C. Beth.
C. Beth run.
C. Beth smile.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Week 9 Day 1

Well, here we are--Week 9! This is the last week of the couch-to-5K program. I'm up to 30 minutes, which is where I should be since I've been doing the program by time, not distance. Distance was 2.58 miles today. My pace has stayed pretty steady the last few runs (11:32, 11:34, 11:37), and the plateau is a little frustrating. I think Saturday I want to push myself just a smidge harder to see if I can get that pace down.

I was excited that I discovered a new way to use dailymile's mapping software today! I can use the hybrid map (both satellite & streets) to make sure I'm mapping correctly. I discovered I've definitely been underestimating on the streets, but overestimating the distance through the tiny little park I run through. Hopefully overall it's been about right. I know I can really map it accurately from here on out!

Goal for Saturday: 11 minutes per mile. That would get me up to 2.72 miles in 30 minutes. Can I do it? (Hope so!)

Monday, December 28, 2009

Week 8 Day 3

Same route as Saturday, and almost the exact same time. Consistency is a good thing, I suppose! I felt much better than Saturday. It was a good run!

Wednesday: The first day of Week 9 (the LAST week of the Couch-to-5K program!) I'll be running 30 minutes. I won't be going 5K (3.1 miles) yet, since my pace is slow. And that's okay; I'll get there. I definitely plan to keep running 30 minutes, three times a week, after the official program is over.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Week 8 Day 2

Today was a hard run. Yesterday I ate too much junk and went to bed too late. I don't really regret either of those things; it was Christmas, and it was a wonderful day! But today I just didn't have my normal energy or motivation.

At one point, about 22 minutes into my 28 minute run, I almost stopped. I was feeling so winded, and I think that kind of panicked me. I slowed down to a walk for about a second then decided to keep running. I'm so glad I did! Within 30 seconds or so, I got my "second wind," and the rest of the run was easier. I even ran about 30 seconds extra, since I was so close to home at 28 minutes. So much of this is psychological, and though the run was tough today, I felt great that I got through that "wall" when I wanted to stop.

And, lo and behold, my pace improved again! Pace today was 11:32 per mile, an 18 second a mile improvement over Wednesday! I went 2.47 miles. (In case you didn't notice, that's very close to 2.5 miles!)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Week 8 Day 1

Wow, today went great! It was a 28-minute run, and I was shocked when I mapped it. I improved my pace on this longer run! I went 2.36 miles, for a pace of 11:50 a mile. Yee haw!

I changed the way I was using the mapping software so that it was more accurate. I was able to factor in street crossings and (somewhat) cul-de-sacs. I've probably been going a little further in most of my other runs too. (However, I used this new mapping method for the first time Monday, so I definitely, genuinely improved my pace over that run.)

A 10:00 per mile pace is still a ways off, but I bet I'll get there.

I've always said, "I hate running. I admire people who do it, but I don't think I'll ever be a runner." Here I am, doing it, and even enjoying it. Very, very cool.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Week 7 Day 3

2.01 miles today, pace 12:31/mile.

This run was actually enjoyable. I think keeping my pace consistent was immensely helpful too. Saturday I started too fast and that's part of what made it so hard.

I usually listen to podcasts as I run. Saturday I had music on instead, and I think I automatically adjusted my pace to the music. Not good. I went back to a podcast today, and that was a good thing. I mean, hearing about Raptor Rex on Quirks and Quarks doesn't inspire me to run at any particular speed; I can keep the pace I feel comfortable with!

I know this makes me a little weird, since most people listen to actual music while they run. But I prefer to think I'm just unique.

I'm ready to add three more minutes on Wednesday! And I'm so glad today's run was so positive; after Saturday's I was kind of dreading today. My good attitude is back now!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Week 7 Day 2

I really felt like I pushed myself a lot harder today. I went about 1/8 of a mile further than Wednesday (and it felt like about 5 miles further!) I improved my pace by 38 seconds a mile, from 12:37 to 11:59.

Honestly, though, Monday may not be this good. I really didn't like how I felt during or immediately after the run--I just pushed too hard. I prefer taking it a little easier than that; even though the running is still hard when I take it easy, I feel great when I get home. It's been about ten minutes since I got home, and my lungs are still not entirely happy with me!

I have one more 25-minute run, on Monday, and then Wednesday it'll be 28 minutes!

Edited to add: I just realized what a big deal this is. I ran 2.09 miles today. That's the first time I've ever run over two miles. Ever. In my 32 years. Wow!! I am giving myself a huge pat on the back, and taking a minute to savor that victory, and to thank God for the strength to hit such a cool milestone! In another few weeks, I hope to be up to three miles.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Week 7 Day 1

I took Monday off--the first time I've missed one of my regular training days. But I was up a good chunk of the night with an ear infection, and so I felt justified taking a "sick day"!

Today was hard. I was barely awake; I got up later than I'd planned and needed to get out ASAP so that I could run before my husband needed to leave for work. And I think I was just tired and a little worn down from being a bit sick. But I did it--it didn't feel good; I just got through it!

