Oranges 2 Oranges

Looking Back at 5K and Moving Forward…

So this was new…

Last week, I think it was, maybe longer…too busy…the days are blending together…hubby and I were on one of our evening brisk walks. We were approaching a fire hydrant on one of the streets in our neighborhood, and hubby says, “let’s run to the hydrant.” I was pleasantly caught off-guard and then agreed. We went past the hydrant to the end of the street. It was a quarter of a mile. Our streets are long and curvy, so each “block” is about a third of a mile. I was so happy that he’d want to join me in the running like that, even if it’s in short spurts.

Of course, we started out going too fast, as I had done a couple of weeks ago, so we talked about that as we continued our walking (and my deep breathing as if I were at 5,000 feet). About .2 of a mile away from home he suggested we run to the end of the block, and we did, starting off slower and then speeding up again. As we rounded the corner, hubby suggested we go to the stop sign and then our own street  — and the promise of home. Wow, even his encouragement to keep going didn’t help the fact that I felt like no oxygen was reaching my bloodstream, but we made it to that stop sign. Either way, I’m thrilled beyond words that hubby would do that with me. For a moment I had a running partner!

I’m not sure if I mentioned it before, but I had figured that since hubby’s knees are kind of shot from his work as an auto technician I wouldn’t ask him to try running with me, back in the fall when I was doing the C25K program. I had recently sensed that maybe he wanted to give it a try, but I never pushed it, even saying that it might be too hard on his knees. Well, he didn’t have any problems after that first try. I’m hoping we can do it again.

On the Overnight Walk front, I reached my goal a couple of week ago, and now my friend and teammate, Annette Hernandez, is gaining on her goal. She’s about 64% of the way, and I think she’ll make it. It’s been a real roller coaster ride with the fundraising. But you really see who supports you and/or the cause when you have to raise so much and they don’t hesistate to jump in and help. I’m so grateful to everyone who’s donated to mine and my friend’s goals. If you’re reading my blog for the first time, you can read the past few prior posts and watch the video that is in this post.

I’m off to work. Have a great week everyone! I hope it’s as pleasant where you are as it looks to be here this week: around 75-80 and sunny most of the time. I’m looking forward to more walking and running OUTSIDE!

Shan  🙂

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Finally did it…pretty much hated it…maybe.

Okay, so I finally got it together and got outside and ran. I’m not as excited about it as I thought I’d be when I got done. I had at least one problem with it. I felt great about 1/3 of the way down the street, and then the fact that I started too fast caught up with me. I think on the scale for VO2 Max values, I’m at the bottom. I have never been able to withstand too fast a speed without gasping for air (about 5mph on the treadmill – which I now know is not the true speed of my running on it – or it is with smaller strides). My legs can go on forever, but it’s the breathing that knocks me out.  Here’s a little chart I found at


Do you see where it shows that the non-athletic females aged 30-39 are in the range of 30-38 VO2 Max? I must be the 30 they’re talking about, and it appears to only get worse from there. I’m in no way an expert, or even really that knowledgeable about it, but if that’s a measure of “a person’s aerobic potential or upper limit,” as stated on the same web page, then it seems to me that it’s playing a part here. At least part of it might not be my fault. The site also says, “Genetics plays a major role in a person’s VO2 max, and heredity can account for up to 25-50% of the variance seen between individuals.” Sounds good to me.

I got going at a good pace, and did to the end of our street. I say street because it’s not a true block. It spans .27 of a mile. Then I walked to the next street and continued on for another .17 of a mile. Then a short walk, and then I continued on home, which was another .14 of a mile. The entire way around the “block” is .7 mile, and I ran .58 of it (about 4+ city blocks).

So about 1/3 way down the street, when I felt like I had started too fast, I started feeling like I do on the treadmill, when I tell myself to just stay at this pace and keep steady, and all I have to do is stick with it for the duration. My problem – not having done this outside, without a machine telling me how fast to go – was that I had no idea how to go SLOWER. I suppose the smart thing to have done would be to actually LOOK at the Garmin (GPS) and keep track of it that way, but it never dawned on me to do that. Do I take shorter strides? Do I take slower strides? Slower is harder on my legs, but easier on my breathing. I suppose it just takes practice and getting used to doing.

I loved the first minute of it, though. I didn’t care much that my ipod was about to pull my pants off from bouncing up and down, clipped to them. LOL Or that I felt totally vulnerable just running from my house out onto the sidewalk, down the street FOR NO APPARENT REASON. I never do that. I’m a pretty quiet neighbor, and this was a strange thing. (Quick, random thought about my speed: I think part of it is that I can take longer strides outside, and what was being measured was the distance over time. On the treadmill, my strides are shorter, and it measures as a slower speed. Judging from my breathing, what I was doing felt like a steady 5-5.5 mph on the treadmill, though my average was higher. See my stats below.) Oh, and it was about 51 degrees outside.

All in all, even though I told the hubby I’d never do it again – which is what I kept promising myself as long as I could just get home in an upright position – I’ll probably get back out there at some point again.

Here are my stats for today. I’m not that great with the Garmin yet, so I ended up just stopping it, resetting the lap and starting the next lap, instead of just hitting the lap button. I’ll also post the map. I did not record any of the walking, which is going to be what the blank spots on the map and times are. There are 2 of those.

