Friday, December 17, 2010


"Our diet starts tomorrow!" we all declare.  And as the holidays come and my body starts to feel sluggish from all the sugar and lack of exercise, I promise to myself that upon my return, C25K Wind 2 will begin...  So watch for more frequent updates here in 2011.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


I know it's not the proper use of prodigal, but I'm using it anyway.

First of all, I want you all to know that my body HAS seen intentional physical activity since last time I wrote on here.  Not as much as we might hope, but still, more than this blog may suggest.  It is my intention to update here more often aka exercise more often and write about it.

I read an article yesterday about running in the cold, and seeing as yesterday was one of the most cold, rainy, and overall miserable days (weather-wise) we've had in Utah so far, I thought I'd go for a run.  Naturally.  It makes me feel more hard-core to run in the elements.  I even did a goofy victory dance afterwards.

My lungs burned.  I did half of the first week work-out for C25K before deciding to ditch the program and just throw in the running bits at my own pace.  Maybe when I start to like running again like I did before I will be more apt to follow the little beeps telling me when to push hard and when to take it easy.  But right now I am going to do whatever the heck I want to do just to get back in the habit.

Unfortunately, my diet is not yet the diet of a disciplined athlete.  I may or may not have eaten this at 10:00 last night:

BUT I do trust that as I start running more my ability to resist the temptations of fried high fructose deliciousness that are often consumed by my room mates who were blessed with younger metabolisms that I.  It's okay - we're just starting small.  Baby steps.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

You CAN Win While Losing

The winner isn't the one who gets knocked down the least, but the one who will always pick themselves back up.

Speaking of winning, that's what I've decided to do.  I've decided that I need to get back up and start taking better care of myself, and I'm going to focus more on what I gain than what I lose.

My mom used to go to these weight loss support groups called "Winners with Joy."  I love that concept.  I hate that taking control over and learning to love your own body is always referred to in terms of LOSS.  It's usually about cutting out calories or certain foods (usually just the tasty ones haha) and about losing inches and losing mass.  There is even a TV show called "The Biggest Loser."  But I feel like in the game of "weight loss" you gain a lot more than you lose, especially if you're doing it the right way.  Here are some of the key gains that I have experienced:

-A healthier body
-Healthier body image
-Athletic Skill
-Achieving goals
-Smaller clothes
-Ability to cope with stress
-More energy

If you look carefully at the list, you gain many of these benefits before you ever lose a single ounce.  From the beginning you can be a winner, and winners don't need to measure progress in pounds and inches.

That said, I am done with setbacks and excuses.  I am ready to be a winner again!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Updating Goals

I feel good so far about how I've been consistent for the past week.  I missed swimming on Thursday but ended up swimming on Saturday instead, not because I felt like I needed to but because I was in the mood to do it.  And I haven't missed one day of running yet!  In fact, I've been racking up the miles, and now that I'm pretty much right at 100 miles, I'm pushing the bar up a little further to 150 miles.  Right now I'm running six or seven miles a week, but before nine weeks is up I'll (hopefully) be up to running 9 per week.

One goal I have right now is to continue the Couch to 5K program and to stick with it exactly.  Run the program by the book on the road three times per week without skipping or lingering.  I was highly tempted to linger on week 1, but I tried day 1 week 2 yesterday and hardly even felt challenged.

Another goal is to be able to swim one mile without stopping. I'd like that goal to happen about the time I'm able to run 3 miles in 30 minutes.  The first step is to get to one mile in a single session.  At the Golds Gym lap pool that's 66 pool lengths, or 33 laps.  I swam 20 laps on Tuesday and Thursday last week, so this week I'm going to try swimming 21 laps.  My time per lap is dramatically decreasing as I go along, so hopefully by the time I get to swimming a mile nonstop I'll be doing it also in a reasonable amount of time.

Related to that goal, I want to eventually learn how to turn around smoothly at the end of the pool to eliminate the necessity to stop at the end of the lane to start again.  Right now it's fine because I usually need the rest anyway, but I think it'll be helpful to have more experience with continuous swimming as I get better at it.

And yes, you guessed it right.  I'm considering a mini-triathlon next summer.

Oh, and while I'm here, a little side-note.  I am way too clumsy be a professional athlete - I fell down the stairs at home yesterday and twisted my ankle pretty bad.  It's all swollen and hurty today, so running tomorrow may be nixed.  It is annoying that every time I start trying to get in shape I hurt myself!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Nixing the Gym

I woke up this morning feeling like I had already lifted weights for several hours, so I skipped weight training at the gym.  I feel like running and swimming are enough for now.  When that becomes easy for me, I'll start lifting weights.  I sense that doing all of it at once is a little too much too fast.

But I ran again this morning.  Not much to say about it.  It's getting chilly out, reminding me that my days of running comfortably outside are numbered.  I still had sweat dripping off of me, so I guess I have a few more weeks before it gets chilly enough to bring a jacket.  Hm my ankles felt better today, but there were still some moments of discomfort.  The workout seemed easier today, so I will probably forge ahead with week 2 on Monday instead of lingering on week 1 as I predicted after my workout on Monday.  I also seem to remember that the first time working through C25K I doubted that I could do the upcoming week, and then I did it without difficulty.  I'm going to be okay.  Maybe I should make it my policy to "when in doubt, just do it."  And if I can't, I can always retreat to the previous week without shame because I TRIED!

I have very few negative things to say about Strands, but their iPhone app crashed on me this morning during the last five minutes of my run, and that sucked.  The mileage for today was therefore a wild guess based on previous days of running similar routes...

Oh, and I got a trophy on Strands for MILEAGE.  Imagine that!  I haven't even been tracking my mileage on strands for that long.  I guess swimming and running together add up.  Now I'm obsessed with getting another trophy on there!

Okay, roomie is out of the shower, so it's time to get ready for work.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Swimming to Cool My Temper

I almost forgot to write on here!  I'm just going to be very brief because I need to be getting in bed if I expect to be getting out of it tomorrow morning for running.

First of all, I had an awful day.  I rarely get mad about anything, but I was severely miffed today about the management of my apartment changing contracts without notifying their tenants and thus losing my right to park at my own apartment.  Because of logistical issues relating to that, my swim was delayed, but gave much more enjoyment once it happened.

A friend asked me what I was up to, and I said, "Off to swim!"  I could have easily said, "Nothing much," and so had a more sedentary evening of hanging out, but I resisted.

I swam 40 pool lengths, which is a little over half a mile.  I am wiped, though.  I am going to add one lap every week, though, and by the end of the year I will be swimming a mile each time!  Then, I'll start working on reducing the breathing breaks in between laps so that I can endure it for the full mile.

I weighed myself at the gym today as well, and as of today I have gained back five pounds since June.  I may have gained more than that since July, though, since I was still very active and probably lost a few more pounds after I last weighed.  No matter, though.  Five weeks of inactivity, five pounds.  Not as bad as I would have expected, and it certainly explains why my clothes still fit.  So I now have a new starting weight.  Everything is new, and I have high hopes for this semester.  My body is thanking me already.

