Saturday, December 31, 2011

Days off make me slower...

So, I took two days off to see if I wasn't giving myself enough time to recover and here's what happened:

1) First, I felt antsy and cranky for not running the last two days.

2) I went to go HARD this morning and conquer the 6 minutes and WALKED THE WHOLE THING. It was a crappy, crappy walk for 2 measly miles.

It seems like when I take days off, I lose my momentum. I know I need days of rest, but I guess not two days in a row because I was a lazy daisy today.

Tomorrow I am going for my long run of the week. Week 1 of Hal Higdon calls for 4 miles so I am going to do that.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Stuck in Week 4 now

I am sincerely trying to push myself and I see the results more in speed than in run length. I can do the 4 minutes at the start fairly easily, but the 6 minutes is kinda a mental block for me. I have been doing 2 minutes run, 2 walk, 2 run. Then usually I can do the final 4 minutes run, but today was not a good day for that. What I find is that my calves are getting so tired and sore... stiff maybe. HEAVY feeling. And it's hard to push through that. I am pushing through it to get to the numbers above. I can't imagine 6 whole minutes of it.

From what I have read on beginning runners, it seems that my muscular and skeletal system need to adjust to the new activity. My breathing is better (which tracks with what the info says too - your respiratory systems adapts to running faster than the rest of your body). I guess I need to just stay the course and this will improve. It doesn't HURT, it's just.... very uncomfortable.

The other thing it might be is that I am not giving myself enough recovery time between runs and this might just be the case. I am running every day (albeit, just a bit). I ordered Your Shape Fitness Evolved 2012 so maybe I can start doing that on my cross training days. I am trying to follow Hal Higdon's Half-Marathon app as far as on/off days. It doesn't seem like enough to only do C25K 3 days a week, so I admit that I have been doing it more. Maybe it is too much too fast? Don't know...

Anyhow, I am pleased with the last two days - my average pace is in the 17:39 range on the treadmill which we all know is faster in real life since my treadmill lies to me. I can see improvement and that helps me to keep going!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Gotta start pushing myself.

As I reflect on my 2 mile run/walk today, I realize that I really need a push and that has to come from myself. My legs were tired today (haven't run since last Thursday) and I was not really pumped to do my Week 4 over again. But, when I got off the treadmill, I knew I could have pushed harder... I don't want to kill myself, but I'd like to see some results. I did intervals of 2:1 instead of the 4/6/4 on the C25K plan. Just wasn't feeling up to the distance.

See? This is the crap I need to push through.

I had a wonderful Christmas and now it's time to start looking to the new year. My favorite gift was a gift certificate to Raleigh Running Outfitters! I can't wait to go and spend it! I also got compression socks and a new Sweaty Band. It was most touching to get these gifts from my mom, who I didn't think really supported me in this new venture. So, that was really cool.

This week, I am going to HIT IT HARD and push. I WILL start the New Year strong!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Being lazy for the holidays

I haven't run since Thursday. Friday is my DOR, so I can let that go, but today was spent prepping for Christmas, so... it was hard to work in a work out. Probably tomorrow will be too. So, I am giving myself a pass and wishing you all a Merry Christmas. We'll get back on track next week!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Outside run in December

It was 70 degrees and Zaine wanted to run with me, so we went outside for our run today.

First: what sucked:
Zaine got a rash about half way through and slooooowed us way down. Also a neighbor lady stopped us to chat. Both things seriously messed with our pace.

Second: what was awesome:
Those evil hills? Not so evil anymore! I was not hurting, not dying, not praying for the end at any point during the excursion. This really shows me that I AM improving.

Third: what confused me:
My pace was fairly leisurely in that I was not pushing for an all time speed record... plus there are significant hills, plus I was slowed down as mentioned above. And yet, my average pace was 17:48 minute miles. To get that on the treadmill, I have to bust a move. I also covered my mileage in a shorter amount of time than what the treadmill reports. This leads me to believe that my treadmill is a dirty little LIAR. My run pace on the treadmill is 17:38 mm (painfully slow, to be sure) but my run pace outside was 16:40 mm and I was not huff-puffing even a little bit.

So, this is good to know because I feel like I am the pokiest person ever, but my actual pace is faster than the treadmill is telling me. This means when I do an actual race, I will hopefully be fast enough to show a good time! (and have a good time too!!)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Week Four - Day One

Today I started Week Four, and the beginning was pretty good. I did the first 4 minutes with just a bit of pushing. But the 6 minute run... ugh. I did 90 seconds, walked 2.5, then ran the last 2 minutes. For the last 4 minutes, I only ran 2. The problem was that my legs were getting so tired. I did finish out with a fast paced walk (well, fast for me) to do a 5k. I was able to shave 1 minute and 22 seconds off my time from Sunday, which was cool. It took me 54:07 at an average pace of 17:27. Much faster than ever before!

Tomorrow I will try harder to push through the tired legs and make it further into the 6 minutes. I'd love not to have to repeat this week!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

My first 5K! (well, sorta!)

