Monday, December 24, 2007

I must be crazy, running on Christmas Eve...

Another early morning. Got to sleep in an hour though, since we met at 6:00 this morning. We went through some neighborhoods in the Highland area downtown and saw some beautiful houses and Christmas decorations while the sun came up. There were two major hills though that about killed me. We kept looking at all the houses to distract ourselves from the awful incline. All told, we went almost 6 miles.

My knees are a bit swollen after Saturday's run. I've taken some Aleve and then I iced them after the run this morning. I was pretty stiff all day yesterday, and aside from the swelling feel totally back to normal.

I'm taking tomorrow off since it's Christmas, then a group of us are meeting on Wednesday after work to go 4 miles.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

First time for everything...

Today was a day of firsts:

  • First 10 mile run
  • First run with my new Garmin Forerunner 305
  • First time to use a gel on a long run
  • First ice bath after a long run
I'll devote a paragraph to each to elaborate.

We were scheduled to run 10 miles today, but in the end I actually wound up running 10.95 miles. We ran part of the way on the course of the Mercedes Half Marathon. I've mapped it out on and again, if I did it correctly, it should show up at the end of the post.

The Garmin Forerunner was a gift from my husband for Christmas. We exchanged gifts
yesterday and I was so excited when I got it. It showed my pace during the whole run and kept
up with the mileage. Definitely a worthwhile investment. I'm excited about reading the manual
and finding out what else it can do.

I also used a gel for the first time on this run. I got a Clif Shot in mango flavor. We had a water
stop around five miles so that's where I stopped to do the gel. It tasted pretty awful and I had to
choke it down taking a sip of water and then another chunk of gel. I was worried about it
upsetting my stomach, but once it was down, I was good. I wondered if it would really help me.
About a mile later we started up a long hill (about a mile long) and I could definitely feel it working.
I'm glad I had it with me. I just need to find a flavor that isn't so horrendous.

I felt relatively good the entire run, which surprised me. I've been trying to psych myself up all
week telling myself that I could go this far and I guess it worked. I was the last person to finish
(again) but I felt so good when it was over that I didn't care! I was just glad to be done. A few of
us went over to Starbucks to get some coffee and warm up and then I drove home.

Now it's time to talk about the ice bath. Our coach told us we should do this after our long runs,
but I was a bit skeptical. I think I was more nervous about the ice bath than the actual run! I got
home and filled up the tub. That took a while since we have a big garden tub. More time to delay
the pain of getting in. Finally it was time. I called my husband into the bathroom so he could
distract me while I was in the tub. Getting in was excruciating! I let out a few choice expletives
while submerging my lower half in the water. After two minutes though, as long as I didn't move, it
felt like I was in warm water. I stayed in for 15 minutes and then got out of the tub into a warm
shower. The shower felt like heaven! And I could already tell that my legs were feeling better
than they normally do after a run. I could bend down to get the shampoo and it didn't hurt at all!
I think I'm a believer in ice baths now!

Now I think I'm going to take a nap for awhile. I think I've deserved it. :)

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


It was another cold one this morning. I think it was 30 degrees when we started out at 5:30. The group was considerable smaller since all the sane people were still in bed. We went longer today, 6.5 miles. Normally the runs during the week are around 5 miles. I was feeling good at the end. It takes me awhile to really get going in the morning. By the time I'm warmed up and feeling good the run is almost over. Tomorrow is spin class, then the Christmas Light run on Thursday night.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Cut back week

Today the long run was only 6 miles since it's a cut back week. Only. I can't believe I'm using that word along with the words "6 miles". That's a short run for us now. I remember when we started gong 5 minutes at once felt like climbing Mt. Everest. We've come a long way, with a bit still to go.

I think if I can get through the holidays while keeping up my running I can do it indefinitely. There are so many parties and social events to go to, but if I want to do my long run on Saturday morning and feel good about it, I have to go to bed early. Same thing for those early morning runs during the week.

I have to make sure that I get all my runs in this week. Next week's long run is 10 miles. That will be our first double-digit run. I'm excited and apprehensive at the same time. Linus will be staying home for that run. I'm sure that he can go the distance, but I think that he would be more of a distraction to me. I just have to make sure that he doesn't see me with my running clothes on because he'll get all excited about running and I'll feel bad about not taking him.

