The beginning of this story starts in my article How Old is Too Old to Run? It explains how a new friend convinced me to start running. I began sending her daily emails for accountability and to journal my progress. Here is the link to last week’s journal: A Wannabe Runner’s Journal – Week 7
Day 1 – Total Time: 42:00 – 2.5 miles
Run Time: 18:00 – 1.5 miles
Well, I think I almost died today. I may have been a little over zealous for a Monday. This weekend, I mapped a 2.5 mile path and decided to leave the comfort of my little pond. Problem number one… up until now, I hadn’t walked/run 2.5 miles. Problem number two… refer to problem number one. Oh, and it is Monday! Mondays are never strong runs for me. But, off I went. I usually drive to the pond and run. But today, I left my house on foot. This means that once I reached by furthest point, I was committed because I had to come all the way back home. So, I walked the first quarter mile at a fast pace to warm up my legs. Then, I jogged all the way up a bayou to the bridge and started back down the path. I was so excited about this!! The bridge was a long way away and I ran to it!! And then I kept going! This was really exciting to me. I kept trying to tell myself that I was going to run all the way back too. That would have given me about 2 miles of run time. But, at some point, I got too tired and took a walk break.
My heart rate was crazy at this point. I walked until it calmed down some and then I started running again. It didn’t take long before I was completely out of breath again. By this point, I was back at the pond. I decided to take a jog around the pond and see how far I could push myself. I thought the familiarity of the pond might help me. It didn’t. I ran about a quarter of a mile and thought I might die. The problem here is that I didn’t have a vehicle to drive my tired little self home. So, I walked all the way back in the rain. It was kind of refreshing. This took me 13 minutes. I don’t really like how long it took because it messes up my overall pace time. I started to just log three minutes as my cool down time. But, I felt dishonest doing that. So, it is what it is.
I don’t know how I feel about this new path. Did it help or hurt? One thing is for sure. I was really excited that I ran all the way to the bridge. That was really cool to me!
Day 2 – Total Time: 47:30 – 3.1 miles
Run Time: 31:00 – 2.35 miles
Holy cow!!! Today was amazing for so many reasons!!! Where do I start?
I woke up to severe thunderstorms. I was trying to wrap my mind around running on the treadmill. But as I was reading my running article for inspiration, the rain stopped. So, I decided to get dressed and get going. The weather was cool but the humidity was high. I like the cool weather. I think it was around 70 degrees. I walked about a quarter of a mile and then started my run. I ran to the pond and then up the bayou to the bridge. That makes me so happy to say (two days in a row!!). I turned around and continued back. I knew where the 1.25 mile mark was because I had measured it online using www.favoriterun.com. It lets you map a trail. I like it! When I got to the 1.25 mile mark, I felt fine. I decided to push it to 1.5 miles (I knew where that one was too!!). That means I ran for 20 minutes without stopping!!! I was so excited!
I walked for a few minutes and wondered how far I could push myself again. My legs get tired. But, I can usually get over that easily. My breathing is usually the issue. I get tired and my face feels like it is on fire. Anyway, I started running again and ran for somewhere around half a mile. I had to push myself pretty hard to do this. But, I did it! The cool air was a really big help! I walked again for a couple of minutes and then decided to start running home. I pushed myself to run 5 minutes and then walked the rest of the way home.
Here’s where it gets good. I mapped my new path and discovered that I walk/ran 3.15 miles!!!! 5K Baby!!!! Now I feel like I might be able to do this!!! Oh my gosh!! I’m so excited!! My time it terrible and I don’t want to walk in the 5K. But, the point is that I actually completed 5K today (on accident)! Holy cow!! I want to celebrate!!
Day 3 – Total Time: 46:30 – 3.15 miles
Run Time: 33:00 – 2.5 miles
I went into the run this morning thinking that I was being a little too overzealous with my goal. I wanted to run for 22 minutes without stopping, then walk for 3, and then run for 10. I wasn’t sure how much mileage that would give me. But, that was my goal. The weather was beautiful and it was around 55 – 60 degrees. I really like these cold mornings. I can’t believe I just said that. I wore running pants with a tank top like a crazy person. But, I always get hot in the long sleeves. So, that’s what I did and it worked out just fine.
My legs were really tired in the beginning and I started wondering if I could really accomplish this goal. I thought I would just commit to run to the bridge and then see how I felt when I got there. That run was brutal. My legs moved because I made them move. No other reason. When I got to the bridge, I started thinking about the fact that I hadn’t even hit a mile yet. I didn’t really want to log that. So, I just decided to keep running. By this point, my legs were feeling fine because they were all warmed up. I need to remember that from now on. The tired feeling goes away if I just keep running. My breathing wasn’t fantastic. But, I was on my way back and felt like I could accomplish my goal. So, I did. And when I got to 22 minutes, I decided to keep going another couple of minutes. That run was 1.8 miles!!! I’m really excited about that!
I walked for 3 minutes and then decided that I’d run some more. My legs were tired again. But, I made a new playlist last night and Come Together by The Beatles came on at that time. My pace was perfectly timed with the beats of that song and that was all I needed. I just kept running. Unfortunately, the song is only 4 minutes long. So, I had to tough it out after that. But, I ran another 5 minutes after that song for a total of 9 minutes. As I was walking back during my cool down time, I started calculating the distance. I ran 2.5 miles today!!! That is very exciting!!!
My goal is to continue to add time to that first run and decrease time from the second run until there is no second run. My current track is 3.15 miles. But that includes .25 miles for warm up and .25 miles for cool down. I’ll have to add another .45 miles to my running track at some point. I think once I eliminate the second lap I’ll add it on. We’ll see what happens. Right now, I’m just excited about my run!! Also, I’ve got to whittle my 5K time down. I’m at 46:30 now and I only have a week and a half left. I suppose it will naturally come down as I run more of it and walk less.
By the way… 24 minutes was the average of my total time my first two weeks of running!
I decided not to run today. I was reading some beginners articles about injury prevention and it talked about not adding too much too soon and about listening to your body. My legs have been kind of achy most of today. I looked to see how much mileage I’ve added and realized that I added a mile of running time in two days. That is a lot in my head. I don’t know if that is really a lot or not. But, it is to me.
