The Running Librarian and GetRunning App

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Remember my friend Dave who ran the Los Angeles Marathon? Team Dave was out in force with Davey Pops. Dave and I met during our undergrad years at UCLA and he is also turning 40 this year (he's about 10 days older than me!)

LA Marathon 2010 - DaveyPop

Dave is planning on running THREE full marathons in the year before he turns 40. Yes, that is 78.6 miles of running in various countries.

Um, I'm setting my goals a little smaller. I'm hoping to run one 5K race (3.1 miles) before I'm 40 years old.

I ran track as a freshman in high school and I'm all about speed. Endurance and me ain't close friends, and I often have nightmares of me running away from a doll (you know dolls come alive in the middle of the night and try to kill you...) and passing out because I have no cardiovascular health.

Well, in my 39th year, I was inspired by Dave's marathon and decided to give the Couch to 5K program a try. Just Google the term and you'll find lots of programs. Basically, they take you from your couch (or your kitchen, in my case) to a 5K in about 8-9 weeks! You start slow (1 minute run/walks) and end by running a full 30 minutes without stopping or walking. At first, I thought they were crazy, but it FREAKING WORKS!

I downloaded the Get Running App to my iPod Touch for $1.99. I had to buy an upgrade from Apple to make it work on my older iPod Touch, but it was soooo worth it! Some programs have little bleeps or bells, but Get Running has an English woman guiding you through the workout and gives you encouragement. She says things like:

Today we are going to run... five 10-minute runs
You are halfway done, turn around and head home if you need.
You have one minute left (with enthusiasm)!
You have run 20 minutes! You have 5 minutes remaining.
Today's run is only 2 minutes longer than last week.
Great job! Congratulations!

Okay, I'll be totally honest with you. When I first started and as I tried to run ONE SINGLE MINUTE (sucking in air and trying to locate the best place to throw up in my neighborhood), I cursed this woman. Serious. Totally thought she was sitting in a recording studio dragging on a cigarette, legs up on a desk, eating bon bons while telling me to keep running. Seriously had issues with her at first.

But as I improved, I looked forward to my "friend" helping me along! (although I still think she's eating a big chocolate bar between recordings). The best thing about the Get Running App is that it pauses your music to give you these statements. I often listen to audiobooks (free from my library using OverDrive) while running so it's important that I don't miss any monologue from the book...or I might not find out who's the killer in the latest James Patterson book! Note to self: Don't be listening to any romance novels while running. Listening to any, um, relationship scene, while jogging by your neighbor's rose garden is just wrong.

Of course, this lady ain't going to drag your butt out of bed to get your running. And that's where Coach Dave and friends come in! Coach Dave ran with me every few weeks and answered all my running questions. Thanks so much Dave!

Running Librarian
I also ran with my Verizon Droid phone and used the My Tracks app. This tracks your running, speed, elevation, and maps it out using up all your battery power and GPS. Then I can upload it to a Google docs spreadsheet and Coach Dave can monitor my progress...and I can see that I'm covering more distance each week! Now that I'm up 30 minutes, sometimes I run listening to Pandora radio. (Yes, I am the person using all the 3G bandwidth in the neighborhood.)

I got these Acis shoes from Road Runner running store. Finding the right shoes, getting insoles and proper socks made such a difference. Like baking with the right ingredients, having the right equipment can prevent injury and that damn plantar fasciitis that creeps up on me sometimes.

Sorry for the long post, but darn it, did you see that I can run 30 minutes without walking?! And on May 1st I was dying at 1 minute. Whoo hoo! I'm proud of myself...and will be baking myself a cake to celebrate. Yeah, I'm not losing any weight...but I'll try that next.

This also helps answers the question "Why haven't you been baking?" I've been running at 5 am around my neighborhood...during my prime baking time. Now the the windows are installed (read: drywall dust is finally gone) and the fridge is back (read: shiny new fridge rocks), I hope to alternate running and baking in the mornings. You know, it's all about balance.

P.S. I'll let you know when I run my first 5K. Like the Daveypop, we'll have Bundt Cakes on a Stick to cheer me along the route! :)
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Davery said... [Reply to comment]

Awesome post! I am so proud of your progress and can't wait to join you in your first 5k! Coach Dave.

Amy said... [Reply to comment]

Congrats!! That's awesome!!! I started the couch to 5k plan about 4 years ago and have ran 12 marathons, 1 ultra marathon, and many, many other race distances since then!

