Saturday, August 29, 2009

BLAB: Running

For any new readers, BLAB stands for BLogging ABout and then I always have some topic which I just feel like rambling on about for a while. After all, it is my blog, right? ;-)

So I ran a 5K race this morning, but when I say "ran" I use that term very loosely. For some reason, running for long periods of time (which isn't long at all--I'm talking like more than 10 minutes) is very hard for me, despite the fact that I work out fairly regularly and I am in reasonably good health. I'm not even running that fast--about a 10 minute mile pace, which I can keep up for only a mile on a good day. I'm wondering if you lovely, beautiful and talented ladies have any advice for me. Let me elaborate: I can use an elliptical for 60+ minutes non-stop at a reasonable speed/resistance/incline. I can bike for 60+ minutes no problem without stopping. I play racquetball regularly for at least an hour or two. I am still active in gymnastics once in a while. I do strength training quite often. I can walk (even briskly) literally all freaking day. I'm in pretty decent shape. But when I start running, my heart rate goes up very high very quickly. I get a cramp in my side (regardless of what or what time I last ate) and I pretty much am forced, by my body, to slow down after just a few minutes, no matter how slow the jog is.

Does anyone have any ideas on why this might be?!?!

This is really becoming a major source of frustration for me, because I desperately want to be able to run, for myself, for exercise and for fun. Also, my boyfriend is a natural runner and I think it would be fun to be able to more or less keep pace with him. I also wrestle with shin splints, but that's not the main problem. Pain I can deal with; frustration is MUCH harder. I DO listen to music to pump myself up (play list coming soon!), I psyche myself up positively (which also really helps with drowning out my inner critic who is a malicious liar to me!) and I do try and eat reasonably well before hand, etc etc.

I've found one online "training" program for a couch potato to 5K (non-stop) in 2 months. You can view that plan here. I think it is very helpful in terms of increasing endurance. But for myself I know that I'm going to have to extend the plan, maybe spending two or three weeks on each individual week of the plan that they list. My boyfriend tells me not to get frustrated with myself and to be patient as my endurance improves, but really, I'd love to be able to run the whole way with out stopping! I can seriously only do the first week so far, which is alternating 60 seconds of running with 90 seconds of walking for a total of 20 minutes (I double it and go for 40-45 minutes at a time). I'm moving onto the 2nd week come Monday. (2nd week of the plan is 90 seconds running with 2 minutes walking to recover, alternating for 20-40 minutes).

Anyway, that's my rant/vent/whatever. I would REALLY APPRECIATE comments, advice, encouragement, and support as I keep running. :)

Secondly, I want to get a heart rate monitor. I know that Garmin and Polar ones are the most famous. Right now they're a little out of my price range. I went to Target and looked at what they have, which is several products in the Sportline brand. Has anyone tried these? Are they worth it? They look comparable to the Garmins and Polars. They still track heart rate, calories, speed, time, and distance, which is really all I'm interested in.

The funny thing is that despite my slow walk/run time (which I'm not posting--sorry folks!), I still got a trophy from the race this morning, because I was the only female in the 20-24 year old age range, so therefore I finished first. Haha! But it's a cool trophy, so I'll roll with that. :)

Lastly, Peanut Butter and Jenny is giving away sampler packs of Kay's products. They all look delicious!

Now I'm off to shower, then go to a meeting for an upcoming community orchestra (starting in the Fall) that I will be working with, and then to play solo violin at a 3 hour long gig (wedding ceremony, cocktail hour and dinner!) So that's my Saturday. What are you all up to this weekend? Any exciting plans?


  1. I wonder if the side stitches could be because of your breathing? I try to keep an even breathing rhythm, i.e. breahing in for 2 steps, out for 2 steps at the beginning and then as I get into a more relaxed rhythm in for 3 or 4, out for 3 or 4. I try to breathe in through my nose and out through my mouth as much as possible, although I usually end up all mouth breathing eventually.

    Also, if I start to feel myself getting a cramp I try to switch up my breathing pattern, like breathing in for 2, out for 4 or something like that. Or if I'm starting my inhale when my right foot hits, I switch it so that I'm starting when the left foot hits.

    I know this sounds really complicated, and it's something that I really have to concentrate on sometimes but it's helped me a lot, so might be worth a try!

    Congrats on the race, enjoy the rest of your weekend! :)

  2. Hi Lisa! Im Mery from Argentina (South America). A month ago I started reading your blog and i`m very keen on the american way of life of people of my age. I`m 25, I`m a school teacher (primary school) and about to get my psychology degree. I love running and I think it`s the best way for you to keep your muscles strong, your heart and your mind fresh. I highly recommend you 4 things:

    1- Before and after doing excercise you must stretch your muscles.
    2- You have to find your "pace" how? Breathing from your nose and through your mouth and keeping the SAME rythym.
    3- Start running 20 - 25 minutes because the reason of getting scramps is because you lack of breathe resistence (I don´t know how to pronounce it in english!)
    4- then after a few times youu will notice that when you regulate your breathing, excercise is much more relaxed and easy.

    PD: My mom is a personal trainer!!




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