Back Into Running Rhythm

I ran 3 times this week at the gym.  I do it on the treadmill since that has more give and less pounding on my feet, especially my reconstructed ankle.

The first time I tried this I hurt and ached for days.  Now the pain and swelling is not as severe and I can do this every two days or so.  Now its time to make a walk/run schedule like I had last year.

The Running Journal and Complete Book of Beginning Running.

The Running Journal and Complete Book of Beginning Running.

My plan is to use a warm-up walking period of 5 minutes since my ankle can be stiff until I get it moving along at a good speed.  Then I will use 20 minutes on the treadmill and block off when and for how long I will run in between bouts of cooling down.

Today I ran for 4 bouts of 45 seconds each with about 3-4 minutes between.  I didn’t track it exactly.  But now I want to track so I can see improvement and push myself as I progress.  If I hadn’t already been getting into shape through Beachbody and ChaLEAN Extreme, there is no way I could come right out and run 45 seconds the first time.  I am getting stronger and not stopping now.

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Day 5 – My First Run Outside

Ok, it was a whole lot more of walking than running, but I did run for 3 short intervals until I couldn’t breathe anymore. And what made it even more fun was that my 24 year old daughter ran with me!

This is the girl that I can never get to go for a walk, or practice in any kind of exercise with me, and I was shocked and surprised when she said she’d come with me, and even run with me! I couldn’t have been a happier Mom. And she even whipped out the sneakers I bought for her several years ago instead of those floppy looking UGG type boots she’s usually schlumping around in. What is it with those ugly things? Maybe if you’re an Eskimo or live in the Arctic zone, but they have no place here when Rhode Island hasn’t even seen hardly any snow yet this year. But I digress.

We went to the Monastery, a local preserved area in town that holds the public library (that mean facilities when the urge strikes during business hours), a fantastic playground, open fields, and a walking path through the woods that measures very close to a mile. The only problem today was the hard packed dirt path was a bit muddy in places and quite dangerous to run on. I can see it now. Me performing a backwards flip and landing on my generous backside in a pile of frozen mud. Whee!!! So we were very careful in the muddy zones.

Only went one loop around, but it’s a start and we enjoyed ourselves. This was actually my first run outside since I started my run/walk program. I can thank Bearrunner for this suggestion. He mentioned in one of his blogs that there aren’t any races held on a treadmill, and that made me think seriously about always running on the machine. Running outside is totally different, and it seemed to me a bit harder, so I welcome the challenge and will try outside again this week, weather permitting. And I might try the local track at the school this weekend. Less mud.

Back In the Saddle Again

The blogging saddle that is.  I have been away from the computer for most of this month and I regret not posting more.  But the more I thought about it, the longer I put if off, and voila! Nearly 3 weeks of nothing from me.  But here I am, alive and kicking and ready to kick it up a notch just like Emeril!

I have been following my Eat Clean Diet and exercising a minimum of 5 days per week.  My running is still progressing, albeit a little slowly, but I am still running.  Up to 8 intervals of 45 second runs interspersed with walking to recover.  It is getting better and next week I will be putting in 1 or 2 full minute runs.  I know this is taking me longer than I thought, but I want to run and live to tell about it.  And walking the next day is also a good thing!

I will be posting my first month weight loss and inches lost tomorrow.  I am going to be hitting it harder now since the weight is moving away very slowly.  So slowly in fact that I started using what I call “Alternative Forms of Measurement” using an old pair of size 18 jeans that I could not even zipper closed.  Over the course of several weeks I took pictures of me looking down at my belly and it is obvious at the start how far apart those pieces of material are.  Then I finally get them closed!  So the inches are moving too.  Time to get a new pair of jeans that don’t fit.

Weight Training has been added and I hope it helps with the weight loss and reshaping my body.  It definitely makes me feel better when I have done the exercises, and I welcome the “pain” of a good workout.  I will be looking for a local race to sign up for soon so I have a goal to achieve.

