Letting Life Lead
I’m now on the third week of the Couch25k program which is a routine as follows: run for 90 seconds, walk for 90 seconds, run for three minutes (and die), walk for three minutes. Repeat once. Total time to complete is about twenty minutes. Robert Ullrey continues to be my running buddy via his podcasts and my little Zen V media player still works though the screen is fading (from the looks at all of the technology around me I might as well be carrying around a JVC Boom Box — the one that plays cassettes). But I am getting ahead of myself.
You might want to know how week one went and if it was comparable, easier, or worse than the first time I did the program. I have to say, hands down, worse. In 2007, I was a good forty pounds lighter and in better shape (before I met my husband, I had nothing better to do than to walk to the gym, workout for an hour, then walk home). The additional weight makes a considerable amount of difference on the amount of force on the feet and legs. Not only was I in better shape when I started, even with a six month gym hiatus and the boyfriend 20, I hadn’t had a car. I was used to walking everywhere; trekking a mile was nothing. Now, running is nothing like walking, however, I was not sedentary back then.
With my daughter I was back down to 150 pounds without doing anything special before I got pregnant again. I got back down to my shape quickly at 160 pounds, but after three years I found myself at 180 pounds–and not pregnant. I think I said, “Holy, shit.” For those who know me, they understand that I rarely swear. When I use a four letter word it’s very significant! I have been in various weight spots in different points in my life from the curviest 165 in high school, to a slender 125 in my twenties, to an accidental 110 just before my thirties (this was when I started going to the gym in order to put weight on). My early thirties was a very comfortable, strong 130-135 that felt good. I was 145 when I got married and I was running a mile. Then two kids and five years went by.
I’m a hair away from being 5’8″ with a very small frame. My weight distribution is deceiving to how much I actually weigh and I tend to carry the most in the rear trunk. I am still wearing some maternity clothes because they fit, but when this winter hit I found that I was unable to zip up my ski coat or my ski pants! My underwear was getting tight, and my already thin wardrobe shrunk further into a pile of “there ain’t no way lady”. Husband was also making rumblings about his expanding waistline. We knew we’d hit the point where youth was no longer doing all the work for us, and our palettes had been enjoying a whole lot of indulgences.
When we started to run in November 2014, it was just before the holidays at our local gym’s indoor track (19 times around the inner lane is a mile). I did the week one program three times that week as scheduled. I thought I was going to die. My feet were sore, my calves ached, and my back protested. My whole body was sore. The next week was Thanksgiving and we skipped the gym, yet I was still sore! It wasn’t as if I pushed myself unnecessarily hard; any slower and I would have been running backwards.
I swear to you that a woman twice my age lapped me. Twice.
Part of the track is banked by windows to the outside, and since we go there at night when my husband gets home they become mirrors. I didn’t recognize myself. I was looking pretty ratty in old gym pants and a maternity hoodie (because nothing else I had fit). I forgot to comb my hair and I plodded along looking like I was about to keel over from the effort. I had to laugh or I was going to cry.
I freely admit that I did my best to suck it in whenever I rounded the corner past the gaggle of young gym rats. I was a little annoyed by the seven foot gazelle boy that bounded past me taking half strides and not looking winded in the least when he passed me thirty seconds later. My hands swelled up, my face was red, and my husband confirmed that a few times I didn’t look so good. He rides the bike along the track and I pass him many times.
To sum up my Week One experiences here are a few words:
I hate you Robert Ullrey and your stupid podcast.
With Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s I repeated Week one three times before I finally found the courage to move on to week two which I will reflect on next time.
I am still considering making a video about Week 1 and I am knocking around the idea of taking full body photos in one outfit to see my progress. I’ve never done that before, but I figure my readers might like to take the journey with me. Looking back over some older photos, I am hard pressed to find any full body shots of me except wedding photos. I avoided pictures for a long time, but started making sure I was IN more photos so that my kids would know that I was there!
I didn’t write down my experiences for the current try at this program, but here is my day 2 and day 3 week one as I recorded it in my running journal back in 2007 for your amusement.
Day 2: Glutes Ain’t Gleeful
Date: Saturady, June 9, 2007
Was very sore yesterday. So tired that a twenty minute nap turned into four hours.
So here is how it went. Not so amusing this time.
Interval 1: Only me and one other person on track. Again, not so bad. Made and effort to bounce, breathe, and slow it down.
Interval 2: Sweating. Legs are still sore and hurting a bit and feeling warm.
Interval 3-5 More of the same. Though, in order to keep going I did have to imagine that the other person who was behind me was Brad Pitt admiring my derriere. Whatever motivates right?
Interval 6: Side stitch makes it appearance. I managed to keep it at bay the previous interval. I had to pooch out my belly to take the deep breaths needed to get rid of it as suggested by a board member. It was better at the end of the two minutes.
Interval 7: Really want to stop. But I knew how disappointed Brad would be.
Interval 8: Tired and didn’t think I’d make it the last fifteen seconds. I managed to find my stubborn gene and run all out for a few paces to finish it off.
My butt is killing me.
Day 3: Self Torture Continues
Date: Monday, June 11, 2007
Well, I still can’t say that my walk/jog was good. What I can say is that I still dislike it and it is still hard, BUT not as hard as Day 1. I can also say that there is less to report. I still have thoughts of quitting and stopping before the sixty seconds. Intervals 4+ are still very challenging and I really have to kick myself in the pants to keep going. I still have dark thoughts about those who finish a run and don’t look like they’ve run at all.
1. I Made it through all 8 intervals without a side stitch! I worked very hard to concentrate on breathing steady and not gulping.
2. I still found the sixty second run difficult but recovery time was faster.
3. I was not completely exhausted at the end; just very thoroughly tired.
4. Was able to run all-out the last ten to fifteen seconds. I didn’t have any energy left after that. I can’t remember the last time I actually ran like that.
6. Calves didn’t hurt today though my shins and butt were feeling it. I tried to keep on a bounce and not plod. So my legs felt more like jello-jigglers today rather than vibrating overcooked noodles.
7. Made fiance’ run with me too 🙂 He slowed down to my pace…awww. He definitly made it more bearable.
8. Managed to find a pace which didn’t leave me gasping and gulping for breath.
I think I will repeat Week 1 as I do not think I am ready for Week 2. I can just barely make it through the sixty second jog/run even though my recovery is a bit faster. I will run this week Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday and start Week 2 on Sunday.
There's comedic gold behind every painful experience. Here are mine.
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