1 mi.

13 min.

Today I ran for the first time in a very long time. I gave my knee a good rest and have tried to prohibit any further injury. I’m not quire sure how well I succeeded at that, but I guess I’ll find out in the next few days. I could tell my knee was sore while I was running. It felt as though there was just extra strain and pressure on it upon each impact. Although after running it seems to be pretty fine. Hopefully…

As for the run itself, I went to the USI gym. I accidentally forgot my student ID but thankfully they were gracious towards me. I took a final at 3 then my plan was to go straight for a run. I had been wanting to run for the past week or so, but knew that with the end of the semester upon me time would be very limited and probably best spent studying. So anyways, after I was done around 4 I got on the treadmill. I wanted to keep a steady pace and see just how far I could run straight. I haven’t done that at all since before I had mono. I’ve always alternated between walking and running. Turns out after a .1 mile warm up I can run for 1 mi. I possibly could have ran more, but I pushed myself to a goal and 1 mi. was that goal. I did a .1 mile cool down and I was good to go. Total time was 15 min. Not too bad, especially since I haven’t exercised or fed my body almost anything healthy in a month. Now that I am free though… and I think I have someone who might possibly be interested in training for the half marathon with me too! eek! 🙂 Exciting things are happening again and I love it.

Run of Luck (part 2)

56 min! (Well, 55 by the timer in my shoe and 56 by the gunshot.) What a day! I feel so good it is unbelievable.

I woke up at 6:30 am! Of course, I was so excited I couldn’t sleep at all last night, so rolling out of the covers was the first hurdle of the day. I showered and cleaned my nose to try and help with all of the snot that pours out of my face. (It didn’t really help all that much though. Good thing we had a long-sleeved shirt, because mine ended up being a kleenex!) After the shower I got dressed w/ my green t-shirt, gathered my things, and headed out the door.

I met Addie at Starbucks for some breakfast to get us going for the day. I had a banana that I brought from home, a multi-grain bagel, and some Naked berry juice, delicious. We saw Kara, what a surprise, and that was pretty cool. She’s a big time runner, but is pregnant so not running so much currently. At 8:00 we headed downtown. We got Addie her timer, and stretched out our muscles among the sea of green. Then it was off to the start line!

The weather was nice, but a bit chilly. Standing in the crowd of people however kept us warm and the wind from blowing against us. We started towards the front, but not the very front. At 9:00 the gunshot went off and we all headed down Locust St. It was super easy to run at first, and all of the excitement of everyone next to you kept you going. We alternated running and walking throughout the entire thing, which was a good decision. The first KM was cake, and passed by really quickly. Once we got over towards The District there was the first water station. (Note to self: learn to run and drink water at the same time.) After that came running alongside the river. Let’s just say that part was a little bit closer to the freezing side of things. The wind was blowing and there was a mist that made it just plain cold. Running alongside the river was the breaking point of me starting to get tired. I found my running becoming more like jogging, and my legs starting to feel like wet noodles. It was really cool when we came up to the riverfront though because you could look ahead of you and on the Greenway path in front of you was a line of green. All of the people looked like little aunts altogether, spaced out along the pathway. After that we crossed over I-164. I felt so powerful because all of the cars had to stop for us! We took Riverside over to Parret and that was a quick part, then once we made the turn to head back things got more challenging. The second water station went a lot better than the first, and we knew the end was in sight. Once we hit 6 KM I kept checking my iPod to tell me how much further we had to go. Also at this point the shuffle player was giving me a bunch of slow songs. Once we turned onto Main street things really started to kick into gear. We started running harder and faster, taking shorter breaks along the way. We walked the short distance along MLK Jr. and as soon as we hit Locust we sprinted all the way. Running across that finish line felt so good! Seeing the number 56 for the minute timer felt even better.

Honestly, I didn’t really know what to expect. Even from picking up my packet yesterday afternoon I wasn’t sure what was going on, what I needed to do, or would I would do. My first goal was to just finish the race, which I most certainly accomplished. My second goal was in under an hour. I really, truly had no clue if this was possible but an hour felt like a good even point to set a goal at. I feel so accomplished. I got 841st place, and 41st in my division. We ran 13:00 miles. No medals or anything this time, but knows, maybe one day in the future.

