Friday, December 10, 2010
Unfortunately, later that day my right ankle felt sore and by Monday I was limping on it. After a good regime of RICE helped but didn't get rid of the problem, I went to the doctor. Fortunately, it wasn't a stress fracture but tendonitis. They gave me an Aircast, which helped with the compression a lot. I rested it for a month, and have just started slowly working my way back into running. So far it hasn't flared up again. I'm taking it slow (mostly walking), but it feels good to be moving again.
Sunday, October 24, 2010
I ended up taking a different route than usual, and that lead to a domino effect of decisions about the route that lead to my reward. I changed my mind about how far north I was going to go when the rain got harder. I changed my mind about what street to run back on at the last second, even having to backtrack a couple of steps. And, then, a few blocks down that street, I could see someone walking a dog about a block ahead of me. There was no question it was a Cairn Terrier puppy. That bumped up my pace as I wanted to be sure to catch up before they took a turn. The owner was friendly and understanding about this complete stranger who wanted to pet his dog. I explained that I had had two Cairns, and he was more than happy to let me meet his four month old puppy. The puppy was thrilled to make a new friend and, in true Cairn form, was jumping up and licking me in no time. What a treat on a dreary, rainy day.
Love to Rip and Harper.
Thursday, October 14, 2010
Sunday, October 10, 2010
I'm so impressed by anyone who goes out to run a marathon. That will probably never be part of my running quest, but it certainly is inspiring. It was amazing to watch the elite and fast-paced runners. (I wasn't able to stay too long, so I only saw the wheelchair racers through the 3 hour pace group.) I was fascinated by the wheelchair racers, both by their strength and by all the different race chairs they used. (Yes, I am the daughter of a mechanical engineer.) The most moving part for me was watching the racer with prosthetic legs running. I don't even know how to put into words how or why that choked me up, but it was quite a moment.
Congratulations to everyone out there running today!
Saturday, October 2, 2010
I highly recommend running a race with a crew. I will never be an elite athlete (my time for the 2 mile run was 23:52), but I sure felt like a rock star with my own coach, warm-up team, photographer, cheering section, and post-race massage therapist. Thanks to my family for all the support!
Coming down the home stretch in lucky number 22!
Post-race with the Sister Division of my crew. They kept me supplied with plenty of water and bananas while I recovered.
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Today was my first track workout and my first attempt at speedwork. I’m pretty pleased with how it went overall. Of course, I went a bit too fast in the 800s and ended up cutting the last one to a 400 (I was supposed to do 3X800). I did my recovery 400s as walks with an average pace of 14:24. My average per mile pace on the 800s was 11:10 (10:58 on the first one and 11:22 on the second). Next time I will slow that down a bit. My training schedule has me doing speedwork in a couple of weeks and I’m supposed to do the 800s at just under a 12 minute/mile pace. I’ll try to be better about hitting that next time.
I really enjoyed running on the track. I’m sure it might get boring on a regular basis, but I liked the feel of the track and the fact that I could run without having to think too much about distance or crossing streets and alleys. After having a bus almost run me down the other day, I could really get used to not having to worry about vehicles on my runs. Too bad there isn’t a track close to our house.
Friday, September 10, 2010
Alex is beyond excited to be doing a race. He knows that Mommy runs and has been to some races, so he has an idea of what the event is. When we told him that we were doing the "race" together the first thing he said was "Me too?" His face exploded into a huge grin when we said yes.
Monday, August 16, 2010
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
When I looked up the gluteus medius this morning, the first site I found said this:
The gluteus medius should be considered in every running injury. So many athletes with running overuse injuries of the lower limb present with poor gluteus medius function that I have come to the view that the strength and function of this muscle is probably the most important active component in the achievement of a biomechanically efficient running technique. This is not so surprising when you consider that during running you are always either completely in the air or dynamically balanced on one leg.
Fortunately, it is just a muscle injury, and I have some exercises to do to help the muscle. However, I'm really bummed that I have to ease off the running a bit, just as I was looking forward to my new training program.
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Often I run after he goes to bed, but I'll usually change into my running clothes before he goes down so he knows I'm going out for a run. The other day he was having a really bad morning and was crying and sobbing. I went into his bedroom and held him to help calm him down. In between the sobs he asked me "Did you have a good one?" And I'm thinking, "A good what?" I thought he might have been asking if I had a good night's sleep because we often talk about that in the morning. The honest answer to that would have been, "No, because you've been up since 4:30." But I asked him to repeat himself and after a few tries he finally calmed down enough to ask more clearly, "Did you have a good run?"
