Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Importance of Rest

Tonight when I went for my run I learned how important the day of rest really was.  When I started running in the beginning weeks I would run each night if I had time available.  Even if my legs were a little sore I would get out there.  I was doing alright.  The past couple of weeks have been a bit busier and I’ve been forced to take days off in between my evening jogs.  The latest example was this past weekend, I ran on Saturday afternoon, walked in the Susan G. Komen walk on Sunday, was busy on Monday, so didn’t get out at all, and tonight I was finally able to get out.  I was able to run further than I have since I started training again.  At one point I had to stop to retie my shoe laces, if I hadn’t done that I think I’d have kept going even longer.

I’m definitely proud of my achievements, and look forward to my run on Thursday.  Tomorrow will be another day off, and hopefully Thursday I do better than today!  Also, I have a new motivation, I signed up for the Get Your Rear in Gear run on October 13th, and I’m running it, my first 5k!  I’m really excited and want to make sure I’m able to run the whole thing, or at least most of it!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Keep on Running

Over the past week I’ve continued to improve in my running, my new shoes don’t hurt as much, which I’m glad it was just me and not the shoes.  I’m also building my endurance to keep on running longer.  I don’t currently monitor my time or pace while I’m running because I’m keeping time with my iPhone in my pocket while I’m running, but I really want to get a Garmin Forerunner 10, but I can’t find any in the stores around here.  I think it would be a great help and motivation to keep me going longer.

I walked in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure today.  This is the first year I’ve DSCN0063participated in these types of events and I really like them.  Seeing the people who have survived the things I’m walking/running for is really inspiring.  It also keeps me going when I think my legs hurt, I just think of what some of these people have gone through.

When I got home from the race I went looking to see if there were any other causes that interested me that I could race for.  I’m determined to start running these races, so far I’ve only walked.  I found one called Get Your Rear In Gear for colon cancer.  I would really like to run this one as it hits home in my family and it’s something I’ve supported for a long time.  The race is in 3 weeks though, and I’m not sure I’m ready to run that soon.  I was going to have my first real running 5k in November at the Jingle Bell Run.  I’m going to have to see how this week goes and if I can get up the nerves to sign up for the run.  I don’t think I’d have anyone else who would want to run it with me, so I’ll see how gutsy I end up feeling.

I’m going to keep on running as I’m determined to meet my goals.  I have a half marathon I want to run next year (Brewers Mini Marathon) and several 5k’s before then.  Just going to keep on running.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Accomplishments and Setbacks

This weekend I participated in the Al’s Run and Walk for Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin.  It was really something to see the turnout, about 14,000 people wereIMG_1115 there to run or walk to support the hospital.  I did the 5K walk, although there was also an 8K walk as well.  With this being one of my first walks I opted for the shorter version.  I finished it in about 50 minutes or so.  Once I got home from the walk I wanted to go for a run, although my lungs just weren’t seeming up to it, which really surprised me since I had gone for a run the previous morning and did great.  I’ve been getting over a cold, so maybe that has something to do with it, not just a head cold, but it’s been in my lungs too.

Tonight I also went for a run, although I ran into similar issues where I just couldn’t go as long.  I had eaten dinner around 4:30, and went out around 6:30.  I’m thinking I should have either waited to eat, or waited longer to run.  Tomorrow it’s supposed to rain, so I’m not planning on getting out to run since I have some things to get done around the house, but Tuesday I’m going to get out again, hopefully the outcome will be better.  I felt like I was doing so well for a while, and now I feel like I’m starting out again.  It looks like when I’m actually running I’m keeping a 12:00 min/mi pace, it’s just keeping that going without walking that I’m striving for.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Lungs vs Legs

When I started running my main concern was my asthma.  I seem to have gotten that under control with the cooler temps outside and with more practice.  My knees were then starting to bother me, so I got some knee wraps, which have really helped the knee pain.  Now it seems that my knees are under better control I need to work harder on my lungs.  I was able to get out for a run tonight after 2 nights off, which allowed my body to heal and recover from 4 days straight of running, which honestly I wasn't used to.  On the plus side my average pace tonight was 15:41 min/mi, with my first mile being 14:43.  Every time it seems to get a little easier, which is encouraging.  I've just got to keep practicing and in no time I'll be running a 10:00 mile.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Jingle Bells!!

