Sunday, June 29, 2008

Girl, Interrupted

I've been sidelined by back pain. No run yesterday morning. I have plans for Monday evening.

One good thing about this: I did a lot of massaging and stretching on Thursday and Friday and my shins haven't hurt, so my legs are getting one heck of a rest.

Hopefully my back will let up by tomorrow and I'll be able to do 5:3.

BTW, my iPod's still dead. So, I suppose I'll have to get creative. That or steal M's.

Friday, June 27, 2008


I went running last night. It was a breezy and nice 88 degrees out.

I did a lot of stretching and massaging of my shins to get ready for the run. They were a little tight at first, and didn't begin to hurt until the end of the first 8 minutes.

It hurt a little less than last time, but still pretty bad when I was done.

I'm not a glutton for pain. So, unless I can really get these shins rested and ready to go, I may not do 5:3 tomorrow. I'm a little worried about pushing it, because the pain isn't good and 20 minutes of running would surely send me there quickly. And if it gets routinely painful because I'm not resting, I'll be increasingly reluctant to submit myself to it. I know me.

So, I may rest up and do it Monday night. That means giving up on doing a training week inside a calendar week, but oh well. As long as I'm running, I shouldn't worry. And I shouldn't push it.

I'd been discouraged because my weight keeps popping back up (169 yesterday) - but I decided to have faith in the process and keep sticking to it. Faith (and um, no dinner last night) must have worked - check out today's weigh in at right.

Cute thing: M went with me for protection. My iPod wasn't working, so he gave me his. And even had it on one of my fave bands - the Format - playing when we traded. Mine never did decide to work, so he had no tunes the whole time. I thought it was sweet he gave me his. He rode without music the whole time. So, I tried to talk to him during the 5 minute walk.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

5:1 (in which I hurt)

Yay for cooler weather!!!!! It was 85 degrees when I left the house this morning. And there were some low clouds, so the sun was not as intense. I loved it! It was fabulous outside (relatively speaking, of course)!

Shins hurt immediately and did not let up. However, I overran my first 5 minutes by 40 seconds.

I watched the freakin' clock on the second 5 (first at 2:48, then multiple times between 4:30 and 5:00).

I had to stretch my tight calves, shins and left knee before the final 5 - mostly for fear they would start hurting so bad I wouldn't be able to finish. That was a BAD idea, apparently. I was in pain the entire time. But I overran by a few seconds anyway.

And after. I've never been in so much pain following a run. But every. step. hurt! Not kidding. I iced, elevated, massaged, and stretched. The only other things I can do now are rest and take ibuprofen.

Prodigy and Pearl Jam were my friends today. I saw two runners - one I've seen before, and who apparently doesn't need the crutches I do (watch, water, and tunes) since she had none of these trappings. I can't imagine not having them! I contemplated trying a run without my music - but that's just crazytalk!

I'm still hoping to get through the other 2 runs this week, but will have to see if I'm well enough rested from the knees down by tomorrow night.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


Last night was week 4, run 3. It was something like 94 degrees out. At 9:30 p.m.! (It felt cooler than that, thankfully.) I set in and did the first half. By my second 3 minute run, my left knee was acting up and my shins were tired. BUT, I "overran" both 3 minute intervals by about 40 seconds before I checked my watch.

I stretched before the last 5 minute run. I was pretty mentally strong that last 5 minutes and didn't look at my watch until 4:30. Progress, people. Progress.

Then I came home, stretched and immediately iced both my knee and my shins. And elevated them, too.

I've found I'm very very grouchy without my iPod. It is SO my running crutch. I don't think I could make it without music.

I took a look at week 5. It looks a little like this:

5:1 (Wednesday morning)
Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then:
Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
Walk 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
Walk 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)

5:2 (Thursday evening)
Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then:
Jog 3/4 mile (or 8 minutes)
Walk 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
Jog 3/4 mile (or 8 minutes)

5:3 (Saturday morning)
Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then jog two miles (or 20 minutes) with no walking

This morning I drove down my route and down some side streets to add 4/10s of a mile on to my route - at least for 5:1. I think I'll need it.

