Seriously Getting Serious About Running… For Serious!

Runs with Bells
I now like to run with bells…

I used to loathe running.  Truly, madly and deeply.  I used to get tired in my dreams, that is how much I hated running.

Then again, I was very overweight, and physical activity at the rate that those without said complication (because the gym teacher, of course, did not allow for anyone to drag behind) proved to be quite difficult.  While I lived in Brooklyn in a 4-story building without an elevator and often walked a couple of miles a day (yes, usually to and from a pizza parlor… or school, and then a pizza parlor), running was something of a torturous event.

When I found that walking was an activity that I could do briskly and well as I was experiencing my weight loss journey, I entered the Monument Avenue 10K in 2010 as a walker.  While I had never actually walked 6.2 miles in a row ever, I felt confident that it was something I could do, no sweat.  I had years of experience.

I have a habit, you see, that finds me usually epic-ally wrong about things.

This is a story for another day, however.  This was the moment when I spied someone: an overweight gentleman whom I’d passed with my hobble-like walk and was not witnessing as I was doubling back to the finish and trying not to double forward in pain.  He was big, slick with sweat, and redder than a tomato.  And he was running.  And he kept running.  Huffing and puffing and not quitting.

I was 65 pounds into my weight loss journey and feeling crappy just by having walked over 4 miles so far that day.  And suddenly, for the very first time in my life, I wanted to run.

So, for the past couple of years, I’ve been running.  I trained to run 1 mile, and then a 5K.  I ran a few hometown races.  In 2011, I ran the Monument Avenue 10K instead of walked and felt exhilarated instead of tired and broken.  It was fabulous.

Now, I want more.

Lately, while I sign up and run races, I haven’t been giving running any sort of strict attention that would have me improve.  I want to improve; I want to run longer and I want to run faster.  I’ve talked about this before even.  Yet I’ve not taken any steps in order to get this accomplished.  I’m not sure how to track, as all of the gadgets and gizmos have me scratching my head in confusion.  I want to run at the most impractical time of day (early morning is too dark, after work is too dark, and while I love to run right at the stroke of lunchtime, my co-workers usually appreciate it if I am not spending their afternoon stinking up the joint).

My new approach to improvement has started with one small step; I’ll be training with an actual, live training group for the 2012 10K this year.  I’ll stick to the routine and I’ll go the group sessions.  Perhaps I can learn more about form and the best way to track.  I’m hoping that a little discipline is what I need to move forward.

Also, I paid for it.  Nothing motivates me more than the desire to not waste my money.

Also, I seemed to have gained back a pound or two of my 176-lost during the holidays.  The exercise may help in my plan to re-lose them.

Speaking of all of these things, don’t forget to eat your black-eyed peas!  They are are a nutritious source of protein and fiber and are supposed to bring you luck and prosperity for the new year!  I’ll be eating what quickly became my favorite black-eyed pea recipe only last week:  Hottie Black Eyed Peas With Greens (I’ll be using kale).  This dish, comprised of things I used to loath as much as running itself, is such a completely delicious and warming dish, bursting with flavor and a nice hint of heat.

Hottie Black Eyed Peas

Since I'm Making Them Tonight, Perhaps I'll Even Have A Better Picture...

Mmm…  I will have a very prosperous New Year, indeed!



Workout Log Challenge – Days 11 and 12

I am thinking of renaming this space Tales of the Ultra-lazy blogger.  Also, my numbering is way off at this point, but I’ve fixed my posts of past!

Spinning on…

A ‘la Oh She Glows

Date: 2011-11-09 (AKA, Day 11)

Type of workout/duration: Morning – Running, 30 minutes.

Hours of sleep: 6 hours, but interrupted.  Thankfully I had a nap the previous afternoon.

My mood before/during/after exercise: Oh.  My.  GOD.  Things that a B’klynHeart does not heart include cold such that her fingers fall off, snot freezes to her face, and her lungs burn, and dark, which seems to just exacerbate those previously mentioned issues.  These things were very much present the morning of this run.  Yet… frankly, I had to convince myself to stop running as to not to be late for work.  Such was the joy and pleasure and power of this run.

