Tag Archives: running

Chubby Girls Run – Along the Beach

Capistrano BeachLast week, I said I was at least going to pack my running shoes and clothes for vacation, and I hoped to get out at least once. Well, I made it!

I went running along the path near the beach Wednesday and Friday. Oh, how my muscles hurt!! (Red is for them screaming in pain.)  But it still felt good to be out. The first day, I ran along the path south, thinking I’d be able to at least see the ocean from the path. But it quickly curved inward around a private, gated subdivision and all I got to see was the cars and trains along the Pacific Coast Highway.

Friday, I turnBeach morning runed north and ran past the state park and through the parking lots with people just waking up and coming out of their tents. That was nicer because the ocean was in view the whole way, and there were lots of other runners.

I did four miles both days, hoping that I wasn’t overdoing it with so few runs the last six weeks, and I’ll do four miles three or four days this week, too. If more crazy things don’t happen in my life, I should be ready and able to run the Carlsbad Half Marathon in January – with my best time ever! 😀

Chubby Girls Run – Sometimes Even on Vacation

Silly Kitty after her run

Silly Kitty after a run in June

I’m writing this post on Friday, actually, because I’ll be very busy on Sunday (when it goes live) celebrating John’s birthday! Woohooo!!!

We had an opportunity several months ago to get away this week for an inexpensive vacation. We’re sooo glad we took the opportunity because we sure need the break! 🙂

I can’t say for sure that I’ll be running this week, but I hope to get out at least once. One thing I know for sure – I’m packing my running shoes and clothes! Only 3 1/2 months till the Carlsbad Half Marathon so, even though I’m not worried, I need to start focusing no matter what.

I’ve got 15 weeks to get strong and fit to run another 13 miles. Let’s go!! 😀

Chubby Girls Run – Except When They Don’t

OuchLife has been really difficult lately (second verse, same as the first 🙁 ), and I’ve gotten barely one run in per week. I’m desperately out of shape, and terribly far behind in preparing for the Carlsbad Half Marathon in January. Sigh…

All I can do is keep trying to find a way through my troubles and keep going. I don’t know how, but I’ll just have to keep choosing every day not to give up.

Chubby Girls Run – Uphill Both Ways

My hill overlooking a valley in Escondido

My hill overlooking a valley in Escondido

So I told you I just moved and that I now live on a hill. That’ll be great for training runs, increasing muscle in my legs and all. And I think I figured out some streets to run on for longer flat stretches. I’ll be trying some out tomorrow.

Escondido is an older town, so lots of streets don’t have sidewalks in the neighborhoods, and many have older asphalt pathways that look like I’ll have to be careful not to trip on the uneven surfaces. I’ll have to balance wanting something solid under my feet but having to breathe more car exhaust on busier streets with wanting a quieter neighborhood but needing to be careful not to trip or run into a bad area of town…especially since I don’t know which parts are the bad parts.

But I did finally get a run in last Thursday, two weeks from my last run where I used to live. Wow, talk about good hill training! I started with one block of flat, then one block uphill (it felt like 45 degrees up!), then one block downhill, then a four-block stretch with a more sloping hill down, then two blocks more sloping up, then one block flat, then another upright hill, straight down that hill, and then repeat the whole thing. It’s 1.5 miles to make that lap around the “block” that I live on. No streets go through. So I ran it twice for 3 miles.

I have to say, all things considered, I was pretty happy with my results, just under 40 minutes doing the 5/1 run/walk that I always do. We’ll see what tomorrow brings. I’m looking forward to seeing more of my new town by running through it. 🙂 And I’m really looking forward to getting back in shape!

Chubby Girls Run – By the Light of the Full Moon

Full moon at start of run

So bright at 5:15 that I didn’t need streetlights

Last Thursday, there was a huge full moon out when I left the house. My phone’s camera doesn’t take good nighttime photos, but it was still fun to take a couple pictures at the beginning and end of the run.

Even though I had to temporarily stop doing my circuit training on non-run days, I was absolutely exhausted last week. I ended up only running two days instead of three. Darn. Well, I run like crap when I’m exhausted, so hopefully I’ll start running better now that I’ve gotten some sleep.  🙂

The other major, stupid thing I did last Monday as I was doing the “Total Abs” workout that John told me about was to push myself too hard, especially on the “supermen” exercise. I really did in my lower back. I haven’t been able to lean over and touch my toes without hanging onto something and grimacing. I’ve been stretching every which way trying to get those muscles to relax, and John massaged them last night, so I’m feeling a little better every day. But wow, what a dumb thing to do! I know better, but now I’ll really remember not to overdo it again! (I did not do that exercise today!)

Full moon after run at 6am

Still big and bright at 6am when I finished

Otherwise, things are going well. I feel really good at 6 miles, but without the circuit training the last few weeks, I can tell the difference. I’m not going to gain any speed until I build my strength. So I’ll try to get more of that into my schedule. (I’m so busy with work! That’s why I took it out.) I’ll wait to add an extra mile until I’m doing better with 6 miles. I don’t want to hurt myself, and that is so easy to do when you’re running.

