Thursday, December 18, 2008

Long Runs Down

I did my last long run before the marathon yesterday. I'm nervous though, that it wasn't all running. I did half of it on the eliptical machines at the gym, and half on the treadmill. I really like the elipticals. And, it gives my arms more of a work out then the running. But, I think it may not be as difficult as the running. We'll see. The next three weeks will be short distances - 6 miles is short. I will be running all those and trying to build up speed.

It took 5 hours, and I spent the five hours thinking of what to put in the blog. Then, I had no energy and drive after the run, so it's the next day and I can't remember what I wanted to put in here.

It will come to me. Mostly, I realized that it has been a month since I last typed. I am living, breathing marathon, so there is no time to type about it.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Running - Excuses or Reasons?

I "ran" the four miles mentioned before. My toe went numb after the 2.5 mile, again. But, I don't have an open blister. It just feels like a scabbed or hard blister area on my foot that maybe is making the toe feel numb. So, I started to wear different shoes last week during the day. On Saturday, I did four miles in the 13-mile shoes, and sure enough, after 3.5 miles, my toe felt numb. But, I had a worse injury.

On Saturday, when I got out of bed, my right ankle was having problems. About every third or fouth step, it wouldn't hold my weight. It kept feeling like I was twisting it anew. Now, I had very weak ankles before I started this running stuff. I was 260 pounds, and now at 220, I have removed ~1600 lbs of pressure off my ankles. So, it was discouraging. I put on the 13 mile shoes for the 4 mile walk. I tried to run, but every time I did, I would have the ankle twinge. But, by walking, I was sort of ok. I did four miles in a long time (~20 minutes per mile, way worse then Disney), but I did it. And, after the first mile, my ankle didn't do any twisting - unless I tried to run on it. So, i walked. And, yes my toe started to go numb, BUT, I felt like my shoes were giving me some extra support I really needed. It was very rainy and wet, so maybe that will help "break in" my shoes. I remembered that with the other pairs, I had run through rain early in each's life with me. I know - you should not "break in" new shoes - that only breaks them. But, I gotta be able to use these sneakers.

On Sunday, I woke up with the ankle almost as bad. It was supposed to be a 9 mile day. I AM committed to my long runs, but this 9-miler was to be a recovery run post-13 miles. SO, I walked the dog for two miles, then went to the gym. I lifted weights - skipping the one that requires my ankle use. Then, I did 45 minutes on the reclining bike. I had to use my ankle, but not to hold my weight. I wore an older pair of sneakers because the new ones were wet still.

Today (Monday), my ankle isn't too bad. I have had some twinges, but not nearly as bad as the weekend. Today is a rest day - only a two mile walk with the dog. No running. Tomorrow, I will do the gym again. Lifting and bike. I will do a couple of hours on the bike tomorrow. I think the 9-miler would have taken me 2+ hours, so that is how I will compensate for not running it. I need to strengthen the ankle, but not re-injure it. I don't know how I injured it in the first place.

SO, is the bike use a suitable substitute? Is the ankle just an excuse not to run, or a valid reason? I am disappointed in myself that I missed my long run. B told me that you just have to committ to your long run days and you can train for the marathon. I think I am committed. I am thinking already of the 15 miler I have to do on Sunday...

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

13 mile recovery

I did the 13 on Sunday, then did 4 on Monday - as my plan said. I definitely have a blister from the new shoes and 13 miles. My foot started hurting by mile 2. My middle toe seemed to feel numb (like it did on the 13 mile run), but I think it was the position of a blister.

I walked the dog for 2 miles on Tuesday - which is a rest day. My foot hurt differently, but I could get past it. I feel rested and like it will do ok. I am excited (?!) to run today for another 4. I'll be in the 13 mile shoes tonight, and I'm interested in how they will feel. Maybe Excited isn't the right word, but I am interested in my run today.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Half Marathon - Almost

I did my 13 mile run yesterday. It didn't do 13.1, like I had planned. I made a common rooky mistake. I wore a new pair of sneakers for the first time on the run. I figured - oh, it's only 13 miles, so it can't be bad. It was aweful. They felt really stiff, and my middle toe on the right was really hurting by mile 3. I had to edit my run and my walk style. I know - I should not do that because it could hurt something else. But, I got through my 13 miles. It was the most painful run I have done to date. As soon as I got to 13.01, I stopped and took off those shoes! My feet feel fine today - and did last night as well. So, no permanent damage. I will break in the new shoes before the next really long run - 17 miles in two weeks.

I did this run a little different as well. I took the dog out first and we did 5.09 miles together. It was raining when we started, and the leaves on the ground were a little slick. I was hurting and went home after the 5 miles. I stopped to pee (I always have to do that when running I guess), then immediately got onto my home treadmill. The treadmill didn't help the pain, and I much prefer to run outside (who would have known that when i started all this?), so after exactly 2 miles in 30:02, I went back out for another 5 miles. I ran/walked to the running park that is 2 miles away. I figured as long as I could get there, I'd be forced to get more miles because I had to get back home. I did a 1 mile lap there, then headed home again. I got home with 0.94 miles left to do, so back on the treadmill. When I hit 0.95 miles, I stopped! So, I had to add my distances (twice on the treadmill, and once on the Garmin), and add my times (which my wonderful hubby wrote down from the treadmill).

I did 13 miles in 3 hours, 26 minutes! The Disney marathon requires 16:00 miles, sustained through 26.2 miles. That would be 3:28 for the 13 miles. So, I beat it by 2 minutes!!! The first mile overall was my slowest. That was the section in the woods with the dog, and I did it in ~20 minutes. (I was worried about wet leaves, and trying hard to stretch out muscles. I was damaged after last week's run, so I didn't want a repeat.) I made up the time, and my fasted mile was towards the end of the first five miles - 13:27. That was when I realized that running (instead of walking) made my toe hurt less. The last five miles had very little running, mostly walking - but that is ok for Disney.

I haven't taken an Tylenol, and I guess I won't. I like that I can recover. Everything is just stiff.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Aftermath of 10+ miles

I am feeling those miles today still (two days later). Yesterday, the day after the long run was tough. My one calf muscle is so tight, it really hurts. I was supposed to do 4 mile run, but I did a 2.5 mile fast walk with the dog - I did a lot of hills which made the calf fell better. I know - it needed a lot of stretching. T - you were so right with your note on the last post. The rest of me felt ok - a little tired, but nothing major. Just that one calf.

It is best to learn this now, though. I will have to stop to pee during the race, and I have a bunch more long runs to go before I get there. So, today is a rest day, and I will be resting - but stretching every chance I get!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

10.39 Miles

OK, I did the longest run ever for me so far. And, it wasn't a run as much as a run/walk. But, I did 10.39 miles in 2:31. That is faster than the Disney pace of 2:40 for 10 miles. I am feeling it today. Today was the first day I got a cramp while running too. I did the first 8.4 miles by myself, then I stopped at home to get the dog for his regular run. I really really had to pee too, so I STOPPED at home. Well, that quick break (all of two minutes) did me in. I was just under 14 minute mile pace after 8.4 miles. Then, my calves locked up on me. Cramp city there. It was all I could do to just let the dog pull me along.

I am feeling it now - this is what I imagine January 12th will feel like... I will be in a hot pool though. Can't wait!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Comparing old posts

Tracie - YOU ROCK!!! I took your advice, and went back to old posts, and then went back to look at previous race results. Here is the break down:

Feb 2 - 54:48. That was the first 5K and M&A were with me that day.
Feb 9 - 44:00. I joined the running club that day.
March 22 - 43:36.
March 29 - 42:37.
Then the race moved to another town over the summer, and I never made it to there.

October 18 - 37:59. M&An were with me that day. I also forgot how much I like to do the runs there. I need to go more often.

