Monthly Archives: August 2010

I Liked This

I found this article and really liked what it had to say. Thought I’d just share a bit of it. Enjoy!

I am NOT a Jogger

by John Bingham

“I AM A RUNNER because my runs have names. I do tempo runs and threshold runs and fartlek runs. I do long, slow runs and track workouts. My runs are defined, even if my abs are not.

I AM A RUNNER because my shoes are training equipment, not a fashion statement. The best shoe for me is the one that makes me a better runner. I choose the shoe that goes with my running mechanics, not my running outfit.

I AM A RUNNER because I don’t have running outfits. I have technical shirts and shorts and socks. I have apparel that enhances the experience of running by allowing me to run comfortably. I can say “Coolmax” and “Gore-Tex” in the same sentence and know which does what.

I AM A RUNNER because I know what effort feels like, and I embrace it. I know when I’m pushing the limits of my comfort and why I’m doing it. I know that heavy breathing and an accelerated heart rate–things I once avoided–are necessary if I want to be a better runner.

I AM A RUNNER because I value and respect my body. It will whisper to me when I’ve done too much. And if I choose to listen to that whisper, my body won’t have to scream in pain later on.

I AM A RUNNER because I am willing to lay it all on the line. I know that every finish line has the potential to lift my spirits to new highs or devastate me, yet I line up anyway.

I AM A RUNNER because I know that despite my best efforts, I will always want more from myself. I will always want to know my limits so that I can exceed them.

I AM A RUNNER because I run. Not because I run fast. Not because I run far.

I AM A RUNNER because I say I am. And no one can tell me I’m not.

Waddle on, friends.”




And it’s all thanks to my son. We’ve started running together, and I’ve wanted him to do it the right way so we’ve started out very slow and steady. We are running a 1/1 interval and going anywhere between a 1.5 and 1.6 miles in 20 minutes. I was looking around Jeff Galloway’s site the other day and found this bit of information:

  • Here are my recommended ratios of running and walking, based upon your pace per mile.
    Remember that long runs should be run at least 2 min/mi slower than your projected finish pace in the marathon. An additional slowdown should be made for increased temperature: 30 sec per mile
    slower for each 5 degrees of temperature increase above 60F. It is always safer to walk more often.
  • Run-walk-run ratio should correspond to the training pace used:
    8 min/mi—run 4 min/walk 35 seconds
    9 min/mi— 4 min run-1 min walk
    10 min/mi—-3:1 (this is what I was shooting for)
    11 min/mi—2:30-1
    12 min/mi—-2:1
    13 min/mi—-1:1
    14 min/mi—30 sec run/30 sec walk
    15 min/mi—30 sec/45 sec
    16 min/mi—30 sec/60 sec

Jeff Galloway is a marathoner and a pioneer in the world of running. He advocates walk breaks, even for seasoned athletes. His emphasis is to take a walk break BEFORE you NEED one. This started to get me to think WHAT IF. So today I gave it a shot.

I was scheduled for a 4 mile run today and usually run those at a 10/1 interval. By mile 4 I’m pretty spent. I KNOW I don’t want to go any further and I’m usually sucking some wind. I feel fine, but I’m done. During my run intervals I can usually maintain an 11:30 pace or so, and I NEED my walk breaks (like a drunk needs his whiskey).

Today was different… WAY different. Today I did a 3/1 interval. During my 3 minutes of running I kept a steady 10:30 pace in some places it was a 9:00!! That’s a whole minute faster than my usual pace. Then I’d walk 1 minute. Most of the time I HAD to make myself walk because I felt I could keep going, but I stuck to my plan. By mile 2 I was feeling so good, I told myself… “Let’s go for 6 miles today”… HECK YEAH! So I did, keeping that steady 3/1 throughout.

I HAVE NEVER FELT SO GOOD! When I got to 6 miles I could have easily kept going. The hardest bit was right after a hill, but keeping that interval I was able to recover without a problem. at mile 5.5 I even bumped up my pace during my run interval to a 9:00 pace! Usually by the end of my runs I have barely enough gas in the tank to finish. Needless to say, I am VERY excited and think I have found my new love.

