Monday, October 29, 2012

Not the Best Day

I did not enjoy the running tonight.  Matt has been fully supportive of my impulsive goal.  I went for a run while he cooked dinner, fed the girls, and got their bath started (I'm not a fast runner).  I have yet to meet my run a full mile goal.  I think I'll have a party when I complete that.

One week into my "training" and I really want to quit.  I'm having trouble remembering what life was like with legs that didn't constantly ache.  Now I'm going to bed, because tomorrow will be a better day.  


Distance: 3 miles
Duration: 41:46 min:sec
Average pace: 13:57 min/mile
Average speed: 4.30 mph

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Where to Start

Did you know that a marathon is 26.2 miles?  Which makes a half-marathon 13.1 miles.  That's a lot of miles.  A couple hundred years ago that would be a full day's travel in a covered wagon.  Now people run it in a couple of hours for fun.  Crazy, I know.

I happened across this article today: A Woman's Guide to Half-Marathon Training.  The first sentence got me:
Training for a half-marathon turns you into a calorie-burning, lean-muscle-building, strong-and-sexy endurance machine. 

If I become any of these things, I will let you know.

One of the main problems I have with articles like this one is they always assume a much more advanced starting point than where I am.  None of them ever say, "First, you have to run for more than 5 minutes."  The running advice I need is more rudimentary:

  • how to keep running when all you want to do is puke
  • how to hear my NPR podcasts over my breathing 
  • tips for not looking like Phoebe
  • the best way to manage all the pain
  • where to procure a bear to run from
If you have any good advice on these subjects, please share.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Lessons Learned

  1. Pizza is not a good pre-run food.  I wanted to run a mile non-stop today.  It didn't happen.  Maybe Monday.
  2. Tonight I tried to run with a friend, a friend who runs on a regular basis.  This is when I hypothesized that I am very good at making other people feel better about themselves.
  3. If I had not so publicly committed to this goal, I would have given up about a week ago.
  4. Running in the dark is more fun.
  5. I really dislike feeling like I'm going to throw up.


Distance: 3 miles
Duration: 41:26 
Average Pace: 13:32 min/mile 
Average Speed: 4.43mph 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

At What Point Do I Become a "Runner"?

I'm not a big fan of runners.  I like watching Usain Bolt as much as anyone, but I don't like people who talk about running as a hobby.  They make it sound so fun.  And it's not.  At all.

When people who run find out that I am trying my hand (feet?) at their beloved hobby, they start offering all sorts of advice and crazy-talk involving running feeling good.  One friend who is wise and kind advised me to start slow, by running five minutes and walking two.  I looked at her and laughed.  She thought I could run for five minutes straight--without stopping.  Crazy woman.

Yesterday, as I was voicing my desire to never run another step (yes, after just one day of "training"), a kind cousin encouraged me not to give up.  She told me that she never enjoyed running until about 20 or 30 minutes in and that I should at least hang with it until I could run that long.  I decided that I could do that.  If I miraculously start enjoying propelling myself forward after that length of time, I'll let you know.   

Training Day 2:

I was very sore after Monday's energy expenditure.  The woman who sold me my cute shoes warned me to ease into them, as they are "minimalist" shoes.  She told me that they would work my calf muscles more than other shoes.  I didn't quite ease enough into these shoes.  After two days of being very sore, I put the shoes on this morning and wore them for a walk to Target and the bank (a little over a mile round trip).  My blood clot leg hurt, but otherwise all was well.  I think I just have to learn how to move in these shoes.

I went back to the Rose Bowl tonight for another 3 miles.  There are signs up all along the trail directing people to go one way.  90% of the walkers/bikers/runners go the other direction.  I went the directed way tonight and learned why no one likes to go that way: somehow it's steeper.  I can't explain it, but even my app confirmed that the elevation climb was more going counter-clockwise.  

The good news is since I was going the opposite direction of most people, I wasn't passed by nearly as many people.  I even passed someone--an overweight woman walking her chihuahua.  Minor victories. I completely surprised myself tonight by actually running 5 full minutes, without stopping, dying, or throwing up.  I did this thrice.  Amazing.  I found myself grinning after completing my first five minutes.  Maybe I will actually like this.  


Distance: 3 miles
Duration: 44:36 minutes
Average pace: 14.37 mile/minute
Average speed: 4.11 mph

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Motivation and a Go-Go Bear

When I told my daughters Eleanor (7) and Charlotte (3) that I wanted to run in a race, they said they would be my cheerleaders and promptly started cheering, "Yay Mommy!  Run fast!"  Eleanor was not happy when she learned that running in this race means that I will have to practice for it.  As I was going out to run yesterday, she stopped me and said, "Mommy, you may not win your race, you know, because it's your first one.  I don't want you to be disappointed."  I told her that making it through the race was more important than winning.  

Eleanor, being my main cheerleader, decorated my motivational box for me.  A run results in a prize.  

 The go.go bear is cheering me on, too.

Of course, the box is full of chocolate and a few motivational cards.  I have a good team behind me.

In related news, I got this email last night.  I set six new records yesterday on my "run."  Maybe I should stop while I'm ahead.

Monday, October 22, 2012

The Beginning

I am not a runner.  I have never run a mile without stopping.  I've tried to run before.  Once I made it all the way through the first day of the Couch Potato to 5K program.  When I heard that several of my friends are training for a half marathon, my reaction was good for them.  There was an open invitation to me, but I thought the possibility was laughable at best.  Yesterday, my friend asked me again if I would like to train with them.  I laughed.  Then I thought, Maybe I will do it.  It couldn't be that hard.  I decided to think about it.  When we got to our small group dinner about 30 minutes later, there were four different types of bread and potato soup for dinner.  I decided the carbo-loading was a sign.

So, I'm training for a half marathon.  Today I took the only sensible course of action and went to the local running store.  I bought some super cute shoes.  I also picked up some compression sleeves (like socks without the foot part).  I thought as long as I am going to be ridiculous, I might as well look the part too.
I wanted to get the pink ones, but they only had black in my size.  These are mostly because I have circulation issues in my right leg (also known as my fat leg) due to valve damage caused by a blood clot several years ago.  This leg tends to cramp more, so I thought I would try this to see if it will help.

Day 1 of Training/torture:

With my new shoes and sleeves, I went to the Rose Bowl to walk/run the track.  I was using an app called Run Keeper, which was way too good at telling me how painfully slow I was going.  Other indications of my snail's pace were how many people passed me.  Here is a partial list of people who passed me (sometimes twice):

  • obviously serious runners
  • woman pushing newborn in stroller
  • older man with a tiny dog
  • woman pushing newborn twins in stroller
  • four year old on a bike
I was alternating walking and running, with more walking than running.  I did the three miles averaging 15 minutes per mile.  One of the things that helped me go faster for a while was a creepy old man on the golf course.  After he started yelling things at me, I decided the faster I went, the faster I would get away from him.  This gets at my basic philosophy of running--it's easier to do if something is chasing you.  If anyone has a bear that I could borrow to train with, let me know.


Distance: 3 miles
Duration: 47:16 
Average Pace: 15.21 minutes/mile
Average Speed: 3.91 mph