Thursday, July 29, 2010

C25K: W4D2 Completed

Attempted to begin the run today outdoors. It’s 95 degrees outside with a real feel of 99. Ugh. Midway through my warmup walk I knew I was not going to be able to handle the heat/humidity so I moved it indoors to the treadmill at the gym. Pushed the incline up to 1 and the speed to 5 mph to attempt to compensate for the ease of the treadmill. Completed 2.84 miles and consider the session successful, although I did feel a bit dizzy/nauseous at the very end again when my HR was hovering in the 180s.

Still waiting for runner’s euphoria to kick in. When is that supposed to begin exactly?

Here are my stats for the run: Garmin Stats

C25k: W4D1 (repeat) Done

Friday morning in Seattle (look for an upcoming trip report post soon!) I made time to tackle W4D1 again. As you may remember  I attempted but did not complete D1 earlier in the  same week, falling short by one minute and 30 seconds of the total run time.

My run began a bit stiff – perhaps because it felt cooler than back home in northern VA and my muscles were not as loose - but I made it through the full session (16 minutes of running total) without a problem. I didn’t enjoy it though. I’m going to be really bummed if I finish the c25k program and discover that I actually don’t like running. I’m hoping it was just  a bad session.

I should have completed both d2 and d3 prior to today, but I let my soreness from hiking 10 miles up some challenging trails on Mt Rainier over the weekend and then my exhaustion from the redeye flight home on Monday get in the way of finishing the week.

Cannot let my discipline continue to slip!

I will run c25k: W4d2 today.

Here are my stats for Friday’s run in Seattle:

Garmin Stats

Striving, Always Striving

One of the benefits of marriage and the deep emotional intimacy that accompanies it is that our spouse, in a loving and supportive environment,  may be able to surface and challenge ideas that we hold. Often we may not even realize that we are clinging to these deep set thoughts or how much they are shaping our worldview until we are questioned and prodded and challenged to explain our way of thinking.

One night not that long ago my husband and I had a long and lively discussion on competition. I am very competitive, always striving to be the best at things that are important to me. After much discussion he helped me reach the conclusion that my striving is directed toward receiving a particular kind of favor from God. Not salvation mind you, but love.  (I’ve always been quite suspect of Christians who are obsessed with heaven and salvation. We should love and obey God because he is God, not because there is a cookie in it for us via the afterlife.) Love is what I strive for – I’d certainly willingly trade eternal salvation for God’s love instead if it came down to an either/or.  I have a deep set hope that if I can win my self-organized competitions (in which others are usually not even aware they are enrolled) then God will look upon me with love and pleasure instead of regret. We cannot earn salvation; the bible is clear. We fall short of the standard of sinlessness to reconcile with justice. We must depend on God’s grace for salvation. But can we earn love since love is not about justice? I seem to want to try. 

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

C25K: W4D1 (failed)

Today’s run was as follows per the c25k training program:

5 min warm up

run 3 min;walk 90 sec

run 5 min;walk 2.5 min

run 3 min;walk 90 sec

run 5 min;walk 2.5 min

5 min cool down

Compare that to last week:

5 min warm up

run 90 sec;walk 90 sec

run 3 min;walk 3 min

run 90 sec;walk 90 sec

run 3 min;walk 3 min

5 min cool down

So it is a full 7 minutes more of running this week than last, with less rest time in between.

I’ll go ahead and cut the suspense and announce now that I failed. Bummer. I needed a 2 min walk after the second 3 minute run as my heart rate was getting too high to recover in just 90 seconds. Then, with 1.5 minutes left in the final run I lost my steam and started to get dizzy/nauseous. Looking at my HR on the Garmin it was 185. Too high for sure. i let myself walk for 30 seconds, heard the training guy break into the music to say “congrats” and thought I had only stopped 30 seconds early until he finished his statement: “congrats…you’ve only got 1 minute to go!”  WHAT?! (i actually shouted this out loud in frustration). I picked up running again and ran for another 45 seconds before I had to stop and walk the last 15 seconds.