I've also asked my mom to borrow her Weight Watchers stuff. I figure I'll get a little preview of the plan (albeit an older version) before I commit to paying the online price. If I can pick it up this weekend, I can give it a shot next week. Either way, I'm eating ice cream on the 4th!!!

Saturday, June 21, 2008


I only have a few minutes.

As promised to myself - even after going to bed at 12:30 - I woke up earlier than early (6:30) and got going. I waited for poor underslept M to wake up and then he joined me on his bike, so we didn't get out until about 7:10. It was 82 degrees when we left. 86 when we got back. M suggested going earlier, at like 6:00. Sadly, he's probably right.

It was easier this time. And I figured out how I can not repeat week 4: run 4:3 on Monday night (technically inside a week's time), start week 5 on Wednesday morning, go again Thursday night, and then again Saturday morning. Then get back on M, W, F schedule for week 6.

My chiro talked to me about shin splints and gave me some good tips to add to the good things (stretching and icing) I'm already doing.

I'm officially addicted. I'm seriously considering adding WW to this thing, which I know I've already said, but I'm the type who needs to think about it a lot then make up my mind and then I do it.

Woohoo! I'm off to start my weekend!!!

Friday, June 20, 2008


No run last night! I could NOT do it. It would have amounted to pushing my body well beyond its limits, and the forseeable consequences (fatigue, illness, soreness, headaches) just weren't worth it.

I thought I'd go this morning, but no dice. I've had this headache off & (mostly) on for a week now. Not fun. I've just popped two ibuprofen and an excedrin trying to banish the thing.

The last time I was like this was. . . last October or November, I think. So, if I get this only once every 6 to 8 months, I guess I'll take it over daily headaches.

My plan is to rest tonight. Go to bed early maybe (shocker!), and get up early and run. Oh yeah, there's a heat advisory in effect. So I'll have to go earlier than early. Crap!

So. 2 runs in this week. I may have to redo week 4. I don't know. What would you do?

Thursday, June 19, 2008

A Little Discouragement

I'm feeling a little discouraged today. My weight hasn't dropped. I had the menstrual bloat & gain going on last week. Yesterday I was back down to pre-PMS weight, today I'm back up.

What IS it with body image that I can't quite nail down? First I'm a skinny girl, then a skinny girl trapped in a "fat" girl's body, and now my identity's all confused. I think I look OK, but I'm certainly not where I want to be. And that's what's driving me most. I think I look OK, then I see pics of myself and want to die. OR run. It gets confusing around here.

My muscles (and everything else) were dog tired after Tuesday's run. But I recovered OK. I didn't sleep well AT ALL last night, so I've had a bad headache today that even 4 ibuprofen have failed to take the edge off of.

I'm trying to pull it together for a run tonight. I'm pretty convinced I can do it. With a nap and 3 more ibuprofen, that is.

I'm waiting until it "cools" down. It's 102 degrees right now. I've planned to run Saturday morning, so I really have no wiggle room in terms of rescheduling.


I'm freakin' tired people!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Week 4! (4:1)

I'm off schedule, but I can 'splain. Last night was a major homework catchup night. Tonight was a major slack off night. So last night's run got rescheduled to tonight due to headaches, homework, and heat.

My left knee was acting up today big time. I mean pain when I was weightbearing to the point that I was exclaiming "ouch" out loud at work. Saturday night I slipped and fell on my left hip with my left ankle and knee tucked under me. It was special. In the middle of a busy restaurant. After I was trying to mess and be cute with my SIL. And I wasn't worried about all the eyes suddenly fixed on me. No. I was worried about getting my white shorts dirty on that floor! Oh, and that a possible knee or ankle injury could really screw up my running schedule. I felt absolutely nothing after that fall until today! I kid you not!

I did some stretches and just decided that it would be fine for tonight. It was.