This month my focus is trying to create a schedule for my life that I can stick to.  I have always been a rather spontaneous person, but there are too many things that never get finished due to my spontaneity.  I need to get up at the same time, go to bed at the same general time, and eat on a schedule of every 2 1/2 to 3 hours.  And schedule in my training, teaching, and then other add-ons.  Family will always come first, but I can maneuver things around to best suit my needs and get me taken care of.  If Momma’s not happy, then nobody’s happy!

I have a goal I am thinking of posting tomorrow and will write more about it in the morning.



Enjoying the Vacation Week

Heading down into the Chasm

We have been taking it easy this week between the holidays and before my son returns to school at Blackstone Valley Prep.  He has been working on his rather large homework packet that needs to be completed before this upcoming Monday, but not all at once since this is supposed to be family time.  We snuck off yesterday to Purgurtory Chasm in nearby Sutton, Massachusetts for a little hiking and rock climbing.  The weather has been unseasonably warm here in Rhode Island for the past 6 weeks and taking advantage of that with some outdoor time is always a plus.

The top of the Chasm

When we arrived at the park we spotted a sign saying the Chasm was closed until Spring.  Normally by this time of the year the rocks are covered with ice and there are large ice pools created at the bottom of the paths.  But it was in the mid-40’s, so my friend Erin, her daughter, and my son and I decided to pretend we didn’t see that sign and headed out anyway.  The path was not icy at all and where there was any water, it was still moving or just muddy.  Some of the rocks were a bit slippery with the moss on the side so sliding down on my butt proved the best maneuver there.

Alex in the Crevice

There is a crevice between two humongous rocks that people squeeze through.  Even though I have been here several times in the past, I have never noticed this crevice.  Erin was familiar with it and my son Alex decided he was brave enough, and skinny enough to walk through and we met him at the other side.  Then Erin admitted she had always wanted to be able to go through so I told her to be careful and I would help her out at the end.  Her daughter, Alyssa, now was also brave enough to squeeze through it.  Not so much for me!  The kids had no problem but Erin is a full-figured gal like myself and even though she made it through the crack, getting her out was another story.  The kids came straight up and out with a helping hand from me, but Erin had to pass through sideways due to the width of the crevice.  (Notice I didn’t say the width of Erin! Her width can change but this rock was going nowhere!!!)  Getting her foot into the natural step hold on the rock proved quite difficult.  After giggling profusely and sending the kids away because they were laughing too hard, we managed to get her up and out into safety.  And she could proudly state she had managed to go through the crack!  We managed to end our climbing expedition safely and without being caught by any Park Rangers.  (Oh, we are such bad mommies setting a terrible example of flaunting the rules…but we were exercising!)

The crew coming through! Proud of you girl!

That was the first half of my daily exercise.  The evening hours found me at the gym where I happened upon a fascinating discovery.  At least to me.

I have been walking at a pace of 3.0 which is comfortable for me with my stumpy legs and then running for my 30 second intervals at 4.6 or 4.7.  But I was feeling a bit peppy and decided to push it a bit and cranked the treadmill up to 4.9 and then 5.0 and my running was so much easier and more natural.  I had been jealously watching some of the other treadmill runners lope along so comfortably and craned my neck around to check out their speeds without appearing to be a stalker.  And most of them were running at 5.0 or higher, so I tried the 5.0 and I liked it!  My feet aren’t as sore after the workout, I am completing what I have planned and I feel good!  (Cue the James Brown music…)

And my gym going dedication has finally rubbed off on my sister because she called me and asked to go to the gym Thursday morning with me.  Yeah!  Company for once.

Revamping the Plan

I successfully completed my first week of training with my run/walk program and began the second week with an increase in running.  I went from 30 second running intervals the first week up to 1 minute running intervals the second week starting this past Monday.  Monday’s workout was a killer and extremely difficult, but I expected that with the increased running time.  But I still am not sure how I managed to complete that workout.  I was gasping for air, my legs were aching, and I was a bit wobbly on the treadmill.  But I slowed my breathing, drank more water and hung on to the grips on the treadmill.  And I sure was proud of myself for lasting through that 40 minute workout.

