Friday, April 29, 2011

Eight Minutes

Okay, so yesterday's workout (w5d2 of C25K) called for 2 intervals of 8 min each, seperated by 5 min walking. Eight minutes, when the longest I've run at one time was 5, and Tuesday's workout kicked my butt! I was a little apprehensive. Still. . . interval one came and went, and I feel I (for me, anyhow) nailed it. About halfway through my walk break, I ran into a friend, and stopped to chat with him for a minute or two, accidentally resetting my Polar instead of pausing it. Ah, well; nothing's perfect. :-) So, went ahead and walked 2 min before carrying on with the second run interval, so I may have gotten more rest time than strictly allowed; don't know. At any rate, the second 8, done at the uphill grade of the cemetary road (I have GOT to change which end I start from, lol) almost got me. It was extremely tempting at times to stop early, not finish the full 8, and just try it again another day. But, I pushed through. Got my first catcalls today, from a truckload of idiots. One reason I run on that road is it's nearly always deserted. Pretty sure they were being sarcastic, as it was during the second run interval, so I was damn near dead, and I do NOT look sexy in my running tights, lol. But hey, they keep my thunder thighs from sticking together and my fat rolls from bouncing too much, so that's all I ask of them. Function, not fashion! Walked to my TOPS meeting afterwards, where I logged a gain of .75 pounds. I'm blaming it on PMS, lol. Ran into a couple of my cousins on the walk home, so that was nice. Going out later today to meet up with Janis and Annie for some easy intervals. Hoping Marca will be well enough to get back out there soon. She's suffered an injury to her meniscus (hoping it's just irritated, not torn), and she's currently trying to rest it with some stationary cycling. And Janis says she knows a couple other people who are interested in trying C25K out. Before we know it, we might just have a running club around here, lol! And I will have been the beginning of it. Isn't that a kick in the pants?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Week 5, Day 1. . . shut up and get me some ice!

Okay, not really. By the time I walked out the last mile (give or take) of the workout, I was about done limping. But geez. My body did NOT want to do this today. It let me know that in no uncertain terms as soon as I started running. I told it to shut up. We WERE doing this. And we did. We didn't do it particularly well, lol, but we did it. I've heard it said that in running, you have good days and bad days, and that makes sense, as in life, you have good days and bad days. Today was a bad day. I'm not certain what the deciding factor was. My eating habits haven't been the best over the last few days, and I took 2 days off in a row when my gut said not to this time. I may not have been hydrated well enough. But I'm going to take my chances here, and blame it on PMS. As much as I hate using that particular crutch, I think it at least played a part. I was barely moving at all through the second interval; picked it up some for the last by telling myself it was the last one, and once I was finished with it, I was finished, at least with the running (if you can call it that, lol). I'm not sure even my super-supportive DM buds could call what I do running, if they'd actually seen it. :-) But. . . I'm doing it. And that is a step in the right direction. Sometimes it's a tiny, limping step. . . but it's in the right direction. Someone asked here a while back on DM what's your mantra? The focus phrase that gets you through a tough workout. I didn't have a clue at the time, but (no laughing, please) the one that got me through my last 5 today was: "You're a runner. You can do this!" Ridiculous doesn't count, as long as it works. And when I complete my 20-min run at the end of this week, I'll be mentally giving a certain coach the finger. (Is that wrong? Probably. Do I care? Probably not.)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Rain, Rain. . .

. . . and guess what? More rain! Grr. It's been raining here since about Thursday, and has no intentions of stopping until next Thursday. Today's supposed to be an easy day, and I guess that's all right. I should probably be cleaning house. Doing laundry. Something. I haven't even figured out what's for dinner yet. Maybe tuna casserole. That oughta make my mom happy--not. Still, I have most of what I need to make it, and I can get the rest easy enough. Can't really figure out what to do for a workout tonight. Maybe Janis'll call later and we'll put in a walk. Or maybe I can con Bill into taking the kids over to Mom's for a bit when he comes to visit tonight so I can do some yoga. Haven't done that in a while, and it'd be good to get the stretch, as well as a bit of workout for the upper body. I think maybe next month I'll buy that kettlebell set I've been wanting. Maybe. Gotta see if I've got the $$$ first. :-) Or maybe I'll con the husband into buying it for me for my birthday, lol. Funny; most women would kill their husband for buying them exercise equipment for their birthday. Me. . . that's all that's on my list this year! Unless you count a bullet blender for smoothies.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Week 4 Done! Maybe.

