Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Running Down A Dream

I don’t want to bore you both to tears by turning this into a fitness blog, but I thought I should give a little update about how my training is going. I’m loosely following the Couch-to-5k program, but with only six weeks to get through a nine-week regimen, I’ve had to adapt it a little. There are 27 training days in that program, and I had a total of 45 days between my decision to run and Race for the Cure. So I figured that if I skipped ahead one day each week, I could squeeze in 18 runs and cover most of the training intervals, and still maintain a Mon-Wed-Fri routine.

And so far, that’s actually been working pretty well. When I made this grand plan, however, I wasn’t expecting that the temperatures would remain in the 90s for two more weeks. And I didn’t anticipate that staph infection that made my legs feel rotten from the inside out and put me on a course of antibiotics so strong that I went to the doctor to make sure they weren’t going to peel my skin off. But through all that, I only got off-schedule one day, and I made it up within the week.

The intervals started off fairly easily – week one was 60 seconds running, 90 seconds walking, and week two was 90 seconds running, two minutes walking, each totaling 20 minutes. But still, running through my hilly neighborhood in 95-100 degree heat was an intense introduction to the program. And, it turns out, a helpful one. I was nervous about week three’s three-minute runs, but with the temperature below 80, I felt like I could fly.

On the gear side, I’m pretty low-tech. I bought a decent pair of shoes a year or so ago, but beyond that, I don’t own any official athletic wear. No wicking fabrics or performance apparel. I’ll probably have to invest a little when the weather cools off even more, because that one long-sleeve t-shirt I own isn’t going to get cleaned three times a week. I have been bringing my fancy new phone with me, though, and I love it (despite having to knot the armband carrier in order to get it to fit around my scrawny arm). I created a station on Pandora that’s all 80s girl bands and fast-paced dance songs, and I tune that in along with the My Tracks app that traces my route and speed. Then I pull up the Couch-to-5k app that notifies me when each interval is up. Loudly. I’m sure it’s entertaining for passers-by to see me suddenly startle and then take off running.

I wasn’t sure how my feelings about running would change once I committed to doing it regularly, and I still don’t really know. I wouldn’t say I love it, but I don’t hate it as much as I did. I don’t feel like I get a runner’s high (probably because I’m not running all that much, really), but it does give me a sense of accomplishment to go farther and faster than I ever have before. I like looking at the map and seeing that I’ve already gone 4/5ths of a 5k without even realizing it. I’m hoping that, by the end of October, I’ll be in a place where I’m thinking more about the race than about the run.

Speaking of, there are two more days to register for the Midsouth Race for the Cure at a discounted rate. You can sign up individually, or join your friendly neighborhood bloggers (currently Stacey, Shannon, E, and RJA) on Team Cha Cha. Or you can just support the cause by donating through our team site. Join us however you can.


Sarah Jane said...

Woohoo, Andria! I love the details of your smartphone apps. You'll have to share your girl band station.
I've always loved running for a quick workout, but this year it seems more important for me time and my mental health.

Stacey Greenberg said...

go you!

i remember struggling with the two minute runs and cursing quite a bit. now i curse during the 15 minute intervals. stick with it!