Thursday, November 26, 2009

my one hour run.

Today, I did my first of several one hour runs. I timed myself from the minute I left the door for one exact hour to see how far I would go. I could have decided that the weather was too poor to properly time myself or that I was tired... but those are just excuses. I did take it a little easy, running 4.08 miles in one hour, though I think I could have run a little further... I did not.

Today was my first "winter" run, though it is and was not snowing, it was pouring cold rain for a portion of my work out today and it is fairly chilly outside. I guess that it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be- though it's only the end of November and I still have January's frigidity to look forward to. I'm looking into some winter gear to ask for as Christmas gifts. I definitely want some nice pants or tights to wear and I also found some other interesting devices that may make me feel more comfortable running in poor weather. I'm not sure I want to spend a lot of money on it myself, but if I ask for some stuff for Christmas, that might make it a little bit better. We'll see what happens, though.

I would like to do another race sometime soon, but I'm having trouble finding an entire list of races around this area that I'd be able to participate in. I know that there probably aren't many in the winter, but the spring isn't THAT far away, I don't think... (that may be wishful thinking, as I hate winter.) I am going to keep trying to find races, though. It seems like I have been bitten by the road racing bug. I'm almost addicted- ha. There probably will be a point where I become completely obsessed, which I don't think will neccessarily be a good thing for me, but I'm not sure that it would be a terrible thing either.

I'm definitely looking forward to doing some swimming in the next few weeks. Swimming was my first love and I haven't had a chance to do it in a while. (that's partially just an excuse, buuuutt) I'm definitely going to do some swimming during my finals week, because it's important that I do some cross training and being in the water will relieve some stress. I really love swimming.

I'm also almost caught up in my mileage. Yipee. :)

Goal: 1000 miles/365 days
So far: 49.47 miles/19 days
To go: 950.53 miles/346 days

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

goals, goals, goals.

Last night, I clocked in almost four miles, which I'm pretty proud of. I pushed myself harder than I have so far and ran more quickly than I have before. It was exhausting and, well, sweaty, but exhilarating at the same time.

I think that it's nice going out and running, especially when things seem crazy and overwhelming in life. There's a point that comes when I'm running, in which all that exists is myself and my running... and my goals. Sure, my biggest goal is to finish my 1000 miles, which is absolutely feasible, though a little overwhelming sometimes. I also want to finish getting into shape and have a more athletic and toned body. I want to be able to run and complete a full marathon. I also want to be able to run further without breaks and I want to be able to run faster, too. Each of this small goals are possible, as long as I keep up with my larger, year long goal. I know that this goal is completely feasible... I know that I will be able to finish it, it's just a matter of following through every day... or at least most days, ha.

There's something about having a goal that can help push people through the toughest times. I'm not entirely sure what it is, but when things seem overwhelming, I can fall back on this and it's relaxing. I think that I am about to think more clearly when I'm out running. I can think about hundreds of things, which helps me to think more clearly after I have run. I think that I'm able to accomplish more things, although I have this extra thing on my to do list that I have to check off. I am starting to really enjoy it. Sometimes, it is tough to actually get up and get myself to run, but mostly, it hasn't been too difficult. Once I actually start run, everything seems to fall pretty well into place and I'm able to push myself to run however miles I need to for the time period.

I think that I want to be ready to run a full marathon in about a year. I believe that I should be able to get to that point without too much stress, because when I set myself to something, I am usually able to complete it pretty well. A year ago right now, I could hardly run one mile and now I've run two half marathons. In a year, I should have the endurace to run a full, I think. The race that I really want to run my first full in occurs in January, so I have about a year and a little over a month in order to be completely ready.

The race that I want to do is in Disney World. In a year, I will be off at grad school- possibly in Florida itself, so the travel won't be too bad... haha. Idealistically, I would be able to have the funds for travel and lodging to run in Disney World. I'm definitely hoping that I will be able to do the race- and I think that it will open up for regustration in 2011 pretty soon, so it's definitely something that I'm going to have to think seriously about. I'd also like to find a race sometime this spring to run, but I'm not sure about that right now. The big Indy mini is on the day of my graduation, so I'm disappointed to say that I won't be able to race. I would definitely be running in it otherwise, but it's just not going to work out. So I'm going to have to try to find another race. I hope that I can find one to run. There's a half during my spring break at Disney World, but financially, I don't think that I'm going to be able to run it. I definitely won't be able to go by myself, and I don't think I will be able to find anybody to go with me.... too bad. So I'm back to the drawing board with that one.