I haven't decided. Should I kiss Week 4 goodbye, or repeat, with more focus on pace? I know my pace for these longer intervals stinks, and truthfully, perhaps stinks worse than it has to. But I'm afraid if I pick it up, I won't be able to complete the time without being miserable. I think I'd have been better off, if it were possible, to do this according to distance, rather than time, b/c then I'd be pushing to get to the end of the distance faster, rather than just trying to survive the time. :-P Today was spotty and kinda freeform, as far as workouts go. I met up with a friend for a mile and a half of brisk walking (girl has a HELL of a walk pace!) and we tossed in a few 60-sec run intervals, since she's C25K curious. Then, after she went home, I debated with myself for a few minutes before heading back out to do my w4d3 workout. Got it done, at snail pace once again, then after I recovered, I started tossing in some fartlek-style run intervals, just focused on maintaining a good form and a decent pace to whatever goal spot I'd picked for myself. Figured I needed to do something to redeem myself for my horrible pace during the actual workout!








Took a giant step forward on my quest to become a serious runner today. Took a deep breath, bit the bullet, and bought a Garmin 305. Barely used, off eBay, paid $90 + 5 for shipping. Includes HRM strap. Happy dance! Of course, I'm sure I ticked off some rival bidders rather badly. . . just another little perk. >:-) Of course now, between this, and my shoes, and these supremely ugly capri tights. . . I HAVE to keep running. I've spent too much on it not to! And I still have a wish list! I must be nuts.






Thursday, April 21, 2011

Slow Like Turtle. . . Finished the Race

Well, many firsts for me tonight in the world of running. I went out to the cemetary road after my TOPS meeting b/c I saw an opportunity to run outdoors and avoid the dreadmill. So, first outdoor run (yay!). As I was starting my warmup, it started to sprinkle rain. By the time I finished and walked back to the car, there was water dripping off my nose. So. . . first RAIN run! I'm out there huffing and puffing, and thinking I can't believe I'm running in the rain! I am HARD CORE!!! lol Which is ridiculous of course, but it kept me smiling. :-) And. . . first time to successfully complete a Week 4 workout!!! YAY, me! (Geez, what watching Suite Life has done to my vocabulary!) Of course, I completed it at the pace of an elderly, arthritic turtle, but. . . I did it, lol. That's progress! And NO cheating. Even when I accidentally added 15 seconds to my walk b/c I wasn't watching my clock well enough, I still went ahead and finished the full run, instead of shaving 15 sec off to even things up, lol. By the time i got back to the car, I was VERY effectively cooled down, b/c it was about a mile back after finishing the workout (out-n-back course, and right now it's out, back, and most of the way back out, then gotta get back to the car). Had to come home, towel off, and drag on a sweatshirt and comfy pants. Well, guess that's all for tonight. Gonna walk with some TOPS pals in the morning if it's not pouring rain. Wish us luck!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

I Did It! . . . Almost.