Monday, August 30, 2010

New Beginnings

It's a new semester, and I have all sorts of resolutions.  First and foremost, I want to start writing on here every day, whether I run/swim or not.  But I need to be running or swimming every day, because that's another goal I have.

This morning I started over from square one with the C25K program.  I've been off it long enough that I felt like I needed to.  It was refreshing to be running again, but my body complained quite a bit, particularly my ankles.  Sometimes they burn bad, and sometimes they feel fine.  I wish I could know what I'm doing differently to make such a difference in how I feel.

After running I went to Golds to lift weights.  It was a nice feeling to already be done working out before I even started my day, although my alarm clock going off this morning was particularly unpleasant.  I hit the snooze button longer than I should have, which I will have to work on improving in the next week or so so I can go to work on time while I'm exercising.

Monday, August 23, 2010


I have been off the wagon due to a sinus infection of a few weeks ago that legitimately had me down for a few weeks, and now still has me down because I lost the habit of working out frequently.  But I'm here to recommit to you to get back on the horse. I went swimming once last week, and was impressed by my ability to swim repeated laps without inhaling any water.

My plan is to start C25K again next week.  MWF I am going to get up early and re-start the C25K program from Day 1 Week 1 and work on my arms with weight training.  On Tuesdays and Thursdays I'm going to swim and do legs and core with weight training. This week I plan on swimming at least 3 times, but no running for me this week.  I may try to incorporate weight training as well this week just to get used to it, but we'll see how things go.

The shoes I wore yesterday to church put BLISTERS on my feet.  Actual pus-filled blisters on the weight-bearing balls of my foot.  You know, that part that you're supposed to run on.  It has affected my gait already to the point that my left ankle feels all funny, and last thing I want to do is run funny on them and further screw up my ankles.  Besides, it HURTS.

Sad face.  :(

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Young Living Lavender 5K 2010

This morning I ran my first 5K race through the lavender in Mona, UT.  I am so proud of myself right now, and still have a buzz from the endorphins even hours later.  The course was beautiful, but rough.  My ankles thought they were back in Argentina with the rough packed dirt roads with rocks sticking up out of it and kept folding beneath me.  After the first mile my feet felt like they were just flopping down on the dirt with zero control, and I doubted if I would finish.  When things got really hard, two things happened that made me keep going.  First of all, a water station appeared as if I had willed it into existence.  Second of all, "I Will Rise" by Chris Tomlin came on my iPod.  I focused on the lyrics and was reminded of a verse from Isaiah 40 (KJV):  "But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary, and they shall walk, and not faint."  I started running again and realized that it was walking, not running, that hurt my legs so badly.  I ran a lot of the rest of the race and ended up covering some of my fastest miles to date.

I am so grateful for the Lord for getting me through yet another trial, and for my supportive friends Sean and Emily who came to cheer me on (Emily took all the pictures I am posting below) and Bryce who ran in the race with me and waited to cheer me on at the finish line.

I ended up having fun and feeling so satisfied at having accomplished this long-time goal, and I plan on running the Payson Onion Days 5K on Labor Day and many more to come...

Friday, July 9, 2010


I am so excited!  I just picked up my bag of goodies for the 5K tomorrow, and I have plans to leave for Mona at 5:45 AM.

I've already attached my number to my shirt and the timing chip to my shoes.

AAAAAAH  I'm thinking so much.  Will I be able to finish before the old ladies with strollers?  Will I be able to finish?

I will be able to finish.  I plan on doing my best, and I need to have the mindset of whatever I do will be a victory.

Thursday, July 8, 2010


Today I walked a little over a mile, just as a brief workout.  I thought about doing two miles, but I thought I'd just keep it light since in two days I'll be asking a lot of my poor little body.  Just a little walk to keep the blood flowing.

This is the first time I've exercised in the morning since I started, and although it was nice, I don't think I'll stick with this.  If it were this temperature in the afternoon, that would be great, but in the morning I'm just not quite as motivated.  I think I need a little more of the stress of the day to push me forward.  Whatever it is, I'm just not nearly as focused in the morning.

I discovered that the tennis courts behind my apartment are quite crowded early in the morning, and that lots of people in the surrounding residential areas like to do yard work early in the morning.  And the ones that work in the afternoons don't say hi to me, but one of them this morning did.  

I am still sore from Tuesday afternoon, including my abs.  My abs have never been sore from running before, so that must have been every bit as intense as it seemed!  Then I decided to work on my freestyle stroke last night at the pool, so add slight shoulder soreness to every other part of my body.  I really need to take it easy until Saturday, though.  I don't know what's gotten into me this week...

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

High on a Mountain Top

Today I officially registered and paid for my 5K on Saturday, which cements the fact that I really am going to run the thing.  This afternoon, I was really excited about running, so I got online and dutifully mapped out a route that would be a bit more than a 5K for my workout today so that I could reassure myself that I could finish a 5K.

Google maps can be quite misleading as to terrain.  The route I took today was absolutely GORGEOUS, and I had never been running (or even driving) on a lot of the roads entailed before.  Not only that, but it worked out to 3.2 miles, which is almost perfectly a 5K distance.  The downside, is how much UP there was.  It was ridiculously uphill.  The first little hills were pretty tame, and pretty short, so I just took them at a slow jog, told myself encouraging things, and sucked it up.  Oh boy, but by the time I got about half-way up the hill, I hated my life.  I stopped twice to take pictures both because I couldn't believe how high up I had climbed and because I needed the rest.

This first picture is from almost the highest point of where I ran today - it was almost level with the Y on Y mountain.  Ridiculous.

This is after a slight downhill bit, looking DOWN on the Provo Temple. 

Pretty views, though.  I ran 3.2 miles in about 45 minutes, counting all the stops I took to complain to the mountains about how steep and ridiculous they were.

I feel great, though, and on my way home, one of my miles was in 11:06!  I've never run a mile that fast before!  So yes let us embrace this minor victory and remember to look at altitude when you're mapping a new run.

Sunday, July 4, 2010


On Friday afternoon, I went jogging with my bud bud Courtney.  I usually go by myself, so it was cool to go with a buddy this time.  I liked the company, and having someone else with me was a little more motivating - not just motivation to get out the door, but motivation to keep running rather than walking for long distances.

I haven't gotten on the ball as much as I would have liked in the past week.  I did, however, turn down a lot of sugary drinks and unhealthy snacks/desserts.  I don't buy junk food, and yet I consumed tons of it until I learned to just say no.  Now in my mind, I ask myself if it's really worth it.  Sometimes the answer is yes, but that is much less frequent than you might expect.

