Friday, February 26, 2010

Day 2: Haven't Quit Yet

This morning when my alarm went off at 6, I was not that thrilled about it. The thermostat read "46," indicating that the heater had not kicked on all night, and my sore throat and inability to quit coughing attested to that. Luckily, I had changed the name of my alarm to "by small and simple things," which helped me to think a little more clearly about my goals rather than focusing solely on my pillow and the warmth of my blankets.

I texted Sean to see if he was ready, and he wasn't, so I ended up waiting on him a bit before going. It put a little bit of a cramp on the morning, but everyone was still in good spirits. After the struggle to pry myself out of bed and his apparent struggle with the same thing, we've decided that after work is probably a better time for us to work out, so we're going to give that schedule a try next week. My body is feeling the 6AM wake-up call right now...

The run today was easier, but I also didn't run as far. I adjusted the treadmill to be the speeds I decided on last week from the beginning of the workout and also didn't get confused like last time about whether I walk 60 and run 90 or walk 90 and run 60. I walked/ran 1.91 miles in 35 minutes, which seems kind of slow, but hey, I did it. I'm trying not to push myself too hard, so my definition of success has been adjusted to be defined as "continuing to go."

Monday will end week 1, and then I can either start on week 2, or more likely, start on what I will call week 1.5 where I do week 2 for the first half of the workout and week 1 for the second half. At this rate the program will take me 18 weeks rather than 9, but that's still amazing. In four and a half months, this sedentary couch potato could be running 3.1 miles three times a week. Is that as amazing to you as it is to me?

Day 2:
5 min warm-up walk (3.0 mph)
60 seconds running (4.0 mph)
90 seconds walking (3.0 mph)
35 min., 2.0% incline, treadmill at Gold's Gym in Provo
Distance Traveled: 1.91 miles
Total Distance: 3.92 miles

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Day 1: The Gauntlet Has Been Thrown!

The hardest part of any good habit is getting started, and the second hardest part is not quitting. Today I officially started, so the worst part is over. Once I actually got to the gym, it wasn't that hard, but getting to the gym didn't happen on Monday or Tuesday, and then it almost didn't happen today. Apparently Sean is going to be my running buddy, and when I texted him at 6 this morning to tell him I needed to sleep more than I wanted to run, rather than just forgetting it, he asked me if I was going later.

So Sean gets the award for motivating me to get started... He's the perfect workout buddy (almost wrote makeout buddy there, close call!) in that he gets me to the gym and then he goes off and does his own thing, leaving me to do MY own thing. Last time I worked out with him was over the summer, and it's the longest time I've been able to stick to an exercise routine. In short, I am glad that Sean is in this with me.

I surprised myself because although it was somewhat challenging, it wasn't as hard as I imagined it would be, and nothing hurt at the end, at least not immediately. Several hours after the fact I'm noticing that my thighs of all things are slightly sore, but not too much. I kept it nice and easy, just 3 mph and 4 mph (nice, round numbers). In the past when I've tried programs like this I think I wanted to see results too badly and pushed myself too hard. I could have probably run faster than 4 mph, but at that speed it was difficult to speed-walk but easy to jog, and I may have a chance of increasing the proportion of time I spend jogging if it's a slower pace.

Next time I'm going to play with the treadmill to see if I can program it to do the intervals for me automatically, because the biggest pain of the couch-to-5K is always having to watch the clock. There was an interval of jogging that I way overshot because I was fooling around with my iPod. If I didn't have to watch the clock, I can see this being so much more enjoyable.

Day 1:
5 min warm-up walk (3mph)
60 seconds running (4 mph)
90 seconds walking (3 mph)
(35 min, 2% incline, Treadmill at Gold's Gym in Provo)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A Positive Change

A few years ago I accompanied a friend to a 5K race in Indiana. The diverse running community present at the race that day faced a common challenge: to finish. They supported and cheered each other. I saw seasoned high school and college athletes cross the finish line first, followed later by some first-timers and some older runners who seemed pleased just to finish. Since that day, running a 5K seemed like something I could do. It was, and is, to me, the pinnacle of good health.

I cannot run a 5K. I remember in high school attempting to run a mile for gym class, and this friend (who was at that time the top runner in the state) straggled behind cheering me along and intentionally finishing after me so I wouldn't be the last. Truth be told, I recall walking most of it. The furthest I am able to run right now is probably around two blocks, and that's if I push myself. Which brings me to my goal. To run.

It's a goal I've attempted several times already, always abandoning it after a few weeks. It's not going to happen this time. My goal is to spend the next 3 months working on a "couch to 5K" program. The program is divided into 9 weeks of gradually increasing intensity, but I may increase the intensity more slowly than the program dictates depending on my comfort level. I will use this blog as my motivation to continue, and as a place to vent my frustrations and share my successes. Hopefully at the end of three months (or perhaps a little longer) I'll be registering for a real 5K race. If you'd like to participate with me, feel free. Let's make positive changes in our lives together!