After we crossed the line we went inside the Civic Center to check out all of the booths – gotta get your free stuff and sign up for drawings (don’t worry, we didn’t win anything). There was music provided by Rowan Tree, an amazing Celtic music group from Evansville and plenty of free water, which were both much appreciated. After everyone had finished there was a ceremony. We left around 11:30 to go get some food because we were starving! Where else would we go with our green shirts to celebrate St. Patrick’s day, none other than RiRa’s. It was delicious. I had an Irish breakfast, which my serve explained as “basically a plate of meat” haha. It had sausage, black & white pudding, rasher, eggs, toast, fried mushrooms.

And don’t worry, guys, we finished the race two steps ahead of the pregnant lady with a stroller! nap time!

Addie & I at Starbucks before heading downtown:

Registation – getting in the right category & being timed:

our shoes – Nike+ & Ipico timers:

Allo the shoes for Soles for Souls:

Right before it began, waiting for 9:00:

Do you see the line of green along the riverfront?

Addie running:

Me running:

That’s right cars, you wait for us!

Rowan Tree Celtic band:

Costume contest:

Our places:

My Irish breakfast:

Addie at RiRa’s:

Run of Luck (part 1)

Tomorrow is the Run of Luck, my first race. It’s a 7K and I am beyond excited. It starts at the Civic center downtown, goes over towards RiRa’s, alongside the river, over towards Haney’s , and back to the Civic Center. It’s in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, and I am sure there will be green all around. Actually, I even got a cool green t-shirt for participating. The race starts at 9am. (I know, why am I blogging so late? I think it’s all of the excitement and nervousness that’s going through my head right now.) I am picking Addie  (who is running with me) up at 7:30 and we’re gonna head to Starbucks for a bit before we head downtown. I am super excited to have someone to do it with me. I am quite new to this whole thing, after all. Today I picked up my “packet”, which was hardly a packet at all. It was a red cloth grocery bag (way to be green, right?) filled with a t-shirt, entry to a Pot of Gold Giveaway (I would most certainly be okay with winning $1000 tomorrow), and an envelope. Inside the envelope was my number to pin to my shirt, safety pins, an IPICO sports tag (ipicosports.com), and a zip tie. I feel like such an official runner now. I am both excited and nervous about tomorrow; I think more excited than nervous though. My first goal is to finish the race. My second goal is do it in under an hour. I think I can do it, especially if I push myself. Running inside is a lot easier for me, so we’ll see what tomorrow brings. Between allergies, the weather, and the air, I find it much more challenging to breath. Well, it’s off to bed I go so I can get some good sleep in before this thing. This is part 1 and part 2 I will write after the race tomorrow.

Rainy Days

Keeping up with a blog is tough work. I’ve got all of these great blog post ideas running though my head, but finding the time to sit down and type out all of my ideas is, well, about as challenging as running.

The title of this post is Rainy Days, and that is because that’s how the last few days have been. I had a GREAT run on Thursday before work. Marie stayed the night and went downtown in the afternoon. We started off near the Civic center and went over towards RiRa’s, then ran alongside the river, and back up towards our cars. We ran about 4.4 KM together before she had to leave. All morning it had been sprinkling, misting, drizzling and all of those other “light” rain words. The sun was behind clouds, it was cool, and the rain felt good. I decided that since I was so close to 5K and had a little more time to spare I would run around the block and finish it up. That was great for the first 30 seconds, until it poured down rain. I was near the EVSC building so I stopped by to say hi to my mom at work and dry off a little. In a way it was refreshing and inspiring. It most certainly was the grand finale. I ran 5K in just under 45 minutes. (Okay, for those of you who can do the math, it’s running and walking. We kept about a 1:30 min run / 3:30 min walk pace.) It’s the longest run I’ve done so far, and actually ever in my life. (I did a 5K a few years back out of the blue at a summer camp.) Even my iPod announced that to me at the end of my run. That was pretty cool, just like the rain.

I got running shoes!!!

After one of the first few days running, I was talking with Colin Kerr in the office about running. (He is an outstanding runner, and even taught an entire week-long camp centered around running and all of it’s spiritual similarities. At the end of the camp, everyone did a 5K, it was an incredibly cool experience.) One of the pieces of advice he gave me was to get some good running shoes. He suggested I check out a store called Swift Atheltics and talk to a guy named Graham Paxton.