What is the dessert worth?  My mentality isn't the "a moment on the lips, forever on the hips," mentality.  Not directly.  I realized on my trip back home that I had inherited a lot of food issues and a lot of body image issues from my mom.  She has more profound reasons for having them, so I understand that it may be harder for her to break through them, but I just have them because that's what I thought was normal.  Still, though, it has been tough (both mentally and physically) to break through.  When food is your drug of choice to relieve the pain of life, every well-meaning friend can be a pusher.  No one would offer a drink to an alcoholic friend, but it's totally normal to drop off a plate of cookies or invite your friend on a 7-11 run for slurpees.  The trick is, a normal person can live without alcohol forever and ever and ever, but normal people DO drink slurpees on a hot day and occasionally indulge in a few chocolate chip cookies.  Occasionally and a few.  That's my battle ground.

In my perfect world (I'm not perfect at this yet), I eat normal foods only when I'm hungry.  I eat "fun foods" when I am not already full and am in the mood for that particular food and only if I am emotionally neutral.  I know that if I'm emotional at all, I will lose the "occasional and few" balance of normalcy.

I have gained so much freedom since beginning this program.  I can now buy clothing from the same stores where you buy your clothes.  I can finish a mile in less time than when I was in high school.  I can leave food on my plate.  I can say no to your plate of cookies, knowing that I am rejecting the sugar, not you.  So when I ask myself, "Is it worth it?" I am asking "Is it worth my freedom?"

A week from now I will have finished my first 5K.  Hopefully still alive and on my feet.  I'm really nervous about it.  I'm slightly excited, but mostly nervous.  I'm not as far along as I had hoped at this point, but at least I know that whatever happens, whatever my time, it will automatically be my Personal Best.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Still in the Game

The purpose of this post is to let you know that I am indeed still in the game, I just haven't been a very faithful blogger.  I also haven't been all that faithful with running, but not a single week has passed that I haven't had at least one thirty minute exercise session.  Last week in Kentucky I went running once, and only did one mile.  It was the most miserably sweaty mile of my life, although breathing is a lot better at sea level.

Last night I tried my hand (and lungs) at swimming yet again.  These two guys were in the lane next to me, and they said that they were training for a triathlon but that the swimming part was harder than they thought.  We weren't technically racing, but even when they had a half-pool head start, I could usually beat them to the other end of the pool.  Swimming freestyle the right way is really the fastest way to get from one end of the pool to the other...  It made me feel good because those guys were in great shape, and they were swimming as fast as I did when I first started (maybe faster).  Improvements!

So I need to get back on the ball with the diet and with running.  Especially since my first 5K is TEN days away!  I am going to possibly DIE.  I haven't gone that distance in a long time.  I just need to sacrifice, suck it up, and run more this coming week.  Maybe this afternoon or tomorrow I will run a 5K distance just to prove to myself again that I can go the distance without death occurring.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Doubts and Motivation

Today (written on Friday) was a distance running day, but I cut it a bit short.  I'm still getting adjusted to working out five days a week, although I do really look forward to my activities in the afternoon.  I also find it hard to go an extra mile when I'm close to home, so I think I'm going to add more loops in to the earlier parts of my workout so that just getting home afterwards will put me up to the 5K distance.  I don't have a problem running the whole thing, but I think I just need more motivation.

I'm at the point in my progress where I'm not sure whether I really want to run the 5K on July 10th or not.  I doubt whether or not I can do it, and I worry that I will end up disappointing myself.  I guess I need to quit fearing disappointment so much and just go for it, though.  Besides, I think finishing it will be all that much sweeter if there are doubts about it now.  :)  I really can do this thing - I may not run the whole thing, but I will finish, and I will finish running!

Today's workout:
2.32 miles
13:27 min/mile

Friday, June 11, 2010

Day 37 and Day 38 or So...

Maybe I should quit numbering the days I work out.  Because there have been a lot of them, and a lot of them I haven't written about.  I'm too busy squeezing extra working out days into my schedule to write about them most of the time...

Anyhow, this week I started my new program of running on MWF and doing lower impact exercises on TH.  I think I like the extra activity in my life, and I have found new excitement.  This week I decided to start swimming, which I will probably stick with for a while.  I'm trying to teach myself to properly swim freestyle.  It's really hard for me because I'm used to swimming freestyle with my head above the water.  I was amazingly surprised at how much easier it is to swim below the water and how hard it is to coordinate arms, legs, and breathing.  I tend to do a lot of kicking, and I tend to want to breath a lot more than is efficient...  My throat is very sore today from all the water I inhaled yesterday, mostly through my nose (ugh worst feeling ever), but I saw drastic improvements from the time I first got into the water to the time I finished for the night.  Thirty minutes flew by, and my arms are delightfully sore, which is a similar level of soreness to what my legs felt when I first started running.  Now I have a new set of goals to work towards in an activity that works different muscles than running, which should give me a good overall fitness.

An active lifestyle...  I like having it.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Day 36: A Walk in the Park

I am really enjoying explorations of the neighborhoods surrounding my apartment complex.  And I love the hot weather lately - getting REALLY sweaty on a run makes me feel like I'm really workin' it!

I didn't have a lot of time, so I decided to just do a mile.  I warmed up for a few minutes by jogging around Kiwanis Park, then I found a shady area in the grass to do my stretches and started off up the hill.  I decided to try jogging two blocks and walking one and alternating like that as long as I could.  The blocks started getting kind of irregular after a little while, which made that plan a little more difficult, and there were a few stops here and there waiting for cars to pass so I could cross the street, but I still managed to shave some time off of my mile pace.

I misjudged and ended up going 1.5 miles.  I got a phone call that interrupted my run in several ways.  I walked so I wasn't breathing heavily during the conversation, and the GPS program I use to keep track of mileage and pace shut down for a time.  Hate it when that happens!

I'm considering switching to running in different ways on different days of the week.  I think on one day of the week I'm going to run the C25K program, which is based on time, and one day of the week I'll run for distance (maybe a 5K walk/run), and one day of the week, I'll do a short run for "speed."  I kind of want to add swimming and/or weight lifting twice a week to my routine, but I'm not sure where to squeeze it in to my schedule...

Anyhow, yesterday's routine:
1.5 miles
12:55 min/mile

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Day 35: National Running Day

I have learned that I need to fully charge all of my devices before I start running.  I had to return my skullcandy headphones to the company for a replacement pair (sad day), so I've been using stereo bluetooth headphones, but I didn't charge them before going.  I thought I had charged them recently, but not so, and so I ran the last mile without music.  Boo.

The route I ran was actually pretty great.  I think I will use it from now on for my longer runs.  It goes up through Kiwanis park - I run around once for a warm-up, then stretch in the shade under a tree - and then up a hill through residential areas, down past Seven Peaks water park, and then back up 9th East.  It has a good mixture of uphill, downhill, and flat, pretty evenly spaced blocks so I can tell myself to run until the end of the block, a lot to look at, and not very many cars.

Something that I may change is to not run past the guy holding the Little Caesar's sign.  He harassed me about buying a $5 pizza on my way home.  Ew.  That's about the last thing I want to think about after running 3 miles: greasy lukewarm pizza.  I guess the incentive is that he makes me want to run faster because the faster I run the less I have to hear of him...

