Archive for the ‘running’ Category

>More Couch to 5k Reflections


So last week I did my first long run with no intervals, twenty minutes long. When I started on January 1st I could barely run for 90 seconds straight. So on Friday when my friend Jendi (from Simple Vlogging Tips) asked if I’d done any good vlogs recently, I was inspired to do a sort of video diary post immediately following this long run. So try to ignore how totally gross I look and how many times I say “Um” because I wanted this to be as authentic as possible.

The bottom line is this: if I can do this, YOU can do this. If you really want to and you attack it with the right plan and the right support and commit.



>For the past several days…in fact perhaps the past several weeks…words have escaped me. Maybe it’s because of all the sickness in my house and especially in my own body. Perhaps that is what broke my rhythm, interrupted my streak of productive, inspired creativity. Something certainly did, because I think and think and feel but nothing coherent or worth saying out loud or on paper seems to come out. I’ve been consuming like crazy, reading, observing and inhaling music and words like they are oxygen and I’m desperately trying to breathe. But I prefer to be producing, not consuming. And lately I haven’t produced anything I’d consider meaningful.

The only progress I feel like I’ve made at all in the past few weeks is in my running. Noticeable change keeps happening when I set out on a run, despite all my obstacles like knee injuries and a body wrecked by the flu. Having a goal and a plan with extremely measurable steps and meeting little goals like running a block further or a few minutes longer than last time…it’s life-changing. It’s addicting, I’ll tell you. Every time I lace up my sneakers I’m nervous, afraid I won’t be able to keep going as long as the next step in my program requires. But I don’t let that fear stop me and I hit the pavement, reminding myself as I go that this training is for the goal of finishing the Run 4 The Children, and this whole project is for God’s glory and not my own. It’s amazing what that does for my mental and physical stamina.

You can’t let fear stop you from doing things that could have huge positive outcomes. Growth comes in large measure when you force yourself to do what makes you terribly uncomfortable.

That’s all I got for today.

>Ten Songs in My Running Playlist

>Top Ten {Tuesday} Unfortunately my Couch to 5k training program has been suddenly sidelined by major knee pain. I thought if I just rested it for an extra day I’d be fine. Apparently when you are semi-old, it takes quite awhile to recover from  the onset of a repetitive use injury like runners knee (patella-femoral syndrome). I got new shoes and I’ve been icing and taking advil for a week now, just praying for one day of no pain so I can get back out there and try again. I am so determined to get to the point where I can run the whole four mile Run 4 The Children in March.

In the meantime I have been listening to a lot more hip hop and dance music, because that’s just what motivates me when I’m getting the heartrate pumping. So I will share with you ten of my new favorite songs from my running playlist.

1. Dynamite – Taio Cruz. I think you have to have been living under a rock somewhere to have not heard this song. It’s a good one. Gets me dancing.

2. Double Vision – 3OH!3. The premise of this song is a little…off, but it’s not really vulgar and it definitely makes me want to shake my booty. (Yeah, I said it.)

3. The Show Goes On – Lupe Fiasco. I loved this song the minute I heard it. It wasn’t until recently that I realized part of why I love it is probably that is samples Modest Mouse’s Float On, another song I love. I hadn’t even made that connection till I read about it.

4. Wavin’ Flag – K’naan. First heard this song in the trailer for an upcoming Disney movie about baby orphan animals and immediately went home and downloaded it. Inspirational.

5. Don’t Waste Your Life – Lecrae.  Ok so this isn’t really a dance song but it’s lyrically awesome rap that gets me fired up.

6. Raise Your Glass – P!nk. She’s just so fun and hardcore.

7. DJ Got Us Fallin’ In Love – Usher. Very dance-able. One of Usher’s better songs, IMHO.

8. Just the Way You Are – Bruno Mars. This guy writes some great music. Lotsa major hooks.

9. Down – Jay Sean. I hated seeing this guy sing on The Ellen Show, but this song is seriously catchy. I find myself singing it a lot.

10. Waka Waka (This Time for Africa) – Shakira. The official song of last year’s World Cup. I’m a sucker for all things South African, including music.

Ok hit me up in the comments with some of your favorite songs to workout to…any genre! How about your favorite songs to dance to?

>Getting from the Couch to Running a 5k Race


A runner in Valley Forge

I promised I would share a little bit here about my newest adventure, training to run a 5k. I realize this is a common thing, and something I actually tried once before. The first attempt was after Nathan was born and it led to debilitating knee pain and a year of twice weekly physical therapy. I actually got so that I like going to PT, it was like an extra workout that I could do during work hours and I liked the ladies and other customers there. Plus I think all that work has hopefully had some residual effects, because my knees feel pretty good even now that I’m running again.

The reason I’m running is simple. Our adoption ministry, 1:17, is hosting a fundraiser run on March 26th, called Run 4 The Children. It’s a four mile run. The idea came about because one of our members, Scott Balin, an adoptive father himself, is the organizer of a very large running club here called Katy Fit. He says these runs are simple and highly lucrative, and all you have to do is pick the right date an hundreds will come. His group alone has nearly 1000 members.

So I was going to volunteer to do photography or some other organizational thing, but Scott insisted that I should run it. In fact he challenged all of us to run. I knew all I needed was a challenge like that and some peer pressure to get me motivated. So January 1st I began. This time I resolved to find and stick to a good 5k training program and not push and not get injured. So I did what I always do…I crowdsourced my options on Twitter.

Someone I didn’t even know followed me said she loved a podcast called Running Into Shape which is a Couch to 5K program with music and verbal prompts for run/walk intervals. The idea of not looking at a watch was highly appealing, so I checked it out. Three runs per week with rest days in between, for a total of 9 weeks. I downloaded the first one and set out…turns out I LOVE her choice of upbeat hip hop tunes and her voice is so encouraging.

What’s funny is that when I asked on Twitter if resting between runs is really important, I got the most responses of any question I’ve ever posted. Overwhelmingly everyone urged me to not run, but to maybe bike or weight train on rest days. So I go to a yoga class or hit the bike on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and run on Saturdays, Mondays, and Wednesdays. I’m encouraged by how it’s going. On Saturday I wanted to see how much distance I could cover in the 30 minute podcast so I ran straight out to the lake by our house…1.8 miles.  Then of course I had to walk back so the total was 3.2 miles…5K! It felt really great, weather was perfect and I was on top of the world.

Yesterday though it was 40 degrees and totally overcast, but I bundled up and went out anyway. It was totally worth it, and after the first 10 minutes it wasn’t cold at all. I can’t wait till I can run out to the lake and all the way around it without walking. This training program is teaching me patience as well, because I want to push myself but I know that will only lead to injury.

So if you are thinking about trying something like this, I highly recommend Carli’s Couch to 5k podcasts, she has a rock and roll version if you don’t like the hip hop. Her whole website is pretty inspirational too, she’s a big girl who has been working hard to get in shape. She has now run four 5k’s.

I love that I feel like I’m joining a whole community…or cult?…of avid runners. The encouragement on my FB page has been great. It helps that our neighborhood is flat and lined with gorgeous sidewalks and scenery. But anyone can do this, so I encourage you to give it a try.