Most days I head out (in the dark!) and think to myself, let’s go enjoy this run. The mindset helps a lot, and I do enjoy myself – which gets me out again the next time. Also, my Facebook friends have been awesome about encouraging me whether I’m doing great or falling down a bit (like with my diet this weekend). I also thank God for endorphins, without which I don’t know if I could keep adding more miles! LOL!

Chubby Girls Run – Against the Sun

I’m hearing that Bob Seger song “Against the Wind” in my head as I type. I would’ve enjoyed some wind, even a breeze, but on Friday, it was definitely a matter of running against the sun.

I’ve told you that I usually set my alarm for 4:30 or 5:00am on running days so I can complete my miles before the sun heats up the day. But Thursday night was the big Perseid meteor shower, and John and I were sitting outside watching until midnight. (Some amazing displays!)

So the earliest I could pull myself out of bed was about 7. Add together the facts that I was super tired to begin with, a hotter weather system had moved in, and I was supposed to run an extra mile – Friday was a rough run!

I’d go into all the details about how I think I sweated more than the water I drank, my stomach started growling halfway through, there was no shade on half of the new route I’d taken nor were there sidewalks on part of it…but those are all the reasons why the run was difficult.

If I keep focusing on all the things that are hard about running, I won’t keep doing it, especially if the plan is to add another mile every 2-3 weeks.

So here are the good parts of my 6-miler on Friday!

  1. Even though I lay in bed thinking about not wanting to go out, posted to Facebook about not wanting to go out, and dilly-dallied even after I dressed in my running clothes – I went out and ran the 6 miles!
  2. It was super hot (for running, about 70 degrees), but I didn’t walk any more than usual. I ran the whole way. (I run in a 5/1 method – 5 minutes of running, 1 minute of walking.)
  3. I ran slower to make sure I had enough energy to make the whole trip, proof that my attitude had improved by the time my Nike’s hit the sidewalk. I was determined to just do it!
  4. I DID IT! I ran 6 miles for the first time in five or more years! In the end, this is the part that matters – I went out and did it anyway, regardless of how I felt.

SUCCESS!!

I’m a strong believer in celebrating your successes because it make the neurons in your brain make connections that say, “Oh, this is good, she wants me to do this again. Okay, let’s wire things up here to make this happen again.” Your brain is so freaking awesome – it will try to do what you tell it to do. So celebrating helps you get ready to do it again!

Which I will, tomorrow! Look out, world, I’m going to run my 6 miles faster tomorrow – because Friday proved to me that I could do it! But I’m going to do the vampire pre-dawn thing again and stay out of the sun. 😀

Chubby Girls Run – For the Joy of It

Post-run sunrise

Post-run sunrise from the backyard July 25, 2016

I’m running with a plan mostly – to get ready to run another half marathon in January. But sometimes I’m tired and stressed about other things and a run just sounds like such a great way to get away.

Friday I felt that way. Thursday night, actually. I decided that I would get up early, but not before dawn, and I would run my full 5 miles, but not to try to gain speed. I just wanted to relax and run. To feel the breeze, to feel my muscles move, to not think about anything I’d left at my desk.

So I “slept in” until 6:30 and got on the road with a full two extra hours of sleep. I didn’t try to run fast or breathe in a certain way that would help me run faster. I just ran. (I did stay focused on my posture because it helps me not to have an aching back after.)

Post-run sunrise

Post-run sunrise August 3, 2016

I took along two of my new friends, Mark Dawson and James Blatch of The Self Publishing Formula Podcast, because they always amuse me as they tell me about new and interesting things.

And together we ran.

When I got to my only hill in mile 2, I decided that since the sun was up and I shouldn’t have to worry about cars whizzing around the curve at the top of the hill and not seeing me, I’d run farther up the hill. (No sidewalk there.) It felt good to push myself because I wanted to and not because my running plan said to do it.

When I came to slight declines in the sidewalk, I ran faster to take advantage of the downward slope just because running faster feels so good.

Post-run sunrise

Post-run sunrise August 3, 2016

And when I got to the end of my 5 miles, feeling so much better than earlier in the week, what a surprise to see I’d shaved a full minute off my time! Wow.

Times like those I see so many parallels between writing and running. Friday I was reminded that doing something for joy, even if it’s also part of a bigger plan (run a race, earn a living), those are the moments to shoot for. Those are the moments we need to nurture and look for ways to make happen more often.

Because doing something that God has gifted you with, doing it with passion and joy, that’s its own form of worship and gratitude. 🙂

Chubby Girls Run – Like a Vampire

running vampireI can’t help it – every dark 5am that I find myself outside and running around the neighborhood, every time I look at my watch to see how long until sunrise, wondering if I will finish before the sun peeks above the hills, all I can do is giggle and think I’m like a running vampire.

This last week, I added a mile so I really had to make sure I didn’t sleep too late. On Wednesday, I decided to go at an easy jog since adding a mile to my four-mile training meant adding 25%! Eek! (All the training advice I’ve read says not to add more than 10% per week.)