It's been a great week! I ran my Week 3 as planned 5 times this week! I was very pleased. Next week is Week 4 --- this means 4 minutes of running, walk break, 6 minutes of running, walk break and then 4 minutes of running again. I am nervous about upping my times, but I know if I go slow, I will get it eventually.

This weekend, I ran/walked my first 5k (that's 3.1 miles to you). I did it as part of a great fundraising project for Team In Training - The TNT Lousy Medal Virtual 5K. Basically, you just run your 5K wherever you are and report back to them that you did it. Then they mail you a medal. And even if they advertise it as a lousy medal, it will be my first bling! I was SLOOOOOOOOOW and much slower than I hoped, but I have only been running 7 weeks now. It took me 55 minutes and my pace was 17:53 minute miles. I won't lie... it was a stretch. My legs were hurting and I got tired. It's the farthest I've gone so far.

Now for the weight loss report, I have to laugh! I was so annoyed last week at GAINING weight (1.8 lbs) when I had tried to watch my food intake and exercise. So, this week, I said SCREW IT. I will do my running work, but I am going to eat whatever I want. AND I DID! I had pizza, donut holes, Christmas cookies... all yum! And all in moderation. Guess what? I lost 1.6 lbs this week!! I just don't get it. My body is wacko.

I continue to chip away at my running goals. I have decided to join Raleigh Galloway next year. I actually know one of the pace leaders through an Internet message board and she trains all year long, so I may start meeting with them to run after the beginning of the year. I just worry that I am so slow I won't be able to keep up! It will be nice to meet people who are also interested in running and I'll bet they will have lots of great advice for me.

Well, that's my week in a nutshell. Christmas has got things all mixed up, but I am staying the course and will continue to do so through the holidays.

Monday, December 12, 2011

3 minutes - DONE

I didn't run Saturday or Sunday. I was busy, but mostly, I just didn't want to face the 3 minute run that has vexed me for almost 4 weeks now. I also ate pizza and gained a pound and a half this week. In all, a great week to throw in the towel. I don't think I have been more discouraged in a looooooooong time. I did do something usefully this weekend and that is I read a lot on the C25K boards - specifically looking for "Why am I stuck at Week 3?". I did find some posts (although more about getting stuck at Week 4) and the answer was always the same: SLOW DOWN.

Dude, if I was going slower, I'd be standing still.

So, I don't know what made me put on the shoes and go today, but I did. And I slowed down to 17.38 minutes per mile. Guess what? I did it! THREE LONG MINUTES - TWICE! Plus the two 90 second runs (which I did 4 of because I keep going to 2 miles). So, I did the day exactly as it is supposed to be done, plus some. And for this, I deserve a charm for my goals bracelet!
I picked a little girl charm to represent my most precious angel daughter, Zaine. Of everyone in my life, she has been the most supportive of me going on this journey. Of course, she doesn't understand how much that means to me, but it really really does.
She inspires me and I love her more than words can say. Now I can look at my bracelet and I have one more thing to remind me why I need to keep moving forward!

I think I will finish out Week 3 this week so I have a good base of the 3 minutes. They also say on the boards that speed comes later, so I will not stress on that part, I guess. It's more important to have the longer times and work on speeding up later. I do still have a year and two months, so there is no need to stress!
But YAY! I did it! I really didn't think I could, but I did and that mental hurdle was a huge one for me. Whoopee!!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

And this is why people quit

I've heard the stats on the percentage of people that actually finish C25K and they are low, low, low. I can imagine people quit for a variety of difference reasons, but here's the one nagging at me: I just can't run 3 minutes in a row and it makes me feel like a complete failure at this program. I am repeating Week 3 for the third time because I am not going to continue when I have not completed the goals for the week. I am beyond frustrated and have no idea what to do about it.

So here's what I am doing:

1) Not quitting, because screw that. I will make running my bitch or die trying.

2) I increased the duration of my sessions in DISTANCE and am gauging wins in chipping away at that average run time instead of worrying about interval time spent running.
3) Running 5 days a week, because 3 is not enough to lose weight and I need to get SOME benefit from all this sweating.

I have started going for 2 miles instead of stopping at 30 minutes. I am increasing my walk speed so my average run time is going down:

Monday - 18.09 average minutes per mile
Tuesday - 18.00 average minutes per mile
Wednesday - 17.47 average minutes per mile

The Princess 1/2 requires 16 average minutes per mile, so I am getting closer, even if I am not running for 3 long minutes at a time.

Anyway, I have been sad about being stuck at Week 3 and I realize I need a running buddy or someone else to care. No one in my life cares what I am doing, really. My former therapist called it a severe lack of a support system. I don't really notice so much except when I get stuck somehow - kinda like I am now - and it really, really sucks. Sorry to be so whiny, but I've got no one else to tell and I am just a whiny crybaby today. The good news is that when I finally do run for 3 minutes, I'll tell you about that too and we can celebrate together.
I hope it's soon because I need to see progress or I will be tempted to quit. And I really, really don't want to do that.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Sunday = Scales

Not fish scales, unfortunately. I only lost 4 ounces this week which bums me out quite a bit. I'm not sure what I am doing wrong. It's very discouraging.

