Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Quick catch-up of the summer of running

Heat. Heat is the word for the day regarding my running experience of the summer! Heat. Heat. Heat. Can't type it enough to illustrate how it dominated my running. When I ran. Heat.How fast I ran. Heat.How much water I drank. Heat. Heat. Heat!
Now, here's the good news. "They" tell me that my time will be SO much faster when it cools off because of the conditioning I've experienced this summer. While winter and spring were honeymoon experiences, the summer was when the "bloom was off the vine". I had to dig in and find deeper reasons for the love of running. It was a surprise, this heat, this dealing with the heat. Yet, I am glad for it. There is a core of love for this stuff, this running! I am willing to dig wherever and however I need to to keep it going! Running with Elvis at the gates of Graceland August 15th. Come join me!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Zoom through the Zoo evolved to Stumble through the Zoo

Well, well, well...what a difference 9/10 of a mile makes from a 5k to a 4 miler! Let's just say I have a healthy respect for those mastering a 4 miler. It was at night, it was hot, I was underhydrated and undernourished...a recipe for disaster. I will say that at least I ran the two miles through the zoo and had a last minute burst of energy in the last 1/10 of a mile to race over the finish line. Other than that, this race kicked my butt! I am still glad I did it. Last week I placed first in my age group, right? This week: 26 out of 32 women and I am thankful for THAT ranking! I didn't come in last, did I?
The next two weeks bring old fashioned training and gym workouts. No 5k looming in the horizon this weekend. I set my sites on the ultrafun Harbortown 5k...flat as a pancake passing by beautiful homes and the scenic Mississippi River on June 5. It's followed by beer, live bands and a party as the sun sets on the river. Certainly a nice reprieve from Thursday nights "not quite Zoomer" here...lol.
My marathon running triathlete 60 year old uncle was visiting from New Orleans this weekend. He gave me one of his running caps developed by my hero, John Bingham. It even has the penguin logo on the cap. It is now called my "lucky cap".
You know what? I don't care if I place first or last...I am running and I love it!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Facebook turned my blog mind into mush!

It's true! I totally turncoated on blogging! Facebook is like junk food! Hard to stop once you start ! Maggie at maggiereads.blogspot.com has enticed me back into the world of blogging by returning me to where this all began: The Southern Reading Challenge. I have no idea what I'm going to read,yet. I am looking forward to searching this week for a short list of nominees.

I resorted to using this page as a sort of journal of my running. Facebook even sucked THAT away from my blog. So much easier, so much instant gratification when you post something there.
I finished my 7th 5k yesterday. This one was my first hometown race and I won in my age division. Got myself some bling, I did! Most of runs have been in Memphis.I've run past upscale neighborhoods,golf courses,old churches, schools, universities, rolling farmland,lakes and ponds.I've heard the sound of the police cruiser's engine close behind me as we both closed down a course together, the sound of children cheering and grown folks clapping and waving.I've thanked policemen at busy intersections as they held traffic at bay, young kids reaching out to me with cups of cool water, been touched by the elderly couple, still running, but holding hands as they did.
Running has been the most dramatic internal transformation I have experienced in a long time. It amazes me, surprises me, pushes me and gives me a deep down kind of confidence no self help book in the world could deliver.
I have finished first in my age group, last in my age group, top half, bottom half, one spot away from a medal. Every race, I didn't care about the bling. Just racing against myself. My bottom line goal in every race is to start running and not stop, no matter what, until I cross the finish line.
This week I "Zoom through the Zoo". I'm looking forward to looking at animals as I pass my way through another race.
Here's hoping I'm back on track with the blogging.
Thanks to all who read and encourage me. It is appreciated!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

I carved over 2 minutes off my 5k time yesterday!

