Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task. ~William James

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Couch Potato Training--Part 1

I am now in the middle of week 5 of Cool Running's Couch Potato to 5K training program.  This morning I am supposed to 

  • Jog 3/4 mile (or 8 minutes)
  • Walk 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
  • Jog 3/4 mile (or 8 minutes)
(after a "brisk" 5 minute warm-up walk). Two days ago, (W5D1 in "C25K" circles), I jogged for 5 minutes, walked for 3, jogged for 5, walked for 3, and jogged for 5. By Sunday evening, I should have completed the week's assigned workouts, including what seems to me at this point the incredible 20-minute jog, "no walking." Week 5 is a pretty steep ramp. The longest jogs in Week 4 were 5 minutes, with three resting walks of varying lengths in between. And way back then--a distant four days ago--I was amazed that I was completing those.

My daughter, whose first triathlon last fall "inspired" this attempt to resurrect my running self, objects to calling this activity "couch potato training."  (Though I could probably benefit from that goal, too.  See Couch Potato Training--Part 2 tomorrow...)  And honestly, I am coming to feel, if not to express, some respect for the undertaking, and for my progress so far.  

For my first "outing" (which in the frigid Midwest in January took place on an indoor track), I jokingly told my family and friends that my goal was not to die.  After fifteen years of only intermittent exercise "jags," a little part of me was serious about that goal.  I really doubted my ability to take on Week 1's 20 minutes of alternating 60 second jogs and 90 second walks.  Completing that first workout was exhilarating.  

Somewhere in the middle of this morning's session at the gym, I will have reached the halfway mark of this 9-week plan.  I am trying to "stay in the moment," as my meditation group would advise me.  I have actually enjoyed some of the feelings, physical and emotional, that have been part of this journey, like the sense of freedom and lightness as I complete my laps on an oval overlooking the basketball courts.  The music I've been relying on for distraction, companionship, and motivation has begun to cue a positive anticipation.  (I won't go into the surprisingly occasional muscle soreness that has also been a feature of these last few weeks.)

It feels good to be "putting to bed" my long-postponed intentions to get back to exercising, and to a more physically active identity.  And I'm working at not minding the runners who lap me.  I mark the growth from four weeks ago, when a woman who appeared to be my elder by about a decade passed me walking during my first "jog."  

P.S.  Found this nearly two-year-old blog devoted to one person's Couch Potato to 5K experience. The blog stops abruptly at the end of Week 2, amid much jubilance. I imagine there are millions of bloggers writing on the subject, of which I am humbly happy to be just one. Hopefully, the program has been/will be a turning point for at least some of us. I hope to be just one of those.

No comments:

Post a Comment