Tuesday, August 30, 2011

"If I don't do it today, I won't be stronger tomorrow"

After a full 9.5 hours of the office, I just didn't feel like going to the track. I just wanted to go home and put my feet up. But, I kept telling myself: "If I don't do it today, I won't be stronger tomorrow" and with a 5K coming up in December, I need to get stronger every chance I can!!!!

Air temp: 65 degrees (2 degrees cooler than Sunday's run!)
Humidity: 63% humid (22% less than Sunday's run!)

When I got to the track area there was a lot of young people. It is after all, at a High School. There was the football team practicing, some cheerleaders, soccer players nearby and a few students in the bleachers.

I took off at a slow pace and felt good until the back stretch - there was wind blowing right into my face. Kind of hard to breathe with THAT going on while gasping for breath jogging.

I wanted to quit just after the second lap but there was so many people around that I didn't want to be just some old plus-sized grandma that quits easily. I told myself to do at least 3 of the 4 laps I had hoped to run. That was after all, one lap more than Sunday's run.

After the 3rd lap I saw I was being watched. Oh snap! Can't stop with just three. Gotta give it ALL I have. Gotta hit my goal. I CAN DO IT. Then I got to the back stretch - "Oh lay me down and give me a stretcher!" I had to think of something motivating and I remembered how I used to feel and look as a runner in comparison to now and that got me over the mile line.

I did it. I made a full four laps without stopping a single time.

I was so proud!!!!!!!

Time? Well, an embarrassing 12:06 but that can ONLY get better. Right?

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Breathing Underwater

I went out to the High School today and hit the track. It was 10:00am, 67.4 degrees and 85% humid.

I warmed up on the newly refurbished and freshly painted track and away I went. It didn't take long to notice several differences between my treadmill and this track:

  • I go 'further' faster on a real track. My treadmill odometer is WAY off.
  • My knees, ankles and hip flexors PREFER the outdoor track. I felt like I was floating.
  • I can't breathe underwater.
Yup. My legs felt strong and I made half a mile in 5 minutes 43 seconds. It was a slow painful crawl because I COULD NOT BREATHE. I was not prepared for that at all and had to quit at the half mile mark feeling totally discouraged and absolutely out of breath.

Then I went home and hopped on the treadmill. Yup. Legs hate the treadmill. I am making more movements per minute on it, and making more rapid movements on it, and yet it says I am going less distance per minute?!?

1/2 mile on the track (easy on the legs but couldn't breathe): 5 minutes 41 seconds
1/2 mile on the treadmill (more leg movement/faster striding): 7 minutes 19 seconds

Looks like I am going to have to hit the track more often because that 5K is outdoors and just 13 weeks and six days away. Just need to hit it much later in the day as our humidity burns off.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

15 minute run - It's a start

I ran 15 minutes without stopping.

I had planned on 20 minutes today, but that isn't realistic with as little time running time as I have gotten during my first two weeks. It has been very difficult finding alone time to run (without an audience) only every couple of days. Tonight (Thursday) was my first run since Sunday. I am hoping to start some form of normalcy this coming week since George's vacation ended today and the in-laws should be leaving town soon.

The good news is I didn't get real sweaty until the 10 minute mark and tonight I had been running harder and stronger than before thanks to the sadly chosen songs I picked for tonight's workout. Hard, fast driving beats. I HAD to run hard and fast with that going on. Ya know? Unfortunately, it proved too much and I went to a light jog/shuffle at 13 minutes and started speed walking to cool down at 15 minutes.

Tonight's Songlist:
  • Liquid - Jars Of Clay
  • Little Lion Man - Mumford & Sons
  • Steppin Out - Jackson Browne
  • Kryptonite - 3 Doors Down


SATURDAY: Run a more realistic pace, on a track, for 5 laps non-stop (must pick better music for that so I don't get worn out too early)

TUESDAY: Run on the treadmill for 17 minutes non-stop

THURSDAY: Run on the treadmill for 18 minutes non-stop.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Not fun today

Due to George's new schedule this coming week, this was my last chance to run alone until Thursday. I had to go for it.

Indoors on a treadmill, 86 degrees outside and a small portable (one room) window AC unit behind me. I put on Mumford & Sons and went for it.

  • At a quarter mile I broke out in a sweat.
  • At a half mile I was grabbing my towel.
  • Wanted to quit SO badly before the 3/4 mile mark.
  • Even then, the last three minutes of the last quarter were pure hell.
  • Took me 15 minutes to complete.

But I finished! That is what counts. Right??

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Less Running and More Climbing/Walking

We are still on our week long summer vacation journey. I haven't had a formal run, but we have done a lot more physical activity than we normally participate in.

  • Thursday the 18th: We were at a 62 acre wooded park and in the 5+ hours we were there we took an hour long tram ride and walked more than 4 hours. The inclines/declines weren't bad but a few resulted in some gentle reminders that we made that big hike a few days ago. We didn't sit at all during the time off the tram. Also, at the hotel, we walked up the road to dinner and I ran back to the hotel. I decided running down hill on soft forest loam is MUCH more fun than running on a treadmill indoors.

