Friday, May 25, 2012

C25K: Week 5 Day 3

Today was it, the first non interval run of the C25K program.  My confidence fluctuated all week as I worked towards this run.  Part of kept thinking about how strong I've been running this time through the C25K program.  But then the evil part of my mind kept saying "20 minutes...that's a loooong time."  Finally on the drive to the gym today I set my intentions, quieted my inner doubt and decided I was going to finished all 20 minutes of the run, strong and upright and hopefully at a 10:30 min/mile pace.

Of course, then I saw the bank sign on the way to the gym that said it was 98 degrees outside.  Holy cow that's hot!  I have GOT to figure out a better time to run then at 11:30 when the sun is beating down on me.  And that's pretty much all I thought about for 20 minutes while I ran.  Well, that and "oh my gosh my mouth is so dry!"  I'm glad my husband forgot his nice Camelback water bottle today because I totally stole it and took it to the gym with me.  I downed all 24 ounces after my run was over before I even finished the 5 minute cool down walk.

So then I started thinking about what kind of running gear I need to invest in.  I know I'm only running short distances right now but I may want to look into going ahead and buying a hydration belt since it's so hot.  Plus that might help me get use to it for the long distance runs.  Do any of you have a hydration belt? What brand do you recommend?

Well, now for the information you've all been waiting for, pace and distance.  In the 20 minute run today, I clocked a distance of 2.04 miles.  So I amazed myself keeping it around a 10 min/mile pace!  I even used the lap button on the Garmin and I remember my first mile clocked at 9:40 and the other was 9:50ish.  So that's pretty freaking awesome!  I have NEVER run a 9:40 mile in my life.  Not even in middle school when we had to do the President's fitness challenge.  So I feel good about that.  The downside is that I'm getting accustomed to that pace and I'm starting to expect it out of myself so I'm worried about how down I'm going to feel when the run times are just more than I can do at that speed.  Of course, I would really have liked to see a negative split.  Though I'm not a real runner I talk to enough of them to know that negative splits are something you are supposed to strive for.  But I did push and give it all I had at the end so I'll have to live with that.

My main motivation coming up on the end of the run when I really had to push that last minute was that I left my water bottle at the point where I started the running interval and I was for sure not going to have to walk to get to it.  So I pushed hard at the end so I could make it back to the mile marker and get my water!  Whatever works right!  And yes, I did make it to the water bottle just as the narrator said time's up.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

C25K: Week 5 Day 2

I almost didn't get my run in at the gym today.  When I got done with yoga class I popped over to see how the kids were doing and make sure I didn't need to change any diapers and Lil' Joe was in full melt down mode.  I tried to feed him but he wasn't hungry, he was just being a pill.  Meanwhile, Sassy saw me so she expected her snack.  Thankfully the ladies that work in the nursery are so fantastic one of them took Lil' Joe from me even though he was screaming bloody murder and I promised to make it quick as I headed outside.

Today's run was two intervals of 8 minute runs with one 5 minute walk recovery in between.  I was really expecting to have a harder time pushing for my sub 10 pace but to my surprise every time I glanced down at Garmin it was hovering around the 9:30 mark.  I'm really proud of myself for that.  I remember last time I did Couch to 5K I didn't have a Garmin but I remember trying to figure out my pace and time by how long I was outside running and all that jazz and I thought it was something around an 11 or 12 min/mile pace.  And what's really stuck in my head was how hard I was struggling a year ago to stay under a 13 min/mile pace.  Now granted a year ago I was 20 weeks pregnant but still!

I felt strong through both of the runs but when I glanced down and saw I had 30 seconds to go in my last interval I tried to finish strong, lengthen my strides and speed up and thought I was doing it.  So when I glanced down at my wrist and saw that I was still hovering around that 9:30 mark I was a little disappointed.  My friend Travis always tells me to finish strong and to me that means sprinting to the finish line.  So I finished today, and I wasn't gasping for breath so in that respect I did finish strong but I really want to try Friday to push and sprint to the end.

Friday is a big day!  My first non-interval run in over a year.  I've got to pound that pavement for 20 minutes non stop.  I'm a little nervous.  But here's one thing I know for sure, I may not be fast but I will without a doubt finish.

Monday, May 21, 2012

C25K: Week 5 Day 1

Well, I got Gary the Garmin all charged up and took him for my first Week 5 run today.  This week is the first week where all 3 days aren't the same.  I'm still using my Robert Ullery podcasts since I'm running with my husband's iPod.  But before I left for the gym I made sure to find my iPod and hook it up to the computer.  Robert's podcasts are great but he uses techno music and by this point I need some good sing along songs.  So last time I did the program I found Suz's podcasts and used those for a few weeks.  Hers are neat because there is a theme to the music each week (i.e. 80s, 90s pop) so it's a fun variety.

