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, 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!