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Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Good and the Very Bad

Two days post-race, I decided to go for a 3 mile run. The 3 miles did NOT happen. My legs cramped up something fierce and no matter how I stretched or tried to walk it out, there was no relief. And the wind. It was extremely windy, and I was heading into it probably 80% of my run. I couldn't get away from it. It was like trying to run straight into concrete. I made it 2.1 miles and was done. Finished. Worst run ever.

I got over it pretty fast though.

Today, 2 days after crappy run, it was a little windy and rainy and chilly. But I bundled up and headed out anyway. I didn't set a distance, just figured I would go with the flow. My calves cramped up somewhat and stretching helped. I stayed warm and dry in my clothes and managed 2.55 miles. I was happy with it.

I set a time frame for myself of a max of 2 weeks to get comfortable with a 2.5 mile distance. Then I will add a half mile for another 2 weeks and go from there. I hope to be doing 4 to 5 mile runs soon. And I still need to work on my confidence. But I am getting there.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Post Race

I am so proud of Caitlin, she did great!

Pastor ended up running with her, as Shaun ended up having to work. Her first 2 miles were 10 minutes miles and her third was nearly 15 minutes. She struggled. But Pastor encouraged her and kept her going. She ran the entire race in 34:52 and placed 10th in her age group. This morning she is sore and tired, but says she is going to keep running. She is awesome!

I did great my first 2 miles as well, I paced exactly 11:30 each one (those intervals are already paying off). And like Caitlin, I struggled that third mile. I did very briefly walk 3 times during that last mile, but I am still very happy with my race. I finished in 38:38, a personal record for me, by a minute and a half.

I think we both struggled that last mile because we have only been running 2 miles. I am going to start running 3 miles each time I go out instead of 2. And it won't be long until I am ready for my next race!

The race itself was a blast! It was very well organized and had a Halloween theme. Tons of great post-race snacks, hot apple cider, fun music, fabulous door-prizes, and the trophies were a hoot. People were dressed up in costumes. It was a great race for Caitlin's first, she had a lot of fun! Kudos to the organizers, we hope to do it again next year!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Tomorrow is Race Day

I am pumped! Tomorrow is the Trek or Treat 5k. I am going to run the whole thing. Pastor has helped break down that wall that makes me want to walk. Between watching the Chicago Marathon and the interval training last Monday, I have confidence. Witnessing the marathon itself and how Pastor struggled with his training over the summer, made me realize how wimpy my 3.1 mile struggle is. A 5k is nothing. As for the intervals, Pastor definitely pushed me far beyond the point where my brain is telling my body to flip to the "Off" switch.

I can do this. I am ready.

Caitlin will be running in this race as well. I talked Shaun into running with her so I don't have to worry about her wimping out on me. I know she will struggle. Tomorrow will complete Week 6 for her (25 minute run). And the way she complains and cries about every ache and pain during her training, she will end up walking part of it.

Don't get me wrong, I am proud of her, she is doing great! But she needs to toughen up a bit. I told her the other day that running is hard, there will be pain, that she needs to get past that in order to enjoy it. I think this race will be pivotal for her, she will either decide to continue running and yearn for more, or she will decide she is done and it's too hard. Either way, I am still proud of her. She had a goal, she worked hard for it, and she will meet it.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Braving it

Fall is here. Changing leaves, the crisp cool air, cooler temperatures. I love it!

This year, fall is bringing wind and rain along with it. While I don't mind the rain so much, I hate wind.

Today (and the last couple days) have been like that. Windy and rainy. I didn't run yesterday, I just wasn't feeling it. But I was determined to go out today.

I got up early, got the kids started this morning, and headed to the hospital for my blood work. Ate a granola bar on the way home and debated on running outside or as Pastor calls it, The Dreadmill. I definitely was not in the mood to stare at clutter, so outside it was.

Fortunately, it was only misting. The wind was gusty though. And it was under 50 degrees.

So I dressed for the weather in my new long sleeve running shirt, new jacket, and new headband (I love it, it says "One Bad Mother Runner"). Started stretching and had to run back inside and grab some gloves. I stayed pretty warm.

I wasn't too sure what my plan was, so I just started running. Three miles would have been fabulous, so in my head, I planned to go around the block twice and down this one road that would take me pretty close to three miles, maybe slightly over. I made it around my block and on down the road and I was getting a little tired, but I was feeling pretty good. Until I got close to my street and a huge gust of wind just about knocked me over!

I was done! I turned onto my road instead of going straight and headed home. I ran 2 miles exactly and I give myself mental credit for the third just for braving the elements.

My time was 25:26, so about a 12:43 mile which is great for me! I have been averaging about a minute slower per mile.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Finally got some intervals in!

Saturday. It was too windy for me. 30+ mph winds. Crazy!

Sunday. We had a busy day hanging out with various friends. It was awesome and we had a blast.

