Weekly Workout Recap: On the Run

Several months ago when I first took up running, my primary motivation was to find new ways to burn calories.  I liked that it didn't require special equipment and I could fit it in my schedule whenever I found time.  The fact that I could get some sunshine and fresh air didn't hurt either.

At that point I had been consistently walking almost every day and doing a lot of step aerobics with my Wii.  My step aerobics did a good job burning calories and as I got better at it I had gradually worked up to adding a lift under my balance board to make the step higher, wearing a 20 pound weight vest and wearing velcro hand weights around my wrists.  I know.  That all sounds crazy.  I'll have to have someone take a picture of that sweaty mess in action.

Anywho, as I made my way through C25K, I decided my aggressive step aerobics were leaving my legs tired and that tired legs might interfere with my ability to be successful getting to a 5K. So I stopped doing step aerobics.  I then moved to my every other day running schedule which eventually became my 3 runs a week schedule to train for a half marathon.  I was also walking on most of my non running days.

During winter, walking outside isn't always pleasant or even feasible.  During my husband's nomadic traveling for work, escaping my children long enough to do that ain't gonna happen if my 9 year old daughter has anything to say about it.  Walking also doesn't burn nearly as many calories as running or step aerobics.  And if I'm going to attempt to go AWOL on my kids, I'd like to get plenty of bang for my buck. 

I had an epiphany over the weekend.  Running was supposed to be part of the health kick.  Somewhere along the way, the running was sort of starting to take over the health kick and the health kick was becoming just a part of the running. Which is ridiculous.  This is not a which came first, the chicken or the egg situation.  The health kick came fist and is first.  No question.  Running is just something I'm doing as part of the health kick.  Training for a half marathon is just part of it, too.

I hit a weight loss plateau recently and I'm now wondering if maybe part of it is that I've lost a little focus with my workouts.  Focusing on the running instead of the general purpose burn calories and gain some muscle.  So this week I tried to return my focus to the big picture and the importance of coming strong with the exercise even on days I'm not running.

So I dusted off my Wii and resumed step aerobics on my non running days.  It's not perfect.  For example, it's kind of loud so I can't really do it before my kids wake up in the morning.  But it's challenging.  Which means I've lost a little fitness ground on where I was back in October.    But challenging is good.  I'll take it.  I also did a day of strength training for my arms.   They're still wet noodles.  And I still need to work on them more than one day a week.  But it's a start.

The other new thing has been running with my daughter during her brother's soccer practice.  We read about a program to empower girls through running called Girls on the Run.  She's always wanting to try running with me so we decided to call our hour hanging out during his practice our very own Girls on the Run and do a C25K app together.  So far it's heavy on the walking so we like to call it Girls on the Walk.
Cold but happy to have done it.  She insisted I send her father the screenshot to prove we got a badge for doing Day 1.  Apparently, badges are very important.  Go me, picking the free app that gives badges.

If her brother could ever get it together enough to make it to practice twice a week, we might get somewhere with this thing.  But for now it's a once a week operation.  You'd think she died and went to heaven that kid is so happy.  She likes that we do it together.  I like that she tells me all about her day while we do it.  Even if it doesn't last or ever lead to running an actual 5K together, it's been fun. It's also a good use of the hour she and I spend hanging out while her brother practices.  We used to sit in chairs and read books or hit a volleyball around.   Who knew we could put that time to such good use!
The Italian Stallion joined us for Week 1 Day 2.  We called it Girls and a Boy on the Walk Sometimes Run.  If she was in heaven doing it with me, she was in heaven times two doing it with both of us.
Other than Girls on the Run success, my runs were a mixed bag.  First, I headed out to get in 3 miles only to have it be freezing and windy as hell.  With the wind at my back, I ignored the fact that my hands were getting frost bite and knocked out 1.5 miles at a 9:30 pace which is hella fast for me.  Then, the wind was in my face and I wanted to full on die and petered out after a mile.  I was pissed at myself for stopping, pissed at the weather for being cold and pissed at the universe for conspiring to ruin my day.  I waited two days and was delighted to knock out 3 miles in 31 minutes.  Fast for me and no wind at my back to explain it.  Holla.

I also did my long training run for the upcoming half marathon.  It was 10 miles this week.  I did not have the luxury of my Italian Stallion husband to keep me company like I did last week. Which left me running alone for ten. whole. miles.  Instead of being an idiot and trying to run quickly, I reminded myself throughout that my goal was to just make it the whole 10 miles.
Legs in my pool again post long run for the lazy girl ice bath.  Pure gold, baby.
It included two bathroom breaks, walking a significant portion of the 10th mile, answering a phone call from the pharmacy, thinking I'm going to throw up at one point, thinking I'm going to need new underwear at two different points, stomach pain for 2 miles and having to drink 5 giant glasses of water when I got back before I stopped feeling lifeless and drained.

Holy cow, 10 miles is forever long.  Seriously.  So. Very. Long.  There are many downsides to So. Very. Long.  Most of them are obvious.  The best upside that's less obvious to running idiots like me is that it puts a 3 mile run in perspective.  That perspective being that 3 miles is a cake walk compared to the fire and brimstone of 10 miles.  Not that I'm overly dramatic or anything.  No never.

Linking up with Little Girl in the Big World for the Weekly Workouts Roundup!

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