Earlier this afternoon I wrapped up Day 7 of Week 4 of Hal Higdon's 10K Training Program for Novices. As always, here's the link to my workout log on MapMyRun.com. The first thing you'll notice when looking at my workout log for week 4 is that there was only one strength workout, and that came on a cross-training day. That in and of itself is no big deal, but typically, my strength training days are Mondays and Thursdays. Traveling away from home for the holidays caused the schedule to be changed, but I never missed a run, and I still exercised on all training days (just barely, if you count playing the Wii and Dance Dance Revolution on the XBox 360).
On Day 1 of Week 4, Julie and I went out for an easy 3.3 mile run/walk.
On Day 2, my run distance was increased for the first time from 2.5 miles to 3 miles. I did this run in the early afternoon of Christmas day. I have to admit, I was pretty pleased with the run, as it was the first time that I ran 3 miles outside in under 30 minutes (28:46 is the official time).
Day 3 was a travel day for us, and it turned into an easy cross-training day, consisting of playing the Wii (Wii Sports) and Dance Dance Revolution for the XBox 360. I probably burned about 200-300 calories playing DDR over the course of an hour.
Day 4 called for a 2 mile run and strength training. I got the run in, though it was hard! I guess 3 days of running on flat terrain sucked the life out of my legs when it was time to go back to running around the neighborhood. I did the 2 miles in 20:48, but never really felt comfortable. I didn't get the strength workout in, but I did get in another couple of hours of Wii Sports and Dance Dance Revolution (mostly DDR).
Day 5 is the day of rest in Hal's program, and rest I did. (I did put in another couple of hours of DDR and some time on the Wii).
Day 6 is a cross-training day on the schedule, but since I'd missed my last two strength training days, I decided to do that for my cross-training. I should mention that I've been battling a cold for the last week, and I started my workout in the morning, prior to having anything to eat. I completed my chest exercises, which were hard, and was nearly finished with my back exercises, when I had to stop. I was nauseous and just didn't feel right. Later in the night, I finished my workout, doing the rest of my back exercises, shoulders, and arms. Not a good day, physically.
As I've already mentioned, today was Day 7 of Week 4, which means that I went out for my 2nd of two 4 mile long runs (the first was last Sunday). Today's run felt good--really good, whereas last Sunday's run felt really hard, with Julie practically pulling me around for the first 2 miles. I was very glad that today was a good running day. Throughout the run, I actually felt like I was going too slow. Except for a couple of moments towards the top of some hills, I was able to maintain a breathing rate of every 3-4 steps. Here are my mile splits, though they are really estimates as the maps are a bit out of date for my neighborhood and I didn't have specific houses to zoom in on at the mile markers (total time should be pretty accurate: 44:07):
As always, my runs include 5 minutes of walking to warm-up and at least 5 minutes of walking to cool-down.
All in all, I think week 4 was a good week, considering the travel for the holidays, the food for the holidays, and the general holiday excesses. On to week 5!
Again, it's been awhile since my last update, but that doesn't mean that I've stopped training. In fact, today is Day 7 of Week 4 for me, which means that it is time for my long run. This week, my long run is 4 miles, as it was in Week 3. But since I haven't posted at all about Week3, you wouldn't have known that. So let me update you on Week 3...
In case you missed it in the last post, you can view my workout log from MapMyRun.com, with Week 3 starting on Monday, December 17th, and ending on Sunday, December 23rd. The highlights from the week include the Day 2 run (12/18). This was the first time I did a sub-25 minute 2.5 mile run outdoors, clocking it in 24:40. Another highlight was my Day 4 run of 2 miles which was my first sub-20 minute 2 mile run (not counting the first 2 miles of my previous 2.5 mile run), with a time of 19:29. During Week 3, we traveled to Houston to be with Julie's family for Christmas, so I rearranged my schedule slightly in order to better accommodate the travel. Instead of resting on Day 5 (Friday), I ran with Julie on her Couch-to-5K 25 minute run, and then we ran/walked another 25 minutes to get me to 50 minutes of "cross-training." With this change, Day 6 became my rest day, and our travel day. On Day 7 (12/23), I completed my scheduled 4 mile run. This is the longest distance I have ever run non-stop. I've probably done longer distances (by a little), but they were always of the run/walk variety. My time for the run was 44:45. Julie went with me on this run as part of her 25 minute run, and she probably kept the pace a little higher than what I should've been doing, or perhaps I just wasn't having a good day through the first half. By the time I hit the 3 mile mark, I was feeling good, and mile 4 ended up being the fastest of the day. Here are the mile splits:
One thing to note is that this was done in Friendswood, Tx, on a pretty flat route.