The problem is that I really need to be adding a lot to be ready for the 5K. So, I kind of have a dilemma. I don’t know what will happen. We’ll see.
The beginning of this story starts in my article How Old is Too Old to Run? It explains how a new friend convinced me to start running. I began sending her daily emails for accountability and to journal my progress. Here is the link to last week’s journal: A Wannabe Runner’s Journal – Week 6
Day 1 – Total Time: 21 minutes – 1.4 miles
Run Time: 13:30 – 1ish miles
I didn’t want to run today. Four days off is too long. My body and mind did nothing but protest. It didn’t help that I didn’t have a full 30 minutes to run. I should have planned better and awakened earlier. But, the good news is that I ran. Not a great run. But, I ran none the less.
Day 2 – Total Time: 28:00 /1.8 miles
Run Time: 15:15 / 1.2 miles
This is not going very well. I got out there again and didn’t want to run. The only reason I went is because I’ve committed myself to it. The problem is that I’m back to feeling negative and not believing that I can really do the 5K. And I’m not seeing improvement in my body. My breathing is all over the place again. My legs are tight and achy and the only reason they move is because I am forcing them to. I want to just run. I’m sick of this run/walk thing. And I’m sick of running out of energy. My runs the past two days have been horrible. My lap times are decreasing. My run time is decreasing. And, my total time is decreasing. I’m supposed to be working up to 45 minutes, not decreasing my time.
Day 3 – Total Time: 27:30 – 1.8 miles
Run Time: 17:30 – 1.3 miles
This morning, I decided to just run as far as I could. I ran .8 miles in 10:30 minutes. I knew this was backwards. But, I just needed to feel good about this run today. I had mixed feelings about the .8 miles. I was glad I could still do it. But, the fact that I couldn’t run a full mile was frustrating to me. I was really hoping for the entire mile. Also, the fact that I couldn’t run much after that also frustrated me.
I don’t know what is going on with me. I don’t seem to be improving. And, I don’t think I’m going to be ready for the 5K. But, I’m still going to run each day.
Day 4 – Total Time: 32:00 – 2.25 miles
Run Time: 20:30 – 1.5 miles
So, before I ran this morning, I read an article from Runner’s World Magazine called the Magic of Mantras.
I have a few mantras I have used from time to time to get me past a hard part and they work. I decided to use them today. When I got out there, I made a decision that I was going to try to run a mile without stopping. After the first couple of laps, I started doubting that I could do it. But, then I remembered the mantras and I just kept running. My legs were sore. But, I just kept running. And, I completed a mile!! I needed this accomplishment today. I was exhausted after the mile. But, I did it, none the less.
My next two times weren’t fantastic. And I know I’m upside down with my times. But, right now, I just need to believe in myself again and this is working for me. I ran a mile. Actually, I ran about a mile and a half if you add it all together. That is back where I was before I took a nose dive. I’m hoping for a great run tomorrow too. I need some big wins right now.
Still not sure about the 5K. Time will tell.
Day 5 – Total Time: 31:15 – 2.2 miles
Run Time: 23:30 – 1.9 miles
Well, today was a little bit fantastic!
I’ve got a new plan. I just need inspiration. Yesterday, I read that article in Runner’s World Magazine before I ran. This morning, I woke up wanting to run again. But, I decided I’m going to read a running article each morning for inspiration. So, that’s what I did. I read one of their Newbie Chronicles about a guy who had been running 2 miles and how he stretched it to 3. After reading the article, I was eager to get out the door. So, off I went.
I decided that I was going to run a mile to start with. I did it yesterday; I can do it again today. I was starting to get bored running around this track and found myself wondering where the other trails led to. The problem was that if I got off the track, I wouldn’t know how far I was running. Then I remembered that my pace has been nearly the same each day. So, I decided that I could just estimate my mileage (hehe… that sounds far) and venture off after I ran my first mile.
During my last lap of my mile run, I realized that my legs weren’t really that tired. I was tired. But, my legs felt pretty good. I had pushed past the burning!!! I was really excited about that. I decided to just keep running. Look at me!!! But now, I wanted to run down the trail that ran along the bayou. So, I said goodbye to the ducks, hoped over the wire and off I went. I was a little excited about venturing off into new territory. Well, to be honest, I could clearly see where this path was going and since I live in this neighborhood, it wasn’t a big surprise. But, I was happy to be seeing new sights.
I didn’t run much farther than a mile. I would estimate about 1.25 miles. I stopped after 15 minutes. 15 minutes!!! I ran for 15 minutes!!! And my legs could have gone further. But, I needed to catch my breath. So, I walked for 3 minutes and then started running again. I didn’t go too far down the trail, mainly because I was tired and I was already 20 minutes into my 30 minute commitment. But, I was excited. When I was coming back across the wire to my beloved ducks, I tripped on that dumb wire and fell to the ground. Well, that stopped my run. That was really frustrating because at the time, I was thinking that I might be able to just keep running for around 10 minutes. My legs felt good. I just need my breathing to catch up. I walked for a minute to make sure I was fine. FRUSTRATING!! I ended with a 5 minute run and that made me happy. All in all, I think I ran just short of 2 miles total. If I had been calculating it all in my head out there, I would have pushed it to 2 miles. But, I didn’t. So, I’ll have to set that as my goal next week.
The beginning of this story starts in my article How Old is Too Old to Run? It explains how a new friend convinced me to start running. I began sending her daily emails for accountability and to journal my progress. Here is the link to last week’s journal: A Wannabe Runner’s Journal – Week 5
Day 1 – Total Time: 32:00 – 2.2 miles
Total Run Time: 19:30
I really don’t like Mondays. I wonder if it would be easier to just run through the weekend so my body doesn’t go into a state of rest. Well, in spite of the fact that it is Monday, I still had a great run! Here was my plan… Walk ½ a lap, run at least 4 laps (hopefully 5), walk, run 3 laps, walk, then run 2 laps. That would have been 1.8 – 2 miles of running. Well, that didn’t happen.
