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Outdoor Running

Sunday, May 03, 2009

I visited my best friend in Oakland this weekend and since neither one of us wanted to miss our own weekend workouts ( emoticon), we incorporated working out into our weekend plans. We ran around Lake Merritt, each at our own paces. It was cloudy and a little chilly with a little bit of misty rain every once in a while. Despite the less-than-ideal weather, and despite the fact that I haven't run outside in a loooong time now due to the cold Washington winter, I DID FANTASTIC.

I plugged the earphones in and told myself, "I'm going to run and not stop for 4 songs." Then when I was listening to song #3 I started talking myself up - "This isn't bad, I'm feeling fine, my legs are tired but they just want to take the easy way out - my legs and I are SO capable of doing this. I'll go another 2 songs after this first set of 4 songs is over." When I reached that last song I told myself I'd go another 2. It made it seem to much more doable, to break the run down into little goals for myself. That's what I used to do in WC, running the Iron Horse Trail - I'd tell myself I'd just run to that park, to that bush, to that fire hydrant, to the end of the bridge, to the vet clinic, to the next corner - and I'd get through it.

I ran nonstop a total of 23 1/2 minutes. Then I ran 1 minute, walked 1 minute, repeat for a total of 6 additional minutes, just to get me back to the starting point of the trail run.

Checking out what I think was the route I took on the Google Pedometer, I ran 2.2 miles in 23.5 minutes, and then ran/walked just under another 1 mile!
BOOYAH!!!! emoticon

What else is awesome besides the distance? Me! The first time outside running in months really, and I averaged around a 10:45 mile. Looking back at my last blog entry, my best in WC was 11:30 for 2 miles, and that was on a beautiful temperate day with just the right amount of water drank and food eaten with adequate time beforehand.

I just ran a 3K. Outside. In my best time ever. I will SO be ready for the Seattle 5K in 8 weeks.


A new accomplishment

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Today I did something I have NEVER done before: I ran 2 miles WITHOUT STOPPING. No walking, no stopping, and didn't really feel like it was getting hard until the end, when my breath was a bit more ragged and I had a little cramp in my side. My legs had been tired of doing the same thing over and over since about 1/2 mile into the run, but I pushed past the mental block and told my legs that was just how it was going to be. They may be bored, but they weren't incapable. Let's keep going.


I am SO proud of myself. This is a huge accomplishment for me.

I used to dread The Mile Run.... it was the bane of my existence in P.E. classes throughout school. I was ecstatic (though thoroughly exhausted) when I ran/walked a mile at the end of Boot Camp in about 11 minutes. But I didn't feel nearly as good after that one mile as I did today, after two miles. I feel like I've come so far.

I kept a positive attitude most of the way. Kept reminding myself that this was so much easier than it used to be, that I have grown stronger, leaner, fitter. After the first mile I really found I had to keep urging myself on -- "c'mon, just gotta keep running till the soccer field... c'mon, just a little more till the bridge.. keep going till the corner.. a little further till the animal hospital.. c'mon, only three short blocks left, can't quit now.. so close, you can do this! Don't quit now!!" And I didn't quit.


I got back home and wrote down the length of the songs I'd listened to on my run, so that I could figure out my times for each mile. As it turns out, without realizing it, I ran each of the two miles in EXACTLY 11 minutes, 30 seconds. How's THAT for a consistent pace!?!?!?

I keep waiting to feel the "Runner's High"... and sometimes I feel a high after I do a run, but I'm not sure if it's really the runner's high, or if it's just my own personal high from knowing that I am really accomplishing something. Either way, I like it.



activity levels rising...

Sunday, September 07, 2008

I took some time a few days ago to make myself a fitness tracking chart that tracks the things most important to me:
- measurements (bicep, upper arm, chest, waist, hips, thigh)
- weight (just for reference -- as I previously explained, I don't think my scale is consistent)
- Daily Goal #1: Eat 2+ fruits/veggies every day
- Daily Goal #2: Cardio for 20+ minutes every day

The Daily Goals are simple checkboxes. Either I met the goal or I didn't.

I also came up with my rewards list.... some of the rewards are based on losing inches, many are based on having a week's consistency with my Daily Goals. For instance, when I have 7 straight days of eating 2+ fruits/veggies AND doing cardio for 20+ minutes for ALL of those days, then I will reward myself with a relaxing bubble bath. That is my first reward, and I am so looking forward to it.

Having that tracker and, moreso, the rewards list, has really helped motivate me. I have done cardio for the past 5 straight days since I decided on those goals, and been eating so much healthier too. And I've found out that going from relatively little activity to doing cardio every day has REALLY increased my appetite, and my desire for just plain water! I'm drinking 9-10 (8-oz) glasses a day - it's kinda crazy!

I am really glad that I am NOT focused on the pounds. I am eating when I am hungry, and so I am not feeling particularly deprived. I am, however, choosing to eat HEALTHIER (I'll snack on that baggie of sugar snap peas or cherries rather than those cookies or gummy snacks). I am also watching my portions, trying to eat smaller meals -- even if it means I end up eating 5-7 times a day -- because this helps me give my stomach time to actually determine if I need more food. If I am hungry again an hour after my small lunch, then I get a yogurt or a string cheese or a hardboiled egg. Or even aforementioned veggies.

Let's see how long I can keep this up! My 1-week reward for veggies/cardio is the bubble bath, which is fast approaching.. and my 2-week reward is loop-on earphones so they stay in place when I am running. (See, the reward helps me want to continue exercising too! Double bonus!)



Monday, September 01, 2008

I don't think I believe scales anymore. My friend's is 2 pounds lower than mine. My parents' is 4 pounds lower than mine. I don't know what my real weight is, so I just gotta look at loss on one consistent scale.