Saturday, May 30, 2009

the give-away made me do it ...

write this post, that is ...

But one of the bloggers I follow, Erica, is giving away a pair of Thorlo socks and I'm picking up an additional entry by blogging about it. I appreciate the idea for a blog post and especially love the chance to win something! My running budget is not very large and the chance to win a good pair of socks is exciting. I do have 3 pairs of Title 9 socks that I'm rotating now and love. They're thin and I'd like to try the additional cushioning of the Thorlos to see how I like that. Thanks, Erica!

I'm still working on blogging regularly, kind of like I'm working on running regularly. You know, when it comes down to it, I'm still basically the lazy procastinator I've always been. I have good intentions, but actually putting them into practice requires dedication. -sigh- I'm such a slacker, sometimes.

You know, I don't want this blog to be a place to criticize myself, but I've always been very hard on myself. As a whole, running has empowered me and made me realize that I can do it! I just have to constantly fight against the lazy side of myself, and a lot of times, I lose that battle.

Let's see ... what else ...

I've had a successful week with getting up early to run in the mornings 2 times. I love to sleep and am not a morning person at all, so getting out of bed before I absolutely have to is a victory in and of itself! I ran 2 miles both Wednesday and Friday mornings. I did a little upper body workout with my hand weights Thursday morning. I also walked during my lunch hour Thursday and Friday.

Kate and I have not had a chance to continue the couch to 5k plan since the first time last Friday evening. Starting that before school and softball are over was probably not a great idea. She had 3 softball games last week as well as 1 practice. That along with the last "real" week of school did not leave a lot of time for anything else. We'll try to get out and run sometime today or tomorrow. Four more days of school (yay!) and 2 more weeks of softball and then her schedule will free up ... isn't that strange to say that my 8-year-old has a schedule ...

Well, now I need to get up and go outside to help with yard work. It's a beautiful day here in North Carolina and our yard needs lots of attention!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Couch 2 5k & Kate!

I started the Couch to 5k with Kate tonight. She wants to start a training program and from everything I've read, this is the best one. We alternated 1 minute of jogging with 90 seconds of walking for a total of 20 minutes. She did great! I'm very proud of her and we hope to continue this for the full length of the program (8 weeks, I believe). Here's the graph of tonight's workout minus the 5 minutes walking before and after. We had a great time!

Monday, May 4, 2009

I wanna see a straight line!

The name of this blog is "GISrunner" ... I tell people when they ask about my exercise plans & I say "I run" ... I even have a subscription to "Runner's World." But deep down inside, I don't consider myself to be a runner yet because I think I still take way too many walk breaks and my slow shuffle is really a jog. I'm being very generous to describe myself as a runner.

I've been using the Nike+ since September. I bought it about 5 weeks or so after I started the Couch to 5k plan. I like it because it keeps up with the mileage and pace for me. I know it's not completely accurate, but for the most part I think it's at the most 5% off when I've measured routes on my mapping system. I can live with that. Plus I really like using the slowgeek website to graph the runs so I can see the run/walk portions.

Here's the first run measured with the Nike+ in September. I was at the track and made an effort to warm-up, break up the run/walk portions evenly and then cool down. Yep, I did a pretty good job of doing just that.

Now here's graph for the Harvest Days' 5k in October that was more of a cross-country type course on the horse trails at the 4H Rural Life Center. It measured slightly short and that didn't surprise me at the time. There were parts that were not marked very well and I may have cut a turn or two a little short. I started off too fast and had to take a lot of short walk breaks.

So now here's the graph from Saturday's Patriots' 5k.

Argh, there are those dips from the walk breaks again! I'm really looking forward to the day when I can have that magical straight line graph. I have a few treadmill workouts that are like that. I just have a hard time maintaining a consistent pace outdoors that I can maintain the entire time. The hills in Saturday's 5k were a little unexpected as was the headwind and it had an impact on my legs. But on the bright side, there are some good stretches at a 10:00 pace, so I need to concentrate on that.

Maybe I'm being too hard on myself ... after all, that's what I do best! I just really want to call myself a runner and believe it!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Patriots' 5k

I had a blast today at my third 5k! It was the first time I've had anyone with me at a race. Kate had already made plans to go to breakfast with Papa this morning, so they left home a little before me so they could go to Oscar's for pancakes. I went on to Crowley's and registered for the 5k and signed up Kate for the 1 mile fun run. I had enough time to talk with Tammy who I went to school with. She races in triathlons and is the one who sent the registration flier to me. I also spoke to a couple of others who graduated from Halifax Academy as well. Kate and HT hadn't made it there by the time we started, but that was fine as I didn't expect them to finish eating that soon.

