Saturday, May 17, 2014

Coffee Station in Dining Room

I recently set up a "coffee station" in the dining room. Having it in there saves precious counter space in my kitchen, and I think it looks welcoming to guests since my dining room is visible from the front door. Be prepared to be offered coffee!

I set up our Keurig beverage system and also our espresso machine on a dresser beside the dining room table. There are drawers and a cabinet underneath for storing coffee accessories including our extensive collection of various k-cups. Don't drink coffee? Have no fear--we also have tea, hot cocoa, and lemonade.

I read somewhere that buffet tables or sideboards used to be much more common in dining rooms in times past when families were larger and they needed more space for serving dishes. I will probably also use the extra surface area for that at Thanksgiving and Christmas when all of my kids are home and there are lots of side dishes, but we are mainly using it as a home coffee bar, and we love it!




 

The Keurig is super fast and easy to use. Some of my favorite k-cups are donut shop, breakfast blend, and chai tea latte. I'm also working on perfecting my barista skills with the slightly more complicated espresso maker. Cappuccino anyone?

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Jogging for 30 Minutes Straight!

Those of you that follow my blog regularly know that I have been jogging for the last few months. My new personal record for the longest time jogging without any walking breaks is 30 minutes which was one of my goals! I was jogging at a very slow pace of 15 and a half minute miles, but it was still a major accomplishment for me to hit 30 minutes. When I run just one mile, I do it in about 13 and a half minutes. I am still working on the goal of running a 5K and then maybe even eventually running it in 30 minutes.

I am also going on a lot of long walks. It feels great to walk three and a half miles or so the day after a hard run. Brisk walking burns a lot of calories and is so relaxing. It also counts when I walk around the mall for a couple of hours. :-)

My husband just bought me some good quality shoes to run in. I am very picky about athletic shoes since most of them make me feel claustrophobic. I don't like shoes that feel constricting on the top of my feet. Those kind of shoes look big and clunky to me, anyway. After trying on numerous brands and styles, I went with these: Sketchers Go Walk 2 Deluxe...

My new Sketchers

Yep, Someone else got new shoes, too.

My Sketchers are extremely lightweight and have the same minimalist style flexible soles as my old Danskin Now shoes that I am used to running in. Everyone is different, but I prefer lightweight shoes with very flexible soles. No, I don't want to wear those "barefoot style" shoes with toes, but I do want to maintain a natural form while running. I feel that my shoes are the perfect balance in that they are flexible yet have enough of a sole to lesson the impact on my joints. Some people with foot problems might need extra cushioning, but for the rest of us, too much padding under the heel can encourage "heel striking." Be sure to wear shoes that you are comfortable running in, even if they have the word "walk" in the name.

My husband also bought himself some good running shoes and said he would start running with me. I'm so excited! I wonder if I will run faster or longer with him running alongside...

Also see my previous posts about how I got started:

Walking for Exercise

Couch to Jogging for 25 Minutes

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Couch to Jogging for 25 Minutes Straight

About eleven weeks ago, I started the nine week Couch to 5K running program. Here's how it works...
 

Week Workout 1 Workout 2 Workout 3
1 Brisk five-minute warmup walk. Then alternate 60 seconds of jogging and 90 seconds of walking for a total of 20 minutes. Brisk five-minute warmup walk. Then alternate 60 seconds of jogging and 90 seconds of walking for a total of 20 minutes. Brisk five-minute warmup walk. Then alternate 60 seconds of jogging and 90 seconds of walking for a total of 20 minutes.
2 Brisk five-minute warmup walk. Then alternate 90 seconds of jogging and two minutes of walking for a total of 20 minutes. Brisk five-minute warmup walk. Then alternate 90 seconds of jogging and two minutes of walking for a total of 20 minutes. Brisk five-minute warmup walk. Then alternate 90 seconds of jogging and two minutes of walking for a total of 20 minutes.
3 Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then do two repetitions of the following:
  • Jog 200 yards (or 90 seconds)
  • Walk 200 yards (or 90 seconds)
  • Jog 400 yards (or 3 minutes)
  • Walk 400 yards (or three minutes)
Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then do two repetitions of the following:
  • Jog 200 yards (or 90 seconds)
  • Walk 200 yards (or 90 seconds)
  • Jog 400 yards (or 3 minutes)
  • Walk 400 yards (or three minutes)
Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then do two repetitions of the following:
  • Jog 200 yards (or 90 seconds)
  • Walk 200 yards (or 90 seconds)
  • Jog 400 yards (or 3 minutes)
  • Walk 400 yards (or three minutes)
4 Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then:
  • Jog 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Walk 1/8 mile (or 90 seconds)
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
  • Walk 1/4 mile (or 2-1/2 minutes)
  • Jog 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Walk 1/8 mile (or 90 seconds)
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then:
  • Jog 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Walk 1/8 mile (or 90 seconds)
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
  • Walk 1/4 mile (or 2-1/2 minutes)
  • Jog 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Walk 1/8 mile (or 90 seconds)
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then:
  • Jog 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Walk 1/8 mile (or 90 seconds)
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
  • Walk 1/4 mile (or 2-1/2 minutes)
  • Jog 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Walk 1/8 mile (or 90 seconds)
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
5 Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then:
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
  • Walk 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
  • Walk 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then:
  • Jog 3/4 mile (or 8 minutes)
  • Walk 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
  • Jog 3/4 mile (or 8 minutes)
Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then jog two miles (or 20 minutes) with no walking.
6 Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then:
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
  • Walk 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Jog 3/4 mile (or 8 minutes)
  • Walk 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then:
  • Jog 1 mile (or 10 minutes)
  • Walk 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Jog 1 mile (or 10 minutes)
Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then jog 2-1/4 miles (or 22 minutes) with no walking.
7 Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then jog 2.5 miles (or 25 minutes). Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then jog 2.5 miles (or 25 minutes). Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then jog 2.5 miles (or 25 minutes).
8 Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then jog 2.75 miles (or 28 minutes). Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then jog 2.75 miles (or 28 minutes). Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then jog 2.75 miles (or 28 minutes).
9 Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then jog 3 miles (or 30 minutes). Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then jog 3 miles (or 30 minutes). The final workout! Congratulations! Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then jog 3 miles (or 30 minutes).

