Sunday, January 31, 2010

8.5K today!

I was hoping to do a 10K today but ended up completing 8.5K of which about 1/2K was warm up/cool down so I really ran 8K. My ankle has been doing so well in the past week that I thought I can try for the 10K. The weather today was sunny but cold -10C or 14F and although I was sure I will be too cold, I wasn't! I tried my new Adidas jacket for winter running and loved it. Neither over- nor under- dressed, I felt perfect running in the near by forest and then along the St-Laurent river. My pace was 7:15/K, my HR under 75% of my max, no problem breathing, I felt like I can go for 20K not just the planned 10K... it's just that my stupid Achilles started  hurting and since I am being careful to not aggravate the injury, I stopped at 8.5K. All good, though, I am still happy.  I was actually feeling down this morning... I am not sure why, it's probably the winter... I hate January.. I mean, WHO loves January? Christmas is over, spring is far away and then February is around the corner (which in Montreal is the COLDEST month of the year)... so no wonder I was feeling the blues.. but the RUN took care of my moody mood (can I say that?) ... don't you love the fact that we have such fast acting medicine at our disposal without prescription :) ... feeling blue - go for a run... feeling frustrated - go for a run... feeling stressed - go for a run... your teen driving you crazy- go for a run (with the teen if possible) ...
Happy running to all!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Running, snow, and suppliments...

Today I did a 5K with my friend Anne (6.5K warm up and cool down included). My Achilles was great, no pain in the beginning, during, or after the run. The weather was mild but it was snowing! I had makeup on (I did go to work this morning) so my mascara was smudged all over my face. Still, it was just beautiful to run with the snowflakes melting on my face... well, when I was talking they were melting directly on my tonsils so that felt weird, but it was still good!

Anne and I at the end of the 5K today
Overall this week - good progress - no pain and 4 slow runs for a total of 16K. Not bad for a girl (OK, a woman) who was told she cannot run anytime soon. I guess, I have to share my secret with you. When I got the Achilles tendinitis I started reading blogs of people who have it too and I came across a website where the ultra runners blog regularly. There was an enormous amount of information on Achilles tendinitis there ( if I run for 100 miles I will no longer have an Achilles tendon so I guess I know why it's so popular with them). Many of them talked about their experiences with it. They suggested specific exercises and supplements. I did both. The exercises were mainly stretching the calves. The supplements are L-glycine, L=lysine, and L-glutamate. Perhaps that helped? I am not sure. I do know that I am running 2 weeks after and not 2 months as told by the Dr.

Happy running to all!
BTW, I just read the MOST beautiful letter from a mother to her one-year old daughter! It's from a blogger who I like a lot! Check it out here. I had tears in my eyes while reading it.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Achilles is better!

Last week I did three power walks with my new running shoes and didn't have any pain so guess what? This week I am back to running... running slowly and very carefully... yes! I ran a 4k slow jog outside on Monday as the weather was so mild and then on Tuesday I did a 3K on the treadmill. Both days only slight pain in the beginning of the run (which was actually more stiffness than sharp pain) and then no pain during the run or afterwards!

On another note, I've been thinking a lot about running and why runners are more prone to injuries. How many time have you heard the phrase “all you have to do is get out there and start running” …or “Running is the simples thing you can do to get in shape or be healthy etc, etc.? I hear it all the time! So when I first started running years ago I did just that – I ran. I didn’t think about it or analyzed it, or worried about posture, gait, stride, program, SLRs, tempos, fartek, pace, HR zones, shoes, cotton, water packs, sports gels… the list goes on… but it was a MISTAKE not to think about all these aspects of running… Running is a simple thing… NOT!

I have ADHD and this means I am impulsive, I want things fast, I want them badly, and I will move mountains to get them… it works right? Not with running. Running is not simple, it’s not just get outdoors or on a treadmill and start putting one foot in front of the other as fast as you can… it is probably the most complex of all physical activities… it’s high impact so it can hurt you bones, it uses major muscle groups plus hundreds of tiny ones I didn't even know existed, so it can wear you out… it can dehydrate you, it can make you anxious (if you worry about PRs or BQ)… of course we are all running for the kick we get out of it but are we doing it right? So, what is it about running that is so addictive? I mean I know it's the feeling afterwards and the sense of achievement but still! About half of the running blogs I read are of runners who are injured, who have been banned from running by their doctors, and who are still running! I read your blogs and many of you talk about injuries and injuries prevention and then I see that we all try to cheat … We run when we are supposed to be resting, or we run longer when we should be having a lighter day, or we jump on an ambitious program without having build the base yet…and you know what? When runners are told that they cannot run they become creative. For example, a runner I find very interesting (Jamoosh at Das Mixture) ran barefoot in order to overcome an injury and his excuse for such extreme measure was that he runs to keep his wife happy :) ... how cute! I know I myself will find every excuse possible to run. I should know better - a few years ago I had to completely stop running as my injuries were too serious... I don't want to go through the same thing so I am (I think I am) doing the right thing now, which is thinking about running as a very complex exercise, almost a science . 

