Friday, March 14, 2008

Couch to 5k realizations

I considered going to yoga yesterday, and then based on the feedback I got in my comments I decided that wasn’t the best idea ever. Instead, I went shopping. That’s always better than an extra workout, right? OK, maybe not always, but it’s better for me right now while I’m doing this couch to 5k thang. Someday I’ll add in additional workouts. I’ll get back to you on that in a couple months.

About the couch to 5k program … yesterday I had two realizations about the program and my progress, and my husband realized something else and shared it with me. My two realizations are happy – his not so much. I’ll start with his … might as well get the unpleasantness over with first.

Realization #1: Hubby (who is also doing the couch to 5k) looked up the program info on and calculated the miles per hour it assumes we’re running.

It assumes I’m running 6 miles per hour. HA! Now that’s funny. Or depressing. It kind of depends on the moment as to how I feel about that news.

It’s just not happening. I am NOT going that fast. I’ll have to work my way up to that. This info changes nothing, really, but I hated to hear that I am OFFICIALLY slow. Oh well. When I finish the couch to 5k official program, I have a couple extra weeks before my 5k … I’ll keep training and hope my speed increases during that time.

Now, on to happier things …

Realization #2: Over my last post or two I’ve talked about how my Week 6 Day 3 run today will be 25 minutes. Last Friday I did a Week 5 Day 3 run that was 20 minutes, then this week for Week 6 Days 1 and 2 I went back to doing walk/run sequences. I assumed after my Week 6 day 3 run I’d go back to doing walk/run sequences for next week, too.


This week’s Wednesday run was my last run where there is walking in between periods of running. From here on out, I’m scheduled to run 25 minutes straight, then 28 minutes straight, and then 30 minutes straight.


I didn’t realize that I was at that point in the program until yesterday. When I was doing my run on Wednesday I had no idea it was my last day alternating walk/runs. I may have been blocking this out. It is overwhelming to think about those long runs. But hey, I’ll try. I’ll try, and if I am not ready I’ll back up a week and then try again. Hopefully I’ve progressed enough that if I run slowly I can do it, though.

Anyway, despite the long-and-concerning-length, there’s something wonderful about this “I will be running X minutes at a stretch from now on” thing. I can now discard the podcasts and listen to my own music. Woo hoo! Plus, I figured out how to use the timer on my heart rate monitor yesterday*. That means that once I finish my 5 minute warm-up walk and set my timer I won’t even have to watch the clock. After 25 minutes an alarm will sound. Cool stuff!

Yay! I’m so looking forward to my own music. And it’ll be good for me to not be reminded how far I still have to run while I’m doing these long runs. In the early weeks, the “you’re halfway done!” messages were reassuring – now they’re becoming a little anxiety provoking. Only halfway!?! Yeah, I didn’t need to know that.

Realization #3: I’ve been plugging along on the couch to 5k program, and somehow I did not notice until yesterday that I AM MORE THAN HALFWAY DONE WITH THE PROGRAM! Now granted, as noted in Realization #1 I’ll need to keep training for my 5k after my official Couch to 5k program is over, but still! Yay! Lookie here:

That’s where I am right now, before doing my run today. Woo hoooo! Look at that pie, with those more-than-half-finished numbers. (…mmmm pie…) I'm over 60% done, even before I run today! And next Wednesday is officially one month out from my 5k.

It’s all very exciting and intimidating at the same time.

Wish me luck on my run tonight!

* This makes a whopping two things I’ve figured out how to do on my heart rate monitor … 1.) look at the time and 2.) use the timer. Note that my heart rate has nothing to do with either of these things. Ugh. I’ll figure the durned thing out at some point.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Help! Questions for you yoga-doers.

On Monday I finally had to give up and set everything in Google reader to “read.” I hated to do it, but I just couldn’t get caught up. And now, after a busy work day yesterday, I’m behind on my reading/commenting again. Ack! Hopefully I can get caught up this morning. Yesterday at work I worked my ass off to get some stuff sent out, and as of yet NO ONE has responded to my email, given me feedback, nothing. So I’ll take some time to get caught up on ME stuff until I hear back from them (or until my next meeting, whichever comes first).

My point is that I'll be stopping by your blog soon.

Anyway, tonight my husband has a poker game, so I have an evening to myself. I looked at the gym schedule and there’s a yoga class I could go to. I’ve never really done yoga before … I did it one time around 6 or 8 years ago at the Bally’s I used to belong to, and I couldn’t walk for two days after that. I hear that’s not typical. I got a yoga mat for Christmas, though, so I’m tempted to try it. But I have a couple questions for those of you who do the yoga thang.