I ran the first 4 laps pretty easily. I was tired at the end. But, I didn’t have to push too hard. However, I thought it would be a mistake to run another one. That might have killed me. I was excited that I ran .8 miles in 10 minutes. That is a 12:30 pace. I’m happy with that. After I cooled down, I ran for 4 minutes and thought I might die. I didn’t even complete 2 laps. My breathing was pitiful. I knew I was going to have to run two more times and wished that I had controlled my breathing more so I could have run 8 minutes. But, I hadn’t and I was going to have to push hard to complete my times today. By the end of my run, I was exhausted. I knew I was 30 seconds short of 20 minutes. But, I didn’t feel like I had anything left to give. I had already pushed myself about as far as I could go. I walked my cool down time while sucking all of the oxygen out of the air and came home.
I’m going to try the 4 lap, 3 lap, 2 lap thing again tomorrow. Maybe it is too ambitious. Maybe I should slow down some more. I just feel like I’m running as slow as I can without walking. I like the idea of continually increasing that first run time, even if it robs all of my energy from my other “laps.” I somehow feel like that will eventually get me closer to running 3.1 miles without stopping.
Day 2 – Total Time: 28:15 – 1.8 miles
Run Time: 20:15 – 1.4 miles
Today is going to be a very busy day for me. I have more to accomplish than I have hours. So, I got up at 5:30 to run. I’m a little proud of myself for doing that, I must say. I thought about running this evening. But, I know myself a little too well. If I don’t do it in the morning, I probably won’t do it. When I got to the pond, the ducks were all around my trail looking for food. I considered bringing them food some day. We’ll see if I remember. I’m usually doing good to remember my watch.
As I said yesterday, I decided to slow down my pace. The point was to increase my run time. But, I didn’t do that. There was actually a guy there who was running the larger track and lapping me multiple times. I don’t like that guy much. But, I moved to the outside of the track each time he passed like a good little beginner should. Actually, I think I would have run more if I’d had more time. I wanted to get in two more laps. But, I had to get home and get started with my day.
During my first run time, I was able to push myself to 4 laps, I was very happy about that. After I walked a couple of minutes, I wanted to run 3 more laps. But, I could only push through with 2. I need to figure out a way to push myself more in that second run time. I feel like that second run is what determines my success (at least in my mind). I ran 6 minutes. And that makes me happy. But, I would have been happier with 3 laps. The 3rd and 4th run times just fill in the total run time for me. I’d really like to get to the point where I’m just running twice. Right now, I’ll settle for three times. But, if I could just increase that second run, I would be really happy.
Day 3 – Total Time: 34:30 – 2.3 miles
Run Time: 21:00 – 1.7 miles
A friend of mine told me that I should flip my time upside down. In other words, my last lap should be my longest and my first should be the smaller one. I decided that I would try this… 2, 2, 4 (laps). I didn’t think I could do 2, 3, 4 because that is more than I’ve run before. I thought about doing 1, 2, 3. But, that didn’t satisfy me. So, I settled on 2, 2, 4 as my goal. I did the 2, 2 part without having to push too hard. But, my legs were already tired and I didn’t know about the next segment. When I finished the next 2, I didn’t think I could do 2 more without a break. So, I thought I would try to walk a bit and then try for 3. I was determined to make my last segment the longest. As you can see below, I only made it 2.5 times around the pond. But, I still feel like I pushed myself and ended strong. I’m happy about that.
Other things to note:
- 21:00 is my longest run time
- 1.7 miles is my longest running distance
- 12:35 is my fastest running pace
- 2.3 miles is my longest walk/run
My progress is slow. But, it is still progress!!!
Days 4 & 5
I didn’t run Thursday and Friday of this week. I spent the days at the funeral home and church honoring my friend who gave his life for our country.
The beginning of this story starts in my article How Old is Too Old to Run? It explains how a new friend convinced me to start running. I began sending her daily emails for accountability and to journal my progress. Here is the link to last week’s journal: A Wannabe Runner’s Journal – Week 4
Day 1 – Total Time: 22:30
Run Time: 12:00
Today, I had a parent teacher conference at 7:30. So, I couldn’t get up and begin running. I had to wait until I came back. I decided that today was the day to go back to my ducks. Enough of the treadmill. I must say that I was really nervous that I wouldn’t be able to keep my same times on pavement. I decided that I would do what I could and that would be enough.
When I got to the track, I was almost giddy as I started with my warm-up lap. The air felt fantastic. The pond looked great and the ducks were napping. I realized I hadn’t been here in a month. It felt like it was just a few days ago. Since I’ve been running with music on the treadmill, I thought I would do the same and carry my iphone with me. I like the fast paced music when I run.
I noticed that running was more difficult on the track. I was obviously using many more muscles than on the treadmill because I was having to propel myself. I completed my first 6 minute lap, which took me two and a half times around the pond. I’ve never run more than one lap around this pond. I was excited. I walked a couple of minutes and then began running again. This was getting really difficult. I was hoping it would be easier. I was only able to complete 3 minutes. After I walked some more, I ran another 3 minutes. I really wanted to stop after 1 minute. But, I kept going. I wasn’t doing great and my breathing seemed too fast. I could start to feel my lungs having that weird burning sensation again. I walked for a couple of minutes until I came to the gazebo. There was a nice bench that was calling my name. I laid down on it and thought this might be my final resting place. Why was today so difficult? Maybe it was the extra 5 ounces I was carrying in my pocket. I’ll need a smaller iPod. Kidding!!! My face was on fire and my sunglasses were fogging up because of the heat radiating off of my face.
As you can see, I survived. Hopefully tomorrow morning is better. Either way, I’m back with the ducks!
Day 2 – Total Time: 30:00
Run Time: 14:00
I got to the pond and decided that I love this place. It is so peaceful. I started my fast paced music and began my warm up lap. I had a really difficult first lap… not physically, but mentally. A very close friend of mine was killed in Afghanistan this weekend. I’m not doing very well emotionally. And I’m not really getting it together either. I started thinking about the reason I was running. I’m in my fifth week and I don’t feel strong. I don’t feel like I’ve progressed much at all and I still feel like a basket case (which was the reason I wanted to run). These were all of the things going through my mind. By the end of 5 minutes, I was crying. I turned off the music I was listening to and turned on some Christian music, even though I knew it would be much slower. I walked around the pond crying. I wasn’t sure if I was crying about my friend or the fact that I was thinking about giving up. At some point, I sat down on a bench and cried. It was all just too much. I spent a lot of time on that bench… just me and God. I’m so sick of feeling like this. And I feel selfish for making this about me. I walked over to the pier and talked to God some more. It was very comforting. A white crane flew in and joined us. I really love my little pond.
