Just plugging along…

The goal this morning was simple….just get in a couple of pain-free miles. After having it out with my angry left leg last week, I gave in to a couple days of rest, stretching and ice. But this morning I was determined to get out on the road, no matter how slow and just get a short loop done.  Well let me tell you it was S-L-O-W! I didn’t stop but at times I’m not sure you could truthfully call what I was doing “running.” But no matter – there was no pain and that was a huge win! I’m learning that in running the path to bigger victories and accomplishments is paved with the much smaller ones. Today was one of those small ones and I’ll take it!

So I continue to plug along – week 3 with Smart Coach is underway. The goal is to get in 4 days of running as long as the left side stays under control – if not, 1 day will be on the bike, plus 2 days of pilates….and LOTS of stretching (kinda goes without saying, right?!)

Lots of Great Giveaways Going On in bloggy-land – be sure to check out my sidebar!!

Happy Running!


To My Angry Left Leg

Dear Angry Left Leg –

I thought you and I had reached an understanding a while ago. I thought you had finally taken your toys and gone home. But, after running pain free for 3 weeks, I see that you’re back and clearly your mood hasn’t improved! In fact, you’re crankier than usual and you’ve brought along your friend “Nagging Hip” just for kicks!

What – you heard that I signed up for another race, a longer distance, and thought your return would put an end to all of that?! Well in case you hadn’t noticed, I’m far more stubborn than you are! I have a goal and a plan to get there and I don’t intend to stop to listen to your whining. I’ll give you rest days, ice and Yamuna Body Rolling …but, in return, I suggest you get with the program ’cause I’m not stopping!


Catching Excellence

Perfection is not attainable,
but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.
– Vince Lombardi
I start my 10k training plan this week! After checking out a bunch of plans, I’m going with Runner’s World Smart Coach. I like that with Smart Coach you can input info on your last race, weekly mileage, how hard you want to train and for how long and it gives you a “customized” training plan for free!

With this plan I’ll be running 3 days a week and can fit in my two pilates classes and some weight training and bike work and still have one day for rest. I’ll also be mixing in some speed work, tempo runs and hill repeats as the weeks go on. I also decided to build in a little cushion in my timing and not take the training program right up to race day just to give myself some wiggle room…..cause life happens, right?

You can check out Smart Coach on the Runner’s World website http://www.runnersworld.com

Don’t miss the great giveaways going on this week on some of my favorite blogs – check out the sidebar!!

Happy Running!


New Motivation – New Race

Instead of an inspirational quote for this week’s Monday Motivation, I chose to register for another race….and this time it’s a 10k! After years of hearing so much about the spirit and camaraderie of this event, I decided this morning to register for the Tufts 10k for Women!

I am once again both psyched and nervous! As I went for a run this morning in 80-plus degrees, I wondered how in the world I’m going to double my mileage to comfortably finish the 6.2 miles while training in the summer’s heat. On the good side, the race isn’t until October 11 so there is time…but training in the heat will be unavoidable.

So now I’m trying to decide on a 10k training plan to follow, cause the one thing I definitely learned from working up to my 5k is that my running is much more productive when I have a game plan. But the question is, which plan to follow? I’ve looked at Running Planet’s 10k program for Beginning Competitors and their 10k for Recreational Runners ; and then there’s Cool Running’s Beginner’s 10k . These are free programs, then there a whole host of fee-based programs. So how does one decide? And how long do you need to train – some of these programs are 12 weeks while others are 8? I’ve got 14 weeks til race day so I’ll need to figure all this out fairly soon.

In any event, it’s nice to have a new target and new motivation!


July already?!?!

July already?!?! I know everybody seems to be saying that but it really does feel like the first half of this year flew by in a blink…especially the month of June.

When I laced up for my run yesterday I realized it was my first run in two months without a target – I’ve been focused on getting ready for my first 5K and completing the C25K program. Now the race has come and gone and as I headed out I thought….ok, now what?

So the mid-point of the year seems like a good time to set some goals to carry me through to the frosty days of December.

  1. Run two more 5k races, improving my time with each race. The beauty of being a newbie runner is each race is a PR!
  2. Run a 10k race
  3. Increase my monthly mileage each month. I added 10 miles in June over May so with goals 1 & 2 this one shouldn’t be a stretch.
  4. Embrace hill repeats into my training. I loathe hills so this one will be a real challenge!
  5. Continue to improve my eating habits and find the food/drink that works best for me both pre- and post-run.
  6. Continue the weight training routines I started with the trainer. The trainer sessions are done but I feel like I was making progress, especially with my “angry” left leg and I do not want to regress.
  7. Identify races for 2011….including….dare I say it….a half marathon!

