "abs" workout on the yoga video. I can barely move now! That's hard work.

The Chatty Girl at the Gym...

So how do you make a run go by fast, but force yourself to go slower than normal in an effort to meet a time goal?  Pick the treadmill next to the chatty girl at the gym of course!  She and I talked during my entire run of 40 minutes (first 5 walking) and 3.5 miles, and as it turns out, we grew up in the same area of Pennsylvania, and she was familiar with a lot of the bars I used to frequent in college... :-) Overall, it was a great run, and one I'd label "easy" since I wasn't concerned about going a certain distance and I took my time. And, the bonus is, I really enjoyed running and socializing simultaneously!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Two Steps Back

If yesterday felt like I was finally taking one step forward, then today was two steps back! I ran this afternoon with my husband and we both struggled (me much more than him). I only managed 10 minutes, then walked 90 seconds, then ran 10 more minutes. I had planned on doing one more 10 minute circuit, but I was within sight of my house and just couldn't do it. I ran one more minute and collapsed at home.

On the plus side, our guilt over the bad run drove my husband and I to do some yoga for the first time ever. It was really hard! We were both sweating and sore by the end of the 20 minute routine but it made me feel better about the bad run. I hope to continue with the yoga and gain some more strength and flexibility. That can only help my running, right?!?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

The stars aligned...and I've been converted!

So I've finally figured out that some days you'll have good runs, and some days you'll have not-so-good runs, and it really is all part of the process.  And I guess a lot goes into making a good run, like getting enough sleep, enough, but not too much to eat, not feeling too sore, and so on.  

But today....the stars aligned I guess, and my run was great. The temperature outside was perfect (it was about 60 degrees), so I headed to the track to battle the frustration of looking for my keys for a mere four hours today.  I ran 4 laps, which took me 40 minutes, during which I think I became an outdoor runner. It was wonderful to use time as a goal, and beyond looking at my watch as I finished each lap, I didn't care one thing about how far I'd gone, how many miles per hour I was running, or how many calories I was burning. And the best part....I got to run at my own pace, which meant slowing down going up "the hill" and speeding up as I felt like it. I know the treadmill is my best friend when it comes to fitting a workout into my day, and will continue to be for at least a while, but now I appreciate running outdoors all the more for it.   Oh...and I found my keys as soon as I got my purse where they always are...

Slowly Getting Better

I guess I'm slowly getting back on track. Today I was short on time but I still wanted to get in at least a 2 mile run. I ran for 22 minutes and was moving pretty quickly (for me!). I got 2 miles done, maybe even a bit more. Hopefully this next week will go well and I can get ready for the 5K on Saturday!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Joint Run/Joint Post

I'll post quickly for both of us...Angela and I ran today around Hope Mills Park. We did one lap (about one mile), which was fine with both of us. She didn't want to undo her relaxing day, and I didn't want to die. We had Laura with us in the jogging stroller, and she kept taunting us, saying that she could run faster than us. Speaking just for myself: today, she probably could have.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Must have been the day for bad runs...

I had a terrible run too today - maybe it can be attributed to the weird weather?! I ran/walked on the treadmill, forcing myself to stay on for 25 minutes. At the 25 minute mark, I couldn't take another step, so I jumped off. I think I did just over 2 miles, but I know I couldn't have ran much more than half of that. After two days off, I expected way better, but like you, Claire, it was hot and humid in the gym...yuck...

The good news is, I'm sure there are better runs ahead for all of us!  

Worst. Run. Ever.

I hadn't run for 2 days (horrors!) so today was a "run or else" kind of day. It rained hard overnight and the streets are wet, but it was barely drizzling when I went out. What it is though, is humid. Pretty shocking for mid-December, and while I have yet to experience our summer humidity, this was pretty bad. I felt lethargic and I couldn't breathe. I have no idea if that had to do with the weather or just me being out of shape.

I'm embarrassed to report that I ran one mile. That's it. And I had to force myself to do that. The only plus side is that I ran it in 10:30, which is a quicker pace than I usually do. That in itself is embarrassing too. I long for the day that 10:30 is a super-slow pace. While I'm dreaming, it would be nice to be able to run more than a mile.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Crowd photos!

