Run 5K: Personal Best – Distance!

Today, I made it to the halfway mark in my Run 5K program. I have 49 days until my race. And I feel better right now than I ever have!

After getting up ridiculously early to watch the Team USA ladies gymnastics prelims (more on that in another post), I felt inspired to finish Week Four with enthusiasm. I meant to finish last week on Wednesday after successful runs on Saturday and Monday, but I got a flat tire. Thursday saw me at work until after 7 and Friday I hosted a party for the Opening Ceremony of the London Olympics. It seemed like life was conspiring against me. If I didn’t have an actual race to train for, I probably would have given up.

But today I strapped on my gear and headed out to the trail, armed with a new playlist and ready to get it done. Unlike previous weeks, Week Four’s Day 3 was not identical to Days 1 & 2. The middle run section was a full minute longer than any run section I had previously had and I was nervous about my stamina to make it through without stopping.

However, I ran all three run sections without stopping. (I hadn’t worn an overshirt, so no stopping to take it off even.) It was the first time I’d run through an entire song without stopping (actually ran through two songs during the middle run section) and it was empowering instead of intimidating like I thought it might be.

On the trail I run, I head out one direction and back the same way when I get to the halfway point of the run. Since I started this program, I seem to turn around at about the same street, give or take a few feet. But as the title mentions, I ran an entire block further before turning back for home. When I passed my normal turnaround, I just started grinning. I’m sure the other people on the path thought I was crazy, but I just felt incredible. I didn’t quite make it to the “victory tree” this time, but I came closer than I thought I might given the extra distance I covered before coming back towards home.

Next week, the total time increases to 32 minutes for the first time, so I’ll have to tweak my playlist. But it was pretty perfect for all the run/walk splits today.

Independence Day – Melanie C (warm up)
Go! (Dave Aude Deep Space Mix) – Jupiter Rising
My Heart Goes Boom – French Affair
Pocket Full of Sunshine – Natasha Bedingfield
Let It Roll – MMO
One More – Superchick
Love You Like a Love Song – Selena Gomez and the Scene
Walk On – U2 (cool down)

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Run 5k: Week Three = COMPLETE!

My view while running

I’ve discovered that about 75% of my motivation to run is whether it’s sunny and/or windy outside. I like to run the same path every time and weather conditions can be a little more extreme there than in other parts of the City. I put off Week Three, Day Three until Tuesday because it was just foggy and cold on Monday. Tuesday, I didn’t even need an overshirt and I was a sweaty, but happy girl by the time I finished my 28 minutes.

I was also a little ecstatic that I’ve made it this far. During informal attempts in the past, I’d never made it out of Week One. When I attempted to use this specific app in January during my “New Year, New You Redux: Now With More Willpower” phase, I had quit on Week Three, Day Two, mostly due to adverse running conditions and the lack of light when I finished work in the evening. But, with my Race Day looming less than two months from now, I’m now cautiously, but confidently moving on to Week Four tomorrow. I’ve found that if I can run every other day during the Week and then take two days off between Weeks, it really helps.

And because I can’t run without music, here’s my Week Three playlist (heavily influenced by Make It Or Break It). I think I’ve hit a groove with the order of these songs and I’m only switching out a couple for Week Four:

Everybody Got Their Something – Nikka Costa [Warm up]
Go! (Dave Aude Deep Space Mix) – Jupiter Rising
You’re So Damn Hot – OK GO
Let It Roll – MMO
Name In Lights – Sarah Leichtenberg
One More – Superchick
Walk On – U2 [Cool down]

Run 5K: Personal Best!

I finished Week Two, Day Three today and I actually feel great! The run was strenuous, but I never felt like I couldn’t finish at any point. My walk sections were actually real powerwalks, keeping my heart rate up instead of slowing down and trying to catch my breath. I wasn’t deliberately trying to speed up from Wednesday’s run, but I just felt better about it. There’s a bench on Great Highway that I consider my “halfway” point, where I usually have to stop and strip off my long-sleeved overshirt to keep from overheating (even on these foggy days). On Wednesday, I had to walk at least another minute to get there, but today, I was almost there by the time the walk section ended!

Victory Tree

But the best part came at the end. On Day One, I was so exhausted by the time I got to the last run section, but to stay motivated, I challenged myself to keep running until I reached this tree. I timed it perfectly with the end of the run section, and I was so proud of myself. On Day Two, I was going much slower and didn’t even make it up the hill toward this tree by the time the last run section ended (though I did push myself to actually run to it!). Today, however, I not only made it up to the tree, but ran for an additional 25 seconds afterward! It’s the first time I’ve really felt strong while running.

I start Week Three next week and I’m a little nervous. I’ve never made it past Day Two. Fingers crossed that next week, I’m writing this kind of post about Week Three and nervous about Week Four!

Run 5k: Week Two – I remember you!

After a week off while I was in DC, I got back to training yesterday. I tweaked my running mix a bit (see below), changed the insoles in my running shoes and set off.

The weather was absolutely gorgeous – almost too warm – but the trail wasn’t too crowded as I ran. I think I finally found the right insoles for my shoes because I didn’t have any of the foot pain that I’ve been having in recent months. I wish I could say the same thing for my shins, but I guess I can’t have it all go well all the time.

Week Two doubles the length of time spent running without really increasing the walk breaks between. I mentioned last time that I felt like I could run more than the program told me to. Well, that’s no longer a problem! The first interval, I felt good running the whole time, but all the subsequent running intervals were hard. Luckily, I have two more days to help me conquer this week. I do feel better today than I did when I tried Week Two before. I’ve never made it past Week Three, so the next couple weeks will be critical to my success. Here goes nothing!

Run 5K Week Two Remix
Jamiroqui – Canned Heat (Warmup)
Jupiter Rising – GO! (Dave Aude Deep Space Mix)
Cascada – Evacuate the Dancefloor
MMO – Let It Roll <– great addition to the playlist!
Superchick – One More
Katy Perry – Firework
U2 – Walk On (Cool Down)

Run 5K: Starting at the Beginning (Again)

Now that I’m back from vacation, it’s time for me to working out on the regular. Back in January, I impulsively signed up for The Giant Race 5K, taking place September 16th. That’s 14 weeks for me to train before race day. I’ve never gotten beyond Week Three in my Run 5K program, but this summer is the time for that change!

Today, I started Week One, Day One for the third time this year with a new running mix (below). The weather was gorgeous (I took the mix cover photo at the halfway point) and it was quite warm. I’m still having some foot pain (now it’s worse in my left foot than my right), but I definitely felt good during the running sections. The program always told me to stop running before I was ready/needed to stop, which made me feel good. The big challenge will be if I can make myself continue to Week One, Day Two after work on Monday. I can’t train the way I need to only on the weekends. Fingers crossed!