It’s 89 degrees with a “real feel” of 94 according to weather.com, so I’d like to think the heat/humidity is playing a factor but I’m sure that’s just an excuse.

I’ll reattempt this run Friday morning in Seattle (we leave tomorrow for vacation). Should be much cooler then and I’m looking forward to it.

Here are my stats for the run, from my garmin FR60: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/41322101

Monday, July 19, 2010

C25K: W3D3 Done

Although I am scheduled to run on Tue/Thu/Sat, I was unable to squeeze in my 3rd run of week three in on Saturday. This was due to the 6.8 mile hike I referenced in my previous blog post that I lead on Saturday morning in the Shenandoah mountains. I wasn’t in the mood to get up at 6am and run before the hike since I’d stayed up past mdt on Friday at Literary Elly May's birthday party and I was too tired to complete the run after returning from the 5 hour hike in the afternoon. I promised myself I’d tackle the run Sunday.

Was that the dumbest idea ever? (Answer: YES).  I was SO SORE from the hike due to the constant inclines/declines that I could barely move on Sunday morning or afternoon, much less run. Late in the evening I realized that a derailment in my running program based on my “feelings” (no matter how legitimate) could snowball into giving myself permission to skip running for whatever lame reason I managed to come up with in the future. I struggle a lot with self-discipline and do not want to lose any momentum that my regimented schedule of running has going so far. Therefore, I forced myself to do some stretching and laced up my shoes for my run.

Hubby decided to accompany me and promised to go at my pace (he normally runs at 7mph) and encourage me. We ran on my new favorite course – the trail at Jennie Dean park (it has a few hills which I think are important for training) and it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. In fact, during the middle of the run I realized my achy-from-hiking legs were less so and I felt calm and free.

During the second 3 minute run segment my calves seemed to lock up right after the small hill and I had to slow to a walk. I was very disappointed and started chanting “failure” under my breath and crying during the next 20 seconds while continuing to walk. Hubby wasn’t having any of this failure nonsense- he said I was doing great and gently encouraged me to do one final push and start running again and I was able to. Had to reach down deep to make it happen, but I did it.  I’m a perfectionist so my first instinct after the run was to write the entire session off as failure and plan to repeat w3d3 again on Tue, but husband has me convinced that one 20 second deviation from the run is ok given the circumstances and I should proceed to W4D1 on Tues.

Overall it was really nice to have him coaching me during the run, especially as I needed an extra push of encouragement last night. It won’t be a permanent arrangement as he runs much faster than my  5.5-6mph pace and also because I find I like to get lost in the music during cool down and that’s difficult with someone making noise walking/talking next to me. He disrupted my zen moment. :)

I realized after we returned home that hubby had not cleared my GarminFR60 watch after his last run, so his run Sunday morning merges right into mine Sunday evening in the log. My stats begin (and his end) around the 40 minute mark on the charts: Garmin Connect. It’s clearly easy to discern his run from mine in the charts due to the dramatic speed differences and also because he’s not doing any intervals, but just a straight shot of running for 30+ minutes.

While I am proud of myself for exhibiting such self-discipline last night, I am paying for it physically today. I am sore again this morning, probably even more so that I was yesterday morning. It is going to be a day of taking it easy.

Weekend Activities

It was a very full weekend around our household. Friday I prepped and executed a birthday party for Literary Elly May. It was her 27th and we employed a zombie theme for the event. It was nice to have all her friends join us to celebrate.

Saturday I led my walking meetup (NoVA Walkers) on a moderately challenging 6.8 mile hike in the Shenandoah Natl Park. We hiked Piney River Falls with a group of 8 and stopped for lunch once we reached the falls. The trail configuration is out-and-back, with a 3.4 mile decline down the valley to the falls and likewise 3.4 mile incline return. My recent running program has dramatically improved my cardio so I had no difficulties on the return section with breathing. However, despite my  muscle building (also thanks to running) it was clearly not enough to prepare me for a trail with this kind of protracted incline because although I was fine during the hike, I was very sore all day Sunday. Still, it was great to get out there and rise to the challenge and improve myself.