Note that we can be identified at the back of all of the runners in one of these photos, if you look for Claire's green jacket - a good ego boost to start at this point, because we passed about two-thirds of these people (ok, so they were walking and pushing strollers...not the point!) about 30 seconds into the run. Yes, we're THAT awesome!

The Jingle Bell Jog - photos!

Monday, December 8, 2008

An experiment...

So I thought I'd experiment with my running today, and see what happened. I really wanted to see if I could run the distance of a 5K faster, so I focused on running exactly 3.1 miles. I started out at a ten-minute mile pace, then increased to a pace of a little over 8 and a half-minute miles, and then back to a ten-minute mile pace to finish. 3.1 miles in 28:40. I felt great throughout from a cardio perspective, but my legs got really tired!  I'm glad tomorrow is an off day for me, because I have a feeling I'm going to be a little sore! :-)

Recovery Run Part Duex

Today was another attempt at getting back on track. Nothing exciting to report...ran for 21 mins, walked 2, ran 5 more. Covered probably about 2 miles. It was cold today but not as bad as it's been. When my husband runs with me, he has been pushing the stroller for me since I still feel pretty winded while running. Hopefully I'll be back to pushing it on my own before too long.

I registered my husband and I for the Reindeer Run on the 20th. I hope I'll be able to do that race, it starts out with a huge hill which makes me nervous!

Jingle Bell Jog!!!

So rather than continue to wait for my darling husband to load photos onto my computer, I'm going to spill it regarding the 5K, and post photos later! 

Here goes....the Jingle Bell Jog was so much FUN!  Claire and I arrived together, figured out how to attach numbers and chips, froze our behinds off as we waited to start, then started late as we threw our stuff at Ed so we could catch up!  

Once we got started, Claire and I ran together for the first mile or so - and about five seconds into the race we decided that our fear of finishing last was completely unfounded....after all, lots of people walked the 5K, so finishing last would have been nearly impossible!  So what's the best part about the race?  PASSING PEOPLE!  I loved picking someone in front of me, and deciding that I was going to finish before that person. And I have to be honest - it was especially fun passing someone if that someone happened to be a boy! :-)

Results (time of course is off because we didn't start right away!): I finished in 33:01, I think... I was 23rd to finish, and the 12th girl to finish.  

It also must be noted that Claire did awesome, especially since she'd been sick and hadn't run in a while!

Next event....a 5K on December 20, then maybe a 10K????  

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Recovery Run

Friday was the big 5K day, which I wrote about on my family blog. You can read about it here if you haven't already. Today was what I deemed my "Recovery Run", and that's exactly what it was. My legs were pretty sore, since I haven't run for a while and since the first mile of the 5K was entirely uphill. So I knew today would be rough. And it was.

It was downright cold today, so cold that my husband even gave in and wore a long-sleeved shirt and gloves on the run. This from the guy who ran in shorts and a T-shirt while living in Missouri last winter. I met my goal and ran for about 1.5 miles, then walked for 2 minutes, and ran a little bit longer. Altogether I ran for a little under 25 minutes, which I was pleased with. I am definitely getting back into running after being sick for so long, so I am making a point not to push myself too hard. 25 minutes of running with walking sprinkled in does not please me, but it's better than nothing! Hopefully in about a month or so 3 miles will be my "normal" run. I have a lot of work to do before then.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Yesterday's run...

I ran yesterday, but have no idea how far or how fast.  I jumped off of the treadmill somewhere in the middle of the 5K program to get a drink of water, and apparently took too much time, so the treadmill reset itself and I had to start over. Overall though, it was NOT my best run, which is too bad because I was looking for a confidence booster for tomorrow. Oh well...I've finally concluded that I'll finish the race tomorrow, and not worry about the rest - besides...we'll get cool t-shirts!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Too much turkey?

So not the best run today, and a treadmill run, at that (yep, I've pretty much decided that I'm a wimp about running in the cold, especially when its windy!).  I ran 3.19 miles, took me over 30 minutes though...maybe 35?  I was tired, and stopped to walk for a bit in the middle. At least it was something. more run on my own, and 3 days, before the Jingle Bell Jog.  The countdown begins!