  • Friday the 19th: We woke up so sore that I had difficulty walking the first half hour. In the morning/early afternoon we took a train ride and then went to explore the Mt St Helens area. This included one killer hike up a terraced hill at Windy Ridge Lookout. It LOOKED easy. It was ONLY 361-400 stair steps up (the number fluctuates between websites - but George like others counted over 400) but it is straight up. As one site says, "Climbing these stairs is quite a climb for the average person." That is a minimum of 12 flights of stairs! Still. It wasn't running. I am looking forward to getting back on track. ;)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

7 Mile Mountain Hike

Instead of running a mile today, I hiked. Mind you this wasn't a hike on a nice even trail. This was a7+ mile hike on very uneven terrain on a trail that sometimes was precarious at best or insanely steep at others.

It felt like the trail to our destination was never ending. It literally took us 2 hrs and 22 minutes to just get through the first 3.5+ miles!! The trail guide says that this trail has 1000 foot gains and a 1200 foot decline as the approximate max. It really was UP and DOWN both ways with cresting mountains 3 times each way.

My feet slipping on loose rock didn't help my knees at all! OWW!!! Also, carrying an additional 15 pounds of camera equipment and hiking supplies (water, snacks, gatorade) took a real toll.

Was it worth it? HECK YES!!!!!!!!!

I went through the most BEAUTIFUL fairy woods I have ever seen in my entire life! I saw an amazing waterfall at the end of the trail that I hear rivals those in Hawaii. It was a little under 5 hours of total hiking time and I have my aches and pains from it but I feel STRONGER THAN EVER for not having given up. :)


Sunday, August 14, 2011

August 10, 2011 - The Test Run

Although I had been walking between 2 to 3 miles a day, I decided to see how far I could get in a non-stop run on August 10th.

I stepped onto the treadmill and shuffled a mile without stop....and it was HARD. Very very HARD. it took me 15 minutes to complete one mile.

Sweat was dripping onto my eyeglasses. It was not a pretty picture. I thought I was dying.

Oh well. You have to start SOME where. Right?


When I was young, I was a very athletic kid. I played football and softball regularly but my favorite sport was running. In Junior High I joined a track team and every Tuesday and Thursday we ran 5 miles. In my junior year of High School (when I lived at the beach) I would run the strand from the Hermosa Beach (4th St) to the Manhatten Beach Pier and back. Nothing beat that feeling of accomplishment at the end of the route.

Somewhere around adulthood I became 'too busy' to run and I became a smoker.

When I quit smoking in 1996 though, I needed to DO something with all that electric angst running through my fritzing out body. I bought a treadmill and put it in the living room. Every time I wanted a cigarette I walked instead. Then the summer Olympics came on. Inspired, I began to run.

Within the first 4 months of quitting smoking I lost 10 pounds but several pants sizes and I had become a runner again. In fact, every day after work I ran 48 minutes. That was my new thing. I started running in 5k's and once ran the 8.2 mile March of Dimes walk. That was me and two or three others that pushed each other to exhaustion at the end. This image was taken of me 11 years ago.

Then in 2000 I fell in love. With a couch potato. I ran less and less as it wasn't worth the headaches it brought to my relationship and after all, a good man is hard to find. Right? I blimped up to a lifetime high of over 200 pounds during that long depressing rollercoaster of a ride. I began losing the weight immediately after the relationship and all it's drama ended and I can proudly say I NEVER weighed that much again. Not even to this day. After the relationship ended I began running again. It was good to be me again. :)

When I moved in with George, I put a treadmill in the living room. However, the only time I ever had alone to run was three nights a week. You see, he is the first man I lived with since 1987 or so. I wasn't used to having someone there ALL THE TIME. With so many other things needing done by me during the week, my alone time quickly was filled with catching up on those things and the running less and less.

January 2010 I began running in earnest again. I was doing great and then the end of the month I ended up in the hospital with a terrible pain. I told the doctors it felt like an ovary was exploding inside me. They told me that it was too low for that. They tested me for appendicitis and in the testing 'found' a hernia. NO MORE RUNNING. Lots more testing.

For 10 months I suffered intermittent pain there that would put me down for hours/days. The two specialists couldn't locate a hernia and kept saying that didn't mean it wasn't there. I began gaining weight again and was really frustrated. Then at the end of October during one episode I went to my OB/GYN's office. She was out and they gave me a young fresh out of residency Doctor. She LISTENED to me (again, saying it felt like an ovary exploding) and ordered ultrasounds. SURPRISE!!! Bursting ovary. Fluids draining/burning down in the abdominal cavity quite visible. Imagine that. She scheduled me for surgery the end of November and SURPRISE!!! it was exactly as we thought. They removed the ovary and other issues and sent me home.

Three weeks later I had a arterial hemorrhage as a post-surgical complication. They did a second surgery and said at my January follow-up - NO RUNNING FOR SIX MONTHS. I gained yet MORE weight. Estimated date to start: July 1st.

Well, July came and went.

Meantime, my stepdaughter began to show an interest in running. I was giving her information from my experience and the entire time I was feeling like a hypocrite - Telling her how to get stronger while I did nothing of the same for myself. She unwittingly became my inspiration and muse to JUST DO IT.

So...........I started running again on August 10th, 2011.