Oranges 2 Oranges

Looking Back at 5K and Moving Forward…

Announcing My Other Blog!

Hi all! It’s been a long time! I hope if you’re here to read about my 2008 Couch to 5K program that you can find inspiration and motivation to keep going whether you’re thinking about starting the program, about to start or are somewhere in the middle. You can do it if I can do it! Links to each week are to the right.  –>

I’m here today to tell you about my new blog that started in February, 2015. Head on over and check it out! It’s called With a Dog by My Side, and in it I talk about life and living with our two dogs I call our Bubs.

Thanks for coming by!

Shannan  ❤

Copyright Shannan Raucci

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Let’s Try This Differently…

Hi there, everyone!

I just moved three posts into “Draft” status, as they’ve been sitting here for all to see without my actually having done anything about what they promised I’d do. In them, I talked about how I was going to start a 10K program and that I was going to start it x-number of weeks ago (3.5, to be exact). Things happened, and I never got started. That’s not to say that I’m going to lay down my workout gear and start hanging clothes on my trusty treadmill.

I actually did begin to get ready at the time I had promised, and things just went awry. I sprayed silicone on the wrong side of the treadmill’s belt. While trying to move the treadmill into place shortly after that, I banged my left heel into something and made a sizeable gash in my foot, rendering me useless when it came to being on my feet that day, and I certainly couldn’t wear shoes (for a few days) until it healed. My husband and I did walk together a couple of times later that week, but I’d planned on getting back into this the following week. That never happened. The momentum was gone, and it would take another wave of enthusiasm or motivation – or whatever you want to call it – for that to come back.

Well, now it’s back. I’ve got a new perspective on certain things and I’m ready to get back to the exercise, to the activity, to being stronger again. I’m not following a program this time. I was going to do the Galloway Method for running a 10K, but I’m not going to. I can’t use the structure right now, and I just need the freedom to go, go, go. That’s my momentum. Forward motion without the dits and dashes that come with writing everything down. Right now it’s not my style.

So follow along with me as I write about it once in a while, and please continue to share your own stories in the comments, but I’m thinking of revitalizing this blog into something else, something new and interesting that I only ever dreamed or wondered about in the past. I’d keep my old Couch-to-5K (C25K) pages up here, but I’d be moving into focusing less on running and more about other adventures on which we’re embarking. (No, we’re not adding another member to the family…) This is about living life more widely and seeing more of the world, even if for now it’s no more than a state away. It’s about moving forward as a couple, along with our dogs, seeing what’s out there and learning some things along the way.

So…join me when you can and stay tuned!

~ Shannan

PS. As I had mentioned in a previous post that I’ve removed, I’ve changed the appearance of the blog and am working on a new color and font choice, so you might see that changing over time to something that works.  🙂

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Summer or Other?

Hello everyone!

It’s been a cool summer after the heat wave we had a couple of weeks back. It feels more like fall than anything, so it feels like we’re missing out on getting the hot temps we’re supposed to be getting. I want the heat back!

Has anyone been set back from or encouraged to go out and run due to the current temperatures where you are? How’s your progress if you’re doing the C25K program this summer? Summer can be a busy time, which makes it difficult to keep up with a set schedule, so if you’ve started, keep going!  🙂

~ Shannan

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4 Years after the Couch-to-5K…

December 26, 2012

First, I’d like to thank you for visiting my blog. The main purpose of this blog is to let you see what my Couch-to-5K (C25K) experience was as I was going through it back in 2008. For the most part, it’s remained that way ever since.

Please use the links at the top or to the right to navigate around the specific weeks’ entries. If you are currently considering doing the Couch-to-5K or are having trouble with it, these entries might be of some help. I hope you find something useful here, and feel free to comment on any posts; I am still eager to hear from you and answer questions about my C25K experience.

As for myself, four years later, I’ve gone through some things in life that have taken up a lot of my time and energy, but I’ve always retained my ability to run, and that’s something that the C25K did for me. As I write this, I’m on Day 1 of being back on Weight Watchers, and I’m thrilled to be back on the plan after a long break. I look forward to getting back onto the treadmill and the bike and getting back into shape.

