Week Nine – Intervals Beat Injuries

Day 1 – My dog and I walked for an hour or so in the neighborhood and did about four miles. I love walking especially in the Fall. The air is brisk and the foliage is amazing. I wish I had time to walk for hours.

Day 2 – I do not love running. I thought I would be further in my conditioning than I am. I still can not run continuously for a mile and I was feeling discouraged today. I focused on form and breathing and used the poles as markers. I am still running/walking 2.25 miles in just under 30 minutes. The cool air goes right to my lungs but I am still out there. I will keep running.

Day 3 – Today was my big volunteer day but I got some stretching in. Any activity helps.

Day 4 – Another running day, groan. I got out there even though I just wanted to hibernate and eat. I made myself productive by doing laundry and stretching while watching a little tv. Then I got out and did my 2.25 miles. I ran a little better/faster than Tuesday. I felt good getting out especially since I really did not want too.

Day 5 – Jack and I went out for a good hike in the woods near our house. I am still on the alert for squirrels especially since My kids tease me that squirrels hate me. The other day I got hit on the head with some acorns and they said it was squirrels throwing them at me.

Day 6 – We were gone all day at my nephew’s confirmation so I did not get any exercise in. We had a nice day with family and good food grilled by my brother.

Day 7 – We ended up with a rare Sunday at home so I got my run in. I pushed myself and ran several lengths to every one walked but at various points had to take long walks. I know from my treadmill run last week that I am doing a good job at hitting my target heart rate for my age. I still felt somewhat discouraged by my progress until I read an article and had a conversation with a friend. The friend, thanks Shawna, pointed out that I am not as young as I once was and it is better to do the interval training than to get hurt. I am out there trying, which is more than some 45 year olds. The premise of the article was that it takes longer to form exercise habits than previously thought. Exercising three times a week may take as long as six month to form the habit! So my new mantra is “Intervals beat injuries” and I am still getting out there. I have been running three times a week for nine solid weeks and walking or doing other exercise as much as possible besides the running.

It isn’t easy getting out and running and I don’t know if I will ever love it, but I am going to give myself a year to create what I hope will be a lifelong habit of interval training at MY pace.

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Running Week Three

Week THREE
Day 1 – well I am still at it, but today I did some stretching and little else.

Day 2 – today was a run day but I also fit in three short walks. One to walk the dog and two walking my kids to the bus and back. The boys ride scooters so I pulled the wagon first filled with backpacks to the bus and then with scooters and helmets back home.

I opted to not keep track of my pace but did my usual 2.25 miles. I am still using the electric poles to do intervals but today ran two lengths for every length walking. After the first mile, I had to take some longer walking breaks but still managed to run at least two lengths at a time. The last couple of times I have really been focusing on posture and form and try to engage my whole body instead of just legs.

Day 3 – I did some minimal walking but didn’t get to exercise much as I spent a great deal of time at my kids’ school and had lunch with a group of friends. All of us sent our youngest child off to kindergarten this year and we were comparing notes on our school year and lives.

Day 4 – why did I think running was a good idea? I dreaded my run today but prepared for it by stretching and using the foam roller. I am now running about two lengths and occasionally three (between the electric poles) to every one walking. I am focusing on posture, foot placement and breathing. My right leg is always shorter when I go to the chiropractor so I focused on stretching that leg out and letting the left leg follow. Each time I stopped to walk I didn’t think I could run again, but I did. I run until my heart rate and breathing are up before walking. I kept track of my pace today and I am a bit faster at 13.19 minutes per mile. I am pleased with my progress and plan to keep putting one foot in front of the other.

As a cool down, I took my dog for a two mile hike. We barely made it home before a torrential rain came through.

Day 5 – there was no walk today as I was back at the school and then running errands to prepare for a 10th birthday party for my son. It is 1:10 am at the moment so I hope I have the energy for my am run. At least the heat wave broke. No more 90 degree days until next summer I hope!

Day 6 – It is Saturday morning and I am hosting a small birthday party for my son later in the day, but I got up and went for my run. The weather has turned much cooler and it was 60 instead of the 90 it was earlier in the week. The sun was shining and it was a beautiful day for a run. I started out running a bit more than walking but at some point my throat started burning and I felt like what I can only describe as a “stitch” in the back of my throat. I could still take deep breaths and my lungs seemed clear, but this phenomenon used to happen to me regularly when I tried to run. I am not sure what caused it. Is it pollen, leaf mold or just the difference in air temperature? Regardless, I did my 2.25 miles but I wasn’t monitoring my pace. I just ran. Thirty minutes later, I got home and ran around for he next ten hours or so. It was a great way to start a very hectic day.

Day 7 – Today, I am not running, but I am riding my two-wheeled love on my trainer in the basement. I haven’t ridden my bike in two months, but I have wanted to add it to the cross training mix since I started running. I was afraid that I would really be sore and didn’t want to set back my running so I waited for a few weeks. I am not planning to run again until Tuesday which is two days away, so I decided that today is a good day to get back in the saddle. I am more than half-way to my goal of doubling last year’s mileage on my bike. I have just 125 miles to go until December 31 and since I usually bike at least 10 miles at a time, as long as I bike at least once a week, I should be able to accomplish my New Year’s Fitness Goal. I. Can. Do. This.

Running Week 2

Week TWO
Day 1 – I really did not feel like a run today but I forced myself to get dressed and go. I stretched and then ran/walked my 2.25 miles at a pace of 13.29 minutes a mile. I was slightly slower than my last run, but my endurance seems to be increasing. It was very hot out and I was dripping by the time I got home.

Day 2 – After getting the boys off to school I came home and took the dog for a four mile walk in the neighborhood. At least I think it was about four miles. The Endomondo app stopped recording the miles for the last part, but kept track of time. My pace was about 18.5 minute miles. I enjoy the long leisurely walks as they really help get the kinks out of body and mind and also stretch my legs. I also stretched and used the foam roller.

Today, two of my boys tried out for a winter swim team. I was proud of them for their effort and look forward to their progress if not the schedule juggling.

Day 3 and Day 4 – my legs have been pretty sore and I don’t want to injure myself so I spent quite a bit of time stretching these two days. We visited friends with a pool so I even stretched in the water. I did a little walking too but no major runs or walks.

Day 5 – I was back to running again today. I did the 2.25 mile loop with a pace of 13.3 minutes per mile average. Today I changed things up a little and alternated running and walking between the electric poles. I was able to keep that up the entire time except for the hilliest part.

After my run, I stretched and cooled down by taking the dog for a 2.5 mile hike.

Day 6 – I stretched today but took the day off from walking or running. This week my legs hurt more on off days and I want to make sure I have enough recovery time.

Day 7 – I really did not want to get up and run today, but I somehow knew that if I didn’t, it would become so easy to quit altogether. So I got up, stretched and headed out. My phone battery was low so I ran without keeping track of my pace and mileage. I alternated running and walking between the electric poles again and this time kept it up for the entire 2.25 miles.

At the end of the week, I did manage to get three runs in and I feel stronger. I still have a long way to go, but I am seeing progress in my running and am encouraged by it.