Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Early Morning Musings

Well, we did it! Got up at 5:00 this morning and ran our little hearts out! I really wasn't sure about the pounding on my not-so-little feet, but they did OK. My back started out stiff, but loosened up and I just kept putting one foot in front of the other.

I do have a question for you runners out there though. When is this supposed to start feeling good? I keep waiting. Is there a time? A distance? A miracle? When I first started running I kept hearing about the runner's high...the endorphins that kick in and make you feel so good. I didn't feel it when I started running from fire hydrant to fire hydrant and they said "run farther". I didn't feel it when I ran a mile and they said "run farther". I didn't feel it running a 5K and they said "run farther". I didn't feel it when I ran a 10K and they said "run farther". I didn't feel it when I ran 9.05 miles Sunday either...I am REALLY hoping I feel it sometime during my training for the 1/2 marathon I've signed up for in November! Don't get me wrong. I enjoy running to a certain extent. It isn't easy for me, I struggle mightily, but I do enjoy getting out there and being active. I really enjoy the races. There is such camaraderie out there with the racers and spectators and volunteers. It just makes you kind of smile inside even when your thighs are on fire and your calves are so knotted up you are sure you aren't going to be walking anywhere for the next week after the race.

Anyway, I ramble, on with this mornings run. It was really humid and there was lightening in the sky far, far away. Looked pretty cool though! We took off from the house for our little run around the block. If we go twice around our block it turns out to be 3.19 miles...a good distance for us. This morning we did the first mile in 10:12. Not too bad, but I think I could have done a little better if my back hadn't been so stiff. Mile two was my favorite...we did it in 9:53. I am so proud of that little single digit in front of the colon. We have worked really hard for that! Mile 3 we hit the hill at the backside of our path again and being the last mile it REALLY slowed us down. We posted a 10:23 there. Then it was the final .19 which was pretty much all downhill and it showed on the 8:45 pace! Gotta love it! All in all we did the 3.19 miles in 32:08 for an average pace of 10:04. We finished together, which is always cool. Next week I want to bring it in under 32 and we'll work from there! Gotta run...

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Running on...

Yesterday was our Day of Rest. I pretty much did that too, lol! Of course I did the day to day stuff...but stayed away from the exercise. I actually thought about asking y'all for some extra credit since I thought about running. You know...Teacher + Summer = No Thinking. If that is the case then Teacher + Summer + Thinking About Running = Extra Credit...or at least credit for letting it run across my mind, LOL!

Today was a day for the upper body ciruit. I was planning on running after the circuit, but my toes are still so sore. The skin under and around the nail is turning black and the toes themselves look a little swollen. They feel pretty good until I bang them against something, or the dog steps on them! Anyway, we were getting ready to go the club and I slipped on my running shoes and told DH, "No running tonight for me...I can feel my toes rubbing the tops of my shoes!" So.....I think we are going to go ahead and run in the morning ~ that is the plan anyway. We'll have to wait and see if we can get up early enough to do it!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Garmin run

Today I got to test out my new Garmin for REAL. DS, DH, and I all got up at 5:00 AM and after a little nourishment headed out for White Rock Lake. The trail around the lake is 9 miles long and thus would be the longest recorded run for both DH and me. (For sure the longest - my Nike+ told me I ran over 11 mies! LOL)

DS is in the middle of training for a marathon so his training run would be quite different from ours! He needed to run "slow" so he said he'd stay with us - little whipper-snapper! However, his slow is about as fast as I can go 10:00 - 10:30 minute miles.

We did pretty good for the first 3.5 miles and stayed within sight anyway. It was cool to be able to look down at the Garmin and see how fast (on average) I was going and how far. After about 4 miles I had to start taking walk breaks. It really bummed me out because I don't have to do it nearly as often on the treadmill and I always feel I should be stronger. We finished the 6.2 of a 10K in about the same time we finished the one we ran in Dublin in June...right at about 1:07...

From there, for me it was downhill. My "laps" (miles) got slower and final mile was at a 12:49 pace. I can almost WALK that fast. I need a LOT more practice to get ready for both my 10K in October AND my half in November. I hope it cools down considerably between now and then as I really think that will help. We did finish the 9.05 miles in 1:44. Not bad for a first try I guess. Gives me something to gage progress with anyway.

