Sunday, June 26, 2011

Couch to 5K, Week 3

The weather interfered with my running plans last week. Normally I plan to to go out Monday/Wednesday/Friday. On Monday when I woke up, it was windy and gray outside. I went back to sleep. A few hours later, the guilt set in. I had checked the weather and a lot of rain was predicted for the week ahead. So I laced up my shoes and did my first walk/run for the week.
The week started with a five minute warm-up, then 1 1/2 minute jog, 1 1/2 minute walk, 3 minute jog, 3 minute walk, and repeat one time. Three minutes was twice as long as the previous week's run time, and three times as long as the first week. Apparently my body continues to adjust to the longer times, as I completed all the running segments this week.
I had less burning in my calves, but my knees are feeling the impact of running more. Hopefully they just need some time to adapt to the demands I'm putting on them.
Wednesday morning I woke up to pouring rain and gale force winds. We do not have a treadmill or other indoor running options, so I did not run. Thursday morning the rain had stopped, although it was a bit misty outside. I did Day 2 for the week, switching my route so that the longer runs were down hill or on a flatter course.
The program suggests taking rest days in between running days to give your body time to recover, so although Friday was my regular running day, I waited until Saturday for Day 3. It was a little muggy outside, but overall was a nice morning to be out.
Despite challenging weather, I have completed week 3 of the Couch to 5K program!

Monday, June 20, 2011


I've taken pictures with a 2.0 megapixel camera for the longest time. It has allowed me to capture memories and take okay pictures, but has been nothing spectacular. Awhile back, Barry bought a friend's camera when his friend got a new one. It's rather heavy and bulky, too much for when he goes on the road, so I've started to experiment with using this camera. Someday I'd like to take a photography class, because I don't know much about different photography terms like aperture, ISO speed, shutter speed or white balance. But for now, here is some of what I've taken just by experimenting.

Remy, a flash of blue through the trees

Ollie, rock collector

More rocks to play with

Spring leaves

Lilac (This picture is amazing to me because it was really windy, so instead of trying to wait until the wind stopped blowing, I took the picture, which came out pretty clear instead of blurry)

Fallen branches on the ATV path

Garden 2011

We finally got our garden planted just over a week ago, and were happy to see seeds sprouting today. They're just barely coming up; look around the center of the photo to see.

Pea--white seed with a little green poking through

Another pea leaf just poking through

Beet--just a little purple and green showing

Another beet, just a little purple showing

Green bean

I'm still waiting for carrots, spinach and lettuce to sprout. We also have tomatoes, peppers and eggplant from Barry's friend planted here and there.

Father's Day Project

Hard at work creating

I came across this great Father's Day project idea (I can't remember where, or I'd link it) that the kids worked on the other day. I traced and cut out each kids' hand, they decorated one with stickers and wrote I Love You on the other hand. In between the hands, we folded a strip of paper back and forth, wrote This Much on the inside squares, and glued each end to a hand. When they gave Barry their cards, he read I Love You on the outside and This Much on the inside.
It's fun to see the progressively bigger hands from Ollie up to Jackson.

Couch to 5K, Week 2

I made it through week two of the Couch to 5K program. This week alternated 1 1/2 minutes jogging with 2 minutes brisk walking six times. With the exception of the first day when I walked the last 5-10 seconds of one of the (uphill) jogging segments, I complete all 1 1/2 minute jogging segments.
The hills were still hard, and my calves were burning by the time I reached the top. While I was breathing pretty heavy at the end of each jog, I have been able to recover by the end of each walk segment. At the end of each day and the five minute cool down, I'm feeling great! In fact, I seem to get a nice energy pickup for the rest of the day on days I run.
I liked the last song on this podcast, with strings and piano and lyrics that said something like "the sun is shining bright, it's such a great day!"

Saturday, June 11, 2011

And Just Like That, Summer's Here

Last week, the kids were busy with end of the school year activities. Jackson had a 6th grade track meet, baseball practice, elementary awards program, and a last day of school sleepover. He got a math award from his teacher and will be taking 8th grade math next year. We've heard many times about what a great class he's in--kids that work hard and are high achievers. We think it's the perfect place for him to be, and we're thankful for a small school where he can be with the same kids from year to year instead of a new mix each year.
Raina had a field trip to Wolf Ridge to learn about birds, was one a few kids in her class to run an entire mile, and got a near perfect attendance award for only missing 1 day of school all year.
Summer activities start right away, so on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons all the kids have swimming lessons and Jackson plays baseball. In swimming, Jackson is in level 4 (he missed a few years here and there with new babies and a move taking up our time) and is the only kid in his swimming class. Raina is in level 2 and has had only 1 other girl in her class. Remy is in level 1, in the pool without a parent for the first time. There are 4-5 other kids in his class. He surprised me on the first day when he jumped in the pool to the instructor without hesitation. Ollie gets to be in the pool with me for Aqua Tots. Only one other mom/kid has been in the pool with us so far. I think more people take morning lessons or on Monday/Wednesday, because it almost feels like we have the pool to ourselves!
Rather than expect Remy and Ollie to sit and watch Raina swim for 1/2 hour, we have the option of going to the playground at the school to run off some energy.

I was lucky to get a shot of Remy, who ran from one area to the next nearly non-stop


Jackson preferred to sit and read

Couch to 5K, Week 1

"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." -Chinese proverb

This week I took my first steps towards being able to run a 5K. I'm following the Couch to 5K program, which alternates running and walking to build up endurance. After starting out with a 5 minute brisk walk to warm up, week one alternates 1 minute of running (or slow jogging in my case) with 1 1/2 minutes of walking. After eight run/walk cycles, then a five minute cool down, I was done!

I've never been a runner, in fact I didn't even like to play tag when I was a kid. So training for a 5K is a completely new experience for me. Couch to 5K is a nine week program, running three times per week, so by the end of the summer I should be able to run 5K.

I've learned a few things already:
I really enjoy being out by myself, at my pace, without keeping track of kids! Usually when we take a walk, some kids are ahead, some kids are behind, and I'm somewhere in the middle.

I listen to a podcast by Robert Ullrey with music to energize me. He gives encouragement along the way and tells me when to run and when to walk. About halfway through the Week 1 podcast, he says something like you should be feeling the effects of your running, but not be out of breath, and I thought, "Really, because I'm sucking wind here!" But in the end, I ran every single one minute segment this week.

The smallest hills can be brutal.

Run on the opposite side of the street from where dogs were nipping at my butt (literally!) as I ran past.

Friday morning was 46 degrees with a chilly wind. I was still sweaty and red-faced when I finished for the day.

For more information on the Couch to 5K program, check out these websites:

Cool Running


Monday, June 6, 2011

Seven Years Old

Raina turned 7 yesterday! She picked homemade chicken noodle soup for her birthday supper and marble cupcakes for the birthday cake. She's growing up too fast, don't you think?

First birthday

Two years old

Three years old