For as long as I can remember, I told people "I can't run." But in March of 2009, I decided that this was no longer an option. From my first 5K to my second half marathon, I've endured my highest highs and lowest lows as an official Runner. This year I want to embrace running for something beyond times and distances.

Running is so much more than merely getting out there. I want to get out there and love it.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Lakefront Discovery 5K

Done and done! And done it was!! It was about 42 degrees with like 100mi/hr wind gusts. Ok that second part was an exaggeration, but seriously, it was windy. So like I said, I was hoping to break 27 and did I ever!! I hauled major A the first mile with 7:45...what the?!?!? Well let me just tell you that I seriously paid the price for that. The two miles after that were a real dooze. I was huffin' and puffin' more than I ever have during a run. They offered little cups of beer at the 2.75ish mile mark and I couldn't even look at the stand haha! I think my biggest issue was--and please excuse the mild disgust--crazy major phlegm happening. I swear I thought I was going to choke!! Ok end disgust ;) Anyway! I seriously gave it all I had in the last two blocks. I could see the finish and I was like, omg, how am I ever going to get there...TWO BLOCKS! But I passed this chick on my left and just plowed through the pain. I saw my sister cheering me on to my right, and straight ahead, right after the finsih was my sweet boyfriend, camera-ready, to take what I'm sure is THEE ugliest photo of me ever!! THank GOD it's film so I don't have to see it for a few weeks ;)

So after finishing, I seriously told everyone to just HOLD on while I leaned over my knees trying to make my lungs work again. After a minute I regained my composure, had an Oreo and a couple mini Special Dark bars, washed them down with a whole water bottle, and began the freezing cold search for my bag. I tossed it in the Uhaul right at the last minute so it wasn't in an organized box with my name on it. Dumb. I was like "I wish I could look for this thing with CLOTHES on!!!" I mean not only was I wearing shorts and a tshirt in 42 degree 100mi/hr wind gusts, but the sweat (yes I sweat in 42 degree weather haha!) had now turned to icicles all over my body. Anyway, I found the thing and my sis, Chris, and I headed over to the Ale House for my well earned FREE BEER! I enjoyed several cups of that, but did not enjoy the frigid temps inside the Ale House. After a little visit to Starbucks with Chris to warm up, we parted ways, and I actually ran most of the way home? Oh Katie.

So yep! Run number three under the belt! Oh, so what was my time? Oh that'd be 25:30. WHAT??? Totally didn't expect it. Not at all.

Not. at. all.

The official stats breakdown:
bib number: 1721
age: 29
overall place: 41 out of 367
division place: 4 out of 45 (what?!)
gender place: 14 out of 230
time: 25:30
pace: 8:13
~link to my stats

Next up MAYBE the Turkey Trot on Sunday??? I'll have to switcharoo my church situation though, so we'll see. I wanna win a free turkey!!!

Friday, October 30, 2009

light month

So since the 8K, I've taken it REAL easy. It was kinda nice though resting my knees. After that race, they were really killing me. Now they feel almost 100% normal! Tomorrow I have the Lakefront Discovery 5K! After I ran Al's, I looked up the participation and times for last year's Lakefront Discovery and a. like 100 people run it (because most do the 15K), and b. the fastest times in my division are like 24/25 minutes! In Al's I did the first three miles in like 25 and half!! But for some reason I don't think I'll be able to crack that tomorrow. I think I'll be lucky to do it in 27. My first 5K was 27:53 I think? In any case, people keep saying I'll surprise myself, so we'll see. I did a test run earlier this week and it wasn't good at all. I had a side ache the entire time. But I think I'll be better off tomorrow morning with rest and food in my stomach (I was so hungry during Tuesday's trial run!)

After the race though, I really have to step it back up. While I did really need the rest, I have to get up to my three runs a week again and start building my mileage.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Al's Run!!

I DID IT!!!!!!!!

Ok, so in keeping with my race posts, here's a summary:

I went to bed at 9:30pm, ON A FRIDAY NIGHT, so I could get up well rested at 6am this morning. I made coffee immediately. For breakfast I had a peanut butter, banana, milk, protein smoothie and a granola bar. I was pretty nervous. Not really giant flapping birds just yet, but it wasn't your typical Saturday morning (because when am I up before 8am?!?) I iced my knees and watched a Dog Show on Animal Planet. At 8am I walked over to my office to grab my ipod (I had left there accidentally WHOOPS!) GOOD because it gave me a mile and a quarter warm up :) On my way there the giant flapping birds began their dance in my stomach. Guh!

After grabbing my ipod and going to the bathroom for the 9348025th time, I headed to the shuttle area, and I heard "Want a ride??" It was my parents in my mom's bright yellow Cobalt :) I hopped in, we drove *AH* block, parked, and headed to the shuttles. I gave my mom my jacket and yoga pants, she handed me my ipod (almost forgot JEEZ), and my stepdad and I boarded the bus. We spent the next hour chatting about running and life in this Marquette building...I was trying not to think TOO hard about everything! At 10:15, and after ONE more bathroom break, we got in the very back of the 7min mile section which I didn't agree with but David convinced me just to go with it. "3 minutes" "90 seconds" "5...4...3...2....." It's finally here!!!!!!

In a few words: the race was definitely difficult! The whole reason I wanted to run with my stepdad, aside from the comradery (!!), was so he could keep me at a good pace. He's the one who recently finished SECOND in his division at the Cudahy Classic 8K! So I was definitely doing a pretty jaunty pace! The first song on my quick playlist was "All Over the World" by Pet Shop Boys and I immediately got all misty!! I was like: holy hotdogs, I'm REALLY in this thing!! A seemingly lofty goal just a few months totally happening! From that point on, I kicked some ass. Yep, not gonna lie, there were a couple times I felt kinda rough...but not so bad that it was debilitating...mostly my legs hurt, as a good majority of the first half is uphill. But I never experienced one cramp or side ache :)

Then the magic happened.

So my original goal for this race, around 4-5 months ago, was under 50 minutes. As you know, a couple weeks ago I adjusted that to 44 minutes. You may also remember that I completely freaked out after my bad run and figured 44 minutes was TOO lofty. I was rounding the 4 mile marker, I looked at my watch. At 4 miles I was at 34:40. What????? Totally unbelievable! So in the final mile stretch, in order to make my 44 minute goal, I could basically slowly jog to the finish line and make it. This rocked!! But of course I didn't slow down...I really pushed through. It was hard. I mean I had basically been running 8:40 min miles which is pretty crazy for slow little me!!

Right before rounding the last corner, I put on The Hives' "Supply and Demand" and With the finish line in my sights, I scraped the bottom of my energy barrel and seriously sprinted to the end. As I crossed the finish, I did this crazy arms rockin out "look at me I'm AWESOME" move and then basically wanted to throw up :) But I didn't!!! David was behind me and I turned around and said, "ok give me a minute"...after that I turned back and said "Seriously David, that was AWESOME!!!" I can't even describe how elated I was!!! I just couldn't believe I did it. I really accomplished my goal, and in "only" seven months of "beginner running."

In the next minute, I ran into a couple dudes from of whom I chat with a ton about running :) We all finished relatively close to one another so that was pretty exciting too! Then my mom and sister ran up to us and that made me even MORE excited!!! We all chatted about the race, I got water, my free snicksnacks (pita chips!!!), and scarfed down a half of a banana. We capped off the event by going to one of my favorite local restaurants Buckleys and I celebrated with a Guinness ;) I used my mom's Blackberry to discover the following SUPER FREAKING AWESOME info:

Katie Nelson
bib number: 2690
age: 29
gender: F
overall place: 1134 out of 3185
division place: 86 out of 367
gender place: 280 out of 1444
***time: 42:41***
~link to my stats

42 freaking minutes and 41 seconds?!?!

Totally NUTS. So basically I was in the top 23% of my age division 25-29 (which, BY THE BY, I'm at the END of!!!) and in the top 19% of my gender. And, roughly, in the top third overall. (hopefully my math isn't totally brain is tired??) For only running for SEVEN months, I think that's pretty damn awesome.


Now how about a piece of humble pie, huh Katie??

I could NOT have done this without all the friends and coworkers behind me, well aware of this race and well aware of me racing this race. Talk about motivation!! I also could not have done this without the knowledge that my mom and sister were waiting for me at the finish. Especially considering that just ONE YEAR AGO I was waiting for my SISTER at the end of her first race...JEALOUS of the fact that she could run and I couldn't!!! And finally, I couldn't have done this *WELL* without David at my side keeping my pace. I really don't have any words to describe...such a milestone, and such an experience.

