Adjust. Re-Adjust. Adjust Again!

After consideration, experimentation, and further consideration Rich (my long-suffering husband/running partner) and I have come to the conclusion that early morning runs work better for us than running after work.

  1. We are fresher and less prone to fatigue-induced injuries.
  2. We tend to be more consistent with an early morning workout schedule.
  3. We both feel better and more energized on days when we get up and run first thing.
  4. We both tend to adhere to our other healthy habits – making better meal choices, going to bed early – when we get up and run first thing.
  5. We sleep better at the end of the day when we get up and run early in the mornings.
  6. We do better eating dinner earlier in the evening which is impossible if we run/workout after work.

At the end of the day getting up early and running first thing in the morning is just all around better for us.


Of course this will require a little more planning as far as having things laid out ahead of time such as workout gear, work clothes, and pre-planning lunches to shorten our morning routines.  But having more time to make dinner in the evenings will allow for having leftovers to take for lunch the next day.

Running is about more than just the actual running.

It’s an entire lifestyle thing.

And not exactly one that is harmful in any way.

Lessons From An Ugly Treadmill Run

  1. It is completely possible to have an ugly run on a treadmill.
  2. This is possible when you are not properly fueled.  Not enough protein or carbs eaten throughout the day and no protein/fat/carb (25/25/50) snack a couple hours before the run.
  3. This is possible when you are not well rested the night before.  As in being waked up by the dogs who live in your house at 3 am and never really getting all the way back to sleep.
  4. This is possible when you have the absolute wrong workout clothes on because you didn’t re-pack your gym bag after missing the previous evening’s strength training workout.  Non-wicking cotton shorts and tank SUCK for running!  They are heavy and cumbersome.
  5. This is possible when your bottle of water (or in my case Gatorade) sat in the trunk of a car on a beautiful, sunny, 80° day – all day on that particularly beautiful day – and without thinking you take a slug of it that cramps your stomach because, well, 80+ degree fluids are hardly refreshing.

So with all this, I cut tonight’s run short.

However I did run one mile at a pace of 5.3 mph and a 1.5 incline.  So it wasn’t a total loss.

There will be a prettier, smarter, better prepared run tomorrow!

My First Running 5K: Just The Facts

It’s taken me a couple days to get back here and share the results of Saturday’s 5K, and for that I apologize.  I think part of me wasn’t quite ready to “let go of” the experience altogether.  And I’m still processing a lot of the ‘beyond the run’ aspects of the whole thing.

I finished 213 out of 508 runners.  My Official Time was 36:35.  I ran all but 2/10ths of a mile of the entire distance.  I am quite proud of that last part.

I can live with all of those numbers quite happily.

I wouldn’t mind at all seeing that time drop by about 90 seconds for my next race.

And here are a few pictures from the day for your viewing pleasure.  (I’m waiting for them to get the Official Race Photos uploaded then I’ll have that one to share.)

This was the race route.  And the elevations.
I walked that incline at 2.1 miles.

After the race with my ‘medal’ (it’s actually a cool little keychain) and my celebratory bubbles.
And yes, I was still a little bit delirious.
I’m not ready to take the keychain off the ribbon just quite yet.

This is me with the Beginning Runners Head Coach.
She was just so incredibly encouraging and supportive throughout this entire experience!

So there you have it!

Rich and I are adding strength training to our running workouts.  In part because we’re hoping that will help his knee, and in part because it’s just a good idea to have that balance.  So that has us back in the gym.  I ran the entire 3 miles on the treadmill without stopping!

My next 5K is October 1st!



1.  attainment of anything desired; realization; accomplishment
2.  enjoyment, as of something attained or realized
3.  state of bearing fruit.

Today I “bear fruit”.  I attain a thing desired.  And (all things being equal) I shall enjoy that something realized.

This is what ten weeks of hot, sweaty Monday evenings after work; BCOD mornings in the dark of our subdivision; and generally (as I have said more than a couple times) “doing this thing” has all been about.  Actually running a 5K.

More than anyone else I have to express my gratitude to my husband Rich for acting as my running partner/trainer/coach and general, all-around supportive  and wonderful spouse.  (That’s nothing new, I get that all the time!  I’m spoiled like that.)

I am also deeply grateful for my friends and family who have cheered on every minor accomplishment along the way and saw this day coming long before I actually believed it was possible.

And the Memphis Runners Track Club for their Women Run/Walk Memphis Training Program!  I literally wouldn’t be doing this without them!

And now my dears, I’ve gotta run – literally!!

Very quickly . . .

Tonight was my last run before my Graduation 5K on Saturday.

