Thursday, July 31, 2008

Favorite Day of the Week

Thursday is my new favorite day! It's REST day! I slept in this morning, made M lunch, and am now blogging! Suddenly I lurve Thursdays!

I made some minor adjustments to my running recently. I pulled my spencos out of my skechers and put them into my running shoes. Why I never thought of this before, I'll never know and have given up trying to figure out.

I also began running on asphalt. A little birdy told me that, though it seemed harder to me, asphalt is actually better for you than concrete. I heeded her advice. It seems to work well. At the very least, I don't have to worry about tripping on curbs or driveways.

Another thing I started doing is bringing my knee strap along with me, just in case. I don't wear it. (After the muscle stripping on Sunday, I was so bruised I couldn't put it on on Monday.) I carry it with me in case I need it. I'm trying to stretch and massage well enough that I don't need it though.

I've taken to singing out loud with some of my music while running. Except some early risers out there on my route tend to hear me. Oh well. It keeps me going.

Yesterday was pretty "slow & steady". But it seemed easier than Tuesday.

I'll be massaging and stretching again today, getting ready for tomorrow's run. And I'm already mapping out in my mind my 4 miler for Saturday.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Numbers Game

How about these numbers?

1 - minutes I could run back in May
3 - miles I'm currently running
163 - pounds I weigh
30 - dollars I spent on fresh fruits and veggies yesterday
20 - total number of pounds I've lost since January 2007
3 - how many runs I have left this week
1 - number of people I can count on to meet my goals

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Running Ahead

Yesterday I redeemed Saturday's tough run. I ran for 27:45 without stopping! (well, technically, I had to stop and go back for the cap to my water bottle that I dropped. . . but that doesn't really count.)

It was relatively easy. My legs didn't act up too much, following extensive and very painful massage on Sunday night to try and loosen up the tissue in my calves/shins.

Today, I ran for 31:35 without stopping. I hit the 3 mile mark!

"What on earth is she doing?" you might be asking. "Has she totally gone off plan?"

Yes and no. I've accelerated the plan. Which, by the way, is not something the Couch to 5k plan recommends. I'm working with a friend who's training for a run and I'm trying to use her training plan. This means I'm running 5 days a week, with long runs on Saturdays.

Tomorrow will be my 3rd run this week. I'm making history here, folks! 3 runs in by Wednesday?? Impossible! But true!

OK. Off to go and massage my legs. . .

Saturday, July 26, 2008

25 minutes = 15 + 1:15 + 1 + zigzag + 4 + 1:15 + 5 (plus too much cursing)

Today was an "off plan" run. I'm trying to get back "on plan" and do week 7 fresh next week.

Today was seriously the hardest run I've ever ever done. It was also the most tired I've ever ever been after a run.

Wicked bad war games between Body and Mind today, folks. Lots of arguments ensued. Like:

"Can we please please stop now?"
"What and walk all the way home from here?! No way!"
"But I'm going to die!"
"C'mon [expletive]! Keep going!"

I was really just hoping for the whole "get past the first 10 minutes and you'll feel better" thing, but it never materialized. My right shin ached a little, my left knee was already hurting despite the band, and my left shin hurt. (????)

I first looked at my watch at 12:49. Body wanted to quit. Mind made it keep going. Mind said "get to 15 and you can maybe have a break" and then looked at my watch. It was 15:01 so, instead of pushing myself further, I stopped. Mind told Body "you've got one minute, so make it good." It ended up being 1:15.

I was trying to then run the rest of my 25 minute run, plus make up the one minute, which would have been 11 minutes total.

I crossed the street. Then Body did not want to be on that side of the street. It wanted the greater amount of shade on the other side. (The sun was a beast today!) I really had to push to get even 5 minutes out. Hence the second 1:15 walk.

Then that last 5 minutes was a killer! I looked at my watch a lot. I have never wanted to quit so bad in my entire life! At one point Body just stopped, right there in mid-stride, but Mind said "C'mon! You can do anything for a minute and a half! GO!"

So I did. And I limped the rest of the way home. While I was limping, between pouring water over myself to cool down, I was thinking about why it was that it was SO hard to finish this run.

Was it because I've been sick most of the week?

Was it because I've been underslept most of the week?

