Tuesday, May 31, 2011

First 5K! ~Happy Dance!~



Omg, I can't believe I totally forgot to blog it! Admittedly, my internet connection has been for crap the last couple days (I'm at my mom's now), and I might not have succeeded had I tried, but I still can't believe I forgot! So. . . did the Rolla Fun Run 5K for my first 5K event (I thus far refuse to call what I do "racing" lol). Was supposed to meet my husband at the event, but his cell phone (which doubles as his alarm clock) died, and so he didn't make it. Which left me disappointed, but also, perhaps more significantly, pushing the baby in an umbrella stroller! Oog. I went up there having set a goal for myself of finishing the 5K in 45 min or less, secretly hoping to run the whole thing and set a personal best for time (under 44 min). Once I realized I was on my own with a baby, I adjusted my goals. 50 minutes. I never trained with a stroller. I did FAR more walking than I hoped for, learned that drinking while steering is next to impossible, and learned to despise the umbrella stroller for the fact that I have to hunch over just enough to interfere with my breathing and screw up my form. :-( Was walking with Janis this evening (with my usual stroller, bigger wheels necessary for the gravel roads we favor), and debating with myself whether I'd have been better off with that stroller for the 5K. It's bulkier, and heavier, but it's also taller. So my form might have been better. Decisions, decisions. . . . and a moot point, as I didn't have it in the car yesterday. It was warm out, but not as bad as I feared (weather forecast called for a high in the '90s), there was shade along the course, and plenty of cool breezes. All things considered, I feel like I could have gotten that PB on this course, if things had worked out differently. Not too many hills. Pavement and concrete, when I'm used to mostly gravel, but that wasn't really a problem. Beautiful course. I think I'd like to do this run again. Maybe next year I won't keep getting passed by that old guy who looks like he's having trouble walking. :-P Had some friends there as well. Nice to have someone you know waiting for you when you cross the finish. :-) Thx, Allie! There's a 5K close to home next weekend (just learned about it yesterday). Might try to redeem myself. And shatter my 5K PR, lol. Oh, forgot to mention. I did make my adjusted goal time. 48 minutes and change, by the clock at the finish. Chip times yet to be posted. I can't go by my Garmin, as I forgot to start and stop it at the right times. Tried running with my mp3 player. Don't think I'm a fan. I might try it a few more times before I chuck it, but really, the earbuds and wires were just kind of distracting, and I didn't feel like it kept me going particularly well. At any rate, bottom line, I could have had a better run, but I'm not disappointed in my performance. And it oughta be an easy time to beat next time. :-)

Friday, May 27, 2011

Oh. Hell. YEAH!!!

Days like today are the reason why you get out there and run the crappy days. I've been feeling bad about my running here lately. I've been averaging 2 runs a training week the last. . . well, might as well say 3 weeks, since I'm not getting another done this week, and the last couple runs in particular I've felt like if anything, I'm losing ground rather than gaining it. I should be wrapping up Week 9 right about now, and I hadn't even completed a Week 8 workout yet! But tonight, everything just sort of. . . fell together. I was starting to be afraid I wouldn't get out there tonight, and this run was really important to me. It's been 2 days since my last one, and there're only 2 more until my 5K in Rolla on Monday. I REALLY didn't want to go out tomorrow, and only have 1 day of recovery before Monday! That's fine for training, but not for an event where I'm going to ask more of myself than usual, and in an unfamiliar setting where I have no control over the course or other conditions. And to top it off, as I was heading out of the parking lot, this HUGE flash of lightning, with giant crack of thunder right on top of it, lit up the sky. I thought (for a second) about going back and calling it off. Then, I thought again. Remembered how important this run was to me, and guaged the weather. Didn't really seem like it was going to last. And it didn't. One more flash of (more subdued) lightning, and a little light rain, was all I had to deal with! Couldn't have asked for more perfect conditions, really. Moist and cool, just the way I like it best, with (again) the scent of honeysuckle to help you really enjoy all that breathing. :-) I decided I was going to try for the 28 min mark tonight. I didn't start my Garmin until after my warm-up, b/c I wanted an even more realistic read on my time for race conditions. As I approached 28, I was feeling pretty good, so I decided I was going to try for 30. Once I hit 30, I decided to keep going as long as I could. What I was thinking of most as I ran tonight (especially the tougher moments) is a quote from a shirt I've decided I want.

"I run because I can. When I get tired, I remember those who can't run, what they'd give to have this simple gift I take for granted and I run harder for them. I know they would do the same for me."