In other news, I got my first comment about my weight this morning. I haven't really been losing weight since I started running in August. I lose a few pounds and then gain them back. Running makes me so much hungrier, and while I try to choose good foods, sometimes I just eat really badly. In the past few weeks though, I feel like I've been losing inches even though the scale hasn't necessarily been going down. I should measure and see what my measurements actually are.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Stupid blisters!

My blister has returned. If you recall, a while back I had two blisters. One was really big, the other was small and barely even bothered me. The big one healed a while ago. You can still see where it was, but it's all healed up. The smaller one has returned with a vengeance. While the big one was peeling off, the small one calloused. I thought I would just have a bump there, but about a week ago, the callous peeled off. It didn't really bother me until today. I had an early morning run of 5 miles. I noticed a twinge where the blister was, and when I got done running and looked at it, it looked pretty bad. It was bubbled up again and this time it's red. I drained it and put a band aid over it. Does the red mean that it's infected? I need to look into that. I'm supposed to be getting a new pair of shoes soon, since I've getting close to 300 miles on the ones I have. Hopefully the new pair won't give me blisters!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

This past weekend our long run was 8 miles. My ankle was all better, but I had only run once during the week so I was a little apprehensive. Luckily I found another person in the same boat (they hadn't run all that much during the week) so we ran together. We ran non-stop for the first 4 miles or so. Then we took a couple of walking breaks. I think all in all, I ran 6..5 or 7 miles which isn't too bad, considering how behind I was. I'm determined not to get behind this week. The next long run is 9 miles. They're not getting any easier, so I need to suck it up and make sure I get all my runs in. I've been really good about going to all the group runs, but not as good when running on my own. On Monday morning I got up to go to an early spin class before work. The instructor was someone I had never been to before and she kicked our butts! I didn't like how she increased the tension. Most instructors tell you how many times to spin the tension dial. She just told us to do easy medium or hard (or hard medium, easy medium, etc). I had a hard time figuring out where that was for me. Maybe I just need to take more classes to get the hang of it. Tuesday morning was another 4 am day. I met a girl from our group at a running trail. We couldn't decided if we were going to run 4 or 5 miles. I mentioned that if we did 5, we would reach the water fountain and get a water break. We got to the end of the trail and tried the water fountain and it was frozen! No water would come out. I guess I should have expected that since it was 29 degrees. That's definitely the coldest weather I've run in yet. Today was a sleep in day since I'm running after work instead of before. It was definitely nice to not have to get up before the crack of dawn. The plan for the rest of the week is 4 miles today, spin class tomorrow morning, 4 mile Friday morning, and then the long run on Saturday. I'm sure I'll be taking a long nap Saturday after the run.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


I got up yesterday at 4:30 am for another early run. This time the course was much flatter which was nice. About a mile in, I tripped and rolled my ankle. I almost fell, but righted myself in time to save myself from further embarassment. My ankle felt fine after the fact so I kept running and finished the 5.5 mile route. It felt fine up until lunchtime. I left to go run some errands and while in the car I noticed that my ankle was hurting a bit when I moved my toes. By the time I got done with errands and back to work I could barely walk. I'm sure the heels I was wearing wasn't helping matters. By the afternoon it was starting to swell.

This morning the pain had lessened and the swelling had gone down. It still hurts, but only when I bend it a certain way. I can walk without a limp now. It's started swelling again, but that makes sense. Once I get home I need to prop it up and ice it to see if that helps. I emailed my coach about it and I'm going to take a spin class tonight and not do anything tomorrow. I'll reevaluate on Friday to see how it's feeling. We have an 8 mile long run on Saturday that I really don't want to miss. I took a picture of my swollen ankle last night. Here it is for your viewing pleasure:

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Turkey Trot

Thanksgiving is over, and for the first time, I didn't overindulge on the food. And to make it better, I ran a 10k on Thanksgiving morning! I still can't believe I got up that early to go run 6(.2) miles. But I did. We had family at our house who were originally going to come and watch me, but the forecast was calling for rain, and I didn't want them to get wet and cold while waiting on me. Especially since I'm a very slow runner and they would be there for over an hour waiting on me.

It was drizzling when I woke up and the temperature was in the 40s. Every time it gets cold I debate with myself as to how much I should wear. Somehow I forget how hot I get when I start running. I wore a skirt and short-sleeved shirt, and then put a long-sleeve shirt over it. I'm glad I had it, but about 5 minutes into the run I had to take it off and tie it around my waist. My normal running partner was doing really well and ran on ahead of me. I knew that the course was uphill for the last half, so I wasn't pushing myself. Another guy from our group ran at about my pace so we stayed together for pretty much the whole time.