Second 5k time was 38:17. First 5k time was 40:27. The fast runners in my age group "showed up" this week at this 5K...lol. I don't care, though, because I improved my personal best. That's honestly all I care about. Getting better. You just can't beat the sound of the starting bell and humanity starting run at the same time. Wow! Powerful stuff!
Running my 3rd 5K next Saturday! I'm hooked!

Friday, April 3, 2009

I am running my second 5K in the morning!

This week was so different in training for the 5K, this second one. I was aware of what I was eating and how/if it would slow my down,add weight to me. I added more miles and worked harder at the gym. I am pretty sure the real speedy runners from my age group will be there tomorrow but that doesn't bother me. I just want to run with the "brotherhood of man".

Sunday, March 29, 2009

I ran my first 5k and place 3rd in my age group!

Yes! I did! I really did! On whim, I decided to just jump in and run a 5K. I had been in a mental slump with running and felt I needed something to jolt me out of it. I didn't do anything to prepare other than my usual running/weight lifting routine but I left off my Friday run to rest my legs for the Saturday 5k because I'd read that somewhere.
I didn't sleep too well the night before and I worried that I would be too fatigued to even finish. Also, I train on a flat course and this was a hilly course. It challenged me but I just kept my slow little pace and forged on. Frankly, I think the reason I even placed is because the fast runners in my age category weren't there. My finish time was 40:27 and the next woman up was under 34. See? So, I've signed up for another one next week in Memphis. Clearly, I have caught the bug. I met two women near my age who are runners and they were very encouraging. A neighbor's brother was one of the volunteers who welcomed me. It's a community, from what I can tell. But here's the thing...yes I loved the comraderie, loved the tshirt LOVED the medal and applause...but what I really loved was being a solitary runner, with my own thoughts, my own music, running in collaboration with all these different kind of runners... I don't feel competitive with others. I just want to beat my own time everytime it's possible!This 5K gave me the boost to keep going,the confidence that I am "on to something" and a renewed hope and excitement about hitting the pavement again in the morning. A solitary runner, once again.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Begin Month 9 today!

Wow! I've really lagged behind in my blog, haven't I? Blame it on Facebook, the new love of my life!
I have been running, though...and I joined a gym and started that a couple of weeks ago. I really like working out with weights. Last week was Spring Break and I was off schedule so I didn't get the miles in I should. Today felt great, my legs felt so rested!
The running is still good and I find it to be a positive constant when life swirls around you and tries to trip you up!
It was a relief to return to the road after a break. Back to the gym this afternoon and forging onward toward the mythical 5K soon!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Week 30 went out with a whimper

Gee, I hate writing whimper in my blog title. Work has been kicking my butt lately. Left on a school trip Friday, tried to run on the beach..ouch, that is a painful thing to do! Ate junk food on the road, rode all night in a charter bus...you get the picture. NOT conducive to a runner's life. So, I only logged 8.5 miles last week because of it. This week my goal is increased time. I'm not going to think about distance. I'm just going to up my time to 35 minutes and run it no matter how far I go. I've got to put it in high gear for the 5K's coming up.
A bright spot? When I got home at 4:30a.m. Sunday from the trip, my new Runner's World mag was here. Talk about divine intervention. I slept all yesterday and will rest again today, but tomorrow? back on it with a vengeance!

Saturday, February 28, 2009

I started month 8 this week!

This week I started month 8! What a great week! I logged 10.6 miles. YES! The good news just keeps a comin...ha!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

And This Week I Logged 10.4 Miles! A GREAT Finish To Month 7! Yes!

Today I tagged on 1.5 miles in a wet cold drizzle to bring my mileage total for the week to 10.4 miles. The past two weeks I couldn't seem to get past 9.4...but finally my body cooperated and I was able to make it to this short term goal. Last night I went to Walgreens and bought every woman's fitness magazine I could find. Lots of great information for me to use when I make it to the gym, which I haven't made it to,yet. Work is closing in on me right now but in the next few days I'll take my nerdy,fitness book reading self in there and get started. I'm excited about that. Have gone online and picked out 3 or 4 5Ks to run in the spring so I will begin focusing on doing those well...Have I mentioned, I love this running?? Yippee!!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

This past week I logged 9.4 miles!