I had to guess at my pace, and I say 2.9 miles in 38 minutes.  No clue what my pace was because the mileage is foggy at best, but I did feel like I ran it faster than usual so I could get home for institute, so take it for what it's worth.  It's a lot warmer out now, so I'm breathing much more comfortably without all that cold air in my lungs.

I'm going to set a goal to get my mile pace in the 12 minute range for the 5K.  I think I can do that by then, but I certainly can't do it now.  Sometime between now and then I also want to flat-out run a full mile without stopping.  That goal is slightly less reasonable, but it's something I've done before on a treadmill, so I know that I will be able to do it on the road as well.  It's all going to happen; I just have to be patient with it!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Day 34: Adventures in the Tree Streets

I returned in earnest to running today, and ran roughly a 5K in 42 minutes.  Not too shabby for just recovering from shin splints.  My goal will be to run a 5K in under 40 minutes by the time I run my first 5K race in July.  I can do that without actually running the whole thing, and I don't think being able to flat out run it is a reasonable goal for me at this point.  I will be able to do it eventually, though.  I'm just going to keep at it, and I know that I will eventually get there.  

Today's run was fun because it was an adventure to places I have never been before.  As such I ended up on a few dead end streets, but it was worth it.  I got lost, discovered a disused street with nothing but grass on either side, and came out by seven peaks.  I went back home, ran around Kiwanis park, and then stretched in the outfield of the baseball field before heading back to shower and go to Institute.

Very few people I know at work exercise regularly, and my family has never been good at that sort of thing.  I was just thinking about that today.  I can't imagine a life where I DON'T exercise at least a few times a week; it's so natural now.  Yet this time last year I struggled to get to the gym even once a week, if that.  And I certainly didn't take care of myself nutritionally.  I'm so glad I'm taking care of this before I'm married with children so that my future family doesn't have to deal with me having those unhealthy habits.  

Anyhow, not much to say other than that.

Tree Streets
3.06 miles in 42ish minutes
13:43 mile pace

Monday, May 24, 2010

Secrets of Success

The World Health Organization defines health as "a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity." That's what I'm trying to accomplish here.

In the past I have failed at fitness programs because my goal was merely physical fitness and avoiding disease, and more than anything, losing weight.  This resulted in a self-defeating mindset in which I would follow strict programs of various types.  I have tried salad diets, soup diets, calorie restriction diets, Adkins, and Fit For Life.  Something that all those diets have taught me is that dieting just doesn't work, at least not for me.  All those diets tell you what to eat and when, and the problem with that is that it's always a drastic change from what I was used to, and it's combined with exercising more than I'm used to exercising and eating much less than usual.  That all resulted in my body me, me hating my body, and being crabby and unpleasant.

Instead of weight loss, my goal is now achieving my ideal of total health.  It started at Lent with my desire to do something to amend my life and grow closer to God.  Forty days is the perfect amount of time to permanently establish a positive habit, and I used it to start a Couch to 5K training program.  When I've imagined a healthy person, I've always imagined someone who could run a 5K.  I felt like if I could run a 5K, I would say I was healthy, even if the scale said I was overweight.  So I made it my goal to slowly yet consistently work up to running 3.1 miles.

After a month of consistent running, I started changing my diet slowly as well, but that part was completely unintentional.  Okay, not completely unintentional.  Running made me realize that I have more willpower than I had ever given myself credit for.  I was just misapplying it in the past.  I began reading a great book called Eat, Drink, and Be Mindful, and the only thing I did was try to observe myself and pay better attention to my body and how I feel.  Running helped me notice things about my body.  When I ate I got full faster.  Rather, I noticed being full as I was getting full and not after the fact when I was miserable.  Eating right is something I'm still struggling with, but I feel like I have already come a long way, and I know that it's just small steps.  I'm taking off about a pound per week, which is really normal, healthy weight loss, something I'm experiencing for the first time.

And in a little over a month, I'll be experiencing something else for the first time: my first 5K, running through lavender in Mona, UT.  I definitely have seen that small things done consistently can have a huge impact on your life.  That kid who could barely finish the mile run in high school gym class will be voluntarily crossing the finish line of a foot race.  And I'll be happy to do it!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Day 33: Seven Pounds

After my little break from working out, it was slightly difficult to get back in the swing of things, but I'm in this for the long haul, baby!

I swam laps today at Gold's Gym, which I enjoyed more than I thought.  First of all, I was the only one in the lap pool, which was perfect for my first time there to make me feel much more comfortable.  Second of all, I didn't have to worry about carrying my wet swimming suit out of there because they have this cool thing that spins all the water out of your suit for you, and so I went home with a dry swim suit.

Possibly tomorrow I will return to the water for another swim, and then continue running/walking on MWF.  Yup, that's what I think.  I also found a better place to go running that I want to try out.  It's all asphalt, but it's about a 20 minute drive from my house.  Tomorrow's a good time to try it because I'm pretty free Friday night.

Oh, and I weighed myself finally, and I've lost another 7.3 pounds.  At this rate (which is effortless), I will weigh less than I've ever weighed in my adult life by Christmas.  That is such a great motivation to keep it up.  It's been a great week, and I'm feeling good!  Maybe the week off was just the break I needed to get me excited about running again!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Day 32: Tibial Yuckiness

Yesterday I only ran/walked a mile because I suspected shin splints in my left leg.  Still not sure if that is definitely the culprit of my pain, but it is beyond the normal soreness I would expect, so I decided to cool it.

I have become more aware of my body in general, especially during exercise.  I could feel that muscle moving while I ran, and it was not pleasant.  I walked more of it than I really wanted to, and still beat my mile pace.  I don't know if I want to count this mile pace, though, because it does seem like the shorter the distance the faster my pace, and this is the shortest distance I have EVER run.

Still, though, even though my leg hurt mildly throughout the day, I was looking forward to going, and did it anyway, but in a "smart" way.  If it still hurts on Monday, though, I'm going to do something other than running.  Possibly yoga.  I've been thinking about paying a personal trainer just for the next six weeks to help me get in shape for the 5K in July, and going to the gym and arranging that could also be a possibility.

PS:  My abs are STILL sore from Thursday.  I guess that's a good sign, but wow, I didn't even think I did that much!

The Workout:
Kiwanis Loop
1.09 miles
13:16 min/mi

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Day 31.5 Help Wanted

I was antsy today and went to the gym to lift weights, but couldn't find very many exercises that didn't hurt.  I just wanted to go home and do my physical therapy and/or yoga.  From now on, that's going to be the drill unless I can get a personal trainer to help me with an actual routine I can remember.

Part of my goal in going to the gym was to weigh myself, and I didn't even do that.

Oh, and my left shin is sore.  Don't think they're shin splints, but it's still not terribly pleasant.  I'm just a ball of joy today.  And amazingly, my bad attitude is because I couldn't do the exercises I wanted to do and that the run that I will do tomorrow regardless will be less enjoyable due to my little aches that I have acquired this week.

Thank you, cloudy day for making my GPS go all buggy and tricking me into running too many miles...  Tomorrow I'm going to take it easy...