Ok I think I'm done with this novel of a post. My legs kinda hurt and I might need more beer ;)

Next stop??? My Halloween 5K in three weeks!!!


Friday, October 9, 2009

Day before Jitters

Alright so the day is almost here. You'd think I have a marathon to run tomorrow. It's "just" 5 miles guh!! I just never got over that bad run from last week, AND my knees are totally shot. I don't know what I did, but my left one hurts SITTING DOWN. It's seriously lame. In more ways than one? Anyway! So I mapped out the gist of the route:

View Interactive Map on

And for the heck of it, here are my mile markers:
Mile 1: Milwaukee
Mile 2: A little after Knapp
Mile 3: Roughly the end of Lafayette Hill
Mile 4: Almost to the Mason Bridge
Mile 5: FINISH! Start haulin' once I hit VB though.

"During Al's Run in Milwaukee, I'd like to take a Knapp, but at the End of the Hill and Under the Bridge I must Finish!"

Ok that helped! I broke down the route, so it seems way easier to handle. NOT that it wasn't easier to handle in the first place, but for some reason, I'm a little more excited now :) I can almost see all the people and hear the crowd! Alright, good stuff, I'm golden now! My knees should break in heading into mile 3 per usual and after 3.5 I should be able to really bust outta the box!

Well wish me luck internet friends who may or may not read this blog :)

Friday, October 2, 2009

minor set back

So I'm usually gushing about how friggin rad my runs are, hey? Well I'm not superwoman afterall. My run last night was atrocious. All I was going to do was a ~2.25 mile fartlek/interval type run right? Oh man. So right when I started I felt some pain in my right shin. And after my second speed-up, I felt like I just couldn't breathe right. So after barely a mile and a half, I just had to stop. (I had ONLY been running 14 freaking minutes!!) I caught my breath for five minutes and ran the rest of the way home (not even a half mile) like three times slower than when I started. It was very disappointing. And for the rest of the night my knees and shins hurt pretty bad AND my exercise-induced asthma kicked in. Something I haven't suffered from at all since I first started running. My knee was even worse this morning.

SO! Apparently I must not have waited enough time to run since my 6.6mi on Tuesday?? But c'mon two days? So bizarre. I guess my body just needs rest. And of course I seriously don't want to overdo anything before the race. So lesson learned: just take it easy this week. I got a bunch of long distance in this past month, so I'm good there. I'll run once, maybe twice in the next week, but real easy. Hopefully I didn't mess up my knee or anything somewhere back there :(

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Al's Run goal

Alright, so I really didn't want to set a goal time for my 8k race next weekend. Mostly because I didn't want to accidentally suck and disappoint myself. Originally I wanted to run it in under 50 minutes. At first that actually looked challenging because I was running my long distance routes averaging like 10:30 minute miles. But for some reason, recently I've just been blowin' it out the box. Last night I ran 6.6 miles averaging 9:04 min miles. That's unbelievable. That means that I could run Al's in 45 minutes. That's crazy talk. And with it being race day and all? With the adrenaline? We're talkin' like 44 minutes possibly. Like if I ran even 8:54 min miles? Done. And that blows my mind.

But like I said, am I setting myself up for disappointment if I really set that goal? The whole point of doing Al's Run was to DO it! To actually run an 8K which I never in a million years thought I could do. But what if I have a bad running day? What if it's unseasonably warm and sunny? What if I have a really bad side cramp and just absolutely have to slow down to regain my composure? It's hard dealing with the unknown. And speaking of the unknown, I've never even run this route before. What if that trips me up? Bah...this is just week-before-the-race jitters, that's all. I guess at the end of the day I'm going to hope for something like 47-48 minutes (9:30min mi avg), but push really really hard for under 45. I mean you need a lofty goal to get that extra push at the end of the race right??

In any case, I have like three runs left before the big day: a fartlek one tomorrow, 3-4 mile quick paced run over the weekend, and a light jog or two early next week as I don't want to do anything drastic before the race. I find that my body really gains ground when I have more than just a couple days between runs. For example, I had about four days in between last night's and Thursday's run and I could seriously feel a ton of progress, like my body is rewarding me for resting :)

One final note: God bless fall. The absolute, without a doubt, ultimate BEST WEATHER to run in. October in Wisconsin is a gift from above for runners :)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

go go gadget legs?

Just wanted to post that I DID in fact run this morning. I went to bed a little on the late side, so that 6am alarm was a real dooze. When I headed out, my legs were a little rough, so I decided I'd just do like three miles instead of four, to give my legs a rest. I also decided to do a bit of a slower run. Well when push came to shove, while I didn't do my little "brain tricks," there were quite a few times when I decided to push harder. And hard it was! It's been so humid lately, so the run was pretty stifling. When I got home and tracked my route, it turns out I did ~3.75 miles at 8:54 min miles?!?!? How the heck was I going so fast?!?!'s times like these that I think this training is not only working, it's ACTUALLY working! What? Yep!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

another goal accomplished!

In my first running blog post, my "third goal" was to run with my step-dad. Now despite the fact that he's pushing 50 and regularly feels pain in places we didn't know existed, he still hauls ass!! A few weeks ago, he ran the Badgerland Striders Cudahy Classic 8K and placed second in his age division (M 40-49) with a time of 38:33 (7:43)...I think that's pretty freaking good!!

In any case, when I first started running, I figured it would be awhile before I'd run with him. Obviously he can slow it down for me, but I didn't want him practically tripping over his feet in an effort to slow down. Well with my own 8K race coming up, I figured it might be a good idea to try it. Perhaps David would speed me up a little. Meanwhile, he wanted to run the race himself, but to avoid injury, he needed someone a little slower to run with. It's a match made in heaven!

So Sunday afternoon, he met me at the apartment. This was my "long run" day and since I went 6.6 miles last week, I decided to up to to 7 miles. I know...7 miles running with a veteran?? Was I biting off more than I could chew?? Well I mapped out a 7 mile route, and we took off into the slightly mild temperatures, but HOT sun. Aaaaand how did it go??? Well basically it couldn't have gone any better!!! Right away I knew I was going faster than I typically do in the first couple miles. At first it made me nervous because of the length of the route...was I going to totally pass out like four miles in? Nope not at all! I just kept plugging away. I'll tell you that runs go SO MUCH FASTER when you're running WITH someone! Talk about a way to beat the long distance boredom! And it's not like we were talking or anything. We probably exchanged like three sentences total the whole way, not including "turn right here." But I guess maintaining your focus on the person next to you is enough distraction.

The two hotspots in the run were the two big hills I made sure to incorporate: one at mile 5 and one at mile 6.75 or so. So yeah, right at the end of course! I told David I needed to slow down to prepare for the first hill and that worked ok. And actually after the hill was over, I usually slow waaaaay down to recover, but because I was with David, I just pushed on. After the second hill, at the end of the route, I gave 'er hell, per usual, and sprinted the final 2 minutes (roughly four blocks or so). I think David was pretty surprised I had it in me!!

Ok enough of that...what about STATS?!? I love me some stats!! Well, when I recorded our time (1:07:10) into mapmyrun, turns out I did the 7.2 mile route averaging 9:18 min miles!!! That's WORLDS...WORLDS away from 10:10 min miles from last weekend's long run. So yeah, consider this girl very proud of herself!!! Meanwhile David ALSO said that this was one of his favorite runs! He said the pace was excellent and definitely a good way to avoid re-activating his injury. So basically, while he may not earn himself another awesome 8K time in the upcoming race, he'll be helping ME get a better time than I would by myself. Basically if I can run 7 miles at that pace, I can certainly do 5 miles at that pace!! Add in the energy and adrenaline of Race Day, and I could stand to get a really solid time! I'm so stoked now!!!

In other news, last night I did another "fartlek" type interval run. Only 2.2 miles again, but I did it in 18:28 instead of 20:00 like last week! That's a solid 8:30 min mile average!! I do believe that's my best time yet. Granted "only" for 2 miles, but still...I think all the varying in training is seriously helping me. I'm so glad I really buckled down in these past few weeks!