Was it because I haven't run for a week and Body forgot how?

Was it because I had to pee from drinking too much water before?

Was it because it's 28% humidity outside?

Was it because I was hungry because I only had an apple and then dillydallied before leaving the house?

Seriously. I was BEAT when I got home. All I wanted to do was hop in the shower and then immediately go back to bed.

I was too tired to stretch. Too tired to go to the bathroom. Too tired to even blog. Oh wait! Here I am. Trust me, though. It's been a chore.

Off to the shower! (I'm shticky!!!)

Friday, July 25, 2008

For Kicks

Went over to FitWatch again and entered all my stats:

Total Body Weight: 164.8 lbs
Waist: 33 inches
Hip: 40 inches
Forearm: 10 inches
Wrist: 6.5 inches
And the handydandy computer came up with:
Your Body Fat Weight is: 43.99 lbs
Your Muscle Mass is: 120.81 lbs
Your Body Fat Percentage is: 26.69%

Not much progress from where I started, but progress nonetheless. Wouldn't it be great to lose 44 lbs of body fat? A little unrealistic, since we all need some body fat. I'll settle for another 15-20 lbs or so. Yeah. That'd be great.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Welcome to Class

What did we learn today, students? Say it with me: "Do NOT Procrastinate!"

Good job! Now, let's role play using real-world examples and see how you do.

What do we do if we're concerned about our husband's lack of sleep and consider putting off our run in order to get to bed earlier, all the while promising ourselves we'll get up and go tomorrow morning?

Say it with me: "Do NOT Procrastinate!"

That's right! Because said husband could break the deal you made with him to go to bed earlier, leaving you going to bed later AND struggling with getting and staying asleep as you have for the past two weeks, resulting in about 5.5 hours of sleep when you really need about 8.5 to be rested.

And even though you'll wake up early the next morning (due to the whole can't-stay-asleep thing) you'll feel very crappy. You'll feel like if you run, your body will fall apart into a million little pieces on your route. You'll have headaches and a sore throat all day, thus ruining your chances of having a successful run later that night.

So, all you students of fitness, one more time! Say it with me: "Do NOT Procrastinate!"

You are now dismissed.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Out of Spite

I've been feeling run down for weeks now. My body stopped shilly-shallying with this sickness and decided to get it. So I haven't run since Saturday. And I'm determined to go tonight.

Looking at the first two blogs under "Inspiring 2 Me" really keep me motivated to get going and keep up the progress. Coincidence they're both Jens? I think not.

Saturday, July 19, 2008


6:3 is D-O-N-E!

I slept in today (go me), so I didn't get out until about 9:20. By that time it was about 90 degrees and 27% humidity. But at least it was cloudy! And a little breezy! So, rock on.

I stretched like crazy. . . but I was still sore when I started running. That first 10 minutes was killer. I was so tired and it took everything to stay strong. But, it was hard. I even poured water over myself as incentive to keep going, even though I told myself I'd wait until after the first mile and do it as a "reward". (dude, seriously - you have no idea how I gotta play those Jedi mind tricks on myself!)

I didn't look at my watch until I finished the first mile. It was at 10 minutes. I circled back (i.e. did NOT cross the street), trying to do that mental trick again. I was met with a breeze hitting me where I needed it most: my face. Yea!

After that first 10 minutes, I kind of hit my stride. When I got to the part of my route where I needed to change up and add some distance, I went from running on sidewalks to running on asphalt. M was riding next to me and I said "babe, you can do ahead" and he said "that's alright!" Then I barked "no seriously! go ahead and come back! I need to concentrate!" Needless to say, he obliged.

I then went from asphalt to gravel. Let me tell you, looking forward to hitting the sidewalk again was a major motivator! I didn't look at my watch again until around 19 minutes. I wore my knee strap, which really helped. My knee didn't hurt until several minutes after running on gravel, and it subsided again once I was back on the sidewalk. I think I'll be using the knee strap from here on out. (Have you looked at my next 3 weeks on the "plan"? No more walking for me!!)

I looked at my watch again at about 23 minutes, then several times during that 24th minute. But I made it to 25 and that's what counts.

