couch to 5k update

Last Couch to 5k Update (#5)

This will be the last post of the Couch to 5k series until…I run my 5k! I can’t wait! I’m really looking forward to it and while I’m a bit nervous about it because my training is going so slowly, I’m excited to be part of a race again.

Week 7

Sunday 4 mile hike
Monday Rest Day
Tuesday Warrior Room
Wednesday 3.16 mile run/walk
Thursday Rest Day
Friday 1.25 mile Swim
Saturday Weight lifting, 1.5 miles on elliptical

Reflecting back on my progress I am a little discouraged at how slow I was with the training. Having to do multiple weeks over again slowed me down and made it hard to progress. I think I was being over-cautious. I wrote about the huge jump in the Couch to 5k app before. I really didn’t like how much of a jump it was. It went from running around 8 or 10 minutes at a time to 22 minutes! Basically just a 5 minute warm-up, the run, then a 5 minute cool down.  I disliked this because it made me feel inadequate and I knew I wasn’t really for a big jump like that. As a result I haven’t been using the app much now.

Week 8

Sunday 3.01 mile run
Monday Rest Day
Tuesday Warrior Room
Wednesday 2.93 mile run
Thursday Rest Day
Friday 1.87 miles on the elliptical, followed by yoga
Saturday 1.75 mile run treadmill, weight lifting

This is the time I started to freak out. I looked at the calender and realized the 5k was only a few short weeks away. I started to panic. I over-analyzed the entire training program, I criticized my progress and was kicking myself or not forcing myself to do 3 runs each week no matter what. Had I done that, I think my training would have been a lot further along. But at the same time, it also could have lead to injury. So who knows.

Week 9

Sunday 1.25 mile swim
Monday Warrior Room
Tuesday Rest Day
Wednesday 1.20 mile stairmaster, weight lifting
Thursday Rest Day
Friday Swim 1.125 miles
Saturday Warrior Room

This week was hard. My knee had a flare up that last about 5 days and really depressed me. I took a break from running and did other things. I was glad I could go back to weight lifting. My hope is that all the cross training I did with the Warrior Room helped prepare me even though I couldn’t fit in 3 runs a week on a consistent basis. Here was the final week before the race:

Week 10

Sunday 1.50 mile run on treadmill, followed by yoga
Monday Rest Day
Tuesday 3.49 mile run!
Wednesday Biked to work 14.64 miles
Thursday Rest Day
Friday Swim 1.125 miles
Saturday Warrior Room Boot Camp

The run I did on Tuesday -3.49 miles was great! I was unsure about knees because I was coming back from that really bad week. I told myself I’d go slow and just see what happens. I went to the neighborhood track early in the morning and had a lovely run as the sun was coming up.

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I ran for 1 mile and then walked one time around the track. Then I ran 3/4 of a mile without a walk break. My knees were doing okay and that was encouraging. I walked the long way back to the house and ended up getting in almost 3.5 miles in.

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Lots of stretching and preventative icing of the knees. I felt really good all day long, too. After that week I had about 5 days before the race. I took it fairly easy. I went to the Warrior Room, I did some yoga and swimming. I skipped doing any gardening the day before the race because I’ve made THAT mistake before!!! I wasn’t feeling confident going into this and knew I would have to walk some of it. I hoped that it wouldn’t be too much…

Stay tuned for the race recap!

What I Miss Most About Running

I didn’t know much I loved running until I couldn’t do it for awhile.

The last few months I’ve been running at the gym on the treadmill. I’ve been happy that I am back at it–happy like you wouldn’t believe–but it’s not quite the same as running outside.  What I missed about running was how much free time it gave me. For a long time I would get my runs in during my lunch break at work. It was nice, I got to run outside on the Esplanade Loop in the fresh air. I would run for just under an hour and have enough time to shower and clean up and be back at my desk to eat by the time my hour was up. It freed up my evenings. I was able to do more things, go out with friends, whatever I wanted really.

Sometimes the whole PROCESS of going to the gym feels like a drag. I have to drive there, find parking, change, etc etc. It just gets monotonous and tedious and it starts to feel like a drag. That’s how I’ve been feeling the last few weeks with this nice weather. I hate going to the gym when it’s sunny and warm outside! Biking to work once a week this month gave me a little of that freedom and outdoor activity I’d been craving. My recent flare-up made me take some time off, though.

Instead of biking last week, I decided I’d give running outside a try. My knees were ok but somehow I felt that if I’d tried biking that day they’d hurt. Would running hurt? Only one way to find out. I got home, changed, and headed outside. I went back to week 1 of the Couch to 5k program I was using because running outside is WAY different than a treadmill. I’m always sore in a different way when I run outside.

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The C25K app starts with a 5 minute warm-up walk. That’s about how long it takes me to walk down the street to the school track in our neighborhood. I got down there and there were kids practicing lacrosse (which I’ve never actually ever seen in person). I followed the app’s prompts to run/walk at intervals. Because it was Week 1 I was running for around 1-1.5 minutes, then walking for a minute, and so on. It was a good start to running outside after weeks of the treadmill but there were times where it was a little too easy.

I did my intervals around the track, my knees feeling decent, the sun warming my bare skin, and then my time was up. There’s a 5 minute cool-down walk at the end of the app but I didn’t feel ready to cool down. Instead, I decided to take the long way back to the house and run it.

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When I got back to the house I grabbed Bella (who had been very annoyed that I didn’t take her with me on my run!) and took her for a short walk as my cool-down.

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Bella was a little pull-y on the leash but she calmed down after a few minutes.  This was my cool-down/walk with Bella:

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Another thing I love about running that just isn’t the same when you’re on the treadmill–the contemplative time. I like letting my mind wander when I run outside. I come up with all sorts of good ideas! I was so happy I go to run outside! YAY summer! I have to admit, though, while I was out there running and thinking about my 5k and started to hear that little voice putting pressure on myself not to walk any of it…I told myself I wouldn’t put that pressure on myself and even if I had to walk some of the 5k, it was still better than not being able to do it at all. Funny how that competitive streak comes out…

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After my run, I stretched, I used my foam roller, I iced my knees (twice–once right after and then again before bed) and I also took a bath epsom salts. I recently discovered the kind for athletes and it works so great! It’s got rosemary and mint in it and it makes my sore muscles tingle and feel great.

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For dinner I had quinoa and Trader Joe’s Chicken Shu Mai dumplings with quinoa and a salad. Lots of sriracha on top. It was a filling dinner and around 500 calories.

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For dessert I tried something new and it was great! I got a box of chocolate covered frozen bananas from Trader Joe’s and they are amazing. For only 140 calories you get something sweet and it’s a good substitute for ice cream. I satisfied that ice cream craving with these babies.

froban

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It’s just a bummer that there aren’t that many servings in the box. I can tell I need to stock the freezer with multiple boxes to have these treats on hand. 🙂

Back to the knees, they felt good. The next day my hips were really sore but my knees were ok so that’s all I care about! I also had a massage scheduled for that night. 🙂 My massage therapist spent a lot of time on my legs and hips and also did some stretches to help with my tight hips. It felt awesome!