This was my second 10k, but my first one to run the whole way since I walked/ran the Vulcan Run. The time on my watch said 1 hour 14 minutes exactly. My time at Vulcan was 1:20:04, so I decreased my time by 6 minutes! Of course, this is because I ran the whole time.

There was stuff going on after the race, but I didn't stick around. I didn't take any pictures at the race, but here are a couple from after when I got home.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

AM Running

My alarm clock went off at 4:30 this morning so that I could meet everyone for a group run at 5:30. Yes, that's AM. This run was called the "No whining" run and with good reason. The first 2.5 miles were uphill. But that meant that the last 2.5 were downhill (mostly). I ran with the same girl that I ran with at the last group run. Of course we were last again. I'm glad she was there, because it was dark for the first part of the run. The course went through an old neighborhood with absolutely beautiful houses. I'm sure I couldn't afford to live in any of them. They overlooked downtown Birmingham. The view of the city with the sun coming up was worth it to be running 5 miles that early. I don't think I would do it every day, but I'm glad I found the energy to climb out of my warm cozy bed this morning.

Friday, November 16, 2007


We had a group run last night that was a preview of the 10k I'm doing on Thanksgiving. It was pretty cold, in the 40s. I wore shorts and a long-sleeve shirt so I was pretty cold to begin with, but after about 2 miles I was feeling good. For most of the run I ran with a girl who runs the same pace as me. I think she might become my pace partner after this. We talked most of the way which was great since I didn't have my ipod to distract me. We were running on the side of a busy road and I thought it might be too risky to use my ipod. There was a sidewalk the whole way, but still. I also got one of those lights that you clip on to your shorts and it flashes so that cars can see you.

I got home around 8:00 after the run. I bought some butternut squash weeks ago that I never got around to eating so I put that in the oven. By the time it was finally done, I was worn out. I took it out of the oven, asked Eric to put it in the fridge for me when it cooled off some and went to bed. I think I passed out pretty quickly because I don't remember anything until this morning when Eric got up. I'm still tired today, I could have slept a lot more. My right calf muscle is kind of sore. I thought I might have strained something, but it's gotten better as the day goes on. There's another group run on Saturday to go 7 miles, but I'm going to be out of town so I'm doing 7 on my own on Sunday.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Spin Class

I went to a spin class after work yesterday. It's part of me trying to spare my knees somewhat. I'm taking my short run day during the week and swapping it out for a spin class. It turned out that my running coach was teaching the class so that was kind of funny. I have to say that my butt is really sore this morning! And it's not the muscles either, it's my actual butt bone from the bike seat. I think I'm going to have to get some of those bike shorts with the padding inside to spare my butt some pain!

Spin Class

I went to a spin class after work yesterday. It's part of me trying to spare my knees somewhat. I'm taking my short run day during the week and swapping it out for a spin class. It turned out that my running coach was teaching the class so that was kind of funny. I have to say that my butt is really sore this morning! And it's not the muscles either, it's my actual butt bone from the bike seat. I think I'm going to have to get some of those bike shorts with the padding inside to spare my butt some pain!

Monday, November 12, 2007

AM Running

I was very motivated this morning and got up at 5:00 and drove to the Y. I did 3 miles on the treadmill and then did a good deep stretch for about 15 minutes. I've been neglecting stretching lately, and I can tell a big difference already. I'm not as stiff and sore as I normally am after running. I need to make sure that I do a proper cool down/stretching session after every run. Who knew that when you do what the professionals recommend it actually works?

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Today was a group run. We met downtown at Five Points and ran 6 miles. Linus went with me and thoroughly enjoyed himself. He was definitely a hit. He always gets lots of attention when we go out.

About halfway through the run I almost fell and twisted my ankle. I was running on the sidewalk because the road was really uneven. I must have not been paying enough attention and tripped on something. My ankle rolled, but luckily I was able to catch it before I fell down. We had a water stop soon after that where I stopped and got some. I offered some water to Linus but he just wanted to keep running so we were off again. There were about five girls that turned off because they were only running 5 miles. Then it was me, Linus and one other guy. At that point I think we had about two miles left. We talked to each other the whole way so that was a good distraction from the last couple of hills.

