Saturday, March 24, 2012

Running Accomplishment

I am actually super pumped about what I did this week. This past week was my first week running outside. I mean of course in the past I have run outside (a couple years ago when I was training for a 5k that was all that I did, not to mention all of the running in college and high school for different sports, etc), but I mean this time around while training for my half marathon.

I was waiting for Ryan to get back from Australia. He likes to know where I am running so that in case anything happens he knows where he should start looking (and I like knowing that he knows where I am). NOT that I expect the worst or anything, but it is good to have a plan and to have people that care enough to want to know where you are and when to expect you back. Obviously when I was running indoors at the gym they had all of my contact info in case something happened, but when I am running outside, by myself, it is good to let someone know where you are at. NOT TO MENTION HAVE A ROAD ID (it can talk for you when you aren't able to). Check out my blog post about it if you don't know what I am talking about.

Anyway, back to the running. This week I decided I would move out of the gym and onto the open road. There is a boardwalk (more like a sidewalk path) down by the beach at work. Ryan and I both feel comfortable with me running there (as opposed to closer to where we live), so I have been running after work. Monday and Wednesday I ran for about 30-40 minutes (since that is the guideline that my training plan calls for). Both days I started off WAY TOO FAST. Along with starting off way too fast, I wasn't totally familiar with the path that I was running on (and all of the hills), which took me the firs run to really get a feel for. Also, I got side cramps (which from what I have read online is mostly because I was not breathing correctly (taking short breaths, which doesn't allow the bottom of my lungs to stretch out and then stretch my stomach). I did have to walk a little in both of those runs (but I wasn't too discouraged, seeing as it was the first time I had been outside - getting used to the terrain, the air/ weather, etc). All in all I think I still ran about 3.5 miles outside both days - not too shabby.

Yesterday was so much better though. When I was walking on my lunch break I was thinking through my run. I decided that it didn't matter how slow I went, I just wanted to run it all. And I wanted to start off slow enough that I could monitor my breathing and not get a side cramp. I make Friday my 'long days' since I get off early and don't have to worry about things like it getting dark out or having to rush home to cook dinner. I decided I would run 5 miles (mind you, this is probably the first time I have ever run 5 miles straight outside - I was running up to 8.5 miles inside on the elliptical, but you have the momentum going with you there, running outside is MUCH different - at least for me). I started off slow (another reason I love that Garmin 110, because I can look down to see what my current pace is, and know if I should be slowing down or not). I kicked butt on the hills, ran on sidewalk, road, gravel, packed dirt, etc, and really did great. I even had negative splits (each mile was faster than the previous). I did get a side cramp around mile 4.5, but thankfully I only had to push it another 1/2 miles before I could stop (not to mention I was close to my car, so I decided to just run around a big block, so it made it seem shorter and more doable with the cramp in my head).

I am super proud of myself right now. Not to mention, the training plan that I am (partially) using doesn't even have me starting until MAY. I am having fun while running, enjoying the beautiful creation around me (kind of hard not to when you are running about 20 yards from the beach), and I can feel myself getting better.

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