However, with that said, I noticed during my long run, and especially in my interval run yesterday, that my legs are feeling pretty rough. I could feel sharp pains in my right leg from my quad to my knee to my shin to my ankle to my big toe. It went away about 3 minutes in, but still, it's got me a little worried and I don't want to overdo it just two weeks before the 8K. So I'm going to see what happens on Thursday morning...whether I should do the 4 miler or not. On the one hand, more long distance will really prepare me for the 8K, but on the other hand, am I pushing it with these 6-7 mile runs? It's so hard to say.

OK END OF LONG ASS POST! I'm sure YOU could've run 7 miles in the time it took you to read this jeez!

Friday, September 18, 2009

this morning's run

So my 4ish mile runs have been landing on mornings (instead of after work) several times now and I always kind of dread them because I feel really sluggish and my time is always slower. Well I actually woke up like 5 minutes before my 6am alarm went off, so perhaps I was already psyching myself up for a better run.

I started trotting away and I immediately noticed two things: a. why aren't my legs working right and b. I dressed waaaaay too warm for what I thought to be a cold morning. But I didn't let these things get me down. I pulled up my pant legs and focused on trying to get my pace/footfalls right. I was totally clopping like a horse out there!

Sure enough, I started hitting my stride, but approaching the two mile mark I started getting tired per usual. But just yesterday I read someone's something-or-other on Facebook talking about Jillian from Biggest Loser and the concept of Mind over Matter. So I started telling myself: hey now, this is ALWAYS the part of the run that sucks...body will wake up in just a few minutes, so right now brain has to take over. And I went faster.

I started setting little goals for myself like "get to those trees way down there in 30 seconds." Now because I'm technically unsure of how far away the trees are, I have no idea whether 30 seconds would be a fast pace or not, BUT simply the act of "setting a goal" makes one run faster! So I kept doing this throughout my entire run...five minutes on this next leg, 30 seconds to the next block, get to Point B before time hits 40:00. It worked like a charm. Additionally, when I'd feel tired, I'd just tell my body to go harder, no ifs/ands/buts about it.

Nearing the end of my route, I was *hoping for something like 9:45 minute miles, MAAAYBE 9:30. What did I do? Not only did I run 4.78 miles (when I thought I'd barely get to the 4.2 mile mark), but I did it averaging 9:10 minute freaking miles!!!!! 9:10?!?!? What the?!?!

So there you have it! I think I seriously gained a TON setting the small goals (sort of like doing intervals/speed work, but *tricking your body into thinking they're just fun quick little games). Although I think my speedwork 2 mile runs are meshing really well with my hour+ runs as well.

Maybe it's all coming together? Maybe I just had a really good running day? Maybe I ate the perfect combo of food the night before (uhh pizza/wings/238021408234 tortilla chips???)...I don't know, but I like it. And it gives me fuel to keep getting better. I'll be prepared for the off days like any other runner has to be. But hopefully this physical AND mental training is really paying off!

OH!!! And I totally forgot to mention it Day Of, but my SIX MONTH RUNNING ANNIVERSARY was on Tuesday!!! Six months and look how far I've come...I mean WHY would I ever consider doing a half marathon?!?!? And here I actually am! Spooky!!!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Less than a month!!

I've got less than a month until my 8K race. In the last two weeks, I've adopted the following regiment:

Beginning week: 2-2.5 mile "intervals" in which I run three 45 second burst every five minutes. It's much more difficult than it seems! Undoubtedly because I'm not used to it. Despite the 20 minutes I'm running which is ridiculously short, this is the hardest run of my week.

Midweek: 4-4.5 miles. I try to pick this one up so I get at the 9:30 min mile range.

Weekend: Hour run. Last week I only did 52 minutes because it was so hot, and apparently I was running 9:30 min miles which doesn't seem right to me, but I guess math doesn't lie! Yesterday I ran from my house to my boyfriend's house, which is actually "only" 4.5 miles, so I had to tack on an extension which bumped it up to 6.6 miles!! I did it in 1:07 though which was actually incredibly disappointing. I seriously thought I was haulin' out there, especially because a large chunk of the run is a. downhill and b. in a slightly sketchy neighborhood so you HAVE to run a little quicker!! I don't know where I went wrong. But this actually gives me some fuel to repeat it this weekend and try to beat that time. Maybe Sunday night again, but perhaps NOT after dark?? I was honestly a bit frightened at certain points haha!

In any case, the main reason I was disappointed was because I am extremely determined to beat 50 minutes in that 8K. Obviously doing the 8K in the first place is a goal unto itself, but now that I know I can clearly run five miles plus, I want to get a good time. So since I'm starting a new running week, I just really have to step it up a notch and push even though it hurts. NPNG and all that fun stuff ;)

Anyway, I'm still loving to run!! My knees aren't loving anything right now, but they're just gonna have to deal with it.

PS I just realized that with my 6.6 miles I ran yesterday, I ran over 10K!!! So there's my next goal all set to go: 10K race! :)

Monday, August 24, 2009

still running!!

So there's been a bit of a hiatus on this blog, but that doesn't mean I've quit!! I have been struggling for time, however. I was down to only running a couple times a week. But it is summer and in addition to the tons of social engagements, the hot weather, and the additional exercise I get from walking around fairs and fests, the lakefront and neighborhood, and Vegas (oh that's right Vegas), I've balanced things out quite a bit.

In ANY case, I decided to post today for various reasons! One, I received two comments in the last week from random passers-by thanking me for encouraging them to get out there! This, in turn, encourages ME too!! When I first started running, I read quite a few beginners' blogs and it was really neat starting at their first entry and seeing how far they had come. To provide that for someone else is the main reason I starting this blog and even if I inspire just one single person, it's worth every letter I type!!

Secondly, I rocked another milestone last week! I ran for an entire HOUR!!!! Obviously I've got an 8K coming up in about a month and a half. And as I just mentioned, my days running per week have not only decreased, but so have my miles...clocking in 3.5miles at most. Not good when you're trying to get up to running 5 miles comfortably ("comfortably" being the operative word here). So on Wednesday evening, I started out with the intention of trying to run for at least 40 minutes to try to build my stamina back up. Well, as I approached the first mile, I hit a major wall. My upper abdomen cramped up and I could barely run. I stopped for a minute to stretch my legs and it died down. But I ran for another minute and it came back with a vengeance. My mind was racing...I was down by the lakefront park and I thought to myself: I should just go back. I'm barely going to make it two miles, let alone the 40 minutes I had planned on. But something inside my brain clicked and I knew I was just going to have to force myself. And not the kind of force where your alarm goes off at 6am and you "force" yourself out of bed to go for a morning jog. The kind of force where, with every step, you feel the most painful blood curdling stab in your side and you barely breath because that just makes it worse. But off I went...

After mile two, I started "getting used to" the the sort of way where I basically tried very VERY hard to zone it out. I felt like a zombie running up the lakefront path merely focusing on the breath going in and going out of my lips in short bursts. And then...suddenly at about 3.5 miles, like MAGIC, the pain was gone and I was golden. And every five or so minutes after that point it just got better and better. Basically my body decided that apparently this is what she and I were going to be doing for the next chunk of time, so we might as well feel good about it. Like a pouting infant whose mom won't let her have the toy at Target, so she just gives up and moves on. Somewhere at this point, I think it was at the 40 minute mark, I decided to go the whole hour. As I rounded up the last ten minutes, the only part of my body that really hurt were my hip flexors, as they aren't used to the ongoing forward/back motion.

When I returned to the apartment, my sister and her BF came downstairs and were all "where were you this whole time?!?!" It was a GRAND feeling showing them my watch and saying: No, that isn't a minute and two seconds...HOUR AND TWO MINUTES!!!" Awesome! In any case, I'm going to try very hard to run an hour once a week. It's very difficult to find the time and the weather to do it in (Wed night was a cool 65 or so...very atypical for August in Wisconsin!). But I think at this point, if I can get through the awful stabbing I endured on Thursday and still run for an hour, this 8K in October is totally ON!

Here's to second winds!!!

Friday, July 10, 2009

My first 5K race!!!

I did it!!!!!!!

My running pal Drew got to my apartment around 7ish. We watched Friends reruns (while I was trying desperately to ignore the huge flapping birds in my stomach). We headed down to Cathedral Square Park around 8pm to find my family hanging out by the bar Bad Genie. For the next hour, I, again, tried to ignore the massive birds, as well as the blaring music which was supposed to be "motivational" but more so intensely nerve-wracking! Chris arrived a little before start time, and I will admit that it was an incredibly sweet gesture!! I will ALSO admit that it didn't help my nerves too much, as it was the first official Meet the Parents moment yeesh!! Ironic too since the first time Nate met the parents was at Mandsi's first 5K last October! Running brings people together, I'm telling you! Davie, Drew, and I headed into the throng of runners with ten minutes to go. Davie headed to the front and Drew and I discussed weird things like peeing out of your mouth?? I blame nerves.

