Tuesday, May 4, 2010

GOOOOOOAAAAAAAL Day 2010

This is a post about me. I am putting off sharing lovely pictures of the ever-so-cute kiddos to talk about something different today.


At the end of last summer, after graduating from school, I decided I wanted to set a new goal for myself. Running. It is something that has been on my mind for quite a while but for some reason (maybe work, three kids and school) I couldn't find the time to really attempt to start working on this.

After one of those time-suckers was over, I thought now would be a great time to get to work on something that has been on my to-do list for years...learning to run.

I challenged myself to be able to run an entire 5K by today - My Birthday, which is now known as "Goal Day 2010".

Yes I had done aerobics in the past and even started the C25K program but never finished it. So this time I set my own program. With the help of a new iPod, Nike+ and some new, shoes I set off.

I started off really really slow. Alternating walking and running both indoors and outside before it got too dark in the evenings. My personal trainer (i.e. mystery voice on the iPod) was very encouraging.

In the fall I had a set back and had to stop training for a little while. My dentist found a bad tooth and I had to have it removed. That was really un-fun. It took longer than I expected to feel 100% better and by that time...well the Holidays were upon us and I had no will power. BUT...

I picked up my routine in January by setting a 5 day a week workout schedule and combined that with tracking all of my calories using Livestrong's My Plate - which is a free site and so easy to use.

Most of my runs were indoors on my trusty 10 year old (Valentine's Day Present) treadmill. Its a very bare basic model but it does the trick. On the rare occasion that it would be nice out, I would run outside on my street.

Running outside is both beautiful and difficult. My road is VERY hilly. It makes training much harder. There are a few smaller hills and one crazy large one that I have named "Crazy Large Churchill" since at the fork there is a Church and cross street. My expert hubby thinks that the grade of this hill is only 5% but I beg to differ - I say its more like 20%. :) Well, at least it feels that way when I run up it. But luckily I get to turn back around and run down "Churchill".

At first I was only able to walk up and run down the hills but as time went on I started to be able to run both. My Nike+ run looked like a Heart Rate Monitor with large valleys and peaks.

One other problem with running outside is the yappy neighbor dog who loves to run after me when I pass by his house. He comes all the way into the road to show me just how many teeth he has. Now granted he isn't much bigger than Benji, but he sure looks mean. That's one way to get me to pick up the pace.

One important lesson I learned is the need to recalibrate my Nike+ application often. I was getting awesome readings around March thinking I was really rocking my runs but in reality, it was my Nike+ giving me more credit that I deserved. Once I re-calibrated, I realized that I still had work to do.

After the reality set in and the depression wore off, I continued my runs in an effort to get faster and run longer. I mapped out a better road course and started trusting in my readings on my treadmill a little more until finally I was able to run the entire course.

As with anything some days are better and faster than others but in general I can now run the entire 5K and sometimes even further.

As a little treat to myself I decided to visit the UA outlet store and get me some new gear. My so-called running attire was quite old hand me downs and I needed a little styling.

Here is me on Sunday sporting my new goods. Yeah I look like a goober with swollen hands and red face. Now that it is summer-like I need to condition myself to run in the heat.

Oh and I haven't even mentioned the best part yet, I have lost just over 15 lbs since Jan. I also dropped a couple of dress sizes and I needed to buy a new swimsuit for the beach this summer.

I have to say I am excited about that part too.

I also have my eye on a real 5K race the first weekend in June. I haven't officially registered for it yet but I think I am going to go for it and see if I can finish the entire course. I still have time to change my mind though.

Ok so if you are done listening to me TOOT my own horn for now then feel free to sign off. Or if you are hanging in there listing to my.every.word then you will love this next part entitled:

****Running with Camera: Taking you With Me****

I took the ole' trusty P&S on a run with me this afternoon. I have often wished that I could photograph my runs as I do them because the scenery is so nice so today I did just that.

(I kept these small to save your bandwidth but you can click if you would like to see them larger)

Setting off here's me:

At the bottom of my driveway is where I begin my run. I like to start here since my driveway is quite steep. I don't like to run back up it. :)

A view from my head. (yes these are blurry, its hard to take photos and run at the same time)

The first hill

Here I am at the bottom of Mr. Churchill. Ok, so maybe it looks wimpy in this photo but trust me is a killer hill (that you can't see cause the road curves around....trust me :) ).

Here is the Church/School at the top of Killer Churchill. Isn't it a gorgeous day! I'm almost to the top.

Made it to the top at the intersection. Now to cross the road....

Just me and my shadow.

I pass by this lovely farm that I always wish I had my camera to capture. In the distance is our local cell tower which is extremely important to us, of course since this is our only way of communicating with the internets. Look at the beautiful fluffy clouds. One day I will bring MarkII out here but he is way to heavy to run with.

This is where I turn around and head back, just before the sidewalk ends. OK the shoulder.

I stop and say the Pledge. No..not really.


Then I run across the bridge over troubled highways and sing.
I love being on the bridge, it makes me feel real tall.


Right after I took this, the tractor trailer all the way on the left honked at me. Woot! Thanks.

More than half way through I start my descent down Lovely Churchill which is so much nicer in this direction. Again, lovely clouds.

Passed one hill and getting ready for the last. Standing..I mean running in the middle of the road with headphones may not be the brightest thing in the world. But it makes for a dramatic shot.

A larger view.

The final curve. My driveway is at the bend. I can see the end...woo.

All done and back at the driveway.

Pretty honeysuckles.



Race results. As you can see I did this in 40min. Now this was a little slower than my normal pace as I was distracted with my camera. But still its decent for me. I also have trouble turning off the iPod and often it still counts time after I stop running. Yes I am making excuses. But I am trying to better my time closer to 35 min instead of 40.

Well, thanks for joining me today on Goal Day 2010 - for all those who are still awake out there.

I am pleased that I have been working on this goal and I am glad that I have been doing this for me.

Now...for my next goal____________ (fill in the blank).

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Welcome to my family blog. I am a mom to three, work FT and love to take pictures. Please visit my website to see more of my work.

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