Rain and Dehydration Make Strange Bedfellows

19 09 2012

Route: Boardwalk

Distance: 2 miles

Time: 22 minutes

Shoe Mileage: 211.4 miles.

Yesterday NYC had some serious rain and wind storms so I decided not to go running and went today instead. It was partly cloudy out today but the contrast between yesterday and today is like night and day. Also, since I run on the boardwalk, I get really wary running on those wood planks. I have ran on moist planks and it was rather slippery. I could only imagine what could happen when running during a drizzle or rain.

Rain on a running day gets me conflicted because I was always one of those people who loves rain. Nothing is sweeter than hearing the low rumble of thunder outside or just the sound of rain hitting the window. Of course I would probably feel different if I lived in Tornado Alley.

Beauty is where you find it.

So I went back to the 10 minute mile pace with the 3:1 run/walk ratio today and was able to run 2 miles for 22 minutes. The walk breaks changed my average pace to 11 minutes per mile. Kinda seems like a waste since I’m running at the 10 mark but I need the walk breaks for now. In fact, that was all I was able to run since I felt like I was going to puke. I already know that my problem was dehydration. I haven’t been drinking the proper amounts of water and I was feeling it during the run. Heck, I felt that my lips were chapped and I didn’t have that problem before. I have a sports bottle with a Britta water filter built in so I’m gonna try to get my proper water requirements in for the next run and see what happens. It’s a handy water bottle because I can drink tap water without any worries and since I know that the bottle is 16oz, I know how much water I’m drinking. Let’s see what happens on Friday.

Useful bottle!


Week 9!!

2 05 2012

I’m starting week 9 of the Couch to 5K program and I am excited that the program is about to end. I have been running for longer than nine weeks due to injury and extra rest but it felt even longer than that. A week or two ago, I would look at my Garmin watch and see 12 or 13 minutes of my run completed and inwardly think, “only halfway done. I can do this.” I would look at my shadow on the floor mimicking my limbs as a distraction, a repetitive motion that reminded me of a machine. Maybe a machine which always blows a gasket, but you get the idea.

Yesterday I went for my first 30 minute run with full confidence that I was going to complete it without an issue. I even put on my Pure Moods album on my iPod. This was the first time I ran with slow-paced music, which was a breakthrough because I no longer needed fast music to help push myself to complete the run.

The most surprising part about the first run of that week, I became aware of around the halfway point. I was enjoying the Pure Moods album and thinking about something random and then it hit me: I was not thinking about the run at all. Usually I keep track of time and pace, but this time I was on cruise control. Boredom wasn’t my problem. I was feeling good and was enjoying the exercise. This feeling is what I remember when I think about the running I used to do many years ago. That good feeling makes me want to run all the time, even right now as I write this, and I already had a run today.

So the run was finished without incident and as I’m doing my post-run stretches, I spot a large cruise ship in the water. It traveled under the Verrazano Bridge and was slowly headed out to sea.

I have never been on a cruise ship before but I did see pictures of some and watched videos of the Norwegian and Disney Cruise lines. They look really nice but I can’t afford them at this point in my life. I was feeling rather envious of them but then I started thinking about my C25K journey and the effort I put into it. Sure, I cannot afford a cruise vacation, but I can do other things. How many of those cruise passengers can run 30 minutes straight? How many of them plan to run a marathon in the future and possibly at some point, qualify for the Boston marathon? Not many, I would guess. I’m doing something good for my body and it doesn’t cost much. In addition, I have the resolve to complete a program like the C25k, something that certainly was not easy to do. There is an article on C25K.com, which states that most that start the program do not finish. Most do not, but I will. So then, that makes me think, “Who should be envious of whom?”

New Running Update

1 05 2012

Wow! I sat down and opened up my WordPress blog to tap out a few words for a running update and I could not believe what I saw. It has been over a month since my last blog update. My readers must be pulling out their hair waiting to find out about my running progress. Okay, maybe not, but I have read that it is a good idea to keep a journal as a runner. I forgot the reason why but it sounded like a good idea. There have been small Twitter updates due to training apps that automatically post my runs, but I want to document how I feel as I progress forward.

