Friday, May 30, 2008

I Tried Anyway and I'm Glad I Did

Well, I felt better as the day went on. I wanted to give the run a good old college try so as soon as Jim got home we headed out the door.

The first 15 minutes were harder than last time but I still finished. The second 15-minute block was brutal. My stomach started whacking out a la last night (no dizziness, though) so I thought I should stop. I managed to do about 7 minutes then I kept walking fast while Jim finished his 15. I'm not sure whether I should try to do tonight's run tomorrow or just call it a lousy run and do my fourth run of the week Sunday morning. No big deal either way.

I've got to start posting some pictures of where we run to make things a little more interesting here.

Kind of Scary

One month from today we start our REAL marathon training. No more preliminary stuff. Do or die time.

We were supposed to get up and run this morning at 6:00 but I couldn't do it. I was up in the middle of the night so dizzy I had to crawl to the bathroom. I honestly think it's hormone-related. I am 49. It was kind of like a migraine without the pain but with the added fun of the room spinning in circles uncontrollably and me roasting like a stuffed goose. Same kind of nausea as a migraine, same time in the month, a little weird but hey....these things happen, I guess.

So, looks like we'll be running in the rain this evening instead of sunshine this morning. I kind of liked the challenge of the rain runs the last few times.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

A Long Way to Go, but I've Come a Long Way

Guess what I did last night? I RAN more than two miles. ME! Yes, ME! .... The one who had trouble running for a minute straight. Now I'm up to 15 minutes of running/5 walking/15 running/5 walking. Am I still pathetically slow? Yes! Do I care? No! I'm just glad to be following through on my marathon quest.

When Jim and I left the house last night, neither of us felt like we were going to be able to do the 15 minutes at a time, although we kept it to ourselves so as not to discourage each other. We both were thirsty so we sat in Starbucks sipping for a few minutes and headed out from there. The run was GREAT! Neither of us struggled and nothing hurt. I even sprinted to the car when we were done. ('sprint' being a relative term if you know my athletic prowess)

For the record, I did all of my training last week. I had one lame run in there but from what I hear, it happens to everyone. I haven't posted much because things are just nuts around here. I'm swimming in a pool of chaos in my house, which I hope to remedy today.

Thanks to all who have come to visit my blog. I used to have a very different picture of the running community. I assumed it was made up of elitist athletes who looked down their noses at posers like me. I'm finding the complete opposite to be true. What a fun & diverse bunch.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Addendum to the Addendum

Here is the whole story of that first women's olympic marathon. The woman's name from the prior post is Gabrielle Anderson-Scheiss and her time in that race was incredible. I was unable to find out what she did after that Olympics but she did recover quickly.

A Footnote to the Previous Post

I feel like I must point out that even in her heat-exhaustion -induced stupor, she still ran faster than I do now on a good day. Sigh.

Now I Remember Why I NEVER Wanted to Run a Marathon

I am excited to do this marathon in October, but I had to really get over some large mental blocks before I would even think about thinking about trying to decide whether to prepare for a marathon. In December and January when I was giving it serious consideration, I wasn't even remembering an image that was stored deep in my memory banks. This past week, that memory surfaced.

Flashback to the 1984 Summer Olympics. I was watching my first ever marathon. The best female runners were starting to come across the finish line. One of them looked like a stroke victim as she came 'running' (in a manner of speaking) into the stadium. One side of her body was stiff, she was running with a starboard list, and quite honestly looked like she was either going to die or lose control of all her bodily functions any minute. It was anything but pretty. At the time it was hailed as honorable and gutsy that she was finishing the marathon under the circumstances. She wouldn't let anybody help her or let the medical people touch her because it would have DQ'd her.

Being a couch potato at the time, I took one look at that and said, "not in a million years!!!!" There is honor, there is guts, and there is the stupidity of losing complete control in front of millions of people in order to finish a race that had already been won. Of course being 26 and naturally skinny without ever moving a muscle on purpose, I didn't see all the training and goals and whatever behind this rabid desire to finish the race. Not to mention that it was the first women's olympic marathon event ever.

I'm still not sure what I think of it....but that was my first ever look at marathoning. It's no great wonder I never wanted to push myself!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

The Two-Faced Runner

Okay, I toughed it out and ran in the pouring rain again last night, but I wimped out when it came to going the 15/5. I decided to stay at 10/5, 10/5 again this week. Part of this is because Jim was having stomach troubles last night and it wouldn't have been a pretty sight if he finished the run. I finished both 10-minute runs but didn't want to extend either of them until he's feeling better. It just makes it easier to train when we're in the same mode.

So with one face wimpy and the other determined, this two-faced runner leaves you for today. I'm off to the yard sales to find some awesomely creative things to plant my container veggie garden in.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Coming up with a Good Schedule

I forgot to post about Monday's run! Jim got home a little late from work, famished, so he had to eat before we went out. He wolfed some food down and we went out to run. Bad idea. From now on, I'll send him with a small snack or energy bar that he can eat on the way home (50 minutes) on nights we're running.

