Monday, April 26, 2010

Couch to 5k - Week 3

I don't know how to keep titling these posts.  This the third complete week that I've been tracking this Couch to 5k thing and yet this week was the first week I've completed Week 1 of the actual Couch to 5k challenge.

Yeah, you read that right, I met my goal of the week - I completed the first week of the Couch to 5k Challenge.  It was.... hard? easier than I expected? empowering?  frustrating? Or really, all of the above and more.

It was hard and yet easier than I expected.  Day 1 seemed much easier than I anticipated and I was feeling good and confident.  Day 2 however was a struggle the whole time.  I've been running inside this week as I still haven't figured out the best podcast method for me (we have ipod complications in our house right now) and I was able to return my running shoes if I didn't like them after a few runs (I love them!).  But Day 2 I was running in our apartment's tiny gym closet.  There were other people there, I was self conscious and on a treadmill that wasn't like the one I'd used the other day.  To make matters worse I was dealing with some pain caused by friction on Day 1 (if you don't know what I mean then you are probably too skinny to understand it).  I completed the workout but I found myself grabbing on the sides during the run and walking slower in the interim.  I was cranky about it too.

Day 3 was redeeming though.  I did the work out and even upped my time a bit (I've been confused about the actual time they recommend for week 1 as I've seen different things).  Since it was Sat I was able to sneak away during baby goat's nap.  I made it back before he woke up and had the workout done before dinner which made the whole day easier to deal with.  I had the gym to myself and managed to run everything without holding on.  While my jogging pace is painfully slow (4.2) I did try to keep my walking pace at least (3.0).

Now that week 1 is done for the first time I find myself alternately empowered and worried about my ability to complete this challenge.  On the one hand - I did the first week!  It wasn't as bad as I thought. And I've run more this week than possibly ever?  I don't like running yet but it was tolerable and I felt good afterward.  On the other hand - I now have tangible knowledge of just how far I have to go before this is a reality.   When something seems impossible with a vague frame of reference it is one thing, but when something still feels impossible with a specific frame of reference however it can seem even more daunting.

I'm going to fight against this thought of impossibility.  I need to remind myself that something that takes a long time to accomplish does not make it impossible.  I have a strong tendency towards over-exaggeration and if something takes a long time it seems almost impossible.  It is the math part of me.  For example if healthy weight loss is 2 lbs per week then I do the math and even with no plateaus, setbacks or drama it would be a LONG time before I got in my weight range.  The numbers make it seem impossible, but it isn't impossible it just needs a long term commitment.  This challenge is the same way.  I now have some base numbers for my brain to play with and when I do the math it shorts out my circuits and makes me think it is impossible.  BUT IT IS NOT.  I just am not there yet.

I've been debating what my goals are for this week.  On one hand week 1 went well and was easier than anticipated.  On the other, I haven't run outside yet and week 2's program makes me scared. (90 seconds of running, I'm still counting every second of the 60 second runs from Week 1).  I'm going to play it a bit by ear but here are my goals for the next week.

  1. Do the program 3 days this week with at least one day being an attempt at Week 2 workout.
  2. Research stretching, warm-up and cool down things to help with soreness and safety. (Please share what works for you).
  3. Figure out the best solution to the podcast issues and get some downloaded for workouts.
  4. Work out with another program (or even just go walking) once this week.
Please take the time to write about how your own week went and come share them here with the MckLinky.  Any support is welcome here as well or input on good stretching and stuff too.  Thanks blogland, you're the best.

    Other Couch to 5k relevant posts from this blog:


    Recovering Procrastinator said...

    Very good goals.

    Something to keep in mind regarding the time frame: Health (or weight loss) is a marathon, not a sprint. The chiropractor who is presenting that wellness series I've been going to says that all the time.

    I've only done 1 day so far so I'll post and link up later this week once I've done another day or two.

    Valerie said...

    You're doing great! I'll post more about it, but I did find today (my first day of week 2) to be slightly harder but it wasn't overwhelming. Just keep it slow.

