Saturday, June 27, 2015

Run Sixty-Six: Early morning run and getting organized for strength training

Early morning (relatively speaking) runs are
a ton of fun. :D
Patrick and I played hooky from work yesterday (well, we arranged it with work on Thursday) and got all of our weekend errands done -- so today we were able to sleep in and relax all day. I woke up before Patrick did  and went for a run first thing in the morning while he was still sleeping. It was nice. I went to the gym because it's been raining all day. 

It was a good run, though not a best-best. I felt good and ran well. I loved being up early and getting moving before I did anything else. That was probably the coolest part! 

Another thing we did yesterday was go to the gym for the "design your own program" thing that we'd wanted to do on Wednesday. The poor trainer had three newbies in the group so we didn't wind out getting through everything in the one session. We've got like *half* a program now. We're going to meet up with him again on Monday evening and finish getting our individualized programs. We hope. If not we'll try to get into the group with a different trainer on Wednesday. 

(There was a lot of back and forth and a bit of stress over Patrick being able to do the design your own program yesterday -- Planet Fitness doesn't have anything like family memberships, so I have a membership that lets me bring a guest (Patrick). That made sense to us because Patrick doesn't drive, so he's not getting there without me. But guests aren't supposed to be able to do the design your own program thing. We talked them into letting him participate on Friday, but it's not at all clear whether or not he'll be able to finish the class if we can't get the trainer we were working with to finish up on Monday. And he only has half a program. He's the one who really needs it -- and really needs the trainer's help -- because he has a bad back and shoulder.)

Our plan for now is to continue going three times a week. We have a lot of stuff going on in our evenings, so we're going to aim for about an hour of exercising time each time. I want to start with strength training, but I don't want to stop running -- so I'm not entirely sure what I'm going to do. I'm thinking of doing their 30-minute circuit set up followed by a 20 minute run once a week. But that's not decided. 

Strength training is going to be tough at first -- we really didn't do much exercising yesterday (just enough for the trainer to decide what weight we should be lifting) and I'm sore. I blame the push-ups. Which are *evil*.  We're supposed to do three 12 rep sets and I doubt I can do more than one or two push-ups without face planting. (Patrick advises me to angle my head down so I land on my forehead rather than my face.) 

Anyway, that's the future -- today's run went well and I felt really good.

Next run (or next workout) is scheduled for Monday -- in keeping with the theme of the last week or so, I'm not exactly sure what's going to happen. I'm hoping that we'll be working with the trainer, which means that I won't get to run much more than to warm up for the strength training. Goal for the workout -- be awesome. :D 

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Run Sixty-Five: Plans Changed

I did wind out running after all. Which was
cool but not awesome. 

Patrick and I went to the gym together yesterday -- we thought we were going to be talking to the trainer there about getting a personalized fitness program for each of us, but (due to a miscommunication with the girl at the gym) we weren't able to. Apparently we need to sign up for that days in advance. So we're signed up for *next* week's design your own program session and we went on the treadmills instead. 

I wasn't really prepared for the treadmill -- until we were actually on the treadmills, I thought we were going to be trying to figure out their 30 minute circuit machines thing -- so I didn't have my phone, or a towel, or headphones so I could listen to music or watch TV. I just felt a little behind the eight-ball. 

Maybe the lack of other things to think about is part of why I felt so crampy in my calves and hamstrings (not just fatigue buildup) and winded. 

Another contributing factor for the crampy and winded is that I started out faster than I have been -- I usually ease into things and save my highest speeds for the last few minutes rather than starting out fast. I tried it the other way yesterday and I can't say it was a success. 

(A third contributing factor is that I've been swamped at work and haven't kept my head up enough to remember to drink water during the day -- so I was probably a little dehydrated when I started.)

On the other hand, I did pretty well, so I can't say it was a total failure either. And it was super cool having Patrick with me, so I'm actually pretty pleased!

Next run is scheduled for Saturday. The weather is supposed to be stormy and Patrick may be going to the gym with me. So I'll almost certainly be in the gym. Goal for the run -- improve! No cramps!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Run Sixty-Four: Rushed and running fast (for me)!

Best-best!! And I still have a cold! Woot! 
This is one of my tiny incremental improvements -- a best-best by one one-hundredth of a mile and three seconds per mile. I'm starting to feel a little like Sergey Bubka, the Soviet (later Ukrainian) pole vaulter in the 80s and 90s, incrementally breaking my own records one tiny little bit at a time. Only less awesome. I suppose personal records are meant to be broken, right? 

It was a really good run, though I felt a little rushed about it. We had friends coming over this evening after my run for boardgames and I wanted to have time to sweat off and get cleaned up. As it was, it worked out fine -- I got home about the same time one of the friends did, had dinner, then took a shower while folks were chatting and getting the game set up. But I think the nervous "rush rush rush" energy helped me keep going pretty well. 