I’ve found some new music to listen to, as well. I’ve made a running mix of stuff by Vitamin String Quartet and Penguin Cafe Orchestra. It’s all instrumental and it ROCKS! This music makes me happy… I actually find myself smiling listening to it. You should definitively check them out.

Now off to clean house!

Just Call Me “Speedy”

This morning I did some speed work. Before you get too amazed, I am pretty sure my definition of speed work varies greatly from the standard held by most runners. My version of speed work is to go faster than a 11:00 pace. Yep, that’s it. Pretty simple, huh. No split this or that or things that I don’t really understand, just a faster version of my slow self.

So, this how it all went down. Instead of my normal 10/1 interval, I did a 3/1. I ran at a 9:30 – 10:00  pace for 3 minutes, then jogged a 12:00 pace for the one minute. I did this for 3.11 (no, we can’t not forget that .o1 bit of mileage… any mileage needs to be mentioned) miles and felt very good. I even sprinted the last .1o mile (okay, I sprinted about .7 of that and jogged the last, last bit). Overall, I felt great at the end (I must confess that one of my last “jog” intervals I walked.. there, I said it). I really enjoy this run, and think I will do it again. I hoping that this, interspersed with my normal running will help just a bit. Then again, it may just all be in my head, and I’m good with that too.

Tomorrow, I have a run with Jude. We’ll do another 20 minutes, and then Thursday I’ll do 4 miles, at a more relaxed pace. I’m not sure what mileage I’m going to do on Saturday, I probably decide Friday night. Jude’s and my first run was very successful, and he said he enjoyed it. When I asked him how hard it was on the Official Hardness Scale of: 1- that was the easiest thing I’ve ever done to 10- my muscles have exploded, and he said it was about a 5 or 6; which is exactly where I wanted it to be. He then told me he was looking forward to our Wednesday run.

There is one thing that really makes me nervous about running with Jude. As he gets more and more fit, it’s going to be a really big challenge for me keep up. For those of you who don’t know, he’s about 6′ 7″ and growing, so you can imagine the stride he’s going to have once he starts picking up speed. I guess I’ll just have to cross that bridge when we come to it. I printed a running schedule so that he would have an idea of what we were going to be doing. On week 10 there is a 6 mile run slated. He was looking it over and saw that run and said, “I can’t wait to run 6 miles”. I really hope that running is something that he loves to do all his life…. but I may be getting ahead of myself.

Well, got to get the kids ready for art. Have fun doing whatever may be brought to you to do!

Let’s be Honest

Let’s keep it real. That’s what I want this blog to be about. Seriously, did I think training for a half marathon was going to be all sweet dreams and roses?? NOPE. So, today, this blog is going to be about the reality of my first 9 mile “run”. It sucked. I finished. The end.

Last night I knew that I was going to go 9 miles today. I started the “stoking one’s self to kill one’s self” process around 7pm. Saying things like, “Hey, you can do this”, “How much worse can 9 miles be than 8”, “Better get to bed early tonight, 7am comes quickly”. All these thoughts went through my head, and I truly thought I was ready to run. I thought about what I wanted my interval to be, my pace, etc. etc. All of which I totally tanked on.

7am did indeed come, and I was out the door by 7:15. I had settled on a overly optimistic 10/1 interval (listen carefully, can you hear the bells of doom??) cycle and kept a pretty steady pace (I didn’t check my Nike+ so I can’t really tell you what that pace was but somewhere around 11:00 or so). I mean, come on, I use a 10/1 for my daily 4 milers… that should work, right?? It worked GREAT for the first 5 miles. Someone didn’t tell my body that it had another 4 to go. at 5.5 miles I was pooped. So, I changed my interval to 8/1 thinking that would be better. Well I ran for about 2 minutes before needing a walk break. by mile 6 I just buckled and set my watch for a 2/2 interval (that was after walking for about 6/10ths of a mile). I was bummed.

Looking back (I hate hindsight… don’t you??) I knew that a 10/1 interval was way to aggressive. When I ran my first 8 miler I used a 6/1 and felt pretty good through the whole thing. What happened to my brain??!! Who’s brilliant idea was it to do a 10/1?? I’ve run two 8 milers both of them at 6/1 and my average pace hovered around 12:20 or so. Today?? Not so much. My average pace was a very slow 13:34. It’s okay. I finished when I wanted to quit at 8 miles. I pushed through and finished the mileage I had set for myself to complete. I know, deep down, THAT is what it’s about; at the same time I’m a bit disappointed in myself too.

