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Who Wants to Get Active? 2010

21 Posts tagged with the beginning_runner tag

So yesterday the weather was fairly nice (about 48) and I decided to go to this new park area that was supposed to have a 2.4 mile south loop, and a 1.4 mile north loop. I figured, if I could do them both, it would give me a pretty good idea of what my time will be in the 3.7 (6K) on 4/18. I was so excited to be in this new area and try out these new trails!

I parked the car, looked at the map that was posted at the beginning of the south loop trail, stretched out for a few, and was off!

It was fabulous! I LOVED the south loop.

I started with a 5 minute walk, then jogged for 15 minutes, then a 4 minute walk, then jogged the final 8 minutes til I crossed the finish line. So, a 2.4 in 32 minutes. I was very happy.

And the trail was really pretty, so lots to look at as I was training. Nice ponds, some soccer fields, pretty wild grass fields , a wetland area and a natural prairie restoration area.There were several other people out on the trail. A happy "hello" was said every time you encountered someone.  And the best part,  all along the way, there were mile markers. Well, actually  ever 1/2 mile. So I could tell how much I had gone, and how much further I still had left.

When I finished, I stopped back at my car, and  logged the time  and distance on a sheet of paper,. I was really warm by now, so I shed some layers, left the heavy jacket behind, the cell phone, the water bottle, etc. Then I  checked the trail map again, and went across the street to what I assumed was the north loop. Although I did find it odd that nothing was marked like it had been on the south loop. But it would only make sense that the South loop was on the south side of the road, and the north loop would be on the north side of the road. Right?

So, figuring I did the 2.4 in 32 minutes, I could certainly knock out another 1.4 in the same time or less, allowing me plenty of time to get my 5 year old picked up from kindergarten.  So , off I set!

I was "power walking" on the trail, and it began up a hill, then past some soccer fields, then took me past some corn fields, hmmm... I thought.... this should be curving back at some point soon. Still, I pressed on. Huh, don't see any homes in sight. Don't see any people. No bikes, no dogs. Where exactly is this trail taking me? Up a big hill, winding around, now down the hill. Ok, this is getting kinda scary.I checked my watch. I've been walking for 30 minutes already. Shouldn't I been done? But I've been going north this whole time! OH NO! I'm starting to panic. I will never make it back to my car in time to get Eloise from school. Now I'm getting cold because I had left my jacket in the car. I couldn't call the school to let them know I was going to be late, I left my phone in the car. Fear is setting in. Where am I? Ok, calm down. I am coming up to some kind of building.  There are two buildings down there at the bottom of this hill.  What are they? Oh my gosh, it is an  Animal Control Building, and the other one is a Water Treatment Plant! I am definitely NOT on the 1.4 mile "north trail". I don't know where I am, ok, I see a subdivision off in the distance. Maybe the trail goes through that housing area, loops around and brings me back to my original starting place. NOPE!  All of a sudden, the trail ended. Just stopped!  Just like that!  Boom- DONE!. It ended in the parking lot between the two buildings.  Boy this is a stupid trail. I hate this trail. I will never take this trail again. Ever. I am now standing just a few feet from a  two lane road ( which fortunately had guard rails) and some train tracks. Ok, get your bearings.

Then a train came by. A train. OK. What route does that train take? THINK. THINK! OK. Got it!  I know where I am now.WHAT THE HECK AM I DOING WAY OVER HERE? I AM NO WHERE NEAR MY CAR! Ok, calm down.  I just need to head East, and I can pick up this one road and go south, and I can get back to my car. This was a very scary moment. I was jogging again at this point, knowing I was pressed for time. I was going to be down to the wire to pick up my daughter. The "Panic Mode" kicked in. Although I was so sore and tired I had been out for over an hour and a half, it seemed like  I had the adrenaline to be able to keep pushing, knowing I had to get back! It was nerve racking to say the least, to have to be running along side of the road. But I finally made it to my car, and drove like a bat of of you-know-where  to my daughter's school. My fingers were frozen, my face was sweaty and  purple (from running). My heart was still  racing. Everything ached. My ankles, my calves, my thighs, even my rear. So much for this nice little 1.4 mile "North loop". I hated that "trail" or whatever the heck that was. Maybe it had been part of a bike path at one time, who knows. But it is the "trail that leads to no where!" now.