I know, I know...I am a little late with my updates--I actually completed Day 3 of Week 3 today! But this post is about Week 2 of Hal Higdon's Novice 10K Training Program. Week 2 was the same as Week 1, except that the long run on Day 7 was upped from 3 to 3.5 miles. Otherwise, aside from putting in an extra 40 minutes of cardio on the elliptical machine after having a 3 margarita/Tex-Mex lunch, it all went as scheduled. Check out my workout log at MapMyRun.com.
One quick note: I think that the 3.5 mile run on Sunday (Week 2, Day 7) was my longest non-stop run ever, both in time and distance.
Hey folks, as you've surely noticed by now, I am rearranging things here. I've been itching for a new look for quite some time, and I've been wanting to implement some new features of this sites blog engine, metaBlog, so I figured that there was no better time to work on it, than on my end of year vacation. So please pardon the mess for the next few days.
Looks like I've got a little catching up to do again. I finished Week 1 of Hal Higdon's Novice 10K Training Program this morning, but before I get into that, let me cover days 4 through 7:
Week 1, day 4 called for a 2 mile run and strength training, so I knew that this would be a really good workout. I started off with my two mile run, using the treadmill. Here are some stats:
Total distance covered was 2.51 miles.
The strength portion of the workout was an upper body circuit workout. The workout is based on a strength workout from Body for Life, where you work chest, back, shoulders, triceps, and biceps, doing 4 sets of each with increasing effort and diminishing repetitions. What this means is that for each body part, you do 12, 10, 8, and 6 rep sets, with the effort level required for each set increasing from 5, 6, 7, and finally to 8, on a scale of 1-10. In the original program, you follow the 6 rep set with two back-to-back sets of 12 with an effort level of 9 and 10. Also, you are supposed to rest 1 minute after each of the first 4 sets, and then 2 minutes after the back-to-back sets. The modification I made to this is dropping the back-to-back sets, and instead of doing all of one body part at a time before moving on to the next body part, I went through 1 set for each body part, without resting any longer than it took to move to the next station, for a complete circuit. I did 4 circuits, starting with 12 reps for each set, and working down to 10, 8, and 6 reps with each additional circuit, while increasing the effort level (in this case, increasing the weight). Between each circuit, I rested for 1 minute.
Rest day! I did clean the house, which took some effort and is definitely work, but we can hardly count that, right? I'll be honest, taking a day off was a little tough, but it was nice, and needed.
Week 1, day 6 called for 40 minutes of cross-training. The plan was to do 40 minutes of cardio, and to get a good choice of equipment, I did this workout at the gym. Here's the breakdown of the workout:
Here we are, the last day of week 1. Today was my "long" run. I say "long," because it was a relatively short 3 miles, though it is still about the furthest I've run at one time. Hal says to run the long runs nice and slow, so that's what I did:
I did this run outside. Did I mention that a cold front came through last night and that the temperature was 38 degrees during my run, with a stiff wind out of the north? Overall, it was a good run.
So now you know the rest of the story of week 1. (Oh, I also dropped 3 lbs. this week.) On to week 2!
As you know, I've decided to use Hal Higdon's novice 10K Training Program as my next running program. This evening, I finished up Week 1, Day 3, so I've got a little catching up to do.
Day 1 calls for stretching and strengthening, so I went to the gym. I warmed up for 10 minutes on the elliptical cross-trainer, and then proceed to do a lower body strength workout--the first since before starting the Couch-to-5K Running Program. Needless to say, I am sore now.