When I got to the t=-20weeks, I started a training plan, and I said that I wouldn't change it. I did move the rest day to Tuesday from Monday because of soccer, but I am pretty much sticking to mileage and cross train days. However, I think I need to make a change:

I think I need to move my long runs to Sundays so I can run the 5K's on Saturday. 5K is not the 4-6 miles that I am supposed to do on non-long run or non-cross training days, but the running club folks give me desire to run and do well. Also, I RAN most of the course. Given that the average speed was 12:15, and my one mile runs are 12:30, I really gave a lot to the course.

I think it will help keep my desire up, and it really pushes me to increase my speed. I am not really looking to speed the marathon, but the speed worked slightly different muscles, and I will need every muscle I can get.

What do you think? I am not trying to avoid doing 4-6 mile runs by replacing them with a 3.1 miler, but rather I am trying to boost my overall endurance.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

5K - CMS Fall

A, M, and I ran the CMS weekly 5K this weekend. It was great. I beat my previous time, and really pulled through strong in very last stretch. I did want a nap later in the day though. I did the 5K in 37:59, so about 12:15 minute miles sustained for three miles. I didn't do my 6 mile run yesterday, but today I will get out there and go for a longer time.

I did go to the gym on Monday to learn to use the equipment, and then I went back on Thursday and used it on my own. It was nice - I think I have the right weights. Friday I was a little sore - but it was more that the muscles were tired. If I'd lifted any more, they would have hurt.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Longest "Run" yet...

Saturdays are my long run days. I had to do 110 minutes this past Saturday. I rounded to 2 hours, and figured I needed to go 7.5 miles. (That's 3.75 mph, or 16 minute miles.) Well, the dog got off the leash in the middle, and I had a 20 minute stint in the middle where I went only 0.5 miles - in circles looking for the dog. My hubby called to say the dog was home, without his leash, and he wanted to be sure I was ok. So, I did my last 45 minutes by myself, carrying the dog leash. I am sure I was a sight. I hit the 7 mile mark at 1:59. I was pretty happy with that. So, it wasn't Disney time, but it was ok by me.

Also, I realized later that night that I hadn't needed a nap during the day to make up for the running. When I started all this, a 5K would knock me out for a couple hours in the afternoon.

Then, the next day, I did 4 miles in 58:00. That is AOK by me. I was even more excited by that run. I didn't need a nap later in the day, but I was ready to go to bed at 7pm.

I am off to the gym today to learn to use the weight equipment. It's my first trip to the gym (other than the tour I got when I signed up).

Monday, October 6, 2008

Dropped a size!

Ok - I don't have lots of time to blog, so I am trying to keep them all short. It means, I am on the third one in a row, but at least they are getting out there.

I went shopping for jeans, and I bought (becuase they fit) a size 20 pair. I have been wearing my size 24 and 26 pants and shorts. I have gotten frustrated because they are too loose, and annoying to roll up. Well, now I have a pair that fits correctly. And, it is in a size that I haven't been since college. I need to spend time throwing out the pairs that are too big. I don't want to have "fat pants" around - unless they are these size 20's in a month. :-)

Also, I was going to get a new running shirt. I have been using a tank top, but it is getting cold now. I tried on the man's 1X shirt, and it fits ok. It is grey. I didn't buy it then, but was planning to get it later this week. Well, I put on the pink shirt that my sisters and brother got at a marathon expo earlier this year. I'd worn it before, but it was a little too tight for my liking. Well, it is loose enough now that I don't feel so noticeable in it. With the Enell, it is obvious that I have a straight jacket on under my shirt, no matter what. But now the shirt doesn't show the outlines of the hooks. I know - the shirt could have stretched out in the 5-10 times I have worn and washed it. But, I am going with the idea that I shrunk. And, it wasn't even in the dryer!

I also bought some womens 1X shirts today. They are cute, and were on clearance. I tried on the 4X that I used to wear, and it was a tent on me. I loved it. I tried the 2X (which is what I have been wearing), and it was too large as well. The 1X doesn't look tight.

OK - that is my non-running blog today. But, life is a matter of balancing it all.

My Brother is Amazing

My Brother, B, ran the Maine Marathon yesterday. He is amazing! He is working towards the Goofy in January. Pretty amazing guy. I was able to run with him the last five miles or so yesterday. It was an incredible experience. Just what I needed to keep me on track with my training. I think I surprised my mom - I was able to keep up with him for the last five miles. But, I was hurting by the end. Not because of the run and muscles, but my under garments. I had not thought ahead and didn't plan to run with him. I just joined him at mile 21, and he let me keep going with him. I was wearing a regular underwire bra, and by the end, I was blistered and weepy. I am alergic to the underwire, and it is exacerbated when the area gets sweaty. (Does anyone else where a bra sock?) Well, it was hot, and I was keeping up with a guy- so I was sweaty. Oh well - I got my scheduled run in and had fun. Oh, B may not want to see that the post entitled "Amazing Brother" talks about sweaty boobs and bras. LOL

He finished well before the cut off time, and he is doing ok today. I loved that every hill we went up, he said under his breath, "this hill sucks". I didn't even notice one was a hill until he said it. Of course, I had only gone a mile, and he'd done 22 miles. I am sure he noticed every turn and bank of the road by then.

I was pretty happy to hear that I kept up the five miles at a pace less than 16 minute per mile for each mile. That makes me happy, because I am aiming for 16 min/mil at Disney. Also, I'd done a 45 minute stint in the pool with my son before the run, and another 45 minutes in the pool after the run. I slept well last night. I hope B slept well - not too many cramps.

Bra Miles

It is hard to blog when you are training. Also, my son has started first grade, so there is PTO and Cub Scouts (we are the den parents for Tiger den #2). Anyway, I was thinking during my run today, I know roughly how many miles I have on my shoes, and it should be the combination of the two pair is the miles on my sports bra. Is there a limit on the bra? I know to start looking for new shoes at ~300-500 miles (I am heavy, so closer to the 300). But, what of the bra? I suppose I will notice? Ok, that was where my mind wandered today.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Run Run Run

I ran a whole mile Wednesday in a row!!! I was doing a 55 minute "run" on my training plan, and the first mile was all running. I did it in just under 12 minutes. yes, that is not a fast run, but I was moving the whole way. I ended up doing 3.5miles in 49:02 - which is an average of 14 minutes per mile. Disney requires 16 minute miles. I have 17 weeks to go, I think I just might pull it off!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Summer - No Blog

Wow, it's been three months since I last wrote. But, I have been running. Summer it was hard to keep motivated - the race is far away (in Jan '09) and it is HOT outside. But, the summer is over, mostly, and I am down to less that 19 weeks from the race. We have hotel reservations even.

I have begun following a training plan. I'll write more on that in the next blog.

I've been doing weight watchers for a couple of months, and I am back to my pre-summer weight. (I really took time off I guess.)

A, H, and R just completed the Disneyland half marathon - congrats. A & R have the Goofy coming up in Jan. There have been times that I have thought, WHY didn't I sign up for the half marathon - 26.2 miles is too dang much. Now, I am changing my thinking to, "Thank goodness I didn't sign up for the Goofy - 26.2 is just enough."

Thursday, May 22, 2008

general notes

I am getting ready to pack and leave Cali. I have impressed myself that I have logged miles on the treadmill and pool. I have developed some pretty good habits. Although one night I did get to the pool and it was full of folks, so I went back to my room and ate ice cream... I have gotten off my butt and done something. I thought for sure I would spend a lot of time on-line this week or watching movies. Nope, I spent spare time working out.

Or going for healthy meals. I am gearing up for the next round of WW weight loss. Time to get back to meetings and start losing. Less to carry for the marathon.

I did watch some good old movies - which inspired me to keep walking on the treadmill. I did have a time I was working out and had to remind myself not to overdo it because I would have stay awake at work. Lots of working out, but also lots of napping. I am hoping that the extra workouts will make my normal workouts take less out of me.