In reference to the last post, yes running helped the aching heart. The ache is a distant memory and for that I am thankful. Resting up today, starting another week tomorrow and joining a gym. Time to strengthen the core more than I can with my "home remedies" lol!
Looking forward with excitement to 5K's very very soon!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Thank God for Running When You Have An Aching Heart

It seems I have an aching heart. It's an emotionally aching heart. And so I'm going for my 5th run of the week to try and make it to ten miles. And it gives me even more reasons to be thankful for running, to be grateful for running, to love the running like I do. It can be a comfort on a dark day.It has almost taken on the qualities of a trusted companion.At this point, that quite possible may be as close as I get to one of those, a trusted companion, I mean.
Hope the run is as good as yesterdays. This is an afternoon run and usually I don't fare as well, but, what the heck?

Sunday, February 8, 2009

I logged 9.4 miles this week

Yes, you read it right! This week I added a fifth short run which brought me to 9.4 miles. There were some really great moments this week. I find that running alleviates stress. That if I'm upset or worried I can hit the pavement and a lot of the troubled thoughts seem to dissipate. So, it's in the head..this running..I have maintained that concept for quite some time now...today, though it was my short run, I had hard time getting into it..it was really warm compared to what I'd been used to..it was an afternoon run and I usually run in the mornings...and I was in a moody black funk mood...the mood did lighten a bit but those feelings were pretty intense..I daresay it would have taken a run to Sardis Lake and back to chase those dark thoughts away.. Oh, well..maybe another day, huh?
I am working toward ten miles per week.I think it will probably take another six weeks to work up to that.
Tomorrow is a rest day and then Tuesday..it starts again. I am anxious for Tuesday already...

Thursday, February 5, 2009

The Effect of Facebook on a running journal

Lest you think I've stopped running, I haven't! In fact four mornings a week I'm out there 30 minutes straight...running. Right now the 70's tunes are perking me up. I also notice how much easier the runs are getting, especially since I'm not battling food at all those holiday parties! I love running and I especially love the emotional feeling after a run. Not a drop of guilt on my psyche at that point! I'm running roughly 8 1/2 miles per week but I have my eye on increasing to 10 miles a week by putting in a "short run" on a fifth day. After musical director demands cease at the end of February, I crave some gym time! Need some core strength. Also there is great optimism as the "season of 5Ks" approaches.
So the effect of Facebook is this: I'm on THERE all the time instead of here all the time! Details of the "fb" addiction in coming blog entries!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Today is not about the running

Yesterday was my dad's 80th birthday. If you are a Facebook fiend like I am you can see some great pics of him on that day there. My sister sent out 75 letters to friends, family, congregation members of past churches and others asking them to write a favorite memory or story about dad. He's a colorful character who has always marched to his own drum while being a loving and attentive father to us and husband to our mother.
He has always been difficult to buy gifts for. He has expensive taste and usually will choose his gift and tell us how much it is. HA! We are always happy to do that because the alternative is always something he wouldn't like.
The responses came pouring in and my sister compiled them very creatively into a scrapbook. His reaction was priceless. This man who loves designer clothes,sports cars(has a prized 1990 two door jaguar in the garage)and the finer things in life was speechless.
I don't think he realized how valued he was,how many people he had influenced throughout his 80 years. His response later was a classic. He said "If I'd gotten this book at age 30 I would have lived my life a little differently."
I think that's true of all of us. If we knew those that we helped along the way and HOW we helped them...wouldn't that make it easier for us to follow that "good path"?
Maybe we should live like someone is going to fill our scrapbook when we are 80 with the things we did to help them along in life.
It's food for thought, that's for sure!

