Tag Archives: exercising

Couch to 5k 2.0: Even the best laid plans…

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Last week I outlined my strategy for getting up off my comfy chair and back into the game.  I am happy to report no progress was made.  You may be inclined to think happy and no progress are conflicting ideas but that’s not the case.  Let me explain.

First, and foremost, I am happy to be on the other side of a bad case of the flu.  It was a week long affair.  Second, I lost 5 pounds in the process.  Aside from a nagging cough and some post-nasal drip I am almost fully recovered.

As the weather continues to warm into the 40s I look forward to spring with enthusiasm.

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Couch to 5k: Climbing the ladder

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If you’ve read my previous posts on the subject you will remember I’m in the process of ramping up the number of laps I cover on a 400 meter track.  My goal is to walk 13 laps (the approximate distance of a 5k run) hence the post title Climbing the ladder.  With only 3 workouts in the past 10 days it would seem I have not accomplished very much.  But, relationships are as important to your health as physical fitness; an anniversary here, family vacation there and sprinkle in entertaining loved ones.   Each engagement can have a positive impact on one’s mental health.

…Oh yeah, about the exercise thing.  Those three workouts covered 10, 10 and 11 laps.  With each workout I increased the # of 1/2 lap jogs.  The 5k fun run is about a month away so it is time for the final push.

Enjoy what is left of this summer.  Consider spending some quality time with family and friends to work on your mental health.

Couch to 5k: Week 3, a comeback?

Following the advice given by my chiropractor, I am resorting to walking workouts.  That being said, I am still hurting from whatever it is that is I did to my body.  Stiff hamstrings and sore knees impact my ability to have a pleasant stroll let alone walk with the goal of running a 5k.

After a couple extra rest days, I carefully set out on walk number 1.  It seemed reasonable to shoot for 4 laps, walking at a casual pace.  Casual, there is something odd about the word being used in the same sentence as an all-weather track.  As I traversed the rubberized surface, a voice in my head repeatedly whispered, “Hey this is a track dummy, pick up the pace!”

Even though my legs were tight and stiff the entire time, I managed to cover the distance in 20.5 minutes.  The next morning my legs were not telling me I made a huge mistake so I tried walk number 2 the next day.  Because the stiffness in my legs hadn’t abated, I limited myself again to 4 laps.  My competitive nature coaxed me to walk a little faster for the first 3 laps before slowing down on lap 4.  My time was a little better, finishing in 19.5 minutes.

I will be stretching over the next 2 days to see if I can make the stiffness in my legs go away, otherwise it’s back to the chiropractor.  Hopefully, this tired old boat of a body can be restored.

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Couch to 5k: Week 2 setback

I pressed too hard week 1 of my couch to 5k experience.  So much so that week 2 was a total washout (zilch).  A week and a half after later and I can barely walk.

I truly thought I messed up my back as I felt pain below my knees and tightness in my hamstrings.  The tightness and soreness came and went as I moved around but never went away.

My chiropractor would be able to tell me what was going on, so I paid him a visit.  I went in expecting him to discourage me from running because of my medical history.

“I’m confused,” I said. “My back never felt better.”

“It’s not your back,” he answered.  “If you ran cross country, your cardio and respiratory systems are likely in better shape than your muscles and tendons.  Remember you’re not 20 years old anymore.  Since they’re lagging behind, they’re complaining LOUDLY.”

We chatted more as he checked the alignment of my back and released various pressure points around my knees, back and hips.

“Why are you doing the couch to 5k anyway?”

Here it comes, I thought. Sorry Hasty this one’s on you.

“My pastor asked me to run a 5k with him this fall.  But it’s only a fun run.”

“You should have plenty of time to get ready then.  He’s my advice: focus strictly on walking.  Walk 2 miles around the track.  Work your pace up to 15 minutes per mile.  When you can walk 2 miles in 30 minutes you’ll be ready to try running.  Your muscles and joints should be caught up by then.”

“Thanks, doc!” I said, hearing the best news I could have imagined given my condition.

So walking it is!

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(Baby steps)

 

Couch to 5k: Decision time

In a previous post, my friend asked me if I’d like to run a 5K Fun Run with him.  Incidentally, this experience is unfolding in near real time.  Since he reads this blog, I quickly reassured him his new alias (“Hasty”) was in fact meant to be a compliment.  What runner wouldn’t be proud to have that nickname.

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My glory days!

His proposal rattled around in my head the rest of the day.  I hoped to disqualify it on any grounds, but I couldn’t.  Perhaps the biggest carrot dangling in front of my nose had to do with my previous cross country racing experience back in the day.  Wouldn’t it be immensely gratifying to relive those glory days one more time?  My age (I graduated 4 decades ago) and my weight  (+70 pounds since my college running days) were obviously huge concerns.

I disclosed my delemma to my wife and son hoping they could inject a measure of reason to my aching brain.  Both of them initially voiced concern about my knees but I assured them they were a non-issue (at the moment).

Patty reminded me, “You keep talking about wanting to lose some weight.  Maybe this is how you get there.”

Further encouragement came from my son, “Google ‘couch to 5k’.  You can be ready in 8 or 9 weeks.”

I shared this information with Hasty the next time I saw him.

“That’s great news. If your wife’s on board, then it’s a done deal!” he said.

Be sure to check in every 2-3 days for progress reports on my Couch to 5k experience!