act2create: My first 45 minutes run at the park!

My evening today was reserved for the run at the park. After my last embarrassing 17 minute run at the park, I decided that I would go slow and ensure that I would breathe slowly and avoid heel striking. I was going great and running at a speed of 11.08 miles per hour. Although the speed isn’t great but I will improvise upon it gradually.

I only started the Nike+ app once I began my run and stopped it once it ended. Thus I am not including the total 34 minutes to and fro walking distance to the park and back home. I burnt some decent calories and I hope that I am able to run in a similar way at the dream run which is less than 15 days from today. I had forgotten to carry my cell phone today at the park but fortunately my wife too has decided to go the the healthier way and began using the Nike+ app. She has only began with walking so far but a small step is a great beginning. This is the snapshot from her cellphone which I carried with me during the entire run. I covered a total of 4.10 miles at the park in the said duration. I wish to take it further from here.

act2create: My first 45 minutes run
act2create: My first 45 minutes run

act2create: Thank you for your support! Here’s my report card.

Yesterday, I completed a month since I started this blog. I never thought that I would even walk this small distance but I did it. I did it because I was accountable to you. There have been times when I thought I should skip waking up, skip going to the park but you guys made me realize that I wouldn’t have anything to share if I didn’t step out of my comfort zone. I haven’t shared or marketed my blog to anybody yet there has been a small list of subscribers. It only proved that you had a desire to learn and a willingness to take your life further. It makes me lucky to have been associated with people like you and I am very grateful to you for your likes.

Here’s my report card for you:

Running for 20 minutes: A month later, I have accomplished one of the mentioned goals for this year i.e. running for 20 minutes. Although I am just sticking to the alternate day workout plan, yet I am happy that I have been able to run at most times for around 20 minutes. In the month of January, I accomplished running for my first 30 minutes run. I had never been able to do so earlier. I was able to run for 14 days in January as per the alternate workout plan. I have modified my diet a bit and added fruits and dates as my daily dose. My greed at times makes me choose poorly and I do slip into pastries, sweets and more than 3-4 cups of sugar based tea in a day but I will try to improvise on it as well.

Wake-up at 6.00 A.M. in the morning: Sorry, but I am still lazy and behind on this part. I have been able to set alarm for 6.15 A.M. but I couldn’t get going as per the set time. I will retain the month of February to improvise my waking up timings.

Hoping for the best and more hard work on the way. That’s the price I need to pay to get to the other side.

Thank you once again!

act2create: It’s been an embarrassing day for me today :(

My last two runs made me realize that there was much more potential in me to run beyond my previous record of straight 30 minutes. I was so charged and confident that I believed I could finish my first dream run. So I decided yesterday night that today would be the day when I would beat my previous record and count my actual running distance in the park using the Nike+ app.

The alarm was set for 6.15 A.M. in the morning and as usual placed far from my bed. Yesterday it was a little busy day at the office and after reaching home and having my dinner, I was dead asleep. I was trying to visualize how I would run at the park the next day morning while lying on the bed and I must have been asleep in the first few seconds as soon as I closed my eyes. The alarm rang at 6.15 A.M. as intended and it was dark and cold outside. I managed to wake-up somehow to switch it off and my mind began uttering words to myself that “Its too dark and you are still too tired, you can try to sleep for the next few minutes”. Instead of not trying to listen to the lazy me voice, I decided to approach the bed and I was asleep till 7.10 A.M.

By the time I woke up, I was feeling guilty for allowing the laziness to pour into my mind. I thought it was too late to head for the joggers park and may be I should try tomorrow with a new approach. However, I knew that this guilt wouldn’t let me to sleep further and I decided to head for the park. In a hurry, I sipped too little water and I forgot to carry the water pouch which I had mentioned about in my last post. By the time I reached the joggers park, it was already 7.25 A.M. and I began my run.

By the 15th minute since I began, I was feeling totally thirsty, my legs felt heavy and I thought I should stop. Yet, I thought I could manage to push myself further somehow. I couldn’t push myself beyond the 17th minute and I stopped running. Negativity poured into my mind and I was thinking that I was expecting too many miracles in a very short span of time. I was in doubts as to what was I thinking when I decided to register for the first 10K Green Run which is just 15 days from now.

act2create: Embarassing running day today
act2create: Embarassing running day today

Being practical, I understand that my journey will not be 100% success everyday. I need to be much more disciplined and avoid laziness instances like today which is pushing me behind. I cannot blame anybody if I fail in my journey to achieve what I had intended to finish. Let me try again!

act2create: Time to raise the bar! Preparing for my first dream run!