So tonight, I ran for those who can't. At the 32-min mark (and an uphill grade, lol), I took a couple minutes walk break, then started running again. My intention from this point was to run/walk the rest of the 5K, but somehow, I never got around to walking anymore! The last bit was a bit of a push to finish, but by that point, I knew I could do it, and could see no point in giving up so close to the end! I actually finished the distance running a couple loops around the sidewalks at my apartment complex, so when the Garmin hit 3.1, all that was left to do was drag my exhausted butt into the house, chug a bottle of Gatorade, choke down a spoonful of peanut butter, and stretch! My stomach was a little unsettled for a bit (think I downed the G'ade too fast), but I got over it pretty quickly, and when you consider that tonight I did so much more than I've ever done before, well, who's surprised? Oh, my official time for tonight's run? 44:05! Under my time goal for Monday by almost a minute! Of course, tonight was near perfect conditions, with a course I could decide on myself (in other words, mostly flat, lol). But this makes me feel great! I'm not nearly as nervous about Monday as I was before. I just can't believe how well this run went! On Cloud 9 here, and probably will be for a couple days, lol. People are apt to get tired of hearing about it, particularly my DM buds, who will bear the majority of the burden, since they "get it" and other people's eyes glaze over. :-) Doing a serious happy dance here!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Mommy Guilt

. . . and daughter guilt, and wife guilt, and neice guilt. Where does it end, really? Feels like I'm always supposed to be doing something for someone else, but if I want to take an hour to do something that's good for me, I'm WRONG. Especially since, when I want to take that hour, it means someone else has to keep the kids from killing each other for an hour. And I'm not supposed to ask anyone to do that. After all, they're my responsibility. Haven't been able to go out hardly at all here lately (run or walk), and then I discovered yesterday that my treadmill has finally COMPLETELY turned up its toes and died. :-( No one I trust to watch my kids has actually felt up to it lately, so my running training has fallen off the last couple weeks (only two runs each week), and I have my first 5K coming up on Monday. At the time I registered for it, although my pace is bad enough I wouldn't have made the distance, I at least would have been just finishing C25K at that time. Now, I'm about a week behind that. So, last night, after all that guilt culminated in a good cry over the unfairness of a mom having to feel guilty about every little bloody thing, I decided to toss the program out the window and just run for me. My goal for the night was simple: run/walk 5K as quickly as I could in reasonable comfort, and see how close I could come to my goal for Monday--complete the 5K in 45 minutes or less. I came in at 46 min 38 sec. Not too shabby, all in all. Ran some; walked some. Longest interval of straight running was only 10 minutes, but I didn't go out with the intention of torturing myself to make a certain number of minutes, only to see how close I could reasonably come to a total goal. Overall, other than tripping over the dog a couple times, I was happy with the run. It was a perfectly beautiful evening, with the heady perfume of honeysuckle on the breeze. Gotta love late May in rural Missouri! I was beginning to think I was never going to get a run in while the honeysuckle was in bloom. Then I sat at the computer later in the night and did some resistance band work for my upper body. Arms are a little sore today, so I'd say I did some good. Have an invitation to work out with some friends this evening. . . we shall see if I can slip away.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Ugh!

Thinking that's pretty much all there is to say about today's workout. I'm not sure what the deciding factor was, but I'm sure there were several contributing ones. It was actually a warm, sunny 75 out today, and when you factor that in with the rain we've BEEN having recently, it adds up to humidity. Then, there was the fact that we decided to run PP Hwy (of the hills), and go in a little further than usual, so our out-and-back course made 3 miles. Little did I realize that last half-mile in was all downhill. Which of course translates to the first half-mile out being all uphill! I hadn't done anything physical in 3 days (life will get in the way from time to time), so maybe my legs had gotten lazy as well, but as I turned around and started back up that monster of a hill, I realized that it just wasn't going to happen. So. . . C25K w8d1 probably goes in the books as my biggest FAIL so far. I made it 20 minutes (about)--that's 15 minutes running before I tossed it in. I tried running again after making it back up the hill, but my legs were KILLING me today. Still waiting for this to stop hurting, at least this much. Even the walk back to the car hurt most of the way. It almost feels like I'm losing ground rather than gaining it. What am I doing wrong?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Running is a Mental Sport. . .

