Monday, January 09, 2012

Running again

My running route

Sometimes I am embarrassed that my blog address is "motherunning", especially when I have been slacking as much as I have been lately. My last real run (that I can remember) before today was on December 4, when I participated in the Las Vegas Rock 'n Roll half-marathon. I got so busy with the holidays and my daughter and her family moving here to Olympia, that my running took the back burner. No, actually, it was more like set aside on a cooling rack.

But I'm back. One of my New Years resolutions is to get back into the habit of a daily run through the week, plus one on the weekend. Now that the kids are back in school, Christmas is over, and the decorations have been taken down, I have no excuses. I am getting settled back into the routine.

My 10yo's favorite running term is "fartlek." Of course. Fartlek, if I recall correctly, is a Swedish word that means "speed play." So, this morning, just for fun, I sort of did my own version of fartlek.

One thing I want to do this year is learn to run faster. This fall, while training for the half-marathon, I stepped on a piece of glass and got it stuck in my foot. I couldn't get it out for a long time, and it was too painful to run for several weeks. Of course, this put me way behind in my training, and when I finally got the glass out and started running again, I was slower than ever. Which is really, really slow because I am already slow to begin with.  I was averaging 12 minute miles by the time I went to Las Vegas! Ugh! My foot is all better, but I think I actually trained myself to run slowly. So I'm going to try to retrain myself. I figure this starts with me attempting to run faster, much faster than I am comfortable, for short periods of time.

So this morning, I did two versions of fartlek. I only ran two miles (hey, I'm starting over! Don't laugh!). For the first mile, I started out at a sprint. (I was already warmed up since I had been up for a while and had walked my daughter to her bus stop.)  I sprinted until I couldn't go any farther, and then I walked. OK, so my sprint most likely isn't your sprint - I was running a 6-minute mile pace according to my Garmin - but I could only do that for 0.25 mile. LOL! After I walked and recovered for a few minutes, I started running at a comfortable pace. I looked at my Garmin and I was running an average of a 9:46 mile. I was happily surprised! I continued that, and finished my first mile (including the walking time) in exactly 10 minutes. I haven't done that in months!!

The second mile I did something different. I ran as fast as I could until my Garmin got down to a 7:30-minute mile pace. Then I ran at that pace, for as long as I could sustain it, and when I was about out of breath, I walked, watching my Garmin. When I got to where I was walking at a 13-minute mile pace, I started running again until I got back down to the 7:30 pace. I did this over and over until my second mile was over. It was fun, in a weird sort of way. It sure kept me panting!

Hopefully, doing something like this a few times a week will help me break the habit of running 12 minute miles!


Jamie Collins said...

Good for you getting back into it! I just started running doing a "Couch to 5k" a few months ago. So I'm barely past the 12 minute mile yet myself...I was working on endurance first. It is really addictive, though. You have inspired me to crank up the speed now that I can actually run for 30 minutes!! lol What is a Garmin?

Tanya said...

Thanks, Jamie! LOTS of people have had success with the Couch to 5K! I am trying to encourage Whitney to get started with it.

A Garmin Forerunner is a GPS that looks like a watch tracks your runs - your pace, time, mileage, history, etc. Really cool. I have an older Garmin Forerunner 205 - I love it, except I have had some problems with it randomly turning off or not turning on. My friend has a 305, a little newer version and has never had a problem with hers. They are constantly updating them and I think the latest is a 605. Of course, it's a lot more expensive than the older versions. :) If you are running regularly, they are really a lot of fun to have. I hate running without mine!

Jessica said...

I started running about a year ago after you shared it the Couch to 5K link. I wasn't really diligent about it, though (I even took off the whole summer), but I've been running at least twice a week since the fall and can finally run the whole 5k. Hitting the three mile mark was a big deal for me! Thanks for the inspiration, Tanya!

Tanya said...

Jessica, you don't know how happy and amazed I am to hear that I somehow inspired you!! I'm like, omg, really, ME? Thank you for sharing that! YOU inspire me to keep on going! THANK YOU!!!

I think it's AMAZING you are running the whole 3 miles now! I remember the first time I was able to run that far without stopping, I just couldn't believe it. It is such a huge obstacle - and then it makes you feel so powerful: I can do this, what else can I do? Go Jessica! You can do anything you set your mind to!