Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Couch to 5K

My Week Two look of despair matches Homer's

So I started running.
I haven't done any solid running in well over a decade. (Unless you count running from the cops but I am still maintaining my innocence.) Even then I would get bored after a week. This time is different. I set a realistic goal in my head and decided to just go for it. I need to lose weight and want to feel better about myself. I've tried other workouts like Pilates and the Dailey Method. But I never saw results fast enough and most of the instructors I've had were bitchy. I need nice, sweet motivation...not steely-eyed glares because I'm not doing something correctly.
So running. Yeah. It's cheap, as in free, and there are nifty apps you can use to guide you along. That's how I found the Couch-to-5K app. You can sync your own playlist in the app and there's a nice, sensitive-sounding man telling you when to run and walk. I think I'll call him Gregory. He sounds like a Gregory. Not Greg...Gregory.
I began this challenge with Reno's Race for the Cure 5K in mind. It's October 2nd. I don't know if I'll make it because the program is eight weeks and I'm on week two. But I really feel like it's important for that particular race be my first ever. My mom is a 10-year breast cancer survivor and I think she'd be really proud of me for running in her honor.
So I started a week ago. The first day was awesome. It's run/walk intervals the first few weeks and I handled the first week superbly. I love how I felt a bit sore the next day and realized all of the muscles I've neglected for the last couple of decades. I was sleeping better and feeling really positive and happy.
Week two hasn't been as easy.
I knew week two was doomed from the start when L.E. woke up screaming at 5:00 am on run day. I usually go at 6:00 am so I lost an hour of precious sleep. I had no choice but to run during my lunch hour. Luckily for my co-workers, I'm one of those people who sweats excessively when I exercise. It was hot, about 90 degrees and for whatever reason, I decided to forego stretching. Usually I keep a positive mantra going when I run but yesterday my mantra was "make it stop. make it stop." I felt pain in every part of my legs and back, even in this weird part down where my butt meets my thigh. I was gasping for air, instead of doing the long slow breaths you're supposed to do. I'm positive the landscapers on Lakeside were laughing at me, especially when I tripped over nothing on the sidewalk. I'm just happy I finished even if I wanted to throw Gregory into Virginia Lake at one point.
The aftermath was even worse. I had extra-wobbly legs the rest of the day. And I couldn't stop sweating. I wasn't smelly; just wet. And BRIGHT RED. Fortunately, I work with people who are less-than-observant so nobody noticed the beads of sweat or excessive panting. I woke up this morning feeling like I need to hack up a lung and my voice sounds as though I'm a Vegas lounge singer. That's what an off-and-on smoking habit will get you once you start working it out of your system.
I want to say my motivation is L.E. and wanting to be able to keep up with her and live a long and healthy life for her. But this is me we're talking about. My motivation is my too-tight, $200 Joe's jeans that have been languishing in my drawer since pre-pregnancy. (Yes I know they have them at Marshall's now but that's beside the point!) They survived the Big Purge and I'm determined to fit into them again. Or at least wear them without the disgusting muffin top  my stomach spilling over the sides. Also, T said if I keep this up for a month, I can get a jogging stroller so L.E. can tag along for the ride.
The biggest challenge will be if I keep up the program while I'm in Portland this weekend. I look forward to running at a lower elevation but not so much in the humidity. L.E.'s godparents are placing bets on whether or not I actually run while I'm there. I have always prided myself on being the biggest exercise-killer out there by convincing my friends they should skip the gym and go eat bar food with me. (What has happened to me?!) There could be some justifiable payback on their parts.
Oh, and going along with this running thing...I've cut carbs dramatically. Again, who am I and what has happened to the REAL Hip-Baby Mama??

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