Learning on the Run

from Masters to Marathons

Week 3: Life gets messy

I’m not going to lie. This week was a bear. A big old, hairy scary bear. I’ve got a pretty full plate right now. And I know that. But being the type A person that I am, I tell myself I can handle it. Do it all. I’m certainly no Wonder Woman but I’m trying to be my own kind of wonderful. However, this week made me realize something powerful when it comes to plans. Sometimes, they just don’t work out like you thought they would. And that’s ok.

I will spare you the details, but the bottom line is that I only made 2 scheduled runs this week. The 3rd was a 10K race that was on the other side of the island. I set my alarm for 3:15 am  this morning (Sunday 10/2) and got up, and got ready. But with the pouring rain beating on the tin roof overhead, the pets all looking at me through droopy tired eyes, and my husband, who was going to drive me the two hours away over a foggy Saddle road to run 6 miles and then make the trek back home, sitting in his chair looking like it was the middle of the night- ok it was- I knew I had to throw in the towel on this one.  We climbed back into bed and went back to sleep: 2 cats, 2 dogs, 2 people, and the decision not to race today.


Here are the runs that did happen:

Week 3/Day 1: Wednesday 9/28/16-

Plan– 30-45 minutes/ Actual 2.45 miles/ 33:51 minutes

I’m really happy with this run. I had a doctor’s appointment right after school, which came right after our faculty meeting, so the fact that I got this one done was a step in the right direction. This was the run where I started feeling my knees, ankles and legs protesting a bit though. On a good note, notice the red dots are more distinctly spread apart. I might be a turtle but I’m making progress.


Week 3/Day 2: Friday 9/30/16-

Plan 30-45 minutes/Actual 1.27 miles/17: 23 minutes

This run sucked. It was torrentially raining, and I went out anyway. Less than 20 minutes in I called it quits. I figured I got a point for getting out there and being consistent, but it was not so good in the mileage/time department. I came home a wet, dripping mess. The picture does not do the situation justice. Again, on a happy note, due to the monsoon situation, my red dots show progress. I’m doing less walking and more running and if nothing else, there is a definitive separation between the two. Maybe I’ve stumbled on something here. The key to running faster is having buckets of rain dump on you as you leap over puddles the size of rivers in a single bound.


The truth is, I think my over zealous plan to run 3 times a week, from  the 1 time I was eking out initially,  was a bit much. Not that the individual mileage is a lot, but it’s the fact that my legs, ankles and 45 year old knees who had apparently not gotten the memo on the new plan, were revealing something I hadn’t considered. Sometimes you’ve gotta start out slower than you think before you can go full speed ahead. These new aches and pains were not terrible, but I certainly don’t want them to become problematic and slow down the plan all together, forcing it to come to a screeching halt. In running, you need to really listen to your body. This is where calling out for reinforcement has been crucial to my plan. Reaching out to others who have “been there done that” means that though collective empowerment I can make good choices, and tweak the plan in an effort to do right by myself.

Here is what I learned:

  1. From the Jeff Galloway website, which is my go-to walk/run training plan, injury to the IT band is a common runner’s issue that can occur when you 1) run longer than you should or even faster on a given day 2) Not taking walk breaks when you need them–I am super guilty of this. I have been waiting for my watch to “tell” me when I’m “allowed” to walk.3)  Doing too many runs within a given time period and ramping up activity too fast…totally guilty here. Hello 0-60.
  2. From my colleague, inclusion co-teacher and running hero ultra-marathoner, Billy Barnett, I need to start looking at a new aspect of training that includes monitoring my heart rate. He told me I need to take 180 and minus my age, and that number, 135, becomes the optimum fat burning zone I should train for. Despite the fact that Billy can finish a half marathon in less that 1:13, he has learned that when his heart rate gets above that “zone” he too stops and walks, no matter what. He said since training this way, he is able to train less feverishly but still race faster. He also mentioned that people who see him walking must be thinking what the heck, but he is listening to what’s best for his body. I just got my Garmin soft strap heart rate monitor in the mail yesterday and I’m going to try it out on my runs this week. Just like in teaching, sometimes less is more. I’m interested in how it works out.
  3. Yoga- I used to practice 3 times a week since 2009. But somehow, like everything else, it fell to the wayside. Now I’m lucky to go 1 time a week. I was doing some research on the benefits of yoga for runners and came across some great information in Runner’s World. It states, ““The goal of yoga for runners is to make running more efficient, powerful, and enjoyable,” Pacheco said. I think with all the stress I’ve been going through, coupled with tight angry muscles and new aches and pains rearing their ugly heads, this is just what the doctor ordered. I plan on going to yoga this evening with my Mom instead of today’s scheduled run. I have to laugh though. Yoga is so much harder for me than running. This is me at yoga:


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Overall, I am thankful to be able to reach out through technology and find answers to my questions. I’m also thankful that on those particularly challenging days, I know I’m not alone. I am a member of multiple Facebook running groups and the truth is, it happens to us all. It’s just getting back out there the next time and continuing to follow our passions. I was telling my husband (after we woke up for the second time today) it bothers me that sometimes the things we love to do get pushed aside for the things we need to do. But running, like that best friend you don’t see often but can catch up like it was yesterday when you finally do, will be there whenever I’m ready. The process may go slower than I wanted, but I don’t call myself a determined turtle for nothing.



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