Tag Archives: training

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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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: 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 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: on indefinite hold

Here is a quick update on my couch to 5k experience.  As of now I am staying away from all forms of exercise until I get and understanding of my cardio system.  I say this because a continuously elevated blood pressure and lightheadedness landed me in the ER.  When you are 60 you can’t fool around by trying to dodge symptoms.  I am hoping that some test will reveal the source of the problem and that it is treatable.  Until then…?

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