That ought to keep me busy and challenged! 🙂

Would love to hear what others goals are for the rest of 2010! Happy running everyone!



Another first – a rain run

I am seriously what you could call a “fair weather” runner and have used the weather as my excuse for why I couldn’t run. “It’s too cold,” “It’s too hot”…or (the most often used) “It’s raining!” That is until this morning. I had planned to run at 6 but woke to the sound of steady rain which easily justified me rolling over to go back to sleep. I clung to my pillow for as long as possible until Thing 1, Thing 2 and the dog made that impossible — time to escape the chaos and go run!

When I came downstairs to head out, my hubby informed me that according to weather.com’s hourly forecast I had a break before the next showers were to begin. Sounded good to me so out the door I went – but I decided at the last second to leave my iPod behind just in case I didn’t want it soaked.  Well… let’s just say Mother Nature has a sense of humor cause I was no more than 2 minutes into my run when the rain started again. As I hit my first hill, it was now a steady rain and I was quickly getting soaked. But instead of turning for home, as I might have done in the past, I decided to just embrace it. Besides I kept telling myself, you can’t control the weather the day of the race so you might as well see what you can do in the rain! Without my iPod (another first for me!), I just listened to the rain fall and my own breathing — it was very peaceful. And as I hit my second hill I was feeling oddly good, my pace was still steady and my left leg was cooperating. The rain subsided and the rest of the run felt good…I even managed to shave a little time off from my previous runs this week! And….drumroll please….I actually didn’t mind running in the rain!

So week 8 of C25K is in the books – final week coming up and still 2 weeks til race day!


The tortoise may be on to something

I’ve been feeling like my running needs a little focus – a plan – if I’m going to make some progress so I’m going to try Cool Running’s infamous Couch to 5K Running Plan . For those who don’t know, this plan has a ton of fans for it’s gradual progression to move the beginner from 0 to 3 miles in 9 weeks. My first thought was this sounded painfully slow to me (have I mentioned that I have no patience!) But I think part of the problem in my past efforts to start running is my lack of patience. I start out too hard, too fast and end up injured, frustrated or both. Slow and steady might be the answer, especially since I’m dealing with an “angry” left leg.  Since I am already doing some running, I’ve decided to pick up the plan at week 4 — seems like a good compromise. On my non-run days, I’ll cross-train either a pilates class or weight-training.

So I returned to the track on Monday for my first attempt. The good news is there was once again no knee pain and I comfortably completed my 2 miles. This morning felt even better. For both runs, I felt like I could have done more, but I held off….hoping that my patience will eventually pay off.


I may never walk again!

At least that’s what it felt like about half way through my walking lunges series at the gym this morning! I recently joined the local Gold’s Gym and as part of the deal I signed on for a few sessions with one of their trainers. So once a week, for the past couple of weeks, I spend 40 minutes or so in trainer torture with Mike!

Usually I’m not much for weight training….and based on observing the weights area at my gym I don’t think many women are. Is it the fear of bulking up? Or, an uncertainty about which exercises to do? Or, just no desire to mix it up among the muscle heads? Perhaps all of the above. To Mike’s credit, he makes weight training enjoyable — he sized me up quickly and recognized I can get bored pretty easily, so he mixes it up, finds new ways to challenge my muscles, keeps me laughing all while putting me through a tough workout. And, I gotta say I’m starting to see the results – my left knee pain is lessening and the recovery time needed after a run is getting shorter. All good stuff, right? When I first sat down to talk with Mike, he kept emphasizing the importance of weight-training to my running and he’s made a believer out of me. So all I can say now is “Step aside big boys, cause mama’s got to pump some iron!”


Maybe running in circles can move you forward

At the advice of some of my runner friends, I hit the track this morning. Left knee pain is one of the roadblocks I’m hoping to overcome as I make my running “comeback” (said with tongue firmly in cheek!) so I thought it was worth a shot to see if things would feel any better on a track.

Yes running loops on a track can be a bit tedious, but without the varied surfaces of the roads and sidewalks I usually attempt, I found it easy to fall into a nice, steady rhythm. And best of all…..no pain! The usual discomfort in my knee was gone before the first lap was completed! Now I wasn’t fast by any means, but without having the pain to focus on I did comfortably complete two miles. I’ll take that kind of progress any day! So I guess while I continue to strengthen my knee with weight-training, I’ll definitely be adding in some more time on the track.