Tag Archives: PR

Niner, Niner

10 Mar

I was out of town last week or I would have pointed this sooner. Last Monday I did a 4 mile training run. It was snowing outside so I just ran it on the treadmill. Nothing extraordinary…except that it was. I ran the 4 miles in 50:27. I beat my best ever four mile run by NINE MINUTES!!!!!

What was a boring training run, became the best ever time for me at that distance. I almost started crying. I’ve been working hard with my trainer to whittle away at my time so I could PR at my half marathon this coming May. Never did I think I could achieve such an improvement in only a month of work.

I’ve always been a super slow runner, and I’m okay with that. I do have a bad foot and it’s a miracle I’m running at all, so I’m grateful to just be doing it. But, for the first time, I believed that I really could get faster and keep a pace I could say out loud to other runners instead of whispering it with embarrassment.

That nine minutes meant the world to me. It has given me confidence to keep chipping away at my time and pursue setting a PR. I actually believe I can do it now.


Plugging Away

27 Feb

It has been a busy few weeks. I finally have gotten back on track with regular exercise and eating properly again. After 8 months of being depressed and stressed, I’m now just stressed. Well, that’s one down anyway.

I gained 10 pounds during my boyfriend’s deployment. He’s still gone but hopefully will be home in 6 weeks or less. In the meantime I’m trying to get back on track. I’ve started working out regularly with a trainer and keeping my food journal.

After a tough start, I lost a pound and shaved 5 minutes off of my last 5K time. Each week my trainer increases my weights, reps and times and I’ve been showing strength and speed improvements. I ran my 5K section of my half marathon race in 47:02 and last weekend I finished my training run in 42:01.

I feel my confidence returning. After being in a terrible fog for so long, I feel like the pink ninja again. It’s been hard adjusting to fewer calories each day and squeezing in workouts was a challenge at first but it feels great.

Anyone can get back on the wagon, no matter how hard it seems. Just make up your mind to start and don’t make anymore excuses. Any day can be your start day and only worry about that day. Don’t think about the pounds ahead or trying to conquer endless miles. Just meet your goal that day and worry about the rest tomorrow.

Here I Go Again…

16 Jan

I apologize for not posting the last several days, but I was on vacation. To celebrate my mom’s upcoming 60th birthday, we took a family trip to San Francisco, a city I had never previously visited. I really loved the city on the bay, it was gorgeous. What surprised me though was how many runners were around. I’m in good shape and live at high altitude, but the San Francisco hills were killing me just walking around. Yet, I probably saw about 100 runners throughout the weekend including around 60 on Saturday alone in groups.

Normally when I go on vacation, I take my workout stuff with me, but since this was a short trip and I was trying to conserve precious luggage space, I chose not to. One of the pluses and minuses to going on vacation is eating out a lot as well. I love to try new cuisines and restaurants, but now that I eat fairly healthy most of the time, it was draining. By Saturday morning, I was done eating food and wanted to run. I longed to join the runners I saw out on the Pier 39 boardwalk. I was so incredibly jealous that they were running, and I was walking to breakfast! Wow, just a few years ago, I would have had the thought “those people are crazy, thank goodness I get pancakes soon.”

We got back later yesterday, so this morning I woke up to go for a run. I told myself if I could do 10 miles then I was going to sign up for the Colorado Springs Super Half Marathon on February 5th. I haven’t run over 4 miles since the marathon in October with one six-mile exception two weeks after the race. I’ve been so busy and the holidays were crazy, I stuck to 3 – 4 mile runs on the weekend.

Well, it felt awesome to run today. I was so grateful to be out on a windy, but otherwise lovely day. I didn’t look at my Garmin or care what time I was clocking. I just wanted to run and run and run. The last 1.5 miles were a challenge. My body was a bit angry. First I put it through several miles of walking San Francisco’s hills, but then I took it out for 10 miles after a 3 month rest. But I manage to plod through and finish my 10 miles.

I’m sore and tired from being out of practice, but I feel great. I am definitely signing up for the race. I’m not looking to PR and most likely won’t, but I am looking forward to getting back into long distance racing. I love that high and that feeling once it’s done. It is truly glorious.

So just a few years ago I would have jumped at the chance to go out to a restaurant. Instead, I’m dying to run 13.1 miles. Half marathon in 3 weeks? Bring it!

Stocking Shuffle 5K: PeRfect PR

10 Dec

After the marathon, I was feeling a bit lost. I had nothing to train for and very much had a “now what?” type of attitude. I’m planning to do several half marathons next year, but I don’t need to start training until January. I really needed a break from all the heavy running since my work life has been horrendously busy and the holidays were coming. However, I didn’t want to do nothing until January either. So I signed up for a 5K race here in Colorado Springs called the Stocking Shuffle.

It’s sponsored by a local running group and benefits a local charity that provides toys and food to needy families at Christmas. It was a great cause and it gave me some direction to keep up my running.

The race was this morning. Unlike all of my previous races (there isn’t that many—2 5Ks, half marathon and a full marathon), I wasn’t nervous. I was finally running merely because I wanted to. I didn’t train to set a PR and just figured I’d have fun with it. If I set a PR, it’d be a nice bonus, but I was really braving this cold December morning just because I love running and racing.

