Week 2 Day 2 - And Shoe Shopping.

Week 2 consists of the regular warm up/cool down  with 6 90s run intervals with 120s rests between. this was the second day. I didn't fool with the pause button like I did the first time, so I actually went a shorter distance this time (run details here). Sure didn't feel like it. My feet and my shins were killing me - which led to a lengthy and insightful discussion on proper running shoes on Facebook.

I have been wearing the cross trainers I had just to get started. Yes, I am aware that they are not proper running shoes. I figured it was better than nothing to get me started. After all, I'm still doing more walking than running. Alas, my shoes are beat and I am feeling it. time to bite the bullet on that one. I am COMPLETELY overwhelmed. There are so many brands, styles and colors.

There is a running shop near one of my bridges and I could easily pop in there at lunch, but I have to admit that I am a bit intimidated. I am not a serious runner - and I don't intend to be. I can see why people do it now, but that isn't my goal.. I have no intention of inflicting  anything more than a 5k on my body. I feel like they will blow me off or laugh at me maybe. I know I am a novice but I don't want to be treated like a total loser. Before you protest and say they wouldn't I have to point out that it is in Darien. The people in Dunkin Donuts treat you like that.

So, I went to a few sporting goods stores. I learned a few things.

  1. The sales people may be nice and well intentioned, but they don't know what they are talking about. 
  2. The employees (male and female) will assume that since you are a woman, the most important quality in a running shoe is the color. really? I know I look like a hot mess when I run. The color of my shoes will not help.
  3. Women's running shoes don't come in wide widths. I have heard rumors to the contrary, but I have yet to actually SEE them.
  4. Due to #3, the kind and well meaning sales people will tell you to look at the men's section and then point out that there are more colors available in men's.
Then, I went on Facebook. My running friends came out of the woodwork with fabulous advice. I will hit the highlights here:
  1. DO NOT BUY MEN'S SHOES! That was my initial instinctive reaction. I'm not a man. My body mechanics are VERY different. So glad to have everyone backing that one up for me.
  2. I really do need to suck it up and go to a running store and get fitted for some thing that works for me.
  3. I do not need to buy it there! I can go to DSW and get last years color for less.
  4. Asics might actually make wide widths. Still looking for the proof here...
Once I get the shoes ironed out, I can figure out how to get rid of the cramp in my side that happens at about the 60s mark in each interval. by the time I walk it off, it is time to run again... sigh...


C25K - Week 2, Day 1 - When I didn't feel like it

It is definitely Monday! It is one of those Mondays that gives all the other Mondays a bad name. I went to bed early, but woke up late and feeling like I hadn't slept at all. I think part of that may be because several times I found myself waking up in the middle of a conversation. Apparently, my husband went to bed late and got up early. lucky me.My day began by making the perfect cup of tea, then leaving it on the kitchen counter. I am not a coffee drinker. Tea is my lifeblood. I was devastated.

Monday also means meeting day in my office. That means that all of the bigwigs show up and trash the ladies room (none are ladies or even women). Normally, I am in the field by then and avoid the bigwigs. not today. office all day.

Also, It is cold. Yeah, I know. It is December and I live in Connecticut. It just finally feels like it. Much colder than last week. The upside of working outdoors is that I already have Under Armor Cold Gear (If you are trying to figure out what to get me for Christmas, I could use more).

It was just one of those days where I am feeling totally spent.I just wanted to go home and crawl under the covers and hide from the world. When this sort of thing happens on a karate day, the last thing I want to do is train. I know that those are the days that I need to go even though I don't want to (also, I paid for the class so I am going). I always feel better by the end of class and I am glad I went. Using this logic I decided to suck it up and run anyway.

I was right. I was cold, but I was right. I do feel better. My times weren't stellar, but not terrible. the run intervals are longer this week and therefore more challenging. I need to work on my breathing too if this is ever going to work with winter and my asthma. I also kept accidentally hitting the pause button, so I went a lot farther and it made a couple of intervals look better than they were.

The run data is here.

And because I am such a geek, I made a spreadsheet and some charts to track my progress. you can't tell me you didn't see it coming. I am an engineer! However, I am NOT a software engineer, so I haven't figured out how to insert them in the blog. If you can tell me, I would love it if you could leave instructions in a comment.


Couch to 5K Week 1, Day 3 - When I remember that it is winter

Can someone please tell me why I decided to start is in DECEMBER?! It has been a fairly mild December (almost makes up for the December-like October), but it is still December in Connecticut. Today it was starting to feel like it.

I went for my run, but I had to psyche myself up for it. It was raw and windy. I actually wan't too cold during the run and even got a bit of a sweat going. Unfortunately, it is going to get colder before Spring comes. Odds are this is the weather I will be seeing for my first race. Although, this is New England all bets are off on the weather in March.

On a positive note, I was able to run uninterrupted. Kids were still either in school or on their way home and Todd was working. My times overall were faster. Although, my run interval times really dropped off as I went. I started to develop a cramp in my side a little more than half way through and by they time I walked it off, it was time for the next run interval.

All in all, I think I had a good first week and I am looking forward to week 2! I may start it on Sunday. I will be having a fun girls' weekend in the City (that is NYC if you aren't from CT). There will be much walking and schlepping. I guess I can consider that a workout!

Today's run is here. I decided to vary the route a bit. Don't want to be too predictable or get bored. It also changes up where I hit the hills. My neighborhood is NOT flat AT ALL. Looks it on the map though, doesn't it?