I went into this with the end goal of running the entire distance of the 5K and also finishing in under 45 minutes.  Since up until tonight my running has been based on time intervals and not necessarily distance covered I wanted to determine what my capacity for running a particular distance was.  I mapped out – on the same access road I’ve been doing the Running With Trainers runs on Monday nights – a four mile distance.  Two miles up and back and I knew the landmark for the one mile point.  Rich would have our stopwatch in hand so that would mark my time.  The first thing I wanted to know was if, and in what time, I could run a full mile.  Past that my intention was simply to run as much of the remaining distance as I could with walking/recovery intervals as short as I could get by with without hurting myself.

At the end of the run my times were:
Mile 1 – 11:28 (that was with no walking);
Mile 2 – 24:15;
5K (3.1 miles) – 38:15.

That’s minutes:seconds up there people!

My goal for Saturday was to finish in under 45 minutes. Tonight I beat that by over six minutes!

I was very nearly choked up.

And I am certain that come Saturday morning with being fresh, well-rested, and in the company of other runners I’ll bring in an even better time!

I am even more excited now than I was Monday evening!

Oh, and this afternoon I registered Rich and myself for a 5K on October 1st.

I really believe I’m gonna do this!!

For the first time since I started this whole little adventure nine weeks ago I can honestly see myself running Saturday’s entire 5K!  Maybe not the fastest 5K ever run, but certainly one of the most sincere!

Tonight was our last Run With Coaches session and we were slated to run ten 4:1 intervals.  I had decided on Saturday that I wanted to see if I could run longer than just four minutes at a time so I went into the evening with the intention of continuing to run in between every other interval.  I figured the worst thing that would  happen was that I’d get two minutes past the end of the first four minutes and have to stop and walk.

That didn’t happen!

Instead I ran a full nine minutes at the end of which I wasn’t gasping and heaving for breath, nor did I have a stitch in my side that felt like labor pains.  No, at the end of that nine minutes I contemplated just continuing to run but decided to err on the side of caution and go ahead and walk the one minute recovery interval.  Then I ran another nine minutes.  Following that second nine minute interval I opted to follow the 4:1 intervals as prescribed for the next two, did one more nine minute stretch, and then back to the 4:1.  At the end of our ten intervals we had a good distance to get back to our starting point and I got bored with walking so I ran the last 3/10ths of a mile.

This was my running route tonight.  I nearly fell out when I saw that total distance!  4.84 miles!!

I feel really good, not just from a “Proud of myself” perspective, but also physically.

Oh, and listening to the Jillian Michaels book on my ipod?  GENIUS!

In addition to some really great material and the motivational aspect of it being Jillian Michaels’ Voice in my head listening to that pretty much negated any sense of time passing.

We were instructed to run only once more this week (preferably Wednesday) and be sure to get plenty of rest, hydrate consistently all week, and be sure we eat to fuel our bodies.  I think I can handle that.

One other thing that happened this evening was just me having a pure, unadulterated Geek Moment.

Rich needed to run by Breakaway Athletics, a running store.  I’ve gone to running stores with him in the past and basically distracted myself looking at cute shorts and other accoutrement that was largely meaningless to me while he “Talked Running” with the people working there.  Tonight I was part of the conversation!  I was actually standing in a Running Store “Talking Running” with Runners.  And they weren’t just humoring me like I was a toddler in a Physics class.

I also picked up cards for a couple of upcoming 5K Races.  One the first weekend in October and the other November 5th.

I think I’m sprung on this whole running thing.

I think I like that!

There’s “strategy”?! There’s strategy. Got it.

Tonight was a Running Night. 

So my beloved husband/coach/running partner and I headed to our newly-minted Favorite Running Place, stretched, and ran.  I haven’t yet mapped the full route on so I’m not certain of the full distance.  But I do know that we did a five minute warm-up walk then nine 4:1 intervals.

I know that at no point did my lungs feel like they were on fire.  (That happened Thursday night.)

I know that  at no point did my legs feel like they were filled with lead.  (That happened Monday night.)

I know that at several points during the run I was able to carry on what passed for a conversation.  (If a tad snappishly at times.)

I know that at the end of the run I actually felt good about it!  (No parenthetical adder to that.)

So we get in the car and head home when it occurs to me (which I say aloud) “One week from today is my 5K.”

To which my beloved husband/coach/running partner says “What’s your strategy?”


*blink again*

“Ummm…  I was just going to run until I can’t run any more.”

Which sounded pretty cool coming out of my mouth.  Meanwhile back in my brain someone far less cool is screaming “Wait!  There’s ‘strategy’?!  I’m doing good to run four minutes at a whack and he wants STRATEGY?!”

As we continued our drive home, and he kept me prattling along on the whole subject of next Saturday’s 5K I realized that I did, in fact, have A Strategy.  And that whole “Run til I can’t run anymore” is actually a viable part of it.

