2 Miles on a New Route

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One thing that I don't like to do when running is go to point A, then turn around to come back. I'd much rather run a loop. Today I made a new route and it ended up exactly 2 miles!

The weather was crappy. Cold and raining. Typical for November in Michigan. If I'm going to survive winter running, there will be rain, snow, and ice. So I put on my hat, jacket, and hit the road!


2 Miles and What I Wore

I'm still on low mileage until my hip is 100% pain-free. I wouldn't even say that it's painful, but something in there is uncomfortable. So I'm on two days off then 2 miles on the third day. 

On the off days I try to get in a little exercise.  On November 1, I started a 30-day plank challenge AND a 30-day squat challenge. Planks are hard and squats are boring. But it gives me a chance to build more lower-body muscles, strengthen my core, and work on some great stretches. Hopefully preventing future injuries!

My sister posted a YouTube video of a 30-minute yoga work out that I want to do on my off-days. Check it out for yourself HERE

As the temps get cooler here in Michigan, getting ready to run takes a bit longer and a bit more thought. More layers, but I don't want to get hot either. Here's what I wore today:

Knit hat, red Nike cold weather shirt, lime green Danskin long sleeve running shirt, leggings under my fleece-lined Champion running pants.

Knit hat, red Nike cold weather shirt, lime green Danskin long sleeve running shirt, leggings under my fleece-lined Champion running pants.

Side-pony and my running belt. 

Side-pony and my running belt. 

I also have a pair of light knit gloves that I wear when it's cold. If I need to take off the gloves, I can tuck them into my belt. 

The belt holds my iPhone, house key, or any other small item I need to carry with me. I don't see many people wearing these, but I didn't want the extra weight or tan line of an arm band.  

What do you wear to carry your iPhone or other device??? I want to know!

My Running History.

The Timeline.

Born 1971.

School years - 2001 Tennis, golf and running for exercise.

2002-2012 Walking, NO RUNNING. 

2012 Couch to 5k, 5k-10k, three 5k races. 

2013 Running for Fat Loss, two 5k races with improved times. 


The School - Adult Years

All through middle school, high school, and college, I jogged.  After college, I continued to jog, usually after work, but often felt the painful side stitches. This was before smart phones or running apps. Back in the day, we got in our car and drove the route to estimate mileage!  I'd run a mile or so, thinking it was enough to eat and drink whatever I wanted. And in my mid-twenties, that was more true than it is today. 

In 2001, I met the man that I would marry. I was still jogging. I had moved to an awesome apartment in downtown Grand Rapids and would jog the roads and trails after work. Never knowing my pace or mileage. This was still before smart phones! 

{I should also mention that I live in Michigan, where spring is wet,  summer is hot and humid, fall is cool and brisk, and winter is a bitch.  I didn't run in the winter, so every spring was like starting over.}

Less than a year after dating, that man and I married and moved out of the city. We moved into a neighborhood that was very hilly, and I quickly became discouraged.

No more running... for 10 years.


Smart Phones Change the World. 


Starting Over.

Forward 10 years...

We have the smart phone! (We had our smart phones before this, but it is when I discovered running apps and a program called Couch to 5k.) I had been walking, but not on a regular schedule, just enough to keep active.  

June 2012. On a camping trip in late June 2012, I decided to lace up my walking shoes and attempt to run the 1-mile trail at the state park.  It's a beautiful trail through the woods. There are some interesting tree formations, and I spooked a deer with her young. Truth is, we spooked each other! And so it started! I walked some of it, but the running felt great, and I was ready to start again.

July 12, 2012, I started Couch to 5k. I like this program because it truly is for a beginner, with walking and running intervals. By this time, I was working from home, so I had the luxury of going in the morning. I started in the neighborhood, running those hills. Always thinking... "these hills will make me stronger and a better runner." Eventually, I came to a point where I had to find a new route because I was running further. So I left the hilly neighborhood and headed toward the Fred Meijer Flat River Trail. Getting there was about a mile on a well-traveled (no sidewalk) road, but I was cautious and always wore bright colors.

Toward the end of my training, I completed my first 5K race with my aunt. It was a fun race that included a trail and a cemetery.  The participants were kind, supportive, and encouraging! It started out cool in the morning, but was warm by the time we finished.



After finishing Couch to 5k, I took on 5k to 10k, and completed two more 5k runs. Toward the end of the 10k training, my knee started to bother me. A new pair of shoes helped, but it really needed rest.

According to my RunKeeper app, December 12 was my last run of 2012. About that time, I caught the flu, and our busy time was in full swing. {Hubby and I both work from home and the holiday season is our busiest time.}


2013 had a sporadic start. Walked a few times in late February, then started walking/running in March. It wasn't until June that I re-dedicated. Even though I finished 2012 running as far as 6 miles, I could barely run 2. It was like starting over. So June was mostly walking and running intervals. And that was fine, I think it helped me through the heat and prevented injuries.  

By end of June, I could run 3 miles then did walk/run intervals. At this point, I felt confident that I could run a 5k.  On August 10, I started a program on RunKeeper, called "Running for Fat Loss." It combines intervals, short runs, and long runs. I've stuck with this program and have one day left on it! I ran today, but chose to do a long run instead of the intervals :) The great thing about running is that I can do whatever I want! I'll finish the plan this week then come up with a plan that will include a long run, short fast run, intervals, and an intermediate steady run. 

During this training, I ran two 5k races. A glow run and another run with my aunt.

 (I'm in the pink tu-tu!)

 (I'm in the pink tu-tu!)


They were both good runs and my times improved over last year!  I'm not sure if the "Running for Fat Loss" program helped me lose fat {I like my eats and drink!} but it did help me with speed and endurance.

No More Side Stitches

Remember those side-stitches I used to get? I don't get them anymore. It could be that I eased into running, but I think it's my morning routine. If I run in the afternoon or evening, I get the stitch. Too much in my guts. I'm too heavy. Now, my morning routine is coffee, bathroom business, then run. On an empty stomach, lighter guts.  If I do have an afternoon or evening run,  {both of this years 5k runs were afternoon or evening} I stop eating 5 or 6 hours before the run. If I feel a stitch coming on, I breath through it. Deep inhales, full exhales. 

What's Next? 

At this point, I'd live to run a 10k. I know I can finish, but I'd like to have a time so that I can work on improving it. The bigger challenge now is to keep running all fall, winter, and spring. I don't want to start over again. And I HATE the treadmill. Don't have one, don't want one. 

I also need new shoes. 


See you on the trail!