Day 2 calls for a 2.5 mile run. According to Hal, this run should be done at a fairly easy pace. Julie decided to run this with me, at least as much as she could, with the dog. We just did a half mile loop around the block 5 times, with an additional half mile warm-up and a half mile cool-down. Here are my running splits:
As you can see, I stayed fairly steady for the first two miles (I did feel like I went out a little fast in lap 1, and probably overcompensated in lap 2). In lap 5, I was determined to pick up the pace, and went around in a faster, but still comfortable pace, for the first 4/5 of the lap. However, in the final turn and straightaway, I went about as fast as my legs and lungs would take me. All in all, considering the soreness that I felt in my legs from Day 1's strength workout, I felt good about this run.
Tonight was Day 3, which meant 30 minutes of cross-training. Hal allows just about anything for cross-training, as long as it isn't too intense. I chose to hop on the elliptical cross-trainer for 30 minutes. Got a nice sweat and burned about 440 calories. Not too bad.
Now that I've finished the Couch-to-5K Running Plan, and have competed in my first timed 5K, what's next? In previous posts, I've talked about how I've run off and on over the last few years for fitness, but I've never really enjoyed it. Since starting the Couch-to-5K Running Plan, I've found myself enjoying running more and more--to the point of counting down the hours to my run on training days (and not because it also meant leaving work!). Over the last couple of weeks, I began to research other running programs. In the back of my mind, I started to get the notion that maybe I could do a 10K, so I focused in on 10K training programs, of which there are many.
After all of my research, I seemed to keep coming back to the same 3 plans-- Hal Higdon's 10K Training Program, both the Novice and Intermediate program, and the FIRST to the Finish 10K Training Program, from the Furman Institute of Running and Scientific Training (FIRST). I also briefly entertained Hal Higdon's intermediate 5K Training Program. I liked that Hal's intermediate programs, along with the FIRST program, introduced different types of training runs, such as intervals, and tempo runs, and I liked the amount of miles that they would have me putting in. Initially, I was concerned that Hal's novice 10K wouldn't have me putting in enough miles. But at the end of the day, I think that I still need to continue building my endurance base, and I'm only now approaching 10 miles per week (the intermediate programs and the FIRST program call for a lot more miles right off the bat). I also like that Hal's novice program won't leave me so wiped out that I would start skipping strength training. In fact, the novice plan includes two strength training days per week. So Hal Higdon's Novice 10K Training Program is the answer to "What's Next?"
The training program part of "what's next?" has been answered, but what about racing? While the Cowtown 10K is what got me researching 10K training programs, I've pretty much decided that I will run the Cowtown 5K, and not the Cowtown 10K (both are put on as part of the Cowtown Marathon), so that is the next race currently on the schedule. The Cowtown 5K is at the end of February, so that gives me plenty of time to train. After that, I'll do the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in late April. Along the way, I expect to do some smaller 5K races around town, but have no specific plans as of yet.
Whew...that was tough, but fun! First of all, our team, The Frosties, ended up raising $1225 for the Arthritis Foundation, which is $225 over our goal. My personal total was $415, which was $75 under my goal, but that's okay, as I am thrilled with our group total. Now on to the race...
The clock at the finish said 31:15, but I haven't seen the official results yet. The time on my watch was right at 31:00, so hopefully my chip time will be close to that. Like most new runners, I made the mistake of going out too fast. I finished the first mile in 9:30, but I ran most of it at a faster pace--I looked down at my watch a few blocks from the 1 mile mark and noticed my time was between 8-8:30 minutes. Needless to say, I slowed down some, but probably not enough, or perhaps it was already too late. At any rate, my time in mile 2 was a little over 10:00. I got to where the route on Map My Run said mile 2 should be, so I hit the lap button on my watch. About a block later, I saw the official sign. I have no idea what mile 3 was, as I never saw the sign, and was much too focused on finishing as strong as I could. Speaking of finishing strong, I tried to pick up the pace at various points in the final mile, but just couldn't maintain anything. However, in the final stretch (last several blocks), I was finally able to pick up the pace. Then I saw the boys and my Dad, and from then on, I went as hard as I could--I even passed several people in the final block (that felt really good!).
Now it's time to figure out the next training plan. I think that I will start working towards 10K, so that goal will provide some direction.
