So, I’ve been running quite a bit, as you might have been able to tell from other posts on my blog. This is a picture of my critical running gear; the things I carry with me each time I go out. They are:
-iPod (I would like to run more without music, but I fear that I would be really limited by the sound of my own breathing! I hate hearing it!)
-ID bracelet (I just got it—since I don’t carry my phone, I want to make sure that I’ve got important ID info readily available just in case of emergency. If you run, it’s a good idea to have. I would highly recommend getting one from www.roadid.com—they are very, very cheap.)
-Bra (Moving Comfort Juno—the mother of all sports bras. It retails full price for almost $60, but it is so worth the cost. To be candid for just a bit here, despite my D-cup size, when I wear this bra my breasts don’t bounce. If that’s not a miracle of engineering, I don’t know what is. Bridges? The pyramids? Ha!)
I officially started tracking my weight and running progress last July; since then, I’ve had lots of milestones:
-I’ve dropped 15 pounds (+/-2 lbs on a given day or week)
-I completed my first 5K and 10K, having run a total of 7 races thus far with four officially scheduled at different points in the future (though I want to add more)
-I’ve ran a maximum distance of 8.64 miles (which I hope to pass tomorrow)
-I’ve completed all four levels of 30 Day Shred and Ripped in 30, though I do either Level 3 or 4 of Ripped in 30 1-2x/week
-I joined an informal running group
-New accomplishment: I ran my fastest ever timed mile this week (7:45)
I am enjoying running more, for sure, though I’m trying to cope with the new problems that are coming my way now that I’m in running shape and trying to train for speed/distance. For example, some days, running is really good, and some days it goes bad. I’m learning how to look at the bad days not as setbacks or failures, but as common occurences in training. Other things I’m trying to cope with are:
-Running long distances in the heat
-Solitude and a feeling of grinding my gears since I’m pretty much doing my training alone
-Learning how to do different types of runs during the week (speedwork/tempo/fartlek)
Of all these, pacing myself is the hardest. It’s very difficult for me to know what my limits are in running. For example, I would say that my 5K race pace is a 9:15 mile, when I really suspect it should be closer to a 9:00 or 8:45. That’s because I’m probably pacing a bit incorrectly. I don’t know how fast is too fast in races, and I’m still trying to feel it out.
My major goal for the summer is to increase my weekly mileage. Currently, I hover somewhere around 11-15 miles/week, but eventually, I’d like to be running twice that amount. Coaches advocate that you increase your mileage by no more than 10% per week, I believe. So it’s a slow and steady process.
When I run, however, I do get a sense that I’m accomplishing something. As a teacher, the rewards are not always immediate or explicit. When I run, I reap the benefits immediately—I feel stronger and better. So, I’ll be keeping with it for awhile.