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 14, 2009

Day 45 (week 7) - evening run

It has been one crazy evening! I got off work about 4:30 PM, an hour later than I had hoped. Getting home, I took in the quick news from the home front, including the updates on the sick ones, got changed, and managed to get out the door at just about 5 PM.

After our run, we stopped at the local grocery store and grabbed a couple of items, only to realize that neither of us had our cards with us (I only carry my license when I run). As we headed out the door, we realized that we needed to get our eldest son to the area high school for pep band. So, I dropped Mrs. F. at home, drove our son to the high school. When he came out to the car, he had my wallet with him, so I headed back to the grocery store after dropping him off. I picked up the items we set aside on our earlier visit, grabbed some bags of softener salt, and headed home.

As soon as I got through the door, Mrs. F informed me that our eldest son had called--pep band had been cancelled. So, back into the car I went; back to the local high school where I picked up our son and took him home. When I got home, I set about trying to unclog the kitchen sink, and I took over finishing off supper. With everything going on around here, I'm just amazed that we get out and run at all, morning or evening.

Okay, now that I got today's melodrama out of the way, let me get to reviewing today's run. It seems that the afternoon runs have been a little easier, at least as far as my legs being ready for them. Perhaps it's being more awake, or just the fact that I've been up and moving and that my body is warm. Even so, the first eight or so minutes of the run were hard. Almost immediately upon setting out I was fighting my internal dialogue that just wanted me to take a pass and go home. After all, I had already put in a full day of work... If you've ever tried to do something really hard, or something after a busy day, you probably know how that internal dialogue progresses.

So, I managed to tell that other part of me to "Sit on it!" and I kept going. I wrapped my leg a little differently today, since it had been bothering me less, and it seemed to be adequate when we began. Right off the bat, I was much happier with my pace today. Mrs. F was still able to pull ahead of me, but I didn't feel like I was fighting just to move at a decent pace, at least at the onset.

The first eight minutes were probably the hardest of the day, at least as far as the mental battle is concerned. After about the eight minute mark (I was listening to the podcast, so the time is just a guess--it might have been a little earlier or a little later), it was still hard, but it felt better. It was the one stretch where I got to relax a bit, mentally and perhaps physically. I remember looking to the lake, at the leaves on the ground, and at the trail ahead of me. Mrs. F was now way ahead, but it didn't bother me so much right then--I was running and all was good with the world.

We were back to our regular segment of trail today, so I was excited that I got to the far end and a good distance back before I heard the half-way point announced. It felt much more like last Friday (W6D3). Mrs. F had turned around and looped back to me once, and when we reached the end of the trail she took off to the side to make a loop through the park while I turned around and started back.

The half-way point came and went. I could tell it was getting a bit harder, and my left knee was starting to hurt, but I was still feeling pretty good.

Over the next few minutes, I really started to feel fatigue in my legs and my left really started to give me some grief. I concetrated on my stride. I was able to do a little to minimize the strain, but it was simply clear that the way I wrapped it was woefuly inadequate. I soon found myself fighting not to slip into that limping jog I had experienced two weeks ago. My pace slowed even more. I whistled and waved to Mrs. F so that she would loop back again. We were getting close to the point in the trail where I typically lose sight of her on the return, and that's a point that is always tough for me.

Her presence helped, but I was slogging so much that I was barely lifting my feet as I lurched forward in each stride. I asked her if I was even still running--it's almost as if my feet wanted to switch to walking, but my legs kept pushing them too far ahead--and she said that I was. I concentrated on lifting my feet more, and I forced myself to kick my heels further back. My pace improved slightly. I knew that our starting end of the trail would soon appear. While I was amazed that I had gone so far without hearing the final minute warning (we did not double back together today as we had done on Friday), I was also getting desperate to hear that final minute announcement.

It came right as we hit our starting point. Mrs. F was only a few steps ahead of me here, and we both quickened our pace a bit. After counting out approximately 15 seconds in my head, I pushed into a sprint--not as fast or free as the one I experienced on Monday, but a sprint all the same. I was tyring to hold a bit back, because I wanted to finish the last minute without slowing down. I picked a spot on the trail ahead of me and made it my finish line. As I reached it, there was no announcement, so I picked another spot ahead of me, and tried to push even more. As I reached it, the announcement came, my arms shot into the air, and I annouced the end to Mrs. F.

I knew I had pulled ahead of her, but I did not realize by how much until I turned around. She was, perhaps 10-15 meters behind me, her hand on her side, obviously from a side ache. I had pulled ahead of her, and I had finished the final minute in a sprint!

Our cool-down walk was slightly abbreviated, because we got back to our car before the time was up, but we were both happy with having finished another 25 minute run. As we began our drive home, we realized that we had run more than 75 minutes in less than a week (Friday through Wednesday)! That's just so amazing!

Because of the sickness going through the house and some other considerations, my plans for the weekend were cancelled. That means Mrs. F and I will be running together again on Friday morning. Since I will have the day off, we're planning to go out about an hour later, perhaps 6:30 AM, to benefit from the pending sunrise. I'll be back to wrapping my knee the other way, and I'm just glad I didn't seem to make it much worse (in how it feels now, a few hours later) with what I tried today.

I may never be able to run a seven minute mile, but I'm out there, being active, and working to lose a lot of weight. I hope that running becomes easier as my weight does go down, but I also hope that I'll have the perseverance required to get me that far. Weight check will be Friday morning, and I'm hoping to see a fair loss (perhaps a couple of pounds).

Well, that's it for now. We're going to sit down together and watch Heroes, and then, perhaps a little Eureka. Apart from that, I have a date with an ice pack and perhaps a cool bath.

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