Monthly Archives: October 2011

5K Speed Training: Week 2

Week 2‘s training looked like this:

Monday: 3 mi run
Once again, an evil side stitch ruined my Monday run. I managed 2.6 mi before I couldn’t run through the pain anymore and headed back home. I have never been much of a drinker which means I’ve never been very good at keeping myself adequately hydrated. Now that I’m running & working out, my body needs more fluids than before. I really need to find a way to get the fluids in me. I don’t hate water or anything like that so it’s not a taste issue that’s preventing me from doing what I should be doing. I guess I don’t make a conscious effort to drink as much as (or more than) I should. Perhaps being well hydrated will kill the side stitches forever. With my luck, it’s something else that’s causing them. 

Tuesday: 30 min tempo
Before I get into how this went, I’m going to share Hal’s explanation of what a tempo run is. Per the description on his website:
“This is a continuous run with an easy beginning, a buildup in the middle to near 10-K race pace, then ease back and cruise to the finish. A typical tempo run would begin with 5-10 minutes easy running, continue with 10-15 faster running, and finish with 5-10 minutes cooling down. You can’t figure out your pace on a watch doing this workout; you need to listen to your body. Tempo runs are very useful for developing anaerobic threshold, essential for fast 5-K racing.”

We headed to the track on base for this one. I did an easy warm-up jog and did 3 laps on the track. Splits were 3:18, 3:20, 3:11. I stopped my watch and got a bit of water then did some dynamic stretching and knew I was forgetting one of the exercises but couldn’t remember what it was. Turns out, I forgot to do the walking lunges. Oh well, I’ll remember next time. I got a little more water and headed back on the track for the faster laps. My splits for these were 2:33, 2:31, 2:32, 2:17 which means I ran a 9:55 (ish) pace. Woot! Go me!!! Next was the cool-down jog. I ended up walking half of the first lap to catch my breath and get some water in me. I was parched! I handed my water bottle back to my husband and started jogging again. I jogged until I had completed 3 laps worth of a cool-down (almost 10 minutes). My splits for this series were 3:53 (ouch), 2:59, 2:52. Overall it went pretty well. The fast laps were a bit tough near the end but I suppose that’s the point, isn’t it? No pain, no gain!!

Wednesday: 3 mi run
This run was awesome! Life kind of got in the way until late afternoon, so I timed it so that I would be running around the time I’ll be running my next 5K race in a couple of weeks. That race starts at 3pm and I headed out for this run around 330pm so not too far off. Not long after I started, I was passed by a few track team members from the high school down the street. It didn’t do much for my ego to be passed by a bunch of track stars at the end of their route but I didn’t let it bruise my ego too badly. 😉 I noticed I started to cramp up a bit after the 2 mi mark. Seems cramping up just past 2 mi is my new norm. One that I could do without. Anyhow, I ended up running 3.03 mi in 32:50 for a pace of 10:50. My first sub 11:00 pace. Woot! I didn’t feel like I was really pushing myself or anything so I’m assuming this training is working its magic! It’s nice to see results and even better so get a nice surprise like that. I had to do a double take when I saw what my pace was.

After a nice cool down walk w/ the family, I was still a little high from the run and decided to do a workout with resistance bands. I did the following:
squats 3×15 
seated row 3×15 
curl to press 3×12  
calf raise 3×15 
push ups 3×12 
sit ups 15 – I used a mat and still had some pain in my tail bone. My husband got down to show me how he does them and when I tried again, he noticed my back doesn’t roll (like a C) when I come back down. The small of my back is very pronounced (really pushed toward my stomach) so I’m wondering if that has something to do with my lack of C-ness. I think I’ll stick with planks and leg drops for now to work my core.

Thursday: rest
No rest for the wicked. I’ve decided I’m going to do some kind of core workout every day. I attempted a plank and could only hold it for about 25 seconds. I’ll blame past pregnancies on that one! Then I did some leg drops. I didn’t count them so I have no idea how many I did. I continued until my abs were burning so much I couldn’t continue.

: 3 mi fast
This is what Higdon has written to describe what a “fast” run is:
“How fast is “fast?” Again, that depends on your comfort level. Go somewhat faster than you would on a “run” day. If you are doing this workout right, you probably do not want to converse with your training partner, assuming you have one. It’s okay now to get out of breath.”

OK, so with that in mind, being the newbie runner that I am, I took off like a flash, exhausted myself within the first mile and needed to take several walking breaks to get the full 3 miles in. The fasted I’ve run comfortably to date was 10:50 min/mi on Wednesday’s run.  I ran the first mile today at about a 8 min/mi pace. Fail!