Have a safe winter and keep in touch!


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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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Still raising support…I’m almost there! AFSP Overnight Walk on June 27th…and a New Toy, I mean, Tool! :)

Hi guys!

I’m almost at my goal of the minimum $1,000 that’s required to be raised in order to walk in the AFSP’s Out of the Darkness Overnight walk. Thanks to those who have donated and given kind words of encouragement. Hubby and I have been walking almost every day around the neighborhood, and we went to a 6-mile training walk yesterday, doing it in 1 hr 40 minutes. And, drumroll please…….

I used my brand new Garmin Forerunner 305!

It’s my new toy that I had been wishing for since last fall when I was doing the C25K program. I finally bit the bullet and got it. It’s working out great. Now, I just need to get myself OUTSIDE for once to do some RUNNING. I’m almost there mentally. I’m going to just go out and do it…one day soon. Ahem…I know what some of you are thinking, but you can go ahead and tell me anyway.  😉

If anyone’s interested in learning more about the walk or the work of the AFSP (American Foundation for Suicide Prevention), you can visit their main page for the walk HERE. You can also check out my previous post. Here’s the link to my fundraising page, as well: My Fundraising Page: Participant ID# 10013783.

I do ask that if you are intending on donating any amount to the cause, I’d be very grateful if you’d donate it toward my goal, but if I have already reached my goal of $1000, as will show on my fundraising page when it happens, PLEASE please please consider donating it instead to my teammate and captain, Annette Hernandez, Participant ID# 10013441, so that she can make her goal and be able to walk with me, as she needs a bit more than I do right now. Our team is a small team — just the two of us — but we’re hoping that our efforts can make a big difference in someone’s life, and every dollar will help. (In fact, I just found out that in 2007, almost 85% of funds went directly to the work of the AFSP, which makes everyone’s support go that much further.) 

Thank you so much for visiting! Here’s a video from the site, to give you a visual of what goes on at these walks. The walk means something special to all involved — the donor, the walker, families/friends and those who need help.



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Early Start Today

Today was a day to re-calibrate my Nike+ after I had a bit of a problem last time. It turns out that when I hit the mile this time, the Nike+ said I was at .97 mile. It’s not that much of a difference, but it also means that if I’m right, I did go past the 3.1-mile mark on Sunday. It sure felt like it.  lol

I still had a little bit of pre-breakfast, earliest-time-running-ever-for-me energy left after the calibration, so I set it for a basic workout and did .2 miles at a steady 10:10 or so pace, which is getting easier each time, and I was able to go longer that way. I still need to let my lungs catch up, though. My legs felt like they could go on forever.

The reason I ran so early today is that at 4:45am our neighbor’s plowing service came by and started up the ol’ snowblower and plow. This was only feet from our bedroom window. Needless to say, we weren’t happy about it. No matter whom our neighbor gets to plow each year, they insist on coming at 4:45am. There’s a noise ordinance in our city that prevents anyone but city plow truck drivers to make noise before 6am. Once hubby had to go out there and tell the guy that he was throwing snow on our bedroom window! He didn’t even realize that this might wake us up and furthermore “T” us off because heavy snow was hitting the house. DUH! There’s just no consideration anymore (or it’s plain stupidity). I can go on and on. The point is that hubby got out the door slightly earlier than usual, and I was wide awake and thought I’d take advantage of getting this done early.

It’s cold again today. We had rain in the morning yesterday, which then turned to sleet, then snow. I’m so happy that I have the treadmill in icy conditions like this, no matter what some say about it. Sure, I could get out there and experience what it’s like to run freely on the pavement, and I will some day, but I also enjoy the challenges I’ve been able to overcome in the 3 1/2 months I’ve been running inside. It’s also a great form of exercise, as walking on it was getting boring. To each his own, and right now, this is my own.

I’m going to go grab some breakfast. Have a good Wednesday!


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