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!"

Monday, September 21, 2009

Day 22 (week 4, day1)

I just got done with W4D1. It was hard. Mrs. F and I were just discussing how our first day was hard in a different way (in the "I think I'm going to die and can't believe I'm doing this" sort of way). Today was hard, too, but it was different: it was intense.

I was really surprised that I got through the whole thing. Coming into the weekend, I dreaded this morning, but as I got up this morning it was pretty simple: I was going to try it, and either I would finish it or I wouldn't. I did downloaded the podcast [Thanks, again, to Sherry for pointing me to the MP3 links!] and used it for the first time this morning. At some points, it was nice, but I missed the watch at other points. There were a few times I wanted to check our time, to see how far we were. Perhaps it was better that we didn't know, though. On the final five minute run, I was surprised that the "last minute" announcement came as early as it did. Of course, I was feeling pretty good during that part of the routine.

Week 4 Routine

  • 5 minute brisk walk (warm-up)

Then, this pattern:

  • Jog 3 minutes
  • Walk 90 seconds
  • Jog 5 minutes
  • Walk 2-1/2 minutes
  • Jog 3 minutes
  • Walk 90 seconds
  • Jog 5 minutes

We added a five minute cool-down walk to match what was in the podcast.

It was definately hard, but I'm surprised that it went so well and was relatively pain free. We deliberately kept our pace down in the beginng, since we knew the five minute sets would be hard. The first three minutes was much easier than I expected, and the 90 second recovery period was, surprisingly, long enough. A couple of times during the first five minute set, I wished I had a watch to check our progress (today was our first day without one), but there was an announced half-way point and we both finished it pretty well.

The following recovery period, two-and-a-half minutes, was adequate, but I would have enjoyed a longer one.

The next three minute run seemed long, but I made it through. It was the only point where I found my legs hesitating at the start of the run. I found myself counting steps, and I got a bit discouraged when it didn't end where I expected it to end. My mental math miscalculated my paces for the three minutes by a full third, however, so by the time I figured that out we came to the end of that run.

The next walking segment seemed really short, if only mentally--I had enough breath, and the music that came on during this time was a style I really liked. I was feeling better, but I don't know if that was the music, the running, or just being pleased that I made it that far. The good feeling carried over into the last run, and it allowed me to give more than I thought that I could give. I lengthened my stride--Mrs. F could tell I was moving faster, but she was being stubborn and wouldn't let me overtake her by more than a half-step--and I felt more like I was running than jogging. My shoes and my legs took the impacts well. My legs told me they were tired, but also told me that I could keep going. When the last minute announcement came, I gave everything I could (short of a full-blown sprint). The end came faster than I expected. I was exstatic that I finished!

I had a good burn in my calves after the final set, but no shin pain and I wasn't desperate for breath. During the final walk before the last 5 minute run, I started to feel pretty good. Of course, having some music helped (I can gett pretty involved in music and can let it transport me emotionally). That good feeling continued into the last run. My wife and I both pushed it during that last segment, especially the final minute, but she really sore when she finished (just below the knees again, to the inside--tendons?). After that final run (and I felt like I was really running this time), we also completed the 5 minute cool-down walk that is in the podcast but not officially part of the program. That means we walked for a total of 18 minutes and ran/jogged for 16 minutes!

Last week, having had a good Monday, I thought the other two days would go just as well, but the other two days were harder. So, I won't hold any misconceptions about the rest of the week. I'm sure they will be hard, but today proved that I can do it.

We'll see how the week progresses. I was the "bad" one yesterday who helped the boys make cookies! Thankfully, I kept my intake to a minimum. I'm going to take some into the office today, and I'll have one with coffee.

It's been just over an hour since we got back. I've had breakfast and am gearing up for my ride into work. My calves still have a bit of a burn, as I sit here, but not bad. I feel good for having gotten through the day's routine, and am just amazed by how much we've accompished so far.

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