Monday, March 25, 2013


On my run on Saturday I was running down the Lakeshore Dr running trail, and I noticed something.  I was getting passed by runners who were matching my cadence, or worse had a slower cadence than I did.  WHAT?!  I know I'm a slow runner, but I was out there pushing hard.  As I looked at different runners, it looked like most of them were not using as much energy to propel themselves forward as I was.  I also noticed that most of them seemed to land on their foot with perfect alignment with the rest of their body, and then sort of kicking back.  How do they do this?

Take a look at this video of some runners.  You can tell the difference between the ones who are over-striding, and those who have proper alignment.

I have done some research on this, and there are a lot of videos of people running like I run, and then learning to run more efficiently.  There are drills, training techniques, books, etc...  Do I need a running coach?

Here's what happens to me:  I extend my foot in front of me, I pull my weight over the foot, and then over-extend again and pull my weight over the foot.  I move across the ground without using my momentum as well as I could.

Now, these other runners.  They looked like they were skittering across the surface of the Earth by lightly landing on the foot and their momentum and gravity kept them moving forward.

Skimming the surface... Flying...  I NEED TO LEARN THIS.

More on this to come

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Week 11 Recap! WEEK 11!

Hello dear readers...

So, week 11...  I was in Chicago for all of my training this week, and it was sublime to be back in my home turf!  

Running in Omaha was tough.  Very tough.  It is ever-so-slightly hilly.  Constantly.  I was always running on a slight incline or decline.  I had trouble finishing training sessions a few times.  I was actually tempted to re-do week 10 of training because of my lack of success.  

Day 1 had it's own challenges.  Usually I put in my headphones, start Spotify, and dance around while I get dressed/psyched.  Then I start the training program (it takes a couple of minutes to load), and head out the door.  I hit "start" on my GPS watch and start walking.  

On this run, I did all of this, and I waited outside for my GPS to find satellites.  It didn't, but I started my warm-up anyway.  It usually will find a satellite signal in the first few blocks.  NOPE!  I ran my first mile.  No signal.  Second mile goes by... nothing.  I approached the furthest I've ever run and realized that I'd be setting a distance pr and wouldn't have a gps of it... and at that point I gave up.  I'd still have the completed work out on the app...

And then my phone beeped that it was nearly out of battery.  ARGH!

I quickly checked how much time I had left and roughly judged the rest of my run based on the time on my watch.  My technology completely failed me.  No gps, no app, no music at the end...

I finished the workout and when I got home I checked my mileage the old-fashioned way and google mapped it.  5 miles.  Distance PR!  Woo hoo!!  No proof.  Booo!

Days 2 and 3 I surpassed my 5 miles, and the technology didn't give out on me.  Day 2 was easy and fun and I covered 5.45 miles.  Day 3 was laborious... and runners with the same cadence as me were passing me left and right!  Gotta work on that!  Went 5 miles day 3.

Monday, March 18, 2013


I was just reviewing my blog, and it is amazing to me the difference a few weeks can make!  In week seven I was talking about how difficult running one 11 minute mile was, and now I ran my entire 5k at an 11:30 pace and wasn't even winded at the end!  11:00 is now comfortable for me!  It was IMPOSSIBLE just a few weeks ago.  Also, I'm covering more than 4 miles per workout now, and it is amazing.  Amazing.

So excited about this resolution!!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Week 10 Recap

Wow.  Week 10.  I only have three weeks left of the Couch to 10k program!!  I can't believe it.  My 10k race isn't until May 26th, so I will just be in maintenance mode until then.  This next three weeks will be the hardest that I have done, and will test my endurance.  In fact, they might be the hardest weeks of this entire process.  After the 10k training is over, I start doing the run/walk method for my training and it shoots down to 45 minutes per run instead of an hour.  I do start going out 6 days a week, but it's easier running.  Eventually, workouts will be long (obviously), but when I transition into training for the half it'll get easier for a little while.

So, this week I was running in Omaha, NE.  My step-mother was very ill in the hospital, and I went out to be with her and help my brother and father.  Usually in these situations I tend to not take care of myself, but on this trip I made an effort to take care of myself first so that I had the energy to help out where I could.  I'm very glad that I went, and I'm happy that my family was generous enough to allow me to keep up with my running routine.  Here's two of the four runs that I did in Omaha for Week 10:

On Week 10, Day 2, I DESTROYED my distance record.  I covered 4.44 miles during my workout.  I couldn't believe it.

That success aside, these runs were some of the toughest of my training so far.  I actually couldn't run on a few instances and had to take some extra walk breaks a few times.  Omaha is a bit hilly.  Just hilly enough to make certain that you are always on an incline.  I hope that this is the reason for the difficulty of these runs.  It could also be the stress the situation, or being away from my routine (the foods I usually eat, sleeping in a strange place, hydration, etc).  We'll see tomorrow when I do a workout here in Chicago.

Over-all progress:

I feel like the running training is going well.  I have a fear that Omaha or stress aren't the issues with my difficulty performing lately.  I'm worried that I've hit an endurance wall.  It was so difficult running for the last week and a half.  My fear is that I have reached  a point where I can't go any further.  A plateau.  I did factor in a few extra weeks of training to give myself some wiggle room for races or for needing to repeat a week or workout here and there.  Maybe I should repeat week 10?  I suppose I'll know better when I get back into my routine.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Week Nine Recap! First race!

I'm really getting behind on my quilts... :)

Week Nine actually lasted a week and a half!  I didn't want to do two long training runs the week of my race, so week nine was LOOOOOOOOOOOONG!

I had a great first race of the season!!  The Wacky 5k at the Peggy Noetbart Nature Museum was a blast!  I came in at 36:15, which was slightly better than my goal.

 I know that my 11:30 mile is kind of slow, but I took it easy and had fun.  When we got done, I wasn't winded or tired at all.  I probably could've pushed myself a little bit more.  I ran the whole thing, and didn't really get passed that much.  It was a great day to race.

  Week 9, Day 1:

Pre 5k Easy Run:

The Wacky 5k!!:

One of the fun things about the garmin is that I remember different things from the race when I look at the data.  For instance, there's a dip in pace at about 0:5:17 where I had to stop to tie my shoe.

I had such a great time, and Kevin was there to support me.  We had fun pre-race and went for a short walk around the museum.  Kevin is so supportive in all of my endeavors, but it still surprises me that he would want to sit around and wait for 40 minutes for me to run around in the snow and ice. 

Had a great time, and cannot wait for the zombie 5k in May!!