I was talking to my friend Anne the other day how getting back to running gives me a purpose, something I can do for myself… you know, have goal. And a plan to follow in order to achieve my goal. I am a goal-driven person. Having goals keeps me out of trouble, gives me a peace of mind, and makes me happy, helps me focus. I was thinking that I’ve already achieved my most important goals (family, career, friends, health, and weight) and now I need another one to keep me going on… I saw running as the best long-term goal, one with no completion date but with milestones… All I have to do is keep working forward achieving another milestone … That is why I am so addicted to running and that’s why I am going to do it the right way. I will worry about technique, I will worry about base training, I will worry about rest, I will worry about my shoes… I will try to improve my stride and I will NOT error this time. Happy running to all!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

10 things that make me happy :)

I was tagged by my friend Anne from to list 10 things that make me happy :). Here it is:
1. spending time with my husband and two daughters
2. watching my 2 year old when she wakes up in the morning ... and watching her dance and sing... so cute
3. Escape weekends with my husband (none lately)
4. indulging in manicures/pedicures with my 20-year old one
5. cooking in my brand new kitchen
6. Wine! We love good wine (lately we are into French wines)
7. Company! We LOVE to entertain friends and family
8. Hiking or simply being in a forest... it gives me this incredible energy that I love!
9. Reading a good book with a good cup of tea before going to bed
10. having goals makes me happy :)

Voila! This is my list... but there are so many more things that make me happy...  I can start a blog just talking about that... I am the kind of person who is miserable when miserable (if that makes sense)... being sad, depressed, unhappy, or pessimistic is not in my nature... I am generally very positive and optimistic and can see something positive in any situation ... I even have hard time being around people who are negative and everything is oh, so difficult for them... you know, those who complain and whine all the time... so I am addicted to happiness :)

On another note, my ankle felt great today, I barely feel any pain so I had decided to go for a run . I started getting ready to leave thinking that my hubby is taking a nap.. so I put my HR monitor, strap the cool Garmin on my wrist and as I was putting on my hat I was caught by the running police (aka hubby) who took me by the neck and locked my inside the house... so, sadly, no running or walking for me today :(  joke aside, I was upset when he said " you are doing a very stupid thing right now and you know it!" but I knew it and I listened to him. If things go well, I might be able to start this week. So far I've been (only) walking with my new shoes and my Achilles is much better so I am hoping the problem was solved... I will keep you posted.

And lastly, today I found that a friend of mine is pregnant. Of course I was happy for her but I also felt envious... we've decided that we won't have more kids but still, I had so much fun the second time around that now every time I hear news like that I feel like having another one ... ah, don't we love being moms!

Friday, January 22, 2010

The scientist in me

There are two different ways one can go about becoming a psychologist. The first one is to do a PsyD program and get the necessary clinical training. The second one is to do a PhD program, and along with the clinical training, conduct scientific research and write a doctoral dissertation. Both ways allow you to get licensed as a practicing psychologist but the PhD way requires more time in school and, well, more effort.

I would have loved to do the PsyD program but it is NOT accredited or available in Canada, only in the USA. Therefore, I had no choice but to do the PhD one and actually do the research. The problem was I was MORTIFIED of it. Not the actual data collection but what came before and after that. Let me explain. One of the requirements of a doctoral dissertation is that the research is original, meaningful, and not a mere replica of someone else's work. And then you have to write about it and publish it. So I was afraid my ideas were not that original and I was absolutely sure I won't be able to write hundreds of pages in English (not my first language). But I did. And I loved the process! Generating the ideas I had not problem with and the writing? Well, let just say that it was one of the things I did that I am most proud of (made possible by the help of my supervisor and my super-duper best friend and their endless editing).