    I find that having some kind of background noise helps. If you're on the treadmill, is there a place you can turn on the tv? That really distracts my mind from running! What about some really great music?

    Lastly, not to sound like Jillian Michaels or anything, but: LET GO OF THE F**KING HANDLES! Sorry, I've just always wanted to do that. I tend to grab the handles too, and that's what I yell at myself. Good luck!

    Emma said...

    You're doing a great job! Runner's tip: Find yourself some Body Glide ( Trust me--you'll love it!

    Random Tangent said...

    GO YOU! you are my motivator after reading that post to just do it this week. i second the body glide idea. i use something called chamois butt'r when i ride that works wonders. the tube lasts for a while and can be found at all bike shops. yes the numbers are daunting, but the end result WILL be worth it.

    michelle.stillwell said...

    Hello, I read your blog, but this is my first comment! I am a youth director at a Lutheran church in Saint Louis Missouri and I usually read your blog because it makes me feel good about a mom doing my job, I am only 25, but I am married and I think about kids someday.

    Anyway I started a couch to 5K program 3 weeks ago when you did. In full disclosure I played college soccer, but I had not run regularly in over a year, so I thought this is the time. I have finished all 3 weeks so far. I fell once and have road rash. On the stretching I find doing dynamic stretching to work the best for me, maybe google it? But instead of sitting down and still to stretch you do hops, leg lifts, lunges while moving to stretch you muscles!! Thanks for doing this, I needed some motivation.

    darcie said...

    I say, do week 1 over and over and over's better than nothing...who says you have to move forward after 3 runs with week 1?
    That's what I'm doing anyway - of course, I've been doing this for two years now...

    Rebecca said...

    Great post! How fun to read! So, does Vaseline help the rubbing thing? That seems to work in our house. (I didn't just admit that.)

    Valerie said...

    While I'm sure the Body Glide tends to work best, I used to use plain ole antiperspirant. That seemed to work really well. You can also try applying baby powder right after running to dry things up. And I assure you, when you reach your goal weight, that will be the one thing you'll thank the Lord for not having to go through every summer. I bought a lot of dresses.

    The Marketing Mama said...

    Seriously, Liz, you are kicking ass. Look at how many people are doing this with you? I can't believe it! Even the new commenter tonight - wow! :) You are inspiring others and I'm super excited about it!

    I don't have a lot of advice, other than I've found (in my 3 weeks now) that the first run usually goes well, second sucks, and third is awesome... each time. :)

    Scott said...

    Good for you! Keep it up!

    I recently listened to Born to Run by Chris McDougal on my iPod during runs. One thing really hit me hard. The author finished a 50 mile run in 12 hours, while the guy who won the race did it in six. But the winner told the author, "You were AWESOME! I've been there, man - winning's easy, it's keeping going when you're all alone that's hard!" You're going to have ups and downs in this - but as long as you keep putting one foot in front of the other (walking, jogging or running, DOES NOT MATTER) you're doing awesome. I'll keep praying for you!

    Scott said...

    Oh, and BTW, Emma's right about BodyGlide. REI will have it, or Dick's or any other fitness store. Works like a charm.

    Sharon said...

    Stretching is my favorite part of the gym. Tip: Don't stretch before you run. That just puts stress on cold muscles. You can run/walk and warm up for a few minutes, then stretch. I prefer to just stretch when I'm done.

    I like to be sure I get all major muscle groups: hamstrings, quads, calves, etc. I don't worry about my upper body. And with stretching, you don't have to worry about numbers. The further you can stretch, the more flexible you are. But you will reap huge benefits from stretching, even if you are about as flexible as a rock.

    Another tip: be sure you stretch long enough. You want to hold the stretch for about 30 seconds. You'll notice at some point during the stretch that you feel the muscle sort of relax and let go. If you don't get to that point, the stretching really doesn't help.

    Go get em this week Liz!

    Anti-Supermom said...

    Liz, you are kicking some butt! i was going to say something about 'body glide' but others beat me to it. I haven't tried it, but I know other runners who *love* it.

    Can't wait to hear about this weeks progress. (cheering you on from over here!)