Monday, August 6, 2012

Couch to 5K to Sea Wheeze Training Wrap Up

My Sea Wheeze Race Day outfit
My training for the Sea Wheeze is at an end. If someone told me last December that I'd run a half marathon in 2012 I would have told them they're crazy. I hated running in gym class as a kid. Hated it. Now I'm less than a week away from my first half and am really excited for it. Taking up running has to be one of the more interesting self-discovery journeys I have been on in my adult life. I learned several things:
  • Achieving a large, very intimidating physical goal is possible if you break it into tiny, easily achievable steps - it all started with just 60 seconds of running. The Couch to 5K training plan is a miracle worker as far as I'm concerned. It took an overweight woman - I believe the the race term is an 'Athena'  ('plodder' is probably more accurate in my case) - in her late 40s and transformed her from a person who hated running into one who really likes it now and is signed up for two half marathons (the Disney World Half is next).
  • Starting out slowly is the key - follow the plans and build the distance accordingly.  It's probably worse since I'm overweight/older but it took a long while to get my joints/bones used to the stresses of running. It wasn't until about five months in that my various joints/muscles didn't feel sore after I was done. Also, as an engineer, I totally loved methodically checking off the boxes after each workout.
  • Running through pain is not a good idea. It only prolongs the recovery.
  • To make yourself stick with running, because you will need that in the in the beginning (at least I did), sign up for a race several months in advance. Post it on Facebook and if you have a blog, post it there. ;-) The thought of having to publicly admit you gave up will keep you going. For further motivation, make it a destination race so you really have to commit to going. (This is a bit tongue-in-cheek but it worked for me.)
I also want to thank several people who encouraged me to take this journey. The first is my husband since he blazed the way. He was diagnosed with Type II diabetes a couple of years ago and he subsequently dropped 85 lbs and took up running. He was never a runner, either. He is the one who told me to sign up for the Sea Wheeze and said I could do it when I told him he was nuts. My sister took up running a few years ago and is a veteran runner of two marathons and nearly a dozen half marathons. She is running the Sea Wheeze, too, in the two-hour corral. My brother recently finished his first Half Ironman so keeping up with my siblings was a further motivation. I also had a lot of encouragement from people I've met on-line through a mutual interest lululemon, two of whom also convinced me to sign up for the Sea Wheeze. One I've met in person, Rose, and the other I haven't met yet - Nicole. I've also gotten some good advice from a couple of veteran distance runners, Susan and Ayesha. I also wanted to thank the people who've suggested various things on this blog when I've had issues.

Some stats:
  • Miles run in training: ~ 300 (I ran for time in the beginning so had to estimate it but I've run 266.51 since I started tracking them in Map My Run)
  • Pound Lost: 13
  • Inches on the hips lost: ~2"
  • $ spent on new equipment for running: ~$500 (includes sneakers, sunglasses, race belt, etc.)
  • Favorite lulu tops for running: Swiftly tanks, SS, and LS
I put a photo of my race outfit so if you spot me at the Sea Wheeze, come up and say hi. I'll be in the back.  ;-)

51 comments:

Rebecca Sigmon said...

Best of luck! I play hurling in Milwaukee so I'll pass along what one of my friends says before every game "Play safe, have fun". (Insert "run" for "play"). I'm envious of all you Sea Wheeze ladies for many (Lulu and non-Lulu, more athletic) reasons.

LuluAddict said...

Thanks! The event planned around the Sea Wheeze sound like a lot of fun. I think it's going to be a blast no matter how I do.

Caroline said...

Congrats on completing your training, Luluaddict! Have a great race and keep us posted on all the lulu you see on the course and off :)

Lindsay said...

Congrats on finishing training and enjoy the race! I'm super jealous of all the pretty SW-only gear you'll be able to buy at the expo :)

Anonymous said...

Good Luck to you! You're going to love the scenery, BC is sooo beautiful (not sure where you live). Happy shopping too!

LuluAddict said...

Oh yeah, I plan on making a race report while I am there. I just hope I can remember everything. Some running blogs that chronicle various races are so detailed I marvel at their powers of recollection.

Pink Peony 4 said...

LLA: I read your diary and it is impressive how you are so honest with the daily grind and rigors of the training. I have made a public commitment that I will run the next Sea Wheeze. I am very excited since I have not done this before. I need to work on a lot of things but I can do it with determination. I printed your link re C25K and will start on that after the olympics wrap up. Thank you for the inspiration and for the blog. I am rooting for you. I wish I could be there on Saturday. BTW, your gear looks fab!!! YOU GO, GIRL>>>

Kristin said...

Hats off to you!! It is an awesome accomplishment to finish training. Now, get to the finish line and most importantly, HAVE FUN!!! You will always remember this race, your first distance race. Keep on trucking.

Nicole said...

Woohooo!! Congratulations! You have put so much hard work in and now it is time to reap the reward: crossing that finish line. I cannot wait to read your recap. Enjoy every step you take this weekend. Running is FUN :)

Kristin said...

@ Pink Peony,

YOU GO GIRL!! We will be rooting you on next year. Whooo hoooo!!!