I don't know how other runners write such great reports on their runs. They all talk about all the things they see as they run. If I tried to do that you would get a great report on the asphalt and my shoes. I do look at the trail - but all I see is exactly what is in front of me - I hope this gets better with time as well.

I did have one experience that was pretty new for me. As we crossed the bridge at about 8.5 miles in I couldn't feel my legs anymore. It was a very bizzare feeling - kinda like floating, but not really. I'll tell you what though...I can sure feel my toes tonight! I have two tonails with blisters around and under them. The third toe on each foot. Wierd huh? I would think that I would have trouble with my Big toe, or my long toe which is right next to it...why the third toe? Oh well...they'll either get better or fall off...either way they'll quit hurting!

I'm looking forward to my next Garmin run soon!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Mundane "stuff" day

Today has simply flown by believe it or not. Started out by going to my WW meeting. Why is it that I seem to be the only person in the world that can run for 90 minutes, catch a 1500 calorie deficit and still gain a pound? It is amazing to me!

WW was a riot as we talked about simple acknowlegement of tiny, itty-bitty successes along the journey and some of us got a little out of control, for example when one of the ladies said to get your toenails painted...we were all laughing out loud at what the guys in the room were saying about THAT. Thank heavens we have an awsome group in our meeting that aren't afraid to laugh at themselves at every is what keeps DH and I coming back week after week!

DH and I then headed over to the gym for our upper body circuit. No run with it today since tomorrow is our long run and we want to save our legs. (I wonder if we could come up with a "Save Our Legs Charity 5K". All donations gladly accepted!)

After a trip to the post office and Lunch at GC (Golden Corral for those of you that don't know us well)...we stopped by Costco to fill the fridge with our fruits, vegetables, milk, and FUDGE BARS! We are absolutely hooked on Healthy Choice Fudge bars. They are soooo good! We also ended up buying a new mattress topper hoping that it will help with the intermittent back pain that I suffer from. We tried it out and it seems comfortable enough in the short term but I'm holding back my final judgement until I've lain on it for 6 hours or more, LOL.

I've pretty much spent the rest of the day doing laundry and reading blogs...there are some really good ones out there. My problem is if it is one that really interests me I have this compulsion that says I must start at the first post and read THE WHOLE THING! That takes time my friends, and my books that are stacked next to my couch are beginning to protest!

The hour is getting late and that new mattress topper is beckoning, of course so is the dryer so guess I'll go finish that final load and hit the sack. 5:00 AM is early and White Rock will be calling in the morning!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Whoo Hoo!

Just got home from the gym. Well, maybe not just - I did eat some fruit and stuff before sitting down to write about tonight's awesome treadmill run. My next race is Sept. 11th, The Freedom Run in Dallas. I would really like to beat my best race time of 29:54 in that race. So, on my treadmill runs I'm trying to go faster so my little legs will maybe know what fast feels like and will really move during the race. I am also trying to add some distance at the same time...sooooooooo my runs go something like this:

First 30 minutes book it as fast as I think I can and still finish. (Stopping is NOT an option!)
Second 30 minutes try to pace it out and keep the time at about a 10:00 minute mile overall pace. (Walk only if you have to!)
Third 30 minutes try to keep your feet moving!

That is pretty much what I did tonight. I completed my 5K in 29:36 which is a new treadmill PR for me, then I slowed my pace down. Well that wasn't really working for me so I ended up doing a 4/1 run/walk. (Run for 4 minutes/Walk for 1 minute) I finished my 10K in 61:42, another PR. Finally I was going to walk the last 30 minutes. I did walk for a while, but then I got to feeling pretty good and ran the last 15 minutes. I ended up doing 2.35 miles. So overall I did 8.55 miles in 92 minutes. Not bad for an old Memaw! I told DH that once the 5K is past and we start seriously training for the 10K and half that I will slow the beginning pace down and try to bulk up my distance without walking quite so much. I KNOW I can run the entire distance...I've done it a couple of times. It is just so hard to have two goals to work towards at the same time. This is the best way I can see to do it.

