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January 7, 2008

Working Out

I am not big on New Year's Resolutions so I am glad I joined a gym back in November! I absolutely love it, it is like going to a nice hotel spa. It is called MAC Harbor East and is close to my apartment here in Baltimore.

I have never been fond of running but I want to do some more cardio so I am thinking about doign a 5K run sometime this spring, for instance in April, and maybe (big maybe!) do the Capital Challenge Walk MS 2008 in September. I am embarassed to admit that I am less worried about walking 50 kilometers than I am about raising $ 1500! That is a lot of money... Anyway, I guess if I start early and hit up everyone I know I might be able to do it... Click here to access the info page.

Here are some possible 5Ks for March or April, all with catchy titles!

Scope it Out 5K for Colon Cancer Research

Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile & 5K

Bright Beginnings 5K Race

Cassidy and Pinkard Colliers Race for Hope Brain Tumor 5K Run/Walk

If I had more readers I would have you vote on which one to do! :)

January 16, 2008

Run run run

I am happy to report that I have started running and so far I am sticking to it. I am following the "Couch to 5K" plan, which is a two month beginner's running program. It starts off nice and slow which makes it easier to follow through! I have always hated running so I am hoping that by following a very structured plan I will enjoy it more.I am also working out with machines and doing my regular yoga and pilates. For the last two weeks I have run three times a week and done yoga twice a week, which I am very happy with.

Week of January 7th:
Monday: Walk/run, weights
Tuesday: Yoga, walk/run
Thursday: Yoga, walk/run, weights

Week of January 16th:
Monday: Walk/run, weights
Tuesday: Yoga, walk/run
Thursday: Yoga, walk/run

Couch to 5K Running Plan

January 24, 2008

I Love Yoga

When I get hooked on something, I tend to talk about it. A lot. So I am talking about my 5K quite a bit! I am also reading and writing on an online forum for newbie runners, which is a great inspiration. Oh, and I signed up for the Scope It Out Colon Cancer 5K! Yay! I am very much looking forward to that, and it fits very well with the nine-week Couch to 5K. (I know, I know, some people find it very strange that I need a full nine weeks to make it to 5K, but I think it seems smart to take it slow!)

Anyway, what I wanted to write about today was yoga. While I haven't been running much in my life, I have done yoga on a very regular basis since October 2005. I had tried a few classes before that, but when I joined a gym I started going pretty religiously, always two, and sometimes three, times a week. I just loved it. Some people feel that a gym is not the best place to do yoga, because of the drop-in nature of the classes, the atmosphere of the gym (might be noisy), and the fact that many people see it mainly as a way to work out, not a meditative practice. However, I thought the teachers were excellent and the rooms were nice as well - both above ground, with tall ceilings and lots of lights. And the noise was never a problem. Plus they had classes at times that I could make, such as later in the evening and on weekends.

The teachers were very good (I miss them!) and they taught me what I think is the most important lesson in yoga: you are were you are. Even if everyone else can do headstands and you can't touch your toes, that is quite alright. Yoga can be practiced by everybody, on every level, and that is what I love about it. I also think that if my first teachers had not been good about installing this tenent in me, I might have dropped out, since I am one of those people who still can't touch her toes! They were all excellent at making modifications and using props to allow everybody a fulfilling practice. It really annoys me when somebody tells me that I have to straighten my legs in down dog, or if they don't explain well. People of all levels can be in the same class as long as the teacher explains each step. Good explanations are key!!

Another favorite of mine is the "rule" that whenever you are tired, you can lay down in child's pose. Only you know your body and when you need to take a break.

440_childsPose.jpg

February 7, 2008

Update on Running and Couch to 5K

Boy, this blogging every day thing is a tiny bit stressful! I don't have much time tonight so I will just give a recap of my Couch to 5K program, which I wrote about in this post. As of this evening, I am halfway through nine-week program! I did Week 4 Day 2 today, and it went quite well. This week we do intervals of three and five minutes run, with short walks in between, for a total of 16 minutes running. The first time I did it was HARD, but today was better! It also helps to be active on the Cool Running message boards, where each week somebody starts a new thread for those starting Couch to 5K that week. It is very helpful to be accountable to someone, and it feels great to come back from the gym and tell the others what I have done.

So far I am only running inside, on the treadmill. I do run on an incline to compensate and I do plan to run outside sometime before the end of the program. But I have to say that it really helps to watch TV while I run! Today I watched Project Runway, which kept me entertained. I also usually combine my run with either a class or weight training.

In this post, I talked about wanting to do a 5K run. I decided to sign up for the Scope it Out 5K for Colon Cancer Research - mainly because you get to run through a gigantic inflatable colon at the end! Who wouldn't want that!! The run is on March 30th in DC and I am looking forward to my first race. My goal is to do it in 30 minutes, but I will be happy with just running the whole race.

February 24, 2008

Still waiting for that runner's high...

I haven't written about my running since February 7 so I figured I'd give a little update. I finished Week 6 of my nine-week running program today. When I wrote just a little over two weeks ago, in the middle of Week 4, I was only running 5 minutes at the most - today I ran 25 minutes! It was tough but I did it. Last week I did 20 minutes for the first time and it actually felt good. This is from the girl who would do anything to get out of running in gym class... I don't thing I have ever run 25 minutes straight before! (Actually it was 26 minutes, I wanted to make it back to my starting point.) I think I will actually be OK with the 5K that I am signed up for on March 30. Pretty cool! I have three weeks left of the program and from now on it is all longer runs, 25, 28, and 30 minutes. As I said in my title, I don't feel that runner's high yet - according to my runner friend it is a wonderful feeling of positivity and joy after a run... Still waiting for that!

Not the most exciting blog post but it will have to do for today! It is late and I really want to watch a little bit of the Oscars before going to bed...

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