I track my mileage and pace at dailymile.com, and I decided to start tracking the jogging only, not including the five-minute warm-up walk. That way I can really know what my actual jogging pace is. Today I jogged 1.98 miles (ugh, SO close to 2!) with a pace of 12:37. I'd like to gradually get my pace down so that eventually it's more like 10 minutes a mile, and so that I can regularly run 3 miles in 30 minutes.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Week 6 Day 3

5 minute walk.
25 minute run.

I did it. The last 6 minutes or so were pretty tough, but overall I'd say it was no harder than last weekend's 20 minute run. Does that mean I'm 25% stronger than I was last week? I choose to believe that's exactly what it means.

I may be 25% sweatier too.

Pace: 13:08. A little slower than the other day, but that's okay.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Week 6 Day 2

Well, today was the last day with any walking breaks. From here on out, every workout will be jogging only (after the standard five-minute warmup walk.)

Today was 5 minute walk, 10 minute jog, 3 minute walk, 10 minute jog. It was very doable. In fact, my pace was 12:28 a mile--way better than it's been recently! I was pretty excited about that. After the first jog I felt like I could definitely have kept running. It was cold today, and I think that helped me run faster, at least in the beginning. The "warm-up" walk did not warm me up--the jogging portion couldn't come soon enough!

Saturday is just a little bit scary--a 25-minute jog. I'm planning to go ultra-slowly, and I really think I can do it. The 20-minute jog last week was tough, but I've had a couple of other good workouts this week to prepare me for this longer jog.

I've never been a natural athlete, so the fact that I'm able to do this is so thrilling to me!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Week 6 Day 1

It's week 6! And I haven't missed a day yet. I'm concerned that if I let myself skip a day I'll start letting myself skip LOTS of days. And it's only a three day a week schedule, so it's doable.

Today, after the standard 5 minute warm-up walk, I did a 5 minute jog, 3 minute walk, 8 minute jog, 3 minute walk, 5 minute jog. After Saturday's challenge, this was fairly easy. Still enough to get my heart rate up and to make me breathe heavily, but definitely not too hard.

My friend John introduced me to the website Daily Mile. It's neat; I can use the map there to track how far I've gone. (I broke 2 miles today, just barely!) My pace is slow--14:16 per mile on Saturday and 14:37 today. That includes the five minute warmup walk. I'm hoping as my unbroken runs get a little longer (25 minutes this Saturday) my pace will come down a bit. But then again, I need to remind myself, I've been saying this isn't about speed, it's about fitness!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Week 5 Day 3

I did it!!!

5 minutes of walking then 20 minutes of jogging. Without stopping. (Except to tie a shoe. Because I figured it's better to stop to tie a shoe than to let the shoelace stop me forcefully.)

20 minutes! I didn't know how big of a deal that would be before I started this program. For me, someone who's always been a non-runner, that's a long time. I was breathing pretty darn hard by the end.

But I did it!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Week 5 Day 2

5 minute walk, 8 minute jog, 3 minute walk, 8 minute jog.

I did it. And I'm actually looking forward to Saturday--5 minute walk, 20 minute run. Looking forward to it with a bit of trepidation, but I'm not as scared as I was before today's workout.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Week 5 Day 1

5 minute walk, 5 minute jog, 3 minute walk, 5 minute jog, 3 minute walk, 5 minute jog.

This was easy. Wow. I didn't think it would be! I jogged in the evening; I slept in this morning. I think I should have gone a little faster--next time I'll plan to do that!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Week 4 Day 3

Yesterday I did my workout in my great aunt's neighborhood. We spent a couple of days at her house after Thanksgiving. I hadn't gotten enough sleep, and it was a tough workout, but I enjoyed the chance to check out the area on foot. I think I'm really going to enjoy "vacation running." What a great way to explore whatever city I'm in--at least a small part of it!

Hope you had a happy Thanksgiving--we did!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Week 4 Day 2

Getting stronger; most of this workout was pretty easy. Until the end.... The last running segment (5 minutes) was hard! I think that's where my tiredness reared its ugly head.

Overall though...this week is not overwhelming. What a nice surprise!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Week 4 Day 1

Well, I did it! I mentioned Saturday that Week 4 was making me really nervous, as it includes a marked increase in jogging (after the 5 minute warmup walk, it's 3 minute jog, 90 second walk, 5 minute jog, 2 1/2 minute walk, 3 minute jog, 90 second walk, 5 minute jog.)

I'd been having some lightheadedness during some of my runs over the last couple of weeks. I talked to my dad (who is a runner), and he suggested I make sure I'm pushing all the air out when I exhale, so that I can breathe plenty of air in when inhaling. I really focused on that this time. I didn't get that icky lightheaded feeling (despite the extra jogging time), and I felt better at the end of my last 5 minute jogging segment than I had at the end of the first! It may have also helped that I ate half a banana and a spoonful of peanut butter before leaving this morning.

And the last thing that helped? I slowed down my pace even more so that my jogs were reeeeeeally slow. I can add speed later when my legs and lungs are more used to this.