Couch to 5K - Week 1 Day 2 - Running with an anchor

Due to a bunch of errands, I couldn't get in my run before the kids got home Monday and with a cold December rain on the way, I did NOT want to skip it! I decided to take the kids with me. After all, #2 and #3 are hyper and #1 desperately needs to exercise. Family run sounded. good.

Colin did a great job of keeping up especially when you consider that he is only 5 and his legs are pretty short. Ryan kept wanting to run ahead and of course burnt out when he realized just how far we are going. He also kept telling me that he wanted to go a different way than the way we were going. I really wouldn't have minded if he didn't keep telling me we should have turned 3 blocks ago. Then there is Andy. He didn't even try to run. He did walk it though. Almost 2 miles. I am proud of him for that. He wandered in a while after the rest of us singing Christmas carols. That kid is too much!

As for me, I was really annoyed that I had to drag them with me. I was also surprised at how annoyed I was. It wasn't so much that they slowed me down - which they did, but not a whole lot. It was because they were invading on MY time. My quiet half hour. They were talking, bickering and complaining about my playlist. MY playlist

.I love them, but until they can keep up and keep quiet, I think I'm going to keep my runs to myself. I have to spend the rest of the evening listening to "Mom, mom, mom, mom..." and "I want..." and my personal favorite "MOM! _____ just _____! Make him stop/give it back!!!" I don't think an uninterrupted run is too much to ask of my family.

Today's run stats are here.


C25K - Week 1 Day 1 - My First Run

"Just for today, I will have a quiet half hour all by myself, ans relax. During this half hour, sometime, I will try to get a better perspective on my life." ~Naranon blue book

Just for today, I will get off the couch and run.

Today was my first attempt at this running thing. I think I am starting to get it. I am not focusing on my knee pain with every step or worrying about each and every breath I take. I can let my thoughts wander. I can meditate. I can think about life's problems. I can listen to my own thoughts. I can sing "Crazy Bitch" while I run through the neighborhood (I'm pretty sure the neighbors think I am a crazy bitch already). I can spend time with me. How did I figure this all out on my first run? My family kept calling me. I was really annoyed - more than I thought I would be. I really surprised myself by being so annoyed. From now on, all calls will be dumped into voice mail while I am running.

I also learned just how badly I need a pair of running shoes. I knew I'd need them, but I just wanted to get started so I went with what I had. My feet and ankles were sore by the time I was done. I will put shoe shopping on my to-do list for the weekend. I have a feeling I will be expanding my wardrobe as well, but that can wait.

The playlist needs to be tweaked, but I was really motivated by the songs I picked. Nickleback, Pink and ABBA - among others... NIN had to go. I just wasn't feeling it. I also need to add "I Will Survive" for my last interval.

I'm liking the app from RunDouble as well. I choose my own playlist from my phone and it plays it during the run. It tells me when to run, when to walk and what the pace and distance was at each interval as well as the total distance and average pace. I will admit to doing a little happy dance in my run/walk when it told me I was half way. I'm sure a running partner would be a better motivation. You know someone who can physically remove me from the sofa. No app can do that. I love that it can keep track of all that information because I have no clue what I am doing at this point. I can just run/walk and listen to the music. Run details are here.

All in all I am feeling good. My legs are a bit tired. My ankles are still a little sore. My knees feel just fine! I am a little wheezy though. It is cold and I had ice cream last night (dairy allergy). I will definitely bring my inhaler next time. Bring it Day 2!


What *am* I Doing???

If you've known me very long, you know that I have been one of those "I don't run" people. (I am not claiming to be a runner now either) I have attempted to run in the past, but due to knee problems and undiagnosed asthma triggers it just plain sucked. I never could understand how people would do this for FUN!

I have since met a wonderful orthopedist who ordered an x-ray view that none of the dozens of other doctors I had seen (since I was a toddler) ever did. Turns out the muscles on the outside of my legs are tighter than on the inside. Some simple stretches and exercises and the problem is FINALLY resolved. I've also figured out what triggers my asthma which makes it infinitely easier to breathe and exercise at the same time. Those two things have made a measurable differance in my life.

Since then I have become more physical. I took a self defense class for a couple of years then switched to an MMA class about a year and a half ago. I only train once a week. I'd love to go more often, but it is just a logistical impossibility right now. What I have noticed is that as I progress in rank, I am getting frustrated with the physical limitations of my own body. I decided to challenge myself to get stronger, faster and more flexible.

First, I started the 100 Push-ups challenge. I always struggle with them in class and one night I decided I wasn't going to let them defeat me. I could do 11 when I started. Tonight I did a total of 245 and maxed out at 55. Saturday I will do the final test. I don't know if I will do the 100, but if I don't I will go back to week 4 or 5 and try again!

As I got to about week 4, I noticed that the push-ups were starting to hurt my back. I added the 200 sit-ups challenge to increase core strength. I started out with 35. Today I did 261 and maxed out at 67. One more week before that final exam!

How I decided to do the Couch to 5K is anyone's guess. I was feeling tired, sluggish and blah. I wasn't happy with how I felt and how I felt about my body. I downloaded to app. from www.rundouble.com. As some of my friends suggested, I set a goal for myself. I needed a 5k to train for. After a bit of searching, I decided on the WPLR Shamrock & Roll. I figure half of the participants will probably be drunk (I will not be), so how can I humiliate myself? I registered today! I then proceeded to download a playlist that would keep me motivated (it needs tweaking) and then I realized that I actually need to start running...

I did my first run/walk workout today. more on that tomorrow. I need to go build some Lego's.