I decided to run again. I ran another 5 minute lap. It wasn’t too hard because I had completely cooled down with all of my sitting, walking and praying. I wasn’t very into today’s run. I ran a couple of more times because I’m writing this journal and didn’t want to write about being a quitter. Here are my times…
Day 3 – Total Time: 28:00
Total Run Time: 17:00
When I got to the pond this morning, the ducks were all taking their baths. They looked so funny splashing around together. It made me smile. I would have taken a picture, but I was on the other side of the pond and it wouldn’t have been a good one. Besides, I had already started the clock. No stopping now. Yesterday, I realized that I was running a 12 min pace on the track. But, I was running much slower on the treadmill. So, I decided to slow my run down to see if I could run farther.
At the risk of sounding too spiritual, I must say that this email would be incomplete if I didn’t say that I could feel God’s presence so strong with me this morning. As you can see from my lap times, I was so absorbed in my conversation with him that I think I forgot I was running. I knew I was making multiple laps (FOUR, to be exact!!), but I felt so free, I was a little afraid to stop running. I didn’t want that moment to pass. Fortunately, God didn’t go away when I stopped running. It was a great run.
I didn’t push myself much today. I was just enjoying myself. It felt so much better than yesterday. At the end of my run, I walked over to the same place on the pier that I stood and cried yesterday. The crane flew back in right at that moment. I was glad. I like him. I felt good. I knew that I was going to keep going and that this grief would pass. That was a great feeling!
Day 4 – Total Time: 34:00
Total Run Time: 20:15
Today was a good run. It is so unbelievably beautiful outside. I’m not really a fan of cold/cool weather. I don’t like it much at all. But, it was great to run in. When I got to the pond, my ducks seemed cold. What are they going to do in the winter? I worried about them.
On to the run… I wore shorts because my laundry needs my attention and that is what was available to me today. So, my legs were freezing! I think that worked out well for me. I’m not really sure I could feel them as I ran. During my warm up walk, I usually walk to the water fountain and then start running. That usually takes a couple of minutes. I could hardly wait to get there because I wanted to run to warm up!!
I ran around the pond 3 times in 8 minutes. That’s a 13.33 min/mile pace. I think I like that pace. It seems super slow. But, it also seems to be working. I’m able to run longer than I could when my pace was 12 min. Another really cool fact is that (excluding my cool down lap) I ran 20:15 out of the 29:30 minutes I was out there. That’s a lot!!! I’m really excited about today.
Here’s what I’ve decided. I still don’t love running. But, I really love the pond and I really love the feeling of success running brings me. And, I love the progress I’m making. That makes me really happy. When I’m out there and I run for more than 3 minutes, I feel like it’s a fluke. But, I’m noticing that it is starting to happen more and more. So, maybe it isn’t a fluke. Maybe I’m really starting to get better at this running thing.
I still can’t imagine running a 5K. But, I’m not ruling it out either. I’m guessing that I ran a total of about a mile and a half today. So, I’m half way there. If only I could do that without the walk breaks.
Day 5 – Total Time: 30:30
Total Run Time: 20:15
Today, I feel like a winner!
Since it was 40 degrees this morning and I hate cold weather, I felt like I had two options. Number one, run on the treadmill. Number two, wait for it to warm up before I ran. So, I opted for number two. I wore running pants and a long sleeved cotton shirt. I decided yesterday that I was going to try the walk 2/run 8, repeat 3X plan. It seemed a bit of a stretch. But, I really wanted to do it. I keep thinking about that 5K being four weeks away. I know there will be more after that. But, I really want to run in that one because of the charity it supports. It seems like I have a lot of improvement that must be made before I can run that far. But, I’ve come a long way in the five weeks I’ve been running and I feel like I’ve overcome a lot of obstacles. So, something inside me says I might be able to do it. It makes me excited to think about. And, I really think my nephew wants to run it with me. That makes me want to do it even more.
Okay, so I got out to the pond and found my little ducks all napping. BORING!! I wanted them to wake up and splash around so I could laugh at them. At some point, I thought about waking them up. But, that’s kind of rude. So, I let them sleep. There were lots of people there today; mostly playgroups and little families at the playground. There was a couple having a picnic at one of the tables. Kind of cute. The problem was that as I was running, I got hot. This cotton shirt was killing me. I wanted to take it off and run in my sports bra. But, I felt like that might be just a little too much jiggle for the picnickers and the small children might run away screaming in fear. So, I just toughed it out.
I knew three laps would give me about 8 minutes. So, I decided not to look at my watch while I was running. At three laps, I felt like I could have gone another lap. But, I was nervous that if I wore myself out, I wouldn’t be able to run two more sets of 8. So, I decided to walk half a lap and start running again. After about a lap and a half, I didn’t think I was going to be able to complete three laps. I decided to just do two. But, when I finished the second lap, I decided I would just run to the bridge, and then the water fountain, and then the bench, and then the picnic table. Done!! Three laps!! I was excited that I pushed myself. I walked half a lap and needed more cool down time. So, I walked another minute. After the first lap, I was getting pretty tired. I kept pushing myself. But, 4 minutes was as much as I could do. That’s okay. I knew it was a long shot. And, I feel like I did my best.
I entered the numbers in my chart that I’ve been keeping since I began. I noticed that my run time is the same as my treadmill run time. That is really exciting! Remember how worried I was? I also realized that I completed 2 miles in about 30 minutes today. That is even more exciting! I remember not thinking I could do that when the doctor told me to work up to that. Funny thing is, she wanted me to walk this pace! Yikes!! The other thing I have come to conclude is that my pace setter on my treadmill must be WAY off. I am running practically as slow as a person can on the track. According to my treadmill, I was running slower on the treadmill than on the track. Not possible. So, I don’t trust it anymore when it comes to the pace.
I walk/ran two miles!!! That’s 2/3 of the way to my 5K!! I REALLY want to run the whole thing!
Remember week 1?
