Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Week 7 was on the books for tonight...

Have I ever mentioned that I have done a complete 180 from being the epitome of a night owl to quite the morning person.  Our 'nights out' would begin anywhere between 9 p.m. to 11 p.m.  We would start getting ready and partying at home (less expensive that way) and then would head out to the clubs for a full night (and morning) of dancing.  Getting to bed before 4:00 in the morning was an insult and meant things must have been slow that night.  Yes, weeknights, weekends, it didn't matter.  The only difference being that on the weeknights, I would wake up feeling terrible after about thirty minutes of sleep knowing I had a full day of work ahead of me, and on the weekends, I could lounge around until after noon!  It is quite the opposite now!

I wake up chomping at the bit, all kinds of agitated because it's still dark outside at 5:00 a.m.  I want to get out and going!  Of course I do peter out quite a bit earlier as well, I mean I seriously start rounding all the critters up and getting them settled into their bedtime routines by 8:30 in the evening on weeknights, and I am generally horizontal by 9:00 even if not asleep.  But, I love my mornings and my morning walks.  I especially love those morning runs!

I said morning runs.  I am not, nor have I ever been a big fan of evening runs, even though my first year of running I did complete the Tuesday Night Trail Race series.  But running in the evening, especially after working all day is just not particularly something I generally a rule.  However, I am always (well, occasionally) open to change as evidenced above by the extreme change in my bedtime, and it seems lately I have been not only getting my runs done in the evenings, but actually relishing them!  I look forward to running after work.  I can't wait to get out there and burn off the day.  It is physically more challenging for me because my stomach is usually fuller and I feel heavy, I'm worn out (all the more reason to get out there), and it can be pretty hot in the evenings in Summer.

All of that applied tonight as I geared up to pump out Week 7.  Week 7 is a repeat of Week 6, but it adds an additional longer running interval.  I was pretty sure I would need to bump it back to at least one more rep of 6, but wanted to stick to my plan, so I headed for the open, hilly, hot and gnat infested roads.  I thought to myself it might be okay if I wasn't able to make it, then I would share that information and prove there is no shame in repeating or moving backward if necessary.  I'm not going to lie, as I was going up the hills in the first interval, I was pretty sure I wasn't going to make it, but every time it leveled out a little, I realized it truly was just the hills.  I was doing fine when I wasn't climbing.

I welcomed the walk break after the first interval tonight, and it blew past way too quickly and before I knew what hit me I was on my second run interval.  I felt a nagging burning sensation running up through my right lower calf and recognized that feeling.  I had really pushed myself with some speed training right before a half marathon my first year of training and strained the muscle to the point of having to walk almost the full second half of that race.  It is important to learn from past mistakes, so taking heed, I eased back on the pace some.  Plodding along uphill it felt like I was running in place at times, but I was making progress, albeit it, very slow.  I took tighter strides and tried to keep the pace steady.  I was doing alright after that, but I could feel it wearing on me.  And boy was it hot in this sun!

Walk break!  And it was time for the third and last interval.  As Todd ticked off the two minute times, I smiled, I wasn't going to stop, I was going to do this thing!  I had timed it so I could finish my run in the trails.  My shady, cool and spongy reward for enduring the pavement and heat.  I cut through open picnic areas with lots of dips and tree roots, walnuts and all sorts of things for a runner to trip over, so I took it very cautiously watching every step.  Up over the railroad ties into some bouncy sort of playground  mulch, up and out and onto the cut through path, rows of neatly spaced tree branches trying to prevent foot traffic, (but I was so close to my trail....).  I did a sideways step step rhythm, and smiled to myself thinking how it reminded me of those boot camp obstacle training courses I had seen on TV, and after that.....I WAS ON MY TRAILS!!  It was great and I did feel strong.  I knew I had this.  I wasn't feeling strained any longer.  I had stuck to the plan and I had completed Week 7!!  WHOO-HOO!  I was so proud of myself (and it is okay to feel that way), and I felt so much better than I normally would have if I had just gone home after work.

Tonight, here is my post run goodie.  Ice cold and delicious.  I'm so excited about my first race now.  I can see that carrot dangling in front of me and I can't wait to get out there.  Next training run will be Week 7.2 and for my weekend treat the final training run, Week 8!  And then the fun really begins!

As I write this blog entry, I am enjoying my cold treat, the furballs are
outside rough housing with each other, and a load of laundry is winding down

I hope all of you are sticking with your runs.  If you're not running yet, but are reading these blog entries and are interested (or even just a little bit curious) about the running program I'm using, I did verify that the program is still narrated and has the same Facebook admin as the creator, Todd Lange.  I have included a link to the 5k101 training program under my entertainment section, and will also include links below this blog.

This is a free training program and I highly recommend it.  I used this program when I first started training in 2011.  I was 50 years old, over 200 pounds and was a very beginning runner.  Before I first began training, I had gotten so heavy, it was extremely painful for me to walk a quarter to half a mile.  My lower back would just scream in pain.  As I walked more and lost weight, the running became easier.  But that first training week, believe me, it was a battle, and I did repeats when I needed to.

My very first race, I weighed in at 217 lbs.  That same year I went on to complete a couple of 5k races, several 5k evening trail race runs (brutal things they were!), a couple of half marathons, and a Sprint Triathlon, oh yeah, I completed a Warrior Dash in the mud too, what a blast!  So please give it a shot, I know you won't be sorry!!  


Facebook page link:

To download the free 5k101 app:

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