Segment 1: Home to end of street

7:30:38am – .27 mile/2:25 min/Avg Pace 8:58/Avg Speed 6.7 mph/Max Speed 10.4 mph/34 cals

Segment 2: Next street to halfway down

7:33:58am – .17 mile/1:33 min/Avg Pace 9:22/Avg Speed 6.4 mph/Max Speed 7.4 mph/20 cals

Segment 3: Back to home

7:36:39am – .14 mile/1:26 min/Avg Pace 10:21/Avg Speed 5.8 mph/Max Speed 7.1 mph/17 cals


Around the "block"

Around the "block"

I started at our house, which is at the bottom left-hand side of the blue line, where you can see where I ended up when I got back. I moved in a clockwise direction. The map really makes it look like I went far. I guess all-in-all, for the first time out, I should be happy with what I did. I only had two short walks, which I can see now. They seemed longer when I was doing them, when I felt like I had failed because I couldn’t keep up the whole time around. I really need to work on slowing down. I tried, I really did. I guess it just takes practice.
I think I’d make a good sprinter.  🙂
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So yesterday, Monday, I went beyond my fundraising goal when two mail-in donations came through. It’s amazing to me that there are still people who are willing to help the cause, help me and understand my reasons for being a part of the walk.

Hubby and I walked after work again yesterday for 32 minutes (about 2 miles), around the neighborhood, after a weekend of doing other things. Hopefully soon, we’ll be going for longer periods of time and for longer distances. I do the occasional workout on the Wii My Fitness Coach or a DVD, but I’d prefer making it all brisk walking or running for a while, along with some weight training. That combination seems to work the best for me. Anyway, it’s been easier getting in the exercise, especially with the American Cancer Society’s Get Active Challenge hubby and I are doing as part of our city’s team. I just need to get in more minutes, since I set my goal at 60 minutes a day, 5 days a week. That means doing something during the day that’s going to supplement the walking.

Here are my numbers, starting on 5-4-09, not including today:

Total minutes walked & run: 32

Miles walked: 1.97

Miles run: 0

I’m pretty close to sucking it up and going outside to run. It may happen this week. I’m not going to say when or else I’ll talk myself out of it. I’m more of the just-get-up-and-do-it-or-you’ll-talk-yourself-out-of-it type. It’ll be on a whim, even though it’ll take 15 minutes to actually get dressed, stretch and get properly covered in gadgets. I’m wondering if I’ll be able to a) go around the block without walking and b) keep going past the house for another lap. It’s .7 mile around our block.

I also want to say to Thomas, I hope your first day at the new job went well.  🙂

Have a good day everyone,


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I reached my goal! (But it’s not over, yet!)

A big THANK YOU to everyone who contributed to my fundraising goal of $1,000 for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s Out of the Darkness Overnight Walk! I reached my goal yesterday! Here is what I have written on my fundraising page, which includes a call for any further donations to go toward the goal of my friend, Annette Hernandez, so that she can walk with me in June. We are a team, afterall!  :^)

From my page:

I want to thank everyone who contributed to my goal of reaching $1,000 in donations! You are all making a huge difference in the lives of many. I want to say to those who are still considering making a donation that my teammate, Annette Hernandez, is still working toward that goal. Please consider helping her reach her goal so that we may walk together as a team in June. Thank you all so much for your kind words of encouragement and for your part in what the AFSP is trying to accomplish.

If you’re interested…to make a donation to the AFSP through Annette’s page, please click here. Every dollar makes a huge difference, and every dollar is very much appreciated! You can also check on the overall status of our team on our team’s page: Resounding Grace.

Wow, a month ago the goal seemed really hard to get to, and there were doubts, but there are people out there – even some I’ve never met in person –  who really care about the cause, care about helping out a friend and care about the mission we’re trying to accomplish. We’ve together helped so many in giving the AFSP that much more to work with, but it’s only the beginning. Annette and I are walking not only in the memory of those we’ve lost to suicide or know who have to live with mood disorders, but we’re also walking in order to be with and show God’s love to those who are left behind and hurting. This is a walk for healing and remembering, and what better way to do that but surrounded by friends, new and old?

I’m walking!….and there’s still so much to prepare for!

That leads me to something I told a friend that I’d do. He’s been my motivation through a lot of challenging and celebratory days when I was going through the Couch to 5K program (you can see my journal, week-by-week, on this blog). He’s probably going to be what pushes me out the door that first time I get myself outside to do a real, non-treadmill, run – yes, I’m glued to my treadmill. I want to thank him for being there as one of my “mentors” in the process. Today is 8 weeks away from the Overnight walk. I will keep a running tally of my “training” time for the walk, which is bound to include some running, too. Hubby and I have been walking after work most days, and I’ve only been logging the time somewhere else. I owe it to my donors to keep them updated on how everything is going. You won’t be left in the dark.

Not including anything we’ve done to date, here is the tally – currently set at zero – which I will update often.

Total minutes walked & run: 0

Miles walked: 0

Miles run: 0

I’m sure that we will not have a stellar weekend, considering we’re pretty much homebound these two days, working around the house all weekend – with a birthday party for a niece somewhere in between – but we’ll be back at it on Monday. Besides, I need an excuse to use my new Garmin!  :^) Maybe I’ll even post maps of all the squiggly lines we’ve made on our walks.

Have a good rest of the weekend, everyone. Congrats on your new job, Mr. V, and don’t worry, you’ll do fine.  😉


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