One bit of good news is that my C25K iPhone app updated and is a whole new program. It's now called "Ease Into 5K" and it does seem easier. We'll see... I restart Week 3 (for the third time) tomorrow.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

I made it to 2 minutes!

I was crazy busy yesterday and didn't get a chance to work in a run. Today I did W3D2 over and did the full 90 seconds both times, then for the 3 minutes, I did 2 minutes the first time and 90 seconds the second. A definite improvement!

After much thought, I have decided to let go of my grand plans to bust through C25K as it is laid out and instead, do it at my own pace. This means repeating weeks until I can do the run as it is supposed to be done. Of course, this ruins my plans to run the Raleigh Rocks 1/2 Marathon in April... well, I think so anyway. Maybe at some point, it will get easier? I've read that once you start running any distance, you can zone out and it isn't as hard. Right now, 2 minutes is all I can do.

I will repeat Week 3 again next week and hopefully, I'll nail the 3 minute run by then.

I really don't get how anyone could literally be a couch potato and start C25K and run it exactly as laid out in the 9 weeks. It makes me feel crappy that I can not, but I can't compare myself to others, I guess. I can only go at my own pace and that's what will work for me. Slow but steady wins the race...

Zaine has not been training with me since I have been doing my runs during the day. I need to get back out of the road with her. It's so fun to spend that time with her and it makes the runs go faster.

Oh, almost forgot - today's stats:
I walked 2 miles in 37 minutes
Walk Pace - 20.00/mile (slowed it down to hopefully help on the longer run)
Run Pace - 15.00/mile

I have to fight this discouraged feeling and just accept that it is going to take a loooooooooong time to get into the kind of shape I want to be in. SIGH.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Back on track!

Well, I was a lazy, lazy girl on Sunday and Monday and did NOTHING. The good part of this is that my knees are 100% back to feeling great. I ran today and yesterday - redoing Week 3.

Both days, same stats:

I walked 1.64 miles in 30 minutes
Walk Pace - 18.00/mile
Run Pace - 15.00/mile
For Week 3, it requires 90 seconds of running, 90 seconds of walking, then 3 minutes of running, and 3 minutes of walking REPEATED TWICE. I do the 90 seconds with no problem, and for the 3 minutes, I am doing 1 minute run, 1 minute walk, 1 minute run. Somehow I need to bridge that 1 minute in the middle to a run before I move onto Week 4.

Now for my happy discovery of the week! Fiber One Dark Chocolate Almond Fiber Bars. And they are not great on calories or to help me poop, they are great because when I wake up in the morning, I am STARVING and a cup of yogurt doesn't get me where I need to be. I turns out that if I eat a fiber bar at about 8:30pm the night before, I don't wake up ready to eat a horse and can refrain from eating from the moment I get up until roughly 2pm. Because REALLY, I could do that. I am a snacker, for sure, and I could graze from when I wake up until I stop wanting to eat in the early afternoon. And here's the weird part - after about 4pm, I don't want to eat AT ALL. I could skip dinner with no problem. Is my system whacked up or what? Soooooooooooooo, with my happy discovery of Fiber One bars, I can eat more like a normal person and not consume my weight in Cheez-Its before lunchtime.

And the photo for today is two of my favorite things - a pug (because I have the most beautiful pug boy ever!) and a princess (which I am going to be in February 2013!). It's my YAY picture for getting back on track and not letting two days of laziness knock me off my path. Believe me, this is a huge deal because I am not known for finishing anything I start.

But THIS is getting finished. I promise you that!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Weigh Day - 1 month check-in

Well, I gained 2 lbs this week. I didn't think about Thanksgiving when I thought I could get under my big number by today. I am disappointed, however, I am looking at my 4 week results since this is my 1 month check in.

In 4 weeks, I have lost:
6.2 lbs
2 inches from my waist
1 inch from my hips

So... yay! That's good!

I did not do W3D3 today because mom and I ended up going out to the fairgrounds to a Christmas Craft show. For some reason, it totally wore me out. It was hot in there (and 70 degrees outside) and I ate some suspect food. I was just queasy. To top it all off, I ran into my ex-husband that I haven't seen in over 15 years. And GET THIS... he didn't recognize me! LMAO

That was a trip. I thought I was a little more memorable than that. Or maybe I have just changed in 15 years... A LOT. It was surreal.

So, now my new plan is to do Week 3 over this week - starting tomorrow. I keep hearing soundbites on the TV and reading blogs-bits about how losing weight and getting in shape is a journey and you should appreciate each step of the way.

I am trying... And I will keep at it.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Workin' off that turkey!

