1/2 Marathon Training: Week 4-ish

I’ve been “in training” for the 1/2 marathon for over a month now, but I’m just starting week four of the Couch to 5k program. Hey, remember a couple of weeks ago when I was just starting week three and couldn’t possibly imagine running for FIVE WHOLE MINUTES STRAIGHT? Well, friends, I am very proud to report that I did it! Week four means you:

  • walk for 5 minutes to warm up
  • run for 3 minutes
  • walk for 90 seconds
  • run for 5 minutes
  • walk for 2.5 minutes
  • run for 3 minutes
  • walk for 90 seconds
  • run for 5 minutes
  • walk for 5 minutes to cool down

And THAT means that even including the warm-up and cool-down walks, I STILL ran more than I walked. By 30 whole seconds!! I did NOT think I was going to make it through that last run, y’all. The first run was so easy, I laughed at it, and I thought back to the first week when running for one minute was a challenge. Then I did the first five-minute run, and although I was starting to get a little cramp in my side around 4:30, I finished it. And I thought back to the second week, when I had the same feeling after only a minute and a half of running.

Then the second three-minute run came, and my muscles started to stiffen, and although I tried to pick my feet up more and consciously relax, it was still hard. I didn’t think there was any way I could make it through the next run: another five-minute run. And I only had 90 seconds to recuperate before it started.

Every minute of that last five-minute run was hard. Every minute, I was thinking, “I’m not going to be able to do this. I’m going to have to stop early,” but it seemed like every time I had one of those thoughts, Chubby Jones spoke up and said something like, “Don’t you dare quit on me. I know you can do this. I know you have it in you.” And it didn’t even matter that she wasn’t there watching me, and that she wouldn’t know if I quit. I believed her when she said I could do it. I have no idea why I believed her, but I didn’t stop.

I was running reeeeeaaaaaaaalllllyyyy slllllloooooooowwwwwwly, but I was picking up my feet the whole time, even through the last minute, which was uphill.

And then I was done. Just like that. And my first thought was that the next time I do it, I’m 100% sure it will be easier. It always is.

Now. Per my training requirements, I now deserve a cookie.

Why, Hello Friday

Dang, y’all. I’m sorry. I do not know where the week has gone, but I sure do feel like it’s been a full one. Here’s what I remember:

  • I went running on Tuesday, and I’m now finished with week 3 of the Couch to 5k program. When I go tomorrow, I’ll step it up to week 4. Wish me luck on that.
  • I’ve somehow gotten sucked into Oprah every day this week, which has been interesting because I’ve never been an Oprah watcher. I’ve probably watched it more this week than in the whole rest of my life combined, and because this is the first week of her last season, every day is CRAZY. On Monday, she announced that she was taking thw WHOLE audience to Australia for a week. John Travolta will be their pilot. I’m pretty sure some of them had to be resuscitated. And just now, she gave two full rows of brides-to-be a $250 Kohl’s gift card, a Vera Wang wedding gown, a $4,000 Marriott Hotels & Resorts gift card, and a United Airlines travel voucher to go anywhere in the U.S., Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands or Canada. It really has been almost exactly like this (and seriously, enjoy the moment at 1:58 when Tina Fey pees her pants).
  • I played Neil Diamond for my students. They didn’t like him as much as they liked Johnny Cash. They did, however, enjoy Stranger Than Fiction, which we watched today.
  • I had dinner with the dean last night. Well, me and 200 other people. It was…free.
  • I finished listening to that Nicholas Sparks book and hated myself for getting as into it as I did.
  • I went to the mall.

I don’t have any plans for tonight, and I’m just fine with that. I’ma sit here on the couch, watching the TV and resting my feet. If you want to come over and watch a movie with me, you are welcome to do so.

I hate you, Chubby Jones, but I love you for it.

This morning, I went on my first solo run. Up til now, I’ve always gone jogging with at least one Josh, but Whitney’s out of town, and Lauren was hanging with her family, so today I went by myself. To keep myself on track with the timing, I downloaded a podcast designed specifically to help people with Couch to 5k programs. Each week, you listen to a different episode, and the lady on the recording tells you when to run and when to walk. She also plays upbeat music for you and tells you you’re doing a great job.

