Thursday, December 31, 2009

Ringing in the new year with a run

So I'll be running in my first 5k since November tomorrow - wish me luck!

I'm not expecting anything because I know I won't run the whole thing, I'll probably split and walk half and run half. I am, however, hoping for a better time than my November race. We'll see how it goes.

This week I've been slowing down my longer runs to build my endurance, which makes me feel like I'm running at turtle speed. That kind of stinks but I plan to gradually increase the speed on the longer runs until I get to where I usually am, at 5 mph. Which I'm sure is slow when compared to real life runners anyway...haha.

The only reservations I have about tomorrow is tiring myself out too quickly. It's easy to pace yourself on a treadmill because it tells you how fast you're going - on the street, not so much. On my run today at the gym I tried to really remember what my fast and what my "turtle" pace feels like so I can replicate that tomorrow.

I'll also be running with a stop watch to time my splits.

Oh yeah, and it's probably going to be kind of cold during the run. I am hoping this will make me run faster so I can get out of the cold!! :)

In late February, a series of three races is starting in Haverhill, Lawrence, and Lowell, and they are 3, 4, and 5 miles respectively. You get a medal at the end of each race and they all fit together to make one big medal. I would really love to do this and it'd be a great way to kick off training for a half marathon....that I may or may not do in June.

Anyway, tonight is New Year's Eve so I'm headed to annual NYE festivities in Cambridge. Every year on New Year's one of my favorite singer/songwriters, Ellis Paul, does a show and people across the country (other performers and fans alike) come to see it. It's always a great time, so I'm excited for that.

Hopefully the snow allll melts in time for my race tomorrow.

I'll update after the run!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Running with an eye infection: well, it could've been worse...

Gross, gross, gross.

I had a major eye infection this past week (thanks Santa) so on Saturday I had planned to run but it was so hard to get out of bed. Sleeping with a very swollen eye is difficult. I pretty much looked like Rhianna, post Chris Brown. I called the eye doctor and he said it was a sty and there wasn't much I could do besides moist heat and wait for it to drain (gross, I know. gross!) so that's what I did.

This morning the swelling FINALLY started to really go down after I took a hot shower and the aforementioned happened (I won't mention this anymore, I'm sorry) so my crusty eye and I dragged our butt out of bed in the morning and to the gym.

I got through it, but I think I found that I really do need to run every other day when possible. My run definitely felt more difficult that I had taken two days between running. Ankle pain was also acting up, of course, but I managed to get through it without any major issues. I ran on the regular 1 percent incline at 5 mph, only slowing down once to like 4.8 for a few seconds because I really was in a lot of pain. I probably could've spent more time stretching as well to avoid that. Blah - next time.

The whole eye infection thing though is frustrating and scary to me because I just can't seem to stay healthy while I'm training. For my last race, it was my wisdom teeth and the dry socket and the post-surgery infection that pretty much dictated my horrible time. This infection scared me but I was determined to run through it, because I don't want to fail again.

I'll probably run again on Tuesday, and when I do, I am going to be majorly kicking up the time. This week is where I always trip. I always fail. I can't seem to run for 3 minutes straight. It hurts, I can't breathe, etc. So I am just going to take it slow, ease into it, and do my best.

I'm also on vacation this week so I'll have the time to spend at the gym that I want to.

P.S. I bought my very own scale today. And I plan on using it!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Oh boy, am I sore... & half marathon thoughts.

So I ran today and I even was a good girl and ran on a 1 percent incline to stimulate running on the street, and boy am I sore!

I made sure I took a good chunk of time to stretch before and after, and that really seemed to hold off the ankle pain, which is awesome. But now just about every part of my legs is sore. I actually kind of wish I had more time at the gym so I could add some more cardio- just some bike riding or something, I wouldn't have overdone it. I really do think I need to add some supplemental cardio to my workout, because the running is great, but it's really not burning many calories. The whole idea of the running plan is just to build endurance for longer runs.

But alas, today is Christmas Eve, and there wasn't much time to be had with the last-minute shopping and wrapping and whatnot. Tomorrow I won't run (Christmas, clearly...I'll be eating all day) and I'll get back to the gym Saturday or Sunday.

I don't want to get too ahead of myself - I want to do the New Year's Day 5k, and then the Feb. 7 5k - but I am really, really thinking about doing a half marathon (13.1 miles!) in June in Boston. I'd be doing the Team Challenge thing - it's a fundraiser run for Crohn's Disease and ulcerative colitis. Basically, you raise money for the foundation and they give you:

Coaching and training
Accommodations for race weekend
The opportunity to make your athletic goals a reality
A connection with an honored patient
Professional training as a group on the weekends at a venue near you
All the tools and help you need to raise your funds – you’ll even get your own free web page for fundraising support
Receive a t-shirt when you sign up for the challenge, plus a racing singlet for the half marathon
Inspirational Pasta party the night before the race, so you and your friends can load up on the essential carbs
Team Challenge After Party celebration following the race with music, fun and friends

Sounds great to me .... If I can get through this training program and build my endurance, running a half marathon would be such a dream come true. I'm mulling it over. I don't want to get too ahead of myself. We'll see what happens.