I stopped just before the 1 mile mark of my route to do some dynamic stretching. I looked like a real winner doing walking lunges, toy soldiers, leg lifts and butt kicks up and down the sidewalk. People passing by in their cars probably thought I was nuts. haha Once again, I forgot to do a couple of the stretches I should have done (this time I forgot pike stretch & hacky-sack) but I’ll get them all one of these days. Once they’ve been part of my warm up routine for a bit, I should be able to do them all without thinking about it.

Today clearly wasn’t one of my best runs feeling-wise and I’m not proud that I had to take so many walking breaks, but I am proud of the pace (surprisingly, I managed to actually shave 1 second off of Wednesday’s pace) and that I persevered to get it done. It would have been so much easier to throw in the towel and go back home feeling defeated. Good thing I kicked myself in the a$$ because I ended up with a pace PR. 😀

When I got home, I did a quick core workout to add to the sweat. I was able to hold a plank for 30 seconds (woot! 5 second progress lol) and did 40 leg drops (20 each leg).  

: 5 mi run
Another great run! I headed out with a large bottle of water half full ]so it wasn’t too heavy/awkward to carry. I really need to get my hands on a FuelBelt Palm Holder type of water bottle for my runs. Once again, I stopped shy of the 1 mile mark to do some dynamic stretching then kept on going. I took it slow and stopped to walk a few times to take a few sips of water. Most of my routes have a few hills and today’s route was no different. There was one rather large hill that was quite the climb and my route was out & back so I had to do it twice. It wasn’t bad until I neared the top and my legs started screaming at me. I managed to run the entire 5 miles (5.07 miles to be exact) in 59:40 and felt good when I was done. The only issue I had was my knees, especially my right one, started acting up during my last mile. My thighs were very sore and stiff the rest of the day, too.

: rest
Rest day? What’s a rest day?? Even though I was feeling pretty worn out, probably from staying up too late throughout the week, I couldn’t not do something. A friend sent me P90X’s Ab Ripper X DVD (thanks again, Lorie!!) and I got it yesterday so I figured that would be a good thing to attempt. I set up a mat on the floor w/ a towel on top and got a pillow to put under my butt. The pillow worked fairly well to keep my tailbone pain-free but I still had some discomfort during some of the exercises. The pillow also made it tougher to do some of the moves because of the extra room between the floor & my lower back. I need to find some kind of solution. I read some people do the DVD while on their bed and I may need to resort to that and do more reps or something. Ugh. I have more than enough padding in my rear, who knew I’d have such a protruding tailbone. Really inconvenient during ab workouts. Anyhow, so I managed to do as much as I could but I have a long way to go before I’m able to keep up with Tony and his minions on the DVD. You don’t realize how out of shape you really are until you start working out. Oy! I’m planning to do Ab Ripper X twice a week to start out with and, in time, my core should strengthen which will improve my running.

I should really keep designated rest days as such. They’re just as important as workouts and I’m starting to feel worn down & tired. Of course, feeling sluggish the last couple of days could also be the impending arrival of my monthly visitor (sorry guy readers!). Either way, rest is important so I think I’ll add Ad Ripper to my easy run days during the 5K training program, which are Monday & Wednesday. I guess Monday & Wednesday won’t be so “easy” anymore. Three mile runs, resistant band workouts and Ab Ripper X. Whew!! Next week should prove to be interesting! I just need to learn how to get my rear end in bed at night because I clearly need more rest than I’m getting.


food intake fail

I have a problem. My problem is my food intake. I eat too much crap and not enough good stuff. My excuse far too often for allowing myself to eat the crap food is “I worked out today, I can have a couple of cookies/some chips/this piece of chocolate/etc.”. I need to get out of this frame of mind and fuel my body with proper nutrition. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to eat 100% clean 100% of the time (I live with too many cookie monsters lol) but I need to find ways to do better. I need to program my mind into thinking a piece of fruit is a treat. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not sitting here eating sh*t all day long, but I know I can do far better than I do now.

Another thing I’ve noticed is I actually eat more since I started running. Some days I’m hungrier than others and that’s fine, but again, I use the “I worked out today so I can have…” excuse and eat more than I should. Fact is, I can’t afford the extra calories. I logged my food intake at breakfast & lunch into today for the first time in months and was shocked to see that I only had 379 calories left for the day. And, that was after I gained 231 calories for today’s run. Guess I’ll be having a bowl of cereal for supper tonight. Ha, half joking there.

