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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Someday it will stop surprising me that I'm a runner.

Last nights run was easy, which still amazes me. I had a stressful day, our dog needed to go to the vet and had a 5:00 apointment. I get out of work at 4:30, so it was, run home, coax limping dog out to the car, lift giant heavy (turns out he's 88lbs) dog into the car, drive quickly to the vet, and proceed to sit in the waiting room for half an hour.

Turns out my dog partially tore his ACL. So bed(crate) rest and anti inflamitories for him.

I was super stressed about finding time to fit in a run, since I haven't been the awesomest on getting all of my runs in every week, but luckily I managed to get home before six, which meant I had time to run before dinner with the in-laws.

Like I said, the run was easy, I only had a momentary bout of "this sucks I wanna stop running" right around a mile and a half into the run. It passed quickly and I just kinda....ran. It's really weird to me to say that. That I just kinda ran three miles. I wasn't even working that hard, so I'm going to try to push the pace on my next three mile run and see how it goes.

I'm doing a one mile time trial tonight, and seeing as we've been blasted by winter weather around here, I'll be doing it on the treadmill. I feel good, my legs don't feel tired or tight. I should be able to push for a decent speed for the one mile. We'll see.

Since it's almost thanksgiving, and everyone has their "What to buy a runner" Gift lists out now, I decided to go through and update my wish list on Amazon. After puttering around on it for a while, I realized that almost all of the things on it were running gear. This is a very odd thing to me. My response to being asked to run always used to be "I only run if something's chasing me." Now, my holiday wish list is 90% running gear, and I'm seriously following a training plan, with realistic aspirations of finishing a half, and wild dreams of finishing a full marathon.

I've even set myself up with a DailyMile account, so I stop annoying my non-running friends with my constant "I ran this many miles! Aren't I awesome!" posts. I have no friends on there yet, so if you're on there, please friend (is that even the right way to say it?) me so I can brag to someone who cares!  My Daily Mile Profile Page!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Weekend Running Win!

This weekend was a total running win. After missing my run thursday, and not being able to make it up on Friday, I was determined to get my runs in this weekend.

Saturday, it was drizzling and windy out, so I made the call and ran on the treadmill. I was only scheduled for a three mile run, but I was feeling so good, I pushed it to four. The run felt good, easy, and I managed an 11'05" average pace. I made sure to cool my legs down with some cold water, and to stretch and do some foam rolling, because I had a five mile run scheduled on Sunday.

Sunday, we were really busy, and I "waisted" the free time when the toddler was sleeping working on the dress I'm knitting her (it's almost done!) By the time she was in bed, I was so tired, and really just wanted to give myself an out and not run. I was so close to calling it, but instead I got myself upstairs, changed and on the treadmill around 8:30. Yes, 8:30 pm.

The run felt surprisingly easy. The only time I was really struggling was around mile 3, when I was just so over running. I wanted to be done. Not that anything was really hurting, but I was tired and cranky and why can't I be done with this already? Co-incidentially (or not?) this happened right around the time I switched movies on netflix. I switched up my pace for a short bit, and between that and the new movie got my mojo working again. I finished out the five miles strong with an average pace of 11'16", which is way faster than my last 5 miles.

Honestly, I'm really proud of myself for getting the run in on Sunday. It would have been much easier to just say "screw it it's too late and I'm too tired." In the past I would have. Instead I thought about how much better it would feel to have run, and how much it would suck to be beating myself up about not running. So I ran. I wasn't even sure if I was going to do the full distance, but once I got past the three mile slump, I really did not want to cut out early.

I don't feel as tired after this past weeks runs, and my legs aren't sore at all right now. I think I'm going to move on to week three this week, and see how I feel. Week three isn't that different from week two, except for the 7  mile run on sunday. I do not know if I can actually run for a full 7 miles. I'm not feeling too much pressure with it though, since I think I'm going to double up on week three regardless to let my body catch up to the distances. So even if I end up not hitting the 7 mile goal, it's no big deal, since I'm going to be trying again the next week.