OK, I am at the school. Yes! Eloise was still there!,  The teacher looked a little irked like "Don't you realize I need to each lunch, lady?"  or  "The afternoon class is probably already on their way! " "Can you please pick your kid up on time ??!"  I didn't bother explaining to her that I had been foolish enough to go out running  alone, on an unmarked, unfamiliar trail, with no jacket, no water, no phone. I was just glad to be back home, with my daughter safe in tow. Several safety lessons learned that day!!!  (And I still never found the north loop!)

846 Views 7 Comments Permalink Tags: active, walking, beginning_runner, who_wants_to_get_active, jenny_hadfield, whowantstogetactive

Building a base

Posted by davedunham Mar 2, 2010

Building a base is the most important part of the beginning of any program.  Two of the biggest mistakes made are doing too much early on in the build-up phase and running too fast.


The object of building a base is to slowly build up your aerobic conditioning.  If this is done too quickly you will likely end up injured.  Most newcomers make the mistake of overdoing it early on and never recover.


At the very beginning all running should be done at conversation pace.  If you cannot speak coherently (assuming you could while not running) while running you are going too fast.  Slow down and enjoy the run.  Typically this would be about 60-75% of your maximum heart rate, but if you don’t have a heart-rate monitor or don’t want to be constantly checking your pulse the easiest thing to do is the talk test.  If you cannot talk you are going too fast.  The time for speed-work will come later in the program, right now your focus should be to get time on your feet running.


I’m not sure how long your program is and if you are starting from “scratch” but the base building should take about 3 months.  You should increase your mileage each week by 10% during the building phase.  That can be done by either increasing each of your runs, or if you are only running 3-4 times a week the easiest way to increase is to add an additional day of running.  You should discuss your mileage with your coach and be careful to adjust as injury/illness/life changes your plans.


Good luck and be careful out there!

613 Views 1 Comments Permalink Tags: running, base, beginning_runner, building

What A Week!

Posted by mattscot Feb 27, 2010

With all the excitement of the Winter Olympics, I've been really excited about training. Yeah, I know a native Floridian of my age and ability has as much of a chance of one day making the Winter Olympics as a snowball's chance in he--, but it certainly helps to motivate when you see people living out their dreams on the world's biggest stage.


I've been running occassionally before the start of this program, but my first run under this program suprised me. I managed to run 2.5 miles in 20:42! I felt a ton of energy and even thought about going a little further. But with the understanding that there's a method to the madness of this training process, I held back.



On Tuesday, the wife treated me to an early birthday present. We went to the specialty running store and I got new shoes! The store experience was incredible. They took a blueprint of my foot to see where I put the most pressure and to look at my arch. Then they put me in a neutral shoe and had me run on the treadmill where they conducted a video-taped gait analysis. Up until now, I always went with the lightweight shoe. I thought that since I was already carrying more body weight than I needed to, the last thing I needed was to lace up with bricks on my feet. But from all the stuff they put me through, I found out that when I run, I pronate- meaning that when my foot lands, it does so on the outside of the foot and rolls inward. The solution was to put me in a shoe that provides stability when my foot strikes the ground.

Thinking that the community pool at my apartment complex was heated, I chose swimming for my cross training. NOT the best idea I've ever had! Turns out the pool isn't heated and central Florida was in the midst of a cold front. So I followed up my polar bear like training with a few minutes of relaxation in the hot tub!


On Wednesday, I learned just how old I am. It was a hectic day with lots of stuff going on. I almost forgot about my training. At 11:30 that night, I laced up my brand new shoes for the first time and headed out. I didn't want to mess with the training schedule in the first week.  The results were nothing like the Monday run! I was running into the wind and trying to break in new shoes that weighed significantly more than I'm accustomed to. But at least, I looked good doing it. Near the end, my legs felt like twigs about to snap. Maybe it was the heavier shoe, or running into the wind, or that extra slice of birthday cake, but I was much slower with a time of 20:24 for a total of 2.25 miles.


