Sunday, December 28, 2008

Long run

I did indeed do Thursday's run outside at the park where the TNT team usually runs. I will admit there was quite a bit of walking in there. The path had quite a few spots that were icy death traps.

On Saturday, the weather warmed up considerably. It was more than 50 degrees! However, I was feeling disgustingly lazy. So I slept in very late (no group run due to the holidays) and completely blew off my 10 mile run.

Fortunately, guilt got the better of me so I made up the 10 miles this morning at the gym. Go me! And I ran the whole thing, except for the 5-minute cool-down period that the treadmill at the gym does when your time is up. The treadmill only lets you program in an hour at a time so I had a 5-minute cooldown in the middle of my 10 mile run. Kinda weird, but it worked out well. I felt awesome after running. Then it was off to a family holiday gathering where I ate well, but didn't overdo it, and felt quite virtuous since I'd run off a good 1,200 calories this morning. :)

The taper is in full force - the longest run between now and the race in three weeks is just six miles. Three weeks! I can't believe it's almost here. I feel ready, but still nervous.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The taper

Now we're into the taper period before the race, so the miles will be decreasing up until race time.

I felt quite ill on Monday. Fortunately it was a day off anyway, so I didn't have to worry about running. On Tuesday, I felt much better so I headed to the gym after work for my five miles.

I still kind of mentally trick myself into running. When I started, I said to myself "just get through the first mile." Then after the first mile flew by, I said "you can stop at three if you want to." But of course when I got to three, I told myself just get to four. And when I got to four I figured I may as well complete the full five.

I feel great after I run so I'm not sure why I have to con myself into doing it sometimes. This morning I had four miles scheduled and it seemed to go by pretty quickly, despite the fact that all my weekday runs are happening on a treadmill these days.

Tomorrow is Christmas day and the gym doesn't open until 3pm. I'll be at my brother's house celebrating the holiday then, so if I'm going to do my planned five miles it will have to be done outside. I'm hoping there isn't any precipitation since I don't particularly enjoy running in the rain or snow. I'll do what I have to, though. I'll probably head over to the park where we do our weekly TNT group runs.

Happy holidays!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Final 12 mile run

We had a honking huge snowstorm on Friday so I was a little apprehensive about Saturday morning's group run. But kudos to the Metropark staff, because they did a great job plowing the parking lot and getting pretty much all the snow off the path where we run.

This was the final 12 mile run. Woo hoo! Now we're into the taper so the miles just decrease from here until the race on January 18th. I did most of Saturday's run on my own. Started out with a few people but they split off around 3 miles in because there were a couple of team members who had to run 20 miles for marathon training. So they were doing a different route than me.

I should have followed last week's successful run one mile / walk one minute plan. But I didn't. Why didn't I? Who the heck knows! Instead I tried to be all tough girl and run the whole thing. Which only led to me having really sore legs and walking more distance than I would have if I'd followed the run/walk strategy. Live and learn! I still feel like this was a successful training run. I'm fully confident that, barring some freak injury, I'll be able to complete the half marathon in January.

And when that's over, I'll probably sign up for a spring half marathon somewhere to inspire me to keep training. I really love the way I feel after I run.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Last week's long run

Last Saturday was my second 12-mile run and the first one that I did outside. It was very cold, but it wasn't snowing and the path at the park was pretty well cleared off. Quite an improvement from the snowy long run the week prior!

I had a really hard time with the 12-mile run I did on the treadmill over Thanksgiving weekend so I approached this run with a different plan. I wanted to take a one-minute walk break after every mile marker. I was running with the TNT coach, who intimidates the heck out of me, so I ran the first four miles without doing the walk breaks. I finally decided to grow up and let her know what I wanted to do, which she was totally fine with.

