Tag Archives: running

Running update

There has been running in the last few weeks and today is a good time to do an update on all things about running.

I was supposed to go to the Orange Running Festival in a town called Orange, about 3 1/2 hours from home, on the 4th of March. I had booked acccomodation and registered for the race but we had alot of rain the week before. We had so much rain that there was significant flooding across the state. (There still is and I need to check in with my sister who lives in a town where the river was peaking yesterday.) We might have been able to get to Orange but we would have been taking detours and there was a real possibility we would have had to detour 3 hours out of the way on the way back. If it had just been me I might have gone but we were all going and I was not going to put us through such a long drive.

I was really disappointed not to go to Orange. We were going up with Bella, one of the Up and Runner girls from Canberra and meeting another of the Up and Runner girls in Orange. There will be meetings in our future.

We had a couple of dry days then a couple more rainy days and I got out and ran in the dry and the wet. I run either first thing in the morning or during my lunch break at work. The days are getting shorter and I really notice it when I go out in the morning. Most of my run is in the dark and I get to see the light change as the sun comes up. Fortunatly, the paths I run on are all pretty even. I am looking forward to summer time ending and getting a little bit more light in the morning. When I run at lunch time I really only have 45 minutes unless I want to work a longer day. But that is enough time to get out and do a warm up, a decent run and then a cool down.

Last weekend we had a long weekend in Canberra for Canberra Day. I knew that a 4K fun run was being held and because I did not get to Orange I decided to go in it. My parents were staying with us so they came along to watch with my man and boy. I also got to meet up with Bella and do a race with her. It was cloudy but dry and nice and cool for running. The 10K race started at 9 and the 4K started at 9.05. Bella and I did a warm up walk and got to see that there would be a hill in the first km. Hills! I did not expect that. And in an out and back course! But at least we knew in advance. There were more people in the 10K and it was exciting to see them off and cheer them on their way.

The 4K run started and I waved to my people as I took off. My plan was to run a steady race and complete it without walking. I ran up the hill and down the otherside and tried to steady my breathing. It was a lovely picturesque course along the lake but a different part of the lake to which I usually run.

The first 2km were fine. I started to see people heading back and I cheered the first few people on their way. How exciting! They were doing so well and were so speedy! It is one thing I like about running in races is that it is much more an interactive experience. I saw someone from my old work who seemed surprised to see me but we had a nice little acknoweldgement as we ran past each other.

I turned around, headed back and waved to Bella who was a couple minutes behind me. She looked like she was doing well, running confidently and steadily. Heading into the 4th km was harder and then I had the hill again but I ran up and down and was really pleased I did. Once I was down, I concentrated on my form; leg turnover and posture. I did not really try to speed up, although that happened as I drew close to the finish line. I saw my dad and my boy standing about 80 m from the end. I held out my hand to my boy and we ran to the finish line together. He is 2 1/4 now and likes running but can’t run that far. But we did that much together and we finished and I picked him up and said ‘we are winners!’. My man was at the finish line taking photos and my mum was there too.

And then I got to cheer Bella as she was not far behind me. She did so well! She had a little tumble during the race just before I saw her and yet she looked so confident and strong! I thought she did an amazing run.

It was a lovely run. And I was so happy to have been there with my family and Bella. It was very special ending the race with my boy. My official time was 28.36 minutes.

This morning was another special run. I got up at 6 and was out by 6.15. I went up the hill that I used to walk up when I started out last year. This morning I walked up, did some stretches and then ran around the top of the hill. I was planning to run around once and then a little more to get to a different path down. This path around the top of the hill is mostly level but there are two stretches with ups and downs. And I ran the whole way, in total 3.27km. I was slow because it was dark and a little uneven so I was a little cautious. I was so happy to complete what I set out to do, on a route that shows me how far I have come from where I started. And I got to see the light change and look out over north Canberra. It was beautiful. And it is so quiet at that time of morning! It started raining a little as I came home. All in all, this morning I did 6km in 55 minutes, which includes the 5 minutes of stretching.

