Tag Archives: beginning training

For The Newbie Runner…

The infamous shaving incident

I’m the one with the cotton ball-looking things around my neck. I have no idea what my mother was thinking.

I come from an era when everyone had to do the Presidential Physical Fitness Test twice a year in PE. Remember that?!  I hated and dreaded it!  I was always last in the run part of the test, and at those crucial times in a child’s life, it can be humiliating.  My last year of PE was when I was in the 11th grade and I signed up for the weight class because I hated everything else… volleyball, softball, basketball.  I am not a natural-born athlete.  But I discovered I could lift weights. And I could do aerobics and Jazzercise. One of my grades in weights was figuring out an aerobics routine and teaching it to the class (yes, this was in the middle of the aerobics boom).  I nailed it, and the coach even told me that I was good at it.  I was chuffed.  But I digress…

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My sister Angela (left) and me; I was 15.

Even in weight class, we had to do that stupid physical fitness test, you know, the one with the running.  I couldn’t even make it around the track once without walking half of it.  I was tired of being humiliated, so I worked all year long on trying to get around that track without having to stop and walk, and I worked on trying to speed up.  I did this after school or whenever I could get to the track to practice.  By the end of the year when the test came, I made it around the track without walking.  I was still last, but I made it around that stupid track. I considered the run a success.

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Fast forward to now.  I’m closer to 50 than 40, and I am a runner.  I’m also in my 2nd year of racing.  And I go out and give it my all.  And I am not fast… although I am faster than I was last year.  And that’s so very encouraging and positive.  I see progress.  And I’ve just begun.

I read other blogs of newbie runners, too.  A lot of newbies (including me) struggle with how slow they run.  Sometimes it even discourages them… “Why do this?  I’m not going to get any better.  It’s never going to get any easier.  I’m so slow.” I want to tell you that you will get better, it will get easier, and you will get faster.  You just have to have patience and put in the effort if you really want to become a faster runner. Sometimes it’s discouraging to be slow, I know, but keep at it.  Your pace will come down, and with it, you will become more fit, or vice-versa.  Running has brought me a sense of good will, good health, empowerment, control, a major sense of accomplishment.  And I think it’s all worth it.  You will too.

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Me just before Thursday’s Turkey Trot, my 13th race.

Weekly Wrap – Redmond Turkey Trot

I’m linking up with Holly from HoHo Runs and Tricia from MissSippiPiddlin for the Weekly Wrap!

WeeklyWrap

Maui Half-Marathon Training, Week 6

Not a good week for training.  Power outages, massive wind storms, rain, freezing weather… I pretty much just kept my legs loosened up for the 5K Turkey Trot on Saturday.  I think I’ll just get right to that…

Inaugural Redmond Turkey Trot 

Woke up on Saturday at a much earlier time than I do during the week (only for a race, right?!). Weather conditions were freezing and clear… and I do mean freezing.

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The start of the race was in the middle of Redmond Town Center, Redmond, WA.

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We picked up our race packets nice and early, took a couple of photos, then went back to the car to stay warm (especially as one of us was racing in shorts, of all things… hint: it wasn’t me).

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Just wait until you take those track pants off, Jamesy.

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The fountain froze along the outside edge.

We managed to snag a couple of hand warmers from a booth, which didn’t actually help the freezing fingers any, but it was nice being warm somewhere even if it was just the palms of my hands.  They decided to start the race a couple of minutes early, which was fine with us as everyone was jumping around trying to keep the blood flowing.  And James was in shorts!

I’m not used to running in such extreme conditions, so it was kind of breathtaking.  Literally.  I thought my lungs were going to freeze up with every breath I took.  I didn’t regain feeling in my lips and face until after mile 1 somewhere.  Everything was uncomfortably numb.

I was aiming for a 40-minute time goal (it’s perfectly alright that I’m slower than most, I’m okay with that), so I didn’t stop to take any pictures of the course.  It was a nice running trail, mostly flat, next to a river or a stream (that I didn’t drink out of), and in places it was a little bit icy.  I tiptoed very carefully through the icy parts.

James finished his race quickly, then came back to pace me the last half-mile or so.  It was nice being able to trod along with him.  He talked the whole entire time, and I listened; and for those who aren’t runners, that means I was running just hard enough that I was not able to carry on a conversation.  James veered off just as I “entered the finish chute.”  (There wasn’t an actual chute, just a nice red brick path in which to “bring it on home.“)

Unfortunately, I didn’t make my 40 minutes, I finished in about 44.  BUT, the good news is that, according to my watch and Garmin Connect and Strava and Nike+, I had 6 personal records.  I’m very, very pleased with how the race went and with my time and with how much effort I put into it.  It’s proof positive that I’m getting better and faster as time goes on.  All it takes is practice (and a whole lot of patience… oh, and hard work, can’t forget the hard work).

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James had a stellar performance.  He had never done a 5K before (a few marathons, but never a 5K, go figure), so his was a given PR.  He managed to place 2nd in his age group.  You can read his awesome race report here.  He finished in 23:16 and won a pie.  A freaking pie.  So awesome.  And so tasty.

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Shorts and pie!

Afterwards, we headed off for our celebratory breakfast.  We did have to change out of our race gear first. We were in the parking garage of the Redmond Town Center, and I crawled into the back of our Honda CRV with the hatchback and changed my clothes.  Have you ever changed your clothes in such a tiny confined space?!  Let me rephrase that… have you ever tried to get out of a sports bra in such a tiny confined space?!  James held up a towel to shield me from the peeping toms.

We had breakfast at The Commons, just outside of Woodinville.  They didn’t have my pancakes and bacon, so I went with biscuits and gravy… the next best thing.

