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