Bubble Run 5k and RunDouble Couch to 5k App Review! Running Goals Wrapup

Before the race: I had signed us up for the Bubble Run in Everett, knowing it would take place on the very last day I planned to run for my couch to 5k app (a 9-week training app).

 

During the race: We ran and weaved and dodged around the bubble foam and the walkers to clock in around 9:30 for this “official” 5k. Overall we had fun, but I won’t be doing it again. When asked about parking for this event, the volunteer at race packet pickup the day before told me, “get here an hour to an hour and a half early and pray.” We took my Miata and found a discarded squeeze of a spot a couple blocks away without trouble. Yay Paul for parallel parking so well. The event was packed! I’m not fond of crowds and would prefer to run a 5k without this many people. If you’re looking to run the entire time, this is not the event for you. Bottlenecks slowed us down at the four bubble stations throughout the course. It was fun to go through the bubble/foam machines, but I was trying to run the event in less than 30 minutes, so this made it quite the challenge. This run also included two slow hills. It was cool to run out halfway and then back – so you knew when you were halfway and could run alongside those making their way back (the other side of the street).

 

The training before:

Total distance ran: 64.2 miles

Total time spent running: 707 minutes (11.78 hrs) with an average 10.52/mile pace)

Fastest mile: 9:26

Slowest mile: 13:50

5k official time: 29:30

Mile before training: 11:02

Mile after training: 9:26 (16% faster!)

The full stats:

Date

Distance

Time – M

Time – S

mile time

4/10/2016

Running

1

13

50

13:50

4/23/2016

Running

1

11

 2

11:02

6/16/2017

Running

1

10

 48

10:48

6/27/2017

C25k

1.56

18

 30

11:51

6/29/2017

C25K

1.67

18

 30

11:04

7/1/2017

C25K

1.77

18

 28

10:25

7/4/2017

C25K

1.68

18

 57

11:16

7/6/2017

C25K

1.7

19

 0

11:10

7/9/2017

C25K

1.68

19

 0

11:18

7/11/2017

C25K

1.36

15

 0

11:01

7/13/2017

C25K

1.36

15

 0

11:01

7/15/2017

C25K

1.33

15

 0

11:16

7/17/2017

Running

1

10

 3

10:03

7/18/2017

C25K

1.96

21

30

10:58

7/20/2017

C25K

1.94

21

 30

11:04

7/22/2017

C25K

1.99

21

 30

10:48

7/25/2017

C25K

1.85

21

 0

11:21

7/26/2017

Everyday Athlete

2

20

 0

10:00

7/27/2017

C25K

1.86

21

 0

11:17

7/30/2017

C25K

1.9

20

 0

10:31

8/1/2017

C25K

2.03

24

 0

11:49

8/2/2017

Everyday Athlete

2

20

 0

10:00

8/3/2017

C25K

2.19

23

 0

10:30

8/6/2017

C25K

2.33

22

 0

9:26

8/8/2017

C25K

2.59

25

 0

9:39

8/9/2017

Everyday Athlete

2

20

 0

10:00

8/10/2017

C25K

2.24

25

 0

11:09

8/13/2017

C25K

2.65

25

 0

9:26

8/15/2017

C25K

2.89

28

 0

9:41

8/17/2017

C25K

2.84

28

 0

9:51

8/19/2017

C25K

2.95

28

 0

9:29

8/22/2017

C25K

2.78

30

 0

10:47

8/24/2017

C25K

 3.15

30

 0

 9:52

8/26/2017

Bubble Run 5k

3.1

29

 30

 9:52

I tried so hard on that 11:02 mile on 4/23/16. I don’t feel any different about running now that I’ve run over 50 miles and completed a consistent running program (RunDouble couch to 5k timed app), but the stats don’t lie. I can run continuously for over 3 miles! I can run three consecutive under 10-minute miles. I couldn’t even reach a 10-minute mile when I started running.

Is running easier now? No way. Running is just more accessible (for endurance), i.e. I just got better at it. The first few steps during my longer run times were always as hard as my last few steps (unless I powered up the hill in my neighborhood, then I would start to wheeze).

Have I told you that I have asthma? I have exercise-induced asthma. You can hear it when I’ve pushed too far with the wheeze in my every breath as I attempt to breathe slowly and pull in enough oxygen. It presents itself only when I’m (going too fast up a hill – hiking, running too fast, biking too hard, doing anything difficult too fast or too forcefully). The definition of exercise-induced asthma, according to the Mayo Clinic, “Exercised-induced asthma is a narrowing of the airways in the lungs that is triggered by strenuous exercise. It causes shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing and other symptoms during or after exercise.”

I don’t remember ever having asthma growing up. Apparently, a lot of people have this. Even with my inhaler (gotta go to a doctor and get a prescription and then hopefully you have insurance or else it’ll run you around $70 for the inhaler + the doc visit), I can’t push too hard. The inhaler helps so much, though.