The other change to this week is that on wednesday, instead of having a "rest" day, I'm going to be doing a one mile time trial. I'm supposed to run it outside on a track. I'm not sure if I'll be able to, but there is an outdoor track near my parents house, So I might try to use that. Otherwise I'll be fudging it on a treadmill. 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Three miles....easy?!

Yesterday's run was amazing. Seriously! I went into the run worried. My legs were still sore from Sunday's epic five mile run, and I wasn't thrilled to be on the treadmill again. It was a three mile run on the schedule, and I had serious doubts about my ability to finish it.

I set myself up with my laptop to watch some bad tv, and made a deal to just do what I could. To try to make the three miles, even if I had to take a walk break. My normal show wouldn't load on netflix for some reason so I loaded up Mulan (I am a total sucker for animation...it's the illustrator in me,) and set the treadmill to 3.5.

The run felt good. I mean really good. My legs didn't hurt, and I only really felt like I was working for about ten minutes in the middle around mile 2.

The best part came when I checked my distance and realized I had run past three miles, without realizing it. It totally blew me away.

Here was the distance that I had trained to finish for months, and I had just ran it without realizing it.

I felt good. I was all sweaty, yes, but I was not tired. I was not worn out. I could have kept running. Instead I jumped into the shower and headed over my in-laws for dinner. It was amazing to me that I had just run three miles, and I was not tired, and I had increased my pace closer to an 11 min/mile!

At the in-laws I had a low point, where I walked in, totally elated about my run, and had the (possibly untrue) realization that no one cared. No one there would want to hear about my amazing three mile run.

Later that night Mr.FitDaddy (I think that's what I'll call my husband now!) asked me how my run went. I gushed for a minute about the run, then self consciously shut myself up. He looked me in the eyes and told me he was proud of me. For doing this, for continuing to do this. For doing this without anyone else helping me or keeping me accountable.

With everything over the past few days, I'm thinking seriously about setting a goal of a half marathon for next spring. I think I can do it. More, I think I want to do it.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Five Mile Sunday.

I skipped Saturday's run, since my legs were feeling a little tired from the rescheduled run on Friday, and because I was anticipating the long five mile run on Sunday.

Sunday, things started looking kinda bleak. After brunch at my Sister-in-law's house (and some running related banter with her brother,) my stomach started acting up by the time we got home. Too much rich food I suspect. I spent the next couple of hours curled up on the couch, or sprinting to the bathroom. After a while I made the decision to put on my gear, and see how I felt. After dressing, I felt alright, so I decided I would go, and run, and just see how I felt. No pressure to do the whole run, I was already planning on redoing week two.

I ran with music for the first time on the canal path. The music pumping into my ears helped me feel good. The weather was warmer than I had anticipated, and I was definitely over dressed. I had put my UnderArmour long sleeve base layer on under my short sleeve tech shirt, and was wearing full length Yoga pants. (yeah I know, so not running pants, but hey, they're comfy.) There was some gusty wind, but it didn't feel that strong as I started out.

When my phone chirped in my ear, letting me know I had hit mile one with a 11:24 min/mile pace, I knew I had started out too fast. I was still feeling good, but made the decision to consciously dial it back. I think subconsciously this was the moment I really decided I was going to actually try for the full five miles.

The next mile felt hard. The wind gusts felt more frequent and stronger. The trail was also hillier on this section, and it's a part of the trail I am a lot less familiar with. Somewhere in this mile, the thought occurred to me that I could just stop, call my dad and have him drive me back to my car (the part of the trail I was running on was very close to their house.) Somehow, my brain dredged up one of those inspirational sayings you see on pinterest, overlaid on some grandiose image of a runner or amazing scenery. I'm not sure where I saw it, or who the quote is attributed to, but right then it popped in my head and kept me running.

