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Today, I Am A Runner

Monday, October 03, 2011

A while back, I blogged that I was not a runner:

My thinking at that time was, I am not a runner until I can run 30 minutes continually. I figured if I could actually keep running for a half hour, that would be good enough to complete the 3.5 mile Chase Corporate Challenge while actually running the entire course. If I can run all the way through that race, a bit longer than a 5K, I can call myself a runner.

Today was the big transition. After 2 weeks of remedial training, and 3 weeks of the 5K Your Way running program doing intervals (with a 9 day interruption to recover from a strained calf), today was Week 4, Day 1. It called for running 35 minutes. Since I hadn't been attempting to run further than the intervals, there was some doubt as to whether I could do this.

Weather: Cloudy, showers off and on all day. Temperature at 57 degrees. Recalling that SP says 55 is the ideal temperature for running, I leave the jacket at home. Good call. I probably could have got by in runners shorts, though I actually wore long pants.

Start out deliberately holding back, both because I didn't have much of a warmup and because I haven't run longer than 7 minutes at once since I started training. The 5 minute mark found me further than the walk 1/run 4 interval, but not by much.

I have 3 up/down hill stretches on this route. On the interval training, part of the biggest uphill stretch falls on a walk. Not today; no more walking. Got up all the hills, and noticed that running down them was a lot easier, almost like resting.

Got to the segments where I was always looking at my watch early. The psychology is different when I'm not going to slow for a walk at all. The longer stretches don't feel as long when I'm not looking forward to a walking interval.

Several times I had to bear in mind the sage advice of my sister, "Run slower." I managed to do this without slowing to a walk, and was able to pick up the pace later. This is encouraging, as I really didn't know how to pace myself before I started training.

Chopped a bit off the twisty route for the 40 minute walk/run intervals, and guessed that I'd end up somewhere close to home. Quite close, in fact. When I looked at my watch on the last stretch, it looked very close indeed. I picked up the speed, trying to get to my driveway by 35 minutes. Didn't do it, but got to the next door neighbor's driveway. Good enough, that's a point I can measure to on the map.

Walking cooldown from the walk/run intervals was walking about a tenth of a mile. Today, it was more like walking a third of a mile. That's okay, I already know that walking after the run is good for how my calves will feel tomorrow.

Stretched, took another short cooldown walk, and came in to map what I did. Turned out to be 4.54 miles, or an average pace of 7:43 per mile. At that pace, I could run the Chase Corporate Challenge in 27 minutes.

Today I am a runner. Doing this once doesn't make it permanent, so I'll be sure to finish out the 5K Your Way training routine. Then it will be a virtual 5K, and hopefully a routine of regular running till tax season, when I'll need to figure out how to deal with less free time.

And in the interval between April 15 and the Chase Corporate Challenge at the end of May, I'll train to run again. The second time through, it should be easier. I'll go into it knowing that I can do it.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KRISZTA11 10/8/2011 7:56AM

You ran a great time!
It is amazing how good it went, after a relatively short training.
I'm in a quite similar phase of the 5K training, running far slower but enjoying immensely.

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DEBRITA01 10/4/2011 6:34AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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REMARAHAB 10/3/2011 9:41PM

    Wow! That's fantastic!

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LESLIESENIOR 10/3/2011 9:08PM

    Awesome accomplishment. I applaud your consistency and determination. Hurray for you!!! I, too, was "not a runner". Then at age 57 1/2 a friend challenged several of us to train for a 1/2 marathon. That was in July 2010. Since then I have kept up the walk/jogging still saying I am "not a runner". I'm now 59 and can run 3 miles without stopping. It is slow (your sister is wise) but I don't stop and I now call myself a runner.
Isn't it the most wonderful feeling?
Congratulations, again, not only on a great accomplishment, but a fabulous time!!! We older folks can learn new tricks.
Leslie emoticon emoticon

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ONEKIDSMOM 10/3/2011 9:01PM

    emoticon on reaching your goal of running for 30 minutes! You are indeed a runner. emoticon

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Lazy Sunday

Sunday, October 02, 2011

This morning as I got up and went to church, I thought to myself that I wanted to get a few things done this afternoon:

- Get an exercise walk (off day for running) to ensure 10K steps
- Vacuum. This has been squeezed out for too many weekends.
- Watch some football.
- Make burritos to take to work for lunch this week.

Hmm, I thought. The chances of getting all this done are slender. Football probably wins; I treasure my unstructured time.

Came home from church, and went for the walk. 5.2 miles in 72 minutes, for an average pace of 4.3 mph. I felt like I was hustling, but not really pushing to the limit even for a walk. I really felt like running, and it was hard not to.