I almost burst into tears. Here he was, so upset, but the first thing he thought of when he saw me was to ask if I had had a good run. You bet I did, buddy!
Monday, July 26, 2010
Sunday, July 18, 2010
I had resolved that I was going to run slowly (as I've been doing in training to keep my heart rate under control) in order to run for more of the race. I still started off a bit too fast, but was able to settle down and keep a good, moderate pace going. I knew my training had not been what it needed to be and that I was not yet at a point where I could run the whole race, but once I settled in to the race I decided to make that a possible goal and to use that as motivation. At the 2.5 mile point I decided that the safer choice, given the heat, was to walk for a bit. I took a short walk break and then got back to it, finishing off the race with a strong sprint for the last .1 mile.
My official time was 39.44, which leaves lots of room for improvement. I'm excited to put together a more solid training plan going forward and to signing up for another couple of races before November.
Monday, July 12, 2010
The longer run was a good challenge, and using the Garmin to keep my pace more controlled and slower is really paying off. My heart rate is doing much better, even though my legs still got tired.
My training has been disappointing, so I'm a bit nervous about the race this weekend. I've resolved to be more disciplined about the next round of training after this race, and I think my new discovery of using the slower running to be able to run longer is really going to help.
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
It has been seriously steamy here. I put off last night's run because of the heat, hoping I could get one in tonight. However, when I left work the heat index was 97 degrees. Yikes! No running for me tonight. The temps dropped about 20 degrees with a storm that came through, but by then it was too dark to get out for a run. I think my best bet at this point is to try to get up extra early tomorrow. That's always a challenge, but I will try to suck it up and hit the pavement.
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
One of my favorite things about running is that there is no commute time. You head out the door and go. However, I have to admit that running the lakefront path makes the extra time worth it.
Sunday, June 27, 2010
Sue and my Garmin have helped me diagnose my biggest running issue -- I'm going too fast. Even though I've been trying to go at a moderate pace and keep myself from going too fast, I obviously don't know what different paces feel like. Enter my new coach.
I did a test run earlier in the week, but today was the first run in alert mode (at a 12-14 minute pace). It was very hard to keep my pace in the zone; it kept beeping at me and telling me to slow down. Overall, however, I did pretty well staying in the zone. I only took one walk break and ran for 1 1/4 miles before taking that break. Even though my time was slightly longer than typical for this route, I ran far more than I usually do. Success!
Now I just need to find the volume control so my coach doesn't yell at me so loudly.
Saturday, June 19, 2010
Two days after the race I traveled to Puerto Rico for a conference. It was productive and fun, but tough for running. Shifting from 50 degree weather in Chicago to 90+ degrees and high humidity was not the best for my body. Also, PR is beautiful but far hillier than home. I did get out for a few runs, but tried to listen to my body and took it fairly easy because of the heat. When I returned home I did lots of research to find a continuing training plan post-C25K and to find a June race to run. I had a plan, but it just did not come together as I had hoped. I decided not to do the June race (which would have been today) because it seemed more realistic to focus on July. In short, I'm not running as often or as far as I should, but I'm still getting out there and plan to step things up in the next month to prep for the July race.
Enough of the downer part of this e-mail. There are some fun things to report!
Dave got me the book "Run Like a Mother" for Mother's Day, and it is fantastic! I love to learn by reading, and it is so accessible and informative. I highly recommend it. (The website is in my links section.) Dimity McDowell, one of the authors, was in Chicago a couple of weeks ago, and I got to meet her at a reading of the book. She and all of the mothers there were very inspiring.
Today I went out for my early morning run with a new attitude and a new outfit -- running skirt (love it!), RLAM t-shirt, and a Moving Comfort sports bra. I may have felt hot and tired this morning, but I looked like a cute athlete.
Then came my big surprise. I got a Garmin Forerunner as an early birthday present! Thanks, Sue! I can't wait to learn how to use it and take it out on the road. It's almost exciting enough to make me want to do a second run today. Almost.
Sunday, April 25, 2010
Anyway, numbers! I finished in 37.53 minutes, which was 2569th place (out of 2924). It's my first race, so that counts as a PR in my book! In fact, I'm very pleased with that number, as I wasn't sure if I would manage to finish in under 40 minutes.
The girl who is flying on the left side of the picture passed me seconds later.
