come with me and walk the longest mile

Editor’s note: It’s 4:45 a.m. Please forgive this hastily thrown together post and see the bigger picture: you complete me.

Anyone catch the Walking Dead last night? If you were watching the Grammys instead, well, I just feel sorry for you because I bet no one even got killed. I made a pact with the baby that if she’d sleep through the whole thing and let mommy have a beer, I’d read her five stories and play “make retarded faces” with her all night long. It’s cool, she has no concept of time, anyway.

Anywhoozles, I’m writing this because I really want some help from you runner people. I can now officially “run” two miles again without stopping. I’m still ridiculously slow, but so far I haven’t lost my will to live or become injured. Knock on wood.

Feb 5: 1.26 @ 11:02 (outside)

Feb 8: 2.48 @ 11:37 (outside)

Feb 10: 2.6 @ 12:02 (treadmill) I actually did three miles, but the christing treadmills at the gym automatically bump you down to cool-down mode after 30 minutes. You have to manually stop the machine and restart it if you want to keep going. Really annoying when you’re in the zone. (And yes, for me “the zone” is an 11:00 mile. Screw off.)

Feb 12: Twoish @ 11:15ish. (I didn’t get one of the treadmills with the Nike+iPod hookup. Bah.)

So, in the interest of me not doing my own research, consulting a trainer or god forbid, READING, I’d love some guidance on how to be a runner again. Be specific. And remember, I’m retarded, so please use small words and short sentences.

I’m thinking I’ll continue to run/walk, building mileage slowly, but save one run a week where I just try to do a mile or two as reasonably fast as I can without getting hurt. Eventually, I can add some real speed work or tempo runs, but I think for now just going through the motions of running is safest. I’ve also been swimming again (but I need a new bathing suit! GAH), and when I can get the Booger on her playmat for 15 or 20 minutes, I do planks and pushups on the floor next to her.

So what’s up with you?

This was on at the end of Walking Dead; a great song for killing and for running 11:00 miles –>

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23 thoughts on “come with me and walk the longest mile

  1. I always found that the best way to improve speed and endurance was with intervals. Try 1 min of speed walking, 30 sec run for 5 min, then 1 min jog and 30 sec faster than jog for 5 min then 1 min jog/1 min speed for 5, then 2 min jog/2 min speed for 5, then cool down with the same as warm-up. You can play with duration and intensity as you progress. For instance, when I was in good running shape, I would do a 5 min warm-up at 10min/mi and then do 1.5 min at 9:30 followed by 30 sec at 7min/mi for 20 min and then a 5 min cool down. Worked wonders to get me faster and also leaner. If you google you can probably find some great interval training sessions for beginners.

  2. I’ve had to take large breaks from running for health reasons, and coming back blows. But you have to forget who you were and just go with where you are and keep doing what you’re doing. Personally, I’d suggest focusing on increasing distance first (and this might happen much more slowly than you expect/want/can believe) and your pace will follow through once your mileage is back. Don’t beat yourself up if you have to take walk breaks now and then or if your “long run” is 4 or 5m. Some people have success with the C25k program – structured intervals to regain distance have never worked as well for me, personally, as the “I’m just going to f-ing do 3m today, period, if I have to walk some, and then tomorrow I’ll walk less” method.

    • I’ve always liked the IDEA of structure, but I’m never able to stick with it long-term. But setting out with a specific distance goal appeals to the narcissist in me. =)

  3. Can you get outside? I would try to run outside, or even on a track, and only do it for time — 30 minutes, 40 minutes, whatever, and log it as 10-minute miles, no matter what. That’s what I did coming back after both kids. I did it for a while, a few months maybe. The reason is because watching how slow you are really running on a treadmill is depressing, and being a new mom is depressing enough without feeling like a shadow of your former runner self. Running for time, with no clue as to how far/fast you are going, is mentally WAY better. In my opinion, and I say this as an obsessive Excel-using runner. And then just put it in as 10-minute miles (easy math!). Eventually, you’ll probably catch up to running what you say you are running, so it all evens out, right? I also didn’t log miles for a little bit after my second kiddo was born, which helped. And I will share that I ran SO slowly post-partum with both kids that my friend WALKED next to me one time, LOL. And I’m a decent runner, so you know, we ALL come back very, very slowly. You are doing great. The mental part of it all is just as tough, if not tougher, than the physical return to running. Hang in there. Hope this helps.

    • It IS really depressing, yet somehow I can’t tear myself away from the Garmin/treadmill. I think the treadmill might be easier on my legs and good for conditioning, but I can usually get outside and I do prefer that to the gym. And I’m actually already pretty good at bullshitting myself into thinking I’m running faster than I really am. =) This is good advice. It’s not like tracking the pace/distance is doing anything for my progress except feeding my own narcissistic need for logging miles. (And not even quality miles!)

  4. This could possibly be the stupidest looking thing in the world (aqua running), but I think it works. In addition to whatever weekly miles I’m getting, retired and really don’t ever want a job again, I have been aqua running to supplement my miles and fitness. I strap on this belt and run laps in the pool without touching bottom. Old ladies and infants are lapping me in the lanes next to me, and I don’t care. If ya google it, I would but am just too lazy, you will see that it’s kind of stupid looking. Beyond that, if you interval the aqua running….your fitness will return quicker than just swimming and treadmill. Tough to do with a baby I think, unless you can get one of those Head strap baby carrier thingys that I’m not sure exist and I’m making up as I type. Love your humor.

    • I 100 percent agree with water running. Here’s a link to a Pfitz program I’ve done before: http://www.pfitzinger.com/labreports/water.shtml
      It’s an awesome way to build up some speed without getting injured.
      I used it after a stress fracture and came within a minute of my 10-mile PR when I was done. So I know it works, despite how lame it looks.
      I think that for speed and then running your regular runs outside for time would be an awesome way to stay in shape.

    • Ha ha, thanks COG! I did do a little fake aqua jogging when I was pregnant. I didn’t use the fancy belt or weights but I did the motions and it felt ridiculously hard after just a couple minutes, so I can see how it would be a terrific workout if I took it seriously.

  5. As I am just DREAMING of running post-partum instead of doing it, but I did come back after foot surgery once. I did a C25K plan for the initial recovery, and then a slow build from there. The Pfitz running post injury plan is pretty good, too. I think run/walk to build endurance is good at this point, and wouldn’t do the whole “run as far/fast as possible” bit for while yet; you don’t want to injure yourself.

    • I’ve got a love/hate thing for hills. In high school my coach used to take us to this rock quarry and make us go up and down this 45 degree incline of SOFT SAND for hours and hours. It sucked ass, but man did my calves look good!

  6. I always loved your blog (secretly cyberstalked you?) because it combined two of my favorite things, beer and running! But now you’ve included a video from my favorite band ever. If you were a dude, and not married, I’d grow a pair and ask you out. Seriously, almost every single Clutch Album is on my iPod for running. You’ve got a great start there! You can always start with that and just be patient. I’ve never had a baby so I can’t really give any advice for getting back into it. But know we’re all supporting you.

  7. Interestingly enough, Clutch brewed a beer with New Belgium this year that was fantastic. It was aptly named, “Clutch”. Delicious indeed.

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