O.M.G! My cleavage is DRIPPING sweat! (TMI? Yeah, probably.) I just completed C25K w4d1. Kinda. Okay, I cheated a little toward the end, but still. . . progress is progress. It's been gradual baby steps up 'til now, but Week 4 is a huge leap up from Week 3, in my opinion. Your run time suddenly takes a huge step up, and at the same time, they cut your recovery walks in half. All things considered, I'm not displeased with my performance. It may take me 2 weeks to feel that I've mastered this one and am ready to move on. Which would suck, as I have my eye on a couple 5K's toward the end of May, beginning of June, and was hoping to fully run at least the June 4 one. We shall see. But boy, I was wishing about halfway through that I'd thought to turn the a/c on before I started! Still, probably for the best that I didn't. If I'm hoping to run outdoors, I might as well not get used to frosty cool air now. Still, when your run outdoors, there's the hope of a breeze, at least the one you create for yourself by running THROUGH the air, lol! Hoping to catch an "easy" run with my friend Marca tomorrow, as she's just starting her C25K journey. Of course, it'll be the first time outdoors for me, so it may not be as easy as I'm hoping, lol! Still, it'll be fun to run with a friend. Better shave tonight if I'm going to be wearing this outfit in "public" though!

No laughing! I know it looks hideous, but I wear it for function, not fashion. And I'm starting to believe that the camera really does add 10 pounds! Couldn't seem to get a full-length shot, but yes, those are capri-length tights. Too bad--the shoes are the best part of the whole getup, lol! Mostly, I think the reason I'm willing to post a picture of my 209-lb self in lycra is b/c then you (and I) can see the improvement as the weight comes off. :-) Damn, I didn't think I was still this fat. . . oh, well. Miles up, pounds down! Healthier body, here I come!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Loggers Lake

Took my oldest boy out for a little hike today. We drove out to nearby Loggers Lake to hike the nature trail around the lake. A beautiful day, and the forest was abloom. :-) We lost the trail partway out and had to turn around and go back, but oh well. Needed to get back and start dinner, and the kid was wearing out anyway. Not finishing=an excuse to go back! Better luck next time, but hey, it was a pretty nice way to spend an afternoon! Monday night, so company for dinner. Baked sweet potatoes, grilled pork loin, and coleslaw, plus an experiment in grilled mangoes. Experiment was a success. Yum! :-) Got some more work done on a baby blanket I'm crocheting for a friend. Working on the granny squares right now. I despise granny squares! But, the baby's coming in June, so. . . mustn't procrastinate! I'm hoping to mail it in time for the shower, and that's actually in May! Starting Week 4 of C25K tomorrow. This is where it all fell apart for me before. Wish me luck, say a quick prayer for me, whatever it is you do. I'm going to need all the help I can get! Screw you, Coach Porter! Perhaps that shall be my mantra as I puff my way through 5 minutes tomorrow. :-)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Inside Again!

Well, stuck running inside on a beautiful spring day once again. :-( Still, finally completed w3d3, and there's something to be said for that. Tried reading on the Kindle while I ran, but I'm not sure how well that's going to work out. I can't reach the buttons to turn the pages particularly well, which gets rather awkward, but it is a nice distraction. Today's run was actually the most difficult of Week 3 for me, which is unusual. Maybe it's b/c the pace on my walk breaks felt faster, making recovery more difficult, but I can't confirm this with a broken display. Or it could be due to failure to fuel and hydrate properly today. A breakfast of 6 mini Cadbury creme eggs does not make a good breakfast, and I hadn't been drinking my water right, either. Tried a new recipe for dinner tonight--sweet potato-lentil chili. The kids were not impressed. When are they ever? ~sigh~ The grown-ups approved, however, which means it'll probably keep coming back. It'll at least make a reappearance as leftovers, since the recipe makes WAY more than it says it does! It's supposed to make 8 half-cup servings. Since I feed a crowd (with healthy appetites, usually), I doubled the recipe. The leftovers filled my 4 (or is it 6?) quart slow cooker insert! Loaves and fishes, anyone?

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Odd. . .