It was simply "You will want to quit. Don't."

So when the little voice in my ear chirped that I'd hit three miles, I turned, took a walk break for thirty seconds, and then kept running.

The next mile felt alternately amazing and horrible, depending on the hills I was encountering. I did have to pause my workout and walk at one point, where the path crosses a road, and I just didn't feel my legs could take using the underpass and going up the stairs, so I opted for the ramp up to the crosswalk. Luckily there wasn't a lot of traffic, so I didn't have to stand and wait to cross the road.

When the phone chirped the four mile mark, I was really feeling it. The sun was starting to go down, and I was starting to worry about it getting dark with me still out on the trail. I was having a really low moment, contemplating walking, when I looked up and a huge flock of birds started flying over me. I had one of those moments where it was just...yeah, awesome. The sky was huge and filled with amazing cloud formations. The trail was empty, and there were birds everywhere in the sky. The setting sun kept peaking through breaks in the clouds on the horizon, casting golden light in intermittent streaks across the path. It was enough for me to hold on to for that last mile.

When I finished the run, I had a nice long one mile cool down walk back to the car. I was constantly doing self diagnostics to make sure I wasn't pushing myself too hard.  The last time I ran this distance, at the firecracker five miler, I put myself out of commission for two days, and was feeling the pain for many more after that. This time, I had enough left in my legs to walk that mile back to the car, and to go grocery shopping afterwards. True, there were no killer hills in this run, like there were in the race, and it also was not horribly hot and muggy like it was then, but I still feel really good about how I did on this run.  Not bad for a run that almost did not happen.

I am definitely sore this morning, and was out of sorts enough last night that sleeping was difficult. I'm hoping to go to Yoga tonight, and will at the very least do some foam rolling to try to rehab my muscles. I'm re-doing week two this week, since my schedule got messed up last week. We'll see how I feel tomorrow during the "easy" three miles. (Three miles still does not sound easy to me.)

I'll be back on the treadmill again tomorrow, but man did it feel good to be out on the trail for the run yesterday. Maybe I'll try to do some of my runs outside (with proper gear) through the winter.

Took this right after I finished the five miles!

Friday, November 15, 2013

First missed run of training.

Yesterday's run did not happen. I was home with a sick toddler, and as things tend to do when the toddler is sick, the run kept getting pushed off.

"I'll do it when she naps" (spoiler she didn't nap), "I'll do it as soon as my husband gets home" (he got home late and needed me to watch her while he cooked dinner), "I'll do it after dinner" (I was so amazingly exhausted by the time we finished dinner it was all I could do to manage the clean up and get ready for bed routine.)

In the past, a slip like this was enough to completely derail any plans I had for an entire week (sometimes longer.) This time, however, I am determined. I have only missed one run. Today is an "off" day on the training plan, a day for "Prehab strength training and stretching." Tomorrow is a "short" run (only three miles. Ha.) Tonight, I will (perhaps unwisely, we shall see) go for yesterdays run. I have my running clothes packed in the car, and my parents have the toddler today, so I will change at their house and go for a run, outside, near their house.

This is going to be a challenging run, since the area around my parents house is very hilly. It's also supposed to be a four mile run, which is a pretty substantial distance to me. I have a route I can run which will net me four miles, but it includes a few hills that are most definitely going to slow my pace.

I'm not sure how advisable my deviation from my training plan is. I honestly don't know what my best course of action as far as the missed run is, however I do know that if I don't get out there and run today, it will mountains more difficult for me to run on saturday. At least if I get out there and do this run today, if I miss saturday, I will still  have only missed one run and not two.

The other concern I have is the question of whether I should repeat this week again next week, since the schedule got all messed up. I guess we'll see how I feel after Sunday's long run.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

A "short" three mile run.

I ran day one of week two of the training plan last night. Since it was family dinner night, my husband took the toddler over to his parents and I did my run before joining them. 