Monday. It was chilly and breezy. No more excuses! I texted Pastor to meet me at the track and he complied. He is an awesome friend and coach like that! We did 2 laps to warmup and stretch. Then onto intervals. We did 4 laps, sprinting the long stretch and finishing the lap at a slow run. Then we stopped to stretch a bit and so I could learn to breathe again.

Originally, we planned to do 4 more interval laps. But Pastor had a different idea. He thought it would boost my confidence to beat my PR on a 1 mile run (which is slightly over 12 minutes). My brain immediately went into are-you-freaking-crazy-I-just-did-4-freaking-laps-of-intervals-I'll-be-lucky-to-have-2-more-freaking-laps-in-me-let-alone-4 mode. Then I shrugged my shoulders and said "Let's go".

Pastor decided I would do an 11 minute mile, about 2 minutes and 45 seconds per lap. He would pace me and annoy the crap out of me to keep me going. So I pushed. After the second lap, I felt done. I was exhausted. My side was started to cramp, my calves were burning, my nose was running, and my breathing sounded like an angry buffalo.

But you know what's cool about Pastor? He doesn't let me give up. He knew I was struggling. But he didn't let up on me. He continued to pace me and spew motivational words at me and I managed that third lap, barely. The fourth lap, I was mostly numb. I had really been pushing. But I finally made it. Even managed to pick up some speed on the home stretch.

My time? Well, once I could breathe again, Pastor told me. We ran one mile in 11:07. Beat my previous PR by a whole minute. Woohoo!

And you know what else? I didn't decide I was finished then wither. I told Pastor that 2 more laps would put me at 3 miles for the day. My only stipulation was "Can we go slow?". So we did it. And plus one. Total mileage this morning 3.25.

Thanks Pastor! I don't think I could've accomplished so much today without you!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Screw it

That's what I said yesterday morning. Screw it, I am going for a run. I still had a slightly sore shin and my foot felt a little tight, but I went out anyway and pushed myself. I ran 2.75 miles in 35 minutes and 49 seconds. Basically, I went around the block twice. I had to stop for a bathroom break after my first time around and I stopped to stretch once. I feel good about my run. Of course my shins are sore again today, but they aren't much worse. So I guess that is good.

I was telling Pastor yesterday, I want to get to the point where I am running 3, 4, and 5 miles at a time on a regular basis. I want 10-15 mile weeks. Right now, I am at 6-10 mile weeks. If I can get to that point, I would be comfortable starting training for a half-marathon.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Resting today

I did a 30 minute run yesterday. It was the first time my shins have bothered me since I started this running style. It was mild, but still a little bothersome. Not sure if it was from pushing a 25 minute and a 30 minute run back to back like that, plus all the walking in Chicago. Maybe my body just isn't quite used to that yet. So I am resting today to let my body heal up a bit.

I admit, this disappoints me a bit. Shin pain was the biggest reason I went with minimalism and I haven't had it since I made the switch. Hopefully this won't last and it won't bother me again.

I can't wait for the day I can just go out and run 5 miles without a second thought!

Minimilism in a Nutshell

Since the creation of mankind, people have run barefoot. Our bodies were designed to run. Have you ever actually watched a young child run? Not only are they having fun, but pay attention to their style: mid-foot strike, foot landing beneath their body. THAT is how we are supposed to run.

Over the last maybe 50 years (I am guessing here), shoe companies decided we need cushioning and arch support and this and that. And I agree there are people that do, in fact, need that support. However, the vast majority do not. Not only do conventional shoes affect your stride, but they also weaken the muscles in your feet and can damage your knees, hips, and http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifback.

I have no desire to go out and run completely barefoot. But I totally agree with the concept. Minimalist shoes are a good alternative. My husband even recently jumped on my bandwagon on minimalism and bought a pair of New Balance minimalist shoes. He loves them! And like me, he is now running pain free - no more pain in his knees and hips from running.

Minimalism/Barefoot is NOT something you should immediately go out and do. Like I said, your foot muscles are weak from conventional shoes and you must strengthen them. There are http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifexercises you can do that will help. As far as running, take it slow. For me, using the Couch to 5k program worked well for my transition. It built up my running distance gradually over a period of time.

Will there be pain involved? Yes, you are building muscle. Your feet and calves will ache and burn. Take care of yourself, stretch well, and listen to your body and you will be fine. (Stealing an example from my favorite minimalist website):

Neo: "Why do my eyes hurt?"
Morpheous: "Because you've never used them before."

Monday, October 10, 2011

Chicago Marathon

It was awesome! Pastor finished at about 5 hours which I think is phenomenal considering a month ago he didn't think he would make it at all due to injuries. Great job Pastor!

It was awe-inspiring. We were waited for Pastor at just before the 26 mile marker to cheer him on. It was crazy watching the steady stream of runners, hundreds of people passing by every minute. It would not surprise me in the least if someone told me I watching 10,000 runners go by in that hour. We cheered them on, we gave high fives. We saw Spiderman and Buzz Lightyear running, as well as 2 cavemen. It was really cool!