Amazing what a brief period of healthy eating will do to you. I saw the most amusing thing in the store today--a bag of Jet-Puffed Jumbomallows. Bought them, figuring the kids'd get a large charge out of them. :-) I ate one. ONE! I feel slightly nauseous. How strange. Bought some new running gear today, and a new battery for my Polar watch. I'm contemplating various options for a piece of gear to track my distance, but barring a miracle, that purchase will be a long time coming. I hoped to get outside for the last workout of Week 3 today, but it just didn't happen. I'm going to go ahead and skip it today and try again tomorrow, but if getting outside fails tomorrow, I'm going to just suck it up and hit the 'mill again. It was perfect weather this afternoon, too. :-( But, when you don't have time, you just don't have time. I have to find a way to make time. Maybe tomorrow I can get either mom or my aunt to watch my boys for a bit so I can go out. Wish me luck!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Still Plugging Away on the Broken 'Mill

Well, check Day 2 of Week 3 off the to-do list. The treadmill's still busted, and I'm still running on it. No idea how fast I'm going or how far, and it sounds like hell. But I'm doing the workouts; I guess that's the important part. I guess right now, the way I feel about it is mostly get in, get it done, get it over with. I could wish I was enjoying it more, but truthfully, it's not too bad, and maybe that's a pretty good review, all in all, coming from me. :-) I kinda wish I could get outside, though. Weather's gorgeous, and the view's bound to be better. Probably be harder than the treadmill, but less boring, and I could at least track my distance better. Besides, if I'm going to do a 5K outdoors, I have to learn to run outdoors eventually, right? Maybe next time the husband's in for the weekend, I can get one in, test it out. But since he's only here maybe twice a month, is it enough? Ugh. Ate too much stir-fry tonight. Oh, well; tomorrow's another day. On the bright side, my TOPS weigh in came back with a loss of 2.75. The scale gets to live. I threatened that if it lied on me again this week, I was going to beat it into a pile of unrecognizable rubble. Guess it took me seriously. ;-)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Addicted?

Okay, so I did it anyway. Despite crappy equipment, no light left outside by the time dinner was served and cleared, and a lack of anyone to watch the Brat Pack, I still did it. I couldn't stand not to. I felt like if I gave in today, that was the end of it, really. Especially the end of my ambition to run the Boy Scout 5K in Rolla on May 30th. I HAVE to stick with it tight if I want to do that run. Even at that, I may not be ready to do it all without breaks. But I want to do it, just the same, and do the best I possibly can. Am I starting to get hooked? Lol, I don't know; you be the judge!

Curse You, Technology!!!

My treadmill is on course to become my nemesis rather than my friend. I had decided after this weekend that I would simply take my 2 days, and shift my workout schedule to TTS, rather than MWF. However. . . I suited up and hopped on the treadmill today, only to discover that my belt is back to rubbing my motor housing and my display is shot! I just want to SCREAM! So I guess I'm going to HAVE to figure out a way to do my running outside, or give it up altogether. :-( I have my Polar watch that Bo gave me last year (needs a new battery), but no real way to track distance outdoors, so no way to pace myself. Still, once I replace the battery, it at least gives me a way to time my intervals. The main issue is how I keep up with someone to watch the kids 3 days a week while I go out. My usual run time (while baby naps) has to be scrapped, and replaced with something later in the evening, which gets in the way of dinner prep! I'm just losing my mind all around, and every solution I can come up with costs money, which I don't have! Sometimes, being a broke single mom sucks.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Bye-Bye, Week 2!

Okay. . . week 2 is officially toast. Still dealing with post-run cramping and soreness in the calves and tenderness in the medial side of the lower leg. Stretching, massage, and a small hit of protein seems to help, but next week ought to REALLY be fun. Much more. . . optimistic(?) workout schedule. So far, I've only done 1 1/2 min at a time, always with a bit more for recovery. Next week, I amp it up to alternating bouts of 1 1/2 min and 3 min, with even time after each for recovery. I noticed my prescribed workout is 2 min shorter, too. Might go with that, might not. Depends on how I feel overall, lol. It's been kind of a "depressed" day, so I'm proud of myself for sucking it up and getting it done, really. I've made good food choices (so far; the husband's in town, so meatloaf, potatoes-n-gravy, and corn for dinner, lol), and I'm trying to get my water down. I keep forgetting it. Gonna have to try FlyLady's method for keeping up with how many I've had. Of course, that doesn't work out so well when the kids keep dropping by the oasis for a drink. :-) Little squirrels! I bought them their own bottles, but they still like Mommy's best. Reminds me of Gigi (German foreign exchange student who lived with our family when I was in school). She'd always beg my best friend for "just one bite" from her cup-o-noodles. Toni still remembers her as "the only person I ever met who could fit a whole cup-o-noodles on one fork!" We'd offer to make her her own cup, but, "It tastes better when you make it for you!" :-D She was fantastic.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Amazing Day


