Wednesday, July 25, 2007


Rob, you were right! Rob, who doubles as our resident diet and exercise consultant at work in addition to being my engineering manager, told me that I would achieve my goal of 24 minutes the day I broke up my goal into short one or two minute segments. That way I would know where I needed to be throughout all of the run instead of only finding out how close I was to hitting the goal at the end (when it's too late to speed up).

On Sunday afternoon, using the measuring tool on Microsoft Streets and Trips (also available on Google maps), I found out how many yards it was between every street that I pass on my route. The distance actually worked out to 2.92 miles when measured that way instead of 2.8 miles so I might actually be running a little farther and faster than I thought. Then I applied a rate to each segment - a faster rate for my first 3 minute segment as well as a downhill portion leaving all the other segments the same. Then I found out how many minutes it should take to get to each street as well as what my halfway to that street time should be.

I run while listening to music on an mp3 player and have used audacity to make custom length segments to use when doing the couch-to-5k running plan this spring. Listening to music to tell me when to switch from running to walking is much easier at 5 am then pressing a stopwatch and remembering how long you're supposed to run. Anyway, using audacity, this Sunday I recorded notes for myself for the halfway mark "halfway to __ street in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1" as well as street notes of "to __ street in 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1" for each street (17 streets in all). Then I arranged those notes on my 24 minute music segment. On Monday, I ran with these notes for the first time. All was going ok (though I was behind my notes for most of the time) until my shoe got untied when I was .5 miles from the end. I paused the time and tied my shoe and then took a minute (or so) to catch my breath and decide if I should run and finish the route. I finally decided I would go on and restarted the time. I did end up finishing in 24:03 but wasn't sure if I could have without the break. So, today was the real test. I put a fresh battery in my mp3 player, tied my shoes tight and was off!

It's funny how my mind plays tricks on me. Within a couple minutes I was sure that I must be running slow and would never make it even to the first street on time. But I actually managed to stay within a few seconds of almost every time segment and finished with 5 seconds to spare! If I'm running 2.8 miles, that's a rate of 7mph or 8.6 minute miles. It's nice to have finally hit that goal! I'm not sure what my next goal with be. I was pretty exhaused when I finished the run so so I think I may just do this route a few more times and chose something new after my trip to Chicago in August.

If any of you want to do the couch-to-5k plan, take a look at this chart. I made it for my use in doing the plan. It was much easier for me to quickly follow a chart then to keep up with the pages of notes on their website.


ivory said...

Congratulations! It is always a great feeling when you reach a goal, but I can also understand your dilemma of "what to do next".

Just think . . . if we had had this plan in college, we never would have worried about the PE Running Final =)

Rob said...

Congratulations! I knew you could/would do it.

"What to do next?" Well... you've trained for a 5K...

(not as if you haven't heard that before)

Miriam said...


Ivory, Those PE running finals were awful! I'm so glad those days are over. But you're right, if we had prepared by actually running regularly before the final, it might have gone well.

Rob, Thanks for your encouragement to aim for a shorter time than I thought possible! I'm ready for a 5k when you are just give me a few weeks notice - I need to up my distance to 3.1 miles :)

Luke said...

A great 5K to run is the Susan B. Coman Race for the Cure. At least in the Little Rock one you get a metal for being one of the first 300 women to cross the finish line.
I didn't get one last year. :)


Luke said...

OOPS! I meant the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure!


Miriam said...

Michele, what was your time on the 5k? I looked up some times today and some people on a stats list I pulled ran it in only 17.5 minutes. I think my best time right now would probably be around 26 minutes.

Luke said...

I ran it in 34 minutes. :( But, that was without training for a 5k. I hadn't been running very long and had never run for 34 minutes straight before, so I thought I did pretty good for all that.
The fastest in LR last year was 19 minutes. Many people did it in 26 minutes, so you'd do great!


Miriam said...

Michele - that's not a bad time especially for not having trained for it. At least you had the courage to run in a 5k. I won't unless someone runs in one with me :)

Are you planning to run in one again?

Luke said...

Yes I would like to run in the same race. It is in October I think the second or third Saturday. I ran with my cousin. It was a lot of fun! There are people lined up to cheer you on. Luke came with the kids. People hand you water to drink, beaded necklaces to wear. There were bands playing. It was exciting!


Elijah Lofgren said...

Congratulations! :)