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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I Ran Again

I haven’t run in nearly 7 1/2 months and I actually did it yesterday.  And that was a big step for me.

My Adidas Walking Shoes and Comfy Neon Socks

Going to need a new pair of good running shoes.

I had been working on my own version of a walk/run C25K last summer before I broke my ankle in 3 places on August 15th.  It has been a very slow and arduous journey back to walking, and I still have times when the pain and swelling flares up and I limp.

But I started back to the gym about 2 weeks ago, and have been working out at home

ChaLEAN Extreme

ChaLEAN Extreme

 

using my Beachbody ChaLEAN Extreme program, and just felt ready last night to try a brief run.  And I do mean brief.  I think it lasted about 15 seconds and I did it twice.  I just wanted to celebrate once it was accomplished.  No balloons fell from the ceiling of the gym and I probably looked like a dork with the big grin on my face, but I didn’t care.  I had just run.

Running had been a goal I set for myself to complete before the end of March and I did it.  Fear of the pain, or perhaps falling down, had prevented me from trying sooner.  But now it seems that conquering that fear has lit a new spark in me, and I plan on creating a new C25K program to start April 1.

Studying to be a health coach through IIN has changed me from the inside out, and I’m liking the positive changes.  Hoping there are more to come soon!

Dealing With Illness

Why is it every time I begin some kind of rigorous exercise plan I end up hurting from something totally unrelated to the running and exercising?  I am not going to get derailed this time.

About 2-3 months ago I ended up spending the late afternoon and evening in the local walk-in Urgent Care Center with what they diagnosed as a kidney stone.  I have given birth to three children and have never felt such excrutiating pain as I did that afternoon.  It all started as a backache that progressed rather rapidly to sheer agonizing pain and I stopped at the Urgent Care on my way home since I wasn’t sure I could drive the remaining 3 miles home.  They pumped me full of meds (morphine was my friend) and tested my urine and since I had no medical coverage they did not suggest a scan to confirm their suspicions.  Since that day I have had 2 bouts of severe back pain and the worst was the past 3 days.  The pain is letting up and still no kidney stone to show for it.

The part that bothers me is that I actually had to take the generic Vicodin they prescribed that day.  It definitely helps with the pain and relaxes me but it also messes with my head and makes me feel so loopy.  I do not take prescription meds or even many OTC pain meds for headaches and such, so just one does the trick for me.  I took one the other afternoon and just could not complete the run as planned and stayed walking to get some calorie burning in.  My head was a bit foggy and I had a difficult time keeping my balance while running.  I guess I’ll just have to add an additional week to replace this one.

I keep telling myself this is a lifelong project to get healthy and stay there.  Wasted weeks, or even months and years, are no strangers to me, so adding an extra week to keep myself safe on the treadmill is worth the extra time.

The hurting back has not stopped the rest of the plan.  My Eating Clean plan is going well and even the kids loved the meatloaf, mashed potatoes and roasted asparagus last night for dinner.  All Eat Clean foods! Yum!  And looking forward to the Farmer’s Market tomorrow for the first one of the new year.  Just have to make sure I don’t buy too much since I have many perishables in the fridge now.

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.

I Went Anyway…

Yesterday, Sunday, was a day that was quite busy for me.  I washed the laundry, cleaned the kitchen, and completed other general household duties.  A lovely visit with GYM was planned but I did not want to go.  Not at all, and any excuse that came up would do for me.  My legs were achy from Saturday’s workout and it was Sunday, the day of rest, right?

My Week 1 notes in my running journal.

Wrong.  Even though the old me would have come up with plenty of reasons to not work out, the new me headed to the gym.  I may have been dragging my butt a bit, but I made it.  I completed the last workout of Week 1 and felt good once I was done.  Real good actually.

I was watching an older man on the treadmill in front of me (remember, I run on the ones in the back row) and thought I want to run like him.  He had to have at least 20 years on me, but looked healthy and fit.  He was running timed sprints and then walking in between sprints.  Sort of like I am doing, only his workout was on steroids compared to mine.  But I will get there, step by step.

My running journal is completed for the week with notes, times, distance and thoughts.  I wrote “missed workout due to poor planning” on Friday because I planned on going later, but later kept getting later and I ran out of Friday and never got to the gym.  So from here on in I have planned when I am hitting the gym.  Making a concrete schedule is something I plan on working on next week, but at least for now I decide if it will be morning, early or late afternoon, or evening.  So far it’s getting done.

The Running Journal and Complete Book of Beginning Running.

The journal also has a section to record information about my running shoes (or in my instance “walking” running shoes) like when purchased, where purchased, how many miles logged on them and how they feel in general.  I have yet to purchase my first official pair of running shoes, but that is a gift to myself by Christmas.  There is also a part I can’t wait to write in.  You can log your races to keep track with all the details surrounding each and every race.  My goal is at least 5 races next year, but will begin mapping them out in the new year.

I keep the journal and my Beginning Running book out in plain sight to remind me of my promise to myself to get fitter, healthier, and feel better about myself.  It is usually sitting on the coffee table, on the couch, or on some other seating surface.  But when I move it I get a little subliminal message.

And a little boost when I feel like skipping a workout again…

Which I won’t do unless injured or deathly ill, I promise me!

And I Did Start on Monday!

And I actually liked it.  I felt good and wanted to do more, but decided taking it easy was the wisest choice this early on in the game.

I prepared my new running journal by checking out all the informational pages at the beginning and end of the book.  So I checked my “running” shoes to write down the brand and model, to track when I purchased them, and to keep track of when I log 400-500 miles so I can purchase a new replacement pair.  Well, it seems my “running” shoes are actually Ryka “walking shoes”.  Who knew???

Well, I figured since I am walking more right now than running, this pair will do me just fine.  They’re light and feel comfortable on my feet, and I already own them, so the Ryka’s are the shoe for me.  For now.  I can’t remember when I bought them, but have only used them in the gym and for a bit of walking on the Bike Path.  Not too many miles logged on those soles yet, but that will change as these weeks fly by.

I had to schedule my trip to the gym for this evening and arrived around 8:30pm.  I like that time because it is not too crowded and I can score a machine in the back where I like it.  I know I am not the most graceful runner, yet, and like my backside to the wall, thank you very much.  I chose to listen to my iPod tonight (Guns ‘N Roses Greatest Hits) and watched some Fear Factor on the big screen in front of me.

I spent 40 minutes on the treadmill and traveled a distance of 2.15 miles.  5 minutes of that was running intervals of 30 seconds at a time at 4.4, which is pretty fast for my stumpy legs! I have a long torso but the legs definitely suffered in the length department. (Only 5’3″ and that’s stretching it…)  I clocked my starting mile at 18:35 which is the time from the easy warm-up walking start, and then the run/walk intervals started at 5 minutes with a 30 second run every 2 1/2 minutes. It felt easy, but the only regret I have is not letting enough time pass after eating my dinner.  I will probably continue with this for a few more sessions and then increase the running time to 45 seconds at a time next week.

My plan is to run again on Wednesday and cross train on non-running days with walking and weight training to continue burning calories and gaining strength.  Off to a great start!  And even on a MONDAY.