Monday, April 30, 2012

What's a Fartlek anyway?

Do you ever take vows?  I pretty much do when I have done something and had to learn the hard way that I will never to that again.  One instance will be to not read about GMO's before taking a trip to the grocery store, and the next would be not to poke around looking for a running schedule when my next run is on a Monday.

  Monday is a hard day for me in general, I have to really concentrate hard to get back to routine.  Make sure I have everything ready to go.  I also have to decide if I am going to wait till Tuesday to get a run in.

  Last night I decided to take my friend Carisa's advice and look up a run schedule.  I couldn't find anything through Run Disney, however I did find this

This little gem is a schedule to rival all schedules, it is also a time sucker.

This morning I was so torn, as I have piano lessons directly after school that go until 4:45, then drop off kids at home (no dinner made for the fam) then head to a seminar as a favor to a friend.  I probably won't be home till after 9 tonight.  I am thinking in my head that if I run today, not only does it go against the new schedule, it also will be a lot to add to my day.

  The new schedule is also a twelve week for beginners.  I only have 9 weeks to go until my 13.1 on July 4th.  So do I start at week 3, and back track?  Or do I start at week 8, go to the end, then what?  I am so confused.  I guess this is where the science experiment comes in.  I think I will start at week 8, then if I have any set backs (woman stuff always throws a nice curve ball) then I can be prepared.  And if I find I need to back up a little bit, then I guess I will have time to do that. I should write out a theory, and hypothesis, and get my daughter a sure A+ for the next science fair!

   I guess what I need to do is sit down and write myself a nice cross training regimen, that way there is no guess work.  I don't like guess work when I run, and I don't like it when I am trying to decide what's for dinner.

  Just as I was hoping for another training schedule, and getting pretty down in the dumps that this was the ONLY one I could find for free, my friend Retha sent me one.  It has something called a Fartlek run.

 I researched that a little.  Basically it's where one runs easy,
 then runs hard for a number of minutes,
 then easy again...
 pretty much back and forth for anywhere from 40 to 60 minutes, or 4 to 6 miles.  I would have a difficult time with that, but it is great training for hills and stuff that could be encountered during a run.  (That was a very hurried short blurb about a Fartlek, Wikipedia has better answers if you are so inclined)  I will take all training schedules into consideration and do what works best for me, because according to these schedules...I have been doing it wrong.  Who know there was so much to putting one foot in front of the other?

Friday, April 27, 2012

Health and Christina Applegate.

I was so tired today.  From the moment I got out of bed.  I thought, just have some coffee, you will be awake then.  It at least got me into the land of the living.  I was sluggish most of the morning.

  Today I am supposed to run.  How far?  That is the million dollar question.  Why?  Because I don't have a trainer, it's all me baby.  I am on my own.  I can't seem to find anything online that is free that will train someone for a half marathon (if you have a link to something, I would be so grateful for you to know where to find me)  So as I have mentioned in the past, I don't think there is a specific recipe for all people.  Just when I think I have myself down to a science, I find that I am just a little more conditioned, able to go just a little farther, a little harder.  (yes that is a good thing, but I wonder how long have I been babying myself when I shouldn't have been)

  Last week end when I was in Walgreens a Health magazine jumped out at me!  I looked at and tried so hard to ignore all the eminent information practically yelling at me.  I turned in my photos for developing, and went back to my normal boring non informed life.  When I came back to pick up the photos, low and behold...that magazine was still there!  I snatched it up, scanned the cover and decided there WAS information in there that I NEEDED to know! darn it!

  I decided to save it until my next run, not even a sneak peek would I let myself have.  It was kind of like being a kid again, having something waiting for me to delve into that I knew I could be excited about.  I know this is a lot to say about a silly magazine, but they really are a treat for me (have you seen news stand prices lately?)  That was Sunday.  My next run was to be on Tuesday.