I was SO excited when I saw that the moon was getting toward full at the end of last week. It meant I was going to get to run under a full moon! Tonight it happened and I loved it. There was a breeze, which I was VERY grateful for. Turns out 3 minutes isn't too bad after last week. But the 5 minutes nearly killed me. I thought my iPod died after that first 5 minutes. I cursed.

I can see how a woman in labor could become irrational and want to tear someone's head off. I was having a hard time running that last 5 minutes. I vowed not to look at my watch because I knew I would look too early and be sorry I did because I would have a lot longer to run. I looked at 4:00. And cursed.

EVERYTHING bothered me during that 5 minutes. The beam of M's bike light, the sound of his bike, even the moonlight. After I finished, M said "good job!" and I shook my hand at him, saying in gasping breaths something like "no. can't. can't. need focus."

I did it though. I ran for a combined total of 16 minutes and walked for a total of only 8 (not including my warm up and cool down walks).

I'm very tired. I hope that it's because of the lack of sleep last night. The coils in our AC froze and it was a warm night. I really do hope that's why it was so hard. Because I fear that in the light (and heat) of day, if it's that hard, I may just give it up.

Since I'm off schedule, I'm trying to decide when my 2 other runs this week will be. I think I'll go very early Thursday morning and then on Saturday morning. And then I'll be over half way through the program!!

And Kristine's already signed on to be my 5k partner for some of the runs over there on the right. Let's hope I can make it that far!!! (Kristine - consider this blog fair warning: I curse, spit, and don't chat well while running.)

Saturday, June 14, 2008

3:3 (in which I curse)

I meant to get going earlier, but what would a Saturday morning be without sleeping in?

When I first started getting ready to walk out the door, it was 83 degrees. Once I stretched, strapped on my watch and iPod, realized that the battery was dead and that the other one didn't have my workout playlist on it and was almost dead, drank some water while my iPod got 30 seconds of charge, went to the bathroom and blew my nose, it was 86 degrees. I tried not to psych myself out about it too much.

The first step of my first 90 second run my left calf hurt immediately. I ignored it. I had Crystal Method and the Chemical Brothers getting me going. Nothing else mattered much. Then I started feeling pretty tired. I looked at my watch and it said 1:54. Sweet! I ran longer than 90 seconds without even knowing it!

The sun was intense. And I knew it was getting hotter by the second. Note to self: start putting on sunblock! The other reason I knew it was hot: not a soul on the street! No one on bikes, no one walking. All I see are people in cars, and those industrious folks working in the shade of their garages. That's it.

Just before my second 3 minute run, my iPod died. I said "oh shit!". Because then my Mind started playing mindgames with my Body. Like any sibling rivalry, the bickering drives me nuts and my iPod helps me block it out. Mind says "Body, you're tired! Go ahead and put your left hand up on your left hip. It's OK." And Body does it and then says "NO! That's not right! It's not time to slow down yet!" Mind says "look how much farther you have to run! It's so freakin' far! Are you sure you can make it?" Body retorts "absolutely!"

But then, like any sibling rivalry, when the going gets tough, they back each other up. Mind tells me "hey you! Body's really strong! It knows exactly what it's doing!" Body says "and Mind backs me up and helps me get through - you know, like right now, when I'm trying to run 2 extra minutes at the end of this thing and Mind's telling me to keep going to the corner. Look! I made it! And I even ran longer than 2 minutes! 2:24!"

Seriously, though, I'm learning a lot about myself through running. Like I'm stronger than I think I am sometimes. But I'm also whiney. I'm also a true Arizonan and have to resist the natural urge to hide from the sun bearing down on my back by seeking out spots of shade here and there. And I could also get addicted to exercise and slimming down. And I finally have made this running thing a habit, and might just be ready for adding something like Weight Watchers to this venture.

My shins/calves don't hurt much at all (yea!) but I ice them anyway. It helps me cool down.

Next week: 3 minutes running/90 seconds walking, then 5 minutes running/2.5 minutes walking, then 3 minutes running/90 seconds walking, then 5 minutes running.