Sunday we went to church (heard the new pastor give an impromptu sermon) and then in the afternoon headed for the cinema to see Inception. The movie was fantastic! Spoiler alert: you may not want to read the next paragraph if you haven’t seen the movie yet and plan to.

I felt pretty confident early in the movie, based on the subtext and detailed clues (in the form of Cobb’s insights on how you tell you are in a dream) that Cobb was dreaming the entire time. It seemed obvious to me that it was in the same vein as  The Others or The Sixth Sense where the main character does not realize that the joke’s on them (so to speak). When the movie was concluded I was surprised to find that some viewers felt he hadn’t been dreaming the whole time and that other viewers took an agnostic stance stating that we can never know for sure either way. These differing opinions seemed to rob me of my victory in figuring out a plot early in the film (which happens so rarely I might add that I cherish each time I am blessed with such insights), and agitated me. So much so that hubby and I had a huge debate over the matter on the car ride home that got pretty heated.

Overall it was a good weekend, although I had several items on my to do list that I never got to which will need to be crammed in today.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

C25K: W3D2 DONE

Had a pretty good run this morning, despite some distractions for Julia on the trail in the form of other dogs+owners passing by.

I pushed myself during the last 50 seconds of running again  and got up to 7mph. Not sustainable of course but a good sprint push to end the workout. I am running these days on the trail at Jennie Dean park and i really enjoy the wooded scenery plus the rolling hills built into the trail. I don’t want to be the girl who trains only on flat surfaces that gets shell shocked when a 5k course has some hills involved.

Trying to still pay attention to fitness indicators like HR (and my numbers show my cardio fitness is improving every week so that’s awesome), but also now looking to improve running efficiency by monitoring not only speed/pace but also cadence. According to this article: http://www.rungearrun.com/resources/cadence.php the closer one can get to a cadence of 85-95, the more efficient and less injury prone the running stride is. I’m currently running at a cadence of 79, which means even though I’m not a heel striker I may still be overstriding. So I’m going to work on that over the next few runs. i peeked at Jon’s stats and he is running just at 85 so while he could use some efficiency improvement as well he is doing better in this area than i am.

Here are my running stats for today’s session:

Garmin Connect

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

C25K: W3D1 DONE

I can scarcely put into words how great I feel about my run this morning. I was pretty intimidated at the thought of running 3 minute intervals, especially since just 3 weeks ago I couldn’t run 90 seconds. The week 3 sessions consist of  this entire series twice: a 90 second run+90 second walk+3 minutes run+3 minute walk.

I put myself out there on the trail and went for it. I used my Garmin FR60 to keep my pace below 12 minute miles so I wouldn’t tire prematurely (I had been running 10-11 minute mile pace previously) and it wasn’t difficult at all. I have even finally reached the point of passing the talk test (you should be able to hold a conversation without being totally out of breath during your cardio segments). I got so excited at the conclusion of the first 3 minute interval that I kept chanting to myself “Oh my gosh I did it!” and burst into tears of joy. FAT GIRL CAN RUN! I nailed the second interval without problems as well and all the way home I alternated between crying and laughing.

As a bonus, I have been dragging the past two days; feeling as if I have no energy and now I feel like I could climb the empire state building. I love the way running makes me feel.

Here are my Garmin stats for the run: Garmin Connect

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Cross-Training

Today I took a 22 minute cycle ride around the neighborhood in an effort to satisfy my body’s push for an aerobic workout without overusing my running muscles. A fellow jogger suggested either cycling or swimming as an appropriate cross training exercise on my non-run days.

