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Posts Tagged ‘Running’

My niece and I had decided to run in the Quad City Marathon this month.  We were both going to use the same training program so that we could support each other.  Things started out swimmingly.  She’s a bit faster than me, but that’s ok.  We had talked about that and we were ok with running our own race at our own pace.

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Our Playground Workout

I quickly found a friend to train with to help keep me motivated.  Thanks to her, I started getting up early to run.  The hours passed quickly and I enjoyed our time together.  We were motivating each other.  I felt blessed because she slowed down her pace to keep me company and I motivated her to keep going.

I had already modified the training plan to account for my husband’s work schedule.  My kids aren’t old enough to stay home alone and hiring a babysitter that often is just not in the budget.  So sometimes, the run had to go by the wayside so I could take care of the kids.  Thankfully, my running partner was ok with that…she had been there, done that, and was very understanding.

But then injury hit.  My knee acted up for a couple of days, and since I had struggled with it last year during my half, I made sure I took care of it.  Then my plantar fasciitis flared.  That sidelined me for a while.  We did water jogging, weight lifting, bike riding and rested.  It eventually went away.  I thought I was home free, barring the occasional summer cold.

I always knew that I was a slow runner…12-15 minutes per mile is my average, depending on the race and the heat.  The long runs kept getting longer.  The time I spent away from home kept getting longer.  I started getting discouraged, especially when it felt like I wasn’t making any progress.  I just couldn’t get faster.  I was doing ok on the longer runs, for the most part.  But things were slowly breaking down.

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A hot workout…not a great experience

My breaking point was a scheduled 18 mile run.  I knew it was going to take me a while – at least 4.5 hours to finish.  Have you ever thought about what you can do in 4.5 hours?  You can watch all of Gone With the Wind (and have time left over), you can do 3 loads of laundry, you can read an entire book (maybe even 2).  Most importantly, you can help your husband by watching the little kids so that he can work on the home remodel.  And who really wants to get up at 4:15 in the morning to go for a run so that you can be home in time to do other things?  Not this girl…so the run didn’t happen.  Family first.

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Kiddos reading in the hallway

 

It was at that point that I started feeling like maybe the full 26.2 wasn’t going to happen for me.

Over the next few days, I talked to my niece; I talked to my running partner; I talked to my husband; and I talked to myself.  It was a difficult decision.  I knew I could do the half.  I did one last year and I had felt reasonably good during my 12+ mile runs.  But deep down, I wanted my first marathon experience to be good.  I did not want to be that runner that was crossing the finish line after 6.5 hours…with the finish line being partially dismantled, the sag wagon dogging my footsteps, not having seen any of the race volunteers or refreshment tables for the last 2 hours.  I wanted to cross the finish line earlier than that.

I wanted my marathon experience to be good…not a straggling, suffering, guilt-laden one.

At that point, I decided to do the half.

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My favorite view on my favorite path.

It was a load that fell off my shoulders.  I felt good about my decision; disappointed, but good.  I felt like I was letting people down; that I was giving up.  To a certain extent, I still feel that way.  But I know that I’m not ready to run 26.2 miles the way I want to run them.  Making that decision freed up my time to focus on my kids, the big projects we have going on at home, and to focus on my husband (not in that order).  While he supports my running and is at every finish line he can be at, he didn’t like me being gone so long, running alone in the partial dark, and running the chance of getting hurt.

I know that when I lace up my shoes on Sunday to run the half, it will be fine.  He will be at the finish line waiting for me with a hug and a kiss.  Most of my kids will be there to surround me with hugs.  They will be proud of me no matter what distance I run.

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Week 3 was hard for me for several reasons – primarily due to schedule, but I also got hit with the crud that’s going around.  I lifted for an hour one day – not the scheduled workout, but a strength workout with members of my Booty Buster team.  I tried to lift a second day but my timing at the Y wasn’t good.

On the plus side, I ran in the Runs for Cookies Virtual 5k on Friday (part of my #13in2013) and I beat by goal time by almost 2 minutes.  My first 5k of the year had a time of 47:34.  On Friday, I just wanted to beat 45:00.  And I did it!  I ran it in 43:02.  While I wasn’t overwhelmed with happiness with my time, I think I did pretty well considering I was struggling with being able to breathe and coughing a TON.