I finished feeling pretty good. I mapped the route on and if I've done this right, it will show up in the post.

Next week's running schedule:

Day 1: 3
Day 2: 5
Day 3: 3
Day 4: 5
Day 5: 7

I'm going to go ahead and do day 1 tomorrow. Some people from our group are running on the Lakeshore running trail and doing three miles. So that's the plan for tomorrow.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Mercedes Half Marathon

Now that the Vulcan Run is over, it's time to start concentrating on the Mercedes Half Marathon here in Birmingham. I've wanted to run this race for a few years now, but have never actually started the training for it. Our Couch to 10k running coach is coaching people who want to move on to this free of charge. Assuming my knees can keep up with the increased mileage, I'm going to do it.

My brother-in-law has run it for the past few years and everytime he does I tell myself, "Next year that will be me too". Well the time has finally come to step up and actually follow through with it. I'm out of school so I have no more excuses. I work, but plenty of people work full-time and have kids and still manage to find time to run.

The schedule for this week is more laid back since we just got done with the race.

Day 1: 3 miles

Day 2: 3 miles

Day 4: 4 miles

Day 5: Not sure, possible group run.

I'll be taking today off and then starting up again tomorrow. I also joined the local YMCA. On my days off from running I plan to go there and start doing some strength training. Also, I'll be able to use their showers and get ready for work after running in the am.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

  • I've thought of some more highlights from the race yesterday.
    The woman who was about seven months pregnant and running the 10k. I hope I'm still in good shape like that when I'm pregnant.
  • In the same vein, I talked a little bit with a woman who was pushing her daughter in a jogging stroller. She said it was harder,especially as her daughter got older, but she wanted to be a good influence and teach her how to live a healthy lifestyle.
  • A policewoman was encouraging everyone who passed by her stop. She said to me as I went by, "You're still in it, that's all that matters!" Obviously at this point it was towards the end.
  • Lots of random people parked on the course and clapped and cheered for everyone that went by.

All of the volunteers were great too. People at the water stations encouraged us as we went by. I think I'm going to start volunteering for races that I don't run in. They really do make a huge difference in the whole experience!

Vulcan Run

Well yesterday was the Vulcan Run 10k.I couldn't sleep that well the night before because I was paranoid about oversleeping. I woke up an hour before my alarm clock went off so I just laid in bed for a while. I finally got up and took a shower and got all my stuff together and just kind of waited until I could wake Eric up and tell him to get ready. We left at 6:30 in the morning and it was still dark outside. We got to the race site and went and to the finish line to take a group picture with the group I've been training with. We hung out there for a while and then Eric went with me to the port-a-potty line. I really had to pee and didn't want to race like that.

After that, we went to the starting line and had to wait for about 15 minutes for the start. I was pretty cold since it was in the late 40s and I was wearing a running skirt and short sleeves. Finally the gun went off and it was time to go. I think it took me about three minutes to actually cross the starting line. Since my problems with knees and blisters the plan was to run 5 minutes and walk 1 until I got to around mile 4 and then run the rest of the way since it's pretty much downhill from there. I remember getting to the 1 mile mark at 12 minutes by my watch which was including the walking. The first water break was at mile 2 I think. I slowed down to walking and took a cup. I didn't really feel like I needed water, but took some anyway just in case. The water tasted like it came out of a fire hydrant, but it was water so I wasn't complaining. I kept up with the run 5 walk 1 which really helped on the big hill around Highland Avenue. There was another water stop at the top of the hill. I got some water and one of the volunteers complimented my running skirt. When I got to 20th Street I knew it was the home stretch. Only a little over one mile to go. I walked down one big hill so that I wouldn't wreck my knees and then ran the rest of the way. At this point I was passing a lot of walkers. It reminded me of how slow I am, but also kind of made me feel good that I was actually passing people.

I rounded the corner to the finish line and saw Eric standing there cheering me on. I also heard my coach yell my name as I crossed the finish. The official results aren't up yet, but the time on my watch said 1 hour 20 minutes.

Friday, November 2, 2007

One more day to Vulcan Run!