KAPOW!!!! START TIME!!! I was in the middle front of the 5000 runners, so I waited until I crossed the official start line to start my watch (about 30 seconds after the big clock began). Ok, talk about surreal guys!! Obviously I've been in crowds of people all heading in the same direction, but there's something about the RUNNING in the same direction that made me feel very Cloverfield! Like we were all running from some ginormous monster thrashing about the city! It was truly bizarre and not something I was expecting!

Most people passed me up for most of the time ;) But I definitely didn't want to go too fast. Interestingly enough, I checked out my time at the first mile mark and it was around eight and a half minutes!! So I was definitely going faster than typical which obviously makes sense in a race atmosphere. Midway through the race, since I knew the course, I was like: jeez this is going super fast!! Just flying by! I did feel tired throughout, just because of the quicker pace, but it wasn't debilitating by any means. The final half mile was the point where I was going to "pull out all the stops" and "haul ass"...and despite the fact that it was ALL UPHILL, I really did! I started to pass more people and just gave it my all! I definitely felt a very strong burning sensation in my chest, but in my head I just kept yelling C'MON KATIE, KICK IT INTO HIGH GEAR!!!

Right ahead of me I saw the clock at 28 minutes and as I crossed the finish, I stopped my own watch at 27:53!!! Sounds a lot better than 28:00 which was only seven seconds away ;) I was TOTALLY winded as I put on the breaks, but honestly, within a minute, I was good to go! Like I hadn't run at all! Even my mom commented on it! "I have a fast recovery time" :) I did feel great though, SO excited, as shown in this pic haha!

So we hung out for awhile, I did some stretching (glad I did because, this morning, I can vaguely feel what it WOULD'VE been like if I hadn't!!), purchased a beer, and discussed some details. David ran it in 21 minutes or so INSANE!!! Drew had an asthma attack halfway through and actually SAW me pass him by!!! He came in maybe 20-30 seconds after me.

Everyone dispersed and Chris and I chilled with our beers outside Genie for a little while. After taking him home, I eagerly updated my Facebook stuff and hit the sack around 1am ha!!

Overall it was very much an intense and exciting experience to say the least! I don't think I would've done anything differently. I think maybe my favorite part was watching the other runners continue to stream in AFTER I had crossed...NOT to be some big ol' bitch or anything, but it really made me feel like I have something here with this running thing. I'm not amazing or some running prodigy, but if I put my mind to it, I think I can just keep building...whether it be a faster time or a longer race. At the end of the day all that matters is that it was FUN!!! I felt like I was really part of something, but at the same time, it felt very personal. I noticed the runners around me, but it also felt like very much my OWN private race just like my every-day runs.

So onward and upward!!! I'm going to really start to focus on the 8K now and come up with some kind of schedule combining strength training short runs and one slower long run each week.

One final note, as I said on Facebook, I couldn't have done this without my stepdad. I look forward to future days of mutually impressing and motivating one another for as long as we can (barring knees, hips, and other rough spots due to our old age haha!!)

Thanks Davie for everything!!!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Major Goal!!!

I ran 5 miles!!! I can officially run an 8K! Maybe not amazingly well--the run was VERY inconsistent starting off pretty rough and slow and ending perfect--but I can do it! Man I remember when I first started and 5 miles seemed pretty freaking impossible!! Like when I looked at Stage Two and was just totally bewildered at running straight for one whole hour. Now these 5 miles I did took 51 minutes, but I imagine that on a good day I could potentially run for an hour if I went a little slower. I'll work up to's definitely another goal of mine. In fact, it's times like these that make me wonder if I'd actually be able to do a 15K. Maybe not anytime soon, but within the next year or so? Like the Lakefront Discovery next fall? Well I guess anything can happen if you keep at it. My knee just needs to hold up and actually lately it's been hurting less and/or the recovery time is shorter. So I bet it's a combo of building strength and wearing that knee brace bandage thing (thanks again Davie!!).

So next up, my first 5K on Thursday!!! I'm not nervous now, but I know I probably will be day-of. I'm going to take an easy run tomorrow (yesterday I think I walked like six miles total and my legs, or rather my FEET could use a break today) and then nothing till Thursday. Wish me luckies!!!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

way behind!!

I've had a few runs since my last epic post! Right now I'm in 5K training goal is to run at least 4 miles so I keep building up the endurance. I've had mixed results.

Thurs 18th
I ran in the morning exactly 3 miles in 30 minutes so my pace was the "slower" 10 minute's really hard to run quickly in the morning, that's for sure. My legs were pretty sluggish.

Sun 21st
This run went surprisingly well as I had been eating massive amounts of food and drinking massive amounts of alcohol all Dad's day! I ran 3.5 miles in 33 minutes (9.5 min miles) in the refreshing rain.

Wed 24th
UGH!!! I ran first thing in the morning, at 6:30am, and it was already 81 degrees and muggy as hell. I REALLY wanted to go 40 minutes, and halfway through, I was like 30?? And then I reached the Jefferson hill and had to stop at 25. This was the first time I've had to stop running when I had a different goal in mind. It was just too hot and the air was so stifling after that hill I couldn't breath! So I did 2.5 miles in 25...really not bad for an 80 degree day. And I actually ran three more minutes on the walk home because I was bored with walking haha!

Mon 29th
I took a loooooong hiatus because I was in Peru, IL all weekend, and FINALLY did my 4 miles! 4.2 in 43 minutes though, so a little slowish. My legs weren't feeling that great and something's up because they hurt pretty bad all night post-run and into this morning. I think I just had too long of a hiatus. I'm hoping to run again Wednesday morning even though I'm starting to loath morning runs with the cold muscles and all that.

In any case, my run yesterday OFFICIALLY clocked me in at 100 miles since March 15th!!! SUPER stoked about that! Meanwhile, I signed up for the Storm the Bastille 5K Fun Run that's next week Thursday! It'll be my first 5K although not as much pressure because it's a pretty tight race in the streets of it's not like you can get a very quick start or anything packed amongst a zillion people. GOOD though since in a normal 5K I'd probably start of way too fast anyway! I expect a lot of weavin and bobbin! I'm really excited though! Especially since I know I can run 5K without too much trouble nowadays. Good stuff!!

I still have to purchase my Nike+ iPod guy...I was going to buy it once I completed Stage One, but then I thought I'd buy it after my first race. I actually started out this whole thing anti-iPod. I liked listening to the 'sounds of the city' and all that rub. But after my runs started getting longer, I kind of like the distraction of music. To each his own I suppose. So yeah...I'll give it some thought after the race next week. I'm really not supposed to be spending extraneous moneys on stuffs....

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

One to Forty-Four Minutes in Three Months

I started running exactly three months and two days ago. My background in running was non-existent. A mere handful of times I would read an email where my friend Monica talked about taking a run the night before, or I'd watch my sister head out into the elements, or I'd listen to my stepdad talk about his running injuries, and for whatever reason, I'd get all inspired and beam: I'M gonna run too!!! Only I had no idea what I was doing, so I'd run for five minutes, feel like I was going to throw up and pass out on the sidewalk, and vow that I just wasn't cut out for the sport...only to repeat the same process again a year later. I told people I had exercise-induced asthma. I said I just didn't like it, that it was boring. I made up all sorts of excuses.

But after my sister and stepdad ran the Lakefront Discovery run last year, a seed was planted. I saw all the runners and their fans, and while I was excited to cheer on my sister's first 5K, I admit, I was jealous. I wanted people to cheer for me too! And to feel that sense of accomplishment crossing the finish line. This was last October.

Five months later I met a guy who ran in all kinds of races, half marathons even. Yeah yeah, we were dating, and I kinda wanted to impress him. Once the decision was made that I was GOING to run no matter what--as with the onset of many of my hobbies--it came on quick and it came on strong. And I researched the hell out of running all day. I found a great place to buy shoes. I looked into breathing tricks for those with asthma. But, most importantly, I found a specific schedule: My Running Bible. I seriously could not have come this far so fast if it weren't for this simple little table. Think about it. The first week all you have to do is be able to run ONE minute straight. One on/one off, for a quick and easy 14 minutes. Well, I say "quick and easy" now. In all honestly? I was still a little freaked out. But the whole thing wasn't so daunting that I felt like I couldn't handle it. And once I completed my first 14 minute run/walk, I was hooked. It felt so good to be outside and soak up that energy. I felt that I really could DO this thing!