Saturday, April 24, 2010
I am fairly certain that I will end up having to walk for part of the race, but I'm happy to be pleasantly surprised if I don't. The forecast calls for rain, which will be something new for me, but I have a cap and will clean off my glasses as needed. Mostly, I am trying to keep a clear head and positive attitude that this race is all about the experience and I just want to enjoy it. I will report back when it's over.
W8D1: 2.64 miles, 34.21 minutes
W8D2: 2.23 miles, 34.32 minutes
W8D3: 2.4 miles, 30.53 minutes
W9D1: 2.56 miles, 32.11 minutes
W9D2: 1.13 miles, 13.26 minutes (had to shorten for time)
Monday, April 12, 2010
I did come up with a set of goals in terms of races for the year. My goal was to do three 5Ks this year. That seemed very reasonable for a first-timer, yet I've found that, even before running my first race, I'm starting to think that that isn't enough, and I've been itching to add more races. I've at least convinced myself to not sign up for any more until I've gotten the first one under my belt, but in all likelihood, I'll end up adding a couple more. Here are the races I've committed to:
1. Ravenswood Run: Perfect timing for the first race and a nice neighborhood run.
2. Fleet Feet Sports Women's Festival: I thought it would be fun to do a women only race.
3. Hot Chocolate: Fitting, as this is the race that pushed me over the edge into this adventure last year. At some point I will write more about getting started with running, but last year I watched my friend Sue run the Hot Chocolate 15K and decided that maybe I could run a 5K. She's going to run it with me.
That's a good line up and well spaced, but I think I might want to add one in June and one in September. We'll see about that. I don't want to put the cart ahead of the horse. At this point, I have no idea how many would be too many and how many would be just right.
W7D1: 2.43 miles, 33.14 minutes
W7D2: 2.4 miles, 33.03 minutes (lots of walking)
W7D1: 2.4 miles, 32.01 minutes
Monday, April 5, 2010
Active.com had a useful post on Facebook today called 5 Common Hip Injuries You Can Fix. Reading that makes me think that the pain in my left hip is bursitis and not ITB syndrome. I've found some exercises to try and will ice it down after the next run. Hopefully that will bring some relief.
W6D2 (second attempt): 2.23 miles, 30.46 minutes (only did 8 1/2 minutes of the second 10 minute run)
W6D3: 2.23 miles, 29.03 minutes
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
On the plus side, I saw the first tulip and daffodil flowers of the season on this run, so that was a nice boost for my spirits.
W6D1: 2.23 miles, 30.50 minutes
W6D2: 2 miles, 27.01 minutes
Saturday, March 27, 2010
W5D3: 2 miles, 25.53 minutes
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
I was quite nervous about tonight's run because I had been struggling with running for five minutes at a time, and tonight I was supposed to run for eight minutes twice. However, the battery technique helped me have an ease to my running that has never existed before. I almost felt like my hips were pulling back as I ran and like there was an element of floating to my movement. After the first eight minute segment, I felt like I could have kept on running, which is good because my next outing calls for 20 minutes of running.
W5D2: 2.23 miles, 30.10 minutes
Monday, March 22, 2010
I have a few main cross-training options that I try to work in: the 30 Day Shred, workouts recorded from FitTV (mostly from In Shape with Sharon Mann), riding the exercise bike, and yoga.
I discovered the Shred in December, shortly after I decided to start training for a 5K. I find it very motivating and challenging. Plus, as someone who is not good about making time for exercise, the short workout length is great. I don't like doing it every day, as I think that is too repetitive and hard on my body, but as a workout to integrate into my overall training, it's definitely a keeper.
I started recording FitTV shows several years ago, and after a lot of trial and error discovered that Sharon Mann's shows worked really well for me. Good, short workouts that are high on challenge, but low on annoying host patter. My favorite is her ball/yoga combo, which is a terrific core workout that ends with a segment of yoga poses.
One of my favorite exercise sites that I've found combines the 30 Day Shred and running, which is ideal for me. I will try to add a button for the site on the sidebar, but it can also be found at Shredheads.
I did manage to do the first day of Week 5. The weather was nasty on Saturday so I ran at the fitness center. I think that helped me stay on track with the 5 minute runs. I also experiemented with listening to a podcast instead of music, hoping that would make the time go a bit faster and it did. I don't think I would do that running outside, but for the treadmill, it's a good solution.
W5D1: 2.1 miles, 31 minutes (treadmill, includes warm up and cool down)
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
On the first run, I couldn't do five minutes of running at all.
On the second run, I did the first five, but messed up the last five when I miscounted the time. (Simple oversight or my subconscious taking over? You be the judge.) In my defense, when I realized the error, I did run for another minute. I also had a slight rest in the second five getting stuck at a light.