Goal: 1000 miles/365 days
So far: 45.39 miles/17 days
To go: 954.61/348 days

Sunday, November 22, 2009

trying to get back on track.

So I pretty much took the last week off of running. I didn't feel very well and was very swamped with other things. I felt kind of guilty for not running... and then I kept not doing it. I guess I fell off the bandwagon already, but I ended up getting myself back on yesterday. I'm committed to getting these 1000 miles run. I'm just very worried that I won't get it all complete. I'm going to try to run a significant amount every day this week, especially since I'll be on break from school and I will have a lot of extra free time. I'm definitely excited about that.

So, in my book that I read, the author, Amby Burfoot discussed an race that he used to run frequently. In that race, all of the runners would just run around a track for exactly one hour and then see how far they had gone. Now, I'm not sure that running around a track for an hour would exactly be exciting or anything, but I think it could be interesting to see how far I could go for an hour at this point in my training and then how far I can run in an hour several times in the next year. I think that I could improve a lot. I'm interested in trying that idea and seeing how it goes. I may try to do an hour run on Wednesday or something like that. I will probably end up doing five miles or a little more if I really push myself hard. Maybe if I go running at my mom's house over Thanksgiving break, I can just call her when my hour is up and she will come pick me up wherever I am... ha. I don't think that she would just wait by her phone to see when I am ready... haha. I guess I'd have to end up walking home or something, but only count how far I went within the hour.

Yesterday and today, combined, I ran close to 11 miles. I think that's pretty impressive. I'm proud of myself. I was getting worried, because I wasn't feeling like running for several days in a row. I really got lazy. I'm a little concerned that, if I continue to take some time off from running, I will continue to take longer breaks that I need to, which will put me really behind. Hopefully, I'll be able to stay on top of it. That's definitely the goal.

I've decided that I'm going to ask for some running gear for Christmas from my family members. I want one or two pairs of nice running pants, especially since the winter is approaching. Having nice pants would definitely help me to feel motivated to run outside when the weather is cold. I also am going to try to get some sort of lighting gear or something that I can wear to run in the dark, so that I can feel a little more confident about it. There's just something about running outside at night that can be creepy- especially around my university. It's really not very well-lit, which makes it feel unsafe.

My run today went pretty well. I'm definitely building endurance. My breathing is doing a lot better than it was when I first started exercising semi-regularly about a year ago. I definitely have been feeling some soreness in my legs before I'm having trouble with my breathing, which is a nice change. It's nice to be able to run further without stopping. However, at the end, when I'm almost done with my running, it has been getting a little bit more difficult to keep the running stamina. I've been finding myself fighting to keep myself from stopping and walking, especially after I have already gone several miles. I'm hoping that I will be able to have better stamina within the next few weeks... I like noticing the improvements that I already have, though. It's exciting to see that things are changing for me.

My goals for the week are to get back to where I need to be with my running. I don't want to be as far behind as I am right now. I'm going to run a few longer runs in order to get caught up with what I missed last week... and this week I'm going to HAVE FUN running... and think of this as something exciting that I'm doing. I'm going to try to change my outlook on exercise. I'll keep updating with how that goes. :)

Goal: 1000 miles/365 days
So far: 41.68/15 days
To go: 958.42/350 days

Monday, November 16, 2009


I really can't write a lot today, because I'm exhausted and feel kind of sick. However, I wanted to add a little something, though, and add my mileage from the last few days. I took today off from running and hope to pick up a few more miles tomorrow. I'm definitely hoping.

I'd really like to stop being sick though.

...and a quote...

"A lot of people don't realize that about 98 percent of the running I put in is anything but glamorous: 2 percent joyful partcipation, 98 percent dedication. It's a tough formula. Getting out in the biting cold and the flattening heat, and putting in kilometer after kilometer."
-Rob de Castella

Goal: 1000 mi/365 days
So far: 30.72 mi/ 9 days
To go: 969.28 mi/ 356days

Thursday, November 12, 2009

ugh. tough workout day.

Ugh. This certainly isn't easy. My legs and my back ache. I'm definitely out of shape right now and it sucks. I can definitely tell an improvement every time I work out, but I'm worried that I'm pushing myself too hard. Then again, if I don't push myself, how will I ever improve? This project is about change and improvement. It's obviously also about pain... a lot of pain. Ha. That's reality. I can't express how sore I am without sounding extremely whiny. Maybe today was just a tough day. Tomorrow could be a better day. Actually, tomorrow will be my "rest" day, because I'm working a lot and have classes. Most Fridays, I won't be able to run much, but that's not neccessarily a bad thing. Everybody needs a rest day.