Today was three intervals of 5 minute runs with 3 minutes of walking in between.  So a total of 15 minutes of running and 6 minutes of walking, plus the warm up and cool down.  I didn't make the distance quite as far as I did on Friday and I felt a little bad until I realized, you can't be in beast mode every time you run.  And since I had garmin I was aware of my pace and except for once, every time I glanced down I was still running at a sub 10.  In fact, most of the time it was hovering around the 9:30 min/mile pace.  So I'm pleased with that.

Wednesday the run is two 8 minute intervals.  This is where my sub 10 pace is going to be a challenge.  And by Friday's 20 minute run it'll probably be a thing of the past.  And that's ok, I'm not really a speed demon so I'll take whatever I can get.  As long as I run the whole interval, I'm proud of myself.

Now if I could just find a firecracker 5K to run since that would be the closest race to my completion date!

Friday, May 18, 2012

C25K: Week 4 Day 3

I was in Beast Mode today!  Today was the first time at the end of the run I had that awesome runner's high.  I looked at what I accomplished and I thought, "Man!  I am awesome!"  I went out there today not having great thoughts.  I still haven't charged my Garmin and I was starting to miss him.  In fact, I think I'm going to name him Gary as he is my official running partner and coach.  It was hot out there today, when I parked the car it said it was already over 85.  There was no breeze.  I just didn't have much faith in myself.  Then after the first 3 minute interval when I realized I was further than I was on Wednesday I thought to myself, I'm going to push and see if I can go 2 miles not counting the warm up or cool down walks.

So I did.  Period.  Nailed it!  By the time I was done with the second 5 minute run interval I was roughly at 2 miles give or take a few feet.  I did it by telling myself I just need to make it to that fire hydrant, ok now that poll, good, now pass that parked car.  And I pushed and I pushed and I made it.  And I felt strong!  It felt good.  And I had just enough gas in the tank to really push myself in that last minute of running to make sure I made it to the starting point so that I'd know I went 2 miles.

And since I'm a math nerd as I finished walking back to the Y I started trying to math it out in my head to see what my possible pace was.  But since I'm bad at mental math I had to come home and get a pen and paper and work it out.  Here's what I came up with.

2 intervals of 3 minute runs, and 2 intervals of 5 minute runs equals 16 minutes of running.
2 intervals of 90 second walks, and 1 interval of 2.5 minute walking equals 5.5 minutes of walking.
So I went 2 miles in 21.5 minutes of moving.

I was pretty proud of that right there.  But without Gary my Garmin I just don't know what that means my average running pace was.  Did I stick to my goal of being a sub 10 when running these shorter intervals?  So this was what I needed the paper and pencil for.  Knowing what I normally see on Garmin during the recovery walks I'm usually going about 15 minutes/mile.  So I did my math based off that number.  If I walked for 5.5 minutes at a 15 minute per mile pace then during my walking intervals I went a distance of 0.36 miles.  So that means that in the 16 minutes of running I covered a distance of 1.64 miles.  Plug and chug that into your standard r=d/t (see all my former math students, you do use math in your every day life) except that will give me miles/min and I want minutes/mile so you do r=t/d.  Anyway, I found that I probably averaged a 9.75 min/mile pace or in other words if I had run a mile straight at that average pace it would have taken me 9 minutes and 45 seconds.  What what!

I feel really good about that.  I know that my times are about to slow down drastically as the runs get longer starting next week (next Friday is a 20 minute no walk break day) but I'm really proud that I set a goal to do these short runs at a sub 10 and I accomplished it.

Disney Princess Half I'm coming for you!  And I plan on stopping for every photo op there is if I can keep training at times like that!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

C25K: Week 4 Day 2

Nothing spectacular to write about today but I know it's important to keep writing so I keep pushing myself to do this.  Again, I forgot to charge the Garmin so today I really just wanted to focus on how I felt while running.  So I have no idea how I did on pace.  I made it a little over 2.25 miles from warm up to end of the 2nd 5 minute run.  I think what I've learned is that I love my Garmin and I miss it when it's gone.  I like being able to glance down and get a read on my pace especially since right now I'm working on developing a good steady pace and I really like knowing definitely how far I've been.  So I guess the main thing I learned today is I apparently care more about what my little Garmin is saying then what my body is saying.  Ha!