So I took the walk break after each subsequent mile and it helped me so much. Thinking "I have to run 12 miles" is daunting to me, but thinking "just one mile until a walk break" is much easier. I was very pleased with the run. And my legs were super sore for the rest of the day, but felt much better on Sunday.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Never thought I'd be a morning person

Okay, I'm still not a morning person, but I did manage to get up unreasonably early (4:45am) three days this week to go to the gym and get my scheduled runs done. I did six miles on Tuesday, four on Wednesday, and six on Thursday as per the TNT schedule. It wasn't much fun but I'm so glad I did it, because otherwise I would have ended up skipping runs due to a busy week.

It's amazing to me how many people are at the gym at that hour of the morning. The dedication is really impressive and inspiring. I don't think I'll make a regular habit of early morning gym visits, but I think I'll be doing it for at least until Christmas break rolls around.

Tomorrow I'll be running 12 miles with TNT. Fortunately, this 12-miler will be outside rather than on the treadmill. I really don't ever want to be on a treadmill for that long again! The only thing that will change my mind is ice. If the path at the park is icy, then off to the gym I'll go. I already fell on my butt on the ice once this week, while walking to my car. I don't care to repeat the experience!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Running in the snow

Today was another group run day with TNT. I was scheduled for 10 miles. When I woke up, the temperature was less than 20 degrees. Not unexpected for an early December morning in Michigan! As I headed out to the park where we run, I saw it was starting to snow. It was snowing fairly hard, actually, and starting to accumulate. A new adventure! I've never run in the snow before.

I went into the warming room where we meet and here's what I saw: two coaches, two mentors, one LLS employee, one LLS volunteer. NO other runners from the team! The coaches and mentors said "We were just talking about whether anyone was going to show up and we all said Cathy will be here." Ha! I told them I had strongly considered just going to the gym instead, but running 10 miles on the treadmill alone isn't my idea of a good time. I really enjoy the group runs because long miles are more fun with other people around and definitely better done outside.

So we headed out into the snow. It's kind of intimidating being the only team member there and having two mentors and two coaches focusing themselves on me. I tend to be a pretty slow runner and I feel more conspicuously slow with all those people paying attention to me. Everyone is really awesome and supportive, though I suspect the running coach is not too impressed by my pace. She's quite athletic and usually runs with another team member who is impressively fast and also athletic (in addition to being a very nice guy).

As it turns out, running in the snow is not totally fun but is WAY better than running in the rain. The snow accumulated quite a bit as we ran, so it wasn't easy going. My legs felt much more tired than normal so I took some walk breaks. We all had snow frozen to our eyebrows and lashes. My lips were blue, as usual!

It felt great to finish and I rewarded myself with a delicious oatmeal cranberry cookie. Yeah, yeah, rewarding yourself with food is bad, but the cookie was fabulous. Plus, I burned over 1,000 calories on the run so I can get away with eating one cookie. :-)

Sunday, November 30, 2008

12 miles!

This week was a little flipped around, but I did get all the training in.

On Tuesday I was supposed to run 7 miles, but I was busy with errands all day so I did the 7 miles on Wednesday instead. I did 4 miles on Thursday as planned (on a treadmill at my sister's house, where I was visiting for the weekend) and then on Friday I made up the 3 mile run that I was supposed to do on Wednesday. Confusing enough?

On Saturday I was scheduled for my first 12 mile run. Since I was still at my sister's house, I was going to do that on the treadmill. I got through it, but it was a pretty miserable experience. I'm disappointed in myself because I probably walked at least 3 of those 12 miles. Ugh. But I'm glad I got the miles in. My legs aren't as sore today as I would have expected them to be. But then again, I haven't done much of anything today, since we got home late last night (1am) and I slept in. Probably will go for a walk later today just to get a little activity in.

Monday, November 24, 2008

No, I haven't stopped running

I've been lazy about posting updates here this week, but I haven't been lazy about training! Here's what I've been up to since last time I posted.

Wednesday: Ran before work again. Still very cold out, but I wore two layers of pants this time and my hiking socks instead of my regular running socks. That worked out really well and I was definitely warm enough.

