Thursday, October 29, 2009

Just because I'm skinny...

...doesn't mean I'm in shape.

This became painfully obvious yesterday when I started running.

Now, "running" is kind of an overstatement. I started the Couch-to-5K program, a very popular online, nine-week plan that is meant to help even couch potatoes train to run three miles (which just happens to be the approximate total distance I have run in my entire life.) In Week One, a 25-minute training session only involves eight minutes of running, in one-minute increments. The other 17 minutes are all walking.

Piece of cake, I thought. Until recently, I was exercising semi-regularly, so I figured my body would remember that (even though I've hardly exercised in the last couple of months.) So yesterday morning I got ready to go. I got the kids dressed, including coats, put them in the double jogging stroller, and put the dog on a leash, tied to a belt on my waist. This process of getting myself, two kids, and a dog ready to go only takes approximately four hours (or at least it feels like it.) Finally, we were ready.

I started with a five-minute, brisk warm up walk, then went into the main portion: 20 minutes of alternating running (60 seconds) with walking (90 seconds.)

By the time the second segment of running came around, I realized my lungs and legs were protesting. By the time I finished the workout, I was sore and had been breathing heavily for some time.

"Please," I told The Engineer (who is also a triathlete), "tell me some of this difficulty is caused by me pushing a jogging stroller and having a dog tied to my waist." He's run with the kids before (not the dog), and he agreed it's definitely harder.

So I'm skinny and out of shape, but I don't think I'll have a good feel of how out of shape I really am until I run without pushing a stroller and being tugged on by a dog. I'm hoping the next run will be solo, and we'll see how it goes.

Incidentally, I'm not going to make any promises about finishing this program. (I know, how terribly un-goal-oriented of me.) I do hope to finish it, but high-impact exercise tends to make my knees sound like Rice Krispies, so if they protest too much I may just have to get really good at brisk walking. I'm hoping the gradual nature of this training will build up my muscles enough to support my weak knees--we'll see.

Anyone want to join me...?

I've started a new blog to track my progress. It will contain short posts, many of them purely informational and nauseatingly boring. Boy, I'm doing a good job selling it, aren't I? Here's the link: C. Beth Run.

13 comments:

Tia said...

Hi beth! Stick with it! I promise it gets easier. I started running last January and have even run 5-7 miles occasionaly. I tend to stick to the 5K number though cause after that, my knees start to hurt too. You will be amazed at how quickly you can pick up distance. I am in a lazy phase too, however, and need to get back at it. Good luck!

Cathy said...

I'm with Tia - it comes easier faster than you'd think. I'd actually gotten up to running 2 miles before my surgery, but probably can't run 2 minutes right now. Tried to pick up my folding table yesterday that I used to haul around all over the place and it felt heavy! Amazing how fast you get out of shape. So, if your mom with bad knees can do it, you can - stick with it!

Call Me Cate said...

Keep at it - it's a fantastic program. You may have talked me into giving it another shot. I'll be using the treadmill at the gym primarily but we'll see how it goes.

Sasha said...

Yay Beth! You know I love the program. Keep at it and it will get easier, I promise!

John Sanchez said...

Woohoo! Glad to see you're starting out. I'd rather be skinny and out of shape than.... well... I'll just stop there.

rainylakechick said...

I used to run half marathons! Now... nada. I need to get back on track. I *should* join you.

p.s. If you look ahead to a race, you will be more likely to stick with the program. Which is the reason I used to run 10K and half marathon races. At least, that's what worked for me. :)

ChriSpenceRachel said...

I did C25k over the summer and now I'm training for a half marathon. It is a fantastic training program. I started out barely able to run a full minute, and now I run 30 minutes straight and stop only because I've got other things to do with my day. I find I'm still grooving to the music during my cool down, not wanting to pass out like I was in the beginning. Good luck to you!!! PS. It was great for the first few weeks and then started to really, really, really suck. But I stuck with it and eventually it stopped being hard and started feeling amazing! So don't give up!

2 Toddlers and Me said...

Definitely give yourself credit for running with the kids and the dog. It's much harder with those diversions. You've set a great goal, I look forward to reading your updates and will get in shape vicariously through you.

Megan Fletcher said...

I started Couch25K back in April and ran through the beginning of June. I would repeat a week if I hadn't run much in the past week, so my first 5 weeks took me about 8. Then, I got to that point of the long runs and just couldn't quite do it. I couldn't push myself to do it and then summer came...with it's glorious warmth and required I get up early to go solo...yeah...I'm a wimp. I haven't run now since the beginning of June and I completely feel it. You've encouraged me to do something. Not sure I'll go for the gusto again just yet, but regular walking has got to start happening!

Stick with it, Beth! And, yes, doing it solo is MUCH easier than adding all the extra. You can do it!

Our Scoop said...

That's so funny! I started the treadmill again after a long siesta and I ran 3 days straight on it - for just 25 minutes. I couldn't walk for the next day I was in such intense pain! I had to get karate chops on my legs and take a hot bath and use Flexall! I am not skinny though - AT ALL.

Lyndsay said...

Stick with it, seriously! I ran 2 miles (with no preparation) in June and couldn't walk for 2 days, LOL! I backed off and started training over the summer. I ran my first 5k on Oct 10th (in 29:47, woo hoo!) and my second one on Oct 25th. This former "not a runner" is now totally hooked! Good for you :)

Lyndsay said...

Stick with it, seriously! I ran 2 miles (with no preparation) in June and couldn't walk for 2 days, LOL! I backed off and started training over the summer. I ran my first 5k on Oct 10th (in 29:47, woo hoo!) and my second one on Oct 25th. This former "not a runner" is now totally hooked! Good for you :)

Living With Lindsay said...

Running with a jogging stroller is infinitely harder than running without. You can't get a good rhythm with an arm swing with a stroller. Believe me...last year when I was REALLY in shape, I could barely run w/ the stroller.