Today was a day of accomplishments.  I signed up for my first real 5K, the Jingle Bell Run in November, and hit the 15:00 min/mi pace mark.  I realized I'd been making the mistake of recording my warm up walk to the trail every day, which is partially why I was in the 16:00+ min/mi in the past.  I think I've improved overall as well.

I can't wait till my knee straps get here tomorrow.  I ran out of athletic tape to wrap my knees, so I used Ace bandages tonight, which I wrapped too tight.  I ended up taking them off halfway through my run, and I could feel the pain of the impact on my knees.  I'm hoping the knee straps work as well as they say they do, otherwise I'm sure I'll figure something else out.

I think I'm going to take tomorrow off as a rest day for sure, and possibly Thursday as I have some plans after work.  I should be able to get out again on Friday, and by that time it should have cooled off a bit.  Happy running!

Monday, September 3, 2012


I went for my morning run today, it was warmer and more humid than I like, but I got out there anyway.  I'm glad I did since I recorded my best time so far, 16:03 min/mi.  Next time I'm hoping to get into the 15:00 min/mi range.  I tried out a new app this morning, Garmin Fit for iPhone.  I had previously been using MapMyFitness on my iPhone.  They're both good, and they both upload your data to a website where it can be retrieved in greater detail.  I have to say, I like the immediate feedback of MapMyFitness better, but the website for Garmin Fit seems to provide better analysis after the fact.  I think I'm going to continue using Garmin Fit going forward.

I was also looking for a race to sign up for next spring to keep me motivated.  I found a 5k in Door County that I'd like to sign up for.  Based on my current time and last year's results I certainly wouldn't finish last, although with more training I would hope to finish around the 30 minute mark.  I'm also already signed up for Warrior Dash next August, which gives me motivation to get in better shape.

One of the things I would really like to pursue possibly next fall is a half marathon.  I really want a medal, but to say I ran one would be a huge accomplishment for me.  Then, after that would obviously be to tackle a marathon.  In looking at what's out there, there are so many different runs and themes, such as Vegas, Disney, and others.  I've just got to keep on training and I'll surely get there.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Starting My Journey

I've never been a runner, I've actually despised the thought of running.  Every time I've tried running in the past I would end up injuring my knees, out of breath, and in fear of my asthma.  Recently I've begun paying attention to the stories of people who overcome these obstacles and go on to be successful runners.  That's when I decided if they can do it, I can do it too.

I have great trails less than a half mile from my house that I see runners and bikers on all the time.  I've decided to start using these to get in shape and learn how to run.  This summer was a hot one, so I didn't start getting out there until this past August.  Previous to that I was using a gym and spending time walking on the treadmill, using the strength training machines, and using the elliptical machine.  These were all great, but I was finding less and less time to get to the gym.  I decided to suspend my gym membership until winter and use the trails that are close to my home.

My running journey started in August 2012, where I actually started walking the trails.  I have to say I'm impressed with how I've improved since I started.  I use an app, Map My Fitness to track my distance, time, and pace.  I'm still not able to run straight through, but the combination of walking and running has shown great improvement.  When I started on August 7th I walked 1.14 miles at a pace of 19:33 min/mi.  From there I've just improved:

8/12 - 4.4 miles, 17:55 min/mi
8/14 - 3.7 miles, 17:21 min/mi
8/18 - 3.7 miles, 17:22 min/mi
8/19 - 3.7 miles, 16:32 min/mi
8/20 - 3.7 miles, 17:22 min/mi
8/25 - 2 miles, 18:15 min/mi
8/17 - 2 miles, 17:43 min/mi
9/1 - 3.3 miles, 16:45 min/mi
9/2 - 2.2 miles, 16:15 min/mi

In the middle my knee had started hurting, and I went back to walking.  I'm sure it's because I could stand to lose some weight, as well as my body isn't used to this sort of impact exercise.  After doing some research I decided that my knees need more support to avoid injury.  I ordered some knee straps that go under my knee cap, which haven't arrived yet, so in the meantime I purchased some supportive athletic tape, which helped greatly.  I even improved my time by 30 seconds from yesterday to today!

My asthma was the other thing I had to overcome when I started running.  I had a scare with my asthma earlier this year, which has made me nervous anytime it's acted up.  I keep my inhaler on me when I run as well as I use it right before I go for my run, which helps prevent any issues.

I'm planning to continue my journey and am excited for the weather to cool down more consistently.  I've purchased some fall workout gear that I can't wait to use.  Hopefully by continuing to practice and listen to my body I will be able to soon call myself a runner.