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Day 31: Heart Burn

New caveats about the Strands program.  The GPS dropped out during the last half mile or so of my workout today, so I thought I had only gone 2.75 miles, and I actually went about 3.25 miles.  Uhm that's more than a 5K for those of you who were interested.  It's like the personal trainer who texts while you're doing lunges.  Anyhow, luckily I remembered what I did, and I estimate that I ran something like a half mile after my GPS bailed on me. says that I ran 4.09 miles, but I think that's too much because I finished it in 47 minutes, and that would be a lot faster than I felt like I was running/walking, so I'm going to go with 3.25.  I was going for shaving some time off of my mile pace, and maybe I did, but we'll never know because I don't know exactly how far I went.

I experienced something running today that I hardly ever experience running or not running: heartburn.  After a block and a half of running, I would get a burning sensation in my throat/chest that was just like heartburn, and then it would calm down when I walked, and then got worse again when I ran again.  I had a veggie sub from subway for lunch, and I guess it was the peppers on it that did that, which means no more of those on days I run.

Pretty good day, pretty good.  I'm looking forward to doing some more exploring around Provo on Friday!

The Workout:
All Over - 9th East, Campus, Kiwanis
3.25 miles (but probably more) in 47 minutes
14:30 (but probably less) mile pace

Monday, May 3, 2010

Day 30

Loving the Strands running app.  I completely 100% endorse it to everyone, and also everyone should follow me on  It's like a twitter for physical activity, so addictive.  Today I almost didn't go running because we played capture the flag this afternoon, and that was kind of physical, but then it felt weird not to go, so there I went at 8:30 out the door with my running shoes.  I ended up only doing two and a half miles, though, because it started to get dark and I didn't want to end up running around the park after dark, although the areas I was running it were pretty well-lit and seemed like there were a lot of people around.

I think in a little bit I'm going to try a new route before I get tired of this one.  The good thing about this one, though, is that it's right here close so I don't have to drive anywhere - just walk out the door and get going.

I had a little bit of weird cramping in my left arch the last half mile.  It was weird.  It felt like I stepped on something sharp, but I hadn't, and it's fine now.  No idea what happened there, but I'd be so ticked if I were trying to run a race or something and that happened to me.

Oh, guys, and there's this 5K in July that my roommate suggested to me.   The course is on a lavender farm with lavender in full bloom.  I'm going to see how I feel about it in June, and then decide whether to sign up or not.

I'm over my slump and pumped up again!  All it took was getting off that blasted treadmill!

Kiwanis Park
2.46 miles in 35 minutes
14:07 min/mile

Friday, April 30, 2010

Day 29: The Scenic Route

Today was much nicer.  I have switched, at least temporarily, from the C25K app to the Strands App, and it has been good to me so far.  It tells me every five minutes how many minutes I've been going and every mile how many miles I've covered, which is pretty much all I need.  Then at the end of the workout I can upload everything onto the Strands website and have a record of all my workouts.  It's so nice to not have to write stuff down anymore afterwards.

Oh, and the app lets you take pictures while you use it.  I took this one today:

I went kind of the same way as I've been going, but with a little difference.  I decided to loop around Kiwanis park, and then I went through some of the residential area and went exploring.  My goal was to keep going for three miles, to keep walking briskly, and to run when the mood struck me.  I even skipped a little while after looking around to make sure no one else was around to see it.

I realized why I've been struggling outside - or at least part of the reason.  I have not been properly pacing myself.  I've been trying to lean forward from my ankles and pump my arms back rather than forward, and that has resulted in increased speed.  I covered three miles at the same pace as I ran 2 miles on the treadmill when I was running full-on, so my average pace is at least where it was on the treadmill and I enjoy myself much more.  I no longer feel bad about my running performance outside, although eventually I need to work up to handling 9th East (a hill that is only a slight incline but seems to never end) at a run, but just running the flat grassy parts is still a good workout for me.

And just like that, I'm happy with running again.  Just in time for May, and the starting of my experimental food journal on Monday.

Today's Workout:
3.19 miles in 46 minutes
Pace: 14.32 min/mi

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Day 28: Boredom and Change

Sean reminded me this evening that the greater the challenge, the greater the satisfaction when you accomplish it.  That was a good thing to remember, because this running on the road in real life is a lot harder than running on the treadmill.

I'm back to week 3, and it was actually kind of hard.  My ankles hurt now for the first time since the first time I did week 3, but I know that cardiovascularly I can handle this.  I have done it before.  I have overcome more than I thought I ever would, and I can do it again.

I ran around the park again today, and it was hard, but I was pretty much able to do all of week 3.  I'm just going to find a flatter place to run and then continue the training program from week 3.  I've also considered doing three miles three times a week with as much running as I can.  The end result will still be finishing a 5K, but I won't have a regimented schedule for doing it.  I may also start swimming and/or taking fitness classes at the gym just to not be doing couch to 5K all the time.

Whatever happens, I am staying active.  In fact, I'm kicking it up a notch.  I bought a new food journal.  Yuck.  But I'm going to do it, at least for a week or so, just to see my patterns and force myself to think more about what I'm putting into my body.

The Workout
Outside, Kiwanis Park
2.2 miles
35 minutes

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Day 27: A Change of Pace

Yesterday was a BEAUTIFUL spring day, and I decided that I'd change things up a little bit and take a break from the treadmill.  I walked/ran around the park behind my apartment several times instead of running on a treadmill indoors staring at a wall.  Physically, it was more challenging, but mentally it was MUCH more pleasant.

I may have to start back at week 3 or so running outside because although those streets looked flat while I was in a car they really are at a slight incline, and I'm convinced now that the whole route is uphill.

For the first few times around I used the C25K app, but I wasn't able to follow the schedule, at least not week 6.  I was able to keep running for two minutes, but I realized that I wasn't going to make it to eight, so I just quit and started walking.  It's not as big a deal if on a treadmill you have suddenly reached your physical limit, but when you're a mile away from your apartment with Jell-O legs, that is a big deal.  I am going to back up to week 4, I believe, and maybe stay there for a few weeks until I get used to it...

I had already gone over two miles in thirty minutes (indicating that my inability to endure as long probably had as much to do with pace as it did with incline) but I decided to continue walking another mile using my Strands GPS workout tracker for iPhone.  It worked really well, and I was able to track my route and measure the distance more accurately than saying "well, it's about a mile."  My route was 1.13 miles each way, and I went around three times, so I'm rounding it to 3.3 miles...

It's discouraging at how much less I can do outside than I could on a treadmill, but I am going to try to keep a positive attitude about it and just go back as far as I need to and start with a clean slate.  I know I can still do this.   I may have to go back a little bit, and I may have to find a flatter place to run, but I can do it.

Distance: 3.3 miles
Time: 45 minutes(ish)

Day 26: Dreadmill

This entry is really belated, but better late than never.

On Friday I exceeded my 50 mile mark, but I was feeling very discouraged after I couldn't make it through my first run.  I have decided that it's due to the treadmill and the mental strength running on it demands.