. . . and I am INSANE!!! Had a fairly crappy run today, actually. That's what I get for not remembering to drink anything for the first half of the day. At least, I sure hope that was the problem! Pace was terrible and my legs hated me, but I finished C25K w7d3. Managed to keep going, however slowly, until the end. Then, once I recovered, I tossed a few quick fartlek-style run intervals into my walk home as penance for my awful pace during the actual run. Then, I'd barely been home long enough to post, when Janis called! She and Annie wanted to know if I wanted to go for a walk with them this evening. Annie's been itching to try the hills on Crossville Road, so. . . after I fed the family supper, off we went. With those two pushing me on, we managed to complete the 5 miles at an average 17 min/mile pace! Wow. Of course, I tossed a few runs in there, either just for the fun of it, or b/c it becomes necessary from time to time to catch up with my partners. I tend to lag behind a LOT. Janis has offered to slow down for me, but it's a better workout for me if she doesn't, so. . . I just let her kick my fanny repeatedly, lol. On the bright side, even though my challenge has somehow been deleted, I don't think I'm going to have any trouble making my goal of 50 miles for the month of May. Just checked my stats out of curiosity, and I already have 44 miles! Wow! Not so bright, my first workout of the day today, I did 5K in 50 minutes and 45 seconds. Doesn't bode well for my aspirations of finishing my first 5K (in less than 2 weeks) in 45 minutes. :-( Ah, well. We shall see, huh? At any rate, after logging 8 miles today, I'm taking tomorrow off with no remorse whatsoever. My "bad" knee is hurting some, and I'd rather err on the side of caution and rest it than push it too much and injure it. Wouldn't want to be properly laid-up. Starting to notice that if I don't get to run periodically, I get cranky. :-) Great; I'm an addict.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Registered for my 1st 5K ~scared now!~

As you can see by the new widget to the right, I have officially signed up for a race! Right at the end of my C25K training. I don't expect to run the whole thing without any walking, but it's a milestone, nonetheless. Will be making the husband take me out for pizza at my favorite place for lunch afterwards. ;-) Oh, and if anyone was paying attention, yes, I made my 20 for the week. Cold SOB out there tonight, and drizzling mist, but I put in my 3 (walking) for a total of 20 miles this week! Now, it's after midnight, and the counter is officially reset to zero. ~sigh~ Such is life on the Mile. Bye now!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

C25K w7d2. . .and then some!

In the end, a 10K+ day for the crazy woman. Went out after dinner for my w7d2 workout (5-min warmup, 25-min run). About halfway through, a couple of my partners pulled up with an invite to join them for a walk after I was finished. I accepted, with a side thought that lack of oxygen to my brain was surely impairing my better judgement! So, finished my workout (personal best for pace!), and then went to their house to schmooze with their cat and head out for a nice, brisk walk. :-) Had a fantastic time! If I go out tomorrow and push for it, I could end up breaking 20 miles for the week. ~excited!~

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Stupid Freaking Hills!

Okay, all you dailymilers who complain about not being able to find a decent hill--take some of mine! I can't find a decent flat spot! The only way to run a course without hills in it is to take out some dynamite and blast them level first. Come visit me sometime. I may not be ready to run them with you, but I can introduce you to some hills that will kick. your. ASS! I don't care who you are! Anybody out there remember the Mercedes (I think) commercial from a year or so ago, the one where they're trying to impress you with the degree of grade their SUV will climb? Yeah. I saw that commercial and thought Are you kidding me? When you wanna test your pansy rich-man's SUV on some REAL hills--come to rural Missouri! I seriously have lived in homes with steeper driveways than that little lab-created incline! Anyway, forgive me; I seem to be a little off-topic, lol. I did my run in a new area this evening, a neighboring (? lol ?) town while waiting for my son to get out of his Boy Scout meeting. I also (can you tell?) spent a fair portion of the workout swearing at hills! ~sigh~ C25K w7d1. Aside from the hills, this is nothing I haven't done before (albeit only once), but today it just seemed rough. I don't think I was well-enough hydrated, I didn't get enough sleep, and I didn't pay enough attention to what I ate today (which didn't improve with my discovery of Creamsicle Oreos at the store afterward). Ah, well. Tomorrow is another day. The loop I did tonight was, by happy accident, almost a perfect 5K. I will not be running all of it until I am MUCH better at this! In those 25 minutes of running, I only manage to do about 1 3/4 miles. :-( Ugh. I start off with a respectable pace, but I just can't hold on to it! I can tell I'm improving (even though my times don't seem to show it), but it's a little discouraging. But today's c25k 30 minutes was only a hundredth of a mile less than the last one I did, and when I take into account that that one was on a flatter course, without the 1-minute walk break I took today. . . I have to figure that if conditions had been the same, I'd have improved instead. My cooldown walk (the remaining 1.17 miles) was SUPER slow! I couldn't believe how slowly I was shuffling along. I can feel the effects of my recent hill workouts; I may curse the hills, but I feel stronger climbing them than before! And I feel like my mechanics have improved. I'm remembering to use the hips and upper legs more, rather than relying so heavily on the calves. Not that my calves aren't still working hard of course. They still despise me and think I'm a cruel beast, lol. I someimes wonder if I should be icing them. ??? Also, I think it's taking longer before I qualify as truly miserable, so things are looking up! :-) I just have to keep reminding myself that while I may be slow, I am currently running nearly twice the distance I ever have before in my life. And that, dear friends, is a victory worth celebrating!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Double Duty Day