Saturday: Another 10-mile run with the Team in Training group. It was quite cold on Saturday, but beautifully sunny. A definite improvement over the week before with the miserable rain. Nevertheless, only four of us showed up for the run. I guess the cold was just too much for people to take. I bundled up again so the first mile was cold but after that I was fine. I'm so happy to report that the run went really well. I actually ran the whole 10 miles, unlike the week before when I walked approximately a billion times because I was feeling so gross. Not eating junk food the night before certainly helped out this time.

Sunday: I totally did not feel like running, but I did it. Sundays are just a three-mile run, but getting motivated to get out there is always hard for me for some reason. The run went just fine, though my legs were feeling pretty tired - not only because of Saturday's long run, but also because David and I power-shopped for a few hours on Saturday afternoon. Lots of activity on Saturday.

On Sunday afternoon, David and I attended a bowling fundraiser organized by a couple of TNT teammates. They were impressively well-organized and I think they raised a lot of money. They had a great turnout and it was lots of fun.

Today is a scheduled day off from running. The weather is supposed to get sloppy, snowy and slushy so I'll be sticking to that day off and not getting all ambitious. I'm on vacation from work this week, so today will be a clean out the closets day. I have lots of clothes that no longer fit (too big - YAY!) that need to be given away. The running will resume tomorrow with a seven mile run. I just hope the sloppy snowy stuff will magically disappear over night.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Much better!

I've run twice now since that miserable, rainy Saturday run and both experiences were much better.

I took a vacation day on Monday and decided to do the seven mile run that was actually scheduled for Tuesday. Much easier to get in the longer mileage when I can do it in the daylight! The run went really well. I actually ran the whole way, no walk breaks, and only had to contend with a bit of a snow flurry rather than ugly rain.

This morning I went for a three mile run before work. It is COLD at 6:15am, but I warmed up pretty quickly. I was warm everywhere except my legs. I need another layer besides my running pants. I probably should invest in some tights, but for tomorrow I'm just going to layer a pair of my running capris under my long-legged, looser running pants and hope that keeps my legs warmer.

That's it for today!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Another group run

Today was another TNT group run. I had to go 10 miles today. Unfortunately, it was raining and windy this morning, so it made for some unpleasant running. Plus, I ate a bunch of junk yesterday (highly unusual for me these days) so I felt totally gross and my stomach kept cramping up. But I got through it. It was a good lesson for me to learn - don't eat junk, especially the night before a long run. So it's all good.

We didn't have a big turnout for our team this week. A few of the team members are actually in San Antonio to do their race tomorrow. But of the remaining members, only four showed up this morning. I guess the weather scared everyone else off. Too bad, it was a good experience even though it was a bad experience, if you know what I mean.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

This week so far

Nothing much to report so far this week. Here's a round-up.

Sunday: Did my three miles - didn't feel like it, but I did it and then I was happy I did. Also, my foot felt awesome all day.

Monday: Day off. Foot still felt awesome. I'd been planning to call the podiatrist but I decided not to since the foot was feeling so good.

Tuesday: Went to the gym to run six miles on the treadmill. It was dreadfully boring so I only ran 3.25 miles. Blah. Foot still feeling good.

Today: Left work right on time. It was nearly 50 degrees outside so I went out to run. I did my six miles that I was supposed to do yesterday. Yay! I love being back on track. It was raining a little bit, but it wasn't a big deal. Right now (about 20 minutes after the run), my foot is feeling good. I am quite encouraged!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Back on track

Today I did another nine mile run with the TNT team. It went well, though it was freaking windy out today and rained just a tiny bit. I did walk a couple of times when the wind was too much for me to fight.

This was the first time I've run since I did three miles this past Sunday. Work was crazy busy this week, I was tired all the time, and I just wasn't up to it. It felt good to give my foot a break to heal up, too. The foot definitely feels better. Not back to 100% but still feeling pretty good even after running today. We'll see how it goes. My sister-in-law, the awesome Milissa, gave me contact info for a great podiatrist she knows who also happens to be a marathon runner. So I'll get an appointment with him if the foot continues to be a problem.