Last night I had my last run before the 10k tomorrow. It was a 6 mile group run, but I was only going to do 4 because of the blisters and knee issues. We ran downtown on the actual race course. I was the next to last person in the group and when I turned off at the 4 mile route, I would have been by myself. Luckily, a guy in the back of the pack ran with me since he didn't know the 6 mile route and we couldn't see the rest of the group. It was pretty dark in a couple of places so I'm glad he went with me. It gave me someone to talk to. We got back to the starting point and by that time it had only been 45 minutes, and at my pace I knew I probably hadn't gone 4 miles, so we kept going for another 10 minutes. I think it ended up being a little less than 5 miles.

I thought my blister was healed, but it's back. I put some body glide on it and I think that helped. I drained it last night and put some bandaids on it. I'm thinking about getting some moleskin tonight and rigging it up so that it won't be so bothersome tomorrow morning. I'm kind of hesitant to do that though, because I've never done it before and everyone knows you shouldn't do anything new on race day. Any suggestions? My right knee is still feeling a little stiff. Today is a rest day and I think I'm going to run/walk the 10k. 5 minutes of running then 1 minute of walking with the water stops as bonus walking points. The plan is to do that until I get to 20th Street, where it's about two miles to the end, and just run from there (it's downhill the last couple of miles).

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Blisters and other fun things!

I have been sidelined, at least temporarily. By what you ask? A blister. The (very expensive) inserts that I bought for my running shoes have given me two blisters on my left foot.

The arch of one of the inserts was really rough so it rubbed on my foot. I ran three miles on Friday night. I felt it rubbing and probably should have stopped, but I didn't. I put duct tape over it to smooth it out, so hopefully that will fix the problem. Duct tape fixes everything, right? I tried to put a band-aid over the blisters and go to the group run Saturday morning, but that didn't work. I ended up running two miles and then turning around and walking the two miles back to my car. And my right knee was killing me! I guess I can't do anymore back-to-back runs. Learned my lesson. The big blister has gone down significantly, but I don't want to run again until it's completely gone. The Vulcan Run 10k is this Saturday. I don't think I'll lose a lot of fitness in one week, but I haven't done the 10k distance yet. I guess race day will be the first time I do the whole distance. I think I'm going to ride my bike today with Eric so that I at least get some exercise in, even though I really hate biking. The good news is that my knee is feeling much better. I'm not sure if it's the new shoes that don't fit correctly, or the increase in mileage, or running during the evening and then immediately again the next morning. The pain I had was different than any pain I've ever had, which made me wonder if the bone spur the doctor said I was developing is causing the pain. I guess I just need to take it easy this week to make sure I can participate in the race on Saturday.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Eight days until the Vulcan Run 10k. I'm getting kind of nervous about it. I've missed a day of running this week and I'm going to try to make up for it over the weekend.

I didn’t get any running in last night, but I did go by Academy and buy some winter running gear. It’s getting kind of cool here, and that’s normally when I slack off because I don’t have the right kind of clothes. I spent $200 last night, so that in itself is motivation to keep me running. Don’t want all of that to be a waste. I got some gloves, a headband/earwarmer thing, running tights, compression shorts (not really winter, but I’ve needed some for a while), a short-sleeve and a long-sleeve running shirt. That should be enough to tide me over for now.

I also found out that I need new running shoes. I just bought some a few weeks ago at the Trak Shak in Homewood. They looked at how I walk and told me which shoe to buy. My arches were hurting though when I ran in them. When I was in Tuscaloosa running witha friend, we went by a running store there to see if I could get some inserts. The guy there actually watched me run on a treadmill. I was still overpronating with the new shoes so he got some inserts and watched me run again. Even with the most corrective inserts, I still am overpronating a little bit. I’ll probably go get new ones once I’ve gotten a few more paychecks. I can keep the shoes I have now for walking and working in the yard I guess. I’ll be going to Tuscaloosa to buy my running shoes from now on. Apparently I have really bizarre feet, but that’s not really anything new.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Well, it's been a week since the 5k race, and we're gearing up for the Vulcan Run 10k. Today we ran four miles and next week it's going to be 5 miles! I'm still a little nervous about increasing distances. I better get used to it because I want to run a half-marathon in February.

We met at Five Points downtown. I took Linus with me and he was very excited since it's been a couple of weeks since he's been running with me. We ran on the course for the Vulcan run. Part of the course is a small gradual hill, but it's so long that it gets to you. My legs started feeling like lead so I had to stop and walk for about two minutes. I really didn't want to, but I didn't feel like I could pick my feet up anymore. After we got to the top it was downhill for about the last half mile which was nice. I was feeling pretty good by the end, and might have even been able to go longer.