So why am I writing about all that? Because I want to tell you how much I love research now! It made me a different person, it made me a great problem solver. I don't just listen to people (I mean professionals like my GP or my physio therapist), I need to understand the cause-and-effect relationship, know exactly how things work, and why they work this way and if I can make it better. If an answer makes no sense to me I'd take it further and look for solutions myself. So, my brand new Garmin has been collecting dust for few days now. Apparently, I am not supposed to run or walk (crawling is OK, though). But I love to to see the miles clicking so much that I am trying to research my way out of Achilles tendinitis :) ... I've read everything there is on that type of injury so feel free to ask me :)

What I wanted to post here is a video about the way we run that would be of great help to novice runners or those who never thought about their running technique. More specifically, it's an analysis of heel strike vs. forefoot strike and the associated risks with heel strike. Enjoy!

As for mileage: 3Ks for me today... (shall we say crawling ;))

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

I am not posting but this is interesting!

Here is why injuries usually come in multiples.  This is a quick animation of the bio-mechanics of running- related injuries for overpronators.

OK, so I walked today for 5.5K (shhh, don't tell my physio therapist or my husband).

I didn't want to blog about injuries!

What I had in mind when I first started to blog was a RUNNING blog not an INJURIES blog... (Sigh)
After my post last night I realized that all I talk about is my injuries, my pain, my 2-3K runs that I shouldn't even be doing, my speed walking. Depressing, right?! So, I decided to stop writing until I can RUN AGAIN. I mean, what is the point? I can't talk about pace, or mileage, or effort, or training program? I can't motivate others by writing about the difficulties I had to overcome during my daily runs. All I can tell them is "be careful not to run on an injury"!

So, I won't be posting much until I am back in running shape. Until then, I promise to cross-train, walk, do yoga and elliptical. I will, however, be reading all of your posts so that I can "steal" a bit of that ELECTRICAL feeling we love so much, the feeling after a good run. I will be living vicariously through your stories.
Happy training to ALL!

PS: there is another blogger who uses the name "runagain" ( Interesting :)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Bio-mechanics and 3K today

I ran outside today (wohoo!). The weather was so mild that I couldn't resist the urge. My Achilles has been better in the last 2 days so I thought I'd go for a speed walk and IF I felt good after a while, I'd jog at a very slow pace. Well, I did and it was OK but my ankle got worse 30 minutes after the end of my run (when the area cooled down)... so I went to see my physiotherapist and she put me on a mandatory rest for A MONTH!!! I was devastated. However, she agreed that it might be my running shoes and that I need to go back to the Running Room store and try another brand. I did and guess what? The sales person told me I've been running with the wrong shoes!!! In fact, my old ones were "stability" or made for overpronators with low arches. This is what I was advised to buy at another Running Room store (the one at Dix/30 from those of you who are from Montreal). But today was told that I am NOT an overpronator and that my arches are rather high!!! GO figure! Who do I believe? I did end up buying a new pair for normal gait and normal arches or the "cushioning" style and am supposed to run on the treadmill for at least 10-20 K to see it my ankle would feel better. The problem is that my therapist forbid me from running for a month! Well, they (the Running Room store in Westmount) were nice enough to extend the trial period for 45 days (normally it's 30 days).
So, although today I felt better about the steps I was taking to heal my injury (i.e., going to physio, new shoes, slow pace, etc.), I am still not sure whether my feet are normal or crooked. So I decided to get a  more professional opinion and to seek a bio-mechanical evaluation of how I run - you know, the one where you run on treadmill full of sensors (an orthoscan) that detect and calculate every move you make and determine the problem areas. What motivated me was thinking of the time few years ago when I stopped running because of excessive injuries and don't want the same thing to happen now. Before I thought that once you get injured there is not way back to running but know I know better.
I will keep you posted if there are any interesting findings :)

Oh, and am I going to listed to the physio therapist and NOT run for a month? Probably not. But I will not run for at least a week.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Awarding the Beautiful Blogger Award and Walking 5K

So here is my list of blogger who get the Beautiful Blogger Award. In order to accept it they would have to share 7 random facts about themselves and to award it to 7 other bloggers who they feel deserve the award:

Michingan here to stay
Baby Steps
The runner's tale

On another note, today I went for a power walk (5K or 3 miles) with my mom before she boarded a plane to go back to Bulgaria after a month of visiting us. The walk was very nice! I tried to run but my Achilles started hurting right away. I mean, I wasn't thinking I'd be able to but you know, we always think that if there is no pain when the injured area is resting then it must have miraculously healed overnight. Dah! So, I walked, which is still something as I have to do 60 more miles by the end of January in order to achieve my goal of 83 miles/month. Or in kilometers that's 138 km per month and I still have 100K to walk, run, do elliptical or crawl - as long as I do them it does not matter how. I wish I could run them but I have to get that Achilles healed first.