Oooh! Wish me LUCK!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Too Little Sleep, Too Little Sleep

No run this morning. I'm lacking a good night's sleep for 2 nights in a row now and even after a bonafide sick day yesterday, I'm feeling pretty blah.

So, watch for me bright and early tomorrow morning. I'll be the one running!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


I went this morning. It was about 78 degrees when I left the house. It felt warmer than that, but thank goodness for a breeze. I missed the breeze on Monday night.

I felt a cramp in my right shin/calf before I even got through my warm-up walk. I ran through it. I can't decide if it has anything to do with shin splints, or if it's just my calf muscle being worked and strengthened. I'm sitting here icing it either way.

I'm tired this morning so the first 90/90 was a little tough. But after the first 3 minute run, I wasn't as out of breath or having as much tightness in my chest/abs.

No catch this time. And I got through both sets fine. Except the second 3 minute run felt like a lifetime and I really, really really tried not to think about how long or far I was running. This is where distance running, rather than timed, might be better for me . . . I could always run faster and get done faster . . . instead of not being able to get done any faster because time just doesn't go faster than it goes . . . whatever.

I added 2 minutes at the end again. Not so easy. But I got it done.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


I'm late in posting this, but since I'm "pre"-dating it, it'll be OK. Monday night, I did the first run of week 3. I made sure I ate a light dinner this time. It worked.

Week 3 is simply this: 2 repetitions of 90 seconds walking, 90 seconds running, then 3 minutes running, 3 minutes walking.

I really was psyching myself out about that 3 minutes. I got through the 90/90 easily, since I'd been doing that interval during week 2 (it was supposed to be 90 running and 2 minutes walking but I never adjusted it to get it right). When I got to the 3 minutes of running, I took a deep breath and dove in.

In so doing, I found a good thing about night runs: I can't see how much farther I have to go. I told myself I'd run at least 3 blocks before looking at my watch, which involved pressing the little "light" button in order to see the numbers. After 3 blocks, it was only 2:45, so I kept going.

When I stopped, my abs and chest felt tight and I had to "breathe down" - meaning I couldn't talk, couldn't drink, could hardly breathe and had to breathe through it until I felt semi-normal again.

This should have been my new turnaround point, but I didn't want to shorten my route, so I started my second 90 run and went up to my regular turnaround point. When I started the 90 second walk, I got this horrible catch in my right side. That's never happened before. So, I gave myself an extra 30 seconds walking - mostly because I didn't feel like I could do it without giving that catch some time to go away.

The second 3 minutes was easier than I thought it would be. So much so I added another 2 minutes at the end of my run. I told M, who was riding his bike alongside me, "this is overdrive". Indeed it was. My right knee ached (also never happened before) when I was done.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

2:3 v2

I know I'm not on schedule, but at least I got 3 runs in this week. Hooray!

91 degrees when I left the house at 9:30! Thank God for a breeze. Oh, did I say "breeze"? That's what I thought it was until I hit the turnaround point in my run. Then I realized it was windy, not breezy!

It was HOT. The wind cooled me off when it was at my back during the first half of my run. It was very hard to push against during the latter half, however.

Shins didn't bother me too much. My left knee hurt at the end of my run, but I think it was really hard for me to keep good form toward the end and that's why.

The intervals weren't too difficult at the beginning, but ohmylife, they were on the latter half. I was very very hot at one point. I had read about how to cool down when running in hot weather. The key is the head. So I poured water over my head. It helped a lot and gave me the oomph I needed for the next running interval.

At one point, at 52 seconds in, I wanted to stop running SO SO badly. But I said to myself "Come on! Come on!" and I kept going. But my plans for a 2 minute finish like last time were instantly canned. I did, however, add an extra minute at the end (past the normal start of my cool-down walk) for an extra push.

Every time I wanted to quit or it got a little hard, my body wouldn't let me - drugs flooded my system and pushed me on. It was awesome that my body kept me going. Well, that and Pearl Jam and Prodigy again. Next week, I think I'll need the sassy push of the Pussycat Dolls.