And onward and upward I went. I remember heading into Week 3, and already feeling the pain. I remember thinking "run for three minutes straight???" yet I did it. I remember halfway through Week 6 I decided to repeat the whole week over because I struggled so much. Struggled to run six minutes straight. But I pushed through. I pushed through those pesky side stitches where your entire abdomen feels like it's being stabbed by a million knives. I didn't stop. I pushed through burning shins. I didn't stop. I pushed through my knee feeling like it was crumbling into a billion bone bits. Ok I stopped to heal up a bit :) but I didn't stop mid-run. That's the trick of my Running Bible. I was so determined to follow it so strictly that once I started running for that interval, unless my "walking minute" came up, I would not stop. And then you'll get days like The Perfect Run when you truly realize how much you love the sport. And why you HAVE bad days in the first place. They make the good days feel that much better!

Three months and two days later, here I am. I have officially completed the first 10 Week stage of my "Running Bible" table. I can run 5K straight with no major problems. And last night I ran 44 minutes straight through. 4.5 miles. Let me break it down for you: running for one minute straight is, what, like a tiny tenth of a mile? And three months later I can run 4.5 miles straight through? Ok ok, I'm not gushing on and on here for sake of bragging, honest. I'm gushing on and on here because if I can do it, YOU can do it!! Maybe you'll be able to run one mile straight in 3 months, maybe you'll run ten miles...that part doesn't matter, what matters is that you'll see actual results. 90 days is nothing. It goes so fast, you won't even see the time pass! And to go from -there- to's just gives you so much motivation to keep it up. And that's exactly why sticking to a schedule is so important. There really was no room for frustration or discouragement. Especially if you ARE willing to be a touch flexible. Like repeating weeks when you don't feel like you're ready for the next one, OR taking weeks off for injuries or illness, which I did at least three times!

In conclusion!! All this post is really meant to be is simple motivation. Motivation for those of you who have entertained the idea of taking up running. Even very, very deep down, where you won't even admit it to yourself (like me!) If there's just a tiny spark, like the soft, dull glow of a piece of kindling in a campfire that's just ready to rage...I urge you to take advantage of that! Sure there will be good days and horrible days, but in the end, you'll always be proud of yourself for doing something you never thought you'd do.

This is also motivation for all you already-runners out there! KEEP IT UP and know that you are ALL 100% inspirations to the rest of us. Without you, we'd be nowhere. Running in place with no destination. And finally, to all you ex-runners out there who have retired your shoes and safety pins: you've inspired plenty of us as well. Plus you have an abundance of words of wisdom to provide to us for the rest of our days. You are true veterans.

Ok that's all I got. I apologize for the blathering on :) Next up for me is training for the goal that started this whole thing, Al's Run 8K. Aka: Run for an hour straight through. And who knows where I'll go from there?? I never ONCE in my life thought I'd actually be a runner...not once. And to be one? It's an amazing feeling.

End of Week 10 & Stage 1

And what a way to end Stage 1!!! For this last run, I felt a little rough at first...a little cramping and such, but I literally told myself it'd be gone soon if I just ran it out. And that's exactly what happened! After the first ten minutes, I felt great! And I didn't even bother stopping for my walk breaks. So basically I ran 44 minutes straight. And not only that, but I ran faster at an average of 9:39min miles!!! Gooooood stuff. STATS!

Week 10 Stats:
Walk 1 Min/Run 10 Min (44 mins total)
Total Distance: 13.37 mi
Ave Distance: 4.46 mi/day
Ave Time: ~9:55 min mi

Ok above post will be a synopsis sorta thing...let's ponder running shall we??

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Week 10

So much to catch up on!! First of all, my knee is a lot better and Davie got me a brace thing to wear when I run and walk to work, so that VERY MUCH helps!!! Second, here are some runs for Week 10 (which has lasted over a week haha!)

Last Tuesday I hit a MAJOR milestone!!!! I ran my 44 minutes as dictated by Week 10, but I ran 4.4 miles!!!! This means I ran 10 minute miles. Which breaks my record by nearly 30 seconds. AMAZING!!! Unfortunately, it was a really hard run. My shins hurt pretty bad and my breathing was not on at ALL. I struggled the whole time. So when I found out how far I had run in the time allotted, I figured the struggle was just due to my too-quick pace. HOWEVER.......

....On Saturday I did the same thing, 4.4 miles in 44 minutes and it wasn't a struggle at ALL!!! It was another Perfect Run: no leg/knee pain, no breathing problems! SO that rocked!

In the middle there, I actually took a quick one mile run to see what my time would be. I think it was 9:16 or something? But it was quite a struggle to go "that fast"...not sure if it was due to the heat or what. I bet on a cooler day I could run much faster for just one mile.

So I have one more run to complete Week 10 which I'll probably do tonight. Look for my breakdown/summary of the last ten weeks sometime soon!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

unofficial 5K!!

On Sunday I ran my first "full" 5K, as in NO walking breaks whatsoever! It took me just under 35 minutes total, which isn't all that bad. I'm sure I would've run faster had I known exactly where that 5K marker would've been and how to pace myself ;) Now this is also coming off my week long break, healing from my weird knee injury. And of course I sort of re-injured it during the run. Not as badly though, so I think I'm going to try to start Week 10 tonight after work. I just have to ice it immediately after post-run stretching. In any case, the 5K was quite a breeze really!! My shins hurt a little bit, but my breathing was great and I just genuinely enjoyed myself the entire time! I could've ran longer too, but didn't want to push it.

It's a bit of a pipe dream, but I'm going to try and get back into pilates. I think they'll really help avoid more injuries and of course strong core = better running. It's really difficult to get into pilates though because of the "boredom factor." The reason why I've been so into running is because of the variety: different scenery, people, weather, etc. So I just have to find a different motivation with pilates...when I was really into it a couple years ago, I thoroughly enjoyed the extra flexibility. And I did notice some major strengthening of my legs, especially quads which need the most work and will help my knees tremendously. So yeah, I'm going to try!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


Despite the perfect running weather (hovering around 50...June 2...what?), I'm going to have to extend my "break" into a hiatus AGAIN. My knee is all f'd up and I have no idea how. It doesn't hurt like usual...that dull ache? It's more of a sharp pinch, like a sprain would be (but not that bad). LAME!!! It's like I have ONE more week to go and this happens. Well I can't run tomorrow because of softball or Thurs because of dinner out, so hopefully it'll get all healed up for Friday. The ultimate frustration, I tell you.

Monday, June 1, 2009

End of Week 9

My other two runs for Week 9 were on Thursday and Saturday. Thursday's run was a little tough because of the humidity, but I felt like I was going much faster than usual. In actuality I was not, but that just means it was easier to go the pace I'm used to and that's always a good thing! I had some "angry fuel" for that run too which helped :)

Saturday I ran right away in the morning and that made for a tough run leg-wise...they were so stiff and it felt like I was on the path to shin splints! So I went super slow and just dealt with it.

Week 9 Stats:
Walk 1 Min/Run 9 Min (40 mins total)
Total Distance: 11.21 mi
Ave Distance: 3.74 mi/day
Ave Time: ~10:46 min mi

My avg time was a little slower, so that's unfortunate, but maybe I'm hitting a weird plateau thing. I definitely feel better all around when I'm running. Better breathing and stamina and such. I can tell my knees aren't doing so hot right now, so I'm taking this two day break before diving into Week 10.

WHAT?? This week is WEEK 10!!! So it'll be the final week of Stage One and then I can decide whether or not I just want to keep running that time (1 off, 10 on for 44 minutes), or move on to Stage Two. I think perhaps I'll continue with Week 10 for several weeks to try to maintain my stamina and build on those ~4 miles. The two races that are on the horizon are June 25thish and July 9th, so I should focus on being able to run four miles pretty well, as they suggest for people running their first 5Ks. And THEN I'll start on Stage Two to train for Al's Run! Week One of Stage Two is running 15 minutes straight right away, so in my brain that feels pretty intense!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Week 9

I got a little behind on writing, so here's post #2 for the morning!