  When I get on the treadmill I often wonder what people might be thinking.  I hang my gym bag, which happens to be this ugly yellow and green Oregon Ducks (GO DUCKS) bag that is perfect because it has all these compartments for my hair ties, locker lock, spare deodorant, bottle of Scentsy room spray, get the idea.  I hang that bag on the arm of the treadmill, and amazingly enough, it neither distracts me, or causes a problem.  I hit the 2 mile an hour button and begin my set up routine.  I put on my headphones, open my candy (only if I plan to run more than 6) and tune into pandora, or a podcast.  This day I had my shiny new issue of Health magazine!  Christina Applegate is on the cover.  I bumped up the speed to my normal 3.2 or 3.5 and got all nice and warmed up.  Pushed the stop button, got off the treadmill and did some stretches.  Two things I learned, not to stretch cold, and not to run cold. There is nothing worse than having to stop mid run to stretch out a cramp.  I hop back up on the belt and push the 6 mph button.  That little gem of a magazine kept me intrigued for almost 4 miles!  Okay so I am sure the thing you are saying in your head is what everyone says to me..."I can't read when I am running" I can't really either, unless the words are big.  I have also come to find out that if I am bored enough or want something bad enough, I will ignore the "I can't"'s and make it happen.  Reading and running is a fine tuned skill ha ha ha ha, proof that I will tell myself anything.  That day with the help of Don Williams, Eddie Rabbit, Hank JR., and an issue of Health, I was able to achieve 8 miles!  Yay ME!

  This morning as I was fueling up and dragging feet I was wondering how was I going to make it.  The feeling only progressed as twelve noon quickly approached.  I thought about the fact that in the running world nothing is ever certain, and there isn't a lot of rhyme and reason to why you will have a stellar run one day, and a miserable run the next.  So I have pretty much convinced myself that the magazine I downloaded onto my iPad this morning isn't going to keep me interested.  On the way to the gym I had a candy, to try to give me a pre run pick me up.  It picked me up...for all of about 5 minutes.  I did my warm up routine and got my iPad all set up and pressed the 6 mph button.  I was off!  I had some trouble with running and turning digital pages, but I was entertained!  This issue was Prevention's April issue.  I also took a break from trying to fuss with the digital pages and played a game of solitaire!  I didn't win, but I didn't care, I merely wanted to zone out away from the pain.  I took notice after about 3 miles, then was able to zone for another mile.  The last 6th mile was hard, but I did it.  I thought about trying for 8 again, but didn't have any candy out, and did not want to experience major fatigue.

  I am still not completely confident in my ability to achieve long distances.  I am not confident in my will power to keep going.  I have fear of quitting.  If you have tips on how to not get bored, please share.  I read other runners blogs periodically and I admire them, and they have the same weaknesses I do?  Even if I never gain full confidence in this ability, I will not stop striving.    Thank you for reading my blog, it means a lot...really.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

probably my most boring post yet

Second vacation run.  I decided I was going to have to run at least one more time before exiting the ship for good.  It was Wednesday night (Pirate night), the next day was a day at sea, so I thought it would be  perfect.  Amazingly enough we all decided to retire early, more than likely because of the big day we had in Cozumel; rain, dolphin swim, shopping, it was a lot of fun.

  I got up around 7 Thursday morning, and hardly anyone was awake, not even the treadmill peeps!  Wednesday night was truly a party night for all.  I was only going to run about 4 miles, but then I was feeling up to it, so I pushed myself for 6, amidst a beautiful sunrise, a lack of water (why don't the ladies come around asking if we need water?) and sweat...always plenty of that.  I had a good stretch then went and got my husband for some coffee.  We were amazed at how quiet the ship was, and had quite a chuckle over it.

  That night Kurt was reading in the Navigator, which is a list of the goings on for the day.  This was for Friday.  He told me there was going to be a 5K on Castaway Cay at 9:30 am.  Okay, so it was thinking time for me... "I just ran 6 miles this morning, and I have learned the hard way not to go back to back running, but it is only 3.1 miles, and how many times in my life will I get to run a 5K on Disney's private island?"  Do you know what drove me to do it?  The fact that there may be a t-shirt involved, a little of the aforementioned, but mostly for a keepsake.  I was there bright and semi early Friday morning, and they had bib numbers they were registering, so I thought "if this is all I get I will be happy because it is a memento" Then entertained the idea of taking my bib and going back to bed.

  Upon waiting to leave the ship I struck up a conversation with a woman from Florida, she was telling me that she trained for a half marathon in 3 months, just out of the blue.  She gave me lots of encouragement that this was definitely something I could accomplish.  In fact all the runners I have discussed my concerns with, have given me hope.  And of course a lot of prayer and relying on my savior Jesus Christ goes into this endeavor.  I guess now would be a great time to mention that after I run this half marathon in July,  I do not plan on running that long of a distance again...this is what I say NOW.  