Did W3D2 today on treadmill:

I walked 1.63 miles in 30 minutes
Walk Pace - 18.50/mile
Run Pace - 15.00/mile

I ran the first 90 seconds, but for the 3 minutes, I ran the first and last minute with walking inbetween. I am definitely repeating Week 3 until I can run the total 3 minutes both times. I slowed down on my walking since my kneezles hurt. I iced them right after running, but they are sore now.

I've been at this for 4 weeks now and I thought I would be farther along... getting in better shape. I guess it doesn't happen overnight. I just want to be able to sail through C25K and I am not. It's discouraging, but I need to keep chipping away at it. Ultimately, I have more than a year to get 1/2 marathon ready so I don't really need to rush it. Right?

Sigh. I just didn't know it was going to be so hard this soon. I thought my major challenge would be Week 5 when I have to run for 20 minutes. Maybe C25K isn't the plan for me? I don't know...

All I do know is that I have to keep moving forward.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

I did W3D1 yesterday, but did not do the full runs. If I can't do better tomorrow, I am going to repeat Week 3. This upsets me because I had my race schedule timed out perfectly, but if I can't DO Week 3, I should go on to Week 4. And there always will be another race if I have to push back. My knees still hurt, although not quite as bad today, it seems.

Today is Thanksgiving. I am not big on pigging out since I did have gastric bypass so my tummy is still not Thanksgiving Day friendly, but I do like to sample all the flavors and save room for a few spoonfuls of pumpkin pie. My kids are with their dad in South Carolina, so my mom and I are going over to our good friend's house for dinner. I have been there for T'giving several years and always have fun.

I am certainly thankful for all the blessings in my life... my children... my mom... my dad... and all my family. I also am thankful I have kept with an exercise program for 4 weeks now and am still going strong. It is daunting to face the C25K schedule each week, but I will overcome my fears and work though it.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

I have the kneezles.

Yep. It's official. I have runner's knee(s) and it SUCKS. I have been off running for 3 days and my knees still hurt. I am icing them and taking Motrin, and most vexingly, staying off them. My mother has started to refer to my malady as the "kneezles" which sounds very cute but feels everso crummy. I bought two knee braces tonight and am going to try to run tomorrow. Also, from reading on the internet, it seems like the problem with the treadmill might be that my incline is not high enough. This makes sense since I was mainly going UPHILL on my outside runs and only did a flat run on the treadmill. I will hike up the incline tomorrow and see if that helps my kneezles. The other thing that might help are squats and wall slides. These will strengthen my quads which will help my knees to feel better. Whatever works! I am discouraged to be taking so many days off but I have to take care of my knees long-term and not "push through" something that might be doing permanent damage to my body.

Tomorrow, tomorrow... I hope to run tomorrow!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Weigh Day

Sunday is Weigh Day and the news is good!

I lost 3.2 lbs this week. That makes up for the zero loss last week.

This week, I made an effort to journal my food intake and watch my calories. I was super good at it for about 4 days and marginal for the other 3. However, even when I didn't journal, I was aware of what I had eaten. I also cut down on snacking - which is my biggest problem. I LOVE Cheez-Its and anything salty and crunchy. When I got a craving, I would eat a handful of spicy Chex Mix because it satisfied my need to crunch and it was so spicy hot that I didn't want to eat anymore. Hey - whatever works! This week, I will continue to watch snacking and keep on course. I am pleased with my progress so far and I am almost under a big number. I should be under next week if all goes as planned. This will be a big accomplishment for me and will feel soooooooooooooo good.

My knees are a little sore today, but nothing too uncomfortable. I should be ready to hit the road again tomorrow. Week 3 of C25K means I have to run for 3 minutes straight. Yikes! I am nervous about the increase. And honestly, nervous that it only goes up from there... 5 minutes, 10 minutes, 20 minutes... can I do it? Right now, from here, I can't imagine it happening. But hopefully, I can do it.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Blah, Blah, Blaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah

If yesterday was made of WIN, today was made of blah. I primarily walked through my last day of Week 2, only running 2 of the 6 runs-the first and the last. I don't know if doing back to back days just knocked me out or what, but I was not working it today AT ALL.

Sad, sad stats:
I walked 1.65 miles in 30 minutes
Walk Pace - 18.50/mile (slow and steady)
Run Pace - 15.00/mile (when I ran)

Just BLAH.

Yesterday was my best day yet:
I walked 1.85 miles in 29 minutes
Walk Pace - 17.38/mile
Run Pace - 15.00/mile

Not sure if I'll continue doing 4X per week, based on needing a recovery date moreso as I move forward. I guess I had to have a bad day somewhere along the way. Hopefully, I will pick back up on Monday!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Yay! It's CHARM day!

Actually, tomorrow is the end of Week 2's training, but I was so pleased with my run today that I went ahead and gave my charm to myself today. I ran the C25K run exactly as directed. It was hard, but I did it! I really had to push myself on run 5 and I was enormously proud of myself for making it happen. As seen in the photo, my new charm is a little running shoe. It's very cute and looks great with my Princess charm. I love it!