The schedule for this upcoming week is:

Day 1: 4 miles
Day 2: 3 miles
Day 3: 5 miles
Day 4: 4 miles
Day 5: 5 miles

I will try to actually post during the week, but we'll see how that goes.

I'm just now getting a chance to post about the 5k.

I got up really early because I didn't want to be late to my first race and I wanted to get a good parking spot. I got downtown around 7:15. I went by the Birmingham Track Club tent and got my registration packet. I still haven't looked through all the stuff, but I got a race shirt, a long-sleeved t-shirt and coupons and things like that. At 7:30 all of the "Couch" group got together with our coach for a picture. After that my mom called and said she was there so I made my way to her. There were so many people there so it took awhile. Over 10,000 people signed up to race, and that doesn't include all the spectators. I hung out with my mom a bit and gave her my camera to take pictures.

Pretty soon it was time to line up. We got about 100 feet back from the starting line so that we wouldn't be mowed down by all the elites. I think we stood lined up for about 10 or 15 minutes, it took awhile for everyone to get organized. But soon we were off. I didn't cross the starting line until 2:00 after the official start. My group and I started off slow. My main goal was just to get through the thing without walking. The second goal was to do it in under 40 minutes, which was pretty generous. During the first half, we had to dodge and weave through a lot of walkers. They're supposed to get in the back, but inevitably there are always some who want to be up front with the action.

After about a mile, we rounded a corner that was at the top of a hill and I could see thousands of people in front of me just filling up the road. It was pretty amazing. Part of the route went under the interstate and a trucker honked his horn as he drove by. There were also a lot of spectators along the route cheering us on. I almost cried a couple of times. Kind of ridiculous, I know, but I couldn't help it.

As we got close to the finish line, the number of spectators grew. As soon as I saw the finish line used a little burst of extra energy and ran as fast as I could. My official time was 37:13, so I made both of my goals. I ranked 454 overall, and 228 out of the females. My average pace was 12:01 which is pretty darn slow. But I finished it!

My next race is November 3rd, the Vulcan Run which is a 10k. Eep!

Ok, here are the pictures:

All the serious runners up front

There's me! Looks like I'm just strolling here. Notice my pink running skirt? I love it!

Nearing the finish!

I made it!

Me with one of the guys in our training group

# 1024

Me and my mom, a two-time breast cancer survivor!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Dr. update

I went to the doctor two days ago for my knees. They took some x-rays. He told me that as young as I am, I've got some really bad knees. Even with the dancing and running I've done, it wouldn't have done as much damage as I have. He showed me the x-rays where he can see the arthritis starting. My femurs are squared off on one side instead of being rounded. I've got the beginnings of a bone spur on one the right one (I think). My self-diagnosis of chondromalacia was correct, I've got softening of the cartilage under the kneecaps. I'm going back today for the physical therapist to show me some exercises to do at home that will strengthen my quads and help stabilize my kneecaps which will hopefully cut down on the pain. I asked about the running, and he said that I could safely continue to train for the 10k and even a half-marathon, but that I might want to reconsider running marathons. He said my knees were only going to get worse, but he couldn't say if it would be in 5-10 years or 20-30 years. I have a life goal of running at least one marathon, so I think I'm going to do that, and then maybe cut back depending on how my knees feel. My boss here has bad knees too, and he's given me a lot of homepathic things that he has used with success so I'm going to try some of those too.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Yesterday morning was a trial run for Race for the Cure. We ran the 5k course in downtown Birmingham. It's a pretty flat route, so it wasn't that bad at all. I'm getting pretty excited for my first race. I'm going to have to make sure that I get there pretty early since there are going to be a lot of people downtown at the same time. Parking is going to be kind of tight.

My husband is going to be out of town on a business trip so I've got a friend of mine and my mom going with me to cheer me on.

Friday, October 5, 2007

A rant

For those of you that don't know, I've had knee problems for a few years now. Come to think of it, I had knee pain growing up, but the doctor always told me it was because I was growing so fast. In the past four or five years, my knees have started to make a crunching/grinding noise. They hurt when I go up and down stairs and do squats or lunges. I went to my general pracitioner about a year ago and she did x-rays of my knees. She said that I have the early signs of arthritis and gave me some neoprene braces to use while exercising.