Watched the entertaining second half of the Bills at Cincinatti. Since I'm not a Bills fan (I only live in upstate NY, I didn't grow up here), I found the game entertaining. The natives will be in mourning.

Along about that time, the cat started militating to be fed. That's annoying. He talked me into running the vacuum, which makes him shut up and go into hiding.

Got a case of the I don't wannas with the burritos. By main willpower, forced myself to edit my Spark recipe to use beef base instead of beef bouillon (less sodium) to boil the lentils and rice. That got late, so I boiled some eggs as backup for failure to finish.

Then I read my sister's blog about rebellion. Dang, I recognize that attitude. Went and assembled the burritos. I was less precise than I hoped, and the last one came out light on the stuffing. What the heck, I ate that one. It took me from low in the calorie range to high in the range (262 calories, less whatever being light on stuffing is worth), but I stayed in range.

The amazing thing is, in spite of getting everything done it still felt like a relaxing, unstructured Sunday.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DEBRITA01 10/3/2011 6:43AM

    Glad you had a relaxing Sunday...and burritos, yum!

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ARLENE_MOVES 10/3/2011 12:16AM

    Sounds tasty!

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HOT4FITNESS 10/2/2011 10:47PM

    Sounds like you ended up having a good day. Send a burrito my way! LOL

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ONEKIDSMOM 10/2/2011 10:06PM

    Good for you. Hopefully I'll be back on track myself soon... I have now "done my teeth", so that means bad behavior with food is done for today. I make no promises about tomorrow.

But I have hope.

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ERIKO1908 10/2/2011 9:43PM

    wow!! sounds like a very productive day!! WTG!!!

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Disruptions in Routine

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Yesterday evening was a big social eating buffet. The food was hard to estimate, but I took notes on what I ate and did my best. Final numbers for the day were about 500 calories above top of range. And my estimates might have been low.

During the dinner, I got a text from daughter cancelling breakfast at McD today. That made today's meals easier to bring in routinely within range, but also disrupted the Saturday routine. Normally, I'd be up early to do 5K training before McD at 9.

Today, I got up early, fed the cat, had breakfast, and went back to bed. I felt much more rested when I got up again, but it was past 10 by the time I got to the 5K training.

I messed up the 5K protocol. I was supposed to walk 1 minute, run 4 minutes for 8 cycles. First cycle, I was daydreaming past my landmark and it was about 4:25 into the run before I looked at my watch. So I ran 5 minutes. Felt pretty good. Did two more cycles of walk 1, run 5, and had about decided to keep this up for 5 cycles then do two cycles of walk 1, run 4 to come out to 40 minutes.

On Cycle 4, I misread my watch to say I had 1:45 left to run when it probably said I was 0:15 over. I ended up running 7 minutes. So I cut it down to 6 cycles, with the last two being walk 1, run 6. I expected to cover more territory, since I ran 2 more minutes and walked 2 fewer. Nope. Covered slightly less than Thursday, 4.94 miles in 40 minutes. Go figure.

The weather might have has something to do with that. 46 degrees, light wind, heavy mist or light rain. I deliberately ran a little slow at first because it was so cool. And I'm pretty sure my 1 minute walks were slower than Thursday. Oh, well. I ran 34 minutes in pieces of 5 minutes or more each.

That was Week 3, Day 3. Monday is Week 4, Day 1 and I get to try to run 35 minutes continually. At least I won't lose track of when I'm supposed to slow down and walk!

The disruption of the morning spilled over into the afternoon, shoving grocery shopping (normally done after McD) into late afternoon, which in turn disrupted other household maintenance tasks. At 7:30 PM, I'm mostly recovered except for being slow at getting laundry done. Time to sit back, watch some football, and change laundry loads on commercials!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ONEKIDSMOM 10/2/2011 9:14PM

    It's in the air. And the Huskers lost "the big game"... sigh. They played well for about the first quarter, then the OTHER Big Red just rolled over us.

Hope the rest of your weekend was refreshing!

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DEBRITA01 10/2/2011 9:00PM

    One disruption in the routine can somehow set the tone for the day. Don't worry about the household tasks...they'll always be there, unfortunately. Weekends are for relaxing...says me :)

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DEBRA0818 10/2/2011 10:07AM

    Sounds like my Sunday afternoon: laundry and football. They just seem to go together!

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BARBAELLEN 10/1/2011 9:49PM

    I guess disruptions are the name of the game, unless you're a hermit. It sounds like you got it back together pretty quickly!

