Rookie Running: Week 5

First, the weekend update:

We went into this weekend with two plans, brought about by two exciting additions to our stuff pile.

1) Last week, Eric’s brother David sent us a surprise — Secret of Mana for SNES. (!!!)

2) Eric also received some new-to-him bike racks that he ordered in the mail. We saw that they were a little scuffed up and teeny bits of rust were threatening to grow larger, so…

Our plans for this weekend were born:  lay around playing Super Nintendo, and spray-paint bike racks.  Yes, these plans were pre-arranged, and we stuck to them, mostly.  We did get bored by Saturday night and decided to go out for an impromptu Toy Story 3 excursion.  We went to the 11:15 non-3D showing, and my elderly body was seriously disoriented.  I don’t remember the last time I was up until 1:30 am!  We really enjoyed the movie, though.  Sunday evening, we also added in a church visit to Door of Hope, which we’ve been meaning to check out since it started last Summer.  There, we ran into a friend and spent some time with her after the service.

I began week 5 of my Couch to 5k program today feeling…well…exhausted.  I don’t know if it was the laid-back nature of this weekend combined with some later-than-usual nights or what, but I couldn’t stay awake through my devotions this morning.  When 10 rolled around and I laced up my shoes, I was feeling sleepy, drained, dehydrated, and hungry.  I grabbed a small handful of pecans and chocolate chips and went.  And I felt great. It was such a nice surprise to not be dying at the end of the third five minutes.  It’s funny how my perspective has changed so much with the small increments — before beginning this program, believe it or not, I could run about a mile, even a one and a half with pushing (i.e. Eric running next to me), but I qualified as one of those “starting too fast” runners whose body then hates them.  Now, I look at my running app (more on that later) and can’t believe they want me to run a whole 5 minutes.  The audacity!  And on Friday I have to run for 20 minutes, which makes we want to quit and die right here and now.  Until I think about the fact that today felt good, and then I get a little glimmer of hope.

Here are some observations I have made, now that I have been running for over a month and feel slightly more qualified to give them.  Note that these are my observations and quite possibly specific to my body.

  1. I don’t feel hungry if I eat breakfast about 2 hours before my run and then have a tiny snack (like 5 pecan halves and a couple ounces of water) before I leave.
  2. I feel better when I look at my feet, but I don’t like that.  I want to run with my
  3. Although warm-up/cool-down walks are obnoxious, they really are helpful.
  4. Stretching after a run and on off-days makes the off-days much more pleasant.  I can feel my muscles tightening up if I don’t stretch enough.
  5. Instead of stretching before I leave the house, I like to do the warm-up walk, then pause my app and stretch, then start it again to transition into my run.
  6. Music absolutely helps and makes everything better.  My running favorites so far have been Lecrae, Streetlight Manifesto, and the Living End.  I also tried listening to a sermon one day.  I noticed that it passed the time better because I wasn’t thinking as much about running or wondering how much time was left, but it did definitely lack the motivation factor, which is perhaps more important for the tough parts.
  7. I have realized it’s easier for me to keep going if I am watching my feet instead of looking ahead.   I dislike this fact, because it makes me feel like I’m not confident — we’re always told to walk with our heads up, looking the world in the face and paying attention to where we’re going.  But for now, I’m not fighting it, because I think it does actually fit quite nicely with my one step at a time mission statement: It’s about paying attention to the process. If I don’t look ahead, I don’t get overwhelmed by how much is left and whether or not I can make it.  Instead, with my head down, I watch my feet take each step and stop worrying.  Looking up can come later.

Here’s my progress meter!  Almost half-way through!  I’ll do the starred run on Wednesday.

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