On Saturday I bought my first pair of REAL running shoes at Runner's Corner in Orem, UT.  They were so wonderful and treated me like I was a real runner.  It was really encouraging.

I am trying to decide whether I want to continue the C25K outside, take a break for a while, or what.  Because feeling discouraged is not going to fly with me.  I'm going to at least continue staying active because even though I've begun to dread running on the treadmill, I do know that I am happier with my life when I'm exercising regularly.

The workout:
Mile Pace: 15:28
31 minutes, 2.0% incline
2.00 miles

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Day 25: Fiddy

Guess who has pretty much hit the fifty mile mark?  ME!

I hit another mental block today but eh.  It was purely mental because I asked my body how it felt, and it said that everything was just fine, but my brain said that it just wasn't going to happen.  This was, again, in the last three minutes of the last run.  I compromised with my brain; I walked for one minute and then ran the last two.  

Honestly, though, the fact that I even ran on the treadmill at all was a miracle.  I am so tired physically and mentally from this semester that I didn't even want to get in the car to drive to the gym, and even after I got there, I felt like just laying down on an exercise ball and taking a long nap.  But not only did I run on the treadmill, but I even did MOST of week 6, day 2.


My workout was:
Week 6, Day 2
2.24 miles in 33 minutes, 2.0% incline
Average Mile Pace: 14:47

Monday, April 19, 2010

Day 24: A Good Day

Today was an extremely good day.  I definitely pushed all my limits today, and I'm really glad that I've been increasing my mental stamina because I needed it during the last final exam of my academic career this morning.  I woke up this morning at 2 AM and studied all morning, then took my exam at 11.  I finished it a little early, sold my text book back for $100 at the bookstore, and then slept for a few hours.  That $100 will be the perfect funding for my running shoes this weekend!

So after I took a much-needed nap, I went to the gym, and COMPLETED week 6, day 1.  It was tough mentally but physically I was okay, even though I barely slept.  From now on running will be easier because life will be much less stressful, I will be eating better, and I will be sleeping at night. 

I still feel like I've made it through the toughest part, and I'm really getting there!

Oh, and I'm still looking for a 100-mile reward, so please help me out with suggestions!

My workout was:
Week 6, Day 1
2.29 miles in 34 minutes, 2.0% incline
Average Mile Pace: 14:58

Friday, April 16, 2010

Day 23: My First Real Encounter with "Failure"

Today was the first day I have succumbed to the treadmill and let it win, but that's not to say that today was lacking its own victories.  First of all, week 6 day 1 is the first time I've attempted a workout that I haven't been able to finish.  The fact that I couldn't finish it means that I have learned to challenge myself beyond comfort, and that's an accomplishment.  Also, I ran further today than I ever have before.  I also went to the gym every day this week without a buddy.  And last but not least, I didn't feel up to going to the gym today, but I still did it, and I actually didn't do too bad even at that.

So the last three minutes of the third run, I bailed and walked the rest of it.  My mistake is that on the first five-minute run, I ran 5.0 mph, which is 0.5 mph above my usual pace of 4.5 mph.  Doesn't sound like much, but starting out your workout by exhausting yourself is NOT a good idea.  I've learned my lesson.  

Today has also taught me the importance of diet.  It is cramming week, and I am cramming.  I have been cramming information into my head, which has unfortunately been  accompanied by my cramming food into my mouth.  I ate nothing but pure crap today, and actually for the past two days, and I felt every gram of saturated fat and high fructose corn syrup on the treadmill this afternoon.  Maybe I'll...  diet.

I try to avoid four-letter words here, but it's nearly 11PM, and the kids should already be in bed.

On a happier note, in case you haven't been tracking the ticker, I am up to 45 miles!  Five more miles until my nifty new running shoes!  I think the next mile stone (if you will pardon my pun) should be 100 miles.  And then what shall I give myself?  My only restriction is that it should be not be food-related.  I eat good food all the time, and I refuse to use it only as a reward.  And by "not food related" I don't exclude cool gadgets used to MAKE good food.  :)  I'm taking your reader suggestions, so slip it in the box!

My workout was:
Week 6, Day 1
2.31 miles in 34 minutes, 2.0% incline
Average Mile Pace: 15:02

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Day 22: Big Mile Momma

I did something yesterday afternoon that I have never been able to do in my entire life, and something that I have attempted only one other time in my life.  I ran for 20 minutes straight with no walking breaks.

In high school we had to run a mile for gym class, and I distinctly remember walking a lot of it.  Yesterday I ran 1.5 miles of JUST running.  My legs carried me a total of 2 miles on the treadmill if you count the half a mile I walked as warm-up and cool-down.  

Sean called me a Big Mile Momma.  

It made me realize that I could run in a one-mile race that accompanies many 5K races and finish without any further training.  In a month I will be able to run 30 minutes non-stop.  I am excited, needless to say, and unspeakably proud of myself for pulling this off.  I never ever ever EVER could have imagined this.

Oh, and did you notice that I've knocked another 30 seconds off my mile pace?  And that in about a week I will hit the 50 mile marker and be ready to buy a pair of real running shoes?  Just in time for warmer weather so I may start running outside soon.

My workout was:
Week 5, Day 3
2.08 miles in 30 minutes, 2.0% incline
Average Mile Pace: 14:26

Monday, April 12, 2010

Day 21: Success vs. Failure

I am in a horrible mood right now because I studied all last week (working overtime so to do) and did horribly on the test I was studying for even though I worked really hard and I felt I did well on it.  Not that I would even care about the grade I'm getting in this class right now except I really need a B to pass it so that I can continue with graduate school.  I just don't know what I'll do if I can't continue with this.  I have never felt so inadequate in my whole life...

Meanwhile I still went on a run today.  I don't even know if it was even worth it to go because maybe I should have studied with that extra hour that I spent running on the treadmill.  No, just kidding.  I know that no matter how much I had studied for that exam, I would have gotten the same score as always.  I wish I hadn't spent so much time preparing for it, because I got the same score on this test as on the tests that I barely studied for at all and felt like I barely understood.  Seriously, guys, I flew through the homework like it was child's play, did great on the quizzes, and now taking the test I get a crappy grade.  I really don't get it.

Okay, back to running.  THAT was easier than I expected.  It's another one of those moments where I wonder if I can do it, and then I do it and it's not even that hard.  I may really actually pull off that twenty minute run on Wednesday.  I'm going to go for it!  

You know, it's times like these that I'm really glad I have running in my life so there's something I'm succeeding at.

My workout was:
Week 5, Day 2
2.08 miles in 31 minutes, 2.0% incline
Average Mile Pace: 14:57

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Day 20: I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar!


I swear, every time I try a new week, I wonder if I'll be able to do it, and then I do it, and I'm fine.  Still worried about the monster at the end of the week aka the 20 minute run on Wednesday.  It's gonna be tough, but I'm gonna get through it.  I always get through it.

I can do hard things!  I am POWERFUL!