I don't think I'll opt for this side route again next week. It wasn't too bad, but I wouldn't want to run it alone. And since I'll need to be going in the mornings (evenings are just too hot!) . . .well, we'll see. I have already mapped out another route on the other side of my route which adds 4/10 of a mile and includes sidewalks. That might help with the extra 5 minutes I'm now running (my 2 mile route only takes about 20 minutes to run).

See you next week! I'm off to start a great weekend!

Friday, July 18, 2008


6:2 was officially completed last night. It was 97.5 degrees when I left at 9:15. Hot, sure, but only 6% humidity.

I stretched pretty well before. My shins were a little sore. I managed the first 10 without incident. Truthfully, I was a little impatient on the 3 minute walk. I hate having to extend my route and being unsure about how far. My worst nightmare is extending my route too much and being "stranded" walking "all the way" home. Silly, since my route is very near home. But there it is. Plus, if I had been limping home last night like I was last time, it would not have been good.

The second 10 was tiring. I kept feeling sick. Every time I felt like I was going to be sick, I poured water over my head. Turns out I just had to belch - bad idea to eat a slice of whole wheat with PB & honey on it before a run - which cannot be accomplished while actually running.

I stretched down, but my "daily" stretching is not going so hot. Turns out it's hard to make a new habit stick. Which is also why I'm so glad I've stuck with running. It's truly addictive. Whenever I miss, M hears "I need to go running" every day until I go again.

6:3 will happen Saturday morning, when I'm hoping (despite the sun) it will be cooler. The challenge there is 25 minutes running and zero walking. In fact, that's all of week 7 as well. I'll definitely have to modify my route. Remember back when I mapped out a new 3.1 mile route? I'll be using part of that and hoping it works. We shall see. . .

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

6:1 Do Over

I started over with week 6. I was tired, and my body still feels on the brink of getting sick. But the words of a doctor I once went to were running through my head like a mantra: "sometimes you just have to exercise through the fatigue". Besides, I'm kind of tired of my body trifling with the decision of whether or not it does, in fact, want to be sick. Make up your mind already!!

It was 93.9 degrees and 14% humidity when I left. Not too bad, but I felt that humidity. I got the benefit of a full moon, though! Love when I can run by the light of the moon. It rocks!

I did a modified 6:1. On the second running interval I was going to "run for as long as I could" - which ended up being only about 10:15. So I did 5 running, 3 walking, 10+ running, 2.5 walking, and another 5 running.

I was pretty sore by the time I was done! I was limping home and threatening M that if we would've had to walk any further he would have had to carry me home.

I stretched like mad - for 15 minutes. I do this weird stretch I made up for my inner thighs/hamstrings. And I did it tonight until it stopped hurting. So it took a while. No ice, though. I really need to be stretching those legs every morning - not just before and after runs.

I'm thinking of wearing my knee band on my left knee next time - but I might have already expressed that I'm worried about being lop-sided since EVERY possible thing I have when I run is on my left: my watch, my water bottle, my iPod.

I'm in full bloat mode. I increased my water intake today. Plus it's nearly that time. Plus I haven't run since last Thursday. So, I'm not feeling so great about my progress. . . but this is a new week. And the bloat will subside. And I'll keep going.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Okay. . . So . . .

Sucky week last week. It got away from me. And then I felt crappy. And it certainly doesn't help that the humidity has only today dropped below 30%. Not my idea of fun!

I can do heat. I can't do humidity along with it. Seriously! Running last week at 88 degrees and high humidity was much worse than running in a dry 95 degrees.

Saturday morning I slept way way long and was lazy for the rest of the day. No run. I made the excuse that it was too humid and hot. Not that I was wrong, mind you. But it was an excuse.

Sunday morning I felt way crappy and it persisted throughout the day, culminating in a sore throat and major headache. Not much unlike today, actually.

I made it through work, but going for a run tonight would just be pushing my body and I'm not keen on getting worse. I'm going to try for tomorrow. . .

I should point out here that I really really miss running when I'm not doing it. And I'm really really excited to keep going with the program and "graduate" the C25k. Hopefully, this week I can get back on track. (yeah. I'm beginning to hate that phrase, too!)

Friday, July 11, 2008

The Next BIG Thing

I've been wondering what to do once I hit the 5k mark, since I'll likely hit it long before it cools down enough for any 5k runs. (The ones I have pegged are in October and December).