The ride was ok. Biking has never been my favorite sport because I am averse to major muscle work and nothing makes my legs ache the next day like biking. With my recent running workouts, I no longer feel any burn in my calves when cycling but the strain on my quads is still there. The muscle burn during the ride prevents me from getting above 80% of my MHR, so at least I don’t need to worry about anarobic overkill while biking. According to Garmin, most of my workout was in the 60-80% MHR zone, which is great for cardio conditioning and fat burn.

Today’s Garmin stats: Garmin Connect

Here is my route: Map My Route

Thoughts

I read the comment below on this page and it spoke me:

 

  • (68) Mark, April 23, 2010

    The Inner Conflicts We Are Left With

    Do abusive parents run out of 'credit' as a pschologist once suggested to me? Do we owe abusive parents anything especially in their old age? Are they sick or just bad or a mixture of both? Can we hate them and love them at the same time? Can we really honour/love the person whilst forgetting the behaviour? Abuse of a child by a parent, IS rejection of that child and as such does the parent really have a right to expect anything in return when they get old? and should we feel obligated to them? Parenting is a two way street, just giving birth to someone and sharing your genes with them does not automatically give a parent a right to anything where there has been abuse. Yes we are probably programmed genetically to take care of aged parents with an unwritten rule of reciprocity. But where the risks to survivial of the victim and their genes have been made so great by an abusive parent, does that 'rule' of reciprocity written as 'honouring the parent', even through a third party, still stand? An abusive partner, even after decades of marriage would likely not be yearned for, in time: not so an abusive parent. However much harm the abusive parent may have caused, part of us still loves them and part of us still feels obligated to them and part of us still misses them if we are estranged from them through necessary need to be apart for our own sanity. We love them and part of us may also hate them. We want to be with them but we also want and or need to be apart from them. This conflicted position, is beyond forgiveness or dispassionate understanding of the abusers illness, it is beyond love and beyond hate, it is beyond anger and beyond yearning. It is a no man's land of inner conflicts which cannot be computed and resolved, which cannot be integrated and laid to rest because the powerful forces of love and hate, parenting and genes are constantly at work and no human could resolve them totally. And this, ultimatly, is the burden and legacy of childhood abuse.

  • Saturday, July 10, 2010

    C25K: w2d3 DONE

    This morning I woke up ready to run and found it was pouring rain outside. While I welcome the precipitation (should bring down temps which have been over 100 degrees this week) I did not want to run in a downpour. I decided I’d run at the gym on a treadmill for today’s session.

    When you read the agonized account of indoor runners that progress outside or outdoor runners that feel like champions if they migrate indoors, it’s no joke. Running on a treadmill, even with a 1% incline as suggested to mimic outdoor running is so easy compared to street or trail running. My Garmin tells me that I run outdoors at 5 to 5.5mph and to get even close to that feeling indoors I had to bump it up to 6.0. I only did that on the last interval though, preferring instead to enjoy the easygoing feel of 5.5mph on the treadmill. I felt like a million bucks running easily at 5.5mph. Surrrrrrrre it’s only for 1.5 minute intervals (I like to write 1.5 minutes because it seems more impressive than 90 seconds) but let me tell you it was quite exciting since the last time I tried to run on a treadmill (a year ago) I couldn’t make it past 5mph even for 10 seconds. Nothing motivates me more than progress and everywhere I turn- distance, speed, heart rate, I am making significant progress both in street running and indoors. Fantastic!

    Here are my garmin stats for today’s run: Garmin Connect

    Tuesday I attempt w3d1. I’m also going to begin to cross train on off days with alternative cardio sports that work other muscles because now that I’ve been working this program for 3 weeks I have a lot of energy and a compulsion to get up and MOVE everyday that cannot be ignored. It’s some sort of nervous energy that must be released.

    Thursday, July 8, 2010

    c25k: w2d2 DONE

    Can I just write again how much I love having the Garmin FR60 as a ‘partner’ for my sessions? It is really exciting to track HR (especially as my cardio fitness improves), calories, distance, speed, and pace.

    Midway through the week of workouts and my peak and avg HR during the workout has gone down, despite an increase in running time over last week. My heart is getting stronger! I am beginning to feel as if I can hold a conversation during the jogging segments, which is great cardio progress.

