Rookie Running: Week 9

I’ve officially arrived.  And the British lady on my running app said “Brilliant!” when I finished.  I ran for 30 minutes today!  But the program lied (it must not have accounted for slooowwww runners like me) and I cannot yet run an actual 5k.  My longest distance thus far is about 2.85 miles, and I’ve been running a fairly consistent 10-minute mile.  I run again on Wednesday and Friday for the same amount of time. Here’s my progress meter (starred run on Wednesday!):

After my one bad run, things picked up, although my running schedule became a little haphazard — a couple night runs, a couple skipped days and make-up days.  All in all, though, I only skipped that day, and I was able to move on to 28 minutes without it.  After all my disappointment, it was only one bad day. My first 30 minute run felt good — the only very hard part was a segment of running down a steep hill, during which I developed a terrible horrible side ache because I was so tense and almost holding my breath to keep my pace.  How does one run down a steep hill without going waytoofast and getting out of control?  I mean, without a side ache?  That’s the next running mystery I need to solve.  The one I seem to have solved is about eating — I can’t have an actual meal without waiting at least a few hours, but I used to think if I hadn’t eaten for too long, I needed to eat again and then wait again.  Instead, if I’m getting hungry, I have a handful of something sugary (nooo problem….) to give myself some simple carbs to burn.  A few raisins, a couple pecans, some candy, and I’m good to go!  The meal can wait until I get back, and it’s more satisfying then anyway, since I’m starving by then.

I’m not big on forced reflections.  That said, I really am quite proud of myself for sticking with this.   The obvious question, of course, is what’s next? Do I attempt to keep running 3 times a week knowing I don’t have a “goal,” or do I adopt a new goal and keep pushing harder?  For the sake of this series, at least, I suppose I should have another goal in mind.  MARATHON!  Just kidding.  My immediate goal is this: after this week, I will start measuring distance instead of time.  I’ll map a route before I go, and then I will complete it.  This should ensure that I can actually run a 5k before moving on to bigger and better goals.

One question, brought about by the 10k plans I have looked at, is how strength training fits with running.  Running is technically “cardio,” and many workout plans place it back to back with weight-bearing exercise; since I’m constantly progressing, though, I feel like my legs are getting the workout they need. I don’t want to tear my muscles lifting weights and then expect to be able to continue to run farther and faster the very next day.  My “rest” days so far have been just that.  On the 10k running plans I’ve seen, I’m expected to work on something every day — strength, endurance, sprinting, etc. How?

Time is also a concern with longer distances. It’s no wonder a lot of people don’t run very far.  Already my runs take 40 minutes from start to finish, not including getting ready, stretching, or showering afterward.  (With those added, it’s more like an hour and a half.)  The farther I run, the longer it will take.  I’m astonished that busy people can run long distances.  I’m worried that this fall, when I don’t have as much free time, my running will suffer and I won’t be able to keep my schedule or meet my goals consistently.

But that is really neither here nor there.  I am almost done with my Couch to 5k program, which is a huge accomplishment for me! What type of reward does one give oneself for completing a fitness goal?  Somehow indulgent foods don’t seem appropriate…

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One Comment to “Rookie Running: Week 9”

  1. Congratulations on making 30 minutes of nonstop pavement pounding!!!! I am truly impressed.
    With much love and admiration,
    your Mama

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