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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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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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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Wii!!! Another 5K at home…

Okay, I just remembered that I hadn’t checked in yet today regarding yesterday’s run of 5K (3.1 miles)! I did it! There are a couple of you out there who came to mind when I wanted to stop early, but I kept going because I wanted to be able to say today that I did it. It has been a few weeks since I’ve had a regular running schedule, and I haven’t been doing well in terms of mileage, so it was a little harder incorporating my new-found, slightly faster pace with the longer distance.

My legs felt sluggish below the knee in the last third, and it felt like time was slowing down. But, hey, I finished the C25K, didn’t I? I’ve already gone this far before! Why couldn’t I do it again? I need to move forward, not backward!

I’m sore today, but it feels good, because I know that it’s because of the effort I made. I’ll need to recalibrate my Nike+ again, since I had a little problem with something falling onto the treadmill’s belt last calibration, which I think calibrated the Nike+ to think that it was taking me longer to get to the mile than it actually would have without my trying to pick up the thing off the belt. I may well have run longer than 3.1 miles, as the treadmill itself said it was 3.3 miles.

On another note, my mother won a Wii Sport and gave it to us yesterday! We played it yesterday, and I played it today for an hour so far. You kind of get a workout from it if you really put forth an effort to MOVE and not sit there just moving your arms, which some people have done. It’s fun! We’re looking into getting Tomb Raider, since it was our favorite game on the old Playstation years ago. YAY!

Thanks, Mom!

Have a good evening, everyone!  🙂



Quite the End to the Week (so far)

Okay, so I’m thinking I’m going to have to re-challenge myself next week. I had some family things come up yesterday during the time I was going to run, and since I had waited so long to run, the opportunity had passed. Today, I had to take my brother-in-law to the hospital (after going in to work early) for knee surgery that was supposed to get us out of there by 3pm (surgery scheduled for 1pm). I find out at 4pm (after 4.5 hours of waiting in the waiting room) that he had just gone into surgery. Hubby had to come take my place in order to let me go home, which was at 5pm. I think they must be on their way home as I’m writing this. I hope. The day is gone for me. I will try again on Sunday. I think I will start again next week, but maybe just make it a weekly mileage goal instead of every day, since it seems that is not realistic to life right now.

Sigh. Thanks, Thomas, for your comment. I will do well on Sunday. I really want to try to get more miles, so I’m going to plan on a longer running time and take whatever mileage I can get in that time. It’s been a rough eating week, too, and I need to recommit to doing both the running and the eating the right way. I guess it’ll happen when I make both of them a higher priority.

Have a good weekend, everyone!  🙂


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Day 3 of My One-a-Day Challenge

Okay, so it’s the third day of my challenge to myself to run a mile each day until Sunday, when I’ll run 2 miles, bringing my weekly total to 7 miles. I’m up to 2.5 miles, since I didn’t run yesterday. I have legitimate reasons for not running yesterday, but the point is, I made up some of it today, running 1.5 miles. I even did it with an 11:53 pace, which is fast for me. I’ve been challenging myself to run a little during my runs at a faster speed, to try to get my average pace up (fewer minutes per mile). I hope to be able to at least do the tomorrow’s mile between doing a project for work and other things around the house.

As for the reasons I didn’t run yesterday, I’m first an earlier-in-the-day runner (more like late morning), and I got home around 4pm, making it much later than I’m used to. It was not a priority for me at the time. Secondly, and probably the more legitimate reason, is that a few days earlier I had been doing strength training and did a favorite of mine that I learned on the Biggest Loser DVDs, which is the wood chopping movement, where you hold a weight in your hands and slowly pretend you’re chopping wood from one shoulder down to the opposite foot. I did fine that day, but the next two days my hamstrings were hurting — more so on Monday night and Tuesday morning — and my right leg had also been twitching on Monday night. I was afraid I’d damage something if I ran, and I knew I needed the rest time.

It’s been difficult getting back into a routine the way it was when I was on a strict C25K schedule. There’s no chart to tell me where I am, and I’m not really answering to anyone but myself. The fun part of it, though, is that I’m starting to really try to better my times and to get used to the faster speeds. It’s been interesting finding my limits and trying to go past them each time.

So…my aim is to run the next 3 days and then on Sunday do a full 2 miles. Maybe I’ll even pull off something better.

I hope you’re all keeping warm, and for those of you in warmer climates, appreciate it!



Let’s Try This Again

So today is the first day of our restart of Weight Watchers. We kind of stopped counting points a few weeks back, and now we’re getting back on it. It’s not hard once we actually decide to do it. I’m hoping to be at my goal by Valentine’s Day. From then, I may try to lose more.

This week I’ve decided to see if I can run each day, but only a mile a day. It doesn’t sound like much, but I wanted to see what doing half my usual distance each day without breaks would be like. I don’t think I’ll need the rest days between, just because I’ll be running so little and easy (about 13-15 minutes depending on pace) that it won’t be too hard on my muscles. I’m eager to test this. If I do M-F at one mile, and then 2 miles on Sunday, that will give me 7 miles for the week.

I also went out in the wee hours this morning and shoveled the 1.5 to 2 inches of snow we got overnight. It’s the wet, heavy kind, but it wasn’t deep, so I was able to lift it. I did get in my strength training doing it, though.

So, I just wanted to check in and let you all know that I’m trying to get back into things after the hectic Thanksgiving period we always have around here. I’m even going to start my free, downloaded MIT writing courses soon. Work’s going to get busy, and it’ll be a nice distraction. I printed out all the coursework and have my two books. I failed miserably in the NaNoWriMo, and ended up with under 3,000 words. It just wasn’t the right month for me, and I think quality work can’t be done in 30 days, fixing it up later or not. What’s the point of writing 50K words if it’s all going to be nonsensical jabbering? Just to get a certificate? No, thanks. If I get good enough to accomplish that one year, then it’s going to be quality work, not just whatever I can type up in the time allotted.

I’ll be back to let you know how the running’s going. It’s my one-a-day challenge.


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Dumbbell…Me AND the Weights!

Okay, so today was going to be a run day. Guess not, now. Yesterday I was cleaning up the office in preparing the house for Thanksgiving next week, and I had put some of my exercise stuff, like my big ball and some dumbbells, on the floor in our bedroom. I forgot about them, and was carrying a laundry basket from the bed backwards when I stepped onto a dumbell in my socks. I bruised my right heel, which is also on the same foot that my neuroma has been acting up. This leaves the front and the back of my right foot in pain. The bruise hurts more than the neuroma, and I’ve been running with the neuroma pain for weeks now, but even walking is bad now. I’m going to lay off it and try to do some leg exercises that don’t require walking/running, and I’ll get in some weights today, too. Since I’ve started running it seems that I’ve been neglecting my upper body strength training a little, so I’ll take the opportunity today to do it in place of the running.

These past two or three weeks have felt like another dimension, but I’ll bounce back eventually with the running and writing and whatever has been pushed to the wayside. We’re hopefully going to hear back on results regarding a family member’s health problems, so at least we’ll have answers there. Certain daily, monotonous things just don’t seem important right now while other things are up in the air like this.

Sorry to be so blah today. I’m trying not to freak out about it being a week from Thanksgiving. Clutter just doesn’t seem to be much of a concern this year. Not that it’s not there, but I’m beginning to see that it’s just not as important as just being with family. (Sarah, don’t you start or I will!)  :^)

Everyone, have a good day! I’ll be watching the rest of season 2 of Arrested Development on hulu while I clean and lift weights. 



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