Lamppostings

Finding and creating adventures in everyday life.


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Couch to 5K – Week 9

Week 9! I have completed the Couch to 5K Program! What?! On my 3rd try I made it through.

It was actually a very challenging week. Physically it was hard work. The first run was ok, but the second run felt like I never got that second wind that I love so much. Incidentally, I was thinking that I got the second wind around halfway, in fact, I usually get it about three-fourths of the way through the run.

Between my second & third run, I finally walked my route with my family & we used the GPS to map it out. Have to say, it was so discouraging. I knew I wasn’t running fast & despite the name of the program, I knew it was unlikely that I was actually running 5 kilometers, but I was really hoping for at least 4 kilometers. Turns out that I have been running 3.26 kilometers. That means I’m not running very fast at all. This really knocked me for a loop. I was super discouraged.

So, on to the final run of the program. I had a feeling it would be a bit tough, just because I was discouraged about it. I was not wrong. It was absolutely the hardest run I have done on the program – physically & mentally. I willed myself to stay at a slow & steady pace, but still it was so difficult physically. I have never wanted to stop & walk so much.

Turns out my subconscious was working against me & I had increased my pace – enough so that when I reached 3.26 kilometers, I still had 40 seconds to go. No wonder it was a struggle! It wasn’t a huge increase & it was painful, but it’s something.

So now I’ve done it. I did more than I thought possible & yet, I’m still a bit disappointed. The question is, will I continue to run or do I move on to something else? I’m not yet running like I do in my dreams – it’s pretty much a challenge from the moment I start to when I finish.

I think I know what I’m going to do, but I need to think about it some more before I commit.

If you want to find out about my Couch to 5K journey, from Week 1 to Week 8, you can read about it here:
Week 1
Week 2

Week 3
Week 4
Week 5
Week 6
Week 7
Week 8

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Couch to 5K – Week 8

Week 8 was a tough one. It didn’t start out very well. We were returning home to Oregon from Washington when we stopped to look at the amazing windmills near The Dalles. When we got back into our car, it just wouldn’t go. It was a very hot day & we were a bit off the beaten path. There was a bit of drama, but after about 3 hours in near 100 degree heat, with the boys, AAA came through & we were towed to The Dalles where our car was to be fixed the following day. We were all very hot & thirsty – we quickly went through all the liquid we had in our car, including our emergency water. So thankful for a lady named Tina who stopped & gave us water. Always keep lots of water in your car!

Windmill! Very cool. We had lots of time to look at them.

We made it to town, got the car fixed the next day & arrived safely at home. It was an adventure! However, it meant that I didn’t get Week 8, Day 1 run in. I thought about doubling up, but figured that it would probably be counter-productive. So I did two runs in Week 8 instead of three.

In the tow truck with two very hot, hungry tired boys. They were troopers.

Because of all the trouble I have with my feet, I had the brilliant idea to wear some serious, heavy-duty insoles for my first run of the week. It was a terrible idea! I was in pain for the entire run & could barely walk home after I had finished running. My last run of the week was better. It’s hard to believe I only have one week left in the program & that I’ll be running 30 minutes in a row! That’s a Bucket List item. Woohoo!

Here was the program for Week 8:

Day 1, 2 & 3 (I only did 2 days)
Walk – 5 minutes
Run – 28 minutes

Total Walk = 5 minutes + however long it takes to get home.
Total Run = 28 minutes

Bring on Week 9!


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Couch to 5K – Week 7

Week 7? I’ve made it that far? Oh yes I have. I’m pretty sure I could have walked it just as quickly, but I ran it.

Here was the schedule this week:

Day 1, 2 & 3
Walk – 5 minutes
Run – 25 minutes

Total Walk = 5 minutes + however long it takes to get home.
Total Run = 25 minutes

It hasn’t become easy, but there is a change that happens about halfway through the run – easier breathing, a sense that I will, indeed, be able to make it. Over the next two weeks, the time increases a bit, until I am running for 30 minutes. I have no idea what my pace is or anything, but I did get faster in week 7 – I know by how soon I reach landmarks.

I also finally went to the doctor about the sore throat I had for four weeks! Turns out it’s likely to be allergies. I’m on a nose spray & it seems to be doing the trick. No more sore throat & I’m feeling pretty good. Now to deal with my sore heel. I’m hope some shoe inserts will do the trick. I know that it’s particularly bad because of wearing summer shoes – flip-flops aren’t great for those of us with bad feet.

The adventures of Week 8 have already begun – I’ll tell you all about it next week.


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Couch to 5K – Week 6

Phew! Made it through another week. The first two runs were pretty easy, but the last run of the week was a real mental battle. It wasn’t pretty & it sure wasn’t very fast, but I did it! I think it might have been more of a struggle because from here on out there are no walk/run intervals – it’s all running from now on (apart from the 5 minute warm up walk), just increasing times. It’s tough to do the start & stop thing with walking & running, but there is definitely a certain comfort level in knowing that you’ll be able to take a break in a couple of minutes. When there’s no break coming, you have to battle through mentally.

I was surprised to find that, towards the end of the 25 minute run, it was my legs that were having a harder time than my lungs. I’ve always thought I didn’t have much in the way of lung power & that I was quite strong. I see now that my muscles are going to have to do some catching up.

Here was the schedule this week:

Day 1
Walk – 5 minutes
Run – 5 minutes
Walk – 3 minutes
Run – 8 minutes
Walk – 3 minutes
Run – 5 minutes

Total Walk = 11 minutes + whatever it takes to get home
Total Run = 18 minutes

Day 2
Walk – 5 minutes
Run – 10 minutes
Walk – 3 minutes
Run – 10 minutes

Total Walk = 8 minutes + whatever it takes to get home
Total Run = 20 minutes

Day 3
Walk – 5 minutes
Run – 25 minutes

Total Walk = 5 minutes + whatever it takes to get home
Total Run = 25 minutes

Praying for increased strength, endurance, good sleep & an end to the sore throat/ear thing that I’ve had for about 4 weeks now.


