Friday, March 18, 2011

Still Running!

I recently posted about having started a "Couch to 5K" (C25K) running program.  It was something which I knew would challenge me and force me to step outside my comfort zone and push me beyond my limits.  I'm a far cry from running the full 5K - cut me some slack, though, it's meant to be a 9 week program!  However, I really just wanted to report in that I am 7 days into this program and have somehow managed to complete a full week of the program!

To be honest, I was so pumped after day 1 last Saturday, that I decided on the way home from church on Sunday that I needed to give it another shot as soon as possible.  I woke up Monday and wound up feeling the urge to get out there again, so Ron came home for lunch and we ran/walked together again.  Day 3 - 3 days of exercise.

Ok, so the program is meant to be 3 days of exercise in a one-week period, with days "off" to allow you to recover.  I've been tired after each day, yes, but by mid-day I'm raring to go...again, so I just listen to that inner voice and I go!  In the past 7 days, I've done the program 6 times with 1 day of cycling in the middle.  I didn't have an "off" day this week.  I don't know, maybe I should have.  However, it's been a great outlet for me.  It's getting me out of the house, which is something I desperately need.  It's giving me some "me" time...time to think...time to not think...time to listen to some worship music on my iPod and soak in the words.  I'm sure I'll have a day off soon, but for now I'm doing fine.

My days 1, 2, 4-5 were "week 1" (W1) of the C25K program (W=Week, D=Day).  Day 3 was cycling 3.28 miles in about 23 minutes. In W1 you begin with a 5 minute brisk walk followed by 20 minutes (or 8 reps) of 60 seconds of running followed by 90 seconds of walking.  W1D4 (week 1 day 4) remains my best time with a pace of 14:49 and time of just over 32 minutes.

After D5 (Wednesday) was over, I was feeling good about being able to do this much.  When I began the first running segment on D6, I just felt like I could go a little longer than 90 seconds.  I know that W2 consists of 5 minutes brisk walking followed by 20 minutes (or 6 reps) of 90 seconds of running followed by 2 minutes of walking.  I thought to myself that I could try to see if I could handle 90 seconds of running and then do the 2 minutes of walking.  If it went well, I figured I would keep up that pace for as long as I could, and if I couldn't make the whole course like that I would revert back to the W1 pace.  This was really pushing my limits, but I knew since it was only W1D6 and I hadn't had any "off" days, it would be ok if I couldn't do this W2 pace.  Well, I surprised myself and I DID complete my 2.13 mile course by doing the full W2 pace!!  Today was D7 (ever) of running and I managed to do that same W2 pace (90 sec running / 2 min walking) again.  I was about 16 seconds slower than yesterday's time, but yesterday was my second fastest pace of the week!

So, obviously I jumped into W2 of the C25K program a couple days early.  Each week of the plan includes only 3 workout days to be spread throughout the week.  I've already done two workouts on the W2 pace, but I am only just starting W2 (by actual calendar date) tomorrow, so I figure that I want to do this pace at least 4 or 5 times before moving on to W3.  I don't want to jump ahead to W3 before I'm ready.  I want to improve my time and endurance on this current pace before jumping to W3.

What is W3 and why my desire to really become comfortable with the W2 pace??  W3 is 3 workouts during the week which involve a 5 minute brisk walk followed by 2 reps of the following: run 90 seconds / walk 90 seconds / run THREE MINUTES!!!!! / walk 3 minutes.  Right now, I can handle 6 reps of 90 sec running / 2 min walking - but I cannot go past 90 seconds on the running segments.  There's no way right now!!

I'm tired.  I'm not too terribly sore - yes, a little, but not like I thought I'd be.  I'm getting a lot more fresh air and sun in my life and I'm feeling pretty good!  Best of all - I CAN DO THIS!!!

Philippians 4:13 (New Living Translation)

13 For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.

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