I finally found it! It's called "Becoming a One Hour Runner" (or OHR) and I know some of the C25k grads go on to do OHR. It goes like this:

Becoming a One Hour Runner
The key component of this program is the one long run per week. It builds up endurance and lays the foundation for further progress.

Weeks 1 - 3: Right now you are running 30 minutes a day, 3 days a week. Your weekly commitment of time is 90 minutes. Continue doing this for three weeks.
Week 4: Run 30 minutes, 29 minutes, 35 minutes. Weekly total: 94 minutes
Week 5: Run 30 minutes, 32 minutes, 38 minutes Weekly total: 100 minutes
Week 6: Run 30 minutes, 33 minutes, 41 minutes Weekly total: 104 minutes
Week 7: Run 30 minutes, 34 minutes, 45 minutes Weekly total: 109 minutes
Week 8: Run 30 minutes, 36 minutes , 49 minute Weekly total: 115 minutes
Week 9: Run 30 minutes, 38 minutes, 54 minutes Weekly total: 122 minutes
Week 10: Run 30 minutes, 40 minutes, 60 minutes Weekly total: 130 minutes

And the author of this program, Katherine Switzer, added a personal note that made me feel OH SO MUCH BETTER. I've been getting down on myself for not doing the 9 week C25k program in 9 weeks. Katherine says: When you are trying to increase your distance, some days feel good and others feel awful. Listen to your body. Be willing to back off. There is no hurry. These schedules are designed for the best possible circumstances, and sometimes you just need more time to adapt. Never move on to the next higher distance until you feel totally comfortable with the one you did today. I can remember once doing the same mileage for three weeks before I felt I had the strength to add a bit more.

That makes me feel better!!! I'm not doing more distance necessarily, but I'm starting to ramp up the length of my running intervals. And I'm trying to be honest with myself about what my body can do. The whole point is to keep going, and keep trying. "There is no hurry!"

Thursday, July 10, 2008


All my good intentions died hard this week. I meant to do 6:1 Monday night, but other things came up; then rescheduled it for Tuesday morning but was VERY tired; rescheduled again for Tuesday night but was still in the grocery store at 9:00 (my normal evening running time); rescheduled for Wednesday morning but had a headache and was not "going there" with a run; rescheduled for Wednesday night but didn't start a project that needed work until 8:30. . .

So. Even on only 4 hours of sleep, I got up (mostly because I couldn't sleep any longer) and went this morning.

It was 87 when I left, 88.7 when I returned. I am one sticky chicky. Even after laying on my living room floor, spread out like a starfish under the breeze of the fan. I'm worried I may have overheated.

I didn't even stretch down yet.

I was dog tired on the last 5 minutes, AND my iPod quit on me. Ever wonder why I'm so codependent on my iPod? It's because when it's just me, I talk to myself out loud. And answer myself OUT LOUD:
"My land, it's HOT!"
"And quiet!"
"I hate that!"
"I know. I wanna puke."
"No. really. I feel sick"

Whatever. Mischief managed. And I can still fit in a run on Saturday.

I'm off to shower. Especially since my arms are sweating all over the desk as I type this.

Saturday, July 5, 2008



I ran 20 minutes without stopping! In 95 degree weather! (no joke.)

My back was hurting a little yesterday morning, so M decided to use the electric massager to massage my back. Then he decided to do my legs. Remember those strings in my pelvis connecting my legs to my body??? Well, we discovered VERY tight tendons running in the "posterior" inside of my legs. Um, hello cause-of-my-shin-splints-and-knee-pain!

I went and bought some running shorts. Shorter than I would have liked (there was a day when shorts couldn't get too short for me, so it was odd to me to be looking for "longer" running shorts. . . ) but maybe my legs will get tan while they're also keeping cool without all that cotton fabric clinging to them.

Even though that little massaging "procedure" made my right calf/shin ache, I decided to go today. Even though it was 89 degrees when I woke up, 92 when I left, and 95 when I returned.

I had a little pep talk with my body before I got going. It went something like "OK. C'mon body. Don't let me down. We can do this!" And my body said "yes we can!" by giving a tiny rush of drugs to my system. Before I even started running. My body is awesome!