I plugged into my laptop so I could watch some bad tv while I ran, and had my arm band with my phone running the nike+app to track my pace and distance. I was a little nervous for this run, seeing as 3 miles used to be a very long run for me. Having it as my "short" run this week made me a little nervous. I kept telling myself that if I really felt awful, I could stop after two miles and just repeat week one again. I settled into the run and was feeling ok, but around 2 miles I started feeling it. I think it was mostly mental, because after I argued myself out of stopping, and powered through that last mile, I felt alright. I wasn't totally burnt out, only a little tired, and I'm feeling fine today.  I spent some time playing with my speed during the run, mostly because I was bored (maybe I need a new show to watch.) It'll be interesting to see what my speed is like the next time I get outside for a run.

I'm still a little worried about how this week will play out, I have a four mile run tomorrow (yikes!) and then a five (!!!) mile run on sunday. Five miles is the furthest I have ever run at one time, and like i've said before, it totally knocked me on my butt. True, I hadn't trained properly for the distance (or the massively, punishingly hilly course,) and it was really hot and humid on race day, but still, that distance put me out of it for not just the rest of that day, but a few days afterwards. I'm really hoping to avoid having anything like that happen again. 

I'm going to try to keep the same attitude with the rest of the runs this week that I had with the run last night: If it starts to get too awful, cut it short. I can redo this week next week. 

I like that what was an almost impossible distance when I started training last winter (3 miles) was fairly easy today. I realize that's not amazing progress to most runners, but I'm happy with it. Especially after the breakdown in training I had late this summer, where I was really close to just giving up on running all together.

I am confident that if I keep myself training, I will meet my tentative goals of besting my race times from last year easily.

I also really liked being able to run without worrying about the time crunch of getting to my in-laws for dinner. I think having my husband take off before me will be a weekly thing, especially as the runs get longer and I need more time for them. 

The longer I follow this training plan, and the more confident I get with my running, the crazier my "possible goals" get. Should I try for a half? What about a full? There are some really fun sounding races out there I want to do too...color runs, cosmic runs, warrior dashes...

I keep telling myself to wait and see where I am after the new year. I give myself permission to start signing up for races after January 1st, depending on how I'm running then.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Week one is in the books.

I had a nice solid weekend of runs. Saturday was a short two mile run on the training plan, and it went quickly, even on the treadmill.

Sunday I had a daunting (to me) four mile run on the schedule. The longest run I've ever done was a five mile race that I under trained for, barely finished, and felt like it nearly killed me. I spent the rest of the day after that race curled up in bed miserable, and paid for it for the next few days. So I was less than thrilled to be attempting a distance like four miles on a day where I actually had to do things after I ran.

I set myself up on the treadmill and told myself to take it easy, walk if I needed to, and just started. I ran slower than normal (3.2 on the lying treadmill - worked out to an average 11:52 min/mile.) The run was actually easier than I was expecting. I felt comfortable until I'd passed two miles, then I started to feel like I was working, but still it wasn't too hard until that last mile. I did a few sprints throughout the last mile, just because I wanted to be done. All in all it wasn't a horrible run, and I still had enough energy left to go grocery shopping afterwards.

It feels really good to have completed the first week of the training schedule I chose to follow. It also feels really good to have run a distance that I would have thought unattainable a year ago, and to not have it completely wreck me. 

Diet wise I was not that good this weekend, but I managed to not go over my WW points. Mostly I think thanks to the extra "activity points" I racked up running this week. I've got my juice on this morning, and a (relatively) healthy meal plan for the week, including already made and waiting salads for lunches. 

I'm still trying to decide if I'll double up on the training plan weeks. I feel confident that I could do Week 2 of the training plan this week. The only two days I think might be a stretch are Thursday (4 mile run) and Sunday's 5 miles. I think I will attempt Week 2, and see how it goes. Since I was originally planning on doubling up the weeks, there's no pressure on me, if I can't quite make the 4 mile run on Thursday or the 5 miles on Saturday, I can just retry Week 2 next week.