Sunday we are getting up early and are going to follow DS over to White Rock Lake for an outdoor run. I get to try out my Garmin! I think the full loop is about 9 miles so that is what I think we are going to try for...this will be a distance only run. I'm not going to try to test my 5K speed at all. This one is going to be fun!

Oh yeah, Lance told me I ran my longest run tonight! Whoo Hoo!!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Deep Breath....

Sometimes you just have to step back and take a deep breath. Today I had to go to my last class for my GT credit. It ended up NOT being as bad as had been advertised, and that was a major good thing. We got some good ideas to make our classes more fun for the kids, and that is also a good thing. But just so ya know...four days of ANY workshop is WAY too long! I felt like I had been beat by a stick by the time we walked out of there today.

Once home I had to fold the laundry, straighten the kitchen, check the know - the mundane, every day, can't let it go stuff. Then when DH got home from work it was time to change clothes and hit the gym. We do strength training 3 days a week (T, TH, Sat) and run on Friday and Sunday. I am trying to add a run after the strength training on Tuesday, like I did this week, since we are off on Monday and I have pretty fresh legs. I would also like to do a short run on Wednesday ~ perhaps make that a weekly outdoor run. I was going to run tonight, but after the weights I just couldn't...I was spent...finished....stick a fork in me... DONE!

Friday's are what we call our LCWO - Last Chance Work Out. This is because we know that on Saturday Morning we will be going in to the Weight Watchers meeting and facing the scale...Friday night is our last chance to sweat off any poundage we can with a MAJOR cardio workout. This is actually becoming one of my favorite workouts of the week (shhhhhh, don't tell DH he might up the mileage again, lol). We are also going to try making Sunday a long run outdoors. As you can probably tell we are still working on all this trying to get the kinks is exciting to step back every once in a while, take a deep breath, and see how far we have come both literally and figuratively.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Cool Tools

Today I got the opportunity to try out my newest toy~my Garmin. DH and I waited until about 8:00 pm to go for our brisk walk around the block so I could see if I could get the Garmin to work. DS (Dear Son) was kind enough to show me how to get it all started. I hit the start button and off we went! Around our block ended up being 1.58 miles. We walked it in 23:22 with an average pace of 14:39. So much GREAT information!

Once we finished our walk I came in and uploaded the information to the software. Hmmmmm, OK, it took a bit for me to figure out what I was looking at, and once again it was DS to the rescue. He came in and showed me how to look at only one data graph at a time so I would know what I was seeing. That was pretty cool.

THEN I wanted to try out some new software I had found on the web to try to get even MORE information. So DH helped me download the software from the website and I installed SoftTracks. We got that up and running and I imported the data from my Garmin. It was REALLY simple you ask? Well, I did it MYSELF! I didn't need help from DH or DS! This software allows me to take the satellite information from my Garmin and look at it with Google maps, an arial view, or a topographical map...just to name a few functions. I can keep my runs in different folders, I can track my activity by week and month...I haven't even begun to explore all the capabilities! It was just the coolest thing for me to be able to look at the simple route around the block on a Google map when I didn't have to do any more than click on the title of the type of map I wanted to see!

Now I ask you, aren't those some COOL TOOLS!?!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Thanks Lance!