Melissa said...

Congrats! You go get 'em! And enjoy!

Anonymous said...

Way to go, LLA!! Overcoming personal obstacles is the best thing about being alive, yes?

Good luck to you!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your inspiring story, and congratulations on the amazing progress! Also jealous that you get to do Sea Wheeze! Have a great time!! :)

Jen said...

Just remember that the hardest part -training- is over. The race is simply dessert! I'll be at the SW too and will look for you to cheer you on to your goal. (ilk be in my new balance skirt and either ultraviolet swift tank or pop orange swiftly.) savor every step of those 13.1 miles. You've earned each and every one of them. Best of luck...see you at the finish!!

LuluAddict said...

@ anon 1:52 pm - definitely! I read a recent blog post where the author said it was her birthday so she skipped working out that day since she didn't feel like spending her birthday at the gym. I thought it was interesting since I ran on both my birthday and Mother's Day and celebrated the fact that I could. The 40s seem to be the decade where the shit hits the fan health-wise- one of my high school classmates recently died of a stroke - he was a wheelchair racer so in good shape and it was shocking to hear of his death. My town was small and I knew him since kindergarten. One of my friends was recently diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and has limited mobility so like I said, I celebrate the fact that I *can* run, no matter how slowly.

Natalie said...

I'll be running with you at SeaWheeze and look forward to meeting you! I'll be there friday-Monday.
Natalie

Susan (TJI) said...

Wow - what an accomplishment. So proud of you, your diligence and your hard work. The mental part of running is tough, but rewarding. Wish I could be there with you!

MonkeyGirl said...

Congratulations, LLA!!! You should be very proud! Thank you for the inspiration - as someone who doesn't enjoy running, you've given me the hope that I, too, can join the running club and get to where it's a joy :D

Anonimouse said...

@ Rebecca Sigmon, I miss Hurling now that we no longer live in Ireland, no one plays it were I am now :(

LLA all the best in the Sea Wheeze

Anonymous said...

Awesome!!!! You are a true inspiration!!!!!

Julie said...

Congrats LLA! Thank you for sharing your story- gave me the warm and fuzzies. :) very inspiring.

I think I've run on nearly every holiday or birthday...I can't imagine not doing so. If I don't run on my birthday, it's because it's a rest day before the Chicago marathon. Otherwise, I would. It's become that much a part of my life.

Sourkraut said...

I am so impressed! Especially reading about the progress you've made from a relative non-runner (like me) to someone about to accomplish a huge goal. Even with your detailed post I still don't know how you do it. I'm still piddling around, struggling through my three-mile runs, so I'm duly amazed by what you're about to do. You should be very proud of yourself. Best of luck!

Also, I think it's super cute that you've got your special outfit all picked out. Not only will you rock the race but you'll be doing it in style.

Minda said...

Fantastic Job!!!!! Consistency and Willpower all the way!
You are awesome! - I know what you mean by not thinking you would ever be on a list of someone running in mega races!! I had such a sense of personal reward upon completing the Iron Girl Half Marathon. It really is worth it.

amber said...

Best of luck! I just started the C25K program a month ago and will run my first 5K in September. :) It started as a way to be able to get a workout in with my son (I push him in the BOB while I run), but I'm loving this new challenge. A half marathon sounds like too much right now, but who knows how I'll feel in a few months. ;) I think it's awesome you've picked up a new fun hobby and I hope that you have a great experience.

LuluAddict said...

@ Minda- yes!!! - perseverance and a plan worked for me.

Jessica said...

Congrats LLA and good luck! Again, I will tell you how much your Couch to 5k to Seawheeze blog has helped me as I plow through couch to 5k right now. Thanks again for being so honest - especially when it was hard! I don't love running yetm but I love that I am doing it! Week 6 Day 2 in tomorrow or Wednesday!! Maybe next year I'll be there too! Have a great time!

ellesmommy said...

This is really inspiring! Good for you, and thanks for sharing your details!

Anonymous said...

LLA, congratulations on your training and all the accomplishments and benefits that have come along the way! That's awesome you've had great support! Long may you run! Don't even think of slow: any run and any race is an achievement in and of itself. Have fun! I will look for you...lol I don't know what I'm wearing yet.

Pink Peony: definitely am and will be cheering for you.

Sourkraut: you keep it up and it gets easier. I hope you enjoy it. One day you'll be running a 6 mile like the breeze! You might shudder at the thought but I know you'll do it!

Cheers & Happy Running!

Anonymous said...

This is awesome and inspiring! I'm such a casual runner, never done more than a 10k, but now I wanna step up my running and do a half! Have a great time in the Sea Wheeze, organized races like this are so fun and exciting and make all the training worth it.
Also, agreed on the swiftly tops as the best for running, they're so lightweight. swiftly + speed shorts are my staple outfit for runs.

LuluAddict said...

@ Susan TJI - looking forward to meeting you at the Disney World Half weekend! And thanks for all your advice!

LuluAddict said...