Today, I really pushed myself. I ran 3.26 miles. That doesn't sound like much, but I sprinted a lot of it and I was already really tired from my work out yesterday, not to mention I have a lot of projects due in the next few weeks that I have been working on, so that's not helping matters either. It figures that I start a new personal project at the same time that I have a ton of other stuff to do. I guess I just like to push myself pretty hard. Maybe that's the kind of person that I am. That's kind of a pattern of the past few years of my life. I do push myself pretty hard. I think that's a strength. (Obviously, I realize that it can also be a weakness, I'm not entirely closed minded. I'm just trying to see it in the most positive light.) I wish that I had a few more hours in my days, because things would seem a lot more simple.

Actually, I wish there were more hours during the day- particularly during the time of the day when the sun shines. I'm having a tough tiem being able to run outside when it's light out. It seems like it's suddenly dark all of the time. I just think it's a little bit creepy running around this place when it's dark. I think that it's probably safe on campus to run at night- I mean I know that I used to walk around at night all of the time before I moved off campus. It's just different. I always felt safe when I lived at home in an addition. I used to go for walks sometimes at night back then. I don't know what has changed. There's something about living on a college campus that feels like it's supposed to be dangerous. I think that might change, though. I mean, just beacuse it's 6:00 and dark outside doesn't mean that I can't go running for an hour or two. I definitely prefer running outside, though. That's my favorite way to do it.

Like I was saying, today I pushed myself pretty hard. I ran the 3.26 miles. After that I lifted weights in the gym in the apartment complex. After THAT, I rose the stationary bike for a little over a mile. I think that I did pretty well for just an hour workout. While I was running, though, I decided that it is veyr important that I cross train. Obviously biking or swimming is not going to count toward my 1000 miles of running goal. However, a little cross training will help my workouts to stay unique and keep my body exercising in different ways. I'm going to try to swim at least once every other week... and I WAS riding my bike to campus every day, but as it has gotten colder and my semester has gotten busier, there have been time constraints, which have kept me from riding my bike as often. I still am going to try to ride sometimes, whether it be on my actual bike or on a stationary bicycle. We will see.

I have been looking into getting some pants that are specifically designed for going running. I'm going to buy a pair next week when I get paid again, unless I strangely come across some. lol. I think that will really help my confidence and will help me when I'm running outside, particularly when it is getting cold and more wintery. I'm excited about it. (except for the spending money part, I guess... lol.) I think that it will be a good investment.

I'm really hoping that I stop being so sore. My body isn't used to running so often. I'm going to go read my book about running. lol.

Goal: 1000 mi/ 365 days
So far: 23.84 mi/ 6 days
To go: 976.16 mi/ 359 days

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

20 miles down already..

Today, I got to my class a little bit early and pulled out a book to read while I waited for my professor to start class. He noticed the I was reading "The Runner's Guide to the Meaning of Life" by Amby Burfoot, the winner of the 1968 Boston marathon. Well, he didn't see all of that, but he saw the title and looked at me with a... questioning face, I think. I smiled and told him that I had run another half marathon, because I had talked to him about the first. My professor and I talk about running sometimes, because he was a runner when he was in college and seems like he misses it a little. He always speaks a little nostalgically about running. Anyways, I just thought it was nice that he noticed what I was reading and that we have had some conversations about running.

I've never really thought of myself as a runner before. I still don't really think of myself in that way. Maybe if I finished in the top half of the finishers in the races that I've done or if I had time to run a LOT, I would think of myself as more of a runner. Maybe after I finish this 1000 miles in a year project, I will think of myself as a runner. It's possible. I'm hoping that changes soon, because this is something that I have come to want for myself. It's more than losing weight and building muscle... It's about finding something that I can be good at, something that I have taught myself to improve over time. I'm going to keep working at it. I think of myself as a person who happens to run, but I'd like to think of myself as a runner.

My run was 3.17 miles this evening... again, it was on the treadmill. I've been overwhelmed with school stuff, and haven't run outside... Anyways, today, my run was really intense. I pushed myself harder than I have in a long time- I ran ...a little bit over 10 minute miles. (I actually said to myself... "I don't think that I can finish three miles today...") Now I'm a little bit exhausted... My legs are still a little bit sore from the half marathon and since I'm pushing myself so hard, my legs aren't really repairing from the half as quickly as I would like. The pain isn't as intense as it was a few days ago. I can move around much more easily than I could on Sunday and Monday. I think that my muscles will be better soon. I'm hoping. Hopefully this project isn't just something crazy that's going to break my legs.

