C25K W4D1

Found this on Pinterest, and I definitely should give myself this medal today! πŸ™‚

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Oooh, this one was a challenge alright. I like the whole ease-into-it thing, but week four ain’t messin’ around — the first segment after the warmup is Three straight minutes of running, and the third is FIVE minutes!!! Oh lawdy!

So, the whole workout was: 5 min brisk warmup walk, 3 min jog, 1.5 min walk, 5 min jog, 2.5 min walk, 3 min jog, 1.5 min walk, 5 min jog, 5 min cool-down walk. Plus a little extra walking back to my house.

My lower leg was still a bit sore, but OK once I got going. I did apply some cooling-heating goo to it, which was stinky but helpful. Mentally I just had to go to my happy place and focus on my breathing. Cuz when I wasn’t doing that I was mentally muttering “oh gawd, whhhyyyyy, oh gawd” over and over. My phone stayed in my armband the whole time. I didn’t dare look at my app to see how much of an interval was left because I knew it would psyche me out. The running passes felt like FOREVER loooong before the app alerted me to change, so I knew looking would not help.

Oh, and I got thirsty for the first time. Not sure if it was the upping of the running times or that I got hotter than I have before, but I was really pissed the park water fountain was still off for winter.

It was not pretty at all. And seemingly not very fast either. It sure felt like slow motion. But, I just had to look at it as an endurance thing, not a speed thing. The most important thing is I didn’t quit and completed all the intervals. Wooooot!

And, my Runkeeper was happy for me and alerted me to some new personal records, so that made me feel good, too.

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C25K W3D3 and bike riding

Monday I tried something new: running after 1 full day’s rest. All my other C25k runs have been on at least two days’ rest. Even after Saturday’s taekwondo/running/gardening combo I was still feeling pretty good, so hey, I thought why not.

And it actually went pretty well. The first two running passes were hard – my legs felt like I was hoisting anchors. But I carried on and the remainder of the exercise went well. I got through the hard parts by concentrating on my breathing and distracting myself by looking around the park.

After the beautiful, warm day we had Saturday, it snowed all day Sunday! By Monday afternoon, a lot had melted, but there were still patches in the shade. I distracted myself by looking for the little blue weed-flowers of spring and watching birds. And thinking about how funny the weather is.

Back at home I did the standing portions of my stretching out on my back deck, where the rapidly-melting snow sounded like rain coming off the roof. It was a great contrast, standing covered in what sounds like a rain garden but looking out into a clear day. I saw robins, sparrows, a blue jay and lots of squirrels going about their busy business. It was very relaxing.

Tuesday and Thursday I enjoyed some active taekwondo classes, good workouts. Today’s class was focused on our form, and goodness knows I need to work on that. Whew. More practice needed for sure. Being lazy earlier in the cycle has not helped! But, c’est la vie. I’ll get it figured out.

However, Tuesday I nearly rolled my foot over sparring, and the rest of the week I’ve felt the effects in my leg muscles. First it felt sore around my knee, to the inside of my leg, and has worked its way down to along the inside of my lower leg. Thus, no more running. :/

I got ready to try to run today, but my leg still didn’t feel right once I started bouncing around a bit warming up. I’m hoping for tomorrow. But, no need to get myself hurt. I’ve got a race on the 30th!

I opted to go bicycling with Honey Bear this afternoon instead, for a lower impact workout. This was our first ride in a few months, and I expected for it to be rough. However, I guess running and other cardio is paying off, because I didn’t have any problems with my ride at all! In fact, I would have ridden further but Honey Bear wasn’t up to it, and I didn’t want to risk overdoing it anyway. Sure, my quads felt it, and I’m sure my muscles will remind me about the ride tomorrow. But, breathing/heart rate/fatigue-wise, I had no issues at all. Felt great, what a pleasant surprise!

We rode about 3.3 miles around our neighborhood. The weather was great – warm but breezy. I made an errand out of it and returned some books to the library’s drive-through drop box while we were out. After about two miles or so Honey Bear was staying way behind me, and in the past we have usually ridden pretty close together, so I knew he was struggling. After we made it nearly to our house we stopped to talk to a neighbor, then Honey Bear informed me he felt like he was gonna lose his lunch. So, I sent him on the house and took his bike up myself. Poor dude, overdid it a bit. He turned out to be OK, but now I know we gotta get him back into doing some fitness stuff.