I am so glad to be going home to see my hubby and kid. I really missed them.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Great Run

OK - the Bridge run was GREAT!!! I started the day rather nervous about going by myself. The race was at 8am. They recommended getting there early to get free parking at meters around the convention center. I was planning to get there at 6:30 to get a spot, then thought 7... I left the hotel at 6:45, and the car didn't start -dead battery. By the time AAA got there, it was 7:20. I rushed to the directions I had, then wondered how I would find my way to the start. Then, I saw a bunch of people with bibs! I found a parking lot, with lots of bib wearers in it. I got the last spot - because I had a compact car and the space was tiny. There were a bunch of folks still behind me waiting to pay for parking.

I made it to the start line, after the horn had gone off. So, I was with a bunch of walkers. I learned - you can only go as fast as the pack around you. I did a bunch of walking during the race. I would jog when some space opened up, then walk when I hit a wall of people. Also, when we got to the top of the bridge, lots of folks stopped to take pictures. I offered to take them as well - so they could all be in the photos.

I finished in a little more than an hour. On the website it says 1:11, but Garmin says 1:04. I pushed start when I went over the start line.

It was 80 degrees at the end of the race. There was very little breeze, but the Navy sent a helicopter to the bridge. They hovered there for a while, and it made a GREAT breeze. I got some good pics from under the bridge.

I met some folks that are just starting a fitness routine - I wasn't the largest person on the bridge that day. I also wasn't the last person to finish. It looks like there were more than 350 people behind me.

At just after the 1 mile mark, the route goes up the bridge. It was cool to be there - because the road was very banked. There was a little boy, maybe 5 years old. He was telling his mom that he was too hot, and couldn't go any further. But, at the end of the race, he RAN past me to the finish line, so he caught up.

Towards the end, the path narrowed - we left the road and were on a biking/walking path. I decided to end the race running, and started to jog. Someone behind me was saying, "come on, we are almost there, let's do it, keep going, don't stop..." I thought, "Hey, I can do that, too." When we finished, a man came up to me and asked if I had heard him cheering me on. He told me I was his inspiration to finish. I know it is because I am large, but that was AOK. I was really happy to be someone's inspiration.

Hey - that is the second time someone has said that to me during a race. I forgot about the Shrewsbury race when the woman found me to run with her.

I was really glad to have done it. It felt great afterwards to say, I did it.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Next Big Run!

I've mentioned that I am traveling for work. I am here Friday to Friday so I have a weekend here. (I have to work Sunday afternoon, but I figured I have Saturday). I went on line to see what there was to do in the area. I've been sent here before, so I've done a bunch of the touristy stuff. I went on line to look for things to do on the weekend.

I registered for the San Diego Coranado Bridge Run - it is the 22nd annual, four mile run. When I registered, there were less than 500 spots left. As of today, it is closed. There are 8,000 people registered. 8,000 people!!!

I'm pretty proud of myself that I thought to sign up for a RUN. Also, it is the longest distance I have run officially. And, it is by far the most people that I have run with. I started running 5K's with 14-24 people. Then, I had the 5K with 250 people. Now it is 8,000.

It's 99 degrees here today. My job today has been to drink LOTs of non-cafeinated low-sugar liquids. I need to be hydrated tomorrow. I've been told that the bridge should be breezy though.

I had to shop today and get sunscreen. I forgot to pack mine. I bought some that is "Ultra Sweatproof". We'll see.

I also picked up my bib today. I had to go to a running store. There were a lot of people in the store and outside at the bib pickup. I got a t-shirt (2X) and a coupon for a free coffee at Starbucks. I'd send it to my sister, but it is only in San Diego.

I bought a fanny pack as well - to carry water and a digital camera. I hear the view from the bridge is going to be great.

Sunny Saturday Stuff

I got up this moring and worked on cleaning up my computer. Then, it decided to re-boot, so I had to shut it down. I was in the middle of a Simon Templar movie (at 8am), and so ran to the workout room, got controll of the TV and started walking on the treadmill. I did 3o minutes on the treadmill, then 30 minutes on the bike, then another 35 minutes on the tread mill. There was a second Simon Templar movie on after the first. :-)

I did 5.55 miles, and that was 1.5 hours that I wasn't eating or loafing around. However, now, I am exhausted this afternoon. I spent the morning running errands - the post office, shopping, lunch, and picked up my bib!!!

For lunch, I had great sushi. I was driving around semi lost. Then, I saw a place called the Bamboo Hut. It was a hole in the wall place, but had great sushi. Lots of sushi, lots of low points.

It's 99 degrees here. Very hot. I didn't bother to go to the beach - because it is just too hot and the beach would be packed. Maybe I can head to the pool and log another half mile.

Friday, May 16, 2008


Oh, and I am pretty excited too that I did some good grocery shopping. I had ~$40 to spend (by expense account). It could be spent on food all for tonight, or to last a few days. here's what I bought:
bunch of bananas avacado mango frozen peas
frozen mixed veggies oatmeal seltzer water 100% juice - cranberry/pomegrate
sliced turkey coffee mate low-fat yogurt egg substitute
low-fat string cheese melon cherries almonds
lettuce cinnamon gum can of soup no-pudge ice cream bar
whole wheat tortillas (flat bread)

No: chips, dips, chocolate, full fat ice cream, soda (seltzer doesn't count)...

So, after swimming, I have had cherries and blue cheese, and seltzer water. I am heading to bed. Tomorrow I'll probably stop and get wine, for after the Sunday race. None before a race - and proabably not the soup tomorrow. I need to be hydrated, and the soup is high in salt... I wonder if soup hydrates or dehydrates because the salt may retain water. Anyone know?

I am getting back to weight watchers. I haven't been following it lately - I have been adding workouts and focussing on them. I haven't gained much back - my weigh in this week (first in 7 weeks) was 229.6, when 7 weeks ago it was 225.8. And, last time I weighed in with light weight pants and top. This time, I had jeans and kept my jacket on. I like to start at a slightly elevated weight, so the first week I lose a "lot". I know it is stupid - all psychological. But, it works.

It's finally 10pm. I am heading to bed. TV Land went from M*A*S*H to A Fish Called Wanda. I dind't know they showed movies at night. It feels like the middle of the deep night. I hope tomorrow I still like the shopping that I did when so tired. Ok, one banana, then bed.

Couch Potato - on the other coast

I haven't written in a while - too busy trying to work out and balance everything else. I am travelling for work this week. I've been here for a day and I haven't gotten acclimated. I arrived at 8:30PDT, and that's 11:30EDT. Then, by the time that I got the car, checked-in, unpacked and showered... it was 11:30 local time. I woke up at 4am local time - because I am still on the other time zone. I worked from the hotel and then from the work until 6pm, then went grocery shopping and unloaded. By 7:45, I was exhausted!!! I just wanted to go lay down and sleep.

But, instead, since I hadn't done any specific exercise, I went to the pool. I did thirty minutes of walking/swimming laps. I figure, 40 steps a lap, with 30 laps, that is 1200 steps, so at least a half mile of swimming. Pretty much, 5 months ago before I started this all, I wouldn't have bothered going down to the pool. I would have sat on the couch in my room and flipped channels. Probably eaten all the snack food I bought, maybe some wine... - basically instead of exercising or getting a good night's sleep, I would have added calories and spent two hours not getting good sleep. I feel pretty good that I made a choice - and it was a difficult choice. But, at least I made it.

I will catch up on emails and group posts tomorrow. Also, I am excited about the other thing I am doing out here that is TOTALLY out of the character I used to be...
But now, I am too tired.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Photo link to the race

Here is a link to photos from the race.

You can see me coming up on the left in photos 41-44 (in the blue suit).
C & T are walking up on the sidewalk in photo 68.
Photo 96 is C & T walking to the finish line - C is now carrying T.
Photos 263-265 show me (and my running pal Pamela) coming to the finish line. You can see my lovely PINK shirt! With the nice blue Enell underneath.

