My First

I ran in an official timed 5k! It was amazing! {Sorry for the excitement 🙂 } I was so nervous and waited to sign up until just a few days before, but at least didn’t wait until day of when I could easily have just not. I had a pretty bad run (slow) two days before this, so I was worried how I would do. This small 5k is promoted as a fast 5k because it’s flat (yay, no hills). This brings a few who are looking for a new PR. I was impressed with the group. These were real athletes in my small little town. And here I was doing the same thing they were doing. Waiting for the start, I spotted a man with an Ironman tattoo on his calf. Holy Cow! There were also plenty of first-timers just completing a local couch-to-5k program and also lots of children racing. There were lots of families and groups that knew each other. I was with my neighbor, her son (BQ) and her sister visiting from out of town. I got to experience first-hand the camaraderie of runners that I’ve heard so much about from you running bloggers.

river city fourth 5k

I lined up at the very back of the pack. I had my Jeff Galloway app all queued up. The gun went off and I was thinking okay, I guess it’s “time to run” (Jeff Galloway voice). He encouraged me the whole way, telling me when it was “time to walk” and “time to run”. I was encouraged early on when I was able to pass some people and I thought that at least I wouldn’t be last over the finish line. A large part of the race I was with an older man who’s running style resembled shuffling to me. It was kind of comic that I would catch and pass him on my run and he would catch and pass me on my walk. Back and forth we went until at about mile 2 I was able to get ahead and stay ahead of him. The last mile was tough. The sun was hot and my stomach was upset. I really tried to think that in a few minutes it would be over, so now was not the time to slow down, no matter how bad I felt.

I did finish and it felt so good. I couldn’t have been happier. When they started handing out medals, I realized they were giving to 5th place for age groups. Oh, my, goodness!! I looked at the results sheet and sure enough, there were only four of us women in my age group. What?!? That meant that no matter what my time, I was going to get a medal. Okay, maybe I was proud of myself for finishing and even proud my time was better than I was expecting. But it sure was fun to get a medal. All I could think was how lucky I was to be old (haha).

Here’s the data:

River City Fourth 5k
July 4, 2014 8:00a
Method: Galloway run/walk (1 min/1 min ratio)
43:44 Gun time
42:35 Watch time
327/342 Overall
4/4 Age group

One thing I found amazing about this experience was the very young and very old racing. I could not believe it. The youngest age group was 9 & under, with the best times of 25:52 (female) and 24:01 (male). Wow. Of the 17 kids under 10, only two had a time slower (slightly) than mine. The youngest of the whole race was a boy who was 5 with a time of 41:31. I hope these kids stick with the healthy lifestyle and really hope they aren’t being pushed by adults. I remember when my kids were in sports how hard it was for me to differentiate between encouraging and pushing. I guess the best way to encourage is to be an example and when it comes to any kind of sports/fitness I was definitely not an example for my kids. Well, better late than never.

Now, for the very old. The oldest age group represented was 75 & older. For the women there were two 78 year olds with the fastest at 39:41 and the second just behind me at 45:54. I hope I can still run at 78 and I hope I can have a time like that too! Amazing! For the men, there were two 75 year olds with the fastest at 36:35 and the second just behind me at 45:09. It turns out he was the man I ran back and forth with during the middle of the race. In this small race, there were 39 people older than me and most of them with times better than me. This is so inspiring to me. I don’t care what my age is now. I just want to run and hope my health will allow me to for a long time.

This upcoming Saturday I will be doing the local Balloon Fest Morning Launch 5k. It’s the first year for this 5k, so it should be interesting. I’m already getting those knots in my stomach and it’s only Monday. I hope this gets a little easier with experience.


Full disclosure: my medal may have been gotten by default of only four of us in my age group, but the other three here earned their medals by their times!



Apps and Rain


The evidence. It’s raining.

I must be making some progress. Normally for me to head out for a run, the weather has to be “perfect”. I have no idea what perfect weather is, but I know what it’s not. Those are the excuses I have for not going out. It’s too hot. It’s too cold. It’s too windy. Last week it was raining. I had just decided to start using the Galloway method and had found there was an app I could use as a guide. I was kind of excited to have a new plan and a new app to try out. But it was raining. I kept waiting for it to stop, but I was running out of time since I had agreed to meet a friend for coffee to begin a new project together. I realized what was going on. I was just using this as an excuse, it wasn’t even raining that hard. I thought of Charlotte at I Run in the Rain. I thought that if she likes to run in the rain, maybe it would be kind of cool to do. So with one last fleeting thought about what the wet would do to my shoes, I headed out with my app.