This is the season when I'm usually faced with numerous formal dinners of sorts, and I've been thinking about how difficult it may be to handle them. Multiple courses layed in front of you, without any personal choice, will likely be a challenge. As conscientious as YOU are, I don't like hearing that even YOU went over by 500+ calories! I guess I'd better learn real quickly how to say "no, thank you." Gads, now I'm nervous!

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Busy Day Off

Friday, September 30, 2011

I took a day off work today. Originally, it was to be able to relax while meeting a half day commitment to have a home energy audit done. Other stuff piled into that relaxing half day.

My daughter got the key to her new apartment today. So after I'd had breakfast and a too short exercise walk, I drove over to deliver the old microwave and take a look. Up three flights of stairs (5, 10, and 6 risers), but not terribly cramped at the turns. Two people who can get the couch and dresser out of my basement would be able to get them into her apartment.

Hustled home in time to have lunch. The energy audit tech called at 12:10, running early. Good think I took the whole day. Between hearing what he had to say and pointing out the relevant facts of the house, I worked the October budget and beginning of month bills.

There is mold in my basement. It hangs on the concrete block walls, where the groundwater seeps. The energy audit tech wouldn't do the blower door test because it would stir some of the fluffy mold into the air. So I get to try to find a firm to test this stuff and say whether it's a danger. One mold removal firm told me what I already suspected, that if the water is an ongoing problem the mold will come back. They also said that in this case, it was likely that this was not harmful mold, just outside mold migrating in with the water. Of course, I don't know without a test and at this point I don't know the price of testing.

In a few minutes, I'll leave for a buffet dinner honoring my church's recently retired pastor. From a Spark perspective, I'm a little concerned. It's at a wonderful restaurant, where the food will be delicious, high calorie, and difficult to quantify for the food tracker. Local place, no nutrition information on the web. I'll just have to do the best I can. I have 708 to 1058 calories left to consume today, and I went light on the fat for breakfast and lunch in anticipation of this. It might end up pushing me over limit, but it's not going to start a multi-day trend.

With all this, it doesn't really feel like a day off. Good thing the weekend starts tomorrow.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DEBRITA01 9/30/2011 10:09PM

    Wow, you had a busy day...enjoy some R&R over the weekend!

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ONEKIDSMOM 9/30/2011 7:28PM

    Life's full on your end! You'll do fine. You're not a "throw in the towel" kind of guy... and you'll do your best with the event, and find it's good enough. Even if you have a little bump up, when you return to normal the next few days, it melts right back.

This is maintenance. You can do these things. You just can't do them every day.


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PASTORMIKE7 9/30/2011 6:18PM

Talk about a busy day!!
I think you burned enough calories to fit in that meal!!
If not!! Don't worry about it!! We can do this once and awhile!! I still burn it off!!

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Real Life Interlude between Work and 5K Training

Thursday, September 29, 2011

My daughter is moved out of my house last March. Now, she's moving again - and it's not back in with me!

She had found a roommate wanted situation last March that she could swing on part time Burger King pay. Since then, she has got a full time job elsewhere at higher pay, with health insurance. After some soap opera stuff with the roommate's life, the upshot is that my daughter will move out of that situation and into an apartment by herself. I am providing some modest financial support for the transition; daughter thinks she's going to pay me back, but I'm thinking that's unlikely to happen.

So I got a call at work today. Daughter was at my place, talking about the stuff I'd said she could have, but she didn't take to the first place because she could share the roommate's stuff. She wants to hang out till I get home, because she's avoiding a annoying social situation with the roommate and the soap opera cast. Yes, she can hang out. I slipped out of work a little early to go home and talk things over. Got it sorted out, daughter filled her trunk and was back on the road before 6.

Then I went out and did my 5K training in the sunset and early dusk at 59 degrees. No major issues, and I covered a bit more distance than the last time. I went 4.97 miles in 40 minutes of walk 1 minute, run 4 minutes.

It feels good to be able to deal with real life and still get the fitness routine in.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DEBRA0818 9/30/2011 8:13AM

    I have always found that exercise helps with my real life even though it takes some time and planning. But the benefits to every system in the body (including the brain), keep my focused, calm and relaxed in most situations. It's worth it!


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ARLENE_MOVES 9/30/2011 12:32AM

    Good Dad you are!

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ONEKIDSMOM 9/29/2011 9:21PM

    It's called priorities. Some things simply must be done. How totally cool to be fit enough it doesn't wipe you out, and you can still support the fitness maintenance activity. Spark on! emoticon

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