First, today is a rest day for my couch to 5k run. I try to take my day of rest as truly a REST day … I don’t do aerobics classes or strength training or anything that might make it harder for me to run the next day. This is especially important today, since I do a *gasp* 25 minute run tomorrow. So … what do you think? Would I regret going to yoga tonight? I tell you, my one other experience with yoga suggests the answer would be YES. But the way some of you talk about yoga I’m not sure that’s true.

Also, I’m truly a yoga beginner. They have beginner’s yoga classes at our gym, and the one tonight isn’t one of them. Do you think I should wait and attend the beginner’s class first?

Those are my questions – what do you guys think? I definitely want to do my run tomorrow; I don't want to do anything that'll prevent me from running. I don’t have time to run on Saturday, so if I miss my run tomorrow it’ll set me back in my training schedule. And FYI, I don’t know anything about the yoga classes at my gym, so I won’t be able to answer questions about the class tonight.

Any answers/opinions/advice/suggestions/warnings/encouragement is appreciated!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

And it wasn't even on a silver platter

I got my ass handed to me at work today. Damn. I’m not a fan of the super-intense 10 hour days, no sir I’m not. If I could take a break and talk to someone every so often it wouldn’t be so bad, but working from home on days like this I just … work. I don’t trust myself to start reading and commenting on blogs because I can get carried away, and I didn’t have time to get carried away today. Just heads-down work work and more work, with breakfast and lunch in front of the computer, and a little more work.

But the good news is that the analyses I had to do before tomorrow morning got done. Thank gawd. Granted, there's always more work to be done, but at least SOMETHING got finished.

And you know what? I sat in front of that computer all day, and after I sent out my work the first thing I did was go running. Yes I did! I got out of my pajamas at 6 PM (seriously – it was that kind of day), and got straight into my running clothes, and I did my week 6 day 2 run.


It wasn’t the best run ever. There were two 10 minute runs with a 3 minute walk in between. It started off great, but went downhill. It went something like this:

Minutes 1-5: Walk walk walk, glad to be outside walking
Minutes 6-10: Run run run! Yay running! I’m happy to be running! Running feels great!
End of minute 10: (Dude on podcast comes on and tells Day 1 that their first 5 minute run is done. But I'm day 2, and I run 10 minutes.) What? I’ve only been running 5 minutes? Oh crap!
Minutes 11-13: Oh so tired. Oh run run, so tired, keep running, tired, must run run more run.
Minute 14: "Bark bark bark!" Oh crap, a dog! It’s running towards me! Too tired to run faster! Should I kick it? I don’t want to kick a dog! Oh, it’s tied up. Good.
Minute 15: Running running … can’t wait to walk …
Minute 16: Walking! Yay!
Minute 17-18: More walking. So good. Nice to walk.
Minute 19-21: Run again! Go slowly, go slowly, slower, you can do this, keep going…
Minute 22: Oh no, my side is starting to hurt. Breathe, breathe, breathe and step in time with the left leg and … what did that website say? Breathe …
Minutes 23-25: I have no memory of these minutes. I may be blocking them out because of some sort of post-traumatic stress disorder reaction. Or maybe the endorphins took over. Who knows.
Minute 26: What!?! I still have three minutes? Ugh! Run run run. Breathe breathe breathe.
Minutes 27-28: Must keep running. Almost over. No one ever died from side
stitches. Must keep running. Almost over. No one ever died from side stitches. Must keep running …
Minute 28: I did it! I finished the running part! Hooray! Time to walk. Ahhhhhh…
Minutes 29-32: More nice walking all the way home.

That was my run. Hey, I didn’t enjoy every moment, but I did it and I feel great now. Hopefully I can say that (or something even more positive) about my next run. Next time I run 25 minutes straight.


That's a lot of running. Wish me luck!

You know, I hope that someday I can feel the way I felt during those first five minutes of running for a lot longer than 5 minutes.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Where am I? (Volume 7)

Happy Tuesday! It’s time for a “where am I in my weight loss fitness and wellness journey” update.

I’m still losing weight, but last week I said the focus would be on exercise, and I mean it. This week I’m starting with exercise and non-scale victories and THEN I’ll talk about the scale.

Exercise: My goal was 3x cardio via couch to 5k, 2x strength, and 5x abs/planks. I met my cardio goal, but other than that I only got one strength session in and only did abs/planks 2x. I think the 5x abs/planks may not have been feasible with my busy week, but I should have been able to get my other strength session in. Oh well … it’s hard to be concerned because I had a fun week.