Stopwatch Times (plus 10 - 12 seconds as I hit the wrong button on my watch:
I just finished the final run in the Couch-to-5K Running Plan, and I don't think I could've asked for a better finish! The route was around the neighborhood, basically this route: http://www.mapmyrun.com/run/united-states/tx/keller/354491313, but in reverse, and I didn't start my run until I hit the 3 mile marker on that map (don't worry, I did my 5 minute brisk walk first). The temperature was probably in the upper 50s with a good wind out of what felt like the west/northwest. Here are the details:
Jingle Bell Run 5K, here I come!
Just three more days until the Jingle Bell Run 5K! This evening, I'll head out on my final training run, Week 9, Day 3 of the Couch-to-5K Running Plan. I can't decide if I should take it easy on my run today, push it a little and go for negative splits again, or perhaps just even splits. I am leaning towards an easy run, with even splits. The one thing I do know, is that I am really glad that I used a running plan to prepare for this 5K. Without a plan, I would probably have been all over the place and likely would've over-trained.
For those of you who have supported me in my effort to run the Jingle Bell Run 5K, thank you! Your words of encouragement and your donations mean a lot. Personally, I am less than $150 from my fundraising goal of $500. I don't know that I'll make it, but that's okay, because our team has surpassed its fundraising goal of $1000! As of this moment, we've raised $1155 for the Arthritis Foundation, and we're not done yet.
If you haven't made a donation yet, please visit my donation web site and help support the fight against Arthritis!
Well, here I am in the final week of the Couch-to-5K Running Plan. I finished up day 2 yesterday, and like the rest of week 9, day 2 calls for a 5-minute brisk walk, followed by 30 minutes of running. This run was done outside, using a 1/2 mile loop in the neighborhood. The temperature was in the upper 40s, with no precipitation. With this run, I wanted to try doing negative splits, and pace myself for a strong final mile, and ideally all 3 miles in under 30 minutes.
I started off nice and slow (too slow, really), but was able to pick up the pace with each subsequent lap. Unfortunately, my start was slow enough that I didn't make it in under 30 minutes, but I came really, really close. On the bright side, I succeeded in doing all negative splits. Here are the details from yesterday's run:
Splits (.5 mile, in minutes:seconds):
Additional Details (running portion):
There's one more run left for me in the Couch-to-5K Running Plan, Day 3 of Week 9. I'll be doing that run tomorrow, and then taking it easy Thursday and Friday, then the Jingle Bell Run 5K is on Saturday. Wish me luck!
I woke up to the sound of rain this morning, with temperatures in the mid-to-upper 30s. I wasn't sure if I'd get this run in today, or if perhaps I'd at least need to wait until we returned home later in the day and hit the treadmill at the gym. As luck would have it, the rain eventually let up, and I was convinced that a route through my Mom's neighborhood would work just fine for Week 9, Day 1 of the Couch-to-5K Running Plan. So I set out mapping my route, and was able to get a nice .67 mile loop. Improperly bundled up, I headed out (note: when the temperature is in the 30s, just wear the hat and gloves).
Week 9, Day 1 requires a 5 minute brisk walk, followed by 30 minutes of running, for a total duration of 35 minutes. Using Map My Run, the total distance convered is estimated to be 3.37 miles. Here are the details:
Additional Details (total workout):
Additional Details (running portion of workout):
Since we're out of town for Thanksgiving, this run was a little different from my previous runs, and I don't have the same stats. This run was done at Coggin Park in Brownwood, TX, which has a loop around it that is supposed to be 3 laps = 2 miles. Armed with this knowledge, I set out for Week 8, Day 3 of the Couch-to-5K Running Plan. In the 33 minute duration (walk + run), I did 5.25 laps. During the running phase I covered 4.75 laps in 28 minutes. If the distance is accurate, then this was a heck of a run. By the way, according to my car prior to the run, the temperature outside was 37 degrees, and then I discovered a really nice wind once I got out of the car.
Running Lap Times:
So Week 8, Day 2 of the Couch-to-5K Running Plan is in the books. I just finished it up about 20 minutes ago. Since Sunday's poor outdoor run, I've decided to run as much of the remaining days outside. Today was no exception. I will say that today's run felt much better than Sunday's run, and I think the times support that. Here are my splits:
So yesterday was my first 28 minute run (Week 8, Day 1 of the Couch-to-5K Running Plan), and I ran it outside...
