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!