The beginning of this story starts in my article How Old is Too Old to Run? It explains how a new friend convinced me to start running. I began sending her daily emails for accountability and to journal my progress. Here is the link to last week’s journal: A Wannabe Runner’s Journal – Week 3
After my first 10 days of running, I got a stress fracture and was forced to stop running for two weeks to heal. This week is my second week back. My doctor instructed me to “walk” a 15 minute mile my first week back and 2 miles in 30 minutes my second week back. I explained in last week’s journal how difficult it was to walk a 15 minute mile. Here is my journal of the second week of “walking.”
Day 1 – Total time: 15:40
I slept in today. Big mistake. It has thrown off my entire day. Tomorrow, I will wake up on time and run in the morning. So, by the time I got around to running today, there were already too many things on my mind. I was just wanting to hurry up and get it over with. After running for 8:30 minutes, I stopped and walked some. I think I could have pushed myself if I had been more focused on what I was doing. My 1 mile took me 15:40. That 40 seconds annoys me. Tomorrow morning, I’m going to push myself harder. I would love to be able to do a mile with ease. I think I’m probably a long way from that. But, I want to get there.
It also occurred to me after I was done that this is my week for 2 miles in 30 minutes. I shouldn’t have stopped. That seems a little impossible to me right now. But, tomorrow, I’m going for the 30 minutes one way or the other. I’m sure it’ll be a walk, run, walk, run plan. But, I need to do it. By the time I go back to the doctor, I would love to be able to do 3 miles in 45 minutes. We’ll see. Right now, I’m just focused on hitting 1 mile at 15 minutes and then a second mile at… well… I don’t know what the second mile will be yet. I guess we will see tomorrow.
Day 2 – Total time: 30:00
Yesterday was one of the hardest days I’ve had in a really long time. The whole reason I started running was to regain mental strength. Yet, here I am letting life knock me down again. Hadn’t I been in training to overcome crap like this? I realized that I was stronger than this. So, this morning, I got up and ran/walked for 30 minutes. I don’t have any great success stories to tell except the fact that I got back up. That is a good step in the right direction.
So, even if my body can’t keep up with what I wish it would, my mind is. That is worth everything to me!!
Day 3 – Total Time: 33:00
Run Time: 20:00
I’m done with this 15 minute mile business. It has stolen my motivation to run. I could really care less about speed at this point. And since I’m not following the doctor’s orders anyway, I’ve decided to go back to what I know works. Walk, run, walk, run, walk… at whatever speed I feel comfortable with. Running the mile in 15 minutes was great. But, it has intimidated me into thinking that if I can’t do that consistently, then I haven’t had a successful run. So, the past is the past. One to the future…
I’m happy to report that today was one of my best and most gratifying runs to date! I decided to read some running articles online to renew my motivation before I ran. I found someone reviewing a book called Run Your Butt Off! Sounds like a great book.
After reviewing the program, I determined that I should start on Stage 5 since I can run 5 minutes and still breathe properly. I just didn’t know if I could do it repeatedly since I never had. So, I decided to start there. And, I did it like clockwork!! Total Run time: 20 minutes!! I don’t know how far I ran and I really don’t care. During my first two weeks, the longest run time I had was 10 minutes (not at one time). And, last week, the longest run time was 15 minutes (when I ran the mile). This week, I ran 20 minutes!!! As I’m typing this, I can hardly believe it. Remember when I could barely run 1:30? Remember when I couldn’t breathe? I’m so excited!!! Today is a great day!
Day 4 – Total time: 33:00
Run Time: 20:00
I chickened out! I thought about going back to my pond, and maybe I will. But I’m a little afraid that I won’t be able to run 20 minutes without the treadmill. I’m still floating on this high. So, I decided to stick with it.
Today wasn’t too difficult. I did my 2:30 walks followed by my 5:00 runs and completed my 20 minute run time. I noticed my mileage was 1.76. I still have to push myself a little at the end of the 5 minutes. I thought about increasing the run time to 6:00. But, every time I got to 5:00, I didn’t want to keep going. I think I have to go into the run knowing I’m going to run 6 minutes. I also think I could decrease my walk time. I don’t feel like I need the whole 2:30. The next stage of the Run Your Butt Off! plan is 3 min walks / 7 min runs (3 times).
Also, my teenaged nephew has been running too. He did 2 miles in 30 minutes yesterday. I asked him if he wanted to run a 5K with me. He said yes!! I think I’m going to shoot for one on Dec 3. I haven’t mentally committed yet. But, I’m getting a little excited about it.
Oh, and I thought I should mention that I have lost 4 pounds since I began this journey. I’m still not satisfied with my muscle tone yet. But, I haven’t been doing my other exercises either. I should start those back up.
Day 5 – Total time: 32:00
Run Time: 21:00
I finally did it! But, I need the record to show that I didn’t want to do it.
Here is what I did…
By the end of the third 6 minute run, I thought I was done. I guess I wasn’t motivated enough or something. My breathing was picking up and I didn’t really want to run 6 minutes again. But, I also didn’t want to record a total run time of less than 20 minutes. So, I committed to run 2 more minutes to match my time from yesterday. But, then when I got to two minutes, I wanted to beat it. So, I ran another minute. That was it for me. I walked a while to cool down and that was it.
Boring report. But, I did it. And, I need to point out that with the exception of my injured days, I have not skipped a day since I began. I’m really excited about this!
The beginning of this story starts in my article How Old is Too Old to Run? It explains how a new friend convinced me to start running. I began sending her daily emails for accountability and to journal my progress. Here is the link to last week’s journal: A Wannabe Runner’s Journal – Week 2
As I explained in last week’s journal, after my first 10 days of running, I got a stress fracture. I’m certain it was due to the fact that I wasn’t wearing proper running shoes. I was forced to stop running for two weeks to heal. This week is my first week back after much down time.
Day 1- Total time: 17:12
My doctor instructed me to let my knee prove it is well by walking a 15 minute mile each day this week. Next week, she would like to see me walk 2 miles in 30 minutes. This sounded easy enough when she said it. However, when I actually attempted this 15 minute mile “walk,” all I could think was… what-the-heck-ever!! As I stated before, I think my typical jog is a 15 minute mile. After testing to see what this speed actually is, I quickly realized that I would need to do these exercises on my treadmill. I do not have the experience or muscle memory to be able to do this otherwise. I’ve spent the last few years on the treadmill. We are old friends.
