Thursday, October 28, 2010

Treadmill Running

I am now the proud owner of a fantastic "gently used" treadmill! 
HOORAY!  (Thanks, Mom & Dad G)

The mornings are quite dark now and the temps are falling (and so is the rain).  I don't mind the cool temperatures (it's quite nice, actually), but the darkness is too much.  I worry about cars not seeing me, even tho I wear the most obnoxious day-glow yellow jacket available and there might be "crazies" out in the dark who want to steal me.

So, about a month ago I decided I would start my search for a treadmill.  It didn't take very long once I posted a note about my search on Facebook.  I got a number of recommendations and then an offer I couldn't refuse.  My in-laws hadn't used their treadmill in a long time and were happy to get it out of their house.  So, with that (and an offer of a pick-up truck and manual labor from a friend - also on FB) I got myself a treadmill.

It was delivered last Saturday.  :)

Monday I re-started Week 6 of the Couch to 5K Running Plan, now running INSIDE!

I learned from a friend that running on a treadmill is different from running outside.  (I kind-of figured that was the case since one doesn't need to propel oneself forward on a treadmill, just lift your feet.  "Just" - hahah)  He suggested I bump the incline up to 5% to get the same workout inside as outside. 

So, I did.  I also estimated my average speed at 5.0mph.


This machine kicked my @$$.

Less than 1/2 way through my run I was sweating like crazy and totally out of breath.  I brought the incline down to 3% and reduced my speed to 4.0mph.  I finished the run strong and happy that I completed Week 6, Day 1.

On to Day 2.  Wednesday.  I started this day at 3% and 4.0mph.  I learned during the session that I could increase my speed by increments of 0.1 (instead of 1.0mph - read the owners manual.  I don't need no stinkin owners manual) and thus bumped my run speed up to 4.2.  This made for two challenging, but "comfortable" 10-minute run intervals.

Tomorrow, is Day 3.  25-minutes of running.  No walking.  I'm a little anxious about it, but am going to do my best to complete the run without any walk time.  I'll let you know how it goes.

So, what have I learned so far about treadmill running?
* It's a completely consistent.  When I run outside, I can slow my pace if I'm tired.  When the treadmill says 4.2, I run 4.2.  No slacking off.
* I need to find something to watch while I run.  Minutes feel very long when I'm just staring at the walls.
* I can focus on form instead of watching for rocks, sticks, woolly bear caterpillars or other obstacles.
* I can run all winter... now neither rain nor sleet nor cover of darkness can stop me.


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

12-of-12: October 2010

Today I had a plan.
Tho it was a work day, I made time to have fun and get some interesting shots on this 12th day of October.  I had to, today is my 2-year anniversary of participating in the 12-of-12 Project!
So what did I do after I got out of work at 1pm?  

I went to the Buffalo Zoo, of course!!  

I couldn't believe it... I'd snapped over 300 photos during the day... it was SO difficult to pick only 12.  If you'd like to see the large set of my favorites, you can visit this link.

As always, if you want to see the full scale version of the photo, just click on it!


Can't forget the View from the Porch...  Nothing really exciting this month - 
The REAL excitement comes when you take a look at "our hill"... check out this incredible fall foliage!

Many thanks to Chad Darnell for starting the 12-of-12 Project.  If you want more information or want to participate, visit his website.  Extra special thanks to Chad for announcing that the 12-of-12 will continue till at least December 2011.

Friday, October 8, 2010

C25K: Week 5 Update

I did it!
I finished Week 5 with a HUGE success!

But first... here's the story.
I run/walk Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
Up till this week, all three days have been the same (the same run/walk times, that is).

This week had a structure like this (after a 5-minute warm-up):
  Day 1 - Run 5 minutes, Walk 3 minutes, Run 5, Walk 3, Run 5, cool-down.
  Day 2 - Run 8 minutes, Walk 5, Run 8, cool-down.
  Day 3 - RUN 20 MINUTES, cool down.

Today was Day 3.
Today was DAY 3... and I did it!

I can't believe I ran for 20-minutes in a row.
No, that's not true.
I thought I could do it. 
I just wasn't 100% sure.

I'm SO happy.