I'm pretty busy this week, so I had to convince myself to run in the morning instead of after work. I got up at 6:30 and did the whole "do I really HAVE to" song and dance, but my determination won in the end and I headed out into the damp barely 50 degrees. Luckily, the run was perfect! No cramps or stitches or anything...the only complaint was stiff legs, but that's pretty typical when you head out for a run immediately after waking up! I stretched midway through just in case. I'm only a quarter mile away from the 4 mile mark! That's pretty exciting! What I'm beginning to realize, however, is that it's starting to get tough to squeeze runs in now that they're longer. Week 9 is 40 minutes total...add on post-run stretching, plotting my route on Google, and sometimes writing up a blog post real quick, and you've got yourself an hour. Lots of stuff has been happening right after work now that summer is approaching, so I just have to stay dedicated. I've only ran maybe three times in the morning, but they've all been good ones, so I shouldn't be so afraid of just waking up and getting out there. I guess the only problem is cutting back on the up-till-4am nights ;)

End of Week 8

I got two more runs in this weekend...Thursday night it was NOT 80 degrees. Some crazy front plowed through around 6:30 and dropped to a frigid 50 degrees!!! So it was actually perfect running weather. Although the run was far from perfect. I had some stomach cramps (maybe due to the beer I had right before at happy hour?!) and the last interval was almost entirely uphill in 30mph gusts! A little tough.

I ran again Sunday afternoon.....after two glasses of wine and a boatload of cheese, crackers, berries, and bean salad! I ran down by the lakefront where they were having a kite fest of sorts so it was a nice entertaining run watching all the people. Actually for part of the run I just shut my eyes because it's a straight path and I don't have to worry about crosswalks and cars. I found that to be super relaxing! Oddly enough, the run felt so good, I thought I was going much faster than I actually was. That was a little disappointing, but no big deal of course.

Alright, so...

Week 8 Stats:
Walk 1 Min/Run 8 Min (36 mins total)
Total Distance: 10.17 mi
Ave Distance: 3.39 mi/day
Ave Time: ~10:36 min mi

So while I added a half mile to my run, I'm holding steady at 10:30 minute miles. That might just be my average time for awhile now until I start building up more endurance.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Week 8 - over 5K!!!!

Week 8's first run was Tuesday and HOLY HOTDOGS it was blazin' saddles out there!! Definitely near 80, but with pretty gusty wind, which at first was annoying, but after I started sweating profusely, it helped cool me off! But yes, as my subject line exclaims, I officially passed the 5K mark! AND I've officially run over 50 miles since I started! Now so I ran 3.4 miles in 36 minutes, so that means I probably would've done a 5K in 35 minutes. That's pretty slow. But it was like 80 degrees. And I did have my three 1 min walks in there. So I'm perfectly happy with that number! Tonight I'm going out again despite the current temp holding steady at 81 :\

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

End of Week 7

Good stuff!! Ok so yesterday's run wasn't as *perfect...I had stomach cramps (not a side stitch) through the whole first half. Then I had a really great middle, and then almost the entire final 7 minute interval was uphill (and steep!), so my legs got super tired. But I fired on all cylinders for the last two minutes, major sprint, and that felt good! AND you wouldn't believe it, but despite the cramps and the "not perfect" feeling, I ran a teeny tiny bit further and faster than Perfect Run day! So anyhow...

Week 7 Stats:
Walk 1 Min/Run 7 Min (32 mins total)
Total Distance: 8.65 mi
Ave Distance: 2.88 mi/day
Ave Time: ~11:35 min mi

And actually those stats are BS because I had that really bad run on Wedneday coming back into it after a week and a half of being sick. Without that day, I averaged 3 mi days and 10:30 min miles!

I'm going to forgo the day break and start on Week 8 right away tonight after work. I will officially surpass the 5K distance now and be able to gauge and work on my time. And I KNOW speed isn't the goal here...and I will try not to push myself...but I would really like to nail down a decent time that's less than 35 minutes. Anywhere between 32 and 34 would be great at this juncture! I still have a whole month until the Superun (if that's still going on), so that's plenty of time to train.

By the by, when I was walking into work this morning, it all kind of hit me: the fact that I can run 3 miles. I know to the seasoned runner that doesn't sound like much, but to me it's absolutely huge. If you read my first post, you'll recall that I could barely run a couple minutes straight. And here it is, two months later, and I can run three miles?? What the heck is happening?!? Granted I do take those minute walk breaks three times, but sometimes I feel like I don't even need them. I think those walk breaks are sort of my Dumbo feather. While I take them because it's part of the regimen (and I'm a stickler when it comes to my precious regimen), I also feel like I'll jinx something if I don't take them. But I promise, when I get to Week 10: running for four 10 minute intervals with 1 min walk breaks in between (so 43 minutes total), I will take a day and try to go the whole length without stopping. Let go of the feather so to speak. That'll be a great day!!

Friday, May 15, 2009

THE PERFECT RUN least as close to perfect as you can get!! 3 MILES IN 32 MINUTES!!! Omg it was GLORIOUS!! When I was walking home from work, I felt a twinge in my upper abs and was all super scared I was going to have another run like Wednesday's was. But I forged on and threw on my running clothes, not looking back. Right away I knew it was going to be good. I started slow per usual, but no stitches or cramps of any kind. My shins were a little tight, but I'm sure they were just worked from Wed and not running for a week and a half. ANYWAY! I picked up my pace pretty quickly and the rest is history! I got a little winded 3/4 of the way through, but caught my breath again during that final quarter. I KNEW I was hauling when I hit the spot I had stopped on Wednesday and still had OVER five minutes left on the 32 minutes!! So check it out:

32 minute run
2.56 mi - 12:38 min miles

32 minute run
3.03 mi - 10:33 min miles

HOLY HOTDOGS!!! I added an entire half mile and shaved two whole minutes off my time!!!

In any case, clearly I'm stoked! Too bad I probably won't have another run like this for awhile. But it definitely put a SKIP in my STEP! If I could possibly ever have an actual 5K work out like this run, I'd totally get in under 35 minutes which is a HUGE goal. Just gotta keep at it!! YAY FOR RUNNING!!!

Week 7

I finally got back on track this Wednesday after a week and a half hiatus! I was mostly worried about how my legs would take it, but apparently that was NOT a problem! My legs barely felt tired at all, but within the first ten steps, I developed this crazy cramp/side stitch horrific pain from my diaphragm to my lower abdomen. And it didn't go away the entire 32 minutes!! It had nothing to do with my pace (I think I ran just shy of 13 minute miles YIKES). I'm hoping it was just a fluke, like my body couldn't remember how to process the oxygen I was breathing in or something?? My lungs have been a little sketch since the virus. I'm going again tonight after work hopefully, so fingers crossed that it's much better!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Week 7...

...will be a running hiatus to clear up this random cold. Why is everyone and their mom sick right now?!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

End of Week 6

WHAT a good run this morning!!! Well first, I'll catch up with my last run on Wednesday. Like I said, I forced myself to take it really crazy my breathing was great the whole time, maybe a little labored toward the end, but my legs were awful! They hurt so bad the entire time, especially my upper inner thighs and my FEET for crying out loud! So I wasn't too excited about it, but I was happy that I didn't feel like crap at the end, due to the slower pace. The funny thing was that my minutes/mi time was only FOUR SECONDS longer!!! Four seconds longer than the run where I went "crazy fast" at the beginning. That just goes to show you that slow and steady really do win the race!

Now onto my run from this morning!! Once again, I started off really calf muscles still hurt from the Killers concert on Thursday haha! Too much thrashing around I guess. I thought it might be a problem, but I stopped after the first six minutes to stretch them out and it was just fine. After that, my legs were pretty good! AND my breathing was perfect...the entire time!! Even up to the end! Which is totally impressive because, get this, I almost ran a 5K!! I got to the 28th minute and I was way down by the lakefront. I really didn't feel like walking all the way back, so I turned my timer back on and did an other six minute interval which took me to 35 minutes!! It felt great!! After mapping it out and entering my time, turns out it was only 3.09 if I had gone a measly three more blocks, it would've been 3.3mi. But it feels really good to know that I could actually do it! Sure I'd have four 1 minute walking stops, but hopefully by the time the first 5K rolls around in a month and a half, I'll be way more ready. I've been running for a month and a half so far and look how far I've come!

Ok so here and the stats for Side A and Side B (the B sides are always better aren't they? haha!)