Here's the route: Sunday's Run (click on the "Display Elevation" checkbox on the left-hand side).
I started my run a little before 10 AM yesterday morning, with the temperature in the low 70s and what seemed like pretty high humidity, along with 7-10 mph wind. In short, my time sucked! After walking the first 5 minutes right at a 4 mph pace, I intentionally tried to keep the pace down early, as I am notorious for going out too fast. While on the route, I wasn't sure of the distance covered during the walk, but I estimated it to be around .33 mile, so I calculated the approximate time that I should hit the 1 mile marker if I went at a 6 mph pace--I was a little off, but not too bad. I hoped that I would be able to at least maintain that pace or perhaps pick it up some over the rest of the run, and turn in a decent time. As I continued on to mile marker 2 and 3, I fell further and further off the pace. Actually, I didn't hit mile marker 3 before my time was up (I came up a tenth of a mile short). Here are the stats:
Week 8, Day 1 (5 min walk + 28 min run)
Not an inspiring run. While disappointed, I didn't feel too bad about it after looking at the elevation of the run--the hills definitely killed me. Also, I didn't eat or drink anything prior to my run, which was probably not the best idea. Now, I'd like to get back on the treadmill just to see what I can do in there, but I really think I need to do the rest of my runs outside.
Here are the details from yesterday's run:
Workout Time: 30:00 Minutes (5 minute brisk walk, 25 minute run)
Workout Distance Covered: 2.97 Miles
Workout Pace: 10:06/mile
5K Time: 32:01 (continued brisk walk at end of workout until 5K)
5K Pace: 10:18/mile
Details: This run was Day 3 of Week 7 of the Couch-to-5K Running Plan. As with all runs in the C25K plan, this one began with a 5 minute brisk walk, which I did at a 4 MPH pace. Following the walking, I ran the following pace:
I then walked at 4 MPH to cool down.
I picked the pace up slightly from my last run, and felt good throughout most of the run. The final 10 minutes (@ 6.4 and 6.5 MPH) were a little tougher, but I was able to finish without struggling and with good form. This was the final run of week 7. Week 8 consists of 3 runs of 28 minutes in length. I plan on doing the first run at 6 MPH. Does anyone think I should slow things down a little more?
Here are the details from yesterday's run:
Workout Time: 30:00 Minutes (5 minute brisk walk, 25 minute run)
Workout Distance Covered: 2.93 Miles
Workout Pace: 10:14/mile
5K Time: 32:30 (continued brisk walk at end of workout until 5K)
5K Pace: 10:28/mile
Details: This run was Day 2 of Week 7 of the Couch-to-5K Running Plan. As with all runs in the C25K plan, this one began with a 5 minute brisk walk, which I did at a 4 MPH pace. Following the walking, I ran at 6 MPH for 10 minutes, followed by 5 minutes at 6.1 MPH, 5 minutes at 6.2 MPH, 4 minutes at 6.5 MPH, and finally 30 seconds at 7 MPH, and 30 seconds at 7.5 MPH. I then walked at 4 MPH to cool down.
I intentionally slowed things down for this run, as I was just too worn out at the end of my previous two 25 minute runs. At the end of this workout, I felt very good. The final minute was hard, but not overly so. I've got one more 25 minute run in week 7, then it's on to week 8 (28 minute runs).
Here are the details from yesterday's run:
Distance: 3.1 Miles
Time: 31:19 Minutes
Details: This run was Day 1, Week 7 of the Couch-to-5K Running Plan. It begins with a 5-minute brisk walk, followed by a 25 minute jog. I ran on the treadmill, and walked at 4 MPH, followed by 10 minutes at 6.5 MPH, 5 minutes at 6 MPH, 3 minutes at 6.5 MPH, 3 minutes at 6 MPH, 30 seconds at 6.5 MPH, 30 seconds at 7 MPH for the next 3 minutes, finishing up with 20 seconds at 6.5 MPH, 20 seconds at 7.0 MPH, and 20 seconds at 7.5 MPH. I then walked at 4 MPH to cool down, and noted my time at 3.1 miles.