Now that I know that I have the capability to run for straight 30 minutes, I need to push myself to know how much further can I take it from here. There is a half marathon, dream run, green run and a junior run being organized in my city and I have decided to register for the first green run (10K) of my life. I don’t think that less than a month of preparation and just 13 running sessions makes me a qualifier for a half marathon. There are still many improvements which I need to improvise upon for strengthening my running capability i.e.:

  • improving speed
  • drinking water on the run
  • running for a longer duration
  • ability to run without a headphone and staying focused
  • retain energy without feeling stressed for the long distance

Now to focus on my first dream run here’s what I have in my mind:

  1. Including the to and fro walking distance which I travel during my alternate workout plan from my home to the park, I have been able to cover a total distance of 5.2 miles maximum. This comes to around 8.3 Kilometers whereas a dream run requires me to run for straight 10 Kilometers. The 8.3 kilometers also includes a total 34 minutes of to & fro walking journey and 10 minutes of settling down walk time post my run. This walk time is adding to my total miles covered and for the green run, walking is not meant to be included. Thus from tomorrow, I will turn the Nike+ app only when I begin the run and stop it immediately once I actually stop running.
  2. I will carry a small pouch of water bag in my pocket as I am experiencing a dry throat when I am breathing through my mouth. I have decided to consume little water from the pouch which will stop my mouth from going dry and help me to lengthen my journey. I hope it works.
  3. I will practice to rectify my chi running technique to be able to run better and longer. When I lift my foot each time when I run, I realize that I am lifting it partially. The foot needs to be raised above the knee line while running. If you know what I mean.
  4. Before beginning the run, I will take a minute or two to ensure that my body angle is forward falling and relaxed. The head, shoulders and the hips need to be in a straight line and also, I shouldn’t be stepping beyond the hip line while running.

A simple subject of running longer requires more of improvised understanding. I never that it would have so much of depth to it as I am discovering it gradually. Lets see if I can really take it further from my previous landmark of running for straight 30 minutes. Can I really do it? Time and my perseverance will tell.

act2create: My first 30 minutes run, I did it! :)

In my last post I mentioned that I managed to run for straight 28 minutes. I wish if I could have managed to run for 2 more minutes and create a landmark of my first 30 minutes run but I didn’t do that. There was always a new day to try and it was indeed today!

After a two days complete rest, I was more than eager to head for the joggers park and test my ability to finish what I couldn’t do the other day. I began with the slow consistent pace and with my headphones plugged in my ear, I was going just great! At the 21st minute since I began my run, I was feeling that I may not be able to accomplish it today but I decided to concentrate on my running and to stop checking my watch from time to time. At the 27th minute, I was feeling more comfortable and I realized that it was easy and possible to create my first 30 minute running landmark today and yes! I did it 🙂 🙂

act2create: My first 30 minutes run at the park
act2create: My first 30 minutes run at the park

What is helping me so far:

  • Plugging the headphones is helping my mind to divert my attention into subconscious running mode instead of thinking about how long I need to run. I am keeping my mind busy and thus I do not realize how long I may have run unless I check the watch or the Nike+ app. tells me the distance which I have covered
  • Before leaving for the park, I am only sipping enough water to quench my thirst. Thus I am hydrated enough for the run but I do not feel that I am running with a heavy stomach early morning. Also, I pop two date fruits before leaving for the park. It acts as a source of instant energy and as an antioxidant which enters my health system the first thing for the morning run. It is however rich in sugar although natural and it keeps me bothered if that could be a cause of concern to watch out for.
  • I am inhaling and exhaling through my mouth during the run and it keeps me less tired. Although my technique is still not correct but I will try to improve upon it gradually.
  • Using the Chi method of running has caused less strain on my knees however I am feeling some pressure on my calves which makes me realize that my action may not be correct and it too requires correction.
  • The alternate day workout plan is doing wonders. It gives me enough rest to recover but it also keeps me motivated to go to the park with a renewed energy and enthusiasm.

I am expecting a more hectic schedule in my office for the coming days and I hope that I am able to keep the momentum going. Guys! please pray for me!

act2create: wow! wow! wow! double boost :D

A few days ago, I identified that my running technique was totally incorrect and I was hurting my knees. My stamina drained down instantly as I began and I was full of doubts about my goal.

To rectify my running technique, I decided that I would use the Chi method of running (link). I just can’t explain what a wonderful method it is. Today was meant to be a day for rest as I had been to the park yesterday as per the alternate day workout plan. It was Saturday evening and there was nothing to do on my evening list. I decided that I would use my spare time for my health as I wasn’t feeling tired. So for the first time with my headphones on my ears, I headed for the park. The Nike+ application was also pushed on and I was on my way fully charged for a run.

The music was good and after walking for 15 minutes I reached the park and with the slow and steady pace I had begun my run. I did not monitor the duration for each round today but I ran 1-2-3-4-5-6 and yes 7 rounds! at the park. I ran straight for 28.20 minutes and the best part of it was that I never felt any swelling or pain in my knees even at the last few minutes of my run. I feel that I should have ran for 30 minutes but there is always a next time. By the time I was in my 7th round at the park, I was feeling so comfortable and energized and I actually gained some pace.

act2create: running improvised
act2create: running improvised

A small success can work wonders and I am looking forward to improving further. All and all, I am happy with my achievement today.

act2create: It worked, Heel striking being rectified!