Monday, December 21, 2009

"Learning to run includes lots of walking. Get over it."

So I read an article yesterday on one of my favorite Web sites - - about "Running 101." I really love that they have some new sections for "Newbie Runners" and also especially for people running 5ks. Anyway, one of the article said, "Learning to run includes lots of walking. Get over it."

Get over it. Simple. So I went running today, and I actually did really well. I extended my time a little bit and my whole workout was running/walking about a mile and a half. My ankle pain did kick in around 10 minutes into my work out but I got through it and I didn't even have to decrease the pace I was running at. Yay! Walking a little more in between each run felt weird, but I did it and actually appreciated the extra 30 seconds to recover between each run at times.

Here's what I am trying to get over: the little voice in my head that says I'm not doing enough. I'm not training enough, I'm not running fast enough, I'm not eating well enough, I'm walking too much, I should run longer, etc. etc. etc.

When I first started running, someone told me to just do the plan. Just run what you are supposed to run and it won't fail you. I am trying to trust that advice and be satisfied with what I'm doing. If the plan won't fail me, I won't fail it by screwing it up.

This week is Christmas, which poses a lot of challenges for anyone looking to run or eat healthy. I'm just trying to take it as it comes and not be TOO bad.

My next run will probably be on Thursday.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

"My butt is in a whole other zip code!" and week 1 in the bag

I finished my third run of my first week of training today and it was pretty spectacular. It's getting easier for me to run for the amount of time I'm running at right now, so we'll see how well I do when I have to increase my time. Last time I tanked when I had to start running for 3 and 4 minutes at a time, so hopefully this time I will learn to pace myself a LOT more during my runs.

One thing I really love about the program I'm doing is that each work out is never longer than half an hour. Granted, many people also lift weights in conjunction with this program. I haven't yet but am thinking it is something I should do in order to strengthen my ankle.

The ankle has been bothering me but I wouldn't say it was horrible. The more I stretch, the longer I can hold off the pain. It usually jumps in half way or two-thirds of the way through the run. I am really thinking phsycial therapy might be necessary for this to go away, but I'm worried I may not have the time to commit to it. I think, though, it will start to get to the point where if I want to continue running, I'm going to have to do something about this stupid ankle. How frustrating!

In other news, I convinced my sister to run the Feb. 7 5k with me! So excited. I hope running will give her the "alone time" she is looking for. I really like it and have been looking forward to the time I get to just concentrate on nothing and run. My sister is worried she won't be able to run, but if I can do it, anyone can. I get really self concious doing it at the gym because I feel like all these people are creeping me and listening to me sound like a freakin' steam engine when I run or they creep how slow I'm going or how hard my feet hit the tread mill. Of course I am just insane, none of the people at the gym care about this. My sister has a treadmill at her house she can use, so none of that will be a problem for her. But, as she explained to me over the phone, "my butt is in a whole other zip code!" haha. She's going to start training after Christmas.

So I seem to be in a good place right now - hopefully this will keep up into next week.

Next week I'm running a minute and a half with two minutes in between. If you'd like to take a look at my whole training plan, it's here: http://

My next run will be Monday morning.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Okay, here I am.

So I'm starting this running business again - for serious! 

First, let me explain myself. I am not very athletic and never have been. I enjoy watching sports from the sidelines, particularly hockey, but in high school and college I was never particularly compelled to play anything.

But I feel the need to move. And be healthy.

Last November, I did my very first 5k. It went well for what it was. I definitely could have gotten a better time. I faced a lot of challenges: I got my wisdom teeth out and battled infection after infection from that, which took me out of training for about two weeks. I travelled for about a week and after that became sick. 

During the November 5k, I took so many walk breaks because I hadn't trained much, and I got depressed, but I finished. So now I am just working on mastering those 3.2 miles and running as much as I can until I get a time that satisfies me. 

Right now I'm training for a 5k on Feb. 7. I want to run the whole thing. I am starting from square one again training, working my way up, and hoping it goes well.

I am doing a "practice" 5k on Jan. 1. If I can run/walk it throughout the whole 3.2 miles, I'll be happy.

While training for my November run I blogged off an on, and decided to delete that and start over with this blog. Forgive me for the sporatic updates - I do write for a living, after all, and sometimes my brain is so tired I just run out of juice. Hopefully I can update more often now, but no promises! haha.

Today was my second run on the training program and it went pretty well. The first run was actually amazing! I felt great after. This one was pretty good - the only crappy thing, of course, was that I forgot to stretch to start (d'oh!) and immediately my ankle began hurting.

My ankle is something I have literally battled since I was 12. I've sprained by ankle six times, and it has made running really difficult. If I were to explain the pain, I'd say it feels like massive cramps in my ankle when I run. Usually stretching out before running holds off the pain until the end of my run.

But today I learned that without stretching, pain in my ankle comes almost immediately. Grrrreat.

But I pushed through as much as I could and finished the work out. Hopefully if I just stretch before I start from now on it will be less of an issue :)

I plan to run again Saturday or Sunday. I'll probably (hopefully? maybe? who knows) update then.