Over the last few years I've been an on-again, off-again runner (really jogger), as part of my normal exercise routine. I would go through phases were most of my cardio work was running, and phases were none of my carido work was running. In that time I even entered a 5K (Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure 5K in the spring of 2006). Since this past spring, I've done a pretty even mix of running and other forms of cardio, such as the elliptical cross-trainer. However, in the last several weeks, I've turned almost 100% to running, as I train for the Arthritis Foundation's Jingle Bell Run/Walk. (By the way, if you're in the D/FW area, and would like to participate, please join our team, the Frosties.)
The program I'm using to prepare myself is the Couch-to-5K Running Plan from Cool Running. The Couch-to-5K Running Plan is a 9-week program intended to get folks from the couch to the finish line of a 5K. While I already had a decent fitness foundation, I'd say that the program is very good. I am on day 2 of week 7, and can see a vast improvement in my fitness level, especially my endurance and ability to recover. In fact, I am on the cusp of getting hooked into running, and am considering the possibility of perhaps a 10K next year. But first, I'll keep working on building up my base, increasing my endurance, and hopefully my speed will follow.
If you've been looking for an easy-to-follow fitness program that's put together with a beginner in mind, but can easily be tailored to suit your own personal level of fitness, the Couch-to-5K Running Plan is a good one.
By the way, I am over halfway to my goal of $500 raised for the Arthritis Foundation's Jingle Bell Run. Please help, if you can, or join us for the run/walk. Also, my team, The Frosties, is 67% of the way to its goal of $1000! Thanks to everyone that is already supporting us.
Julie and I got married on May 27th, at the historic YWCA in downtown Fort Worth. We then honeymooned in lovely Playa del Carmen, Mexico. The wedding ceremony was perfect and the reception was a blast. The honeymoon was probably the most relaxing vacation I've ever taken.
For those of you that don't know, we had an interfaith ceremony, featuring both a rabbi and a Methodist Minister. Our ceremony was written for us by the rabbi, and then tweaked a little bit by us and the minister, resulting in an inclusive ceremony which honored both Jewish and Methodist traditions.
I'll get some pictures up soon, I promise.
Three weeks ago yesterday, I took our dog, Molly, to her vet to have a small lump on the side of her head checked out. Two days later we learned that it was axial osteosarcoma, and that it was fairly advanced. Within days, the lump, which was now officially a tumor, had grown to the size of a tennis ball, and continued to grow over the next couple of weeks. Eventually the bad days started to outnumber the good days, and yesterday, Julie and I took Molly back to the vet.
Goodbye Molly. You were a great dog, and we will miss you.
Sometime last fall, Julie and I came across the InterfaithFamily.com website. At that time, in addition to all of the great articles, they also had a couple of blogs. As we were reading through the blogs, we noticed that they had a call out for anyone having an interfaith wedding in 2007, who would be interested in blogging about it. After talking it over for a while, we decided that blogging about our upcoming wedding would be something that we'd like to do, especially if it helped us and others work through some of the issues surrounding the planning of an interfaith wedding, and interfaith marriage.
So, we filled out their form, and awaited a reply. If memory serves, weeks went by without a word from them. Finally, we got an email asking if we were still interested, and would we be able to talk on the phone. After a few missed connections, and as it was starting to seem like this just wasn't going to happen, I sent them a copy of a story Julie and I wrote for our department's monthly newsletter (read Our Hanukkah Story), and reminded them that we were still very interested in blogging for them.
As luck would have it, after receiving the email, along with our story, they decided that they didn't need to talk to us first, that it would be okay for us to just start blogging...and blogging we have! You can read all about our upcoming interfaith wedding at the InterfaithFamily.com's Weddings Blog.
Last night, Julie and I hosted the 1st Annual Tequila & Salsa Party. We came up with the concept for this party on New Year's Eve, when we were discussing homemade salsas and drinking Patron with some like-minded friends. The idea is simple, really...everyone is encouraged to bring their own homemade salsa or bring a jar of their favorite salsa, and bring tequila for sipping and/or mixing. Including ourselves, we had 9 people in attendance, and it seems like everyone had a great time. Here's what we had at the party:
The salsas were excellent, as was the tequila, food, and the company. We will definitely be doing this one again.