Anyway… I can proudly say I’ve completed 1/3 of a marathon! I do need to remember that it is all a process. I need to be able to look at what was accomplished and be very happy with myself. When I wanted to quit, I didn’t. I pushed through, EVEN if it was a VERY SLOW push.

Don’t give up. Keep on pushing no matter how slow it may be!


I was reading Suzy’s blog over at “Running on My Time” and she was playing around with the site Wordle. It was so cool I decided to head over there myself and Wordle the text from my blog yesterday. I really like how it turned out:

I especially like how “moderation”, “chocolate”, “good” and “like” are the most emphasized words! Okay, enough randomness for today.

Go play!

Will Run for Chocolate

Yes, I will run for chocolate. And pizza. And chips. And ice cream. Oh, and don’t forget cake (but only on my birthday… or anyone’s birthday… or on anyone’s un-birthday). Cupcakes fit in there too. Basically anything that is on the “no” list. I run, so I can enjoy these treats. Not at every single meal, and not till I get sick or anything (well, unless it’s REALLY good birthday cake), but in moderation they are all good.

On the whole, I try to eat well balanced meals. But, I want everyone to know that I have an allergic reaction to most veggies (I have a doctor’s note… really, I do). I’m not a veggie kinda gal. There I said it. I like raw carrots, broccoli, and even edamame… but in very small portions and not very often. I’m sure my colon would like for me to, but up to now it hasn’t complained so neither have I.

Whilst starting this whole running thing, I have tried to become more aware of what I’m eating. I’ve bumped up my consumption of things like: yogurt, smoothies, fruit, granola, chicken and water (can’t forget the water!). But, I know that I will NEVER cut out those things that taste best to me: cheese burgers, pizza, cheese (this may be repetitive, but I like cheese), ice cream, french fries, and mostly CHOCOLATE (not just the pc dark chocolate, either. Nope all chocolate is just fine with me). And that, is one of the reasons I run, so I can enjoy them in moderation.

Moderation is key, as the saying goes, “Everything in moderation, including moderation”. See, the thing for me is not cutting out all the “good” stuff (argue with me if you will, but it’s still “good” food), it’s learning to enjoy it in moderation. Counterbalancing the freedom to eat what I want with exercise. That, to me, is a healthy lifestyle. And, I do understand and embrace that my attitude my keep me from being a size 2, but that’s okay… because with size 11 feet I’d probably look pretty stupid at that size anyway.

I do want to say that we have cut down a WHOLE LOT on fast food, and I feel really good about that (excuse me while I pat myself on the back). Now, where’s my chocolate?

Here’s to LIFE!

Mother and Son Bonding

“Mom, can I start running with you?” My son, who is 14, asked me that the other day. He also asked me to show him some upper body weight routines as well. My next confession may throw me into the “worst mom ever in the history of mankind” category, but I have never pushed my kids towards sports or anything like that. Oh, I’ve asked them off and on “are you interested in playing X”, or something of that kind, but I’ve never pushed. I played sports in High School and really enjoyed it, and for most of my adult life I have enjoyed being active, going to the gym, etc. So, when Judah was 5 we put him into soccer (like every good American family should do, right), but he soon showed me that if he wasn’t interested in playing… well, he wasn’t going to play. I admit, I was a bit bummed but I wasn’t going to make him do something that he wasn’t enjoying. End of discussion.

So, you can imagine my surprise when he came up to me and asked if he could start running with me. THIS is what I wanted all along. I want them to be motivated INTERNALLY, because then it will be something lasting and enjoyable. And, the fact that he wanted to run with me, just made my day. We are going to start running together on MWF (my runs are on Tues. and Thurs.) doing the couch to 5k program. Once he builds up we can start running on Saturday’s together, too. I’m also going to buy some hand weights for him to use at home. Our deal is that he will workout at home until January, and then we’ll see about a gym membership.

We are starting next week. I’ll keep you posted on how it goes!