    Here are my technical stats for this session: Garmin Connect

    I ran this morning’s session in haymarket at 7:30am, making laps around the fields on the grounds of an elementary school across the street from Literary Elly May’s home.

    One more session for w2 to go (on Sat) and then I graduate to week three which means 3 minute runs. Truth be told I am a bit panicked about increasing from 1.5 minutes to 3, but will give it my best shot.

    This is probably my first go in all my life with sticking with something I wasn’t naturally great at from the outset and practicing to get better and I have to say it is exciting. I’ve always operated under my Dad’s “wisdom”  of only embracing tasks and activities I am gifted in. Some sort of wacky division of labor/specialization for efficiency theory he fixed in his mind and took to illogical extremes. What it meant in practical terms was that I had to drop out of dance classes as a kid b/c I showed no aptitude for dancing. It meant my Dad never came to my softball games the year I played because we lost the first 3 and he deemed it a waste of his time and a mismatch between my talents and chosen activities. I think it is the right time in my life (all 34 years of it) to ditch his cockamamie theory and put myself out there and try things that I *want* to try. And if it turns out I’m not so good at the outset it I won’t worry about looking stupid or “being inefficient with my talent”. Instead I will practice, working to get better, so long as I am interested in pursuing the activity and if it turns out I am really lousy even with practice THAT’S OK. I give myself permission to enjoy things, even if I’m not so good at them (super happy bonus though if I turn out to be good at them with some practice).

    This is America - land of bravery and freedom. This is not old school Europe where we cast people in chosen roles and tasks based on aptitude testing and confine/consign them to those roles indefinitely.

    Tuesday, July 6, 2010

    c25k: W2D1: DONE

    W2D1 of the C25K program consists of a 5 min warm up walk followed by 6 intervals of 90 second jogs and 2 min walks. Total run time is 9 minutes, or 1 minute greater than W1 intervals.

    Today I had the idea to walk to the local highschool track to perform my workout there. It’s a 1 mile walk to the school, so my 5 min warm up walk turned into a 20 minute walk and my cool down was therefore also a 20 minute walk. When I arrived at the track I found all the gates locked, which was very disappointing.  The school ought to allow local community residents the ability to use the track, especially off season in summer. Our property taxes pay for the equipment after all. Without access to the track I ran my intervals on the soccer field which worked out well as long as i avoided the damp spots from the sprinklers.

    I did not find the intervals any more or less challenging than the W1 intervals. My heart rate was relatively similar to W1 numbers (shown here: Jenni's HR log on Garmin Connect). I also did not have any leg or knee pain, so that’s great.

    I haven’t lost any weight in the 2 weeks since i started running, but I am getting more muscular and getting smaller in terms of measurements. Mostly my goal is focused on fitness – to improve my cardio strength as will be measured by my HR monitoring, but it would be dishonest if I didn’t admit I was hoping to also get thinner in the process. I do believe in health at every size, but just for the thrill of it I’d enjoy being able to shop in standard sizes (instead of plus sizes). 

    Saturday, July 3, 2010

    Listmania: Essential Running Gear

    Put this together for my readers; thought it might be useful and motivational:

    My List of Essential Running Gear

    June 2010 Weight Training Log

    Exercise Visits Reps Sets Avg Wt(lbs.) Total Wt(lbs.)
    Cybex Eagle Abdominal Ab Crunch 5 189 11 65 12,285
    Cybex Eagle Arm Curl 5 130 10 30 3,900
    Cybex Eagle Back Extension 5 144 10 90 12,960
    Cybex Eagle Chest Press 5 150 10 30 4,500
    Cybex Eagle Hip Abd / Add Hip Abduction 5 139 10 60 8,340
    Cybex Eagle Hip Abd / Add Hip Adduction 5 142 10 55 7,810
    Cybex Eagle Leg Extension 5 144 10 30 4,320
    Cybex Eagle Leg Press 5 155 10 142 22,155
    Cybex Eagle Overhead Press Shoulder Press 5 132 10 30 3,960
    Cybex Eagle Row Seated Row 5 151 10 65 9,815
    Cybex Eagle Seated Leg Curl 5 129 10 65 8,385
    TOTALS 55 1,605 111 60 98,430