Where I last left off, the 20-minute run was coming up and I was apprehensive about it. I actually wrote close to 1000 words about it, but then my browser crashed and wiped it all away. After that pointless effort, I did not feel like writing for a while and I was swamped with everyday life. That combined with the fact that I suck in time management is what led to my posting delay. So to summarize, I completed the 20-minute run with an unholy amount of huffing and puffing. It was so hard that it affected my runs the following week. I had to take a 5 day break after the second run of the week due to exhaustion and leg pain. However, I was not going to let some leg pain stop the progress I made so far. I have done all this before when I was younger and I am going to get through this again.

Through weeks 6 and 7, I had to take extra days off because of periodic leg pain. However, by the third day of week 7, most of the pain was gone and I had a feeling that it was not going to come back for the rest of the 9-week program. The running just started to get easier. Since I have started running on the boardwalk, I have started getting used to landmarks and the general area where I have to turn around at the halfway point of my timed run. The boardwalk is about one and a half miles long and I have been able to see where the boardwalk ends, which is not too far away from the turnaround point. Since I also warm up on the boardwalk, it makes my total workout time slightly more than the scheduled run/walk workout for the day. Therefore, by week 8, I was hitting the end of the wooden path and running back the other way. I knew from here on, I was past the point of no return. Unless a car accidentally pins my legs into a parked car, I am going to complete this program. Considering that I failed the program last year, this new realization felt good. It felt damn good.Now I am starting week 9. It’s amazing how far I’ve come since being worried about running for three minutes straight. The body is an amazing thing.

Back to the C25K!

21 03 2012

Great Scott! I’m actually going  to give this another try!

I probably mentioned in an earlier blog post that I was using a Couch to 5k plan  to get back into running. However, my legs started to hurt again and I had to slow down. I thought I was taking all precautions since I was training on a treadmill. My biggest issues besides “birdwatching” is getting cramps in my legs from either running on a hard surface road or running too fast. I figured that running on a treadmill would have both issues covered. I guess I was wrong.

So while taking a few days off to let the pain dissipate, I got a real nasty cold and then I really couldn’t run. For two weeks I could not continue the plan. I felt like a real butthead since I missed so many days.

But I did take a page from Jeff Galloway. When the cold went away and the pain lessened, I started running for twenty minutes with one minute walk and one minute run. I was able to run with this program and my legs slowly healed up. My goal is to at least be able to run a 5K on a treadmill and then switch to outdoor running as I get stronger

Roads? Where I’m running, we don’t need roads.

Now, of course running with that program did slow down my intensity, so I have to work up to where I was. My legs were hurting in week 5 of the C25K plan and I had to stop there. I was kinda annoyed because week 5 is kind of a big deal. The third day of that week is a 20 minute run with no breaks. Getting through that long run is as big a breakthrough as inventing a working flux capacitor (almost). I was upset because I was looking forward to that long run for a long time.

Last week I decided that I was going to continue the C25K this week, starting with Day 1. I’m still looking forward to that 20 minute run and I know that running it is my density…I mean my destiny. My current weekly run schedule is Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday. Those are the easiest days for me to run since I’m not doing much then. Because I’m posting this on Wednesday, that means I was supposed to run Week 5 Day 1 yesterday. Which I did!

The first 5 minute interval wasn’ t so bad and I felt good about this. The second interval was much harder and I knew this run meant business. On the third interval, I really thought I wasn’t going to make it. As I was getting near the last two minutes, I was really breathing hard and was about to quit. I had to mentally trick myself to finishing so that I can do Day 2 on Thursday.

The last run was so hard, I had to fool myself into thinking that I was not gonna graduate college if I didn’t finish. I kept repeating to myself internally, “If you don’t finish this, you won’t graduate college and you’ll have a miserable career.” I’m on my last semester to earn my Bachelor’s degree and graduation is heavily on my mind. Well, I didn’t break a$$ all those years in order to fail on a treadmill. If I did not trick myself to thinking that, I would’ve stopped. Maybe it would be smarter to stop and avoid a possible injury, but I really wanted to finish. I’m kinda conflicted about that. This situation is heavy, but it did feel good to finish.

Now make like a tree, and get outta here!