Struggling To Run

My doctor suggested I go on a low carbohydrate diet to lower my insanely high triglycerides. I consulted with a nutritionist and she suggested I try to consume between 1,800 to 2,000 calories a day. This would allow for moderate weight loss. My doctor also said I should lose 25 pounds. (So far, I’ve only managed to lose 5 pounds in two years.) Honestly, I was perfectly happy with my fat Green Girl body before she bursted my bubble.

Based on the recommendations from my doctor and nutritionist, I calculated the following ranges. I’m supposed to eat at least 1,800 calories a day but I started the range at 1,600 because I find it hard to eat more than 1,800.

% From To
1600 Calorie Diet 1800 Calorie Diet
Calories grams calories grams
Carbohydrates 45 720 180 810 202.5
Fat 30 480 53.33 540 60
Protein 25 400 100 450 112.5

To calculate the carbohydrates, fat, and protein, each gram of fat contains 9 calories and each gram of carbohydrates and proteins contain 4 calories.

Truth be told, I had a really hard time following this diet plan when I was marathon training. When my long run mileage hit 10+ miles, my appetite became ravenous. I also craved sweets so I indulged myself in way more fruits that I should have.

Now that I’m starting a new training program, my mileage is starting off low so I’m trying to keep my carbohydrates to 45%. The only problem is that I seem to run out of energy really quickly. I went running today and struggled to complete 5.2 miles before I had to break down and eat a grapefruit because my body was craving sweets so badly.

I’ve talked to other people who do low carbohydrate diets and they said they actually have more energy but this doesn’t seem to be the case for me. I’m going to have to work on this. Perhaps if I consume the bulk of my carbohydrates right before my run it will help.

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Cool Running Couch-to-5k Running Plan Weekly Schedule

When I decided I wanted to be able to participate and complete a 5k race, I searched online for training advice. The Cool Running Couch-to-5k Running Plan seemed to be the most popular. And I loved that it was specifically geared for non-athletes like me.

I wanted to print out the weekly schedule so I could reference it as I did each run but I couldn’t figure out a way to do that without reproducing the table and parsing it up myself.

By registering with the Cool Running website, I was able to get a personalized sheet for that day but I couldn’t seem to print it all out ahead of time. I finally ended up logging in once a day for a week to get the entire schedule by changing my account settings so I got all nine weeks. Then, I pasted them together.

Cool Running Couch-to-5k

If this is helpful to anyone, please help yourself.

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Shave Your 5K Challenge

Kitzzy inspired me to join the Shave Your 5K Challenge hosted by Half-Fast.

The challenge is to see who can improve their 5k race times the most from the beginning to the end of 2008.

My “stubble time” is 34:41 from the Redondo Beach St. Patrick’s 5k I did Sunday, March 16.

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The Green Girl’s Review of the Timex Ironman 50-lap T5H411 Watch

I purchased the Timex Ironman 50-lap T5H411 specifically for my very first marathon training. I already had an Ironman 30-Lap Flix but that watch did not offer a multiple interval timer option.

I needed the multiple interval timer option so I could do run/walk intervals. Most watches will beep after x amount of time with an option to stop or repeat at the end of the countdown. I wanted a watch that would beep after my run segment to indicate it was time to walk and then beep again when it was time to run again.

For my marathon training, I wanted the following features in my new watch:

  • A good easy-to-read display so I could quickly glance at the numbers while running
  • Buttons that are easy to press without looking at the watch
  • A fabric band because I sweat a lot (even when I’m not exercising) and I get rashes or
  • If the band is not fabric then I need the ability to replace the band with a fabric one
  • Chronograph with lap/split memory recall
  • Dual/multiple interval timers

After doing a lot of research, I identified two Timex models that met the above criteria:

[1] Women’s Timex Digital Ironman Triathlon Sleek 50-lap 5G291 (left)

[2] Men’s Timex Digital Ironman Triathlon 50-lap T5H11 (right)

I decided against the Women’s Timex Triathlon Sleek 50-lap 5G291 because I dislike the color purple and I didn’t like the style. I’m more of a tomboy.

When I began my search, I assumed Timex’s “Two-Mode Timer” meant it had the dual timer option I was looking for. This was a source of confusion for me because my existing watch had a “Two-Mode Timer” but I could not figure out how to make it do two different countdowns. I even called Timex technical support for clarification but they were not able to shed any light on the situation.

I finally realized “Two-Mode” referred to the fact that you could toggle the timer between ‘Stop’ and ‘Repeat’ mode. What I needed was a “Dual-Interval Timer” or “9 interval timer.” I have no idea why Timex offers 2 timers or 9 but nothing in between.

You can tell if a Timex watch has multiple interval timers by pressing the “MODE” button in the lower left three times. The first time you press it, it will go into “Chronograph” mode and the second time you press it, it will go into regular “Timer” mode. If you get an “INTTMR” mode when you hit the “MODE” button three times, then your watch has either 2 or 9 interval timers.

When I first started hitting the longer distance runs, I wanted to do interval training that consisted of 10 minute runs followed by 1 minute walks.

To do this, I set the first interval to 10 minutes and I set it to “Repeat” at the end. Then, I set the second interval to 1 minute and also set it to repeat.

For more detailed instructions on programming the intervals, I wrote a tutorial on ehow.com.

As my training progressed and the mileage increased, I shortened my run intervals from 10 to 7 and for the actual race, I did a 5:1 run/walk ratio.

I am very pleased with this watch. It’s durable and easy to use.

The band is made for a larger wrist so it took some adjusting to get it to fit just right but in time, the velcro became accustomed so my size. It never chafed or irritated my skin. The velcro is also high quality so it doesn’t lose it’s grip over time.

I didn’t like the style at first but I must admit it grew on me. The buttons seemed awkward at first because I was so used to my old watch but I got used to them quickly and they are easy to press even when my hands are sweaty and sticky.

If I could improve one thing it would be lack of Flix. Flix is Timex’s technology that allows you to “flick” on the Indiglo to illuminate the watch’s dial. My other watch has Flix and it’s really handy when I’m out running at night – I just “flick” my wrist and I can see the time.

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Welcome To The Green Girl’s Running Journey

I’m one of those people who always hated running. The mile we were forced to run in P.E. always seemed like torture to me. I couldn’t understand why anyone would want to run.

I probably would have successfully avoided running for the rest of my life had I not decided to put a line item for “Run a 5k” on my 100 things for 2007.

In March of 2007, I came across the Cool Running Couch-To-5k Running Plan. That program changed my entire life. I went from a Green Girl who had never run more than a mile in her entire life to a girl who joined Team In Training and completed her very first marathon this past summer. I crossed the finish line in 07:31:03. Yes, I was terrified I was going to get scooped up by the truck.

I’m the girl who is always lagging behind “the group”. I’m the one who is just starting out when others are already heading back to the starting line. I’m slow but I’m steady.

My goal is to one day be able to maintain a 10 minute mile. Here is my journey.

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