We did get the ten/five/ten/five in, but the 15/5/15/5 wasn't going to work. We're going to give it a go again tonight. We've got our training schedule all laid out for the marathon and it includes an extra week. On Saturday and Sunday we had toyed with giving ourselves that extra week to do the ten/fives again. I guess we're compromising and starting the 15's midweek. That's how we did it with the five-minute runs in the beginning. Somehow we have to shift our week around so that the new week begins on Monday.

Our preliminary and our marathon training never have us running more than 4 days per week. Right now we're planning on Monday evening, Wednesday before work, Thursday evening, with the long run of the week on Saturday. With the combination of evenings and a morning, we always have at least a day and a half between runs and a full day off before and after the long run. Seeing that we've never done a long run before and we're not really running any mileage yet, this schedule is just what we think will work for us. The only problem I see is that we're going to have trouble doing that Wednesday run consistently in the morning. I guess that's not a problem.....we can just run it at night if we have to.

I'd love to hear your input if you see any major flaws in this schedule. What has worked for you and what has been a disaster---and why?

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Sunday Runday

We got out the door by 8:00 this morning. It was beautiful out. It was a weird run today. After the gruelling run (aka mountain climbing session) the other night, I thought this would feel like a piece of cake. Quite the opposite. The first minute was extremely difficult. I wanted to quit and so did he. Alas, we persevered and it got easier a few minutes into it.

The second ten minute run started out the same way.....we had almost decided that we'd run two fives instead and then we mentally slapped ourselves in the face and got a grip. We finished the ten, no problem.

Every day I realize more and more just how significant a role the mind plays in EVERYTHING we do. The eating, the running, EVERYTHING! My body is already capable of doing these 10-minute runs without a big problem. My psyche just needs a little work.

Tomorrow night will be our first of 15 minutes running, 5 walking fast, 15 running, 5 walking. I am both incredibly excited about it and dreading it. I'll keep you posted. For now, I'm off to the showers so I don't offend the folks down at Leo's when we head in there for brunch.

The Glass Really was Half Empty!

As Jim and I set out for our run on Friday evening, we decided to take this beautiful dirt road that runs behind the middle school. Neither of us had been on that road in a while and thought it might be a nice change of pace and easy on the joints.

Knowing we'd be returning on the same route, I started grumbling a little (okay, a lot) when I noticed that the road was going continuously downhill. It didn't end. Around every bend, more descent. Early on I was chided by my dearest for being so negative.

Most of the way into the first running segment he realized it, too. We were going to do our entire return run uphill. It was pretty funny watching his face when he finally admitted to himself that he had just possibly underestimated the slope on that baby.

We finished our first 10-minute leg. Not bad (of course not---it was all downhill). We walked our five down to the creek, then started the second 10. We made it to about 8-1/2 minutes and I could not go one more inch uphill. I felt like my lungs, heart, & stomach were all going to end up on the road. I didn't like caving like that but I guess I'm just not that mentally tough yet. That was a rough one, but I'm still glad we did it.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Another Milestone

"I always loved running... it was something you could do by yourself, and under your own power. You could go in any direction, fast or slow as you wanted, fighting the wind if you felt like it, seeking out new sights just on the strength of your feet and the courage of your lungs." ~Jesse Owens

Yesterday was great! I was trying to be optimistic when we started out last night hoping to run ten minutes, walk five, run another ten, and walk some more. The reality is, inside I didn't really believe I was going to be able to do it. I did, however, tell myself to shut up and run....and that I did. The first ten was easier than the five at a time we did last week. The second ten was a little tougher because it started off going up a fairly steep hill. We finished it and felt okay afterwards!

Each one of these early successes put a deposit in my 'emotional bank' that I will be able to draw from when I'm thinking I can't possibly do the next step in the training. I know you seasoned runners out there must be rolling your eyes at what I'm viewing as great progress, but that's okay. I'm enjoying this. I'm getting fit. Each run is getting easier. I'm going to enjoy this season in my training because, come July, the mileage really starts to increase and I don't think there will be anything easy about it.

I'm looking forward to when we're running the entire length of the workout and not so concerned with "can I actually DO this?" In the meantime, I will say that I'm actually enjoying this. The physical act of running isn't the whole picture. What I love is the whole package....the sense of accomplishment, the stretching of my comfort zone, being outside, spending the time with Jim, looking at everyone's gardens, watching the seasons change, and enjoying being alive.

Monday, May 12, 2008

A Day to Rest

Momentum. It's powerful! I never thought the day would come when I was disappointed that it was a rest day. After some successful attempts at running last week, I'm itching to try the next step in the preliminary training.

The temperatures have plummeted yet again so I suppose if we have to have a rest is perfect for it.