    C25K: W1D3 DONE

     

    Went out this morning to tackle W1D3 and did it successfully. No knee pain during the run, a little during the walk as I'm still recovering from hurting the knee on thurs. Overall a great session! I dragged hubby out with me to watch my form and pace and his feedback was mostly SLOW DOWN. He said i was going at least 1/3 faster during the first 4 four intervals versus the last. So I will work on pacing better next week.

    My exciting news to report is that I got a Garmin FR60 watch with chest strap (foot pod to measure distance, speed and cadence should be here next week) to track my HR and the gadgetry is really cool to use! Here is what I learned from the tracking today which you can see at this link below:

    My Garmin Stats

    1. I learned that even though I wasn't running as fast during the last few intervals, the workout for my heart was cumulative and so my hr kept getting higher each interval, and it wasn't able to dip as low in recovery during the walk intervals as the previous interval. I also learned that right about the time where I started to feel a little dizzy coincided with where the device measured me at the top of the 7th interval at allegedly 97% of my maximum heart rate.

    2. What the software calculates as my maximum heart rate -185- cannot actually be my maximum heart rate. I have heard before all the formulas that derive mhr are only estimates and I saw that today in practice. I read up on official mhr testing and basically what they do is strap you to a hr monitor and have you run till you see spots and then pass out or puke or both. Where you pass out is your mhr. Therefore, you cannot physically exceed your mhr and if you have exceeded what you were told is your mhr-guess what- the mhr estimate is wrong. Since I would I would think I would start to see spots near my mhr and I wasn't having any of that at the suggested 97% mhr mark, my guess is my mhr is a bit higher than their estimate- probably 5-10 bpm higher. I was obviously within 15% of it though since I was getting dizzy.

    I think the cool tech gadgetry is going to help me stay motivated. It will be exciting to watch my heart get stronger and to have a clear measurable indication of my fitness (besides weight which can fluctuate as I build muscle/hormone changes).

    Friday, July 2, 2010

    C25k: W1D2 (repeat)

    It seems that lowering my blood pressure meds did the trick. I lowered my dosage starting on Tues evening (I take my pills each evening) and found that my blood pressure went up a bit (now up to 112/70) and my resting heart rate went down to 75 (from 91). My heart doesn't have to beat as many times since my blood pressure is a bit more normal. Yay. This is really a super double yay b/c the whole reason I needed to lower the dosage to begin with was because I am getting more fit and so my BP is naturally dropping. Perhaps one day, with many running days under my belt and probably weight lost in the process I will be able to wean off the meds entirely. A girl can dream.

    Anyway, with the lower resting heart rate and more normal blood pressure, I was able to clear all 8 intervals without feeling dizzy/pukey. That was my mark of success for W1d2. It wasn't easy though in that I came down wrong on my leg off a curb and my knee is hurting, plus I really wasn't feeling the run this time- everything in me wanted to go home and watch tv. But I was a grown up and ran through all that anyway and made it. go me!

    Sat I do W1D3 and while I was going to measure success as not being out of breath/able to hold a conversation per the podcast's guidance, I read in many c25k forums that lots and lots of people are still out of breath even in week3 so I not going to make that standard of perfection my success mark for w1d3. Instead, I'm just going to run it on sat, and assuming I finish all 8 intervals without feeling dizzy or pukey, mark that day off as well and then move on to w2d1 next Tues.

    To recap, this means it will have taken me 2 weeks, or 6 runs to make it through W1. I'm 5'6", 219 pounds, never ran before this program, and generally not very athletic or coordinated or self-disciplined for that matter, so this is all very new and a great big step for me.