40 minute workout and I only ran 7 minutes of that, but it was the most I had done in one workout to date.  So I drank more water and walked up and down the sidewalk outside of the gym to keep my legs from cramping.  I ordered chicken and some rice from Fortune House in the same plaza and kept walking while they prepared it for me.  Nice healthy meal to bring home with me after my vigorous exercise.

I iced my legs, mostly the bottom of my quads and knees.  Stretched my calves and ankles along with hamstrings and quads and then soaked in a warm bath.  The following day was a Walk Day which I completed and felt every step of it as I worked out the rest of the kinks.  I felt better Wednesday and headed to the gym for my next run and that is when the issues came up.

I started out just fine and made the first several one minute runs but then I started cramping in the quads and feeling pain and a burning sensation in the front of my foot where it attaches to my leg and along the sides of my feet.  So instead of possibly causing more injury, I decided to run just 30 second intervals and when that didn’t ease anything, then just finished the workout by walking the remainder.  Sort of felt like a failure but then I shook myself and changed my mind.

The old me would have quit, put my legs up and complained about my injuries and how they have hindered my exercising.  The new me decided to slow down and concentrate on still moving to burn calories while trying to prevent further damage.  I am trying and that is the best I can do at this point.

New running shoes may be the simple answer to my pain, or it may be that I am so out of shape that I just have to just slow down.  The new shoes are coming, just like Christmas, so if I have to walk the rest of this week I will do so.

But I am heading to the gym in a few minutes and have decided to go back to running 30 second intervals to keep the heart rate up.  If it proves too hard, then it is back to walking.

I’ll Start on Monday…

These famous and well worn out words have passed the wearied lips of every man and woman who have ever thought they should get into shape, lose weight, drink more water, try new fruits and veggies…You get the picture.  I have said this myself more than 30 times by a quick estimation.  And I said it again this time and meant it – for tomorrow.  I will get to that at the end.

This past week has been crazy hectic and a downright mess!  I haven’t posted on my blog, didn’t grocery shop, cook very much, do any dishes beyond what was absolutely necessary for coffee, but I do think I showered once or twice.  And I did get to the Farmer’s Market with Mom for a few greens.

The Vendor Fair as seen from my table in the back of the room.

This past Thursday my son’s charter school, Blackstone Valley Prep, held its first Holiday Vendor and Craft Fair.  For a $25 table fee and a donated item for the raffle, you were allowed to set up a table and peddle your wares.  Several of the other tables held home party goods like Pampered Chef, Lia Sophia jewelry, Mary Kay, and a few I have never heard of.  I am not affiliated with any of these companies, but I do make handmade small cloth pocketbooks and beaded pearl and crystal jewelry.  I already had the stretch bracelets and matching dangly earrings completed, but was working feverishly to get more handbags done in time for the fair.  I just learned how to make these a few weeks ago and only had 5 ready, so I thought 20 would be a good number so I would have a variety of fabric designs to catch the eye of my potential customers.  Ha!  Should be more like mistakenly thought.

My handmade pocketbooks.

The foot traffic at the fair was abysmal and without many likely victims, oops, I mean potential customers walking by, it didn’t matter a rat’s patootie how many eye-catching designs I spread across my craft table.  I did make my initial cost of $25 back and few bucks extra.  Sold just one handbag and several sets of matching bracelets and earrings with a few additional bracelets thrown in there.  Maybe my stuff is junk, maybe it’s not good enough for the market, not fancy or shiny enough to catch those eyes, but whatever the reason, I didn’t sell very much.

Handmade beaded pearl and crystal drop earrings.

I put so much time and effort into this fair because I truly wanted the money for Christmas presents.  I have been out of work, have very little available cash, and naively thought, or more like desperately hoped, all the cash I earned from my blazing hot sales would allow me to purchase a few gifts for the kids.  And my daughter has plenty of pocketbooks and jewelry, and forget about my son…

So as an impetus to getting my butt back in gear, I hit the Barnes & Noble in my area and purchased Runner’s World The Complete Book of Beginning Running and the matching log book.  Which starts on a darn Monday!!!  So Monday it is for this part of my journey as I continue shedding the weight and maybe the lack of planning which dumped me in the predicament I currently find my holiday budget wallowing in.