Monday, October 26, 2009

Wondering some things

Okay, so.... I got out a couple days ago and did day 1 of the training -- thought I'd follow the Couch to 5k plan that's out there a lot. And now.... let's just say my knees aren't happy with me.

It's not anything terrible. There's a very definite stiffness and soreness but it's not a debilitating can't walk kind of thing. But after 20 minutes (plus 5 minutes on each side of walking to warm up and cool down) I did shifts of 60 seconds running followed by 90 seconds walking. I felt okay, but it did feel like a lot of jolting around. And actually it didn't feel too bad until the next day.

So the questions come to mind here...

Was it too much? Just from my standpoint of no running at all, was that too much too quick? That's not all that much.

Am I just too heavy to even be thinking about this at this point? It's a lot of weight shifting around on these poor joints and a fair bit of impact.

Was it maybe the shoes? I wondered when I went out (so you'd think, duh! listen to yourself dummy) about the shoes I was wearing because they were a little older and maybe not the most even. I've noticed walking on old worn shoes can have an affect, so running could too.

Am I better off running? Or walking?

Truth be told, the pace I made with the run walk was not really any quicker than some of the walk paces I've done in the past.

Would I be better off just working on a brisk walk, say setting a goal of 15 minute miles?

Or, is it just normal stiffness and soreness setting in that happens when you haven't been running much at all as in my case?

I find myself very torn right now. There's this part of me that thinks... it's just me finding a reason to cop out right away when my body complains afterwards. The other part says yeah but you don't want the kind of knee problems you had a couple years ago, why take a chance? So that first part of me counters that yeah, but maybe give it a chance again by doing one more session but wear the newer shoes and see how it feels. And that other part says I don't want to take a chance right now. Part A calls Part B a whiner, and Part C (the part that is typing) is seriously worried about being schizo.

I am going to target a 5k, but I do think that for now I'm backing down. Part B wins, don't take a chance. A 15 minute mile walk pace is pretty good exercise too, especially for 5k. And 10k isn't at all out of reach.

Or I could do the really, really gradual thing. start with a .1 k, bump it up .1k each week, and in a year I'm up to 5k.

By tomorrow I'll probably have totally rethought the whole thing and who knows, maybe by then I'll be talking myself into marathon training.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Ready to try 5K?

My daughter's school had a fundraising event yesterday, a 5K run/walk at a nearby park. Basically the whole student body as well as any other family that wishes to participate. I figured I had the time, so... why not eh? My wife started out at the front of the pack, decided to run a good share of it and did it in 41 minutes. Me, just more of a casual walk, and I was in the very back which slowed things, but still ended up at 55:43 which was alright. I know I could do less than 50 minutes if I gave it a good brisk pace the whole way.

But it was kind of funny because the day before, I did a walk around Washington Park, a bit more than 2 and a half miles, and all along I had been thinking, maybe it's time to start training for being able to run a 5k. Nice thing about a long walk like that is you get time to think. So it was like okay, I could start off doing a couple good walks more to just set a pace of sorts, and then start doing some run/walk things to work up. At that time I'd forgotten all about yesterday's event. So anyway, Emily gets home and hands me a shirt -- and I'm like this won't fit so she smiles and says something about motivation. Brat.

The funny thing is though that yesterday when it's all over with, there were enough of the kids who looked pretty wiped out (who also had just walked) and I'm feeling just fine... to the point where I'm thinking okay, if it's this easy, maybe I'm really ready?

And see, for me, that's a huge change in thinking from just a couple years ago. Granted, right around Christmas 2 years ago I started thinking in terms of working up to a 5k run, but I know there were just huge doubts. I'd been at this point where just running a few steps seemed all but impossible. The thought of ever running again just seemed impossible.

Now, I haven't lost any more weight since writing. In fact right now I'm sitting probably 10 pounds up from the lowest I'd gotten to. (Which leads me to the question, if I gain pounds and lose them again, do I get to count them twice?) But I've managed to keep walking at least somewhat regularly, and the part that's been striking is that there are times here and there where it starts feeling natural to break into a little bit of a jog. It's still not a very pretty sight I'm sure and my running form is probably nothing too great at all (far from it) but... it feels like jogging now. See, going back to when I started trying to do some running 2 years ago that was totally different -- I favored the one knee so terribly that it was just terribly awkward and not very natural feeling. And it really had to be forced. Now, I can do it and feel pretty good and feel like it's somewhat normal. Like I said, it's a far, far cry from where I'd like to be but it's feeling really possible now.

One of the things that's nice about the thought too is... maybe catching up a bit with Janice. Here she's gone out and done these half marathons, and here's me shuffling along... Frankly I don't think a half marathon would be un-doable if I'm walking it. But I know when we go out walking she's more prone to want to jog and I find myself envying her some on it and so now I'm like, okay, why just be envious, why not actually do something?

So... here goes. The trick now is to find a 5K in January around here -- okay, that's not much of a trick at all because there are 5k runs all the time around here, this town's 5k crazy... last night when I was picking up the kids from school a ton of people were making their way to Wash Park with running gear and costumes, some Halloween 5k I'm guessing as there were all the usual tents and stands and such -- it seems like there's always something like that.

And hey, maybe it gets me blogging more? After all, there's that progress. And what's cool about the school event is, I have an actual benchmark to compare to.