I decided that my goal for my next half marathon, whenever that may be, is to run it in 2 hours and 40-45 minutes. If I train hard enough, I think that I'll be able to do it. Maybe someday I'll be able to do it in under two hours, but that's a little bit crazy for a short term goal. That can be my long term goal, as far as right now.

My project is going pretty well, I think. I'm pretty excited that it has gotten so far off the ground already. I've gone over 20 miles in under a week. That's impressive, I think. I'm going to be really excited when I finish my first 100 miles. I've run for the last... 10 months, but I've never really kept track of how many miles I've run. This is really exciting for me.

I've decided that I need to get some better running pants. I got several pairs of shorts over the summer, but as far as pants are concerned, I only have sweats. Maybe I'll invest in some nice running pants with my next check... next week. Maybe having pants made specifically for running will help me be even faster! lol. That will be another step in the process of considering myself a runner. Pretty soon, I may not be able to deny the inevitable... me... a runner. hmm... that's something to think about.

Goal: 1000 mi/365 days
So far: 20.58 mi/5 days
To go: 979.42 mi/360 days

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Ah. So today I was going to run six miles. Then I looked at my school schedule and my homework schedule. I have tests and projects right now that are more overwhelming that I know what to do with. (add that with grad school applications and working... and there just isn't time for sleep.) I am not going to give up on this project, though, but I'm just taking it easy tonight and will, hopefully, be able to push myself a little harder tomorrow.

Today I ran 2.5 miles... and it was only on the treadmill down in the workout room in the apartment complex. I'm not sure that running on a treadmill really compares with running outside. I sometimes think of the two as completely separate activities and I am not en tirely sure how they can be thought of as one. Personally, I prefer running outside... but not when it's frigid and windy or rainy... or snowy, but I haven't run in the snow thus far. I just think that running outside is a little more challenging and maybe more realistic too.

My mom put it this way: "Running on the treadmill is boring." She likes to run outside and be able to look around and see different things going on in the world around her. I think that's an excellent way of putting it. It's a lot more fun running outside, because there is interactivity. There are things to pay attention to and goals to run toward. I like to think to myself, "I'm going to sprint until I get to that tree..." or something to that effect, which helps me to push myself until I reach my goal.

I used to only be a treadmill runner, but now I think of myself as more of an outdoor runner. That's a little worrisome, though, with winter coming. I'm obviously not going to be able to run outside when the ground is covered in ice. Blah.

Anyways, my 2.5 miles were a little easier today than my last run. I sprinted at least half of it and took it pretty easy on my other half. I'd really like to eventually be able to get myself to run at a more steady, even pace. That's a big goal of mine. I think that with more training, I will get there. I haven't really been running for a year yet, even off and on. Before a year ago, I really didn't run at all. Sometimes I did sit ups, but that was MAYBE every other month. I remember my brother talking about going running sometimes, and that boggled my mind. I didn't understand how people could just go running for fun.

Now I am starting to be one of those people.

Goal: 1000 mi/ 365 days
So far: 17.41/4 days
To go: 982.59/ 361 days

Monday, November 9, 2009

So today I didn't run. Mondays are my longest days of school and work. This week I have a ton of projects and papers due... and a big test on Wednesday, so yeah. I decided to take today off from running. I'm going to do a pretty decent run tomorrow. I'm thinking about doing 6 miles or so. Maybe a little more, but at least 6. That's the goal.

My legs are still pretty sore today. Today was actually the worst day of leg pain so far. I'm not really sure why that is. It's a bit better now that I'm not moving around as much, so I'm hoping that today was the worst of it and that tomorrow I'll be able to move around a lot better. We'll see how it goes, I guess. My upper arms are a little bit painful when I move them around a lot, because of the way the skin got rubbed off them when I was running. I need to invest in some vasoline next time.

Now onto homework until sleep.

Goal: 1000 mi/365 days
So far: 14.91 mi/3 days
To go: 985.09 mi/362 days

Sunday, November 8, 2009

First two runs of the project.

I decided to officially begin my project yesterday, as I ran a half marathon. I thought that it would be the perfect way to begin it, as this half marathon was a huge deal in my life. I was fearful that my time would be horrible, that I would not finish, that my time would be even more disappointing than the 3 hours and 15 minutes of my first half. I wanted to start the project with this half marathon, because, though I was fearful, I wanted it to be more than that. I wanted it to be the beginning of a new me.

