Tuesday, October 12, 2010

5 miles!!!!!!

I ran 5 miles!!! I ran 5 miles!!!!!

Yesterday was a beautiful morning. Hubby wasn't leaving for work at any specific time, so I headed out around 6am. It was still dark, but there was a rosy glow on the eastern horizon. I felt pretty good. My long run goal for the week was 4.75. But I new 5 miles wouldn't be impossible since it would only be about a 10% increase over last weeks 4.5 miles. I like to get my long run in as early in the week as possible so I don't have to be pressured if things don't go well later on in the week.

My adrenaline got pumping a little bit when I saw a smashed pumpkin in the subdivision behind us. Then all down our road south of the subdivision I saw vandalized pumpkins. Many smashed right in the middle of the owners' driveways. I was so angry at the obnoxious brats that have fun at others expense, I wasn't surprised when my mile time was 12:40. However as I crossed the bridge and turned off our road the rest of the pumpkins were intact, and I calmed down. But I still was at about a 12:40 pace.

Our town is really small, I don't know if we even have 5 miles of roads. (The opposite corner of town is only a 1 mile run) I went about 3 miles snaking through town. I felt so good I decided to try for 5 miles, so I circled the "neighborhood" on the opposite corner of town until I was up to 4 miles. Then I just had to run home. I was amazed my pace was still about 12:45, but I knew the last quarter mile would be uphill so I didn't expect to keep it up. I was amazed at how good I felt at 4.75 miles. I had told myself I could walk then if I wanted, but I felt so good I decided to run faster.

I ran 5 miles. My time: 63:10!

That is a 12:38 pace! I kept that up for 5 miles!

My goal for October was 5 miles. I think I will "rest" next week. Meaning I won't try to add distance. But I will still be well on my way to my goal of 6 miles by Thanksgiving.

I never ever thought I could or ever would run 5 miles. Just WOW!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Solving Problems...Learning...

I have been running for more than 3 months now. And I don't intend to quit!!! Yesterday I ran 4.5 miles in 58:14. Which means my pace was 12:56 per mile! So great to begin to move out of the 13's. And I am learning ways to keep going even when obstacles arise.

In order to run that 4.5 miles I had to get out in the cold, dark, predawn world. It was so cold! Frost was on the ground, I could see my breath, and I need warmer running clothes. (See problem/solution #1) It was also dark. I didn't know if I could run in the dark. My hubby isn't thrilled with the personal safety aspect. And, my concern is being able to see what I am running on (see problem/solution #2)

I have also been working with my treadmill. I say "working with" because just straight running on it can be tedious and grueling. (See problem/solution #3)

So here is how I have worked through some of my obstacles:

  • Problem #1: I need warmer running clothes, but don't want to spend big bucks. I am finding that running gets expensive. And oversized long sleeve cotton shirts weren't cutting it. I can't even find long sleeve running clothes at the local super store where I got my other "wicking wear". I thought this was going to necessitate a trip to the sports store, where stuff is way more pricey. Solution: The thrift store! I found a long sleeve tech top in good condition, and a nearly new running jacket. Total price $4.90! I had read this suggestion online, but was still surprised at the amount of great stuff there.

  • Problem #2: It is dark in the morning now. Really the only consistent time I get to run outside is if I can get out before my hubby leaves for work. But it is dark outside until after 6am now. Our little town is pretty safe as far crime. I have never heard of any "stranger danger" at all. But our little town only has scattered sidewalks and street lights, posing dangers to feet ankles and other body parts since you can't see the surface you're running on. Solution: A headlight! While I may look like a dork, this is a great solution. My parents put all kind of handy/goofy gadgets in my hubby's Christmas stocking. Last year he got a headlight. Basically it is a light on an elastic strap. And it even tilts down so I can aim it at the ground. It even gives my some added safety when it comes to "traffic" (I usually see at least 2 or 3 cars on the road.)

  • Problem #3: The treadmill. I have had to deal with the fact that I will have to get used to the treadmill. Running on the treadmill is hard. I thought about it a lot. One of the hard things for me is the repetitive motion. Outside you have terrain changes varying the demands on your muscles. With the treadmill it is just the same thing over and over. Mentally and physically it is boring. Solution: Focus on exercising, not running. I had to shift my paradigm. Distance is not the point. Working up a good sweat is the goal. I do my own version of speed work. Not because I am driven to be speedy, but it is a way to challenge myself. The treadmill is actually fun when I run a mile in less than 12 minutes. My treadmill also has programs where the speed and incline varies. It can actually be fun to do these, even though they include some walking. And I can speed them up if I want. So, even though I don't focus on running, I still run.

Perseverance, creativity, discipline...running is helping me to develop these characteristics. I am so thankful God chose to bring running into my life. ( BTW I love that I am only 1 pound from my pre-1st baby weight as well ;) )