My workout was:
Week 5, Day 1
2.06 miles in 31 minutes, 2.0% incline
Average Mile Pace: 14:59

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Day 19: Luxurious Update from the Office

Week 4 is still not easy, but it's about as hard as Week 3 was the second week I did it, so I have decided to give Week 5 a try next week...  With the caveat that I may do each day as its own week.  Seriously, that 20 minute run at the end of the week INTIMIDATES me.  

I saw signs up today for several 5K and 1 mile races in May, and the thoughts that I may be able to run and finish at least the mile races by the time they happen makes me so happy!  Is that thought enough for me to sign up?  No.  I've improved my attitude quite a bit since I've started, but I still don't think I could quite take finishing last in a race right now, which is the probable outcome given my experience with running so far.  That, and the fact that I've never run off of a treadmill before.  

I did a stupid thing tonight unrelated to running.  Institute is over, and yet I showed up anyway.  Nope, no institute tonight.  But since I was on campus I decided to go to my office and work on stuff.  I can blame it on my being a glutton for punishment and on my finding a SWEET parking spot right next to the door of the building.  Also, I love how quiet it is here at night; it's like I can actually get work done without constant interruptions.  I then decided it might be luxurious to update this blog on the huge iMac in my office the day of my workout rather than my crappy 15" laptop the day after, but now I think it might be time to resist the glow of the screen and work on something more productive.

My workout was:
Week 4, Day 3
2.12 miles in 32 minutes, 2.0% incline
Average Mile Pace: 15:03

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Day 18: Spiritual and Physical Exercise

The semester is getting very busy these days, and I am actually posting this from work the day after my workout, which I guess has been typical lately.  It's okay, though.  If I'm not using how busy I am NOW as an excuse to not go to the gym, I don't foresee anything that could keep me away in the future, barring major injuries.

I'm thinking about implementing a "diet."  There's a reason that word has four letters, but the diet I'm considering isn't really a diet.  I'm cutting out bad stuff one thing at a time.  I'm going to start with high fructose corn syrup.  Then I'm going to work towards harder stuff like snacking healthier, eating more frequent small meals, stuff like that.  Whatever I do, it will be very LOOSELY regimented.  Because my body really rebels when it hears dirty words like "diet."  I swear, I could put on ten pounds by just chanting that word to myself a few times per day.

Back to running news.  I found out about a nice place to go running that I may try out when the weather decides to be nice to us.  It's April and snowing still here in Utah.  Well, ptth to that. 

Oh, and speaking of April, I listened to General Conference on the treadmill.  Who knew that calm voices saying inspiring things could have been better for physical activity than Black Eyed Peas and other fast-paced music?  It gave me something to focus on that wasn't my aching body or the news.   That's it, I think.

Oh yeah...  Well, I know I say this every entry, but I'm still so very proud of me for continuing with the program.  Now, that's all.

My workout was:
Week 4, Day 2
2.16 miles in 32 minutes, 2.0% incline
Average Mile Pace: 14:55

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Day 17: Going for a Smoothie

I couldn't think of a title, but then I talked to Kyla, and she inspired it with: "My roommates and I call it going for a smoothie because it makes your mind smooth, your emotions smooth, and your body smooth."

I was told today that I look like a new person.  I finally got the nerve up to weigh myself at the gym, and I did so with absolutely NO emotional response.  I refuse to diet, but I am trying to eat like a normal person without food issues, and it's difficult.  The book I'm working with, Eat, Drink, and Be Mindful - which I highly recommend, by the way - is about overcoming eating disorders, and some of the best advice that I've read exclusively in this book is that if you can't weigh yourself without an emotional response, don't weigh yourself.  So the no emotional response thing is a good thing, and it's the reason why I haven't weighed myself since December.

I weighed myself out of curiosity to see if I had lost weight or maybe just carry myself differently, but apparently I've lost 16 pounds since then..  I know that those pounds started coming off before I started running due to not having as much time to eat because of stressful school stuff and a little bit of watching my habits, but still.  Running has probably accelerated it somewhat, both in that I'm burning off more calories and in that I'm burning off a lot of stress.  I'm not looking to lose weight, but it is one more "measuring stick" on which I can see progress being made.  I tell myself it's now okay to weigh myself as long as I don't get bogged down emotionally by it and as long as it's not the ONLY measure of my success or failure.

Friday was also the last day of my running for Lent.  Don't worry, though; I'm not going to quit just because Easter is here.  I'm addicted now, and since the idea of Lent is repentance, I actually have to stick with it if it's going to be a real amending of my life. I'm a runner now.  And in a few more months I'll be over this endurance hurdle and start working on speed for a real 5K race!

My workout was:
Week 4, Day 1
2.10 miles in 32 minutes, 2.0% incline
Average Mile Pace: 15:05

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Day 16: Sweaty and Snowy

Although it was snowy outside, I was sweating like a pig in a hot tub on the treadmill yesterday afternoon.  For the first (or maybe second) time, I thought I might die on the treadmill, and envisioned my lifeless body thumping around the treadmill between 3.5 and 4.5 mph; however, that did not happen, and I am alive to tell the tale of how I COMPLETED WEEK 4!  But that dying feeling was unpleasant enough that I'll probably put off week 5 for another week, especially considering the 20 minute running interval waiting for me at the end of it.

I've decided that how much I sweat at the gym depends on which treadmill I pick.  Some of the treadmills are right under a fan, and I don't sweat at all on those.  Some treadmills are far away from the fans, and those are the ones in which I think I'm going to die of heat stroke whilst the snow falls gently outside.  The catch is that some treadmills have working TV's with working closed captioning, and those are the ONLY treadmills I will run on.

I impress myself every time I run.  Seriously?  The thought of me running two miles in half an hour at the beginning of this program was just out of the question.  And now I can totally do it.  In a few weeks I'll be doing even more.  In a few months, I'll be running three miles straight with no walking.

And?  And?  I at thirty miles.  In twenty more, I'm buying some sweet running kicks.  And guess what?  They will be VERY well deserved!

My workout was:
Week 4, Day 3
2.09 miles in 32 minutes, 2.0% incline
Average Mile Pace: 15:05

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Day 15: Feel the Burn

I went to the Jazz game last night, and we were leaving before the time I usually go to the gym, so I rearranged my schedule so I could still go.  I decided that I have done really well and have never missed a day yet, and I wasn't going to start now.  I also decided whilst on the treadmill that I wasn't going to turn back or back down.  The decision turned out to be very necessary...

I did week 4 on Friday, and it was only mildly challenging.  I could do it again on a Monday.  I could do it again.  I could do it again.  I doubted that encouragement that I gave myself more than a few times near the end of the last jogging interval, but I made it through after all.  My legs are somewhat sore today, which actually feels kind of good.  It's nice to know that I stay challenged.  

My workout was:
Week 4, Day 2
2.10 miles in 32 minutes, 2.0% incline
Average Pace: 15:08

Friday, March 26, 2010

Day 14: March Madness

It is with great joy and enthusiasm that I announce that I have successfully completed the first day of WEEK 4, and I feel GREAT!  