Monday, January 26, 2009

So, I guess this is week 25 but there's no week 25 in my book! Yikes!

Today I began week 25 of running. I ran for 30 minutes. I ran out of running log entries in the back of my "Beginning Running" book. Fortunately, when I subscribed to Runner's World magazine a while back, they sent me a Runner's logbook. It's a little more complicated but I can see where it will help me improve my running. There are all kinds of things I can add in now that I've hit the 30 minute mark averaging 2.2 miles right now. One thing I thought was interesting was something called...well I forget what it's called and the logbook is upstairs...so...anyway...it's something that helps you prep for running a 5K. Details later when I RE-read it.
So, I guess I'm a runner. I am technically an Athena runner because I weigh over 145 pounds. I wonder why that makes me feel less of a runner. Maybe because all I see are lean runners in the magazines. Surely, I'd LIKE to be one of those lean runners. My legs and arms are already lean but parts of me...ummmm...NOT so lean!And, thankfully, I'm not really running to lose weight, though I'm watching my calories because the lighter I am the better the run. I'm running because I LOVE it! I love how I feel when I'm running(most of the time) and I REALLY love the way I feel when I'm doing a post run stretch session and I REALLY REALLY like the way I feel emotionally about myself and who I am now. THAT'S the best...the greatest reward I've got going right now. And that's enough for me!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Today I ran 30 minutes straight!

Today I ran 30 minutes straight. I've never done that before. It was 2.2 miles so, what's that? A little under 15 minute mile? I'll take that. I ran the 5K route I'll be running in May. Obviously I didn't run the whole thing. There are "dog issues" on the leg of it I didn't run. Gonna have to borrow dad's doggie mace he carries when he cycles. So, if I ran 2.2 in 30 then surely I can finish a 5K in 45 minutes or less, hopefully, since I have until May to increase time and mileage,right? Clearly I need to do some tech reading about running.
It was surreal, symbolic and has not completely sunk in. I read back through my journal that began in August and how I struggled and how much I've learned.
One favorite comment I made:
"Went to Cracker Barrell for breakfast and then to the track for my morning run. I felt like I was running with bricks in my stomach." Valuable lesson learned, don't tank up on food before you run, idiot!
Another favorite memory was the first time I ran in the rain. I always thought you cancelled if it rained, but you don't! I've run with ice, rain, wind so strong I ran with it instead of against it, hot muggy mornings, crisp cold fall mornings, mornings hungover after too many mimosas at a christmas party, hungover with too much FOOD from a christmas party, Christmas Eve...it's just shown me that if you want to do something, you do it. If you don't, there's plenty of barriers just waiting for you to throw them up in your own way.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Today it was 11 degrees when I ran and I didn't feel my feet for the first mile!

I'm not so creative with my blog entries on running these days. I am putting in the time, putting in the miles, filling the running prescription I was given in the book. I hate the fight I have with my mind on cold mornings. My mind says stay in bed and my body is ready to run. It's interesting...this concept of mind over matter...the mind runs the show, that's for sure! If I ever get the running clothes on...I'm in good shape..the actual run is always enjoyable and challenging in a good way. So today I ran again on a rest day because I didn't want to play the mind games I always play on rest days: "was that your last run?" "are you going to quit now?""if you eat that your run will suck tomorrow". There's peace after I run...a personal peace with myself. It's like going to some kind of confessional or something. I feel pure like you do after having done the right thing. I am easiest and kindest on myself after a run and give myself break. The further away from the run, there's probably a little fear that I won't do it again. Why, you ask? Because I have started and stopped a bajillion diets and exercise regimes since I was 13 years old. Ah, but that's another subject probably NOT for another day! HA!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Schizophrenic Runner That I Am, Today I HATED Running in the "Brisk Cold"

What a struggle I am having this week. My mind is really battling to stay in bed on these cold mornings. It is SO hard to throw the covers back and get up and get dressed to run. Here's the thing, though. Once I get outside there's a smile in my heart about running. So, what that tells me is I have to ignore the lazy voice inside that says "Snooze button...just one more time." I also think there is a part of me that's scared to get to the next level...which will be "run 30 minutes". Strange, huh? Wonder why that scares me. Not something I can figure out here in this blog, but food for thought, definitely.
For the record, I did take my underarmored self out into the elements to run this morning and felt so much better when I did.

