Welcome back for my week 6 update and thank you to everyone who has been cheering me on and supporting me thus far! If you missed any of the previous parts to this journey, you can find them below:
The Everyday Health running plan that I have been following is a 12 week program (posted below), so I’m officially halfway there. My race is set for July 28 which is 11 weeks from now, so I have about 5 extra weeks to prepare. I do anticipate set backs and as a matter of fact, I am already about a week behind schedule. I have followed my running plan as far as my body will allow but if at the end of a week I feel that I have not yet conquered my running goal, I will continue doing that run until I have.
Now that I have been running for a good 6 weeks, whenever I see those “beginner” running guides, I’m always amazed. Either I was a truly out of shape runner to start or those guides overestimate the ability of many. I do understand that they are meant to be reference points and not necessarily followed perfectly, but there is no way I could have run for 3 minutes, 5 times through, in week 1. I’m at week 7 and have just now been able to achieve that (and I wasn’t even a couch potato previously). I know I can’t speak for everyone, but if you are new to running and reading this, don’t be discouraged. Move at your own pace and celebrate every win!!!
WEEK 6 Progress
Monday: This was an outdoor run in the morning before work. I ran 3 minutes/walked 2 minutes, 5 times through. On my last 3 minute interval, I never heard my timer tell me to rest, so I kept running. After a while, I took my phone out of my pouch and saw that I had about 1 minute left. “Timer complete” it finally said. Turns out, I ran through my 2 minute walk period in addition to the 3 minute running interval. A full 5 minutes and didn’t even realize it. I was proud of myself that day.
Prior to the run, I ate two slices of peanut butter banana toast. In previous weeks, I was nervous to eat so much before my run, but lately I’ve been hungry all the time. I realized that my metabolism is high and I burn quite a bit when I run. In my older posts, I’ve mentioned how my diet has been playing a large role in my running success so I have definitely been paying more attention to what I eat and when. The PBB Toast was for sure a winner. I didn’t cramp up, I couldn’t feel liquid moving around in my stomach as I ran, and it didn’t make my stomach hurt. It was just enough to leave me feeling energized and solid for the entirety of my run.
Tuesday: I did not run this day. Instead I had my first tennis lesson. Got some great upper body work there in addition to a nice amount of cardio.
Wednesday: Another outdoor run, but not nearly as great as the one on Monday. I ran 3/walked 2 again, this time in the evening, but my stomach wasn’t right. I felt a bit fatigue while I was running. I do believe it was because of what I ate before my run. I had a rice sandwich (rice sauteed with peppers, on a bun…don’t question it. It was delicious). I ate about 20 minutes before I was out the door because I was trying to beat the rain (and then it never actually rained). Either the rice sandwich wasn’t heavy enough, or I just didn’t give my body enough time to digest it. Either way, as I was running, I did not feel up for it at all. I had also just woke up from a nap which could have played a role, too. Perhaps my body was not quite awake yet. I ran 3 of my 4 intervals, but I was disappointed that I didn’t feel as great as I did on Monday.
Thursday: I rolled out the bed late and did a workout with Kelli from FitnessBlender on YouTube. I actually love working out with Kelli. Her and her husband Daniel have hundreds of intense at home workouts and they upload a new one every week. My favorite part about working out with Kelli is that she is human. I like that when I feel like my arms are about to fall off, she lets her viewers know that hers feel the same way! She sweats on camera and sometimes she loses count, but it is okay with me. It’s really encouraging to see someone else struggling too, yet still persevering.
Anyway, I did one of her upper body workouts which really hit my chest and shoulders. In the past, I have had a focus on my legs, but these days, I’m more concerned with my upper body as a whole. Lately, my right shoulder tends to cramp up towards the middle/end of my runs. I try to shake it out while I’m walking between my running intervals, but it doesn’t help much. Anyone have any tips on how to prevent this or what the problem might be? My hunch is that I’m not doing enough to stretch it out and warm it up before I run.
Friday: This was a treadmill run that I did in the evening after a nap. My goal was to run 3/walk 2 again, but GUESS WHAT!? After I ran 3 minutes, I felt like I could go longer. So I ran 4 minutes/walked 2, 4 times through. Prior to this run, I had Honey Nut Cheerios with my Chocolate Almond Cashew Protein Milk. It must have done the trick! I was so proud of myself! Just 2 weeks ago I was burning out at the 2 minute mark. Soon I’ll be running a full 30!
I made great progress this past week and looking forward to this upcoming week! I think I will stick with running for 4 minutes and if I feel able, maybe shoot for 5 minute intervals later in the week. Looking back at my running plan, I am a week behind, but I have no reason to rush. While a week ago, running for 8 minutes seemed intimidating, I am growing more and more excited as I am able to run longer and longer. I’m not at the 8 minute mark yet, but now it does seem like something I’ll achieve soon.
Once I’m there, running for 10 minutes at a time won’t seem so far fetched…and if I can run for 10 minutes, then that means I’ll officially have conquered something my 9th grade, JV track runner self would have never thought I could. Our coach would always challenge us to run a mile or 10 minutes, whichever came first, and I was always the person on the side who gave up early and started walking. This is just a testament to the fact that mindset is everything. When I was on the track team all those years ago, all I ever did was complain and say “I can’t do it”; at the time I couldn’t. Not because I wasn’t physically able, but because I wasn’t mentally able. I counted myself out and I never tried to get there. Well folks, I’ve counted myself back in, and I will be running across that 5k finish line in July! Stay Tuned!