NSV #1: My brother commented on my weight loss and an old friend commented on my weight loss. Both comments were unprompted and they were said as soon as I saw them. Note to self – spend more time reconnecting with people who don’t see me often – they can see the changes!

NSV #2: I went on a mini shopping trip and I was able to fairly consistently fit into size 6 clothes. There were times I brought three different sizes into a dressing room because I wasn’t sure what size I would be, and most of the time the answer was a 6. I ended up buying a skirt and a dress. I didn’t try on jeans or bathing suits … I decided to stick with the more forgiving articles of clothing for this first shopping trip. Anyway, size 6 = good as far as I’m concerned.

NSV #3: I had a wonderful week which involved no obsessions about the scale, and I didn’t completely lose control … I ate reasonably the majority of the time, and I got some exercise in. I wasn’t in any way perfect in my eating, but I’m not striving for perfect.

With all those non-scale victories, I think a badge is in order:
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Weight: Weeeell, I’m up 0.2 lbs. But my body fat percentage over the past week averages lower than my body percentage over the week before my last weigh-in. My goal was to maintain or lose each week for the next 1.5 months … I think I’m going to call this maintenance. Close enough, right?

My goals for next week are the same as for this week – 3x cardio via couch to 5k, 2x strength, and 5x abs/planks. I’m also aiming to maintain or lose from a weight perspective. I'm on week 6 with couch to 5k ... that means that on Friday or Saturday I'll be doing a 25 minute run! Ack!

I think it can, I think I can, I think I can, I think I can ...

(A big thank-you to Wikipedia for the image.)

Monday, March 10, 2008

Couch to 5k Week 5 Done: Oh hell yeah!


Well, I mean, I didn’t run straight the whole time, I ran around my neighborhood so I actually went in circles a little, but you know what I mean. I ran 20 minutes without stopping.

I almost didn’t do the 20 minute run. The 20 minute run was week 5 day 3, and I almost repeated week 5 day 2. I just couldn’t imagine that I was ready for a 20 minute run. I’d almost talked myself out of trying, and then I told myself that I should at least TRY. If I can’t sustain a jogging pace for 20 minutes, fine, no harm done, but I should at least TRY. And I tried, and I did it!

I look back at the fact that I almost didn’t try it, and it makes me wonder how many other things in my life I didn’t do because I didn’t think I could do them. I suspect I’ve missed out on a lot because I was scared I would fail, and failing seemed worse than not trying.

That is so messed up.

So anyway, I ran! And it was good! I was grinning like a fool when I finished.

Truth be told, I ran slooooooowly. I’m not sure I’m going as far as I’m supposed to go each time I run. The program is set up where you either run a certain distance or a certain time, and I’m going with time so I don’t know if I’m getting my distance in. But I’ll worry about that when I’ve finished the program – I can work up to running faster/longer. One thing at a time, right?

Hmmm, what else do I need to tell you guys? It seems like ages since I’ve checked in. I completely fell out of the blogosphere for almost 6 days. I have a lot of catching up to do on everyone’s blogs … my Google reader overfloweth! If you’re reading this and I haven’t been to your site yet, I promise I’ll stop by soon.

My time away was lovely. I had a great time with my brother and the rest of my family. I hadn’t seen my brother since Christmas, and guess what the first words out of his mouth were? “Hi, skinny! You’ve lost more weight!”

I love that man.

I took the day off work on Wednesday, and it was fun. We didn’t do anything too exciting … we met some old friends for lunch, then did some shopping, met some other friends for dinner, and then went to see the Spiderwick Chronicles. I bought myself a couple of treats … I got a Nike+ gadget for my iPod that will track my run distances. I don’t have the special shoes, but I found something on Amazon that I can attach to my shoes that should do the trick. The attacher thang should come in this week – when I get it and I’ve had a chance to play with it I’ll let you know how it all works. I also bought myself an on-sale skirt from Old Navy in a size 6. Woo hoo!

On Thursday I went back to work, but my parents and brother came over and spent the night that night, then my brother flew out Friday morning. It was a great few days. Over the weekend I had to get caught up on work … with a day off and people in my house for part of two work days, I was a little behind.

I’m still a little behind, actually. I have a TON to do at work. It’s going to be a busy week.

Oh, and did I mention that my eating got a little off track during the family time and the weekend? But it’s all good; I’m back on track today. I have to say that any gain was worth it. Last week was a great week.

I hope the last week has been wonderful for all of you, too!