Now on to my rant. My mom went to an orthopedist yesterday to get her knees looked at. She's had knee problems for many years now, much worse than mine. The doctor said that there is 100% chance that she will need a knee replacement within the next 10 years. She told the doctor about my knee problems and he told her that I needed to stop running immediately, or I would need a knee replacement too. How can a doctor diagnose me without even seeing me?

So, I talked to my running coach, and he gave me the name of a runner-friendly orthopedist. I'll quit running if that's what I really need to do, but I have heard so many people tell me that I shouldn't run, because it will kill my knees, or something else like that. And most of the people who tell me this are people who never exercise at all. Because sitting on the couch watching tv and stuffing your face is sooooo much better for you! From researching online, it looks like I have this: Chondromalacia Patellae. This website describes my symptoms exactly. I'm going to the doctor next Wednesday so I should know something by then. I really hope that it can be treated with simple exercises and surgery won't be necessary.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Today was a group run at Spain Park High School. There's a really nice running trail there that is 3 miles long. It goes around a pound, under the road and into the woods. It was really pretty, but by the time I got to the woods it was getting dark. That was kind of creepy. The very last part of the course is a really steep hill. I kept going though and toughed it out. I have a feeling that I'm going to be pretty sore tomorrow.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Another week of running begins. Today after work the dog and I ran three miles. I ran the whole time without stopping and made pretty good time. My first official 5k is on October 13th. It's the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. My mom has had breast cancer twice, so I think it's neat that this will be my first 5k.

Runs this week:

Day 1: 3 miles

Day 2: 3 miles

Day 3: 2.5 miles

Day 4: 2 miles

Day 5: 3 miles

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Today's run was a group run in downtown Birmingham. We met at the fountain in Southside. There were only three other 101 runners making us a pretty small group. The run was 2.5 miles, uphill the first half, downhill the second half. The route went through the old neighborhoods near Highland Avenue. It was very pretty, there are a lot of old houses through there. I passed a park where a lot of people had their dogs and I wished I had Linus with me.

The next group run is on Saturday, but we're going camping this weekend, so I won't be going to that one.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

There hasn't been an update in a while because I went on a cruise, and then I was sick for a little while, so I'm just now getting back into running. I did run while on the cruise, but only twice. That was an interesting experience. The boat had a track on the top level so you could run while looking out at the ocean. It was a bit difficult to run while the boat was swaying back and forth. The wind also was blowing pretty hard so while running one way you were going into the wind and the other way it was helping you run faster.

I got sick on the day we came home from the cruise so I didn't run for about a week, and then Aunt Flo came and I'm just now getting my energy back.

Yesterday I went on my first group run in a while. I was running with the 102 group, but since it's been so long, I put myself in 101. Good thing too. 102 was running 4 miles and there's now way I could have done that. Instead I did 2.5 miles. Linus went with me and thoroughly enjoyed himself. Today was another 2.5 miles. I ran at home this time and got charged by a neighbor's dog. That was not fun. Eric's going to go with me next time.

Here's the running schedule for next week:

Day 1: 2 miles

Day 2: 2.5

Day 3: 2 miles

Day 4: 2.5

Day 5: 2.5

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Well, yesterday was Labor Day and since we both had off work, Eric and I drove to Tennessee to visit his parents for the weekend. I took my running gear, but never actually made it outside for a run. But it's a new week, and I have already gotten one run out of the way.

There was a group run tonight at 6:00 on the Lakeshore Trail. I ran three miles. I actually stopped during the middle for a short one minute walk. My legs were hurting at the very beginning. I'm almost positive that it's due to my running shoes being old and worn out. After my first paycheck I'm going to go to the running store and get fitted for new shoes. Also, my left foot went numb towards the end of the run. I think I tied my shoelaces too tightly.

There is another group run tomorrow night at the Trak Shak. This one is at 5:30 though, and I don't know if I can make it there in time. If not, I'll just run when I get home.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Well I've forgotten to post in the past few days. I ran two miles today after work. Tomorrow is a group run in the evening. It's 3 miles, the first time I've done that long. After that we're all going to Golden Rule to have a post run get-together. That should be fun. We're going to Jackson, Tennessee to see my husband's parents so I'm going to have to take my running gear and run while I'm up there. The dog is going with us, so he'll be running with me too.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

My run yesterday wasn't much of a success. It was supposed to be 2 miles, but for some reason after 1.25, I had to stop and walk. I was pretty disappointed, but oh well.