Have you ever had one of THOSE days?!? Today was one of those for me. I was in my second day of class~a training class on differentiation for the gifted and talented children in the classroom. For me, any day in training is just takes so much to stay mentally focused and attentive that by the time class was over I was just wiped OUT! I came home and thought about what our training was to be tonight. Ahhhhhhh upper body circuit. Tough, but doable. I checked e-mail, read a few of my favorite blogs, and almost fell asleep at the computer. I picked up my cell (to wait for DH to call and let me know he was on his way home) and went to the living room to veg out a reality I was hoping I could catch a quick cat nap and mabe re-energize. Got the call, was ALMOST dozing, when I just about jumped out of my skin! WHAT was that? Something had "swished" across my foot. AH HA! There sat the dog with a VERY guilty look on his face...he had been licking my bare foot!!! Well, no chance for a cat nap now! My heart was going to take all the time I had just to get back to a normal pulse again. I just wasn't sure how this "exhaustion" was going to affect my workout! Once DH got home we quickly changed into our workout clothes and headed toward the gym. We did our upper body circuit and I headed for the treadmill. I had my "trusty" Nike+ with me so I plugged in and took off. I started off at my "new" pace I'm shooting for (about 9:40) but after a quarter mile I knew this was NOT going to be the night. I felt like I was made of lead from the waist down. My legs were sluggish - as if I were running through water - I wasn't sore, I wasn't breathing irregularly, I just didn't have anything in my legs! My co-worker that runs triathalons told me once this was called "carrying the bear". Well, I wasn't going to give up so I just slowed the pace down a little and kept going. I would shift from about a 10:30 to a 9:50 pace and anywhere in between. Whatever I did I simply wasn't going to give up and walk if I could help it. I finally was able to speed it up when I only had a half mile left in my 5K and I finished up with a treadmill time of 30:42 (Nike+ time was 31:42 for 3.13 miles). Not bad, but not quite what I was hoping for tonight.

Now, I bet you are wondering why I titled this "Thanks Lance!" With the Nike+ when you run faster or farther than you ever have different sports figures come on and tell you what a great job you are doing. I haven't heard from anybody in a L-O-N-G time, lol. Here I was tonight, feeling bummed because I know I can do better when what do I hear? Lance Armstrong saying "Congratulations! You have just completed 250 miles!" Now, no matter what, THAT is something you can be proud of~Ok, maybe I can keep doing this after all...and so I say with uplifted spirits, Thanks, Lance!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Real Mileage Here I Come!!

SURPRISE!! Last night we got online and ordered my Garmin from Amazon. Expected delivery date was to be July 23. When I got home from class today THERE IT WAS!! I am so excited. I spent the afternoon reading up on the documentation while it charged. I just now got everything set up: the satellite aquired, the heart rate monitor synched, my profile set up, and now I'm ready to go...of course now it is 9:00 pm and it is too LATE to go~but I'm ready for the next time I DO go out. I probably won't get to use it until Wednesday since tomorrow is strength training. Wednesday is supposed to be a Day Of Rest (DOR) but I'll probably go for a brisk walk just to see what the Garmin is like~perhaps walk the small trail here that I've run before and check out the mapping and mileage functions. Can you tell I'm excited? I'll let you know how it works out later!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

How far did I go?

They say running gets easier the more you do it. I'm still waiting, LOL. Tonight DH (Dear Husband) and I hit the trails. There are some small park trails (paved hike and bike trails) not to far from our home and we headed out to run about 6:30 this evening. Once there we found the section we wanted to try and headed out. Now DH is pretty tall, and I am pretty short. His stride is about 1 and 1/2 of mine, so it was no big surprise that he was quickly out in front. Things were going pretty smoothly until I rounded a corner and saw a fork in the trail ~ not a sign of DH anywhere...not even the sweat droplets I had noticed earlier on the pavement! Crud! Now what do I do ~ go right, go left, stay put??? I decided to act like the lost child I felt inside and stay put...sure enough a few minutes later DH came back down the trail looking for me. We ran back up to the end of the trail and rested. (This is when I hit pause on the Nike+ so at least my time will be accurate - more on that in a minute)

After I caught my breath we took off running back to the start again. This was a little easier as it was more downhill than up. By the time I made it back to the start I thought I was done! But we go again. This time we walked a ways until I really caught my breath and then off we went again. Once again I start up my Nike+ and run the best I can. This part is uphill and I feel like I'd probably do a better job if I were just walking fast, lol. Hmmmmm I think, how fast (slow) is this pace (shuffle)? So I punch the button and WHOA ~ the voice in my head tells me I am doing a 6:30 mile!!! Shoot, what's so hard about running a 6:30 mile if I can walk it that fast? LOL! Well, I just keep shuffling along at my 6:30 pace and make it back to the end of the trail where DH is waiting for me. We rest a bit again and agree to go ahead and run back to the start point one more time.

