Sunday, July 31, 2011

Joining a Running Club

I knew from the start that this was the right thing to do. I even researched it (as there are several in the area), and determined I needed to find a club fit for:

* Run Locations
* Run Distances
* Run Paces
* Speed/Track Training

So. I found one...Bradenton Runners Club. The club has runs about 4 times a week:

* Sunday morning long beach run (about 5 minutes west from my house)
* Tuesday evening run (about 10 minutes east from my house)...this one is a bridge run
(Florida's version of hills!)
* Thursday night speed workouts (about 5 minutes east of my house at one of the high schools)
* Saturday morning beach (about 10 minutes southwest of my house)

I even got onto their Facebook page to see what the sunday run was like...distance range and speed range to see how well I would "fit". I don't want to be the slowest person there, nor do I want to be the only one going a shorter distance! Turns out that the Sunday run, which is by far the largest, runs 4.5-11 miles, and anywhere from 7minute pace to 13, with the average summer participant right around 10:30 pace. So far then, it seems to fit.

So, I completed the club application, mailed in my check for membership and am waiting to hear back from them. I'm still not sure that I'm ready to run with them...maybe just a bit intimidated? Sure, I'm running the minimum distance and somewhere around the average time, but its still a stretch for me to think that I belong there, you know? Afterall, I'm so new and being around speedy runners is bit much...but then, if I want to be speedier AND cover more distance, doesnt this just make complete sense?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Weight...can't it wait?

In the beginning, those first few runs, my biggest thought was "where is all this jiggling coming from?" Turns out, it was my outer hips. Well, I still feel the jiggling a bit, but I've also come to realize that not all compression bottoms are the same. On a better note, I know that the jiggling has definitely diminished...its nice to lose weight!

But, I definitely want to lose more this fall....and running alone will not cut it! So, I'm doing a cleanse right now, and then back to a diet I will go.

Spreading the Noise

So, as I mentioned before, I started running using an iPhone app. I love the interface and actual program as it was overwhelming on occassions, but not insanely so. Most people who start to run somehow already know how to run an entire 1/4 mile without panting...well, that was NOT me. So, I needed something that started me from the absolute beginning...and this did the trick. One additional feature that I liked was the fact that it posted my completed workout onto Facebook. Now, normally, I could care less what auto-posts to Facebook, but I did like the accountability of this feature. I know that if I stopped having it auto-post, I'm sure someone would have called me on it...and I didn't want that. Also, my friend Jane was doing the same thing, so as she would finish a run, I would "like" her status update and she would do the same for me...felt like you were not out there all alone. Actually, it felt like I had my own little running club going on, but still felt that I could run and look foolish without anyone watching :) Best of both worlds, right?

After I finished the initial 5k program (which took me 9 weeks + 5 weeks of nothing due to my stress fracture + 3 weeks of do-overs since I had to step back and almost start over again after my stress fracture), I found out that someone was seriously considering it due to my auto posts! Of course, I was encouraging...I know she probably felt like I encouraged, and she took the bait!

Kari started running with her step-son (he was afterall interested in going out of the cross-country team once he started high school anyways), so she wasn't in this all alone. She is officially on week 3. So, I emailed her and asked her how everything was going...

She has already seen a difference between day 1 and day 2 of this week's training, and her stamina is increasing steadily. She thanked me for getting her motivated, and that she had no idea that there was a mini coach in her phone, or else she would have held onto her old excuses. She even has a couple other friends that have been running for awhile now, but it always seemed so easy for them. Now she realizes the empowerment and accomplish is a push enough to keep them going!
Now, that just made my day!

Knee...or not knee?

My inside knee started to hurt again late last week. I've been using ibuprofin occassionally and ice (mostly ice) every night. I think its the same thing...stress fracture. Surprisingly, it seems to be getting better though! Monday's run didn't hurt at all, although I felt a bit sore in the knee a few hours later. I've been using Joe's ice pack (for pitcher's arm/shoulder) since he's not been using it...and its done an adequate job. But, I decided since (of all my body parts) I'm most worried about my knee area, I'd purchase a proper knee ice pack. Afterall, my mother has had multiple knee surgeries, as well as my I have to be extra diligent!