@ Sourkraut - getting to the three miles was a major hurdle for me. It took weeks. Just keep at it. You'll do it. I think someone told me three and five miles were major hurdles and then once you are past those, it comes easier.

Anonymous said...

Best of luck. I'm sure it'll be a truly amazing experience! You'll have to show us some pictures!!

Anonymous said...

Best of luck. I'm sure it'll be a truly amazing experience! You'll have to show us some pictures!!

cheryl said...

amazing!!!
thank you for blogging about your training journey, looking forward to reading about your race day triumphs!

Michelle Q said...

Many, many congrats and GOOD LUCK, LLA! Honestly, you were the one who inspired me to sign up for my first half-marathons! Reading your training diary really got me pumped and believing I could do it too. A few months ago, I couldn't run a mile without wanting to vomit. In fact, I started out like you - just a minute or so of running at a time. This past Sunday, my run (well, run/walk program) was 10 miles! Good luck and seawheeze and enjoy your goodies. Thanks for getting me out there and believe in myself.

AZ Lulu Fan said...

Good Luck LLA! Can't wait to see your pics and read your Sea Wheeze blog posts. Love your blog, thanks so much for all the time you put into this endeavor.

yogibabe said...

A very big heart and a resounding Hooray to you LLA! I've read your Sea Wheeze blog from the begining and am very, very inspired by what you've accomplished. Enjoy your Sea Wheeze (to all that will be there too!) and keep blogging, so that we can continue to "experience" it with you all. Make sure to post some of or LLA Bloggers group pictures. :) Mightiest of luck to you, but above all, be safe and ENJOY!!!

@Sourkraut
Keep plugging along, girl! Before you know it, the miles gets longer and you will feel better while doing it!

@Pink Peony 4
Yippee for deciding to try for the Sea Wheeze next year! You know that we will be cheering you on. :)

Unknown said...

You can do it!! I'm a fellow "athena" - just ran my 21st half and I've run 4 full marathons. ANYONE can do it. the best advice I received is this: "Have fun!" - smile at the folks cheering for you, high five the little kids and enjoy all 13 miles of fun!

NicoleC said...

wow... all this talk of running has been so inspiring! I just ran 7k this morning which is a huge achievement for me! Thanks for all the tips and encouragement everyone and have an awesome time at the Seawheeze!!! Good luck :)

Anonymous said...

@ luluaddict 2:04

There was a waterbottle that said I run because I can*but really I jog

Amy said...

Congrats LLA on all of your hard work and thank you for sharing your journey with us. I've always envied runners and wanted to be one, but I am so bad at it. This gives me hope that maybe I, too, can do it if I have the proper plan and the gumption to stick to it! Good luck at Sea Wheeze!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations LLA! Very impressed :)

Houndlvr67 said...

Truly impressed LLA! Have fun and enjoy the scenery (you know what kind of scenery I mean ;-) ) and the party! I'll be thinking of you and wishing I was there in Vancouver to cheer you on!

Anonymous said...

you are so amazing LLA! Three cheers for you, from here! Thank you so much for sharing.

You are so right that we run because we can. Because we love it. Because it makes us feel alive and like we're flying. The training is all the more worth it on the day.

And on the day- You will have an incredible time. The course is so beautiful (it's a long way from me but a little bit of my heart is in the peace of Stanley Park).

Running and it's endorphins are addictive, as are the races. The moment I've finished one I'm already keen to sign up for the next

(Me + race endorphins + google + optional flights = my next race sorted)

Anonymous said...

Congrats!!! It has been so encouraging to read your blog. I also would have told someone they were crazy if they would have told me I would be running a half marathon last year! I've always hated running but a friend encouraged me to do a 5k with her and the ball kept rolling from there. Your blog and my own lulu-addiction has also propelled me along!

I so wish I was doing Seawheeze but will be happy with my Healdsburg half in October (wine at the end:) Running really has taught me a lot about myself as well and you really summed it up perfectly. Thanks for sharing with us and have an incredible time at Seawheeze!! Way to go!!

JEK said...

Congrats LLA !!!!

I have enjoyed following your journey.
I'll be cheering for you from Florida!

RunLiketheWind said...

Fantastic!!! My favorite blog post yet :)

3grrls said...

Enjoy your run, LLA - we'll be cheering you on(line) :) I'm one of those who can't run without coughing a lung out and always envied those who run effortlessly. I'm inspired by your blog and the encouragement from the supportive community here to get going on training, so maybe I'll get there one day too. Have a great time in Vancouver, it's one of my favourite places :)

Nicole said...

Have soooo much fun on your race! You really did a fabulous job charting your progress. Running through the crowd is seriously the best part. Feed of their energy. You'll do great! Congrats! These last 13 miles will be the easy part!

Jinah Kim said...

Congrats on completing your training! Cannot wait to hear your account of the race after the weekend :)

Jenn Halter said...

AMAZING WORK!! You are truly inspiring! I'll be cheering for you super loud this weekend. All the hard work is done....just "relax" and enjoy the day! (well, as much as you can relax during a half marathon....haha) Can't wait to read your post race blog! GOOD LUCK!!!