Now I didn't mind this section at all. It once again was mostly downhill, it was mostly in the shade, AND it had finally started to cool down. I KNOW the temps had to be in the 90's when we started out! I checked my pace again and the voice in my head said 9:47 minute miles...that sounded a little more realistic anyway! By time I caught up to DH my final numbers were 5.35 miles in 5:49 for an average pace of 9:29. Dh's told him he only ran 4.38...since we were running together on the same trails you can see where we might get a little confused. The best we can figure is we honestly ran about 5 miles in 5:35.

I am sooo glad that DH has now ordered me a Garmin. Now don't get me wrong. I like my Nike+ ... it is even fairly accurate on the treadmill...but for my short, stubby legs; and the way my stride changes constantly as I run, it simply isn't very accurate when I'm outside running. Not on trails. Not during races. And after all, isn't that what all this is about? How far did I go today? (Obviously I don't really have to worry about how fast, lol...) How long did it take me to get where I am? Did I do better on this run than the last time I ran this same path? I do love listening to the music and military cadences that DH loaded up for me. But since my regular headphones gave up the ghost last run, and the regular earbuds that come with the iPod won't stay in my ears, I actually got to enjoy some of the regular nature sounds this time. Perhaps I'm growing out of my Nike... We'll soon see. Run on!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Finally Made It!

Well today was weigh in day. I have been nervous and impatient about this. Last Saturday I was 0.2 lbs away from my WW goal weight. I have been up and down all week according to my scales and I really wasn't expecting anything stupendous today at weigh in ~ but the name tag my DH made for me says it all!
Once they got it across to my little pea-brain that I had actually met goal I jumped up and nearly tackled DH giving him a big hug!!! I'm glad we were the only ones there, it might have been embarrassing otherwise!

Since December 1, 2007, I have lost a grand total of 37 pounds! Running has REALLY helped me get there! Last night at LCWO I actually set a new PR for both a 5K and a 10K. Now, you must realize that this was on a treadmill, but I ran the 5K in 29:44 ~ 10 seconds faster than my previous best. I had already set eaverything up to run for an hour and I finished 6.21 miles in 62 minutes. I was so excited...that was about 5 minutes faster than I ran the 10K in June! DH and I know we need to start running more outside, the heat here is a killer and your body needs to adjust...I also need to adjust to the terrain and get my Nike + synched so it is more accurate. During the Dublin 10K it said I ran over 7 1/2 miles (HA!) We are planning to do that, but for now - just watch me float around on a runner's high!!!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Hooray for Me!

I am very new to this~but thought it was about time for me to start getting my thoughts about life out there for whoever wonders what actually goes on in this pea-sized brain of mine. This blog will be mostly about the running life I am working on...but the rest of my life will be incorporated here as well, I am sure!

Since this is my first post I thought I'd tell you a little about myself. In November of last year my husband and I went to our college reunion. It was a lot of fun and we got to see a lot of our friends. It was also a wake-up call. We recieved a picture of the group. I was shocked to see what I looked like. I nearly cried - I was so embarrassed by my weight. The "fix" came over Thanksgiving. We went to my brother's house for a big family get toghether where we visited with my niece. She had lost 20 lbs with Weight Watchers. On the way home we discussed it and determined that we would start on December 1. We did, and thus began this journey.

We were encouraged by both our son and son-in-law to start running. Soooooo Jan. 1 we started. We picked a race - The Cowtown 5K. It was far enough in the future we thought we could at least work up to finish it - even if we had to walk some! We did finish and we were hooked! Since that first 5K I have run the Butterfly Boogie 5K, the Springfest 5K, the Dr. Pepper 10K, and the Freedom Run 5K. We (my husband and I) are in training for our next run - the Freedom Run in Dallas in September. I am also working very diligently to lose the last 0.2 lbs to reach my Weight Watcher goal weight. Yes...I have managed to get THAT close to goal. Wish me luck. Tonight is our LCWO (Last chance work out where all bets are off and I try to sweat off whatever I need to lose to make that goal. I am too close to stop now. This is the closest to goal I have ever been on my weight journey and I give running (and support from DH) the credit.

I'm off to run~trying for over 5 miles tonight. I'll let you know how it went!

About Me

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This is about my life. My life as a wife. My life as a mother. My life as a Memaw. My life as a teacher. My life as a runner. My life such as it is.