I'm so glad some other new runners are visiting here. The more the merrier!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Just A-Walkin' in the Rain

I believe I've attained some degree of legitimacy as a runner. I, the most painfully unmotivated, non-athlete on the planet, actually ran in the pouring rain tonight. Bully for me.

We did the entire run5/walk5 for 30 minutes, then had our cool-down stroll. I'm so glad we went. It will make the runs on the nice days that much easier. Woo Hoo!

Moral of today's run: The wise runner never consumes three cups of soup within an hour of running.

Friday, May 9, 2008

I Did It!

Yesssssss!! Just got back. I walked five, ran five, walked five, ran five, walked five, ran five! Just three days ago I was doubting that it was even possible. I did better on the third leg than on the first. The second was the hardest. I just can't believe I did it! Now I can't wait to try it again!

Just like last time, Jim kept telling me to slow down and that seems to be the key. It's nice having him along.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Pushing Forward One Minute at a Time

I just got back from walking. Tonight Jim came with. I'm glad he did. He pushed me to keep going during the run portions. I actually made it to 4 minutes tonight. I still walked the majority of the time but interspersed more 1-minute runs throughout. I figure that on Friday I'll be doing the full 5 minutes at a time.

My initial problem is that I have this mental block. I don't feel like I'm running when I'm going pathetically slow. It was good that Jim was there to keep reminding me to slow down, conserve energy, push toward the five minutes and move ----s-l-o-w-l-y! Jeff (#3 son) also reminded me to keep movement fairly limited and relaxed. Maybe these things come naturally to most but I am not self-aware in the least when it comes to athletics. I do all sorts of bonehead things, like running on my toes instead of landing on my heels first. So when I say I'm starting from zero, I mean it. I don't know how to run. I'm learning........and enjoying the process.

I looked at a few brochures from Running Fit. There are races all summer long in every distance. There's a 10-mile run in the middle of August which is exactly the mileage I'll need at that point. It goes right through Hell, I suppose you can guess the name of the race. Should I manage to complete the run (of COURSE I will...I'm a marathoner, remember???) I will get a lame t-shirt with a lame play on the name of the town. I kind of wish there was another race of that distance around here but the next best thing I could find around that weekend was a half-marathon in Chicago. That means staying in a hotel with crowds, eating out a lot, etc. I just want to worry about the running at that point. We'll see.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

It's Been a Few Days....

....but I HAVE been training. I just haven't been posting. Last night I formally started incorporating running into it. The longest I could go was three minutes at a time of running, then back to walking extremely fast. I ran almost 1/4 of the time which isn't as good as I'd like to be doing, but it's still progress for a couch crumb like me! My knees and feet were fine....I just got winded and phlegmy...admittedly gross, but I guess that's part of being winded??? I don't know. This is uncharted territory for me.

We're getting ready to try again tonight. Jim's going, too. He just picked up his running shoes today. By the way, I bought a pair of compression shorts and some lightweight capri sweatpants to run in while it's still a little cooler. Those compression shorts are miracle workers! Very comfortable and they minimize the, um, not-yet-lost derriere fat! I wear the sweat pants over the shorts so it's all very modest and I feel less self-conscious. Then again, anything is a major improvement over my dufus-wear of the first few weeks.

I also got my first pair of running socks! Oh my! Those things are so comfy!

Tomorrow I'll give a rundown of upcoming races that I might enter just to have some short-term accomplishments along the way to the marathon.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Seen While Running

Today's walk was incredible. I did only a bit of running mixed in there but I felt very motivated and kept a great pace. I was less winded than I usually am.

You never know what you're going to see around here. Usually you have to try to avoid the geese near the park because they've all got their goslings and they get downright nasty when you get anywhere close. I saw a wild turkey (the bird, not the bottle) walking around one of the neighborhoods I walked through. Then I saw an antique sewing maching and a bathroom sink both used as part of a frontyard landscape. Interesting.

I was going to go out again tonight because Jim was going to go.....then we both had a plate of spaghetti and changed our minds. Probably a good choice. My knees are a little sore today.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Wednesday's Walk

Jim went with me last night. It was beautiful out! I did a little running throughout my walk but not the 5 on, 5 off. I decided I would work into that just a little run a minute or two at a time.....and NOT feel guilty about it.

I went to Target yesterday and got myself some running gear for the summer. I brought Carrie with me because she is brutally honest (aren't all 6-year-olds). I ended up with a running skort. I loved it. Most running items are so tight and show, excuse me, every dimple in your behind. This was different. The shorts underneath are very spandex-like so they pull it all in, and then there's a nice skirt over it all which isn't ridiculously short. I will more than likely put some self-tanner on so that the neon-like quality of my legs won't shock the early risers of Milford into thinking they're in the middle of a nuclear blast. I must say, it was nice to fit into a medium with no problem and have it not be tight. I guess even though I'm not really losing much, my body is changing somewhat and for that I am thankful.

I've got to say I'm growing accustomed to the exercise and chomping at the bit to keep moving ahead!