I was going at 4.7 miles an  hour almost always when I was running, with one or two little 5.0 mph kicks at the ends. Mostly 4.7 though. I was walking at 3.7 most of the time too -- because my walking pace is speeding up pretty nicely as well. :D 

Anyway, despite my lingering cold and congestion and the rushiness of it, I did really well and felt really, really good! I love this!

Next run is scheduled for Wednesday. I'll definitely be at the gym, as Patrick and I are going to the gym together and are going to be getting started with the trainer there. I'm not sure how much time will be spent running as opposed to working with the trainer on a personalized strength routine. I'd like to do at least *some* running, of course. I just don't know what to expect, though. Goal for whatever it is: Approach with gusto and get sweaty!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Run Sixty-Three: Running with a cold. Still went well!

Not a best-best, but not too far off it (.02 of a mile),
which given my congestion isn't too bad. :D
I have either a bit of a cold or am having one mother of an allergy attack (which would be disturbing considering that I live on allergy medications) because I've spent the last couple of days congested and drippy. 

Anyway, congested and drippy is no reason to skip a run, so I went yesterday as planned. I didn't expect that I'd burn up the treadmill (definitely treadmill because we had severe weather bearing down on us) but I wanted to run for sure. 

Patrick went to the gym with me -- he wants to start doing some weight training, so we got him some gym shoes and upgraded my membership at Planet Fitness so I can bring a guest (i.e. him). He went to look around and talk to the folks there about what the training options are (he has a bad back and his doctor is in favor of strength training, but wants him to work with a trainer the first few times to learn good form). We're both going to do a class this week that gives each of us a personalized weight training routine. I'm excited to go to the gym with him! I'm also excited to start doing a bit of weight training, though I might have to lose a bit of running time to do so. We'll see how that plays out. 

Anyway, my run went way better than I thought it would. I only missed a best distance by two one-hundredths of a mile, which is hardly anything. I ran at 4.5 to 5 miles an hour, finishing each running interval at 5 miles an hour, and felt good while doing it. I actually felt better than last time on the treadmill (and definitely better than in the heat on the road on Wednesday, though the road has definite pleasures of its own), despite the congestion and scratchy lungs.

Next run is scheduled for Monday. I'm not sure where I'll be. Road would be more convenient, as we have a social engagement planned for after and road gets me home sooner. But there's always a chance of weather in the summer around here. And always a chance of ridiculous heat and humidity. I might have to shave a little bit of time off at the end (because of said social engagement) and I don't know how I'm going to be feeling. So all in all, my goal for the run is to do it and do as well as possible. 

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Run Sixty-Two: On the Road and feeling sweaty! :D

Best road run ever, by 1/100th of a mile.
Still -- that means it was good! 
When I got home from my run today, my husband asked how it was. My answer, "I've got sweat running in my eyes and making them sting." That was, in a way, part and parcel of it being a good run -- I was soaking with sweat and breathing hard and had just run a little tiddly bit better than ever before on the road. It was a really good run. 

And the sweat was stinging my eyes. In a cool way. 

It seems like there ought to be a metaphor there, but darned if I can think of it.

I didn't run as well as I was hoping to -- I don't really like having this much of a difference between my road and treadmill runs and want to up my road game to bring it inline. But running on the road is harder -- there are hills and it's hot out and sometimes I'm running over grass and just... seriously!!

But it went well on the whole -- I didn't run quite as far for my first, longest, run as I have been. I had my first allergy shot yesterday and woke up terribly congested. I'm not at all certain whether there's a connection or just happenstance. And I took a decongestant first thing in the morning. So I don't know that I wasn't breathing as well this evening when I was running. And if I was, I don't know whether or not it was connected to the allergy shot.

Anyway, it was a good run and I got sweat in my eyes. Cool stuff!

Next run is scheduled for Saturday. Whether or not I'm on the road depends largely on when I run, how hot it is, and whether there are thunderstorms yet. If I'm on the road, I want to crack 2.7 miles. Preferably by a lot. If I'm on the treadmill, I want to crack 2.8. I'm pretty sure both of those goals are accomplishable. 

Monday, June 15, 2015

Run Sixty-One: This keeps getting better!

Oh, wow, y'all!! This is so cool! Another
best-best! ::happy dance::
Thunderstorms and heat kept me on the treadmill this evening. This worked out totally fine as I beat Saturday's treadmill run -- just kept going with the 4.7 to 5 miles an hour when running (and 3.7 mostly when walking). It felt so great -- I could tell I was pushing, but being able to push like that and go so well is just awesome!

I'm even starting to dig being all sweaty when I finish. When I started this back in January, I hardly got sweaty at all because I just couldn't do much. Now the sweat is like a badge of how far I've come.