On the third run, I took advantage of daylight savings time to run after putting my son down for bed. However, his stalling tactics delayed my start enough that I couldn't do the whole run because of darkness. The first half of the run felt great. Terrific warm up walk, the three minute run was a breeze, and even the five minute run was tolerable.
Therefore, I decided I had to do at least one more day of Week 4 before moving on. Tonight I had enough daylight to get in the full run, and I did the whole thing. It was hard, but it's amazing what concrete goals can do for you.
Prior to starting Week 4 I peeked ahead to Week 5 so I know what's ahead of me and how impossible it seems, but for now I am going to bask in the accomplishment of tonight's run and leave the dread of what's to come far behind.
W4D1: 2 miles, 27.09 minutes
W4D2: 2.3 miles, 31.30 minutes
W4D3: 2 miles, 25.42 minutes
W4D4: 2.14 miles, 29.00 minutes
Sunday, March 7, 2010
I just took a peek at the Week Four workouts. Yikes! Two sets of 3 minutes and 5 minutes of running?! Who thought that was a good idea?
W3D2: 2.08 miles, 26.30 minutes
W3D3: 1.97 miles, 26.17 minutes
Friday, March 5, 2010
W3D1: 1.78 miles, 23.08 minutes
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
Week Two went pretty well in hindsight. I still wasn't feeling back to normal and wasn't sleeping well with the travel and time difference, but I got in three runs with a strong last run. This week really showed me that my good run in Florida wasn't a fluke and that I do run better outside. Running on the treadmill provides structure, but I'm definitely starting to prefer the organic pacing of running outside.
Not that Chicago winters necessarily give you the option to run outside. I know plenty of people do, but I have a lot of concern about getting injured. I know two people who have suffered serious broken bones from slipping on ice and that's a real mental block for me. I struggled to come up with a good answer for winter running once I decided to embark on this journey. After exploring several options, I decided to join the Chicago Park District fitness center. Reasonably priced and very close to home. It's been a good solution for these nasty winter days, but it has also only reinforced the idea that I don't like going somewhere to work out. I feel like the time to and from the gym is wasted time, and I prefer the privacy of my own home or the solitude of the outdoors for working out. Fortunately, daylight savings time is right around the corner, so there will be more daylight to get runs in during the week, and the weather should be continuing to improve as well.W2D1: 2.0 miles, 30 minutes (treadmill, includes warm up and cool down)
W2D2: 1.67 miles, 25 minutes (treadmill, includes warm up and cool down)
W2D3: 2.12 miles, 29.01 minutes
Sunday, February 21, 2010
I had a sinus infection during Week One and got food poisoning this week. Fingers crossed that Week Three (and beyond) will be healthy!
W1D3: 2.02 miles, 30 minutes (treadmill, includes warm up and cool down)
Thursday, February 18, 2010
As is often the case (Why? I don't know.), I got sick before we left on our trip. Just a cold, but still annoying. My first run was going to be on Monday, and since all the advice I had read about running when you are sick says to get out there if the problem is above your shoulders, I did. I didn't feel great, but the 60 degree weather and sun was glorious, and it felt good to be outside and moving. I cut the run slightly short because the sidewalk ran out a little shy of where I planned to turn around, but I tacked a little more distance on at the end and stopped around 23 minutes, thinking that wasn't so bad for being out when I didn't feel well. As it turns out, I had a better run than I realized. Now that we are home I mapped the run and did 1.92 miles in 23:11 minutes (which includes the warm up) -- not bad at all! On the day of the run, I felt good about getting out and thought that the run actually helped clear my head literally and was good for the cold. So, I'm feeling pretty good about this start. Then Day 2 arrives...
I feel far worse on Tuesday. Terrible night's sleep, more congested, raspier cough. However, buoyed by my success the day before, I soldier on and plan to go out and run. As I'm getting ready it becomes very clear that this is not going to be such a good idea. I quickly adjust my expectations and decide to take a short walk. I walked for 16 minutes and, after mapping it today, managed 1.03 miles. Not even a normal walking pace for me, but at least I got out and did something.
I am now suffering from a full-blown sinus infection and don't know when my next run is going to happen. I have grand illusions of getting on the bike at some point today, but it's more likely that I will take another nap.
I have more to say about what I've been doing over the past 3+ months and my plans for this blog, but this saga was long enough for now. More later...
W1D1: 1.92 miles, 23:11