I have bought the next two rounds of the Bridge to 10K plans from Up and Running which gives me another 8 weeks worth of workouts. I am enjoying them. Some are longer, some are shorter but they are well designed and are helping me train at the 5K distance with a structured plan. For me, the structured plan helps me stick to the training.

The next race I am signed up for is the Canberra Running Festival in mid April. I have registered for the 5K race. There will be more people running in this one than I am used to so the atmosphere should be special. I know someone running in the marathon the next day so I am hopeing to go and cheer him on in that.

I like running. I think I might have said that before 🙂 I really do.

Advertisements

5K run

Everything fell into place this morning 🙂

My eating has been good for the last 3 weeks, my exercise consistent. The weather was not too hot/not too cold and dry. I got up early enough for a light breakfast before I went out. I had a rest day yesterday. I am mid cycle (don’t actually know if it makes a difference but I felt good).

Today I did 5 min warmup walk, 1km warm up run, stretches, 5K run and a cool down walk. Total time 54 min. Total distance 6.96 km. My 5 km time wa 34.41 minutes with spilts of 6.58, 6.54, 6.51, 7.12, 6.46, giving me an average pace of 6.56. That is a PB by 90 seconds.

And separate to the times, I felt good in the first two km, was feeling the third km, had to push myself in the 4th km and then knew that I would finish in the 5th and managed to go up a gear. My breathing was controlled, my pace at the start was deliberately slow. And I got to the end and knew I had done well, even without knowing the times.

I am so proud of me!

Running in public

The running workout that I have been doing for the last couple weeks has involved the sequence (run for several minutes, walk for a small bit, do some half squats)*several times. And it is fine to do early morning when there is no-one about and I am running around the back paths of my suburb.

On Saturdays, I have started going with my man and our boy to a lake where we meet with friends. I do my workout around the lake and everyone else walks around and we meet at a play ground at the end for the kids to all get out and play. It works really well. The path mostly follows the lake; there are two bridges next to a very busy road and about 400m on the side of another very busy road. Last Saturday I was uncertain whether I should do the squats. I mean, it would look… Well, you see people running and walking and power walking and stretching but not really doing other sort of moves… And I feel self conscious enough…

But by the time I was at the first lot of squats I was 20 minutes into the workout and didn’t care that much. As long as I was not on the bridge (where there is not alot of room) I was good to squat in public. I was even next to the very busy road towards the end of the workout and squatted. And it was just me, doing my exercise and it didn’t matter. I was very proud of myself at the end.

Today I overslept and I needed to leave 30 minutes earlier to get to work early. So, I did not get my early run in. But because I was there 30 minutes early I was able to take a long lunch break. I packed all my gear and at 12.30 I got out for my run by the lake – it’s a different lake; a busier lake with bigger roads and bridges and alot of lunchtime traffic around it in the form of people walking, running, riding, sitting, strolling. I decided that I would do the two bridge loop which would give me about 7km for my workout. I know this workout needs about that much.

Again I was really uncertain about the squatting! Initially I planned to just walk for an extra 30 seconds before running again but by the time I got to it, I just did it. I stepped off the path so no-one would run/ride into me and got on with my workout. And each time I got to the squatting segment I was able to step off the path. So I did. And I felt silly. But getting fit is more important to me than a fleeting silliness. These people who see me exercise really don’t care. They don’t know me, they won’t see me again. All they see is someone working out and working hard. And I am ok with that.

Well, mostly ok with it. The next workout, the one I had planned for today, had skipping segments (not jump rope skipping but skipping along). I did not want to skip in public, but I am mostly ok with squatting in public!!!

In other news. Today I weighed in and the stats are:
Starting weight: 140.9kg (310 lbs) 3/1/2010
Today’s weight: 96.0 kg (211 lbs)
Loss since last week: 1.6kg (3.5 lbs)
Total lost: 44.9kg (99 lbs)

Last week I exercised on 6 days – I did 4 running workouts and 2 walks. One of the running workouts was a bonus; it was not planned but I got the opportunity and I also thought that I was busy the next day. So, I went. And then the plans for the next day fell through and I went walking that day instead. I deliberately did not run on two of my workouts. Last week I did a total of 34kms.

