Tuesday, January 5, 2010

And We're Off and Running!

The other day, I wanted to run on the high school track so I could actually see how long it took me to run a mile. Max and I drove over there, only to be greeted by locked gates and a sign posted stating that the track was, and I kid you not, "Protected By Laser Alarm" - seriously?!? We sat in the car, staring in bewilderment at the sign, when Max finally said "Well the laser worked as I am stunned." That boy cracks me up!

So anyhow, we ended up at the park near my workplace and ran the paved trail there. After more than 10 minutes of running, I finally saw a 1/4 mile marker, and a little while later saw another one. Later on at home, I found a trail map online and saw that point X to point Y is 2/10ths of a mile, and point Y to point Z is 6/10ths...still not the easiest way to figure out how far you run, because we doubled back most of the way from point Z to point Y - are you confused yet? Well, join the club! I am not a math person; I need things to be very basic or else I tend to blank out on number things. Is it too much to ask for a starting point and some quarter-mile markers at places that are obviously designated for walking/running?

Max and I went running again on Friday - I really wanted to make a statement to myself by getting some good exercise in on the first day of the new year. We went to yet another park near my house with a paved trail - it was nice but my only complaint is that there are no mile markers. According to the website, the trail is an "American Mile" - whatever that means - but it has so many cross-overs that I'm not exactly sure what constitutes a mile on it. Any case, we started off and I told Max my goal was to run for 14 minutes without stopping, since I ran for 13 minutes on our last run. Well, we hit about 11 minutes and I said "let's go for 15" and then when we were close to 15 I just decided that I could do 20 minutes. And we did!

Jeff and Sam were playing Frisbee at the park while we ran, and Paco the Wonder Dog was hanging with them. After Max and I did a cool-down walk, we took Paco for a walk and as we rounded the corner to where the Frisbee players were, I had the bright idea to let Paco run back to them. Now, he was on the leash, and I was holding the leash...and I know this dog can run (that's why Jeff rides his bike to exercise Paco - he's so energetic) but dang! He took off and I was running as fast as I could and let me tell you, I only lasted maybe 20 seconds! Score one for the Paco Sprint, lol!

We went running again on Saturday, but it was later in the day, I was cold the entire run (obviously I didn't have enough layers on, and wearing gloves would have helped my ice cubes hands), and my thighs were a little sore (I know, could I have any more excuses?). I slogged through 15 minutes before finishing the trail with a walk. My pace was soooo slow...and it's slow to begin with, so this was pretty bad. I wonder if I should run every other day to give my body some time to recharge? All I know is that this was not nearly as much fun as the run on Friday. Oh well, I'm still learning about this whole running/yogging (Anchorman - love it!) thing.

So runners, I have a question for you...how do you know the distance you've run? I know that on a street run I could drive it and measure the distance with my car's odometer, but that's not possible with these park trails. And I don't have a Garmin (the only reason I even have an idea of what these are is because so many bloggers got one for Christmas) and that is not in my budget or even on the horizon at the moment. I don't want to invest a lot of money into something unless I know that I'm really going to keep up with it. I am sort-of fine with just running for a certain length of time, but since I want to run a 5K, I guess I'd better know that I can actually run 3.2 miles.

I'm keeping track of the days that I run on my desk calendar - I started off just writing "run" and however many minutes on the day, but then I saw Deb's post about using stickers as a reward (ooh, stickers! cute!!) so I'm going to find some fun stickers and use them as my run markers. I am a little worried that once Max goes back to school I won't keep up with my running - I have to say it's been nice having someone to run with, and he's been very accommodating to run at my pace, which is a *tad* bit slower than his (to say the least). I want to get myself into the habit so I will actually do this on my own, although I still would love to have a running partner.

The other funny thing I've noticed is how much I love my new purple Asics long-sleeved shirt - I feel like such an athlete in it, which just seems to give me the mindset of "I AM AN ATHLETE" - and that is priceless. I'm sure this stems from years and years of not being able to find sporty workout clothes in my size, and hating how I looked in whatever I cribbed together to try and exercise in. I know you can run in anything and you don't need special clothes, but in my case, clothes apparently help to make the runner!


