Thursday, April 12, 2012

the thing about running

I've been doing spin off and on for a while now. Spin is tough. It's a challenge. Adjusting to the narrow seat alone is a huge milestone {and every one who has ever done spin says AMEN}.
BUT. running is a whole other story my friends.

I posted last week about wanting to run in the Rock n Roll Marathon here in November. My sister who has ran in quite a few marathons, wrote me up a training schedule.  I got a ton of questions about the schedule and a ton of you who had some good input about running. Which I loved. And which also got me thinking that I want to sort of document this whole process of training.

For a few reasons.....
#1 it keeps me super accountable.
#2 if you are thinking about running any future marathons yourself {or just running in general} you can follow the journey of someone who is lit-er-all-y starting from scratch.
#3 one of the main reasons I keep this blog is to document our life in general. The idea of having weekly posts to read back on about this journey would be so cool to me.

I ran my first mile last Wednesday. I was supposed to aim for 11:00 minutes and I finished it in 10:37. Not bad. But something I quickly realized is that cardio wise, this is a whole other ball game from spin. I had to concentrate really quickly on breathing right. Which for some reason didn't just come naturally. It's different when your running as opposed to spinning. On top of that, my sister told me I couldn't stop running, because stopping and then starting again only makes it harder. I'm telling you she's a tough trainer. I kept hearing her in my head --"It's just mind over matter"

I also made the mistake of putting Adele on my pandora station. Kinda not the right sort of "get your booty moving" music I needed. But I finished the mile and it felt really good afterwards. Even if I felt a little nauseous.

{this was from my instagram right after}

The next day, that Thursday, I did another mile and finished it in 10:17. I tried out Jason Mraz this time and it helped a little. Still not quite what I was looking for.  Still searching for the right pandora station. Suggestions welcome.

Then Friday came and Easter weekend and I didn't run. So I decided to start over and make this week my first official week of training. For the first week I'm supposed to focus on 1, 11 minute mile for 3 days and 1 "longer" run on Saturday with 1 1/2 miles.

Ok great.

Now here's where I made a mistake. On Monday, I decided to try and beat that 10:17 minute mile from the week before. And I just took off. Like literally, I just took off like "I got this".... Black Eyed Peas as my pandora station, feeling all good.
But very quickly I could feel that it was going to be harder. I couldn't figure out why. My lungs were on fire and I had to stop a couple of times. {Which remember I'm not allowed to do.} I had a tiny bit of pain in my shins so I started to focus on my stride instead of my breathing. And ended up being super winded within minutes. Duh. Such a rookie mistake.

Source: via Laura on Pinterest

I still finished that mile in decent time. 10:36 or something like that but I was SPENT after I was done and it was torture. All because I got too focused on just taking off and beating that original time when I should have just focused on doing it properly. Slow and steady and all that, right? Now I could totally make that right there into a lesson of the day, but I think you get it.

I ran again on Tuesday and it was much better. I took my time focusing on the breathing and my stride and didn't look at my time. But wouldn't you know my little GPS + NIKE app stopped working during the middle of my run anyway. Sort of ironic wouldn't you say. So I have no idea what my time was, but that's ok.

My next run will be tomorrow morning. It was supposed to be tonight but B went to a last minute basketball game. Usually I've been going in the evenings. The weather has been perfect in the evenings. I'm dreading the super hot Texas weather though ya'll.

For those of you wanting to follow along with my training schedule, keep in mind, there are plenty of training schedules out there. I've heard a good one for beginners is Couch to 5k. Make sure you find what works best for you. Just because this schedule works for me, it may not be a good fit for you.

We had to make some changes to it since I ended up officially starting this week instead of last, but basically it's 4 days a week of running. Run- Mon/Tues, Rest Wednesday, Run-Thursday, Rest Friday, Run-Saturday {the longer run} and Rest Sunday.  This is how I chose to do it, you can do your runs/rests whatever days of the week you want. And sometimes you may need to change it up like I had to today. That's ok as long as you are getting the 4 days of running in.

For the first week it's 3 days of 1, 11 minute mile. And then 1 1/2 miles on Saturday. I am running outside so if you do this on a treadmill you can adjust your speed to get to that timing. The Nike + GPS app on my phone tells me where I'm at at each quarter mile so I know whether I should speed up or not. It's genius.

