Week 6

Wow, I can't believe I am in my sixth week of training in the Couch to 5k program!  It's amazing to me that I haven't been sore at all.  Here is what my intervals look like this week:

  • Five minutes brisk walking
  • Five minutes jogging
  • Three minutes walking
  • Five minutes jogging
  • Three minutes walking
  • Five minutes jogging
  • 5-10 minutes of cool down. 

So technically I jog for 15 of the 21 minutes.  This Saturday I will run for 20 minutes straight. I'm a little nervous about that, but I know I'll be able to do it. 

As the days go by, a lot of my preconceived notions and assumptions about my body are melting away.  Those things I used to tell myself (too old, too out of shape, too much body pain, too much asthma) are all things I repeated so often that I had completely internalized them, to the point that my quality of life was beginning to become compromised.  There were so many "should/buts" around my physicality that I basically put working out on hold until things changed.  But things didn't change.  What had to change was my thought process and my way of thinking. 

If you have an injury or a medical reason not to work out, then absolutely you have to honor that and listen to your body and medical specialists.  But what if the medical specialists tell you that there's basically nothing wrong and that you are just "getting old"?  I felt myself sinking farther and farther into a place that I did not want to go, and so before I landed somewhere with no return flight, I needed to change my ticket.

Running isn't for everybody.  Heck, I'm not even sure it's for me.  But I do know that what I am getting out of it is far more valuable than the actual prize of running the 5K.  I'm getting my fit body back.  And after the race, when I can say "I DID IT!", I will know that there is a whole new world of activity waiting for me. 


Week 4

No one ever taught me how to run.  Although I was on the track team in junior high, I was more of a field kid than a track kid.  Nonetheless, Coach put me and my clumsy gait on the track as the second person of the relay team.  Actually, I can't remember if I was the second or third kid, I only remember getting tangled in the hand off and falling to the ground.  The only prize I took home with me that day was a nice case of road rash and a badly bruised ego.  I never set foot on a track again.  Which brings me to my next question:

Why the heck am I training for a 5k???  At the age of 47???

Yesterday was the first day of the fourth week of my Couch to 5k program.  It's really hard for me to believe that I've been running for three weeks; and I haven't gotten sore, injured myself, or suffered any major physical consequences.  Mentally, I've been pretty good too.   Except for the initial shock of reviewing my intervals for the upcoming week, I've been able to get through the changes week-to-week without much whining. 

This week, my intervals look like this:

  • Brisk five-minute warmup walk.
  • Jog three minutes.
  • Walk 90 seconds.
  • Jog five minutes.
  • Walk two and a half minutes.
  • Jog three minutes.
  • Walk 90 seconds.
  • Jog five minutes.
  • Five to ten minute cool down.  

Monday was cold and wet, so I took my running routine to the gym at OZ Fitness.  The last time I was at OZ, I only did a little bit of cardio because I was coming out of that cycle of pain/injury and I didn't want to hurt myself again.  Wow, what a difference two months make!  I hopped right on that treadmill and went to town. 

I was kind of relieved that I was at the gym on this day.  The televisions distracted me during the long five-minute intervals and the treadmill was softer than the concrete, which I really was feeling last Friday.  And, there were no hills.  I was also curious to see how the intervals and times translated into miles run and calories burned.  After my workout, I saw that I had logged 2.5 miles and burned 235 calories!  Not bad!  That really motivates me to keep going.

Until next time, see you on the road!



Week 3, Day 1

This week is going to be tough.  My Couch to 5k routine is now thus: 

Brisk five-minute warmup walk.  Then, two repetitions of the following:

  • Jog for 90 seconds
  • Walk for 90 seconds
  • Jog for three minutes
  • Walk for three minutes

Okay, the three minutes of jogging, the first time it came around, was interminable.  Besides the fact that it came on the uphill swing of my route, running for three minutes straight felt like I was going to fall over by the time it was over.  The more I focused on how hard it was, the harder it became.  On the next cycle, I changed my thinking and began to imagine that as I was running, I had actually been running for many minutes already, and I was somehow less fatigued and buoyed by the thoughts that I could actually run for a long period of time.  I thought, "Wow, I'm not that tired for having run for so long already!"  And then, when the 90 seconds of running came around, it was a piece of cake.

I mistakenly ran three cycles today, and I am feeling it.  But not as much as I would have thought just three weeks ago when I was setting mini-goals to buy my shoes at Runner's Soul!  Bloomsday here I come!


Week 2, Day 1

I miscalculated.  I thought I had read that today I would be running for periods of 1.5 minutes and walking for one minute intervals.  However, when I checked my Couch to 5k training schedule, the instructions mapped out 1.5 minute running and two minute walking intervals.  At first, I thought, huh?  It didn't make sense to me to increase the walking time in between the running.  That is, until I started running today.

Thirty seconds may not seem like a lot to some people, but tack it on to a minute of running and it becomes 50% more running at a stretch than I did last week.   And for someone who in reality, had not done anything close to "running" in about seven years, those 90 seconds seemed to stretch on F-O-R-E-V-E-R.  So by the time my interval timer beeped for me to begin walking, I was definitely feeling it.  On the plus side, the time went by much faster, since I only ended up doing six circuits instead of eight.  On the minus side, my IT band is in a non-blissful state.  A cold wrap, some stretching and some ibuprofen should do the trick.  Onward ho!


Week One, Day Three

Today I ran without my dog, Bella.  Once a week, she gets to go to Alphadogs to play with all her doggie friends.  It gives me much needed Cat time and gives her some much needed dog time.  But I didn't really think about the fact that I would have to run without her.  She's a distraction, and moves the time along.  So at first, I worried that it was going to seem like a longer run.  It wasn't.

Without my sweet Bella as a distraction, I was able to think more about my pace, and the placement of my feet, and finding a gait that wasn't so jarring to my ankles and knees.  I have found that I'm a heel runner, and that I run rather flat-footed.  I have known toe-runners, so I experimented a little with that and other ways of how my feet hit the pavement.

The intervals are definitely getting easier.  And on this, only the third day!  The minutes of running seemed to go by really quickly and the 1.5 minutes of walking seemed to drag out.  I'm assuming this is a good thing, since next week the intervals will switch and I will be running for 1.5 minutes at a time and walking for one minute in between.

I have found that since starting the Couch to 5k program on Monday, I am naturally paying attention to other aspects of my life, such as what I'm eating and how much water I'm drinking.  And, I'm almost looking forward to Weight Watchers tomorrow, since I did not weigh in last week.  Most of all though, I am totally proud of myself for keeping at it this week and I can't wait to start up again next week!  See you on the road!