A few weeks ago, I started the Couch to 5k program.
The way it's supposed to work is: you run 3 times per week, for approximately 30 minutes, for 9 weeks. By the end of the 9th week, you're supposed to be able to run a 5k (3.1 miles) in 40 minutes.
It starts out with a 5 minute warm up and ends with a 5 minute cool down. Then, there are alternating times of running/jogging and walking. I believe the first week is 90 second walks, 60 second runs. After the first week, the times vary (31 minutes, 34 minutes, 38 minutes, etc.) and the walk time is gradually reduced, increasing the run/jog time.
So, I started the program a few weeks ago... but the weather got wierd, I had a lot of distractions... and I lost my mojo. So I had to start over.
Here we gooooooooooooo!
The weather was beautiful for outside time! Sunny, windy, not too warm (especially with all the wind). I took my usual route with slight inclines, tons of sidewalks, and pretty lawns. I won't lie: since I took such a huge break when I was just getting the hang of it, I had to start all over again. I was just a few minutes short of my full 30 minutes. My legs were aching and I was tired. Still, I completed a little over 1.7 miles in about 27 minutes.
So what did I learn from today?
Stretching is important!! I stretched, but not really. I have no doubt that's why my legs were so achy. I used to dance for hours with no problems. Yes, I was younger - but I also stretched.
Drink lots of water during the day and after your run. I drink some water, but not nearly as much as I should. I have a habit of drinking milk, Crystal Light and then water. I need to replace the Crystal Light with plain old water (I know the flavor comes from lots of sodium)....but I'm working on it. Crystal Light was the replacement for sodas. Baby steps.
Beware of creepers, dogs, bugs, etc. About 3 minutes into my warm-up, I passed a man on the sidewalk. I was walking on a main/busy street, next to a big neighborhood (on the neighborhood side, there were privacy fences and shrubs). The man and I were walking toward each other, and when he passed, I made eye contact and said "hi" and kept walking. I'm sure he was also just out for his evening walk, but something about him made me a little uncomfortable. So, I kept looking back every few seconds. He was still walking in the opposite direction until the last time I looked back. He had turned and was walking in the same direction as me. I immediately turned and began walking at him, and turned into the neighborhood before he could cross the intersection. Now, I was in a neighborhood full of people that were outside washing cars, playing games with their kids, etc. The man disappeared down the street. Like I said previously, I'm sure he was just out for his evening walk, but maybe he wasn't. I was not going to be a victim. Always be aware of your surroundings!
Anytime I see a dog in a yard or walking with someone, I always stop running and cross the street (if it's safe to do so, of course). I love, love, love dogs... but I know they are animals and will attack if they feel threatened. Coming uninvited into their space, toward them and their human is always a bad idea, especially if you're charging at them.
My hubby and I recently read an article in our local paper about ticks. There aren't too many big trees in our area (I don't run in the woods, or along trails). I still think it's important to protect myself from ticks, mosquitos, and even fleas. They're all buzzing and hopping around in the trees and grass! Tick bites are no bueno! The article we read attributes tick bites not only to Lyme Disease, but also other things like MS. Just think: these little buggars all feed off blood. Blood from humans, deer, dogs, cats, and --insert any random animal species here--. I know my husband and my dog are healthy - but what about all the other creatures and humans out there? Be proactive! 1 oz prevention = 1 lb cure. Before I go out for a walk/run, I spray on Deep Woods Off. It repels all the creepy crawlies. You have to shower after a run anyway, so what's it gonna hurt?
Tomorrow is resting day - no running. I've been told the best thing to do in the off-days is to go for a good walk - at least a couple of miles - to keep the muscles working.
Next stop: Week 1, Day 2!