Exercise struggles:  Seriously.  I had to convince myself to stop.  I did indulge in an extra lap.  It really defied logic.

Exercise progress:  I’m feeling so great these days.  I’m actually recognizing that I’ve made what they call in the industry “progress”.  No means am I great… or even good… but it does feel good to feel like I’m actually going somewhere.

How I felt the rest of the day: Pretty good.  Still awed by the fact I didn’t want to stop.

Other things to note: Wear gloves.


Date: 2011-11-10 (AKA, Day 12)

Type of workout/duration: Morning – Running, 30 minutes.

Hours of sleep: A million.  Seriously.  I think I went to bed at 5:30PM or something.  Okay, no not really.  I did have 8 hours (interrupted once) of sleep.  Maybe even 9.  I did go to bed stupid early.

My mood before/during/after exercise: Another great run.  This one felt more powerful than the last.  It certainly wasn’t as cold either and I actually managed to remember to wear gloves.  That really helped.

Exercise struggles:  None again.  I think I was sprinting at one point.  It was very fun.  Okay, I got to the point of cool down outside of my house when I thought I saw a shady character.  So I did scoot inside to finish cool down. 

Exercise progress:  Again, feeling strong.  I think I’m done with the self praise though, got to get back on track of progress.

How I felt the rest of the day: Another great day.  Hyper even.  God, I love energy!

Other things to note: My homework over the weekend is to run in the 8K for the Richmond Marathon this weekend, and investigate any early morning running clubs.

*snicker* double doody.  Totally not what I typed… but *snicker* *snicker*

Workout Log Challenge – Day 9 and Day 10

Pulling double duty today*, as yesterday felt pretty crapola… and most of today until maybe a couple of hours ago.

A ‘la Oh She Glows

Date: 2011-11-07 (AKA, Day 9)

Type of workout/duration: Morning – Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred Level 2, 30 minutes, Evening – Run, 10 minutes (!!!)

Hours of sleep: 5.5 hours.  Maybe the cause of the swing!

My mood before/during/after exercise: Morning exercise was okay.  I felt not bad, but not all great either.  Day kind of plummeted from there.

Exercise struggles:  The run was the worst.  I made about 10 minutes before my pounding the pavement gave my head a great pounding, so I ultimately stopped.  Felt bad about it, but the headache was taking over.

Exercise progress:  Glad I made at least 10 minutes of running.  The headache is explained the next day…

How I felt the rest of the day: Downward energy… to be explained…

Other things to note: Seriously, go to the next day…


Date: 2011-11-08 (AKA, Day 10)

Type of workout/duration: Morning – Step, 30 minutes!

Hours of sleep: About 7, I turned in early due to headache that stayed with me until around 4 or 5 PM today… I love me some epic headaches.  Well, not so much me as “Auntie Flo” does.  She likes to assert that the incorrect answer to “Who’s the boss?” is Tony Danza.

My mood before/during/after exercise: Horrendous, but I’d feel worse if I didn’t do anything, such is the guilt that lies within.

Exercise struggles:  Working through the headache was a pain, but I made it through.

Exercise progress:  Screw you, “Auntie Flo”!

How I felt the rest of the day: Slow improvement.  I feel like a human being now.

Other things to note: The Husband just congratulated me on my period.

*snicker* double doody.  Totally not what I typed… but *snicker* *snicker*

Workout Log Challenge – Day 8

A ‘la Oh She Glows

Date: 2011-11-06

Type of workout/duration: Morning – Eliptical… step… thing? (30 minutes), Evening – Cindy Whitmarsh  Incredible Abs 6 (20 minutes)

Hours of sleep: Not even sure… at least 6, maybe a little more.  There was some falling back, but also being awoken in the night.  All sorts of things.

My mood before/during/after exercise: I was feeling pretty good before, during and after.