Week 6 Stats:
Walk 1 Min/Run 6 Min (28 mins total)
Total Distance: 12.59 mi (A 4.76 | B 7.83)
Ave Distance: 2.52 mi/day
Ave Time: ~11:47 min mi

I'm definitely glad I repeated Week 6...I needed the confidence booster for sure! Onto Week 7, walk 1/run 7 for 32 minutes!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Week 6 Side B

WOW what a run! The first half was like my best run ever. My breathing was absolute tops and my legs weren't sluggish AT ALL! I was super excited!!! ...sooooo I overdid it. BOO!!! I just felt like going fast because I was just gliding along! But I ALSO mixed in a TON of hills and I think that THIS isn't the point where I can mix fast AND hills. So then the second half of my run was completely brutal. My breathing has never been so labored!! I felt like I was either going to trip from exhaustion, pass out, or throw up!! GUH!!! But I just slowed it waaaaay down and kept pushing on. I couldn't help but smile to myself every so often because the pain was so "jeez this is a nightmare!"...funny huh? ;) But then the FUNNIER part is that ever since the run ended, I've felt like a half million dollars! My recovery time is seriously like 30 seconds for legs and maybe a minute and a half or so for lungs...then I'm golden. I feel totally great right now like that was the best run of my life! WEIRD!!! I don't know what's up, but I'll take it!

What is kinda bumming me out is my mile time. It's pretty much right under 12 minute miles and I feel like I'm never going to knock that down. I know I probably will'll just take time. I can't let it psyche me into running too fast though. I know I keep saying that ;) I just have to keep it slow at the beginning, even if I feel like going faster. If I keep it slow, it'll give me more juice for the end of the run...rather than huffing and puffing and dragging my ass that whole last mile! I just need to SEE it to believe it, that's all. So I promise, my next run I will seriously slow it way down at the beginning and see where that gets me. Maybe it'll help to take a break from the hills too.

PS Run is star'd twice due to the drastic difference between first and second half!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Week 6 Side A

First of all, I was only able to do two runs this week as my good pal Casey was in town visiting (and I was too lazy and wanted to sleep in all three days I was off work!) Both runs were really tough. The first was Thursday breathing was actually very good, but my legs were pretty sluggish. I had also walked three miles that day, so that might've had something to do with it. The second run was Saturday through the streets of Hoffman Estates, IL visiting my good pals Monica and Tim! I took the run right away immediately after getting up...which I've done before of course...but it was also the first "warm" run at 75 and humid. Again, my breathing was good, no stitches or anything, but my legs were even MORE sluggish than usual and I felt like I was running through mud every single step I took the whole 28 minutes :\ Halfway through the run I decided the following: I failed Week 6 and I definitely need to repeat it. While I got plenty of exercise throughout the week (the aforementioned 3 mi walk Thurs, another probably 6mi walk on Wed, and an hour of ice skating with 2-3 hours walking around a library and the Public Museum Tues), running was just rough. And I realize it's getting harder now, but still...I gotta get back on track. Especially now that my knee isn't bothering's just sluggish leg feeling where I feel like I can't pick up my feet. Don't like it!

So starting tomorrow, I'm going to actually try for four runs this next week! AND I'm going to try to eat better too because that's definitely fallen by the wayside.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

End of Week 5

I am officially half way through the first 10 Week stage! And today's run actually made me a little fearful of my weeks to come. It was pretty hard! I don't know if it was because I had used up all my energy cleaning the apartment all afternoon, or perhaps the not-that-light rainstorm I was running in, or leftover dehydration from the drunken shenanigans on Friday night...but it was hard. And made me wonder if I can run for six minutes straight. I mean I know I can, but is it going to be completely awful?? I can't psyche myself out, I just can't.

In any case, I ran with a new pair of insoles that my stepdad bought me!!! I'm not sure if they worked for my knee just yet?? I'll have to see how I feel tomorrow. Although if anything ruined my knees it was the giant hill I had to run up from Water St up to Van Buren OUCH!!! David you were right about that spot in Al's Run!! I'm really going to have to keep it seriously slow at the beginning of that race in order to get up that thing.

Anyway STATS:

Week 5 Stats:
Walk 1 Min/Run 5 Min (24 mins total)
Total Distance: 6.75 mi
Ave Distance: 2.25 mi/day
Ave Time: ~10:50 min mi

Good stuff! This week I run/walk for 28 minutes...that's quite awhile! But I think I'm ready :)

Friday, April 17, 2009

Week 5

So I've almost concluded the halfway point to my first 10 week stage! I'm definitely noticing a ton of improvement too. Just yesterday, as I was running, I recalled years ago when I'd try and go out...and just the intense struggle there. And I know the more minutes I add on, the better I'll get. Makes me feel great!!

Tuesday's run was decent...I went pretty fast and had to run in 3428934 mi/per hour winds UPHILL for at least half of it, so that was a little rough. But I do like those more difficult terrain/weather days simply because I think it trains me a little better than an "easy" run would.

On Wednesday my knee hurt pretty bad though and I had to sport the old Ace. I wasn't able to take Monica's "keep leg elevated" advice Tuesday night because I spent an hour and a half cooking PB&J drumsticks :)

Yesterday's run was fast again, but my legs/knee didn't hurt at all! I took Monica's advice of stretching five minutes in and it helped a lot!! I did have some breathing issues, but it was more sharp upper GI pains...and I KNOW it was due to the beer, wine, and popcorn I had ingested only hours prior to the run ;) I would NOT do that under normal circumstances of course! Then, all evening I tried to keep my leg up, and it helped a ton because today my knee barely feels bad at all. No Ace or anything!

So I imagine my final Week 5 run will be tomorrow the Saturday morning runs!!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

End of Week 4

Because I screwed up on Wednesday, these stats are just from two runs:

Week 4 Stats:
Walk 1 Min/Run 4 Min (20 mins total) - minus Wednesday (Week 5 run)
Total Distance: 3.41 mi
Ave Distance: 1.705 mi/day
Ave Time: ~11:50 min mi

My biggest hurdle right now is my knees, especially my left. I even had to wear an Ace bandage on my walk to/from work on Thursday. When I run my knees don't necessarily hurt too's just the next day, especially when stairs are involved! But I'm not going to let it stop me. I read a bunch of stuff on the internet, stretches and such, that can help. I'm going to really try to get back into pilates as I know that will help tremendously. I'm also going to look into insoles as maybe those will help too. I read somewhere that tons of runners have knee issues, but they work through it. It would be one thing if I was a seasoned runner and my knees just can't perform anymore, but since I'm just beginning, I have to believe there's a way to simply strengthen them for the time being. I know I won't be able to run till my dying day, but jeez I'm "only" 29! ;)

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


I'm a total idiot! I skipped to week 5?? For some reason I thought I was already doing walk 1/run 5 for 24 minutes and that is SO not the case! But at least I know I can do it?? VERY labored though...and here I thought it was because I was dehydrated...which I completely am with those four beers last night. In any case, the run started off pretty stiff, but within the first 5 minutes, I felt perfect! Then in the last 10 minutes I really took a turn for the exhausted!! But in the last 2, there was this chick I ended up being ahead of and I was determined NOT to let her pass me, so I hauled ass the rest of the way home :) Anyway, Friday I'm back to the walk 1/run 4 for 20 minutes ;)

Monday, April 6, 2009

Week 4!

I can't believe I got myself up to run this morning! When my alarm went off, these thoughts crossed my mind: I won't have time tonight if I go to the rents after work, I can't tomorrow evening either if I go out with Scott, but if I go tomorrow morning, that means I have to run on Thursday instead of Wednesday, and Thursday morning is Lostcap, but Thursday evening is church...GAH just GO!!!! So I got up :) But it was such a great run!! The four minutes were a breeze and again, I felt like I could keep going. I had absolutely NO breathing trouble at ALL which is seriously making me all kindsa stoked because that was the one thing I was most worried about when I started this extravaganza. I DID do 12 minute miles though so that totally has something to do with it. I'm slow as molasses! But for now it works and it's a good way to keep me from getting discouraged. I can always pick up the pace down the line. Endurance over speed!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

End of Week 3

This was a light week for me. I felt like I needed to take it down a notch, so took the advice of fellow runners :) and took it easy with only three running days and no twist step. Obviously I burst through the gates with some intensity, but now is the time where I really wouldn't want to bite off more more than I can chew and screw everything up! Today's run was a good example of that. I slowed my pace way down and noticed a significant difference in my breathing (not labored at all!) and I definitely felt like I could've kept going at the end of the run. This was kinda sad too because I had walked about a third of a mile down to the lakefront to run that stretch, and then had 2/3rds of a mile to walk back to my apartment. I saw all these runners and wanted to start up again, but kept hearing my mom and didn't want to push it :) I mostly don't want to injure my shins because I can see those taking FOREVER to heal.