Now the bad news... my knees HURT! They were somewhat sore this morning, but mostly felt like they needed a stretch. While I was doing my run, they didn't bother me a bit. But afterwards - yikes. They are SORE. So, I am sitting here blogging with ice on my knees just like a real runner.

What's that you say, invisible blog reader? I AM a real runner? Oh you are too sweet! But I think I will feel like a real runner when I can actually run longer. Right now, I am a baby runner in training.

I do think I will continue to use the treadmill to build up my endurance. I know I need to run on road - outside - to train... that's what they all say on the internet... but the hills just serve to discourage me and the fact that I can't finish the run as directed is upsetting. I want to know I can do what each week has planned for me and I just can't do that outside right now. I think what I'll do is run on the treadmill twice a week and outside twice a week. Then I can do the program to a "T" on treadmill days and give myself a break on road days. I mean, I'll do the best I can, but those hills are dream killers.

I need to bottle how I felt today after my run and take little sips when life starts to suck!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

I didn't run today for two reasons:

1) I had a sad family event that distracted me

2) I woke up this morning with very sore knees. I think running on the treadmill did something to me.

In any event, I still will get my 3X this week, but I was trying to do 4. Today has sucked and I probably could have used a good run.

Hopefully, the rest of this week will go better.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

I didn't want to do it today!

I was wondering if today was the day that I was going to start to slide... start to quit. I really, really thought about it. I mean, who am I to think I can do this? I am out of shape and 41. Who takes up running at this age? How gross do I look huffing and puffing along the road? And really, isn't it easier to NOT do anything?

But I did W2D2 and I felt great about it. I don't know what made me decide to go for it, but I'm so glad I did. I ran on my treadmill and it works very well. I was able to maintain a good pace though and see the pace as I ran, which I don't get when I run outside.

Today, I:
Walked 1.85 miles in 30 minutes
Walk Pace - 18.10/mile
Run Pace - 15.00/mile

Again, a snidge faster than yesterday. The 15/mile run was easy to maintain and I did most of the runs to the full time of 90 seconds. I did do two of them to 1 minute though. I don't really have wiggle room to repeat weeks now if I am going to do Raleigh Rocks in April, so I need to push myself harder. The thing is, I know I CAN... I'm just not used to pushing myself to do anything, let alone physical activity.

I need to keep motivated and keep moving forward.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Week 2 Day 1

So tired. So, so tired. 90 seconds is a long time to run.

Today's stats:
Walked 1.85 miles in 30 minutes
Walk Pace - 18.12/mile
Run Pace - 15.06/mile

A snidgen faster than Saturday.

I got a treadmill today. It is a ProForm2000. It's pretty nice and now I just need to figure out how to work it! I can't wait until Wednesday to try it!! Zaine and I will probably keep running outside as long as it's nice. I know the evil hills and fresh air are good for me, but I will make an exception to try out the new toy!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Windy Saturday run

Zaine and I went on our Saturday run today and it was WINDY! That and the evil hills made for a slower run time. I also am very concerned that these new shoes are doing something funky to my legs. My leg from the knee down to the ankle ACHES badly starting about halfway through the run. Like a super tired ache. I slowed down because of that too.

Here are today's numbers:
I walked 1.85 miles in 30 minutes
Walk Pace - 18.20/mile
Run Pace - 15.21/mile

I am proud to have made it through two weeks of training! I was thinking I'd see more weight loss by now, but I have only lost two lbs and that was the first week. This week I lost NONE. I haven't really changed my eating habits other than to cut back on sweets. So, I am thinking of starting a food journal Monday to track caloric intake and cut back on snacking. My overall goal is to become a runner, but I was hoping weight loss would accompany that. I have a big event in March and I'd really like to drop some serious poundage by then. I guess I am going to have to work a little harder if I want that to happen...

Friday, November 11, 2011

And again in the same day...

I was so excited about my shoes that I posted that and forgot I had a run to do today. I took the new shoes out for a spin and they are comfy. My calves seemed to get more tired than my old beat up tennis shoes though... which I thought was kinda weird. Anyway, my walk pace continues to be slow but my run pace continues to improve. I swear, I am trying to walk faster and run slower, but this is what I get:

I walked 1.81 miles in 31 minutes
Walk Pace - 18.15/mile
Run Pace - 13.37/mile

The hunt is on for a treadmill in earnest. It's getting chilly outside and the hills are discouraging me. Just running on the treadmill at the hotel made me feel like I was accomplishing something HUGE since I could do all the runs. I'm sorry, but this chubby gal just can't haul her booty up hills with anything resembling speed or grace. I know I will get better at it and I am really not trying to be hard on myself, I just thought it would be getting easier by now.

