As I mentioned yesterday, I came across some websites that will hopefully help me go from being a walker to a runner. The couch-to-5k running plan sounds doable, in fact, a guy from California put some podcasts together that will help you figure out when to do the sets of running throughout the walk/jog session. There are nine weeks to the plan and you do the session three times during the week.
I was able to do the first day’s session today and thought I’d post about it. I must say that it wasn’t as brutal as I thought it might be, don’t get me wrong it wasn’t easy, but it wasn’t brutal. As a kid, I didn’t like to run because I’d get this pain in my esophagus that felt like I’d eaten vick’s vapor rub. And spent the majority of my life saying, “I hate running”. But in the past few months I’ve given jogging throughout my morning walks a try, and it was kinda liberating, at first, then my lungs screamed and I slowed down to a walk feeling as if I’d never quite catch my breath again. But having done yoga for years, I’d calm my mind and get back to a relaxed breathing.
This past month, I’ve been adding a jog willy-nilly to my morning walks, not really sure what I was doing, just basically sprinting until my body said, “please get back to walking”. I’ve read countless hours about form a few years back, and I was even following a walking routine for being able to walk a half marathon. I actually didn’t get in more than maybe 4 mile walks on any given day, but I had gotten up to 20 miles one week. But then I found yogatoday.com and my weeks became filled with yoga instead of walks, and I was doing yoga five times a week. But then as I’ve mentioned before, my puppy died and my world started to spin and exercise was the last thing on my mind.
So on November 5th, I embarked on Operation Exercise and have been doing pretty well. But I felt a needed a little push, or maybe a goal. So I decided last night that I’m going to try to become a runner and my first goal is to be able to run 3.1 miles (or 5k). Not in a race or anything, just for me. I may enter some race in the future, just not right now. I don’t want my competitive spirit to derail my progress and get me injured.
So how did I do?
I really liked the podcast, the music was really cool and the upbeat tempo kept my pace really well. I also love that the music came from magnatunes.com, very cool. I also really liked that I didn’t have to think about when to run and when to walk, Robert (the cool guy who made the podcasts) pops into the audio track every once in a while and tells you when to run, when to walk, which set you are on, etc. It’s not distracting, it’s really helpful. Especially since by set three I could barely think about anything beyond my form, whether anyone was around me, and where the cars where so that I didn’t get run over. Which is kind of funny because on my walks my mind is all over the place.
Week one has a 5-minute warm-up walk followed by eight 60-second runs with 90-second walks in between, then a 5-minute cool-down walk. My first run came right at my first hill, and I was thinking EVIL. But the run spirts were easier than I thought they’d be, some of them I couldn’t quite do the whole 60-seconds, but pretty close. And I’m quite proud of myself. I think the month of walking and doing yoga helped condition me so that this first session wasn’t brutal. I’m not sure I would have done as well a month ago.
Anyway, on my walks I had to wait at some painfully long crosswalks and then I’d take pictures of the waterfowl and at the halfway point I’d stretch a little. Today, I chose my shorter route that doesn’t include any of those things. The crosswalks are on lightly traveled roads and don’t have light signals. Since it was only going to be about a half hour, I stretched before and after my walk/jog, not during. I did happen to see a squirrel, but it was during a running set and also I was a bit lost at the time.
See, I had planned on a turning point, but since I was jogging I got to that point before the midpoint of the podcast, so I kept going. Instead of turning around at the midpoint of the podcast, I found a road that I thought looped back around to my destination, so I took it. But since I wasn’t really ‘of much brain’ at the time, I started to wonder if I’d made a mistake, and was thinking I’d have to go through someone’s yard to get back to where I wanted to be… luckily, I was on the right path and got back where I needed to be just as I had originally thought. Anyway, I saw a squirrel, and took a millisecond to say to myself, yea squirrel.
I mapped out my walk/jog session and it came out to 2.02 miles, which I did in 33 minutes… 3.67 mi/hr. Yea me! My morning walks with the crosswalks, picture taking, and short stretching come out to something like 3.1 miles in 1 hour 8 minutes… 2.74 mi/hr. I had no idea I could walk/jog 2 miles in a half hour! So cool. It feels great.
I am tired. Both mentally and physically. I am alert but can’t keep a thought in my head for a long period of time. I have been warm for most of the day, even though it is cold outside. I have the ‘yea I accomplished’ feeling while also being incredibly exhausted.
When I got home I did these stretches plus I added some yoga moves… seated forward bend, triangle, reclined twist, and this pose which I couldn’t find the name of… I thought it was called tailor or reclined cross-legged stretch or threading-the-needle… but I’m not sure… do you know?
I wanted to do yoga most of the day, but I didn’t want to overdo… tomorrow I plan to do a hip opener sequence, probably this one from yogatoday.com.
I’m going to go have a cup of tea and jump back into my fantasy world of dragons… until next time.