Tomorrow I am going to buy new shoes just in case that my current ones (although quite new) are pressing too much on my ankle and causing the irritation (I do feel a bit of pain on my other ankle so it could be the shoes)...

So, I am going to be sad for the rest of the night (week, month) that my mom left and hope she'd come back  soon. In fact, she mentioned a possible visit in May :) My mom loves gardening and since the house we just moved in needs a good green thumb, she was more happy to offer her help. Those of you who live away from your loved ones know how hard it is! We talk on the phone daily, email, Skype. Facebook, Twitter, etc. but it is still not the same as your mom dropping in for dinner on Sunday night or coming to babysit (on a short notice) when you've had enough toddler songs and silly games and need some adult time... arrhhh! I miss her!

I wish you all a great week and happy training!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Elliptical and Beautiful Blogger Award

Today was elliptical day... not running but better than nothing... This is also our last day on vacation and it was the best one! My older girl (the 20 years old one) spent the day snowboarding... we've been here for a week and only today she mustered the courage to go... she used to snowboard when she was 13-14 and was very good at it but hasn't done it since then... she has this thing about failing - she is afraid of it so much that she'd rather not try it.. so over the years I've watched her miss on opportunities just cause she didn't want to fail... and she wouldn't have failed but go convince her... here is one example: she is a great swimmer and was part of a swimming club for years... she was probably the best in the group and neither I nor her coaches could understand why she NEVER participated in competitions... she enjoyed the practice but never signed up for competitive event... She is still like this today! She didn't want to go snowboarding cause what if she'd forgotten how to do it?! Well, finally we convinced her to go and she was GREAT! She loved it so much and of course was on the slopes all day and now her entire body aches from the effort. SO while she was snowboarding, we were watching and cheering her... then our 2 yrs. old one wanted to go too (I guess next year we'll put her on skis).  I really hope that both my daughter's lives will not be missed opportunities cause they are too afraid to try, too afraid to fail, too afraid to learn! I am so not like that that I wonder who did my older one got it from (her father is not like that either).. as a psychologist I know that competitive and overly critical parents may raise children who have a fear of failing... I don't think I was like that with her but who knows how she felt growing up with a mom who put the bar high all the time... I hope my older daughter learned a lesson today - unless you try, you will never know how GREAT you are.

First try down the slope was not that great...

... but soon she was all smiles!

I got the Beautiful Blogger Award from Anne :) thanks  for the honour! Here is my list of 7 things I haven't shared:
1. I used to smoke like a chimney (almost 2 packs a day at the end)... and I quit at 30 when my daughter told me that smoking is OK since i am doing it.
2. I am originally from Bulgaria and moved to Canada when I was 21. I had $500 in my pocket, a baby and a husband with whom we fought all the time.
3. I had a baby when I was 20 and was in university. Then I moved to Canada, got divorced, and put my self through school (while raising my daughter and working full time) so that I can get my Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology. My degree in History and Political Science from Bulgaria was useless  in Canada.
4. I love wine!My hubby and I enjoy a glass (or two) almost every night.
5. I met my second husband when I was 35 and told him I didn't want any more kids. We broke up (for 2 days) and then he called me to say that he'd rather be with me than have kids... he never, ever brought up the matter again! Two years later we got married and had a baby girl 11 months after the wedding. I am so glad I got to do it again! Now I can fully appreciate motherhood and ENJOY it! I am so lucky!
6. I love my job! I am so lucky to have the opportunity to change people's lives!
7. I am having hard time seeing wrinkles on my face. This aging thing is definitely not for me but I haven't figured out how to reverse it yet ;).. stay tuned just in case I do!

So I am all exposed now :)
 I have to award it to 7 other people but I will do that tomorrow (I need to read the blogs to see who hasn't gotten it yet).