In other TNT-related news, I hit my minimum fundraising goal of $3500 this week. It felt awesome to get there. Of course, now I'd like to see how much higher I can push it by the time the race rolls around in January. Would be quite lovely to get to $4000 or even higher!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Nine miles!

I ran nine miles on Saturday! NINE! I'm sorry to always gush like a dork, but I'm so amazed that I'm able to run that far. My progress so far has made me really happy. I would have thought nine miles would leave me feeling dead or at least super-sore the next day, but that is not the case.

Saturday's run was, as usual, a TNT group run. I enjoy our team very much. Everyone is so nice. Because I was pressed for time, I actually showed up early and got three miles in before the rest of the group showed up. Then I just had six more miles to do with the group. For the first time, I ran the whole six miles with someone else instead of dropping back and running by myself. This wasn't due to any improvement in my own speed, but because mentors Debbie and Sue took turns staying back with me and with team member Melanie, who has a dreadful cold and was having a hard time running. It kind of cracks me up that I'm the person everyone chooses to run with when they want to take it easy. It doesn't feel easy to me! :)

Now, about the shoes. I have these sweet new Adidas running shoes, with pink accents. So girly. Heh! I wore them for the aforementioned nine mile run and I think they're working out okay so far. It's hard to tell. My foot already hurt before I ran, so it still hurt after I ran. But I don't think it was any worse after running than it was before, which seems like progress. I guess time will tell.

I have a three mile run scheduled today so as soon as I can drag myself away from watching the Top Design marathon on Bravo, I'll head out and do that. I also need to go to the drugstore to pick up a prescription so maybe I'll actually combine this run with an errand. Crazy thought - running to do an errand instead of driving. How green of me - ha!

Friday, October 31, 2008


Turns out that after Tuesday's six mile run, my foot was killing me. Ugh! It's very frustrating. My foot felt better on Wednesday so I did three miles after work. I totally skipped the four mile run that was planned for Thursday because I couldn't muster up the energy.

Today was a scheduled rest day so I didn't run again. After work, I went to Hanson's Running and bought a new pair of shoes. The sales guy told me that my current shoes had a high arch, so he put me in something that still has good stability but a bit lower arch and more cushioning. I'm scheduled to run nine miles with the team tomorrow morning, so we'll see how it goes. My foot is still a little sore from earlier this week so I'm not expecting miracles tomorrow, but I'll settle for less than serious pain!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Took a wee little break

First, I realized I forgot to post about Saturday's eight-mile group run. It was mostly good, except I walked about 1/4 mile of it and I always hate myself when I do unplanned walking. Yes, I do realize that I'm way too hard on myself!

Second, I have been having some foot pain for over a week. I think I need different shoes. It's just my right foot, on the inside of the foot surrounding the ankle. Very annoying!

One of my wise fitness forum friends suggested that I skip a short run this week, maybe just do some cross training and give my foot a break before I really mess it up. So I took her advice. Yesterday I went to the gym and did three miles on the elliptical trainer instead of doing the three-mile run that was on the schedule. Then today was a rest day, as previously planned. I must say my foot feels MUCH better now than it has for the past week.

Tomorrow after work I'll be doing a six-mile run, so we'll see how the foot is feeling after that. But I really must get myself some new shoes pretty soon.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

How I started

My friend Shanni posted a comment asking me the following questions so I figured I would answer via a blog post rather than a comment.

"Cath, how did you start running? Did you just wake up one day and run? Did you start walking first? Is David a runner?"

Starting with the last question first: David is not a runner, though he's thinking about starting.

I started running because my sister-in-law Milissa (who is an awesome person and great friend, by the way) started doing a couch to 5k program from and she encouraged me to try it, too. We thought it would be fun to run a 5k race together. The couch to 5k program is a good way to ease into running, since it starts out with mostly walking and progressively increases the running until you're running 30 minutes at a time.

