Tag Archives: RunKeeper

7, 8, 9…

In 2014, I began a running plan via my RunKeeper app. It’s a fat burning plan, and alternates intervals with steady runs to increase your fitness level. The app features several such plans for goals like run a 5k (3.1 miles), run a 5k in less than 30 minutes, and so on. Although I don’t enter races, I run 5ks and a rare 10k (6.2 miles), as part of a regular exercise regimen.

While perusing the plans back then, I noticed a 7-mile training run included to build endurance for a 5k. At that point I was a consistent 4-mile runner and 7 miles seemed daunting. It was a little too far outside my comfort zone, and after all, I was just a casual runner. The goal and the fear intrigued me, though. I filed it in the back of my mind to target later and stuck to the simpler fat burning plan.

Fast forward to 2016. One day, more or less due to happenstance than planning, I ran 7 miles! And then I did it again on purpose which was actually harder to do! After 7, the new uncomfortable, too-far-out-there goal I secretly filed away was 10. One day, I’ll run 10 miles. (I have zero or less than zero interest in training for a half or whole marathon, by the way, so don’t get any ideas). Anywho, 10 gives me the same jitters 7 did a couple of years ago, and I had no plans to hit it soon.

Sanya Richards-Ross

This weekend, I signed up for a new training plan via RunKeeper. Based on my current fitness and mental readiness for challenge, I selected a sub 60min 10k. This means running just over 6.2 miles in under an hour. It’s definitely doable, but unlike past running ventures, it will take actual training, rather than casual effort.

Before signing up, I skimmed the plan and noticed an 8-mile run in the mix. I felt the familiar tension, but brushed it off because of the two 7s under my belt. I locked in the plan and completed my first run (4 miles) on Sunday.

But today, while looking at the run calendar to confirm date of said 8-mile run, I blinked, observing there was much more in the offing. This 16-week plan starts off comfortably, but quickly ramps up to regular long runs – something I’ve never done with any consistency. There are two 7-milers on tap, and after a few weeks, not one but two 8-milers, two 9-milers, and shock of all shocks, yes a 10-miler.

I said it was time for a challenge. Wow. Here it is.

Today I Ran

Today I ran.

Mostly, I jogged, if you want to get technical. I wasn’t out there sprinting or going particularly fast. But I was out there. And it was great. Tough, yes, but really nice to be outside again.

My last run was a PR!
My last run was a PR!

It was my first run since my milestone of November 2013. Five months to the day. I didn’t realize that when I decided today had to be the day. I just knew it wasn’t too cold and the sun was beckoning.

I decided to just go out a mile and back. I hit my target pace of 10 min/mile. I had some difficulty breathing on a few stretches and some histamine reactions in my muscles. Both of these were to be expected.

The breathing will take care of itself as my lungs remember the work. The histamine reaction is a new/old problem I’ll have to solve, so I’ll be keeping the mileage low while I sort that out.

I’m not yet ready to set my monthly mileage goals, and I don’t know when my next run will be. For now I’m celebrating today’s return to the pavement as I look forward to many more!

Starting where you are

I ran this morning.

I really wanted to go, and although I had planned on strength training, I chose to heed the call to get some miles instead. I’m so glad I did. I’m a runner. You could also say an out-of-shape runner, or a runner on vacation, or a runner who hasn’t run much this year, but I’m still a runner.

My personal long is 5.55 miles, and at one point my average distance was 50 miles/month. It’s been a long time since I’ve hit either of those two metrics. I pretty much gave up running late last year when I began spending more time in hotels than my own home. I don’t know if you know this, but many hotel treadmills suck, and that’s only if you can manage to snag one before 5:30 in the morning.

Not the business.

Me & Blue, after my 1st run this year.
Me and Blue after my
first run this year.

But I love endorphins and being fit, so I certainly didn’t give up templebuilding altogether. I did high intensity aerobics in my hotel room and lifted weights whenever I was home. And then, I moved. Gone was my 4-mile running trail past dolphins and jumping fish. Not only would I have to figure out new routes, but I’d have the added challenge of real elevation in the mix. Georgia has hills.

I ran my first miles of the year a couple of weeks ago. A little over two one day, a little under 3 the other. Both of those were on the familiar flat terrain of Florida. My legs and hips protested. I ached after. The good ache, though. More of a you’re-cross-training-and-it’s-awesome ache. I’m in Georgia now, and those five miles brought the running itch back.

So today, with little more than the thought of “running about two miles – to the park, around and back,” I headed out.

Screen Shot 2013-07-10 at 10.35.20 AM

It was hard. And it was great. I’ve decided to push myself and run a few more times the rest of the month. My goal? 20 miles. It doesn’t matter that I used to run 50 miles in a month. It doesn’t matter my average pace used to be a little over 9-minute miles. It doesn’t matter that I used to run 4 or more miles at a time. I refuse to judge myself by a metric applicable to the person I was then, but am not now.

Today’s me is a runner, starting from scratch. First time running hills. First time running 20 miles in 2013. I can’t start from where I was. But I can start from where I am. The starting line is wherever you are right now. All you have to do is begin.

Ready? Set… Go!