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.

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!