I ate well and consistently, averaging at 9225kJ/day which was a little more than I was aiming for but only twice did I think I had a little too much. I am doing well not having chocolate and really am not craving sugar, although I am still loving the summer fruit and choose to eat my extra kJ that way.

I have been more consistent in saying my positive affirmation. It starts off “I breathe in, I breathe out. I breathe in peace, I breathe in joy, I breathe in strength, I breathe in love. I breathe out fear, I breathe out discontent, I breathe out stress.” I repeat that a couple of times and then the focus changes a little. But, I breathe deeply and relax and when I say ‘I breathe in joy’, I can feel my cheeks lifting and I am smiling.

It was a big loss last week. Look at the numbers!!! Almost 45kg gone! Almost 100lbs gone!!! And I am very close to the lowest I got to in early December. My clothes are a little looser and I feel really good. It is very exciting. But I need to be careful. I need to eat enough to sustain my exercise – that is one of the things I got wrong in January. This week I am aiming for an average of 9500kJ a day, so just a little more than last week. I want to slow my weight loss to about a kg a week but I want to keep my exercise intensity up. I will aim for 3 of my Up and Running workouts and 3 fast walks. Again, I will choose not to run in some of my workouts!!! I love how far I have come, that more and more the expectation is that I will run!

So far, Feb 2012 has been a good month. My exercise and food choices have been ones that bring me closer to my goal of health and fitness. And my actions and choices bring me joy.

Wednesdays for regrouping

I so appreciate not working on Wednesdays. It gives me time to regroup; do some mid week washing, shopping and cooking. It gives me some time with my boy, to read books together and play. Right now, I am sitting here and writing shopping lists and to-do lists for today. Today I want to cook some soup for lunches the rest of the week and next week. I want to cook dinner for tonight and tomorrow night.

I went out running this morning. That is the other thing about Wednesday mornings; because I am not rushing out the door to work I can go out early and get my exercise done. It was a good workout. I did 6.78km in 58 minutes. 40 minutes of this time was running, there were walking segments and squats throughout. I was happy with my pace throughout. My little boy saw me just after I was back all hot and sweaty. I like explaining to him that I go out running and that he sees the effort and the satisfaction I get from exercise.

Yesterday in my lunch break I went out for a walk. I did not run and I am pleased that I stuck with a lower intensity workout. I walked quickly and worked up a sweat. I also had a good pep talk – what am I doing, how am I doing it, what my goals are. I find these talks really help my motivation and commitment. The exciting thing yesterday was that I started building in some different and desireable outcomes from being healthy as I get older. Up till now I have been saying that I want to be active in 30 years so that I can play and walk and run with my grandkids. Yesterday I included that I want to be healthy and active as I get older so that I can travel with my man when we have retired. And that thought excites me.

The Racer

Late last year I was looking for some poems about running that I could put up at work. See, the password policy had changed and the password to login needs to be complex and change frequently and I can’t remember them. But if I have a poem, I can use phrases from the poem to create my password and because the poem is up on my cubicle wall, I have a prompt at hand. The running poems does not look out of place, it is underneath my Up and Running 5K course certificate.

One of the poems I found is The Racer by John Masefield. John Masefield was an English poet and writer (1878-1967) and was the poet laureate of the UK from 1930.

I saw the racer coming to the jump,
Staring with fiery eyeballs as he rusht,
I heard the blood within his body thump,
I saw him launch, I heard the toppings crusht.

And as he landed I beheld his soul
Kindle, because, in front, he saw the Straight
With all its thousands roaring at the goal,
He laughed, he took the moment for his mate.

Would that the passionate moods on which we ride
Might kindle thus to oneness with the will;
Would we might see the end to which we stride,
And feel, not strain, in struggle, only thrill.

And laugh like him and know in all our nerves
Beauty, the spirit, scattering dust and turves.

And because I had to look it up… turves is the plural for ‘turf’ and so means ‘grass and the surface layer of earth held together by its roots’ and that is a nice running surface.