I'm hoping with the meal plan I have in place that the time crunch and scheduling issues I've been having will ease up. I'm using a lot of crock pot meals and things that can be ready for my husband when he gets home so he doesn't have to try to make dinner and watch the kid at the same time while I'm doing a run. 

Thursday is going to be an issue though. I may have to try to either get up early to run (yeah, i don't see that happening), or run after dinner before bed (more likely.) I'm not a big fan of running after dinner, since I have to wait about an hour after we eat before I run (to avoid me feeling like i'm going to puke the whole time,) and I get super amped up after a run, so bedtime needs to be at least an hour after the run. Adding in about an hour for the run (it's a long run - for me,) and bedtime is going to get pushed back to between 10-11, depending on when we actually get dinner on the table. 

This week is going to be interesting.

Friday, November 8, 2013


Last night I decided to find out once and for all what was going on with my treadmill runs. I strapped on my arm band with my phone in it and loaded up the nike+ running app, which I have calibrated for indoor running already. I set myself up with my laptop to watch shows, and set the treadmill to 3.5. My goal, for the training plan I'm following was a three mile run.

I was comfortable at the pace I was running at and was able to get a little lost in the show I was watching, enough that the sound of the audible from my phone startled me a bit. When the app announced my first mile, the treadmill said no where near a mile.

By the end of the run, when the app announced I'd hit three miles, the treadmill was still saying two miles. My pace according to my phone was a little over an 11 minute mile (average). Way different than the over 16 minute miles the 3.5 converts to.

All of this felt wonderful. I feel vindicated. Those runs felt hard because they were hard! (well for me, an 11 minute mile is faster than I normally run.) And I wasn't wimping out right around two miles, I was hitting three or close to three each time.

The solution of course is to wear my arm band whenever I run on the treadmill, and listen to it and not the numbers in front of me.

Diet wise, things are going ok. I'm sticking close to my points, although tonight and tomorrow will really test that. Weekends are always my downfall.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The treadmill may be trying to break me.

Well I got my run in last night. I had to wait until my husband got home to entertain the so-not-napping toddler, but luckily he came home (relatively) early.

I managed to get in a solid half hour run on the treadmill, while watching a decently bad television show. Now, I'm almost positive that something is messed up on my treadmill. It says I ran for half an hour at 3.5, which really felt a whole lot faster than the 16 minute miles it's supposed to be. I'm sure I ran for a little longer than that (I watched the last bit of one episode and the majority of a second episode,) and I'm almost positive I was running faster than 16 minute miles. I was keeping the cadence I normally have running outside, when I do between 11 and 12 minute miles (yeah go ahead and laugh.)

I don't know. Maybe it is accurate, and my outdoor runs are not. I do know the treadmill runs always feel like a lot more work. I thought it was boredom, but even now with something to watch, I'm struggling. Maybe I need something else to watch? Maybe it was the time crunch I was feeling (my husband decided to wait for me to head to his parents for dinner)?

I'm going to try wearing my phone in my armband with the nike+ app running. It calculates my pace using the accelerometer, so maybe it'll give me an idea of how far off (or how accurate) the treadmill is.

Anyways, I got my run in, which was good, because I had a really hard time controlling my eating yesterday. There is a giant bowl of candy in my office right now. It is really hard to resist having "Just one fun size candy bar", or "Just one little bag of whoppers." There was also a big bowl of candy at the In-laws last night, which contained my kryptonite - Twizzlers. Twizzlers are one candy I just can't stop eating. It takes enormous feats of willpower for me to leave one un-comsumed.

