Posts Tagged ‘running’

Running a Half Marathon

Monday, May 21st, 2012 by by

I always thought “they” were crazy.
Who in the world would want to run further than a few miles?
Not I…well, in a way I did.
In my mid twenties, I started jogging.
Nothing big, a couple of miles about 4 times a week.
I stopped for a while.
Trying to get pregnant & jogging didn’t fit well together.
It wasn’t even a thought until about 1.5 yrs after the kids were born.
Of all months to start, I decided July was the best.
Don’t ask me why my brain thought July.
Guess if I could run during one of the hottest months
of the year, I would maybe stick with it.
I did well for a while.
Ran about 2.5 miles per day, 4-6 times a week.
But once again, had to stop.
This time the culprit was the knee.
So I substituted w/ Jillian.
But it just wasn’t the same.
So again, I chose July to start running.
2.5-3.5 miles.
I was upping the mileage.
And then Diana came in to my life.
She is my BRB (best running buddy).
She is the reason I go on days I don’t feel like it.
But best of all, we motivate ONE ANOTHER to keep going.
We started tackling the miles.
3 miles 3 times a week & then a longer jog on Fridays.
There was talk of signing up for a 10k.
By that point, we were running a 10k on Friday runs.
It wasn’t a challenge.
Then she proposed a half marathon. (more…)


Mission Completion!

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011 by by

The last couple of weeks, I’ve been in “re-coup” mode. Aside from giving birth, running 13.1 miles and the journey it took to get to the start line was most likely the hardest thing I’ve physically had to do. Not only was my body tired, but I had a lot of catching up to do. Reconnecting with my husband, bedtime stories with my children, spending the weekend as a family rather than scheduling things around my training – I was ready to cross the finish line, and so was my family. I haven’t had much time for blogging since I finished the race, as any time not spent sleeping has been spent reconnecting with my loved ones and catching up on house work neglected for 12 weeks.

The week of the marathon started out kind of crummy. My right knee was in considerable amount of pain. Jonah brought home a bad cold, which everyone in the house caught. Reluctantly, I took the entire week off from training. I ran 7 miles the Sunday before the race, and then not again until race day.

On Friday, the day before the race, I went to see a sports medicine specialist. I had a gait analysis run. Basically, I ran on the treadmill for about five minutes while being video taped. The doctor reviewed the tape for about 20 minutes. I got to watch it in slow motion with her while she explained to me how I could be injuring myself with the strides I was taking. She told me that everything about my form looks perfect – good posture, good stride length, nice and relaxed – but the problem seemed to be that I come down too hard into the ground. She examined my knee briefly and said that the kind of pain and popping I am experiencing is commonly referred to as “runner’s knee” and can be fixed simply by correcting my heavy stride. (more…)

Week In Training Review: First Half Marathon

Thursday, September 8th, 2011 by by

The last couple of weeks of half-marathon training have been pretty standard. My hours on the treadmill have steadily increased, as the sun is going down earlier every night and it is difficult for me to get out before dark. It was nice at the height of summer to be able to step out my door after the kids went to bed and the air was cooling off. My route took me past several farms, and it was encouraging to look across the fields to see trees silhouetted against the red and purple evening sky.

It’s a different story now if I try to go out after the kids are in bed, when Daryl is home to watch them. Bright headlights in my eyes, honking horns zooming past, the feeling of being trapped between a steep drainage ditch and a car traveling 6o mph. I am not sure why people become so rude after dark, but it can be downright dangerous.

So I keep my outdoor runs for the weekends, or for days when I know the kids will cooperate in the jogging stroller. Luckily, my longest runs occur on the weekends! I finally reached a personal record for distance, running 12 miles in 145 minutes. That was one minute slower than I had hoped (I was aiming for 12 minutes per mile), but that was not enough to discourage me. When I stopped running at the 12 mile mark, I was still feeling like I could have gone another mile, but I made myself stop, not wanting to overdo it. A week later, I went to face my first half marathon, the Buckeye 1/2 marathon. I was confident that I could finish, although I was still sore from my previous 12 mile run.

The course went through the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Many, many years ago, I had lived near here, and in an attempt to get fit, my room mate and I started jogging. The course overlapped the route that my friend and I used to take, and I really enjoyed it. It was very scenic and beautiful. Throughout the race, we ran along views of the Cuyahoga River, catching glimpses of scenic river bends and trees just starting to turn colors. Memories flooded back of canoeing along the very same bends. It was peaceful and beautiful, but it was also hilly. It felt like 90% of the course was going uphill. I kept waiting for the downhill portion, but it never came. Although the grade was gradual at points, it was still uphill.

