Tag Archives: fun run

Couch to 5k: the result

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Race day, Saturday September 29th, was a sunny, cool 50 degrees.  I couldn’t ask for better weather.  It was hard to keep my heart rate down as I strolled over to the registration table.  After check in, I mingled with the crowd and talked to several friends and acquaintances who I was surprised to learn had entered the event.

Somewhere in the neighborhood of 75-100 able-bodied individuals anxiously wanted to get the race underway.  After a few instructions and a prayer, the gun went off.  Like a herd of cattle we launched ourselves across a grassy field towards a pond we would encircle.  It was immediately apparent this was a serious group of runners who had been training much longer than me.  I, along with one other gentleman, settle back to guard the rear of the pack.

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In hindsight, my training did help me mentally and physically prepare for this run.  Mentally, I knew I had completed training runs longer that the 5k distance.  Physically, I knew I could maintain the consistent pace necessary to keep from being winded.  My strategy was simple, to complete the first two kilometers in around 20 minutes and then throw caution to the wind for the final three kilometers.  That didn’t happen.  Determined not to fall too far behind the pack of runners ahead of me, I completed the first 2 kilometers four minutes faster than planned.  My body was not used to running at this pace.  For the next kilometer I focused on controlling my breathing.  Then, feeling I still had energy in my legs, I decided to maintained the pace until my body told me something different.  I was surprised to see my time was about 40 minutes on the big digital timer at the finish line, a 15 full minutes faster than expected!

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As good as this whole experience has been for my health (I lost 25 pounds over the summer), I have not made any promises to myself or anyone else that I will continue training.  I’m paying close attention to my knees, which have been little sore off and on the last few weeks.

Perhaps if I lost another 15 pounds I could entertain running (jogging) another 5k.

Here is a picture of yours truly showered and dressed post race sporting my new t-shirt.

 

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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: Time is running out!

athletics-2480965_960_720Labor day weekend has come and gone.  That means I’m inside the thirty day window for my goal to participate in a 5k fun run. It is scheduled for September 29th.  Forgive me if I’m not jumping up and down with excitement.  I’m clearly not ready to participate with all the setbacks I’ve experienced this summer.  Sounds like I’m making excuses doesn’t it!  To make matters worse, in a moment of weakness, I registered for the event!  What to do?

Last Saturday’s workout showed promise.  I raised my workout to eleven laps on a 400 meter track.  Of those eleven laps, I jogged five of them.  I pushed my Labor Day workout to the full five kilometer distance (thirteen laps).  Of those 13 laps, I jogged 6 of them.  So far my ligaments and knees have not complained about the prolonged jogging.

My good friend Hastey, who as your remember challenged me to participate in the fun run, informed me that the course we will be running (let me rephrase that, walking/jogging) is available for viewing online.  Since the fun run is being held across the street from my house, next week I plan to scout out the course.

On the bright side, I have continued to lose weight (24 lbs), which has been my motivation for getting myself into this mess in the first place.

Couch to 5k: recalibrating

runner-19195_960_720I began walking again yesterday, the last day of my vacation.  It felt good to be out on the track again ticking off laps.  I even broke into a trot a couple of times for a 1/2 lap.  In total I tallied eight laps.

Given all the medical situations I’ve been through this summer I decided to recalibrate my workout.  My new plan is to gradually increase the number of laps in my workout to 13, roughly the distance of a 5k run.  Once I get to 13 laps, sometime after the first of September, I will start working in 1/2 lap jogs.  We’ll see how my body handles the workload.  I hope this effort will help me to shed a few more pounds in the process.

The 5k fun run at the end of September is still on my calendar.  I wonder how much of it will I be walking.

 

Couch to 5k update

superhero-534120_960_720Well, I certainly didn’t expect my couch to 5k experience to include a trip to the emergency department by ambulance but that’s what transpired last week.  I now have a number of firsts I can cross off my bucket list.  Among them a ride in an ambulance, a stress test and an overnight stay in the ED for observation.

I went through the ordeal alone but I had a peaceful calmness regarding the whole matter.  I’m sure my personal religious faith had everything to do with it.  I jokingly said to a relative, “I’m considering this a spiritual prayer retreat!”

During my stay, I had numerous tests performed.  The result: all indications are I have a healthy, undamaged heart.  My blood pressure on the other hand needs to come down.

While I wrestle with whether or not to participate in a 5k fun run in the future, I am dead serious about shedding the excess weight I’ve been carrying around.  If my cloud of trouble has a silver lining, it’s the 19.5 pounds I’ve lost.  Until then, I’m eating healthy and walking my butt off (pun intended).  A wise woman once told me, “Bill, you can never outrun (as in exercise) your fork!”

Couch to 5k: Prelude

Wet weather and calendar commitments prevented me from immediately taking the plunge.  In the interim I focused on mentally preparing myself to go “all in.”  The road ahead will be filled with the “no pain, no gain” workouts.

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Hasty, obviously pleased that I have decided to embark on the couch to 5k journey, continually offers encouragement.  (Thanks H.)  My original plan to work out anonymously  during the months of June and July before giving him my final answer in early August has been trampled on.  Because I’m now “all in,” I let Hasty know two things: (1) “I don’t want you to feel personally responsible if I am hospitalized trying to ready myself for this 5k.”  (2) “Just because we are running in the same event, doesn’t mean we will be running side-by-side.”  We both got a good laugh out of my comments.

“I don’t want you to feel personally responsible if I am hospitalized trying to ready myself for the 5k.”

Week 1 of the couch to 5k is next.

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!