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It was a fabulous day, tons of fun, a great race with great results, a great breakfast, and great company!  While this was not an official “race-cation,” this was a wonderful “race date.”  Next up for us is the Mukilteo Turkey Trot this Thursday.  James is doing the 10K, aiming for a PR, and I’m doing the 5K, still aiming for my 40 minutes.

And what makes this all worth it?  Why, it’s all about the bling, of course!  Happy Running!

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Join Automattic’s Worldwide WP 5k 2015

I’m up for this challenge!!  Who else in the running, walking, wogging community is up for it?!

Automatticians, members of the WordPress community, and bloggers around the world come together for our annual run.

Source: Join Automattic’s Worldwide WP 5k 2015

Half-way done with week 4

One of the purposes of my blog is to write down my thoughts after I’m done with my run, because there’s a whole lot of something going on up there while I’m running.  But when you distance yourself from the run with a day of work in between, the thoughts tend to dissipate. At least until the next run, and then they come back full on, with even more and different thoughts. I’ll have to get better about writing sooner… or get up earlier, ugh.

wpid-20150728_083741.jpgToday I had a nice 4-miler to complete (yesterday I ran 3).  It was a beautiful morning as the sun and the birds woke up (those bird things are actually quite deafening first thing).  I had my usual Breakfast of Champions of black tea and GU, then I hit the trail. Now I don’t need lectures about how I should eat something before I go out on a power run.  It’s hard enough to gag down the GU first thing, let alone a piece of toast, but I know I need something and GU is simply a wonderful packet full of energy once it hits the system.  Love the stuff!  Okay, don’t love the consistency but do love the wonderful things it does for the energy level!

I’m getting really tired of going up and down hills, so like I said, I hit the trail for an out and back, which is not too-too bad with changes in elevation.  But I have to admit, it gets kind of scary out on the trail that early in the morning.  I have a fabulous imagination and sometimes it gets the best of me.  I’m not worried about an actual person trying something (I know my strength when the adrenaline hits, they wouldn’t stand a chance), but it’s all the animals that I could possibly encounter.  Especially as we’ve had a cougar sighting nearby, yes, on the trail.  Now THAT makes me nervous.  So as I’m running along, I’m looking behind and into every bush and tree that I possibly can and trying to make lots of noise so I don’t sneak up on anything hunting for food. Thankfully, no cougar this morning, just a sweet little bunny rabbit who has actually gotten quite big considering where it lives.

I’m also thankful to say I’ve been able to maintain my happy run streak since Sunday, each run getting better and better.  Seconds count as seconds eventually lead up to minutes.  It was a good run.  I even gave up on thinking something was going to attack me from the bushes after mile 2. Yesterday I forgot to wear my compression sleeves and my calves started hurting, but today, I put those babies on and didn’t have an ounce of pain.  Yay.  I even felt strong in mile 3, almost getting to the point where it would be easier to just keep running than to stop (yeah, that lasted for about 0.75 miles).  During my run, I was going over one very important question in mind…

Do I like to run?

Simply put, no, I really don’t.  Running is difficult.  I don’t like the pain, I don’t like breathing hard, I don’t like the amount of sweat my body puts out, I don’t like it when said sweat drips into my eyes, and I sure as hell don’t like the chafing.  However, with that being said, there are a number of things that I do like about running.  I like the challenge of getting better at something that I suck at (I won’t suck forever).  I like the long-term health benefits of being a runner, strong heart, strong lungs, young mind, killer calves.  I like the sense of accomplishment I feel when I cross the finish line of a race because I know I worked my ass off for 3 long months to get to that finish line. And I especially like the bling I earn when I finish a race!  After all, it’s all about the bling, isn’t it!!  I think the pros far outweigh the cons.

Next up, is another 3 miles tomorrow, then on down to Boise on Saturday for a trial 7-mile run on the Fit One race route next to the river.  Considering Boise is about 30 degrees hotter than it is here, it could get interesting.

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I think I have finally found my header.

First and only week of pre-training… done!

I loved the Fit One Boise event so much that I’m making it my premium race this year.  Last year I ran the 10K; this year will be the half.  There wasn’t anything I didn’t love about it… the course was gorgeous, the people and volunteers were ultra-friendly, the post-race snacks were fabulous (all the chocolate milk a girl could want), and the bling was everything a bling should be, sparkly and big!

So, tomorrow begins the countdown and training for this super fun event, and today, I finished my only week of pre-training to dust off the cobwebs.  And boy, do I hurt because I let my training slide.  There’s not a muscle in my legs that don’t say ouch, WTH!

For this upcoming cycle, I will be using one of Hal Higdon’s plans, the Novice 2.  I figure it fits as this is my second year in.  I also like it because the mileage in the middle of the week is doable, and the LSR’s on the weekend gradually increase each week to where I’ll be running 12 miles the week before Boise.  It’s important to me that I get that long mileage in so my body is aware of exactly how much pain it’s going to be in when it crosses the finish line.

My next three training runs will be 3 miles long each, and I have this wicked loop in my neighborhood that’s uphill both ways, with another killer hill smack dab in the middle of it.  See picture below.  I’ll measure my progress on this one particular loop as I will always have a 3-mile run each week of my training.  Today was a test run… not even worth posting a time.  Okay, so I walked a lot of it.  Did I mention it was hot!  I guess I really shouldn’t complain… The Motivator is training for the Chicago Marathon and had to run 9 miles today in the heat.  We should’ve gotten up earlier…

On top of the hill looking down... it's even worse going up!

On top of the hill looking down… it’s even worse going up!