The third verse really speaks to me – here it is again

Would that the passionate moods on which we ride
Might kindle thus to oneness with the will;
Would we might see the end to which we stride,
And feel, not strain, in struggle, only thrill.

If I could only focus that emotion I have into getting the job done! And if I could take the effort and have that spur me on! Even the difficult times, knowing that I was making progress. I would surely reach my goals!

I read this poem maybe once a week, and think about the struggles on the journey. Getting up early to go running when I don’t want, pushing myself to finish a workout when I want to stop, not eating the chocolate last night because I had eaten enough food yesterday, food planning, food prep in advance and all of the little things like tracking food and making sure the washing is done so I have clean workout clothes which can seem a burden. It is all part of the journey. Sometimes it is a strain and a burden and sometimes I don’t get it all done. But I want the goal. I want the ‘far off’ health and fitness that I am striving for. I want to go walking with my grandchildren in 30 years time.

I like this poem. And it is good to have things about me which help me reflect on the journey, that the choices I make today are important for the long term goal.

New Toy

*whispers* I bought a Garmin Forerunner today. First run tomorrow morning (just a straight out and back 30 minute) followed by 40 min walk at lunch and I have an Up and Running workout planned for Saturday. I am very excited. So much data!!!

5K birthday extragavanza

I am happy, I am weary. This morning I ran 5K in 37.04.

It was a gorgeous morning. My boy woke up a little early so I got up, got him up and had a small breakfast with him. I was dressed in my running gear and made sure I had some water. And then I had some more water. After my man got up, I started getting things together; my watch, my headband, my phone. And then before I could procrastinate too much I headed out.

The temp was 15’C and the skies were blue and clear. A beutiful day for a run.

I got really excited heading out. It was my birthday and I was running!!! This time last year I was not able to run. This time last year I was about to start on my healthy journey and was excited but also nervous about the future. And today I was running!

My warm up is about 1 km and I started out walking with huge arm swings and windmills. At about 500m I started running. I stopped for stretches and wriggled my toes about and then off I went.

The first km I was focussed on going at a slow steady pace. I knew if I wanted to finish strong I had to start slowly. The first part takes me down a path and one of the houses has extended their vegie patch outside the fence and I always want to check out what is growing. This morning the zucchini flowers were out. A little further, a fig tree hangs over the fence. There are so many figs on it now and I don’t know how ripe they are because I couldn’t stop.

The second km is on a path between two suburbs, it is wide and just slightly sloping down hill. I get a view out to the mountains to the south (the Brindabella Ranges). It is my favourite part of the run because I feel the best in terms of action, breathing and strength. The third km takes me along some roads. It is my least favourite part of the route but it is also has my halfway point which means that every step is now closer to the end.

The fourth km takes me to the end of a big loop and then I start heading back home. I go past the fig tree again and I try not to look. I go past the vegie patch. An elderly man was out watering and made some positive comment about me running. I said ‘only 1 more km’ and he cheered me on. I have seen him in the last few months on my runs and to have him recognise me and cheer me on was very cool.

I was shuffling in the 5th km. I refused to walk but I was going slowly. It was the last km and I kept going. I was determined to run the full distance. I came over the bridge and round the corner and saw my usual end point. And I swore because today I was ending 100m further up the path. It seemed a good idea at the time, my man and boy were at the playground to see my finish. But to go past the house and up the (very) slight incline at the end of a hard run just seemed… a very bad idea. But I got there, I threw my arms up into the air in victory!

Total distance was 6.45km, total time was 54 minutes. 5K time was 37.04 minutes. Not my fastest time, not my slowest time. Somewhere very nicely in the middle. And now, 4 hours later, I am tired and weary but not shattered like I was after my first 5K. I may not be speedier but I am recovering faster.

I have run 5K four times since the start of November. I am amazed at what my body can do. My legs are strong! My lungs and heart are strong! I am so proud of what I have achieved. I am looking forward to what happens next.

Running 5K today is my birthday gift to me.