Wednesday, April 25, 2012

WLW-Tips for Beginning Running Even When You Feel Like You’ll Never Get There

I started to write this post last week, but I got too wordy, so I decided to split it up.  I’ve come a long way in my journey to becoming a runner, and I want to share some of the things I’ve learned along the way.  I’m hoping this will help someone else out there, who wants to push themselves, but isn’t sure they can.  Winking smile

First, start small.  If you are not a runner, don’t try to do too much too fast, or you’ll quit.  A lot of people like the Couch to 5K training program, which is an 8 week program to get you running a 5K.  I needed something more like, “The lazier than the Couch to 5K program” LOL  So, I started out with a program called “3 Weeks to a 30 Minute Running Habit”.  It starts off slow, running only 1 minute at a time.  When I did, I committed to myself to finish the program.  I decided I could do 3 weeks of anything. 


Second, be flexible.  As I got going on the program, I found that even IT was difficult, (especially the jump from 2 minutes of running to 3 minutes of running at a time), and I took a couple of extra weeks to complete it.  If I got to the end of a week, or training session and it was just plain too hard, I redid the week or training session until I felt comfortable moving to the next level.  This training program ends at the point where you’re running 5 minutes and walking 1 minute for multiple sets.  At the beginning of the program I had NO idea how long it would take me to get there, but I determined I would.

Third, set a goal and stick to it.  But when you set the goal, BE SURE IT IS REALISTIC.  I set the goal to complete that training program.  I didn’t care if it took more than 3 weeks, and I didn’t even care if I never ran again afterwards, but I set the goal to complete it.  It took me about 5 weeks to complete it, but I did.

Fourth, don’t be afraid to push yourself.  Pushing yourself too hard and not pushing yourself enough are very difficult to balance.  That’s why I like using training programs.  It’s more of a controlled setting. But, even they need to be altered occasionally to fit your body.  When the training program I was on went from running 2 minutes at a time to 3 minutes I really had a hard time.  I even took a week and ran 3 minutes and walked THREE instead of 1 in between to build up my endurance a little more.  That jump in time, for some reason, was very difficult for  me.  I learned some things about myself pushing through it, though, and I can’t even tell you how it helped my self esteem to do it!

Fifth, rest when you’re supposed to.  It’s so easy to get going and not rest, or not rest as much as you’re supposed to.  This leads to injuries.  When I started out I started getting shin splints.  I had a couple of options at this point.  I could just quit, or figure out how to keep going.  I ended up taking almost a full week off of training to try to help them to heal up.  I’m NO stranger to shin splints, I had them real bad in the Army too.  While I was resting I decided to REALLY focus on running.  I started reading about running, reading several blogs, and articles.  I spent time pouring over alternative training programs, and I read about shin splints.  I also have “exercise induced asthma”, which has always made it difficult for me to run, and been a major reason I never have.  I started reading about that too.  Guess what I found????  The best thing to do for “exercise induced asthma” is to EXERCISE.  Doesn’t make sense, because it aggravates it, but after a while it actually works itself out!  WHO KNEW????  So, that excuse is gone (and I can attest to it working itself out, too---  I’m not even using an inhaler anymore).  I read that taking a bath in Epsom Salt after a hard workout will help with shin splints and other muscle pain.  Guess what?  IT REALLY WORKS!!!  Since I rested and let my shin splints heal enough to start going again I take a bath in Epsom Salt after just about every run, and I’ve not had any pain since.  Something so simple is the solution that I needed to push on.

My final piece of advice is this.  Don’t underestimate what you’re doing for yourself.  If you go out and walk for 30 minutes and you haven’t done that in a while, you are doing a huge thing for your body.  Own it.  Don’t look at the person who is running for 30 minutes and say, “I can barely walk for 30 minutes, I suck”.  OWN that you got out and walked for 30 minutes!  You never know, that person probably started just where you are.  I did!  I stared with a 20 minute walk.  I was hot, I was tired, my feet hurt etc.  Then I worked up to 30, then 40 minutes, and before I knew it I was walking 5 miles a day, and then 10 on Fridays.  My first 10 mile walk was a KILLER!  Over time it got easier (never easy, but easier).  My first time running for 1 minute and walking for 1 minute 10 times I thought I was GOING TO DIE.  Seriously.  I was dizzy, tired, sick to my stomach, sore etc.  From running 1 minute at a time.  I could have said to myself, “see, this is why I don’t run”.  But I said to myself, “I committed and I’m not going to stop”.  The next time I ran 1 minute and walked 1 minute 10 times it was a *little* easier.  I almost thought I could do 2 minutes LOL  Then I ran 2 minutes at a time, then I hit another wall at 3 minutes, I needed more than 1 minute to rest and let my heart rate come down before running 3 minutes again.  I couldn’t do 8 sets, only 5, then did 6, then moved back to run 3, walk 1, and just kept putting one foot in front of the other.  Yesterday I ran 3 sets of 12 minutes of running and 1 minute of walking.  And you know what?  I almost believe I can run a full 5K.  But I didn’t start out running for an hour.  I’ve walked several 5K’s now, and I’ve walked and run a couple.  It’s been a process. At any point I could stop because I didn’t think what I was doing was good enough.  I think that’s how a lot of people stop.  They get discouraged because they’re not “there” yet. 