Exercise struggles:  … I didn’t know what the machine was.  I assumed it was a step machine with arms, but you could also do strides, and the arms seemed more or less independent from the legs.  I got very confused, but I worked very hard.  Hard to know if it was effective aside from how I felt.  I’ll probably never do that machine again.  Once again, Cindy Whitmarsh kicked my patootie… but via my abs.

Exercise progress:  While I always feel like my patootie is kicked, I also feel like I’m getting stronger every day.

How I felt the rest of the day: Not bad.  I noticed my shoulders relax a couple of times today.  Briefly.  But it felt good. 

Other things to note: Okay.  Maybe body pump tomorrow.  But exercise WILL happen.

Workout Log Challenge – Day 7

One week, really?  Wow…

A ‘la Oh She Glows

Date: 2011-11-05

Type of workout/duration: Morning – Run (25 minutes), Crunches (5 minutes)

Hours of sleep: 5 hours.  I should stick to a schedule, even on weekends.

My mood before/during/after exercise: I seriously seriously dawdled before I braved the cold (which had warmed some) and ventured out into my run.  The run actually was fabulous… not as glorious as my run a few days ago, but still very good.  I felt like it was a good exercise day.  Crunches were to round out to get my 30 minutes.  

Exercise struggles:  … Aside from burning lungs and being incrediphlegmy?  Again, should have slept more.  Also, my legs kind of hurt, so that may be from forgotten exercise of the previous day…

Exercise progress:  Time on run is getting better.  I better keep this up!

How I felt the rest of the day: I was quite energetic and hyper the entire day.  A nice change from the previous day. 

Other things to note:  I think I’ll go ahead and go to sleep, and tomorrow make it in for body pump!  I better remember to fall back…

Workout Log Challenge – Day 6

So late!  But I did work out, this is the log for 2011-11-04.  So far, I’m not awake so 2011-11-05 has not happened yet, though in theory it is happening all around me…

A ‘la Oh She Glows

Date: 2011-11-04

Type of workout/duration: Morning – 10lb Slim Down: Total Body (25 minutes), Evening – Crunches (5 minutes)

Hours of sleep: 5.5 hours.  Yeah, I took a massive nap at some point, then got to bed late as a result of feeling falsely awake in the evening.

My mood before/during/after exercise: Seriously I have no earthly.  I know I worked, because there were the normal muscle aches.  However, I was seriously asleep the entire time.  

Exercise struggles:  Should have slept more.  Wonder that I didn’t break an anything (on myself or around me).

Exercise progress:  I pushed out those 5 minutes of crunches so that I’d get my 30 minimum I set for myself.  Hard core… it’s what I’m aiming for!

How I felt the rest of the day: I was so low energy.  I think weather played into it, as well as not the greatest of sleeps.

Other things to note:  Yesterday I was not sure what I’d do on Saturday.  I think I know now.  When I wake up, it’ll happen, and then I’ll log it here.  One hopes I log it today.

PS – Logging the time as 11/4/2011.  For the public record, it is 11/5/2011 in the morning!

Workout Log Challenge – Day 5

Day 5… right on!

A ‘la Oh She Glows

Date: 2011-11-03

Type of workout/duration: Morning – Crunch Chisel, 20 minutes; In the Middle – Run, 20 minutes; Evening – Crunch Abs and Ass, 20 minutes.

Hours of sleep: 6 hours yet again, this is habit forming.

My mood before/during/after exercise: I have to say, I’ve felt great all day.

Exercise struggles:  Abs and Ass was a bit more difficult this time around for some reason, but I muddled through regardless.  

Exercise progress:  I’m really getting into this again.  Things are starting to hurt less.  Oh, they still hurt.  Also, today’s run was glorious.  I found another song that makes me cry though. 🙂

How I felt the rest of the day: Good day today, gives me energy.

Other things to note:  Gym didn’t happen today, but I’ll make it happen tomorrow.  Not sure if I can get a run in, but I will try my darndest.