This was a small race and the only the second time it's been held as a fundraiser for Cornerstone Christian's athletic programs. I'm guessing there were probably around 100 runners total, including the kids in the one mile run. We started at 9:00 and I tried to keep reminding myself not to go out too fast. My goal was to finish under 35:00 so I was shooting for better than 11:30 miles. Yeah, still slow ...

Wouldn't you know it, there were two long, sloping hills in the first mile. Not a promising start, but I kept plugging along. I tried to maintain a fairly consistent run:walk ratio. I can't remember exactly what I did, but will upload my slowgeek graph when I get a chance. The rolling hills throughout the whole course were a little difficult as was the wind. Neither one may not have been too bad for other more experienced/fit runners, but to this overweight 39-year-old newbie, it was tough.

I checked my watch at the 2 mile mark and realized I probably wasn't going to finish under 35:00, but I gave it my best. One last hill at the end and I pushed it as hard as I could to the finish. My finish was 35:58 according to my watch and 36:03 according to the official time. I'm not sure which time I should go by as this small race wasn't chip-timed.

I am really happy with the outcome even though I didn't meet my goal. I know I pushed myself. Could I have done more? I might could have gone a little harder in the beginning, but I really was quite tired by the end so that may have been my best. All in all, I'm pleased.

Then the best was yet to come because Kate started calling "Mama" when I crossed the finish line. She and HT had gotten there in time to see me finish and that was great! We pinned her number on (#182) and I told her about the 2 hills she'd have to run. She lined up with her friend Eric and was ready to go. I ran part of the way down the course so I could get a picture of her. I'm so proud! She finished in 6th and had a great time. I really hope this is just the first of many races for her and that she develops a love for running at a young age. By the time she finished, Taylor and Will had arrived (Will was a sleepyhead this morning and didn't wake up in time to go to breakfast with Papa).

So now it's time to train for a June 20 race. I'm planning on doing the 10k and begin training Monday. Hopefully Kate and Taylor will do the 5k. I'm so excited!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Still here / still running / still blogging

Yep, I'm still around ... life just seems to take over sometimes, doesn't it? I'm still running although not nearly as much I had hoped during the month of April. We went to Orlando April 17-25 and I didn't run any while there. I'm a little disappointed in myself about that because I'd really planned on running at least a couple of times. I allowed myself to get a little too involved in family stuff while at the resort on the days we didn't go to the parks. I just didn't want to wake up early enough on those days to run before it interfered with family time. This running thing is a not the habit/necessity I want it to be yet, but I will get there. There's no way I feel guilty about having fun with Taylor and the kids and doing the things they wanted to do, though. I want running to become a consistent part of my lifestyle, but family absolutely comes first.

I've run twice this week so far. Both runs were while Kate had softball practice. The 2 mile route around TJ Davis Recreation Center is on the roads and is hillier than I'm used to, but I did okay. Last night was at Chockoyotte Park and it was the best run I've had in a while! I really like the crushed gravel path around the park. For the first time in quite a while, I ran (well, jogged at about an 11:00 pace) an entire mile without taking a walk break. I was frustrated because my left shoe came untied at about 0.8 mile & I stopped to tie it. I thought I'd paused the Nike+ but apparently did not because there's a dip there. Then the right shoe came untied a little around the 1.25 mile mark. Same thing happened again with not pausing the Nike+. I have absolutely no idea why I didn't double-knot them before I started ... lesson learned.

I'm still so slow, but I did try to push it a little during the last .25 mile & did that at around a 10:00 mile. My stride felt better & I don't think I was "bouncing" as much. I need to concentrate more on doing that & hopefully it won't be too long before I can maintain that for a longer distance/time. Here's the graphic from slowgeek showing the run ... I like the fact that there aren't too many dips from walk breaks. All in all, I'm very pleased because I had the 2 shoe-tying stoppages & two 2-minute walk breaks. Not bad, not bad at all ...

Next up is tomorrow's Patriots' 5k. I'm really excited because it's one of a few local races & the first I've done since the Harvest Days 5k in October. Dare I put a time goal in writing? Yikes ... I'd love to come in under 35:00. Anything under 37:30 minutes is going to be due to adrenaline and pushing myself harder because I'm still really averaging 12:30 miles for the most part. I'm looking forward to the day when I will come in under 30:00.

Kate is also going to do the kids' 1 miler. I would love for her to gain a love of running at a young age and I hope she'll have a great time. I think I'm finally wearing Taylor down a little, too, although he hasn't actually run any yet and won't participate tomorrow. I printed the C25k program & he thinks that'll work well for he & Kate to do together. I hope so although I'm sure he'll fly past me in no time!

There's also a 10k on June 20 in our county that I'm toying with the idea of entering. Hopefully Taylor & Kate will do the 5k together.

That's it for now, I guess. I'll try to post again tomorrow after the race with a report.