A Running Update

Happy Saturday!

I love days like today!  It is almost 2pm and I am DONE DRIVING KIDS AROUND FOR THE DAY!  Woo Hoo!  I think I backed in and out of my driveway 50 times yesterday between 2 and 9 pm.  I’m so sick of being in my car!

So I just wanted to give a little update about my running progress the last few weeks.  This weekend I finish up “Week 3” of my 20-week half marathon training (I put the plan I am following here).  I’m glad I have this much time to get ready because I am just slowly increasing my mileage every week.

For the first 6 weeks, the program has me running every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday – leaving Monday, Wednesday, and Friday as “rest days”.  I use my rest days to do strength / weight training at Koko and, of course, finish my one mile a day “streak” mile.  Which, I’m excited to say, reached 250 days yesterday!  I still think that “streaking” has probably been the most important component of my success so far.  Building that foundation to not skip a day of exercise has really paid off now that I am running.  There are some days when I would just rather not run several miles but I have built up that “muscle” in my brain now to help me realize that not fulfilling my exercise plan for the day is NOT an option.  Consequently, I am reaching my goals and my attitude is changed so much for the better.

This morning I ran 5 miles straight!  My time for the last mile was actually the fastest, even though I felt closest to death on the last mile.  I decided to run during my son’s football practice (which ended up being almost 3 hours long – in pads/helmet in 90 degree plus temps).  I have been waking up early (like 5:30 AM early) to run during the week but I foolishly thought that it would magically be nice enough to run at 8 AM.  It has cooled off a little here in hell but not that much.  Furthermore, I decided to run east this morning so I had the sun in my face for a good 2+ miles.  Oh the lessons this newbie is learning…  Anyway, I decided to try to stay around 12:00 miles today since I was increasing the distance to 5.  This past week I have been getting my 4 mile average down to as low as a 11:17/mile average which I’m pretty happy about.  Dr. Ziltzer always told me that adding distance will increase speed and now I’m seeing the truth to that.  I feel pretty confident that I could finally run that 10 minute mile now, and I have a few times.

When I am about 2 miles into my longer runs, sometimes I get a little panic-y thinking small goals 2about how hard it is going to be to run 13 miles.  Up until today, 4 miles had been my max distance and the thought of doing that 2 + more times was overwhelming.  But, I have to remind myself that just not very many months ago the thought of running 1 mile without stopping, much less under 13 minutes, was hard to believe.  Heck, even a month or so ago I was not even crazy about running outside….now I dread running on treadmill.  I really need to just stay in the moment.  Yesterday I drew a parallel of running with weight loss.  I think back about after I had lost 10 pounds and I wondered how I was going to keep the Optifast shakes up for 90 MORE POUNDS.  It seemed overwhelming … but I did it little by little.  I had another reminder of that yesterday as I was spending my early morning moments reading through my Facebook newsfeed and came upon … myself:


So, this truly is a marathon (or half marathon) and not a sprint.  There really is no finish line anyway.  I’ll just enjoy the process – and, so far, I really have to say I am.

small goals success

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4 Responses to A Running Update

  1. Rita says:

    Hi Martha
    On my 3rd week and I have to say that the only times I feel challenged is on the weekends but i am perservering! I have always wanted to run but never felt that I could. Your blog has inspired me. I signed up for Fleet Feet in my area. It a walk to run program that by the end of it (12 weeks) I should be able to run a 5k. Cross your fingers for me! Thanks for your posts. It really helps me to keep focused


    • Hi Rita, thanks for the note! Yes, the weekends can be the most challenging but it sounds like you are hanging in there. There will be plenty more weekends in the future for you to enjoy the things you are missing! The running program sounds awesome. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you. Please just keep in mind that you just might not have the stamina, muscle strength or energy while on full Optifast to progress as rapidly as the rest of your running group. Just listen to your body, push when you can, but remember you aren’t taking in as many calories as everyone else. Looking back, I think that may have made things more difficult for me. But, starting an exercise program at this point will be so rewarding for you – I would definitely still do it. Just be patient with yourself 🙂 Keep me posted!


  2. Hilary says:

    I am 3 weeks out from my half (did a 20 weeks program as well) and each run you will be a step closer. Somedays will suck but then you will start saying things like “just 5 miles today” and realize how far you have come and how strong you have gotten! I vividly remember day 1 of C2K5 when I felt like running a mile straight would kill me and seriously envied how easily my dog could run lol. Last week I ran 10 miles, felt great and now can easily outrun the dog.

    Keep up the great work Martha!!!


    • Hey Hilary. Thanks for the reassurance. I can definitely tell it gets easier and easier (and, like you said, some days still suck!) I woke up this morning being grateful (and then surprised at my attitude) that I *only* had 3 miles today. It also makes me laugh how the days when I give myself permission to run slow and easy end up being the days I push myself the most once I get going. Is this your first half marathon? Excited for you! I’m really looking forward to it cooling down here – I think running will be much more enjoyable when it is out of the 90’s and/or not 5AM. Well, regardless, I think I’ll be in good shape for my Ragnar legs…except for maybe the lack of sleep part 🙂


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