Busy day yesterday! Went out in the afternoon and did my C25K w6d3 workout (tough one, probably more mentally than physically), then I'd only been back in for about an hour or so when my partner, Janis called to find out if I wanted to go running with her and Annie! OMG! I said no. . . then changed my mind and walked over to her house to meet them anyway, lol! We then proceeded to do their workout of w2d1, on PP (the hilly course). Then I came home and fixed what ended up being a rather late supper of bbq chicken, corn, potatoes au gratin, and cranberry sauce, topped off by strawberry cheesecake (ty, Liz). Double workouts must pay off, though, b/c in spite of that dinner, I weighed in with a loss this morning! (Though I'm having some mild twinges in my back now.) Probably going to drag my husband out for a trudge down (and back up) a long hill this afternoon. And just to make things really interesting, if I can get the straps repaired, I'm taking the stroller and the 18 m/o! If I work really hard, perhaps I can weigh in under 200 this Thursday. :-) And if not, there's always next week. The numbers aren't everything, but that is a milestone I'd like to reach. Had the Garmin outside for the first time today, and let's just say I'm definitely enjoying it! It's so nice to be able to run wherever I want to run, and not have to try and figure out my miles by other methods before or after. :-) I'm thinking it was a good purchase, in the long run. I ordered my new water belt, and I'm a little annoyed (whether with myself or with Amazon I'm not certain). It was eligible for free shipping, but I did the one-click order thing, and apparently, you have to do the long checkout process and specify free shipping to actually GET the free shipping. Grrr. So, I ended up paying about $6 for shipping that I didn't have to pay. Oh, well, the deed is done. And hopefully soon I'll have a water belt that's better for my running. Catch y'all on the flip side; I've got a stroller to fix!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Still Here!

Yes, I'm a hair behind on my blog posts, but I AM still here, and still running. Week 6 is the current name of the game, and I'm 2 days in. Did day 1 on PP Hwy with Janis and Annie, and the hills liketa killed me! Wow! I'll never understand why, when I run outdoors, I always park at the end of my course that puts me running the mostly uphill grade on the way BACK when I'm the tiredest! Day 2 took us inside, since by the time we got together this evening, it was raining and cold. I don't mind the rain, but I still have issues with cold rain. :-) Just a wimp, I guess. My Garmin came in the mail yesterday, and I wore it for the first time today, but I really feel like all I got from it was time, b/c since we were inside, the satellite tracking wasn't working real well. Maybe Saturday I'll get to run outside again, and try it out for real! It's not as bulky as I was expecting, and that's awesome. Thinking I'm really going to like it. My pace is still terrible, as evidenced by the fact that today, I was right behind Janis for a time, she was walking, and I was running, and I couldn't catch up with her, lol! Ah, well. I just keep telling myself, it WILL get better. It has to. On a brighter note, weighed in with a loss again tonight at TOPS! 2.something pounds. Not really sure what the "something" was, lol. Bought another pair of running tights, but I wasn't able to get the smaller size I'd have preferred. They didn't have any! And I can tell these are getting a bit looser than I'd like. Oh, well. Nothing's perfect!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Kiss Week 5 Goodbye!

Well, today marks an important milestone for me. I completed the 20-min run at the end of C25K Week 5, which also happens to be my longest continuous run EVER!!! That's right, ever. Up to this point, the longest I've run at one time was around 13 or 14 minutes, when forced, in 7th grade PE class. And strangely, this was easier than any of those runs. Well, maybe not so strangely, when one considers that I started at my own level of fitness (basically none) and worked my way up, with proper rest between workouts. Doesn't hurt that I now know more than I ever did then about the importance of proper nutrition and hydration, either. Funny, I've classified myself as a runner on DM for quite some time now, but today, I actually FEEL like a runner. Making it for 20 minutes (however slow) gives me a gigantic boost of confidence that I actually CAN complete this program and run a 5K, and, in time, more. I didn't have to deal with any hills today, and that probably helped significantly. :-) It was raining today, and when Janis called to find out if I wanted to go with her and Annie to walk/run in the cafeteria, I decided to go and just do my w5d3 workout there. As far as cardio and breathing go, I'm actually doing really well, I feel like, but the legs could use some more strengthening, so I plan to start adding a day or two of hill work (walking) each week and maybe buy some of those stretchy bands (blanking out on what they're called) an learn to use them. Still want a kettlebell, though. ~sigh~ Too many things on my wish list, not enough $$$! :-) LOL