October 07, 2021

Return to Running Recap : Week 19

I've never had to wait this long for test results to show up on my online chart! (Remember back in the day when you couldn't see your results until you went to a follow-up appointment?) My sacroiliac joint is still extremely painful. I did see the results of my lumbar spine (low back) and my cervical spine (neck) x-rays. I'm still waiting on thoracic.

I don't want to spell it all out here until after I talk to my doctor about it, but both x-rays had abnormal findings. And in the lumbar results, the radiologist's notes suggested I get an MRI. I really hope that my doctor agrees, because I feel like an MRI would show a lot of what is going on. My appointment isn't until next month, but I might try to get a follow-up sooner.

Anyway, about my running for this week...

Like I said last week, I decided to try doing two-mile runs instead of three-mile. The thought of running two miles seems like no big deal--I can get it done quickly--so I'm less likely to procrastinate. (Isn't it funny how two miles seems like no big deal now? Remember just 19 weeks ago, when the thought of running even a quarter-mile seemed SO hard? It's kind of amazing what a difference 19 weeks can make.)

Since I decided to do just two miles, I figured I might as well make them a little harder. Until now, I've mostly been doing 5.0 mph on the treadmill, hoping to see my heart rate improve over time (evidenced by having a lower heart rate while running at the same speed for weeks/months). I haven't noticed much of a difference in my heart rate (it's actually hard to tell because it's so inconsistent).

I'm still going to pay the most attention to my heart rate because that's my biggest indicator of fitness, but to change things up I'm going to work on varying my speed. Maybe by running faster 2-3 times a week, the slow runs will feel much easier and my heart rate will be lower. I guess I'll have to see! I love experimenting like that.

This week, I'd planned to do four runs; however, yesterday ended up being so busy that I didn't get in my run. (I also had a flu shot, which may have made me more tired than usual.)

Week 19, Run #1: Run 2 miles (treadmill)

Since this would be my first 2-mile run, I wanted to make it count. I was kind of excited to run faster! As I was tying my shoes, I thought, "I wonder if I can run 2 miles at 6.0 mph?" Looking back, that was kind of a tall order. I was so used to running 5.0 mph. But I decided to give it a try.

I set my Garmin for 5-minute laps (when on the treadmill, I use time as an indicator on my Garmin to calculate my distance--when running 5.0 mph, for example, I set my splits to 12-minute intervals. That would equal 1 mile. The Garmin's distance while on the treadmill isn't very accurate, so I use the treadmill's distance.)

Anyway, I set the Garmin for 5-minute laps, just in case I couldn't handle the speed and had to slow down. If I stayed at 6.0 mph the whole time, then it would equal 20 minutes/2 miles.

It was hard! I didn't expect it to be easy, but wow. I just kept reminding myself, "It's only 2 miles! You can finish it!" I didn't quite make it, however. After 15 minutes (a mile and a half), I just had to take a break--I lowered the speed to 5.0 mph and I planned to finish the run at that speed. After a quarter mile or so, I was thinking that if I really picked up the speed, I might still be able to hit 2 miles in 20 minutes (a 10:00/mile average pace).

So, after 0.3 miles at 5.0 mph, I bumped up the speed to 6.5 mph! It was only for 0.2 miles, so I just pushed myself hard in order to finish it out. I wasn't sure if that was fast enough to average a 10:00 pace overall, but I knew it would be close.

As soon as I hit 2 miles, I stopped the treadmill and sat down, gasping for breath. (I ended up finishing at a 10:06 pace--close enough.) I was totally drained... but I felt so good about it! I took my post-run selfie, but then almost deleted it. I was wearing just a sports bra (something I've gotten comfortable doing at home) and when I saw the picture, my immediate thought was, "My stomach looks fat!" But the more I thought about it, I realized it was dumb--everybody has rolls when they sit like that. It's not a flattering position. And besides, who cares what my stomach looks like besides me?

The real thing of note in this picture is my face--look how red it is!

Check out my heart rate!

Week 19, Run #2 : Run 2 miles (treadmill)

I felt super rushed for this run. I had a dentist appointment at 11:00 and I was working in the garage during the morning. I'd planned to change clothes at around 10:40 and then leave for my appointment by 10:45. However, I felt gross not showering before my appointment, so at 10:00, I made the hasty decision to jump on the treadmill for 2 miles before showering and getting to my appointment on time.

Because I was so rushed, I felt like my heart was already going way too fast, and I didn't want to do another run like the first one. But I still wanted to finish as quickly as possible.

I decided to run intervals: 1 minute at 6.0 mph, then 1 minute at 5.5 mph, and repeat 10.5 times (to total 2 miles). I don't think I like the 1-minute intervals; the time seemed to go by so slowly because there were so many intervals to do (21). I like the intervals that are more like 3:1--they go by much faster.

Anyway, I managed to finish the run, take a an ice cold shower, and then get to my appointment on time!

Week 19, Run 3 : Run 2 miles (outside)

It was raining and there is something about the rain that makes me want to run outside. I don't like when it's totally down-pouring, but a steady, gentle rain feels really good. Since my previous two runs were harder, I decided to take this one very easy.

Despite the fact that I was running relatively slowly, I felt much more tired than usual. It was actually hard to slog through two miles. Running two miles seemed so short, though, considering I'm used to at least three.

It was totally uneventful. My average pace ended up being 11:55 (just about the same as my 5.0 mph on the treadmill).

Overall, I liked the running this week--one hard, faster run; one interval run; and one easy run. Next week, I'd like to aim to do four runs.


  1. I beg to differ - stomach does NOT look fat

  2. Good work! Fingers crossed for the MRI.

  3. Pfft....belly roll? Where? You look great there! You should be so proud of all the hard work you have put in these past 19 weeks. So impressed!

  4. If you can’t pinpoint an injury as the cause for you SI joint pain, you might ask about an autoimmune disease called Ankylosing Spondylitis. Your symptoms do sound similar to mine at the onset of my AS. I hope it’s not AS, but sometimes just getting a diagnosis for what’s going on can be such a relief!


I used to publish ALL comments (even the mean ones) but I recently chose not to publish those. I always welcome constructive comments/criticism, but there is no need for unnecessary rudeness/hate. But please--I love reading what you have to say! (This comment form is super finicky, so I apologize if you're unable to comment)

Featured Posts

Blog Archive