Monday, July 30, 2012

Nailed It!

Today is Week 5 Day 3, 20 minutes of jogging with no walk breaks. Who finished strong? This girl! At the halfway point I was all smiles, no pain, no wheezing. By minute 15, I was getting a little tired, ready to be done but not yet hitting the wall. At minute 19, Spice Girls 'Wannabe' came on and I couldn't help pushing hard to the end. I am exhausted and I'm sure later today I will be a little sore, but I feel like such a rockstar! I ran for 20 consecutive minutes, at a sub 11' pace to boot. So awesome!

I'd like to thank my darling friends Face Lizz James Franco and Kristie Smith Kirsch for helping me through this run. I was wearing my Light The Night shirt and it always makes me think of these beautiful ladies and their dedication to a wonderful cause.

So, W5 D3, 2.5mi, overall avg pace 12' 19"

Friday, July 27, 2012

My Old Frenemy

During this mornings run I found myself thinking a lot about this guy:

I need some time to figure out how to write about what he means to me. However, I do hope to see him somewhere along the route when I run in Disneyland (just 5.5 months to go!).

Anyway, today was Week 5, Day 2. Two 8 minute runs with a 5 minute walk break in between. I nailed it guys! Probably because I was busy psycho-analyzing myself the whole time, but whatever, it was a piece of (sweaty, unappetizing) cake. So thanks Needleman. 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

It's Week 5 Already!

I haven't given up, I promise! I have been running but the last few runs just haven't inspired me to write. Monday I did 2.4mi with my mom at an easy 15'32" per mile. Today I started Week 5, three 5min jogs with 3min walks in between. 2.3mi at 12'38" - I'm getting faster and stronger and it feels good!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Run Free

I stepped out the door this morning, started my warm-up walk, looked at my watch only to realize I had left my watch on the nightstand. Rather than turn around, I decided to run free today. It ended up being the best decision I've made all week! Today I did my first 5K, ran my longest continuous distance of almost 1.5 miles, and had my best over-all pace of  11'59"! It felt great while I was out there, just listening to my body and telling my mind to shut up.

The best part is, all morning - even as I was lacing up my running shoes - I was trying to convince myself not to run this morning, to put it off til tomorrow... So glad that voice was not persuasive enough, I might have missed out on an epic run and a great start to my day!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Schooling Myself

I'm discovering that one of my favorite things about running is that it teaches me self-discipline in many variations. I have set a goal by registering for a race and must take the initiative to prepare for it. I have to make myself get out and go. I have to find the time and not make excuses.

Even more important though, I have to understand and accept that life will not always follow the schedule I have written out and that's okay. Some days I may not be able to make time for a run, or the run may really suck. Today I was doing 3/1.5 & 5/2.5. One of my recovery walks ended up being 30 seconds too long, I hadn't caught my breath yet and so hadn't looked at my watch in time. You would not believe the white hot flash of anger I felt at myself. "How lazy! You've messed up the whole run now! What do you mean, you can't recover in 90 seconds?!" Then I realized that was the crazy, controlling, slightly OCD Carolyn and that it really is fine to walk an extra 30 seconds if I need to. Nothing is ruined, no one is disappointed, the run was still worthwhile and the world will continue to revolve. I did not allow myself to lose motivation, to give up or to beat myself p over this minor change in plans.

Is it strange that I have no problem making myself run, but I have a problem letting myself walk? Do you ever get mad at yourself for silly reasons? How has running changed you? I know it is making me a more relaxed, more accomplished person and I am proud of how quickly I turned that anger into acceptance.

Today was Week 4 Day 2, 2.4mi, 12'29" (fastest yet!)

Monday, July 16, 2012

Just Keep Swimming

Todays run was pretty uneventful. I am in Week 4 of C25K, doing 3/1.5, 5/2.5 jog/walk (btw those are minutes, not miles.) I'm really glad I have been tagging those extra jogs on or I wouldn't have been mentally prepared to jog for 5 minutes today. Instead I was able to tell myself it's no big deal, been there done that. I ran sans dog today, 2.3mi at 12'53". My jogs are around 10'30" but my walking really pulls down my average. I just can't keep up a fast pace and catch my breath at the same time, not yet anyway. However, the vast majority of todays workout was above 16' per mile and that is my goal.

When I got home from my run, I ripped off my shoes, grabbed a towel and jumped in the pool fully dressed. Totally amazing! The most perfect way to cool off and I was able to swim and stretch a bit before showering and becoming completely sedentary for the night. Also, I haven't been in a swimming pool in years and it felt so fantastic to be back in the water. I think I may make this my new routine!

Friday, July 13, 2012

In Which I Learn Something Great

Today I learned the days I enjoy my run the most are the days I want it least.

What with work and the unreasonable heat this week, I haven't run since Monday and was really not looking forward to it, but I knew I needed to get out and go before it was too late. If I waited much longer, I might lose my motivation entirely. So, I forced myself out the door this morning thinking I would just slog through it best I could and not concern myself with distance or pace.

Surprisingly, I felt so good once I got going! I am on Week 3 of C25K, alternating 1.5/1.5 and 3/3. I actually ended up doing 2/1.5 and 3.5/3 because I was on such a roll, I forgot to check my watch. I also tagged on an extra 4 minute jog before my cool down, just for fun - and I never thought I would be a person who runs "just for fun"!!! Altogether, 2.3mi at 13'25" per mile.

Have you ever done something out of necessity and found you really enjoyed it? You should try it, it feels great!

Monday, July 9, 2012

The dog days are over...