I knew yesterday that I would have trouble this morning. I wasn’t motivated at all. I should have read some running blogs or articles to give myself a little boost. But, I hopped on and set the pace to 15:00 and started walking. I forgot about the warm-up lap. I’ll add that in tomorrow. In the first lap, my calves were burning. It is really difficult to walk at this speed. My walk turned in to a semi-jog. That was much more comfortable for me. Since I was sure I was breaking the doctor’s rules, I reduced the speed a little so I could actually walk (and not jog) after the first lap. Obviously, I didn’t complete the mile in 15 minutes. It was 17:12. I walked a cool down lap and stopped.
- I hate staring at my bedroom wall. How did I do this for so many years? I missed the ducks and nature!!!
- I wasn’t able to think about anything except the burning in my calves. Oh, and I had to focus on not falling off the treadmill. Maybe it is just because I am starting back up again. I need to pray or think about something else. Being outside is a much more conducive atmosphere for this (for me).
- My heart rate was up. I don’t think it got much above 140. But, I didn’t really stay on top of that either. I didn’t have difficulty breathing. Yay!!
- I didn’t reach my goal of the 15 minute mile. However, I counted today as a success for a couple of reasons. 1. I got out of bed and exercised. 2. I was happy about my breathing. Maybe this will be a better way to slowly increase my lung capacity.
- I’m excited to be using my legs again. They are getting flabby and losing muscle tone. I don’t like that at all!!
Day 2 – Total time: 16:09
I’m getting closer!!! I don’t know if my alarm clock didn’t go off or if I didn’t hear it. But, either way, I woke up at 6:30. I have a packed day. So, this is a bad thing. Read my bible, journaled and got on the treadmill. I started with half a lap warm-up. Then I walked a lap at the 15 minute speed and completed it. My calves were burning. So, I slowed down for half a lap and then continued this cycle until the mile was complete. The only thing different than the first lap is… I cannot walk at this speed. Well, I guess I can. But, it is really uncomfortable. So, I lightly jogged. I kept the impact to my leg very light. I’m certain these are all excuses to do what I want to do. And I really hope I don’t screw my leg up. But, I hate walking at that speed. It is just unnatural. I’m going to continue to try to walk tomorrow. But, I hate it.
Another thing to note is that I had to take Lexi to school this morning. When I walked outside and felt the weather, I was so mad that I was walking on the stupid treadmill. As a matter of fact, I’m sitting on my front porch as I type this email to you now!! It feels soooo nice outside!!!
And since I’m still doing the fast, slow, fast, slow method, I will probably have to increase my fast speed so that I can actually accomplish the 15 minute mile.
Day 3 – Total time: 16:25
I got up on time and ran this morning. Did I mention that I really don’t like this pace at all? I tried to walk it for the first lap. But, the reality is, I can’t. My calves burn like crazy trying to walk at that speed. So, I just started jogging lightly. The good news is this… I jogged 1.25 (real) laps without stopping. That is more than 2 laps around my little pond. I’ve also noticed that I have much more control over my breathing these days. I wonder if this is a treadmill thing. I was really excited. I completed the mile in 16:25 minutes. I don’t want to walk anymore. I really think if I just started out jogging (after my warmup lap) I would be able to go further. Maybe even half a mile. That would be sooo cool!! I may try that tomorrow. Also, at some point, I increased the speed to a 12 minute mile. That is a much more comfortable pace for me. But, I couldn’t do it long because my calves were already on fire. I bet I can push past that.
On one hand, I want to follow what the doctor told me to do. On the other hand, it hurts my calves!!! So, I don’t want to do that. And then there is the third hand that wants to run half a mile without stopping. That’s the hand I like the most. I look forward to the day that I can run a full mile without stopping!!!
Day 4 – Total Time: 17:00
Somehow, when I was running, I thought today was Friday. I was so glad this was my last running day this week. Now, as I am typing this, I realize that today is Thursday. Ugghhh!!!
This is a tough week for me. I do not want to do this. I haven’t even hit a 15 minute mile once this week. Today was 17:00. So frustrating!! I was sure today would be the day. As a matter of fact, I jogged the first 5:35. That was one and a half laps!!! That is the most I’ve ever run at one time. I guess it just went downhill from there. I know I walked a lot after that at a much slower pace. But, I ran some too. What’s done is done.
I was still in control of my breathing. But, my calves burn horribly. You know, maybe I should count the breathing thing as a win. My first goal was to improve my endurance. I suppose the first step to meeting that goal is to be able to control my breathing. So, I guess that is a plus. At each level I move to, I am going to experience different challenges. I can’t continue to be frustrated at every single challenge. So, I’m not frustrated anymore. My breathing is good and now, I need to figure out how to push past the burning in my calves.
So, it looks like today wasn’t so bad after all.
Day 5 – Total time: 15:00
Today, I ran a 15 minute mile without stopping!!! Someone told me that I should put my body on autopilot, clear my mind and just run. So, that is just what I did. I wondered how far I could push myself. I thought that I would probably complete half a mile. Once I got to half a mile, I knew I could keep going. My breathing was fine. So, I just kept going.
I feel like I need to pause here. There was a day a few weeks ago that I didn’t believe there was enough oxygen in Texas to replenish the supply that had left my lungs and been redirected to my muscles. Now, I’m breathing deeply and not having issues. I count that as a huge accomplishment!
When I got to 9 minutes, I was getting tired. But, I decided to push to 10 minutes. When I got to 10 minutes, I was three quarters of the way around the track. So, I decided to finish the lap. Once I finished that, I thought about the fact that I would be disappointed in myself if I quit now. I wouldn’t count today as a success. I knew I only had one lap to go to complete the mile. I decided to go for it. I prayed for everyone I could think of during that time to distract my mind from thinking about how tired I was. I should also note that my breathing was still slow and steady. YAY!!
And, as I already stated, I completed the mile!!! I’m so excited!!!
I read a great quote the other day. It has kind of bookmarked my mind over the last few days.
Things turn out the best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out. – John Wooden
Life happens. Things don’t always go our way. Sometimes, things go the exact opposite of the way we want them to. Nothing in life is fair. People will hurt you. You will hurt yourself. We will make mistakes and have to pay the consequences for them.