Next week is the same schedule but with 2, 11 minute miles each day and then 2 1/2 on Saturday. This is all working toward my first goal of 3, 9:30 miles easily. Then the real training begins. Oy vey.

First Week lessons and tips:
-Focus on your breathing and stride. Not your time. Who cares what your time is at this point.
-Find some good booty moving music.....I'm still working on finding the right one for me. My sister likes to listen to Hillsong because she uses it as part of her time with the Lord. I think that's great, but at this point, I can't do that. I need some music that gets me moving. Like Shakira. Cause these hips ain't liein y'all.
-Get the nike + GPS app if you have an iphone. Again, it's genius.
-Make sure you have good shoes. I have a few different pairs from over the years. The ones I use and love are old, but they'll do until I get into the major miles. But...your shoes make all the difference so make sure you are comfortable in them.

Again. I'm a beginner trying to help other beginners. All you professional runners, feel free to interject or add some of your wise words. I love to hear it. No I really do. That sounds sarcastic but it's not. Promise.

And that's all she wrote my friends. Let me know if you have any questions. I will reply to them in the comments in case someone else has the same question. If you are just starting out with me, thinking about it, or are a seasoned runner, I'd love to hear from you.  Or if you just want to say "Run Laura Run!" I'll take that too.


  1. Girl, you are too amazing. I want to start running so bad and you are definitely inspiringly to do so. Loved this post, keep 'em coming!

  2. How/where can I find out the right breathing techniques?! I want to start running more but I know I'm not doin it right!

    1. I don't think there is necessarily a right "technique" just make sure you are breathing in through both your mouth and nose and out through your mouth. Try to focus on breathing in from your belly, to get good deep breaths.
      Sometimes if I'm not paying attention I tend to hold my breath. Not good. Your body needs oxygen to keep moving. Basically try to take three steps for every inhale and 2 steps to every exhale. Focus on those things and see k it helps! :)

  3. glad you posted this! one of my goals this year is to become a runner and I am now able to run about 3 comfortably. but I am slow and SUCH a beginner. good on you for getting it going!

  4. Are you still going to spin? You should. At least once a week. If / when you do go try turning p the tension on your bike. It will make your run the following day easier.
    Usually shin splinter are caused by improper shoes. So glad you are trying other pairs. Shin splinter stink.
    I love running but have been la to the zy. Ha!

    Oh and Run Laura Run!!!

  5. The r on shin splints should if been an s. Cell phones. Ha!

  6. Way to go! I'm going to attempyt running after fully released from having this baby which will be sometime in October. So I look forward to reading about your journey :) I'm way out of shape so it will be interesting when I get there lol.

    Run Laura run!

  7. I'm running the san antonio rock and roll this November too! Would love to get to see you there!

    and I completely agree, I run about an 11 minute mile, and it's the perfect pace for me. I've run quite a few half marathons before, but this will be my first full!

    I would love to talk about training more with you!

  8. Hey! There's another awesome running ap called RunKeeper and I've found it to be much more accurate than the Nike ap. It actually uses the GPS in your phone to check the mileage rather than having to calibrate the chip in your shoe. It does the same quater mile stats too. It's wonderful! And FREE!!!!

    Good for you on running girl! I need to pick back up. I had gotten to 5 miles easily but then it warmed up, and life happened...and I've not ran in 4 weeks.

    PROBABLY doing a 5K in the morning to maybe get my butt back in gear...but jury's still out.

    Keep up the good work. YOu can do it! It's such a good feeling when you finish that run!!!!!

  9. OH...and something that helped me with my stride was to have my arms tell my legs what to do. Your arms are the perfect stride for your legs. So. If you match what they are doing, it makes your stride more comfortable. Try it. It'll make sense when you do it.

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  11. I just started running a few weeks ago and had the same problem with finding the right music! I have settled into Britney Spears "Circus". It sounds silly but it's very upbeat and motivating. Really who doesn't love the Mickey Mouse Club?

    Another App to use is MapymyRun. It updates you on time, speed, and distance every mile ( though I am sure you can change the settings). Good luck!

  12. Oh my goodness, I needed to read that quote about lapping the couch people! I always feel terrible for running so slow, but that quote is so true! Loving your blog, and found you from Jenna (at life of the wife) !