Remember how I mentioned before about wanting to curl up in a ball and die? That was for dramatic flair. Today, it was for real!!

I got home, and collapsed on the couch. I made myself get up, turn on the fan, and stretch out. Eventually I cooled off, with the help of an ice pack over my shins and left knee.

Overall, I feel I made a good choice by starting week 2 over again. Monday brings the start of week 3. I just won't do it late morning when it's already like a low-grade sauna outside!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

2:2 v.2

It's official. Mornings are better. Can't believe I'm saying that, but there it is.

I woke up d-o-g tired, willed myself out of bed, pulled my running clothes on and got moving. I ate a banana, popped a couple of ibuprofen since my head was already threatening. I figured they would also help with the shin splints should I suffer from them anew.

I saw a quail running. It was fast! I also saw 4 bunnies. They were fast. I decided I wanted to run like the quail and the rabbits. Then again, they ran in a fearful, zigzag evasive pattern, so maybe not.

My body is tired. But not as tired or heavy as at night, after dinner.

I got a new watch. With bigger numbers than those on my phone. Turns out I love it! It really helps.

This morning, I'm kind of in a hurry. I've left the house late and am trying to get back to see M before he leaves for work. I hit the usual place and turn back on my route. Apparently the wind that had been at my back is now at my front. I immediately think "great! this'll make it harder to run!" But instead of slowing me down, it cools me down. Bonus!

Still, I keep watching my new watch. Well, not on the running intervals. That's just torture. My get moving music today consists of Outkast, Pearl Jam and Prodigy. It helps to have good music that is meaningful to me. It keeps my mind from the doldrums of running. And it won't let my body run off into an alley somewhere and curl up into a ball and die.

I see the end of my route coming up ahead and I decide that, in order to get home to see M quicker, I'll run two whole minutes. Straight. I pick a point ahead and decide I will not look at my watch to see how much I have left until I hit that point. I begin to run. And I'm pushing through. And then it happens.

Runner's high! Legal, natural, totally organic drugs!! And not just a trickle. No. A flood!! It pours over me in waves for about 30 seconds straight. I get to the designated "look and see" spot and it's about 1:45 into my 2 minute run. And the drugs keep coming. And I. LOVE. it!

I did it. I ran for 2 minutes. And I pat myself on the back for doing week 2 over again and for switching to mornings and for getting a wristwatch and for setting a schedule.

And for weighing in at 167.4 before my run! I haven't been here in quite a while!!!

I get home just as M is pulling out of the garage. Yea! I made it!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Chunks & Acid (C 2 5k 2:3 or C 2 5k 2:1v2)

It's official. I hate night runs. I had planned to run Saturday morning. But my right leg hurt somewhere between my shin and my calf. Every time I walked on it.

So, it got postponed until tonight. M ran with me. Once I got him to be quiet and leave me alone, it was smooth sailing. Well. Sort of.

Rule number 1: keep your legs under you. My shins hurt this time. Again. I had to concentrate to keep my legs under me instead of in front of me. It's supposed to help. It kind of did.

Rule number 2: don't eat pizza before running. Bunches of belching ensue. And I get chunks and acid when I walk in the door.

While running, I started thinking how last time I was extra tired. I've chalked it up to eating dinner before running.

So. Tired and hurting. Again. I vow to run on a schedule. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. And it only took me a few weeks to figure that out! (Told you I'm not good with time or schedules!) Der!

And so M can come with me at least once - Monday mornings, Wednesday nights, and Friday mornings.

And so that I can keep them all in one week, I'm doing a do-over of week 2. Plus, I'd like to try the 90 second intervals in the mornings and see if it hurts as badly. I'm kind of getting freaked out at the pain and wondering whether I'll be able to make the big leap up to running 3 minutes. So, today will be considered 2:1 version 2.

I've decided that running is a good destresser. Not because I get all "in the zone" or because I'm so into it. No. Because it takes all my concentration. So I have no energy to think about anything else but running. Good, right?

Meanwhile, I sit here icing my shins as a form of treatment.

See you Wednesday.