Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Baby (Running) Steps

Last week I started (loosely) following the Couch To 5K running program. The goal of the program is to get anyone up and running a 5K (equivalent to 30 minutes) in 9 weeks.

I've never been an athlete, much less a runner. Since joining the Y a month ago, however, I've been making a concerted effort to get to the gym at least 4 days a week. Michael, Max and I passed around sickness for a week (this was two weeks ago) and I didn't get to the gym at all. I'd been on a pretty good 'roll' at that point and had a bit of trouble getting back into the swing of things after the sickness lifted. I think I more or less just tried to do too much too soon. My friend Anne recommended switching between 1 min of walking and 1 min of running and it was definitely the key! (I didn't know it at the time, but this routine was the first week of C25K.) The first day of it ended up being one of my best workouts ever. I felt so strong and didn't dread looking at the clock to switch to running anymore!

This week was the start of Week 2 of the program. Having asked some running friends (read: friends who can run waaay longer than I can!) for their advice, I decided to repeat the Week 1 because I was feeling so good about it. I won't be crying if I'm not running a 5K in 9 weeks and am not putting limitations on myself in that respect, so I didn't have any problems with repeating the 1 min run/walk intervals.

Tonight I realized that though I'd love to have a partner to work out with eventually, it's probably best that I do it on my own right now because I'm my own worst enemy. (This can be both good and bad) Only a couple minutes into my warm-up I thought "I don't know if I can do this today", but kept going because heck, I was already at the gym and ON the treadmill. I planned to do 30 min of 1min run/walk, but then started feeling guilty that I wasn't going to make any 'progress' this week unless I went either a) longer or b) faster. So I ended up doing 35min of 1:30min run and 1min walk. I always psych myself out, but then end up feeling really good by about 20 min. I almost went for 40min, but decided to not push the envelope.

So although I spend a lot of my workouts 'arguing' with myself, I'm also allowing myself to think happy thoughts! I'm proud that...

- I've been doing the equivalent of running at least 1 mile each day (+ walking) and that my legs are tightening up
- Even though it sometimes takes mentally beating myself up, that I haven't given up and gotten off the treadmill on the days I feel like I can't do it
- I can now run for the longest lengths of time in years, even if it's with a minute of walking in between

Next up: conquering my fear of running in the great outdoors and not having the clock on the treadmill to rely on!


Jenn said...

I was just planning to do the Couch to 5K too! I'm starting next week!

Maybe we can plan to do a run together? I mean ... I know that we are so far apart ... but I am all for anything that would get me to see you sooner. What do you think?

Angie and Michael said...

Yes, we should totally plan to do a run together! It would be SO awesome to have something to work for- to see each other after all this time and to do a run together. Let's make that happen- for real. :) Hope you like C25K- I'm enjoying it, but not forcing myself to live within the weekly constraints. Guess I'm lazy like that. ;)

WHG said...

Congratulations!! I have a love-hate relationship with running, but I try to convince everyone I know to take it up. I have been using Jeff Galloway's run-walk philosophy for the last several months and it works really well for me. Just this week I finally got the interval timer he recommends (http://amzn.com/B001IYXOS2 and I am too tired to remember how to fix the tags tonight, apologies) and I LOVE it. It vibrates as well as beeps so I can listen to music and not miss the signal when it goes off. It's awesome and I highly recommend it, especially if you need some help bridging the gap between the treadmill and the great outdoors.

Yay running!!