Brynna begins to run.

Today I laced up my running shoes for the 8th time in 15 days.  I’ve been running consistently every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday since May 24th, and before that I was still trying to go a couple times a week — I was just failing a lot more.

I’m not a natural runner.  (Do you see a trend with this blog?) I’m trying to become one, because a) it’s good for my health, b) it prompts me to be self-disciplined, c) I know a lot of runners who love it and I’m dying to see what’s so special.  Could something so horrible really turn into something so fantastic?  So far, no.  I think the runners who love it are kind of crazy.  At this point, I don’t enjoy running except on extremely rare occasions and the satisfaction is short-lived.  I’m very prone to side-cramps and have tried lots of different methods to get rid of them, but nothing seems to eliminate them completely.  I haven’t linked them consistently to food, water, sleep, style, or any other factor.  It’s just that sometimes I get them, and they’re horribly bad.   I also have really terrible endurance, due in part to a lifetime of not getting good cardiovascular exercise.  I had surgery when I was 18 to correct a deformity in my bone structure that made my sternum press on the left ventricle of my heart.  This meant that my heart was never able to fill up completely, and had to work harder than other hearts to do the same amount of work.  Exercise exhausted me and I would feel like I was going to die if I ever had to push myself to do things like run the mile in P.E.  It’s really too bad I didn’t figure out about my ailment until after I had already taken the required P.E. classes in school… The surgery I had involved restructuring my rib cage and keeping my sternum away from my heart with a titanium bar, which my best friend Betsy endearingly called the “crowbar.”

All this to say — I have a darn good excuse for what I’m about to tell you.  Which is that I am doing a running program that involves 9 weeks of running and walking in order to run about 3 miles.  It’s called the Couch to 5k program, and various organizations have one, though I’m not sure whose is the original.  Google “Couch to 5k” and you’ll get an entire page of results; most of them are similar or identical programs.  I am shy about this program, and I don’t mean any disrespect to anyone else out there who’s out of shape, but really? 3 miles?  Some little voice in my head tells me this is a horribly lame distance to have to train for.  Eric could probably run 3 miles while having an important call with a client.  His dad ran his 10th marathon last weekend after barely training (this time around).  There are times my athleticism feels woefully inadequate.

So train I must.

Here is what my running days have looked like so far:

Week 1: 5-minute warm-up, eight 1-minute runs with 1.5-minute walks inbetween, 5-minute cool-down walk

Week 2: 5-minute warm-up, six 1.5-minute runs with 2-minute walks in-between, 5-minute cool-down walk

Week 3: 5-minute warm-up, 1.5-minute run, 1.5-minute walk, 3-minute run, 3-minute walk, 1.5-minute run, 1.5-minute walk, 3-minute run, 5-minute cool-down walk

Each week repeats the same workout for the three days until week 5, when each day gets progressively more difficult.  Right now I can’t imagine running for 30 straight minutes, which is the run time for week 9!  But as per my mission statement, this is about taking it one day at a time.

I’ll be posting about my running progress periodically.  I’ll also try to share what I’m learning about running — nutrition, stretching, rest, shoes, etc.

The post-run shower calls!

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6 Responses to “Brynna begins to run.”

  1. sounds like a great plan! i just picked up running again since i have extra time before school right now and am using http://www.dailymile.com/ to track my progress. you should sign up and we could be running friends! good luck!
    -wil

  2. Hey, how cool! I just started this again too. I did it 2 years ago and made it all the way to the end… running 30 minutes straight, which is a big accomplishment for me too! Now I am doing it to lose those last 10 postpartum pounds. :-) I’m only on the first week but I already feel much better.

  3. Wil – I’ll check that site out again. I’ve seen it before but I don’t use it!

    Anna – That’s so cool! It’s so encouraging to hear that you made it through… it’s hard to think about running for the full 30 minutes (ahhh!). :)

  4. i’ve got it linked to my twitter/fb feed. the only problem is that i know NO ONE else who uses it, except a friend in tennessee.. but i DO like how it organizes my workouts and stuff for me with statistics, graphs, analytics, etc.

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