Week 3 Stats:
Walk 1 Min/Run 3 Min (16 mins total)
Total Distance: 4.40 mi
Ave Distance: 1.467 mi/day
Ave Time: ~11:25 min mi

My first two runs this week averaged 11 minutes, but this last one was 11:42 as I slowed my pace way down (as previously mentioned). In this next week of walk 1/run 4, I'm going to try to force myself to slow down. I have to get used to holding myself back, especially at the beginning of a run, if I want to do these long distance races. And now's as good of a time as any...before I get into the habit!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Week 3

Whew! Well today was the first of 1min/3min (for 16mins)...and a bit of a doozie! My legs were really tired and stiff. I think I'm still recooping from the ice skating on Saturday...that did a number on my legs for sure! Heading into the last interval, I had to stop at Kilbourn and this older woman asked me about my shoes. She used to run before her knees got bad (something have to look forward to!), so she asked me a few other questions. Before the light changed, she told me to keep up the good work! Well, I was at that 12 min mark and was supposed to walk from 12 to 13, but a. I had been resting at the stoplight for about a minute, and b. I felt stupid walking across the street after our inspirational talk! So I ran all of the last four minutes! It wasn't so bad! The important thing is that I was in a super shitty mood upon getting home, and the run made me feel better :)

Saturday, March 28, 2009

End of Week 2

Well here we are already at the end of week 2! I wouldn't say that running is getting "easier" per se, but I find that every time I go, I like it more! I always look forward to it, and, like today for example, sometimes I have to stop myself from going! I think my knees need a break. I can feel a little more pain than usual when I go upstairs now. But I had a feeling that would happen since my knees have ALWAYS been rough. But if I keep my training steady and don't overdo it, I'm sure I'll build up some endurance in them. Hopefully!

Week 2 Stats:
Walk 1 Min/Run 2 Min (15 mins total)
Total Distance: 5.42 mi
Ave Distance: 1.355 mi/day
Ave Time: ~11:20 min mi

All good stats! I obviously raised my mileage adding on that extra minute, but I also shaved off a few seconds on my average time. THIS, however, won't always be the case. I can imagine that I'll undoubtedly hit a block where I'll be running longer than my body is ready for in the next few weeks, maybe even this next week, and I'll have to slow it way down.

I'm ready for the 1min/3min intervals! I think I've found a comfortable pace/stride's just a matter of controlling my breathing. I can see having a little trouble with that tomorrow. I wonder if there will be snow all over the place??

Friday, March 27, 2009



That is all.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Week 2!

Real quick here, but I just had to mention that not only could I do the two minutes, but it was pretty easy!! And actually I think this morning's run was better than yesterday's and this one was on six hours of sleep. Not bad at all! ...I think I'm gonna like it here ;)

Saturday, March 21, 2009

End of Week 1!

Week 1 Stats:
Walk 1 Min/Run 1 Min (14 mins total)
Total Distance: 4.74 mi
Ave Distance: 1.185 mi/day
Ave Time: ~11:50 min mi

Well I definitely made it and passed with flying colors I think! I mean granted the first week schedule is pretty easy, but hey, I wasn't a runner by any stretch prior to this week, so it definitely means a lot to me!!

My run today was gorgeous yet again! I felt great...the only thing is that I need to find my stride: the distance and timing of each step. In addition to simply building the endurance in my shins, I think finding the right stride and how I land with each step will help too.

I'm very ready for Week 2's 1 min walk/2 min run. In fact, during my last two runs I found myself looking repeatedly at my watch to see when it's time to start running, yet forgetting to look when it's time to start walking. It can even be a little frustrating when I hit a good pace and stride and I have to stop! So mos def a good sign!

First run of Week 2 is tomorrow right away, good stuff!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Gadgets are fun and I want this one! $30 isn't so rough...I think I'll make it my reward for completing Stage 1 in ten weeks! NEAT!!

running at dawn A'OK with me! I've always had a lot of trouble exercising in the morning. I think it has something to do with being a slave to coffee and the inability to do anything functional without it. I gave up coffee for Lent 3 weeks ago, however, so maybe that helped this morning. Again, this was a very invigorating run as it was probably around 45 degrees. I got a couple minor stitches though...I think because I didn't have Mandsi there to set a pace! But I did my little breathing trick and within 15 seconds it was fine. It's totally stupid, but I just have to remember to breathe when I run. You wouldn't think it'd be so difficult!

I know it's only the second day, but I'm still having a great time! I find myself VERY much looking forward to these little runs! Like I find myself bummed that I have to do boring Twist Step tomorrow after work ;)

Sunday, March 15, 2009

day one!

It's pretty close to perfect when your first run is a gorgeous 50 degree day in March! Mandsi came with me which was fab too! Not only was she the time keeper, but it was good to be able to do the "conversation test"...know that I was going at a good pace because I could speak without struggling. I am really diggin' the fact that I decided to start with this predetermined schedule. The walk 1 min, run 1 min is perfect to start gave me a great energy boost without any exhaustion, which is exactly what a beginner wants. You don't want to get discouraged right off the bat! There is plenty of time to be exhausted, but I definitely don't mind putting that off until I'm deep in the heart of this activity...where there's no turning back! Running now feels so much less daunting. I'm actually looking forward to next week when I add another minute of running in between minute walks. Baby steps, but that's exactly what I need!

My next run has to be Tuesday morning because I have bowling right after work that day. That'll be an interesting test since I RARELY work out in the morning...just not a good time for me. BUT like it says over to the right, "can't" is no longer in my vocab ;)

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Prelude to My Future Career in Running...

...or something?? All I want to be able to do is actually run for more than a couple minutes without feeling horrible. It isn't like I'm some lump on a log either. I weigh less than 120lbs, I walk 2.5 miles 5 days a week to/from work, and I work out at home for 20 minutes whether it be cardio, weights, yoga, or pilates. Yet I'll go and head out into the concrete jungle and hit the brick wall every time. Perhaps it has something to do with my asthma. Make me laugh and I'll cough for the next three days. But I think it has more to do with biting off more than I can chew and getting discouraged. The key is to start slow to work toward a greater goal.

My first goal is to follow this Stage One 10-Week Schedule I found here

My second goal is to be able to run with my sister. She is Inspiration #1. She ran her first 5K last fall, and ran it incredibly well! The second she crossed the finish line (which I idiotically missed), I was so proud, impressed, and inspired!

My third goal is to be able to run with my step-dad. He is Inspiration #2. He has run in like millions of races haha! AND he ran a marathon not too long ago. Maybe he doesn't think he did that well, but c'mon, it's a MARATHON! I can't even imagine.

My fourth goal is to reach and accomplish the Stage Two 10-Week Schedule:

My MAIN goal is to be able to run in Al's Run, an 8K, this October 10th. I have over twenty weeks before the race, so this should be plenty of time to get to this point, even if it is a lofty goal for a beginner.

I have other mom, for example. Even if she can't go for runs much anymore, she started running once she met my step-dad, and being a not-so-athletic person, turned into quite the athlete! She's 50+ and amazingly healthy all due to this decision.

Another inspiration is the ~$100 pair of Asics I bought last night :) During a time when money is incredibly tight, an expensive pair of shoes isn't something I can just toss into the corner of my bedroom to collect dust! I better earn these pups! FYI, if you live in the greater Milwaukee area and need a new pair, please visit Performance Running Outfitters. A friend/coworker recommended them to me and it turns out the place is owned by my former high school classmate and her husband! She was so helpful! These guys take the extra time to fit your specific foot shape and size. You can even run on a treadmill to get a feel for the shoes! Such a great experience, particularly because I came in a half hour before close and I didn't feel rushed at all!

And thus begins my journey into the unknown. I know I have plenty of brick walls ahead of me, but I just gotta plow on through. I'm going to try and be positive and look forward to those *good running days!

I believe Sunday will commence Stage One, so I'll be back to log in my info (via Breaking the Tape) and officially put this plan into action.