This morning, after our AM walk and breakfast, I had so much energy and I knew the beautiful 63ยบ weather wouldn't last so I headed out the door for a solo run. I went 2.4mi at an average pace of 12'59" per mile, a good 2 minutes faster than I had been averaging! I know part of it had to do with the lack of dog, she wasn't there to stop and sniff or try to veer off to the sidewalk. I love her to bits and tiny pieces but her heart is not in this training the way mine is. From now on, I think I'll run solo more often and make extra time for walks with her instead.

I also have to credit my revamped playlist however. I stumbled upon the other day (thanks again Pinterest!). The website and app are made to help you find the right songs to workout to. You input your goal time or BPM and they generate a list of songs for you. The app is just for iPhones so I don't know how well it works, I do know it is not a streaming music app however, it pulls songs from your own iTunes library. Using their suggestions, I went through my library and rearranged some things. I have found my most comfortable jog to be at 160 BPM so packed my playlist full of all the songs I own at that tempo. Obviously it helped my keep my speed up throughout the workout.

Once again I added and extra jog at the end of my session. I ran a continuous 7.5 minutes, longest so far, at a sub-11'/mi pace. Not too shabby!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Strike Up The Band

Once upon a time, not so long ago, my mom was an aerobics instructor. She started out way back in the 80's, rocking the Jazzercise and Trampoline. She moved her way up to Step Aerobics and eventually helped pioneer the Aqua Aerobics craze. Lucky for me, she still has a lot of her music from those classes, and even luckier, some of it is on CD. Yesterday I had a day off from work so I spent some time going through those discs, expanding my workout choices at no cost.

Today's run was powered by MGM.

One of the CDs I found was Movie Themes PowerTunes, awesome! Can I tell you how awesome it is to be jogging along, wishing it were just a few degrees cooler and that you hadn't gone for that extra drumstick at dinner, when a turbo charged Imperial March comes on! Super awesome! Near the end of our second long (3 min) jog section, just when I was contemplating stopping early, I am graced with a Jurassic Park power mix. Does it get better?! Also on the list: Pink Panther, Indiana Jones, Superman, Harry Potter and Hook. I may have a new favorite running playlist.

What are some of your favorite workout tunes?

Thursday, July 5, 2012

You say spoiled, I say so what!

I have a crockpot that I am madly in love with. Seriously, this is the best invention ever (after peanut butter eggs) especially for people like me who are so completely inept in the kitchen. When Stella and I decided to move to CA, I told her I would start making her food at home. She has a stomach of iron but is always itchy and sneezy. My hope is that getting her away from mass produced, preservative-ridden kibble will help eliminate some of that.

Today I finally made good on that promise. I got out my trusty crockpot, gathered my ingredients and got to cooking dumping stuff. I got my inspiration here, but made a few modifications based on what we had around the house. I'm not yet bloggy enough to have remembered to take pictures or anything, maybe next time... but it appears to have been successful. Stella inhaled her dinner and licked her bowl totally clean in record time.

Stella's Dinner:

1 cup cooked rice
1lb ground beef
2 medium sweet potatoes
1 can pumpkin
a large handful of baby carrots
1.5 cups water mixed with approx. 1 tbsp. chicken bouillon

Throw it all in the crockpot, mix it all up and cook on low for about 6 hours. After it was done, I portioned it out into some Tupperware cups and popped them in the freezer and fridge. So easy!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Birthday America!

I'll be honest, this is one of my least favorite holidays. Don't think I'm un-American or anything, it's my dog. Stella has a terrible fear of loud noises, especially thunder and fireworks. It is totally heartbreaking to watch her run from room to room looking for a safe place, all the while panting and shaking and just completely freaking out. I've tried so many things and up till now nothing had worked. Earlier in the day my mom and I headed to the grocery store for last minute dinner goodies and I picked up a bottle of Melatonin pills. I had read they were useful in calming high anxiety dogs so I figured what the heck! Today was a running day and I wanted to tire her out as much as I could before the festivities, so we went out around 5, well in advance of any (illegal) neighborhood fireworks - or so I thought. It was hot, so our run was slow and short but I was happy to note she had little to no reaction to the few pops I heard while we were out. After dinner, I gave her one of the Melatonin pills and it seems to have really done the trick! She is not cured or anything, but rather than pacing, panting and shivering, she is lying (laying? I never really know) in the bathroom - the smallest and quietest room in the house - breathing a little heavily when anything explodes but definitely not as stressed as usual. I am so relieved! Stella may not be my child but she is damn close and I have hated watching her suffer so much over something so harmless, what a blessing to have finally found something to ease her stress.

Today was Week 2 Day 3, it was pretty hot out today - especially for a black pup - so we only ran 1.8mi at 15'47" per mile. Oh well, this run was for Stella anyway and the little bit we did seems to have really doe her some good.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Week 2 Day 2

Today I tried something different. Usually I am an afternoon runner, I like to go out just before dinner when I can. Mainly because I am an evening shower-er, I love to take a shower at the end of the day to rinse off all the sweat and tears my day may have brought me. However, that's not always convenient. This morning I knew I needed to shower before work and I don't like to take multiple showers in a day as my hair and skin get dried and damaged so easily. So I decided to try going for a run first thing in the morning. Stella and I got up just before 7am and headed out the door.

I learned that I really do not like running first thing in the morning. I was yawning and stumbling, and my stomach was growling. I was way less focused which really messed up my breathing. My biggest obstacle has been controlling my breath, my legs can run so much farther than my lungs! Being half asleep got in the way of my careful concentration and I found myself wheezing much more than usual. Now I know and I will stick to my afternoon/evening running as much a possible! 

Today was Day 2 of our second week, we ran 2.7mi at an average of 13'54" per mile. We're getting faster and stronger which I'm pretty proud of and Stella is starting to get a lot more comfortable running in the bike lane, thank goodness!