I think I might have been running too many days in a row, so I took today off. Tomorrow is a 6 am group run so I have to go to bed early tonight. Joy.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Since the group run today is in the evening, I ran on my own this morning. I can't go tonight because we're going shopping for new work clothes. I finally got a job and it starts next Monday so I need some new clothes.

The run today was 2.5 miles. The last .5 seemed to last forever! Linus went with me and he loved it, like always.

After we got back home, I decided to conduct an experiment. Whenever I run, I always have to wait about 30 minutes before I shower. If I don't, I'll still be sweating when I get out. So instead of waiting, I hopped into a freezing cold shower to see if that stopped the sweating. I think it slowed it down a little, but not completely. And it was way too cold to be worth it. So I won't be doing that again.

Tomorrow is only a 2 mile run.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

There was a group run scheduled this morning, but I didn't make it up there. It thundered and rained all night here, so Linus (my dog) whined and kept waking us up. This morning it was still kind of sprinkling here, I just decided to stay at home.

Instead I ran through the neighborhood with Linus. I didn't go until about 10:00, but it's been cooling off (only 86 degrees) so it wasn't that bad. Linus loved it too. I haven't been taking him in the 100 degree weather since he doesn't know enough to drink a lot of water beforehand.

Today was day 5 of week 1, so I get a rest day tomorrow. The schedule for next week is:

Day 1: 2.5 miles
Day 2: 2 miles
Day 3: 2.5 miles
Day 4: 2 miles
Day 5: 2.5 miles

We're going to Six Flags next Saturday, so it looks like I'm going to be running 5 days in a row. Unless I run tomorrow and then take off in the middle of the week. We'll see how I feel tomorrow I guess.

Just for kicks, I've included a picture of Linus.

Friday, August 17, 2007

I went to another group run yesterday at 6:00 pm. It was around 100 degrees out, so it was pretty painful. Ran another two miles. I am proud to say though, that this time I was not the last to finish, but the second to last! One of the trainers was nice enough to run with me at my pace. It was nice to have someone to talk to, it made it not so painful. I really wanted to quit soon after the first mile, but made myself keep going. Again, I felt great after it was over.

I'm taking today off and then going to a group run tomorrow morning. The run should be much better then. I might take Linus with me since it will be early and he'll be able to run without getting overheated.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Couch to 10k

I decided to start a blog to chronicle my journey through the world of running. First an intro post. I always said that I hated running. Growing up, I took a lot of dance, and thought that running was boring. After school, I stopped dancing, and gained some weight and lost a lot of fitness. It's almost ten years later and I've decided to do something about it.

I dabbled in running a few years ago. I did really great and got up at 5:00 in the morning for a few months in the summertime. Then I stopped for some reason. This last May, I finished grad school and decided that it was time to start again. I had no school, and hadn't found a job yet, so there was no excuse not to do it. So, I decided to use the Couch to 5k program from I successfully finished the program about a month ago.

The problem is, I live in Alabama where it is extremely hot. This past week the temperature has been in the 100s. So I kind of slacked off. I ran a bit on the treadmill indoors, but it's just not the same. Somehow I found out about Danny Haralson's Couch to 10k running program. I wen to the informational meeting last week and decided to join. The plan is to run a 5k race, the 10k Vulcan Run and then eventually the Mercedes Half Marathon in February.

I've done three runs so far this week.:

  • The first was on Sunday at 4:30 in the afternoon. It was 100 degrees, literally. There are two training groups, 101 and 102. I'm doing 102 since I've been running for a short while. This week we're supposed to run 2 miles each time. It was so hot on Sunday that I could only finish about 1.25 and then had to walk the rest of the way. I was the last of the group to finish along with one other girl.
  • My second run was at home on Monday afternoon. I waited until 7:00 pm to run when it was only 95 degrees. It's amazing how much difference those 5 degrees make. I was able to complete the 2 miles still feeling pretty good.
  • I took Tuesday off and went to the group run at 6 am Wednesday morning. It was dark when I got up, but the sun had come up by the time we began running. It almost felt chilly outside compared to the heat we've been having! Again, I was able to finish the two miles. And again, I was the last person of the group to finish, by a long way. There weren't as many people at the morning session.
I try not to let it get to me that I'm the last one to finish. The important thing is that I'm out there doing it. There is another group run today at 6:00 pm. Here's to hoping I'm able to finish this one too.