I spent a nice thirty minutes afterward doing some stretching and yoga poses.

Oh, and before I go, a couple of milestones to share. Today I:
* touched my nose to my toes, sitting butterfly.
* touched my toes to the floor over my head, lying on my back.
* wore a medium-sized exercise top I haven’t been able to squeeze into in forever.
* wore on old pair of jeans I haven’t fit into in a year!
Woot, woot! πŸ˜‰

C25K:W3D2 and flowery metaphor

Today has been full of activity! It started with taekwondo class with Ninjabreadmom, which was fun after I woke up fully. πŸ™‚ Next was C25K week 3, day 2. The three minute running intervals were a little easier than a few days ago, though on the first 90 sec jogging segment my legs felt like lead. Luckily, that feeling worked itself out after I got further into my program.

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I tried out a few new things on this run: new location, running capris and an armband for my phone. I liked all of them. My new pants were light and comfortable. My armband was a bit bulky, but I chose that particular one because it could hold more stuff (keys, cards, money, etc) if I needed it to. It worked well and I got used to it pretty easily. The new location is a park near my house with a paved trail around it. It was nice to mix it up and have new scenery. A cute little girl waved at me, I saw a sweet Mini Cooper with the Union Jack painted on the roof, there were kids skateboarding and I saw those pretty blue weed-flowers starting to carpet the grass so I know spring is coming!!!

Even after taekwondo and run-walking, it was such a nice day I decided to get out in my yard and begin sprucing things up. Out with the old, brown, dry, dead of winter to make room for new spring growth. Honey Bear filled the bird feeder for me, and I put some water in the birdbath. I emptied last year’s nest from the bird house in the apple tree, and later in the day I saw a bird flitting around the entrance with new material in its mouth.

I cut back the roses and the blackberry vines that made berries last year, hacked a bunch of overgrown bushes coming through the fence, and cleared out a couple of flower beds. I didn’t do much after the summer, so dead stalks and leaves abounded. The canna stalks were particularly sad looking. I got a good arm workout with all the chopping and pulling.

I was surprised to see that some lily and iris leaves are already coming up! Raking back a thick layer of brown leaves, I uncovered these bulbs and started having a metaphor moment.

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Clearly these iris bulbs are missing a little top dirt. And are laid over sideways. They were hidden under a mound of leaves, which they supposedly shouldn’t like. But despite that they seem to be managing just fine. How fabulous they are! Despite some challenges they are still doing what they were made to do — growing and gathering their strength to bloom.

C25K: W3,D1

After resting for a few days after the race, Wednesday I got back on the pavement for W3D1. My new running jacket came in handy as of course I chose the mid-40s, windy Wednesday instead of the 70 degrees and sunny Tuesday, LOL. Oh, and my jacket has thumb holes, exciting! I hadn’t even noticed when I bought it, but that turned out to be a nice surprise.

Anyhoo, week three is a 90 sec jog, 90 sec walk, 3 min jog, 3 min walk, times two, plus five min each walking warmup and cooldown. Three minute run, people! In typical me fashion, the first three of my running intervals ended up being uphill. Genius at work, folks! Lol. I guess I’ll just say I am challenging myself and strengthening my legs even more. πŸ™‚

Oh, and my lungs, those bastards were the real challenge today. My asthma doesn’t like wind. It turned out alright, I just had to keep focused on my breath pattern to stay on track.

So, I made it. It definitely is a mental thing, like they say. Running is weird that way. My brain tries to give up before I really have to, and I have to talk a little shit to it to get it to calm the fuck down and lemme keep going.