I usually don’t wear cool running gear. I wear any kind of shorts with pockets to stuff my phone in and kleenex. Must have kleenex. I do have an armband for my phone, but a pocket seems to be easier for me. Some day I will graduate to cool running gear, but I really don’t want my attire to be another excuse to not go out. This day I could keep my phone dry in the pocket. I chose the app option to “Improve my 5k” instead of the other option, “Run my first 5k”.

Things started out great. The rain felt nice and cool and refreshing. I got the app running, but sadly realized I hadn’t really looked at it much beforehand. I was having problems with it stopping and skipping after I got past the warm up walk. Eventually, I became frustrated, thinking it was just another bad app. I abandoned it and opted to use the timer on my phone. By this point I knew what the day’s run was supposed to be and timed it myself. 3 minute warm up walk, 20 min run/walk, 3 min cool down walk.

I opted for the very lowest level of intervals with 30 sec run, 30 sec walk. This is really hard to do. You just get in a groove running and Jeff tells you it’s time to walk. Then you just get in relaxed walk mode and Jeff tells you it’s time to run. The app has music available that slows down and speed up to your pace for the walk/run intervals. This first time I didn’t have this set up, so it was quiet for the 30 seconds. I find the beat so helpful to keep me going at the right cadence. Unfortunately I’m pretty bad at keeping a beat (would never know I had all those music lessons as a kid). In a crowd, when everyone is clapping to a beat, I’m the one off-beat. But in general, I can tell with the app music if I’m too slow and I try to correct myself.

I made it through the whole session without wilting in the rain. I really enjoyed it, except for the constant trying to keep my phone dry while I timed myself. I need to program these intervals into my interval timer app as a backup. Later, I did figure out the app and I guessed that the trouble was I kept hitting the giant pause button. (I redid this workout yesterday and it went fine, but I held my phone in my hand the whole time). I spent time looking through all the options and settings and familiarizing myself with the whole 8 week plan. At one point I saw a 5.5 mile run (run/walk). Whoa! Then I saw the next week it was 7 miles! That’s a lot more than a 5k which is my limit so far. This could get interesting. For one thing, at my speed, that’s a big time commitment.

I’ll let you know how I like the app as I progress through it. I’m thinking I should switch to the 1 minute run/1 minute walk, but we’ll see how this goes first. The sessions alternate with normal run, speed work and longer distance (endurance). They have an app for all the distances, 5k through marathon if you’re interested.


Happy Wednesday


I started my new plan of exercise. I’m really enjoying getting back into my dvd exercising and I know I need to do those strengthening exercises. My other plan was to aim for better breathing while running by pushing myself aerobically.

When I was out Monday running (and gasping for air) I got to thinking and it was nagging me that this was not the way to do it. Well, the gasping part. That doesn’t seem right to me. I wish I could afford an expert right about now. I really am confused on how hard to push myself.

I ran a mile to warm up, then tried some hill sprinting. The hill was a ton of fun actually. I got to run faster than normal (wheee) and so fun to hit the top and get to stop! I walked back down the hill to catch my breath and repeated 4 more times. (This isn’t a very big hill, just big to me).

When I got home two things happened. My shin started hurting and I found an encouraging comment on one of my posts by Runningcurves (thank you). She mentioned I should check out Jeff Galloway’s books about his using a run/walk ratio to qualify for Boston. So, while icing my shin, I checked out Jeff’s website. I have to say he makes a good case for his method. He claims a high success rate, faster times, and less injury. He says you should never run so hard that you can’t complete a sentence without gasping for air between words. Hmm, just what I was thinking. He said to always walk before getting to that point. I didn’t get through all his information or order a book yet, I was mostly checking out the beginner stuff. But he says this method is good for experienced runners also.

Based on the time you get doing his run test, you follow his recommendation for intervals repeating run/walk through the entire distance set for the day. This is how I started doing my c25k and somewhere I decided I needed to progress faster to running. Which lead to running until I couldn’t and then walking, which is what he says not to do.

I’m going to take what feels like a step backward and try this method to see how it goes.

Monday was also the day I set to sign up for some 5k’s and zumba class. Abbi at Where the Wild Things Are suggested I try zumba for some good aerobic work (thank you). I was able to find a local class starting soon. Since my shin was hurting (a lot) I decided to wait a few days on the 5k’s. But I signed up for the zumba class anyways, because I knew if I didn’t right away, I would chicken out. I really can’t dance and I really have trouble following any kind of routine. But I need to get over myself and do some social exercising. I really believe in pushing out of your comfort zone. Sometimes it works out ok, sometimes not (and that’s ok) but you don’t know unless you try! So next Tuesday evening (once a week meeting) I will start doing some cha-cha-cha-ing or maybe la-la-la-ing, I don’t have a clue.

The shin is doing better. I rested yesterday, no exercise at all. Today I will try a little run/walk and see how that goes.