One thing that I notice from reveiwing the pics - I am the largest woman out there. There is one other that may be close to my size - but it could be her jacket. Maybe that is my motivation, to be out there showing that large gals can do it too. I'm working on my motivation - I'll post about it while away for work.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Stair Math

My family has been working on some stair math. My sister is climing the stairs in her office building. We want to know the distance she is going. Here is a summary of what we have decided - in case any visitors want to contribute. We'd love to hear some other way to measure.

When A is going up stairs the true distance she travels should be the diagonal distance - because she is going up AND across. Think of it this way: If you put a plank of wood on the stairs to make them flat, that is the distance she would have walked - like going up a hilly road. To get the measurement of that distance, you can calculate it knowing the height and depth of the stairs.

You have to assume that there is a right angle on the stairs where the height and depth meet - but that is a good assumption, or you would notice a tilt to the stairs. (We also assume that each stair has the same dimension, so once we know one stair, we can know the sum of the stairs.) Use Pythagoran Theorem and you get that the square root of the height squared plus the depth squared is the hypotenuse (the distance traveled). If it is 8 inches high and deep, that is ~11 inches per step, so with 11 flights of 24 steps each, you are at ~0.05 miles.

This is the correct way to measure it - not the up and the across, because she is not shuffling her feet. A - you do not have to measure the arc your foot makes. We don't do that when you are walking outside to get distance.

Unfortunately, as nice as the pedometer quick calculation was, it was WRONG. Sorry to get the hopes up. I told you the average stepping distance was 2,000 steps per mile. That would mean a step/stride of ~32 inches per step. As we stated, the hypotenuse is only ~11 inches. At 11 inches per stride, you have to go 5760 steps per mile. Since you only go 264, you are (again) at ~0.05 miles per your 11 flights of stairs.

Any other ideas on how to get a nicer number? Maybe we should look at heart rate, and results of blood pressure and lactic acid production? Going up those 0.05 miles of stairs is way harder than going 0.05 miles to the coffee machine.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Shrewsbury Road Scholars

I had a GREAT 5K run yesterday! It was my first official run with a number. I've been doing the 5K's with my running club. 14-27 people running a 3.1 mile loop. I have always come in last and been ok with that. Or, I have run 3.1 miles with my Garmin strapped to my wrist. (C suggested I call my Garmin "Larry", since that is the replacement pet for "Gary" on Spongebob Squarepants, and he is a snail... I just can't get used to the name. I may go for "Trot", although he is no longer with the Sox... I may go with Veri - short for my guy Jason, who is the team captain...)

Anyway, I had an official bib number. For the first time, I had to think about where to put the number. I have a lot of real estate that can be covered on my shirt. So sad for those petite little gals that don't have as much material to pin to. It was an awesome dilemma!

I did it overall in 40:47. Fastest yet! The thrid mile was 13:00 even. That is my fastest mile ever. I have hit 11 minute miles, sustained for all of 1 minute. But, this was overall 13:00.
Just before the half way point I met a runner that was recovering from a hip procedure and wanted to walk/run together. So, I did. Towards the end, she pulled out a cross necklace and said he answered her prayers. She had said she needed a partner to show up, and there I was. Pretty wierd being someone's answer to a prayer.

It was a great run. The best? I am almost ashamed of this - I was not the dead last person!!! I haven't had that treat. After finishing, I got to cheer on the rest of the runners.

I was 182 of 233. That means 51 people were behind me! I was #89 of 128 women runners and #33 of the 43 women in my division. So, I wasn't last in ANY of the catergories. I don't run to be first. I run just to finish the race. I say that all the time. But, that is why I am a little ashamed that I am so psyched not to have been last.

C had to carry T on his shoulders for the 1 mile fun run. T was NOT happy to be out walking in the pouring rain. We'll change his mind soon enough...

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Feeling Better

Thanks for the motivation guys. I took the advice and re-read some early posts. I have come a long way, and I have learned how to better run. I laced up the sneakers - extra tight on the hurt foot yesterday and went out with the dog. We ran 1.68 miles - that is running the entire time except two VERY short times when there was an other dog or kid that we needed to walk past. It was the most I have run in a row. I have been doing the run 2, walk 3, then run 3, walk 4, run 4, walk 4, run 5, walk 5... type of running. This time, I finally ran more than one mile in one try. It was one of my strongest showings - 13:26 minute miles for 1.68 miles! My heel hurt a little at the start, but then it went away - or rather other things distracted me. Today, it feels better than before - but I haven't worn those black shoes.

In my job, we read about diabetes patients in clinical trials. They get gaping sores on their feet - and have poor circulation. You may have a drug that allows them to get better circulation so they can walk longer before having to stop (2 minutes rather than 30 seconds). BUT, the exercise of walking the extra minute can also increase circulation, so they get better. If they have a pseudo drug, that makes them think they can walk more, they walk a little more, then it helps so they really can walk more.

After the true run yesterday, my heel feels better. I have a 5K this weekend, and I am excited to run it. I think it is time for me to go back and look at new sneakers. I think, now that I am running more than walking in them, it is time to check my stride.

I will also make an appointment to talk to my doctor about inserts. I don't want to be in pain I don't have to be in. I hate the idea of using the heel as an excuse!

More later on the excitement leading up to the weekend's real race.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Runners Injury?

I dind't run much last week. The family was on vacation and we spent hours each day hiking. So, I got some miles in, but I wasn't running - the terrain was too bumpy. At the beginning of the week, my heel had hurt a little when I put pressure on it (standing, walking...) The pain kinda went away. Then, when I went for a real run - without the dog, the pain came back. It isn't like a strain that is due to low use. While learning to run, my back or calves have "hurt" - but that was due to them being used finally. The heel is a little different. I think I am about 100-150 miles into my running shoes, so it is likley time to go get fitted again. I did run again yesterday, and it wasn't as bad. But, I'd also been on my feet and gotten used to the ache all day. I guess it is time to see someone. My sister mentioned that maybe my body isn't designed to be able to run a marathon and I felt devastated. I am really working toward the goal, and I don't want to just write off the chance to run. The half marathon is closed, so the whole it what I can get to. I have pretty flat feet - which the running store guy could tell through my socks! I am hoping that maybe now that I am running, I need different shoes to correct foot placement or something. Enough negative for now.

My sis and bro just did the OKC half marathon. I am so proud of my brother - it was his first long race. I am proud of my sister because she inspired it all with the Disney marathon. Yippee and congrats!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Multi-state Relay Blog Update

Since my family has started the multi-state blog, I haven't written here much. We are recording notes to each other at: Be sure that I am recording my Garmin times in my manual running log. I do get out everyday for at least a mile, but average 2 miles, with at least two days a week being 3+ miles.

I am excited about my real 5K coming up. The 5K's I've done were real, but run by my running club. This is the first time that I am not going to know the group going.

A thought that I had yesterday - my son is playing soccer. Yesterday was the first game. They were selling t-shirts in blue, yellow and pink. The pink shirts didn't come in larger than size L. The yellows went to XL, but the dark blue when to XXL. So - no fat girls in pink. I prefer the dark blue, but as I am losing weight I am thinking that I want to wear more pink. :-) Got to get to the size though.

This past week I didn't put in as many miles. I had hurt my foot on a peice of furniture, so it was tender to wear my sneakers. But, I did a lot of cross training that didn't get counted. I have played A LOT of tag and soccer kicking. But that soccer kicking with my six year old is not just passing to and fro. It is me kick to him, then he kicks it as hard as possible and I have to chase it down the road. Great. Lots of extra running. But, I can do it now, and not get winded.

Ok, enough random thoughts. We're traveling this week, so lots of car sitting, but then we go out with the dog.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Long time no blog...

It's half way through April, and I haven't written here. I did a 5K - by using my Garmin the following weekend, and did better. I didn't have the dog run with me, and I didn't have someone else pushing me on. I beat the previous time by just under a minute (it was 41:something). I also realized, that my goal is to complete a marathon. I don't have to run the whole way. I am not going to beat myself up that I am at 13+ minutes per mile - as long aasI can keep up the pace for longer than 5K by then. I know - this sounds like I am stopping my training. I'm not.