Thursday, January 14, 2010

the sad reality of injuries

I am paying now for my attempt to run the other day - my Achilles is more inflamed and swollen, I have hard time walking :( ... so I am definitely out for the next 2 weeks (I hope no more than that)... I've been doing a lot of research on Achilles tendinitis (i guess I should post some useful links here)... and now know it takes forever to heal... today I swam but it hurts even in the water... since we are still on vacation, hubby and I left our 2 yr old with my mom (who is with us) and went for a hot stone massage in our favourite hotel here in Mont Tremblant (La Quintessence)... then we had lunch at their fabulous wine bar by the fireplace and we loved the food so much that we returned for dinner with everybody... it was lovely... and the 2 yr old behaved so well, we didn't know she was there (thanks to Dora the Explorer and the priceless portable Sony DVD player)... since our hotel is right next door to the Quintessence, we walked there and oh, boy, my husband almost carried me up the hill - my foot was very sore... so my sad realization today was that it's been a week since I got injured and it's not getting better, on the contrary, it's getting worse... too bad, my brand new Garmin won't be registering any miles any time soon!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

a bit of running today

My new Garmin

My tendon felt better when I woke up so this afternoon I was on the treadmill. It was a very light run, just 2.5 miles and I went very slowly. I followed the advise of another blogger (Run DMZ) who also has problems with her Achilles tendon and does warm pads over the ankle and calf muscle before a run and then cold after the run. so that's what I did too... I was hoping to run for 3 miles (5K) but the pain was getting stronger so I stopped. I was reminded of another truth about injuries today - they come in pairs or in multiples! Injuries that are ignored usually lead to other problems since we compensate for the weaker area with another area.. in my case, my sore right Achilles tendon is causing me to overuse my left side so at the end of my run today I felt sharp pain in my left calf... I know better so I will not run until both spots heal... I joined the 1000+ mile challenge of "Tall mom on the run" (but don't know how to add the logo to my blog, is not very friendly)... so, with 990 miles to go I definitely need to keep running, so the plan is: 1) rest, 2) go to physio, 3) do pilates and Yoga to keep the core strong.
aside from that, our vacation is still great, it was very cold today but weather should get better in the next few days... tomorrow will be Nordic spa, massage, and dinner with hubby while my mom babysits our toddler... woohoo!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Mont Tremblant Vacation

I am a neuropsychologist/Clinical psychologist in private practice. I also teach and do research. I mentioned in an earlier posting that last September (2009) we moved to a new house and have been busy updating the decor and the kitchen

this is our new kitchen

... so the last 3-4 months have been extremely busy and stressful for me. We usually go south in January but this year I didn't feel like it (the thought of my 26-month old having another tourista stomach flu in some Caribbean country didn't seem good to me)... so this year we decided to go to Mont Tremblant in Quebec (we live in Montreal so it's less than 2 hours drive from our house). We arrived yesterday and are staying at the Fairmont Mt Tremblant which is situated right at the bottom of the slopes and by the chair lifts, perfect for winter sports... We are not big on downhill skiing but I love cross country skiing... for the last 4 weeks since we booked our hotel I've been imagining myself cross-country skiing in the forest and then going to a Scandinavian Spa (you know the one where you are outside when it's minus 20 Celsius and alternating hot and cold baths)... well, we are here now and we have the most amazing view from our apartment and that's all I can do - watch others ski!

this is the view from our living room window, just stunning!
My Achilles is still very sore and I can't run, I can't ski, I can't even walk too long... I was hoping it will go away by now (it's been 4 days) but no, it's still there :(
so what did we do today? Pottery painting! I can't believe I had to come to the mountains to paint pottery
:(  ... bit it was fun... we are here with my mom, who is visiting form Europe, and my older daughter (who will be turning 21 in April)...
So, for now, no running, just mandatory rest, arts and crafts and quality time with my family... not bad but less than what I was hoping for...

this is me with my mom and younger daughter at the pottery shop today

If my injury gets better in the next 2 days I can still complete my weekly goal of 15k ... I am still amazed how little it took for me to get addicted to running again... thanks, Anne, for inspiring me (see the blog of my friend Anne

this is my older daughter with our dog Paco at the pottery shop

Friday, January 8, 2010

mandatory rest :(

Stupid pain in the Achilles is making it hard for me to walk so no running for at least 3-4 day if not more! I am icing it and taking Advil but it's still very painful. I am sad that this happened when I just started but I it's a good thing as it will help me keep my excitement (and desired to run all the time) in check so that I don't get more serious injuries, especially for my weak spots (knees) .. oh, well, I will try to read more blogs while I am off and do pilates more often... I will also do more research for my training program and learn how to use the software that came with my Garmin 405 Forerunner so I can plot training session and track my progress.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

running with a HR montitor for the first time - lesson learned!