There were only about 150 – 200 participants, so it was nice and small. The purpose of the race was to raise money, not spend money, so there weren’t any fancy timing chips, one small water station and no mile markers. Crowd watching was fun as everyone was decked out in holiday themed gear. I donned a santa hat and red gloves, but otherwise stuck to my running clothes since it was super cold this morning.

The horn buzzed and we were off. I flipped on my iPod and just enjoyed my run/walk. It was a cold, but pretty morning and we ran through the campus of Colorado College, which is beautiful. There was one very steep hill, which coincided with a walk break on my run/walk cycle, so that was lucky. I only checked my Garmin once, which was after the 2-mile mark and the only water station. I’m not very good at math, so I wasn’t quite sure if I was on track to set a PR. I decided not to care and just keep going. I was trying to push my pace much harder than normal since was a short distance, but I wasn’t going to get hung up on it.

I finally saw the park where the finish line was located and checked my Garmin again. I was at 2.70 miles and 33 minutes. I thought to myself, holy cow, I could actually set a PR. I found my marathon finish line song, “Sing” by My Chemical Romance, on my iPod and I decided to book it. I started running harder and harder, which thankfully it was down hill at that point.

My previous PR for a 5K distance was 39:40, and today, I sailed through the finish line at 37:04. I was so excited! I hadn’t stressed or pushed myself or even cared about a PR, and I beat my previous time by over 2.5 minutes! It felt fantastic. I’m still definitely one of the slower runners, but I made huge strides today and I had so much fun with it.

I have to admit though that the finish line high for a 5K wasn’t the same feeling like a half or a full marathon. Could I be getting the bug again to take the plunge for a full? I promised myself I won’t attempt to do a full marathon for a full year. I’m going to work hard on my half races next year and see where I end up. But, maybe, those finish line sirens are calling.


To Block or Not To Block

13 May

About two years ago I went on beta blockers as a preventative against migraines. They worked wonders and took my migraine frequency and severity down. Being that I’m a graphic designer and not a science nerd, I was puzzled all this time as to why I was always so tired and why I seemed to hit the wall so early in my work outs. Once I started marathon training, I really became confused and frustrated with my lack of progress. Sure, I was completing the required distance, but at a horrible, horrible pace.

I wasn’t trying to be super fast, but I just couldn’t believe that given the shape I am in that I was actually that slow. I tried different things with my trainers to help build speed and endurance such as speed interval training and strength training. Nothing was working. Then I finally mentioned to my trainer I was on a beta blocker, and that I had heard they sometimes make it difficult to work out.

Apparently I had no idea just how difficult a beta blocker makes exercise. I figured it was a minor annoyance. My trainer was shocked I’d been training this whole time on this medication. It stops your heart rate from getting high, which in turn zaps your energy and endurance levels. He absolutely couldn’t believe I’d gotten as far in my training as I had with this medication.

I decided this week to see a new doctor to see if I could get off of the beta blockers, but find something else to combat my migraines. My doc was surprised I was on them in the first place given how young I am and the fact I only had 1 – 2 migraines a month. Beta blockers aren’t usually prescribed unless you get 1 – 2 migraines per week. And I was on too high of a dosage apparently too.

Unfortunately you can’t stop beta blockers cold turkey or else your heart rate can skyrocket to an unhealthy number. So I’ve spent this past week weaning myself off of them. Let me tell ya, I completely understand why drug addicts don’t get off drugs—withdrawal is a completely miserable experience. I’ve been wound up, jittery, shaky, unable to sleep all week. It has been awful. Every two days, I’ve had to cut down by a half pill.

I’m now down to just a half pill in the morning for today and tomorrow. By race day on Sunday, I will be beta blocker free. The interesting thing is that when I worked out on Tuesday, after only cutting a half pill for one day, I saw dramatic improvement. Yesterday, when I was down half of my total dosage, I saw an insane improvement. I set a new PR yesterday for the mile. Previously my mile was 12:40 (on beta blockers) and yesterday I breezed through at 11:40. Still a bit on the slow side for running standards, but for me that was insanely fast. I was able to do my run/walk intervals at 5.5mph for the full 4 minutes. Normally I die at 5.0mph.

So to block or not to block, that is the question. I say, not to block. There are million medications out there for migraine sufferers that don’t hinder your athletic ability, and for me, with all the time I’m devoting to training, it’s worth it.

I am going to rock the Colfax Half Marathon on Sunday!

Oh What a Feeling!

14 Nov

It was about 20 degrees outside yesterday morning when it was time for me to go to the Y. I didn’t want to go. I wanted to go and take a hot shower to warm up. But, I knew I needed it so I went.

I did my upper body weights and some squats and then hit the treadmill for a run. I figured I’d do around 2 miles and call it quits. The run started to feel so good yesterday with all the stress I’ve been under, I just kept going. I knew if I stopped the workout would be over and the stress would come back. So I kept going. I ended up doing a full 5K on the treadmill and I smashed my PR.

My previous PR was 39:27 and yesterday I finished in 35:37! I was so excited. It was such a rush. What a great feeling! And I felt good for hours after the run, very calm and content.