  1. If you have an IPOD get the nike + system. Roni's weigh website has a good recent post on it. I have one for walking and I love it.

  2. Couldn't you just get a cheap pedometer to wear?

    You are amazing. Have I told you that yet, this week? LOL

  3. Finding the right workout clothes can make you feel like an athlete. Maybe it's all in my head, but when I'm wearing a shlumpy t-shirt oversized t-shirt and baggy sweatpants, I don't feel quite as strong.

  4. Couple of suggestions Shelley: If you really can't figure out your mileage, find a 5K training program that trains by time run, not mileage. They work believe me. For my very first road race ever I trained by time, never knew how far I'd gone and managed to finish the while 3.5 miles upright! My other suggestion is that you go to this websiteL


    If you know where you're starting you just use the little cursor to "run" the course for you and it will tell you your total mileage. It works with trails too as long as they show up on your map.

    My last suggestion is that if you are really hung up on knowing exact mileage, you can get an older version of the Garmin that will work just fine super cheap on Ebay.

    Run strong my friend!

  5. PEDOMETER! You can find them cheap cheap.. but that's what walkers and runners will use to gauge their mileage!

    Awesome fun with the running!~ I am hoping to do the same.. I jog little intervals, but haven't totally broken out in the running dept.

    So wonderful to have found your blog!

    hugs.. Amy


  6. Definitely the NIKE+-I have one and I love it,very affordable too. My son is a senior in HS and would run with me while training for cross country. I loved running with him,and he promised me we would run some races together this year.boys and their moms,huh?:)

  7. I use mapmywalk.com to figure out distances. I map out routes to take. The problem with pedometers is that your stride is different when you walk versus run, so unless you only run with no walks, it won't be all that accurate. I might also suggest getting a bike computer and then you can ride around the trails to get distances. Not to mention having it on your bike will tell you a lot of stuff riding, too :D

    I almost always travel the same routes that I have mapped out as I usually run for distance, not time.

  8. Go Speedracer, Go! :)
    I'd say a pedometer (they're super cheap) and mapmyrun.com Either way.

    So are you going to go running in this subarctic temps we are having right now? It's supposed to be worse tomorrow! Hubby told me it might get to 19 degrees. 19? Come on! That's hibernating weather.

    And I still haven't seen Anchorman. I have got to rent it. LOVE Will Ferrell. :)

  9. I so agree with you on the athletic gear! I sometimes wear my favorite stuff just around the house if I need an energy boost. But then again, I may be slightly strange.

    Good on you for the run! You ARE an athletic.

    Here's to adult-onset ATHLETICS!

  10. I use a Nike+ that goes with my iPod. It gives you a good estimate of your distance. If you calibrate it (which I have not done with mine) it will work VERY well.

    When I started running 15 minutes was the most I could do. I am up to about 90 minutes now. I would say to run every OTHER day and for the first few weeks go as slow as possible.

    I too love buying new running clothes, it definitely makes me feel like an athlete!

  11. Hi Shelley! Yes, I was going to say pedometer too. I love mine, and think it is amazingly accurate (I'll link to the one I have) but also I agree with Lori that your stride is different. When I went to the HS track Sunday I went around 4 1/2 times to make a mile according to my pedometer, but the track is most likely a 1/4 mile track, so the pedometer was off a bit. Still, I think its pretty accurate, because I have done the car thing and then compared the same route with my pedometer.


    that is an omron pedometer HJ-112 if the link doesn't work! I love it because I can just stick it in my pocket and it counts great!

  12. I am only 1 day into my C25K program so I got nothin on your distance dilemma! However, I do want to chime in on the workout gear. I used to wear old teeshirts and worn out sweatpants to the gym. Once I met my husband he insisted I buy workout gear. He was right. I feel more confident and athletic wearing clothes that were meant to work out in! Add the fact that I sweat like crazy, wearing the proper wicking material helps too - I don't feel like a drowned rat in an oversize teeshirt! So, I agree, it is worth the $$ to invest in a good workout wardrobe!