I did look down at my bracelet several times during my run and it was inspiring. I have decided to do a charm every other week and stretch it out to include my 1/2 marathon training. I downloaded Hal Higdon's 13.1 app for my iPhone. I chose it because it's the same developer as the C25K and I like the interface. So, funny enough, I calculated through the end of C25K and then the 12 weeks of HH 13.1 and it ends on April 1st. HH 13.1 wants you to pick a race day and then it plans the 12 weeks before it (down to the day). So I started looking for a 1/2 marathon in Raleigh around the first part of April and - whadaya know? There is a cool one on the very date I was to end training - April 1st. It's the Raleigh Rocks Half Marathon and 5K, so I guess this will be my first 1/2 marathon. I was sorta thinking the Princess 1/2 would be my first, but I don't want to go down there and be worried about finishing or be unfamiliar with how races work, etc. I want to be fast enough to stop and take pictures with the characters without worrying about getting swept. Soooooooooooo, Raleigh Rocks, here I come. I need to find a 5K before then and it would be nice to find a 10K too, but 10Ks are harder to find around here, it seems. Zaine is all about running with me at Raleigh Rocks, so we are both exciting to have a nice goal in the not-so-distant future. It's a mini-goal really... I'll never lose sight of the Princess 1/2, which is my ultimate goal. I wish Zaine could run with me in that one, but you have to be 14 years old.

I am going to run again tomorrow, and now that I have a goal in site that requires progress every week or I'll get behind, I really need to up my game. Plus, I just bought an $18 headband... I need to sweat it up so I get my money's worth!

I got shoes!

I went to iHop with my mom and Zaine this morning since school was out. In the same shopping center is the Raleigh Running Outfitters (which I had been wanting to visit for shoe advice, but was waiting until I lost 10 lbs before buying them). Well, we stopped in and my credit card came out. I was recommended the Saucony ProGrid Ride 4 shoes and they are a comfy fit. I also bought Zaine a pair of running shoes. She got the Saucony ProGrid Guide 4 which look similar to mine but have a touch more pink. They were on sale. I got a SweatyBand too. I am such a sucker when I want to spend money!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

I'm so exhausted! I flew across country Monday and flew back Wednesday. The time change was not on my side and I have jet lag big time today. I did get up and walk on the treadmill at the hotel yesterday morning and with no EVIL HILLS, I was able to do all of the runs for the full amount of the time. Amazing! Who knew the hills could make that big of a difference? The weird part was I ran at a 15 mile/minute pace and walked at about a 18 mile/minute pace (according to the treadmill) and yet, I only walked 1.6 miles. Please explain? Normally at that pace, I do 1.8 miles or more.

Anyway, I think I am too exhausted to do it today and I'll just do some kettlebell. I have my Day 3 run on Saturday, then next Monday I will move to Week 2. It's moving forward, which is all I can ask. Well, that and a nap!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Yesterday was a day of rest and today... well, today has been one of those days. I won't elaborate further than to say that my own scatterbrainedness cost me $360 and I have to fly out TODAY instead of TOMORROW as I had thought. And when I handed over my credit card number - did I cry? Did I curl up in a ball and feel everso sorry for myself? Nope! I went on a run. And I feel GREAT! I repeated W1D1 and did not do the entire run each time, but I at least ran every time and this is a huge win considering in the past, I have run the first three runs and then walked the rest. This time I didn't focus on running a whole minute, just being able to run for 30 seconds or even 15 when the little BING went off and told me to run. I am very pleased with my efforts. Zaine went with me and that was also wonderful!

My stats today:
We were able to walk 1.83 miles in 30 minutes.
Walk Pace - 18.34/mile
Run Pace - 14.50/mile (WHAT?!?! Speedy Gonzales in the house!)

No idea how I ran faster, but hey, who am I to argue with the magic of the iPhone? Now I am off to Seattle until Thursday. I am hoping the hotel has a fitness room with a treadmill so I can get in a run on Wednesday. If not, I guess Thursday will be my W1D2 (the second). I believe I will definitely be ready to go onto Week 2 next week!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

I completed Week 1 of C25K!!!

OMG - I am so excited and pleased with myself. Now, I just have to do it all over next week! LOL

Today I walked 1.9 miles in 30 minutes.

Walk Pace - 18.27/mile

Run Pace - 15.53/mile

I slowed down my walk pace to try to do better on the runs, but my run pace was faster. I don't think I can run slower!! I was trying to run slow and this is what I did. Anyway, each day is better and better. I feel great at the end of each outing and not like I am fixin' to die. In fact, I probably could keep going, which is a good feeling.

I noticed I am going a bit further each day, which is great. The goal is to go 5k (or about 3 miles) in 30 minutes. I am really close to being at 2 miles!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Because I need trinkets to stay motivated!

I decided today to build a Pandora(ish) bracelet with a new charm for each completed week of running. Tomorrow is the end of Week 1, but I went ahead and ordered a bracelet and my first charm today.

It will keep me motivated to move towards the Princess 1/2 and give me something tangible to SEE my goals as I achieve them. Very exciting!

I didn't run today but I did do a kettlebell workout. It was interesting... I definitely got a workout but it didn't kill me, so I'll keep at it on my off-days.

