Now that it's February and the resolutionists are mostly gone from the gym, I decided it was time to start running again. I finished the Couch to 5K last spring, twisted my knee 30 seconds later, and then quit running.
I wasn't sure where to start, though. I did finish last time, so W1D1 (run 60 seconds, walk 90, repeat for 20 minutes) didn't seem right. On the other hand, it's been the better part of a year since I ran. I decided that I would optimistically start with W3D1, which is run 90 seconds, walk 90 seconds, run 3 minutes, walk 3 minutes, then repeat the whole thing. At worst case, a 3-minute run probably wouldn't kill me, and I could stop early if I really needed to.
As it turns out, I have to rethink that plan.
Getting ready was a scramble. I tore my loft apart looking for my sports bra, and once I found it I tore the loft apart again looking for my headphones. I never did find the padlock I wanted, but I have another one so it worked out OK.
The gym never changes. It's all the same characters doing exactly the same things. There are lots of big beefy black guys with lots of tattoos pumping iron, clearly quite serious about it. A few people, obviously capable runners, dashing on treadmills. Behind them are out-of-shape people on ellipticals trying to burn off the pounds. Finally there are a few random others doing whatever random other things they do at the gym. An older Chinese woman was outside the shower in the ladies room drying her hair with a hand dryer.
I stretched, and approached the treadmill with trepidation. They haven't changed either, except that fewer of them have working heart rate monitors than they did last time. Oh well. Maybe I'll bring my own.
I did the five-minute warm-up walk and then cautiously broke into a run. "Hey, this isn't so bad." I watched Egypt news on the TV and cranked the showtunes to avoid staring at the clock. I finished the 90-second run, and then used the 90-second walk to not chicken out of the 3-minute run.
The clock ticked, I started running again. A minute passed... "still alive". A minute and a half. "Hey, I think you can do this." Two minutes. "Yeah, OK, I feel this." Three minutes. "Already? Hrmm. Maybe I'll do five if I can." Five. "Well, I guess I can keep going." Six. Eight. "OK, I'll do ten if I can."
I quit at ten, not because I had to but because it seemed prudent not to overdo it. I did a three-minute walk, a three-minute run at a faster pace, and then finished it with a five-minute walk.
I feel OK. I don't think I overdid it, though tomorrow may tell me otherwise.
It's not clear to me why it was so easy. Maybe it's because I finished the C25K last year, and I haven't lost all of it. Maybe it's that I've lost 25 pounds since the last time I tried this. I was running at my usual can't-keep-up-with-snails pace for most of it, though I did the final three minutes at about 1 MPH faster than usual.
I'm not sure what I'm going to do next. I may still start with W3D1, but this time I'll do it at a faster pace. Or not. Dunno. The bottom line is that I worried that I would wind up ded of teh runningz, and instead did far more than I expected to. That's made of win.
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