In fact, my family has found a new way to get motivated. We are doing weekly multi-state relays. This means that one person starts running in the morning, and others join in through the day. We text each other when we are leaving, and when we get back. The first week we did longer than a marathon. The second week, we had gathered in more folks, and did a double. For example, my brother ran 8 miles in Florida, and when he finished my three sisters (2 in Mass, 1 in Kansas and none together) each left to run from 9-9:45, then a cousin in Oregon jumped on the treadmill and ran for 6 miles. After all the emails and texts were back we had 12 folks and run 40 something miles. The next week, my mom, aunts, husband and other cousins had joined by adding a mile or more each to the tally. If my aunt in Maine can do a mile, I can keep up with my 3 milers!

Also, I am officially signed up for a 5K in my town. I signed up my husband and six year old for the 1 mile fun run. It will be my first non-running club run. Also, I will be representing my running club. I hope I don't let them down. I am doing daily workouts to get my time better for the May 4th race. I am at 42 minutes for a 5K, in three weeks, I want to be at 40 minutes. It is a much hillier race course though...

Also, I am doing work outs with the 8 pound bar at the end of every other day runs/walks. I find that it is helping. During the 5K's my arms were getting tired! Imagine. Who would have thought these delicate hands could be soo heavy? Ha ha I think it is helping with the runs - we'll see this coming weekend with the family relay. I did notice that the last 5K did not wipe me out for the whole day like previous ones have. I was able to do a quick nap and stay awake most of the day.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Another 5K Down

Last Saturday morning running club 5K for a few months. I did not run the entire way - as was the goal. However, I feel pretty good. My recovery was much better this week than last week. Here's how Garmin broke it down:
Mile 1: 12:40
Mile 2: 14:13
Mile 3: 14:16
Last 0.14: 1:30
The official timers time was 42:39 - which is almost a minute faster than last week. Also, I have a list of other 5K races that are coming up, and a buddy to run with me - to keep me on the races.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Quick Friday Weather Update

Well, it is Friday morning. It is pouring and cold outside. 10 miles west of here it is snow/rain mix. 12 miles west of here is where tomorrow's 5K race will be. The rain should turn to snow overnight. And it should be done snowing by morning. It may hit 50 degrees by tomorrow afternoon. I'll be out there running no matter what - even if we get 6 inches of snow, or if it is 50 degrees at 8am tomorrow.

I have made much more effort to drink water, and avoid alcohol and caffienated coffee (I have to at least have decaf). Tonight, I'm planning to eat the last of the Easter Ham and a baked potato. My sister A reminds me that you don't have to eat the pound of spaghetti to carbo load. I'm not feeling so dehydrated today (the day before the race), but I think I will get better.

No weight loss this week. I am stuck nicely at 225 pounds. (This is my wedding weight, and lower than my pre-baby weight. I am happy with 225 - for now.) With the running and weight lifting I've added, I find I am hungry again. I have been eating more than when I was sticking strictly to weight watchers, but I am eating healthier than before. I'm not finishing the day with 5 scoops of ice cream, but I may have a scoop of light ice cream or ff/sf pudding. It is more like, for breakfast I eat an oatmeal AND a yogurt AND an orange AND a bowl of dry cereal. Previously, breakfast would have been just one of those. Or before WW, it would have been McDonalds.

I am still trying to keep to the WW plan, but the past three weeks, it has been extra hard. I have to work out the points I am earning. Because I think I am earning more points with excercise then I think. Extra eating, but no extra weight gain. Also, after losing 35 pounds, I want to settle for a little time. Then, I can jump start the next 10% weight loss. Imagine, if my initial training is 25 pounds more than what I will have when it is time to run the marathon!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Run Fat Girl Run

Oh, I forgot to mention: I saw an ad for a new movie. It is about a guy who is told he is too fat to run a marathon, and is about his training to get there. It looked funny, but I guess the idea of selling my blog for movie rights goes out the window. I only caught a bit of the movie ad before my hubby switched channels. I'll have to check it out more.

Home Running

I went for 2.5 miles yesterday with the dog. We did a really good first mile - 13:54 (same as the 5K), and I felt pretty strong. Then, we turned and went through an area with lots of dogs! No pace-setting there. I spent lots of energy just keeping the dog from running off to chase the other dogs. And I get really annoyed by un-leashed dogs. My sister A has commented on that. But, she was chased by big dogs. Instead, we were chased by two little rat-dogs. Ok, that sounds harsh maybe. But, one after another these two little dogs kept trying to bother my big dog (75 pounds to their 5 pounds). They'd run up to his leash limit and yap. Then pee and run off, just to come back again and do it all over. My dog wants to play and sniff, but I am affraid he would play too rough with them. They weren't bigger than our cats. And their owner thinks it is so cute. I just want to keep moving forward lady! Anyway, it wasn't a great run because of the dogs. But, it was 2.5 miles of moving and using upper body strength. And without the dog, I probably wouldn't go out at night. After the run, I did 3 sets of 10 reps with the weight bar. By the end, I was really having to call out the numbers. It was real work to get that bar up and down controlled. But, on the plus side - this is the third time I have done so many reps and this morning my arms don't feel like lead!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Runners are Great

I recently posted on my sister A's page about offering encouragement to people. She told that story of two women that she met on her run who cheered her on. Very random encouragement. I said we should all make an effort to cheer on someone we don't know. Yesterday, in the mail, I got an article from someone I have never met. When I volunteered at the 30K race, someone there set us up by email because we live in the same town and she has run Disney twice. We've emailed a bit. Well, she was reading an article, and thought of me. She looked for my address on line and shipped me the magazine. She had an old address - but the wonderful mailman we have from the old place brought it by.

Runners are great! All of us are really encouraging.

Another 5K Done

Well, the weather was cold and brisk, and there were some wind gusts, but, it was a nice day for a run. I did the 5K in 39:36 - which beat the previous time by 24 seconds. Garmin agreed with the time (within a few seconds - which was me havng to raise my arm enough to hit "stop"). I didn't run the whole way, but well more than half of it, probably three quarters of it. My average speed was 13:54. Better than needed for disney, but I couldn't have kept up the pace.

This week, there was a runner I'd met before that had hurt her knee when skiing the previous weekend. She stayed with me and we talked - she talked while we ran, then when I could talk again during the walking breaks, we would run again. She told met to just go my pace and she would keep up with me. I feel that maybe I would have run more often if she wasn't there. We did have a good conversation, and I could have used that breath for running. And, there were times when we ran maybe faster than I should have. BUT, she kept me motivated as well. We would set a goal to run, then we would high five when we made it. She was great to run with. Next week, I have to run by myself. I have to try to keep the run pace. At this point, I am not sure I will make that goal.

Things to work on this week - I need to get hydrated. I was feeling low on hydration from Thursday on, and it really hit me during the race. I also thought I need to try some Gu. I feel silly needing nutrition after 2 miles, but I felt like I lost steam past the half way point. I was wiped out after the race and I think that had something to do with it.

I need to get more intense on the dog walks this week. I have the Garmin now to tell me when I have gone two miles. I want to repeat at least the pace I had this week for two miles, but better to do three miles.

I have signed up to do a 5K in my home town - with many runners and not ones in my running club. I will give details on that later.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Saturday Forecast

Ok, it is Friday afternoon in New England. The forecast for tomorrow doesn't show snow & ice. It doesn't even show rain. That is encouraging!

I am psyched to run tomorrow's 5K. I did 2.5 miles yesterday, with 15 minute miles (until the cool down after 2 miles). I was running it a lot - but the dog kept wanting to stop.

I came home after and lifted the weight bar for three reps of 10 - well two reps of 10 and one of 5 - that bar was getting heavy. I can feel the burn today still.