This paragraph sounds like I’m a pessimist. But, actually, the opposite is true. That’s where this quote comes in. Things in our life are going to go wrong because that is life. What we do with the hand we are dealt is what matters.
So, what do we do when things go wrong? Obviously, the individual steps you will have to take in each situation are going to depend on the situation you are facing. But, the attitude you keep throughout them all will most likely determine the direction you go.
Don’t let fear cripple you. The idea of moving from a place of comfort to the unknown is often overwhelming, especially if you are a person who doesn’t like change. But, if we guide our thoughts to a better perspective, we will find the strength to take the first step.
A new perspective might be to allow yourself to look forward to a new adventure or opportunity in life. Holding on to the past will often just bring you pain and keep you bound in fear. The idea is that we keep moving. We don’t stop and pitch a tent in the land of misery. The first step is always the hardest. What is the worst that could happen? What is the best that could happen?
If your life has turned out different than what you planned, maybe it is time to regroup. Where do you go from here? What are your strengths? What are your passions? What areas could you add value in? Invest yourself in the areas of life that matter most to you. This will give you a passion and joy for your new life.
Find a new hobby. If you are having trouble moving beyond whatever has you stuck, it is time to refocus your mind. To do this, you need to refocus your time. What have you always wanted to do? Turn off the television, get off of the computer, and do it.
Make friends with change. This won’t be the last time you have to associate with it. You will find more peace and joy in life if you allow yourself to be flexible. Think of the trees that sway with the wind verses the ones that are too strong to bend. In hurricane force winds, they either bend or break. Be flexible in life. You will be much happier.
When all else fails, just dance! Put on some good music and let yourself enjoy the moment. Even if you can’t control the circumstances around you, you can control the next three minutes. Choose to enjoy them.
Last Saturday, we had a very unique opportunity for a little family fun. A friend of ours had a birthday and wanted to celebrate by participating in a zombie walk in downtown Houston. Now, I know very little about zombies and even less about how to become a zombie. However, the one thing I do know about zombies is that my children were both very excited about the idea of becoming one of them.
I knew this was a family activity that my kids would never forget. And, I want them to leave my house with as many positive memories of our family time together as possible. My kids are growing up way too fast. I sometimes feel like I need to cram a bunch of fun in before they are gone. This seemed perfect.
So, I searched for some YouTube videos on how to become a zombie. Then, off to the costume store I went. I sent the hubby to Goodwill to find some cheap clothing that we could ruin. I guess, in hindsight, we probably could have found some in our own closets. But, we didn’t. I was completely overwhelmed at the costume store. I have never seen so many disgusting things in all of my life. I decided against the scars and bullet holes. Instead, I spent my $30 on white and grey face paint, deep purple for the bruising around the eyes, a bottle of blood (eeewww!), grey hair paint, sponges and paint brushes. I felt like that was a pretty good deal. My son’s best friend came over too and I went to work.
Here is a picture of the five of us. Aren’t we a scary looking bunch?
While we were waiting for the walk to begin, we were invited to be part of a flash mob as zombies!!! Ummm… yes!!! And, as we were walking down the street, cars were stopping to stare and take pictures. This was a fantastic day! I hope these pictures convey the amount of fun we all had (zombie style!)
While Lexi was tying her shoe, she looked up at me. This is what I saw. Her eyes freak me out!!
Me and the hubby
I guess the point of this particular post is to remind everyone to make time for fun with your family. You can never get time back. So, make the most of what you have.
The beginning of this story starts in my article How Old is Too Old to Run? It explains how a new friend convinced me to start running. I began sending her daily emails for accountability and to journal my progress. This is the second week of my running. Week one can be found at
A Wannabe Runner’s Journal – Week 1.
It should be noted that “lap” doesn’t actually mean that I completed a lap around my pond. It just means that I stopped running at some point and walked.
Day 1 – Total Run Time: 9:25
Yesterday, I went to Runner’s World’s website and used their online app to find the right pair of shoes. Maybe the problem I was having with my leg was a result of the quality of shoes I was wearing. I spent a large part of the day reading articles on running. It actually provided much motivation and I told my husband that I was in the mood to go run. HA!!! Before you get too excited, I didn’t actually do it. I thought I would wake up this morning eager to get to the track. However, I’m not much of a morning person. So, suffice it to say, that didn’t happen. I got dressed anyway. Read my bible and got out the door. Today’s bible reading was perfect! Our bodies do not belong to ourselves. They belong to God. So, the responsibility of taking care of “my” body becomes even greater when you think of it like that.
I got to the track and there were two guys mowing right along the track. There were grass clippings and exhaust flying through the air. I tried to think about what my options were at this point. I didn’t seem to have any. Looks like I’m going to be breathing this stuff. This ought to be fun. >:( I set my handy dandy watch and took my first step. Pain shot through my upper tibia (I researched this yesterday too) like a knife. Another obstacle. My first thought was that I should stop. But, I knew from Friday that if I just kept moving, the pain would go from sharp to dull. I could handle dull pain. I was excited about this mental victory. I trained my brain to overcome this pain.
Lap 1 – Before I got to the track, I decided that I wanted my first run to be 3 minutes. So, that’s what I did. It wasn’t horrible. I thought I might be able to make the second one 3 minutes too. That would be awesome. There was a lot going on at my little pond this morning; and now a couple of additional people came to walk around the track. Welcome to my little sanctuary of peace. Well… minus the mowers.
Lap 2 – My leg was really bugging me. I wondered if it would just go away or if I needed to get it looked at. As you know, I’m not a big fan of doctors. My research yesterday didn’t really lead me to much of a solution. Since the pain isn’t exactly in my knee, I tried to figure out what the source of it was. Maybe it will go away. Or, maybe I’m too old to start running. I don’t want the latter to be true. Either way, a minute and a half was all I could do.
Lap 3 – Running through fumes is not helpful. And they are on opposite ends of the track. So, you get it at both ends. And, now there are more people arriving at my pond. I don’t mind sharing. But, tomorrow, I’m passing out a set of rules to everyone there. Rule number 1, when someone comes up behind you, move over! You don’t need to walk in the middle of the sidewalk. Making them run on the grass is just rude. There is room enough for both of us.
