01 Sep, 2010
Off the couch. Almost 5K.
Posted by andrea tomkins in: Yaktivism
As some of you know I’ve spent the summer slogging away using an interval training app on my iPhone called C25K (which stands for Couch to 5K). I haven’t written much about it here, other than this post, but I wanted to write an update because I’m into my eighth week and frankly, I’m so amazed that I’m here that I wanted to share it with someone.
I’m still calling it slogging (FINOLA!) because honestly, I’m still so slow it’s embarrassing. I see REAL runners leaping along sidewalks like cheetahs on the savanna, a symphony of limbs and muscle. I’m the geriatric/injured/lame zebra with the jiggly rear end. The one that you KNOW is going to fall prey to some larger animal, or drop dead next to the waterhole, whichever comes first.
There is no grace in me whatsoever, let’s just make that clear. :)
My initial goal was to be able to jog for 12 minutes. This hearkens back to trauma caused by Canada Fitness, a government-sanctioned annual phys ed challenge which happened during my elementary school days. One event was the so-called Endurance Run, 12 minutes of running circles around the goalposts on the soccer field. I could never do it. But now I can! I’m up to 25 minutes of “running” – which I am pretty happy about.
I am still wearing my crappy old highschool gym shorts but am happy to report that I’m slowly looking the part. I finally got a new pair of running shoes. I picked them up at Bushtukah on Richmond Road. The fellow there was really helpful and I’m glad I went, even though he made me JOG in the middle of the store. Gack.
I also bought a pair of $12.00 super socks. I never thought I’d see the day.
In my first post about slogging I wrote about immediate weight loss. And there was some, initially, but I’ve gained it back. (I like to think that it’s muscle, but I can’t really tell, although I am fairly certain THIS zebra is moderately less jiggly than before.)
Things I’ve learned thus far:
- Running in the heat is a bad idea for someone with breathing issues. I tried to do Day 1 of Week 8 last night, my first 28 minute slog (up from 25). I had 6:30 to go and my body just stopped. Stopped. I was hurting in ways I knew wasn’t very good. I had to give myself permission to fail this time. It was hard, and I was disappointed in myself. But as I was lying in bed – feeling utterly destroyed – Emma reminded me that I can “try again next time.” (Where have I heard that before??)
- If I’m really hurting, and I stop, leaning forward with my hands on my knees is just going to make me feel like I’m going to throw up.
- If I’m really hurting, and I stop to sit down at the side of the curb, sweat will suddenly pour out of me (TMI?), therefore sounding the BUFFET ALARM for all local mosquitoes. I swear, they follow me.
- Dancing along while slogging in the heat (especially when the assigned interval has an extra 3 minutes tacked on the end) is a big mistake. Energy conservation is a must, even if the music is good. Same goes for jumping up to swat overhanging branches.
DON’T DO IT ANDREA. YOU WILL PAY.
The body is a funny thing, isn’t it? I am not at the point of the elusive “runner’s high” but my body and my mind go through peaks and valleys while I’m out. The first two minutes are hard but the middle part is easier … a soothing rhythm that takes over if you can push through those two minutes. The last two minutes are really hard too, usually the longest two minutes of my life. The seconds go
I never thought I’d hear myself say this, but I itch to go out now. And this coming from the person who always hated to run. It feels good. Surprise!
I am really liking the C25K program. Interval training really works (mostly because it’s gratifying to get better at something, even though it is in tiny tiny increments) and it keeps me going. For those who want to try it, know that it doesn’t have to apply to running. You can power walk it too, alternating slow and fast.
I feel like I’m on my way to something good here. Question is, what should I do in the winter?