I've found a way to beat the lack of stimulation of the treadmill -- I got the second season of the TV show Castle through Google Play and can watch it on our tablet. One episode is exactly the right length for one of my runs (with the cool-down after). It's kind of fun to have something to focus on (so I don't obsess about time and that sort of thing). And it mixes up nicely with the road where I have birdies and squirrels and other runners and the ups and downs of the sidewalk to pay attention to. 

Next run is scheduled for Wednesday. From the weather report I heard this morning, I'm hoping I'll be out on the road. ::fingers crossed:: If I am on the road, my goal is to go more than 2.7 miles. If I'm on the treadmill, I want to do better than this run (2.8 miles isn't too far off, right?). :D 

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Run Sixty: Oh, yeah!! :D

Check out that distance!! And that average pace!
Shit howdy! 
I was on the treadmill today, because it was in the 90s with a ton of humidity in the middle of the day, which is when I went for my run. We'd already gotten up a good sweat with a walk earlier in the day as well -- we went to a local mall that has a rectangular layout.

We usually do one lap at speed when we arrive, which is a mile (according to the website). We actually did a lap and at least a third before we slowed down. My husband, Patrick, who has always walked a lot faster than me for as long as we've known each other, was setting the pace . I think he was trying to see if he'd be able to get ahead of me, but I kept up the whole way, even when he increased the pace. Toward the very end, he got way ahead of me at some stairs and I had to run for a few steps to catch up, but he wasn't out-walking me. I'm almost as pleased about that as about being able to hike again. 

Anyway, we did well over one lap (closer to one and a half) at around 3.5 miles an hour. We strolled another couple of laps after that.

All of that was before I went for my run. 

My run was incredibly awesome -- I ran light and fast (for me). I ended my two big running stretches (because I do walk in the middle) at 5 miles an hour for  a minute or two, which felt wonderful. I was walking faster as well. And I went farther and faster than I ever have before, by a respectable amount (not just nibbling at it). It was just pure awesome, is what it was.
Between the walking and the running and a fairly light dinner and lunch, we even got frozen yogurt for dessert after dinner. :D I'm digging a tropical mix lately -- coconut and mango yogurt with sliced strawberries and mochi on top. Super-summery! 

Next run is scheduled for Monday. It appears there's a chance of thunderstorms  (which is pretty common here in the summer), so whether I'm on the treadmill or the road will depend on whether those thunderstorms actually happen here. Goal for the run: I think I've generally been achieving a "be awesome" goal, so I'll shoot for that. :D 

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Run Fifty-Nine: Injury free on my best road run! :D

Now that's what I'm talking about!! Only a tiny little
bit off a best-best! :D 
My goal for this run was to get a best-best on the road and I came *this* close -- I missed it by 1/100th of a mile. Another classic case of getting a little burned by not obsessing on time or the clock too much while I'm going -- if I'd known how close I was, I'm sure I could have pushed out a little bit more to go those extra few steps. 

Still, I didn't hurt myself and I did kick my previous road best of 2.61 in the butt. 

It was kind of an awesome run really. :D And that's with me still off my allergy medicine and somewhat breathing impaired. It's been ages since I got the Secret Runner Society smile from other runners (I don't know why, it's like everyone around here got kind of introverted or something) but I did today, twice. Same two guys both times -- they were running a different loop around the lake. 

As expected, the allergist appointment didn't interfere with running at all, though it did take almost two hours (because there's a fair amount of down time waiting to react to the allergens). We got home at almost a normal time and it was a beautiful evening to be out for a run (though maybe a little warm). I'm going to be starting allergy shots next week. I'm not at all surprised to be allergic to dust but rather bummed to be allergic to tree pollen. I love trees.

Next run is scheduled for Saturday. Weather is not supposed to be rainy but it is supposed to be hot and humid. Whether or not I'm on the road will probably be dictated by when I get out. Goal for the run: Keep Best-Besting!! :D

Monday, June 8, 2015

Run Fifty-Eight: Best-Best? Really?

A best-best, but kind of on a technicality.
Still, I'll take it! 
I was on the treadmill tonight on account of weather. And on account of not knowing how my skinned leg was going to react to running and if I started bleeding, I wanted to be able to stop and deal with it.

This looks like a best-best, but I'll admit freely that I didn't do as much running as usual -- I made it up by walking faster during my walking stretches. I also ran more of my running stretches at 4.7 and 4.9 miles an hour, though they were shorter.

I don't think that not being able to run for longer at a stretch has anything to do with my leg, though it's a little bit hurty and the half-acre of bandage on it is annoying. I've been off my allergy medicine since Saturday, preparatory to going to the allergist on Wednesday. So  I'm a little more congested than usual and therefore got winded easier. 

Walking even at 3.7 miles an hour is easier than running and doesn't stress my lungs as much. 