Another plus was that I managed to get in my fruits/veggies most of the days and I also got enough water in me most days.  I think I need to keep up with that a little bit more because the water will counteract the sodium in my meals (tortilla chips, tacos, potato oles, etc.).

I’m hoping to actually do the scheduled workouts this week.  I am a little worried about the endurance circuits, but I think I will be able to get through it ok.

Tina said in her check-in email this week that it’s not unusual to be a little unmotivated this week.  I think I was unmotivated to a certain extent.  I just got discouraged pretty easily and frustrated with my general lack of progress.  I have a lot going on and I need to be able to focus.

My word for the year has been patience, and most days have been a struggle, but especially in this last week.  I’m hoping to be able to refocus on it.

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What a great way to ring in the new year!  I decided to get involved with my local running club this year and this seemed like a good way to get

The crew willing to run in 20 degrees!

The crew willing to run in 20 degrees!

started.  For the last few years, they have held a New Year’s Day Fun Run/Walk.  They essentially have 3 routes figured out – a 2 mile out-and-back, a 3 mile out-and-back, and a 4.5 mile loop – you pick your distance and speed.  My sources say they run NO MATTER WHAT.  And from what I can see, that’s true.

When I got up yesterday, it was cold.  Forecast was 13 degrees and I’ve never run at that temperature before.  So I layered up – thermal pants under running tights, thermal long-sleeve top under a short-sleeve T under a Carhartt hoodie.  I added a pair of gloves, and my new neck gaitor and stocking hat I received for Christmas.  I figured I would be warm enough…..

I only knew one person when I got there, but quickly made some new acquaintances.  Everyone was super welcoming.  Luckily, the person I knew offered to run with me for a while, which was good because I made myself keep going, when I ordinarily would have slowed down even more.  I know that I was slower than her usual pace, but it was nice to have the company.

Alma & I  (I'm in the back)

Alma & I (I’m in the back)

When it was time for me to turn around, she kept going, but I met up with someone else on my way back and finished the run with her.

My time for the race (as per my Garmin) was 47:35.  Not a great time, but given that the sidewalks weren’t completely clear and I haven’t run much in the last few weeks, I’m ok with it.  If nothing else, it gives me a benchmark for the year and I have something to work on.

I was happy to use this as my Resolution Run for the challenge issued by Run to the Finish & Mommy Run Fast.  My running this year is going to force me to be patient with myself and to be patient with my family.  I often get too anxious about making progress – or rather not making progress as fast as I would like.

Here’s what I learned on this run:

  1. I need to work on my clothing.  I was really cold on the way out, but only slightly warmer on the way back.  Maybe I would have been warmer on a longer distance, but not yesterday.
  2. can come out of my shell when needed to meet new people….even my funky shoes helped me start conversations.
  3. Running with someone is fun and pushes me to keep going…which means I also really need to work on my endurance….(see, patience again!).
  4. I’m looking forward to some of the running club’s group runs.

Did you run on New Year’s?

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A Look Back

2012 was a good year for me, overall.  I lost almost 40 pounds, ran my first 1/2 marathon, and logged 315 miles since Mother’s Day.  For the local Grand Prix, I came in 7th in my age group (one of my best friends came in 1st – yay!).  I overcame my fear of free weights.

Southern Tennessee Plunge 1/2 Marathon with my beautiful niece Bethany

Southern Tennessee Plunge 1/2 Marathon with my beautiful niece Bethany

Not that it wasn’t without its struggles.  I battled heat, knee pain, foot pain, and a general lack of motivation at various times during the year.  I started, stopped, and restarted New Rules of Lifting for Women and Couch to 5k.  I started and finished some challenges (Y’s Weigh), but started and did not finish others (Holiday Squat-a-thon).

But you know what?  My family didn’t completely fall apart while I was working out.  I figured out how to work around everyone’s schedules, for the most part.  Yeah, it was tough getting long runs in, but I did it – even though they were mostly walks.  My family learned all sorts of different words – energy gels, hydration belt, heart rate monitor, foam roller, and negative splits.  I learned how to plan workouts, nutrition, and life so that I can accomplish those things that I need to finish.  My girls learned how much fun the finish lines of races could be – kids’ stampedes and mommy’s races.  They learned that if you work hard at something, it doesn’t matter if you win or come in dead last – you finished it.  My husband learned that sometimes it’s easier just to let me go running (or let me talk about running) just so that I can get my nervous energy out.

