5k to 10k, Week 2

I specified “week 2” as if there was a “week 1” post. Stupid.

I mentioned a few weeks ago how I intended to start training for a 10K when the Knoxville Ice Bears got out of the playoffs won the SPHL President’s Cup. If you follow me on Twitter at all you’d know that on the evening of April 18 we brought home our fourth cup after a 4-2 win over the Mississippi RiverKings in game 2 of the finals. I was happy for the guys, happy for our team, happy for our town, but now I have to hold up my end of the bargain. The Bears stuck out the playoffs as long as they could (despite there not being a game 3 necessary) so I had to finish stalling and start pounding the pavement again.

This isn’t to say I’ve not been pounding said pavement lately. I’ve kept my blog full of stories of keeping in 5K shape by means of running about 2 miles two to three days per week, lately in my subdivision where there are rolling hills that become treacherous when one is on foot. Nothing organized, though – no real goal in mind other than “don’t get fat again.” But it was time, I guess, to move on to something else. Something that would slap me on the wrist in some way if I fell behind and decided to “lay out” of a run day, which I’ve been known to do.

I downloaded Active’s 5K to 10K app for my iPhone since I experienced pretty awesome success using their Couch to 5K app last year. A little bit clunky at first but a recent update seemed to have fixed all the issues I was having regarding audio cues not playing through during runs. Much like its predecessor the system works in a pretty obvious way: starting “slow and low” and then gradually building up each week until you finish at a 10K distance only this time it assumes we’re starting with a person that’s 5K ready instead of someone that’s lazy. Somehow I’m both?

I bring this up because after finishing week 2, workout 3 today I had a “moment of inspiration” I guess you could say. Up until now I’ve had this nag in the back of my head that keeps reminding me of all the times I started – and stopped – Couch to 5K prematurely. Speaking to me very much like The Blerch I often heard whispering…

You’re going to quit…

This is too hard…

You’ve lost enough weight to be proud, why are you doing more?

Quit…

Do you not say – every day – “running sucks”?

Running does suck.

Rather than utilizing the streets of my subdivision I went down to the park where I trained for my first 5k, put on the headphones (a practice I’ve avoided for several months now) and got to it. It was basically a perfect day to run out there by the lake – just a little chilly, 8am sun staring through fog so thick I could actually see the star’s shape. About a half hour earlier I had downed a dose of my recently-acquired pre-workout amino supplement Optimum Nutrition’s Essential AmiN.O. Energy (Lemon Lime and HIGHLY recommended by this guy) so I was ready to rock, even if I didn’t want to. A short warm-up walk followed by 35 minutes of steady run and then a cool-down walk.

45 minutes later I was finished. I normally walk over to the picnic table near where I park once a run is complete so I can log my run on my phone and do some basic stretching but when I looked down I noticed that my distance was very near 4 miles. That’s the furthest I think I’ve ran in one training session. Is it the 6.2 miles required by a 10K? No. But is it 0.9 miles closer to that goal than I’ve ever gone? You bet it is. Suddenly, despite having sweat stains from my neck to my knees, I got the feeling that it was possible – that, despite my own version of the Blerch discouraging me, it’s definitely possible. Holy smokes.

That’s two weeks and six workouts down. 21 workouts, seven weeks remain. That’s a long time but if I remember correctly, by this point of Couch to 5K (assuming I hadn’t quit already) I was having some serious doubts if I’d ever make it. Here I am, two weeks in to a nine week training program, and I feel more confident than ever.

Running still sucks. Nothing will change that, though. To its credit, however, I am wearing skinny jeans currently – I thought I’d see the Glory Day before that ever happened. It’s not a coincidence!

Four miles today! Jam on!

Four miles today! Jam on!

 

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