Running also is funny because when I’m not actually running my brain thinks running feels great. In my mind, when my body is on the couch, I’m fabulous at running, lol. Then, when I actually run, my mind is like, oh, this shit sucks! Dude, what are we doing this for?! But, about halfway through it starts to think maybe we won’t die after all, and by the end the brain is so drunk on endorphins it believes we actually had a super fun time! And even later in the day, it is still happy. The next day, the amnesia and delusions of grandeur set in and Mind is all like, we should be in the freakin Olympics, and Legs are like STFU, feeble Mind, we didn’t even go two miles in thirty minutes yesterday, ya moron. πŸ™‚

There ought to be a public service announcement about it. “This is your brain on running. Any questions?” Hahaa

Kiss Me, I’m Irish 5K

Race morning diary
(Saturday)
5:15 a.m. OMG, being awake hurts. Too early. Whhhhyyyyyyy am i doing this? OMG, it is cold, too. Whhhyyyy.
5:18 a.m. Managing to keep one eye constantly open, working on prying up the second eyelid
5:20 a.m. Ha, I bet Honey Bear didn’t actually expect me to get up.
5:25 a.m. I’m like a hibernating bear that got woken too soon. Not enough sleepppp. Whhhyyyy!
5:30 a.m. A little coffee and cereal. Not really hungry, but need to eat a bit and get the caffeine flowing in my veins.
5:40-5:55 a.m. Teeth brushed, hair ponytailed, clothes thrown on, shoes tied, accessories grabbed. Thanking goodness I got all this shit together and laid out last night.
5:59 a.m. Garage door goes up. OMG, it is still dark. I had no idea. I don’t see this time of day, well, like ever.
6 a.m. Honey Bear is a sweetheart and is driving me to the race. He never went to bed! Eating half of a banana and sipping some water.
6:20 a.m. Arrive at the race site, get number pinned on to shirt, decide to wear a jacket, gloves and hat cuz it is cold. Take a potty break. Watch the sun rise all pink and purpley.
6:40 a.m. Stretch and talk to Honey Bear by the car. Jog in place a bit. People-watch. Some folks have interesting St. Patrick’s Day-themed attire. I have a green shamrock blinking light necklace on. πŸ™‚
6:55 a.m. Say bye to Honey Bear and get closer to the starting line. Buy an ear warmer. Get my C25K and Runkeeper apps launched.
7:05 a.m. The 10K runners set off. I line up in the back of the 5K pack and wait a few more minutes, and then we’re off, too!

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Race diary
Crossing the starting line of my first run-walk 5K! It is cold and I’m excited and a tad bit nervous. I start out running with my C25K W2,D3 program running on my phone. I decided to use it to try to pace myself and give myself timed walking breaks. Running is HARD! Why do I keep forgetting that?! How am I gonna keep this up? Oh, I’m doing this. Is it time to walk some yet? Oh, good, it is. Oh, no, more running! The pavement is hard! Whhhyyyyy. Ok, just focus on your breathing, try to stay close to these five or so other really slow people. These are my people. It has got to be over a mile by now, right? Yes, just barely. Sweet! Oh, no, this incline is going to happen right when my running interval starts! Hang on, you can keep running. Whew, made it. Flat walking behind a school. Oh goody, the downhill is on my next running segment! Woot, I’m flying now! Oh, look, the cops are waiting for us slow folks to get by so they can open the road back up. Nice. Hey, look, there is the finish, but I’m running past it, not through it. Surely, it has got to be two miles now, no! Not even close. OMG, whhhyyyy! Hey look, that girl lost her shoe. Annnd now she’s already ahead of me again, nice. Now I’m heading into a neighborhood, gotta be two miles now, NO! Oh, this sucks! Hey, kids with water, thank goodness! Bless their hearts. Running a loop and converging with some 10Kers, wow, seriously, this is taking a really long time and these people are already coming back! Finally, two miles! I got this shit now! Maybe I’ll make it out of this neighborhood after all. I vow to not look at the mileage again, that was stressin’ me out! Wow, that fat dude in the gray sweatsuit is doing the 10K?! He’s fucking awesome! Good for him! Meanwhile, I’m doing this 5K and I’m finally hot but I don’t want to carry this jacket! I swear if I survive this I will buy a proper wicking running jacket. Hey, the neighborhood exit, and the water kids again, YAY!!!!!!!! Couple sips, toss my cup, let’s finish this! Wooooohooooo. Oh look at all those folks already finished and walking back to their cars, wow, that’s great. Hey, I can almost see the building near the finish! I got this. It is almost over! Gotta keep doing these running intervals, though I have been walking longer stretches between now. It is in my head, not in my legs, I can keep running, it is just mental. Real runner-looking guy, clearly long finished, standing on the sidewalk yells at me “Finish strong!” Yeah man, I’m trying! Gonna try to run all the way in, oh, gotta walk a sec, ok, running again, Oh look, there is Honey Bear by the finish! Waving to him, and watching the clock over the finish, 49 minutes and forty-something seconds. Oh hell no, I gotta get in before it hits 50! Running hard, and I get in under the wire!!! I know it is not my real time anyway cuz it was for the 10k start, but hey, a little mini-goal was great motivation at the finish! Chick cuts my chip off my shoe, I grab water, and run into a lady I met at the start. We chat a bit, then I go find Honey Bear and get my picture taken by the race sign.