When I was at the 3 minute level and struggling so much I learned something about myself that motivated me to keep going.  I came to a place of understanding at that point that I didn’t like running.  I didn’t like it all while I was running.  While I’m running I’m sore, tired, hot, out of breath etc.  BUT, I love the feeling afterwards.  The feeling that I can conquer the world because I pushed myself and DID IT!  I LOVE THAT FEELING, and I RUN FOR THAT.  Find something to run for and GO!


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Weight Loss Wednesday-I’ve never thought of myself as a runner, but I’m beginning to…..

Wow, it’s been a while since I posted a WLW post.  Sorry!  This one has been in my brain for a while, but I’ve been so busy I just haven’t had the time to post.  I do have to say, though that it was a neat treat this morning to have a minute to get this post written, and read my last post on this subject.  I haven’t posted, but I haven’t stopped either!  I’ve made some major progress Winking smile 

Since that post, I finished the 3 Weeks to a 30 Minute Running Habit, and have started on the “Run/Walk 5K Training Program”.  I’m on week 4, and I have to say I’m actually starting to believe I might be able to run the 5K I’m scheduled for in May!  It’s been a looooooong journey to get here.  I’d like to say I’ve lost a ton of weight, but I haven’t.  I’ve lost some, I’m finally knocking on the door to 30 pounds again (after my out of control holiday season), which is great, but it’s still slow coming off.  I think that’s just the way it is with me, and hopefully this will stick with me later when I think I can just do whatever and take it back off…..  It’s just not that easy.

It was really nice to read my last post on this subject, because it reminded me of just how far I’ve come, and it really hasn’t been that long.  If you are a person who reads my blog, and thinks, that’s great that she’s a runner, I want you to go back and read that post.  Let me be clear.  I have never before considered myself a runner, so I want to journal how I got to where I am and where I hope to be going. 

First, I started the first training program because I needed more activity points in less time.  It’s really about being lazy LOL.  I just don’t have the time to devote to an hour and a half long walk anymore.  I started looking a the points, and for my body size I was earning about 5 points for the 90 minute walk.  So, I wanted to try to earn those points faster, to get rid of the excuse of not enough time.  Well, I am earning about 7 points for a 30 minute run.  This equation works for me LOL.  That was my initial motivation.

Then I got started.  The first day of the program is a run/walk combination of 1 minute run, 1 minute walk 10 times.  Sound easy enough, right?  RIGHT….  I thought I was going to DIE.  Did I mention I’m not a runner?  I was in the Army, and really enjoyed it, but NEVER did I like the running part.  In fact, I really wanted to go to jump school, and could have, but didn’t.  You know why?  Because they run the entire school to strengthen up their legs and I didn’t want to run.  I wasn’t afraid of jumping out of airplanes, I was afraid of the running in the school.  How crazy is that????  I tell you this to get you to understand where I was with running.  As I completed those first couple of days of this training program I was reminded of why I had never enjoyed running before.  I was hot, sweaty, and starting to develop shin splints.  I started wondering if this was all one very bad idea.

But, I had committed to myself to finish the program.  When I started it, I told myself, no matter what, I will complete this 3 week program.  And, if, after I was done I still didn’t want to run, then I would move on to the next great idea Winking smile  Well, the shin splints continued, and I got sick etc.  I ended up taking more like 5 weeks to complete the program, but I DID complete it.  I also have a walking/running buddy who is doing the Couch to 5K program, and watching her progress through her program has motivated me A LOT.  I have tried the C25K before, but it’s increments of increase were too much for me, and ended up making me feel like a failure in the end.  I knew I had to do something, but not that.  I walked/and ran a little bit of a 5K with this friend, and thought to myself, I just don’t think I will ever be able to run the whole thing….. 

I mentioned that at the beginning of the year I set a goal to participate in at least 3 organized events this year.  I have since adjusted that goal.  I want to strive for one a month.  I know there will be months that I don’t meet this goal, but I’m going to strive for it anyway.  I decided this when I walked/ran with my friend in the Heart for Katy 5K in February.  So far, we’re doing good.  I walked/ran (did what was on my training program for the day) in March at the Run for the Children.  This past weekend I walked the 5K Blue Bell Fun Run (it was a rest day on my training program).

I am scheduling myself for a 5K the weekend of May 19th, which will be when I finish the “Run/Walk 5K Training Program”. I did this on purpose to try to keep myself on task with the program and not have it take longer than 8 weeks.  I almost slipped when my whole family got food poisoning, but since it only calls for 3 days of training a week, I have been able to catch up.  I plan to RUN the entire 5K in May.  I say run, but it’s really more like a slow jog.  Whatever.  I’m not walking Winking smile

I guess I have more than one post in my brain, so I’ll save some of what I have to say for next week.  Next week I’ll talk about tips for beginning runners, and how to stay motivated when you feel like you’ll never get there.  Winking smile

Have a great week, and set a goal for yourself, commit to it, and never give up.