And so, I ran. I first looked at the watch at 7:48. Then at 9:30. I was trying to decide whether or not to cross the street as I've always done or come back the same side I usually run up on. I opted to turn a little circle at the end of my route and double back on the shady side of the street. This ended up being a good choice for a couple of reasons.

First, I got to run in the spotty shade of the trees. Second, you know how a trail doesn't look the same coming as it does going? Turns out that's a good little preemptive mental trick to pull when you fear your mind might try to one-up you with its own tricks. (For instance, the side streets on my route are alphabetized. And sometimes, I start thinking "oh crap! I'm only at G. I have to get all the way to P before I can stop. Yeah. It bites.)

By interrupting this little pity party of the mind, I preempted all such nonsense and my mind was a little discombobbled and too freakin' tired to try to figure it out. In short, I forced my mind to play along with my body. That mind can be a right old bully. . .

Third, when I was nearing 19:00, I was also nearing the last side street on the east side of the street - the same side street that's kind of a short cut home. I figured I would run the rest of my time on that side street and short cut it home. Small thing, but that was a bonus for being on that side of the street.

Sure, I was tired. Sure, I wanted to quit. When I started compulsively checking my watch at around 14:40 and then again at 15:46, I sternly told myself "stop that!" And I kept going. I thought "what a waste it would be to come this far and stop now when I'm SO close to making the 20 minute mark.

I freakin' did it!!

And I stretched my legs like a mother when I got home. Sadly, they are still achey and tight.

Next week:
Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then:
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
  • Walk 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Jog 3/4 mile (or 8 minutes)
  • Walk 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then:
  • Jog 1 mile (or 10 minutes)
  • Walk 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Jog 1 mile (or 10 minutes)
Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then jog 2-1/4 miles (or 25 minutes) with no walking.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

The Do-over of 5:2

I did not go running last night. I decided I was too tired. I was also too tired this morning, but I fear losing progress more than being lethargic, so I dragged my butt up and got myself going, the words of a doctor I saw within the last year echoing in my head: "sometimes you have to keep exercising through the fatigue". My back was better yesterday - today, not so much. Surprisingly, the running helped loosen it up. Weird.

It was 88.9 when I left the house and 90.5 when I got back. Not too bad. I guess.

My legs were RESTED! Almost NO shin splints this time. A little trouble with the left knee, but I'm working on that. I was trying to adjust the way my feet were pronating (look it up. I'm too tired to explain or link). And I also looked up some more stretches and some other things to try to do about knee and shin problems. And I busted out my knee strap after my run and am currently wearing it. But, no ice packs today. Hooray!

I was worried my body would forget how to run 8 minutes all at once. It didn't. Though the Jedi mindtricks of my brain took their toll on me during that second 8 minutes. I wanted to stop very badly. I wanted to look at my watch and see how long I'd been running - but that would also mean seeing how long I still had left. That kind of torture I just cannot abide. . .

Which makes me think about the real reason I took such a long break between runs. Well, you know, besides the real reason of back pain and spasms that took my breath away. Here's my theory: I saw that 5:3 entailed running for 20 minutes straight, and I freaked out. Just a little.

I know exactly how much running that equates to on my route. I know the mental, not to mention physical, endurance that's going to require. And I'm a little worried. And a little freaked out.

But, today, while running and thinking it over, I made a command decision. I'm going to do it. I'm going to do it even if I can't do it. Even if my body wants to quit 10 or 15 minutes in. I'm going to do it or I'm going to give it one hell of a shot.

So. Saturday morning, I rendezvous with 5:3. I think tonight I'll go get me some runnin' shorts in preparation. I'm a little over the 3/4 length pants I've been wearing. . . especially when it's 90 degrees by 7:30 a.m.!

Oh, and also, I drove my route and tracked the mileage, then added enough of a detour so that I have a "new" route for when I get to the 5k part of this here venture. 3.1 miles, kids! 3.1 miles!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Getting BACK

I went to the chiro today. My right-sided back pain lasted from Friday right up until I went to her.

I'm better now. So. I'm hoping to be able to survive the heat (praying for a breeze) and go running tonight. Since it's been so long since my last run, I plan to do a "do over" this week. I'll start with 5:2, and do 5:3 on Friday or Saturday. Then, I'll push 6 to next week and (hopefully) get back on track.

Stay tuned!