The plan was to stay on week 3 for another week, I know, but this is what happened.  March Madness got the best of me.  I just hit "go" on the C25K app on my iPhone, and during the usual 5 minute warm-up walk, I got interested in the Tennessee-Ohio State game.  When it dinged to start running, I ran.  After I felt like it should be dinging again (week 3 starts out with a 90 second run), I looked down and saw I had already been running for nearly three minutes, at which point I had realized that since I ran week 3, day 3 on Wednesday, the program was automatically starting me on week 4, day 1.  Since that first three minutes seemed so easy, I decided to just go with the flow and promised myself that if I experienced any discomfort, I would revert to week 3.  The pain never came, not even the usual pain I feel in my right shoulder (that rotator cuff really isn't as healed as I thought it was).  

I admit that it started to get a little challenging towards the end of the fourth running interval, but it even seemed a little easier than Wednesday's workout.  I owe it all to March Madness, I guess.  This brings me to the hypothesis that perhaps what I need to train for running more than my body is my mind.  

Something odd happened after my workout.  As I was stretching, I saw this girl step on the scale on the other side of the gym.  She hopped on and hopped off, and I thought, "I could just hop on and hop off...  It wouldn't be discouraging to weigh myself if I just do it on days that I advance in my running."  Then approximately 30 seconds later when I finished stretching it completely slipped my mind.  I'm glad my weight has been pushed so far back into the back of my mind now that I can forget about it that easily at the gym, of all places.

And one more thing.  When I did something that was hard for me, I used to say, "Well, I guess I just can't do it," and other such negative things.  Today what I realized is that when things become difficult, I tell myself, "You really can do this.  Just push through a little longer."  I'm so grateful I can run, and I'm actually even grateful that I failed at week 4 last week so that I could have the realization this week of just how fast I'm progressing!

My workout today was:
Week 4, Day 1
2.11 miles in 32 minutes, 2.0% incline
Average Pace: 15:07

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Day 13: Happy Monthiversary!

A month ago today was Day 1, Week 1.  Forget about the fact that I have moved past week 1 and am in fact holding my own at week 3.  The fact that I am still here at all is amazing.  Now, I've enjoyed this a lot, and that's why I'm still doing it, so I guess it's not much of a sacrifice yet for me to keep going to the gym.  But if you consider that I don't normally like exercising, it's amazing.  

Unfortunately, it looks like I'll be on week 3 another week.  It's still challenging, so I think it's okay to stay on it.  Next Friday I'm going to try to move on to week 4, daunting though those five minute running intervals may seem right now.  Again, I may have a long way left to go, but man, look how far I've come ALREADY!

Since starting this program ONLY a month ago:

My resting pulse rate has dropped (by quite a bit, actually).
My waistline has shrunk.
I no longer consider the walk up that hill to class a workout.
I can run for three full continuous minutes.
I am more flexible.
I have greater confidence.
I deal with stress in healthier ways.
I respect and take (better) care of my body.
I sleep better at night.
My life has become more satisfying.

Those are the most noticeable unanticipated benefits from the program.  I honestly started this just so I would have something on which to focus my attention that didn't have to do with Chemistry or dating, and now it has become its own thing.

I have said this before, I know, but it's true: this truly is what was missing in my life, and although I really struggle with it sometimes, I am glad I do it.

My workout today was:
Week 3:
1.80 miles in 28 minutes, 2.0% incline
Walk Speed: 3.5 mph

Jog Speed: 4.5 mph
Total Distance So Far: 24.23 miles

Monday, March 22, 2010

Day 12: Numbers

Isn't it strange how we as women use numbers to measure ourselves?  A little while back, I participated in Operation Beautiful, and one of the notes I posted said, "Your greatness cannot be measured," and had a ruler on the bottom edge of the page.  I feel like maybe I should post one of those proverbially or literally for myself.  I am always trying to measure myself, no matter what it is I am doing.  I seek approval from myself and others based on a number, or sometimes many numbers.  

Today I was asked what speed I run at, and that shouldn't have made me upset, but it definitely did.  I felt embarrassed that I run so slow.  Then I talked to my extremely tall friend Nicole who told me that she still runs slow for her height even after running for years, and I felt better.  

In unrelated-to-running workout news, I did AM Yoga yesterday morning for ten minutes to wake me up for church, just on a lark, and it was fun.  I couldn't quite get into all the poses, but I see promise there, and the stretches felt good.  Little did I know it, but I was REALLY getting a workout.  I woke up this morning almost too sore to get out of bed.  After ten minutes of yoga.  Seriously?

As far as running goes, week 3 is getting easier, for sure.  I am going to do week 3 again on Wednesday, and then I will attempt to move ahead to week 4 on Friday, even if it is hard.  I really think I probably COULD do week 4 right now, I just don't think I SHOULD.  A lot of people on the C25K discussion groups say that they were stuck for several weeks on week 3, so I am at least in good company.  It's a tough week to get through, but I'm determined to stick it out.  I've only been running for four weeks (as Sean the saintly workout buddy reminded me today), and instead of focusing on  how very far I have left to go, I should look at how far I have COME.  A month ago I could jog about a block.  Now I jog at least several blocks three times a week.  

I am becoming a runner.  Spud to stud is fortunately faster than the other way around, but still, it took me years to develop the destructive habits I had up until a month ago, so it will take me definitely more than a few weeks to break free from them.  

My workout today was:
Week 3:
1.80 miles in 28 minutes, 2.0% incline
Walk Speed: 3.5 mph

Jog Speed: 4.5 mph
Total Distance So Far: 22.43 miles

Friday, March 19, 2010

Day 11: Stranded in Week 3.25

I wanted to start week 4 today because well, I technically finished week 3; however, that did not happen.  Actually, I started week 4, but then I thought I might die with crazy tightness in my calves, so after the first run/walk cycle I switched back to week 3 intervals.  Overall, the workout WAS a little more intense than your usual week 3 because I went further in the same amount of time, but it was definitely closer to week 3 intensity than week 4.  Plan: Stay on week 3 one more week, then re-try week 4.

I hereby give myself permission to stay back where I know I can be successful for as long as it takes me to get strong enough to challenge myself even further.

It took me years and years to get as out of shape as I am.  I can't expect to reverse it overnight.  I must NOT get discouraged.

I'm doing yoga every now and then, and it's a lot harder than it looks.  I thought running was hard!  I already see benefits from yoga, though, and the instructor in the videos I have always says ways to alter the poses if you're just starting and continually says, "it's okay if you can't quite get there yet."  Also, between the running and the yoga I sleep like a baby.

To end on a positive note, I had an awfully stressful and intense week, but this training has given me something to look forward to at the end of the day and helped me to cope with it much better than I ordinarily would.  I no longer feel like my life is go to work, go home, go to work, go home.  All I needed was something to work towards and look forward to.  Who knew it would ever be a physical activity?

My workout today was:
Week 3.25 ish
1.78 miles in 28 minutes, 2.0% incline
Walk Speed: 3.5 mph

Jog Speed: 4.5 mphTotal Distance: 20.63 miles