Today was my first time running with a HR monitor (I tried my new Garmin 405 Forerunner) and what a difference it made! I started the run as usually, warm up at 4.5 miles per hour for 5 min and then run at 6.5 miles per hour. After about 5-6 min of running at that speed, I was at 90% of my max HR! No wonder I've been having such hard time running continuously for longer than 10-15 min, I was going too fast and my heart was working too hard! So I went down to 6.0 mile per hour and was able to rung without a walking break for 25 min or until I completed my goal with was a 5K run (or just over 3.1 miles). Actually I could continue running for another 25 or 30 minute as I was feeling so great and my run was so effortless but a throbbing pain in my right Achilles tendon (on the back of the ankle)stopped me. I think my running shoes are too high in the back and are pushing against my ankle causing my Achilles to get irritated and inflamed. I had this in the summer when I was running outside but this time is very bad. Actually, I am in a lot of pain now and moving my ankle makes it worse... so walking and going down the stairs is very difficult ( and we live in a townhouse with 4 levels so imagine all the stairs at home).
I talk about my runs in terms of kilometers as I am more comfortable with it but my treadmill is in miles so I am reporting speed in terms of miles, which can get confusing :)

So what I learned today is that I need to slow down and slowly build up my speed. I don't know why I never got a HR monitor (and I am a "gadget" person) but now that I have it I will use it all the time. I just hope my ankle injury is going to go away soon so that I don't have to wait too long until my next run :)

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

still taking it easy

I have my physio appointment tomorrow, so I am still running on the treadmill. I ran 5km today and felt great. I got my new Garmin 405 Forerunner today and can't wait to try it outside :) next gear piece I have to get is the Spiky for running on snow and ice... I should have my training program for next week, I am so exited :)

Monday, January 4, 2010

Getting started

Once a week I do Pilate's on a machine with a private trainer, who is does 1/2 iron man 2-3 time per year and runs marathons... I spoke to her about my running goals and her advise was to first address my old injuries by seeing a physiotherapist... preventing new injuries is part of my goal so I booked an appointment for physio... it's good, as I also need to take care of that knee or I won't be able to run long distances. I am also going to buy Spikys so I can run outside on the snow... After I get my health check from the the physio and my gear, I will make (and post) my outdoor running program... Very exciting! I have not told my friend (who is the inspirationfor my running) about my plans so if I succeed, it would be a total surprise to her :)

Sunday, January 3, 2010

New Year's Resolution - Get back to running

My best friend is 50 years old and has a chronic disease (asthma) that has been affecting her life for the past 5 years or so... she was on prednisone (amongst other drugs), a steroid medication, that made her gain a lot of weight (and she is naturally skinny)... I watched her suffer for years, struggling to take a breath or coughing so hard at times that she would break a rib... but last summer her doctors were finally able to manage her condition and she's been feeling better since... she also started training at the gym and doing some cardio on the treadmill to improve her lung capacity... well, I guess she liked the running so much that she set a goal for herself to run a 5K in September, which she did! Then she wanted to run a 7.5K and she did! On Dec 31 she ran a 10K and now her goal is a 1/2 marathon and then a full marathon! My friend! the 51 year old mother of 3 with a chronic disease and a full time career (who is also writing a book)!... so while I was listening to her her telling me about her 10K victory and looking at how happy (and great) she looked I was thinking: "if she can do it what is stopping me?"... I used to run, in fact, I started running when I was quitting smoking 11 years ago... every time I had a craving I would go out power walking and after few weeks I started running... then a bad knee injury prevented me from running for 2 months and I lost interest. (did I mentioned I have ADHD and lose interest and motivation quickly :)) .. over the years I'd do some running as part of my training but not consistently... but now that my friend is running, I am inspired too ... Deep down in my wildest dreams I would like to run a marathon with her... but I am not sure I can with my bad knee (still hurts if I overwork it)... so i am not going to set that as my goal.. For now, all I want is to run at least 5 days a week and run a 10K in the next few months... and then I will reevaluate my goals... At this point, I am running on the treadmill and I can run 5 km by doing 10 min intervals with walking breaks of 60 seconds or so... So, please, all advise and tips are welcome, including training programs, readings, gear, nutrition, etc. etc... oh, did I mentioned that I am 41, I have two kids (a 2 year old and a 20 year old who is still living at home), a husband, a full time career with a crazy schedule... we moved in a new house in Sept 2009 and has been renovating and decorating since... we try to keep our social life active by going out and entertaining...