To whit I give you:

My Strategy For Running My First* 5K

  1. Friday Night: Not running Friday night.  Instead we’re going to Macaroni Grill where I’ll have Spinach or Mushroom Ravioli with Alfredo Sauce, a salad, and one glass of Pinot Grigio.  After dinner I plan to go home and take a relaxing soak in our jacuzzi tub (we rent, not own) with lavendar epsom salts, take a couple Valerian Root (Google it), and go to bed early.
  2. Saturday Morning:  Get up early enough to have a two-egg veggie and cheese omelet with one piece of whole grain toast and one cup of coffee.
  3. During the Run:  I’m downloading Jillian Michaels’ Unlimited to listen to during the run.  I already have the book, but I’ve been wanting to have it on my ipod since I started this running training program but I haven’t been able to justify the ‘expense’.  I suppose it’s my reward to myself for having completed the entire training program.
    I started listening to podcasts back last winter when we were going to the gym regularly.  I found that listening to music was almost more of a distraction than listening to nothing.  I found myself gauging “How long have I been running?” by estimating that most songs are three minutes long and going from there.  However, I discovered that Jillian Michaels (who I happen to like and admire and would give my eyeteeth to have a chance to train with!) had free podcasts I could download on itunes.  And so I did.  I found that listening to Jillian’s podcasts got my mind off of “How long have I been running?” and I found the running intervals much ‘shorter’ than they had previously felt.  The only problem with podcasts is that to go from one to the next I have to go back to the menu and scroll down to the next one and tell it to ‘Play’.  I do good to manage that little trick walking let alone running.  Therefore, part of my Run Strategy is having Jillian’s book on my ipod and ready to keep my mind off the “How long/far have I run?”
    Another reason for Jillian’s book is that frankly I find it physically impossible to be a slacker with that little woman’s voice in my ears/brain!  Seriously, I think she could talk me into walking across flaming shards of broken glass!
  4. Run until I can’t run any more!  I’m still sticking with that part of The Strategy.  And when I “can’t run any more” I’ll try to push it a few more steps.  If that just ain’t happenin’ I’ll slow to a walk, do that for what feels like a minute, take a sip or two of Gatorade, and then get back to The Run.

Personally, I’m counting on cussed stubbornness and Jillian in my head to have me running the entire 5K distance.

Oh, one other part of The Strategy comes into play this coming Monday Night – my last Running With Trainers night – when I plan to run the first four minute interval, then continue running when they blow the whistle for us to walk and keep running through the second four minute interval. I’ll walk that next one minute and then run the next nine minutes.

And yes, for the record, I’ll have Jillian in my head the whole entire time!

Be back Monday to let you know how that works out for me.

Map My Run! (dot com)

As soon as I can figure out how to link my page here I’ll be able to share the pictures of my routes here.  However, the best part of using that site for my runs is that it gives me my pace and speed (without all that pesky Algebra-esque math)!  Tonight’s run was 3.35 miles in 45 minutes.  (Yes, we cut it short.)  That broke out to a 13:27 minute mile and an average speed of 4.46 mph.

Imagine my shock and surprise when I realized that my running speed is actually measurable in miles per hour and not hours per mile!

And I’m starting to see results from a weight loss perspective too.

My official weigh-in was Tuesday and that was 169.5 which I wasn’t thrilled with, but could live with.  Out of curiosity I stepped on the scale yesterday morning and it read 167.5.  Now that was a number I could get excited about!  I guess there’s something to that calorie counting after all!

We won’t be running tomorrow since we have a commitment after work; however, we will be running Saturday evening.  And we may get another run in Sunday evening for good measure.

It will be interesting to see if I get further on next Monday’s run (we’re continuing with the 4:1 intervals) than I did this past Monday (same running route).  I would really like to.

What had happened was . . .

In short: I injured myself with last Wednesday’s Uber-Run.

Thursday morning I woke up and my left hamstring was tight and aching.

Friday found me with left ankle issues.

So there has been no running since Wednesday.

In that interim our weather has made a long-awaited shift from Summer to Fall.

Thank Heaven!

Today begins Week 8 of my training program which is 4:1 intervals run for 45 minutes.  Nine sets.

Owing to the Labor Day Weekend there is no Running With Trainers this week; however Rich and I are going to the location where I usually run on Monday evenings for two reasons:  #1 to maintain consistency; #2 to begin our new running schedule.  We’ve been waiting for the weather to turn cooler to begin running in the evening all the time.  This week is the time to make that switch.

We may have one more little blast of summer temperatures, but I don’t look for them to be in that upper 90s, lower 100s range nor do I expect the sauna-esque humidity we’ve had since May.

I’ve gone several days between runs in the past – I missed an entire week when I had Strep Throat a month or so ago – so I’m anticipating this evening’s run going well.  However, between now and the Graduation 5K I have to be consistent!  And be consistent writing here.