Here's the skinny: I've been near 300 lbs. for years and need to lose weight. I'm married to a wonderful lady, and we have a family. One of our boys often asks if I'll run with him. I've always had to tell him, "No." In August of '09, my wife learned about a couch-to-5k running program, and I agreed to try it with her. This blog chronicles our progress on that training program. I hope I'll soon be able to surprise my son by telling him, "Yes, I'll go running with you!"

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Day 16 (week 3, day 2)

It's a non-training day today, and for the first time, I have mixed feelings about it. Don't get me wrong--I'm glad to have the rest--but I find myself looking forward tomorrow, hoping that I can do just as well, if not better than I did on Monday. My legs feel pretty good, though I still can feel their use. They were a bit sore last night, as I did run a bit to watch my boys race (see below). I think I felt it more because I was in my flat Wonderlite casual shoes--the shoes I wear all day at work. It's amazing what a difference a change of footwear can make.

I feel it going down stairs this week, whereas last week going up the stairs required a conscious effort. Blood sugar levels remain good, and I'm doing okay on portions. There was that Heath bar last night, but I talked to Mrs. F about it later. If she has the hankering for chocolate that's fine, but I need her to be deliberate about not offering to get me any.

My two eldest sons had a cross country meet yesterday at a golf course with some significant hills on the course. The younger of the two, who only joined the team last Thursday, came in 17th out of a field of about 40 with a time right around the 9 minute mark (I couldn't see the clock, and he didn't pay attention to the time) on a 2,000m course. It was a great first race for him. Our eldest son, who runs 3.125 miles (just over 5k?), had a 20:02 on his last race, so I made a little wager with him. If he came in under 19:10, I'd give him two minutes of running. He wasn't sure he'd be able to shave that much time off his pace, but he accepted the deal. He was a bit concerned because one of the top runners in our state was at the meet. It was a smaller field of runners this time (fewer schools were there), so he was out there with about 25 other young men.

We cheered him on at the start, and then moved over to a vantage point where we'd see him at about the one mile mark. He came through and we cheered him on--he was just forward of the middle of the pack. We moved up hill to see him loop around the start area to begin their second time around the course, and he held his own, perhaps giving up a position or two on the hill. Again we moved downhill to our spot, and I watched for him across the greens and fairways, where we would see the pack running on the far side of the course. He had moved up again and was, by estimate, about 10 runners back.

The first three runners had a commanding lead on everyone. The leader, of course, was the top contender my son had identified, followed, 30 and 45 seconds later, by two other runners from the same school. Then there was a bit more of a gap before we saw the lead pack that was trailing the breakaway runners. White shirt... Red shirt... White shirt, white shirt... White shirt, white shirt... and then we saw our son. He was tangle up in a small pack of other runners--five or six--as he rounded a corner and came into view. We started yelling and encouraging him, and then we heard his coach call his name--I was surprised because his voice was probably as loud and distinct as my own--and it told him to make his move. It seemed that was all he needed to hear. He started passing other runners who may not have held back enough reserve. As we lost sight of him beyond some trees--and headed toward the final up-hill run before the flat stretch to the finish line--he was in 10th position. I turned and ran up his (surprising, I might add, two of our other boys who were with to watch), and I took a position near the chute. He was now in ninth position.

We, and some other parents with our team, shouted and called to him. I heard another coach or parent saying that he needed to sprint, so I yelled "Sprint!" on the top of my lungs. He poured it on and overtook one other runner as he approached the chute. Eighth place, garnering him a ribbon, but the best news was his time: 00:18:55. He shaved a full 01:02 01:07 [Thanks, Mrs. F] off his previous best! That finish meant I owe him two minutes of running.

He just doesn't know that I'm ready for two minutes. We'll run on Saturday (after Mrs. F and I finish this week's training on Friday). I can't wait to see how he responds to my little run. It will be a wondeful foretaste of what it will be like when he sees me run a 5k in November!

While it was warmer last week, it was chilly again this morning as I biked in to work. I'll wear my gloves again tomorrow. Reading some tips on, I learned that I'm keeping my hands too high and tight when I run--I keep them almost in my armpits with my hands in fists. I need to keep them more relaxed and down nearer my waist.

It feels funny to be writing this stuff. Simply the fact that I've gotten to week three is pretty amazing to me. The fact that I'm looking forward to my Wednesday morning session is completely foreign to me. Well, the only time I ever looked forward to such strenuous activity before was when I studied karate years ago. Sunday morning lessons were my favorite time of each week, and I practiced regularly because I loved the sport. It shocks me to think that I could ever get to the point where I enjoy running that much. For now, I'm just taking what comes.

1 comment:

  1. For the record, He shaved a minute and 7 seconds off his time~!


Curious? Surprised? Have some good tips? Please leave a comment for us here. We especially would love to hear about your successes, or to hear your words of encouragement. Knowing you're out there will help us to keep at it!