Monday, May 14, 2012

C25K: Week 4 Day 1

Last week was, I think, one of the easier weeks of C25K because your longest run is 3 minutes and it was followed by an equivalent recovery period.  Week 4 it all changes and could quickly become an uphill battle.  This week you run for 3 minutes then walk for 90 seconds, then run for 5 minutes and recover for 2.5 minutes, then repeat.  So we are at the tipping point where the runs are becoming longer than the recovery walks.

I hit the course at the Y and set out to keep up with my goal of being sub 10 for these short runs.  Then after the first 3 minute interval right when the first 5 minute run was starting I glanced down and my poor Garmin was dead!  Oops, I guess I should remember to put that thing on the charger from time to time.  So I can't tell you how I did on my pace nor can I give you a definite distance.  But I can say that I felt strong through the run and I made it between 2.25 and 2.5 miles from warm up (5 min walk) to the end of the 2nd 5 minute interval.  So that's pretty good for me!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

C25K: Week 3 Day 2

So I skipped W2D3 and W3D1 while I waited to see what the doctor said about my knees.  Since he didn't say I couldn't run I headed out today after an AMAZING yoga class (more on that later) to run W3D2.  I must say that this week's runs seem to be an easier time frame than some of the others.  This week is 2 sets of the following: run for 90 seconds, walk for 90 seconds, run for 3 minutes, walk for 3 minutes.  However, 30 seconds into the first run set my knees were screaming in pain.  I told myself to suck it up and pushed through and got done with all of the runs with out any cardio problems.  I even kept my pace at a sub 10 which is what I am really trying to do in these early and short runs.  I felt good after the second 3 minute run and really could have done another round of those.

I love the C25K program!  If you are a beginner runner you really need to try it.  It's a great way to slowly  build in without getting discouraged.  It's great to complete the run, and finish strong and feel successful.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Knee Check Up 1

Well, after my knees hurting still on Friday I decided to skip running until after I got the all clear from the Ortho doctor.  So I missed W2D3 and W3D1.

So I met with Dr. Miller today one of the knee specialists at Campbell's Clinic.  They took xrays and poked me in my knees and asked me when and where things hurt.  I have going to the doctor.  I'm just really bad about articulating problems to them and I immediately switch over into my standard suck it up mode and down play things that probably shouldn't be down played.  So he pretty much implied that I don't have a body built for long distance running and sent me out with a prescription for an anti-inflammatory medicine, told me to get some glucosomine, and wants me to go to physical therapy for the next 4 weeks.

The good news is that it's not arthritis and he didn't say not to run.  So tomorrow I'll do W3D2.  If I have a hard time with that I'll back down to W2 and do that again this week.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

C25K: Week 2 Day 2

Well, nothing really eventful happened during today run.  Except afterwards my knees were in a fair bit of pain.  In fact, they still kind of hurt.  I've always known I have bad knees and usually hide behind them as an excuse not to do things but this half marathon goal is really important to me so I guess I'll call the doctor and make an appointment to get it checked out.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Committed: St Jude Half

Today is a big day.  I've been counting down to this day for a couple of weeks now.  So much anxiety has already built up in my mind about it that I wondered if I was going to actually do it.  But today, May 1st, the registration for the St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend opened and first thing this morning I logged on and registered for the Half Marathon.  There is no turning back now.  I mean, I guess there technically is since the race allows for registration transfers but that's not the point.  I've paid my money and I'm committed to doing it.

I cannot tell you how completely intimidated I am by the very thought of doing this race.  13.1 miles!  That means that if I run my hardest for the ENTIRE time the best I can hope for is a time of 2 hours and 37 minutes.  That sounds like an eternity considered my farthest distance to date was a little over 4 miles almost a year ago, and it took me about 50 minutes.  I was pretty sure I had been running for forever when I was coming up on that finish line.

I know that when I started this process my thought was I'm going to run the Disney Princess Half so you might be confused why I signed up for this one.  Well, the more I thought about the Disney race the more I realized that I wanted to go down there and have a good time, not run and get a good time.  The Disney race looks so unique with all the various characters and places I'll want to stop and snap a picture and I didn't want to miss out on doing those things because of the stress of falling behind the balloon walkers. So I decided to sign up and train for this St. Jude half and try my hand at getting placed into a better corral.  So that's why I'm doing this.  Now this also changes my training plans in that I need to figure out my training plans!  I was planning on following Disney's Jeff Galloway plan: found here and just modifying it to fit the calendar for this year.  So now I think I may back it up and train with that but adjust the dates so that it gets me ready for the St. Jude Half.  But then my runner friend Travis and a mommy blogger I follow Mama Laughlin both recommend using Hal Higdon.

So, have you ever trained for a Half Marathon before?  What program do you recommend?