On Friday, I went up to Tampa to check out the scene of a health and fitness expo for the Gasparilla Distance Classic- Tampa's biggest marathon event. I figured that if I'm going to do one of these one day, I wanted to see what all the excitement was about. I can only imagine what standing at the starting line in April is going to feel like, but if it's anything like the excitement surrounding the anticipation of the event this weekend, I can't wait!


As far as my dieting goes, I'm seeing some great results. A couple of weeks before, my wife and I started on the South Beach Diet. As I weighed in this morning, I am down 24 lbs. from what I weighed in at on New Year's Day!


With all of the temptations and distractions, this week, it's been hard to find consistency with my schedule and diet. I'm sure that over time I will find ways to handle these issues a little better. With that being said, it's hard to find a reason to complain, because the results I've seen so far have been incredible.

868 Views 2 Comments Permalink Tags: training, running, diet, fitness, olympics, active, beach, florida, birthday, shoes, south, energy, beginning_runner, tampa, whowantstogetactive

Intro to me

Posted by epeaslee Feb 5, 2010

Hello All,

Firstly... Go Team "Bye Bye Baby Weight"!


So I am Elizabeth. I am 25 years old living in Canton GA (40 minutes North of Atlanta).  I am a first time mommy of a beautiful three-month-old girl. I am 5'5 and currently weigh 165 pounds and am a size 12. My pre-pregnancy weight was 125 pounds and I was a size 4/6.


My motivation for taking on this challenge is typical. I want my pre baby body back. Oh so badly. Equally important is that I want to provide a good example to my daughter. I want the two of us to enjoy many outdoor activities together specifically hiking and camping.


Right now, I am feeling simultaneously excited and scared. I think this is going to be great because I am going to be accountable to all of you, which provides me with a lot of motivation. I am scared because everyone hates failure particularly if it is in public.


Fitness wise before I got pregnant I was in the best shape of my life. I never worked out as a child and was rather chunky. I slimmed down in high school through no effort of my own just had a growth spurt. Then I gained a lot my second year of college. After that, I was fed up. I started watching what I ate and went from 180 to 160.  Then I started working out with a personal trainer for 12 weeks and went from 160 to 140. Once I knew how to workout I continued doing that on my own and got down to 125. The week I got pregnant was the first time I ever had the confidence to wear a bikini in public. I would like to mention that I was not a runner I was a hiker. Put me on a slow incline I will muster. Ask me to run it gets sweaty and ugly. Nevertheless, I am up for a challenge and running is the best way to lose weight quick!

632 Views 1 Comments Permalink Tags: mom, beginning_runner

Chasing a Dream

Posted by mattscot Feb 4, 2010

I recently saw a bumper sticker proclaiming that "running is cheaper than therapy." And therapy is something I could really use these days. This past year has been a roller coaster of ups and downs as I experience some major life changes.


In April of last year, I lost my dream job. Every little boy dreams of playing professional sports. My dream job was a little more unconventional. It still involved professional sports. But I had the privilege for three years to fulfill my dream and portray the team mascot. . When I would tell people what I did for a living, one of their first comments  was usually, "You must lose a lot of weight with all that sweating." In the course of a game I would typically lose about 6-8 pounds, but it was all water weight. And it didn't take long for me to gain the weight back. I would often join my coworkers at the bar for a post-game celebration, or as was usually the case with my team, we would drown our disappointments in another frustrating loss and stare into the bottom of our frosty mugs.  With that said, it was a great job and I had a lot of really great times because of it. But professional mascot jobs are few and far between. So I've been applying for jobs trying to transition into a more conventional career path in marketing. But there aren't a lot of companies out there that want to hire a guy who used to dress up in a furry costume and make a fool of himself to get people's attention for a living. So now that that dream job is over, I'll continue searching for a new job opportunity and meanwhile I've come up with a new dream that isn't necessarily career-minded.