Monday, January 12, 2009

I am loving this running on a brisk cold morning!

Today was Monday. Usually a hard transition from lovely weekends,but today my run helped me start the week out in a positive way with brisk cold weather and feeling so great while running. I have a hybrid route now. One that splices together an old running course with some new territory. I am finding that it's important to switch up your route to avoid boredom. I enjoy seeing new things and stretching the run out for longer distances. This weekend I'm going to try to run the actual 5K course that our town will do in May. Right now it's a stretch for me to go much past 2 miles in 30 minutes.(Though it was somewhat discouraging to read in a running book I have that 14 minute mile was as high as the "if you run a timed mile this is how you'll run a 5K, half and full marathon"chart would go)Nevertheless, to be close to 15 minute miles almost everytime now is a great encouragement to this fledgling runner. In a way, I'm glad the book presented it that way because that gives me a reference point for what they consider a "slow mile"...clearly it's 14 minutes! So, I will keep plugging along, almost like taking a pill methodically and correctly, and by Spring Break, I should see a faster mile coming my way. Keep the head straight, put in the time and it falls in place.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Week 23-Run 28/walk 1/run 1

Today I started week 23. This is significant in that this is a 24 week plan. Next week I will be running 30 minutes straight! If you read back to my last entry and what a rough run it was, it will make this entry all the more meaningful. This was one of the best runs of my life!(Of course, the true context is the last 6 monthes 'cause that's all I've ever run in my life.) I felt like I was running on air, it felt good, the tunes playing in my ear were vintage high school favorites and I found myself smiling as I trucked on down the road. Too bad the crossing guard wasn't out there because I KNOW he would've said:"Running fast today, aren't you?" Will I really find the courage to run in "public" at a 5K? That's my next hurdle in this mind game called running. I can't say that enough! It is a HEAD GAME!I can't wait to run again on Sunday!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

How you know the town's taken notice that you are a runner

This morning was a struggling run and it was all I could do to finish it. So, I've made my big loop of the run which passes back by my house and as I turn the corner the school crossing guard says(who, by the way, has NEVER spoken a word to me before) "Running kind of slow this morning, aren't you?" Honestly!!I wanted to say "H*** yeah I'm runnin slow!" But I didn't.I just reminded myself that at least I was out there and that I wasn't running for anyone else but myself and it didn't matter what anyone in this WORLD thought about how much, how long, how fast, how slow I was running. Once again I was reminded that it is a MIND GAME! Running is in your head!If your head is right, the run will be right. It is shocking being back at school and having to do the early runs again in cold January. It is also gratifying to return to work and have those you work with notice the continuing change. So, all in all, not a bad day!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Week 22- Run 26/walk 1/run 3

I'm starting week 22 a bit late(Thursday) as I was out of town and well...just got lazy! So today I fully expected running to give me a swift kick from being out of the routine but it didn't! Today, running cut me some slack for my evil eating ways. Who'd of thought it!Just goes to show the contradictory ways of trying to get healthy. Regardless of the dread of returning to the road after a hiatus of three days,I pushed myself out there, expecting a HORRIBLE time...geez! When will I learn? I am still green behind the ears, but one thing's for sure, I am still madly in love with running! This time last year...last new year's day..I couldn't have run 20 seconds! Unbelievable!I really hope I find the courage to run a 5K! Running is so solitary for me that I fear getting in a crowd with it! Ah, well. I'll keep ya'll posted! Thanks SO MUCH for the encouragement! It helps!