I am not going to run the dog tonight - although it is hard not to run when I have all the gear on. Maybe I better skip the gear (i.e. the Enell) to keep from running tonight. I will have the Garmin on tomorrow and be able to give more details after the 5K. I have tomorrow's 5K, then the following week the goal to meet is running the entire time. Gulp.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Blog Blog Blog

For the fourth week in a row, it was snowing on Saturday morning. I was all pshyched to run in the rain - because like you all said, I'd be soaked anyway. I talked with my friend, and she is super supportive for me to meet the goal, and so run alone. She even mentioned that we would be driving together, so that was enough time to talk. We are going to set up Sunday mornings to go to a 2 mile loop path - so that's great. But, it wasn't raining on Saturday morning. It was heavy ice - not snow, not sleet, but ice. I went out to get the paper and everything was glazed over and slick. Then, my husband decided I wasn't going - we saw a sanding truck go down the road. So far this winter, we have seen it twice. It has to be pretty bad for us to see it.But, I got my garmin 205 this Monday. It is a big motivator - I want to see how long I can keep up the pace I have. Also, I can now get a accurate milage total. I did 3.1 + miles yesterday - to make up for Saturday. I didn't run it all - I had the dog, and he makes it more effort to run. But, I kept up the 16 minute mile pace that I really wanted to hit. Here's the breakdown:Mile 1 - 15:54Mile 2 - 32:00 (Almost didn't make it, but the milage changed as the number was still on 32:00)Mile 3 - 47:56After mile 3, we walked another 0.34 miles - to cool down and let the dog finally sniff Everything.I found that I focused on hitting a new 0.25 miles every four minutes. It made me run more to be sure to hit the times. And now, seeing what is really 3 miles around here, I know it is the first time I have done three miles around home. But, it was nice to see that what I have been calling the 1.3 mile loop came in at 1.36 miles. I haven't been too far off on my estimation(based on driving most of the route).I was interested in the 16 minute mile because that is what Disney requires. SO, I can do it for three miles, now I just have to be able to do it for another 23.2.And, I know that I will eventually have to tell my best running friend that I have to run without him - the dog.I was feeling very off track (excuse the pun) on my training, but yesterday's run really helped get me back. I have less than two weeks to the goal of running the whole way. And, I am committed to doing it.I have added some lifting to my daily routine. I have a bar that I lift - I know it is missing weights, but it is heavy to start with. And, I have to get some muscle in these girly arms just to start. It is more environmentally friendly than my half gallon jugs of milk.

Friday, March 14, 2008

General Update

I haven't written for a while. Once again last week, we had bad weather. It was rainy, but very heavy. So, I have gone three weeks without a 5K. I try to get in some other training, but I am not sure it has worked. And surprise, there is rain in the forecast for tomorrow - starting in the early morning. But, it isn't supposed to the torential downpour of the week before. If it is misty, I'll be there. I feel a little as if rain is a bad excuse to not run. But, to be realistic, running really puts strain on my body - so being wet with New England March rain isn't great. March rain in NE is usually mixed in with rain and hail (like last weekend's weather). We call it rain, mostly because we don't have to shovel it, but it is still chunky precipitation.

My neighbor heard about the 5K's and she is going to come with me tomorrow. (Unless it is raining.) I am mixed about this. She says I should just go ahead and run it, and she will walk it. But, I will want to be with her the first time she does the route. I think I may use her as an excuse to not run the whole way. But - that's not so bad is it? When I did the 5K with someone last time, I jogged in place while they walked, so I used a lot of energy, but didn't worry about the time. Where I haven't "run" the 5K in a number of weeks, I think it will be good to get out there to remember the route, but nice to have a reason not to push past my limits (so I don't get discouraged that I can't do as well as I think I should). I am still on pace to get to my first goal.

I wanted to mention, and get feed back on my overall, very loose training plan towards the 2009 Disney marathon. Most of the training plans I found for marathons take 16-18 weeks. They mention that before starting the training plan, you should feel comfortable running 3-6 miles per day 3-5 days per week. I need to get to that point by late August (~18 weeks from the marathon). So far, I have been doing daily walks (with the dog), anywhere from 1.5 to 2.5 miles. I say walks, but I usually run during 3-5 of them a week.

My first real goal point is about to come up. I set the goal in February that I have to run the 5K by the end of March. I have walked/run it, but I need to do 3.1 miles at a jog (no walking). That will be a one time in the week running 3 miles. And, I won’t be “comfortable”.

After that, I have been thinking of what next? In April, the weekly 5K races move to 40 minutes away from my house, and are going to be Wednesday nights instead of Saturday mornings. I can't get to them as easily. I would like to commit to doing one per month, but maybe realistically it will be one per six weeks.

I need to work through the spring and summer to get to that "comfortable 3-6 miles" by August. There are some things during that time that I will use to keep me motivated – I plan to walk for Project Hunger in May (it is 20 miles in Boston), and walk the Boston marathon route for the Jimmy Fund in September. There is a cancer walk in Worcester that is 5 miles, and I want to run that route with a friend of mine. I think the summer will be when I need the most help staying motivated – I hate the heat, and the weekly 5K’s are not so easy to get to. I am hoping that once school is out, I will take advantage of the school track - maybe run in the morning with a neighbor.

What do you guys do to stay motivated in the heat? (I am a true New Englander. I ran one day in 45 degree weather, this week and it made me start to worry about being hot in the summer. I prefer running in snow I guess.)

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

30K Volunteer Work Pays Off

It snowed on Saturday, but the 30K race went off on Sunday just beautifully. I arrived and milled around looking for where to help out. They assigned me to t-shirts and I worked with a couple of great ladies. I also got to see just about all of the 223 pre-registered folks that were running.

Being a big lady, I have a different take on t-shirt sizes. We had S to XL. I always say no to a t-shirt because XL is still too small. I was giving out M to folks, who then were requesting smaller sizes. There were quite a few guys asking for S as well. I did get an XL volunteer t-shirt, and amazingly, it fit. My friend D would say that is because I am in denial about having lost some weight. Still, I like my shirts looser.

So, I learned that you should remember your shirt size requested when you pre-register. That is the size you will get.

I met J - a woman marathon runner. She put me in touch with another women in my town who has done Disney. I am really excited because we have talked and I have gotten some good info on longer distance paths in my area. Love it.

So, I am training this week and I HOPE to run this Saturday. I will be there even if there is rain. Ice is tough, but they are moving the runs soon. I can't believe it is time to change the clocks. during Daylight Savings time (next week), the races are Wednesday nights about a half hour from home. I won't make those so much, but I had been hoping to get more runs in Worcester. Oh well, I am on my way.

My first major goal is to run 5K the whole way by the end of March. It's March, so I have to get moving!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

It's a weekly thing...

Here it is - one hour to race time again. We are in the middle of getting 6-9 inches of snow. It started at mid-night, and there is no chance of getting out of the driveway in time. This time, the road isn't even plowed yet. And, the snow is coming down heavy. Argh again.

But, I did run during the week and actually ran most of the first 0.8 miles in our two mile loop. I only stopped running through the icy areas. That is the longest distance I have kept up a jog.

More cross training today - same as last week. I forgot to get milk yesterday, so I will probably be walking through the snow to go to the store. (I think the roads will be bad all day.) I'll walk, then get milk and carry it home. A gallon of milk is 8 pounds. If I get two half gallons, I can do four pound curls all the way home.

I am volunteering for the 30K race tomorrow. It will be interesting to see how they register and run behind the scenes. I wasn't brave enough to volunteer to man a water station though.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

I Must Be a Runner

ARGH! We got 9 inches of snow last night (yesterday and through the night), with more still falling. It's 90 minutes before race time, and I have to shovel the driveway. That is my cross-training today instead of the 5K race.

Problem is, I am sure that even though my driveway will be done in a half hour (my husband shoveled 3 times yesterday, so there isn't 9 inches to do today), the rest of the area will still be snowy! I had a very hard time racing when there was ice on the sidewalks. This time it would be through snowdrifts.

