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Sticking to the plan

Go check out my guest post over at Namaste Mari, where I share my running story! 🙂

I decided earlier today that during these last two weeks of training, I am going to do my best to follow the program. The weather is no longer an issue and my schedule is pretty flexible so I should be able to do it.

Today was 3 miles! I ended up putting off today’s run until after dinner! The weather has been so nice, I thought it would be a good thing to do and that way I could get more done during the day.

It wasn’t as easy a run as the one on Saturday but after the first lap (1.5 miles) I was in the zone and hoping to get done within thirty minutes…success!

  • Distance: 3 miles
  • Time: 29:59
  • Avg. pace: 9:59/mile

I came back and stretched for a while and took a nice hot shower. And enjoyed some wine and strawberries 🙂

Do you follow a specific training plan? Or do you just wing it?

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Hi Everyone!

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My name is Amanda and I blog over at Two Boos Who Eat with my husband Andy. I was pretty excited to write a guest post for Sarah. Her blog is one of my favorites. I’ve been reading it for quite for some time!

I grew up with a marathon runner. My father runs anywhere from 25-45 miles a week! Growing up, I spent a lot of time at races and the running club my dad was a member of. I always felt that running was in my blood but never found a time to start.

I remember the first time I tried to run. I figured it would be easy. I could only run for about 30 seconds before practically passing out! I was out of breath, sore and tired. I kept at it and eventually was able to run a mile. (Though, I admit I’m still pretty slow. I can maybe run a 12 minute mile.) I honestly can’t believe how difficult running felt for me at first. I started to think that I would never be able to do it!

I started using the Couch to 5k program 9 weeks ago to help train myself for my first 5k. I’m running with my husband on March 27th! The Couch to 5k program is an excellent tool to help a new runner get off the couch and out running. I never would have imagined that I could run 3 miles! It’s a little scary being a new runner and I’ve experienced some pain along the way.

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My knees and heel on my right leg have been killing me. I went to a running store where they had me try on several pairs of shoes for people with motion control/stability issues. I wish I had bought these shoes earlier! I’m wearing Brooks Ariels. I also invested in a shoe wallet so I can run outside without holding my id or my keys.

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Buying an ice pack for my knee has helped tremendously too. It’s hilarious to me that I have given up junk food and soda for things like running shoes, shoe wallets and ice packs.

My first 5k is on March 27th and I hope to finish. I decided to stop giving myself a goal time because I should be thankful for the ability to finish over anything else. Slow and steady wins the race. I hope to continue running and would love to sign up for more races in the future.

Thanks for letting me guest post Sarah!

It is so good to be back in town but I am so glad to have left for a while because these have been the most amazing guest posts! I am so inspired by these ladies and I know you all are too. Thanks Amanda and good luck on the 27th!!

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Hi! My name is Mari from Namaste Mari and before I go on to tell you about my first 5K experience, can I just say how honored I am that Sarah chose me to do a guest post on her blog. Especially since she is one of the people that motivated me to run my first 5K. Ever since I started to follow her blog, she has inspired me with all the amazing things that she has done to make herself healthier in every aspect of her life!

Before I tell you all about my big day…let me just give you a little back story on me, if you don’t mind =)

A few years ago I was overweight and extremely unhappy in my own skin. After a really bad year, I decided to make a change! I went from eating fast food almost every single day to watching my portions and filling up on fruits and veggies instead of super sized fries. I also started to workout religiously…I went from weighing 220 lbs to dropping down to 138 lbs. I was even featured in Self magazine.

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However the quote in Self haunted me “I wanted to be the girl I envied, running down the street. Now I am, and I owe it all to Self!”. By the time this article was published my running was sidelined because of an injury; I developed plantar fasciitis.

Every time I would try to pick up running again, something would stop me dead in my tracks but this year was different…this was going to be MY year. I made a vow to myself that I would run my first 5K before the end of the 2010.  My plan was to run my first race in May but Jess from Fit Chick in the City encouraged me to run The Coogan’s Salsa, Blues & Shamrocks 5K Race at the end of March. I used the Couch to 5K Training regiment and I found it extremely helpful. It was easier to tackle this challenge one week at a time instead of looking at the big picture and getting discouraged. I joined a gym and would train whenever I would get a chance. I also found a great running partner on the other end of the Coast! Amanda from Two Boos Who Eat was also training for her first 5K and we became a great support system for one another! (Wish her luck on her upcoming race!).

When the race drew closer, I started to train in the park so that I could get accustomed to running on hills. A few days before the race, I started to develop pain in my shins…probably from the hills in the park Crap what did I do? I asked Jess for some advice and she basically told me to stop running until the race…she said one thing that stuck with me “do you want to run tomorrow or do you want to run for the rest of your life?”… the choice was simple. I took her advice and just relaxed for the next couple of days.

