Couch to 5K: Week 1


Every few years I decide I want to be a runner so I put my running shoes on and start running.  My head is full of 5K finishes, color runs, and race t-shirts as I (re)start my running.  I try to channel the energy of the people I know who run marathons and do Ironman triathlons as motivation to do a measly 3.1 miles without having to walk (which for the record, I have never managed to accomplish).   I usually keep this up for a few weeks, and maybe even a month or two, then I come to my senses and realize I'm not really a runner (even though I think I want to be).

Well, after making my 101 list, I guess I need to become a runner again finally.  I usually set myself up for failure if I think about something too much, so when the opportunity presented itself this week, I went ahead and started running.  Dennis was working his night shift this week and Jack and I needed to be scarce so Den could sleep, and I figured running would be a good way to get us out of the house.  Off to the park we went!

Day 1: Sucked.  Not horribly, but it still sucked.  I was still coming off the cold I had over New Year's and my nose was really runny so it was hard to breathe properly.  The morning was chilly, and all the mouth breathing I was forced to do hurt my lungs a little.  It was also a lot more awkward running with a stroller than I thought it would be.  Since I'm not a runner I have a big clunky stroller instead of a sleek (expensive) sport stroller, and I usually baby wear so this was only like the 2nd time I'd ever had Jack in the thing.  I'm definitely not used to maneuvering a stroller.  Jack didn't seem to mind, though.  After the run, I rewarded us with some time at the zoo. You can see in my Day 1 map that my workout actually ended just as we were getting to the front entrance.  Win!  I was a little sore the rest of the day and I could definitely feel it the next day, but overall I felt much better than I thought I would.

Day 2:  I was still sore from my first run of the week, so I was a little worried about how I'd do running.  After my warm-up, my legs felt great and I felt more confident pushing the stroller, too.  Jack even fell asleep during the run!  I tried to pay careful attention to how I was holding my shoulders because after Day 1, my neck and right shoulder were incredibly painful.  I'm not sure if I slept wrong or if I was tensing up from pushing the stroller, but I made sure to be mindful of my body positioning. I felt better post run and didn't have any soreness at all.  Very surprising!

Day 3:  Today's run felt amazing!!  My nose is still a little stopped up, so there was more mouth breathing, but other than that things were great.  I feel even better pushing the stroller, even though I wish it were lighter and less unwieldy, but not being a "runner" there's no way I'm investing in a different one.  My shoulders felt better, too, but there is definitely still tension on my right side.  My knees always hurt, but I'm hoping as I slim down that won't be too much of an issue.  My knees are usually part of the culprit for quitting each time.  I guess only time will tell.

I usually feel this good at the beginning of running.  I'm using the Ease into 5K app on my iPhone because that's what smart phones are for - seriously, what did we do before them?!?  I'd tried training for a 5K before I had an app to prompt me when to walk and when to run and I made absolutely NO PROGRESS!  I was so busy watching the time on my stopwatch, yes, a stopwatch, that I think I literally made time stand still and would quit.  It's nice to have an app simply tell me, "Run," and "Walk," without having to think abou it.  I'm sure I'll be singing a different song in a few weeks as the app slowly shortens my walk times and lengthens my run times.  I'm taking bets for how long this will actually last....

It does help to have an adorable running buddy, though.


4 comments

  1. "We are what we pretend to be." - Kurt Vonnegut. Nuff said! PS you can use RunKeeper and set your own run/walk intervals - very handy.

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  2. I have never been a long distance runner. I would like to work on my endurance... but my couch is so comfortable :) Good job so far!

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  3. I like that quote! I'm definitely going to be keeping that in mind as I try to pretend to be all kinds of stuff; who knows, maybe some of it will stick. It's been years since I've used RunKeeper, like way before you could set your own intervals. Maybe I'll give it a try again. I think if I can get through couch to 5K, I'm going to get the Zombie Run app to improve my time. Apparently they insert the sound of zombies chasing you during the run segments to inspire you to run faster. Sounds like fun to me.....

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  4. I'm not much of a distance runner, either. Way back when I was younger I was a 100M sprinter, so even 2-3 miles is quite a task for me. It's a process to learn to pace myself. Even after all these years of not doing anything, when my brain tells my legs to run, they want to RUN! I actually think pushing the stroller is a good way to slow me down enough so I can actually make it the whole 5K eventually.......but my couch is awfully comfy, too......

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