Friday, November 12, 2010

Couch to 5K: Week 5 Recap

Day 1: The day one workout was a 5 minute walk to warm up followed by a 5 minute jog, a 3 minute walk, another 5 minute job, then another 3 minute walk, one last 5 minute jog, and a 5 minute cool down walk.

This was my first real “running” workout in roughly 2 weeks. My legs felt extremely heavy during the first jogging segment. I told my workout buddy Serena that I felt as though I was wading thru mud. The second jogging segment was easier – my legs felt lighter and I was maintaining a good pace. I thought that I would be able to finish the workout strong. However, the final jogging segment was a butt kicker – even though I had been during other forms of cardio in my 2 week break, I had lost some cardio endurance….I quickly became a huffing/puffing mess. I begged Serena to distract me (because sometimes running is so mental) with a joke/story/lie. She happily obliged launching into a tale involving getting lost while shopping with her mother. I finished the final jogging segment and chuckled my way thru the cool down.

Day 2: Given my struggle with Day 1’s workout, this workout had me extremely nervous. The plan calls for a 5 minute warm up, followed by an 8 minute jog, a 5 minute walking breaking, another 8 minutes of jogging, and the standard 5 minute cool down.

My original intention was to take advantage of the beautiful fall weather and complete this workout in the great outdoors. Unfortunately, I had to stay late at work, and since I do not feel comfortable running the dark, I was forced once again to hit the treadmill.

During the warm up, I felt myself getting tense and my stomach knotting up. I was very worried that I would not be able to complete the workout. Then I told myself “So what? If you can’t do it today, do what you can, and then try again later.” After my mental pep talk, I began the first running segment. I am not going to lie – the first 3 minutes were very difficult, as my legs felt as though they were chained down. However, I kept trudging along and my minute number four, I was in the “Zone.”. I set my MP3 player to my favorite playlist and cruised along. Before I knew it, it was time for the walking break. The second running segment was a lot easier than the first – I felt strong! After completing the second running segment, I walked for several minutes to cool down and then stretched, and foam rolled for nearly 20 minutes.

Day 3: The third of workout of week 5 is serious – a 5 minute warm up and then 20 minutes of jogging.

20 minutes of straight running was more than I had done in several years, so I opted to run on the treadmill, where I could be sure that I had a certain pace – I am notorious for starting out to fast and never finishing. After my warmup, I set the treadmill to a 1% incline, my pace to a respectable 12 minute per mile pace (I never professed to be fast) and selected my favorite tunes on my MP3 player. I tried to zone out but I kept focusing on the timer slowly ticking off the seconds. Three minutes into the run I hit the pause button, grabbed a towel, slung it over the display and went back to running. I knocked out the next 17 minutes of running with little difficulty.

I have plans for lots of stretching and foam rolling for the weekend – as well as two long walks. Then it will be time to focus on Week 6.

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