As promised, I’m confining my running thoughts to Wednesdays.
And here’s a thought…
If I can do it…YOU can do it.
One of the benefits of having a hubby work in sporting goods is that when I have a new sports/fitness related obsession, he gets excited to bring home things to fuel my new obsession.
Now mind you, it’s not like he brings home stuff all the time…and he is very mindful of the cost of such items. But he is good at surprising me here and there.
When I first talked about my desire to start running (well, when I first talked of it out loud…I talked to myself about it for quite a few months before I decided it was something I really wanted to do), a friend of mine talked about her Nike+iPod sensor and how she loved seeing her time/miles/pace after each run. I casually mentioned it to hubby and he came home with it that day! Love that man.
This was back in November. I happened to have some Nike shoes at the time (they have a place to put the sensor in the base of the shoe)…so I popped it in and went for a run at the gym. Of course, the treadmills have counters and such for your miles and pace so I didn’t see much use for it unless I started running outside. And why would I want to do that? LOL
I also wasn’t that committed yet. So in November I logged a total of 11 miles and my average pace was 15’53’’ per mile. I didn’t even log any miles in December. To be honest, I can’t remember if I didn’t run or if I just didn’t put my sensor on. I got a new pair of Asics in November so I know I had to buy a sensor pocket to attach it to my shoes.
(I prefer Asics for running…those Nike’s had been a clearance purchase. It reiterated that I love my Asics. If you are just starting to run I recommend getting to a running store or place where they have good shoe knowledge and running experience. They will fit your foot, watch you run and talk about your running to put you in the right shoe. Of all things in this sport, this is probably #1…a GOOD shoe.)
(Oh, and while I’m tangent’ing on shoes…you know you should replace your running shoes every 500 miles or so? If you wear them out and about you should replace them more often. How do you know? Your Nike+ sensor will log your miles…or you can keep a log, or for us…we tend to try and replace them every 6 months or so. We keep our retired ones for out and about town or when we go to the gym to do something other than running. I could also go on and on about orthotics (shoe inserts)…but maybe I’ll save that for another post.)
So back to the sensor.
At the first of the year I realized that I had a goal of my first 5k mid-April. I could barely run 5 minutes (those miles in November were haphazard run/walks with no rhyme or reason) straight. I needed to get serious. So I got a Couch to 5k app on my iPhone. And the runner in me was born.
The cool thing about this app (or a new runner’s 5k training schedule) is that it built up my running time while giving me ample time to walk and recover. Before I knew it I could run 10 minutes straight, then 20, then 30. By the time I ran my first 5k, I felt like a runner!
And the sensor told me I was:
January 8th my first run/walk of the year was 2 miles and I did it at a 15’32’’ pace. I ran/walked 12 miles total that month.
In February I ran/walked a total of 19 miles with an average pace of 15’10’'’
March was 19.5 miles of running/walking with a 14’05’’ pace.
Do you see where I’m going with this?
The sensor became my motivator. I could visually see my progress. Even though there were days I felt like I wasn’t doing much better than the last, I could SEE it.
In April I actually only ran (mostly running, little walking by now) 18.39 miles (and that probably meant that I logged some miles on the treadmill without my sensor running)…but my pace was now a 13’47’’.
And my first 5k I averaged an 11’28’’ pace. Woot Woot.
And now…I’m a runner. Finishing that first race gave me the runner’s high…finally. I GET it.
So here we are just having finished up May, 2010. 5 months after I really started taking this new goal seriously.
My miles for May? 54.1 baby. I was very good about logging all my miles.
My average pace? 11’49’’ Oh Yah.
My second 5k? I beat my previous time by over a minute…my new PR (Personal Record… I have them now!) is 34’19’’. Whohoooo!
And my longest run ever? 5.3 miles last Friday. In fact, when I log on to view my actual run I can see that when I’m running it’s more like a 10’30’’ pace…but those quick little walking breaks or those killer hills at the trails bring my average pace down a bit.
So now I’ve got my sights set on a watch that does all the stuff a sensor does and more. It’s a bit more accurate. We’ll see if it shows up…it’s a bit more money, so I’m not holding my breath.
That was a long post about my little Nike+ toy. But if you are a new runner or having trouble getting motivated or seeing some progress…consider some sort of log that will show you how you are progressing. You don’t really need a fancy watch or sensor. Just time yourself on your run and keep a log. If you don’t know how far you are running, check out routes to run at Map My Run or something similar. Or go old school and drive your running route to clock it with your car…I’ve done that too. ;)