Friday, October 29, 2010

My C25k Commencement Speech

I've done it. This morning I heard these guys in my head at about 6:35. (Yes, I occasionally imagine real-life people in my head as characters from The Simpsons.) And of course, they were singing their triumphant We Are The Champions. Why is Queen in my head? Well, today I am an official Couch to 5k Graduate!

I couldn't help but think about how amazing it was that week one was more challenging than week nine. Let's review, shall we? (All of my C25k posts can be seen here.) Week one had me jogging for 60 seconds then walking for 90 seconds. I did these intervals eight times, and huffed and puffed the entire way. It was late August, and it was scorching outside. Now I run in freezing temperatures for thirty minutes without stopping. Don't get me wrong, I'm still huffing and puffing while my knees continue to ache, but running is no longer foreign to my body. Besides, I don't let excuses get into my head. I just get out there and run

It's worth noting to all of you potential or current C25k'ers that I haven't lost a single bit of weight in these last two months. But I haven't let that stop me. I had originally started this program to get healthier, find an "active" hobby, and lose weight. Two out of three isn't so bad. I figure the weight will come off eventually (as I've gathered from the experience of others). I haven't let my lack of weight loss discourage me from running since I know it's more about a long-term commitment to fitness and my health overall. Because of running, I am stronger, have more energy, and find myself in better spirits on a regular basis. I think the issue is that I find myself ravenous on run-days, so I just need to manage that better.

I'm already planning the post-graduation runs, which will probably start with working on running for the 5k distance instead of just running for time. (Pace has me falling a bit short of the mark in the 30 minutes.) I'll do that for two weeks, then will start doing a "long run" (ok you marathoners can laugh) of 45 minutes at the end of the week. In the spring, it will be on to Bridge to 10k (B210k). 

I have to mention my saviors at They made running a whole heck of a lot easier because I didn't have to fidget with stop watches or juggling the timing with ipod music. I downloaded their app during week 1 and am so glad that I did. They're also really supportive via Twitter, and have lots to share on their blog. I'll be purchasing their B210k app for my iPhone when the looming snow melts.  

Also, a big thanks to my mom for helping me get my butt in gear during week one, and to my sister-in-law Emily for keeping me honest throughout the past eight weeks. Oh, and also a shout-out to pepper spray for giving me peace of mind. Watch out, creeps - I'm ready to attack!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

NaNoWriMo 2010

What is NaNoWriMo, you may ask? I'm not sure who designated it as such, but November is National Novel Writing Month. I participated in it last year, and even won. You can find out more about NaNoWriMo here.

Have you ever had an idea for a novel but never thought you could get it down on (real or virtual) paper? NaNoWriMo is fun in a masochistic sort of way, but it is insane fun nonetheless. Yes, that's 50,000 words in 30 days, and it's surprisingly doable. Broken down that's 1,667 words per day which can be surprisingly easy when you are excited about the characters, the plot, or any specific part of the novel that floats around in your head. In the end, it's the first draft of a novel - about 175 pages. I can't begin to describe how amazing it feels to hit that 50k mark. As for my 2009 novel? It's sadly sitting in first-draft form, waiting for me to resurrect it via editing.

So I've started with my preparations, if you call it that. I have a loose plot figured out, and my characters have begun to invade my brain. I'm trying to overload with thoughts of my 2010 NaNoWriMo novel, so when it comes time to write, it just spews out all at once.

We all have different methods to writing, and mine is heavily character-based. I don't do outlines or written brainstorms of any kind, but I do like to have a document with character profiles including pictures, descriptions, and facts about each character of significance. I build that as I go, working on it when I have writer's block or am just not in the mood to fully write. It helps keep me attached to my novel when words don't really want to come. Other than that, I sort of let the novel write itself.

I know this has zero appeal to most people, but for those that are interested at all - please head over and join me! I'm trying to talk Jeff into participating this year. Any other takers?

Little Dude

Far too much time has passed since my last Harper-related post so it's time to make amends. I finally uploaded some pictures to share, including some from his second birthday party (graciously hosted by Jeff's brother Scott & his wife Des who is seriously a supermom).

Like his mama, Harper is one of the few Leos out there that does not enjoy the spotlight. His birthday party was no exception. He made a bee-line straight for the trampoline in Scott & Des' backyard.

There wasn't much we could do to tear him away from it... I'm not exaggerating. His cousins were much more interested in the presents than Harper was. We had to bring his presents to the trampoline to be opened.

This is what would happen when we would take him off the trampoline. When he wasn't hanging from the edge or bouncing happily atop the trampoline, he was screaming and crying to get back on.

As you can see from his birthday party photos and this one above, Harper was very overdue for a haircut. I generally procrastinate until I'm ready to deal with crying, screaming, squirming, and bits of hair stuck to his sucker, his mouth, and everywhere else. Neither Jeff, Harper, nor I are ready to let a stranger cut his hair, so I just do it. At this point, Jeff and I would rather deal with the tantrum at home instead of public. That's what parenthood is all about, right? Improvisation. Truly, the haircut isn't so bad with Jeff's help. By the way, this is a classic Harper face.

In September, Jeff's brother's (Ryan) wife (Julia) was in town from Georgia to see her family, so we seized the opportunity to take pictures of the trio of cousins that were all born within a short time period. We had such a good time, and it was so fun to see the three of them play together. Cooper is such a sweet little guy. (Left to right: Harper, Emma, Cooper)

   And how about this sweet face? Harper loves to play in our backyard - especially with his daddy. Sure, he's in his "terrible twos", but for the most part he's a goofy, adorable, sweet, happy boy.

Couch to 5K: Week 7 done!

It's official: I can now run for 25 minutes straight without stopping. In fact, Emily and I found that we can run for more like 40 minutes when we I missed the audio alert to turn around at the halfway mark. We're still plugging along, and I'm still really enjoying it. I worry that I'm overtraining, as my HR monitor tells me I'm spending most of my time in zones 4 & 5 (80-90% and 90-100%), which is no bueno for my fitness goals. I need to figure out how to slow my HR down. Going any slower would likely be considered a brisk walk, and I don't want to do that just yet. At least not right now. Maybe once I finish C25k, I'll try 30 minute runs accompanied by 30 minute brisk walks or something. We'll see. All I know is that I need to do something to bring my HR down. Maybe it'll just lower on its own as my heart and body get stronger.

As the temperature drops, I find it more and more difficult to get out of my warm, cozy bed in the morning. But I remind myself that I have reason to celebrate. I have not missed a single run in 7 full weeks. I have gotten my lazy butt out of bed three times a week. Most of those times have been a good deal before even the suggestion of dawn. For me, it always seemed like I'd only get out of bed early by chance of some miraculous effort. Turns out, I just needed the proper determination and inspiration.

On to week 8, where we run 28 minutes sandwiched between our 5-minute warm-ups and cool-downs. Bring it.
Related Posts with Thumbnails