Such an interesting experience, too.
The first 5-minutes were tough.  I breathed funny - because I hadn't got my rhythm yet - I struggled on the first hill, and I had to keep repeating "I can do this. I can do this" to myself.
The middle of the run was GREAT!  I felt like I could run for miles and miles.
Toward the end, I could feel my legs getting a little tired... not too tired (and maybe it was all mental), but they knew it was the longest they've run in a while.
Finally the 20-minutes came to an end.  I ran a few extra seconds because I could - it felt good.
Then, I walked.
Then, I blasted my way up the last hill... WOW, that felt AMAZING.  It was the best hard run I've ever had.
Then, I walked the rest of the way home... feeling on top of the world.

The Couch to 5K Program REALLY works!
I also need to thank Robert Ullrey whose Podcast "Podcasts for Running" help me track my running time each day of the week.  If you're thinking of starting a running program, Robert's podcast is GREAT.  I downloaded mine from iTunes.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Turn the Page... Tuesday, September 2010

Did I say I'd have more time to read in August?  Yes... because I thought I'd have finished the baby blanket by then.  Well, I was wrong.  I just finished the blanket this weekend.  So, now the fall reading can begin - that is, unless I find myself a new project to distract me.

I'm only a little further into River Horse (by William Least-Heat Moon) from where I was last month.  I started to getting into the meat of "the journey across America by boat"... but then I  got distracted.

I'm also working on reading Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson & David Oliver Relin to read for the October meeting of Book Club.  I'm 1/3 into this one, as well - Greg has recovered from his climbing mishap and is now on a mission to help poor, rural children of Pakistan get an education.  So far, so good.

Photo from

BUT, ya know what?
I have a confession to make.

I feel like I'm chasing book club selections and not sitting down to read one book at a time.  I'm rushing through the books to try to "keep up" with the club.  When I rush, I can't enjoy myself or the story.

SO... here's my plan.
I'm going to finish Three Cups of Tea before I move any further with River Horse (or any other book). 
I'm also going to stop reading any book that I don't find interesting or compelling.
I'm not going to force myself to read a book just because my Book Club is reading it.

I'm a slow reader.  I want to enjoy what I read and not feel like it's an "assignment".

I hope I will have meaningful contributions to 'TTP... T' in future months.  Sadly, today, I don't have much to give.  I need to wait till I'm done to comment on these stories.

Hope you enjoyed your reading this summer.  Please visit Some of a Kind to see what others are reading... then play along!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

A little over a month

It's been 5-weeks that I've been steadily working my way through the Couch to 5K Running Plan. 

This last week was a bit messed up due to my work schedule (two very early mornings), the weather (rain, rain, rain), and slight pain from other workouts (plies - ouch).  But, I'm proud to say that I ran for 11-minutes straight today, the longest consecutive time I've run since the triathlon (probably about a mile and a half).

So, what has the last month been like?  Well...
*  First, the change from barely being able to run for 60-seconds to running for over 10-minutes is a pretty good feeling.
*  I have seen some good changes in my physique - especially in my stomach & legs - they're shrinking!
*  I haven't changed my diet much (still working on increasing the healthy stuff and reducing the high-sugar stuff).  Even so, I've lost a pound since September 1st.  heheh... one pound.  It's not much, but it's a move in the right direction.
*  I'm motivated to continue.  Yes, there are times when I hurt before, during and after a run, but I'm want to succeed so badly (completing a 5K and then doing well in the 2011 Triathlon), that I will not give up.
*  I'm working on making sure I take "time off"... I run 3-days a week, most weeks.  Then I try to squeeze in another workout sometime during the week (a long walk, bike ride, cardio dvd, etc).  Since I'm not very skilled at running and I don't want to hurt myself, I'm trying to manage activities so that I get the most return from my "investment" without any setbacks.  I'm doing okay, but as I mentioned above, I changed my schedule a bit this week because of pain.
*  I focus on form.  Not only do I want to run, but I want to run properly.  I focus on form throughout my run to be sure I'm not doing anything that might hurt rather than help.
*  Like everyone, I have good days and bad days.  Days when I feel strong and days I wonder what the hell I'm doing.  But all-in-all, I'm happy I'm trying again.  I don't love running, but I feel good when I do it and hope to be able to happily run a 5K in the next few months.

If you're trying to improve your health & fitness... if there's one piece of advice I can give, it's to keep going.  It doesn't matter if you're the fastest or thinnest or most athletic.  The only thing that means anything is that you're doing your best and having fun along the way.

More updates next month!