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!"

Friday, November 6, 2009

A nice evening for letting go

Well, if I ignore the fact that I got out of work an hour later than I expected, it was a nice evening.

The scale was not as cruel as I feared (I'll post our weekly weight check after this), so that was nice.  Then, there was the run.  Mrs. F just got an mp3 player today (a bargain we found on one of our favorite sites,, so she ran with it.  I opted for a music free day, to see what it would be like.

My legs were feeling pretty good this morning, so I was a bit optimistic.  The warm-up walk seemed okay.  I stretched after the walk, and everything felt pretty good.  I don't know how warm it was this afternoon, but it was mild enough that I only needed my lighter under-layer, my shorts, and my top.  No need for my vest today; neither for my gloves.

As I began, I had a nagging concern I was going to hurt myself, but I simply decided to keep it slow.  As Mrs. F started pulling ahead, I felt the urge to keep up, but I let it go. I let her pull ahead, and I kept a steady pace.  My left knee was a little sore, but nothing beyond a nuissance. My right shin didn't bother me at all during the early stages.

Mrs. F was absorbed in her run, perhaps helped by the music she was using as background noise.  She didn't see the grey heron that was perched on an old dock, and she didn't hear me call her attention to it, either.

That was the first thing I noticed about running without my music--I spent much more time looking around at the scenery.  It was nice being able to do that. It was so much different than the first few weeks of the Couch-to-5k program, when it seemed like every run was a struggle that ended with me desperate for breath.  I could hear every footfall and the crunch of the leaves and the aggregate.

When reach approximately 3/4 into our first mile, Mrs. F was about a tenth of a mile ahead of me.  Again I had that urge to speed up, but I let her go.  My knee had settled in.  It was still a bit sore, but not bad.  So far, my shin felt fine.

As I approached my pre-determined turnaound point (the one-mile mark), Mrs. F had already turned around and was running back toward me. When we met, she turned again and went with me to the end of the trail.  Together we turned around and started back.  Mrs. F glanced at the watch she was carrying: 14 minutes (she had made the first mile in 11:30 before turning around for me).

The return trip was a bit harder.  Although I ran longer distances last week, I hadn't run on Monday and Wednesday was a disaster.  Since the Turkey Trot is a week from tomorrow, I just didn't want to overdo it.  My left knee was holding out, though a bit sore.  Now, though, I could feel occasional twinges in my shin.  As they came on, I felt myself tightening up.  I resisted as much as was possible for me, deliberately trying to keep my leg relaxed. It seemed to work.  As I felt that bit of pain and my leg wanting to tense up, I deliberately relaxed my leg and kept on moving.

Mrs. F had pulled ahead of me shortly after we turned around, but I did not let her get a full tenth of a mile ahead of me.  I wanted to sprint and catch up, but I knew I would not be able to finish if I did that; it likely would have caused me harm, too.  Instead, I picked out a landmark ahead of me on the trail, and I increased my pace until I reached that landmark.  Although I wanted to keep up the pace, because I could see myself gaining on her, I let go of the urge and I slowed down.  Soon, I picked another landmark and did the same again.

As we got to the final quarter mile, I was only about 20 feet behind her.  I picked up my pace and brought myself even with her.  By then, however, it seemed that she was starting to speed up, too.  The end, after all, was in sight.  I pushed harder. She sped up. I increased my pace.  She increased hers.  Pretty soon, we were both running at a sprint.  Normally, I can pull ahead of her in a sprint, but she clearly had some energy in reserve.  Though I pushed myself as much as I could, she pulled ahead of me and won our little race.

During that last segment, I definately felt more of a pounding on my left leg, and the shin splints on my right flared up.  It was a short push, though, so it didn't seem too bad.  In fact, my right shin hurt more at the end of our cool-down walk than it did due to the splint.  It was good to be back at it today, and it felt good to let go of my baggage from earlier in the week.


  1. Awesome run! I'm so glad you got out there and listened to your body and had a good run. The weather was perfect. I was in short-sleeves and very comfortable.
    Only 8 more days. Ack!

  2. Awesome! I have my last week coming up and my 5k at the end of the week! Yikes!


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