A Look Ahead

What do I want for 2013?  I want a lot of things.  Here are some of my main goals:

  • 5k time at 30:00 (or less)
  • Run my first full marathon (scheduled for 9/23 – Quad City Marathon)
  • Run all Grand Prix races and come in better than 7th in my age group
  • Participate in Muscatine Running Club group runs
  • Lose 30 pounds
  • Complete Couch to 5k (currently on week 4)
  • Complete Insanity
  • Complete Best Body Bootcamp (starting cycle 4 on January 8)
  • Complete New Rules of Lifting for Women

This isn’t all, but they are the first ones that come to mind.

I have the following challenges lined up for the year:

  • #13in2013
  • 5 by the 5th
  • Y’s Weigh
  • BMI Challenge at my work
  • #BestFoot Challenges
  • Run this Town

Will I get through them all?  I don’t know, but I’m going to try.  I will get through them with the support of my husband and kids.  I have learned that I just need to stay quiet to essentially everyone else.  People don’t always understand, and it’s easier to just stay quiet than to keep explaining why you are doing some things.

What are your goals for 2013?

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A few weeks ago, I found a challenge for running 13 races in 2013.  It’s being handled by Jill Conyers and Jen Clement Shoemaker (Marathon Mom) and it looks like a lot of fun.  There are 2 main ways to accomplish this challenge.  The first is to run 13 of the same distance.  The second is to run a variety of races.  I have decided to do the variety pack.  I have a full marathon planned (my first), a 10k planned (my first), a trail run (my first), and several (ok lots of) 5ks.

I will be posting my race recaps here…hopefully with some pictures.  If you want to join, go to Jill’s website and sign-up.  Right now, there are over 500 people signed up for the challenge.  I have lots of hopes for this year.  My main hope right now is that I can accomplish them.

Wish me luck.

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This was the longest week 3 ever!  It took me almost 3 weeks to finish this set of runs.  The first two runs were right before Thanksgiving and were pretty darn good.  But then I got injured and everything came to a standstill.  No running, no workouts, hardly any movement that wasn’t absolutely necessary.  I suppose it could have been worse, but it definitely wasn’t fun.

what you can't buy

If I could have bought anything – I would have bought time.  Time to feel better, time to make sure I didn’t get hurt in the first place and time to accomplish what I wanted to do.

Week 3 is a 90-second run followed by a 90-second walk, then a 3:00 run followed by a 3:00 walk – repeat those 4 steps twice.  My total distance for each run was about 1.75 miles and I averaged about 25-27 minutes per workout.

Here are my running interval pace stats for week 2:

Run/Interval 1 2 3 4
1 11:13 11:36 10:18 11:39
2 11:00 10:53 9:41 10:44
3 10:40 11:15 11:07 12:16

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I saw this on Facebook the other day.

You are a runner

I needed to see it.  I have been the kid picked last in gym class.  I have been heavier.  I have been the clumsy.  For too long, the “can’ts” have ruled what I do for fitness and weight loss.  Things were always too hard, too much work, too difficult to schedule, just too much.  I had to change how I thought.  I had to really look at myself and determine what I was going to do and what my end-game was going to be.

Then a few months ago, I decided to incorporate running into my life.  I entered a number of local races (mostly 5ks).  I was definitely not the fastest – I still haven’t run a full 5k without walking – but I wasn’t giving up.  I even entered a half-marathon.  I walked most of it due to pain, but I didn’t give up.  Even when I was in tears and texting my husband that I hurt and wanted to stop, I still didn’t give up.

I’m not perfect.  Yes, I obsess too much about how fast other people run.  Yes, I am always in pursuit of another training plan, more technology, comparing my run times & paces.  Yes, I probably enter too many races.  But you know what – that’s all ok.  Some of it, I need to figure out how to let go and let my run be at my pace, but it’s still ok.  Will I always be slow?  Probably slower than I want, but at least it gives me something to aim for.  As John Bingham says in the quote above “You are a runner”.

I AM A RUNNER.

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