Next run is scheduled for Wednesday, after my allergist appointment. I don't really envision my allergist appointment interfering with running -- I'm getting skin-tests, but unless something strange happens I just don't see it being a problem for running. If I'm wrong about that, I'll run on Thursday. At the moment, the weather is looking promising me being on the road. Having succeeded in my goal of not injuring myself today, I'm going to be aiming for a best-best on the road. 

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Run Fifty-Seven: Skin on the Sidewalk

Different app, same stats. Not a best-best, even
on the road.
My mom and dad read this blog, so I'm going to start with the reassurance -- I'm fine and all is totally well.

Having removed some of the drama from the narrative, alas, I'll go back to the beginning: I got my first ever running injury today. It's only two weeks after my first ever hiking injury. I'm starting to suspect that innate klutziness may be why I was not especially encouraged to be a physically active kid.

Serious road rash. Wah! 
Anyway, I had about 45 seconds left of running time and was getting tired, but excited to Go As Fast As Possible for those last 45 seconds.

I got two or three steps into that, just enough to get up a good head of momentum, and tripped over a bit of uneven pavement. I went absolutely arse over teakettle, rolled and skidded on the sidewalk.  I got up and continued went home, but didn't push myself to go as fast during my final five minutes of walking (on the clock) as I would have.

Which is a bummer, I was at the end of a good run -- I probably wasn't going to beat the 2.68 miles I've done the last couple of times on the treadmill, but might have, but would have beaten both the 2.60 (estimated) miles of my last road run and the 2.58 miles of my last run where the GPS didn't poop out on me.

Ah, well!

I have a feeling I'm going to be a little creaky tomorrow -- among other things, I didn't cool down the way I'm used to. And instead of a post-run snack, I got rubbing alcohol on my leg. (Can I just say that hurts like the devil?? I can't believe we do that to little children when they get skinned knees.)

Next run is scheduled for Monday. I can't imagine this interfering with it. I don't have any idea what the weather is supposed to be, so I don't know if I'll be on the road or the treadmill. Whichever it is my goal is modest this time -- No Injuries! 

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Run Fifty-Six: Missed it by *that* much!

I honestly didn't think I'd done as well as I did.
When I saw the final numbers after my run, I was kind of surprised. I didn't think I'd done as well as I wound out doing -- this isn't a Best-Best, but the distance is the same as Monday's run and the pace is only one second per mile shorter. I didn't feel nearly as light and free and glide-y as I did on Monday. 

I don't know if this is connected, but I didn't have a pre-run snack today, which I normally do. I prefer not to run on an empty stomach, because I figure I need to have some energy to run on. But today there were muffins in the office and I was powerless to resist the chocolate muffin with cream cheese filling. So I didn't want to have *another* snack later in the day. 

Anyway, I don't know if it was running while hungry that made the difference in how I felt today. I didn't feel bad, just didn't have a spring in my step. 

Anyway, it was still a good run. The last five minutes of running time, I did three at 4.5, two at 4.7 and one at 5.0. So I definitely ended on a high note. :D

Next run is scheduled for Saturday. I think I'm in with a chance of being on the road, which will be cool. Goal for the run: See if I can go as well on the road as I have been on the treadmill the last couple of days. I think I might be able to -- the GPS has short changed me a couple of times, I think.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Run Fifty-Five: Five Miles an Hour!! And Best-Best! :D

WOWOW!! That average pace beats my best by
almost 20 seconds per mile!! :D 
Wowzers, y'all!! I kicked my best pace in the butt today -- 19 seconds per mile faster than my best pace last Wednesday. That's my biggest improvement ever!! 

I even ran for five miles an hour for a while. Not a long while, mind, maybe a minute or two, but that's the fastest I've ever run. 

Getting better and better!! 

I was on the treadmill today because of really rough weather -- lightning and thunder and incredibly heavy rain. I even got asked by someone outside the gym if a particular cloud was a funnel cloud. (Answer: No, though it might have been indicative of a bit of spinning type energy in the atmosphere.) I managed to leave in a bit of a lull -- rain and lightning in the distance, but home mostly. Then it all broke again once I was secure at home. 

Once I got home, we had some really very lovely Spanish cheeses (with light crackers) for dinner -- Valdeon is a rather astonishing blue, some raw milk Manchego that was lovely, and a very nice fresh goat cheese. I really enjoyed the goat cheese but I think the star of the plate was the Manchego. An excellent capstone to the day -- with beer and drawing yet to come. 

Next run is scheduled for Wednesday. I'm not totally sure what the weather's going to be like, so treadmill vs. road is likely to be an in-the-moment decision. Goal for the run, if inside: More at 5 miles an hour because that felt great!! Goal for the run, if on the road: Do at least as well as Saturday, without the GPS fail. Preferably better.