When running without the inhaler, I get phlegm in my throat and my entire throat burns if it’s too cold out. It feels like torture and it doesn’t immediately go away if I stop moving. For minutes after I stop, the sensation of my throat being scraped with fire continues. I think it’s worse than eating hot peppers (which I avoid).

Training my body to run when I can’t breathe if I’ve pushed too much, is difficult. I don’t want to fall back on my ‘excuse,’ but I don’t want it to define my abilities when it comes to exercise or training. The asthma is real. I’ve had panic attacks when the asthma gets so bad. Imagine not being able to breath. It takes no time at all for your brain to realize that you need to breath to live. Ever drink out of a water fountain in a public place where the stream was so thin that you couldn’t get a full mouthful? And you just ran a marathon, so you’re super parched. That’s what trying to breathe with asthma is like.

I’ve never been much for endurance. Just ask my Dad. One of my fitness/running goals was to pass the FBI fitness test for ‘endurance’ and as you can see, it took me weeks to get there. To pass (as a female), I had to run 1.5 miles in under 14:00 minutes. Sounds easy, right? That’s better than a 10-minute mile. I don’t recall ever doing a 10-minute mile in my life until now. I was never a runner. But I passed the FBI fitness test!

I’m proud of myself and I’m proud of my body for pulling through for me. Will I continue running? Probably not consistently. I might join the Wednesday night running group in Kirkland. I might see how far I can run without stopping at my ‘maintenance’ pace (11-minute mile). I bet I could run for quite a while before getting too tired/breathless to continue.

I started the couch to 5k thinking, I’m not a runner and there’s no way I’ll be able to do this. I can’t run to my mailbox and back without getting winded. I can’t hike up a hill without getting asthma. Starting off with running for just 60 seconds was very doable. Letting myself run slow was key. I didn’t try to speed up my pace until the last two weeks of the app. That is where those 9.5-minute miles come in. If I can do it, you can do it.

Tips I learned from others and myself:

  1. Get yourself some good running shoes (Thanks New Balance for your perfectly ugly, yet perfectly comfortable running shoes for under $100)
  2. Get yourself some good running socks (I know, this sounds like a scam, but I never got chafing or other shoe-foot rubbing issues). I tried those colorful Balega socks. They were nice, but I prefer my New Balance socks.
  3. Get yourself a running belt.
  4. Earbuds are a hassle, but I liked to listen to my audiobooks while running. I got these and they work decently.
  5. Don’t try to go fast. A 5k for non-runners is an endurance test. You can speed up later. To start, go slow!
  6. It’s okay not to finish or to stop when you’re supposed to be running, but don’t SKIP! I took the advice of scheduling my run EVERY Tuesday and Thursday and then Saturday/Sunday depending on how my weekend was going. Never skip your weekday runs! The app told me I could repeat a week, but I was able to follow the course every time. It helped me to run a mile without stopping before the app ramped up to 8-minutes running without stopping. It gave me the confidence that I needed in order to follow the app and to know that I could run a mile without stopping.
  7. Keeping my ears warm, kept me from getting headaches. I got a lovely thick headband during FitFest in Redmond and absolutely love it!
  8. Protein! Don’t forget some protein post workout.
  9. Don’t forget to eat before you run! I liked to get a small carb before I ran (like half a banana or some oatmeal)
  10. Hydrate! I never brought water with me and I tried to drink at least 8 oz. before running and over 60 oz. that day if I had run and 16 oz. or more right after I ran.
  11. Stretching! Don’t forget those hammies! My PT told me to hold my touching my toes pose (actively) for at least 45 seconds every time I ran. Joining the Everyday Athlete running group was great for me because they showed me what they do for stretching before/after and a good warm up. My app never told me to stretch! I wish it did.

Because of how strongly I feel about accomplishing your goals, trying to challenge yourself, and running with asthma, I started writing a new novel based on my experiences!

And just because: The money I spent… $171.80 for 9 weeks of running and a 5k.

  1. Runner’s belt – $7.99
  2. Running shoes from New Balance with two pairs of running socks – $103.40
  3. Balega socks (1 pair) – $8.99
  4. headband – $5
  5. Earbuds – $13.99
  6. RunDouble app – $3.99 (totally worth it! The app lets you try out the first 2 weeks free)
  7. Bubble Run (single entry) – $28.44
Advertisements

One thought on “Bubble Run 5k and RunDouble Couch to 5k App Review! Running Goals Wrapup

  1. This is awesome. Congrats on reaching your goal! I get exercise induced asthma as well. The more active I am on a regular basis, the more it takes before it’s activated. When I’m consistent with cardio training I forget I have the issue. I have a friend with severe congenital asthma. He used to ride a single gear bike from the UW to Queen Anne and back on a regular basis. Lots of tough hills. He said it decreased his asthma symptoms if he kept using his lung capacity consistently and building it slowly.
    I also found that correct deep yoga breathing is a ‘painless’ way to improve your lung capacity and health and reduce asthma symptoms.

    Like

Comments are closed.