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!"

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Day 38 (week 6)

Well, I made it through today's workout--two 10-minute runs separated by a 3-minute walk.

Today was a bit of a roller coaster. It began as I expected (self-fulfilling prophecy?)--I did not want to get up. I did not want to run. It's finally been cold enough that Mrs. F pulled the down comforter out of storage yesterday, and I was enjoying the additional warmth and the additional weight. Oh, how I love a heavy stack of blankets (when it's cold enough to warrant them)!

I did not want to get dressed, but I did. I stepped outside, and the force of the cold air hit me square in the chest. I pivoted on my heels and went back inside, nearly knocking down Mrs. F, who simply went past me and out the door to the car she had started earlier. I wanted to run--to the bedroom--but, instead, I grabbed my fleece vest and headed out to the car.

I did not want to run. My knee felt surprisingly good when I woke, perhaps due to the extra warmth provided by our extra layer of covers, but I knew it would bother me soon after placing weight on it. I decided to double my efforts to wrap the knee. I began with a 3" elastic wrap, and then I pulled the brace over the top. It felt more snug, but it did not immediately collapse behind my knee as the brace alone had done on Monday. We arrived near the lake, but I did not want to get out of the car.

I was greeted by a sound we had not hear during our first five weeks--water rushing over the little dam where we park. We had heard it on Monday, but I was too miserable to mention it after that day's workout. It was a loud rush, and a welcome sound. I've always loved the sound of rushing water. It reminds me of all of the time I've spent in a canoe, but that's another story.

I did not even want to walk the warm-up walk. As we began, I stated aloud that I did not want to be there. I was tired and uncomfortable, and I knew the run would be miserable. Mrs. F replied with some kind words, but I didn't hear them clearly. All I could hear was the podcast, and I just wanted the voice to shut up and the music to fade. The wrap/brace combination seemed to be working. It had not yet slid down, and my walk was fairly comfortable.

I began the run. Immediately it was clear that my pace was slow. Mrs. F began to pull ahead fairly early. My legs were sore, and my hands and the back of my neck were cold. It was 40°F this morning, but there was no rain, and the stars were clear in the sky. We were running with Orion once again. I just wanted to collapse on the trail. I exclaimed, "I'm a fat man, and I've been a fat man most of my life." Something stopped me from continuing with my thought, "and I'm going to be a fat man until the day I die." I pushed on.

The 10 minute run seemed near an eternity. We started the run about the same place we've began for weeks, a five-minute walk down the trail, but the run today--even at my slowed pace--took me to the end of the trail where we would normally turn around. Mrs. F had already reached the end, turned aound, and run back to me, so we were again running together. As we turned to take a little loop through a part at that end of the trail, the end of the first run was announced.

As has been true on other days, my breathing was fine. It was the rest of my body that was simply spent. I announced that I could not take it any more. "It's just so hard," I cried. Then I literally cried. "It's just so hard."

I could not imagine going on. Had we been on the track we used on Friday, I might have gone down the stairs and left the building at that point. Here, outside in the brisk morning air, I knew I was still about a mile from our car. I had to walk in either case, so I walked. I had a few creaks in my left knee, and the wrap had clearly moved down some, but it seemed to be holding out better than I had expected.

That emotional outburst helped. I don't understand why, but I felt better for having said what I said, and having cried as I did, even though I was still walking.

When the next run began, I obliged and picked up the pace. That's when I got this morning's surprise. As my feet struck, one after another, and my arms swung, I suddenly realized that I felt pretty good. I was still sore and a little stiff, but I no longer felt so dead tired. In fact, I found myself feeling pretty good. Instead of letting Mrs. F pull ahead, I found myself keeping up with her, just a few steps behind. The run felt good until about the half-way point. That's when the sense of physical fatigue hit me again, I began to slow down, and I let Mrs. F pull ahead.

Those final five minutes were difficult, though not in the same way as it had been at the start of today's session. Now it was true fatigue in my legs. In addition, my wrap had slumped even more, and now I was feeling more discomfort in that left knee. I sped up...and slowed down...and sped up...and slowed down. It did nothing to help my legs, but it did give me something to occupy my mind. When we got into the final few minutes, I did my best to speed up. At one point I thought I was catching up to Mrs. F, but then she was beyond my line of sight in a slight curve. When the run ended, I called out loudly, since I knew she was again far ahead of me. She heard me, but wasn't sure if I had sounded the end, so she was still running when she came into view as she ran back toward me. Together, we walked out our cool-down, and then we drove home.

I don't know how things will go Friday, but they went better today than I had feared. I can't say that I'm looking forward to Friday, but I'm committed to making it happen.

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