It had nothing to do with running, of course, but it was pretty sweet anyway. Literally, in some points. I have a weakness for hot Krispy Kremes. And the light was on. I make no excuses, as I stuff my mouth with warm clouds of happiness. I know I will have to pay for it, and find some way to regain the balance. But some things are worth it. Mmmm. We took Preston and Tristan to St. Louis today, to visit the Butterfly House and the Magic House (and the Bob the Builder exhibit therein, lol). The Butterfly House was kind of a bust. Beautiful as always, but come to find out, my 3 y/o was terrified of the butterflies! Poor baby! Then, he retaliated by trying to terrify ME! He disappeared from the playground while we were having lunch and giving the kids a play break. Finally found him all the way back over at the B'fly House! Then, on to Cold Stone Creamery (yeah, I was BAD today, lol), a short trip to lostville, and then the Magic House. It was the first time my mother has been since I was a child. I told her it was bigger. No, really, BIGGER. Some things can't really be absorbed until you see them for yourself. :) She was in awe. We spent probably 4 hours there, and I don't think the kids saw 1/4 of all there was to see and do. But, they had a fantastic time, and that, after all, is what we went for. So. . . WIN!!! Tristan enjoyed the Bob the Builder exhibit. Preston was delighted with it. :) They loved the sand pit and the water table, the bubble room and the musical stuff. We must do this again.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Ya Learn Something New Every Day

Well, maybe not EVERY day, but I think I picked up something important yesterday. It was a busy day, so I didn't do my blog right away, but I DID do my run, c25k w2d2. And WOW did my legs HURT!!!! I had to lean on the wall to gimp off the treadmill; I was afraid I'd fall otherwise. My calves were that badly cramped up. I stretched, I massaged, I stretched some more. Nothing but rebound cramps. ~sigh~ Then, my mother suggested a potassium deficiency. Not something I've ever dealt with, but it made a certain amount of sense. Perhaps I was getting enough for my everyday, fairly sedate lifestyle, but not enough to support the added demands of running? So, I fixed myself a snack. Greek yogurt, with honey, pecans, and dried cranberries. (I recommend it, btw. Yummy.) And what do you know? I don't think I was done eating before I began to feel MUCH better. So, now I'm going to make it a point to include enough potassium in my diet. I certainly don't want a repeat of yesterday's fiasco. On another point, I've also decided no more shorts for running, unless they happen to be knee-length and tight. Anything short enough (or that will ride up to be short enough) to leave my thighs bare impairs my form, b/c my thighs are too fat. They rub, and when it's skin-to-skin, there's not enough freedom of movement for good running form. So, for now, it's capris, b/c I don't own any bike shorts yet. Haven't in years. I consider myself too fat to wear something that tight in public. But, this isn't public, and running clothes are not a fashion statement anyway. So, I may have to buy a pair. :-) Eventually. Saw on Facebook today that a good friend of mine is thinking of taking up c25k. More power to her, I say. Far too many of us sit back and say, "I could never do that." And we make all sorts of excuses. I know; I've spent years doing it myself. But the fact of it is, you never know WHAT you can do until you TRY. And when you do what's possible today, more will be possible tomorrow (or, in this case, next week). It's all a question of doing just a little more at a time, and being kind to yourself. After all, you haven't done this before, and your body is likely to hate you for it at first. There's a reason Paul spoke of the spirit being willing, but the flesh being weak. So, we force the flesh, little by little, to become stronger. It's amazing to me how the flesh desires that which is self-destructive. Think about it. The spirit wants to run (or lift weights, ride a bike, do yoga); the body wants to sit on the couch. The spirit wants a healthful diet; the flesh demands burgers, fries, and Snickers ice cream. And in the end, if we give in to the body, is the spirit destroyed? No; the body is. One would think the flesh would have a keener sense of self-preservation! :-)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Out With the Old; In With the New