Was I personally inspired? Yes, I couldn't wait until my next run. And after watching those guys run 26.2 miles, my measly 25 minute run didn't seem so hard anymore. And....I am tentatively considering a half marathon in Columbus next fall. If I can talk myself into it.

On a side note, my heart goes out to the family and friends of the runner who collapsed and later died at the Chicago Marathon. Say an extra prayer for them.

Goodbye Week 6!

5 minute walking warm up, 25 minute run

Despite not running the last 5 days, walking all over Chicago for 2 days, and spending 12 hours in the car over the weekend, I went for a run first thing this morning. I could tell my body was a little tight, but it felt good to get it out! I have been so antsy about running since Saturday, I even lost sleep! But it just wasn't possible.

I felt good this morning, I didn't struggle at all. My breathing was good. I think. I couldn't hear myself huffing and puffing over my headphones anyway. And I got a little of that antsy feeling out of my system. Not all though.....We shall see about that!

Friday, October 7, 2011

You know you're a runner when......

You fall asleep while visualizing yourself doing interval training around a track!

Yes, I did that last night. The weird part is that I have never done interval training. Maybe this means I am ready for it.

I was a little sore after the Race for Education. I had some minor ToFP just below the base of my toes. And my calves were a little tight. I feel pretty good today and want to go for a run, but I won't have the time. I have to get everyone packed, we leave for Chicago this afternoon. Between errands, packing, work, kids, no run today. Bummer.

But Chicago will be so fun! We are stalking Pastor up there for the Chicago Marathon on Sunday! Actually, we are going to lend some moral support; he has admittedly struggled during his training for this race. So we want to cheer him on! And it will be cool to hang out together over the weekend.

Maybe I can get my run in tomorrow in the big city......That would be awesome!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Race for Education

5 minute warmup, 10 minute run, 3 minute walk, 10 minute run

Today is the Race for Education at my kids school. It is their only fundraiser for the entire year and they raise about $20,000. People can sponsor the students either by paying per lap or just a flat donation. The kids have fun and get some exercise and parents don't have to worry about buying useless, overpriced crap from a bunch of little fundraisers throughout the year.

I always go and run with my kids and/or volunteer to help. This year I ran. I was out there for almost 2 hours between my 3 kids. I got my Week 6 Day 2 run finished in the first hour and ran some extra laps. The second hour, Caitlin came out and I ran Week 5 Day 2 with her. I didn't finish with her on the last 8 minute run (I was exhausted!) but still managed to run a few extra laps. She did great, I think this was the most laps she has ever ran since she started school.

My total distance for this morning was 5.5 miles. A personal record for me in distance. It is also the longest I have gone in my minimalist shoes. My arches hurt. And I need a nap. However, I have to return to teach my 8th period class. At least it's only one today.

I am so proud of all the kids going out to run today. I was out with preschool through 5th grade. They all did great!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Weight

You would think that after nearly 2 years of running, I would have lost at least some weight. But no. I have managed to lose the extra I have gained, from a 2 week vacation at the beach and 2 weeks off from running due to injury. But my body seems to want to stay exactly at my current weight.

I would like to lose 30 pounds. That would put me within (the upper) range of weight for my height. I don't diet well, I admit. But I do try to watch what I eat. It's unfortunate that I like to cook, especially bake. However, I give a lot of that away.

I currently run between 6 and 10 miles a week. I hope to increase that in the near future. People tell me I am building muscle and that's why I'm not losing. I might have believed that the first 6 months, but not at this point. I realize I am doing other positive things for my body, like building up my cardiovascular systems. But I admit, this is kind of bumming me out.

Monday, October 3, 2011

I need to catch up!

I need to blog about my last 2 runs (Week 5 Day 3 and Week 6 Day 1). They may appear to be out of order, but I assure you, they are not!

Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then jog 20 minutes with no walking

This was a chilly and damp run. I made Pastor go with me for some moral support (thanks again!) because the last time I ran that kind of distance, only 10 days into my minimalist shoes, I ended up with some serious ToFP and had to take 2 weeks off. I realize I have built up to this now and am stronger. But it was always nice just to have someone to run with. It was surprisingly good, despite the sprinkly weather. I got to try out my new jacket, which I think I will hold off for colder weather, I was roasting in it. I felt good finishing Week 5!

Brisk five-minute warmup walk, jog 5 minutes, walk 3 minutes, jog 8 minutes, walk 3 minutes, jog 5 minutes


This was a piece of cake after Friday's run. I ended up on the treadmill because it was about 44 degrees and raining. I just don't have the gear for that. Yet. I feel awkward on the treadmill with this running style. But I found a pace that worked and went with it. By the end of this week, these broken up, short runs will be over. I feel like this will be a milestone for me. And I can honestly say I can't wait!