Blog for Stephanie Bryant, a writer with too many hobbies and not enough time.

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Progress on Running

This is a fairly typical run for me these days. Over 2 miles, pace is somewhere between 14:30 and 15:45 minutes per mile. Yesterday was 15:33, but it was 103 degrees out. Saturday was 14:43 at about 95 degrees. I got a heart rate monitor, which tells me that I spend about 8 minutes of my workout below the “fitness” heart rate, and the remainder in the “fitness” range. I think that means I’m spending over half an hour three days a week doing a rigorous aerobic workout.

The big changes: I am less stressed out, over all, than when I started. And when I do get stressed out or panicky, I am much faster to recover from it. I had a big stress-out this weekend when my mom (who I love and enjoy spending time with) announced a last-minute plan to come visit me next week. I panicked for an evening, and by morning I had an idea of how to approach the late schedule changes. My response to a stressful day is to take a fifteen minute break to go walk, or schedule an hour to go run (particularly if it’s either a run day or a rest day that I could move my run to).

I had to give up a weekly D&D game, Encounters, in order to have the time to do this. I do not regret that decision– I am very happy with 3 games, two of which alternate weeks.

The little changes: My skin is doing a lot better– fewer breakouts (I’m back to my once-a-month PMS pimple).

Not surprisingly, my endurance and overall heart/lung health is doing well.

I also am the top on my FitBit leaderboard among my friends right now. Take that, Rob!

The no-changes: My weight. I have gained and lost the same 3 lbs. over the course of this process. It’s been 3 months and the scale will nudge down one day, and up the next.

People tell me it must be muscle gain, which would be great. Unfortunately, my clothes tell me that the shape of my body is not changing either– I am still in the “fat” shorts.

And despite my improved fitness on a flat course, stairs and elevation changes are still hard for me– I still get winded sometimes, and my knees and ankles continue to crackle when I go up and down them. I do not anticipate adding “hiking” to my repertoire any time soon.

The next steps: August 10th is my next 5K— the first for me since last year’s Ugly Sweater Run (which I walked), and the first I’m running in over 18 months. I’m also signed up for Glow Run on October 13th (team Love Bugs– join us!) and the Zombie Run on October 27 (team Love Maggots… get it?)

After I finish this round of the Couch to 5K program (next week is Week 7, so I should wrap up week 9 again on my 39th birthday. RunDouble has a program called “Improving 5K” that I’ll try out until November. And then… who knows? Maybe more 5Ks (the Santa Run and Ugly Sweater run will be coming up in December), or maybe I’ll start training for a 10K. 10Ks are not as popular in Las Vegas as the themed/untimed 5Ks, but they’re a good distance for endurance running. 5K is a nice beginner goal, and I’m pretty happy to stick to it for a while. I’m never concerned about time, but it would be nice to finish a 5K in less than 45 minutes.

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