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.