I am happy to report that the Couch to 5k Program that I told you about a few weeks ago seems to be just what I needed to get me back on the track to the kind of fitness I miss. In these early weeks, I have added one more workout to each week. So, instead of three workouts for each "week", I am doing four, just until I feel my stamina increasing and my morning-after soreness diminishing. I found a great, free play list to download that has verbal cues for the different parts of the workout. There are a few play lists available on itunes, but I am a big fan of "free." Week 2 includes a 5-minute warm-up walk and then six intervals of 90 second jogging and two minutes walking, ending with another five-minute walk. With the track that I use covered in several inches of snow, I have improvised and created a loop around the high school at the end of my street. The sidewalks are shoveled and salted, unlike most neighborhood sidewalks, so I don't have any worries about traction.
Two weeks in to the new year, I am feeling pretty good about my progress. I was supposed to do Week 2, Workout 2 on Sunday but ended up too enthralled by Ricky Gervais on the Golden Globes. On a side note, I do not understand what all the apparent fuss is about. When you hire Ricky Gervais, don't you know what you are getting? Did the Hollywood Foreign Press think they hired Ellen Degeneres? I thought he was hilarious. Sure, some of the jokes may have hit too close to home, but if you can't laugh at yourself now and then, I say, "lighten up"!
But, back to my running...Since I missed my workout on Sunday, I should have hit the pavement on Monday, but fell asleep watching some silly television show and woke at 10:30--a little too late to exercise. Plus it was raining a little too hard. So, on Tuesday I was more vigilant. As soon as I got home from work, I changed in to my cold-weather workout clothes so that I was ready to go as soon as the clock struck 9:30. It was raining a bit, but it felt good to get out in the elements. Tonight, I am due for another run, and hope the snow that they are calling for either arrives later than expected or has stopped by 9:30. I'll let you know how it goes.
In any event, I have set a goal of running in a 5k at the end of March and plan to register for it after I make it through Week 4 of the program. I also plan to register for Pittsburgh's Race for the Cure, which always takes place on Mother's Day. I will run that in honor of my Gramma, who is a breast cancer survivor (and the great cook from whom my great-cook mom learned). I wish I had learned about this Couch to 5k thing sooner. I now realize that I was pushing myself too hard in the early weeks of a new self-designed running program: too many miles, too fast a pace, and not enough rest days. All of that inevitably led to injury and frustration, which in turn led to another "failed" attempt to get back in to shape. Not this time my friends. So, if you see me in April and May, ask me how my races went. I'm counting on all of you to help me meet my goals.