Can you imagine me googling forever to find all the reviews on these things? Amazon had a bunch, but none that got consistent stellar reviews. I don't mind paying more for something that will be perfect. After all, I do plan on making running a very long endeavor, not something I plan to drop next year. So, I continued my search and I saw an ad regarding the Moji knee pack. I must say its a pricey little thing, but my knees are worth it! I went ahead and got the two-pack and found a great discount code (after joining their FB page, they gave you the "SHESAID" code for 25% off) after they arrive this week, I do plan on testing them out thoroughly.

Even better, I plan to make this an important post-run ritual, regardless of pain or not. Whats cool about these is that you can walk/stretch with them on, so I'm optimistic!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

So, what is my goal anyways?

What am I doing this for? I don't know, and thats ok for me. I've made a good habit thus far since spring, and I have another 3 months before Joe's baseball/basketball schedule create limited opportunities for me to continue, so I'm focusing on the short-term to really get good at this! Well, "good" is a relative term; afterall, I am a newbie :)

So, my first goal is to finish the B210K program....3 more weeks and I should be running for 60 minutes straight. I really can't believe I'm almost there. I swear that the C25K program seemed to drag on forever (of course, that may be because I had that little issue of stopping and starting again due to my stress fracture). Then, I want to work on my speed. Then, I want to run my very first 5k race. That is scheduled and paid already....bring it on Fall!

Now, I know you are not supposed to have a time goal for your first 5k...your goal is to finish it. But, thats just not possible for me. Sure, I want to finish...but my hard-to-reach-but-maybe-doable goal is to finish in less than 33 minutes. My impossible-to-reach-and-but-will-attempt-to train smartly-but-not-overtrain is 31 minutes. Of course, I know that 31 minutes is not possible (in my brain) in 115 days; however, I still want a challenge that is going to push me to go farther, but I'm not going to kill myself in the process.

Then, I want to run a 10k. Strangely, there are not many around here, but there is one at St. Pete Beach in thats my goal if I don't overeat and blow up like a beach ball at Christmas in Kentucky!

Then, the half marathon. Strangely, I don't think I have any desire to go farther than a half marathon. Its long enough to be a true challenge. Its short enough that you can do one a month and not kill yourself. Its long enough to require serious training (which will force you to eat well just for fear of a bad performance). What is the downside here? :)

Monday, July 25, 2011

Amphipod Hydraform Thermal-Lite™ 12oz.- Product Review

Ok, so I knew that when I increased to over 30 minutes in this vile, hot, humid, seriously summer weather in Florida (why on earth did I try to start running this time of the year???), I knew I would have to bring some water with me. The preserve trails have one water fountain (and thats near the parking lot!

So, someone on FB (gotta love FB) suggested this little product for carrying when you run. I wasn't sure of the running belts, but these are way cool. I picked one up (after my countless hours searching the internet for the best deal since my local running store didnt carry ergo handheld hydration...only "normal" hand-held bottles), and I couldn't be happier. By the way, had them for the least cost with no tax, and the shipping was free! At least from what I could find.

See, this bottle is ergo-designed with a neoprene stretchy band to fit in your hand without any need to grip (even ever so slightly!). And the 12 ounce size is the perfect amount for putting water in it (so on runs shorter than an hour, half of the water goes on my head while the other half goes in my mouth).

Also, there is a little pocket to keep gummies or (gu chomps, which is what I prefer) handy for quick snacks. Its large enough to hold IDs, a few chomps, keys, etc.


  • No effort hand-held hydration...seriously, there was no tension in my hand at all!

  • No chance for chafing around my waist with other hydration packs

  • For $19.95 (retail its $20.95, I think), its one of the cheapest hydration options out there for runners

  • Neoprene keeps cold water colder longer as your hand doesn't heat the contents...and you can even throw it in the freezer a bit before a run

  • No need to use capris/shorts with pockets, as all of your essentials fit right into the pocket

  • They also carry a 20 ounce version (fine for men's hands, but I think it would be too large for most women's hands)

  • Comes in basic black (with their standard green bottle) or for a girlier yet still serious version, they have a "breeze" model...I chose the girlier model simply because I wanted to deter my husband from using it :)


  • The neoprene does ride up a bit so it covers the base of the nipple, but this doesn't interfere with use at all. I would rather see that its secured near the bottom of the bottle like the actual hand pocket is.

  • Their bottle is the only kind that can be replaced, if it develops a leak or whatnot...a normal 12ounce bottle simply won't fit.