Shoes, that is. :) My new running shoes arrived today, and although I tried them on and took them on a brief test flight, I am anxious for tomorrow, when I can try them out in a "real" workout. But, for today, my calves are still tight and sore, so I'm respecting my scheduled rest day. Perhaps I'm respecting it a tad too much, as my eating plan is falling apart. I had a friend over this morning, and his idea of breakfast is fried eggs and bacon. Luckily, I was able to shove most of my share off on the baby who, I tell myself, needs the fat for brain development, lol. Half a cup of oatmeal with blackberry fruit spread rounded off my breakfast. But. . . . I have fallen victim to a box of "new" snack cakes and homemade cookies gifted to me by a neighbor and very dear friend. She brought them for the children, who are NOT doing their part! Meanwhile, they have been sitting beside my computer and gradually disappearing. At any rate, I'm off to give my aunt a lift into town for garden supplies, and probably to round my lousy food day off with something quick (in other words, probably not good for me) for dinner. See you all tomorrow!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Beginning Week 2

I hate this computer some days. I was in the middle of a good post here, and then suddenly, it highlighted all my text, and of course, we all know what happened. With the next keystroke, it was all gone. And I cannot figure out a way to get it back. I can't even figure out why that sort of thing keeps happening! Grrr! And now, of course, the baby isn't going to allow me enough peace to try and get it back. Suffice it to say, w2d1 completed, with just a little more difficulty than week 1. Started the run with tight hamstrings, courtesy of too many hours in heels at Grandma Mary's funeral visitation yesterday, ended with (of course) cramped-up calves. I wonder how long that's going to last? Had a good chat this evening with my TOPS pal, Marca. We agreed that women are pretty much nuts. Doesn't matter how hard we work or how much we accomplish with our lives, if we're overweight, we consider ourselves failures. (I am fat and ugly, so I must be lazy and undisciplined, and therefore, I am worthless.) How ridiculous! Do we not believe that God sees the heart of man, and values us for far more than a number on a scale? We will allow that number on the scale to drive us, to the point that we'll do most anything to lower it, and often do as much damage to our health as simply being overweight does. When if we would allow a desire for a healthier lifestyle to drive us, such as fueling our bodies with good food and working out to increase our strength and abilities, the weight loss would follow, and we'd feel far better for it. Too often we're so desperate for the number to go down that instead of switching from fueling our bodies with bad food to good food, we switch from bad food to nearly NO food! Well, you don't expect your car to do better on no gas than bad gas, do you? Of course not! Our chapter seems to be in a bit of a rut, and we're thinking spring might be the perfect time to see if we can shake things up, work on a whole new attitude. Something to think on, anyway. I imagine we'll talk more on the subject. We're glad to be of a similar mindset, as it's hard enough to get rid of "stinkin thinkin" especially when it's a habit taught to us literally by all of society over the course of our entire lives. Perhaps the help of a friend will make it easier to remember what the goal is and what's REALLY important, here. Honoring the gift of our physical being by tending to it well, not fitting it into a certain size dress. And how much we are worth as wives, mothers, daughters, sisters, and friends. How hard we work, and how much we DO get right, even on the days it seems most everything goes wrong. Marca is an amazing woman. She works hard every day to take care of her family and devotes considerable time and energy to volunteer work for causes she believes in. And all this in the face of her own physical challenges. I'm glad to know her and proud to call her my friend. Yet, if she's not careful, she will look at the number on the scale, or the one sewn into her jeans, and mentally toss all that aside, telling herself she's a failure and she just can't stick to anything, so why even try? Do you know someone who might be in the same boat? Tell her today--and tomorrow, and the next day--that you love her and think she's amazing! Maybe if we hear it often enough, we'll begin to believe.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Reflection