We want results, not reasons!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Menu Monday- 4/16

Sorry I missed last week.  We got food poisoning on Saturday, all FOUR of the big people did, the babies were left to their own devices!  My house is STILL a mess, as I’m still climbing back out of it!!  It’s amazing how being sick for a couple of days threw off my whole house of cards!  This is just another piece of evidence that I have too much going on.  The good news is that we have 4 weeks of the classes that the boys go to on Tuesdays left, and 3 weeks of Bible Study, so our schedule is about to calm down Smile  We….can….make…!!!!

I also haven’t done a real shopping trip in a week and a half, and didn’t even plan the menu last week.  You can imagine what that’s doing for the budget…..  So, today, we’re getting back on track Winking smile

Monday:  Ham, Mashed Potatoes (Easter Dinner that never got cooked)

Tuesday:  White Castle Burgers

Wednesday:  Snack Dinner

Thursday:  Split Pea Soup, Rolls

Friday:  Pizza

Saturday:  BLAT Sandwiches

Sunday:  Chicken Dinner in the Happy Pot

Monday, April 02, 2012

Menu Monday- 4/2

I can’t believe it’s already April!  Before we know it, it’s going to be Christmas again!  Gotta tighten up that budget even more to get prepared! Confused smile  Speaking of budgets, we ended the month of March pretty much right on budget with our groceries.  That was good.  We also did the bulk of our shopping together, which I very much enjoyed.  We’re going to continue that this month.  In addition, my husband let an extra job go that makes a huge cut to our budget, but it was an all night extra job on Friday night, and he was just working too much.  He had literally had 3 days off since Thanksgiving.  It’s going to be tight without that money, but it was the right decision.  My husband was working himself into the ground.  We should have our tax money back this month, and we plan to pay off our truck, so that will make a difference in the budget, it will still be tight, but we’ll make it.  Heck, we make it through the 20% pay cut last year, we’ll make it through this too Winking smile.  Having him home this weekend was an adjustment for me, as I’m used to running the show on the weekends.  I was a little cranky, and I feel SO bad, because I am REALLY REALLY glad he’ll be home, I just need to readjust Embarrassed smile.  I’m very lucky to have an understanding husband who loves me in spite of myself….  Eye rolling smile

Anyway, here’s the menu for this week:

MondayWaffles, (Boys Cook), with Strawberries

Tuesday:  White Castle Burgers

Wednesday:  Chicken and Dumpling Soup

ThursdayMexican Beans and Rice

FridayFish Tacos 

Saturday:  Burgers, and Dyeing Easter Eggs Smile

Sunday: (Easter)  Ham, Scalloped Potatoes, Salad

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Supper Sunday- Grilled Ham, Chicken, and Swiss Wraps

These were made at my Pampered Chef show a couple of weeks ago.  They are really really good.  I don’t use low fat mayo or anything like that, so the points are high, but if you use those substitutes I’m sure you could lower the points quite a bit.  Even with the high points, these are quickly becoming a favorite around my house Smile

Grilled Ham, Chicken, and Swiss Wraps
6 Servings, 10 WW Pts+ per serving

3 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts (about 5-6 oz each)
Olive Oil or other oil in a spritzer, or you can brush the breasts, but that might raise the points
2 1/2 TBS Dijon Mustard Rub (divided)
2 Medium Whole Dill pickles, or the stackers
4 oz Swiss Cheese
1/2 Cup Mayo
1 Garlic Clove, pressed
12 Thin Slices Deli Ham
3 11inch Flour Tortillas

Spray the chicken breasts with oil and sprinkle with a generous amount of rub.  Spray Grill pan and lay chicken rub side down.  Spray other side of chicken and sprinkle with rub.  Place Grill press over chicken and cook until done, about 4-6 minutes each side, turning once.  Remove from pan and allow to cool for 5 minutes before cutting to seal in juices.  Once cooled, chop chicken into bite sized pieces.  (Clean grill pan)

Meanwhile, slice pickles into thin strips, and grate cheese.  Combine Mayo, pressed garlic, and a 1/2 tsp rub in a bowl.  Mix well.  Add chicken in and stir to coat chicken.

Preheat grill pan and press.

Lay out a tortilla and layer in this order:  2 slices of ham, 1/3 chicken mixture, 2 more slices of ham, 1/3 swiss cheese.  Roll up burrito style (folding in ends to seal in contents).  Place on preheated grill pan, and place press on top.  Cook about 2 minutes each side, just enough to warm wrap, seal edges, and make grill marks.

Slice diagonally, 1/2 a wrap is one serving.

These would be great to make for a picnic~!