C25k Running Update!

True to form, I haven’t updated this blog since June 🙂

But, I wanted to write out the progress I have made since my original C25k post back in May. I was just getting ready to start the Couch to 5k interval training program. In reality, after that first jog, I didn’t actually start the running program until mid-June. I did it with a friend of mine. I would run the first two workouts of each week on my own, and we would run the third together on Thursday evenings. It was great, because in order to keep up with him, I really needed to do those other two workouts on my own – I couldn’t just wing it! So we did that for 9 weeks, and we “graduated” the program in August. That month, we both ran our very first 5k race!

It was hot, sticky, dusty and all around miserable, and took me around 40 minutes to finish. I was disappointed because in practice, I averaged about 11-12 minute miles, and I was convinced that I would have finished in under 35 minutes. Oh well! I decided that I wouldn’t be discouraged, and I was going to do at least one race every month as a motivator!

So in September, I signed up for another 5k in a park. This was a road race, rather than a trail race, which I am much more comfortable with. The temperature was around 60, which is pretty perfect, and I ran it in just over 31 minutes! I averaged about a 10 minute mile!

October came, and so did the race I was the most nervous about, but also the most excited. It was time for the Six Flags Zombie Fright Run 5k! For anyone who doesn’t know what that is, it’s a 5k run combined with an obstacle course and flag football. You start off with three flags, which zombies throughout the course chase you and try to steal. There aren’t just zombies chasing you though; there are zombies chasing you through water, over walls, under ropes, you name it! Unfortunately, a large stack of hay bales and one zombie claimed me as victim – I ended up re-injuring my knee. Luckily (and stupidly), it was cold enough out (around 30 degrees) and I was wading through waste-deep freezing water so that the swelling in my knee was kept to a minimum, and with the help of my friend and my knee brace I was able to finish the race and even keep jogging parts of it! I paid for the next couples days though when I discovered I could hardly walk.

That set me back, since I couldn’t run for at least two weeks after that incident. So I gave myself plenty of time, and my next race was a Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morning! That was a cold one, but I ran it in about 32 minutes and didn’t feel too badly about stuffing my face later that day.

A week and a half later was a Hot Chocolate run, and the race sold out with 5500 participants! I ran it in just over 31 minutes and beat about 1200 people 🙂

To sum it up, running has been going well! For the first time in my life, I actually LIKE running, and I am already signed up for a St. Patrick’s Day 10k (6.2 miles). My goal in 2013 is to run a minimum of 500 miles, and potentially a lot more, and to get my 5k time down to 28 minutes. I am also signed up for Warrior Dash in September! Eek!

Onwards!

P.S. I did end up getting a pair of Vibram Bikilas – they’re WONDERFUL! Best shoes I have ever run in! I will be getting another pair in the spring since I’ve worn my current pair down pretty good!

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C25K

In light of my recent “get in shape” kick, I thought now would be the perfect time to attempt running again! I went for my first jog in probably 5 years (since my knee injury) this morning. My knee was only slightly wobbly – I was happy about that, especially since I was not wearing a knee brace. Even though I’ve lost a decent amount of weight this past year, I’m still very out of shape, so I am starting slow. I was never a good runner to begin with, my shortest mile time being around 8.5min. I’m just not built for it. But that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t try!

So I am going to attempt a Couch 2 5k program (C25K) to get myself back on track. I got up at 5:45, splashed some cold water on my face, laced up my sneaks and was out the door by 5:55 (this is VERY impressive for me!). I decided to run for time instead of distance, so at least 3x a week, more if possible, I am going to train a minimum of 30 minutes. Today was the first workout, so I just wanted to test the waters a bit rather than jump right into the interval training in the program. I was able to jog 1/2 mile without stopping, which may not sound like much, but it was better than I expected. I walked for 1-2 minutes, and jogged the second 1/2 mile. Less than a 15 minute workout, but I was pleased nonetheless, especially since I wasn’t sure what to expect from my knee. I’m going to keep track of my miles run, too. Because I like tracking things 🙂 And hopefully come fall I will be ready to run my first 5k since high school!

Part of me really wants to get a pair of these…  They just look like they would make running so much more fun!

 

On a less positive note, I think I might need to get my wisdom teeth (tooth?) out. Yesterday my jaw was aching a little bit on the left side, but I assumed this was because of grinding my teeth (stress habit). This morning however, as I was washing my face, I noticed that the left side of my jaw felt and looked swollen, and was still feeling sore. It feels like a wisdom tooth thing, which isn’t good because I don’t have dental insurance and not much in the way of money to pay for the surgery. I wonder if they will let me pay in monthly installments or something…worth looking into.

I’ve also done 10 more hours of my 100 hours of art project, so I will be posting on that sometime this week!

Take the stairs!

I am becoming hyper-aware of my health and fitness. For most of my 25 years I have eaten what I want (mac & cheese, all the time! yumm), used the cheapest cosmetics (I’m mostly talking shampoo, soaps, toothpaste, etc), parked as close as possible to entrances, and almost always opted for the elevator over the stairs. But over the last year in particular, I’ve been realizing just how important my body is, and how disrespectfully I have been treating it. I’ve watched people eat whatever they want, whenever they want, however much they want, simply because the taste of the food in their mouths at that moment is more important to them than any accompanying consequences. Especially of those consequences aren’t immediate! And, if I am being totally honest with myself, this is the way I have always been too.

God gave me this body, the one I am in. Not some supermodel or athlete just this average weight, fairly tall, normal looking female body. And it may have taken me 25 years to realize it, but God gave this soul this body because this is the one that was perfect to his purposes. How cool is that! Yet I have disrespected and abused this body, at times even hated it and complained about it and wished God had done a better job with it.

How ungrateful of me! I have four limbs, five working senses, healthy lungs, an amazing mind (aren’t brains amazing??) and a beating heart! I am not torn down by cancer or disease, I am not crippled in any sense of the word, I am not deaf, mute or blind. So what has been holding me back all this time from accepting this awesome gift from God and striving to take care of it and use it the way that it was intended?

I don’t know what God has planned for my life. But I want to be ready for it. And I think taking care of this body that God calls a temple is at least someplace to start. So from now on, I will do my best to eat my vegetables and take the stairs.

Food/exercise tracking

Writing things down helps keep me aware. By making a daily/weekly to-do list at work, I’m always aware of the things that I still have to do, and what I have accomplished. By writing a budget and keeping track of my finances, I’m aware of how much money I am spending and where it is going. So it only made sense to have this habit in regards to my health.

I just created a free account on My Fitness Pal. They have a huge food library, and I can track what I eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks, and how many calories I am consuming (as well as protein, fiber, sodium, sugar, or anything else you’d like to know). I can set goals for calorie intake, for weight, for exercise and track how many calories I burn in a day or a week. Friends can join as well, so that can help keep me accountable. I can keep all my recipes on there too, and there’s a recipe calculator to track how many calories are in those!

It’s pretty great. I’m not necessarily going on a diet (although I do intend on eating a lot more veggies and lean proteins), or at least not what I would call a diet.  I just want to be more aware of the junk going into my body, and how lazy I am,  🙂

Anyone care to join me?

p.s. Lovely how I posted this immediately after posting the recipe for lemon monkey bread…well at least now I can be aware of how fattening monkey bread is.