Yesterday I had to send back the Timex Ironman Run Trainer (version 1.0 for those who care) to the eBay seller from which I purchased it. The battery was dead. Thankfully, the seller was gracious and honest and will be refunding my money. The downside is that I’m out $18 in shipping (to and from me). Timex doesn’t honor its warranty unless you buy from a registered dealer. Valuable lesson. I’m currently waiting for the Garmin mega watch to go on sale this coming Monday.
In the past couple of days I have also dropped about $200 in new running clothes. I’m one of those horrible people who always wants to wait until I’ve lost weight or look perfect to buy new things. This of course, never happens. I’ve had the same running shorts for 3 years. However, I decided to commit more fully to kickboxing, which I was only doing two days per week. I decided that I really am tired of pretending to diet and that I just want to eat. That doesn’t mean I’m going to eat whatever I get my hands on, but that I’ll continue making an effort to have 5 servings of fruits and veggies per day, and if I have some Junior Mints along with that, I’m not going to slit my wrists over it.
I was pleased to note that I wear small shorts (yay for running!) and figured that they don’t come smaller than an XS and if I did actually drop some pounds, they would be loose and still wearable. I also bought some support bra tops, my favorite of which is a bright orange with matching royal blue shorts with powder blue trim and matching orange mesh insets. I usually wear a thin tank top over my support bras, but since I now have three of them that are so cute with shorts, I’m throwing caution to the wind and running without the tank top this summer. If my pooch jiggles, so be it.
Which brings me to this morning’s run, around a lake at a local park. There’s a 2.4 mile chat track that runs more or less just beside the lake. There’s a 3-point-something mile road around the park, but the hills are killer – BIG and LONG. I want to run on pavement with big hills, I’ll just run around my neighborhood. I do usually run around my neighborhood at least once a week, both for the hills and also because I have a long-standing belief that driving in a car to go exercise somewhere is ridiculous, even if it’s only seven minutes away.
I go to the lake for the ambiance. No matter what the weather is like, it has an element of beauty. Once I ran when it was so foggy I could only see about twenty feet in front of me. Other days it’s bright and the sun sparkles on the water. Today was one of those days, with a cooling breeze coming over the water, and the Canadian geese out with their goslings. There were also a lot of people out there today, both parents with kids on the playground, fisher-folk, and fellow walkers and runners.
So of course I have to go and get all self-conscious about my bare midriff and the fact that I have just the tiniest amount of cleavage showing. Then I have to have imaginary confrontations with people who are offended by my near-nudity. They are obviously unreasonable and overly conservative, and I develop pithy comebacks and wisecracks and drop pearls of wisdom in response to their intolerance. I have to do this, you know, because if I don’t have an answer prepared, someone will say something and I will either be tongue-tied like a moron, or I will be mean and insulting. Neither is good.
Typically it takes me a mile to a mile and a half to warm up and really find my stride, get comfortable with breathing and the effort my legs were putting out. Someone recently suggested that I consider running 10Ks instead of 5Ks, it seemed like a good idea. I decided to run around the lake this morning to see how far I could go, and if I could even run a full 10 kilometers (that’s 6.2 miles). I regularly run the whole 2.4 mile distance; lately I’ve been doing speed work with “Couch-to-5K.” That’s not what it’s for, but it has worked well so far. I figured that if I substituted a slow jog for the walk parts and a faster run for the run parts, it was bound to increase my 5K speed. After only a few weeks, it did. I ran a 5K a couple of weeks ago and already cut 3 minutes off my time, from 36:48 to 33:42. Nothing stellar, but an improvement.
This morning I ran my usual distance around the lake, starting at the dog pier (this is where you throw stuff into the lake for your dog to swim and fetch), then about 5 minutes extra to make 3 miles. This went by smoothly and easily, especially after I sternly told myself to stop worrying about my bare stomach (which is not perfectly toned and sculpted) showing to the world. Nobody cares. Really. They’re so absorbed in their own lives, that I’m sure they couldn’t care less. By the time I was running past the playground and the fishing people again, I was working too hard to give a crap what they thought and if anyone said anything, I was just going to use their shirt to wipe my sweaty face and run away.
Per Jeff Galloway’s instructions (from his book Half-Marathon: You Can Do It!), I walked one minute, then began doing splits of 4 minutes running and 1 minute walking. Minus my warm-up, the run time was 73 minutes, with five or six 1-minute walks. I did really well until the last twenty minutes, when my legs became fatigued. Jeff says part of the program is that you learn to run tired. I was hot and sweaty, and for sure I was running tired. My pace toward the end was a fairly slow jog, but I made it the whole way. I figure I averaged out a 12-minute mile overall: 32 minutes for the first 5K and 43 minutes for the second. Excellent for a first time. I figure that if I ran past the dog pier twice, plus ran halfway around the lake again, it was pretty much 6.2 miles. Maybe even farther. If that darn watch had worked, I’d know for sure. As soon as I get a functioning GPS watch, I’ll do it all again and see exactly how far I went. Stay tuned!