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Couch to 5k, week 4, day 1 report

Monday, August 17, 2009

For years and years, I have woken up automatically at about 4-4:30am. I think perhaps because that's a point in my sleep cycle when I'm very lightly asleep, and any outside noise or physical discomfort is most likely to wake me up. However, I usually just go back to sleep whenever possible, but since I started running, I don't get a chance to go back to sleep or I'm too anxious about sleeping through my alarm to allow myself to fall back to sleep. As I woke up before my alarm this morning feeling alert and refreshed, I wondered if maybe it was some kind of sign. Could it be that my body has been trying to tell me something all this time? I can't actually imagine myself as some kind of morning person. I like staying up late far too much.

Another week another ramp up. Here's what this week's runs look like:
* Warm up walk (5 minutes)
* Jog 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
* Walk 1/8 mile (or 90 seconds)
* Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
* Walk 1/4 mile (or 2-1/2 minutes)
* Jog 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
* Walk 1/8 mile (or 90 seconds)
* Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
* Cool Down (5 minutes)

It was pretty cold this morning so I didn't actually start to feel warmed up until after the first 3 minute run, but It felt surprisingly easy. Friday's run felt pretty hard, so getting through a 3 minute run with seeming effortlessness right out of the gate was a bit unexpected. Had I given it more thought I probably should have been dreading the 5 minute run even more, but when it came to it, i was feeling energized and excited to be moving again. I'm finding that I like the walking intervals less and less and can't wait to be running again. (Omg, I sound like I've been drinking the spiked Kool-Aid.)

It is interesting to feel how my body wakes up during the runs. It begins with my calves complaining about the pounding, and when they shut up my quads start murmurring loving epithets, then my shoulders start to bunch up and I have to admonish them to stay loose, relax and focus on my breathing. Towards the end of the first 5 minute run, the front of my right ankle started hurting. I thought maybe I could run it out, but ultimately had to stop for about 30 seconds to stretch. It just felt like everything in there was a little misaligned and needed me to give it a little extra time. Once I'd stretched it out, I was ready to go again and didn't have any other problems for the rest of the runs. Funny how my body has been telling me things all along and I'm just now learning to interpret its idiosyncracies.

I'll be honest, when I looked at the planned runs for this week i might have peed myself just a little. Run 5 minutes straight? seriously? Not a chance in hell! Maybe I feel this way each week, but I guess it is a good thing that I didn't look at the schedule until last night, so I didn't have all weekend to fret about it. Otherwise I might have feigned illness and stayed in bed.

I'm aware of how easy it is to be self-indulgent. Which is part of why I'm so thankful for Clara & Heather. I know that if it weren't for the fact that one or both of them will be knocking at my door at 5:30am, I might allow myself to slack, to stay in bed, to skip run days, to hold myself back a week because, "it's too hard!". There have been many times in the middle of a run when I've thought, "Had I been doing this on my own, I would have stopped running 15 seconds ago.", but kept running because I needed to keep going for them. If they can do it, I can do it, and vice versa. That's not to say that my motivation for doing this program is completely extrinsic, but I appreciate that I have a support system that is helping me to build stamina and form a healthy habit.

See you on Wednesday!
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