  13. mapmyrun.com LOVE IT!! I used it a TON before I got my Garmin. Great tool!!!

    If you want a cool sticker motivational (I love those!) go to http://thewwchick.blogspot.com to a post around Jan 1st and print off an activity calendar and put stickers on it. It makes me such a sticker whore!!

  14. If you have a GPS enabled phone, I'd check out www.sportypal.com.

    It is FREE!

    I wrote a review on my blog.


    BTW...my nearest highschool also has their track locked. I don't have kids and therefore don't get my tax dollars worth for the education side...and I can't even use the stinking track???

    Oh well...gubmint...what can ya do?



  15. Look at you go Miss Shelley! That is awesome and I am with everyone else: either a pedometer OR mapmyrun will help you figure it out.

  16. I hear ya on the cute workout wear. It seems like I'm buying something new every other week! Definitely gives you a lift for working out.

  17. Found your blog yesterday....love it! I also use the Nike + and found it to be really helpful.

  18. I see you've got enough suggestion to map your route. Before I had the Garmin I used a Dutch site to measure my distance.

    I would measure the distance because even if you should follow the C25K program it isn't said that you actually run 5K after the program is over because everybody runs at a difference pace. For example when I finished my 5K program the last session was 30 minutes and then you should run 5K but I had to run 37 minutes to finish my first 5K.

    You could also consider to sign in at dailymile.com You can map your route there too and keep track of your running miles but also of your fitness sessions. If you do: please add me as your friend. We could motivate each other.

    And last: I should take a day of rest between 2 running days. It's adviced everywhere. You can do other training on that day if you want too.


  19. HAHA...that is hilarious! He said "I am stunned!" HAHAHAHAHA.....

    As far as figuring out the distance, I'm with Helen - I use mapmyrun.com

  20. I know what an American mile is.
    It's a half hour - your ass on the couch in front of a sitcom.

    And the laser joke was funny.

  21. The clothes make the man...or the clothes make the athlete? You are the athlete, the clothes are just the cool accessories! =)

    I'm really surprised that you couldn't get on the track. Interesting!

    Max is a hoot! That was funny!

  22. Actually, you are totally right to love your new purple Asics long-sleeved shirt. I remember it from your previous post and you ROCKED it. It makes you look very lean and athletic and is a great color, too.

  23. I love that your running. I used to run when I was younger and 'thinner'. Can't wait to do that again.
    That sign and your sons comment was hilarious. :)

  24. LMAO...Max's comment cracked me up...I love it...Khris

  25. uh DAMN?

    look at you already kicking 2010 in the arse and taking names.

    I love me some Anchorman and have me NO RUNNING tips to proffer.

    yet :)

    I need to run more first.

  26. I have the nike plus attachment for my ipod... they do make one to use without and ipod that comes with a thing you wear around your wrist and it pugs into a regular usb port. I think they are about $60. They have a good website to keep track of your running and setting goals. Or like someone else said a cheap pedometer.

    But I do love my nike plus... check it out.

  27. I just want you to know that I have repeated that lasar story to anyone who would listen.

    Cracked my shit up! LMAO as I think about it again.

    You are an athlete!

  28. I think you raised yourself a good kid! I can't believe the high school track is off-limits like that.

    Thanks for all the comments about mapmyrun. I tried to use it once before but oddly enough, the un-named dirt roads I was walking on weren't available for mapping! Now that I've been reminded, I'm going to try again.

  29. Love the Anchorman reference :) B and I always say yogging!

    I am learning to like running outside, but I am similar to you & like to know how far I am running! I have been known to ride my mountain bike in the same loop & find mileage that way! (I have a odometer on my mountain bike)

    I feel that wearing designated workout clothes makes me so much more likely to work out & feel better about myself!

  30. Congratulations on getting those runs in!

    I use mapmyrun.com for most of my walks, but the Couch to 5K program I'm following trains by time. There are these cool podcasts with cues to tell you when to walk/run . . . great for running outside, and even on the treadmill it's a lot more fun than having to watch the clock!




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