I have to work both Saturday and Sunday so I need to sneak my W1D3 run in hopefully on Saturday. Right now, my plan is to repeat Week 1 again so I am less winded and able to actually do all the runs without feeling like I am going to die. If I move onto to Week 2 without being able to really DO Week 1, I don't think I will continue very far. I read other blogs and run journals about C25K and no one seems to have the problems with Week 1 that I have. It's Week 4 everyone complains about... I must be EXTRA out of shape. (LOL) That's ok. It will be even sweeter when I cross the finish line!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Today feels like the first day of my training. I went alone and was able to go at my own pace without worrying about Zaine's pace. It appears as if my running pace did not improve but my walking pace was significantly faster. Prior to today, I had been walking around the loop of my neighborhood twice with the halfway point being my house. This was a much-too-tempting excuse to stop. Today I mapped out a longer course down through my whole neighborhood and up on the main road. It worked out pretty well because I had no way to stop at the half-way point - I was almost a mile away from home! Again with the hills though... ugh. They kick my butt. I really believe I could have sailed through Week 1 if I was running on a flat terrain.

I ran about 1/2 of the 1 minute runs. I just couldn't do all of them, especially not going uphill. I know this training program works, but I can't kill myself or hurt myself trying to follow it against my body's wishes. That would do me no good at all. Instead, I ran when I felt I could and pushed myself enough to feel like I was appropriately challenged. And I was... big time.

My lower legs started to hurt about half way through the walk. It was like a very tired, sore muscle feeling instead of any sharp pain. This spread up to my upper legs and by the cool down, I was rubbery. I'm not sure if that is a strength thing or a better shoe thing or what. I'll have to see if it repeats next time.

More than anything, I am so proud of myself for going out today. I put it off all day because both the kids came home sick from school with fevers and I was busy attending to them. When 6pm rolled around, I felt like it would be so easy to skip it today. But I didn't!! So yay me!

Here's my stats:
I walked 1.82 miles in 30 minutes.
Walk Pace - 17.21/mile
Run Pace - 16.04/mile

I sent out some emails about treadmills on Craigslist so maybe I will get one this week. I really want one that uses iFit Live so I can Google map the Princess 1/2 course in and I'll be training the exact course of the race. How cool is that?

I am not going to run again until Saturday so I'll try to do some kettlebell exercises tomorrow. I'll let you know how that goes!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Not quite the day I'd planned....

Today did not go as planned and Zaine and I didn't end up starting our run until 6pm. What I discovered from this timing is that we were both worn out before even starting. In fact, we did not complete W1D2. We only went for about 20 minutes and did about 1/2 of the 9 run minutes. The hills, which I didn't mind when casually walking, and started to notice upon brisking it up, are now MOUNTAINS that require hiking boots and a sherpa. Seriously, they get steeper every single day. Tomorrow it will just be a paved wall going straight into the air.

So, I'm whiny. And the worst part is that I think I could have stayed moving for 10 more minutes to complete the day, but Zaine was literally hanging on me and saying she couldn't go any further. So I didn't fight it too hard and called it a day. I will go out tomorrow and repeat W1D2 alone while she's in school.

There is good news! Even with walking through a number of the runs, my speed increased.

We were able to walk 1.8 miles in 20 minutes.
Walk Pace - 19.22/mile
Run Pace - 15.46/mile

At one point before I started walking through the runs, my run pace was 10 something. That is way too fast for this point in my training, but I think the runs were timed with the downside of the hills so I was moving a bit faster.

I'm already thinking we will repeat Week 1 next week. I am traveling for work, but hopefully can sneak in a run/walk on Wednesday. I'll have to hope the hotel has a work-out room with a treadmill. Speaking of treadmills, my sweet, sweet Pontiac Aztek is running again so I can go get a treadmill. Now I need to find one. I'm thinking Craigslist is going to be my best option. I don't want to spend $1000 (or really even $500) and there has to be someone who wants to unload a nice one.

So today was not an epic fail, but I am unhappy with not finishing. Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Resisting Halloween candy and taking it easy...

I decided against re-doing W1D1 on the advice of a friend and based on something I read online about starting a running program. I do not want to burn myself out or cause injury by over training and doing too much too soon. Instead, I took a brisk 1 mile walk (well, it felt brisk - it was only a 18.75 mile minute pace). I made a discovery about my walk/run route that I did not notice before... it is pretty dern hilly and the uphills are really challenging. Even in walking, it was a steep enough incline to have me huffing and puffing by the time I made it to the top. I don't believe any of the Disney runs are as hilly, so I guess this will be an advantage come race time??

Zaine and I are looking forward to W1D2 tomorrow and have decided we are going to do the Expedition Everest Challenge 5K in May 2012. It will be my first Disney race and includes a scavenger hunt. Afterwards, there is a party in Animal Kingdom and the park is closed except to the partygoers. It sounds like a blast and it will be so fun to do it with Zainie. I am toying with the idea of doing the Disney Wine & Dine 1/2 Marathon in early October of 2012, but we'll see. The goal is still the Princess 1/2 in 2013, but I do love Disney and I would love to do both these races if I am ready. In the meantime, I want to find a local 5K to do at the end of our C25K program that Zaine and I can run together.