I stayed on track for the first few weeks, but then encountered a few obstacles...

Obstacles I've Encountered While Doing C25K

1. Minor Injury
As I progressed through the program, I got over confident and stopped repeating workouts. Instead of doing the same workout two or three times in a row like I did during the first few weeks, I tried to set a new personal record each time by jumping to the next level. My ankle started hurting so I had to go over a week between workouts a couple of times.

2. Weather
Once my ankle was feeling better we had an "ice storm." I couldn't jog until there were enough dry patches of street and sidewalk to safely jog without slipping. I jumped the gun a little and jogged around icy patches like I was on an obstacle course. You do things like that when you aren't a member of a gym and don't own a treadmill. I didn't fall though, and after a nine day break, I was glad I could still jog for over 20 minutes straight--even in 32-33 degree temperatures.

3. Busy With Other Things
During Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years, I only jogged about once a week due to the demands of the holiday season. I read somewhere that "de-training" does not occur unless you go two weeks without running. That may be true, but I am wondering if the workouts would be easier if I was still consistently doing them three times a week.

How I feel While Running

Now here's the good news, I can now jog for over 25 minutes straight without any walking breaks in between! Some days are way easier than others. I definitely need a distraction to keep me going. My body can do it, but my mind wants me to quit a few minutes into most runs.

Usually, I just force myself to keep going and wonder why I do this. On the best days, I "break through." What I mean by breaking through is that sometimes after a mile or so, it will feel easier and more natural. At that point, I start to feel that runner's high you hear about and speed up to the tempo of the music I'm listening to. Those are the times that make it all worthwhile.

I am trying to figure out what makes some days better than others. Was it the tablespoon of peanut butter that I ate just before the run? Was it because I was well rested after a total rest day of not exercising the day before? Was it my selection of podcasts and music for that day? Was it the timing of a distracting phone call that helped me get my second wind? Yes, I do chat on the phone while running. Relax! I am usually on the sidewalk in my quiet subdivision and wearing a reflective vest. 

Cross Training

I recently got a bike for cross training on days that I don't run. The bike riding is much easier and something I'm more likely to do spur of the moment and be consistent with. Another runner told me that riding in a low gear with lots of peddling is beneficial to runners.

Time or Distance?

The C25K program is supposed to get you running either a 5K which is 3.1 miles or just running for 30 minutes. In the beginning, I thought those two goals were synonymous; however, that is not necessarily the case. My "running" pace when I pace myself for a long distance is a very slow jog. At an average pace of 14 minutes per mile, it would take me well over 40 minutes to run a 5K. So now I have two goals. I would like to run a 5K, but I want it to only take 30 minutes.

A more experienced runner recommended that I do two different types of workouts to accomplish my goal:

Two Complementary Training Methods

Distance Runs
On some days, I need to jog for as long as I can at an easy pace. For example, next time I will be shooting for 28 minutes straight instead of 26:40 which is my current personal record. I was supposed to jog for that long back on Week 8, but I'm just not there yet. After 11 weeks, I'm still doing a Week 7 workout. Perhaps eventually I will be jogging at a slow pace for OVER 30 minutes which would get me a little closer to the goal distance of 3.1 miles. Maybe on those long runs, I could take a walking break and then jog again until I reach the 3.1 mile total.

Faster Runs
I occasionally run around the block once which is under half a mile. Although it's not that fast, I call it a sprint, and I like to see how much my pace has increased since my last sprint. I also need to do some faster medium distance runs where I try to beat my usual time on one of my typical routes which is just under 2 miles. I usually walk for 3 minutes and then jog for a little over 25 minutes. I do five laps around my block which totals just over two miles. I say I run two miles, but technically that includes a warm up walk at the beginning. I really need to add another lap, but it takes discipline to pass my house yet another time after that much jogging.

To be continued...


Also, see my post about walking for exercise.