Hmm, maybe a real runner would see the snowdrifts as hurdles and keep racing. Not me. Maybe I am not really a runner. I am just frustrated that I can't race. Last weekend I couldn't go, and next weekend the running club is sponsoring a 30K that I will be volunteering at, so likely won't be able to race next weekend either. It is starting to sound like excuses. I am going to get creative in the snow with running. I'll walk the dog wearing boots - so I get milage in. I'll do 30 minutes of lifting (snow - it is heavy) - gotta keep those arms happy. I'll set the timer and do 5 sets of 3-minute stair intervals - going up and down the two flights of stairs in my house. Possibly, I'll get in sit ups as I keep getting out of a sled, oh and then more lifting/dragging my son and the sled up the hill again.

Anyone got other ideas for indoor/outdoor snow cross training?

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Do the Clothes Make the Man?

I went shopping for running clothes yesterday. The running store does not have clothes for the large runner. I was a size 26/28 (3X) last July, and I still think of myself as that. I've lost 30+ pounds, and I am exercising, so I usually do wear 22/24 (2X) shirts and 24W pants.

After looking at the running store when I got my shoes a few weeks ago, I realized I would have a little trouble. C. at the running club mentioned trying the men's department at WalMart. You may remember an earlier blog about having to wear my husband's sweat pants because women's in that size don't have drawstrings...

The men's running pants fit great, but were way too long. I am not a seamstress enough to hem the fabric. But, the running shirt fit fine. Very clingy - shows off the curves. But, it fit. The women's running shirts are cut weird and have a shelf on the inside. Do they think that little shelf will act as a running bra for big girls?! It's a joke. And, I am too self-conscious to wear it and my running bra showing through. (But hey, they did have a women's workout shirt in size 20.)

I did find in the ladies section - running pants and a jacket. The pants don't have a drawstring still. The set was size XL - 16/18! My step-dad would have said that I look like 10 pounds of sausage in a 5 pound casing, but I will grow (down) to them. I wore them for a run last night, and they kept the sweat away. My socks were soaked, but the rest of me was ok. But, it was colder running in them then the sweat shirt and t-shirt material.

Best thing - I bought something in the regular size section of the store - not the plus size!

Better Week

I have had a much better week. There hasn't been the ice on the roads/sidewalks, so I have been able to run more. I was out exercising last week in the ice, I just couldn't run - it was too slick. This week, I have pushed the running too, and last night I could run almost the entire 0.5miles in the middle of our 1.7mile loop. That's big. It was a lot further running than I had done before. It's a slow run (really more of a jog). BUT, I am ready for this Saturday! (5K #3). Thanks K for asking when the next one is. The last one was done in 44:00 minutes. I want to be a little faster each time. Here's to 43:59!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Weather Week

I was frustrated last week - it was always rain and ice all week long. SO, I didn't run last week. I did walk with the dog, but no running. I had to wear boots, and watch for ice patches. I didn't do the 5K this weekend either. It was planned to miss it, but I still feel guilty. So, as much as I don't like to run, I missed it.

I ran on Sunday - with the dog. Let me tell you, I can run better without him. I'll give better updates this week. I hopefully will get to run this week.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Joined a Running Club

I joined the Central Mass Striders club this weekend. They are the running group that hosts the Saturday races, as well as other training and events. I paid my $20 joining fee. I look at it as a motivational cost. They will keep me aware of my running.

So, I joined, ran my race, then was asked to "do the 30K" race that is coming up. I nearly fainted. The woman who asked, must have seen all the blood rush from my face, because she quickly explained that she needs volunteers for the race day - and wasn't asking me to run. So, I will likely volunteer for a large race for a few hours. That way, I can even see "behind the scenes", to help prepare for Disney. I guess I really am planning to run a marathon. Wow.

The CMS have long distance runs available too. So, I will work up to those. Right now, I am still working on my original training plan of being able to jog the whole 5K at one time. By the end of March. End of March looks pretty close from the back of the pack here.

Second 5K

I ran the 5K again this weekend. And, I did it faster - 10:48 faster in fact! I really pushed myself. And i did think, if this is how A felt last week when I pushed her, I better apologize. :-)

I didn't start early, like I had planned. My son NEEDED me to play Monopoly with him, and make breakfast, and get him dressed and a few other things. So, I only had ~5 minutes before the race. I started with everyone else, and we went the opposite direction as last time.

All the real runners said that direction was better. Let me tell you - I liked the first direction best. This week, I had to keep crossing the road to face traffic. If I was in a pack of runners, I probably would have felt better running in the road with traffic, but I was run/walk and the pack left me far behind early. But, I think starting at the same time as everyone else did inspire me to keep running - I didn't want to hold them up.

I met another new comer to this race (her second time too). She's been running since June, when she quit smoking and joined WW and has since lost 60 pounds. She was at the finish line waiting for me and cheering me on. What a great bunch of folks.

Another woman we met last week was running this week. (Last week she was the timer.) She started running at age 39 and now 6 years later has run 37 marathons. She did say at the beginning of the race, "I don't like these distances." I'm thinkin' "I don't like these distances because they are soooo long." Of course, she meant they were too short. My sister told me that a real runner thinks of a marathon as a 5K with just a 23.1 mile warm up. That is this woman.

I am pretty sure I was dead last again - but dead last finish beats did not finish beats did not start. I feel like now I can say I have really started to train for a long run. My time was pretty good this week - now I just have to keep that pace up for another six hours and I'll be ready for a marathon.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Running Gear

Warning - this discusses running bras for larger women

I ordered an Enell bra for running. I measured, and I am 40"/47". That is 40G (or 40DDDD) in regular sizes. (Hope you heeded the warning above.) I always wear bras a size too small, because they don't go large enough into my size. So, I ordered an Enell size 5 and a size 4 - since I figure I will lose weight with the running. The size 5 is a little too big! I haven't had a bra that we too big before. I ordered the 5 because of the size listing on the website. It definately squished them in - but there is material at the top that if I wear it more than my 3 miles now would probably start chafing. I didn't notice chafing - but people have said to beware of it. The size 4 can hardly be buttoned though. I know it is to be tight, but I may not be ready just yet for it. Or, I don't have the body-type that works for this bra.

I ran with it yesterday (the size 5). I didn't notice much jiggle and bounce. But, today things seem a little more tender. Could be time of the month, or could be poor support. (I feel it in my chest and in my upper back.) Could also be that I pushed myself harder yesterday. Although, I have been running in a daily wear bra that squishes, but isn't made for heavy duty long term wear. I'll keep wearing the size 5 and let you know. It is likely an early running bra - oh, my first "training" bra.

I would suggest - try the bra on before getting it. I bought mine by internet because there isn't a store that sells them near me. I am sure the online store would take returns. The way the bra sizes go, they give you a wide range for sizing but you want to be sure there isn't extra fabric in any area.

One other comment - these are heavy duty. My husband C thinks they look like biking shorts when they were just sitting on the desk. They have a wide band and no cups.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Tuesday workout

We ran the 5K on Saturday, then Sunday was busy, so I only did a 1.2 fast walk with the dog. Monday I worked very late, so I didn't walk the dog at all. (I did do a lot of stairs and lifting at work...) So, last night (Tuesday), I did a run/walk 1.7 mile workout. It made me realize, I will not be running the first 0.5miles of the 5K coming up. But, I still hope to do it in under an hour again. And, I keep thinking about the course for the 5K - it didn't feel like 3.1 miles. But, it was (we clocked it with the car afterwards as well). Must have been my company keeping me from feeling it. I am going to feel it this week.
I forgot to mention that I came in 19th of 19. I was third in my class - or is it division? M was first, A was second and I was third. Maybe this week without them there, I will be first in my division. If so, I am going to post the link to the running club list!