Today seems to be a day for thought and reflection. Perfect, really, for a day I'd decided on for a yoga routine. :) I was considering earlier the circumstances that may have led to my lifelong hatred of running. I was never a terribly physical person. Tag, hide-and-go-seek, and the like were among my least-favored games. Even as a child, I prefered a leisurely walk through the woods, or an afternoon spent curled up with a compelling story. I also had (and still do) a fondness for food. These in combination have led to me spending my life, as far back as I can remember, overweight and out of shape. Being teased for being fat and slow, and not particularly good at physical games did nothing to encourage me to put down my books and play. And then came the culmination. 7th grade PE. Every morning of 7th grade, first period, we were to run 20-some-odd laps (what I'm told is about 1 mile). No easing into it, no walk breaks for those of us less-fit suckers. No rest days (unless you count weekends when we didn't have school). And all of this with a gym teacher who ran his jr. high PE classes as if he were still in Marine boot camp. Which meant those of us who were slow and struggling didn't get encouragement shouted at us, but rather insults! No wonder I learned to despise running, and to believe it was something I simply wasn't made to do. So, I spent the next 15 years or so making all the standard jokes about it (such as, if you see me running, you'd better keep up) and believing only crazy people could possibly ENJOY such torture! Then, I stumbled across dailymile.com. I registered as a walker at first, but I couldn't help being drawn in by the runners, and particularly intrigued by something they called C25K, short for Couch to 5K, a program designed to take the American couch potato, and get him/her running a distance of 5K, or 3.1 miles, in about 9 weeks. The program looked fairly simple: short bursts of running interspersed with walking a while to catch one's breath, with each week bringing the run time up and the walk time down. Now THIS looked like something I could do! The program (and every runner I've met) advocates rest days between running workouts, to allow the muscle tissue to rest and revitalize. Without rest days, I've learned, the body simply cannot get stronger, no matter how hard you work. Could this be why, in 9 months of running a mile every morning, it never got easier? (Ya think?) And then, there was the encouragement! Here, instead of being insulted for being slow, and unable to complete the distance without walking, there are cheers, pats on the back, and the reassurance that you will get stronger, and it will get easier. It doesn't matter what level you're at. The guy training for his tenth marathon will give you a thumbs-up for completing the first week of training, or for the first time you ran a half-mile without stopping. He'll treat your 5K like a major event, encourage you beforehand, wait anxiously afterward to hear how it went. He can whip out a 5K in under 20 minutes without breathing hard, but for you, it's a milestone, and he respects that, because he remembers when it was his milestone. There's also the pervasive attitude that slow mileage is better than no mileage, and that the victory isn't in acheiving a certain pace or distance for the day, but rather in getting your ass off the couch, lacing up your sneakers, and heading out the door. Thank you, my friends. I have never met any of you face-to-face, but you have made me believe in the impossible, and that is an incredible gift.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Farewell to Week 1

Week 1 of C25K is officially in the history books. Today's pace was the best of the week, and I've discovered something important regarding running mechanics. If you move more from the hip, less from the knee, it's not so painful on the calf muscles! Go me! Today's workout actually felt really good (aside from the fact that my calves are killing me), and I'm looking forward to moving on to Week 2 on Monday. But for tomorrow, yoga, no excuses. And for Sunday, a day of total rest. Then, my body should be ready to attack the more challenging runs of Week 2. :) I can feel a definite difference in my body already. Stronger, slimmer, more toned. Weighed in last night at TOPS with a loss of 2.5 pounds for the week, so I must be doing something right, lol! And with all this exercise, I KNOW anything coming off is not muscle!