  • If you are a sweaty one while running (e.g. my husband), you may need to throw the entire thing into the laundry/dishwasher as I can't see a way to separate the bottle from the holder easily. There is a way, just easier to wash the whole thing though....which is usually fine unless you don't have time for it to dry

How fast am I?

I continue to run around an 11minute/mile pace...but then again, I am running for 51 minutes. So, after a bit of googling, I find that there are race pace calculators out there on the internet! They are actually kind of cool, as they can predict proper paces, given current speed for various distances. Obviously, you are going to be a lot faster pace for a 1 mile distance than a 13.1 mile distance! And, of course, the calculators assume you are conditioned to run the longer distances...and I know I need to continue to work on that part. But, hey, I'm curious!

Here is a Runner's World one that I keep going back to... Right now, I am running 5.3 miles in 1:03. Now, that also includes 12 minutes of walking, so I'm really running about 4.6 miles in 51 minutes, which roughly equates to 11:30 run pace. Plugging this into the calculator, I should expect to run a 5K in a tad less than 35 minutes (34:27 to be exact).

So, how do I get faster while still trying to increase my distance? Those two goals seem contradictory. I really want to be able to run for 60 minutes straight by the end of summer, but also want to feel extra proud of my race time at my first 5K. Of course, I know adrenaline will push me to be a tad faster at the first race, but I want to know I can do a better time consistently!

So, I go back to search engine of choice (probably just because I like to say "google")...and find this Runner's World article.

Basically, I need to determine what my "miracle mile" time is. How fast can I reasonably run a 1 mile distance? If I use my handy dandy calculator, I would expect this to be around a 10 minute/mile pace....but I need to attempt this at home, but when? I have another 51 minute run scheduled for tonight, so maybe tomorrow night. I'll report back!

Friday, July 15, 2011


I must say, I'm intrigued by this product. I've been able to do wonderful things with my margaritaville maker that have nothing to do with margaritas, or even alcohol....but just imagine the possibilities of using a vitamix with a protein powder or meal replacement drink!, where is that list for santa?

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Running is for the patient and persistent

I learned this the hard way. As I was saying before, I started the C25K program, and 3 weeks into it, still felt invigorated by the challenge...even with all the fat jiggling in my behind. I felt one run was not up to par, so the following night, I thought I would reattempt it. BIG MISTAKE.

I ran on a road near our house that has a severely cambered side. See mom, I'm increasing my vocabulary from running!

1cam·ber verb \ˈkam-bər\cam·beredcam·ber·ing\-b(ə-)riŋ\
Definition of CAMBER
intransitive verb: to curve upward in the middle
I fully understand the reason for the cambered know, drainage and such...but never ever understood the effect it can have on biomechanics (wow...all these running words are just pouring out of me now!). So, I'm running and immediately feel something odd in my knee. Stress fracture! Yowza! Where did that ever come from!?!?!

Of course, I had no idea what I did to myself. I took ice that evening to the nth degree...and avoided running for a few days, then ran again. Pain was excruciating, and of course, since I had no idea what I did, I tried to run through it. Such the novice in me....if only I knew then what I knew now. So, I take another few days off and try to use the elliptical that stares at me from my bedroom....for 1 week. Run again? No ain't happenin!

Orthopoedic scheduled for a visit....x-ray came up with nothing. He suggested an MRI to confirm that I tore something (and if it was, he was absolutely sure that surgery would be required), or I could wait it out and if it heals in 4-5 weeks, its sure to be a stress fracture. I opted for waiting it out, since Joe was going in for shoulder surgery soon enough and we couldn't both have surgery in the same month anyways! So, the wait seemed prudent even if the unknown was driving me crazy.

4 weeks later, I attempt the elliptical felt ok! I did this for another week, and while many probably didnt believe I'd ever attempt running again, I did just that! Sure, I went back to week 2 of the program to play it safe...but I returned! Maybe I myself am surprised that I returned? Regardless, I was back...and determined to catch up to power mama Jane in finishing the program. Sure she was a cool five weeks ahead of me by this point, but I would finish...if nothing else, but to show everyone that I wouldn't quit!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

10K Anyone?

Yes, I need goals...something to strive for. I realize now that just showing up to yoga classes or jumping on the elliptical for 20-30 minutes was not a goal that mattered to me...I needed something more concrete...something that was competitive, even if it was just to compete against myself! So, here I am in the 10K training program (just finished C25K on 4th of July...great way to celebrate and remember!) my roar, watch me run, see me cry and everything else in between.

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