Unfortunately, Milissa found she had a torn meniscus so she wasn't able to do the 5k. She's had surgery to fix it now, so when she's recovered and gets back into running we will be doing a 5k together, hopefully in December.

So no, I didn't just wake up one day and run. I was already exercising regularly in my quest for weight loss and when Milissa suggested couch to 5k, I figured running would be a great way to amp up the calorie burn. (I was right about that - my eight mile run today burned over 1,000 calories.)

After I started running, I decided to challenge myself and do something good at the same time by joining Team in Training. So now I'm very motivated to run because many friends have donated money to support me and there's no way I'm going to let them down.

I realize that I am fundamentally lazy so once this half marathon is over, I'm going to sign up for another race of some sort so I'm always training for something.

Shanni - I highly recommend couch to 5k. How about if you do it and then let's plan to run a 5k together some time? I am happily willing to drive to your part of the state to race alongside you any time!

Thursday, October 23, 2008


Perhaps the novelty of running on a cold morning has already worn off. When my alarm went off this morning, I was too pooped to get up and run. So I went back to sleep instead. But I did get my four miles in after work, when it was a balmy 50 degrees. Still sticking to the schedule!

Tomorrow is a rest day and then on Saturday morning, it's a eight mile group run. Weather forecast calls for rain, so my dedication will be tested. But I know I'm up for the challenge!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Cold weather running

This morning I ran 3 miles before work. Yesterday morning I ran 5 miles. Even though it's cold out and I'm not a morning person, I enjoyed those runs. Once I get going I warm up pretty quickly. I'm still over-dressing for the weather, I think.

Maybe the novelty of running on cold mornings will wear off by the time December rolls around. But for now, it's all good.

And the headlamp still rocks!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

A good Sunday run for once

More often than not, my Sunday three mile runs are kind of crappy. I wrote a bit about one of these icky runs a while back, where I determined that I was trying to go too fast and shouldn't run after eating. But even after figuring that out, I've had some poor Sunday runs. I think my legs are just more tired on Sunday after the long run on Saturday and I'm too willing to give up.

I'm happy to say that today was not one of those days. Since I wrote about how inspirational my online fitness forum friends are, I've really kept them in mind while running. I keep the blog in mind, too. I don't want to have to tell anyone that I crapped out and did unplanned walking, or anything like that. Apparently guilt is a powerful motivator for me.

I dressed too warmly today. I really should remember that if I feel comfortable at the start, then I'm going to be boiling by the end. That's what happened today - I was sweating buckets - but I just kept going. Even kept a decent pace. It was a good day.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Resting is a good thing

Apparently resting for two days was a good thing for me. This morning was our weekly TNT group run and I had to do seven miles. My legs felt pretty fresh compared to how they felt earlier in the week.

Some people in the group were surprised that I did a better than usual job of keeping up with them today. I did fall back as usual but every time I looked at my Garmin I could see I was keeping a faster pace than I normally do. The end result after seven miles was that my pace was 7 seconds/mile better than last week's seven mile run. And last week was 11 seconds per mile faster than the seven mile run the week before that.

I guess deciding that I don't care how fast I run has helped me out in some strange way. I must say that a couple of my runs earlier this week were as slow as I have ever run, but I didn't care. I am happy to see today's faster time because it shows me that I'm progressing, but I'm not going to get obsessed with it. Just note it and move on. There will be slower runs in my future, I'm sure.

But I'm damn proud of myself for being able to run at all. Weight loss total is now 110 pounds. I certainly could not have run like this two years ago when I was at my heaviest.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Just a quick update

I haven't had any kind of crazy running epiphanies this week or anything, so I'll just log my progress here.

Tuesday: ran 4 miles before work - used my new headlamp which is awesome and I'm so glad I bought it so I can see where the heck I'm going in the pre-dawn darkness

Wednesday: ran 3 miles before work. Headlamp is still awesome.

