Sunday, February 14, 2010

Couch to 5K: Day 22 and Week 3 Review

In the spirit of my "No excuses/Follow directions" mantra, I will not tell you why I only ran twice this week.  I will, however, tell you I'll be running tomorrow, an off day, to make up the day I missed on Thursday.  I have a great story that would "explain" why I ran Tuesday and not again until tonight, but a great story is nothing more than an excuse, and I'm done with those.

I got back from this week's second run about 20 minutes ago, and I'm flushed with the excitement of success.  No ankle pain, people. NO ANKLE PAIN!

Because I didn't get out until after 10 pm, I took the hubster along for protection.  He gets scared easily, and I have some basic self defense training, so I'm good at protecting him.  I kid.  I don't think either of us could do much against a determined adversary, but I do know that a woman reduces her risk of being attacked by 90% just by bringing along a second person.  (Also, zombies prefer lone women, as seen in my bloodsucking baby column.)

On my second run of week two, I made a command decision and stopped running at Liberty Park in favor of runs around my own neighborhood.  Folks, if you're trying to start running, the best advice this non-runner can give is to skip the track and run close to home.  I am amazed at the difference it's made.  No longer do I feel like I'm running for the sake of running, something that makes me want to throw myself in front of traffic.  When I run on the roads around my home, I'm going somewhere!  I'm running at first because I need to get my minutes in, but once I'm halfway through my time, I get to RUN HOME!  And boy, do I ever run then.

My first run in the neighborhood brought out a little more ego consciousness than I thought was there.  What if someone I know sees me?  They know I'm not a runner.  What will they think?  I sucked it up and ran anyway.  The only person I passed did happen to be someone I knew, but he's legally blind, so I felt okay about it.

Worrying someone I attend church with would see me run paled in comparison to running in front of my husband, though.  I was sure to prepare him for the experience.  "You're not even going to have to walk fast.  I'm really slow.  And I breathe like I'm dying.  It's probably going to be really annoying."  He assured me that he wasn't worried about any of that. 

I'm shocked to say that none of it turned out to be true.  Not only did I outpace him during my minute-long jogs, but I did so well and (gasp!) happily.  I'd run on ahead of him for 20 or 30 seconds, then turn around, a goofy grin on my face, and run back.  I don't think I've ever in my life cracked a smile while running.  This is a big development.  Huge.

While I did breathe heavily, it wasn't nearly as labored as it has been in the past.  My body definitely seems to be adjusting to the new activity level, and I'm liking the progress I'm making.  I also have to say that I've never felt more proud of myself than I did tonight, showing the man I love how far I've come.

A couple of thoughts in closing:

-If you want to start running and haven't in awhile, I can't recommend a Couch to 5K program highly enough.  I'm getting through this because I'm taking it slowly.  In the past, I've pushed myself too hard and have given up quickly due to disappointment.  This time, it's incredibly different.

-I couldn't do this without the help of my trainer, Michelle with Phazes Fitness.  Her training calls and emails have saved my ankles.  Her motivation keeps me going, and it keeps me honest.  Just know she's keeping tabs makes me try harder.  If you're thinking of starting a workout program and need someone to monitor your progress, help you make and keep goals, and challenge you along the path to fitness, the Remote Personal Training program at Phazes is a wonderful, affordable option!


LuckySevens said...

I'm so happy for you! Is it just me, or is cutting soda out practically the hardest thing, ever? I think I'm addicted. I totally cheated this weekend! As far as the "no excuses" thing, I'd like to hear the cool story behind not running that day, for the sake of cool story!