So, later that day, on my way to run at school, I did. Graham was super helpful, especially considering I had NO clue even what the differences between running shoes and regular shoes were. He watched me walk and job barefoot and then suggested a couple of pairs. I tried them on and he watched me job in those to see how well they fit with my feet.

For those of you who, like me a few weeks ago, don’t know, running shoes have to do with pronation. Pronation is how your foot rolls inward/outward as you are running and your foot moves from heel to toe. (Here is a great explanation from Runner’s World: http://www.runnersworld.com/article/0,7120,s6-240-319-327-7727-0,00.html) Depending on how pronate, you can cause a lot of unwanted stress on your knees and other parts of your body.

So, as I found out. I overpronate while running, and I have double narrow feet. This was no problem though, because Graham walked in the back and pulled out a pair of shoes, just perfect for me. They are Asics GT-2150. I like to call them my Pink Lemonade shoes, because the color label on the box said “Lightning/Paradise Pink/Lemon”. They have an electric pink/red color to them and a swirly dot art design on the inside. (Leave it to me to be interested in the colors of the shoes!) In addition to that, they have a stronger sole-part in the middle, which is what helps with the overpronation. It literally keeps my feet from rolling inward because the sole is less squishy in the part.

So, after I found these shoes, I asked if he could write them down, because I had decided I wasn’t going to by them that day. Heath and I had just had a conversation about saving money the day before, and I didn’t want to buy them without talking to him first, even if they were a good investment for the long run (long run, get it? hah.) So he started a file for me in the computer and put all of the shoe’s information in there. (By the way, don’t go to a specialty shoe store, get fitted for shoes, and ask them to write it down so you can buy it elsewhere. That’s like stealing expertise. Don’t be that person.) After Heath and I talked about it, we decided if I ran every day for a week that I could go back and get them. So, that’s what I did.

Valley #1

Today I ran with Marie. Oh it was so good  to run with someone! There’s some sort of encouragement and motivation that you just don’t get by yourself. Today was definitely a day which I needed that. I wasn’t feelin’ so hot. My side has always hurt while running. It’s one of the reasons I never liked running in school. Major pain tends to lead to disliking. Today was the first day that I’ve really experienced it for a full run, before it was just for a minute or so. I need to read up on breathing techniques, I know it’s only going to get harder while running outside. We did 2.2 miles and then a butt workout, abs workout, and worked on some flexibility. All in all it was a great day.

First Week

I thought I would catch you all up to speed. As I said earlier, I began running last Saturday. I’ve tried a few different things and made a few small accomplishments along the way. Here’s what the last week looked like –

Saturday: I hung out with some of my small group ladies in the afternoon. One of my good friends, Katie, likes to run/work out so I asked if she would want to start doing it together. (Accountability is helpful, you know.) So we decided to run that afternoon. We ran on the treadmills at her apartment. I ran for 5 min. I know it doesn’t seem like long, but I thought it was a pretty good accomplishment for the first time in, well, a long time. I ran .5 mile. I walked for a little bit while she kept running and then I ran another .25 mile. Altogether I ran/walked 1.5 miles. After we ran we did the “John workout”. Let’s just say that her boyfriend kicked our butts with push-ups, free weight, and other exercises that made me look like a wet noodle.

Tuesday: We got out of one of my classes really early so I had about an hour break until my next class. Off to the USI REC. ALL of the treadmills were full for the entire hour I was there. I was quite depressed. However, they had this really funky walking/stair machine combo. Someone might know the name of it, but you could choose to move your legs up and down or out and across and it would let your run any combination you wanted. Let’s just say that’s a good butt workout right there! I did that for 10 minutes and then some machines for my legs and abs.