  13. Yes! Running is just harder than any other exercise in its own distinct way. I am not a natural runner at all, but I have been doing it for years anyway. I agree... focusing on your breathing and getting good music are very important. The other thing to remember is that every once in awhile you are just going to a have a bad run and your body feels off, even though you just completed the same run a day or two ago. Usually this happens to me about once every three weeks. Just go with it, do as much as you can, and know that your run will probably be much better again the next day. :)

  14. This was SO helpful! Thanks! I'm so glad you mentioned the breathing...that's something I definitely need to work on. And I like your running schedule...I need a week night off at times, so I may try something similar. And yes, definitely about the time. When I run any kind of distance, I have to do it at a snail's pace for awhile.

  15. That's awesome you're doing this! when I run I just searched "workout" on pandora, some of it's pretty techno haha but it helps!

  16. Running is the best! I can't wait to get back into it now that my ankle is finally healing from being injured while moving.

  17. Yay I am so happy that you are doing this! I went through the whole trying to find good running music thing too for a long time, like you I need that booty shakin music to keep my legs hitting at a good pace and when I slow song would come one I wouldnt even mean to but I would slow down too! I even noticed on my times I would run slower if I didnt have my music or too many slow songs compared to when I had good music... so the channel I landed on that did the trick! Pandora Dance Pop since it is dance music each song is fast paced. My duathlon in is 57 days eeeek and I slacked off training the past month so I am pretty much starting at the beginning again (not fair that you can loose all that work so fast huh!) But since I slacked I now have told myself I have to run everyday at least a little no mater what, and of course this week is the week it rains everyday haha! But I still have gone out and done at least 2 each day (though I normally do 3 or 4, I was too scared I would get drenched so I set my goal shorter haha) This week I was getting my legs back in the game and next week I will turn on my gps and start working on my time again. When I started training two months ago I started at 10 min miles for 2 miles and worked to 8:45 min miles for 2 miles in two weeks, so I have faith in you and your sisters training method that you will be meeting your goals too!

  18. Great job! I started running 2 years ago and was completely addicted! My favorite quote is "Running...cheaper than therapy." It is so true!

    I just completed my first half marathon in March and really enjoyed it. My husband and I are looking at the Rock n Roll half in Savannah. Is that the one you are considering??

    One rookie mistake... don't over do it too fast. It leads to injury then your training has to slow down according. There are so many training plans out there that help hold you accountable and build up at a solid pace. Other advice, your old shoes are fine. You will know when it is time to get new ones. Most any athletic shoe will do fine for up to three miles. When you begin logging more than that on a consistent basis, it will be time to invest in new ones. If you have access to a running shop that does custom shoe fittings, I would do it! It makes a world of difference and you don't end up spending any more $$ than usual.

    Good luck!

  19. I started running after watching the Tour de France and watching those riders climb the mountains! Whenever it hurt....and it DID hurt oh so bad,I kept picturing them and Imagined what they were feeling. I used to think to myself that you need a strong mind before you can get a strong body! I haven't run for a while now but you have inspired me. Best wishes with it. Look fwd to tracking your progress! I'm going to grab my runners now!
    Cheers from The land down under!

  20. Wow. I am so proud of you!!!! And I can't believe you can run that fast already. You are amazing!! You'll b a pro in no time!!! My marathon is 3 weeks away and I'm nervous. I'm running a local half marathon next weekend just for fun:) xoxoxo

  21. I love this update! I am going to have to keep posted for these. I am feeling really inspired :)

    Every few weeks I put if I gained/lost weight, size, and what I am doing to keep it off. It helps me stay accountable too.

  22. Love the quote about lapping couchpotatoes. That's awesome. Great work and hoping you inspire others as you realize your cardio potential.

  23. LOVE this post!
    I was a major spinner and then I discovered running. Loved it! I signed up for a 10k and trained in a month and a half. I stopped spinning while I trained for the race. I ran the race in 56 minutes and was so proud of myself.... until I realized I'd injured my knee during the race. I trained way too fast and cared about my time way too much. Crap. I had to stop running but started spinning again because that didn't hurt my knee. Now I'm getting back into running but I'm going to do spin at the same time. They both work me out differently, like you said. But this time I am all about how my body feels... instead of time and competitiveness! It feels so good to get back into shape!

  24. Good for you! I started couch to 5k and's killin' me:) but i'm gonna keep on truckin! Thanks for the inspiration


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