Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Another three

Yesterday I ran another three miles during my lunch break. This time I ran solo, at the track near my home, and only walked about ten steps of it.

Goodness, is running any distance on a track BORING. It was nearly empty so I ran part of it clockwise instead of the traditional counter-clockwise, but it only helped alleviate the boredom a little. But mostly I just kept plugging, and finished at a slow and steady 13:30 pace.

So now what? I guess I learn how to do it better. The first  mile and a bit was brutal - I just wanted to STOP - but I pushed through it and was reasonably okay the rest of the time. My knees were tight yesterday and today as well, so my exercise today was 30 minutes of swimming which seems a good alternative.

Tomorrow, assuming my knees are okay, I think I will return to the track but do intervals - what, specifically, I don't know. Perhaps running fast on the straights, trotting the rounded ends, and alternating running and walking laps? I'm totally making this up as I go.

Tonight I'll be spending time with friends as it's the third anniversary of my friend's husband's death. I will be really appreciative of life and fitness and being with good people. I will also marvel a bit at how much has changed in three years - it was one of the nudges I needed to move back to Portland, but I sure wish he was still alive!

Monday, June 23, 2014

A routine? and a milestone!

I might be settling into something that resembles a fitness routine. My top priority is biking, but I do want to do justice to learning how to run. Right now it looks just possible that my weeks will look like this:
Saturday & Sunday - bike rides, of increasing length and hilliness
Monday - rest
Tuesday - run
Wednesday - swim
Thursday - run
Friday - rest

I want to enter both the biking and running with relatively fresh legs, and swimming seems like a good alternate way to exercise and burn some calories. We will see if I can settle into this pattern!

Something crazy happened on Saturday. As I said in my last post, I rolled back my c5k training and last Tuesday I spent time on the track alternating between running and walking. When it was time to run, I pushed myself pretty hard for 30 or 45 seconds, and then jogged the rest of the 90-second interval. It seemed to go pretty well, and my run time was an impressive sub-10-minute mile! But I didn't feel like I could sustain that pace for ANY amount of time. On Thursday I focused on sustaining a pace for the entire run time, and my pace was more like an 11-minute mile, and I was really ready to drop at the end of each chunk of running.

My running friends were certain I was running too fast and needed to try a slower pace, but I don't know how to gauge that. So on Saturday (instead of biking!) I went for a run with them. People, I ran three miles! That's 5k! We stopped at the midpoint for a little water, but I didn't feel like I HAD to stop. On the way back my ankle hurt a bit so I walked for maybe 15 seconds before resuming our very slow trot.

So, this running stuff is definitely coming together. Crazy.

Then on Sunday I did a 40-mile bike ride that has me back to being nervous about my ride in September. So this weekend, no easy 3 miles of running for me, no sir, back to the bike I go.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Back to it

Well, I'm back in town after two absolutely terrific weeks in Hawaii! The highlight (of course!) was my brother's wedding, which was SO lovely and SO fun and just perfect in every way. It was fun getting dressed up in a really pretty dress, I liked all the people I got to meet, and the rental house I shared with family & friends on Oahu was just terrific. After the wedding week I spent nearly a week on Kauai with friends and that was also great.

But now I'm back and fitness is the name of the game. I ate pretty healthily and swam a lot on my trip, but only tried running twice and it was pretty close to a failure both times. I was in theory on week 5 of Couch to 5k and just couldn't make it through either workout I tried. So, I'm going to have to roll back the calendar and ramp up again.

I'm signed up for a 7k on Saturday August 9th. I already know it's wildly unlikely I'll run the whole thing, but I have eight weeks to prep for it. I can't seem to fit a week of c5k training into a calendar week, but I think I'll start at either week 2 or 3 and just do my best to fit in what I can.

More important is the bike riding. I returned from my trip on Friday night and hit the road both Saturday and Sunday this weekend. Saturday I did some hill riding - any route with a street named Skyline in it is going to be hilly! We rode 20 miles and did about 2500 feet of climbing. I didn't do too badly (or my friends were struggling more than I was...) and I attribute my relative strength to the running. However, Sunday my buddy and I did 35 miles of flat and I was just. not. feeling it. I got a flat at mile 6, and struggled to settle into the ride for the rest of the time we were out there. My friend was doing better than I was, but we were both feeling pretty whipped by the end of the ride.

When my alarm went off Monday I had no idea where I was or why I was getting up! I guess it was a triple whammy of jet lag, vacation ending, and sheer exhaustion from the biking. But, onward and upward from here!