Lap 4 – I’m starting to get frustrated with all that is going on. I can’t focus on anything. More people keep coming. Was there an invitation sent out?? Grrr!!! I want to be excited for them all. But, I want them to move out of my way. How can I fault them for wanting to exercise? I decided that I have a bad attitude. How can that be? I came out here so optimistic about this run.
Lap 5 – My shoe came untied. Really?!! I knew I had completed at least 9 minutes of run time. That was it. The smell of grass and fumes were too much. And my whiney attitude wasn’t getting any better.
Day 2 – Total Run Time 9:25
Walking was a challenge yesterday. I iced my leg twice last night and took an ibuprofen before I went to bed. I had my doubts about whether or not I would be able to run today. Even through the night, every time I moved, my leg would ache. I woke up sad about the potential of not running anymore. I didn’t get dressed immediately as I usually do. I walked around a bit first to test out my leg. It certainly hurt. At some point, I decided that I was going to the track even if I just walked around it. So, I got dressed, read my bible and off I went.
When I got there, no one was there. YAY!!! I walked at a very fast pace to see what my leg was capable of. I had heard that the pain will go away when your leg warms up. I needed that to happen. I wasn’t as worried about running with pain as I was about long term damage. I decided that if I wasn’t able to run, I was going to the doctor. Since I really did not want to go to the doctor, I chose to run. It was a sad little run. I ran with a very obvious limp and barely put any pressure at all on my leg. The point is that I ran. It took me a little longer than usual to complete the track. However, I did it. I didn’t know if I would run again or just continue walking. After a while, I ran again. And then again. I did three 2+ minute laps in a row. That made me happy. The pain never went away. But, I ran. After 6 minutes of running, I was hurting pretty badly. But, I didn’t want to log 6 minutes as my run time. I decided that I would run three one minute laps to complete my 9 minutes. I figured I could endure anything for 60 seconds, and I did.
After the first three laps, about 4 other people got there. But, they used the outdoor exercise equipment and stayed off of my track. I can handle that. Although, a couple of ducks camped out right in the middle of the track and made me run around them. That is not cool. AND… there was an enormous amount of turtles all hanging out together. That was really cool!! I like my little nature friends. They make me happy… most of the time.
Day 3 – No Run Time
After my run yesterday, I couldn’t walk without intense pain the rest of the day. I decided to call a doctor. The doctor thinks I have a stress fracture and told me to rest my leg/knee for the next couple of weeks. I couldn’t figure out why I was so sad about this. I had only been running for 7 days. And frankly, I didn’t really love it. But, I loved writing about it in my daily email to my friend. It made me sad to think that I wouldn’t be journaling the experience anymore.
This is the point that I realized I have a real love for writing. I began to research the blogging industry since I was going to have lots of time on my hands. How does one even go about this journey? Wouldn’t I need someone to handle all of the technical details and set up the website? Fortunately, there are enough bloggers out there explaining the step by step process that my dream became a reality that very same week. I purchased the web site, subscribed to a web hosting company and began building my website. Welcome to Curbed Chaos!! Running is something I will continue when my leg heals. I love the challenge. I love the idea of exercising. I love the mental strength it gives me. But mostly, I love that it helped me find something I love to do!
As we go through life, we become collectors of stuff. Our bodies have a way of expanding to accommodate all of the stuff we put in them. Unfortunately, our homes don’t operate this way. We actually have to take time to clean out the stuff from time to time or we will become overrun with clutter. I guess that same truth could be said about our bodies. But, that isn’t today’s topic.
So, how do we get rid of all of this stuff? Where do we find the time to go through it all? And, what do we do with all of it once we have established that we don’t need/want it anymore?
Start with one room at a time
Pick an easy one. Make a list of all of the cabinets and drawers that need to be cleaned out. You won’t realize it at first, but this list will motivate you to keep going when it has some things checked off of it. You will need forward momentum.
When you move on to another room. Add it to the original list. You’ll be encouraged that you completed one room and will want to complete the next one.
How Do You Eat an Elephant?
One bite at a time! Just clean out one drawer or cabinet at a time. The truth is that a drawer will only take 10 – 15 minutes. We can all commit to 15 minutes. Don’t make the whole project one big overwhelming task. This isn’t a sprint. Your house became cluttered over a long period of time. It will take a long time to declutter it too. Save the larger projects for the weekends. But, try to fit something small into each day.
Throw stuff away
When you are going through your stuff, don’t just look at it and put it back in the drawer. If you don’t use it, get rid of it. Look at every single thing. Ask yourself if you have used this item in the last year. If not, chances are you won’t need it. Remove it from the drawer. Throw it away, give it away, or sell it.
Keep clean areas clean
Once an area is clean, make sure you take the time to keep it that way. The last thing you want to do is have to cycle back through the room once it is all checked off. Take the last 10 minutes of each day and pick up the things that have been left out. This will make a huge difference!
Everything needs a home
While you are cleaning, organizing and decluttering, think about what you would label each drawer or cabinet. You don’t actually have to put labels on things. But, let your mind think through that process. If this drawer had a name, what would it be? Now anything that fits the title should go in that drawer. You might need a bigger space for that category. If so, relocate the contents of the drawer to a larger area.
As you go through each room, you will add to that drawer. For instance, office supplies should all be in the same location of the house. If you are looking for tape, sticky notes, staples, note pads, extra pens, pencils, or paper, you will find them all together in one location. As you find these items in other rooms, relocate them to the office supply area.
The president is coming
Look around the room. If you were having a very important guest over, what else would you relocate? Are there things stacked in a corner? Sometimes we become so comfortable with the clutter, we don’t even notice it. It is the small things that clutter a room. If you do this right, you will feel like you are living in a brand new house.
Put out a memo
Attention Family Members… this is a no clutter zone!! Let everyone know how you have designated the areas. They may not remember and will probably need gentle reminders. But, they will enjoy having everything organized even if they fail to mention it.
Your home should be a place of refuge. It shouldn’t be a source of stress. Clutter is the enemy of peace!! And, we all need peace. An organized home will give you time back in each of your days. Gone are the days of searching for hours to find things. Your home has the potential to be a well sharpened tool for you to increase your productivity. You will find yourself with more time to spend with your family and friends. You may even start inviting them over for dinner again.