  No need to worry about warming up for this run.  We had a 15 minute walk to the bike path which was where the run was to begin.  Ready set GO!!  It was beautiful, and I remember it well. I even got a medal!  I was probably the most excited person over 10 to get the thing.  I sure hope the pictures I took in my head will remain with me for a lifetime, as this was a once in a lifetime experience :)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Brace myself

  I couldn't say anything about it for safety reasons, but we were on vacation.  Our family took a long awaited trip to Walt Disney World, and a 7 day Disney cruise.  Yes it was fabulous!!

  While on the cruise I knew I had better keep up on my running. (Gotta train!) The first morning I decided to hit the fitness center I got up at 7 or something like that (which is 4 am Pacific) I strapped on my shoes and headed up to the 11th deck.  For some reason they hid this place.  I had located it the day prior, however locating it when I basically just rolled out of bed and was still a little delirious was a bit of a challenge.  Once I did find it, I found that several of my other cruisers had beat me to it!  Not one single treadmill available.  A little panic...and to be quite honest, a little relief hit me at once.  I thought "wow, what a great excuse to hang it up right here!", but come on, you know me by now.  I am not about to let the guilt of giving up that easy get me, I have enough other kinds of guilt at my disposal (remember I am on a never ending buffet cruise).  I decided to walk through the place to make very positive that I hadn't missed a machine, as I was walking through, this very kind gentleman was finishing up his work out and offered the machine to me!  Yay!!  I was getting a treadmill!

  My run went pretty good.  First I had to fuss with my blue tooth headphones vs. the iPod cable the machine gives...can't use both, so I decided whatever charge I had on my phone was the charge I was going to make it with.  As I begin my run in this posh setting looking out onto the ocean, I see a little sign that says Head phones and iPods available for use.  What?  really?  What kind of music is on these things?  How can they do that when we all have such different tastes?  Well I guess I will just have to keep wondering, I'm okay with never knowing.  I had a bottle of water with me, refilled from the drink station on the pool deck.  This is a Dasani bottle we bought when we were in WDW.  This thing is huge like 32 oz.  No I did not fill it all the way, which is a good thing because in the middle of my run, I fumbled with the cap and it went flying.  You know what I am talking about, the drop...hit the belt...then disappear into who knows where.  Then the thought "should I get it? are these people judging me because I am not getting off the machine?  Don't they realize I WILL look for it when I am done?  It's just a bottle cap."  So this is how I over think things not just when I am running...but most of my days.

  I pushed through on the fancy treadmill, all the while staring out the window, wondering how they got these heavy machines and weights on board, and trying not to loose my balance among the rocking.  Oh yes...the boat does not stop rocking so one can get their running in.  It wasn't bad, I only had to brace myself once or twice...

BTW...that bottle cap?  gone.  I never could find it.  But I did make it 6 miles :)

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Can I get a refund?

These were the exact words that popped into my head when I pressed the cool down button on the treadmill.  I wanted so bad to get 8 miles logged in today, but it was hard to think through all the sweat, uncontrolled heavy breathing, and internal body temperature yelling at me to STOP!!  Oh believe me I was drinking water and praying for help...but just because I want it, doesn't mean it's meant to be.

  Refund for what?, you might ask.  Well, I'm the kind of person who walks into Taco bell, and orders a crunch wrap supreme, two baja gorditas, and a Dorito taco, when I will only end up eating the crunch wrap supreme, and maybe the taco.  Which hopefully paints the picture of why someone who has (at that time) only ever ran 6 miles in her whole entire life, sees a video for a race, on a flat island, with beautiful scenery   signs up for  the what just-so-happens to be a HALF MARATHON.  That's 13.1 miles for any who may not know.  Yep, I did.  I signed up.  You betcha!  So doubt is making me think about a refund.

  I certainly felt like a failure today.  So much so that I told the guy next to me what I should have done, then forced him to look at the 4.6 on the treadmill (it was mocking me).  Once I got done and stretched, then read a comment in reply to my FB post about my failure, I thought "She's right (she being my friend Rebecca) treadmills ARE boring!!!"  The more I thought about it the excuses reasons started coming...ready?
#1 I was overheating
#2 I should have worn shorts
#3 It must be really close to my "time"
#4 Maybe it wasn't God's will for me (this should be #1 i know)
These are all I can think of right now, but if you think of some, please help me out and post them in my comment box.

  The more I thought about it, I realized some runs are just tougher than others, I am not going to be a track star every time.  It is good to fall down.  It builds character.

