So you know how I posted this BIG NEWS about a year and half ago? You remember, the post where I wrote that I was going to be doing a triathlon? Yeah, that’s gone about as well as my landscaping plans. BUT! I’ve been rejuvenated the past few weeks and I’m actually making progress. S l o w progress, but progress. As you may know, triathlons are made up of three parts, swimming, biking and running. I love swimming and enjoy biking. Two parts, CHECK, which leaves the one I dread. Running.
I’ve never been a fan of running. Way back longer than I like to think about, my friend Kim (from What’s That Smell) and I shared an apartment. She used to get up really early and RUN. Now, I’m a morning person, so that’s not what bugged me. What I didn’t understand was the concept of running. On purpose. When someone isn’t chasing you. Really? *sigh* Running and I haven’t been friends. I have bad knees, I don’t like being outside in hot weather. Or even warm weather.
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve thought about running because the idea of running, alone, with music blaring in my ears sounded pretty great. I just couldn’t get past the fact that I’d actually have to, you know, run. Outside. Where people could see me. (Thank God for treadmills. I could go on for hours about the love/hate relationship I have with my treadmill. How I love to hate it. Really, I would kick it as I walked by if I didn’t think I’d hurt myself.)
So now that 38 is looming (though it’s coming up on Kim much faster!!) I figured I’d set some goals. I’m saying right now that 38 is how old I’ll be when I finish my first and second triathlon. That gives me 1.5 years to get ready and participate in 2 of them before I turn 39. I think that’s a good amount of time, since I’m really looking at spring/summer 2011.
I have a few resources that are helping me with the acclimation to running. In addition to a runner friend who gives good tips and advice, I’ve been using a modified Couch to 5K plan, as well as training guides from Runners’ World. Who would have thought I would be reading Runners’ World articles? Kim, are you still conscious?
This is all happy and great, but I actually have to do the running part and well, that’s not nearly as easy as planning it. My current routine is a 2 day on 1 (or 2) day off rotation. The goal for now is to run for 1 minute at a speed of 4.5mph on the treadmill and then walk for 3 minutes at 2.5mph. I do 4 rotations of this plus a healthy warm up and cool down. It’s been going well for the past 10 days or so. After the first two days, my legs hurt so bad I couldn’t walk up stairs. Not good. I was very discouraged, but after a 2 day rest, they felt much better and the subsequent rotations were much easier on my legs. I’ve been heavily warned about potential shin splints and they have hurt a bit the past few days. I’ve also had some aching in my right knee (just above it) but that’s gone away a few hours after running.
Out of the 4 four-minute rotations it’s a struggle to finish the running portion. I can’t run very long. I make it though the first 60 seconds just fine, but the remaining 3 rotations are a different story. I can just about finish the second 60 seconds, but the last two are proving to be difficult. I feel great for the first 30 seconds and really think I can make it the full minute, but then I run out of steam at about 48 seconds. I keep pushing to make it the full minute but I can’t. I just keep trying and that’s all I can do. A few more seconds each time will increase my endurance and if it takes me five weeks to be able to do 4 -60 second runs, that’s ok. It’s more than I was doing a month ago.
The most surprising thing (besides the fact that I’m actually not cursing my treadmill) is that I really like it. I mean, I am not fond of it while I’m running, but I feel really good afterwards and that’s enough to keep me psyched for the next day. Actually, I find it to be a good challenge while I’m on the treadmill and that’s not something I thought would happen. I do want to be able to cross the triathlons off my list, plus the added benefit of getting in shape.
I’ll be adding 30 minutes of biking after the running rotations (immediately if I can, or later that day) and swimming on the off days so that I can still work on the triathlon elements. One thing I’m not looking forward to? Having to buy a pair of good running shoes. If you don’t know how much I hate shopping, you don’t know me very well. It’s my least favorite thing in the world. Well, second least. Digging in dirt is probably my least favorite.
This is my own workout station. The TV is directly in front of the treadmill and bike, but I haven’t been watching it at all during my runs. I made a killer playlist on my ipod that has been terrific. Ignore the dust on everything, the treadmill IS getting used. I know it looks like it’s really close to the wall, but there’s plenty of room there. Besides, it’s been there for a few months without an injury or a wall accident!
I’m happy to be writing this…and actually making progress on some of my big goals. I’ll keep you posted!