I had told Daryl to wait for me at the ten mile mark, knowing that is a point where I would need some encouragement. (more…)

Week In Training Review: Week 5

Thursday, August 4th, 2011 by by

This week, I’ve been trying out a new app on my Android to help me with my outside runs. On my treadmill, it is easy to track pace, distance, and calories burned. Outside, it is easy to track distance by mapping out a route on the computer, and average pace by timing the entire run, but getting times per mile and real-time pace is a bit trickier. Recently, I’ve been looking into purchasing a GPS watch, but when I saw the prices, I decided to figure out a way to make do with what I have. The app that I was previously using was called SmartTrainer, and I did not like it very much. It was inaccurate, would crash frequently, and did not really do the things it claimed to do. I need something that can tell me my current pace, what time I finished each mile, and my overall time and distance.

I decided to try Endomondo first. It has all of the features that I need, and the paid version has a setting that saves the battery of the phone. Unlike SmartTrainer, it only uses GPS rather than a combination of GPS and tracking your steps. This seems to make it much more accurate.While the real-time pace did not seem accurate at all and jumped all over the place, the overall average pace seemed extremely accurate and consistent.

I really suggest that, if you’re going to use a phone during your runs, you get an armband. I bought one that is made for an iPhone, by Belkin, but my android fits inside, and I can still use the touch screen through the protective cover.

This week’s schedule:

Week Mon. Tue. Wed. Thu. Fri. Sat. Sun.
5 Off 4M 4M 6M 6M 3M off (traveling)


I met a personal record this week and ran eleven miles! (more…)


Week In Training Review: Week 3

Monday, July 25th, 2011 by by

Week three of training was scheduled to look like this:

Week Mon. Tue. Wed. Thu. Fri. Sat. Sun.
3 Off Hills 3M 6M 6M 3M 10M

But it actually looked like this:

Week Mon. Tue. Wed. Thu. Fri. Sat. Sun.
3 Off Intensity 3M 6M Off 3M 5,5M

I don’t have any decent hills nearby, so I swapped the first workout with one that I found in a magazine and was interested in doing. It’s called an intensity workout, and it involves sprinting on the treadmill at it’s highest slope for 15 second increments. It is 15 seconds on, 15 seconds off, for a duration of 8 minutes, with one mile of warm up jogging and one mile of cool down. It was short but intense, and I could use a workout such as that in my routine.

Once again, I took the Friday off. I just don’t think my body was ready to be pushed six workouts a week. The signs are all telling me that I need a night of rest, and the need seems to be most prominent by the time I get to the Friday run.

I will add the Friday back in as my body gets used to the new schedule. The Sunday run was also considerably shorter than it was intended to be. I’m really not happy about that. I had slept in, attempting to get a few winks while Daryl watched the kids. By the time I got up, ate something, and was ready to go, the temperature outside was soaring; especially the temperature on the black pavement of the road. I decided to go anyway. There was a man running the opposite direction. The first time we crossed paths, we glanced across the street and waved. The second time, the wave was a little less enthusiastic and with a bit less of a smile. The third time we passed, I was beginning to feel nauseated and lifting my hand to acknowledge him was too much of an effort. He looked to be fairing about the same. As he approached, he shouted to me, “This is getting dangerous, we both need to go home. It’s just too hot.” I felt he was right. Not wanting to risk heat exhaustion, I ran the 1.5 miles back home and jumped on the treadmill. Although it felt better to be in the air conditioning, I think my body was already putting the brakes on. I ran two more miles on the treadmill before raising the white flag. I was going to be sick if I didn’t.

Week four’s long run is scheduled to only be eight miles, but I think I will try to push it to ten, since I didn’t make this past ten mile run.

Week In Training Review: Week 2

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011 by by
photo from here

We are only three weeks into training, and I am already behind in posting my week-in reviews. Between keeping up the actual running schedule, some volunteer work I’ve been doing the last couple of weeks, and chasing the kids, there has been no time for the blog! Better late than never, though, so here is my training week number 2:

Week Mon. Tue. Wed. Thu. Fri. Sat. Sun.
2 off 5 M Fartlek 3M 5M 6M 3M 9M

This week’s schedule was kicked off with a workout that is somewhat new to me. The idea of a Fartlek is that you run a consistent pace for a short period of time or a short distance (half a mile or 1/4 mile) and then change to a different pace, alternating slow paces and fast paces and randomly picking the length of each interval. If you are interested in more specifics about how to run this workout, visit this page for more information. I found this to be a nice way to break into the week’s workout. It is challenging, pushes me to test limits, but at the same time it breaks up the mileage to think of each segment in smaller increments.

The rest of the week was very tough for me. A huge drawback to being a female runner is that, once a month, our female parts do their female thing. Like many other women, when this time of the month hits, I want to crawl into my bed and not come out until it’s over. Cramps, feeling fat, fatigue… These are all reasons that I did not want to do a single run during week two.