I often wonder what happened to the will power I once had. I realize I was far from healthy when I was knee-deep in my eating disorder, but I was able to say no to the “bad stuff” fairly easily. Now, I can’t walk past the bakery section of the grocery store without needing a mop to soak up my drool from the floor. I wish I could find a happy medium. I don’t want to be sick again but I want to be able to control my food intake a little better. Perhaps now that I see how crazy my food intake is in black and white, I may be able to take better control of the situation. Oy. Food sucks. The scale sucks. The measuring tape sucks.

5K Speed Training: Week 1

After the 5K race last weekend, I looked a little more closely at what kind of training programs I could follow to better myself as a runner. Holy cow, there is an abundance of different programs out there! From Higdon to Galloway to Runner’s World’s Smart Coach to just getting out there and running. You name it, there’s probably a program for it. I explored Hal Higdon’s website for a little bit and found his 5K intermediate training program to increase 5K speed. The first thing I noticed when I looked at the schedule outline was that the 5K test race and the final 5K race were scheduled on weekends I was planning on running races. Coincidence? I then started to peruse his half marathon training; specifically Novice 2. Again, the timing would be perfect to start right after the 5K speed training and the half marathon race falls on a local half marathon I’m considering running. Coincidence again?

While I’m still undecided on running the half marathon– I’m a little intimidated by the idea still– I started the 5K speed training program this past Monday. This is what week 1’s training looks like (I moved everything back a day to better fit my schedule):

Monday:  3 mi run
I was still a little sore from Saturday’s race and I didn’t want to overdo it and hurt myself so I ran until my body told me to stop. I managed to run 2.13 mi.

Tuesday: interval training; 5 X 400m
I headed to the track on base with the husband and boys to do my interval training. The youngest slept in the stroller while Daddy ran around and played with the oldest and I did my running thing. Again, I didn’t want to overdo anything so I did a 1/2 mi warm-up jog and 3 X 400m intervals (run 400m hard then jog/walk 400m to recover). We finished the trip off with a 1.5 mi walk along the trail next to the track.

Wednesday: 3 mi run
This run was the best I had had since before I got sick a few weeks prior. I got crampy just past the 2 mi mark and needed to walk for a minute then I picked up the running again and ran until the end. I banked 3.37 mi.

I also did my first workout w/ resistance bands.
band squats 3×15
girly push ups 3×15
seated band row 3×12
band curl to press 3×12
band calf raise 3×15
sit-ups 11 (was supposed to do 3×12 but I need to figure out a way to do them that doesn’t hurt my tail bone)

Thursday: rest
title says it all 

Friday: 3 mi run
life got in the way and I wasn’t able to run but I figure the rest was probably a good idea before the following day’s 5 miler.

Saturday: 5 mi run
My longest run to date had been 3.4 mi so planning to run 5 mi was a little daunting. I mapped out two separate routes and got them mixed up and I stopped before I should have. I still logged 4.84 mi and I felt great throughout the run so I know I could have completed the 5 mi had I kept going. I was so proud of myself after this run!

Sunday: rest
Definitely needed the rest day. The extra miles affected my right knee and it needed the rest. I put icy hot on it Saturday night and it was stiff & sore this morning but is feeling much better tonight.

All in all a good week! Week 2 starts tomorrow and hopefully I can get more resistance bands workouts in as well.

Running in the Dark

We bring the kids for a walk around our neighbourhood every night after supper. It’s part of our routine and the boys love it! A couple of weeks ago, when we were a couple of driveways away from our own, a car was approaching us at increasing speeds and didn’t seem to be slowing down or getting out of our direct path. We were able to get onto the grass on the side of the road as the car sped by and the whole ordeal scared the crap out of me and my husband (naturally). As the car went past us, the driver looked up from what he was doing (texting? looking for something?) and our eyes met for a split second. I could see him clearly because he had his interior light on in his car and he could see me because it wasn’t quite dark yet. I believe him being distracted at the wheel is what caused our near accident. However, we started carrying a flashlight with us because the days seem to be getting shorter and shorter and we want to be visible to oncoming cars. I thought we were all good safety wise until I saw this video today:

We wore reflective belts during our walk tonight and plan on getting some reflective tape to put on the stroller so that it is visible to oncoming traffic as well. One would think wearing white at night would be a smart thing to do (as opposed to wearing dark colours) and allow you to be visible to others. From now on I will make sure to buy reflective work out gear and always wear the reflective belts during our nightly walks.

Take every precaution you can while running (or walking) to keep yourself and your loved ones safe. Tragedy can strike in the blink of an eye.

Run for the Reef 5K

I did it! My first 5K is in the bag. The race had a 730 am start time and it was an hour away so that meant a very early morning for us. My alarm went off at 430 but I fell asleep for about 20 more minutes and forced myself to roll out of bed. I got ready and everything together then woke my husband followed by the kids. I felt so bad for waking them at 530, especially because last night was a little rough for both of them for some reason, but they seemed fine and in good spirits.