And I'm going to fulfill this new dream with the support of my new bride. I got married to my incredible wife, Kristen, back in July. Marriage has been a wonderful experience thus far and she is an awesome support system for me. Back in December, we were overjoyed to learn that Kristen was pregnant. We had a great time over the holidays telling our closest family and friends about our news. As I began to think about my future as a father, I knew that I wanted to be an example for my child and not follow the "Do as I say, not as I do" philosophy. So I began to think about my fitness level. And visiting my sister was a "big" (pun intended) clue that something needed to change. As I stood next to my pregnant sister ( who is due in March) I noticed that my belly was farther along than her pregnant one.


While we were visiting my family, I came across an article that promoted a website where I could take an in-depth questionnaire to find out my life expectancy based on my current lifestyle. I took the quiz and found out that at the age of 30 (soon to be 31) I should be in the midst of a mid-life crisis. I thought I had another decade before that happened, but this quiz told me that I would live to the age of 66.3, if I continued to keep up this lifestyle.  Ultimately, this led me to decide that a drastic change was needed. So I came up with this new dream.


That dream is to one day complete an ultramarathon. I realize that this might seem to be a lofty goal for a fat guy. But I don't do things on a small scale (see my belly for that proof!). When I say ultramarathon, I'm not talking in terms of Forrest Gump-like distances, but with my track record, that isn't something that is out of the question. As a kid, I was a scrawny little punk that could run up and down the soccer field all day. But a knee injury as a pre-teen slowed me down to the point where I would rather lounge in front of the TV then get out and run around with friends. So now that I've come to the realization that that wasn't the best decision, I chose running to get back into shape. I made this decision because I really enjoyed the freedom of running, I experienced as a kid.


Shortly into the new year, I ran into my first hurdle. Just as Kristen and I were planning for our new arrival, we experienced a miscarriage. After this unfortunate event, it was hard to think about running at all. But as time has passed, and with the idea that running is cheap therapy, I realized that chasing my dream and going for a run is much better than lounging on the couch and constantly asking "Why?". Besides, as slow as I am, it gives me a lot of time to think.


By being a part of this training program, it is my hope that I gain the knowledge and the necessary tools to help me as I begin the pursuit of my ultimate dream to complete an ultramarathon.

796 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: training, running, fitness, soccer, endurance, ultra-marathon, therapy, dream, beginning_runner

A Matter of Perspective

Posted by ICURNpope Feb 4, 2010

     I woke up this morning thinking it was a good day start my introduction blog for the upcoming training and race that I've entered. Last summer I entered a 5K race and trained using's Couch to 5K program. I had never run before. In fact, I downright hated the idea of running. Speed walking I was fine with but running? But this little voice in my head (I don't normally hear voices just to clarify things!) said you need to run. And I was able to run the entire race! Although most would've called it a slow jog, I was thrilled that I had completed my goal!!!

     Then fall and winter came around and my running went by the wayside, cobwebs on my treadmill and extra weight appeared around my middle section.

     January arrived and I was determined to get back in shape when I saw's challenge to train for a 6K! I was pleased to be selected as a participant for this event, though have never blogged before. It can't be too difficult right? It's just allowing the rest of the world to see your victories and failures, right?  Humbling.

     Well, I'll start by writing my goals for doing this. I just finished nursing school and see many overweight nurses with related health problems of high blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes. I thought isn't it hypocritical to be a nurse who encourages others to exercise and eat well when they themselves don't live by their own advice?  But nursing is a stressful job and many people deal with stress through food. I'm not obese but borderline overweight. I can see myself easily succumbing to the desires of the chocolate brownie or my favorite afternoon snack of butter round crackers with a chunk of cheddar cheese. Soon that adds up and Wah Lah! I've gained 10 more lbs!

     Another reason for me to pursue a fit lifestyle is for my two boys. They are skin and bones now but fail to be active due to the lure of video games and television. I haven't been a great role model for them and want to instill these good values before the video games completely suck them into cyber world. These are important goals for me but I think the most important reason for me to do this is for myself. I love how happy I feel when I'm training. I struggle at times with depression, but while training I found the motivation to eat well and be more active with my boys. I had a more positive outlook and I loved the person I was becoming. So for me, this training event is more than just reaching a goal or getting fit. It's about changing my perspective of life, love and happiness. (Okay, this last bit sounds corny but there you go. That's who I am!)

574 Views 1 Comments Permalink Tags: beginning_runner
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