Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Week One, Days One and Two

According to Cool Running's website, a great way to transform yourself into a runner is to follow their Couch-to-5K Running Plan. Ah, who knows. There might be better plans out there but to me, a novice, a walk/run program seems like a good, non-intimidating way to get started.

According to this plan, during the first week I am supposed to commit to three runs lasting about twenty minutes and I am supposed to alternate between walking and running, with an emphasis on walking.

Day 1, Monday

I went out at 8:15 p.m. and a cool, foggy night greeted me. I followed the Cool Running's plan as closely as I could considering I only had my cell phone with me, which doesn't display second increments, only minutes. I probably ended up walking for two minutes between runs instead of the recommended ninety seconds, but I also stayed out for thirty minutes instead of the recommended twenty.

I wound about our village, exploring different blocks but not enjoying myself quite as much as I thought I might since I was preoccupied with timing myself. Not good for the introspective, peaceful run I'd hoped to have.

Towards the end of my time out, I found myself running (OK, and walking, too) across the street from the narrow park that separates our peaceful, relatively crime-free 'burb from one of the more dangerous parts of the city next door. Hm. Not such a good idea in the pitch black night.

All in all though, I felt great afterwards. I felt challenged, but not overly so, and knew what aspects I wanted to change.

Day 2, Tuesday

I didn't really want to run two days in a row, but since I've been very, very not self-disciplined about getting up in the morning, I knew Tuesday would be my last chance for an evening run for a few days.

I felt like a bit of a tool, but I took my loud, beeping, digital kitchen timer with me and ran straight through the most well-lit, busiest road in our village.

Now I understand how people can get addicted to running. Unconcerned with the clock or my safety, I was free to enjoy the crunching leaves beneath my feet and observe the lives being lived in the houses I walked or ran past. The night was gorgeous; a storm was rolling in and I could enjoy the cool breeze, the somewhat scary winds as they blew tree branches beyond their comfort zone and feel the preview of a few, errant raindrops. I also felt I was developing a peaceful, easy rhythm during my running times and was actually enjoying myself, something I never have done before while running!

I probably didn't feel completely challenged, running-wise, but I followed the program exactly and didn't try to run more than was instructed even though I believe I could have. I have tried running too much in the past and gotten burned out very, very quickly, so I feel that, for me, erring on the side of not pushing myself enough is better than doing it too much.


sixty-five said...

This is very exciting - even inspiring! Already I feel as if we are working up to a marathon.

Liz said...

We are doing the Cool Runnings plan too! Though we took the opposite approach and tried to do distance measurements with Google maps in our neighborhood, which worked out so-so.

We do the early morning run, in my half-asleep stupor I can convince myself it is a good idea. by night-time I know there are other things I would much rather be doing.

Anonymous said...

Seems like the timing stuff is somewhat problematic. Have you thought of wearing a watch? - Holly

terri said...

Oh wow. Beeping kitchen timer? I am so cracking up at you. How about an iPod and timing it according to songs? Yeah, you're right. Too much work. Well, maybe once the intervals are longer...

Anonymous said...

I would invest in a timex watch with is wonderful. Good luck!