Today and tomorrow: no running! We had a TNT fundraiser last night at a bar. I figured I'd get home late so I had shifted my running schedule so Thursday was an off day instead of a running day. And Friday is the regular off day. I enjoy running but YAY for two days off. My quads have been pretty sore so I'm happy to give them a break before the seven mile group run that I'll be doing on Saturday.

Oh, and last night's fundraiser was fab. I love all my friends for coming out to support TNT. But after serving as guest waitress for a few hours, I learned that I could never be a waitress. Dang, is that a hard job!

Monday, October 13, 2008


Today I had the afternoon off, which worked out well because I had a five mile run scheduled and I didn't want to get up early to do it. My legs still felt tired from the running I did over the weekend so I kind of had to talk myself through the run. I told myself that walking was not an option. After all, I know I can run more than five miles without stopping.

It turned out not to be a problem. I'm a member of an online fitness forum that has a bunch of great and inspirational women. Sometimes when I'm struggling a bit with running, I just think about them and how awesomely encouraging they are. I know I'm a dork, but I visualize myself reporting back to them on a successful run and it helps give me the strength to keep going.

One of the forum women just decided today that she's going to run a marathon in the spring. I'm really looking forward to following her progress and getting more inspiration to run a marathon myself in the fall.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Another successful long run

Yesterday was another long run day with the TNT team at Stony Creek Metropark. I was scheduled for seven miles. It was a beautiful day, around 50 degrees when we started out at 8am. Ended up getting into the mid-70s later in the day; sure doesn't feel like fall!

I love the folks on the team. Just a really nice group of people. I started out running with the group but I was only able to keep up with them for a couple of miles because they run faster than I can do over the long haul. Our mentor Deb dropped back to run with me a bit after I feel behind, but then she stopped off to talk with one of the women from the walking team. So I ran on by myself and enjoyed the scenery.

There are times when I think I should have joined the walking team instead of the running team, because distance running is still pretty challenging for me. But I always feel so great after a good run, so I think I made the right decision. In fact, David and I are contemplating the Detroit Free Press Marathon next year in October. Still a lot of time to think about it, but we're mulling it over.

Today I'll be running three miles just as soon as I can get myself off this chair.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

All caught up

This week's training schedule called for 4 miles on Tuesday, 3 miles on Wednesday and another 3 miles today. I did Tuesday's miles but I blew off the Wednesday run because it was raining and frankly, I was feeling lazy. But then I was overcome with guilt and figured I'd make up those 3 miles on Friday (which is supposed to be a day off).

This morning I got up at 6am and did my 3 miles before work, as planned. During the day I saw that the photos were online from the 5k that I ran last Sunday. Holy moley, I saw that I have some pretty bad running form. I clench my fists too tightly and hold them up to my chest too much. I felt pretty motivated to work on my form.

It was so beautiful when I got home from work (60 degrees and sunny) that I decided to go ahead and run those 3 miles that I missed yesterday. I noticed that unless I was consciously focusing on it, my hands would clench into fists and come up across my chest again. Definitely need to keep working on that, but I made some improvements.

So now I'm all caught up and I can take tomorrow off guilt free, to rest up for the 7 miles I'll be running on Saturday.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

The Brooksie Way 5k

This morning I got up early to head over to Oakland University for the inaugural running of The Brooksie Way Half Marathon and 5k. As you might have guessed, I was doing the 5k and not the half!

It was very cold again this morning - not even 40 degrees. David was there to support me because he is the best boyfriend in the world. We just sort of milled around a bit in the vicinity of the starting line. It was a little tough to identify exactly where the start was due to lack of signage. Note to organizers: Big signs saying "5k Start" and "Half Marathon Start" would be a good addition for next year!

After a bunch of announcements and two different renditions of the national anthem, we were finally ready to go. God bless all the walkers who do these 5ks, but common sense would dictate that unless you're a speed walker you should probably start at the back of the pack and also not walk 4-5 abreast. I started out really fast just so I could get free of the big cluster of people and then settle down into my comfortable pace.