I think tomorrow I will buy a kettle bell to use on my off days... just to do something different on non-run days. I can't run every day, right?

Oh, and I made it through Halloween without pigging out on candy!!! Something about trying to be healthier makes me not want chocolate as much. We'll see how long that lasts!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Can you feel wonderful and like you're agonna die at the same time?
This is how I feel right now.

So, I ran Week 1, Day 1 of C25K and for the first 10 minutes I was wondering if I needed something more remedial... say "Couch 2 Driveway" maybe. For those of you unfamiliar, you walk 2 minutes and then run for a minute. This seems easy, right? IT IS NOT. AT ALL. Especially if you are as out of shape as I appear to be. However, I ran most of the one minutes and when I couldn't do 1 minute, I did 45 seconds at least. This was not full on running, mind you. Just light jogging. But it felt like torture. If zombies were chasing me and I had to maintain that run, I would have just stopped and offered them my brains willingly. (That's a little tip of the hat to today's Halloween celebration. Normally, I will not be discussing zombies in great depth).

So... how did I do?
I covered 1.63 miles in 30 minutes.
My run pace was a 16.02 minute mile.
My walk space was a 19.13 minute mile.
My average pace was a 18.59 minute mile.

This is TOO SLOW for the Princess 1/2. They require a 16 minute mile. But for day one, I am closer to the 16 minutes than I thought. So, that is not all bad. And hey, my run speed was a slow jog and that was in the 16 range. I am not too displeased and more than anything, I am thrilled I got off my butt to DO SOMETHING.

Here's the best part, my darling daughter Zaine, age 9, went with me! She thinks it would be fun to train with me and I am so excited!! She has off school today so we went running in the AM, but for the future, we will go after she gets home from school. She has musical theater on Tuesdays and Fridays, so we will run on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. I think I will repeat days in between. Like tomorrow, I am going to try W1D1 again to see if I can do all the minute runs without stopping at 45 seconds.

Supposedly, it gets easier. That was what I read on the interwebs and you know what you read online is always the truth. Actually, Jeff Galloway, the coach type person for RunDisney, says this - so I really do believe it. I think showing up is more than half the battle, so if I just keep getting out there I'll have to make progress.

So yay me! And yay Zaine! We are moving in the right direction!!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

The day before...

This will be my blog on starting a running program and I hope you will go through this journey with me... I will need the support! I am starting a program for two reasons:

1) To lose weight
2) To run in the Disney Princess 1/2 marathon in 2013

A little about me... well, I am a couch potato - big time. I'm 41 years old with 2 kids, ages 9 and 13. I had gastric bypass surgery 9 years ago and was down to a feisty size 6. I stayed there for about 4 years and then had some health issues resulting in a diagnosis of a chronic and annoying illness requiring daily medication. (More on that if I feel like sharing as we move through the blogging experience). I started taking meds that caused me to gain weight - 25 lbs in 1 month to start. I was devastated and threatened not to take my meds unless they found something that didn't cause weight gain. I eventually found a medication that works and doesn't cause weight gain. Great, except I have gotten lazier as I have gotten older and have gained about 35 additional lbs, so I am about 60 lbs up from my smallest weight. I'd like to get somewhere in that size 6-8 neighborhood again and I know it begins with exercise.

My inspiration is the Disney Princess 1/2 marathon. I LOVE DISNEY! I try to go to WDW at least once every year. When I saw the Princess medal you get for completing the race, I was sold. Since it is already practically November 2011, I just don't feel I will be ready for the 2012 Princess 1/2 in February, so I am setting my sights on the 2013 race. I think this is a more realistic and healthier goal for me.

I am starting TOMORROW on the Couch 2 5K (C25K) program, so this is truly a "before" posting. I have been wanting to do this program for a while and just haven't been motivated. So now I am... YAY!

Tomorrow I plan to walk/run DAY ONE of the C25K program outside in the neighborhood, but I'd like to get a good treadmill to train inside. This is a confusing process! They can be so expensive and how fancy does it really need to be? I want a good, solid treadmill that can handle long-distance running, but that will not break the bank. Any suggestions are welcome. My hope is to get one within the next two weeks. I actually could do it a bit faster but my transport automobile is currently not working, so I need to get that fixed first.

I also know I'll need proper gear, like good running shoes and the like. I guess I just need to prove to myself that I will actually get off my butt and do this first before I start shelling out moolah. That is one of the main reasons for blogging... to have accountability!! I'd also like to share my successes and set backs with invisible people on the internet. Following through on this program AND following through on blogging will be a huge WIN for me. I tend to be great with ideas and lousy on actually completing them. Hopefully, this will be a turning point!

Wish me luck!!