Wooohoooo, I did it! That was awesome! And like death! And fun! Like fun death!!!!!! Haahaaa, endorphins are fabulous.

Oh, and my official time was just a hair under 45 minutes!

Post-race diary
Honey Bear and I go to Denny’s to eat, and it is so hard to believe it is barely after 8 when a whole day seems to have passed already. It takes awhile for us to get our food because they were really busy. I have all this excitement and am all jacked up on energy I can hardly sit still! I text my friends and update my Facebook and babble on and on to Honey Bear. I drink a buncha water and coffee. Finally I eat eggs, hashbrowns and SIX pieces of bacon! And some of his fruit.

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After we get home I’m still hungry! No one told me that I would eat ALL day after a race, but I basically snacked constantly between meals. Usually healthy snacks but still, I couldn’t believe my appetite! And I had to pee all day, too! Keeping hydrated has its drawbacks, LOL!

I stretched a lot after we got home, and eventually I napped after some of the coffee and race energy wore off. Later in the evening I got a massage, and it seemed even better than usual because of the soreness that was starting to set in. I did a little shopping before the massage appointment, and I bought that wicking jacket I promised myself, and on sale at that. And also a pair of running capris.

By late evening I’m pretty sore, and moaning randomly when I have to get up or switch my position on the couch. Mostly it was just whining. πŸ™‚ The worst of the soreness was in my upper legs, a first since I started this adventure in running. Adjusting my sleeping position during the night sucked, but surprisingly I was able to get out of bed fairly easily the next morning. Not anywhere near as bad off as my post-Day 1 shin death experience. In fact, my shins are doing pretty well. And my upper leg soreness has eased, and I’m feeling it more in my calves now. But overall I feel way better than I expected! And I freaking ran part of a 5K, how ’bout them apples?!! πŸ˜‰

C25K: W2, D2

Well, this one was a little different because I ran indoors for the first time. We still have snow on the ground, and streets, and sidewalks, from Sunday. Some has melted into slush and refrozen, so I didn’t think running on ice was a smart idea. πŸ™‚

I don’t have a treadmill, so I literally just ran around inside a building. It wasn’t bad actually. There were several large rooms to make a path through, so it wasn’t like I was running teeny circles. Only thing of note was I didn’t use my inhaler beforehand, and my breathing was pretty good. I wouldn’t try that in a race, but it is good to know that I am doing a good job controlling my breathing and pacing myself.

I missed the outdoor aspect of it, but indoors was a good alternative to not running at all. With the 5K on Saturday morning, I didn’t want to do any more running past Wednesday so I won’t be sore.

5Ks of the future

So, I signed up for a local 5K. It is on Saturday. Like, this Saturday. LOL. I plan to walk most of it. Maybe I’m insane, but I think it will be fun. If it turns out to be a bad idea, I’ll blame the thundersnow and thundersleet that has descended on my area and has me longing for spring and getting outside more. It is cold as heck today, but should be nicer by the weekend.

I’m also blaming all the fun and inspiring photos on my Facebook of friends who participated in the Little Rock marathon events Sunday!

I’ll also claim to be using this as a baseline for future 5Ks, or as I like to call it, making myself feel fast later πŸ˜‰

The main thing will be getting myself to the race on time. It is in the a.m. Shudder!!! Since I hate getting out of bed I’m really gonna have to talk to myself about this and mentally prepare.

I have several 5Ks in mind between now and May. The first one I’d actually be on target to run, or run most of, (after my projected finish of C25K training) will be a fun glow run with my friend Ninjabreadmom in mid-April. But, there are two others I have my eye on to run-walk before that, aside from this coming weekend, so hopefully I’ll be improving on target and still be enjoying it. You know I’ll keep y’all posted! πŸ™‚