I had posted yesterday that my running style was totally incorrect and I was feeling the pain in my knees although there was sufficient rest to recover. The “Heel Striking” was taking a toll on my knees and my stamina as well. The Chi method of running was a probable solution.

The alarm was set for today morning far from my bed for 6.15 a.m. and I did manage to wake up today with enthusiasm! The lazy me tried to convince myself to lie down on the bed for some more time. It seems it is the best practice to just wake up, wear your running shoes and head for the joggers park instead of listening to your mind as to why you should rest or go for some 5 more minute of sleep. I had my cell phone charged the previous night to 90% and after popping two fruits of dates and a 100ml of water from the copper vessel for instant energy I was on my way.

I turned on the GPS and the Nike+ application and reached the park with a curiosity about the chi technique and a silent fear that I may fail today. Since the chi technique focuses on using the legs for running in a different manner than that of the Heel striking method, I felt that I was looking like a man trying to imitate a duck at 6.50 A.M. in the morning at the joggers park. I felt I was slower than my usual day and I had decided that my focus today should be on running in the right manner instead of looking for better numbers with the NIke+ app.

I completed the first, second, third and the fourth round in 3.40, 7.45, 11.50 and 15.47 minutes respectively. Honestly, I wasn’t expecting an immediate gain but I didn’t feel any pain in my knees today and I believed that I could have also managed to run the 5th round at the park with some heavy heart yet I didn’t want to over-stress myself on the first day of the new technique.

Here are the results from the Nike+ application for today:

act2create: Using the chi method for running
act2create: Using the chi method for running

The red line in the above snapshot had partly yellow content in it which shows how slow I was today at the park.

The numbers weren’t that good or an improvement from the previous run but the good news is that I didn’t feel any pain in my knees and I had the stamina today to go for a 5th round at the park as well. Two mistakes which I have identified now are that, I wasn’t lifting my legs above my knees as I should be for the chi technique and I was stepping at times beyond the hip line which would make it a partly heel striking and partly chi method of running today. I will try to improvise on it as well and hope for improvement in the next week.

Can I run the 5th round and improvise on the speed or is it just a false belief? Time will tell…

act2create: Mistake identified, Heel Striking!

Ever since I have began running at the park, I have felt pain in my knees. At first, I thought that my body was not used to it and it would take some time to recover from the pain but it never did. Since the past 15 days or so, I have been experiencing this pain.

After browsing through several videos on youtube and through the advice of some professional runners, my running technique was indeed wrong. I have been putting the wrong foot forward each time. The desire to achieve more distance with the wrong technique has added to my pain.

I won’t explain further as the guy from this video does a very good job at explaining the same. Let me try the Chi running method which can solve my problem:

act2create: Fatigue and pain my new obstacles

Yesterday at night, I had prepared myself to be get-set-go ready for the morning run. The alarm was set for 6.15 a.m. in the morning and placed far from my bed as per the plan.

As soon as the alarm rang, I was barely able to wake-up to turn it off as the previous day I had a heavy 9 hour desk job. I woke up to switch it off and felt my eyes feeling the need to rest. I headed back to the bed but didn’t fall asleep ASAP as my mind didn’t want to skip the run today. After 5-7 minutes I had madeup my mind that I would sleep and I missed my day of workout 😦

In addition to this, I realise that my running technique is totally incorrect. Although I am giving proper rest to my mind and body yet my joints are paining in the first minute of running itself. The weight of my entire body seems to be landing wrongly while running and while placing my foot on the ground. I won’t be able to go far with the wrong technique and I must rectify it right away.

I will look for videos of professional guidance on youtube from experts for rectifying the same and if needed I am willing to start all over again. Let me try!

act2create: The numbers with Nike+ application are here for the beginner

Earlier today, I had posted that I will be using the Nike+ Android application to know the precise distance which I have covered for my morning run. With my alternate day workout and just 20 days since I have begun, below are the numbers:

act2create: Using the GPS to derive data
act2create: Using the GPS to derive data

The yellow line in the snapshot represents the to and fro walking distance to the park whereas the red represents the actual run in the joggers park.

I had decided yesterday that I would be running the first and the second round at a comfortable pace to retain energy for the third round but I couldn’t improvise. It was all hard work today as I felt like quitting in the the second round itself. By the third round my knees and especially my calves were jammed and paining. Yet, I decided to take it a step further and completed my fourth round at the park.

The first, second, third and the fourth rounds were completed in 3.30, 6.40, 11.15 and 15.08 minutes respectively. By the time I completed my fourth round, I was in terrible pain. The inhaling and exhaling technique from the mouth helped in the run and I will stick to it to take the journey further.

In addition, I have decided to add Dates and Soya Milk to my alternate day breakfast to gain energy:

act2create: Dates and Soya milk for my alternate breakfast
act2create: Dates and Soya milk for my alternate breakfast

Obstacles like temporary pain and setting higher challenges by each passing week seem to make my journey doubtful but I am determined to improvise.