I don't know what it was.. my new shoes, my new vegetarian diet, the running socks that I wore yesterday (haha.), but something made this race a million times easier than last time. I didn't even feel exhausted until mile ten. Last time, I was ready to quit at mile eight. Not this time. I think I even laughed to myself at mile eight this time. That's not to say that it was easy by any means. I still wanted to stop and walk the majority of the time- and I did stop and walk more than I wish I would have, but I ran quite a bit.

Mile one sucked. I ran as far as I could without stopping, which was almost an entire mile. No, I'm not in shape at all. My BMI is in the "overweight category"- though on the low end of it. A year ago at this time, I was "obese" so this is a pretty big deal for me. However, back to the point... I ran as far as I could for the first mile, though it wasn't far by some standards. Every time I stopped after that first mile, I only let myself walk for a little over a minute at the most before running again. I wasn't tired until I crossed the sign for mile ten. At mile ten, I was exhausted. It became difficult to put my left foot in front of my right. Though I was tired, it didn't really HURT like I thought it would. At mile ten, though, I only had 3.1 miles left.. and the time clock said that I had over 40 minutes to get to the finish line and finish under three hours. I didn't give up, though I wanted to for about a mile. I think miles ten and eleven were the absolute worst. I thought that they would not end. I was tired, my legs were fighting against me. I watched the people ahead of me, though, and was able to push through by trying to keep up with them (well, and by trying to stay ahead of them.)

The people cheering on the side of the road kept me going, especially when I could hear them over my ipod. It was incredible. When I turned that last corner and saw that the clock at the finish line was less than three hours, I almost started to cry. I crossed the finish line to strangers clapping for me, as my best friend practically jumped on top of me (she finished in like two hours and twenty minutes. how lame... and what a completely respectable and impressive time.)... I couldn't believe it. Then I realized that my armpits were raw and bloody, because I hadn't thought that my skin would rub raw if I wore a short sleeved shirt. That's when my arms started to hurt, which led to some pain in my thighs.. naturally. I noticed that if I kept moving around, it didn't hurt as much. When I stopped and watched my mom finish and get her snacks at the end, my legs got used to standing still. That's when it started to really hurt, but it still wasn't as bad as I expected. I felt like I was on top of the world. When I finished that race, I felt like I could probably do anything in the world... and complete it.

I'm glad I decided to start the project with yesterday's race. I think that the feeling of exhilaration and excitement that came over me at the end really made a difference. I actually felt positive about this project, when I thought I wouldn't be able to really finish it. When I came up with the goal of running 1000 miles in a year, I thought that I would never be able to get it done, because it felt crazy for a girl who goes to school full time and has three part time jobs. It feels possible though now. I have to average about 20 miles a week. That's not so bad.

Today, after I worked four hours, I decided to try a short run to see how I felt. My goal was to do about 3 miles, but I didn't quite get that far. I got sore as I was running. Actually, my legs really hurt right now. I'm worried about walking on campus tomorrow, but we'll see how it goes. Maybe I will miraculously wake up with no pain. Is that a possibility? Anyhow, I didn't want to push myself too hard today, knowing that my muscles are probably still somewhat injured from yesterday and need a little recouperating time. So I did a lap around the block and came back to my car. Maybe tomorrow will be a little bit easier. I hope so.

Goal: 1000 mi/365 days
So far: 14.91 mi/2 days
To go: 985.09 mi/ 363 days

Intro to Project

I am an aspiring runner with lazy tendencies.
I run once or twice a week, but often "don't have time" to follow through with my goals.
I became a runner less than a year ago, when I decided to make something of myself, when I decided to lose weight and exercise regularly.
I have gone from running two miles every few months to running one or two times a week... and two half marathons. My first was in September with a three hour and fifteen minute finish time. My second was yesterday (Nov. 7) with a two hour and fifty five minute finish time.
By setting a goal of 1000 running miles in one year, I intend to push myself to my limit, while improving my endurace and speed. I will go from an overweight undergraduate student to a fit, college graduate, student pursuing a graduate degree, who happens to be a regular and, somewhat impressive, runner.
I understand that I have surpassed many goals that are set for individuals who wish to think of themselves as runners by finishing two half marathons, but I want to be able to finish a full marathon in the next two years or less. I also hope to bring my half marathon time to a time that is more respectable- maybe even in the first half of finishers in a race that I run.

This blog will commemorate my running, my frustration, tears, and joy as I push myself harder than I have before.
College student, part time food service worker by day, runner by night (or morning... afternoon... evening, whenever I can find the time.)