My lady is called Chubby Jones. I think her real name is Mia, but she tells you she’s chubby to make you feel better about being chubby. She also is kind of chubby, probably due to the fact that she’s just a normal gal who likes to jog. She’s not a health nut who talks to you the whole time about eating fruit and counting calories. She talks to you about how she’d rather dance than walk and how she likes to drink. A lot. I like her for that – not that she likes to drink, but that she’s not one of those women who’s naturally a size 4 and thinks everyone can be a size 4 if they work hard enough at it. Chubby and I are never going to be a size 4. I would be over-the-moon ecstatic with a size 8 and super-duper proud of a 10. I think Chubby would be proud of me for that too.

Anyhoe, today’s run was definitely harder than usual, but that could be due to one or more of the following factors:

  • It’s more humid today than it was on Saturday when I did week 3 for the first time.
  • I ate breakfast before I ran. I haven’t done that in the past.
  • Chubby Jones didn’t give me any 3-minute walks. I alternated 90-second runs and 3-minute runs with only 90-second walks between each.
  • I didn’t have anyone to talk to.
  • I only had one day of rest between runs.
  • I have a bit of chest congestion.

However, I am very proud to report that I finished it, which means that (not counting the warm-up and cool-down) I walked for 6 minutes and ran for 9. Yep, yep! I’m now running more than I’m walking (not counting the warm-up and cool-down)!! Apparently, the next step includes running for 16 minutes and only walking for like 5, but my body cannot even comprehend that right now, so I’m not going to think about it any more.

One step at a time, friends. One step at a time.

1/2 Marathon Training: Yes, it’s still happening.

I know I haven’t updated y’all in a while on my running, and that’s mainly because I haven’t really been running. However, I have taken two salsa lessons and done some yoga, so I’m not completely just lounging around. Lauren and I went running this morning, though, and I am proud to report that I can run for three whole minutes at a time! Did you know that was possible? I surely did not. Whitney can apparently do FIVE minutes at a time (She’s an overachiever and had already gotten up, finished her run, come back home and showered before Lauren and I got dressed.), so she’s ahead of me, but that’s ok. We’ve still got like five months before the race. I’ll catch up.

I was talking to a co-worker who runs marathons a couple of weeks ago, and she said that when she does a marathon, she runs for three minutes and walks for one minute, and she just repeats that the whole way. That sounds good to me, although I’ll be ok with running for three and walking for two if that’s as far as I get in the training. The walking is enough time to catch your breath, but not so much that your body believes you’re in cool-down mode thus making the next running time come as a shock. And now that I know I can run for three minutes, I’m starting to feel like this thing is actually possible.

Of course, today we did two 3-minute runs and two 90-second runs with 3-minute and 90-second walks in between. And we also only did all that for about half an hour, so we definitely need to work on our stamina, but still, the more I train, the easier it is to believe that I’ll be able to do it. And shoot. We’ve got five months. We’re golden.

Prepare Yourselves

I know it looks like I’m just not blogging as much lately, but what’s really happening is that I’m giving you extra time to prepare yourselves for the awesomeness that’s about to come your way. That’s right, friends. I’ve found the USB cord for my camera, so I’ve just uploaded LOTS and lots of amazing pictures. I can’t show you any of them right now because I’m at work, and all the pictures are on my computer at home. HOE-ever, get ready because over the next week or two, you’ll be seeing pictures from:

  • New Year’s 2010
  • My birthday
  • Twiggy, the water-skiing squirrel
  • Yesterday’s encounter with Zach Galifianakis

Oh yeah, did I mention I met Zach Galifianakis yesterday? And that he loves me? He said so himself. In my high school yearbook. Amazing.

Hopefully all of this will begin tomorrow, but then I can’t promise that I’ll have anything else to say to you until next week because this weekend is my family reunion. But hey, that means you’ll get to see family reunion pictures too! Lucky you!! You can’t wait, I know, but here at Onward Hoe!, we’re all about practicing patience, aren’t we? Yes we are.