Wednesday: While I could hardly walk or move, I convinced my brother’s girlfriend, Addie, who has been wanting to run for a while, to come to the REC with me. Again, ALL of the treadmills FULL. I really like running on treadmills, so this was beginning to get quite frustrating. I can run about twice and hard and far on a treadmill than I can outdoors, so I knew this was going to be a hurdle for me to get over in the future. But, I wanted it to be just that, in the future. After all, it was snowing outside that day. So we did some machines for a while, killed my already sore legs, and then went upstairs to the track. I don’t like running on tracks because I’m not very good at controlling my pace and I hate having to keep track of the distance, because I always forget. Was that lap five or six? Whoooo knows. Anyways, we went to the track because that was our only option. We ran two laps, walked two laps, ran two laps, walked two laps, ran two laps, walked and talked for a bit. Altogether it was about a mile. (Inside lane of the USI track is 12 laps and outside lane is 11 laps for a mile.)

Thursday: I bought Nike+, and what a good investment that was. Thirty bucks and it keeps track of all of the information for me! (For those of you who don’t know what Nike+ is, here ya go: http://www.apple.com/ipod/nike/) I don’t have Nike+ shoes, but I just slip it under the shoelace of my pumas and it works just fine. I would like to invest in some good running shoes, but I told myself I would wait a little bit longer until I knew this was a legit commitment. I went by Swift Athletics and Graham found a good pair for me. Hopefully soon I will  get them. So Thursday I went to the REC and ran on the track. This time I didn’t have to worry about thinking about anything. I just plugged in my iPod and ran. I downloaded an app for my phone called Couch to 5K (C25K). It has a weekly work out that will train you for a 5K in 9 weeks. I figured some sort of training plan would be necessary and I liked that this one was on my phone. Not only that but it tells you when to run and when to walk with this annoying voice and siren. “Run now…” So there I was, Nike+, iPod, and app, running along in my own little world. Actually, there was an old friend on the track with me that I didn’t even realized was there. I felt kinda like a jerk, but I guess I was really into running. I ran for almost 20 minutes, according to the plan, and then I headed for class.

Friday: In the afternoon after class and some homework I hit the REC again. This time I got my full workout in. I did day one of the plan, which included: stretches, 5 min warm up, run for 60 sec/walk for 90 sec (repeat for 20 min), 5 min cool down. It felt so good. And I am loving this.

(technically) Saturday: Friday night, er, Saturday morning I worked the Owensboro Breakout at Walther’s. I got off work at 5:30am, just as the sun was rising. Since I am normally almost always sleeping at this hour, I thought it would be entertaining to take a run as the sun was rising. I put on my yoga pants and this long sleeved Under Armour pullover jacket I had gotten. So I started running, outside, from my Grandma’s house towards my parent’s house. I got about half way there when I realized that I was FREEZING… and absolutely out of my mind. It was 25 degrees outside and I was not prepared for that. Apparently the pullover is one that is designed to keep you cool, so it was letting lots of that frigid air in against my body. (I think this will be great in the summer, but I was not so happy about it that morning.) So I made a turn back home, and ran my freezing little butt right into bed.

So, there ya go! The first week of  running. I’ve got plans with Marie to run this afternoon. I’m excited!

What this is all about.

All great stories have a beginning. And this is a beginning point in my life. I want a place to record my story, so here it is. A week ago today I began running, and began the start of accomplishing a goal I’ve had for a while.

A little history about running and my life. I always hated running. Ironic, right? That I would pursue something that I hate? Three years ago I made a change in my life, to be healthy. I had a new years resolution to take care of my body, this temple which I have been given. I began eating as healthy as I knew how with great dedication, working out regularly, and taking care of my body’s condition to the best of my ability. I was in great shape. A year and half ago at the end of the summer I got the viral illness known as the kissing disease. Mono rocked my world. I didn’t recover well and lost almost all of my strength and endurance.

So… today I am on my way back to taking care of this body. You’ve got to start somewhere, so this is where I am. I can’t run at all. Okay, that’s a lie, I can’t run far or long at all. Where do I want to go? Oh, the places I want to go! My current goal is the Half Marathon, this October 2010. I have mini goals that will get me there – 5Ks and 10Ks, walking, jogging, and running. Who knows, maybe one day I’ll even run an entire marathon.

I am quite sure that this adventure will bring three things – Valleys, Victories, and Veracity. There will be valleys, trials. There will be victories, triumphs. And there will be veracity, truth. This blog is the place for me to record all of them. I want to look back in October and remember the highlights of how I got there. So, this is what it is all about, running.

– Ann O.