I managed to keep myself to three mini pull-n-peel twizzlers. And one mini cookie. And dinner itself, which was pork loin, roasted carrots, soprasatta and light root beer. So only about moderately healthy. And over my points. Luckily I still have my "bonus" points for the week, so I just kinda cut into those. I know that Saturday will be an "over my points for the day" day, so I'm going to have to build up some extra points.

I'm going to loosely follow this training plan I found online to start to build my distance. I think maybe part of the reason my runs have been feeling so...blah...is that i'm not trying for a goal. I'm just kinda running until I want to stop, which is awful because I want to stop as soon as I start. So, I'm going to follow this training plan I found. Sort of.

I say loosely follow because the training plan is an 18 week plan to hit marathon distance. I'm not 100% sure I really want to train for a marathon, but I liked the schedule the plan followed. So I'm going to modify it, doing each week twice. That way if I decide that yeah I want to follow this plan all the way to the end and hit marathon distance, I'll just have made it a 36 week plan. Or less, depending on if I decide to drop the "do each week twice" bit at any point.

Last nights run was run one on the schedule. Tomorrow I run until I hit 3 miles. Treadmill be damned.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Yesterdays Pros and Cons

Yesterday was a pro/con kind of day.

Pro side: I made a delicious healthy dinner, I stuck to my WW points, I went to bed on time and so got an appropriate amount of sleep.

Con side: I had a lingering headache all day which constantly threatened to turn into a full blown migraine. This derailed any exercise plans completely. It's hard to even contemplate running or doing Yoga when it takes just about all my concentration to just stand up.

Pro side: The headache never really reached epic migraine proportions. I managed to keep it at the "this could be a migraine or just a really bad headache" level with the judicious use of advil, lots of water, and a couple of well timed bananas.

I made enough of the tasty healthy frittata last night that I get to have some of it for lunch today. I've set myself up relatively well for healthy eating this week. I'm hopeful that my short stint off the wagon is behind me, and I'm moving in a positive direction again. Having my juice in the morning really does help. It gets me off to a healthy start, and keeps me from delaying breakfast until around 10 and then eating some really calorie dense food because I suddenly realize I'm starving.

Since I was unable to work out yesterday, I'm going to try to squeeze in a run this afternoon between getting home from work and heading over to the in-laws for dinner. This may mean sending my husband and daughter ahead of me and meeting them there. It will most likely end up being a treadmill run, but hey, at least it'll be a run.

Monday, November 4, 2013


Last week, after starting out so well, turned into a complete disaster. I fell off the wagon, and hit hard. We were so busy last week (halloween, multiple car emergencies), that we never really had a chance to plan or prepare a lot of healthy meals. Between that, having a hard time finding time to exercise when I wasn't completely exhausted, and Halloween itself, I gained almost a pound and a half last week.

The first sign of trouble was that I was unable to buy juice last week, since the store we had gone to did not have the fresh squeezed juice available. I figured I would take a couple days off of the juice, then find some time mid week to go buy some. That didn't happen. So no juice all week.

Exercise wise, the week started off well. I got a run in on Monday night, but then nothing. Tuesdays and wednesdays are always tough for me to schedule exercise for, our schedules those two days are just all wacky. And then Halloween, and then too tired to move friday (yes I know not an excuse,) and boom, it's the weekend and I haven't moved a muscle.

The real problem was my eating. I totally fell off the tracking wagon, which usually helps keep me honest on what I'm eating. And when I know how much I'm eating, I eat less. Without that check in place, I have a feeling I over ate at Family Dinner on Tuesday, and I *know* I overate on Halloween, indulging in (more than) a few pieces of candy, and two HUGE slices of pizza. The rest of the week I was supplementing my diet with candy. I didn't really get a handle on it again until Sunday, when I started tracking again.

I'm hoping for a good week this week. I've got my Juice for breakfast again, and I spent some time last night making salads for lunches. I have a few concrete goals for the week. First: track accurately everything I eat and drink this week. Second: Get at least three days of 30 minutes or more of intense exercise. Third (less concrete): Drink more water.