I think I'm turning into a runner.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Week 3 Day 3

Today was fine. I was breathing hard by the end, and it was probably more difficult than Wednesday, but it was okay. There was a tiny bit of drizzle--just an occasional drop here and there. Running in that weather was actually great; these overcast, drizzly days can be so depressing, and getting my heart rate up and adrenaline flowing was fantastic.

My destination today was the donut shop just outside our neighborhood, where I picked up some "breakfast" for the family. Yes, I recognize the irony, and I'm laughing at myself. But I'm running more for cardiovascular fitness than for weight loss. I'm pretty happy with my current weight. I'm about five pounds heavier than I was when I got pregnant, but that's actually a healthier weight for me...and while my tummy isn't perfectly flat, my jeans look so much better when I actually fill them out!

I'll be honest--I'm really nervous about next week. The last two weeks (well, three weeks for me, since I repeated Week 2), each day's running segments have added up to nine minutes. Very doable. Next week really cranks it up--16 total minutes of running each day, including two five-minute segments. (See Week 4, here.) I really don't know if I'm ready for this. But I won't know until I try. We'll see how Monday goes.

I'm a sloooooow runner. I will never win any races. (Unless I race my kids.... Ooh, that's a good idea!) Good thing I don't have to get anywhere quickly. As long as my heart and my lungs are getting stronger, it's okay if it looks like I'm running in slow motion.

Wish me luck for next week....

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Week 3 Day 2

Three minutes was shorter today than it was on Monday.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Week 3 Day 1

Week 3 is here! I was nervous because this week some of the running segments get longer (three minutes.) But it went pretty well. The last three-minute segment was tough, and running in a stiff breeze didn't make it easier, but I did it and felt good afterwards. Woo hoo!

Our weather has cooled off again, and I love it for running. I kept looking at my stopwatch, wanting the five-minute warmup walk to be over, so that I could start running and get truly warmed up!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Week 2 Day 3 (Take 2)

Woo hoo! This was the easiest workout so far, and I think I'm ready for Week 3 on Monday!

I hit a milestone today. During one of my 90 second running segments, I looked at the stopwatch and had gone 96 seconds already. I think that's the first time I've looked at the stopwatch too LATE on a running segment.

It feels good that this is getting easier! Of course it'll be harder on Monday again, but I know I'm progressing.

Monday will be 5 minute warmup walk (as usual), then:
90 second run, 90 second walk, 3 minute run, 3 minute walk, then repeat

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Week 2 Day 2 (Take 2)

The workout went well today! I'm glad I'm redoing this week and think that by Monday I'll be ready for Week 3.

But...note to Self: If running at 3 p.m., put on sunscreen. Remember, Self, you have fair skin and even 25 minutes in the sun in the middle of the afternoon is not a good idea.

(The Engineer was out of town this morning but back home this afternoon, so this was the best time to run. I didn't enjoy the sunny, 73 degree weather, and I'm thinking that since I really don't like working out in the "heat"...I may need to buy a treadmill before next summer. Geez, you would never know I'd grown up in Arizona!)

Monday, November 9, 2009

Week 2 Day 1 (Take 2)

I re-started Week 2 today. I'm very glad I didn't start Week 3; I'm a little "off" today (slight headache, etc.) so this was definitely enough of a challenge. I didn't feel as good as usual afterward since my body isn't quite up to par, but I did feel like the workout gave me the energy I needed to get through--and even enjoy--my morning.

Now it's naptime for the kids, and probably for me too.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Week 2 Day 3

Today's workout was hard (even though I knew I was ending it at Starbucks! Mmm.... Peppermint mocha. Definitely a benefit of the holidays.)

Oh, sorry, got sidetracked there. Where was I?

Yeah, that hard workout. I decided I'm going to repeat Week 2. I'd prefer to feel ready to progress than to get discouraged by moving forward too quickly. I'm getting great exercise, and that's what's most important here. I think by the end of next week I'll feel ready to start Week 3's workouts.

I've blogged more about this decision, and that'll be posted Sunday morning at C. Beth Blog.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Week 2 Day 2

I think I'm starting to enjoy this more, even though it's still not easy.

My lungs feel like they're getting bigger, which is nice!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Week 2 Day 1

For Week 2, I'm instructed to walk for 5 minutes, then to spend 20 minutes in this cycle: 90 seconds running/2 minutes walking/repeat.

It went really well this evening! I had just a little "catch" in my side near the end, but it wasn't bad. Afterward I felt like I'd gotten a good workout without being miserable.

That's what I'm liking about this plan. It's great exercise, but I don't feel like I'm going to die at the end of the workout, so I'm actually looking forward to the next time. Much better than, say, trying to run a mile straight through when I've never been a runner. I've done that before, and it's really not fun.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Week 1 Day 3

Even with a dog tied to my waist (no kids though!) today was so much easier. I actually feel like I'm ready to move on to Week 2....

Friday, October 30, 2009

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Week 1 Day 1

Maybe I shouldn't have started this thing by putting 55 pounds of children (plus fall clothing) into a double jogging stroller, and tying a rambunctious, 30-pound dog to a belt on my waist. I think they added quite a bit of resistance, and this workout was hard!

Yeah, it was the kids and the dog that made it hard.

That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.