Keep it up, it's a huge accomplishment!

Jen said... [Reply to comment]

Woot for running! I have a Motorola Droid (with the same pink case) and I switched from using My Tracks to using the Cardio Trainer App. It has the same features, but also allows you to choose walking or biking AND it interfaces with FB which is fun. You might check it out.

greydawn said... [Reply to comment]

yeah! I love the fact that you are doing this with the help of a friend!~a few years ago I trained with a friend and she ran the Redondo Beach Super bowl 5K in 40 minutes and she literally could not run more that 100 feet before we started running together~I can't wait to read your post 5K blog!

eatme_delicious said... [Reply to comment]

I did the couch to 5k program a couple of years ago and was amazed when I was able to run for 30 minutes!! It's really awesome that you're doing it!

Eliana said... [Reply to comment]

haha - Love this post. Congrats on getting to running 30 minutes without stopping. That's a huge deal. And your friend Dave is my hero. I'm currently training for The Chicago Marathon in October and training for these big races is no joke. Kudos to him...and you :)

Unknown said... [Reply to comment]

Wow this is so cool. I love hearing about things like this. Living overseas I kinda get lost on all the cool apps and stuff that are happening in the States. I hope you keep updating us with your running status as well as your baking status.

Unknown said... [Reply to comment]

Yay!!! Congratulations!!! I was doing the couch to 5k program until we moved and I didn't have a sitter for the kiddo. I have never wanted an iPod touch more than I do right now. I didn't know they had apps like this! I must have one! I must have this app!

I can't wait to hear about your first 5k!

kdiddy said... [Reply to comment]

congrats! I finished the C25K a few weeks ago. It took me a little bit longer than 9 weeks and I have to run a full 5k (thought I'm very close), but it's been awesome.

Natalie said... [Reply to comment]

excellent job! i'm planning on starting up the ol' C25k soon, but that rascally new baby and scorching Georgia heat keep getting in my way. you may have inspired me to get off my tush and do it!

Linda said... [Reply to comment]

You go girl! I know that you'll kick butt in your upcoming 5k.

Anonymous said... [Reply to comment]

A new blogging friend just referred me to your blog! SO glad to have found it. Thank you for the inspiration for running. You have me wanting to get out there despite the awful heat and humidity here in SW Arkansas.

Mrs. G said... [Reply to comment]

Congrats on taking the first step. I've been thinking about getting a running app. Thanks for the recommendation.

Caroline said... [Reply to comment]

WOW 5K! Congrats Mary! This is awesome.

Bella Baker said... [Reply to comment]

Awesome! Go Mary! Go Mary!! That's really great!!

Michelle @ Brown Eyed Baker said... [Reply to comment]

Great post! I am starting the C25K program as well; I will definitely have to download that app!

Mary said... [Reply to comment]

I am so sister did the Couch to 5K thing and just ran her first race. She loved it. Just another reason for you to visit Connecticut at some point so we can jog along my favorite loop on the water!

Jennie said... [Reply to comment]

Wow! I agree with the previous comments, this is really impressive! (I feel a little guilty right now as I'm eating a berry/lemon cake trifle right now.) I admire anyone who can run any length. Did I tell you the last time I joined a gym I gained 7 pounds? I know, I know, it was probably all muscle but still. My body must produce a lot of natural steroids. Good luck with your 5K! I wish I could be there to cheer you on. In the meantime, I will make your pre-birthday cookies and think about you exercising.

Ingrid_3Bs said... [Reply to comment]

That's awesome! My daughter (11) & I have been saying we want to start running. I'm gonna check that app out. Thanks!

Good luck!

Shannon said... [Reply to comment]

Yeah! Congrats on making it to 30 minutes!!!! We want to come hold a bundt sign when its time. When are we all getting together?

Unknown said... [Reply to comment]

Mary! Inspired by Julie W, I started doing this, too. I enjoy jogging slowly along to NPR's Morning Edition. :) Sign up for the Long Beach Half Marathon in October because if I can do it, than anybody can!

Coco Cake Land said... [Reply to comment]

Mary!! I am so stoked for you! On a similar vein, my cousin inspired me to run a half-marathon which I accomplished in May... although i do not remember a THING about finishing the race... (I passed out at the end due to zero blood sugar left in me!!)

You can DO IT!! One step at a time ! (literally!?)
Keep it up and good luck with the 5km!!!

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