Race Day!

I could not have asked for a better day! The sun was shining and the sky was blue…the temperature was around 40 degrees…great running conditions. The race started at 9am but we got there a little early and it was a ghost town.

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My nerves were getting the best of me but having my family there was very reassuring, they even made me a sign. (titi is auntie in spanish…my niece held the sign)

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I  reluctantly parted ways with my family and found my place in line…before I knew it, the ghost town was filled with around 6 Thousand people!

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My legs were trembling either from the cold or fear…I started to talk to the lady next to me and told her I felt like I was about to go onto a Rollercoaster ride…you know that feeling? when you are excited to go on the ride but there is a little voice in the back of your mind, telling you to get off of the line.

Before I knew it, it was time!  I was off running my first race…

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I felt so great and then BOOM reality hit…THE HILLS! The race was being held in Washington Heights which is known for it’s hills and boy did I feel them. There were times that I just wanted to stop but I dedicated the 5K to my grandmother who passed away two years ago and I promised myself that I would make her proud. I fed off the energy of the people cheering and all the bands playing along the route and knowing that my family would be there at the finish line. I ran! I ran up and down those hills, I ran when I thought I had nothing left in me…I RAN!

And just like that I ran right through the finish line! (I completed the race in 33:06)

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The minute my legs crossed that line, my eyes filled with tears! I was filled with so much emotion, I finally did it! I went and hugged my family and sobbed like I just completed the NYC marathon because to me, I just did!

This is only the beginning for me…I can not wait to conquer many more!

Thank you for reading my recap and once again, thank you Sarah for including me in your guest posts!

Namaste…

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Hello, friends! I am currently in the midst of North Carolina and there’s not much time to think about blogging. Thankfully, I have another awesome guest post to share, this time from another vegan runner! Thanks Bianca, for sharing your story 🙂

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Hello. I’m Bianca — vegan, aspiring cookbook author, and the blogger behind Vegan Crunk. Sarah asked me to fill in for a day while she’s away.

On my Vegan Crunk blog, I typically stick to posts and food porn pics from my upcoming Southern vegan cookbook or from recipes I’ve made from my large collection of other people’s published vegan volumes (I’m a big cookbook hoarder!).

I rarely post about fitness goals or routines, though I hit up the gym five days a week.

Since I’ve been following Sarah’s blog, I’ve been inspired to push my workouts even further — namely to start running. A couple of months ago, I wouldn’t even dream of moving my feet faster than a brisk walk. The few times I’d tried jogging, I was out of breath within seconds.

I wouldn’t have considered myself out of shape by any means. For the past several years, I’ve taken weekly spinning, Zumba, boxing, and cardio aerobics classes with no problems. For some reason though, I simply could not run.

I’d almost resigned myself to never, ever running, but I can’t stand to fail at anything. I’ve always believed I can do anything I set my mind to, so I set a crazy goal: by this fall, I will run (even if it’s only part of the way) in Memphis’ annual St. Jude Half-Marathon (which raises money for children’s cancer research).

My friend Lindsey sent me the running program she uses, which starts you out with a little running time, then a little walking time, some more running time, and so on for 30 minutes. As you improve, you move up to increasing running time and decreasing walking time.

Here’s the program:

  • First step: 2 min. running/4 min. walking (repeat 5x)
  • Second step: 3 min. running/3 min. walking (5x)
  • Third step: 5 min. running/2.5 min. walking (4x)
  • Fourth Step: 7 min. running /3 min. walking (3x)
  • Five Step: 8 min. running /2 min. walking (3x)
  • Sixth Step: 9 min. running/2 min. walking/8 min. running./2 min. walking/9 min. running (1x)
  • Seventh Stop: 9 min. running/1 min. walking (3x)
  • Eighth Step: 13 min. running/2 min. walking (2x)
  • Ninth Step: 14 min. running/1 min. walking (2x)
  • Tenth Step: 30 min running!

So far, I’m on Step Three, and though it may not seem like much, running for five minutes straight is a big deal for me. You can go through one step per week if you choose, but I’m taking my time.

I’m aiming to do each one at least 10 times before moving on, but those running sessions are peppered in between my regular boxing, Pilates, and spinning classes. At that rate, it’s taken me about one month per step.

Hope this program helps any aspiring runners out there! See ya on the running track!

I am so thrilled for Bianca and I know she will be able to meet her goal. I used a program nearly identical to this one back in September 2007 and here I am training for my second half marathon. I never thought I would be a runner either, so those of you who want to run, give it a shot!

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