The course definitely had a couple of tough spots for me. I'm used to running on a trail that's quite flat, so there was one hill on this course that seemed endless and was very challenging for me. I had to walk for a minute to get myself up the hill because my legs just weren't cooperating after yesterday's seven-mile run.

I noticed along the way that the mile markers were way different than the mileage shown on my Garmin. So as I got to the finish line, I noted that the Garmin said the distance was only 2.83 miles. I'm sure the Garmin could be off by a little, but there is no way this race was anywhere close to a full 3.1 miles. That was very disappointing. I don't have my official time yet, but I could see from the timer at the finish line that my time will be way lower than it should be just due to the short course.

If I projected my average pace to a full 3.1 miles, then my time would have been 2 1/2 minutes less than the first 5k I did. I feel good about that, but it stinks that my official time is going to be way lower and it just doesn't mean anything.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

It's been a great week!

This week has been going great. On Wednesday morning I did two miles, which was just about the right amount after Tuesday evening's six-miler. On Thursday morning, I ran three miles. Friday was a rest day (woo hoo!)

Today was wonderful. It was a group run day at Stony Creek Metro Park and I was scheduled for seven miles. This was my first time running with the group at Stony. There were a lot more people there than I thought there would be. Always nice to have a big group around. It was COLD outside. Only 36 degrees as I arrived at the park! Didn't take long to warm up once we started running, though.

We all started out together but I soon fell behind since I keep a slower pace than the others. Our team's mentor, Debbie, stayed with me for the first 3 1/4 miles before she split off to do a longer run along a different path. She is such a sweetheart! I really love to talk with her. She's very encouraging and supportive, and just plain interesting. It made those first miles go by quickly.

I'm proud to say that I finished out the rest of the seven miles without any walk breaks. And I actually stayed a little ahead of my usual pace, which was really a nice surprise since I'm not worrying about trying to get faster at this point.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Taking a look at my priorities

On Sunday I did a three-mile run that was really crummy. I felt sick, I walked a bunch - it just wasn't good. There were two reasons why it went so poorly:

1) I started out way too fast. I wanted to push myself, but all I did was make myself ill.
2) I ate shortly before I headed out to run. Normally I run first thing in the morning before I eat anything, or I wait more than an hour after eating.

After that poor experience, I had to re-evaluate what my priorities are. I keep pushing myself to go faster, but I've decided that right now my main priority is getting in the running mileage I need for training. Speed has to be a secondary concern.

So tonight after work, I headed out for a six-mile run. I focused on keeping a nice, steady, reasonable pace instead of worrying about going faster, faster, faster all the time. And it was a great run. I ran the whole six miles - no walk breaks. I felt good the whole time. Yup, it was a very slow pace but I accomplished my goal of getting in the mileage I needed and feeling good while doing it.

Tomorrow morning I'm scheduled for two miles. Since it's a short run, I can push myself a little on the pace but I'm not going to get crazy.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

A BIG group run

Today was a Saturday morning group run with Team in Training. This is actually the first Saturday run I've been able to attend since I joined and it was a big-deal day compared to the typical group run.

Today the people who are doing fall marathons were doing their 20-mile runs (or 12-mile runs for those doing half marathons). So TNT brought ALL the training teams together from across the Detroit area at one park. And the local running store chain, Running Fit, also had a big contingent of running groups there.

It was such a huge group (hundreds of people) that the roads were actually closed down so we could do our run. And TNT set it up just like a race, with a time clock, racing numbers for everyone, and water stations set up all the way. Plus at the end, there was tons of food for everyone. (Like chocolate chip muffins which I didn't eat because I'm still working to lose weight, dang it!) All in all, it was very cool.

I only had to run six miles today so I was done early and helped hand out water for a while. I love the encouraging atmosphere of TNT.

Wait, did I just write that I "only had to run six miles?" Ha! That makes it sound like it was nothing, but six miles is still a challenge for me. This was only the second time I've run that distance and I'm happy to say that I beat last week's total time for 6 miles by nearly 3 1/2 minutes. Wooo! I was really working to push myself today.