Surprisingly, my lungs never felt the extra mile and, in fact, the slower pace had me breathing easier the entire way. My legs, on the other hand, felt much worse – and not just for the last mile, the whole time. John mentioned to me before that jogging too slow makes his legs hurt worse than at a faster pace. This was the first time I experienced that.

And so on Friday I decided to try to run at my normal pace (currently about 13 minutes per mile) for the five miles. I figured it would be difficult, and it was a beautiful, quiet (dark!) morning, so I didn’t turn my music on. From the first step, I focused on posture and breathing.

I read an article in Runner’s World magazine recently about breathing every five steps – inhale for two steps, exhales for three steps. This helps you to never be hitting one side of your body harder than the other, the author says. Because I was so fully focused on my breathing and trying to keep at my regular pace, I actually ran a bit faster! (I think this was partially since I didn’t have music on, which usually has four beats, not five. It was difficult to breathe every five steps with music before. I’ll let you know if that changes with practice.)

Pre-sunrise MenifeeI was tired when I was done, but I felt really good about my accomplishment. And I even finished my run just before the sun hit my eyes. (I took this picture after running up an incline at my downhill pace. Awesome!)

Now the next thing I have to do is interval running – sprints and hills. Ack! I really don’t want to! It sounds so hard! So I’m going to do it tomorrow. I am. Because it’s going to help me get stronger and run faster.

And in the end, that’s what I want.

Chubby Girls Run – And Do Circuit Training

So after a week away from home – with only one run, but on the flattest land I’ve ever run on – I’m finally getting back into my exercise routine. I’d decided to run on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and do circuit training for 20-30 minutes on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I was also looking to get a little yoga stretching in to stay limber. (So far, I’ve done very little yoga over the last seven months, but I’m trying to make time for it.)

Full moon while running in darkI like running outside (I’m not a fan of treadmills) but I hate being hot. Yeah, I know, I live in Southern California, no way to get around summer heat. So I’ve been setting my alarm to get it done at the coolest part of the day. It’s crazy hot – about 68-72 degrees (20-22 C) at 4:30 in the morning! Whew! I have to get back before the sun rises or I’m just too hot and exhausted to keep going. A couple days ago, I took this picture about 4:50am of the full moon – my only light while trying not to trip over the cracks in the sidewalk. 😉 Gorgeous. Don’t get that on a treadmill.

And because it’s been so hot outside, it’s also hot inside. So I don’t want to do my circuit training either. It was easy for a few days to say i was too busy to do it, but Saturday I saw Doug exercising on his indoor bike and I thought – just do it, Kitty! I am not running very fast and I want to, but I won’t get any faster if I don’t get stronger.

Kitty tired after circuit trainingSo I hurried and put on my exercise clothes before I could think about it. The air conditioning keeps it at 76 (24 C) inside, which is very pleasant if you’re sitting still at your computer or watching TV, but it’s still hot when you’re exercising hard! I thought I was about to pass out once during my workout yesterday, but…then I decided that it was a great opportunity for a ridiculous funny photo. 😉  I was breathing like a freight train and tried to smile like it was fun.

Hope it made you laugh!

Keep going! Don’t quit! 😀

Chubby Girls Run – More Than I Have Since 2013

One of the Michigan back roads where Run for CHUM takes you. Most beautiful run I've ever done!

One of the Michigan back roads where Run for CHUM takes you. Most beautiful run I’ve ever done! Sign up now for September!

I just finished my third full week of training for my upcoming half marathon in January. I was a little nervous to move from 3 miles per day (for the first two weeks) to 4 miles per day. But when I saw my stats in Map My Run after my workout, I was tickled pink! I ran at a good pace for me!

Even better – and more surprising – when I wrote in my running journal about my 4 miles, I paged back to find the last time I ran that much. I knew it’d been a while, but what a shock to see the last time was in September 2013! The day I ran my last half marathon, the Run for CHUM charity run for my sister’s therapeutic riding facility in Michigan.

Wow.

Strangely, I was nervous again on Wednesday. What if I was tired now and much slower? I was so nervous that I’d suck, I skipped my circuit training on Tuesday to regain my strength. But Wednesday was great, too! I decided to do my circuit training on Thursday because I must get stronger in order to run faster, but I knew I might be slower Friday just from being tired.

I did great Friday, too! (And so I made up my missed circuit training session on Saturday. 😉 )

My body is really beginning to show me that it’s happy to be getting stronger, even though sometimes it’s not fun to try to do exercises I can’t do for the 40 seconds per circuit round. Forty seconds, guys. Sheesh. But…every week I’m a tiny bit better. I can see small changes when I look in the mirror.

And once I started envisioning myself running faster while trying to do a 60-second plank, I was able to stay up and straight for the whole 60 seconds! The more I envision myself getting stronger, the stronger I get. It’s so cool! (For more information on cool things your brain can do, read You Are the Placebo by Dr. Joe Dispenza. Awesome book!)

If you’re working on improving your health, exercising more, training for a run, or anything that requires a lot of effort for small changes, keep going! Don’t give up! Together, we can achieve our goals.  🙂