The drive there was uneventful. I brought along a banana to eat on the way there but it wasn’t quite ripe enough yet and had that gross waxy/filmy (for lack of a better word) texture and taste so I could only stomach 3/4 of it. The sun was just starting to rise when we got there and the weather was perfect: low 50’s with a light breeze. I got my shirt, number and pins and made my way back to the car to get myself organized. It took me far too long to get my number pinned right on my shirt. First time, it was too low so I had to try again. I felt like such a newb! You’d think pinning a number on yourself would be easy. It probably is and I just made it difficult. Oy! I finally got the number on and the kids out of the car and organized and I had about a 1/2 an hour before the race start. We hit the bathrooms and took turns while the other stayed with the kids. While my husband was in the bathroom, I met a fellow runner friend I met online and was planning on catching up with. We chatted for a bit and my husband joined us and we chatted a bit more. It was nice to know someone else who was running the race even though Steve would be running much faster than I would be.

Time was ticking by and I still needed to warm up. We scoped out where the start line would be and I did my usual 5 minute long power walk around the parking lot then stretched a bit (with the help of my husband for stability, usually I use my fridge before heading out). Next time, I’m going to try a warm up run 3/4-1 mi in length before the start. Steve advised I should do so to prep my body for the race and he said it makes a world of difference.

A swarm of participants started making their way to the start line and I followed suit. We stood there for what felt like forever. I would say there were probably 150-200 runners & walkers (official results said there were 311 participants. Clearly I fail at guesstimating lol) so it wasn’t a huge race, which was nice and less intimidating for a first race. I placed myself near the back of the pack because I wanted to make sure I wasn’t influenced by faster runners and keep a slow & steady pace at the beginning. One of the organizers started to make announcements on a megaphone but I wasn’t able to hear a word of what was said. Then, all of a sudden, there was a loud noise and people started running. There were no chips to calculate time so being at the back of the pack in this race meant my time started before I actually started moving. I started my watch, started running and hoped for the best. I was very good about keeping my pace manageable and not getting ahead of myself. I was actually behind some of the “walkers” but I didn’t care, I just wanted to finish.

I felt pretty good until just past the 1 mile mark. I started to get a side stitch and thought it was all going to be over. I continued to push through it and eventually was running side by side with an older woman. I thought to myself “she’s not stopping, there’s no way I’m going to stop running!” and I continued to push myself forward. Before I knew it, I had reached mile 2. Then I could start to see where I thought the finish line was. I had planned on sprinting the last bit when I neared the finish line but I misjudged where it actually was and started sprinting earlier than I should have. This meant I exhausted myself earlier than I wanted to and had to slow down a bit before I actually finished. I came in huffing & puffing with a time between 35:25 & 35:35 (I don’t know my official time yet). Using 35:35 as my time, it makes my pace 11:28 min/mi which is a PR pace(best pace time to date was 11:49) and, of course, total time is also a PR seeing as this is my first time running this distance. **Official time was 35:28, making my pace 11:26** I ranked 176 out of 311 participants.

The race route was a flat out & back with a loop through a neighbourhood and the road went along the Gulf of Mexico. Gorgeous area for a run! There were quite a few runners & cyclists getting their runs in while we were racing, too. It was clear this place is a popular route for runners.

We stayed for the awards ceremony, during which Steve got 1st in his age group, and then we headed to the car to start our trek home. It was about 1030 am by this point and the kids were getting restless. We loaded everyone in the car and we were off. Both kids were asleep by the time we hit the road.

I had a great time and am looking forward to participating in more races in the near future. I’m also aspiring to better myself as a runner and to beat my PRs along the way.

Sickness and running do not mix

The kids and I have been plagued with a head cold for a week now and, though we are getting better, my running has sucked this week. I don’t think I would care half as much if I didn’t have my first race tomorrow. Having bad runs doesn’t do much for a runner’s self-confidence! I ran twice this week and could not get past 2 mi both times. I hope the adrenaline rush from the racing environment will help me push through the 3.1 mi of my first 5K race. I must remember to take it slow! I should have my first race report up later tomorrow or Sunday.

Hello World!

Like most things on the internet, there seems to be an abundance of running blogs out there. I debated whether I should start my own and obviously decided to give it a shot. A blog will help me chronicle my running trek and hopefully aid in forming relationships with other runners. I am a very fresh newbie in the world of running so I have a lot to learn but I’m up for the challenge!

To get to know a little about me, you can read my intro here. Now that that’s out of the way, lets get down to business. 😉 Let the blogging begin!