Jun
23
2012

  Registered For Women's Four-Miler

Since I've been running regularly since last December, I thought I'd enter a race. It seems to be what people do from time-to-time, and I've never tried it before. Of course, it's because jogging used to make me feel vaguely ill before the neurofeedback fixed some of my brain chemicals, and since I avoided running it made no sense to enter a race. I never could understand why people loved running so much because it always made me feel sick, and I presumed it was like that for everyone and they were in denial. But no, now I get it, because it makes me feel good now, too. I am amazed every day (still, even after two years) at what a difference proper brain chemicals have in one's life.

I still am not quite sure how it would gpfeel to be "normal" since I still don't have normal brain function. My frontal lobes remain pretty much non-activated and I don't think the gamma/delta imbalance has been resolved, and those things I think are causing a lot of my ADD symptoms, which persist. But just having the chemicals more normalized has done wonders for me. Including having gained the ability to exercise vigorously without feeling sick. Which is a major change in my life. All these years before, I had to stick to things like golf and softball since more vigorous stuff felt so physically horrible that I would gamely try, but then I'd have to give it up because I wound up hating it. I couldn't play tennis competively, but I enjoyed doubles because that required just the right amount of vigor to energize me without leaving me sick. But I might revisit sports now that my body doesn't reject a workout.

I can't think of anyone off the top of my head who plays tennis, but a lot of women I know sign up for these local races, and seem to enjoy it. So I decided I'd give it a try, and see if I enjoy it. I do enjoy the running now. I'm not sure if there is any sort of special preparation that makes a race more enjoyable or not, but Terry said he'd bring the boys out to cheer me on, so I suspect that will be nice. Although W is my little trainer already, when he's in the jogging stroller he'll make requests like, "run faster, Mommy!". Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't.

This morning I went out without the kids, and timed myself over two miles. I surprised myself by jogging the entire first mile without stopping to walk, and finished in 12:56. I haven't been able to jog so far at once while pushing the stroller, so that's why it was a surprise for me. I did walk parts of the second mile, but finished around 26:30, so it was just half a minute slower than the first mile.

I mix up my "training" pretty much just based on what I feel like doing on any given day. Sometimes I'll do a shorter distance but try to go fast. If I'm short on time, I'll do this and just sprint and walk. It is a lot of work to sprint while pushing 50+ pounds over
gravel, so if I only go a mile, so be it. Other times I'll do longer intervals of jogging and walking, or mostly jogging and walking with a few sprints thrown in. Sometimes I focus on trying to maintain a slow jog without stopping to walk, other times I aim to go faster, even if I have to stop more. Sometimes I'll go a full four miles, other times not. It's really pretty random. But I've noticed that the cooler and less humid the weather, the more likely it is that I'll feel like going further. When it's humid, even it is not too hot, I don't extend the run just for fun. Like this morning. I was out the door before 7am, and it was cool, but the humidity was still terrible.

I'm not sure what is realistic progress for a middle-aged woman, but I have in my mind that I'd like to get my time down to around ten minutes per mile. I'm sure I can get there eventually, what I'm not sure is whether it is a realistic goal for September 1st, the race date. Can people shave three minutes per mile in two months? It depends on which three minutes, doesn't it? I figure that it should be easier to go from 13 to 10 than it would be to go from 10 to 7, for example. But I really don't know, maybe it's all the same until you get below six. Not that I will ever find out, since studies show that speed increases the rate of calorie burn until you get to an 8- to 10-minute mile, but after that it's pretty much just the same. So I can see utility in my life for increasing my speed to a 10-minute mile, but since my primary goal is weight loss and not winning races, I can't imagine I'll be motivated to get faster than that.

Even if I don't really speed up in the next two months, I can live with that. I ran/walked a full four miles without the stroller two weeks ago, and I did it in an hour flat. That's enough so at least I won't be the last runner in for the race. I have no illusions that I will do "well", but if I can extend my 13-minute pace from two miles to four, then at least I'll be in the middle of the pack, and I think I'll be quite content with that for my first race.