Thank you for reading
if you can relate, please leave me a comment :)

Monday, April 9, 2012

I have this gadget called a bodybugg.  It logs the calories I burn, the steps I take, and the amount of activity I achieve in a day.  I bought it a little more than two years ago.  It had a nice years rest, then I decided it was time to go at this losing weight thing again.

  Two years ago, I was running, however I would have never dreamed of entering a race.  The most I could run was 2 miles, I burned 199 calories, and it seemed like it took forever to accomplish.

  Present time and getting back to BB (bodybugg)  On off run days this little device either keeps me motivated or depresses me, but I know that once I remove it for good...I have given up.  I believe that as long as I run, I will wear this and here is why:

#1 When I work this hard, I really like to see my results in numbers...kind of like a paycheck
#2 I know it's not possible, but it feels like if I'm not wearing it, I'm not burning as many calories.
#3 As long as I am wearing it, I am not giving up.

  On off run days, and when I can't see myself getting another run in, or I don't feel like running  I tend to exaggerate, and tell myself mean things like "you are so close to giving up"  "watch yourself slowly fade into stopping" there's more but it's mean, so I'll leave it out.  So today I know I will have time to run tomorrow, I also am afraid I will come up with some fabulous excuse not to.  Do I ever listen to my excuses?  Not usually, but there's always tomorrow.  I guess I just have to pull myself up by the boot straps and do it.  Tomorrow will be on the treadmill in the gym.  Which reminds me...I need to get some podcasts loaded!  I love listening to Dr. James Mc Donald, Pastor Daniel Fusco, and Pastor Jason Biel.  All these men are anointed with the power to deliver the word in a way that many of us can relate, and for that I am so thankful, because I NEED Jesus!  Are you kidding?  He is why I get through 8 miles!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

So much to say

I have so much to say about running to anyone who'll listen, or read.  I try not to bore people with my running stories, mostly my husband, but he listens...or at least pretends to.  He knows I run, and he supports me, and cheers me in my goals, so in my mind, that is good enough.

  Today I was running "I was runaayynnggg" as Forest would say, which my husband says and I love it, very endearing.  It was a sunny day out.  I am a fair weather runner only outside, as for the treadmill, that is a different story.  I have been studying myself and my running habits.  I constantly tell myself I am not a TRUE runner.  What is a true runner in my mind?  I honestly don't think I have taken the time to nail down an answer to that question, but whatever it is, I have convinced myself I am not.

  The run I tackled today is very near my house in the country.  When it is a sunny day, the scenery is bar-none in my opinion.  I mean it, so pretty!  The air doesn't get any better either.  I get so happy on these country runs that today I shouted out to complete strangers "Isn't this great?  So beautiful!"  The lady looked at me like a crazed maniac, and her husband very politely said "yes it is", at least that's what I think he said, I am not for certain because I have earphones on...and much later I realized that I was probably shouting really loud to those people who couldn't have been more than 10 yards away, crazed maniac, me?no.  Slow on the uptake?...maybe a little...seriously, sometimes my mouth goes WAY before my rationality, which i probably have very little of.

  I like to think about the reasons I choose running, especially before a run to psyche myself up, and during a run to keep myself going.  I NEED to run.  Anyone reading this who has been running for more than 3 months (90 days to make a habit) will surely understand this one.  My threshold is probably 4 days without, then I will go bonkers, crawl into the fetal position and chant "I am not a real runner, I am not a real runner", you get the idea.  I also cannot run back to back days either.  I have learned that each person has different thresholds and breaking points, there really is no set schedule of running for everyone. SKIP TO NEXT PARAGRAPH IF YOU WILL BE BORED WITH MY RUNNING SCHEDULE  So for me the ideal schedule is once every two days.  One of the days I will try to beat my current record, 8 miles at this point, then in two days probably run at least half of whatever my record is, then run my previous record or 1 mile less :), then in two days try to make my record, or break it depending on how I am feeling at this point.

  Being a woman can really jack up my running schedule.  Oh I know you women reading are saying..."suck it up, take a Midol", trust me I TRIED, and I learned VERY quickly that I am not a woman who can recover from a long run during my time of the month.  I can't be too tired, or sick either.  The repercussions of this are far worse than if I would have just bided my time and been active in other ways, i.e; cleaning my house, something that is grossly neglected with all I have piled on my plate recently.

  Please comment if you can relate!