Oranges 2 Oranges

Looking Back at 5K and Moving Forward…

Finally did it…pretty much hated it…maybe.

on May 6, 2009

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.  🙂

One response to “Finally did it…pretty much hated it…maybe.

  1. Thomas says:

    So after months of telling you to get outside you finally did it! Your issue with speed is the same thing I experience when I first started. Even months later when I was running 8-10 miles I would still start off about 2-3 mpm faster than the pace I wanted/needed to run. The biggest thing that helps me is concentrating on getting my breathing into a slow, steady rhythm and the speed sorta follows. The map looks impressive by the way 🙂

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