But I did, and I felt better for it. (more…)

Week In Training Review

Thursday, July 7th, 2011 by by

About six weeks ago, I sealed my commitment and registered to run in the Akron Marathon, half marathon event. A half marathon is 13.1 miles. I did this for several reasons. First of all, I always have to have a goal, and I find that in making my goals I tend to take the “Go big or go home” approach. This is not always a positive way to create goals, but it is how my mind tends to work, so it is what it is. Also, I tend to do things that sound nuts, just to show I can do it. It is my way of gorilla slapping my chest and letting out a huge feminist Tarzan (Jane?) call. I’ve done several things for this reason, including a 52 hour dance marathon – why not a running marathon?  In February, while on a rather frigid run, I decided that if I could run 10k by May, then I would register for the Akron Half. And well here I am, a registered runner. Officially. (Officially nuts, perhaps)

After building up to it over several weeks, I started a thirteen week training program published by Cool Running. I just finished week one. I chose this program because Cool Running is the creator of the Couch to 5k program, with which I had great success. I enjoy the philosophy that Cool Running has of training, running, and exercise in general. I used their 10k program and also had success with it. It made sense to move on to their half marathon program. I chose the intermediate level, because not only was I able to run the recommended pre-training schedule for several weeks for this level, but the schedule met my goals and timelines really well.

This first week, the schedule was:

Week Mon. Tue. Wed. Thu. Fri. Sat. Sun.
1 Off 4M 6M 4M 6M 3M 8M

The first few days of training were pretty unremarkable. First thing was first, I had to take a pregnancy test. Although there was little to no chance of me being pregnant, I did not want to embark on this physically demanding schedule without knowing for sure. Stranger conceptions have happened! (more…)


With Me Every Mile

Thursday, June 23rd, 2011 by by

A woman selling sports energy drinks at a health and fitness expo stood in front of me gaping. “You run with THAT bohemoth?” Of course I do; I couldn’t be where I am with my running if it weren’t for this tank of a stroller. Sure, it’s a bit awkward to navigate through the mall, or crowded health and fitness expos, but on the road this baby turns on a dime, runs across any kind of terrain thrown at it, and despite how big it looks, it is actually quite light compared to other strollers.

The fact of the matter is, I am a mom. I can’t take my runs during my lunch break. I can’t take a quick jog around the block before dinner. I can’t leave work a few minutes early to squeeze in a couple extra miles. No, I have to take my work with me.

There is once a week when I can run outside alone. I have a standing appointment with my shoes and the pavement outside our door every Saturday at nap time. My husband understands this, and I hardly have to tell him where I’m going. Other than this time, the only other way that I get a solitary run is to go on the treadmill after bedtime.

These times are great for my long runs. When I am by myself, I can really push my limits. However, in between those times, I just need a short and light run to keep my body moving. (more…)

Making Time

Tuesday, May 24th, 2011 by by

I stared hard at the red digital numbers, trying to will them to move. My feet moved beneath my body like robotic pendulums, hitting the treadmill, seemingly no longer controlled by the conscious part of my brain. Shouldn’t the number have gone up by now? Why hasn’t it gone up? There, finally, it reached 3 miles.

As I slowed the treadmill to a walking pace, I heard a cry in the room above me. Daryl’s with her, I tried to reassure myself. I heard the cries get louder and more frantic. And so ends another night of running, prematurely. Getting off the treadmill, I wobble a bit on the solid ground, then make my way back into reality – the reality that moms have little time for exercise.

I will be the first to admit that I’ve fallen into the “I don’t have time; I’m too tired; the baby was up all night teething and I still have a sink full of dishes to wash” hole. Once you start digging it, it’s hard to pull yourself out! Then, in March, I had a realization. Even though I had made my goal in December of running 3 miles in a half hour, I could no longer do it. And my new goal of running 10k (6.2 miles) hadn’t even been touched. In fact, I was pushing it to finish the 5k at that point. Why? I wasn’t running. Not regularly anyway. Suddenly, I remembered a Nike commercial. Just do it. The only way to be successful in my running goals is to just do it.

Ignore the dishes, ignore the laundry that needs folding, trust that the husband is capable of taking care of the kids for an hour or so, and just do it. The blog post can wait to be written, the email can wait to be responded to, the status can wait to be updated. So just do it!

One of the biggest ways that I’ve been able to fit running into my mommy schedule is that I (more…)

Just Like Forrest Gump

Monday, April 4th, 2011 by by

Just like Forrest Gump….

The guy we call Daddy around our house started running!  He started running and then he ran and he ran and he ran……he lost 50 pounds because of it and then he ran some more…until just after Christmas time when he twisted his knee while out on a run…and then he just — stopped.  I started to realize in the nearly two months that Mike was not running just how much he truly wanted to be out there running and it was obvious how discouraged and down in the dumps he would get every time he would try to run only to get pain in his knee all over again. With some advice from a another fellow runner in the family Mike was eventually able to make his slow start to running again in March and today we saw him compete in his first race ever.

Today the whole family headed out to High Park to support Daddy and Papa at Harry’s Spring Run-Off where they were racing in the 5K run to raise money for prostate cancer.  We took the subway to the park because we were just not willing to fight for a parking spot with the other over 5000 people attending the race! (more…)