Tag Archives: fitness

Couch to 5K: the winter ahead

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I ran a 5k about two months ago and haven’t gone on more than two runs since then.  I suppose you could say I’ve been resting my body.  But that would be stretching the truth wouldn’t it.  Autumn is a busy time.  There’s so much to do before the weather sours.  But the snow and cold came very early to our area.  We happened to have the coldest Thanksgiving day on record. It interrupted my fall cleanup.  The leaves are still on the ground underneath the snow.  Sounds like I’m making excuses does’t it.

My main goal this winter is to not gain back all the weight I lost.  I thought it might be a good time to dust off my elliptical trainer I purchased over a year ago and hardly ever used.  I also have a reading list I’d like to put a dent in.  Sounds like a win-win situation doesn’t it?

In the coming weeks I’ll be experimenting with workout times on the elliptical.  During that stretch, there is bound to be a couple of warmer days to exercise outdoors.  I’m shooting for one outdoor and two indoor workout a week between now and Christmas.  Stay tuned!

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Couch to 5k: the last workout

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Tomorrow I will be running a 5k fun run.  My hit and miss training endeavor began back in May.  This past Saturday I had planned to jog part of the course to prepare myself.  As I mentioned in a previous post, the route I’ll be traveling is one laid out on a cross-country course.  I showed up on the athletic field only to find a number of college teams prepping for an invitational meet.  My grandiose plan went out the window.

Not to be dismayed, I walked over to the 400 meter track for one last workout before the fun run.  Here’s where the my tale turns humorous.  I began jogging laps, taking care to press lap on my iPhone each time I passed my water bottle propped up against the base of a light tower.  During the course of the workout, I became convinced 16 laps was the 5k distance equivalent.  So I jogged and jogged and jogged racking up laps.

At lap 14 I began to tire and pumped a couple favorite songs into my ear buds for some much needed inspiration.  I ended my workout after lap 15 and decided to wander over to the cross-country venue to check out the race.  I did not expect to see a total workout time of an hour and ten minutes.  That was too much time for having not walked a single lap!  Something was amiss and it troubled me the whole walk home.

I sat down on the sofa and began listing out my lap times on a piece of paper.  The problem wasn’t with my iPhone, it was me.  After much thought, it finally dawned on me 2.5 laps on a 400 meter track equals one kilometer.  Since the race is 5k, I only needed to run 12.5 laps (not 15).  I felt like a moron.  My wife came to my rescue, “honey, at least you know you can jog the distance!”

Bring it on!  I’m ready as I’ll ever be.

Run with endurance

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A friend sent me this image a couple of days ago.  Unbeknownst to him race day is now one week away.

While I trained over the summer, one song inspired me more than the rest.  It’s a song by Addison Road called, Run.

When I’m out jogging, the song makes me smile everytime I hear it.  The song and the image go well together, don’t you think?

Couch to 5k: hitting the trail

forest-2248607_960_720Less than two weeks of training remain.  As it turns out the 5k fun run I’m participating in takes place on a cross-country course.  I downloaded a map of the course and printed out a copy.  Thursday afternoon I decided to hit the trail.  Unfortunately I neglected to bring the map with me and wandered off course as I tried to visualize the route from memory.  On the positive side, it is a good gravel trail.  However, much of the race is run in the woods on crisscrossing trails.  Despite my inability to navigate the course, I was able to jog continuously for 20 minutes, which near as I can tell is about 2k.  Part of that time amounted to retracing my steps so I could live to tell about it!

Saturday morning I returned to the 400 meter track for another training session.  I jogged four laps (4:15 pace) and took a quick water break.  It was getting hot quickly.  Immediately, I resumed jogging for another five laps (sub 4:00 pace) and took another water break, this time walking a full lap.  Since I still felt good, I decided to jog another two laps (3:30 pace).

It became apparent that if I hold my pace to about four minutes a lap I can run for an extended period of time.  Jogging at this pace has done wonders for my confidence.  I’m trying to put out of my mind the 5:45 laps (per mile) I ran in college.  Oh well.

My weight loss over the past two weeks plateaued so I decided to shake up my diet by switching to eating chicken and a salad for supper for several days.  Sure enough I began losing weight again.  After my Saturday workout I touched 199.8 pounds on the scales.  It didn’t matter that I was partially dehydrated and would gain back some of it later.  It’s a milestone accomplishment and a great feeling to be able to say I’ve lost 25 pounds!

 

Couch to 5k: walking again

walk-2670512_960_720In spite of a few well-placed roadblocks on my path to participate in a 5k fun run, I’m 23 pound lighter than I was earlier this year.  With my heart deemed healthy and my blood pressure readings stable, I figure it’s time to test my stamina again.

I plan to resume my walking regimen and see where it leads. I think my dogs are more excited about the prospect than I am.

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)