Oh, but I do need to tell you about my 2nd day of 1/2 marathon training, which happened this morning. Lauren took the day off of work today to get some things done, so we went for a little walk/jog. Now, she’d done the same interval training we did last time a few times, so she bumped it up a notch. I had only done the one routine, but I wanted to try running with her anyway, so I too bumped it up a notch, and I was successful!

This time, we started with a brisk, 5-minute walk to warm up. Then we alternated running for 90 seconds and walking for two minutes. We did this six times, and then we cooled down for five minutes. The first run was the hardest this time. We really felt that extra 30 seconds, and I think we both needed to loosen up a little bit. The second run was a little easier, and the third was hard again, but THEN we figured out how to do it.

All through the running times, we just told ourselves (out loud) that we were as light as a feather, that it was the easiest thing we’d ever done, that we had bionic gazelle legs, that it didn’t even feel like we were doing anything at all, and that it was even less effort than sitting on the couch. And y’all. Miraculously, this worked. I for one knew we were lying to ourselves, but it totally worked. I think it had something to do with keeping your mind occupied by something other than the hatred you feel for running or how much longer you have to do it. And I found that talking through the running was actually encouraging because it proved to me that I could talk and run at once, which meant I was still ok. I wasn’t dying.

So I probably need to do this routine a few more times before bumping up to the next interval, but once again, it was not that bad, I survived, and I’m still mobile. Hooray!

1/2 Marathon Training: Day 1

Well, you’ll never believe it, but Josh and Josh and I got up and went running this morning. Now, by “got up,” I mean “woke up naturally,” and by “running,” I mean “running and walking, but mostly walking.” But still, for me, that’s pretty miraculous.

Lauren started doing this “Couch to 5K” running program, and Whitney and I have now joined her. Today was my first day, although Lauren had done it a few days already, and Whitney joined her on Tuesday. It wasn’t too awful. We warmed up walking for five minutes, then we alternated running for one minute and walking for 90 seconds. We did that maybe six times? Then we cooled down walking for another five or ten minutes. We were out there in all for about half an hour.

I was really surprised how short the first minute of jogging felt. Then I was equally surprised how long the last minute of jogging felt, but knowing that it was the last one helped. Mostly, I was a little surprised that I did the whole thing having not worked out AT ALL in a long time. A really long time. So if you’re thinking that you’ve gotten flabby lately, and you need to exercise, but you either hate or can’t afford the gym, I’m here to tell you that you can do this. I am not a runner by any means, but I’ve now lived to tell about it.

So I want to keep doing this to build up running stamina, but I’m also going to do some other things to train. I’ve got two private lessons at Arthur Murray coming my way and that pole dancing class. And then, once I start getting paid, I think I’m going to join the Y and hit up some Zumba classes.

Hooray for not dying in middle-age of heart disease!!

The Ocean: Better than a neti pot

In the past 48 hours, I have gotten in two good workouts and sufficiently cleared out my sinuses, which I didn’t even know were full. I’ve also worked on evening out my tan a little bit, which is no small feat, let me tell you, considering the bizarre kayak burn I got two weeks ago. What had happened was that I put on sunscreen before I left my house, and then I put on a skirt over my bathing suit, which rubbed off some of the sunscreen. Then, when the water dripped off the paddle, it washed away the rest of the sunscreen, and 3.5 hours later, the fronts of my thighs were a color I did not know skin could turn. Seriously, they glowed in the dark.

They’ve turned browner now, and they don’t hurt or ache any more, so I’m all good, thanks for asking. But now I have these large, tan rectangles on one part of my legs, and the rest of them is still as pasty as always (“I do have pasty, pasty skin”). I’m going to have to add my legs to my no-farmer’s tan goal for next summer.

Anyhoe, I got a little sun on the backs of my legs yesterday, but most of my time on the beach has been spent in the water with my dad and sister playing with “Juicy,” the Nerf football that soaks up half the ocean and then feels like you’re throwing a watermelon. I woke up all sore on my right side today from throwing it yesterday, so today I switched to left-handed throwing to even it out. I’m told I look completely spastic throwing left-handed, but I’m ok with that. I am considering this my first 1/2 marathon training. And it was good. Next week: Just Dance.