I also checked my time at the 5k mark because I wanted to compare it to my time from last week's 5k race. I beat my time by over a minute, so I'm hopeful that in next week's Brooksie's Way 5k I'll improve on my previous race time.

Friday, September 26, 2008

The training continues

This week I had to mix up my training schedule a little bit. I was scheduled to do a 4-mile run on Tuesday and 3 miles on Thursday. I did the 4 miles on Tuesday without a problem, which made me really happy.

Since I was going out of town for work from Wednesday evening through Thursday night, I decided to move my 3-mile run to Wednesday morning instead. My legs felt totally dead for some reason - maybe those 4 miles on Tuesday, on top of Sunday's 6 mile run and 5 mile hike, were taking their toll. Yet when I checked my time at the end of the run it turns out that it was my fastest pace all week. Not that my fastest pace is ever fast!

So I didn't run on Thursday or today and I'm itching to get back to it. I don't want to overtrain so I'm following the schedule as faithfully as I can, so I kept today as an off day as planned. But tomorrow, we have a 6-mile training run. Unlike last week I am totally looking forward to this! It's going to be a group run and a big event. More about that tomorrow!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Another 5k

I enjoyed my first 5k race experience so much that I've signed up for another one. I'll be running in The Brooksie Way 5k on Sunday, October 5. My goal is simply to run my heart out and beat the time I achieved at the St. John Applefest 5k. I know I can do better!

I chose this one because it's coming up soon and also because it takes place on a Sunday instead of Saturday. Saturdays are when TNT group training runs are held and I want to make sure to go to as many of those as possible. I still put in the miles either way, but it's nice to have the support of the group.

I'll be in search of more 5k races that I can do in the fall.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Training milestone

Today I was scheduled for a six-mile training run. I must admit that I was totally dreading it. Prior to today, the longest run I've had was 4.5 miles and it was pretty miserable.

It was gorgeous today, in the low 60s and sunny when I went out to run this morning. I promised myself that I could take a walk break after mile 4 and mile 5 if I wanted to. But after I turned around at mile 3 I was feeling pretty good and wasn't watching the mileage calculator any more since I was just running back to my start point. I looked at my distance and realized I'd already gone past mile 4. So I figured, may as well keep going until I get to mile 5.

But then a little while later I found I was already past mile 5. Sooo, why stop when I had less than a mile left to run? I ran it out and felt fantastic when I was done. I can't believe I ran six miles without stopping!

This afternoon, my awesome boyfriend David and I went out for a 5-mile hike. I do believe I'll be pretty sore tomorrow, but it's all good.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

First 5k!

Today I ran my first 5k race, the St. John Applefest 5k. It was awesome!

It was a beautiful day today, around 60 degrees at race time and sunny. I ran the race with my sister-in-law's friend Jennifer. Jennifer's husband Kevin was also racing but he's a lot faster than me and Jennifer, so we didn't exactly run alongside him. My sister-in-law Milissa, my niece Beth and my awesome boyfriend David were there to cheer us on.

Jennifer and I powered our way through those 3.1 miles and finished a minute faster than I expected us to. It was a great experience to do a race and I can only imagine that the half marathon I'm training for will be even more exciting.

I'm now on the lookout for some additional 5k races that I can do this fall so I can challenge myself to improve on my time.

Tomorrow I have a six-mile training run planned, which will be the first time I've run that distance all at one time. I'm nervous about it but I know I can do it.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Starting a new adventure!

On September 10, 2008, I joined The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's (LLS) Team in Training program. I'm training to run the P.F. Chang's Rock 'n' Roll Arizona Half Marathon on January 18, 2009 and I've committed to raising at least $3,500 to support LLS.

This blog will give training and fundraising updates for everyone who's interested in tracking my progress. In the few days since I joined the Team I've already had many generous contributions from many friends. I want all donors and potential donors to know that I'm working hard on my training and your faith in my ability to do this is appreciated. I won't let you down!