Monday, September 23, 2013

5k Runner, Week 3 Day 1

I was really nervous about running today. I knew I was going to go from running 1 minute and 30 seconds to running 2 minutes and 30 seconds -- a full 1 minute increase. If you're already a runner, it's probably not much to you, but it was a lot to me, probably because I've never done Week 3 of this program before. This was a turning point. I put it off all morning and most of the afternoon, but eventually I sucked it up and did what I knew needed to be done.

As you can see, my pace improved a bit, though speed is still abysmally slow. I'm not too focused on it right now, I just want to be able to run for long periods of time without feeling like I'm going to die. Also, see the little green bar? That means I've run 6 miles toward my goal of 100 miles by the new year! Very excited to see that bar continue to grow as I move along. 

Saturday, September 21, 2013

My Jack Rabbit Experience and Saucony Guide 6 Review

As I mentioned in a previous post, I wanted to show you guys my (limited) running gear and tell you about my experience at Jack Rabbit. So, being that I live in NYC, I went to the one on Union Square in Manhattan. It's only a 30-45 minute ride form my house. When I got there, the store was smaller than I expected, but I loved that it was dedicated, for the most part, to running. There were also sections for swimming and yoga, and the clothes looked awesome. But I ignored all that and made a beeline for the shoe section at the back. I wrote my name on the waiting list and patiently, albeit awkwardly, stood by the sign in sheet until I was called.

The woman who helped me was short, slightly shorter than me, and I'm 5'4. She had medium length black hair, a few tattoos, and seemed to be an all-around bad ass who didn't take shit from anybody. I liked her almost immediately. First, she had me run in my K-Swiss Tubes on one of the three treadmills in the shoe section. I noticed immediately that there were cameras behind all the treadmills, and that there were TVs next to each one. I started running and a zoomed in shot of my feet was projected on the screen. I was told not to look at myself running on camera, so that I would not try to adjust my gait or "fix" my running form. She wanted to see how I normally run and what shoes could possibly make adjustments that would be helpful for me.

She discovered immediately that I have slight overpronation in my right foot, but not my left. In English, that means my right ankle rolls a little too far inward when it hits the ground. My beloved K-Swiss shoes were also too small, which was what was causing my feet to go completely numb when I ran.

I tried on at least 5 pairs of shoes -- I remember at least one being Mizuno, another being Asics. I ran in each pair, and with each run my feet were filmed and analyzed. The shoes that were the best fit, and the most comfortable to run in, were the Saucony Guide 6 shoes.

Aren't they adorable? I love the blue and coral combo! It's not something I would normally have picked out for myself, but it was the only color they had a available in my size, which surprisingly ended up being a 9 -- apparently the shoes run small so you need to go half a size up, plus your feet swell when you run and need the extra space in the toe box.

So far, they're super comfortable to run in and haven't given me any trouble. I can't wait to see how they perform when I'm able to run longer distances!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Running While Sick and Week 2 of 5k Runner

Leave it to me to get sick two weeks into my running program. I'm not a finisher -- I'm a starter. I enthusiastically start all kinds of fitness plans, only to let my dreams of athleticism die as the weeks go by. But this time, I was determined. This time I decided to be a finisher.

I've signed up for the Jingle Bell Run/Walk, a 5k in December. The money is paid, the T-shirt should be coming in the mail, and there's no turning back. So sick or no, I knew I was going to run this morning. I slept in my workout clothes the night before, threw on my running shoes when I woke up, and headed to the park.

And you know what...I didn't die. It didn't even hurt as bad as I thought it would. My right foot went slightly numb, but that's owing more to my lacing my shoes a tad too tight than anything else (more on my running gear in a later post). My lungs supported my slightly faster 4.5 - 5 mph jog with relative ease, and before I knew it the workout was over. Today I had to run 1 minute and 30 seconds, and walk for two minutes. I kept alternating for about 30 minutes, with a 5 minute warm up and cool down walk.

This is my Runkeeper app, which I'm using to track how far I walk/run. My goal is to run/walk 100 miles by January 1. As you can see, so far I'm 4 miles in. I run slow and walk often at this point, so it'll be awhile before I'm able to get in a decent mileage each week. I'm debating whether or not to count the walk from home to the park and back -- it's about a mile and certainly burns lots of calories.

The rest of the day, I'm staying home from school and just focusing on getting better. I wanted to do my Ripped in 30 DVD, but it's not looking like I'm going to make it through that in my current condition. I definitely don't want to over train and and injure myself -- I'm already sore all over!

Tomorrow I'll talk about my first ever trip to Jack Rabbit, a specialty running store, and which running shoes ended up being just right for me!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

My Story

Hi there. My name is Jackie, and I am 21 years old. I live in beautiful NYC, and after years of starting and stopping, giving up and giving in, I am proud to say that I am a runner.

Allow me to clarify this statement. I am not a fast runner. I am not a marathon runner. As of today, I am not even a 5k runner (still in training). I am teaching myself to run one step at a time. And trust me, it's not easy. I have very mild asthma which makes keeping my breathing under control difficult. I'm 180 pounds, which means I'm about 40 to 50 pounds overweight for my height (5'4). I also suffer from depression and anxiety, and my interest in health and fitness has helped immensely in dealing with my issues.

I don't know what exactly I plan to get out of this blog. I want a place to log my progress -- how I feel during and after each run, how far I'm running, and how fast. But I also hope that by stepping into the world wide web, I might be able to make some friends who can help keep me motivated.

I'm on Week 2 of a 5k running app similar but not identical to Couch to 5k. I will track my progress, write about my struggles, and hopefully look back on these early entries knowing I accomplished much more than I had planned to