First 5K

Well, we did it! My sister M, my friend A and I completed our first 5K in a while. For me it had been about 10 years, and for A it was 2 years since our last 5K. All in all, not bad. M did great!!! She finished first in her class. And, she beat her pre-race set goal. A and I wanted to finish in less than an hour. Then on the course we said, let's make that 1:10. Well, we did it in 54:48! So, we beat our pre-race set goal. I was so proud of these two women with me. M ran the whole way. She paced it well - and pushed it. A and I ran/walked/ran/walked. A really pushed herself. I am so glad we did it.
When we finished, we found the rest of the runners waiting for us. We completed the board, so they could post the results. Then, A & I won prizes in the raffle. There was a yummy looking zucchini bread to choose, but I picked running gloves. I felt proud then to - because I love zucchini bread.
I am planning to go again this weekend and ask for an early start. I can start 15 minutes ahead of the rest of the pack. I hope to do it in 50 minutes. That means, everyone else will pass me on the route, but I won't feel that I am holding them back at the end. The "no excuses" commercial that I have posted lists "I don't want to hold you up" as an excuse. So, I am working around that.
I like to think I can do it faster, because I wasn't completely wiped out at the end. After the 5K, we drove the route to talk about what everyone was thinking at each leg of the race. Then, I went home and walked the dog. Poor dog - we only did the 1.7 mile loop, not the 2.2 mile loop he likes better. But, I am worried that without a buddy I will lag - especially on the hills.
So, I still hate running - but I am looking forward to next week's run when I will push my limits harder.
Oh, and I asked for information about joining the running club. The lady said, here is the info table, and be sure to take this flyer. It was a flyer for running id - so if you collapse on the course, they can find out who you are (for medical emergencies). Hmm....

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Work out Plan

I know I spend a lot of time planning and micro-planning only to change plans later. A will agree with that a lot! But, I think planning for a marathon I need to psych myself up a lot.

I run with the dog now. I joke that when I participate in the 5K, I will do really poorly because I won't have the dog pulling me along. But, I also won't have him dodging around me, running any which way and stopping while we run.

It's hard to judge distances while running with the dog. I was trying last night to pay attention to: run between four telephone poles, then walk between 4-8 (walk until I recover), run again... but I have to totally focus on where the dog is while I run.

My loose plan now is to continue using the dog walking as my work out. I need to spend February and maybe a lot of March just building up to running constantly for the 1.5 to 2.2 mile loops that we do. Then, up to early August, I will build up the amount of running that I do - up to running "three to six miles comfortably". In early August, I will start an 18 week marathon training. This is when I will really have to start running without the dog most days - to start working on my pacing and distance. Maybe the dog will be trained enough to run next to me (and I can keep up with the dog) so that we can do the shorter runs together.

Does anyone have a marathon training plan they recommend? Is 18 weeks once you are running 3-6 believable?

Actually working out

So, I got my shoes on Saturday morning. I was excited - I planned to go for a run in the afternoon. Well, I was told to break in the shoes - don't work out on Saturday. Only wear them for a couple of hours, then let them sit overnight.

I wore them, then changed to my hiking boots to walk the dog. My boots felt more comfortable then the sneakers! I did my normal walk, then "run" past a few houses. Nothing new.

On Sunday, it snowed all day - just light accumulation, but snow. I didn't want to take my brand new sneakers out in the snow! So, I wore them around the house, then changed to my hiking boots to walk the dog. We went on the icy pond, and every time the dog stopped, I ran in place. The boots felt really comfortable, and supported my light jogging.

FINALLY, Monday night, I wore the sneakers to walk the dog. My toes were cold - there are air holes in the toes, and when I was just walking, the wind would get in. I did a 1.7 mile loop, with alternating running and walking (mostly walking, but I did get work up a sweat which is new). After the first part of running, my feet hurt! Correction - my right foot hurt, but my left was ok. I kept up the alternating, and by the end, my feet felt fine. SO, I did 1.7 miles, and probably ran a quarter of that. Oh, and I wanted to take a picture of my new shoes - but I ran in puddles that I didn't see coming, so they are dirty already. Which, actually for me, may be a better picture.

Tuesday night (last night) - I did 2.2 miles, with probably 0.6+ miles of running. When I put on the sneakers, I was ready to run. I did the same runs as the previous night, but longer! So, I have put about 4 miles on my sneakers. Someone suggested writing the miles directly on the sneaker. At 1.5 miles a workout, I think I may just make a mark on them every 10 miles. Any ideas?

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Running Shoes

I got my new shoes on Saturday! Brooks, size 11B. They are the Adrenaline model.

I was pretty determined to get shoes that fit properly. I had to get over that I probably out-weighed the two salesmen in the store. And, I had to be determined not to just accept the first pair if they didn't fit. Well, I tried on 4 pairs, and one of them twice (with different lace patern).

When I went in, the salesman had me walk in my socks with my jeans rolled up. He mentioned that with my low arches, I would need a shoe with extra support. Well, I was pretty impressed right there. I hadn't mentioned that my feet are close to flat! I tried on a pair of Asics. They felt really good - like I wanted to start running, but they were tight on my feet. He told me that the Asics won't give me the support I need, and that pair was just to give us a starting point.

Then, I tried on Brooks. One was still too small (my toes had no room), the next was too loose, the next was good in the toes, bad in the heel... Eventually, we got to a pair that was really close. We moved the lace to a different last hole, and they fit great. I was ready to go.

Then, he asked me to get on the treadmill so he could see me run to be sure they were good. I needed a boost of confidence then - someone was going to watch me run (and jiggle). Well, I was able to run without holding on for the minute or so that he watched. He pronounced that the shoes should be good - the instep, box, blah blah was good on this shoe.

I did ask if he recommended two pairs. I know when I get to running four days a week, I will need them. He said not yet. I really liked that they didn't do the hard sell. AND, he was very encouraging - he didn't laugh when I said I was thinking of a marathon in a eleven and a half months. The best - he didn't say "good luck". He said, "see you soon". Yes, in another 200 miles or so.

I did ask about Brooks. I have never heard of them brand. He said they are strictly a running shoe. So, that means they sold me a pair of running shoes. Do they only sell those to runners?

Friday, January 25, 2008

Learning to Run - step one

My sister just ran the Disney marathon 2008 - and she is amazing! She's inspired most of the rest of her brother and sisters to run next year. I need major training before that, and I want to journal what I am doing. I'm overweight - 225 pounds at last weigh in. I've lost 30 pounds in six months, but another 30 would make me look like I was running. I used to run in high school and college for feild hockey training - and I hated it. But, I loved the feeling of accomplishment. I loved that it made the rest of the work out easy.

My sister tells me anyone can run a marathon. We'll see. I am going to buy shoes at the running store on Sunday - they will observe my run on a treadmill and help me choose a pair or two to get.
I have been walking the dog for six months - 1.5 miles a day usually. We have gotten so we run past certain houses (especially where there are other dogs), so I have increased the amount of houses we run past. I am not up to running 1.5 miles straight yet. Also, it is really icy this time of year, and the dog pulls me along. I don't want him to have too big a running start in case I fall - is that an excuse?

I am planning for the full marathon in January 2009, but if it is a half, I will be ok with that too. I am just starting on the training - I don't even have good sneakers yet. I have a long way to go, but want to plan big.

I am 9 days away from doing my first 5K in years. Another sister and I are going to do it - she'll run and I will walk. It'll be the first time I do a distance outside. I hope to run most of the first half mile, then walk the next two and run the last 0.1. It is a way to get a starting number. Can I do 3.1 miles in an hour?

What do you wear? I'll have shoes, but what clothes? Tomorrow I am going to run on the local track, outside and see if my old sweats will work. One problem - when you get overweight to a certain size, drawstring sweatpants get hard to find. They are just stretchy - I guess they figure big girls don't work out, or we might break a sweat trying to tie the strings. (Ha ha) With the weight I have lost, my sweats are loose - I don't want them to fall down. So, I will be buying new sweats. If you have any suggestions, let me know - I am running in pretty cold weather, and I get pretty sweaty.