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Couch to 5K – Week 5

Wow! I made it through week 5, I’ve officially gone further in the program now than in my previous two attempts. I quit after day 2 of Week 5 last time due to illness. It’s a bit ironic, but I’ve been really ill again this time. I have a sore throat that just isn’t budging with pain in my ears & a bit of a cough. I powered through though & I am so glad I did. On day 3, I ran for twenty minutes in a row without stopping. I wasn’t sure if my legs or my lungs were going to give out first! It is an amazing thing, though, that after a certain distance, you start to get a second wind or something. It was still tough, but I felt like I was going to make it.

Here’s what the program looked like this week:

Day 1:
Walk – 5 minutes
Run – 5 minutes
Walk – 3 minutes
Run – 5 minutes
Walk – 3 minutes
Run – 5 minutes

Total Walk: 11 minutes + whatever it took to get home
Total Run: 15 minutes

Day 2:
Walk – 5 minutes
Run – 8 minutes
Walk – 5 minutes
Run – 8 minutes

Total Walk: 10 minutes + whatever it took to get home
Total Run: 16 minutes

Day 3:
Walk – 5 minutes
Run – 20 minutes

Total Walk: 5 minutes + whatever it took to get home
Total Run: 20 minutes

It seemed a bit strange for there to be such a big jump in the time running without a break, but it worked. I think it’s actually more difficult in some ways to do the start & stop thing with running. Once you have the momentum, it’s hard to stop & walk & then get going again. It’s similar next week, but with longer times so we shall see! I’m praying for health. I’ve been trying to get more sleep this weekend as that seems to be my weak point. Bring on Week 6!


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Couch to 5K – Week 4

Wow, it was a tough week. I was sick every time I went out this week. Mostly a head cold, but it did get down into my chest a bit. It definitely made it difficult, both physically & mentally. I pushed through though & I’m so glad that I did. I’m now running more than I am walking. From here on out the running definitely takes precedence over the walking & there are fewer walking breaks.

I’m feeling a lot better, but still not as well as I’d like to be. Praying that I continue to get good rest – the best medicine. I’m still not having any knee pain! Woohoo! I get a bit of pain in my left heel though – not while I’m running, but during the day after I’ve run. Strange. I don’t have great feet so it’s probably just par for the course.

For more information on the Couch to 5K program, click here.


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I Run in My Dreams – Couch to 5K, Week 1

Someday...

This will be my third attempt at the Couch to 5K program. The first time I was derailed by bursitis in both knees, the second time I was derailed by a winter full of sickness. You can read about my previous attempts here.  I’m trying to keep my blogging presence more simplified, so I am including my running challenge in this blog. I will include here, what I wrote when I first started the program because it still holds true.

My Dreams
I admit that I have often mocked runners. I agreed with a quote that I read – “The first time I see a jogger smiling, I’ll consider it.” – Joan Rivers
Running just doesn’t look like much fun. However, it does seem pretty convenient & there is something that seems pretty cool & hardcore about it. I have always been a bit jealous.
When I was a child I loved to run – not in a fitness kind of way, I just loved to run. In school, I liked to run too. I was really good at sprints – it was fast, fun & I won. However, when we had to run around the school block 12 times, it didn’t seem as fun – distances were harder for me.
As I moved from elementary school to junior high – I quit participating in track. I kind of regret that now. But it is what it is. My body changed & I began to feel like I wasn’t meant to run. I love participating in sports, but running was pretty much off the agenda.
I tried running again after I finished high school, but it was a short-lived endeavour – we’re talking only a time or two.
Since then, I’ve done lots of different types of exercise – I actually really love to exercise, especially once I get started. I love doing elliptical machines because of the low impact. So that was that.
I’m not unfit, but with two babies under my belt, as it were, I’m sure not where I want to be.
And then there are the dreams. Not all the time, but sometimes, I have these dreams where I am just running. Lots of other stuff going on, but I’m running & I feel good & I feel confident & I feel like I could just keep running. I love how those dreams feel. I want to feel that in real life.
So with that all said, I’ve started a nine-week Couch to 5K program. It’s taken some schedule juggling so that I do it at a time that will consistently work for me, when the kids will be looked after & in a way that Colin & I both get all our usual stuff done. I know that it will be hard, especially at the beginning, so I am committing to the whole 9 weeks. I want to see if, in fact, I am a runner. I need to get to a place where I can run a distance consistently & then see if I am enjoying it.
If, at the end of 9 weeks, I don’t enjoy it, then it will have been a grand experiment & I will be grateful to have done it & I will move on. But who knows, maybe I am a runner.

Week 1
I did it! Up & at it so very early in the morning. It really is the only way I can make it work, it’s worth it. I actually love early mornings as long as I get some decent sleep the night before. The times I’ve been up & running in the past it has been mid-Winter – pitch dark, ice & snow on the ground. This has been a different experience. It’s nice to run in daylight, though I feel very exposed. It takes less time to get out the door when I don’t have to put on a jacket, hat, gloves & Yak Trax. I’m not worried about slipping on ice!

At the start of the program it’s hard to imagine that in a few weeks, I’ll be running for any amount of time greater than a minute at a time. I’ve seen the progression though, so I know it can be done. I’m excited. I also don’t want to get injured or sick again, & I really don’t want to fail this time.